Markets Could Be Preparing to Make an End of the Year Move to Reach Record Territory Again

Good morning.

I am on the road today, so getting my note out early as I prepare travel to New York … making a point to see the tree at Rockefeller Center … and keeping as far away from Trump Tower as I possibly can.

So far futures are pointing toward a higher opening, and markets could be preparing to make an end-of-the-year move to reach record territory once again … as we enter December … typically a positive month for the market. In fact … according to “Market Chimp” … going back to 1950, December has had the best return for the S&P than any other month … returning over 1.5% … and rising more than 74% of the time.

Let’s hope that trend continues.

I think I am a little bit nuts … as I bought one of the HTC Vive Virtual Reality headsets … even without having a computer capable to support it. But I am so intrigued by the possibilities that the early adopter in me took control over my senses. It was just under a year ago that I saw this for the first time and I’ve been fascinated by it ever since. I suspect a lot of people will be introduced to Virtual Reality via the Playstation4 at Christmas … and friends will try it and demand will pick up into the new year. But now I have to buy the strong-enough laptop … and the high cost is, frankly, going to hurt.

Oh, my. I just jumped onto a news website to look for something to close out with today … and saw some predictions calling for frigid temperatures just around the corner. I then went to weather.com and … yep … it looks like my town will see lows in the 20’s and 30’s every day through mid-month.

I’m not quite ready for this.

As I age, the thought of Florida becomes more and more appealing (proving that I am getting closer and closer to becoming senile). But come to think of it … maybe … instead of a computer … I should just be buying a warmer coat.

Have a great day.

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA
Vice President
Emerald Asset Management
(717) 396-1116
wit@teamemerald.com
A Quick Look at the News
December 1, 2016

Joseph G. Witthohn, CFA | wit@teamemerald.com


… as of 4:28 AM today …

Just where is the U.S. economy expanding? Just about everywhere … even though there are only minor signs of inflation … at least for the moment (Bloomberg)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-30/fed-says-u-s-economy-continued-to-expand-across-most-regions

So far … even with a shortage of workers in some industries … wage growth is still considered modest … but if labor markets tighten up even more, that should change (Reuters)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-beigebook-idUSKBN13P2KH

… but there is one thing on the horizon that might have the same effect as getting a raise … lower taxes … and that seems to be a goal of the soon-to-be administration (USAToday)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/11/30/mnuchin-outlines-largest-tax-change-since-reagan/94667050/

… and if you are thinking your home price will soar … and you will be able to (like many did just a few years ago) use home equity loans as an ATM … you might be in for a surprise. Prices might not rise much at all (Bloomberg)

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2016-11-30/don-t-get-your-hopes-up-about-home-prices

There is talk that a large amount of student loans will be forgiven (though it will raise the ire of many who scratched and saved to repay their own loans) (Time)

http://time.com/money/4586201/income-based-repayment-student-loan-forgiveness-cost/

… but college is competitive … right? Well … not always … as there are actually some schools with a 100% acceptance rate. Whatsamatta U. (USNews)

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/the-short-list-college/articles/2016-11-29/10-colleges-with-the-highest-acceptance-rates

With all the nasty stuff in the headlines we should realize that … as a bunch … Americans are pretty good at heart. Earlier this week was “giving Tuesday” … and records were set! Way to go to all the secret Santas out there (USAToday)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/11/29/giving-tuesday-twitter-donations/94616650/

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