Weekly Market Commentary 6/28/2021

Weekly Market Commentary 6/28/2021

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

June 28, 2021

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

What begins with the letter “I”?

Infrastructure is essential and sometimes taken for granted. Pipes carry drinking water to our homes, offices, and healthcare facilities, and carry away sewage and wastewater. Highways, airports, railroads, waterways, roads, and bridges make efficient transportation of goods and safe travel possible. Energy systems and transmission lines keep the lights on and the stove cooking. Broadband data transmissions systems assure high speed internet access.

On Thursday, President Biden and a bipartisan group of senators announced that progress had been made on the framework for a bipartisan infrastructure plan. Investors were happy to hear it. Randall Forsyth of Barron’s reported:

“…Washington this past week finally took steps to address the nation’s manifest deficiencies in its infrastructure…Perhaps tellingly, the bond market had only a minimal reaction to the prospect of further government spending. But stocks of companies that could see a bonanza of dollars flowing from D.C. had double-digit gains on the week, and the indexes notched gains averaging around 3%, with the S&P 500 ending at a record.”

Financial markets paid less attention to the other “I” – inflation.

On Friday, The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported on the Federal Reserve’s favorite inflation measure, core personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Prices, excluding food and energy, were up 3.4 percent from May 2020 to May 2021. From April 2021 to May 2021, PCE increased 0.5 percent which was lower than the previous month-to-month increase.

Yields on 10-year U.S. Treasuries moved slightly higher last week, and U.S. stocks had their best week since February, reported Naomi Rovnick and Francesca Friday of the Financial Times.

It’s hard to get excited about a ‘c-’.
Since 1998, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) has been grading infrastructure in the United States. ‘A’ is exceptional, fit for the future. ‘B’ is good, adequate for now. ‘C’ is mediocre, requires attention. ‘D’ is poor, at risk. ‘F’ is failing, unfit for purpose.

The 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure graded 17 categories of infrastructure. The grades were poor enough that, if the report card had been handed to a student to take home, it might never have been delivered to the parents.

·         Rail                                         B
·         Ports                                       B-
·         Solid waste                             C+
·         Bridges                                   C
·         Drinking water                        C-
·         Energy                                    C-
·         Aviation                                   D+
·         Public Parks                           D+
·         Schools                                  D+
·         Inland Waterways                  D+
·         Wastewater                            D+
·         Hazardous Waste                  D+
·         Dams                                     D
·         Roads                                    D
·         Stormwater                            D
·         Levees                                   D
          Transit                                    D-

The report’s authors stated, “If the United States is serious about achieving an infrastructure system fit for the future, some specific steps must be taken, beginning with increased, long-term, consistent investment. To close the nearly $2.59 trillion 10-year investment gap, meet future need, and restore our global competitive advantage, we must increase investment from all levels of government and the private sector from 2.5% to 3.5% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. This investment must be consistently and wisely allocated…”

As many teachers have told many students over the years, a poor grade means there is room for improvement.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“There is no greater burden than great potential.”
 –Charles M. Schultz, Cartoonist

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Weekly Market Commentary 6/28/2021

Weekly Market Commentary 6/21/2021

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

June 21, 2021

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

Is that a hawk?​

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) met last week. They get together eight times a year to review current economic and financial conditions, assess risks to price stability and economic growth, and adjust monetary policy accordingly.

When the Federal Reserve raises the fed funds rate to keep inflation and economic growth in check, it is ‘hawkish’. When the Fed lowers the fed funds rate to encourage inflation and economic growth, it is ‘dovish’.

Last week, the FOMC appeared to veer toward a more hawkish policy.

The FOMC did not change current policy. However, the dot plot – a chart that reflects meeting participants’ expectations for the fed funds rate in the years ahead – showed a majority leaning toward two rate hikes in 2023. That was new. The March 2021 dot plot, which showed no rate hikes before 2024, reported Ben Levisohn, Nicholas Jasinski, and Barbara Kollmeyer of Barron’s.

Financial market suspicions that a hawkish turn might be underway were confirmed on Friday when St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard, who will become a voting FOMC member next year, told Rebecca Quick of CNBC’s Squawk Box:

“We were expecting a good year, a good reopening. But this is a bigger year than we were expecting, more inflation than we were expecting, and I think it’s natural that we’ve tilted a little bit more hawkish here to contain inflationary pressures.”

Financial markets weren’t thrilled by the news.

“The increasingly hawkish tilt caused stocks that benefit from a stronger economy and hotter inflation – the financials, energy, and materials sectors among them – to get hit hard, and has sparked a resurgence in the tech trade. Growthier tech stocks again beat cyclical and value stocks on Friday…All 11 sectors of the S&P 500 finished in the red on Friday,” reported Barron’s.

Major United States stock indices finished the week lower, and the Treasury yield curve flattened somewhat, suggesting slower economic growth may be ahead.

What’s the difference? Over the next few months, we’ll probably begin to hear more about the deficit, the debt, and the debt limit. Here’s a primer to help you keep them straight.

The U.S. deficit: When the United States has a deficit, it means the government spent more than it took in. When the government spends less than it takes in, it is called a surplus. Deficits might be helpful. For instance, when a pandemic occurs, deficit spending may help stabilize a wobbly economy.

The U.S. government engaged in deficit spending in 2020 and early 2021 to support Americans, businesses, and the economy. It spent $6.6 trillion and took in $3.4 trillion in revenue ($1.3 trillion was payroll taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security). As a result, the budget deficit was $3.1 trillion in 2020.

The national debt: Whenever the U.S. spends more than it takes in, the national debt increases. The debt is the amount the U.S. government owes. Every annual deficit adds to the debt and every annual surplus reduces it. There are a variety of ways to measure the national debt. At the end of the first quarter of 2021, the national debt was:

·         More than $28 trillion

·         127.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)

So, how much debt is too much? Research suggests the answer depends on a country’s economic growth rate, the level of interest rates, and the strength of its institutions and central bank, reported Heather Hennerich of the St. Louis Federal Reserve’s Open Vault Blog.

The debt limit: When a government runs a deficit, it borrows money to keep operating. The amount that it can borrow is determined by the debt limit, a.k.a., the debt ceiling. The debt limit is the amount of money the government is authorized to borrow to meet its obligations, such as Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, national debt payments, income tax refunds, and other commitments.

Since 1960, Congress has acted 78 separate times to permanently raise, temporarily extend, or revise the definition of the debt limit,” reported the U.S. Treasury.

The debt ceiling was suspended in 2019, and the suspension expires on July 31, 2021.

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“If you choose to not deal with an issue, then you give up your right of control over the issue and it will select the path of least resistance.”
–Susan Del Gatto, Author

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Father’s Day Tribute

Father’s Day Tribute

Father’s Day Tribute

June is the month for Father’s Day — but it’s also the month for family vacations and road trips! 

Whenever I plan a vacation with my family, I think back to all the trips I took as a kid. When I do, the first things to come to mind aren’t how magnificent the Grand Canyon looked, or the awesome power of Old Faithful, or even the rides at Disney World.

My memories are of all the little things. My memories are of my dad. 

Now that I’m older, I know just how many “little things” my dad did for each and every family vacation, year after year after year. First, he would save up his hard-earned money throughout the year, so we could tour a far-off national park, visit some golden beach, ride the newest megacoaster, or learn more about our nation’s history. Then, he would obsessively plan every route we took, scrutinizing maps and atlases – this was in the days before GPS – so we would always take the shortest route, or the most scenic one. Next, he would teach us all how to pack the family car the right way, so we could fit in the most luggage. 

Then the work really began. 

When we were twenty minutes into our trip, and one of us called out, “Dad, I forgot my , he would turn around so we could retrieve it. Sometimes grudgingly, sometimes in good humor…but he would always turn. 

He would stop for every bathroom break we needed to take, even if the last one was ten minutes earlier.  He would tell dad jokes and sing funny songs all throughout the drive, just to keep our spirits up.

  • ​He would drive all through the long night while the rest of us slept.
  • ​He would wake up two or three hours earlier than everyone else, all to stand alone in the line for tickets to a guided tour or popular ride. 
  • ​He would teach us the names of the trees and animals we saw or point out distant wonders we would otherwise have walked right on by.
  • ​He would carry us on his shoulders when we got tired.
  • ​He would buy us that one thing in the gift shop we just had to have.
  • ​When one of us said, “Look at me, Dad!” for the umpteenth time, he would always look.
  • ​When we asked, for the millionth time, “Dad, when will we get there?” he would always answer – and then distract us with a comment like, “Hey, look at that funny cloud!”
  • ​When we asked, for the billionth time, “Dad, what kind of bird/tree/rock is that?” he would quickly look up the answer as soon as we weren’t looking.
  • ​​When we would ask, for the gazillionth time, “Dad, how many stars are there in the sky?” he would answer, “A million billion gazillion.” 

These are the things I remember from our family vacations. Not the grand sights or spinetingling thrills. I remember all the little things my dad used to do to make sure each and every one of us had a great time. 

I remember my dad. 

So, as another Father’s Day approaches, and another season of family vacations begins, we want to say, 

Thanks, dad. 
Thanks for all the little things. 
All million billion gazillion of them. 

And from everyone here at Research Financial Strategies, we wish all fathers everywhere a

Very Happy Father’s Day!  ​

Weekly Market Commentary 6/28/2021

Weekly Market Commentary 6/14/2021

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

June 14, 2021

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

It’s transitory. It’s not transitory. It’s transitory. It’s not transitory.

Media analysts were plucking the inflation daisy petals last week. On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index Summary, which showed prices were up 5 percent year-to-year.

“Investors are debating whether the surge in prices at both a producer and consumer level will prove transitory, as the U.S. Federal Reserve believes, or become entrenched. Much of the angst over medium term inflation pressure becoming hotter is fueled by the backdrop of aggressive fiscal and monetary policy. This potentially combustible mix has a policy additive from a Fed prepared to tolerate a higher pace of inflation beyond its target of 2 percent for an unspecified period,” reported Michael Mackenzie of Financial Times.

Last week, investors took inflation data in stride. Barron’s reported the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at a new all-time high on Friday. The Nasdaq Composite also finished higher, while the Dow Jones Industrial Index was slightly lower. The yield on longer U.S. Treasuries moved lower, too, which was notable. In theory, rising inflation and rising interest rates should go hand in hand.

Rising inflation remained a top concern for consumers in June, according to Richard Curtin, the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers chief economist:

“Fortunately, in the emergence from the pandemic, consumers are temporarily less sensitive to prices due to pent-up demand and record savings, as well as improved job and income prospects. The acceptance of price increases as due to the pandemic makes inflationary psychology more likely to gain a foothold if the exit is lengthy.”

Inflation psychology occurs when consumers believe prices will continue to rise over time and begin to spend money as soon as they receive it, according to Investopedia. There is a remedy, according to Curtin. “A shift in the Fed’s policy language could douse any incipient inflationary psychology, it would be no surprise to consumers, as two-thirds already expect higher interest rates in the year ahead.”

Necessity is the mother of invention…Businesses have been finding innovative solutions to labor issues forever. For example, dogs were once bred to cook, according to Popular Science’s podcast, The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week.

When people relied on fire to roast meat, the spit was an invaluable tool. However, turning a spit for hours wasn’t a popular job, so dogs were bred and trained to turn spits. “The first mention of the turnspit dog…was in 1576…The long story short here is that people bred terrier-like dogs to…fit easily into these treadmills that powered various kitchen aids, but primarily the roasting spit.”

By some accounts, the poor working conditions of turnspit dogs in New York hotels contributed to the founding of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

Today, pandemic labor shortages have sparked innovation. Companies that are having difficulty finding workers are adopting technological solutions. For example:

·         Modern-day food automats. A vast improvement over food vending machines, some restaurants are using technology to replace servers. Patrons order on a screen and the food is delivered in numbered cubby holes. The kitchen staff is in the back preparing the orders.

·         Grab-and-go groceries. People scan an app before they enter a grocery store that has no cashiers. As they shop, cameras and sensors track what they remove from shelves or bins. “…the technology had to be tweaked to account for how people squeeze tomatoes to test for ripeness or rummage through avocados to find just the right one,” reported Joseph Pisani of the Associated Press. (Tip: When shopping in grab-and-go groceries, don’t take items off high shelves for other shoppers – you may be charged if the person you helped leaves the store with the goods.)

 ·         Bricks-and-mortar online shopping. A women’s clothing boutique outfitted its new stores with screens so shoppers may select the clothes they want to try on. Then, the shopper is escorted to a dressing room where the clothes are hanging in a wardrobe. “Another touch screen in the dressing room lets you request even more items and sizes, but instead of awkwardly trying to hail a salesperson in your underwear, you just close the wardrobe, and someone in body-con Narnia adds it through the back,” reported Emilia Petrarca of The Cut.

What’s your favorite pandemic innovation?

Weekly Focus – Think About It
“Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all.”
―Arthur C. Clarke, Writer

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.
* This newsletter and commentary expressed should not be construed as investment advice.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value.  However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor’s 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. The volatility of indexes could be materially different from that of a client’s portfolio. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment. You cannot invest directly in an index.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.
* To unsubscribe from the Weekly Market Commentary please reply to this e-mail with “Unsubscribe” in the subject.

Weekly Market Commentary 6/28/2021

Weekly Market Commentary 6/7/2021

How Are Your Investments Doing Lately?  Receive A Free, No-Obligation 2nd Opinion On Your Investment Portfolio >

Weekly Financial Market Commentary

June 7, 2021

Our Mission Is To Create And Preserve Client Wealth

Pulling the economy out of the shed.

If you’ve ever stored tools or machinery in a shed or garage for an extended period of time, you know they often need some care and repair to function properly. The same appears to be true of the pandemic economy.

Economic growth in the United States is on the rebound. The latest report shows real gross domestic product, which is the value of all goods and services produced in our country, was up 6.4 percent annualized during the first quarter of 2021, an improvement from 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020. Also, pandemic restrictions have been lifted. Americans have begun to spend more and save less, and there is high demand for goods and services.

The economy appears to be primed for stronger growth, but there are some glitches in the system – namely labor and supply chains.

For the second month in a row, the May U.S. employment report showed fewer jobs gains than anticipated, although the unemployment rate dropped from 6.1 percent to 5.8 percent during the month. Then, last week, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) reported its Manufacturing Business Survey found new orders were up and production was down.

PR Newswire reported, “Record-long lead times, wide-scale shortages of critical basic materials, rising commodities prices, and difficulties in transporting products are continuing to affect all segments of the manufacturing economy. Worker absenteeism, short-term shutdowns due to part shortages, and difficulties in filling open positions continue to be issues that limit manufacturing-growth potential.”

Concern about these issues may explain, in part, why U.S. stocks have been “trading sideways” for the last few weeks. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s reported, “The S&P 500 has gone almost nowhere since the middle of April. Yes, there have been weekly moves of more than 1 percent, up or down – two of the former, one of the latter – but the index itself has gained just 0.9 percent since then. Even recent daily moves have been relatively muted.”

Yields on 10-year Treasuries retreated last week, which may reflect investors’ concerns about the economy, too. Rates tend to move higher as the economy strengthens. Major U.S. stock indices moved higher.

Come here Rona! Heel, Covi! Prior to the pandemic, The Economist reported Euromonitor anticipated, “…the number of pet cats worldwide to grow by 22 percent between 2018 and 2024, compared with 18 percent for dogs. Cats are better suited to apartment living than dogs, so they are more at home in the densely populated, fast-growing cities of Asia.”

Then, the pandemic spurred a global pet and pet industry boom. In 2020, Americans spent $103.6 billion on their pets, reported the American Pet Products Association:

·         Food and treats:                              $42.0 billion

·         Veterinarian care and products:   $31.4 billion

·         Supplies and medicines:                $22.1 billion

·         Other services:                                $8.1 billion 

 

Spending is expected to rise to $109.6 billion in 2021.

Some tenacious pet owners have become “petfluencers” to offset the costs of pet ownership. They post pictures of their pets on social media. If the pet gains a following, brands will pay for the pet to pose with products. One popular Pomeranian, with more than 10 million followers, earned about $23,900 in 2020, reported Inverse.com.

The pandemic pet boom also triggered a new naming convention: pandemic-inspired (some wags might say uninspired) names. The most popular 2020 pet names were mainstream choices, such as Bella, Luna, Lucy, Max, Charlie, and Cooper. However, Covi (up 1,159 percent, possibly from zero), Rona (up 69 percent), and Corona (up 24 percent) were trending, too, per Rover.com.

Here’s the really important news: Dogs remain more popular than cats in the United States. About 63 percent of American households own dogs, while just about 43 percent have cats.

Weekly Focus – Think About It 
“‘Meow’ means ‘woof’ in cat.”
–George Carlin, Comedian

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Investment advice offered through Research Financial Strategies, a registered investment advisor.

 

Sources:
https://www.bea.gov/news/2021/gross-domestic-product-1st-quarter-2021-second-estimate-corporate-profits-1st-quarter
https://www.bea.gov/data/income-saving/personal-saving-rate
https://www.bea.gov/news/2021/personal-income-and-outlays-april-2021
https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm
https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/manufacturing-pmi-at-61-2-may-2021-manufacturing-ism-report-on-business-301301816.html
https://www.barrons.com/articles/what-did-the-stock-market-do-last-week-heres-what-to-know-51622854545?refsec=the-trader (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2021/06-07-21_Barrons-The_Stock_Markets_Long_Run_of_Nothing_Continued_Last_Week-What_to_Know-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.ft.com/content/00fe4743-60dd-4c84-867f-5c13d6df43d5 (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2021/06-07-21_FinancialTimes-Investors_Should_Look_to_Europe_When_Making_Their_Next_Move-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/data-chart-center/interest-rates/Pages/TextView.aspx?data=yield
https://www.economist.com/international/2019/06/22/pet-ownership-is-booming-across-the-world (or go to https://resources.carsongroup.com/hubfs/WMC-Source/2021/06-07-21_TheEconomist-Pet_Ownership_is_Booming_Across_the_World-Footnote_9.pdf)
https://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp
https://www.inverse.com/science/how-petfluencers-can-be-a-force-for-good
https://www.rover.com/blog/dog-names/
https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/animals

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