Stocks Hit New Highs, Asia's Economic Slowdown, & the Best Wines for Hot Summer Days!

Posted in , By David M. Smith

The week started with stocks hitting all-time highs boosted by the momentum that carried over from last week and the positive comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell (Reuters.)  Meanwhile the Asian export economies are definitely taking a hit from tariffs and the slowdown in trade.  But the next big political issue will be raising the debt ceiling by early September while Congress is scheduled for a six-week vacation – the scramble will be on.  There are also lighter articles on wine, the shopping mall from Stranger Things, and much more in this week's The Friday Buzz.  By the way, if you are enjoying the weekly emails from RSWA don't keep it a secret and share them with friends and family!  Stay cool this weekend! 

  • Debt Ceiling Politics:  If nothing is done, the U.S. government will run out of money sometime in early September.  Political parties are jockeying over negotiations and demands, but Congress may lose part of their coveted summer break to resolve the issue.  Washington Post
  • China Q2 Growth is the Slowest in Decades:  China reported Q2 economic growth at 6.2%, the lowest in 27 years as tariffs take a toll on the export-driven economy.  And it is easy to believe that number is inflated by the government so growth may have been much lower.  Other trade centric economies are feeling it as well - Singapore reported its economy contracted 3.4% in the Q2.  CNBC Bloomberg
  • The Best Wines for Summer:  It's going to be hot this weekend in the Northeast.  For those of you who like wine, tastes can change when the thermometer climbs higher.  It’s the perfect time to put the heavy reds aside and reach for something lighter, brighter and crisper.  Cheers!  Wine Enthusiast Food& Wine WTSO
  • Electric Car Buyers May be Eligible for a $7500 Federal Tax Credit:  Did you know you could earn up to a $7500 tax credit for buying an electric or plug-in hybrid electric car?  Electric vehicles are becoming more popular and were helped by federal tax credits instituted in 2010.  Some of those credits are starting to be phased out.  Some states have their own programs as well.  Do your research and you may find the electric car of your dreams is not as expensive as you thought!
  • What Does a Bond Maturing in 100 Years Yield?  The amount invested in low and negative bond yields is growing again.  There are now $13T in negative-yielding bonds.  Who buys bonds that are guaranteed to lose money if held to maturity?  Pensions, insurers, government programs, and banks who are mandated to hold them.  In a sign of how low yields have fallen, two years ago the country of Austria sold century bonds, that mature in 2117.  That yield has fallen to 1.2%.  Hard to believe.  Bloomberg
  • When the Lights Go Out:  NYC lost power last weekend in large parts of the city.  Every time an incident like this happens we're reminded of how reliant we are on access to immediate power, and the drumbeat will start in D.C. on upgrading our grid and infrastructure.  NY Magazine  New York Times
  • Decentralizing (or Dismantling?) D.C.:   The Trump administration is aggressively moving agency departments out of D.C. to other parts of the country.  Advocates state it gets government workers out of insular D.C. and closer to constituents and the programs they run.  Critics state it's another way to reduce headcount and dismantle or weaken government programs and agencies.  Washington Post
  • Solar Power's Next Leap?  Solar panels are revolutionizing power generation.  But transmission can be revolutionary as well.  There is a proposal to connect Singapore to the largest solar farm in the world via an undersea cable 2,000 miles long.  The length and efficiency of the cable is the big technological advancement.  If it works, will we see proposals for similar long-transmission projects connecting places like Mexico/Central America to the U.S., Africa to Europe or even solar/wind farms far out in the ocean to coastal cities?  This could be a game-changer for renewables.  The Guardian
  • Reliving the 80's Shopping Mall:  The producers of the hit Netflix show Stranger Things had to recreate a mall from the 1980's for season three.  It was interesting how they picked the stores and products to represent that time.  With online shopping killing second-tier malls, the producers had plenty of derelict malls around Atlanta to choose from for refurbishing.  Chicago Tribune
  • Deep Focus – The Next Paradigm Shift at Work?  Research is piling up that constant interruptions by email, texts, and trying to multitask can be detrimental to productivity.  One author believes the next big change in knowledge service jobs will be to have workers intensely focused on projects for short periods of time with no interruptions.  Less digital interruptions sound like a good thing. 

Please forward the articles to anyone who would enjoy them.  Have a wonderful weekend and stay cool!


About the Author David M. Smith

David is a Senior Financial Advisor and the firm’s Co-Chief Investment Officer. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry and holds the highly respected Certified Investment Management Analyst™ and Certified Financial Planner™ designations; he is a Co-Managing Member of the firm.
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