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Discussion in 'Investing' started by WXYZ, Oct 2, 2018.
I've been a bit busy, but I managed to buy/add a few shares late today.
Good job Smokie. I think we are in a nice buying opportunity right now for some companies......as long term holds.
Thats for sure.
On the Viral ‘Split Fed’ Speculation
Whether or not the Fed hikes next week, markets have moved on
(BOLD is my opinion OR what I consider important content)
"Mark your calendars, folks: August CPI comes out Wednesday, launching the final week of will-they-or-won’t-they speculation ahead of next week’s Fed meeting. If the latest commentary is any indication, it will be a doozy: According to a Wall Street Journal piece that went viral, the Fed is reportedly split in two camps, with half open to another rate hike and half favoring a wait-and-see pause. Some in the place formerly known as the Twitterverse think the Fed itself leaked news of this split to the Journal to prepare the masses for the tightening campaign to end before inflation returns to the Fed’s squishy 2.0% year-over-year target. We suggest investors tune down this chatter, as stocks moved on from rates and prices long ago.
If the talk is to be believed, we might have zero hikes left. Or one. Or two. Or something-ish. Who knows! It all depends on the data, as well as how all members of the Federal Open Market Committee interpret said data through the lenses of their various philosophies, biases and reports from market participants in their districts. This last sentence encompasses dozens of unknowns, and that would be true even if the Fed weren’t reportedly split on the matter.
Yet here is something we do know: We are now 11 hikes into this tightening cycle. This young bull market began between hikes five and six. If stocks have thus risen through 6 hikes in 11 months, where is the evidence that bumping it to 7 in 12 or 13 would be such a big darned deal? Especially when some of the previous six were very large hikes of 0.5 or even 0.75 percentage point. We have 11 months of stocks telling us they are over rate hikes.
As for inflation, we find it all a bit silly to say prices hinge on what the Fed does from here. Friends, the Fed just isn’t capable of fine-tuning the economy. It can’t pull a lever here and twist a dial there to get money supply growing at some magically perfect rate that gets prices and economic growth just-so. If it could, we wouldn’t have had last year’s inflation spike in the first place. In at least one way, rate hikes are actually contributing to the inflation problem at this point, because they are pushing up house prices, which feeds into CPI via owner’s equivalent rent. As we detailed earlier this summer, high mortgage rates have deterred sellers, reducing home supply—and lifting prices even as high rates make buyers skittish. Shelter is a large component of CPI and the main thing propping it up now. With it, core inflation (ex. food and energy) is running at annualized rates of 3.1% and 4.1% over the last three and six months, respectively.[ii] But without shelter, those figures drop to 1.1% and 2.3%.[iii] As Exhibit 1 shows, this is back to benign pre-pandemic rates. As is headline CPI, come to think of it, thanks to energy’s offsetting shelter. (Exhibit 2)
Exhibit 1: Services Aside, Core Inflation Is Back to Normal
Source: FactSet, as of 9/11/2023. Three- and Six-month annualized inflation rates, CPI ex. food, energy and shelter, June 2018 – July 2023.
Exhibit 2: So Is Headline Inflation
Source: FactSet, as of 9/11/2023. Three- and Six-month annualized CPI inflation rates, June 2018 – July 2023.
So we are hard pressed to see what another rate hike or two would accomplish. M4 money supply, the broadest measure, has contracted on a year-over-year basis since December. Considering inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon of too much money chasing too few goods and services, falling money supply means conditions are now inherently deflationary. And that is happening despite loan growth continuing to top inflation rates, which is in turn happening despite Fed rate hikes. Seems to us the Fed is getting what it wants despite its tools not working as intended.
Markets are well aware of this even if people aren’t. Stocks have a long history of seeing through things the world obsesses over while quietly weighing overlooked factors. They see the various surprises and seeming contradictions in how the economy has evolved alongside rate hikes. Seems to us they figured out that the economy would be fine despite the Fed long before all of the recent “soft landing” chatter materialized. If they figured this out several hikes ago, we doubt they hinge now on whether the Fed pauses."
The long term markets DO NOT move on the FED or economics. Individual companies and stocks move based on results....financial business results.....earnings....fundamentals. The short term markets.....do move on all sorts of BS. That is why the short term is speculative and for "traders".
At this point who cares about the FED....I dont. I am in the camp that the recent Wall Street Journal article was a plant from the FED and an indicator that they are done. What if I am wrong? Well is so....there will be one or even two more rate hikes over the next 2-18 months. Again.....who cares.
The markets, investors, the country.....everyone but the media.....has moved on from the FED.
A little preview of the week to come.
A Fed decision, FedEx earnings and the UAW strike
(BOLD is my opinion OR what I consider important content)
"Jerome Powell and the Federal Reserve will take center stage in the week ahead when the central bank makes its next policy decision.
The Fed is scheduled to meet on Sept. 19 and 20 followed by a press conference with Fed Chair Powell at 2:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Investors expect the FOMC will hold interest rates steady in a benchmark range of 5.25% to 5.5% to see if inflation continues to cool.
On the corporate side, FedEx (FDX),is expected to report earnings on Wednesday while all eyes will remain on the United Auto Workers strike that began on Friday and is expected to impact production at Stellantis (STLA), GM (GM), and Ford (F).
Markets were choppy last week, ending the five-day period mixedafter rising energy prices drove surprises in economic data, but didn't significantly change investor bets on interest rates remaining steady.
Midway through September, a traditionally tough month for markets, the tech-heavy Nasdaq (^IXIC) has slid 2.3%. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) is down 1.2%while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) has fallen 0.3%.
When it paused interest rate hikes in July for the first time in 10 meetings, Powell indicated the Fed would remain data dependent. He highlighted several data releases the central bank had eyes on for further insight on the labor market and inflation's cooldown.
The data since has shown easing core inflation and a cooling labor market, both outcomes the Fed wants. So the question surrounding the central bank's meeting is less about what the Fed does in September and more about the policy decisions that come after that.
"With inflation continuing to run above target and the labor market cooling off only gradually, we expect the Committee to signal further policy tightening is possible if incoming data warrant it," Wells Fargo's team of economists wrote in a research note on Friday. "This message is likely to be delivered through both the post-meeting statement and Chair's press conference."
With the Fed's interest rate decision on Wednesday mainly priced in by markets, Bank of America's Michael Gapen says the release will be all "about the SEP." The Summary of Economic Projections, which includes Fed officials' forecasts for inflation, economic growth, and a "dot plot" mapping out expectations for future interest rates will also be released on Wednesday.
The last dot plot, released in June, showed policymakers project an additional rate hike in 2023. Investors will closely watch if that projection for a fed funds rate peaking at 5.6% this year will be moved down, indicating the Fed is done hiking interest rates for the year. Additionally, given the stronger-than-expected economic data over the month of August, investors will be looking out for when the dot plot projects rate cuts.
"We expect the 2023 median policy rate forecast to show one more 25bp hike, for a terminal rate of 5.5-5.75%," Gapen wrote. "Perhaps the most important forecast is the 2024 median, which in our view will shift up by 25bp to 4.875%, reflecting just 75bp of cuts next year. This would be about 40bp above current market pricing. Risks are skewed toward an even larger upshift in the 2024 median, which would be a significantly hawkish outcome."
Elsewhere, investor attention will remain on the United Auto Workers strike from the Big Three automakers Ford, GM and Stellantis.
After not reaching a new contract agreement, 13,000 UAW members entered a strike at GM's Wentzville, Mo., plant (which assembles midsize trucks and full-size vans), Stellantis' Toledo Assembly (Jeep Wrangler and Gladiator), and Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne (Ranger midsize pickup and Bronco SUV).
The UAW has threatened to increase the number of striking workers as negotiations go on, which many fear could have repercussions across the broader economy that includehits to GDP, the labor market and the tech sector. It could even be one of the factors that pushes the Fed to keep rates steady.
"The impact would cloud the incoming economic data for the next few months, making it harder for the Fed to claim that the figures are breaking decisively one way or the other," Oxford Economics economists Michael Pearce and Nancy Vanden Houten wrote in a note on Wednesday. "That would add, at the margin, to the case for a pause in rates."
On Friday afternoon UAW President Shawn Fain released a statement saying they don't believe their strike will hurt the economy, just the "billionaire economy."
Broadly, stocks have been quiet recently. The CBOE Volatility Index (^VIX) has been hovering around 13, indicating markets have lacked volatility in recent weeks, according to Charles Schwab Investment Strategist Jeffrey Kleintop.
"We haven't seen volatility this low since pre-pandemic period," Kleintop said. "So the market's certainly pricing in clear sailing from here, and it may not be that smooth of a ride."
Kleintop is focused on a surge in West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) and Brent crude futures (BZ=F) above $90 a barrel. The energy price increases could send earnings projections lower, per Kleintop, just as they already have for American Airlines (AAL), Spirit (SAVE), and others.
Airlines are a tiny part of the overall market, but the read across to other consumer businesses and companies with oil as a big cost is important as we move through the next couple of weeks here in this preannouncement season," Kleintop said. "Maybe more confessions could weigh on the market.""
A typical FED week for the markets....but....with little chance of a rate hike. Other than that not much going on at the moment.
Of course.....dont forget the two BIG fear mongering topics of the moment.....the price of oil and the UAW strike.
NONE.....of the events happening this week will have any real long term impact.....as usual.
Siting and watching the markets for the past hour or so. It is nice to now see the SP500 and the NASDAQ positive. Although the gains are so slight as to be meaningless.
In spite of the media jumping all over this story......
Into Perspective: The US Auto Labor Dispute and Recession Worries
(BOLD is my opinion OR what I consider important content)
"Partial work stoppages can impact local economies, but the national effect should be minimal.
Editors’ Note: MarketMinder doesn’t make individual security recommendations. The below merely represent a broader theme we wish to highlight.
The “summer” portion of “hot strike summer,” as several journalists hipper than we are have termed it, is winding down—but the “strike” part appears to be no cooler. Barring an unexpected last-minute breakthrough, the United Auto Workers (UAW) will commence a “limited strike” against the Big Three US automakers (e.g., Ford, General Motors and Stellantis) Friday. Unsurprisingly, as the deadline draws close, we are seeing more and more chatter about a stoppage inflicting economic damage by reigniting inflation (via higher auto prices) as well as whacking output. One outfit even claims a prolonged strike could induce recession. We think this is all rather a stretch and doubt there is much risk here for the economy or stocks broadly.
Industrial actions, like politics, can be a hot topic sociologically, inducing emotional reactions and inviting biases to take over. So as with politics, we think it is paramount to come at this issue objectively, without preference to either side and without letting sociological implications weigh in. Thus, our focus here will be quite narrow: Are the claims about a strike’s potential impact on inflation and economic growth likely to prove true?
We don’t think so. Let us start with the inflation aspect. Some are drawing comparisons with pandemic-related supply disruptions, which led to a severe auto shortage in 2021—one of the early inflation drivers. Yet there are some key differences. For one, a strike would impact only a portion of US output, making it irrelevant to production across Europe, Asia, Mexico and the rest of North America. Two, strikes are by nature quite temporary, while those pandemic-related disruptions dragged on in part due to global lockdowns and other disruptions. Three, it wouldn’t sideline all US auto output, and not just because the UAW is planning only a partial stoppage at present. There are also foreign-owned and non-UAW plants in America, and these account for a significant portion of production and sales. Couple this with the fact that new cars in total are just 4% of the US CPI basket, and we doubt there is enough of a disruption to move the needle on consumer prices overall.
As for the economic impact, it seems fair to say a stoppage would be tough on Michigan, where many of the affected plants are located. One report gaining traction this week noted that the UAW’s six-week strike against GM in 2019 led to a “single-quarter recession” in Michigan, which we guess is a handy way of discerning between the -0.5% annualized drop in state GDP in Q4 2019—coinciding with the strike—and the lockdown-induced plunge that followed immediately after.
But it isn’t unusual for the US economy to have pockets of weakness in some states or industries and strength in others. It is actually quite normal, and economic growth is the balance of those plusses and minuses. In good times, the growing areas offset those facing larger headwinds. This is what happened in Q4 2019, when US GDP grew 1.8% annualized despite the strike’s hitting Michigan output.[ii] And it is likely what would happen in the event of a UAW strike now.
One group estimates the cost of a full 10-day stoppage at $5.6 billion—with $3.5 billion from lost wages and output and another $2.1 billion from consumers, dealers and employees as replacement parts dry up.[iii] Taking this at face value, $5.6 billion barely registers as a share of the US’s nearly $26.8 trillion in nominal annual GDP.[iv] Also, that is the estimated cost of a full stoppage, which is broader than the “limited” action currently on the table. Under the UAW’s present plan, many plants would stay open, keeping more workers on the job and more cars and parts rolling off the assembly line. So we are skeptical the impact would even reach $5.6 billion. A longer strike would add up, but we are likely talking a couple tenths of a percentage point shaved off GDP growth at the most, and auto strikes tend to be short-lived.
As for markets broadly, without a material macroeconomic effect from the strikes, there is little to suggest a UAW strike poses a threat to this young bull market. Markets routinely look past temporary, expected events like this, just as they have seen through several other industrial actions this year in the US and abroad."
This is the sort of story that SUCKERS people into believing that the impact will be significant.....way beyond actual fact.
These sorts of strikes rarely last long....weeks or at worst months. In terms of the time focus of a long term investor this is simply a micro second in a lifetime of investing.
I like this little list.......I have bolded those that I believe apply to investing.
A Few Things I’m Pretty Sure About
(BOLD is my opinion OR what I consider important content)
"You don’t have to know exactly what the future holds to know that some people will handle it better than others.
Money can bring happiness but it also brings complexity, and complexity can quickly lead to unhappiness.
It’s easy to mistake getting attention for being right or being admired, especially on social media.
The most valuable personal finance asset is not needing to impress anyone.
A bigger problem than price inflation is expectations inflation: A constant increase in what you need to be satisfied.
The strongest-held beliefs are usually on topics with the most uncertainty. No one is as passionate about geometry as they are about religion.
I have no interest in anything that’s not sustainable. The key to success in so many areas of life is endurance and longevity.
The proper financial mindset is to be scared enough to save for the short run and brave enough to invest for the long run.
Projection is one of the most powerful forces, so be careful around those who tell you how honest and trustworthy they are.
Any amount of intelligence can be overridden by: ego, insecurity, immorality, bad incentives, or impatience, usually in that order.
There’s a big difference between how something should work in theory vs. how it actually works in the real world, when technical facts meet human emotions.
People only communicate perhaps 1% of what’s going through their head, so the world is probably 100x crazier and messier than it looks. Related: It is easier to spot other people’s mistakes than your own, because we judge others based solely on their actions, but when judging ourselves we have an internal dialogue that justifies our mistakes and bad decisions.
Everyone hates a spoiled child and knows that child is socially ruined, but they themselves want easy money. Do you see the irony? Money you didn’t earn or work hard for quickly becomes a social liability.
The four most dangerous financial traits are: FOMO, an addiction to the appearance of certainty when none exists, impatience, and laziness.
Most fields have only a few laws. Lots of theories, hunches, observations, ideas, trends, and rules. But laws – things that are always true, all the time – are rare.
Woodrow Wilson said government “is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton.” It’s a useful idea. Everything is accountable to one of the two, and you have to know whether something adapts and changes over time or perpetually stays the same.
Some of my best work was easy to write, and the worst stuff I’ve ever written was agonizing to write. I think it’s similar in most fields. If an idea is good, the work flows easily. Writers’ block – or its equivalent in other jobs – usually means the idea is wrong.
You only know someone well if you can correctly predict how they will react in stressful situations.
It’s common to think that people admire you for your success, but what you might actually be fostering is envy, which will come back to haunt you.
I love Brent Beshore’s observation that, “I am 100% happy to watch you get really rich doing something that I have no interest in doing.” It’s not always a competition.
Not caring about temporary things, and obsessing over permanent things, is underrated."
It is amazing how much of investing boils down to HUMAN NATURE and COMMON SENSE. It is actually pretty simple to be a successful investor. This thread is full of commentary on..... the same traits and habits of successful investors.....they are the same over and over and over. They never change.
BUT.....for humans....with all their emotions and personality complexity plus human genetic behaviors......successful investing is extremely complex and for many people simply bordering on impossible,
As to the above....I will COPY a post by SMOKIE a week or two ago. This is the SIMPLE truth about successful investing. You will see this same stuff repeated through this thread....over and over and over. Yet....think about your daily life and those around you and how often you run into a person that is able to follow this simple path.
"Here are a few little gems from an investing letter I get occasionally. It most always sticks to the basic, common sense approach to long term investing.
1) The most important discipline for investment success is to maintain a long-term perspective. Most investors do just the opposite. Led astray by the daily financial news, the investment industry, and social media, they focus on what is happening now.
2) Keep investment costs low.
3) Ignore all market and economic forecasts. There are no reliable forecasters. Forecasts can tempt you to stray from your financial plan, especially when the forecasts confirm your own views. This is known as “confirmation bias”.
4) Investing requires rational decision making in an environment of uncertainty. The best way to do this is to operate, as nearly as possible, without a market or economic viewpoint (other than long-term optimism). Relying on your intuition or the recommendations of clickbait, catastrophic financial journalism is a recipe for disaster. You need a game plan.
5) Half of investing is mathematics, charts and graphs, and the other half is emotions. We humans understand the world primarily through narratives, not data and history. In investing, emotions are more important than data and history. When stocks fall, we feel as if they will fall even further and are tempted to shift assets from stocks to cash or bonds. When stocks rise, we feel as if they are going to rise even more and wish we had a higher allocation to stocks. A financial plan helps keep your emotions in check and keeps you on course. Easier said than done.
6) There is no investment that offers investors what they desire -- high returns and low risk. Nevertheless, Wall Street will always offer investors what they crave. Alternative strategies and investments that have failed in the past are often repackaged, renamed, and offered anew to investors. Some will work for a while but when they blow up, investors who never understood them in the first place will suffer the consequences. “We light the fuse, you hear the kaboom” describes how Wall Street continues to do business with its gullible clients.
7) Simplify. Many people think that complexity in finance is a sign of superiority. The more complicated an idea, the better. Not true. I would argue that simplicity is a better proxy for superiority. Simpler usually means cheaper, and cheaper leads to better performance. Yet, investing simplification comes with significant challenges. You need to be still and do less in a system that incentivizes and encourages activity. But it is difficult to be still when all the voices you hear, including the ones inside your head, are saying, “Do something!”"
8) There is no such thing as risk-free investing, and you must choose the type of risk you want to take.
OMG.....we are "BRACING" for the FED meeting.
Stocks mixed as Wall Street braces for Fed meeting
(BOLD is my opinion OR what I consider important content)
"Stocks rang in the day mostly lower as Wall Street fixed its focus on an upcoming Federal Reserve meeting where the central bank will issue its next interest rate decision. The meeting follows new economic data that showed easing core inflation and a cooling labor market, setting the stage for what the market and the broader public should expect for the Fed's interest rate policy for the rest of the year and beyond.
At the opening bell, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 0.09% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) fell 0.08%, or 27 points. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) shed 0.2%.
The Fed is scheduled to meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the central bank planning to release its latest policy decision on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference where Fed Chair Jerome Powell will take questions. Investors expect the Federal Open Market Committee to hold its benchmark interest rate steady in a range of 5.25%-5.5%.
The expectation of an interest rate hold has solidified in recent days. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, the probability that the Fed will pause its rate hikes next rose to 99% on Monday, up from 92% a week ago.
Last week, as Fed officials entered their "quiet period" leading up to the policy meeting, investors lost ground as sentiment turned to skittishness. Only the Dow posted weekly gains, while the S&P and the Nasdaq ended the week worse off.
On the corporate earnings front, FedEx (FDX)is expected to report on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the United Auto Workers strike that began on Friday enters its first full week as market observers assess the impact on production at Stellantis (STLA), GM (GM), and Ford (F)."
You have to Love the FED......they are constantly trying to talk down the markets and the economy.....especially the markets. For some reason they seem to think that TRASHING the stock markets is their mission. It is amazing that you NEVER hear them mention anything about the primary elephant in the room causing ALL the issues that we have in our eocnomy.......government policy and spending.
Of course....they are not going to bite the hand that feeds them.
Seems like there have been several "strikes" this year in labor. UPS, some airlines, Union pacific, and now the auto companies are joining in.
I wonder if the union labor force has sat back and watched the whole WFH, shorter work weeks and etc play out for the last two years and noticed how successful some employees were in achieving those conditions. Now, the unions are putting their efforts to the same. Some of the contracts that have been settled earlier this year have been pretty lucrative.
This is definately......somewhat..... true.
Government Is Hiring This Year and Boosting Pay: ‘We’re Booming’
As many companies slow hiring, the public sector is adding workers
(BOLD is my opinion OR what I consider important content)
"While many companies have been cutting staff and freezing new hires this year, the government is laying out the welcome mat.
Public-sector jobs at the federal, state and local level have risen by 327,000 positions so far in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is approaching one-fifth of all new American jobs created in the first eight months of the year. In contrast, public-sector jobs accounted for 5% of employment growth during the equivalent period last year.
“After two years of very underwhelming government hiring, it’s a necessary catch-up,” said Julia Pollak, an economist at online jobs site ZipRecruiter.
Much of the recent hiring spree has been to backfill jobs left open by millions of teachers, police officers and other public servants who quit during the pandemic. Other roles at government agencies languished because the public sector couldn’t effectively compete against private employers that were offering pay raises and signing bonuses to attract talent during several years of a white-hot labor market.
But just as layoffs hit sectors from tech to finance, government agencies have boosted funding for new hires and have dangled richer perks. This year’s growth in public-sector jobs represents the highest share of overall U.S. payroll gains since 2001, when the government hired masses of workers focused on public safety after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pollak said.
Perks and pay bumps
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has bulked up its staffing along the border with Mexico, and is offering recruitment bonuses as high as $20,000 for hard-to-fill jobs in some locations. Arizona recently started to give 12 weeks of paid time off to new parents who are employees of the state. It is tough for governments to quickly stump up cash for compensation, but in the past year many more cities and states have enacted pay increases.
A ZipRecruiter analysis found that postings for government jobs listed on its site this year advertise pay 20% higher than they did last year. Raises for firefighters and police officers, as well as many types of social work, fueled the higher pay number. Meanwhile, companies across tech, transportation and manufacturing, among other industries, are offering less pay for the same roles than they did last year—and are adding new hurdles for job applicants to clear.
Yet most public-sector roles go ignored by job seekers. Half of all government jobs attracted an average of 5.5 applicants in the first quarter, according to the latest data from NeoGov, which provides applicant tracking systems to governments.
“I don’t think the greater job-hunting crowd has discovered the public sector yet,” said Cara Woodson Welch, who leads the Public Sector HR Association.
Job posts larded with acronyms and jargon—or job titles such as “Program Manager (Integrator)”—may not help. Nor do long hiring timelines and pay levels that have traditionally lagged behind those of corporate employers, said Rivka Liss-Levinson, senior research manager at MissionSquare Research Institute, which studies state and local government workforces.
“They’re basically saying, ‘We’re going to give you a job with a lower salary and it’s going to take us longer to hire you,’” she said.
Public-sector workers tend to skew older than the general workforce, Liss-Levinson said. That has meant more retirements during the pandemic, on top of the other people who left because of caregiving or health concerns, or for better pay in the private sector.
While private-sector employment is now 3.29% over its prepandemic level, the public sector has struggled to shore up its staffing.
“States are always going to be behind because they have to fight for a budget to be enacted, they can’t just change on a dime,” said Leslie Scott Parker, executive director of the National Association of State Personnel Executives.
Recent gains in government payrolls could prove fragile if economic headwinds create budget shortfalls, making it harder for governments to fill new positions in the future, economists and human-resources executives said. Some job seekers see potential downsides to government work, as well. In addition to earning salaries that are lower than many in the private sector, government workers can face an advancement process that is slower and more cumbersome.
Many government agencies are trying to be more nimble where they can, revising job descriptions to attract more applicants and relaxing requirements to expand their applicant pool. Examples include scrapping requirements for office workers to have a driver’s license, or being able to lift a certain amount of weight.
However dull the job description may be, government jobs tend to align with what many of today’s workers say they want: stability, reasonable hours and a sense of purpose, said Jennifer Fairweather, chief human-resources officer for Colorado’s Jefferson County.
In 2020, the county rolled out a four-day workweek for many employees, which Fairweather said has helped drive both applicant interest and staff retention. Before Covid, an entry-level administrative job might attract 200 applicants, a figure that plummeted in 2021, when private employers aggressively raised pay to court workers.
“We were lucky to get 20 applications then,” Fairweather said. Such roles now attract more, such as 75 applicants.
Other local governments are also experimenting. In southern California, San Diego County recently rolled out same-day hiring for most jobs other than those in public safety, said Brandy Winterbottom, the county’s HR deputy director. The offers are made conditional on passing background and other checks.
“We said, if fast food can do it, we should be able to do it,” Winterbottom said, adding that 60% of applicants respond with a same-day acceptance.
San Diego County has hired hundreds of people this way, many of them social workers and nurses. Recruiters also actively reach out to workers when local employers have layoffs, she said.
Some jobs, such as jail workers and nurses, remain difficult to fill, but the new tactics have paid off. San Diego County employs 20,000 workers, up from 17,600 before the pandemic, and its vacancy rate has dropped to 11% from 20% last year, she said, adding: “We’re booming.”"
MUCH of the above may be true....but there is a definite split between local government jobs and Federal government jobs.
My view is that on the Federal level most government jobs pay as much and often MORE than a similar private job. Add in the great pension plan on the Federal level and all the other perks and benefits and you have an exclusive......elite.....bureaucracy. It has become a HUGE self sustaining and ever growing.....entity.
HERE is the financial story of the day.
McDonald’s is selling 50-cent double cheeseburgers for National Cheeseburger Day, Wendy’s is giving them out for a penny
(BOLD is my opinion OR what I consider important content)
"McDonald’s is getting in the holiday spirit.
The fast food giant is celebrating Monday’s National Cheeseburger Day by discounting one of its most popular menu items: the Double Cheeseburger.
On Sept. 18 only, customers will be able to buy the sandwich for just 50 cents.
The offer is available only to customers who use the fast food chain’s smartphone app, and is limited to one burger per customer.
Users who open the app will be prompted to take advantage of the National Cheeseburger Day promotion, and the discount will be automatically applied at checkout.
It’s the latest app-based promotion from McDonald’s, which in July gave out free fries in honor of National French Fry Day. Earlier this year, McDonald’s offered a free 6-piece McNuggets for the item’s 40th anniversary to customers who had downloaded the app.
But the 50 cent burger isn’t the cheapest burger being offered by a fast food chain on Monday.
Wendy’s is one-upping McDonald’s by offering a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Sept. 18 through Sept. 22. The catch? The penny burger can only be added to your order if you purchase another menu item.
To apply the Wendy’s offer, you’ll need to visit the “offers” section of the Wendy’s app or website.
Burger King, meanwhile, will give a free cheeseburger to any member of its Royal Perks rewards program who makes a purchase of $1 or more."
"Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger.".......of course.....you have to be a certain age to remember and know what that quote means and where it came from.
Yes....it is an endless supply of boogeyman. The FED, government shutdown looming again, the upcoming election season, the long awaited recession, anything with China, and on and on. Their bag of tricks is full and overflowing.
The funny thing is....the media will act as if they "know" the outcome to any of these things. They do not. They never have. Neither do the "experts" and financial pundits paid to prophet and parrot the narrative.
LOL.....after nearly an hour and a half....the markets are totally FLAT. At some point today there will be a move up or down and some market direction will happen. As usual the short term is totally OPAQUE and will be driven by the traders.
EMMETT.....get on that phone bank. Get those markets going....we need to make some money today.
The NVDA correction deepens. From the high of about $500 the stock is now down to $436. This is a drop of 12.8% since the last earnings report a short time ago.
Do I care.....NO.
Well....well. SHAZAM. the markets have improved to the green side. Still mild gains but better than red. ALL three big averages....DOW, SP500 and NASDAQQ are now UP by about 0.25%. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
We are fast on our way to the end of the year. Oh, how time seems to fly.
At about this same time last year we were sitting on inflation of about 8.2% and still holding on to about -20% YTD losses (some larger depending on what you might hold).
I bring that up just as an example of how things change. Sure, things can go either way...sometimes good and sometimes not so good. The point is not to obsess and get pulled into the negative vortex that is so much apart of our financial and news cycle now days. It is not worth it for your sanity and it does not help your financial goals to do so.
The markets, businesses, and life in general is made up of many times...both up and down. Find the sweet spot to balance those things out and enjoy the ride.
Yes the key for any portfolio is......balance. The interaction of all the holdings as a whole. Finding that personal sweet spot is important and sometimes very difficult. Often our obsessive focus on individual holdings gets in the way.
Speaking of a portfolio as a whole.....I do have a GAIN so far today with about 35 minutes to go. I have four stocks UP and four stocks DOWN.
UP stocks.......AAPL, COST, HON, GOOGL.
DOWN stocks......NVDA, AMZN, MSFT, and HD.
The markets themselves are just about perfectly flat today at this moment. I will be pleased to end the day with any gain and/or to beat the SP500 today.
To continue with NVDA.
Last time it was this low was......August 18, 2023. So the current price is a ONE MONTH low.
Does this mean anything.....I dont know.....I just thought it was interesting.
On August 18 the last time the stock price was at this level.....the earnings for the second quarter had not been released yet. I believe they came out on August 23. So.......for whatever reason.......the markets have taken the stock back in time to before the latest MASSIVE EARNINGS BEAT....totally discounting those earnings results.