This note would be even better in a short video…so stay tuned for that version next week! In the meantime, a couple of quick written notes:
This week the “Energy Information Administration,” an actual division of the US government, warned that nearly HALF of US households who heat their homes with natural gas will pay 30% MORE this year, yes 30%, versus last year.* AND that if winter is 10% colder, then bills will go up 50%! If winter is 10% warmer, then bills are still projected to go up 22%. Can’t wait for that cold weather!
There was good news this week too – from banks.* The news was mixed but indicated that consumer spending,especially on bank credit cards, is strong and back toward pre-pandemic levels (was there ever a pre-pandemic?). BUT consumers and businesses are not taking out loans as heavily as banks would like to see. This was mixed news for bank stocks but positive for the overall stock market recently in the start of October.
The stock markets seem to like that gridlock has taken hold for the time being in Washington, DC policy making. Bond markets indicate caution with 10-year US Treasury rates having continued to rise overall since the start of the year, from just below 1% to just over 1.51% at TGIF 2 Minutes writing. Historically that is a large move for the interest rate benchmark.
The times contain a number of intermediate- and longer-term market and economic risks. Asset Allocation, spending and savings strategy are all still high on the list of controllable factors.
Have a great weekend.
*J.J. McCorvey; and David Benoit, Ben Eisen, Orla McCaffrey, respectively, WSJ.com.