"Equities, indexes, averages all within 2% of all-time highs" by: John Sample

  You might have missed the fact that the the major equities indexes and averages are within 2% of all-time highs.  
   This has occurred due to the fact that the first week of April has moved the market upward more than the whole month of March. We have essentially gone up every day, but one, for over a week. 
   If I was a sharper tool in the shed, I could point to specific reasons for this move. Unfortunately, I may need to get closer to a file and refine my edges. 
   You have to appreciate that this move has come while Boeing has been a significant drag on the markets. 
   I can only point to the belief that interest rates are not going to rise, a recession is likely and trade talks will be resolved. 
   Essentially we are one by one eliminating most of the cornerstones of the Wall of Worry. 
   While that may make some happy, this really gives me pause. I tend to believe that the majority is usually wrong when it comes to evaluating the state of the markets.  
   One aspect of the economy is energy. I would think that your recent trips to fill up the tank in your car would make you realistic of the fact that crude prices have risen. 
   This week, West Texas Intermediate is trading above $63. While this is great for the stock price of energy companies, it does raise the cost of living. We shall see if crude prices are able to maintain these levels as each and every time we have a jump there is a setback. 
   You can say much the same thing for most commodities which is why inflation has remained as low as it has over the last decade.
Of interest to me this weekend was the interview of Ray Dalio on 60 Minutes. 
   He pointed to his concern that income inequality in the U.S. has to be addressed or there will be in essence rebellion by those have not benefitted. 
   He noted that it is actually inequality of opportunity. His concern is that education is not providing the proper tools for people to obtain the American Dream of a comfortable middle class way of life. 
   He did point out that many of the jobs in the past that would have supported a family are inadequate today and are being eliminated due to technology. 
   His point is that we need to have education provide the tools to fill the new types of jobs that modern technology requires. 
   This goes to the fact that it is not a lack of job openings but a lack of qualified candidates. Hard work alone won’t float the boat these days.  
   I do believe that there are many amongst us that can overcome natural abilities to succeed through effort.
 I really don’t know what the answer should be to reverse the course. We have far too many people incarcerated. 
   Many times our schools are more babysitters than centers for leaning. 
   How we are going to incentivize people to obtain the tools they need to succeed is going to one of the most important issues we will have to overcome. 
   For me it is just as important as protecting the planet from the environmental impact of way too many people. 
   This is the age old conflict of providing solutions from the private or public sector. 

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