"Hoping for a holiday season that shines brightly for investors" by: John Sample

   We’re well into the volatile month of October and last week was a horror show preview of Halloween. 
   The reversal in fortune was attributed to the optimism over a possible resolution of the trade war between the U.S. and China. 
   Of course by the weekend, both sides were pumping the brakes hard. I’m concerned the Administration will make a deal that doesn’t resolve the real issues just for political purposes given the upcoming election. 
   Of real importance is the beginning of earnings season. The first to report were the big banks with some good and some bad news.
Leading the good side was JP Morgan, while Wells Fargo is still recovering from past bad deeds. With the concern that financials are fighting dropping interest rates, it was interesting to see banks like Citi perform better than expected. The private equity firm Blackstone did better than expected. 
   What was significant was their view that they were looking at the post-election year of 2021 as an area of concern for the economy. I guess if you push out your projection far enough for the next recession you can hardly go wrong. 
   The odds are with you given that we are way past 10 years since the last recession.
   It’s noteworthy that the third quarter saw the largest drawdown of equity accounts transferred to money market accounts since 2009. 
   It tells you that the wall of fear is real. Moreover, we have made a run at record highs almost a half a dozen times and while we get there, we reverse course almost immediately. 
   There is little support for earnings to push the markets higher with the fear of recession on the horizon. 
   The one obstacle that seems to be over-exaggerated was the impact of the trade war.           
   We are doing better than has been projected. At least we are going forward though at a slower pace.   
   Without the FANG stocks pushing the various indexes and averages higher, it will be tough sledding. 
   I say that, but you have to understand that Apple continues to push to new highs. 
   It is a problem that politicians focus their attention on Amazon, Google and Facebook.
   I think this is why more mainstream basic industries are finding favor. 
   You only have to look at the likes of Proctor & Gamble. 
   Home builders have experienced support along with restaurant chains. 
   These are less impacted as to what is going on abroad. 
   A lesser known company, B&G Foods which recently bought Green Giant, has drawn attention for adamantly defending its ability to maintain its rather larger dividend payment. 
   I guess it goes without saying that people have necessities and those will be sustained as long as possible. 
   Maybe the holiday season will be merry for investors as well.

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