"New record highs for the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index" by: John Sample

   We were here in late July before concerns over an inverted yield curve sent the bulls running and the bears roaring. 
   That, along with trade wars and political unrest in Washington, were more than the market could support. 
   It’s noteworthy that the last five trading days in October were historically some of the best for the market. It appears that such will be the case this week. 
   So, I’ll remind you that you have no profit until you take it. Moreover, if you can’t show a profit in a stock at this level, I am not sure you will ever see the green light.
   This is all happening due to earnings reports that generally have beaten expectations. 
   You can look to Master Card, Visa and Pay Pal better-than-expected-earnings reports to show the consumer has not stopped spending. 
   Drug companies such as Pfizer, Merck and Bristol Myers also produced better-than-expected earnings. 
   Even GM with its 39-day strike came in north of estimates, but admitted that the strike cost them nearly $2 billion.
   All was not positive as Grub Hub just about told investors to run for cover. Apparently, there is no loyalty with restaurants as to who delivers their food if not themselves. 
   Just a reminder that there are thousands of stocks to be evaluated and generalizations about the market are just that. 
   Specifics, as it applies to a particular company, is what is important. 
   That is why with so many choices, there is always something to be evaluated and possibly the next valuable purchase.
   I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that FANG stocks generally performed well profit-wise in the third quarter. 
   We wouldn’t make record-high closes without them. 
   It should be noted however, that Amazon was less than spectacular. 
   You would think that with the consumer on a tear that Amazon also would be, but they are back to trying to take market share no matter the cost. 
   Also of note is other retailers, such as Wal Mart and Target, have clawed back shoppers. 
   I would say something about Google but their quarterly reports contain little or nothing that provides guidance. 
   It could put my over-active grandson to sleep in a second.
   I do think that all is not as bad as it appeared just a couple of months ago. 
   We are far from a recession and the holiday shopping season appears to be at full throttle. 
   This fits more closely to my opinion that the fourth quarter will allow the stock market to move up a bit. 
   I don’t think that the earnings levels are that substantial to support an earnings multiple much higher than where we are today. 
   It won’t take much bad news to send the bears back in. 
   It should however give you a chance to claim profits for this year. Bargains, however, are few and far between.

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