"If only that ground hog could accurately predict stock market " by: John Sample

   More gains for the equities markets last week. 
   I suppose there was relief from dealing with impeaching the President and the speculation that the coronavirus would not have a major economic impact. 
   There is also the thought that with the economy projected to slow to around 2 percent GDP growth for 2020 that the Federal Reserve will have little thought of raising interest rates. 
   It certainly does not seem that inflation will be a problem. 
   One only has to look at the energy markets with natural gas and crude prices dropping further. Gasoline may soon sell below $2 per gallon. 
   Of real consequence is the fact that China will be impacted by the coronavirus. They have announced a substantial reduction in tariffs. 
   You cannot ignore any negative economic impact of an economy as large as that of China. 
   As the old saying goes, a gold in China or the U.S. is the flu for the rest of the world.
   I did find it positive that a federal judge approved the merger of TMobile and Sprint. 
   I have never understood various state attorney generals that the merger would stem competition and there led to a rise in phone rates. 
   This merger alone is opening the doors to Dish offering its own cellular service as Spectrum has done. 
   The horse is out of the barn on charging anything, but lower rates with more unlimited service. 
   On top of all that we have 5G coming that will significantly add to the power of your cellular phone. 
   If the projections are correct, you phone will be an even more powerful computing and communicating tool
   On the negative side of the news though, Under Armor reported a significant drop in sales. 
   It has the dubious distinction of competing against Nike in a sector that fluctuates greatly as to trends. 
   This is why I have been reluctant to ever invest in retail or restaurant chains. 
   They can be big winners like McDonalds, Starbucks and Costco. 
   They can get savaged by the likes of Amazon or an incident of food poisoning. 
   What is fashionable today can be yesterday’s news overnight. 
   In many cases you are dependent on the whims of teenagers.
   One final word of caution is the fact that we are now actually in the real campaign season with primaries. 
   I read an interesting article about a professor who predicted the Trump election in 2016 and now suggests that the Democratic Party will end up with control of all three sectors of the federal government. 
   A major change like that could have a significant impact on the mood of the equities markets. 
   The speculation will only grow and we all know that fear drives markets. 
   I have no idea where we will end up in November as I had no idea we would be where we are today. II seems that the wind seems to be turning and it feels like we are heading into a fairly strong gust. 
   But what do I know?   

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