Are we finally starting to see some real consumer fatigue or are the Delta Covid variant concerns growing? These questions populated the headlines this week as retail sales dropped worse than expected for July and the homebuilder sentiment showed a slight decline in expectations going forward. Concerning the need for a 3rd booster shot, the CDC and leading health experts have been all over the map over the last several days with very different perspectives. This is causing even more confusion among the vaccinated and unvaccinated. Unfortunately, in this current climate, the media is only fueling the proverbial fires and the information needed to make the right decisions remains elusive.
The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate and the blame game is on full display. All of this has led to an increase in volatility over the last several trading sessions. The interesting piece in this ever-confusing puzzle, has been the resiliency, in general, of our markets. Several days this week the market had early sell-offs only to have buyers step in and “mute” the noise. As we have discussed several times in this weekly update, there is simply a LOT of cash on the sidelines and any weakness has created opportunities. We know this cannot continue in perpetuity and we will certainly have darker days ahead. History tells us this for certain. But for now, the buying game remains in motion as evidenced by the strength of the markets in Friday’s action.
Another interesting headline caught my eye this week. As many of you know, I grew up in Florida and often get asked about alligators (the good and the bad!). It was not unusual to see them in the lakes and ponds where I grew up and would occasionally find them sun-bathing on the golf course. Of course, we knew not to get too close or to let our dogs run around close to the water unattended. As life would have it, an alligator was spotted swimming in a Massachusetts river this past week. This makes me wonder when I might see a manatee in the Chesapeake Bay……you just never know!
Have a wonderful weekend!
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