It's Camping Season!

It's Camping Season!

In 1869, the first recreational camping guide, Adventures in Wilderness, was authored by minister William H.H. Murray and became a bestseller. The book’s success may have owed something to a new train route that made the Adirondacks more accessible. Time.com reported his practical guide offered advice on important topics:

“For sleeping, he describes how to make ‘a bed of balsam-boughs.’ On what to wear, he suggests bringing a ‘felt hat,’ ‘stout pantaloons,’ and a ‘rubber blanket or coat…’

The SITREP

The major U.S. benchmarks ended the week mixed with large cap indexes far outperforming smaller cap indexes and the technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite finishing down.  One of the week’s most notable events was Facebook’s dramatic 19% plunge following a disappointing earnings report that wiped $120 billion from its market cap.   The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 393 points on the week, closing at 25,451 - a gain of 1.6%.  The NASDAQ Composite retreated for a second week, falling 1.1% to close at 7,737.  The large cap S&P 500 added 0.6% while the mid cap S&P 400 and small cap Russell 2000 went the other way, ending down

Sorry America, You're not in the Tournament

Sorry America, You're not in the Tournament

If you’ve been watching the World Cup – the global soccer championship – you’ve probably seen the commercials entreating Americans to root for another country since we don’t have a team playing. The ads offer encouragements like, “Iceland could really use your support. We don’t have enough people to do the wave,” and “Cheer for Germany. We gave you the frankfurter!”

If you haven’t already chosen a favorite team, you may want to consider (or not) the insight of economists before making your choice. Since the demise of Paul, the octopus that successfully predicted winners during the…

The SITREP

The major U.S. indexes finished the week mixed with a drop on Friday erasing the week’s gains for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P midcap 400 index.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average gave up 226 points ending the week at 25,090, a loss of -0.9%.  The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite managed a 100 point gain to close at 7,746, a gain of 1.3%.  By market cap, the large cap S&P 500 ended the week essentially flat, up just 0.4 point, the mid cap S&P 400 retreated -0.4% and the small cap Russell 2000 added 0.7%…

The Struggle is Real!

The Struggle is Real!

Millennials are known – and often disparaged – for being innovators and disrupters. According to Business Insider, the generation has been credited with ‘killing’ everything from starter homes to napkins. There’s a reason for that. Millennials are the biggest generation and have become the world’s most powerful consumer group, reports Financial Times:

“The coming of age of the world’s 2bn millennials is not only a generational shift, it is one of ethnicity and nationality. Forty-three percent of U.S. millennials are…

The SITREP

U.S. stocks recorded solid gains for the week, with the Nasdaq Composite and S&P 400 mid cap indexes reaching new highs, and the large cap S&P 500 index hitting its best level since early March.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged almost 700 points to close at 25,316, a gain of 2.8%.  The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite Index rose for a third consecutive week, rising 1.2% to close at 7,645.  By market cap, mid cap’s led the way with a 2.2% gain for the S&P 400, while the large cap S&P 500 added 1.6%, and the small cap Russell 2000 rose 1.5%…

It's Water Under the Bridge

It's Water Under the Bridge

Water is so common we tend to take it for granted. We drink it, cook with it, wash with it, swim in it, and rarely give it much thought. We should, though, because fresh water is more rare than many people realize. According to National Geographic, “Over 68 percent of the fresh water on Earth is found in icecaps and glaciers, and just over 30 percent is found in ground water. Only about 0.3 percent of our fresh water is found in the surface water of lakes, rivers, and swamps.” Here are some other notable facts about water…

The SITREP

  U.S. stocks finished the week modestly higher after recovering from a sell-off early in the week that was triggered by worries about Italy and the stability of the Eurozone.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the week down 117 points closing at 24,635, a loss of -0.5%.  The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite, however, followed last week’s 1% gain with a further 1.6%.  Smaller cap stocks outperformed large caps as the small cap Russell 2000 and mid cap S&P 400 gained 1.3% and 0.6%, respectively, while the large cap S&P 500 rose a lesser but still respectable 0.5%…

The SITREP

The major U.S. market indexes finished the week flat to slightly higher in light trading ahead of the long holiday weekend.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 38 points, ending the week at 24,753, a gain of 0.2%.  The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite added 1.1%, closing at 7,433.  Large caps outperformed smaller caps with the large cap S&P 500 gaining 0.3% for the week, while the mid cap S&P 400 added 0.2% and the small cap Russell 2000 ending up just 0.02%…

Do you know there's a Billionaire Census?

Do you know there's a Billionaire Census?

Last week, the fifth edition of the Billionaire Census was released. Apparently, the wealth of billionaires increased by 24 percent during 2017. In addition, the billionaire population, which had suffered reduced numbers since 2015, expanded. It now includes 2,754 individuals. The previous high was 2,473 in 2015. According to Wealth-X…

The SITREP

:  The major U.S. equity market indexes finished the week mixed amid generally subdued trading volumes.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 116 points or -0.5% to close at 24,715.  The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite, similarly, retreated -0.7% ending the week at 7,354.  By market cap, small caps outperformed their large cap brethren.  The mid cap S&P 400 and small cap Russell 2000 rose 0.2% and 1.2%, respectively, while the large cap S&P 500 fell -0.5%.  The Russell 2000 even regained its prior all-time high, the first of the major averages to do so…

What do you Wish you had known before you Became a Parent?

What do you Wish you had known before you Became a Parent?

Mother’s Day is behind us and Father’s Day is ahead. It seems like a good time to consider the challenges and responsibilities of parenting.

National Public Radio’s Science Desk introduced a new series called, ‘How To Raise A Human.’ They kicked off the show by asking bloggers, “What's the one thing you wish someone had told you before you became a parent?” Here are a few of the answers…

The Sherman SITREP

Stocks recorded solid gains this week as the major indexes moved back into positive territory for the year to date.  The large cap S&P 500 achieved its best weekly advance in two months and closed above its key 100-day moving average for the first time since mid-March.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 568 points, or 2.3%, to close at 24,831.  The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite…

We'll Need a New Kind of Umbrella for this.

We'll Need a New Kind of Umbrella for this.

In February, a new research paper disclosed a finding no one wants to hear about: Viruses are falling from the sky. Literally. Science Daily summarized a report from the University of British Columbia. The report said:

“An astonishing number of viruses are circulating around the Earth's atmosphere – and falling from it – according to new research…‘Roughly 20 years ago we began finding genetically similar viruses occurring in very different environments around the globe,’ says [University of British Columbia virologist Curtis Suttle.] ‘This preponderance of long-residence viruses travelling the atmosphere likely explains why…

The Sherman SITREP

U.S. Markets:  The major U.S. indexes finished the week flat to modestly lower as the busiest earnings week of the season came to a close.  This week, 168 of the companies in the S&P 500 - representing 42% of its market capitalization - reported first-quarter profits.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed last week’s gain falling ‑151 points to close at 24,311, a loss of -0.6%.  The technology-heavy NASDAQ Composite finished the week down -0.4%, closing at 7,119.  By market cap, large caps fared the best.  The S&P 400 mid cap index fell ‑0.4% and the Russell 2000 small cap index retreated ‑0.5%, while the large cap S&P 500 index ticked down just ‑0.01%…

What does your Playlist say about you?

What does your Playlist say about you?

Your preference for pop, country, opera, classic rock, or some other type of music may provide clues to your personality, according to an article in Psychological Science entitled ‘Musical Preferences Predict Personality.’

Psychologists have been studying ‘personality’ for a long time. Their goal is to understand why people think, feel, and behave differently in the same situation. The prevailing personality model is called the ‘Big Five.’...

The Sherman SITREP

U.S. Markets:  Stocks recorded solid gains and reversed the previous week’s losses, but volatility remained.  Investors appeared to be more focused on the turbulent political theater going on in Washington rather than the first quarter’s upcoming corporate earnings reports.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 427 points last week, closing at 24,360 - a gain of 1.8%...

The not-so-secret March Mardness Effect

The not-so-secret March Mardness Effect

Have you ever wondered how students select colleges? Economic theory suggests, “Models of college choice typically assume that high school students are fully informed and choose to apply to and eventually attend a school that maximizes their expected, present discounted value of future wages less the costs associated with college attendance.”

It’s a good theory, if you’re an economist who believes people act in perfectly rational ways. Of course, there aren’t many high school students (or parents) who can explain the present discounted value of something, much less use it as a tool to choose a college...

Sherman SITREP

U.S. Markets:  Growing tensions between China and the United States exacerbated fears of an all-out trade war between the world’s top two economies.  China announced that it would retaliate for the U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum with new tariffs on its own targeting roughly 130 U.S. products.  The U.S. countered with an additional list of proposed tariffs on 1,300 Chinese products...