Knock, Knock- More than 2 billion packages will be delivered in the 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Amazon’s own delivery workload is expected to double from a year ago to 275 million parcels.
Oh! Christmas Tree- Americans cut down 15,094,678 Christmas trees in 2017 (the latest year for which data are available). That required about 19.7 square miles of land, or enough to cover about 50 percent of Walt Disney World in Orlando.
New Starts- Twenty years ago, Robert VanSumeren stood before Judge Michael Smith as a convicted felon, sentenced to nearly six years in prison for a string of robberies. Last month, the 40-year-old again appeared before Judge Smith at Hillsdale County Courthouse in Michigan—to be sworn in as an attorney. After VanSumeren left prison in 2005, he earned degrees in comparative religion, sociology, and psychology. In 2015, he decided to pursue a law degree at Wayne State University and passed the bar exam last summer. “This seems like an appropriate place to end this chapter of my life,” he said.
Weekly Focus – Think About It
“One of the big no-no’s in cyberspace is that you do not go into a social activity, a chat group, or something like that, and start advertising or selling things. This etiquette rule is an attempt to separate one’s social life, which should be pure enjoyment and relaxation, from the pressures of work.”
–Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, Etiquette authority
Ahh, the power of distraction.
On Friday, the unemployment report flashed its numbers like a hair model in a shampoo commercial. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 266,000 new jobs were created in November. That was better than expected even after deducting the 40,000-plus General Motors employees returning to work, reported CNBC.
The sign of economic strength helped major U.S. stock indices recover from losses suffered earlier in the week – mostly.
The week got off to a rough start when President Trump indicated there was little urgency to resolving the trade dispute with China. The statement upset expectations a phase one trade deal would be completed before December 15. That’s the date the United States is scheduled to put additional tariffs on Chinese consumer goods. New tariffs could inspire additional actions by the Chinese government that affect economic growth in the United States.
To date, U.S. economic growth has slowed from 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019 to 1.9 percent in the third quarter.
The slowdown was caused, in part, by Chinese tariffs on American products. Tariffs have had a negative effect on manufacturing and agriculture, as well as other sectors of the market. Trade uncertainty also has led to a decline in business investment. When business investment drops so does the economy’s growth potential. The main engine behind U.S. economic growth has been and remains the American people. Consumer spending accounted for 68 percent of U.S. economic growth in the third quarter.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index finished the week in positive territory. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite finished down 0.1 percent.
THE EVOLVING ETIQUETTE OF SOCIAL MEDIA. Social media etiquette makes remembering when to use the little fork on the right – you know, the one next to the two knives and spoon (the oyster fork) – seem like a snap.
When social media platforms were gaining popularity, they offered an opportunity to reconnect and stay in touch with friends and family. During the past decade, many people joined platforms and built networks. They also started to engage in some unwelcome behaviors. Sometimes, social media is a place where people:
“…can say mean things without showing their face, discriminate with little consequence, and spill details nobody truly wants to hear,” explained Influence.co. “…it’s vital for people to remember that social media is meant to bring people together and that our online behavior can quickly come between us.”
To make it easier to understand which behaviors these are, the organization conducted a survey. The top digital don’ts included:
1. Bullying others in comments (91.1 percent)
2. Sharing discriminatory content (89.2 percent)
3. Posting fake news (88.8 percent)
4. Making passive-aggressive posts (78.5 percent)
5. Oversharing personal details (77.4 percent)
6. Complaining about a partner (75.8 percent)
7. Giving medical advice (48.3 percent)
8. Excessive hashtag use (33.8 percent)
It’s also a poor idea to post content about another person without their permission. One in 10 respondents had ended a friendship over it. Finally, many people find it irritating when asked to delay eating a meal so a dinner companion can photograph it.
It’s food for thought.
John Klevens, CFP ®
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This material is intended to provide general financial education and is not written or intended as tax or legal advice and may not be relied upon for purposes of avoiding any Federal tax penalties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. Individuals involved in the estate planning process should work with an estate planning team, including their own personal legal or tax counsel. This material is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any securities.
Securities and Advisory Services offered by John Klevens through KMS Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC and an SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Klevens Capital Management and KMS are separate and unaffiliated.
Portions of this newsletter have been prepared by Peak Advisor
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The Week Magazine
https://www.barrons.com/articles/dow-jones-industrial-average-ends-week-lower-despite-strong-jobs-report-51575684786?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://peakcontent.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/+Peak+Commentary/12-09-19_Barrons-The_Jobs_Numbers_were_Great-The_Dow_Still_Finished_Down_for_the_Week-Footnote_3.pdf)