MidSouth Week in Review
August 27, 2021

Weekly Update from Fund Manager Buzz Heidtke, MidSouth Investment Fund

Aug. 30, 2021 | RedChip Companies

Today both the NASDAQ and S&P made new highs.  It was the 12th consecutive week for the S&P to make new highs and it has now made ten consecutive monthly highs.  For the week, the S&P was up 1.6%.  The NASDAQ broke the 15,000 level on Tuesday.  On Monday Bitcoin passed the $50,000 level for the first time since May, before retreating below $47,000 this morning.  Sales of existing homes rose 2.5% in July and sales of new homes rose a modest 1%, after a string of declines.  Gold rose to 1818 vs. its 1680 low a couple of weeks ago.  Sources:  New York Times and Wall Street Journal




Big Winners –  The stock market has had a great year-to-date return with the S&P up 20%, yet three of the previous hot stocks have done nothing: Tesla +1.0%, Netflix +3.5% and Amazon +2.8% - Buzz


New York Slip – “For three years I’ve worked alongside Governor Cuomo, we’ve had triumphs, made some mistakes, we’ve had sex ….uh…setbacks” - Anon


Cost of Borrowing – will inch up with the 10-year Treasury rate set to rise to 2.3% by the end of 2022 vs. 1.25% today.  The 30-year fixed mortgage rate…..rising to 3.8% - The Kiplinger Letter


Brainpower – Research shows that the best brain foods are the same ones that protect your heart and blood vessels, including coffee!  The caffeine might offer more than just a short-term concentration boost.  In a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, participants with higher caffeine consumption scored better on tests of mental function – Harvard Health Letter


Tax Hikes – We don’t expect President Biden will get everything he campaigned on.  Chances are better for more-moderate tax hikes.  Here are some ideas that could be doable:  Raising the top individual income tax rate from 37% to 39.6%.  Increasing the top rate on long-term capital gains from 20% to 28% for the wealthy.  Hiking the corporate tax rate to 25% or so.  Having U.S. multinationals pay more tax.  Broadening the reach of the self-employment tax and the net investment income tax – Kiplinger Tax Letter


Wow! – 36-year-old Lauren Cypr just broke the record for playing 18 holes of golf and at shooting 1-under par 72, while quickly walking the course in 50 minutes or 2.8 minutes per hole while carrying her clubs; a driver, putter, six iron, nine iron and a wedge – Wall Street Journal


Strange – The hottest place in the country yesterday was Thermal, CA (111°).  The coldest? Bodie State Park, CA (24°) - USA TODAY


Dollar General (DG) – began in 1939 with a $5,000 investment to open a dry-goods store in Kentucky.  In 1968 they went public with annual sales of $40 million and net income of $1.5 million.  Today, they have 17,672 stores, including 1,626  in Texas, and sales of $34 billion – TNLedger


Covid Shots – Delta plans to charge workers an extra $200 per month for health insurance for those who refuse to get a vaccination – USA TODAY ….. A Texas hospital with 65 Covid patients had only one who had a Covid vaccination ….. 78% of people hospitalized for Covid were overweight or obese - CDC


Boom Town – Phoenix was the 99th largest U.S. city in 1950 (106,000 population) but is now the 5th largest city with 1.6 million people – Congress ….. Las Vegas has a population of 651,000 vs. 8,422 in 1946 – Adobe Acrobat


Shared Office Space Firms – like WeWork and Industries are enjoying a rise in sales this summer as the pandemic has caused firms to seek flexible and short-term solutions.  U.S. office vacancy increased to 18.5% in the 2Q, closing in on the 19.7% hit in 1991 – Moody’s Analytics


Hospital Billings – Many health insurers have been registering unfavorable rates to their customers.  Fees for a pregnancy test at the University of PA Hospital:  Blue Cross $28, NJ $58, Blue Cross PA $18, Blue Cross PPO in NJ $93; with no insurance $10.  Fees at the University of MS Medical Center for a colonoscopy: With a Cigna Plan $1,463, with Aetna $2,144, with no insurance $782 – New York Times


Afghanistan – The U.S. spent $2.26 trillion or $8,100 per U.S. citizen during the 20-year presence there, fighting the Taliban, rebuilding the Afghan and training their military – Brown University ….. In leaving Afghanistan; we left 40 aircraft, 2,000 armored vehicles and 600,000 assault rifles – Bloomberg


Long Long Time Ago - https://youtu.be/5whBcBFaz6s


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