MidSouth Week in Review
February 2, 2024

Weekly Update from Fund Manager Buzz Heidtke, MidSouth Investment Fund

Feb. 9, 2024 | RedChip Companies

For the week the S&P was up 1.6% and for the month of January the market was up 1.8%.  The yield on the 10-year Treasuries hit 3.92% and the 30-year hit 4.17%.  Jobless claims rose to 220k vs. 215k the previous week.  Home prices accelerated in November as the inventory of homes  for sale remained unusually low.  Workers called it quits less frequently in 2023, a sign that the labor market is falling as the U.S. economy is expected to slow.  Sources:  Wall Street Journal and New York Times


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January Record High – For January the stock market hit a record high.  Record history sides with further gains ahead.  In the 14 times since 1954 that the S&P notched a record after staying bullish for more than one year, the median gain has been 13%+ - Bloomberg


The Housing Market – had its worst year since 1998.  Full-year sales hit 4.09 million with sales lower across all regions of the U.S.  Sales dropped 6.2% but prices rose 4.4% to $366,500.  The investors of unsold homes dropped 11.5% in December vs. November – National Association of Realtors


+2% - Going back to 1951, when the market was up 2%+ in January, the full year averaged 13.4% - Carson Investment Research


Newspapers – An average of five local newspapers are closing every two weeks with more than half of all American counties now so-called news deserts – Northwestern University ….. Prominent newspapers like the Washington Post are shedding reports and editors and last week the LA Times laid off more than 20% of its newsroom – New York Times


Electric Vehicles – should account for 9% of vehicle sales this year vs. 8% in 2023.  However, manufacturers are slowing future EV production as inventory built up on dealer lots – the Kiplinger Letter


Retirement Debt – A growing number of older adults are in debt in retirement, according to the 2022 Survey of Consumer Finances from the Federal Reserve.  Among people ages 65 to 74, the share with debt rose to 65% in 2022, up from 50% in 1989 (the first time this question was asked).  For people 75 and over, 53% report holding debt in 2022 – NerdWallet


Ouch! – Nick Dunlap, a U. of Alabama sophomore won the PGA tour, American Express tournament.  But because he was an amateur he couldn’t receive the $1.5 million first prize – THE WEEK


Big Spending – Trump’s presidential campaign spent $18.3 million on advertising or about $325 per vote.  Ron DeSantis spent $1,495 per vote and Nikki Haley spent $1,755 – The Bulwark


Absenteeism – Data from the 2-21-22 school year shows that 14 million K-12 students, about 28% of the total, missed at least three weeks of school in an academic year – Vox


Japanese Singles – One-third of Japanese people under the age of 50 have never dated and a quarter say they never intend to marry – THE WEEK


Hedge Funds – Investors pulled more than $100 billion from hedge funds in 2023.  The outflows were down from $112 billion in 2022 but marked the second consecutive year for big withdrawals from the sector – NASDAQ eVestment


Housing Units – More than 53,300 units are being transformed from office buildings, a more than fourfold increase since 2021.  Leading the charge this year is Washington, D.C. where plans are underway to convert office space into 5,820 apartment units – Bloomberg


New Business Apps – rose 7.4% nationally between December 2022 and December 2023.  Colorado (115%), North Dakota (38%) and Iowa (34%) had the highest year-over-year change – Axios


Job Hunting – 37% of 16 to 19 year-olds had a job or was looking for one last year.  The highest level since 2009 – Labor Department


Debts – The average American household owes $10,000 in credit card debt, $58,957 in student loan debt, $241,840 in mortgage debt, and $22,612 in auto loans - Yahoo Finance


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The material was prepared by MidSouth Investment Management LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates.  This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate.  Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results.  The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services.  If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional.  This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty.  This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such.  This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results.  Investments will fluctuate and when redeemed may be worth more or less than when originally invested.  All economic and performance data is historical and not indicative of future results.  Market indices discussed are unmanaged.  Investors cannot invest in unmanaged indices. 

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  • Bob McCooey, Senior Vice President, NASDAQ Stock Market