MidSouth Week in Review
April 12, 2024

Weekly Update from Fund Manager Buzz Heidtke, MidSouth Investment Fund

Apr. 15, 2024 | RedChip Companies

For the week the S&P was down 1.7%.  Gold hit a new high of $2412, and is now $2448.  The yield on the 30-year government bond hit its highest yield since November.  The Dollar hit a 5-month high.  Crude hit its highest level since October.  Inflation increased 3.5% in March vs. 3.2% in February.  The cost of electricity has climbed 29.4% since January 2021.  Sources:  Wall Street Journal and New York Times




The S&P 500 – had its best first quarter since 2019 gaining 10.2% in the first three months of the year.  The Dow advanced 5.6% and the NASDAQ ended the quarter with a 9.1% pop – CNBC


Blondes – “I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I’m not dumb ….. and I also know that I’m not a blonde” – Dolly Parton


Small-cap Stocks – are underperforming larger peers by the widest margin in 20 years.  Since 2020, the Russell is up only 20% vs. 60% for the S&P – Financial Times


U.S. Tire Shipments – will set a new record this year:  335.7 million units, up from 331.9 units in 2023 and just above the previous record of 335.2 million units in 2021.


Trade Date – The (SEC) has announced rule changes that will shorten the settlement for most U.S. securities from two business days after the trade date to one business day after the trade date.


Commercial Property – The decline in values is a big issue of some banks.  Collectively banks hold about 38% of the trillion of outstanding debt tied to U.S. commercial real estate – The Kiplinger Letter


Dividend Stocks – have lagged the market as yields on short-term Treasuries and cash accounts have risen.  This could change with expected rate cuts from the Federal Reserve – Kiplinger Personal Finance


Stamps – The U.S. Postal Service is seeking to raise the price of a stamp 5 cents in what would be the fourth increase since the start of 2023.  The proposed price of 73 cents, up 7.4% from the current price of 68 Cents – Wall Street Journal


Big Banks – raked in record profits in 2023 but face growing pressures this year.  Losses from commercial real estate and bond portfolios are mounting, and bank stocks have lagged behind the broader market rally – Wall Street Journal


Electric Vehicles – Days of supply have proved less disruptive than expected and prices continue to decrease.  They are now $52,000 on average – The Kiplinger Letter


Microsoft – If you bought 100 shares five years ago at $119, today the position is worth approximately $42,200 – Bloomberg


Sales of Existing Homes – are picking up despite higher mortgage rates.  Existing home sales rose 9.5% to 4.38 million annualized units in February, the highest level in one year – The Kiplinger Letter


Mutual Funds – recorded net income for the first time in 27 months in February – PLANSPONSOR


Puerto Rico – “Financial incentives” have made Puerto Rico a destination for Americans looking to relocate.  About 27k Americans have recently moved there.  Those who received an Act 60 tax exemption get a 4% income tax rate, a 75% discount on property tax and no tax on capital gains – Business Insider


Social Security – A growing chorus of business leaders and GOP lawmakers are calling for raising the retirement age to about 67 – CNBC


College Costs - $56,190 is the average 2023-24 annual price for tuition, fees, housing and all food at private, nonprofit four-year schools vs. $24,030 at public colleges for in-state students.  Some Vanderbilt students will have $100,000 in total expenses for the 2024-25 school year – New York Times


Dollar Stores – composed more than a quarter of the U.S.’s total stores opening in 2022 and last year Dollar General opened 20,000 stores in the U.S. vs. 5,000 in 2001.  Walmart by contrast has just over 4,600 locations – Wall Street Journal


Tesla – reported a surprising big drop in quarter sales.  Deliveries were down 8.5% from a year ago – Bloomberg


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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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