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Major Indexes For Week Ended 9/6/2019

Index Close Net Change % Change YTD YTD %
DJIA 26,797.46 +394.18 1.49 +3,470.00 14.88
NASDAQ 8,103.07 +140.19 1.76 +1,467.79 22.12
S&P500 2,978.71 +52.25 1.79 +471.86 18.82
Russell 2000 1,505.17 +10.33 0.69 +156.61 11.61
International 1,882.43 +39.85 2.16 +162.55 9.45
10-year bond 1.55% +0.04% -1.14%
30-year T-bond 2.02% +0.05% -1.00%
International index is MSCI EAFE index. Bond data reflect net change in yield, not price. Indices are unmanaged and you cannot directly invest in an index.


Economy Gets Bad Press Again

The bad news about the manufacturing sector slowdown is widely sensationalized in the financial press. With the exception of The New York Times, the media coverage of the slump in manufacturing neglected to report the fact that only 11% of the U.S. gross domestic product is derived from manufacturing activity. Without that context, the press would have you think a recession is right around the corner when it's not.

Since September 2018, manufacturing activity plunged from a record-high of 61.3%. Last week's manufacturing activity report showed further deterioration, from 51.2% in July to 49.1% in August, and the press covered it widely.

This monthly manufacturing data series from the Institute of Supply Management, which certifies purchasing management professionals employed across the U.S. and globally, is designed to signal a recession when it falls to less than 50%. In the last three decades, it has predicted six of the last three recessions.

Over the last three economic cycles, the ISM Manufacturing Index dipped below 50% six times and was not followed by a recession three out of those times; rather, it soared again and after it dropped to less than the 50% recession signal.

The drop in manufacturing is not good news, but the press coverage failed to mention that manufacturing is not so important in modern financial U.S. history, as well as the mixed track record of the ISM Index in forecasting a recession.

The other big economic news also absent from the financial media arrived August 21st in the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office's quarterly report on the federal budget annual deficit and long-term debt of the United States. The CBO's long-term forecast predicted a 2.3% growth rate for the U.S. in 2019. The 10-year forecast through 2029 is for a 1.8% growth rate but the CBO expects growth in 2019 will be relatively strong, despite the trade-war with China. Based on a search of Google News, this important and good economic news appears not to have made the headlines. The press was understandably focused on the bad long-term financial condition angle in the report. However, the 2019 growth forecast from the CBO confirms that the China trade-war isn't about to sink the economy, though the financial press is dominated by news of the international trade clash.

The manufacturing slump, inversion of the yield curve, and trade-war with China have triggered fears of a recession and it's reflected in the press. But the financial press is not comprised of prudent financial professionals and the press is prone to presenting frightening analysis of economic data out of context.

The stock market was not misdirected by the bad press. The Standard & Poor's 500 rose 1.9% for the week to close at 2,978.71, about 2% off its all-time record high, set in July.


This article was written by a veteran financial journalist based on data compiled and analyzed by independent economist, Fritz Meyer. While these are sources we believe to be reliable, the information is not intended to be used as financial or tax advice without consulting a professional about your personal situation. Tax laws are subject to change. Indices are unmanaged and not available for direct investment. Investments with higher return potential carry greater risk for loss. No one can predict the future of the stock market or any investment, and past performance is never a guarantee of your future results.


Six Tips To Avoid Phishing Scams

"Fake news" has exacted a high cost to American culture and political discourse, but the internet fakery that costs you time and money is phishing, emails diabolically aimed to trick you into opening your personal data to crooks and miscreants.

Phishing is the practice of emailing people purporting to be a reputable company to fool people into revealing passwords, credit card numbers, contacts, emails, internet accounts, and your most personal digital data. It's rampant. Whether you're using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, here are some tips for protecting yourself:

Mistakes. Phishing emails often are generated by teens or crooks with weak skills in English punctuation, grammar, and spelling. The phishing email from Office uses an improper style in "24hrs" and the capitalization of the phrase, "Kindly Click here" should arouse suspicion. When you look at this email's bottom line, the copyright is "Office Outlook." The logo is off. The product name is Office 365 and there is no mention of Microsoft in the copyright notice. Does the sentence Terms of Use Privacy & Cookies Developers make sense? It's a hint that this is a fake.

Reply email address. In this phishing email, the reply address at the top left says "Microsoft support," but if you look closer, the reply email address is "support@simpur.net.bn" and that is not a Microsoft address. The "bn" suffix is the internet country code for Brunei, and that's another telltale sign of fraud. Clever phishing emails often fake reply addresses in other ways. The easiest way to verify a reply email address is to double click on it and look at its properties. If the email purports to be from Microsoft or Google, will hitting reply send an email to a Microsoft or Google email account? If not, it's fake.

Links. Don't click on links in a suspicious email without being deliberate. The link could be a malicious website. Right click on the link and check its properties and see if the link goes to the company.

Slow down. The grammar, misspelling, bad links, and other telltale signs are easily overlooked when you're in a rush, and that's perhaps the reason why people become ensnared by phishing emails.

Verify before you trust. Trust but verify works for some things but not with internet security. First verify and then you can trust.

Secure Software. Microsoft and Apple release updates to computer operating systems continually and those are essential to staying secure. Anti-virus and anti-malware programs are also essential and they need to be kept updated with the latest fixes.


The above referenced information was obtained from reliable sources, however Lantern Investments, Inc. and Lantern Wealth Advisors, LLC cannot guarantee its accuracy. Opinions expressed herein are subject to change. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Asset allocation and diversification do not assure a profit or protect against losses in declining markets. Any information given on the site is informational and illustrative but does not recommend actions as the information may not be appropriate to all situations. It is important that you consider your tolerance for risk and investment goals when making investment decisions. Investing in securities does involve risk and the potential of losing money. Links to other sites are provided for your convenience. Lantern Wealth Advisors, LLC and Lantern Investments, Inc. do not endorse, verify or attest to the accuracy of the content of the web sites that are linked and accept no responsibility for their use or content. Lantern Wealth Advisors, LLC and Lantern Investments, Inc. do not provide tax, accounting or legal advice.