The S&P 500 finished September down -4%, while the Nasdaq Composite finished -4.6% and the Dow lost -3.6% marking the biggest monthly slide since March 2020 – the very depths of the Pandemic shutdown.
Worries about China, the pandemic, the debt ceiling, and tax legislation are weighing on investors right now, but it is important to understand which issues may create structural change and which ones create short-term volatility. Still, it makes sense to be cautious moving forward. One potential positive is now that the government has stepped back from extra-large payments to the unemployed, the labor market may be on the verge of a big step forward.
The Evergrande contagion that’s happening over in Asia could become a major issue that affects financial markets worldwide. With the infrastructure bill, spending bill, debt ceiling (kicked down the road until December) which goes hand in hand with a government funding bill all looming within the next month, things could remain very volatile and turn even more volatile quickly.
With much talk centered around what may happen with the U.S. Tax Code, I decided to do a little digging. With not much effort I found that, in the words of Billy Joel’s 1978 song, “Honesty is Such a Lonely Word” especially among taxpayers. The US government projected on 9/07/21 that 53% of our nation’s “tax gap” are taxes not paid by the top 5% of US taxpayers. The “tax gap” is the difference between what all taxpayers should have paid each year compared to what they actually paid (source: Treasury Department).
Fun Facts About October:
- Not surprising the birth flower of October is the bright orange calendula also known as the marigold.
- There is actually a “Frankenstein Day” – October 25.
- October’s full moon is knowns as the Hunter’s Moon.
- When the leaves change colors from green to gold, it isn’t because of the cooler temperatures. It is because of a lack of light caused by shorter days and often a cloudier sky.
Why the Jack-o-Lantern? I couldn’t resist a bit about Halloween and since I’m Irish, I had to focus on ole’ Jack – sorry!
The Irish legend has it that Stingy Jack invited the devil to have a drink with him, but Jack didn’t want to pay for the drink, so he convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin. Instead of buying the drink, he pocketed the coin and kept it close to a silver cross in his house, preventing the devil from taking shape again.
He promised to let the devil go if he would leave Jack alone for a year – and that if Jack died, the devil wouldn’t claim his soul.
After a year, Jack tricked the devil again to leave him alone and not claim his soul. When Jack died, God didn’t want such a conniving person in heaven and the devil, true to his word, would not allow him into hell.
Jack was sent off into the night with only a burning coal to light his path. He placed the coal inside a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the earth ever since.
People in Ireland and Scotland began creating their own creations of Jack’s lanterns out of turnips, beets, and potatoes. The tradition traveled to the United States along with the immigrants and people began to use pumpkins, native to North America, for the lanterns instead.
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