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Happy Easter/Passover!

Happy holiday!

The markets are closed this morning but, for some reason, they are still releasing the Non-Farm Payroll Report, which is usually a market-mover.  It's 8:30 now and the numbers are bigger than expected with 916,000 new jobs added in Biden's second full month as President and that's well over expectations and, more importantly, Unemployment is down to 6%.  The Futures are open and the Dow is blasting higher and the other indexes are likely to follow 

There’s a seismic shift going on in the U.S. economy,” said Beth Ann Bovino, a Ph.D. economist at S&P Global. The confluence of additional federal stimulus, growing consumer confidence and the feeling that the pandemic is close to abating - despite rising infections in recent weeks - is propelling economic growth and hiring, she said.

Stronger growth should return jobs to industries with the deepest losses during the pandemic, such as restaurants, stores and hotels, and support additional job growth at warehouses, delivery services and manufacturing.  Job growth could also pick up in hard-hit cities in the Northeast and California, and in tourist hotbeds such as Las Vegas and Orlando.

There are still about two million fewer food-service jobs this year in the U.S. than before the pandemic-related shutdowns that began in March 2020. The industry accounts for one in five total jobs lost in the past year, suffering the most pandemic-related losses.  Those jobs can come back quickly once we are vaccinated and more people with jobs means more people who can afford to eat out – so the cycle tends to feed itself.

Another major factor in favor of a better Q2 is our very successful vaccination roll-out in the US with an average of 2.9M doses PER DAY being given out.  That is 87M more in April and 90M more in May – only if we don't speed up.  Biden is miles ahead of his vaccine rollout schedule after 72 days on the job.  30% of the poulation has gotten at least on dose and I'm getting mine tomorrow!   My appointment is at 11:36 am, so they have started to get very exact and efficient about it and that's helping to speed up the process.  My mother got hers in early March and she waited 4 hours in a car line both times.

153.6M doses have been administered so far and 200.5M have been distributed (Democrats love data) which means we can still pick up the pace on dosing without running low on vaccines.  75% of the population should have at least one dose by July 1st at the current pace but it won't take much of an improvement to get us there by the end of May and that should be pretty much game over for Covid – hopefully.  We still had 77,717 cases yesterday and 955 people died so nothing to celebrate yet, but there's light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, will someone tell the Republicans to shut the F up about Corporate Taxes?  Of all the things Biden could have done to pay for the stimulus, putting Corporate Taxes back to 28% (from 21%) is the smallest possible burden for our country.  We had a great stock market under Obama and did much worse under Trump (though that was really Covid's fault, not the tax breaks) and 28% still is not the 35% we had before Trump.  

Meanwhile, here is the reality of our tax code – with so many loopholes that these companies paid NO taxes at all under Trump – some even collected money from the Government, despite making vast sums of money:

Remember, these are just companies that paid NO taxes, there are 1,000 companies that paid very little tax on their earnings – the average collection rate on Corporate Income is just 12% and Corporations, on the whole, contribute just 10% of the tax base – the rest is paid by individuals, which is funny since labor costs average 20% of Corporate Revenues, yet we give 1/3 of it back to the Government while the Corporations themselves pay about 2% of their revenues as taxes.  Does that seem fair?

Tax avoidance strategies include a mix of old standards and new innovations. Companies, for example, saved billions by allowing top executives to buy discounted stock options in the future and then deducting their value as a loss – that's brilliant!  The Biden Administration announced this week that it planned to establish a kind of minimum tax that would limit the number of zero-payers along with the rate increase. The White House estimated that the revisions would raise $2 trillion over 15 years, which will be used to fund the President’s ambitious infrastructure plan.  

Referring to the proposed revisions, Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the taxation institute, said, “If I were going to make a list of the things I would want the corporate tax reform to do, this outline tackles all these issues.”

Where do you stand on this issue?  It's a good weekend to contemplate: "What would Jesus do?"

18 Jesus cleanses the temple ideas | jesus cleanses the temple, jesus,  temple

Have a happy holiday!  

 


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  1. Good Morning.

     

    I get my second shot next weekend. It was in a pharmacy, next to the produce section - easy peasy  :)

     

    Have a good day Phil!


  2. Good morning!

    Glad to finally be getting my shot.  Friends went to happy hour yesterday and there's another thing tonight but I'm skipping them as I'd feel like a real moron getting Covid the day before my shot.  The people who have shots can't wait to get out.  I'm going to play poker on Monday myself (with friends, not at a casino) – first time in a year!


  3. Have a good weekend Phil and everyone. Somehow missed that EXPE trade-thanks for the update.


  4. YES! Glad you're getting your vaccine Phil.


  5. Three days after your first shot you will not yet have that much immunity.


  6. CDC now saying vaccinated people can travel without quarantine.

    Not much/Tangled – I would have played the poker game anyway but yes, going out to bars is still not on my list.

    So the Futures were not open – closed already.


  7. CHL -  I thought I'd share my adventure in liquidating the CHL I still have with TD Ameritrade.  I have an extra hurdle because the holdings are in a Self-managed 401k account, but it can be done.  Do not underestimate how long all of this takes.  I've been at it since the beginning of February (trying to find the right people to make this happen, while working and not having a lot of time during the day) and I'm only in the middle of Step 3.

    1. Convert the CHL ADRs to the underlying security, which trades on the Hang Seng.  I forget the technical term that they call this, but there is a special group within TD support that can initiate the transaction (the exchange is 5 for 1.)

    2.  I opened an account with Interactive Brokers (Rollover IRA since it's coming from a 401k).  You need a broker that trades securities on foreign exchanges.  Fidelity also does and I believe Schwab does as well.

    3. "Transfer the position", initiated from my IB account, which pulls the converted CHL securities (0941.HK) from TD into IB.  By the way, TD's ticker for the HK shares is CHLKF.

    4. Sell 0941.HK in the IB account.


  8. Thx for the update on CHL. Did you ask what happens to open option positions?


  9. CHL- while poking around for more info on how to handle this I found this from BNY which , if I understand it correctly , means that the CHL ADR's have not yet been terminated but if this does happen, then the ADR's can be exchanged for actual ChinaMobile shares or cash. This link is a notice for another ADR that was terminated:

    https://www.adrbnymellon.com/files/ad914197.pdf

    I have sent an email to BNY requesting some more info. 


  10. CHL/pstas - I didn't have to deal with any options. My self directed 401k only allows covered calls but I didn't have any.