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Two recommendations

Reporting today:

Two of our stocks: after the close: Apple (AAPL) and Ladder Capital (LADR). They should not disappoint.

Three index funds I like

+ VFIAX Vanguard 500 Index Fund Admiral Shares — annual return over ten years (to Sept 30) — 11.95%
+ VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market  — 12.08%
+ VUG Vanguard Growth ETF — 13.49%

You can find oodles of information on them on 

Because they encompass so many individual stocks, you don’t get the extreme wild gyrations which often force you (well me, anyway) to make dumb decisions.

But you also don’t the gains of stocks picked carefully. For example, here is VUG compared with Apple, this year. Apple has done much better.

I like pet care, especially Zoetis. Courtesy, Zacks:

Zoetis (ZTS) came out with quarterly earnings of $0.83 per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.77 per share. This compares to earnings of $0.65 per share a year ago. These figures are adjusted for non-recurring items.

This quarterly report represents an earnings surprise of 7.79%. A quarter ago, it was expected that this animal health company would post earnings of $0.71 per share when it actually produced earnings of $0.77, delivering a surprise of 8.45%.

Over the last four quarters, the company has surpassed consensus EPS estimates four times.

Click here.

My most useful office gadget

It’s the $420 Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Color Duplex Desk Scanner. It scans documents and photos. It’s fast, clean, and foolproof. Put your stuff in. Hit the button and it scans. It’s so much easier having your stuff in one place — on your working laptop or on a thumb drive — versus searching for paper.

I use the scanner with excellent software called PDF-Xchange Editor.  It’s worth the $43.50 price. Click here.

For the scanner, click here. 

News of sort

+ In an interview with Axios that will premiere on Sunday, Trump said railing against his enemies in the media helped him win the election, and that his supporters like him more when he cranks up the “enemy of the people” rhetoric.

+ In one Yale University psychology experiment, people were first reminded to be careful of the flu going around. Then they were questioned about their political views. The flu threat reminded them of their vulnerability, made them fearful, and turned them more conservative.

+ In good news, Australia is on the way to being the first country to eradicate cervical cancer.

+ A Mandarin duck, a species native to Japan and China, has appeared in New York’s Central Park, puzzling wildlife officials.

Commented the local media, “He’s an odd duck.”

On my way to Roosevelt Island 

I’m on the Roosevelt Island Tramway which runs alongside the 59th Street Bridge (of Simon and Garfunkel fame).

It’s a beautiful morning with the sun coming up over the East River. Here’s the picture I took with my iPhone 8 plus. I shot it through the Tramways’ window. Notice the reflection of my gray hair. Sort of spooky:

Favorite Aphorisms

+ Money will buy you a fine dog but only your kindness will make him wag his tail.

+ Seat belts are not as confining as wheelchairs.

+ A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you’re already in hot water.

+ The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow.

Today is no longer October.

Harry Newton, who found some optimism is the latest Ross Rant:

The stock market decline makes no sense. Nothing really negative happened to the economy, other than a slowdown in housing, which may be partly due to the hurricane, and partly due to high prices and needing 20% cash down on the higher price.  GDP performed better than consensus, and better than average over the past 50 years. A lot of analysts focused on AMZN missing on revenue. Reality check- AMZN Revenue was still up 29%, N America sales up 35%, AWS up 46% and the new advertising group up 123%. Net income was 11 times same period last year. Operating income was $3.7 billion vs expected $2.8.  My point is, the results were terrific, yet the analysts and press said they were a big disappointment. How many companies of any size have these percentage increases, especially coming off such a high level  base,  and spectacular growth in prior periods. Ignore the Wall St pundits, and look at how well most companies did. 80% beat on net income. So 32% did not meet revenue forecasts. They just missed by a little in most cases.

They did not crash. They still had very strong growth. Just because the analysts got their projections wrong by a few dollars does not make a downturn or crisis. Boeing is knocking it out of the park on defense contracts and backlog, but the stock got crushed because of tariffs on China which will not likely impact Boeing aircraft sales to China. The economy is not declining. Sales and profits cannot continue growing at 22% per year forever. The higher the base each quarter, the harder to maintain record growth percentages every quarter, but the actual dollar growth, and EPS are rising well. Keep things in perspective, and ignore the child analysts. The economy has at least another 6-12 months of solid growth ahead, and earnings growth will also continue. For now I plan to ride out the decline in stocks and to wait to see what happens next week.

The Ross Rant newsletter is here.

The mid-terms are on Tuesday. Please vote. Be skeptical of all the fear-mongering.