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Services are hanging in, for now. Manufacturing isn’t. Fortunately, we can do some really stupid things and exacerbate the mess. And we are being stupid.

The ISM services index came in at 52.6, versus the expected 55.3.

Says ISM this morning at 10:00 AM, “Economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector grew in September for the 116th consecutive month. Read the report here.

ISM tanked the market, which bounced back, viz.

There’s no question in my mind that we’re headed for a recession.

Causes: The China Trade War. Brexit. Manufacturing slump in Europe, especially Germany. And we’re doing a lot of really dump things. Contrary to Trump’s believe, tariff wars not easy to win. As someone who once studied economics, I’d categorically say, You can win a tariff war. Certainly not this widening one.

Here are the latest nonsenses:

The US will slap $7.5 billion worth of tariffs on European imports. Products hit include French wine, Scotch and Irish whiskies, and cheese.

Scottish whisky makers said on Thursday (that’s today)  jobs and investment were at risk after the United States slapped a 25% tariff on their single malt spirit, and France said the European Union could respond in the row over EU aircraft subsidies.

I spent late into the night reading all the recession-talk. Here’s a handful of pieces:

+ Trade clashes are weakening global growth. NYTimes. Click here.

+ Europe’s manufacturing slowdown shows no sign of letting up. the Economist. Click here.

+ U.S., Eurozone Services Stumble Threatens Sharper Global Slowdown. Economic indicators suggest a manufacturing downturn is spreading. Wall Street Journal. Click here.

Useful stuff

+ Be wary of using Yelp to guide you. A story on The Daily Show pointed out — if you, as a small business, don’t advertise, they remove your good reviews. A restaurant owner called it “extortion.” In short, don’t believe the reviews.

+ Apple Watch keeps track of your heart. You can download apps to chart your ticker, e.g. #Heart.

+ Dymo makes super label printers. Every desk should have one. Don’t get the latest software. Here’s a link to the slightly older software (both Win7 and Win10), which I prefer and works like a charm. Click here. 

+  A federal judge has upheld SALT — the cap on federal deductions for state and local taxes. It’s now capped at $10,000 and has cost people in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, and California heavily — including me. SALT has killed the market for owning second and third homes. Click here. SALT was a key way to seriously hurt people who didn’t vote for Trump. It was brilliant.

+ Charles Schwab will now let you buy and sell shares for free. Other online brokers are expected to drop their prices. Before you put money into your online account, talk to you broker about free trades in exchange for your money. That deals works.

+ I’m ditching Office 2019 which I got sold by Microsoft because they wouldn’t support earlier Office versions. Outlook 2019 has so many new “features” that it’s unusable. I have an old rule “When it works, don’t mess with it.” Microsoft doesn’t believe that. It believes in change for the sake of change. I’ve gone back to Office 2003 running on Windows 7.

+ I feel sad when I miss out on gains in Tesla and Boeing. But there are many stocks I simply don’t understand. These two are right up there. So I take my emotional lumps and wonder whether Boeing really is a cockroach stock. (That’s a stock where bad stories just keep on appearing — like the cockroaches at our NYC apartment.) Today’s New York Times has a “more bad news for Boeing” story, “Boeing Rejected Safety System for 737 Max Jet, engineer says.” Click here. 

This is Boeing over the last year. Amazing how well it’s stood up to its barrage of ugly news. The 737 Max is still grounded. And China has a new, handsome 737 look alike. It’s called a Comac C919. It already has over 1,000 commitments.

Don’t do stupid 

Susan nearly got hit this morning crossing the road. An over-entitled a*hole driving a Porsche Panamera ran his red light and accelerated, missing Susan by inches. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

He didn’t apologize. He was angry that she was on the pedestrian crossing. The light was in her favor and she had 21 more seconds.

I love this

Keep moving. Whatever you do, don’t sit.

Don’t ever send anyone a rude email. Write it. Trash it. Then pick up the phone. Are you listening Jim Stanko?

I still believe Amazon and Apple are great bargains. I bought a handful of Consolidated Edison on Cramer’s advice. It yields a little over 3%, which is better than a bank CD or a treasury. The company does a good job in New York. Without them, I wouldn’t have the electricity to write this column. Ladder Capital is now yielding over 8%.

My friend follows this heavy-duty philosophy:

+ Do only what you know.
+ Stick to your knitting.
+ When in doubt stay out.
+ Practice saying NO.
+ When God closes a door, He immediately opens a window.
+ Don’t smoke or vape.
+ Be ultra-careful of mixing drugs.
+ Don’t eat bread or dessert.

Harry Newton. See you tomorrow.





One Comment

  1. Greg T says:

    I take it from your comment on the SALT limitations that you are opposed. Well, the progressive left is continuously calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. Now that is what in effect they have received since the SALT limitations really only affect the 1 percenters (the ones with second and third homes). The question now is do they really want higher taxes on the wealthy or just higher taxes because when you get right down to it there are not enough wealthy to pay for all of the Left’s proposed programs?