Charlie’s Finance Articles
Current Finance Articles
Every month, Fort Pitt Capital Group’s Chief Investment Officer, Charlie Smith, curates valuable finance articles for you from the vast amount of reading that he and his Portfolio Management Team do to stay up to date on the market. We want to help you cut through the clutter and have a resource to find current financial news from relevant sources. Anyone can sign up to have Charlie’s latest financial articles sent directly to their inbox! Simply scroll to the bottom of this page and sign up for our newsletters.
Charlie’s Finance Articles December 2020
We’ve made it through 2020! And whether you’re reflecting on this uncertain year or looking ahead to 2021, be sure to take a look at the finance articles that have caught our eye right now at Fort Pitt Capital Group:
We’ll kick it off with the ZeroHedge article, “Biden will preserve Trump’s China tariffs & trade deal as ‘rapid reset’ of relations looks unlikely.” President-elect, Joe Biden, has told reporters he will not immediately make moves to remove tariffs on China that were imposed by President Trump, nor will he scrap the “Phase 1” trade deal with the country.
Bloomberg serves up our next article, “Rich states uncover tax windfall, undercutting push for aid.” Thanks to the booming stock market this year, some states received tax revenue far beyond what they were expecting.
And Wolf Street gives us, “California ‘Techsodus’: Tech companies, billionaires, millionaires, tech employees flee San Francisco & Silicon Valley,” As more and more tech companies adopt a “work from anywhere” mentality, their executives and employees are quickly leaving California for locations that don’t levy state income taxes.
“How many renters face eviction when the eviction bans end? How much worse is it, compared to the good times,” is our last article and also comes from Wolf Street. Looking at the month of November to compare this year to last year, in 2020, 6.4% of renters were behind one month on their rent, up from 4.8% of renters who were behind in November 2019.
Charlie’s Finance Articles November 2020
The holiday season is here but this one will be unlike what we’ve seen in the past. Here are the finance articles we’re reading during this time at Fort Pitt Capital Group:
“The US government seized $1 billion in bitcoin from dark web marketplace Silk Road,” is our first article and comes from The Verge. An unnamed hacker helped the U.S. Department of Justice empty the digital wallet of the now-shuttered dark web drug marketplace Silk Road. The taking of roughly 70,000 bitcoins was part of a civil forfeiture case.
Bloomberg supplies our second article, “Money-fund rules in crosshairs again as Boston Fed takes aim.” The 2016 regulatory overhaul of U.S. money-market funds aimed to prevent another 2008-like damaging run on these funds. But the coronavirus-related exodus of cash this year showed risk remains.
Next up, we’ve got “Why Simon Property Group & Brookfield Property, #1 & #2 mall landlords, bought J.C. Penney and other collapsed retailers out of bankruptcy,” from WolfStreet. In an effort to keep stores open and paying rent, mall REITs are buying retailers out of bankruptcy court.
“2021: Fastest earnings recovery ever?” from ZeroHedge rounds out our list. Analysts are projecting 2021 will be a record year for S&P 500 profitability and that earnings growth in the year should come from more cyclical sectors like industrials, consumer discretionary, and materials.
Charlie’s Finance Articles October 2020
Here are the latest finance articles grabbing our attention this month at Fort Pitt Capital Group:
“Wall Street versus Main Street: Why the disconnect?” comes from McKinsey & Company. The basis of valuations, the market’s composition, and investors’ expectations are keeping the U.S. stock market standing in the face of real economic turmoil.
For our second article, we look to Yahoo! Finance for, “Biden’s plan to overhaul 401(k) tax breaks could force some companies to cut retirement benefits.” The former vice president wants to level the playing field of tax deferral in traditional retirement accounts. His proposal would benefit people in the lowest two tax brackets, but millions of people could lose plans as a result.
Our next article, “Companies are changing the language in their quarterly reports to appeal to algos,” comes from ZeroHedge. Public companies are figuring out how to talk when a machine is listening. They are changing how they communicate their financial filings and quarterly reports to appeal to artificial intelligence.
And we’ll wrap it up with Wolf Street’s, “Synchrony Financial disclosed radical work-from-home plan, layoffs, and ‘office footprint’ reduction.” Another major company has announced plans for all employees to work from home and even require some employees to work from home permanently.
Charlie’s Finance Articles September 2020
Hello, fall! Here are Fort Pitt Capital Group’s latest finance articles as we welcome some cooler temps:
“Demand is Insane”: NYC movers turn people away, suburban & rural housing snagged up, as big city COVID – exodus accelerates comes from ZeroHedge. Americans are getting out of more expensive real estate meccas like New York and heading to suburbs and rural areas like Vermont.
Our second article, “The wild ride of the FANGMANTIS stocks v. rest of market” comes from Wolf Street. If you look at the Wilshire 5000 index and take out the 10 giant tech stocks, it essentially hasn’t done anything of note for three years.
ZeroHedge also supplies our next article, “Down-to-Earth- aspects of the U.S. economy in near-real-time.” Seated diners are down 49% through September from last year, the air passenger count entering U.S. airport security is down more than 68%, and office occupancy is down 75.4%.
We’re finishing up with an article from Bloomberg, “U.S.-China investment slumps as ties sour, report says. Two-way investment between the U.S. and China reached its lowest level in about nine years during the first six months of 2020.
Charlie’s Finance Articles August 2020
As summer starts to wind down, we’re sharing Fort Pitt Capital Group’s latest finance articles for the month:
Our first article, “Work-from-home unleashes nightmares for office landlords & surrounding businesses. Global Banks at the forefront,” comes from Wolf Street. Global banks are among the first to make changes for their workforce and shift to a long-term work-from-home model. While this transition is for the safety of those who can work from home, commercial property owners may face occupancy difficulties as a result.
“Why Trump is likely to win again” is our next article from The Journal Blog. Swing voters will be key for the winner of the 2020 election. The “New Democratic” party doesn’t appeal to the working class, which could be the difference-maker in November.
Wolf Street supplies our third article, “No payment, no problem: Bizarre new world of consumer debt,” which highlights the unusual occurrence of loan deferral or forbearance. Due to the unprecedented times we’re facing, lenders are allowing borrowers to ask for a deferral or forbearance, and it won’t count as delinquent if consumers can’t make payments on time.
“Manhattan apartment rents plunge 10% in pandemic-field exodus” is our next article from Bloomberg.com, detailing the weakness in Manhattan’s rental market as city-dwellers flee to the suburbs and other boroughs. Data shows that rents declined while vacancies increased significantly over the last few months.
Finally, Wolf Street’s “Foot traffic to ‘place of commerce,’ office occupancy hit by Covid reassurance, persistent work-from-home: Real-time data,” completes this month’s list. Real-time data trackers showcase average daily visits to “points of interest” to understand foot traffic patterns in large metros. This reveals that we are below levels of “normal” compared to January’s data.