Arnold Palmer died last night at 87. For those readers who never saw Arnold Palmer hit a competitive golf ball and believe that Tiger and Phil are the “old guys” of golf, please watch one of the tributes to golf’s first superstars and its greatest ambassador. Although he didn’t win the most tournaments or even win every major title, Arnold Palmer advanced the popularity of professional golf more than any other by bringing the sport to the masses with his appealing style of go-for-broke play and late round “Charges”. He was appropriately nicknamed “The King.” “The King” is dead and we will likely never see another like him.
He was a huge business success during and after his professional career ended. He was the first to earn $1 million in tour earnings, but he surpassed that by a factor of 100 in endorsements and his golf course design business. Outside of golf, he endorsed products he actually enjoyed and used, which made him a genuine pitchman. Investors can learn from this as well. Trade what you know is an old recommendation from Wall St. legend Peter Lynch. This still serves investors well today.
Last week, we had the much anticipated September FOMC (Federal Reserve Open Market Committee) meeting and though there were dissenting governors the decision was made to leave the overnight Fed Funds interest rate range unchanged at 25-50 basis points. The markets responded favorably gaining about 1% for the week and the tech heavy Nasdaq composite average actually closed at a new all-time high on Thursday. Weakness on Friday has carried over to Monday’s pre-market session as futures are indicating a weaker open this morning.
The big event this week is tonight’s eagerly anticipated first Presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. If nothing else, it should be entertaining, with the uncertainty of what might come out of his or her mouth. It is very unclear what the actual market impact of tonight’s theater will be, though I bet whatever the market direction Tuesday holds will be attributed to Monday night’s blunders or successes.
On Tuesday, an OPEC and Russia meeting in Algeria begins and the talks may have an impact on oil prices and energy companies – rumors of agreements on production cuts cause rallies while no agreements sends crude prices lower. API Oil Inventory numbers will be released after the market close Tuesday afternoon. This meeting will conclude on Wednesday.
Janet Yellen, the Fed chair, also will be on stage this week with testimony before Congress on Wednesday. This testimony is on supervision and regulation rather than on sharing her economic outlook, so the market’s reaction is expected to be muted.
The 3rd quarter of the calendar year comes to a close on Friday which means earnings season will begin in earnest shortly thereafter. Also, September, which has historically been the worst month for market returns, will come to a close. Sure enough, after a summer of very little volatility, September did provide some “excitement” midmonth with 1% daily moves. For the month, however, we are only about 1% lower.
Get the popcorn and have fun with the debates tonight!
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