Reading List for the 4th of July weekend

Jul 03, 2020
Current Events, Economics, Investing, Personal Finance, Credit Scores

Here is your holiday weekend reading list—stay safe people!!!!



  • The economy added 4.8 million jobs through the week of June 12, higher than expected. (CNN) (New York Magazine) There are several reasons we shouldn’t yet be celebrating:
    • The economy is still down 14.7 million jobs        
    • Another 1.4 million filed for unemployment last week
    • Continuing unemployment claims are still at close to 20 million           
    • The alternative measure of “Core unemployment” ROSE from 5% to 5.9%
    • Folks that are working at random part-time jobs are counted here
    • Unemployment, regardless of the accuracy of the stated 11.1%, is still higher than at any point during the Great Recession
    • The surge in coronavirus has caused states to shut down many of the hospitality businesses since the time this figure was calculated. (WAPO



Stock markets, closed today in Observance of Independence Day, closed the week up. There has been much press about what is going on in the market.

  • The DJIA and S&P 500 had their best quarters in over 30 years. This first article looks at history to see if it can help predict what is next. (MarketWatch)
  • Tesla has a good quarter and boom! Its market value now tops Toyota and is the largest of all automakers. (CNBC)
  • What is the current thinking on portfolio management? Is the 60/40 rule obsolete?
  • JP Morgan is now dropping the 60/40 guideline. (Yahoo Finance)
  • Fortune looks at when to rebalance and diversify.
  • Of Dollars and Data looks at why gold is valuable.
  • Is it possible to save too much for retirement? Well, in fact it is! (Not sure many of us will get there though.) (MarketWatch)  


Personal Finance

  • Millennials, scarred by their experience living through the great recession, are steering their financial ship carefully during this pandemic. (CNBC) examines a TD Ameritrade survey on Covid-19’s impact on retirement savings, and provides anecdotes on how millennials are coping..



  • In 2019, almost 35% of Americans’ credit scores fell in the “sub prime” category, according to a survey by Experian. (I shudder to think what the pandemic will do to this statistic for 2020!) (CNBC Select)
  • Zip codes and student debt experience—more research explaining how student debt exacerbates the racial wealth divide. (MarketWatch)



  • The IRS will pay interest on refunds if paid late (after April 15). What you need to know from Acorns.

Higher Ed

  • Susan Dynarski published in the NYT Economic View column last Sunday, giving her take on the wisdom of brining college students back on campus.


Pandemic winners and losers this week

  • Anyone looking for a mortgage is a winner! 30 year mortgage rates hit an all-time low--again! (APNEWS)
  • If you are looking to rent an apartment in an expensive city, rents are dropping. This is not the case nation-wide, as people are looking to move elsewhere. (Zumper)
  • Mirror (think Peleton for workouts) is to be purchased by Lululemon. (Business Insider)
  • No more Segways! The company shuts down. What will happen to those Segway tours in big tourist cities! (Forbes)
  • The largest franchisee of Pizza Huts (and Wendy’s) files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. (CNBC)
  • Consumer fireworks sales are way up over last year as public displays are cancelled across the country. I know I have been hearing them for weeks now, often at 3am! Let’s see if the firework injury stats follow the rise. (CNN)
  • How are individuals faring during the Covid-19 pandemic? The Census Bureau publishes some data from its newest Household Pulse survey.


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