Greetings from the sunny state of Florida, where I unexpectedly found myself back home instead of my planned initial destination of Barcelona. My decision to cancel the trip was due to an unforeseen issue related to my travel companion’s passport expiration and a recent adjustment in E.U. regulations. The European Union has recently extended its passport expiration requirement from three months to six months, which led to our unfortunate denial of boarding.
Regrettably, we only became aware of this issue upon our arrival in New York, resulting in what is commonly referred to as a “fruitless journey.” Despite this setback, I commend Delta for their exceptional assistance in arranging my return to Florida after a brief stopover in New York. Given my apprehensions about traveling alone or to Europe following my heart procedures last year, I decided to cancel my trip from Delta’s JFK SkyClub.
I share these details openly to inform everyone about the recent E.U. regulation change and to let you know that starting next year, travelers from the USA will require an E-Visa for entry into the E.U. I appreciate Delta’s generosity in dealing with the situation, even though they were not technically obliged to inform international travelers about this change.
Their service exceeded expectations, and I am truly grateful. Consequently, my anticipated extended trip has been curtailed, and I am back in familiar surroundings. I will provide more comprehensive insights and observations shortly. Perhaps this is the hand of fate, but that remains uncertain. I know that two of my former cruise companions are currently grappling with COVID-19 in California, which may be a hint to postponing my travel plans. Nevertheless, I plan to find an alternative way to take a break, just not this week.
Now, turning our attention to the financial markets: Friday witnessed some frustration as the S&P experienced a decline. This downturn was expected due to selling pressures preceding the first Jewish holidays and a degree of caution ahead of the upcoming FOMC meeting this week.
As I compose this, S&P futures have shown an increase of 8 points on Sunday evening. While we have previously voiced concerns about September’s risks, particularly about overvalued mega-cap stocks, the current situation does not appear excessively dramatic. It may evolve in that direction, but I remain skeptical at this stage, given the imminent FOMC meeting, during which the Federal Reserve’s intentions have not been communicated.
Nevertheless, I believe it would be prudent for them to pause and evaluate the situation. Inflationary pressures are evident across various sectors, which comes as no surprise, as my recent visit to New York also underscored. Some market turbulence may be expected in anticipation of the U.N. gathering this week, as my experience at JFK was far from smooth despite the presence of TSA and Clear.
Other noteworthy developments include an ongoing strike in the automotive industry, the upcoming FOMC meeting, and challenges in the semiconductor sector. During Saturday’s negotiations, positive progress has been made in discussions between automotive companies and the UAW, leading us to believe that disruptions may be less severe than initially feared. The market is expected to maintain stability, possibly oscillating, throughout the week despite my altered travel plans. In the energy sector, oil prices have steadied at $91 after a three-week rally.
Additionally, U.S. and Chinese officials are meeting in Malta to address their differences, an event that has received relatively little attention (I enjoyed my visit to Malta, with its rich history, particularly during World War II when the Luftwaffe’s repeated bombing attempts failed to dislodge the British). In New York City, climate protests are underway before the U.N. building ahead of the forthcoming gathering. I find solace in the fact that I am now back home, and I look forward to providing you with updates throughout the week, as per my usual routine.