News reached us on North Carolina’s Outer Banks of an unusual find in an Egyptian tomb. Archeologists discovered a “mysterious white substance” in pots from the burial site of Ptahmes, a 13th century B.C. official. Chemical analysis proved it was cheese.
Past Egyptologists have made similar findings. In 1942 one team reported something dating back to 3200 B.C that had “no smell and only a dusty taste.” Quite a contrast to explorations in our refrigerator after two weeks on vacation.
Setting the table for the post-Labor Day market, we see signs of better eating. For one thing, the economy continues to motor along. When we left for the beachy outback in mid-August (yes, it was hot), the street was fretting about the Turkish lira. Could that currency’s tailspin pull other emerging markets down with it, à la Russia 1998?
Three weeks later, the NASDAQ is over 8000 – a record high. The S&P and Dow are also close to historic tops. Consumer confidence is at an eighteen-year plateau. Interest rates remain range-bound with inflation still more phantom than reality. And all the trade noise seems to have caused minimal damage to valuations in general.