A Salute to all the Moms!

Happy Mother’s Day!

If there was ever a year to go over the top to celebrate mom, this is the one.

This year I will get to see my mother in person, go out to a restaurant and not worry about killing her. What a difference a year makes.

Speaking of the differences a year makes, a huge shout out to all the working moms. The struggles you went through this past year were enough to make a professional juggler envious. If the role of mother wasn't challenging enough, the new work/home balance thrust upon you was unimaginable, yet somehow you made it work.

Every story and situation is different and each one is amazing in its own right. My wife, a working mother of three teenagers left the workforce. In fact, I begged her to do so. It wasn’t the ideal time for us, but as parents it’s never about “us”.

We needed mom, and thankfully she returned home full-time to run the most important business - the family. With remote schooling in place, we needed structure. The empty house and Zoom classes weren’t providing that. Besides, there was an emotional toll that each kid was experiencing in their own unique way.

In fact, it’s that emotional toll that will be the fodder of so many books years from now. The classes of 2020 and 2021 will never see things the way others do. Imagine losing the biggest memories of your life. No normal graduation and parties, no prom, no cafeteria conversations or ways to see your friends to just vent about your day. Heck, I still talk about my senior year of high school regularly… did I ever tell you I won a crew national championship? True, but I digress…

In our case, mom leaving the workforce was a great thing. Based on recent economic numbers, apparently, we weren’t the only ones feeling that way. On Friday, we got the much anticipated April jobs report. Analysts were expecting to add 1 million more jobs. I think they were shocked to see the actual report. Non-farm payrolls only increased by 266,000 and the March numbers were revised lower. It was the worst miss from analysts expectations since 1998.

This tells us a few things - one, these analysts need to step up their game. I say this half-joking, but did you see how bad their individual stock earnings estimates missed this quarter?

This was good for the markets because it puts immediate inflation and Fed tapering concerns off the table for now. A happy result was that both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at all-time highs.

Lastly, to my Mother’s Day point, who isn’t returning to the work force? One key group is the working mom.

We saw that number more than triple as Covid hit. It slowly decreased through the rest of 2020, but rose in January and then rose again in April by another 165,000 women. So as we try return to normal again, we still have a LONG way to go.

We need schools to reopen to full-time, in-person classes and provide support around that so parents can work before and after school. Employers also need to continue to offer remote situations to help the working parent.

Of course, us dads could always do more to pick up the slack. We may not say it enough and some may not admit it, but what you do is tougher than any normal job and we couldn’t fill your shoes. Sshh - let’s keep that our secret.

A huge thanks and salute to all the moms out there - especially mine who is still teaching kindergarten and has yet to leave the workforce. You truly are amazing and I love being your favorite child. :)

Follow Up…

NYC Re-Open - A Breakout in Turnstile Entries!!

The city is starting to come alive again. You can see and feel it, and the subway ridership numbers are backing it up.

This week we hit the highest ridership level since we went into lockdown. 857,200 people on May 6th! Yet, as you can see by the five year chart, we still have a long way to go.

NYSE lifts more restrictions…

I got a lot of calls this week about the re-open of the NYSE. Well, first off, we never closed. Secondly, the floor community has been back in limited, Covid restricted form since May 26th of 2020. But yes, starting Monday May 10th we take another step forward to a return to “normal”.

Vaccinated workers will be allowed back to the floor and remain socially distant and respectful of the floor Covid protocol. So our limited staffing numbers will increase. We will be allowed to eat in our workspaces and be mask free in those spaces. Once we leave our designed areas, we must wear our masks. So you will see brokers in trading areas still masked for now.

There will be more activity around bells and media. Some of your favorite financial media people will slowly be making their way back as well. They will have their own rules and protocol, but those live shots will start coming back.

It’s not a major milestone, but a great next step as we try to get back to life as we knew it.