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Has Apple Fanned the Flames That a Global Economic Slowdown Has Really Begun?

The big business news this morning seems to be news on Apple from where an announcement was made that expected sales in the first quarter of 2019 might be softer than previously forecast ... fanning the flames (as if this fire needed fanning) for those with the view that a global economic slowdown has begun.

As this stock takes up the second largest position in the S&P Index, makes up almost 5% of the Dow, and is ... by far ... the holding having the largest effect on the NASDAQ ... a 9% decline (as it is seeing right now) is having a big effect on U.S. markets. And this is even before other stocks ... which could suffer if an economic slowdown has indeed arrived ... decline in sympathy.

So, should you head for the hills? Not according to Jeremy Siegel who tells us 2019 will actually be a good year for equities. It might be important to note he is not always a raging bull, as I remember that at some point last year he called for caution.

We have entered day 13 of the partial government shutdown and it is being reported that there is "no end in sight" as both parties have promised to stick to their stated positions. This is the sixth "shut down" lasting longer than 10 days ... with the record being 21 back in 1995-1996.

Related: A Rocky Start and Why You Should Ignore the Early “Experts”

Let's hope cooler heads prevail as much has been written about families living paycheck-to-paycheck. You can be sure some federal workers - whose pay has been temporarily halted - fall into this camp.

... but it is not only federal workers affected. What about the goods they buy (which are put off for now) ... or the services they use? Here's an article that claims home sales might be negatively affected as purchases (and sales) are delayed since income verification is nearly impossible with IRS offices closed.

Who is to blame? Probably us.

We have allowed ourselves to have leaders of substantial means, many who are not affected by the halting of a few paychecks ... in fact, members of congress still get theirs.

I feel that every day the government is shut down our elected leaders should ... not only receive no paycheck ... but should face a substantial "fine" ... for playing a game of chicken with people's lives.

China just landed a ship on the dark side of the moon .

With apologies to Pink Floyd ... I certainly wish some politicians were on board.