April 22nd Market Commentary

April 22, 2019

The Markets

And the answer is…

A Jeopardy! contestant captured the nation’s attention last week by setting multiple records for the most money earned in a single episode. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has been setting some records, too.

Michael Mackenzie of Financial Times explained:

“Less than four months through the year, the S&P 500 including the reinvestment of dividends has returned to record territory, along with the technology sector…Around the world, many benchmarks enjoy double-digit gains, led by China’s CSI 300 index, having risen more than a third already during 2019.”

Pessimism about economic growth prospects has kept institutional investors – including professional money managers whose performance is typically evaluated quarterly – on the sidelines. As a result, despite a “market-friendly shift by central banks and an expansion in China’s credit growth that laid the ground for a rebound in activity,” they have missed out on some significant gains.

Financial Times suggested when institutional investors begin moving money into stock markets, we could see the market ‘melt up.’ A melt up occurs when valuations surge for reasons that have little to do with improving fundamentals and a lot to do with investors rushing into a market because they fear missing out on gains.

Investors seeking safe havens could temper any gains from institutional investors entering the market. Jack Hough of Barron’s suggested investors ignore safe havens, even though stock valuations remain high. He wrote, “…elevated prices don’t rule out more gains. The S&P 500 was this expensive at the end of 2016. It has returned 36 percent since.”

Some will take those words as encouragement, others as a warning. No matter which camp you are in, it may be a good time to have a carefully diversified portfolio.

 

WHAT DO YOU THINK? A special item went up for sale on a popular online market, last week. It’s a 15-foot, 68 million-year-old skeleton of a juvenile Tyrannosaurus rex, according to The Washington Post. The ‘buy it now’ price is $2,950,000, which puts it beyond the budgets of most people, as well as many museums and universities.

The listing sparked lively debate.

The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology responded to the sale with a letter stating:

“The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology is concerned because the fossil, which represents a unique part of life’s past, may be lost from the public trust, and because its owner used the specimen’s scientific importance, including its exhibition status at [Kansas University], as part of his advertising strategy. These events undermine the scientific process for studying past life as well as the prospect for future generations to share the natural heritage of our planet.”

It’s a bit of a conundrum since many museums and universities rely on fossil hunters for specimens.

A paper in The Journal of Paleontological Sciences explained:

“The commercial fossil business has led to an abundance of paleontological discoveries and has resulted in that industry becoming a leader in museum fossil preparation, restoration, and mounts. This, in turn, has motivated many museum directors and trustees to turn to the fossil industry to acquire noteworthy and exciting specimens. This is often frugal and necessary especially when many museums do not have the staff or ability to mount collecting expeditions, create and house a preparation facility, or hire a fully trained and educated staff.”

The Washington Post interviewed the fossil hunter, who indicated, “…he has given scientists and the public ample access to the T. rex these past two years. Now, he contends, he deserves to be compensated. [The owner of the T-rex skeleton] has yet to receive an offer but says that he’s heard from prospects all over the world and that some people have even asked about shipping costs.”

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”
--Joseph Joubert, French philosopher and essayist

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.npr.org/2019/04/19/715266647/james-holzhauer-is-shattering-records-in-the-world-of-jeopardy
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/sp-500-records-seventh-straight-gain-longest-winning-streak-in-18-months-2019-04-05
https://www.ft.com/content/6670a2b8-6113-11e9-b285-3acd5d43599e (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-22-19_FinancialTimes-Lure_of_Melt-Up_Trade_Leaves_Holdouts_in_Tough_Spot-Footnote_3.pdf)
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/melt-up.asp
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-near-highs-defensive-havens-risk-missing-out-51555706775?mod=hp_DAY_2 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-22-19_Barrons-As_Stocks_Near_Their_Highs_Resist_the_Call_of_These_Safe_Havens-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/04/19/you-can-buy-baby-t-rex-skeleton-ebay-million-scientists-would-rather-you-didnt/?utm_term=.6be279736124 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-22-19_TheWashingtonPost-You_Can_Buy_a_Baby_T_Rex_Skeleton_for_3_Million_Dollars-Footnote_6.pdf)
http://vertpaleo.org/GlobalPDFS/SVP_response_juvenile_Tyrannosaurus.aspx
https://www.aaps-journal.org/Fossil-Dealer-Contributions.html
https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/joseph_joubert_377081?src=t_debate

 

April 15th Market Commentary

April 15, 2019

The Markets

Investors took an intermission.

The curtain appeared to close on the first act of 2019 last week – and what an impressive act it was. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index delivered some dramatic returns and is less than 1 percent away from a new all-time high.

Despite relatively few shares changing hands, major U.S. indices eked out gains. Ben Levisohn of Barron’s explained:

“Trading volume was tepid at best. This past Monday, fewer shares changed hands than on any day since December 24 – when the market closed early for Christmas. Tuesday’s volume was lower than Monday’s, Wednesday’s was lower than Tuesday’s, and...well, you get the point. That was just another sign that no one wanted to place any big bets on the market this past week – in either direction.”

Investors were complacent even though news suggested trade talks with China were progressing well. They remained unruffled in the face of a Presidential tweet suggesting the United States will impose tariffs on Europe in retaliation for illegal subsidies to a European aerospace firm.

There was another interesting development in the United States last week. It was widely reported that a number of companies in retail and banking sectors increased entry-level hourly wages to levels well above the national minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The companies are paying $13 to $20 an hour, according to Renae Merle of The Washington Post and a report from Reuters.

That is good news for workers, but not such good news for investors since higher wages could lead to lower corporate profits, reported Joe Wallace and Akane Otani of The Wall Street Journal.

 

THOUGHT REQUIRED. People make everyday decisions based on the information they possess at any given moment, explained The Economist. As understanding of an issue changes, so do the decisions people make.

For example, a lot of people dislike plastic grocery bags. Many shoppers choose to take cloth bags to the grocery store rather than use plastic bags provided by the store. In fact, some 240 cities and counties have laws that ban or tax plastic bags, according to Planet Money, and there is a national movement afoot to ban the bags.

However, the economics of plastic grocery bags is not as straightforward as many believe. Banning plastic bags appears to be an effective solution to a serious environmental issue. Unfortunately, it is not. An Australian economist studied the effects of plastic bag bans and discovered bans helped and hurt the environment:

The good news: Cities with bans used fewer plastic bags, and 40 of those cities generated about 40 million fewer pounds of plastic trash annually.

The bad news: Sales of plastic garbage bags increased by 120 percent after the ban, possibly because people reused grocery bags to line trashcans and clean up after dogs. Since trash bags are made of heavier plastic than grocery bags, about 30 percent of the plastic trash gains associated with the bans were lost.

In addition, paper bag use rose, creating 80 million pounds of paper trash annually. Paper is biodegradable and can be composted; however, producing paper bags requires water, fuel, and trees, so that should be considered as well, reported Stanford Magazine.

A separate study conducted by the Danish government found, “The most environment-friendly way to carry groceries is to use the same bag over and over again…the best reusable ones are made from polyester or plastics like polypropylene.”

Weekly Focus – Think About It

Monday, April 15 is tax day in the United States. Below is an excerpt from a radio show:

“Vanek Smith: Joe and his California tax team are eating lunch and talking shop. And they tell Joe they have this idea, an idea they think would save California a bunch of money and time and help taxpayers. They say, most people in California have really simple taxes. They get all of their income from a regular paycheck, and taxes are already withheld from those paychecks.

Bankman: So their idea was – why don't we start off giving them a tax return that's already filled out with the income we know they have? And then they can make corrections on it. That was their idea…

Vanek Smith: So they did a pilot program in California. In the 2004 tax season, they sent [completed forms] out to about 11,000 taxpayers along with this little survey.

Bankman: So we asked people, do you think you'd like to use this again next year? And 99 percent of the people said yes. Ninety-nine percent of people don't say yes to anything.”
--Joseph Bankman, Stanford Professor of Law and Business and Stacey Vanek Smith, Planet Money radio host

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/stocks-near-record-highs-as-investors-sit-tight-51555121334?mod=hp_DAY_3 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-15-19_Barrons-Stocks_Near_Record_Highs_as_Investors_Sit_Tight-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/us/politics/boeing-airbus-tariffs.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/04/12/jamie-dimon-defends-jpmorgan-chases-an-hour-minimum-wage-says-its-not-an-arms-race/?utm_term=.4f16708d86ab
https://www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/target-raises-minimum-wage-13-hour-tight-labor-market-n990866
https://www.wsj.com/articles/investors-brace-for-hit-to-profits-as-costs-rise-11554283800 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-15-19_WSJ-Investors_Brace_for_Hit_to_Profits_as_Costs_Rise-Footnote_5.pdf)
https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2019/04/04/simple-interactions-can-have-unpredictable-consequences (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-15-19_TheEconomist-Simple_Interactions_Can_Have_Unpredictable_Consequences-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.npr.org/sections/money/2019/04/09/711181385/are-plastic-bag-bans-garbage
https://stanfordmag.org/contents/paper-plastic-or-reusable?utm_source=npr_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20190408&utm_campaign=money&utm_term=nprnews
https://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=521132960

 

April 8th Market Commentary

April 8, 2019

The Markets

The first quarter of 2019 brought a welcome reversal.

Last year, Barron’s published a group of market strategists’ expectations for 2019 performance. The article came out in mid-December, before the steep year-end stock market decline. At that time, all of the strategists agreed: The S&P 500 Index would move higher during 2019.

Their expectations appeared to be wildly optimistic when the Index lost 3.5 percent during the last two weeks of 2018, and finished the year down 6.2 percent.

Overall, at the end of 2018, strategists expected the Index to reach 2,975 by year-end 2019. Despite starting 2019 at a lower level than many anticipated, the Index finished last week at 2,892, a gain of about 15.4 percent year-to-date, and 83 points from strategists’ full-year performance expectations.

While the U.S. stock market has delivered attractive returns year-to-date, suggesting investors anticipate strong economic growth ahead, the bond market has been telling a different story.

Late in the first quarter, the yield curve inverted, which means the yield on short-term Treasury bonds was higher than the yield on long-term Treasury bonds. Inverted yield curves are unusual because investors normally want to earn a higher yield when they lend their savings for longer periods of time.

In some cases, inverted yield curves have been a sign that recession is ahead. That may not be the case this time, reported Eva Szalay of Financial Times. It seems the extreme measures taken by central banks following the financial crisis may have undermined the yield curve’s predictive value:

“…according to a new piece of research from Pictet Wealth Management, the curve has been sending out misleading signals for a while. The distortions created by extraordinary post-crisis monetary policies have led to the breakdown in the relationship between interest rate expectations and economic growth, the firm argues…Since central banks have injected vast amounts of liquidity into their respective economies to compensate for lackluster growth, long-term interest rates have become artificially compressed…So the old rule no longer applies.”

The yield curve has since righted itself.

While recession may not be imminent, there are signs economies around the world are growing more slowly. Capital Economics reported, “World GDP [gross domestic product] growth seems to have slowed sharply in Q1, but the latest business surveys suggest that growth has bottomed out in some parts of the world at least…there are very few signs of improvement in the euro-zone and the United States has clearly been suffering from previous interest rate hikes and the fading fiscal boost. Those hoping for an imminent rebound in global growth are therefore likely to be disappointed.”

Slowing growth isn’t a sign recession is imminent in the United States. Last week’s jobs report suggests the American economy is still healthy, reported Tim Mullaney of MarketWatch, even if it is puttering along at a slower pace than many would like.

EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT – REALLY IMPORTANT – BUT DON’T GET TOO MUCH. Researchers tested the relationship between mental health and exercise by collecting self-reported data from 1.2 million Americans. They discovered exercise – including everything from childcare and housework to weight lifting and running – can improve mental health.

Americans who were active tended to be happier and experienced poor mental health about 35 days a year. In contrast, those who remained inactive felt bad emotionally about 53 days a year, reported Entrepreneur.com. Exercising in a social setting – team sports, classes, and group cycling, for instance – appeared to deliver the biggest mental health benefits.

The study’s findings indicated it might be possible to exercise too much. “Exercising for 30-60 minutes was associated with the biggest reduction in poor mental health days…Small reductions were still seen for people who exercised more than 90 minutes a day, but exercising for more than three hours a day was associated with worse mental health than not exercising at all. The authors note that people doing extreme amounts of exercise might have obsessive characteristics which could place them at greater risk of poor mental health.”

If you’re not exercising regularly, you may want to find ways to include it in your day.

Weekly Focus – Think About It

“I have always tried to put my kids first, and then…put myself a really close second, as opposed to fifth or seventh. One thing that I've learned from male role models is that they don't hesitate to invest in themselves, with the view that, if I'm healthy and happy, I'm going to be a better support to my spouse and children. And I've found that to be the case: Once my kids were settled, the next thing I did was take care of my own health and sanity. And made sure that I was exercising and felt good about myself. I'd bring that energy to everything else that I did, the career, relationship, on and on and on.”
--Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States

* These views are those of Carson Coaching, and not the presenting Representative or the Representative’s Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice.
* This newsletter was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer.
* Government bonds and Treasury Bills are guaranteed by the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest and, if held to maturity, offer a fixed rate of return and fixed principal value. However, the value of fund shares is not guaranteed and will fluctuate.
* Corporate bonds are considered higher risk than government bonds but normally offer a higher yield and are subject to market, interest rate and credit risk as well as additional risks based on the quality of issuer coupon rate, price, yield, maturity, and redemption features.
* The Standard & Poor's 500 (S&P 500) is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. You cannot invest directly in this index.
* All indexes referenced are unmanaged. Unmanaged index returns do not reflect fees, expenses, or sales charges. Index performance is not indicative of the performance of any investment.
* The Dow Jones Global ex-U.S. Index covers approximately 95% of the market capitalization of the 45 developed and emerging countries included in the Index.
* The 10-year Treasury Note represents debt owed by the United States Treasury to the public. Since the U.S. Government is seen as a risk-free borrower, investors use the 10-year Treasury Note as a benchmark for the long-term bond market.
* Gold represents the afternoon gold price as reported by the London Bullion Market Association. The gold price is set twice daily by the London Gold Fixing Company at 10:30 and 15:00 and is expressed in U.S. dollars per fine troy ounce.
* The Bloomberg Commodity Index is designed to be a highly liquid and diversified benchmark for the commodity futures market. The Index is composed of futures contracts on 19 physical commodities and was launched on July 14, 1998.
* The DJ Equity All REIT Total Return Index measures the total return performance of the equity subcategory of the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) industry as calculated by Dow Jones.
* The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), commonly known as “The Dow,” is an index representing 30 stock of companies maintained and reviewed by the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
* The NASDAQ Composite is an unmanaged index of securities traded on the NASDAQ system.
* International investing involves special risks such as currency fluctuation and political instability and may not be suitable for all investors. These risks are often heightened for investments in emerging markets.
* Yahoo! Finance is the source for any reference to the performance of an index between two specific periods.
* Opinions expressed are subject to change without notice and are not intended as investment advice or to predict future performance.
* Economic forecasts set forth may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.
* Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investing involves risk, including loss of principal.
* You cannot invest directly in an index.
* Stock investing involves risk including loss of principal.
* The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee it is accurate or complete.
* There is no guarantee a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
* Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
* Consult your financial professional before making any investment decision.

Sources:
https://www.barrons.com/articles/u-s-stocks-could-rally-more-than-10-in-2019-51544837183 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-08-19_Barrons-2019_Outlook-US_Stocks_Could_Rally_About_10_Percent-Footnote_1.pdf)
https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/^GSPC?p=^GSPC (Historical data)
https://www.macrotrends.net/2488/sp500-10-year-daily-chart
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/22/the-rally-got-mugged-by-economic-realities-and-a-global-slowdown.html
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/i/invertedyieldcurve.asp
https://www.ft.com/content/15d4048e-552f-11e9-91f9-b6515a54c5b1 (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-08-19_FinancialTimes-Why_the_Yield_Curve_is_Not_the_Economic_Guide_It_Once_Was-Footnote_6.pdf)
https://www.capitaleconomics.com/publications/global-economics/global-economics-chart-book/divergent-surveys-offer-limited-hope/ (or go to https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/peakcontent/+Peak+Commentary/04-08-19_CapitalEconomics-Global_Economics_Chart_Book-Footnote_7.pdf)
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-jobs-report-nails-it-its-a-slowdown-not-a-recession-2019-04-05
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(18)30227-X/fulltext
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/08/180808193656.htm
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/331696
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221503661830227X
https://www.glamour.com/story/michelle-obama