Americans Pull Together

Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane early yesterday. It later hit Marco Island as a Category 3. And at writing it continues as a tropical storm near Jacksonville.

Despite wind, rain and flooding, both Miami and Tampa were largely spared the worst effects of the storm. That said, 5.7 million Floridians are without electricity this morning.

Today’s the 16-year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

As you remember from that day 16 years ago, and as you’ll see again in the response to Hurricane Irma, how Americans pull together and respond to adversity is one of our defining characteristics as a nation.

Now, to the markets. Here’s your Rundown for Monday, September 11, 2017…

Equifax Hack – What You Need To Know

The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and all the major tech sites are trying to make sense of the massive data breach at credit rating and reporting firm Equifax.

Estimates are 44% of the American population, some 143 million people, could have had data like driver’s license information, birth dates, or social security numbers exposed in the hack.

Even “better”, seems Equifax followed the typical data breach response playbook to a T.

The company knew of the breach some time ago, but said nothing.

The company also put a binding arbitration clause in the fine print of an offer on their website for free credit monitoring for anyone who came seeking more information on the breach.

The company claimed Friday the arbitration clause had nothing to do with the data breach. But consumers weren’t convinced.

The Washington Post reports Equifax removed the arbitration language from their site entirely mid-afternoon yesterday.

Either way, the impending class action lawsuit Equifax faces will be ugly.

The theme is now clear. Your data is not safe. Target, Sony, Home Depot, Citibank, and more have all been “victims” of cyberattacks in recent years.

Of course, the real victims are American consumers. Our “personal” information, the very basis of our financial lives, is constantly under assault.

Password strength and variation, as always, is just the first step to protecting yourself. How a company handles your information, that’s out of your control. The best you can do is monitor your credit and look for red flags.

Should we as consumers demand better?

The market impact of the Equifax breach:

Euifax stock chart

Returning to the “snapback” idea from Friday’s Rundown, you might wait a bit for Equifax to settle. This drop could get worse before it gets better.

Market Rundown for Monday, September 11

S&P 500 futures are up 11.75 at writing this morning, plus 0.48%. Oil’s at $47.76, down about $1 since Friday.

Gold’s down $11.60 at $1,339. Bloomberg reports this morning China’s banning domestic bitcoin exchanges in a “clampdown on risk.”

Keep an eye on cryptocurrency volatility in the days ahead.

Finally today, Apple’s reveal of up to three new iPhone models takes place tomorrow.

There’s the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, as well as the rumored “iPhone X” which could cost $1,000 and have a variety of never-before-seen features.

If you’ll believe it, a data leak is responsible for some of the ahead-of-the-news speculation surrounding the new iPhone release.

CNBC has a good wrap up this morning about how Apple’s stock can soar on excitement of a new product launch, or drop if the “reveal” underwhelms.

Does a hot new iPhone still move the needle? We’re about to find out.

Talk to you again on Wednesday, September 13.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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