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The Best of What They Said and I Read Week Ending 6/30/2019

Short excerpts from articles I found interesting.  I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice

U.S. Global Investors - Investor Alert – June 28, 2019 – Frank Holmes 

  • “…The major market indices finished mostly down this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.45 percent. The S&P 500 Stock Index fell 0.54 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.32 percent. The Russell 2000 small capitalization index gained 1.11 percent this week…The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 5 basis points to 2.00 percent.”

  • “…Amazon continues to add options for its customers to receive their packages, reports CNBC, and on Thursday the company added another alternative for U.S. customers. The new option is called Counter and will allow customers to pick up packages at pharmacy Rite Aid…California's governor warned Facebook, YouTube and other social media giants that government regulation is coming. Governor Gavin Newsom cautioned the tech industry of impending federal regulation in a recent interview with Axios. Additionally, a U.S. Senator asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to "take all necessary steps" to ensure YouTube is held accountable for violating children privacy laws.” YouTube is reportedly under investigation by the FTC for its handling of children's videos and could face fines for breaking children's privacy laws.”

  • “…Thanks to sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, U.S. oil has gained a larger foothold in Asian markets, and specifically China, the world’s biggest consumer. According to Bloomberg, American oil exports to China surged nearly 65 percent from April to May, while exports to South Korea were three times as much from the same time a year ago. “It’s the U.S. intention to fill the supply gap of sanctioned supplies from Iran and Venezuela,” commented Guo Chaohui, an analyst at China International Capital. In related news, the U.S. is projected to account for around a quarter of world oil and gas production by the early 2030s as fracking technology improves, according to Rystad Energy and reported by Bloomberg. The combined U.S. output from shale of crude oil, condensate and natural gas liquids could reach as much as 25 million barrels per day.”

  • “…Bitcoin set a new price high for 2019, reaching as high as $11,304 in early trading on Monday (and going as high as $13,700 mid-week), reports CoinDesk, before conceding a short-term period of profit taking. According to the article, this year’s bull run for the cryptocurrency is likely a combination of traders buying into their own fear-of-missing-out (FOMO) as well as institutions chasing the tail end announcement of Facebook’s project Libra.”

Bloomberg BusinessWeek – Can You Trust A Libra? - June 24, 2019

  • “…When Facebook Inc. recently unveiled Libra, its long-awaited cryptocurrency, the company used the announcement as a chance to convey just how much care has gone into the digital asset.  David Marcus, the former PayPal Holdings Inc. president who’s the social network’s blockchain boss, said at a June 11 preview held under the vaulted ceilings of the old San Francisco Mint that libra was a unit of measure in ancient Rome and is the astrological symbol for balance and justice.   “Freedom, justice, money,” Marcus said.   “Basically everything we this endeavor to become.” 

  • “Whatever the spin, once the currency becomes available in the first half of 2020, Facebook will collect more consumer data and dig deeper into its user’s digital lives.  As it continues to apologize for the many ways it’s breached people’s trust, the company is asking users to take a huge leap of faith on Libra.”…Regulatory pressure on Facebook has never been greater.  The Federal Trade Commission is finalizing an investigation into its privacy practices, which the company has said could lead to a fine of up to $5 billion.”

The Wall Street Journal – June 28, 2019 – S&P 500 Posts Best First Half in 22 Years – Connie Driebusch

  • “Stocks notched solid gains in the second quarter thanks to a perceived shift in the Federal Reserve’s appetite for interest-rate cuts, extending a rally that propelled the S&P 500 to record highs.  The benchmark overcame an escalation in the U.S.-China trade fight to close Friday up 17% so far this year, its best first-half performance since 1997. That prolonged the more than a decade long bull market for stocks and erased steep losses that jarred investors at the end of last year.”

  • “…During the second quarter, more than 60% of the companies in the Dow industrials and the S&P 500 rose, with technology firms notching some of the biggest gains. Tech stocks were on a roller-coaster ride during the period as their profits tend to rely heavily on demand from China for their goods…It wasn’t until April that the S&P 500 climbed back to its October 2018 highs. The Dow industrials remain 0.9% below their record, also set in October.”

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