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The Best of What They Said and I Read Week Ending 7/21/2019

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 – July 19, 2019 – Frank Holmes 

  • “…The major market indices finished down this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.65 percent. The S&P 500 Stock Index fell 1.23 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.18 percent. The Russell 2000 small capitalization index lost 1.41 percent this week…The 10-year Treasury bond yield fell 7 basis points to 2.047 percent.”

  • “…Microsoft blew away Wall Street estimates in its most recent quarter, growing its revenue by 12 percent from last year…Netflix was the worst performing stock for the week, falling 15.58 percent.  Netflix lost more than $15 billion of its market cap after suffering a decline in U.S. subscribers, the first since 2011.

  • “…Stocks are dropping as traders worry about the US-China trade war, Iran tensions and weak earnings. "We have a long way to go as far as tariffs where China is concerned," President Donald Trump said on Wednesday, adding his administration was willing to extend tariffs to another $325 billion worth of Chinese goods.  China’s portfolio of U.S. bonds, notes and bills fell by $2.8 billion to $1.11 trillion in May, according to Treasury Department data released Tuesday in Washington. As Bloomberg reports, this marks the third straight month of declines, leaving the nation’s holdings at the smallest since May 2017 amid an escalation of the trade war between the world’s two largest economies. China is still the largest creditor to the U.S., followed by Japan.”

  • “…The population of central, eastern and southeastern Europe, excluding Turkey, will decline by 12 percent by 2050 due to aging and migration, according to Tao Zhang, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Labor forces may also be reduced by 25 percent at the end of the same period, says Zhang citing new IMF research. This means that the working population will have to support more than twice the number of elderly people than it currently does. These demographic challenges could significantly slow economic growth. A shrinking labor supply and lower productivity of older workers, together with greater pressure on public finances, could cost countries about 1 percent of GDP per year according to the IMF.”

  • “…On Thursday, bitcoin surged by $1,000 in as little as 20 minutes during U.S. trading, reports CoinDesk. The move pushed the leading digital currency from $9,335 to a high of $10,400…Bitcoin lost nearly a third of its value this week after trading above $13,000, with much of the blame falling on Congress’ scrutiny over Facebook’s proposed Libra coin, according to the Wall Street Journal. The world’s largest crypto fell as much as 13 percent on Tuesday, its worst one-day drop of 2019. Enthusiasm about Libra drove much of bitcoin’s earlier rally, the hope being that it would usher in widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies. Since Facebook made the announcement, however, the criticism has been pointed and varied, coming from high-ranking members of Congress, the Federal Reserve chairman, the Treasury secretary and even the president himself. In a press conference on Monday, Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin went so far as to call cryptocurrencies a “national security issue.”

The Wall Street Journal – July 20 – 21, 2019 – The Business Week In 7 Stocks – Francesca Fontana

  • “Netflix Inc. -10%.  The number of people subscribing to Netflix in the U.S. has declined for the first time in nearly a decade, the company said in its most recent quarterly report late Wednesday.  Netflix lost 130,000 domestic subscribers over three months.  The streaming giant will also soon face a range of new rival services from Walt Disney Co., Apple Inc., AT&T Inc’s WarnerMedia and Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal.  These competitors are also starting to pull their content from Netflix as NBC did to “The Office” and WarnerMedia did to “Friends.”  Netflix shares fell 10% Thursday.”

The Bay City Times – July 12, 2019 – Robot Umpires’ debut in independent league

  • “Robot umpires” have arrived.  The independent Atlantic League became the first American professional baseball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at its All-Star Game.  Plate umpire Brian deBrauwere wore an earpiece connected to an iPhone in his pocket and relayed the call upon receiving it from a TrackMan computer system that uses Doppler radar...”

  • “He crouched in his normal positon behind the catcher and called balls and strikes.  It didn’t appear deBrauwere had any delay in receiving the calls at first but players noticed a delay at times.  Infielder L.J. Mazzilli said a few times hitters who struck out lingered an extra second or so in the batter’s box waiting on a called third strike…The umpires have the ability to override the computer…”

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