Short excerpts from articles I found interesting. I may not agree with the author and the following material is not intended as investment advice
- “…Valliere tells Barron’s: “The markets are starting to embrace the idea that Trump wins reelection. Most of the people in the markets don’t like him personally, but they like his policies.” Presidential elections normally don’t matter a lot to the markets, with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett regularly saying that he tunes out politics when making investment decisions.” “But the 2020 race could be different if the Democrats nominate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), who would probably rank as the most business-unfriendly candidate of a major party in a century. Warren, noted Dan Clifton, Strategas Reserarch Partners’ Washington chief, is “running against capitalism.” That might be an exaggeration, but she would like to eliminate private health insurers and break up the technology giants, while taking on the energy, drug, and banking industries.”
- “…It may not have been coincidental that the stock market rose for four consecutive sessions after the Democratic debate on June 27 before easing back on Friday after the June employment report. The data showed a larger-than-expected rise of 224,000 in nonfarm payrolls, which reduced what were already low odds that the Federal Reserve will reduce rates by a half- percentage point at its meeting in late July. The interest-rate futures markets are still putting a strong likelihood of a quarter-point cut then, which would put the federal-funds rate in a band of 2% to 2.25%.”
- “The S&P 500 rose 1.6%, to 2,990 this past week, finishing just shy of the historic 3,000 mark. The index, valued at 18 times projected 2019 operating earnings, isn’t cheap, but the economic, political, and rate backdrop looks favorable. A lot will happen before the 2020 elections, and Trump is mercurial. Clifton points out that the betting markets still favor the Democrats—as do the polls. But the markets can be better predictors, and they are sniffing a Trump victory.”
- “…The Depression turned me into a materialist. Years later, when I graduated from college, my attitude was: ‘Don’t bother me with philosophy. I want to make ten thousand a year by the time I’m twenty-five, and then I want to be a millionaire.’ I wasn’t interested in a snob degree; I was after the bucks.” That’s from the first chapter of Lee Iacocca’s best-selling autobiography, published in 1984. The larger-than-life auto executive, who gave the world the iconic Ford Mustang and later saved Chrysler from bankruptcy, died this week at the age of 94.
- Other notable milestones took place this week. For one, the current economic expansion reached a record 121 months. This is enough to beat the previous record-holder, the period between March 1991 and March 2001…Also of note is that, Amazon, another American success story, turned 25 years old. Jeff Bezos founded the book seller—now the world’s largest retailer, having surpassed Walmart—amazingly at a time when very few people even had access to the internet. Less than half a percent of the world’s population was online in 1994, according to the World Bank…For many investors, Amazon has been life-changing. A $100 investment in the company’s IPO in 1997 would have been worth a whopping $120,762 in August 2018, when its stock hit an all-time high of $2,039.
- “…The major market indices finished up this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.21 percent. The S&P 500 Stock Index rose 1.65 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.94 percent. The Russell 2000 small capitalization index gained 0.58 percent this week…The 10-year Treasury bond yield rose 3 basis points to 2.04 percent.…U.S. stocks closed on an all-time high on Wednesday, led by the technology and consumer sectors. For the S&P 500, it was the third straight record intraday high and second straight record close this week.”
- “…An association of U.S. retail giants, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, has backed calls for an antitrust investigation into Amazon and Google. The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) wrote to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with the demand, emphasizing the dominance they have over consumer data.”
The Kiplinger Letter – July 5, 2019
- “…The moon is the next “It” place, and its historic American sites are at risk, some lawmakers worry. China, Japan, Russia, the U.S. and private firms are all eyeing moon missions. Roving researchers, miners and space tourists threaten the Apollo 11 and 17 landing areas. They could disturb the footprints left by Neil Armstrong. Just flying spacecraft near the sites could kick up dirt that could erase them, or damage or obliterate other historical lunar treasures. Therefore, NASA has drafted nonbinding guidelines to protect the Apollo landings. There’s a push to create lunar no-fly zones. The nonprofit For All Moonkind wants the United Nations to preserve the Apollo areas, akin to World Heritage sites.