David Ross

What I Think I Learned Last Week #14

The theme of this week’s news: If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Gloom, Despair and Agony on me.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average last week had its worst week since September on US tax reform concerns.

General Electric is cutting its dividend for only the second time since 1938.

Macy’s continued to have problems with its 11th consecutive quarter of same store sales declines.

Investors had $559.6 billion worth of margin debt in September, according to the most recent monthly data available from the New York Stock Exchange. That’s the seventh monthly record high this year, and up 14% from December.

According to the Financial Times, at its peak Deutsche Bank used 6,300 risk models. Looking at their performance over the last decade, that seems to have worked out well for them.

In the week ended 8 Nov, equity funds attracted inflows of US$3.9bn. The vast majority of the inflows went into Global funds, which had US$4.8bn of inflows, offsetting outflows in other types of equity funds.

Apple hit a milestone, becoming the first public US company to ever reach a market value of $900 billion.

Dumbest investment gimmick ever: “Swedish electric car company launches own cryptocurrency certified to Green Bond standards.” Seriously, the only buzzword missing in this actual headline is artificial intelligence. That being said, it is truly marketing genius to hit all of the bubbles at once: electric cars, cryptocurrency, and Green Bonds, whatever they are.

The most important piece of news no one is paying attention to: The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday raised the probability of a La Niña weather event occurring at the end of the year and continuing into the first quarter of 2018 to a 65%-75% chance, up from 55%-65% last month. Because of the timing, it will have little impact on US agriculture as the crops will have been harvested, but it could have a major effect in South America and Australia. La Niña during the southern hemisphere summer can cause severe flooding in Australia and Brazil.

How much have prices gone up in New York’s Trump Tower since Lord Voldemort announced he was running for President in 2015? That would be a negative 23% in the average price per square foot.

And that’s what I think I learned last week….