On Monday stocks rebounded up significantly, with 2 plus percent increases in all three markets, reopening stocks that were initially red went quite green by middle of the day. A bit of pullback on them Tuesday but the Dow just a little down and the other two up. Tempting, but still I can't pick any stocks in there that I really like based on any semblance of confidence. This is the kind of market I suspect that makes new names. A rising market where some people are gambling on some stocks and others on others, and depending on the unpredicted future some are going to win big and others lose. The winner's be called geniuses and will be interviewed for the next 10 or 20 years to comments on every development but will never have any repeat of their success, just like all the experts we have now, who made a big move at some point and won and are still riding that despite often underperforming the market. Really long term players like Buffet have consistently done well, but the market over 40 or 50 years has gone up and anyone in it is bound to see some gains. There's no more drivers now, no more new policy-led, reopening fundamentals, and enthusasm of reopening retail.
Amazon-owned Twitch temporarily indefinitely suspended Trump's account for violating 'hateful conduct' for two streams, one of Trump making comments about Mexico sending drugs crime and rapists over the border, the second one talking about a 'very tough hombre' breaking into a woman's house at 1am.
Europe is opening international travel to select countries. The guidance is coming from the EU but countries have the right to decide individually. The countries they're allowing are ones that are like them or better, with a trend in the past 2 weeks toward less infections versus 2 weeks before, and the country has a per 100,000 average lower than the EU's. US is still barred. China can fly in if China allows Europeans to fly there.
Some talk of a national mask mandate. A couple weeks ago top experts said masks helped, and some science papers said this also, and that it would help to curb infections.
Some cities and states in the US are barring and monitoring travel from other places.
There's a new strain of the Swine Flu in China making headlines this week, reportedly more infections to humans than before.
Biden said he'd end most Trump tax cuts.
After the stress tests, only Wells Fargo will cut dividends while JPM Citi and Goldman will maintain theirs.
Iran put out a warrant for Trump for his government's drone strike killing of Iran's Quds foreign operations top commander in January. Interpol a day or so later said they wouldn't uphold this because it was 'political' and they don't get involved in political things. Is this the same move Trump's government is doing against Venzuela?
Some of the fun of this type of economic market crisis is things like, this week, Chesapeake Energy which was one of the big names in the Shale Energy Revolution is filing bankrupcy, they built a massive campus modelled after Duke University with bee keepers, botox treatments, and chaplains for employees, a big hidden wine cave secret room behind a broom closer, the biggest season ticket package, etc., $110m for a couple parking garages. However, it looks like they might not be done, just going to reorganize and change some financial weaknesses and capitalizing on their operational strengths. Also, Wirecard it turns out had $2b it couldn't find and 'likely was never there' after being audited.
Airline passengers are down 75% from last year.
Cuban made headlines for saying the first question interviewers would ask now is 'What did you do with Coronavirus?' and that people should always keep adding to their skills etc. He seems like that kind of guy, focussed on constant improvement and effort. Personally I think most people should when they're young develop at least one skill or ability that they can use to make money when they need to through their lives as adults.
The UK government is talking about it being a time to do things like Roosevelt, investing in big work projects.
Russians voted to change the constitution so Putin is able to stay in power for another 16 years. Putin has become such an admirable person, exciting in that sense, and his people definitely do not hate their president, and every time I see him on TV he seems to be doing a job of serving them, talking to them, having the facts and having situations figured out and others not figured out and in those cases saying so. Of course, he could still do something horrible that I would hate him for, like against human rights, which Russian doesn't have either, and their internet is censored and monitored in a different way from ours but as bad.
Sweden's currency the krona or crown weakened initially when Coronavirus entered Europe and every other country locked down, but three months later and with Swedish QE it has been strengthening against the Euro.
SA is hiking sales tax 10% and there's tons of stockpiling before the implementation date hits.
Tuesday there was nothing but more negative news for the market, but again stocks continued upwards mostly. Whatever negative news has appeared, it hasn't phased investors. I went into Virgin Galactic and the gold stock each for around 5%. I'll probably enter again in regular stocks despite their high prices when they have a negative day. It seems like nothing can discourage these investors. Something could change any day, but it just doesn't seem like the market can be shook by anything going on right now.
There was a strong jobs report Wednesday that raised markets again.
I think another part of what I was saying earlier about the current market is that not only is there tons of liquidity and tons on the sidelines with people wanting to get in, there's somewhat reduced stocks to enter in with, so those that don't have negative outlooks maybe will receive what would otherwise be invested in the broader range of companies.
Buffet joined the recover, after saying for a couple months he didn't see anything interesting. Dominian Energy, an asset that's expensive and not in favor with investors, for $10b of Buffet's $137b cash, who wants to increase his energy side of things. D stock went down significantly. Dominian wants to move more into natural energy wind farms etc in Virginia. You also need natural gas, especially in the northeast, to charge your electic cars.
Tesla continues to soar, adding $25b every day of the week to $1400, up 200% in a few months.
Pessimism right now as a mark that markets can still rise more.
After several days with really bad news, and a steady stream of negative outlook stories, with the market not really daunted, I'm going with a model in which as long as there's liquidity amongst investors, they will put it somewhere, and in the current situation the only place is stocks more or less, so prices will keep going up, and when people fluctuate into red days and fear of a market drop, it'll be caught by people waiting at those lower prices. This will continue until people lose significant percentages of their investing funds and no longer want to play. Currently some people are losing but many are up. If the market has a downturn and then another one, and people start losing percentages of their portfolio's, they might slow down and hold cash or gold. I could be wrong, but this is what I'm going with. I started buying stocks last or this week. I bought Virgin Galactic which is one I actually like holding, and it jumped a bit on some good news this week. I think I'll increase in it also, when it slows down or goes down a bit. I bought stocks on their red periods this week. Some I more or less plan to hold, like some big energy and oil stocks that look OK on their week-month-year-alltime charts, and pay dividends, such as Enbridge, Duke, and Spark, and others I'm playing on what I expect for their ups and downs. I also half think I'll see if I can't hold PayPal, Facebook and Salesforce, and Johnson and Johnson and Clorox, unless they have a jump and I have to sell them. Also the gold stock I plan to hold unless things start looking negative for it. I might hold JPM if it goes up enough, but there are some reports coming soon and some think if the banks can't maintain momentum they might start going down. I won't mention the ones I'm buying to sell to buy again. I'm about 50% in equities now, and about half of that is ones I plan to hold more or less.
Amazon seems to be by far the leader of the stock market, and on all broadcasts these days people mention the big top tech stocks that are driving the market, and comparing them with the Nifty 50 and other times when the stock market had a couple hugely valued stocks at the top, which people considered a basically automatic buy, a growth stock and a defensive stock, buying them because they kept going up. Analysts also say that Amazon will benefit either way, both from reopening because they'll have added more customers, and also from the course to reopening. Price targets keep getting raised for Amazon, and it consistently goes up.
I'm not sure about all this though. The top tech stocks seem to be riding their history. Amazon a couple years ago was my go to and I was excited to type in 'a' and hit enter on my address bar, because I could always find what I was looking for, and I'm a person who buys very diverse and often uncommon products. Amazon seems full of everything. However, even before the virus Amazon doesn't seem to have much stuff on it anymore, and the last several times I've gone there to find fairly basic things I couldn't find what I really wanted. They now display 4 or 6 pages of results, mostly very generic, which seem to me like either their own products or paid ad placements from established sellers. I wonder if this is because 3 or so years ago Amazon was happy to get all the sellers they could on their platform, and people were making an industry of being people who found products from other sellers and re-listed them on Amazon, and they would put thousands of products each on Amazon. This led to a lot of unnecessary products, duplicates, but it also meant huge selection. Actually the unnecessary products is the same either way, because now, with much less Amazon selection, most of the products are unnecessary to view also. Anyway, recently I've been opening up Alibaba to look, and they seem to have a much better selection. I don't buy because of the expected delivery time.
Part of Amazon's benefit was no one else was doing it. For me, Amazon's main strength is currently delivery, which depends on their warehousing and transport system. They did what no one else did, and got you your order rapidly. As fast as you could hope really. Before Amazon people were accustomed to waiting 4 or 6 weeks for basically any mail order, plus the complicated and often expensive shipping process, which is still the problem with eBay, and no one wanted to order a shirt they couldn't wear for another couple months. Amazon still does delivery well, in many countries. But with the current situation, other retailers are going to be forced to seriously build their online sales and home delivery side, where before they could ignore it. If all the stores in my town suddenly had nice online catalogs and same or next day delivery, that would be stronger, I suspect, than Amazon. I could go to the store to check out products and buy one later when I decided, I could go to the store to return or exchange it, I would know the seller is close and could take up issues with him, I would be supporting local-ish business and strengthening the local and national economy, and I would get fast service because it's close. If all stores do this because they now have to, Amazon could stand to lose a lot of business. Localsstores could also charge a lower one-time delivery rate in addition to a possible yearly subscription model. People really like Prime but for it's $70 a year pricetag not everyone wants to pay it. If they could get things locally without paying it, I think many people would chose to. Besides established businesses having to restructure a bit, many stores are closing because of the quarantine. But new stores that open will be built adapted to the current situation, and that means doing things Amazon does, so Amazon could face challengers there.
I later heard Amazon does delivery through third parties, like Fedex and UPS. That means that those delivery services already have a template to work with any new online catalogs. If that's the case, and there's no exclusivity contract, it seems less difficult to replace Amazon.
Tesla is another company with a stock careening upwards like Amazon. China is a big part of their business model. People are saying that their stock is worth much more than GM and Ford because Tesla isn't a car manufacturer, it's a tech company, that is collecting and processing data for people's locations, movement, and also for autonomous driving some day. They're batteries could be bought by other companies. But in the past month we've seen big headlines from Rivian which has raised a couple billion privately to try to put the first EV pickup in stores, and Nicola which had a big successful IPO. Testla currently has no competition, because it's way ahead in a very expensive, difficult-to-enter market. But it looks like competitiors will spring up. Probably all over. Remember how many little car companies were started throughout the 20th century? Once the infrastructure for driving EVs is put in place all over a country, and once batteries don't suck, anyone could make an EV just like they could a gas car. And it'll open the field up to enterprising entrepreneurs with ideas and will. People have always loved cars and building cars, it's not like social media platforms or warehouse and distribution companies or OSs where building them is such a chore. Tesla doesn't have the nicest car designs, so they could face challenges there unless they get some real designers.
With others of the leading big tech companies, Microsoft is a terrible company that invades people's privacy and collects and stores and sells their data for a business model. Linux's OS share is rising slightly because of this, but it looks like Microsoft or it's stakeholders might be doing to Ubuntu already what was done to Windows. They have the cloud platform and gaming and other things, though, so they might be fine.
Facebook gets a lot of flak, and their ad platform has been getting worse and worse for about 3 years. I turned off all or almost all of the ads my business back then ran because the effectiveness kept dropping because of changes to the ad algorhythm and reach, and at one point previously profitable ads stopped being so, so I stopped doing them for about half of what I was previously doing, and then later it got worse again, so I was running manybe 10% or 20% of what I had been, and then it got worse again, so I turned off almost all ads. The same happened with friends and family who also do online business, and some of them were pretty significant spenders before. Facebook will make ad revenue from politics though and countries that want to manipulate people's impression of them and have budgets to do so, like China, and any ad buyers who don't want to see profits from their ads. I get their state run newspaper ads in my feed every once in a while, despite never having liked or even viewed anything China with that account ever, which means they're targetting everyone with their news site ads. Business on Facebook I think will decline though, although if you believe what a lot of people on the internet think their Facebook Instagram Whatsapp model like Microsoft's is largely for the sake of the government. Facebook's code is also really terrible now, unlike 3 or 4 years ago, and every code update makes the platform way slower to load, more complicated, and removes previously easy and fast functions and replaces them with things that take 3 or 4 times as many clicks and time to do. I suspect they started outsourcing their coding to India or someplace where coder rates look very cheap, which is something I learned not to do after experience with maybe 50 or 100 Indian and Phillipines workers between me and other online business people/programmers I knew a few years ago. That lower rate is not worth it for reasons I won't go into in this blog. Also, people in other countries all use Facebook and Whatsapp. You can't really ever get rid of it if you want to have contact with them. I could see Whatsapp being replaced for something more secure and private, because it's basically a phone-and-messaging tool, but Facebook now that people don't use it for real personal information very much I think has a more or less comfortable place in people's lives.
PayPal I think will do well because what you want from a money service is trustworthiness and ease, and low rates. They currently do a pretty decent job of this, and don't have too many security-check-send-us-all-your-info-and-photos-of-yourself things, which Facebook did and caused many people to leave their accounts, start hating the company, and start not trusting it. But if you have a big money service and it's working and secure, and it's also the most common one everyone uses, why would you change it? I think would change OSs or social media platforms and browse other online shopping websites if they had viable options, but, like a bank, as long as PayPal doesn't do invasive privacy measures or create difficulties for their users, I can't see it being replaced or even a replacement being desired. One thing they could do is expand in other countries though, as I've tried to do a couple business projects with people in a few countries and they don't have PayPal etc., and I had to abandon those things, and also now I don't look to do business with people in those countries anymore because payment would be too difficult.
Apple I can't see ever being abandoned, particularly as they seem to be regularly taking steps to provide security for their users, and it seems to me backing away from arrangements with powerful entities they might have been moving toward a couple years ago. Although I haven't been paying much attention and maybe they're still along that path and just throwing up smokescreens. I don't use Apple and never have, and don't understand the aesthetic, but clearly it's a great fit for many people. 5G is coming and that is said to be the biggest event in the company for a long time. They're kind of out of things to do with their phone device, and are currently removing things instead, like headphone jacks, whereas they could have had both the jack and the budless system if they'd wanted.
I don't know enough about Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, and other chip makers to comment. How easy is it to enter that market and put out a better product?
There're a dozen medical research and development companies making headlines every so often about a vaccine or treatment, and their stocks are going up and up, despite the low chances of a real success with Coronavirus. Although whoever gets one will make trillions I guess. At an announced rate of over $1000 each, if they sell just a million they bring in $1b in revenue. If they sell more like 100m that's $100b. They would become an enormous company after that. However, I wonder how many are taking the market cap increase and spending a good deal of it on other things more likely to produce stronger results than the Coronavirus vaccine.
US government officials in headlines said they were 'looking at banning Tik-Tok,' which is so much like Chinese wording to send messages to the US through headlines about what it could do if it wanted to. Headlines then said teens were 'going to war against Trump' for this.
July 19 2020 I've been short term trading, although the stock I liked holding had it's week. Virgin Galactic went up, then had some after the bell news they replaced their 10-year CEO with a CEO from customer service capable Disney Parks, and the stock was up after hours. In the morning it shot up 12% then started down and I sold at 10% up or something thinking I'd buy again at 5% up, since it was only news about a CEO and usually that comes down again during the day, but it didn't go lower than 8% up, and it turned around and kept going up, then the next day more and the next day. It was up like 20% at one point or close, and about the same for the max the next day. I think because that first day everyone was leaving other stocks, and also I didn't think well enough that this was the first news exposure to Virgin for a lot of main news in a long time, and that probably interested a lot of people. Virgin's profit timeline is in years, so it's a fit for the current situation, and it's about to get a key FAA approval and Branson is flying this year, in a year with not much other good news events. Anyway I watched the value a lot and it never came down so I didn't get to enter again.
This week there may have been a sea change away from the constantly rising value of the top tech stocks. Some were saying it would be almost impossible to look at any of them anymore at their current values as real investments. They've been going down a lot. I had been entering to trade a few of those, and lost on some but gained on others. I'm out of all of those now though. I also entered Canadian Utilities but then sold or I'm going to sell when it's a decent time to. Indexes are not the thing these days, I think. They include too many companies that are set to lose. This is opposite to what was the advice for the past years. Now you invest in particular companies. I'm in a few I plan to hold, that might go up, that look like they don't want to go much down, and that pay a dividend, like Enbridge, Spark, Duke. I got rid of Barrick Gold because it's a high price but kept the Gold stock. I also entered Norwegian again because it reached a price level that looked decent to me, while Carnival didn't quite go down to that. I'll hold Foot Locker if I have to and it has a decent dividend and I don't think it'd go under, but more likely I'll buy and sell it like Macy's. There are other energy and utilities I want to buy and hold if their prices go down enough. I'm around 25% to 50% in stocks at any time.
No central bank is equipped to deal with solvency issues. They can deal with liquidity issues. I heard this. Is it true?
The comparison with the Great Depression and FDR. When they did his work plan, they put people to work, rather than have them sitting at home, so they were building motivation, skills, pride in work, contacts, and those enterprises and workers could continue forward after the government stepped out.
Apple security features in the new phone actually look decent, and hopefully this gets passed on to other phone maker competitors. Like a separate light that'll light up any time your camera or mic is activated, if they did this right. So only Apple and anyone who has power over Apple has access to that information now on user's phones. Apple News is something they're trying to build up right now as well.
Facci has been taking criticism.
Vaccine news from Moderna Tuesday after markets closed, about 'robust' results, lifted markets pretty well.
50% instead of 60% of Americans are employed. JPM now thinks unemployment'll settle in at just over 10% for a while, which is a lot more unemployment than they thought a couple months ago, but in a worst case it could touch 25%.
Conspiracy theory is getting big, with people asking me over the past week if I thought Coronavirus was real. I guess a lot of social media is about how they think somehow doctors are paid to do something sinister. You might be surprised at how many people entertain this. Actually my German friend a couple months ago mentioned the word too.
This city entered a more extreme quarantine Thursday night maybe till Tuesday morning, where you can only go out if you have special permission or a reason, not just based on the final number of your ID. Also you can go out if you have a dog to walk it at any time of day or night and anywhere in the city, and it seems more and more people are buying and borrowing dogs so they don't have to follow quarantine rules, leading to louder neighborhoods with dogs barking where they never used to.
July 24 2020
Japan has established a fund to pay companies to leave China for Japan, in order to avoid a repeat of problems they saw with not being able to get products due to supply chains. I think it'll be about $2b and the current round was around $500m. They're also to be looking at diversifying source companies in Asia.
For years, China has blocked global tech companies, mainly I guess because they can't sensor and monitor and control them the same way as companies in China, and they made and nurtured their own tech companies to mirror all the ones everywhere else. Now some say that looks smart because their companies are now bigger than the other ones, they have like 20 huge tech companies or something. Now they don't really care about access to US markets.
One thing some people have noticed is nowadays the banking sector stocks don't include American Express and Visa and PayPal and others, which are now considered by the S&P to be tech stocks. Walmart is a staple and Target is a consumer discretionary. Amazon is a consumer discretionary rather than tech.
Musk is worth more than Buffet, or was for a moment before it swapped around again.
At this point I would say I'm out of touch with markets and analysts. I haven't been paying real attention like I was in March and April for at least a month. I mostly just watch stocks go up and down.
Tesla stock value is a bubble, many people think. Others say it's worth even more, because of it's batteries, because it's a tech company, because it's moving toward renewable energy. Probably Tesla stock holders also. I suspect maybe none of those are the reason, but simply that the price is going up and it's in the news a lot, and those reasons are explanations offered. The market itself I think is a bubble. The price of the stock has now no basis in traditional valuation metrics. Like the Great Depression and other times, while stocks are shooting up regularly, you gotta invest or you're stupid, and that drives them up more. At some point I suspect everyone is almost fully invested. Then when people or possibly investment firms that monitor and see there's no more money to put in, but you could only swap money from one stock to another, they probably pull out, starting a cascade where everyone looses money and no one has money to invest more, and no one wants to invest either, for quite a while. I suspect this might be the biggest factor in markets. Liquidity of investors. I would like to be able to monitor this, and monitor where people are investing and how much of their portfolio and how much they have left, and into what stocks and sectors. I said in March the algos must be doing great in this market.
We don't know how to value anything in this market, one commentator said.
In flights, business travel is almost nonexistent now. Their execs think return to 2019 levels may take a long time.
Up plastics, packaging, food specialty packaging,
Housing, appliances, nesting, replacing diswashers and refridgerators, auto sales so production will have to come on which is a pull on the petrochemical industry. New construction projects aren't being permitted yet.
Passive investing as it has been done in recent years, and the 60/40 hedge because the yield isn't there for bonds now, might be going out of style. The top 5 S&P stocks are up 20% while the rest are down.
There are also more people happy to take risk.
Investing, people are wondering where to put money, which they have right now. Even with finding new people, new companies, there's a lot of money looking for the good ones.
Gold is the only physical money you can't print. Also, if cash and bonds real returns are negative, the store of value there which is one of the functions of currency, what's the downside in owning gold?
Operating leverage are something banks and investors are looking forward to for next year and even in the fall, because companies have cut costs so much. Stock upside may come in the next phase from earnings because we already have seen multiple expansion upside.
Things that affect gold price going forward include supply demand fundamentals, central banks wanting to own more to diversify reserves away from the USD. Mine supply can't repond quickly to higher gold prices. Investors looking at higher debt, strained economic growth, lower interest rates for longer, the Fed ensuring the economy keeps moving, which things generally usually lead to inflation, but it's the expectation of inflation in investors minds.
One way to open some things like schools is just test more, and isolate those who have the virus.
More labor flexibility than in the EU. Easier to get a first job, lower skilled workers, and young workers when lots of people lose jobs each month but lots get new jobs.
Although I like less and less to dip into thinking about these disgusting and aweful people, I like to keep this log of developments.
The market week was ups and downs. It was a big news week, everyone thought, because earnings reports were coming out for Q2, there was lots of political stuff, the 4 top tech giants were interviewed about antitrust and other things by Congress for 6 hours, with Microsoft not having to go I guess. The higher-than-wage stimulus checks expired and R and D are trying to figure out the next step. GDP was revealed to be down like 35 or 40 percent in the US.
Trump looks like he'll ban TikTok, which is Chinese, over security concerns. The data it collects on all Americans and people everywhere, including the whereabouts etc of children of government officials. Microsoft is being talked about as a buyer of just TikTok's US operations. People are commenting that there's little synergy and little use to Microsoft owning TikTok although TikTok is valuable and anyone with cash should look at buying it. Microsoft also bought Skype in a similar way. I'm surprised it's not talked about in news what purpose Microsoft serves for other organizations, although it has been talked about by people for years and years. Gates also made economics headlines a couple times this week, once for suggesting calling out non-mask wearers, and another for, well according to CNBC for 'calling Musk's comments outrageous' and that Musk should stick to his areas of expertise instead of spreading falsehoods about the coronavirus. Journalism. Gates actually said nothing of the sort, he just made a sensible comment assessing Musk in a couple areas, and didn't say anyone of the things CNBC has him saying in their headline and first paragraph. Musk this week made news for speaking really well of China and comparing it with the States which he wasn't so hot on in that particular comment. CNBC reporting is trash apparently, when it comes to anything but reporting on specifics about companies. Gates hasn't done anything except be a valve for cash since the 90s it seems. Musk does things, although as everyone knows he's not the guy to look to for clear, considered, level comments.
Thursday night Amazon, Apple, Google, etc released earnings. Apple grew and it's stock went up like 10%. Amazon also went up, Facebook despite it's tiny growth went up, and Google which had it's first loss went down. Because Google is search and much larger, whereas Facebook is smaller, isn't so exposed to travel and other areas like Google, and I suspect because Facebook is the preffered choice of politician's ad budgets. PayPal went up a lot a day or two earlier on their report. I should have not sold PayPal. Of the tech stocks it's the only one I wanted to hold at it's price, as I wrote at the time. Apple also did a stock split to make it's stock under $100 instead of it's $400 or whatever now. They did this years ago as well making their stock under $100. Seems like a good number. People can buy it when considering stocks at round numbers, and numbers not too large. And when they buy they can say I bought it at under $100 and now it's over $100 so it's doing good.
There were some earnings reports from oil and gas and energy I think, which brought a lot of prices down for stocks I hold. Gold made a new high.
I'm basically in stocks I think I'll hold for a while, for up to a few years. Gold for about 35% of my portfolio, oil and gas, and energy, OLP real estate, and HDB the HDFC bank in India. Most of these pay a dividend. I keep playing stocks on their ups and downs but that seems to be less successful, perhaps because now the market is horizontal or maybe downwards, whereas before the market was overall increasing for a couple months. I'm about 60% I think in equities, about 10 of that 60 in day trading. I bought Match but sold it even though I suspect it'll keep growing. I don't like to be in certain stocks or certain types of companies, even though I know they're good bets. I thought it would probably go up and it has been, 10% one day and a few percent more after. Virgin Galactic went up on news pretty sharply but then has been declining a little. It's around $22. I think I'll buy below $20 where I sold if it gets there. Camping World continues to increase, surprising me. It was at like $10 or $15 before March, dropped to under $5, I sold at like $20 when I thought it was overpriced, but it's at like $35 now. LAZY also has been going up in a similar way. I might buy Ford if it goes low enough also.
Apple looks like a good stock also, I can't see what could bring it down despite it's overvaluation based on PE. I wonder what. I wonder what it means that Apple is doing increased security or privacy on its phones. Does it mean that the company decided to step away from the government as a data arm, or does it mean they just collect the data in house and provide it to the government directly.
The main stock always is Amazon, which I think is overvalued and looking at numbers it's possible that set of companies is topped out and is fluctuating near the top. Will that fluctuation horizontally remove players and increase the portfolios of smart money who buy near the lows of every dip. Amazon had profits for Q2 and in some part thanks to grocery deliveries. Can their sales possibly go up though from where they are, or is it more likely they'll now start to decline as other options are brought to the consumer.
America has had new high levels of the virus regularly for a couple weeks now, to the point it might be topping off in some places, and others are instituting or talking about PPE and protective measures, closures, etc. Much is still debated. Should we open schools again? If we do will they then have to be shut down? Regular news on vaccine progress and antibodies. The markets seem immune to any of this stuff now. Months ago, it was immune and kept going up. Recently it's seemed immune and going down and sometimes up.
In my city three weeks ago they began a stricter lockdown. 3 or 4 days for the weekend no one is allowed out except with a reason like to commute to work or to get medicine. The other 4 days of the week, Monday through Thursday, people go out once maybe twice based on the number of their ID, for groceries and other shopping. When the virus became headline news and the first lockdown here started, everyone was afraid and no one knew what the virus would be like. After a while the numbers of this city remained very low, with I think less than 10 deaths total, so they eased restrictions, first everyone was allowed out between 2 - 3 for exercise, then they went to alternating daily ID numbers instead of the once or twice per 7 days they had before, and people were going out a lot more. Masks were more common, but people often didn't wear them also. Numbers started to climb and I think now we're at the point hospitals are not going to be able to meet the demand pretty soon. I heard they're looking at importing doctors who are specially trained from Cuba. So they re-strictened the quarantine to where it is now. Maybe to decrease or level out the numbers. It's now August. No sight of an end to all this.
Hotelliers talking about workings living in the hotel for cost reasons.
Equities with pricing power in light of inflation.
Will American Exceptionalism persist forward? No longer have the interest rate advantage, no longer have the real growth advantage, no longer have the political advantage. All the reasons the USD grew to an outsize share of reserves. Asset price appreciation already has been brought forward. US taking a step back becomming more isolationist. Environments where policy makers, central banks, cannot control the outcomes or environment.
Dollar is still the big currency for transactions (invoices), global payment system despite Chinese and EU attepts, financing dollar denominated debt.
Sanctions on Chinese individuals, looking at banning Chinese apps besides TikTok. A top US government official broke tradition of not mentioning the islands in the South China Sea and saying the US doesn't support what China's doing there.
According to a leak in 2019 which I just learned about, China and Iran have a $400b 5-year pact now, where China is sort of bailing out the Iran government and it's money is going to build up Iran's oil and gas industry, securing it for China and upgrading transport and manufacturing. Chinese factories in Iran with local cheap labor to make goods for Western markets and through the Belt and Road. China might make an economic zone in the north of Iran. Huawei will provide Iran's 5G. Beidou will assist in regulating Iran's cyberspace. Beijing will get access to Iranian ports too on the Persian Gulf. The String of Pearls line of ports between China and Africa. Chinese military aircraft might get access to Iran's air bases, and Iran may get Chinese early warning systems, jamming systems, etc.
SA has a Vision 2030 Megaproject, and they have a $10b energy deal currently. Chinese investers are also friends with Israel along business lines. Beijing can gain influence over Iranian foreign policy through a big deal.
UP Drive-in restauraunts like Sonic,
The whole world is facing one enemy and that is the disease. But the countries aren't working together in any way. Each is privately developing treatments, behavioural policy, and international travel policy.
Aug 27 or 28 the Fed changed the inflation objective of the Federal Reserve. It was always before a 'bygones policy' trying to hit 2% each year and always missed for 10 years. Years following an economic recession 2008-09. Now they say they want to aim for 2% over average, so they can underperform for years and it's fine with them. It's designed to keep inflation expectations anchored at 2%. They want to keep a high enough rate like 2% and not lower because they want , when an economic expansion ends, to have enough room to be able to cut rates to stimulate the economy and stimulate the economy. They're basically saying they'll wait until inflation goes above 2% before they tighten, so when they tighten the might tighten quite a lot. The markets are enjoying it currently, the expectation of extended low rates, but they can expect the Fed to slam on the brakes harder than usual later, increasing the risk of an economic downturn on the other side. It's different, now it's a Fed that doesn't act preemptively because it thinks the economy is getting to full employment.
60% of Americans call themselves savers versus 54% in 2019. March to April savings rate grew to 30% unprecedended although now it's down at 18%.
Wednesday September 3 there was a big selloff, after weeks of gains. What a difference a season change makes. It's now September and we're looking at the end of summer business and the start of winter. September is historically a bad month for stocks anyway, although commenters were saying that might not be the case this year because things are so differnet and up in the air. No one knows. I think something like 10 or 11 days straight of increases in the markets. Then on day Nasdaq down like 5%, S&P 4%, Dow 3%. There was no headline that sparked the selloff. Commenters looked for one. Something like that. Next day in the morning it looked like things might be set to reverse a bit, but selloffs continued. Vix opened a couple percent down but by noon it was up 2 percent. By noon when I'm writing this Nasdaq was down 4%, S&P 2%, Dow 2%. Only reopening trades seemed to have some green spots. All my clean energy stocks, which I know nothing about the industry or prospects, which were up between 10 and 25 or so percent, went down to losses or small gains. I sold them all. I wanted to keep Virgin Galactic but when it went down almost 7% I sold that. I'll buy it again later. It's just not making enough headlines to stay up. I kept only stocks that pay dividends and that I see improving from the return to work. Unemployment figures improved significantly in the US according to today's report. Also, Biden who headlines were saying had a lead a month ago, say his lead has become smaller in polls. I suspect his polling lead might have had a lot to do with the rise in clean energy stocks. So I might have been up about 5 or 8 percent overall a couple days ago. Now I'm up maybe 2 percent.
I held Duke and BP, which are both down from where I bought them. Duke is down 12% from where I bought it. I held the Indian bank HDFC. JNJ. Spark Energy which I hold 20% up still and pays a decent dividend. On the Canadian side I held my three stocks of Canadian Utilities, Enbridge and Keyera, all pay dividend, although all are down a percent or two today. I bought more Enbridge. My thesis is that that business isn't going anywhere, and if people are working more it should improve. Also there may at any point be a better OPEC deal, since Saudi Arabia had it's oil revenue drop by half due to their moves, and Russia must be feeling a similar cut. They want to punish Nigeria for ignoring oil limitations and compete with the US which has been doing pretty well it seems in it's oil business recently. An oil deal that made higher prices would rise oil stocks I suspect significantly. I might buy more Enbridge once the panic subsides. It's has a lot of midstream which is why the stock did alright recently while BP and Duke and others did very poorly. I also held OLP because more workers means house demand shouldn't fall, and it pays a dividend.
Since the tech stocks started shooting up months ago and leading the market and headlines, no one knew what would stop them. What would stop Amazon? Maybe lower numbers sometime in the future, although deliveries would continue higher most thought. What would stop PayPal? What would stop Apple? Tesla continued to rise, although everyone said it was a bubble waiting to pop, while others found reasons to justify it's superhigh valuation. But what happened yesterday wasn't any individual business weakness or downturn. It was a mass selloff of stocks. Apple was down like 7 or 8% yesterday. Tesla 8%, which meant it was down 18% in three days. I mentioned clean energy stocks which went down from their pronounced high spikes like 10 or 30% down.
Cruise lines, airlines, retail stores, and other random stocks were green, although some have now turned red including the airlines. The banks and credit cards look OK today though.
I'm not optimistic about the short term market. The last six months you could make a lot of different types of plays and they'd work out, because there was a general rising market and it was rising fast. Every day. Then it started to horizontalize and waver a month ago when stimulus and overvaluation kind of played out. It's like the past 5 years, where you could put money in the market and it'd just generally go up and everyone felt like a smart investor and a winner. It's easy to invest in a rising market. You can buy dips, or buy high even. There was a lot of optimism recently. You couldn't shake it with bad news or one day drops. It just kept bouncing back. That might happen now too, who knows. But it might not. It might be now people want to sell out of stocks until they find better valuations for their investments. This of course can mean even properly or undervalued stocks go down because of the selloff move. But a no-news sell off that lasts 2 days (it's still noon on the second day) despite generally positive world and economic news trends, and going out of summer into a new season (meaning I suspect people will be thinking differently about profits from businesses like RVs, home building and renovations, outdoor activities like camping will look unprofitable while maybe winter jackets and vehicle repairs might look OK), this makes me think it might actually be a real market change. But if everyone is selling, there's no point buying even promising companies because even if they should go up they'll go down for a while first.
For the past six months I've been using my stock apps all the time. I don't really like it as it brings little to your life. I made an initial profit of I think around 30% overall. I sold out and then later started again, which I sold a lot of today and have maybe a 2% profit, although it might all disappear if the selloff continues, although the plan was to hold some things that would pay an income through dividends. Besides what you learn being involved in actual trading with stakes, and following the markets, the analysts and other traders, etc., you lose something in that you're pretty involved in it, because of the stakes. You have to monitor it in case days like yesterday happen suddenly. I think generally I prefer actually making things, and making businesses and products, so if I get out of stocks, even if I don't make yield due to this, it's in a way a good thing. I can concentrate on real projects, or projects that are better in terms of liking and satisfaction. Also stocks means stress because you don't know if there'll be a downturn, while projects means relaxation because you pick up and put down your work at times you find appropriate. Also I suspect my abilities and skills can be used to better benefits in making things than in trading stocks.
Russia's vaccine, called Sputnik V or something, now has passed some trials and is found to have no negative side effects. It'll now go through a bigger number of people study and might be available in November. US says there won't be anything available for a while. WHO, which US is still cutting ties with, says mid 2021. It's school season, and there is a mix of preventative and openign measures in various countries. For example, they want the use of preventative devices and precautions, like use of masks, social distancing in restaurants and line ups, hand sanitizer, spraying shoes with sanitizer, and they also want to open schools and businesses to keep things running and the economy. This isn't one of the things I was thinking about when it started and the question was should we open or should we lock down. The problem was one meant people would die and hospitals would be overburdened, or on the other hand the economy would be in serious trouble and people would just be stuck at home or on government assistance. Both are bad. People want a solution where people won't die and hospitals won't be overburdened, and yet the economy will be running normally and they can live their lives and continue with such things as school.
It doesn't look like international travel will be opening though for a few months at least. Here the country opened up domestic flights a month ago, but I think they started just with pilot flights. They opened up international a couple days ago, but just pilot flights. I wouldn't mind going to Taiwan to make some products. I'd like to go to China but the crazy aweful laws there and absolute privacy violations where you have to be photographed and tracked every movement and most money transactions and everything are recorded makes me rule it out. I'm not sure if maybe it's similar in Taiwan. I don't know of anywhere else in the world you can make low grade electronics and things like sneakers.
Also public events there's no word about when that might start again. Concerts, awards shows, sporting events. I don't know about filming new movies and things. I think some theaters have opened in the US.
I've seen a few headlines also recently about improvements in treatment, using like steriods and things, I guess to boost the bodies strength so it can temporarily fight an infection better. Maybe we'll get some better understanding of the use of steriods in the body.
People have noted the return to price speed, where if a market drops as it did in March and historically at other times, it will bounce back 50% of what it lost in I forget but like half or double the time it took to drop. That happened in March. I wonder if someone could do something similar for when the market rises very much, or maybe too much, and then when a selloff happens, that people sell off faster and quicker than the slow price rise investment that happens at other periods. People now are expecting their stocks are overvalued and that at some point there's a good chance there'll be a selloff of them. I suspect there's also a delay in selloff, because if it happens suddenly like yesterday, some people haven't checked market news or their stock values that day, but they check the next day and decide to sell. Others suspect that first day was a one-day panic oversell and the markets and the stocks they hold which dropped so much will bounce back the next day, and only once their stocks start to lose money or things look convincingly negative they sell.
A couple weeks ago the Russian politician Navalny, the long-time Putin opponent, was poisoned and was carried away to Germany for treatment. Putin already overwhelmingly leads polls in Russia and for good reason, and is already very competent and I suspect secure in office for the foreseeable future, so if he was behind the poisoning (if in fact the story of poisoning is true), and you might guess nothing like that happens in Russia without Putin's say so or approval, it's disgusting. Killing or harming people when you don't need to, gratutiously, is extremely low behavior, condemnable I guess. I don't understand why either. Criticism and competition is good for a person's position and power. As a leader you want those things, particularly when the opposition is relatively very weak and has no chance of overcoming you. They act to test and consolodate power, ideas, support. Also, you can't call your leadership valid if you don't permit challenges to it. So removing or killing opponents invalidates your right to rule (in a place where you can more or less count on stability, I don't mean places like many African countries where tyranny might be more fair and just than democracy). It also basically is saying, if it was Putin's doing, that he is a person who is afraid of competition, afraid of criticism, afraid to let other people speak and challenge him. It says he not only doesn't really support human rights but actively suppresses or acts against them with violence. For me it's a downer because I consider Putin to be maybe the most competant leader going, but this kind of thing is so disgusting you wouldn't be able to respect the person or support him despite competence.
A trading period where you don't look to put money in something and hold it for a long time, because absolute returns will be substantially lower than even what it was a couple years ago, but instead how to tactfully get in and out of trades. Trading momentum is what's happening and it's hard to trade. Commodities maybe.
Softbank seems to have been 'the whale' with doing a ton of options trades and pulling the market. It's a story I don't understand and haven't read.
Second week of September a big correction took place. Stocks went down significantly a few of the days.
Talk of a decade of stagnant equities returns as valuations of many companies are based on possible good earnings very far forward.