Morning Brief – US Equity Markets

US Equity Markets

 

As a bellwether for investments’ savings and pensions around the world, the US equity markets are of course required watching. The Dow as at Friday night stood at 34,200, the S&P at 4,155 and Nasdaq at 13,471. There is a correlation between the absolute level of those markets and the amount borrowed by margin investors ie the more extreme end of market speculation. With markets at all time highs, so is the amount borrowed to finance long or bought positions. Before readers reach for the phone to call their brokers, in fairness there is also a correlation between margin borrowing and the degree of market confidence. It is equally true that market confidence following the stimuluses delivered in the USA is also at an all time high. But there again it always is…until it isn’t. Just saying.

 

India and Data

 

Cyber criminals have hacked into the passenger SITA system used by airlines including Air India, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and New Zealand Air. 4.5 million passengers have had personal data including payment details stolen. The data thefts go back 10 years but do not include passwords and CVC details which is something. Members of those airline loyalty schemes are being encouraged to change their passwords. This follows on the heels of the British Airways hack two years ago.

 

Eurovision

 

Saturday night had the 200 million+ Eurovision audience on the edge of their seats as Italy secured the winning spot with 524 points with a song that was markedly inferior to 2nd and 3rd placed France and Switzerland respectively. The UK is one of a small number of countries that pays extra to secure a place in the final though much good it did them with a Nul Points score narrowly outdoing Germany, another extra payer, which scored 3 points. It is unclear what it cost Holland to host this year and what revenues they generated with a max 3,500 audience. but to put it in perspective when Azerbaijan hosted it, the cost was EUR 55 million. Sweden’s (rather good) unsuccessful entry on Saturday night was budgeted at EUR 12 million. When Hungary was due to host it they had a visit from their bank manager at the IMF who explained that they could (should) not afford it!

 

Ultra Marathon

 

Those readers contemplating entering an ultra marathon in China in future years should take note of yesterday’s tragic debacle in North Western China. 172 entered the 100km race. 8 had minor injuries and 21 died as atrocious rain, hail and wind conditions in the high altitude section complicated rescue efforts. 151 of the entrants were safe but the outcome has prompted an outcry at the poor organisation and negligible risk management planning.

 

I’m a Believer

 

Formed in 1965, the Monkees were huge by 1966 when they embarked on what was to be a 55 year music career odyssey. It was this day 20 years later in 1986 when Davy Jones, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz reunited to kick off their reunion tour in the Concord Hotel in the Catskill Mountains in New York state. Here is the definitive Monkees song from 1966:

 

I thought love was only true in fairytales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Love was out to get me
That’s the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams

Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love, I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave her if I tried

I thought love was more or less a givin’ thing
Seems the more I gave the less I got
What’s the use in trying?
All you get is pain
When I needed sunshine I got rain

Then I saw her face, now I’m a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I’m in love, I’m a believer
I couldn’t leave her if I tried

Love was out to get me
Now that’s the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams

Oh then I saw her face…

 

 

 

Discussion and Analysis by Humphrey Percy, Chairman and Founder

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