December 23 - 27, 2013
In North America...
Markets: Business Insider said it well with its Friday's summary: "Stocks go nowhere, Twitter tanks.". With only a slight change on Friday, the S&P closed the week up 1.3%. Markets have steadily improved since the Taper was announced. Other than Twitter (more below), the big markets story this week was US Treasury Bills, which finally rose above 3%, a level unattained since September 2011.
This week the TSX also managed to reach levels not seen since 2011, finishing Friday at its highest level since May 2011. Some would take this as a good sign. Others? Not so much:
The S&P/TSX composite index is already struggling. As 2013 ticks down, it has scraped together a mere 8 per cent return, lagging every other developed-market index by a wide margin. It is 11 per cent below its 2008 record high, while the S&P 500 hit a succession of record highs this year.
Companies: Twitter fell 13% during Friday's trading day, closing at US $63.75. The catalyst seemed to be an analyst at Macquarie Capital, who downgraded the stock to underperform. Twitter had increased an exceptional amount since its IPO, with no change to its business plan. Macquarie is not the only research firm concerned about the stock’s future. The average twelve-month target price for the 27 analysts covering Twitter is $44.27 (U.S.) – almost 40 per cent below the current price
RIM co-founder Mike Lazaridis sold more of his shares in the company, bringing his personal stake down to 5%. Announced after close on Tuesday, the share price fell just over 5% on Friday.
Lots of attention paid to Uber lately. The company, which is still venture funded, provides a "mobile application that connects passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services". Read about the company here.
Otherwise: I'm obsessed with the song What Does The Fox Say. Seems the song was turned into a Children's book, as well. While it originally became popular ("viral", even) last summer, it has a long tail. And, how could it not when the division between media types continues to disappear? Also, USA Today quotes Vegard as saying: "We thought it would be funny to have a really well-done book as merchandise for a tanked project. It’s just so stupid. But stupid dollars are the same as smart dollars.”
Truth. Although I don't think this duo is stupid at all.
The Euro hit a two and a half year high against the dollar last week. It has gained around 7 per cent against the US currency since a low in July and almost 5 per cent since the start of 2012, reflecting the success of the European Central Bank’s efforts to restore confidence in the future of the currency bloc.
In the coming week...
Its New Year's eve and the start of 2014. Latvia joins the Euro, and the Queen gives her list of honours. Who will be on it?!