TODAY’S FAYRE – Thursday 16th March 2017
“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
Walt Whitman – poet – 1819-1892
As we head to the French Presidential Election in April/May, there is one attribute the French people have that may prevent Mme Le Pen becoming the first woman President of the Republic of France and that is their ‘establishment’s’ conservative approach to life and its dislike of change or reform, is paramount. France is indisputably the most conservative country in the EU. Hence the press has given Le Pen no support and the banks have been prevented from granting any loans to ‘Front Nationale!’ – Hence the need for Le Pen to borrow from Russian banks.
These negative actions may well do the trick this time around, but eventually the people of France will resent the fact that the political playing field is not level and they will make the ‘establishment’ pay dearly at the ballot box next time around!
I see that Philip Hammond, Mark Carney and Eileen Burbridge are in India selling UK’s fintech goods and chattels. There will be a price to pay for these sales and that will be a softer immigration policy! That may not go down to well with those that voted ‘OUT!’ Whilst on the subject of India’s incredible technological prowess and the huge discrepancies in remuneration, rest assured in the years to come companies will use India for their technology services, which are both good and cheap. I hope I am wrong but it may cost the financial sector many jobs, with just the front of house management remaining in our main cities and the support work heading to the sub-continent.
There were a couple of economic issues which skimmed the cream off the FTSE 100 and the main indices on the Street of Dreams – PMI Manufacturing on both sides of the pond and US car sales were very disappointing. That piece of data needs to be watched as it is a lead indicator for the US economy. The FTSE closed down 40 points to 7282 yesterday.
There were a couple interesting stories at the opposite end of the spectrum – Imagination and WS Atkins; not huge companies but significant. Apple, in their infinite wisdom and majesty decided that it would dispense with Imagination’s chips for the iPad, iPod, TV etc. This was over 50% of Imagination’s business. This was a classic example of how not to have too many eggs in one basket. When Warren East was CEO at ARM, he recognised the danger. Apple has made it clear that it now has the capacity to make its own chips. I fear the lawyers will have a field day as Imagination will be relentless in its quest to protect the value of its intellectual property. Unfortunately Apple is rather bigger than imagination. Capital value of $754 billion plays £292 million! – Imaginations share price fell 62% yesterday to 103p. It was 291p on 14th March 2017.
WS Atkins, the engineering and consultancy operation found that its lot in life looked rather rosier as the Canadian company SNC-Lavalin bid £2.1 billion for the company – a 30% premium for the shares. This follows in the wake of the US company, CH2M, making overtures about a possible $4 billion merger.
On the Street of Dreams the cream was skimmed off due to the substandard data and car sales. Nonetheless there was interesting corporate news to peruse over. Firstly Verizon intend to pool Yahoo and AOL in to the same operation and call it ‘OATH!’ Yesterday the three main indices closed as follows with year to date achievements – DOW: 20,650 -0.06% +4.49% S&P: 2,358 -0.16% +5.36% NASDAQ: 5,432 -0.07% +11.69%. In Asia trading was mixed with China attempting to show the way. Japan suffered from a Yen that was considered too strong – NIKKEI: 18,771 -0.98% -1.72%, HANG SENG: 24,261 +0.62% +10.28%, CHINA: 3,456 closed +4.41%, ASX: 5,858 -0.24% +3.38%.
Tesla Motors, the baby of Elon Musk, posted blistering sales numbers for its electric cars – up 69% to 25,000. Shares rose yesterday by 7.3% to $298. These shares were issued at $35 in 2012. How about that for an investment, though the premium for expectation is vast? The share capital value of Tesla has now flip-flopped with Ford Motor Company. Tesla is valued at $47 billion against Ford’s $44 billion. Cars cost between $35k and $135k.
Amazon is targeting the multibillion-pound UK business-to-business market by launching a new service that sells office supplies, industrial tools and laboratory kits to companies. The service, called Amazon Business, is the latest example of the Amazon’s dramatic expansion beyond its traditional consumer retail business. Amazon already offers cloud computing services to businesses through its web services. The UK online market for business-to-business sales was valued at £96.5bn for 2015 by the Office for National Statistics. Let’s not also forget that it is about to take on Ocado in a very aggressive manner with supermarket sales, some in conjunction with Wm Morrison.
This morning the FTSE 100 was 29 at 7311 at 9.18am. Oils and mining were marginally stronger. ASOS posted numbers. The shares had travelled and arrived – down 4%. Utilitywise slightly disappointed – also down 4%. Midatech Pharma was 1.5% better.
UK companies posting results this week – Tuesday – Midatech Pharma, Utilitywise, ASOS, Wednesday – HSS Hire, McCarthy & Stone, IMI, Wednesday – Keystone Petroleum, Homeserve, Mothercare, Friday – AFI Development
US companies posting results this week – Wednesday, Walgreen Boots Alliance, Yum China Holdings, Thursday – L-Brands, Fred’s, Constellation Brands, Ruby Tuesday
Economic data out this week – Monday – UK PMI Manufacturing and US PMI Manufacturing, Tuesday – UK PMI Construction, Wednesday – PMI Services, Thursday – US Initial Jobless Claims, Friday – UK industrial Production, Manufacturing and Construction, UK Trade Balance, US Non-Farm Payrolls and employment data.
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