A new world order…in tech

  • Robo-gran
  • A vulnerable business
  • A sanctuary for bears
  • Vern’s new book
  • Holiday hours
  • The best in 2017

Folks who took part in Sam Volkering’s special series, ‘Rise of the “MAFIAA” New World Order’, enjoyed it immensely.

I can tell you, it was an eye-opener even for me, and I like to think I keep my finger on the pulse when it comes to Sam’s revelations.

But in Rise of the ‘MAFIAA’ Sam takes the developments in technology to a whole new level. It’s stunning, and shouldn’t be missed.

Because of the positive feedback, and the importance of this series, I’ve decided to make it available to all Port Phillip Publishing subscribers.

So, if you didn’t tune into the special series the first time around, starting tomorrow, you’ll receive it direct to your inbox.

You’ll get part one tomorrow, and the rest of the series over the following three days. Don’t miss it. I’m certain you’ll be glad you tuned in.

Look out for part one tomorrow.

Markets

Overnight, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 91.56 points, or 0.46%.

The S&P 500 gained 8.23 points, or 0.36%.

In Europe, the Euro Stoxx 50 index added 21.56 points, for a 0.66% gain. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 gained 0.38%, and Germany’s DAX index rose 0.33%.

In Asian markets, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index is up 59.69 points, or 0.31%. China’s CSI 300 is up 0.5%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 is up 30.42 points, or 0.54%.

On the commodities markets, West Texas Intermediate crude oil is trading for US$53.59 per barrel. Brent crude is US$55.60 per barrel.

Gold is US$1,134.55 (AU$1,562.22) per troy ounce. Silver is US$16.06 (AU$22.12) per troy ounce.

The Aussie dollar is worth 72.62 US cents.

Robo-gran

Speaking of Sam Volkering and technology, a story from the Wall Street Journal puts a new slant on the concept of a ‘Grey Army’.

You may be familiar with the term, and the business. Grey Army is the term for old timers who hire themselves out as handymen (or handywomen), doing domestic chores, gardening, or fixing or installing a new shelf — among a million and one other things.

Well, how about a semi-robotic ‘grey army’? Is that something to welcome…or fear? The Wall Street Journal reveals the details:

A California startup is betting seniors will ditch canes and walkers for robotic-powered suits that would give them a boost.

It may sound like technology that originated from the pages of a comic book, but Superflex is capitalizing on military-funded research to make apparel that aims to enhance people’s core strength. Its first product will be a powered undergarment, aimed at helping seniors with mobility challenges.

Who wouldn’t be in favour of a ‘powered undergarment’? The idea of electric underpants springs to mind! Although, that isn’t exactly what Superflex Inc has in mind.

As the Wall Street Journal continues:

The connected suit will support seniors’ torsos, hips and legs, according to Superflex. It is designed to respond to body movements and help lift people as they try to walk, stand or stay upright.

The days of seeing hunched oldsters toddling down the street could soon be a thing of the past. Instead, you’ll see bolt-upright and proud nonagenarians strutting the pavements, able to look you in the eye rather than staring at your feet.

See, new tech isn’t all about apps and driverless cars and flying to Mars. It’s about helping improve lives, physically and mentally. That’s got to be good news.

Remember, if you haven’t seen it already, check out Sam’s Rise of the ‘MAFIAA’ special series tomorrow. Look out for it in your email inbox.

A vulnerable business

One last thing. It’s wrong to think that those who get their idea to the market first will always be the winners.

Sometimes, it’s best to sit back, watch, wait, and let others fail before you pounce. Again, from the Wall Street Journal:

Uber Technologies Inc. continued to grow sales but also continued to lose money in the third quarter, according to people familiar with its results, which could cool for now any chances for its hotly-anticipated initial public offering.

More:

Uber, a closely held company valued around $68 billion, doesn’t disclose financial results publicly.

According to the report, Uber lost US$800 million during the third quarter. Its sales had risen to $1.7 billion.

If we annualise that number to US$6.8 billion, it means the company is trading on a multiple of 10-times sales.

That’s somewhat rich. Established companies like Amazon.com Inc [NASDAQ:AMZN] trade for 2.8-time sales. Alphabet Inc [NASDAQ:GOOGL] trades for 6.5-times sales. Apple Inc [NASDAQ:AAPL] trades at 2.9-times sales.

Perhaps they aren’t entirely comparable. These three examples are well-established, with over a decade of business track record and growth behind them.

On the other hand, Uber is a relatively new start-up, which appears to have caught a wave of excitement and enthusiasm.

That may well be. But it’s also worth mentioning that Uber also has relatively low barriers to entry. At its core, the business is an app, and a network of drivers and consumers who could easily shift their business and allegiance elsewhere.

From what we can gather, it’s limited in the way of intellectual property, is at the mercy of government regulation, and, even worse, is at the mercy of consumer fads and fashions.

We’ve been wrong many times before when it comes to new technology trends, but when it comes to the driverless car and ride-sharing industry, we can’t help but think that the most vulnerable to competition are those with the fewest tangible assets.

Among them, Uber.

A sanctuary for bears

More generally, what’s the deal with the stock market?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is within a sniff of 20,000 points.

The S&P/ASX 200 is closing in on 6,000 points, and what would be its highest level since 2008. From there, it’s just a short bullish run to hit a record high.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 is trading just below its all-time record high, reached overnight.

For bears in the room, it couldn’t possibly be a more depressing time. Is there anything…anything…on which those of a bearish disposition can hang their hat?

There is…just. Although, you may have to view it with one eye closed, because the bearish tale isn’t entirely one-sided. Before you, we reveal a one-month chart of the Dow Jones Industrial Average (orange line) and Dow Jones Transportation Average (white line):



chart image

Source: Bloomberg
Click to enlarge


Over the longer term (not shown in this chart), it’s reasonable to say that from a ‘Dow Theory’ point of view, the Transportation index has ‘confirmed’ the bullish Industrial index.

The idea is that when both industrial and transport stocks are at a new high, it confirms a bull market.

However, we show you the one-month chart for a reason. The Dow Industrials have continued to hit a new high, while the Dow Transport stocks (white line) have fallen from the peak.

Without mistaking a tiny molehill for a mountain, this could just be the natural ebb and flow of the market. It wouldn’t be fair to expect two different indices to move in lockstep every day, when each has a different composition.

But still, we bears remain cautious. And we will continue to be so. Nothing we’ve seen, even after the recent ‘shock rally’ gives us any reason to think the problems of the recent past have suddenly been resolved.

Vern’s new book

Colleague, Vern Gowdie is of the same opinion. He’s even written a new book about it. Find out how to grab a copy here.

Holiday hours

For your useful information, a quick note on business and trading hours over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

First, the hours for Port Phillip Publishing’s Customer Service team:

Friday, 23 December – Close at 2pm

Monday, 26 December – Closed

Tuesday, 27 December – Closed

Wednesday, 28 December – 9am–5pm

Thursday, 29 December – 9am–5pm

Friday, 30 December – 9am–5pm

Monday, 2 January – Closed

Tuesday, 3 January – 9am–5pm

During this period, most editorial staff will be on leave, with close to full service resuming on 3 January.

Next, the ASX trading hours:

Friday, 23 December – Market closes at 2:10pm

Monday, 26 December – Market closed

Tuesday, 27 December – Market closed

Wednesday, 28 December – Normal market hours

Thursday, 29 December – Normal market hours

Friday, 30 December – Market closes at 2:10pm

Monday, 2 January – Market closed

Tuesday, 3 January – Normal market hours

Finally, the following is the holiday schedule for the New York Stock Exchange:

Friday, 23 December – Normal market hours

Monday, 26 December – Market closed

Tuesday, 27 December – Normal market hours

Wednesday, 28 December – Normal market hours

Thursday, 29 December – Normal market hours

Friday, 30 December – Normal market hours

Monday, 2 January – Market closed

Tuesday, 3 January – Normal market hours

We hope that helps.

The best in 2017

Looking for the investment advisory that can find you the best performing stock in a given year?

Then check out Callum Newman’s Money Morning Trader. In a report published in January this year, Callum suggested traders look at Galaxy Resources [ASX:GXY].

Since then, the stock has gone bonkers:



chart image

Source: Bloomberg
Click to enlarge


The stock is up 148.7%.

For the year-to-date as a whole, according to the Australian Financial Review, ‘Anthony Peter Tse is a winner as Galaxy Resources was the top performing stock this year in the S&P ASX 200 with a return of 390 per cent.

For your reference, Anthony Peter Tse is the managing director of Galaxy Resources, and according to Bloomberg, owned 23.5 million shares at the end of 2015, worth $8.7 million.

We can’t guarantee that Callum will help you turn $8.7 million into $30 million or more, but he’ll have a darn good crack at trying.

For more on Money Morning Trader, go here.

Cheers,
Kris