What a crazy week as Holiday music filled the air and the internet smoked the malls in retail sales. It’s hard to believe there were no accidents reported at all, even as every major retail brand now has their own fleet of drones delivering presents all day and night.
Santa’s Sleigh is even decked out with new engines and the reindeer have special coats to wear as their flight speed nearly breaks the sound barrier these days.
The tech companies love this new stuff as their pipelines are filled with great new gadgets (mind-boggling indeed) and their sales skyrocket thanks to the Gen Y engineers flooding the workforce now.
Hard to believe the average starting salary is now six figures but the massive productivity gains these new processes have brought to all industries has allowed companies to pay more to the new kids on the block.
The better news?
Their are millions more of them coming in the years ahead but the real estate guys have a lot of catching up to do as we are a few million homes/condos and apartments short for many years ahead.
Who’d a thunk it given the catastrophes back in ’08/’09?
The higher incomes and massive cash flows reported by companies in nearly every sector made for a very nice Holiday selling season indeed. Visa tells us early indications show yet another record for the US economy with an 8+% sales gain YOY.
And now, for more in this week’s headline snapshots:
Apple Shocks Auto World With New Battery
Never take for granted the maturity and brilliance of Gen Y. The average age of the engineering staff at Apple and GE is now 28. But, oh how they have changed things since 2016.
Together these two companies shocked the world last year when they announced a battery breakthrough that is already ramping up on Ford and GM production lines.
Recall they had just released a battery technology the size of an old iPhone 6 which could charge in 8 minutes for a 300-mile distance. Pretty cool. They have just sent new, fancy invites to the press for a Feb. 14, 2021 press gathering. You can already feel the love.
Rumor is that not only have they gotten that battery down to the size of an iWatch but it now charges in 6 minutes, for a 370-mile range. Better yet, chatter is they have massive contracts with major car manufacturers around the world.
The kids in engineering have set a new goal – batteries for commercial airlines by 2025 and then, well, just wait to see what profit margins do after that!
Speaking of energy, crude spent its 100th consecutive week under $45 a barrel. Capped wells from the 2015 “price collapse” have been gushing at full speed as the tech world and the oil guys have come together to show a profitable process at any price above $29 a barrel.
While we still think it becomes a relic before 2030, prices staying low have been a God-send for the world’s consumers and users of oil.
All those single digit priced oil stocks of 2016 and 2017 have turned for the better and anyone willing to take the pain of the price collapse and buy when blood was filling the streets has seen average gains over 300%. Granted, they may never return to their 2012 price levels in the energy sector but 300% in 4 years ain’t a bad deal on anyone’s score card – but you had to be patient.
Drones, Drones Everywhere
Way back in 2015, Amazon’s first push into drone use was kicked back by the government nerds at the FAA. It took awhile but Gen Y software geniuses were able to show the government guys that you could break up the sky like you broke up the wireless world into frequencies–and make more revenue. They loved that in DC.
In this case, they used GPS, satellites and altitude channels to create drone highways in the sky – even able to program in the treetops and buildings to fly around.
So far so good as the world gets used to even better than on-demand inventory processes. Once again, a notch to help productivity and bottom-line profits. Who would have thought when you and I were young that a great job to have at Target would be in their “drone flight” department? Wow.
The only problems drones seem to have now is when they fly close to eagles, the eagles still win.
The other day, we were on the way to an appointment and as the car was driving us there, we hit a traffic jam. No problem, we quickly spun the captain-chair seats around to the center of the car, popped up the add-on 3-D camera and signed on to the wireless network in the car to have an online webinar for clients as we waited out the traffic.
The bad news? That entire 40-minute delay was caused by one of the old clunkers some still use – the kind where you still hold the steering wheel.
Dentists and eye doctors are the new rich guys of the medical sector. With the Baby Boomers living many years longer thanks to biotech breakthroughs, new eyes and teeth are in huge demand!
Look for that to continue as it was recently announced we have cured the 7th type of cancer in the last 18 months alone as years of biotech R&D have finally begun to pay off in ways no one could have imagined.
The bad news? Two points really.
If we could have just left ObamaCare dead on the side off the road, the world would have fixed its own healthcare crisis by itself.
The other bad news from the Black Swan Hunters? We are likely to hear something like this soon: “It’s bad news that we will save 200,000 annual cancer deaths with biotech engineering – it means we run out of food and places to live – soon.”
What knuckleheads huh?
Enough of the New Headlines
I know I know, I am boring you to death with headlines – so what about markets?
Well, given the Holiday Season, we have the normal low volume, choppy action as many are away – as they should be – with family and loved ones.
Be that as it may, the market is approaching it’s own “big 3.0.” By that I mean 30,000.
Sure, it’s been choppy as one might expect around every big number but the masses still get too lost in the frenzy of those big numbers. Fear is the same today as it has been for the last 50 years.
Just this year, we had 10 days of 1,000 point changes in one session, something we said to expect – and get used too years ago. Heck another decade from now, 2,000 or 3,000 point days will exist – and be normal.
The good news? Of the ten 1,000-point days this year, 7 were up and 3 were down. Ah well, nothing is perfect right?
The trek up the mountain remains as frustrating as ever if you take too dim a view of the world – or think too short-term.
Like the week I first started in the biz, some things remain the same. Fear is always present in the masses. Few stay focused on the long-term. Too many still think it’s never been this bad.
Fewer still get the main message: The road in the rear view mirror is littered 7 layers deep with experts who said we could not make it through X. Ignore them and cheers.
More later – may you and yours have a Happy and Blessed New Year!
See ya on the other side and thanks again so much for letting me spend time with you for all these years.