A Little Help From Your Friends

  • Market Overview

Market Scorecard

US markets moved higher again yesterday, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. Investors reacted positively to comments from this month's Fed minutes, which showed that a "substantial majority" of officials agreed the pace of interest rate hikes should slow soon. It remains to be seen if we can close the year up from current levels. We sure hope so.

In company news, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) rose 7.8% after a stock upgrade from an analyst at Citi by the name of Itay Michaeli. The biggest loser of the day was software company Autodesk (NASDAQ: ADSK ), down 5.7% after providing weak full-year guidance.

Yesterday the JSE All-share closed up 0.90%, the S&P rose 0.59%, and the Nasdaq motored ahead by 0.99%.

One Thing, From Paul

Can we trust humans to do the right thing? The world is full of idiots, thieves, liars and cheats. Ponzi schemes are flourishing. There is war in Eastern Europe. Some countries are still ruled by dictators, and political freedoms are under attack. Here in South Africa, the government is full of corrupt incompetents.

Ok, but these are short-term problems and they may be fixed. Humanity advances, and people want to do the right thing, in the main. We are becoming more competent, as a species. Look at the standard of living we have now, compared to 50 years ago. Widespread improvement!

And what about the long-term future? Will we be fried alive in a nuclear war? Or will the planet just get hotter and hotter until it's unliveable? Will scientists recreate the dinosaurs, which proceed to eat us all?

I'm an optimist, so I'm confident that none of those apocalyptic outcomes are very likely at all. Less than a 1% probability.

As philosopher Jonny Thomson says, "to live fully, happily, and securely, we must trust others. It's all we have. You can't flourish alone. You'll only get by with a little help from your friends".

Byron's Beats

Thank goodness for the private sector in South Africa. Where government has failed, the private sector steps up. Health care, education and security come to mind. But as the state stumbles further, more opportunities arise. Electricity and water services are a growth area for private companies.

In the latest Pepkor (JO: PPHJ ) results, the Daily Maverick picked up that they are now delivering on average 11 500 parcels a day. This is happening because the Post Office is so rubbish.

Paxi is the name of Pepkor's cheap courier service, and it leverages off their extensive store network and distribution capabilities. It has 2.8 million unique users, 24 000 of which are small businesses. This is a crucial service for many people. Well done to Pepkor for spotting the gap and making people's lives easier.

Signing Off

Asian markets are looking fine this morning, with the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo ending up nearly 1%. The Japanese are euphoric, clearly, after their World Cup win against Germany.

The Rand is trading at just below R17 to the US Dollar. This is because the Dollar has weakened against almost all other currencies. We may see further sharp moves later today, when the SA Reserve Bank adjusts interest rates upwards.

We expect a a quiet day at the office, since there will be no trading on Wall Street this afternoon.

Have a good Thursday.

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