The SKKY Is The Limit

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Market Scorecard

Finally, we have some good news for you! US markets had a great day yesterday, closing firmly in the green. All three major indices rose, and all sectors were up except energy stocks. Crude oil prices bonked, like a doped-up Russian cyclist at the top of a big hill.

In company news, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) unveiled a solid lineup of new devices last night, including a fancy new iPhone 14, improved AirPods Pro earbuds, and a massive Apple Watch upgrade called the Ultra. Notably, the new iPhones will be able to summon help via satellite. People can also share their location via satellite even in non-emergency situations. Elsewhere, Chinese electric-car maker BYD has signed a deal with WHA Corp, Thailand's biggest industrial real estate developer, to build its first electric vehicle plant in the region.

At the end of the trading day, the JSE All-share was down 1.22%, but the S&P 500 romped higher by 1.83%, and the Nasdaq rallied by 2.14%.

One Thing, From Paul

Does capitalism work for young people? In economies like South Africa, with rampant youth unemployment, it would seem not. In rich countries, jobs are more plentiful, but young people complain about the unaffordability of housing, both to rent or to buy.

For people with a salary, loans are available for almost everything, but debt bondage is hard. Cash that would otherwise go into living large (or pension savings) is diverted towards mortgages, motor vehicle and student finance repayments.

Young people are world-wise because they have access to the Internet. They are more mobile than ever before, and well-travelled. They can afford consumer goods like clothes, smartphones and flat-screen TVs.

Capitalist businesses require a big supply of fresh workers. In recent times, highly-skilled older people are dropping out of the workplace sooner, but from the perspective of younger tech-savvy workers, that's a good thing.

The more flexible the job market, the better. The more individual freedoms you have the better. What talented, ambitious youngsters want most of all is freedom of choice, opportunity, association and speech.

What they don't want is old farts in government deciding what's best for them.

Byron's Beats

Last week the Nvidia (NASDAQ: NVDA ) share price took a big hit after the US government imposed new export restrictions on high-end computer chips to China. The Feds are worried that these supercomputers can be used for military advancements. Nvidia was expecting $400 million worth of sales to China in the next quarter.

China already uses massive databases running on high-end chips to gather data and snoop on their population. Drone targeting and other sophisticated technologies are made possible by rapid data retrieval from cloud-hosted centres. I suppose you can understand the concern. Nvidia cannot control what Chinese buyers do with the chips once they have been sold.

Unfortunately, this is what happens when trade wars and anti-globalisation tendencies are the order of the day. Superpowers have political agendas and private companies are caught in the crossfire. We'd prefer to live in a world where international cooperation on technology is assured, but that seems to be unrealistic.

The US government plans to licence each new-generation chip separately, but has not yet stipulated the criteria it will use. That is work in progress I suppose. We are monitoring this situation closely but it certainly does not mean you should sell your Nvidia shares.

Bright's Banter

Self-made billionaire Kim Kardashian is launching a private equity company with Carlyle veteran Jay Sammons. Sammons was the global head of consumer, media and retail at Carlyle, and was known for doing the Beats by Dre and Supreme deals. The duo will serve as co-founders and joint bosses of SKKY Partners.

Kris Jenner is also going to be on the board, and they will be teaming up with her on other opportunities. According to the Wall Street Journal, SKKY will make investments in consumer products, hospitality, luxury, digital commerce, consumer-media and entertainment.

Kim Kardashian said, "I'm excited to launch SKKY Partners to invest in the next generation of consumer brands. We will leverage our experience in founding and building global businesses and partnering with innovative companies to help them grow."

She has to be one of the hardest working women in the business!

Signing Off

Asian markets rebounded this morning, bouncing off the level reached yesterday which was the lowest since 2020. Tokyo and Seoul are having a great day. Hong Kong and Shanghai are lagging.

To be honest, the attractiveness of Chinese stocks is waning. Early backers of giants like Tencent (HK: 0700 ), Alibaba (NYSE: BABA ) and BYD are taking money off the table. The thought of President-for-life Xi Jinping forever is not all that appealing.

The Rand is hovering around the R17.30 mark to the US Dollar. Gold edged lower, while Bitcoin is still in a critical state at around $19 000.

US equity futures are modestly in the green after a big day of gains yesterday. LFG! For the record, that means let's f****** go!

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