JANUARY 24, 2020
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SOMETHING SOMEONE ONCE SAID
“Before you marry a person, you should first make them use a computer with slow internet to see who they really are.”
Stocks have seen new record highs in the last couple of weeks, as the U.S. and China finally inked the highly-anticipated "phase-one" trade agreement. The terms of the deal closely mirrored what people who get paid to follow these things had been expecting. The main takeaway of the deal: China is going to up its purchases of U.S. goods and services by a sh$t ton over the next two years: $200 billion to be exact.
No doubt, this trade agreement is a ginormous step toward de-escalating trade tensions between the two countries. Mostly because it deftly sidesteps the near-term threat of new tariffs, while inspiring hope that a more comprehensive deal can be brokered. But, it’s not all sunshine and unicorns. Tariffs on two-thirds of U.S. imports from China remain in place, and no one’s sure exactly how all this will actually play out IRL.
In non-trade news, the US economy continues to defy logic. Over the last couple of weeks, the trio of surprisingly strong economic data, encouraging corporate earnings from U.S. banks, and the completion of the "phase-one" trade agreement drove U.S. stocks to new record highs. We also saw more evidence of a solid US labor market this week when the number of Americans claiming unemployment ticked up only slightly, and layoffs remain near a 50-year low. How these areas continue to progress – or regress — will largely dictate the economic storyline of 2020.
TOP PERFORMING S&P STOCKS (YEAR-TO-DATE)
1) LENNAR CORP (+20.80%)
2) APACHE CORP (+19.22%)
3) TRANSDIGM GROUP INC (+17.49%)
4) L BRANDS INC (15.89%)
5) CITRIX SYSTEMS INC (+15.85%)
TRENDING ON TWITTER TODAY
1. JOE ROGAN
Welcome to the place where Twitter comes to celebrate the end of the week. Here, you’ll see things like a 91-year old woman “grooving” to Elvis. And cats dressed up like Alice in Wonderland. #letsgetweird
This is the day when we are supposed to all pay each other compliments. Because apparently, we’ve reached the point where we need reminders to say nice things to other humans.
The former Fear Factor host recently said on his hit podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience that he’d, “…probably vote for Bernie (Sanders)…” And now Twitter is burning.
Today in Washington D.C, pro-life supporters gathered to march in opposition of abortion. President Trump reportedly was there, too – the first time a commander-in-chief has attended this event.
The petite queen of country music has the social media world buzzing with her recent meme challenge. The idea is to post a collage with your ideal profile pics for Insta, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Tinder. Don’t lie, you know you wanna do it.
FINANCIAL ARTICLES WE LOVE
1. Home Renovations are Worth the Cost (and the ones that aren't)
Most of us have a list of renovations we’d like to make to our home, but some home improvements are better investments than others. This article highlights the projects that offer the best ROI for your house. Now go and channel your inner Chip and Joanna Gaines. Read here.
2. Top 7 Reasons to Roll Over Your 401(k) to an IRA
Switching jobs – or careers – in 2020 is more common than ever before. If you’re considering putting in notice with your current employer, check out these reasons to shake up the status quo with your retirement account. Read here.
3. After Ebullient 2019, Wall Street Warns of Slower Road Ahead
On the heels of a financially euphoric 2019, some Wall Street humans believe that markets will come back to earth this year. Considering how much the stock market made it rain last year, it seems the music stopping is a matter of “when” not “if”. Read here.
What is the driest place in the world? Check the answers in the black box below.
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ONE GOOD THING
Did you know on any given day, we make around 35,000 remotely conscious decisions? Some are good, some not so much. This edition of one good thing centers around a shared decision-making principle between animated film powerhouse Pixar and a 15-time world chess champion. Turns out a little shift in mindset can make a decidedly big difference in deciding on the right decision.
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TRIVIA ANSWER: (Answer: Atacama Desert, South America – Despite being located next to the Pacific Ocean, Chile’s Atacama Desert is considered the driest non-polar place on earth. Cities in this region’s central sector will go years without registering rainfall. It’s so dry and barren, this is where some TV and film crews will go to shoot Mars scenes. The Atacama also experiences some of the most intense solar radiation on the planet. Basically, you’re not going here for spring break.)
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