Stocks continued to be extraordinarily volatile this week despite what appeared to be a relatively successful meeting between US President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 conference in Buenos Aires over the weekend. The trading week was shortened in the U.S. due to a national day of mourning that was declared to honor former US President George H.W. Bush who passed away on November 30.
Volatility continued this week ahead of the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires this coming weekend. Trade frictions continued between the U.S. and China and new developments between Russia and Ukraine added to further global unease.
Liberal economist Paul Krugman proclaimed earlier this year that “gold is dead.” An Economist article stated that “there is no point in investing in gold, any financial investment is better.” And Warren Buffett, one of the most successful investors of modern times, has never liked gold.
Americans were taught about Paul Revere’s ride in school. He was said to have ridden from his home in the North End of Boston, to Lexington and Concord, to warn the people there that Federal troops had landed in Boston Harbour and would soon reach the townships.
It was a short trading week in the U.S. due to the Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. markets were closed on Thursday, and opened for a shortened day on Friday as retailers geared up for a hoped-for rush of shoppers to kick off the holiday shopping season.
Let’s say that you and several other shareholders owned a large building and you had reason to believe that its structure were faulty. Possibly you’d not maintained the building properly and you now realized that, if it were to fall down, you’d be liable for any damage caused.
Devastating wildfires in California were the latest disaster to strike the United States. The raging fires followed almost directly on the heels of two major hurricanes that had devastating impacts on Florida as well as much of the eastern seaboard. The scale of the economic impact due to the damage of this year’s natural disasters won’t be known for months, if not years. In the markets, volatility remained elevated amid indications of slowing global growth.
Mid-term elections in the U.S. were the big news of the week and the results will likely mean that governmental gridlock in Washington, D.C. will return in full. Republicans maintained control of the Senate, but the Democrats have taken the majority in the House of Representatives.
Periodically, I’ll encounter someone who has read one of my essays and has decided not to pursue them further, stating, “You’re one of those ‘End of the world’ guys. I can’t be bothered reading the writings of someone who thinks we’re all doomed. I have a more positive outlook than that.”
In actual fact, I agree entirely with his latter two comments. I can’t be bothered reading the thoughts of a writer who says we’re all doomed, either. I, too, have a more positive outlook than that.
Trade and tariff impacts combined with ongoing tensions in the Middle East to continue rattling markets this week. Technology stocks in particular struggled as earnings season begins to wind down. Several big tech names, like Apple, and Alphabet (formerly Google) either missed on their earnings expectations or announced things during their conference calls that spooked investors.