1) Apple's China Problem Goes Deeper Than iPhones
Tepid iPhone sales aren't all that ail Apple (apple.com) in China. Competition from local smartphone rivals, trade-dispute fallout and a court battle could make 2019 a tough year for Apple in its most important market outside the U.S. Wall Street Journal (wsj.com) video above published Jan 7, 2019. See also Why Apple Revised Its Outlook - It's Not All China (video).
For the first time, silicon carbide – a material older than the solar system – is helping power electric vehicles and ease the use of solar technology. While the compound was first discovered in meteorites dating back over 4.6 billion years, it’s now possible to synthesize it and use it to make power semiconductors. “Silicon carbide’s advantages can be summed up in one word – efficiency,” explains Alexander Duval of Goldman Sachs Research.
Although cheaper silicon-based devices are more widespread, silicon carbide can withstand higher temperatures and preserve more energy than silicon, benefiting power sources like batteries. Duval believes that silicon carbide could ultimately slash the cost of manufacturing EVs and installing solar inverters – savings that will outweigh its higher initial cost in the long run. GoldmanSachs.com video above first published Jan 7, 2019.
The Week: NASDAQ Composite +3.5% | S&P 500 Index +2.5% | DJIA +2.4%
"The stock market just got off to its best start in 13 years"--marketwatch.com
Next ECB chief will be in an ‘incredibly difficult position' says Economist
Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion (tressis.com), discusses the European Central Bank (ECB) and the future of European monetary policy. CNBC International TV video above published Jan 10, 2019.
- Eurozone: not safe yet--the euro still needs fixing--economist.com
- Brexit Deal? UK House of Commons to hold parliamentary vote on UK Prime Minister Theresa May's 'Brexit deal' January 15. London remained the top destination in Europe for technology investment in 2018, with nearly double the amount of nearest rival Berlin.
"John Maynard Keynes talked about feedback. When people lose their job, they stop spending. That feeds back into the labor market again because when they stop spending, more jobs are lost. It gets feedback and can amplify itself into a big depression, as Keynes explained. There’s a lot of talk in the air about a recession being overdue, or a recession coming. To some extent, this talk itself can be a self‑fulfilling prophecy"--Robert J. Shiller on Bubbles, Reflexivity, and Narrative Economics.
4) ICYMI Tech News:
- Amazon Overtakes Apple, Microsoft To Become World's Largest Listed Company (in market capitalization). See also seekingalpha.com: huge Amazon margin expansion to come.
- Qualcomm says Huawei gets only 22 percent of its modems from Qualcomm, and Samsung gets only 38 percent of the chips it uses from Qualcomm.
- Facebook $FB: Over a 5-month period, Facebook $FB lost more than 40% of its market capitalization--SeekingAlpha.com. See also: Inside Facebook's 'cult-like' workplace, where dissent is discouraged and employees pretend to be happy all the time--cnbc.com.
- Apple $AAPL: iPhone sales are falling off a cliff, down 15% Y/Y--3 Things Tim Cook Didn't Tell You | seekingalpha.com. For every 1% drop in China revenue growth, Apple total revenue growth will drop 1.5%--seekingalpha.com.
- Google Moved $23 Billion To Bermuda Tax Haven In 2017 to take advantage of a European tax loophole, a "totally legal" tax-avoidance scheme involving a soon-to-be-phased-out strategy known as the "Double Irish, Dutch Sandwich."
- Ripe for Disruption? $3.5 Trillion A Year: Is America's Health Care System The World's Largest Money-Making Scam?--zerohedge.com.
- China approves second group of video games but none of Tencent Holdings Ltd.
- Personal tech: Acer's first AMD Chromebook comes with a 15.6-inch display, AMD A4 or A6 CPUs, integrated Radeon graphics, and up to 8GB of RAM, starting at $280.