TOPLEY’S TOP 10 – Feb 29, 2024

1. History of Median P/E Ratios

From Irrelevant Investor Blog

Animal Spirits: Now Show Japan

2. 2-Year Treasury …4 to 4.70 in 2024

Not sure how much moving averages matter in bonds…but 2-year about to close over 200day


3. Home Depot Big Decline in Income

Stock making run at all-time highs above $400

4. U.S. Mag 7 Concentrated Rally…We Showed Europe Top 25 Concentrated Rally…..Japan Also Concentrated Rally

Torsten Slok, Ph.D.-Chief Economist, Partner

5. Beyond Meats Hit a High of $250 in 2019

BYND +40% yesterday but….

6. As Bitcoin Makes Run at Highs….COINBASE +53% in One Month

7. $1B Paid to Hackers Last Year thru Crypto

The Daily Shot Brief Food for Thought: Total crypto payments to hackers:

Source: @axios

8. 10 Largest Cities Back to the Office…Austin #1 vs. Philly #10

Kastle Systems

Kastle Systems – Data Assisting in Return to Office Plans

9. The greenest car in America isn’t an EV

Story by Shannon Osaka Washington Post  If you try to imagine a “green” car, an EV is probably the first thing that comes to mind. A silent motor with tons of torque; no fumes, gasoline smells, or air pollution belching from an exhaust pipe. Last year, U.S. consumers had over 50 electric car models to choose from, up from about 30 the year before.

But a new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy suggests that the “greenest” car in America may not be fully electric. The nonprofit group, which has rated the pollution from vehicles for decades, says the winning car this year is the Toyota Prius Prime, a plug-in hybrid that can go 48 miles on electricity before switching to hybrid.

“It’s the shape of the body, the technology within it, and the overall weight,” said Peter Huether, senior research associate for transportation at ACEEE. “And all different types of Priuses are very efficient.”

It’s not the first time that a plug-in vehicle has topped the GreenerCars list; the Prius Prime also won out in 2020 and 2022. But with more and more electric vehicles on the market, the staying power of the plug-in hybrid is surprising.


10. Peter Diamandis Predicts ‘Millions, Then Billions’ of Humanoid Robots Are Coming


Robot people aren’t just for science fiction movies anymore.

XPrize Foundation founder Peter Diamandis predicts that millions or even billions of robots that look and move like people could integrate into consumers’ homes and workplaces, thanks to technological breakthroughs including artificial intelligence and a looming labor shortage. The market for these robots could hit $150 billion by 2035 and as much as $3 trillion by 2050, according to figures cited by Diamandis.

“It’s only now, driven by major advances in sensors and actuators, battery technologies and artificial intelligence, that a new generation of useful and affordable robotic labor is within reach,” Diamandis wrote in a recent blog post.

Recent advancements in generative AI, the technology that enables applications like ChatGPT, have taken the world by storm. Generative AI “magnifies a robot’s adaptability,” Diamandis wrote, by using “reinforcement learning” combined with decision-making algorithms. Plus, robots have the potential to instantaneously share learned skills with others in their network–something humans cannot do.

The market for these robots could be huge. In a 2022 report, Goldman Sachs predicted the market value of humanoid robots in a “blue sky scenario” could hit as much as $154 billion by 2035. Cathie Wood, founder and CEO of investment management firm Ark Invest, sets the bar even higher, at $1 trillion by 2030. Financial services company Macquarie, meanwhile, anticipates a whopping $3 trillion market for humanoid robots by 2050.

Diamandis extolled the utility of a humanoid robot laborer who “operates 24/7, who doesn’t need drug testing, and doesn’t call in sick from a fight with their boyfriend or girlfriend,” in a recent conversation with Inc.

Lidar, or light detection and ranging sensors, is the technology that gives sight to autonomous vehicles–and could do the same for humanoid robots. It works by rapidly firing a laser off of surrounding objects, and then using a sensor to measure the length of time it takes for the light to travel out and bounce back, according to the National Ecological Observatory Network. These measurements, used for mapping out surroundings, help robots navigate, according to San Jose, California-based lidar company Velodyne Lidar. The size and cost of lidar units have shrunk 1,000 times and 100 times, respectively, Diamandis writes, making the technology more accessible.

Driving the demand for humanoid robots is a looming labor shortage as Baby Boomers head into retirement with fewer young workers to replace them, Diamandis notes. This could be an advantage to workers as robots replace less desirable jobs in industries like manufacturing and agriculture. But more than industry is behind Macquarie’s massive market predictions. Wendy Pan, an analyst for Macquarie Research in Japan, sees humanoid robots as the next logical step in a long line of technological advances.

“The car helped shorten people’s commute time. I see the purpose as similar for humanoid robots: to shorten people’s time spent on housework, making people’s lives easier and more convenient,” writes Pan.

Diamandis isn’t alone in his sentiments. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Tesla CEO Elon Musk are among the big names bullish about humanoid robots.

Peter Diamandis Predicts ‘Millions, Then Billions’ of Humanoid Robots Are Coming |

TOPLEY’S TOP 10 – Feb 28, 2024

1. Equal Weight Nasdaq 100 Record Low vs. Cap Weight (Mag 7)

2. MTUM Momentum ETF +17.5% YTD After Multiple Underperforming Years

MTUM Chart Making Run at 2021 Highs

3. Seasonality Bullish

Jefferies Zach Goldberg Seasonality…Carson noted, the S&P 500 is about to be up in November, December, January, and February. The full calendar year has never been lower when that happened before? Higher 14 out of 14 and up 21.2% on average.

4. Monthly Returns Election Years vs. Non-Election Years

Nasdaq Dorsey Wright

5. Investors Back in for Biotech

Dave Lutz Jones Trading BIOTECH BOOMING– WSJ says “Investors Flock Back to Biotech After a Long, Cold Spell” – The deep freeze in biotech is beginning to thaw.  About half a dozen biotechnology companies have gone public since the start of 2024, with some raising hundreds of millions of dollars. The jump-start to the new year is a welcome sign for the industry after a challenging two years fueled by layoffs, scientific hurdles and rising interest rates, investors say. Fewer than 20 companies went public in both 2022 and 2023.

Biotechs have attracted more than $6 billion in follow-on financing since the start of the year through mid-February, which Jefferies analysts say is a record-setting pace—one that has already exceeded each quarterly amount recorded since the second quarter of 2021.  “The healthy market is back,” said Jordan Saxe, head of healthcare listings at Nasdaq, “and it’s not just a fad.”


6. Biotech ETF Chart-Closes Above 200-Week Moving Average

XBI long-term weekly chart.


7. ZOOM Chart

I have not checked ZM in a long-time …Pop yesterday but sideways 18 months


8. Commodities Fall to Lowest Since 2021

9. Home prices hit a new all-time high in December, says Case-Shiller

CNBC By Aarthi Swaminathan

All 20 major markets reported yearly gains for the first time in 2023, S&P said.

10. How to Bring Up Hard Topics in an Easy Way

Psychology Today Loren Soeiro, Ph.D. ABPP To turn conflict into agreement, try reframing what you’re asking for.


  • Framing your criticisms and requests in negative ways is likely to cause arguments.
  • Defensive replies are often triggered by remarks framed toward the negative.
  • Instead, try asking for what you want and avoiding negative words like “don’t” or “didn’t.”

“I don’t like that outfit.”
“Turn down that terrible music.”
“You did not do this assignment well.”
“I really hate it when you do that.”
“This is the wrong road to take.”

If you’re like me, you won’t enjoy hearing any of the above remarks—from your partner, boss, or children. No one ever really wants to hear direct criticism, but difficult truths still need to be communicated. Mistakes happen; people close to you may take wrong turns, make unexpected clothing choices, and play music you don’t enjoy.

Life is full of unavoidable little conflicts that get on our nerves and chip away at our good moods. Usually, though, there is a way to speak up and address them without making things worse.

The most important thing to understand about criticism is that the offense it provokes generally doesn’t arise from the substance of what you’re saying but from how you’ve said it. Think about it: Aren’t most people reasonably able to understand that they’ve made a mistake or chosen an outfit that not everyone will appreciate? Remember what it felt like when you were a student, and your teacher explained that you’d made a mistake in your work but could easily be fixed—would that have been so difficult to hear?

The real issue, then, isn’t the content but the form. And the best way to think about the form of what you’re saying has to do with something quite black and white—or, to be specific, positive and negative. Each of the little criticisms I listed above (which I made up but drew from real-life examples patients have told me over the years.) is formulated in a particular way: toward the negative.

The first example, “I don’t like that outfit,” focuses on something the speaker doesn’t like. The second, “Turn down that terrible music,” goes out of its way to insult the music and demands that its volume be reduced. The third points out that an assignment has been done badly; the fourth uses a very strong word, “hate,” to come down on another person’s behavior. And the last, “This is the wrong road,” simply points out that the driver’s choice is wrong and bad.

If you’ve already noticed the similarities among these examples and the way they are all framed—toward things that are “wrong” or “hated” or “terrible” or “disliked”—perhaps you’ve also suspected what is wrong with this. Simply put, framing one’s remarks toward the negative is almost guaranteed to elicit a defensive response.

If you tell someone else you don’t like something, they’ll most likely shut you down by saying, “Well, I do,” and leaving it at that. If you say you don’t like what they’re wearing, their first impulse will probably be to contradict you and to say why they chose it. Essentially, you’ve just attacked them, and in doing so, you’ve provoked their psychological defenses. (You may also cause hurt feelings, but I’m choosing to center on defensiveness for our purposes.)

To say it another way: When you premise your remarks on criticism, the person you’re speaking to will feel a small burst of defiance inside, and the response you’re most likely to hear will be an expression of that defiance—and a negation of whatever you’ve said. You might hear, “This song is awesome,” or “I don’t care, I always go this way,” or even just “Deal with it.” And if your original remark hasn’t gone over well with them, their response probably won’t strike you in any kind of friendly way, either, and before you know it, you’ll be in a fight.

Now, take a step back, as you might have to do when in the middle of a tough conversation with a friend or partner. Reconsider the gist of what you’re trying to say. What are you really asking for—a change of some kind? Is there a way to reframe your statement to ask for that change without losing the essential meaning?

If you don’t like the music your friend is playing, your goal isn’t to get them to admit that they have terrible taste, but really only to change whatever’s playing to something else. If you don’t like the road your partner has chosen, you probably only want to get to your destination quickly rather than override their choices entirely.

So, is there a way to express these needs without turning them into criticism?

There is if you reframe your remarks away from the negative and toward the positive. You’re really saying the same thing—expressing your preferences in a way that differs but without triggering that defensiveness I mentioned earlier. To wit, “I like the other shirt a little better” is much less likely to cause a fight than “I don’t like that outfit.” You’re saying what you like rather than complaining about what you don’t.

Try the other examples, too:

  • “Turn down that terrible music” vs. “Can we put on something else for a while?”
  • “You did this assignment badly.” vs. “I think you might need to revisit this part.”
  • “I really hate it when you do that.” vs. “I really like it when you do this instead.”
  • “This is the wrong road to take.” vs. “I’ve always thought the other way was faster.”

In each case, you make the same points without making it personal. It’s a small thing, of course, but in many cases, it’s not as easy as it seems because criticisms can slip out before we notice what we’re saying. But taking a few moments to anticipate what we’re about to say can often save a lot of conflict, argument, or hurt feelings.

In this way, framing your comments toward the positive and doing your best not to provoke defensive reactions can make it much easier to get difficult points across.

TOPLEY’S TOP 10 – Feb 27, 2024

1. Follow-Up to Yesterday’s #1-Looks Like Hedge Funds Pulling Back on Tech

Dave Lutz Jones Trading  Figures showed that after piling into tech stocks in the weeks before Nvidia Corp.’s earnings, hedge funds are now cashing out and selling at the fastest pace in seven months. Professional managers offloaded their positions for four straight sessions last week, including Thursday, the day after Nvidia posted results, according to data from Goldman’s prime-brokerage unit. The intensity of the selling ranks in the 98th percentile of the past five years.

The data suggests traders are booking profits on their tech wagers after a six-week buying streak and putting that extra cash into less volatile stocks, such as consumer staples. Companies that make household products saw the most net buying in 10 weeks, according to Goldman’s prime brokerage

2. S&P Positive 15 Out of 17 Weeks

Jim Reid Deutsche Bank We are in rarefied air in terms of the relentless risk rally since the end of October. Today’s CoTD is adapted from my colleague Henry Allen’s latest Mapping Markets (link here) and shows that the S&P 500 has now been up for 15 out of the last 17 weeks. This is the first time since 1989 that’s happened, and before that you’d need to go back to 1972 for such a run. If we get yet another advance this week, it would be 16 out of 18 for the first time since 1971, the joint record in an 18-week run.

Interestingly, looking at all such 15/17 week runs, the median price performance in the next 13 and 26 weeks is +2.0% and +5.5%, respectively, which are both high relative to an annual price move of around 6% over the last 100 years. So there is no specific evidence, from history, of mean reversion once you see one of these runs.

3. Fear and Greed Index at Extreme Greed

4. Bitcoin 21% from an All-Time High

5. Grayscale Ethereum +43% in One-Month

ETHE Making Run at 2021 Levels.

6. Private Equity Secondaries Market Data

Secondaries Investor Blog

7. Private Equity Growth vs. Stock Market Shrink

Number of Stocks in Wilshire 5000

8. Private Equity Funds Operating in Real Estate Sitting on $544B in Cash

Cash-Flush Buyers Dip into Distressed Commercial RE

Some data shows that global real estate funds operated by private-equity firms held $544B in cash at the end of 2Q 2023, up from $457B at the end of 2Q 2022.

NEW YORK – Regional banks and other lenders have grown concerned about the volatility in commercial real estate, but investors are poised to scoop up distressed properties with cash.

Preqin data show that global real estate funds operated by private-equity firms held $544 billion in cash at the end of 2023’s second quarter, up from $457 billion at the end of 2Q 2022.

The pressure is on for office building, hotel, and apartment building owners, as higher debt-service costs are hitting those with floating rate debt. For example, Harbor Group International spent more than $600 million over the last year on seven apartment building developments, two of which are in Palm Beach, Florida, but some of those apartment buildings were not filling up as quickly as expected.

Richard Litton, president of Harbor Group, said, “Given the pressure on regional banks, those extension options were not necessarily available to developers. Now, investors are ready to either buy the properties or offer owners rescue capital for preferred returns.”

MSCI Real Assets data found that by the end of 2023, commercial property distress totaled $85.8 billion, up from $56.9 billion at the end of 2022 and the highest level since the third quarter of 2013.

Distress is likely to continue, forcing owners to refinance, particularly the over $2.2 trillion in commercial mortgages scheduled to mature between 2024 and 2027, reports Trepp.

However, with the availability of capital from funds and other resources for distressed assets, the struggles of the commercial property market are not near the levels of the 2008-2009 financial crisis. 

Source: Wall Street Journal (02/12/24) Grant, Peter

9. Tesla rival BYD launches electric supercar that could take on Ferrari — for $233,000-CNBC



  • Chinese automaker BYD this weekend unveiled a new electric supercar that can hit speeds similar to high-end models by industry giants like Ferrari.
  • The U9 will be released as part of BYD’s luxury brand Yangwang, which was introduced last year.
  • BYD is a key competitor for Tesla as competition in the global electrical vehicle market runs hot.

Chinese automaker BYD this weekend unveiled a new electric supercar that it says can hit speeds similar to high-end models produced by industry giants like Ferrari.

The U9 supercar will be part of BYD’s luxury brand Yangwang, which was only introduced last year and has launched two other vehicles.

According to BYD, the U9 will be able to reach a top speed of 309.19 kph, or 192.12 mph. It will also be able to accelerate to 100 kph within 2.36 seconds.

This is comparable to supercars produced by long-established brands like Ferrari, whose hybrid SF90 Stradale model can accelerate to 100 kph in 2.5 seconds, according to the company’s website.

Prices for the U9 will start from 1.68 million yuan ($233,424) and deliveries are due to begin this summer, BYD said in a press release.

10. If you have a friend who uses any of these 8 toxic phrases, it may be time to ‘move on’: Psychologist

Marisa G. Franco, Contributor@DRMARISAGFRANCO

Friends are the cornerstone of a fulfilling and happy life. But some friendships can veer into toxicity, leaving emotional scars that make us want to withdraw altogether. 

As a psychologist and expert in human connection, belonging and friendship, I help people recognize the signs of toxic relationships. But as my fellow friendship expert Danielle Bayard-Jackson argues, the most toxic friends often use crafty and underhanded forms of aggression. 

Here are eight phrases that will help you spot even subtle signs of a toxic friendship: 

1. ‘You’re too sensitive.’

When friends say “you’re too sensitive,” they imply that your feelings aren’t valid and that there’s something wrong with you for having them.

But expressing your emotions is a healthy part of any friendship, and being told you’re too sensitive may indicate your friend lacks empathy. 

2. ‘I was just joking. Can’t you take a joke?’

Good friends are responsive and try to meet your needs. When you tell a friend you’re hurt, responsiveness looks like them trying to understand why and adjusting their behavior. 

In a toxic friendship, they may instead say things like “Can’t you take a joke?” as a defense to camouflage hurtful comments and avoid accountability. 

3. ‘You’re lucky to have me as a friend.’

Healthy friendships are built on equality. You’re both invested and neither of you is viewed as better than the other.

If you constantly hear your friend asserting their superiority or suggesting you should be grateful for their presence, it may be a sign of an imbalanced relationship in which you’re not valued. 

4. ‘I miss the old you.’

Friends should allow you to be who you are, whether or not it fits their personal values, and encourage you to change and grow.

If your friend expresses discomfort with positive changes or, worse, undermines your progress, it could be a sign that you’ve outgrown the friendship or that your friend doesn’t have your best interests in mind. 

5. ‘You owe me.’

While reciprocity is important, if a friend expects you to repay everything they offer, it may mean they see the relationship as transactional.

As you get close to someone, you begin to include them in your sense of self, so what hurts them hurts you and what makes them happy makes you happy. That’s why good friends feel comfortable being generous. 

6. ‘I wonder why they gave you that promotion.’

Having a friend who downplays your accomplishments or tries to one-up your success (e.g., “Well I just got a big raise”) undercuts your confidence and joy. 

In healthy friendships, friends engage in something called “capitalization,” amplifying your joy by cheerfully exclaiming congratulations or taking you out to celebrate. 

7. ‘I’m sorry you feel that way.’

True reconciliation requires each party to recognize the harm they caused. When a friend apologizes because you feel a certain way, they imply that the problem is your feelings rather than their behavior.

If expressing your concerns or setting boundaries is met with dismissive comments like this one, your friend isn’t taking accountability for their impact on you. 

8. ‘…’ (as in nothing, they just ghost you)

Losing a friendship often triggers something called “disenfranchised grief,” an experience that occurs because society trivializes friendship and doesn’t legitimize the gravity of the loss. That grief is compounded when you don’t even know why a friend is pulling away.

Getting ghosted, one study found, makes you feel hurt and sad and lowers your self-esteem. Even if they want to end a friendship, friends should show regard for you by telling you explicitly. 

Diagnosing and dealing with a toxic friendship

Of course, no single phrase alone can diagnose a friendship as toxic. So be sure to consider these phrases within the larger dynamics by asking yourself questions like: 

  • Do they show up when I’m in need? 
  • Do they want the best for me? 
  • Is there a balance where each of our needs are met? 

If you find these phrases reflect a larger toxic dynamic, it may be a sign to pull back, set boundaries, or have an honest conversation and move on.

Marisa G. Franco is a psychologist, professor at The University of Maryland, and the New York Times bestselling author of ”Platonic: How The Science of Attachment Can Help You Make — and Keep — Friends.” Her work has been featured in Psychology TodayThe New York TimesThe Telegraph and Vice.

TOPLEY’S TOP 10 – Feb 23, 2024

1. Earnings Summary …S&P Earnings 80% Beat

2. Japan and U.S. Higher Than Average Earnings  vs. Emerging

Global Developments: Japan and the US experienced significantly higher-than-average earnings outperformance in Q4, in contrast to Emerging Markets, which persistently fell short of estimates.

Source: Deutsche Bank Research The Daily Shot Blog

3. Not Close to 1999-Bloomberg

By John Authers

4. NVDA and META Separate from Mag 7

Marketwatch By Jamie Chisholm

5. Intel Market Cap is 10% of NVDA

From Abnormal Returns Blog

6. Another Economic Indicator Bites the Dust.

Nasdaq Dorsey Wright Another one bites the dust: Conference Board walks back US recession call
This week has been a quiet one for data. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) was the one big release we got. 
As a leading indicator of the economy, the LEI is meant to predict when the US economy is headed for recession. Well… the latest data show it’s contracted for the 23rd straight month! 
Despite this, the Conference Board became the latest forecaster to walk back its US recession prediction

7. Not Sure When Investors Will Care

Capital Group-American Funds

Small-cap stocks: 7 opportunities to watch in 2024 | Capital Group

8. T-Bills Without Tax Bills? This Fund Says It Cracked the Code-Bloomberg

By Zachary R Mider

A fast-growing exchange-traded fund called BOXX uses an old loophole in a new way.

A Marine Corps veteran with a finance Ph.D. has come up with a new way to avoid taxes.
Any American holding US government securities has to pay income taxes on the interest they generate. For the richest investors, the Internal Revenue Service’s cut is 37%.
But a year-old investment fund offers returns that closely track short-term Treasuries, with starkly lower tax bills. The fund, Alpha Architect 1-3 Month Box ETF, uses a complex options strategy and a longstanding tax loophole that favors exchange-traded funds.
“We spent seven years figuring out how to do this,” said Wesley Gray, the ex-Marine and chief executive officer of Alpha Architect. “My job is just to deliver all the value I possibly can to my shareholders, within the law.”
The fund, known by its ticker BOXX, surpassed $1 billion in assets this month. It is one of a number of efforts to use the ETF loophole in creative new ways, said Jeffrey Colon, a tax professor at Fordham University’s School of Law in New York. He called BOXX “the poster child for tax arbitrage.”

9. CYBERSECURITY -Leaked files expose China’s network of hackers

Morningbrew Thanks to an anonymous whistleblower, the world now has more insight than ever into the Chinese government’s cyber-espionage efforts, which US officials rank as one of America’s top security threats.
Hundreds of pages posted to GitHub last week and deemed credible detail how officials in China hire private-sector hackers to surveil and disrupt societies domestically and abroad, fueling a lively cyberspying marketplace.
The documents showed the cards of one Chinese hacking firm, ISoon. According to the files, over at least eight years:

  • ISoon hackers contracted with Chinese government bureaus to target political dissidents in China and government officials in 20+ foreign nations, including the UK, by infiltrating social media or email accounts, wi-fi networks, and other infrastructure.
  • The firm mostly helped China get info from other Asian countries, including road network data from Taiwan, which could help the Chinese military in an invasion.
  • ISoon’s product list claimed to be able to gain remote access to Microsoft Outlook and Hotmail accounts and to Apple iOS smartphone GPS, contacts, and recording. But internal chats show that ISoon frequently failed to steal info from governments.

The US has been sounding the alarm. China’s support for and payment of contracted hackers has created such a large cyberespionage network that China’s hackers outnumber the FBI’s cyber/intelligence people 50 to 1, FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress last month.—ML

10. Fate Doesn’t Care

The Daily Stoic After everything that’s happened in the last few years, we’re tired. After everything that’s happened in your life, after everything that’s gone wrong the last couple weeks, you think to yourself, “I can’t handle one more thing going wrong.”
Certainly, Marcus Aurelius would have related to the sentiment. Floods. Plagues. Wars. A troubled son. Personal health issues. “Haven’t I given enough?” we had him say in a recent Daily Stoic video. But the thing is, life doesn’t care. It has no time for your questions. It pays no mind to your limits.
“I don’t think I’m up for this,” the novelist John Gregory Dunne said to his wife as they left the hospital after rushing to check on their daughter who had just been admitted. He was down about his career. He wasn’t feeling great about his own health. He was sick about his only child. He was worried it would be a long and hard road out for all of them. Joan Didion, his steely, stoic wife, responded with something we can imagine Marcus Aurelius reminding himself of in Meditations: “You don’t get a choice.”
Fortune behaves as she pleases, the Stoics said. Life disposes. It decides. The only thing we get a choice in is how we respond.

TOPLEY’S TOP 10 – Feb 22, 2024

1. The Death of Stock Splits 

Barrons  Adjusted for inflation, that average 1983 price of $39.06 is worth $120.30 in today’s dollars. That doesn’t fully explain the increase in stock prices, but a precipitous decline in stock splits probably does. Silverblatt tells me that in 1983, 90 S&P 500 companies split their stock. Last year, only four did.
According to Josh Staiger of Multpl, the market’s price-to-book ratio is 4.61, not a record (that was 5.06 in March 2000), but well above the average of 3.01.  High stock prices aren’t just anecdotal—data bear it out, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices. The average price of a stock in the S&P 500 is now $204.28, Silverblatt says, with some 73% of them (or 281 stocks) selling for more than $100 and nine trading for more than $1,000. Compare that with 40 years ago, when the average price was $39.06 and only about 4% (or nine) issues traded for more than $100, and zero over $1,000.

By Andy Serwer

2. Private Equity Payouts at Major Firms Plummet 49% in Two Years-Bloomberg 

Distributions to fund investors falling amid deal drought
Fund investors zeroing in on a new metric for PE investments
By Layan OdehMatthew Griffin, and Gillian Tan

3. 10 Companies Represent 25% of Euro Stoxx 600 Index


Euro News The rise of GRANOLAS By Piero Cingari-The GRANOLAS represent around a quarter of the STOXX 600’s market cap, and equate to the total market capitalisation of heavyweight sectors such as Energy, Basic Resources, Financials, and Automobiles.
Reflecting on the changing tides of the European market, Goldman Sachs noted a significant shift from traditional industry leaders like Telecoms and Oil two decades ago, to a diverse array of sectors today.
“Twenty years ago, at the start of 2000, the 10 biggest companies in Europe based on market cap were all Telecoms and Oil names, with the exception of HSBC. If we fast-forward to the Covid crisis, there were no Banks, Oil or Telecoms companies among the largest 10 in Europe,” Goldman Sachs’ analyst, Peter Oppenheimer, wrote in a note to clients on Monday.
In the past twelve months, the GRANOLAS have notched up over €500 billion of revenue, showcasing an 8% annual surge.
“They are a large part of the reason why European equities have performed well despite lacklustre domestic GDP,” Goldman Sachs noted.
They’ve delivered a 15% average gain over the past year, outstripping the STOXX 600’s 5% and contributing to 60% of the index’s overall growth.

4. One Stock Outperformed NVDA in One Year….ANF +300%

5. Two Charts I was Watching for New Highs…Buybacks and Spin-Offs…..

6. One More to Watch..IPO…Still Long Way to Go for New Highs.

7. Business Insider Russia has never been richer after selling $37 billion in oil to India last year

Jennifer Sor 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia speaking at a conference in 2014. .

  • Russia’s record revenue in 2023 was partly attributable to India’s huge appetite for Russian crude.
  • India took in $37 billion of Russian oil last year, 13 times what it bought before the Ukraine war.
  • India, however, is under growing pressure to comply with Western sanctions.

Russia has never been this flush with cash — and it’s partly thanks to India, which snapped up a monster amount of Russian crude last year.
Russia’s federal revenue soared to a record $320 billion in 2023 — an amount partly attributable to India’s huge appetite for cheap Russian oil, according to a new report from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air shared with CNN
The nation bought $37 billion of crude from Russia last year, the report said, around 13 times what it purchased from Russia before the war in Ukraine.
India has been a huge customer of Russian crude since Moscow began its invasion of Ukraine. After being slammed by Western trade restrictions, Moscow has doled out hefty discounts to its allies, like India and China, who have since gobbled up huge amounts of oil from the nation.

8. Amazon Advertising

9. Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists Are Breaking Up With China-Dealbook

Under intensifying scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers, top firms have pulled back from investing in Chinese start-ups.
By Erin Griffith

DCM Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, began investing in China’s start-ups in 1999. The move reaped such blockbuster returns that in 2021, DCM said it planned to “double down” on its strategy of investing in China, the United States and Japan.
Yet when DCM set out to raise money last fall for a new fund focused on very young companies and promoted its “cross-Pacific” expertise, the firm described plans to invest in the United States, Japan and South Korea, according to a fund-raising memo that was viewed by The New York Times.
China was not mentioned.
DCM’s messaging is one example of an industrywide shift happening between Silicon Valley investors and Chinese start-ups. U.S. venture capital firms that once saw China as the next frontier for innovation and investment returns are backing away, with some separating their Chinese operations from their American business and others declining to make new investments there.
The about-face stems from the tense relationship between the United States and China as they jockey for geopolitical, economic and technological primacy. The countries have engaged in a trade war amid a diplomatic rift, enacting tit-for-tat restrictions including U.S. moves to curb future investments in China and to scrutinize past investments in sensitive sectors.

10. 5 Reasons People Get Laid Off-HBR

HBR by Marlo Lyons
Summary.   As companies continue to conduct layoffs, despite signs of economic recovery, it’s normal to feel powerless. Sometimes thwarting a layoff is impossible. For example, there’s not much you can do if your entire business unit is being cut because company goals have…more
Despite signs of economic recovery, including lower inflation rates and sustained low unemployment, the start of 2024 has already seen a surge in layoffs, surpassing 10,000 within the tech industry alone at the time of writing. Macy’s, Wayfair, Ford, and Citigroup are among the other companies who have already announced layoffs this year. This leaves many workers in a state of uncertainty, waiting to find out if they’re next to be cut.
It’s normal to feel powerless in this position. There’s not much you can do if your entire business unit is being cut because company goals have changed and your work is no longer relevant, or if the company over-hired and revenue has unexpectedly dropped. However, there are proactive measures you can take that will help you manage your stress. Here are five common reasons people are laid off — and strategies to help you assert some control over your professional destiny.
1. Lack of skills advancement
Employees are 100% responsible for continually upskilling and reskilling. While companies may offer resources to learn new skills, they tend to teach to the entire employee population, so most talent development programs focus on management skills such as giving feedback, leadership skills such as influencing without authority, and soft skills such as emotional intelligence. But employees need to continue to advance their hard skills, such as becoming technically proficient in AI applications or new programming languages. Those who don’t continue to evolve their skills to keep up with rapidly changing business needs may be targeted for layoffs.
Recent advancements in generative AI and large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT provide a timely example. While this technology has been predicted to replace human workers at a large scale, for now it may be replacing tech workers who don’t have AI skills. As companies update their core products with this new technology, they’ll be looking for talent who have LLM expertise. Even if you’re an expert in natural language processing, machine learning, or natural language understanding technologies, if you haven’t gained expertise in LLMs, which can generate contextually accurate text, answer queries, summarize text, and preform language translation, then your skills are already outdated.
Showing a dedication to reskilling yourself in a new space and demonstrating those skills during the transition to a new way of doing business could save your job. Therefore, employees should take a proactive approach to gaining skills and knowledge based on where the market and company are heading to ensure their skills remain relevant.
2. You’re an “overseer,” not a “doer”
When companies decide to implement budget cuts, the finance department typically allocates a specific percentage reduction to each department. The most straightforward method to meet the assigned cut percentage is to eliminate the positions of individuals with the highest salaries, particularly if they’re not actively involved in accomplishing the work. Managers who lack hands-on involvement may be seen as less valuable to the organization, as there is a perception that they’re not directly contributing to task and project execution. This perception could increase the likelihood of them being considered expendable during cost-cutting measures.
Managers who are invaluable to an organization find a balance between strategic leadership and hands-on involvement without micromanaging their teams. They’re perceived as more adaptable and capable of responding quickly to changes, making them more resilient in volatile business situations. Managers who have deep understanding of team dynamics, challenges, and goals and who can demonstrate their ability to speak to the details will make seem like they’re the glue holding the team together, which makes it harder to see their role as dispensable.
3. Lack of visibility
Being the quiet worker bee won’t protect you from being laid off. In fact, being invisible could be your downfall. When determining which roles to cut, if senior leadership doesn’t know who you are, what you do, or the impact you make, your job could be an easy choice for elimination. In times of organizational changes or restructuring, being visible can help mitigate the risk of being overlooked or underestimated.
Your visibility can act as a form of job security by ensuring decision makers are aware of your capabilities and impact. Having visibility at all levels in an organization can help you create a strong network of colleagues and senior leaders who can vouch for your contributions and accomplishments. It could also show leaders you can succeed if plugged into any position. If decision makers have a clear understanding of your skills, achievements, and contributions, they’re more likely to view your position as essential to the success of the company, or they may see you as the person to combine teams under when other roles are eliminated.
4. Lack of performance
When companies need to cut their budgets, they’ll likely try to eliminate those who are considered non-performers. Where more than one person is doing a particular job, layoffs provide managers a ripe opportunity to cut low performers without having to do the hard work of giving them more feedback or putting them on a performance improvement plan.
Employees must realize their manager’s perception means everything. So even if you think you’re doing a great job, if your manager doesn’t agree, you could be deemed a poor performer and be on the chopping block. Therefore, employees need to proactively request feedback from their managers more often than just during the performance-review period. Once you receive feedback, continually work on improving, and check back in with your manager to see whether they agree that your performance has improved.
5. Offshoring and automation
The automation or offshore relocation of specific jobs is determined based on strategic, economic, and operational costs as well as technological advancements. Companies may opt for offshoring to countries with lower labor costs where the talent pool is rich with expertise. They may also implement automation technologies that prove more efficient and accurate than human labor to cut expenses associated with salaries, benefits, and operational overhead. The World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs Report delves into which jobs will likely shift toward automation, minimizing the need for human interaction.
To safeguard against a potential layoff, it’s critical to stay informed about market trends and assess whether your chosen career is prone to offshoring or automation in the future. In some cases, U.S.-based companies may have a U.S. manager overseeing offshored talent or automated processes. That may pose further challenges for early-career professionals who want to grow into management positions and are seeking experience through jobs that have been offshored or automated to get there. If you discover your job is one that’s likely to be automated in the future or you see trends moving toward offshoring your type of position, find ways to gain new skills that will help you transition to another field with less risk and will be just as (if not more) fulfilling. For example, you could take on a stretch project in another department at your company or form a side hustle consultancy.
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Building a reputation for being a valuable team member through your work and relationships is key to minimizing your risk of being laid off. Ensure your leadership and cross-functional stakeholders know your contributions and the impact you bring to the organization as well as where you’ve upskilled to stay relevant, which will help position you as an indispensable asset. This proactive approach helps ensure that your value is recognized long before any decisions about layoffs are made.