TOPLEY’S TOP 10 April 11 2024

1. Four-Year Rate of Change Inflation


2. Flows into Inflationary Sectors Have Been Negative

Dave Lutz Jones Trading
$600mn was pulled from technology, the first time since October the sector has not led flows and its first month of net outflows since June – Twits note Fighting Tech momentum hasn’t been a winning strategy, although there’s quite an imbalance between sector flows compared to reflationary sectors.

3. APPLE Breaking Nov 2023 Lows

I show this chart weekly, we are one down day from breaking cleanly thru Nov 2023

4. CPI Showed Higher Energy Prices…XLE Breakout

Energy Select broke out of 2-year sideways pattern

5. CPI and S&P Performance


6. After CPI 10-Year 4.5% First Time Since November

7. New Weight Loss ETF

ETF Summary
Under normal circumstances, the fund seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its net assets, which include borrowings for investment purposes, in publicly listed companies that derive at least 50% of revenues from products or services related to the treatment of cardiovascular diseases and/or metabolic diseases, as defined by the Centers for Diseases Control and Preventions. The fund generally is expected to consist of more than 15 companies but not more than 100 companies. The fund is non-diversified.

8. Office Loan Wave Re-Fi

Investors have been bracing for waves of loan maturities in commercial real estate, which could force a lot of tough choices about whether to restructure or write off mortgages to landlords struggling with occupancy and rental rates.
But it didn’t quite play out as expected last year. MSCI Real Assets noted in a recent report that $214 billion in mortgages slated for maturity in 2023 were, to their knowledge, not refinanced, nor was there a sale of the underlying property. “We believe that these loans have been granted some short-term extension to their maturity date,” MSCI Real Assets wrote.

9. Students Are Likely Writing Millions of Papers With AI

Wired by Amanda Hoover

Turnitin, a service that checks papers for plagiarism, says its detection tool found millions of papers that may have a significant amount of AI-generated content.
Students have submitted more than 22 million papers that may have used generative AI in the past year, new data released by plagiarism detection company Turnitin shows.
A year ago, Turnitin rolled out an AI writing detection tool that was trained on its trove of papers written by students as well as other AI-generated texts. Since then, more than 200 million papers have been reviewed by the detector, predominantly written by high school and college students. Turnitin found that 11 percent may contain AI-written language in 20 percent of its content, with 3 percent of the total papers reviewed getting flagged for having 80 percent or more AI writing. (Turnitin is owned by Advance, which also owns Condé Nast, publisher of WIRED.) Turnitin says its detector has a false positive rate of less than 1 percent when analyzing full documents.

10. Neuroscience and a Little-Known 100-Year-Old Law From Psychology Says 1 Simple Habit Can Boost Brainpower, Productivity, and Performance


New research shares more insight into why music helps the brain work faster and better.

Your playlist may be more valuable than you think.

Research has long indicated that music has the potential to boost concentration and performance on cognitive tasks such as writing or spatial reasoning, and that music can also be a powerful tool for emotional regulation. Now, researchers from New York University Tandon School of Engineering have begun to show how these two principles may work together.
“Maintaining a proper level of cognitive arousal [also known as ‘intensity of emotion’] may result in being more productive throughout daily cognitive activities,” writes Rose Faghih, associate professor of biomedical engineering, along with her associates who co-authored a new study analyzing how music choices influence productivity.
Faghih and her colleagues found that listening to exciting music enabled five out of six participants to register higher performance on cognitive tasks. But the study is interesting because it was inspired by the Yerkes-Dodson law, a little-known law of psychology designed to model the relationship between stress and behavior, developed over a hundred years ago.
And while this study is new with a small sample size, it builds on previous neuroscience research that analyzed the influence of background music on participants’ emotions and performance.
What is the Yerkes-Dodson law, and how does it relate to previously published neuroscience research? And more important, how can all of this knowledge help you? To answer these questions, let’s dive more deeply into the research and see how you can put these learnings to work. (If you find value in this lesson, you might be interested in my free course, which teaches you how to build emotional intelligence in yourself and your team.)

The Yerkes-Dodson Law, Neuroscience, and How to Increase Performance
The Yerkes-Dodson law was originally developed back in 1908 by psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson.
It states that too little arousal (stress) causes you to become bored and decreases motivation. As arousal increases, so does your motivation, causing you to perform better at certain tasks. At a certain point, though, you reach an optimal level of arousal and performance; after that, stress causes your performance to decrease.
In the NYU study, participants selected two types of music: the first with calming music components to mimic a low arousal environment, and a second with more exciting components for a high arousal environment. The researchers then used physiological data such as skin surface temperature, respiration, and electrocardiogram as well as behavioral signals such as facial expression.
As the findings indicated, the participants demonstrated overall better performance when listening to the exciting background music. However, the researchers also found that participants’ performance conformed with the Yerkes-Dodson law.
The authors of the study admit that several factors such as “the learning effect, the nature of the task, the participant’s baseline, and the type of applied music, can impact the outcome”; however, they also acknowledge that “it might be feasible to enhance cognitive performance and shift one’s arousal from either the left or right side of the curve using music.”
As mentioned, this new research actually builds on decades of brain research.
For example, in 2020, a group of neuroscientists used magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the influence of music on different emotions and performance. They found that “happy and high-arousing music” was associated with faster response times and greater activations of certain parts of the brain while performing certain tasks.
A separate study of 56 university students conducted in 2010 found that listening to excerpts of music from Mozart increased the students’ speed and accuracy when performing certain cognitive tasks.
I can endorse the results of this research from my own personal experience. For years I’ve been using specific playlists to help me achieve flow for different types of tasks.
As someone who does a large amount of creative work, I’ve found that starting with calm music, while gradually ramping up to more excited music, helps me reach a state of peak productivity. This is especially true when I’m working on tasks with a medium cognitive load–they’re tasks that require a degree of concentration, but I’ve done them enough times that I often tend to get bored and my mind starts to wander.
With the right music, though, my mind and emotions seem to be sufficiently stimulated, so that not only am I able to continue working for long periods of time, but I stay motivated throughout the entire work period.
For example, the song on the top of my “writing” playlist: The theme from the Christopher Nolan film Interstellar, which was composed by Hans Zimmer and debuted on the film’s soundtrack back in 2014. (I prefer the piano version, which you can hear here.) Although it starts slow, it gradually builds momentum and helps me get into a productive flow.
So, how can all of this help you?
If you find there are certain parts of your work that get stale or monotonous, you might try curating a playlist of songs that get you going. You can arrange them in order of excitement, so that you start with a mild tune and progress to more stimulating ones.
Then, the next time you find yourself getting distracted because you lack mental stimulation, try listening to your playlist as you work. Doing this may provide just the spark you need.
So, if you’re interested in leveraging your brain to increase productivity and performance, learn from the Yerkes-Dodson law and decades of neuroscience research: Design your playlist to motivate, inspire, and touch your emotions. Then, get ready to find your flow.