TOPLEY’S TOP 10 – Feb 19, 2024

1. Earnings Growth 493 vs. Mag 7

Found at Irrelevant Investor

2. Micro-Cap Stocks Still 30% Off Highs

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3. Robinhood Breaking Out of a 2-Year Sideways Pattern?

HOOD chart

4. Softbank Chart Update

Softbank held 2020 lows still 40% below highs

5. Dividend Growers Making a Comeback

Equities: Dividend growers have been outperforming the average stock in the S&P 500

Source: The Daily Shot

6. SMCI Hit Wall Street Record 97 RSI (overbought) Before Sell-Off Friday

SMCI AI Small Cap

7. PitchBook Analyst Note: Estimating US VC First-Time Manager Dropouts

37% of first-time VCs will not be able to raise a second fund 

2021 was the heyday for new entrants in venture capital: First-time fundraising reached a peak of $14.7 billion, including to more inexperienced managers without bulletproof track records or networks. Now that LPs have retreated, those same fund managers are in trouble, according to our latest VC analyst note. 

More than 247 first-time managers who closed funds between 2019 to 2021 will not be able to raise a sophomore fund, according to PitchBook estimates. Those particularly at risk of being incapable of raising a second VC fund will likely be managers of funds with less than $10 million in commitments and those in emerging US markets.

8. China Vows to Centralize Tech Development Under Communist Party

  • Xi’s party will take more direct role in steering development
  • Tech leadership is a major priority for China’s government

By Yuan Gao

China’s ruling Communist Party vowed to enhance its role in steering its science and technology industries, centralizing decision-making power as the country navigates US trade curbs designed to limit its advancement.

The party will refine a mechanism whereby technological works are led by the Central Committee, according to state broadcaster CCTV citing a central government meeting led by President Xi Jinping. The news broadcast didn’t specify details of the plan, though the pronouncement marks an escalation of Beijing’s prioritization of a sector that China’s leaders consider of critical importance.

A year ago, Xi called for China to accelerate scientific research and replace foreign technologies with homegrown alternatives. His remarks were part of a broader push to stimulate both domestic efforts and international cooperation in the pursuit of technological independence from the US. Export controls from Washington have curtailed China’s access to the most advanced semiconductors, especially those made by Nvidia Corp. to accelerate artificial intelligence training.

Read More: Xi Calls for China to Speed Basic Research to Counter US Curbs

China is now elevating the party’s role in directing its fight against the US for leadership across an array of strategic technologies, including semiconductors and AI.

Xi had earlier tapped his top deputy, former Vice Premier Liu He, to oversee development of China’s own chip technologies. Under that regime, Huawei Technologies Co.’s moonshot chipmaking effort yielded results that surprised outside observers by producing a modern smartphone chip without recourse to US tech.

9. Car Insurance Rates +85% vs. CPI +31%

10. New DNA clock may change how we measure aging

by StudyFinds Staff

BOSTON — Can we finally stop the aging process? Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) are hoping so after developing a DNA clock that may unlock the secrets of aging. These new epigenetic clocks can more accurately predict biological aging and the effectiveness of anti-aging treatments. This study introduces a machine-learning model capable of distinguishing between genetic factors that either accelerate or decelerate the aging process, a distinction not made by previous models.

The research revolves around the concept of DNA methylation, a biological process that modifies the DNA structure and affects how genes function. This process is closely linked to aging, with certain DNA regions, known as CpG sites, being particularly influential. The novel epigenetic clocks, named CausAge, DamAge, and AdaptAge, are designed to parse out which methylation changes are merely associated with aging from those that directly cause it.

“Previous clocks considered the relationship between methylation patterns and features we know are correlated with aging, but they don’t tell us which factors cause one’s body to age faster or slower. We have created the first clock to distinguish between cause and effect,” says study corresponding author Dr. Vadim Gladyshev, a principal investigator in the Division of Genetics at BWH, in a media release. “Our clocks distinguish between changes that accelerate and counteract aging to predict biological age and assess the efficacy of aging interventions.”

To develop these clocks, researchers employed an epigenome-wide Mendelian Randomization (EWMR) on over 20,000 CpG sites across the genome, correlating them with eight aging-related traits, including lifespan, health span, and frailty index. This technique allowed them to establish causation rather than a mere correlation between DNA structure and observable aging traits.