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.