Topley’s Top 10 – January 8, 2024

1. Healthcare and Utilities Outperform Week 1

2. Leadership 2022 vs. 2023

@Charlie Bilello The top three sectors in 2022 (Energy, Utilities, and Consumer Staples) were the bottom three in 2023 while the bottom three sectors in 2022 (Tech, Communications Services, and Consumer Discretionary) were the top three performers in 2023.

3. First Crypto ETF Could Be Approved this Week.

A dozen or so companies have applied to the SEC to offer spot Bitcoin ETFs. Competiton may be fierce.

Company Bitcon ETF ticker
Fidelity Investments FBTC
Invesco/Galaxy Digital Holdngs BTCO
Grayscale BitcoinTrust GBTC
BlackRock IBIT
WisdomTree BTCW
Valkyrie Investments BTF
Bitwise Asset Management BITB
Hashdex DEFI
21Shares TBD
Global X BITS

Source: Nasdaq
Write to Joe Light at

4. VIX Volatility Index Update.

VIX spent almost all of 2022 above 200-day……..All of 2023 below 200day…

5. Amazon has Gone the Longest Among the Mag 7 Without New Highs.

Amazon has gone the longest among the so-called Magnificent Seven without posting a record, in contrast to Apple, Microsoft Corp., and Nvidia, all of which set new highs last year. The seven largest stocks in the S&P 500 Index by market value — a group that also includes Google parent Alphabet Inc., Tesla Inc. and Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc., have faltered in January, after driving the market’s strength last year. Amazon’s 4.4% drop is among the steepest of the group.

6. Average Hourly Earnings Above CPI…Good for Economy.

7. History of Homicide Rates in U.S.

Crime in the USAA short primer and collection of basic descriptive facts

8. How Couples Meet in the U.S.

9. Record one-third of Japan’s unmarried adults under 50 have never dated

The Japan Times More than one-third of unmarried adults in their 20s to 40s have never been in a relationship and one-fourth have no intention of ever getting married, a recent survey found.

At 34.1%, the ratio of single men and women who have never had a romantic relationship was at a record high since Recruit Holdings Co., a staffing service group, began conducting surveys on people’s views on marriage in 2017.

The figure of 25.6% for people not seeking marriage nearly matches the finding in last year’s gender equality survey by the Japanese government, which has been struggling to deal with the country’s low birthrate and labor shortage. But Recruit said the number was notably up from 2021 when it stood at 21.1%.

The latest survey was conducted in September and released this month. It covered 1,200 single adults who have never been married. Among the respondents in their 20s, 19.4% of women and 23.7% of men said having a romantic relationship is a waste of time and money. The percentage was lower among older male respondents, but it was notably higher among female respondents in their 30s at 23.6%, rising sharply from 14.6% in the previous survey in 2021.

Among men of all age groups who do not want to marry, the top reason, given by 42.5%, was the financial strain of married life. As for women, 40.5% said they do not want to compromise their freedom and independence.While 46.1% of all respondents said they want to marry eventually, the number has been on the downtrend, falling from 55.4% in 2017 and 52.6% in 2021.

Among the respondents in their 20s, 44.3% of females and 34.6% of males said they would only date someone for the purpose of finding a marriage partner.

Record one-third of Japan’s unmarried adults under 50 have never dated – The Japan Times

10. Simple Habits That Lead to Better Memory, According to Neuroscience

Rule No. 1: ‘If you rest, you rust.’


Some of the biggest fears business owners confide when you get them talking include:

  • Fear that they won’t be as professionally successful as they’d like.
  • Fear that they won’t do an effective and honorable job of contributing to their families.
  • Fear that they’ll face health challenges and old age — including memory loss.

Let’s talk about that last fear. Over the past 12 months, I’ve reviewed dozens of scientific studies from researchers trying to determine how memory works, how to stave off cognitive decline, and what types of habits might help.

As we wrap up the year, it’s a good time to take a look back at what we’ve found.

  1. Stay extremely busy (especially in retirement).

    Writing in the peer-reviewed Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, researchers reviewed two big troves of data on literally millions of Chinese workers, along with data on their performance on various cognitive tests and memory assessments:

    First, they examined a group that retired early, thanks to a government pension program, and
    Second, they examined a similar group that wasn’t eligible for the program, and that therefore kept working later in life.

    The data was striking. In short, the new pension program led to “led to significant adverse effects on cognitive functioning.”

    As Plamen Nikolov of Binghamton University told me in an interview, he and his co-authors found that “if you rest, you rust … Retiring and doing nothing, not using your brain because you don’t work anymore, leads to other [unintended] consequences.”

  2. Enjoy the right kinds of games, part 1.

    Professors in the departments of psychiatry, neurology, and medicine at Columbia and Duke universities recruited 107 volunteers with an average age of 71 and asked them to do crossword puzzles, or to play computer video games over a period of many weeks.

    The results, as published in the journal NEJM Evidence, were that over a period of 78 weeks, participants in the crossword puzzle cohort did much better in terms of (lack of) memory loss than the ones in the video game cohort.

  3. Enjoy the right kinds of games, part 2.

    A group of researchers in Canada set out to determine if detail-oriented hobbies like bird-watching might have a positive association with better memory.

    Sure enough, in a test that had to do with classifying birds and then remembering them, they found the ones who were active bird watchers had better-developed memories that enabled them to recall more accurately.

  4. Read for pleasure.

    Researchers in Illinois partnered with a library to recruit two groups of adults, and divided them into two groups:

    Half were loaned iPads with a pre-selected list of books that were considered likely to suck readers in. Half were loaned iPads with games like word puzzles.

    As the study authors summarized: “The results were incontrovertible: in comparison to the puzzle group, the group that read books for eight weeks showed significant improvements to working memory and episodic memory. In other words, the study demonstrated that regular, engaged reading strengthened older adults’ memory skills.”

  5. Get enough sleep.

    You know this, so I’ll keep this one short. But, writing in the journal Trends in Neurosciences, authors from Chronobiology and Sleep Institute at the University of Pennsylvania synthesized decades of research on what happens to our brains when we accumulate a sleep debt.

    In short, three things for our purposes:

    First, when we accumulate a sleep debt, we lose some of the subjective ability to judge how that lack of sleep affects us.
    Second, even though we don’t realize it, objective tests show that we continue to have “deficits … in vigilance and episodic memory” even after “2-3 nights of recovery sleep.” Key: The deficits persist even if we feel “less tired” after recovery sleep.
    Finally, and perhaps most alarmingly, studies suggest that this persistent sleep loss — even when we try to catch up on it — can lead to “heightened susceptibility to neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease … and Parkinson’s disease (PD).”

  6. Don’t be afraid to take naps.

    Writing in the journal Sleep Health, researchers from University College, London, and Uruguay’s University of the Republic looked at data from adults aged 40 to 69, “and found a causal link between habitual napping and larger total brain volume,” according to an official statement.

    The result? After looking at data associated with 378,932 people from the study, they concluded that the habit was associated with less brain shrinkage over time — the equivalent of between 2.6 to 6.5 years of aging.

  7. Wear a sleep mask at night.

    This was a long study with a simple takeaway. Writing in the monthly peer-reviewed journal Sleep, a research team spanning universities in the U.S., the U.K., and Italy studied 122 human subjects. They determined that those who wore sleep masks at night had better episodic memory and alertness.

  8. Improve your lighting.

    This one was simple, too. Researchers at Michigan State University studied whether lab rats’ memories were affected by the quality of light around them — specifically bright lights like a sunny day, or dimmer, fluorescent lights like in a stereotypical office.

    You can probably guess the results: rats in dim lights had about 30 percent less brainpower and were more likely to “perfor[m] poorly on a spatial task they had trained on previously.”

  9. Use your phone.

    We all probably do this, but I was surprised to see that researchers were creative enough to find a way to study it. In short, study participants were asked to use an app to record 24-second videos of everyday events, and then watch them in a specific way over the next few weeks.

    Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they said they determined that those who recorded and watched the videos had a 50 percent better memory performance when asked to recall events six months earlier.

  10. Walk backward.

    I’d love to meet the scientist who came up with the theory on this one, but in short, researchers in London tested whether people could trigger memories by walking backward. Sure enough, it worked — at least often enough to be published in the journal Cognition.

    “We have named this a ‘mnemonic time-travel effect,'” said one of the lead researchers.

    There are many more, and I’ll look forward what what we’ll learn in 2024.

    As I write in my free e-book The Free Book of Neuroscience: 13 Ways to Understand and Train Your Brain for Life, nothing is more fascinating than the human brain, how it works, and how you can improve it. Memory is always at the top of the list.

10 Simple Habits That Lead to Better Memory, According to Neuroscience |