TOPLEY’S TOP 10 May 13 2024

1. Sixth Consecutive Quarters of Outperformance by Magnificent 7

2. Has Rate Volatility Peaked?  Above my Pay Grade but Interesting.

From the Market Ear Blog

3. Stock Volatility and Presidential Elections

The Daily Shot Brief

4. Emerging Market Small Cap New Highs

5. Charger Companies Competing with Tesla -90+% from Highs

6. Single Stock ETFs ..7 of Top 10…TSLA and NVDA Related

7. Online Groceries Dominated by Whales-Walmart and Amazon.

Below is a ranking of the top 10 qcommerce players that U.S. online shoppers have ordered products from in the past year.

8. China Overtakes U.S. as Largest Coffee Shop Market.  Luckin and Cotti Open 11,000 Outlets vs. Starbucks 785

World Coffee Portal. 
China leads significant coffee shop growth across East Asia -China has overtaken the US as the largest branded coffee shop market in the world by outlets, growing 58% over the last 12 months to reach 49,691 outlets. Growth was led by the rapid expansion of small store format and delivery focused Luckin Coffee and Cotti Coffee, which added 5,059 and 6,004 net new stores respectively. Starbucks opened net 785 outlets in China during the period and is the second largest branded coffee operator in the country by outlets.  
China is the fastest growing market in East Asia ahead of Malaysia (28%) and the Philippines (15.3%). Overall, six of the largest 10 markets by outlets achieved double-digit outlet growth over the last 12 months.

9. CHOP restored eyesight for two children with one injection. It’s one more step for gene editing using CRISPR.

By Abraham Gutman-Philly Inquirer

The 10-year-old and 14-year-old patients had their eyesight improved about 10- to 100-fold after a single injection to their retina.
A new study from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that gene editing in the eyes of children can restore vision safely.Patrick Sison / AP

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia physicians restored eyesight in two children by performing a gene therapy technique entirely inside their eyes to correct a genetic mutation causing blindness, a first-of-its-kind treatment for kids.

The 10-year-old and 14-year-old patients had their eyesight improved about 10- to 100-fold after a single injection to their retina, the area in the back of the eye that converts light into electric signals that the brain can process.The procedure is known as gene editing, a type of therapy used to correct a deficiency in a person’s DNA causing disease. It is typically performed outside of the body by taking cells out and then transplanting them again after the genetic correction.

The two children were part of a clinical trial, involving hospitals in five cities, that also included 12 adults. All of the patients had Leber Congenital Amaurosis, a common cause of blindness in children. The results of the clinical trial were published Monday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

“It’s the first time that gene editing has been used in the eyes of children, and proved safe and successful,” said Tomas Aleman, a retina specialist at CHOP and one of the study’s authors.
The study focused on the safety of the procedure, finding the gene-editing injection to the eye to be safe. But researchers also saw vision improvement in half of the patients, including the two children treated at CHOP.

The children still did not leave the hospital with 20/20 eyesight, said Aleman, who is also a professor at Penn Medicine. He hopes that delivering the treatment to children when they are younger will lead to greater improvement in eyesight.
The study is part of an ongoing collaboration that includes CHOP, University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Oregon Health and Science
University, and the University of Michigan.The research was funded by Editas Medicine, Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based gene therapy company.

Spell checking
Gene therapy fixes errors in the body’s genetic code using an approach analogous to editing a text, said Eric Kmiec, executive director and chief scientific officer of ChristianaCare’s Gene Editing Institute, which was not involved in the study.

A deficiency in a gene is like a misspelled word.Gene therapies a decade ago could only fix the error by injecting corrected DNA next to it within the cell, like striking out a word and writing it the right way by its side. The newer generation of therapies instead fix the misspelling itself using a technology called CRISPR.

Physicians most often apply gene therapy by taking cells out of the body, fixing the genetic error, and then transplanting the cells back into the patient. That’s how CRISPR works to cure sickle cell disease: Bone marrow cells are corrected to produce red blood cells in the right shape, and are returned to the body where they multiply.That approach has a few problems, Kmiec said. The body can reject the corrected cells like any transplantation. And cells in the nervous system don’t multiply.

These problems have led scientists to work on ways to fix the mutations in cells while they are inside the body. Kmiec’s research focuses on doing that with cancerous tumors. The CHOP team is focusing on editing genes in the eye.“This is remarkable right? You can correct a mutation in the human gene in the body,” Kmiec said.

10. Harvard professor who teaches a class on happiness: The happiest people balance and prioritize 3 things

Renée Onque@IAMRENEEONQUE  Social scientist Arthur C. Brooks, who teaches a happiness course at Harvard University, has been searching for the answers about what it means to be happy for decades, and he’s arrived at some specific conclusions.

In Brooks’ recent book with Oprah Winfrey, the pair explain that your goal in life should not be to attain happiness, but to constantly strive for “happierness.” Brooks often emphasizes that happiness is not a destination, but a direction — something that you should aim to increase without an end goal in mind.
“It’s not just, ‘Go get happier.’ That’s too general,” Brooks said on a new episode of the “Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris” podcast. “I talk about the sub-parts, the macronutrients of happiness.”

“When I meet somebody, I can figure out pretty quickly where their ‘diet’ is not up to snuff, where they’re lacking in their macronutrients of happiness and we can work on the subdimensions,” he added.

The happiest people “enjoy their lives. They get a lot of satisfaction in their activities and they have a sense of meaning about why they’re alive,” Brooks said on the podcast. “These are the protein, carbohydrates and fat of happiness.”

The 3 ‘macronutrients of happiness’

  1. Enjoyment
  2. Satisfaction
  3. Purpose

People often assume that enjoyment is simply pleasure, Brooks said, which isn’t an accurate way to think of it. Constantly chasing purely pleasurable experiences “is a terrible way to live a fulfilling life,” he said.
“What we need to do, by the way is not to get rid of the sources of pleasure, but to add two things that will make them more human.”
You can experience enjoyment when you take a source of pleasure and add people and memory to the mix, Brooks said: “If you’re doing something that’s pleasurable and can be addictive [and] you don’t do it alone, then you can get enjoyment which is a source of actual authentic and enduring happiness.”
There are experiences that you can enjoy solo like reading a book, meditating or listening to music, but he suggested engaging in social activities like going out for drinks or watching funny videos on social media with people you enjoy spending time with.

“Satisfaction is the joy, the reward, that you get after you struggle for something,” Brooks said. “We as humans, we need to struggle, we need to strive, we need to sacrifice, we even need pain in our lives, because that’s actually how we earn something.”
When you feel like something you have is something you’ve earned, it makes it much more valuable to you in the end, he said.
Brooks shared an analogy from his father-in-law that illustrates the concept of satisfaction: “The reason people aren’t as happy as they should be is because they don’t enjoy their dinner,” he said. “Because they’re never hungry.”
He also used the example of how his students at Harvard wouldn’t be as satisfied by acing a test if they cheated, compared to if they worked really hard to study for the exam. “We want to defer our gratification for real rewards,” he explained.

Purpose is the feeling that your life has a sense of meaning, Brooks said. Of all three “macronutrients,” purpose is the one that you need to experience the most.
Brooks said that there are three sub-parts to meaning:

  • Coherence: Why do things happen the way they do?
  • Purpose: Why is my life unfolding the way it is? What are my goals, and what’s my direction?
  • Significance: Why does it matter that I am alive?

And there aren’t right answers to these questions, he said, because the answers are subjective for everyone. The only wrong answers to these questions are no answers, “which is not failure. It’s actually a really good outcome if you fail because you know what to start looking for,” Brooks said.
“It takes a lot of work” to find your purpose, he added, but it’s really important to think about it and have a sense of direction.