Topley’s Top Ten – April 22, 2020

1.USO FACTS..Remember Yesterday Top 10 had this Product Taking in Record Inflows.

USO-most investors do not know what they are buying.

From Cullen Roche on Twitter

2.Retail Sales Summary for March.

Found at Barry Ritholtz Blog

3.Renewable Energy Has Increased 45% in UK and Euro Union During Corona.

TAN-Solar ETF -35% from highs but never broke 2018 sell off lows

Renewable Energy Way Up During COVID19 Shutdowns–Dave Keating

EnergyThe dramatic slowdown across Europe due to Coronavirus lockdowns has caused electricity demand to plumet by one-tenth in the first three months of 2020 – the biggest drop in demand since the Second World War.

This has caused power generation across the continent to fall. But in a potentially positive sign for Europe’s energy transition, fossil fuel generation is falling far more than renewable power.

According to an analysis by the Wärtsilä Energy Transition Lab, coal-based power generation has fallen by over a quarter (25.5%) across the European Union and United Kingdom in the first three months of 2020 compared to 2019. Meanwhile the share of renewable energy in the EU and UK has risen to 43%.

The impact has been even more stark in the last month, with coal generation collapsing by almost one third (29%) between 10March and 10April compared to the same period in 2019. At this moment it makes up only 12% of total EU and UK generation. By contrast, renewables delivered almost half (46%) of generation – an increase of 8% compared to 2019.

The result has been an unprecedented fall in carbon emissions from the power sector, with emission intensity falling by almost 20% compared to the same 10 March to 10 April period last year.

The analysis comes from the Wärtsilä Energy Transition Lab, a new data platform developed by the Wärtsilä Corporation, a Finnish company which manufactures and services power sources in energy markets.

4.40% of Oil Demand is Cars and Trucks

With most countries still in lockdown and few cars on the roads, it may take some time before we see oil demand rebound, see chart below and here and here.


Let us know if you would like to add a colleague to this distribution list.

Torsten Sløk, Ph.D.

Chief Economist

5.European Car Sales Drop 51.8% in March

European new car sales plunge by 51.8% in March due to coronavirus: ACEA

BERLIN (Reuters) – Passenger car sales tumbled by more than 50% in Europe’s major markets in March as lockdowns imposed due to the new coronavirus took their toll, data showed on Friday.

In March, new car registrations dropped by 51.8% to 853,077 vehicles in the European Union, Britain and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, statistics from the European Auto Industry Association (ACEA) showed.


Sales fell in all EU markets, with Italy – hit particularly hard by the pandemic – reporting the biggest drop of 85.4%, while registrations tumbled by 37.7% in Germany, 72.2% in France and 69.3% in Spain.

Volkswagen Group’s (VOWG_p.DE) sales decreased by 43.6% in March, while Renault (RENA.PA) and PSA Group (PEUP.PA) posted a drop of 63.7% and 66.9%, respectively.


Sales of cars made by BMW (BMWG.DE), which was among the few automakers reporting an increase in European sales in the previous months, dropped by 39.7%, while demand for rival Daimler (DAIGn.DE) decreased by 40.6%.

The decline in registrations comes as the majority of car dealerships in Europe were closed during the second half of March as part of the measures to contain the pandemic.

On Thursday, Volkswagen withdrew its 2020 guidance due to uncertainty related to the new coronavirus outbreak which caused operating profit to drop 81% in the first quarter.

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Michelle Martin

Total U.S. auto sales were around 13.2 million in 2008, down 18 percent from 16.1 million in 2007, according to AutoData Corp. That made 2008 the worst year for U.S. auto sales since 1992, according the Automotive News Data Center.

6.Credit Spreads and Crisis Periods.

High yield credit, the bonds and loans of companies rated below BBB, provide especially useful indication (such as high yield credit spread movements). High yield credit has historically exhibited earlier and greater sensitivity, and therefore indication, to changes in macroeconomic credit conditions that we believe truly drive the market. For that reason, we emphasize high yield credit in our analysis.

7.Earnings Plunge and P/E Goes Up Last 2 Weeks.

As you can see, between January and mid-February, both lines were fairly steady—with about $177 expected for earnings and a forward P/E of between 18 and 19. The P/E at the time was cited as a risk factor for stocks given that it was elevated relative to a long-term historical average of around 16. Then we hit the peak in the stock market in mid-February; which initially saw stocks plunge to a greater degree (both in duration and magnitude) than earnings estimate adjustments—taking the forward P/E down to a very “cheap” 13.3. But talk about a false read at the time. It only reached that low level due to the delay in earnings estimates “catching down” to the decline in the stock market.

Since the most recent S&P 500 low on March 23, stocks have rallied sharply, while earnings estimates continue to get slashed—meaning the market is now more expensive than it’s been all year given the compression in the E part of the equation. If we were to plug in the lowest estimate I’ve seen for top-down 2020 earnings—the $90 that EvercoreISI is expecting—the current multiple of 20.4 would instead become more than 31.

Loss, Strain & Butterflies: Earnings Plunging, Stocks IgnoringBy Liz Ann Sonders

8.25% of Americans Still Do Not Have Internet Connection.

9.Nine Strong Personality Traits That Can Overpower Others

Your personality directly influences almost every aspect of your life, from your relationships to your career.

If you have a strong personality type, you are likely self-motivated. You know what you want and do everything possible to achieve your goals. 

Unfortunately, having a domineering personality can also rub some people the wrong way. A strong personality type may overpower others.

To enjoy the advantages of a strong personality without alienating those around you, explore the traits associated with strong personalities.

What Does it Mean to Have a Strong Personality?

People with domineering personality traits are often outgoing extroverts with a strong sense of self. They are frequently task-oriented and direct with their decisions and communication.

Strong personalities also come with a few drawbacks. People may find dominant individuals off-putting, due to their need to remain in control of situations.

No matter if you have more of a reserved personality or a loud, dominating personality, research suggests that you can modify your behavior. An international group of researchers established the Personality Change Consortium to review the impact of different personality types on life outcomes.

The researchers determined that your personality strongly influences your success in life, which gives you actionable targets for changes. After identifying your personality traits, you can actively try to change your behavior.

9 Strong Personality Traits of a Dominant Person

It is not always easy to self-diagnose your personality type. Depending on your self-image, you may see yourself as a dominant person while others view you as an introvert.

To determine if you have a strong personality, pay attention to the following nine characteristics, behaviors, and traits.

1. Direct Communication

Dominant people tend to use direct communication. They keep their messages short and to the point, instead of elaborating on details. If you have a strong personality, you likely say what you mean and avoid adding unnecessary information to the conversation.

You may also get annoyed when others fail to provide direct responses. When people offer vague, or long-winded answers to a question, you may feel the need to interrupt them to encourage them to get to the point.

2. Confidence

Confidence is one of the most common personality traits of a domineering person. It takes confidence to lead others and enforce your agenda. If you struggle to speak up in a crowd or dislike being the primary decision-maker, you may not have a strong personality.

Self-confidence is your belief or trust in your abilities. Dominant people believe that they will succeed, even when facing additional challenges. Some might find your level of confidence off-putting or arrogant. Be sure you give others a chance to express themselves and make suggestions.

3. Quick Decision-Making

Since dominant people know what they want and have confidence in their choices, they often exhibit quick decision-making skills. Instead of taking the time to thoroughly review every possibility, they move forward with their choices at full speed.

Quick decision-making sometimes comes with a cost. People with dominant personalities are more likely to gloss over fine details which may result in more errors or mistakes compared to those that use a cautious approach to decision-making.

4. Results-Oriented

People with strong personalities are usually more concerned with results compared to the processes used to achieve successful outcomes. This is a common trait of successful leaders, as it allows them to focus more on the big picture. 

Results-oriented people may also look for shortcuts to achieve their goals quicker. They may also worry less about the impact of the processes they choose if they achieve the desired outcome.

For example, they may be so results-oriented that they offend or fail to acknowledge people who are part of the process of achieving the result.

5. Enjoy Taking Control

Those with strong personality traits have the confidence to take control of situations. In a team setting, a dominant person naturally gravitates toward a position of authority, giving orders to others and directing the project.

A desire to take control is a common trait for leaders. However, dominant personalities may struggle in roles that require constant supervision. 

6. Face Things Head-on

Along with taking control, headstrong individuals are not afraid to handle challenging tasks. They tend to face things head-on instead of spending more time researching the best solutions. When a person with a strong personality encounters a dilemma, they try to resolve the issue quickly. 

Dominant people also prefer to handle things personally if they believe they are the best person for the task. For example, a leader with a dominant personality should have no problem disciplining subordinates for poor performance.

7. Self-Motivated

People with strong personalities are often self-motivated individuals. They have the drive and desire to achieve their goals. In some cases, dominant individuals may become too focused on their ambitions. This may lead to tunnel vision.

Becoming too focused on a goal makes it harder to detect issues that may impact the outcome. For example, focusing intensely on a goal may cause you to overlook potential problems with your strategy or process.

8. Comfortable Taking Risks

A strong personality gives you the confidence to take risks. As dominant people are also frequently results-oriented, they are less concerned with potential risks. When you trust your ability to accomplish difficult tasks, you are less afraid of failure.

Dominant people assume that they will succeed and do not dwell on past mistakes or failures. They tend to look ahead at the bigger picture and may take risks that others try to avoid.

9. Opinionated

Due to many of the traits discussed, people with strong personalities are often opinionated. They trust their instincts, stick to their morals, and are not afraid to express themselves. With a strong personality comes strong opinions.

Having a strong opinion on a topic can become an advantage or disadvantage depending on the situation. You often need a strong opinion when directing important business decisions. However, giving strong opinions during interpersonal interactions may create conflict.