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Thursday 08 November 2018

Blue Wave or Blue Ripple?

Blue WaveTalking politics - even those outside of the UK - is fraught with danger. I’d assumed that most of the people in my circle of friends and business contacts, like me, would be anti Trump. But I realise now that this is far from the case!

The result of the US Mid term elections seems to have been regarded as a success by both the Republicans and Democrats! Within the business community, the fact that the House of Representatives, which swung to the Democrats, was welcomed as it would put some ‘checks and balances’ on the more extreme of Trump’s policies. Conversely, relief too that many of the  ‘business friendly’ Trump policies would remain. I even heard that Trump’s moves against the healthcare programme was ‘good for business’.

All this translated into one of the best days in a long while for tech stocks. NASDAQ surged 3.1% and I suspect that will be followed through to the UK markets today.

Amongst the FANMAGs, Amazon was the best performer - rising nearly 7% (now up 50% YTD). Trump has been gunning for Amazon and Jeff Bezos (who owns the Washington Post so disliked by the President!) in particular. Netflix was up 5.4%, Microsoft up 4%, Alphabet/Google was up 3.6%, Apple was up 3%. Even much troubled Facebook managed a minor 1% bounce.

Anyone visiting San Francisco in recent years cannot avoid the homeless issues that it faces. The last time I was there I had to step over countless homeless people sleeping in the streets on my walk back to my hotel after dinner. Given that this is one of the richest cities on the planet, it does come as a real shock. The tax on tech companies in the area, said to be worth c$300m pa,  to try to address this issue was another successful policy voted through in the mid term elections. I doubt it will dent anyone’s bottom line too much. But is a step in the right direction.

Having got the uncertainty over the US mid term elections out of the way, we can all return to the main uncertainty affecting us all in the UK - BREXIT.

Posted by Richard Holway at '07:39'

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