Diabetes and the search for a non-invasive blood test

Diabetes and the search for a non-invasive blood test

Diabetes is a major problem around the world with a reported 29 million diagnosed sufferers in the US alone and a further “8.1 million” un-diagnosed. To all intents and purposes the industry has made great strides over the years but there is still one problem, blood tests. So far physically removing blood has been the only means of monitoring blood sugar levels although a recently released “under the skin” monitoring system is perhaps more acceptable. However, the search for a non-invasive blood test continues and while the likes of Google have joined many of the major pharmaceuticals, Apple has now created a team specifically looking at this issue.

30 people team

Reports by CNBC suggest that Apple has created a team of 30 people and located them in an office in Palo Alto with the task of creating a non-invasive blood test using optical sensors. There is a growing belief that Apple is looking to bring some kind of non-invasive blood test to its products with many already suggesting the Apple Watch could be the perfect device. Continue reading “Diabetes and the search for a non-invasive blood test”

Stock markets and the Easter weekend

The dangers of growing too quickly

US stock markets are closed on Friday, 14 April as the worldwide population celebrates Good Friday. This will give investors a few days to take a breather and come back renewed and refreshed next week. Many investors will have unwound their short term positions ahead of the long weekend because normally we never know what might happen but especially with Donald Trump in charge. So, what can we expect when investors return next week?

Military action

Donald Trump has wasted no time ordering military action in Syria, Afghanistan and he is apparently on the verge of attacking North Korea. The North Korea story is perhaps a little far-fetched at this stage of his presidency but there is no doubt that North Korea has been a thorn in the side of many American presidents. Yesterday we saw the US drop the “mother of all bombs” on Afghanistan wiping out an array of ISIS secret tunnels. While the fight against terrorism continues there is concern that Afghanistan may have been used as some kind of testbed for the launch of the US “mother bomb” – the largest non-nuclear bomb ever to have been used. Continue reading “Stock markets and the Easter weekend”

Donald Trump to call critics bluff

World Cup winner Patrick Vieira champions US soccer

President Donald Trump has been under extreme pressure over the last few weeks with both domestic and international problems to address. The surprise repeal of his health care reform bill was simply a way of saving face when it became obvious it did not have the required support to go through. This act alone spooked many investors and we saw what many now see as an end to the “Trump rally” on the stock market. However, Donald Trump has regrouped, rethought his strategy and announced new plans for the rest of the year.

Healthcare reform before tax and infrastructure

When Donald Trump was campaigning for office, not only did he focus on healthcare but also the US tax system and plans for significantly greater infrastructure spending. The idea was that tax reform would lead to greater investment in the economy and infrastructure spending would increase employment opportunities. These three policies, together with his often controversial views on immigration, were seen as the main talking points in his battle with Hillary Clinton. Continue reading “Donald Trump to call critics bluff”

United Airlines suffers social media backlash

Mark Zuckerberg answers questions on Facebook’s virtual reality investment

United Continental Holdings, the holding company for United Airlines, is suffering a serious social media backlash in light of footage showing a passenger been forcibly dragged from one of the company’s planes on Sunday. The situation has been covered in great detail after the company confirmed it requested volunteers to catch a later plane due to overbooking. Apparently when one particular passenger was chosen at random to leave the plane he refused and law enforcement officers forcibly ejected him resulting in a bloodied nose.

Down 6% in early trading

As we speak United Airlines shares are down nearly 3% although this is something of a recovery from the pre-market fall of 6%. This equates to a fall of around 3% for the week so far reducing the company’s market capitalisation by $600 million. However, many investors believe that this is only the start of the downtrend caused by social media footage which does not cast the company in a good light whatsoever. Continue reading “United Airlines suffers social media backlash”

Are iPhone 8 expectations really hurting rival sales?

Should governments be allowed to block any international merger?

There is a rumour doing the rounds at the moment which suggests that the third quarter launch of the iPhone 8 is having a serious impact upon the global smartphone sector. Samsung will release its new Galaxy S8 in the second quarter of 2017 with a seemingly lacklustre pre-order book. While Samsung refutes these suggestions, claiming that pre-launch demand for the Galaxy S8, and Galaxy S8 +, have already outstripped figures for the Galaxy S7, it does make sense. Apple has managed to catch the eye of all technology buffs around the world and on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone hopes are high for something eye-catching to say the least.

Apple shares lively again

We have written about Apple over the last few weeks amid concerns that the share price is getting a little ahead of itself prior to the launch of the iPhone 8. In early trade today the shares are down two dollars amid concerns of a legal dispute with Qualcomm and incidentally yet another Apple supplier has seen its shares collapse amid concerns the company may move previously third-party technology in-house. This is starting to become a trend with Apple, working with third parties only then to bring new technology in-house and ditch previously close partners. Continue reading “Are iPhone 8 expectations really hurting rival sales?”

Is Tesla really a better bet than General Motors?

Is Tesla a buy?

The increase in the Tesla share price has taken the company’s market capitalisation to in excess of $51 billion with General Motors just under $50 billion. As a consequence, by market capitalisation Tesla is the largest automobile manufacturer in the USA. This begs the question, is Tesla really a better bet than General Motors in the longer term?

Cars manufactured

In 2016 General Motors sold 10 million vehicles while Tesla sold just 76,000 which is a significant difference by any stretch of the imagination. When you bear in mind that Tesla lost $773 million in 2016 and General Motors made a profit of $9 million over the same period, there seems to be an awful lot of hope value. The renewed interest in Tesla stock has been boosted by a recent broker note which suggested a target price of $368 a share against the current price of $312. It seems that everybody wants a piece of the Tesla action at the moment! Continue reading “Is Tesla really a better bet than General Motors?”

A lack of confidence is as dangerous as being overconfident

Listen to the markets and understand what they are saying!

Whatever type of risk profile and long-term returns you’re looking for there will be an investment market for you. The stock market offers access to nearly every type of investment asset you can think of and is commonly used as a means of growing funds on a long-term basis. We often talk about investors who are overconfident and how this can impact their returns going forward. However, a lack of confidence is as dangerous as being overconfident.

Think with your head not your heart

We’ve all been in a situation where we think an investment looks interesting on a long-term basis but we are a little reluctant to jump in (this can happen with markets on the whole). It is only when a particular share has begun to pick up that our confidence begins to grow and we then begin to follow the crowd. This lack of confidence in your initial research, and your initial views of the stock, could cost you dearly in the longer term by having to pay more. Continue reading “A lack of confidence is as dangerous as being overconfident”

Don’t ignore share price highs in difficult markets

Does the real estate sector offer easy pickings for government taxes?

There are many investors who watch out for shares hitting new 52 week highs which highlight momentum and very often “things going on behind-the-scenes”. In some ways it is easier for shares to push ahead when markets are buoyant and investor sentiment is strong. The situation is very different when markets are volatile and moving down. So, in many ways the current volatile market conditions in the USA should place more focus on shares hitting new 52 week highs. Don’t ignore share price highs in these difficult markets!

Recovery and growth

When shares hit new highs the underlying companies can be either in a process of recovery or a new growth phase. Either way the share price movement shows that investors are keen on the company and there would appear to be many reasons to be optimistic going forward. What you will find in more difficult markets is that the number of shares hitting new 52 week highs will fall dramatically. In many ways this does momentum investors a favour because it can separate the wheat from the chaff allowing you to focus on the shares which are still showing strength in difficult markets. Continue reading “Don’t ignore share price highs in difficult markets”

Billy Walters found guilty of insider trading

Billy Walters found guilty of insider trading

William “Billy” Walters a Las Vegas gambler has been found guilty of insider trading with sentencing due in July. The 70-year-old sports gambler was found guilty by a jury who took just two days to come to their decision. Historically insider trading has been extremely difficult to prove with many cases falling by the wayside before they even get to court. However, the regulators have linked Billy Walters to golfer Phil Mickelson who was dragged into the issue.

A $40 million cash pile

It is astounding to learn that Billy Walters amassed a $40 million fortune which the regulators proved to be from illegal gains. The case grabbed the headlines when Phil Mickelson was put on the prospective witness list although he never actually testified. Legal records show that the US golfer was given a tip by Walters back in 2012 which led to a near one million-dollar profit on the purchase of shares in Dean Foods. While Mickelson was never charged he agreed to repay his ill-gotten gains and walked away scot free. Continue reading “Billy Walters found guilty of insider trading”

Elevate Credit IPO tests market resolve

Are US stock markets ignoring political actions against Donald Trump at their peril?

Last year Elevate Credit was forced to pull its IPO amid volatile market conditions and a lack of appetite for new issues. It was assumed that the company would come back when markets were more stable and that is exactly what has happened. Today is the first day of trading for the company and while the shares were up 21% from their $6.50 IPO price, it is not all good news. The company was forced to slash its original IPO price range of $12-$14 amid investor concerns about sub-prime lenders. So, what does the future hold for Elevate Credit?

A difficult sell

While there are millions of people in the US who, to quote Elevate Credit, “are somewhat recessionary all of the time” this is not the easiest sell to investors. First of all sub-prime lenders tend to benefit in troubled economic times so selling a sub-prime lender IPO as a growth stock, assuming the US economy grows, is not easy. Secondly, there are growing concerns that both real estate and car loan delinquencies are increasing. So, if you put these two issues together, even though the IPO price was slashed, the company has done relatively well to get the issue away. Continue reading “Elevate Credit IPO tests market resolve”