A roundup of what the Globe and Mail's market strategist Scott Barlow is reading this morning on the world wide web.
"When the service is free, you're the product" is a phrase kicked around by portfolio managers with regard to social media stocks. I'm not sure who was surprised with the revelations that Facebook Inc., along with Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram, was selling users' personal data but there were a lot of investors bailing out of Facebook stock Monday, sending the price sharply lower. The possibility of privacy-related government regulation that would reduce profits almost certainly played a role.
It also appears that the sell-off in tech stocks was in part the pricking of a mini-bubble as investor assets had poured in to tech stocks early in 2018.
"Nasdaq Falls the Most in Six Weeks" – Bloomberg
"'Socially responsible' investors reassess Facebook ownership" – Reuters
"Here's What Wall Street Analysts Are Saying About Facebook's Data Scandal" – Bloomberg
"Facebook's lame response to a data breach shows Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg failing to grasp the depth of the firm's problems." – (video) Reuters
" Four Charts That Show the Tech-Stock Tumble May Not Last Long" – Bloomberg
The U.S. president appears set to impose tariffs on a wide variety of Chinese goods. I'm not a huge fan of trade restrictions, but the focus here is apparently on intellectual property protections and the Chinese are well-known for ignoring patent rights when convenient,
"U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer is leading an investigation into China's treatment of intellectual property, and policies that the U.S. believes force American companies to turn over their technological know-how as the price of doing business there. The administration is said to be considering wide-ranging tariffs on everything from consumer electronics to shoes and clothing made in China, as well as restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S., according to people briefed on the matter."
The news is decidedly not market-friendly if that needs to be stated.
"U.S. Plans Heavy China Tariff Hit as Soon as This Week" – Bloomberg
Goldman Sachs strategist David Kostin warned value investors that they're probably going to have to wait a long while until their investment style starts outperforming,
"The dispersion of P/E multiples is a good predictor of the relative returns of Growth and Value factors. The distribution represents the potential return to be gained by buying the firms with the lowest valuations and selling those with the highest valuations; wide distributions typically precede the outperformance of value stocks. Today however, with little differentiation on valuations, stock returns must be differentiated on qualities like growth. Unlike the Growth rally in the late 1990s, which widened P/E dispersion and set the stage for Value outperformance from 2000-02, today there appears to be less potential energy stored for a value stock rebound."
"@SBarlow_ROB GS' Kostin: "the tight distribution of stock valuations today likely limits the upside to value strategies" – Twitter
Tweet of the day: "@AmyAHarder What a chart --> America's record-breaking growth in exports of liquefied natural gas. axios.link/ZzwU via @axios " – Twitter
Diversion: "Water and Money's $1 Trillion Relationship Crisis" – Gadfly