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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail’s market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

Today is a day of environmental protest, and the Financial Times took the opportunity to publish an investor’s guide to climate change.

Highlights of the column include,

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“[Bill Gates said] campaigns urging investors to divest from fossil fuels were ineffective as a means of reducing carbon emissions. Much better, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder said, to invest in ventures working on innovations to cut greenhouse gases. “Divestment, to date, probably has reduced about zero tonnes of emissions” … Among the top 10 holdings of the Impax Environmental Markets fund, for example, is DS Smith, a recycling and waste management company. Another top 10 holding is Lenzing, which produces a more sustainable alternative to viscose made from wood … Crop One … is a specialist in vertical farming … as storms and floods increase, more people are interested in having back-up power. US company Generac, for example, provides back-up power solutions.”

“Tackling climate change — an investor’s guide” – Financial Times (paywall)

“Britain’s new renewable subsidies hit record low on the path to net zero” – Reuters

“Protesters rally around the world for action on climate change” – BNN Bloomberg

“Striking students tell world leaders ‘do your jobs’ on climate” – Reuters

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Goldman Sachs executive Marty Chavez offered some interesting observations as he retired.

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In effect, he predicted that all trading will eventually be done by software, not people,

“Just how important will the ability to write computer code be to a successful career on Wall Street? According to R. Martin Chavez … “It’s like writing an English sentence.” … he predicted that longstanding career dichotomies on Wall Street, like trader versus engineer, will go away. To keep working, people will need both of those skills. Even money is going digital, a shift that goes far beyond cryptocurrencies, he said, pointing to the success of Stripe Inc. as an example of creating new ways to move funds.”

“Goldman’s Chavez Says Traders Who Can’t Code Will Become Extinct” – Bloomberg

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BMO economist Robert Kavcic provided a teaser for his upcoming report on Quebec’s surprisingly strong economic growth,

“The short story is that political stability, probusiness policy changes and some good ol’ economic luck have combined to spur growth… For about 35 years, Quebec carried an above-national average jobless rate. But, since 2016, that rate has run below the national average (and hit a record low in August). No, this has not been a case of people just leaving the labour force— quite the opposite, in fact. Job gains have been spread across sectors; most have been in full-time positions; and prime-age participation has risen to a record high.”

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“@SBarlow_ROB BMO: What's behind Quebec's strong economic growth?” – (research excerpt) Twitter

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The sheer volume of serious corporate data network hacks in recent years makes the need for security software obvious. Merrill Lynch reports that spending on protective measures is still increasing,

“Network Security spending remained robust in 2Q19, as total spending grew 9.7% YoY, supported by strong 11.5% YoY Firewall spending growth and recovery in the Secure Routing segment, up 15.3% YoY. Within Firewall, virtual solutions remain the high-growth area of spending, up 18.5% YoY, and now comprise ~11% of total Firewall spend. Appliance-based Firewall spending remains strong as well, up 10.9% YoY.”

The most confusing aspect of the security software market sector is its poor performance. Industry leader Palo Alto Networks has declined 9.2 per cent over the past year.

“@SBarlow_ROB ML: Network security spending remains strong” – (research excerpt) Twitter

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Tweet of the Day:

Diversion: “How Harvard makes admissions decisions” – Marginal Revolution

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