Switzerland’s parliament made an unprecedented decision on Wednesday to prevent the state from "financing any organization which supports racism, anti-Semitism, or the BDS ( Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement)." Switzerland’s National Council, its lower chamber in Parliament, passed a bill on Wednesday by a vote of 111-78, that would cease all funding to non-governmental organizations (NGO) promoting boycotts against Israel and incitement to hatred. The Bern leadership provides approximately one million Swiss francs each year to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat in Ramallah, which then moves the money along to more than 30 pro-Palestinian Authority NGOs.
A new presidential cycle just begun in the USA and the stock market has welcomed 2017 with a bullish note. The S&P500 rose about 7% in the first two months of the year, the month of March has started in a corrective mood and the market retreated a bit still leaving the progress around 5% year-to-date. It was a hefty start, that could well lead to a seasonal top. At the moment, we see the recent high of March 1st, near 2’400, above 21’000 for the Dow Jones Industrial, as a strong resistance, but it is interesting to compare the bullish wave of these recent weeks with the recurring cyclical patterns. First, we note that a healthy February is not so common. February is used to be a sluggish month for Wall Street, even worse in the first year of the presidential cycle with an average return, for the 16 occurrences since 1953, of -1.83%. In figure 1 is shown the average historical yearly pattern of the S&P500 since 1952 compared with the average of returns in the first year of the presidential cycle. They are very similar, even if the first of the four years term tends to be a bit more volatile and less performing. Usually, February and August are the worst months followed by June and September.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disapproved on Friday the Bats BZX Exchange filing to list and trade shares of the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust. The shares, representing 0.01 BTC, would have tracked the price of bitcoins on the Gemini Exchange. The digital-asset exchange is owned and operated by the Gemini Trust Company, which would have owned the equivalent share value in bitcoins. The SEC classified the shares as an exchange-traded product (ETP), which typically provide investors with exposure to securities or other assets such as commodities. The world's largest asset manager, Blackrock, states that the global ETP market is worth $3.5 trillion.
Progress in making women equal to men in the economy is painfully slow, and women are still more likely than men to live in poverty, says the report, entitled “An Economy that Works for Women” published by Oxfam. According to the source, globally, the average gender pay gap is 23 percent and 700 million fewer women than men are in paid work. The compiled data reveal that women carry out between two and 10 times more unpaid care work than men, which is worth $10 trillion to the global economy each year, equivalent to over an eighth of the world’s entire GDP, “Women’s disproportionate responsibility for the work squeezes the amount of time that they have to go to school and earn a living.
Since the last Newsletter stock quotations have risen yet further with the DJIA hovering under the 21,000 mark with a P/E ratio of 21.3 while the S&P 500 is still around 2,370 with a P/E ratio of 26.5.The markets are waiting for the FOMC meeting of 15th March 2017 (the Ides of March, an ominous date) while the next rate rise of 25 bps is practically certain
China has granted preliminary approval for 31 Trump trademarks for businesses ranging from hotels and spas to animal training and weather forecasting, reopening a debate about the potential for conflicts of interest under his presidency. Democrats in Congress were critical of Trump after The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the potentially valuable trademarks had been granted, raising questions of conflict of interest and political favoritism. One senator said the issue "merits investigation." There were also seven trademark applications that were rejected.
During the early hours of Thursday's trading session the yellow metal's price slipped even further lower, as the price reached below the 1,205 level. However, the bullion managed to find support in a speculative and before the recent moves unconfirmed long term lower trend line of a large scale ascending channel pattern. Due to that reason traders should look at whether a proper rebound occurs, as from the upside there is a strong resistance cluster, which could keep the commodity price lower in the future sessions.
Online luxury retailer Yoox Net-a-Porter said it’s developing technology to allow well-to-do customers to buy products directly through WhatsApp as the e-commerce market for Prada and Versace goods becomes more competitive. As the Independent reported, the platform’s personal shoppers already message clients on the Facebook-owned service and Chief Executive Federico Marchetti says that the Milan-based company plans to expand its use of the app but did not set a date for the launch of the feature.
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