China's July economic data missed expectations, with retail sales, industrial production, fixed asset investment, and property investment
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2023-08-16 | Sign Up | View Online | Advertise
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Markets & Economy
China reports big data miss and stops releasing youth unemployment numbers (5 min read)

China's July economic data missed expectations, with retail sales, industrial production, fixed asset investment, and property investment rising well below estimates. The unemployment rate rose to 5.3% and the youth unemployment number was suspended for disclosure but it reached a record high of 21.3% in June. The downward spiral of data this year may be pointing towards a recession in the country, even by Chinese standards. This also led China unexpectedly cut rates on Tuesday as policymakers continue to ramp up support for its struggling economy.
Strong US retail sales underscore economy's resilience (4 min read)

US retail sales rose more than expected in July, with June’s sales also revised higher. Despite the Fed’s effort to curb high inflation with rate hikes, consumers continued to increase spending. While the strong retail sales reflect healthy consumer activity, concerns still remain about potential slowdowns due to rising credit card debt, which had reached a record high in the US recently. However, most economists now believe a soft landing is more likely than a recession in the US economy, leading major banks like Goldman Sachs to raise their Q3 GDP estimates.
Business & Stocks
Buffett’s Berkshire Cuts Activision, Unveils Homebuilder Bet (2 min read)

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway significantly reduced its stake in Activision Blizzard by 70% in Q2 due to uncertainties around the company's merger plans with Microsoft. The company reported new holdings in major US homebuilders D.R. Horton, Lennar, and NVR, with a total stake of over $800 million. The move aligns with the recent strong growth in the homebuilder sector driven by demand and limited listing. So far this year, D.R. Horton and Lennar are up around 38%, while NVR is up 33.5%, significantly outperforming the S&P 500.
VinFast's shares surge in Nasdaq debut for Vietnam EV maker (3 min read)

VinFast, a Vietnamese EV maker, made a Nasdaq debut via SPAC on Tuesday and saw its shares soaring on the first day. The company was initially valued at $23 billion before the listing and by market closed, it was worth over $78 billion. The founder owns 99% of the company and is the wealthiest man in Vietnam. He claims that they already have investors secured globally for capital rising over the next 18 months. His goal with VinFast is to take on the EV giant Tesla with a $4 billion factory under construction and a new approach to sales to bring in dealers.
Funds & ETFs
A secretive asset manager had $36 billion in just 5 tech stocks (2 min read)

Jennison Associates, a low-profile asset manager, has profited immensely from the surge in Big Tech stocks. It held about $36 billion worth of shares in Nvidia, Tesla, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon at the end of June, up from just under $21 billion in December. The $15 billion gain in six months was driven purely by soaring stock prices. Those five stocks also represent nearly 30% of Jennison’s equity portfolio, leading their fund to emerge as the largest winner in the tech stock rally this year.
Two Covered Call ETFs I Like Better Than QYLD (4 min read)

One of the most well-known covered call ETFs is the Global X NASDAQ 100 Covered Call ETF (QYLD), but this article suggests two other options worth considering. The Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF (XYLG) provides diversification compared to QYLD, writing calls on only 50% of its portfolio for more potential upside during market gains. The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond BuyWrite Strategy ETF (TLTW) sells covered call options on long-term Treasury bonds, offering income while waiting for bond price rebounds, particularly useful in sideways markets.
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