october 2020

Last month today: October 2020 in review

The race to get the needle

Healthcare administration officials and medical companies, along with some of the world’s leading universities, are holding test laboratories at gunpoint in order to speed up the development work for vaccine against Covid-19. There are stories about countries such as Russia already having a go at it, but at least when it comes to the bigger picture, everyone is still holding their breath.

Besides development and testing, there are legislative hurdles to overcome before any of the alternatives is ready to roll into the veins. Several shortcuts have already been made with more to expect the closer to the finish line we get. Medical companies say that under normal circumstances, to get any medicine to the pharmacy shelf takes close to 10 years with all the required clinical tests completed. Goes without saying these times are far from normal.

Then, there are characters such as Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump who want to finish first just to say they did it. Trump has been putting an increasing pressure on the FDA and political decision-makers so that the U.S. would have everything ready by November 3rd, no matter how unrealistic everyone says that is. Wonder how he thought of that particular day as a perfect one for everyone to get vaccinated?

The right places to bully

The heyday of the stock market has been out of sight since the first infected people left Wuhan for some quality vacation time somewhere far away. For those that want to beat the market even when everyone else is caving in, the big question is: in what kind of business should I put my money on? CNBC:s Jim Cramer deals these five aces to those willing to admit that they’d rather listen to an expert opinion than trust their own instincts.

The markets that have been able to withstand Covid the best are: 5G, Digitization, Hygiene, Home renovation and Autos.

Come to think of it, that does make all kinds of sense. Remote working and communication are obviously in demand now that going to the office and traveling have been banned. People want to avoid public transportation (to avoid other people) so they buy cars. Too much time at home either breaks down places or makes you notice all those old wallpapers and dents on the doors. And, as experience has clearly proven, the time of pandemic does mysteriously accelerate the need to wipe your butt.

Perhaps it is time to put your money where Jim’s mouth is.

The unsocial media post

Has the time come for Facebook to face the music and admit that it has, as has been predicted for a long time, become the social media channel for the… well, elderly? Or, is the ever-evolving debate of how much personal data is gathered (if any), and to whom it is being distributed at what price, finally taking its toll? Either way, the fact is that the amount of daily active users of Facebook in the United States and Canada is actually dropping.

We might be only talking about a per mil (2 million out of 198), while the amount in Europe has remained flat, and the company showing a moderate revenue growth in its third-quarter earnings, but as has been proven oh so many times, it is those early, weak signals that may end up making the big difference one day.

Oracle and Walmart may think they are on the verge of closing a deal for a social media channel for youngsters, but that might change as people of all ages seem to be switching to TikTok.

Latte hipsters boosting the economy

Whether it is due to or despite the pandemic, people around the world seem to be gulping coffee at a record pace – at least when you look at the earnings and revenue estimates of the mighty Starbucks.

The global chain of mocca-masters took the analysts in Wall Street and pretty much everywhere else by surprise; the fiscal fourth quarter was reported to exceed the wildest estimates, largely thanks to the sales in United States and China seemingly recovering more quickly than expected.

Based on the analysts by Refinitiv, earnings per share were 51 cents while Wall Street was expecting 31, while the actual revenue of 6.2 billion USD beat the estimates by 140 million.

Guess the cafés in Manhattan will see another burst of sales in the coming months, now that the analysts clearly have not had the stamina to stay awake long enough to crunch those numbers properly.


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