Monday’s mood – Sleepwalking

Published on 13-07-2020 12:15:00

It’s the quietest news day of the year as silly season nears. In the absence of evidence that things are much worse than we already expect, we’re sleepwalking higher.

While the oil price is down slightly, the FTSE 100 and 250 are trading up. Gold is up again too, just in case the worst really does happen.

The bad news is real enough. The WHO reports a new global record for daily coronavirus cases, whereas Florida has seen a new daily high of 15,000 new infections. South Africa has reinstated its booze ban after signs of a second wave.

Economically, the signs are also pretty grim. G4S is cutting more than 1,000 jobs but at least the French are planning a fresh stimulus to boost youth employment. The reopening of high streets has not yet been a success. Some of the super rich are already calling for higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for it all. Quiz is the latest fast fashion company to launch an investigation into claims of low-paid labour.

Although the US reporting season is expected to be ugly, it doesn’t look much worse than we were anticipating. Few are also getting too worked up about the US targeting French luxury beauty products in a tax tit-for-tat. Even China and Iran’s mooted new trade and military partnership isn’t depressing traders enough to mark stocks down.

There’s also some good news if you look hard enough. The global market for AI software will be worth almost £100bn by 2025. Pinduoduo is apparently worth £100bn, while a Swiss sports shoe maker backed by Roger Federer might also be serving up an IPO.

If you like sport, you may be cheered up by Japan insisting the Olympics must go ahead next year. Successfully battling UEFA has certainly given Manchester City fans a reason to celebrate.

Tesla’s success is bad news for short sellers who have lost $18bn, but has seen Elon Musk overtake Warren Buffett on the rich lists. There’s evidence that plain packaging really is deterring smokers. And battery-powered trains might be coming to a railway near you.

If you want some more solace in your sleepwalking, Disney’s Hamilton release is proving that content really is still king and moves to reintroduce pine martens to England are having some early success.

Until tomorrow,

The Stream Team

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