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Tuesday, July 12, 2016


I've recently had some very negative titles, so today I thought I'd provide some good news.  Of course, good is relative, and might only apply to a certain sector of society.

First, the U.S. stock market, and, more specifically, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA).  The all-time high occurred a little more than a year ago, 18,312 on 19 May 2015 (go to right column just above BLOG ARCHIVES).  Well, today, the DJIA hit a record high at 18,348.

How do we compare with the world?

Country   Stock Market    Today  All-time high Year   % change   % change 
USA         Dow Jones       18,347    18,312         2015    +                +
Japan      Nikkei 225        16,096     38,957         1989    - 59%         - 79%
China       Shanghai           3,049       6,124         2007    - 50%         - 56%
UK           FTSE 100          6,680       7,104        2015    -   6%         -   6%
Europe     STOXX 5          2,935       3,057         2015    -   4%         -   4%
Russia      MICEX             1,938       1,969         2007    -   2%         - 14%

So while the USA is at an all-time high, Japan's Nikkei has dropped by 59% from its record maximum in 1989.  In terms of real dollars, the 38,957 is worth around 75,000 today, so the actual drop is 79% from the max.  In other words, if the DJIA had sunk by this percent, it would today be at 3846, not 18,000+.  China is in a similarly bad condition as Japan.

Note that Europe, even the UK after Brexit, is looking good.  Russia at these low oil prices, is also near an all-time high.   Why?  Makes no sense, as oil and gas comprise 60% of Russian exports.  Best as I can determine, oil futures are 80% higher than the lowest price this year, so this recent minor surge provides confidence.  Which is confusing, because oil today in the mid forties per barrel is still only half of what it was two years ago:

How the real value of money graphically affects reality is that red marker to the extreme left pointing out that in March of 1946 petroleum sold for $17.71/barrel in 2015 dollars.  The average price in 1946 was $1.63/barrel.

Well, now that I've lost 90% of those that pinged on to this site, let me further indicate that Bernie Sanders magnanimously endorsed Hillary Clinton today.  All Donald Trump did was send out a tweet.  He has been eerily quiet of recent, and the Republican National Convention kicks-off this coming Monday.

The best news could well be about my body, more accurately, my head, and specifically eyes and teeth.  First, cataract surgery last month corrected my vision to 20-20 in both eyes.  I can now see my golf ball rolling on the green from 200 yards.  It feels weirdly wonderful to now get around without glasses, especially when driving.  I also had one of my tooth capped, but decided to leave that gap alone, for the other option would have been for my dentist to remove the remaining portion of root canal tooth, then insert a bridge, effectively whittling down two good teeth...for $12,500.

Tomorrow, I continue my quest to learn a bit more about billionaires, for they today have the most money theoretically tappable to save Planet Earth and Humanity.

Two ocean storms are headed for Hawaii.  Hurricane Celia is now at 90 MPH, but all models show her weakening before getting anywhere close:

Right behind is Tropical Storm Darby, now at 40 MPH, but certain to reach hurricane intensity.

Darby, too, will weaken before doing any damage.  The trend of a more southern track, plus fizzling closer and closer to Hawaii, is a bit concerning.


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