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The $21 billion Twitter poll

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By Michael O’Connor   

Markets are officially on a roll, with the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq notching multiple record-high closes in recent weeks.

Much of the recent uptrend following a difficult September has been driven by a solid Q3 earning season. The S&P 500 has rallied 9% in recent weeks as 82% of companies within the index beat earnings estimates, well above the 69%, 15-year average. As we move forward, the comp figures will become more difficult to beat, but unwavering demand looks set to support earnings into the future.

Inflation Scare

In news that will hardly be surprising to anyone who has stepped foot inside a grocery store over the last six months, inflation across a broad swath of products that consumers buy every day hit its highest point in more than 30 years.

The October consumer price index figures, which monitor a basket of products ranging from petrol and healthcare to groceries and rents, rose 6.2% from a year ago. While much of this recent inflation is thought to be transitory, given current supply constraints, these higher-than-expected figures put inflation and the need for tighter monetary policy firmly back on the radar.

Musk's Twitter Machine

Tesla stock fell almost 20% in two days after Elon Musk indicated he would sell 10% of his stake in the company off the back of a Twitter poll.

If he does, it will trigger what would surely be one of the largest capital gains tax liabilities for an individual in history — a cool $6.7 billion.

In true Musk fashion, he took to Twitter on Saturday and proposed selling 10% of his Tesla stock, worth roughly $21 billion. The masses voted in favour of the sale with a 58% majority.

While Musk framed to poll as a response to the democrat's proposal to tax unrealised stock gains of US billionaires, looking to cash out during seemingly overbought conditions is hardly surprising.

Tesla's Market Cap jumped over $200 billion off the back of a $4 billion Hertz contract announcement that has yet to be signed, hard to argue with the idea of banking some gains.

Zoom's Rise and Fall

Zoom's precipitous decline continued, finishing the week down 6.2%. After peaking in October 2020, Zoom has lost roughly 55% of its market value, falling from $588 to $260 a share in just over a year.

Even though Zoom's financial results continued to impress through much of 2021, growth is starting to slow, and the collapse of the proposed acquisition of Five9 has hampered the company's attempt to diversify revenue.

While Zoom's demise might sound strange, given the work-from-home environment many of us still find ourselves in, when markets fully price in all future growth potential, it only takes a little nudge in the other direction to trigger enormous moves.

Market Outlook

Zoom serves as a reminder that while the stock market valuations continue to steadily increase at an index level, if you zoom out..(pun intended)...substantial volatility remains at the stock level.

Stocks like Peloton, Zillow and Moderna cratered last week as the indexes steadily climbed to all-time highs.

The Nasdaq composite index is up over 24% year-to-date, but if you look a little closer, 50% of the companies within the index have experienced a 20% correction at some point during the year, while 20% of the companies within the index have experienced a 50% correction or more.

Volatility is alive and well, but an index-driven market makes it appear like everything just keeps going up.

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Taking care of your skin at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning and exfoliating your face, neck and décolleté.

Serums, eye creams and moisturisers: Moisturising provides a protective layer to the skin that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated. This hydration is what gives your skin a smooth and luminous appearance. This is the step in your skincare routine you don’t want to skip. We always apply the serum closest to the skin as it’s water based and needs to be absorbed on the deepest layer of the skin; the basal layer which is the active layer. It’s where the collagen and elastin start to grow and move up towards the surface of the skin. The more hyaluronic acid, peptides, ribose, and active ingredients in your serums the better. We need to keep our fibroblasts, melanocytes healthy as they are the source of plump, juicy skin.

An eye cream to me is the most important cream as the eye area is a place that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil gland). These glands help remove old skin cells, keep the skin lubricated and prevent tissues drying out. Therefore, for me, I always use an eyelid lifting serum, eye cream in the night time and eye roll-on gel in the morning. Our eyes can make us look older than we are so it’s important to look after them. It’s very important not to go too close to the eye when applying creams as the skin is very thin. A little bit often makes a big difference.

When applying your serum and cream rub upwards and outwards; be careful not to tug the delicate skin around the eyes.

Apply SPF all year round, it’s the most important step in preventing skin cancer and keeps your skin healthy as you age. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays helps maintain a healthy youthful visage. However, it’s important to remember the best form of sun block is to keep your face in the shade.

With all skincare routines, it’s important to keep it consistant. Do it twice a day every day and follow with monthly facials. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. This means that it’s important to take good care of it.

For more information, or to book a skin consultation or facial, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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What do we mean by ‘Employability’?

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor

According to experts in the area of career development, the term ‘employability’ refers to a set of achievements that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.

This in turn benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. At this stage in the year Leaving Cert students are well into the process of trying to decide what step they want to take next. It is a daunting task for many of you because of the variety of choices available and the challenge for young people at 17 or 18 years of age to really know what career they might like. It is important to remember that you aren’t choosing a career for life, you are taking the next step and you will be building on that as your career develops. A big concern for many students and parents is whether they will get a job at the end of their chosen course or pathway. While we have some indications of where there will be skills shortages in the short to medium term, the jobs market is subject to change.

PATHWAY

One thing we can be sure of is that, regardless of what pathway you take after the Leaving Cert, be that Further Education courses (FET), traineeships, apprenticeships or university courses, on completion of your training and education you will want to be ‘employable’. In simple terms ‘employability’ depends on your knowledge (what you know) your skills (what you do with what you know) and your attitude (how you approach things). As you research the various options open to you after you finish school, remember you are heading into a working world that values transferable skills which include specialist knowledge in the subject, field of study or technical area you have chosen to follow. It also places huge emphasis on having the ability to analyse, evaluate and use information effectively to problem-solve and to organise and communicate knowledge well. Furthermore, your personal qualities are a core part of your offering to a potential employer – your ability to work on your own initiative, to self-manage, to manage time and meet targets and deadlines. Central to all of this of course is the ability to collaborate, to work and study as part of a team.

If you are struggling to decide between courses or options, focus on finding an area that you really want to find out more about. You will develop a set of transferable skills which will give you flexibility and adaptability as you grow and develop in your career. All of the other things you do will add value to your degree/qualification and that is what will ensure your ‘employability’!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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