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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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No spare change – no problem, as charity embraces new technology

By Sean Moriarty With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier. For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier.

For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank card to make a donation.

The Society’s annual churchgate collection will be held on the weekend of December 11/12 at places of worship in the town and surrounding areas. This year’s collection has be renamed as ‘Giving Sunday’ and makes a return after the pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s fundraiser.

“We are moving towards a cashless society,” explained Killarney Conference President Breda O’Dwyer. “You can tap and swipe your card to make a donation.”

Breda added that they are hoping to have the buckets ready by next week in time for the collection.

She said the local conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society has seen a marked increase in the number of families it is helping mainly caused by the increase in the cost of fuel and home heating products.

The annual St Vincent De Paul Society’s Christmas Jumper Day, in association with Radio Kerry is scheduled for December 10.

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SURVEY: Locals are reducing their social contacts

It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week. An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their […]

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It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week.

An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their level of contacts with people.

Interestingly, 37.10% of people had made no change to their lifestyle, but they could have been extra cautious already.

A tiny minority – just 1.61% – said they increased their social contacts over the last week.

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