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Big Tech to the rescue

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Week in Review

Stocks trended downwards early in the week despite positive earnings reports as rising COVID-19 cases, inflation and economic growth all weighed on investor sentiment.

China

Panic selling gripped Chinese stocks early in the week as fears over a regulatory crackdown by the Chinese Government continued to mount.

Although the sell-off centred around a new set of restrictions on Chinese for-profit tutoring companies, it's the latest example of the communist party's unwavering ability to destroying shareholder value with an unexpected decision.

China's largest tech names have all recorded significant losses in recent months. Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce company, has now seen its market cap fall by over 300 billion dollars since its market highs set back in October.

Big tech

The mega-cap tech companies continued to produce mind-boggling revenue numbers this week. Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft all reported record quarters after the closing bell on Tuesday, with a combined profit of $57 billion in Q2, which equates to $626 million a day.

Google's parent company, Alphabet, was particularly noteworthy, with advertising revenue up 69% year over year. YouTube alone generated $7 billion in revenue for the quarter.

While it's easy to look at record high numbers in the stock market and assume a bubble, record earnings figures and improving fundamentals from the biggest hitters in the index will continue to act as a support, justifying further gains.

Bitcoin Bounce

The major crypto names experienced a late-night surge on Sunday, with bitcoin now sitting at a six-week high just below $40,000.

Bullish comments last week from the tech trio of Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Cathie Wood spurred the recent positive sentiment.

The outlook has been boosted further by the news that Amazon may accept cryptocurrency payments - by the end of the year. While early reports are vague and yet to be confirmed by Amazon, inclusion across the Amazon infrastructure would be a significant steppingstone in the cryptocurrency space.

Stock Watch:

Snap Inc jumped a colossal 24% last Thursday after reporting its biggest growth quarter in four years.

Snap's next significant growth opportunity appears to be in the AR space. The company has invested heavily in Augmented reality and is looking to change the e-commerce experience by allowing those shopping online to "try on" clothing using its AR technology. I’m listening.

While revenue more than doubled to $982 million in Q2 2021 and the AR tech offers significant growth opportunities, valuations appear stretched, to say the least.

For me, Snap Inc will need to show an ability to turn its lower-income younger users into paying customers and turn big revenue gains into realised profits before the current market cap is justified.

Robinhood

De facto Guardian of the retail investor in the fight against the Wall Street elite, Robinhood has fast become the poster child of retail investor revolution.

As such, its IPO this week was always guaranteed to generate a lot of interest.

With almost 18 million active users, $80 billion in AUM and revenue close to $1 billion last year's Robinhood makes for a compelling investment opportunity, but with a predicted valuation of $35 billion, much of the juice may have already been squeezed by the private market before it becomes available to the public.

While I'm skeptical in the long run, especially with the majority of earnings coming from the sale of order flows, this IPO will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest over the near term.

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Documents for driving abroad in Europe

By John Healy of Healy Insurances As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area. This […]

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By John Healy of Healy Insurances

As of August 2021, a green card (or international motor insurance card) is no longer required for travel in the European Economic Area.

This area includes all the European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You also don’t need a green card for Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Switzerland.

If you are travelling with your vehicle to the named counties you will still need to bring:

Your certificate of motor insurance
Your vehicle licencing certificate
Your driving licence
Your passport

If you are taking a company owned, hired or borrowed vehicle, you will need a letter of authorisation from the registered owner along with the vehicle licencing certificate.

It is important to check the legal requirements for the country you are driving in. Some EU countries including France will require you to carry the following items:

Reflective jackets for each occupant of the vehicle
Warning triangle
Headlamp beam deflectors
Breathalyser test
Spare bulb kit
First Aid Kit (compulsory in Austria, France and Germany)

It is advisable to have your travel insurance details, European breakdown cover details, health insurance details and your European Health Insurance card in your possession. Travel safe.

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Make your property look as appealing as possible

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Over the past few weeks we have looked at ways of spring cleaning our homes in preparation for going to the market. The […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Over the past few weeks we have looked at ways of spring cleaning our homes in preparation for going to the market. The final step and one of the most important is the kerb appeal of your home.

The exterior of your property is going to attract would-be buyers, it is a simple fact.

So let’s get it looking as well as we possibly can.

Our aim should be to make your property look as appealing as possible, to as many people as possible, ultimately leading to a higher selling price in a quicker timeframe.

Remember that first impressions last. After a long winter, things may not be looking their best in the garden but with the onset of spring and the warm sunny (hopefully) summer evenings, comes the opportunity in presenting our outdoor spaces in the best possible light.

Cut the lawns, brush the driveway, weed the flower beds, get those flower baskets and window boxes out. Lay out the patio furniture.

Do your footpaths/patio areas need a power hose?
How are the rainwater gutters – remove any debris/growth from them.

How’s the paintwork, are there any areas of peeling paint that need touching up?
Perhaps give the front door a lift with a new coat of paint.

Improving how your property looks from the outside is as important as how it feels once you’re inside, yet it often gets overlooked.

Remember our home is our most valuable asset so why not get it looking its very best. We get one chance to make that first impression so make it last, it will pay off.

For anyone considering selling their property or looking for advice on how best to prepare it for sale, contact DNG Ted Healy on 064 6639000 or killarney@dng.ie.

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