152 years ago the communications industry got a major kick start, literally. Paper messages left a small town inMissouri,Californiabound. They traveled 2,000 miles at the speed of a horse. It was a 10-day trip. Much cooler than texting or tweeting, this was the PONY EXPRESS.
Our young nation was captivated by its existence. It was celebrated, it was glamorized, it lasted less than 18 months. This piece of American folklore was retired for the ages. “High tech” replaced “low tech”, and in came the telegraph. Electronic communication came to life.
Today, information travels at the speed of light and spans the globe. Planet earth is more connected than it’s ever been before. Last night I was parsing through Google’s earnings report, monitoring the impact of the Korean rocket launch, while anxiously anticipatingChina’s first quarter GDP report. I could see how Asia was trading, how Europe would awaken, and track USfutures as an indicator of what Friday might bring. This of course took place after my 3 girls were asleep.
Today’s Market is always awake. Global events have great impact on investments. Today’s Market acts and reacts; it anticipates, discounts expected events, and moves forward. For much of the last 9 months, theUShas been the biggest driver for global markets. And after a stellar start to the year, stocks were ripe for a “sell the news” event with earnings reports. We saw evidence of it this week, with the DOW and S&P logging their worst 5-day session on the year.
But some important events transpired that should lay the foundation for better days ahead. Despite the fact thatChina’s economic report missed expectations, digging through the data suggests that things bottomed out in February and started re-accelerating in March. China’s stock market has been in a Bear Market since 2010. That could be coming to an end. The other event was natural gas prices broke below $2. It hasn’t seen this level since 2001, and adjusting for inflation, it’s the lowest it has ever been. We finally have the ability to reduce our dependence on foreign energy supplies, which we spend over $1 Billion per day. This is a really big deal. Everyone is talking about natural gas these days, and the Free Market is finally doing something about it. Many trucking fleets have begun switching over to natural gas powered engines. Buses and taxicabs are already there. The seeds have been planted for this energy renaissance, and we are seeing some blooms.
Technology makes things happen today, better and faster than we ever imagined. And there’s just no stopping it. But at times it comes at the expense of patience, because we collectively have become used to immediate results. 10 days can seem like forever today, but it was light speed to the pony.
Have a nice weekend. We’re here, and we’re on it.
By: Mike Frazier