In life you will meet a plethora of people, and, believe it or not, not every person will be someone you enjoy meeting. You’ll come across people with bold opinions, but not enough courage to share them with you, or maybe you’ll speak to someone with a relatively low-stakes opinion but they’ll talk your ear off about it. Of the people I’ve come in contact with, my favorites are the ones who look you dead in the eye, and make you feel like you’re heard when you speak.
These people, though potentially strange to you, will take a vested interest in what you have to say, and there’s no better feeling in the world. In addition to this, when you sense mutual respect in a dynamic, that’s also incredible. What I’m trying to say is that there are billions of people on this planet and, while many are afraid to admit it, some truly want to meet you.
Get out there and meet some new friends, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday.
Google on Tuesday announced the unveiling of a video game streaming service called Stadia which will allow users to play the game that they love without the need for purchasing wallet-emptying consoles or computers. In terms of rendering the games for user play, this work will be handled by Google’s cloud platform. Per the details of the official announcement, with Stadia, YouTube watchers will be able to click “Play now” at the end of a video and their game will start within five seconds. Perhaps the craziest part about Stadia is that the “data center is the platform,” meaning that players can start at one platform and continue where they left off on any advice capable of connecting to Google.
Gamers can use keyboards and
“The power and accessibility of streaming will give billions unprecedented opportunities to play video games in the future. We are proud to partner with Google on Stadia, building on what we’ve learned with Project Stream via Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. This is only the beginning, and we can’t wait to continue collaborating closely with Google on what’s next for Stadia.”
–Yves Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer, Ubisoft
Kamala The Way Up
We’re getting closer and closer to the upcoming 2020 presidential election and the candidates are hot on the trail to convince Americans to vote them into office. According to a new poll conducted by CNN, Sen. Kamala Harris shot up eight points on Tuesday, with her having only gained support in the week after the declaration of her candidacy. The poll also found that voter excitement is shaping up to outpace the level seen for any presidential election since 2000. 40% of respondents said they are “extremely enthusiastic” about voting for president. My hope is that those people actually get out and vote!
Fed Announces No Rate Cuts, But Sees A Cut In The Future
For the past couple of years, the United States Federal Reserve has been in the middle of a lot of speculation. The trade war between the United States and China has created a clamor for cuts in interest rates.
But on Wednesday, the Fed held the interest rates as they were. Furthermore, the Fed officially announced that no cuts in interest rates were forthcoming in 2019. It’s interesting to note that the markets are betting heavily on a forthcoming rate cut from the Fed. Some even expect the cuts to be formalized in July.
Rate Cut Ahead?
The Fed has ruled out the possibility of any cuts this year (allegedly). But many market watchers believe that a lot depends on how the market conditions evolve over the coming months. The uncertainty regarding the trade war with China is a major problem.
Yet experts believe that if it turns into a prolonged skirmish, then the Fed might reconsider its position. The United States President Donald Trump has led been campaigning for lower rates from the Fed for some time.
After having delivered his statement on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell seemed to imply that rate cuts could not be completely out of the question in 2019.
“Many participants now see the case for a somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened.”
The decision by the Fed was possibly one of the most-watched events in recent times. Long-term ramifications are the main concern.
Market participants had been calling for multiple cuts. But the Fed voted to keep benchmark rates within the 2.25% and 2.5% range. It was the range that had been back in December when the Fed had controversially raised the interest rates. The voted had been passed 9-1 in favor of holding the rate.
Trade Talks Fail, What’s Next For The Market?
The trade war between the United States and China has probably been the biggest economic and diplomatic development since the turn of the year. Although the world’s two biggest economies were locked in talks for months over a new trade deal, it all unraveled quickly.
This happened when US President Donald Trump stated that the Chinese went back on their word. He then imposed tariff hikes on Chinese goods last Friday. The tariffs were raised to an astonishing 25% on goods worth $200 billion. Although Trump might believe this might bully the Chinese into submission, many experts believe that might not be the case.
Difficulty in Completing Deal
The President had imposed these tariff hikes right before the Chinese delegation was supposed to show up at Washington. This was for which many had believed was going to be the last round of talks. However, experts now feel that the escalation of tensions between the two countries following the latest developments will make it difficult to reach a deal that could be considered a win for the US. As soon as the tariffs kicked in, Beijing announced that it was looking at countermeasures as well. However, there were no specifics on the nature of these measures.
Last year, the two nations had been embroiled in a damaging retaliatory tariff war and it could lead to a protracted trade war, if the Chinese decided to resort of the same tactics. The Chinese delegation is going to be in Washington this week to engage in another round of talks but it is believed that a binding trade deal is unlikely to be signed.
Is A Trump Win Likely?
One of the biggest reasons why the deal might not be signed anytime soon is perhaps the fact that the US President needs to be able to claim it as a win for himself. The President has staked his personal weight behind a favorable deal for the US. But with every passing day, it is looking increasingly unlikely that it is going to happen.
If that is to happen, then China’s entire way of doing business will need to change. This is starting at intellectual property theft and expands to technology transfers by force from US companies. If those things are not part of the deal, then it would not be the sort of deal that can be claimed as a win for the US. It doesn’t help that today, China came in with its own tariffs. China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.
And in true Trump fashion, the U.S. may not be done retaliating. The U.S. President has threatened to put 25% tariffs on $325 billion in Chinese goods that remain untaxed. The president has signaled he is content leaving the duties in place, arguing they will damage China more than the U.S. What are your thoughts?
Can 102 Words Really Impact Stock Prices?
In short, the answer is yes. We’ve witnessed, first hand, this week how just a few words can drastically impact the stock market. If you’re just tuning in, at the beginning of the first full week of May, U.S. President Donald Trump Tweeted out a 102-word post that ended up triggering a sell-off costing the global markets around $1.36 TRILLION…with a “T”!
The “Trump Tweet” expressed that he would once again increase tariffs on Chinese goods by the end of this week. What followed has been a shock to the global markets with futures pointing at dramatic declines every day this week. Though some say that the decline are all but a speed bump, it still hasn’t helped the fact that this drop is one of the worst seen all year. People like Kerry Craig of JPMorgan Asset Management think that a trade deal can still be reached. The expectations, however, have been readjusted to reflect a more long-term time horizon.
Eyes Turn Toward The Second Half Of The Week
Other analysts like Oanda Asia Pacific’s Jeffrey Halley feel that investors are prudently “lightening their loads.” Halley said, “My feeling is that investors are lightening their portfolios as a precaution.”
“Liu will be in the U.S. from May 9-10. The invite comes from both the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.” Regardless of what “will happen,” what has happened thus far has been an emotionally charged & very fragile global market. As this story develops we will continue to follow with more updates.
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