It’s been said that if you spend at least ten-thousand hours working in a certain subject matter, whether that be playing an instrument or studying a foreign language, you will be an expert. The rule, conceptualized by Malcolm Gladwell, was slightly misquoted, but the notion remains the same. If you remain consistent with a particular hobby or subject for at least ten years (10,000 hours), you will be considered a phenom in this subject. I’ve often spent many a night contemplating how I’ve spent the last ten-thousand hours of my life, and if I would go as far to consider myself an expert in any matter. In my opinion, to be an expert is to have nothing left to learn, and one of the greatest joys in life is learning something new. Based on that concept, I hope that I never master anything.
Think about what you are an expert on as you read what you missed in the news yesterday.
Until There’s A Cure
Today, it was reported that there may be a second patient who was cured of his HIV virus. According to Vox, the new patient, who has remained anonymous, had a form of cancer and underwent treatment involving chemotherapy to clear his immune system and, through a stem cell transplant, receive cancer-free donor cells. Back in 2017, nearly a year after his transplant, the patient stopped taking his antiretroviral drugs for HIV and miraculously tested negative for HIV. Outside of the incredible fact that this man was cured, the question remains whether the disease can ultimately be cured.
According to Vox, of the dozen patients with HIV who received a similar transplant like the London patient and the Berlin patient, eight individuals died from transplant-related side effects. No matter how you look at it, its clear that medical experts are still eons away from finding a mass-production cure for the HIV virus, especially because, in the two cases where the two men were cured, the treatment nearly killed each of them.
“At the moment the only way to treat HIV is with medications that suppress the virus, which people need to take for their entire lives, posing a particular challenge in developing countries. Finding a way to eliminate the virus entirely is an urgent global priority, but it is particularly difficult because the virus integrates into the white blood cells of its host.”
–Professor Ravindra Gupta, University of Cambridge
We cannot explain why mother nature reacts the way she does, but we are often forced to handle the consequences of natural disasters. Presently, there has been an outbreak of tornadoes ripping across the state of Alabama, which unfortunately took the lives of twenty-three people on Tuesday. According to reports from local officials in Alabama’s Lee County, up to eight invidious remain missing.
No one can predict the devastating effects of a natural disaster, but it is our responsibility as Americans to offer our support to the people of Alabama in their time of need. If you would like to help people affected by disasters, consider donating to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
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.
Chinese Negotiators To Visit US As Tariffs Trigger More Concerns
Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator will be heading to the US to talk trade this week. The two countries have been at odds for months now with China trying to leverage the current US tariff situation. Of course, the US has not helped things either by continuing to increase tariffs on Chinese goods.
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. The markets took a hit on Monday after U.S. President Trump explained that he was not pleased with the speed of discussions and that he planned to raise tariffs by the end of the week. Chinese authorities initially considered delaying talks in light of this.
What’s Next For China & The U.S.?
Both Mnuchin and Lighthizer were concerned after it was evident that talks weren’t making progress. This was during a visit to Beijing just last week. Over the weekend, China sent a new draft of an agreement that outlined a pullback on certain language on several issues. These issues had “the potential to change the deal very dramatically,” according to Mnuchin.
According to reports from the Global Times newspaper, China was prepared for other outcomes to the deal with the U.S. This also included a temporary breakdown. Furthermore, China had also planned to continue talks even if the U.S. decided to raise tariffs. Of course, time will tell but now we must see how the markets will react to these new developments coming from China.
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