“A powerful rebound in hiring last month eased fears about an economic downturn as the U.S. expansion enters its eighth year, putting the nation on solid footing to absorb global shocks and market turbulence.”Investors appeared to agree the U.S. economic growth would continue apace. The American Association of Individual Investors (AAII)’s Investor Sentiment Survey reported bullish sentiment – the expectation stock prices will rise over the next six months – increased by 5.8 percentage points last week to 36.9 percent. That’s just the second time since November 2015 bullishness has stayed above 30 percent for two weeks in a row. Money managers didn’t sit in the stands. The National Association of Active Investment Managers reported active managers increased their stock market exposure to 97 percent last week, which is the highest since the group began calculating the measure, according to Bloomberg. Investors’ enthusiasm was fortified by positive earnings reports and helped some markets reach new highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished Friday at a record high, according to Reuters, and Bloomberg said, “…the S&P 500 Index closed at record highs on four consecutive days, something that hadn’t happened since November 2014.” The coup in Turkey on Friday threw a wrench into the works. Demand for safe haven assets increased, according to Bloomberg. It wouldn’t be a surprise if markets pulled back to assess.
Look Into The Crystal Ball…Sure, the world has changed during the last decade or two. We’ve gained about 1.6 billion people. (There are now 7.2 billion of us, globally.) There is an app for almost everything. (Just try to ‘catch ‘em all!’) We even job hunt in cyberspace. (Make sure you customize your communications.) Here are a few other changes that may be coming our way soon:
- Saltwater crops. One-fifth of the world’s irrigated farmland has been swamped by seawater, and rising sea levels mean more acreage may be at risk. Phys.org reports scientists around the world have been studying how to grow salt-tolerant crops, including potatoes, strawberries, carrots, onions, and lettuce.
- Custom-engineered bones. “For the first time, pieces of living bone have been grown from the cells of…miniature pigs – and sculpted to replace…a pig’s lower jaw, one of the strongest and most complex jaws in the face,” according to LiveScience.com.
- Smart refrigerators. Someday soon, you may replace your old refrigerator with a smart fridge. The latest models have cameras that connect to your smart phone via Wi-Fi, so you can see what’s inside while you’re shopping at the grocery store.
- Food-sharing apps. Don’t have time to cook? Log in to a food-sharing app to “connect with people in the same area who have leftover food to give away, allowing surplus to be shared and not wasted.”
- Dragon silk armor. Genetically modified silkworms – they now share DNA with spiders – are spinning one of the toughest fibers ever made. If it performs well in ballistic tests, the U.S. Army may soon be wearing silk.