The United States: To remain competitive, US manufacturers continue to focus on skilled labor and automation. Robot shipments hit record highs.
China: China’s repo rates spiked going into the year-end. Facing stricter regulations, the nation’s banks have learned about “window dressing.”
The Eurozone: The euro rose above $1.2 last week amid talk of the ECB’s QE ending in September (see story).
Credit: Investment-grade bond spreads continue to tighten amid steady fund inflows into the sector.
Emerging Markets: Iran’s stock market took a hit in response to the widening (and morphing) anti-government protests.
Bitcoin: This chart shows electricity usage per transaction for Visa (credit card), Ethereum, and Bitcoin.
Rates: US financial conditions continue to ease, raising the possibility of four rate hikes this year.
Equity Markets: Schwab’s retail investors’ cash holdings are at record low levels.
Energy Markets: Refinery inputs hit a record high for this time of the year.
Food for Thought: Which countries teach children how to solve problems as a team?
Happy New Year!
Edited by Joseph N Cohen
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Thanks to Josh Marte (@joshdigga), Matt Garrett (@MattGarrett3), Joseph Cohen (@josephncohen), Ycharts.com, S&P Global, and Moody’s Investors Service for helping with the research for the Daily Shot.
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