Life goes on…
The political impasse the UK finds itself in continues unabated…
We are told that a penitent Theresa May appeared before Tory MPs yesterday, to apologise and accept full responsibility for the election campaign failures, adding that she would sort out the mess she had created.
She also said she would stay as long as her MPs wanted her to.
That tenure may be determined by the compromises she has to make to secure the support of the Ulster Unionists.
But what was thought to be a relatively straightforward arrangement is taking longer to negotiate, to the extent that the state opening of parliament and the Queen’s speech which accompanies it are reportedly going to be delayed.
The approval of the bill that supports the Queen’s speech – the government’s policy road map if you will – would be the first vote of confidence in the new administration.
All of which suggests to me that the DUP are driving a hard bargain in the talks with May and her team.
Of course, these aren’t the only important negotiations at hand…as the initial round of talks over the terms of the UK’s divorce from Brussels are due to start on Monday.
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michael Barnier, has called for the UK to send a computer and a credible team of negotiators who have a mandate.
We can hopefully fulfil the first two criteria… as to the last we shall have to see.
Despite the political fall-out, we need to remember that life and the economy will carry on regardless…
And whilst what happens at Westminster clearly affects us, we shouldn’t let it define us entirely – either as individuals, or as a nation state.
We will find out more about the state of the economy this week…
Firstly with the release of inflation data today, and then with Thursday’s Bank of England meeting, where they’ll decide on UK interest rates and monetary policy.
Bank watchers will probably be more interested in any statement that accompanies the decision, and to hear Mark Carney’s views on what risk – if any – he and his team see ahead for UK PLC.
Trouble ahead for the Tech sector?
Technology stocks in the US continued their wobble yesterday, though the benchmark Nasdaq 100 index finished down by just -0.6% – a much better performance than we saw last Friday.
Nonetheless, this means it is down by almost three percent over the last week, and though it is up by more than 17% year-to-date, weakness here could unsettle the wider markets.
That’s because the Tech giants that populate the index have been at the forefront of the bull market in equities.
There are plenty of individual stocks in the Nasdaq that have lost -4% or more in the last seven days.
Some, such as Netflix, have lost twice that amount from their stock price. Even the mighty Apple has fallen by 5% in this time.
The question is: how quickly (if at all) will these stocks bounce back?
The answer to that could have a great deal of bearing on stock performance in the second half of 2017, not just in the US, but around the world.