This is an amalgamation of the “best bits” of the daily weekday newsletter/blog woven together to form a concise and coherent view on the things that matter in the commercial and economic news of the week.
THE DAY IN BRACKETS REFERS TO THE EDITION WHERE THE STORY APPEARED IN WATSON’S DAILY. Clicking on the day will take you to the appropriate edition of Watson’s Daily. You will need a FULL SUBSCRIPTION to be able to click through all the links which take you to the relevant articles.
THIS WEEK WAS A WEEK OF TRADE TALKS, WEAKNESS AND SHAKY CONFIDENCE...
- US/China trade talks took place in Washington this week (Tuesday) despite Huawei facing a ton of charges – and they seemed to go well as Trump hinted at subsequent talks with Xi (Friday) without revealing too many details
- However, Eurozone growth is slowing to a standstill (Friday) while Italy enters a technical recession (Friday) and German business confidence took a big hit (Tuesday). South Korean exports also fell off a cliff (Tuesday), raising concerns that the China slowdown is spreading around the region
- US rates were kept on hold (Thursday) amidst growing concerns about a global economic slowdown
THE CONTRAST BETWEEN US AND UK CONSUMERS CONTINUES, AMAZON DOES WELL BUT UK SUPERMARKETS LOOK TO EVOLVE...
- US consumers could be in for a nice windfall (Monday) as many didn’t revise their tax codes when Trump changed the rules but UK consumers remain cautious (Monday) to the extent that they even reduced spending on credit (Thursday)
- Amazon announced strong results (Friday) although they were more downbeat about the immediate future given restrictions in India and another round of spending on infrastructure
- …and in the UK, Tesco announced job cuts (Monday) while M&S and Ocado entered into talks (Monday, Tuesday) although no-one knows any more details on precisely what sort of deal might be done
MANY TECH PLAYERS STRUGGLED THIS WEEK...
- Apple announced poor results (Wednesday), but on the flipside it’s making advances in game streaming (Tuesday) – where it aims to become “the Netflix for games” – as well as its healthcare business (Wednesday) in a new venture with US insurer Aetna for an app called Attain. Apple’s contractors continue to look outside China to increase production and reduce the current supply chain imbalance (Monday)
- Nvidia suffered from a slowdown in its China business (Tuesday) amongst other things while Samsung announced weak earnings (Friday) and a downbeat assessment of prospects for the first half – although they expect things to turn up in the second half of the year on rising chip prices and new product launches
THERE WERE SOME BIG DEVELOPMENTS FOR MOTOR MANUFACTURERS...
- There was an interesting update on VW’s electric vehicle platform (Thursday) which may prove to be vital to its future while Ford continues to have problems in China (Thursday)
- It was a mixed week for Tesla because it announced good results (Thursday) on the one hand, but then it looks like its high profile Saudi Arabian backer is distancing itself (Tuesday) from the company. Tesla also lost its CFO.
My favourite “alternative” stories this week were Man creates gorgeous sculptures out of Ferrero Rocher wrappers (Metro, Hattie Gladwell https://tinyurl.com/ya65y3pf) and A Twitter user cleverly turned their AirPods into earings so they’d never lose them (Insider, Daniel Boan https://tinyurl.com/yaa9recf) because the people in these articles are so darn clever!