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. Clicking on the day will take you to the appropriate edition of Watson’s Daily.
SO THERE WAS A LOT OF MACRO MADNESS AND MAYHEM THIS WEEK...
- US interest rates went up by 0.25% to a range of 2% to 2.25%(Thursday), with one more increase likely before year end to be followed up by more next year. This will put even more pressure on Argentina who lost the head of their central bank (Wednesday), although his replacement may smooth the way for an IMF bailout (Thursday). Meanwhile, in Europe, the Swedish PM lost a vote of confidence (Wednesday) that will put his government in disarray and then there was the news that Poland managed to graduate from an “emerging” market to a “developed” market (Tuesday) – the first to do so for ten years.
THERE WAS ALSO A RIGHT OLD FRENZY FOR IPOs...
- The week started off with Comcast winning in the race to buy Sky (Monday), then it got a bit of flak from investors for paying a high price (Tuesday) and moved on to win control (Thursday) signalling the end of the Rupert Murdoch era. The acquisition is an important strategic move for Comcast as it gives them a proper beach head in Europe – something that has eluded many US companies of this ilk.
- Then there were other acquisitions that came to light such as Sirius XM (a US satellite radio group) buying Pandora (a streamer – Tuesday) to strengthen their collective offering against the likes of Apple and Spotify and Michael Kors buying Versace (Tuesday)
- There were rumours of consolidation between French retailers Casino and Carrefour (Tuesday) which Carrefour vehemently denied and it turns out that Amazon has made a couple of approaches to Deliveroo (Tuesday), the company that is currently in early stage talks with Uber.
IT'S ALSO BEEN A MIXED WEEK FOR RETAILERS...
- American retailer Sears started the week with a financial restructuring proposal to avoid bankruptcy (Tuesday) but continued to run into scepticism (Thursday)
- UK bike retailer Halfords announced a profit warning (Friday) despite also being one of the interested parties in the running to buy another troubled UK bike retailer, Evans (Thursday)
- On the positive side, some clothing retailers unveiled solid results with H&M (Friday), Next (Wednesday) and Boohoo (Thursday) putting in a strong showing. Proof, as if any were needed, that it IS possible to get it right on the high street (and online, of course!).
...AND THERE WERE ALSO A COUPLE OF INTERESTING TALKING POINTS...
- There was a big contrast in fortunes for travel agents as Tui announced strong results (Friday) which contrasted sharply with Thomas Cook’s profit warning (Tuesday). This appeared to be broadly down to Tui’s heavier exposure to the higher-margin cruise ship business and Thomas Cook’s exposure to the late bookings market
- ..and then there was Elon Musk getting sued by the SEC (Friday) for sending that Tweet saying that he’d found the backers to take his company private.
I must admit that Man named Anus changes Facebook profile after being butt of too many jokes (Metro, Zoe Drewett https://tinyurl.com/y9wfwlge) made me laugh, but then this was also a week for talented animals such as ‘World’s first’ ice skating dog looks like he’s loving life after almost being put down (The Mirror, Ailbhe MacMahon & Neil Murphy https://tinyurl.com/ybeudx7x) and Seal jumps out of the sea and slaps innocent man in the face with an octopus (Metro, Rob Waugh https://tinyurl.com/yda7huq4).
Have a great weekend!