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As Trump tweets, the stock market downdraft continues. No early end in sight.

Our president is not a happy man. His unhappiness is evident in his latest weekend tweets:


His hatred for Amazon (down nearly 5% this morning) stems from Jeff Bezos’s purchase of the Washington Post,  which ran a story this morning, devastating to Trump, which lead off:

Donald Trump is either woefully uninformed or intentionally misleading the American people about one of his most consequential decisions as president.

You can read the Post’s piece here. 

This morning every stock in my portfolio is down —  excepting United Health (UNH), which reported stronger than expected higher profits.

As I complete this post, my portfolio is down 3%, which is huge.

As I eye the red ink, I am beginning to believe that Trump’s anger (and ignorance) will seriously hurt the stockmarket’s prospects for the rest of this year.

The most disappointing apart of it all is the accelerating trade war, which he believes he can win.

China, as I feared, has now retaliated by imposing higher tariffs on key American exporters. Reuters reports this morning:

BEIJING (Reuters) – China has increased tariffs by up to 25 percent on 128 U.S. products, from frozen pork and wine to certain fruits and nuts, escalating a dispute between the world’s biggest economies in response to U.S. duties on imports of aluminum and steel.

Trade wars accomplish nothing except cost people their jobs, cut industry profits and hurt American (and global) economic growth. The world has tried trade wars before. They’ve never worked.

The worst part of all this are the many stock trading computers that spy an early morning downward trend in stock prices and then exacerbate it by heavy selling throughout the day. That’s what’s  happening today. Some say these computers account for 70% of daily stock trading.

Last week I headlined my blog:


My weekend was lovely. Eight family were in town. Four kids. Four adults. It was perfect. A perfect respite from thinking that this year –2018 — might be our first down year for stocks in a while.

No one ever profited by panicking. Selling into today’s downdraft is definitely panicking. But — if you don’t have the stomach for this — go to cash. Many of my friends have. They’re sleeping more soundly. Perhaps take some profits off the table? I hate that expression. But it may let you also sleep more soundly.

I wonder how much Trump’s present anger — on Amazon, on trade wars with China, our second largest trading partner (after the European Union), and on immigration — will hurt coming months.

Today I read there’s thousands of people marching through Mexico on their way to the United States.


Half are from Honduras where a new presidency has lead to new lawlessness.

God knows what will happen when these people arrive on our doorstep.

Where goes Bitcoin?

This chart shows bitcoin over the past year. It closed on Thursday  at $6,730,  down  65% from its recent high of $19,206, but still up 551% in the year.


Does this make me want to own bitcoin?

The simple answer is NO. I’m an old-fashioned guy. Bitcoin is gambling pure and simple, despite what my friends tell me.

What went wrong with Facebook?

Turned out to be not as bad as it could have been, or the press thought it would be. The company has supporters and a seeming floor supporting its stock price. Here’s the last month:


The Economist ran last week’s cover story on Facebook’s Epic Fall;


There are two pieces in the Economist:

Epic Fall. Facebook faces a reputational meltdown. This is how it, and the wider industry, should respond.

… Facebook seems to think it only needs to tweak its approach. In fact it, and other firms that hoover up consumer data, should assume that their entire business model is at risk. As users become better informed, the alchemy of taking their data without paying and manipulating them for profit may die. Firms may need to compensate people for their data or let them pay to use platforms ad-free. Profits won’t come as easily, but the alternative is stark. If Facebook ends up as a regulated utility with its returns on capital capped, its earnings may drop by 80%. How would you like that, Mr Zuckerberg?

Click here.

+ The Facebook scandal could change politics as well as the internet. Even used legitimately, it is a powerful, intrusive political tool

… Mr Obama was in favour of a consumer-privacy bill of rights, which would give users more control of their online data by requiring user consent. That made little headway because of opposition from the industry. Some politicians may want to revive talk of such a law, especially as Europe strengthens its safeguards. But political reformers seldom have an easy time in America. And, like many others, politicians have come to rely on Facebook.

Click here. 

The price to buy FB is $150. That opportunity will come again.

Dropbox (DBX) went public  at $21.

Then it rose, then dropped, then rose, then dropped but still is nicely above the $21. This morning it’s $29.70.


Dropbox is losing money, though less and less over the years.

It stores your stuff in the cloud and charges you for the privilege. You can download it any time you want on most devices you own from laptops to phones.

I’ve used Dropbox and it works well. But there are zillions of competitors – from Box to Google to Amazon.

I don’t see Dropbox’s upside. Let me see something from Dropbox that is something other than storage.

Useful stuff

+ When you get this silly error message,


don’t bother trying to fix it. Just open what you want in another browser, like Firefox.

+ Craigslist is the best place to buy children’s toys. It’s like eBay, except it’s local and you can often meet the seller and see what you are buying. It’s typically much cheaper than eBay. Click here.

+ Idiot me. The fire detector started chirping, indicating it had a dying battery. In fact the thing was hard wired. The culprit was a carbon monoxide detector plugged into a outlet at floor level and hidden behind a desk. Hard to hear where chirping is coming from.

+ Call your cable company. Say you’ve been a good customer and deserve  a higher Internet speed. You’ll be surprised.

Harry Newton.

  • Dman

    Harry—Have you ever thought about WHO is organizing all of these refugees? Does the name George Soros come to mind? Do some research on refugees from Libya to Sicily and see who’s names pop up.

  • Lucky

    Your hard wired smoke detector is undoubtedly backed-up with a battery as well…in the event of a fire when your power is out of maybe even the the power caused an electrical fire and knocked it out.
    I like Craig’s list and use it to buy and/or sell from time to time. However, one must be very careful…a bad guy in New Jersey sent me a check for $1250.00 for a $175.00 item I was selling and wanted me to send him a check for the over payment. The check had been stolen in Texas from a telecom company…his telephone was from Ohio. I’ll let you decided how quickly I did not send him a penny. He kept calling me to wire the money through Walmart and telling me what a pure person he was. Craig’s list is very handy…as long as you are not stupid.

  • Scooter


    You said “God knows what will happen when these people arrive on our doorstep.”

    They become Democrat voters.