Category Archives: Technology

RuhRoh

P&G is one of the most sophisticated advertisers in the world. You have to be, to sell soap.

Tired of paying for “bot”-clicks and poorly placed ads, P&G cut over $100 million out of its digital advertising spend in the fourth quarter, and nothing happened.

As P&G CFO Jon Moeller said on the recent earnings call: “We didn’t see a reduction in the growth rate… What that tells me is that that spending that we cut was largely ineffective.”

This should be a warning to the advertising companies – Google, Facebook, etc.

Edit: During the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Unilever’s chief marketing and communications officer Keith Weed reportedly asserted that some 60% of online traffic is “bots”.

Dreaming

FANG is so over. Now it is FANTASIA (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Tesla, Alphabet, SalesForce, Intel, and Apple)

Nothing Really Matters

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows

— Freddy Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody

Source: zero hedge, of course.

Something Is Going To Snap

Snapchat is trading this morning at a $40 billion valuation. In 2016 revenue was $404 million, and it lost $514.6 million. User growth slowed from 17 percent in Q2 2016 to 3.2 percent in Q4.

There is only one word that applies – mania.

Ad Blockers

There’s a fuss being made by the advertising industry about the increasing use of ad blockers. The industry is, to say the least, being disingenuous.

I run into sites that say I’m running an ad blocker. But I’m not blocking ads. I’m blocking trackers – third party cookies, for example – which are an entirely different thing. I don’t object to advertising, especially on free sites. I do object to using the ads as a stalking horse for data collection about my browsing habits. Arguably, the advertisers are all about the data collection – the ads themselves are incidental.

Turn off the tracking and just show me ads and I won’t object. And don’t lie about what you’re doing.

More Of The Same

Market internals are horrible and fundamentals more so, but the major indices are being held up by the mega-cap stocks that Hussman terms the “winner take all” group. The poster children make up the FANG group – Facebook (P/E 107), Amazon (P/E 952), Netflix (P/E 348) and Google (P/E 32). It seems that people are selling everything else and buying these momo monkeys.

If previous collapses are any precedent, these gems can be expected (with the possible exception of Google) to lose over 90% of their value.

Wow

Stocks (equities) are up huge this morning, following “whatever it takes” Draghi yesterday, strong earnings from so-called “techs” last evening, and then rate cuts in China overnight. Looks like a double top at least. Trend following systems are all getting long. Bonds are being punished for no obvious reason.

Commodities aren’t following – crude is down this morning as the China rate cuts indicate increasing desperation on the part of the Chinese government.

The October 28th. Fed meeting is the next major pivot point. This is the Armageddon of central banks.

Pump Pump Pump

Google is being pumped furiously, probably as the best way to manipulate the NDX since it is up anyway and not being sold hard, so the wind would be at your back.

Out of curiosity I looked to see if any other NDX stocks were up. I found five – AAL (American Airlines), ESRX (Express Scripts), NVDA (Nvidia), PAYX (Paychex) and TSCO (Tractor Supply). Tractor Supply? Really?

Are reorganizations the new buybacks?

Same Old

Last night China announced a modest devaluation of the yuan, exporting deflation and making Chinese goods more competitive in the global race to cut prices. The U.S. reported that wholesale inventories grew rapidly in June, adding yet another pointer to recession. Oil fell back into the $43/bbl. range. Dr. Copper fell 3%.

But in important news, Google announced a corporate reorganization, adding a holding company and a new layer of management. This was worth $24 billion in market cap, apparently. Which had a huge positive effect on the stock indexes, given Google’s already enormous market cap. This for a company supported by primarily by advertising spending.

Aren’t bubbles fun?

Edit: Oil later made it into the $42 area.

Hmmm

There were more IPOs in June than in any other month since August 2000.