1. Iron ore is soaring. After a strong producer price inflation print in China yesterday, spot prices exploded yesterday and it’s back above $US60 a tonne. Here’s the chart, which continues to show wild volatility:
2. On the broader markets, it’s quiet. US stocks did nothing – the S&P 500 in fact finished 0.00% changed for the session. The Australian dollar is in a holding pattern while traders wait for Trump, and Australian stock futures are a little weaker, pointing to a 12-point fall at the open.
3. Bond traders really hate all the incessant talk about stocks when the fixed income market is orders of magnitude bigger. So with all the talk of stocks rallying and the Dow inching towards 20,000 points, Wall Street’s “bond king”, Bill Gross, has a number in mind to watch as yields rise (meaning prices for bonds are falling). There’s definitely been what looks like an inflection point:
If 2.60% is broken on the upside — if yields move higher than 2.60% — a secular bear bond market has begun. Watch the 2.6% level. Much more important than Dow 20,000. Much more important than $60-a-barrel oil. Much more important that the Dollar/Euro parity at 1.00. It is the key to interest rate levels and perhaps stock price levels in 2017.
4. Half of all companies in the US could be disrupted by emerging technologies in the coming decade. Half. From Citi:
Over the past two decades, technological disruption affected approximately 10% of global public companies by market capitalisation. In the coming decade, up to 47% could face pressure to adapt to some form of technological disruption, according to our analysis of the most promising emerging innovations today.
5. Sussan Ley’s flying career. The problems keep lining up for the federal health minister, who has stood aside from her senior duties while her travel expenses are investigated. The latest is that she chartered a small plane to fly from Canberra to Adelaide in May 2015. The kicker is that, as a licensed pilot, she was at the controls herself. While the rules say MPs need to try and find scheduled flights before booking charters, other rules say pilots need to fly at regular intervals to keep their licenses. Putting all that aside for a moment, rocking up to a meeting in a Cessna is rather cool.
6. Super funds saw a surge in inflows at the end of last year, ahead of the federal government’s rule changes. From July 1, the annual non-concessional cap (the after-tax amount that can be contributed) drops to $100,000 from $180,000 for people with a total super balance of less than $1.6 million. In November, the extra whacks into Colonial First State’s main super product were 20% higher than the same time the previous year.
7. All those awkward situations in the office. From being denied a pay rise to sharing an elevator with the CEO, we’ve got a great guide to what you should say when you’d rather be doing anything other than having that conversation.
8. This $2000 pizza is covered in real gold. Look:
Squid ink dough, English stilton, foie gras, gold flakes, french truffles, Ossetra caviar from the Caspian Sea, and edible flowers. Always with the edible flowers.
9. Being a boss ≠ being bossy. In fact, really good leaders ask people to do things only in exceptional circumstances. Says who? Says the guy who commanded the highest-ranked US Navy nuclear attack submarine, that’s who. David Marquet says: “If you go around telling people what to do all the time, then you will come across as a jerk. The key is only to tell people what to do as an exception.”
10. South Korean carmaker Kia has a new coupe, and Ben Zhang thinks the likes of BMW and Audi should be worried.
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