Monday, February 01, 2016

Key US and wider trends -- Clinton vs Sanders, Cruz vs Trump vs Rubio, Google Alphabet vs Apple, US official debt at 19 trillions -- and Zika

Just now I looked at Drudge Report, the well-known news aggregator.

Several trends in the US -- "when America sneezes the Caribbean catches cold" -- caught my eye:

TREND 1: Red headlined . . . 

Key take-away, Rubio is seriously in the running. A good debate performance counts, and Trump's walkaway on the final pre-Iowa debate thus seems to have cost him.

U/D, Feb 2: On  the Democrats side:

. . .  it was too close to call for most of the night [and six county level precincts all went to Clinton by coin toss]. Clinton declared victory early Tuesday morning, with all but one of the Iowa precincts reporting, with 49.9% of the delegates to the state convention. Sanders was a squeak behind, with 49.6% — perhaps the real winner, with that unexpected showing.

TREND 2: Google's parent "Alphabet" has overtaken Apple as the largest market capitalisation company.  As the linked CNBC article reports:
At Monday's after-hours levels (which technically reflect an indication, but not the real-world value), Alphabet's market cap would roughly be $570 billion, eclipsing Apple's current market cap of about $535 billion.

The last time Google was more valuable than Apple was in February 2010, when both companies were worth less than $200 billion. At the time, Apple had yet to release its first iPad, the newest iPhone on the market was the 3GS, and the Mac was the company's biggest product line, accounting for one-third of revenue. Steve Jobs was still at the helm.
A year ago Apple peaked well past 700 bn, but earnings have been less than desired in recent days, and it has lost about a 1/4 bn in value. But one should not count Apple out just yet.

TREND 3: The official US National Debt has hit 19 trillions ( the implicit debt total takes the debt well past 100 trillions). As the just linked article notes:
The national debt hit $19 trillion for the first time ever on Friday, and came in at $19.012 trillion.

It took a little more than 13 months for the debt to climb by $1 trillion. The national debt hit $18 trillion on Dec. 15, 2014 . . . . 
Back in November, the debt ceiling was suspended again, after having been frozen at $18.1 trillion for several months. As soon as it was suspended, months of pent-up borrowing demand by the government led to a $339 billion jump in the national debt in a single day.
Under current law, the debt ceiling is suspended until March, 2017, meaning the government can borrow without limit until then. Obama is expected to leave office with a total national debt of nearly $20 trillion by the time he leaves office.
Such trends are significant, and we need to keep an eye on them. END

PS: In news this afternoon, WHO gave warning on Zika Virus as an international health threat. That could have significant and adverse impact on tourism. The leading regional industry.
(CNN)The World Health Organization declared a "public health emergency of international concern" Monday over the Zika virus and the health problems that doctors fear it is causing.

The agency said the emergency is warranted because of how fast the mosquito-borne virus is spreading and its suspected link to an alarming spike in babies born with abnormally small heads -- a condition called microcephaly -- in Brazil and French Polynesia . . .