A Rough Start To 2017 For Apple, Plus The Countries Where It Pays to Work Abroad

Enjoy your January 3rd hand-crafted Brew!


“It’s inevitable. Somebody’s going to cheat” — Kevin Book, managing director of ClearView Energy Partners, commenting on OPEC oil cuts that go into effect next week. OPEC members have a long history of cheating when it’s time to cut crude production, so you can’t blame Book for being pessimistic this time.

Market Snapshot

  • U.S. markets finished lower to end 2016 and the Dow was unable to break 20,000, but on the bright side, the S&P gained 9.5% for the year and the Dow surged 13.4% for its best year since 2013
  • The price of the much-hyped digital currency bitcoin broke $1000 on Monday to reach its highest price in three years. The currency rallied roughly 137% in 2016 due to a combo of geopolitical risks, a Chinese yuan devaluation and more serious players taking an interest in the currency


Bad Apples

…We’re only three days in, but 2017 is off to a rough start for Apple (-0.78%). First, Japanese financial publication Nikkei reported last Friday that Apple will cut iPhone production by 10% during the first quarter of 2017 due to slower-than-expected sales. Not exactly what any company wants to hear about its best-selling product. To make matters worse, a family is suing Apple after a car crash in which the other driver was using FaceTime behind the wheel. According to the family who filed the suit, Apple held a patent for a “lock-out” feature it could’ve installed to stop drivers from FaceTiming on the road. Apple declined to comment on both matters. Eek.


The Wonderful World of Elon Musk

…What’s new this week? First, Musk’s SpaceX has wrapped up an investigation into its failed September rocket launch and plans to resume its launch schedule as early as next week. Talk about resilience. Then, Musk blessed Tesla (-0.49%) drivers by announcing on New Year’s Eve that the company will start rolling out an Autopilot update to newer models. The update will first be rolled out to 1,000 cars to verify that it works before being rolled out across the “rest of the fleet.” But it’s not all smooth sailing for Tesla—the company was sued on Friday by a Model X owner who claims his vehicle suddenly accelerated while he was trying to park. Tesla claims the driver was at fault, but similar complaints recorded by the NHTSA mean the lawsuit could go class action. Never a dull day in the world of Musk.


A Little More Manufacturing Headed to China

…So much for the election noise. Foxconn announced the construction of an $8.8 billion factory in Guangzhou, China. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer will use the factory for LCD displays, with founder Terry Gou calling the Chinese region “an investment treasureland.” Foxconn, the behind-the-scenes—and sometimes controversial—manufacturer of many American gadgets like the Xbox One and PS4, is also opening up a new Apple factory in India. While President-elect Trump is pushing to bring similar jobs to America, Foxconn is in the process of automating nearly all of its manufacturing jobs. Shocker? Not really—the late innovator Steve Jobs told President Barack Obama years ago that these types of overseas manufacturing jobs would be un-saveable.


India’s Prime Minister Gambles Big

…And is now looking to hedge his bets. After years of corruption, India’s PM Narendra Modi recently decided to give counterfeit and black money the boot by removing all 500 and 1,000 rupee bills from circulation (aka “demonetization”). A bold strategy, especially when you consider that those large bills accounted for 86% of the country’s circulated currency. As you’d expect, the move created a cash shortage shockwave throughout the nation. No money, mo’ problems. Modi has been feeling the heat from those hit hard by the move, so over the weekend he unrolled policies to help out the everyday Indian—we’re talking things like lowering home loan interest rates, increasing credit for small businesses and offering support to farmers. We’ll let you decide how politically motivated these new policies are, especially with Modi’s re-election coming up in 2019.


Other Stories


Economic Calendar

  • Monday: Markets Closed (New Year’s Day Observed)
  • Tuesday: ISM Manufacturing Index; Construction Spending
  • Wednesday: Private Employment Report; Auto Sales; Fed Meeting Minutes
  • Thursday: Walgreens, Monsanto, Ruby Tuesday Earnings; ISM Non-Manufacturing Index; Weekly Jobless Claims
  • Friday: December Jobs Report; International Trade

Where It Pays to Work Abroad

2016: it was what it was. We’ll call it “volatile.” Anyway, with all the upheaval, movement and a fair amount of growth, Americans are starting to broaden their horizons for job prospects. HSBC looked at the countries where the most expatriates (people living outside of their native country) go to pursue a career. Here are the facts:

  • Switzerland took the top spot, with expats earning an average salary of $188,275. Nothing to shake a stick at there.
  • The rest of the top five are Germany, Sweden, United Arab Emirates and Norway, respectively.
  • Expats in Switzerland don’t just earn a lot of cash: 69% of respondents said their work-life balance improved in Switzerland.
  • Before you book that ticket to Switzerland, know that the country also ranked towards the bottom in social life, cultivating relationships and cost of living. Still worth it?

Interview Question of the Day

How does inflation affect the exchange rate between two nations? (Answer)

Business Person of the Day

Known as the man who helped Deutsche Bank expand its global reach, Anshu Jain will be joining investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald as its new president. Bonus: he’s already good friends with current Cantor CEO Howard Lutnick. Mr. Jain will be focusing his efforts on strategy and expansion at a time when Cantor is raising significant capital to expand its businesses.

Food for Thought

Any New Year’s resolutions? Finland’s got one: introducing a pilot program that offers unemployed Finns a (free) basic income until they get back to work. This program will last through 2019, providing the 2,000 chosen citizens with approximately $590 a month. What’s the desired outcome? Clean up Finland’s messy social security and learn how people will spend their free money.

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