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Dow Jones’ Run-up to 20k

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Dow_Jones'_Run-up_to_20k_data_TMMChart.png

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Editor’s Remarks:
The Dow Jones Industrial hit the 20,000-point threshold on Wednesday. What led the US stock market index to its highest ever level? The 20k benchmark itself is just a number, of course, but is symbolic of strong share performance in recent months, particularly compared to its mixed experiences over the Jan. ’15 – Dec. ’16 period shown in today’s chart. The ‘Trump rally’, resulting from investor confidence that the new administration will deliver pro-growth fiscal policies, has led the Dow on a path of far steeper growth than it would likely have enjoyed under Clinton. An expected victory from Trump’s former rival had been pulling US shares down in line with the Democrat candidate’s intention to continue various Obama-led interventions – such as tough environmental restrictions from the former administration, which the new POTUS is rolling back with executive orders to resume the Keystone and Dakota Access oil pipeline projects.

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How Much Do World Leaders Make?

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head of state salaries

It is well-known that Singapore pays the upper echelons of its government very handsomely. The tiny Southeast Asian city-state deliberately pegs its top government salaries to an index of what the nation’s most distinguished lawyers, bankers and businessmen earn in order to keep the bureaucracy meritocratic and competitive. The difference in pay, however, between Singapore’s head of state and that of Hong Kong – the second country on this list – is stark: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pulls in more than twice as much as Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying. The US comes in at fifth on this list, with an annual salary of $400,000 paid out to its president. However, incumbent president Donald Trump has refused to take the salary for the duration of his premiership and instead receives a nominal $1.

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America’s Favourite Beers: Lighter the Better

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American Beer

Just this week, the world’s largest brewer (by a long way), AB InBev, decided to invest heavily in the burgeoning American craft beer industry. However, as the above chart shows, the established brands – and particularly their “light” ranges – dominate American beer sales. Nevertheless, in a pattern that has already graced Canada and the UK, craft breweries are gaining traction in the market as modern drinking tastes change. Meanwhile, Budweiser has teamed with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to send barley seeds on a round trip mission to space so that its owner, AB InBev, can call itself the first to provide astronauts on Mars with a beer.

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What Is the World’s Largest App Store? It’s not Apple’s…

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App Store

With over 2.8m different apps in its app store, Google comes out ahead of Apple, which can boast just 2.2m. This result reflects the broader Android/iPhone debate that has raged for several years now. Each phone has its own legion of fans but the sheer number of apps available on Google Play is now adding another dimension to the ongoing competition. Until recently, it was widely accepted that iOS apps generated higher revenues than their Android counterparts but the tables seem to be turning. Accordingly, commentators expect that a recent spike in Android users and the concurrent increase in spending on Android apps will make them more profitable than iOS apps in 2018. Google has also introduced Instant Apps, which essentially enable users to try out apps without actually downloading them in order to save storage space, data and time. Developers are currently building Instant App versions of their software to enable users to try out their offerings merely by pressing a “Try Now” button on the Google Play store. Apple is unlikely to have overlooked this innovation and a similar feature will probably grace the App Store sometime soon.

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