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“Here’s a dirty secret about the stock market: Much of the time, nobody has any earthly idea why stocks rise or fall on any given hour or day. The trouble is, many people are paid to explain such phenomena, so we often resort to that arcane analytical technique known as “guessing.”
Take the stock market’s collapse yesterday, including an 800-point loss on the Dow, one of the worst on record (it briefly swooned another 600 points today). What happened there? As Barry Ritholtz points out, everybody has answers that are seemingly obvious now – interest rates! trade wars! George Soros! – but if these were so obvious, then why did nobody see the collapse coming? The truth is, Barry writes, “the random walk thesis of how markets move is the best explanation we have.”
But pulling back from the day-to-day churn, Mohamed El-Erian points out there are longer-term trends and forces pushing markets around in fairly obvious ways (even if the precise moves aren’t always predictable). One of the biggest: The world has transitioned from one in which markets are fueled with an IV drip of liquidity from the Federal Reserve and other central banks to one in which fundamentals matter more. This is a healthy development in the long run, but often no fun in the short run, as we’re seeing lately.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"After five years of war with the Islamic State, the biggest problem for the winners is coping with the losers. The aftermath has produced one of the world’s most perplexing postwar challenges..."
"What do we mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat? Often, it’s really about politics, nostalgia, and the fear of community change."
"...the pendulum of history never stops moving. Indeed, one of the few constants of history is unceasing change. While we seem to be heading in one direction, we must remember that there will surely be pauses, turns, and reversals."
""Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé," premiered early Wednesday and it was the fulfillment of all the ancestors' hopes and dreams. Beyoncé also dropped "Homecoming: The Live Album.""
"Seven in 10 adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents in the last year, including more than half of those in their early 30s. Almost three in five millennials said they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support."
"Social media influencers have helped turn public lands into tourist-infested swamps. And one cantankerous man is fighting back."
"One particular myth that attached itself to Ledger was that his death was somehow a result of immersing himself in the character of the Joker."
"In 2018, for the second year in a row, American publishers released fewer translated titles: 609 books were published, down from 650 in 2017 and the industry high in 2016 of 666."
"Egg freezing had become so routine among my single peers that when I hit 35, I never thought twice. Here’s what I wish I had known."
"When it comes to Passover cuisine, most home cooks know to avoid wheat, oats, rye, and other forbidden ingredients. But what consumers might not realize is just how much cotton they eat during the holiday."
"A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see."
"Passover is a holiday that commemorates the Jewish people escaping slavery in Egypt. It is often referred to as the “festival of freedom.” My Passover in prison was at a place called the Wallkill Correctional Facility..."