While the US are gripped by hurricane Harvey and Kim Jong-un is bothering his neighbors with missile tests, President Emmanuel Macron has set the first step in what could be considered another French revolution: a complete overhaul of the French economy. First stop: a major reform of his country’s labor law. The current French Labour Code comprises no less than 3,809 pages. This voluminous book has made French employers highly averse to risk. As a result, the French economy has been struggling with a very low growth, a high unemployment rate and a high debt burden. Many French unions have been resistant to whatever change to the Labour Code for many decades, but most of them are now waking up to the fact that the French economy is in a very bad condition and that something has to change. If the French are willing and able to implement these necessary huge changes, it will also alter the relations in Europe. France will then no longer be seen as its ailing sister by Germany, but as a worthy partner in leading the European Union.
US stocks closed higher on upbeat economic data Thursday. The Dow gained 0.25%, the S&P 500 was up 0.57% and the NASDAQ closed even 0.95% higher than Wednesday, logging its first all-time high since July. Investors were in a pretty good mood Wednesday, and in an even better mood Thursday. Volatility continued dropping. The VIX closed 5.61% lower. Another day like this, and it will be back into the single digits. UVXY ETFs had to swallow another bitter pill: -5.32%. XIV ETNs on the other hand, gained 2.49% for the day.
Danny Daredevil saw his RSS drop by as much as ten percentage points. It now stands at 72%. Adventurous Anny is still waiting on the sidelines holding cash. Her RSS is unchanged at just below 4%. Solid Suzy and Lazy Larry keep doing well. Their RSS is now over 25%.
None of our models gave a trading signal at the end of yesterday’s session.
RSS = Return Since Start | YTD = Year-To-Date | QTD = Quarter-To-Date | AAR = Average Annual Return
Tim and René watched three feature films, as well as fifteen shorts, during the BUT film festival yesterday. The feature films were Harvest Lake (Scott Schirmer, USA 2016), Spit’n’Split (Jérôme Vandewattyne, Belgium 2016), and Hardware (Richard Stanley, UK/USA 1990). The directors of the last two movies attended the screening of their films and were available for a Q&A afterward. Among the shorts, the following pearls were to be found: Justicia Justiciera III Kung Fu Karate Annihilator (Rafa Dengrà), Grün (Nicolás Petelski), Don’t Ever Change (Don Swaynos), CORP (Pablo Polledri), Pegasino at the Common (Nicola Destefanis), Frostbite (Jasper de Vries), and Capacities (Kuesti Fraun). The latter is one of the shortest movies Tim and René ever saw. It is to be found on YouTube as well, and it is certainly worth 10 seconds of your time: