News & Insight Weekly Newsletters

12 June 2020 | William Buckhurst

That Was The Week That Was


  • UK retail sales only fell c. 5% on May, better than expected
  • Several US states, including Texas, Florida, and California, reported a surge in daily Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations.
  • The S&P 500 turned positive for the year and the NASDAQ broke through 10,000 earlier in the week but both sold off sharply towards the end of the week


Our very own CIO Simon King was on Sky News on Tuesday morning questioning the short-term sustainability of the recent market rally particularly when bankrupt stocks such as Hertz and JC Penney had doubled in price on Monday


  • ITM Power continues to impress as it showed a record backlog of orders of £52.4m and a tender pipeline of £263m
  • Rumors circulated of a mega merger between Astra Zeneca and Gilead Sciences
  • Shares in Wells Fargo fell after their CFO stated that he expected net interest income to decline 11% this year as a result of lower interest rates whilst also noting that the bank would set aside more for bad loans than the $4billion announced in the first quarter
  • Lululemon showed the strength of their digital franchise but this in no way offset store closures so revenue was down 17% for the quarter


It was interesting to see Mike Ashley continuing to buy up huge swathes of the UK high street with an announcement that he had bought a stake in Hugo Boss. We wonder whether he will continue to upgrade his portfolio of brands that include Sports Direct, House of Fraser, Flannels, Evans Cycles and more recently Jack Wills?


Research sent to us this week from AQR Capital Management suggests that a significant portion of fixed interest manager outperformance can be explained by passive exposure to credit risk and that their credit exposure meaningfully reduces the diversification benefit of fixed income. During the worst 10 quarters for equities, active fixed income strategies have underperformed their benchmarks, at times significantly.


1977: Apple ships its first Apple II computers

2019: Over one million people protest in Hong Kong over proposed new extradition laws to China in one of largest-ever protests in the city


A contact who runs one of the South East’s biggest building merchants says that although their sites have fully re-opened, they cannot operate at full capacity because of social distancing. While they were delivering eight truckloads of concrete blocks to the new Google site pre-Covid that is now down to three, as builders on site at two metres apart are unable to lay the blocks quickly enough.


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As at 12th June 2020. Source: Financial Express

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