Technology is driving the U.S. market
A recent survey of leading CEOs of Fortune Magazine’s 500 corporations shows most of these entities note a bullish outlook going into 2018. This would indicate a major U.S. rebound is on the way.
In comparing the upcoming 12 months with the lagging if not dormant previous year, the survey participants are especially bullish about increased employment and are generally positive about the current Administration’s business-oriented focus.
The U.S.’s first-place position for future investments is trailed by China, India and Western Europe with Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa bringing up the rear.
But, overwhelmingly, the Fortune survey considers rapidly evolving technology as the most dramatic growth sector throughout the developed world, by far. Even those not directly involved in the technological revolution are believed to be primary beneficiaries of its use within those traditional company growth manufacturers.
This technology trend, wherever it is found, is considered to be the leading sector of global investment in both the near future and long term. Specific areas of such investment include advanced robotics, mobile computing, cloud companies and nanotechnologies.
But also somewhat concerning in evolving future growth is rapidly increased technological change, cyber security, skilled labor shortages, geopolitical risks, start-up competition, rapidly changing management, Chinese competition, rapidly changing investment diversity and influential interest in major company stock share purchases.
The inability of progressive business advances to keep up with the anticipated rapid technological changes worries even some of the major companies’ planning directors.
Stock market volatility
The oft-mentioned VIX stock market options exchange volatility index is generally referred to as the “fear index” by intense observers of equity market vagaries. It measures how volatile the market is expected to be over the forthcoming 30 days. At the low point of the Great Recession of 2008-2011, the VIX Factor reached as high as 80 — four times the previous nearly 30-year average of 20.
But since the beginning of 2017, the VIX has appeared to be bottoming out for an unusually long length of time in the year’s first half. In that period, the VIX had remained unusually low. Since the Great Recession, the VIX had closed below 10 only 16 days since the beginning of 1990. But eight of these unusually stable trading days have come in 2017’s first half. It is considered unusual for so many of these stable days to occur in so few trading days.
While scores of would-be stock market advisers flood potential investors with futuristic projections, these are usually accepted by those whose reputations catch the viewers’ and readers’ attention.
Unfortunately, most of the time, such advice turns out to be less than helpful. But it is becoming more plentiful in the capability of those advisers, often quoted in such prestigious business weeklies as Barron’s, Bloomberg’s Business Week, the Economist and more.
But, most successful advisers usually are adjudged more objectively by past performance, rather than crystal ball gazing into the future by highly publicized names.