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China conflict, social network censors, politics dominate stocks

Written By | Sep 11, 2018
Great Trump Rally plus Trump tweet and China conflict and social network censors

Cartoon by Branco. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with Comically Incorrect.

WASHINGTON. As last week’s jittery trading action unfolded, the sticky tendrils of September’s annual market weakness began extending their potentially lethal grip. The issue of social network censors hurt techs. Netflix (symbol: NFLX) and Nike (NKE) slippage caused problems in the retail sector. The potential of another round of China conflict kabuki involving new tariffs didn’t help. And the shameful Democrat stunting dominating last week’s Kavanaugh Senate hearings soured traders and likely voters as well.

Alas, we were out of town and out of touch late last week. We attended a major contemporary rarity: The wedding festivities for a pair of Boomers. While we were gone, however, more than the usual flurry of September nonsense burst forth with a vengeance.

China conflict continues in trade negotiations. Or lack thereof.

Adding to what we’ve just noted, the Canadian socialist government’s intransigence in NAFTA negotiations was an unwelcome event for traders. It exacerbated already heightened fears of another round in what has become an increasingly tense U.S – China trade war. Word that the China conflict may extend its tariff carnage to the beloved shares of Apple (AAPL) has added weakness to tech indexes. This week, they’re attempting a small rebound. But that could change.

Social network censors threaten their own businesses

In addition to the ongoing China conflict, social network censorship continues to dominate the tech narrative. Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR) and Google/Alphabet (GOOGL) now routinely face hostile House and Senate committees. Republican committee members – and indeed, a good chunk of the U.S. electorate – are infuriated by the blatantly obvious censorship of conservative / libertarian sites and videos. Since the beginning of the year, this routine censorship by The Social Networking Triumvirate became obvious. Conservatives and libertarians know it’s all part of the left’s Dump Trump and the GOP Election 2018 strategy.




This Cone of Silence treatment imposed on anything not socialist by supposedly open networks resembles the Obama-led IRS strangulation of Conservative political organizations 2012. Strange no one has mentioned this.

The live-wire issue involving the Big Three social network censors, plus conservative disaffection with these platforms will lead to lower earnings numbers next quarter, we suspect. Virtue signaling is all wonderful and everything when you’re trying to land obsequious press coverage. But if the result is a dwindling customer base, all you’re doing is the same thing that’s hurt numerous other companies over the past few years.

The current triumvirate of social network censors should consider what happens to the shares of corporations indulging in virtue-signaling campaigns.

Why corporate virtue-signaling continues to be bad for companies and shareholders

Social network censors aren’t the only political thugs in the field who are about to learn an important retail lesson.

Carbonite (CARB), Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS), and numerous other companies have been learning this lesson ever since they started their left-tinged virtue-signaling activities during the Obama years. Nike (NKE) recently joined the virtue-signaling Hall of Shame big-time last week. Their entry: an asinine, grandstanding, virtue-signaling endorsement of talentless social agitator Colin Kaepernick. It’s ironic that Nike chose Kaepernick as the new symbol of their Chinese slave-made, overpriced line of athletic shoes. Leftists and their corporate sympathizers rarely connect the dots.

Oops! There goes the previously sports-minded portion of Nike’s customer base. Wait and see.

We have constantly preached about the serious business negatives involved with CEOs that busily and publicly suck up to leftist thugs, adapting company product and marketing tactics to placate the left-wing criminals attempting to run this country like a squadron of Russian oligarchs.

Again, we repeat what we’ve said before in these columns.

America is politically divided roughly 50-50 between two utterly opposed political philosophies. Companies that trash the beliefs of roughly 50 percent of their potential customers to placate violent agitators on the other side risk losing 50 percent of their potential market share, 50 percent of their earnings and 50 percent of their profits. Jeopardizing corporate earnings – and stockholders – with smarmy PR suck-up such as Nike’s new poster boy and ad campaign is a poor business decision. It will damage the earnings of any company that plays this game, as Nike will soon discover.

Kavanaugh fallout. Democrats, Soros-paid flunkies jump the political shark

Speaking of Hall of Shame activities, how about that paid-for Democrat stunting in the Senate Peanut Galleries last week? The spectacle we witnessed is all that’s left of this once major American political party. Devoid of ideas, save for stealing taxpayer money to buy more votes in urban America, this is a party that’s been on a 50-year crusade to force America into one-party Socialist rule.




We saw more of the Democrats’ “new ideas” on display after Labor Day during the Kavanaugh hearings. Working hard to show how obnoxious they are, Senate Democrats couldn’t keep their mouths shut, throwing Roberts’ Rules of Order out the window in a choreographed display of ignorance and obnoxiousness. We’ll discuss this further in a non-business piece.

So what’s Democrat endgame? Venezuela? Castro’s Cuba?

Last week’s epic display of boorishness, rudeness, ignorance, obnoxiousness, and Soros-paid street theater was all part of an escalating campaign of Trump-trashing #Resistance, geared to throw out the Republican majorities of both houses.

This shameful display of Stalinism – yes, Stalinism – has broader and more damaging implications. Clearly, it is encouraging America’s economic and military enemies abroad to be wary of dealing with a duly-elected American president. A president that could potentially be overthrown in America’s very first coup.

In addition, Democrats risk pulling defeat from the jaws of Trump’s economic victory. A victory they and their Lightworker president couldn’t engineer during the latter’s dreary 8-year term, BTW. How does this reverse engineering help the electorate?

#Resistance sedition is rattling Wall Street

This vicious, unenlightened self-interest of the Democrats and their wealthy globalist supporters is sedition pure and simple. As such, this blatantly seditious #Resistance is making Wall Street traders increasingly nervous. Consequently, nervousness is what we’re seeing on Wall Street’s virtual trading floors this September. The China conflict and the increasingly serious issue of social network censors and censorship don’t help in this politically charged environment.

Traders and business interests alike seem to hate Trump. Yet they generally adore his business policies, which make them money. Unfortunately, they’re going to have to get off the fence and choose one or the other this November. They should prepare themselves to like what they get, because it will be on them. Particularly if they damage Trump by backing the Democrat-Socialists eager to destroy American business once and for all.

As we’ve said before in this column, we wish we could deal more with business issues here. But an increasingly vicious, anti-American, anti-Capitalist left has decided to infuse the entirety of life with hard-left political meaning. Wall Street, like nearly everything else, has become captive to leftist-generated headline news stories like those discussed here. Forget technical and fundamental analysis. Stocks now trade on rumors and fake news. Headline risk dominate the action.

If allowed to continue, this seditious activity will kill American democracy forever, not to mention America’s still robust capitalist ethic, its supercharged stock markets, and everything else Americans have customarily enjoyed. Is this really the outcome that most Americans want? September’s markets continue to waffle on this issue.

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—Headline image: Cartoon by Branco. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with Comically Incorrect.

 

Terry Ponick

Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17