Boltwood Capital Management | Weekly Reads: 12/31/2018
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Weekly Reads: 12/31/2018

The Week’s Best Articles: Week of December 31st, 2018

Energy: Fracking’s Secret Problem – Not Producing As Much Oil As Anticipated – click here
Setting aside the health and environmental concerns regarding hydraulic fracturing there is little question it has transformed America’s path toward energy independence.  However, as the WSJ points out, these wells have unique dynamics that make relying on specific wells for a long period of time very challenging if not impossible.

Investing: Here’s (Almost) Wall Street Expects in 2019 – click here
As the calendar changes, it is cathartic to look ahead and see what the year ahead may hold.  With markets as we have had recently, this can be a difficult task.  However, Bloomberg attempted to put together a list of things for investors to watch going forward.

Sports: Christian Pulisic Becomes Most Expensive U.S. Soccer Star After Record Transfer – click here
Soccer in the U.S. has been a bit of an enigma.  Despite a sports-crazed population, America has had a challenging time producing top-level soccer stars, that is until recently.  Christian Pulisic, an American born star, has changed that in setting a record for a transfer fee for an American player.  Is this foreshadowing the future of American soccer?

Technology: Tesla Shares Sink on Model 3 Delivery Miss, Price Cut – click here
The saga of Tesla’s ability to meet production forecasts and investors expectations has become something of a spectacle.  Seemingly every quarter the company does not produce as many cars as they predicted and rely on their enigmatic founder, Elon Musk, to spin a story about how the future will be better.  During their recent announcement, they took things a step further by reducing the cost of cars by $2,000.

Investing: Investors Are Still Cautiously Optimistic About 2019. But Here’s What Could Go Wrong – click here
It might come as a surprise given the market fall over the past 2 months but entering 2019 most investors remain positive toward the market.  Fundamentals remain strong and the consumer data suggests healthy consumption going into 2019.  However, things going according to plan is not where investors get caught looking silly.  The NY Times examined what could go wrong in 2019 despite a favorable setup for the year.

Markets: Trump Took Credit For Stock Market Record. Does He Deserve Blame? – click here
President Trump has made it clear that he believes his policies are the primary result of the market highs we have had in the tail end of 2018.  Now after coming down close t0 20% from those highs it is fair to wonder whether he should share in some of the blame given his controversial stance on trade and other important issues.

Business: Chinese Coffee Startup Luckin Plans to Open 2,500 Stores This Year – click here
With how prevalent Starbucks has become it is hard to believe that any business, let alone a startup, could challenge their dominant position in just one year.  That is exactly what Chinese coffee startup, Luckin is trying to do by opening another 2,500 stores to bring it to 4,900 above Starbucks Chinese store count of 3,600.

Politics: How to Talk SO Trump Will Listen: A GOP Guide for Pelosi – click here
Nancy Pelosi over her career has been nothing short of divisive.  Her supporters love her and her opponents cannot stand her.  Yet in her new role as incoming Speaker of the House she likely has never faced another politican like President Trump.  Here is Politico’s guide to how to navigate Mr. Trump’s form of politics.