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Mars Here We Come

This was a big week for America, China, and the UAE. All three countries launched spacecraft on 300 million mile journeys to land on Mars in February, 2021. The NASA launch with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) was dazzling. On board is a compact car sized six-wheeled robotic vehicle which has 23 cameras and 13 computers on board. Plus, a small helicopter. If it flys, it will be the first time a human-made device will fly on another planet. The purpose of the mission includes studying whether there was microscopic life on the planet in the past. Even more exciting at the moment is SpaceX and NASA are planning to bring astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley back to Earth from the International Space Station. They are scheduled to splash down Sunday afternoon

The Big Four Tech CEOs and Congress

Photo Illustrations by The New York Times

It was not as exciting as the ULA launch of Perseverance to Mars, but I watched all of the 5+ hours the big four tech CEOs testimonies at the antitrust hearing by the House Judiciary Committee. The four CEOs are super smart and they were articulate. None of committee members appeared super smart. Some were articulate but misguided. Some read their questions, and you could tell they did not really understand what they were asking. Quite a few members asked a question and then cutoff the CEO seconds into an answer so they could make another statement. I do not feel the tech giants should be broken up because I don’t think government can possibly understand the tech companies and what they do to break them apart. I do feel the techs need more (light) regulation, especially with regard to privacy, security, and anti-competitive activities. More on all this another time.

The Straight Scoop On Covid-19, Masks, and Vaccines

If you missed the Mark Zuckerberg interview of Dr. Fauci, and are wondering about various claims about Covid-19 online, I highly recommend viewing it. Just click on his picture to the left. They discussed the status, how to reset, importance of masks, a plead for young people to take more social responsibility, therapeutics, and vaccine development. I will just add my own non-political view. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) are very reliable if done properly. An RCT can produce a scientifically valid proof of whether something works or doesn’t work. In the case of hydroxychloroquine, multiple RCTs have confirmed the drug does not work. Like phenomenon, this doesn’t mean the drug can never work for anyone. There may be cases where it has worked, but they would be statistical outliers. 

Wall Street and the MAGFA Stocks

Despite the congressional hearings and economic woes, the tech heavyweights all rose except for a slight pullback  by Google. The market value of Apple skyrocketed to within striking distance of $2 trillion. Bitcoin had a huge rise, similar to gold. I continue to believe Bitcoin is the new gold.

The five giant tech company market caps now represent 26% of the market cap of the U.S. S&P 500. Still mind boggling. Congress is on their trail, but the hearings did not yield much. I would say the companies dodged the bullets really well.

John’s MAGFA Market Cap (07/31/20 4:00pm ET)
 ClosingMarket CapLastChange in%
Total $6.711$6.321$389.426.2%
S&P 500 5/31/2020 $25.6$25.6 0.0%
MAGFA/S&P 500 26.2%24.7%1.52%6.2%
Bitcoin$11,342.85  $0#DIV/0!
Royal Caribbean$48.71$11.4$11.4$0.00.0%
Note: These five are in billions not trillions

Note: My father gave me the following investment advice many years ago, “Don’t give any, and don’t take any.” Wise man. I am not recommending buying or selling any of the stocks, startups, crypto, or indexes I write about.