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The monthly review: February's top stories

3 years ago

QUICK LOOK
THE MARKETS

-8.4%

S&P 500

-8.6%

EURO STOXX 50

-9.7%

FTSE 100

-8.5%

CAC 40

-8.4%

DAX 30

-10.7%

BEL 20

-5.4%

FTSE MIB

-6.9%

IBEX 35

-10.3%

TOPIX
   
        Source: Bloomberg 28.02.2020

Bulls meet bears!

Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic approached record highs. Despite underlying concerns on the earnings or geopolitical fronts the bulls, or positive investors, were piling their cash into the markets. Once again, they were hoping for yet another bail out of cheap money from the world’s central banks if anything should go amiss. But the bears stepped in at the end of the month. Apple shocked markets by warning that first quarter results could be hit by both supply and demand problems, while the coronavirus grew towards pandemic status in spite of all containment measures.

Bezos shares the love

The latest green warrior to join the climate change crusade is Jeff Bezos, founder of e-commerce giant Amazon and the richest man alive. His promise is to invest $10bn, or 8% of his total net worth, in tackling the problem. His angle is to promote the science which could help ‘preserve and protect’ the planet. He follows other tech giants who believe that, whether through tree planting or nuclear fusion, science could be the answer. The move should improve Amazon’s environmental track record, which has not so far been strong.

The opposition lines up

The US presidential election spotlight has focused on the choice of a Democrat candidate to stand against President Trump in November. Michael Bloomberg, billionaire businessman and former New York mayor, entered the race late and has not made an impressive start. Veteran campaigner Bernie Sanders appeared to be sweeping all before him as the primaries unfolded. By Super Tuesday in early March, when 14 states will make their choice, his lead could well be unassailable. However, as discovered in 2016, the final election result is often too hard to call. 

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