Welcome to America’s Newsletter from Tag The Flag, the best morning newsletter on the internet, bringing you nonpartisan news and every view of the Red, White, and Blue. Here’s what you need to know to start your day.
📌 BULLETIN BOARD
General Awareness: This week it might be worth keeping an eye on the “S&P Five-Day Rule”. As we mentioned in our business and finance focused newsletter (The Street Sheet) yesterday, “it’s a “rule” that goes like this: when the S&P 500 rises in the first five trading days of the year, the market turns in a positive annual performance. Apparently this so-called “rule” has a success rate of more than 85% since 1950.
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More millennials are turning to their parents for help in buying first homes. The proportion of Americans under age 34 who got assistance from relatives in putting together down payments has risen to 26%, from 22% in 2011, according to the Federal Housing Administration, which mostly backs loans for first-time homebuyers. Big Picture: Millennials, who face higher levels of student debt and historically slower wage growth, have also seen their home ownership rate drop by 8 percentage points since 2004, according to Freddie Mac. – The Wall Street Journal (subscription)
No degree? No problem for employers
Unemployment among Americans with no high school degree descended to historic lows late last year, while the rate for those with diplomas began edging up from levels not seen since 2000. This inversion of normal trends has been triggered by the tightest labor market in almost half a century, economists say, causing employers to turn to less educated workers. In yet another reversal, companies including Yum Brands and Walt Disney are offering college tuition to prospective employees. – Axios
Ford recalls almost 1M vehicles
Ford is recalling 953,000 vehicles, including 782,000 in the United States, over concerns that Takata airbags may hurt riders when they inflate. The Specifics: Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to inflate airbags but the substance may deteriorate over time in heat and humidity causing it to explode with too much force. Ford is asking customers to take affected vehicles to dealers so the airbags can be replaced at no cost. Edges, Rangers, Fusions, Mustangs and Lincoln MKZs are included in the recall. – Market Watch
Noteworthy+Weather Channel app accused of deceptively amassing user location data+
First ‘yellow vest’ event of year brings tear gas, fires to Paris
French security forces fired tear gas and flash-balls after a march through picturesque central Paris went from peaceful to provocative Saturday as several thousand protesters staged the yellow vest movement’s first action of 2019 to keep up pressure on President Emmanuel Macron. In a first, the building housing the office of the French government spokesman was attacked. Big Picture: theprotests were launched in anger over fuel tax hikes, but have swelled with broader anger over Macron’s economic policies, deemed to favor the rich. – AP
Bluefin tuna goes for $3 million
A 612lbs bluefin tuna sold Saturday for more than $3 million in an auction at Japan’s most famous fish market. The winning bidder, Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns a chain of sushi restaurants known as Sushi Zanmai, admitted that he paid five times more than he expected for the high-quality fish. Why he overpaid: The bluefin tuna is an endangered species. Sushi wholesalers and merchants usually pay top prices for the best catch at the market’s first auction of the new year to generate publicity. – Al Jazeera
The Bond That’s Still Paying Interest, 280 Years Later
In France, the world’s oldest government debt yields€1.20 annually. A potential claimant says it’s not worth the hassle and cost to prove ownership for a bond that is barely enough “to buy a baguette of bread once a year.” Why this matters Now: The ultralow interest rates of the last decade have encouraged governments and corporations to borrow for increasingly long periods, with some even selling 100-year bonds now. Examples: Argentina, Mexico, Oxford University and the Wellcome Trust, one of Britain’s largest charities, have been among the issuers bonds that will mature in a century. Countries including China, Japan and Germany have issued so-called perpetual bonds, which never mature. – WSJ / Bloomberg
Apple’s Biggest Problem? My Mom
When Apple lost more than $75 billion in market value this past week after a surprise announcement that it is expecting lower iPhone sales than originally projected, the company put most of the blame for its troubles on China, where a slowing economy and the trade war with the United States have hurt sales. A bigger issue for Apple might exist much closer to home, however. Kevin Roose for the NYT, wrote a great piece this past weekend about how his mom, an early tech and Apple adopter simply isn’t upgrading her phone. “The phone I have does just about everything I need,” she said. Why this matters: this story highlights a bigger issue for Apple in that the most consequential hit to Apple’s bottom line may be from people who are holding on to their phones for longer. On top of that Apple is also facing competition from rivals like Samsung and Huawei, which have flooded international markets with lower-cost Androids. Keep reading here. – NYT
College Football Championship: Can the Playoff title matchup we expected still deliver the unexpected?
Tonight the #1 ranked Alabam Crimson Tide will face the #2 ranked Clemson Tigers in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. They were preseason No. 1 and No. 2 in the AP poll and nothing has changed over the course of the last 15 weeks. Absurd stat: Clemson is now 54-4 since the start of the 2015 season, and over the same time period Alabama is 55-3. Alabama is the five-point favorite. Here is everything else you need to know about what promises to be an epic showdown. – The Athletic / CBS
CES Kicks off in Sin City
Yesterday roughly 200,000 exhibitors, buyers, and members of the media began descending on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES. The conference is held between Jan 8–Jan 11. Expect lots of 5G talk, autonomous vehicles, smart devices, robots, and tons of gadgets. Here are eight things to expect from consumer tech’s big shindig. – WIRED / Quartz
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