Finimize - 🤝 Bitcoin's sticking with Nasdaq

Chinese giant Baidu can't be stopped | Europe isn't relying on Russia – finally |

Hi Reader, here's what you need to know for August 31st in 3:15 minutes.

🥑 Everyone knows that if you want to buy a house as a young person, you just need to quit that all-consuming avocado toast obsession. Just kidding: join Plancorp’s Peter Lazaroff for How To Build Wealth In Your 20s on Thursday, and find out how you can really set yourself up for life, early in life – no millenial clichés allowed. Grab your free ticket

Today's big stories

  1. China's Google-equivalent Baidu reported better-than-expected results, despite its core business struggling
  2. Bitcoin has been rising and falling as the Nasdaq does, but that might stop soon – Read Now
  3. Europe’s approaching its gas storage targets much sooner than expected

China’s Struggling Economy Didn’t Phase Baidu

China’s Struggling Economy Didn’t Phase Baidu

What’s Going On Here?

Chinese internet giant Baidu reported better-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday.

What Does This Mean?

Baidu – the company behind China’s biggest search engine – usually makes a lot of its money from digital marketing, but China’s struggling economy is hardly encouraging businesses to splash the cash. Baidu’s online marketing sales fell 12% last quarter from the year before as a result, a trend also clear in rival Tencent’s results earlier this month.

So Baidu will be feeling extra grateful for its cloud business, which grew its revenue by 31% from the same time last year on the back of steadily rising demand for internet applications. So sure, Baidu’s overall revenue dropped for the first time in two years, but the 5% dip was still better than analysts feared. Then sprinkle in some increased profit margins here – “here” being Baidu’s Netflix-esque video service iQiyi – with some cost cuts there, and Baidu’s profit came in a whopping 63% higher than expected.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: No more awkward cab chats.
Baidu's newer ventures could help it further offset that sluggish core advertising business in the future. The internet giant’s doubling down on self-driving technology, for one, having invested heavily into the sector over the past five years. It’s been a good ride so far: Baidu’s “Apollo Go” driverless robotaxis completed nearly 300,000 rides last quarter, and it secured a permit this month that’ll let it operate without on-board safety supervisors for the first time ever in China (tweet this).

Zooming out: Buffett’s driving change.
Warren Buffett’s going driver-free too, with Pilot Co. – the Berkshire Hathaway-owned truck stop operator – agreeing to take a stake in driverless truck startup Kodiak Robotics last week. That could be a savvy move: the existing pool of truck drivers is shrinking and aging, so driverless solutions could help alleviate that shortage, bring down costs, and even improve safety too.

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Analyst Take

Can Bitcoin Rise If The Nasdaq Doesn’t?

Can Bitcoin Rise If The Nasdaq Doesn’t?

By Jonathan Hobbs, Analyst

Bitcoin and the market’s so-called “growth stocks” have been moving almost hand-in-hand all year.

Their lockstep moves have led some investors to believe that bitcoin can only go up if the Nasdaq 100 – heavy with tech-sector growth stocks – does too.

Thing is, the data suggests the two are not as tightly correlated as you might think.

That’s today’s Insight: whether bitcoin can rise, even if the Nasdaq doesn’t.

Read or listen to the Insight here

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Europe Finally Has Its Own Back

Europe Finally Has Its Own Back

What’s Going On Here?

Data out this week showed that Europe’s already closing in on its gas storage targets.

What Does This Mean?

Russia’s been cutting the amount of natural gas it sends into Europe for months, and that supply’s about to drop even lower as the Nord Stream – one of the main pipelines between Russian and Europe – undergoes unexpected maintenance starting this week. But Europe’s been preparing for this: the region upped the minimum required level of its reserves earlier this year, and it’s been building those stockpiles as fast as it can. After all, those reserves typically provide around 30% of the fuel used during frosty European winters – and they’ll probably account for even more now there’s less imported gas to go around. While hoarding gas won’t solve all of Europe’s energy problems, it’s still good progress: European Union reserves were filled to nearly 80% last week, meaning the region’s hit its November target a whole two months early.

Why Should I Care?

The bigger picture: China’s trash is Europe’s treasure.
Europe did benefit from a stroke of good luck: China’s sputtering economy has pushed the world’s biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas to sell off surplus supplies, and Europe jumped at the chance to buy some for its reserves. But recent history’s warned the region against depending on one supplier, so it’s been trying to upgrade its own renewable energy infrastructure and bolster its energy imports from the Middle East and US as well.

For markets: Good news, bad reaction.
News of healthier-than-expected supplies sent Europe’s natural gas prices plunging by the most since March, a welcome change from their steep incline over the last few months. Mix that with data out on Tuesday that showed inflation expectations at their lowest since spring, and that’s, uh… still not enough to put a smile on dejected European faces. In fact, consumers and businesses are the most pessimistic they’ve been about Europe’s economic outlook since the Covid-ridden January 2021.

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🙋 Ask a question

💬 Quote of the day

“Adventure is worthwhile in itself.”

– Amelia Earhart (an American aviation pioneer and writer)
Tweet this

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Take a break from the volatility

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So if you’re seeking some more stability, you might want to check out rental real estate: a historically reliable way for you to build up long-term wealth while making monthly income.

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Find Out More

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🎯 On Our Radar

  1. Facebook wants its edge back. The has-been app has a plan to become cool again.
  2. Crypto without high fees. You can get up to €100 in ether just for joining Change and trading €100 in crypto.*
  3. Sugar might make you stupid. These rats are proof.
  4. Spotify’s bringing live music to its app. You can finally buy tickets while you’re tuned in.
  5. You can find anything on Reddit. Yup, even… that.

 

*T&Cs apply

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🌍 Finimize Live

🎉 Coming Up In The Next Week…

All events in UK time.

🎉 How To Build Wealth In Your 20s: 5pm, September 1st
🤑 Inflation Strategies For Savvy Investors: 12pm, September 1st

🥳 And After That…

🇬🇧 In-Person Ladies Investing Meet-Up: 6.30pm, September 7th
⚡️ What’s Driving The European Energy Crisis?: 5pm, September 12th
💰 Building Crypto Wealth In A Bear Market: 12pm, September 20th
😎 Three Industries That Can Thrive During Recessions: 5pm, September 21st

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