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A roundup of what The Globe and Mail’s market strategist Scott Barlow is reading today on the Web

I’m always a bit squeamish about hyperbolic statements from sell-side analysts, but it’s at least notable that Merrill Lynch is predicting “fastest global transformation in history” in the next five years, and one that creates considerable investing opportunities,

“Although the market selloff makes it difficult to think about long term, we believe the next 5 years will see the fastest global transformation in history, with the 5 key themes for investors to focus on: Big Data/AI, [electric vehicles], Demographics, Climate Change & Cyber/Privacy.”

The big data and artificial intelligence theme is more interesting to me at the moment because of the huge sell-off in semiconductor stocks. Previously, I wrote about graphics chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. being the benchmark stock for the artificial intelligence sector. This isn’t investment advice (yet), and I will disclose that a close family member owns NVDA,

” @SBarlow_ROB ML predicts “fastest global transformation in history”” – (research excerpt)

“@SBarlow_ROB ML : Best and worst thematic stock picks for current stage of market cycle”

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U.S. oil prices are mercifully higher Wednesday morning, but the big surprise in the energy space is the big jump in natural gas prices,

“@JavierBlas While #oil prices took a dive yesterday, US natural gas prices are flying today: Henry Hub nat-gas front-month just jumped as much as 20% (largest one day swing since 2009) on freezing temperatures in America” – (chart) Twitter

“Oil pares losses amid renewed speculation of OPEC output cut” – BNN Bloomberg

“Asia's weakening economies, record supply threaten to create oil glut” – Reuters

“Global oil market faces surplus throughout 2019 as demand growth slows” - Reuters

“How will oil's freefall end?” – Bloomberg

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There are more signs of a global economics slowdown that will limit upside for commodity stocks,

“The German economy shrank for the first time since early 2015 and most since 2013” – Bloomberg

“Retail sales growth weakening in China. As @jackycwong pointed out last week, confidence is not high right now” – Wall Street Journal (paywall)

“Industrial output weakens as momentum in eurozone fades” – Financial Times (paywall)

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Tweet of the Day:

Diversion: “Three Feet From God: An Oral History of Nirvana ‘Unplugged’” – The Ringer

Newsletter: “Unwelcome reminders of 1937” - Globe Investor

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