E Global Investing: Friday File

Why is gold failing to rise as stocks around the world fall? I think it may be because there are too many alternatives which are more fun than boring heavy metal: cryptocurrencies, cannabis shares, and even oil stocks. They are roller coaster performers, which is exciting and appeals to lazy people hoping to get rich quick.

Today we have two reports, two court decisions, two second thoughts, and two fund items to cover so I will be brief.

Reports

*The report was from Autoliv of Sweden which reported sales in Q3 rose 6.4%, but that every other metric was down. Gross profits came in at 19% vs prior year's 20.2%. Adjusted operating margins fell to 9.5% from 10.5%. CEO Mikael Bratt blamed a drop in demand because of tougher auto emissions standards in Europe and economic woes in other car markets. He reiterated the 2020 targets for sales but hinted that it may be later in the year rather than in Jan. For the current year the target was frankly cut because of higher costs for raw materials, to 6% growth from an earlier estimate of 8%. The ALV stock rose 2.1% in Europe but naturally fell here.

*The other reporter was Royal Bank of Scotland, whose non-cumulative preferred shares we own. That means we love the common hitting speed bumps. This time it took another huge impairment charge and revenues and profits both came in below expectations, at pounds 10.34bn and at British pence 11 per share, but up from lasst year. This delays the possibility of cashing out our high-yield prefs. In addition RBS said it would set aside cash to cover uncertainties related to British exit from the European Union.

Follow-Ups

*Nokia won a reprise after analysts at Canaccord and Danske Bank penciled in upbeat interpretations of its results, and the stock rose as much as 4% in today's trading. They upgraded it to buy also.

*Mexichem in its Spanish conference call revealed that it was cutting its prices for polyvinyl chloride because of the US-China trade war, reported by Eduardo Garcia of sentidocomum.com.mx with which we trade news. MXCHF fell by 5.5% in Mexico trading today.

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