Morning Toast 28 November
The S&P 500 has experienced an exceptional month, surging by nearly 8.7%. The magnitude of this rally is truly noteworthy, marking one of the most impressive Novembers on record. According to Bloomberg, since 1928, there have been fewer than 10 instances where the S&P has recorded a gain of over 8% in November. As the week progresses, there is optimism that the momentum, akin to leftovers sustaining energy, can propel the index across the finish line.
Black Friday Sparks E-Commerce Surge
A report from Adobe Analytics highlights a noteworthy surge in online shopping during Black Friday in the U.S., witnessing a substantial 7.5% increase in e-commerce spending compared to the previous year, reaching a record-breaking $9.8 billion. This upswing is credited to cost-conscious consumers actively seeking the best deals, primarily through online platforms.
The heightened Black Friday spending indicates a greater willingness among consumers to open their wallets compared to the circumstances in 2022, marked by elevated prices for gas and food. Despite this, the lingering effects of high inflation and interest rates from the previous year continue to shape consumer behavior, fostering a sense of price sensitivity and the need to manage tighter budgets. Notably, the Adobe survey identified a significant uptick in the utilisation of the 'Buy Now, Pay Later' payment option, recording $79 million in sales and a notable 47% increase from the previous year—an indication of consumers strategically maximising their spending power.
Further insights from Adobe's analysis spotlighted electronics, including smartwatches and televisions, as well as toys and gaming products, as the most sought-after items on Black Friday. In a contrasting trend, items like home-repair tools did not attract as much consumer interest during this bustling shopping event.
TikTok Shifts Focus: Exits Gaming Industry
Since 2019, ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, has made substantial investments in the video game sector, establishing its own gaming division and acquiring notable game developers. However, the company is now retracting from these initiatives, signaling another step back from experimental ventures that included forays into education, real estate brokerage, and virtual reality. This strategic shift aligns with ByteDance's response to both regulatory challenges and economic hurdles on a global scale.
ByteDance has issued directives to top executives within its gaming arm, Nuverse, instructing them to cease ongoing game development projects by December. This decision is accompanied by significant layoffs within the division, affecting hundreds of employees, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The layoffs constitute a substantial portion of Nuverse's workforce and follow recent downsizing at ByteDance's virtual reality headset division, Pico. These organisational changes reflect ByteDance's overarching strategy to streamline its operations, prioritise core businesses, and bolster profitability in the face of a challenging business environment.
Bloomberg Empowers Investors to Align Investments with UN SDGs
In a groundbreaking move, Bloomberg has introduced a pioneering tool, making it the first data provider to leverage resources from the UN Environmental Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) for assessing a company's potential impact on any of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These SDGs, adopted by UN member states, serve as fundamental pillars aimed at achieving global peace and prosperity for both people and the planet by 2030.
As of 2021, the impact investing market has exceeded USD $1 trillion in global assets, according to the Global Impact Investing Network. However, the UN estimates a substantial funding gap of USD $2.5-3 trillion per year for developing countries to achieve the SDGs by 2030 (UN Sustainable Development Group). Recognising the growing demand for objective SDG-related data, Bloomberg has integrated the UNEP FI Sector Impact Map into its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) data offerings. This unique map, developed with a holistic impact methodology, correlates over 500 sectoral activities to 38 impact topics and the SDGs, differentiating between positive and negative impacts on the environment, people, and economic development. Leveraging Bloomberg's granular segment revenue classification, the UNEP FI's Sector Impact Map has been applied across 50,000 public companies.
The tool facilitates SDG Impact assessments, offering investors invaluable insights for corporate engagement and security selection. Bloomberg's extensive data coverage enables users to conduct benchmarking and fund classification. In the evolving landscape of regulatory reporting, this innovative data mapping stands as a complementary tool, aiding in meeting emerging sustainable finance standards and legislative frameworks. Accessible via the Bloomberg Terminal and Bloomberg Data License for enterprise use, this tool empowers investors to align their investments with sustainability commitments and bridge the gap between ESG integration and impact investing.
Patricia Torres, Global Head of Sustainable Finance Solutions at Bloomberg, emphasised, "Bloomberg’s ESG data, research and analytics help clients mitigate risk and comply with new and emerging regulatory requirements, and pursue investments aligned with their sustainability commitments. By mapping the UN Sector Impact Map to our comprehensive and high-quality ESG data, our customers can bridge the gap between ESG integration and Impact investing, acting with more clarity and transparency."
Careen Abb, SDGs and Impact Lead at UNEP FI, expressed delight in the utilisation of available resources, stating, "We are delighted the available resources are being used to help mainstream impact management, and to accelerate the transition to an economy that helps deliver the SDGs."
Quote Of The Day
"The Sustainable Development Goals are a powerful tool for creating a more just and sustainable world. They are an urgent call to action for all of us to work together to build a better future for our planet and our people." - Michelle Bachelet
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