Facebook… and Hard Knocks

Another opinion on quitting Facebook, this one from an expert in the field:

“Honestly, I stopped using it because I found myself paying more attention to posts than my children. Once I realized that, I stopped immediately. That was May 2019, and I don’t feel like I’ve missed a thing.

“That said, I work for a tech company that creates solutions and algorithms for tracking our every move so I know I’m being tracked.

“Now they just track me through online purchases and websites I visit. So even without FB, ‘they’ know just about everything there is to know about me already. I don’t like it, but that’s the cost of being on the grid.”

And another reader’s opinion…

“Never did much posting on Facebook; when I did, I did so privately, not to the public. I try to make young people realize that what they post on Facebook can come back to bite them HARD.”

Absolutely. The daughter of an acquaintance of mine lost an athletic scholarship after the university checked out her social media accounts. A hard lesson to learn, indeed.

Your Rundown for Friday Jan. 3, 2020

Buckling Up for Middle East Mayhem

Just yesterday, we talked about some global events that might rock the stock market in 2020. We mentioned a hard Brexit in January, Super Tuesday in March and the Democratic party’s convention in July.

While things have been heating up in the Middle East — including a New Year’s Eve attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad — we didn’t expect events to escalate so precipitously.

Overnight, the president ordered a drone strike near Baghdad Airport, killing Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani who was in Iraq as commander of the Quds Force, a unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).

(The Quds Force is an intelligence arm that carries out unorthodox warfare beyond the borders of Iran. And, in case you’re wondering, yes, Iran and Iraq are now allies. Let bygones be bygones, right?)

As you might guess, anytime there’s a melee in the Middle East, the price of oil spikes; this morning, it’s up about 4%.

In fact, the price is on track for its most substantial daily gain in about a month with prices not seen since September, when Yemeni Houthi rebels bombed Saudi oil facilities.

Which brings us to our final point this morning: Mainstream sources — and the White House and Pentagon — pinned the blame for the September attacks on Iran. Since the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, once again, the same sources are blaming Iran.

Will the proxy war continue to ramp up? The war of words certainly is, with Trump tweeting: “Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities.

“They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”

Market Rundown for Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

S&P 500 futures are down 30 points to 3,228.

Oil’s up almost 4% to $63.55 for a barrel of WTI.

Gold — whoa — has added $18.60 per ounce to $1,546.70.

Bitcoin’s up $353.19 to $7,332.53.

We’ll circle back Monday. In the meantime, have a great weekend.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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