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Technology has always been a common interest for many people across the globe. It crosses physical and cultural barriers to create common interests or goals among individuals and groups. Technology is always changing and will only continue to evolve in the future. The constant evolution of technology has created some impressive economic effects in recent years. S&P 500 technology sector has seen a 41% gain for the year, and this number is only expected to grow in the future. Despite the tariff war between China and the United States, technology stocks are still expected to rise in the near future. Some of the areas in which technology will grow are car innovations (smart cars, virtual and augmented reality, and healthcare).

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Global equity markets have taken investors on a roller coaster ride this past week.  After reaching new all-time highs in late January, investors were expecting the steady gains they have grown accustomed to over the past year to continue. Markets began to take a turn last Friday, seemingly spurred by a better than expected U.S. jobs report. Investors were on edge that increased employment could create inflationary pressure causing central banks to hike interest rates. Friday’s losses continued into Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average recording its largest ever points decline and biggest percentage loss in nearly seven years. When the dust began to settle Monday after hours, the US-based blue-chip index lost 7% in two days.

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Stock markets all over the world did very well last year.  Many countries have seen their stock market indices hit record highs recently.  A stock market index is a tool used to measure a section of the stock market.  The most popular stock market indices measure some of the largest, most influential companies traded on the stock market.  Here are two links that explain how a price-weighted index and a market-value weighted index are calculated. The two most popular American stock market indices are the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which is a price-weighted index, and the S&P 500, which is a market-value weighted index. 

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Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia, is increasing oil production in advance of its partial IPO. While global oil production has been decreasing, Saudi Arabia has decided to stop regulating production levels and dismissed the idea of stabilizing global supply and demand. The oil giant is preparing for its first public offering, offering about 5% of the company.

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London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Deutsche Boerse, two European stock exchanges, have agreed on terms for a merger. With a combined value of about $30 billion, this merger will create one of the largest exchange companies in the world. It is said that combining the two companies will save them around $500 million a year. This new company, UK TopCo, has attracted attention from U.S. based companies, some more hostile than others. The possibility of upset within the merging companies along with the EU Referendum pose as possibly detrimental threats to this deal. 

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In 2015, the NASDAQ is up 6.1%; thanks to its tech heavy nature, with companies like Netflix, Google, and Amazon traded on the exchange. “Some of the big Nasdaq names—Amazon, Google and Netflix—those stocks have powered the market forward this year,” said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth LLC. He also added, “People were looking for growth in a very low-growth economy.” This plays a predictive part for 2016 when the population will be looking for the next fast rising stock by making them focus on the tech base stocks over other ones. In 2015 alone, Netflix has increased its share price by 140%. This rapid increase is the effect of Netflix being present in the daily lives of millions of users and its gained popularity over the last twelve months.

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On December 1st, the SPDR S&P 500 Fossil Fuel Free ETF (SPYX) will be launched as the greener version of the SDPR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY). This shows an overall global trend to investing in lowering our carbon footprint. This trend could have huge implications as the world shifts to less fossil fuel based industries because it could spell trouble for companies that rely heavily on the non-renewable energy business. The new ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) breaks up the S&P 500 of companies that own fossil fuel reserves. “While that's far from totally cleaning up an index that includes several carbon-emitting companies in different industries—namely, transportation—it does remove Big Oil, one of the largest offenders.” This statement made from Bloomberg Business also shows how important this could be, as it could set off a chain of events that cause more companies to invest more heavily in renewable energy, as well as cutting off companies who are huge in the oil business.

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On Monday, August 24th, Chinese stock markets fell by 8.5%, creating a major crash in the Shanghai Composite. Investors have called this day China's 'Black Monday' because of the dent it has left in China's business as well as the consequences it has caused for the global economy. The crash was caused by many factors including the staggering amount of people investing in the Chinese stock market, suffering businesses with high stocks and prices, margin calls, and the sudden selling of stocks by these same investors. The stock market crash has had damaging effects on billionaires and global markets. Although some markets seem to be in recovery, the crash could be seen as a sign of a bigger problem in China.

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China is home to the world’s second biggest stock market. This market, which peaked with a value of above $10 trillion, has been on a tumultuous ride in 2015. The market was up over 150% until June, when it suddenly crashed. The largest market in China, the Shanghai market, lost 32% in a four week slide that bottomed out on July 8. The smaller Shenzhen market slid 40% over the same time period. Immediately following this prodigious selloff, the market proceeded to have its strongest two-day rise since the 2008 global crisis. This summer’s stock market madness in China has left onlookers with many questions; principally, what caused this historic volatility and what is next for the markets?

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Since early 2014, the U.S. Central Bank has been in the process of easing the economy into a rising interest rates program. In an effort to contract the economy while it’s still recovering, the main goal of this initiative is to gently maneuver the United States into a more stable fiscal state, and out of the transitional zone it is currently in. The Federal Funds Rate (FFR) has been flat at a historic rock bottom 0.25% for about six years now, following the financial crisis of 2008. Economic analysts and investors alike are dubious about the unprecedented situation in which the Fed will try to raise rates from such a low point, partially playing it by ear.

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Alibaba is a Chinese corporation that operates as a bank, marketplace and a search engine. The company is the largest online retailer in the world, handling 80% of all online retail sales in China. The company handled more money in transactions last year than Amazon and eBay put together. It’s made up of three major websites that have millions of users all over the world. The three main sites are Alibaba.com, Taobao, and Tmall.  Taobao is a shopping website that gives seven million merchants a place to sell, and Tmall is a retail site where major businesses such as Apple and Nike are able to sell products directly to Chinese shoppers. Alibaba does not currently have a date listed for its IPO, but it is expected to go public in early August. It will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.