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7 Things You Need To Know About Finance This Week (June 26th, 2015)

Making financial news easy to understand.

In the third edition of our new weekly series, we'll be breaking down seven different things every person needs to know from the world of finance news. We're taking complicated stories and making them simple, easy to understand, and quick to read. Perfect for the man who wants to be in the know, but doesn't have the time to obsess over global markets.

7 Things You Need To Know

1.) No Greek Deal Yet...

  • Talks were postponed until Saturday, which is being touted as really the last day for a deal to be reached. 
  • This is ahead of a big repayment that Greece must pay on Tuesday next week.
  • European stocks were a little weaker to end the week, after gaining ground earlier in the week as breakthroughs were made in negotiations.

2.) Obama Gets His HUGE Trade Deal 

  • The U.S. Congress passed legislation that paves the way for completion of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). 
  • It will be the largest trade deal in 20 years and includes countries that together account for 40% of the global economy.

3.) Taylor Swift Shakes Off Apple

  • Well, Taylor Swift doesn’t shake ‘em off as much as she threatened to shake them off.
  • Swift threatened to pull out off Apple’s streaming service, if Apple didn’t agree to pay artists for the free trial portion of their new subscription music streaming service.
  • Apple agreed almost immediately.

4.) Start-ups Continue To Complete Large Fundraising And Big Valuations

  • This week’s example comes from secretive big data analytics firm Palantir, which raised $500 million at a $20 billion valuation. 
  •  Palantir helps big corporations and government agencies analyze “big data”--and was initially partly funded by the CIA.

5.) Good News For European Stocks

  • Spain’s economy is estimated to have grown by the fastest pace in eight years in the second quarter this year. 
  • The French economic data suggested the economy is growing more than expected.
  • This is good news for European stocks.

6.) Is Britain The EU’s Next Stomach Ache?

  • British PM David Cameron went to the EU leaders summit on Thursday with the aim of beginning a renegotiation of Britain’s place within the EU ahead of a promised UK referendum on whether Britain should remain in the EU. 
  • The risks to Britain’s business community of a ‘Brexit’ are enormous; a risk worth keeping an eye until the planned 2017 referendum.

7.) Bill Gates Is Going Big On Renewable Energy

  • Bill Gates said he would likely double his personal investments in renewable energy.
  • He is saying that it was better to invest in “high risk” ventures that aim to create new technologies than to simply shun investments in oil and gas companies, as many “ethical investment” funds do. 

The Biggest Takeaways

  • Greece will continue to drive markets in the immediate term. This week saw a minor "relief rally," especially in European stocks, as optimism for a last-minute deal increased. If a deal fails to materialize and Greece doesn’t make a major payment next week, expect a sell off in stocks (especially in Europe), at least in the short term.
  • Private companies continue to raise a lot of money. Most investors struggle to access such investments (and they are definitely high risk), but exchanges such as SecondMarket and SharesPost offer platforms through which to invest.
  • The TPP is perhaps the biggest foreign policy accomplishment of President Obama’s presidency. Although its economic effects won’t be apparent for years to come, it should be a significant positive for the economies of the countries involved.

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