Fortune‘s list of Fastest Growing Companies goes live online this morning. The annual ranking is a barometer of dynamism in the economy.
Before I talk about results, a word about methodology. To qualify, companies must trade on a U.S. stock exchange and have a market cap of at least $250 million. Companies are ranked by revenue growth rate, earnings-per-share growth rate, and three-year annualized return.
More surprisingly, number two on the list is the Texas Pacific Land Trust, which makes money off oil and gas royalties, among other things. Other notables on the list: Facebook was number 22, down from 6 last year, putting it just above GrubHub, which was number 23. You can explore the full list here.
Meanwhile, a drop in the interest rate on ten-year treasuries caused the yield curve to invert yesterday—an infamous recession signal that led to an eight hundred point panic drop in the Dow Jones average. Worth noting that:
- The yield curve indicator sends false signals roughly one out of three times; and
- Inversions are usually caused by rising short-term rates, not, as this time, falling long-term rates.
More news below.
Global markets have been having a mixed day, in the wake of yesterday’s selloff. The Nikkei 225 fell by 1.21% and the ASX 200 by 2.85%, but the Shanghai Composite was up 0.25% and the Hang Seng 0.76%. Europe’s Stoxx 600 was down 1.24% at the time of writing following an initial boost, and U.S. futures are also in the red. Morningstar
Trump and China
President Trump has tied the U.S.-China trade war to the issue of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, tweeting: “Of course China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!” National Security Advisor John Bolton separately warned China to “look very carefully at the steps they take because people in America remember Tiananmen Square.” BBC
Yet more bad news for Boeing and its customers: the embattled planemaker has had to delay the rollout of a very-long-range version of its upcoming 777X widebody, due to engine issues. Australia’s Qantas had been hoping to use the 777-8 to launch the world’s longest commercial flight in 2023. Now there might be an opening for Airbus instead. Reuters
Microsoft has been letting people listen to users’ Skype conversations and Cortana sessions, it disclosed yesterday in clarifications introduced to its privacy policies and FAQs. The humans transcribe what people say in order to improve the systems, and Microsoft does not intend to pause the practice, as Google, Apple and Facebook have recently done in the face of criticism. Fortune
AROUND THE WATER COOLER
Huawei in Africa
According to a Wall Street Journal investigation, Huawei technicians secretly helped the government of Uganda to penetrate the encrypted communications of an opposition politician, and the government of Zambia to access the phones and Facebook pages of opposition bloggers. The company, which openly sells governments digital surveillance technology, denies the report. WSJ
Overstock’s shares have lost around a third of their value in the last few days, after CEO Patrick Byrne said he was part of a federal investigation in connection with the 2016 elections, the FBI, Hillary Clinton and Russia. His statement referred to the “Deep State” and “Men in Black” (a reference to investigators.) Fortune
Want to invest in a buzzy and hugely lossmaking unicorn? Well, here’s yet another chance: office-space group WeWork wants a $3 billion to $4 billion IPO as soon as next month. The Financial Times notes that the firm—which lost $689.7 million in the first half of this year, on $1.54 billion in revenues—is rushing to float before the economic slowdown really bites, and that its IPO “will be a big test of public investor appetite.” FT
Buffett and Amazon
Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in Amazon rose by 11% in Q2, per a regulatory filing yesterday. Warren Buffett’s company still has a far bigger investment in Apple; its push into tech is being driven by deputies Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. Bloomberg