Here are 8 fascinating things I read this week.
The latest amazing statistic on America's energy boom: whole nations are being cut out of exports:
Nigeria has become the first country to completely stop selling oil to the US due to the impact of the shale revolution – an astounding reversal as the African nation was only four years ago one of the top-5 oil suppliers to America.
According to the US Department of Energy, Nigeria did not export a single barrel of crude to US-based refiners in July for the first time since records start in 1973. Preliminary data suggests the trend continued in August and September.
Stocks have gone up a lot in the last four years. So have dividends:
Eddy Elfenbein writes:
Dividends have grown by more than 10% for 14 of the last 15 quarters. The only exception was the fourth quarter of last year, and that's because the fourth quarter of 2012 had been unusually strong (+22.77%) so investors could take advantage of the new tax laws. Dividends for Q3 are up more than 77% from the third quarter of 2010 while the index is up by 73%. Yes, the dividend yield is slightly higher than what it was four years ago. Some bubble.
On a related note, dividend stocks perform better than non-payers:
Solar power's potential is amazing:
By mid-century, the sun could be the largest source of energy and help reign in global warming by preventing the release of billions of tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.
The bullish report is the latest dose of good news for the solar industry that has seen phenomenal growth. Global demand is expected to double every two years through 2022 as prices fall and the technology continues to improve.
The weather shapes how we view businesses:
After looking at more than 1 million online reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, they found that restaurants received significantly better ratings on days with nice weather and worse reviews on any day with rain. "The best reviews are written on sunny days between 70 and 100 degrees," researcher Saeideh Bakhshiconcluded. "A nice day can lead to a nice review. A rainy day can mean a miserable one."
In short: Yelp reviews are accidental weather reports.
This is an important demographic trend:
ONE of the most notable demographic trends of the last two decades has been the delayed entry of young people into adulthood. According to a large-scale national study conducted since the late 1970s, it has taken longer for each successive generation to finish school, establish financial independence, marry and have children. Today's 25-year-olds, compared with their parents' generation at the same age, are twice as likely to still be students, only half as likely to be married and 50 percent more likely to be receiving financial assistance from their parents.
Here's each state renamed for a country with a similar-size economy:
Here's a cool video of Steve Jobs presenting a magical new technology called WiFi:
Have a good weekend.