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Quote of the Day

Price-earnings ratios, price-sales, the present value of future cash flows, pick one…Fundamentals are merely metrics created to help stockbrokers sell stocks, and to give buyers reassurance when buying stocks. Even how profits are calculated is manipulated to give confidence to buyers.”

The Number: How the Drive for Quarterly Earnings Corrupted Wall Street

July 17th – This Day in Stock Market History – Bill Gates Becomes World’s Richest Man.

July 17th, 1990 – U.S. stock markets arrive at a short term peak as the Dow closes at 2999.75, exactly the same as the day before after flirting with the 3000 mark for 2 days.

DJIA_1985-1995

However, markets would not quickly break the 3,000 point barrier. Over the next few months stocks fall 21% as fears about Saddam Hussein and Iraq intensify.

The Dow would not break 3000 until April 17th 1991.

Source: The Market’s Measure: An Illustrated History of America Told Through the Dow Jones Industrial Average

July 17th, 1995 – Forbes magazine releases its latest ‘World’s Richest’ list, and for the first time Bill Gates tops the list with a net worth of $12.9 billion.

The year prior Gates made the list as the richest American, but 1995 would be the first year Gates would make the list as the world’s richest.

As the technology bubble was just beginning to take hold, Gates saw his wealth increase rapidly. Between 1994 and 1995, Gates’ net worth rose 60%, from $8.1 billion to $12.9 billion.

July 17th, 1998 – Broadcast dot com IPO. Shares started trading at $18, would trade as high as $74 , and would close the day at $63, up 249%.

Coverage of the Broadcast dot com IPO, as covered in the New York Times

At the time, Broadcast’s IPO performance would be the best single day IPO gain in history. The company’s stocks traded under the ticket symbol BCST.

The IPO would give Broadcast dot com a market cap of $1.03 billion, and give its founders Mark Cuban and Todd Wager net worths of $300 million and $150 million respectively.

Broadcast had $6.85 million in revenue for 1997, and had done $3.17 million in revenue in the first quarter of 1998. The company lost $6.47 million in 1997 and had lost $2.72 during the first three months of 1998.

Broadcast_IPO_S-1

If that valuation wasn’t crazy enough, Broadcast dot com would be purchased by Yahoo! for $5.7 billion just 9 months later, on April 1st, 1999.

Best July 17th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1939 – Up 3.41%, 4.70 points.

Worst July 17th in Dow Jones Industrial Average History

1945 – Down 2.04%, 3.39 points.

 

Read of the Day

As the numbers behind the broadcast dot com story show, the tech bubble was an amazing time to be involved in the stock market. And no other book does a better job describing the mania than Bull: A History of the Boom and Bust, 1982-2004

We have a review of the book written here: Bull! 3 Lessons from the Tech Bubble

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