There have been few mellow periods for investors and city types since the bursting of the credit bubble back in 2008, but the past month has been especially trying. At the root of it is the sovereign debt crisis, affecting not just Europe but the US, and its Catch 22 relationship with growth. Stagflation by any other name.
Because governments have relatively few tools at their disposal to boost growth, signs of its decline are being taken very seriously by investors. On Friday the US announced zero jobs growth for August - well below expectations. In addition it looks like a US agency is going to sue a bunch of banks over the mortgage securities and derivatives at the heart of the 2008 crisis. US indices plunged, erasing gains from earlier in the week, with the FTSE following-suit this morning.
Only one company on our list has significantly bucked this trend - Nokia. Last week the Finnish handset giant announced a couple of small developments, which may have reassured investors it's moving in the right direction.
First Nokia announced it's going to collaborate with an independently-run investment fund called Vision+ to promote the development of apps for its ecosystem. Then it was revealed that an IP specialist called Mosaid was acquiring a bunch of patents formerly belonging to Nokia, with a view of extracting cash from them.
The latter is of only indirect relevance to Nokia, but perhaps it served as a reminder how how much stronger Nokia's position is regarding mobile patents than many of its competitors - especially those currently being bossed in the courts by Apple.
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