Fortune February 2019

FORTUNE covers the entire field of business, including specific companies and business trends, tech innovation prominent business leaders, and new ideas shaping the global marketplace. FORTUNE is particularly well known for its exceptionally reliable annual rankings of companies. FORTUNE furthers understanding of the economy, provides implementable business strategy, and gives you the practical knowledge you need to maximize your own success. Fortune currently publishes 3 double issues. Each count as two of 12 issues in an annual subscription.

United States
Meredith Operations Corporation
9 €(TVA Incluse)
27 €(TVA Incluse)
6 Numéros

dans ce numéro

3 min
joint ventures

THE FIRST TIME I SMOKED POT was in Building 10 at the NIH. The year was 1979. I was 15 years old and being treated for Hodgkin’s disease at the National Cancer Institute. A kind nurse had found an empty examination room in the clinical center where I could smoke with my dad after my second round of chemo. The first round had been brutal, and the hope was the marijuana might do something to alleviate the nausea. It didn’t. Pot, of course, was illegal then throughout the U.S. and in most of the world—even for unwitting teenage pioneers in the medical marijuana movement. Four decades later, it would seem, the times they are a-changed. As Fortune’s Jen Wieczner reports in “Wall Street’s Contact High” (please see page 84), we are on…

4 min
cast a critical eye over the a.i. hype merchants

THE WORLD IN 7 PAGES TECH LIKE BEES TO HONEY, tech trends generate hype. Merely appending the word “dotcom” to a company’s name drove up stock prices in the Internet’s salad days. Cloud computing, big data, and cryptocurrencies each have taken their turn in the hype cycle in recent years. Every trend brings genuinely promising technological developments, befuddling buzzwords, enthusiastic investors, and reassuring consultants offering enlightenment—for a fee, naturally. Now the catchall phrase of artificial intelligence is shaping up as the defining technological trend of the moment. And yet, because the claims of what it will achieve are so grand, businesses risk raising their hopes for A.I. too high—and wasting money by trying to apply the technology to problems it can’t solve. Consider the bubbly warning signs. Venture capitalists are beyond eager to fund…

1 min

VOLATILITY IS BACK AFTER AN UNUSUALLY CALM RUN in markets following the surprise election of President Trump, volatility came back with a vengeance at the tail end of 2018. Unsettled by escalating trade-war tensions, inflation fears, and concerns about a slowdown in China, equity investors grew jittery, which helps explain why, for the first time since 2008, the S&P 500 finished the year below where it started. For more, see page 12. WHERE AMERICA IS HEADED NEW YORK CITY MAY BE THE FINANCIAL HEART of the U.S., but New York State is losing people. Retirees and young job seekers are heading to the south and west for better weather and new opportunities (they also love Vermont). APPROACHING PEAK IPO THE YEAR OF THE DOG was host to a sizable pack of initial public offerings—and with…

1 min
don’t fall for wall street’s optimism

MARKETS AFTER A BRUTAL DECEMBER, when trade turmoil and signs of slowing growth sent global stock markets into a tailspin, America’s investment institutions did the sensible thing: They reduced their 2019 stock-price targets for the S&P 500. But they didn’t reduce them by much. The average gain expected among eight big banks and brokerages—including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs—was 16%, or 18% if you include dividends. Such a gain would reflect not just a good year but a great one. It’s almost double the historical average. Wall Street forecasts tend to skew high—but this crop of forecasts looks particularly Pollyanna-ish. Stocks as measured by their price-to-earnings ratios are astoundingly expensive, at levels exceeded only during the bubbles of 1929 and 2000; that’s usually a predictor of disappointment to come. What’s more, forecasts for 2019…

1 min
cash is back

THE TURMOIL in the stock market, along with rising interest rates, has prompted institutional and retail investors alike to shift more of their investments into good old cash, sending the total assets inside money-market funds to their highest levels since early 2010. Assets in money-market funds surpassed $3 trillion sometime in December, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and reached $3.07 trillion by the first week of January. That’s the highest level since March 2010. The increase in money-market funds was accompanied by major outflows in exchange-traded funds, especially equity and bond ETFs. The ICI said that between Dec. 5 and Jan. 2, an estimated $60.5 billion flowed out of stock ETFs while another $48 billion flowed out of bond ETFs.…

1 min
the konmari economy

RETAIL NETFLIX SPARKED JOY … as well as social media buzz, memes, and possibly sales trends with its recent debut of Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. Inspired by Kondo’s KonMari method for decluttering and organizing living spaces, the series is prompting viewers to not only purge their closets but also perhaps rethink their spending habits beyond just New Year’s resolutions. Google searches related to Kondo and her method hit breakout levels in early January—and there’s a real possibility that Kondo’s influence could push consumers toward fewer, higher-quality garments and housewares. While this might spark mental and financial relief for consumers, it’s not a joyful prospect for retailers—especially those in fast fashion, such as H&M, Zara, and Forever 21. “We’re now in a time of transformation, and we see the trend toward slow fashion away from…