The Stock Shock



What is it? The losing streak of the BSE Sensex. In these last five days, the bellwether index has shed 4.2%.

Why is it important? After a steady and continuous run up in 2017, share prices are correcting, not just in India but also across the world. In the US, the Dow Jones crashed 1,600 points during intra-day trading on Monday, its biggest fall ever, eventually closing the day with a loss of 1,175 points. The Dow has wiped off its 2018 gains in the last two days.

Tell me more: A host of global reasons (like the US hiking interest rates and the run-up in prices) and local reasons (the imposition of a long-term capital gains tax in India) are being cited for the weakening sentiment.


88.2 million

What is it? The number of passengers that passed through Dubai International Airport in 2017.

Why is it important? This figure makes this airport in the Middle East, which is a hub for Emirates Airline, the busiest international airport for the third year in a row. Its 2017 passenger number is an increase of 5.5% over its 2016 number. Dubai’s elevation has come in a short period of time, and in 2014 it overtook London’s Heathrow airport as the busiest international airport. The airport expects international passenger footfalls to cross 90 million in 2018.

Tell me more: While Dubai is the busiest international airport, the busiest airport overall (domestic plus international) in 2017 was Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, servicing 101.6 million passengers.



What is it? The fall in the price of Bitcoin on Monday, briefly even dropping below $7,000 to reach a level it last hit on November 14.

Why is it important? The meltdown reflects the growing caution against crypto currencies and how they integrate into the mainstream. In the last week, concerns have arisen about increased regulation, hackers and potential price manipulation at a major crypto currency exchange. On Friday, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup said they had disallowed crypto-currency purchases on their credit cards.

Tell me more: In India, economic affairs secretary SC Garg said the government was planning policy measures to make crypto currencies illegal as a payments system and appoint a regulator to oversee unregulated exchanges trading.



What is it? The EBITDA margin (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of Tata Motors’ India business in the third quarter (October to December) of 2017-18, the results for which the company announced yesterday.

Why is it important? On a year-on-year basis, that’s an increase of 7.5 percentage points, and comes on the back of a 59% increase in revenues, suggesting improving performance in the India business of Tata Motors. For the past couple of years, Jaguar Land Rover, the company’s international business, has been pulling performance at the company.

Tell me more: In the third quarter, the company posted a decline in net profit for the third straight quarter to Rs 1,214 crore, compared to Rs 2,501 crore in the previous quarter.



What is it? The number of years it has been since American singer-songwriter Paul Simon released his first solo album, The Paul Simon Songbook, in 1965. He has since released another 15 albums and toured prolifically.

Why is it important? On Monday, the 76-year-old said 2018 would be his last year doing live shows, citing the demands of touring and the death of lead guitarist, Vincent N’guini. Further, Simon would celebrate this passing of an era with a series of shows in the US and Europe between May and July in ‘Homeward Bound-The Farewell Tour’.

Tell me more: He first made his name in the 1960s as one half of Simon & Garfunkel. After they split in 1970, Simon built a successful career as a solo artist, showing an interest for global musical styles, working with South American and African musicians in projects that drew attention for their musical ambition and political context.


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