As you may have known, we did a Breakout in Tech. If you don’t already know, a Breakout is where you have to break codes in order to open a message or a safe box. I’ve done them before in Science and Social Studies sometimes.
It was a lot of fun – especially with my special challenge. At lunch, my friends dared me to talk to only ONE person during the whole period of Tech. I like to accept challenges so I agreed. Of course, my friends wanted to make it hard by picking a person I wouldn’t usually talk to.
When the Breakout started, I realized that I wasn’t in the same group as the person I had to talk to. Then, I asked one of my friends if I could switch sides. She said yes, but when I started helping out the other team, they thought I was spying on them to see their strategy. I had to explain, but I had to do it through the person I had to talk to. I had to say, “Tell the rest of the group that I need to be on this side to do a dare and I’m not cheating.” They were still a little suspicious but it didn’t matter because I won the game for them.
On the lock box, there were three locks. The other group had the same thing, except no one knew which one had the key we were looking for. There was also a lock box that any group could unlock which helped unlock all the locks faster. The first thing everyone did was look for clues. I didn’t find anything, but I helped out when others found some.
Later, on one of the clues, I saw a pattern of LED lights in a maze. We already used that clue, so everyone ignored it. I knew it had to mean something, so I followed the path a counted the number of LED lights. Then, I went over the the locks on the lock box. None of them were number locks. I looked at the other lock box with one lock and realized it had to be it. I punched in the code and pulled the lock. It worked! I showed everyone and they were amazed. I couldn’t really explain what I did but it didn’t matter.
Inside the box was an invisible ink flashlight. Our teacher told me to flash it on one of the papers. In invisible ink was an arrow pointing to a circled word. We quickly put in the code and opened the box. We had the key! “Well done everybody!” said the teacher. I completed my challenge and helped out my team. I couldn’t have had more fun.
I was pretty excited for Tech because I remembered that my brother made really cool things. I always love to create things and invent, so I know I will have a great time. There are also a lot of cool tools that I’ve always wanted to use to create things that are now available to use.
On the first day, we went over the units and things we will be doing. Everything sounded fun and cool, so I am excited. Also, the teacher, Mr. Calvert, seems very nice. He also does a lot of cool things that I also like – for example, making games and building things in Tech. Another thing I like about Tech is the kind of iPad/Chromebook. It’s really cool how the Chromebooks we use are also able to be flipped into an iPad.
On the second day, we went over safety rules. I agreed 100% with all of them and I was thinking that a lot of kids would probably break them. Our class has some kids who like to fool around and not get work done.
On the thrird day, we did a Breakout. Breakouts are games where you have to break codes and unlock locks in order to open a safe box or message. That was a lot of fun. On that day, some of my friends gave me a challenge to talk to only one person during the whole class. It was hard but really fun. I had to open some locks by myself and then it was hard to explain it, but our team still did really well.
The only thing I don’t like about so far Tech is that it is too short of a class and I want to have more time to have fun. I guess I will have to deal with it for now.
It was finally my Capstone share. It wasn’t the one in front of the parents, but it was in front of the school. I was super nervous, but when I saw everyone else go, I thought that it would be okay.
Then I was the last one. I was still okay until I faced the audience. Then I got all red in the face and started sweating like crazy. Since I was presenting in front of 3rd graders, I knew they wouldn’t really understand what I was saying, so that discouraged me a bit. I was also the last one, and it was the end of the day, so everyone was tired and wanted to go home.
When I started presenting, my mind just blanked out. It was so hard for me and I didn’t know why. I thought that I did pretty well in the practices, but this was nothing like it. I knew my script by heart but I just kept stuttering! After that, I knew that I didn’t present to my ability and that I had to practice more. That night, I practiced 3 times with my dad and took in his feedback.
The next morning, the day of the presentation in front of the parents, I practiced once with my mom.When I went to school, I was much more confident. There was a poster of where and when the 5th graders were presenting. I was in the auditorium and I was second. I got a little nervous because second meant that I had to come out really strong.
When it was my turn, I was ready. I got up on the stage and the words came out. I didn’t even have to think, just like I practiced. When I was done, everyone clapped and people said “good job” to me.
This is a video of my Capstone presentation:
Overall, I think I did well. I had a lot of fun on this journey, but I guess this is the end.
After I finished answering my main inquiry question, it was really easy to come up with my script for my final presentation. I already knew what form of presentation I wanted to do. I wanted to do a TED Talk. What I like about a TED Talk is that, unlike an Ignite presentation, it’s not timed, which means that I can speak more freely. Since I went to CNBC for my Site Visit, I knew from the start that I wanted to do a “show” kind of TED Talk. This would mean that I would be the host of my own stock show. The topic of the “episode” would be the top factors that impact the stock market, because that relates to my main inquiry question and topic.
As I said, my script was just my essay, but in a more conversational way. The only thing that I had to do was put together the slides. That is always my favorite part because I love to get creative. I love choosing pictures, taking pictures, and combining pictures. Making my slide show look the best is what I love to do.
After I edited my script a little, I then had to think about what my show was called. At first, I didn’t know at all what to do. Then, after a lot of thinking, I came up with “Stock Talk.” I thought it was cool because it rhymed.
Then I just edited my slides a little and practiced, practiced, practiced.
This whole process, from choosing a topic to visiting CNBC, has been leading to my final answer to my main inquiry question. What top factors impact the stock market? Answering my main inquiry question is really important because my answer is my script for my final presentation.
This is it:
Have you ever seen a stock chart? A stock chart is a chart of different companies that shows how well they’re doing. When you look at a stock chart, you will see that the numbers are either green or red, the stocks are either up or down. Do you know what makes the stocks go up and down? Well, there are many different factors that could impact the stock market. Some of the top factors are, a company’s performance, an industry’s performance, and different political factors. A company’s performance can impact the price of its stock, and the price of its competitor’s stock. An industry’s performance can impact the price of the stocks in that industry and the price of the stocks in its competitor’s industry. Different political factors can impact the whole market, but in different ways.
A company’s performance can impact its stock and other stocks, for example, earnings results and the release of new products. A company’s earnings results can impact its stock depending on the comparison of the estimate to the result. If the company’s results are better than expected, then usually, their stock price will go up. If the company’s results are worse than expected, then usually, their stock price will go down. For example, on May 16, “Macy’s’s” 2018 earnings results were released. Analysts expected the earnings per share to be 37 cents up. Instead, the earnings per share were 48 cents up. According to Investor Place, on that day, Macy’s stock (M) was up 12%. This shows how a company’s earnings results, in this case a good one, can impact the company’s stock price. Also, on May 1, SnapChat’s 2018 earnings results were released. Analysts expected the earnings per share to be 16 cents down. Instead, the earnings per share were 17 cents down. According to the Los Angeles Times, on that day, SnapChat’s stock (SNAP) was down 16%. This shows how a company’s earnings results, in this case a bad one, can impact that company’s stock price.
The release of new products also can impact a company’s stock price. When companies in the same industry are competing for the same market, and a company comes out with a great new product, then the other companies will not do as well, there stock will be down more. For example, the “sneaker war” between Nike and Adidas. According to Markets Insider, Nike’s sneakers have dominated the top 10 selling shoes. They gained much of that success from the popularity of Nike’s Air VaporMax, as well as its Air VaporMax Plus. 80% of the retailers said, the brand first indicated as strongest in running was Nike. On the other hand, only 15% of the retailers said that Adidas was the first brand indicated as strongest in running. Ultraboost and NMD didn’t help with the price of Adidas’ stock. This shows how two companies, in this case Nike and Adidas, are trying to be the best with their new products. At the end of the battle, there is a winner, in this case, Nike.
An industry’s performance can impact the stocks in that industry and stocks in other industries. This is because, market conditions generally impact companies in the same industry in the same way. For example, the airline industry. If you look at a chart comparing different airline stocks, you will see how together the lines move. One thing that may impact airlines, is a bad storm. From August 17 to September 3, according to CNBC, more than 10,000 flights were cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey after flooding in Houston. This caused United Airlines to lose 400 million dollars. Also, from August 30 to September 13, Hurricane Irma caused the cancelling of more than 14,000 flights, 10,000 of those in Florida. During this period of hurricanes, the airline industry was from 8% to 20% down. This shows how industries, in this case the airline industry, can be impacted in similar ways and by similar things, in this case the stocks being down and because of hurricanes.
The retail industry is also impacted in the same way. For example, when everyone started shopping online, especially when Amazon was doing really well, the retail industry wasn’t doing so well because no one went to stores anymore. Online shopping has done well for a long time in media and entertainment categories, like books and music. Also, easy return policies have made online shopping cheap, easy, and risk-free for consumers. According to The Atlantic, at the time, the retail stocks were 1% to 25% down. This shows how industries, in this case the retail industry, can be impacted in similar ways and by similar things, in this case the stocks being down and because of online shopping.
Different political factors can impact the whole market, but in different ways, for example, elections and terrorism. The market is usually up before the election, and usually up less during the election. In the last year of the president’s second term, the stock market is usually down. From 1833 to 2016, according to Kiplinger, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (a primary indicator of the market) gained an average of 10.4% in the year before the election, and nearly 6%, on average, in the election year. Also, in 2008 in George W. Bush’s last term, the market was down about 41%. This shows how elections can impact the stock market, in this case the presidential election.
Terrorism can also impact the stock market. This is because terrorist attacks lead investors to panic and pull their money out of the market. For example, the first trading day after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., according to Bankrate, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (another major indicator of the market) dropped nearly 5%. Also, on July 15, the day after the attack in Nice, France, that killed more than 80 people at a Bastille Day celebration, S&P was down 0.09%. This shows how terrorism can impact the stock market.
In conclusion, there are many different factors that can affect the stock market. Some of the top factors are, a company’s performance, an industry’s performance, and different political factors. Sometimes the market doesn’t move the way you think it will move based on historical results, but you can make an educated guess.
Required for my Capstone project is a Site Visit. For my Site Visit, I went to the CNBC Global Headquarters in New Jersey.
At CNBC, my godmother, Kerima Greene gave me a tour. She also introduced me to people she works with. One of the people I met was Sandy Cannold. He is the executive producer of CNBC’s Power Lunch. I asked him a few questions about my topic. I then took notes for future use.
I also met a guy named Guy Adami. He is a director. I asked him my main inquiry question, and he gave me the best answer. He said, “Human behavior impacts the stock market. If people are happy, it’s up. If they’re not, it’s down. It’s their decisions that impact it. If they want to spend money, then it’s up. If they don’t it’s down.” I thought that that was very true, but not always thought of.
While I was there, I also interviewed two employees at CNBC.
While I was at CNBC for my site visit, I did some interviews. My godmother, Kerima Greene recommended these people to me. They were, George Manessis, a markets producer, and Sue Herera, a news anchor.
I first interviewed George. He answered all ten of my questions. I took notes on everything he said to help me remember for my research.
Next, I interviewed Sue. She also answered all of my questions, but she gave me a little more information. I think it’s because she is on TV, so she is used to it. I took notes a lot for this too.