8 January 2020

1) Coal consumption in America dropped sharply last year, reaching its lowest level since 1975, with power plants switching to cheaper natural gas and renewables. This shift has cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10%, but other sources also contribute to growing planet warming pollution last year. The U.S. is the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, as well as other greenhouse warming gases, contributing 14% of all annual greenhouse emissions.

2) The federal government is close to selling a group of nursing homes it took over eighteen months ago, a result of the biggest default in the history of a government mortgage insurance program which provides critical support to the nursing home industry. The previous owner defaulted on $146 million dollar worth of mortgages leaving the government to take possession of the facilities, which they have been working to find new owner-operators.

3) A new pizza making robot was unveiled at this year’s CES (Consumer Electronis Show) in Las Vegas, which attracts 200,000 people across the world. The machine is placed adjacent to the oven so pizzas automatically go in for cooking. The robot can make up to 300 12 inch customized pizzas an hour, while making consistent pies. Several companies are engaged in developing pizza robots including Little Caesar’s and Domino’s. The robots for the fast food industry is growing in response to demands for a minimum wage of $15 an hour for restaurant workers.

4) Stock market closings for – 7 JAN 202:

Dow                28,583.68    down    119.70
Nasdaq            9,068.58    down        2.88
S&P 500           3,237.18    down        9.10

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.83%

Oil:    up   at    $63.21 

7 January 2020

1) The Dallas based Borden Dairy Co. has filed for bankruptcy, thus becoming the second major U.S. milk seller to file in two months. Founded more than 160 years ago, the nationally renowned dairy company succumb to competitive pressures, declining consumption and falling profits which made it’s debt load unsustainable. Borden’s net loss was $42.4 million dollars for 2019, compared to $14.6 million dollars in 2018.

2) Oil prices continue upwards over fears of a U.S. and Iran clash which could result in oil supply problems. Prices briefly passed $70 dollars a barrel, but some experts predict prices will pass through seventy dollars and even up past eighty dollars as the crises deepens. The oil market was already tightened because of OPEC+ production cuts, so presently there is little margin to take up any slack.

3) New technical problems are emerging with the grounded 737 MAX, which reportedly goes beyond the software problems which started Boeing’s problems last spring. Company and regulators have scrutinized every aspect of the jet and have uncovered potential design flaws. There are concerns over wire bundles in the aircraft’s tail shorting, possible weakness in engine rotors and protection of fuel and fuel lines from lightning strikes. Also, the FAA is considering mandating more simulator training of flight crews.

4) Stock market closings for – 6 JAN 20:

Dow                  28,703.38    up    68.50
Nasdaq               9,071.46    up    50.69
S&P 500              3,246.28    up    11.43

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.81%

Oil:    down   at    $62.97

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6 January 2020

1) The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted the most in December, more than for a decade. Order volumes crashed to a near eleven year low with factory employment falling for a fifth straight month. The index of national factory activity fell to 47.2 last month from 48.1 for November and is the lowest reading since June 2009. A value of 50 or above indicates expansion, while below is contraction.

2) The electric auto maker Tesla sold more cars in 2019 than the two previous years combined. Tesla sold 367,500 cars in 2019, although its on the low end of the 360,000 to 400,000 cars the company estimated at the beginning of 2019. Its newly opened plant in China will sell its Model 3 automobile in China thus avoiding transport and import cost. China promises to be a major increase in Tesla sales for next year.

3) Despite worries by experts expecting a decline of spending by American consumers, many consider the consumer will keep the economy humming through the next year. This Christmas shopping season appears it will set new records in spending, despite trade tensions, Washington being absorbed in impeachment and oil prices creeping up. With the economy always on the minds of voters, a good economy bodes well for incumbents with 2020 being a presidential election year.

4) Stock market closings for – 3 JAN 20:

Dow              28,634.88    down    233.92
Nasdaq            9,020.77    down       71.42
S&P 500         3,234.85    down      23.00

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.79%

Oil:    up   at    $63.04

Having a Real Understanding of War

Millennials and generation-Z can gain real insight and understanding of war, on my website www.peopleobsolete.com.

James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM

People think they know and understand war as they watch news report after news report on wars, small and large, across the world. In reality, people have virtually no real understanding, just images and story lines from books, movies and television. War is like any other pandemic . . . if you ever hope to control it, you must first have a firm understanding of it. Chapter
V Basic Theory of War, an excerpt from my book
“America’s Slide into Domestic Terrorism” from the series Technology Monogram for Law Enforcement, provides such an understanding to this very important part of our world.

This excerpt is reproduced on my website www.peopleobsolete.com both as a web page and as a pdf download file, which can be printed as a hard copy to read at your leisure. This chapter will give you a rational basic understanding about war, in particular the mechanics or process of how wars erupt. Only by gaining a real rational understanding about war, can the Millennials and generation-Zs understand what is happening in the world that in turn is shaping the future of American’s youth. This is a very important subject that everyone needs to have some understanding of.

The book itself, “America’s Slide into Domestic Terrorism” is available by ordering from the book section of Amazon.com’s.

3 January 2020

1) Major drug makers such as Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi have plans to raise drug prices on more than 200 drugs in the United States. Nearly all of the price increases will be below 10%, with about half in the range of 4 to 6%. With soaring prescription drug prices a central issue in the presidential election, the move promises to bring the issue front and center to the American public.

2) The year’s first five days of stock markets is often an indicator of how the market will go for the year. On the first trading day of 2020, stocks jumped up, and if the next four secession are also upwards, stock traders anticipate another good year for the markets. Last year, 2019, started out the same way, rebounding from the worst December since the Great Depression.

3) OPEC’s output drop last month as several Persian Gulf producers stepped up their implementation of cutbacks. The reduced oil production is aimed at balancing global oil markets by reducing a new surplus forming. Cutbacks started in 2019, will continue in 2020 with more and deeper cuts expected for this year. Next meeting of the oil alliance is early March.

4) Stock market closings for – 2 JAN 20:

Dow            28,868.80    up    330.36
Nasdaq         9,092.19    up    119.59
S&P 500        3,257.85    up      27.07

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.88%

Oil:    down   at    $61.18

2 January 2020

1) The ride sharing business Uber has filed a lawsuit against California, in response to a landmark gig worker law as being unconstitutional. The new law is designed to upend gig economy companies such as Uber and Lyft. Uber claims the new law unfairly targets workers and companies in the on-demand economy, treating them differently than traditional companies. The law forces on-demand companies to reclassify their independent contractors as employees, which would break up their businesses. With Uber actively researching auto-driving cars, this point may soon become mute.

2) In the wake of continual losses despite rising postal rates, America’s postal system, as a public government run entity, may be coming to a end as early as this year. New leadership is being brought into the USPS tasked with creating a package of large structural changes intent on privatizing and selling pieces of the public service off. One proposal is that the postal service stops delivering packages, since there are already several successful businesses who are already doing that.

3) Department stores and apparel retailers continue to shrink as customers continue their migration to Amazon. For the last several years, retailers such as Sears, Macy’s and the Gap have struggled to survive and prosper by closing their retail outlets with even more closures are forecast for this next year. One additional loss of retail revenues is the lost of store credit cards.

4) Stock market closings for – 31 DEC 19:

Dow                28,538.44    up    76.30
Nasdaq            8,972.60    up     26.61
S&P 500           3,230.78    up        9.49

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.92%

Oil:    down   at     $61.21