10 October 2019

1) PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), the massive power supplier of California, has announced they are planning power outages for Northen and Central California which will effect an expected 800,000 customers in 31 counties to reduce the risk of wildfires in windy conditions. The Paradise fire and the 2017 Wind Country fires were ignited when wind blown power lines sparked. It is unknown what the economic impact will be from such a massive loss of electrical power that may last for days on end.

2) The prices for many popular drugs is rising far faster than inflation, more than twice the medical consumer price index since 2017. Prices may not be justified by clinical improvements to the drugs themselves. This is especially important for people with limited income, in particularly the elderly on fixed incomes who are the major consumer of drugs in America. This is at a time when President Trump is vowing to attack high drug prices in America.

3) American Airlines announced extensions of 737 MAX cancellations of flights through January 15, despite Boeing’s promises that the grounded jets would be flying again before year’s end. American said full year profit would be reduced by about $400 million dollars if the jet remained grounded through the second of November, and is likely to spill over into 2020.

4) Stock market closings for – 9 OCT 19:

Dow               26,346.01    up    181.97
Nasdaq            7,903.74    up      79.96
S&P 500           2,919.40    up      26.34

10 Year Yield:    up    1.59%

Oil:    down    $52.65

27 September 2019

1) The first all electric ‘gas station’ has been opened in America in Takoma Park, Maryland. The owner of the gas station, which has been around since 1958, decided to convert to all electric supplier of auto energy because of the difficulties and short comings of business with the oil companies. There are 20,700 registered EVs (Electric Vehicles) in Maryland, and the station has four dispensers that allow four vehicles to charge to 80% battery capacity in 20 to 30 minutes.

2) The market for smartphones is expected to decline by 3.2% for 2019, the largest decline ever. This decline is a result of the market becoming saturated because there’s no longer the innovations in device features plus the life span of devices has increased. Users are reluctant to buy new phones if there isn’t a perception of new abilities and features. The next big push in sales will be from the 5G devices as service areas expand.

3) The e-cigarette industry faces a crisis with Juul Labs potentially being crippled by a ban on most of it’s product. The tobacco giant Altria Group Inc., who owns 35% of Juul Labs, and had been in talks with Philip Morris International for a blockbuster merger, but those talks collapsed in part by the threat of Juul’s potential troubles with federal regulation.

4) Stock market closings for – 26 SEP 19:

Dow                        26,891.12    down    79.59
Nasdaq                     8,030.66    down    46.72
S&P 500                    2,977.62    down      7.25

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.68%

Oil:    up    $56.54

18 September 2019

1) World oil prices dropped sharply with Saudi Arabian source saying that their oil production could be fully back on line within weeks. This is far sooner than was initially assumed by world markets. Production may be back up in as little as two to three weeks. The attacks resulted in the largest single supply disruption in half a century.

2) Economists say the GM (General Motors) strike no longer has the economic impact that they once did. They assert it will take a lengthy shutdown to make a national impact. This is a result of GM’s market share shrinking while its work force is now smaller, in part because of automation. A prolonged strike could impact the economy by disrupting the supply chain effecting other industries. GM has shifted workers health care cost to the UAW (United Auto Workers) union, increasing pressure on the union for a quick settlement.

3) There are expectations that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates on Wednesday for the second time in two months with another likely cut later this year. The consensus is the feds will drop the interest rate by about a quarter percent in an attempt to starve off the world economic slowdown from reaching America. Job growth has slowed and the index of manufacturing activity shows contraction, increasing fears that a recession will happen in the near future.

4) Stock market closings for – 17 SEP 19:

Dow                 27,110.80    up    33.98
Nasdaq             8,186.02    up    32.47
S&P 500            3,005.70    up      7.74

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.81%

Oil:    down   at    $58.81

6 September 2019

1) The Exxon Mobil oil giant agreed to sell its Norwegian oil and gas assets for as much as $4 billion dollars. The U.S. firm is exiting from production in the country after more than a century doing business there. In 2017, Exxon produced 170,000 barrels of oil per day from its Norwegian operations. The shares in Exxon, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, rose 1.7% on the news.

2) The announcement that China and America would resume trade talks pushed the price of oil up from optimism of an improving world economy. Chinese trade negotiators will come to Washington in early October for talks. Gasoline and distillate supplies fell, as well as stockpiles in storage.

3) Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman, forecast that negative rates will soon spread to the U.S. Negative rates are now in Belgium, Germany, France and Japan with $16 trillion dollars in negative yielding debt instruments around the world. Ten year sovereign bonds are trading with a negative rate. The thirty year U.S. rate is trading at 1.95% reaching an all time low.

4) Stock market closings for – 5 SEP 19:

Dow                   26,728.15    up    372.68
Nasdaq                8,116.83    up    139.95
S&P 500               2,976.00    up       38.22

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.56%

Oil:     down   at    $56.17

30 August 2019

1) The American trucking industry is in trouble with many major trucking firms such as J.B. Hunt, Knight-Swift and Schneider cutting their annual outlooks. In a growing wave of trucking firms bankruptcies, 3,000 truck drivers have lost their jobs. One positive point is the trucking volume seems to be rising, although trucking is a highly cyclic business with wide swings in high and low peaks. With about 1.8 million American truckers, there is the rising threat of automated robot trucks, which the automatic driving technology industry is eyeing and experimenting already with UPS and the post office.

2) More troubles for Tesla’s SolarCity solar-panels and fires with people’s houses being set on fire resulting in extensive damage. Both Walmart and Amazon.com are suing, claiming Tesla’s solar energy systems have caused fires at their stores and warehouses. Tesla is telling home owners their need to do preventive maintenance on their solar power systems, but with 400,000 solar customers, one of the largest customer bases in America, this may not be a strategy to avoid law suits.

3) Disney’s Disney+ is penetrating NetFlix market share with very aggressive pricing and promotion programs that undercuts NetFlix rates, offering with rates that are as much as one third of NetFlix, while locking customers into contracts for as long as three year. When Disney+ announced its entry into the streaming market, Netflix grew its customer base by 2.7 million, instead of the 5 million that had been forecast. The increased competition from Disney+ and other streaming services is forcing NetFlix to use large amounts of capital to create new video content and so remain a viable competitor.

4) Stock market closings for – 29 AUG 19:

Dow 26,362.25 up 326.15
Nasdaq          7,973.39 up 116.51
S&P 500 2,924.58 up 36.64

10 Year Yield: up at 1.52%

Oil: down at $56.61

26 August 2019

1) The industrialist David Koch and political activists dies at age 79. The billionaire is noted for using his fortune to support right wing political movements thereby reshaping American politics. Brother to Charles Koch, the pair were one of the richest people in the world. Mr. Koch die Friday in Manhattan after a long battle with cancer.

2) China is retaliating in the trade war by imposing a tariff on $75 billion dollar on imports from China. It’s a 10% addition on top of existing rates pushing the trade war up another notch, in retaliation for the tariff imposed on $300 billion dollars of Chinese imports. China is also reinstating tariffs on cars and auto parts originating from America.

3) The race for the next internet revolution is on with Bezos and Musk planning to use low orbiting satellites to provide broad band world wide service. Jeff Bezos’ Project Kuiper’ will used a constellation of 3,236 satellites for broad band internet communications with service costing lower than today’s high speed internet service, allowing Americans to save more than $30 billion dollars a year. While testing is now in progress, there are tentative plans to begin serving customers as early as next year.

4) Stock market closings for – 23 AUG 19:

Dow              25,628.90    down    623.34
Nasdaq           7,751.77    down    239.62
S&P 500          2,847.11    down      75.84

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.53%

Oil:    down   at    $53.97

20 August 2019

1) Fears of a possible recession were dampened as stocks rose while Treaasury yields rebounded. The U.S. decision to extend a temporary reprieve to the Chinese telecom giant Huawein is credited with the change in markets. The Treasury notes appears to have broken out of the yield-curve inversion , which is a potential signal that a recession may be coming in the near future.

2) Delivery platforms like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates and Grubhub have open new opportunities for America’s fast food industries. Previously, the only fast food delivered was pizza, but these new delivery services allows a wide range of foods to be delivered to customers at home or office. While it does open new opportunities for increased sales, the down side is the service could eat into restaurant’s profits and erode customer loyalty.

3) The retail giant Target, known for being the master of private label brands, is launching it’s own new food brand called ‘Good & Gather’. Due to start on the 15th of September, it will initially have 650 products, but will eventually expand to about 2,000 products, such as coffee, milk and eggs. Target describes their product line to be affordable and will replace present brands such as Simply Balanced and Archer Farms brands, while also reducing its Market Pantry line. For Target, using private label brands have been a way to boost profit margins while maintaining affordable prices. They’re a big asset in driving traffic to their stores.

4) Stock market closings for – 19 AUG 19:

Dow           26,135.79    up    249.78
Nasdaq        8,002.81    up    106.82
S&P 500       2,923.65    up      34.97

10 Year Yield:     up   at    1.60%

Oil:    down   a   t $56.08

19 August 2019

1) Home construction in America fell in July by 4.0%, in particular apartments. While a solid job market coupled with falling mortgage rates have boosted the desire to purchase new homes, the inventory shortage and rising prices have stifled sales. However, building permits issued have risen 8.4% with apartment complexes accounting for most of the increase.

2) Japan surpasses China as the largest foreign holder of American Treasury notes. Japan now holds $1.12 trillion dollars of Treasurys while China has $1.11 trillion dollars worth. Since the start of the trade war, China has bought less of the U.S. sovereign debt, with speculation that one tactic China could take in the trade war is to unload its holdings of U.S. debt. So far, there are no indications of China doing that.

3) The threat of fresh water shortages across the world is becoming more pronounced, with western America experiencing growing problems. The Colorado River, is a 1,450 mile source of water for seven states, who’s flow decreased 19% from 2000 to 2014. The river’s water is drawn off to supple cities and agriculture so almost nothing reaches the Pacific ocean. The bulk of the water is used by farmers producing a significant amount of America’s food, with almost 90% of the winter’s vegetables come from the river’s irrigation.

4) Stock market closings for – 16 AUG 19:

Dow             25,886.01    up    306.62
Nasdaq          7,895.99    up    129.38
S&P 500         2,888.68    up      41.08

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.54%

Oil:    up   at    $54.94

14 August 2019

1) Boeing aircraft has not received any new orders for their 737 MAX in six months. This could give Boeing’s competitor Airbus a major market advantage having made 389 commercial plane deliveries in the same six months, making Airbus the largest supplier of this market segment with its A320 design. The grounding of the 737 MAX has forced Boeing to park completed aircraft to await its air worthiness to be restored.

2) Signs of inflation are increasing as U.S. consumer prices increased broadly in July. Expectations are for the Federal Reserve to again cut interest rates next month as much as half a percentage point in September. Continue trade tensions between China and America out weight fears of inflation so interest rates will continue to remain low, if not go lower.

3) Fears grow that protests in Hong Kong, which have persisted for the last two months, could have a lasting detrimental effect on U.S. and global markets. Hong Kong operates with a high degree of autonomy from China, having its own currency and judiciary system. This is fueling the rising concerns of investors of a major violent eruption of conflict between Hong Kong and main line China, coupled with concerns over U.S. – China trade war and the total impact on the world markets. With Hong Kong a financial hub, an invasion by Chinese troops with sever repressive measures on the people could disrupt other markets across the world. Furthermore, violence with loss of life could make it impossible for President Trump to resolve differences with China.

4) Stock market closings for – 13 AUG 19:

Dow              26,279.91    up    382.20
Nasdaq           8,016.36    up    152.95
S&P 500          2,926.32    up      43.23

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.68%
Oil:    down   at    $56.73

13 August 2019

1) Royal Dutch Shell is building a 386 acre chemical plant to make bulk plastic. The construction project is one of the largest active construction projects in America employing over 5,000 people. The plant has hundreds of miles of pipelines to feed it petroleum and will have its own rail system with 3,300 freight cars. The new plant is expected to produce a million tons of plastic pellets each year.

2) Saudi oil company Aramco is buying a 20% share in Reliance Industries Ltd of India an oil to chemicals business. This will include the 1.24 million barrels a day Jamnagar refining complex. This is part of Aramco plan for refinery investments to double its processing network and handle as much as 10 million barrels of oil a day by 2030. Reliance has agreed to purchase 500,000 barrels of crude a day over the long term.

3) The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has warned that addition tariffs in the trade war will sharply cut Chinese growth. The IMF has already forecast a 6.2% decline in China’s growth for this year, which assumes no new tariffs. They forecast a sharp cut in China’s growth if the additional tariffs threaten are imposed on the first of September. President Trump has cast doubts on a trade deal, and indicated he might cancel the trade talks scheduled for September.

4) Stock market closings for – 12 AUG 19:

Dow               25,897.71             down    389.73
Nasdaq            7,863.41   unchanged        0.00
S&P 500           2,883.09              down     35.56

10 Year Yield:     down   at    1.64%

Oil:    down   at    $54.78