1) For 80 years Boeing Aircraft has operated as an ‘association of engineers’, but this changed in 2001 when the upper management who came from MacDonnel Douglas (a failed company), elected to move Boeing’s corporate headquarters to Chicago. The rational was upper management shouldn’t be close to a principal business, because the corporate center is inevitably drawn into day to day business operations. With this, Boeing became a financially driven business instead of engineering driven, with decision based on cost cutting instead of safety. This has resulted in the 737 MAX fiasco now being played out.
2) Apple has started construction of its $1 billion dollar campus in Austin Texas, which is beside its new MacBook Pro laptop manufacturing facility. The 3 million square foot campus will have 5,000 employees with capacity to grow to 15,000. Currently, Apply employs 7,000 people in Austin. This is seen as another move by Apple to limit its manufacturing in China.
3) Walmart is redesigning its grocery department in order to counter impending competition to traditional brick-and-mortar from online giant Amazon. Already the country’s largest grocer, Walmart will widen aisles, add low profile displays in the produce departments, an organic shop and update signage throughout its stores. These changes are expected to be improvements for the customers and workers.
4) Stock market closings for – 20 NOV 19:
Dow 27,821.09 down 112.93 Nasdaq 8,526.73 down 43.93 S&P 500 3,108.46 down 11.72
1) The new streaming service Disney+ has surpassed ten million sign-ups since its launch Tuesday. In response Disney’s stock is up slightly while Netflix shares are down 1%. While there were technical problems connecting at first, that didn’t prevent customers from flooding the sign up page. The initial signup is for a free seven day trial, so it’s unknown how many will continue with the pay service.
2) In October, consumer prices rose the most in seven months as the price for gasoline was higher, along with medical treatment and recreation. But in general, inflation remained low and fairly stable, with consumer price index jumping 0.4%, primary from rising cost of energy. While gas prices surged upwards 3.7% in October, it’s still less than what Americans were paying a year ago.
3) The ever expanding corporate giant Google will offer personal checking accounts next year in partnership with Citigroup Inc and a small credit union at Stanford University. To be called Cache, it is intended to follow Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc into the financial industry. Google’s strategy is to deeply partner with banks and the financial system.
4) Stock market closings for – 13 NOV 19:
Dow 27,783.59 up 92.10 Nasdaq 8,482.10 down 3.99 S&P 500 3,094.04 up 2.20
1) In their Friday report the U.S. economy added 128,000 jobs in October, a report considered to be very strong when many economist expected a gain of 75,000 jobs. Furthermore, job growth for September was revised upwards to 180,000 from 136,000 and August jobs up from 168,000 to 219,000 new jobs. The good news has spurred the stock markets up.
2) Alphabet, the parent company for Google, is acquiring Fitbit in an attempt to strengthen the search giant’s lineup of hardware and move further into the health market. The $2.1 billion dollar sale will strengthen Fitbit to complete against Apple. Fitbit has slowed since Apple introduced its smartwatch.
3) The U.S. dollar may be weakening with Citi latest projections that the dollar index could fall to as low as 85 as the Federal Reserve increases its balance sheet by purchasing more bond assets. The dollar usually weakens when bond yields fall. If the dollar index were to weaken to 85, the euro could strengthen to 1.21 which helps emerging market equities. Additionally, capital could flow to the Hong Kong market if the dollar weakens, making a lot of stocks very attractive.
4) Stock market closings for – 1 NOV 19:
Dow 27,347.36 up 301.13 Nasdaq 8,386.40 up 94.04 S&P 500 3,066.91 up 29.35
1) The telecommunications giant AT&T is making its belated entry into the streaming video business to compete with Netflix, Apple and Disney. AT&T plans to reach about 80 million subscribers globally, 50 million in the United States by 2025. HBO Max is expanding its customer base into the streaming market through AT&T wireless. AT&T also owns the satellite service DirecTV.
2) The UAW (United Auto Workers) has approved a new contract with GM (General Motors) which ends the six week strike. GM is calling back technicians to prepare the plants to resume production, with production resuming as early as Monday at some plants. The new contract gives workers a series of wage increases and a path for temporary workers to become permanent employees. Permanent workers can earn as much as $32 an hour.
3) The U.S. government has ended its 2019 fiscal year with the largest deficit since 2012. Gains in tax receipts were offset by higher spending and growing debt service payments. The budget deficit has widened to $984 billion dollars, which was 4.6% of the nation’s gross domestic product. Last years deficit was $779 billion dollars and 3.8% of the GDP. Defense, healthcare and social security programs are a major source for driving the deficit, with worries that these expenditures will not be sustainable.
4) Stock market closings for – 25 OCT 19:
Dow 26,958.06 up 152.53 Nasdaq 8,243.12 up 57.32 S&P 500 3,022.55 up 12.26
1) The tech giants Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon are facing antitrust troubles. The government is stepping up scrutiny of these big four with possible new rules, regulations and law suits. The investigative efforts will be split between the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission driven by mounting criticism over political bias, disinformation and privacy breaches. This could spell years of troubles and law suits and possible breakup of the companies.
2) The threat of tariffs on Mexican imports has American oil refiners worried, since Mexico is the number two source of foreign oil to the United States. American produced oil is a light oil which is a poor match for Gulf Coast refining facilities, while the Mexican oil is a heavy oil that when blended with the America optimizes the refinery’s output.
3) The Medicaid system is still suffering from the Great recession, so there are fears than another recession could be devastating for the system. This is at a time when state spending on Medicaid is still high with no signs of subsiding. In a recession, payrolls decrease from people unemployed or underemployed, so contributions are down. This means less buildup of reserve funds needed for the future, and a second recession so soon, could seriously deplete those reserves quicker, leaving the future of the system in doubt.
4) Stock market closings for 4 June 2019: Jump in Dow comes from Fed signals flexibility on rates.
Dow 25,332.18 up 512.40 Nasdaq 7,527.12 up 194.10 S&P 500 2,803.27 up 58.82
1) China has countered U.S. tariffs imposed last Friday with tariffs on $60 billion dollars of U.S. imports to China. About 10 to 15% of America’s import revenues come from China, and while the trade war is high stakes and risky, it’s the only real tool America has to deal with China, because China ignores the world trade organization rulings.
2) Fears are increasing that China may not buy as many U.S. treasury notes as she has in the past, which would force America to increase the prime interest rate. There are even fears that China might not buy any bonds at all, or even start selling off bonds she now holds in retaliation for the tariffs. It’s reported that China is also buying up gold.
3) Boeing aircraft is fearful of being a target for tariff reprisals, who holds substantial orders from China. Apple, who gets 20% of its revenues from China, and Caterpillar are also facing business downturns if China places tariffs on imports of their products.
1) British parliament voted to take control of Brexit for one day this Wednesday, to try their hand at resolving Britain’s dilemma of departing the European Union. If the division running through the British public is any indicator, then it’s rather unlikely parliament will reach any consensus on a solution.
2) Airbus of France announced a $35 billion dollar sale to China for 290 of their A320 airliners plus another 10 of their A350 wide body airliners. This is another blow to Boeing in addition to the grounding of their best seller, the 737 MAX 8, which is comparable to the A320. The grounding of the 737 MAX 8 coupled with the fallout from the US-China’s trade war is a serious impediment to Boeing. China is the world’s largest aviation market.
3) Apple sales in China has declined due to demand for domestic products. Apple products have become too expensive, so the Chinese people are turning to domestic products which now have most of the same features as Apple for much less.
4) 26 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,657.73 up 140.90 Nasdaq 7,691.52 up 53.98 S&P 500 2,818.46 up 20.10
1) Apple announced they are laying off 190 people from their self driving car division. These includes forty hardware engineers, twelve software engineers and one machine shop technician. Speculation is that Apple is pulling out of the self driving car competition. They hadn’t actually built a working self driving car, rather they have reportedly concentrated on the sensors and software organic to such systems, which means they are behind the other developers.
2) The Brexit problem for Britain deepens as considerations are being made for Britain to extend the time when it’s exits from the European Union. No time for extensions has been agreed upon yet, although the Prime Minister has stated than it cannot be more than a few weeks. This is another example of the British’s concerns for the difficulties that face Britain’s exit.
3) Twenty-first Century Fox studios has been ordered to pay actors of the hit show “Bones”, $179 million dollars in punitive damages, which it withheld from profits promised to the actors.
4) 28 FEB 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,916.00 down 69.16 Nasdaq 7,532.53 down 21.98 S&P 500 2,784.49 down 7.89
1) Apple’s Apple Tech development system is being used to breach iPhones, giving hackers access to user data. But users who buy their apps from the Apple store do not have to worry.
2) Airbus is taking it’s A380 super jumbo airliner out of production as airlines turn away from the jumbo jets to concentrate on the smaller jet liners for service. The A380 is a double decker 544 passenger aircraft designed to challenge the Boeing 747, its first flight was in 2005 while the 747 first flew in 1967, however A380 never took hold because airlines preferred the smaller two engine aircraft.
3) Amazon announce it is canceling its plans to build its headquarters in New York, amidst quickly rising opposition by the people in Queens and local politicians opposed to the $2.8 billion dollar tax incentives to Amazon. This means the loss of potentially 25,000 new jobs for the New York area. Also, Amazon announced they will not reopen their search for a city, rather they will concentrate on their second headquarters in Virginia.
4) 14 FEB 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,439.39 down 103.88 Nasdaq 7,426.96 up 6.58 S&P 500 2,745.73 down 7.30