1) Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft is stepping down from the company’s board of directors, which makes it the biggest boardroom departure in the tech industry, since the death of Apple’s Steve Jobs. Additionally, Mr. Gates is vacating his board seat at Berkshire Hathaway Inc., intending to devote his time to his philanthropic efforts. He will continue serving as a technical advisor to Microsoft.
2) Oil prices climbed up 5% on the announcement by President Trump that the Department of Energy would purchase crude for the nations’ strategic petroleum reserve. The objective is to boost oil prices to keep shale producers in business, because oil needs to be $40 or more a barrel to break even, depending on the particulars of an oil field. The shale oil companies are further in trouble because they are carrying a high debt level. Shale oil production is very capital intensive and therefore very sensitive to oil prices if companies aren’t to go bankrupt. Some suggest that the Russians engineered the rupture of the Saudi Arabia – Russian agreement to limit production levels as a means to cripple the U.S. shale oil production and thereby make America dependent on foreign oil again.
3) President Trump and the Congress have agreed on several provisions of a package, but have been far apart on others. Their discussions center on ways to minimize the economic impact of the coronavirus fears. One point is to ensure that every American can receive a virus test without consideration of money.
4) Stock market closings for – 13 MAR 20:
Dow 23,185.62 up 1985.00 Nasdaq 7,874.88 up 673.07 S&P 500 2,711.02 up 230.38 10 Year Yield: up at 0.95% Oil: up at $32.93
1) The retailing mammoth Amazon has spawned a rival called ‘Free and Fair Markets Initiative’ (FFMI), who have launched a nation wide campaign to criticize Amazon’s business practices. They claim that Amazon stifles competition and innovations, inhibiting consumer choice, gorging on government subsidies, endangering its warehouse workers and exposing consumer data to privacy breaches. The group claims to have grass-roots support, but haven’t disclosed they are receiving backing from some of Amazon’s major corporate rivals such as Walmart.
2) An additional 4,500 Canadian auto workers have been furloughed as a result of UAW (United Auto Workers) strike on GM (General Motors), which is now in its fifth day. This is a result of the strike disrupting operations and supplies of auto parts and assemblies needed for Canada’s plant to manufacture automobiles.
3) The Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, the largest public pension system in Ohio, is moving to reduce cost of living benefits for current and future retirees. This requires legislative changes, which the board of directors have voted to ask lawmakers for. Like so many retirements, public and private, the public pension system is striving to straighten out its finances. The fund has $24 billion dollars in unfunded liabilities to contend with and this proposed action will wipe out $3.44 billion dollars of that liability. .
4) Stock market closings for – 20 SEP 19:
Dow 26,935.07 down 159.72 Nasdaq 8,117.67 down 65.20 S&P 500 2,992.07 down 14.72
Hewlett Packard one of the biggest technology and computer companies will soon have divided into two separate entities. The completion is supposed to take place November 1, 2015. The company will be a computer company and the other entity will be its printer company.
HP Enterprise will be raking in somewhere around $58 billion in revenue because of the split, whill HP Inc, will see around the $57 billion mark in revenue sales.
HP board approved of the demerger in the beginning of October and the markets rallied in favor of the demerger of the two divisions (printer unit and pc unit). HP stocks have been taking a hit the last few years because of certain improprieties in its business model, so dividing the company maybe suitable for long run performance. -SB