15 October 2019

1) There are fears that the manufacturing segment is in trouble and may contract for the third straight month. This in turn could drag down the U.S. GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the third and fourth quarters. Three factors are causing this down turn- the trade war with China, the GM (General Motors) strike and Boeing’s 737 MAX problems stopping deliveries and slowing production.

2) In the recent past, the online retailer giant Amazon has been unable to compete with traditional retailers when selling single items costing less than a few dollars, because the shipping cost is more than the single item cost such as toothpaste, deodorant or a simple brush. Customers had to buy these items as add-ons to make the $25 minimum for free shipping. But these items are now available for free shipping with Amazon’s Prime shipping. This could make for a significant challenge to other retailers such as Walmart, Target and CVS.

3) GM is attempting to end the month long strike of the UAW (United Auto Workers) by making direct appeal to the workers. The company has lost more than a $1 billion dollars so far, and is making several promises to the workers trying to circumvent the union’s leadership. The UAW has increased strike pay from $250 to $275 per week with union members allowed to hold other jobs as long as it doesn’t interfere with their picket duty.

4) Stock market closings for – 14 OCT 19:

Dow            26,787.36    down    29.23
Nasdaq         8,048.65    down      8.39
S&P 500        2,966.15    down       4.12

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.73%

Oil:    down   at    $53.50

9 October 2019

1) The pizza giant Domino’s had been the darling of Wall Street, with its soaring sales, but its growth has gone stale. The company’s reported revenue and profit missed Wall Street’s forecast with its stock sagging. The same-store sales grew just 2.4% compared with last years 6.3%. Domino’s operates in 85 countries with 10,000 stores outside of the U.S., which generate half of its revenues.

2) Boeing aircraft has got its first 737 MAX order since the crashes forced grounding of all 737 MAX aircraft. Boeing’s net order tally, including cancellations, was a negative 84 for the first nine months of 2019. In addition, Southwest Airlines’ pilots union has filed a law suit against Boeing for damages caused by the prolonged grounding of its 737 MAX, claiming loss of pay to its pilot from canceled flights and seeing $115 million dollars in compensation.

3) Duke University professor Campbell Harvey, the father of the yield curve and pioneer of the economic forecasting model, says to prepare for a recession. He based his prediction on inverted curves, which happen when short term Treasury yields are higher than those with longer duration, which his research indicates the coming of a recession.

4) Stock market closings for – 8 OCT 19:

Dow                     26,164.04    down    313.98
Nasdaq                  7,823.78    down    132.52
S&P 500                 2,893.06    down      45.73

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.54%

Oil:    down   at    $52.57

28 August 2019

1) Avia Capital Services, a Russian aircraft leasing company, has filed a law suit against Boeing aircraft to cancel an order for 35 737 MAX jets. The law suit alleges that Boeing failed to disclose safety issues and therefore knowingly sold defective products. The company seeks $115 million dollars in compensation damages. Boeing had a $2.9 billion dollar loss for its second quarter, the biggest loss ever for Boeing.

2) An Oklahoma lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for $572 million dollars over its marketing of opioid drugs will spur further trials and legal settlements. This ruling will shape negotiations with about 1,500 similar lawsuits across the country. Plaintiffs content that Johnson & Johnson failed to market the drugs responsibly and failed to stop suspicious orders from shipping.

3) Telecommunications provider Sprint announced the next phase of its 5G rollout adding the big cities of New York City, Phoenix and Washington DC to launch service starting 27 August. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City already have Sprint’s 5G service, with Sprint saying they now have 2,100 square miles of 5G.

4) Stock market closings for – 27 AUG 19:

Dow              25,777.90    down    120.93
Nasdaq             ,826.95    down      26.79
S&P 500          2,869.16    down        9.22

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.49%

Oil:    up   at    $55.69

15 August 2019

1) Fears are growing that the world is moving towards an economic crisis, based on signs from Washington and Wall Street, starting with President Trump’s retreat from adding new tariffs. The stock market rose over the news meaning Christmas had been saved for this year’s sales. But the bond market wasn’t as optimistic, the rates dropping indicating a lack of confidence in the future economy. Called an inverted yield curve, it signals investors expect a weak growth and lower inflation over the years.

2) The troubling signals from the bond market caused the stock markets to drop, with the Dow dropping 800 points to erase all of Tuesdays gains. Worried about the state of the economy, investors are rushing to long term safe haven assets, pushing the yield on 30 year Treasury bonds to a new record low. The Cboe Volatility Index jumped to a high of 22.

3) The financial problems plaguing Boeing aircraft from the 737 MAX grounding may delay or even cancel Boeing’s next airliner design, the 797. A mid-size airplane, the aviation industry expected Boeing would go ahead with a new design, but the sever loses from the 737 MAX are now casting doubt on that happening, especially if the world economy does deteriorate. The 797 is expected to be a long range jet seating about 250 passengers. The design would make extensive use of light weight composites giving good fuel economy and range. Additionally, engineering resources are being pulled away from the 797 to work the 737 MAX problem.

4) Stock market closings for – 14 AUG 19:

Dow           25,479.42    down    800.49
Nasdaq        7,773.94    down    242.42
S&P 500       2,840.60    down      85.72

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.58%

Oil:    down   at    $54.95

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

25 July 2019

1) Boeing Aircraft, the manufacture of the now grounded 737 MAX, has not ruled out further reductions or even shutting down production of its 737 MAX. Boeing had cut production of its best selling jet from 52 per month to 42, a 20% reduction. For its second quarter, Boeing has expended $1.01 billion dollars in cash as a result of the grounding, compared to the $4.3 billion dollars of free cash it had on hand last year. With deliveries on hold, Boeing isn’t receiving payments while also footing the cost of aircraft being stored waiting for re-certification.

2) With the commodity prices of coffee bottomed out and depressed incomes, coffee growers in Guatemala are facing a crisis. This crisis is made worse with threats of tariffs on Guatemala over undocumented migrants. Additional remittance fees and sanctions could spell disaster for Guatemala’s principle export if implemented, which in turn may actually exacerbate the flow of migration as small growers are forced out of business and head north.

3) The food giant Kraft Heinz, faced with a large corporate debt, has been exploring methods to pay down that debt by selling off some of its brands, so it can focus on its staple brands such as Heinz ketchup. But the sale of Maxwell House coffee, Breakstone’s sour cream and cottage cheese and Plasmon baby food, has glean lukewarm response from potential buyers. For years, the giant has been run by a ‘cost focused’ management team, but now management considers the company should be driven more by growth. The soup giant Campbell soup faced the same problems earlier this year.

4) Stock market closings for – 24 JUL 19:

Dow              27,269.97    down    79.22
Nasdaq           8,321.50          up    70.10
S&P 500          3,019.56          up    14.09

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.05%

Oil:    up   at    $55.94

22 July 2019

1) The woes of traditional American big box retailers continues with J.C. Penney seeking strategies to keep their money losing company afloat. The company is in talks with specialist on reorganizing their trouble companies debt. Dressbarn, another retailer has announced the closing of all its retail stores starting this August with the closing of 53 stores.

2) The American retiree population is running out of money too soon. Three fifths of retirees do not have any traditional pension plan. The much vaunted 401K plan for replacing retirement plans, which became popular in the last quarter of the twentieth century, is failing to provide the needed retirement income despite the soaring stock market of the last ten years. This will leave America’s young people with a massive burden who themselves are facing financial challenges with shrinking job markets and displacement by technology.

3) The renowned airline manufacture Boeing announced they are taking a $4.9 billion dollar charge in the second quarter which will wipe out all of it’s profits for that quarter. This charge is compensation to airline companies for having their aircraft grounded, resulting in loss of business and revenues. Furthermore, Boeing has cut production of their best selling product as deliveries are backed up pending acceptance of their software fix by the government.

4) Stock market closings for – 19 JUL 19:

Dow                 27,154.20    down    68.77
Nasdaq             8,146.49    down    60.75
S&P 500            2,976.61    down    18.50

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.05%

Oil:    up   at    $55.74

28 June 2019

1) The Ford Motor company will eliminate 20% of its European workforce in a sweeping move to overhaul the manufacture’s falling sales. This will entail reducing its manufacturing facilities from 24 down to 18, with England, Germany and Russia the hardest hit. About 12,000 regular, staff and workers at joint ventures will be effected. Predicted deliveries for automobiles is down, as a result of Britain’s uncertainty from Brexit, with Ford’s European sales dropping 8.3% in May.

2) The crypto-currency Bitcoin having moved up over the last eighteen months to $14,000, suddenly drop 16%, down to $11,000. Bitcoin’s all time high was $20,000 reached in December of 2017, and is noted for it’s wild deviations of price over the last few years. Facebook just announced they are coming out with their own crypto-currency which may be a factor in Bitcoin’s sudden drop.

3) The Federal Aviation Administration has announced more safety concerns with Boeing’s 737 MAX just as the aircraft is being evaluated for software fixes designed to correct computer flight control systems. This system was responsible for two recent crashes with the death of all passengers and crew. Boeing’s stock dropped 3% Thursday as a result of added concerns for its star product, which the FAA is now evaluating software fixes with the expectations of finally getting its airliners airborne again. Boeing is presently parking completed 737 MAX aircraft in its car parking lots waiting for approval so they can make deliveries.

4) Stock market closings for- 27 JUN 19:

Dow           26,526.58    down    10.24
Nasdaq       7,967.76         up     57.79
S&P 500      2,924.92         up      11.14

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.00%

Oil:     down   at    $59.28

21 June 2019

1) Boeing has landed a$24 billion dollar contract from IAG SA, the owner of British Airways, to purchase 737 MAX airliners. Rival builder Airbus has vowed to fight the agreement since they never received an RFP (Request For Proposal) for making a bid on the contract. The secret negotiations between Boeing and IAG was the bomb shell surprise coming out of the Paris air show this week. This sale comes as a major endorsement to Boeing’s 737 MAX to reestablish Boeing as a major supplier of airliners.

2) The price of crude oil shot up 5% over news that Iran has shot down a American drone aircraft, fueling additional fears of a US-Iran military confrontation. The drone was shot down by a surface to air missile while flying over international airspace of the Strait of Hormuz. This is another move by Iran to control the seaway and thus control the flow of oil in an effort to force the U.S. to abandon its crippling economic sanctions.

3) The cost of opening a major fast food franchise in terms of liquid assets can be as much as a million dollars or more. You must have $500,000 cash to open a McDonald’s, $750,000 to open a Taco Bell and $2 million dollars to open a Wendy’s. Startup costs exceed a million dollars for most major fast food chains in America, with additional monthly fees for royalties, advertising and services, which can add up to 10% of gross sales.

4) Stock market closings for- 20 JUN 19:

Dow            26,753.17    up    249.17
Nasdaq         8,051.34    up      64.02
S&P 500        2,954.18    up      27.72

10 Year Yield:     down   at    2.00%

Oil:    up   at    $57.16

19 June 2019

1) The pizza giant Domino’s will test pizza delivery using fully autonomous vehicles in Houston. Domino’s has been exploring this technology for the last two years with robot cars that had standby drivers for safety, but these robots will be human free. The Silicon Valley startup Nuro, who has been working with the grocery chain Kroger testing home delivery service, will provide the automobiles. Customers will be able to make orders via their smart phones, track progress of the cars, then use their smart phone to unlock the robot car to obtain their pizza.

2) Boeing Aircraft Co., the manufacture of the grounded 737 MAX, announce they have not received one single order for new airliners at the Paris air show. Their rival Airbus recorded orders and options for 123 new planes. Overall orders for this year’s Paris air show is expected to be the lowest since 2016, with emphasis on defense spending.

3) President Trump announced he will meet with China’s Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit, raising hopes of resumption of Chinese-American trade talks and a deal which will resolve the current trade war. The President says he will have extended meetings next week at the G-20 conference in Japan. News of the meeting coupled with expectations of near future cuts in the interest rates boost confidence in the markets.

4) Stock market closings for- 18 JUN 19 Stocks rally on news of US-China trade talks.

Dow                    26,465.54    up    353.01
Nasdaq                 7,953.88    up    108.86
S&P 500                2,917.75    up      28.08

10 Year Yield:     down   at    2.06%

Oil:    up   at    $53.97