1) Brexit, the exit of Britain from the European Union, has been confirmed by the European Parliament with a vote Wednesday, which ratified the withdrawal agreement. The vote to ratify was 621 to 49 with 13 abstentions. For the EU (European Union) the loss of Britain represents a significant defeat, a loss of size, reach, momentum and permanence akin to the U.S. losing Texas. Potentially, the EU bloc now has less clout, although the remaining 27 countries have been drawn tighter together by the debate. Now comes the negotiations of EU’s future relationship with Britain to try and maintain the single open market.
2) Delta Air Lines and American Airlines announced they are suspending service to mainland China to counter the spread of coronavirus. It is expected that United Airlines is expected to soon follow suit. American will continue service to Hong Kong. Other world air carriers have also announced suspended or reduced services to China.
3) With the decision two years ago by the Supreme Court to widely legalize sports betting, companies are rushing in to expand sports betting operations. U.S. casino operators, fantasy apps and betting grands from Europe and Australia are in a race for American customers now that the way has been cleared for betting outside of Nevada.
4) Stock market closings for – 31 JAN 20: Fears of China’s coronavirus continue to push markets down.
Dow 28,256.03 down 603.41 Nasdaq 9,150.94 down 148.00 S&P 500 3,225.52 down 58.14
1) British Steel, Britain’s second biggest steel maker, collapsed on Wednesday. This leaves 5,000 jobs directly at risk, while also threatening another 20,000 at suppliers. The company had been seeking a $95 million dollar loan to cover losses suffered because of European orders lost from the uncertainty of Brexit. European steel manufactures have been under pressure from Chinese steel manufactures, with Europe taking antidumping measures against China.
2) The collapse of airline Wow Air is having a detrimental effect on Iceland’s economy. The airline had turn tourism into Iceland’s major economic boom which pulled Iceland out of its financial collapse over a decade ago. In addition, Iceland has suffered a disastrous fishing season. With Wow Air out of business, tourism is expected to drop dramatically.
3) The Dollar General store chain is making its millions of profit via catering to those in the lower economic strata. About 57% of Dollar General’s customers come from households of less than $49,000 yearly income, with 30% less than $25,000. The company has been able to sidestep the recent meltdown of retailing that has ravaged other big retailers, despite having a minimum of e-commerce.
4) 22 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,776.61 down 100.72 Nasdaq 7,750.84 down 34.88 S&P 500 2,856.27 down 8.09
1) Boeing has not received any new orders for its 737 since its grounding, in addition, Boeing has had 100 cancellations of orders. Its stock is down 19%, but worst its stockholders have filed a law suit against Boeing claiming the company has defrauded its investors because Boeing failed to disclosed safety issues concerning their 737 MAX-8.
2) British Prime Minister May has asked the EU (European Union) for a second extension. Britain will be leaving the EU this Friday if an extension is not granted, so the EU held an emergency summit to consider warnings that a crash-out might cause a recession. Last reports are that the EU will grant an extension to 31 October this year.
3) The ECB (European Central Bank) will leave interest rates steady, forecasting no change for 2019. The ECB is being forced to backtrack on its tightening monetary policy as signs of a world economic slowdown are increasing.
4) 10 APR 19 Stock market closing:
Dow 26,157.16 up 6.58 Nasdaq 7,964.24 up 54.97 S&P 500 2,888.21 up 10.01
1) The European Union has offered to extended the exit date in an effort to avoid a unplanned crash-out. Prime Minister May asked for an extension to 30 June, but the EU countered with a offer for a one year extension, which could be terminated early if an exit plan is agreed upon before the one year is up.
2) Samsung has forecast the lowest quarter profits in more than two years. The first quarter outlook looks ugly with a 15% decline from last years first quarter. The poor performance is a result of poor semiconductor sales coupled with a slowing growth in the smart phone market.
3) New jobs in March is six times that of February. The US added 196,000 new jobs, many claiming this indicates solid growth in the economy, and therefore the economy is doing just fine. But some worry about the unemployment rate holding steady, because an upturn in the unemployment rate usually signals a recession in the near future.
4) 5 APR 10 Stock market closings:
Dow 26,424.99 up 40.36 Nasdaq 7,938.69 up 46.91 S&P 500 2,892.74 up 13.35
1) Eviction crisis is starting to look a lot like the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Housing is increasingly out of reach for many Americans, which is resulting in increased incidents of evictions. This is an indicator of housing being priced out of reach for many people.
2) There has been another incident with Boeing’s 737 bringing further doubts to the design. Soon after a 737 MAX-8 took off, it developed an engine problem forcing it to return. Boeing announced that they were completing a software fix for the MAX-8 series, and are close to submitting it to the FAA sometime this week. The new software is reported to now use the inputs from two different sensors, which must agree before the program will accept the input.
3) Prime Minister May has announced her willingness to step down if Parliament will past her Brexit plan, but didn’t give a specific date. Parliament considered eight proposed strategies and voted on each one, with all eight being voted down. This leaves Britain right where she started, with time quickly running out.
4) 27 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,625.59 down 32.14 Nasdaq 7,643.38 down 48.14 S&P 500 2,805.37 down 13.09
1) Walmart has plans to compete with Amazon in the future, by using Jetblack personal shopping service to train AI systems. Jetblack has an army of human agents that can use in training Walmart’s AI system which can power an automatic personal shipping service in the next 5 to 7 years. This makes Jetblack more of a research facility.
2) The Chinese telecom company Tencent’s stock is down after the Chinese government imposed regulations designed to limit online games. They have suffered their largest decline in ten years with a 32% declined. Since smart phones is the biggest part of their business, this drop wiped off $100 billion dollars of book value.
3) The Prime Minister of Britain is trying to obtain a short extension of Brexit by going to Brussels. The major members of the European Union said they would endorse a short extension, but only if the British Parliament approves the exit plan. But British political parties are splintered over what should be done about Brexit.
4) 21 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,962.51 up 216.84 Nasdaq 7,838.96 up 109.99 S&P 500 2,854.88 up 30.65
1) The Green New Deal is bringing out proposals for financing the single payer health care proposals. There is a big problem with providing enough health care people such as doctors and nurses to care for the increase numbers of people. Suggestions for finance is an overhaul of present payroll tax combining social security, unemployment and medicare into one flat tax for all of a person’s income. However, apparently there has been no modeling of this strategy to determine its viability.
2) President Trump proposes to drop the preferential trade treatment for India. Presently, there are $5.6 billion dollars worth of Indian goods imported each year into America duty free, while India is imposing high tariffs on US goods imported into India.
3) As Brexit nears, British people and companies are stockpiling goods at an increasing rate, fearful of shortages if a ‘no-deal’ exit occurs. Both business and households are fearful of shortages especially food items first, then things like toilet paper and medicine.
4) 5 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,806.63 down 13.02 Nasdaq 7,576.36 down 1.21 S&P 500 2,789.65 down 3.16
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) PMI readings released for America, Japan and the Eurozone indicate a slowing down. This is a result of international tensions, with America having a one in four chance of a slowdown.
2) Honda announced it is pulling out of England, with a loss of 3,500 jobs. Honda claimed their decision wasn’t a result of Brexit, but Britain is considered to be a business friendly country and therefore a portal into the European Union, but with Brexit that will now be going away. Presently, about half the cars in Britain are Japanese models, and Honda’s withdrawal is raising fears that the other Japanese automakers will decide to also withdraw.
3) Fears deepen that the sharp rise of the yen may hurt Japan’s economy. Japan is plagued by low growth, tepid consumer purchases, fast falling of exports and an aging population, all which contribute to Japan’s economic woes.
4) 19 FEB 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,891.32 up 8.07 Nasdaq 7,486.77 up 14.36 S&P 500 2,779.76 up 4.16