24 July 2019

1) Technology displacement is graphically illustrated by the print news media with over 2,000 newspapers having closed in the last fifteen years. Once among the largest employers in America, new technologies have continually reduced the work force of newspapers, especially after World War II with the rapid expansion of the electronic news media. Almost all the newspapers in America have financial troubles leaving their future in doubt. The electronic news media has also suffered massive loss of jobs over the decades as new technologies allow operations with fewer people.

2) Over production of eggs has created an oversupply of the food stuff, forcing prices down until producers are losing money. Exports have been down 12% further aggravating the oversupply situation, with the average cost for a dozen eggs now $1.20, which is 26% lower than a year ago. But experts consider the price has reached its low and will soon start creeping up.

3) California’s wine industry is suffering from the trade war with China imposing a 93% tariff on American wine products. This tariff has pushed the price of wine out of reach for most of China’s population, thus drastically reducing exports. This has dropped U.S. wine exports to China by 25% in 2018 with California accounting for more than 90% of America’s wine sales overseas. China is America’s fifth largest market.

4) Stock market closings for – 23 JUL 19:

Dow              27,349.19    up    177.29
Nasdaq           8,251.40    up      47.27
S&P 500          3,005.47    up      20.44

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.07%

Oil:    up   at    $57.17

30 May 2019

1) Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is pushing for measures to give workers a greater ownership in companies, thus transferring power and influence. This would be accomplished by requiring companies to periodically transfer stocks to a fund controlled by employees, giving workers a vote in managing the company while also receiving dividends. Nothing has been said on how to prevent companies from simply moving off shore, as has happened in the past.

2) Tesla, the manufacturer of electric automobiles, is gearing up for production of the Model Y, a crossover SUV with a simpler interior and longer range batteries with a reported 400 mile range. Tesla stock fell more than 10% last week over concerns of demand, profitability and the China-U.S. trade war.

3) Reportedly, China will use rare earths to retaliate against the U.S. in the trade war. This is a group of 17 chemical elements used in a wide range of products, from consumer electronics to military equipment. Chinese newspapers are filled with rhetoric asserting that the U.S. will have no option but to acquiescent to China’s economic policies. Eighty percent of U.S. rare earth imports come from China. However, this strategy by China may accelerate mining of rare earths in California and Australia.

4) 29 MAY 19 Stock market closings: Markets down over concerns of slowing economic growth.

Dow              25,126.41    down    221.36
Nasdaq           7,547.31    down      60.04
S&P 500          2,783.02    down      19.37

10 Year Yield:     down   at    2.24%

Oil:     up   at    $59.21

17 April 2019

1) The Russian company Rusal plans to build an up-to-date $200 million dollar aluminum rolling mill in Kentucky, which they intend to start construction of after sanctions have been lifted. The mill will provide about 1,500 jobs and is expected to open in 2021.

2) Gasoline prices are quickly rising to the three dollar a gallon mark, even four dollars for parts of California. This rise in price is attributed to several different factors, such as problems with loss of refinery capacity, reduced production from OPEC, higher domestic consumption, flooding reducing grain production for ethanol and sanctions on oil exporting countries.

3) Donations are already coming in to restore Notre Dame less than twenty-four hours after the fire. So far, several billionaires have contributed $700 million dollars to restore the 850 year old church. No doubt, the restoration will require substantially more money and will probably take decades to accomplish.

4) 16 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow            26,452.66    up    67.89
Nasdaq         8,000.22    up    24.21
S&P 500        2,907.06    up      1.48

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.59%

Oil:    up   at    $64.29

14 February 2019

1) Criticism continues to mount against the proposed ‘New Green Deal’, in particular the soaring cost it would entail. Although the plan has not been fleshed out enough to do accurate cost analysis, some objectives would need huge expenditures, just when the national debt has topped $22 trillion dollars, making the plan’s future doubtful. The recent massive failure of California’s high speed train and it’s cancellation is another stumbling block to the New Green Deal because it proposes a system of similar high speed trains to replace airliners.

2) The Ford Motor Company announced the recall of 1.5 million of their F150 pickups, which were manufactured from 2011 to 2013. Their six speed transmission has a software problem where it can suddenly down shift to first gear. This could cause loss of control and therefore crashes.

3) Fears are mounting over the $22 trillion dollar American public debt, which is mounting faster than the economy is growing, making it unsustainable. In addition to excess spending by the government, the growing numbers of ‘baby boomers’ retiring leaves not only increased spending obligations for the government, but less revenues coming in, while the younger people are making less monies and therefore paying in less thereby lowering revenues further.

4) 13 FEB 19 Stock market closings:

Dow            25,543.27   up   117.51
Nasdaq         7,420.38   up       5.76
S&P 500        2,753.03   up       8.30

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.71%

Oil:    up   at    $53.95

30 January 2019

1) California produce prices are going up because of labor shortages and increasing cost for labor. Agriculture workers are now under California’s minimum wage and overtime laws, plus mandated medical care. In response, farmers are turning more to automation to reduce labor cost and requirements. In the mean time, farm production is down which can further drive prices of produce up nation wide. Also, farming is moving off shore.

2) Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) filed for bankruptcy, which puts pending lawsuits on hold and will consolidate them in bankruptcy court.

3) Insurance losses for California wildfires top $11.4 billion dollars, from 46,000 insurance claims. The fires destroyed 13,000 houses and businesses and left 89 dead.

4) 29 JAN 19    Stock market closings:

Dow              24,579.96          up       51.74
Nasdaq           7,028.29     down       57.40
S&P 500          2,640.00     down          3.85

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.71%

Oil:    up   at    $53.37