13 June 2019

1) Demand for oil is shrinking as the trade war causes the world economies to retract. China’s economy is slowing faster than experts had expected, with the EU and US also not growing in oil demand. Fears that oil prices will drop below $40 a barrel fuel fears of a continual global slowing of economies. The U.S. boom in domestic oil production using fracking is dependent on high oil prices, and with American petroleum stocks at an all time high, it may not be feasible to continue fracking.

2) With mortgage rates dropping to their lowest level in nearly two years, there has been a surge in refinancing applications. In just one week, applications increased 26.8%, which is 41% greater than a year ago. Refinance mortgages are the most rate-sensitive because when low, people rush to refinance while they can get the lower rates.

3) For the second straight month, Boeing aircraft reports no new aircraft sales. The drop isn’t just because of the 737 MAX grounding, but the company already has a massive 5,000 aircraft backorder to fill, so many customers don’t need to place additional orders. With the airline Jet Airways halting operations, their pending sales contracts have been canceled, which totaled 71 aircraft.

4) Stock market closings for- 12 JUN 19:

Dow           26,004.83    down    43.68
Nasdaq        7,792.72 down    29.85 
S&P 500          2,879.84    down      5.88 

10 Year Yield:   down   at    2.13% 

Oil:    down   at    $51.08

12 June 2019

1) For the sixth straight month of a gold buying spree, China continues to add to it’s gold reserves under the protracted trade war. China added 58 tons of gold to its reserves in the five months to April, then added 15.86 tons in May. At this rate China could buy as much as 150 tons of gold in 2019, as they diversify away from the U.S. dollar.

2) The retailer giant Amazon has opened a second cashier-free store in New York, which makes the thirteenth ‘Amazon Go’ store to open in America. The convenience robot store is about 1,700 square feet with Amazon announcing its fourteenth store will open in San Francisco. By 2021, Amazon may open as many as 3,000 of these robot retailing stores which threaten other retailers like 7-Eleven shops, CVS and Walgreens.

3) Ten state attorney generals plan to jointly file a lawsuit to stop the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. The $26 billion dollar merger will reduce the number of nationwide wireless carriers to three. So far, the deal has won the backing of the majority of the FCC, which makes the Federal Government in favor of the move.

4) Stock market closings for 11 JUN 19:

Dow            26,048.51    down    14.17
Nasdaq         7,822.57    down      0.60
S&P 500        2,885.72    down      1.01

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.14%

Oil:    down   at    $53.05

6 June 2019

1) The trade war continues to escalate as China takes action against American companies operating in China proper. China is levying fines on Ford’s joint venture for antitrust violations. Changan Ford Automobile Co. will be fined $23.6 million dollars for restricting retailers sale prices. Fed-Ex has recently come under Chinese scrutiny for ‘wrongful’ deliveries. China has threaten to blacklist foreign firms which damage domestic companies’ interests. Chinese citizens are being warned against travel to America, thereby restricting income from tourism and business reaching America.

2) The video game retailer GameStop, with over 5,700 retail outlets, is in decline, and was the place to go to buy video games and virtual reality products. But their sales have been in significant decline, with attempts to use e-commerce to counter the downward slide being of no help. Their forecast for next year show little improvement to its deteriorating business as their business migrates over to Amazon.

3) Bernie Sanders has made good his promise to take his fight for the common worker to Walmart’s annual stockholders meeting, to demand that Walmart workers be given a place on their board of directors. He introduced a shareholder proposal which would make roughly 1.5 million hourly workers eligible for board nominations. Sanders’ consider this move a way to separate himself and his policies from the democratic presidential nomination pack. Walmart is one of the huge American retailers pushing for new robotic technology to use in their stores.

4) Stock market closings for 5 JUN 19:

Dow             25,539.57    up    207.39
Nasdaq          7,575.48    up      48.36
S&P 500         2,826.15    up      22.88

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.12%

Oil:    up   at    $51.69

3 June 2019

1) The rife between China and America stands to grow deeper with less chance of resolving relationships, with China threatening a hit list of ‘unreliable’ foreign firms. These are individuals and groups who they consider harm the interest of Chinese companies. The threat is retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods imported into China. These last two weeks have been a war of words as the nations exchange economic threats.

2) Chicago based nursing home chain collapses leaving the federal government on the hook for millions of dollars. First sign was when the owners stop making mortgage payments in 2014. Reportedly, money meant for the thirteen nursing homes were diverted to prop up another investment. This failure is revealing the problems that HUD is having in helping obtain facilities for the elderly by providing affordable loans.

3) Trade wars may expand again with threats by President Trump to impost a 5% tariff on goods imported from Mexico, if Mexico doesn’t do more to stop the flow of illegal immigrates. Tariffs are due to start on 10 June, and will increase in 5% increments until the flow halts. This is coming at a time when more Mexican immigrates are returning to Mexico than are coming, highlighting that the immigration is from other South American countries.

4) 31 MAY 19 Stock market closings: Oil prices sink toward worst May in 7 years from trade war fears.

Dow           24,815.04    down    354.84
Nasdaq        7,453.15    down    114.57
S&P 500       2,752.06    down      36.80

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.14%

Oil:    down   at    $53.36

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

29 May 2019

1) Reports continue of a General Motors and Ford merger in the near future, both are in deep financial trouble. The proposed merger would make the new company the third largest in the world, behind Toyota and Volkswagen. Car sales have flattened in the U.S. and are dropping in China, which are the two largest car markets in the world. There are also questions of how successful Ford can enter the electric and hybrid car markets.

2) Amazon, the worlds largest retailer, is starting to purge many of its small vendors, and concentrate on large major brands like Lego, Procter & Gamble and Sony to better compete with the large traditional retailers such as Target and Walmart. This will be one of the biggest shifts in Amazon’s strategy since it started using independent sellers, and is scaring the daylights out of many smaller companies.

3) The prices for homes is rising at its slowest pace in six years, down 2.7% from last year’s 3%. Price gains in hot cities like San Francisco have cooled, which is causing sellers to pull in their price increases. The home and auto segments of the economy constitute one half of the U.S. economy.

4) 28 MAY 19 Stock market closings:

Dow              25,347.77    down    237.92
Nasdaq           7,607.35    down      29.66
S&P 500          2,802.39     down     23.67

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.27%

Oil:    down   at    $59.06

24 May 2019

1) Oil prices dropped liked a brick in its worst day of trading in 2019, the result of jitters over trade with China. The price of oil serves as a barometer to the world economic outlook, with a slowing of the world economy translating into a lesser demand for oil and therefore lower oil prices. The situation is aggravated by a surprise jump in American crude stockpile, with inventories up by 4.7 million barrels. The stock market reflected the world economic situation by massive drops too.

2) Panasonic electronics is joining a growing list of firms distancing themselves from Huawei, by stopping their supplying of some electronic parts to Huawei. Companies are declining to do business with Huawei because of warnings from U.S. intelligence that Huawei presences a security risk with their new 5G technology, which will allow the Chinese military to use smart phones to gather foreign intelligence.

3) President Trump announced $16 billion dollars in farm aid to offset the losses by farmers in the ten month long trade war. Distribution of aid payments will be based on where they farm rather than what crops they till. Farmers were a key constituency that help bring victory to President Trump, and they have been the hardest hit from the trade wars with China. China used to import 60% of U.S. soy bean production.

4) 23 May 19 Stock market closings: Dow tumbles 400 points as trade war worries continue.

Dow            25,490.47     down    286.14
Nasdaq         7,628.28     down    122.56
S&P 500        2,822.24     down      34.03

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.30%

Oil:    up   at    $58.19

21 May 19

1 ) The stock for electric auto maker Tesla fell today as the car maker faces an uphill battle to become profitable in the second half of the year. Delivery of its new cars are way down from sales forecast, with Tesla stock closing down 2.7%, the lowest in two and a half years. Additionally, Tesla may be facing severe financial consequences from a fatal crash involving their Autopilot system.

2) The fallout from Huawei being blacklisted in America has caused the stock market to fall. Huawei uses electronic components in their product line, high technology parts that can’t be procured from other vendors. The down side is these vendors have significant sales from Hauwei, which lowers their revenues.

3) The trade wars with China is threatening to close as many as 12,000 stores in America this next year. For the last two years, the closing of retail stores in America had been accelerating before the trade war started, the result of falling store traffic. Tariffs would cause price increases at a time when consumers are increasingly reluctant to spend their money. All ready, the closure of 6,400 retail stores have been announced.

4) 20 MAY 19 Stock market closings:

Dow              25,679.90    down     84.10
Nasdaq          7,702.38    down   113.91
S&P 500         2,840.23    down      19.30

Year Yield:    up   at    2.42%

Oil:   up  at  $63.30

20 May 2019

1 ) Hewlett Packard is buying the supercomputer maker Cray for $1.4 billion dollars. HP is intent on strengthening it position against IBM by expanding its high end computer line, expanding into AI (Artificial Intelligence), Internet of things and distributed computing offerings, and is expecting to see a return on investment in the next two years.

2) There are reports that the U.S. China trade talks have been put on hold, causing a reversal of the markets. The holdup is the increased scrutiny of Chinese telecom companies. This scrutiny is making it harder for Chinese companies such as Huawei to do business with U.S. companies.

3) Airline baggage fees is becoming an increasingly lucrative source of income. The U.S. airlines brought in $4.9 billion dollars from luggage fees, an 80% increase from 2009. Typical fees is $30 for the first bag, $40 for the second and $150 for the third. There are also expensive payments for heavy or oversize bags.

4) 17 MAY 19 Stock markets closing:

Dow                  25,764.00     down    98.68
Nasdaq              7,816.28      down    81.76
S&P 500             2,859.53 down 16.79

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.39%

Oil:    down   at    $62.71

17 May 2019

1) The worst case for China in the trade war is slow growth, rising debt with companies exiting. If China’s growth should tumble, her debt would surge resulting in foreign companies fleeing a worsening business environment. The escalating economic clash with America is exacerbating the existing economic jitters across the world.

2) In the worsening trade war China, the largest owner of US debt, is selling off it’s Treasury holdings at the fastest rate in the last two years. China holds $1.12 trillion dollars, or about 7% of America’s total debt. China has been threatening to either not buy additional Treasury bonds or even selling off its holdings in retaliation for US actions in the trade war.

3) Pinterest Inc. stock has dropped more than 15% after it released its first earnings report. This is just twenty trading days after their IPO (Initial Public Offering). Pinterest explained the earnings drop as a result that the reported period was before the IPO, plus an increase in cost as a result of hiring of new employees.

4) 16 MAY 19 Stock market closings: Third day of across the board of stock rises.

Dow            25,862.68    up    214.66
Nasdaq        7,898.05    up      75.90
S&P 500       2,876.32    up       25.36

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.41%

Oil:    up   at    $63.18