8 January 2020

1) Coal consumption in America dropped sharply last year, reaching its lowest level since 1975, with power plants switching to cheaper natural gas and renewables. This shift has cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 10%, but other sources also contribute to growing planet warming pollution last year. The U.S. is the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide in the world, as well as other greenhouse warming gases, contributing 14% of all annual greenhouse emissions.

2) The federal government is close to selling a group of nursing homes it took over eighteen months ago, a result of the biggest default in the history of a government mortgage insurance program which provides critical support to the nursing home industry. The previous owner defaulted on $146 million dollar worth of mortgages leaving the government to take possession of the facilities, which they have been working to find new owner-operators.

3) A new pizza making robot was unveiled at this year’s CES (Consumer Electronis Show) in Las Vegas, which attracts 200,000 people across the world. The machine is placed adjacent to the oven so pizzas automatically go in for cooking. The robot can make up to 300 12 inch customized pizzas an hour, while making consistent pies. Several companies are engaged in developing pizza robots including Little Caesar’s and Domino’s. The robots for the fast food industry is growing in response to demands for a minimum wage of $15 an hour for restaurant workers.

4) Stock market closings for – 7 JAN 202:

Dow                28,583.68    down    119.70
Nasdaq            9,068.58    down        2.88
S&P 500           3,237.18    down        9.10

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.83%

Oil:    up   at    $63.21 

4 December 2019

1) Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal raised it’s ugly head again with the German public prosecutors raiding VW Wolfsburg headquarters looking for documents. The scandal broke in 2015, but there are still questions about newer engines which succeeded the diesel engines with fraudulent testing for emissions. So far, Volkswagen’s cheating test has cost the company about $33 billion dollars in fines, vehicle refits and legal costs.

2) Richmond California is moving to ban the export of coal through their port facilities citing coal dust pollution in parts of the town. Coming from western states such as Wyoming, the coal is shipped to China, India and other far east countries still making heavy use of coal fired electric generation plants. However, the city may be facing legal challenges against the city ban. Richmond, Stockton, Los Angeles and Long Beach are now the only major west coast ports that handle coal.

3) President Trump has suggested that the trade war with China could drag on for some time, that it might be better to wait until after the 2020 election to sign a trade agreement. The next deadline is 15 December when 15% levies on an additional $160 billion dollars in Chinese goods. The news cause another drop in the stock markets, in addition to the drop from news about metal tariffs on Brazil and Argentina.

4) Stock market closings for – 3 DEC 19:

Dow              27,502.81    down    280.23
Nasdaq           8,520.64    down      47.34
S&P 500          3,093.20    down      20.67

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.71%

Oil:    up   at    $55.99

23 August 2019

1) President Trump’s suggestion of buying Greenland is bringing to light international interest in the world’s largest island because of its geopolitical importance. Since World War II, there has been a strategic interest as a result of Atlantic shipping lanes. But the island nation also has stocks of natural resources such as coal, zinc, copper, iron and rare minerals. Even China has made proposals to Greenland for economic development. Some think that Greenland also harbors vast reserves of oil.

2) Twenty-two city municipalities have had their computer systems hacked and taken ransom, all simultaneously which indicates the ransom attacks is by a single unknown entity. So far, more than forty municipalities have been digitally hijacked this year, including major cities such as Baltimore and Albany. Most attacks are upon small cities and towns who have limited monetary resources for strong cyberdefenses or backing up data. There are more ransom ware attacks simple because they work and pay so well.

3) Foreign oil companies are leaving Canada to the tune of $30 billion dollars in the last three years. Canada’s oil industry has struggled to recovered from the 2014 crash in global oil prices, an industry that accounts for one fifth of Canada’s exports. The lack of pipelines has seriously effected Canada’s heavy crude prices for years. Consequently, capital is draining out of the industry effecting overall production and hence revenues.

4) Stock market closings for – 22 AUG 19:

Dow             26,252.24         up    49.51
Nasdaq          7,991.39         up    28.82
S&P 500         2,922.95    down      1.48

10 Year Yield:   up   at    1.61%
Oil:    up   at    $55.39