10 April 2019

1) The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has reduced their forecasted for world economic growth from 3.5% to 3.3%, which is the third reduction since last October. It forecasted 2.3% growth for the US economy, as well as reduced growth forecast for Germany and Great Britain.

2) Walmart is rolling out thousands of robots for use in their retail stores across America. These robots will automatically scan shelves and clean floors. With a million employees, Walmart is seeking ways to keep labor cost down.

3) Bank of America is raising it’s minimum wage to $20 an hour over the next two years. Starting the first of May, the rate will increase to $17 per hour. The bank has 205,000 employees.

4) 9 APR 19 Stock market closings: Markets pulled down by industrial sector.

Dow             26,150.58    down    190.44
Nasdaq          7,909.28    down      44.61
S&P 500         2,878.20    down      17.57

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.50%

Oil:    up   at    $64.24

5 April 2019

1) German economic forecast for growth has been reduced as foreign industrial orders fall. Last year, Germany narrowly skirted a recession. The forecast for economic growth was reduced from 1.8% down to 1.0% due to slower global economic growth and the uncertainties from Brexit.

2) There are about 54,000 bridges in America which need urgent repair, and it’s estimated it will take 80 years to rebuild them. The report by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association says that about 9% of the highway bridges are deficient with 174 million vehicles crossing each day. On a rating scale of 0 to 9, a rating of 4 or below is considered deficient.

3) Oil prices briefly topped $70 for the best grade of crude oil, but was unable to hold because of signs of tightening global supplies plus uncertainty over world economic outlook. Prices were pushed up by forecast of declining OPEC exports.

4) 4 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow           26,384.63          up     166.50
Nasdaq        7,891.78     down        3.77
S&P 500       2,879.39           up        5.99

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.51%

Oil:    up   at    $62.18

27 December 2018

1) Economic growth revised downwards to 3.4% for the fourth quarter.

2) De Beers, the major marketeer of diamonds, is fighting back on lab-grown diamonds. For decades De Beers has refused to sell artificial diamonds, but the widen price gap is cutting into the sales of traditional diamonds, with artificial diamonds now 42% lower. With growing sales to the millennials, De Beers has invested in a factory to produce its own artificial diamonds.

3) The Dow had the largest single day gain in history of over 1000 points, a drastic reversal of the previous consecutive days of large losses. The sudden unexpected surge is driven by the best holiday retail sales season in six years, with $850 billion dollars in Christmas sales, making it a record breaking season. Fears abound that this will be reversed in the near future because of the troubled world economies.

4) 26 DEC 18 Stock market closings: Record breaking gains.

 Dow               22,878.45 up 1086.25
Nasdaq           6,554.36 up   361.44
S&P 500           2,467.70      up        116.60

10 Year Yield: up   at       2.80%

Oil: up    at      $46.62

24 DEC 18 Previous stock market closings (Monday):

 Dow               21,792.20 down 653.17
Nasdaq          6,192.92 down 140.08
S&P 500          2,351.10 down       65.52

10 Year Yield: down at 2.75%

Oil: up at $42.87