1) The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted the most in December, more than for a decade. Order volumes crashed to a near eleven year low with factory employment falling for a fifth straight month. The index of national factory activity fell to 47.2 last month from 48.1 for November and is the lowest reading since June 2009. A value of 50 or above indicates expansion, while below is contraction.
2) The electric auto maker Tesla sold more cars in 2019 than the two previous years combined. Tesla sold 367,500 cars in 2019, although its on the low end of the 360,000 to 400,000 cars the company estimated at the beginning of 2019. Its newly opened plant in China will sell its Model 3 automobile in China thus avoiding transport and import cost. China promises to be a major increase in Tesla sales for next year.
3) Despite worries by experts expecting a decline of spending by American consumers, many consider the consumer will keep the economy humming through the next year. This Christmas shopping season appears it will set new records in spending, despite trade tensions, Washington being absorbed in impeachment and oil prices creeping up. With the economy always on the minds of voters, a good economy bodes well for incumbents with 2020 being a presidential election year.
4) Stock market closings for – 3 JAN 20:
Dow 28,634.88 down 233.92 Nasdaq 9,020.77 down 71.42 S&P 500 3,234.85 down 23.00
1) The electric car company Tesla Inc is being sued claiming the company limited battery range of its older vehicles using software updates. The alleged intent was for Tesla to avoid costly fixes to defective batteries. The lawsuit is seeking class action status for thousands of Model S and X owners. The suit claims that older generation batteries had their range curtailed by an automatic software update. As a result of a battery fire, Tesla claims they are revising charge and thermal management settings via the software to further protect the battery and improve battery longevity.
2) The Chinese-American trade war hasn’t been bad for all nations, other nations are experiencing increase trade as a result of the war. Australia is the biggest beneficiary with exports to China of natural resources. Second is Switzerland, the third is Mexico which has replaced China as U.S. largest exporter. Fourth is Brazil who is benefitting from agricultural export to China and the fifth is Canada.
3) Malaysia is expanding its efforts to prosecute seventeen Goldman Sachs executives, who were allegedly involved in misleading investors in a $6.5 billion dollar bond sale. The bonds were for the state investment fund, 1 Malaysia Development Bhd or 1MDB. Charges include executives knowing that funds would be siphon off so Malaysia is also seeking to recoup funds and fees.
4) Stock market closings for – 9 AUG 19:
Dow 26,287.44 down 90.75 Nasdaq 7,959.14 down 80.02 S&P 500 2,918.65 down 19.44
1) The electric car manufacturer Tesla has been getting significant revenues by selling credits to other car makers who need to offset sales of polluting vehicles. General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler disclosed that they have reached agreements to buy federal greenhouse gas credits from Tesla. These companies want to bank their green credits for use later when emission rules get tougher, especially if democrats regain the White House.
2) Bond yields are dropping at the fastest rate since th 2008 global financial crisis, in anticipation that the Federal reserve will cut interest rates to counter the fallout from the trade tensions. The two year Treasury yield has fallen for five straight days. This is likely to have damaging effects on business confidence as businesses become more concerned with future growth.
3) The U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell by more than 2 points in May, the lowest level since September 2009, 6 points over the last year. This index reflects a drop in new orders or postponement of orders due to the uncertainty of the economic future. Manufactures are having to hold selling prices lower because of diminished sales, which in turn is squeezing profits.
4) 3 JUN 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 24,819.78 up 4.74 Nasdaq 7,333.02 down 120.13 S&P 500 2,744.45 down 7.61
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
1) The electric car manufacturer Tesla announced a 7% cut of their full-time staff. The company faces very difficult times ahead in selling affordable renewable energy products, in part because the ending of some tax credits.
2) China economic growth slows down to 6.6%, the lowest in 25 years, with a forecast of 6.3% for this year. China constitutes one third of the global growth.
3) The International Monetary Fund cuts world economic growth forecast because of the risk stemming from Brexit as well as China’s slowing growth.
4) 22 JAN 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 24,404.48 down 301.87 Nasdaq 7,020.36 down 136.87 S&P 500 2,632.90 down 37.81