1) GM (General Motors) and UAW (United Auto Workers) have reached a tentative agreement to end the month old strike of auto workers. This agreement doesn’t bring an immediate end to the strike, because the workers must vote on the agreement first, which means the picket lines will remain in place for at least the next few days.
2) Weak retail sales figures are casting gloom over the future of the economy. The retail sales for America fell for the first time in seven months in September, on top of the weakness in manufacturing bringing fears of a weakening economy spreading. This is in addition to moderate job growth and weak service sector activity. This all opens the door for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again later this month. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy, so any slowdown in this area indicates a general slow down of the economy.
3) The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has given the go ahead for the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. The vote was split along party lines. This merger combines the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers and has been in the process for approval since April of 2018.
4) Stock market closings for – 16 OCT 19:
Dow 27,001.98 down 22.82 Nasdaq 8,124.18 down 24.52 S&P 500 2,989.69 down 5.99
1) The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) ruled in June that carriers can block robocalls for customers without them having to sign up for the service. So AT&T will enable its Call Protect service without the customer asking for it. Call Protect does three things, 1) detects and blocks fraudulent calls entirely, 2) flags telemarketers and spam calls, and 3) maintain a personal block list.
2) Walmart reports that China’s factories are now getting urgent and desperate, as concerned U.S. retailers accelerate moving out of the country. They predict that China will see more factory shutdowns as the trade war continues. Suppliers of retail goods from Asia are under increasing pressure to shift their sources to manufactures in other countries at a time when their margins are already very thin.
3) Airline giant American Airlines is having a nightmare summer with a cancellation rate eighteen times higher than Delta Airlines. Labor disputes with alleged slowdowns and adverse weather are major problems the airline faces in trying to maintain its customer base, something hard to do when 7,500 international and domestic flights are canceled with resulting loss of revenues. There are added financial losses in paying compensation, hotel and restaurant cost to stranded customers.
4) Stock market closings for – 10 JUL 19:
Dow 26,860.20 up 76.71 Nasdaq 8,202.53 up 60.80 S&P 500 2,993.07 up 13.44
1) The Democrats have introduced HR1644 or ‘Save the Internet Act’ reportedly to restore their Net Neutrality Rules, although the text of the bill has not be released as yet. These FCC rules were rescinded by the Trump administration. There are rumors that the bill will lump data communications (internet) into voice (telephone) communications which will then allow the internet to be taxed. Some consider this an attempt to circumvent the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, which explicitly exempted the internet from any taxation by any American government.
2) Bayer AG has lost a second trial over cancer causes by their major herbicide Roundup, resulting in a $80 billion dollar award. The jury found defect in Roundup, citing that Bayer failed to warn of product’s risk, but Bayer plans to vigorously defend Roundup in the future, and to also appeal the decision.
3) More retail stores are closing in 2019. In the first weeks of 2019, 23% more stores closed than the start of 2018. Expectations are for 5,000 stores to close in 2019, by 27 different retailers including Kohl’s, Target, Macys, Winn/Dixie and JC Penny.
4) 28 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,717.46 up 91.87 Nasdaq 7,669.17 up 25.79 S&P 500 2,815.44 up 10.07
It seems that two cell phone providers are seeking to merge in a global partnership. It has been noted that T-Mobile and Sprint are mergering to form a super cell phone network; which will then in place only bring about three top cell phone providers internationally.
The new company will be called T-Mobile. The deal is worth around $26.5 billion and values estimates the alliance to be worth around $150 billion after completion.
The merger can expect tough regulatory hearings on the formation of the partnership, especially by Chairman Ajit’s FCC, and select congressional committees.
Many analysts see the merger approving between 50%-60%, in passing regulatory approval. They also indicate the stakes are higher for Sprint then they are for T-Mobile, for regulatory approval. -SB