1) President Trump has proposed easing restrictions after the 15 day shutdown ends next week, to restart the devastated U.S. economy. But many states protest this as too soon, that the spread of the coronavirus will just resume with the efforts thus far wasted. The apex of the outbreak could still be 14 to 21 days away. So far, more than 42,000 Americans have contracted COVID-19 with about 620 having died. The World Health Organization warned that the United States could possible become the next epicenter of the pandemic. The virus has shuttered thousands of businesses, throwing millions out of work with state governors ordering about 100 million people (one third of the nation’s population) to stay at home. Economic activity has ground to a halt in major cities.
2) First economic data coming in shows the U.S. is now in a recession, with the biggest economic slump on record for March. Various metrics and indexes of economic activity show the same thing, as the economies (both U.S. and global) grind to a halt. Some consider that once the ‘shelter in place’ and ‘none essential business close’ orders are lifted, that world business will just spring back into action as if nothing had happened. But many economist consider the recession will just deepen with jobs already being slashed at a pace not witnessed since the 2009 global financial crisis. Small businesses don’t have the cash to weather even a short shutdown, and many will fail, which in turn will drag other larger businesses down too.
3) Due to the coronavirus, the revenues for the US Postal Service has drastically dropped off leaving the service short of cash needed for operations. There are warnings in Congress that the USPS may have to cease operations in June, forcing layoffs of thousands of postal employees. The service will require massive infusion of government funds to ensure continual operations necessary for American society. Additionally, postal workers are also falling victim to the infection with 13 already reported sick.
4) Stock market closings for – 24 MAR 20: The Dow had its single largest point gain in a single day.
Dow 20,704.91 up 2112.98 Nasdaq 7,417.86 up 557.18 S&P 500 2,447.33 up 209.93
1) Walt Disney’s Star War’s empire has been fading at the box office with many fans finding the new offerings less than anticipated. The last chapter of the Star Wars series, The Rise of Skywalker, is being heavily promoted to halt the financial slide. In playing up the nostalgia aspects and the fact that this will be the last Star Wars release for years, they are trying to reverse the downward slide of the franchise, which Walt Disney purchased from George Lucas for $4 billion dollars in 2012.
2) Ford Motor Company plans to invest more than $1.45 billion dollars in two of its manufacturing facilities in Detroit, to make electric, autonomous and sports-utility vehicles. The new manufacturing will add 3,000 jobs, with Ford saying it will invest $11 billion dollars to make forty new hybrid and fully electric vehicles by 2022.
3) Fears continue that Boeing’s halting of the 737 MAX production could have serious impact on the U.S. economy next year. This production halt is anticipated to go until March and April of next year. Presently, Boeing has 400 airplanes in storage awaiting delivery. The production halt will impact everything from airlines to parts manufacturers, with a supply chain consisting of hundreds of firms and tens of thousands of workers. This widely diversified economic network makes forecasting the total economic impact of Boeing very difficult.
4) Stock market closings for – 17 DEC 19:
Dow 28,267.16 up 31.27 Nasdaq 8,823.36 up 9.13 S&P 500 3,192.52 up 1.07
1) The oil cartel OPEC and their allies are being called on for dramatic action to avert a crash in oil prices. They are being called on to cut production of crude oil to keep oil prices high, while the world is facing a looming flood of oil from American production. If they don’t restrict production, the world faces an oversupply of about 800,000 barrels per day in the first half of 2020.
2) Businesses are under a constant threat of ransomware attacks with increasing consequences of financial loses. Every business or organization from large corporations, health care systems, universities and small businesses are at risk. These targets must use defensive methods, but those costs time, money and resources to do. The FBI estimates there are several thousand ransomware attacks each day.
3) Stock market closings for – 4 DEC 19:
Dow 27,649.78 up 146.97 Nasdaq 8,566.67 up 46.03 S&P 500 3,112.76 up 19.56
1) The new streaming service Disney+ has surpassed ten million sign-ups since its launch Tuesday. In response Disney’s stock is up slightly while Netflix shares are down 1%. While there were technical problems connecting at first, that didn’t prevent customers from flooding the sign up page. The initial signup is for a free seven day trial, so it’s unknown how many will continue with the pay service.
2) In October, consumer prices rose the most in seven months as the price for gasoline was higher, along with medical treatment and recreation. But in general, inflation remained low and fairly stable, with consumer price index jumping 0.4%, primary from rising cost of energy. While gas prices surged upwards 3.7% in October, it’s still less than what Americans were paying a year ago.
3) The ever expanding corporate giant Google will offer personal checking accounts next year in partnership with Citigroup Inc and a small credit union at Stanford University. To be called Cache, it is intended to follow Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc into the financial industry. Google’s strategy is to deeply partner with banks and the financial system.
4) Stock market closings for – 13 NOV 19:
Dow 27,783.59 up 92.10 Nasdaq 8,482.10 down 3.99 S&P 500 3,094.04 up 2.20
1) Fears are growing that the world is moving towards an economic crisis, based on signs from Washington and Wall Street, starting with President Trump’s retreat from adding new tariffs. The stock market rose over the news meaning Christmas had been saved for this year’s sales. But the bond market wasn’t as optimistic, the rates dropping indicating a lack of confidence in the future economy. Called an inverted yield curve, it signals investors expect a weak growth and lower inflation over the years.
2) The troubling signals from the bond market caused the stock markets to drop, with the Dow dropping 800 points to erase all of Tuesdays gains. Worried about the state of the economy, investors are rushing to long term safe haven assets, pushing the yield on 30 year Treasury bonds to a new record low. The Cboe Volatility Index jumped to a high of 22.
3) The financial problems plaguing Boeing aircraft from the 737 MAX grounding may delay or even cancel Boeing’s next airliner design, the 797. A mid-size airplane, the aviation industry expected Boeing would go ahead with a new design, but the sever loses from the 737 MAX are now casting doubt on that happening, especially if the world economy does deteriorate. The 797 is expected to be a long range jet seating about 250 passengers. The design would make extensive use of light weight composites giving good fuel economy and range. Additionally, engineering resources are being pulled away from the 797 to work the 737 MAX problem.
4) Stock market closings for – 14 AUG 19:
Dow 25,479.42 down 800.49 Nasdaq 7,773.94 down 242.42 S&P 500 2,840.60 down 85.72
1) The once high flying German Deutsche Bank has run aground rapidly slashing jobs and losing a ton of money. Stock for Germany’s biggest lender is trading at a near all time low. This is a result of poor management and failing to fully clean up its crisis era balance sheet. The banks restructuring efforts have fell short coupled with countless legal black eyes that have all contributed to the bank’s financial woes.
2) The pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Mylan have announced they are combining to create a global powerhouse in the low price drug market. Pfizer will gain most control of the company with 57% ownership, with Mylan shareholders owning the rest. Both companies lost exclusive manufacture rights from patent expirations, that were big money makers for the companies. Mylan, is the manufacturer of the emergency treatment for allergic reactions, the EpiPen. Mylan has recently been in the news for raising the price of EpiPens by 400%.
3) J.C. Penney, the 117 year old department store chain, is at risk of being de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange. To counter its downward spiral, the company has hired advisers to explore debt restructuring. Penney has $4 billion dollars in debt coming due in the next few years, while its revenues are increasingly being lost to sales on the internet and niche brands. Revenue has fallen over the last three years. The retail giant Sears has suffered similar troubles.
4) Stock market closings for – 29 JUL 19:
Dow 27,221.35 up 28.90 Nasdaq 8,293.33 down 36.88 S&P 500 3,020.97 down 4.89
1) Tesla, the manufacture of all-electric automobiles, has suffered a worse than expected loss. Additionally, there has been another major management shakeup, all of which is casting doubts on the future of the unique automaker. While Tesla delivered a record number of cars in its second quarter, its stock dropped 14% with a loss of $1.12 per share. Nevertheless, Tesla has opened twenty-five new stores and service centers.
2) Concerns grow that the trade tensions may be pushing U.S. economic growth downwards. Fears that the gross domestic product figures due out this Friday will show business investment has weakened. Additional factors stem from slow global growth and falling oil prices. The gains in jobs and wages are preventing growth from sinking. It’s anticipated that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates by a quarter point to check softening of the economy.
3) Nissan, the world automobile manufacture, has announced the layoff of 12,500 employees worldwide, or about 10% of its work force. Nissan is striving to rein in the costs increases incurred during the former CEO Carlos Ghosn tenure and alleged financial misconduct. Japan’s number two automaker has suffered a collapse in its quarterly profits, a result of sluggish sales and rising cost. This is another indication of the world’s depressed auto market with other renowned automakers like Ford suffering similar major financial problems.
4) Stock market closings for – 25 JUL 19:
Dow 27,140.98 down 128.99 Nasdaq 8,238.54 down 82.96 S&P 500 3,003.67 down 15.89
1) Despite the world wide forces that normally pushes oil prices higher, the oil markets remain surprisingly flat. Available oil has dropped with the embargos on Venezuela and Iran, plus tensions over the Strait of Hormuz which would have normally pushed oil prices up. But at the same time, consumption has dropped with China leading the way, plus U.S. oil production continues to creep up. The International Energy Agency recently cut its expectations for global demand for 2019 and 2020.
2) Ford Motor Company stumbles in its attempt for global growth, in particular in trying to expand its market in China. Ford’s auto sales in China are down 27% for the first six months. Ford is being threatened by much improved Chinese’s domestic brands, resulting in a speedy and deep decline in Ford’s sales in China. So Ford is now counting on introducing new-models to revive its sales. Auto sales in China are softening as the Chinese economy slows and with the uncertainty over trade relations with America.
3) American farmers now facing a third obstacle to profits with a stifling heat wave spreading across the continent this summer. First, farmers faced the trade war with China imposing counter tariffs which dropped the demand for food products from one of their biggest customers. Then torrential rains flooded farmland delaying planting of crops and harvesting. Now droughts threaten to severely limit production and harvests. Many farmers may be facing financial disaster by the end of this year, not having the monetary resources to hold out for a better next year.
4) Stock market closings for – 22 JUL 19:
Dow 27,154.20 down 68.77 Nasdaq 8,146.49 down 60.75 S&P 500 2,976.61 down 18.50
New article posted below titled, “Failings of the Fourth Estate!”
1) Civil unrest continues to spread across Europe, from France, to Italy and Serbia. The yellow vest protesters in France tried to cross from France into Italy to join with the Italian protesters. Also, the protest by the separatist continues in Spain.
2) Generation-Z is doing the least preparations financially of the previous generations, only 16% doing any financial planning what so ever. They have higher credit card debt, spend big on nonessential things and have little savings.
3) The Chinese stated that trade talks are going remarkably well, giving hope that the trade war may yet be alleviated. Presently, there is a 10% tariff on $200 billion dollars, nearly half of China’s imports to the US, which will increase to 20% next week.
4) 11 FEB 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,053.11 down 53.22 Nasdaq 7,307.90 up 9.71 S&P 500 2,709.80 up 1.92
China is still aiming to produce institutional reforms, among their “trade disputes” with the United States. China is seeking to reform trading and international business practices with the international business community, so they can be apart of a transparent open global economy.
Talks among U.S. and Chinese officials did not amount to any agreement last month (August 2018), but talks seem to be ongoing while many experts believe nothing may come to fruition from the trade talks.
The United States believes it is gaining on the trade war against China, as Chinese economy contracts and their financial markets slow down. -SB