6 September 2019

1) The Exxon Mobil oil giant agreed to sell its Norwegian oil and gas assets for as much as $4 billion dollars. The U.S. firm is exiting from production in the country after more than a century doing business there. In 2017, Exxon produced 170,000 barrels of oil per day from its Norwegian operations. The shares in Exxon, the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, rose 1.7% on the news.

2) The announcement that China and America would resume trade talks pushed the price of oil up from optimism of an improving world economy. Chinese trade negotiators will come to Washington in early October for talks. Gasoline and distillate supplies fell, as well as stockpiles in storage.

3) Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman, forecast that negative rates will soon spread to the U.S. Negative rates are now in Belgium, Germany, France and Japan with $16 trillion dollars in negative yielding debt instruments around the world. Ten year sovereign bonds are trading with a negative rate. The thirty year U.S. rate is trading at 1.95% reaching an all time low.

4) Stock market closings for – 5 SEP 19:

Dow                   26,728.15    up    372.68
Nasdaq                8,116.83    up    139.95
S&P 500               2,976.00    up       38.22

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.56%

Oil:     down   at    $56.17

27 June 2019

1) Ikea, the pioneer of inexpensive self-assembled home furniture is adapting its manufacturing and marketing methods to inexpensive housing. Sections for homes will be built in factories, then quickly assemble into ready to move-in houses. Bringing the factory manufacturing techniques to homes would significantly reduce the cost as compared to the hand built housing techniques now used. This could open the way to home ownership by the younger generations.

2) Despite the continual upsurge of the markets, Americans aren’t convinced the economy is doing well. A survey shows 39% of U.S. consumers believe the economy is ‘not so good’ or even poor. Lower income Americans are not doing as well as macro indicators would suggest, despite getting more raises recently. These gains don’t offset years of high unemployment and stagnant wages.

3) A huge drop in U.S. crude oil inventories and the outlook for demand has pushed oil futures prices up to near $60 dollars a barrel. Domestic stockpiles fell by 12.8 million barrels last week, the biggest drop in supplies since September 2016. In the past week, oil futures have jumped 10%, with the traditional expected increase in oil demand with summer driving. Gasoline reserves are further aggravated by the fire at Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the East Coast’s largest refinery.

4) Stock market closings for- 26 JUN 19:

Dow                    26,536.82    down    11.40
Nasdaq                  7,909.97          up    25.25
S&P 500                 2,913.78     down      3.60

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.05%

Oil:    down   at    $59.21

18 April 19

1) Increase in spending on gasoline and cars is expected to boost retail sales for March above the dismal sales of February. These numbers are being watched closely because there are conflicting statistics in reports that will indicate if there is a down turn of the economy. The retail sales numbers are the last to be coming in.

2) Contributions to restore Notre Dame continue to come in, now totaling almost one billion dollars. Notre Dame didn’t have any insurance, but Lloyds of London estimates that full restoration will require about eight billion dollars. Initial investigation found that the church structure came close to total collapse.

3) Fears of ‘medicare for all’ caused the health care stocks to drop. So far, health insurance and hospital stocks are down about $28 billion dollars, but in general today’s markets closed unchanged.

4) 17 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow            26,449.54    down    3.12
Nasdaq         7,996.08    down    4.15
S&P 500        2,900.45    down     6.61

10 Year Yield:    unchanged   at    2.59%

Oil:    down   at    $63.75

17 April 2019

1) The Russian company Rusal plans to build an up-to-date $200 million dollar aluminum rolling mill in Kentucky, which they intend to start construction of after sanctions have been lifted. The mill will provide about 1,500 jobs and is expected to open in 2021.

2) Gasoline prices are quickly rising to the three dollar a gallon mark, even four dollars for parts of California. This rise in price is attributed to several different factors, such as problems with loss of refinery capacity, reduced production from OPEC, higher domestic consumption, flooding reducing grain production for ethanol and sanctions on oil exporting countries.

3) Donations are already coming in to restore Notre Dame less than twenty-four hours after the fire. So far, several billionaires have contributed $700 million dollars to restore the 850 year old church. No doubt, the restoration will require substantially more money and will probably take decades to accomplish.

4) 16 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow            26,452.66    up    67.89
Nasdaq         8,000.22    up    24.21
S&P 500        2,907.06    up      1.48

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.59%

Oil:    up   at    $64.29