29 September 2020

1) A railroad link between Alaska and Canada has been a dream for generations, because such a rail link would reduce Alaska’s costs for goods and services. It would also give Canada’s land locked oil-sands access to ports in Alaska, therefore making for more domestic oil reserves, but such a railroad line faces numerous steep challenges. President Donald Trump has endorsed such a proposal, but several regulatory agencies in both America and Canada must first approve such an undertaking before the first shovel full of dirt can be moved, and this is expected to take years to get permits. The Alaska-Alberta railway Development Corporation (A2A Rail) project would be privately funded costing about $17 billion dollars and would run about 1,600 miles.

2) The plague of wild fires continues in California with several new fires in Northen California consuming thousands of acres a day. The fires are consuming vineyards and destroying the wine business, including grape vineyards that have produced for over a hundred years. The heat wave continues to bring dry air into the conflagration, thus drying out vegetation to make ideal fuel for fires, while strong winds are fanning and spreading the flames. Fires are around the San Francisco area, the Napa-Sonoma wine region and Shasta County which are consuming land at a prodigious rate. Two major fires are the Zogg Fire, which has burned through 15,000 acres and the Glass Fire burning through 11,000 acres. The damage is being created so fast that estimates of dollar losses can not be reliably made.

3) The Congress continues to struggle with a second stimulus bill, the Democrats looking to score at the polls if passed before the election. The big question and holdup is the personal stimulus check to individuals and how much it will be this time. It now appears that $1,200 will be the maximum for individuals, but this time there will be restrictions which will lower the amount for many people based on how much their income is. After nearly two months of relative inactivity, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have agreed to resume negotiations.

4) Stock market closings for – 28 SEP 20:

Dow 27,584.06 up 410.10
Nasdaq 11,117.52 up 203.96
S&P 500 3,351.60 up 53.14 %

10 Year Yield: unchanged at 0.66%

Oil: up at $40.57

10 July 2020

1) There are predictions of a relentless heat wave to blanket the U.S. for the next several weeks. This heat wave is just starting in the South, but is expected to move north and east with 100 degree plus temperatures across Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic areas. The National Weather Service forecast record high temperatures from Friday to Tuesday with as much as 75 record highs broken. But the question isn’t how high the temperatures will get, but for how long? It is expected temperatures during the multiple week span will have only a few days of normal temperatures. These high temperatures are caused by heat domes, sprawling areas of high pressure bringing hot and dry conditions for days. Such phenomena have economic impacts such as high electricity consumption.

2) Walmart is reportedly close to launching Walmart+ in July, a membership program that closely resembles Amazon Prime. The service cost $98 per year and includes same-day delivery, fuel discounts and other perks. Originally to open this last spring, it was delayed because of the pandemic. Walmart has nearly 3,300 store pickup locations and more than 1,850 stores offer same day grocery delivery.

3) The Supreme Court ruled that the eastern half of Oklahoma can be considered Native American territory. The case originated from a conviction of Jimcy McGirt, a Native American, who claims his state conviction in 1997 for rape, should be overturned because Oklahoma lacks jurisdiction, that the Indian reservation had not been properly terminated by the Congress. This would mean the federal government would have jurisdiction, so McGirt would be subject to federal criminal laws instead of Oklahoma. The ruling effects half of Oklahoma and 1.8 million residents. Oklahoma fears the decision will create civil, criminal and regulatory turmoil.

4) Stock market closings for – 9 JUL 20:

Dow 25,706.09 down 361.19
Nasdaq 10,547.75 up 55.25
S&P 500 3,152.05 down 17.89

10 Year Yield: down at 0.60%

Oil: up at $39.59