27 November 2019

1) Farmers are facing a potential $24.5 billion dollar market for pork in China within ten years if America can gain unrestricted trade access. The reason is that Asian hog herds have been devastated by the disease of African swine fever. The disease has driven up the price of pork, a major staple of the Chinese diet, by more than 69%. There is a 12% duty on frozen pork, which the Chinese added a 60% punitive tariff, with China imposing customs restrictions to non-frozen pork.

2) U. S. home prices increased modestly over the last year with a 2% annual gain. Housing prices have increased for the last seven years, making houses unaffordable for many. Prices have steadily outpaced wage growth for several years. The low interest rates have helped alleviate the problem.

3) The arts and crafts retailer chain A.C. Moore is closing all of its 145 stores, although up to 40 of these closing locations will become Michaels, another arts and craft retail chain. Retailers nation wide have succumb to the changing patterns of American consumerism, with nearly 9,100 store closures in 2019, including big name well known stores such as Payless ShoeSource, Dressbarn and Gymboree.

4) Stock market closings for – 26 NOV 19:

Dow                28,121.68    up   55.21
Nasdaq             8,647.93    up   15.44
S&P 500            3,140.52    up     6.88

10 Year Yield:   down  at   1.74%

Oil:    unchanged  at   $57.91

29 May 2019

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

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.27%

Oil:    down   at    $59.06