10 October 2019

1) PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric), the massive power supplier of California, has announced they are planning power outages for Northen and Central California which will effect an expected 800,000 customers in 31 counties to reduce the risk of wildfires in windy conditions. The Paradise fire and the 2017 Wind Country fires were ignited when wind blown power lines sparked. It is unknown what the economic impact will be from such a massive loss of electrical power that may last for days on end.

2) The prices for many popular drugs is rising far faster than inflation, more than twice the medical consumer price index since 2017. Prices may not be justified by clinical improvements to the drugs themselves. This is especially important for people with limited income, in particularly the elderly on fixed incomes who are the major consumer of drugs in America. This is at a time when President Trump is vowing to attack high drug prices in America.

3) American Airlines announced extensions of 737 MAX cancellations of flights through January 15, despite Boeing’s promises that the grounded jets would be flying again before year’s end. American said full year profit would be reduced by about $400 million dollars if the jet remained grounded through the second of November, and is likely to spill over into 2020.

4) Stock market closings for – 9 OCT 19:

Dow               26,346.01    up    181.97
Nasdaq            7,903.74    up      79.96
S&P 500           2,919.40    up      26.34

10 Year Yield:    up    1.59%

Oil:    down    $52.65

15 August 2019

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

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.58%

Oil:    down   at    $54.95

14 August 2019

1) Boeing aircraft has not received any new orders for their 737 MAX in six months. This could give Boeing’s competitor Airbus a major market advantage having made 389 commercial plane deliveries in the same six months, making Airbus the largest supplier of this market segment with its A320 design. The grounding of the 737 MAX has forced Boeing to park completed aircraft to await its air worthiness to be restored.

2) Signs of inflation are increasing as U.S. consumer prices increased broadly in July. Expectations are for the Federal Reserve to again cut interest rates next month as much as half a percentage point in September. Continue trade tensions between China and America out weight fears of inflation so interest rates will continue to remain low, if not go lower.

3) Fears grow that protests in Hong Kong, which have persisted for the last two months, could have a lasting detrimental effect on U.S. and global markets. Hong Kong operates with a high degree of autonomy from China, having its own currency and judiciary system. This is fueling the rising concerns of investors of a major violent eruption of conflict between Hong Kong and main line China, coupled with concerns over U.S. – China trade war and the total impact on the world markets. With Hong Kong a financial hub, an invasion by Chinese troops with sever repressive measures on the people could disrupt other markets across the world. Furthermore, violence with loss of life could make it impossible for President Trump to resolve differences with China.

4) Stock market closings for – 13 AUG 19:

Dow              26,279.91    up    382.20
Nasdaq           8,016.36    up    152.95
S&P 500          2,926.32    up      43.23

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.68%
Oil:    down   at    $56.73

1 July 2019

1) Consumer spending increased in May as well as prices creeping up too. Both point to a slowing economic growth and benign inflation pressures. These two facts gives the Federal Reserve more reason to cut interest rates next month. Inflation is under the 2% target for this year with a projected 1.5% verses 1.8% originally expected. Consumer spending is about two thirds the U.S. economy.

2) Consumerism is changing fast, with a push to ‘no cashier checkouts’. Amazon Go stores are pushing the technology where sales payment is made automatically just by picking out items and walking out the door. E-commerce and on-line shopping continue their assault on traditional brick and mortar stores. Another strategy is showrooms in place of stores that allow the customer to try out products prior to purchasing them. Finally, drone delivery allows getting your purchases at home in less time than it takes to drive to and from a store. All these new technologies are coming together with increased profits by reducing labor cost.

3) The weekly jobless claims has increased more than expected, although there is no sign of significant layoffs as the economy slows down. Unemployment claims were 227,000 up by 10,000. The economy is slowing with manufacturing sliding down and the trade deficient widening as consumer confidence ebbs.

4) Stock market closings for- 28 JUN 19: Results from bank stress test edged markets up. Best June performance since 1938.

Dow            26,599.96    up    73.38
Nasdaq         8,006.24    up    38.49
S&P 500        2,941.76    up    16.84

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.00%

Oil:    down   at    $58.20

30 April 2019

1) Reports are that China and the U.S. are nearing the conclusion of talks to overhaul their economic relationships. Talks are nearing a point where they will produce a deal or end with no agreement. These talks have been in progress for months and have included tariffs from both sides, and in the process have upset world markets. The biggest obstacle is agreeing on how to enforce an agreement.

2) This March, U.S. consumer spending has increased the most in nine years, driven by purchases of motor vehicles. However, fears of inflation remain mute, giving support to a stronger economic growth in the second quarter.

3) Corporate economists consider there will be slower U.S. growth in the future. They fear the tariffs recently imposed are a drag on growth. Still, they consider the economy will continue to expand, just not at a fast rate.

4) 29 APR 19 Stock market closings:

 Dow             26,554.39    up    11.06
Nasdaq           8,161.85    up    15.45
S&P 500          2,943.03    up      3.15

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.54%

Oil:    up   at    $63.57

25 April 2019

1) Boeing’s profits have plunged because of their 737 MAX problems, which has cost them one billion dollars so far. The fix for the aircraft is causing uncertainty in their earnings and how long it will take before the aircraft is re-certified for operating. There are further concerns over foreign re-certification taking longer than the FAA. Boeing had 4,600 unfilled orders for the 737 MAX.

2) Almost one half of American parents are cutting back on their retirement savings to help pay their adult children’s bills. Additionally, parents are not setting aside some amount of their earns for retirement savings, instead are helping their children pay bills. The average American needs three-quarters of a million dollars in savings to retire and maintain their standard of living.

3) Many major companies are raising prices, considering that raising prices a little will help increase profits. Some of these companies are the railroads, Kimberly-Clark, Procter and Gamble and Whirlpool. Rising wages and raising productivity will tend to increase inflation.

4) 24 APR 19 Stock market closings: Red across the board with everything down.

Dow           26,597.05    down    59.34
Nasdaq        8,102.02    down    18.81
S&P 500       2,927.25    down      6.43

10 Year Yield:     down   at    2.52%

Oil:      down   at     $65.74

21 March 2019

1) Fears of climate change is causing some retired seniors to pull up and move out of Florida, which for many years has drawn the ‘sixty plus year olds’ demographics for a life of peaceful retirement with its low cost of living, no income tax and nice warm weather. But the threat of hurricane damage from flooding and rising sea levels is also making the associated insurance cost soar, in turn causing retirees to reconsider and move more inland, the result some are claiming from global warming.

2) Losses from the flooding in Nebraska is estimated to be over one billion dollars with more flooding forecasted. But even worst is the anticipated impact on farmers. Last year, 19% of Nebraskan farms filed for bankruptcy, and many more are now anticipated to file as the consequence of the flooding pushes more farmers under.

3) The Feds have elected to not raise interest rates again this year, expecting an economic slowdown ahead. There isn’t any need to guard against inflation coupled with indicators of slower growth from household spending and business fixed investment. The GDP was 2.1% instead of the expected 2.3%.

4) 20 MAR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow                25,745.67    down     141.71
Nasdaq             7,728.97          up         5.02
S&P 500            2,824.23     down         8.34

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.54%

Oil:     down   at     $59.99

27 February 2019

1) Venezuela has 1,700,000% inflation rate, its money now so worthless that the people are now using the Columbia Peso to do business such as paying for labor and buying goods. This has come about because so many Venezuelans are buying what supplies they can get from Colombia.

2) Wal-mart announced they will no longer employ store greeters. This was a job that many handicapped people could do, and there are thousands of disabled workers whose jobs will be lost with limited prospects of re-employment. No reason was given, but the slump in big box retailing was most likely a significant factor.

3) The Central Bank Chief warns that dangers are brewing ahead, the bank closely watching the situation. While the current economy is heathy, fears of the impact of China’s and Europe’s economic future are of particular concern from effects of Brexit and trade negotiations. Also considers the Federal debt making an unstable economic environment.

4) 26 FEB 19 Stock market closings:

Dow               26,057.98    down    33.97
Nasdaq            7,549.30    down      5.16
S&P 500           2,793.90    down      2.21

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.64%

Oil:    up  at   $55.93    up   at    0.43

13 February 2019

New article posted below titled, “Failings of the Fourth Estate!”

1) The CIO of Vanguard investments expects stock market returns, for the next decade, to drop down from 8% to about 7%.

2) The national debt has topped $22 trillion dollars. The debt increase is accelerating as a result of the tax cut and congressional spending on domestic and military programs. Additionally, the mounting cost to fund social security and the retiring baby boomers is pushing federal spending up too.

3) In Venezuela the cost for a hamburger is now a months wages for the average worker, with inflation now over one million percent annual. Demonstrations mount against Maduro for not letting relief (food and medicine) convoys come in for his people. Maduro rejects foreign aid fearing it is a conspiracy to oust him. This issue could be a wedge between Maduro and the Venezuela military who he depends on to remain in power.

  4) 12 FEB 19 Stock market closings:

Dow                 25,425.76     up    372.65
Nasdaq             7,414.62     up    106.71
S&P 500            2,744.73     up      34.93

10 Year Yield:     up   at    2.68%

Oil:    up   at    $53.34

31 January 2019

1) German technology giant SAP takes a drop in the markets because of a one time write off charge.

2) Chinese purchases of US commercial property is at the lowest since 2012. For the last four quarters, the Chinese have sold more than they bought as the Chinese government pushes to bring money back into China in an effort to stabilize its currency. With China’s economic problems springing from the slowing down in its growth, this trend is expected to continue in 2019.

3) The Feds signal an end to interest rate hikes, with economic growth remaining strong and expected to continue, while fears of inflation are diminishing. Their announcement spurred the stock markets up.

4) 30 JAN 19    Stock market closings:

Dow             25,014.86    up     434.90
Nasdaq          7,183.08    up     154.79
S&P 500         2,681.05    up        41.05

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.70%

Oil:    down   at    $54.22