30 September 2019

1) The White House is considering putting limits on U.S. investment in China, which would aggravate the protracted trade dispute between the two largest economies in the world. Advisers are discussing ways to limit U.S. investors’ portfolio flows into China, including limiting all U.S. investment in China. One possible method being considered is to delist Chinese companies on the U.S. stock exchanges thereby limiting American’s exposure to the Chinese market.

2) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex, the New York Representative, announced a comprehensive anti-poverty bill that would provide new protections for tenants, children, immigrants and other Americans who are increasingly vulnerable to the high cost of inequality. One part of the bill is a tenant rights bill which would significantly expand federal housing policy. This would include a cap on annual rent increases or rent control.

3) General Motors has reversed itself and reinstated health care benefits to its striking workers, as a result of sever criticism from politicians and social media. Normal procedure in strikes is for the cost of health care to shift from the company to the union. The strike of 49,000 GM workers has shut down 30 GM plants across the nation for nearly two weeks. The GM plant in Mexico has been forced to close due to parts shortages as a result of the strike.

4) Stock market closings for – 27 SEP 19:

Dow              26,820.25    down    70.87 
Nasdaq           7,939.63    down    91.03
S&P 500          2,961.79    down    15.83

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.68%

Oil:    $56.18

9 September 2019

1) Several state attorney generals will investigate Facebook for possible stifling competition and putting users at risk. This comes after reports that Google will face antitrust investigations from state attorney generals. The investigations will center on actions that endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices or increased the price of advertising. States investigating include New York, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and the District of Columbia.

2) President Trump unhappy at GM for decision to close four of its domestic auto plants. General Motors, which was once the giant automaker in Detroit, is now one of the smallest. GM has gone from 33 plants in the US to 29, but has an additional 27 manufacturing plants in China. Presently, GM sells more cars in China than it does in America. This accounts for $16 billion dollars in profit for GM.

3) The American consumer is carrying the U.S. economy in last quarter. The personal expenditures rose last quarter while business and residential investment, net exports and inventories have declined. There are concerns that consumers may rein in spending from fears of economic future. Global commerce is slowing, partly in response to the trade war, and without strong consumer spending it’s hard to see alternate sources of economic growth.

4) Stock market closings for – 6 SEP 19:

Dow               26,797.46         up     69.31
Nasdaq            8,103.07    down    13.75
S&P 500           2,978.71          up      2.71

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.55%

Oil:     up   at    $56.73

3 September 2019

1) Gold is renowned for being a panic investment, something that investors move their money into when fearing that sever financial troubles are coming. Investors are worried about political uncertainty that plagues world markets, and are pushing gold prices up to record highs. Real yields in the US have fallen to about zero which makes gold especially appealing as a safe haven.

2) The Price of oil falls as the trade war deepens stoking concerns over growth. Principal cause for concern is the trade war and the deterioration of manufacturing in China. Oil prices is considered a gage of economic health because slower growth means there will be less demand for oil, so prices drop. Furthermore, since oil is bought and sold as futures commodities, the price reflects anticipation of near future economic state of the world.

3) Owners of 98,000 Volkswagen AG U.S. vehicles which had fuel economy labels overstating efficiency will ask a U.S. judge for $26 million dollars. The EPA said the German automaker must forfeit greenhouse gas emissions credits and lower the fuel economy ratings on these vehicles after using software to falsify fuel efficiency ratings.

4) Stock market closings for – 2 SEP 19:

Markets closed for holiday.

7 August 2019

1) There are fears that the deepening China and American trade war may severely effect the fragile oil market. The tariffs increases has already send oil prices spiraling down over concerns of a sever global economic slowdown or recession. But China could use oil as an economic weapon by purchasing vast quantities of oil from Iran thus driving oil prices down from $60 to as low as $40 while also undermining President Trump’s foreign policy.

2) Gold, always a panic investment from economic fears, is again attracting investors with its prices pushing upward. With the devaluation of the Chinese money and threats that the U.S. might follow suit, investors are worried about the value of other monies sliding down. Fears of what will happen to the Euro and British Pound with a ‘no deal’ exit, coupled with European government bonds rates that are so low, is further attracting investors to gold. Hence, investors are migrating to the traditional safe heaven of gold.

3) In an attempt to further push into the Nordic markets, payment processor Mastercard Inc will buy the majority of the corporate services businesses of Scandinavian payments group Nets. The financial technology sector is consolidating fast as more people switch from cash to digital payments, both on line and on the street. The $3.19 billion dollar deal gives Mastercard further clearing and instant payment services plus e-billing solutions.

4) Stock market closings for – 6 AUG 19:

Dow             26,029.52    up    311.78
Nasdaq           7,833.26    up    107.23 
S&P 500          2,881.77    up      37.03

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.74%

Oil:    down   at    $53.46

20 May 2019

1 ) Hewlett Packard is buying the supercomputer maker Cray for $1.4 billion dollars. HP is intent on strengthening it position against IBM by expanding its high end computer line, expanding into AI (Artificial Intelligence), Internet of things and distributed computing offerings, and is expecting to see a return on investment in the next two years.

2) There are reports that the U.S. China trade talks have been put on hold, causing a reversal of the markets. The holdup is the increased scrutiny of Chinese telecom companies. This scrutiny is making it harder for Chinese companies such as Huawei to do business with U.S. companies.

3) Airline baggage fees is becoming an increasingly lucrative source of income. The U.S. airlines brought in $4.9 billion dollars from luggage fees, an 80% increase from 2009. Typical fees is $30 for the first bag, $40 for the second and $150 for the third. There are also expensive payments for heavy or oversize bags.

4) 17 MAY 19 Stock markets closing:

Dow                  25,764.00     down    98.68
Nasdaq              7,816.28      down    81.76
S&P 500             2,859.53 down 16.79

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.39%

Oil:    down   at    $62.71

16 April 2019

1) The British business climate is expected to get worst after Brexit. A survey of chief finical officers finds that a full 80% consider Britain’s economy will slump after Brexit, especially if an unplanned exit occurs. The long term outlook for investment is poor, so with little investment, the economy will flatten.

2) Battle lines of banking are being drawn in China between virtual banks and conventional banks. A banking shakeup is in progress between hi-tech companies and traditional banks, who find it hard to quickly react to the challenges of virtual banks, much as with Amazon is to retailing or Urber is to transportation.

3) The auto maker Mercedes-Benz is being investigated for software cheating of emissions test. Germany has ordered recall of 238,000 cars using illegal software to defeat government testing for compliance of emissions standards.

4) 15 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow            26,384.77    down    27.53
Nasdaq         7,976.01    down      8.15
S&P 500        2,905.58    down      1.83

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.55%

 Oil:    up   at    $63.57

4 April 2019

1) Ghawar, the biggest Saudi oil field is declining faster than was generally accepted by the world oil market. Oil production and reserves have been a state secret for more than forty years, but in a just released prospectus, Saudi Arabia open it’s books to reveal that their largest oil field has a maximum production three quarters what was assumed. Still, the Saudis claim they are able to pump oil at the maximum capacity of 12 million barrels a day, enough for another 52 years.

2) Signet Jewelers plans to close more than 150 of its stores in the fiscal year 2020. This is part of their plan to turn around the company and includes stores from Kay, Zales and Jared. Signet based their decision on a decline of mall foot traffic and increasing promotions required to get sales. They expect sales to drop 2.5% next year.

3) As the dollar weakens, gold has shown little change. Some claim gold prices reveal the true state of US economic health. When high, the economy is not healthy, while when low, it is healthy. People invest in gold as a hedge, a heaven or as a direct investment. The price of gold is more than just supply or demand since gold production is just a small fraction of the world gold supply.

4) 3 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow          26,218.13    up    39.00
Nasdaq       7,895.55    up    46.86
S&P 500      2,873.40    up      6.16

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.52%

Oil:     unchanged   at    $62.46

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

26 February 2019

1) British farmers and produce workers divided over how Brexit could effect trade. Produce imports comes mostly from European Union and many of the produce workers in Britain are foreign. There are just 32 days left until Brexit automatically happens.

2) Rwanda is being courted by invertors amidst booming economic growth. The government is stable with 7% growth last year and 7.8% growth expected this next year. With the $2 billion dollars invested so far, there are now thousands of new jobs.

3) Fears of sub-prime mortgages could cause another 2007 bubble bust which then caused the 2008 economic crash world wide. Presently, 21% of those sub-prime mortgages are five years without payment because the word got out that mortgage companies were not foreclosing.

4) 25 FEB 19 Stock market closings:

Dow               26,091.95    up    60.14
Nasdaq            7,554.46    up     26.91
S&P 500            2,796.11    up      3.44

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.67%

Oil:    down   at    $55.42

19 February 2019

1) Saudi Arabia has invested $20 billion dollars in Pakistan, including $10 billion dollars for an oil refinery.

2) Seven members of the British parliament have resigned over Brexit. They couldn’t abide the labor parties movement towards the left with anti-semitism and racism.

3) A Spanish warship tried to intimidate a British civilian ship to exit the waters around Gibralter to assert Spain’s sovereignty claim over the British territory of 300 years. With Britain exiting the European Union (Brexit), Spain is renewing its efforts to reclaim the territory.

4) 18 FEB 19    Stock market closings:

Dow             25,883.25     up    443.86
Nasdaq           7,472.41     up      45.45
S&P 500          2,775.60     up      29.87

10 Year Yield:     up   at    2.67%

Oil:     up    at     $56.06