1 August 2019

1) General Electric suffered a loss last quarter despite two previous profitable quarters, a result of the restructuring cost of its electric power division and the grounding of Boeing’s 737 MAX. GE provides the jet engines used on the 737, which Boeing has reduced production of. The grounding of Boeing has drained off more cash than expected, but General Electric forecast a profitable year for 2019.

2) President Trump has fulfilled his campaign promise to lower drug prices by creating a pathway to allow Americans to legally and safely import lower cost prescription drugs from Canada. This reverses the opposition from federal health authorities, despite the public outcry over high prices for drugs in America. It’s uncertain when imports can start as the plan has to go through the time consuming regulatory approval and possible court challenges from drug makers. The opening of the door for cheaper drugs and keeping it open still faces an up hill battle with the political organizations of the pharmaceutical industry.

3) In an effort to keep the American economy on track, the Federal Reserve has reduced the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to about 2.25%. This is a modest and widely expected move intended to keep the economy healthy in face of the trade war with China and the slowing economic growth overseas. In addition, the feds signaled that the cental bank is ready to make more cuts to stimulate the economy if necessary. A higher interest rate makes for a stronger dollar, a disadvantage for international trade. Wall Street anticipates as many as three more cuts this year, while in addition to the rate reduction, the feds will stop selling off assets this August, two months earlier than expected.

4) Stock market closings for – 31 JUL 19:

Dow             26,864.27    down    333.75
Nasdaq           8,175.42    down      98.19
S&P 500          2,980.38    down      32.80

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.02%

Oil:    down   at    $57.90

9 July 2019

1) America now has such a surplus of natural gas, that it’s being burned off instead of sold and used. The problem isn’t a lack of a market to sell to, rather it is insufficient distribution infrastructure. There isn’t enough pipeline capacity to get the gas from the oil fields to customers. In West Texas, enough gas is burned off each day to fuel every house in Texas. Natural gas prices are negative in some areas as producers pay people to take the gas off their hands.

2) The international banking giant Deutsche Bank is getting out of the investment banking by closing its equities business. This restructuring will result in posting a $3.1 billion dollar loss for the second quarter and an overall loss of $8.3 billion dollar into 2022. Additionally, there will be a loss of 18,000 jobs or one fifth of their labor force.

3) The summer labor force of teenagers is shrinking as American youth opt for summer school and extracurricular activities. Only about 40% of highschool age kids are working during their summer vacations, compared to more than 60% in the twentieth century. This leaves businesses with a dilemma of find enough workers, especially those business which are more active in the summer months and need that extra short term labor boost. Much of this shift is because of increased emphasis on education for the young, who opt for summer school and summer college prep programs instead of earning some pocket money.

4) Stock market closings for- 8 JUL 19:

Dow         26,806.14    down    115.98
Nasdaq      8,098.38    down      63.41
S&P 500     2,975.95    down      14.46

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.03%

Oil:    down   at    $57.54