1) J. P. Morgan Chase posted profit and revenue far in excess to analysts’ expectation at the end of 2019. Fourth quarter profit was up 21% to $2.57 a share compared with $2.35 estimates of analysts. The investment bank produced record revenue for the fourth quarter. Citigroup also beat estimates for profit and revenue, their fixed income trading revenue gaining 49%.
2) Consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in eight years, in 2019. The increase was driven by higher gasoline, health care and rent prices in addition to the biggest annual advance in inflation since 2011. The consumer price index rose 0.2% in December, while economist had forecast 0.3%. The cost of living in 2019 rose 2.3% from 2.1%. Price increase for food was mild, while prices fell for used vehicles and airline fares.
3) Three of China’s automakers are considering expanding into Mexico with factories. Car makers Changan, BYD (electric cars) and Anhui Jianghuai or JAC, who already has manufacturing facilities in Mexico, but is considering expanding. The companies are considering expansion sometime this next year. No comments on if and where cars will be exported to.
4) Stock market closings for – 14 JAN 20:
Dow 28,939.67 up 32.62 Nasdaq 9,251.33 down 22.60 S&P 500 3,283.15 down 4.98
1) The mega brewers Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, America’s two largest brewers of beer, are embroiled in a legal battle with Anheuser-Busch claiming MillerCoors stole recipes and trade secrets. The legal conflict rose from attack ads in Super Bowl commercials last February. The legal war continues to escalate with suits and counter suits being filed by both companies. During discovery, Anheuser-Busch claims to have uncovered evidence MillerCoors had obtained trade secrets.
2) The very popular SUVs across the world has led to a nearly sixfold increase in the number of SUVs on the road since 2010, which makes them the second biggest contributor to the rise in carbon dioxide emissions. Only the generation of electrical power produces more carbon dioxide, although SUVs account for about a third of the emissions compared to power generation. SUVs are also the reason that oil demand from passenger cars has grown by 3.3 million barrels a day since 2010, while oil use has declined slightly for other kinds of cars.
3) The export of pork from America has hit an all time high. Buyers are stocking up in anticipation of a widening protein gap in China, the result of a pig killing disease in Asia. American exports jumped to 351,000 metric tons as both Mexico and China buy up future pork contracts, as well as sales of soybeans, another prime source of protein in Asia. The African swine fever has devastated pig herds causing domestic pork production to plunge.
4) Stock market closings for – 18 OCT 19:
Dow 26,770.20 down 255.68 Nasdaq 8,089.54 down 67.31 S&P 500 2,986.20 down 11.75
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
1) The ever present problem of growing student debt is being aggravated by the ever rising cost of college. This rise in cost is fueled by decreasing funding by governments, a lack of cost controls by college administrations and an emphases on plush facilities instead of real education support.
2) Manufacturing shrank in August for the first time since August 2016. The manufacturing index slid to 49.1 from 51.2 in July, where an index below 50 signals a contraction. Production declined by 1.3 percent while employment fell by 4.3 percent with new orders falling by 3.6 percent. With the trade war increasing the cost of Chinese manufactured imports, it would be expected that American manufacturing would be increasing.
3) The United Auto Workers union is targeting GM for contract talks, with the UAW approving a strike. The UAW represents nearly 150,000 hourly workers at Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler with 96% of it’s workers OKing a strike. Leaders of the UAW are under investigation for corruption by the FBI who have conducted raids on key leadership members recently for mis use of monies. The union is angry at GM for layoffs and the closing of plants, plus production plants in Mexico.
4) Stock market closings for – 3 SEP 19:
Dow 26,118.02 down 285.26 Nasdaq 7,874.16 down 88.72 S&P 500 2,906.27 down 20.19
1) The electric car company Tesla Inc is being sued claiming the company limited battery range of its older vehicles using software updates. The alleged intent was for Tesla to avoid costly fixes to defective batteries. The lawsuit is seeking class action status for thousands of Model S and X owners. The suit claims that older generation batteries had their range curtailed by an automatic software update. As a result of a battery fire, Tesla claims they are revising charge and thermal management settings via the software to further protect the battery and improve battery longevity.
2) The Chinese-American trade war hasn’t been bad for all nations, other nations are experiencing increase trade as a result of the war. Australia is the biggest beneficiary with exports to China of natural resources. Second is Switzerland, the third is Mexico which has replaced China as U.S. largest exporter. Fourth is Brazil who is benefitting from agricultural export to China and the fifth is Canada.
3) Malaysia is expanding its efforts to prosecute seventeen Goldman Sachs executives, who were allegedly involved in misleading investors in a $6.5 billion dollar bond sale. The bonds were for the state investment fund, 1 Malaysia Development Bhd or 1MDB. Charges include executives knowing that funds would be siphon off so Malaysia is also seeking to recoup funds and fees.
4) Stock market closings for – 9 AUG 19:
Dow 26,287.44 down 90.75 Nasdaq 7,959.14 down 80.02 S&P 500 2,918.65 down 19.44
1) Mexico has become America’s largest trading partner as a result of the U.S. – China trade war. For the first half of 2019, trade between America and Mexico was $309 billion dollars worth of goods, just over 15% of all U.S. trade. In comparison, trade with Canada was $306 billion dollars and China at $271 billion dollars. Trade with Mexico has been steadily rising for several decades, while trade with Canada has historically been high it’s always been flat.
2) A battle may be developing between Amazon and FedEx over handling packages, because of surging e-commerce shipments. With their ground delivery deal ending, FedEx is deepening its pullback from Amazon. The ending of two delivery contracts with Amazon means FedEx will have to seek out new major customers for lost sales while Amazon will now depend more on the U.S. Postal Service and UPS. FedEx is seeking to serve major e-commerce companies such as WalMart as the one-day delivery service for e-commerce heats up.
3) Lift, the internet based ride sharing rival to Uber may become profitable sooner than anyone had predicted. It’s growth is accelerating faster than anticipated, which clears the path to profitability. Some are speculating that 2019 might be Lift’s ‘peak loss’ year with losses being less than 2018. Wall Street is acting positive over the news with Lift’s stock rising from an overnight boost of 4%.
4) Stock market closings for – 9 AUG 19:
Dow 26,378.19 up 371.12 Nasdaq 8,039.16 up 176.33 S&P 500 2,938.09 up 54.11
1) The rife between China and America stands to grow deeper with less chance of resolving relationships, with China threatening a hit list of ‘unreliable’ foreign firms. These are individuals and groups who they consider harm the interest of Chinese companies. The threat is retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods imported into China. These last two weeks have been a war of words as the nations exchange economic threats.
2) Chicago based nursing home chain collapses leaving the federal government on the hook for millions of dollars. First sign was when the owners stop making mortgage payments in 2014. Reportedly, money meant for the thirteen nursing homes were diverted to prop up another investment. This failure is revealing the problems that HUD is having in helping obtain facilities for the elderly by providing affordable loans.
3) Trade wars may expand again with threats by President Trump to impost a 5% tariff on goods imported from Mexico, if Mexico doesn’t do more to stop the flow of illegal immigrates. Tariffs are due to start on 10 June, and will increase in 5% increments until the flow halts. This is coming at a time when more Mexican immigrates are returning to Mexico than are coming, highlighting that the immigration is from other South American countries.
4) 31 MAY 19 Stock market closings: Oil prices sink toward worst May in 7 years from trade war fears.
Dow 24,815.04 down 354.84 Nasdaq 7,453.15 down 114.57 S&P 500 2,752.06 down 36.80
1) Tomato prices could raise 40% from U.S. withdrawing from trade pact with Mexico, called the Tomato Suspension Agreement which expires this Tuesday. This will trigger duties of more than 17% on tomatoes coming from Mexico. Tomatoes from Mexico are selling below domestic production cost.
2) The Dow Jones slid down 648 points, before rising to 473 points on closing, over news that America will impose higher tariffs on Chinese goods late this week. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 also experienced similar significant drops over fears of a full blown trade war with a down turn in global growth and a drop in China’s GDP.
3) Analyst say that a breakdown in the semiconductor field is a warning sign that a trade war with China is coming. This industry is more sensitive to U.S. – Chinese trade tensions. Watch the Philadelphia Semiconductors SOX index, for if the index falls below about the 1,430 level, that indicates trouble.
4) 7 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,965.09 down 473.39 Nasdaq 7,963.76 down 159.53 S&P 500 2,884.05 down 48.42
United States Energy Secretary Rick Perry applauded Mexico’s incoming administration for ending gasoline and diesel imports. The imports come directly from the United States and the effects will prove profitable for Mexico, long term.
Mr. Lopez Labrador, Mexico’s incoming President, has indicated he was would end foreign imports to Mexico within the next 3 years. Refiners in the U.S. have invested billions of capital in Mexico and it has been prosperous for both countries.
Energy trading between United States and Mexico has been advantageous between both countries. -SB
Mexico has imposed tariffs on American imports such as pork, apples, grapes, cheese and steel. This is in connection to the tariffs President Trump imposed on steel and aluminum, which affects NAFTA countries Mexico and Canada.
The effects will alter the relationship on NAFTA; one which President Trump has already expressed is in unfair to American workers. He has stated he either wants to renegotiate a fair agreement amongst the NAFTA countries (USA, Canada, Mexico) or independently negotiate with Canada and Mexico, as separate individual countries. Mexico and Canada have both denounced such a proposal by Trump.
This is coming at a critical time for NAFTA, as Mexico gears for presidential elections on July 1, 2018 and US congressional midterm elections are in November 2018. -SB