1) The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has warned of astronomical oil prices if tensions escalate in the Persian Gulf. In a ‘60 Minute’ interview, the Prince called for strong and firm action to deter Iran and lessen the threat to world interests, so as to avoid disruptions of oil exports. The attacks on Saudi oil production facilities caused Brent crude to jump 19.5%, the biggest jump on record. The Middle East provides about 30% of the world’s energy supplies constituting about 4% of world GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
2) In order to avoid a quarterly decline in U.S. retail sales, automakers are offering big discounts to maintain sales growth. For the last three months, auto sales have flattened with average incentive spending rising 6% to more than $4,110 per vehicle, which is a third quarter record.
3) The fashion retailer Forever 21 Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection and is the latest big fashion merchant who, like many other retailer chains, is unable to cope with high rents and heavy competition from e-commerce. The chain has 800 stores across the world, selling affordable but eye-catching designs, but has falling out of favor with the generation-Z consumers who turn to e-commerce. The bankruptcy will allow the company to reorganize and gain additional capital for operations.
4) Stock market closings for – 30 SEP 19:
Dow 26,916.83 up 96.58 Nasdaq 7,999.34 up 59.71 S&P 500 2,976.74 up 14.95
1) Two tankers have been attacked near the Iran coast, which has caused oil prices to surge with fears that Iran may try to close the Gulf of Oman, which transports oil out of the Middle East. The choke point of the Strait of Hormuz is only 21 miles wide and handles 80% of the oil destined for Asia. Last month four other tankers were attacked near Fujairah using sabotage, which further fueled fears that Iran may become very aggressive in the region and against exports of oil.
2) With voters no longer showing a strong concern for the federal debt, the political support for reining in Federal spending and controlling the growing national debt is melting away with Republicans willing to accept a large deficit in exchange for tax cuts and Democrats making big spending promises in the 2020 campaigns. Some experts, who had once augured against the government growing debt, now say it may not be as critical a problem as they once thought.
3) The mega-retailer Target is upping the ante for e-commerce by offering same-day delivery on thousands of items for just $9.99. Using the delivery startup Shipt, which Target purchased nearly two years ago, the retailer is positioning itself to compete against Walmart and Amazon in what is becoming a ‘delivery time’ war of the major maga-retailers. The one day service will cover 65,000 items from 1,500 stores out of 1,800 stores in 47 states.
4) Stock market closings for- 13 JUN 19:
Dow 26,106.77 up 101.94 Nasdaq 7,837.13 up 44.41 S&P 500 2,891.64 up 11.80
1) Qatar announced they are dropping out of OPEC to focus on natural gas production, which is what their oil fields mostly produce. Being a small producer of oil, Qatar considered itself too small to be a part of OPEC, despite being a member for 57 years.
2) For the best bets in the stock market during this next 90 days of trade war truce, experts are saying to watch where China spends money in the US that best strengthens it’s position with America. Look for such things as agriculture products like pork and grains, and big ticket machinery such as construction equipment and aircraft.
3) Walmart is buying robots, autonomous floor scrubbing machines, and will have 360 units in stores by end of January. Walmart is already using robots which scan for ‘out of stock’ items on shelves. Both robots operate by themselves on the store floor while customers are present.
4) 3 DEC 18 Stock market closings: Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia and Russia agree to limit oil production.
Dow 25,826.43 up 287.97
Nasdaq 7,441.51 up 110.98
S&P 500 2,790.37 up 30.20
Nawah Energy Company (unit/ENEC), a unit of the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation , has signed a long term joint agreement with middle east nuclear powerhouse EDF Abu Dhabi.
Nawah will operate and maintain the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant, that is being established in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will be the first nuclear energy plant in the Arab region.
The agreement strengthens both parties; in that allows EDF to be one of the few, if not only firms to build and maintain in the energy sector, within the UAE. For Nawah it provides it strengthened position, in being allowed to continue to maintain, monitor, and operate the Barakh Nuclear Energy plant on day to day basis. -SB
1) Russia stands to be the beneficiary of the Iran oil ban from newly imposed sanctions, with Moscow taking over Iran’s customers while defying sanctions to import Iranian oil. Although Russia-Iran trade will be by barter only, there will still be high profits for Russia.
2) The Democrats taking control of the House probably means no new consumer legislation because of expected ‘grid lock’ of the legislative branch, meaning little to no new regulation of lending, student loan debt, service and financial protection. No new taxes are expected by business, which should therefore continue economic stimulation.
3) Price of oil sinks from the swelling of US oil inventories. There is too much supply with more oil coming into the market too fast.
4) 7 NOV 18 Stock market closings: The Dow exploded over Tuesday’s election results.
Dow 26,180.30 up 545.29
Nasdaq 7,570.75 up 194.79
S&P 500 2,813.89 up 58.44
1) There were 7.14 million job openings in August, the highest ever. Job openings out paced unemployment.
2) Federal government closed its 2018 fiscal year with a $779 billion dollar deficit, the highest in 6 years. Some experts warn that the rising US debt could hamper any US fiscal response to a down turn.
3) There are fears of oil pushing to over $100, maybe even going as high as $400 if US does sanction Saudi Arabia.
4) 16 OCT 18 Stock market closings: Markets leap upwards because of news about job openings.
Dow 25,798.42 up 547.87
Nasdaq 7,645.49 up 214.74
S&P 500 2,809.92 up 59.13
1) The Iraq rial continues its collapse, now down to 1/4 its value from just this Saturday, a sign that Iraq’s economy is also collapsing.
2) Britain announced the identity of two Russian GRU agents who conducted the nerve gas attack earlier this year in an attempt to assassinate two soviet dissidents.
3) A large persistent red tide bloom continues to plague Florida’s beaches, resulting in 100 miles of beaches being closed with financial lost to tourism running in the millions of dollars. The toxins released by the red tide continues to kill off the aquatic wildlife, leaving additional monetary losses for the daily clean up of the beaches. Florida is also experiencing a blue-green algae bloom in fresh waters that is becoming another huge environmental problem.
4) 5 SEP 18 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,974.99 up 22.51
Nasdaq 7,995.17 down 96.07
S&P 500 2,888.60 down 8.12
1) President Truman announced that the United States and Mexico have reached a new trade agreement to replace NAFTA. It has been difficult and complex to reach, but Canada has agreed to rejoin the NAFTA talks after the US and Mexico reached agreement.
2) Iran has brought suit against United States at the International Court of Justice claiming the US sanctions against Iran violate a friendship treaty, but America does not acknowledge the court’s jurisdiction over the matter.
3) Iran announced that it has taken control of the Hormuz straights, which they have threatened to do in order to control exports of oil. Their intent is to counter America’s trade embargo.
4) 27 AUG 18 Stock market closings: Markets were up on announcement of Mexico and United States coming to a trade agreement, with two reaching record highs.
Dow 26,049.64 up 259.29
Nasdaq 8,017.90 up 71.92
S&P 500 2,896.74 up 22.05
OPEC has insisted that oil output from Libya and Nigeria are not on the agenda in meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia next month to discus the pact OPEC members currently made to reduce oil supply flow.
Nigeria will cap oil production if it can maintain 1.8 barrels pumping, while Libya wants to maintain 1.25 barrels of oil flow. Libya and Nigeria are currently exempt from the curbing of oil production by OPEC. -SB
AMAZON (AMZN) has done it again folks!!!!!! One of the world’s largest online retailers has just bought the biggest Middle East online e-commerce retailer. Amazon has recently acquired Souq.com; the biggest ecommerce retailer in the Middle East. The company which is based in Dubai, United Emirates is the largest of its kind, in the middle east. Souq is valued at over $1 billion dollars .
Amazon has been serving customers in the Middle East for years, but wanted to expand its portfolio in the region, and they have with the purchase of Souq. It has been noted that Souq.com sells more than eight million products in the region.
Souq.com has over 3,000 employees in the Middle East and Arab countries; when the company started in Dubai, they only had five employees. Souq CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar, believed Amazon was the only choice as far as his concern, though the company had a $800 million counter offer buyout on the table; Mouchawar and his team believed Amazon was a very suitable home for Souq’s long term vision. -SB