1) Apple Inc is trying to limit the impact of a bill aimed at fighting child labor in China, having had meetings with government representatives in an attempt to water down the bill. Under the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, U.S. companies are required to ensure that their products are not made by forced labor in the region of Xinjiang. Many American companies, including Apple, have manufacturing sites that would be effected by this legislation, which would obligate public companies to report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and could lead to prosecutions over violations. A report by an Australian government body published in March claims that around 1,000-2,000 workers from the Chinese region were involved in Apple’s camera production.
2) Royal Dutch Shell has closed its Convent refinery in Louisiana. Convent is far from obsolete, indeed it is fairly big by U.S. standards and sophisticated. While Convent’s 700 workers are out of a job, the Convent replacement complex in northeast China is starting up. China has at least four projects underway in the country, totaling 1.2 million barrels a day of crude-processing capacity. This is just one example of a seismic shift in the global refining industry as demand for plastics and fuels grows in China and the rest of Asia. America has been the top refiner since the start of the oil age in the mid-nineteenth century, but China will dethrone the U.S. as early as next year. Oil exporters are selling more crude to Asia and less to long-standing customers in North America and Europe. China’s refiners are becoming a growing force in international markets for gasoline, diesel and other fuels.
3) The United States has officially exited the Open Skies Treaty on Sunday, six months after the Trump administration signaled it would. The reason is repeated Russian Federation violations of the treaty designed to allow unarmed aerial surveillance flights by the treaty participants in Europe, Russia, and the U.S. The treaty was negotiated in 1992 and entered into in 2002, and now has 34 participant states after the U.S. exit. Russia has consistently acted as if free to turn its obligations on and off at will by unlawfully denying or restricting Open Skies observation flights whenever it desires. For more than 20 years, Open Skies has been one of the most wide-ranging international arms control efforts to promote openness and transparency in military forces and activities. But Russia has denied flights within 6.2 miles of the Georgia-Russia border, and denying a previously approved flight over a major Russian military exercise. America’s European allies, however, value the treaty as it gives them the ability to collect aerial reconnaissance information, when lacking sophisticated satellite capabilities, that they would not have access to outside of the treaty.
4) Stock market closings for – 24 NOV 20:
Dow 30,046.24 up by 454.97 Nasdaq 12,036.78 up by 156.15 S&P 500 3,635.41 up by 57.82
1) Threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit has the British pound falling relative to the US dollar and euro. The new British prime minister Boris Johnson announced the annual suspension of Parliament would be extended until 14 October, just two weeks before the UK is set to leave the European Union. This suspension is considered a move to block a no-deal Brexit within the UK parliament.
2) If General Motor exits from China, it will mean billions of dollars of profit lost. President Trump’s threatening order for American business to leave China would leave GM the hardest hit of the big three American automakers. While most of GM’s profits comes from North America, it makes about 43% of it annual auto sales in China. This would also mean the loss of all future growth potential, leaving it almost a North American only company, since GM has sold off its European operations.
3) The international gold market is falling prey to a forgery crisis. Gold bars are being stamped with logos of major refineries which makes them of questionable purity. These fake bars are being used as a means to launder cash money or trafficking illegally mined gold. The fakes became apparent when gold bars were found with identical serial numbers. In 2017 and 2018 there were 655 forged bars reported. Gold Kilobars are the most common form of gold in circulation and are worth about $50,000 each
4) Stock market closings for – 28 AUG 19:
Dow 26,036.10 up 258.20 Nasdaq 7,856.88 up 29.94 S&P 500 2,887.94 up 18.78
Krispy Kreme owner JAB just placed another food entity in its business portfolio, by acquiring Panera bread for $7.5 billion dollars. Krispy Kreme head honcho Oliver Goudet stated that himself and his team strongly “supported the vision” of Panera and it’s strategic alliances.
Panera Bread will be serving the same soup specialities, and the menu will not change drastically, because of the new takeover by JAB. Panera will continue instilling its visionary primal goals and continue its deliverance in the successes that has been provided to them. In the USA and Canada alone, Panera Bread has over $2,300 restaurants and counting. -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
Opec may soon be curbing oil prices, after releasing extensive amounts of oil for the past two years, without limitations. Opec is negotiating with Iran other body members about placing a cap on production, and perhaps reducing production to what it was in the first quarter of 2016.
Saudi Arabia and Opec members have been pumping out almost 34 million barrels a day, this has led US output to increase 11% from previous. Opec is assumed to take some type of action before the end of the year, exactly what transitioning may take place; no description has been presented yet to the media.
There is some speculation that the Saudi led Opec will take on some reduction of the output, maybe before the end of the year. It makes no sense to have increased oil output, when the Saudi’s have already retained the market share, the so called “oil war crusade” with the western oil companies and distributors should be neutralized. -SB
Wall Street looks ahead after the Thanksgiving holiday, as Chinese stocks headed lower Friday, a day after Thanksgiving. The Asian session saw a 5% retracement for the day, as major Chinese indices hovered lower.
Next week US Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, will be speaking about raising the interest rates in the middle of December 2015. She will hit her point home about why the time is good now to raise the rates, as she has been indicating for the past several months.
The ECB (European Central Bank) will be meeting next week to speak about their easing rates program.
OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) will also meet to discuss oil prices, and oil production measures.
Week after Thanksgiving looking to be a very busy and tumultuous week for the economy and in finance: Economy & Finance Report, no pun intended. LOL-SB
The world continues to slow down economically, and will continue until 2016 as well. Stagnation seems to be currently occuring for the rest of 2015 and this will also hinder 2016 prospects. More developed countries such as the US, Great Britain, Germany, have been able to weather the storm and hold up recovery efforts being influenced world wide.
However OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development) indicates that future outlook seems bleek for the most part for the next couple of years because of the slowdown of the economy in Japan, and other eurozone/european countries. They instituted this as being ” puzzles and uncertanties”
The OECD maintained that “prospect of higher interest rates in the US and UK had exposed the vulnerability of emerging market economies to higher borrowing costs.”
China and Brazil happen to be two of the hardest countries hit by the economic slowdown. -SB
Blackberry shares dipped a bit on Friday because of their mixed earning report for the end of the year quarter. Finishing down to $9.99. There seems that there is still a lot more work to be done as Blackberry is restructuring the company.
The company did below what analysts had predicted of $1 billion dollars in revenue. Blackberry reported losing $148 in revenue in the 3 quarter. Blackberry executives expect the company to continue with either “break-even” or a little better route in their cash flow for 2015, but the Chairman/CEO John Chen expects Blackberry to hit profitability in the beginning of 2016.