3 September 2020

1) Major American companies are extending their ‘work from home’ policy, such as Google, Uber and Airbnb, until the summer of next year. The companies Zillow, Twitter, Facebook and Square have announce that employees can work from home indefinitely. Some companies are also offering stipends to employees for home office equipment as well as a $500 quarterly credit to use specifically on Airbnbs. This at home work policy remains in effect even after offices start reopening. The work at home is even spreading across the international scene with electronic giant Hitachi having 70% of its employees work permanently from home. Nationwide Insurance plans to downsize from 20 physical offices to just four with the majority of its employees continuing to work permanently from home. It’s looking more and more like working at home is becoming the norm for the future in America.

2) In a bid to counter the competition of e-commerce, the traditional department store giant Macy’s has started opening new, smaller stores away from the malls, reflecting a growing trend in the retail industry. The retail giant will test small-format Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores outside of underperforming malls, joining a growing trend in retail. The test stores will begin operation the fourth quarter of 2021 in Dallas, Atlanta and Washington DC. Many other major retailers are turning away from the mall format of retailing, leaving many malls withering on the vine, with foot traffic on the decline even before the Convid-19 crisis. This is another indication of a shift in American culture and society.

3) Fashion retailer Old Navy has announced they will pay their employees to work at polling stations comes election day. Each employee will be paid a full days wages for their poll work. Furthermore, store employees will have up to three hours of paid time-off on election day to vote. Old Navy joins other retailers such as Patagonia, PayPal and Levi Strauss & Co. to help in the national elections.

4) Stock market closings for – 2 SEP 20:

Dow 29,100.50 up 454.84
Nasdaq 12,056.44 up 116.78
S&P 500 3,580.84 up 54.19

10 Year Yield: down at 0.65%

Oil: down at $41.78

23 October 2019

1) China is growing at its slowest pace in nearly thirty years, with a 6% growth rate down graded to 5.8% growth which was predicted by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) for 2020. China’s economy isn’t looking very good, and what’s worst it’s getting worst. Economist are in disagreement over just what is causing the decline, considering there’s more than just the trade war responsible for China’s down slide. Slowing of global trade is another factor, but still with a 6% growth, China is above the world average of 3%.

2) The major credit card companies are launching a ‘one-click’ checkout button for fast secure online purchases similar to the PayPal. Now available with Cinemark, Movember and Rakuten websites, it will soon be available on BassPro, JoAnn Fabric, Papa John’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, SHOP.com and Tickets.com by the end of the year, with further companies to be added in 2020. Users won’t have to create or log into an account to make a purchase, nor will they need to enter their card info into every new site. The new service is being offered by Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.

3) According to a survey from the consultant firm McKinsey & Co., more than half the world’s banks are too weak to survive a downturn of economies. These banks are not economically viable because of their returns on equity, which are not keeping pace with costs.

4) Stock market closings for – 22 OCT 19:

Dow                26,788.10    down    39.54
Nasdaq            8,104.30    down    58.69
S&P 500           2,995.99    down    10.73

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.77%

Oil:    up   at    $54.32