12 January 2021

1) The cryptocurrency Bitcoin plummets the most since March as a stronger dollar and investor nerves strip off nearly $140 billion in the cryptocurrency market cap, renewing fears that Bitcoin may be a bubble waiting to burst. But Bitcoin is still up roughly 89% over the past month. Other cryptocurrency coins, such as XRP and Litecoin, have shed about 18% each. Bitcoin hit a record high last week above $41,000, driven by the combination a weaker dollar, economic optimism, and a wave of bullish sentiment toward cryptocurrencies as big-name investors and investment banks touted a potential for huge gains this year, with the stronger dollar and higher bond yields triggering a plunge in Bitcoin and gold prices.

2) Trump has been permanently barred from the platform Twitter, resulting in$5 billion dollars in losses in market value, with Twitter stock dropping after the barring of the President. Twitter stated they permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence. Trump, who had about 88 million followers, generated enormous publicity for the platform with his controversial and incendiary tweets over the past six years. As a result, Twitter’s stock fell as much as 12% on Monday thus the decline of $5 billion dollars from Twitter’s market capitalization. Investors are worried that the Trump ban will erode interest in the platform and lead to boycotts among those who see the decision as politically motivated and a way to silence a major conservative voice.

3) Fears are growing that a bigger stimulus may be seen as the ‘peak of this bubble’ resulting in a market correction or worst. Some think that with the Democrats set to take control of both the House and Senate, perhaps President-elect Joe Biden will be less likely to spook markets with tax ambitions. Biden has promised $2,000 stimulus checks if the Senate turned blue, so now the question is what will happen? For millions of Americans, it’s been a painful waiting game already, they having subsisted with minimum money since losing their jobs from the pandemic. Joe Biden made the promise that if Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock turned the senate blue that would end the block in Washington and allow the $2,000 stimulus checks to immediately go out the door to people who are in real trouble.

4) Stock market closings for – 11 JAN 21:

Dow 31,008.69 down by 89.28
Nasdaq 13,036.43 down by 165.54
S&P 500 3,799.61 down by 25.07

10 Year Yield: up at 1.13%

Oil: down at $52.18

24 November 2020

1) The European Union warned that the United Kingdom has not moved sufficiently to overcome the main obstacles to a post-Brexit trade deal. One major point of contention is the fishing rights for EU fishermen in having access to U.K. fishing waters. Late on Thursday, the leaders of France, Belgium and the Netherlands called on the EU to make contingency plans for the failure of a deal in time. Officials on both sides privately voiced cautious optimism that a deal could be concluded as soon as next week, with talks now at a delicate stage. On fishing, the two sides still can’t agree on how much of the British catch the EU boats will be allocated, while the two sides also haven’t agreed on cross retaliation clauses, the official said.

2) Great Britain and Canada have reach a trade deal in a Brexit giving Prime Minister Johnson a boost. U.K. has agreed with Canada to maintain the trading conditions it has from their European Union membership and to begin talks on a broader deal that would pave the way for even closer links with Britain. Canada is Britain’s 12th largest trading partner. The two countries will begin negotiations next year to expand their commercial agreements to cover digital trade, the environment and women’s economic empowerment. Without the new agreement, Britain and Canada face tariffs on trade from the first of the year, when the Brexit transition period ends. Britain is Canada’s third-largest export market after the U.S. and China.

3) The CDC has released a report that counties in Kansas who complied with a mask mandate saw a decrease in cases compared to counties that didn’t. Those counties that opted out of mandatory wearing of masks saw an increase by 100%. While experts have said that masks are a key part of limiting the virus, their usage has been the subject political debate for months. The same declines has been seen in 15 states and in Washington DC. Covid-19 infections decreased in 24 counties with mask mandates but increased in 81 counties that opted out of the order. This translates into a 6% in counties with a mandate compared to an increase of 100% in counties where masks were not mandated. There have been 136,861 confirmed cases of coroniavirus throughout the state of Kansas, which have resulted in at least 1,306 deaths. With more than 35% of tests administered coming back positive, three times higher than the 10% rate nationally.
4) Stock market closings for – 23 NOV 20:

Dow 29,591.27 up by 327.79
Nasdaq 11,880.63 up by 25.66
S&P 500 3,577.59 up by 20.05

10 Year Yield: up at 0.86%

Oil: up at $42.84

13 November 2020

1) Joe Biden will immediately face several major problems and hard decisions upon assuming the Presidency. 1) Containment of the coronavirus that has killed close to a quarter-million Americans and shows no signs of abating. 2) Addressing the nation’s bitter political divide as the divide deepens with no apparent end. 3) Regrowing a devastated economy with millions out of work and no real relief in sight. 4) The threat of growing civil unrest and open conflict as people are pushed further out of the social economic system by technology. 5) China’s growing aggressiveness, both domestically and internationally, coupled with China’s goal to be the dominate world power by 2050, making China a tender box for world conflict. 6) Russia and Iran’s trouble making in world activities, especially in the middle east, also could mean serious military conflict problems for America and the West.

2) In September, NTT announced its plan to buy out the remaining shares in NTT Docomo, in a potentially record-breaking deal. NTT currently holds 66 percent of NTT Docomo’s shares, and its chief executive argues the buy would enhance competitiveness and growth. But 28 Japanese telecom companies, including rivals SoftBank Corp and KDDI, have sent a joint letter to the communications minister protesting the purchase. Their fears of making Docomo a wholly owned company will create a powerful force that dominates the market, so they’re challenging the $40 billion dollar NTT takeover bid. The takeover of the country’s biggest mobile carrier would prevent fair competition, therefore the opposition wants to set up measures to protect an environment of fair competition and ensure compliance and implementation. With the sale, NTT may be able to push down prices quickly, forcing competitors to follow suit.

3) China’s repression of its peoples has taken another step forward with Hong Kong’s opposition lawmakers expected to formally tender resignations in protest of the oustings of four fellow supporters of pro-democracy. Their dramatic departure removes dissent in Hong Kong.
The Chinese parliament passed a resolution allowing Hong Kong authorities to expel legislators deemed a threat to national security or for not holding allegiance to Hong Kong, and without having to go through the courts. The fate of the opposition in Hong Kong has been in doubt since the government postponed September’s legislative elections by a year, in a move which critics have said was aimed at killing the pro-democracy camp’s momentum.

4) Stock market closings for – 12 NOV 20:
Dow 29,080.17 down by 317.46
Nasdaq 11,709.59 down by 76.84
S&P 500 3,537.01 down by 35.65
10 Year Yield: down at 0.88%
Oil: down at $40.92

22 May 2020

1) Again, there is additional unemployment this week with 2.4 million people filing for unemployment benefits this last week. This brings the total U.S. unemployment during the pandemic up to 38 million, with continuing claims at 25.07 million, the highest level on record. The good news is the filings continue to decline from previous weeks. So far, there’s no indications that the easing of the lockdowns is having any effect on the unemployment dilemma.

2) The apparel retailer chain ‘The Gap’ is accelerating its implementation of robots in warehouses to assemble online orders, thus avoiding the use of human contact during the pandemic. The Gap is tripling the number of item picking robots in use to 106 by the fall. With the pandemic forcing the closure of its stores nationwide, their online sales shot up just when social distancing rules reduced their staff. Each robot does the work of four humans in a warehoused that was already highly automated. This is an example of increased automation occurring during times of economic shock, leaving fewer jobs for when the economy improves. These are times when employers shed less skilled workers by replacing them with technology and higher skilled workers thereby reducing their labor cost.

3) The second crisis for the American economy is arriving. The pandemic is having sever consequence for state and local governments with lockdowns eviscerating their finances. Monies needed to pay for public services and infrastructure have withered leaving governments to do triage of the services they provide. Basic services such as police, fire fighting, health, trash and water/sewer services are threatened with curtailment for lack of monies to pay salaries and supplies such as gasoline. Such actions is politically dangerous which can fuel political extremism that threatens democracy. Losses of state and local revenues are estimated to be 15 to 45 percent, or an overall loss of $1.75 trillion dollars a year. With growing doubts of re-employment after the crisis passes, this economic crisis is long term.

4) Stock market closings for – 21 MAY 20:

Dow 24,474.12 down 101.78
Nasdaq 9,284.88 down 90.90
S&P 500 2,948.51 down 23.10

10 Year Yield: down at 0.68%

Oil: up at $33.82

16 September 1019

1) Two of the largest Wall Street banks are trying to create an index to track the market impact of President Trumps’s tweets. J.P. Morgan Chase and Company has created an index to quantify the effects on U.S. bond yields. Citigroup Inc.’s foreign exchange team consider Trump’s tweets increasingly relevant to foreign exchange moves. Approximately 10% of the president’s tweets since his election in 2016 pertain to subjects of importance to U.S. markets.

2) The Elliott Management Corp. offers a plan to boost the share price of AT&T by more than 50% through asset sales and cost cutting. The four part plan calls for the company to divest assets including satellite-TV provider DirecTV, Mexican wireless operations, parts of its land line business and other assets. The bases for the plan is for AT%T to exit businesses that don’t fit its strategy as well as running more efficient operations, plus stop making major acquisitions.

3) China has added almost 100 tons of gold to its reserves since resuming buying in December. Bullion is near a six year high as central banks including the Federal Reserve cut interest rates. Trade war restrictions as with China, or sanctions as with Russia, gives an incentive for central banks to diversify, with gold providing an ideal hedge with increasing political and economic uncertainty. Spot gold was $1,510.27 an ounce on Monday, and is expected to rise to $1,600 an ounce in the coming months.

4) Stock market closings for – 13 SEP 19:

Dow                  27,219.52         up    37.07
Nasdaq               8,176.71    down   17.75
S&P 500              3,007.39    down     2.18

10 Year Yield:    up   at    1.90%

Oil:    down   at    $54.82

17 June 2019

1) Citizens of Hong Kong have started moving assets offshore amid fears of a China takeover. China’s demand to extradite criminal suspects to face trial in China is seen as a political move to be able to more tightly control the population politically, by eliminating dissidents and political opposition. People of money are also fearing that China will clamp down on moving money out of the reach of the Chinese government. This move is heightening the tensions of China and western nations.

2) As a result of its legal entanglements from lawsuits alleging Roundup herbicide is a carcinogen, Bayer AG plans to invest almost $6 billion dollars in developing new chemical products to combat weeds over the next decade. Roundup is a product inherited by Bayer in its takeover of Monsanto Co. last year, which has driven its stock down by 50%.

3) The trade war between China and U.S. is having unexpected results of other countries taking up the manufacturing slack. This runs the risk of China permanently losing market share to America as well as China failing to archive its goal of becoming the worlds top global manufacturing base. This decreases China’s chances of becoming a technologically advance and innovative economy. China’s loss of their once famed ‘low pay for unskilled labor’ is further increasing the flight of factories to other countries.

4) Stock market closings for- 14 JUN 19:

Dow               26,089.61    down    17.16
Nasdaq            7,796.66    down    40.47
S&P 500           2,886.98    down      4.66

10 Year Yield:    unchanged   at    2.09%

Oil:    unchanged   at    $52.51