1) Despite being in a major recession with unemployment hovering around 22 million, the home sales market is on fire, last month setting a record 24.7% increase compared with June. While the housing market was all but frozen this spring, surprisingly it has rebound from the effects of the pandemic crisis. The previous record for sales was set in 1968 with a 20.7% rise. Furthermore, all regions of the country reported strong sales of homes. One factor is considered that all the work at home has homeowners looking for larger houses. The strong sales is driving prices upward, with the median price of homes up 8.5% from July, now at $304,100. This is the 101st straight month of increasing prices.
2) AI (Artificial Intelligence) has made significant inroads in competing with humans to do tasks better and faster. In a field most people would consider as strictly a human endeavor- Dog fighting, or aerial combat where fighter aircraft chase each other through the sky trying to shoot each other down, now has AI systems to replace people. An AI system developed by Heron Systems went against a human F-16 fighter pilot in simulated air combat and defeated him 5-0. The simulation was limited to the nose cannon only, no missiles allowed. A couple of years ago, Boeing Aircraft said they were developing robot airliners which flew by themselves- no pilots!
3) Researchers have created a minuscule robot beetle, weighing only 88 milligrams, that can operated for two hours without a battery. The machine runs on liquid methanol that powers its artificial muscles allowing it to carry 2.6 times its body weight. The artificial muscles are called ‘catalytic artificial micro-muscle’, that uses special metals that allows the use of methanol to generate power to a micro-machine. While the RoBeetle is just a demonstration of a technology, it shows that power can be derived without the use of conventional batteries, which limit the size and weight of micro-robots.
4) Stock market closings for – 21 AUG 20:
Dow 27,930.33 up 190.60
Nasdaq 11,311.80 up 46.85
S&P 500 3,397.16 up 11.65
10 Year Yield: down at 0.64%
Oil: down at $42.25
By: Economic & Finance Report
Jeff Bezos and Amazon (AMZN) are on a buying up everything and anything run. Amazon (AMZN) will be purchasing the healthy food store chain Wholefoods Inc (WFM), which practically is a nationwide conglomerate in its own right.
The sale now puts Amazon (AMZN) as owners of hundreds of Whole Foods (WFM) stores and subsidiaries around the country, and spearheading them with a potential rivalry with heavyweight retail chain Walmart Stores Inc (WMT). The current CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc ( John Mackey), will remain as Whole Foods (WMT) CEO, after the Amazon (AMZN) buyout. The sale of Whole Foods (WMT) increased the company’s market share by 21% on the NASDAQ boards, on Friday June 16, 2017.
Whole Foods Market Inc (WMT) has been suffering as of late and the buyout to Amazon (AMZN) seemed a natural fit for CEO Mackey, who was fighting internal control of the company from activist investors. -SB
By: Economic & Finance Report
The Dominican Electricity Industry Association (ADIE) has specified to the Dominican Republic that it is owed $800 million dollars for power supply usage at national electrical plants and facilities. The association has indicated that the government owes power supply producers the vast of the $800 million due. They have threatened to cut of power and electricity on the island if the money is not soon to be repaid.
Govt analyst believe a sure blackout could occur, and would put a halt on the activities and largely effect the economy in DR. The government in DR has not paid the power suppliers for more then eight months, and the association does not want to extend anymore credit or “produce anymore lifelines for the country”, until they are fully paid.
So far government officials have not come with any solution on how to finance nor start repaying the power suppliers. -SB