23 March 2020

1) The shutting down of many of American service industries is having an effect on America’s hard pressed trucking industry. Suddenly, there are fewer hauling jobs, a result of the coronavirus control measures. There are 300,000 to 400,000 thousand truck drivers who own their trucks and don’t have much protection if rates or demand for their service falls. Trucking is often considered a leading economic indicator where the rest of the economy is heading, because 71% of the freight in America is moved by trucks. A downturn in freight being hauled indicates the economy is slumping.

2) President Trump says the U.S. may be headed for a recession for the first time in eleven years as the coronavirus cripples the world economies which in turn can pull the U.S. economy down despite it being strong. Experts anticipate America will enter a recession in the upcoming second quarter, from April through June, with a decline of 4% to 8% annual pace. The unemployment rate could zoom up to 6% from its current fifty year low of 3.5%, which would hinder a recovery. Typically, economic hard times opens the way for new technologies to displace workers as business strive for ways to reduce cost and remain profitable.

3) The Department of Labor reported a 30% increase in unemployment claims, which is one of the largest spikes in claims. This signals the start of feared layoffs in response to the coronavirus impact on the economy. As more businesses are vastly reducing or stopping operations, they have no real choice but to lay off workers in the hope of surviving the coming economic storm. America’s oil industry is facing massive layoffs with tens of thousands being laid off in the shale fields like the Permian Basin as oil prices drop to alarming lows. No longer profitable to pump out shale fields and strapped with high levels of debt, the oil companies are facing bankruptcy. Six years ago, a sharp price drop in oil cost 200,000 oil workers their jobs.

4) Stock market closings for – 20 MAR 20: The Dow had its worst month since 1931.

Dow 19,173.98 down 913.21
Nasdaq 6,879.52 down 271.06
S&P 500 2,304.92 down 104.47

10 Year Yield: down at 0.94%

Oil: down at $23.64

16 May 2019

1) Markets continue to rise as President Trump delays the actual implementation of auto tariffs. Reportedly, the tariffs are to be delayed for up to six months. Other news helped push the markets up, such as Boeing expects to have its 737 MAX software fix released soon.

2) Monet’s ‘Meules’ is now the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. The painting sold for $110.7 million dollars after an eight minute bidding war at Sotheby’s in New York. This is a crushing return on investment, which was bought for $2.56 million dollars in 1986, giving a return on investment of 4,300%.

3) Prior to the new tariffs, China’s economy was slowing down, showing the fragility of the world’s second largest economy. China’s industrial output, retail sales and investment have slowed more than economist expected. With the faltering of credit coupled with slowing consumption at home, combining with a weaker global economy translates into China running out of steady growth right when it’s most needed.

4) 15 MAY 19 Stock market closings:

Dow                  25,648.02    up    115.97
Nasdaq               7,822.15    up      87.65
S&P 500              2,850.96    up      16.55

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.38%

Oil:    up   at    $62.13