1) The airline industry is one of the hardest hit segments of the economy from the pandemic, with an estimated 36% drop in traffic this year. But the International Air Transport Association is warning that it could worsen with a 53% drop if boarder curbs on emerging market countries and the U.S. remain in place. The U.S. – EU (European Union) air travel market generates $29 billion dollars a year is threaten by the ban on non essential flights from the U.S. as the EU attempts to avoid an resurgence of the virus. Air travel was down over 90% for April and May, with little prospects for improvement in the near future, leaving the future of air carriers in doubt too.
2) The maker of electric automobiles Tesla has become the world’s most valuable automaker, surpassing Toyota’s for the first time on record. Tesla’s valuation is roughly $206.5 billion dollars compared with Toyota’s valuation of about $202 billion dollars. This underscores the vast investor enthusiasm for the automaker, which has yet to turn a profit on an annual basis. While it’s valuation exceeds Toyota, its car production of 103,000 cars lags far behind Toyota’s production of 2.4 million vehicles. The valuation comes from the stock in the company, with investors piling money in since there aren’t any other electric vehicles investments available, with Tesla stock soaring to $1,135 per share.
3) Electricity bills are set to surge this summer because of millions of Americans sheltering in place. This added demand will mean higher electricity costs for months to come. This will mean an additional $30 to $40 per month on electric bills in cities like New York and Philadelphia. Increases are anticipated to be highest for the northeast area of the country, decreasing when going westward. This comes when people’s finances are already stretched tight because of the coronavirus crisis.
4) Stock market closings for – 1 JUL 20:
Dow 25,734.97 down 77.91 Nasdaq 10,154.63 up 95.86 S&P 500 3,115.86 up 15.57
1) Oil has passed$40 a barrel, continuing a slow but steady recovery. This could be signaling a reawakening of the U.S. shale oil production. This rally allows the oil industry some breathing room with its high debt burden as the shale oil industry seeks to rebuild after the worst price collapse in a generation. This is far different than earlier this year when oil producers were paying to have their oil taken away. OPEC+ continues efforts to re-balance the global oil market, now abundantly clear that everyone loses in a price war.
2) More encouraging economic news with Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler returning to pre-coronavirus pandemic production schedules in their American plants. Ford plans to fully return to production levels by July 6 while also ramping up their production facilities in Mexico. Although not given any firm dates, Fiat Chrysler is also returning to former production levels as rapidly as possible.
3) Experts are predicting the restaurant business, as we know it, is coming to an end because of the Convid-19 crisis. The industry generates $900 billion dollars a year, employs 15 million people, which is 15 times more than the airline business, which many are so concerned about now. Estimates vary widely of 20 to 80% of the privately own restaurants succumbing to the pandemic. The big franchise restaurant chains are expected to mostly survive and continue, but the independents are expected to fade out. One factor is change, which is coming too fast for small operations to adapt and keep pace with. The general consensus is that the business was in trouble long before the pandemic, struggling with poor working conditions, very thin profit margins, low wages and increasing competition. But it’s not just the restaurants themselves, for behind them is farming, distribution, suppliers and commercial real estate. It’s apparent that the demise of a significant number of independent restaurants will spell a significant change to the American business environment.
4) Stock market closings for – 19 JUN 20:
Dow 25,871.46 down 208.64 Nasdaq 9,946.12 up 3.07 S&P 500 3,097.74 down 17.60
1) The managing director Kristalina Georgieva of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) says the Fund is likely to revise downward its forecast of a 3% contraction of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for 2020. In turn, this will most likely cause a revision of the IMF’s forecast for a partial recovery of 5.8% in 2021. This means a longer time for a full economic recovery from the virus crisis. The IMF had forecasted that the business closures to slow the virus would throw the world into the deepest recession since the 1930’s Great Depression.
2) Gold markets have risen to their highest in more than seven years, a result of the Federal Reserve saying stocks and asset prices could suffer a significant decline as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The economic recovery could go to the end of 2021, depending on the arrival of an effective vaccine. Owning gold is considered to be a safe haven in times of economic turmoil, able to retain its value when other assets are sinking in value. Other precious metals such as silver, platinum and palladium are also experiencing a swing upward in price, but since these are commodities, their value may drop in a slower economy and reduced industrial demand.
3) The price of oil is above $30 a barrel for the first time in two months as U.S. and other country producers continue to cut production in order to restore the balance of the oil market. The world wide shut downs from the virus has drastically reduced the demand for oil world wide, with the world’s storage capacity quickly filling to maximum capacity, and for a time, producers having to pay to have their oil production removed. While the price of oil is still too low to salvage the shale oil (fracking) business in America, it still bodes well for the U.S. and world economies. Nevertheless, expectations are it will be well into the next year for the oil markets to be fully restored. Oil futures contracts that are due in June, show few signs of a resulting plunge in oil prices as when the May contracts came due and investors had to pay others to take their oil away.
4) Stock market closings for – 18 MAY 20:
Dow 24,597.37 up 911.95 Nasdaq 9,234.83 up 220.27 S&P 500 2,953.91 up 90.21
1) HP’s board has rejected Xerox’s $33 billion dollar takeover bid, for the same reason as Xerox’s previous offer, that the proposal significantly undervalues HP. Xerox first moved to acquire HP in November, but was rejected because HP stock holders would lose much of their value in the company. HP is a 2015 spinoff of giant Hewlett-Packard who has a market value of $300 billion dollars that dwarfs Xerox’s value of 7.7 billion dollars.
2) Mack Trucks, the manufacturer of large commercial trucks, announced plans to layoff 305 employees, which is about 13% of their payroll. After two years of high volumes of production, marked demand has dropped so the company must adapt to the lower demand. There are expectations of the truck market in America being down 30% this next year.
3) The American consumer continues to shun the traditional big department stores. Despite the monster holiday shopping season, America’s biggest department stores still lost money. This is a trend that has been in progress for several years as typified by Sears’ decline. Department stores such as JCPenny, Kohl’s and Macy’s continue to decline with dropping sales and store closings. Consumers are now going to big box stores and the internet commerce to save money, signaling a fundamental change in American consumerism.
4) Stock market closings for – 9 SEP 20:
Dow 28,956.90 up 211.81 Nasdaq 9,203.43 up 74.18 S&P 500 3,274.70 up 21.65
1) Deere & Co., the famous manufacture of green and yellow tractors, reported lower earnings blaming trade tensions and poor weather in the U.S. farm belt. Last year’s difficult growing and harvesting conditions have made farmers cautious about investing in new farm equipment. Sales of the construction and forestry division are expected to be down by 10% to 15%, while agricultural is down 5% to 10% next year.
2) Texas oil explorers say predictions of shale production isn’t reflecting the industry’s slowdown. Producers are being starved of funding, stocks have plunged and little interest in public offerings, which may cause a downturn to be more enduring. Seeking to cut costs, drillers have laid off 1,000 workers. There are predictions that U.S. oil production growth will flatten as early as 2021. There is a rapid decline of shale well production, partly a result of placing wells too close together.
3) Global manufacturing has been dragging the world economy down this last year. Weak auto sales have added to the problem, with China’s auto market the worst with a 11% decline in sales. Slow auto sales have cut production at auto plants, with Audi cutting 7,500 jobs. U.S. dealerships are struggling to clear inventory for the new year, with a 12% rise in incentive spending in November, compared to a typical 4%.
4) Stock market closings for – 29 NOV 19:
Dow 28,051.41 down 112.59 Nasdaq 8,665.47 down 39.70 S&P 500 3,140.98 down 12.65
1) The telecommunications giant AT&T is making its belated entry into the streaming video business to compete with Netflix, Apple and Disney. AT&T plans to reach about 80 million subscribers globally, 50 million in the United States by 2025. HBO Max is expanding its customer base into the streaming market through AT&T wireless. AT&T also owns the satellite service DirecTV.
2) The UAW (United Auto Workers) has approved a new contract with GM (General Motors) which ends the six week strike. GM is calling back technicians to prepare the plants to resume production, with production resuming as early as Monday at some plants. The new contract gives workers a series of wage increases and a path for temporary workers to become permanent employees. Permanent workers can earn as much as $32 an hour.
3) The U.S. government has ended its 2019 fiscal year with the largest deficit since 2012. Gains in tax receipts were offset by higher spending and growing debt service payments. The budget deficit has widened to $984 billion dollars, which was 4.6% of the nation’s gross domestic product. Last years deficit was $779 billion dollars and 3.8% of the GDP. Defense, healthcare and social security programs are a major source for driving the deficit, with worries that these expenditures will not be sustainable.
4) Stock market closings for – 25 OCT 19:
Dow 26,958.06 up 152.53 Nasdaq 8,243.12 up 57.32 S&P 500 3,022.55 up 12.26
1) Boeing Aircraft, the manufacture of the now grounded 737 MAX, has not ruled out further reductions or even shutting down production of its 737 MAX. Boeing had cut production of its best selling jet from 52 per month to 42, a 20% reduction. For its second quarter, Boeing has expended $1.01 billion dollars in cash as a result of the grounding, compared to the $4.3 billion dollars of free cash it had on hand last year. With deliveries on hold, Boeing isn’t receiving payments while also footing the cost of aircraft being stored waiting for re-certification.
2) With the commodity prices of coffee bottomed out and depressed incomes, coffee growers in Guatemala are facing a crisis. This crisis is made worse with threats of tariffs on Guatemala over undocumented migrants. Additional remittance fees and sanctions could spell disaster for Guatemala’s principle export if implemented, which in turn may actually exacerbate the flow of migration as small growers are forced out of business and head north.
3) The food giant Kraft Heinz, faced with a large corporate debt, has been exploring methods to pay down that debt by selling off some of its brands, so it can focus on its staple brands such as Heinz ketchup. But the sale of Maxwell House coffee, Breakstone’s sour cream and cottage cheese and Plasmon baby food, has glean lukewarm response from potential buyers. For years, the giant has been run by a ‘cost focused’ management team, but now management considers the company should be driven more by growth. The soup giant Campbell soup faced the same problems earlier this year.
4) Stock market closings for – 24 JUL 19:
Dow 27,269.97 down 79.22 Nasdaq 8,321.50 up 70.10 S&P 500 3,019.56 up 14.09
1) America’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) for the first quarter of 2019 grew to 3.2%, well above the predicted 2.5% by experts. The US growth makes the American economy the strongest in the world.
2) Exxon Mobil oil company’s profits for the first quarter fell 49% to $2.36 billion dollars. The company is spending more on oil production, while also having lower margins in their refinery business. Exxon is expanding its production in the Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico, causing a 42% spike in exploration and production spending.
3) The technology stocks $1 trillion dollar rally continues. The tech sector has outperformed every other industry, with monies pouring into the technology stocks.
4) 26 APR 19 Stock market closings: Again Nasdaq and S&P 500 set record highs.
Dow 26,543.33 up 81.25 Nasdaq 8,146.40 up 27.72 S&P 500 2,939.88 up 13.71
Two of Africa’s biggest economies have officially exited recession. In the second quarter of 2017, Nigeria’s economy improved by 0.55%, a large part attributed to Nigeria’s growing agri sector (agriculture); as well as Nigeria’s oil production stabilizing again.
South Africa economy grew by 2.5% also attributed by their economy’s agri sector also. Nigeria for the past 25 years had not been in a recession, so when the country contracted this past year; it took many people by surprise, while in South Africa many economic factors played into its recession, especially from the finance sector and government interference tailgaiting corruption scandals. -SB
*The National Bureau of Statistics of Nigeria & South Africa provided current statistical data*
Texas oil refineries began production of oil again Saturday Sept 3, 2017. This is after a rocky and unstable week presented to the Texas and Louisiana region from the turbulent hurricane called Harvey. Hurricane Harvey being categorized as a Category 4 hurricane, ruined and destroyed billions and billions of dollars of infrastructure and property (residential and commercial); and distablized the southern gulf region.
The federal government has indicated that close to $200 billion will be needed to infuse in the economies; of Texas and Louisiana especially to jump start business initiatives and future business development projects in the region.
Alot of the Texas refineries had to drastically cut production because of the damage Harvey propelled. More then half of the oil refineries in the US is in the Gulf, so when Harvey hit the region, it really made a impact to oil production.
As the refineries begin to resume their productivity, many people and businesses will have to find ways to pick up and resume their lives, from the turmoil this horrible hurricane has inflicted on them. -SB