28 October 2020

1) The White House considers the chances for passing a pandemic aid deal before the elections as being slim. The prime reason is considered to be House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi who is seeking too much, including stimulus checks for immigrants who are in the United States illegally. The White House has said aid to state and local governments has been another sticking point, while Democrats cite the lack of a national coronavirus testing plan. President Trump supports another major relief package, but he and Pelosi have been unable to reach a deal. America is facing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases, with 36 out of the 50 states seeing an increase for at least two weeks in a row. Deaths from the respiratory disease have also more than doubled in seven states.

2) Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ: PEIX) transformed its business from a low-margin maker of gasoline additives into a high-margin producer of alcohol for disinfectants and hand sanitizers, a result of the coronavirus which is the reason Pacific Ethanol stock soared more than 1,300% over the past year. Pacific Ethanol announced it will change its name to reflect its new corporate focus on the production of specialty alcohols and essential ingredients for the fight against the coronavirus. The company also decided to release a large secondary stock offering which appears to have depressed its stock price. Additionally, for a company whose production has been largely for gas tanks, the decrease in gasoline demand has shrunk its historic market.

3) The troubles brought onto American airlines by the pandemic isn’t limited to just U.S. air carriers. The Saudia airline faces claims over 50 leased Airbus planes with additional demands for other damages and costs, as documents seen by Reuters show. Fifty aircraft, which account for a third of Saudia’s fleet, worth around $8.2 billion dollars, were bought by International Airfinance Corporation (IAFC) and leased to Saudia. But apparently Saudia has failed to pay basic rent, after it sought to reduce its rent payments while also engaging in un-authorised and un-notified engine and part swaps. Therefore, IAFC is seeking restitution in London courts.

4) Stock market closings for – 27 OCT 20:

Dow 27,463.19 down 222.19
Nasdaq 11,431.35 up 72.41
S&P 500 3,390.68 down 10.29

10 Year Yield: down at 0.78%

Oil: up at $38.93

31 August 2020

1) The dreaded coronavirus seems to be on the rise again in Europe, with some European countries experiencing an increase of new cases, but this time with fewer deaths. This resurgence of recent weeks, has not forced as many people into medical wards as last spring. However, the increase of Convid-19 is widespread, unsettling people who hoped the worst was behind them. So far, the rise in cases is in France, Germany and Spain, with Spain hit particularly hard. Europe had just started their schools for the new academic year.

2) The E-commerce giant Amazon has just opened its first ‘shop-in-person’ grocery store under its own name. The new store in the Los Angeles suburb of Woodland Hills, is a traditional physical store open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. PST. But the store has lots of high-tech touches such as a new feature called Dash Cart which allows you to use Alexa. This allows the customer to create a shopping list in advance then be guided around the store to those items on the list. The store uses cashierless checkout, so there isn’t any line to wait in. The customer has the option of using their Amazon account and Prime membership to order and get free delivery. Amazon is soon opening additional stores in other cities.

3) One of the most powerful storms to ever hit the US Gulf Coast, Hurricane Laura has left the usual damage and destruction, but having missed the Houston and New Orleans areas, caused far less damage than it could have. The death toll was six people and monetary damages are estimated to be between $8 billion and $12 billion dollars, most of the loss in Louisiana with only about $500 million dollars in Texas. The total economic cost from damaged structures and closed businesses is estimated to be about $20 billion dollars.

4) Stock market closings for – 28 AUG 20:

Dow 28,653.87 up 161.60
Nasdaq 11,695.63 up 70.30
S&P 500 3,508.01 up 23.46

10 Year Yield: down at 0.73%

Oil: down at $42.93