1) In a move that shows just how much troubled the airline industry is, United Airlines is sending out layoff warnings to half of its U.S. staff, or about 36,000 employees. The world’s airline industry has be devastated by the coronavirus crisis, with the prospects for recovery in air travel dimming in just the past two weeks because of a rise in infections. The ‘36,000 people’ is a worst case scenario, with United striving to minimize layoffs through things like early retirement packages. Air travel had plunged 95% from March to April, and has been making a slow recovery. Still air travel is down 70%.
2) After more than fifteen months since being grounded for safety, Boeing’s 737 MAX is finally getting close to winning approval to fly again. But it’s not expected the aircraft will actually start carrying passengers until late this year at the earliest. Now with a history of missed deadlines, neither Boeing or the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) will say when the airplane will be approved to fly passengers. But after the aircraft is certified, there will still be months of training before the 737 MAX can actually operate. The good news is the test flights signal the certification is nearing its end. Once the U.S. has granted approval, Boeing will start the process of certification in a number of other countries which the 737 will operate out of. Plus, the 400 aircraft built during the grounding will need to be modified and tested before they can be delivered. The biggest question is how much and how long the airline industry will need to recover from the pandemic.
3) President Trump is threatening to cut off funding for schools that do not reopen this fall. It’s unclear just how the federal government could exert significant financial pressure on states and local school systems. The President is also in disagreement with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for their reopening.
4) Stock market closings for – 8 JUL 20:
Dow 26,067.28 up 177.10 Nasdaq 10,492.50 up 148.61 S&P 500 3,169.94 up 24.62
1) Several name brand products have decided to withdraw from Amazon for direct sales, the latest being Ikea, who started selling through Amazon in 2018. Other brand names such as Nike, Birkenstock and PopSockets are withdrawing too, considering it isn’t worth the hassle. There are growing fears that more big brands will flee the site, although their products can still be purchased through third party sellers on Amazon.
2) A ransom ware attack on foreign currency exchange company Travelex on New Year’s Eve has disrupted cash deliveries from its network of vaults to world banks. Banks in U.K. such as Barclays PLC, Lloyds Banking Group PLC and Westpac Banking Corp. are unable to take orders from customers in branches relying on Travelex services. Travelex was attacked with a ransom ware software virus called Sodinokibi often called Revil that locks up data via encryption.
3) Half the work force doesn’t expect to retire at age 65, while 13% don’t expect to retire at all. The average worker needs to have three quarters of a million dollars saved for retirement in order to maintain their standard of living. People are just not able to accumulate such wealth with conventional 401K plans, requiring significant additional investments by individuals. This is particularly difficult for middle and lower class American workers who are struggling to meet their basic livelihood expenses.
4) Stock market closings for – 10 JAN 20:
Dow 28,823.77 down 133.13 Nasdaq 9,178.86 down 24.56 S&P 500 3,265.35 down 9.35
1) Timothy Litzenburg, a Virginia lawyer involved in litigation over the health risks of Monsanto’s roundup weed killer product, has been arrested. He is charged with interstate intentions to extort an unnamed company into a $200 million dollar consulting fee for his firm. Litzenburg threatened to find people who he would advise to sue companies for exposing them to the chemical, but that he would cease searching for potential plaintiffs in exchange for a multi million dollar consulting agreement.
2) Freddie Mac has offered early retirement to about 25% of its staff in a drive to overhaul its workforce, as a result of the Trump administration’s reforming the housing finance giant. There are 1,650 eligible employees being offer the early out, with about one quarter expected to take the buyout. This will be about 6% of Freddie Mac’s workforce.
3) The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped from more than a two year high, decreasing 18,000 to 234,000. This points to a sustained labor market strength, another sign of a strong American economy. Despite trade tensions and slowing global growth with a weighing down on manufacturing, the economy is on a moderate growth path.
4) Stock market closings for – 19 DEC 19:
Dow 28,376.96 up at 137.68 Nasdaq 8,887.22 up at 59.48 S&P 500 3,205.37 up at 14.23
1) Boeing’s profits have plunged because of their 737 MAX problems, which has cost them one billion dollars so far. The fix for the aircraft is causing uncertainty in their earnings and how long it will take before the aircraft is re-certified for operating. There are further concerns over foreign re-certification taking longer than the FAA. Boeing had 4,600 unfilled orders for the 737 MAX.
2) Almost one half of American parents are cutting back on their retirement savings to help pay their adult children’s bills. Additionally, parents are not setting aside some amount of their earns for retirement savings, instead are helping their children pay bills. The average American needs three-quarters of a million dollars in savings to retire and maintain their standard of living.
3) Many major companies are raising prices, considering that raising prices a little will help increase profits. Some of these companies are the railroads, Kimberly-Clark, Procter and Gamble and Whirlpool. Rising wages and raising productivity will tend to increase inflation.
4) 24 APR 19 Stock market closings: Red across the board with everything down.
Dow 26,597.05 down 59.34 Nasdaq 8,102.02 down 18.81 S&P 500 2,927.25 down 6.43
1) Study finds that Generation-X and Millennials are disillusioned and worried about their careers and future. They are working hard and long hours with little to show for it, worried about layoffs and no longer being needed, and therefore having to start over again. Also fears of little for their retirement.
2) This week may well be the most significant week since Great Britain went to war in World War II. The Prime Minister admits to not having enough votes for the exit plan. Parliament is working on its own exit plan, while the British people are now deeply divided as a ‘exit crash out’ is quickly approaching.
3) The laws of economics threatens to doom many American coal electric plants, amid claims that it’s cheaper to do renewable energy technology than to update coal plants. These doubtful power plants represents 211 gigawatts of power generation, or about 74% of coal fired plants in America.
4) 25 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,516.83 up 14.51 Nasdaq 7,637.54 down 5.13 S&P 500 2,798.36 down 2.35