1) Fully 70% of the American economy is consumer spending. Even through wages and incomes have been stagnant for many households, the consumer has continued to spend. It is not new investment by corporations, tax cuts or big new federal spending programs that stimulate the economy, but rather it’s consumer spending. However, fears of the coronavirus is dampening that spending by curtailing business trips, personal travel, sports and other outings. With the interest rate near zero, the major tool used to combat a recession is now impotent.
2) The collapse of the long standing deal between Saudi Arabia and Russia, to limit oil production, fell through this weekend sending oil prices crashing from oil supplies surplus. The coronavirus has caused China to limit economic activity and therefore reduced China’s oil consumption leading to further oil surpluses. China’s purchase of oil is down 20%. The low oil prices has made the world economy very unstable and therefore volatile. For America, independent oil companies have gone deeply into debt to pay for the shale oil extraction process, who are now threaten by low oil prices making it impossible to pay that debt. Failure of these oil companies could ripple through the American economy to pull other segments down.
3) Airlines across the world continue to sink deeper into crisis from the worsening coronavirus epidemic reducing the number of passengers, who are foregoing travel fearing the virus. The situation is made worst by not being able to predict how long the crisis will likely last and therefore unable to make accommodating plans. The lockdown of Italy has further aggravated world air travel, especially with the interruption of tourism just as the tourist season would be ramping up.
4) Stock market closings for – 10 MAR 20
Dow 25,018.16 up 1,167.14 Nasdaq 8,344.25 up 393.577
1) The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) will vote later this month on rules requiring all providers of phone service to implement automatic call blocking. This automatic technology will block illegal robocalls, that is, the automatic calling of people with a prerecorded message or to connect the person to a salesman. This will give phone and cable companies until June 20, 2021 to implement. This blocking technology is called STIR/SHAKEN protocol that authenticates the origin of a call and can automatically block it if it’s from an illegal robocaller.
2) The U.S. credit markets of bonds are suffering their worst day in a decade as fears increase over the spreading coronavirus and it’s possible effects on corporate income as well as their ability to repay debt. Bonds of American Airlines Group Inc. dropped to near distressed levels as companies worldwide canceled business travel. Other travel related bonds, such as rental car and cruise line companies, as well as energy companies, their bonds and loans fell further towards distressed levels. The selling off of bonds triggered a surge in derivative indexes that investors use to hedge against losses. The week has seen the most cash in at least ten years being withdrawn from funds buying corporate bonds and loans.
3) There are fears that the unraveling of the Saudi-Russia alliance will cause the biggest plunge of oil prices since 2015. Talks between members of the OPEC+ collapsed in Vienna, with members free to pump oil without any restrictions starting next month. The collapses is a result of Russia’s refusal to accept Saudi Arabia’s proposal for output cuts aimed at offsetting the coronavirus crisis’s impact on demand. Oil futures have plunged about 9% in New York and London.
4) Stock market closings for – 6 MAR 20:
Dow 25,864.78 down 256.50 Nasdaq 8,575.62 down 162.98 S&P 500 2,972.37 down 51.57
1) Two of the largest Wall Street banks are trying to create an index to track the market impact of President Trumps’s tweets. J.P. Morgan Chase and Company has created an index to quantify the effects on U.S. bond yields. Citigroup Inc.’s foreign exchange team consider Trump’s tweets increasingly relevant to foreign exchange moves. Approximately 10% of the president’s tweets since his election in 2016 pertain to subjects of importance to U.S. markets.
2) The Elliott Management Corp. offers a plan to boost the share price of AT&T by more than 50% through asset sales and cost cutting. The four part plan calls for the company to divest assets including satellite-TV provider DirecTV, Mexican wireless operations, parts of its land line business and other assets. The bases for the plan is for AT%T to exit businesses that don’t fit its strategy as well as running more efficient operations, plus stop making major acquisitions.
3) China has added almost 100 tons of gold to its reserves since resuming buying in December. Bullion is near a six year high as central banks including the Federal Reserve cut interest rates. Trade war restrictions as with China, or sanctions as with Russia, gives an incentive for central banks to diversify, with gold providing an ideal hedge with increasing political and economic uncertainty. Spot gold was $1,510.27 an ounce on Monday, and is expected to rise to $1,600 an ounce in the coming months.
4) Stock market closings for – 13 SEP 19:
Dow 27,219.52 up 37.07 Nasdaq 8,176.71 down 17.75 S&P 500 3,007.39 down 2.18
1) Avia Capital Services, a Russian aircraft leasing company, has filed a law suit against Boeing aircraft to cancel an order for 35 737 MAX jets. The law suit alleges that Boeing failed to disclose safety issues and therefore knowingly sold defective products. The company seeks $115 million dollars in compensation damages. Boeing had a $2.9 billion dollar loss for its second quarter, the biggest loss ever for Boeing.
2) An Oklahoma lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for $572 million dollars over its marketing of opioid drugs will spur further trials and legal settlements. This ruling will shape negotiations with about 1,500 similar lawsuits across the country. Plaintiffs content that Johnson & Johnson failed to market the drugs responsibly and failed to stop suspicious orders from shipping.
3) Telecommunications provider Sprint announced the next phase of its 5G rollout adding the big cities of New York City, Phoenix and Washington DC to launch service starting 27 August. Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City already have Sprint’s 5G service, with Sprint saying they now have 2,100 square miles of 5G.
4) Stock market closings for – 27 AUG 19:
Dow 25,777.90 down 120.93 Nasdaq ,826.95 down 26.79 S&P 500 2,869.16 down 9.22
1) At a time when auto sales are slowing or even sagging, pickup truck sales continue to rise even with hefty yearly price increases. The industry average for full size pickups is $45,260 in 2019. Chevrolet has announced an all new version of its Silverado that tops the $100,000 price. Profit margins for pickups are large compared with standard automobiles, about $10,000 per truck, with high end trucks bringing as much as $20,000.
2) Importers are dodging the tariffs on Chinese goods by entering the U.S. via third countries such as Vietnam. This practice is called transshipment where Chinese goods are minimally processed or altered in a third country then shipped to America as exports from that third country. The administration has spent this last year investigation strategies to best counter this ploy, which cost America billions of dollars in uncollected tariffs.
3) As global demand for oil weakens amid America’s shale oil boom, OPEC considers extending its production cuts for another nine months. The supply growth in oil is expected to exceed the demand growth for 2020 with OPEC members wanting to get ahead of the situation to avoid a drastic drop in world oil prices. Russia in particular is pushing for extension as it strives to raise its production capacity.
4) Stock market closings for- 1 JUL 19:
Dow 26,717.43 up 117.47 Nasdaq 8,091.16 up 84.92 S&P 500 2,964.33 up 22.57
1) The Ford Motor company will eliminate 20% of its European workforce in a sweeping move to overhaul the manufacture’s falling sales. This will entail reducing its manufacturing facilities from 24 down to 18, with England, Germany and Russia the hardest hit. About 12,000 regular, staff and workers at joint ventures will be effected. Predicted deliveries for automobiles is down, as a result of Britain’s uncertainty from Brexit, with Ford’s European sales dropping 8.3% in May.
2) The crypto-currency Bitcoin having moved up over the last eighteen months to $14,000, suddenly drop 16%, down to $11,000. Bitcoin’s all time high was $20,000 reached in December of 2017, and is noted for it’s wild deviations of price over the last few years. Facebook just announced they are coming out with their own crypto-currency which may be a factor in Bitcoin’s sudden drop.
3) The Federal Aviation Administration has announced more safety concerns with Boeing’s 737 MAX just as the aircraft is being evaluated for software fixes designed to correct computer flight control systems. This system was responsible for two recent crashes with the death of all passengers and crew. Boeing’s stock dropped 3% Thursday as a result of added concerns for its star product, which the FAA is now evaluating software fixes with the expectations of finally getting its airliners airborne again. Boeing is presently parking completed 737 MAX aircraft in its car parking lots waiting for approval so they can make deliveries.
4) Stock market closings for- 27 JUN 19:
Dow 26,526.58 down 10.24 Nasdaq 7,967.76 up 57.79 S&P 500 2,924.92 up 11.14
1) The Russian company Rusal plans to build an up-to-date $200 million dollar aluminum rolling mill in Kentucky, which they intend to start construction of after sanctions have been lifted. The mill will provide about 1,500 jobs and is expected to open in 2021.
2) Gasoline prices are quickly rising to the three dollar a gallon mark, even four dollars for parts of California. This rise in price is attributed to several different factors, such as problems with loss of refinery capacity, reduced production from OPEC, higher domestic consumption, flooding reducing grain production for ethanol and sanctions on oil exporting countries.
3) Donations are already coming in to restore Notre Dame less than twenty-four hours after the fire. So far, several billionaires have contributed $700 million dollars to restore the 850 year old church. No doubt, the restoration will require substantially more money and will probably take decades to accomplish.
4) 16 APR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 26,452.66 up 67.89 Nasdaq 8,000.22 up 24.21 S&P 500 2,907.06 up 1.48
1) Trump’s Venezuela oil sanctions has put Russia’s massive loans at risk. With loans of over $7 billion dollars from Russia, which were to be repaid in crude oil delivers instead of currency, Russia faces ‘no payment’ until the sanctions are lifted.
2) Because of the increased production of oil in the US and imports from Canada, the use of oil carrying trains is increasing after having declined. Pipe lines are unable to carry the increasing volumes of oil to refineries.
3) Italy is now in negative economic growth for the second quarter, with no prospects of reversal in the near future.
4) 31 JAN 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 24,999.67 down 15.19 Nasdaq 7,281.74 up 98.66 S&P 500 2,704.10 up 23.05
This week’s episode Sammy BE, James Lymon and Jon Don “On The Boards”, discuss the G7 summit-conference, that President Donald Trump attended.
The trio discussed the economic and financial impact of the G7 meeting amongst the world’s most developed countries. Topics ranged from manufacturing, tariffs, trade, deficit, and surplus were discussed among the group, as well as other relevant topics in relation to the economy and finance in general, because this is what we do… THE EFR PODCAST…….
OPEC has insisted that oil output from Libya and Nigeria are not on the agenda in meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia next month to discus the pact OPEC members currently made to reduce oil supply flow.
Nigeria will cap oil production if it can maintain 1.8 barrels pumping, while Libya wants to maintain 1.25 barrels of oil flow. Libya and Nigeria are currently exempt from the curbing of oil production by OPEC. -SB