1) Sears is laying off a little less than 300 people in their corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois and company offices in San Francisco, many being informed in a company meeting. The last round of layoffs was 250 employees in September. Restructuring plans include closing 96 more Sears and Kmart stores by February leaving about 180 stores remaining.
2) Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is starting a social networking and news sharing site as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter. Called WT:Social, it will show the newest links first instead of using algorithms to bump posts with the most comments or likes to the top. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the service will be funded by advertising. Just a month old, and it already has 50,000 users.
3) Interest in tiny houses continues with Amazon now offering prefabs from 100 square feet up to 1,500 square feet and prices from $5,000 to over $100,000. These style of houses are becoming popular with the young just starting life who don’t have the resources to buy a conventional home. However, their small size, while more friendly to the environment, set constraints on peoples lifestyles, by limiting what they can own or the number of friends they can have over at any one time. Nevertheless, tiny house continue to grow in popularity.
4) Stock market closings for – 14 NOV 19:
Dow 27,781.96 down 1.63 Nasdaq 8,479.02 down 3.08 S&P 500 3,096.63 up 2.58
1) For the sixth straight month of a gold buying spree, China continues to add to it’s gold reserves under the protracted trade war. China added 58 tons of gold to its reserves in the five months to April, then added 15.86 tons in May. At this rate China could buy as much as 150 tons of gold in 2019, as they diversify away from the U.S. dollar.
2) The retailer giant Amazon has opened a second cashier-free store in New York, which makes the thirteenth ‘Amazon Go’ store to open in America. The convenience robot store is about 1,700 square feet with Amazon announcing its fourteenth store will open in San Francisco. By 2021, Amazon may open as many as 3,000 of these robot retailing stores which threaten other retailers like 7-Eleven shops, CVS and Walgreens.
3) Ten state attorney generals plan to jointly file a lawsuit to stop the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile. The $26 billion dollar merger will reduce the number of nationwide wireless carriers to three. So far, the deal has won the backing of the majority of the FCC, which makes the Federal Government in favor of the move.
4) Stock market closings for 11 JUN 19:
Dow 26,048.51 down 14.17 Nasdaq 7,822.57 down 0.60 S&P 500 2,885.72 down 1.01
1) Reports continue of a General Motors and Ford merger in the near future, both are in deep financial trouble. The proposed merger would make the new company the third largest in the world, behind Toyota and Volkswagen. Car sales have flattened in the U.S. and are dropping in China, which are the two largest car markets in the world. There are also questions of how successful Ford can enter the electric and hybrid car markets.
2) Amazon, the worlds largest retailer, is starting to purge many of its small vendors, and concentrate on large major brands like Lego, Procter & Gamble and Sony to better compete with the large traditional retailers such as Target and Walmart. This will be one of the biggest shifts in Amazon’s strategy since it started using independent sellers, and is scaring the daylights out of many smaller companies.
3) The prices for homes is rising at its slowest pace in six years, down 2.7% from last year’s 3%. Price gains in hot cities like San Francisco have cooled, which is causing sellers to pull in their price increases. The home and auto segments of the economy constitute one half of the U.S. economy.
4) 28 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,347.77 down 237.92 Nasdaq 7,607.35 down 29.66 S&P 500 2,802.39 down 23.67
It seems as though the housing market in northern California has taken off, and there is no indication that it is looking back either. In the city of San Francisco, one of the hottest housing markets in the US, houses seem to be moving quicker then ever. In Oakland another dynamic market in northern Cali, houses have doubled and in some cases tripled in sales from the previous year, next comes the lucrative and expansive area of San Jose.
Hopefully everyone’s credit scores are up to par, or at least close to be. These markets show no signs of devaluing in value. CNN MONEY indicates that the northern California market is picking up rapidly as the rest of the country is gradually uptrending in sales.
For first time home buyers, CNN MONEY states that the Midwest comes after the West Coast in affordable housing comps, especially couples or families pursuing a house for middle class income. The Midwest is the market to seek in a direction of affordability. -SB