1) The retailer giant Amazon is expanding into the grocery business by leasing retail space across the Los Angeles area, signing leases for more than twelve locations. This is the first step of plans to open grocery stories across the nation. Amazon job postings are looking for people to work in retail concepts for a multiple customer experiences under one roof. Stores are reportedly to be about 35,000 square feet and intended to compete with big box stores such as Walmart, Target and Kroger.
2) The Institute for Supply Management says its manufacturing index dropped to 47.8 last month, the lowest since June 2009, below the forecast 49.1. Indexes below 50 indicate a contraction in manufacturing. Manufacturing accounts for 12% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product), so a slowdown could effect other parts of the economy. Other indicators have shown output increased over last month.
3) Oil prices record its weakest quarter since late last year as fears over a global economic slowdown overshadowed the attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities. Brent futures are down 8.7% since the end of June, despite the peak after the attacks. The price of oil is considered an economic indicator, since demand goes down as economies slow down, making more oil available, thus causing oil prices to decline.
4) Stock market closings for – 1 OCT 19:
Dow 26,573.04 down 343.79 Nasdaq 7,908.68 down 90.65 S&P 500 2,940.25 down 36.49
1) The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has warned of astronomical oil prices if tensions escalate in the Persian Gulf. In a ‘60 Minute’ interview, the Prince called for strong and firm action to deter Iran and lessen the threat to world interests, so as to avoid disruptions of oil exports. The attacks on Saudi oil production facilities caused Brent crude to jump 19.5%, the biggest jump on record. The Middle East provides about 30% of the world’s energy supplies constituting about 4% of world GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
2) In order to avoid a quarterly decline in U.S. retail sales, automakers are offering big discounts to maintain sales growth. For the last three months, auto sales have flattened with average incentive spending rising 6% to more than $4,110 per vehicle, which is a third quarter record.
3) The fashion retailer Forever 21 Inc. has filed for bankruptcy protection and is the latest big fashion merchant who, like many other retailer chains, is unable to cope with high rents and heavy competition from e-commerce. The chain has 800 stores across the world, selling affordable but eye-catching designs, but has falling out of favor with the generation-Z consumers who turn to e-commerce. The bankruptcy will allow the company to reorganize and gain additional capital for operations.
4) Stock market closings for – 30 SEP 19:
Dow 26,916.83 up 96.58 Nasdaq 7,999.34 up 59.71 S&P 500 2,976.74 up 14.95
1) Saudi Arabia has restored 75% of its crude oil output and will have restored full production by next week. The September 14 attacks had reduced crude production to half, but promises that production will be fully restored by the end of September. The Saudis have managed to avoid a world wide oil crisis by drawing upon their stockpiles to continue supplying their customers at near pre-attack levels of crude.
2) The retailer giant Amazon plans to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans from the company Rivian as part of its carbon neutral plan. Furthermore, Amazon announced plans to up its present 40% renewable energy to 100% by 2030. Rivian will design a custom electric delivery van for Amazon to be delivered between 2021 and 2024, who also has an agreement with Ford to develop an electric F-150 pickup truck. Amazon is also working to halt its support of the fossil fuel industry, stopping donations to climate denying politicians and think tanks, and stopping the oppression of climate refugees.
3) The British travel firm Thomas Cook has collapsed with bankruptcy, leaving about 600,000 customers stranded. The 178 year old group, which is debt plagued and struggling against fierce online competition for some time, is blaming Brexit uncertainty for the recent drop in bookings, and thus its inability to secure $250 million dollar loan to prevent collapse. This also leaves 22,000 staff members unemployed, with the British government chartering airlines to fly stranded passengers home.
4) Stock market closings for – 23 SEP 19:
Dow 26,949.99 up 14.92 Nasdaq 8,112.46 down 5.21 S&P 500 2,991.78 down 0.29
10 Year Yield: down at 1.71%
1) There are expectations that global growth will slow this year to a rate that can become a financial crisis. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development claims new data showing the US-China trade dispute is increasingly threatening the outlook of the two largest economies as well as others. Furthermore, the uncertainty from the Brexit and a possible crash out would further aggravate economic growth in the European sector.
2) Saudi Arabia is avoiding a global oil crisis by using the crude it holds in reserve until production can be fully restored. The Saudi’s claim necessary repairs will be completed in two to three weeks, thus restoring production levels prior to the attack. However, oil experts are skeptical that these repairs can be done in such a short period of time. This uncertainty is due in part from Saudi Arabia’s lack of transparence of their oil operations.
3) Good news for home owners, sales of used homes rose to its highest in more than a year, with the median price up 4.7% from last year to $278,200. This home sale bonanza is fueled in part by the low interest rates now available and by income gains. However, there are fears of a global economic slow down darkening this rosy picture in the near future. Presently, it would take 4.1 months to sell all the available houses, with realtors considering anything below a five month supply a tight market.
4) Stock market closings for – 19 SEP 19:
Dow 27,094.79 down 52.29 Nasdaq 8,182.88 up 5.49 S&P 500 3,006.79 up 0.06
1) A federal judge has ruled that investors may sue five big banks for conspiring to rig prices on bonds worth hundreds of billions of dollars issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for a seven year period. This clears the way for investors to pursue antitrust claims against Bank of America, BNP Paribas SA, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group and Morgan Stanley. The banks are accused of fixing prices at a specific level before bringing the bonds to the secondary market.
2) The U.S. trade deficit narrowed overall slightly in July, however the gap with China surged to a six-month high. The trade tensions have caused wild swings in the trade deficit as exporters and importers try to stay ahead of the tariff fight between America and China. The Atlanta Federal Reserve is forecasting the economy growing at a 1.7% pace in the third quarter.
3) Oil dependent nations are facing economic troubles because gas and oil production are unsustainable. As oil and gas supplies dwindle and demand decreases, their once lucrative revenues may be decreasing. Nations whose economies are principally oil production face a trouble future as their oils supplies decline in the next few decades, with nothing to replace those revenues. Those nations facing economic troubles are the UAE, Nigeria, Qatar, Libya, Angola, Kuwait, Venezuela, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
4) Stock market closings for – 4 SEP 19:
Dow 26,355.47 up 237.45 Nasdaq 7,976.88 up 102.72 S&P 500 2,937.78 up 31.51
1) Retail giant Walmart reported a strong second quarter and raised its earnings expectations for the year. This news eases concerns about consumer demand dropping because of the trade war with China. Shoppers spent more at stores and websites, indicating the consumer economy has not lost steam. Walmart posted a 20 quarter or five years of growth unmatched by any other retailer. The retailer gets 56% of its revenues from grocery sales, so it is less vulnerable to tariffs.
2) In July, American’s spent more at retail stores and restaurants, indicating the economic growth remains healthy, despite fears of a coming global economic slowdown and possible recession. Despite such fears, consumer confidence remains steady. Most economists are not forecasting a recession, because consumer spending and the job market remains strong.
3) Saudi Arabia is ramping up its oil exports to China, with crude shipments doubled over the last year, while its oil exports to America have dropped by nearly two thirds. This shift has occurred in part from oil embargo on Iran, which has caused Asian importers to shift away from Iran to other sources, aided by U.S. growing independence of any oil imports. The U.S. is becoming the worlds largest producer of oil.
4) Stock market closings for – 15 AUG 19:
Dow 25,579.39 up 99.97 Nasdaq 7,766.62 down 7.32 S&P 500 2,847.60 up 7.00
1) Tensions increase in U.S. – China trade war with increasing fears that the war could be long and painful. In response to China’s new tariffs on $60 billion dollars President Trump is threatening to impose additional tariffs on $300 billion dollars worth of imports. While just a couple of weeks ago, it seemed that China and America were close to reaching an agreement, now it seems both sides have dug in their heels.
2) One military contractor is reportedly making 9,400% profit on a replacement part, a half-inch drive pin. This part should have cost $46 but the government is being charged $4,361 each. Legislation is being considered that would give contracting officers the power to demand data that would back-up billings.
3) Tensions are increasing in the middle east with Saudi Arabia claims of a terrorist drone attacks on pipeline pumping stations. The reports caused a surged in oil prices with fears of possible oil shortages if attacks on Saudi’s oil production continue.
4) 14 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,532.05 up 207.06 Nasdaq 7,734.49 up 87.47 S&P 500 2,834.41 up 22.54
1) Ghawar, the biggest Saudi oil field is declining faster than was generally accepted by the world oil market. Oil production and reserves have been a state secret for more than forty years, but in a just released prospectus, Saudi Arabia open it’s books to reveal that their largest oil field has a maximum production three quarters what was assumed. Still, the Saudis claim they are able to pump oil at the maximum capacity of 12 million barrels a day, enough for another 52 years.
2) Signet Jewelers plans to close more than 150 of its stores in the fiscal year 2020. This is part of their plan to turn around the company and includes stores from Kay, Zales and Jared. Signet based their decision on a decline of mall foot traffic and increasing promotions required to get sales. They expect sales to drop 2.5% next year.
3) As the dollar weakens, gold has shown little change. Some claim gold prices reveal the true state of US economic health. When high, the economy is not healthy, while when low, it is healthy. People invest in gold as a hedge, a heaven or as a direct investment. The price of gold is more than just supply or demand since gold production is just a small fraction of the world gold supply.
4) 3 APR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 26,218.13 up 39.00 Nasdaq 7,895.55 up 46.86 S&P 500 2,873.40 up 6.16
1) Saudi Arabia has invested $20 billion dollars in Pakistan, including $10 billion dollars for an oil refinery.
2) Seven members of the British parliament have resigned over Brexit. They couldn’t abide the labor parties movement towards the left with anti-semitism and racism.
3) A Spanish warship tried to intimidate a British civilian ship to exit the waters around Gibralter to assert Spain’s sovereignty claim over the British territory of 300 years. With Britain exiting the European Union (Brexit), Spain is renewing its efforts to reclaim the territory.
4) 18 FEB 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,883.25 up 443.86 Nasdaq 7,472.41 up 45.45 S&P 500 2,775.60 up 29.87
Wrap up of 2018 episode, Sammy BE (Bizman Bassey), James Lyman &
on the boards, magic Jon Don Sterling. The trio discussed topics and
issues ranging from economy, business, trade, and a little politics, for
the year of 2018.
Sammy and James spoke on the trade policies
with China, the new USMCA Trade Agreement between USA, Mexico, &
Canada (replacing of NAFTA). Problems that may have handicapped General
Motors (GM); Saudi Arabia policy & reporter death of Jamal
Khashoggi. The gentlemen ended of the 2018 year speaking of the
improving US economy (GDP) and the new Congress (Democratic House,
Republican led Senate), that will be entering in January 2019.
This a mouthful that you don’t want to miss, ending of 2018 wrap up episode…. Happy New Year… See You In 2019