1) With the worldwide push for green energy surging, the lithium-ion battery market is projected to hit $1 trillion dollars globally by just 2026. Lithium-ion batteries have been powering smaller devices for years such as smartphones and power tools, but have become paramount in every major electric vehicle, as well as many medical devices. But at this point, about 80% of all lithium-ion cell production is coming out of China. That’s why the EU is pouring in stimulus money for businesses trying to attain energy independence in the lithium powered age of technology. Producing lithium-ion batteries is needed to store renewable energy and power EVs. The rush is on to find new sources to mine high grade lithium as battery prices are climbing.
2) U.S. Steel Corp. has purchased the flat-rolled sheet patents and trademarks for advanced, high-strength steel made by The NanoSteel Co. Inc. of Providence, R.I. These patented proprietary alloys have a nanoscale microstructure, which creates a unique combination of extreme strength and the enhanced formability normally only found in low-strength mild steels. This means the NanoSteel grades can be rolled thinner than other high-strength grades and are designed for automotive and heavy industrial applications where higher strength-to-weight ratios are needed. U.S. Steel reported a loss of $1.2 billion in 2020 but predicted better things for 2021. Earlier this year, the company purchase of an ultramodern mini-mill in Arkansas.
3) The South Dakota Farmers Union is asking their lawmakers to stop the merging of the Department of Agriculture with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The South Dakota governor passed an executive order last year merging the two departments to streamline state government. The farmers content the state’s agriculture industry depends upon the Department of Agriculture remaining a stand-alone agency to best serve the many South Dakota family farmers and ranchers. They consider that invariably there will be conflicts on land use, water issues, or air quality that will involve modern agriculture. There are fears that without a check and balance, technical issues in the agriculture industry will not be fairly resolved, but rather by political influence.
4) Stock market closings for – 8 MAR 21:
Dow 31,802.44 up by 306.14 Nasdaq 12,609.16 down by 310.99 S&P 500 3,821.35 down by 20.59
1) The stock markets continue their downward crash over worries of the conronavirus impact on economies making the week the worst week since the financial crisis. Caterpillar, a bellwether stock for global growth, slide down 3%, the worst performer among Dow stocks. Apple dropped 2.9% while Chevron and Cisco Systems are down more than 2%. Investors are worried the downward slide may continue after the conronavirus subsides, especially if China doesn’t return to its previous position, so recovery could be a long haul.
2) The sale of smartphones is collapsing in China, which is the largest market in the world. The plunged in sales is directly due to the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese companies had skidded to a halt, with the accelerated outbreak last month a result of quarantine mandates, travel restrictions and factory shutdowns. Huawei, the Chinese tech company, is being hit hard because it is the top selling smartphone in China.
3) Gold prices have been acting strangely with the reversals in the markets because of coronavirus fears. Traditionally, gold has been a ‘panic investment’ that investors flee to when there’s economic uncertainty, but this time investors are selling gold to generate cash. They are fleeing anything priced via bidding, for safer assets such as treasury bonds, which in turn is driving down bond interest rates. This indicates how worried the professional investors are about the world economic system.
4) Stock market closings for – 28 FEB 20:
Dow 25,409.36 down 357.28
Nasdaq 8,567.37 up 0.89
S&P 500 2,954.22 down 24.54
1) The massive internet retailer Amazon has just been granted a patent for robots that drop off bunches of items on delivery routes. The robot has storage compartments where the customer comes out to the sidewalk, taps in the required security code on their smartphones that opens the door to a compartment so the person can get his package. The robot addresses the last mile or final fifty feet of package deliver. Such a robot also address the problem of porch pirates.
2) The mortgage companies seem to be reverting back to their old ways that triggered the financial crisis in 2008. This is the practice of giving large loans with small down payments to those with low FICO scores. FICO scores as low as 640 are getting mortgages of up to $2 million dollars, scores which were considered sub-prime prior to the 2008 economic near collapse.
3) The stock markets have pulled back from record high levels after the Center for Disease Control announced the first case of conronavirus in America. The highly contagious disease was discovered in a traveler coming from China. Particularly hit were stocks in casino and hotel companies, as well as airline companies and other companies involved with international travel. The Asian markets have also suffered a sudden drop which is blamed on the spreading virus.
4) Stock market closings for – 21 JAN 20:
Dow 29,196.04 down 152.06 Nasdaq 9,370.81 down 18.14 S&P 500 3,320.79 down 8.83
1) The first all electric ‘gas station’ has been opened in America in Takoma Park, Maryland. The owner of the gas station, which has been around since 1958, decided to convert to all electric supplier of auto energy because of the difficulties and short comings of business with the oil companies. There are 20,700 registered EVs (Electric Vehicles) in Maryland, and the station has four dispensers that allow four vehicles to charge to 80% battery capacity in 20 to 30 minutes.
2) The market for smartphones is expected to decline by 3.2% for 2019, the largest decline ever. This decline is a result of the market becoming saturated because there’s no longer the innovations in device features plus the life span of devices has increased. Users are reluctant to buy new phones if there isn’t a perception of new abilities and features. The next big push in sales will be from the 5G devices as service areas expand.
3) The e-cigarette industry faces a crisis with Juul Labs potentially being crippled by a ban on most of it’s product. The tobacco giant Altria Group Inc., who owns 35% of Juul Labs, and had been in talks with Philip Morris International for a blockbuster merger, but those talks collapsed in part by the threat of Juul’s potential troubles with federal regulation.
4) Stock market closings for – 26 SEP 19:
Dow 26,891.12 down 79.59 Nasdaq 8,030.66 down 46.72 S&P 500 2,977.62 down 7.25
Potential gossip talks, suggest that Samsung is eyeing Blackberry for 7-8 billion dollar buyout. Executives from both sides met last week about this latest mobile technology acquisition.
Executives from Blackberry believe though for the deal to actually go through the # over $7 billion has to be initiated… Blackberry believes the company’s value is way more then the $7 billion dollars offered by any company, and they have turned down many deals within that price range as well.
The deal could come under scrutiny from investors, shareholders, and US regulators alike… Blackberry investors and shareholders deem the deal to be unreasonably too low an offer as indicated, and regulators would deem the deal doomed because Samsung does not have majority control as far as price shares in the company. So there are philosophical differences on all sides.
Though, we do not know all details of such a merger between both companies, and if it would even pan out, Samsung and Blackberry have engaged in a security pact between each other, which originated this past November. The security partnership aligns Blackberry’s security platform with Samsung’s security software…
Blackberry shares dipped a bit on Friday because of their mixed earning report for the end of the year quarter. Finishing down to $9.99. There seems that there is still a lot more work to be done as Blackberry is restructuring the company.
The company did below what analysts had predicted of $1 billion dollars in revenue. Blackberry reported losing $148 in revenue in the 3 quarter. Blackberry executives expect the company to continue with either “break-even” or a little better route in their cash flow for 2015, but the Chairman/CEO John Chen expects Blackberry to hit profitability in the beginning of 2016.