26 March 2021

1) The U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous 8-0 ruling in a civil procedure case, has made corporations suffer a huge loss by making it easier to sue over defective and dangerous products. The basic thrust of the controversies is actually fairly simple in the case of Ford Motor Co. v. Montana Eighth Judicial District Court. The state court held that it had jurisdiction over Ford Motor Company in a product liability suit stemming from a car accident, since the accident happened in the state where suit was brought, and the victim was one of the state’s residents. Furthermore Ford did substantial business in the state with advertising, selling, and servicing the model of vehicle the suit claims is defective. Ford contends that jurisdiction is improper because the particular car involved in the crash was not sold in the state where Ford was sued, nor was it designed or manufactured there. The Supreme Court has essentially staked out two methods for bringing lawsuits against huge corporations: 1) general jurisdiction, and 2) specific jurisdiction. When minimum contacts are found to be sufficiently related to the cause of action, a given court may exercise jurisdiction over such claims.

2) Taiwan and the U.S. plan to deepen maritime security ties in view of China’s escalating ‘gray-zone’ threats. The Chinese government has made vast maritime claims in the South China Sea and also claims sovereignty over the Japanese controlled Senkaku Islands, which it calls Diaoyu. Until Beijing enacted its new coast guard law last month, the country relied on its myriad of armed fishing militia to harass the vessels of other regional claimants. However, China’s neighbors have raised concerns about the revised maritime police legislation, which allows coast guard ships to fire upon foreign vessels deemed to be intruding in Chinese territorial waters. Manila and Tokyo, both who are U.S. defense treaty allies with the U.S., have expressed concern at the potential consequences of the law.

3) Google’s systems infrastructure group calls their new Systems on Chip (SoC) the motherboard on a chip. The cloud computing giant, who is always in need of more computing power for its servers, until now relies on the motherboard as an integration point, where CPUs, networking, storage devices, custom accelerators and memory all come together. To gain higher performance and to use less power, workloads demand even deeper integration into the underlying hardware. With the SoC, the latency and bandwidth between different components can be orders of magnitude better, with reduced power and cost compared to traditional motherboards.

4) Stock market closings for – 25 MAR 21:

Dow Jones 32,619 up by 199.42
NASDAQ 12,978 up by 15.79
S&P 500 3,910 up by 20.38

10 Year Yields: up at 1.635

Oil: down at 61.84

10 July 2020

1) There are predictions of a relentless heat wave to blanket the U.S. for the next several weeks. This heat wave is just starting in the South, but is expected to move north and east with 100 degree plus temperatures across Ohio Valley and into the Mid-Atlantic areas. The National Weather Service forecast record high temperatures from Friday to Tuesday with as much as 75 record highs broken. But the question isn’t how high the temperatures will get, but for how long? It is expected temperatures during the multiple week span will have only a few days of normal temperatures. These high temperatures are caused by heat domes, sprawling areas of high pressure bringing hot and dry conditions for days. Such phenomena have economic impacts such as high electricity consumption.

2) Walmart is reportedly close to launching Walmart+ in July, a membership program that closely resembles Amazon Prime. The service cost $98 per year and includes same-day delivery, fuel discounts and other perks. Originally to open this last spring, it was delayed because of the pandemic. Walmart has nearly 3,300 store pickup locations and more than 1,850 stores offer same day grocery delivery.

3) The Supreme Court ruled that the eastern half of Oklahoma can be considered Native American territory. The case originated from a conviction of Jimcy McGirt, a Native American, who claims his state conviction in 1997 for rape, should be overturned because Oklahoma lacks jurisdiction, that the Indian reservation had not been properly terminated by the Congress. This would mean the federal government would have jurisdiction, so McGirt would be subject to federal criminal laws instead of Oklahoma. The ruling effects half of Oklahoma and 1.8 million residents. Oklahoma fears the decision will create civil, criminal and regulatory turmoil.

4) Stock market closings for – 9 JUL 20:

Dow 25,706.09 down 361.19
Nasdaq 10,547.75 up 55.25
S&P 500 3,152.05 down 17.89

10 Year Yield: down at 0.60%

Oil: up at $39.59

25 February 2020

1) The drug maker Moderna Inc. has shipped its first batch of coronavirus vaccine to U.S. government researchers for human testing. The government will test if the experimental shot can help suppress the epidemic that originated in China. Test are expected to start by the end of April on 20 to 25 healthy volunteers to see if two doses are safe and can induce an immune response that protects against infection. Using the virus’ genetic sequence, Moderna was able to make a fast response in developing a vaccine.

2) The United States Supreme Court has ruled on a decade long legal battle against Apple. The decision against Apple leaves the company open to paying $440 million dollars to the technology licensing company VirnetX for violations of its patents. The legal battle has been on going since 2010 for violations of VirnetX four patents. With the ruling against Apple, the case will be sent back to the district court in Texas to enforce the $440 million damages.

3) Canada’s oil sands industry may have built its last big mine. The cancellation of Teck Resources Ltd.’s Frontier project in northen Alberta, which was expected to produce more crude than OPEC member Gabon, has seen most of it’s foreign investors fall out. Other proposed mines may not be able to clear the hurdles that foil the Frontier project, thus ending an era of mega-projects that had made Canada the largest importer of crude to the United States. The dropping of crude oil prices has had a detrimental effect on the industry.

4) Stock market closings for – 24 FEB 20: The Dow closes down 1,000 points wiping out a year’s gains.

Dow 27,960.80 down 1031.61
Nasdaq 9,221.28 down 355.31
S&P 500 3,225.89 down 111.86

10 Year Yield: down at 1.38%

Oil: down at $51.34

3 February 2020

1) Brexit, the exit of Britain from the European Union, has been confirmed by the European Parliament with a vote Wednesday, which ratified the withdrawal agreement. The vote to ratify was 621 to 49 with 13 abstentions. For the EU (European Union) the loss of Britain represents a significant defeat, a loss of size, reach, momentum and permanence akin to the U.S. losing Texas. Potentially, the EU bloc now has less clout, although the remaining 27 countries have been drawn tighter together by the debate. Now comes the negotiations of EU’s future relationship with Britain to try and maintain the single open market.

2) Delta Air Lines and American Airlines announced they are suspending service to mainland China to counter the spread of coronavirus. It is expected that United Airlines is expected to soon follow suit. American will continue service to Hong Kong. Other world air carriers have also announced suspended or reduced services to China.

3) With the decision two years ago by the Supreme Court to widely legalize sports betting, companies are rushing in to expand sports betting operations. U.S. casino operators, fantasy apps and betting grands from Europe and Australia are in a race for American customers now that the way has been cleared for betting outside of Nevada.

4) Stock market closings for – 31 JAN 20: Fears of China’s coronavirus continue to push markets down.

Dow                   28,256.03    down    603.41
Nasdaq               9,150.94     down    148.00
S&P 500              3,225.52     down       58.14

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.52%

Oil:    down   at    $51.63

US SUPREME COURT WILL HEAR CASE ON INSIDER TRADING!!!!!

us-supreme-court

By: Economic & Finance Report

 The US Supreme Court in the first week of October, will be hearing an important case on insider trading. The case is important because it will limit prosecutors setting out on litigation against hedge fund managers and their hedge funds.

The case that the justices will hear is one of Bassam Salman, an Illinois investor who  accumulated $1.2 million dollars from inside trading, because his brother in law had insider trading information on Citigroup Inc clients.  Salmon’s brother worked for the Citigroup as well.

In over 20 years the Supreme Court has never once decided an insider trading case, most times cases were handled in lower courts and were defined by the SEC to pursue litigation. This case is one of its kind for the financial regulatory body.

It is noted that the outcome and decision of this particular case could have an enormous effect in the investment and trading community; and better be sure the financial watch dogs will be monitoring the outcome of this definitive case. -SB