1) President Trump’s tax cuts could be undone a little at a time. Unlikely to repel his tax cuts directly, the Democrats could slowly undo them by an ‘end-run’ with new or other tax increases. The house Democrats have a package of tax legislation to be debated Thursday which proposes changes to the estate tax which would make it apply to more people sooner and making small increases to the corporate tax rate. Also, there are proposals to raise the tax rate to 70% for those earning over a million dollars.
2) Caesars Entertainment, who’s ownership includes the famous Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, is being bought by Eldorado Resorts for about $8.5 billion dollars in cash and stock. The plan is to build up their size to compete with larger companies such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts. Caesars Entertainment owns and operates 34 properties in nine states and three continents.
3) Shale oil producing companies are pumping lots of oil, but are making little money. The process of fracking is an expensive procedure which requires high oil prices to be viable. As oil prices have sagged over the last couple of years, the margins have narrowed, forcing shale oil companies to more tightly control their expenses, including making extensive cuts in their labor force. Many of the older wells are failing to met expectations for production and oil companies have fewer future drilling locations than they anticipated. Shale oil wells initially produce a lot of oil and gas, but quickly taper off, so more money must be spent to coax the oil out of the rock, thus narrowing the margins.
4) Stock market closings for- 24 JUN 19:
Dow 26,727.54 up 8.41 Nasdaq 8,005.70 down 26.01 S&P 500 2,945.35 down 5.11
1) Traditional retail stores, who have been suffering the ravages of e-commerce, are worried about another coming blow. The new tariffs on Chinese imports, which President Trump threatens to impost, could have a disastrous effect on retailers such as Walmart and Target. These next round of tariffs will be specific to consumer goods, which these retailers sell, and will start to force price increases and so most likely will result in decline of sales revenue.
2) While President Trump has been pressing for a cut in the interest rate, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to defer and leave the interest rates unchanged. However, the board may possibly lay the groundwork for a rate cut later this year. While the economic outlook has become less clear, there still isn’t sufficient indication of a slow down to warrant cutting interest rates yet.
3) The Pfizer pharmaceutical company is buying Array BioPharma for $10.6 billion dollars for a price 62% above the company’s closing price this last Friday. Pfizer will gain medical technology for new drugs to treat cancer that limit or suppress the effects of chemotherapy. The drugs target a mutation that’s found across many tumor types in those patients who carry the mutation. Two of Array BioPharma drugs have been FDA approved for use in advanced melanoma. There are other drugs which are in the development pipeline.
4) Stock market closings for- 17 JUN 19:
Dow 26,112.53 up 22.92 Nasdaq 7,845.02 up 48.37 S&P 500 2,889.67 up 2.69
1) The rife between China and America stands to grow deeper with less chance of resolving relationships, with China threatening a hit list of ‘unreliable’ foreign firms. These are individuals and groups who they consider harm the interest of Chinese companies. The threat is retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods imported into China. These last two weeks have been a war of words as the nations exchange economic threats.
2) Chicago based nursing home chain collapses leaving the federal government on the hook for millions of dollars. First sign was when the owners stop making mortgage payments in 2014. Reportedly, money meant for the thirteen nursing homes were diverted to prop up another investment. This failure is revealing the problems that HUD is having in helping obtain facilities for the elderly by providing affordable loans.
3) Trade wars may expand again with threats by President Trump to impost a 5% tariff on goods imported from Mexico, if Mexico doesn’t do more to stop the flow of illegal immigrates. Tariffs are due to start on 10 June, and will increase in 5% increments until the flow halts. This is coming at a time when more Mexican immigrates are returning to Mexico than are coming, highlighting that the immigration is from other South American countries.
4) 31 MAY 19 Stock market closings: Oil prices sink toward worst May in 7 years from trade war fears.
Dow 24,815.04 down 354.84 Nasdaq 7,453.15 down 114.57 S&P 500 2,752.06 down 36.80
1) Cattle producers are now using DNA testing to develop higher prime herds that produce a higher quality of beef. DNA testing allows predicting which bulls and cows have the characteristics that will improve herds to produce higher quality meat products. Where once there was only the ‘practiced eye’ of the stockman to judge which cattle would produce the product with breeding, the DNA techniques has vastly accelerated the process, with the expectation that the vast majority of U.S. herds will become high quality beef in just a few years.
2) The nation wide bus coach service Greyhound is up for sale. The holding company FirstGroup is facing demands for strategic changes by investors for a return on their investment. Greyhound is the only remaining nation wide intercity bus carrier, which carries about seventeen million passengers a year.
3) An executive order being issued by President Trump will require greater price transparency in the health-care industry, is encountering stiff industry opposition. One point of contention is a provision to slow the consolidation of medical facilities thereby maintaining competition resulting in lower cost. Health insurers and hospitals don’t want to publicly share the rates they have agree to amongst themselves.
4) 30 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,169.88 up 43.47 Nasdaq 7,567.72 up 20.41 S&P 500 2,788.86 up 5.84
1) Trump’s tariffs went into effect today, at first driving the markets down, but then they recovered to all close high. Trumps statement that talks with China will continue pushed the markets up, while also leaving open the possibility that the tariffs may be soon removed. The tariffs went from 10% to 25% on $200 billion dollars of Chinese imports.
2) With the new tariffs on China, there are concerns for the U.S. economy and that the threat of an increased trade war between China and U.S. will cause a drop in both China’s and American’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Declines in GDP is not expected to be limited to America and China, but the global GDP could also suffer too.
3) The apparent contraction of consumerism continues with more than 6,200 stores to close this year. For the last couple of years, the retail industry has been rocked by the number of store closures. The list of retailers include such big names as Payless ShoeSource, Family Dollar, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, Office Depot and OfficeMax, Kmart, CVS, Pier 1 Imports, Bed and Bath, Lowe’s, JC Penny’s and even Walmart.
4) 10 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,942.37 up 114.01 Nasdaq 7,916.94 up 6.35 S&P 500 2,881.40 up 10.68
1) An experiment in four cities is giving four hundred mothers $4,000 dollars per year to test the effects that an infusion of money has on children. The study hopes to answer questions, for children in low income families, about the development of a child’s well being, how their brains work and their behavior.
2) China has promised retaliation if promised tariffs are imposed after mid-night this Thursday. President Trump is tweeting optimism over the coming deal with China, in contrast to China’s threats to retaliate for imposing any tariffs, leaving markets jittery over what may happen.
3) The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is for relieving people of massive student loan obligations in exchange for working in professions of public service such as teaching, nursing or public-interest law. However the program is in disarray with more than 73,000 people having applied for debt forgiveness. The applicants are frustrated by the poorly written legislation, mismanagement by contractors to process application for forgiveness, and general apathy.
4) 8 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,967.33 up 2.24 Nasdaq 7,943.32 down 20.44 S&P 500 2,879.42 down 4.63
1) The United States announced that economic exemptions for Iran oil will be invalid starting the second of May. There are eight countries with exemptions, Asian nations who would suffered hardships from the oil sanctions, but some have already foregone their exemption status. China and India will be the hardest hit from no longer being exempt from Iranian oil sanctions.
2) The Trump administration is cracking down on zero-down home loans from the national affordable housing programs. Fears are mounting over the $1.3 trillion dollar Federally insured home mortgages, stemming from the 2008 housing crash which cost $17 billion dollars from defaults.
3) Executives of automotive manufactures are very concerned about new car sales, considering that at best, stagnation will occur in 2019. For the first three months, new auto sales have been down, they considering that the auto industry having reached a plateau. With half the new auto sales being SUV’s and crossovers, verses only one third for traditional sedans with many models being phase out, there are concerns over the typical new auto costing $34,000 to $35,000. Rising high prices are increasing putting new cars out of the reach of the average American.
4) 22 APR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 26,511.05 down 48.49 Nasdaq 8,015.27 up 17.20 S&P 500 2,907.97 up 2.94
1) The Democrats have introduced HR1644 or ‘Save the Internet Act’ reportedly to restore their Net Neutrality Rules, although the text of the bill has not be released as yet. These FCC rules were rescinded by the Trump administration. There are rumors that the bill will lump data communications (internet) into voice (telephone) communications which will then allow the internet to be taxed. Some consider this an attempt to circumvent the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 1998, which explicitly exempted the internet from any taxation by any American government.
2) Bayer AG has lost a second trial over cancer causes by their major herbicide Roundup, resulting in a $80 billion dollar award. The jury found defect in Roundup, citing that Bayer failed to warn of product’s risk, but Bayer plans to vigorously defend Roundup in the future, and to also appeal the decision.
3) More retail stores are closing in 2019. In the first weeks of 2019, 23% more stores closed than the start of 2018. Expectations are for 5,000 stores to close in 2019, by 27 different retailers including Kohl’s, Target, Macys, Winn/Dixie and JC Penny.
4) 28 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,717.46 up 91.87 Nasdaq 7,669.17 up 25.79 S&P 500 2,815.44 up 10.07
1) The Green New Deal is bringing out proposals for financing the single payer health care proposals. There is a big problem with providing enough health care people such as doctors and nurses to care for the increase numbers of people. Suggestions for finance is an overhaul of present payroll tax combining social security, unemployment and medicare into one flat tax for all of a person’s income. However, apparently there has been no modeling of this strategy to determine its viability.
2) President Trump proposes to drop the preferential trade treatment for India. Presently, there are $5.6 billion dollars worth of Indian goods imported each year into America duty free, while India is imposing high tariffs on US goods imported into India.
3) As Brexit nears, British people and companies are stockpiling goods at an increasing rate, fearful of shortages if a ‘no-deal’ exit occurs. Both business and households are fearful of shortages especially food items first, then things like toilet paper and medicine.
4) 5 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,806.63 down 13.02 Nasdaq 7,576.36 down 1.21 S&P 500 2,789.65 down 3.16