1) The WHO (World Heath Organization) has declared the coronavirus to be a pandemic, which in turn has cause the markets to make another plunge after its apparent recovery on Tuesday. The number of coronavirus cases world wide is now in excess of 100,000 with more than 1,000 in the U.S. The central banks in other western nations are cutting their interest rates in an attempt to minimize the effects of the virus and avoid a world wide economic slowdown. At present, there doesn’t seem to be an end to the markets volatility.
2) The United Kingdom is levying an additional 2% tax on big high tech companies starting the first of April. Call the ‘digital services tax’, it will levy a tax on the revenues from search engines, social media services and online marketplaces used by British citizens, but it only applies to companies making more than $650 million dollars and derive more than $35 million dollars revenue from UK users. This will encompass companies like Amazon, Apple, facebook and Google. The EU (European Union) is considering a similar tax, but with a 3% rate.
3) Oil production in the U.S. is expected to drop as a result of the dramatic collapse in oil prices. This would be the first decline in output since 2016 as drillers are cutting back on capital spending. Oil prices are below $35 a barrel, well below the breakeven price for most American shale fields. Oil prices have been pushed down by the economic impact of the coronavirus plus Saudi Arabia and Russian failing to agree on limited oil production.
4) Stock market closings for – 11 MAR 20 Stocks down 20% from their high.
Dow 23,553.22 down 1464.94 Nasdaq 7,952.05 down 392.20 S&P 500 2,741.38 down 140.85
1) New home construction has dropped from a twelve year high in September, although single home construction rose for a fourth straight month. This indicates the housing market remains supported by lower mortgage rates even as economy slows. Housing starts declined 9.4% last month as construction in the volatile multi-family housing segment dropped.
2) The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom announced a great new Brexit deal. The proposed exit plan goes before the U.K. parliament this Saturday, the EU (European Union) claimed the deal was a fair and balance one. Parliament must vote approval before the deal can be accepted, however, this time the Conservative party is now committed to this deal and not a ‘no-deal’ and so will campaign for a majority support.
3) The employees for the bank Goldman Sachs will receive the lowest pay in the last ten years. This is a result of software systems doing more and more of the company’s business, another example of technology displacement. The bank set aside 35% of its revenues for staff compensation and benefits this year, the lowest rate since 2009, with an average employee earning of $246,000 less than half of the $527,000 from last year.
4) Stock market closings for – 17 OCT 19:
Dow 27,025.88 up 23.90 Nasdaq 8,156.85 up 32.67 S&P 500 2,997.95 up 8.26
UK elections are drawing closer, and the British pound is very volatile as the elections progress in the country. The pound sterling dissipated this past Friday, (May 26th, 2017) as new election polling data from the United Kingdom, showed that Prime Minister Theresa May was in the forefront of the general elections by a mere 5 points. During the course of 2017, Prime Minister May had been leading her challengers by over 20 points. The drop has been placing the sterling silver on a roller coaster ride.
May who has a majority currently in national parliament and local branches of government, is now seen as not being able to hold a wider majority throughout the country as anticipated. If this becomes a reality then the Torres (Prime Minister May’s party) will have a smaller faction, then they had in 2015-2016 elections; which can then translate in a downward trend for the currency. -SB