26 June 2019

1) The problem of student loan debt is becoming more acuate. The effects of the $1.6 trillion dollar student loan debt, which represents about 8% of national income, is a massive burden, which has doubled since the mid 2000s. The consequences for massive student loans is that young people are delaying marriage and family formation, hampering the growth of small businesses, delaying the purchases of first homes, saving for retirement and in general reducing the discretionary income of young people. For a consumer based economy, all these spell an adverse overall effect on America’s economy.

2) The consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in 21 months with people more pessimistic about business and labor market conditions. Worries about recent increase in trade tensions between China and the United States further erodes consumer confidence. The consumer confidence index dropped 9.8 points to 121.5 for this month, the lowest since September 2017. While the index remains high, the drop has fueled fears of a continual downward slide reflecting a reluctance for consumers to make purchases other than essentials.

3) The British fund manager H2O, which had stellar returns with surging assets from clients buying in, last week clients starting pulling their money out. The investment manager lost $3.4 billion dollars in just three days. H2O is fighting back taking measures to assure investors the company can meet redemptions, but also making it more adverse for getting out. Their goal is to avoid fund freeze that has thrown other fund managers into chaos.

4) Stock market closings for- 25 JUN 19: Stocks decline after weak consumer confidence report.

Dow                 26,548.22    down    179.32
Nasdaq             7,884.72    down    120.98
S&P 500            2,917.38    down      27.97

10 Year Yield:    down   at    1.99%

Oil:    up   at    $58.77

20 June 2019

1) The $800 billion dollar trucking industry is in a slowdown as retailers and manufacturers are shipping less. Freight rates have declined for the last six months with the spot market dropping 62.5% for May verses last year. Already, a few major trucking firms have gone bankrupt, with one laying off 550 employees. Even the major trucking companies FedEx, UPS and J.B. Hunt have experienced declines sparking fears of a slowdown of the economy.

2) Harley-Davidson is making good its promise to build more motorcycles outside the United States by partnering with China’s Qianjiang Motorcycle to produce smaller motorcycles. The new bike will have a 338 cubic centimeter engine verses the 601 cc engine for its domestic motorcycles. Harley-Davidson is trying to boost its overseas sales as its domestic market shrinks.

3) Expectations for future global growth and corporate profits have shrank as investor confidence continues to decline amid the trade war. Concerns of an economic slowdown further fuel fears of investors for the demise of global growth, despite America’s stock market now trading near its record high. Global profit expectations fell by the second largest amount on record. The giant retailer Walmart announced they will be laying off nearly 600 employees later this year.

4) Stock market closings for- 19 JUN 19:

Dow                 26,504.00    up    38.46
Nasdaq              7,987.32    up    33.44
S&P 500             2,926.46    up      8.71

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.03%

Oil:    up   at    $54.14

23 April 2019

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

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.59%

Oil:    up   at    $64.00

10 April 2019

1) The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has reduced their forecasted for world economic growth from 3.5% to 3.3%, which is the third reduction since last October. It forecasted 2.3% growth for the US economy, as well as reduced growth forecast for Germany and Great Britain.

2) Walmart is rolling out thousands of robots for use in their retail stores across America. These robots will automatically scan shelves and clean floors. With a million employees, Walmart is seeking ways to keep labor cost down.

3) Bank of America is raising it’s minimum wage to $20 an hour over the next two years. Starting the first of May, the rate will increase to $17 per hour. The bank has 205,000 employees.

4) 9 APR 19 Stock market closings: Markets pulled down by industrial sector.

Dow             26,150.58    down    190.44
Nasdaq          7,909.28    down      44.61
S&P 500         2,878.20    down      17.57

10 Year Yield:    down   at    2.50%

Oil:    up   at    $64.24

7 December 2018

1) The arrest of a top Chinese executive of Huawei, a major Chinese high technology company, caused world markets, including the Dow, to fall.  The Dow dropped 777 points before news that the Feds planned to slow down on increasing the interest rate was announced.

2) Research finds that millennials don’t have the money to spend that previous generations had.  The assumption has been a shift in spending habits, but with a millennial male making $6,600 dollars less than 1978 men, it appears they just don’t have the disposable income.  Working women haven’t made up the difference, opening the question about the future viability of our hyper-consumerism economy.

3) The EPA is expected to rollback back emission standards allowing coal fire powerplants to operate again without having to remove the carbon dioxide from burning coal.

4) 6 DEC 18     Stock market closings:

Dow                24,947.67         down      79.40
Nasdaq             7,188.26               up      29.83
S&P 500            2,695.95          down        4.11

10 Year Yield:     down   at   2.88%

Oil:    up   at     $51.52

6 December 2018

1) President Trump continues to play hardball with China to hammer out a trade agreement more favorable and equitable to the United States.  But he did praise China for taking new measures to control addictive drugs into America.

2) Facebook finds itself under the gun for giving personal data to select users. New documents have surfaced showing that Facebook intended for these select users to have wide spread access to data in exchange for advertising on Facebook. Facebook is adamant they didn’t sell any personal data to any third parties, but nevertheless, they profited from providing data.

3) Price increases are spreading broadly through the economy, driven by tariffs and the trade war.  Furthermore, the interest rate is expected to rise again in December, which may put further pressure to raise prices.  Chinese tariffs have had a very adverse effects on American agriculture.

4) 4 DEC 18     Stock market closings:     Markets closed.

5 December 2018

1) World stock markets fell dramatically, the Dow down 800 points, a result of uncertainty about China and American trade war.  There wasn’t any signing of agreements at G20, nor has China made any public statements about resolving the conflict since then, adding to the uncertainty.  Also contributing are fears of the American economy sliding downward in the near future.

2) A recall of 12 million pounds of beef because of salmonella outbreak, has stretched across the country.  So far, there has been 240 cases of infection in 6 states.

3) New carbon taxes in France aimed at reducing global warming effects has resulted in extensive riots forcing France to back off the taxes.

4) 4 DEC 18    Stock market closings:    The stock market is like a rectal thermometer- rude and crude, but surprisingly effective in showing sickness.

Dow                           25,027.07          down       799.36
Nasdaq                        7,158.43          down       283.09
S&P 500                       2,700.06          down          90.31

10 Year Yield:     down   at    2.92%

Oil:      down   at    $52.61

4 December 2018

1) Qatar announced they are dropping out of OPEC to focus on natural gas production, which is what their oil fields mostly produce.  Being a small producer of oil, Qatar considered itself too small to be a part of OPEC, despite being a member for 57 years.

2) For the best bets in the stock market during this next 90 days of trade war truce, experts are saying to watch where China spends money in the US that best strengthens it’s position with America.  Look for such things as agriculture products like pork and grains, and big ticket machinery such as construction equipment and aircraft.

3) Walmart is buying robots, autonomous floor scrubbing machines, and will have 360 units in stores by end of January.  Walmart is already using robots which scan for ‘out of stock’ items on shelves. Both robots operate by themselves on the store floor while customers are present.

4) 3 DEC 18      Stock market closings:    Oil prices rise as Saudi Arabia and Russia agree to limit oil production.

Dow                  25,826.43    up    287.97
Nasdaq               7,441.51    up    110.98
S&P 500              2,790.37    up       30.20

10 Year Yield:     down   at    2.99%

Oil:    up   at    $53.22

3 December 2018

1) President Trump has signed USMCA, the new trade agreement with Mexico which will replace the NAFTA, the current agreement.

2) Microsoft has been awarded a $480 million dollar contract from the military to adapt their HoloLens for virtual reality training and combat.  This could mean sales of up to 100,000 units.

3) Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable publicly traded company, closing with a total stock value of $851.2 billion compared to Apple’s value of $847.4 billion.  Apple’s stock dropped 20% last month.

4) 30 NOV 18    Stock market closings:    Ninety day truce of American-China trade war is expected to boost markets.

Dow                     25,538.46      up      199.62
Nasdaq                  7,330.54      up        57.45
S&P 500                 2,760.17      up        22.41

10 Year Yield:    down    at    3.01%

Oil:    down    at    $50.72

30 November 2018

1) President Trump goes to G20 conference amid concerns for the near and far future of world economies, as countries are withdrawing into nationalism and protectionism.  While flying to the conference, Trump tweeted his cancellation of meeting Putin because of Russia’s recent aggressive actions against Ukraine.

2) Because of sever shortages of pork, a result of widespread disease in Chinese hog herds, China has resumed buying pork from America despite the trade war.

3) The pharmaceutical company Bayer announced plans to cut 12,000 jobs as a result of the Monsanto takeover.  This action is a result of restructuring because of losing a massive lawsuit over the weedkiller Roundup.

4) 29 NOV 18    Stock market closings:   The three day market rally ends.

Dow                           25,338.84       down          27.59
Nasdaq                        7,273.08       down          18.51
S&P 500                       2,737.76       down            6.03

10 Year Yield:      down   at    3.04%

Oil:         down   at    $51.33