1) Two tankers have been attacked near the Iran coast, which has caused oil prices to surge with fears that Iran may try to close the Gulf of Oman, which transports oil out of the Middle East. The choke point of the Strait of Hormuz is only 21 miles wide and handles 80% of the oil destined for Asia. Last month four other tankers were attacked near Fujairah using sabotage, which further fueled fears that Iran may become very aggressive in the region and against exports of oil.
2) With voters no longer showing a strong concern for the federal debt, the political support for reining in Federal spending and controlling the growing national debt is melting away with Republicans willing to accept a large deficit in exchange for tax cuts and Democrats making big spending promises in the 2020 campaigns. Some experts, who had once augured against the government growing debt, now say it may not be as critical a problem as they once thought.
3) The mega-retailer Target is upping the ante for e-commerce by offering same-day delivery on thousands of items for just $9.99. Using the delivery startup Shipt, which Target purchased nearly two years ago, the retailer is positioning itself to compete against Walmart and Amazon in what is becoming a ‘delivery time’ war of the major maga-retailers. The one day service will cover 65,000 items from 1,500 stores out of 1,800 stores in 47 states.
4) Stock market closings for- 13 JUN 19:
Dow 26,106.77 up 101.94 Nasdaq 7,837.13 up 44.41 S&P 500 2,891.64 up 11.80
1) Years of slow economic progress, where the South nearly reach equality with northen and western neighbors, has reversed. Since 2009, the South’s growth in output and wages has slowed so the South is now receding compared with the rest of America. The twin forces of automation and globalization have wiped out millions of factory jobs where the lower wages and taxes were instrumental in the South drawing those businesses. The net result is the South’s economy is falling behind.
2) The discount retailer chain Costco announced they will be raising prices, stating the tariffs on China as the reason. Costco joins other retailers such as Walmart, Target and Macy in having to raise prices to consumers. There are fears that the wave of retail store closures will further increase as consumers retract from their spending habits.
3) Presidential candidate’s promise of free college to alleviate the growing student debt problem is facing problems of implementation. Low income students need more than just free tuition for gaining a college degree, and therefore the presidential plans will aid those who least need the financial help. The tuition accounts for half or less of college expenses. Presently, student debt stands at $1.6 trillion dollar, where presently 20 to 25% of new college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.
4) Stock market closings for 10 JUN 19:
Dow 26,062.68 up 78.74 Nasdaq 7,823.17 up 81.07 S&P 500 2,886.73 up 13.39
1) The trade war continues to escalate as China takes action against American companies operating in China proper. China is levying fines on Ford’s joint venture for antitrust violations. Changan Ford Automobile Co. will be fined $23.6 million dollars for restricting retailers sale prices. Fed-Ex has recently come under Chinese scrutiny for ‘wrongful’ deliveries. China has threaten to blacklist foreign firms which damage domestic companies’ interests. Chinese citizens are being warned against travel to America, thereby restricting income from tourism and business reaching America.
2) The video game retailer GameStop, with over 5,700 retail outlets, is in decline, and was the place to go to buy video games and virtual reality products. But their sales have been in significant decline, with attempts to use e-commerce to counter the downward slide being of no help. Their forecast for next year show little improvement to its deteriorating business as their business migrates over to Amazon.
3) Bernie Sanders has made good his promise to take his fight for the common worker to Walmart’s annual stockholders meeting, to demand that Walmart workers be given a place on their board of directors. He introduced a shareholder proposal which would make roughly 1.5 million hourly workers eligible for board nominations. Sanders’ consider this move a way to separate himself and his policies from the democratic presidential nomination pack. Walmart is one of the huge American retailers pushing for new robotic technology to use in their stores.
4) Stock market closings for 5 JUN 19:
Dow 25,539.57 up 207.39 Nasdaq 7,575.48 up 48.36 S&P 500 2,826.15 up 22.88
1) Reports continue of a General Motors and Ford merger in the near future, both are in deep financial trouble. The proposed merger would make the new company the third largest in the world, behind Toyota and Volkswagen. Car sales have flattened in the U.S. and are dropping in China, which are the two largest car markets in the world. There are also questions of how successful Ford can enter the electric and hybrid car markets.
2) Amazon, the worlds largest retailer, is starting to purge many of its small vendors, and concentrate on large major brands like Lego, Procter & Gamble and Sony to better compete with the large traditional retailers such as Target and Walmart. This will be one of the biggest shifts in Amazon’s strategy since it started using independent sellers, and is scaring the daylights out of many smaller companies.
3) The prices for homes is rising at its slowest pace in six years, down 2.7% from last year’s 3%. Price gains in hot cities like San Francisco have cooled, which is causing sellers to pull in their price increases. The home and auto segments of the economy constitute one half of the U.S. economy.
4) 28 MAY 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,347.77 down 237.92 Nasdaq 7,607.35 down 29.66 S&P 500 2,802.39 down 23.67
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
1) Walmart has plans to compete with Amazon in the future, by using Jetblack personal shopping service to train AI systems. Jetblack has an army of human agents that can use in training Walmart’s AI system which can power an automatic personal shipping service in the next 5 to 7 years. This makes Jetblack more of a research facility.
2) The Chinese telecom company Tencent’s stock is down after the Chinese government imposed regulations designed to limit online games. They have suffered their largest decline in ten years with a 32% declined. Since smart phones is the biggest part of their business, this drop wiped off $100 billion dollars of book value.
3) The Prime Minister of Britain is trying to obtain a short extension of Brexit by going to Brussels. The major members of the European Union said they would endorse a short extension, but only if the British Parliament approves the exit plan. But British political parties are splintered over what should be done about Brexit.
4) 21 MAR 19 Stock market closings:
Dow 25,962.51 up 216.84 Nasdaq 7,838.96 up 109.99 S&P 500 2,854.88 up 30.65
1) Brexit, now on going for 2 ½ years, is dividing the British people in strife, the debate impacting and dividing family relationships across the country. The web site eHarmony reports one and a half million relationships have broken up over Brexit.
2) American retail workers face mass layoffs. In addition to the traditional after Christmas layoffs of seasonal workers, many permanent workers face significant reduction in work hours per week, if not actual layoffs in retail giants such as Amazon, Target and Walmart.
3) Stocks close lower because of Caterpillar and Nvidia announcing significantly lower profits than was expected. Caterpillar was down 9% and Nvida down 13.8%, with expectations of further poor performance in 2019. Caterpillar is considered a economic bellwether, and together with the IMF, is warning of international economies slowing down faster than expected.
4) 28 JAN 19 Stock market closing:
Dow 24,528.22 down 208.98 Nasdaq 7,085.68 down 79.18 S&P 500 2,643.85 down 20.91
Walmart will be hiring close to 1,000 new truck drivers in 2019. The truckers who are seasoned throughout the year, being apart of the Walmart trucking program. Walmart drivers (whom have senority) will be attaining an increase in base salary to $90,000.
In 2018 Walmart hired 1,400 truck drivers, to stream line their trucking business. Their truck driver turnover is one of the lowest in the industry and Walmart has indicated they want it to stay that way. To increase the recruits of truck drivers, Walmart has upped the ante by improving base salary, vacation days, and onboarding systems to assist their drivers better on the job,
Truck drivers shortages seems to be the main concern in 2019, data by the American Trade Association (ATA) indicates truck drivers for the past 20 years have been hovering around the 3 million to the 3.5 million drivers mark in the USA. There has been a short fall of drivers, even though freight volume has will be increasing to over 35%, within the next decade. -SB
Mr. Jeff Bezos has accomplished the unimaginable; well now the unimaginable is now manageable. He is now the richest person in modern day times, this is according to Bloomberg Billionaire Index.
Bloomberg uses inflation based adjustments in their analysis to estimate Bezos’ net worth topping $150 billion. The Amazon mogul so far, is the richest person on earth by far, not since 1982 has anyone accumulated as much in wealth as Jeff. 1982 is when Forbes announced its first richest in the world list).
The richest family however seems to be the Walton family, the dynasty of the Walmart brand. They have accumulated a fortune of over $151 billion collectively.
Bet that on your pretty bottom dollar!!!!!!!!!!!! -SB
Jeff Bezos and Amazon (AMZN) are on a buying up everything and anything run. Amazon (AMZN) will be purchasing the healthy food store chain Wholefoods Inc (WFM), which practically is a nationwide conglomerate in its own right.
The sale now puts Amazon (AMZN) as owners of hundreds of Whole Foods (WFM) stores and subsidiaries around the country, and spearheading them with a potential rivalry with heavyweight retail chain Walmart Stores Inc (WMT). The current CEO of Whole Foods Market Inc ( John Mackey), will remain as Whole Foods (WMT) CEO, after the Amazon (AMZN) buyout. The sale of Whole Foods (WMT) increased the company’s market share by 21% on the NASDAQ boards, on Friday June 16, 2017.
Whole Foods Market Inc (WMT) has been suffering as of late and the buyout to Amazon (AMZN) seemed a natural fit for CEO Mackey, who was fighting internal control of the company from activist investors. -SB