15 October 2020

1) The much feared Diablo winds, along with its low humidity, will bring critical fire weather to Northern California through Friday, increasing the risks of wild fires. There are widespread red flag fire warnings for Northen California above San Francisco because of extremely dry, gusty, north to northeast winds which will bring critical fire conditions. With the relative humidity down into the single digits and teens, winds could reach about 45 mph, with gust up to 55 mph, both conditions very conducive to rapidly spread wild fires. The Diablo winds are much like the Santa Ana winds so familiar to Southern Californians.
2) Boeing’s troubles continue with no new orders for jets and more 737 MAX cancellations as the companies crisis continues. There were more orders for the 373 MAX canceled in September with delivery of only 11 total aircraft to customers, which is less than half the number from the same month a year ago. Furthermore, the quality flaws on the 787 Dreamliner continue to hamper efforts to develop an alternative cash cow to the 737 MAX. The major source of Boeing’s problems is the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to hurt the demand for jets, for Boeing as well as its rival Airbus, and this is a factor that neither aircraft manufacture has any control over.
3) The prices for crude oil are rising with the dollar’s decline, which in turn is boosting appeal of commodities priced in dollars. There are signs of oil demand increasing in Asia, which is helping lift the overall outlook for oil consumption. The company Rogsheng Petrochemical of Singapore is buying up oil futures to run its expanded refinery operation in Zhejiang this quarter. The outlook for refineries output remain precarious, with refining margins severely depressed for this time of the year. Refineries typically need a spread of more than $10 a barrel to make it profitable to process crude oil.
4) Stock market closings for – 14 OCT 20:
Dow 28,514.00 down 165.81
Nasdaq 11,768.73 down 95.17
S&P 500 3,488.67 down 23.26
10 Year Yield: unchanged at 0.72%
Oil: up at $41.22

14 October 2020

1) Cuba’s economic minister urged calm as the government prepares to unify its dual currency system and multiple exchange rates in hopes of improving economic performance. The nation is undergoing a crisis caused by new U.S. sanctions on top of decades-old embargos, the pandemic and its inefficient Soviet-style command economy. The country could not overcome the crisis without unification which included wage, pension and other measures to protect the population. The monetary reform will eliminate the convertible peso while leaving a devalued peso, the officially exchanged rate since the 1959 Revolution is one peso to the dollar. The country would end up with a single currency and exchange rate with the dollar, but it’s unknown what the rate might be or the date devaluation would happen. Economists forecast this will cause triple digit inflation and bankruptcies while at the same time stimulating domestic economic efficiency and exports over imports.
2) Two more arms sales to Taiwan is reported to be moving forward. America is seeking to sell sophisticated military equipment, the MQ-9 drone aircraft and a coastal defensive missile system putting the island nation in a better position to repulse invasion by Red China, who claims Taiwan is a wayward province. China has stated she will reunite the province to the mainland, by force if necessary. Presently, there are as many as seven major weapon systems making their way through the U.S. export process, as the administration ramps up pressure on China. All arm sales to Taiwan must be approved by the Senate.
3) California’s PG&E (Pacific Gas & Electric) company is warning of up coming power outages in Northen California because of increased fire risk. Two dangerous wind events are expected this Wednesday and Thursday and into Friday. High winds pose a fire danger from sparking of power lines into vegetation, thus starting fires in dry areas already ravaged by fires. Power outages are anticipated in 34 California counties. Cutting off the electrical power is presently the only means to ensure against sparking wild fires in windy conditions, and has become standard operation procedure.
4) Stock market closings for – 13 OCT 20:
Dow 28,679.81 unchanged
Nasdaq 11,863.90 unchanged
S&P 500 3,511.93 unchanged
10 Year Yield: down at 0.73%
Oil: up at $40.18

5 October 2020

1) Economic watchers were disappointed with the job reports for last month, with just 661,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate down to 7.9% from 8.4% in August. But this is because the labor force shrank by about 700,000. The job report is the last before the November elections and it shows a slowing recovery, thereby raising the specter of a gap that could take several years to close. The Nation has recovered a little over half the 22.1 million jobs lost at the start of the virus crisis. The job numbers fell short of the economic forecast of 850,000 new jobs and was the first month since April with a net job growth dropping below 1 million. September is the seventh month of the pandemic and the resulting crisis in American labor.
2) Some good news for California and its plague of wild fires- two of the largest fires are now fully contained. But still, several others threaten life and property, with weather forecast into next week not providing much hope from the threat of fires. The heat is expected to continue in Southern California with strong winds and dry conditions making for elevated fire conditions. The two, now contained wild fires, have burned for more than six weeks charring an area about the size of Rhode Island. Mega fires have become the norm in California with today 10 fires that are 100,000 acres plus in size and one that is over 850,000 acres. Northen California, with its wine country, continues to struggle with large fires, with the Glass Fire in Napa County being only about 5% contained and the Zogg Fire in Shasta County at 26% contained. All of California is fighting 24 major fires burning in California.
3) There is growing evidence that nearly 4 million American jobs have vanished forever because of the pandemic. This means that many initially lost jobs, which were hoped to be furloughs or temporary job losses, are becoming permanent as businesses shut down and cut costs. Technology displacement plays a major part in permanently shedding jobs by allowing combining job functions or outright replacement of people with machines. Each week, more companies announce thousands of layoffs as they struggle to survive in an ever changing business world and hostile economic environment. Those able to integrate technology and AI (Artificial Intelligence) into their operations are the ones most likely to survive, and that translates into permanently lost jobs.
4) Stock market closings for – 2 OCT 20:
Dow 27,682.81 down 134.09
Nasdaq 11,075.02 down 251.49
S&P 500 3,348.44 down 32.36
10 Year Yield: up at 0.70%
Oil: down at $37.01