7 June 2019

1) The outlook for retailers continues to get grimmer with earning reports shrinking. Three major retailers, Michaels, Home Group and Zales have shown a slowdown in their sales, and these companies sell very different products, indicating this slowdown is not market specific, but rather a general economic slowdown. There is an emerging trend of decline for consumer based companies despite record unemployment.

2) Job cuts soar to 46% in May, worst than last year’s May. The tech sector and retail suffer significantly, with retail cutting more jobs than any other sector. The auto segment is also suffering as a result of lower new car sales. Since the tech sector accounts for the highest paying jobs and from some of the most sought after jobs, this doesn’t bode well for America’s economic outlook.

3) The expanding trade war may result in an 1970’s style supply shock as reliable supplies of cheap imports of manufactured goods are suddenly curtailed. In the 1970’s it was the supply of cheap oil curtailed from the 1973 oil embargo that cause a drastic economic decline. A similar sharp drop in consumer and industrial goods could have the same effect to America’s economy today.

4) Stock market closings for 6 JUN 19:

Dow             25,720.66    up    181.09
Nasdaq          7,615.55    up      40.08
S&P 500         2,843.49    up      17.34

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.12%

Oil:    up   at    $53.03

4 April 2019

1) Ghawar, the biggest Saudi oil field is declining faster than was generally accepted by the world oil market. Oil production and reserves have been a state secret for more than forty years, but in a just released prospectus, Saudi Arabia open it’s books to reveal that their largest oil field has a maximum production three quarters what was assumed. Still, the Saudis claim they are able to pump oil at the maximum capacity of 12 million barrels a day, enough for another 52 years.

2) Signet Jewelers plans to close more than 150 of its stores in the fiscal year 2020. This is part of their plan to turn around the company and includes stores from Kay, Zales and Jared. Signet based their decision on a decline of mall foot traffic and increasing promotions required to get sales. They expect sales to drop 2.5% next year.

3) As the dollar weakens, gold has shown little change. Some claim gold prices reveal the true state of US economic health. When high, the economy is not healthy, while when low, it is healthy. People invest in gold as a hedge, a heaven or as a direct investment. The price of gold is more than just supply or demand since gold production is just a small fraction of the world gold supply.

4) 3 APR 19 Stock market closings:

Dow          26,218.13    up    39.00
Nasdaq       7,895.55    up    46.86
S&P 500      2,873.40    up      6.16

10 Year Yield:    up   at    2.52%

Oil:     unchanged   at    $62.46