News for the Week of March 12 - 16, 2018

News for the Week March 12 – March 16, 2018


General Markets / Economic                                                                     

1.     Natural gas’ reign as the energy leader is being threatened by state regulators and environmental groups pushing for renewable energy

2.     Hong Kong has become a hub for North Korean front companies that help Pyongyang defy sanctions

3.     A federal tax ruling dealt a new blow to a group of pipeline firms that had helped finance a build-out of energy infrastructure

4.     The Senate approved legislation to ease crisis era regulations for small and midsize banks

5.     Retail sales fell in February despite a thriving economy, puzzling analysts

6.     US importers will face high hurdles to avoid steel and aluminum tariffs under new rules

7.     Inflation cooled slightly last month, keeping the Fed on track to raise rates next week but relieving it of pressure to take more dramatic action


Company News

1.     Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent are plowing millions of dollars into electric vehicle startups

2.     Several retail chains are imposing limits on returns of merchandise

3.     Google is banning ads for cryptocurrencies and other “speculative financial products”

4.     Walmart plans to offer home delivery of groceries in 100 cities by the end of the year

5.     Gun maker Remington is planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy


Interesting Stories

1.     Harlequin romance novels is reconsidering romance novels focused on love in the workplace due to the spate of sexual harassment seen in the media. Boo.

2.     Students now-a-days are complaining of something we never dealt with. Teachers are not allowing laptops to be used in class, so students are complaining that they can’t read their hand-written notes. ☹


                  Commentary for Week of March 12 – March 16, 2018, by David Abuaf

            Not a particularly great week in the US markets, but the good news is that each day’s volatility was caused by a completely different event! Subpoena of the Trump Organization, reports of new tariffs for China, exit of Rex Tillerson.

            However, our favorite response has to be that to this week’s retail sales data. Practically overnight, the market went from concerns about too much growth to too little growth – this flip-flopping sounds more like a politician.

            However, this is also a sign that the markets are yet to fully recover from February’s correction. Michael Shaoul of Marketfield Asset Management notes that this isn’t unusual when markets are going through a corrective phase, as they are now.


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