April 24, 2018
WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND HERE
Panoply Arts Festival – The Southeast’s premier arts weekend offering regional and national performers in dance, music and theater. In addition, Panoply offers STE(A)M make-and-take activities for children, an Art Marketplace featuring 85 artists, artist demonstrations, craft beer, food and fireworks. This event will be held at the Big Spring Park in Downtown Huntsville from April 27, 2018 – April 29, 2018.
Huntsville Blooms at the Botanical Garden – The garden’s beautiful outdoor spaces take center stage during March and April. Spring-blooming trees, shrubs and perennials are highlighted by colorful bulbs and special flowering displays.
THIS WEEK’S ECONOMIC DATA
- U.S. Housing Starts topped the forecast, increasing 1.9% in March.
- U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims fell 1,000, indicating continued job growth after a March slowdown.
The U.S. yield curve from 5 to 30 years flattened this week to as little as 29 basis points (bps), the narrowest spread since 2007. This latest round of flattening poses a new reality for the markets: will sub-zero spreads –an indicator of a possible recession– soon collide with an otherwise positive economic outlook? The stubbornly low long-term yields could eventually force the Fed to slow down, unless policymakers are willing to push the curve below zero.
INSIDE THE LOOP
Innovation and Transformation – The road to China’s autonomous-driving future is paved with solar panels, mapping sensors and electric-battery rechargers as the nation tests an “intelligent highway” that could speed the transformation of the global transportation industry. The technologies will be embedded underneath transparent concrete used to build a 3,500 foot-long stretch of road in the eastern city of Jinan. According to builder Qilu Transportation, about 45,000 vehicles travel the section every day, and the solar panels inside generate enough electricity to power highway lights and 800 homes.
Great American Companies – Cisco, the California-based internet networking company, is looking forward to a world changed by wireless capabilities powered with 5G technology. “If you connect everything, anything is going to be possible,” said Miyuki Suzuki, president of Cisco Asia-Pacific and Japan. Over the next two decades, 5G technology, aptly named for it being the fifth generation of wireless standards, has the potential to support exponentially faster speed and throughput than current 4G networks. She added Cisco will begin to roll out its 5G networks within a couple of years.
House Flipping – Zillow plans to purchase between 300 to 1,000 properties in the Las Vegas and Phoenix areas this year, spending between $75 million and $250 million to renovate them and attempt to flip them within 90 days. The company “is following other competitors” into the sales business. Opendoor now has an in-house brokerage team, and Redfin has been “experimenting” with buying homes for the past year.
Facebook Salaries – The median pay for Facebook’s 25,000 employees last year was $240,430. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s total compensation was more than $8.8 million. Facebook’s median pay is the second highest disclosed so far by 325 companies in the S&P 500 index, as part of a requirement in the Dodd-Frank law.
Tuesday: U.S. New Home Sales
Thursday: U.S. Jobless Claims
Friday: U.S. GDP
|Index||Started Week||Ended Week||Change||% Change||YTD %|
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” Winston Churchill
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*Fixed Income…(Source: Bloomberg)
*Innovation and Transformation…(Source: Bloomberg)
*Great American Companies…(Source: CNBC)
*Flipping Houses….(Source: Wall Street Journal)
*Facebook Salaries…(Source: BusinessInsider.com)