July 10, 2018
WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND HERE
Madison Gazebo Concerts on Thursdays – This annual concert series features local and regional bands playing everything from Americana and big band to Latin and rock. Bring a lawn chair and a picnic. Leashed pets are welcome. Location: Village Green along Front Street, Madison, AL.
Friday Night Art Walk – Over 40 artists will be selling everything from photography to screen printing to jewelry in the pleasant atmosphere of historic downtown Huntsville. Enjoy live music on the Square. Grab a drink or stay for dinner at one of several spots throughout the district.
THIS WEEK’S ECONOMIC DATA
- U.S. unemployment rate rose to 4% in June as more individuals returned to the workforce.
- U.S. home prices rose 7.1% on an annual basis in May, the biggest gain in four years.
ECONOMY AND EQUITY MARKETS
U.S. tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods kicked in on Friday, escalating a war of words between the world’s two largest economies into a full-blown trade conflict. Washington’s 25% duties went into effect at midnight and affected products such as water boilers, X-ray machine components, airplane tires and various other industrial parts. China immediately implemented retaliatory tariffs on its $34 billion list of goods issued last month, including soybeans, pork and electric vehicles.
INSIDE THE LOOP
Global Rebalancing – Boeing and Embraer announced a joint venture Thursday as a way for the U.S. manufacturer to produce regional jets. Boeing will own 80% of the venture and Brazil-based Embraer 20%, the companies announced. The effects are projected to begin in 2020, the companies said. When finalized, the joint venture will be led by Brazil-based management, including a president and chief executive officer.
Innovation and Transformation – American Well, a start-up that helps hospitals and other physician groups integrate virtual consultations, has backing from a giant new partner: Philips. American Well has raised a fresh $291 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which indicates the company is aiming to raise a total of about $315 million. In January, American Well announced a deal with Philips to jointly deliver virtual care solutions around the world.
Great American Companies – Target Corp. plans to add automatic cash-counting machines to its nearly 2,000 stores starting this summer, following other retailers who are automating more store jobs as labor costs rise. The machines, known as cash recyclers, count bills and coins quickly, but they also allow stores to digitally bank their cash and predict how much money is needed for each cashier’s shift. Target will start adding the machines to 500 stores this August, then roll them out to all U.S. stores. The average Target store allocates around one full shift a week to managing the cash office duties, Target says.
Economy: Trending Toward a Recession? – A closely watched economic signal is “perilously close to predicting a recession”—and Wall Street is worried, said Matt Phillips in The New York Times. The so-called yield curve, which is the difference between interest rates on short-term U.S. government bonds and long-term ones, has been falling precipitously, and every recession in the past 60 years has been preceded by the curve inverting, or falling below zero. The gap between two-year and 10-year U.S. Treasury notes is now roughly 0.34 percentage points.
Pricey Used Cars – Used-car prices are at a 13-year high as increasing numbers of newer-model leased vehicles hit the market. The average price of a used car increased to $19,657 in the first quarter, up 17.6 percent compared with the same period five years ago.
Wednesday: U.S. Producer Price Index
Thursday: U.S. Consumer Price Index, U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims
|Index||Started Week||Ended Week||Change||% Change||YTD %|
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” Walter Elliot
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*Economy and Equity Markets…(Source: CNBC, Reuters)
*Global Rebalancing…(Source: USA Today)
*Innovation and Transformation…(Source: CNBC)
*Great American Companies…(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
*Pricey Used Cars…(USA Today)