January 14, 2019
WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND HERE
Enjoy art, wine, culture and cuisine, every Thursday night when admission to the Huntsville Museum of Art is only $5. For your added enjoyment, a glass of wine will be available for $5! Live music will also be included.
Beethoven Eight – HSO opens the year 2019 – Alabama’s bicentennial – on Saturday, January 19th at 7:30 p.m. at the Mark C. Smith Concert Hall. The horn section will perform Schumann’s commanding Concert Piece, and the principal strings will give the Alabama premiere of John Adams’ Absolute Jest (2012).
THIS WEEK’S ECONOMIC DATA
- Weekly jobless claims fell slightly in the first week of January. The report does not reflect the possible impact of the partial government shutdown as claims by federal works are reported separately.
- Consumer price index slid 0.1% in December, the first drop and weakest reading in nine months.
ECONOMY AND EQUITY MARKETS
The likelihood Sears Holdings Corp. will be able to stay in business improved this week as the troubled retailer’s chairman made a revised $5 billion bid for the company. Submitting the bid through his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., Eddie Lampert reportedly will assume tax and vendor bills incurred since Sears’ October bankruptcy, aiming to also keep roughly 50,000 jobs. Lampert’s offer will be assessed by Sears during a Jan. 14 bankruptcy auction. The company will consider whether the bid offers more value to creditors than liquidation.
Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank can be more flexible with interest rates as it assesses how global risks impact the U.S. economy. “We’re in a place where we can be patient and flexible and wait and see what does evolve, and I think for the meantime we’re waiting and watching,” Powell said at an appearance at the Economic Club of Washington D.C.
INSIDE THE LOOP
Great American Companies – Target reported its same-store sales for the 2018 holiday season climbed 5.7%, compared to 3.4% in 2017, surpassing expectations. Target said digital sales were up 29% during the holidays, thanks to the retailer offering more delivery options like buy online pick up in store.
Moon Landing – China has become the first country to land a spacecraft on the far side of the moon. The unmanned Chang’e-4 probe touched down last week in the South Pole–Aitken basin, an ancient impact crater that’s about 1,550 miles in diameter and 7.5 miles deep. Landing on the moon’s far side is incredibly challenging. Because the moon’s body blocks direct radio communication with a probe, China first had to put a relay satellite in orbit above the moon in a spot where it could transmit signals to the craft and to Earth.
Shrinking Supply – A single, 613-pound bluefin tuna sold for a record $3.1 million in an auction at Tokyo’s fish market, bought by the owner of a sushi restaurant chain. The appetite for sushi has reduced the population of the Pacific bluefin to 3.5 percent of its historic size.
2018 By the Numbers – In the early 1980’s, 44% of the world’s population lived in “extreme poverty”; now, that number has dropped to 10%. Every day last year, on average, 295,000 gained electricity for the first time, 305,000 received clean drinking water for the first time, and 620,000 were connected to the internet.
Wednesday: Retail Sales
Thursday: Weekly Jobless Claims, Housing Starts
Friday: Consumer Sentiment Index
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“We find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” Maxwell Maltz
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*Economy and Equity Markets…(Source: Reuters)
*Fixed Income…(Source: Bloomberg)
*Great American Companies…(Source: CNBC)
*Moon Landing…(Source: NBC.com)
*Shrinking Supply…(Source: The Washington Post)
*2018 By the Numbers…(Source: NY Times)