July 10, 2019
WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND HERE
Friday Night Art Walk – Come walk around all four sides of the historic Downtown Square in Huntsville, check out art and artisan goods from over 60 local vendors, and enjoy live music, an open entertainment district, and world-class people and puppy watching! This event is open to the public and FREE to attend.
THIS WEEK’S ECONOMIC DATA
- The U.S. trade deficit widened to a five-month high as imports surged the most since 2015. The gap increased 8.4% in May.
ECONOMY AND EQUITY MARKETS
As July begins, the current level of U.S. economic expansion is officially marking the longest period of growth in U.S. history. One thing that has made the current expansion of 121 months the longest on record is its slow, gradual nature. Average annual GDP growth has been lower in this recovery than in the previous three.
On July 2, President Donald Trump said he plans on sending the names of Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller to the Senate as Federal Reserve (Fed) governor appointees. Taken together, they represent advancement of a key Trump belief, namely that the Fed needs to be a more complicit partner in pushing economic expansion higher, and should be doing so through lower interest rates and looser policy overall.
Innovation and Transformation – Terminal tourism is the latest hot spot at U.S. airports. These programs allow people access beyond security checkpoints so they can meet arriving relatives or just hang out. It’s a bit of a return to the days before the 9-11 terrorist attacks when airport security was more relaxed and you didn’t need a ticket to get inside. Terminal tourism is taking root as airports expand options to fill passenger dwell time, as it’s called – those hours between when people make it through security and when their flights take off. Now many airports feature live music and art exhibits. There are spas, microbreweries, playgrounds, gourmet restaurants, and wine bars. In 2017, Pittsburgh was the first airport to open up to non-travelers and Tampa started doing so last month.
Fines for Walmart – Walmart agreed to pay $282 million in fines to federal authorities after pleading guilty to making dubious payments to foreign middlemen. One such conduit, nicknamed “The Sorceress,” charged $400,000 to help Walmart acquire Brazilian building permits.
The Sound of a Heart Attack – Your smart device could soon recognize signs that you’re having a heart attack, said Dalvin Brown in USA Today. Researchers at the University of Washington “found that around half of people experiencing a heart attack made sounds known as agonal breathing.” The noise is distinctive enough that the researchers believe it can be detected by a wide array of smart devices. They’ve developed an artificial-intelligence tool for that purpose and are working on software that could listen for the sound of a heart attack and automatically alert medical personnel.
Wednesday: Consumer Price Index, Initial Jobless Claims
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“If you get to be 65 or 70 and later, and the people that you want to have love you actually do love you, you’re a success.” Warren Buffet
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*Economy and Equity Markets…(Source: CBS News)
*Fixed Income…(Source: CNBC)
*Innovation and Transformation…(Source: Bloomberg)
*Fines for Walmart…(Source: The New York Times)