TRENDS ON THE ECONOMIC AND MARKET FRONT
It’s all in the numbers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 430 points today and the S&P 500 fell to its lowest level since the start of June.
The U.S. Federal Reserve’s message that it will not cut interest rates any time soon has finally convinced investors.
Many companies with special needs for cash or less-than-perfect credit profiles borrowed when interest rates were low to keep their financial houses in order. Now that the U.S. Federal Reserve has not only raised rates but also has vowed to keep them aloft for as much as another year or more, those companies are increasingly at risk.
Americans shopping for car loans are finding those debts carry interest rates more than twice what they were two years ago. Those same high interest rates are pricing potential home buyers out of the market. (See “Rising Interest Rates Sink Mortgage Market” and “Rally in Home Construction Stalls” in this issue.)
The highest mortgage interest rates in 23 years have sunk demand for new mortgage loans to their lowest in 27 years.
Last spring’s boom in home construction has finally been stomped by high interest rates.
The U.S. housing market has been “a slow-building disaster,” Glen Kelman, CEO of real estate website Redfin, said in a CNBC interview last week.
JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by assets, agreed to pay $75 million to the government of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The agreement is part of a string of suits by people and organizations claiming to have been victims, in one way or another, of the jet-setting sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
TRENDS ON THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC FRONT
International trade volumes were down 2.4 percent in June, year on year, and another 3.2 percent in July, according to the World Trade Monitor maintained by the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
This is week 56 of our listing job cuts. Today, the Dow went into the red for the year plunging 430 points. Why?
In recent times, the economic landscape has presented an array of challenges that have profoundly affected the business community. Some of the most significant challenges include soaring inflation rates, escalating interest rates, looming fears of a recession, and a tangible decrease in revenues for many sectors…all made worse by the COVID War which destroyed the lives and livelihoods of billions across the globe.
In 2021, Liontown Resources had budgeted $300 million for its new Australian lithium mine. The budget now is twice that.
Investors in European bonds sold off last week on fears that the European Central Bank will hold rates higher for longer and because Italy’s budget deficit came in larger than expected.
In September, inflation among the 20-nation Eurozone fell to an annual rate of 4.3 percent, its slowest in two years, and beat analysts’ forecasts of 4.5 percent.
Mergers and acquisitions worldwide slowed to a value of $2 trillion in the first nine months of this year, the least since 2013 and a 28-percent decline from the same period in 2022, according to data from the London Stock Exchange Group.
JetBlue Airways reported a downturn in U.S. domestic travel in August, while low-fare Spirit Airlines has issued a profit warning and has resorted to “deep discounting” to spur ticket sales.
Sinopac, China’s largest oil company, has calculated that the world’s gasoline demand has peaked as electric vehicles (EVs) have aggressively asserted their place in the global vehicle market.
Last week, Banxico’s rate-setting committee voted unanimously to hold the central bank’s key interest rate at 11.25 percent for its fourth consecutive meeting, matching the unanimous expectation of 23 economists Bloomberg surveyed.
Echoing Gerald Celente’s July 2020 forecast, Bloomberg’s Markets Live Pulse survey reports that a majority of 919 respondents believe that the market value of U.S. office buildings is due to crash.
Evergrande, China’s flamboyant, overleveraged property developer whose defaults in September 2021 set off a chain of collapses across the sector, announced last week it still owes tens of billions of dollars to contractors, lenders, and suppliers and that its chairman is under criminal investigation.
UKRAINE WAR TREND UPDATE
Ukrainian officials sent a letter to its Western allies last month urging them to strike drone-making facilities in Syria and Iran that have been providing Russia with these unmanned aircraft that have been used to carry out attacks in cities throughout Ukraine, according to a report.
Western politicians are beginning to push Ukraine to start building the infrastructure so it can produce its own weapons during its war with Russia—which could be an economic windfall for Western military contractors.
As we had forecast for months, and as 20 June 2023 Trends Journalcover illustrated, Ukraine’s counteroffensive would fail.
Medvedev, the former Russian president and close associate to Vladimir Putin, took to X on Sunday to lash out at reports that the U.K. is considering sending troops inside Ukraine to train Kyiv’s forces, and Germany may approve its long-range Taurus missiles.
An amendment to the 2024 military spending bill that would have banned the U.S. from providing Ukraine with cluster bomb munitions was defeated in a vote last week as the Biden administration continues its effort to arm Kyiv in its war against Russia.
Robert Fico, the two-time former prime minister in Slovakia, watched his populist SMER party outperform in the country’s parliamentary election, paving the way for its leader to form a coalition government and regain control of the country.
President Joe Biden worked Sunday to assure Ukraine that American support will continue after Republican members of the House omitted Kyiv funding from its stopgap bill to keep the government funded until 17 November.
TRENDS IN THE MARKETS by Gregory Mannarino
If you were to ask the average person “what happened during the 2007-2008 Stock Market Crash/Financial crisis?” What caused it? You may hear answers like; “it was brought on by banks who were writing subprime mortgages, giving mortgage loans to anyone with a heartbeat-regardless of if they had a job, or even the ability to make mortgage payments.”
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Dr. Joseph Mercola
Collagen—which provides structural support and strength to your tissues[1,2,3]—accounts for about 30 percent of the total protein in your body. Twenty-eight percent of collagen, in turn, is made up of the amino acid glycine.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by John & Nisha Whitehead
Authoritarian control freaks out to micromanage our lives has become the new normal or, to be more accurate, the new abnormal when it comes to how the government relates to the citizenry.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Philip Giraldi
Most Americans do not understand how the United Nations functions, or does not function as the case might be, preferring to think of it as some kind of debating society where the 193 member nations representing the world community can vent over issues that they rarely have control over.
FEATURED TRENDS GUEST ARTICLE by Ben Daviss
Humans are a carbon-based life form—carbon is the common element among most of our molecules—so maybe it’s not surprising that one of the newest health elixirs gaining notoriety is made of carbon: buckminsterfullerenes, also known as buckyballs.
TRENDS IN TECHNOCRACY by Joe Doran
A report this past week detailed how scientists are now perfecting technology that can deliver mRNA “vaccines” through the air.
After legislation that might have curtailed Amazon monopoly practices failed to advance in 2022, 17 states together with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), have now launched a suit against the retailing giant.
TRENDS IN CRYPTOS
The utility of web3 technologies and decentralized networks like Ethereum are gaining acceptance in a wider range of use cases, though the sector continues to be hampered by regulatory unclarity and crypto suppression.
Every day the U.S. allows the arbitrary and reckless “regulation by enforcement” regime of SEC head Gary Gensler is a day that the world’s leading financial power falls behind other regions in the benefits of crypto innovation.
TRENDS IN THE COVID WAR
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last week that it will update the warning label on Ozempic—the diabetes drug popular for weight loss—due to the risk of intestinal blockage while on the drug.
Molnupiravir, Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral drug that earned the company $6 billion in sales from 2021 to 2022, may be contributing to the disease’s mutation since the virus can survive the treatment, scientists said.
The National Retail Federation released a survey last Tuesday that stores across the U.S. lost an “unprecedented” $112.1 billion to theft in 2022.
TRENDS IN GEOPOLITICS
Germany announced last week that it will increase border controls to help deal with the influx of new asylum seekers entering the country from Poland and the Czech Republic, which has been a source of contention in EU countries.
The Israeli military said it carried out airstrikes on targets in Gaza last week—after protests broke out by Palestinian workers after Israel closed the Erez crossing to prevent their entry into the country.
The U.S. State Department is concerned that China is using social media and news outlets to promote disinformation that can change public opinion.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., claimed that he accidentally pulled a bright red fire alarm inside the Cannon House Office Building on Saturday while the House debated a stopgap funding measure.
A newly released survey by Harris Poll for Bloomberg found that about 45 percent of Americans from 18 to 29 are living at home with their families—a number not seen since the 1940s.
The top car makers in the U.S.—faced with widespread strikes since 15 September—paid a combined tax rate of just 1 percent on pre-tax income on $42 billion in profits, and insist that they do not have the funding to increase pay for workers by 40 percent over four years and improve retirement standards.
TRENDS IN HI-TECH SCIENCE by Ben Daviss
Scientists at Rice University have come up with a three-fer: a way to eradicate plastic waste by flash-heating it, which releases hydrogen that can be captured for fuel or industrial use and also produces graphene as a byproduct.
Engineers at North Carolina State University have ended the era of the passive window. Their new version can let light and heat pass through as usual, adjust to block heat but not light, or block some light while letting heat pass through unimpeded.
As glial cells go, so goes the brain. Glial cells in the brain link neurons together, nourish, clean, and protect them. When glial cells age, sicken, or die, the result can be anything from uncontrollable movements to forgetfulness or mood changes.
TRENDS IN AI
Forty-nine percent of CEOs say artificial intelligence could carry out “most” or even “all” of their functions, a poll by education website edX found. The site queried 800 C-suite workers, including CEOs, and 800 workers below the executive level.
One of the hardest and most tedious tasks in genetic science is figuring out which of the countless mutations in human genes cause which illnesses.
College students are learning skills in business and technology that AI is likely to render obsolete by the time they graduate, Chris Hyams, CEO of jobs website Indeed, warned in a Fortune essay.
Economists tend to hold an optimistic view of technological change: yes, the people who make wagon wheels and kerosene lamps are thrown out of work, but they—and a whole lot more people—find jobs in the new technological realm, conventional economic wisdom says.
Several venture capital firms are collaborating with the U.S. commerce department to craft “responsible AI” guidelines for themselves and the businesses they fund, according to Axios.
Alexa, Amazon’s voice-controlled assistant, has been upgraded with AI.