Oil prices are down significantly today, November 19, on speculation that data to be released tomorrow will show a fourth straight weekly increase in U.S. oil inventories and nervousness about a successful conclusion to U.S.-China Part 1 trade talks. As of 1:30 p.m. New York time U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate was down 2.89% to $55.40 a barrel and international benchmark Brent crude was off 2.39% to $60.95 a barrel. In the background of today’s action, though, is a fear that Russia and other producers will not agree to cut output further at the December 5 and 6 OPEC meeting in Vienna.read more
After the close on November 14 Nvidia (NVDA) announced fiscal third quarter 2020 quarterly earnings of $1.78 a share, 20 cents a share above the Wall Street consensus. Revenue of $3.10 billion was $92.21 million above projections. Chip stocks are currently among the hottest performers in the technology sector and the market as a while. Witness the 4.11% gain in shares of Nvidia today, November 18, at the close. But the company doesn’t seem totally out of the woods.read more
Fed report notes that continuing low interest rates could threaten U.S. (and global) financial security.
Yesterday Fed chairman Jerome Powell told the House Budget Committee that”we’re in a world of much lower interest rates.” He seemed to shrug his shoulders at the prospect as if to say, Hey that’s what it is and the Fed doesn’t have much power to change that trend. Today, in the latest version of the Fed’s semi-annual report on threats to financial system stability, the U.S. central bank wasn’t quite as prepared to shrug off the problems created by extended low interest rates.read more
The White House rolled out another round of its ongoing soap opera “As the Deal Turns.” starring, this week Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow (again.) The stock market yawned. “If you look at whenever they say ‘trade war is on, trade tariffs are off,’–if you look at that maneuver, it’s volatile to a point but it’s not significant,” Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management, told Bloomberg. “Most of us have gotten used to it. We’ve re-calibrated. It’s like the boy who cried wolf.”read more
“The U.S. economy is the star economy these days,” Fed chair Jerome Powell told the House Budget Committee today, November 14. “There is no reason to think that I could see that the probability of a recession is at all elevated at this time.”read more
Given a chance to say that the Federal Reserve will keep its interest rate policy on hold through 2020, Fed chair Jerome Powell refused to take the bait at this morning’s testimony in front of the congressional Joint Economic Committee. “We see the current stance of monetary policy as likely to remain appropriate as long as incoming information about the economy remains broadly consistent with our outlook,” Powell said. “However, noteworthy risks to this outlook remain.” Asked if he meant to signal that policy was on hold through next year, Powell responded “I wouldn’t say that at all” before repeating the line from his opening remarks on policy likely to remain appropriate as long as the economy stays on track.read more