Financial and Economic Brief - November 14, 2017

by © Liberty Publishing, Inc.

Oil Prices May Stay Steady

Oil prices have been rising since June, increasing about 33%. British Petroleum (BP) boss Bob Dudley says that may be all for now. “I don't expect there to be a real spike in the markets barring some geopolitical event,” Dudley told CNNMoney. “…we're in the $50-$60 range until the end of the decade.” U.S. crude futures are currently trading at around $56 a barrel, and Brent crude is trading higher at $63. Oil prices have recovered since the oil crash in 2014/2015 thanks to supply curbs agreed to by OPEC members and Russia, a year ago. The deal will end in March 2018. A global economic recovery has also helped.
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Coal’s Bleak Future

Coal’s long-term prospects for growth and hiring are bleak. The industry has seen only modest gains in jobs and production this year, mostly from a temporary uptick in foreign demand. U.S. utilities are rapidly shutting coal-fired power plants down and changing to natural gas, along with wind and solar power. President Trump’s Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, is attempting to push a rule through that would subsidize power plants that store at least a 90-day supply of coal on site. U.S. coal production is on track to rise more than 8% in 2017 over the previous year, according to the Energy Information Administration. But 2018 output is expected to decline.
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Qualcomm Rejects Takeover Proposal

Qualcomm recently rejected Broadcom's $103 billion takeover proposal, noting the bid “significantly undervalues” the wireless telecommunications company. The combined company would create a global communications tech giant with about $51 billion in annual revenue and major customers such as Apple. Prior to making its bid for Qualcomm, Broadcom announced it would move its legal headquarters from Singapore to Delaware. Both companies are in the middle of other acquisitions, as well. However, Qualcomm is prepared to move forward on its own, or await a more “suitable” offer.
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Financial and Economic Brief - November 14, 2017

• Oil Prices May Stay Steady - Oil prices have been rising since June, increasing about 33%. British Petroleum boss Bob Dudley says that may be all for now.

• Coal’s Bleak Future - The coal industry has seen only modest gains in jobs and production this year, mostly from a temporary uptick in foreign demand.

• Qualcomm Rejects Takeover Proposal - Qualcomm recently rejected Broadcom's $103 billion takeover proposal, noting the bid “significantly undervalues” the wireless telecommunications company.

Financial and Economic Brief - November 7, 2017

• October Jobs Report - The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate was 4.1%.

• Gas Prices on the Rise - Gasoline prices have risen for most of the U.S. at a time in the year when there is usually “relief” at the pump.

• Dudley Leaving Fed - William Dudley, “among the most influential monetary policymakers throughout the financial crisis and its aftermath”, expects to retire by mid-2018, before his term officially ends in January 2019.

Financial and Economic Brief - October 31, 2017

• GDP Rose 3% - The U.S. economy “unexpectedly maintained a brisk pace of growth” in the third quarter.

• Oil Prices Still Sub $60/Barrel - The “key psychological threshold” of $60 a barrel has not been broken in awhile.

• Consumer Spending Increases - The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, jumped 1% in September.

Financial and Economic Brief - October 24, 2017

• “Pick Up” in Business for 4th Quarter? - According to a survey of business analysts, even though business wasn't great during Q3 2017, things “should pick up again” in Q4.

• Hartford to Acquire Aetna’s Life and Disability - The Hartford Financial Services Group has agreed to acquire Aetna's U.S. group life and disability business for $1.45 billion.

• Wall Street at Record Levels - Wall Street indexes hovered at record levels on Monday as investors aplauded the continuation of “Abenomics” following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s win in the polls.

Financial and Economic Brief - October 17, 2017

• Bright Outlook for Economy - Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she had a bright outlook for the U.S. economy and for inflation forecasts in the coming months.

• Tesla Model 3 Production Slows - According to reports, Tesla dismissed several hundred workers because the company is off to a slow start in manufacturing its Model 3 electric car.

• Indexes Hit Records - Wall Street indexes hit records at the open on Monday on gains in financial and technology stocks even as investors awaited earnings reports this week.

Financial and Economic Brief - October 10, 2017

• New “Bubbles” to Emerge? - According to German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, volatile loans and mounting global debt could lead the world into another economic crisis.

• Walmart Announces Buyback - Walmart announced a $20 billion share repurchase program to replace its existing plan and shares were up more than 2% in premarket trade on the news.

• Spanish Separation Affects European Stocks - World shares achieved a record high on Tuesday, although European shares traded “cautiously” as markets waited to see whether Spain’s Catalonia region would push for independence.