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  1. CNN: US stocks plummet on coronavirus fears: March 9, 2020... And in response, CNN: Trump pushes payroll tax cut and assistance for hourly workers in coronavirus economic response "President Donald Trump said Monday he would press lawmakers to enact a payroll tax cut and ensure assistance is available to hourly workers amid a roiling coronavirus pandemic that's caused deep economic concerns and stock market shock. >>> "We are going to be asking tomorrow, we're seeing the Senate. We're going to be meeting with House Republicans, Mitch McConnell, everybody discussing a possible payroll tax cut or relief, substantial relief," Trump said, surrounded by officials he'd tasked to respond to the issue. "We're also going to be talking about hourly wage earners getting help so that they can be in a position where they're not going to ever miss a paycheck," he added. The White House has also weighed an expansion of paid sick leave — a major focus for some White House officials, who fear the virus could spread further if service workers go to work sick. The president and his advisers have put it on the table and now it's Congresses turn to act - or not. Will the Democrats attempt to rebuff the administration's plan just because Trump proposed it? We shall see ~
  2. ABC News: The Dow Jones reaches 29,000 for the 1st time in history https://abcnews.go.com/Business/dow-jones-broke-29000-1st-time-history CNN: Dow hits a new record: 29,000 points https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/10/investing/dow-stock-market-29000 NBC News: Dow soars past 29,000 for first time, brushing off weak jobs report https://www.nbcnews.com/business/markets/dow-soars-past-29-000-first-time-brushing-weak-jobs
  3. Bloomberg Financial News: U.S. Companies' Repatriated Cash Hits $1 Trillion Under Tax Law Corporations have brought back more than $1 trillion of overseas profits to the U.S. since Congress overhauled the international tax system and prodded companies to repatriate offshore funds, a report showed Thursday. Even so, the total remains well short of the $4 trillion President Donald Trump said would return as a result of the 2017 tax law. The flow rose to $95.3 billion in the third quarter from a downwardly revised $70.4 billion in the previous three months, according to Commerce Department data, reaching a total of $1.04 trillion since the end of 2017. Investment banks and think tanks have estimated that American corporations held $1.5 trillion to $2.5 trillion in offshore cash at the time the law was enacted. Before the overhaul, companies were incentivized to keep profits overseas because they owed a 35% tax when bringing it back and could defer payment by keeping funds offshore. The law set a one-time 15.5% tax rate on cash and 8% on non-cash or illiquid assets. The repatriation figures were included in the quarterly report on the current-account deficit, which narrowed by $1.1 billion to $124.1 billion in the July-to-September period. The gap is considered the broadest measure of international trade because it includes income payments and government transfers. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-19/u-s-companies-repatriated-cash-hits-1-trillion-under-tax-law
  4. Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate; John Delaney speaks about Sen. Elizabeth Warren's health plan which would raise taxes on wealthiest Americans. It isn't about "Taxing the Rich" that Obama and his supporters kept calling for, it never was. It wasn't even about "raising the taxes on the rich"... The truth or reality is, the rich already pay their fair share and more in income taxes... Its about revising the tax code, making it simpler, doing away with deductions and loopholes that the wealthy primarily use to keep more of the money they make. John Kevin Delaney (D-MD) is an American attorney, businessman, and politician who is running for President of the United States in 2020. He was the United States Representative for Maryland's 6th congressional district from 2013 to 2019 and he is what's known as a "centrist" (or moderate) Democrat. Of course I think wealthy Americans should pay more, but so far no Democrat plan that I know of has come up with anything that makes sense but Delaney hits the nail on the head within the first couple of sentences on the topic: CNN Video: Delaney: "I think I should pay more in tax, I think wealthy Americans should pay more in tax, but we have to have a real solution. The real solution is to raise the capital gains rate. There is no reason why people who invest for a living should pay less than people who work for a living, that's ridiculous. It's the biggest loophole in our tax code." {**Audience applause**} https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/07/30/john-delaney-net-worth-elizabeth-warren-tax-plan-cnn-democratic-debate-vpx.cnn
  5. I'm certainly not opposed to anyone being able to earn a living wage, but what defines the term "living wage" is more often than not a variable depending on where and how people choose or are forced to live, but I am not in favor of any government mandating a standard wage that will ultimately cost jobs or see businesses go under. NY Times: $15 Minimum Wage Would Reduce Poverty but Cost Jobs, Congress Told in Report https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/08/us/politics/federal-minimum-wage.html As the job market continues to strengthen businesses and states are raising the minimum wage on their own as can be afforded to attract and keep employees - no federal mandate needed - and as for the argument that without a mandated minimum wage hike some businesses just won't raise their wages for the most part jobs, particularly higher paying jobs have always been awarded to the best qualified, most skilled and better trained candidates. With the less skilled, minimal training and lower qualification jobs with lower the wages considered entry level jobs - not a usually considered anyone's chosen career path and workers should be incentivized to become (or see to it their children are) better trained, more skilled and qualified to have better jobs and a higher standard of living. Reuters: House passes bill to raise federal minimum wage to $15 an hour The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday passed legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by October 2025, a big win for workers and labor groups, even as it remained unlikely the bill would pass a Republican-controlled Senate. The Democratic-majority House approved the legislation titled Raise the Wage Act, in a mostly partisan vote of 231-199. Only three Republicans voted for it, while six Democrats opposed it. Many Republicans and business groups have argued that raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour would hurt jobs, forcing businesses to hire fewer people and replacing jobs with automation. Several Republican lawmakers cited a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office last week, which estimated the move will boost wages for 17 million workers but at the same time, 1.3 million workers would lose their jobs. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-minimum-wage/house-passes-bill-to-raise-federal-minimum-wage-to-15-an-hour As some in Washington and the pubic continue to push for a manditory $15 federal minimum wage nationwide according to the publicly available LIVING WAGE CALCULATOR from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in four American States that $15 figure is already too low to offer those who receive it a "living wage". In some states the proposed $15 an hour raise leaves very little left over after basic living expenses and in about half of the contiguous American states $15 will indeed significantly raise (by about $5-$8 an hour) the average wages for those states... but may wind up costing jobs because businesses will hire fewer workers or businesses may cut back on employee hours. But as I already pointed our in previous threads the most common effect of a federal mandated raise in the minimum wage will likely be higher prices to the consumer, and a reduction in worker hours... CNBC: Higher minimum wage means restaurants raise prices and fewer employee hours, survey finds For restaurants, minimum wage hikes usually mean higher menu prices and fewer employee hours, according to a survey released Wednesday. Harri, a workplace management software company that works with restaurants, surveyed 173 restaurants between Feb. 28 and March 15 about the impact of raising the minimum wage. The respondents represent more than 4,000 restaurant locations ranging from fine dining to fast food. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/10/higher-minimum-wage-means-restaurants-raise-prices-and-fewer-employee-hours-survey-finds.html That is if businesses aren't forced to shutdown all together... restaurant business online: RESTAURANTS UNLIMITED DECLARES BANKRUPTCY The casual-dining operator closed six locations and blamed rising minimum wages and shifting consumer tastes for the filing. In their bankruptcy filing, Restaurants Unlimited brought up the rising minimum wages in several West Coast cities where they operate restaurants, including Seattle, San Francisco and Portland. The chain previously drew negative customer feedback for adding a one percent “living wage” surcharge to all bills in 2016. https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/financing/restaurants-unlimited-declares-bankruptcy https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-08/upscale-restaurant-chain-goes-bust-blaming-progressive-wages
  6. Common sense informed a few of us that businesses would raise their wages on their own as the economy improved and as needed to find and retain workers... of course liberals, Democrats, Progressives and even a few Republicans called those of us who suggested something like that "haters", greedy and derisive of the poor and minimum wage employees. Well it seems as it turns out, those of us who suggested businesses would increase their employee wages on their own, as they were able to, were right all along... KOIN-CBS Local: Minimum wage increases by 50 cents in Oregon Minimum wage varies across the state of Oregon PORTLAND, Ore. — Minimum wage workers in Oregon received a 50 cent raise on Monday as part of a phased-in series of annual increases. The bump in pay impacted about 162,000 Oregonians. The Oregon State Legislature in 2016 approved a set of increases in the minimum wage until 2022, when the wage will be tied to inflation. For the Portland metro area, the minimum wage will top out at $14.75 an hour. The legislation also created Oregon’s unique three-tier minimum wage system to take into account differences in the state’s urban and rural regions. In the Portland metro area, the minimum wage increased from $12 to $12.50. The standard wage is now $11.25 an hour for more than a dozen counties, including Marion, Yamhill and Tillamook. In nonurban counties, the pay was bumped to $11. https://www.koin.com/news/oregon/on-monday-162k-oregonians-will-get-a-raise/ In 2017, 19 states local governments voted to Increase Minimum Wage - ABC News: 19 States Increase Minimum Wage at the Start of 2017 https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/19-states-increase-minimum-wage-start-2017/story?id=44501349 In 2018, 18 states local governments voted to Increase Minimum Wage - Economic Policy Institute: 18 states will increase their minimum wages on January 1, benefiting 4.5 million workers While the federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, some states have opted to increase it to more than $10. At the beginning of 2018, 18 states will increase their minimum wage, providing about $5 billion in additional wages to 4.5 million workers across the country. https://www.epi.org/publication/18-states-will-increase-their-minimum-wages-on-january-1-benefitting-4-5-million-workers/ Here are the states with new 2018 minimum wages, according to the Economic Policy Institute - Alaska: $9.84, $.04 increase Arizona: $10.50, $.50 increase California: $11.00, $.50 increase Colorado: $10.20, $.90 increase Florida: $8.25, $.15 increase Hawaii: $10.10, $.85 increase Maine: $10.00, $1.00 increase Michigan: $9.25, $.35 increase Minnesota: $9.65, $.15 increase Missouri: $7.85, $.15 increase Montana: $8.30, $.15 increase New Jersey: $8.60, $.16 increase New York: $10.40, $.70 increase Ohio: $8.30, $.15 increase Rhode Island: $10.10, $.50 increase South Dakota: $8.85, $.20 increase Vermont: $10.50, $.50 increase Washington: $11.50, $.50 increase In 2019, 20 states local governments voted to Increase Minimum Wage - FOX Business: (Published December 27, 2018) Minimum wages set to increase in these 20 states in 2019 Millions of workers are due for a raise next year. According to the Economic Policy Institute, 5.3 million workers will see their pay rates increase as a result of numerous minimum wage hikes set to take effect across a number of states at the outset of 2019. Workers in 20 states will see minimum wages rise between Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Additionally, 23 localities will be raising rates, according to a list compiled by the conservative-leaning Employment Policies Institute. Collectively, those policy decisions will result in an extra $5.4 billion worth of pay next year – a $90 to $1,300 average pay bump per year-round employee, depending on state of residence. Eighteen states raised their minimum wages at the outset of January 2018, while two additional states did so in July. https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/minimum-wages-set-to-increase-in-these-20-states-in-2019 Of course another prediction voiced by many opposed to a federal government mandate to raise the minimum wage seems to have also come true... businesses raising their prices to pass the increase in their expenses on to the customers... NBC-Today: Is fast food still a good deal? Why McDonald's, Wendy's and more are raising menu prices Burgers, chicken sandwiches and other fast food favorites are getting more expensive. But plenty of other menu items, usually the ones that aren't being advertised with flashy commercials, are becoming more expensive. Datassential, a company that researches and analyzes restaurant menu trends, recently found that the median price of fast food burgers has risen 26 percent in the last four years, one of the steepest price hikes across the industry. Prices on fast casual and fine dining menus have seen an 8 percent increase, while burger prices at casual restaurants like Applebee's or Ruby Tuesdays have gone up 16 percent. In part, this price hike in places like McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King is a result of consumers becoming comfortable with paying more. "Fast food prices also rise for political reasons," Allen told TODAY Food. Those reasons include new taxes on food supplies that drive up costs for restaurants, which are then passed on to customers, as well as increases in the minimum wage for restaurant workers across the country. https://www.today.com/food/despite-1-deals-fast-food-getting-pricier-here-s-why-t144520 There seems to be no denying, all the previous demand the need for federal government to mandate a national minimum wage hike was as many predicted, just so much hysterical hype... States and businesses don't need the federal government to 'forced' them to raise the minimum wage, as employer AND worker need arises businesses will raise their wages... Of course the effect of businesses raising their wages seems to be an increase in the price of their goods effectively negating much or all of the pay increases so essentially many workers are no better off - some worse off do to reduction of hours and downsizing - than they were before the wage hike... Don't say we didn't warn you ~
  7. CNN: Employers need to hire more people than ever The economy may be slowing down, but as of December, it was still a very good time to look for a job. The number of job openings reached 7.3 million at the end of 2018, the highest level since the Labor Department started measuring them in 2000. That pushed the job opening rate -- the number of openings as a share of total employment -- back to the high it reached last August. The reading suggests that the labor market remains very strong, despite nearly universal forecasts that the economy will slow toward the end of the year. That has prompted the Federal Reserve to hold off hiking interest rates for at least the next several months. Job creation was particularly strong in construction and accommodation and food services, while manufacturing job openings fell. Another measure released Tuesday, the National Federation of Independent Business' small business optimism index, fell in January to its lowest level since President Donald Trump's election -- even though business owners still say quickly adding jobs and finding workers are their biggest challenges. The rate of people quitting their jobs remained flat, arresting a slight downward trend from recent months, indicating that workers still feel confident enough to switch employers or strike out on their own. Job openings have outpaced hiring since December of 2017, which shows that employers are having a difficult time finding enough workers to fill all the positions they have available. There have been more open jobs than unemployed people since March 2018. The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance also reached an all-time low in January, though it spiked during the government shutdown and remains elevated. https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/12/economy/jolts-december/index.html https://kval.com/news/nation-world/us-job-openings-jump-to-record-high-of-73-million https://www.limaohio.com/top-stories/340794/restaurants-fight-to-keep-employees https://workingnation.com/small-businesses-worker-shortage/ https://www.marketwatch.com/story/screaming-labor-shortage-forcing-firms-to-get-creative-to-fill-record-job-openings As I have been saying, the best way to raise wages isn't by some government mandate, but by creating more jobs so businesses are encouraged to offer better wages and more benefits to be able to hire and keep workers. We don't need the federal government to step in and pay for college and job training courses, businesses desperately in need of workers will partner with schools and job training services to educate the kinds of workers they need... and it seems that's exactly what's happening. People can try to slam the our government leaders all they want, but with a strong job market, more people are being put to work, getting better pay and more benefits because businesses have so many job openings. With more workers paying taxes and purchasing goods the economy has no where to go but up so long as the job market remains strong. Market Watch: Screaming labor shortage forcing firms to get creative to fill record job openings Jobless claims haven’t been this low since Woodstock and a man on the moon For working Americans that’s great news. More people are earning higher pay and job switchers especially benefit as firms compete to hire them by offering better wages and benefits. It’s a big headache for businesses, though. Not only do they have pay higher labor costs, they can’t find enough talent to raise production to meet growing demand. Some companies even have to reject new orders because they cannot fill them. Increasing overtime and converting part-time workers to full time are just some of the steps firms have taken to attack the problem. Yet the labor shortage has finally gotten bad enough that companies are getting creative in figuring out how to find the workers of the future. A major utility company in Northeast, for instance, is spending more on vocational training and establishing ties to local schools and colleges to make it easier to fill job openings, the New York Federal Reserve said in the latest Beige Book report. Many firms with an aging workforce in industries such as utilities have taken the same tack in what is basically an updated, 21st century form of apprenticeship. The same sort of thing is going on in the South, the fastest growing region of the country. An employee-staffing firm in the Dallas region, for example, joined with a manufacturer to offer a paid six-week welding course. Those who completed the course would get a full-time job. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/screaming-labor-shortage-forcing-firms-to-get-creative-to-fill-record-job-openings
  8. CBS News: Americans' paychecks are rising at their fastest rate in 9 years Among the rosy employment statistics in Friday's monthly hiring report, one especially shines: Worker wages in the U.S. are finally taking off. Average hourly earnings in October grew 3.1 percent from ago, federal data show. That's the first time wage growth has crossed the 3 percent mark since April 2009, when the economy was reeling from the housing crash. Earnings for non-bosses (a category the Labor Department calls "production and non-supervisory workers" and excludes managers), grew even faster at 3.2 percent. … https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-paychecks-are-rising-at-their-fastest-rate-in-9-years/ Businesses hired 250,000 workers in October as wages rose most in 9 years U.S. businesses added 250,000 jobs in October, the Labor Department said on Friday—a blowout number that surpassed Wall Street's expectation. Jobs were added in health care, construction, manufacturing and transportation and warehousing. The monthly average job creation now stands at about 210,000 for the last three months. That incorporates revised data for September, which saw an unusually low jobs figure thanks to Hurricane Florence. Hurricane Michael, which hit the Florida panhandle last month, did not affect the jobs report, the Labor Department said. … https://www.cbsnews.com/news/busineses-hired-a-blowout-250000-workers-in-october-as-wages-rose-most-in-9-years/ https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-employment-costs-rise-on-better-pay-for-private-sector-workers-1540989339 http://www.unionleader.com/news/business/workers-see-fastest-wage-increase-in-a-decade/article_d601f002-fd7b-5987-be81-656331b0f036.html
  9. CNN: CNNMoney Reports: American workers are in high demand (VIDEO) https://money.cnn.com/video/news/economy/2018/08/03/july-jobs-report.cnnmoney MarketWatch: U.S. gains 157,000 jobs in July; unemployment falls to 3.9% WASHINGTON -- The U.S. added 157,000 new jobs in July to nudge the unemployment rate below 4% again in another solid showing for a surging economy. The increase was below the 194,000 MarketWatch estimate, but hiring in June and May was stronger than previously reported. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, dipped to 3.9% from 4%. The average wage paid to American workers rose by 7 cents, or 0.3%, to $27.05 an hour. The yearly rate of pay increases was unchanged at 2.7%. Employment gains for June and May were revised up by a combined 59,000, the Labor Department said Friday. The government said 248,000 new jobs were created in June instead of 213,000. May's increase was raised to 268,000 from 244,000. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-gains-157000-jobs-in-july-unemployment-falls-to-39-2018-08-03 BLS: THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION — JULY 2018 https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000
  10. So according to several news media sources the U.S. economy grew last quarter by rate of 4.1%, this is on top of those same news agencies reporting "the U.S. economy grew faster than expected" - an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the first three months of 2018, according to the Commerce Department. Swarthmore, PA Daily Times: US economy grew at a brisk 4.1 percent rate last quarter WASHINGTON >> The U.S. economy accelerated last quarter at an annual rate of 4.1 percent, the government estimated Friday, as consumers spent tax-cut money, businesses stepped up investment and exporters rushed to ship their goods ahead of retaliatory tariffs. President Donald Trump said he was thrilled with what he called an “amazing” growth rate — the strongest quarterly figure since 2014 — and said it wasn’t “a one-time shot.” But most economists took issue with that forecast, saying the pace of growth in the April-June quarter won’t likely last in the months ahead. The Commerce Department said the gross domestic product — the total output of goods and services produced in the United States — posted its best showing since a 4.9 percent annual increase in the third quarter of 2014. http://www.delcotimes.com/article/DC/20180727/NEWS/180729739 Market Place: U.S. economy surges to 4.1 percent growth rate in second quarter https://www.marketplace.org/2018/07/27/economy/second-quarter-gdp-numbers CNN: US economy roars into high gear https://money.cnn.com/video/news/economy/2018/07/27/us-gdp-economic-growth.cnnmoney/index.html Wall Street Journal: U.S. Economy Grew at 4.1% Rate in Second Quarter Consumer spending, exports and business investment power strongest growth pace in nearly four years https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-economy-grew-at-4-1-rate-in-second-quarter-1532694956 Now, in light of the Trump tariffs, new trade deals and the pensiveness of U.S. businesses and investors - whether or not this economic surge is sustainable is something that remains to be seen.
  11. I've been saying for years the best and most effective way to improve the American workforce is not to temporarily import, train then allow foreign workers to return to their home countries with better skills - but instead we should be trying to educate, train and hire American workers... From several media accounts president Trump has appeared to do just that, an Executive Order to train and "retrain our workforce and equip students and workers with the skills they need" to be hired by American businesses. FOX: Trump pushing job training as employers search for workers USA Today: Trump looks to shift focus to economy with event, order on workforce White House.gov: President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order on Workforce Development President Trump is fighting for America’s forgotten men and women, taking action to help retrain our workforce and equip students and workers with the skills they need to succeed. “The assembly line, energy plant and retail store have changed dramatically in the past 25 years—and the jobs have too. Nearly 1 in 5 working Americans has a job that didn’t exist in 1980, many in technology, the fastest-growing segment across all industries. Such rapid change is one reason 6.6 million U.S. jobs are currently unfilled. Many of these jobs require skills training, but not a college degree. Yet for too long, both the public and the private sectors have failed to develop innovative and effective training programs. With a new initiative we are launching Thursday, that will change.” “By recognizing the full breadth of the ‘skills gap’ challenge and the cost to U.S. workers, the president has helped the nation take strong and positive steps … Another important step in addressing the ‘skills gap’ is the recent formation of the National Council on the American Worker. By leveraging insights from government, industry, and academia, we will find new ways to modernize our nation’s education and job-training system. At Lockheed Martin, we are proud to answer the president’s call for comprehensive workforce development.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-executive-order-workforce-development/ So instead of repeatedly expanding the federal foreign worker visa program as was done under the previous president, the current president is attempting to train and retrain American workers to fill much needed American business and labor job openings.
  12. CNN Money: Finland is giving 2,000 citizens a guaranteed income Finland has started a radical experiment: It's giving 2,000 citizens a guaranteed income, with funds that keep flowing whether participants work or not. The program, which kicks off this month, is one of the first efforts to test a "universal basic income." Participants will receive €560 ($587) a month -- money that is guaranteed regardless of income, wealth or employment status. The idea is that a universal income offers workers greater security, especially as technological advances reduce the need for human labor. It will also allow unemployed people to pick up odd jobs without losing their benefits. The initial program will run for a period of two years. Participants were randomly selected, but had to be receiving unemployment benefits or an income subsidy. The money they are paid through the program will not be taxed. If the program is successful, it could be expanded to include all adult Finns. The Finnish government thinks the initiative could save money in the long run. The country's welfare system is complex and expensive to run, and simplifying it could reduce costly bureaucracy. The change could also encourage more jobless people to look for work, because they won't have to worry about losing unemployment benefits. Some unemployed workers currently avoid part time jobs because even a small income boost could result in their unemployment benefits being canceled. "Incidental earnings do not reduce the basic income, so working and ... self-employment are worthwhile no matter what," said Marjukka Turunen, the head of the legal unit at Kela, Finland's social insurance agency. http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/02/news/economy/finland-universal-basic-income/index.html?iid=ob_homepage_deskrecommended_pool
  13. http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/dow/ CNBC: Stocks post 3-day winning streak as comeback from correction continues Stocks posted a three-day winning streak on Tuesday as the major averages continued to recover from the correction levels reached last week. The Dow Jones industrial average closed 39.25 points higher at 24,640.45 after falling as much as 180.24 points. Goldman Sachs and 3M were the biggest contributor of gains to the 30-stock index, both rising 0.9 percent. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent to 2,662.94, with financials among the best-performing sectors. Wells Fargo was the best-performing stock in the financials sector, rising 2.6 percent. Tech, meanwhile, rose 0.3 percent after trading lower earlier in the session. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.5 percent to close at 7,013.51, with shares of Nvidia and Amazon both climbing about 2 percent. The tech-heavy index fell as much as 0.6 percent earlier in the session. The indexes closed higher for the third day in a row, bouncing back from correction levels seen last week. On Thursday, the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all closed at least 10 percent below record highs set last month. "This all goes back to the fact that we were overbought on Jan. 26, when we hit all-time highs, and then the next week we got one data point that spooked the market: wage growth," said Marc Chaikin, CEO of Chaikin Analytics. "The market is spooked by inflation." The benchmark 10-year yield hit a four-year high on Monday. It traded slightly lower at 2.831 percent Tuesday as investors looked ahead to the release of key inflation data. The latest reading on the Consumer Price Index is scheduled for release Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. ET. "Tomorrow will bring the most important CPI report in over 10 years, as rising inflation (which will cause higher interest rates) has become one of the biggest risks to this multi-year rally," Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report, said in a note Tuesday. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/us-stocks-wall-street-the-fed-interest-rates.html
  14. And as a result more companies are leaving California for other states... February 13, 2018 California Business Journal: (Feb 13,218) WHY $15B CORP FLEES CALIFORNIA … For Tax Purposes. What Else? http://www.calbizjournal.com/whybusinessesleavecalifornia/
  15. Yahoo News: These companies {167 of them so far) announced wage hikes, bonuses, benefits in afterglow of Trump tax reform (Here's the first 20 in alphabetical order) 1st Summit Bank: $1k bonuses to full-time employees; salary raises; increased charitable donations AAON: $1k bonuses for 2,000 employees AccuWeather: Year-end bonuses for 450-500 employees Advance Financial: increase in 401(k) match Aflac (AFL): Increase 401(k) match from 50% to 100% on the first 4% of compensation plus a one-time $500 contribution to every employee’s 401(k) Alaska Airlines: $1k bonuses for 22,000 employees Amarillo National Bank: $1k bonuses for 313 employees American Airlines (AAL): $1k bonuses for ~127,600 employees American Bank: $1k bonuses for 60 employees American Community Bank & Trust: $500 bonuses to all employees, hiring more employees American Savings Bank: $1k bonuses for 1,150 employees, minimum wage increase to $15.25 AndyMark: Hiring more employees Anfinson Farm Store: $1k bonuses, 5% pay raises for employees Apple (AAPL): $2,500 bonuses in restricted stock units, hiring 20,000 new employees Aquesta Financial Holdings: $1k bonuses for 95 employees, minimum wage increase to $15 Associated Bank: $500 bonuses for all hourly employees, minimum wage increase to $15 AT&T (T): $1k bonuses for 200,000 U.S. employees AutoNation: doubling 401(k) match, launch of cancer benefit program Ball Ventures: $100 bonuses for every year of employment BancorpSouth Bank: pay raises for ~70% of employees, bonuses for ~20% of employees https://www.yahoo.com/news/81-companies-announce-wage-hikes-bonuses-afterglow-trump-tax-reform-171148283.html Former president Obama, the Democrats and progressives have been saying for years that we should "raise the minimum wage" and pay workers more... It looks to me like the Republicans in Congress and president Trump have actually figured out a way to make it happen instead of just talk about it, at least for some companies.
  16. It's probably getting to be on the edge of more of the same old boring news by now but... NBC News: Dow jumps 300 points to close above 26,000 for first time {in History} Stocks ended sharply higher Wednesday after the release of stronger-than-expected quarterly results from some of the biggest U.S. companies. The Dow jumped 322 points to a record-high 26,115, closing above 26,000 for the first time. The index first broke above the milestone mark Tuesday. The S&P 500 gained 0.95 percent, with staples and tech rising more than 1 percent. Tech stocks got a boost from Apple, which erased losses after announcing plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash. The stock closed 1.7 percent higher. The Nasdaq rose 1 percent. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/dow-jumps-300-points-to-close-above-26000-for-first-time/ar-AAuNRlM
  17. CBS News: Microsoft reports quarterly loss due to tax {reform} hit Bolstered by growth in cloud computing and its corporate software units, Microsoft (MSFT) on Wednesday reported revenue for its second quarter that exceeded Wall Street estimates. Still, a tax charge prompted the company to report a huge quarterly loss. The software maker relayed a $13.8 billion charge due to taxes owed on cash overseas, the outcome of changes in the tax law. That caused the company to report a net loss of $6.3 billion, or 82 cents a share, in the period ending Dec. 31, versus a profit of $6.27 billion, or 80 cents a share, the prior year. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/microsoft-reports-quarterly-hit-due-to-tax-hit/ -added emphasis mine- **So, American companies who have been hiding their money in overseas accounts for years are finely being found out and penalized because of the new tax reforms... They'll get no sympathy from me.
  18. ABC News: Apple plans to create 20,000 jobs in the U.S. SAN FRANCISCO - Apple said it will build a second corporate campus and hire 20,000 workers in a $350 billion, five-year commitment to the U.S. economy. Apple, the world's biggest company by market capitalization, said Wednesday it will contribute $75 billion of that amount through investments in American manufacturing, planned capital expenditures and what it called a "record" tax payment after it repatriates overseas profits. The company said it expects to pay roughly $38 billion on its foreign earnings, as required by $1.5 trillion tax overhaul signed into law by President Trump in December. Apple has roughly roughly $252 billion in cash held in foreign accounts. While Apple is likely to return some of its overseas money to shareholders, Wednesday's announcement is designed to be a show of faith in the U.S. -- the company's largest market. The public show of support to the U.S. also helps the optics of a company that will still continue to make most of its iPhones, iPads and other gadgets in factories located in China and other faraway countries that offer cheaper labor. "We believe deeply in the power of American ingenuity, and we are focusing our investments in areas where we can have a direct impact on job creation and job preparedness," CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "We have a deep sense of responsibility to give back to our country and the people who help make our success possible." Companies that bring back money stashed overseas this year will be taxed at a 15.5 percent rate, below the new 21 percent rate for U.S. corporate profits under the new law. As a whole, corporate America has an estimated $2.6 trillion in overseas cash... https://www.cbsnews.com/news/apple-plans-to-create-20000-jobs-in-the-us/
  19. CNN Money: Fiat Chrysler will move Ram production to Michigan from Mexico Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is feeling good about tax reform. So good that it says it's moving some of its truck production from Mexico {back} to Michigan. The automaker announced Thursday that it will spend more than $1 billion to revamp its Warren Truck Assembly Plant, which will start making the Ram heavy-duty truck in 2020. The truck is currently made in Saltillo, Mexico. Fiat Chrysler said it will add 2,500 jobs in Michigan to support the move. The company also said it's giving one-time $2,000 bonuses to 60,000 U.S. workers. "It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly," CEO Sergio Marchionne said in a press release. http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/11/news/companies/fiat-chrysler-tax-reform-bonus-jobs/index.html
  20. ABC News: Dow Jones industrials climb above 25,000 for the first time The Dow Jones industrial average burst through the 25,000 point mark Thursday, just five weeks after its first close above 24,000. The Dow passed five 1,000-point barriers in 2017 on its way to a 25 percent gain for the year, as an eight-year rally since the Great Recession continued to confound skeptics. Strong global economic growth and good prospects for higher company earnings have analysts predicting more gains, although the market may not stay as calm as it has been recently. The Dow has made a rapid trip from 24,000 points on November 30, partly on enthusiasm over passage of the Republican-backed tax package, which could boost company profits this year with across-the-board cuts to corporate taxes. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/dow-jones-industrials-climb-25000-time-52137141
  21. President Trump blocked a $1.3bn acquisition deal between an Oregon semiconductor maker and a Chinese government-financed firm on national security grounds. A federal panel that reviews foreign investment in the US for possible security threats ruled against the proposed $1.3bn purchase last week of Lattice Semiconductor. In his executive order on Wednesday, Trump instructed Lattice and Canyon Bridge "shall take all steps necessary to fully and permanently abandon the proposed transaction", within 30 days. "Credible evidence leads me to believe" the buyers of Lattice "might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States". Following Trump's announcement, Lattice said it was cancelling the proposed sale. Oregon Live: Trump shuts down Lattice Semiconductor's $1.3 billion sale to Chinese investors President Donald Trump has blocked the $1.3 billion sale of Lattice Semiconductor to Chinese investors over national security concerns, a widely expected decision that would seem to rule out most of its previous suitors from making another run at the Oregon company. Lattice, Portland's largest tech company, has been trying since November to sell itself to Canyon Bridge Capital Partners, a Chinese {Government} backed investment fund. But investors had always considered the deal a long-shot, especially after nearly two dozen members of Congress condemned it late last year on the grounds that China's growing, state-sponsored semiconductor industry posed a threat to national security. http://www.oregonlive.com/silicon-forest/index.ssf/2017/09/trump_shuts_down_lattice_semic.html Related Story: New York Times: (June 2017) U.S. Seeks to Keep Closer Tabs on Chinese Money in America White House officials and a group of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pushing for new laws intended in part to keep closer tabs on the surge of Chinese money into America. Some in Washington say that money could help China expand its technological and military abilities. While any legislation would face congressional debate and review, a large number of Trump administration employees who deal with both trade and national security have said they support some sort of overhaul of how the United States vets such deals. The push would expand the powers of a little-known but important panel — the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or Cfius — that can effectively block foreign deals for American companies on national security grounds. In particular, it could reshape the ways American technology companies, big and small, raise money from Chinese investors. “We’ll try to enable Cfius to take a tougher line against certain investments emanating from those nations that pose a clear threat to our national security, focused particularly in the area of advanced technology,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, who said last week that he would propose the legislation. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/business/china-cfius-takeover-money-deals.html?
  22. The concept of a "Universal Basic Income" is a favorite of mine and while I would love to see it happen, I cannot fathom how such a concept can be placed into a working reality without someone demanding large scale contributions from several sources who might not be willing to make those contributions, of markedly scaling back presently existing social relief programs... So while I continue to believe such a concept is a good idea in theory - I cannot see how that concept could be implemented in reality without someone like the federal government, or business cooperatives stepping on a lot of toes, taking away some of the things we now have, using force or coercion to ensure compliance. Then there is the matter of if this program is ever implemented many people will find themselves nearly completely beholding to the source of their new found finances that they will be able to control the masses through regulations and requirements stipulated as a condition for receiving money. *Food Stamps would be a good example... federal regulations say people can buy food with Food Stamps, but they cannot buy toilet tissue, tooth paste, clothing or any number of the other living essentials they need in addition to food. Not to mention if ever suddenly and inexplicably that funding goes away, many - many people are going to find themselves worse off then, than they were before. *The recent mortgage crisis would be an example here where people who for all intents and purposes were incapable of making mortgage payments were allowed to get a loan and finance a house purchase but after a grace period when it came time to begin to making regular payments those loans they were unable to do so and not only found themselves homeless again - but also owing huge amounts of money they couldn't pay. But that's just my thoughts on the subject. So as I speculated, to offer a Universal Basic Income to everyone, the federal government would have to raise taxes on some - either in the form of higher taxes for individuals who pay taxes or something like a business tax increase like a "carbon tax" which would likely wind up increasing the costs to produce goods and energy, which in turn would likely be passed on to consumers, again wind up negating any actual benefit from a proposed Universal Basic Income. MSN/CNBC: A $1,000 per month cash handout would grow the economy by $2.5 trillion, new study says Giving every adult in the United States a $1000 cash handout per month would grow the economy by $2.5 trillion by 2025, according to a new study on universal basic income. The report was released in August by the left-leaning Roosevelt Institute. Roosevelt research director Marshall Steinbaum, Michalis Nikiforos at Bard College's Levy Institute, and Gennaro Zezza at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio in Italy co-authored the study. The study made economic forecasts for three proposals: a full universal basic income in which every adult gets $1,000 a month ($12,000 a year), a partial basic income in which every adult gets $500 a month ($6,000 a year) and a child allowance in which parents get $250 a month ($3,000 a year). A $1,000 cash handout to all adults would grow the economy by 12.56 percent after eight years, a $250 allowance would grow the GDP by 0.79 percent and a $500 a month payment would grow the GDP by 6.5 percent. (Vox first did this extrapolation in their coverage of the report, and Steinbaum confirmed the accuracy of the extrapolation to CNBC Make it by email.) These estimates are based on a universal basic income paid for by increasing the federal deficit. As part of the study, the researchers also calculated the effect to the economy of paying for the cash handouts by increasing taxes. In that case, there were would be no net benefit to the economy, the report finds. "When paying for the policy by increasing taxes on households rather than paying for the policy with debt, the policy is not expansionary," the report says. "In effect, it is giving to households with one hand what it is taking away with the other. There is no net effect." Greenstein offered one innovative alternative: "To be sure, there is a possible exception: a carbon tax that returns its proceeds to the public via a universal payment." But even that, he says, is more theoretical than realistic because he suggests that money reaped from a carbon tax would be better used to study alternative energy or to support those at the very bottom of the economy. "If a carbon tax could pass, we might need to focus the proceeds available for these payments on low- and moderate-income families — so the payments would be adequate to offset the higher energy costs these families would face as a result of the tax — rather than extending the payments all the way up the income scale in universal fashion," Greenstein says. http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/a-dollar1000-per-month-cash-handout-would-grow-the-economy-by-dollar25-trillion-new-study-says/ar-AAr35pQ?li=BBnb4R7 I'm no college educated economist or financial genius but I have another alternative I'd like to suggest...If we got rid of just a portion of the duplication, redundancy, waste and mismanagement in the federal government ("billions" according to aGAO report commissioned by Obama in 2011) - including some of the high salaries and extraordinary grand perks and retirement benefits some in the Legislative and Administrative branches of the government receive, I'm willing to bet we could come not only come up with at least some funding for something like a Universal Basic Income but also effectively reduce the federal government deficit and eventually the government much of the debt. But of course we'd have to depend on the federal government suggesting and implementing a plan to reduce their own pay and benefits... how likely is that?
  23. Reuters: U.S. productivity rises in second quarter, keeps labor costs in check WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. productivity grew more than expected in the second quarter as hours worked rose at their fastest pace in 1-1/2 years, leading to a modest increase in labor costs that could keep inflation muted in the near term. "The economy is aging and the growth rate for this eight-year expansion may have maxed out unless all the king's horses and all the king's men on Trump's economics team can get some of its tax reforms, tax cuts, and untangled regulatory reforms through a moribund Congress," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. The Labor Department said on Wednesday that nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, rose at a 0.9 percent annualized rate in the April-June period. First-quarter productivity was revised to show it edging up at a 0.1 percent pace instead of being unchanged as previously reported. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-productivity
  24. USA Today U.S. consumer confidence at 16-year high WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers gained confidence this month, with more Americans pleased by current conditions and more hopeful about the future. The Conference Board, a New York-based business research group, says its consumer confidence index in July rose to 121.1, up from a revised reading of 117.3 in June. Consumers' views on current conditions hit the highest level since July 2001, while expectations for the future rebounded after a slight dip in June. Economists say the strong readings on consumer confidence are being bolstered by a healthy job market, with unemployment at a low 4.4% in June. Michael Pearce, a U.S. economist for Capital Economics, said the strong confidence readings were a good sign that recent weakness in retail sales will prove to be temporary and "consumption growth will remain strong over the rest of the year." Consumer spending accounts for 70% of U.S. economic growth. The overall confidence reading of 121.1 was the highest since the confidence index hit 124.9 in March. Both of those readings were the highest since confidence stood at 128.6 in December 2000. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/07/25/u-s-consumer-confidence-16-year-high/508178001/
  25. President Trump's proposed tax reform states he wants to do away with the loopholes some use to avoid paying about 15% of the taxes they actually owe - and in doing so lower the nation's corporate tax rate to allow America to more successfully compete with other nations. Obviously repeatedly raising corporate taxes isn't something that has been working well - unless you are attempting to influence domestic businesses to seek friendlier tax rates over seas - perhaps it is time to try something different, for someone to think about American businesses like a businessman instead of a government politician... Business Insider: Here's how much Americans pay in taxes compared with the rest of the world Trump and other Republicans are right about one aspect of US taxes, however. When it comes to taxing corporate profits, the US does indeed have one of the highest nominal maximum rates in the world, at 35%. The new study's authors looked in particular at how the US tax regime stacks up against Germany's — a nation they chose because its economy resembles that of the US and because Trump has said Germany's trade surplus with the US gives it an upper hand economically. And US corporations are in fact paying higher income taxes than German ones. As it happens, deductions and other tax strategies mean relatively few US corporations actually get stuck paying the maximum nominal 35% rate, instead paying about 20% on average. But that is still higher than the comparable 15% effective rate that German corporations pay, according to the Chicago Fed estimates. The high US nominal corporate tax rate could indeed be a problem for the economy, since it encourages US corporations to shift their operations overseas to keep tax bills low — something Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly called out. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-americans-pay-in-taxes-compared-to-other-countries-2017-7