Many small towns use short-term borrowing to pay bills between revenue collections. Higher rates could be threatening that finance model. Heather Gillers reports for The Wall Street Journal: Rising interest rates are squeezing cash-strapped towns and school systems that use short-term borrowing to keep cash flowing while they wait for property tax dollars to come in. A-rated cities and school districts are paying 3.16% for a one-year loan issued March 3, compared with 0.21% at the beginning of 2022, according to data from Refinitiv MMD. In places where local budgets are already burdened by … [Read more...]
Tesla Is Dropping Its Prices
Tesla has announced price cuts for two of its vehicles, the Model S and the Model X. Alyssa Lukpat reports The Wall Street Journal: Tesla Inc. decrease; red down pointing triangle lowered the prices of two of its most expensive models in the U.S., the Model S and Model X, in its latest round of price cuts as the company tries to boost demand in a competitive market. Tesla dropped the base price of its Model S luxury sedan from $94,990 to $89,990, which is about a 5% cut, according to the company’s website. Tesla lowered the base price of its Model X sport-utility vehicle from $109,990 to … [Read more...]
Global Liquidity Is Increasing Despite the Fed
Despite efforts by the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and the Bank of England to decrease global liquidity, it is increasing instead and driving investors into riskier assets. Joseph Adinolfi reports for MarketWatch: Gains for global equities have left many on Wall Street perplexed as stocks — especially high-risk growth names with little or no profits — have rebounded from last year’s punishing selloff, resisting both the pull of more attractive bond yields, and the threat of higher interest rates. But some Wall Street analysts say they’ve found an explanation that has little to … [Read more...]
China Hopes Recovery Dims Memories of Zero COVID Debacle
China's communist government found itself in trouble with its people when it became apparent just how damaging its misguided "zero COVID" policies were. Now the government is hoping a rapid economic recovery will be able to paper over its embarrassing COVID performance. Stella Yifan Xie and Keith Zhai report in The Wall Street Journal: Economic activity in China expanded sharply for a second straight month, in an early sign the country may be shaking off the impact of pandemic curbs sooner than expected. A gauge of manufacturing rose at the fastest pace in more than a decade in February, … [Read more...]
Industry Races to Diversify Away from China
A trend in manufacturing companies diversifying their operations away from China has been accelerating, and now Apple suppliers are joining the exodus. Nguyen Xuan Quynh and John Boudreau report for Bloomberg, writing: Apple Inc.’s Chinese suppliers are likely to move capacity out of the country far faster than many observers anticipate to pre-empt fallout from escalating Beijing-Washington tensions, according to one of the US company’s most important partners. AirPods maker GoerTek Inc. is one of the many manufacturers exploring locations beyond its native China, which today cranks out … [Read more...]
Is That an Echo You Hear in the Market?
The recent rally in tech shares has given hope to investors who have made money in them for the last decade, but Ruchir Sharma suggests in the Financial Times that the rally is just an echo. He writes: The recent surge in tech stocks has true believers buzzing that the downturn of late last year is over and the boom of the past decade is back. But the opposite case is more likely. This surge had all the hallmarks of an echo bubble — a brief rebound of the kind that has punctuated the long decline of every major bubble in the past century. Over the past decade, driven by record-low interest … [Read more...]
Is There Room for Morgan Stanley in the Crowded ETF Industry?
Morgan Stanley is entering the crowded ETF industry with six new products, including two actively managed ETFs. Steve Johnson reports in the Financial Times: In a parallel universe Morgan Stanley might be Europe’s pre-eminent exchange traded fund provider. In this one it is the wet-behind-the-ears newbie, beaten to the punch by the more than 400 issuers globally that have already entered the ETF fray. Despite its tardiness Morgan Stanley, the 18th-largest manager in the world with assets of $1.3tn, and the biggest without ETFs, has ambitious plans. Six ETFs were unveiled in the US … [Read more...]
Is Hydrogen the True Future of Clean Energy?
Electric vehicles are all the rage at the moment, but is it possible hydrogen-fueled vehicles are the real future of clean energy? Toyota and Hyundai are putting good money into the possibility. June Yoon reports for the Financial Times: The battle over cars running on alternative fuel shifts up a gear this year. A record number of new models powered by electric batteries are due to be released in the coming months as manufacturers place their bets on greener solutions to petrol engines. But two of the biggest carmakers, Toyota and Hyundai, are still driven by the belief that hydrogen will … [Read more...]
Is Commercial Real Estate About to Crash?
One chief executive of a large office building company says the market for commercial real estate is already in recession. Is the commercial real estate market about to suffer a crash? Peter Grant reports in The Wall Street Journal: The number of big office landlords defaulting on their loans is on the rise, fresh evidence that more developers believe that remote and hybrid work habits have permanently impaired the office market. The giant investment manager Brookfield Asset Management recently defaulted on a total of over $750 million in debt for a pair of 52-story towers in Los Angeles, … [Read more...]
Mild Weather Pushes Gas Prices Down in Europe
Mild weather has stunted demand for natural gas in Europe this winter, keeping prices low in what could have been a volatile market in light of wartime sanctions and supply constraints. David Sheppard reports in the Financial Times: The price of European natural gas has fallen to its lowest level since the build-up to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, boosting the EU and UK economies and delivering a blow to President Vladimir Putin’s war effort. The benchmark gas price on Friday fell below €50 per megawatt hour for the first time in almost 18 months, down to €48.90/MWh, as traders … [Read more...]