If the future is as unwritten as people make it out to be, wouldn’t it make the most sense to eat as much sushi in the time that you have left? It could be possible that you don’t enjoy eating raw fish, but never less, imagine an activity or food you enjoy partaking in or ingesting and imagine life without it. You see, the world starts to get a touch more dull without our “favorites” at our disposal. Now, I want you to think about people who are less fortunate than you, and try and understand what their “favorites” might be. I can’t tell you how many times I see people walk or drive by a homeless person and completely ignore their existence. I can tell you that a favorite of a “homeless” person who, mind you, is 100% still a person, is to be seen, heard, and made to feel like they matter.
Here’s to hoping that we treat every person we come across with the decency and respect they deserve and with that, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday.
An Apple & Aetna A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
People have often said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but rarely, if ever, has anyone interpreted this to have any connection to Apple and its accompanying devices. However, the common interpretation of this painfully inaccurate adage may be subject to change following news released today describing corporate decisions from the fruit-based tech giant.
Apple today announced plans to collaborate with health insurance provider Aetna to launch a new wellness-based app called Attain which will use Apple Watch data to allow Aetna patients to observe their health statistics. According to TechCrunch, the partnership began back in 2016 when the two companies conducted tests during which 90% of participants reported a health benefit from using their Apple Watch.
“We believe that people should be able to play a more active role in managing their well-being. Every day, we receive emails and letters from people all over the world who have found great benefit by incorporating Apple Watch into their lives and daily routines. As we learn over time, the goal is to make more customized recommendations that will help members accomplish their goals and live healthier lives.”
–Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Apple
Get Out Of Huawei
Following the fiscal ceasefire agreement, which was set into place back in December, it seemed that peace between the U.S. and China had been temporarily restored. This was true for the geopolitical equivalent of roughly four minutes before the Trump administration elected to file criminal charges against Huawei, one of China’s largest telecom companies, for committing money laundering, bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy, as well as conspiracy to obstruct justice, just to sweeten the judicial pot.
As for the individual named in Huawei’s recent charges, the Company’s chief financial officer, Wanzhou Meng, will have the distinct honor of being indicted by Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker. Rumors suggest he is quite warm and friendly when processing an indictment, but that’s just hearsay.
The official indictment, filed with the United States Eastern District Court of New York, stated that:
“…Since in or about July 2007, Huawei repeatedly misrepresented to the U.S. government and to various victim financial institutions…that, although Huawei conduced business in Iran, it did so in a manner that did not violate U.S. law, including the ITSR (Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations). In reality, Huawei conducted its business in Iran in a manner that violated applicable U.S. law, which includes the ITSR.”
–U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
Fed Announces No Rate Cuts, But Sees A Cut In The Future
For the past couple of years, the United States Federal Reserve has been in the middle of a lot of speculation. The trade war between the United States and China has created a clamor for cuts in interest rates.
But on Wednesday, the Fed held the interest rates as they were. Furthermore, the Fed officially announced that no cuts in interest rates were forthcoming in 2019. It’s interesting to note that the markets are betting heavily on a forthcoming rate cut from the Fed. Some even expect the cuts to be formalized in July.
Rate Cut Ahead?
The Fed has ruled out the possibility of any cuts this year (allegedly). But many market watchers believe that a lot depends on how the market conditions evolve over the coming months. The uncertainty regarding the trade war with China is a major problem.
Yet experts believe that if it turns into a prolonged skirmish, then the Fed might reconsider its position. The United States President Donald Trump has led been campaigning for lower rates from the Fed for some time.
After having delivered his statement on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell seemed to imply that rate cuts could not be completely out of the question in 2019.
“Many participants now see the case for a somewhat more accommodative policy has strengthened.”
The decision by the Fed was possibly one of the most-watched events in recent times. Long-term ramifications are the main concern.
Market participants had been calling for multiple cuts. But the Fed voted to keep benchmark rates within the 2.25% and 2.5% range. It was the range that had been back in December when the Fed had controversially raised the interest rates. The voted had been passed 9-1 in favor of holding the rate.
Trade Talks Fail, What’s Next For The Market?
The trade war between the United States and China has probably been the biggest economic and diplomatic development since the turn of the year. Although the world’s two biggest economies were locked in talks for months over a new trade deal, it all unraveled quickly.
This happened when US President Donald Trump stated that the Chinese went back on their word. He then imposed tariff hikes on Chinese goods last Friday. The tariffs were raised to an astonishing 25% on goods worth $200 billion. Although Trump might believe this might bully the Chinese into submission, many experts believe that might not be the case.
Difficulty in Completing Deal
The President had imposed these tariff hikes right before the Chinese delegation was supposed to show up at Washington. This was for which many had believed was going to be the last round of talks. However, experts now feel that the escalation of tensions between the two countries following the latest developments will make it difficult to reach a deal that could be considered a win for the US. As soon as the tariffs kicked in, Beijing announced that it was looking at countermeasures as well. However, there were no specifics on the nature of these measures.
Last year, the two nations had been embroiled in a damaging retaliatory tariff war and it could lead to a protracted trade war, if the Chinese decided to resort of the same tactics. The Chinese delegation is going to be in Washington this week to engage in another round of talks but it is believed that a binding trade deal is unlikely to be signed.
Is A Trump Win Likely?
One of the biggest reasons why the deal might not be signed anytime soon is perhaps the fact that the US President needs to be able to claim it as a win for himself. The President has staked his personal weight behind a favorable deal for the US. But with every passing day, it is looking increasingly unlikely that it is going to happen.
If that is to happen, then China’s entire way of doing business will need to change. This is starting at intellectual property theft and expands to technology transfers by force from US companies. If those things are not part of the deal, then it would not be the sort of deal that can be claimed as a win for the US. It doesn’t help that today, China came in with its own tariffs. China will raise tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. goods, the Chinese Finance Ministry said Monday.
And in true Trump fashion, the U.S. may not be done retaliating. The U.S. President has threatened to put 25% tariffs on $325 billion in Chinese goods that remain untaxed. The president has signaled he is content leaving the duties in place, arguing they will damage China more than the U.S. What are your thoughts?
Can 102 Words Really Impact Stock Prices?
In short, the answer is yes. We’ve witnessed, first hand, this week how just a few words can drastically impact the stock market. If you’re just tuning in, at the beginning of the first full week of May, U.S. President Donald Trump Tweeted out a 102-word post that ended up triggering a sell-off costing the global markets around $1.36 TRILLION…with a “T”!
The “Trump Tweet” expressed that he would once again increase tariffs on Chinese goods by the end of this week. What followed has been a shock to the global markets with futures pointing at dramatic declines every day this week. Though some say that the decline are all but a speed bump, it still hasn’t helped the fact that this drop is one of the worst seen all year. People like Kerry Craig of JPMorgan Asset Management think that a trade deal can still be reached. The expectations, however, have been readjusted to reflect a more long-term time horizon.
Eyes Turn Toward The Second Half Of The Week
Other analysts like Oanda Asia Pacific’s Jeffrey Halley feel that investors are prudently “lightening their loads.” Halley said, “My feeling is that investors are lightening their portfolios as a precaution.”
“Liu will be in the U.S. from May 9-10. The invite comes from both the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.” Regardless of what “will happen,” what has happened thus far has been an emotionally charged & very fragile global market. As this story develops we will continue to follow with more updates.
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