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Here’s What You Missed 1/9/19

Daniel Chase

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I have absolutely no issue admitting to any of you that I am, what some would call, a stubborn individual. Though the people who consider me to be stubborn may not use such nice words to describe me, it is true, nonetheless. So, it is with great pride that I suggest to you that the worst type of person is a stubborn one. Someone who is unrelenting in their opinions, despite the fact that what they say may lack complete and total moral fortitude. These people will not waver, they will not bend, no matter the odds, and this can be incredibly frustrating. What I will say, on behalf of all stubborners out there, is that we are loyal until the day is done, and several minutes after that. Though we won’t budge, it’s only because we truly mean well, or we’re just being annoying. 

Think what you want, it won’t change my opinion, and while you’re at it, here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

Quantum, I Barely Know ‘Um

In recent news, because you obviously want to know what’s hip and happening today, not several months ago, IBM (IBM) today announced their unveiling of IBM Q System One, the world’s first integrated universal approximate quantum computing system designed for scientific and commercial use, according to a press release regarding the announcement. The press release goes on to share that IBM’s (IBM) new quantum computer was “designed by IBM (IBM) scientists, systems engineers, and industrial designers, and has a sophisticated modular and compact design optimized for stability, reliability, and continuous commercial use.” 

“The IBM Q System One is a major step forward in the commercialization of quantum computing,” said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research. “This new system is critical in expanding quantum computing beyond the walls of the research lab as we work to develop practical quantum applications for business and science.”

IBM Announcement of Q System One Computer 

IBM’s (IBM) announcement indicates the reality that computing devices will one day fail to put out the speed necessary to handle the work we use them for. As it relates to quantum computing, this is an area of computer technology that is only just now coming out of the woodwork. Though IBM (IBM) is celebrating their newest creation as the first fully integrated universal quantum computing system for the consumer market, it should be noted that the 20-qubit machine will not come close to meeting the futuristic expectations of how people see quantum computers being utilized. In recognition of the company’s first attempt at this type of tech, they admitted that the Q System One is “designed to one-day tackle problems that are currently seen as too complex and exponential in nature for classical systems to handle.” 

Now We Really Can’t Stop Amazon 

Assuming, for the moment, that Amazon’s (AMZN) intentions are pure, many are curious as to what new industry the company will foray into as it continues to innovate and lead the industry into the future. According to recent reports, the Company announced on Tuesday that it was partnering up with Telenav, Inc, a leading provider of connected-car and location-based-services to combine Telenav’s navigation systems with Amazon’s (AMZN) cloud-based voice service, allowing for the expansion of “users’ touch points beyond home and smartphone to connected vehicles. Well, there you have it, folks, Amazon (AMZN) is now entering the automotive industry, no one is safe. According to a press release regarding the announcement, recent survey data suggests that more and more automotive consumers are making purchasing decisions based on the in-car technology included in their desired vehicles, and voice remains one of the more exciting technology trends in recent years. The survey data, gathered by Autotrader, showed that 64% percent of consumers said they would pay more for technology features in their next car purchase, so it isn’t shocking that Amazon would look to integrate Alexa into the car tech game. 

“Navigation is among the most popular use cases for in-car technology, and we’re excited tote working with Telenav to make it easier for automakers and supplies to support voice-first navigation through Alexa. Using the Alexa Auto SDK, Telenav  is helping make Alexa a truly integrated part of the  in-car navigation system, and providing customers with a more useful, consistent experience at home and on the go.”

Ned Curic, VP of Alexa Auto, Amazon 

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Fed Announces No Rate Cuts, But Sees A Cut In The Future

Joe Samuel

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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.

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Trade Talks Fail, What’s Next For The Market?

Jon Phillip

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trump tariff china

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?

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Can 102 Words Really Impact Stock Prices?

Joe Samuel

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trump tweet

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.”

All eyes are on the second half of this week.  As we reported on May 7th, Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator will be heading to the US to talk trade this week.  

“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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