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Here’s What You Missed 2/11/19

Daniel Chase

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There comes a time when we heed a certain call when the world must come together as one. I’m, of course, talking about the point in our lives where animated movies are no longer enjoyable. Though I’m sure there was a time that these types of movies served a purpose, that time is long gone. Gone are the days when Pixar and Disney got the job done; they’ve since been replaced with Tarantino, Shyamalan, and the Coen Brothers.

It’s a sign that we all must grow up at one point, or another, and sometimes we have more tangible examples of this metamorphosis. If you gave up animated films long ago, maybe its that pair of Vans sneakers you threw out and replaced with a proper pair of shoes, or maybe you discarded those MC Hammer pants and purchased a nice pair of slacks. Either way, our future catches up to us. 

Here’s what you missed in the news over the weekend. 

Table For Madame President 

At a time where women are finally being given the space to lead in positions of power, we still have a ways to go. Having said that, another strong, independent woman added her name to the list of presidential hopefuls over the weekend. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the third-term Minnesota senator announced her intention to run for the Democratic nomination on Sunday. 

“For too long, leaders in Washington have sat on the sidelines while others try to figure out what to do about our changing economy and its impact on our lives, what do to about the disruptive nature of news technologies, income inequality, the political and geographical divides, the changing climate, the tumult in our world. Let’s stop seeing those obstacles as obstacles on our path. Let’s see those obstacles as our path. “

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Something About Men In Government

It could very well be that men in power feel the need to assert their dominance over women by insisting on engaging in unwanted sexual contact, or that several politicians, over the course of history, didn’t have their heads on straight. Either way, Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax is being accused by two different women on committing sexual assault against them, including rape by one of the women.

Like any crafty political figure, Fairfax has issued many a statement denying these allegations, but this all boils down to a greater systemic issue; we have a problem with believing women who say they’ve been raped or assaulted. To have undergone such physically, as well as mental/emotionally taxing event, and then have the courage to speak out about it, how could we do anything but believe these women. 

Now, members of the Democratic leadership plan on introducing articles of impeachment against Lt. Gov. Fairfax. We will see, in the next few days, how this turns out. 

And It Keeps Getting Complicated 

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has left many dinner parties in a state of awkward silence, as well as a real concern for geopolitical peace. Following the convening of the US 116th Congress, two freshman democrats, both of which are Muslim, have recently spoken out in favor of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, a topic that is considered to be highly controversial in the realm of the conflict. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) commented on her ability to discuss such matters in open dialogue:

“It’s not surprising. I think it is actually exciting because we are finally able to have conversations that we weren’t really willing to. It is really important for us to get a different lens about what peace in that region could look like and the kind of difficult conversations we need to have about allies.”


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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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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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