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Here’s What You Missed (3/4/19)

Daniel Chase

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If you haven’t had the opportunity to purchase products from a farmer’s market, let me be the first to tell you that you are missing out. Not only is everything significantly cheaper than you’ll find in a conventional grocery store, but the quality is incredible. First of all, vendors give out free samples of all their products which include, but are not limited to: fruits, veggies, cheeses, dips, meats, hummus, etc. Second, everything is certified organic, and grown without harmful pesticides.

Third, and most importantly, your purchases help local businesses thrive in an industry dominated by factory farms. It’s like buying books from an independent bookstore versus a chain, you just feel better about your product because you know it came from a good location. If I haven’t convinced you, ask anyone who’s been to their local farmer’s market and they’ll tell you exactly the same stuff. 

Eat a piece of fruit, why don’t you, and here’s what you missed in the news yesterday. 

Not So Fast, Mr. President 

Last week, we spoke about President Donald Trump’s intention to declare a national state of emergency to allocate funding for his wall project, and how Congress voted to pass a measure which would effectively block the President from doing so. Well, that measure went to the Senate and we’ve been patiently waiting to see how Senate members would vote. Interestingly enough, the measure has received bipartisan support because no member of government thinks President Trump has the right, or power, to spend money that was appropriated for other governmental operations. 

According to reports, Sen. Rand Paul may be the final vote needed to block President Trump from his emergency declaration. 

“I can’t vote to give the President the power to spend money that hasn’t been appropriated by Congress. We may want more money for border security, but Congress didn’t authorize it. If we take away those checks and balances, it’s a dangerous thing.”

Sen. Rand Paul 

The End Is Near 

The Democrats are celebrating, but possibly too soon, at the fact that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration is nearly complete. Whether Mueller’s report shows anything about President Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia and the 2016 presidential election remains to be a mystery.

Perhaps the most important finding from Mueller’s report will be if Russia, in fact, meddled with the 2016 election. Interestingly enough, members of the Democratic leadership are more focused on finding the secret cause necessary to introduce articles of impeachment against the President, but after news emerging about countless morally questionable actions, and no consequences, I don’t believe Trump is going anywhere, anytime soon. 

“We’re waiting for a report by people who weren’t elected. Unfortunately, you put the wrong people in a couple of positions and they leave people for a long time that shouldn’t be there and all of a sudden they are trying to take you out with bullshit, okay?”

-President Donald Trump 

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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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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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Chinese Negotiators To Visit US As Tariffs Trigger More Concerns

Jon Phillip

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trump like a boss china

Vice Premier Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator will be heading to the US to talk trade this week.  The two countries have been at odds for months now with China trying to leverage the current US tariff situation. Of course, the US has not helped things either by continuing to increase tariffs on Chinese goods. 

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. The markets took a hit on Monday after U.S. President Trump explained that he was not pleased with the speed of discussions and that he planned to raise tariffs by the end of the week.  Chinese authorities initially considered delaying talks in light of this.

What’s Next For China & The U.S.?

Both Mnuchin and Lighthizer were concerned after it was evident that talks weren’t making progress.  This was during a visit to Beijing just last week. Over the weekend, China sent a new draft of an agreement that outlined a pullback on certain language on several issues.  These issues had “the potential to change the deal very dramatically,” according to Mnuchin.

According to reports from the Global Times newspaper, China was prepared for other outcomes to the deal with the U.S. This also included a temporary breakdown. Furthermore, China had also planned to continue talks even if the U.S. decided to raise tariffs. Of course, time will tell but now we must see how the markets will react to these new developments coming from China.

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