Send me real-time posts from this site at my email
Chris L

Wednesday's Markets

Let's start with a little history, shall we?

On this day in 1913, for the first time, Henry Ford’s entire Highland Park, Michigan automobile factory is run on a continuously moving assembly line when the chassis–the automobile’s frame–is assembled using the revolutionary industrial technique. A motor and rope pulled the chassis past workers and parts on the factory floor, cutting the man-hours required to complete one “Model T” from 12-1/2 hours to six. Within a year, further assembly line improvements reduced the time required to 93 man-minutes. The staggering increase in productivity effected by Ford’s use of the moving assembly line allowed him to drastically reduce the cost of the Model T, thereby accomplishing his dream of making the car affordable to ordinary consumers. In introducing the Model T in October 1908, Henry Ford proclaimed, “I will build a motor car for the great multitude.” Before then, the decade-old automobile industry generally marketed its vehicles to only the richest Americans, because of the high cost of producing the machines. Ford’s Model T was the first automobile designed to serve the needs of middle-class citizens: It was durable, economical, and easy to operate and maintain. Still, with a debut price of $850, the Model T was out of the reach of most Americans. The Ford Motor Company understood that to lower unit cost it had to increase productivity. The method by which this was accomplished transformed industry forever.

On October 7, 1983, Sean Connery stars in Never Say Never Again as the British secret service agent James Bond, a role he last played in 1971. The film’s title referenced the fact that the Scottish-born actor had previously remarked that he would never play Agent 007 again. Connery, who was born in Edinburgh on August 25, 1930, originated the role of James Bond in 1962’s Dr. No. The character was the creation of the British author and journalist Ian Fleming (1908-1964), who published his first Bond book, Casino Royale, in 1953. Connery went on to play the debonair 007 in From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967). The Australian actor George Lazenby assumed the role of Bond for On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), while Connery returned for Diamonds Are Forever (1971) and Never Say Never Again (1983), a film regarded as “unofficial” because it wasn’t produced by EON Productions, the company behind all the other Bond films in the series. In addition to the James Bond films, which are among the most lucrative franchise in movie history, Sean Connery has compiled a long list of other big-screen credits, including director John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King (1975); Robin and Marian (1976) with Audrey Hepburn; The Name of the Rose (1986); The Untouchables (1987), for which he earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar; the action hits Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) and The Hunt for Red October (1990); Entrapment (1999) with Catherine Zeta-Jones; and Finding Forrester (2000). Connery, who was voted People magazine’s “Sexiest Man of the Century” in 1999, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000. Mr. Connery is James Bond, IMO, but Daniel Craig is my second favorite James Bond.

On this day in 1949, less than five months after Great Britain, the United States and France established the Federal Republic of Germany in West Germany, the Democratic Republic of Germany is proclaimed within the Soviet occupation zone. Criticized by the West as an un-autonomous Soviet creation, Wilhelm Pieck was named East Germany’s first president, with Otto Grotewohl as prime minister. Approximately half the size of West Germany, East Germany consisted of the German states of Mecklenburg, Brandenburg, Lusatia, Saxony and Thuringia. Berlin, the former German capital, remained divided between West and East German authorities, even though it was situated deep within the communist Democratic Republic of Germany. East Germany ceased to exist in 1990, when its land and people were absorbed into the democratic Federal Republic of Germany. Personally, I miss the East Germany Olympic teams. Amazing talent, from what I recall.

Now for some stock and investing news-

Sirius XM ($SIRI) is up 6.7% postmarket alongside Bloomberg headlines that Howard Stern is nearing a new deal with the satellite radio broadcaster. Finally, my shares of $SIRI get a boost. Mr. Stern is said to have agreed to $120 million a year. Not a bad gig. He has many shares of $SIRI from what I can gather.

Apple ($AAPL) has confirmed the iPhone event will happen on October 13 with the tagline "Hi, Speed" likely referring to the 5G smartphone lineup. The digital-only event starts at 10 AM PDT. The lineup will likely be called the iPhone 12 with some models bearing "mini" in the title for the first time. Potential pricing is likely to range from $659 for the Mini to $1,099 for the Pro Max. With every new line of iPhones I wonder what happened to the iPhone 9. I told my boys that the 9 was the model that I was looking to buy and they laughed and said there is no 9! Why not?

General Electric ($GE) disclosed yesterday that the SEC is considering civil action against the company for possible securities law violations. The SEC and Department of Justice have been investigating GE's accounting for two years after the company disclosed a surprise $6.2B charge related to an insurance portfolio of long-term care policies and said it would pay $15B over seven years to fill a shortfall in reserves. Former GE employees have said the company was lax in its oversight of the insurance business and did not internally acknowledge that its results were getting worse.

The hits keep coming - or rather, getting delayed - for the movie industry, with Universal Pictures $CMCSA  the latest to push back a major release. The studio is moving Jurassic World: Dominion a year later, to June 2022. While that's different from recent delays of in-the-can films that were set for fall releases (the film was scheduled for June 2021), it demonstrates the havoc the COVID-19 pandemic is playing with film production schedules. The latest Jurassic World sequel was about three weeks away from completing principal photography in the UK. Yikes. Another sequel for dinosaurs.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) expected higher production would have increased annual carbon dioxide emissions through 2025 by 17%, Bloomberg reports in an analysis of internal documents assessing the company's $210M investment strategy. The emissions estimates were made before the pandemic, which has cut global demand for oil and thrown the company's finances into distress, and the company says the internal figures reflect only some of the measures it would take to reduce emissions. Exxon said its internal projections are "a preliminary, internal assessment of estimated cumulative emission growth through 2025... Furthermore, the projections identified in the leaked documents have significantly changed, a fact that was not fully explained or prominently featured in the article." Odd that internal documents from Exxon are damaging and internal documents that are regularly "leaked" from Tesla boost their stock price. You never know.

JPMorgan updates estimates on the airline sector to reflect a more conservative demand trajectory. It would be refreshing for airline analysts to simply say that they have no idea what is going to happen. Can't wait for cruise lines to fall back into favor, or are they back in favor again now? I have lost track.

via user dcv

Welcome! Is it your First time here?

What are you looking for? Select your points of interest to improve your first-time experience:

Apply & Continue