Market Morning: Congress Votes, Tennessee Wants Amazon, Credit Suisse Suffers, Tyson Goes Vegan

Stock Market Roundup

Congress To Vote On Spending Bill, No Border Wall Funding

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Shutdown or no shutdown? That is the question. Probably no shutdown. The vote will almost certainly pass because the spending bill has already been agreed upon by both parties, but the issue is whether President Trump will sign it or not. It doesn’t include his desired $5.7B in border wall funding, but gives him a billion and change to play with to build some fences, which make good neighbors. And a really big Lego set. Normally, a president would sign such a bill so as not to be seen as causing another shutdown, but Trump is Trump, and he may deliver a surprise to energize his base and blame it on the Democrats  by saying he’s sticking to his “principles” which are more spending and more debt, just like every president before him since Ronald Reagan. Stocks have been rising on the assumption that another shutdown will be averted, so if Trump doesn’t sign this bill we could see a bit of a flash crash.

Tennessee Wants Amazon HQ2 as Local New York Politicians Get Extra Grumpy

New York is getting really diva’ish with its opposition to Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) setting up shop in the state, which it may regret if Amazon pulls out and goes somewhere else, like Nashville, Tennessee, which would reportedly be more than glad to host the enormous company and all the jobs that this will create. Tennessee officials estimate that Amazon would create 25,000 jobs in the city, actually the largest in America by municipal land area. “We would be very interested in working with Amazon in any way possible,” Bob Rolfe, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, told FOX Business on Tuesday. Tennessee is willing to bribe Amazon with up to $15 million in taxpayer cash to get Jeff Bezos to plant his flag in the Music City.

Credit Suisse Proves to be a Bad Stock Picker

Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) trading losses are embarrassingly large at $191 million for the quarter, which is pretty bad considering that banks are supposed to know which stocks to pick, because that’s what they’re paid to do, among other things. The bank is still suffering from distressed debt trading, likely to increase as top-rated debt gets more distressed as it piles on by the trillions globally. The bank lost about $5.5B between 2015 and 2017 inclusive, and has had a bit of a turnaround since 2018 but nothing spectacular. This will be its first quarterly loss since Q4 of 2017, when the Swiss bank lost over $2 billion in a single quarter. Shares are still skidding off all-time lows at $10.23.

Tyson Goes Vegan

It still sells plenty of meat, but the world’s largest meat producer, Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), is trying to incorporate vegans into its clientele by offering a vegan option in is lineup of foods. Tyson will announce the new product in the coming weeks. Even for those who are not vegan, plant-based alternatives to animal protein are becoming more popular according to surveys, which indicate that 23% of eaters of food, namely human people who can answer surveys and such, want a wider selection of plant-based alternatives for their protein.

Turkey Goes Through Depression In Aftermath of Currency Collapse

Things in Turkey aren’t going too well. Industrial output dropped 10% in December and GDP is down about 2.5% for the quarter from a year earlier. Some analysts believe the Turkish economy shrank by 4% in the final quarter, which means the country is suffering a serious case of stagflation, with extreme inflation rates of over 30% for food while the economy as a whole shrinks. The implications are larger though, as the crisis was brought about by extremely loose monetary policy in Turkey, encouraged by President Erdogan, who previously had threatened the Turkish Central Bank if they dared to raise interest rates. So they didn’t until September, but by then it was too late. The country is now close to hyperinflation, though Turkish stocks could be doing worse, the MSCI Turkey ETF (NASDAQ:TUR) up 45% off highs following the depths of the Lira collapse.

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