Germany’s Slump Worsens
Factory orders out of Germany have slumped the most in a decade in February, led by a drop in exports. Orders were down 8.4% from a year earlier. Exports fell 6%. Germany being particularly proud of and dependent on its exports, this is a worrying sign. Forecasts for 2019 in terms of economic growth are now the weakest in six years, with an average growth prediction for the year at 0.8%. Last quarter, German GDP shrank by 0.2%, so one more shrinking quarter and the economic engine of Europe will be officially in recession. It happened briefly in 2012 around the time of the last flare-up of the European sovereign debt crisis, which will flare up once again at some point given that debt has not been lowered at all. That recession, though, was minor, having been stopped by aggressive European Central Bank money printing, which is slowing down now.
Tesla Deliveries Fall of Cliff
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) deliveries fell 31 percent in the first quarter, the company struggling with its first shipments of the Model 3 to Europe and China and suffering from longer transit times. Nevertheless, Tesla bravely, or perhaps overconfidently, maintained its guidance for annual deliveries at between 360,000 and 400,000 despite the big miss for the quarter. By March 21, Tesla had only delivered half of what it had anticipated, with over 10,000 cars still in transit. Total deliveries for the Model 3 for the quarter for 50,900, below the 58,900 estimates by analysts. The company has warned shareholders that the disappointing numbers would affect profits, and expected to incur losses for the first quarter. Tesla shares are down 8.5% in the premarket on the news.
Ethiopian Airlines Report Is Out, and It’s Boeing’s Fault
In a touch of class not wanting to point fingers directly at Boeing but in practice doing just that, Ethiopian Airlines released its long-awaited report on the crash of its March 10th flight that led to the deaths of 157 people. “The crew performed all the procedures repeatedly provided by the manufacturer but was not able to control the aircraft,” Dagmawit Moges told a news conference in the capital, Addis Ababa. Meaning, the pilots were not at fault, which means that Boeing (NYSE:BA), or “the manufacturer” in this case, is at fault. “Since repetitive uncommanded aircraft nose down conditions are noticed … it is recommend that the aircraft control system shall be reviewed by the manufacturer,” Moges said. Boeing said on Wednesday it had successfully tested an update of the ant-stalling software implicated in the crash, as well as the Lion Air crash over Indonesia last year. The update is designed to reduce the system’s authority and make it easier for pilots to handle.
Trump Meeting With Vice Premeier Liu, May Announce Xi Summit
US President Donald Trump is meeting in Washington with China’s Vice Premier Liu today, and speculations are that Trump will announce an upcoming summit with President Xi Xinping at the conclusion of the meeting today. Administration officials have called the chance of a summit being called “likely” but also said that discussions remain “fluid” and things could change. Other reports indicate that Trump is giving China until 2025 to agree to a trade deal, which essentially means that the status quo will be maintained because Trump will be out of office by 2025 even if he gets reelected in 2020. So much for that then.
Seniors Smoking Week Up by 25% in 2018
More senior citizens are smoking cannabis now than ever before, which makes sense considering the legalization sweep across the US and Canada. More older people are entering the industry as well, where some dispensaries, particularly those with an older clientele, are hiring older salespeople. The Baby Boomer generation are also the biggest spenders at cannabis dispensaries, probably because they can afford it, but maybe also because, you know, they’re old now and they can do what they want and don’t have to hold back as much. Or it could also be that medical marijuana has particularly strong benefit for them given chronic conditions abound at that each, many of which medical cannabis help alleviate. (NYSEARCA:MJ)