Market Morning: Nancy Takes High Road on Impeachment; Powell, Musk, Repeat, Defend Selves Respectively; Boeing Still Airworthy

Stock Market Roundup

Nancy Pelosi Takes High Road on Impeachment After Low Road Blocked By Lack of Evidence

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Nancy Pelosi, speaking in lofty unity terms and against divisiveness, said yesterday in so many words that Democrats basically have nothing on President Donald Trump in terms of collusion with Russia, obstruction of justice or anything else that they say he has done. So she’s throwing in the towel and has come out against impeachment proceedings, saying that it would be too divisive for the country even though she’s really backing off because impeachment proceedings basically have no chance of throwing Trump out of office. “Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country,” she said. “He’s just not worth it.” She continued with more divisive statements, saying “No, I don’t think he’s fit to be president of the United States,” adding he was “ethically unfit, intellectually unfit, curiosity-wise unfit.” The meaning of “curiosity-wise unfit” was not immediately clear by press time, but speculation is it could have something to do with poorly fitting athletic wear for physics buffs, or something.

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Those Darned Takata Airbags Again

Remember those airbags that can spontaneously explode because the gas in the canister that is punctured to blow them up can become volatile with age? Yeah, well, there are millions of them still out there, and Honda (NYSE:HMC) is recalling another million vehicles all the way back to 2001 models, again, to deal with the problem, again. So if you just bought an 18 year old Honda Accord from your neighbor’s garage sale, you’ll have to take it in to get the airbag replaced or risk it exploding in your face and losing and eyebrow or two. Or worse. 23 have died from this problem already, so better late than never. Ironically, many of these cars were already recalled and had the Takata airbags installed during the recalls, but now those recalls are being recalled because the original recall wasn’t recall-y enough. At the end of the day, the total number of cars recalled because of this airbag issue could reach 70 million.

In Riveting Interview, Fed Chair Powell Re-repeats Self

In quite the titillating interview on 60 minutes, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome “Jay” Powell pretty much repeated verbatim everything he’s said before in official Fed statements, except this time they were “off the cuff” rather than scripted. So he memorized his lines alright, and everybody is really excited. “It’s a positive one,” he said of his view of the economy, looking positively positive. “I think growth this year will be slower than last year. Last year was the highest growth that we’ve experienced since the financial crisis, really in more than 10 years. This year, I expect that growth will continue to be positive and continue to be at a healthy rate…Inflation is muted and our policy rate we think is in an appropriate place,” he continued on interest rates.

“So what we’ve said,” he said, saying that he was about to say what he already said, “is that we would be patient as we watch to see how global economic conditions evolve and how our own economy evolves.” However, showing some gumption and forcefulness, he did use the superlative “never ever” when asked if the Fed would ever take political considerations into effect. That was a tricky one. CBS almost got him. Watch all the excitement here.

In Somewhat More Entertaining Exchange, Elon Musk Defends Self

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) CEO Elon Musk defended himself against charges of contempt yesterday for a Tweet that wasn’t first approved by the Tesla Board of Directors. Musk used the First Amendment for freedom of speech to argue that he can tweet what he wants, which would technically apply to any case of speech involving any security, which contradicts the SEC’s very existence, but this is a technicality. A previous court ruling ordered that any of Musk’s tweets about Tesla’s business had to first be vetted by the Board. Since he didn’t do that, he would be in contempt of court. However, the SEC has no precedent in the last decade seeking a contempt order for something like this. If Musk is found in contempt, the judge could bar him from running Tesla. That should be interesting.

Boeing Ordered to Fix 737 MAX 8

Design changes were ordered by Boeing (NYSE:BA) after a crash of the last Boeing 737 MAX 8 in Indonesia last October that killed 189 people, and now the FAA is ordering Boeing to get on with those changes while at the same time insisting that the plane model is safe to fly in an issued “Continued Airworthiness Notification”. Two black boxes have been found in Ethiopia that should help piece together what happened. The FAA has said it would take action if it found any safety issues with plane. The fact that two of them have crashed since October seems kind of safety-issue related, but we’ll see. Meanwhile, Boeing shares were down 5.3% yesterday but closed near the highs of the day at $400 and a penny.

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