Ford posts best February US retail sales in 11 years. Link here.
Auto sales: live.
- Fiat Chrysler: +11.8% (+9.2% expected)
- Nissan: +10.5% (+7.2% expected)
- Ford: +20.2% (12.6% expected)
- GM: -1.5% (+5.1% expected)
- Honda: +12.8% (8.8% expected)
- Mazda: -16%
- Volkswagen: (-13%)
- Toyota: +5.2% (+4.9% expected)
On Saturday, he and his 16-dog team will hit the trail in his sixth start and, this year, he says he has the team to make a serious run at winning it all.
From his home in Big Lake, Alaska, Maixner said the team he is taking to the starting line in Anchorage is more mature and experienced than other teams with which he has run. In previous races, his team consisted mostly of 2- to 4-year-olds. This year, his oldest dog is 7 and the youngest, 3.The Dickinson Press reports --
Minot’s new $43 million airport terminal opened Monday morning with a 5 a.m. Delta Airlines flight to Denver.
The new terminal is triple the size of the former terminal and is one of the most modern in the country with new technology and spaciousness for travelers.
Active rigs:The overall airport improvement of $75.7 million also includes a new apron, snow removal building and parking lot. The terminal can also add additional gates in the future to accommodate further growth in boardings.
RBN Energy: Torn Between Two Fossil Fuels—Update On The Natural Gas Challenge To Coal Generation.
For the first time ever, U.S. natural gas-fired power plants are routinely generating more electricity than their coal-fired counterparts, at least during the spring, summer and fall. Prior to 2015 coal held a clear lead over natural gas in power generation but last year they were neck and neck at 33% of fuel consumed for power generation according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) statistics released Friday (February 26, 2016). This is partly due to tightening federal environmental rules, but another major driver is very low natural gas prices, which have been averaging below $2/MMBtu. Coal prices have been falling too as coal markets respond to stronger-than-ever competition from gas, but not enough to prevent a lot of coal-to-gas switching in the power sector. Today, we update last fall’s analysis of the death-match battle between coal and natural gas with a look at how persistently low gas prices may keep gas on top.
In April 2015, U.S. power plants fired by natural gas produced more electricity than coal-fired plants—that had never happened before. Coal retook the lead in May and June, but since then gas has remained on top, and in some months gas’s edge over coal has been significant. In October, for example, gas-fired units generated 35% of the nation’s power, compared with 31% for coal, and in December--the latest month for which EIA statistics are available—the score was gas 34%, coal 28%. What a difference a year makes. In October 2014, coal-fired generation held a huge 38%-to-27% edge over gas, and the following month coal’s margin over gas was a still-significant 35% to 31%. As we discussed back in September 2015 – the last time we looked at the contest (see Torn Between Two Fossil Fuels) - as recently as 2008 coal-fired units were producing more than twice the electricity that gas units did. Since then, U.S. production of natural gas has continued growing, natural gas prices (which spiked to more than $13/MMBtu in 2006) have fallen (and become less volatile), and federal rules on power plant emissions have been tightened considerably, with possible implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP)—a potential game-changer for coal and gas—looming.
Last September we also discussed the final version of the CPP (whose implementation the U.S. Supreme Court blocked on February 9, 2016 with a “stay” until legal challenges to the CPP play out), which calls for reducing the power sector’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 32% from their 2005 levels by 2030, mostly through the expanded use of wind and solar power. If the CPP is implemented, EPA expects coal’s share of total generation to decline to 27% in 2030 (from an average of 33% in the 12 months ended December 2015) and gas’s share to inch up to 33% (from 32% in the December 2014-November 2015 period).
Notes From All Over
Only 15 percent say they have benefited from ObamaCare -- Politico:
Twenty-six percent of U.S. adults say they have been personally harmed by the healthcare law since its passage — a fraction that likely reflects those in the poll who said they have noticed rising healthcare costs in the last several years.
And while the majority of adults said they believed their healthcare costs were “reasonable,” many said those costs were becoming less affordable over time.
Housing starts off slowly in the New Year -- WSJ:
Sales of previously owned homes slowed in January, a reflection of the rising prices and tight supplies that could constrain the housing market this year.
Existing-home sales fell 4.9% last month from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, the National Association of Realtors said on Monday, the slowest pace in nine months.I'm not sure how this got past the Los Angeles Times censor. Perhaps the economy is not as good as the LA Times would have us believe. Why millennials are still staying away from home ownership: no jobs and not much availability in price range needed.
Shale production to decline significantly. On November 7, 2015, I posted that Bakken oil production will fall to 750,000 bopd (from current one million bopd) by the end of 2016. Apparently January, 2016, North Dakota crude oil production will slide to 850,000 bopd (reader-sources; not verified; no link). WSJ:
Some of America’s biggest shale producers are beginning to ratchet back oil and gas production for the first time in years, bending to the reality that a global glut will keep prices depressed.
The production cuts, announced as shale companies reported dismal earnings in recent days, stand in stark contrast to the past year, when many U.S. drillers kept the taps turned on even as oil prices plunged from nearly $100 a barrel to about $30. American oil satisfies 10% of the world’s daily needs, putting U.S. production on par with output from Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to pump at full tilt, further pressuring higher-cost operators such as U.S. shale producers. Last week, Saudi Arabia oil minister Ali al-Naimi bluntly told a roomful of energy executives in Houston that the supply problem will only be resolved when low prices force companies to stop producing the oil that is most expensive to extract and sell.
February Car Sales
Ford posts best February US retail sales in 11 years. Link here.
- U.S. sales of 217,192 Ford Motor Company vehicles up 20 percent versus last year
- Ford brand SUVs post best-ever February sales – Edge increases 91 percent, Explorer jumps 18 percent and Escape gains 14 percent
- Ford F-Series has best February performance since 2006, with sales up 10 percent; Transit sales up 70 percent – best February van performance since 1979
- Lincoln total sales jump 30 percent – MKX sales increase 109 percent, providing Lincoln with its best February SUV performance in 15 years
Analysts are forecasting a blockbuster month for U.S. new-car sales. Edmunds and TrueCar are predicting auto makers will post their highest February volume in more than 15 years, with the annualized selling rate expected to hit or exceed 17.5 million.
Fiat Chrysler sold 182,879 vehicles in January, compared with 163,586 for the month last year, extending the Italian-U.S. auto maker’s sales gains streak to 71 months. Jeep brand sales shot up 23%, with the Cherokee, Wrangler, Patriot and Compass recording their best February ever. Dodge brand sales, meanwhile, picked up 12% with the Journey and Challenger also logging their best-ever sales for the month.Jeep's sales rise 23 percent:
Sales for Jeep's six SUV models rose 23 percent, the company said on Tuesday, matching the gain for Ram pickup trucks. Fiat Chrysler posted its best February sales in a decade and its 71st consecutive year-over-year monthly gain.24/7 Wall Street: Ford Motor sales to surge 12% in February --
Automakers will be releasing February sales numbers on Tuesday, March 1, and most industry analysts are expecting solid gains compared with February of 2015. Kelley Blue Book has pegged volume growth for Ford Motor Co. at 12.4% on sales strength of its full-size pickups and sport utility vehicles (SUVs). KBB also estimates that Ford’s market share will increase year over year from 14.3% to 14.7%.
Analysts at Edmunds.com think that Ford will do even better, growing volume by 17.1% year over year in February and by nearly 22% compared with January 2016. The analysts also see Ford adding 1.2% to its market share in February, rising from 14.3% a year ago to 15.5%.Automotive News: February US sales pace may be highest for month since 2000.
U.S. auto sales, after being slowed last month by winter storms, are on pace to reach the highest level for any February since 2000, some forecasts released this week show.
Purchases delayed from January and a bevy of Presidents Day deals are likely to push February sales up about 8 percent. That would result in a seasonally adjusted, annualized selling rate of 17.7 million units, up from 17.6 million in January and 16.4 million a year ago.
TrueCar said it expects sales this month to climb 6.6 percent higher than February 2015, with a SAAR of 17.5 million. Kelley Blue Book was more optimistic, projecting a 9 percent gain and a SAAR of 17.9 million.
The February 2000 SAAR came in at 18.9 million.
January and February are typically the two weakest months of the year. Since 1989, February sales have been an average of 13 percent better than January, but this year’s forecasts call for a month-over-month increase of about 18 percent. Sales tend to pick up significantly in March as the traditional spring selling season begins.Auto sales: live.
Analysts forecast that auto sales rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 17.70 million, up from 17.46 million in January.
The year kicked off with sales growing at the fastest pace since 2000. And so this forecast increase would maintain a solid couple of months for car sales, following the post-recession high that was recorded last year.
No link: Moodys and Deutsche Bank forecast 2016 car sales to do well in 2016, but not match 2015 record; and then "stall" in 2017 because pent-up demand will have been met by end of 2016.