Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Today's News And Comment -- Wednesday, April 7, 2021

National Beer Day: celebrated every April 7th to recognize the day in 1933 when beer was legal for the first time since 1920. Can you even imagine that -- those six or seven years of "being dry”? Growing up, I always cheered for Elliot "Robert Stack" Ness but now that I'm older and wiser, even as a teetotaler, I'm now aware I was rooting for the wrong guy. Civil liberties trump government overreach.

Markets: was it a good day? I haven't looked at the closing bell yet. All I know is that my portfolio hit a new milestone. 

Rig counts don't matter (don't take that out of context). That's been an unchanging mantra for the blog for years. Now, with a new administration in Washington, and a new focus, one needs to ask: "For the average man on the street, does GDP really matter?" I'll talk about that later. Perhaps those paying attention to today's news will know why that question needs to be asked. 

Covid-19: "A moment of peril." Infections, after dropping precipitously during the last few months of the previous administration, are now starting to rise again, on Biden's watch. From The Washington Post. If that is so, that the Chinese flu cases are starting to rise, it will eventually hit all states (at least to some extent) but it must be noted that it hasn't been seen or felt yet, in Neanderthal country (Texas). Active cases in the Bismarck-Mandan region have more than doubled in the past two weeks. Any analysis at the source? Of course not. Probably due to "people moving about more." That's a quote from public health expert Gretchen Whitmer.

Dream Act? Any news?

COP: green shoots in Canada. Production expected to increase by 16%. See SeekingAlpha.

Biden backs off: all that talk about a crippling tax increase on corporations? That's all it was: talk. During the campaign, the threshold for minimum tax, $100 million in profits. Now, the threshold has been increased to $2 billion in profits. This will affect, maybe, .... see link at The WSJ -- 

  • $100 million-in-profit threshold: would affect 1,100 publicly traded companies
  • $2 billion-in-profit threshold: only 180 companies would meet the threshold and only 45 would pay the tax; 

Just remembered: need to see how the market did after "the Fed" spoke. Prior to Jay Powell's report this afternoon, WTI was down, and the US equity markets were flat to very slightly negative. After the report, WTI up slightly, but at least in the green. Equity markets: pretty much unchanged. Headline: stocks end mixed, with the S&P 500 and Dow hovering near record highs after Fed signals easy policy to continue during the recovery.

Texas relocations: relocations from San Francisco to Texas, Florida jumped between 32% adn 46% in 2020 -- source. Metro cities of choice: Austin, Dallas, Charlotte (North Carolina).

An interactive map shows that moves from the San Francisco metro statistical area to Texas increased 32.1% from 6,445 address changes in 2019 to 8,114 in 2020. 
The Dallas-Fort Worth MSA saw a 34.5% increase in transplants out of the San Francisco MSA from 1,966 moves in 2019 to 2,644 in 2020. 
The Austin MSA saw a 31.9% increase from 2,448 moves from San Francisco in 2019 to 3,230 in 2020. 
Moves from San Francisco MSA to Florida similarly increased 46.2% from 2,823 moves in 2019 to 4,126 moves in 2020.
The Miami MSA saw a 49.4% increase in San Francisco MSA transplants from 1,190 moves in 2019 to 1,778 in 2020.

Cushing: oil in storage down 2.9 million bbls vs one year ago, first time y-o-y deficit since July, 2020. That was the tweet; was it a deficit or a decline?

India: top buyer of US crude oil in February, 2021.

Israel provoking war in the Mideast. That's what some are saying. Others: simply tit-for-tat; nothing new; nothing to see here. 

Three hotspots and an also-ran:

  • Russia-Ukraine
  • China-Taiwan
  • Israel-the Mideast
  • North Korea-the world

Pentagon: my hunch -- US warfighters love Biden. Unlike his predecessor, Biden has real power to destabilize global hotspots. The Pentagon loves small regional wars. US warfighters are cracking open the contingency plans. 

Amazon: its digital ad market pales in comparison to Google and/or Facebook but it's still huge. Amazon's US digital ad market now accounts for more than 10% of the market. Market leaders: Google and Facebook. Link here

From social media today:

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