Terrific Tuesday – Shutdown II Averted (through September)

Image result for trump baby wall55 Miles, $1.4Bn.

If that's what it costs to keep the Toddler-in-Chief from throwing another tantrum, Nancy Pelosi says she's willing to pay it as a bi-partisan group of Senators and Congresspeople have finally hashed out the details of a funding bill that will keep our Government open for 6 CONSECUTIVE MONTHS!  Imagine being able to go all the way until September before our next shutdown crisis – what an accomplishment!  

Well, the markets seem to think so as the Dow popped 200 points in pre-market trading, mostly last night, when news of the deal spread.  Unfortunately, Trump will likely "prove" that the 55 miles of new wall is effective – simply because there are still 1,500 miles with no wall people can go through, so they simply won't try where the wall is.  Will Trump ever get a greenlight to fund the rest of the 1,500 miles at $25.5M per mile ($38Bn)?  That does seem like madness but we've now taken the first tiny step towards it.

Despite all the progress we're making in keeping out the tired, the poor and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free, Small Business Optimism contines to decline, especially in Future Expectations, which are down 10% since the last reading.  That seems to be the general trend at the moment – people are content with the current conditions but they are worried that the country is going to Hell in a handbasket…

Europe is literally going to Hell in a handbasket and, when they get there, they'll meet China, who have already slowed down significantly in Q4 and Q1 is shaping up to be worse and it isn't all about trade, though that's a factor.  GM sold 25% less cars in Q4 in China than a year ago but they are not alone as the entire auto industry, including Chinese Auto Makers, sold 20% less cars in Q4 as the Government pulled back on incentives.  

Nonetheless, Chinese customers still bought $52Bn worth of iPhones in Q4, about 15% of Apple's total sales.  China is also very important to SBUX, UTX (60% of their Otis Elevator sales) and TIF, who saw a 9% increase in sales in China…
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