January 19, 2018 Market Outlook

Republicans Move to Avert U.S. Government Shutdown

Investors don’t seem worried of the possibility that the United States government will be forced to shut down by midnight. On Thursday, House Republicans approved a short-term spending bill that would keep the U.S. government running until mid-February. The support of Democrats is needed to pass the measure but seems the senators will be making a solid stand against it.

Although a brief government shutdown is not expected to have a large economic impact, investor, consumer and business confidence might be affected. A sign of a major breakdown in the political process is a negative development. Since Democrats have been frustrated by the inaction on immigration, they might use it as leverage in exchange for their votes on the GOP measure.

U.S. Could Become the World’s Largest Oil Producer

According to the latest monthly report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United States is well positioned to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s leading energy producer over the next 12 months.

The IEA sees 2018 will be a record-setting year for the U.S. The latest monthly report from the IEA coincided with crude futures climbing to highs not seen since the early days of a slump in December 2014.

One of the main beneficiaries of OPEC-led production cuts is the producers’ major competitor, U.S. shale oil. U.S. oil producers were able to restart operations due to recovering oil prices. The group is staging a dramatic comeback. 

20 Cities in Amazon’s Short List for HQ2

After receiving 238 bids last year for the site of their second headquarters, Amazon.com (AMZN) has narrowed down the list to 20 cities. The bids they received last year were from cities and regions from across 54 states, provinces, districts and territories across North America.

The 20 potential cities are Atlanta; Austin; Boston; Chicago; Columbus; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County, Maryland; Nashville; Newark; New York City; Northern Virginia; Ohio; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh; Toronto and Washington, D.C.

Called HQ2, The new Amazon facility called HQ2 will cost at least $5 billion to build and operate. HQ2 will also create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. Amazon would be making the final choice this year.

Apple’s Face More Lawsuits on iPhone Slowdown

Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) problems regarding its iPhone slowdown isn’t stopping. A consumer group from South Korea has filed a criminal complaint against Apple’s CEO Tim Cook over slower iPhone devices. Probes in Europe suggest the firm had deliberately shortened the life of its handsets.

Apple is already beset with lawsuits in the U.S. and elsewhere over accusations of having defrauded iPhone users by slowing down devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance. They claim it was a deliberate move to push clients into buying new phones. The Citizens United for Consumer Sovereignty, an advocacy group in South Korea, is accusing Apple of destruction of property and fraud.

Tesla’s Model 3 to be on Display in the East Coast

Tesla (TSLA) customers who ordered the Model 3 will have a chance to see the unit up close. Tesla announced that the Model 3 will be put on public display at five showrooms in four states in the East Coast.

On Friday, the Model 3 will be on exhibit at its showrooms in Manhattan and Boston as well as in San Jose and Walnut Creek, California. This weekend, the unit will be on display in Miami.

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