Market Outlook – May 28, 2018

U.S. Oil Futures Sinks to its Lowest

 

On Monday, the worries that major oil producers may raise output sent the U.S. oil futures crashing to six-week lows. Meanwhile Asian stocks as well as U.S. share futures gained as the historic summit between United States and North Korea might push through after all.

The decline in oil prices was an extension from last week as the 17-month old on production curb might soon be over. The oil production levels placed in October 2016 was the baseline for the current deal to cut output and one of the options for easing the supply cuts.

Trump Reconsiders North Korean Summit

 

U.S. President Donald Trump’s tweet on Sunday read, “Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong Un and myself.” The tweet is a confirmation that Trump is reconsidering on his earlier withdrawal from the historic summit with North Korea.

The U.S. State Department confirmed that U.S. and North Korean officials had met at the Panmunjom village in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The said village runs along the heavily armed border between North and South Korea.

Solar Energy Report Bares Huge Investments by U.S. Firms

 

According to the “Solar Means Business 2017” report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Corporate America is investing record amounts in solar power. The top corporate users have added 325 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity last year.

The solar installations thus far are enough to deliver electricity and power 402,000 U.S. homes and offset 2.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Target Corp. (TGT) is tops with an installed capacity of 203.5 MW.

Rounding up the top 3 is Walmart Inc. (WMT) and the REIT Company Prologis Inc. (PLD) with 149.4 MW and 120.7 MW respectively. Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) is at No.10 with 33.6 MW installed capacity of solar energy.

Blackstone Eyes Commercial Assets in Australia

 

Blackstone Group (BX) sees an opportunity to acquire a major slice of commercial assets in Australia, particularly in the Sydney market.  The U.S. private equity giant is making a $2.3 billion) bid for Sydney-focused company Investa Office Fund (IOF).

On Monday, the directors of IOF’s said they would unanimously recommend the unsolicited and non-binding offer of Blackstone. The Australian firm DEXUS made a similar offer 2 years ago but was rejected.

Blackstone is betting on the future of commercial property across Australia’s east coast. The Sydney market has been the best-performing market for some time now in the continent.

Disney’s Solo: A Star Wars Story Falls Short of Expectations

 

The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) and Lucasfilm’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” made an estimated $101 million domestically for its four-day weekend opening. The movie was the biggest Memorial Day Weekend debut in the last four years but is also the smallest opening for a “Star Wars” film since 2002.

The prequel film about the origins of Han Solo did not meet industry expectations. Initial projections for North America last Tuesday was in the $130 to $150 million range. However, producers adjusted those projections on Friday to $105 million to $115 million. The film made $148 million worldwide compared to the $290 million raked in by “The Force Awakens” in December 2016.

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