Gas futures have jumped more than 13% since Hurricane Harvey’s first landfall last Friday. Key refineries and pipelines in the Gulf coast have been shut down due to the severe damage that the Hurricane continues to cause. As Hurricane Harvey continues to barrel across the Gulf Coast region, we look forward to the safe evacuation of the countless families still stuck in their homes. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this deadly natural disaster.
The market as a whole dipped heavily after hours on Monday after North Korea launched a missile over Japan. Political issues continue to plague the month of August as the chess match between North Korea and the rest of the world continues to unfold. The missile landed far off the coast of Japan causing no physical damage, but this act of aggression was enough to send the market spiraling. Investors, as we’ve come to see frequently over the past couple of months, fled to safer havens as the yen and gold rallied following the launch, driving gold to its highest point of the year Tuesday.
Uber announced this week it was hiring Dara Khosrowshahi, the former CEO of Expedia (EXPE), as its successor to founder and former-CEO Travis Kalanick. While Uber is not yet a publicly-traded company, it is expected that Khosrowshahi will help guide the company to its imminent IPO. Uber, after being valued at over $70 billion earlier this year, will be yet another hot company to watch in the coming months. Expedia shares dipped following the news of Khosrowshahi’s hire and reactions have been mixed to Dara Khosrowshahi’s appointment.
Guidance in future monetary policy decisions was left unclear after the long-awaited speeches from Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi at last week’s conference in Jackson Hole. Yellen defended the Fed’s post-financial crisis regulation, which President Trump has continuously vowed to destroy, but she offered little in terms of future interest rate changes or inflationary policy. The dollar weakened heavily following her speech. Draghi focused on global trade rather than the euro’s recent strength, causing the euro to surge even higher following his speech.
Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) disclosed employees may have opened significantly more unauthorized accounts than previously stated. This will likely jeopardize a $142 million class-action settlement with customers that won preliminary approval from a judge in July of this year. The settlement agreement alluded to a point of resolution for the San Francisco-based lender, after admitting their bankers may have opened millions of fraudulent accounts.
US Inflation has continued to fall this year causing concern and debate in the Fed regarding monetary policy. Experts say that based on our current low unemployment, inflation should be around 2% but we continue to see inflation below that target. Low unemployment should signify a strong labor market which would coincide with wage gains and higher prices, yet we are seeing neither wage gains nor increases in prices. Such a scenario is surely bound to change, but for now, investors stay wary of any Fed activity.