With most U.S. stocks rebounding and the Dow Jones Industrial Average opening today again near the 18000 level, Grumpy Editor noted that a key factor behind the action is that the bull market has made a comeback in China. It was only a few weeks ago when just mention of China’s slow growth shook up Wall Street, sending the U.S. stock market south followed by much volatility during the late summer days.
But wait --- hold the phone! In the first four hours of trading today, U.S. stocks dropped 213 points after a report on weak Chinese trade data and another report warning of a global slowdown.
Trading last week pushed the Dow back into plus territory for 2015, with the blue chip index adding 46.90 points to 17910.33 on Friday.
On Aug. 21, for example, the Dow industrials dropped 530.94 points to 16459.75. Investors saw a plunge of more than 1,000 points in a week.
But now, after a volatile summer, the Shanghai Composite Index has jumped more than 20 percent since the Aug. 26 summer selloff bottom.
However, some U.S. investors continued to be uneasy.
Concerned that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month, shaky investors over the past few days sold income-yielding stocks such as real estate investment trusts (REITs) --- all because of a possible tiny increase of 0.25 percent in the current Fed funds rate that is effectively zero, an all-time low, compared to a hefty 20 percent in 1979-1980.
IN CASE YOU MISSED THESE…
First, a trio of climate change/global warming items ---
PRESIDENT CONTINUES TO FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE. Climate change was a factor when President Barack Obama on Friday nixed the XL Pipeline saying: “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership." The project, connecting Alberta’s oil to Gulf Coast refineries, would create thousands of U.S. jobs and boost energy security.
ANTARCTICA ICE INCREASES. After more than a decade of research indicating that Antarctica is losing ice, contributing to rising global sea levels, NASA scientists now concluded the continent --- about the size of the U.S. and Mexico combined --- is gaining more ice than it has lost. That finding inspired London’s Daily Express on Friday to proclaim in a headline: MELTDOWN MYTH: Antarctic ice growing is just the first EVIDENCE global warming is NOT REAL.
CBS SPOTLIGHTS CLIMATE CHANGE. Taking the opposite view of London’s Daily Express, CBS News came up with a Thursday report declaring government scientists said “14 of last year's extreme weather events were made worse by climate change caused by pollution,” citing examples that include the 2014 California wildfires, and "cyclones in Hawaii.” (Cyclones, by the way, are labeled hurricanes in the U.S.) The report also mentioned “California continues to feel the effects of climate change.”
MISSED RUSSIA-CHINA WARNINGS OVER PAST DECADE? On Saturday --- despite years of anxiety in Washington --- Defense Secretary Ash Carter accused Russia of endangering world order and expressed concern about China's expanding influence and growing military might.
WHY TV SHOWS ARE GETTING SHORTER. Cable networks collectively averaged a time-grabbing 15 minutes, 49 seconds of commercials per hour last year.
OOPS! CHECK THOSE ITALIAN PRODUCTS. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker got her countries mixed up in a Jeb Bush piece with a line mentioning “he tossed a slice of Prosciutto to the fragment of the GOP base that still hates all things French.” (Strictly Italian, thinly-sliced dry-cured ham served uncooked is called prosciutto --- without a capital P.)
CALIFORNIANS NOW TOLD TO SKIP CRABS. The California Department of Public Health advised consumers to skip eating Dungeness and rock crabs because of high levels of a toxin (domoic acid). This set off heavy grumbling in the Golden State’s seafood restaurants and markets.
READY TO FLY IN AN AIRCRAFT --- MADE IN CHINA? China’s first large passenger jet, designed to rival Boeing and Airbus Group, rolled off an assembly line last week. However, with tests and certification, the twin-engine model was expected to take three years before deliveries to carriers.
VINTAGE STUDY APPEARS. Somehow an aged (28 years old) study making the rounds in media last week noted consuming 1.4 ounces daily of xylitol, a sugar substitute, will trigger diarrhea for many.