“Thank you so much for providing a forum for people to share their insights and opinions,” says our first reader. “I found it especially helpful to hear some opinions from your Canadian followers.
“I am a U.S. citizen and patriot; I believe while our country is flawed, we get better when we work together.
“So I am trying not to be part of divisiveness. To the best of my ability, I am seeking to understand before demanding to be understood.
“It takes grit to look at myself and ask, ‘What’s my part in this? How do I improve and be a part of the solution?’
“Seems to me, however, there’s a silent majority… that’s still silent considering current ‘cancel’ culture.”
The Rundown asks: Do you feel as if you’re part of the silent majority today? Let us know…
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Your Rundown for Friday, Jul. 31, 2020
“United Parcel Service, considered an economic bellwether, reported a jump in quarterly profits and revenues as pandemic lockdowns drove a surge in online shopping and residential deliveries,” The Financial Times reports.
[Side note: Ever wonder about the derivation of the word bellwether? Even if the answer’s “no”… humor us. Well, it’s a Middle English word that refers to the custom of placing a bell around the neck of a wether — a castrated ram — that leads a flock of sheep. And now you know.]
For decades, U.S. companies like Alcoa and John Deere were ones to watch for their economic predictive powers. Probably in the last decade, however, delivery companies FedEx and UPS have become preferred bellwethers.
Chris Low of FHN Financial explains: “Anytime global shipping is picking up, that’s a really good indication that global economic activity is picking up.”
But does that hold true for our pandemic-plagued economy? Or is UPS more of a fair-weather bellwether?
It makes sense ecommerce ticked up dramatically during weeks of global quarantine. It follows that UPS’ average daily volumes stateside increased almost 23% for the second quarter while “the company reported earnings of $2.13 a share, eclipsing expectations for $1.07 a share.”
Since the market took a hit in late March, UPS shares are up about 63% (and counting). Even though we don’t think UPS is an accurate bellwether of what’s in store for the near-term economy, it’s a company that’s profited mightily from the pandemic.
Market Rundown for Friday, Jul. 31, 2020
S&P 500 futures are up 11 points to 3,260.
Oil is up 1.2% to $40.40 for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate.
Gold is up $22.30 to $1,989.10 per ounce.
Bitcoin is up $64 to $11,207.29.
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We hope you have an outstanding weekend! Come on back Monday…
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