Two surveys of U.S. manufacturers sent up warning signals Monday about weakness in the factory sector. An index of factory activity published by the Institute for Supply Management fell to 52.1 in May. Economists had expected a slight improvement from April’s level. Instead, it fell to the lowest level since October 2016, prior to Donald Trump’s election.Readings above 50 on the ISM index indicate activity is expanding, so the May level indicates on-going expansion but at a slower pace than earlier in the year or last year. It was not all bad news. The ISM read of manufacturing production weakened in May but new orders improved. The employment component of the index was also up sharply. A different survey, from IHS Markit, hit its lowest level since 2009. The ISM index is older and more influential. It is used by many US economic nowcast and forecast models, including those of the New York and Atlanta Federal Reserve banks. But some analysts think the IHS survey may … [Read more...] about Surveys Indicate U.S. Factory Activity Slowed in May
U s government bonds
A Chinese newspaper with ties to Beijing suggests China is studying whether to sell down its holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds.Market analysts think China is unlikely to make a move that would harm its own cash reserves, though they don't dismiss the threat entirelyDumping Treasuries would likely raise borrowing costs for U.S. consumers and businesses, but it would also hurt the value of China's own Treasury assets, which top $1 trillion. A deepening trade war between the U.S. and China is reviving questions about what other steps Beijing could take beyond hiking tariffs on American agricultural, electronic and other goods. One option, according to a Chinese newspaper with close ties to the Chinese government: Dump U.S. Treasuries. Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-affiliated Global Times, purportedly said in a tweet Monday that Chinese scholars are discussing how such a measure could be implemented without harming the Chinese economy. In theory, that would push Treasury … [Read more...] about Will China pull the trigger and dump U.S. Treasuries?
WASHINGTON, March 13 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced on Wednesday to about 3-1/2 more years in prison for charges arising from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election, with the judge giving him a stern lecture about his lies and criminal behavior.The sentence of 73 months in prison imposed by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington came six days after a different judge gave Manafort a lenient term of 47 months - just under four years - in prison in a separate case in Virginia, with credit for nine months he already has spent behind bars.Jackson said 30 months of her sentence will run at the same time as the sentence in the Virginia case. That means the combined sentence will be six years and nine months.Unlike at his sentencing hearing last week, Manafort said he was sorry for his actions, but Jackson then told him his expression of remorse … [Read more...] about U.S. federal judge gives ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort 73 months
Montreal -- Canadian air traffic controllers have bought hundreds of pizzas for their American counterparts over the past few days in what has become an industry-wide show of support during the U.S. government's partial shutdown. Peter Duffey, the head of the Canadian Air Traffic Control Association, said Sunday the initiative began Thursday when employees at Edmonton's control center took up a collection to buy pies for controllers in Anchorage, Alaska. Other facilities across Canada decided to join in, and the idea snowballed."The next thing we knew, our members were buying pizzas left, right and center for the colleagues in the U.S," Duffey said. "As it stands right now, I believe we're up to 36 facilities that have received pizza from Canada, and that number is growing by the hour."Some 10,000 air traffic controllers in the United States have been working without pay since late December due to the ongoing government shutdown.Duffey estimates that as of Sunday afternoon, some 300 … [Read more...] about Canadian air traffic controllers send pizza to U.S. counterparts amid partial government shutdown
Wall Street's investor rout deepened on Thursday after news of the arrest of a top executive at Chinese tech company Huawei stoked fears it could hinder progress in China-U.S. trade talks. The Dow dropped 432 points, or 1.7 percent, in the first moments of trading Thursday. The decline represents a continuation of Tuesday's 800-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average before stock and bond trading was closed in the U.S. Wednesday in observance of a national day of mourning for former President George H.W. Bush. The news of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou's arrest sent shares sharply lower on fears of rising tensions between China and the U.S. The incident comes after President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed over the weekend to hold off on further retaliatory moves in a festering trade war. But confusion over what the two sides agreed to and whether the deal will enable Beijing and Washington to resolve longstanding, profound differences over … [Read more...] about U.S. stocks plunge on global trade tensions, fears of slowing growth