President Donald Trump is meeting with 10 English business leaders for breakfast this week to discuss issues relevant but not exclusive to, defense, banking and pharmaceuticals. Among the key execs invited are Sir Roger Carr, chairman of BAE Systems; John Pettigrew, CEO of National Grid; and Emma Walmsley of GSK and Barclay’s Jes Staley.
The working breakfast will last about one hour and will take place at St. James’s Palace in Central London. British Prime Minister Theresa May is co-hosting the event with Trump.
The focus of the meeting will be the crucial nature of cooperation and collaboration between English and American companies. In attendance will also be important members of the US business community, including head of Lockheed Martin, Marillyn Hewson; Estée Lauder UK and Ireland chief executive, Philippe Warnery. Fidelity Investments CEO, Abigail Johnson, is also on the list of invitees.
According to the most recent Vinexpo/IWSR wine and spirits report, the world is expected to consume US $207 billion by the year 2022, drinking approximately 2.7 billion 9-liter cases. That represents growth in the industry of 2.15% between the years 2017 and 2022. Due to the recent practice to “drink less but better,” value has out-paced volume in growth all over the world. This is especially true in North, South and Central America as well as in the Asia-Pacific region.
The United States is still the world’s most valuable market for wine with a value of US$34.8 billion in 2017. After the US France is rated the second most lucrative market worth about US$16 billion. China comes in at a close third with US$ 16.5 billion in sales.
Vinepress forecasts the China will overtake France as the second largest consumer of wine by the year 2020, with a value of over US$19 billion.
The top five markets for volume of sales did not seem to change in the last year with • USA sold 318 million cases • Italy sold 266 million • France sold 250 million • Germany 224 million • China 156 million
The United States has not seen a lower jobless rate than what it is experiencing now since December 1969, according to the US Department of Labor. The rate fell in April from 3.8% in March down to 3.6%.
There is a caveat, the drastic reduction was fueled to a great extent by the number of people who left the labor force in April; almost half a million.
US Labor Department data showed that the economy added an above-expected 236,000 jobs to the market. In addition, average earnings rose by a yearly rate of 3.2%.
Experts said that the numbers show that the economy is still doing well, but not so well that the US Federal Reserve might consider changing interest rates.
The job gains were in the following sectors:
• Construction: Increased by 33,000 jobs • Healthcare: Increased by 27,000 jobs • Social assistance: Increased by 26,000 • Financial activities: Increased by 12,000
The number that did not change by much is how many people are working part-time who would prefer to work full-time, but there hours were reduced, or they could not find full-time employment. That number stayed at 4.7 million people.
Two Canadian companies and one from Israel are on the verge of entering the large and lucrative US market, hoping to cash in.
Pembina Pembina Pipeline is a NYSE listed company (PBA), is an energy infrastructure company relatively unknown to most US investors. The coming months will change their profile in the US, as they are aiming to make a positive final investment decision to purchase Jordan Cove liquid natural gas (LNG) export facility along the coast of Oregon, for $10 billion. Pembina received conditional approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) if it adheres to strict rules about reducing its environmental impact.
Canada Goose Canada Goose manufactures high-end winter clothing, and is already a popular brand in the US, but its direct retail presence in the lower 50 is minuscule. With only 4 stores in the US (and only 11 worldwide) the company is poised to make an impact on the US retail market. The company is planning on opening its 5th store in the US at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, the location picked because it is a key tourist destination. The store will even feature a “cold room” where customers can try the coats on in the environment they were meant to be worn in.
UroGen Pharma Israeli-based UroGen Pharma (NASDAQ-URGN) plummeted 34% over the past 12 months, and 10% since the beginning of 2019, but investors should think of the price decline as a bargain and opportunity, and not necessarily a warning. The company develops drugs to treat rare cancers of the urinary tract. UGN-101 is the company’s leading candidate for approval in the US, as it has built a good reputation leading up to approval by US regulators later in 2019. Analysts say the drug should reach peak yearly sales of over $500 million. This might not seem like much compared to top selling pharmaceuticals that can make as much as $1 billion, but the company today is valued at only $800 million. Bottom line, most investors are in the dark about UroGen Pharma, but we expect that to change before 2019 ends.
The SEC has decided that Exxon does not have to allow its shareholders to vote on a company proposal to make public its goals for lowering CO2 emissions. This move is in reaction to a push by activist investors and led by the New York state comptroller to have Exxon set annual targets which will reach the goals prescribed by the international Paris climate agreement of 2015.
In January Exxon requested the SEC disallow a vote on the proposal to disclose such climate-oriented goals. The SEC answered this week, stating that it would not recommend the SEC to take any enforcement action against Exxon if the company decides to keep the proposal out of May’s annual shareholder meeting.
Activists say they want to vote on the issue to compel Exxon to be more responsible and accountable about climate change.
A lawyer for the SEC said the oversite agency decided in Exxon’s favor because the proposal would “micromanage” the company and harm the value and supplant the judgement of Exxon managers and directors.