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Today’s Pickup: markets update; VW to cut jobs; global slowdown

 Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

Good day,

U.S. equity futures edged higher alongside European stocks today, shrugging off losses in Asia as investors evaluated the global economy’s overall strength, according to Bloomberg. The pound gained ahead of the next major Brexit vote. Contracts on the S&P 500 Index fluctuated before nudging upward, with those on the Nasdaq and Dow Jones gauges following in line. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index saw a modest advance as gains for oil companies and car makers helped offset a slide for retailers following disappointing earnings from Inditex, owner of the Zara chain, and Adidas. Treasury yields ticked higher along with those on core European bonds. The dollar is steady after three days of declines.

Going forward, FreightWaves had already been predicting slower consumer spending and retail sales in 2019, after impressive growth for nearly all of 2018. The combination of higher interest rates, reduced pent-up demand, and the fading effects of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act point to a deceleration in the retail sector. 

Did you know?

European authorities broke ranks with the U.S. and grounded Boeing’s 737 MAX jet after two deadly crashes of the aircraft over the past five months.

Quotable:

“Hope is not a strategy.”

–Jack Porter, Managing Director of the TCA Profitability Program, on making business decisions in a volatile market

In other news:

VW brand to cut up to 7,000 jobs in new savings drive

Volkswagen will cut up to 7,000 positions, aim to boost productivity and deliver 5.9 billion euros ($6.7 billion)of annual savings at its core VW brand by 2023. (Reuters)

Tesla exchanges $13.8M in stock for portions of car-hauling carrier

In exchange for nearly 50,000 shares of Tesla stock, the company has acquired portions of Central Valley Auto Transport’s car-hauling fleet. (CCJ)

Duty free plan for no-deal Brexit

The government will not charge customs duty on 87 per cent of imports under plans to protect supply chains in the event of a no-deal Brexit. (Logistics Manager)

CMA CGM in partnership to trial bio-fuel on containerships

CMA CGM has joined hands with IKEA Transport & Logistics Services, the GoodShipping Program, and the Port of Rotterdam to test and scale the use of sustainable marine bio-fuel oil. (Seatrade Maritime News)

A bumpy ride for air cargo on the radar as global slowdown takes its toll

IATA has downgraded its projected growth figures for air cargo by nearly half, following a poor start to the year. (The Loadstar)

Final thoughts:

Carriers should be thinking about the odds of finding loads many markets in advance. If market dynamics change, which they appear to be doing, carriers will be in a poor position to take advantage. The knowledge that the trip to the West Coast will eventually hit a dead end should put upward pressure on rates even though the L.A. outbound situation is still quite strong. Deadheading out of northern California or Phoenix is an inevitability that should be factored into any current rates.

 Hammer down everyone!

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.

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