Today’s Pickup: markets mixed; stock futures rise; shutdown having big impact on U.S.

(Image: Shutterstock)

Good day,

Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.4 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.6 percent lower despite the Bank of Japan’s relatively dovish monetary policy update, according to Bloomberg. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.1 percent higher at 5:50 a.m. as the gauge recovered from early session losses with retailers leading the gains. S&P 500 futures pointed to a gain at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.737 percent, and gold remained unchanged.  

On the third day of trade talks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, David Carlyle said the U.S. government shutdown is having an impact on the U.S. economy. “It needs to be fixed this week,” he said. He also conjectured that in his opinion it would not be able to operate like this for six months out.  

Strong earnings from Dow members IBM, United Technologies and Procter & Gamble lifted U.S. stock index futures today, putting Wall Street on track to recover from its second biggest decline in 2019. Futures pointed to at least half a percent gain at the open, with 19 of the 25 most actively traded premarket stocks rising.

Did you know?

Under IMO 2020, ships will have to sharply curtail the sulphur content of their fuel to no more than 0.50 percent sulphur, down from the current limit of 3.50 percent sulphur, to help reduce atmospheric pollution.


“Everyone is anxious because the economy seems to be slowing down in the United States, slowing down in Asia, and slowing down a bit in Europe. So, the ebullient mood we had here at this time last year is not quite here right now.”

—David Rubenstein, Carlyle Group co-chairman and co-founder

In other news:

Regulators push back on NC Ports’ dredging plan

Three years after completing the first phase of a project that officials say has already allowed bigger ships to enter the Port of Wilmington, the N.C. State Ports Authority is ready to push through phase two. (BizJournals

Amazon pushing hard into ocean shipping, making it easier for Chinese goods to get to you

Quietly and below the radar, Amazon has been ramping up its ocean shipping service, sending close to 4.7 million cartons of consumers goods from China to the United States over the past year. (USA Today)

Courts deemed able to set damages after CN failed to send enough rail cars to Prairie grain elevators

Case was based on complaint filed by Calgary-based Louis Dreyfus Commodities Canada Ltd. (CBC)

China’s tests drone delivery in Indonesia in first overseas pilot

JD, which is Alibaba’s biggest rival, has been piloting drones for the past couple of years in China. (TechCrunch) starts direct sales of merchandise in Brazil after delays Inc is launching its long-awaited in-house fulfillment and delivery network in Brazil after months of delays caused by complicated logistics and a highly complex tax system in the largest Latin American economy. (Reuters)

Final thoughts:

Scandinavian countries, including Denmark, Finland and Norway, have established autonomous operating zones within their national waters (which are outside of the IMO’s jurisdiction). These autonomous operating zones will allow innovative new systems to be tried and tested. The new vessels will be lighter than most ferries, because they will have no sleeping area for crew. They will operate year-round and, in some cases, like the Yara Birkeland, will replace highly polluting trucks, making roads safer as well as the atmosphere cleaner. 

Hammer down everyone!

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Chad Prevost

Chad is radio host and broadcast media specialist for FreightWaves.