Another Up Day For The Market As Washington Moves Toward Debt Deal

by The Chicago Times Business Staff

October 7, 2021

NEW YORK — The S&P 500 finished higher for the second day in a row on Wednesday, as technology stocks soared and investors digested bullish jobs data and rising 10-year Treasury yields, not to mention progress on the debt ceiling battle in Washington.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 102.37 points higher to end at 34,416.99.  The S&P 500 rose 17.83 points to close at 4,363.55. The Nasdaq gained 68.08 points to finish at 14,501.91.

Higher crude oil and natural gas prices have recently boosted energy equities as shortages disturb businesses in Europe and China.  However, natural-gas futures NG00, -0.05 percent plummeted 10% on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested his country would increase fuel supplies to alleviate European shortages, only a day after prices reached their highest level since late 2008.  Oil futures in the United States have also retreated somewhat after reaching their highest closing in roughly seven years.

Natural Gas Futures Close At Highest Price Since 2008

by John McPhaul, The Chicago Times

October 5, 2021

CHICAGO – Natural gas futures skyrocketed Tuesday to their highest price since 2008 as restricted supplies around the world threaten consumers looking to heat their homes this winter.

According to Dow Jones Market Data, November natural gas gained 55 cents to settle at $6.312 per million British thermal units, the highest front-month contract finish since December 2008.

This confirms the coming heating crisis about to hit consumers as reported yesterday by The Chicago Times.

Major Indexes Recover After Monday Blood Bath

by The Chicago Times Business Staff

October 5, 2021

NEW YORK — U.S. stock markets recovered slightly Tuesday after a slaughtering on Monday of the technology sector and negative news about Facebook.

Investors saw hope in the service industry today after encouraging estimates on activity within the United States and diminishing COVID-19 cases in September.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 311.75 points to close at 34,314.67. While the mighty S&P 500 saw a gain of 45.26 points to close at 4,345.72.  The tech heavy Nasdaq Composite soared 178.35 points to finish at 14,433.83.

Finally, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen appeared before a Senate subcommittee in Washington, D.C., claiming in prepared testimony that the social-media giant prioritized business over safety. 

Stocks Tumble As Investors Fear Concerns Of High Inflation

by The Chicago Times Business Staff

October 4, 2021

NEW YORK – Blood bath on Wall Street today with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq both finishing lower today as concerns about higher-than-expected inflation grow in response to rising oil and natural gas prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the day down 324.54 points, or 0.9 percent, at 34,002.92.

The S&P 500 lost 56.58 points to close at 4,300.46, its lowest closing since July 19.

The Nasdaq Composite Index plummeted 311.21 points to finish at 14,255.48, down 7.3 percent from its September 7 record closing.

Sectors fell further Monday, with markets bowing to pressure in technology and tech-related stocks.  Notably, the S&P 500 communication services sector fell 2.1 percent, led by Facebook Inc., which faced severe outages across all of its platforms.  The technology sector lost 2.4 percent.  The only industries that were not affected by the selloff were utilities and energy.

The climb in US oil to a seven-year high has fueled inflationary fears, with international benchmark Brent BRN00, 0.06 percent at its highest since 2018.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies maintained their present agreement on Monday to progressively boost crude production each month, including a 400,000 barrels per day rise in November.  Adding fuel to the fire, natural gas prices are projected to rise further, and if the winter is particularly harsh, Goldman Sachs analysts see the possibility of another doubling.

Finally, the market has been under increasing pressure, with developments concentrated on those in Washington, D.C., where heated debt ceiling negotiations are taking place and negotiations on infrastructure expenditure and social welfare spending have failed to reach an agreement.

Corning, AT&T Expand Partnership To Meet Broadband Demand

by John McPhaul, The Chicago Times

October 3, 2021

CORNING, NY — Corning Incorporated (GLW) announced September 28 that it is expanding its long-standing collaboration with AT&T (T).

The collaboration will increase fiber infrastructure, expand broadband networks in the United States, and speed 5G implementation.

Corning is investing $150 million in optical cable manufacturing in North Carolina, initially adding 200 jobs, as part of AT&T’s long-term commitment to network expansion.  AT&T stated that it intends to considerably increase its fiber footprint and is committed to supporting American manufacturing.

“We see fiber infrastructure expansion as critical to expanding our broadband reach for both consumers and business customers.  By expanding our partnership with Corning, we will create American jobs through manufacturing investments as well as the economic benefits that broadband brings to our communities.” said Mo Katibeh, senior vice president, AT&T Network Infrastructure & Build.

“The need for ubiquitous connectivity has driven network demand to unprecedented levels, and Corning is strategically investing to support network buildouts,” said Michael A. Bell, senior vice president and general manager of Corning Optical

Corning’s market leadership is extended as demand for network infrastructure continues to outpace industry projections.  Government investments in broadband are projected to increase demand even further.

Honeywell International To Boost Dividend

by The Chicago Times Business Staff

October 3, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NC — Honeywell International announced that it will raise its dividend.

Honeywell (HON) proposes to increase its annual dividend by nearly 5% to $3.92 per share from $3.72.  The quarterly dividend will rise from 93 cents to 98 cents per share.

As of September 30, the stock, which yields 1.7 percent, has returned around 1 percent, dividends included, compared to around 16 percent for the S&P 500 index.