Stocks jumped higher following a big move by the Shanghai Stock Index. Citing progress in trade negotiations, President Trump indicated he would postpone the March 1st tariff deadline then headed out of town for a cup of coffee with Kim Jung Un in Hanoi. At the close the Dow was up 60 points on mixed volume at 26,093. Stocks had been much higher during the day but faded into the close.
Shares of GE shot higher after it was announced the company would sell its biopharma division to Danaher Corp for about $21.4 billion plus pension liabilities. The biopharma unit generated over $19 billion in revenues and $3.4 billion net profits last year. GE has been exploring an IPO of its healthcare unit but with this move that deal might be off the table. GE is trying to get healthy again by selling off parts of its business. It’s ironic that they are getting healthy by selling their healthcare unit but I digress. Along with today’s announcement the company also completed a deal selling part of its GE transportation business to Wabtec. For every share of GE, a shareholder will get .19 shares of Wabtec.
The scout trip was an adventure. The weather was dry and snowy with temps from 20 to 30 degrees. It snowed about 5 inches overnight. Blewett Pass has snow depth of 38 inches which is well above the 5-year average of 22. We had a roaring fire going but no flaming snowballs. On this trip all 12 scouts did great and the only lunkhead in the group was me because I put our bus into the ditch and got stuck. Willet’s Shell station in Cle Elum answered the call and sent a class C tow truck and within 10 minutes of his arrival had us unstuck. When asked what the bill was the driver said his kids had been in scouts and that there was no charge since we were doing God’s work. I guess you could call this the “lunkhead discount”. From now on, any time I need gas in Cle Elum I am stopping at Willet’s! These guys are tops! Check out photos on the Greystone faceplant page.