Stocks ended a productive week on a flat note. The Dow gained 6 points to 27,681 and trading volume was way off. For the week, the Dow gained about 1.2%. The only news of interest was that Elon Musk sent Tesla short seller David “Silky Seymour” Einhorn a pair of shorts in the mail to tease him after David’s portfolio took big hits when Tesla stock rallied.
Shares of Disney moved higher after a positive earnings report. The company bested guru estimates with a 34% revenue gain and a 28% decline in net profits. The stock gurus had been expecting lower net income because of the investment that Disney was making into launching its streaming service which will compete with Netflix. Strength in the theme parks, media and movie divisions however were strong plus the costs to ramp up Disney Plus streaming service were less than expected. Amazon also announced its Fire TV will work with Disney Plus.
The US steel industry is recovering thanks to tariffs on Chinese steel being dumped around the globe. When President Obama first slapped tariffs on Chinese steel in 2016 and then when President Trump doubled down on this strategy a year later US steel makers got back to work. CPA.org reported that there are currently $13 billion in upgrades and/or new plant projects underway in mostly rural areas adding well-paying jobs and revitalizing small towns. Companies like Nucor, AK Steel and US Steel are investing in states like Arkansas, Texas and Missouri and local politicians are loving it. The average wage at a steel plant is over $94,000 and the jobs being created are helping to revitalize small towns thanks to the multiplier effect.