The Federal Reserve said it will hold interest rates steady for now at 2.25% to 2.5% and with Inflation tame, Fed Chair Powell indicated there is wiggle room on deciding which direction to move rates as economic data trickles in. The Dow responded to the news with an uptick of 38 points to 26,504. Trading volume was lighter than Mt. St. Helen’s pumice rock.
Day three (“schree” as it’s pronounced in Alabama) of the Paris Airshow was another win for Airbus which has now booked over 200 orders for the new A321XLR. The last order was for 50 jets from American Airlines. Some of the new orders for the A321XLR are conversions from prior A320 Neo orders. Amazon ordered 15 737-800 freighters from Boeing and Qatar Airways ordered 5 more 777’s.
The US lumber mills have been struggling as an oversupply of lumber pushed prices lower than fish dung while at the same time mills are squeezed by rising wages. That however might be about to change as Canada is facing a falloff in production. There has been talk of a “day of reckoning” for Canadian mills and that day appears to have arrived as several mills, built to process pine beetle ravaged timber have begun to curtailed operations as pine beetle harvests wind down. The ripple effect could be positive for US mills and there are early signs of cautious optimism regarding lumber prices. The Random Lengths Lumber price index hit a low of $319 per thousand but recently moved up to $326. Ironically, some mill operators in Montana are worried about a potential price spike like what happened last year in June and feel this could be worse than a skunk in the log pile! Some companies are starting to raise bids for timber sales in the intermountain region which is an indication they think prices could move up. Stoltz recently won a timber sale with a bid north of $500 per thousand. Shares of timber companies like Weyerhaeuser, Rayonier and Potlatch have also risen sharply from recent lows.