by Louis Navellier
September 22, 2020
The Big Ten reversed its decision not to play college football and announced on Wednesday that the league’s presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to resume a 10-game season of conference play on October 24th. Players and coaches will be rigorously tested for Covid-19 prior to each practice and game. Obviously, the Big Ten universities derive millions of dollars from their college football programs.
Previously, President Trump was putting pressure on the Big Ten to resume college football due to improved testing as well as the fact that the conference is dominated by political “swing states” like Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Wisconsin! If President Trump wins some of these swing states, the decisive vote may very well be traced to this decision to resume Big Ten football!
Most U.S. Economic Statistics Continue to Look Positive
The Fed reported on Tuesday that industrial production rose 0.4% in August, after surging a revised 3.5% in July and 6.1% in June. Utility output dropped 0.4% in August, after rising 3.8% in July, so it appears that the brownouts in California during this horrific fire season may now be impacting utility output. Manufacturing output rose 1% in August and was revised up to 3.5% and 6.1% gains respectively for July and June. Interestingly, vehicle production declined 3.7% in August, after surging in July and June. Mining output declined 2.5% in August as hurricanes and tropical storms impacted oil production.
A weak U.S. dollar is now definitely impacting import prices, which rose 0.9% in August after rising 1.2% in July and 1.4% in June. Believe it or not, despite import prices surging in the past three months, import prices have declined 2.8% in the past 12 months, due largely to lower crude oil prices. Excluding energy, import prices rose 0.7% in August – the largest monthly increase in nine years! Also, the cost of industrial supplies surged 3.6% in August, which is the largest monthly increase since this import price index was created in 2001, so the Fed has definitely reignited inflation via a weaker U.S. dollar.
The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that August retail sales rose 0.6%, the third consecutive monthly increase. Bars & restaurant sales surged 4.7% in August, which is a good sign that consumers are getting out and about more. Building material sales also rose 2%, so the housing boom is also helping boost retail sales. Excluding autos and gas, retail sales rose 0.7%, so core retail sales remained healthy.
The Labor Department reported on Thursday that new jobless claims declined 860,000 in the latest week, down from 893,000 in the previous week and better than the economists’ consensus estimate of 870,000.
Meanwhile, continuing unemployment claims declined to 12,628,000 in the latest week, down from 13,544,000 in the previous week, reaching the lowest level since April 4th. Obviously, this is more indication that a V-shaped economic recovery continues to develop as more folks get back to work.
Overseas, China’s National Bureau of Statistics reported that retail sales rose 0.5% in August, the first positive month in 2020, while China’s industrial production rose a healthy 5.6% annually in August, up from a 4.8% annual pace in July, so its economy continues to recover and boost global GDP growth.