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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53643)2/7/2021 12:21:49 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
   of 55832
 
The S&P 500 is on track for surprise earnings growth, and Disney waits on deck
Published: Feb. 7, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. ET
By Emily Bary
4
Big banks and tech companies have posted sizable profit beats, putting the S&P 500 on pace to break out of an earnings recession

Disney, Cisco, and Coca-Cola are the three Dow Jones Industrial Average components on the earnings calendar in the week ahead. GETTY IMAGES
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Sizable earnings beats from Big Tech and the big banks are likely to drive a surprise lift in corporate profits this earnings season.

S&P 500 index SPX companies are now projected to show positive earnings growth of 1.7% for the fourth quarter, with 58% of results already in. That would allow the index to snap out of an earnings recession, which exists when corporate profits post year-over-year declines for two or more quarters in a row.

See more: S&P 500 earnings recession set to end, as Q4 EPS swings to growth

At the end of last year, analysts expected December-quarter earnings to fall by 9.3%, which would have marked the fourth straight quarter of year-over-year declines. Overall projections began slowly improving as more results came in and they finally turned positive this week.

Helping fuel the momentum were big earnings beats in the financial services, information technology, and communications sectors. Since the S&P 500 is weighted by market value, larger companies like have a more sizable impact on the index’s overall profit trajectory.

The financial sector has been the largest contributor to the increase in earnings, according to FactSet Senior Earnings Analyst John Butters. The blended growth rate for the sector, which combines actual and projected results depending on whether a company has reported earnings yet, now stands at positive 17.2%, whereas expectations were for a 9.4% decline as of Dec. 13.

Companies that had meaningful impacts include JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM, which beat earnings expectations by 44%, while Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS beat by 62%, Citigroup Inc. C beat by 55%, Morgan Stanley MS beat by 48%, and Capital One Financial Corp. COF exceeded estimates by 87%

In the information technology sector, large earnings beats from Apple Inc. AAPL, Intel Corp. INTC, and Microsoft Corp. MSFT have helped drive the sector’s blended growth rate to 15.6% from an expectation of 1.5% in December. Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL and Facebook Inc. FB also exceeded expectations by a wide margin, lifting the blended growth rate for the communications services sector to positive 6% compared with a projected 12.9% decline as of Dec. 31.

Outside those three sectors, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN and Ford Motor Co. F delivered large profit surprises as well that Butters said significantly contributed to the rise in the blended earnings growth rate.

Boeing Co. BA has been the biggest drag, as the company reported an adjusted loss of $15.25 a share, whereas analysts were expecting a $1.78 loss per share. Without Boeing’s results, the blended growth rate for the S&P 500 would be more than double what it is now, Butters wrote.

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In all, 81% of the companies that have delivered results thus far saw better-than-expected earnings, he said.

The week ahead features another busy earnings docket, with 77 members of the S&P 500 set to report, including three companies that are in the Dow Jones Industrial Average as well. Walt Disney Co. DIS and Cisco Systems Inc. CSCO are among the biggest names due to post numbers.

Here’s what to watch for:

Stream-lined
Disney is expected to post another quarter in the red Thursday afternoon as the pandemic continues to weigh on its theme-park and media businesses, but investors seem willing to look past the company’s pandemic-impacted earnings performance, according to LightShed Partners analyst Richard Greenfield.

Of key interest in Disney’s report will be the company’s progress with its Disney+ streaming service. Disney continues to grow its subscriber base at a fast clip, but following the company’s last report, there was some concern about how much of that growth was coming from those who’ve signed up for the company’s Indian Hotstar product, through which Disney generates a far lower average revenue per user.

Disney earnings preview: Can Disney+ maintain its torrid pace to sustain the Magic Kingdom?

A new chapter for Twitter
Twitter Inc. TWTR likely benefitted from the same strong advertising trends that helped companies Pinterest Inc. PINS and Facebook late last year, but those results aren’t as important as what comes next.

Executives at Twitter will likely face questions Tuesday afternoon about user engagement trends following the decision to permanently ban former president Donald Trump from the platform due to his role in inciting the January violence at the U.S. Capitol.

“Regardless of one’s opinion of the President or Twitter’s recent policy actions, we view Trump as a unique animating force for activity and engagement on the platform that will not be easily replaced,” Wells Fargo analyst Brian Fitzgerald wrote after the ban was announced.

Bernstein analyst Mark Shmulik hypothesized that while Twitter’s engagement might take a hit, the ban could result in an “increase in brand-safe ad inventory” since some advertisers didn’t want their spots appearing near Trump-related content prior to the ban.

Opinion: Apple’s privacy changes are affecting more than just Facebook

Networking
The IT spending landscape seems to be improving, which Evercore ISI analyst Amit Daryanani said could drive slightly better-than-expected results for Cisco when the company posts results Tuesday afternoon. He’ll be looking for information about the vision of new chief financial officer R. Scott Herren as well as progress on the company’s efforts to generate more subscription revenue.

Rideshare recovery?
Lyft Inc. LYFT and Uber Technologies Inc. UBER likely continued on their rocky road to recovery in the fourth quarter, but Shmulik warned that the company’s growth rate for the period could be flat or even a bit below the third-quarter rate, given a rise in global cases, the appearance of new COVID-19 strains, and the winter weather.

Read: Uber’s growing, ‘exciting’ delivery business, possible rides recovery have analysts bullish

Lyft reports Tuesday afternoon, while Uber follows a day later. Uber executives will likely discuss the company’s recently announced decision to purchase Drizly, an alcohol delivery service.

marketwatch.com

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53644)2/7/2021 1:09:38 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
1 Recommendation   of 55832
 
SP500 confirming a new high with a follow through day. The declining volume and the lack on momentum indicates traders are still cautious.



DOW stopping short of new high on delining volume. It needs to break through in the next week or traders will start to take profits.



DOW transports lagging the DOW though the short term trend is up. Again the declining volume indicates traders at not totally committed to a new high.



DOW utilities essentially going sideways with a slight upside bias. There has been some talk about inflation creeping in. Utilities will start to sell off if that is the case to adjust for higher long term bond rates.



COMPQ barely closing at a new high. It needs a confirmation day on Monday.



Russell 2000 confirming new high on average volume. It indicate traders are rotating sectors and now looking to get out of the market just quite yet.



Financial creeping up on previous high on declining volume. This stock reflects the state of the economy
so it indicates the economy is expected to heal later this year.



Same comment on energy as financials. A new high for both these indices would indicate new confidence in the economy.



Gold still in a downtrend. Not reflecting inflation fears yet.



Silver going sideways. Th effect of the WallStreetBets crown has silver continuing the divergence with gold.


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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53645)2/7/2021 2:47:43 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
   of 55832
 
Price of Lithiunm Carbonate finally seeing a rebound after a number of years of depressed prices. It is still not near the high of 2018 though.

It looks like more capacity coming on board around the world is leading to depressed prices. There is not the supply constraint of a few year ago. It might be the next "black goal" as oil gets replaced with electric vehicles
over the next 15 years.

Lithium | 2017-2021 Data | 2022-2023 Forecast | Price | Quote | Chart | Historical (tradingeconomics.com)

it might also lead to geo-political shifts in economic power if the data below is correct. We have already seen the shit in commerce for America and Europe to China and Taiwan, then from China and Taiwan to South Korean and Singapore, and then from Asia to Latin America (current underway). The transition after that may be to the African continet. Long term view many decades away.

At 20 mg lithium per kg of Earth's crust, [45] lithium is the 25th most abundant element.

According to the Handbook of Lithium and Natural Calcium, "Lithium is a comparatively rare element, although it is found in many rocks and some brines, but always in very low concentrations. There are a fairly large number of both lithium mineral and brine deposits but only comparatively few of them are of actual or potential commercial value. Many are very small, others are too low in grade." [46]

The US Geological Survey estimates that in 2010, Chile had the largest reserves by far (7.5 million tonnes) [47] and the highest annual production (8,800 tonnes). One of the largest reserve bases [note 1] of lithium is in the Salar de Uyuni area of Bolivia, which has 5.4 million tonnes. Other major suppliers include Australia, Argentina and China. [48] [49] As of 2015, the Czech Geological Survey considered the entire Ore Mountains in the Czech Republic as lithium province. Five deposits are registered, one near Cínovec [ cs] is considered as a potentially economical deposit, with 160 000 tonnes of lithium. [50] In December 2019, Finnish mining company Keliber Oy reported its Rapasaari lithium deposit has estimated proven and probable ore reserves of 5.280 million tonnes. [51]

In June 2010, The New York Times reported that American geologists were conducting ground surveys on dry salt lakes in western Afghanistan believing that large deposits of lithium are located there. "Pentagon officials said that their initial analysis at one location in Ghazni Province showed the potential for lithium deposits as large as those of Bolivia, which now has the world's largest known lithium reserves." [52] These estimates are "based principally on old data, which was gathered mainly by the Soviets during their occupation of Afghanistan from 1979–1989". Stephen Peters, the head of the USGS's Afghanistan Minerals Project, said that he was unaware of USGS involvement in any new surveying for minerals in Afghanistan in the past two years. 'We are not aware of any discoveries of lithium,' he said." [53]

Lithia ("lithium brine") is associated with tin mining areas in Cornwall, England and an evaluation project from 400-meter deep test boreholes is under consideration. If successful the hot brines will also provide geothermal energy to power the lithium extraction and refining process. [

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53646)2/7/2021 2:49:41 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
   of 55832
 
The labor market is stalling, Treasury Secretary Yellen says
Feb. 07, 2021 11:50 AM ETBy: Liz Kiesche, SA News Editor19 Comments
Almost a year after COVID-19 hit the U.S., the labor market is stalling, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation."
"So we have- we're in a deep hole with respect to the job market and a long way to dig out," she said.
The economy could return to full employment if President Biden's $1.9T American Rescue Package is passed, she said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. "There’s absolutely no reason why we should suffer through a long slow recovery," she said.
Without more stimulus, it could take until 2025 to bring the unemployment rate back to 4%, Yellen said on CNN. (For some perspective, the unemployment rate stood at 6.3% in January, according to the U.S. Labor Statistics Employment Situation report issued on Friday, vs. 3.5% in February 2020, before the pandemic hit.)
While Biden's plan doesn't include measures to foster job creation, "the spending it will generate will create demand for workers," Yellen said.
To get the massive package passed, she repeated Biden's comments that he's willing to negotiate on which Americans get $1,400 direct payments. Low-wage workers need it the most, Yellen said. In an interview with CBS's Norah O'Donnell, Biden said, "Middle-class folks need help", adding he's willing to negotiate on where that threshold is.
Critics of the plan say the government should wait until the funds from the last stimulus plans are fully distributed before spending more money. "We have tens of billions of dollars that hasn’t made it out the door yet because the ink is hardly dry on the last bill," Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA) told CNN on Sunday.
Yellen discussed how women have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, since some have had to drop out of the labor market to care for children who haven't yet returned to school and may have to deal with family health matters more than men.
Biden's proposed stimulus plan places emphasis on getting children back to school safely and providing family and medical leave during the crisis "so that women don't have to leave their jobs when they're faced with health or family issues they have to address," Yellen said.
She sees a need for legislation in the future to bolster support for women in the workforce, such as a more permanent family leave and child-care support policies.
As for the turmoil experienced by GameStop, AMC, and several other stocks in the past two weeks, the SEC will produce a report to provide a better understanding of what happened, Yellen told "Face the Nation."
Core trading infrastructure, the "plumbing", performed well, she said. Still, the Treasury and other financial regulators will be monitoring and taking a close look at clearing and settling mechanisms to ensure a "fair and efficient" market with the necessary investor protections.
Dear readers: We recognize that politics often intersects with the financial news of the day, so we invite you to click here to click here to join the separate political discussion.
Now read: Restaurant stocks face another headwind with Biden minimum wage plan: Alpha Tactics

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53647)2/8/2021 8:33:58 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
1 Recommendation   of 55832
 
SHORT INDEX UPDATE:

SP500 and COMPQ confirming new highs but the momentum is not suggesting a high popup in the coming weeks. Look for profiting taking or a slow grind upward. The issues is what is the catalyst to move stocks in these sectors higher.

DOW set a new high today. It still needs a confirmation day.

All the momentum seem to be in the Russell 2000 index. New high again today. Today is day 4 of the current rally. Some profit taking is to be expected over the next few days.

Financials approaching previous high.

Energy also stopping short of the recent high. On a longer term chart it has to break 46.90, high from last June, before it would confirm a new trading range.

Watch small cap as it leading the current rally. Potential new highs in finanicals and energy means that traders have more confidence in the core elements of the economy repairing itself.

For the SP500, COMPQ and DOW which is showing muted momentum the key question is what will drive these stocks to the next level. Earnings and guidance were for the most part good. Traders were selling off instead of adding on good earnings and guidance. Supply constraints are restricting upside surprises and it will take time for that to be resolved without demand destruction, which still can happen when stimulus stops.

Not sure if we are in an environment where the first half of earning season traders sell everything even with good earnings and then traders buy everything in the second half of earnings season.

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53648)2/8/2021 9:53:02 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
2 Recommendations   of 55832
 
Palantir Technologies — Shares of the big data company rose more than 8% after it announced a new global partnership with IBM that will expand Palantir’s sales reach. The deal will also augment IBM’s artificial intelligence offerings and make them easier to use. Palantir saw its shares more than quadruple since its September public market debut.

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53649)2/8/2021 10:02:04 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
   of 55832
 
Who could make the iCar? Apple is running short of options
Analysis by Charles Riley, CNN Business

Updated 2:21 PM ET, Mon February 8, 2021
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Watch this production car break world speed record

This is Volkswagen's first electric SUV
London (CNN Business)The list of carmakers that might partner with Apple is shrinking.

Hyundai and Kia killed off talk of a potential iCar deal on Monday, saying they were "not having talks" with the tech giant about developing autonomous electric vehicles.
Apple declined to comment. It's not clear how far along the company is in developing plans for any potential car, but it has been granted patents for a range of vehicle inventions. "Project Titan," its reportedly secretive effort to break into the auto business, has been a frequent source of rumors over the years.
The denial from Hyundai and Kia followed media reports suggesting the South Korean group was close to signing a deal to manufacture electric cars for Apple (AAPL), potentially in the US state of Georgia. Shares in Hyundai and Kia dropped by 6% and 15%, respectively, giving up some recent gains sparked by the speculation of a tie-up with the $2.3 trillion tech company.
Investors may be overreacting. Hyundai and Kia would have burnished their reputations by partnering with Apple, and their factories would have churned out more cars. But it's not clear that partnering with Apple would have helped vault the companies to the top of global carmaking.
Hyundai and Kia say they are not talking to Apple about self-driving cars
Hyundai and Kia say they are not talking to Apple about self-driving cars
"If you're Apple, you clearly want control over everything to do with your product," said Demian Flowers, an automotive analyst at Commerzbank. "You want a contract manufacturer, not really a partner."
Automotive experts generally agree that if Apple wants to get into cars, it needs a partner who already makes them. The investment, expertise and workforce costs needed to manufacture millions of cars a year make it difficult for any company — even one with as much cash as Apple — to jump into the industry.
With speculation mounting recently, Ford (F), General Motors (GM), Tesla (TSLA), Honda (HMC), Nissan (NSANF) and Stellantis, the new autos group formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler (FCAU)and PSA (PUGOY), have all been floated by analysts as potential Apple partners. Yet there are good reasons why none of them may join forces with the tech company.
The central question is whether Apple is willing to share its tech expertise with a carmaker, which would give them a big advantage in the race to produce electric and autonomous vehicles that integrate seamlessly with technologies such as 5G networks and cloud computing.
But sharing might not be what Apple has in mind.
"Apple will not help the company that ends up doing this," said Flowers. "Apple will not share anything. The only benefit you'll get from Apple is the volumes."
Ford closes German plant for 1 month as global chip crisis worsens
Ford closes German plant for 1 month as global chip crisis worsens
A deal that does not include the sharing of technology, and close collaboration on future products, would leave the carmaker in a situation akin to that of Pegatron and Foxconn, which assemble iPhones for Apple but do not reap the huge financial rewards.
Replicating that business model is something that the major carmakers appear to want to avoid.
"Volkswagen wants to develop their own autonomous driving software, they want to create their own operating system. They want control over their own data. They want to compete with the tech guys, the Teslas of this world and anybody else who comes along," said Flowers.
"Then you ask them, 'Will you, Volkswagen, be the contract manufacturer to a tech guy?' I just don't think they're going to agree," he added.
Jürgen Pieper, an analyst at the German bank Metzler, agrees that big carmakers have the most to lose.
"They don't want to open the door to Apple," he said.
Millions of Ford vehicles will run Google's Android operating system starting in 2023
Millions of Ford vehicles will run Google's Android operating system starting in 2023
Smaller automakers that aren't able to invest as heavily in electric and autonomous technology may be more open to a partnership with Apple. Hyundai was one company that fit the bill, according to analysts. Honda, Nissan, Stellantis and BMW (BMWYY) are four more.
"Maybe BMW sees it a bit differently, saying, 'OK, at some point we have to accept that Apple is entering the auto business, and if that is happening, we want to be the partner instead of anybody else,' " said Pieper.
Apple may seek to avoid battles over branding and creative control by hiring a contract producer such as Magna, which already builds cars for automakers including Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, BMW and Jaguar. Magna has even developed its own electric vehicle engineering architecture.
If Apple does find a partner among the major consumer brands, the pace of change in the industry will only accelerate.
"We look forward to new competitors who will certainly further accelerate the change in our industry," Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said recently on LinkedIn. "I have said it before: A mobility company will again be the most valuable company in the world — be it Tesla, Apple or Volkswagen AG."

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53650)2/8/2021 10:02:57 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
   of 55832
 
Chevron may not be an oil-first company in 2040, CEO says

By Matt Egan, CNN Business

Updated 12:36 PM ET, Mon February 8, 2021
These are Biden's promises on the climate crisis

Jordan Belfort: Robinhood shutting down GameStop activity because massive liability

WallStreetBets founder on GameStop: There is no precedent for this

Jordan Belfort: GameStop frenzy is a 'modified pump and dump'
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: People pass a GameStop store in lower Manhattan on September 16, 2019 in New York City. GameStop has announced that they will be closing between 180 and 200 stores before the end of the fiscal year due to a drop in sales. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
GameStop's ascent: Reddit traders vs hedge funds

Discovery CEO: Discovery+ has a library as big as Netflix's

Strategist: Congress will likely trim Biden's stimulus bill
roger mcnamee fb capitol markets now_00013227.png
Early Facebook investor: Sandberg's denial of Facebook's role is 'laughable'
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Why Wall Street is hopeful about Biden despite economic challenges

These are Biden's promises on the climate crisis
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Tesla invests $1.5 billion in bitcoin

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People walk by a GameStop store in Brooklyn on January 28, 2021 in New York City. Markets continue a volatile streak with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising over 500 points in morning trading following yesterdays losses. Shares of the video game retailer GameStop plunged. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Here's why GameStop shares are plunging

His risky bet made him a millionaire on paper. It could've gone very differently
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 27: GameStop store signage is seen on January 27, 2021 in New York City. Stock shares of videogame retailer GameStop Corp has increased 700% in the past two weeks due to amateur investors. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
GameStop mania shakes up Wall Street

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: People pass a GameStop store in lower Manhattan on September 16, 2019 in New York City. GameStop has announced that they will be closing between 180 and 200 stores before the end of the fiscal year due to a drop in sales. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
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roger mcnamee fb capitol markets now_00013227.png
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Tesla invests $1.5 billion in bitcoin

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People walk by a GameStop store in Brooklyn on January 28, 2021 in New York City. Markets continue a volatile streak with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising over 500 points in morning trading following yesterdays losses. Shares of the video game retailer GameStop plunged. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Here's why GameStop shares are plunging

His risky bet made him a millionaire on paper. It could've gone very differently
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 27: GameStop store signage is seen on January 27, 2021 in New York City. Stock shares of videogame retailer GameStop Corp has increased 700% in the past two weeks due to amateur investors. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
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New York (CNN Business)Chevron has built a $170 billion fossil fuels empire that has made the 141-year-old company synonymous with the oil-and-gas industry.

But the climate crisis is forcing oil companies large and small to rethink their once-reliable business models.
While US oil companies have been far more reluctant than their European rivals to shift away from their cash cows, even Chevron CEO Michael Wirth concedes his company may look different in 2040.
Twenty years from now we'll be earning our profits from energy. But our company looks quite different today than it did 20 years ago,"

CHEVRON CEO MICHAEL WIRTH

"Oil and gas will still be a very big part. Will it be the biggest part? Time will tell," Wirth told CNN Business. "Twenty years forward there are things we are not doing today at any scale that no doubt we will be doing at a very large scale."
The Chevron (CVX) boss pointed specifically to expansions into cleaner alternatives such as green hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage.
The comments, from one of the captains of Big Oil no less, underscore the identity crisis facing the fossil fuels industry.
Chevron is not banking on solar and wind
Facing political and shareholder pressure, BP (BP), Shell (RDSA) and other European oil majors already see the writing on the wall. In recent years they've announced plans to gradually retreat from fossil fuels, slash emissions and embrace clean energy including electric vehicle charging and renewable energy.
By contrast, ExxonMobil (XOM) is making a far different bet by expanding its footprint in the oil business, including accelerating its investments in shale oil and offshore drilling in Guyana. Likewise, Chevron reached a $5 billion deal last year to acquire oil-and-gas company Noble Energy.
Oil companies are facing the moment of truth. The stakes couldn't be higher
Oil companies are facing the moment of truth. The stakes couldn't be higher
Neither company has made major investments in solar and wind beyond supporting their own power needs -- and Wirth indicated that won't change.
Plenty of companies already excel at selling solar and wind power to the electric grid, but Chevron will stay focused on areas where it can have a unique advantage. "We're not sure wind and solar are the technologies that offer that," Wirth said.
'It will not go away in 20 years'
Even so, Wirth realizes Chevron may need to change to meet the times.
"Twenty years from now we'll be earning our profits from energy. But our company looks quite different today than it did 20 years ago," he said in the interview.
In recent years Chevron has adapted to the shifting energy landscape by expanding into new areas, including shale and liquefied natural gas (LNG), two of Chevron's most lucrative sources of revenue.
And Wirth stresses that Chevron is not saying goodbye to oil and gas. "It will not go away in 20 years. It will still be very important," he said.
Heat from Washington
Still, over the next two decades, Wirth said the company could use its technical skills and financial strength to tackle big problems and invest in large, complex energy systems.
"That's what we do. Twenty years from now that's what we'll be doing," Wirth said. "Those energy investments will evolve to look different from today."
Big Oil may be forced to evolve by a combination of Wall Street and the federal government.
The oil industry has severely lagged the rest of the stock market over the past decade. While much of its underperformance is due to muted oil prices and excessive cash burn, more recent struggles can be attributed to the ESG (environmental, societal and governance) movement. Investors want to bet on companies that are viewed as part of the solution, not the problem.
No, Joe Biden didn't just ban fracking
No, Joe Biden didn't just ban fracking
In his first weeks in office, President Joe Biden has wasted no time putting pressure on fossil fuels. He moved swiftly to announce a return to the Paris climate agreement, revoked a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and imposed a moratorium on oil and gas leasing on federal lands.
"We support the president's priorities," Wirth said, pointing specifically to the Paris climate agreement, methane regulation and global engagement on climate change. "We also agree that the future of energy is lower carbon."
But some of Biden's early actions "do raise concerns," he said, including the moratorium on leasing. "These executive orders...will not reduce demand. They may simply reduce taxes and jobs."
The White House has defended the impact on jobs by promising investments in clean energy that will create millions of union jobs.
The future of energy
Looking ahead, Wirth said Chevron plans to focus on three key areas: carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and renewable natural gas.
All three remain very small parts of its business, and Chevron barely mentions them in its most recent annual report.
Chevron has a pair of projects in Australia and in Canada focused on carbon capture and storage, a way to trap emissions before they harm the planet.
From Keystone XL to Paris Agreement, Joe Biden signals a shift away from fossil fuels
From Keystone XL to Paris Agreement, Joe Biden signals a shift away from fossil fuels
But current carbon-capture technologies are very expensive and much more investment is needed to move the needle. That's among the reasons global spending on carbon capture and storage spiked 212% in 2020, according to BloombergNEF's Energy Transition Trends report.
Chevron is already in the hydrogen business through its refineries, but not in a big enough way to save the planet. However, energy companies are plowing money into carbon free hydrogen, known as green hydrogen in the hope that eventually it can power factories, cars and even planes.
"It's currently expensive and not necessarily economical," Wirth said. "But there are reasons to believe that with further investments in technology and cost structures, we can make it much more competitive."
Chevron is also dipping its toes in renewable natural gas, a fuel produced naturally from bio sources like dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment facilities. For instance, the company is working with dairy farmers to slash methane emissions by capturing and cleaning it.
The question is which, if any, of these bets turns into a major moneymaker for Chevron. And whether the company finds an answer to that question before it's too late.

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53651)2/8/2021 10:03:51 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
1 Recommendation   of 55832
 
Negative interest rates and huge deficits are the new normal. What comes next?
By Charles Riley, CNN Business

Updated 12:17 PM ET, Mon February 8, 2021
A delivery worker rides along a street as snow continues to fall in Times Square on February 01, 2021 in New York City. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a State of Emergency as a Nor'Easter is expected to bring blizzard-like conditions with up to 18 inches of snow into the city. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Despite being part of the world's biggest single market, European Union countries have vaccinated only a tiny fraction of their populations compared with Israel, the US and Britain. Patience among the EU's 450 million citizens is wearing thin. CNN's Nina dos Santos reports.
Growing 'concern' in EU over slow Covid-19 vaccine rollouts
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - DECEMBER 08: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, President-elect Joe Biden's pick to head the Centers for Disease Control, speaks during a news conference at the Queen Theater December 08, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. With the novel coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage the country with daily records for infections and deaths, members of Biden's health team said they will make fighting COVID-19 the priority. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Biden's CDC director: Couldn't tell you how much vaccine we have

Covid-19 crisis creates 'new poor' throughout Italy
Joseph Palma, Unemployed airline worker
The transportation industry is still struggling to recover

Janet Yellen on Covid relief: 'Smartest thing we can do is act big'
Meredith Dodd hopes she can return to ministry, but she is not sure when.
How the pandemic disproportionately affects working moms
Go There - Taxi Drivers Pandemic_00063022.png
Yellow cabdrivers in New York are fighting to stay alive as the pandemic rages on

Is working from home the new normal?
A delivery worker rides along a street as snow continues to fall in Times Square on February 01, 2021 in New York City. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a State of Emergency as a Nor'Easter is expected to bring blizzard-like conditions with up to 18 inches of snow into the city. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)
Sluggish recovery: US economy adds 49,000 jobs in January

Food stamps offer a lifeline for millions of Americans
A pedestrian walks down El Paso Street, a major shopping area, on October 23, 2020 in downtown El Paso, Texas. - El Paso's downtown has always been reliant on shoppers from neighboring Ciudad Juarez, but the border closure to non-essential traffic from Mexico has hurt businesses, whose main clientele is Mexican shoppers. (Photo by Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images)
Another 779,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits

Vaccine manufacturer: Global harmonization of regulation is lacking

Commercial pilots blame pandemic downtime for in-flight mistakes
U.S. President Joe Biden signs executive actions in the Oval Office of the White House on January 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden signed a series of executive actions Thursday afternoon aimed at expanding access to health care, including re-opening enrollment for health care offered through the federal marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.
US economy saw worst year in 2020 since 1946

Evictions, job loss, hunger: Biden inherits an economic mess
Despite being part of the world's biggest single market, European Union countries have vaccinated only a tiny fraction of their populations compared with Israel, the US and Britain. Patience among the EU's 450 million citizens is wearing thin. CNN's Nina dos Santos reports.
Growing 'concern' in EU over slow Covid-19 vaccine rollouts
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE - DECEMBER 08: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, President-elect Joe Biden's pick to head the Centers for Disease Control, speaks during a news conference at the Queen Theater December 08, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. With the novel coronavirus pandemic continuing to ravage the country with daily records for infections and deaths, members of Biden's health team said they will make fighting COVID-19 the priority. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Biden's CDC director: Couldn't tell you how much vaccine we have

Covid-19 crisis creates 'new poor' throughout Italy
Joseph Palma, Unemployed airline worker
The transportation industry is still struggling to recover

Janet Yellen on Covid relief: 'Smartest thing we can do is act big'
Meredith Dodd hopes she can return to ministry, but she is not sure when.
How the pandemic disproportionately affects working moms
Go There - Taxi Drivers Pandemic_00063022.png
Yellow cabdrivers in New York are fighting to stay alive as the pandemic rages on

Is working from home the new normal?
A delivery worker rides along a street as snow continues to fall in Times Square on February 01, 2021 in New York City. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio declared a State of Emergency as a Nor'Easter is expected to bring blizzard-like conditions with up to 18 inches of snow into the city. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)
Sluggish recovery: US economy adds 49,000 jobs in January

Food stamps offer a lifeline for millions of Americans
A pedestrian walks down El Paso Street, a major shopping area, on October 23, 2020 in downtown El Paso, Texas. - El Paso's downtown has always been reliant on shoppers from neighboring Ciudad Juarez, but the border closure to non-essential traffic from Mexico has hurt businesses, whose main clientele is Mexican shoppers. (Photo by Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images)
Another 779,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits

Vaccine manufacturer: Global harmonization of regulation is lacking

Commercial pilots blame pandemic downtime for in-flight mistakes
U.S. President Joe Biden signs executive actions in the Oval Office of the White House on January 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden signed a series of executive actions Thursday afternoon aimed at expanding access to health care, including re-opening enrollment for health care offered through the federal marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act.
US economy saw worst year in 2020 since 1946

Evictions, job loss, hunger: Biden inherits an economic mess
Despite being part of the world's biggest single market, European Union countries have vaccinated only a tiny fraction of their populations compared with Israel, the US and Britain. Patience among the EU's 450 million citizens is wearing thin. CNN's Nina dos Santos reports.
Growing 'concern' in EU over slow Covid-19 vaccine rollouts
A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business' Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.
London (CNN Business)The pandemic is pushing economic policy to the limits. Governments around the world are running record budget deficits, and central banks are becoming addicted to easy money policies that would have been unthinkable two decades ago.

One big question: Can things ever go back to normal?
First, a bit of background: Over the past decade, the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, as well as central banks in Denmark, Switzerland and Sweden have experimented with negative interest rates. In other words, banks are being forced to pay to their park excess cash at the central bank.
US economy adds 49,000 jobs in January — a grim sign for the jobs recovery
US economy adds 49,000 jobs in January — a grim sign for the jobs recovery
Once unthinkable, negative interest rates are now accepted practice, even if they have a spotty record of achieving their stated policy goals. What's more, negative interest rates have become entrenched, with only Sweden managing to wean its economy off the stimulus and return rates to positive territory.
The pandemic has increased the need for monetary stimulus, and with further rate cuts off the table, central banks with negative rates have responded by buying huge numbers of bonds and other assets in order to support their economies. The US Federal Reserve and the Bank of England, which have long resisted negative interest rates, are now under huge pressure to follow the course set in Europe and Japan.
The Bank of England has flirted with going negative for some time. On Thursday, policymakers gave banks another six months to prepare for negative rates, while insisting they should not be seen as inevitable. In the end, the biggest output drop in centuries could force UK rates into negative territory, leaving the US Federal Reserve as the only major central bank to not take the plunge.
The pandemic is also stretching government spending the world over to its limits. The combined fiscal response totals 12% of global GDP, compared to 2% of global GDP following the 2008 financial crisis, according to Capital Economics. Stimulus spending helped push the US deficit for the 2020 fiscal year to $3.1 trillion, and the country's debt reached $27 trillion.
There are a couple reasons that most economists aren't too worried about deficits right now. The first is that government spending is needed to prevent economies from crashing even deeper into recession. The second is that low interest rates mean it's cheaper for governments to borrow in order to fund the stimulus measures.
Neil Shearing, group chief economist at Capital Economics, said that deficits become a problem when they stay elevated, either through continued high spending or substantially lower tax receipts. But the economy could recover relatively quickly once the pandemic has been vanquished. Looking even further ahead, low interest rates will help prevent public debt from spinning out of control.
Andrew Yang: How to pull American cities through the pandemic
Andrew Yang: How to pull American cities through the pandemic
"None of this is to say that some countries will not need to undergo a period of fiscal retrenchment once the pandemic passes. But most governments, particularly those whose central banks can stand behind their bond markets, have time to assess the scale of the damage and determine an appropriate response," said Shearing.
But there are still risks. The huge amount of stimulus unleashed by governments has obscured some of the economic trauma caused by the pandemic, especially in Europe, where job support programs have kept businesses afloat and workers employed. There's a chance that when the health crisis eases, and support is withdrawn, unemployment and bankruptcies will rise dramatically.
"If there's really large scale, long term damage to the productive potential of the economy, that's going to affect your ability to raise tax revenue in the future and your scope to run big deficits now is clearly lower the more permanent the damage," said David Miles, a professor of financial economics at Imperial College Business School.
In the face of mass unemployment and business failures, most governments have put deficit concerns to the side for now. The same is true of worries over monetary policy, suggesting that ultra-low interest rates are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
"A world in which unemployment is moving to a significantly higher level is probably one in which inflation pressures don't build up much at all, and that's a world in which central banks are not going to be hurrying into increasing interest rates," said Miles, who was a member of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England from 2009 to 2015.
One problem: Keeping interest rates low will limit the ability of central banks to respond to the next crisis, the same way the global financial crisis and the eurozone debt saga kept rates low ahead of the pandemic. But central bankers have to deal with the current crisis before entertaining a return to more conventional policy.
"You'd be cutting off your nose to spite your face if you think, 'well let's put interest rates up to 3% so that when things get even worse in the future, we can cut them down to zero,'" said Miles.
"You are going into the next problem, if such a thing happens, with limited ammunition on the monetary policy side, but that doesn't mean that there's an easy answer," he added.
The man who could shake up the gig economy
Marty Walsh may not seem like the person to overhaul the gig economy. He spent years advocating for construction workers and less time on the intricacies of on-demand work at billion-dollar tech companies.
But now Walsh, a former union leader and the outgoing Mayor of Boston, is on the cusp of becoming the next US Labor Secretary at a pivotal moment for the industry and the broader economy, reports my colleague Sara Ashley O'Brien.
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs as the health crisis created an economic crisis. And many turned to working with companies like Uber, Instacart, and DoorDash as a backstop for their livelihoods.
At the same time, these companies are pushing to defend a controversial business model, one in which they treat their workers as independent contractors rather than employees who would be entitled to traditional benefits and protections such as workers' compensation, unemployment insurance, family leave, sick leave, or the right to unionize.
"Right now we are at a crossroads," said Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based labor attorney who has been challenging Uber and Lyft over worker classification through various lawsuits for seven years. "If he rises to the challenge, Marty Walsh can have one of the biggest impacts on labor in this country since Frances Perkins," she said, referring to Franklin D. Roosevelt's Labor Secretary, who was the chief architect behind the New Deal.

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To: Johnny Canuck who wrote (53652)2/8/2021 10:04:39 PM
From: Johnny Canuck
1 Recommendation   of 55832
 
Global oil prices have fully recovered from the pandemic
Julia Horowitz byline
By Julia Horowitz, CNN Business

Updated 10:46 AM ET, Mon February 8, 2021
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Oil prices went negative. Here's why
Pump jacks draw crude oil from the Long Beach Oil Field near homes in Signal Hill, California, on March 9, 2020. - Global stocks and oil prices rebounded on March 10, 2020 on hopes of US economic stimulus efforts as the coronavirus rages, one day after suffering their biggest losses in more than a decade. Trading is exceptionally volatile as investors attempt to get a grip on a rapidly changing news flow, with positive reports of progress in China on the virus clashing with a Saudi decision to increase oil output in an already over-supplied market. (Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)
US oil prices fall below zero for the first time ever
The sun sets behind an idle pump jack near Karnes City, Texas, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Demand for oil continues to fall due to the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Global oil crisis: Bottom of the barrel is still unclear

What is carbon capture?
natural gas energy gec_00010408.jpg
Why natural gas has a role in the energy transition

This energy startup has made a solar breakthrough
378796 09: A pipeline carries oil September 20, 2000 at the Federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility known as Big Hill near Beaumont, Texas. It is one of four crude oil storage sites run by the U.S. government that could be tapped to ease the oil crisis. The Big Hill facility has 14 underground solution-mined storage caverns that have a combined storage capacity of 160 million barrels. The site has demonstrated the capability to deliver crude at 930,000 barrels per day. The Big Hill site is connected via a 25-mile, 36-inch pipeline to the Sun Marine Terminal and the Unocal Marine Terminal at Nederland, Texas. The pipeline also interconnects with the Texaco 20-inch pipeline system in Port Arthur, Texas. The reserve, created in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo, is intended to provide a stopgap in case of disruptions in oil imports. It has been used only once, during the Gulf War in 1991. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)
Why the US has a huge stash of emergency oil
An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran. (AP Photo/ISNA)
Why the Strait of Hormuz is so important for oil
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Biden revokes Keystone XL pipeline permit
HUAINAN, CHINA - JUNE 15: A Chinese farmer works his field next to a state owned coal fired power plant near the site of a large floating solar farm project under construction by the Sungrow Power Supply Company on a lake caused by a collapsed and flooded coal mine on June 15, 2017 in Huainan, Anhui province, China. The floating solar field, billed as the largest in the world, is built on a part of the collapsed Panji No.1 coal mine that flooded over a decade ago due to over-mining, a common occurence in deep-well mining in China's coal heartland. When finished, the solar farm will be made up of more than 166,000 solar panels which convert sunlight to energy, and the site could potentially produce enough energy to power a city in Anhui province, regarded as one of the country's coal centers. Local officials say they are planning more projects like it, marking a significant shift in an area where long-term intensive coal mining has led to large areas of subsidence and environmental degradation. However, the energy transition has its challenges, primarily competitive pressure from the deeply-established coal industry that has at times led to delays in connecting solar projects to the state grid. China's government says it will spend over US $360 billion on clean energy projects by 2020 to help shift the country away from a dependence on fossil fuels, and earlier this year, Beijing canceled plans to build more than 100 coal-fired plants in a bid to ease overcapacity and limit carbon emissions. Already, China is the leading producer of solar energy, but it also remains the planet's top emitter of greenhouse gases and accounts for about half of the world's total coal consumption. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
The Rockefeller Foundation -- founded on oil money -- is dropping fossil fuels

OPEC and Russia agree to boost oil output
A 2x2 grid split screen showing Donald Trump and Joe Biden and energy industry equipment.
The future of renewable energy could look very different under Biden

Inside the US shale crisis
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks at a "Detroit Homecoming" event September 18, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The purpose of the invitation-only event of Detroit expatriats is to give the group a chance to reconnect, reinvest and reinvent with their hometown. The topic of Buffet's conversation was, "Why I'm Bullish on Detroit." (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway buying natural gas assets

Renewable energy growth stalled by coronavirus

Oil prices went negative. Here's why
Pump jacks draw crude oil from the Long Beach Oil Field near homes in Signal Hill, California, on March 9, 2020. - Global stocks and oil prices rebounded on March 10, 2020 on hopes of US economic stimulus efforts as the coronavirus rages, one day after suffering their biggest losses in more than a decade. Trading is exceptionally volatile as investors attempt to get a grip on a rapidly changing news flow, with positive reports of progress in China on the virus clashing with a Saudi decision to increase oil output in an already over-supplied market. (Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Images)
US oil prices fall below zero for the first time ever
The sun sets behind an idle pump jack near Karnes City, Texas, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Demand for oil continues to fall due to the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Global oil crisis: Bottom of the barrel is still unclear

What is carbon capture?
natural gas energy gec_00010408.jpg
Why natural gas has a role in the energy transition

This energy startup has made a solar breakthrough
378796 09: A pipeline carries oil September 20, 2000 at the Federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility known as Big Hill near Beaumont, Texas. It is one of four crude oil storage sites run by the U.S. government that could be tapped to ease the oil crisis. The Big Hill facility has 14 underground solution-mined storage caverns that have a combined storage capacity of 160 million barrels. The site has demonstrated the capability to deliver crude at 930,000 barrels per day. The Big Hill site is connected via a 25-mile, 36-inch pipeline to the Sun Marine Terminal and the Unocal Marine Terminal at Nederland, Texas. The pipeline also interconnects with the Texaco 20-inch pipeline system in Port Arthur, Texas. The reserve, created in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo, is intended to provide a stopgap in case of disruptions in oil imports. It has been used only once, during the Gulf War in 1991. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)
Why the US has a huge stash of emergency oil
An oil tanker is on fire in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz were reportedly attacked on Thursday, an assault that left one ablaze and adrift as sailors were evacuated from both vessels and the U.S. Navy rushed to assist amid heightened tensions between Washington and Tehran. (AP Photo/ISNA)
Why the Strait of Hormuz is so important for oil
Miles of unused pipe, prepared for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, sit in a lot on October 14, 2014 outside Gascoyne, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Biden revokes Keystone XL pipeline permit
HUAINAN, CHINA - JUNE 15: A Chinese farmer works his field next to a state owned coal fired power plant near the site of a large floating solar farm project under construction by the Sungrow Power Supply Company on a lake caused by a collapsed and flooded coal mine on June 15, 2017 in Huainan, Anhui province, China. The floating solar field, billed as the largest in the world, is built on a part of the collapsed Panji No.1 coal mine that flooded over a decade ago due to over-mining, a common occurence in deep-well mining in China's coal heartland. When finished, the solar farm will be made up of more than 166,000 solar panels which convert sunlight to energy, and the site could potentially produce enough energy to power a city in Anhui province, regarded as one of the country's coal centers. Local officials say they are planning more projects like it, marking a significant shift in an area where long-term intensive coal mining has led to large areas of subsidence and environmental degradation. However, the energy transition has its challenges, primarily competitive pressure from the deeply-established coal industry that has at times led to delays in connecting solar projects to the state grid. China's government says it will spend over US $360 billion on clean energy projects by 2020 to help shift the country away from a dependence on fossil fuels, and earlier this year, Beijing canceled plans to build more than 100 coal-fired plants in a bid to ease overcapacity and limit carbon emissions. Already, China is the leading producer of solar energy, but it also remains the planet's top emitter of greenhouse gases and accounts for about half of the world's total coal consumption. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
The Rockefeller Foundation -- founded on oil money -- is dropping fossil fuels

OPEC and Russia agree to boost oil output
A 2x2 grid split screen showing Donald Trump and Joe Biden and energy industry equipment.
The future of renewable energy could look very different under Biden

Inside the US shale crisis
DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 18: Billionaire investor Warren Buffett speaks at a "Detroit Homecoming" event September 18, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The purpose of the invitation-only event of Detroit expatriats is to give the group a chance to reconnect, reinvest and reinvent with their hometown. The topic of Buffet's conversation was, "Why I'm Bullish on Detroit." (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway buying natural gas assets

Renewable energy growth stalled by coronavirus

Oil prices went negative. Here's why
A version of this story first appeared in CNN Business' Before the Bell newsletter. Not a subscriber? You can sign up right here.
London (CNN Business)After a rocky 12 months, oil prices — which got crushed when Covid-19 slashed demand for energy around the world — are roaring back.

What's happening: Brent crude futures, the global benchmark, have breached $60 per barrel, their highest level since January 2020.
The immediate catalyst appeared to be weekend remarks from President Joe Biden that the United States will not lift sanctions on Iran to get the country back to the negotiating table. But oil prices have been on the upswing for months thanks to optimism that coronavirus vaccines will unleash demand while producers avoid flooding the market with supply.

"With Covid-19 cases now declining in certain regions, including the US and the UK, there will be a glimmer of hope that the worst is now behind us, particularly as the rolling out of vaccinations picks up," ING commodities strategists Warren Patterson and Wenyu Yao said in a recent note to clients.
There are also meaningful signs of demand recovery in high-growth economies such as China, India and Brazil, UBS oil analyst Giovanni Staunovo told me.
The demand trajectory is definitely "pointing upwards," he said.
Meanwhile, producers are working hard to keep supply in check so there can continue to be a meaningful drawdown in inventories, which filled up last year.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies agreed to keep production broadly steady in February and March, while Saudi Arabia said it would voluntarily cut its production by 1 million barrels per day from January's levels.
Producers in the United States, for their part, are expected to need longer to get back up to speed.
"Investment activity has been relatively muted, and it will still take time to see a bigger impact," Staunovo said.
Taken together, this is good news for prices. The trend has supported the shares of oil companies like Exxon and Chevron since November.
That said: Such stocks remain well below where they were before the pandemic hit, underscoring the long road ahead.
If investors become worried that asset prices have moved too high, too fast, both stocks and oil prices could be put under pressure. And the demand forecast remains murky, especially as new coronavirus variants complicate back-to-normal timelines.
AstraZeneca said over the weekend that its Covid-19 vaccine showed limited protection against the variant first identified in South Africa. It's working to develop a new version that it could deploy this fall.
Remember: The International Energy Agency last month revised its forecast for 2021 global oil demand lower, citing "renewed lockdowns in a number of countries" that would weigh on fuel sales. Oil companies are also locked in a serious debate about whether demand can ever fully bounce back. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, the picture looks brighter, but with many unknowns.
Hyundai and Kia: We're not talking to Apple about a car deal
Shares of Hyundai (HYMTF) and Kia plunged Monday after the South Korean automakers said they were not in talks with Apple to develop self-driving cars, closing the door on weeks of speculation.
Hyundai and Kia say they are not talking to Apple about self-driving cars
Hyundai and Kia say they are not talking to Apple about self-driving cars
"We are not having talks with Apple about developing self-driving cars," Hyundai said in a statement.
The statement added that Hyundai has received requests from "numerous companies" about developing self-driving electric cars, but that "no decision has been made as we are in the beginning stage." Apple declined to comment, my CNN Business colleagues Jill Disis and Gawon Bae report.
The announcement jolted investors who had been betting on some kind of tie-up between the companies following news reports. Kia's stock plummeted nearly 15%, its worst day since at least 2001, according to data provider Refinitiv. The fall wiped $5.4 billion off its market value.
Hyundai's stock fell more than 6%, losing about $2.8 billion in market value.
Interest from Apple in South Korea's automakers made sense. Analysts have pointed out that Hyundai has been open to joining forces with tech firms. It already has partnerships with with Chinese search giant Baidu and US chipmaker Nvidia on autonomous driving, for example.
The big question: If Apple moves ahead with its car, prevailing wisdom is that it would opt to work with an experienced manufacturer. But who? Analysts have also floated Honda and Volkswagen as possible options, and attention may now turn in that direction.
Despite huge losses, US airlines are rolling in cash
The US airline industry just closed the books on the worst year in its history. But carriers still ended 2020 awash in cash, my CNN Business colleague Chris Isidore reports.
The nation's four largest airlines — American, Delta, United and Southwest — closed out last year with a collective $31.5 billion in cash on their balance sheets. That's up from $13 billion one year earlier, before the pandemic hit.
What gives: Though these airlines blew through $115 million a day over the course of the final nine months of 2020, easy borrowing has allowed them to shore up their finances.
Like a struggling family flooded with credit card offers, airlines have plenty of people on Wall Street eager to lend them money or help them raise funds from investors. Rock-bottom interest rates play a big role.
"The liquidity is at record levels," said Philip Baggaley, chief credit analyst for the airline industry at Standard & Poor's. "That's good, and it's one of the few strong points they have at this point."
In addition to selling bonds and taking out loans, airlines have mortgaged their planes, frequent flyer programs and other assets, and even sold additional shares of stock, an unusual move for an industry in crisis. Meanwhile, they've made deep cost cuts.
"I think the general feeling is they're wounded but they're going to make it," Baggaley said.

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