Will an autumn cool snap hike energy prices?

With much of the United States baking from a hotter-than-normal summer, odds are that not many people are worrying about what the coming winter holds. But the beginning of autumn is less than a month away, and an early cool snap across the northern tier of the country could be just around the corner. So now seems like a good time to check in on stockpiles of heating oil, propane and natural gas, and to hazard an educated guess about prices.

The Supply Picture

Here’s one forecast you can count on: There will be plenty of heating fuel to go around this winter. Stocks of heating oil, propane and natural gas are all higher than average, in part because last winter ended up milder than normal and left storage facilities well stocked when spring arrived.

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These cool new technologies will disrupt the smartphone market … again

This week, we’ll take a deep dive into the coming transformation of smartphones.

Smartphone innovation is far from over. A slew of amazing new features will be unveiled over the next five years. Packed with new chips, sensors and software, smartphones will take on new tasks and unleash a wave of money-making opportunities. The phones will do everything from serving as walkie-talkies to running advanced artificial intelligence apps.

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Trade Deficit Increases in Listless World Economy

Widening 4% in ’16, after a 6.2% increase in ’15

Weak global growth combined with a relatively strong U.S. dollar will drive the U.S. trade deficit up 4% this year, as American exporters struggle to stay competitive in key trading nations. The drag on exports is likely to continue into next year. Continue reading “Trade Deficit Increases in Listless World Economy”

Consumers Rev Up Spending

4% growth in ’16, compared with 4.8% in ’15 (excluding gas)

Feeling more confident about the economy, the job market and their own financial stability, shoppers dialed up spending in June. The third consecutive month of gains marks a strong end to the second quarter of 2016, though challenges remain as retailers grapple with changing industry trends—more online shopping, free shipping demands, etc. Continue reading “Consumers Rev Up Spending”

Brexit Vote Puts Damper on Interest Rates

10-year T-notes at 1.4% by end ’16

The vote by Britain to leave the European Union has completely changed the outlook for interest rates. Rates should stay low for an extended period of time as U.S. Treasury notes and bonds remain important safe haven investments in the face of uncertainty over growth in Europe and Japan.
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