GilmerFreePress.net

U.S. Market Weekly Summary - Week Ending 03.22.2019

The Free Press WV

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slipped 0.8% this week as a sharp drop in the financial sector, along with declines in materials, industrials, health-care and communication-services stocks, outweighed gains across the index’s remaining six sectors.

The market benchmark ended the week at 2,800.71, down from last week’s closing level of 2,822.48.

The index had been in the black versus last Friday’s close as of Thursday’s closing level of 2,854.88, but a 1.9% Friday drop that marked the S&P 500’s biggest one-day slide since January pulled it into the red for the week as weaker-than-expected manufacturing data reignited investors’ worries about the strength of the global economy.

The financial sector had the largest percentage drop off the week, down 4.8%, followed by a 2.0% decline in materials. On the upside, the consumer-discretionary sector had the largest percentage gain of the week, up 1.2%.

Regional banks led the financial sector’s weekly decline, with Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB) tumbling 13% while Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) fell 11% and Regions Financial (RF) and KeyCorp (KEY) shed 14% each.

The materials sector’s decliners included Eastman Chemical (EMN), whose shares fell 4.5% this week in a continued drop following the news last Friday that the chemical and plastics manufacturer is being forced to cut costs and its workforce amid lower demand for its products.

On the upside, the consumer-discretionary sector’s gainers included Advance Auto Parts (AAP), whose shares rose 6.4% as Evercore ISI initiated coverage of the automotive-aftermarket-parts provider’s stock at outperform.

The consumer-discretionary sector was also boosted by a 3.1% weekly gain in the shares of Amazon.com (AMZN), which also received new coverage this week from Evercore ISI at an investment rating of outperform.

EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION – DECEMBER 2018

The Free Press WV

Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.32 per hour worked in December 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Wages and salaries averaged $24.91 per hour worked and accounted for 68.6 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.41 and accounted for the remaining 31.4 percent.

Total employer compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $50.55 per hour worked in December 2018. Wages and salaries averaged $31.59 per hour worked and accounted for 62.5 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $18.96 and accounted for the remaining 37.5 percent. For benefit costs by category, insurance and retirement and savings costs both averaged $5.95 per hour worked or 11.8 percent of total compensation, and paid leave costs averaged $3.79 per hour worked for 7.5 percent of total compensation.

Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $34.05 per hour worked in December 2018. Wages and salaries averaged $23.85 per hour worked and accounted for 70.0 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $10.20 and accounted for 30.0 percent. For benefit costs by category, insurance benefits costs averaged $2.71 or 8.0 percent and legally required benefits costs averaged $2.64 per hour worked or 7.7 percent.

Highlights of supplemental pay costs in private industry:

Supplemental pay includes employer costs for employee nonproduction bonuses, overtime and premium pay, and shift differentials. Nonproduction bonuses such as holiday bonuses and cash profit sharing are given at the discretion of the employer and are not tied to a production formula. Overtime and premium pay includes pay for work in addition to the regular work schedule. Shift differentials are extra payments for working a non-traditional work schedule. 

•  Supplemental pay costs for private industry workers averaged $1.09 per hour worked or 3.2 percent of total compensation.

•  Supplemental pay costs by major occupational group ranged from 35 cents per hour worked for service workers to $2.05 per hour worked for management, professional, and related workers.

•  Costs for supplemental pay by bargaining status averaged $1.05 for nonunion workers and $1.56 for union workers.

•  Costs for supplemental pay by census region averaged $1.04 in the West, $1.05 in the South, $1.07 in the Midwest, and $1.28 in the Northeast.

•  Supplemental pay costs by establishment employment size ranged from 68 cents for establishments with 1 to 99 workers to $1.59 for 100 workers or more

•  Supplemental pay costs for part-time workers were 30 cents and $1.36 for full-time workers.

•  Private industry employers spent an average of 8 cents per hour worked or 0.2 percent of total compensation on shift differentials and 29 cents per hour worked or 0.9 percent of total compensation on overtime and premium pay.

•  Private industry employers spent an average of 72 cents per hour worked or 2.1 percent of total compensation on nonproduction bonuses. Costs for nonproduction bonuses by major industry group ranged from 11 cents for leisure and hospitality to $2.32 for information industry workers.

This Will Soon Be the Last Blockbuster in the World

The Free Press WV

Pretty soon there will be only one spot left to rent a Blockbuster video: Bend, Ore. Bend’s Blockbuster location, the subject of a documentary in the works, will be the last one standing when Australia’s Blockbuster in the Perth suburb of Morley closes its doors at the end of the month. “We’ve always known that there’s a time limit,“ owner Lyn Borszeky tells Vice. “Even with ... all the publicity we’ve gotten from being the last Blockbuster in Australia, it hasn’t been enough to keep us going.“ Before online streaming services began to dominate, Blockbuster had a whopping 9,000 locations worldwide. After the company went bankrupt, only franchised stores remained open after 2014, and one by one they, too, have closed. In fact, the closures of two Alaska locations last summer gave Bend’s Blockbuster the title of last in the country.

Since then, business has been booming, with tourists visiting from as far away as Taiwan, per the Oregonian. “We probably open up 10 accounts a day. It’s crazy the amount of people that come in and want a Blockbuster card,“ general manager Sandi Harding tells the outlet. Still, “I wondered which one of us was going to hold out the longest,“ she says of her store and the Perth store. Noting the Australian location previously saw “about 25 new members a week,“ Borszeky predicts Harding will soon be closing up shop, too. But “I think we are good for a while,“ the manager tells the Oregonian, noting visitors are keen to pick up locally-made Blockbuster T-shirts, stickers, and magnets. They can also see various outfits worn by actor Russell Crowe, plus other Crowe memorabilia inherited from one of the closed Alaska stores.

Behold: The Most Expensive Car in History

The Free Press WV

Folks of ordinary income can’t afford to own a Bugatti, but even some millionaires would not be able to own this Bugatti. The French automaker unveiled “La Voiture Noire” on Tuesday, and at $12.5 million, it has the distinction of being the most expensive new car in history, reports Fortune. The company made only one, and it has already sold to an unnamed buyer, though CNBC cites industry reports that identify him as Volkswagen Group chief Ferdinand Piech. (Volkswagen now owns Bugatti.) After taxes are factored in, CBS News reports that the final cost is actually closer to $18.9 million.

Bugatti made the vehicle—the name translates to “The Black Car”—to mark the company’s 110th anniversary and unveiled it at the Geneva International Motor Show. So how fast can the “hypercar” go? That’s unclear, but it’s based on a different Bugatti model that reaches speeds up to 261mph. Jalopnik has more on the specs: “It has a hand-built carbon fiber body and the same bonkers quad-turbo 8.0-liter W16 engine as the Chiron and Divo, rated at about 1,500 horsepower.“ No shots of the interior were provided.

Click Below for More Financial News...

Page 1 of 544 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »



The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVIII The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved