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Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.
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MLPs in the Days of Cheap Oil (Wealth Management) As oil prices plummeted, master limited partnerships were among the investments caught in the crossfire. Now are MLPs bargains—or value traps? The answer is "Yes"! Read to find out why. More discussion on oil in the members' only section today.
Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world
Allan critiques three main targets: intense centralisation of decision-making to senior bureaucratic management; counting research grants as a far more important arbiter of academic quality than publishing academic papers; and students working while doing their degrees. I've seen these problems develop over a long timeframe.
Post Royal Dutch Shell $70 Billion Deal: Here's Where Investors Should Look To Find The Stock Market's Next Buyout Bonanza (Trang Ho, Forbes) M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activity has reached a level in 1Q 2015 which is larger in dollar value than any first quarter since 2007.
U.S. Oil Prices Rise to 2015 High (Nicole Friedman, The Wall Street Journal)
The benchmark U.S. oil price jumped to a 2015 high on Tuesday, on fresh signs the nation’s production is on the brink of a decline. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude-oil output, which hit a 42-year high in March, would peak in April and May before falling from June to September. Although the number of active drilling rigs has declined by 45% in 2015, both the EIA and Goldman Sachs expect U.S. crude-oil production to recover somewhat in the fourth quarter of the year, as oil companies continue to reap efficiency gains. The EIA expects U.S. output to average 9.2 million barrels a day this year, up from 8.7 million barrels a day in 2014, a 6% gain. See following articles.
Exxon Mobil Should Be On Your Radar As A Dividend Growth Investor (Alan Lee, Regarded Solutions, Seeking Alpha) The price strength in crude futures (previous article) is not reflected in the spot price (up 9% for Brent and unchanged for WTI vs. 01 January, first graph below). And it is also not reflected in the share price of the largest publicly traded oil giant, Exxon Mobil (down more than 7% in 2015, second graph below). Lee says NYSE:XOM is still a good dividend growth play as the company has had consistently increasing dividends and a declining payout ratio trend over the past 25 years.
Oil dives 6 percent from 2015 high as stocks swell, Saudis pump (Robert Gibbons, Reuters) The articles above were published Tuesday. This was Wednesday's news. See next article for Thursday's (today) oil news.
Oil up on Iran, German data, but strong dollar curbs rise (Reuters) This year oil prices are more changeable than the weather. Here is today's oil news:
Crude Oil Futures - May 15 (Investing.com) Data is for the May WTI Futures contract: One month (first chart), three months (second chart) and one year (third chart).
Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea
For Americans, Science and Religion Are Largely Compatible (Boston Review)
Most Important Metric for Dividend Seekers (Financial Planning) Actually this characteristic is also very important for growth, but many people don't pay attention to it.
Scontras: The Laws of Economics Apply to Healthcare Too (Maine Wire) The argument is that healthcare is no different than any other resource that is limited by the finite nature of the universe and the laws of economics that govern scarce resources. Econintersect: This is a fallacious: There is nothing about the universe that limits the amount of health care in the same way that minerals, oil or land is limited. Yet many economists make the error of thinking of it in the same way.
Why Your Wages Could Be Depressed for a Lot Longer Than You Think (Bloomberg) Even with a pickup in economic growth, weak productivity and other forces may hold down wage gains in the future. We will discuss this more ion days to come.
U.S. jobless claims data point to strengthening labor market (Reuters) See several articles on GEI blogs about the employment situation.
1 in 3 Older Workers Likely toBe Poor or Near Poor in Retirement (Time Money) One underlying cause of the larger number of impoverished retirees is a sharp decline in employer-sponsored retirement plans over the past 15 years.
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