Inside Finance - September 6th, 2019

Inside Finance (Sep 6th, 2019)

Hong Kong's "Cash Run" Explained / Tyson Buys Into Fake Shrimp / Report: CannTrust Bought From Black Market

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1. While the Dow has been solidly green for most of the day, the Nasdaq spent most of the morning fluctuating between lossess and gains. At last check, however, the Nasdaq was up 0.15, while the S&P 500 was up 0.26 percent and the Dow was up 0.43 percent. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is making headlines today for what some would argue is stating the obvious: "uncertainty around trade policy is causing some companies to hold back now on investment." WeWork has also been in the financial news crosshairs this week after there were reports about concerns about valuation and the potential abandonment of its IPO. – CNN

2. The latest monthly jobs numbers delivered a mixed bag of news to economists. Most everyone can find both something to celebrate and complain about. Unemployment remained steadily low at 3.7 percent, and wages ticked up 3.2 percent year-over-year. The U.S. economy added 130,000 jobs, which isn't bad, but it missed analyst expectations by nearly 30,000 jobs. It's also below the year-to-date average of 165,000 jobs per month, and below 2018's average of 223,000. One weird quirk to the numbers: 25,000 of the new jobs were thanks to the federal government staffing up ahead of the 2020 census. That trend is expected to continue over the next few months. – FORBES

3. Today's #FollowFriday highlights John Huber, whose wisdom-filled Twitter feed sees surprisingly few followers. Huber is a portfolio manager for Saber Capital Management, which follows a value investment strategy in the mold of Warren Buffet. Huber even wrote up some thoughts on Buffett when his predictions about Sears manifested last year. You'll find other think pieces from Huber on the site, including his bold call on Facebook—which he thinks is significantly undervalued in spite of all the controversy.

Huber shares his latest writings on Twitter, but he also amplifies pieces of wisdom that he reads from others. You may even find some economic and business advice in places you won't expect it. For example, Huber thinks the New England Patriots can teach all business owners something about the value of job security. – @JohnHuber72

4. Big changes may be in store for the home finance industry after the Trump administration unveiled its plan to change the rules governing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The White House says the government should have only a limited role in housing finance, and its plan would privatize the companies. Fannie and Freddie have been controlled by the government since the 2008 financial crisis, making this the administration's latest 2008-era rollback, alongside changes to Dodd-Frank and the Volcker Rule. However, this latest proposal hasn't yet had any effect, and some analysts think President Trump would have to win in 2020 for the plan to actually become law. Fannie and Freddie stock prices are down by double-digit percentages following the news. – NPR

5. Tyson Foods, the world's second-largest meat producer, is no stranger to the alternative meat market, and it's making more moves in the emerging sector this week. The company's venture capital arm announced an investment in the San Francisco-based startup New Wave Foods. Unlike Beyond and Impossible, which became famous for its plant-based burgers, New Wave Foods is trying to corner the market of plant-based seafood alternatives. Its primary product is a shrimp alternative made from seaweed and plant proteins. Back in June, Tyson launched its own plant-based chicken nugget-style product. Before that, it owned nearly seven percent of Beyond Meat, but it cashed out on its investment before Beyond went public. – TECHCRUNCH

6. Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have employed many innovative protest tactics, including one called a "cash run." CNN did a great explainer this week on what exactly a cash run is, along with some context on China's currency stability and the banks that operate in Hong Kong. – CNN

7. General Electric snapped a winning streak on what would have been its seventh session this morning. GE hasn't been able to crack a six-day winning streak for more than three years. Six days is still pretty impressive for a company that drew the ire of a famous accounting whistleblower just last month. – MARKETWATCH

8. Speaking of troubled stocks, Canadian cannabis producer CannTrust is in hot water today—again. A report claims internal documents reveal the company used black market seeds in its production rooms, which later hit the legal market. You don't want to be the company that let black market weed slip into stores. – BNN BLOOMBERG

9. A stock price dip for Zoom today is leaving some analysts scratching their heads. The company, fresh off a successful IPO earlier this year, released its latest quarterly report last night, which beat expectations and raised outlooks for the next report. – THE STREET

10. Foreign companies are stockpiling cash, despite low (and some negative) interest rates. Here in the U.S., "economic uncertainty" mostly conjures ideas of the trade war, but in Europe, the potential impact of Brexit is just as nerve-wracking—if not more so. Companies in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are holding onto $1.2 trillion. That's 15 percent more than the cash on hand last year. – MARKETWATCH

Schuyler Durham writes Inside Finance. He’s a lifelong Portlander who got his start covering the local music scene, but later became enamored with the complexities of financial and political reporting. After three years in broadcast news, he's now diving back into the digital realm. You can keep up with his writing on Twitter at @SchuylerWriter or watch him goof around on Instagram at @bitterbuddha.

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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