U.S. producer prices rise 10%, reinforcing Fed’s rate-hike path. The data reflect the biggest monthly gain in the price of goods in data back to 2009, with two-thirds of the increase due to energy. Food prices were also up. It’s the latest indication of rapid inflation in the U.S., and prices are poised to accelerate further after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent prices of some raw materials to new highs.
Oil prices tumble to $95 a barrel, on Ukraine hopes, China lockdowns. Hopes for a diplomatic solution in Ukraine continued to weigh on oil prices Tuesday, along with COVID-19 lockdowns in China, pushing prices of both Brent and U.S. crude down to levels not seen in two weeks. In addition, India has said that it is willing to buy Russian oil, which has become considerably cheaper because Western buyers are refusing to purchase it.
Housing markets reached a new peak in February. The top-performing real estate markets in February reached a peak median price: $562,000, according to an analysis by realtor.com®. That marks a 43% jump over last month’s national median list price of $392,000, also a record high. Manchester, N.H., remained the top-performing housing market in the country in February. The city has a median list price of $439,900. Read more here.
Tesla is raising prices on its electric vehicles for the second time in a week. Last week, Tesla said it raised prices on certain models in the U.S. by $1,000, and some Model 3 and Model Y vehicles made in China by more than $1,500. Now, it seems rising commodity prices and other inflationary pressures are bringing another price increase. Commodities including nickel, used in EV batteries, have been on the rise recently.
Companies face more production issues. Chip backorders are increasing caused by the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Meanwhile, there have been new massive Covid lockdowns in China. The new lockdowns are again impacting all kinds of raw materials as the conflict in Ukraine causes shortages in neon and palladium. The auto industry is being hit the hardest. Automakers have opted to sell cars with missing car features to compensate. Source(44:09)
Covid is not done disrupting the global supply chain. 50 million people are in lockdown in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Home of some of the world's largest ports. Shenzhen had 66 new cases of Covid last Sunday that prompted a lockdown. A key Apple supplier Foxconn for iPhones shut down its operations. Source(23:02)
WHAT TO WATCH
Intel plans an $18.7 billion German mega factory in European push. Intel Corp. pledged to invest to build a cutting-edge semiconductor production site in Germany, marking the beginning of Europe’s ambitious attempt to lure global chipmakers back to the region. The company has committed to spending 33 billion euros in a number of European countries, part of a plan to devote 80 billion euros to the region over the next decade.
Amazon is investing more than $250 million for affordable housing in Washington state. The housing projects will be created in partnership with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) and Sound Transit. Amazon committed $300 million to build "transit-oriented" affordable housing in 2021, with homes located in the company's headquarters of Washington state's Puget Sound region; the Arlington, Va region; and Nashville.
VW and Goldman Sachs-backed Northvolt plans German gigafactory. Northvolt said Tuesday it would look to build a gigafactory in Germany, with the firm hoping the facility’s first batteries will be produced in 2025. Construction of facilities focused on EV batteries comes at a time when some major economies are looking to move away from vehicles based on gasoline and diesel. Read more here.
Goldman sees a 30% upside in this fertilizer stock from the Russia-Ukraine agricultural shock. Mosaic will see huge gains ahead because of material fertilizer shortages from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, according to the firm. Analyst Adam Samuelson noted disruptions to fertilizer components will result in steep price increases to production costs in the food and agriculture sector. Read more here.
Mercedes accelerates Electric SUV rollout with Alabama plant. The company is opening a battery facility in Alabama this week as it broadens its electric rollout with two new luxury SUVs, the company’s latest move to challenge Tesla Inc.’s grip on battery-powered cars in the U.S. The German carmaker, which aims to go fully electric by the end of the decade, will make lithium-ion batteries at the new Bibb County plant.
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