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Market Morning: US Steel Trouble, Amazon Self Ships, Starliner Fails, American Goes Non-Binary

ME Staff

So Much For Steel Tariffs

U.S. Steel Corp. (NYSE:X) is going through some hard times. The company announced Thursday afternoon that it isn’t doing too well, and the Trump tariffs on steel imports haven’t helped at all. It will slash its dividend 80% to a penny per quarter and stop repurchasing its own stock, lay off workers and cut down on operations. It reported a loss of $1.15 a share, almost double the 62 cents a share consensus. Suspensions of operations focusing on Detroit will begin in April. 1,545 workers are facing potential layoffs. Meanwhile, President Trump announced that he will bring back tariffs on steel coming from Brazil and Argentina. Tariffs were originally put in place March 2018, and rescinded in May 2019. They haven’t helped much while they were in place. Shares are down close to 11% as of Friday’s close.

Amazon Becomes its Own Best Shipping Friend

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is now its own biggest carrier after breaking off its relationship with FedEx (NYSE:FDX) and UPS (NYSE:UPS). Amazon’s internal shipping is responsible for 2.5 billion packages annually just in the United States. FedEx ships 3 billion, and UPS 4.7 billion, these figures according to estimates from Morgan Stanley. If Amazon becomes its own exclusive shipper, this could translate to a loss of about $65 billion for UPS, FedEx, and the US Postal Service, which is for all intents and purposes already bankrupt, except that the latter is always first in line to get taxpayer bailouts. “Amazon’s transportation network is built on a foundation of 20 years of operations and logistics experience, an unwavering commitment to safety, technological innovation, and talented teams who are obsessed with delivering for our customers,” Amazon Worldwide Operations Senior Vice President Dave Clark said. Everyone was excited about its unwavering commitment. If Amazon is going to go its own way on shipping, it will have to shape up its shipping until it’s in ship shape.

So Much For Boeing’s Space Redemption From 737 Debacle

Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) Starliner was all set to put Boeing on the path to partial redemption, at least insofar as it would have marked an impressive success for a company beleaguered by failure since the Lion Air crash of October 2018. Unfortunately, the Starliner couldn’t climb high enough into orbit to reach the International Space Station, which it was supposed to dock with to the delight of the mannequin crew, and the actual human crew on the ISS as well, who would have gotten a bunch of presents to lighten their mood for being out of planet during the holidays. That was not to be, but fortunately for Boeing, the Starliner landed successfully in the desert in New Mexico, so at least they won’t have to replace it and they have the landing down. Air pressure and temperature were stable inside the capsule, so at least the mannequin is alright and didn’t get too uncomfortable. The problem ended up being the timer, which was 11 hours off and so the Starliner burned fuel too quickly. No word on why the timer was off by 11 hours.

American Airlines Rushes To Accommodate The Non Binary

If you’re not in to the whole binary gender boy/girl thing these days, American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) may be just your ticket to wherever it is that you want to fly as a non-binary gendered person. American is now the second airline to accommodate the non-binarily gendered, those who do not identify with being pigeonholed into the whole male/female duopolistic oligarchical patriarchy-matriarchy. “Taking care of our customers and team members is what we do, and we are glad to be able to better accommodate the gender preferences of our travelers and team members,” he added. The impetus to making this move though wasn’t entirely in the spirit of accommodating the gender preferences of non-binary travelers. New state-issued IDs with a third or fourth gender category were messing with their computer systems, which operate on a binary system. It’s sort of like Y2K all over again, except this time it’s Y2.019G. Fox Business had the scoop on what really went down. “We have to comply with regulations on the new IDs in our systems, we are getting error messages when we scan or enter in the ID information. It was causing system issues, especially for those traveling internationally,” a source within the airline told Fox.

Brexit Bill Passes, Finally

The European Withdrawal Bill has passed the House of Commons. The deal that was cooked up between Boris Johnson and the European Union, which the latter vowed never to amend but then amended, has finally passed through Parliament now that Johnson has a strong decisive majority to get bills passed. Unfortunately, it needs to be passed again, because that’s politics. The vote was 358 for to 234 against. The Ayes Have It. The bill will now take a backseat to the holiday season, and will be brought up again next year to be debated by both Houses, Lords and Commons. If it passes again, which it is expected to do, the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on January 31. But then we’ll begin negotiations on a trade deal, which, if not secured by December 31, will mean a de facto no deal Brexit. The possibility of no deal transpiring seems remote at this point.

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