Here’s a brief update on this week’s stock market performance from LOM Financial : Read more:
Markets rallied strongly last week, with the MSCI World index gaining 2.86% and the S&P 500 gaining 2.95%.
The Brexit endgame is coming more into focus. Last week, the British Parliament passed the Spelman/Dromay amendment by a vote of 312 to 308. The amendment was a non-binding ruling to prevent a hard Brexit under any circumstances. Perhaps paradoxically, Prime Minister May whipped her party to vote against this amendment. Her rationale appears to have been to force the issue of the Parliament agreeing terms on the exit. While there is talk of putting the terms of an orderly exit up for another vote, it appears unlikely the vote would go through since the deal has not changed materially and there is less incentive for voters to change their position.
This brings us to the March 29th Brexit deadline. Britain is likely to request an extension to their exit as they attempt to come to an agreement on the exit terms with the EU. This would require the EU countries to unanimously agree to allow Britain to extend their membership, something Nigel Farage has been lobbying that they reject. If they were to reject an extension, Britain would default into a hard Brexit. The likelihood of that occurring are low but non-trivial. The more likely outcome would be an extension, which presents certain challenges since an extension beyond July 1st would mean Britain would be required to participate in the European Parliament election. At this point, it is unclear what a short extension would accomplish as Parliament is resolutely against the proposed terms. While the whole ordeal is rather taxing, the prospects of entering a hard Brexit have diminished (a good thing). JP Morgan was suggesting a 10% likelihood of a hard Brexit.
Boeing 737 Max
More headwinds facing Boeing as their 737 Max have been grounded in most developed countries. This is a major hit to the company, which was set to deliver over 5000 of the planes. A surprise move in which the FAA reversed an earlier position that the planes were airworthy, causing the company to continue to fall. Boeing is now facing an investigation by the Department of Transportation in to whether enough vetting had taken place prior to the 737 Max release.
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