Market Intelligence

Market Intelligence gives you a quick look at news and trends around the world that reflect four broad themes influencing today’s global marketplace. We call these themes The Infinite Loop.

Great American Companies / 11.17.17

Holiday Spending

Great American Companies / 11.17.17

Thanksgiving Weekend

Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving? Either way, holiday get-togethers always help the economy go 'round.

Innovation & Transformation / 11.14.17

An app for that

WeSki, launched this month by four ski buddies, allows groups to organize all-inclusive ski vacations that are customized to their needs and, the founders say, cheaper than packages offered by agents.

Raw Materials & Resources / 11.08.17

Too much of a good thing

Farmers have spent the past few years cutting their spending to cope with a global glut of crops. Now it’s commodity traders’ turn, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Raw Materials & Resources / 11.01.17

Australia digs lithium

Bloomberg reports that ground zero in the global scramble for lithium is a small patch of northern Australia’s iron-ore rich outback. There, work is accelerating to deliver the world’s next major lithium mines in order to feed soaring demand from electric vehicle battery makers.

Raw Materials & Resources / 10.23.17

Hurricanes batter orange and cotton crops

Bloomberg reports that Hurricane Irma, which dropped as much as 17 inches of rain on citrus-growing areas in Florida over a 24-hour period, made it impossible for farmers to reach their groves, resulting in destroyed trees and fruit dropping to the ground unharvested.

Global Rebalancing / 10.18.17

Japan’s new satellite

With its latest satellite launch, Japan is taking a leap in technology to keep its self-driving cars in their highway lanes and land delivery drones on matchbox-sized targets, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Innovation & Transformation / 10.10.17

Dyson enters the automobile business

Dyson, the U.K. company known for its vacuum cleaners and hand dryers, is entering the highly competitive electric vehicle market, reports Financial Times.

Raw Materials & Resources / 10.03.17

Soybean prices buoyed by strong U.S. exports and Brazil dryness

Soybean futures were poised for a fifth consecutive week of gains for the week ending Sept. 22, reports Reuters, based on strong demand and dry weather concerns in Brazil, the world’s leading exporter of soybeans.

Global Rebalancing / 10.02.17

MiFID to redraw investor research in EU

An overhaul of Eurozone financial-services rules going into effect next year will impact the way investors pay for analyst research, according to Bloomberg.

Global Rebalancing / 09.25.17

Japan and India seek to strengthen ties

Reuters reports that on Sept. 14, the leaders of India and Japan agreed to deepen defense ties and push for more cooperation with Australia and the United States, as they seek to counter growing Chinese influence across Asia.

Raw Materials & Resources / 09.25.17

China sends tungsten prices soaring

The price of one of the most critical materials for the Western world’s economy and defenses is spiking faster than any major commodity, reports Bloomberg.

Global Rebalancing / 09.20.17

Nonstop flights from Australia to New York?

For many years, executives at Australian carrier Qantas Airways Ltd. have coveted a nonstop offering from Sydney and Melbourne to London. Now, as technology has matured, Qantas executives finally see the potential to realize that dream, reports Bloomberg.

Innovation & Transformation / 09.18.17

Cryptocurrency comes to big finance

The Financial Times reports that six of the world’s biggest banks have joined a project to create a new form of digital cash that they hope to launch next year for clearing and settling financial transactions over blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin.

Global Rebalancing / 09.12.17

A group effort on transforming energy

Thirty-five countries, including the U.S., China and Russia, are collaborating on a project that could transform energy production, according to CNBC.

Raw Materials & Resources / 09.11.17

Minor metals, major impact

It’s turning out to be a great year for minor metals, reports Bloomberg.

Great American Companies / 09.06.17

Blowing in the wind

GE has announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Powering Australian Renewables Fund (PARF) to supply and install 123 wind turbines for what is set to be Australia's largest wind farm, reports CNBC.

Global Rebalancing / 08.30.17

Disputing NAFTA

The Wall Street Journal reports that talks to remake the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) started with an early dispute – over how to settle disputes.

Raw Materials & Resources / 08.28.17

Australian nickel operation suspended

According to Bloomberg, First Quantum Minerals Ltd., a Vancouver-based company, recently announced its decision to suspend the Ravensthorpe nickel operation in Western Australia after the metal used in stainless steel production missed a rally by everything from aluminum to zinc.

Global Rebalancing / 08.23.17

German Election 2017

After the recent populist upheavals, what can the upcoming German elections tell us about the next big shifts in geopolitics? Left versus right - or center versus extremes?

Innovation & Transformation / 08.23.17

Cellular healing in a fraction of the time

A new device known as tissue nanotransfection (TNT) has the potential to save the lives of car crash victims and deployed soldiers injured on site, reports USA Today.

Raw Materials & Resources / 08.21.17

Sweet tooth satisfaction

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced four sugar program adjustments aimed at increasing the U.S. sugar supply by 414,000 short tons, raw value, to ensure an adequate supply of raw sugar in the U.S. for the remainder of the current marketing year that ends Sept. 30, reports Food Business News.

Global Rebalancing / 08.16.17

Trouble for Venezuela crude?

New sanctions could be on the way for Venezuela’s oil industry as the country’s controversial president, Nicolas Maduro, retaliated against opposition leaders after prevailing in a disputed July referendum, according to MarketWatch.

Raw Materials & Resources / 08.14.17

Coffee trends revive African industry

Bloomberg reports that customers willing to pay a premium for African brews, known for their floral, fruity flavors, are driving purchases of coffee from the continent where the drink is said to have originated.

Global Rebalancing / 08.08.17

Fossil fuel phase-out

The U.K. will follow in the footsteps of some European countries as it announced plans to ban the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars by the year 2040, according to Green Car Reports.

Raw Materials & Resources / 08.07.17

A pork-free Germany?

The nation that gave the world bratwurst and hot dogs is cutting back on its favorite pork sausages and loading up plates with more veggie concoctions instead, according to Bloomberg.

Raw Materials & Resources / 07.26.17

Better with bacon

A national craving for bacon is pushing U.S. pork-belly prices to record highs, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Global Rebalancing / 07.26.17

Home away from home?

Foreign purchases of U.S. residential real estate surged to the highest level ever in terms of number of homes sold and dollar volume, reports CNBC.

Global Rebalancing / 07.25.17

New European defense partnership

France and Germany unveiled plans in July to develop a European fighter jet, burying past rivalries as part of a raft of measures to tighten defense and security cooperation, reports Reuters.

Raw Materials & Resources / 07.19.17

Power shift

Not long ago, coal provided 98% of the electricity for the pulp-and-paper mills and iron-ore producers around the western edge of Lake Superior, as well as the nearby city of Duluth, Minn. That was 2005. Today, coal use is plunging, and by 2025, it is expected to power just one-third of this region, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Great American Companies / 07.19.17

Baskin-Robbins takes on the ice cream man

It sounds messy, but Baskin-Robbins says it can do it – deliver ice cream in the heat of summer to customers’ front doors. According to Bloomberg, more than 600 Baskin-Robbins U.S. stores are now delivering scoops of ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes and cakes through DoorDash Inc.

Global Rebalancing / 07.18.17

Trade pact for Japan and European Union

Japan and the European Union (EU) agreed to a free trade pact on July 6, 2017, to create the world's biggest open economic area and signal resistance to what they see as U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist turn, reports Reuters.

Innovation & Transformation / 07.06.17

High-tech dashboards

Look at the instrument panel on a new car and one may find sleek digital gauges and multicolored screens. But a glimpse behind the dashboard could reveal what U.S. auto supplier Visteon Corp. found: a mess.

Global Rebalancing / 07.06.17

India’s e-commerce boom

On the Internet, nothing travels faster than a tip on how to score a bargain. And, according to Forbes, as online sales grow in India – and price-sensitive Indian consumers looking at ways to shave costs – Internet merchants are offering discounts to anyone willing to punch in a secret coupon code and sign up as a member on their sites.

Innovation & Transformation / 06.30.17

L.A. tunnel network closer to reality

Elon Musk said he is making progress on his ambitious tunneling plans for Los Angeles, according to Business Insider.

Global Rebalancing / 06.28.17

Foxconn eyes seven states for investment

The Wall Street Journal reports that Foxconn Technology Group, which assembles Apple iPhones in China, is looking at seven states in the American heartland where it would invest $10 billion or more to manufacture flat-panel screens and related equipment.

Raw Materials & Resources / 06.23.17

Coal – end of an era?

Production of coal dropped by a record amount in 2016, reports Bloomberg. China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, burned the least coal in six years and use dropped in the U.S to a level last seen in the 1970s.

Global Rebalancing / 06.21.17

A bite out of Apple?

According to the Wall Street Journal, the top player in Africa’s fast-growing smartphone market isn’t Apple or Samsung. It’s Transsion, an obscure Chinese manufacturer that won customers by offering handsets with features targeted to local markets.

Innovation & Transformation / 06.13.17

Creative energy

With the rise of green energy sources, the need for industrial-scale energy storage has become more vital. According the New York Times, technicians around the world have turned to a host of physical forces and states such as temperature, friction, gravity and inertia to keep energy locked up for later release.

Raw Materials & Resources / 06.13.17

Military metal in the flip of a switch

The U.S. could use an existing technology to produce all the specialized “high-purity” aluminum it needs for defense applications, seemingly with the flip of a switch, according to Bloomberg.

Innovation & Transformation / 06.07.17

Medicine, museums and particle accelerators

A new particle accelerator unveiled at CERN, the European physics research center, is expected to spawn portable accelerators that could help doctors treat cancer patients and experts analyze artwork, according to Reuters.

Global Rebalancing / 06.06.17

U.K. Election 2017

Polls predict the Tories will likely increase their majority in the upcoming U.K. general election, but the Conservative Party isn't taking anything for granted. The fate of Brexit negotiations is at stake.

Raw Materials & Resources / 06.05.17

India limiting sugar imports

India, the world’s biggest sugar consumer, has no plans to allow extra imports of the sweetener as stocks held in mills will suffice, reports Reuters.

Global Rebalancing / 06.01.17

An Australian Amazon?

Amazon is preparing to bring its full retail offering to Australia, according to the Wall Street Journal, signaling a major competitive threat to the country’s retailers and an important new beachhead for its global distribution network.

Innovation & Transformation / 05.03.17

Water ball-ttles

Small transparent spheres filled with natural or flavored water could help provide a solution to London's plastic waste problem, reports Reuters.

Global Rebalancing / 01.17.17

Japan dethrones China

According to Reuters, China will soon be dethroned by Japan as the top holder of U.S. government debt. Why? The Chinese central bank has been dipping into its foreign exchange reserves to support the yuan, while its Japanese counterpart has been content to allow the yen to weaken.

Great American Companies / 11.21.16

Your ‘stache means cash

Movember is the month to let facial hair grow, but is the razor industry feeling the burn? Get the hairy stats with our infographic.

Innovation & Transformation / 11.01.16

A new virtual payment platform

A blockchain platform developed by a group that includes more than 70 of the world's biggest financial institutions is making its code publicly available in what could become the industry standard for the nascent technology, according to Reuters.

Global Rebalancing / 10.18.16

An aging base

Japan's small firms, many of which are “mom-and-pop” operations, are dying out as their aging owners struggle to find successors, according to Reuters.

Global Rebalancing / 08.30.16

An Indian engineer shortage

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make in India” program, designed to bring more high-grade manufacturing to the subcontinent, is facing a labor shortage, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Global Rebalancing / 09.15.15

Iron Ore Woes

Indian Railways has slashed the cost of transporting iron ore exports for the first time since March of 2012, according to The Economic Times.

Raw Materials & Resources / 08.13.15

Shale, Propane and Fleets

Sales of propane-powered vehicles are on the rise in the U.S., according to Bloomberg. The increase is especially noticeable among companies that operate fleet vehicles that would normally be powered by diesel.

Innovation & Transformation / 06.09.15

Pregnant? There’s An App For That.

Doctors and would-be parents receiving in vitro fertilization (IVF) will soon have access to a new app to monitor the growth of embryos in a lab, according the Wall Street Journal. Typically, once IVF begins, a five-day incubation process is required for fertilized eggs. The app – still nameless – would allow parents to monitor the progress of the zygote.