Wednesday, May 15

ByKevin Sheekey

Climate of Hope: Shares of Sustainable Energy Companies Soaring. Not So Much for Oil, Gas and Coal. (Bloomberg Opinion – Matt Winkler)
Fossil fuel never had a better friend in the White House than Donald Trump. Two years into his presidency, investors are favoring public companies devoted to renewable energy and giving the Bronx cheer to the coal, gas and oil crowd.

Energy efficiency or clean technology company shares have returned 50% since Trump’s first day in the Oval Office. And the U.S. Department of Energy statistics says “more workers directly employed by the clean energy industry than by the fossil fuel industry.”

Fossil fuel has been a rare loser in the stock market: Since January 2017, the seven coal-engaged firms in the Russell 3000 Coal Index depreciated more than 6%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Breaking EV News: In Shift to Electric Bus, It’s China Ahead of U.S 421,000 to 300 (Bloomberg)
Out of nearly 425,000 e-buses worldwide at the end of 2018, some 421,000 were in China. The global e-bus fleet grew about 32% in 2018, according to a BloombergNEF report released today, with the vast majority hitting the road in China. Europe had only 2,250 electric buses.

Cities Lead: London, Boston and Sydney Among Cities Leading Global Efforts to Combat Global Warming (Bloomberg)
Often able to move faster than their national counterparts, metropolitan authorities from London to Sydney and Boston are among a group of 15 cities setting out the most rigorous plans to achieve carbon or climate neutrality by 2050. Reykjavik is already running 100% on renewables.

The Death of Coal:
-The World’s Last Coal Plant Will Soon Be Built
(Bloomberg Opinion – David Fickling)
More generators were closed last year than approved, for possibly the first time since the 19th century.
-The Other Coal Fight: With Billions at Stake, U.S. Utilities Fight Coal-Ash Costs to Drain Toxic Waste Ponds (Bloomberg)

Recession Forecast: DoubleLine’s Jeffrey Gundlach Says Weakness Appearing in U.S. Economic Indicators – Odds of Recession in 24 Months ‘Extremely High’ (Bloomberg)

Hot on the Bloomberg: U.S. Factory Output Falls a Third Time in Four Months in April (Bloomberg)

Car Trouble: U.S. Retail Sales Unexpectedly Fall Amid Weak Auto Purchases (Bloomberg)

First on the Bloomberg: White House Poised to Delay Auto Tariffs Amid EU, Japan Trade Talks (Bloomberg)

Trade War Impact: Trump’s China Tariffs Hit America’s Poor and Working Class the Hardest (Bloomberg)

Opinion: China, North Korea and Iran have Figured Trump Out (Washington Post – David Ignatius)
Key line: In each confrontation, the White House has maximum goals without a clearly discernible strategy for achieving them.

Today in Finance: ‘Flash Boys’ Exchange IEX Backs Regulator in Data Fees Fight (Financial Times – subscription)
Prices charged by the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq are under scrutiny. The two dominant stock exchanges charge up to 1,500 per cent more than the cost of producing the data, IEX said, when compared with its own data costs. IEX was joined by similar support from Bloomberg which argued the monopolistic market for exchange data hurts investors.

Combating Online Hate: Jacinda Ardern and Emmanuel Macron Host Paris Summit Against Online Extremism (France 24)
World leaders and leading tech chiefs are gathering today to launch the “Christchurch call” aimed at curbing extremism online. King Abdullah II, Justin Trudeau, Theresa May and Jean-Claude Juncker are there.

Health Progress: Under Philly Soda Tax, Sugary Drink Sales at Chain Stores Plunged by 51 Percent (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Today in Prevention News: One Third of Dementia Cases Preventable – Exercise, Not Vitamin Pills, Among Top Ways to Prevent Dementia
(Associated Press)

Arts Boom! Monet Landscape Painting Sets $111 Million Record in 8-Minute Bidding War at Sotheby’s New York (Bloomberg)
Painted in 1890, “Les Meules,” from the artist’s series featuring haystacks, had been estimated to sell at $55 million. Watch Bloomberg reporter Katya Kazakina’s video from the auction where it took just over 8 minutes for the painting to climb more than $50M in value.


Best of late night.

“Today was Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 35th birthday. And if you’re wondering what he wants: your personal data.”
— Seth Meyers

On President Trump referring to 2020 democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg as “Alfred E. Neuman,” the mascot of MAD magazine.

“You know, we talk a lot about elevating the dialogue…I’m glad I inspired him to make a literary reference possibly for the first time.”
— Pete Buttigieg to Jimmy Fallon

On White House national economic adviser Larry Kudlow requesting media use the phrase “trade negotiation” instead of “trade war” in references to trade tensions between the U.S. and China:

“No, you can’t. Nice try, though. I know why you want to change it, because it makes it seem less dangerous. There’s a reason no one went to see ‘Avengers: Infinity Negotiation.’”
— Stephen Colbert

For more Best of Late Night from the New York Times, click here.