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Morning Commentary

Resolve Meets Real Disappointments

By Charles Payne, CEO & Principal Analyst
4/19/2017 9:56 AM
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You know, sometimes tough sessions for the market can mask important messages of resolve that matter the most for long-term investors. While anxiety is reflected in the third triple-digit session in a row, there continue to be signs of resolve such as the Dow Industrial Average coming off the session low twice.

The index could not overcome major losses in Goldman Sachs (GS) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), the number 1 and number 9 heaviest weighted names in the index. After the close, International Business Machines Corp (IBM) saw revenues decline for the twentieth consecutive quarter, sending the stock off a cliff – it’s the fourth most impactful name in the Blue-Chip Index.


America First

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Snap-on Incorporated

On Tuesday of this week, Snap-on will host President Donald J. Trump and other members of his Administration. We view his visit as an encouraging development in highlighting the essential nature of American manufacturing to our nation’s future.

The capability of the American middle class to make things and keep them running has been at the base of our nation’s strength since its founding. From our perspective, we believe the President’s visit emphasizes the need to nurture such manufacturing strength. We are today in a global competition for jobs. And, the best way to make America successful in this environment is to arm our people with the technical capabilities that enable them to win that global contest for prosperity.

The upskilling of the American workforce is the seminal issue of our time. We must refocus on technical education, restore our respect for the dignity of work, and celebrate technical jobs not as the consolation prize of our society, but as what they really are – a national calling essential to our ongoing prosperity.

-Nicholas T. Pinchuk    


President Trump’s ‘Buy American and Hire American’ Executive Order covers several areas beyond H1-B visas, including our procurement program that has been far more generous in opportunities to foreign companies than they have been to American companies.

U.S. Government Accountability (GAO) 2010 data

Then there is protecting American steel makers by making sure federal projects are using steel that’s melted and poured in the United States, not just finished as many other parts of modern factories that are more akin to assembly plants than old-school manufacturing.

This is very important; the executive order states that each agency conducts a comprehensive ‘Buy American’ assessment and performance review, including ways to strengthen ‘Buy American.’

Trump has appointed Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, to review all the agency findings and to submit a report within 220-days. There may be an action that requires legislative approval as the timing of the message is critical.

Americans must have pride and must be trained for so-called ‘new collar’ jobs that include operating machines and tools as much as high-tech skills. This is another reason why Snap-on Manufacturing Company was chosen because technical skills’ training is a special initiative for the company (see sidebar).

The ‘America First’ theme helped the Russell 2000 eke out a small gain as all the other major equity indices finished lower on yesterday.

While resolve is great, the stock market bias shifted to the downside; stocks can get hit on good news, and they can get crushed on bad news and be a disaster. This is important to remember for your portfolio; you will want to sell losers - do not allow the last three months alone, or Wall Street’s knee-jerk reaction, to be the rationale for closing a position at a loss. 

The flip side of this, of course, is that companies that are clearly executing, growing their businesses and margins, are to be considered if they sell-off with the broad market.

Instead of "reforming" the 75,000 page tax law, just change the one page of corporate tax rates and one page of individual tax rates.

Leave the rest untouched FOR NOW.

Al M. on 4/19/2017 12:19:54 PM
Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that the labor unions here in the U.S. led a campaign of "Buy American" not long ago? At SOME point, there were those of us who felt this "push" to BUY AMERICAN was a simple effort by the labor bosses to keep their employees working, which certainly caused a degree of resistance to overall success of this movement. NOW, we see our Commander In Chief attempting to lead the nation in a similar movement. Will IT be any MORE successful that the FIRST campaign especially seeing as the "drive by" media are pointing out that "Trump should do as he SAYS and NOT as he DOES," which in my humble opinion sticks a thorn in the side of ANY effort to get Americans to purchase American-made products. My rating of ANY of the major TV networks (other than FOX) has dropped to ZERO and I don't think my desire to secure news and information from CBS, ABC, NBC, CNBC OR MSN IS going to recover any time soon!

James Warlin on 4/19/2017 12:26:11 PM
Using H1B visa is wildly used by American companies. I worked in the early 2000 for an O&G engineering firm in Houston Texas. This engineering company had an office in India; these Indians employees had at list one year seniority. As such these Indians employees qualified for a 3 month H1B visa to work in the home office in Houston. They were given an airfare round trip ticket, a per dim to cover their expenses in Houston and the company rented an apartment near the office they could stay at. Transportation was available; the company rented 1 rental car for 4 H1B employees. Their salary was that of India, 16% of our US salaries. After 3 month they would go back to India and they were replaced by new H1B Indian employees.
The reason given by the company in order to qualify for H1B visa was: Training these Indian employees to company practice. In Houston there were no classes for these foreign employees, they were draftsman and junior engineers doing the every day work.
My salary was $5,000 per month and these Indian employees was $300 Indian salary, plus $400 per dim, plus 4 per apartment $150 per month per employee, plus rental car $200 per employee, plus the airfare $1,000 round trip, or $2050 per month per employee. Less than half my salary and the all H1B expenses tax deductible!
I can see the reasoning for having H1B visa but the qualifications have to be tighten, and I mean a lot?

Philippe on 4/19/2017 5:14:38 PM

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