- Draghi's German Problem May Fizzle as ECB Sticks to Its Plan. Mario Draghi’s German difficulty may be melting away with the change of seasons. The European Central Bank president had barely begun the New Year when a winter spike in consumer prices provoked resurgent calls in Europe’s biggest economy for a halt to his institution’s extraordinary stimulus. Now that spring is in the air, the surge has reversed with the biggest drop in Germany’s inflation rate since 2013, implying that one-off effects from energy have been masking underlying weakness -- just as Draghi and his colleagues had predicted.
- Oil Tops $50 as Kuwait Says OPEC in Talks for Meeting Consensus. (video) Futures in New York climbed as much as 1.1 percent. Kuwait and other countries support prolonging production cuts that are scheduled to expire in June, the Persian Gulf emirate’s Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq told state-run news agency KUNA. Prices rose yesterday after U.S. government data showed that gasoline inventories dropped more than expected, while refineries boosted the amount of crude they processed by the most in almost three years.
- Obamacare Stalwart Anthem(ANTM) Seen Likely to Retreat for 2018. (video) Anthem Inc. is likely to pull back from Obamacare’s individual insurance markets in a big way for next year, according to a report from analysts who said they met with the company, a move that could limit coverage options for consumers at a politically crucial time for the law. Anthem “is leaning toward exiting a high percentage of the 144 rating regions in which it currently participates,” Jefferies analysts David Windley and David Styblo said Thursday in a research note.
Wall Street Journal:
- Trump’s Border Wall: A Tall Order. Outside of one sector, much of the border is already fenced, or has few crossings.
- Fracking 2.0: Shale Drillers Pioneer New Ways to Profit in Era of Cheap Oil. Texas producer EOG has led the industry in finding ways to extract oil faster and less expensively from shale. If more can follow its lead and ramp up output even at lower prices, the sector could become a lasting force that challenges OPEC’s ability to control market prices.
- Q4 GDP Revised Higher To 2.1% As Consumers Splurge On "Foreign Travel And Recreation Services". (graph)
- McDonald's(MCD) is making a huge change to its burgers that franchisees aren't going to be happy about.