Dow Jones Industrial Average Closes Above 20K for 1st Time

The Dow Jones industrial average hit a major milestone today, closing above 20,000 points for the first time.

Investors pushed stocks higher after strong earnings reports and the market continued to be buoyed by President Donald Trump’s vow to cut regulations for businesses and slash corporate tax rates.

The Dow gained 155.8 points to close out the trading session at 20,068.51. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite joined the Dow in closing at all-time highs.

The benchmark index has staged a remarkable comeback since losing almost half its value after the financial crisis in 2008.

The Dow has been flirting with the 20,000 mark for weeks and has continued to rally since Trump’s election in November.

After erupting in cheers at the crossing of the 20,000-point threshold during the market’s opening bell, some traders at the New York Stock Exchange also donned “Dow 20,000” hats to mark the occasion.

America’s 10 greatest factory tours

Who says America doesn’t make stuff anymore? From cars to coffee, hot sauce to jumbo jets, we’ve got ten great places to see how the proverbial sausage is made.

Ford Rouge Factory, Dearborn, MI

One of the most important sites in the history of the automobile, this city unto itself just ten minutes from downtown Detroit is where you’ll now find the F-150 pickup truck in production. Besides the chance to see the action on the factory floor below you, visitors are also given a crash course (through the magic of multimedia) in the history of the site, the Ford Motor Company and the industry at large. (Also check out the top of the building, the world’s largest green roof, at 10.4 acres.) All tours begin at the nearby Henry Ford museum complex, a destination unto itself.

Nearest airport: Detroit. Click here to see cheap flights.

Martin Guitar, Nazareth, PA

The choice of sensitive rockers everywhere was around long before rock ‘n’ roll was invented. Martin’s history of manufacturing some of the world’s greatest acoustic guitars begins back in the 1700s, when Christian Frederick Martin, Sr. left his German home at age 15 to apprentice with a Viennese guitar maker. Martin has been a presence in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley since 1833; one-hour tours of the plant are complimented by an on-site museum and a Pickin’ Parlor, where visitors are welcome to play high-end and limited edition models.

Nearest Airport: Allentown, PA. Click here to see cheap flights.

Intelligentsia Coffee, Chicago, IL

One of the most popular roasters in the country – now served in some of the most popular cafes and restaurants in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles – offers its fans (or just the merely curious) this easy-going and fun tour at their main roasting facility in the Windy City. You’ll learn the most correct, scientific methods for the perfect cup of coffee, find out how they go about finding the very best beans in countries you forgot existed, how to roast them correctly and – most importantly – you’ll get all the freshly-brewed coffee you can drink.

Nearest airport: Chicago. Click here for cheap flights.

Boeing, Everett, WA

Go inside the world’s largest building by volume – 472,000,000 cubic feet – for the chance to glimpse Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner in production, then head to the Future of Flight Aviation Center and get strapped into The Innovator, a seven-seat simulator that puts you in the cockpit for the ride of your life. Tip: The weak-stomached may want to sit this one out.

Nearest airport: Seattle. Click here for cheap flights.

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville, KY

You’ve seen them in the hands of countless baseball greats, here’s your chance to get right on the factory floor and see how the official bat of Major League Baseball is made. Each tour participant gets a mini-Slugger to take home as a souvenir; afterwards, stick around for the museum, a fun and informative look at the history of America’s best-known bat.

Harley-Davidson, Menomonee Falls, WI

It may not be the sexiest bit of the hog, but you can’t have a Harley without a proper powertrain, right? Visitors are welcomed in to observe operations at the 849,000 square-foot plant northwest of downtown Milwaukee, but that’s just one stop on the grand tour here in the hometown of the Harley. Make sure to pay a visit to the company’s fun and interactive downtown museum; also consider checking into the handsome, museum-adjacent Iron Horse Hotel, which has been the coolest place to stay in town ever since it opened a few years back.

Dogfish Head, Milton, DE

What was once a small Delaware brewery has grown to become one of the best on the East Coast. At heart, though, Dogfish Head is still the fun-loving little guy it was when it started out, so tours are casual and cool, samples are (but of course) offered. Make sure to check out the curious, on-premises Steampunk Treehouse, rescued from a recent Burning Man festival; this rather curious piece of functional sculpture is where the brewers are said to do their most creative thinking. If you didn’t get enough to drink on the tour, check out their popular brewpub and restaurant in nearby Rehoboth Beach.

Tabasco Factory, Avery Island, LA

That familiar smell fills the air as you drive on to 2,200-acre Avery Island; there’s no mistaking that you’ve arrived in the home of America’s favorite hot sauce. (Tip: A visit is highly recommended for those with blocked sinuses.) But a tour through Tabasco’s factory operation is just part of the experience here; the company-owned Jungle Gardens and Bird City – a beautiful, company-owned botanical garden and bird sanctuary, respectively – make a visit to the island a fun day out from either New Orleans or Cajun Country.

Mack Trucks, Macungie, PA

Are you an admirer of the mighty Mack? Put on your comfortable shoes and embark on a 1.5 mile walking tour of the famed truck’s mighty manufacturing plant.(At this location, you’ll see mostly construction vehicles being produced). Visitors to the site are also invited to visit the Mack Museum, featuring a wide range of vintage vehicles dating from the early 1900s up to 1979.

Airstream Factory, Jackson Center, OH

A tiny town set amid the central Ohio farmfields is the setting for the factory that produces those iconic silver travel trailers. It’s a pilgrimage site for owners, who bring their houses on wheels here to be serviced, camping out at the on-site RV park. Whether you’re curious about joining this elite group of nomads or not, the free, daily factory tour is good fun, even if just to see one of the country’s most stubbornly unchanged companies in action.

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and founder of the low-airfare listing site

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and founder of the low-airfare listing site

U.S. investors see more automation, not jobs, under Trump administration | Reuters

By David Randall


NEW YORK When U.S. President-elect Donald Trump criticized United Technologies Corp’s (UTX.N) Carrier unit in November for its plan to move some 800 jobs to Mexico, the parent-company made a swift decision to keep the factory in Indiana.

Yet, the move did not translate into saving jobs. Instead, the company decided it would move toward automation as a way to cut costs.

“We’re going to make up [the] $16 million investment in that factory in Indianapolis to automate, to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” chief executive Greg Hayes said on CNBC last month. “What that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.”

Swapping robots and software for human labor has underpinned much of the productivity gains in the United States over the last 25 years. Now, with a greater political push to keep factories at home, investors are betting that automation will gain speed in industries ranging from auto manufacturing to chicken processing to craft beer breweries.

The big winners so far include Rockwell Automation Inc (ROK.N), General Electric Co (GE.N) and Cognex Corp (CGNX.O), which have seen jumps in fund ownership of 80 percent or more in the current quarter compared with the previous quarter, according to a Reuters analysis of Morningstar data.

The ROBO Global Robotics and Automation Index ETF is up 7.5 percent since Election Day, or about 15 percent more than the S&P 500 index, after underperforming the broad market for the majority of last year. Its largest holdings include cleaning products maker iRobot Corp (IRBT.O), Japanese factory automation company Fanuc Corp< 6954.T>, and drone aircraft company AeroVironment Inc (AVAV.O).

But the push toward automation could also cut into the number of jobs saved or created in the United States, undercutting Trump’s boast in a news conference last Wednesday that he would be “the greatest jobs producer that God ever created.”


Declining costs of technology are expected to accelerate the growth of robotic manufacturing. Some 80 percent of companies that plan to cut jobs in the next year expect to partially replace workers with automation, according to a survey of chief executives by PwC released Monday.

At the same time, developments in fields ranging from barcodes to digital measurement tools are allowing companies to hire fewer workers and reduce the time it takes to bring their products to the market.

Brian Smoluch, a fund manager at the Portland, Oregon-based Hood River Small-Cap Growth fund (HRSMX.O), has been buying shares of Digimarc Corp (DMRC.O) because of its so-called invisible barcodes that speed up scanning of packages.

“If it takes a nanosecond to scan something, it allows a retailer to have fewer people at a checkout counter and makes self-checkout an easier proposition,” he said. That said, the $300 million market cap company is a “high-risk, high-reward stock” because its success depends on companies adopting its technology over rivals.

Eric Marshall, a fund manager at Dallas-based Hodges Capital, has been buying shares of digital measurement company FARO Technologies Inc (FARO.O) and kitchen equipment maker Middleby Corp (MIDD.O).

Faro, for instance, creates three-dimensional measuring tools used in aerospace and automotive manufacturing. Shares of the company are up 18.8 percent since Election Day, triple the 6.3 percent gain in the broad S&P 500 index.

Middleby, meanwhile, recently introduced robots which can prepare French fries as quickly as a human line cook, saving labor costs and improving reliability. Shares are up 12.8 percent since Election Day.

“As labor costs go up you’re going to see more automated kitchens within fast-casual restaurants, and Middleby is one of the key innovators in that industry,” Marshall said.


Republicans are likely to push tax policies that provide incentives to manufacture goods in the United States, regardless how the work is done, analysts say.

The result could be that there are more goods made at home, without a significant reduction in the unemployment rate, which is currently at 4.7 percent as of December.

“There could be a manufacturing renaissance in this country, but most of the work will be done by automation, with current workers retained to do value-added functions,” said Nicholas Heymann, analyst at William Blair who covers General Electric and expects it to be a boon to the company’s automation business.

For a graphic on Automation focused ETF vs the S&P 500 click here

(Reporting by David Randall; editing by Diane Craft)

Definition of Industrial by Merriam-Webster




: of or relating to industry : of or relating to factories, the people who work in factories, or the things made in factories

: having a developed industry : having factories that actively make a product

: coming from or used in industry : made or used in factories; also : stronger than most other products of its kind

Premarket Stock Trading – CNNMoney

Premarket Stock Trading – CNNMoney


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Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved

Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved – Dec. 8, 2016 by Chris Isidore   @CNNMoney December 9, 2016: 8:16 AM ET ‘;

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But that has a big down side for some of the workers in Indianapolis.

Most of that money will be invested in automation said to Greg Hayes, CEO of United Technologies, Carrier’s corporate parent. And that automation will replace some of the jobs that were just saved.

“We’re going to…automate to drive the cost down so that we can continue to be competitive,” he said on an interview on CNBC earlier this week. “Is it as cheap as moving to Mexico with lower cost labor? No. But we will make that plant competitive just because we’ll make the capital investments there. But what that ultimately means is there will be fewer jobs.”

The decision to keep Carrier’s furnace manufacturing operations in the U.S. instead of moving them to Mexico will save about 800 jobs out of the 1,400 at the plant, at least in the near term. The company declined to say how many of the plants 800 remaining jobs could be lost to automation, or when.

Related: Robots threaten these 8 jobs

The threat that automation poses to jobs a big concern for Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers union Local 1999, which represents the Carrier workers.

“Automation means less people,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day” on Thursday. “I think we’ll have a reduction of workforce at some point in time once they get all the automation in and up and running.”

Still, automation is the only way that a plant in Indiana that pays about $20 an hour can compete with Mexican plants where workers earn $3 an hour.

Related: Carrier to raise prices on furnaces and air conditioners

The number of U.S. manufacturing jobs in the U.S. has declined sharply thanks in large part to more efficient factories.

“You can’t just blame cheap labor [outside the U.S.],” said Dan Miklovic, principal analyst with LNS research. “Certainly many of the jobs that we’ve lost, especially in more sophisticated industries, it’s not so much that they’ve been offshored, but it has been automation that replaced them. We use a lot more robots to build cars.”

Related: The manufacturing boom Donald Trump ignores

All together, U.S. factories are actually producing more products today than they did in the post-World War II era, according to the Federal Reserve’s reading on manufacturing output. Output at U.S. factories is up 150% in last 40 years. But U.S. manufacturing jobs have plunged by more than 30% in that same period. And automation is a big reason why.

And it’s not a trend that’s going to end with Carrier or even with manufacturers.

A recent study by McKinsey & Co. said that 45% of the tasks that U.S. workers are currently paid to perform can be automated by existing technology. That represents about $2 trillion in annual wages.

CNNMoney (New York) First published December 8, 2016: 4:14 PM ET

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NMLS #1136

Industrials Sector |

March 1 A federal appeals court has thrown out a

jury verdict that had originally required Apple Inc to

pay $533 million to Smartflash LLC, a technology developer and

licenser that claimed Apple’s iTunes software infringed its data

storage patents.

BERLIN, March 1 The local government owner of

German airport Hahn has decided to sell the loss-making airport

in western Germany to acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA, it

said on Wednesday.

1:36pm EST

SAO PAULO, March 1 About 3,000 trucks carrying

soy beans are backed up on a major road to port through the

Amazon region that has become impassible due to swamps caused by

heavy rainfall, highway police said on Wednesday.

MUMBAI, March 1 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – India needs a

housing law that is rooted in human rights as bulging cities and

rising inequality make housing unaffordable for ever more

people, according to a United Nations official.

DCT Industrial Trust® to Present at Citi 2017 Global Property CEO Conference

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DCT Industrial Trust® (NYSE: DCT), a leading real estate

company, today announced that Philip L. Hawkins, President and Chief

Executive Officer, will present at the Citi 2017 Global Property CEO

Conference. The presentation is scheduled for 8:50 AM ET on Wednesday,

March 8, 2017. The presentation will be webcast live and will also be

available for replay on the Investor Relations section of the Company’s

website at

or at

The webcast replay will be available until June 4, 2017.


to Tweet: DCT to present at Citi 2017 Global Property CEO Conference

on March 8, 2017 Details at:


About DCT Industrial Trust®

DCT Industrial is a leading real estate company specializing in the

ownership, development, acquisition, leasing and management of

bulk-distribution and light-industrial properties in high-demand

distribution markets in the U.S. DCT’s actively-managed portfolio is

strategically located near population centers and well-positioned to

take advantage of market dynamics. As of December 31, 2016, the Company

owned interests in approximately 74.0 million square feet of properties

leased to approximately 900 customers. DCT maintains a Baa2 rating from

Moody’s Investors Service and a BBB from Standard & Poor’s Rating

Services. Additional information is available at


here to subscribe to Mobile Alerts for DCT Industrial.

Software And Robots Eat Jobs. Now What?

In a story for Vox Monday, Matt Yglesias argues that we shouldn’t be worried about losing our jobs to robots — or to any other kind of sophisticated tech that can do the work of a human. What should worry us, Yglesias suggests, is the possibility that this doesn’t happen.

To Ygelsias, the sluggish productivity gains in the American economy over the past 40 years or so are evidence that the impact of automation on jobs, past, present and future, is a “myth.”

If robots were taking our jobs, the productivity of the workers who still have jobs — the total amount of work that gets done divided by the total number of people who are employed — would be going up rapidly. But it’s not. It is rising, but it’s rising slower than it did in the past.

Yglesias cites the 2015 Economic Report of the President and the annual report from the Council of Economic Advisers, which do indeed show that labor productivity growth has tapered off. He suggests a number of policy changes for adapting to a world with less work, and those proposals are worth debating.

White House Council of Economic Advisors

But Yglesias is wrong to assert that 1) many professions have not been significantly affected by automation and 2) many more won’t be soon. He claims, for example, that for many people, advances in tech have only affected their day-to-day jobs in “relatively superficial ways”: 

These days people are perhaps more likely to book a reservation or order a takeout meal with an app rather than a phone call, but the core work of serving and preparing food has seen very little progress.

Well, maybe. But observe the touch screens in use at your local McDonald’s — or read Dr. Atul Gawande’s 2012 New Yorker story about how the Cheesecake Factory has standardized and modernized its food-prep practices — and you might come to a different conclusion about what technology has already wrought. Then, watch the video of a robot chef embedded below and think about what’s coming in the next few years.  

This machine isn’t just playing the role of a microwave jockey in a fast-food restaurant. It’s producing restaurant-quality fare. The robot chef in this video is a prototype, but technology of this kind could be on the market in just a couple of years, according to the BBC.

Soon, many restaurants will have screens that allow customers to order and pay for their food — which then may or may not be delivered by a human.

Food preparation and food service are just the beginning. Yglesias is right that “we still don’t have robot doctors who can treat patients in lieu of costly and inconvenient human ones.” We can assume that “Dr. Watson” will still be in the waiting room for a few years yet, although IBM’s efforts to apply its software to medicine continue.  

We can also assume, however, that there are many, many people who currently a) work in some kind of customer-service capacity and b) don’t make life-or-death decisions on a daily basis. It’s these kinds of jobs that are most at risk in the decade ahead.

Telemarketers, accountants and retail workers are at the bottom of this chart from The Economist that lists the odds (as calculated by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne, of the University of Oxford) that computerization will lead to job losses in various industries by 2023. Technical writers and real estate agents aren’t far behind.

The Economist

“The advances we’re seeing in artificial intelligence and machine learning will infiltrate the broader economy quickly,” MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee told The Huffington Post last week.

“We’ll see digital customer service representatives before much longer, answering complicated questions, doing troubleshooting and setting up appointments,” he said. “A lot of people make a living today by listening to other people, figuring out what they want and giving that to them. We have always needed a person throughout history for that work.” 

A Japanese hotel run by robots shows what’s already possible. E-discovery software helps law firms to quickly find what they need amid reams of documents — a task that might once have required a room of paralegals to accomplish. Algorithms provide financial advice. And although Yglesias’ position at Vox is probably safe, anyone who does commodity reporting on quarterly results should fear the software that produces financial journalism for the Associated Press. 

The impact of technological advancement on peoples’ job prospects will probably grow. Many (though not all) of the experts surveyed on the future of jobs by the Pew Internet and Life Project last year believe that artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation will imperil white-collar jobs, from media to medicine to finance to law, along with many aspects of the retail, hospitality and customer service industries.

The good news — as The Economist highlighted last year, and as Yglesias himself points out — is that technological innovations have historically delivered more jobs than they have destroyed. My bet, though, is that the wave of automation moving through the world right now is going to replace a lot of labor. That which can be automated will be. 

What we have less insight into is how well the people whose professions become obsolete due to advances in automation will be able to adapt. Detroit was ground zero for these kinds of challenges in the last century. While some kinds of retraining programs hold promise for displaced people, structural unemployment could be in the cards for a great many Americans — factory workers would be just the beginning. If self-driving trucks displace truckers, millions more could join the ranks of the disrupted. There’s a CVS in Washington, D.C. that I’ve been to, where one attendant watches over four automated checkers and provides customer support as needed. I predict we’re going to see a lot more of that kind of thing.

What should we do about the fact that soon, many more people could lose their jobs to automation? In 2012, I wrote about a useful innovation agenda for the next president of the United States. In less than two years, it will fall to someone other than President Barack Obama to grapple with more economic disruption. We should all wish him or her luck in leading the country to help those most affected.

Investment Opportunities in Automated Economy

When will the jobs return? That’s been the question in this glacially slow recovery.

The answer? Many of jobs won’t be coming back, and that’s painful news for all of us.

Job creation ebbed for years before the 2007-2008 recession and is likely to fall far short of what it was in previous decades.

Low consumer demand is one reason. Companies have no reason to hire if people aren’t buying their products, and recession-wracked Europe, our biggest consumer, isn’t consuming as much.

Yet there’s another reason for weak job creation that isn’t talked about as much. Automation, aided by new technologies, is increasingly replacing labor, changing workplaces and altering the economy in fundamental ways.

For evidence of this trend, just look around your house, your office (if you’re fortunate enough to have one) and the nearest shopping center.

o IPhones, iPads, and other devices are changing the way we shop, communicate and get news and information, disrupting old labor-intensive industries, such as newspapers and the U.S. Postal Service, while creating new ones that generally employ far fewer people.

o Online banking, brokerage and mortgages are increasingly making it easier for consumers to never set foot in a brick-and-mortar bank.

o Movie-downloading services such as Netflix and Redbox have hastened the demise of video stores.

o Self-checkout aisles at stores and gas stations have eliminated thousands of retail jobs.

Truck drivers’ jobs might soon be on the line too. Experiments with computer-driven vehicles have had vastly improved results in the past several years. In 2005, computer-driven cars could go only a few miles. Recently, Google-operated cars went thousands of miles without a mishap, and California Gov. Jerry Brown just signed a bill to allow them on the state’s highways.

As technology evolves at an ever-increasing rate, new jobs are created but not fast enough to replace the jobs that are disappearing. This is creating hardship for millions of Americans.

“At some point in the future — it might be many years or decades from now — machines will be able to do the jobs of a large percentage of the ‘average’ people in our population, and these people will not be able to find new jobs,” writes Martin Ford in his eye-opening book Lights in the Tunnel, which can be downloaded for free. This book details the challenges that we face and offers some possible solutions, including shorter work weeks, job sharing, and eliminating payroll taxes so employers have less incentive to replace workers.

David Autor, an economist at MIT, points out that the job market has been “hollowed out,” with the jobs in the middle — clerks, administrative positions, factory workers — disappearing. At the same time, high-wage jobs have been created in computer programming and biotech. Low-wage, automation-resistant jobs in such industries as food service and health care are doing just fine.

While government officials can and should worry about how to create more good-paying jobs, investors who have long suffered from a sideways stock market can profit by seeking out companies on the leading edge of the automation phenomenon.

Examples include Rockwell Automation, which makes industrial systems; Irobot, a maker of automated tools such as vacuum cleaners and floor washers; Aerovironoment, which manufactures unmanned aircraft and other vehicles, and NCR, a great example of an old-line firm that morphed from mechanical cash registers to ATMs and automated check-in systems.

Another approach to finding investment opportunities stemming from the automation trend is to look for stocks with high sales to employees. A recent survey by Bloomberg calls attention to some companies with high sales-to-employee ratios. Among them: Apple, eBay, Microsoft, Amgen and Google.

Every industrial revolution has been accompanied by new technology that underpins the innovations, and that is also fertile ground for investors seeking growth. Microchips, computer storage, optical drives, LCDs, fiber optics and nanotechnology are just a few of the innovations that are driving the new economy.

Green energy is another trend that’s here to stay. The list of these companies is long but worth investigating for investing ideas.

The good news is that the United States has enormous capacity to supply needed goods and services (with less labor than ever before, which means higher productivity). Jobs are being replaced, to be sure. However, every scenario that Ford envisions won’t necessarily come to pass. Innovators in the global and U.S. economies will doubtless find new ways to make money.

This could mean that today’s manufacturing jobs will be increasingly supplanted by more service jobs. For example, all of the new automation equipment will need servicing. One thing that seers of the high-tech future typically fail to envision is technology needs a lot of work to keep it running.

Whatever the future holds along these lines, investing in old-line firms that are labor intensive seems to be an increasingly bad bet. Such companies tend to be mature, which typically means low-growth potential and low investment returns. By focusing on high-revenue companies that harness automation, however, you’ll be looking to the future. And after all, investing is all about the future.

Yet it’s important to keep in mind that the future never unfolds as neatly as even the best seers predict — even when they’re basically right. The key is to keep abreast of economic developments to see new niches of investing opportunity developing as a result of the automation trend.

On a brighter economic note, this investment will spur general economic growth that, for all we now know, could ultimately produce new jobs in areas that now we can’t even conceive.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Ted Schwartz, a certified financial planner, is president and chief investment officer of Capstone Investment Financial Group. He advises individual investors and endowments, and serves as the adviser to CIFG UMA accounts. Because Schwartz has a background in psychology and counseling, he brings insights into personal motivation when advising clients on how to achieve their wealth management goals. Schwartz holds a B.A. from Duke University and an M.A. from Oregon State University. He can be reached at