J.P. Morgan strategist: ‘This economy will slow’ in mid-2019 or 2020

  • The 9-year bull market will likely end in mid-2019 or 2020, says J.P. Morgan strategist David Kelly.
  • “We got all this sugar rush of fiscal stimulus right now,” he says. “But it’s a sugar rush.”
  • Kelly recommends international stocks for long-term investing.

The party might be over soon for the 9-year-long bull market, J.P. Morgan strategist David Kelly told CNBC.

“This economy will slow [in the] second half of 2019, 2020,” Kelly, who is chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Asset Management, said Wednesday on “Power Lunch.”

After President Donald Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 last December — slashing the corporate tax rate nearly in half — rising economic activity seemed to have no end in sight.

“Fiscal policy is sort of at its maximum accelerated right now,” Kelly said.

In fact, unemployment rates have fallen to an 18-year historic low of 3.8 percent, and U.S. nonfarm payrolls added 223,000 — far more than economists anticipated — during the last jobs report in May.

Even escalating trade tensions and higher oil prices haven’t stopped the Dow Jones industrial average, a major indicator of economic activity, from setting record highs, now holding steady above the 25,000 mark.

But Kelly said these effects are “probably temporary.”

“We got all this sugar rush of fiscal stimulus right now,” he said. “But it’s a sugar rush.”

While Kelly said present earnings are “wonderful,” he also said his firm does not expect continued earnings growth.

Investors, he said, “appreciate just how much money companies are making this year. I just think we really need to recognize that the earnings are being front-loaded here.”

He pointed out that equity investing is “all about future earnings growth.”

“Right now the U.S. is leading the world,” he said.

But, he said, “When the rest of the world catches up, I expect international stocks to outperform U.S. stocks over the next few years.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a rate hike of its benchmark short-term interest rate a quarter percentage point to a new range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent. The bank also indicated that further rate hikes will likely be ahead for a total of four rate hikes this year, compared with three rate hikes in the prior 12-month period.

The central bank’s rate hikes have long been viewed as a way for the Fed to slow economic growth before the economy overheats.

Kelly said the rate hikes are a positive sign and that it is important for the Fed to get the economy “back to neutral pretty fast” so it doesn’t overheat.

“But we don’t want to be too aggressive here because we know monetary policy works with a lag,” he said.

Inflation is another key ingredient in recessions. While fewer people out of work is a good thing, it also means companies have higher payroll expenses. That often leads to companies raising prices. More rate hikes could lead to inflation.

During Wednesday’s Fed announcement, the committee indicated that core inflation should reach the Fed’s 2 percent target by the end of the year.

On “Closing Bell” Wednesday, former Wells Fargo CEO Richard Kovacevich said, “the Fed’s obsession with the 2-percent inflation” is a “huge mistake.”

Kovacevich pointed out that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell “admits that there’s been very little increase in wages.”

Wages have increased — up 2.6 percent in April year over year. But that number is still lower than the previous 12-month period where wage growth increased 2.7 percent.

“We’re now in a situation where there’s been a huge reduction in discretionary income with the consumer,” he said.

Less consumer spending can also lead to a recession.

Instead of talking about 2-percent inflation, Kovacevich said, “we should be talking about stable inflation.”

“I don’t think they should be trying to inflate the economy,” he added.

Still, Kovacevich said “times are reasonably good.”

“If we continue to reduce regulations and keep taxes low and keep inflation controlled, there is no reason why this expansion can’t continue,” he said.

The Fed anticipates that the economy will also continue on its current accelerated trajectory: The Fed anticipates economic growth to hit 2.8 percent for the full year and unemployment to fall to 3.6 percent.

A recession may not be imminent, but Kelly said there are some things investors can do to protect their portfolios in the meantime.

While he said it was “fashionable” to pull back from international stocks at present, he also said market watchers should consider international stocks as a long-term investment.

“If I was going to be very tactical, I would be overweight U.S.,” he said. “I would certainly be level weight U.S. relative to international right now.”

“But long-term, I’d want to have a little bit more of an overweight toward international, as the rest of the world will grow faster in the long run than we do, both in terms of economic growth and earnings,” Kelly said.


Source: CNBC


BMW Group Plans Additive Manufacturing Campus


The BMW Group is to invest more than €10 million in a new Additive Manufacturing Campus. Located in Oberschleissheim, just north of Munich, the facility will allow the company to continue developing its expertise in this field of work.

Udo Hänle, Head of Production Integration and Pilot Plant: “Our new Additive Manufacturing Campus will concentrate the full spectrum of the BMW Group’s 3D printing expertise at a single location. This will allow us to test new technologies early on and continue developing our pioneering role.”

Jens Ertel, Head of the BMW Group’s Additive Manufacturing Center and the future campus director, adds: “Our new facility will be a major milestone in additive manufacturing at the BMW Group. The team there will evaluate new and existing technologies in both plastics and metals printing and develop them to series maturity. Our goal is to provide the optimum technology and process chain, be it for individual components, small production runs or even large-scale manufacturing.”

Within the BMW Group production network, the new Additive Manufacturing Campus will foster the latest technologies in this field in much the same way as a pilot plant and make them available for use within the network. Much of the work carried out there will focus on parts manufacturing for prototype construction, series production and customised solutions. The Additive Manufacturing Campus will also act as an interdisciplinary training and project area, for instance for development engineers. Located in an existing building with a footprint of over 6,000 square metres, it will accommodate up to 80 associates and over 30 industrial systems for metals and plastics. It is scheduled to go on stream in early 2019.

Major potential in series production for customised vehicle components

Additive manufacturing is an integral part of the BMW Group production system and harbours significant potential for series production. Most recently it has been used to generate parts for the BMW i8 Roadster. Jens Ertel: “With the BMW i8 Roadster, the BMW Group became the first carmaker to 3D-print a production run of several thousand metal parts. The component concerned is a fixture in the tonneau cover for the soft-top.” Made of aluminium alloy, the printed item is lighter than the normal injection-moulded equivalent but significantly more rigid. Its ‘bionic’ geometry, inspired by forms found in nature, was optimised for 3D printing purposes.

Additive manufacturing is also gaining importance for customised components. The new MINI Yours Customised programme, for example, allows customers to design certain components themselves. Indicator inlays and dashboard trim strips, for instance, can be 3D-printed to their precise specifications.

Decentralising manufacturing – production follows the market

The BMW Group expects that, with time, it will become possible to produce components directly where they are ultimately needed – an idea that harbours tremendous potential. Jens Ertel: “The 3D printers that are currently operating across our production network represent a first step towards local part production. We are already using additive manufacturing to make prototype components on location in Spartanburg (US), Shenyang (China) and Rayong (Thailand). Going forward, we could well imagine integrating it more fully into local production structures to allow small production runs, country-specific editions and customisable components – provided it represents a profitable solution.” This would make additive manufacturing a useful addition to existing production technologies.

Investments through BMW i Ventures

For the BMW Group, investments in start-ups have proved promising not only in strategic but also in commercial terms. In addition, they represent a sustainable strategic value add.

In September 2016, for example, the BMW Group’s venture capital arm, BMW i Ventures, invested in the Silicon Valley-based company Carbon, whose DLS (digital light synthesis) printing technology was a breakthrough in the production of parts with high-quality surfaces. The technique allows significantly larger areas to be processed more rapidly than would otherwise be possible with conventional selective 3D printing. Carbon and the BMW Group have been partners since 2015.

A further investment in additive manufacturing came in February 2017, this time in the

start-up Desktop Metal. Desktop Metal specialises in the additive manufacturing of metal components and has developed highly productive and innovative methodologies. It now works closely with the Additive Manufacturing Centre at the BMW Group.

In June 2017 the BMW Group invested in a company called Xometry, which works in the supply chain industry. Xometry is a web-based platform that networks suppliers and manufacturers from different sectors with each other. Pilot projects are already underway in a range of areas including spare parts manufacturing.

Cooperations with innovative partners such as these aim to speed up the adoption of additive manufacturing technologies.

Digital production methods for vehicle development and manufacturing

Thanks to its tremendous scope for the rapid manufacture of quality parts of almost any geometry, additive manufacturing has been in use in the construction of concept cars at the BMW Group since 1991. Components are realised purely using digital data,

eliminating the need for classic tools such as press tools and injection moulds. At present, the technology is most commonly used for small production runs of customised and often highly complex components.


Source: Foundry-Suppliers.Com

Exporting security solutions to Singapore

20849Lancashire-based ATG Access (www.atgaccess.com), which makes bollards, road blockers and vehicle barrier systems, has expanded its footprint in Singapore after completing a series of security projects there.

The company has been exporting perimeter security equipment to the Singapore market for nearly 10 years, with the latest project helping to make its elite shopping street — Orchard Road — more secure.

This involved a few challenges, particularly as an underground canal meant that there was limited installation depth for any security measures.

ATG’s shallow-mount security bollards were used, having been designed with a foundation requirement of just 176mm.

The Orchard Road project comes shortly after ATG completed work to secure the Mapletree Business City in Singapore, and it has recently undertaken contracts to protect the American Club and Jurong Island.

ATG has recently celebrated 10 years of global success and has signed partnerships with three new global partners as part of its ambitious growth plans to expand further internationally.

Sales and marketing director Gavin Hepburn said: “Singapore is currently investing heavily in protecting its national infrastructure and key urban areas, in light of the global security threat. We’ve been working there for a number of years, and it has now become one of our main exporting areas.”



Source: https://www.machinery-market.co.uk/news/20849


Egret Technology became a prominent player in the HTML5 gaming market in 2014 and has managed to create an entire development kit ever since, integrating a community of more than two hundred thousand developers. According to official data, Egret’s products are used on one billion devices. The company also has the largest HTML5 gaming platform with more than 65,000 games and 40 million monthly active users.

Recently Egret became a strategic partner of the Egretia project, targeted at making blockchain a solution to boost the further growth of the HTML5 gaming industry.

Egretia is devoted to creating the world’s first complete HTML5 blockchain engine and development kit. The platform will use its own Egreten token for transactions. Other core elements of the Egretia ecosystem include a distributed communications and storage platform, a global distribution platform, virtual goods trading platform, and an advertising platform. Egretia will also establish an incubator to support game development teams and individuals.



Egretia has created its own public chain to implement into Egret’s existing development suite.

The Egretia platform utilizes the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus mechanism to optimize HTML5 game performance. DPoS helps achieve higher processing power. Moreover, Egretia allows for the dynamic adjustment of parameters like block size, output speed, and handling fees through the consensus voting method.

Egretia offers a software development kit (SDK) with engine and tools, which will allow HTML5 games to “easily” access the blockchain. With the help of Know Your Customer (KYC) certification, users’ key information will be stored in the blockchain. It also provides data storage, data communication, and authentication services, gives access to the digital wallet, and allows creating a smart contract.

The Egretia blockchain uses the Egreten token for all transactions and payments.


The Egreten token has different functions. It is intended for buying in-game items and for paying for content by users. They also get Egreten as a reward through participating in crowdfunding of games on Egretia.

Developers can use tokens to promote their products. Alternatively, distributors can receive Egreten through content distribution and advertising.

To store Egreten tokens, Egretia claims it will introduce a digital wallet on each user’s unique token passport. There will be PC, mobile, and browser versions of the wallet introduced.


HTML5 games connect the in-game virtual goods to the trading platform via the Egretia SDK. Using the platform players can sell virtual goods of a certain game in exchange for Egreten, as well as buy items. For blockchain traceability, traders can view historical transaction records of virtual goods at any time.


As an Egretia representative says, their platform gives “broad” opportunities for advertising after KYC principles.

Developers may launch promotion campaigns on the Egretia platform, paying with Egreten. They may also integrate advertisements in their content through Egretia SDK to gain additional Egreten. In turn, developers use tokens to promote their apps among users.

Players earn Egreten tokens by forwarding ads.


Egretia brings blockchain to the broad Egret game platform with more than 40 million monthly active users. Each player gets a unique ID by KYC when playing all the games on the platform. Users get a certain amount of Egreten tokens depending on the duration of play and level of experience. Game developers get Egreten by operating games.

To attract new players, developers can independently release tasks encouraging players to spread games and receive Egreten tokens as a reward for completing goals.


HTML5 games connect the in-game virtual goods to the trading platform via the Egretia SDK. Using the platform players can sell virtual goods of a certain game in exchange for Egreten, as well as buy items. For blockchain traceability, traders can view historical transaction records of virtual goods at any time.


As an Egretia representative says, their platform gives “broad” opportunities for advertising after KYC principles.

Developers may launch promotion campaigns on the Egretia platform, paying with Egreten. They may also integrate advertisements in their content through Egretia SDK to gain additional Egreten. In turn, developers use tokens to promote their apps among users.

Players earn Egreten tokens by forwarding ads.


Egretia brings blockchain to the broad Egret game platform with more than 40 million monthly active users. Each player gets a unique ID by KYC when playing all the games on the platform. Users get a certain amount of Egreten tokens depending on the duration of play and level of experience. Game developers get Egreten by operating games.

To attract new players, developers can independently release tasks encouraging players to spread games and receive Egreten tokens as a reward for completing goals.

Sourec: http://bitcoinist.com/gaming-industry-evolves-first-html5-blockchain-platform/

Why AR and VR are set to transform the medical device sector


Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have seen tremendous growth in the last several years, and the hype surrounding them is only increasing as their possibilities continue to make themselves apparent. But AR and VR aren’t new. In fact, people have been using and improving them for quite some time. From early audiovisual flight simulators in the 1950s to the first VR headsets in the 1990s, devices that layer analytics or data onto the real world or create a new reality entirely have been in use for both entertainment and training purposes for decades.

The concept of manipulating reality might not be novel, but how it’s being executed is. Modern high-definition screens can render rich images that are nearly indistinguishable from in-person visuals, and the sheer power and ubiquity of today’s devices would have rendered users 20 years ago dumbstruck. Blazing-fast smartphones with expandable memory would put the computers of the early 2000s to shame, and they’re in almost every hand. Consumers and enterprises have access to a level of power that makes AR and VR more feasible and effective than ever before.

While the most publicized inroads into the potential of AR and VR technologies have taken place in entertainment, things have gotten serious, too. AR and VR are making waves in the medical industry – and making a transformation of the entire medical device industry more and more likely. Here are three key areas of potential that will make AR and VR a monolithic presence in the medical device industry in the coming years:


AR is already living on phones and in wearables. Connected devices add a digital layer to the world around us through wireless networks, GPS data and image capture. AR apps (like a famous monster-catching game that took the world by storm in 2016) aren’t novel anymore – they’re commonplace. Virtual reality headsets, once heavy and often burdened with a range of peripheral accessories and sensors, are now far more self-contained, and continue to get lighter and even more portable. Clinical skills training that would have previously taken place in a full simulation room covered floor to ceiling in specialized hardware can now happen with a headset paired with wearable connected devices to sense motion. Portable vital-signs-monitoring devices and automated diagnostic programs using smartphone-captured visuals are making practicing medicine possible anywhere.

Lightweight but durable plastics and polymers are vital to the comfort and usability of many of these devices, and materials innovation should pay off in coming years.


Accessibility can mean two things, and one is price. While the most sophisticated AR and VR technologies – like those that are used in detailed surgical simulations, for example – may cost a hefty sum, more mundane items like headsets and wearables continue to become more affordable. Richly detailed VR headsets that would have been under lock and key at a government facility 10 years ago are on sale for several hundred dollars to interested consumers – and the price is dropping every day, even as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

As manufacturers respond to rising demand and get smart with lighter materials and more economical designs, AR and VR technologies have the potential to be remarkably affordable (and thus, accessible).


From facility-sized systems that project a digital layer onto connected mannequins and simulated surgical devices to lightweight wearables that provide medical insights based on vital-signs monitoring, AR and VR devices vary widely in where and how they’re used. For the most part, the only true limitation of AR and VR is human creativity. Any medical scenario could potentially be simulated for learners, provided that someone is willing to program its functionality. Pediatric cancer patients who are confined during chemo can travel anywhere with a headset, provided that someone is able to render visuals rich enough to carry the patient away. These technologies can do so much if innovators are willing to reach out and take the opportunity.

The more that these technologies do, the more refined they become. The more refined they become, the more willing health care organizations will become to adopt them. This cycle is already underway, and staying aware of how AR and VR are evolving will be a crucial part of participating in the new reality that they’ll undoubtedly create in the coming years.


Source: Medical Plastics News

Bacci’s 56-axis machining center wins XIA award at Xylexpo

Bacci won first prize for innovation at the Xylexpo 2018 XIA Awards in the “first processing and transformation of the solid wood” category. The winning machine, MASTER MAX, is a 56-axis machining center for solid wood. The MASTER MAX can process curved and straight elements in batch one without the need of any templates thanks to the adjustable and motorized clamps in all directions. The two 5-axis heads allow simultaneous working and tool changing in masked time. The anthropomorphic robot placed at the back of the machine allows the unattended shift to take place.


According to Bacci, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, MASTER MAX is the expression of flexibility and productivity that the industry requires.


Source: https://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/video/video-baccis-56-axis-machining-center-wins-xia-award-xylexpo

GRECO offers TPU in bio-compatible, rigid grades

Great Eastern Resins Industrial Co. Ltd, a Taichung, Taiwan-based manufacturer of polyurethane adhesives and thermoplastic PU, has commercially released its bio-compatible and rigid Isothane TPU resins in North America.

The firm, also known as Greco, developed the Isothane 8000 series of rigid TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) materials in 2009. Isothane 8000 comes in three different forms: clear, opaque (with impact modifier) and opaque with long-glass reinforcements.

As for bio-compatible grades, clear Isothane 8101-B has been tested and complies with USP Class VI requirements, while opaque 8102-B is undergoing these tests.


Tel: 886-4-23587676
Fax: 886-4-23587575
Email: greco@greco.com.tw
Website: http://www.grecoresin.com


Source: http://utech-polyurethane.com/news/greco-offers-tpu-in-bio-compatible-rigid-grades/

How to Keep Your Company ‘Thinking Forward’ in 2018

Cutting-edge industry trends can pose challenges and opportunities for organizations, but only if they know how to take advantage of them.

For the second straight year, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is working to help member companies discover and manage those opportunities through its Thinking Forward series of events.

This year’s kick-off event  is set for April 3rd from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) – National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Participants will tour NREC, the epicenter for autonomous technology, offering world-leading expertise in autonomy, sensing, perception and machine learning. They will also experience what it’s like to travel and innovate at the speed of sound as they join five members of the CMU Hyperloop team as they share their competition journey.

“Thinking Forward events give participants an opportunity to explore a wealth of emerging trends and technologies that are poised to transform the equipment manufacturing industry,” said Paul Flemming, AEM’s senior director of membership and engagement. “Last year’s events were well received, and AEM is committed to building on the success of the program.”

“Thinking Forward marks a significant shift in focus on the part of AEM from member orientation to thought leadership,” said Flemming. “We are providing a vision for the future of the industry through these events.”

This year, the series of seven events will include tours of some of the country’s top innovation centers, including 3M’s Innovation Center in Minneapolis, and Autodesk’s Gallery and Pier 9 Workshop in San Francisco. To see a full lineup of the exciting AEM Thinking Forward locations and speakers on tap for 2018, visit https://www.aem.org/think/.

Companies that are currently not AEM members but are curious about joining can attend an event in their area and connect with a member of the membership team. Pre-registration is required for all attendees as space is limited. Interested parties can register with Paul at 414-298-4150 or via email at pflemming@aem.org.

About AEM – AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. Membership comprises more than 950 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related sectors worldwide.


Source: Association of Equipment Manufacturers

You never knew you needed a rugged, battery-powered coffee maker, but you do


Japanese tool maker Makita has a new product in its arsenal, and it’s quite different from your typical power drill. The CM501D, dug out by Asahi Shimbun (via The Verge) is a battery-powered, rugged coffee maker.

Now why would you need a battery-powered, rugged coffee maker, you might ask. That’s easy: To bring it along when you go on adventures! Or a picnic. Or a boat. Or when you relocate to a desert island.

Of course, your adventuring friends will make fun of you at first. You’re a hipster, they’ll say. But give it a day or two, and one by one, they’ll come to your tent (boat, cave, mud fortress) and beg for coffee. And you’ll give it to them, because you’re a benevolent coffee god.

The CM501D, which is primarily intended for use on construction sites, weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 pounds) and uses the same type of battery as Makita’s power tools. It can make 5.3 cups of coffee on one charge with the largest, 18V battery pack. It accepts Makita’s coffee pods but you can also use it to brew instant coffee.

The price for this baby is 11,900 yen ($111), and the battery charger, as well as the battery, are sold separately.


Source: Mashable

Walmart Is Cutting Up to 500 Corporate Jobs This Week

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting 400 to 500 jobs at headquarters this week, the latest effort to streamline a retail empire under threat from Amazon.com Inc.

The layoffs will hit the company’s marketing, human resources, merchandising, real estate, logistics and finance divisions, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based chain said. The company is informing most of those affected on Thursday, and they will have 60 days to find a new role.

The cuts extend a busy month for the world’s largest retailer, which also shut 63 Sam’s Club warehouses and reorganized that unit’s purchasing division. But even as it makes cuts, the company has taken steps to retain employees — like boosting its hourly wage and creating new roles focused on its online grocery business. Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon is betting that a leaner organization can better battle Amazon, and has said Wal-Mart “is not where we want to be” in terms of reducing corporate expenses.

“We’ve been looking at our structure for some time as we explore ways to operate more effectively,” the company said in an emailed statement on Thursday. “Those efforts continue. We’re committed to handling every transition smoothly and ensuring everyone is treated as fairly and respectfully as possible.”

While the threat from Amazon hasn’t abated, Wal-Mart is handling it better than most retailers. In the third quarter, same-store sales in its home market rose the most in more than eight years.

Overall, the holiday shopping season was the best for U.S. retailers since the Great Recession. Wal-Mart reports its fourth-quarter results on Feb. 20.

The Wall Street Journal previously reported on the layoffs.


Source: fortune