A scientist's radical idea to engineer mice to stop Lyme disease

Residents of Nantucket are considering a proposal to genetically engineer the island's white-footed mice in order to curb Lyme disease.

Posted: Jul 29, 2018 10:00 AM
Updated: Jul 29, 2018 10:48 AM

1. Blockbuster profits: The trade war has cast a shadow over parts of Corporate America, but it is bringing a bit of good fortune to the steel industry.

President Donald Trump's metal tariffs have sent steel prices surging and sparked blockbuster profits for steel manufacturers.

Reliance Steel & Aluminum hauled in record sales, thanks to an 18% spike in prices. Nucor recorded the best second quarter in its history. Its profit more than doubled.

"All in all, we're very happy with tariffs," Nucor CEO John Ferriola told analysts earlier this month.

Those words haven't been uttered by many other corporate bosses, who are grappling with sticker shock.

Tariffs levied by the United States and major trading partners are eating into the profits of Harley-Davidson, General Motors, General Electric, 3M and hundreds of other companies. CEOs are scrambling to raise prices and reshuffle their supply chains.

Unsurprisingly, steel companies are feasting on a price spike from Trump's 25% steel tariff. The benchmark price of US-made steel has zoomed 41% higher since the start of the year to $917 per short ton, according to S&P Global Platts.

Related: Corporate America is caught in the crossfire of trade war

Tariffs aren't the only factor. Steel demand is strong in an economy that just clocked its fastest growth since 2014.

Following the booming profits from Nucor and Reliance, US Steel and AK Steel are scheduled to report results this week.

Both steel makers are expected to reveal a jump in revenue, though not by as much as their rivals. That's because US Steel and AK Steel are locked into annual contracts that have fixed pricing. Those contracts expire later this year, potentially allowing them to capitalize on the price hikes.

Nucor is seizing on the momentum to plow $1 billion back into its business, a huge increase that will mostly go toward expansion.

"What will happen to our great country if we continue to operate with a massive trade imbalance?" Ferriola asked. "We agree with the administration's efforts to address this issue."

Of course, steel customers are less than thrilled.

Material costs have risen by as much as 50% at FJM Ferro, a Brooklyn company that fabricates steel used in Manhattan skyscrapers.

Steel companies may have record profits, but it does hurt the mom-and-pop shops," said Joe Casucci, FJM Ferro's founder and CEO.

Even large companies are getting squeezed. GM slashed its profit outlook last week, warning of a $300 million jump in commodity costs linked to higher steel and aluminum costs.

"You have to be careful with tariffs because there's always a cost," said Philip Gibbs, a steel analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

He pointed out that spiking US steel prices threaten to make American businesses less competitive. Some companies may eventually try to find other ways to get steel into the country.

"It feels good in the short run as prices go up," Gibbs said. "But then all the customers complain."

Related: How the US economy is doing now in four charts

2. Jobs report: Economists are expecting another solid month of gains when the Labor Department reports Friday on job growth for July.

The US economy has cranked into high gear, growing at the fastest pace in almost four years, and unemployment is 4%, near the lowest in a half-century.

Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expect 195,000 jobs were created in July, roughly in line with the average for this year.

3. Fed watch: The Federal Reserve is not expected to raise interest rates when it meets on Tuesday and Wednesday. But investors will be watching the Fed's statement closely for its read on the economy and clues about interest rates.

The Fed has signaled that it plans two more rate hikes this year and three in 2019.

4. Critical moment: This may be the most closely watched earnings report in Tesla's history.

The electric car maker reports results on Wednesday. Tesla just hit an important target for production of the Model 3, its most accessibly priced car. But Tesla is trying to stop mounting losses, and Elon Musk keeps making headlines with bizarre tweets.

5. Apple earnings: Apple will release is quarterly results on Tuesday, and a strong report could push the most valuable company in America to a milestone — a $1 trillion market cap.

Analysts may question Apple executives on whether the trade war its hurting the bottom line. And Apple fans will be hunting for hints about the next iPhone.

6. Coming this week:

Monday — Caterpillar earnings

Tuesday — Eurozone second-quarter GDP; Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Apple earnings

Wednesday — Fed statement; Humana, Sprint, Tesla earnings

Thursday — Bank of England meets; Berkshire Hathaway, Yum Brands, Aetna earnings

Friday — US jobs report; Kraft Heinz, Toyota earnings

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 112626

Reported Deaths: 3520
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20832759
Lake10292318
Elkhart6415109
St. Joseph6156102
Allen6029200
Hamilton4724109
Vanderburgh344530
Hendricks2673122
Monroe247436
Tippecanoe226913
Johnson2268123
Clark215056
Porter207845
Cass19329
Delaware188261
Vigo178123
Madison159575
LaPorte137739
Floyd131461
Howard128563
Kosciusko120217
Warrick119936
Bartholomew115357
Marshall98924
Dubois95418
Boone95146
Hancock91143
Grant89133
Noble89132
Henry77024
Wayne74414
Jackson7409
Morgan70038
Shelby66529
Daviess64427
Dearborn63228
LaGrange63111
Clinton59212
Harrison56024
Putnam53710
Lawrence50528
Montgomery50521
Knox5019
Gibson4854
White48114
DeKalb45611
Decatur45439
Miami4263
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3862
Steuben3707
Scott35610
Sullivan33012
Jennings31212
Posey3060
Franklin29925
Clay2935
Orange28524
Ripley2838
Carroll27013
Wabash2618
Washington2611
Starke2537
Whitley2526
Wells2482
Adams2453
Jefferson2443
Fulton2342
Huntington2223
Tipton21722
Spencer2153
Perry21413
Randolph2087
Jay1730
Newton17111
Owen1651
Martin1640
Rush1524
Pike1401
Vermillion1260
Fountain1182
Pulaski1151
Blackford1133
Crawford1030
Brown1023
Parke941
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland700
Warren391
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 145850

Reported Deaths: 4635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin26242603
Cuyahoga17196644
Hamilton12850309
Montgomery7583152
Lucas7187358
Butler5727102
Summit5172249
Marion307247
Mahoning3002279
Warren294748
Stark2771168
Pickaway263444
Lorain227786
Delaware216620
Fairfield203850
Columbiana192180
Licking187562
Trumbull1852131
Clark175938
Wood173772
Clermont165520
Lake158649
Medina143939
Allen138869
Miami138049
Greene137632
Portage109466
Mercer107717
Tuscarawas91620
Erie91244
Wayne90866
Ross86123
Richland80819
Madison78712
Darke76839
Belmont71227
Geauga70547
Hancock67410
Ashtabula65148
Athens6292
Lawrence61618
Shelby5909
Auglaize5709
Putnam55823
Sandusky55520
Huron5337
Union5002
Scioto4746
Ottawa46630
Seneca45314
Preble42213
Muskingum3802
Holmes3777
Jefferson3284
Logan3013
Henry30012
Champaign2943
Perry2889
Defiance28710
Clinton28213
Brown2812
Knox28015
Morrow2522
Washington25123
Hardin25013
Fulton2371
Jackson2344
Coshocton23111
Crawford2276
Fayette2266
Ashland2244
Highland2203
Wyandot20212
Williams2013
Gallia18612
Meigs17210
Pike1670
Hocking1619
Guernsey1578
Carroll1517
Adams1234
Van Wert1143
Monroe10918
Paulding1050
Harrison622
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 64°
Angola
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Huntington
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 59°
Decatur
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Van Wert
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 61°
Mostly Sunny Thursday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events