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Investors are closely watching the clash in Venezuela with a clear and vested interest in President Nicolás Maduro's ouster. They also have become less convinced the opposition can succeed.
Why it matters: Despite calls of support from President Trump and politicians around the globe, investors tell Axios they are starting to lose faith in the opposition's ability to topple Maduro alone, given an apparent increase of support from Russia.
On the sidelines of the IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington, D.C., investors discussed a proposed power-sharing agreement between the opposition, led by opposition leader and U.S.-backed Venezuelan President Juan Guaido, and the military.
Catch up quick: Guaido called on the country's military to turn against Maduro yesterday, sparking a stand-off between his supporters and the government.
Where it stands: Because the Maduro regime has gotten continued support from Russia, China and Cuba, opposition efforts have come up short. Investors are stuck rooting for regime change, which they believe will lead to a removal of U.S. sanctions and possibly the chance to make further investments in the country.
President Trump tweeted an interesting combination of truth, non-sequiturs and lies on Tuesday:
"China is adding great stimulus to its economy while at the same time keeping interest rates low. Our Federal Reserve has incessantly lifted interest rates, even though inflation is very low, and instituted a very big dose of quantitative tightening. We have the potential to go...
"...up like a rocket if we did some lowering of rates, like one point, and some quantitative easing. Yes, we are doing very well at 3.2% GDP, but with our wonderfully low inflation, we could be setting major records &, at the same time, make our National Debt start to look small!"
The facts: China added stimulus to its economy recently, but it's quaint compared to the military industrial and farm-aid spending added by the U.S. under Trump. China's stimulus has also come largely from the fiscal side — tax and fee cuts and looser lending standards — rather than the central bank.
Investors are raising their expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut rates at least once this year, ahead of today's Fed policy meeting.
Driving the news: Fed funds futures prices show traders see a 65% chance the Fed cuts rates at least once this year and a greater than 20% chance of 2 rate cuts, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool. Bets on more than 1 rate hike have picked up notably over the past month.
Flashback: The Fed forecast raising rates 3 times coming into 2019 and had predicted 2 rate increases as recently as January.
The bottom line: Most investors say they don't believe Trump's pressure is going to influence the Fed, but bets have risen that the Fed will cut rates as Trump has increased calls for them.
Americans are currently seeing the highest minimum wage ever, the New York Times' Ernie Tedeschi reported last week. Despite the federal minimum wage stagnating at $7.25 for 10 years, a string of moves by states and cities recently has raised the effective minimum wage to almost $12 an hour.
Yes, but: One group on the other side of that a wage increase is America's teachers. "Teachers were paid 21.4% less in weekly wages than similar college graduates in 2018—after accounting for education, experience, and other factors known to affect earnings," according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.
The big picture: 4 of the 7 states with the largest wage gaps between teachers and similar college graduates — Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Oklahoma — were the site of teacher protests in 2018. Teachers in these states earned at least 26%, according to EPI's data.
"It's no surprise that the states that have seen teachers strike and walk out over the past year are the states that have some of the highest teacher wage penalties," said EPI Distinguished Fellow Lawrence Mishel in a statement. "If we are going to have excellent schools, we must make sure that teachers are paid for their work."
Meal prep company Blue Apron noted a profit in its first quarter earnings report yesterday, but it wasn't enough for investors who sold the stock after the report.
It looks to be too little, too late, the Wall Street Journal's Elizabeth Winkler reports.
"As the company has struggled, many employees—including all three of its founders—have left. The company’s market value of around $220 million is just one-tenth of what it was worth when it went public in June 2017."
Details: Blue Apron reported a profit and has made progress cutting costs, but it also has reduced its customer base.
The verdict: "Perhaps Blue Apron can eke out a few more dollars per customer, but the market for this product has proved to be a niche one."