Democrats should focus on making improvements to Obamacare instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with “Medicare for All,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

“God bless” 2020 Democratic presidential candidates putting forth Medicare for All proposals, Pelosi said in an interview with “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “But know what that entails.”

Pelosi’s thoughts on how to improve the nation’s health-care laws appear to align with those of former Vice President Joe Biden, who in his 2020 presidential bid is calling for building on provisions of Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act.

“I believe the path to ‘health care for all’ is a path following the lead of the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi told Cramer. “Let’s use our energy to have health care for all Americans, and that involves over 150 million families that have it through the private sector.”

Several 2020 candidates are advocating for some version of Medicare for All. Arguably the most drastic proposal is from Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who is calling for eliminating private health insurance and replacing it with a universal Medicare plan. Proponents say it would help reduce administrative inefficiencies and costs in the U.S. health-care system. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., has backed Sanders’ proposal.

However, policy analysts say actually implementing such a law would be tough even if a candidate such as Sanders won the presidency. Democrats would need to hold on to their edge in the House and win the Senate in the 2020 election to regain control of Congress. Then they would likely need 60 votes in the Senate and two-thirds of the House to overcome any potential filibusters. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate.

Pelosi’s comments also come as lawmakers and the Trump administration are both trying to pass legislation sometime this year that would bring more transparency to health-care costs and, ultimately, lower costs for consumers.

Pelosi and House Democratic leaders are expected to unveil as soon as this week a long-anticipated plan to reduce U.S. drug prices.

The main thrust of the plan, which is still in flux, would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices on the 250 most expensive drugs and apply those discounts to private health plans across the U.S., according to a document that surfaced on Capitol Hill on Sept. 10.

The Department of Health and Human Services is prohibited from negotiating drug prices on behalf of Medicare — the federal government’s health insurance plan for the elderly. Private insurers use pharmacy benefit managers to negotiate drug rebates from pharmaceutical manufacturers in exchange for better coverage.

Pelosi has been working for months on a plan that would give HHS that power. House Democratic leaders went on a “listening tour” around the party earlier this year to discuss details of Pelosi’s plan but haven’t yet distributed it across the caucus, a Democratic aide said in an interview.

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told CNBC on Tuesday that business can play a role in inspiring social change.

The Democrat from California made the comment in an interview on “Mad Money” with Jim Cramer, who asked Pelosi if she agrees with internet entrepreneur Marc Benioff’s mantra that “business is the greatest platform for change.” Benioff cited it as his reason for buying Time magazine for $190 million a year ago.

“It could be, and in Marc Benioff’s case it is,” said Pelosi, who represents California’s 12th District, which includes San Francisco. “But I do think that there’s much more room for us all to work together for social change.”

Benioff, founder and co-CEO of San Francisco-based Salesforce.com, is a frequent Democratic Party donor and has made contributions to Pelosi’s congressional campaigns in the past, according to the U.S. Federal Election Commission. He has also given money to Republican causes.

Pelosi supported a Benioff-led, controversial tax on big businesses in San Francisco that was intended to combat homelessness in the city. Her husband, Paul Pelosi, is an investor in Salesforce. The two CEOs of the cloud-based customer relationship management firm were also among the executives of nearly 200 companies to sign on to the Business Roundtable’s pledge that shareholder value is no longer their top focus for business.

Quoting poet Percy Shelley that the “great instrument of moral good is the imagination,” Pelosi said imagination should influence “all aspects of our economy.”

“We really do have to address the issue of disparity in income in our country,” she continued. She added that it should also be applied to “address the climate crisis in a green way, create new jobs, be No. 1 in the world in green technologies … but bring everyone along with that as we go down that new path.”

Despite the big decline in the U.S. unemployment rate in recent years to its lowest levels in decades, minority families continue to endure a wide wealth gap when compared with white families, according to research from McKinsey & Company. The racial wealth gap between the two groups grew from roughly $100,000 in 1992 to $154,000 in 2016, the August study said.

Additionally, an investment gap exists between black and white families. The report found that 67% of black Americans who made $50,000 or more a year owned stocks or mutual funds, while 86% of white Americans at that same income level owned such assets.

An equal pay gap also persists between men and women. The gap widens when accounting for different subgroups of women.

WATCH: Cramer’s interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Disclosure: Cramer’s charitable trust owns shares of Salesforce.com.

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Worried about oil prices after the weekend’s raids on Saudi Arabia?

You may want to wait until prices rise more before really getting scared about the risks to your job, your budget, or the economy.

A lot more.

Since 1980, personal incomes have risen eight times as much as oil.

“$110 a barrel — that would probably be enough to put the global economy in recession,” says Steven Kopits, managing director of energy consulting firm Princeton Energy Advisors.

Or, to be on the safe side, let’s say the point to get really worried is when prices start surging toward $100.

Despite the panicked headlines around the world, Monday’s 13% spike in fuel prices left West Texas Intermediate crude oil

CL.1, -1.02%

 , the U.S. benchmark, around $62 a barrel.

Some context: In April, the price was $66.

Last October, it was north of $75.

Adjusting for inflation, oil prices after the Saudi raids are about half what they were in 1980, early 2008 and 2014.

Measured in 2019 dollars, oil peaked at $158 a barrel in 2008 and was north of $100 as recently as 2014.

Since 1980, personal incomes have risen eight times as much as oil. Energy expenses of all kinds are near their lowest levels, as a share of disposable income, since the World War II.

‘Oil is like oxygen to the economy.’


—Steven Kopits, chief executive of energy consulting firm Princeton Energy Advisors

Among the reasons, say economists: Better fuel efficiency across the board, and the shift of the economy from manufacturing, which is energy-intensive, to services.

The latest move is big for a single day. And it’s been cushioned by President Trump’s move to release supplies from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which was created for just this purpose.

But on a longer-term view, so far the rise in prices is minimal.

That’s not to say it’s unimportant.

“Oil is like oxygen to the economy,” says Steven Kopits, chief executive of energy consulting firm Princeton Energy Advisors. “We almost always have an oil price spike preceding a recession. Oil is our monopoly transportation fuel.”

Kopits noted that oil prices surged before the recession of 1958, the energy crisis recessions of the 1970s and early 1980s, and the 1990-1 recession. He might have added that crude oil prices doubled in the year leading up to the financial crash of 2008.

And even if the U.S. economy is less exposed to oil price fluctuations than it once was, that’s not the same for all other countries. China is now the world’s biggest oil importer. (One reason America is more energy efficient: We’ve moved a lot of our manufacturing to Asia).

Folk memories run deep, especially of the crises of the 1974 and 1979-80, when disruptions of the energy supplies from the Middle East plunged America and the western economies into economic and political crises. So it’s understandable that people are nervous about threats to oil supplies.

As for the effect on the U.S. economy: It’s now a two-way street, says Gregory Daco at Oxford Economics. The U.S. is no longer a major net importer of oil. We’re actually on the cusp of becoming an exporter.

So while a big jump in oil prices would hurt the consumer, it would also boost cash flow and business investment in the shale oil territories like Oklahoma and North Dakota, he said. “For the broad economy, there is increased evidence that oil prices affect the economy in much more nuanced ways than they did 10 or 20 years ago,” he says.

And it would be great for all those “green economy” companies that want to cut our carbon footprints. The more we have to pay for gasoline, the more attractive their products and services will look in comparison. Tesla

TSLA, -0.75%,

anyone?

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Bloomberg

The numbers: U.S. industrial production jumped 0.6% in August, the largest increase in a year, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday. Output in July was revised to a 0.1% decline from the prior estimate of a 0.2% drop.

Wall Street had expected a 0.4% rebound, according to a MarketWatch survey.

What happened: The increase was due mainly to a surge in mining output, which includes oil and gas production. Mining output jumped 1.4%, almost completely reversing a 1.5% decline in the prior month. Utilities output rose 0.6%.

Manufacturing production rebounded as well in August, rising 0.5% after a 0.4% decline in July.

Output for motor vehicles and parts fell 1% in August after a 0.5% gain in the prior month. Excluding autos, manufacturing rose 0.6%.

Capacity utilization rose to 77.9% in August, the highest rate since March. The capacity utilization rate reflects the limits to operating the nation’s factories, mines and utilities. It’s still below pre-2008 recession levels, above 80%, that could increase production costs and prices.

Big picture: U.S. manufacturing remains in a recession due to weakness in the global economy and Trump’s trade war with China. The weakness is a main reason why the Federal Reserve is expected to cut its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year on Wednesday. The industrial sector could also be hurt by the strike at General Motors Co.

GM, -0.28%

 , now in its second day.

What are they saying? “We expect the trend in manufacturing output to fall through the end of the year, at least,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. He said the two factors boosting production in August — crude oil and manufacturing output — won’t last.

Market reaction: U.S. stock indexes were drifting lower early Tuesday as investors mulled the economic impact of the attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on Saturday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.28%

  looked set to decline for the second straight day.

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Q: I inherited some money recently but with the market

SPX, -0.07%

 at all-time highs, I ’m worried I will invest and see it drop immediately. A broker friend says I should dollar cost average. Is that a good idea?

A.: Assuming you are going to be broadly diversified rather than buying just a few stocks, dollar-cost averaging is not a bad idea, but it isn’t great either. It can be somewhat useful as a psychological crutch but historically it has more often cost people money rather than preserved their assets.

Dollar-cost averaging (DCA) is buying into a holding with a fixed dollar amount at fixed time intervals. For example, if you had $120,000 to invest in “XYZ Diversified Fund”, you might buy $10,000 every month for a year. If XYZ’s price drops, only the $10,000 purchases you made prior to that point would be affected and you would actually buy more shares at the lower price with the next purchase. Sounds good, right?

Well, the reason it hasn’t worked out so well for most people is that markets go up more often than they drop, and bull markets tend to rise more than bear markets fall. Historically, about 70% of the time, just investing a lump sum at one time yielded a better result than dollar-cost averaging over a 12-month period.

For DCA to pay off, the market must decline, by enough and for long enough, to get a lower average per share price than a lump sum initial purchase would produce. The longer the time frame, the better the odds the market will not do this and DCA will produce an inferior result.

That’s the math and history. As is the case here though, DCA is often suggested to help nervous investors take action. There is some value on this point, but you must keep in mind a couple of important issues.

First, DCA only works if the market drops and then you actually buy during the downturn. DCA looks good on paper, but when markets drop, the fervor over how bad it is and how likely it is things will get worse does not induce calm. For nervous investors, drops don’t trigger the urge to buy, they stoke the fear. In real time, fear can cause a pause in the buying and undermine the strategy under the exact circumstances within which DCA works best.

Second, DCA just delays the state about which you are fearful. Once the DCA period is over, all the money is subject to market risks, just as it would be if you were to invest as a lump sum.

Investing is supposed to be a long-term activity. You will be a better investor by learning to be resilient rather than fretting about how to be nimble.

Be honest with yourself about your temperament. Dollar-cost averaging might reduce the regret you would feel if the market took a tumble soon after you got started, but it does nothing to prepare you for the many drops you will experience over the long term.

Whether you buy in over time or not, I’d recommend learning what to expect from financial markets and the investor behavior that goes along with its gyrations. Bad markets should be expected and planned for, not feared.

If you have a question for Dan, please email him with “MarketWatch Q&A” on the subject line.

Dan Moisand’s comments are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for personalized advice. Consult your adviser about what is best for you. Some questions are edited for brevity.

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Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza

Source: Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut has pizzas for meat lovers, cheese lovers and veggie lovers.

Now the Yum Brands chain even has one for Cheez-It lovers.

The pizza chain is partnering with Kellogg to launch the Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza on Tuesday. The limited-time menu item includes four large squares with a crust infused with the sharp cheddar flavor of Cheez-Its and stuffed with either cheese or pepperoni and cheese. A marinara dipping sauce comes on the side.

Marianne Radley, Pizza Hut’s chief brand officer and a self-described Cheez-It fanatic, sees the item as either an add-on for larger dinner orders or an easy item to grab and go. Restaurants have been looking to snacks to boost sales.

Working together with Kellogg on the stuffed pizza meant that Radley learned about how Cheez-It manages to cram so much cheese flavor into its crackers — the topic of a long-running ad campaign by the brand.

“I always thought it was cheese flavoring, but it was really is cheese that is baked into their crackers,” Radley said in an interview. Nondisclosure agreements kept her from saying more.

Pizza Hut has partnered with well-known food brands in the past, like Hershey’s for its brownies or Cinnabon for its mini cinnamon rolls.

Pizza Hut and Kellogg are brainstorming new ideas for 2020, according to Radley. Even the Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza could come back in a different form, with new fillings or even a different Cheez-It flavor.

Earlier in September, Kellogg announced the launch of Incogmeato, a new product line from its Morningstar Farms brand. The meat substitute line, which includes burgers and chicken tenders and nuggets, will be made with non-GMO soy designed to look and taste like real meat.

Radley said Pizza Hut is looking into the plant-based meat trend kickstarted by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, but the product would have to taste good, hold up well in delivery and not add too much extra work for employees. Privately held rival Little Caesars has already teamed up with Impossible Foods to test meatless sausage for its pizzas.

“It’s a natural conversation that we’re having with Kellogg’s and with some other suppliers as well,” she said.

Kellogg acquired Cheez-It in 2001 as part of its deal for Keebler. In April, the maker of Eggo waffles sold off its cookie business, including Keebler, so that it could focus on snacks like Cheez-Its and Pringles as well as its cereal business.

Pizza Hut, the laggard of Yum’s three brands, is in the middle of its own makeover. As food delivery booms and consumers look for more convenient options, the chain is trying to remind customers that its pizza is available for delivery and carry out. It is planning to close 500 of its underperforming dine-in restaurants to convert them into smaller express stores as part of that push.

In 2018, the pizza chain became the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League after the league and Papa John’s parted ways. This football season, Pizza Hut is hoping a collect-and win game with NFL-focused prizes will entice football fans to buy more of its pizza.

“The second season, we really need to make the first partnership work harder for us. At the end of the day, it’s about driving transactions at the store level,” Radley said.

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Boeing Dreamliner 787 Air China planes sit on the production line at the company’s final assembly facility in North Charleston, South Carolina.

Travis Dove | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Boeing has claimed that growing Chinese demand for planes will generate almost $3 trillion worth of industry business over the next two decades.

In its latest market outlook, the U.S. plane maker predicts China will soon become the world’s largest aviation market and will need 8,090 new planes by 2038. Boeing believes within a decade that one-in-five airline passengers will be Chinese.

The figure would equate to $1.3 trillion in current list prices. Boeing said associated services to maintain fleets would be even larger at $1.6 trillion, meaning almost $3 trillion worth of business could be up for grabs.

Boeing has said passenger traffic within China is tipped to grow at more than 6% a year until 2038 and China’s middle class is expected to double in size within a decade.

While domestic flights are predicted to provide the lion’s share of growth, outward bound international travel will also increase.

“An expanding middle class, significant investment in infrastructure, and advanced technologies that make airplanes more capable and efficient, continue to drive tremendous demand for air travel,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of commercial marketing for Boeing said in a statement Tuesday.

China’s need for new and replacement planes between now and 2038 are broken down by Boeing’s analysts into 5,960 single-aisle jets, 1,780 widebody planes, 230 freighters, and 120 regional jets.

On a global basis, Boeing is projecting $6.8 trillion worth of airplane sales by 2038 with a further $9.1 trillion in services.

More than 2000 Boeing planes have already been delivered to China with around a quarter of the plane makers production line now delivered to Chinese customers. Boeing has said one third of its 737 planes are currently delivered to China.

The 737 Completion & Delivery Center in Zhoushan is a joint venture between Boeing and Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China, Ltd (COMAC). It was built to provide interior furnishings and exterior paint to planes that have arrived from Seattle.

In December last year, Air China received a 737 Max 8 which was the first Boeing plane to be completed in China for a local customer.

But on March 11, China ordered its airlines to suspend operations of their 737 MAX 8 planes following two fatal crashes of the model within 5 months. In a sign of China’s growing importance as an aviation regulator, most other agencies and airlines followed suit over the next two days.

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Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett seen at the annual Berkshire shareholder shopping day in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S., May 3, 2019.

Scott Morgan | Reuters

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

The second-largest investor in Kraft Heinz Company disclosed that it has again trimmed its stake in the food company.

3G Capital Partners, the Brazilian private equity giant that co-invests in Kraft Heinz with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, disclosed that it sold 25.1 million shares at a price of $28.44 per share, bring its stake down about 9% to 245 million shares.

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump notified Congress on Monday that the U.S. and Japan were prepared to enter a limited agreement that would lower some tariffs and set terms of digital trade.

Trump and his counterpart in Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, had previously announced in August at a Group of 7 Summit in France that they had reached an agreement in principle to lower agricultural tariffs and industrial tariffs.

The two sides had earlier said that they expected to sign the deal at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this month. By sending formal notification to Congress, Trump can now move forward with signing that agreement. The congressional letter didn’t spell out the terms of the deal.

A deal in which Tokyo lowers its agricultural tariffs could allow U.S. farmers to better compete in Japan. American agricultural exporters have been disadvantaged in the Japanese market ever since Trump pulled out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership at the beginning of his presidency.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

Also popular on WSJ.com:

Trump has few options to respond to Saudi oil attack.

Your parents’ financial advice is (kind of) wrong.

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It’s Mar-a-Lago meets Marco Polo.

The Secret Service is in the market for two Jet Skis to keep up with the water sports-loving first family, according to a contract posting soliciting the craft.

The unique business opportunity — first spotted by Scott MacFarlane, a reporter for WRC-TV, the Beltway’s NBC affiliate — was outlined in a typo-dotted posting Monday morning.

“Presdient [sic] Trump and his family spend several weeks throughout the year in Mara Largo [sic] FL and Hamptons NY,” reads the post. “The First Family is very active in water sports.”

The posting goes on to state that Secret Service agents have, in the past, “rented watercraft with their own personal funds,” but that they’re now seeking to acquire two Jet Skis of their own.

Assuming that they are in the market for authentic, Kawasaki

7012, -0.04%

 -made Jet Skis, the Secret Service can expect to shell out between $9,699 and $17,999, according to the company’s site.

The posting will stay open until 10 a.m. Wednesday.

This report originally appeared on NYPost.com.

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