Finance

Yikes! Trade and Economic Policy Uncertainty

First, overall (news-based) economic policy uncertainty: Figure 1: Economic Policy Uncertainty index (blue), and centered seven day moving average (red). Source: policyuncertainty.com accessed 6/11, and author’s calculations. Second, how the trade policy component has jumped in the Trump era. Figure 2: Economic Policy Uncertainty index (blue), and trade policy categorical index (dark red), through March 2018. Source: policyuncertainty.com accessed 6/11.

Meet Me In Singapore

Well, “the most important week of the year” got off to a relatively quiet start, all things considered. Of course Trump was anything but “quiet”. Or actually, he was quiet during U.S. business hours but his Twitter account lit up late Sunday evening with still more attacks on Canada and Europe. The man who on Saturday proclaimed the world “tariff-free” was, by Sunday evening, insisting that henceforth, “fair trade” will be called “Fool Trade”: Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal. According to a Canada release, they make almost 100 Billion Dollars in Trade with U.S. (guess they were bragging and got caught!). Minimum is 17B. Tax Dairy from us at 270%. Then Justin acts hurt when called out! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 11, 2018 We are now literally ...

After-hours buzz: RH, PLAY and more

Check out the companies making headlines after the bell: Shares of Restoration Hardware climbed more than 20 percent after the bell, after the luxury home furnishings company reported mixed first quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations, but missed on revenue. Restoration Hardware reported earnings per share of $1.33 on revenue of $557 million. Wall Street expected earnings of $1.02 on $563 million in revenue. The company also reported strong second quarter financial guidance, and raised guidance for fiscal 2018. Restoration Hardware shares are up 37 percent year-to-date and 134 percent-year-over-year. Dave and Buster’s stock jumped more than 13 percent in extended trading. The restaurant and entertainment chain reported first quarter financial results that surpassed analyst e...

Comcast preparing to announce bid for Fox on Wednesday if AT&T-Time Warner is approved, sources say

Comcast will formalize its all-cash offer to acquire most of Twenty-First Century Fox on Wednesday if U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon approves AT&T‘s deal for Time Warner on Tuesday, according to people familiar with matter. Comcast, which owns CNBC parent company NBCUniversal, has already publicly acknowledged its plans to compete with Disney on an acquisition of Fox assets, including Fox’s movie studio, the Nat Geo and FX networks, regional sports channels, and stakes in Hulu, Star India and Sky PLC. CNBC reported last month that Comcast was preparing to raise $60 billion in a deal for Fox while simultaneously pursuing a $31 billion offer for the 61 percent of Sky that Fox doesn’t already own. Announcing an offer on Wednesday, rather than Tuesday afternoon, w...

Wells Fargo customers can still buy guns with a credit card, but not bitcoin

Wells Fargo customers can no longer buy cryptocurrencies like bitcoin on their credit cards, the company announced Monday. But they can still buy firearms. The San Francisco based bank joined some of its Wall Street peers in banning the purchase of cryptocurrencies on credit cards and said its decision is “in line with the overall industry.” “We will continue to evaluate the issue as the market evolves,” Wells Fargo said in a statement. “We’re doing this in order to be consistent across the Wells Fargo enterprise due to the multiple risks associated with this volatile investment.” J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup announced in February they would no longer let customers to buy cryptocurrencies using credit cards, and like Wells Fargo...

Wells Fargo customers can still buy guns with a credit card, but now they can’t buy bitcoin

Wells Fargo customers can no longer buy cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin on their credit cards, the company announced Monday. But they can still buy firearms. The San Francisco-based bank joined some of its Wall Street peers in banning the purchase of cryptocurrencies on credit cards and said its decision is “in line with the overall industry.” “We will continue to evaluate the issue as the market evolves,” Wells Fargo said in a statement. “We’re doing this in order to be consistent across the Wells Fargo enterprise due to the multiple risks associated with this volatile investment.” J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup announced in February they would no longer let customers buy cryptocurrencies using credit cards, and like Wells Fargo...

Chilean Criminals Have Turned to Avocado Theft, And Who Can Blame Them

Avocados, the lynchpin of millennial criticism, are proving that everyone wants a piece of the hottest food trend of the 21st century. Chile, one of the biggest exporters of avocados, is benefiting from increased demand. Specifically, the prices of avocados have grown 23% in the past year, and 9% in the past month. Sadly, these price increases haven’t come without repercussions While thefts have always existed, it has gone from people breaking into fields at night to organized armed groups assaulting producers in broad daylight, said Francisco Contardo, general manager of Chile’s avocado producers’ association. During the harvest season, from August to February this year, 10 bands were dismantled and 50 people were charged with theft. Now Chile has copied the avocado police of Mexico and C...

Goldman Reveals The Truth About The World Cup As Unmistakable Links Between ‘Fake’ Football And Global Economy Laid Bare

Well, it’s time for the World Cup and that’s a confusing time for a lot of Americans because it means having to (re)figure out why the rest of the world keeps referring to soccer as “football”. Of course that’s a misnomer. That’s just another example of what the President talks about when he says foreign interests are robbing America blind. They’re stealing our jobs all right, but they’re also stealing the name of our sports (#Sad). I imagine I’m preaching to the proverbial choir here because if you’re reading this, it means you have internet access which, like running water and electricity, is something that isn’t common outside of the United States (because #Shitholes). But on the off chance you’re someone who doesn’t live in America and somehow still has an interweb connection, let me e...

Warren Buffett finally gets closure on one of his rare investing mistakes

Warren Buffett is finally getting closure on a long-held investment he recently called disappointing. USG agreed to a $7 billion buyout by Germany’s Knauf after Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway threw its support behind a shareholder uprising. Berkshire is USG’s biggest shareholder, with a stake of 31 percent, and had said earlier this year it would vote against USG’s four director nominees after the company rebuffed an earlier Knauf bid. Knauf is USG’s second-largest shareholder. Chicago-based USG makes building materials such as drywall. Berkshire began acquiring the shares 18 years ago but the company has been troubled with bankruptcy and asbestos claims. It emerged from bankruptcy in 2006 with Berkshire’s help. But when the mortgage crisis hit, it needed ...

Apple: Don’t use your iPhone to mine cryptocurrencies

Tech giant Apple has updated its developer guidelines to explicitly ban “mining” cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The new rules restrict apps that drain battery, generate excessive heat, or put unnecessary strain on device resources — all of which take place in bitcoin mining. “Apps, including any third party advertisements displayed within them, may not run unrelated background processes, such as cryptocurrency mining,” Apple said on its website. It’s unlikely someone could successfully “mine” bitcoin on an iPhone or iPad alone because of the amount of energy and computing power it takes. But Apple’s move could pre-emptively stop future, less energy-intensive digital currencies from being mined on these devices or halt the pooling of multiple ...

Goldman: Borrowing is getting out of control so hide out in strong balance sheet stocks like Nvidia, Home Depot

Companies with healthy balance sheets like Home Depot and Nvidia are investors’ best bet as the rest of corporate America loads on debt to unsafe levels even as the Federal Reserve continues hike rates, according to Goldman Sachs. “Strong balance sheet stocks have historically outperformed weak balance sheet stocks during environments of rising leverage,” wrote David Kostin, the investment bank’s chief U.S. equity strategist. “We expect financial conditions will continue to tighten from record easy levels … We have recommended investors own strong balance sheet stocks given the backdrop of record corporate leverage and Fed tightening.” Among stocks with the best balance sheet are home improvement retailer Home Depot and chipmaker Nvidia, Kostin add...

Don’t count on a bitcoin rebound from the weekend rout any time soon, chart analysts say

Bitcoin‘s plunge below $7,000 to a two-month low indicates the cryptocurrency will have a difficult time recovering, technical strategists say. “The downtrend that began in early May is still intact and will need to be reversed to signal an improvement for BTC,” Robert Sluymer, technical strategist at Fundstrat Global Advisors, said in an email. For him, $7,777 is the key level bitcoin will have to top to signal an uptrend is underway. Bitcoin 12-month performance Source: CoinDesk Bitcoin traded near $6,720 Monday morning. It fell more than 10 percent over the weekend to a low of $6,647.33 on Sunday, according to CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index. The cryptocurrency is down about 50 percent this year, and more than 60 percent off its all-time high hit in mid-December. ...