Finance

Bitcoin tops $10,200 as cryptocurrencies extend rally

Bitcoin jumped above $10,000 Thursday for the first time in two weeks, as other major cryptocurrencies climbed and regulatory fears subsided. The cryptocurrency climbed 8 percent above $10,200 in early afternoon trading New York time on Coinbase, the largest U.S. marketplace for buying major cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin also topped $10,200 on CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index, recovering more than $4,000 after dipping below $6,000 last Tuesday. A number of other major cryptocurrencies, including ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash and litecoin were also higher Thursday. On Wednesday, litecoin got a major boost from news that a payments processor for the digital asset, called LitePay, is set to launch later this month. Bitcoin 30-day performance Source: Coinbase In a Thursday report, Fundstrat G...

A dividend stock strategy to help you sleep at night as market churns

After a year of relative calm, volatility is back. Stocks are recovering from last week’s correction but while markets reconcile with higher rates and rising inflation, BMO Capital markets says it has a strategy to help you sleep at night. Stocks that consistently grow their dividend, including Johnson & Johnson, Morgan Stanley and Microsoft, should outperform the S&P 500 and turbulent environment even as higher rates threaten the attractiveness of their payout, according to BMO chief investment strategist Brian Belski. “Unlike dividend-yield only strategies, which are typically a collection of defense stocks, dividend growth stocks typically contain broad representation from cyclical areas,” Belski wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “Our advice is to rela...

Olympic medalist Chris Mazdzer sets sights on financial planning career

Fresh off of an Olympic win, luge athlete Chris Mazdzer is already eyeing a second career in financial planning. Mazdzer made history when he won a silver medal in the men’s singles luge on Feb. 11, making him the first American to ever win a medal in the event. “It’s incredible,” Mazdzer said of the win. “It was hard to believe until it was put around my neck.” Mazdzer said he sees the triumph as an opportunity to give back to the sport, including the 33 male athletes who shared his Olympic dreams. “If you are a luge athlete, you give your entire life to this sport,” Mazdzer said. “I can go to those 33 guys, to the organization, sponsors, everyone who has volunteered, given everything for this sport and be like, ‘We did it.'̶...

Top stock-picking hedge funds love gaming, health care and media shares

The top hedge fund stock pickers in the market bought some media, health care and gaming stocks in the fourth quarter. CNBC used data from hedge fund tracking firm Symmetric.io to find the top 10 managers and their biggest bets, according to recent filings. Hedge funds report their holdings in quarterly filings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that are released 45 days after the end of each quarter. Positions may have changed since. Filings for the quarter ended in December were due Wednesday. Symmetric.io graded the stock-picking ability of more than 1,000 hedge funds in its database with a proprietary indicator called StockAlpha. It is derived by comparing the performance of equities in the fund to that of a sector ETF. Symmetric top 10 stock-picking hedge funds Source: Sym...

Steve Schwarzman Should Really Avoid Talking About “The Real World”

A lot of people say a lot of things when markets get volatile. It’s something of a parlor game to tailor a hot-take so scintillating yet digestible enough to make the shakers take notice of your opinion and then move things in your favor. Volatility also begets media visits from the bold-faced names of Wall Street. And while they usually couch it in some kind of other reason (usually “a favorite charity”) the biggest CEOs will always make their ways in front of a camera to pitch their reality book when things get scary. So it was hardly a surprise when Steve Schwarzman appeared on Squawk Box this morning and made Joe Kernen pretend for 7 minutes that he gives a solitary shit about public school funding. What did give our brow a raise however was The Schwarz’s myopically tone-deaf choice of...

US Bank to pay more than $600 million over federal charges it had lax anti-money laundering controls

U.S. Bancorp failed to monitor suspicious transactions and other activities that should have raised money laundering alerts, and then its employees tried to hide the deficiencies from regulators, federal prosecutors in New York said Thursday. The Minneapolis-based bank, the nation’s fifth largest, will pay a total of $613 million, including $528 million in a deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, who announced the company had made two felony violations of the Bank Secrecy Act. The agreement also includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board and the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. U.S. Bancorp will reform its compliance and monitoring program and has accepted responsibility for its condu...

Number of crypto hedge funds soars amid bitcoin volatility

The number of hedge funds focused on trading cryptocurrencies more than doubled in the four months to Feb. 15, despite sharp falls in the value of the virtual coins in recent weeks, data from fintech research house Autonomous NEXT showed on Thursday. The firm recorded a record high of 226 global hedge funds with such a strategy, up from 110 global hedge funds as of Oct. 18. That itself was up from 55 funds at Aug. 29 and just 37 at the start of 2017. Assets under management hit between $3.5 and $5 billion, according to the firm. The surge in funds comes at a volatile time for the cryptocurrencies they trade in. After hitting a record high close to $20,000 in December, bitcoin 70 percent of its value to slip below $6,000 in January, posting its worst monthly performance in three years. Bitc...

BlackRock bond guru: Treasury plan to borrow nearly $1 trillion will have a huge impact on markets

A move by the U.S. Treasury to borrow nearly $1 trillion would have a huge impact on financial markets, BlackRock fixed-income chief investment officer Rick Rieder told CNBC Thursday. The Treasury Department estimates borrowing needs of $955 billion this fiscal year, which runs from October 2017 to September 2018 for the federal government. “You’re putting a tremendous amount of issuance into the marketplace,” said Rieder, who minds $1.7 trillion in bond assets under management at BlackRock. “It’s too big.” “People talk about inflation as driving rates higher — definitely, moderately.” he said on “Squawk Box.” It’s also about the amount of supply of Treasurys coming into the market, he added. Earlier this month, The Washingt...

Apple, Teva rip higher on Buffett’s Berkshire investments

The Oracle of Omaha still has a touch for stocks. Teva Pharmaceutical climbed more than 10.5 percent Thursday morning after news late Wednesday that Warren Buffett‘s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a $358 million stake in the drugmaker as of the end of the fourth quarter. The quarterly filing also showed Berkshire increased its holdings of Apple by 23.3 percent. Shares of the iPhone maker rose more than 2 percent in morning trading. The purchase shows the influence of Buffett’s investment deputies, Berkshire portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. One of them — the billionaire investor has declined to identify which — was responsible for the conglomerate’s initial stake in Apple in 2016, and Buffett has added to it since then. As of Wednesday’s close, Apple sha...

Your friend recommended a financial advisor to you … Now what?

Investors looking to evaluate potential financial advisors can avail themselves of many lists of sample questions, such as those suggested by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, for interviewing practitioners. But just how to interview references, as is frequently suggested, is less clear. What kinds of questions should a reference expect? “Getting a reference from a friend or peer is a great place to start,” said Scott A. Bishop, certified financial planner and partner with STA Wealth Management. “But many [references] have a great ‘feel’ about the person, but not the qualifications or references.” More from Advisor Insight:The bad things people do with 401(k) plansWhat sort of insurance do you need?Most consumers confused about credit, debt Bi...

Gun stocks pare initial gains following the Florida shooting

Shares of gun manufacturers briefly rose Thursday following the tragic shooting at a high school in Florida. Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson’s parent company, American Outdoor Brands, rose as much as 2.8 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively, before turning negative. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said 17 people were gunned down Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The shooter, identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, was booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday. He allegedly used an AR-15 assault rifle in the rampage. Shares of Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands rallied Wednesday afternoon as news of the shooting spread. The stocks closed 2.8 percent and 5.6 percent higher, respectively. Stock prices of g...

Smith & Wesson’s parent company closes higher after the Florida shooting

Shares of gun manufacturer American Outdoor Brands, the parent company of Smith & Wesson, closed higher on Thursday following the tragic shooting at a high school in Florida. The company’s stock rose 1.2 percent and rose as much as 4.5 percent. Sturm Ruger briefly gained 2.8 percent before closing 0.2 percent lower. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said 17 people were gunned down Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The shooter, identified as 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz, was booked on 17 counts of premeditated murder Thursday. He allegedly used an AR-15 assault rifle in the rampage. Shares of Sturm Ruger and American Outdoor Brands rallied Wednesday afternoon as news of the shooting spread. The stocks closed Wednesday 2.8 pe...