Posts by Aaron Task
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker4 hrs ago
When U.S. first-quarter GDP numbers are reported next week, economists aren't expecting much, with estimates ranging from 1% to 1.5%. Update: A sharp drop in March new homes sales Wednesday morning prompted greater concern about first-quarter growth; in reaction, Goldman Sachs downgrade its Q1 GDP forecast to 1.4% from 1.9%.
But the consensus is for a big rebound in the rest of the year, with estimates of 3% for the second quarter and 2.7% for the full year, according to a Bloomberg survey. That's consistent with the "central tendency" of Federal Reserve board members, who are expecting a 2.8% to 3% growth rate for all of 2014.
But one former Fed official isn't so sure.
"I certainly think there's going to be a rebound from the first quarter [but] to make a 3% year...we've got to do a lot better than 3% in the remaining three quarters and I"m just not quite that optimistic," says Princeton professor and former Fed Vice Chair Alan Blinder. "I just don't see where the growth is going to come from."
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker2 days ago
By his own admission, Thomas Piketty is "better about analyzing the past than the future" and says his much ballyhooed book Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century is "primarily a book about the history of wealth."
But the Paris School of Economics professor has touched a nerve -- The New York Times says he is getting "rock star" treatment -- largely because of the policy prescriptions he's recommending to address rising income inequality, not for providing a 700-page history lesson.
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker6 days ago
The proverbial window for IPOs may be closing, but it's still open at least a crack. On Thursday, Chinese messaging service Weibo and Sabre Holdings, the parent of Travelocity, made their public debuts. At 91 so far, according to Renaissance Capital, the volume of IPOs in 2014 is more than double the pace of 2013 -- the biggest year for IPOs since 2000. But as with a number of recent deals, including investment bank Moelis, Weibo and Sabre each sold fewer shares than expected, priced offerings below the expected range and struggled on their first day. (Shares of both Weibo and Sabre were up modestly in recent trading.)
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker7 days ago
In conjunction with the April 15 tax deadline, the organization Americans for Tax Fairness released its annual report on Walmart and the Walton Family.
Subtitled "How Taxpayers Subsidize Americas's Biggest Employer and Richest Family," the report concludes the company and its founding family received $7.8 billion in tax breaks and taxpayer subsidies in 2013, featuring:
Walmart(WMT)calls the report "inaccurate and misleading” and even some who support its overall focus take issue with the specific findings.
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker9 days ago
After a rapid rotation out of high-flying growth stocks and into value names, the bull market's music seemed to stop last week -- save for the faint sound of Martha and the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run" playing in the background.
But while the selling has spread beyond formerly high flying tech and biotech names, David Winters, manager of the $2.3 billion Wintergreen Advisers funds, says there's still great value in value stocks.
As as "the bloom has come off the rose" of the "most speculative securities" investors are "realizing you'd rather go for the steak than the sizzle," Winters says. "We think there's a lot of steak out there that's available for big discounts: you can get filet mignon for chuck prices."
Winters' favorite cuts of beef (stock) include:
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker12 days ago
After Russia seized Crimea last month, America and her allies responded with sanctions against Vladimir Putin's inner circle -- and a lot of rhetoric. “President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis,” the White House said in a statement on March 28. “President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.” Fast forward to today: Russian troops remain on the border and poised to strike, according to analysis of NATO photos released Thursday. Meanwhile, pro-Russian protests in several Ukrainian cities could provide Putin a pretext to annex more territory. With the American people and our NATO allies showing little or no appetite for conflict, the conventional wisdom among the pundit class is the U.S. is powerless to fight Russian aggression.