Posts by Bernice Napach
- Daily Ticker2 days ago
Five years ago today the stock market, reeling from the financial crisis, hit bottom. The Dow (^DJI) closed at just under 6,500 and the S&P 500(^GSPC) ended at 676.5. Since March 9, 2009, the Dow and the S&P 500 have more than doubled but how much longer can this rally last?
No one knows the answer, of course, but there are reasons to be cautious. Here are five of them:
1. Tenure: The average bull market lasts about 4.5 years. Only three of the 11 previous bull markets (excluding this one), celebrated a sixth birthday.
2. Valuation: Profit growth is slowing and revenue growth is sluggish, but the price-to-earnings-ratio for the S&P 500 is still strong--about 16 times earnings for the past 12 months. That's near the peak reached in October 2007, just before stocks began their decline during the financial crisis.
- Daily Ticker2 days ago
Cities and states have taken the lead on raising the minimum wage in the absence of Congressional action, but Democrats are expected to make this an issue in this year's midterm elections. And if more Democrats are elected to Congress, the federal government could potentially increase the floor on wages. "Democrats really see this as a winning issue" in the November midterm elections, says Steven Greenhouse, labor and workplace reporter at The New York Times. They "are trying to hit this hard...as a way to erase losses" associated with Obamacare," Greenhouse tells The Daily Ticker.
Democrats also see raising the minimum wage "as an important way to lift the wages of millions of American workers," says Greenhouse.
- Daily Ticker7 days ago
In a world of more than 7.1 billion people, only a lucky few are billionaires or multimillionaires, but their numbers are growing.
Knight Frank, a global property management firm, says in its latest Wealth Report that over the past decade the number of billionaires in the world grew 80% to 1,682 and the number of those with $30 million or more in net assets increased almost 60% to over 167,000. Their total assets: $20.1 trillion, or a quarter more than the economy of the U.S.
The U.S., not surprisingly, leads the population of the ultra-wealthy, followed by Japan and Germany. But the median wealth per capita in the U.S. is lower than 26 other countries -- including Japan, the U.K. and Finland, according to a recent Credit Suisse wealth report.
- Daily Ticker7 days ago
It's been more than eight years since TransCanada Corp. (TRP) first announced plans to build a pipeline that would move oil from the Alberta tar sands to Illinois. The company subsequently decided to expand the pipeline south to the Gulf Coast. That southern leg, running between Steele City, Okla., and Port Arthur, Texas, is now operating but its northern leg, between Alberta and Oklahoma, is not. That requires a presidential permit, and it doesn't have one yet. Related:Keystone pipeline would be good for the environment: Former BP CEO
- Daily Ticker12 days ago
Investors want to believe in Tesla (TSLA), the upstart maker of electric cars, and its gravity-defying CEO, Elon Musk. How else can you explain a six-fold increase in the company's stock price over the past year when it sold fewer than 23,000 vehicles? General Motors (GM) sold a whopping 2.8 million vehicles, yet saw its stock price gain just 35%. Ford (F)sold nearly 2.5 million and its stock rose a mere 22%. Investors are "betting on Elon Musk and new technology," says The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task. "You can't value that." Related: Tesla Is on Fire! Consumers Give Model S Highest Rating in Years
- Daily Ticker14 days ago
Whenever a major global economy reverses policy, global markets pay attention. That's exactly what's happening in response to the sharp, quick decline in China's currency. The Chinese yuan has fallen more than 1% against the U.S. dollar in the past week, after appreciating almost 40% in the past few years. Citing "people familiar with the central bank's thinking," The Wall Street Journalreports "China's central bank engineered" the drop in order to reduce speculation in the currency. Related: Why you should care that China's economy is slowing
- Daily Ticker15 days ago
More than five years after the financial crisis ended, Americans are still angry at the big banks, which are more powerful than ever. A Consumer Banking Insights Study of more than 1,000 U.S. adults found that 71% of Americans believe big banks have not taken responsibility for their role in the financial crisis. (Harris Interactive conducted the poll). Gabe Krajicek, CEO of Kasasa, which commissioned the survey in partnership with 200 community banks and credit unions, tells The Daily Ticker he was "surprised by the vitriol."
- Daily Ticker16 days ago
Related: Next up for Netflix? More profits
Some were concerned about its impact on net neutrality--the ability for consumers to access any content they choose without restrictions imposed by their Internet provider. Others said it could impact the government's approval of Comcast's bid to buy Time Warner Cable(TWC) because it illustrates the growing power of Comcast, the nation's largest cable operator.
- Daily Ticker19 days ago
It hasn't been a good week for the housing market.
Sales of previously owned homesfell 5.1% in January -- the fifth drop in the past six months -- to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million, the lowest level in a year and a half.
Newhome construction fell 16%in January compared to December -- the biggest percentage drop in almost three years -- and permits slipped by more than 5%. Homebuildersreported a 10-point decline in their confidence index for February to 46 -- below the key 50-point level which separates a growing market from a weakening one. And mortgage applications fell 4.1%in the latest reporting week, reflecting declines in applications to buy and to refinance.
- Daily Ticker20 days ago
The housing crisis of 2007-2008 pummeled home prices and tossed millions of people out of their homes because they couldn't make their mortgage payments. Home prices and sales have rebounded and foreclosures have declined since then, but now there are signs that the recovery may be faltering.
The New York Times reported this week that the same abuses by lenders and mortgage servicers that led to massive foreclosures during the housing crisis are creeping back into the market. Related: Home sellers should expect modest price gains this year says BNP's Coronado