Posts by Deirdre Hughes

  • CEO: This is the biggest Achilles heel for the global economy

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    The U.S. economy grew at a slightly stronger pace in the third quarter than previous estimates showed, up 2.1% versus the initial estimate of 1.5%, according to the latest estimates from the Commerce Department. The report also showed that corporate profits slowed in the third quarter.

    Despite an unemployment rate at its lowest level since 2008, the U.S. economy still faces “major headwinds,” according to EY Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger, who says there’s an “uncertainty tax” slowing down business investment and hiring.

    The causes of that uncertainty are far-reaching, from geopolitical concerns like the current power struggle between Russia and the United States over Syria to the uncertainty surrounding U.S. monetary policy and the Federal Reserve’s long-awaited decision whether and when to raise interest rates.

    “All these issues really do affect [capital expenditures],” says Weinberg, who served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. “We’ve seen that go down quarter after quarter after quarter. And while the unemployment rate’s come down, the overall employment rate is still near a 30-year low, and so we still have major headwinds.”

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  • Bob Nardelli: I’d be careful on equities right now

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    The Dow (^DJI) is up 60% in the last five years, but the momentum has slowed in the last year. At the time of publication, the Dow is 70 points below where it was one year ago. Stocks have recovered from the steep losses and volatility at the end of the summer, but they’re struggling to break out of the current range.

    The reason? Uncertainty, according to veteran CEO Bob Nardelli, who says it’s really hard to understand what the underpinning is for the Dow at 18,000.

    “We’ve got this fluctuation day-to-day, so there’s no predictability and no consistency in what’s happening out there, so I’d be careful on getting overweight in equities right now,” he said.

    Where to put money safely?

    So where should investors look for reliable investment options while the markets await clear direction from the Federal Reserve?

    Sectors worth a look and worth avoiding

    “I certainly would look at health care. I’d look at technology. Certainly the auto industry has served us well,” he said. “I think you have to be very careful and more of a rifle shot on where you’re going to put your money.”

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  • Adele's new album may break 'impossible' sales record

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    For Adele fans, it’s been a torturous four-year wait for new music. But the wait is finally over. The British sensation’s latest album, “25,” releases online and in stores Friday, November 20th. If you’re wondering who still buys physical CDs, you might be surprised to learn that the balance between physical and digital music sales, while shifting, still heavily favors CDs.

    Even in that context, Columbia Records will ship 3.6 million physical copies of “25,” according to Billboard. That is a staggering number by current industry standards. It will be the most CDs shipped for a new release since the 4.2 million copies of *NSYNC’s “No Strings Attached” in 2000. To put that in some perspective, iTunes didn’t even exist in 2000. (It was released on January 9, 2001.)

    If “25” lives up to the hype, it could break first-week sales records. That’s a feat many industry watchers thought would never happen again, thanks to a precipitous decline in music sales since digital began taking over.

    Total album sales, including CD, cassettes, vinyl and digital, were down 11% in 2014 compared to 2013, according to Nielsen.

    So why, after all these years, is this album the one drawing so much hype?

  • The surprisingly simple reason Blue Apron reached $2B valuation so fast

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    You can’t go online, watch TV, open your mail, or walk down the street without seeing an ad for a food delivery service these days. From Plated to HelloFresh and Blue Apron, there’s apparently an endless appetite for the services.

    Two of the cofounders of Blue Apron sat down with Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Andy Serwer to reveal how they managed to expand across the country in a matter of just a few years.

    The company, headquartered in New York, was founded in 2012 and has already reached a valuation of $2 billion, based on the latest funding round in June.

    The company has 3,000 employees and delivers more than 5 million meals a month across the United States.

    How does it work?

    There are two plan options: the 2-person plan, which costs $9.99 per person, per meal, and a family plan, which costs $8.74 per serving per meal or $69.92 per 8-serving delivery. There’s no membership fee and no commitment.

    Is an IPO in the offing?

  • Charles Koch: We’re creating welfare for the wealthy

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago

    Charles Koch, the billionaire CEO of Koch Industries, says welfare is making people’s lives worse, but he’s not talking about welfare for low-income parents or the elderly. He’s aiming at a much bigger target. He’s talking about welfare for some of the most valuable companies in the world in the form of government handouts such as tax breaks and subsidies.

    Before you go on a rant about how Koch’s own company—the second largest private company in the United States behind Cargill—benefits from the very same corporate benefits, he readily acknowledges that fact.

    In his new book, Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies, Koch writes:

    In an effort to change that, Koch is advocating for CEOs to reject the tax breaks and to push for changes in the laws that have netted America’s largest corporations hundreds of billions of dollars. It may seem like a fool’s errand to try to convince a CEO of a massive multinational corporation who must answer to a board and shareholders to forego anything that boosts their company’s bottom line.

  • Google sends kids on virtual field trips with Cardboard

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    Google (GOOG) Cardboard might not look like much. In fact, it looks like something elementary school kids might build for a school project or a science fair, not something they could use to travel the world. But that’s what they’re doing in a new program called “Expeditions.” It’s a Google Cardboard kit that teachers use in the classroom to take students on virtual adventures to far-flung destinations all over the world for a fraction of what the same trip would cost to see in person, or even on a high-end competitor product like the Oculus Rift (FB).


    That’s one of several new advancements in Cardboard that Google announced at this year’s I/O developers conference. Since the product launched at last year’s conference, it has taken off, with more than 1 million Cardboards now in circulation.

    So far, more than 100 schools are participating the program.

    YouTube, which is owned by Google, will support Cardboard and Jump videos as well.

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  • Google takes on Apple with new Photos app: Yahoo Finance Exclusive

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    Google (GOOG) is launching a new stand-alone photos app like Apple's (AAPL) photos app and Yahoo's (YHOO) Flickr. The new Google app will be totally separate from the existing photos options within Google+. Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer had an exclusive demo ahead of the unveiling at the Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco this week.

    Related: The 7 New Flickr Features That I'm Not Allowed to Review

    The app will work across Android, iOS and the web. It's the latest salvo in the war for dominance of your phone between Google and Apple.

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  • Obama's trade deal won't help the economy much: former White House economist

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    President Obama this week is going to the West Coast to pitch a controversial free trade pact with 12 nations including Japan, Australia and Vietnam. With the Trans Pacific Partnership, the President finds himself aligned with Republicans and divided against many members of his own party who vehemently oppose the trade deal, based on concerns that it will end up costing American jobs, rather than providing a lift to the middle class by boosting U.S. exports, as President Obama asserts.

    In his radio address last week, the President explained why he believes the new trade deals are not just important for the U.S. economy, but for U.S. values as well. “They’re vital to middle class economics – the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

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  • Eric Cantor: Attend your gay friend’s wedding

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 7 mths ago

    Republican contenders for the White House are being put to the test this week on what will certainly be one of the most talked-about issues in the 2016 campaign: gay marriage.

    A new Reuters poll finds a majority of Republicans (56%) would show up for a gay friend’s wedding if invited. That compares to 80 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of independents. Overall, 68 percent of Americans said they would attend. 19 percent would not and 13 percent were unsure.

    A separate poll conducted by AP-Gfk finds the country pretty evenly divided on the latest case before the Supreme Court with 50% saying the high court should rule that same-sex marriage should be legal and 48% saying it should not.

    The Republican candidates and prospective candidates vary in their response to the question: Would you attend your gay friend’s wedding.

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  • White House to Yahoo Finance: ‘We’ve done our part’ on corporate tax reform

    Deirdre Hughes at Yahoo Finance 7 mths ago

    There is a pair of issues on which both Republicans and Democrats agree in theory: corporate tax reform and infrastructure investment. But despite that tacit agreement, it seems unlikely that there will be any meaningful movement on either one in the near future. Why? Because no one actually believes corporate America will go for the proposed reforms, and that means America’s crumbling infrastructure likely will have to wait for another source of funding.

    The United States has the highest corporate tax among the OECD countries at 35%. (Ireland is the lowest at 12.5%.) President Obama has proposed a one-time lower rate for any U.S. multinational that agrees to repatriate profits currently held overseas and therefore not subject to U.S. corporate income tax.

    The President’s proposal would invest those repatriated funds in rebuilding infrastructure. In general terms, Republicans are largely supportive of infrastructure investment, but likely would find some disagreement on the finer points of how to fund it.

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