Posts by Morgan Korn
- Morgan Korn at Yahoo Finance1 mth ago
Stocks have, on average, swooned in September, wiping out gains in the last 20, 50 and 100 years. Will history repeat itself this September?
Big institutional investors such as Blackstone and Wells Capital Management have raised concerns that this summer rally could grind to a halt. The Leuthold Group's Doug Ramsey told The Wall Street Journal that an 8% to 10% market correction was coming and "there's a good chance that it would wipe out all the gains for the year."
Yahoo Finance's Aaron Task says investors should be worried because the "S&P has gone up like a scalded cat" but he doesn't expect markets will drop simply because of the calendar year. "There will be some catalyst for a selloff," he argues in the video above. The S&P 500 Index has gained a little more than 8% since the beginning of the year and is up 94% over the past five years.
- Morgan Korn at Yahoo Finance1 mth ago
Is the higher education system broken? According to the New York Federal Reserve, student loan debt totals more than $1.2 trillion – exceeding outstanding credit card and auto loan debt. Students leave college with an expensive degree, but many are either unemployed or working in jobs that pay the minimum wage. William Deresiewicz, a former Yale professor and author of the new book Excellent Sheep , argues there is a way to reform higher education and it all starts with the admissions game.
He tells Yahoo Finance in the video above that admissions standards, especially at the most elite colleges in the country, exacerbate inequality because “it costs lot of money to produce the kind of kid who can get into these schools. It’s a resume's arms race that's going on in affluent suburbs. Not surprisingly, a vast majority of the kids who go to these schools are from affluent families.”
Two years after consumer outrage forced meat processors and retailers to stop using “pink slime” — the ammonia-treated slaughterhouse remnants added to some ground beef — the dubious byproduct is back in the mix as beef prices rise and suppliers scramble to cut costs.
Patty Lovera, assistant director at consumer advocacy group , notes in the video above that the renewed demand is certainly not coming from consumers. "I don't think most consumers have changed their mind and suddenly decided this is the type of ingredient they're looking for," Lovera says. "It’s economics.”
The additive was coined “pink slime” by former USDA scientist Gerald Zirnstein, who told that “pink slime” was “not fresh ground beef” but a “cheap substitute being added in.” At the time, he said 70% of the ground beef sold in the nation’s supermarkets contained “pink slime." The product is made by separating the fat out from meat scraps and treating what's left with ammonia or citric acid to kill bacteria.
A piece of comic book history could be yours -- for a cool $2 million. Action Comics No. 1, regarded as the "holy grail of comic books" by collectors, is up for auction on eBay (EBAY) until Sunday, Aug. 24 at 9pm PT (the current bidding was over $2.05 million as of Friday morning).
Action Comics No. 1, for non-comic book geeks, is the first-ever appearance of Superman, the iconic superhero created by Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster.
Is J.C. Penney's (JCP) comeback for real? Investors will find out when the beleaguered retailer releases fiscal second-quarter earnings after the close Thursday. Wall Street is expecting J.C. Penney to report a loss of $0.93 per share and revenue of $2.79 billion, an increase of 4% from the year ago quarter. Investors sent shares of J.C. Penney up 16% after the company said in May that first-quarter earnings beat expectations.
Howard Davidowitz, a longtime retail consultant, tells Yahoo Finance that Penney’s turnaround won’t happen until the retailer shutters more of its low-volume stores and is able to attract affluent shoppers like its competitor Macy’s (M).
“Penney’s needs major restructuring to get themselves back on track,” says Davidowitz. “Right now the company is on track to go broke.”
It’s time to fess up: you use the same password for many – if not all – of your online accounts. Between email, social media accounts and web shopping sites like Amazon (AMZN), it’s hard to keep track of all those passwords. But it’s more important than ever to create unique passwords for every site that requires one – especially if you don’t want to be a victim of hacking. Last week, news broke that aRussian hacking ring stole more than 1 billion usernames and passwords and 500 million email addresses – purportedly the largest theft in the history of the Internet. Mat Honan, a senior writer at WIRED magazine, has written extensively about how to protect online identities after hackers nearly erased his digital life by simply retrieving his AppleID login-in credentials in 2012. Honan shared four simple tips for safeguarding your online accounts:
Use a password manager
Regulators are clamping down on payday lenders everywhere. In the latest case, New York prosecutors filed criminal charges against Carey Vaughn Brown, a former used car salesman from Texas, for usury, reports The New York Times. Brown operated 12 payday companies that allegedly flouted New York law by channeling money through Tennessee and the West Indies, according to The Times. Brown's companies charged cash-strapped borrowers annualized interest rates ranging from 350% to 650%; New York usury law caps interest rates at 25%.
“The exploitative practices — including exorbitant interest rates and automatic payments from borrowers’ bank accounts, as charged in the indictment — are sadly typical of this industry as a whole,” said Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., as quoted in The Times.
Harry Potter has millions of fans. Benjamin F. Bailar is not one of them. The 80-year-old former postmaster general and avid stamp collector sent a letter last month to Patrick Donahoe, the current postmaster general, berating the United States Postal Service for including the boy wizard on its postage stamps.
“The stamp program should celebrate the things that are great about the United States and serve as a medium to communicate those things to a world-wide audience,” Bailar wrote in the letter, which was first reported by and . “To prostitute that goal in the pursuit of possibly illusory profits does not make sense to me. ”
Bailar expressed frustration that the (CSAS) was not consulted about the Harry Potter decision. Bailar, who resigned as a member of the exclusive committee July 23, argues that the post office has “become heavily weighted to artists and designers with fewer and fewer people who can truly provide solid input on the subject matter of stamps.”
It’s never been so trendy to be a small farmer. Buying your tomatoes, lettuce and peppers at the local farmers’ market has become a weekly ritual for millions of Americans. Supermarkets are stocking small farmers’ yogurt, milk and cheese products next to stalwart dairy brands. Signs are posted in the produce and fruit aisles, informing shoppers as to where that apple or carrot was grown. It may not be too far of a stretch to say that the small farmer has become a rock star in the farm-to-table craze.
“There’s never been a better time to get into small farming than in the last 30 years,” says Dan Barber, executive chef of and author of The Third Plate . “If someone told me they were interested in farming, I would say ‘go.’ It’s boom time. Small farmers have never made more money…they’re cultural icons.”
American craft beer can be found in every local watering hole and in mass-market supermarket chains like Whole Foods (WFM). Craft beer has become so popular that production volume has jumped 18% during the first half of the year, according to the Brewers Association, a trade group. There are 3,040 craft breweries in the U.S. as of June 30 and more than 1,900 breweries are expected to open in the near future. Craft beer shipments are on the rise, too: the industry shipped $28.4 billion cases of craft beer in 2012, an increase of nearly 33.6% since 2007.
Food & Wine’s Ray Isle says Americans are ditching traditional ales for craft beers because “we’re more interested in beers that have intensity in flavor and character and these beers have a lot of character to them.”
With so many craft beers to choose from, which are the best? Isle shared some of his favorites with Yahoo Finance: