Posts by Nicole Goodkind
Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 13 hrs ago
As Americans sit around the Thanksgiving table this Thursday, representatives from the 12 member countries that make up OPEC will be meeting in Vienna to discuss the possibility of a cut in production quotas for the first time since 2008.
The oil powers traditionally meet twice a year to discuss petroleum regulation. At this meeting, they are expected to address crude oil prices that have now dropped nearly 30% since June. Saudi Arabia has been a lone hold out on supporting prices, and prices fell further when an early meeting between the world’s largest exporter of oil, Venezuela, Russia and Mexico failed to produce an agreement on reducing oil output.
Energy stocks have bounced a bit but “the question of whether it becomes just a reflex bounce is a big one,” says Santoli.
Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago
Uber is reportedly facilitating subprime auto loans to its drivers. According to a report by tech blog Valleywag, the car share company is hooking up drivers with loans through Santander Consumer USA that can be paid off through Uber paychecks. The company is specifically marketing these loans to drivers with bad credit saying, "Even if you have bad credit or no credit at all, we can help you get behind the wheel in a week." Uber contends that these loans are low-risk, but others think that this is indicative of a larger auto-loan bubble in the U.S.
Brad Lamensdorf, portfolio manager at Ranger Alternative Management, tells Yahoo Finance that we’re absolutely in another bubble. He points to low quality loan exposure and artificially high auto sales because of easy credit. Auto loan balances have reached a new record of $900 billion, exceeding the previous 2005-2006 balance by 10%-- deep subprime loans in general have increased 13% alone in Q2 2014.
Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago
The Rastafarian crooner's estate made $20 million last year, 33 years after his death, and with his new cannabis line dubbed Marley Natural set to hit the market his net worth might get a lot… higher. There already are pot products out there capitalizing on Marley's long association with marijuana, but this will be the first official line of Marley-branded pot.
Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago
A Senate vote on the completion of the Keystone XL Pipeline is scheduled for late Tuesday, less than a week after the House voted to approve the legislation.
If approved, 1,200 miles of pipeline will be built to connect oil reserves in Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. If completed, up to 830,000 barrels of crude oil would move daily from the Canadian oil sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Once the crude reached its final destination it would be processed into gasoline and fuel. 40% of the pipeline is already completed and in use. There are currently 2.6 million miles of pipeline in use in the United States.
The pipeline has been held up by six years of intensive debate between politicians, energy advocates and environmentalists, all have whom have strong opinions about the project.
Environmentalists fear that extracting crude from the oil sands in Alberta causes an increase in greenhouse gas and will contribute to global warming. The U.S. State Department, however, has reported that there will be no significant environmental impact from the pipeline. Advocates for the project argue it will create jobs.
Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago
We’re still waiting on flying cars, but there is serious innovation in the auto world. Tesla’s electric cars and Google’s self-driving cars are changing the way we think about driving, but so far these technologies have been elusive—banned in the U.S. or reserved for the 1%.
Ford CEO Mark Fields wants to change that. “Clearly we have the capability to create electric vehicles,” he tells Yahoo Finance's Bianna Golodryga in the associated video. Ford is currently ranked number two in the electric market and has released the popular Ford Focus, which was ranked as the most fuel-efficient compact car sold within the United States.
“Tesla (TSLA) has done a very good job of bringing electrified cars into the consciousness of the American people,” he says, but “Tesla’s approach is to cater to a high-end consumer.” Ford’s approach, according to Fields, will be to make electrified vehicles “attainable to the masses.”
Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 11 days ago
It’s Friday and that means it’s time for the weekly roundtable, brought to you by Yahoo Finance’s Aaron Task, Michael Santoli and Jeff Macke.
Next week is the last full week before the holiday season officially kicks off, and we bet you’ll want to make it count—here’s what you need to know before Monday morning.
Markets are nearly at all-time highs, “it’s one of those historic runs where the market refuses to back off. But I do think there are some things you need to be cognizant of that are happening underneath the surface,” says Santoli. One of those things is that the high-yield, junk bond market has been softening up.
It’s not a big deal or systemic problem in the bond market, says Santoli, “BUT the last time this happened and the time before that stocks tried to shrug it off and then ultimately if it worsens further it’s an excuse for stocks to back off.”
For at least the last two years, the high yield market has been at the center of the strength of the finance system, he says. Whenever there is some sort of hiccup, it brings in the other markets.
Oil and Gas
Oil prices in the U.S. are down more than 19% this year and Brent crude is down around 25%. Surging U.S. oil production and a strong dollar have lowered the cost of oil significantly, and as a result Americans are getting a break at the gas pump. We’re in the midst of the longest consecutive decline in gas price since 2008. While this is bad news for oil and gas companies, it could give a boost to the auto industry.
Ford has scaled back production in order to revamp its factories to produce the 2015 F-150 pickup truck which will be made out of aluminum instead of steel and weigh 700 pounds less than previous iterations. While the lighter cars will help with fuel efficiency and attract buyers looking to save money on gas, Ford has lost over $3 billion in potential revenue to make them.
Ford CEO Mark Fields doesn’t see it this way, he believes that the price of gas is on a long upward trend and that this is a momentary dip—taking the time and money to make a more fuel efficient car will pay off in the end.
Despite the transition, Fields believes that this will be a strong year for Ford, “we’re guiding towards about $6 billion of profit globally.”
Automation and robots are replacing real human interaction and Millennials don’t care. At least that’s what Brett King, best-selling futurist and creator of Moven, a mobile banking app says.
According to King, any bank or institution that requires a signature at all is in trouble with the younger generation. “All of the basic services [young people] use today simply don't require a signature for opening an account - Facebook, Google, iTunes, Snapchat, Instagram, Mobile Phone Accounts, etc.” he writes.
Behavior around banking is changing, King tells Yahoo Finance. The way we pay for things and the way we interact with those around us and our money are changing because of a modality shift brought on by the smartphone. He believes that the physical bank branch might soon be gone.
Human service used to be a differentiator because it was better, says King, but we’re now realizing that with technologies like IBM’s Watson that a human experience isn’t always better—even in banking.
Ford begins production on its all-new F-150 today. The pickup truck has been America’s best-selling car for 32 consecutive years, selling 763,402 alone in 2013. The new F-150 will be completely overhauled, and will use aluminum instead of steel body panels—taking about 700 pounds off of the car and lowering its gas consumption in the process.
Increased fuel efficiency aside, this overhaul is a big financial gamble for Ford, who will have to change their factories in Dearborn, Michigan and Kansas City, Missouri extensively in order to produce the vehicle to new specifications. According to Ford’s own estimates they will lose 90,000 units of truck production this year while they retool the F-150 factories. At an average cost of $40,000 per unit that’s a loss of $3.6 billion in potential revenue.
It begs the question: if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
Nicole Goodkind at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago
Jon Huntsman, Sr. is the founder and chairman of Huntsman Corporation, father of 2012 presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman Jr., and a billionaire who has pledged to give away all of his money to charitable causes before he passes away. At the age of 77, he estimates that he’s already given away 80% of his net worth, or about $2 billion.
The majority of this money has gone to the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, the largest in the world for combined children and adult genetic cancer research, according to Huntsman. The cause is dear to Huntsman’s heart. He has suffered from cancer four times, and his mother passed away early from the disease. “550,000 Americans die of cancer each year. One out of two men will have it, one out of three women… we’re going to find a cure for this disease,” he tells Yahoo Finance.
Research at the facility costs about $120 million a year, according to Huntsman. “I love to give money away,” says Huntsman. “I don’t know if it makes my children and grandchildren all that happy,” he remarks.