Posts by The Daily Ticker
- The Daily Ticker at Yahoo Finance Video28 days ago
One of the most iconic pieces of Americana, the shopping mall, isn’t really American at all. In fact, the first mall was created by an Austrian refugee who wanted to recreate an American version of downtown Vienna. Victor Gruen escaped to America from Nazi Austria in 1938 with, “an architect’s degree, eight dollars, and no English.” By the late 1940s, World War II was over and the American economy was in full swing. Suburban sprawl and consumerism were the new normal, and this bothered Gruen. “[Strip malls are] avenues of horror… flanked by the greatest collection of vulgarity—billboards, motels, gas stations, shanties, car lots, miscellaneous industrial equipment, hot dog stands, wayside stores—ever collected by mankind,” he wrote.
- The Daily Ticker at Daily Ticker29 days ago
Dan Gross, a columnist and editor at The Daily Beast and author of Better, Stronger, Faster, has been bullish on the U.S. economy for years, though he waived red flags in March that the U.S. could be headed toward a "substantial" slowdown.
The government's first-quarter GDP revision caught many economists off guard this week and raised concerns that the tepid economic recovery may be over. U.S. growth contracted by 2.9% versus earlier an estimate of -1%. It was the worst quarter since Q1 2009.
Gross says last-quarter's dismal GDP reading was a "mulligan" ("We're allowed one per year," he quips) and the nation's decision makers are looking forward, not back. The weak GDP report will not deter the Federal Reserve from continuing with its current policy prescriptions, he notes.
- The Daily Ticker at Daily Ticker29 days ago
GoPro's pocket-size cameras are revered by sports enthusiasts, techies and gearheads. On Thursday, the video-camera maker will find out whether investors are just as enthusiastic about its products. GoPro begins trading as a public company on the Nasdaq after the market opens; its ticker symbol is "GPRO." GoPro has already sold 17.8 million shares to investors at $24 a piece, the high end of the expected range. That values the company at just under $3 billion. GoPro's sale raised $427 million in what could become the largest consumer electronics IPO on record. Duracell currently holds that spot with its $433 million public offering in 1991.
Last year GoPro was the No. 1 seller of camcorders in the U.S. and its profit rose 88% to $61 million in 2013. Revenue jumped 87% to $986 million.
Bloomberg IPO reporter Leslie Picker says GoPro was able to get a higher valuation because the company has pitched itself as a media company. The approach is "a bit unique," she says, but it reflects the company's future growth strategy.
When Amazon (AMZN) announced that it would begin using drones to deliver some shipments last December, CEO Jeff Bezos was largely hailed as an innovative hero, the next Steve Jobs. Now it looks like there’s one little thing getting in the way of his dreams, the United States government.
Federal Aviation Administration documents filed Monday make it clear that drones are approved only for “recreational purposes” and delivering packages for a fee does not qualify as recreation.
In the associated video, Yahoo Finance Editor-in-Chief Aaron Task said he thinks Amazon will forge ahead despite the FAA’s opposition. “This doesn’t change their plans, which is what they have said because their plans are that they’re going to be doing this several years in the future.”
The stock market is rigged and always has been says Heidi Moore, the U.S. economics and finance editor at The Guardian. That's why many investors are staying clear of stocks even though U.S. markets are trading at all-time highs. An April Bankrate.com survey found that 73% of investors are "not more inclined to invest in stocks" -- the third consecutive year of negative investor sentiment.
Is climate change the next financial crisis? Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson argues in a NYT editorial there will be serious consequences -- both economically and environmentally -- if U.S. lawmakers continue to underestimate the "climate bubble." He writes:
"For too many years, we failed to rein in the excesses building up in the nation’s financial markets. When the credit bubble burst in 2008, the damage was devastating. Millions suffered. Many still do. We’re making the same mistake today with climate change. We’re staring down a climate bubble that poses enormous risks to both our environment and economy. The warning signs are clear and growing more urgent as the risks go unchecked."
Pimco founder Bill Gross has long been seen as the “bond king." Pimco's Total Return Fund, which Gross leads a team in managing, is the world’s largest bond fund and a bellwether for traditional bond funds. Still, for the last 13 consecutive months, investors have been withdrawing money from it. The most recent data for May shows net outflows of $4.3 billion for the month, bringing total outflows to $59.6 billion since Mayof last year.
The nation's booming natural gas industry has transformed the U.S. energy landscape. Yet Dan Dicker, author of Oil's Endless Bid and a long-time oil trader, argues the U.S. shale revolution has been "overhyped." He tells The Daily Ticker that hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) of shale rock has increased U.S. energy production by 3.5 million barrels a day -- a significant increase from previous years but not nearly enough to keep up with global demand.
"What has happened in the shale revolution has been significant for us but globally speaking it hasn't been enough to off set the increases in demand that will come over the next few years," he tells The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task and Henry Blodget in the video above.
Uber has already made it easy to quit using cabs in many cities. But can the service eventually inspire lots of Americans to forgo owning a car of their own?
The mobile-phone on-demand car service is valued at more than $17 billion by private investors who have grand ambitions for Uber to upend urban travel. The five-year-old service is already in more than 130 cities, and is perceived as enough of a threat to taxi services that cab drivers and local regulators have sought to block its entry on their turf.
In London and parts of Europe, cab drivers shut down major roads in protest of the car-sharing service. While commentators have scoffed at the enormous valuation placed on San Francisco-based Uber, the company has clearly proved it has staying power. Ironically, after London’s “black cab” drivers snarled traffic in protest of the new competition, Uber’s ridership in the city surged 850%.
The European Central Bank cut its key lending rate and deposit rate on Thursday in an effort to boost bank lending and combat low inflation rates which remain at 0.5%, well below the bank’s target of 2% inflation.
The ECB cut the main lending rate to a new low of 0.15% from 0.25% and dropped the deposit rate to -0.1%, a first for a bank of its size. That means the ECB is charging commercial banks for overnight deposits at the central bank.
ECB President Mario Draghi pledged that interest rates will remain low and vowed to take further action should the measures announced Thursday prove insufficient in stimulating new lending. Draghi acknowledged that rate cuts have “reached the lower bounds.”
Further steps could include a program similar to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, where the central bank would undertake a broad-based asset purchase program. The ECB’s economists issued new forecasts for inflation below previous estimates. The ECB now sees inflation running at an annual rate of 0.7% this year, versus previous forecasts of 1% earlier this year. U.S. stocks moved to fresh record highs after the news.