- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker25 mins ago
When U.S. first-quarter GDP numbers are reported next week, economists aren't expecting much, with estimates ranging from 1% to 1.5%. Update: A sharp drop in March new homes sales Wednesday morning prompted greater concern about first-quarter growth; in reaction, Goldman Sachs downgrade its Q1 GDP forecast to 1.4% from 1.9%.
But the consensus is for a big rebound in the rest of the year, with estimates of 3% for the second quarter and 2.7% for the full year, according to a Bloomberg survey. That's consistent with the "central tendency" of Federal Reserve board members, who are expecting a 2.8% to 3% growth rate for all of 2014.
But one former Fed official isn't so sure.
"I certainly think there's going to be a rebound from the first quarter [but] to make a 3% year...we've got to do a lot better than 3% in the remaining three quarters and I"m just not quite that optimistic," says Princeton professor and former Fed Vice Chair Alan Blinder. "I just don't see where the growth is going to come from."
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker4 hrs ago
The past year has seen a sea change on Wall Street: Investment bankers are being told to work less.
Goldman Sachs (GS) was first out of the gate, telling its junior bankers to take Saturdays off and restricting analysts from going to the office or logging in to company systems from 9 p.m. Fridays to 9 a.m. Sunday.
J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) quickly followed suit, respectively giving junior bankers one "protected weekend" a month and telling junior employees to take off four weekend days per month.
The tragic death of a 21-year old Bank of America intern last summer brought harsh media scrutiny on Wall Street and helped put pressure on the big firms to ease up on a industry so hard-driving and "Type A." Young investment bankers are famous for working extremely long hours, including weekends and holidays; for many junior people in the industry, their first (often only) day off is their wedding day.
- Aaron Pressman at Daily Ticker5 hrs ago
Facebook (FB) reported earnings on Wednesday that blew away Wall Street expectations. In an increasingly mobile world, Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room creation is looking more and more like one of the best advertising platforms around.
Overall revenue increased 72% to $2.5 billion in the first quarter, above the $2.36 billion analysts had expected. Ad revenue was up 82% from last year, the fastest growth rate for Facebook in three years, and more than half -- $1.3 billion -- came from mobile users. The company reported it hit 609 million daily active users on mobile in the first quarter, up 43% from a year ago.
- Aaron Pressman at Daily Ticker6 hrs ago
If you’re looking for signs of a tech bubble, Apple’s (AAPL) latest moves won’t help your case. The tech giant announced on Wednesday that it would split its stock 7 for 1 and increase its already massive stock buyback and dividend plans. There were a lot of splits by big companies during the Internet bubble. Cisco Systems famously split its stock every year from 1996 through February 2000 – just before the bubble popped.
But Apple is hardly making the move due to a rocketing stock price. The shares are down 6% so far this year, though it looks like they will erase the loss and get back to even when trading starts today. Apple remains 26% below its all-time high of $705.07 hit in September 2012. And the shares trade at a price-to-earnings ratio of about 13, below the market average and nowhere near the crazy levels seen in the Internet bubble.
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker7 hrs ago
Every once in a while a book, movie or piece of theater captures the Zeitgeist so completely that its popularity soars. Thomas Piketty's new book Capital in the Twenty-First Centuryis the latest example, and an unlikely one, as it is a 700-page economics book.
Published just weeks ago in the U.S., the book is now the Number 1 bestseller on Amazon.com.(Its author is a professor of the Paris School of Economics and it was first published in France.)
The primary theme of "Capital": Income inequality is growing and will continue to grow due the structure of capitalism in the 21st century.
- Nicole Goodkind at Daily Ticker1 day ago
More than ever Millennials and baby boomers are ditching their spread-out suburban lives and packing it in for the city.
Columbia Professor Vishaan Chakrabarti wrote in a New York Times Op-ed last week that lower crime, better schools and more parks are making cities increasingly appealing while the difficulties of attaining mortgages and car loans, combined with a new environmental and social consciousness, make suburban living seem retro and ill-fitting for today's society.
Professor Chakrabarti, author of A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America joined the Daily Ticker to discuss what he calls the “beginning stages of a historic urban reordering.”
Related: Why Millennials Will Never Be Happy
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker1 day ago
It looks almost like a marriage made in heaven: Liberal entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley are starting companies that can profit from the growing marijuana trade. "The entire tech-industrial complex is getting in on the action: investors, entrepreneurs, biotechnologists, scientists" and more, writes Mat Honan, senior writer at WIRED, in his latest story "High Tech: How Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are rushing to cash in on cannabis." Related: Grover Norquist wants "tax equality" for marijuana industry
These entrepreneurs include manufacturers of vaporizers such as Firefly and UpToke, which allow pot smokers to inhale vapor instead of smoke; software makers including MJ Freeway and Agrisoft, which track pot sales and inventory; and the Stanley Brothers — Jared, Jesse, Joel, Jon, Jordan, and Josh — who operate medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado in addition to a nonprofit that produces a strain of medical marijuana.
- Lauren Lyster at Daily Ticker1 day ago
Gilead Sciences (GILD) reported earnings after the bell Tuesday and blew through estimates, driven by $2.27 billion in sales for its new $1,000 a day hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi, which is believed to be the best-selling prescription drug launch in history, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Henry Blodget at Daily Ticker1 day ago
Apple (AAPL) reports earnings Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street is not expecting particularly impressive results. The focus of most Apple investors appears to be on the new products Apple is expected to roll out in the second half of this year.
And those products are indeed critical for the company and its stock price.
A few years ago, Apple was one of the greatest growth stories in the stock market. For more than a decade, the company astounded Wall Street with one smashing quarter after another. Eventually, Apple's lead in smartphones and tablets seemed insurmountable, and Apple's stock price soared above $700 per share.
But then the premium smartphone market hit maturity, and smaller, cheaper tablets began to gobble up more and more market share.
And now Apple is no longer a growth company.
- Nicole Goodkind at Daily Ticker2 days ago
Characters like Jordan Belfort (the DiCaprio-depiction) and Gordon Gekko fill the big screen and young minds with dreams of Wall Street grandeur and luxury. And maybe once-upon-a-time working for a big bank was full of such excess, but today, says Kevin Roose, it’s less about a spoil of riches and more about long hours and thankless work.
Roose followed eight young Wall Street hopefuls over the course of three years for his book "Young Money." What he found was that the job wasn’t quite what they expected it to be. “It wasn’t anything like The Wolf of Wall Street,” he says.
“It was like a dystopian nightmare. They got there and were immediately thrust into these jobs where they were working sometimes 100 to 110 hours a week. There’s a thing called the bankers 9-to-5…where you show up for work at 9am and you don’t leave until the next day at 5am.”