- Lauren Lyster at Daily Ticker19 mins ago
The Chinese yuan took one of its biggest hits in a decade Monday, falling 0.5% per dollar on the first trading afterthe country announced a policy change. On Saturday the People's Bank of China widened the trading band for the yuan from 1% to 2% a day.
"They want to tell speculators that the one-way bet is over," says David Pilling, Financial Times Asia Editor, referring to the billions of dollars in leveraged bets made on the assumption that China's currency could only keep rising.
China's new currency policy is also an example of incorporating more market discipline as the country tries to rebalance its economy away from an investment-and export-led model to one more tied to domestic consumption.
- Rick Newman at Daily Ticker1 hr ago
If you’re thinking about making a career change, you’ve got a lot of company.
One offbeat indicator of an improving economy is a rising “quit rate,” which measures the percentage of people who voluntarily leave their jobs every month. The quit rate, not surprisingly, plunged during the recession, as employees clung tight to any work that provided a paycheck. But it’s been rising again, and is about halfway back to where it was before the recession. And most people looking for a new job seem to be searching outside their current occupation.
“Job seekers are really looking to change careers,” Tara Sinclair, economist for the job-search site Indeed.com, tells me in the video above. More than 80% of job seekers using Indeed look for work in a different field than the one they’re in. “They see the job market changing and want to keep up with that, so they’re looking where they can have a lot of growth in their careers.”
- Aaron Task at Daily Ticker1 hr ago
The housing recovery may have already peaked but some hallmarks of the boom era are making a comeback: Adjustable-rate mortgages and reverse mortgages.
Both trends have raised alarms that the "bubble" mentality of the early 2000s is making a comeback, most notably the revival of adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).
"The tactics are reminiscent of the period before the 2008 crisis, when ARMs exploded in popularity as banks and mortgage brokers touted their low initial rates to consumers," The WSJ reports, noting particularly the revival of interest-only loans. "The loans were last popular during the housing bubble and were fingered as a cause for many foreclosures, though the banks say they are only approving borrowers with excellent credit who can afford the principal and interest payments on such loans."
The last part of that statement is critical and one reason why my colleague Rick Newman says the rise in ARMs isn't cause for alarm -- yet.
- Morgan Korn at Daily Ticker3 hrs ago
Global markets rallied Monday after briefly falling on Sunday's news that citizens in Ukraine's Crimea region voted overwhelmingly to join the Russian Federation. Nearly 97% of Crimeans voted to break away from Ukraine, a referendum that Western nations and government officials in Ukraine have publicly condemned, calling it illegal and illegitimate. On Monday the U.S. and European Union announced sanctions against Russian leaders that include asset freezes and travel bans.
"Crimea is a done deal," says Willis Sparks, director of global macro at Eurasia Group. "Russia doesn't care about sanctions, Ukraine is too important to them. Sanctions are a sideshow."
- Bernice Napach at Daily Ticker2 days ago
Hundreds of millions of dollars tied up in bitcoins were reportedly lost when Mt. Gox, the biggest exchange for bitcoin transactions, collapsed at the end of February. Since then Mt. Gox has filed for bankruptcy, a federal judge in Chicago has frozen the U.S. assets of its CEO Mark Karpeles, lawsuits have been filed and calls for regulating bitcoin transactions have increased substantially.
Will regulation protect the consumers spending the virtual currency and the individuals and businesses collecting bitcoins? Related: Car chases, bankruptcy, hackers: What's next for bitcoin?
Tony Gallippi, CEO of BitPay, an electronic payment processing system for the bitcoin currency, says there's no need for new regulations.
"We already have regulation on the books that regulate banks, remittance services and financial services...the same rules...can apply [to bitcoin]," Gallippi said earlier this week at a Yahoo Finance-sponsored panel at South by Southwest conference.
- Morgan Korn at Daily Ticker3 days ago
Ukraine, Russia, China: U.S. markets continued to lose ground Friday after plunging sharply Thursday as investors turned their attention again to the crisis in Crimea and weak economic data from China. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) posted its biggest decline in six weeks Thursday and is off nearly 3% since Jan. 1. The S&P 500 Index (^GSPC) erased all of its gains yesterday and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) is the only U.S. market in positive territory on a year-to-date basis.
Citizens living in Ukraine's Crimea region will vote on a referendum this weekend to secede from Ukraine, an event that could roil global markets. But James Altucher, investor, author and entrepreneur, says what happens in Ukraine has no impact on U.S. growth and the everyday activities of Fortune 500 companies.
- Nicole Goodkind at Daily Ticker3 days ago
Cloud computing just got a lot more accessible. Google Drive announced Thursday it was lowering the price of its cloud storage service, incentivizing those who were happy to use only the free 15GB of storage to pay for more.
Google will now charge $1.99 per month for 100GB of storage down from $4.99, and $9.99 per month for 1TB versus $49.99.
The storage Google (GOOG) provides is actually shared between Gmail, Drive and Google+. Those who are already paying will be automatically placed into the new payment plan.
Related: Get ready to work in the cloud
This means that Google provides more storage than any of its competitors, and at a cheaper rate too. This might pose a problem for the valuations of popular cloud storage companies Dropbox and Box, both of which were planning on going public later this year.
The Daily Ticker’s Henry Blodget isn’t too concerned about the impact of Google's price cut on these two cloud companies.
“I’m not sure this actually hits Dropbox and Box too much…lots of people are already on Dropbox and Box and switching is a pain," he says.
- Morgan Korn at Daily Ticker4 days ago
Filing one's income taxes has never been an enjoyable experience. Yet taxpayers have even more to worry about these days than digging out old receipts and remembering where they stashed W2 forms. Cyber criminals have become more sophisticated in their online attacks and millions of Americans unknowingly fall victim to these tax scams every year. Nearly 1.6 million taxpayers were deceived in the first half of 2013 -- a tenfold increase from 2010, according to cybersecurity expert Patrick Peterson. These scams are emails that are often "too good to be true" says Peterson and are sent from email aliases that look like official government agencies like the IRS.
"The IRS won't reach out to you over email," says Peterson, who is also the CEO of data security firm Agari. "If you see something suspicious call the IRS."
- Lauren Lyster at Daily Ticker4 days ago
They're baaaack. Banker bonuses on Wall Street last year clocked in at the highest level since before the 2008 financial crisis, with the average New York finance employee's bonus growing 15% in 2013 to $164,000, according to the New York State Comptroller.
That's all fine and well, except that according to Bloomberg News editor Bob Ivry, the shenanigans of the biggest banks since the financial crisis have been astonishing. Detailing them is the premise of Ivry's new book The Seven Sins of Wall Street: Big Banks, Their Washington Lackeys, and the Next Financial Crisis.
- Nicole Goodkind at Daily Ticker4 days ago
In his State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama said he was prepared to go around Congress if lawmakers stymied important legislation. Today he is making good on that threat—the president is expected to order a rule that would require more employers to pay overtime to salaried workers.
Currently, employers aren’t required to pay overtime to salaried workers earning over $455 a week or $24,000 a year. While it is unclear by how much the Labor Department will raise the salary limit, former White House economist Jared Bernstein has proposed an increase to $984 a week or about $50,000 a year. That means this rule would impact between five and 10 million people.