Jennifer Booton on why booze, food and baseball could be a more accurate barometer of economic growth.
Jennifer Booton on why booze, food and baseball could be a more accurate barometer of economic growth.
MANILA/BEIJING (Reuters) - Twenty-nine Chinese steel firms have had their licenses revoked as Beijing kept up its campaign to tackle overcapacity in the sector and days after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would open a probe into cheap steel exports from China and elsewhere. Analysts say the revocations were unlikely to be a direct response to Trump's plan, but rather a part of China's reform measures aimed at reducing surplus steel capacity that many estimate at around 300 million tonnes, about three times Japan's annual output. The official China Daily said Washington's move to investigate steel imports could trigger a trade dispute between the United States and its trading partners.
In late 2014, when crude oil was vacillating between roughly $60 and $80 a barrel, Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service called for a plunge in crude prices over the next year. Now, Kloza sees further downside for the commodity that's already tumbled nearly 8 percent this year as U.S. production keeps climbing. "Back to the drawing board for crude oil prices," he remarked Friday in an interview on CNBC's "Trading Nation." Kloza's comments come on the heels of crude oil's worst weekly performance since early March, in which the commodity lost nearly 7 percent to settle just below $50 a barrel. "It's the sense that too much gasoline and really a drop in U.S. demand in particular, but a little bit of softness in India and some other places, is going to lead to an undertow for refinery runs," Kloza, who co-founded the Oil Price Information Service and is the firm's global head of energy analysis, said Friday.
So much for people using their tax refund checks for a few splurges at fast casual restaurant Chipotle (CMG) in the first quarter. Same-store sales for the restaurant industry fell 1.6% in the first quarter, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of negative results, according to industry research firm Black Box Intelligence. The last time the industry experienced a similar ugly period was in 2009 and the first half of 2010 as the economy was in the grips of the Great Recession. Restaurant traffic plunged 3.6% in the quarter, says Black Box Intelligence, with the average check up 1.9%. The increase in check is of little comfort: it's slower than the average 2.3% increase seen in 2016 as brands
The restaurant industry is in a prolonged slump and no segment is having a harder time than the fast casual niche. Once the darling of the restaurant space, fast casual chains are struggling mightily to keep pace with even traditional quick-serve restaurants. The fast casual concept tapped into customers looking for a meal that was a step up from fast food with fresher, healthier ingredients that were served quickly, in a pleasing environment, at a reasonable price. The growing trend was epitomized by chains like Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) and Panera Bread (NASDAQ:PNRA), which applied those concepts to Mexican food and sandwiches, respectively. Although both of those chains have faced
Pipeline giant Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) could be positioning itself to offer retirees sustainable income by emerging much stronger from the problems that originally forced it to cut its dividend in late 2015. It might seem crazy to consider a company whose most recent dividend move was a 75% cut as being capable of offering sustainable income, but Kinder Morgan just might be able to pull it off. The reason is simple: Unlike many companies forced by poor operating results to slash their dividends, Kinder Morgan was forced to make the cut by its balance sheet, rather than its operations. After Kinder Morgan acted as something of a white night to bail out the struggling Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America, Moody's threatened to downgrade its debt to junk status because of its increased leverage.
If Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) had one foot in the grave coming into the year, then it has just dipped the second foot into a six foot hole. The dying retailer said in a new filing on Friday that same-store sales since the start of the year crashed 11.9% between its two banners. Excluding one-time gains related to the sale of the Craftsman tool business and certain real estate, Sears lost between $190 million to $230 million. That is worse than a year ago when it lost $181 million. Shares of Sears fell slightly to $13.35 in early trading on Monday. Sears also announced the departure of CFO Jason Hollar, who had only been on the job for about six months. The company hinted strongly it will move
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The 10 biggest companies that do not support Trump did more than just refrain from associating with the new U.S president. As basketball great Michael Jordan allegedly said when asked about his silence on social issues during his heyday, “Republicans buy sneakers too.” Therefore, it is logical for companies to remain politically inoffensive if they want to get as many customers as they can. The election of President Trump (and it still feels weird to type out that phrase) has ushered in a wave of new policies that are doubtless polarizing, to say the least. The most polarizing of these regulations (or attempted regulations) is an immigration ban on people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
Electronics giant Samsung will this week offer an unusually early software update for its newly-released Galaxy S8 phone, it said Monday after some consumers complained of red-tinted screens. The launch of the device is a key step for the South Korean tech firm as it seeks to move on from last year's humiliating withdrawal of the Galaxy Note 7 over exploding batteries, which hammered the firm's once-stellar reputation. Online images of their phones went viral on social media but Samsung denied a hardware flaw and maintained that users could manually adjust the colour range according to their preferences.
Saving receipts every time you donate money to a charitable organization, maximizing your education tax breaks, or buying your first house could all put more money back in your pocket at tax time next year, just to name a few. Not only can you get a nice tax break for your contributions to an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plan, but by taking advantage of this, you'll also be building up a nest egg, and getting closer to financial freedom later in life. When you save and invest in a tax-deferred retirement account, such as a traditional IRA or in a 401(k) at work, there are three potential tax benefits. When you contribute money to a qualified tax-deferred retirement account, your contributions could be deductible from your income.
Wall Street is betting Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. will soon revive talks on a blockbuster merger, but a recent surge in demand for wireless assets has Sprint exploring other ways to unleash value. Sprint’s parent SoftBank Group Corp. believes the company’s vast trove of wireless spectrum, which can be used for faster 5G services, has been undervalued, a view bolstered by AT&T Inc.’s lofty $1.6 billion purchase of Straight Path Communications Inc., according to people familiar with the matter.
The original plan for President Trump’s border wall, repeated ad nauseam on the campaign trail, was that it would be paid for by Mexico. Eventually, when the Mexican government made it clear that they wouldn’t be cutting a check to the US Treasury, the claim shifted. Mexico would still be paying for the wall, Trump and his supporters said, but indirectly, through changes to trade agreements, taxes on remittances, or other means.
NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) is feeling the heat after supply chain checks by BMO Capital Markets revealed a big drop in graphics processing unit (GPU) shipments during the first quarter of 2017. Analysts Ambrish Srivastava and Tim Long estimated a 16% drop in GPU shipments from Q4 to Q1, which is alarming as the normal seasonal drop has averaged 6% over the last three years. The BMO analysts believe that the greater-than-expected seasonal decline will trigger a slowdown in NVIDIA's gaming business. Not surprisingly, shares of the chipmaker dropped when this analyst note was publicized, as gaming is its bread and butter, supplying 62% of total revenue and driving terrific growth in recent quarters. However,
There are several good reasons you may want to keep some cash on the sidelines. If you're retired, for example, and your priority is capital preservation, it can be a smart idea to keep some of your assets in cash. The problem with keeping cash on the sidelines is that savings account interest rates are extremely low right now, and in order to get a decent interest rate on your cash, you need to commit to a CD that you can't touch for several years without paying a penalty. Fortunately, there is a solution, called a CD ladder. This can help you get the best of both worlds -- easier access to your savings, and the higher interest rates that come with long-maturity CDs. The problem with cash investments
This weekend's Barron's takes a look at the unusual value stock picks at one off the radar hedge fund. Other featured articles offer the prospects for top banks now that they have pulled back and a biotech company that is a potential takeover target. "Top Hedge Fund's Unusual Value Stock Picks" by Michael Shari takes a look at what stakes have helped put Hawk Ridge Fund in the top tier in performance.
Apr.23 -- Fereidun Fesharaki, founder and chairman at FGE, discusses U.S. shale production, his outlook for oil prices and the Iranian election. He speaks to Bloomberg's Haidi Lun and Rishaad Salamat on "Bloomberg Markets: Asia."
It was a rough week for Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) investors. Shares of the drugstore operator plummeted 15.4% last week, after the proposed purchase of the chain by Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) ran into some resistance. Bloomberg reported that the Federal Trade Commission was considering filing a lawsuit that could derail Walgreens' pending $7 billion deal for Rite Aid, citing the Capitol Forum trade publication as its source. The report was never confirmed, but it was enough to send out shock waves to investors already fearful that the corporate combination won't be completed by the recently extended summertime deadline. Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance rose 1.2% on the week, immune to
While Starbucks (SBUX) basks in the glory of creating an Instagram sensation in the unicorn frappuccino, leave it to one barista to remind everyone about the coffee king's biggest challenge. "I need to rant just a little bit," Starbucks barista Braden Burson said in a video posted on Twitter (which has seen been deleted) before going off on a tirade against the new pink and blue swirled sweet treat. "I have never been so stressed out in my entire life, it has been insane. If you love us as baristas, don't order the drink it's so difficult to make -- people were coming in left and right, drive-thru or in the front -- we don't know what type of frappuccinos go where, we just hand them out." In
Warren Buffett-led conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) has quite a few winning investments in its stock portfolio, with one stock worth more than 13 times the price Buffett paid for it. Here are the details of Buffett's biggest stock win, as well as some other notable investments on the Oracle of Omaha's resume. Berkshire's five biggest-winning stocks As of the end of 2016, here are the five best-performing stocks in Berkshire's portfolio, as compared to the price Berkshire paid to acquire them. Buffett's biggest stock investment win As you can see from the chart, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) is Buffett's biggest win from a stock. Buffett's return on his Coca-Cola investment is more
A stark reality of retirement planning is that your future is riding on the quality (read: plausibility) of your assumptions. By comparison, less than 15 percent of today's retirees kept working that long. "If you plan on working longer as a way to get by in retirement, you are going to be in trouble," says Craig Copeland, senior research associate at EBRI.
The video, attached at the end of this story, shows a deeply distraught female passenger crying near the airplane cabin as two other passengers confront airline staff. The story, according to eyewitness reports gathered by a local Fox affiliate, involved a passenger with two small children who refused a request to check her stroller. In response, a flight attendant--apparently the man shown in the video--called security, then "wrestled" the stroller away from the passenger.
Niklas Zennström, the cofounder and former CEO of Skype, has backed fresh produce delivery startup Farmdrop in a £7 million round through his Atomico fund. New investors included SwiftKey CEO and cofounder Jon Reynolds, and Saracens Rugby club chairman Nigel Wray. ASOS cofounder Quentin Griffith, a previous backer, also participated in the round.
Germany and Italy are among 15 European Union member states pushing back against a proposal to set a 25-year minimum on wireless spectrum licenses, thwarting the telecoms industry's hopes for a more coordinated approach across the bloc. The European Commission has tried for years to coordinate how national governments allocate so-called wireless spectrum or parcels of airwaves to mobile operators such as Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom and EE to create a single European telecoms market.
In roughly four weeks’ time, OPEC and Russia will meet in Vienna to assess how well their agreement to cut oil production has performed. This week it led to a rough ride for prices, with headlines screaming ‘Oil has had its worst day since March!’ WTI closed on Wednesday at $50.26 per barrel, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that stocks of crude oil had fallen by 1 m barrels – instead of the 1.5 m that had been anticipated. Well, when OPEC agreed in principle in September 2016 to reduce output, nothing was actually going to come into force until January 1st 2017.