• Billionaire Ray Dalio Pulls the Trigger on 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks
    TipRanks

    Billionaire Ray Dalio Pulls the Trigger on 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks

    As coronavirus fears run rampant throughout the world, investors are turning to Wall Street titans for guidance, namely Ray Dalio. Founding hedge fund Bridgewater Associates in 1975, the firm now boasts $160 billion worth of assets under management, with Dalio alone estimated to be worth $18.7 billion.Dalio, who has looked at the impact of past pandemics and virus outbreaks on the market, called the current reaction to the coronavirus overblown, noting that the concerns “probably had a bit of an exaggerated effect on the pricing of assets because of the temporary nature of that...” He added, “It most likely will be something that in another year or two will be well beyond what everyone will be talking about.”While the billionaire does acknowledge that it’s difficult to gauge what the full extent of the virus will be, he argues that diversifying across currencies, asset classes and geographical regions could prove to be the best strategy. Additionally, Dalio believes investors should pay attention to issues related to wealth and political gaps, the emergence of China, technology and the environment that could emerge from the public health crisis.“What concerns me most if you did have a downturn -- we are now 11 years in expansion -- whether that’s one, two, three years forward, with the larger polarity that exists, the wealth gap and the political gap,” Dalio commented.Looking into Bridgewater’s basket of stocks, we’ve chosen three of the fund’s new holdings that TipRanks’ Stock Screener reveals as “strong buys." Not to mention each has a top Smart Score, at least an 8 out of 10. Let’s take a closer look and see what Wall Street analysts have to say.BlackRock Inc. (BLK)On Wall Street, BlackRock is known as one of the largest asset managers in the world. Pulling the trigger on BLK in the fourth quarter, Bridgewater purchased over 32,000 shares for $16.1 million.Following the company’s solid quarterly performance, several analysts also see the stock as a Buy. In Q4, BLK posted EPS of $8.34, well above the $7.66 consensus estimate. In addition, long-term inflows surpassed the Street’s $82 billion projection, landing at $99 billion or a 6.1% annualized pace. While higher opex led to an operating margin compression of 254 basis points to 43.5%, Morgan Stanley’s Michael Cyprys thinks the print was positive overall.“4Q19 results this morning demonstrate BLK's ability to continue delivering strong organic growth,” the four-star analyst explained. On top of this, he pointed out, “Debunking ‘too big to grow fears,’ BLK delivered 7%-plus organic asset growth for the full year 2019, which is an acceleration from 2.1%-plus organic growth in 2018 and 4.3%-plus average growth rate over last five years. Importantly, strong net new money growth translated into 5% organic base fee growth in 2019, better than the 2% growth in 2018.”Based on this report, Cyprys expects other analysts to make adjustments to their outlooks for 2020. “Higher AUM levels, better fee rate, and strong organic growth trajectory should support upward revisions to consensus EPS, despite higher core G&A expense guidance into 2020,” he noted.With the company also hoping to receive the board’s approval for a dividend increase, the deal is sealed for Cyprys. In line with his bullish take on the financial stock, he left both his Overweight rating and $603 price target unchanged. Should the target be met, a twelve-month gain of 7% could be in the cards. (To watch Cyprys’ track record, click here)In general, the rest of the Street is on the same page. With 7 Buys and 2 Holds received in the last three months, the consensus rating comes in as a Strong Buy. (See BlackRock stock analysis on TipRanks)Citigroup Inc. (C)Dalio’s second new position was in financial services giant Citigroup. In the fourth quarter, Bridgewater spent $36.1 million to acquire a stake in the company, or 452,049 shares to be exact.Weighing in on the company for Oppenheimer, five-star analyst Chris Kotowski points to its fourth quarter results as an encouraging sign. Even though there was a $0.25 discrete tax benefit, at $1.90, core underlying EPS still exceeded both the analyst’s estimate of $1.80 and the $1.81 Street forecast. In terms of revenue, Citigroup reported a beat, with the $18.4 billion figure representing a 7.3% year-over-year gain.It should be noted that growth and seasoning in the consumer portfolio drove a 15.2% year-over-year credit cost increase. However, Kotowski argues that this was widely expected, with the $2.2 billion total provision landing very close to his $2.1 billion prediction.When it comes to the fact that average shares dropped 9.8% year-over-year, reflecting a loss of 29% from the peak, the analyst commented, “Skeptics often tell us that ‘the market doesn't pay you for buybacks,’ but clearly this has greatly enhanced the company's long term earnings and dividend paying capacity. While we suspect this year's $18 billion of repurchases was a peak, we see $16 billion in 2020 and $12 billion in 2021.” If these repurchases play out, by year end 2021, another 15%-plus shrinkage in the share count would be realized.That being said, Kotowski believes that the upward trend for return on average tangible common stockholder's equity (ROTCE) is especially promising. “Excluding various gains and tax benefits in both years, we would put the "core" ROTCE at ~11.2% for the year, up from 10.5% in 2018 and 8.9% in 2017. Thus, the trend remains up and to the right, which is in our view the main thing that drives bank stocks,” he stated.All of the above factors prompted the Oppenheimer analyst to maintain an Outperform call and $124 price target. This conveys Kotowski’s confidence in Citigroup’s ability to climb 57% higher in the next twelve months. (To watch Kotowski’s track record, click here)What do other analysts think about Citigroup’s long-term growth prospects? As it turns out, the rest of the Street is generally bullish, with its Strong Buy consensus rating breaking down into 10 Buys vs 3 Holds. Not to mention the $94.82 average price target brings the upside potential to 21%. (See Citigroup stock analysis on TipRanks)CarMax Inc. (KMX)Bridgewater also snapped up shares of CarMax, the largest used car retailer in the U.S. The famous hedge fund added a position of 60,342 shares, valued at $5.3 million. Out on Wall Street, analysts are also excited about KMX.After hosting members of the company’s management team, Morgan Stanley’s Armintas Sinkevicius remains optimistic about its long-term growth narrative. During the meeting, management said the omni-channel experience rollout has already been successful, and there has been little core business disruption. In the future, the company will continue to seek out opportunities from efficiencies at the Customer Experience Centers and strengthen customer interaction.Based on this Sinkevicius commented, “We are constructive on the ability of Carvana and KMX to disrupt the used car dealership model, but find the profitability, free cash flow, and valuation at KMX to be significantly more attractive.” To this end, the analyst sided with the bulls, keeping the rating as Overweight. At $112, the price target implies shares could surge 13% in the next twelve months. (To watch Sinkevicius’ track record, click here)Meanwhile, RBC Capital analyst Scot Ciccarelli cites KMX’s recent $50 million investment in Edmunds, a research site that offers in-depth reviews of new vehicles, insights and helps shoppers progress through the entire car purchasing process, as being the source of his bullish thesis. He argues that this move is low-risk and possibly high-reward as KMX could use Edmunds’ reviews on its own website.“Further, if Edmunds and their ‘millions of customers a month’ were to provide direct links to CarMax inventory, this should also generate a substantial number of new online sales leads – which CarMax can now accommodate because of their growing omni-channel capabilities. Third, CarMax may be able to learn what the ‘value algorithms’ are searching for in their grading scale and may be able to work towards improving their third party value rankings,” Ciccarelli added. It makes sense, then, that the five-star analyst reiterated his bulllish call and $108 price target. (To watch Ciccarelli’s track record, click here)Looking at the consensus breakdown, a majority of Wall Street analysts also have high hopes for the used car retailer. With 8 Buys and 2 Holds, the word on the Street is that KMX is a Strong Buy. Additionally, the $106.88 average price target indicates that a possible twelve-month gain of 8% could be in store. (See CarMax stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • 9 secrets of dividend investing, from a couple of stock pros who beat the market
    MarketWatch

    9 secrets of dividend investing, from a couple of stock pros who beat the market

    Many income-focused investors dwell on dividend yield and buy largely on that basis. Not so, say the two dividend-minded mutual-fund managers who run the outperforming Guinness Atkinson Dividend Builder Fund (GAINX) . Matthew Page and Ian Mortimer use a much more nuanced approach to get high-achieving results.

  • Barrons.com

    Tesla Stock Is Soaring Again Because There’s More to the Company Than Cars

    Stock in the electric-vehicle pioneer rose back above $900 a share after an analyst at Piper Sandler raised his target for the price to the highest on Wall Street.

  • MarketWatch

    Bausch Health shares slide 2.9% premarket as loss widens

    Bausch Health Cos. Inc. shares slid 2.9% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the company posted a wider loss for the fourth quarter that the year-earlier period. The company, the former Valeant, said it had a net loss of $1.516 billion, or $4.30 a share, in the quarter, wider than the $344 million loss, or 98 cents a share, posted in the year-earlier period. Revenue rose to $2.224 billion from $2.121 billion. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of $1.15 and revenue of $2.197 billion. revenue at the company's Bausch + Lomb division rose to $1.238 billion from $1.205 billion, matching the FactSet consensus. Revenue from its Salix segment rose to $517 million from $426 million, sales at the ortho dermatologics division fell to $158 million from $160 million, and sales at the diversified products division fell to $311 billion from $330 million. Looking ahead, the company is expecting 2020 revenue of $8.65 billion to $8.85 billion, compared with a FactSet consensus of $8.78 billion. Shares have gained 11.3% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 21%.

  • Taxes 2020: What you don’t know about your tax bracket could hurt you
    USA TODAY

    Taxes 2020: What you don’t know about your tax bracket could hurt you

    Tax brackets can hurt taxpayers if they don't understand how they work. The IRS typically issues new tax brackets annually that affect your earnings.

  • Here’s the reason Americans are saving so much of their income
    MarketWatch

    Here’s the reason Americans are saving so much of their income

    Household wealth compared to income is near a record high. Unemployment is near a record low. So why is the savings rate so high?

  • Barrons.com

    Al Gore’s Firm Sold Deere, Analog Devices, and Microsoft stock. Here’s What It Is Buying.

    Generation Investment, which is chaired by the former vice president, more than tripled its stake in cloud-communications firm Twilio in the fourth quarter. The shares are surging in 2020.

  • Chinese Companies Say They Can’t Afford to Pay Workers Now
    Bloomberg

    Chinese Companies Say They Can’t Afford to Pay Workers Now

    (Bloomberg) -- A growing number of China’s private companies have cut wages, delayed paychecks or stopped paying staff completely, saying that the economic toll of the coronavirus has left them unable to cover their labor costs.To slow the spread of the virus that’s claimed more than 2,000 lives, Chinese authorities and big employers have encouraged people to stay home. Shopping malls and restaurants are empty; amusement parks and theaters are closed; non-essential travel is all but forbidden.What’s good for containment has been lousy for business. With classes canceled at a coding-and-robotics school in Hangzhou, employees will lose 30% to 50% of their wages. The Lionsgate Entertainment World theme park in Zhuhai is closed, and workers have been told to use up their paid vacation time and get ready for unpaid leave.“A week of unpaid leave is very painful,” said Jason Lam, 32, who was furloughed from his job as a chef in a high-end restaurant in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui neighborhood. “I don’t have enough income to cover my spending this month.”Across China, companies are telling workers that there’s no money for them -- or that they shouldn’t have to pay full salaries to quarantined employees who don’t come to work. It’s too soon to say how many people have lost wages as a result of the outbreak, but in a survey of more than 9,500 workers by Chinese recruitment website Zhaopin, more than one-third said they were aware it was a possibility.The salary freezes are further evidence of the economic hit to China’s volatile private sector -- the fastest growing part of the world’s second-biggest economy -- and among small firms especially. It also suggests the stress will extend beyond the health risks to the financial pain that comes with job cuts and salary instability. Unsurprisingly, hiring has all but ground to a halt: Zhaopin estimates the number of job resumes submitted in the first week after the January outbreak was down 83% from a year earlier.“The coronavirus may hit Chinese consumption harder than SARS 17 years ago,” said Chang Shu, Chief Asia Economist for Bloomberg Intelligence. “And SARS walloped consumption.”By law, companies have to comply with a full pay cycle in February before cutting wages to the minimum, said Edgar Choi, author of “Commercial Law in a Minute” and host of a legal-advice account on WeChat. For companies that aren’t making enough to cover payroll, it’s permissible to delay salaries, as long as staff get the money they’re owed eventually.Choi said he’s heard from thousands of foreign workers who say their payments have been cut in half this month or halted althogether. That, he said, is illegal. “A lot of these employees are foreigners, they don’t know Chinese,” he said. “Whatever their boss tells them, that’s it. It’s easy for them to get bullied.”NIO Inc., an electric car-maker based in Shanghai, recently delayed paychecks by a week. The company’s chairman William Li also encouraged employees to accept restricted stock units in lieu of a cash bonus.At Foxconn Technology Group’s Shenzhen factory, workers returning from the Lunar New Year break are quarantined in the dorms before they can return to work. They’re getting paid, but only about one-third of what they’d earn if they were working.Without full, regular paychecks and few places to spend them these days anyway, Chinese consumers could cut spending in some categories to zero, said Bloomberg’s Shu. And it may not bounce back: For example, she said, if you skip your daily latte for two months, you’re not likely to make up for those missed drinks later in the year.With limited reserves and less by way of remote technologies, the smaller companies that underpin China’s vast private sector are particularly vulnerable. Among broader efforts to help firms stay afloat, policy makers have called on state-run banks to make loans at cheaper rates to small businesses in particular.In the case of Pei Binfeng, co-founder of the Hangzhou coding and robotics academy, the outbreak forced them to suspend all in-person classes for students in kindergarten through grade 12. With the loss of revenue, the company will withhold 50% of salary for key executives and 30% for other employees until business resumes.“What we teach isn’t a must-have for a lot of parents, so expenses like this are usually the first to go when things get tough,” said Pei.Rick Zeng, deputy general manager at the Lionsgate theme park in Zhuhai, said they’ve been shut down on government orders since the end of January. Starting next week, some staff will need to go on unpaid leave.In the southeastern city of Fuzhou, hotel manager Robert Zhang said all but two or three of his 100 rooms are vacant on average nights. Two-thirds of the employees are effectively on furlough, getting some salary but not as much as they’re used to.“When there’s no business, there’s no performance-based salary,” he said. “For a month or two, the impact isn’t immediately obvious. But if the epidemic lasts and tourism doesn’t recover for three to four months, our employees will feel the crunch.”(Updates with job data in the sixth paragraph. An earlier version corrected Edgar Choi’s occupation)\--With assistance from Colum Murphy, Shirley Zhao, Bei Hu and Gao Yuan.To contact the reporters on this story: Lulu Yilun Chen in Hong Kong at ychen447@bloomberg.net;Jinshan Hong in Hong Kong at jhong214@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Candice Zachariahs at czachariahs2@bloomberg.net, Janet Paskin, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Dow Jones Futures: Tesla Surges Above 900; Enphase Energy Soars, Nvidia, Apple Rise
    Investor's Business Daily

    Dow Jones Futures: Tesla Surges Above 900; Enphase Energy Soars, Nvidia, Apple Rise

    Futures rose modestly early Wednesday. Tesla surged on yet another price target hike. Enphase Energy soared on earnings. Nvidia and Apple rose modestly.

  • Investopedia

    Advanced Micro Devices Stock Surged 34% After This Signal

    With high-quality semiconductor stocks poised for a growth cycle in the years ahead, AMD shares could see additional gains.

  • 3 “Strong Buy” Stocks Top Investors Are Snapping Up Right Now
    TipRanks

    3 “Strong Buy” Stocks Top Investors Are Snapping Up Right Now

    Wall Street analysts’ wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the market can help investors determine whether to add a new name to a portfolio. Additionally, the use of technical indicators and fundamentals can point the direction of a stock’s near-term trajectory. Another way, though, is to gauge the sentiment amongst fellow investors. As the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.TipRanks’ Stock Screener has a set of filters which allows you to search out a stock according to your needs, be it by market cap, analyst consensus or various other metrics. In our case, we searched for three tickers boasting “very positive” sentiment from top TipRanks investors – a readout of individual investor portfolios tracked by TipRanks on its Smart Portfolio platform.What’s more, in addition to piquing investors’ interest, all 3 have a further characteristic in common; all currently score a Strong Buy consensus rating from the Street. Let’s explore, then, why investors and analysts alike, are finding these names so compelling right now.Centene Corp (CNC)With a market-cap of $38 billion, Centene has established itself as a major player in healthcare services. The large cap has more than 33,000 employees across the country, has health plans that serve 12.3 million members in 29 states and offers health insurance to other healthcare and commercial organizations. With roughly 22 million members, Centene is the largest provider of government-sponsored health plans.The company’s recent earnings results were a mixed affair. Centene’s Q4 revenue came in at $18.9 billion, 14% up from last year’s $16.6 billion, while also beating the analysts' estimate of $18.43 billion. The company’s higher-than-expected medical benefit ratio (the percentage of health insurance premiums paid out in claims), though, was a disappointment for investors. At 88.4%, the figure came in higher than the Street’s estimate of 87.6% and impacted the company’s medical costs.Nevertheless, J.P. Morgan’s Gary Taylor believes CNC trades at a discount to its group. Multiple overhangs including the election, block grant and public charge, according to the analyst, “will all likely prove immaterial.” Taylor also believes Centene’s acquisition of WellCare for $17 billion in March of last year will lead to further long -term value creation.The 4-star analyst further said, “We believe that CNC remains a long-term growth story as managed care penetration of Medicaid grows from ~68% of spending towards 75-80% over the next decade. We believe CNC’s organic opportunity (primarily fueled by its Medicaid and Medicare exposure) certainly remains above-average for the sector.”Bottom line, then? Taylor reboots his rating on Centene with an Overweight along with a price target of $88. Should the target be met, investors stand to take home a 33% gain over the next year. (To watch Taylor’s track record, click here)Overall, the healthcare service specialist is getting a lot of healthy love from the Street right now. 13 Buys and a single Hold converge to a Strong Buy consensus rating. At $80.54, the average target implies possible upside of 24%.CNC has a ‘Very Positive’ investor sentiment with the number of portfolios holding CNC rising on both a 1 week and 1-month basis. (See Centene stock analysis on TipRanks)Applied Materials (AMAT)Next up is a fellow large cap, though from an entirely different sector. Semi-conductor company Applied Materials makes integrated circuit chips for a wide range of electronics, including TVs, smartphones and flat panel display screens. The $61 billion heavyweight’s robust start to 2020 is a direct continuation of 2019’s stellar performance; last year’s gains of 90% have been boosted by a further 9% year-to-date.As per expectations, AMAT’s latest earnings results delivered a strong quarter and guidance. F1Q20’s revenue of $4.16 billion indicated a quarter-over-quarter increase of 11% and beat the Street’s estimate of $4.11 billion. At $0.98, EPS came in above the high end of the company's $0.87-0.95 guidance and above the Street’s call for $0.93. Looking ahead, galvanized by a continued robust foundry/logic business and the return of some memory spending, AMAT expects to see "strong double-digit" growth in its semiconductor business this year.Deutsche bank’s Sidney Ho applauded the print and notes the guide would have been even stronger without the estimated $300 million impact of the coronavirus on its operations. Ho said, “AMAT continues to benefit from a robust foundry/logic environment and with this strength expected to continue throughout CY20, early signs of a memory recovery, and expectations for continued share gains, the company appears well positioned for a strong CY20… Post earnings, we remain encouraged by AMAT's near and long-term outlook and believe that the risk-reward for AMAT, which trades at ~12x (including pending acquisition) vs. its large cap peers at 1415x, is favorable.”The 5-star analyst, therefore, keeps his Buy rating intact, while raising his price target up from the previous $72 to $75. The new figure implies possible upside of 15% from current levels. (To watch Ho’s track record, click here)It turns out that the rest of the Street wholeheartedly agrees with the Deutsche bank analyst. With 19 "buy" ratings vs. 1 "sell" and 1 "hols," the message is clear: AMAT is a Strong Buy. Possible gains of 17% could be heading investors’ way should the average price target of $75.71 be met over the coming months.In addition, based on top investor portfolios in TipRanks’ database, 6.9% hold AMAT stock. On average, top investors allocate 3.7% of their portfolios to AMAT. This gives the stock its ‘Very Positive’ investor sentiment score. (See AMAT stock analysis on TipRanks)Microchip (MCHP)Staying in the semi-conductor field, we come across another big player in the shape of Microchip. This company does what it says on the tin: Sells microcontrollers, analog, and field-programmable gate array [FPGA] chips to a wide array of customers.With earnings season in full swing, Microchip has been posting results, too. The solid quarter exhibited a beat on revenue and earnings: MCHP reported sales of $1.29 billion, compared to the $1.26 billion estimated by the street. NonGAAP EPS came in at $1.32, above the street’s estimate of $1.26. For the current quarter, MCHP expects revenue of $1.36 billion, guiding above the street’s call for $1.33 billion.Needham’s Rajvindra Gill sees “multiple inflection points in MCHP's business.” The 5-star analyst notes the company has seen a continuation of strong backlog and bookings trends. Additionally, Gill notes MCHP’s ongoing strength in data center and industrial and auto, all recovering from a bottom, with the trends expected to continue in 2HCY20.Gill summarized, “We could envision an optimistic scenario where we see an inventory restocking, given the historical low levels of distribution inventory, combined with genuine demand pull through driven by data center, ADAS, industrial IoT and 5G. While lead times may extend, we do think MCHP has built enough capacity to support a return in demand. In that environment, we believe revenue could return to pre-downturn levels and grow from there. Moreover, we believe MCHP is on track to hit its LT GM target of 63% (vs. 61.7% MRQ) as the $16MM underutilization charges roll-off the P&L. Net, we see upside at current levels as we roll out our new FY22 Non-GAAP estimates."As a result Gill reiterated a Buy rating on MCHP shares, while raising his price target to $140 (from $130). The implication for investors? Potential upside movement of 30%. (To watch Gill’s track record, click here)The consensus breakdown provides further cheer; 15 Buys and 2 Holds coalesce to a Strong Buy consensus rating. With an average price target of $123.13, analysts expect an additional 15% to be added to the share price over the next year.Furthermore, 2.4% of all portfolios hold MCHP, with 0.2% being added in the last month alone. Top investors allocate, on average, 1.7% of their portfolio to the chipmaker’s stock. (See Microchip stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • 10 Stocks' Profit Will Soar More Than Anyone Dreamed, Analysts Say
    Investor's Business Daily

    10 Stocks' Profit Will Soar More Than Anyone Dreamed, Analysts Say

    It's the future that matters, right? And so, it pays to know where analysts are aggressively bumping up profit forecasts with some top S&P; 500 stocks.

  • Marijuana Stocks Are Tumbling — Are Any Good Buys Right Now?
    Investor's Business Daily

    Marijuana Stocks Are Tumbling — Are Any Good Buys Right Now?

    Are marijuana stocks on U.S. exchanges a good buy now? The marijuana industry gets a lot of hype, but look past the smoke and analyze pot stocks on their fundamentals and technicals.

  • Milken Pardon Backed by Billionaires From Funds, Real Estate
    Bloomberg

    Milken Pardon Backed by Billionaires From Funds, Real Estate

    (Bloomberg) -- Michael Milken’s pardon by President Donald Trump on Tuesday was accompanied by a statement praising his “innovative work” in high-yield debt as well as a long list of people the White House said had provided “longstanding support” for the pardon. It proved a veritable Who’s Who of private equity, hedge fund, real estate and media titans. Here are the biggest names:Sheldon Adelson: a major Republican donor and Trump supporter, Adelson is the chief executive officer of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp. His wife Miriam also backed the pardon.David Bahnsen: a former Morgan Stanley managing director and wealth management executive who wrote Trump in 2017 urging him to pardon Milken, calling the junk-bond king’s prosecution a result of “a period of class envy run amok.”Tom Barrack: the chief executive officer and chairman of Colony Capital Inc., Barrack is long-time Trump ally. He faced a call from an investor in November to step down in part over distractions from investigations into his political and personal activities.Rupert Murdoch: a powerful media mogul and longtime Trump ally who put the power of News Corp. behind the president.Maria Bartiromo: a popular anchor on Fox Business, Bartiromo has interviewed Milken as recently as 2018 (and has also interviewed Trump). The network is part of Murdoch’s media empire.Ron Burkle: a billionaire investor who controls Yucaipa Cos., Burkle made his fortune in the grocery-store industry. Burkle, a Democratic fund-raiser famous for his friendship with Bill Clinton, made news last year when he was rumored to be interested in acquiring the Trump-friendly National Enquirer.Elaine Chao: the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Chao was a key speaker at the Milken Global Conference last year, where she spoke about the future of mobility as well as women in government. She’s married to Republican Senate Majority Leader and top Trump ally Mitch McConnell.Rudy Giuliani: Trump’s personal lawyer, the former New York mayor has lately been embroiled in the Ukraine scandal. As chief federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s, Giuliani sought to prosecute Milken.Rabbi Marvin Hier: dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Hier was invited by Trump to speak at his inauguration. The rabbi in 2018 called on Trump to fight extremism in the U.S. after a shooting at a synagogue.Ray Irani: chairman and chief executive officer of Ray Investments Ltd. and former CEO of Occidental Petroleum, Irani stepped down as a board member at Wynn Resorts Ltd. following a sexual harassment scandal involving company founder Steve Wynn.Robert Kraft: owner of the New England Patriots and a longtime Trump supporter.Richard LeFrak: a billionaire developer and Republican donor, LeFrak appeared in a 2010 episode of Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice.”Randy Levine: the president of the New York Yankees and a longtime supporter of Republican politicians, including Trump.Kevin McCarthy: a Republican congressman from California, McCarthy is the House Minority Leader and a longtime Trump supporter.Larry Mizel: chairman and CEO of home-builder MDC Holdings Inc.Arte Moreno: owner of the Anaheim Angels, which he purchased from The Walt Disney Co. in 2003Sean Parker: Napster co-creator and Facebook Inc. billionaire who has attended the annual Milken Institute Global Conference.John Paulson: founder and owner of Paulson & Co., a New York-based investment adviser that manages about $9 billion, Paulson is best-known for making $15 billion in 2007 on a bet against mortgage bonds.Nelson Peltz: founder and chief executive officer of Trian Fund Management LP, Peltz is well-known as an activist investor in companies like Wendy’s and Dupont.Steven Roth: chairman and chief executive officer of Vornado Realty Trust, a REIT that holds more than 22 million square feet in commercial property, mainly in New York.David Rubenstein: co-chairman and co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm with $222 billion in assets under management, Rubenstein hosts a talk show called The David Rubenstein Show: Peer-to-Peer Conversations which appears on Bloomberg TV. Rubenstein issued a statement Tuesday praising Milken’s philanthropy, especially his support for prostate cancer research. “These efforts have surely saved many lives and are a testament to what rehabilitation is all about,” Rubenstein said. “This pardon is well deserved and I am proud to support it.”Larry Ruvo: senior managing director of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, the state’s largest liquor wholesaler.Marc Stern: the chairman of TCW Group Inc. hosted a $10,000 per person fund-raiser for Trump at his Malibu home in 2018 attended by Vice President Mike Pence.Steven Tananbaum: the founder and chief investment officer of GoldenTree Asset Management LP, one of Wall Street’s biggest investors in distressed debt.Ted Virtue: the chief executive officer of MidOcean Partners, the middle-market private equity and credit firm, who previously oversaw Deutsche Bank AG’s $35 billion direct investment portfolio.Andrew von Eschenbach: a U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief under President George W. Bush, he now serves on the board of Bausch Health Cos.Mark Weinberger: the chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young LLP, Weinberger quit Trump’s business council after the Charlottesville white supremacists rally but later dined with the president.(Adds two more bios. A previous version of this story corrected a reference to “an investor” in one entry)To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Anthony LinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • I took out $50K in student loans, but now I’m living on disability. Is my spouse responsible — and will my family have to pay off my student debt if I die?
    MarketWatch

    I took out $50K in student loans, but now I’m living on disability. Is my spouse responsible — and will my family have to pay off my student debt if I die?

    ‘There are several deferments and forbearances that can temporarily suspend the obligation to repay federal student loans.’

  • Not All Retirement Accounts Should Be Tax-Deferred
    Investopedia

    Not All Retirement Accounts Should Be Tax-Deferred

    Millions of Americans nationwide are socking away money in all forms of investment retirement accounts (IRAs), annuities and employer-sponsored retirement plans, both qualified and non-qualified. In this article, we'll explore when it may be better to leave your assets exposed to the tax man when you're saving for retirement. The first question most people ask, is "Which types of investments should be placed inside tax-deferred accounts?" Because of their nature, tax-deferred accounts will provide the greatest benefit when they shelter investments that generate frequent cash flow, or distributions, that would otherwise be taxable, which allows these payments to remain whole and be reinvested most efficiently.

  • Virgin Galactic's stock soars, fueled by retail investors
    Reuters

    Virgin Galactic's stock soars, fueled by retail investors

    Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc shares surged 24% on Tuesday, extending a rally since early December to over 400% and evoking a warning from an analyst who likes the space tourism company but warns it has become overbought. Shares of the company backed by billionaire Richard Branson have taken off in popularity among individual investors in recent sessions, nearly displacing Tesla Inc , another favorite among non-professional investors. Virgin Galactic was the third most traded stock on Fidelity's online brokerage in recent sessions, with two thirds of clients buying shares, rather than selling.

  • Reuters

    Texas regulator calls out state's worst, best companies for natural gas flaring

    One of Texas' oil and gas regulators on Tuesday defended the state's high rate of natural gas flaring, but named companies that burn off the most gas and said he would hold public meetings on the controversial practice. Flaring, or deliberately burning gas produced alongside oil, has surged with crude production in Texas, but can worsen climate change by releasing carbon dioxide. The report includes a set of flaring and venting data to be updated quarterly, the first set of such data the state has released.

  • Wall Street Has a New Big Bull on Tesla
    Bloomberg

    Wall Street Has a New Big Bull on Tesla

    (Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc.’s potential success in energy generation and storage will be the next big thing to fuel the rally that’s already caused the stock to almost triple in the past year, analysts at Piper Sandler Cos. said as they increased their price target by more than 27%.Piper raised its target to $928 from $729, making it the most bullish estimate among among those tracked by Bloomberg. The shares -- which have more than doubled in the past four months -- rose 8.1% in pre-market trading and are set to surpass the record high close of $887.06 reached Feb. 4.“It’s easy to forget that TSLA sells batteries and solar power products; after all, the segment was only 6% of sales in 2019,” analysts Alexander Potter and Winnie Dong wrote in a note Tuesday. “But management says that the solar+storage business will one day rival the Automotive segment, and if this is true, then investors will eventually need to pay attention.”In order to gauge Tesla’s chances of success in generating and storing solar power, the analysts recently installed a solar-based system to use for charging a Model X and the results have been “illuminating” so far, they wrote in the note. Piper’s new price estimate implies an 8.1% advance from the last close.The brokerage raised its Tesla target price twice in January, citing in part the company’s growth potential in China.The electric-car maker started delivering its China-built Model 3 sedans to local customers last month, a year after its first factory outside the U.S. broke ground. Last year, Tesla delivered a record 367,500 vehicles globally.The shares gained 7.3% on Tuesday after analysts at Morgan Stanley and Sanford C. Bernstein boosted targets. While Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas reiterated his sell-equivalent recommendation, he nearly doubled his bull case for the shares, citing Tesla’s potential to become a key battery supplier for electric vehicles.(Updates to include pre-market trading in second paragraph, context in last paragraph.)\--With assistance from Dana Hull and Beth Mellor.To contact the reporter on this story: Lianting Tu in Singapore at ltu4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Nagi at chrisnagi@bloomberg.net, Margo Towie, Cecile VannucciFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Canopy Growth extends gains, but analyst highlights issue that was overlooked in earnings
    MarketWatch

    Canopy Growth extends gains, but analyst highlights issue that was overlooked in earnings

    Canopy Growth Corp.’s U.S.-listed shares rose Monday, extending gains made Friday after the Canadian cannabis company surprised investors with better-than-expected earnings.

  • Berkshire Dips Into ETF Market With Two Bets for a Pension Plan
    Bloomberg

    Berkshire Dips Into ETF Market With Two Bets for a Pension Plan

    (Bloomberg) -- Legendary investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. just gave its blessing to the $4.6 trillion exchange-traded fund market -- at least in one of its pension plans.Berkshire added to the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF, ticker VOO, and SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, known as SPY, in the final quarter of 2019, according to a regulatory filing. The relatively small investments, which totaled $25 million across both funds, are Berkshire’s only publicly disclosed ETF holdings in its most recent quarterly 13F filing. The investments are in a pension plan, according to Buffett’s assistant, Debbie Bosanek.Buffett, whose Berkshire holds a record $128 billion in cash and U.S. Treasury bills, has been questioned before about why he didn’t put the firm’s unused cash into an index fund. The 89-year-old investor said last year at his annual shareholder meeting that he thinks Berkshire should have some cash available to quickly deploy if the chance to strike a big acquisition arises, even though he’d rather own an index fund than U.S. Treasury bills. He argued back in 2007 that he thought Berkshire’s stock picks could do better than the S&P 500 Index. Berkshire’s set to release its annual letter to shareholders on Saturday.The fourth-quarter addition is arguably the “ultimate endorsement” for ETFs and their different usages, according to Bloomberg Intelligence’s Eric Balchunas. Large institutions will often park money in ETFs to keep exposure to the market while minimizing cash drag in their portfolios, he said -- which is likely what Berkshire has started to do with its record cash pile.“They use it almost as a temporary parking spot, and I think the liquidity is what they’re attracted to,” Balchunas said.In that scenario, ETFs are essentially being used as an alternative for derivatives contracts, Balchunas said. He estimates that this manner of institutional usage accounts for roughly 5% to 10% of ETF assets.Climbing Cash PileBerkshire has accumulated a more than $71 billion stake in Apple Inc. in recent years and purchased stock in Kroger Co. and Biogen Inc. during the last three months of 2019.Still, Berkshire’s failed to find a massive acquisition of a company to keep growing the conglomerate in recent years. That’s weighed on Berkshire stock with the Class A shares increasing nearly 11% last year, short of the almost 29% gain in the S&P 500 during the same period.In the meantime, Berkshire is likely using these ETFs as a liquidity way-station of sorts, according to Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA Research’s New York-based director of ETF research.“SPY and VOO provide institutional investors the ability to stay in the market, while keeping their options open as they seek out individual stocks,” Rosenbluth said.To contact the reporters on this story: Katherine Greifeld in New York at kgreifeld@bloomberg.net;Katherine Chiglinsky in New York at kchiglinsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, ;Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Rita Nazareth, Dave LiedtkaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.