Here are Doug Kass' top thoughts on some of the biggest stories of the week. Update on What's Up with P&G I placed Procter & Gamble ( PG) on my Best Ideas List as a short on Aug. 31 at $92.56. The shares closed Thursday at $88.23 and, as of this writing, are up $1.57 in premarket trading. Thursday, it was announced that activist investor Nelson Peltz may have won his board seat. Frankly, if the proxy results stand, and Peltz secures his seat on the P&G board, I suspect he will have little impact and that the relationship with Peltz will remain contentious. I am a short seller in PG today based on my negative consumer packaged goods thesis. Originally published Nov. 16 at 9:13 a.m. EST Doug Kass
Thousands of traditional retail stores are closing down as more people shop online. A chart from T. Rowe Price shows that investors who stuck with the sector are most likely badly burned. Amazon's stock performance has far outpaced a basket of traditional retailers and the broader stock market.
An electronic payment app that allows people to pay for goods and services in gold has been launched by fintech firm Glint. Released Monday, the app — also called Glint — allows users to link a Mastercard credit card to their phone, which then lets them buy physical gold bullion that is stored in a Swiss vault. Jason Cozens, the company's chief executive and co–founder, said Monday that quantitative easing policy and the collapse of some banks have made many realize that traditional accounts are not a risk-free option. "Since the financial crisis people are starting to understand that purchasing power of their money isn't safe," he said. On its website, Glint says that once either a currency
A shift in the bond market is giving investors and Federal Reserve officials pause about the economic outlook. Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker says the central bank must avoid inverting the yield curve, or allowing 10-year Treasury yields to slip beneath two-year rates. The Federal Reserve's plan to keep raising interest rates could soon run into a wall of its own making: low long-term borrowing costs that signal expectations for weak economic growth and anemic investment returns for the foreseeable future.
Internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Monday it would invest HK$22.4 billion ($2.87 billion) for a major stake in China's top hypermart operator, Sun Art Retail Group Ltd, part of a wider push into offline retail. As part of an alliance with Auchan Retail S.A. and Ruentex Group, Alibaba would buy the stake from Ruentex while Auchan Retail would boost its stake, the three companies said in a joint statement. The alliance would target opportunities in China's $500 billion food retail sector, as Alibaba races to build big-data capabilities in the offline retail market where roughly 85 percent of sales are made.
Warren Buffett and Bill Gates have both founded highly profitable companies, so it's safe to say that they've made quite a few smart business decisions. In a 1998 panel discussion with students at the University of Washington's business school, the two billionaires pinpointed the best business decisions they ever made. Buffett said his best business decision was simply starting a career in investing because he enjoys what he does. Luckily, said Buffett, this has worked out well for him. "You'll see plenty of times when you get chances to do things that just shout at you," he said. "When that happens, you have to take a big swing." Alluding to his own experiences as an investor, Buffett said that
Stocks recently featured in the blog include NVIDIA NVDA, Priceline PCLN, TripAdvisor TRIP, Intel INTC and Advanced Micro Devices AMD. Earnings season is drawing to a close with most of the S&P 500 having reported already, making NVIDIA easily the hottest earnings from last week. The online travel agents continued to disappoint, with both Priceline and TripAdvisor shares plummeting.
Vandana Hari, founder at Vanda Insights, says Saudi Arabia will manage to convince allies at a Nov. 30 meeting to extend oil output curbs.
Consumers are getting the word that taxpayer-subsidized health plans are widely available for next year for no monthly premium or little cost, and marketing companies say they're starting to see an impact on sign-ups. "Free Obamacare Coverage in 2018," says an online pitch from insurance broker eHealth, showing a young woman with a big smile. HealthSherpa, a private website that focuses on signing people up for Affordable Care Act coverage, said nearly 1 in 5 of its customers thus far will be paying no monthly premium.
A majority of Americans of all incomes will benefit from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act that House Republicans have just passed. A distribution analysis from the Joint Committee on Taxation also found that at every income group, taxes would decline, with the biggest percentage-point decline for millionaires, who would see their average tax rate fall to 30.7% from 32.4%.
Sovereign bonds rose the most in a year in India after the central bank scrapped a debt sale due later this week that was designed to reduce banking liquidity. The Reserve Bank of India won’t proceed with a 100-billion-rupee ($1.54 billion) auction under its open-market operations on Thursday after a review of liquidity conditions, it said after the market closed Friday. The central bank has auctioned 900 billion rupees of the securities since the start of July. India’s government bonds have slumped since August due to a potential end to monetary easing, concern about rising supply and possible fiscal slippage. They jumped at the start of trading on Friday when Moody’s Investors Services upgraded
U.S. smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM.O) is set to win “imminent” Japanese antitrust clearance for its $38-billion bid for NXP Semiconductors (NXPI.O) and gain Europe’s approval by the end of the year with slight tweaks to its concessions, a person familiar with the matter said. Winning the green light from both competition authorities would take Qualcomm a major step forward to closing the deal and reinforce its fight against an unsolicited $103-billion takeover bid from Broadcom. The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) "is expected to clear Qualcomm’s acquisition of NXP imminently," the source said.
Apple Inc AAPL loyalists may have to wait a little longer to bring home Siri-integrated HomePod. Per a statement, an Apple spokesperson was quoted by TechCrunch saying, “We can't wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple's breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it's ready for our customers. Apart from Home Pod, the report added, Apple has also delayed the launch of Apple Pay Cash.
CNBC's Mike Santoli reports a few cracks are appearing in corporate high leverage debt which could spark trouble if rates rise.
It has been more than a month since the last earnings report for Alcoa Corp. AA. Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important catalysts. Alcoa saw higher profits on a reported basis in third-quarter 2016 on gains from its aggressive productivity actions, but its adjusted earnings and sales fell short of expectations.
Tencent shares hit a record high Monday, bringing its valuation to over $500 billion. The technology firm is the first from China to reach the landmark valuation as it closes in on the likes of Facebook and Amazon. The Hong Kong-listed internet giant, known for its WeChat messaging app and online games, saw shares rally to 420 Hong Kong dollars ($53.76) on Monday. Its market capitalization, or total value of all the shares in circulation, stood at 3.99 trillion Hong Kong dollars ($510.7 billion) at the market close. Tencent's market cap is above Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which stands at $474.15 billion, and Baidu at $82.97 billion. It is closing in on U.S. technology firms including Facebook,
Many of these suppliers' stocks have posted mixed results so far in 2017, failing to match the tech icon's breakout to an all-time high while highlighting growing risk if iPhone X sales fail to please shareholders. Analog Devices CEO Vincent Roche is quick to point out that the company is more than an Apple supplier, manufacturing a variety of innovative products that include autonomous driving chip sets, but market players understand that the Cupertino connection has a major impact on Analog Devices' share price.
Amazon is steamrolling the retail industry, but old-line Wal-Mart is hitting back — and producing impressive numbersBloomberg, iStockphotoWal-Mart’s online sales in the third quarter jumped 50% from a year earlier. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company’s investments in its employees, its online offerings and delivery, and its stores are paying off in a major way. Investors in Seattle-based Amazon should pay attention.
The holiday season is kicking off this week with Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday in the spotlight. Per Kensho, a group of S&P 500 retail stocks, on average, has generated 5% returns in the period spanning one week before to one week after Black Friday since 2007. This is compares favorably with average returns of 3% for the S&P 500 and 4.5% for consumer discretionary stocks (see: all the Consumer Discretionary ETFs here).
Amgen, Inc. AMGN announced the launch of its Enbrel Mini with AutoTouch, a new auto injector device for Enbrel in the United States.The Enbrel Mini single-dose prefilled cartridges, used with the AutoTouch reusable autoinjector device, provide an additional
Stocks in Europe and Japan, leaders all year, were in sharp pullbacks and Chinese growth numbers fell a bit short. Prices for high-yield corporate debt, a key support for equities, were sagging and their yields rising from historically low levels. It all came together in some concerted selling that in most times would be a routine retreat from near record highs but in this calm, relentless rally passed for real downside drama: The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 150 points two mornings in a row, the S&P 500 Volatility Index spurted to a three-month high and cash fled from the junk-bond ETFs that many watch as gauges of risk appetite and market equanimity. Then, as quickly as the worry surged, it ebbed, with the bears managing no more than a morsel.
Experts say that workplace bullying is disturbingly common. A big part of the problem is that there are very few places bullied and harassed employees can turn to for help. Bullying bosses and toxic workplaces have dominated the headlines recently. Along with allegations of sexual assault and harassment perpetrated by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, members of the entertainment industry have described how his brother Bob Weinstein would bully and verbally abuse staff. In a written statement to The Wall Street Journal, Weinstein said: “At times I have a temper, but I would not describe it as volatile, and I’m definitely not a bully.” The Weinstein company did not immediately return a request for
Check out which companies are making headlines before the bell: Wal-Mart – Goldman Sachs downgraded its outlook for the retail giant, lowering the firm's rating on Wal-Mart to "neutral" from "buy." In a note, Goldman said Wal-Mart "has solidified its transition to a winner" and sees the market's price for the stock as having caught up to the company's investments in its business. General Motors – Guggenheim, anticipating GM's autonomous event on November 30, upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral." The firm also raised its price target to $52, saying it expects the automaker "to showcase the advanced status" of its autonomous technology. Guggenheim believes this announcement could give GM
After stocks lost ground for the second week in a row, investors in the U.S. will be facing a shortened holiday trading week and a light economic and earnings calendar. Economic highlights will come on Wednesday, with the final reading on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan and the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting. Major earnings releases will all come before the Thanksgiving holiday, with salesforce.com (CRM), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Campbell’s Soup (CPB), and Lowe’s (LOW) reporting on Tuesday, while Deere (DE) will report earnings before the market open on Wednesday.
Broadcom Limited AVGO recently announced the completion of long-delayed acquisition of Brocade Communications Systems. The Singapore-based company paid almost $5.5 million for Brocade that will now operate as an indirect subsidiary led by Jack Rondoni