• The No. 1 job of 2019 pays $140,000 — and its hiring growth has exploded 74%
    MarketWatch

    The No. 1 job of 2019 pays $140,000 — and its hiring growth has exploded 74%

    On Tuesday, career and job site LinkedIn released its annual “Emerging Jobs” list, which identifies the roles that have seen the largest rate of hiring growth from 2015 through this year. No. 1 on the list: Artificial Intelligence Specialist — typically an engineer, researcher or other specialty that focuses on machine learning and artificial intelligence, figuring out things like where it makes sense to implement AI or building AI systems. Hiring for this role has been tremendous, growing 74% annually in the past 4 years alone.

  • Billionaire David Tepper Loaded Up These 3 FANG Stocks; Should You?
    TipRanks

    Billionaire David Tepper Loaded Up These 3 FANG Stocks; Should You?

    Wall Street pays attention when David Tepper makes an investment move. Tepper started out his career as a credit analyst with Goldman Sachs in the 1980s, diving right away into risky bonds and other distressed debt assets. Older financial hands noticed that Tepper was right more than he was wrong with this gutsy strategy, and brought in high returns for the firm.Tepper earned a reputation as a go-getter who was not afraid to take hair-raising chances. When he parted ways with Goldman Sachs in 1992, he took that attitude with him when hefounded Appaloosa Management the next year.Starting with $57 million in available capital, Tepper has since built Appaloosa into a behemoth – the fund now has over $17 billion in assets under management. With Appaloosa, Tepper has maintained his preference for high-risk, high-yield distressed debt investments, but among the firm’s assets are $3.4 billion in 13F securities. And the list of stocks that Tepper’s fund has bought into is most interesting.Even though Tepper’s reputation was built on taking risks, Appaloosa’s three biggest investments, comprising 44% of the holdings in the Q3 13F filing, were Alphabet, Facebook, and Amazon – three of the four FANG stocks. Collectively, these companies hold the third, fourth, and fifth spots among the largest publicly traded companies in the world, and none of them are considered “high-risk.” Tepper has put over $1.5 billion dollars into these three companies – with large increases in his holdings of them in Q3.Remember, of course, that Tepper still must ensure that investors receive the returns they were sold on. The FANG stocks, all giants in the high-return tech sector, are one way of doing just that.We’ve opened the TipRanks database to get the lowdown on Tepper’s big FANG investments. A brief look at the TipRanks Stock Screener tool shows that all three have a clear positive upside potential for the near future, and ‘very positive’ investor sentiment – a sign that these stocks are attracting and holding new investors. More importantly, all three have the coveted ‘Strong Buy’ consensus rating from the Wall Street analysts. Let’s dive deeper, to find out what those analysts have to say.Amazon (AMZN)Amazon is the world’s third largest publicly traded company, with a market cap of $872 billion, and has absolutely dominated online retail since the 2000s. The company is a known innovator in warehousing techniques and processes, and has developed a ruthless reputation for improving cost efficiencies.Large capital expenditures in the past year depressed EPS according to the most recent quarterly earnings report. The key metric was down by 9%, at $4.23 against the $4.62 estimate, even though top-line revenues gained 24% and reached $70 billion for the quarter. The company has spent over $1.6 billion in 2019 on promoting and expanding its one-day delivery. Even though management acknowledged that the capex pushed down earnings, they also announced a further $1.5 billion spend in Q4, on expansions of the warehouse network and product lines. Not many companies can react to a bottom line hit from high capex by announcing even higher future capex. Amazon gets away with it due to its size, its economies of scale, and its strong cash flows.Tepper bought up 80,000 shares of AMZN in Q3, an increase of 44% in his stake in the company. Appaloosa’s holding of AMZN shares is now 265,000 and is worth over $460 million at current prices.Of the stocks in this list, Amazon shows the highest potential upside. Youssef Squali, writing for SunTrust Robinson, explains why: “We're incrementally positive on AMZN going into what should be a robust holiday season, given the company's outsized growth within US ecommerce, of which we estimate AMZN will claim ~37% of total GMV this holiday season…”Squali puts a $2,350 price target on the stock, showing his confidence in an impressive 34% upside potential for the stock. (To watch Squali’s track record, click here)Let’s face it, Wall Street agrees with him on this. AMZN shares have a single Hold rating, but a whopping 38 Buys – giving the stock a Strong Buy consensus rating. Amazon shares are famously expensive, at $1,761, and the average price target of $2,151 shows that Wall Street anticipates 22% upside growth. (See Amazon's stock analysis on TipRanks)Facebook (FB)We’ve all heard the ugly details of Facebook’s recent troubles. User privacy breaches, a $5 billion FCC fine, accusations of political censorship, and Mark Zuckerberg’s bungled efforts at PR damage control all took a toll on the stock. And so, despite hitting an all-time high share price back in July of 2018 and giving the impression that the sky was the limit, the company fell hard and fast through 2H18 and has had difficulty regaining traction in 2019.A look at the price chart shows that FB’s troubles may be in the rearview mirror as the stock has been rising through the fourth quarter of this year. Revenues and earnings both beat the forecasts in Q3, with the top line at $17.65 billion and EPS at $2.12. Usage metrics across the company’s apps remain high, with Monthly Average Users meeting expectations at 2.45 billion and Daily Active Users edging over the estimates at 1.62 billion.The sheer size of those numbers opens a window to Facebook’s underlying strength, and the reason the social media giant was able to weather its recent storms: the company is simply huge. With 2.45 billion monthly active users, Facebook is reaching up to one-third of the world’s total population – and a higher proportion of those with internet access. Advertisers will pay handsomely for that kind of reach, and Facebook shares show the result: the stock is up 54% in 2019, more than double the S&P 500’s year-to-date gain.Tepper was impressed enough with Facebook to boost his fund’s holding by 53%. Appaloosa added 975,000 shares of FB to its portfolio in Q3, bringing the total holding to 2.825 million. That’s worth over $503 million today, and makes up 15.9% of Appaloosa’s total 13F portfolio.The view from Wall Street is bullish on Facebook as well. Ronald Josey, of JMP Securities, puts forth the bull case bluntly: “We continue to be impressed with Facebook’s execution both on the engagement and monetization fronts and we do not foresee these trends changing dramatically. On the contrary, usage is improving, and we believe more advertisers are devoting greater budgets to Facebook.”Along with the Outperform rating, Josey’s $250 price target implies a steady upside of 24% to the stock. (To watch Josey’s track record, click here)Also optimistic is Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olsen. In a December 3 note, Olsen initiated coverage of the stock, saying, “Following a turbulent few years for Facebook, we believe the company has emerged well positioned… Ad spend continues to shift online and Facebook is a beneficiary… We are modeling FCF/shr growth to average >20% over the next three years.”Olsen sees continued regulatory issues as a source of risk, but believes the company has the resources to meet the challenge. He puts a Buy rating on the stock, and his $230 price target indicates room for 14% growth on the upside. (To watch Olsen’s track record, click here)Overall, FB shares have a Strong Buy consensus rating, based on an impressive 30 Buy ratings given in the past three months. There are still 2 Holds and 2 Sells on the stock, left over from the company’s difficulties. The average price target, $234.70, suggests an upside of 17% from the current share price. (See Facebook stock analysis on TipRanks)Alphabet (GOOG)GOOG looks like a compelling investment. The stock has outperformed the S&P 500 this year, up 31%. Shares have dipped slightly at the end of October, after the company missed the earnings forecast by 19%. EPS was reported at $10.12 against an estimate of $12.42. Revenues were strong, at $40.5 billion beating the estimate by a half-percent, and the stock has since recouped its loss and then some.Tepper has bought up 229,900 Class C GOOG shares in Q3. Clearly, he’s not interested in controlling the company but is simply seeking a steady return. His purchase of GOOG more than doubled his stake in Alphabet, making the total holding 444,900 shares currently valued at $542 million.Alphabet gets plenty of love from the Street’s analysts, too. Citi’s Jason Bazinet took over his firm’s coverage of GOOG shares last week, and promptly bumped his price target up by 3% to $1,500. He wrote, “We expect Alphabet's growth to slow to mid-teens over next three years. Nonetheless, we believe the company's operating leverage may improve and are not concerned by regulatory headwinds.” Bazinet’s price target suggests a 11% upside to GOOGL. (To watch Bazinet’s track record, click here)Michael Olsen, quoted above on FB, was impressed with GOOG shares. He initiates coverage of the stock for Piper Jaffray with a Buy rating and another $1,500 price target. In his initiation note, he points out, “While there's no question that the company will face ongoing regulatory scrutiny, which could lead to some headline risk, the investor community has, to some degree, become numb to this and we believe the positives of the underlying business will outweigh negative news flow.” (To watch Olsen’s track record, click here)With 32 "buy" ratings against just 3 "holds," GOOGL shares have earned their Strong Buy consensus rating. The stock is not cheap, selling for a hefty $1,353, and the average price target of $1466 implies that there is room for 8% upside growth. (See Alphabet's stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • Bitcoin Charts First Weekly Golden Cross in 3.5 Years
    Coindesk

    Bitcoin Charts First Weekly Golden Cross in 3.5 Years

    Bitcoin’s weekly chart is flashing a golden cross for the first time since May 2016.

  • Reuters

    US STOCKS-Wall Street slips as tariff deadline closes in

    Wall Street's main stock indexes ended slightly lower on Tuesday, though not far from record highs, as investors awaited concrete news on whether a new round of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would take effect on Dec. 15, a potential turning point in a trade dispute between the world's two largest economies that has convulsed markets. Stock futures got a boost in premarket trade when the Wall Street Journal said U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators were laying the groundwork for a delay in the tariffs, but White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said later that no decision had been made. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 27.88 points, or 0.1%, to 27,881.72, the S&P 500 lost 3.44 points, or 0.11%, to 3,132.52 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 5.64 points, or 0.07%, to 8,616.18.

  • ETF Portfolio Strategies For 2020: Tactical Growth & Income
    Investor's Business Daily Video

    ETF Portfolio Strategies For 2020: Tactical Growth & Income

    Dan Kraninger of NorthCoast Asset Management shares portfolio strategies from an ETF perspective for tactical growth investors as well as those looking to get tactical with their income investments.

  • 'It's really over': Corporate pensions head for extinction as nature of retirement plans changes
    USA TODAY

    'It's really over': Corporate pensions head for extinction as nature of retirement plans changes

    Nearly two-thirds of pension funds are considering no longer offering guaranteed benefits to new workers within the next five years.

  • Here’s how much stock you should own when you retire
    MarketWatch

    Here’s how much stock you should own when you retire

    You’ve put money aside for retirement year after year, sometimes the max, sometimes less when you had expenses to pay. You’ve invested it well, so now you have a good enough nest egg to carry you through the next phase of your life — retirement. There are plenty of vehicles aimed specifically at investing for retirement, especially target-date funds, where fund managers reduce your stockholdings as your chosen retirement date draws near.

  • Why Might Your 401(k) Be Unavailable After You Leave a Job?
    Investopedia

    Why Might Your 401(k) Be Unavailable After You Leave a Job?

    Here’s why all or part of your 401(k) plan may not be accessible after your employment ends. In time, you may (or may not) receive all the funds.

  • HSBC Swiss unit to pay $192 million to settle U.S. tax investigation
    Reuters

    HSBC Swiss unit to pay $192 million to settle U.S. tax investigation

    The DoJ filed a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States against HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA but agreed to drop it in three years if it abides by a deal submitted in a federal court, according to court documents seen by Reuters. The charge relates to the bank's conduct between 2000 and 2010, the DOJ said. The bank assisted U.S. clients in concealing their offshore assets and income from U.S. tax authorities, by employing a variety of methods, the DOJ added.

  • A Tale of 3 Cannabis Stocks – 2 to Avoid, and 1 to Buy
    TipRanks

    A Tale of 3 Cannabis Stocks – 2 to Avoid, and 1 to Buy

    Public opinion on cannabis is changing quickly, growing ever more lenient. In a short span, less than a lifetime, we’ve seen a series of decriminalization and partial legalization regimes take hold in the US. While the drug remains fully illegal at the Federal level, it is fully legal in 11 states and legalized for medical use in another 15. The result of this patchwork is that Canada, which enacted full legalization nationwide in October 2018, has become the center of North America’s cannabis industry.Most of the large cannabis companies – the growers and suppliers – are based in Canada. US-based companies face the twin handicap of not being able to operate in the whole country as well as not being able to transport their product across state lines, even when the states involved have legalization regimes. It makes a confusing picture for the financial analysts and stock investors.That doesn’t mean you can’t get resolution from studying the field. There are advantageous investments in the cannabis industry, but potential investors may have to look a bit harder to find them.Seaport Global analyst Brett Hundley has taken a deep dive into three cannabis names that have lately been making waves in the sector. The companies include the largest player in the cannabis industry, a mid-sized producer that may or may not be able to live up to its hype, and a small-cap distributor that could be entering its death-throes.A look at the analyst consensus ratings on these stocks show that Wall Street is watching them with a cautious eye. Yet, Hundley believes that one of the trio presents a buying opportunity. Let's take a closer look:Hexo Corporation (HEXO)Hexo made a big splash in the Canadian cannabis sector. The company quickly grew to be one of the country’s biggest producers, setting up some 2 million square feet of grow facilities in Ontario and Quebec. The company markets several brands and a full line-up of products for the medical and recreational sectors across Canada.Like MedMen, however, Hexo ran too far and too fast. The company posts regular EPS losses, and in calendar Q3 missed the forecast by 120%. Analysts had expected a 5-cent per share loss – but the net loss per share came in at 11 cents. It was the latest in a long line of bad news for HEXO, news that has pushed the stock value down by 72% since peaking at the end of April.A closer look at those recent quarterly results sheds more light on what’s wrong with HEXO. Early in October, the company announced that it would be delaying the Q3 report (the company’s fiscal Q4) to the end of the month, and withdrew its 2020 guidance. Shares predictably fell, and industry watchers were understandably nervous. At the end of the month, HEXO reported revenue of C$15.4 million on sales of 4,009 kilograms of cannabis products.First, the good news. The top line was up 18% sequentially, and a whopping 1000% year-over-year. Sales volume was up 45%. Gross margins, at 45%, were acceptable, and an increase in operating expenses went along with an increase in the size and scope of company operations. But investors just can’t get over that dramatic rise in EPS loss, or the reduction in 2020 guidance. And like MedMen, Hexo has been laying off workers – the company cut 200 positions this past fall.Hundley very clearly laid out the warning factors in HEXO: “We note that many of the company's opex improvements weren't made until late in October, pushing full benefits into later quarters. As well, we are mindful of potential margin pressures from the fact that HEXO may not see 2.0 benefits until its national rollout towards summer of 2020. Quebec recently announced a decision to ban cannabis vapes from its market; this is disappointing for HEXO…” Hundley gives this stock a Hold rating, and declines to set a definite price target.Wall Street’s view of HEXO is similar to Hundley’s. The stock has a Hold from the analyst consensus, based on 13 ratings, including 8 Holds and 3 Sells, but only 2 Buys. Shares have slipped from over $8 earlier this year to just $2.29 now. The average price target of $3.23 implies an upside of 41%, however – a reminder that the potential for risk and usually includes a potential for reward. (See Hexo's stock analysis on TipRanks)Canopy Growth (CGC)And now we get to the giant of the cannabis industry. With a market cap exceeding $7 billion, Canopy is by far the largest company in this sector. Canopy’s size extends to market share and production capabilities, too – simply put, this company dominates Canada’s legal marijuana markets.So why isn’t it turning a profit? Canopy received a $4 billion payday in 2H18, when beer giant Constellation Brands bought a 35% stake in the company, and the conventional wisdom then was that Canopy was well-positioned for ‘cannabis 2.0,’ the expansion of Canada’s legal market this December. With new lines of edibles, beverage, and vaping products entering the legal lists, a partnership with a beverage giant and its distribution network seemed like a no-brainer.But Constellation’s $4 billion stake in CGC also came with control of the Board of Directors – and a desire to see the stake pay off. Constellation had no patience for steady EPS losses, and after two consecutive quarters of increasing losses, Canopy CEO and founder Bruce Linton found himself out of a job.Since then, the company has had to deal with upper management churn as well as the known headwinds of Canada’s cannabis market: oversupply, regulatory bottlenecks, too-low retail prices. In the November quarterly report, for Q2 fiscal 2020, CGC reported yet another loss, this time of 82 cents per share. Revenues were up year-over-year, but missed the analyst forecasts.In a piece of good news, Canopy will head into the New Year with some stability at the top. David Klein will take the CEO spot effective January 14. Klein is currently CFO of – you guessed it – Constellation Brands, so it appears that the beverage giant will be exerting greater control over Canopy in 2020.Hundley, in his note on Canopy, points out that the appointment of Klein to the top spot should come as no surprise. Constellation dwarfs Canopy, and even though it only holds a one-third stake in the smaller company, this was no ‘merger of equals.’ Hundley expects that Klein will move quickly to reverse CGC’s losses, as Constellation wants to see a return on its $4 billion investment. Hundley writes, “We expect that Klein will move quickly to pursue profitability within Canopy, with an overriding focus on this metric. Canopy has burned $800MM in cumulative funds over the past two quarters, driving a cumulative adjusted EBITDA loss of almost $250MM. Our model assumes deep cuts to SG&A during FY2021, and we feel better about execution of such an occurrence, with Klein at the helm. We also anticipate substantial cuts to capital expenditures and business investment…”As with HEXO above, Hundley declined to put a price target on Canopy and rates the stock a Hold. He wants to see what the new management will do, and how the company will execute as the cannabis beverage market begins to open.Like Hundley, Wall Street is cautious on Canopy. Even though the consensus rating on the stock is a Moderate Buy, it’s based on a mix of 6 Buy ratings and 10 Holds. Adding to the warning flashers is the average price target, which at $20.60 suggests a 2% downside from the $20.38 current share price. Canopy brings plenty of advantages to the table, but the cannabis industry is still full of pitfalls. (See Canopy's stock analysis on TipRanks)MedMen Enterprises (MMNFF)The weakest of our cannabis plays today is MedMen. Based in California, the most populous state in the Union and the country’s largest single legalized-cannabis market, MedMen has been in business since 2010. The company operates 32 dispensaries across six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, New York, and Florida. MedMen produces much of its own product, in growing facilities that total well over 90,000 square feet.Despite offering a wide range of cannabis products – edibles, vaporizers, concentrates, topicals, pre-rolled joints – for both the adult use and medical markets, MedMen has had difficulty gaining traction. For its Q1 2020, the company reported some good news – a 105% year-over-year revenue gain to $44 million, and gross margins of 52% – but the basic fact of a $22.2 million net loss overwhelmed that. Investors have limited patience for companies that bleed money, and MMNFF shares have been declining steadily throughout calendar year 2019.MedMen may be able to survive the growing pains of a new industry in the process of both formation and legalization, but can it do so while downsizing? Last month, the company released plans to improve market share and cut expenses – but what cannabis industry watchers noticed most was that the plan also includes extensive layoffs. Over 190 employees are being cut in the name of efficiency and capital allocation, but behind the management spin is the simple fact the company expanded too fast and now is bigger than it can afford to be. The picture does not inspire confidence.In his yesterday's research note on MedMen, Hundley personifies the Wall Street view of this stock. He gives it a Buy rating, noting that the company has a strong brand presence and that management is willing to make hard decision, but his comments show the underlying caution: “It is clear that the company will need to cut its cost base further, while also generating a healthy amount of asset sale proceeds, if it wants to remain as a going concern… we believe that institutional investors have now mostly lost faith in the long-standing leadership of this business.” It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.Hundley’s $4 price target, implying a massive 925% upside, also is not a signal of earth-shaking potential here. Rather, it indicates that MedMen has fallen so far – the stock is down 86% this year – that at this point, there is really nowhere for it to go but up. (To watch Hundley’s track record, click here)Check out these 5 ‘Strong Buy’ stocks that top Wall Street analysts recommend

  • Avianca Finalizes Restructuring With Creditor Agreements
    Bloomberg

    Avianca Finalizes Restructuring With Creditor Agreements

    (Bloomberg) -- Avianca Holdings SA reached agreements with creditors and secured fresh financing, completing a restructuring of its debt that will free up cash as it pursues a turnaround plan, the Colombian airline said Monday.The Bogota-based carrier received approval from major creditors with whom it had been negotiating since June, when it began to defer principal payments and announced a “re-profiling” of its debt. The company said it secured extensions of bank lines, letters of credit, and other agreements with more than 125 creditors and suppliers.It was a critical step in a plan being pursued by Chief Executive Officer Anko van der Werff and Chief Financial Officer Adrian Neuhauser, who took over mid-year. With the agreements finalized, the company received a $250 million loan from stakeholders. It also announced Monday $125 million in additional financing, including a commitment from billionaire Ken Griffin’s Citadel.“For the 20,000 employees of Avianca Holdings, this is fantastic news, because the distraction of all of this has been an overhang for management attention,” van der Werff said by telephone. “What we can really do now is focus again on the company.”The management team is putting a plan in place to boost profitability and restore investor confidence by cutting leverage, reducing its fleet size, eliminating unprofitable routes while adding new destinations and focusing on flights through its hub in Bogota. Shares have rallied since they took over, returning 26% in the second half, compared to 5% for Colombia’s benchmark Colcap index.Bondholders had already agreed to swap notes maturing in May for new bonds. They will automatically receive new notes maturing in 2023 with a 9% coupon by year’s end. The company received a previously announced $250 million convertible loan from United Airlines Inc. and Kingsland Holdings Ltd.The $125 million in new financing includes $50 million from a group of Latin American investors. Citadel, which agreed to provide $50 million in commitments, said it is supporting Avianca’s transformation plan, according to an email statement from Pablo Salame, head of global credit at the firm.Avianca is preparing a convertible bond offering of at least $125 million to preferred shareholders in the first quarter of 2020.“With this funding, it gives us a solid foundation to execute” the business turnaround strategy, van der Werff said. “There’s still lots to do, but you can now focus again on running an airline again.”(Adds comment from Citadel in 7th paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Ezra Fieser in Bogota at efieser@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nikolaj Gammeltoft at ngammeltoft@bloomberg.net, Robert JamesonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Morgan Stanley Fined $22 Million for Rigging Bond Markets
    Bloomberg

    Morgan Stanley Fined $22 Million for Rigging Bond Markets

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Morgan Stanley was fined 20 million euros ($22.2 million) in France over accusations its London desk used “pump and dump” tactics to rig bond prices after a bet on the French sovereign turned sour amid Greece’s debt crisis.The enforcement committee of the Autorite des Marches Financiers said the bank manipulated the prices of 14 French bonds and 8 Belgian bonds in June 2015. The lender also manipulated the price of futures on French debt, the AMF said in a statement on Tuesday.“The seriousness of the infringements is also reinforced by the sophistication of the contentious transactions,” the French watchdog said. “The traders on the desk knew that on June 16, 2015 there was high volatility and low liquidity on the market, which would necessarily increase the impact of their operations.”At a hearing last month, AMF investigators said the bank’s London desk was long on French bonds and short on German debt, betting the yield spread would narrow. But the opposite scenario played out as the fallout from Greece’s impasse with creditors spread, causing the desk to lose $6 million on June 15, 2015, and another $8.7 million when markets opened the next day.To narrow its losses and avoid hitting a $20 million loss-limit set by Morgan Stanley’s management, the London desk allegedly acquired futures on French bonds on June 16, 2015, with the sole objective of increasing the market value of French and Belgian bonds before aggressively selling the latter. French and Belgian bonds are considered interchangeable, according to the AMF.Morgan Stanley said it would appeal the penalty, which is the regulator’s joint-highest. Two years ago, Natixis Asset Management got a then-record 35 million-euro penalty from the AMF but the French bank’s unit won a 15 million-euro cut last month.Market Maker“The activities in question were undertaken in accordance with market practice and as part of the firm’s role and obligations as a market maker and Morgan Stanley remains confident that it has acted in the best interests of the market and its clients,” the bank said in a statement.During the hearing, Stephane Benouville, a lawyer for the bank, said the accusations didn’t stand up to scrutiny. He added that fining Morgan Stanley would send a message that market makers aren’t allowed to hedge themselves and exit risky positions.The contentious purchases of futures took place between 9:29 a.m. and 9:44 a.m. Immediately after, Morgan Stanley traders on the London desk instantaneously sold French bonds for a total of 815 million euros and Belgian bonds for 340 million euros.During the 15 minutes when Morgan Stanley bought futures on French debt, the price of the underlying 14 bonds sold immediately afterwards increased by 0.17% to 1.13%, according to the AMF. The underlying Belgian bonds rose between 0.22% and 1.39%.Four MinutesThe AMF enforcement committee said Morgan Stanley’s actions disrupted the MTS France electronic trading platform, suspending contributions from primary dealers during four minutes and reducing liquidity significantly for 50 minutes. Several complaints were lodged by market participants to France’s debt office, according to the AMF.A spokesman at Agence France Tresor said the debt agency is examining “possible consequences” after the AMF’s decision.The Belgian Debt Agency said it is not considering any action against Morgan Stanley for something that was primarily related to France. It added that it’s not aware of any enforcement action from Belgium’s markets watchdog.(Updates with comment from French debt agency in 13th paragraph)\--With assistance from Michael Hunter.To contact the reporters on this story: Gaspard Sebag in Paris at gsebag@bloomberg.net;Stephanie Bodoni in Brussels at sbodoni@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, John AingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Vietnam’s Richest Man Bets $2 Billion to Sell Cars to Americans
    Bloomberg

    Vietnam’s Richest Man Bets $2 Billion to Sell Cars to Americans

    (Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.The billionaire behind six-month-old Vietnamese auto startup VinFast plans a feat even Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. couldn’t pull off during their early days: sell a car in the U.S.Pham Nhat Vuong, the Southeast Asian country’s richest man and now in charge of the new automaker, is so intent on exporting electric vehicles to the lucrative American market in 2021 that he’s plowing as much as $2 billion of his own fortune to reach that goal. His cash would account for half the capital investment of VinFast, which began delivering cars to Vietnamese consumers with BMW-licensed engines earlier this year and aims to expand into electric vehicles.“Our ultimate goal is to create an international brand,” the 51-year-old tycoon said in an interview at the Hanoi headquarters of the car company’s parent Vingroup JSC, which Vuong founded and holds the title of chairman. “It will be a very difficult road and we will have to put in a lot of effort. But there’s only one road ahead.”The homegrown cars made under Vuong’s sprawling real estate-to-hospitals conglomerate faces an uphill battle to succeed overseas. Carmakers such as India’s Tata Motors Ltd. and Malaysia’s Proton Holdings Bhd. struggled to win over consumers away from their home turf. Even in Vietnam, VinFast Trading and Production LLC has formidable competition from established foreign players such as Toyota, Ford Motor Co. and Hyundai.Shares of Vingroup fell as much as 2% Tuesday. The benchmark VN Index of Vietnamese stocks dropped 0.6%.VinFast follows a long list of Chinese automakers that have also had ambitions to sell vehicles in the U.S. going back more than a decade. Though the plans have yet come to fruition, Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Zotye Automobile Co. and others have set up local sales units and research-and-development operations to show just how serious they are. Some Chinese brands have also exhibited at American auto shows in recent years.Vuong, whose net worth is $9.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is undaunted. Vingroup sold some shares last year and he plans to sell as much as 10% of his own to raise funds for the ambitious project. He owns 49% of VinFast, while the parent, Vingroup, holds 51%.The automaker won’t be profitable for as many as five years, said Vuong, adding the local market is “too small” and overseas sales are key to becoming profitable. Vuong directly owns 26% of Vingroup, according to Bloomberg data. Vietnam Investment Group JSC, in which Vuong has about a 92% stake, holds 31.6% of Vingroup.And VinFast will have to overcome an even more daunting task of winning over demanding consumers in the U.S. and other developed markets, where emissions and crash standards are stringent.Adding to these challenges is successfully manufacturing and selling electric vehicles. Many Chinese startups, backed by billions of dollars in funding, bet on the prospects for EVs in the world’s biggest auto market, but few are making money. BAIC BluePark New Energy Technology Co., China’s biggest maker of pure electric cars, forecasts a 2019 loss. Unprofitable NIO Inc., which is traded in New York, has struggled to assuage concerns that it’s running short on cash amid sputtering demand.High HurdlesVinFast’s first EV won’t roll off its assembly line until late next year, but Vuong said he plans to export those vehicles to the U.S., Europe and Russia in 2021.VinFast must clear several high hurdles to compete outside Vietnam, said Michael Dunne, chief executive officer of automotive consultant ZoZo Go LLC, which specializes in the Asian market. “It will be some time before the company is ready to compete in the U.S. -- still the world’s toughest market,” he said. “You need a solid brand name.”Many consumers prefer a second-hand Honda Motor Co. or Toyota vehicle over a new car with an unfamiliar brand name, Dunne said. The Vietnamese automaker will need to produce at least 100,000 vehicles a year to be cost competitive, develop a global brand and establish a parts-and-services network, he said. Still, VinFast has an opportunity to crack smaller Southeast Asian markets, he said.VinFast, which operates a 335-hectare factory in the northern port city of Haiphong, is selling its first line of vehicles -- a hatchback, sedan and SUV -- at below cost. The hatchback retails for the equivalent of $17,000, while the four-cylinder sedan goes for $47,400 and its SUV is offered at $60,400. The company targets production of as many as 500,000 vehicles a year by 2025. The carmarker also makes electric scooters.In the next few years, Vingroup will have to spend “many trillions of dong per year” to cover losses for VinFast, estimated at as much as 18 trillion ($777 million) annually, Vuong said. Those losses include financing and depreciation, and as much as 7 trillion dong each year to absorb the hit of selling cars below cost, he added.Vingroup will divest stakes in other units to fund VinFast while other subsidiaries have been ordered to reduce costs, Vuong said, without providing details. VinFast will also seek additional loans, in addition to about $1.95 billion of international loans it has already raised. Vuong also plans to list VinFast on a Vietnamese exchange and possibly overseas, he said, without elaborating.“We have the desire to build a Vietnamese brand that has a world-class reputation,” he said. “Our biggest challenge is that Vietnamese products do not have an international brand. To many international friends, Vietnam is still a poor, backward country. We will have to find a way to market and prove our products represent a dynamic and developing Vietnam that has reached the highest standards of the world.”(In an earlier version, company corrects share sale information in 7th paragraph to say Vingroup sold some shares last year, not the founder.)\--With assistance from Ville Heiskanen.To contact the reporters on this story: Nguyen Kieu Giang in Hanoi at giang1@bloomberg.net;K. Oanh Ha in Hong Kong at oha3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: John Boudreau at jboudreau3@bloomberg.net, Sam NagarajanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 3 “Strong Buy” Dividend Stocks Yielding 5% — Or More
    TipRanks

    3 “Strong Buy” Dividend Stocks Yielding 5% — Or More

    With the Fed’s key rate cut back to the 1.5 to 1.75 range, and bond yields out to 10 years holding below 2%, investors are naturally drawn to the stock markets. As much as Friday’s gangbusters jobs report, this basic fact of today’s economy underlies the market’s record highs.So, stocks are the place to go. But which stocks? While the market is clearly the place to go for strong returns, investors have different priorities when it comes to receiving those returns. You’ll go for different stocks if you're more interested in long-term appreciation than if you want steady income.Today, we’re looking at the steady income side of that equation, and that means dividend stocks. These are the stocks that pay back a steady return of the company’s income to shareholders. Use the money to reinvest, or if your portfolio’s large enough, to live on – the choice is yours. But the trick is finding the high-yielding dividend stocks in the first place.TipRanks’ Stock Screener tool makes it simple. Adjust the filters to show only the high-yield dividend stocks – say, the ones with a 5% or better return – and then further adjust them to show only those with a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus, and we can narrow it down to a list of just 39 stocks. Now that we’ve narrowed the field, we’ll look at three of them and see what makes them so compelling.GAIN Capital Holdings (GCAP)We start with GAIN Capital, an online trading company based in New Jersey. GAIN offers its customers access to foreign exchange (forex) and contract-for-difference (CFD) trading on the public markets. GAIN has two electronic platforms available for customers to use, the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and the FOREXTrader PRO, GAIN’s proprietary platform. In addition to trading services, GAIN offers advisory services to customers, and access to futures markets.The boom in the stock markets has paradoxically hurt GCAP shares and made them more attractive. As investors move toward stocks, trading in other assets – bonds, or example, or forex – declines, and a forex trader like GAIN feels a pinch. The company’s shares have declined throughout 2019, and the stock is down 34% year-to-date.The paradox is, that even while GCAP shares have fallen to rock-bottom price, the company has maintained its dividend payout. The payment is only 6 cents per share each quarter – a annualized payment of 24 cents – but it has been consistent for the last three years, and consistency is the key to successful dividend investing. The annualized yield, at 5.97%, is almost triple the average yield of S&P listed companies.Recently, two of Wall Street’s analysts gave GCAP stock the thumbs up. Writing from JPMorgan, Ken Worthington said, “With Gain having invested in growing its business in recent quarters through increased marketing, we see the company well positioned to maximize the benefit of higher volatility with a larger number of active accounts.” Worthington acknowledges that the company faces a tough business climate, but does not see this harming investors. He writes of GAIN’s possible downsides, “[E]ither Gain will more regularly make a positive profit or it will be sold or liquidated –either way we see shareholders benefitting.” In line with his optimism, Worthington gives GCAP a Buy rating alongside $6 price target. (To watch Worthington’s track record, click here)Also bullish on GCAP is Rajiv Sharma from B. Riley FBR. In his review of the company, he concludes that, “Higher volatility and uncertainty from more “normal” conditions, we believe, will be beneficial for Gain. We believe Gain is ready to capitalize on higher volatility and volumes given that they are adding new trading accounts at a fast pace.” Sharma puts a $7 target on GCAP, implying a strong upside of 71%, to go along with his Buy rating. (To watch Sharma’s track record, click here)All in all, with three recent Buy ratings, GCAP has a unanimous analyst consensus of ‘Strong Buy.’ As noted, shares are selling for a bargain price, just $4. The average price target of $6.42 suggests an impressive upside potential of 58%. (See GAIN Capital stock analysis on TipRanks)Kontoor Brands (KTB)While not a household name, it’s almost certain you have heard of Kontoor’s products. In fact, there’s even a pretty good chance you have worn some of them. The company is the owner of Lee and Wrangler jeans, longstanding names in the apparel industry.So, Kontoor has been around the block a few times, holds a well-established niche in its business, and can boast well-known brands with both name recognition and reputation. It’s a solid foundation for any company, and Kontoor took it public earlier this year. Since KTB’s IPO in May, the stock has had a rocky ride, falling 34% in its first month of trading, only to regain that value slowly in 2H19.To the company’s credit, its Q3 earnings beat Wall Street expectations by 6 cents per share, showing EPS at 95 cents. This came despite a slight revenue miss. The quarterly top line was $638 million against a forecast of $646.5 million. The strong earnings supported a quarterly dividend payout of 56 cents. This annualizes to $2.24 – a nice per-share income. The yield of 5.9% is sure to bring a smile to income-minded investors.Sam Poser, 4-star analyst from Susquehanna, sees a clear path forward for KTB, and believes that the company will follow it toward increased performance and market share. He writes, “Buy KTB… [We are] confident that KTB is proactively making the necessary strategic decisions to enhance the Wrangler and Lee brand first and then drive positive inflections in each brand's business… We think the move from a global to a regional operating model will generate efficiencies driving top- and bottom-line results over the next few years.”In line with his upbeat outlook, Poser gives this stock a "positive" rating along with $44 price target, indicating room for 14% growth on the upside. (To watch Poser’s track record, click here)KTB is clearly a stock to watch. As an established brand, new to the market, it’s sure to attract plenty of investor attention, just as it has attracted the notice of Wall Street’s analysts. The stock has 5 recent reviews, including 4 "buy" and 1 "hold" ratings, giving it a consensus rating of ‘Strong Buy.’ Shares are moderately priced, at $37.90, and the average target of $40.50 gives an upside potential of 8%. (See Kontoor stock analysis on TipRanks)Viper Energy (VNOM)Operating in the Midland formation, part of West Texas’ Permian Basin, Viper Energy taps into some of the richest oil fields in North America. The company has oil and mineral interests in over 14,000 acres of the formation. Viper’s interests are exploited mainly by subsidiaries or third parties, with royalties paid to the parent company. Those interests are substantial, as independent engineers have estimated up to 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalents in Viper’s land holdings.The company reported somewhat disappointing earnings in Q3 thanks to low oil prices. Revenues, at $71.8 million, missed the estimates by 6% and the 13-cent EPS fell short of the 14 cent forecast. Shares slipped 11% after the earnings report, but have since regained half of the losses. Investors were reassured remembering that EPS was up 160% year-over-year, and that production was up 9% sequentially and 16% year-over-year.Like many oil industry companies, Viper makes a commitment to sharing income with investors. This is as much self-interest as it is altruism. Dividends make the stock attractive, attractive stocks bring in new investment, and oil companies need a constant flow of investment to meet their high overhead. VNOM shares are currently paying out 46 cents quarterly, or $1.84 per year, for an annual yield of 7.34%. This is more than triple the average dividend on the S&P 500.Wall Street holds a favorable view of VNOM shares. SunTrust Robinson analyst Welles Fitzpatrick points out that oil prices, while low now, are consistent, and writes of the stock, “Additional upside comes from increased commodity prices and accretive acquisitions. We believe Viper offers a unique way to play Permian growth combined with solid oil prices.”Fitzpatrick’s of $32 suggests room for a 28% upside which supports his Buy rating. (To watch Fitzpatrick’s track record, click here)VNOM shares get a unanimous ‘Strong Buy’ consensus rating, based on 11 reviews in recent weeks. The stock is widely considered a sound investment on Wall Street, both for its profitable holdings in the oil fields and its reliable dividend payments. Shares are selling for $25, and the $34.60 average price target suggests room for robust 37% growth on the upside. (See Viper Energy stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • Peloton tumbles over 6% after short seller warns of competition
    Reuters

    Peloton tumbles over 6% after short seller warns of competition

    Shares of Peloton Interactive tumbled over 6% on Tuesday after noted short seller Andrew Left valued the seller of stationary exercise bicycles at about one seventh of its recent stock price. Left's Citron Research warned that the Peloton's bikes, priced at over $2,200, and its streaming exercise video service face competition from aggressive, cheaper rivals. It predicted Peloton's stock would fall to $5.

  • Luckin Coffee, Weichai Power Favored: HeirCastle AM's Huang
    Bloomberg

    Luckin Coffee, Weichai Power Favored: HeirCastle AM's Huang

    Dec.08 -- Ziming Huang, managing partner and co-chief investment officer at HeirCastle Asset Management, talks about Chinese stocks. He speaks with Rishaad Salamat and Tom Mackenzie on "Bloomberg Markets: China Open."

  • Two senior executives leaving Cisco, the latest in a slew of changes at the top
    American City Business Journals

    Two senior executives leaving Cisco, the latest in a slew of changes at the top

    Cisco's senior vice presidents of global data center sales and customer transformation are leaving the networking giant.

  • All Eyes on These 3 Biotech Stocks Ahead of FDA Decisions
    TipRanks

    All Eyes on These 3 Biotech Stocks Ahead of FDA Decisions

    Searching for the stocks that can treat you to huge rewards overnight? Look no further than the biotech industry. Regardless of trade wars, economic data and market sentiment, a single positive catalyst like favorable data or an important regulatory decision can drive share prices through the roof. Just remember that these stocks carry substantial risk, too, as the opposite holds true.Having said that, the Street’s seasoned pros remind investors that positive data doesn’t necessarily mean that a drug will receive approval from the FDA. So, when biotechs near these important FDA verdicts, it’s a signal to investors to pay close attention as drug approvals can lead to vital revenues for companies.With this in mind, we used TipRanks’ set of investing tools to take a closer look at 3 biotech stocks ahead of their upcoming FDA approval decisions. Here’s what we uncovered.Intra-Cellular Therapies (ITCI)Schizophrenia is a mental illness that causes abnormal behavior, strange speech as well as a decreased ability to understand reality, with the treatment market for the disease estimated to be worth about $14.9 billion. Intra-Cellular Therapies wants to capitalize on this opportunity, and given the limited competition, several analysts argue the biotech is well-positioned to do so.Currently, the company is preparing for the December 27 PDUFA date for its lumateperone drug in schizophrenia. Some red flags were raised when the review, originally slated for September 27, was delayed and the July AdCom meeting was canceled. However, the company stated that the delay came as a result of its submission of additional non-clinical data, which demonstrated that issues with toxicology seen in animals weren’t present when the drug was used to treat humans.On top of this, the drug is currently being evaluated as a treatment for bipolar depression and major depressive disorder (MDD). In a Phase 3 study of its efficacy in bipolar depression patients, the drug produced a statistically significant improvement in the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total score.Even with the delay, Ladenburg analyst Matthew Kaplan is optimistic about the drug’s approval.“Despite this delay in the approval timeline, we continue to believe that lumateperone has demonstrated a clinically meaningful improvement and improved safety and metabolic profile over risperidone in the treatment for schizophrenia, which should ultimately support FDA approval of lumateperone,” Kaplan explained.With this in mind, the four-star analyst kept his Buy rating and $33 price target. This brings the potential twelve-month gain to a whopping 224%. (To watch Kaplan’s track record, click here)Similarly, the rest of the Street is optimistic about ITCI. Based on 100% Street support over the last three months, the consensus is a unanimous Strong Buy. Additionally, the $24 average price target puts the upside potential at 135%. (See Intra-Cellular stock analysis on TipRanks)Amarin (AMRN)For investors familiar with biotechs, it’s clear that Amarin was one of the most talked about names in the space this year. The company has only one product on the market, but that one is a true humdinger. The medication, Vascepa, is an omega-3 based treatment for hypertriglyceridemia, with a proven record of reducing triglycerides in adult patients. Vascepa has been commercially available since 2013, and is predicted to reach $2.2 billion in annual sales by 2024.Amarin shares were catapulted higher recently as an FDA panel unanimously voted in favor of Vascepa approval for a cardiovascular (CV) risk reduction indication, which reflected a major step forward. That being said, specifics regarding its use in primary prevention of MACE weren’t set in stone.As the expanded label would create a huge opportunity for the biotech, Leerink Partners’ Ami Fadia sees the December 28 PDUFA date as a major catalyst, adding that the AdCom outcome has made her “incrementally more positive.” Part of the optimism is due to her belief that the panel was open minded about expanding the labeling to include use in primary prevention.“By our count, 11 members were open to a primary prevention label of which a majority noted that they would prefer to keep the primary prevention strictly defined per the REDUCE-IT Cohort 2 studied population while a minority preferred a broad primary prevention definition. In contrast, 5 members were against including primary prevention in the label,” the four-star analyst wrote in a note to clients.Fadia also points out that the AdCom members think that risks related to the treatment’s use could be mitigated with labeling and that the impact of mineral oil didn’t appear to dissuade a positive vote. As a result, she left the Outperform rating unchanged while bumping up the price target from $26 to $29. This new target conveys her confidence in AMRN’s ability to surge 29% in the coming twelve months. (To watch Fadia’s track record, click here)What does the rest of the Street think? Looking at the consensus breakdown, opinions from other analysts are more spread out. 6 Buys, 2 Holds and 1 Sell add up to a Moderate Buy consensus. In addition, the $28 average price target indicates 25% upside potential. (See Amarin stock analysis on TipRanks)Avadel Pharmaceuticals (AVDL)Avadel Pharmaceuticals is best known for developing sleep medicines as well as sterile injectable products. Ahead of its December 15 PDUFA date for its fourth hospital product, AV001, one analyst thinks that AVDL could be bound for greatness.The PDUFA date was originally slated for September 15, with the product being granted priority review by the FDA. However, this was pushed back after the FDA requested additional analytical data.Ladenburg's Matthew Kaplan believes that the delay doesn’t change the fact that AV001 stands to fuel massive growth for AVDL.“Avadel believes that AV001 corrects the safety issues of the current products in the market (one unapproved and one recently approved in May) and will address a market potential of about $30 million. We look forward to the FDA decision from the PDUFA, and we believe after approval, AV001 will start generating revenues in 2020 in addition to the existing hospital franchise (Akovaz, Bloxiverz, and Vazculep),” Kaplan commented.Its FT218 drug also looks promising. The therapy is progressing through Phase 3 development for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and cataplexy in patients suffering from narcolepsy, with the FDA agreeing to a lower sample size needed to show statistical significance.To this end, the four-star analyst reiterated the bullish call and $8 price target, implying 27% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Kaplan’s track record, click here)It has been relatively quiet when it comes to other analyst activity. In the last three months, only 2 analysts have issued ratings. However, as they were both Buys, the word on the Street is that AVDL is a Moderate Buy. Based on the $7 average price target, shares could climb 11% higher in the next twelve months. (See Avadel stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • Jobs of the future are clustering in a handful of U.S. cities, study finds
    Reuters

    Jobs of the future are clustering in a handful of U.S. cities, study finds

    A new analysis of where "innovation" jobs are being created in the United States paints a stark portrait of a divided economy where the industries seen as key to future growth cluster in a narrowing set of places. It is seen as a source of social stress, particularly since President Donald Trump tapped the resentment of left-behind areas in his 2016 presidential campaign. Research from the Brookings Institution released on Monday shows the problem cuts deeper than many thought.

  • Wilmington Trust's Roth Sees Biggest Risk as Structural Risks in Credit Markets
    Bloomberg

    Wilmington Trust's Roth Sees Biggest Risk as Structural Risks in Credit Markets

    Dec.10 -- Wilmington Trust Chief Investment Officer Tony Roth discusses the low inflationary environment and what it may mean for markets. He speaks with Guy Johnson and Vonnie Quinn on "Bloomberg Markets."

  • Barrons.com

    The ‘Dividend Aristocrats’ Have Nearly Matched the S&P 500 Returns

    The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats—companies that have raised their dividends every year for at least 25 years—have returned 25.8% in 2019, compared with 26.4% for the S&P 500.

  • British pound rises further ahead of U.K. election
    MarketWatch

    British pound rises further ahead of U.K. election

    The British pound climbed further on Tuesday, with the currency extending gains on the expectation the Conservatives will win a majority in Parliament during the general election on Thursday.

  • AT&T to raise prices on its DirecTV, U-Verse as ‘programming costs continue to increase’
    American City Business Journals

    AT&T to raise prices on its DirecTV, U-Verse as ‘programming costs continue to increase’

    AT&T (NYSE: T) is readying price increases in more of its television lineup. The Dallas telecommunications and media company is set to raise costs in 2020 for consumers on some packages for DirecTV, which is delivered over satellites, and U-Verse, its traditional competitor for cable companies that run over wires, according to its websites. The price increases come after AT&T boosted the price of its more modern streaming packages that target digitally minded customers who “cut the cord.” In October, the company said AT&T TV Now will see a $15 increase for its “plus” package – then $50 monthly – and customers on other plans got a $10 increase.

  • Benzinga

    Evercore Bullish On ViacomCBS Thanks To Strong Content Pipeline

    The company may be able to pull off a two-pronged approach to new media — feeding the third party content market, while building toward its own platforms, Jayant said. "We subscribe to the idea that the company will be able to have its cake (continue monetizing a robust content library) and eat it too (invest in new productions while building out direct-to-consumer ... digital platforms)," Jayant wrote in a note.

  • Benzinga

    Cramer: Elliott Management's AT&T Stake Is A Reason To Buy Telecom Stock

    Moffett's bearish stance on AT&T boils down to the company's inability to hit its 2020 and 2022 guidance. AT&T's stock price, which is near $38, already factors in the possibility of the telecom missing its targets, he said.