MS - Morgan Stanley

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
43.07
-0.51 (-1.17%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT

43.07 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:15PM EDT

Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close43.58
Open43.50
Bid43.15 x 800
Ask43.16 x 3200
Day's Range42.99 - 43.90
52 Week Range36.74 - 51.53
Volume7,276,168
Avg. Volume10,233,533
Market Cap72.454B
Beta (3Y Monthly)1.32
PE Ratio (TTM)9.25
EPS (TTM)4.65
Earnings DateJul 16, 2019 - Jul 22, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield1.20 (2.75%)
Ex-Dividend Date2019-04-29
1y Target Est54.24
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Fed's Rate Cut Chatter Grows as Kashkari Backs Half-Point Drop
    Bloomberg2 days ago

    Fed's Rate Cut Chatter Grows as Kashkari Backs Half-Point Drop

    (Bloomberg) -- The drumbeat for a Federal Reserve interest rate cut is getting louder, with one policy maker calling for a 50 basis point reduction.Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Friday that he’d advocated for such a move at the central bank’s June 18-19 meeting, where officials ended leaving rates unchanged.Other policy makers speaking on Friday didn’t go as far as Kashkari, considered one of the Fed’s more dovish officials. But their comments reinforced expectations that the Fed is on course to reduce rates, perhaps as soon as its July 30-31 gathering. President Donald Trump, who’s sharply criticized Fed Chairman Jerome Powell for keeping credit too tight, said Thursday that he expects the central bank to lower rates. “Can’t win it all. Eventually he’ll do what’s right,” the president said of Powell.Powell deputy Richard Clarida said on Friday that the argument for easier policy has strengthened recently as the economic outlook has turned more uncertain.“The case for providing accommodation has increased,” Fed Vice Chair Clarida said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “There’s been a marking down in global growth prospects. There’s been uncertainty about international trade.”Trump is slated to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the June 28-29 summit of Group of 20 nations in Osaka, Japan, to try to head off a further escalation in the trade war between the world’s two biggest economies. The president also has threatened to impose tariffs on auto imports from Japan and the European Union. ‘Downside Risks’Adding to the uncertainty are heightened tensions in the Middle East after Iran shot down a U.S. drone and Trump tweeted he came within minutes of launching a retaliatory attack. On Saturday Trump said that military action is “always on the table.” Fed Governor Lael Brainard also sounds open to a rate cut, even as she describes the U.S. economic outlook as solid.Recent weeks “have seen important downside risks,” Brainard said Friday at a Fed event in Cincinnati, adding that the central bank must take those into account when setting policy. A gauge of U.S. factory activity fell in June to the lowest since late 2009 while a separate measure of the service sector edged down to a three-year low, according to surveys of business purchasing managers by IHS Markit.The data suggest that “economic activity is rapidly downshifting,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief economist for the Americas at investment bank and asset manager Natixis.What Our Economists Say“The messaging from the June FOMC meeting showed policy makers demonstrating heightened sensitivity to both market and economic signals...Bloomberg Economics now projects the Fed to execute 50 bps of rate cuts by year-end in an attempt to reduce inversion pressures on the yield curve, and to avoid orchestrating policy in a manner contrary to the increasing dovishness among other major foreign central banks.-- U.S. economists Carl Riccadonna and Yelena ShulyatyevaClick here to read more.The Federal Open Market Committee’s vote on Wednesday to leave rates unchanged -- in a 2.25% to 2.5% range -- wasn’t unanimous. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard sought a quarter-point rate cut.His vote marked the first dissent of Powell’s 16-month tenure as chairman. (Kashkari isn’t a voting member of the FOMC this year, although he will be in 2020). In a blog posting on Friday explaining his dissent, Bullard said he favored a cut to guard against downside risks of too-low inflation and weaker growth.“Even if a sharper-than-expected slowdown does not materialize, a rate cut would help promote a more rapid return of inflation and inflation expectations to target,” he said. Inflation TargetThe Fed has failed to convincingly hit its 2% inflation objective since 2012. What’s more, inflation expectations, particularly in financial markets, have fallen recently and Fed officials themselves have marked down their forecast of price rises this year, to 1.5%, from 1.8% in March.Kashkari zeroed in on tepid inflation and inflation expectations in his call for easier monetary policy at this month’s FOMC meeting.“I advocated for a 50-basis-point rate cut to 1.75% to 2% and a commitment not to raise rates again until core inflation reaches our 2% target on a sustained basis,” Kashkari wrote in an essay. “I believe an aggressive policy action such as this is required to re-anchor inflation expectations at our target.”Ellen Zentner, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley, said that rate cuts are the best way for the Fed to boost inflation expectations, stabilize financial markets, counter global growth and trade risks, and support the economy.“There’s one answer right now for their ills, and that’s for them to drop rates,’’ Zentner, who expects a half-point cut next month, said in a Bloomberg Television interview Friday. “It’s the right prescription to start aggressively.’’ \--With assistance from Christopher Condon, Matthew Boesler and Steve Matthews.To contact the reporter on this story: Rich Miller in Washington at rmiller28@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Margaret Collins at mcollins45@bloomberg.net, Ros KrasnyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Goldman, Morgan Stanley Do Better in Fed Stress Tests After 2018’s Stumble
    Bloomberg3 days ago

    Goldman, Morgan Stanley Do Better in Fed Stress Tests After 2018’s Stumble

    (Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley improved on last year’s poor results in the first round of the latest Federal Reserve stress tests, a sign they may have more flexibility to boost payouts to shareholders.In figures posted Friday by the Fed, the pair didn’t come as close to breaching regulatory minimums as they did last year, offering hope they will escape limits on dividends and stock buybacks imposed back then. All 18 banks in the exam demonstrated an ability to withstand a hypothetical financial shock. The second and final round next week determines whether firms win approval to boost capital payouts.Results posted so far show banks are getting better at coping with what’s become one of the most rigorous supervisory efforts: They maintained a collective common equity Tier 1 ratio that was double the regulatory minimum even at the depths of the theoretical recession. Lenders have been building capital for years, and while this year’s exam was harsher on credit-card loans, trading losses were down from last year at four of the five biggest Wall Street firms.Still, when the process wraps up next week, analysts expect big banks to slow the expansion of payouts to shareholders after two years of surging dividends and buybacks.Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were allowed to dip below the required minimums in the second part of last year’s test because some of the decline was a result of one-time charges related to the 2017 federal tax overhaul. After next week’s round, Goldman is expected to modestly reduce its total payout in dollar terms while Morgan Stanley modestly increases it, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg before Friday’s results.This year, Goldman Sachs’s supplementary leverage ratio fell to as low as 4% in the first round of the Fed’s test, an improvement from 3.1% last year. Morgan Stanley’s ratio was 3.9%, compared with 3.3% last year. To carry out proposals to distribute capital, banks need to remain above 3% by that measure in next week’s test.Taking ‘Mulligan’Lenders are given a chance to adjust and resubmit their cash distribution plans before the second set of results is released June 27. A record number of firms used the so-called mulligan last year to adjust their original payout requests to stay above the minimum requirements.The 12 largest U.S. lenders tested are expected to boost payouts by $5 billion in the next four quarters, after dividends and buybacks jumped by more than $30 billion each of the past two years. Still, the increase means they’ll likely pay out more than 100% of their annual profit.In past years, some banks had initial proposals for payouts reined in after they projected their capital and leverage ratios would hold up better than what the Fed calculated. In some cases, the Fed even took issue with the strength of their capital planning.This year, a half dozen firms including Bank of America Corp. posted internal calculations that were instead lower than the Fed’s, indicating they were even more conservative than examiners. Still, several companies were more optimistic. Morgan Stanley, for example, calculated its leverage ratio would be 1.7 percentage points higher than what the Fed found. Altogether, the 18 banks tested would suffer a $115 billion pretax loss in the severely adverse scenario, the Fed said. That amounts to 0.8% of the banks’ average assets, the same ratio as under last year’s test. Their hypothetical revenue before provisions and trading losses was projected by the Fed to be 2.4% of assets, down from 3% last year.A steeper yield curve foreseen in last year’s scenario helped prop up pre-provision revenues because banks make more money when the gap between short-term and long-term rates widens. The change in assumptions about interest rates this time helped banks book gains in their Treasury portfolios even as it lowered their pre-provision revenues.Credit CardsThis year’s stress scenario featured a harsher hypothetical recession and the worst increase in unemployment used in the tests so far, yet its stock- and bond-market losses were less severe than last year. That helped Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, which derive more of their income from securities trading than lending.Historically, losses tied to credit cards and commercial loans tended to be similar amounts. But this year, losses tied to cards under the central bank’s severely adverse scenario reached $107 billion, outpacing the $73 billion in losses produced by their commercial counterparts.The central bank said credit-card loss rates increased “due in part to the final phase-in of changes to the supervisory credit-card model.” That model changed how Fed treats uncollected interest and fees at the time of default.Foreign BanksFriday’s results also included what would happen to the capital ratios of six foreign banks’ U.S. units under the same scenario. HSBC Holdings Plc’s U.S. arm saw its leverage ratio fall to within a percentage point of the minimum, the narrowest margin in this year’s group. Next week, units of foreign banks also face a qualitative evaluation of their risk management, data-collection capabilities and capital planning. That’s where some of them could trip up.Foreign firms failing the test can’t repatriate profits earned in the U.S. to their parent companies. For Deutsche Bank AG, whose U.S. units have failed the test three times already, a failing grade will be yet another blow to investor confidence as it struggles with restructuring efforts and profitability. The Fed placed the firm’s U.S. arm on a list of troubled lenders last year because of deficiencies in its internal oversight.The exams are in flux because the Fed is working on a rule that will more closely marry the stress testing process with day-to-day capital decisions at the banks. And the agency has tried to make the regime more transparent -- an effort that has accelerated amid President Donald Trump’s deregulatory agenda.As part of that effort, Congress passed a law last year ordering less strict treatment of smaller banks. That prompted the central bank to ease the stress test burden on a dozen regional U.S. lenders and half a dozen smaller foreign banks, which are now tested every other year and weren’t included in this year’s exercise.(Updates with companies’ own projections from the ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Jenny Surane and Gregory Mott.To contact the reporters on this story: Yalman Onaran in New York at yonaran@bloomberg.net;Jesse Hamilton in Washington at jhamilton33@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, ;Jesse Westbrook at jwestbrook1@bloomberg.net, David Scheer, Dan ReichlFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com3 days ago

    The Biggest Banks in the U.S. Just Passed Their ‘Stress Test’

    The largest banks in the U.S.—including Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, and JPMorgan—have sufficient capital that would allow them to weather a severe recession, the Federal Reserve said.

  • MarketWatch3 days ago

    Fed's stress test shows nation's top banks could withstand $410 billion of losses

    The nation's largest banks have enough capital to withstand a severe recession, the Federal Reserve said Friday. The so-called stress tests showed that 18 big banks including Bank of America , JPMorgan Chase and Citi could absorb a cumulative $410 billion of losses, with a global recession and the U.S. unemployment rate rising by more than 6 percentage points, the Fed said. The firms' aggregate common equity tier 1 capital ratio, which compares high-quality capital to risk-weighted assets, would fall from an actual level of 12.3% in the fourth quarter of 2018 to a minimum level of 9.2%. Next week the Fed will say whether the banks can make the share buybacks and dividend payments they want to give to shareholders.

  • Bloomberg3 days ago

    With Slack Sitting Pretty, Its Bankers Eye More Direct Listings

    (Bloomberg) -- Slack Technologies Inc.’s trading debut was everything Wall Street wanted it to be: nothing flashy.The company’s advisers anticipate that more firms will adopt the so-called direct-listing model for going public, and give the banks an edge over rivals who have little to no experience in pulling off a listing like Slack’s.There could be five direct listings next year -- or more, depending on how the overall market for public offerings shapes up, said Colin Stewart, global head of technology capital markets at Morgan Stanley. His firm, along with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co., are the only three companies to have had lead roles on high-profile Silicon Valley direct listings.“This will be something that companies need to consider as part of a toolkit to access the public markets,” Stewart said. “It’s clear that the model is attractive. The question will be on applicability -- how many companies will use it.”While a direct listing tends to pay banks less than a typical initial public offering, the fees are shared among fewer firms -- meaning Goldman, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. gain significantly by being leaders in the market. In the case of Slack, that meant at least 90% of the $22 million in fees split among the three banks, people familiar with the matter have said. The banks’ biggest rivals have yet to work on a deal of Slack’s magnitude. And the two mega-banks handled the lion’s share of the trading volumes, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private flows.‘New Model’“It has been very exciting to pioneer this new model alongside our clients, and we expect other clients to increasingly utilize this path when it best achieves their objectives,” William Connolly, co-head of the West Coast financing group and head of technology equity capital markets at Goldman, said in an email.That doesn’t portend a complete overhaul to the model for going public -- there are hundreds of traditional IPOs a year -- but Stewart’s prediction would mean more than double the number of direct listings from the past year. Unlike in an IPO, a company opting for a direct listing isn’t raising money with a sale of new stock. Instead, shares already held by founders and other early investors are simply listed for trading, making those shares easier to sell.Goldman and Morgan Stanley have been in talks with more than a dozen firms considering the direct-listing option, people familiar with the matter have said. They include Airbnb Inc., one of the hottest IPO candidates in the next year. Adding to the encouragement is that Slack’s listing went smoother that Spotify Technology SA’s last year, with the work-collaboration company’s shares staying close to its opening price in the first two days of trading -- an execution win for market makers. A Slack investor who made a recent purchase when the shares were private is up about 43%.IPO OpeningsThat’s roughly the same as standard public offerings, with this year’s technology and communications IPOs opening almost 50% above their offering prices on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Bloomberg Beta, the venture capital arm of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, is an investor in Slack.While Morgan Stanley, Goldman and Allen & Co. have been most prominent in leading direct listings, other Wall Street giants have been involved in the space. JPMorgan Chase & Co., for example, has led direct listings for companies including Colony Real Estate Credit Inc., which started trading last year.Citadel Securities was picked as the designated market maker for Slack’s trading debut, and its role, along with Morgan Stanley’s as adviser to the market maker, a role the bank created ahead of Spotify’s listing, was applauded by venture capitalist Bill Gurley in a Twitter post Thursday.“Other banks want to position direct listings as ‘exceptional’ or ‘rare.’ MS believes they are 1) a better mousetrap, and 2) can be used broadly,” he wrote.John O’Farrell, a partner at Andreesen Horowitz, one of Slack’s largest early investors, was on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for the listing Thursday, and stuck around after the crowd faded to shake hands with the market makers. His firm may have reaped $2.6 billion, according to CB Insights. Venture capital firm Accel, which held 24% of Slack as of the stock’s debut, now has a $4.6 billion stake, the research company said.Yet investors may not all cheer the model.Gurley argues that personal relationships, ties to banks and an investor’s brand determine whether it can participate in an IPO, as opposed to the algorithms used in direct listings. In the Slack and Spotify direct listings, large shareholders weren’t promised allocations beforehand. Instead, the highest bidders end up getting the biggest exposure on the first day of trading.“The hand-allocated IPO is archaic and it’s time for it to be a thing of the past,” Gurley said in a phone interview. “In a day and age of a globally connected Internet, it’s very easy for a company to be discovered and for investors to be educated about that company without visiting people one on one.”But that also means investors may have to buy in at a higher price and therefore miss out on the initial IPO pop that many in the market have gotten used to. That could be a tough reality for large investors like Fidelity Investments that are often big buyers in an IPO, and increasingly buying more stock in private markets.Smooth DebutStill, the fact that Slack’s debut went so smoothly may spur different types of companies to choose a listing method that the company described in its regulatory filings as “novel,” said Joe Mecane, head of execution services at Citadel Securities.Slack didn’t have many of the characteristics Wall Street tends to expect for a direct listing, Mecane said. Such companies typically have a well-known brand and a large base of existing shareholders to ensure stock liquidity -- and don’t have an immediate need to raise funds.Unlike Spotify, Slack is seen by many as a business-to-business company and had a more concentrated investor base than that of the music-streaming service. Also, Slack burns a significant amount of cash.\--With assistance from Drew Singer.To contact the reporters on this story: Sonali Basak in New York at sbasak7@bloomberg.net;Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at enewcomer@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Daniel Taub, Liana BakerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Time to Ring the Cash Register in Disney Stock?
    InvestorPlace3 days ago

    Time to Ring the Cash Register in Disney Stock?

    For a slow-growth media company, Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) is being treated like a fast-growth tech stock. Credit the market's love of consolidation.Source: Baron Valium via FlickrOver the last several years, Disney has been acting like a classic "roll-up." It has been buying other media properties and proclaiming its secret management sauce will make the whole thing tastier. Investors have been piling in.The latest merger, with most of what had been 21st Century Fox, was completed in March. Disney is scheduled to report its first-quarter post-consolidation on Aug. 7. Analysts are expecting $1.76 per share of earnings on revenue of $21.56 billion. The March quarter saw $1.61 per share of earnings on revenue of $14.92 billion. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe March quarter earnings caused little reaction from the market. But Disney stock is up almost 30% so far in 2019 on hope over-the-top delivery will crush Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), which itself is up slightly more than 30% in 2019. Over the Top in DISMorgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) analyst Benjamin Swinburne, who predicted that Disney should be a long-term streaming winner in five years, had a one-year price target of $160 per share for the stock. Disney opened for trading Friday at about $142 per share. * The 7 Best Dow Jones Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 The idea that investors are digesting their meal before it's served caused Imperial Capital to downgrade Disney on June 17, while maintaining a one-year price target of $147.Bullish analysts are ignoring that call, so confident are they that Hulu, which Disney now controls, and Disney+, which the company will launch this fall, are certain winners and that ESPN+, its initial streaming service, will dominate the sports category.In some ways Disney remains cheap, selling at less than 16 times trailing earnings. In other ways it is frightfully expensive, selling at more than three times its anticipated 2019 revenue (even with Fox), the yield on its dividend down to 1.3%. Tomorrow Belongs to Me?Disney's dominance of the movie box office is giving it enormous leverage over movie houses. Analysts are confident it can get more mileage out of such franchises as Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar, which will soon launch its fourth Toy Story movie. But sequels seldom outperform original movies. Some of Disney's spin-offs, like Dark Phoenix, have already bombed. The open question remains streaming, where Netflix has an enormous lead with 150 million subscribers worldwide, at about $11/month each. Hulu, meanwhile, has about 27 million subscribers and ESPN+ just 2 million. Disney is pricing its services low in order to get a fast start. ESPN+ costs just $5/month, against the $9/month ESPN services get from cable subscribers. Disney's initial price for Disney+ is just $7 per month. The main Hulu service price was cut to $6 per month when Netflix was pushing through its latest price hike.In short, Disney is sacrificing short-term results for long-term market share, hoping that a two-year roll-out of Disney+ in all global markets will bring its subscriber count within reach of its smaller rival quickly. After that analysts believe its vast library, which will be denied Netflix, can let it raise prices and grow profits after 2021. The Bottom Line on Disney StockDisney dominates the movie business, but who goes to the movies anymore? Disney dominates the resort business, but that's vulnerable to trade wars and global recession.Disney's streaming plans are focused on growing profits 3-5 years down the road, but investors are already piling into the stock.These new investors may be in for a rude awakening. There's a gulf between what Disney's signaling on streaming prices and what current investors are anticipating in terms of revenue.To me, that sounds like a buying opportunity down the road, not today. If you own it, take some profits and let reality sink in.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of a new mystery thriller, The Reluctant Detective Finds Her Family, available now at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at danablankenhorn@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned no shares in companies mentioned in this article. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * The 7 Best Dow Jones Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2019 * 5 Boring Stocks to Buy This Summer * 7 S&P 500 Stocks to Buy With Little Debt and Lots of Profits Compare Brokers The post Time to Ring the Cash Register in Disney Stock? appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Barrons.com3 days ago

    Can the Big Banks Raise Stock Dividends? We’ll Get a Better Idea Today.

    The annual stress-test report cards for large U.S. financial companies are due out Friday. The consensus is that the banks are largely well-capitalized.

  • Central Banks Are Creating a Horde of Zombie Investors
    Bloomberg3 days ago

    Central Banks Are Creating a Horde of Zombie Investors

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ruchir Sharma, chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, wrote a provocative op-ed in the New York Times last weekend. Titled “When Dead Companies Don’t Die,” it argues that unprecedented monetary stimulus from global central banks created a “fat and slow” world, dominated by large companies and plagued by a swarm of “zombie firms” — those that should be out of business but survive because of rock-bottom borrowing costs.I would add that central bankers are creating a horde of zombie investors as well.By now, bond markets have adjusted to the unabashedly dovish shift from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. In the U.S., benchmark 10-year Treasury yields fell below 2% for the first time since Donald Trump was elected president, and some Wall Street strategists expect it’ll reach a record low around this time in 2020. Across the Atlantic, 10-year German bund yields plumbed new lows of negative 0.33%, French 10-year yields hit zero for the first time, and the entire yield curve in Denmark was on the cusp of turning negative.With any sort of risk-free yield largely zapped worldwide on the prospect of further monetary easing, is it any surprise what happened next? Investors turned to the tried-and-true playbook of grabbing anything risky. No matter that the global recovery has lasted nearly a decade, trade concerns abound and central banks see economic weakness — the S&P 500 Index promptly rose to a record high as investors mindlessly plowed in. And in a more specific example highlighted by my Bloomberg Opinion colleagues Marcus Ashworth and Elisa Martinuzzi, bond buyers were all-too-eager to snap up subordinated Greek bank debt from Piraeus Bank SA, which tapped European capital markets for the first time since the financial crisis. “The offer would have been unthinkable a year ago,” they wrote.Are these really the characteristics of healthy financial markets? It hardly seems ideal that individual investors, pensions and insurers are effectively forced into owning lower-rated bonds, equities or even alternative assets like timber to meet their return targets. In fact, that sounds like the textbook definition of a bubble. But as Sharma points out, permanently easy policy aims to create an environment in which those bubbles can’t pop.“Government stimulus programs were conceived as a way to revive economies in recession, not to keep growth alive indefinitely. A world without recessions may sound like progress, but recessions can be like forest fires, purging the economy of dead brush so that new shoots can grow. Lately, the cycle of regeneration has been suspended, as governments douse the first flicker of a coming recession with buckets of easy money and new spending. Now experiments in permanent stimulus are sapping the process of creative destruction at the heart of any capitalist system and breeding oversize zombies faster than start-ups.To assume that central banks can hold the next recession at bay indefinitely represents a dangerous complacency.”Time and again, market watchers will warn that the credit cycle is on the verge of turning. “The future looks pretty bleak,” Bob Michele, JPMorgan Asset Management’s head of global fixed income, said this week as he advocated selling into high-yield rallies. “We have probably the riskiest credit market that we have ever had,” Scott Mather, chief investment officer of U.S. core strategies at Pacific Investment Management Co., said last month. Morningstar Inc. just suspended its rating on a fund owned by French bank Natixis SA because of concerns about the “liquidity and appropriateness” of some corporate bond holdings, adding to jitters about a broader liquidity mismatch in the money-management industry.It’s hard to take this fretting too seriously when central banks persistently come to the rescue. What’s more, in many ways it’s in the best interest of all involved not to get too worked up about those risks.U.S. households and nonprofits had a combined net worth of $109 trillion in the first quarter of 2019, a record, according to Fed data. Dig a bit deeper, and it’s clear that a surge in the value of their equity holdings plays a crucial role. They directly owned $17.5 trillion of stocks, which represents 110% of their disposable personal income. That ratio reached 120% in the third quarter of 2018, very nearly topping the all-time high of 121.2% set just before the dot-com crash. Add in “indirectly held” stocks, and individuals look as exposed to equities as ever. At $12.3 trillion, those holdings were worth 78.6% of DPI in the third quarter, compared with 69.5% at the dot-com peak.To put it more plainly, since the start of the economic recovery in mid-2009, their total assets have increased by almost 70%. Financial assets(1) have appreciated 76%. Stock holdings have soared by more than 140%.Effectively, the sharp rally in equities has turbocharged a resurgence in the overall wealth of Americans. The prospect of losing those gains is almost too painful to think about. Perhaps that’s why, as DoubleLine Capital’s Jeffrey Gundlach pointed out in January, investors were “panicking into stocks, not out of stocks” during the late-2018 sell-off. “People have been so programmed” to buy the dip, he said, that it reminded him a bit of how the financial crisis developed. Call investors programmed; call them zombies — it’s the same thing.The Fed, for its part, argues that it’s doing good by sustaining the expansion. Notably, Powell said the economic recovery is starting to reach segments of the U.S. population that had been largely left out thus far — communities that “haven’t had a bull market” and “haven’t had just a booming economy.” Overall, he said officials don’t see signals that the U.S. is at maximum employment. Morgan Stanley’s Sharma argues wage growth is sluggish because bigger companies have more power to suppress worker pay, given that they crowd out (or acquire) startups and other competition.There are no easy answers to these large-scale problems. That includes central banks simply lowering interest rates or purchasing more government bonds. Powell said as much, noting “we have the tools we have.” But at least he has some room to maneuver toward a soft landing. The ECB, which has pushed yields on some corporate bonds in the region below zero, and the Bank of Japan, which owns large swaths of local exchange-traded funds, have done virtually no tightening and may soon need to ease even further.The most troubling part of this heavy-handed approach among central banks is that it eliminates the option for investors to earn any sort of return above inflation on safe assets. This delicate balance seems as if it can only last as long as business and consumer sentiment allows. It has been more than a decade since the Fed last cut interest rates, and during that period, it paid handsomely to be a zombie investor throwing money at the S&P 500. With the next easing cycle upon us, much is riding on the status quo prevailing.(1) Aside from stocks, this includes deposits, direct-benefit promises, non-corporate businesses and other financial assets.To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Zacks4 days ago

    Slack Directly Hits The Markets

    Slack (WORK) is the most recent listing, hitting the exchanges today and immediately surging more than 50% from its reference price. Slack has taken a much different approach to make their share available to the general public.

  • Trouble for Bankers? Slack’s Direct Offering Bests Uber’s IPO
    Market Realist4 days ago

    Trouble for Bankers? Slack’s Direct Offering Bests Uber’s IPO

    Slack (WORK) opened for trading on June 20 at around 12:00 ET. The stock opened at $38.25, 47% higher than the reference price of $26 set by the NYSE. At that price, the company is valued at over $23 billion.

  • Slack Shares Open at $38.50 on NYSE After Unusual Direct Listing
    Bloomberg4 days ago

    Slack Shares Open at $38.50 on NYSE After Unusual Direct Listing

    (Bloomberg) -- Slack Technologies Inc. opened at $38.50 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, valuing the office chat software maker at about $19.5 billion.Shares started trading at 12:08 p.m., almost three hours after Slack Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield rang the opening bell at the exchange.Unlike a traditional initial public offering, Slack’s decision to pursue a direct listing means there was no offer price for the shares. Instead, advisers spent the morning gathering buy and sell orders to assess what the first-trade price should be. The stock exchange set a reference price Wednesday of $26 a share.The market valuation of the company is based on the outstanding Class A and Class B shares, and doesn’t include restricted stock units.Slack shares trade under the ticker WORK. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. advised on the listing.To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Fournier in New York at efournier5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Aaron Kirchfeld at akirchfeld@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Fournier, Matthew MonksFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Oracle Beat Takes Stock to Highs Yet Analysts Stay Skeptical
    Bloomberg4 days ago

    Oracle Beat Takes Stock to Highs Yet Analysts Stay Skeptical

    (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. shares rose to record levels on Thursday after the company reported better-than-expected revenue and gave an outlook that pointed to ongoing momentum.While the results were seen as a sign of progress for a company that has lagged the overall technology sector for years, analysts weren’t convinced they represented an inflection point. UBS questioned whether the growth in the quarter was sustainable, while Morgan Stanley said the debate was on whether the quarter represented a “bounce or something more durable.”The stock gained as much as 7.1% to hit all-time intraday highs.Here’s what analysts are saying about the results:Morgan Stanley, Keith WeissThe print “likely reopens the debate on Oracle’s growth potential,” but the firm questions whether the results represent a “bounce or something more durable.”“While the Q4 numbers represent a poignant data point in favor of significant growth potential within Oracle’s large database installed base, the preponderance of evidence still suggests a muted top line growth outlook ahead.”Affirmed equal-weight rating and $59 price target, although “our interest is piqued.”Jefferies, John DiFucci“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” but “we’ve been waiting for signs of what we believe will be a multi-year product cycle on the back of database options.”It may take another 18 months “before we start to see something as relevant as this start to boost total revenue by mid-single digits, which in turn should drive double-digit cash flow growth” for years.Buy rating, price target raised to $66 from $61.UBS, Jennifer Swanson LoweAfter this quarter, the debate is “likely to be whether demand for autonomous database can sustain that healthy license revenue growth” in fiscal 2020.The first-quarter outlook suggested “we may not be fully out of the woods yet, but management was optimistic that growth in star businesses was starting to offset declines in legacy businesses.”Neutral rating, price target raised to $57 from $54.RBC Capital Markets, Matthew Hedberg“Encouraged” by the results, but will “look for signs that Autonomous DB and Cloud at Customer are moving beyond the trial phase at a meaningful number of customers to become more constructive.”Sector-perform rating, price target raised to $59 from $57.Deutsche Bank, Karl KeirsteadResults were “better than feared,” but “we’d caution that a good portion of the license revs upside was due to one-time 606 accounting issues.”Notes management didn’t cite any demand softness on its conference call.Hold rating, target raised to $52 from $48.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:“Oracle’s substantial cash generation enables its large stock repurchases. Yet if management continues to execute buybacks at historically high current rates, underperformance may emerge relative to peers.”-- Analyst Conor Cuddy-- Click here for the research(Updates stock and chart to market open, adds BI commentary.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Vlastelica in New York at rvlastelica1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at clarkin4@bloomberg.net, Steven Fromm, Will DaleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Slack Hustles to Avoid Day One Pop as Next Unicorn to List
    Bloomberg4 days ago

    Slack Hustles to Avoid Day One Pop as Next Unicorn to List

    (Bloomberg) -- As 2019’s bumper crop of initial public offerings either languishes or wildly exceeds expectations, Slack Technologies Inc. is taking a route to the trading floor that it hopes will yield a much more boring outcome.Following in the footsteps of music-streaming service Spotify Technology SA last year, the workplace messaging application is set to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday via a direct listing. It’s just the second large company to test the unusual method and will be closely watched by other potential candidates to see how successfully the company and its advisers pull it off.Investors got their first hint of how things are going when Slack’s reference price was set at $26 per share on Wednesday. Unlike the offering price paid by investors in a traditional IPO, the reference price doesn’t establish the valuation, though it’s partly based on recent trading in private markets. Its main purpose is to provide a starting point to allow trading to begin under New York Stock Exchange rules.Slack gained its first buy rating on Thursday, ahead of its debut, as Atlantic Equities said the adoption of the company’s messaging technology within businesses is proving as viral as WhatsApp has been for consumers.With IPO heavyweight advisers from Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. helping to steer Slack through its listing alongside market maker Citadel Securities, all eyes will be on how the first day of trading plays out. But the company and its investors aren’t looking for a meaningful stock pop -- and want to avoid the volatility -- that often accompanies high-profile share sales, according to a person familiar with the process.On Wednesday, Slack said that its investors had converted additional Class B stock to Class A shares, increasing the number that could be sold to 194 million from 181 million, out of a total of 504.4 million. Especially because there’s no lock-up period, there’s a risk of too few investors wanting to buy or too many wanting to sell.“A direct listing can be considered risky for a variety of reasons," Alejandro Ortiz, an analyst at SharesPost, said in a note. “There is an increased chance of substantially more supply than demand for Slack’s shares. All of this could result in heightened volatility in the early hours and days of trading.”Reference PriceFifteen months after its own direct listing, Spotify trades about 12% above its reference price of $132, at about $148 a share on Wednesday. That’s well below where the stock opened on its first day of trading in April 2018, though, at $165.90 apiece.On Thursday, much of the attention at the exchange will be focused on one man. Pete Giacchi, a longtime market maker at the NYSE for Citadel Securities, will be tasked with opening the stock –- just as he was for Uber Technologies Inc.’s listing in May, people with knowledge of the matter said. It could be a long wait: Spotify’s shares took more than three hours to start trading, and it will take a while to make sure that the pricing and trading volumes coming in are at levels that Slack and its advisers are comfortable with.Supply, DemandMorgan Stanley, as the named adviser to the designated market maker, will be constantly trying to get a sense of supply and demand for the shares to advise on that opening price. The bank’s team includes global head of technology capital markets, Colin Stewart, as well as David Chen, who leads software banking. John Paci, the co-head of U.S. equities trading, will help advise the designated market maker on where the stock should open based on buying and selling interest gleaned from investors, according to people familiar with the details.At Goldman Sachs, the work will be led by Nick Giovanni, co-head of the global technology, media and telecommunications group, equity capital markets head David Ludwig and Will Connolly, co-head of the West Coast financing group and head of technology ECM.One thing Slack’s listing will have in common with an IPO: executives including Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield and finance chief Allen Shim are expected to be pacing the floor of the NYSE for the open. They may not stick around all day, though. They will likely spend some time at the offices of their advisers before celebrating with employees and customers, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.Representatives for Slack, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Citadel Securities declined to comment.Private FundsSlack’s decision to bypass a traditional IPO -- and the opportunity it brings to raise funds -- is yet another sign of how benevolent private markets have been to tech startups in recent years. Slack’s earliest major investor, venture capital firm Accel, has directed a fire hose of money at the messaging company over the years, investing from several of its funds to accumulate a 23.8% stake.In addition to Accel, Slack captured the imagination of elite investors such as Andreessen Horowitz and Social Capital. But it was SoftBank Group Corp.’s behemoth Vision Fund, which also owns stakes in Uber and WeWork Cos., that accelerated Slack’s fundraising when it led a $250 million investment in 2017.One of the main reasons that Slack has remained well capitalized, however, is that it burns through less cash than some of SoftBank’s other investments. Uber, for instance, accumulated more than $10 billion in operating losses in three years. While Slack expects higher-than-usual losses in the second quarter, that still amounts to only about $75 million to $77 million for the three months, even including expenses related to the listing.Growth vs. ProfitabilityThe high demand for IPOs by the likes of money-losing companies including Uber, Lyft Inc. and Beyond Meat Inc. proves that investors remain focused on growth prospects over profitability –- in the short term at least.With Uber leading the pack with its $8.1 billion offering, 79 companies have raised $28.88 billion in U.S. IPOs this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That includes five other listings topping $1 billion, including the $2.34 billion IPO by Uber’s ride-hailing rival Lyft.With no lock-up period for a direct listing, Slack investors could be jittery about any updates from the company, perceived competitive threats or other risks.Tiny SpeckIn its filings, Slack has warned investors that it’s a relatively new business, launching only in 2014 after existing for several years as a gaming company called Tiny Speck. Its rocket-ship ascent has attracted plenty of investors, but gives new potential shareholders only a limited trajectory to study.Another challenge for Slack is one that fellow mega startups like Uber have grappled with, namely whether they can move beyond the core offering that their early years of success were built on. While Slack has improved its product so that it can serve larger companies, many customers still consider it an easy-to-use, aesthetically pleasing workplace messaging platform, despite speculation that it could evolve into a catch-all portal for business applications.One thing that could make Slack’s debut more unpredictable than Spotify’s is its investor base. Because the company’s ownership is more concentrated among fewer, larger shareholders, it could be more difficult to gauge the supply of shares that are likely to be traded, one person with knowledge of the process said. Both buyers and sellers may also hang back on day one to see how trading goes before getting involved: Just 30 million of Spotify shares changed hands in its trading debut, less than a third of the total available.(Updates with Atlantic in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Crystal Tse and William Hobbs.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at enewcomer@bloomberg.net;Sonali Basak in New York at sbasak7@bloomberg.net;Ellen Huet in San Francisco at ehuet4@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, ;Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth Fournier, Michael HythaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Kuroda's Yield Flexibility Sets Up Market Test Amid Dovish Tide
    Bloomberg4 days ago

    Kuroda's Yield Flexibility Sets Up Market Test Amid Dovish Tide

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a coming daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. As peers in the U.S. and Europe take a dovish turn, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda signaled he’s unfazed as bond yields in his own country get caught up in the global shift lower."There is no need to be extremely and strictly mindful about a concrete range for the rate" on Japan’s benchmark 10-year bond yield, Kuroda said. The BOJ targets that rate to be about 20 basis points plus or minus zero. His flexibility egged on buyers, with the yield pushing as low as minus 0.18% as he spoke during an afternoon news conference.The market is likely to test just how flexible Kuroda is in the days and weeks ahead."The BOJ is trying to secure a free hand," said Naomi Muguruma, senior market economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. "But it’s gradually becoming more difficult because other central banks, namely the Fed and ECB, are indicating they will act and they have measures to do so, whereas the BOJ’s toolbox is nearly empty."The BOJ kept its benchmark interest rate at -0.1% and 10-year yield target at around 0% earlier in the day. Hours before that, the Federal Reserve followed the European Central Bank in signaling a willingness to cut rates in the face of rising threats to global growth.The dovish tide was on display elsewhere in Asia on Thursday.Almost 5,000 miles to the south in Adelaide, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe reiterated that it was “not unrealistic” to expect another rate cut there. The quarter-point reduction to a record-low 1.25% this month was unlikely to “materially shift” the current trajectory of slower economic growth and static unemployment, Lowe said in a speech.Indonesia’s central bank signaled it’s ready to cut rates after adding stimulus to the economy by lowering reserve limits for banks. But economists’ expectations for a cut in the Philippines were dashed as the central bank held rates steady after inflation quickened last month. In Taiwan, the central bank kept its benchmark rate unchanged as expected.Fed TriggerEconomists surveyed by Bloomberg unanimously forecast no change at today’s BOJ meeting, but for the first time in more than two years, a majority had predicted the BOJ’s next policy move will be to increase stimulus. Some see action as early as next month.Many BOJ watchers say Fed rate cuts, seen as increasingly likely, could force the BOJ’s hand by pushing the yen to what it would consider an uncomfortably strong level.A stronger yen would hamper the BOJ’s efforts to hit 2% inflation. Core inflation, to be released Friday, is expected to have fallen in May to 0.7% and is forecast to drop further in coming months. The dollar fell to as low as 107.47 versus the yen Thursday in Tokyo, paring losses after Kuroda’s news conference.Again, Kuroda expressed comfort with taking a wait-and-see approach, saying that in the end a Fed cut may not have much of an impact if the markets have already priced it in. "At any rate, monetary policy isn’t targeted at foreign exchange rates," he said.BOJ’s DilemmaStill, Kuroda reiterated that the BOJ stands ready to add stimulus if momentum toward its 2% inflation goal is threatened. But it won’t be that simple. The BOJ also faces concerns about the accumulation of side effects from six-plus years of radical stimulus.In any case, many economists doubt the BOJ could even have much impact with whatever it chose to do. Its toolbox is almost empty -- complicating the risk-reward scenario.Japan’s trade-dependent economy showed some resilience in the first three months of the year, but some economists are warning of a contraction in the current quarter. Exports fell for a sixth-straight month in May, data released Wednesday showed.The BOJ still expects conditions to improve in the second half of the year, but escalating trade tensions are heightening concerns about global demand among policy makers and businesses.\--With assistance from Russell Ward, Yoshiaki Nohara, Shoko Oda, Shiho Takezawa, Sophie Jackman, Lily Nonomiya, Brett Miller, Go Onomitsu, Emi Urabe, Kyoko Shimodoi, Yuko Takeo and Saburo Funabiki.To contact the reporters on this story: Toru Fujioka in Tokyo at tfujioka1@bloomberg.net;Masahiro Hidaka in Tokyo at mhidaka@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brett Miller at bmiller30@bloomberg.net, Henry Hoenig, Paul JacksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Barrons.com5 days ago

    Advisor Slide: Wirehouses’ Waning Headcounts

    Only Merrill Lynch has added net advisors over the past five years -- and breakaways are not the reason.

  • The Target Stock Dip Was Barely a Blip
    InvestorPlace5 days ago

    The Target Stock Dip Was Barely a Blip

    For all the headlines it caused, the two-day outage at Target (NYSE:TGT) checkouts barely registered with investors.Source: Mike Mozart via Flickr (Modified)All told, TGT stock lost about 1.5% in the past two days, after thousands of people abandoned their shopping carts and just walked out of stores over the weekend.The cash register outage came just a month after stellar earnings sent the stock shooting upward, from barely $70 per share on May 16 to nearly $90 per share a month later. The company in May said same-store sales grew 4.8% on 4.3% comparable traffic growth for the three months ending in April.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsSince then, Target has gone from strength to strength. It raised the dividend slightly, re-launched its in-house media company as Roundel, and announced same-day delivery through Shipt, a grocery delivery service acquired in 2017. Macro vs. Micro for TargetUnlike the massive 2013 data breach that eventually cost CEO Gregg Steinhafel his job in 2016, the two-hour outage on June 14 was seen as a problem caused by regular maintenance. A second, smaller problem processing credit cards on Father's Day was blamed on vendor NCR (NYSE:NCR). * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half Rather than attack Target as negligent, most analysts chose to focus on how any company could be hit by such problems, given how dependent they are on giant, interconnected computing systems. There was a sigh of relief that no Target customer data was lost.Target's strategy under current CEO Brian Cornell has been to match its larger rivals in technology but differentiate itself with smaller stores inside urban centers, something Walmart (NYSE:WMT) abandoned earlier in the decade.While the fallout from the tech outage is likely to be brief, Target shares will be hit by general market turbulence. Consider that the Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) business conditions index is forecasting a recession ahead.A spike in jobless claims and a bad employment report for May are far more likely to impact Target shares or rivals like Walmart and Kroger (NYSE:KR) than the weekend's problems. Wait for ItIn general, conditions at stores like Target, once called "discount" stores, have been improving. Sales for May are up 3.2% year-over-year. While shopping malls continue to dwindle, stand-alone discounters like Target continue to rack up gains.Historians will note that Target itself emerged from the now-defunct Dayton-Hudson department store chain. The remaining stores rebranded as Marshall Field's and became part of what's now Macy's (NYSE:M) in 2005.Target, meanwhile, has been called Walmart's primary competitor. Even though the Arkansas-based chain is more than seven times its size, Target is more profitable. It brought $3 billion out of $75 billion in sales last year to the net income line. Compare that to $6 billion on $514 billion for Walmart. Despite this, and a dividend yielding 3.1% after its latest raise, Target currently sells for just 15 times trailing earnings. That's less than half Walmart's figure. Both are worth about 60 cents for each dollar of sales. The Bottom Line on TGT StockThe macro news is bound to overwhelm the micro news in the short term. Target's glitch is being treated as just that and, sadly, isn't a buying opportunity.If the economy doesn't collapse, Target under CEO Brian Cornell is in good shape, and a bargain for investors seeking income. If there is a recession, Target is well-positioned to get through it, but you might want to wait to see how deep the current fear goes before jumping in.Dana Blankenhorn is a financial and technology journalist. He is the author of a new environmental story, Bridget O'Flynn and the Bear , available now at the Amazon Kindle store. Write him at danablankenhorn@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @danablankenhorn. As of this writing he owned shares in AMZN. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy for a Seemingly Sleepy Summer * 6 Chip Stocks Staring At Big Headwinds in 2019 Compare Brokers The post The Target Stock Dip Was Barely a Blip appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Apple Wants Suppliers to Mull Major Shift From China: Nikkei
    Bloomberg5 days ago

    Apple Wants Suppliers to Mull Major Shift From China: Nikkei

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a coming daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. Apple Inc. has asked its largest suppliers to consider the costs of shifting 15% to 30% of its output from China to Southeast Asia in a dramatic shake-up of its production chain, the Nikkei reported.The U.S. tech giant asked “major suppliers” to evaluate the feasibility of such a migration, the newspaper cited multiple sources as saying. Those included iPhone assemblers Foxconn Technology Group, Pegatron Corp. and Wistron Corp., MacBook maker Quanta Computer Inc., iPad maker Compal Electronics Inc. and AirPod makers Inventec Corp., Luxshare-ICT and GoerTek Inc., Nikkei cited them as saying.China is a crucial cog in Apple’s business, the origin of most of its iPhones and iPads as well as its largest international market. But President Donald Trump has threatened Beijing with new tariffs on about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, an act that would escalate tensions while levying a punitive tax on Apple’s most profitable product. Company spokeswoman Wei Gu didn’t respond to a request for comment.Two major Apple suppliers pushed back against the Nikkei report. The U.S. company has not asked for cost estimates for shifting production out of the world’s No. 2 economy, although suppliers are running the numbers on their own given the trade dispute, said one person familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. Another supplier said it too had not gotten such a request from Apple and that the Cupertino, California-based company had resisted a proposed production shift to Southeast Asia.Apple does have a backup plan if the U.S.-China trade war gets out of hand: Primary manufacturing partner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. has said it has enough capacity to make all U.S.-bound iPhones outside of China if necessary, Bloomberg News reported last week.The Taiwanese contract manufacturer now makes most of the smartphones in the Chinese mainland and is the country’s largest private employer. Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, has said Apple has not given instructions to move production but it is capable of moving lines elsewhere according to customers’ needs.Apple hasn’t set a deadline for the suppliers to finalize their business proposals, but is working together with them to consider alternative locations, the Nikkei said. Any move would be a long-term process, it cited its sources as saying.Beyond Apple’s partners, the army of Taiwanese companies that make most of the world’s electronics are reconsidering a reliance on the world’s second-largest economy as Washington-Beijing tensions simmer and massive tariffs threaten to wipe out their margins. That in turn is threatening a well-oiled, decades-old supply chain.Taiwan’s largest corporations form a crucial link in the global tech industry, assembling devices from sprawling Chinese production bases that the likes of HP Inc. and Dell then slap their labels on. That may start to change if tariffs escalate, an outcome now in the balance as Washington and Beijing spar over a trade deal.Apple is an outsized figure in that negotiation. The high-end iPhone, which accounted for more than 60% of the company’s 2018 revenue, drives millions of jobs across China as well as a plethora of different industries from retail to electronics. The country is also a major consumer market in its own right, yielding nearly 20% of last year’s revenue -- weakness there pushed Apple to cut its sales forecast in January.“Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market,” Hon Hai board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu told an investor briefing in Taipei last week. “We have enough capacity to meet Apple’s demand.”(Updates with a source’s comments from the second parapraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at dwu278@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Buy & Hold Disney (DIS) Stock at New Highs on Streaming TV Future?
    Zacks6 days ago

    Buy & Hold Disney (DIS) Stock at New Highs on Streaming TV Future?

    Disney is a stock that Wall Street is laser-focused on as the entertainment powerhouse prepares to launch its streaming TV platform in the fall. So is it time to buy DIS stock at new highs?

  • UBS Can Ride Out the 'Pig' Controversy
    Bloomberg6 days ago

    UBS Can Ride Out the 'Pig' Controversy

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Expect “Pig-gate” to blow over. UBS Group AG’s ultra-rich Chinese clients are unlikely to desert the Swiss bank for local rivals, whatever the level of outrage over language used by its chief economist in a research report last week.The bank's potential loss of Chinese share-sale mandates isn’t a critical blow: UBS ranks a distant 11th in underwriting Hong Kong IPOs in 2019. (The bank fell behind after a one-year ban by the Securities and Futures Commission over deficiencies in its work on three companies that ran into trouble after listing.) Nor is the loss of bond mandates, such as its exclusion from a sale by state-owned China Railway Construction Corp.Wealth management is different. UBS is vying for a share of a Chinese private-banking market that was worth a record $24 trillion in 2018, according to Boston Consulting Group. The furor among local brokerages over UBS’s use of “Chinese pig” in a report on pork supply and inflation comes just as the Swiss firm and other foreign banks are muscling in on their turf. Switzerland’s Credit Suisse Group AG, Japan’s Nomura Holdings Inc., and Wall Street giants JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are among firms that have received approval to expand or are working toward taking majority stakes in China ventures.On top of that, Chinese regulators have cracked down on high-risk wealth management products sold by local banks and brokerage firms. That’s leveled the playing field for overseas competitors, which say their stricter compliance guidelines wouldn’t allow them to offer such investments.Still, it’s outside China where UBS has most to protect. Like all foreign banks, it’s a minnow in the mainland market. By contrast, there’s a treasure trove of Chinese money being managed offshore in cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and New York, according to a survey by consulting firm Capgemini SE last year. Boston Consulting reckons that market is worth $1 trillion. And here, UBS is hard to beat.At the end of last year, the Zurich-based bank had $152 billion more in assets under management in Asia outside mainland China than Credit Suisse, its nearest rival. Chinese players don’t rank in the top 10 for bankers to well-heeled individuals in the region, according to data from Asian Private Banker.UBS took in an unprecedented $16 billion in net new money in the first quarter, driving its Asia-Pacific assets to $405 billion. Credit Suisse collected the equivalent of $4.4 billion. UBS was also the region’s top equities trading house in the region last year, ahead of Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, according to data from London-based analytics firm Coalition Development Ltd. It’s been Asia’s No. 1 equities house since 2010. That’s key for high-net-worth individuals looking for ideas to trade on.Money tends to flow to where it earns the most, other things being equal. Also, many clients have bought derivatives from UBS, which can’t be unwound at short notice without heavy penalties. UBS can console itself with the thought that other foreign banks have been able to ride out similar difficulties in Asia. Time is on its side.  To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at ngopalan3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Matthew Brooker at mbrooker1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire6 days ago

    Morgan Stanley Capital Partners Completes Investment in Project Management Academy

    Investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Capital Partners (MSCP), announced today that they have completed an investment in Project Management Academy (“PMA” or the “Company”), a leading provider of training and exam preparation services for project management professionals. MSCP is partnering with the current CEO, Jason Cassidy, and the rest of the management team, who will remain in place and retain an equity stake in the business. Project Management Academy was founded in 2009 to provide best-in-class training for the career-critical Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification.

  • 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half
    InvestorPlace6 days ago

    7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half

    Value stocks are so out of fashion at the moment that despite being cheaper than they've been in the past 30 years, some experts suggest they're still not the stocks to buy."We could've had this story 10 years ago and talked about the 20-year anniversary of it being a bad market for value," Dave Nadig, managing director of ETF.com, said recently on CNBC. "We could go another 10 years and it could be a bad market for value. I'm not sure that value and growth as an investing paradigm makes that much sense anymore."Another expert who appeared on the same CNBC show as Nadig suggested that you should only buy value stocks heading into a recession or in the first year coming out of one. InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsUntil either of these situations comes around, Datatrek Research co-founder Nick Colas believes investors ought to stick with growth stocks.I say, not so fast. * 5 Stocks to Buy for $20 or Less I'll select seven stocks to buy for the second half of 2019, all from the top 50 holdings of the Vanguard Value ETF (NYSEARCA:VTV), the biggest value ETF in the U.S. with $48 billion in assets under management. Value Stocks to Buy: Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B)Source: Shutterstock Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) is the largest of the 338 holdings in VTV with a weighting of 5.6%. Warren Buffett's company continues to have a bad year on the markets, up just 2.2% year to date.However, when you consider that Berkshire had a total return of 3% in 2018, Buffett's working on a 17-month losing streak. That's why I recently provided InvestorPlace readers with seven ideas to make Berkshire Hathaway stock more attractive. I'm as enamored with the holding company as the next person, but it is having a hard time convincing investors who've never owned its stock why they should get on board. With all the talk of it underperforming the S&P 500 in recent years, its sum-of-the-parts valuation still makes it one of the best value stocks to buy inside or outside the index. Long-time investors know this, hence why they continue to hold despite going into a second year of single-digit returns. Also, it's essential to add that its poor performance in 2018 was 739 basis points higher than the index. Verizon (VZ)Source: Shutterstock Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is the 10th-largest of VTV's 338 holdings with a weighting of 1.9%. The second-largest wireless carrier in the U.S. is having a bad year, up just 4% year to date. Worse still, VZ stock is getting pulverized by AT&T (NYSE:T), which is up 14% year to date.In late May, I highlighted the reasons why I thought Verizon was a better buy than T stock.For me, it all comes down to the balance sheet. Verizon's is much healthier due to AT&T's massive purchase of WarnerMedia. AT&T supporters might view Verizon's advantage as a temporary one given HBO's future cash flow generation -- and I get that argument. However, because AT&T has long-term debt that's 71% of its market cap compared to 45% for Verizon -- with price-to-cash flow ratios almost identical -- if I'm a value investor, I have to go with the smaller of the two companies. * 7 Top-Rated Biotech Stocks to Invest In Today AT&T might deliver in the long haul, but the bigger margin of safety lies with Verizon. Caterpillar (CAT)Source: Anthony via FlickrCaterpillar (NYSE:CAT) is the 37th-largest of VTV's holdings with a weighting of 1.1%. The maker of heavy equipment for mines and construction is also having a bad year, up just 4.5% year to date through June 12. That's on top of a 17.3% decline in 2018.The problem for Caterpillar is that the construction industry, its most significant revenue source, could be slowing down. Furthermore, the Asia/Pacific market isn't performing well, and that's got investors worried about the future. As a result of these worries, Caterpillar stock lost more than 14% in May. The issues plaguing CAT stock at the moment have little to do with the company itself and more to do with the global economy. It's something that shareholders can't control. However, with a dividend yield of 3.1%, free cash flow of $4 billion, a free cash flow yield of 3.9%, and a forward P/E of 10.1, CAT stock appears to be trading at below fair value, making a bet on its stock a winning one over the long haul. Morgan Stanley (MS)Source: Shutterstock Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is the 52nd-largest of VTV's 338 holdings with a weighting of 0.82%. The global investment bank is having a decent year, up 11% year to date. When Morgan Stanley reported Q1 2019 results in April, they were nothing to write home about. That said, both its revenue and profits beat analyst expectations. The consensus was for earnings of $1.17 a share on $9.94 billion in revenue. MS delivered $1.39 a share in earnings on $10.3 billion in revenue. More importantly, the company's wealth management business, the company's largest, delivered revenues of $4.39 billion in the quarter, $200 million higher than the estimate. Since taking the reins, CEO James Gorman has focused Morgan Stanley on wealth management and that's ensuring it continues to generate significant revenues and profits. * 10 Stocks to Buy That Wall Street Expects to Soar for the Rest of 2019 Yielding 2.8% and trading at 8.1 times forward earnings, MS stock is cheaper than a lot of the mainline banks. CVS Health (CVS)Source: Mike Mozart via FlickrCVS Health (NYSE:CVS) is the 40th-largest of VTV's 338 holdings with a weighting of 0.94%. Both CVS and its biggest competitor, Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA), are having terrible years on the market. CVS and WBA are down 16% and 22% year to date. CVS has been bogged down getting approval from regulators for its $69 billion takeover of Aetna in November. The retail pharmacy chain is transforming its business into a one-stop shop for health and wellness. Aetna's insurance plans will allow CVS to provide its customers with vertically integrated medical care. A report surfaced June 11 that suggested the federal court judge considering whether to allow the merger is leaning toward blocking it from happening. However, CVS strenuously denied that the rumor had any merit. I like CVS' transformation plan and fully expect the deal to go through. Trading at just 7 times cash flow and 8 times forward earnings, CVS is too cheap to ignore. Walt Disney (DIS)Source: Baron Valium via FlickrWalt Disney (NYSEDIS) is the 24th-largest of VTV's 338 holdings with a weighting of 1.56%. After three sub-par years in the markets -- up 0.6%, 4.7%, and 3.6% in 2016 through 2018 -- DIS stock is delivering like gangbusters for shareholders, up 30.2% year to date.I was a fan of Disney before it closed its $71-billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox and I'm still a fan. That being said, I did suggest in March that the Fox deal would do little to boost the company's share price. My feeling is that we won't be able to quantify the success of the deal for at least 3-5 years. In the meantime, Disney's going to be spending like a drunken sailor to ensure Disney+ is a Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) killer. I'm facetious, of course. No one, not even the world's largest entertainment company, is going to take Reed Hastings down. At least not overnight. InvestorPlace's Tom Taulli recently wrote a great piece about Disney and artificial intelligence. I recommend you read it. For me, Taulli's article exemplifies why you should own Disney stock -- its use of technology to entertain people is the best on the planet. * 7 High-Quality Cheap Stocks to Buy With $10 Disney's got a lot of moving parts and Bob Iger and the rest of its management team will continue to do what it takes to remain the world's biggest and best entertainment company. It's not dirt cheap, but it's worth every penny. PepsiCo (PEP)Source: Shutterstock PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is the 17th-largest of VTV's 338 holdings with a weighting of 2.4%. Since long-time CEO Indra Nooyi stepped down in October, Pepsi stock is up 26.7%, an annualized total return of 40%.Before you get any ideas Nooyi was holding back PepsiCo stock; she delivered a cumulative total return of 136% over 17 years in the top job, including a significant stretch through the 2008 recession which saw PEP stock drop to below $20. The work she did to get the beverage and snack food maker in fighting form in recent years helped her successor, Ramon Laguarta, hit the ground running. Laguarta joined Pepsi Europe in 1996, moving up the ranks until becoming PepsiCo president in September 2017; ascending to the top role when Nooyi retired a year later. Nooyi built an exceptional bench of talent. Case in point: PepsiCo chief commercial officer Laxman Narasimhan just took the CEO job at Reckitt Benckiser (OTCMKTS:RBGLY) -- whose brands include Lysol, Woolite, Calgon, Scholl and Clearasil -- less than three months after being appointed to the newly created role at Pepsi. Pepsi reached on to its deep bench to appoint Ram Krishnan to replace Narasimhan. Krishnan currently runs the company's Greater China business. Trading near a 52-week high of $134.71, PepsiCo stock looks ready to continue moving higher. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 5 Red-Hot IPO Stocks to Buy for the Long Run * 5 Stocks to Buy for $20 or Less * 4 Dow Jones Stocks Ready to Rise Compare Brokers The post 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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