|Day's Range||4.1000 - 4.1000|
(Bloomberg) -- China confirmed that it was holding a U.K. consulate employee in Hong Kong on allegations of violating local law, threatening to further worsen ties between the countries as protesters planned to rally for his release outside the diplomatic mission.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Wednesday that the consulate worker, Simon Cheng, was being held under a 15-day administrative detention process in the mainland city of Shenzhen. Geng said the issue was a domestic matter and not a diplomatic dispute, saying that Cheng, 28, is a Hong Kong citizen.Cheng was revealed to be missing Tuesday after failing to return from an Aug. 8 meeting in Shenzhen and hasn’t contacted his family since. The U.K.’s foreign office said Tuesday that it was “extremely concerned” and was seeking information from authorities in Hong Kong and the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, which includes Shenzhen.In his remarks, Geng cited China’s Public Security Administration Punishment Law, a statute pertaining to minor violations. Individuals can be held under administrative detention for as long as 15 days, or roughly until Friday.Geng warned the U.K. against meddling in the affairs of its former colony. “The British side has made a lot of erroneous remarks on Hong Kong,” Geng said, urging the U.K. “to stop pointing fingers and making accusations.”Diplomatic ConcernsA “Save Simon Cheng” event is scheduled to take place Wednesday evening at the U.K. Consulate General in central Hong Kong.Cheng’s disappearance fuels concerns about the safety of diplomatic staff in China, already heightened by the December detention of Michael Kovrig, a Hong Kong-based security analyst on leave from Canada’s foreign service. Kovrig has since been accused of espionage and remains in secret detention, entitled to only monthly visits from Canadian diplomats.The Chinese government has repeatedly said it respects international agreements protecting diplomats and that foreigners who abide by the country’s laws have no reason to fear detention.Cheng is employed by the U.K. consulate and works for Scottish Development International, which encourages firms to do business with Scotland. He holds a British national overseas passport, the New York Times and others reported.The British government returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997. Tensions between the two countries have simmered in recent weeks, after Beijing accused it of meddling in its former colony by defending the rights of anti-government protesters who have brought the city to a standstill since June.The Hong Kong police said they launched a “missing person” investigation and were keeping “close contact” with Chinese authorities.(Updates with protest in first paragraph.)\--With assistance from Dandan Li, Peter Martin and Karen Leigh.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Lucille Liu in Beijing at email@example.com;Sheryl Tian Tong Lee in Hong Kong at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at email@example.com, Anand KrishnamoorthyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Does the August share price for The New York Times Company (NYSE:NYT) reflect what it's really worth? Today, we will...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The 30-year Treasury yield has been spending some time below 2% this week, territory it has never before explored. That says scary things about expectations for future inflation and economic growth. But it also means lower mortgage rates, which in turn means refinancings and house purchases and other economically stimulative things.And yes, a lot of people are refinancing, with the latest edition of the Mortgage Bankers Association Refinance Index, released Wednesday, up 196% over a year before. Some are buying, too, with MBA’s Purchase Index up 12%. Those numbers represent conditions as of August 9, and things may have continued to heat up since then. But overall mortgage activity has a long way to go before it approaches the heights it has reached multiple times over the past two-and-a-half decades.The explanation for the relatively modest mortgage rebound so far is simple. As economists David Berger, Konstantin Milbradt, Fabrice Tourre and Joseph Vavra put it in a December 2018 paper:Suppose that the current interest rate is cut from 3% to 2%. If rates were previously 3% for a long period of time, then many households will have an incentive to refinance their mortgage debt, which can then lead to increases in spending. In contrast, if rates were previously below 2% for a long period of time, then many households would have already locked in a low rate and will have no incentive to refinance in response to today’s rate cut.Mortgage rates are very low now in the U.S., but they were similarly low in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Since about 2011, the long downtrend in rates that began in the early 1980s seems to have been replaced with a rough approximation of a flat line.As the 30-year Treasury toys with 2%, mortgage rates could follow it lower, of course. But it will take quite the drop to replicate the kind of stimulus that falling rates brought in the early 2000s and early 2010s. From 2000 to 2003, the 30-year mortgage rate fell by 3.1 percentage points. From 2008 to 2013 it fell by 3.2. That big a drop from the peak of December 2018 would entail a 30-year mortgage rate of 1.6%. These days I wouldn’t say anything having to do with falling interest rates is unimaginable, but it does seem quite unlikely. As University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee outlined in a New York Times column earlier this month, similar scenes are playing out in other debt markets, severely limiting the Federal Reserve’s ability to stimulate the economy by cutting interest rates. And hey, maybe it doesn’t need to: Unemployment is low, consumers are buying, the economy is still growing. But those record-low 30-year Treasury yields do seem to imply worry that this growth won’t continue.To contact the author of this story: Justin Fox at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of “The Myth of the Rational Market.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
- In his most extensive comments on the months of unrest in Hong Kong, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that China should "humanely" settle the situation before a trade deal is reached. - The New York state attorney general has begun issuing subpoenas to 33 financial institutions and investment advisers with ties to the Sackler family, part of an aggressive effort to track billions of dollars that prosecutors claim the family siphoned out of Purdue Pharma to hide profits gained from the company's opioid painkillers, according to court documents.
If Joe Walsh’s relentless Trump-smashing on social-media isn’t enough to convince you he’s had a change of heart, his editorial in the New York Times on Wednesday should do the trick:
His surname doesn’t share with President Obama’s the virtue of rhyming with “no drama,” but that, in the face of recent pandemonium in the country’s politics, is what Sen. Michael Bennet is offering from his prospective presidency
On the world news desk, my team and I commissioned stories on the US labelling China a “currency manipulator” and India scrapping the autonomous status of Kashmir. Elsewhere, it has dawned on Brussels that a no-deal Brexit is not just a threat but the central scenario envisioned by UK prime minister Boris Johnson.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Economists have long hated the mortgage interest deduction, but U.S. politicians have long considered it untouchable. Then, in 2017 — after much wrangling and over the objections of several suburban members of Congress — Republicans capped the deduction as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act.Now there is some new evidence on the effects of that law — and the case for entirely eliminating the mortgage interest deduction just got a little stronger. Not only would its elimination free up revenue for other priorities and simplify the tax code, it is unlikely to have a negative effect on homeowners.After 1986, when Congress eliminated the deductibility of interest on personal loans and increased the size of the standard deduction, the mortgage interest deduction was on life support. Add in the factor of declining interest rates, and the deduction was nearly useless for the vast majority of taxpayers.The National Association of Realtors responded with a media campaign warning Americans that any effort to cut the deduction would mean the end of the American Dream. Congress abandoned the effort. Over time, home prices have steadily risen, and the deduction has become enshrined as an untouchable middle-class benefit.Even the 2017 effort was a compromise. House Republicans wanted to cap the benefit at the first $500,000 of a mortgage balance. The Senate raised the cap to $750,000 and grandfathered in existing homeowners.The $750,000 limit was set so that the deduction would hit primarily the jumbo mortgage market. At the time, one prominent study estimated that only 14% of taxpayers would find it worthwhile to claim the deduction.Yet as the New York Times reports, citing IRS data, only 8% of taxpayers claimed the deduction in 2018, compared to 21% in 2017. Even more important, the percentage of taxpayers earning $100,000 to $200,000 annually who claimed the deduction declined from 61% to 21%. For upper-middle-class families, the mortgage interest deduction went from being a benefit for the majority to one for a minority.Yet away from the coasts, there has been little price paid — politically or economically. The new law seems to have had only a modest effect on home prices. In San Francisco and New York City, the rise in home prices has slowed, but prices have not fallen as far as the industry predicted.Nonetheless, the National Association of Realtors is lobbying to weaken the effects of the 2017 tax reforms — even though the evidence shows that the cap is both more effective than proponents hoped and less damaging than opponents feared. Congress should act now to completely eliminate the mortgage interest deduction before the movement to revive it gains any steam.To contact the author of this story: Karl W. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Karl W. Smith is a former assistant professor of economics at the University of North Carolina's school of government and founder of the blog Modeled Behavior.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Toni Morrison was 39 years old when her first novel, The Bluest Eye, was published in 1970. While writing the novel, she worked as a textbook editor for Random House and lived in Syracuse, New York. The book is set in Lorain, Ohio, where Morrison was born Chloe Ardelia Wofford in 1931 — she joined the Catholic church aged 12 and took the baptismal name Anthony, source of the nickname with which she would become indelibly identified.
The newspaper's second quarter was marked by a drop in profitability, and management warned that a key revenue stream will decelerate in the second half of the year.
Shares of New York Times Co. tumbled 13% on heavy volume, putting them on track for the biggest one-day selloff in seven years, after the media company's revenue miss and downbeat outlook offset a profit beat. Trading volume ballooned to over 6.4 million shares, already more than triple the full-day average of about 1.95 million shares. The company said it expected a "more challenging second half of 2019" in digital advertising given difficult comparisons with strong growth a year ago. For the third quarter, the company expects digital ad revenue to be decline in the "high-single digits" percentage ranges, after a 13.7% rise in the second quarter. The stock, on track for the lowest close since Feb. 7, was in danger of the largest one-day percentage decline since it the record 22.0% tumble on Oct. 25, 2012. The stock has now shed 14% since closing at a 14-year high of $36.07 on July 30. Year to date, the stock was still up 39% while the S&P 500 has gained 14%.
(Bloomberg) -- The New York Times is having a week from hell, and it’s only Wednesday.After the publisher drew flak for a poorly worded headline earlier this week and suffered a legal setback against Sarah Palin on Tuesday, it warned that advertising revenue would decline sharply this quarter.The outlook sent New York Times Co. shares down 20% Wednesday -- their worst intraday plunge in almost seven years -- and cast a shadow on what had been an upbeat year for the Gray Lady. The stock was up 60% in 2019 through Tuesday, fueled by signs that the 168-year-old publisher is successfully pivoting to the digital age.The Times expects ad revenue to decrease by a percentage in the high-single digits in the third quarter -- “a negative surprise,” according to Evercore ISI. It rattled shareholders, who otherwise might have focused on the company’s strong growth in digital subscribers.The stock rout was another headache in a week full of them. On Monday, presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke slammed the newspaper for running the print headline “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism,” which he and other critics said mischaracterized the story in favor of the president. Joan Walsh, a CNN contributor and correspondent for the Nation, said she was canceling her Times subscription and helped fuel a backlash against the paper on social media.New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet acknowledged to the Daily Beast that it was a “bad headline,” but noted that it was quickly changed.Palin SuitOn Tuesday, the Times learned that it must face a defamation lawsuit by Palin, the former Alaska governor, over an editorial that linked her to the shooting of Arizona lawmaker Gabrielle Giffords.The 21-page decision, which reinstated a lawsuit dismissed by a lower-court judge, was largely procedural, with the New York-based appeals court saying Palin’s complaint “plausibly states a claim for defamation.” But it now allows her to obtain documents from the media company and question editorial page editor James Bennet.“We are disappointed in the decision and intend to continue to defend the action vigorously,” Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha said earlier this week.On Wednesday, New York Times Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson blamed the ad woes on “lumpiness” -- its ad orders come in clumps, rather than a steady stream. The company also is up against tough comparisons, since ad sales were strong in the year-earlier period, he said.But he struck an upbeat tone, noting that the company was pursuing “multimonth, and in some cases multiyear, partnerships with some of the world’s leading brands.”In recent months, the company has landed “some of the largest deals in our history as a company, deals from which we will see much of the benefit in 2020,” he said. “These partnerships are distinctive and difficult to replicate and give us real pricing power. And that’s why we’re pursuing them so energetically.”\--With assistance from Chris Dolmetsch and Cécile Daurat.To contact the reporters on this story: Gerry Smith in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Derek Hall in Chicago at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, John J. Edwards IIIFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Barneys New York Inc., the upscale clothing retailer with once-famously haughty sales people, has found humility.After filing for bankruptcy Tuesday, the monument to high fashion said it would rein in its ambitions, closing 15 of 22 stores from Chicago to Las Vegas to Seattle. The victim of high rents and online competition, Barneys said it secured $218 million in financing and will continue to operate until it finds a buyer. The bankruptcy marks the culmination of a long fall for Barneys, now owned by hedge fund manager Richard Perry. Yet its preliminary plans signal a new, more modest approach from the last time it went bust, in 1996. After closing a few boutiques then, it emerged from protection three years later and began expanding across the country anew. But it never replicated the success from its heyday in the 1970s and ‘80s. Barneys has cycled through a handful of chief executive officers and ownership bounced around repeatedly over the past two decades, with each new buyer searching for ways to keep the stores thriving.This time, Barneys plans to focus on the cities where it fares best. It will keep open its Madison Avenue and downtown location in Manhattan and retain stores in Los Angeles and San Francisco. And unlike two decades ago, Barneys has an e-commerce business that, while late to the game, may be able to reach shoppers distant from a store.“It’s clear the direction that they’re taking going forward is reeling down their real estate,” said David Silverman, senior director at Fitch Ratings. “Certainly the stores that they’re keeping are in the most densely populated areas and they’re keeping the ones that are in fashion markets.”“No Bunk, No Junk, No Imitations.” The retail landscape–and Barneys itself–has changed dramatically since it first opened up shop in 1923, of course. The first Barneys New York store was a 500-square-foot boutique that sold discounted suits to buttoned-up salesmen in downtown Manhattan. Shopkeeper Barney Pressman combed through auctions and bankruptcy sales to find the best garments to sell at lower prices than his rivals. His original slogan: “No Bunk, No Junk, No Imitations.” Barneys’s glory days began in the 1970s when it transformed into a luxury department store. Discount suits were replaced with high fashion from prominent European designers such as Giorgio Armani and Hubert de Givenchy. To court Wall Street shoppers, it opened a men’s store in the World Financial Center, a few blocks away from the stock exchange and surrounded by the offices of New York’s big banks.The original location is now home to a 58,000-square-foot Barneys full of dresses and gowns worthy of runways in Paris and Milan. For businessmen in search of a suit, there are $3,250 two-buttons from Ermenegildo Zegna and $7,000 virgin wool basket-weave ensembles from Brioni.Barneys opened its biggest store in 1993, a Madison Avenue flagship with the location and sheer size to battle its high-end department store competitors. At the time, it was the city’s largest store opening since the Great Depression. Celebrity fans would talk up the store’s glitz and glam, attracting shoppers over the years from Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian to Sarah Jessica Parker. Expansion became a priority. Barneys opened its first stores outside of Manhattan in Chicago and Beverly Hills. The company found a partner, Japanese retailer Isetan, which invested $600 million in Barneys to fund the brand’s growth to 13 stores across the U.S.But by 1996 tensions between Barneys and Isetan developed and the spat led to bankruptcy proceedings. Yet in the 2000s, it started expanding its store count yet again, opening new spots in Boston, Las Vegas and San Francisco. In 2013, the company reclaimed its store on the original block where Barney Pressman sold his dusty suits on Madison Avenue in Chelsea.In 2012, Perry Capital, owned by Richard Perry, gained control of Barneys, swapping its debt for equity in a restructuring that significantly cut the company’s big debt load. But even the Madison Avenue store that gave Barneys such attention and credibility in New York’s cutthroat department store scene became a source of dismay. Annual rent tripled this year, spurring Barneys to consider downsizing its store and worked on a restructuring plan to cope with the cost. “Like many in our industry, Barneys New York’s financial position has been dramatically impacted by the challenging retail environment and rent structures that are excessively high relative to market demand,” Chief Executive Officer Daniella Vitale said in a statement Tuesday.The challenges remain especially tough even in its hometown. Neiman Marcus and soon Nordstrom are opening their first massive flagships on Barneys’s turf, after they had stayed away from Manhattan for decades. Meanwhile, the city’s oldest stores are investing more than $500 million to modernize, with mass renovations under way at Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman.Only five full-line Barneys locations will remain: Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Boston and the two in New York. A pair of Barneys Warehouse outlet shops will keep their doors open as well. The company plans to go forward with two new store openings, including one inside New Jersey’s upcoming American Dream mall, which is slated to open in October. Another is planned for Miami’s Bal Harbour Shops, one of the best-performing shopping centers in the country, the company confirmed Tuesday.Barneys has found some success in coastal markets, attracting younger shoppers who may carry the retailer in the future. This year, it opened “The High End,” a cannabis and wellness concept shop in its Beverly Hills store. These partnerships still might not be enough to capture a steady stream of shoppers. Hurdles remain, among them a flurry of luxury e-commerce companies, such as Net-A-Porter and Farfetch, said Sucharita Kodali, an analyst at Forrester Research.Barneys was “one of the weaker companies in e-commerce to start with,” she said. “If everybody else is moving faster than you are, that doesn’t help you either.”To contact the authors of this story: Kim Bhasin in New York at email@example.comJordyn Holman in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at email@example.com, Larry ReibsteinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The New York Times Company (NYT) register higher digital-only subscriptions during the second quarter of 2019. The company has set a goal to reach 10 million total subscriptions by 2025.
New York Times (NYT) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of -10.53% and -1.68%, respectively, for the quarter ended June 2019. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?
The New York Times Co posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, as it signed up more digital subscribers amid a drop in revenue from print advertising. The Times said it added 197,000 digital-only subscribers in the quarter, pushing total subscriptions to 3.78 million. Its digital advertising revenue rose about 14% in the second quarter, but the company cautioned of a weak second half.
CVS, New York Times, Beyond Meat and Walgreens are the companies to watch.