Latest Blogposts

  • New data shows that 11.3% of student loans were delinquent at the end of 2014 — double the rate just 10 years ago. Loans are considered delinquent when at least one payment is missed.

    I get it  if I had to choose between keeping a roof over my head or keeping student lenders happy, the roof would win every time.

    But ignoring your student loan bills can have serious long-term consequences.

    Your credit score will tank. Once your payment is 45-90 days late, it will go on your credit report. There’s no easy to way to predict how much your credit score will drop. But trust me, it won’t be pretty. A low credit score will make it harder for you to get approved for new lines of credit. It can even make it hard to get a job. 

    You could wind up in default. If you miss payments for more than 270 days, your loan will move out of the delinquency phase and into default. Default is serious business. In most cases, once your loan goes into default, your lender will ask for the unpaid balance in

    Read More »from Money Minute: What happens if you don't pay your student loan bill?
  • Carmakers stall out

    The boom in the U.S. car industry hit the brakes in February.

    Sales growth at Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and General Motors (GM) came in short of analysts’ expectations. And in a big surprise, Ford (F) sales actually fell, hurt by a slowdown in gains for its popular F-150 pickup, which is in the process of being redesigned.

    The weaker-than-expected February numbers come after the industry saw a robust January, when all the Big Three automakers reported increases of 14% or more.

    But Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says the car companies probably don’t need to get too worked up over last month’s dip.

    “In general, people don’t need to buy a new car two months in a row,” he jokes. “We had several years of excellent growth throughout the industry, so I don’t think February is something to panic about.”

    However, Santoli does see February’s reports as a sign of a cooling off of demand.

    “I do think there is some fatigue in the car boom,” he says. “I don’t think it means the cycle is

    Read More »from Carmakers stall out
  • Google to Big Telecom: Work with us or perish

    Google Inc. (GOOGL) announced yesterday that it plans to unveil a new wireless service within the next few months. The service would be small and available within the U.S, and it is intended to integrate with Android products. Google’s already-strained relationship with the telecom industry could widen if the product is perceived as a threat to wireless carriers like Verizon (VZ), Sprint (S) and AT&T (T).

    Google SVP Sundar Pichai, who oversees Android products, Chrome and Google Apps, broke news of the service which will merge WiFi and cell networks “seamlessly” during a discussion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. He stressed that the company did not intend to become a large network operator and that he was working on partnerships with already established networks.  He did not specify names.

    Pichai claims that he wants to show the telecom industry what’s possible. Henry Blodget thinks that’s an understatement. “It’s showing them what’s possible by waving a big stick at them

    Read More »from Google to Big Telecom: Work with us or perish
  • Canadian’s fake-it-‘til-you-make-it financial approach doesn’t seem to be working out.

    While 59 per cent of Canadians say they are dedicated to their savings plan, closer scrutiny shows otherwise with a third of Canadians regularly biting into their long-term savings for trips, cars or interior decorations, according to a survey by Tangerine bank.

    “People want to sound like they know what they’re doing, like they’re money experts,” says Laurie Campbell, CEO Credit Canada Debt Solutions. “But the truth of the matter is, it’s the simple strategies to put money away that people are not following.”

    The survey echoes Campbell’s sentiments with an unapologetic 50 per cent of Canadians saying they have no savings goal.

    “I get very concerned because they don’t even have the basic savings in place such as an emergency fund or something for a rainy day should something happen to them,” she adds. “We recommend people have three to six months of their income for basic expenses in an emergency fund

    Read More »from Canadians raiding their savings to splurge, if they save at all: survey
  • Home ownership is becoming less affordable on average across Canada thanks to price increases in Ontario, especially Toronto, and more jaw-dropping values in Vancouver, a new report from RBC Economics shows.

    However, economists at Canada’s largest bank say the recent drop in interest rates – and potential for more cuts to come – could soften the blow for  homeowners trying to make ends meets, at least in the near term.

    In its latest Housing Trends and Affordability Report, RBCsays owing home at current market value in Canada became slightly lessaffordable between October and December, for the second straight quarter.

    Overall, the report show affordability trends have been relatively flat over the past five years, with exceptions in Canada’s most expensive markets, namely Vancouver and Toronto.

    While Vancouver is still the least affordable market in Canada, RBC says Canada’s largest city pulled down national affordability rates in the fourth quarter.

    "We are watching Toronto pretty

    Read More »from Ontario's high prices drag down housing affordability in Canada: RBC
  • Ford (F) shares are in reverse today, off more than 2% after reporting a decline in February sales of 1.9% compared to the same period a year ago. Ford's lemons included the Fiesta and Taurus brands whose year-over-year sales fell more than 20% each. Even the F-Series Truck, which accounts for a big chunk of total company revenue, dropped 1.2%. Ford did try to highlight that sales of the F-Series so far this year are trending higher by 7% but Wall Street seems skeptical.

     Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Kate Spade (KATE), the specialty retailer in transition, failed to impress in the fourth quarter. That’s why the stock is off 3%. Net income of $126 million missed the mark and declined over 30% from last year. Revenue of $399 million was better, rising over 44%. Looking ahead, management said it expects new strategies, like closing stand-alone select retail locations to yield results in 2015. However, it appears investors were more optimistic than the

    Read More »from Ford shares in reverse, Best Buy's $1B buyback plan first since 2012
  • President Obama told Reuters Monday he has "raised directly with President Xi [Jinping]" concerns about pending Chinese legislation that requires technology companies provide the Chinese government "backdoor" access to encrypted files and store data on Chinese users in China.

    The law, which is expected to be adopted by China's parliament in the near term, "would essentially force all foreign companies, including U.S. companies, to turn over to the Chinese government mechanisms where they can snoop and keep track of all the users of those services," Obama said. "We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States."

    President Obama's response to what China calls an anti-terrorism law is just the latest escalation in a series of policy disputes over cybersecurity and related issues initially triggered by Edward Snowden's 2013 leak of classified NSA surveillance programs. The Justice Department's arrest

    Read More »from The China Syndrome: It's getting rough but US firms can't quit China
  • Wall Street is celebrating the creation of a new subprime-lending leader from the spare parts of two financial giants at the center of the global financial crisis.

    Springleaf Holdings Inc. (LEAF), a former subprime lending division of American International Group Inc. (AIG), has agreed to buy Citigroup Inc.’s (C) OneMain Financial, for $4.25 billion in cash.

    The deal – which has been anticipated for a while but was cut at a far lower price than analysts expected – sent Springleaf shares soaring by as much 30% this morning to more than $52.

    Springleaf was apparently able to get OneMain at an attractive price because it was the most logical strategic buyer and Citi was a highly motivated seller, having publicly placed OneMain on the block as part of a broader effort by the financial conglomerate to trim down. The company edged out a few private equity firms to emerge as the presumptive buyer for OneMain in recent weeks, according to Reuters.

    David Schawel, a portfolio manager at

    Read More »from New subprime-loan giant created from spare parts of AIG and Citi
  • Stocks are retreating today from the highs that brought the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) above 5000 for the first time in fifteen years yesterday. Still, Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli doesn’t think today’s action has as much to do with selling at Nasdaq 5000 as many pundits would have you believe.

    “All the indexes had a rough start to the year,” he notes, before pointing out that since then stocks surged “seven percent in [the month of February] plus the first trading day of March. That shows you that we actually went a long way in a hurry and that’s what we’re digesting now. It’s not really about the 5000 hoopla.”

    Also of note, the CBOE volatility index (^VIX) spent much of the past month slowly sliding before popping seven percent today to above the 13 level.

    Auto sales
    After a very solid January automakers are reporting a disappointing February today. Sales growth missed expectations at Chrysler (FCAU) and General Motors (GM) while at Ford (F), sales actually dropped

    Read More »from A new name in the race for 2016, auto sales come in mixed and subprime lending gets a boost
  • Target is taking aim at young foodies.

    The retail giant reportedly plans to expand its offerings in areas such as craft beer, granola, and Greek yogurt. Target (TGT) will move away from packaged and processed foods, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    Will Target’s shift toward organic food options bring in more millennials? Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli thinks it’s a possibility.

    “I think this is part of a campaign to freshen up what they offer, to make the store look a little bit different, just make it look a little bit less generic,” he says. “They want to have people feel that they're basically shopping for more than bulk and price. I think this is part of that effort.”

    Grocery products currently account for one-fifth of the Target’s (TGT) annual sales. The company’s shift to unique food items will impact the overall shopper experience, Santoli notes.

    “I think it’s more about how does a Target shopper feel when they're walking through,” he says. “Do they see

    Read More »from Target aims for millennial snackers
  • Anyone of a certain age in the mid to late 1990’s knows all about the crazy fad called Beanie Babies. These small beanbag-type plush animals were sought after by children and their parents in obsessive fashion. At one point during the height of their popularity, one of the “rare” toys sold for $10,000 and the online Beanie Baby resale industry made up a whopping 10% of all of eBay’s (EBAY) business.

    New York Times bestselling author Zac Bissonnette took a closer look at the phenomenon in a new book entitled, “The Great Beanie Baby Bubble.”

    To understand the craze you must first understand the man behind it, toymaker tycoon, Ty Warner. Bissonnette says Warner started his toy company, called Ty, in his condo, and through some unique design and marketing techniques turned Beanie Babies into a cultural phenomenon.

    “He would change pieces after they’d been released because he had this sort of compulsive desire to make them absolutely perfect,” Bissonnette says. That practice resulted in

    Read More »from Beanie Babies: Whatever happened to Millennials' favorite toy?
  • Here are some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be following for you today...

    Investors are buying up shares of Best Buy (BBY) ahead of the open. The consumer electronics retailer posting better-than-expected earnings per share..but revenue slightly missed forecasts during the holiday quarter. Best Buy also saying it would buy back $1 billion worth of stock over three years, pay a special dividend of 51 cents a share and increase its regular dividend by 21% to 23 cents a share.

    Shares of AutoZone (AZO) are higher before the bell.The auto parts retailer postings earnings and revenue that raced past forecasts. Sales jumped 7.5% from a year earlier thanks to strong same-store sales growth as inventories rose and the company opened new stores.

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    We are also keeping an eye on shares of Nutrisystem (NTRI). The stock soaring in early trading. The weight loss management company reporting a beat on both its top and bottom

    Read More »from Best Buy & AutoZone race ahead; Nutrisystem fattens up
  • Wall Street is sounding more like a lamb this morning after March came in like a lion.

    Stocks are backing away from record highs after the Nasdaq (^IXIC) reclaimed the 5,000 mark for the first time in 15-years and the Dow (^DJI) and S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed to new highs on Monday.

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says investors should be paying closer attention to what is happening in Europe.

    The freezing weather kept some buyers from auto showrooms in February. 

    Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) and General Motors (GM) reporting weaker-than-expected U.S. sales, while Ford (F) reported a drop in sales last month.

    From automakers to auto parts…AutoZone (AZO) posting stronger-than-expected earnings and revenue. Sales jumped 7.5% from a year earlier thanks to strong same-store sales growth as inventories rose and the company opened new stores. Shares of AutoZone are higher on the news.

    Related: Best Buy & AutoZone race ahead; Nutrisystem fattens up

    Best Buy (BBY) is rewarding its

    Read More »from Stocks fail to March on; Auto sales swivel; Best Buy shareholders get rewarded
  • So... This is awkward.

    As I'm sure you heard the Nasdaq rallied just under 1% yesterday, closing a triumphant 8pts over 5000. I'd sort of been expecting this to happen in a couple of days, not now. My plan was for the Nasdaq to hit 5000 just as I wrapped my last segment tomorrow. I wanted to point to the scoreboard as we hit 5,000, drop my mic and commence roaming the earth getting into adventures like Cain in Kung Fu.

    Alas, the animal spirits got ahead of themselves. That leaves us with two days to discuss everything else I've learned about finance in the 20 plus years since I left college. Today we'll do the basics to wealth managing and broad stock picking. Tomorrow we'll talk stock picks and disclose what I'm lugging with me as I head into the breach. Think of it as a 5 minute commencement speech cut into 2 parts.

    Part 1

    Here are the four things I'd tell year 2000 Jeff Macke about building wealth (besides "buy Apple (AAPL) on margin and never, ever sell"):

    1. Stop buying houses.

    Read More »from Sell your toys, don't buy a house & other things Millennials need to know
  • In a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Nobel Prize winning economist Robert Shiller told us, “I think we have too many MBAs now.” Shiller himself teaches some MBA courses at Yale, but he still thinks there’s some flaw in students’ rational. “I think that people think, ‘I can’t possibly be replaced in a management job can I? We’ll always need managers.’”

    But just two states away at Yale rival, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania:  it's taking a different approach. The school is in many ways doubling down on MBA education. Wharton offers a series of introductory business courses online via online course platform Coursera and has added a capstone program that allows students to get the kind of hands-on experience they’d get attending an MBA program.

    While Wharton isn’t alone in offering discounted, non-degree classes online, the school has upped the ante. In order to attract MBA students that may not ordinarily apply to the program, Wharton will wave the MBA

    Read More »from How to get a $20K scholarship to Wharton


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