Latest Blogposts

  • GDP disappoints, BOJ surprise

    Wall Street is having a rough go of it today. Stocks (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC) are struggling to claw their way back to gains after the Bank of Japan surprised markets by keeping rates unchanged and didn't provide any further stimulus. 

    Adding to the not so good news, the first reading of U.S. economic growth for the first quarter came in weaker than expected, as consumers and businesses spent less and exports continued to decline. 

    The Commerce Department reported gross domestic product grew by a meager 0.5% from January through March. That is down from 1.4% growth in the fourth quarter.  

    Facebook (FB) shares hit a new all-time high in early in early trading after the social media giant's first-quarter revenue rose over 50%, crushing Wall Street expectations. The big beat comes as the company brought on new advertisers with its popular mobile app and live video feature. Facebook also announced a new shareholding structure designed to keep CEO Mark Zuckerberg in control.  

    Ford (F)

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  • 9 hilarious Warren Buffett quotes from past Berkshire Hathaway annual meetings

    Warren Buffett on life, sex, and Harley Davidson

    Warren Buffett hasn’t always been the outspoken Oracle of Omaha. The billionaire CEO and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway was once so shy that he’d get physically ill if he had to speak in public. To overcome his fear, he enrolled in a Dale Carnegie course but chickened out. He eventually signed up for another Carnegie course and … the rest is history.

    Now some 40,000 people descend upon Omaha, Nebraska, each year to hear Buffett’s words of wisdom at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, which Yahoo Finance will live stream this year.

    Some of Buffett’s most memorable sayings come from the meeting’s question-and-answer session. Buffett and vice chairman Charlie Munger field questions from the audience about investing and whatever else comes to mind. The session is totally unscripted and unrehearsed. Anything goes—and often does.

    As we wait for this Saturday's meeting, here’s a look at some of Buffett’s most memorable comments from past meetings via BuffettFAQ.com.

    1. On

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  • Facebook flies after pulverizing earnings expectations

    Facebook beat every earnings category and shares are soaring

    Wall Street expectations are higher and higher these days for Facebook—and that's just fine for the social networking king. On Wednesday, the company's first-quarter earnings crushed all expectations, and the stock was up more than 9% in after-hours trading as a result.

    Facebook (FB) beat on revenue, posting $5.38 billion vs analyst expectations of $5.25 billion; it beat on earnings per share (EPS), with 77 cents per share, healthily above expectations of 62 cents per share; and most importantly for the company's future, it beat on monthly active users, bringing its total to 1.65 billion, where expectations were at 1.62 billion.

    Pause and ponder that for a moment: 1.65 billion people use Facebook every month.

    That user base tells the story of why Facebook is so strong. It can roll out whatever new features it pleases, and a very large number of people will at least try it, because it's from Facebook. It is more than a social media company now: it is the social media company (Yahoo

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  • Trump’s foreign policy: ‘new visions’ and ‘more unpredictable’ attacks on ISIS

    image

    Donald Trump takes the stage to deliver a foreign policy speech on Aprii 27 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    WASHINGTON — Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said the United States must be more “unpredictable” if it is to defeat Islamic terrorism, and, if elected, vowed to bring in “new voices and new visions” to overhaul what he described as President Obama’s “reckless, rudderless and aimless foreign policy.”

    In the first of a projected series of policy speeches, Trump trashed Obama for weakening the country by failing to present a “coherent” foreign policy and for allowing rivals such as China to “take advantage” of the United States. The GOP frontrunner said if he wins the presidency he would put “American security above all else,” and said his driving ideology for every policy decision will be “America first.”

    “It is time to shake the rust off of America’s foreign policy,” Trump declared.

    But the New York real estate mogul

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  • Amazon has to pay for those apps your kids bought

    A federal judge has found Amazon liable for in-app purcahses made by children

    Good news: you might be getting some cash from Amazon soon. Bad news: it might be because your kid blew hundreds of dollars on in-app purchases while playing with your Kindle Fire.

    A federal judge today ruled that Amazon is liable for failing to warn consumers that free-to-play apps weren’t exactly free when users downloaded them.

    See, free-to-play apps, like Candy Crush Saga are pretty much designed to get you to spend money by limiting what you can actually do without laying out some cash.

    And that can be dangerous for children who don’t have any real concept of money.

    One of the worst offenders was the Smurf's Village app for Apple's iOS, which let users purchase in-game berries for as much as $100 at a time. In one case that added up to $1,400 for one unlucky parent. Apple eventually refunded the money.

    The judge’s ruling against Amazon is the result of a 2014 case the Federal Trade Commission filed claiming the company “unfairly” billed customers for in-app purchases their

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  • No, people are not flocking to Omaha to live near Warren Buffett

    “Most people who come to Omaha for the first time are shocked. They think they’ll be surrounded by farms and cows, but they actually find a very vibrant city,” says Andy Alloway, president of Nebraska Realty.

    And Omaha is growing — logging a growth rate of 5.5%. The median age of the city’s population is 35.2, according to the Census Bureau. The age distribution has been “getting flatter,” says Skylar Olsen, senior economist at Zillow, and despite the large population of millennials, there’s an even larger group of baby boomers retiring there. About one-fifth (20.8%) of Omahans are between 20 and 34 whereas 26.6% are between 35 and 54.

    Alloway says businesses like Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-A) and Union Pacific (UNP) have helped Omaha attract and retain young professionals. “Omaha is a great place to live and there’s a vibrant arts, food and culinary scene.” The city’s relative affordability is also a likely draw: the median price of a house in Omaha is $140,200, compared with $186,200 for

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  • Warren Buffett once called derivatives “financial weapons of mass destruction.” But he is also open about using them on a large scale, and he’s made billions of dollars doing so.

    “In our view, however, derivatives are financial weapons of mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent, are potentially lethal,” wrote Buffett in Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-A, BRK-B) 2002 annual letter.

    That statement has been cited often, but Russell Rhoads, director of program development for the CBOE’s Options Institute, maintains it was taken out of context.

    “He was discussing the acquisition of General Re that Berkshire Hathaway had entered into,” said Rhoads. “They had inherited a book of over-the-counter derivatives and he was expressing his frustration with trying to figure out what they were worth, counterparty risk, and some other things.”

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

    Rhoads points out that in the page before calling derivatives “weapons of mass

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  • Roku’s first Streaming Stick has been the best streaming device around for some time. It’s inexpensive, unobtrusive, and packs Roku’s ginormous collection of streaming channels.

    But it's not perfect. Compared to rivals like Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and the Apple TV, the Roku Stick is preposterously slow.

    But Roku has introduced a new Streaming Stick for all of your Netflix and chilling needs. And it’s not only light years faster than its predecessor thanks to a quad-core processor, it’s also slimmer and features an updated smartphone app, too. Oh, and it’s still just $50.

    In other words, the best streaming device just got better.

    The stick

    The new Roku Streaming Stick isn’t much to look at, because, well, there just isn’t much to it. The Stick is so small and slim it could easily pass as an abnormally large USB stick.

    That’s all the more impressive when you consider that the original Roku Stick wasn’t very large to begin with. More than anything, the new Stick is far more streamlined. It

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  • Facebook earnings poised to blow past estimates

    Stocks shake off a big Apple drop as the Fed paves the way for a rate hike. And Facebook earnings are almost here. Catch The Final Round at 4 p.m. ET with Jen Rogers and Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Andy Serwer.

    Facebook earnings

    The social media giant is expected to report numbers that blow past estimates. We break down the numbers live.

    Reading the Fed tea leaves

    Joining The Final Round for more on the Fed's latest move is Pedro da Costa, editorial fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and contributor to Foreign Policy magazine.

    Winners and losers

    Stocks getting hit today include Twitter on weak revenue and guidance; fast-casual chain Chipotle on concerns over slipping revenue, and Buffalo Wild Wings getting fried after the wing chain missed on earnings and revenue and fallen same-store sales at franchise restaurants.

    Stocks on the swing higher today include medical devicemaker Boston Scientific jumping on boosted yearly guidance, auction site Ebay as it

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  • T. Boone Pickens: Hillary doesn’t know what she’s talking about

    Donald Trump is the best candidate for Oil: T. Boone Pickens

    When it comes to Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, “neither one of them know what they’re talking about,” says T. Boone Pickens.

    The best candidate for the energy industry would likely be Donald Trump, according to the American oil magnate.

    Ted Cruz has stated that he’d rein in the EPA if elected and work to get rid of other regulations and oversights that he says are “endangering” the gas and oil industry, but Pickens doesn’t see him as electable. “He’s not overwhelmingly liked,” he says. “He’s not a real popular guy.”

    Some conservatives have expressed worry over Trump’s energy policy. In the past he’s attacked Cruz for taking money from “big oil,” and industry experts are concerned with his lack of specific policy on the topic. Trump's official website explains his positions on the Mexican wall, healthcare reform, and Second Amendment rights, but doesn’t touch on energy policy. Still, Trump has openly criticized New York for its fracking ban and

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  • Gym rats are outraged ClassPass raised its prices

    Hello 60% price hike

    ClassPass, the increasingly popular fitness class subscription service, has slowly but surely been jacking up prices in cities. And the company’s loyal members are less than thrilled.

    Members in half a dozen cities — Atlanta, Toronto, Austin, Dallas, Boston, and, as of today, New York — received emails alerting them to the changes over the last few weeks. The price hikes vary by city and by type of membership. For the most part, the changes will sting new users looking to sign up for an unlimited monthly subscription. Existing unlimited subscribers will get burned as well but to a slightly lesser degree.  

    For example, in New York City, an unlimited membership will now set new users back $200 a month, up from $125. Existing unlimited will now be charged $190, a 52% spike.  

    ClassPassClassPass

    Atlanta was among the first of the company’s more than 30 locations to get hit with the price increase in late March. New subscribers now pay $160 a month, up from $99, a 60% hike. Existing unlimited members in

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  • Here's why Ant Financial's $4.5 billion round is a big deal

    Ant Financial, the Alibaba division that owns Alipay, readies for IPO

    Earlier this month, reports indicated that Ant Financial was seeking a new funding round of $3.5 billion or higher as it prepares to go public. On Wednesday, the company got what it wanted: Ant has scored $4.5 billion, the largest private funding round for an Internet company ever. It also makes Alibaba CEO Jack Ma the richest man in Asia.

    The round gives Ant Financial a valuation of $60 billion, which was reportedly Ma's target before preparing to spin off Ant for a public offering.

    So, why the excitement around this Ant?

    The company, whose full name is Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group, is the finance division of Alibaba, and it owns Alipay—that is the key.

    Alipay is China's largest digital payments platform. It launched in 2004 and has ballooned to more than 400 million users, who turn to Alipay for 100 million transactions per day. Ant Financial also owns Yu'ebao, China's largest money-market fund, which has more than 200 million customers.

    Next up, Ma and Alibaba

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  • Fed opens door for June rate hike

    Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, following its two-day policy meeting.

    In a widely expected move, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, following its two-day policy meeting.

    The Federal Open Market Committee acknowledged growth in the U.S. labor market as it kept its benchmark interest rate between 0.25% and 0.50%.

    The Fed’s statement removed all references to global economic risks, implying that headwinds are not strong enough to rule out a rate hike in June. However, the Fed noted "labor market conditions have improved further even as growth in economic activity appears to have slowed."

    After the Fed began raising rates in December for the first time in over a decade, volatility in U.S. markets and increased headwinds in Europe and China convinced many officials to delay the timing further increases.

    One member of the committee, Esther L. George, voted against the decision, preferring to raise the federal funds rate to 0.50% to 0.75%. George, who is considered to have a more hawkish policy stance, also voted to raise rates at

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  • The millennials are coming to save America (thank goodness)

    They buy homes. They purchase cars. They take vacations. The millennials, it turns out, are pretty much like every other generation of the last 70 years.

    It’s a good thing they are, because the nation’s future rests on their shoulders, and it’s a weighty burden. The $19 trillion national debt is now 105% of GDP, the highest portion since the 1940s. Medicare is on track to run short of money in 2030. Somebody needs to create the wealth that will keep America humming for the next 50 years, and while they’re at it, figure out how to keep humans employed and prosperous as robots continue their march to dominance.

    Mark Zuckerberg, millennial CEO. REUTERS/Stephen LamMark Zuckerberg, millennial CEO. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

    There are 75.4 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, which means millennials just became the most populous generation in the country. And their ranks will swell to roughly 81 million by the 2030s, according to Pew Research, on account of immigration. The baby boomers, by contrast, number 74.9 million, and their numbers will steadily decline, as immortality eludes them

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  • Have you diversified your portfolio in line with the ultra-strict ‘Diversified Security Principal (DSP 2016)’? What about maximizing returns via a ‘variable-income securities vehicle’?

    We’re willing to wager you haven’t, likely because these terms are nonsensical words created by mashing together financial jargon. It’s part of a clever survey devised by Hennick Wealth Management to test Canadians investment acumen.

    “In all fairness, a lot of the people who answered the questions got them right, saying ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about,’” Adam Hennick, principal at Hennick Wealth Management told Yahoo Canada Finance. “But it’s the people who weren’t sure or thought they owned something that was made up which makes you go ‘wow.’”

    While those surveyed get a passing grade as a whole, 12.3  per cent said yes to the notion that their portfolios used the ‘Diversified Security Principal’ and 29.3 per cent ‘weren’t sure’ – adding up to a total of 41.6 per cent of respondents being

    Read More »from Ever invest in 'forward yield disbursement bonds?’ No you haven’t, and here’s why

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