Latest Blogposts

  • Chesapeake Energy (CHK) shareholders have a friend in activist Carl Icahn. Shares rose by as much as 4% after filings disclosed he is now the natural gas giant's second largest shareholder.The billionaire's M.O. is to target under-performing companies and that's Chesapeake. Shares have tumbled nearly 40% over the past 12-months. Part of the slide is tied to weak commodity prices, the other is because the company could likely be doing a better job to offset that.

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

    Google (GOOG) has some good news for shareholders; a new CFO. Shares are 2% higher after Ruth Porat, Morgan Stanley's (MS) CFO, said she will join the tech company in May. Morgan Stanley shares are lower on the news. Early speculation is that she may be more capital friendly to shareholders. That could mean more buybacks and/or dividends. Currently, Google does not pay a cash dividend unlike other big companies such as Apple (AAPL) and Oracle (ORCL).

    In other tech

    Read More »from Google nabs Morgan Stanley CFO, Twitter-Foursquare tag team & Icahn ups Chesapeake
  • Americans tell Yahoo: How I'd spend an extra $1,000

    What would you do with an extra $1,000? Would you pay off bills, or treat yourself?

    Given that 60% of Americans are unable to cover unexpected expenses (like a $500 emergency room visit or a car repair bill), you’d think that the money would go to into an emergency fund.

    Not necessarily....Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman took to the streets of New York City’s Times Square to ask people what they would do with $1,000.

    The results were mixed but nearly everyone we spoke to would be generous with the money. Three people told us they would give the money to their children—to pay for college or just some shoes. One man said he’d buy a round for everyone at a local bar while another woman said she’d give it to the homeless. When asked why he wouldn’t use the money to pay off his bills a man in his early 20s said that there was a difference in his mind between this extra money and the money he works for – if he doesn’t work for the cash he uses it for discretionary spending.

    The average tax

    Read More »from Americans tell Yahoo: How I'd spend an extra $1,000
  • Google's new CFO, SeaWorld's new ad and the Fed's tiny rate hike

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and S&P 500 (^GSPC) are trading flat into the middle of the session while the Nasdaq (^IXIC) is marginally higher. Crude prices (CLK15.NYM) are experienceing an uncharacteristically calm day, flat through lunchtime but still solidly under that $50 a barrel mark.

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

    Here are some of the other stories Yahoo Finance is keeping an eye on today.

    Fed rate hike
    St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard saying today he's concerned about what he calls a "violent" reaction from the markets when the Fed finally starts raising rates. Some have speculated the central bankers might only increase rates by an eight of a percentage point instead of the typical quarter of a point to ease the move.

    Google's new CFO
    Some have called her the most powerful woman on Wall Street. Now Morgan Stanley (MS) CFO Ruth Porat is leaving to take the same job at Google (GOOGL). She'll be replacing Patrick

    Read More »from Google's new CFO, SeaWorld's new ad and the Fed's tiny rate hike
  • Facebook may directly host news content

    Facebook (FB) may be looking to get into the business of news.

    The social networking giant is reportedly holding talks with media companies to host their content directly on the Facebook site. According to The New York Times, media organizations could receive some revenue from advertising that runs alongside their content.

    Currently news sites including National Geographic, BuzzFeed and The New York Times are participating in talks with Facebook. Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli thinks this could be positive for both media companies and Facebook, as it will create a more streamlined user experience.

    “I think it’s a realization that Facebook is so important as a distribution mechanism for news outlets,” he says. “It's all about user experience and the clunkiness of that experience. If in fact when you go to a link on Facebook and it's to some outside media company… you have to toggle back and forth, and that sort of is not ideal, especially if you are reading on your

    Read More »from Facebook may directly host news content
  • Experts have long worried that millions of Obamacare recipients will file their taxes this year and and get hit with an unexpected tax bill. The reason? They possibly underestimated their income for the year and wound up pocketing a bigger health care tax subsidy than they should have.

    Now we have a better idea of just how expensive that bill could be.

    The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that more than half of U.S. households eligible for health insurance subsidies in 2014 will wind up having to pay back $794 to the government.

    The way the health law works now, Obamacare recipients submit their estimated annual income in order to qualify for tax subsidies. Households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level ($11,490 to $45,960 for an individual in 2013, the base year for 2014 subsidies) can be eligible for tax credits to help pay their insurance premiums.

    For people whose incomes are less predictable — the freelancers and part-time workers of the world, for

    Read More »from Pocketing Obamacare tax subsidies could result in an $800 tax bill for U.S. households
  • Here’s a look at some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be tracking for you today.

    Chesapeake Energy (CHK) shares are jumping before the bell. Activist investor Carl Icahn increased his stake in the shale gas producer to almost 11%, making him the second biggest shareholder in the company. Meantime, Chesapeake Energy announced further cuts to its capital spending budget for this year as it deals with lower oil and gas prices due to a supply glut.

    McCormick (MKC) shares are higher early trading. The spice maker posting earnings and revenue that topped analysts' forecasts. However, a stronger dollar took a toll on sales growth last quarter. 

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

    Digital Ally (DGLY) shares are soaring ahead of the open. The maker of digital technology, such as wearable cameras used mainly by the law enforcement industry, swinging to a profit in the fourth quarter. That reverses a year ago loss as sales surged. Revenue jumped more than 54%

    Read More »from Icahn energizes Chesapeake; McCormick spices things up; Digital Ally soars
  • Consumer inflation jumps; Big telecom fights FCC; Facebook's news business

    Stocks (^GSPC) are struggling to make headway as the dollar weakens against the Euro (EURUSD=X) and after consumer inflation rose for the first time in four months. 

    The Labor Department reporting consumer pricesrose 0.2% in February, in-line with estimates.  

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says a small bump up in prices likely will be considered by Wall Street as a good thing.

    "It's probably what you wanted to see, a little bit of a perk up in inflation," he points out.  "This 'no-flation' trend is not something that we really welcomed."

    However, Santoli notes higher inflation figures may now cause investors to be a bit more nervous about the Fed raising interest rates earlier than expected.

    "It could go a little counter to what we heard last week with the Federal Reserve trying to push off the likely date of lift-off for interest rates," he notes.  "The inflation data now really have center stage because that is what the Fed is seemingly keying off of in the coming

    Read More »from Consumer inflation jumps; Big telecom fights FCC; Facebook's news business
  • Here are three things to keep an eye on today while trading Tuesday...

    Number 1:
     
    The world is getting a test today on whether bad news is bad for stocks and good news good.
     
    The bad - or at least disappointing – news from China overnight was that its PMI manufacturing gauge fell to an 11-month low.
     
    China’s slowdown has been a theme for months now. A frothy real estate market is coming off the boil. Exports are pressured. Foreign investment in the country has slowed. The transition to domestic consumer spending as a driver of growth is happening - but gradually.
     
    And yet the mainland stock market has been screaming higher. Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI300, the U.S.-listed fund that follows the local A shares market in Shanghai, which trades under symbol ASHR, is up 12% this month and more than 60% in the past six months.
     
    This rally has been carried along in large part by hopes that the Chinese authorities “mini-stimulus” efforts will be broadened to become a more aggressive easy-money

    Read More »from Buyback slowdown in the U.S. & manufacturing in China, Europe: What to watch today
  • Who knew? Small cap companies are showing investors the money, according to Christopher Bennett, senior analyst, S&P Dow Jones Indices. “We’ve actually seen dividends increase significantly in the smaller companies,” he says. There has been a 10.2% jump in the number of issues paying a dividend within the SPDR S&P 600 SmallCap Index (SLY), according to the firm, which now shows more than half of these companies paying a cash dividend. “We’ve seen dividend growth significantly overshadow the growth of dividends in the S&P 500 (^GSPC).”

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

    Rising dividends, a sign of future cash flow, are helping these smaller stocks attract fresh money. The SPDR S&P 600 SmallCaps have gained nearly 5% this year, while the S&P MidCap 400 ETF (MDY) has gained nearly 6%. “Investors are noticing value in small and mid caps that they didn’t capture last year,” observes Bennett who sees that trend continuing.

    The stronger dollar has become more

    Read More »from Who Knew? Small cap companies are becoming big dividend payers
  • Here comes verizon.sucks, but will it help or hurt the company?

    Verizon.sucks? BankofAmerica.sucks? Yahoo.sucks?

    The Internet and social media networks like Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) already provide an outlet for unsatisfied consumers, disgruntled employees and anonymous haters to vent their fury against companies that have drawn their wrath. But the venting could reach a whole new level in a few months when a new Internet address suffix goes online: .sucks.

    Companies will have to decide whether it's worth $2,500 a year to tie up a .sucks address during a 60-day early access period set aside for trademark owners and celebrities that begins March 30. If they don't, anyone in the world will be able to register the name and set up their own protest site.

    Another controversial new suffix, .porn, has already begun its early access period, drawing registrations from Microsoft (MSFT), Harvard University and even pop star Taylor Swift. Celebrities have more experience with the problems that may arise, having dealt with a barrage of new web site

    Read More »from Here comes verizon.sucks, but will it help or hurt the company?
  • Canada may not be in a recession, but the employment market is sure acting like it is. The headlines have been bad enough, with oil sands players like Suncor and Nexen slashing payrolls, and Target Canada unloading 17,000 workers as it slumps its way out of town.

    But the economic data shows it, too. Annual employment growth, as measured by Statistics Canada, has been below 1 per cent for the past 15 months, which is the first time that’s happened outside of recessionary times in about four decades.

    But hey, at least spring’s finally here, right?

    You have to go back to the height of the 2008-09 financial crisis and ensuing recession to see a worse jobs performance. And things were even darker back in the early 90s, when that recession led to three years of declines.

    We’re certainly not there, but the books may not be closed on the whole recession thing, either, as the price of oil bumps along at $47 a barrel. You might be celebrating that fact as you fill your SUV for a song, but in

    Read More »from Someone please tell the jobs market we’re not in a recession
  • 5 Tech Tools to Make Your Teen a Safer Driver

    I still remember the look on my daughter’s face the first time she plowed her car into a tree.

    She was four years old. The car was a battery-powered Barbie-mobile with a maximum speed of 3.2 mph. As the car moved, very slowly, toward the enormous live oak on our neighbor’s lawn, she threw both hands in the air and screamed.

    Tree, Barbie-mobile, and daughter all emerged unscathed. But at the time I remember wondering what was going to happen when she was 16 and climbed behind the wheel of a real car.

    Read: 7 Survival Tools for Parents of Teenagers

    Driving is one of the most dangerous things your teenager can do. It’s the leading cause of death for people age 16 to 19, per the Centers for Disease Control. Aside from the usual problems caused by inexperience, overconfidence, and inebriation, a host of technological distractions make it even more deadly.

     

    (uKnowKids.com)

    Teens are four times more likely than adults to get into a crash while texting or talking on the phone, according to

    Read More »from 5 Tech Tools to Make Your Teen a Safer Driver
  • Here’s where Ted Cruz gets his campaign money

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the first Republican to officially declare he’s running for president in 2016, is married to a managing director at financial titan Goldman Sachs (GS). But he’s unlikely to reel in much Wall Street cash to help fund his campaign.

    Cruz is the darling of many Tea Party groups and social conservatives drawn to his preacherlike ardor. He wants to kill Obamacare, put strict limits on abortion rights, allow states to deny gay marriage, and aggressively deport illegal immigrants. He was a vocal backer of the 2013 government shutdown, which was a hit with small-government advocates even though it was unpopular with voters.

    Corporate money tends to favor establishmentarian candidates disinclined to rock the boat. Cruz, by contrast, is a capsizer. "Cruz will struggle to raise the funds needed for an effective run at the presidency," says Republican analyst Boris Epshteyn. "The overwhelming amount of his funding will have to come from grass roots sources."

    Ted Cruz announcing he's running for president on March 23. Ted Cruz announcing he's running for president on March 23.

    Cruz has raised

    Read More »from Here’s where Ted Cruz gets his campaign money
  • Dating a personal finance reporter must really suck sometimes.

    That’s all I could think as my boyfriend and I sloshed our way through the rainy streets of Boston last weekend. It was the kind of night better spent with a bottle of wine and Netflix. And yet, there I was, dragging him out in the pouring rain, hundreds of miles from our cozy apartment in Queens, to sit through a 90-minute financial planning workshop for couples.

    To be honest, we needed a financial intervention. A year ago, we decided to move in together  — just another pair of 20-somethings who would rather build our careers and face our student debt demons than rush into marriage.

    Most of the time, we’re killing it on the money front. We use an income-based split for our rent. He covers the electric bill. I handle Internet and cable. We share a cashback credit card for groceries and pay it off every month.  

    But sometimes we hit a wall trying to figure out how to balance our individual financial priorities (he’s

    Read More »from The 90-minute workshop that taught me how to have a 'grownup' relationship
  • Whether the client is an office with a few employees or a giant business with thousands, Seamless believes it has the answer to its lunch-and-dinner delivery needs. If asked, it will go very large.

    "Last year, our single largest order was $13,000," says Nick Worswick, the general manager of corporate accounts at Seamless. That's a considerable meal. And it was delivered.

    Eating at your desk, eating in a conference room or eating in the car is becoming an increasingly popular American pastime. Easy delivery is partly fueling this, helped by the Internet, and it's not just the national pizza makers. Starbucks (SBUX) is going the delivery route. Whole Foods (WFM) is doing the same. The quest for ultimate dining and beverage convenience doesn't end.

    Seamless isn't overly concerned with those major brands, instead focusing on serving the foods found in the independent, family-owned restaurants out there. It's not a bad idea, considering how much potential business there is. GrubHub Inc. (

    Read More »from Seamless will take your order now -- even if it's for $13,000

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