Latest Blogposts

  • Here’s what to watch during the trading day.

    The markets this year have been a version of the old playground game “two for flinching.” That’s where one kid fakes punching your arm, and if you flinch he gets two free shots as punishment.

    There have been so many plausible excuses for the stock market to suffer a more stinging setback than it has – earnings on the slide, Greece flirting again with insolvency, the Fed looking for a chance to play bad cop.

    Yet anyone who flinched too soon and sold quickly was forced to watch the big indexes gain their footing again and return to the cusp of all-time highs. Global money printing, firming economies in Europe and a sturdy credit-market backdrop have lent support.

    This is the pattern that has driven the percentage of small investors saying have a “neutral” outlook on stocks to a 12-year high last week.  

    So maybe today’s run of news will serve as still more feigned punches thrown at the cautious investor. But for those watching, we got

    Read More »from Traders flinch in global selloff. GE tests the bulls: What to watch
  • Thank Uncle Sam for Higher Banking Fees

    Enraged from big banks getting what looked like a free ride when they got bailed out in 2008-2009, Americans demanded the government reign in the bad boys of Wall Street. U.S. citizens got what they asked for with lawmakers clamoring for increased regulation. But rarely is anything really free in life and now, Main Street is paying for it  - according to top bank analyst Dick Bove.
    Bove, equity research analyst at Rafferty Capital Markets says banks are stuck in a tug-of-war between the Fed wanting them to earn less money and stockholders wanting more money and ‘someone’s going to pay and the person who ends up paying is the consumer.’
    It’s certainly not the shareholders that are losing out.  As Q1 bank earnings rolled in, firm after firm beat Wall Street’s own expectations. Goldman Sachs (GS) posted its highest profit in five years. Citigroup (C) earnings jumped 16% in the quarter.  Even Bank of America (BAC) posted first quarter gains after a loss the previous year. The nation’s
    Read More »from Thank Uncle Sam for Higher Banking Fees
  • 11 things to know about prices of stuff in Singapore

    Singapore isn't a particularly expensive place for basic foodstuff, but it's a bad place to get a drink -- and certainly the worst country to purchase a car.

    That's based on Deutsche Bank’s latest annual survey of global prices, which takes a look at such categories as transport, food and entertainment.

    1. Given the taxes, not surprisingly, Singapore is the most expensive place to buy a car. It costs US$112,818 for a new Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI 140 CV 6 vel or far more than second-highest country Malaysia, where it costs US$45,444.

    2. The cost of one litre (1/4 gallon) of petrol is twice what it would cost in New York. Over the past 10 years, the price of petrol in Singapore has more than doubled from US$0.69 a litre to US$1.74, but that's still not too bad compared to Hong Kong, where petrol is a whopping US$2.19 a litre.

    Cars driving along highway in Singapore.Cars driving along highway in Singapore.


    3. In Singapore, similar to Hong Kong and China, a pair of Levi’s 501 jeans is double the price for what it sells in the US. It costs US$103.30 in the city-state

    Read More »from 11 things to know about prices of stuff in Singapore
  • A new lending startup called Vouch has been getting a lot of buzz for the unique way it vets potential borrowers. Rather than focusing solely on traditional criteria like FICO scores, debt levels, and income, Vouch lets borrowers prove their creditworthiness by getting friends and coworkers to “vouch” for them.

    The folks who vouch for you (called 'sponsors') become a part of our Vouch 'social network' and have a big impact on how much you are allowed to borrow and how low your interest rate will be.

    Becoming a sponsor does not come without risks, however. When you agree to vouch for someone, you decide how much money you are willing to front if they fall behind on their payments. The average loan sponsor commits $110, according to the company. From that point, the vouch system is a lot like cosigning a loan — the sponsor signs a contract and agrees to pay whatever amount they have vouched for if the borrower falls behind. The advantage of this model versus traditional cosigner rules

    Read More »from Vouch: A new lender that judges borrowers by their 'social network'
  • December 2015 is shaping up to be a heckuva month. First, we’re getting a new Star Wars movie. And the ways things are looking, you’ll be able to stop at the supermarket on the way home for a post-movie 6-pack.

    Yes, Kathleen Wynne has confirmed what we already knew: that she’s more politically savvy than anyone thought two years ago (Gas plants? What gas plants?), announcing that beer will be available in supermarkets as early as this Christmas.

    “The days of the status quo are over and the days of monopoly are done,” Wynne says.

    In the spirit of open markets, here’s a primer of what’s to come:

    1.     Eggs, cereal, and milk in one trip!

    You know that panic when you’re finishing up the shopping and you realize you don’t have time to stop for beer on the way home? That ends soon. The government is selling up to 450 licenses for supermarket sales, which means there should eventually be as many private sellers as there currently are beer stores. There will be rules, such as restricted

    Read More »from Top five things to know about Ontario’s beer revolution
  • How mobile banking can bring Sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty

    Most Americans become engrained in the banking system at a young age—opening a savings account is a right of passage. Today 62% of the world’s population has a bank account, that’s up from 51% in 2011.

    Still, there are around two billion people in the world who don’t have access to the global banking system. These “unbanked” people are overwhelmingly from undeveloped or developing countries and usually live well below the poverty line. They also tend to be women.

    This information comes from the World Bank’s “Global Findix” which collects data on financial inclusion around the world. “Having an account or a safe place to save allows you to have savings to invest in new businesses, to pay for education and to manage unexpected shocks and risks,” explains Dr. Leora Klapper, lead economist of development research for the World Bank. 

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

    Bank accounts are critical to reducing poverty, says Dr. Klapper. “Having my paycheck

    Read More »from How mobile banking can bring Sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty
  • Netflix's business model: It's no house of cards

    Netflix (NFLX) is killing it.

    The stock soaring to all-time highs today after the video streaming service behind “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” reported adding almost five million new subscribers in the first quarter, giving the company more than 60 million total.

    Yahoo Finance’s Aaron Task says the key data point there is that Netflix picked up 2.6 million subscribers outside America.

    “The bullish case for Netflix is that they’re quite mature here in the U.S. but they have a huge runway overseas,” he points out. “And the reaction of the stock tells you the bulls are saying, wow, this could be really huge even if they’re losing money overseas.”

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

    Task adds Netflix and its programming are really changing the viewing landscape.

    “They have driven this entire industry to the whole over-the-top offerings that are out there now,” he says. “It’s because of Netflix’s success.”

    Read More »from Netflix's business model: It's no house of cards
  • Planning on camping out in front of an Apple (AAPL) store next week to get your Apple Watch? Well, put the folding chair and pillows away - you’re out of luck. An internal memo that has leaked across several Apple fanboy blogs says the hottest new gadget won’t hit store shelves for a while, potentially sometime in June.

    The memo from Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts says in part:

    ...due to high global interest combined with our initial supply, we are only taking orders online right now. I’ll have more updates as we get closer to in-store availability, but we expect this to continue through the month of May.

    To be clear, if you ordered your watch online to be delivered on the original release date of April 24, you should expect it on time. Apple has, however, removed that date from all aspects of their promotional push as anyone who hasn’t already ordered one won’t see that watch anytime remotely close to that April 24 date.

    A customer looks over an Apple Watch in Palo Alto, California April 10, 2015. REUTERS/Robert GalbraithA customer looks over an Apple Watch in Palo Alto, California April 10, 2015. REUTERS/Robert GalbraithSure, fanboys and girls hoping to walk out of an Apple

    Read More »from Apple Watch delay may anger fanboys and girls but shouldn't hurt company
  • How Wall Street may threaten your pension

    Most people with a pension probably don’t think much about the fees assessed to manage their retirement money. But maybe they should.

    Recent reporting by journalists Neil Weinberg and Darrell Preston of Bloomberg reveals that some pensions invest money with private-equity firms and other alternative investment firms that charge unusually high fees, whether the money earns a positive return or not. The funds also require a high degree of secrecy as a condition for investing with them, which runs contrary to basic principles of sound investing. “It is a big concern, because if this money goes into the private-equity firms, it’s not there for the pensioners,” Weinberg tells me in the video above. “Their benefits are at risk.”

    Private-equity firms, hedge funds and other alternative asset managers typically cater to sophisticated investors willing to pay high fees for the chance to earn outsized returns. The risks, however, may be higher than with ordinary pools of stocks and bonds.

    Read More »from How Wall Street may threaten your pension
  • Yahoo gains search flexibility in revised Microsoft deal

    Yahoo (YHOO) is getting more flexibility to run its search business under a modified deal with Microsoft (MSFT) announced on Thursday.

    Under the new agreement, Yahoo will gain the ability to work with other partners in search and also take greater control of ad sales on its own web sites. Shares of Microsoft and Yahoo, the parent of Yahoo Finance, were nearly unchanged after the deal was announced.   

    Back in 2009, Yahoo signed a 10-year deal to let Microsoft's Bing provide search results for its customers on desktop PCs in return for giving Microsoft 12% of the advertising revenue generated. Even though the deal runs for five more years, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has chafed under the terms, as Microsoft's search technology has lagged behind Google's (GOOGL) in its ability to monetize search advertising.

    With Yahoo's display advertising revenue plummeting, Mayer has been looking to increase revenue from search ads, particularly on mobile phones, which aren't covered by the Microsoft deal.

    Read More »from Yahoo gains search flexibility in revised Microsoft deal
  • Dick Bove: Bet on big money center banks in 2015

    Buy big banks and avoid the regionals. That's the view from top bank analyst Dick Bove, who says that’s effectively the takeaway from the bank earnings released so far this week.

    Bove, equity research analyst at Rafferty Capital Markets, said the current low rate environment creates a kind of dichotomy - what he calls things that are working and things that are not working.

    “What’s working is commercial lending, trading and investment banking,” he said, highlighting Goldman Sachs (GS), Citigroup (C), and JPMorgan (JPM) as examples of big banks who are benefit from those themes.

    Bove also noted that valuations are extremely low in this group. “Citigroup sells at a 25% discount to book; Bank of America sells at a 31% discount to book. There is simply no reason for that.”

    All told, Bove called Goldman, Citi and JPMorgan, “underperforming stocks which are showing good earnings, yet selling at big discounts to book value. That’s a good reason to buy.”

    Get the Latest Market Data and News

    Read More »from Dick Bove: Bet on big money center banks in 2015
  • Etsy hip on Wall Street today

    Etsy (ETSY) is certainly hip on Wall Street this morning.  Shares of the Brooklyn based online craft marketplace more than doubling from its IPO price of $16 dollars a pop.  Not too shabby for a company that warned in its filing that it may not be profitable.

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli is not surprised by Etsy’s disclosure.

    “This is not about results…it’s not about really a powerful profit franchise at all,” Santoli notes.  “I think it’ll be an interesting test, this kind of economics that are being valued so highly in the private market right now. None of these private companies that have these huge valuations are necessarily turning out big profits or any profits at all.”

    Etsy‘s net loss widened to $15.24 million in 2014 from $796,000 a year earlier.  However, sales jumped 56% to $195.6 million last year.

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

    The Brooklyn based online craft marketplace has more than 1.4 million active sellers and nearly

    Read More »from Etsy hip on Wall Street today
  • A the high-frequency trading debate continues, Virtu Financial (VIRT) sucessfully launched the first HFT firm IPO Wednesday with strong demand from investors.

    The firm priced shares at $19 on Wednesday, the upper-end of its targeted range, and raised over $300 million at a $2.6 billion valuation.

    This vote of confidence from investors comes just a year after Virtu pulled its IPO amid acute industry scrutiny, which followed the release of Michael Lewis' book "Flash Boys."

    Rel: Michael Lewis: A year after 'Flash Boys,' market still broken but can fix itself

    In a SEC filing last year, Virtu revealed it had only lost money on one day since 2009. “I thought it was a good thing to disclose to the world that the firm was profitable,” said Doug Cifu, Virtu CEO, at a conference last June. “But, boy, did that backfire in my face, so I take responsibility for that.As of December 31, the 148-person firm generated net income of $190 million last year.

    Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael

    Read More »from Virtu’s IPO: First high-frequency trading firm to go public
  • Netflix pops and Blackstone beats

    Time for your daily dose of trending tickers, the stocks you're following based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Netflix

    It seems Netflix (NFLX) bulls like what they see. Shares popped over 10% on Thursday and touched new all time highs after the video streaming service posted impressive quarterly results.

    Netflix is widely viewed as a growth stock on Wall Street, and investors seemed most impressed by subscriber growth – which rose 22% year over year to 4.8 billion.

    CEO Reed Hastings said the company's original series including the third season of "House of Cards" and the new series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" helped bring in new customers.

    Blackstone

    It appears investors want assets in their portfolio. Blackstone (BX) gained more than 2% on Thursday after the asset manager beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

    Blackstone cited its private equity and real estate units for the strength.

    After bringing in record cash, Chairman and CEO Steve Schwarzman declared his

    Read More »from Netflix pops and Blackstone beats
  • Netflix soars, Apple's holiest iPad and Americans dine out more

    Red arrows across the board today on all three major indices (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) despite some solid IPOs from the likes of Etsy (ETSY), Party City (PRTY) and Virtu (VIRT).

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

    Netflix soars
    Netflix (NFLX) is soaring to a record high after the streaming video company reported it added almost five million new subscribers in the first quarter... pushing its total to more than 60 million.

    Japan becomes America's largest creditor
    What happened to the Big Red Menace? New data shows Japan, not China, is now the biggest foreign holder of U.S. bonds. It's the first time China hasn't held the top spot since the financial crisis.

    Changing habits
    If you are what you eat - you are a restaurant meal! The Commerce Department reporting that for the first time since it began keeping records in 1992, Americans spent more at restaurants and bars than grocery stores last month.

    Papal iPad
    The Apple (AAPL) iPad that formerly belonged to

    Read More »from Netflix soars, Apple's holiest iPad and Americans dine out more

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