Latest Blogposts

  • Stocks higher ahead of Fed decision

    Wall Street applauded the Bank of Japan’s move to overhaul its stimulus program. All three major averages (^GPSC, ^DJI, ^IXIC) were firmly in the green following gains in Asia and Europe after the BOJ made changes to its policy ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision at 2 p.m. ET.

    Mylan CEO faces anger on Capitol Hill

    The CEO of the company that makes the lifesaving Epipen allergy treatment will defend the more than 500% increase in the product’s cost at a House committee hearing. Mylan’s (MYL) Heather Bresch will express regret over the financial pain some patients suffered but say the company struck a balance between price and access. How will lawmakers react?

    Trump boosts spending, still lags Clinton

    Donald Trump’s campaign spent $30 million in August. That’s more than any month so far, but still much less than the nearly $50 million spent by Hillary Clinton. New financial disclosures also show that two-thirds of Trump’s individual campaign contributions were for $200

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  • Larry Summers makes the case for no Fed rate hike in 11 tweets

    Lawrence Summers
    Lawrence Summers

    The Federal Reserve will update the world on its plans for monetary policy at 2 p.m. ET.

    Economists expect the Fed will keep its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a very low range of 0.25%-0.5%. The last time the Fed adjusted rates was back in December 2015.

    In a series of 11 tweets early Wednesday, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers explained why the Fed should not tighten monetary policy with a rate hike today.

    Summers, who in 2013 was considered a frontrunner to be chairman of the Fed, reiterated arguments made by many economists: Inflation expectations are falling, the labor market has shown cracks, and uncertainty around the world and in financial markets is elevated. He concluded by saying that tighter monetary policy would likely strengthen the dollar, which makes US goods more expensive to foreign buyers. With anti-globalization, protectionist policies being touted in the presidential campaigns, a stronger dollar would further hurt the standing of

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  • Unlicensed property agent faces five charges for carrying out lease deals

    File photo of a pair of handcuffsFile photo of a pair of handcuffs


    A 56-year-old Singaporean man was slapped with five charges in court on Wednesday (21 September) for handling property deals despite being an unlicensed agent.

    Shakir Khan had also been charged with 17 counts of cheating, forgery and theft in dwelling earlier this year after being on the run for 10 years.

    His offences as a bogus agent were uncovered after the Council of Estate Agents (CEA) conducted a review of property advertisements in February this year.

    In May 2012, Shakir closed a lease deal for a HDB flat in Kallang. Despite not being an agent with HSR International Realtors, he used the agency’s letterhead to prepare the lease document. The landlord of the flat only found out that Shakir was no longer a HSR agent after failing to find him at the agency’s offices.

    On two occasions in August 2011 and August 2012, Shakir was asked to assist a tenant to renew the lease for a flat in Bedok. Even though he was no longer a HSR agent nor a CEA registered agent, he received a total of

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  • Google's Allo funnels the limitless power of the internet into a simple messaging app

    Google wants you to get a little closer with, well, Google (GOOG, GOOGL) via its newest messaging app, Allo.

    Available for download for Android and iOS beginning today, and reaching most users by the end of the week, Allo is designed to compete with messaging apps like Facebook (FB) Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat and Apple’s (AAPL) iMessage. But Allo has an ace up its sleeve: Google. I’ve been using Allo for the past week, and it’s one heck of a trick.

    See, unlike Google’s current messaging app, Hangouts, Allo lets you chat with Google itself via its new Google Assistant (in addition to chatting with individuals and groups). Google Assistant lets you ask Google questions and get replies within the app itself. It’s also smart enough to see what you’re talking about with friends and provide relevant recommendations without prompting.

    Say, “Hello!” to Allo

    Introduced at Google’s I/O developer conference in June, Allo is a mobile-only messaging app, so you won’t be able to use it on your

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  • No, Ted Cruz, the US isn't giving away the internet

    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addresses the delegates during the third day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)
    Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, addresses the delegates during the third day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

    A small band of Republican lawmakers is engaged in a fierce, last-minute fight to force the Obama administration to retain its authority over part of the internet.

    Yes, you read that correctly.

    The unlikely spectacle of Republicans battling to preserve government control shows that you can make an argument out of anything in Washington — at least, if the White House offers an opinion about it first.

    Yes we ICANN

    The story as pitched by Sen. Ted Cruz (R.-Tex.) and others looks bad: The US will abandon its historic supervision of a core part of the internet, leaving it open for other countries to swoop in.

    “The Obama administration intends to give away control of the internet to an international body akin to the United Nations,” Cruz warns in a video posted on his site. “Do we want China and Russia and Iran to

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  • robbie knievel
    This looks risky. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

    Forecasting earnings for 2017 is arguably Wall Street’s most controversial task. After all, earnings are the most important driver of stock prices in the long run.

    With stock prices near all-time highs and valuations stretched, forecasts for earnings would have to be optimistic. Indeed, FactSet data show that analysts are expecting earnings to jump an impressive 13.4% year-over-year in 2017, following what’s expected to be no growth in 2016.

    But history, for what it’s worth, doesn’t bode well for that big growth number.

    Check out this chart from UBS’s Julian Emanuel, which shows how estimates for 2016 and 2017 earnings growth have evolved in the past two years. As 2016 happened, 2016’s earnings estimates were adjusted down.

    Earnings forecasts tend to be cut as the year rolls on.
    Earnings forecasts tend to be cut as the year rolls on. (Image: UBS)

    In his note to clients, Emanuel characterizes these 2017 forecasts as “irrationally exuberant.” He believes it is just one of many risks that make the

    Read More »from UBS: Wall Street's forecast for 2017 looks 'irrationally exuberant'
  • Billionaires Ken Langone (left) and Stan Druckenmiller are investors in Relationship Science.
    Billionaires Ken Langone (left) and Stan Druckenmiller are investors in Relationship Science.

    Relationship Science (RelSci), an exclusive relationship network whose investors include several billionaires, just launched a new website that’s available to the public.

    Until now, the technology—which could be considered a “LinkedIn for the 1%”—provided access to its detailed database on more than 5 million wealthy and famous people only to corporations through expensive subscriptions.

    The new, consumer-facing page, however, will let professionals like financial advisors, investment bankers, brokers, business development people, fundraisers, attorneys, and others gain free access to 10 profiles each month. The database provides details on influential people including their work history, board memberships, charitable donations, personal interests, awards, investments, and more.

    Relationship Science

    “The launch of RelationshipScience.com fills an information gap in the market between LinkedIn and Wikipedia with

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  • The Bank of Japan could move markets before the Fed: trader

    By Alan Valdes, Director of Floor operations at Silverbear

    It was another volatile day on the NYSE yesterday, and slightly less so today. At one point, we were up over 100 points on the Dow Industrials (^DJI), but we ended the day up barely 10 points. With mediocre volume, traders, as usual, are waiting for the Fed’s announcement on Wednesday.

    Like I have said before, we will get another pass. The Fed will stay put until December. This fed is data dependent on raising rates. The fact is the data is not consistent to justify a rate increase at this time. After printing in the neighborhood of $13 trillion worth of cheap money and getting very little to show for all that counterfeiting, it seems confidence in the Fed among many Wall Street professionals is eroding.

    Central banks no longer lead the markets

    It would also seem, the days of central banks leading the markets are a thing of the past. As we witnessed early in the month when the Fed just spoke about raising a quarter of a point,

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  • WARREN BUFFETT: 'There comes a point where money has no real utility'

    Billionaire investor Warren Buffett says that for wealthy people there comes a point where money “has no real utility.”

    In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s editor-in-chief Andy Serwer at the Concordia Summit, the 86-year-old Berkshire Hathaway CEO discussed The Giving Pledge, which he founded with Bill and Melinda Gates in 2010. The pledge is a signed commitment by the wealthiest people to give away more than half of their money to philanthropy either during their lives or when they die.

    Buffett argued that excessive wealth doesn’t do much for the rich and their families.

    “There comes a point where money really has no real utility,” he said. “You can use it to show off, but you can’t do much else with it. I don’t think it’s good for your family. It can do wonders for people around the world.”

    He noted that when the Forbes’ “rich list” of 400 wealthiest people debuted in 1982 the total wealth was around $92 billion. Now it’s $2.4 trillion.

    “There’s a greater concentration of wealth

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  • Stocks up on eve of Fed decision

    Wall Street is a bit on edge as Janet Yellen’s big day is almost here. Will the market get what it wants, or will Fed give us a September surprise? Catch The Final Round at 4 p.m. ET with Jen Rogers and markets correspondent Nicole Sinclair.

    Winners and losers

    Stocks trading in the red today include Ascena Retail as the Ann Taylor parent issued weaker than expected guidance for fiscal 2017; Hortonworks as the office-furniture maker cut its outlook citing things like subdued small business confidence, and SeaWorld, with shares of the troubled theme park operator diving after it announced it was suspending its dividend. The suspension comes after SeaWorld ceased breeding killer whales at its parks.

    Stocks pulling higher today include Marriott as Chinese regulators approved its Starwood merger, Royal Caribbean as the cruise operator hiked its dividend by over 25%, and Tobira Therapeautics, with shares going nuclear after the biotech company agreed to be purchased by Allergan for $1.7

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  • Pogue's Basics: Capitals don't matter

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  • Facebook’s Oculus Wins Emmy for Its Virtual Reality Short

    The animated short “Henry” made history for Facebook-owned Oculus Studio, winning the company’s first Emmy at the 2016 Emmy Awards for Outstanding Original Interactive Program.

    The story, about a small lonely hedgehog named Henry, made a big impact on audiences.

    Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg said that the film’s success is based on the empathy you feel for Henry.

    You’re in his world and interacting with him.

    Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page: “Henry is a great example of how VR is
    going to change storytelling.”

    This isn’t the first Emmy for VR content. “Sleepy Hollow” took home an Emmy last year for user experience and visual design.

    Source: http://www.popsci.com/oculus-took-home-vrs-first-emmy-award
    Oculus Virtual Reality Short Film ‘Henry’ Wins an Emmy

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  • MacOS Sierra: A small, sweet upgrade, yours free

    Every fall, Mac fans receive a gift from Apple (AAPL): a new, free version of the Mac operating system and its apps. This year, it has a new name: macOS Sierra.

    (“macOS” will be the replacement for the now-retired name OS X. Well, good; that always sounded like you were saying something about sex.) Apple figured it was time to make the Mac’s software naming consistent with watchOS, tvOS, and iOS.

    So how is it? Small but sweet, with only one really superstar feature: Voice control, brought to you by Siri on your Mac.

    MacOS Sierra—yours today.
    MacOS Sierra—yours today.

    Siri on the Mac

    Sierra doesn’t look any different from the previous version of the Mac OS—there’s been no redesign. But there’s an 800-pound change: After years of enjoying the Siri voice-controlled assistant on the iPhone and iPad, Apple fans now have it right on the Mac. (Windows 10 has Cortana, so Apple’s not the first to think of this. But Siri is far more complete, powerful, and mature.)

    You can make Siri listen in any of three ways: By

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  • George Soros outlines his 7-pillar plan to solve the refugee crisis

    By Julia La Roche

    Billionaire George Soros, the chairman and founder of the Open Society Foundations, pledged up to $500 million of his own private capital to aid the global crisis of forced migration.

    “I’m a refugee myself,” Soros said at the Concordia Summit in New York. Soros was a teenager when the Nazis occupied Hungary. He moved to London in 1947.

    “In those days, there were fewer of us around and we were better treated,” he said.

    The 86-year-old hedge fund manager pointed out that the current refugee crisis is new, but economic migration has been going on forever.

    He considers the refugee and migration crisis “the most pressing problem,” and it’s one of his top priorities. His pledge of $500 million is his answer to President Barack Obama’s “call to action” for US companies to play a bigger role in meeting the challenges posed by refugees and migration.

    The money Soros pledged will be used to invest in startups, companies, social impact initiatives and businesses started by

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  • Don’t let Twitter’s 'low' NFL live stream numbers fool you

    Last Thursday, Twitter live-streamed an NFL game for the first time ever, between the New York Jets and Buffalo Bills. And this Thursday it will do it again, with a matchup that could interest far more fans: the New England Patriots and Houston Texans. Twitter gets to stream 10 NFL games this season in total.

    But the numbers are in for Twitter’s first run at this, and many say they’re low.

    2.1 million people watched on Twitter at some point — with a per-minute average audience of just 243,000. The New York Post called it “only a modest success.” CNNMoney wrote “the numbers pale in comparison to TV viewership.”

    Well, of course they do. That’s not a worthwhile comparison.

    Twitter has been around for 10 years; to expect it to pull in numbers anywhere close to network television yet is laughable. That it got 2.1 million people, or 14% of the average TV audience (15.4 million people watched the Thursday game last week on CBS or the NFL Network), is in fact impressive.

    More than 90% of US

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