Latest Blogposts

  • El-Erian: The economy is approaching a 'pivot' point

    The U.S. is currently in its seventh year of what can broadly be described as a bull market. Unemployment is at eight-year lows, and wages are rising. Things are good, but some economists fear that they’ve been good for too long and that recession is imminent. Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, agrees. “Within the next two years, we’re not going to be able to maintain the world we’ve maintained for the last five to seven years,”  he says.

    But the real question is what happens when we reach the end of the proverbial road. Do we careen off of a cliff? “We are coming to a point where we’re either going to pivot from low growth into recession and from artificial stability into instability or if the political class responds, we can pivot to something much better, but right now it’s uncertain.”

    El-Erian believes we’re too dependent on finance as an engine of growth. Before the 2008 financial crisis, we embraced private finance as the major growth engine, he says. But after

    Read More »from El-Erian: The economy is approaching a 'pivot' point
  • Why Home Depot is thriving despite the Amazon-retail revolution

    As many US brick-and-mortar retailers falter, Home Depot (HD) is trading near all-time highs after it reported a 6.5% rise in first quarter comparable store sales and raised its full-year earnings guidance. The home improvement chain’s management team attributed better-than-expected results to market share gains, productivity improvements and a strengthening housing market.

    Perhaps the most notable win for Home Depot is its success in resisting the forces of pure-play online retailers like Amazon (AMZN).

    Online is a key standout

    Home Depot’s sales have been remarkably robust despite the rapid rise of low-cost competition from online retailers. It has seen growth in both in-store and e-commerce sales. In fact, Home Depot’s online business grew 21.5% in the most recent quarter.

    In the past, Home Depot Chairman and CEO Craig Menear has said online competition could cut into 25% of its sales mix. But even those categories performed well this quarter, he said.

    “If you think about those

    Read More »from Why Home Depot is thriving despite the Amazon-retail revolution
  • Gold is insurance against the bad guys hitting the reset button

    There is a likelihood that gold will play a role in the next monetary system.

    By Stephen Guilfoyle | @Sarge986

    It used to be that when I spoke about gold, the folks that listened would look at me as if I were speaking in some ancient foreign language that nobody could understand. Lately, as I stand at my spot on trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange, willing to talk the financial markets or baseball with anyone who's also willing—more and more am I asked about gold. Several times a week in fact.

    In case you missed it, when the World Gold Council released its Q1 data, total demand for gold was up 21% year-over-year, largely due to demand for investment purposes. There were yearly declines in demand from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016 for jewelry, technology purposes, and even purchases made by central banks.  Demand for investment purposes was up 122% year-over-year. That says something. It says that I am not alone in my thoughts. If the central banks (huge buyers in recent years) get started again, watch out.

    So, what is it about this barbarous relic that it refuses

    Read More »from Gold is insurance against the bad guys hitting the reset button
  • John Burbank: This time full of peril may herald the beginning of 'the liquidation'

    John Burbank, the chief investment officer of $4.1 billion Passport Capital, has the 'strong opinion' that we could see a US recession and a 'major' Chinese devaluation of its currency in the next year.

    Global macro hedge fund manager John H. Burbank III, the chief investment officer of $4.1 billion Passport Capital, gave a grim prediction for how monetary policy will end in the US and China.

    “It is our strong opinion that within the next year we could see a major Chinese devaluation of its currency and a US recession,” Burbank wrote in his fund’s first quarter investor letter dated May 5.

    He continued: “It is for certain in seven months we will see a U.S. election whose outcome may provoke or have discounted one or both. China will enter their liquidity crisis with likely the largest amount of non-performing debt in the world; the U.S. will enter its recession with the smallest rate reduction potential in history. For both it will be a normal ending after decades of extending their booms with the first quarter’s flip-flops possibly being their final policy moves."

    "We think this is a time full of peril and repositioning that heralds either the start of a new market reality (i.e.,

    Read More »from John Burbank: This time full of peril may herald the beginning of 'the liquidation'
  • Why now may be the best time to invest in Greece

    As the IMF pushes for easing of interest payments, investors wonder if Greece is risk-free.

    It wouldn’t be spring without a little Greek debt drama. Enter the International Monetary Fund that earlier today proposed a plan in which the eurozone would allow Greece to avoid both interest and principal payments on bailout loans until 2040.

    According to a report in the Wall Street Journal:

    The IMF wants eurozone countries to accept long delays in the repayment of Greece’s bailout loans, which would fall due in the period from 2040 to 2080 under the proposal, according to officials familiar with the talks.

    The IMF is also pressing for Greece’s interest rate on its eurozone loans to be fixed for 30 to 40 years at its current average level of 1.5%, with all interest payments postponed until loans start falling due.

    Yahoo Finance caught up with former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou at last week’s SALT Conference in Las Vegas. A persistent theme at the gathering of hedge fund managers and other financial professionals was that now is a good time to start putting money back

    Read More »from Why now may be the best time to invest in Greece
  • There is no tougher negotiation than a hostage situation—one wrong word and lives could be lost. Chris Voss, former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, says the FBI’s techniques for such tense negotiations can also be used in getting a higher salary, dealing with children, and even running for president.

    Few have had as much experience in hostage negotiations as Voss. He was involved in over 150 cases, including the DC sniper case back in 2002. In his new book, “Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As if Your Life Depended on It,” Voss lays out tactics developed by the FBI and applies them to everyday life.

    The FBI changed its techniques after several bad experiences, according to Voss. “We used to try to just wear the other side out,” he said. “While that's not horrible, it's not anywhere near as good as it can be. And also your deals tend not to stick really well if you get there simply by wearing the other side out. So we just needed to step up our game a little bit and

    Read More »from Ex-FBI hostage negotiator gives advice for getting a higher salary—and for Donald Trump
  • Google takes on Uber, Lyft; DOJ sends subpoena to Lending Club; Pandora pressured to sell

    Midday stock movers: today's big winners and losers

    Yahoo Finance is tracking the stocks you’re following, based on your Yahoo Finance ticker searches.

    Alphabet (GOOGL) – The tech giant’s navigation app, Waze, announced a new carpool service in San Francisco. The new service is currently only available by invitation to approximately 25,000 workers in the Bay Area.

    Lending Club (LC) – The online lender has received a subpoena from the Justice Department. The company disclosed the subpoena in a regulatory filing and says it plans to cooperate with the federal investigation. Last week, Lending Club announced that its founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche resigned following an internal probe concerning $22 million in improper loan sales.

    Pandora Media (P) – The music streaming company is coming under pressure by an investor. Hedge fund Corvex Management, which disclosed a 9.9% stake in the company, is urging it to explore a sale.

    Office Depot (ODP) – The retailer is focusing on its next move after its takeover by Staples was called off last week

    Read More »from Google takes on Uber, Lyft; DOJ sends subpoena to Lending Club; Pandora pressured to sell
  • Facebook goes to bat against Google over ads

    Today, we discuss Facebook taking on Google, surging middle class income, and Trump and Clinton ignoring jobs.

    Stocks (^DJI, ^GSPC, ^IXIC) are down slightly at midday, with energy (XLE) still in the green after an oil rally, while consumer staples (XLP) are leading the way down. Stephen Guilfoyle, managing director of Floor Operations for Deep Value Execution Services, joins us live from the New York Stock Exchange. 

    To discuss the other big stories of the day, Alexis Christoforous is joined by Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman and Thomson Reuters correspondent Bobbi Rebell, author of "How to be a Financial Grownup."

    Facebook takes another huge step against rival Google

    The social media giant will work as a video ad broker by selling ads on behalf of other companies. Facebook (FB) announced it will sell and place in-stream and in-article video advertisements across third-party websites. It’s unclear how much revenue Facebook will make.

    Middle class income surges to post-recession high

    We've all heard of the wealth gap between the rich and poor. But how is the middle class doing when it comes to

    Read More »from Facebook goes to bat against Google over ads
  • TechCrunch's Disrupt 2016 was in Brooklyn, New York this month. The event drew hundreds of early-stage companies to the hot borough hoping to wow deep-pocket investors, the press and fellow entrepreneurs with their new tech products and software.

    While we were prepared to be pitched a slew of cloud based, low latency, iOs apps, the conference floor was actually packed with some unusual gizmos, for lack of a better word. From wi-fi enabled teddy bears that hug your loved one from afar to a solar powered stove that could help solve the world's deforestation issues to a tortilla oven that makes it easier to have homemade tortillas in just 90 seconds, the annual event showcased some unusual new technologies.

    Beam at TechCrunch DisruptBeam at TechCrunch Disrupt

    We hit the conference floor and walked Startup and Hardware Alley to bring you a snapshot of some of the companies hoping to become the next big thing, including a very odd dating app that got our attention and may catch your eye.

    Some 22 startups also competed in the Startup

    Read More »from Move over Pied Piper, here's what startups are working on now
  • Here are some of the stocks the Yahoo Finance team will be watching for you today.

    Home Depot's (HD) quarterly results bucked the recent disappointing trend we've seen in the retail sector. The home improvement retailer reported a beat on both its top and bottom lines in the first quarter. Revenue rose 9% from a year earlier thanks to stronger-than-expected same-stores sales growth.

    Lending Club (LC) is eyeing a fresh all-time low after the online lender disclosed late yesterday that it received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice. Shares of Lending Club have fallen about 15% since it reported first-quarter results last week and announced CEO Renaud Laplanche had resigned in response to a questionable loan sale.

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

    AstraZenca's (AZN) U.S. listed shares got a nice pop this morning after the British drug maker said its experimental drug to treat severe asthma was successful in late-stage trials.

    Vodafone's

    Read More »from Home Depot down despite beat, Lending Club falls after disclosing DOJ subpoena
  • How oil titan T. Boone Pickens doles out his fortune

    T. Boone Pickens is worth nearly $1 billion, but his kids and grandkids better not come looking for a handout. “I’m not going to make anybody rich,” he tells Yahoo Finance in the video above. “I tell my kids, I’ll help you, but if you want to get rich, you’ll have to get rich on your own.”

    The oil titan, chairman of BP Capital, has hit a rough patch now that oil prices have plunged from the low triple-digits a couple years ago to the mid-doubles now. He also lost a bundle betting on wind energy during recent years. Pickens was worth $4 billion or so before the recession hit in 2008, according to Forbes, but fell off the billionaire’s list in 2013. He’s still got an enviable fortune, however, and if he blows it, it won’t be on family.

    Pickens, 88, has 5 grown children and 13 grandkids, and none of them enjoys a place on the patriarch’s personal payroll. “They all work,” Pickens says. “They have real jobs. They don’t work for me.”

    Pickens does have trust funds and other investments in

    Read More »from How oil titan T. Boone Pickens doles out his fortune
  • Why oil and gas companies are barely scraping by

    Last quarter, over 86% of energy sector operating profits were used to cover the interest payments on debt.

    The U.S. energy sector (XLE) is facing $370 billion of debt, a number that has more than doubled in the past decade. But even as oil rebounds off 13-year lows, many energy companies are struggling to stay afloat.

    To simply make the interest payments on the debt, energy companies shelled out $16.7 billion last year—about half of their total operating profit, according to data compiled by FactSet and Yahoo Finance.

    The figures from the past quarter are increasingly grim: over 86% of energy sector operating profits were used to cover the interest payments on debt.

    Yahoo FinanceYahoo Finance

    “Servicing debt is a huge component right now, which is why they need a higher oil price,” said Dan Dicker, President of MercBloc. “But even if they were able to service…the question becomes how will they be able to raise capital when these notes come due?”

    While $5.1 billion of U.S. energy debt matures this year, $25.1 billion will mature in 2017. The number risies to $52.5 billion in 2020.

    “There’s not a lot of this debt that

    Read More »from Why oil and gas companies are barely scraping by
  • Chinese nationals overtook Canadians as the largest foreign buyers of U.S. residential real estate for the first time ever.

    The Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group co-authored a new report that found Chinese buyers spent at least $93 billion on homes, including condos, for living and investment purposes, between 2010 and 2015.

    Chinese investment in commercial real estate was also substantial — spending rose at an annual rate of 70% — but Canada, Singapore and Norway still have acquired more U.S. real estate in dollar volume than China.

    One of the increasingly popular investment methods for the wealthy Chinese is a program called EB-5, also known as the immigrant investor program. Foreigners invest capital to get on the fast track to obtain a green card. Since Congress first created the program in 1990, the program has resulted in $11 billion of investment from Chinese, or about 70% of total EB-5 investments from all countries.

    Bruce Pickering, Vice President of Global Programs at

    Read More »from China just overtook Canada as the largest foreign buyer of US residential real estate
  • Consumer prices increase the most since 2013

    Wall Street is having a tough time building on yesterday's rally. All three major averages  (^DJI^GSPC^IXIC) are lower across the board in early trading as oil prices (CLM16.NYM) backed away from 2016 highs and after consumer prices increased the most since February 2013 last month due largely to a jump in gas prices and rents.

    The Labor Department reported the consumer price index rose 0.4% in April after a 0.1% increase in March. 

    Home Depot's (HD) quarterly results bucked the recent disappointing trend we've seen in the retail sector. The home improvement retailer reported a beat on both its top and bottom lines in the first quarter. Revenue rose 9% from a year earlier thanks to stronger-than-expected same-stores sales growth.

    Lending Club (LC) is eyeing a fresh all-time low after the online lender disclosed late yesterday that it received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice. Shares of Lending Club have fallen about 15% since it reported first quarter

    Read More »from Consumer prices increase the most since 2013
  • Most of us will risk getting malware for a killer beach bod: Survey

    Consumers want to get sick beach bods, and don't care if it messes up their computers.Consumers want to get sick beach bods, and don't care if it messes up their computers.

    It turns out most of us will do damn near anything to get a killer beach bod for the summer — whether that’s going on a weeklong kale-juice cleanse or picking up some sweet malware on our computers.

    According to a survey conducted by Intel’s security arm, some 88% of consumers have clicked on pop-up ads for diets and fitness programs despite knowing the dangers of such ads.

    The survey of 15,000 people between the ages of 21 and 54 also revealed that 30% of respondents had “purchased a service or product from a promotional link without knowing whether or not it’s a secure site.”

    That’s like buying a bottle of magic diet pills from the shady guy who hangs out on your street corner in shorts during the winter and expecting not to get sick.

    Consumers aren’t just wasting their money, either. By clicking on those ads, they risk loading up their computers with all types of fun malware.

    Here’s the thing: Criminals are always trying to get an edge on their victims and authorities. That’s what

    Read More »from Most of us will risk getting malware for a killer beach bod: Survey

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