|Bid||164.80 x 800|
|Ask||164.91 x 800|
|Day's Range||163.53 - 165.12|
|52 Week Range||128.32 - 169.99|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.33|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||16.06|
|Earnings Date||Aug 16, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.04 (1.86%)|
|1y Target Est||168.89|
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he’d summon social media companies for a meeting at the White House to discuss conservative grievances about alleged political bias on their platforms, and that he had directed his administration to explore methods to protect online speech.“We will ask representatives of the major social media platforms to join me at the White House over the next month,” Trump told his audience at an event Thursday the White House billed as a “social media summit.”“Have a big meeting and a real conversation,” Trump said. He also said he would direct the administration to “explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free speech rights of all Americans.”“We’re fighting for you very hard,” the president said earlier, after he and other speakers at the event complained of suffering censorship by social media companies. “We’re going to be calling a big meeting of the companies for -- in a week or two. They have to be here.”While Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. and other internet platforms weren’t invited to Thursday’s event, several presidential fans, provocateurs, leaders of conservative groups, media figures, and lawmakers said they were going -- including some who’ve faced allegations of racism and antisemitism, trolling and conspiracy theories.“Some of you are extraordinary,” Trump told the audience. “Can’t say everybody. The crap you think of is unbelievable.”Later, he added: “Some of you guys are out there. I mean it’s genius, but it’s bad.”Representatives of Google, Facebook and Twitter declined to comment on the potential White House meeting.Bias ClaimsThe president said the “journalists” and “influencers” who attended the event are “fulfilling a vital role in our nation” by communicating “directly with our citizens without having to go through the fake news filter.” Trump has often said his @realDonaldTrump Twitter account, where he frequently announces official news, is vital for him to communicate directly with the American public.Despite claims that they face systematic bias by companies hosting social media platforms, Trump enjoys an audience of about 62 million followers at his personal Twitter account and more than 24 million at his official Facebook page. He said he and his summit audience reach a combined “half a billion followers.”“I know that we’ve been blocked,” Trump said, relating anecdotes about people telling him they were unable to follow his Twitter account.The event was billed as a way to “bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment,” according to a statement announcing the meeting. But the confirmed attendees were primarily conservative tech critics who echo Trump’s own complaints that social media systematically silences conservative voices.Trump said that when the conference concludes, he’ll speak on the 2020 U.S. Census. Trump will retreat from his effort to include a citizenship question in the decennial census after a defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court, and will seek the information through other means, an administration official said.The president has repeatedly accused large technology platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google of anti-conservative bias, with little evidence. Last month, he said the U.S. government should sue Facebook and Google for unspecified wrongdoing.In May, the administration posted a form urging people to report potential political censorship by the social media companies, which White House spokesman Judd Deere said on Wednesday got “thousands of responses.” The form is now defunct.“I don’t think there’s going to be serious policy matters discussed,” said Ethan Porter, a professor at George Washington University who has studied the political role of media in the Trump era. “It looks like a theatrical gathering at the White House -- a venting session for conservative media stars.”Senator Josh Hawley also spoke at the event. The Missouri Republican is pushing legislation that would require social media companies to certify they don’t engage in censorship based on politics or face revocation of liability protections for content their users post. Trump called his proposal “important.”QAnon, O’KeefeThe summit attracted figures like Bill Mitchell, a Twitter booster of Trump’s who has promoted the conspiracy theory known as QAnon; as well as the person behind a pro-Trump meme account known as @CarpeDonktum, whose work has attracted retweets from the president.Brent Bozell, who heads an organization devoted to exposing alleged liberal media bias and once compared President Barack Obama to “a skinny, ghetto crackhead,” was also expected, alongside another Twitter personality who has said the media was pushing a civil war.The conservative nonprofit Project Veritas, which uses undercover sting operations in attempts to expose wrongdoing, said founder James O’Keefe would be there. Senator Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican and frequent Google critic, is scheduled to attend, as is Republican Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida.Traditional Washington conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation will be represented. So will a fairly new one, the youth-focused group Turning Point USA, which has been accused of promoting baseless claims against liberals.The White House schedule initially listed the event as closed to the press, but a revised version said Trump’s remarks will be open to reporters. “The Fake News Media will also be there, but for a limited period,” Trump tweeted.Ben Garrison, a pro-Trump political cartoonist, tweeted Wednesday that his invitation had been rescinded after criticism that one of his works, which depicted Jewish financiers controlling U.S. foreign policy, was anti-Semitic. Garrison denied the accusation.Election ConnectionAccusing social media companies of shutting out conservative agendas could help Trump maintain ties to allies, some of whom have devoted media followings of their own, Porter said. Trump officially launched his re-election campaign last month, and it reported last week that he and the Republican National Committee had together raised $105 million in the second quarter and had $100 million in available cash.Nearly 65% of Republicans or those who lean Republican believe big tech companies support liberal views over conservative ones, and a full 85% think it’s at least somewhat likely the companies are intentionally censoring viewpoints, according to a Pew Research Center survey from last year.“There is a segment of the population that’s motivated to get out to vote based on what they’re against,” said Kevin Madden, a former spokesman for Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign who has also worked with technology companies.Michael Beckerman, president of the Internet Association, a trade group that represents large technology companies, said in a statement that his members provide “the best tool for promoting voices from all political perspectives in history,” including conservatives.“Internet companies are not biased against any political ideology, and conservative voices in particular have used social media to great effect,” Beckerman said.Pressure on the technology companies is increasing in Washington as Republicans in Congress dig into allegations of conservative bias, Democrats in the House conduct an antitrust inquiry and enforcers at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission divvy up oversight of Google, Facebook, Apple Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. Politicians from both parties are also exploring limiting liability protections that the companies enjoy for third-party content.Jesse Blumenthal, who directs tech policy for the network of groups funded by the libertarian Koch brothers, said that those on the right have long feared gatekeepers would keep conservative opinions from out of the public square.“That is not a new complaint,” said Blumenthal, who advocates for the government to stay out of speech issues. “What is new is, so what do you want the government to do about it?”The fight to remove the government from regulating speech resulted in the successful push to end the “fairness doctrine” that required television broadcasters give equal amounts of time to candidates seeking public office, Blumenthal said. Trump has mused about bringing the idea back for social media.\--With assistance from Alyza Sebenius and Margaret Talev.To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Brody in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, Justin BlumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The White House abandoned a push to end rebates paid to middlemen who negotiate drug prices on behalf of health insurers, a move that could turn scrutiny back on how drugmakers themselves set prices.President Donald Trump has made lowering prescription-drug costs a top priority of his administration, and ending rebates was seen as a vital part of that effort.The reversal caused investors to recalibrate their expectations. After mostly languishing this year, shares of companies that operate large pharmacy-benefit managers rallied, with CVS Health Corp. rising 7% to $59.23 at 9:35 a.m. in New York, while UnitedHealth Group Inc. advanced 3% to $254.98.The president’s proposal would have prohibited drugmakers from paying rebates to PBMs in government programs such as Medicare. The move could have upended a complex system that influences tens of billions of dollars of pharmaceutical spending.“Based on careful analysis and thorough consideration, the President has decided to withdraw the rebate rule,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman. He said that the administration was encouraged by bipartisan discussion on legislation to control drug costs.Rebates had become a popular target of criticism in Washington after drug companies lobbied aggressively to cast them as the reason for high prices. Pharmacy-benefit managers negotiate drug discounts in the form of rebates, often keeping some of that money for themselves.The practice, critics said, gives drugmakers a reason to keep list prices high, distorts incentives for drug plans who are supposed to prioritize the interest of their clients and leaves consumers paying more out of pocket for prescription drugs.Substantial ShiftThe about-face represents a second dramatic turn this week for the Trump administration’s campaign to rein in rising pharmaceutical costs. On Monday, a federal judge ruled the Department of Health and Human Services overstepped its authority with its plan to force drugmakers to disclose list prices in advertisements.Pharmacy-benefit managers blame drug companies for soaring prices and have said that rebates help keep overall health costs down.“We’re pleased the administration recognized the impact the rebate rule would have on seniors,” said CVS spokesman T.J. Crawford, “and look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders on lowering drug costs. Any solution should start with addressing drug prices.”The end of the rebate push is likely to swing discussion back toward the pricing practices of big drugmakers, and it could add momentum to other proposals that have been floated by the administration, such as tying drug costs to an index of international pharmaceutical prices. Trump last week said his administration is working on an executive order to tie drug prices in U.S. government health programs to the rates paid by other industrialized nations.The shift is “a substantial setback for drug manufacturers that could have seen a windfall” from the rebate overhaul, said Hunter Hammond, an analyst at Height Securities, in a note to clients.The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index, often viewed as a barometer of investor sentiment about drug prices, was down 1.2% in New York.(Adds opening share prices in third paragraph)\--With assistance from Margaret Talev and Robert Langreth.To contact the reporter on this story: Anna Edney in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Drew Armstrong at email@example.com, Timothy AnnettFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump on Monday boasted the U.S. is ranked No. 1 for access to clean drinking water as he emphasized American environmental gains despite seeking to roll back rules meant to preserve them.“From day one, my administration has made it a top priority to ensure America has the cleanest air and water in the planet,” Trump said to conservative advocates assembled in the the East Room of the White House.Trump rattled off an array of achievements, including reductions in conventional air pollution, the cleanup of toxic Superfund sites and efforts to combat algae blooms in Florida.Trump’s address on “America’s environmental leadership” came as polls show voters increasingly concerned about global warming and unhappy with the president’s approach to the issue. Just 29% of voters in a Washington Post-ABC News telephone survey released Monday said they approved of the way Trump is handling climate change.As the effects of climate change become more apparent in the form of catastrophic hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires, Trump’s environmental agenda has focused chiefly on rewriting Obama-era rules limiting greenhouse gas emissions -- not imposing aggressive new mandates that would keep global warming in check.Environmental advocates called the episode surreal. “It must be opposite day at the White House,” quipped Dan Lashof, U.S. director of the World Resources Institute.Jill Tauber, vice president of litigation, climate and energy at Earthjustice, said it was “absurd for President Trump to claim any environmental credentials when his administration continues to drive a destructive pro-polluter agenda at the expense of the American people.”Democratic opponents have criticized the president’s record and are competing to outdo each other with proposals for throttling heat-warming carbon dioxide emissions. During two days of presidential debates last month, the candidates cast Trump as retreating from an urgent global fight to prevent the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. Almost all of the Democratic presidential candidates have pledged to rejoin the Paris climate accord -- or strengthen U.S. greenhouse-gas-cutting commitments. And Washington Governor Jay Inslee has made the issue the centerpiece of his bid for the White House.Critics cast Trump’s speech as a failed effort to rehab his image, with Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at League of Conservation Voters, calling it “a made-for-TV moment from our made-for-TV president trying to make up for some bad poll numbers on his environmental record.”But Trump -- contrasting his record with his predecessor’s -- said he’s managed to protect the environment without destroying jobs.“A strong economy is vital to maintaining a healthy environment,” he said.Indeed, the U.S. has made strides cleaning up its air and water have since the 1970s, after a series of environmental disasters -- an oil spill off the California coast, toxic pollution emanating from New York’s Love Canal and Ohio’s Cuyahoga River bursting into flames -- spurred anti-pollution laws and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.Conventional criteria air pollution has dropped 73% from 1970 to 2017, even though the economy grew more than 260% in the same time. And while 40% of U.S. water systems failed to meet drinking water standards in 1970, more than 90% do today, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Monday.Yet environmental advocates say those gains were driven by decades-old federal clean air and water laws that Trump is now undermining. The administration’s overhaul of former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan -- replacing sweeping power-plant pollution curbs for modest efficiency improvements at the sites -- was published in the government’s Federal Register on Monday.In fact, carbon dioxide emissions that drive climate change just increased, after generally falling since 2005. There was a 2.7% hike in greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel combustion in 2018, the second-largest annual increase since 2000, according to a report from the Rhodium Group LLC. And economy wide, greenhouse gas emissions likely rose between 1.5% and 2.5% last year -- putting U.S. emissions at 10.7% to 11.6% below 2005 levels, a common benchmark.Trump’s environmental record is nothing to boast about, said Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation. “Actions speak louder than words -- and for the past 900 days this administration has repeatedly acted to allow more mercury, smog and carbon pollution into our air, more nutrient and sediment pollution into our waterways, and more destruction of essential wildlife habitat in our treasured natural places,” he said by email.Trump made revamping environmental regulation a signature issue on the campaign trail and rapidly moved to fulfill those promises once in the White House. He directed the Interior Department to resume selling coal on federal land, ending a moratorium imposed under Obama. His administration began easing limits on oil well releases of methane, a super-potent greenhouse gas. Trump promised the U.S. would abandon the Paris climate accord -- a global pact to cut emissions. And the Trump administration has proposed freezing vehicle emission and fuel economy standards at 2020 levels, preventing planned increases that had been set in motion under Obama.Under Trump, political appointees have overruled concerns from EPA experts, revamped scientific advisory panels and moved to discount the health benefits of cleaning up some air pollution.Trump administration officials and supporters emphasize that the U.S. can make environmental progress without the heavy hand of government. And they have asserted that the administration’s regulatory changes will unleash private sector innovation, allowing both the U.S. economy and environment to thrive.“President Trump has shown true leadership on the environment from day one,” said Mandy Gunasekara, a former deputy assistant administrator at the EPA. “He strategically focused his administrative resources toward addressing tangible environmental issues with practical solutions so all our nation’s citizens can enjoy access to the cleanest air and safest drinking water.”To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at email@example.com, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Dividend paying stocks like Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) tend to be popular with investors, and for good reason - some...
Over the past century, Caterpillar CAT has skillfully constructed a product portfolio that has made it the largest construction and mining equipment manufacturer in the world. Through this process, it has developed the world's most valuable heavy equipment brand. While many of the segments Caterpillar operates in are highly competitive, we believe its strategy of investing in optimal product design coupled with strong brand development places it far ahead of the competition and will continue to do so.
AccuWeather founder and CEO Dr. Joel Myers talks about the flooding in the Midwest and climate change.
The U.S-China trade war truce is likely to buoy the agricultural equipment industry which has been plagued with trade concerns.
On June 25, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue told CNN in an interview that the US-China trade war has impacted US farmers. He said that farmers “are one of the casualties” of the trade war.
The farm economy is accelerating while the rest of the market is decelerating. That means it’s time to own farming stocks, according to observers on Wall Street.