Thursday, September 22, 2016

US Dollar is down; Nasdaq hits new high

US Dollar, finance, economy, stocks, wall st.

The U.S. dollar retreats Thursday amid investors doubt that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year. In the WSJ Dollar Index (US$ vs 16 other currency) was down by 0.1% to 86.297. The dollar went down against the euro, British pound and some emerging-market currencies but was higher against the Japanese yen.

Last Wednesday, the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged but signaled it could tighten policy in the months ahead. Still, investors remain doubtful that rates will go up this year. According to Fed officials they want to raise short-term borrowing costs but have been repeatedly stymied by turmoil in global markets and a string of soft data, from U.S. economic growth to productivity. Even though reports about the U.S. economy is in good shape and unemployment rate is falling.

The central bank also has acknowledged that rates are likely to remain lower in the future as economic growth slows, which analysts see as a negative for the dollar.

The biggest question is why there are reports that the economy is doing great and umployment rate is improving but when it comes to the Feds the sky is falling? Maybe Donald Trump is right about the Federal Reserve, doing what President Barack Obama wants by keeping interest rates low.

U.S. stocks extend gains as Nasdaq rallies to record high

U.S. stocks climbed for a third session Thursday as the Nasdaq finished at a record-high close following the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep the interest rates low. The S&P 500 rose 14 points, or 0.6%, to end at 2,177 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 98 points, or 0.5%, to finish at 18,391. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 44 points, or 0.8%, to close at 5,339 after touching an intra-day record of 5,342.88. The Fed on Wednesday kept rates unchanged even as Chairwoman Janet Yellen hinted that a tighter monetary policy is likely by the year end.

- U.S. jobless claims drop to two-month low
- hits all-time high on analyst report
- Indexes up: Dow 0.54 pct, S&P 0.65 pct, Nasdaq 0.84 pct (Updates with close of U.S. markets)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

U.S. household income up by 5.2% in 2015 but still poorer than it was 15 years ago

economy, business, jobs

The Middle-class Americans and the poor American families have experience their first gain in eight years. The Census Bureau reported Tuesday, that the median household income rose 5.2% from a year earlier, after adjusting for inflation, or $2,800, to $56,500. The rise broke a long streak of disappointment for American workers but did not fully repair the damage inflicted by the Great Recession. The household incomes now is around 1.6% below the 2007 level, before the last recession began, and around 2.4% below the all-time high reached in 1999.

Officials at the Census Bureau said that the 5.2% growth rate was not statistically distinguishable from five other previous increases in the data over a 50-year period, most recently the 3.7 percent jump from 1997 to 1998.

There are some statistics that suggested that the year 2015 was strong for US workers. Just last week, the Agriculture Department reported their yearly data on hunger in the United States. It shows that food insecurity declined substantially last year for the first time since the recession.

Economic growth has lagged in 2016, but the labor market has remained strong, suggesting continued income gains. The unemployment rate declined to 4.9% last month. Adjusted for inflation, wages for full-time workers were up by nearly 2% in the first half of the year, compared with the same point in 2015.

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index is down from last year.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Asian Shares Gave Varied Results Ahead of U.S. Jobs Report

Asian Pilot

Asian markets gave varied results Friday as investors awaited latest U.S. job data that could influence the Fed's interest rate policy. If there's a sooner than expected rate increase in September by the Federal Reserve, it could pull foreign capital out of emerging markets in Asia, according to analysts. Even though a December rate increase would have already been priced in by investors.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.9%, with the Nikkei Stock Average flat, and Singapore’s Straits Times Index falling 0.4%. South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.2 percent to 2,037.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5 percent to 23,275.83 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China slipped 0.1 percent to 3,060.06. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Thailand fell while indexes in the Philippines, Indonesia and New Zealand rose.

A report on U.S. jobs due out later Friday is likely to be the big market moving event of the day, though Asian investors won't get a chance to react until next week. Economists forecast that the nonfarm payroll report will show employers added 180,000 jobs in August, according to a survey by data provider FactSet. That would be under July's 255,000 extra jobs and 292,000 in June, which was an eight-month high.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Stock in Asia Mixed as Oil Prices Fall and Dollar Loses Ground

Business, Finance, stocks, world economy

Asian Shares gave mixed results on Tuesday, as oil prices fell and the U.S. dollar weakened ahead of a key meeting of Federal Reserve officials and other central bankers later this week.

The Nikkei Stock Average lost 0.4%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 were up by 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down by 0.3%, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.2%. The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI was down 0.1%.

Crude-oil prices sank below $47 a barrel in New York overnight on skepticism the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would reach a deal to cut production, sending commodity stocks in Japan sharply lower. Oil explorer Inpex was down 1.9%, while Japan Petroleum Exploration slid 3.4%. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was recently down 1% from the previous close to $48.67 a barrel, a five-day low.

Copper three-month futures on the London Metal Exchange hovered near six-week lows, and share prices of mining companies on Australia’s benchmark index rose.

U.S. dollar slipped against other major currencies as the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note fell to 1.55% from around 1.60%. The U.S. dollar index was recently down 0.1%. The yen rose 0.1% against the dollar, adding to pressure on Japanese exporters by making them less competitive, with auto makers Honda Motor falling 2.1% and Mazda Motor shedding 3% of its value.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Macy's to close 100 stores, Legacy Retailers Hit Hard by Online Discount Stores

Macys, retailers, business

A lot of top retailers in the U.S. are feeling the heat, yes American consumer are still buying but they don't want to pay the full price and they want to shop at home. Legacy stores has been hit hard by this consumer shift. Macy’s, the largest department store in the U.S., announced on Thursday that they would close 100 stores. The company said that they were more valuable as real estate properties. The department store chain continues to shrink.

Well, all is not lost. Macy's has a plan and they also announced a series of strategic changes to lure shoppers.  The plan includes bringing in more brand shops within the stores, improving online search and ordering and hosting in-store events to drive foot traffic.

The closure of 100 store is 15% of Macy's 675 full-line locations. It is only the latest round of closures Macy's has undertaken in recent years to rid the company of unprofitable stores. The company didn't identified the locations of stores that will close, but said they represent about $1 billion in annual sales, excluding sales the company expects to retain online or at nearby stores. That's nearly 4% of Macy's total annual sales in 2015.

Investors were happy about the latest news that send Macy's stock up 17% on Thursday to $39.81 a share, up $5.81. Still, the stock is down about 40% from its 52-week high.

Also Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said on Monday that they would purchase a small online rival for more than $3 billion. The hope is that the deal will reverse its sputtering online growth.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Google AD Business is Surging

google ads, business, economy

Google parent company the Alphabet Inc. reported their quarterly profit that surge 24%, these surge is driven by consumers’ rapid shift to mobile devices.

The company said that more companies are continuing to buy more ads on its search engine and other products, while users due to mischievous Google techniques unknowingly clicked on those ads. Revenue, fueled by Google’s advertising business, rose 21% to $21.5 billion in the second quarter from a year ago, beating analysts’ average estimate of $20.76 billion.

With the continued increase of smartphones that are connected by internet more and more people worldwide are boosting internet use and in effect it is also increasing people who use the free services of Google and Facebook Inc.

Alphabet stock, which struggled and went down by 1.6% in 2016 through Thursday’s close, jumped 4% in after-hours trading. The company had recently struggled to meet investor expectations, with earnings missing analysts’ estimates in eight of the past 12 quarters.

Facebook, Google’s chief rival, also is gaining strength from mobile. Facebook said Wednesday that its second-quarter profit nearly tripled from a year earlier to $2.1 billion, easily beating Wall Street estimates. Mobile accounted for 84% of its $6.2 billion in second-quarter advertising sales.

While Google still controls about 31% of the roughly $187 billion world-wide digital-ad market, Facebook’s market share has risen to 12% from 8.6% in 2014, according to research firm eMarketer.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Verizon is close to Acquiring Yahoo

CEO Marissa Mayer

Bids for Yahoo which is headed by CEO Marissa Mayer, were due on Monday, and expert says that Verizon has long been the front-runner.

On a report on Bloomberg News, it said that Verizon is nearing a deal to buy the core business of internet company Yahoo. Verizon is negotiating the amount that they will pay which is close to $5 billion for Yahoo’s core internet business after emerging as the lead suitor in the final round of bidding. While some people said that that Yahoo worth as much as $10 billion for its core business (excludes its stake in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan) bids so far came in below that.

Among those believed to also have submitted final bids for Yahoo were telecom giant AT&T, Dan Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans and owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team, supported by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Private equity firm TPG has also been among the suitors that were in the final final round.

Verizon is due to report earnings next week on Tuesday, July 26, so that’s a logical day for the news to come out. When Verizon executive were asked for comment on reports about this possibility of the deal, all they say is “watch this space”.

“No comment at this time,” Caroline Campbell, SVP of brand and communications at AOL, said in an emailed response.

Later, a report from Recode noted that Verizon, which had originally thought to be offering around $3 billion for core assets, might have bumped its figure up to about $5 billion.