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China Fears Spread Beyond Bitcoin As Crypto Markets Slide

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Many digital currencies suffered notable losses on 9th February, as traders responded to fears triggered by the latest Chinese developments.

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Yelp plunges after sales outlook misses estimates (YELP)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

yelp chicago red shirt

Yelp shares slumped by as much as 11% in after-hours trading Thursday after the company's projection for first-quarter sales missed analysts' expectations. 

The business-reviews site said it expected first-quarter revenue in a range of $195 million to $199 million. But analysts had estimated $204.4 million, according to Bloomberg. 

Yelp reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.27 for the fourth quarter, topping the forecast for $0.25. Net revenue was $194.8 million, a hair above the estimate for $194.4 million. "We had an outstanding year, growing local revenue by 39%," said CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in the earnings release.

The stock's drop in after-hours trading was a blip, as it gained 129% in the year through Thursday's market close.

SEE ALSO: Yum Brands whiffs on sales as fewer people eat at Pizza Hut

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Yelp plunges after sales outlook misses estimates (YELP)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

yelp chicago red shirt

Yelp shares slumped by as much as 11% in after-hours trading Thursday after the company's projection for first-quarter sales missed analysts' expectations. 

The business-reviews site said it expected first-quarter revenue in a range of $195 million to $199 million. But analysts had estimated $204.4 million, according to Bloomberg. 

Yelp reported adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.27 for the fourth quarter, topping the forecast for $0.25. Net revenue was $194.8 million, a hair above the estimate for $194.4 million. "We had an outstanding year, growing local revenue by 39%," said CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in the earnings release.

Local advertising accounts — an important metric that tracks how many small businesses are patronizing Yelp — grew 24% year-over-year in Q4 to about 138,000. 

The stock's drop in after-hours trading was a blip, as it gained 129% in the year through Thursday's market close.

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 4.35.34 PM

SEE ALSO: Yum Brands whiffs on sales as fewer people eat at Pizza Hut

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STOCKS HIT ALL-TIME HIGHS: Here's what you need to know

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

opera singer

Stocks touched all-time highs on Thursday after US President Donald Trump said he would release his plan to reform the tax system in the next few weeks.

Although they back-tracked on some of their gains near the end of the trading day, all three major indices still finished in the green.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,172.40, +118.06, (+0.59%)
  • S&P 500: 2,307.87, +13.20, (+0.58%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,715.18, +32.73, (0.58%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.397%, +0.057
  • WTI Crude: $53.09 per barrel, +0.75, +1.34%

1. US President Donald Trump said that in the new few weeks he will release his plan to reform the US tax system. "We're going to be announcing something over the next, I would say, two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax," Trump said at a meeting with airline executives on Thursday. He added that he is "lowering the overall tax burden on American businesses, big league."

2. The Bank of Mexico hiked rates by 50 basis points to 6.25% in its latest interest-rate decision. In the accompanying statement, the bank noted that emerging markets were facing greater uncertainty regarding fiscal, commercial, and migration policies under consideration by the new US administration.

3. Airline stocks rallied after Trump promised to fix the "out of whack" air traffic control system. American Airlines was up by over 3%, Southwest was up by 2.7%, JetBlue was up by 3.6%, United Continental was up by 1.7%, and Delta was up by 2.9%.

4. Twitter's stock tanked after the company warned its revenue growth would continue to "lag" its recent spike in users. Its stock was down by 10.6% in premarket trading on Thursday. 

5. Bitcoin tanked after Chinese exchanges announced they were blocking customers from withdrawing their bitcoins. The cryptocurrency was down by 9.6% around 9:30 a.m. ET. Thursday's announcements are notable because nearly 100% of all bitcoin transactions take place on Chinese exchanges.

6. New York City landlords have never been this aggressive about filling up vacant apartmentsIn January, concessions like a month of free rent and brand-new appliances rose to a record high in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to the real-estate appraiser Douglas Elliman. Concessions hit new highs for a fourth straight month, and the share of new leases with such giveaways was above 30% for the first time.

7. Yum Brands whiffed on sales as fewer people eat at Pizza HutYum Brands Inc, the owner of KFC and Taco Bell, reported a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly sales at established restaurants worldwide as fewer diners ate at its Pizza Hut chain.

8. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fellClaims, which provide a weekly count of the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time, fell to 234,000. Moreover, the four-week moving average came in at 244,250, which is the lowest level since November 3, 1973 when it was 244,000.

Additionally:

One chart shows just how devastating healthcare costs are for American families.

Here's one name Trump will hear when he looks to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair.

Trump's plan to make Wall Street unregulated again won't go unchallenged.

This is how you know something desperate is going on in China's economy.

Top Bridgewater exec explains how its intense, unique culture helped the world's largest hedge fund make $50 billion.

Be very afraid of the stock market, argues Business Insider's Linette Lopez.

Here's how many people in every state don't have health insurance.

SEE ALSO: Famous last words of 18 famous people

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how to use one of the many apps to buy and trade bitcoin

STOCKS HIT ALL-TIME HIGHS: Here's what you need to know

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

opera singer

Stocks touched all-time highs on Thursday after US President Donald Trump said he would release his plan to reform the tax system in the next few weeks.

Although they back-tracked on some of their gains near the end of the trading day, all three major indices still finished in the green.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 20,181.12, +126.78, (+0.63%)
  • S&P 500: 2,308.66, +13.93, (+0.61%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,716.30, +33.86, (0.60%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.400%, +0.060
  • WTI Crude: $53.04 per barrel, +0.70, +1.34%

1. US President Donald Trump said that in the new few weeks he will release his plan to reform the US tax system. "We're going to be announcing something over the next, I would say, two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax," Trump said at a meeting with airline executives on Thursday. He added that he is "lowering the overall tax burden on American businesses, big league."

2. The Bank of Mexico hiked rates by 50 basis points to 6.25% in its latest interest-rate decision. In the accompanying statement, the bank noted that emerging markets were facing greater uncertainty regarding fiscal, commercial, and migration policies under consideration by the new US administration.

3. Airline stocks rallied after Trump promised to fix the "out of whack" air traffic control system. American Airlines was up by over 3%, Southwest was up by 2.7%, JetBlue was up by 3.6%, United Continental was up by 1.7%, and Delta was up by 2.9%.

4. Twitter's stock tanked after the company warned its revenue growth would continue to "lag" its recent spike in users. Its stock was down by 10.6% in premarket trading on Thursday. 

5. Bitcoin tanked after Chinese exchanges announced they were blocking customers from withdrawing their bitcoins. The cryptocurrency was down by 9.6% around 9:30 a.m. ET. Thursday's announcements are notable because nearly 100% of all bitcoin transactions take place on Chinese exchanges.

6. New York City landlords have never been this aggressive about filling up vacant apartmentsIn January, concessions like a month of free rent and brand-new appliances rose to a record high in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to the real-estate appraiser Douglas Elliman. Concessions hit new highs for a fourth straight month, and the share of new leases with such giveaways was above 30% for the first time.

7. Yum Brands whiffed on sales as fewer people eat at Pizza HutYum Brands Inc, the owner of KFC and Taco Bell, reported a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly sales at established restaurants worldwide as fewer diners ate at its Pizza Hut chain.

8. Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fellClaims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time since the past week, fell to 234,000. Moreover, the four-week moving came came in at 244,250, which is the lowest level since November 3, 1973 when it was 244,000.

Additionally:

One chart shows just how devastating healthcare costs are for American families.

Here's one name Trump will hear when he looks to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair.

Trump's plan to make Wall Street unregulated again won't go unchallenged.

This is how you know something desperate is going on in China's economy.

Top Bridgewater exec explains how its intense, unique culture helped the world's largest hedge fund make $50 billion.

Be very afraid of the stock market, argues Business Insider's Linette Lopez.

Here's how many people in every state don't have health insurance.

SEE ALSO: Famous last words of 18 famous people

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how to use one of the many apps to buy and trade bitcoin

Here's how many people in every state don't have health insurance

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The percentage of Americans without health insurance hit an all-time low in 2016, mostly due to the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

Despite the substantial decrease in the national rate, there is a substantial variance in the uninsurance rate between states.

According to new data from Gallup-Healthways, the highest uninsured rate is in Texas, where 20.5% of people do not have coverage. This is also the ninth straight year that Texas has had the highest uninsured rate according to the survey.

Massachusetts and Hawaii, which notably had expansive health coverage laws prior to the ACA, are tied for the lowest percentage of people without coverage at 3.2% each. 

Additionally, the survey looked at which states had the biggest decreases in the uninsured rate between 2013 and 2016.

All 10 of the biggest drops came in states that expanded Medicaid via the Affordable Care Act, led by Kentucky. Right behind Kentucky's 12.6 percentage point drop was Arkansas with a 12.3 pp fall and West Virginia with a 11.5 pp drop.

On the other end, those states that did not see a dramatic reduction in their uninsured population share one of two traits,according to the survey.

"Of the 11 states with the smallest reductions, six have not expanded Medicaid," said the Gallup-Healthways survey release. "Among these 11, the states that have expanded Medicaid — Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Delaware and Minnesota — were already among the states with the lowest uninsured rates in the nation in 2013 and therefore had the least room for improvement."

state uninsurance rate map feb 2017

SEE ALSO: One chart shows just how devastating healthcare costs are for American families

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This is how you know something desperate is going on in China's economy

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

china man prays praying year of the rooster

Things are looking a bit desperate in China.

The country has been suffering from money outflows for months  — something that troubles Beijing because it pulls down the value of the Chinese yuan and makes the economy harder to manage.

But government measure to stem the outflows — like requiring citizens to report transfers over $10,000 and discouraging overseas acquisitions— still aren't showing up in the numbers. In January, up to $82.7 billion left the country, according to Bloomberg economist Tom Orlik, bringing currency reserves down below the $3 trillion mark.

Analysts are wondering how long the country can hold on without devaluing the currency, or taking control of it all together and undoing years of reforms to liberalize its markets.

"China's authorities have chosen to pursue harsher measures against capital outflows over a large change in the exchange rate to address the country's outflow problem, at least for now," said Autonomous Research analyst Charlene Chu in a note to clients last month.

She continued: "This could work for a few quarters, but we think closing the gates is not feasible over the long run for the largest trading nation in the world with a USD33trn banking sector. We expect growth to begin decelerating in 2Q17, as a weaker credit impulse passes through, but this is of secondary importance to outflows and the currency."

So things are getting real, but they're also getting surreal.

The government is looking in every nook and cranny to block any way money can leave the country without its knowledge. That is why on Wednesday the People's Bank of China had a meeting with the country's top Bitcoin exchanges, to urge them to keep money in the country.

Let that sink in. The Chinese government went after Bitcoin.

The next day, two exchanges announced that they would no longer allow withdrawals and the cryptocurrency crashed almost 10%

And of course, state media is on message — telling people to remain calm because the situation is not that serious, while also blaming outside forces their trouble.

One state-owned finance publication said that there is "no need to worry," because the overall fundamentals of the economy are good. It also blamed the issue of falling reserves on Tibet.

But right now reserves are important. China is using them to keep its currency, the yuan, stable as its value has been falling. The strong dollar is only been making that situation worse. 

And the reserves are important in the event of an emergency. The Chinese economy is transitioning from one based on manufacturing and exports, to one more based on services industries like retail and banking. That means a lot of massive, often state-owned companies are heavily indebted and need to be downsized. There's a lot that could go wrong there that China could use reserves for.

Now, China could take control of the yuan and fix its value, but it's clear from the media that the state wants to continue on its path to liberalization, not take steps back. It also wants to keep the currency stable. 

That, of course, means using more reserves to buy yuan and keep its value from falling too quickly. 

It's true China does have plenty of reserves in the tank. But it's also clear that the government is doing it's to downplay the meaning of the continuing drop. 
Across the board, over and over, publications are referring to the drop in reserves below $3 trillion as a "psychological" issue.

Get your head around that too.

SEE ALSO: One of the most brilliant China minds in the world has a warning for the 2nd half of 2017

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Lawyer Arrested in Attempt to Sell Confidential Complaint for Bitcoin

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A lawyer for a major US lobbying firm has been arrested and charged after trying to sell a sealed complaint in exchange for bitcoin.

Source

One chart shows just how devastating healthcare costs are for American families

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

doctor patient

  • A new study from JPMorgan Chase tracked the financial habits of American households around the time of a major medical expense.
  • On average, US households wait until they get an increase in income before paying for a major medical expense.
  • Major medical expenses lead to long-term increases in credit card debt and lower income and liquid assets.

Out-of-pocket healthcare costs in the US are among the fastest growing expenses for Americans, and they can be devastating.

JPMorgan Chase looked at the data of 250,000 banking customers to study their financial habits, and found just how difficult paying for a large medical expense can be.

According to the findings, families typically wait until they get a bump in income before they pay for a major medical expense. In the month before a major expense, incomes were 4% higher than average for households. Other discretionary expenses also increased the month before.

"This might suggest that some families delayed health care expenses until they had extra income to spend, and when they did so, they also increased expenses in other categories," said the report.

As we've noted before, households have cited medical expenses as one of their most demanding financial burdens, and 12% of Americans deferred seeing a doctor due to the costs in the last year.

Income and spending weren't the only things to increase around a large medical payment, according to JPMorgan Chase. Families also built up their borrowing around that time to finance the payments.

"When a major medical payment occurred, in aggregate, families experienced changes in not just their income and expenses but also their liquid assets and borrowing," said the report. "This was often by necessity—the $163 increase in income (4 percent relative to baseline, in aggregate) would not have been sufficient to fully pay for a major medical payment that was at least $400 and $2,089 on average."

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 11.20.30 AM

The changes in preparation for a medical expense also differed by income level, according to the study:

"Specifically, families in the lowest asset tercile increased their liquid assets by 14 percent ($1,102), compared to 8 percent ($869) among the middle tercile, and just 3 percent ($891) among the highest tercile prior to the major medical payment (Figure 20). This suggests that families with lower total assets were more likely to have been liquidity-constrained prior to the medical payment and were either paying off outstanding medical bills or had left a medical condition untreated until they were able to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses."

One explanation for this is that the uninsured rate for low-income families is typically higher. Thus, more of these costs are coming out of pocket, rather than through coverage, and require more planning.

According to the National Health Interview Survey, the government's premier survey on insurance statistics, 24.7% of "near poor" Americans go without insurance versus just 6.5% of "not poor" persons.

Perhaps the most startling statistic from the JPMorgan Chase findings is the length of time it takes for families to recover from the large medical expense.

"A year after a major medical payment families had not fully recovered financially relative to the baseline," the research said. "In aggregate, comparing 12 months after the medical payment to the baseline period, income was 3 percent ($112) lower, non-medical expenses were 1 percent ($56) lower, liquid assets were 2 percent lower ($410), and revolving balance was 9 percent ($217) higher."

Of note, according to JPMorgan Chase, is that the decline in income and non-medical expenses also indicates that the expenses show "major medical payments were associated with lasting changes in families’ financial well being."

SEE ALSO: 'The elephant in the courtroom': Federal judge says Cigna sabotaged its own merger that would've created largest US health insurer

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Anger Grows at PBOC’s Interference with Bitcoin

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

The post Anger Grows at PBOC’s Interference with Bitcoin appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF Offering Expands to $100 Million

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The scope of the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF has grown, new documents show.

Source

Trump's plan to make Wall Street unregulated again won't go unchallenged

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Donald Trump

Self-regulation is so 1990s.

But US President Donald Trump wants to bring it back, betting Americans have short enough memories that they will forget that the new rules were put into place to protect them, however imperfectly, from a repeat of the devastating 2008 financial crisis.

Given public views of Wall Street and the makeup of Congress, however, he may have some difficulty in removing those rules.

The latest reason he offered for the need to roll back post-crisis reform was, as Slate’s Jordan Weissmann put it, “hilariously flimsy.”

“We expect to be cutting a lot out of Dodd-Frank because, frankly, I have so many people, friends of mine, who have nice businesses who can’t borrow money. They just can’t get any money because the banks just won’t let them borrow, because of the rules and regulations in Dodd-Frank,” Trump said at a meeting with CEOs last week.

There is little evidence of a credit crunch in the US economy. But whatever Trump's motivations, we know, thanks to this handy breakdown from my colleague Frank Chaparro, what areas he and the Republican-controlled Congress intend to target. These include taking a more hands-off approach to banks considered too-big-to-fail and a roll back of the “Volcker rule” intended to prevent investment banks from gambling with customers’ money.

However, even though bank shareholders have salivated at the prospect of a return to the heyday of Wild West Wall Street, bidding stock prices higher, there are still more questions than answers.

Sean Tuffy, head of regulatory intelligence at Brown Brothers Harriman, has gone through a useful mental exercise that helps shed some light on what might happen — and what might not. In particular, Tuffy is skeptical that deregulation will simply sail through Congress given popular discontent with big banks and the fact that Trump himself ran for office on an anti-Wall Street platform.

Now that he is being advised by several former Goldman Sachs bankers, some have assumed the president will simply axe the existing legislation. But as Tuffy notes, it’s not that easy.

"Clearly there will be an attempt to reform elements of Dodd Frank," he says. “However, the Republicans don’t have a supermajority. Any substantive change will require cooperation from the Democrats. We can expect any attempt to repeal key elements of Dodd Frank to be met with stiff resistance."

In addition, says Tuffy, “the Trump administration needs to walk a tightrope on financial regulatory reform because anything seen as a giveaway to Wall Street could spark voter discontent. Given these two constraints, a bonfire of financial regulation still seems unlikely." 

SEE ALSO: Trump's push to roll back financial regulation is a 'big mistake' that threatens a new financial crisis

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Airlines are rallying after Trump promises to fix the 'out of whack' air traffic control system (AAL, UAL, DAL, LUV)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Donald Trump PlanePresident Trump met with the top CEOs in the US aviation industry on Thursday to discuss the industry's aging airports, air traffic control reform, and burdensome regulation. 

The meeting comes at a time of heightened tension within the industry as heads of the largest three US passenger carriers — American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines — have sought to pressure the new administration into denouncing the three major Middle Eastern carriers, which they accuse of having been unfairly subsidized by their governments.

In the meeting, President Donald Trump called the US air traffic control system out-of-date and also criticized current modernization efforts as the "wrong system" and too expensive. "I hear we're spending billions and billions of dollars, it's a system that's totally out of whack," Trump said according to Reuters.

He addressed U.S. carriers' concerns about trade agreements with foreign carriers and promised to renegotiate or scrap trade deals between the United States and other countries that he sees as unfair.

Curbing regulation was also a hot topic. "So we want to help you realize these goals by rolling back burdensome regulations, and you people are regulated probably as much as almost anybody," said Trump. "Lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league. That's coming along very well. We're way ahead of schedule, I believe, and we're going to be announcing something I would say over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax and developing our aviation infrastructure."

Those attending the White House meeting included the chief executives of United Airlines, Delta, Southwest Airlines and JetBlue.

American Airlines Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker, who previously called Trump's 90-day halt on travel to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries "divisive," did not attend due to a scheduling conflict.

Airlines are soaring on the news. 

 

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 11.49.45 AM

 

SEE ALSO: Trump takes aim at U.S. air traffic control spending

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European stocks had a killer day on Thursday

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Stocks across Europe had a killer day on Thursday, with most major bourses in eurozone nations ending higher by more than 1%.

The day's biggest winner was France's CAC 40, which closed 1.2% higher, pushed upward by pharmaceutical firm Sanofi (up 4.6%) and LafargeHolcim, a major building materials manufacturer (up 2.5%). Only a handful of stocks lost ground, with advertiser Publicis one significant faller.

Here's the CAC-wide chart:

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 17.01.39

Elsewhere, Spain's IBEX pulled higher by 1.16%, while Italy's FTSE MIB ended 0.88% higher, and Germany's DAX picked up by 0.85%.

Britain's FTSE 100 was something of a laggard compared to those indexes on continental Europe. The day's biggest winner on the FTSE was Royal Bank of Scotland (up 2.5%). Insurers Prudential and Standard Life also had strong days, gaining 2.1% and 2.3%, respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, mining firms Anglo American and Fresnillo were among the index's worst performers, losing 2.67% and 2.55%.

Stocks on the continent were helped in afternoon trading by better than expected jobless claims coming out of the US, boosted US stocks and in turn rippled into Europe.

Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time since the past week, fell to 234,000. This marks the 101st week straight of claims being below 300,000.

Here's how all Europe's major indexes looked as trading finished for the day:

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 16.48.09

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American Airlines gains even though people didn't travel as much in January (AAL)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

American Airlines is up 3.02% at $46.42 a share on Thursday morning despite a decline in January travel demand. 

The air carrier reported 0.3% decline in January traffic but said it continues to expect first quarter total revenue per available seat mile to be up 2.5 % to 4.5% year-over-year.

American Airlines reported earnings on January 27 which saw a fall in profit from a year earlier, when it recorded a $3 billion tax benefit.

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 11.49.45 AM

 

SEE ALSO: American Airlines profit plunges

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Chinese regulator ups pressure on bitcoin exchanges

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Price of Bitcoin

This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Fintech Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

Chinese bitcoin exchanges have had a challenging few months, as criticisms and warnings, as well as spot checks, from the People's Bank of China (PBOC) prompted the three largest exchanges to introduce fees for the first time to tamp down speculation.

This resulted in lower trading volumes in the process. Now, it looks like further hurdles for the exchanges might be on the horizon, with the PBOC calling representatives from bitcoin exchanges to a private meeting on Wednesday, according to unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg.

The details of the meeting were not disclosed, but what did emerge caused bitcoin prices to drop sharply. Bloomberg's sources did not name the exchanges the PBOC was meeting with, but did say they were all domestic. Money-laundering was one item on the agenda for discussion, the sources added. After Bloomberg broke the story shortly before 8 a.m. GMT on Wednesday, the price of bitcoin dropped by circa $30 on the CoinDesk exchange, or about 2%, according to Bloomberg data. Beijing-based trader Tian Jia told Bloomberg the price drop was likely due to continued uncertainty over the PBOC's plans for bitcoin regulation, and added that whenever the central bank has called meetings with the exchanges, bitcoin prices have plummeted.

This suggests that the PBOC would do well to make its stance toward bitcoin unambiguous. The regulator's current preoccupation with bitcoin stems in part from an intention to reduce the price volatility of the cryptocurrency. However, given that actions like calling private meetings and failing to clarify next steps spook investors, thereby provoking further price fluctuations, it seems logical that the sooner the PBOC issues clear regulatory measures for bitcoin, the sooner it will achieve the stability it is aiming for.

Blockchain technology, which is best known for powering Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is gaining steam among finance firms because of its potential to streamline processes and increase efficiency. The technology could cut costs by up to $20 billion annually by 2022, according to Santander.

That's because blockchain, which operates as a distributed ledger, has the ability to allow multiple parties to transfer and store sensitive information in a space that’s secure, permanent, anonymous, and easily accessible. That could simplify paper-heavy, expensive, or logistically complicated financial systems, like remittances and cross-border transfer, shareholder management and ownership exchange, and securities trading, to name a few. And outside of finance, governments and the music industry are investigating the technology’s potential to simplify record-keeping.

As a result, venture capital firms and financial institutions alike are pouring investment into finding, developing, and testing blockchain use cases. Over 50 major financial institutions are involved with collaborative blockchain startups, have begun researching the technology in-house, or have helped fund startups with products rooted in blockchain. 

Jaime Toplin, research associate for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on blockchain technology that explains how blockchain works, why it has the potential to provide a watershed moment for the financial industry, and the different ways it could be put into practice in the coming years.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Spending on capital markets applications of blockchain is expected to grow at a 52% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2019, according to Aite Group, to reach $400 million that year.
  • Banks and major financial institutions are working both collaboratively and independently to develop blockchain tech. Over 50 major financial institutions are involved with collaborative blockchain startups, like R3 CEV or Chain. And many are investing in the technology on their own as well.
  • Putting blockchain to use for real-world transactions is likely not that far off. If working groups' tests are successful, firms could be using it to transact real value as early as the end of this year and we could see widespread industry application within the next few years. 

In full, the report:

  • Examines the funding increases that are pouring into blockchain
  • Assesses why blockchain is becoming so popular and what factors are driving up increased research and development
  • Explains in full how blockchain technology work and what assets make it valuable and vulnerable
  • Identifies pain points in the financial industry and profiles how various firms are using blockchain to solve them
  • Demonstrates the challenges to mainstream adoption and their potential solutions

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of blockchain technology.

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Why Bitcoin and Blockchain Are ‘Relatively Safe’

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Here comes the Bank of Mexico...

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

agustin carstens

The Bank of Mexico's latest interest rate decision will cross the wires at 2 p.m. ET.

Most economists forecast that the Banxico, as the bank is usually referred to, will once again hike rates.

This time around, most expect a 50 basis point hike up to 6.25%, according to the Bloomberg consensus. However, some observers expect just a 25 basis point increase.

Notably, this latest rate decision comes amid a slight recovery in the peso. The beleaguered Mexican currency is up by about 7% since the day before US President Donald Trump's inauguration.

"We expect a relatively dovish statement highlighting the recent [peso] recovery, that the increase in inflation is in large part due to large and persistent supply shocks ([peso] depreciation and higher energy prices) which are mostly a change in relative prices rather than a generalized increase, and the uncertainty that remains regarding policies that the Trump administration can take regarding domestic US policies that may not be neutral for Mexico and regarding US-Mexico relations," Carlos Capistran, Canada and Mexico economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote in a note to clients earlier this week. Capistran is among those who expect a 25 basis point hike.

Banxico raised rates a couple of times since Trump's election in November. The bank hiked by 50 basis points at its November meeting, noting that the US election made the global economy "more complex." And then it hiked again by another 50 basis points in December, which was a more aggressive move than most had been expecting.

Both decisions followed a tumultuous autumn for the Mexican peso, which ended up being one of the big market casualties of the 2016 election.

"Banxico has changed its main message to one where rather than been preventive with respect to inflation, as in 2016, it will now be reactive," added Capistran in his note. 

The Mexican peso is up by 0.2% at 20.4280 per dollar as of 10:51 a.m. ET. 

mexican peso

SEE ALSO: A new study shows that areas in Europe hit hardest by trade saw a rise in support for nationalist parties

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Tesla gains after announcing new Model 3 production

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Tesla is up 1.97% at $267.25 a share on Thursday morning amid news that the car company is getting its factory ready for Model 3 sedan production.

Tesla said on Wednesday it will shut down production at its California assembly plant for a week this month to prepare for production of its high-volume Model 3 sedan, moving the company closer to meeting its target to start production in July, Reuters reports

"This will allow Tesla to begin Model 3 production later this year as planned and enable us to start the ramp towards 500,000 vehicles annually in 2018," said a Tesla spokesman.

Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3, which is priced at roughly $35,000 before government incentives. If successful, the sedan could raise Tesla beyond a niche luxury player in the automotive sector.

Tesla has not had a profitable year since going public in 2010.

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 10.51.10 AM

 

SEE ALSO: Tesla is getting its factory ready for Model 3 production

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China's Bitcoin Exchanges Move Broadly to Impose New Fees

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The era of free bitcoin trading in China appears to be over as a number of smaller exchanges announced new fees overnight.

Source

Trump says he is releasing something 'phenomenal in terms of tax' in the next 2 to 3 weeks

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

donald trump

President Donald Trump said that he plans to release his plan to reform the US tax system in the next few weeks.

Trump said that administration will be announcing "something phenomenal in terms of tax" over "the next two or three weeks" during a meeting with airline executives on Thursday.

The president also said he is "lowering the corporate tax rate big league."

Trump has long expressed a desire to re-do the corporate and personal tax system in America. The president promised in a meeting with manufacturing executives two weeks ago to cut businesses taxes to between 15% and 20%.

"We're going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies, and that's massively," said Trump at the January 23 meeting.

Among the other proposals, Trump has floated are a plan to slash personal taxes for families and a possible 20% border tax on imports, particularly from Mexico.

It is not clear exactly what elements of those proposals will be included in the plan.

Tax cuts have been one of the most desirable elements of Trump's platforms. Economist have said that slashing corporate taxes could lead to higher profits for large business, but have warned that any border tax could be incredibly detrimental to the economy.

Trump also said that he plans to defend the airline industry and roll back regulations during his meeting.

SEE ALSO: The stock market is starting to ignore Trump's tweets

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Chinese Bitcoin Mining Firm Canaan to Open 10 MW Facility at Node Pole, Sweden

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

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Fintech 50 2016: Blockchain & Bitcoin

Forbes, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Here’s one name Donald Trump will hear when he looks to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

kevin warsh

He’s young, he’s Republican and he was seen a key steward of the Federal Reserve’s financial crisis, Chairman Ben Bernanke’s right-hand man.

It’s only natural that the name of Kevin Warsh, ex-Fed governor and now a fellow at the Hoover Institution, would come up as a potential replacement to Janet Yellen, whose term expires at the end of January 2018.

kevin warshDuring the campaign, Trump was not shy about attacking Yellen’s motivations in an unusual breach of central bank independence, accusing the current chair of keeping interest rates low to help bolster the economy under Democratic President Barack Obama.

"The Fed is obviously not independent. It's obviously not even close to being independent,” he said.  “Watch what's going to happen afterwards — it's a very serious problem."

Warsh, a former Morgan Stanley banker, currently “advises several private and public companies, including service on the board of directors of UPS,” his profile says.

He recently penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal criticizing the Fed’s policy approach, as he often did during his tenure at the central bank.

During that period, his hawkish desire to raise interest rates proved premature and erroneous, future economic conditions would show. 

That’s why Tim Duy, avid Fed watcher and economics professor at the University of Oregon, was baffled by Warsh’s opinion piece, offering an extensive critique here.

Perhaps Duy is missing the bigger picture. Maybe the opinion piece was Warsh’s way of throwing his hat in the ring for a Fed chairmanship in 2018.

SEE ALSO: President Trump could mean economic policy via presidential decree

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Twitter is plunging after a fourth quarter revenue miss (TWTR)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Twitter is down 9.88% at $16.87 a share on Thursday morning after the social media company missed analysts' expectations for its fourth-quarter revenue but beat on earnings. 

Advertising spend lagged behind a recent boost in daily use of the platform. Twitter's monthly active users grew to 319 million, up from 317 million in the prior quarter. Daily active use grew 11% year-on-year, up from growth of 7% in the third quarter, which the company credited to product improvements, marketing, and "organic trends."

Advertising revenue in the quarter was down 1% year-on-year. The company said strength in its video ads was being offset by declines in its marquee ad format — promoted tweets — and direct-response ads. US ad revenue declined 7% year-on-year to $382 million in the quarter.

Twitter continues to be a loss-making company, reporting a net loss of $167 million in the quarter and a net loss of $457 million for the full financial year.

Here are the key numbers:

Q4 revenue: $717 million versus $740.14 million expected by analysts

Q4 EPS (adjusted): $0.16, versus $0.12 a share expected by analysts

Q1 guidance: Adjusted EBITDA to be $75 million to $95 million, adjusted EBITDA margin to be 17% to 17.5%.

 

SEE ALSO: Twitter's stock is tanking after the company warned its revenue growth would continue to 'lag' its recent spike in users

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Twitter is plunging after a fourth quarter revenue miss (TWTR)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Twitter is down 9.88% at $16.87 a share on Thursday morning after the social media company missed analysts' expectations for its fourth-quarter revenue but beat on earnings. 

Advertising spend lagged behind a recent boost in daily use of the platform. Twitter's monthly active users grew to 319 million, up from 317 million in the prior quarter. Daily active use grew 11% year-on-year, up from growth of 7% in the third quarter, which the company credited to product improvements, marketing, and "organic trends."

Advertising revenue in the quarter was down 1% year-on-year. The company said strength in its video ads was being offset by declines in its marquee ad format — promoted tweets — and direct-response ads. US ad revenue declined 7% year-on-year to $382 million in the quarter.

Twitter continues to be a loss-making company, reporting a net loss of $167 million in the quarter and a net loss of $457 million for the full financial year.

Here are the key numbers:

Q4 revenue: $717 million versus $740.14 million expected by analysts

Q4 EPS (adjusted): $0.16, versus $0.12 a share expected by analysts

Q1 guidance: Adjusted EBITDA to be $75 million to $95 million, adjusted EBITDA margin to be 17% to 17.5%.

Screen Shot 2017 02 09 at 9.33.08 AM

SEE ALSO: Twitter's stock is tanking after the company warned its revenue growth would continue to 'lag' its recent spike in users

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New York City landlords have never been this aggressive about filling up vacant apartments

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

brooklyn apartment rent

Landlords in New York City are taking unprecedented steps to get leases signed.

In January, concessions like a month of free rent and brand new appliances rose to a record in Manhattan and Brooklyn, according to the real-estate appraiser Douglas Elliman. Concessions hit new highs for a fourth straight month, and the share of new leases with such giveaways was above 30% for the first time.

Concessions climbed to a record 18.1% of all leases in Brooklyn, more than triple a year ago.

"It's one thing to give concessions because it's a new building and amenities aren't working yet or the building's not fully completed," Andrew Barrocas, the CEO of brokerage MNS, recently told Business Insider.

"And then there's concessions because you can't rent at that price."

It appears to be the latter in New York, as landlords adjust prices to be more in line with what prospective tenants are willing to pay. The heaviest concessions were in the market for two-bedroom apartments, according to Douglas Elliman's monthly report. 

The median net effective rent —which factors in concessions — slipped year-over-year by just 0.1% to $3,369, while the number of new leases signed dropped 5% to about $3,200. Both the number of days on the market and listing inventory were higher, suggesting that landlords had a harder time filling up vacant apartments.  

"Overall there's definitely signs of the rental market weakening," Barrocas said. The market slowed down, he added, amid disagreement over New York State's 421-a tax exemption for developers that would normally encourage the construction of affordable housing.

SEE ALSO: One part of Manhattan's housing market is going bananas

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'The elephant in the courtroom:' A federal judge said Cigna sabotaged its own merger to create the largest health insurer in the US (ANTM, CI)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

doctor patient pacemaker

A federal judge blocked a proposed merger between Cigna and Anthem, which would have created the largest health insurance company in the US based on number of people covered.

US District Court judge Amy Jackson said in the decision that the anti-competitive nature of the deal would create higher costs for consumers, but a big part of the decision to block the case was the "elephant in the courtroom:" Cigna was actively fighting the merger.

"In this case, the Department of Justice is not the only party raising questions about Anthem’s characterization of the outcome of the merger: one of the two merging parties is also actively warning against it," said the decision from Jackson.

Jackson said that compelling testimony against the supposed cost savings and benefits from the merger came from Cigna lawyers.

"Cigna officials provided compelling testimony undermining the projections of future savings, and the disagreement runs so deep that Cigna cross-examined the defendants’ own expert and refused to sign Anthem’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on the grounds that they 'reflect Anthem’s perspective' and that some of the findings 'are inconsistent with the testimony of Cigna witnesses'," said the decision.

Anthem defended these practices, according to the decision, as simply a disagreement from Cigna's CEO David Cordani. Transcripts from the trial revealed in November that Cordani expressed serious doubts regarding the merger and its benefits.

While Anthem argued that the personal acrimony from Cordani should not prevent the judge from approving the merger, Jackson said it was not so simple.

"Anthem urges the Court to look away, and it attempts to minimize the merging parties’ differences as a 'side issue,' a mere 'rift between the CEOs,'" said the decision. "But the Court cannot properly ignore the remarkable circumstances that have unfolded both before and during the trial."

Anthem touted possible synergies from the merger that would allow for a more efficient company after the combination and save Americans money, but instead Jackson found that the disagreements between the two firms already showed that those savings would not be realized.

"The documentary record and the testimony reflect that the pre-merger integration planning that is necessary to capture any hoped-for synergies is stalled and incomplete," said Jackson's decision. "Much of the work has not proceeded past the initial stage of identifying goals and targets to actually specifying the steps to be taken jointly to implement them."

In the end, Jackson, supported by the counter-case from Cigna, determined that the merger had no benefits to the patients it was supposed to help.

"Eliminating this competition from the marketplace would diminish the opportunity for the firms’ ideas to be tested and refined, when this is just the sort of innovation the antitrust rules are supposed to foster," concluded the decision.

"Considering all of these circumstances, and for all of the reasons set forth in greater detail in the Memorandum Opinion docketed separately, the Court is persuaded that the merger should not take place."

The move comes just a few weeks after another US District Court judge blocked a similar deal between Aetna and Humana, citing the same anti-competitive outcome.

SEE ALSO: One-third of Americans don't appear to know Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing

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'The elephant in the courtroom:' A federal judge said Cigna sabotaged its own merger to create the largest health insurer in the US (ANTM, CI)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

doctor patient pacemaker

A federal judge blocked a proposed merger between Cigna and Anthem, which would have created the largest health insurance company in the US based on number of people covered.

US District Court judge Amy Jackson said in the decision that the anti-competitive nature of the deal would create higher costs for consumers, but a big part of the decision to block the case was the "elephant in the courtroom:" Cigna was actively fighting the merger.

"In this case, the Department of Justice is not the only party raising questions about Anthem’s characterization of the outcome of the merger: one of the two merging parties is also actively warning against it," said the decision from Jackson.

Jackson said that compelling testimony against the supposed cost savings and benefits from the merger came from Cigna lawyers.

"Cigna officials provided compelling testimony undermining the projections of future savings, and the disagreement runs so deep that Cigna cross-examined the defendants’ own expert and refused to sign Anthem’s Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law on the grounds that they 'reflect Anthem’s perspective' and that some of the findings 'are inconsistent with the testimony of Cigna witnesses'," said the decision.

Anthem defended these practices, according to the decision, as simply a disagreement from Cigna's CEO David Cordani. Transcripts from the trial revealed in November that Cordani expressed serious doubts regarding the merger and its benefits.

While Anthem argued that the personal acrimony from Cordani should not prevent the judge from approving the merger, Jackson said it was not so simple.

"Anthem urges the Court to look away, and it attempts to minimize the merging parties’ differences as a 'side issue,' a mere 'rift between the CEOs,'" said the decision. "But the Court cannot properly ignore the remarkable circumstances that have unfolded both before and during the trial."

Anthem touted possible synergies from the merger that would allow for a more efficient company after the combination and save Americans money, but instead Jackson found that the disagreements between the two firms already showed that those savings would not be realized.

"The documentary record and the testimony reflect that the pre-merger integration planning that is necessary to capture any hoped-for synergies is stalled and incomplete," said Jackson's decision. "Much of the work has not proceeded past the initial stage of identifying goals and targets to actually specifying the steps to be taken jointly to implement them."

In the end, Jackson, supported by the counter-case from Cigna, determined that the merger had no benefits to the patients it was supposed to help.

"Eliminating this competition from the marketplace would diminish the opportunity for the firms’ ideas to be tested and refined, when this is just the sort of innovation the antitrust rules are supposed to foster," concluded the decision.

"Considering all of these circumstances, and for all of the reasons set forth in greater detail in the Memorandum Opinion docketed separately, the Court is persuaded that the merger should not take place."

The move comes just a few weeks after another US District Court judge blocked a similar deal between Aetna and Humana, citing the same anti-competitive outcome.

SEE ALSO: One-third of Americans don't appear to know Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing

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Bitcoin is tanking after Chinese exchanges block withdrawals

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin

Bitcoin was down by 9.6%, or $102, at $959 a coin as of 9:30 a.m. ET on Thursday after at least two of China's biggest bitcoin exchanges announced they were blocking customers from withdrawing their bitcoins. The announcements followed Wednesday's meeting between the People's Bank of China and the bitcoin exchanges.

Thursday's announcements are notable because nearly 100% of all bitcoin transactions take place on Chinese exchanges. The cryptocurrency has had a wild start to 2017 after gaining 120% in 2016, when it became the top-performing currency for a second straight year.

Bitcoin gained more than 20% in the opening week of 2017 before crashing by 35% on concerns China would start cracking down on trading. China's largest bitcoin exchanges recently announced they would charge a flat fee of 0.2% on all transactions.

Thursday's steep slide has pushed bitcoin to its lowest level since the final trading day of January. It is still higher by 3.6% for the year.

Bitcoin

SEE ALSO: We bought and sold bitcoin — here's how it works

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Bitcoin Price Sinks Below $1,000 as Exchanges Cut Services

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Markets reacted sharply today to news from China that indicated two of its biggest exchanges would cut services for one month.

Source

Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Crashes as Chinese Exchanges OkCoin & Huobi Pause Withdrawals Temporarily

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

The post Newsflash: Bitcoin Price Crashes as Chinese Exchanges OkCoin & Huobi Pause Withdrawals Temporarily appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Here come initial jobless claims...

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

jobless

The latest reading on initial jobless claims will be out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

The Bloomberg consensus forecasts that claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time since the past week, ticked up slightly to 249,000.

The prior week saw claims fall to 246,000, marking the 100th straight week that the number came in below 300,000.

Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs and the overall health of the labor market, since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs.

Refresh this page for updates at 8:30 a.m. ET.

SEE ALSO: Famous last words of 18 famous people

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Two of China's Biggest Exchanges Stop Bitcoin Withdrawals

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Two of China’s most widely used bitcoin exchanges have announced that they will suspend bitcoin and litecoin effective immediately.

Source

Two of China's Biggest Exchanges Stop Bitcoin Withdrawals

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Two of China’s most widely used bitcoin exchanges have announced that they will suspend bitcoin and litecoin effective immediately.

Source

Yum Brands whiffs on sales as fewer people eat at Pizza Hut (YUM)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

pizza hut pizza

Yum Brands Inc, the owner of KFC and Taco Bell, reported a lower-than-expected rise in quarterly sales at established restaurants worldwide as fewer diners ate at its Pizza Hut chain.

Sales at restaurants open for at least one year rose 1 percent in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a 2.1 percent rise analysts polled by Consensus Metrix had expected.

Last year, the company spun off Yum Brands Holdings after struggling to grow sales for reasons ranging from tensions in the South China Sea to Pizza Hut's marketing strategy. 

"By being more focused, more franchised and more efficient, we will strengthen and grow our KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands around the world, creating significant long-term value for all our stakeholders," said CEO Greg Creed in the earnings statement

Shares of Yum Brands were little changed premarket after the earnings release on Thursday. Over the past year, they've gained about 6%.  

(Reuters reporting by Richa Naidu in Bengaluru; Edited by Martina D'Couto)

SEE ALSO: CVS: We're going to lose more than 40 million prescriptions to our competition in 2017

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LinkedIn Killer? Bitcoin Upstart 21 Takes on Social Giant With Paid Email Play

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

21 Inc has released a platform that rewards users for receiving emails. Can it grab a slice of InMail's lucrative pie?

Source

10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

sinkhole

Here is what you need to know.

Tesla is getting ready to start making the Model 3. The electric-car maker announced on Wednesday that it would shut down production at its California plant for a week later this month to get things ready to start producing its Model 3 on February 20, Reuters reports.

Whole Foods misses and slashes guidance. The upscale grocer missed on both the top and bottom lines, earning $0.30 a share on revenue of $4.92 billion. The company slashed its 2017 full-year EPS guidance to at least $1.33 from its previous guess of $1.42.

The DOE is selling 10 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The sale will take place in late February and is required by a law passed last year, Reuters says. Over the next three years, the Department of Energy is required to sell 25 million barrels.

The PBOC is going after bitcoin. In a statement posted on the People’s Bank of China's website on Thursday, the bank said it told the country's bitcoin exchanges during a meeting held on Wednesday not to take part in financial activities such as margin lending or to allow money laundering. Bitcoin is little changed near $1,066 a coin.

Germany's gold repatriation is ahead of schedule. Germany's central bank has brought back 538 tons of gold from New York and Paris and plans to have half its gold back in Germany in 2017, three years ahead of schedule, according to Reuters.

The Bank of Mexico meets. Mexico's central bank is expected to hike its key interest rate by 50 basis points as it looks to cool inflation tied to a spike in gas prices. The decision will cross the wires at 2 p.m. ET.

Saudi Arabia has picked a legal adviser for the world's biggest IPO. Saudi Arabia will use the international law firm White & Case for the planned IPO of Saudi Aramco, its state-owned oil giant.

Earnings reporting remains heavy. Coca-Cola, CVS, Dunkin', Twitter, and Yum are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Japan's Nikkei (-0.5%) was the laggard in Asia, and France's CAC (+0.6%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is on track to open higher by 0.3% near 2,300.

US economic data remains light. Initial jobless claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 4 basis points at 2.37%.

***Bonus***

New York City schools are closed. Severe weather conditions have shuttered schools across New York City on Thursday as the area is expected to receive 10 to 14 inches of snow accumulation.

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

sinkhole

Here is what you need to know.

Tesla is getting ready to start making the Model 3. The electric automaker announced on Wednesday that it will shut down production at its California plant for a week later this month to get things ready to start producing its Model 3 on February 20, Reuters reports.

Whole Foods misses and slashes guidance. The upscale grocer missed on both the top and bottom lines, earning $0.30 per share on revenue of $4.92 billion. The company slashed its 2017 full-year EPS guidance to at least $1.33 from its previous guess of $1.42.

The DOE is selling 10 million barrels of oil from the SPR.The sale will take place in late February and is required by a law passed last year, Reuters says. Over the next three years, the DOE is required to sell 25 million barrels.

The PBOC is going after bitcoin. In a statement posted on the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) website on Thursday, the bank said it told the country's bitcoin exchanges during a meeting held on Wednesday not to take part in financial activities such as margin lending or to allow money laundering. Bitcoin is little changed near $1,066 a coin.

Germany's gold repatriation is ahead of schedule.Germany's central bank has brought back 538 tons of gold from New York and Paris and plans to have half its gold back in Germany in 2017, three years ahead of schedule, according to Reuters.

The Bank of Mexico meets. Mexico's central bank is expected to hike its key interest rate 50 basis points as it looks to cool inflation tied to a spike in gas prices. The decision will cross the wires at 2 p.m. ET.

Saudi Arabia has picked a legal advisor for the world's biggest IPO. Saudi Arabia will use international law firm White & Case for the planned IPO of Saudi Aramco, its state-owned oil giant.

Earnings reporting remains heavy. Coca-Cola, CVS, Dunkin', Twitter, and Yum are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell.

Stock markets around the world trade mixed. Japan's Nikkei (-0.5%) was the laggard in Asia and France's CAC (+0.6%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is on track to open higher by 0.3% near 2,300.

US economic data remains light. Initial jobless claims will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 4 basis points at 2.37%.

***Bonus***

New York City Schools are closed. Severe weather conditions have shuttered schools across New York City on Thursday as the area is expected to receive between 10 and 14 inches of snow accumulation.

Join the conversation about this story »

10 things you need to know in markets today

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A woman attends Janadriyah Cultural Festival on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 8, 2017.

Good morning! Here's what you need to know in markets on Thursday.

1. Goldman Sachs's hedge fund Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP), which was one of the largest-ever hedge fund launches in history, is closing its London operations and shifting staff members to New York, four sources told Reuters. About eight staff members who made up the London team were recently told to move to Goldman's Battery Park City headquarters or find a new job internally, said the sources.

2. China's most valuable online finance company, Ant Financial, is looking to raise more than $3 billion (£2.4 billion) in debt to fund international expansion, according to technology news website The Information. The finance arm of online shopping giant Alibaba Group is in early talks with bankers to raise funds, possibly by issuing bonds or bank loans, the news site said on Thursday, citing a person familiar with the talks.

3. Commerzbank reported flat revenues and earnings for the fourth quarter on Thursday, hit by the impact of low interest rates coupled with weak loan demand from German companies. Reuters reports that the €183 million (£156 million) net profit of Germany's second-largest lender after Deutsche Bank was, however, ahead of analysts' expectations for €154 million (£131.4 million).

4. Publicis Groupe has posted a net loss of €527 million (£449.8 million) for 2016, chairman and chief executive Maurice Levy’s final set of annual results before he stands down in June. The Financial Times reports that lower US revenue, driven by the loss of media accounts and serious issues at its digital agency Razorfish, weighed on the world’s third-largest advertising and media group by revenues.

5. The Bank of England's Sir Jon Cunliffe has told the BBC that "lax controls" risk undoing the progress that had been made since the financial crisis. He told the BBC: "In order to have a resilient financial sector and consistent regulation internationally we need international standards, we need the reforms we have had and it is important we preserve them."

6. Asian stock markets are mixed. Japan's Nikkei closed down 0.50%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng is up 0.17% at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. GMT/1.20 a.m. ET), and China's Shanghai Composite is up 0.28%. US markets were subdued at the close overnight.

7. Toshiba has received an offer as high as 400 billion yen (£2.8 billion, $3.6 billion) for a 19.9% stake in its flash memory business, with other bids as low as 200 billion yen, a person directly involved in the deal told Reuters. Suitors include rivals SK Hynix and Micron Technology, and financial investors like Bain Capital.

8. China’s central bank, battling to curb capital outflows due to persistent fears over continued weakness in the Chinese yuan, has issued a blunt warning to Bitcoin exchanges that they risk closure if they seriously violate the country’s regulations. In a statement posted on the People’s Bank of China’s (PBOC) website on Thursday, the bank said it told the exchanges during a meeting held on Wednesday not to take part in financial activities such as margin lending or allow money laundering.

9. Fintech company MarketInvoice is planning to more than double the size of its business in 2017 as it launches new products in a bid to become the destination for short-term small business finance. MarketInvoice announced on Thursday that it hopes to reach £2 billion in total lending by the end of 2017, which would represent £900 million in lending in 2017 and 133% growth on its 2016 volumes.

10. Drax has won the approval of shareholders to move ahead with plans to buy business energy supplier Opus Energy in a £340 million bid to corner the business energy market. The Telegraph reports that the owner of Britain’s largest power plant is set to become one the UK’s top five energy suppliers to companies by adding Opus’ customer list of small- and medium-sized enterprises to the industrial and corporate scale clients served by its retail arm Haven Power.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Chinese Central Bank Warns Bitcoin Exchanges, Again

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

China's PBOC warns 9 (additional) bitcoin exchanges, reminding them to adhere to rules.

The post Chinese Central Bank Warns Bitcoin Exchanges, Again appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

Dramatic Fall in Bitcoin Price

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

The post Dramatic Fall in Bitcoin Price appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

China's Central Bank Issues New Warnings to Bitcoin Exchanges

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

The People's Bank of China issued a new statement today in which it laid out in writing new warnings it issued to domestic exchanges.

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3 Dead Cats And A Moon: A Guide to Bitcoin's Price Consolidation

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Willy Woo is an entrepreneur, angel investor, derivatives trader and cryptocurrency enthusiast. In this guest feature, Woo takes a tongue-in-cheek look at bitcoin's historical market performance, ultimately proposing a bitcoin-specific macroscopic trading pattern he believes can predict the price. Here at Woobull Labs, we take data driven analysis very seriously. Today, I'm pleased to present the […]

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Input Output Hong Kong Takes Its Stab At ‘Bitcoin 2.0’

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

[…]

The post Input Output Hong Kong Takes Its Stab At ‘Bitcoin 2.0’ appeared first on CryptoCoinsNews.

You Can Now Bet Bitcoin on Whether the Winklevoss ETF Will Go Live

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

BitMEX has launched a prediction market that would let traders bet on the approval of the proposed Winklevoss ETF.

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