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Chipotle misses big on earnings, shares plunge 6% (CMG)

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

Queso

Chipotle on Tuesday reported third-quarter earnings that missed the lowest forecast from Wall Street analysts.

The fast-casual chain reported adjusted earnings per share of $0.69, missing analysts' consensus forecast for $1.63 according to Bloomberg.

Sales at stores open for at least one year rose 1% (1.2% forecast.)

Ahead of the earnings release, analysts were focused on the mixed reviews that Chipotle's newly introduced queso got.

RBC's David Palmer cut his price target on the stock to $330 from $400 on Friday on the expectation that queso and other marketing efforts would disappoint.

Analysts were also looking out for the impact of a new norovirus outbreak in July on same-store sales, and any slowdown caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The hurricanes cost Chipotle $0.13 in diluted EPS. 

"Despite several unusual impacts during the quarter, including the impact of hurricanes, we maintained our focus and saw some encouraging signs," said Steve Ells, Chipotle's CEO, in a statement

Chipotle shares fell by as much as 6% in extended trading. 

More to come, refresh this page for updates. 

SEE ALSO: UBS: Chipotle’s queso infuriated some customers—and the company may not bounce back

Join the conversation about this story »

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STOCKS SOAR TO NEW HIGHS: Here's what you need to know

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

earth mover flying hanging on

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday rose to a record high after Caterpillar and 3M crushed third-quarter earnings estimates. 

Here's the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 23,447.12, +173.16, (0.74%)
  • S&P 500: 2,568.48, +3.50, (0.14%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,599.48, +12.65, (0.19%)
  1. Caterpillar beat Wall Street's profit and sales estimates, driven by strong demand for its construction equipment in North America and China. It also raised its full-year forecasts.
  2. General Motors reported a quarterly net loss on Tuesday caused by charges related to the sale of its Opel unit in Europe to France's PSA Group. But excluding the charges, the results beat analysts' expectations.
  3. McDonald's reported third-quarter earnings and sales that matched analysts' forecasts as its promotions continued to drive sales growth at US restaurants. Sales at stores in the US open for at least one year rose 4.1%, driven by its $1 soda and McPick 2 promos.
  4. Bitcoin fell by as much as 4.42% after the blockchain network underpinning the coin split again. Bitcoin gold is a clone of the original bitcoin blockchain, but it will play by different rules than the original digital currency.
  5. Greenlight Capital, a $7 billion hedge fund founded by David Einhorn, told clients that the market may have adopted an "alternative paradigm" for calculating the value of stocks. "The market remains very challenging for value investing strategies," he said in a letter reviewed by Business Insider.

Additionally: 

Billionaire hedge funder David Einhorn says Tesla is putting 'inadequately tested and dangerous products on the road'

GOLDMAN SACHS: There are only 50 stocks in the world that are perfect for this environment

Trump asked GOP senators for a show of hands on who he should pick as the next Fed chair

There’s a hole in the theory that the 'Amazon effect' is keeping US inflation down

BANK OF AMERICA: 2 charts show why ripping up NAFTA wouldn't solve Trump's big issues with the deal

Here's how to protect yourself against a stock market 'fragility event'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: $6 TRILLION INVESTMENT CHIEF: Bitcoin is a bubble

Here comes AMD earnings ... (AMD)

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

amd ryzen threadripper cpu

AMD will report earnings after the bell on Tuesday.

Wall Street is expecting adjusted earnings of $0.08 per share on revenue of $1.507 billion, according to Bloomberg data. Wall Street is also expecting adjusted net income of $88.517 million. 

Ahead of the third-quarter results, Wall Street's outlook for the company is mixed. Fifteen of the 31 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg rate AMD "neutral," while 11 rate the company as a "buy" and 5 rate it as a "sell."

Millennials traders are a bit more bullish. Users of the popular Robinhood app were increasing their positions in the company 20% more often than they were decreasing them ahead of earnings.

AMD's third-quarter earnings come as the company ramps up its product lines to better compete with competitors Nvidia and Intel. AMD is reportedly working with Tesla to develop a custom self-driving chip for its vehicles which would replace the Nvidia chips Tesla currently uses in its vehicles.

AMD's Radeon RX Vega series of graphics processing units were introduced early in the quarter and are positioned to compete directly with Nvidia's series of GPUs.

AMD also introduced its Threadripper series of central processing units to compete with Intel's mostly dominant hold of the CPU market.

AMD is up 26.08% this year.

This is a developing story, check back for more...

amd earnings stock price

SEE ALSO: AMD just introduced two new product lines — and now it looks like a real threat to Intel and Nvidia

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NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Apple Co-Founder Wozniak: Bitcoin is Better than Gold

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

[…]

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(+) Cryptocurrency Analysis: Altcoins Surge as Bitcoin Forks Again

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

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(+) Cryptocurrency Analysis: Altcoins Surge as Bitcoin Forks Again

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

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Trump asked GOP senators for a show of hands on who he should pick as the next Fed chair

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

donald trump

  • President Donald Trump needs to pick the next Federal Reserve chair in the coming week.
  • Trump asked GOP senators to raise their hand and vote for their favorite Fed chair candidate.
  • Trump appears to have narrowed the choice down to Janet Yellen, Jerome Powell, and John Taylor.


President Donald Trump wanted a little informal guidance on his next Federal Reserve chair pick during Tuesday's policy lunch with Republican senators.

Sen. John Cornyn, the second-highest-ranking Republican senator, told reporters that Trump polled the attendees' support for various Fed chair candidates by asking for a show of hands on each person.

Current chair Janet Yellen's term is up in February 2018, and Trump has been been mulling a short list of candidates over the past few weeks.

On Friday, Trump told Fox Business that he has narrowed the candidates down to current Yellen, current Fed governor Jerome Powell, and Stanford economist John Taylor.

According to Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Taylor was the apparent winner of the poll. (Then again, this is the judgment of one senator.)

The announcement on the next Fed chair will come before Trump departs for his trip to Asia on November 3, according to the White House. Trump said he expects to make the decision "very, very soon."

SEE ALSO: The biggest roadblock for Trump's tax plan could be Trump himself

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NOW WATCH: $6 TRILLION INVESTMENT CHIEF: Bitcoin is a bubble

The 'Amazon effect' doesn't explain the Fed's biggest dilemma

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

Amazon

  • Fed officials puzzled by low inflation have looked to the impact of technology as a potential culprit.
  • There may be an "Amazon effect" on the US economy, but it's not to blame for low US inflation, according to bank lobby IIF. 

 

Online shopping may be convenient, and may even lower prices on some items, for some consumers.

That has led to some debate among economists about what exactly the "Amazon effect" on the US economy might be, including the possibility that online retailers might be to blame for some of the low inflation trend that has befuddled Federal Reserve officials, who set US interest rates based on their forcasts of inflation.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen nodded somewhat skeptically to the recent debate in a September speech.

"Speculatively, changes in the structure of the domestic economy may also be altering inflation dynamics in ways not captured by conventional models," she said. "The growing importance of online shopping, by increasing the competitiveness of the US retail sector, may have reduced price margins and restrained the ability of firms to raise prices in response to rising demand."

In a recent interview with Business Insider, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard also said he was willing to consider technology as a factor in keeping prices down.

"I am open to ideas of technology being a driving force," he said. "Technology is becoming a more important part of the economy, a bigger share of the economy, and we know something about tech prices, they decline over time, they’ve been declining for decades. I could see that as a disinflationary force."

But that doesn’t mean the effects are large enough to account for chronically low US inflation, which has fallen short of the Federal Reserve’s 2% target for several years now, according to Jonathan Fortun, a senior research analyst at the International Institute of Finance, a global banking lobby in Washington.

He downplayed the notion that "structural changes in the economy are holding down momentum, something that by some has been called the 'Amazon effect.'"

"We build on our previous analysis of [inflation] dynamics and find that there is no such shift,” he writes in a research note. 

IIF Inflation ChartThe basic idea is that even if online shopping lowers prices and cost on a one-time basis, this should not have an ongoing effect on inflation, which is a measurement of price increases over time.

"Idiosyncratic one-off shocks can be expected to hold down year-over-year inflation for some time, but they should not impact the distribution of month-over-month inflation outcomes," Fortun adds. "There has not been a significant shift in the distribution of prices across time."

This leads him to forecast, as the Fed has, that inflation will resume its upward trend next year after a decline in 2017 that took many economists, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, by surprise.

 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: $6 TRILLION INVESTMENT CHIEF: Bitcoin is a bubble

‘Metronome’: SegWit2x Developer Jeff Garzik is Also Building an Altcoin

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

[…]

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UBS: Chipotle’s queso infuriated some customers—and the company may not bounce back (CMG)

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

Chipotle Test Kitchen 6

  • Chipotle's queso launch has failed to give the company an anticipated boost
  • UBS says that the company is unlikely to recover soon
  • Chipotle is reporting earnings later Tuesday.

Chipotle's displeasing queso has moved the company further away from a comeback.

The company began serving the buzzed-about queso at all of its locations in September, but has drawn the ire of customers who complained the cheesy sauce was a "disappointment." Though the company was able to pull in modest sales from the initial buzz, it has since fizzled.
"We believe CMG is facing a new normal rather than an ongoing recovery," a UBS analyst wrote in a note. 
The struggling food chain has many challenges ahead, from combating negative customer reviews to dealing with competition as it tries to bring traffic back into its stores, according to UBS. The firm slashed its target for Chipotle's third-quarter same-store sales growth to 0.5% from 2.5%, "given a weaker than expected queso launch that is unlikely to offset sluggish underlying trends."
Chipotle is set to report its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday.
Though the company has taken a stab at new marketing campaigns, improving its product line and operational efforts, it has not reversed its lackluster sales and earnings, structurally high costs, and brand perception challenges, UBS said.
UBS maintains a neutral rating on Chipotle's shares, with a price target to $345, which is 7.5% above its current price.
Chipotle stock is trading up 1.04% at $323.78 per share Tuesday. Its shares are down 13.37% this year. 

Read more about how other fast food chains like the company behind Burger King are staying afloat here. 

Chipotle stock price

SEE ALSO: The company behind Burger King wants to take over fast food — and that could mean buying Papa John's

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UBS: Chipotle’s queso infuriated some customers—and the company may not bounce back (CMG)

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

Chipotle Test Kitchen 6

  • Chipotle's queso launch has failed to give the company an anticipated boost
  • UBS says that the company is unlikely to recover soon
  • Chipotle is reporting earnings later Tuesday.

 

Chipotle's displeasing queso has moved the company further away from a comeback.

The company began serving the buzzed-about queso at all of its locations in September, but has drawn the ire of customers who complained the cheesy sauce was a "disappointment." Though the company was able to pull in modest sales from the initial buzz, it has since fizzled.

"We believe CMG is facing a new normal rather than an ongoing recovery," a UBS analyst wrote in a note. 

The struggling food chain has many challenges ahead, from combating negative customer reviews to dealing with competition as it tries to bring traffic back into its stores, according to UBS. The firm slashed its target for Chipotle's third-quarter same-store sales growth to 0.5% from 2.5%, "given a weaker than expected queso launch that is unlikely to offset sluggish underlying trends."

Chipotle is set to report its third-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Though the company has taken a stab at new marketing campaigns, improving its product line and operational efforts, it has not reversed its lackluster sales and earnings, structurally high costs, and brand perception challenges, UBS said.

UBS maintains a neutral rating on Chipotle's shares, with a price target to $345, which is 7.5% above its current price.

Chipotle stock is trading up 1.04% at $323.78 per share Tuesday. Its shares are down 13.37% this year. 

Read more about how other fast food chains like the company behind Burger King are staying afloat here. 

Chipotle stock price

SEE ALSO: The company behind Burger King wants to take over fast food — and that could mean buying Papa John's

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

UAE Central Bank Governor: Bitcoin 'Easily Used' for Money Laundering

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

UAE Central Bank Governor Mubarak Rashed Al Mansouri issued critical remarks about bitcoin during an event this week.

This beauty startup raised $25 million to defy the retail apocalypse and open stores across America

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

Madison Reed Color Bar

  • Online beauty retailer Madison Reed is opening Color Bars where customers can have the company's products applied in-person.
  • It recently raised $25 million to open more stores. 
  • While Madison Reed is not the only company to move from online to physical retail, many retail stores are struggling.


While many retailers are shifting away from brick-and-mortar stores to online marketplaces, Madison Reed is doing the opposite. 

Founded in 2013, the online beauty retailer developed a questionnaire and algorithm meant to determine the ideal hair color for its customers, as well as software that could make recommendations based on photos uploaded by customers.

Now, the company is taking its personalized approach one step further by opening Color Bars where customers can receive coloring services and consult with professional colorists. Two Color Bars are currently operating — one in San Francisco and one in New York City — and the company plans to have 25 open by the end of 2019.

It just raised $25 million in venture funding to help it do so, according to TechCrunch. The round was led by Comcast Ventures with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, True Ventures, and Calibrate Ventures. In total, it has raised $70 million. 

Madison Reed is not the only retailer to expand from an online store to a brick-and-mortar presence, but it is doing so in a difficult business climate. The early results have been positive, according to CEO and co-founder Amy Errett.

"The reaction to our Color Bar concept has been astounding," she told Chain Store Age. "We have focused on catering to women who are comfortable doing their hair color at home, and we will continue to do so. Now with the Color Bars, we also have a solution for women who want the help of a professional Madison Reed colorist, while saving time and money."

SEE ALSO: 8 'Amazon-proof' businesses that are defying the retail apocalypse

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years

BitGive Launches Bitcoin Donation Platform GiveTrack

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

GalippiBitgive

BitGive Foundation, a nonprofit organization, announced the launch of the beta version of GiveTrack, a blockchain-based platform that allows donors to donate bitcoin to charitable causes and track those donations in real time.

Connie Gallippi, founder of BitGive, made the announcement on October 24, 2017 at Money20/20, a four-day payments and finance event in Las Vegas.

“It is a real working version; this will be the first time that it has gone live for anyone to access it,” Gallippi said of the platform in an interview with Bitcoin Magazine.

One issue with charities is donors never know for sure how much of the funds they give actually make it to the intended cause. GiveTrack solves that problem by bringing transparency to the donation process. By using Bitcoin and blockchain technology, the web-based project allows donors to give to a cause and then track the progress of those funds in real-time, thereby reducing opportunities for fraud.

Now that GiveTrack is officially up and running for the first time, users can begin trying the platform out by contributing to projects featured on the GiveTrack website. However, the user interface on the web-based app is still bare bones.

“This is a minimal viable product. Essentially, instead of it being a prototype, it is an actual working product, but it is very basic. It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles,” Gallippi explained. “We will be doing small improvements along the way when we have feedback for things we can fix quickly.”

Two Working Pilots

Along with the launch of the GiveTrack platform, the landing page of the GiveTrack website will feature two pilot projects from long-standing nonprofit partners: Medic Mobile and The Water Project, along with a description of what each project is raising funds for.

Medic Mobile, a nonprofit that creates mobile apps to allow community health workers to better coordinate care, is raising money for a project to monitor and facilitate timely treatment of malnourished children in Desa Ban, Bali.

The Water Project is raising money to build a new rain catchment tank and latrines at Chandolo primary school in Kenya and provide sanitation and hygiene training for the students there.

Since its founding in 2013, BitGive has been partnering with international relief efforts and local charities seeking to create better communities.

Gallipi explained that what sets GiveTrack apart from other blockchain-based charity platforms is its straightforward and simple approach. Instead of relying on complex smart contracts and tokens, for instance, BitGive sticks to Bitcoin.

“What we have built is really just a way to make it easier for charities and donors to interact with Bitcoin,” said Gallippi. “We are not doing anything fancy or new with the tech; we are simply making it usable for donors to contribute and then to watch the money move.”

As a Bitcoin donation platform, GiveTrack is also helping to spread the word about Bitcoin. “When people who don’t know much about Bitcoin hear about what we are doing, it makes [Bitcoin] more real for them,” she said, “this is such a cool use case for it.”

The post BitGive Launches Bitcoin Donation Platform GiveTrack appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

‘Nail in the Coffin’: Coinbase to List SegWit2x Chain as ‘Bitcoin2x’

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

[…]

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The US government is investigating another near disaster involving Air Canada in San Francisco

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

Air Canada Airbus A320

  • Air Canada Flight AC781 failed to respond to air traffic control's repeated commands to abort a landing and go around.
  • Air Canada crew claims the plane suffered a radio problem.
  • The incident took place Sunday evening at San Francisco International Airport.
  • Air Canada had another incident at that airport in July that could've led to one of the worst air disasters in history.


The US Federal Aviation Administration confirmed it has launched an investigation after an Air Canada jet failed to respond to air traffic control's repeated requests to abort its landing.

The incident occurred Sunday evening at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) less than four months after another Air Canada jet mistook a taxiway for a runway at the same airport, nearly causing one of the worst disasters in aviation history.

Air Canada Flight AC781, an Airbus A320 en route from Montreal, Canada, was on final approach to SFO when the incident took place. 

"Air traffic control cleared the flight to land on Runway 28R and the Air Canada crew acknowledged the instruction when they were approximately 6 miles away from the airport," an FAA spokesman told Business Insider in an email on Tuesday.

"The tower controller subsequently instructed the Air Canada crew multiple times to execute a go-around because he was not certain that a preceding arrival would be completely clear of the runway before the Air Canada jet reached the runway threshold."

After the crew failed to respond to the controller, the ATC used a red light gun in an attempt to alert the crew and get them to go around.

"Flashing a light gun is standard protocol when an aircrew is not responding to radio instructions," the FAA said. 

However, the flight did not respond to the light gun either. Instead, it proceeded to land on runway 28R at 9:26 pm. 

After landing, the Air Canada pilots told the tower that they experienced a radio problem. Fortunately, the no one was injured as the preceding aircraft had cleared the runway by the time AC781 landed. 

In a statement to Business Insider, an Air Canada spokesman wrote:

Air Canada flight AC781, an Airbus A320 was traveling from Montreal to San Francisco on the evening of Oct. 22. After receiving proper clearance to land it proceeded to do so and landed normally. Upon landing the crew was informed the tower had attempted unsuccessfully to contact the aircraft, however, the message was not received by the crew. Air Canada is investigating the circumstances.

In July, Air Canada Flight AC759 mistook a taxiway for a runway at SFO, nearly landed on top of a row of airliners waiting in line to take off. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, that Air Canada jet was less than 60 ft from the ground before it climbed to safety. 

SEE ALSO: Here's a first look at the Boeing 787 Dreamliner that will connect Europe and Australia

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NOW WATCH: TOP STRATEGIST: Bitcoin will soar to $25,000 in 5 years

Verady’s Vision for Asset Audits and Verification

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Verady Thumb

The rise of bitcoin along with other cryptocurrencies represents a watershed moment for the world of digital innovation.

 

But the growth in the market capitalization and complexity of these assets has spawned the need for an “assurance service” that provides auditing, verification, monitoring and reporting around them.

 

Verady, LLC, a company with a stellar track record in delivering these services to the Bitcoin market for several years, is now extending and launching a public-facing network platform to fill this growing need across all blockchain asset classes.

 

Established in October 2016 as a startup company based in Atlanta, Georgia, Verady’s strategic path was paved by way of discussions and research from the blockchain regulatory software company Coinpliance and its clients.

 

Coinpliance was founded in 2013 and successfully serviced the Bitcoin marketplace until the sale of its processing service to a major client. The founders of Coinpliance later combined their experience and assets to form Verady.  

 

Verady’s two co-founders, Kell Canty and Nathan Eppinger, are both computer science graduates from Georgia Tech. Their combination of common backgrounds with differing experience levels and perspectives have led to a unique profile for the company.

 

“I’m a technologist by heart and have a computer science degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology,” said Canty. “I’ve co-founded multiple fintech startups, including a market-leading real-time credit and risk assessment company that was acquired into Fair Isaac Corporation.”

 

Canty initially became aware of Bitcoin through his interest in payments and computer science in 2012. Later, he became intrigued by the concept for a Bitcoin regulatory software company. This led to the founding of Coinpliance in 2013. Later, he and Eppinger reconnected to establish Verady for the purpose of addressing the world of blockchain asset assurance.

As CEO of Verady, Canty leads product direction and business development efforts, while Eppinger serves as the CTO.

 

When asked what emerging trends are currently informing the strategic direction Verady, Canty indicated the following:

 

· The amazing rate of growth in terms of both the value and diversity of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets

 

· The lack of tools and services to address traditional industry standards regarding accounting, auditing and verification of blockchain assets

 

· Gaps from a regulatory standpoint, particularly in the area of taxation

 

· The “blind spot” that traditional financial services, particularly credit/loan offerings, have for the value of blockchain asset balances and cash flow held by individuals and companies

 

One of Verady’s core beliefs is that traditional accounting systems, firms and standards currently lack the functionality regarding new innovations of cryptocurrencies and other blockchain assets.

 

Blockchain’s value as a public transaction ledger makes it ideal in terms of serving as the basis for independent verification. Verady, however, asserts that a gap exists in terms of the blockchain not holding the information in a form that accountants, auditors and other financial professionals can access, understand or use.

 

Verady’s blockchain asset assurance network, known as “VeraNet,” is poised to address this. By assuring these assets, the VeraNet will provide the bridge between blockchain-based crypto-assets and the traditional financial ecosystem. This bridge is designed to manage the complexities of blockchain technology in order to deliver concrete, standardized reports and data that is usable by traditional financial institutions.

 

“Verady’s long-term vision is that of being the globally recognized leader in the area of blockchain asset assurance,” said Canty. “Audit, verification and reporting on these assets can serve to help them be further adopted on a worldwide basis. Combined with blockchain-based identity, the enablement of credit underwriting based on cryptocurrencies could greatly aid in financial inclusion, particularly for many living in underdeveloped countries across the globe.”

 

To learn more about Verady, visit its website and follow it on Twitter.

 

The post Verady’s Vision for Asset Audits and Verification appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

Elon Musk shrugWelcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

2017 could go down as one of the most boring years ever for the stock market.

Sure, the S&P 500 has closed at record highs 66 times this year, the most since the mid 1990s. 

But volatility has remained historically low. And on Monday, the S&P 500 completed its longest streak ever without a 3% intraday drawdown. At the close, it overtook the previous record of 241 days set in 1996.

According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the stock market is now vulnerable to an "overdue fragility event."

There's a bunch of hedge fund news today, so let's jump right in. 

Elsewhere in Wall Street news, there has been a shake-up at the top of Credit Suisse's US equities business.

In politics, the biggest roadblock for Trump's tax plan could be Trump himself. The tax plan could give a bigger boost to foreign investors than America's middle class, according to a new analysis. And two charts show why ripping up NAFTA wouldn't solve Trump's big issues with the deal.

And severe weather has cost the US government $350 billion since 2007 — and climate change could make it much worse.

In markets news and views:

Lastly, Aston Martin is building luxury condominiums that will cost up to $50 million each — see inside.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

IBM, Amazon & Microsoft are offering their blockchain technology as a service

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

IBM Blockchain

What is Blockchain Technology as a Service?

Don & Alex Tapscott, authors of the Blockchain Revolution 2016, define the blockchain technology as an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions, but virtually everything of value.

The blockchain is a ledger, or list, of all of a cryptocurrency’s transactions, and is the technology underlying Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As for blockchain technology itself, it has numerous applications, from banking to the Internet of Things.

In the next few years, BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, expects companies to flesh out their blockchain IoT solutions. But a few companies have already released their blockchain technology as a service.

IBM Blockchain Technology

IBM Blockchain empowers businesses to digitize transaction workflow through a highly secured, shared, and replicated ledger. It is a public cloud service that customers can use to construct secure blockchain networks.

IBM Blockchain has joined The Hyperledger Project to evolve and improve upon earlier forms of the blockchain.
IBM Blockchain Platform states itself as the only fully integrated enterprise-ready blockchain platform designed to accelerate the development, governance, and operation of multi-institution business networks.

IBM claims their blockchain product is built in a highly auditable way to track all of the activity that happens within a network, which would give administrators an audit trail in the event something did go awry.

Microsoft Azure Blockchain Technology

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) by Microsoft Azure claims to provide a rapid, low-cost, low-risk, and fail-fast platform for organizations to collaborate together by experimenting with new business processes – backed by a cloud platform with the largest compliance portfolio in the industry.

As an open, flexible, and scalable platform, Microsoft Azure claims to support a rapidly growing number of distributed ledger technologies that address specific business and technical requirements for security, performance, and operational processes.

They additionally claim that their intelligent services, such as Cortana Intelligence, are able to provide unique data management and analysis capabilities unlike any other platform offering. 

Recently, Microsoft became a member of IC3, The Initiative for CryptoCurrencies & Contracts. With this membership, Microsoft expects to advance blockchain enterprise readiness and collaborate with the IC3 team in cryptography, game theory, distributed systems, programming languages, and system security.

AWS Blockchain

Amazon AWS Blockchain Technology

Amazon is literally everywhere. This tech giant has its deep claws in almost every global economic interface, ranging from real estate to food to pharmacies and even to blockchain technology.

Back in 2016, Amazon Web Services (AWS), the cloud computing business operated by e-commerce giant Amazon, partnered with investment firm Digital Currency Group (DCG) to offer a blockchain (as a service) experimentation environment for enterprises. 

The two sides forged the partnership with the expectation of providing such a service so the blockchain providers in DCG’s portfolio can work in a secure environment with clients that include financial institutions, insurance companies, and enterprise technology companies.

According to Scott Mullins, AWS’s head of worldwide financial services business development, AWS is working with financial institutions and blockchain providers to spur innovation and facilitate frictionless experimentation.

R3 Corda Blockchain Technology

Recognizing that the power of distributed ledger technology lies in its network effect, R3 worked with the industry to build the largest collaborative group (approximately 100 financial institutions) of its kind in financial markets – the collaboration that then churned out the Corda platform.

R3 Corda is a specialized distributed ledger platform for the financial industry that provides APIs and codes for companies to build up blockchain-like applications, and is aimed at creating more efficiency in existing global financial markets.

With Corda, participants can transact without the need for central authorities, creating a world of frictionless commerce.

Corda represents the biggest shared effort among banks, insurers, fund managers, and other players to work on using blockchain technology in the financial markets.

As reported by CoinDesk, Japanese financial giant Mizuho Group intends to use Corda to "digitize documents like letters of credit and bill of lading invoices," a process it believes can reduce fraud, increase transparency, and enhance the shift away from paper records.

Recently, R3 released version 1.0 of Corda, the product of two years of work, code contributions from over half the consortium's 100 members, and more than $100 million in capital raised. 

In May of 2017, major financial institutions hedging their bets on the distributed ledger technology announced to fund the global banking consortium R3 with a whopping $107 million for global technological development and to bring Corda Enterprise to global institutions.

Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) Market Trends 

As of February 2017, “blockchain” was the second most-searched term on Gartner.com, having increased in volume by 400% in the last 12 months. Between 2015 and 2016, the number of Gartner client inquiries grew by more than 600%, proving that the interest in this rapidly developing market is increasingly exponentially.

The Blockchain market is set to grow at a CAGR of 61.5% by 2021, with transparency and immutability as the driving factors behind the exponential growth of the blockchain market.

Tech giants have jumped on the bandwagon and are providing BaaS through their built-in platforms and collaborations.

BaaS is set to grow further and become the latest revolution in the fintech industry worldwide, which is why BaaS should be on your radar if you are looking to compete in this universal movement of crypto tech and the mass adoption of blockchain technology as a service. 

More to Learn

Blockchain technology has taken the world by storm, and is still invading major service areas of the world economies. BI Intelligence has delved further into this virtual revolution and has put together two detailed reports on the blockchain: The Blockchain in the IoT Report and The Blockchain in Banking Report. 

To get these reports, plus immediate access to more than 250 other expertly researched reports, subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. >> Learn More Now

You can also purchase and download the full reports from our research store: 

                            >> Blockchain in the IoT

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The stock market is vulnerable to an 'overdue fragility event' — here's how to protect yourself

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

lifebuoy

  • Stock market volatility is locked near record lows.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch says there's never been a better time to protect against an imminent market shock.

 

At this point, anyone following the stock market knows that price swings are non-existent.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is locked near record low levels. The benchmark S&P 500 hasn't seen a 3% pullback in 242 days and counting, the longest such streak in history.

So what should investors do? Bank of America Merrill Lynch thinks it's time to prepare for an inevitable shock — or as it describes it, an "overdue fragility event."

And investors are in luck, because hedges against a sharp stock market selloff are the cheapest they've ever been, says BAML. The firm specifically recommends shorting one S&P 500 put contract on the benchmark falling to 2,275 by June for every two S&P 500 put contracts bet long on it to hit 2,500 by December. The index closed at 2,564.98 on Monday.

"The entry point for S&P 'fragility hedges' in the form of put ratio calendars has never been more attractive," BAML analyst Nikolay Angeloff wrote in a client note. "This is a trade worth considering if you disagree with the market’s implied belief that risk does not exist."

The attractiveness of the entry point comes from the steepness of the S&P 500's term structure, where near-dated contracts are expensive relative to those further in the future. Further, put skew — or the degree to which future protection is more expensive than at-the-money options — is high because of the market's tendency to buy more stock exposure on short-term dips.

You can see that dynamic at play in the chart below.

So why not throw some protection on? It's cheap, and if the market sees a downturn, you'll be glad you did.

Screen Shot 2017 10 24 at 12.38.24 PM

SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: There are only 50 stocks in the world that are perfect for this environment

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NOW WATCH: Is bitcoin a bubble or the future of everything?

Bitcoin Price to Hit $50,000 & Catch Apple’s $800 Billion Market Cap by 2022, Says Previously Accurate Analyst

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

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Billionaire hedge funder David Einhorn says Tesla is putting 'inadequately tested and dangerous products on the road' (TSLA)

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

Elon Musk

  • David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital told clients that Tesla's stock should be performing much worse than it is.
  • Greenlight is short Tesla shares, which means it profits from a decline in the stock price. 
  • "Tesla had an awful quarter both in its current results and future prospects," falling 6%, Greenlight wrote in a letter to investors. "We believe it deserved much worse."
  • Greenlight threw water on Tesla's driverless car plans, saying "autonomous driving may more likely reflect TSLA’s willingness to put inadequately tested and dangerous products on the road rather than a true technological advantage."

 

David Einhorn's Greenlight Capital is sticking to its bet that Tesla's stock should be performing much worse than they are. 

"Tesla (TSLA) had an awful quarter both in its current results and future prospects," Greenlight, a $7 billion hedge fund, wrote to clients in an October 24 letter reviewed by Business Insider. "In response, its shares fell almost 6%. We believe it deserved much worse."

The letter, which was signed "Greenlight Capital" rather than by Einhorn himself added: "So much went wrong for TSLA in the quarter that it is hard to only provide a brief summary."

Greenlight is short Tesla, which means it stands to gain as the stock falls. That bet has confounded Einhorn in the past, with the shares gaining almost 70% this year. The stock rose slightly Tuesday.

Here are the issues Greenlight highlighted in its October letter:

  • "Poor demand for its legacy vehicles and manufacturing challenges for the new Model 3. Notably, TSLA dramatically reduced its gross margin assumption for the September quarter and publicly blamed ramp-up costs for the new Model 3 sedan."
  • "More quietly, the company used the lower gross margin hurdle to offer incentives and to lower the cost of options on the Model S and Model X vehicles, and even offered significant markdowns on showroom models. Given the depth of the price cuts, we were surprised that demand for the Model S and Model X only improved modestly."

Greenlight also took issue with Musk's leadership. "While the CEO makes bold claims about TSLA’s superior prowess, continued production shortfalls, defects and product recalls disprove him," Greenlight wrote.

Specifically, Greenlight said that Tesla faces competition from established original equipment manufacturers –manufacturers that resell another company's product under a different brand name. Such companies " have decades of scale manufacturing experience," Greenlight said.

Greenlight also threw water on Tesla's driverless car plans, writing: "Some of TSLA’s presumed market lead in areas like autonomous driving may more likely reflect TSLA’s willingness to put inadequately tested and dangerous products on the road rather than a true technological advantage."

Tesla's representatives weren't immediately available to comment on Greenlight's comments. Musk has said that he takes safety seriously, and told staffers in a memo earlier this year that he wanted factory injuries reported to him directly.

Musk has publicly responded to short-sellers before, using Twitter. "These guys want us to die so bad they can taste it," he tweeted in June. He's also said he thinks the company's stock price is high based on past and current performance, but low if you believe in the company's future.

Greenlight's funds gained 6.2% after fees in the third quarter, bringing its year-to-date return to 3.3%, the letter said.

The firm managed $7 billion in hedge fund assets as of mid-year 2017, according to the Absolute Return Billion Dollar Club ranking.

You can read more about Greenlight's letter here.

SEE ALSO: BAUPOST'S KLARMAN: Investors are asking the wrong question about the stock market

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NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

Bitcoin is sliding after bitcoin gold goes live

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

Screen Shot 2017 10 24 at 10.42.22 AM

  • Bitcoin is trading down 4.5% Wednesday following a split in the cryptocurrency's blockchain network. 
  • Bitcoin gold, the new digital coin formed by the split Tuesday morning, follows the bitcoin-bitcoin cash fork in August. 
  • The project website for bitcoin gold is down following a DDoS attack, according to cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk. 
  • The bitcoin community is split over whether forks are good or bad for bitcoin. 

Bitcoin, the red-hot digital currency up more than 400% this year, was trading down 4.42% Wednesday morning after the blockchain network underpinning the coin split again. 

As reported by cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk, bitcoin gold officially split from the bitcoin network Wednesday morning. The new cryptocurrency is a clone of the original bitcoin blockchain, but it will play by different rules than the original digital currency.

"Instead of scaling bitcoin to support more users, bitcoin gold tweaks bitcoin in an effort to 'make bitcoin decentralized again,'" CoinDesk reported. "This, proponents argue, will make the network, designed to offer an egalitarian way to send payments digitally around the globe, more accessible to users."

Bitcoin cash separated from bitcoin earlier this year following mounting disagreements amongst the coin's power brokers over how to scale the cryptocurrency. Since bitcoin is open-source, folks can freely update its underpinning software. 

Twenty exchanges will back the new cryptocurrency, meaning folks who own bitcoin on certain exchanges will now hold one bitcoin gold for every bitcoin. Bitcoin owners should not expect, however, to see the value of their holdings double.

Separately, it appears bitcoin gold's website is down following a DDoS attack, a type of cybersecurity attack. Here's a tweet from the cryptocurrency's developers:

CoinDesk first reported the news

The cryptocurrency community appears divided over whether splits are good for the future of bitcoin. 

Bob Summerwill, a chief blockchain developer at Sweetbridge, a cryptocurrency liquidity provider, said in a note emailed to Business Insider that "there is no such thing as a 'bad fork.' 

"Splits happen periodically in all open-source communities," he wrote. "Having everyone collaborating in a single project is ideal, but sometimes there are genuine differences of opinion, and network effects are not enough to keep everybody together, so a group secedes."

Others are less bullish on splits. For instance, Sol Lederer, a blockchain director at LOOMIA, said he is worried about trivial disagreements disrupting the upward march of bitcoin. 

"What's deeply troublesome is that these spinoffs sprung from a relatively minor squabble in the bitcoin community on how to handle the block size limit," Lederer wrote. "Instead of coming to agreement, the community, developers, and code are fracturing into different groups."

Another fork is possibly on the horizon. The second part of SegWit2x, which would increase the size of blocks that underpin bitcoin's network, is set to go into effect next month and not everyone is on board with the proposed change. 

SEE ALSO: 

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Snap is slipping after demand for its much-hyped Spectacles wanes (SNAP)

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

Snapbot Spectacles


 

Snap is slipping after Business Insider learned that sales of the company's first camera product, Spectacles, product have been disappointing.

Shares of Snap are down 0.69% at $14.87 after Business Insider's Alex Heath reported that the company has only sold 150,000 pairs of its "Spectacles" camera product so far and engagement with the product is low.

The company originally launched the camera-adorned glasses via hard-to-find vending machines that initially saw long lines. After a wider, global rollout of the product, the initial hype has seemed to wane. Less than half of those who bought the glasses continued using them a month after purchasing, Heath reported. A company spokesperson told Health that 73% of the reviews for Spectacles on Amazon are 5-star ratings, but a report from The Information said that the company still has "hundreds of thousands" of the Spectacles waiting to be sold.

Snap previously stated its intentions to become a camera company, but has seemed to stumble on its first step toward that goal. Evan Spiegel, Snap's CEO, has said the company is "just sort of beginning to dabble in hardware," at a conference earlier this month.

The company recently laid off about a dozen employees in its hardware divisions.

Snap is still 12.1% below it's $17 initial public offering price.

Read more about Snap's Spectacle troubles here

snap stock price

SEE ALSO: Snap's 'shockingly low' internal data reveals why its Spectacles glasses flopped

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NOW WATCH: $6 TRILLION INVESTMENT CHIEF: Bitcoin is a bubble

I spent a day trying to pay for things with bitcoin and a bar of gold

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

Ray Dalio, the founder of the largest hedge fund in the world, told Henry Blodget that every investor should have 5-10% of their portfolio in gold. During that same interview Dalio called bitcoin a "speculative bubble" and said that "bitcoin is not an effective medium exchange by and large" and "it's not easy to buy things with the Bitcoin."

Dalio isn't the only one asking these questions about bitcoin. If bitcoin really is a currency then it is important that you can buy things with it. But this may not be a fair argument. We all seem to accept gold as a storehold of wealth and as a alternative currency despite the fact that you really can't make purchases with gold. 

So in an effort to fairly compare gold and bitcoin in this vein, we went out into the world to see how easy it is to spend both in everyday transactions. It turns out it isn't easy to spend either. The only person that we could find that accepted gold in New York City was Donald Trump in 2011.

Bitcoin is slightly easier to spend. We couldn't use our bitcoin at Subway which is on a few lists of retailers that accept bitcoin. The restaurant in New York's East Village, Le Village, that many have reported accept bitcoin was closed down when we tried to eat there. We did have some luck spending bitcoin. We found that it was easy to use bitcoin on overstock.com. Also, my daughter's preschool accepts bitcoin for tuition payments. But if you really want to use bitcoin in everyday transactions, you can get a debit card which allows you to spend bitcoin easily. 

But maybe we are simply using the wrong words when we talk about bitcoin. As Adam Ludwin, the founder and CEO of Chain, says in his open letter to Jamie Dimon "since this isn’t about cryptocurrencies vs. fiat currencies let’s stop using the word currency." He goes on to say that he prefers to think of them as "crypto assets."

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EINHORN: The market may have adopted an 'alternative paradigm' for calculating the value of stocks (BBY)

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

David Einhorn

  • Greenlight Capital, the firm founded by renowned hedge fund manager David Einhorn, told investors that the market seems to have adopted a new way to value companies, based on their ability to disrupt the competition. 
  • He addressed recent performance at Greenlight and "bubble shorts" Amazon, Tesla and Netflix, saying that time will tell if the "joke is on us."

 

Greenlight Capital, a $7 billion hedge fund founded by David Einhorn, told clients that the market may have adopted an "alternative paradigm" for calculating the value of stocks.

That's according to a third-quarter client letter sent to investors Tuesday, October 24 and reviewed by Business Insider.

Here's an excerpt from the letter (emphasis ours):

The market remains very challenging for value investing strategies, as growth stocks have continued to outperform value stocks. The persistence of this dynamic leads to questions regarding whether value investing is a viable strategy. The knee-jerk instinct is to respond that when a proven strategy is so exceedingly out of favor that its viability is questioned, the cycle must be about to turn around. Unfortunately, we lack such clarity. After years of running into the wind, we are left with no sense stronger than, “it will turn when it turns.”

...

Given the performance of certain stocks, we wonder if the market has adopted an alternative paradigm for calculating equity value. What if equity value has nothing to do with current or future profits and instead is derived from a company’s ability to be disruptive, to provide social change, or to advance new beneficial technologies, even when doing so results in current and future economic loss? It’s clear that a number of companies provide products and services to customers that come with a subsidy from equity holders. And yet, on a mark-to-market basis, the equity holders are doing just fine.

Greenlight's funds gained 6.2% after fees in the third quarter, bringing its year-to-date return to 3.3%, the letter said.

The letter addressed the recent stock performance of Amazon, Tesla and Netflix, a group of stocks Greenlight called its "bubble" shorts. The letter said that Amazon and Tesla's stock should have dropped much more than they did in the quarter, given their financial results. 

"When we consider the business performance of our three most well-known “bubble” shorts, we wonder if this alternative paradigm is in play," the letter said. 

It said:

  • Amazon: "Our view is that just be cause AMZN can disrupt somebody else’s profit stream, it doesn’t mean that AMZN earns that profit stream. For the moment, the market doesn’t agree. Perhaps, simply being disruptive is enough."
  • Tesla: "Tesla (TSLA) had an awful quarter both in its current results and future prospects. In response, its shares fell almost 6%. We believe it deserved much worse."
  • Netflix: "On the second quarter conference call, the CEO stated, “In some senses the negative free cash flow will be an indicator of enormous success.” To us, all it indicates is that NFLX is capable of dramatically changing the economics of stand-up comedy in favor of the comedians."

Greenlight exited a short of Best Buy with a loss, meanwhile. The firm said that it "believed the TV and gaming cycle weakness would hurt results" but instead Best Buy benefited from some of its best sales in years due to strength in the Nintendo Switch and high-end computing.

The letter closed with a quote from a song by Tom Petty and the Heatbreakers: "You can stand me up at the gates of hell. But I won’t back down."

The firm managed $7 billion in hedge fund assets as of mid-year 2017, according to the Absolute Return Billion Dollar Club ranking.

A spokesman for Greenlight didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEE ALSO: BAUPOST'S KLARMAN: Investors are asking the wrong question about the stock market

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NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

“Massive” DDoS Attack Takes Down Bitcoin Gold’s Website

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

[…]

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Nike’s biggest sneaker advantage could become its biggest liability (NKE)

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

Nike

  • Nike has been struggling to beat earnings expectations despite having more than 26,000 retail stores in North America.
  • The company is struggling with the digital revolution, something its analog competitors are winning.
  • Digital upstart 'click-to-brick' brands are also eating into Nike's profits. 


The retail apocalypse and simultaneous digital revolution could be bad news for already-struggling Nike.

The Oregon-based sneaker giant has its shoes in more than 26,000 stores in North America alone, Jefferies estimates, and "is likely to see a multi-year painful unwind of lower orders, lower revs, and lower margins, as the digital revolution continues," analyst Randal Konik said in a note Wednesday.

"With NKE perhaps the most recognizable brand, but also the most widely distributed brand in the analog world, we believe this is pain the market under-appreciates and the company can’t fix easily." 

The bank reiterated its hold rating for shares of Nike with $48 price target — 10% below where the stock was trading Tuesday morning, and a full 20% below Wall Street’s consensus target of $58, according to Bloomberg.

Digital-only upshots are growing at a rapid pace, and pose an "invisible threat" to Nike's business, Jefferies says. 

Earlier this month, Jefferies analyzed over 20 "brick-to-click" concepts that make up a grand total of $3 billion in sales and $1.5 billion in venture capital funding. These brands, like Fabletics, M. Gemi, and Outdoor Voices, are maximizing digital revenue with only a few physical stores — the opposite of Nike.

Incumbents are beating Nike as well. Germany-based Puma Tuesday morning reported a 16% jump in North American sales, fueled by a new collection from Rihanna. Adidas, which reports next month, has seen a resurgence in demand for its retro sneaker designs. 

"What concerns us about Adidas’s rise is consumers are purchasing across many of the brand's platforms (e.g., Stan Smith, Superstar, Boost, NMD, EQT, Alphabounce, Tubular) which shows a real breadth of demand that is not going away," Jefferies said. "In contrast, NKE's category strength is becoming more narrow evidenced by a weakened Jordan franchise and less compelling running platforms."

Shares of Nike are up 3.48% so far this year. 

Nike stock price 

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BANK OF AMERICA: 2 charts show why ripping up NAFTA won't solve Trump's biggest issues with the deal

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

Donald Trump

  • President Donald Trump has long argued that NAFTA is "unfair" to the US, specifically zeroing in on its trade deficit with Mexico and the loss of manufacturing jobs.
  • However, evidence suggests that changing NAFTA likely won't solve either of those issues.

 

It's no secret that President Donald Trump isn't a fan of NAFTA. Throughout his campaign, he promised to rip up trade deals, specifically zeroing in on NAFTA, the US's trade deficit with Mexico and the loss of manufacturing jobs.

The evidence available, however, favors the position that changing NAFTA will neither reduce the US's trade deficit nor meaningfully increase manufacturing jobs, according to two charts shared by Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Carlos Capistran and Ethan S. Harris in a recent report to clients.

The first chart, which you can see below, compares the 12-month rolling average for the US trade balance with the world and with NAFTA.

 

trade deficit

The US's trade deficit with NAFTA countries is less than 10% of its total trade deficit and most of the increase in the total deficit actually came several years after the trade agreement was implemented.

"Most economists agree that trade deficits are the result of saving and investment decisions rather than trade agreements," Capistran and Harris said. "In particular, trade deficits are financed by net capital inflows. Capital flows into the US are strong because of low private savings and large budget deficits in the US and elevated savings in China and other EM economies," they added.

Notably, nearly half of the US trade deficit is with China, without any agreement regulating trade between the two countries, the economists added.

The second chart shared by Capistran and Harris shows manufacturing jobs' share of total employment from 1980 to today.

As you can see below, the decline in American manufacturing jobs was similar to the declines seen in other advanced economies like the Euro Area, UK, and Japan — none of which are in NAFTA.

Screen Shot 2017 10 24 at 8.46.58 AM

BAML's chart doesn't go past 1980, but it's worth noting that manufacturing as a share of nonfarm employees in the US has been on the decline since the 1970s.

Taking it a step forward, we at Business Insider previously charted US manufacturing employment from the 1970s to today with respect to economic and trade shocks.

As you can see below, the big drop-off in manufacturing jobs correlates with China joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001. And, the steepest decline occurs after 2007-2008 Great Recession.

us manufacturing employment

Of course, trade isn't the only thing that has been a factor in the loss of manufacturing jobs. Automation has played a role, as well.

And a recent report from Bloomberg suggests that even if NAFTA were scrapped entirely, companies would not stop moving operations to Mexico.

"If they just wiped out Nafta and went back to normal trade tariffs, I think that’s manageable," Ross Baldwin, chief executive officer of Tacna told Bloomberg. "Life would continue on because the labor rate is so dramatically different."

SEE ALSO: The top 0.1% of American households hold the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%

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Bitcoin Price Slips below $5,700 Following Bitcoin Gold Fork; Traders Turn to Altcoins

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

[…]

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Bitcoin Price Slips below $5,700 Following Bitcoin Gold Fork; Traders Turn to Altcoins

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

[…]

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Porsche's 911 T shows a drastic return to the car company's roots

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

Porsche 911 Carrera T

  • The 2018 Porsche 911T is the newest addition to the Porsche 911 lineup
  • It's a stripped down, lightweight back-to-basics sports car from Porsche.
  • The 911T has 370 horsepower and can hit 60mph in just 4.0 seconds.
  • It will arrive in showrooms in March 2018 with a starting price of $102,100.

On Monday, Porsche went back to basics with the introduction of its new 911 Carrera T. The T, which stands for Touring, is a reference to is lightweight, stripped down entry-level model from way back in 1968.

It is the 23rd different Porsche 911 variant currently on sale in the US. 

At its heart, the T is based on the standard 911 Carrera 2 Coupe. That starts with a 370 horsepower, 3.0 liter, twin-turbocharged flat-six cylinder engine mounted behind the rear axle mated to a PDK twin-clutch or seven-speed manual transmission driving the rear wheels.

Then, there are the performance goodies such as the standard PASM sport suspension, electronic or mechanic rear differential lock as well as a modified version of Porsche's Sport Chrono package which gives you launch control and driving modes. (The 911T doesn't get the dash mounted chronograph that normally comes with the Sport Chrono Package.) The 911T also gets optional rear axle steering, which isn't available at all on the standard 911 Carrera.

Porsche 911 Carrera TIn addition, Porsche took a page from the Lotus playbook by simplifying and adding lightness. As a result, the 911T gets lightweight glass, less sound insulation, a piece of rope instead of actual door handles, and a no-cost option to forgo the PCM infotainment system/radio. (Unfortunately, US customers will have to keep the radio.)

At 3,142, the 911T is lightest of Porsche's Carrera range of cars and the second lightest 911 variant after the manual transmission equipped GT3.

This translates to an extra dose of performance. According to Porsche, the manual transmission 911T can do 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds; 0.1 seconds faster than a standard 911 Carrera 2. The manufacturer claimed top speed is an impressive 182 mph. With the optional PDK gearbox, the 0-60 mph time is down to just 4.0 seconds, but the top speed is reduced by 2 mph to 180 mph.

Porsche 911 Carrera TThe 2018 Porsche 911T is expected to arrive in showrooms in March with a starting price of $102,100.

The 911T goes to show that while Porsche has been hard at work pumping out massive horsepower from its turbocharged flat-six engines, it hasn't forgotten the unadulterated joy of driving a basic sports car.

SEE ALSO: The Range Rover Evoque Convertible is a strange car with a lot of charm

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NOW WATCH: Gary Shilling calls bitcoin a black box and says he doesn't invest in things he doesn't understand

Bitcoin Price Falls to 5-Day Low Following Fork Currency Creation

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

Bitcoin prices fell Tuesday following the creation of an alternative asset based on its blockchain, and complex expectations for how that would impact the market.

These are the best New York City restaurants where you can eat for under $40

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

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  • New York City is famous for its world-class cuisine.
  • Each year, the Michelin Guide judges release their list of Bib Gourmands, the best inexpensive restaurants in a city.
  • Meals here cost less than $40.


New York City has no shortage of world-class restaurants, but many are too expensive for those who don't make six-figure salaries. Still, there are plenty of high-quality options that offer reasonably priced meals.

Each year, the judges of the Michelin Guide award the title of Bib Gourmand to their favorite inexpensive restaurants. To qualify for the list, the restaurants must be able to offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for no more than $40, before tax.

Below are this year's Bib Gourmand recipients:

Achilles Heel 

Al Bustan

Alta Calidad

Angkor

Arharn Thai

Atla

Atoboy 

Baker & Co. 

Bar Primi 

Beyoglu 

Bunker

Buttermilk Channel

Casa del Chef Bistro

Chavela's

Cho Dang Gol

Chomp Chomp

ChouChou

Ciccio

Congee Village

Cotenna

15740875_1775644656034417_3646895674380622460_n

Dim Sum Go Go

DOMODOMO

Don Antonio by Starita

Donostia

00 + Co

Dumpling Galaxy

East Harbor Seafood Palace

Egg

El Molcajete

El Parador

Enoteca Maria

Falansai

Frankie's 457 Spuntino

Freek's Mill

Ganso Ramen

Gladys

Glasserie

The Good Fork

Gran Electrica

Gregory's 26 Corner Taverna

Hahm Ji Bach

12439433_1246579828700353_9128619749130599253_n

HanGawi

Hao Noodle and Tea

Havana Cafe

Hecho en Dumbo

Hide-Chan Ramen

High Street on Hudson

HinoMaru Ramen

Hometown Bar-B-Que

Hunan Bistro

Hunan House

Hunan Kitchen

Il Poeta

J.G. Melon

Jin Ramen

John Brown Smokehouse

J. Restaurant Chez Asta

Katz's

Kiin Thai

Kiki's

Kings County Imperial

20526035_1415993791787368_5820309757551220262_n

Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen

La Morada

Land of Plenty

Larb Ubol

Laud

Lea

Llama Inn

Lupa

Luzzo's

MaLa Project

Mapo Tofu

Mexicosina

Mile End

Miss Ada

Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Momofuku Ssam Bar

Mu Ramen

New Malaysia

Norma Gastronomia Siciliana

19665381_1909379069275905_7827612373792527857_n

Nyonya

Olmsted

Oso

Paet Rio

Patron

Paulie Gee's

Pippali

Pok Pok Ny

Prime Meats

Prune

Purple Yam

Ribalta

Rider

Roberta's

Rubirosa

Runner & Stone

Russ & Daughters Cafe

Rye

San Matteo

San Rasa

Shalom Japan

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Climate change has cost the US government $350 billion since 2007 — and that’s just the beginning

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

Hurricane Harvey

  • US federal government has directly spent $350 billion since 2007 due to climate change, according to the Government Accountability Office.
  • These costs will rise exponentially with time, potentially hitting more than $100 billion yearly by the end of the century.


A US government watchdog has published a new tally for the cost of climate change in recent years that includes eye-popping estimates for the future: climate-linked disruptions could cost the United States $35 billion per year by 2050.

As the country reels from the devastation wrought by hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finds the federal government has "incurred direct costs of more than $350 billion because of extreme weather and fire events."

That includes $205 billion for domestic disaster response and relief, $90 billion for crop and flood insurance, $34 billion for wildland fire management and $28 billion for maintenance and repairs to federal facilities and federally-managed areas, the report says.

The report notes the effects and costs of extreme events "will increase in significance as what are considered rare events become more common and intense because of climate change."

By 2050, the yearly cost of climate change to the federal government could rise by $12 billion to $35 billion per year, the report says, and that range would surge to $34 billion to $100 billion by the end of the century.

The GAO provides the following chart as a warning of the types of events the country could be grappling with by the year 2100:

rId16_image5

So how is the federal government to respond? The GAO makes the rather meek recommendation that "the appropriate entities within the Executive Office of the President, including the Council on Environmental Quality, Office and Management and Budget, and Office of Science and Technology Policy, use information on the potential economic effects of climate change to help identify significant climate risks facing the federal government and craft appropriate federal responses."

It adds that "such responses could include establishing a strategy to identify, prioritize, and guide federal investments to enhance resilience against future disasters."

SEE ALSO: Trump's climate skepticism could be the biggest threat to US national security

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A Digital Ecosystem for the Live Music Industry

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

viberate dj


It’s no secret that the digital economy relies on user engagement. Recently, industries such as pharmaceuticals, information technology and finance have standardized engaging customers as a way to develop new products and services. However, in most of these cases, user engagement is limited to the initial or final steps of development, rarely does a project’s development engage users at every stage of the process.

Recently, this paradigm has changed. User involvement across a wide spectrum of service and product development continues as the project progresses. In this new paradigm, the way a product or service functions depends on users’ activity and engagement.

This newly recognized need for user-focused products and services certainly could be due to the rise of digital literacy and the internet. Instant access to a broad spectrum of information allows users to know their options. As technology has advanced, consumers have better awareness of what they want. Products that will continue to provide value for users in the future will need to be built for, by and improved upon by its users.

Viberate, a crowdsourced booking and payment platform for the live music industry, is one such example.

Rewarding community contribution

The Viberate platform is a digital ecosystem consisting of a database and marketplace where users can find information on various artists. These artists are also rated and ranked in terms of popularity by the community. The crowd-sourced artist database started off as a pilot project that involved ranking DJs, which in turn evolved from its popularity into a database with over 50,000 musicians. Today, Viberate’s platform boasts more than 130,000 musicians, 50,000 music venues and 210,000 events.

On the platform, artists who qualify as live musicians each have a profile which includes their community rating, daily updates from various media and social media channels, touring schedules, concert ticket purchasing, contact information and more. Given the complexity of the the data in the Viberate ecosystem, blockchain technology was the best ledger system for efficiently maintaining and manipulating the information. From a community perspective, Viberate’s success as a platform depends on transparency and up-to-date accuracy.

To incentivize users to contribute valuable information, industry insights and community updates, Viberate uses the blockchain to provide rewards by paying out their ecosystem’s token,VIB. Registering for a service, referring friends, adding new profiles to the database or curating existing profiles are only just a few ways to contribute and earn VIB tokens.

Another particularly interesting feature to Viberate’s platform is the opportunity to crowdfund artists. Users have the opportunity to find and fund the musicians who they want to see perform. If a user is an event organizer or venue owner, they can create an upcoming event’s profile and sell tickets through the use of smart contracts. In context of the recent boom in cryptocurrency, Viberate is striving to make VIB the definitive currency for the music industry.

VIB Token Sale

During its recent ICO, the VIB token hit $10,7 million, selling out within the first five minutes. According to Viberate’s project calendar, the launch of venue profiles in August 2017 will be followed by adding contributor rewards. Because the user’s role in the network is central to the platform’s success, developing the contributor rewards will be one of the project’s foremost priorities.

Viberate's employees emphasize their dedication towards executing what they have planned ahead, and, so far, it seems they are succeeding.

Positive indications for Viberate’s ability to disrupt the live music industry come from glancing at their team. The ‘back-end’ of the company consists of professionals coming from music, technology and blockchain domains. Bitcoin and blockchain experts and veterans Charlie Shrem, Peter M. Moricz and Collin Lahay have all joined in advisor roles.

Like its impact to the financial industry, application of blockchain technology in the live music industry would reduce the number of intermediaries. Moreover, it could create direct exchanges of contracts where money and information only flowed between consumers, artists, event organizers and venue owners. In this way, Viberate will simplify live music transactions while remaining user-centered.

“Viberate already has value and a supportive community,” explained Viberate’s CEO Matej Gregorcic. “That’s because Viberate is giving more power to people and artists. And that's what conscious consumers want - to be included in products and services they choose in a simple and effecitve way."

The post A Digital Ecosystem for the Live Music Industry appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

GOLDMAN SACHS: There are only 50 stocks in the world that are perfect for this environment

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

trader happy

  • The global economy is expected to keep growing modestly over the next few years.
  • Goldman Sachs has identified 50 stocks poised to perform the best in such an environment.

 

The global stock market is scorching hot right now, but that may not be enough for longer-term investors looking for opportunities that will remain fruitful well into the future.

That's why it's important to identify companies with strong growth profiles — ones that will stay attractive on a fundamental basis in the event of a downturn. After all, when the market is struggling, companies that can stand on their own two feet are often the most appealing to traders flailing for returns.

Fear not, Goldman Sachs has you covered. Using a framework it calls the "Rule of Ten," the firm has identified 50 global stocks poised to perform the best in the environment ahead.

What kind of environment is that? According to Goldman's economics team, it will be one characterized by the type of slow, grinding expansion that's perfect for a certain subset of stocks: those that can bootstrap their way to organic growth, with limited external assistance.

"Growth stocks typically outperform in periods of solid but unspectacular economic activity," a group led by Goldman chief US equity strategist David Kostin wrote in a client note.

Before we unveil the 50-stock list, here's a peek under the hood of Goldman's "Rule of Ten" methodology for the selection of the best possible growth stocks around the world. Each company must have:

  • Realized sales growth of at least 10% in 2015 and 2016
  • Estimated sales growth of at least 10% in 2017 and 2018, according to Goldman analysts
  • Consensus long-term earnings growth of at least 10%

Goldman's screen excludes companies below $2 billion in market cap and those with average daily trading volume less than $10 million. It also removes stocks in the top 20% of their region's enterprise value-to-sales rankings, with the thinking being that their already-lofty valuation will limit upside.

Here's a visual representation of how Goldman whittles its list down from a universe of 2,300 companies:

Screen Shot 2017 10 24 at 8.59.38 AM

The analysis returns some stocks that won't be too shocking to equity enthusiasts. Headlining the group are popular tech stocks Amazon, Tesla and Alphabet.

Without further ado, here are the full components of Goldman's global secular growth list:

  • JD.com
  • Wayfair
  • Ningbo Joyson Electronic
  • B&M European Value Retail
  • YOOX Net APorter
  • Ulta Beauty
  • ASOS
  • Zalando
  • Expedia
  • Five Below
  • Amazon
  • Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings
  • Floor & Decor Holdings
  • Minth Group Limited
  • Domino's Pizza
  • Zhejiang Huace Film & TV
  • ANTA Sports Products
  • Shenzhou International Group
  • Tesla
  • X5 Retail Group
  • Sprouts Farmers Markets
  • BIM Birlesik Magazalar
  • Fomento Economico Mexicano
  • Raia Drogasil
  • Gulfport Energy Corporation
  • PDC Energy
  • INC Research Holdings
  • Sino Biopharmaceutical
  • SiteOne Landscape Supply
  • Recruit Holdings
  • Luxshare Precision Industry
  • Crieto SA
  • YY Inc.
  • Lam Research
  • Yelp
  • MACOM Technology Solutions
  • Momo Inc.
  • Fortinet
  • NetEase
  • Zhejiang Dahua Technology
  • NAVER Corp.
  • Sunny Optical Technology
  • Kako Corp.
  • Alphabet
  • Square
  • 58.com
  • Ultimate Software Group
  • PayPal
  • Summit Materials
  • PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia

SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: Here's how to make a killing this earnings season

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Whirlpool's shares slide after end of century-old deal with Sears (WHR, SHD)

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

washing machine whirlpool

  • Sears will stop selling Whirlpool appliances after a pricing dispute, according to multiple media reports.
  • Whirlpool shares dropped 10.78% to $162.83 in pre-market trading Tuesday.
  • Sears shares were slightly higher.

 

Shares of appliance maker Whirlpool are plunging after the end of a century-old partnership between the company and retailer Sears.

Sears will stop selling Whirlpool appliances after a pricing dispute, according to multiple media reports. Whirlpool shares dropped 10.78% to $162.83 in pre-market trading. 

The department store chain is not without its own struggles. Sears was once the top dog in selling refrigerators, washing machines, and other home appliances, but has since lost its footing over recent years. The retailer has closed down hundreds of stores and has suffered from competition from the likes of Home Depot, Lowe's and Best Buy.

The company has also loosened its grip on its exclusive control over Kenmore appliances, inking a deal with Amazon to sell its appliances on the online platform.

Sears' shares were up 0.50% in pre-market trading though they're down almost 33% year-to-date.

Screen Shot 2017 10 24 at 9.04.56 AM

To read more about how Amazon is pressuring other home improvement chains like Home Depot, click here.

SEE ALSO: Wall Street is questioning if Home Depot is Amazon-proof

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Bitcoin Gold Website Down Following DDoS Attack

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

A website that serves as a central hub for a newly created cryptocurrency project went down today shortly after a successful, scheduled launch.

Moody’s: Threat of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Is Distant but Inevitable

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Moodys Report

A report titled “Consumer Digital Payments — US,” which was released on October 11 by Moody’s analyst Stephen Sohn and team, reassures the payments sector that blockchain technology is a distant threat.

Moody’s thinks that blockchain technology is a disruptor and poses a potential long-term competitive threat to the payments sector. The group highlights a number of “tech-enabled entrants” that are transforming the electronic payments landscape in the U.S.

Extract from the Moody’s report:   

“Providers that are considering adopting blockchain technology, which was originally created as a platform for the Bitcoin ‘cryptocurrency,’ may pose another potential threat to all of the current payment constituents. Blockchain is a chain of blocks of encrypted information that form a database or ‘ledger,’ which may eventually lessen the need for the intermediary platforms that currently approve, clear, and settle payments.
While very limited in current mainstream payments, the bitcoin ‘cryptocurrency’ was developed as an alternative payment system that eliminates the need for a centralized institution to approve payment transactions. Despite its potential, blockchain technology is untested in large volumes, where authorizations need to be processed in fractions of a second. If the technology were ever to prove promising for payments, we would expect the incumbents to adopt it.

Blockchain Will Transform and Benefit Financial Services

In a separate report released by Moody’s associate managing director, Sean Jones, and team in April this year, the group acknowledged that blockchain technology has a range of “potential applications and benefits” beyond Bitcoin.

Jones writes that the technology is expected to transform the clearing and settlement industry, and highlights that the blockchain can also “promote transaction transparency, enhance data security and reduce the risk of a single point of failure.”

As blockchain technology is implemented, it is expected that post-trade processes will be transformed. However, there are a number of hurdles to overcome before the economics of investments in blockchain tech are seen as a positive. These include technical issues related to scalability and interoperability, which will need to be addressed, and agreement on industry standards and terms of collaboration will be vital. 

Moody’s highlights that the stance taken by regulators in financial services is generally supportive, but there is no definitive view on the ultimate treatment of the technology.

The post Moody’s: Threat of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Is Distant but Inevitable appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Jeff Garzik Hopes New Digital Currency Metronome Solves Bitcoin’s ‘Shortcomings’

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

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Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York August 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at JonesTrading, has an overview of today's markets.

Here's Lutz:

Good Morning, US Futures are climbing, with S&P up 20bp as a sea of Earnings rolls – but keep an eye on Russell and Nasdaq, your downside leaders yesterday and lagging again this AM.   Pretty Green in Europe, where the DAX is up 16bp in heavy turnover, with Fins acting well on Commerzbank chatter, offsetting continued selling In Tech shares.   Spain’s IBEX playing catch-up as Caixabank jumped on #s – but Sweden’s exchange is off 60bp as Electrolux gets hit on WHR headers.   In Asia, Tech acted well, as AAPL supplier AMS leapt 15% on numbers - Nikkei up 50bp for 16straight - Hang Seng hit for 50bp as Autos stumbled - Shanghai up small - Tech propelled Korea, with KOSDAQ up 1.7%, and Aussie up small

Fed Funds at 97% for December and the US 10YY is nearing 2.4% as Germany’s 10YY touches 1month highs.   The DXY is off small, as Flash PMIs and Confidence numbers are supporting the Euro - Sterling under slight pressure on some BoE headers, the Yen continuing to break down, but watch that Kiwi$ kissing 5month lows on ramping political angst - Ore off small, but Steels up 1% in China and Industrial metals acting well early, with Nickel adding 1.6% and Copper nearing 3Y highs on LME.   WTI just spiked $1 to take out the week’s highs, while Natty gas off small after multiple rejects at $3

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Here's a super-quick guide to what traders are talking about right now

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

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York August 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at JonesTrading, has an overview of today's markets.

Here's Lutz:

Good Morning, US Futures are climbing, with S&P up 20bp as a sea of Earnings rolls – but keep an eye on Russell and Nasdaq, your downside leaders yesterday and lagging again this AM.   Pretty Green in Europe, where the DAX is up 16bp in heavy turnover, with Fins acting well on Commerzbank chatter, offsetting continued selling In Tech shares.   Spain’s IBEX playing catch-up as Caixabank jumped on #s – but Sweden’s exchange is off 60bp as Electrolux gets hit on WHR headers.   In Asia, Tech acted well, as AAPL supplier AMS leapt 15% on numbers - Nikkei up 50bp for 16straight - Hang Seng hit for 50bp as Autos stumbled - Shanghai up small - Tech propelled Korea, with KOSDAQ up 1.7%, and Aussie up small

Fed Funds at 97% for December and the US 10YY is nearing 2.4% as Germany’s 10YY touches 1month highs.   The DXY is off small, as Flash PMIs and Confidence numbers are supporting the Euro - Sterling under slight pressure on some BoE headers, the Yen continuing to break down, but watch that Kiwi$ kissing 5month lows on ramping political angst - Ore off small, but Steels up 1% in China and Industrial metals acting well early, with Nickel adding 1.6% and Copper nearing 3Y highs on LME.   WTI just spiked $1 to take out the week’s highs, while Natty gas off small after multiple rejects at $3

Read about the 10 things you need to know today...

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Non-Government Cryptocurrency is ‘Junk’, Says Mastercard CEO in Attacking Bitcoin

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

[…]

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Here's how millennials are trading AMD ahead of earnings (AMD)

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

AMD Radeon RX Vega cards

AMD is one of the most popular stocks among young, millennial investors. In the first half of 2017, it was the second most popular stock on the trading app Robinhood, which has proven popular among millennials.

The chip maker reports its third-quarter earnings after Tuesday's closing bell, and according to data provided by Sahill Poddar, a data scientist at Robinhood, young investors are feeling good about the company's upcoming report.

In the week leading up to earnings, 20% more investors bought shares of AMD on Robinhood's platform than sold shares. 

The younger users of Robinhood are more bullish than their older peers, Poddar said. Twenty-five percent more users under 30 are buying shares than are selling them. For those over 30, 10% more are buying AMD than selling it.

AMD recently released new central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs) to try and compete with the incumbents in the space. Nvidia is the AMD's largest GPU competitor and is seeing a boost from the increased attention being placed on artificial intelligence, which GPUs are well placed to benefit from.

Nvidia is the 14th most held stock on Robinhood, while AMD is the sixth most held company.

Wall Street analysts have a consensus price target of $14.27 for AMD, just 1.2% higher than the current price, according to data from FactSet.

Wall Street is expecting earnings of $0.075 per share, on revenue of $1.5 billion, FactSet data shows. AMD is up 24.36% this year.

Read more about the most popular stocks on Robinhood here.

amd stock price

SEE ALSO: Investors on trading app Robinhood can't get enough of these 15 stocks

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McDonald's earnings match estimates as promos drive US growth (MCD)

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

McDonald's quarter pounder

  • McDonald's third-quarter sales and profits matched analysts' expectations. 
  • Sales at US stores open for at least one year were boosted by a promo for soft drinks and the McPick 2 menu, as well as the new signature-crafted burgers. 

 

McDonald's on Tuesday reported third-quarter earnings and sales that matched analysts' forecasts as its promotions continued to drive sales growth at US restaurants. 

The fast-food chain reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.76, matching the consensus estimate according to Bloomberg.

Revenues also matched forecasts, at $5.75 billion. The company benefitted from the sale of its businesses in China and Hong Kong. 

Sales at stores in the US open for at least one year rose 4.1%, driven by its $1 soda and McPick 2 promos, as well as the new signature-crafted burgers, the company said. Analysts had forecast 3.4% growth. McDonald's in July expanded the number of US restaurants that offered delivery through UberEats.

McDonald's shares gained 34% this year through Monday's close. They were little changed premarket after the earnings release. 

SEE ALSO: McDonald's and other restaurants are trying to appeal to millennial employees by offering daily paychecks

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A nonprofit focused on the 1.25 million Americans with type 1 diabetes is pushing a new way to fund startups

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

insulin pump diabetes

  • JDRF, a nonprofit type 1 diabetes organization, has its own venture arm, T1D Fund, which manages $60 million.  That includes $5 million added to the fund on Tuesday from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.
  • The goal of the T1D Fund is to to spark investments into startups that are translating scientific advancements in type 1 diabetes into approved treatments. 
  • Companies that the fund has invested in see the support as "catalytic," especially since it carries the weight of JDRF's reputation. 

 

Type 1 diabetes, a condition that affects 1.25 million Americans, has seen its fair share of scientific advancements in the past few decades as researchers learn more about the disease, which affects the body's ability to monitor blood sugar levels.

But at the same time, those advancements haven't necessarily reached patients. So, JDRF the largest funder of type 1 diabetes research, started a venture fund called the T1D Fund to spark investments into startups that might be able to take those scientific advancements and turn them in to approved treatments. 

"The research progress has been amazing, but what we're not seeing is the creation of a market," Sean Doherty, chairman of the T1D Fund told Business Insider. Venture capital, in particular, hasn't been very active in type 1 diabetes in recent years. "If we don't take charge of this, show leadership, nobody's going to."

If we don't take charge of this, show leadership, nobody's going to."

The T1D fund got its start in January 2017 with $32 million. Since then, it's invested in seven companies, and now manages $60 million. That includes $5 million added to the fund on Tuesday from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, an organization that supports health programs including type 1 diabetes. 

The idea of a nonprofit starting a venture arm is relatively new, but Doherty said the T1D is taking cues from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which backed a startup that developed breakthrough cystic fibrosis treatments.

Felicia Pagliuca, vice president of cell biology research and development at Semma Therapeutics, described the T1D Fund's investment in the company as "catalytic." In 2015, Semma raised a $44 million Series A round for its  treatments, which uses stem cells to generate insulin-producing beta cells.  

Diasome Pharmaceuticals is another one of the seven companies that the T1D Fund has invested in. The company is developing additions for insulin that helps send the insulin molecules to the right parts of the body. The idea is that by getting it to the right spots, it might have a better chance of functioning even more like the insulin healthy people make. 

Diasome CEO Bob Geho told Business Insider that a lot of funding disappeared for diabetes treatments roughly a decade ago, when the FDA wanted some more data around cardiovascular health. And because there are fewer people living with type 1 diabetes compared to the 29 million living with type 2, it was harder to get innovation there. 

At the same time the T1D Fund invested, Diasome raised a $30 million funding round led by Medicxi.  

In terms of inking future deals, the support that comes with the T1D Fund investment ideally could lead to more deals down the line. 

"JDRF's investment has been duly noted by the pharmaceutical industry," Geho said. 

SEE ALSO: Amid the exploding opioid epidemic, a new device could change how doctors treat chronic pain

DON'T MISS: Viruses discovered a century ago may be our best defense against a threat that could kill 10 million people a year by 2050

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General Motors beats on earnings, shares rise (GM)

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

General Motors GM SUV

The No. 1 U.S. automaker General Motors Co posted a quarterly net loss on Tuesday caused by charges related to the sale of its Opel unit in Europe to France's PSA Group , but excluding the charges the results beat analysts' expectations.

Detroit-based GM posted a third-quarter net loss of $2.98 billion, or $2.03 per share, compared with a profit of $2.77 billion, or $1.71 per share a year earlier. Excluding one-time charges, the company earned $1.32 a share, above analyst expectations of $1.14.

GM shares gained 3% premarket. 

"With an aggressive vehicle launch cadence through the fourth quarter and an ongoing intense focus on costs, we project strong results through the end of the year," the company said in a statement. 

SEE ALSO: GM has settled its Canada strike — but the union might not be happy about the results

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The dollar is hovering amid a 'palpable sense of anticipation'

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

us dollar index

The US dollar index was little changed at 93.85 at 7:24 a.m. ET on a relatively quiet day in FX markets.

That being said, "there is a palpable sense of anticipation," for a number of key developments on the economic policy front, Marc Chandler, global head of currency strategy at Brown Brothers Harriman, said in commentary.

He continued:

"Anticipation for the ECB meeting on Thursday, which is expected to see a six or nine-month extension of asset purchases at a pace half of the current 60 bln a month. Anticipation of the new Fed Chair, which President Trump says will be announced: 'very, very soon.' Anticipation of US tax reform proposal that will be released as soon as the budget is approved. Anticipation of US corporate earnings, with FANG, shares off for the fifth session yesterday, the longest downdraft of the year."

As for the rest of the world, here was the scoreboard at 7:26 a.m. ET:

  • The euro was up by 0.2% at 1.1768 against the dollar. German manufacturing PMI surprised on the upside, coming in at 60.5 for October, above expectations of 60.2.
  • The Russian ruble was up by 0.3% at 57.3894 per dollar, while Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, was up by 0.7% at $57.76 per barrel.
  • The Indian rupee was little changed at 65.065 per dollar.
  • The British pound was little changed at 1.3188 against the dollar.
  • The Japanese yen was down by 0.2% at 113.70 per dollar.

SEE ALSO: The top 0.1% of American households hold the same amount of wealth as the bottom 90%

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Germany's second biggest bank is taking advice from Goldman Sachs as it prepares for takeover bids

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

Commerzbank bikes

  • Germany's second-largest lender has hired advisers to prepare for possible takeover bids.
  • Both Goldman Sachs and Rothschild are advising the lender, which has a market capitalisation of €14 billion.
  • Any deal for Commerzbank would be the biggest for a German bank since before the financial crisis.


LONDON — Commerzbank, Germany's second-largest bank by assets, has hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser as it prepares for takeover bids, according to reports.

The Financial Times reports that Goldman and investment bank Rothschild have been hired by the Frankfurt-headquartered Commerzbank to prepare for numerous possible merger scenarios. They are "not strictly preparing a defence strategy against a takeover bid," according to the report.

M&A in the financial services sector in Europe has been subdued since the financial crisis, and any deal for Commerzbank — which has a market capitalisation of around €14 billion (£12.5 billion; $16.5 billion) and total assets worth around $506 billion (€430 billion; £384 billion) — would represent the biggest banking deal in Germany in more than 10 years.

Banks around Europe — including Italy's biggest bank, UniCredit, and French giants BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole — are thought to be among potential bidders for the bank, which deals with a substantial chunk of banking business for Germany's so-called "Mittelstand."

The Mittelstand is the collective name given to small and medium-sized businesses in Germany, which form the backbone of the country's economy.

Any potential takeover may be complicated by the fact that Commerzbank is still part-owned by the German government, and any deal would, therefore, need government approval.

Last year, "top executives at Commerzbank and bellwether Deutsche Bank held unsuccessful talks on a combination," Reuters reported earlier on Tuesday.

Commerzbank, Goldman Sachs, and Rothschild declined to comment on the reports.

Shares in the bank have jumped on the reports. At just after 12.00 p.m. BST (7.00 a.m. ET), the company's stock is more than 3.7% higher at €11.88 per share, as the chart below shows:coYou can read the Financial Times' full story here.

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A company that's taking a new approach to tackling Alzheimer's just landed a $225 million endorsement (ABBV)

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

brain

  • Biotech startup Alector just got a $225 million endorsement from pharma giant AbbVie for its work in neurodegenerative diseases. 
  • Alector's developing treatments that harness the body's immune system to tackle conditions like Alzheimer's, and other forms of dementia. 
  • The work's still in its early stages, but Alector's hoping to get five treatments into human trials in the next two years. 

 

A startup that's trying to harness the body's immune system to treat neurologic diseases like Alzheimer's just got a major endorsement from pharma giant AbbVie.  

As part of the deal, Alector gets a $205 million upfront payment and a future equity investment that's up to $20 million, with AbbVie having the option to globally develop and commercialize two of the drug targets. Up to this point, Alector had raised $80 million from Orbimed, GV, Polaris along with pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Amgen, and AbbVie's venture arm. 

The approach of using the body's immune system to treat a particular disease has so far proven successful in the field of cancer, where it's known as immuno-oncology. It's led to remarkable remissions in some patients, along with some first-of-its kind approvals. Alector's hoping to have similar success in building out the field of "immuno-neurology." 

"It’s really something that’s just emerging," Alector CEO Arnon Rosenthal told Business Insider. Alector's looking for treatments that target the body's innate immune system, using the genetic markers associated with neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's disease and ALS. That information wasn't available five years ago, Rosenthal said.

It's because of that genetic information that scientists have come to better understand the link between the immune system and Alzheimer's. The hope is that by more broadly going for immune system, the treatments might have a better shot at working than more targeted approaches that have had some setbacks in the past few years.

AbbVie is developing new treatments to treat neurodegenerative diseases, specifically one that targets the tau proteins that get tangled in the brain of people with Alzheimer's. Rosenthal said that ideally, these more targeted treatments could be used in combination with the immunotherapy approach Alector's going after. 

"Alector’s unique approach to engaging the immune system to combat neurodegeneration reflects our commitment to target this epidemic in new ways," Jim Sullivan, AbbVie's vice president of pharmaceutical discovery, said in a news release. "We recognized the potential of Alector’s research first as an AbbVie Ventures portfolio company and are now eager to partner with them to further develop this platform into meaningful advances for patients."

It's still in early stages, but Alector is hoping to get five drug targets into human trials over the next two years. To start, that's going to include targets for Alzheimer's and another common form of dementia called frontotemporal dementia.  

SEE ALSO: A revolutionary treatment could help more than 10,000 people living with largely untreatable cancer

DON'T MISS: Meet the 30 biotech leaders under 40 who are searching for breakthrough treatments and shaping the future of medicine

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Bitcoin Card Provider Wirex Partners SBI to Launch Cryptocurrency Card in Japan

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Germany's top finance watchdog: 'We all will pay a price' for Brexit

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

Felix Hufeld, President of Germany's Federal Financial Supervisory Authority BaFin (Bundesanstalt fuer Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht) visits Thomson Reuters office in Frankfurt, Germany, September 22, 2016.

  • BaFin President Felix Hufeld said: "Whatever the outcome of Brexit is going to be, it will cost a price, both for British consumers, as well as EU27 consumers."
  • Hufeld says EU regulators won't tolerate "empty shells or letterbox models" from financial services in the EU post-Brexit.

LONDON — Germany's most senior financial regulator believes Brexit will push up the price of financial services in both the UK and Europe.

Felix Hufeld, the President of German regulator BaFin, said at an event on Tuesday: "It is crystal clear in my mind that whatever the outcome of Brexit is going to be, it will cost a price, both for British consumers, as well as EU27 consumers. That is very clear."

Hufeld said there is a "vast economic dependency" between UK and EU that will be disrupted by the pair's "historic divorce."

Hufeld said BaFin and other EU regulators would not tolerate "empty shells or letterbox models," meaning banks will have to set up fully regulated, functioning subsidiaries in Europe post-Brexit. This must include independent processes and management oversight, as well as IT systems.

This will inevitably be costly. The Association of Financial Markets in Europe (AFME) estimated in June that a "hard" Brexit could cost UK banks €15 billion (£13.1 billion) and add €40 billion (£35 billion) to tier one capital requirements.

These costs would most likely push up the cost of services — everything from loans to insurance. Bruegel, a European economic think tank, estimated in February that Brexit could push up European borrowing costs by as much as €12 billion a year.

"The cost of doing business will go up, certain costs for consumers may go up — it's more difficult to predict precisely — but the assumption that it's going to be a cost-free incident I find completely unrealistic," Hufeld said.

"It does show the degree of interaction and the benefits of being in the EU have been underestimated by many people. We all will pay a price for that."

Asked to estimate just how much Brexit may cost banks and other financial institutions, Hufeld said it is too early to tell.

He said he was in close communication with colleagues across Europe to ensure regulators are prepared for whatever the outcome of Brexit happens to be, saying his key goal was to ensure financial stability.

Hufeld was speaking in London at an event organized by specialist financial service consultancy Zeb.

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Bitcoin Price Dips Below $5,800, While Ethereum Recovers Beyond $300

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Australia Passes Law to Officially Kill Double Bitcoin Tax

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A startup that wants to be the iOS of Wall Street has made 2 big hires

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

london gherkin skyline city of london

  • OpenFin, a startup that wants to be the iOS for capital markets, has hired two trading technology veterans to lead operations in Europe.
  • Adam Toms, a former exec at Instinet, will join OpenFin as CEO Europe, while Espen Overby, a former exec at inFront, is set to run technology operations in the region.

A startup that wants to be the iOS of Wall Street is bringing on two trading veterans to head up operations in Europe.

OpenFin, a tech company that helps electronic-trading firms build their desktop applications, announced Tuesday that Adam Toms, a former executive at Instinet, a trading technology company, will join the firm as CEO Europe. The company is also bringing on Espen Overby, former chief technology officer at inFront, a market data company, to head technology operations in the region.

The two hires are meant to shore up OpenFin's ability to serve its big bank clients, many of which have large tech operations in Europe, and to expand its footprint in the region. Toms, who has more than two-decades of experience in financial services, will oversee the 11 people on staff in OpenFin's London office. Toms previously was CEO of Instinet Europe, for which he led brokerage operations and strategy for Europe and the Middle East.

OpenFin is looking to become Wall Street's version of what the iOS and Android platforms are to the mobile application space. The firm currently powers applications licensed on 125,000 desktops. Its customers include JPMorgan, Citadel, and OpenDoor.

Toms told Business Insider its customers are finding more and more use-cases for OpenFin's products.

"The company at the moment is scaling very fast," Toms said. "We are looking at how we can get our resources in the right place to serve the market effectively."

As such, the firm is looking to double its headcount in Europe over the next six months. OpenFin finished a $15 million round of venture funding backed by JPMorgan in February 2017. It has raised $22 million in total funding. Other backers include Bain Capital Ventures and DRW Venture Capital.

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Lloyds HBOS trial: Former watchdog chief to give evidence in secret

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

hector sants1

  • Former head of the now-disbanded Financial Services Authority is due to give evidence in secret.
  • Neither press nor public will be permitted to be present, following a court order.
  • The court order itself was also unknown until Monday.

LONDON – Sir Hector Sants, the former chief of the now-defunct Financial Services Authority, is due to give evidence in secret as part of the trial about Lloyds Bank's takeover of HBOS in 2008.

Sants is due to give evidence in December in a £550 million court case brought against the bank by 6,000 investors, according to a report in the Guardian.

The investors are suing Lloyds Banking Group and five former directors for the decision to acquire HBOS at the height of the financial crisis. Lloyds and the directors deny any wrongdoing.

On Monday it came to light that Sants's evidence is due to be given in private, without the press or public present, after Mr Justice Nugee signed a court order permitting secrecy in July.

The court order itself has also been unknown until now, but Mr Justice Norris ruled on Monday that it could become public, following an application by five media organisations.

Sants will be cross examined in private, for insights into why Lloyds went ahead with the HBOS deal as the financial situation worsened in October 2008.

The trial so far has heard claims that by October 2008 Lloyds had been looking to reduce the price it paid for the HBOS deal, but had been told by Sants at the FSA that it would have to raise the £7 billion regardless of whether the deal went ahead. The shareholders bringing the case claim this capital requirement was a "naked attempt" by the FSA, the Bank of England and the Treasury to "bully" Lloyds into the deal.

Lloyds and the directors deny they were bullied into a deal, but defence documents say they were "shocked" at the FSA's demand, and note Sants had said the £7 billion was "non-negotiable."

Prior to the crisis the FSA had been criticised for being too lenient, prompting Sants to warn the financial services industry that it should be "very afraid" of the regulator.

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Italy's biggest bank accidentally emailed its quarterly results a fortnight early

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

Unicredit bank logo is seen in the old city centre of Siena, Italy June 29, 2017.

  • Italy's biggest bank, accidentally emailed its third-quarter results to investors and analysts on Monday over two weeks ahead of schedule.
  • The bank accidentally released financial results late on Monday afternoon by uploading to its website a table of historical figures with "hidden but accessible" figures.
  • The bank's preliminary Q3 results have now been published in full.

LONDON — Unicredit, Italy's biggest bank, accidentally emailed its third-quarter results to investors and analysts on Monday, more than two weeks ahead of schedule.

The bank had intended to publish preliminary results for the quarter on November 8, but accidentally released financial results late on Monday afternoon by uploading to its website a table of historical figures with "hidden but accessible" figures pertaining to its third-quarter performance.

It then circulated the same table by email to analysts and investors.

A statement released by Unicredit on Monday morning said: "UniCredit hereby informs that in the late afternoon of 23 October 2017, a table containing a recast of Group historical financial results was uploaded on the UniCredit website.

"The table included preliminary and incomplete ... figures contained in two columns which were hidden, but accessible. Having realized the erroneous publication of data, UniCredit promptly removed the two columns in the table." 

"The same erroneous table was sent via e-mail to investors and financial analysts. All recipients were informed about the erroneous data by e-mail.

"Given the above, the Board of Directors of UniCredit has been immediately called for the morning of 24 October 2017 in order to acknowledge ... preliminary results and proceed with the disclosure of such preliminary results before market opening at 9 a.m., Milan time [7 a.m. GMT]."

The bank's preliminary Q3 results have now been published in full. It showed net operating profit rose 34% year-on-year to €1.2 billion (£1.07 billion) while net profit before tax rose 45% to €926 million (£825 million).

Other major European banks including Deutsche Bank and UBS publish third-quarter results later this week.

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With 11 Million Users Coinbase Enables Instant Bitcoin Buying With a US Bank Account

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People worry the boom in selling digital coins could mean 'boiler room is resurrected'

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

Circa 1450, A man using a machine to stamp the designs onto newly-minted coins. (Photo by )

  • Startups have raised over $3 billion through "initial coin offerings" so far this year.
  • VC warns that market is a magnet for scammers looking to make quick money.
  • Calls for regulation and self-policing, with a new manifesto for ICO standards issued in London.

 

LONDON — Concerns are growing that the recent boom in "initial coin offerings" (ICOs) could leave many investors burned by scammers looking to make easy money.

Initial coin offerings, or ICOs, are a new form of online fundraising. Startups issue digital coins or tokens in exchange for real money used to fund projects. ICOs have become hugely popular this year, with over $3 billion raised using the method in 2017 so far.

Michael Jackson, a venture capitalist at Mangrove Capital, told Business Insider: "The danger with ICOs is that the boiler room is resurrected." 

Jackson warned that the market is "a complete Wild West," with no controls on how ICOs can be pitched to investors and evidence of scams in the market.

Boiler rooms are brokerages that sell stock over the phone using dishonest tactics or outright lies, essentially ripping off investors to get a commission for themselves. A good example is the office in the film Wolf of Wall Street. The man behind that real-life incident the inspired the film this week said ICOs are "far worse than anything I was ever doing."

Jackson expressed alarm that many ICOs were being advertised on social media platforms like Twitter and messaging app Telegram. Adverts on these platforms often emphasis demand for the investments they are selling without warning of the risks associated.

For example, the white paper for ElectraCoin contains the lines: "Connect with your community and increase your wallet when your coin price increases exponentially allowing interest toward a bright future."

"We strongly recommend that you do not invest your life savings. We encourage you to invest and create a larger life savings."

Telegram

Jackson surveyed over 200 recent ICOs for a recent paper on the market and said roughly half would not have made it through Mangrove's deal screening process.

Some would have failed for not meeting investment standards but Jackson said that there also appear to be active scams in the market. Members of ICO-focused Telegram groups and Slack channels use the chats to warn others about ICOs that they worry are scams.

Websites like ICO Monitor assesses the transparency of issuances and whether they follow best practice. But Jackson believes that regulated market is needed, akin to London's AIM stock market, to help people tell scams and real projects apart.

"There's going to need to be a gold stamp on something," Jackson said. "It's another reason for regulation."

twitter icoCity of London think tank the Z/Yen Group on Monday published a "London Fundraising Token Manifesto" that aims to establish new standards for ICOs.

Professor Michael Mainelli, who authored the manifesto, said in a statement: "This proto-bubble needs a strong dose of self-regulation."

Antony Abell, the cofounder of blockchain company TrustMe, has signed up to the manifesto and said in a statement: "The lack of confidence in Initial Coin Offerings and Initial Token Offerings is of growing concern to finance professionals who are keen to uphold standards in the City.

"Legitimate companies who have a genuine product offering and wish to access this new, more agile form of fundraising, have suffered at the expense of unscrupulous firms."

However, the extremely early stage of most startup seeking an ICO makes it difficult to distinguish between outright scams and legitimate projects. Most raise money on the back of a white paper — a document outlining plans. These documents tend to be far less detailed than the type of prospectus required for an IPO.

ICO tokens are generally linked to the startup's finished product but Bloomberg reported on Monday that only one in 10 tokens issued so far this year are actually being used for the project that issued them. Most plans remain in progress or unfinished.

Most tokens are therefore being traded as speculative investments based on the premise that the projects will eventually see the light of day and, hopefully, become successful. Investors who put money in often have little to no rights if the project goes wrong.

Regulators in China and South Korea have banned ICOs and the UK regulator has warned investors that they are "very high risk" investment.

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The 2 biggest threats to trust in global markets, according to a senior Bank of England adviser

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

A trader from BGC Partners, a global brokerage company in London's Canary Wharf financial centre waits for European stock markets to open early June 24, 2016 after Britain voted to leave the European Union in the EU BREXIT referendum.

  • Mark Yallop, of the FICC Markets Standards Board and the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Committee, talked to Business Insider about the risks facing financial markets.
  • He said the electronification of markets and the fragmentation of global regulation are the two biggest threats to trust in global markets.
  • FICC is working on a set of global standards to help prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

LONDON – The two biggest threats to trust in international markets are the fragmentation of global regulation and the electronification of markets, according to a senior adviser to the Bank of England.

Speaking to Business Insider, Mark Yallop, an external member of the BoE's Prudential Regulation Committee and Chairman of the FICC Markets Standards Board, said an increasingly inward-looking approach from global regulators and the unintended consequences of technology could have negative implications in the long-term, although stressed he was not predicting a "catastrophe, crash type event."

The electronification of markets

The electronification of markets, said Yallop, "does not eliminate market abuse and misconduct." Although the increasing use of technology in trading is not a bad thing in itself, he said, "you can't do it without some safeguards."

Mark YallopAccording to Yallop, the electronic trading of fixed income markets is a particular concern.

A move towards the greater use of technology in this area of the market increased substantially after the financial crisis, he said, in a drive to increase transparency and minimise risk.

But in the late noughties, he said, "it was known" that equity markets had been trading electronically for years, and had suffered "all sorts of conduct abuses."

"Anybody who'd thought for more than a minute" could have seen that moving to electronic trading was not a catch-all solution, he said, and would solve one problem while creating others.

It is only now, said Yallop, that people are "really coming round to a level of concern about the unintended consequences of the electronification of fixed income markets."

Such problems include new opportunities for market manipulation, such as electronic spoofing — when traders trick the market into thinking there is more demand to buy or sell than there actually is — or the creation of unfair advantages for certain traders, particularly when speed is an advantage.

Speaking earlier this month at Bloomberg's London Buyside Week, Yallop also highlighted electronic "dark pools," in which selected participants trade outside the glare of public "lit" markets, which can be to the disadvantage of some market users.

According to FICC CEO Gerry Harvey, electronification often simply means that problems move from one group of people to another: some "really bad guys," he said, have developed technologies to "beat the system" designed to prevent misconduct. "We've had technology in the markets for years," he said, and it does not "code out" the problem. 

The fragmentation of regulators

According to Yallop, another significant threat to global financial markets is an increasingly inward-looking approach being taken by global regulators.

"We are now without doubt in a period when international regulatory cooperation is less intense than it was [six or seven years ago]," said Yallop. What we are seeing now, he said, is the "fragmentation of the global regulatory landscape."

Since markets are global, he said, a focus on local issues is "risky from a market outcomes point of view." Lessons are not being learned consistently around the world, he said, because "they tend to get trapped within a particular jurisdiction."

After the financial crisis, said Yallop, law makers and regulators took different approaches, and at different speeds, to addressing concerns about market regulation. Although for a time there was a "broad consensus" that regulation needed to be internationally coordinated to some degree, regulators around the world are increasingly prioritizing "their own domestic agenda," he said.

This creates a situation where market participants are able to "arbitrage the rules between jurisdiction A and jurisdiction B," said Yallop, which "creates a slide back towards the world that we thought we were leaving behind."

Yallop stressed that misconduct in financial markets is not only the product of the wrong behaviour of individuals, but also attributable to cultural and environmental factors and a lack of clear rules. To help understand what caused the financial crisis, and to prevent another, FICC is currently working with banks, investors and other stake-holders to develop a set of global standards for market conduct, to fill what they see as a "conduct void."

As one regulator told him recently, says Harvey, conduct is "like being in fog: I'm surrounded by it, it's cold and wet, I can't see my way through it and when I put my hand out to grab it, it disappears."

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Intel Partners With Ledger to Integrate Bitcoin Wallet Software and SGX Tech

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

Blockchain wallet hardware startup Ledger has announced a new partnership with tech giant Intel.

10 things you need to know in markets today

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

Xi Jinping

Good Morning! Here's what you need to know on Tuesday.

1. The Financial Conduct Authority has said it will carry out "a more focused investigation" into Royal Bank of Scotland's treatment of small businesses within the Global Restructuring Group (GRG) amid growing pressure for transparency. The City watchdog, which published a summary of its near four-year-old report today, has said it is "investigating matters arising" from the report, adding it is "focusing on whether there is any basis for further action within our powers."

2. A U.S. jury on Monday found a former HSBC Holdings executive guilty of defrauding Cairn Energy in a $3.5 billion currency trade in 2011. U.S. prosecutors have said that Mark Johnson, formerly head of HSBC’s global foreign exchange cash trading desk, schemed to ramp up the price of British pounds before executing a trade for Cairn, making millions for HSBC at Cairn's expense.

3. China's ruling Communist Party on Tuesday approved an amendment to its constitution directly mentioning Chinese President Xi Jinping's name and his "Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era". No other leader has had an eponymous ideology included in the document while in office since Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China. This effectively makes Xi China's most powerful leader since Mao.

4. Japan's Nikkei share average edged up in choppy trade on Tuesday morning, on track for a record 16-day winning streak, while Yaskawa Electric tumbled after disappointing investors with tepid profit forecasts. The Nikkei rose 0.45% to 21,793 in afternoon trade after opening lower.

5. Brutal. There's no other word for Ray Dalio's latest note on the US economy, and the situation it describes. The founder of Bridgewater, the world's largest hedge fund with about $160 billion in management, posted the note on LinkedIn on Monday, and sets about splitting the US economy in two: the top 40% and the bottom 60%. The point of this exercise is to show that while the headline numbers show a growing, healthy economy, there's a lot more going on under the surface that needs to be paid attention to. 

6. The S&P 500 completed its longest streak ever without a 3% intraday drawdown on Monday. At the close, it overtook the previous record of 241 days set in 1996. "I feel like a broken record, but so many times when I’m talking about 2017, I usually say 'the last time since 1964, 1965, or 1995' when making comparisons to 2017," said Ryan Detrick, a senior market strategist at LPL Financial

7. Italy's Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena said on Tuesday its shares would resume trading on October 25 after the market regulator approved a document for their relisting. Monte dei Paschi's shares have not traded in Milan since December 2016, when the bank failed to raise capital from investors and had to seek help from the state ahead of an 8 billion euro rescue.

8. On Monday, Netflix announced it will raise $1.6 billion in debt to fund its ever-increasing content budget. The company's stock was up 0.32% in early trading to $194.79. Netflix said that the terms of the deal will be sorted out between the company and the first buyers of the debt. The move comes after Netflix announced a content budget of between $7 billion and $8 billion for 2018. The company said it hopes to increase the amount it is spending on original content that it won't have to license from partners.

9. Boeing on Monday signed a previously announced deal with Singapore Airlines Ltd to sell it 39 aircraft worth $13.8 billion at list prices during a White House event with Singapore's prime minister. The airline said last week it would finalize the order during the visit as part of its bid to modernize its fleet over the next decade.

10. A new online estate agent whose backers include London's venture capital queen Eileen Burbidge has raised £36 million. Serial entrepreneur Matt Robinson, who received early support from Burbidge's Passion Capital and Balderton Capital, has received the funding boost from Global Founders Capital for his new company Nested, bringing the total raised to £47 million.

And finally ... Business Insider is looking for nominations for the hottest young talents in British finance right now. If you, or anyone you know, is making waves in the City of London (or anywhere else in the UK) and is under 31, we'd love to hear from you. Get in touch on social media, or email: wmartin@businessinsider.com.

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Jeff Garzik Startup Bloq to Launch New Cryptocurrency in Token Sale

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

The figure at the center of bitcoin's scaling debate is launching a new cryptocurrency, one he hopes will put to rest longstanding issues with public blockchains.

Bitcoin Gold Initiates Hard Fork Split to Create New Cryptocurrency

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

A new cryptocurrency is coming to town. Early Tuesday morning, developers began the process of splitting bitcoin gold from bitcoin.

Abra Closes $16M in Funding and Looks to Venture Into Consumer Product Space

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Abra Foxconn

Abra, a mobile payment and digital currency platform that relies on Bitcoin, closed $16 million in series B funding, led by Foxconn, the electronics supplier for Apple and other tech giants.  

Bill Barhydt, founder and CEO of Abra, made the announcement on October 23, 2017, at Money20/20 in Las Vegas, where he also outlined his vision for how consumer product companies will use Bitcoin in the future.

Other investors in the round include Silver Capital and IGNIA, as well as previous investors Arbor Ventures, American Express Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Lerer Hippeau and RRE Ventures. Total funding to date for the company now stands at nearly $35 million.

“We believe that Abra represents the future of digital payments and banking,” Jack Lee, founding managing partner at HCM, the investment arm of Foxconn, said in a statement, adding that Abra could potentially usher in a new era of financial inclusion to billions of people.

In speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, Barhydt explained that Abra plans to use the funds to expand globally and invest in future product development. “We have a lot of project announcements we will be making on a rolling basis,” he said.

Three-Part Vision

Though Barhydt did not offer exact details on what Abra’s new products will be, he did drop several hints in his three-part vision for how consumer products will implement Bitcoin in the future.

The first part, he explained, involves cross-border and consumer payments, which he said has been Abra’s focus for a couple of years now.

The second part involves using Bitcoin as an investment vehicle, in which smart contracts built on top of Bitcoin’s ledger would enable more complicated if-then types of financial transactions — payments that go through only if specific conditions are met.

Abra already relies on smart contracts to hold fiat currency and manage bitcoin price fluctuations, Barhydt explained.

He went on to describe the third part of his vision: “A new model of consumer asset finance,” which he said is where consumer product companies like Foxconn enter into the picture.

It was an idea that he conceived while recently traveling to Africa. There, he saw how a company was leasing solar panels to people who were making regular micro-payments via M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service.

“They give solar kits to people who use them only if they make a weekly lease payment from M-Pesa wallet,” he explained. If a borrower does not make the payment, a SIM card in the phone communicates with the battery in the solar panel, shutting it off.

His idea was to extend the concept to other consumer appliances, like refrigerators, flat-panel TVs and washing machines, that people in developing countries struggle to afford.

“Using this model of embedding this cellular technology combined with a Bitcoin-based payment system like Abra, you now have a new model where people can do instant on-lease payments,” he said, calling it a “new trillion-dollar business” that can only be done on scale using something like Bitcoin.

Continuing to remain tight-lipped about future product launches, Barhydt said, “Our goal is to be the best digital currency wallet in the world for the average consumer, starting with real cash and bitcoin, and we’ll see how it evolves from there.”


The post Abra Closes $16M in Funding and Looks to Venture Into Consumer Product Space appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

What is Bitcoin Gold? What to Know About the Blockchain's Next Split

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

What is bitcoin gold? A new cryptocurrency project expects to launch today. Here's what it is and why it matters.

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