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SEC Seeks Comment on CBOE Bitcoin ETF Filings

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

The SEC released a filing for a proposed rule change for public comment. If implemented, the change would let Cboe launch a bitcoin ETF.

Tesla just slashed in half its Model 3 production target for the first quarter (TSLA)

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

tesla model 3

  • Tesla is cutting in half its Model 3 production target for the first quarter of 2018.

  • Tesla says it will build 2,500 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of Q1 2018, and hit 5,000 per week by the end of Q2.
  • CEO Elon Musk originally said it could build 20,000 Model 3 vehicles per month by December 2017, but it fell far short of that target.


Tesla's Model 3 problems aren't over yet. 

CEO Elon Musk originally said the company would make 20,000 Model 3 vehicles per month by December 2017, but the company only delivered 1,550 in the entire fourth quarter of 2017. 

What's more, the electric carmaker said it is pushing back its production target for the Model 3 yet again.

Tesla now says that it will hit 2,500 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the first quarter and will build 5,000 per week by the end of the second quarter. 

"As we continue to focus on quality and efficiency rather than simply pushing for the highest possible volume in the shortest period of time, we expect to have a slightly more gradual ramp through Q1, likely ending the quarter at a weekly rate of about 2,500 Model 3 vehicles. We intend to achieve the 5,000 per week milestone by the end of Q2," the company said in its fourth-quarter delivery statement. 

Tesla originally said it planned to build 5,000 per week in December, but in November the company changed the timeline and said it would hit that number by the end of the first quarter. And on Wednesday Tesla revised its projections yet again, stating that it now intends to hit 5,000 per week by mid-2018. 

It's no secret the company is struggling to build the Model 3. CEO Elon Musk said he expected "production hell" for the vehicle when he launched it in July. Then, in October, the company revealed it had only built 260 Model 3 vehicles in the third quarter when it had originally planned to hit 1,500 in September alone. 

The company in November blamed the delays on what it called a production bottleneck at the Gigafactory where the car's battery cells are made. And Musk said he was even camping out at the factory working day and night to try and resolve the issue. 

On Wednesday, though, Tesla said in its statement that production improved near the end of the quarter. 

"In the last seven working days of the quarter, we made 793 Model 3s, and in the last few days, we hit a production rate on each of our manufacturing lines that extrapolates to over 1,000 Model 3s per week," the company said. 

"As a result of the significant growth in our production rate, we made as many Model 3s since December 9th as we did in the more than four months of Model 3 production up to that point."

Despite the company's progress, though, it's still cutting its production target for the Model 3 in half for the first quarter of 2018. 

SEE ALSO: Tesla's Model 3 deliveries were awful — but the company still set a sales record for 2017

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Marrying less and dying sooner — how the downward spiral of manufacturing is hurting American men

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

Steelworkers and supporters rally in front of United Steel Workers of America local 1299 union hall in support of American workers and manufacturing jobs in River Rouge, Michigan March 30, 2009.

  • The disappearance of good manufacturing jobs is pushing middle-income workers down the economic ladder.
  • Trade is partly to blame, but it is not the only factor contributing to this and the government needs to look at the bigger picture. 
  • The permanent loss of these jobs is contributing to a deterioration in quality of life, and political polarization. 

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Donald Trump tapped into the anger over the loss of manufacturing and coal jobs. The culprit behind the misery of American workers, he said, was international trade.

The message resonated, especially with male manufacturing workers who'd seen their job prospects dwindle over the past two decades. It's true that middle-income jobs have been drying up, and even if the loss of those jobs is not just explained by trade and the rise of manufacturing in China or Mexico, trade is a factor.

What's also true is that this shortage of good manufacturing jobs is creating a kind of downward spiral. As middle-income workers are pushed down the economic ladder — going from relatively higher-wage factory jobs to, say, minimum-wage retail jobs — it's making it harder for lower-income workers to pull themselves up.

All this is turning up in measures of quality of life. Studies have linked trade shocks, like the emergence of China as a manufacturing base, to drops in marriage rates, upticks in risky behaviors like drug and alcohol abuse, and rising numbers of children living in impoverished, single-parent homes.

These trends have created a divide. While the majority of workers in America weren't severely affected by trade, either way, a concentrated minority saw a reversal of fortunes. Those most hurt by trade have grown more politically polarized.

The Trump team has promised to make companies build factories at home and "hire American." The solution, though, is more complicated. Trade is just one part of the picture, and the administration's narrow focus doesn't address the bigger economic shift that's under way.

High-school graduates see a reversal of fortunes

American men have been dropping out of the workforce for over half a century. But even though participation has been falling for years, there's another, more recent trend that stands out: People who only have a high-school diploma are particularly worse off today compared to 40 years ago.

The slump is particularly striking when comparing wages of high-school graduates to college graduates. In the 1970s, high-school graduates earned about 85% of what college graduates earned, but by about 2015 they earned about 55% of their college-educated counterparts.

education wage gap_1024

Trade shocks

There isn't a single simple explanation for the shifting economic landscape, but since Trump and his team have tapped into something by focusing on trade, let's focus our attention on that as well.

The US economy has been transitioning from a manufacturing-based economy to a services-based one for decades, and employment in the former sector has dropped significantly. Since 1990, manufacturing employment has dropped by about a third.

The manufacturing sector saw particularly deep cuts after China’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the financial crisis, as shown below.

us manufacturing employment

There's evidence that a concentrated minority of US workers saw significant drops in wage growth that could be correlated with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), according to economists Shushanik Hakobyan and John McLaren. Blue-collar workers were more likely to be affected, college-educated workers less so, and executives saw some benefits.

"The most affected workers were college dropouts working in industries that depended heavily on tariff protections in place prior to NAFTA. These workers saw wage growth drop by as much as 17 percentage points relative to wage growth in unaffected industries," economist John McLaren said in an October interview with UVA Today.

"If you were a blue-collar worker at the end of the '90s and your wages are 17% lower than they could have been, that could be a disaster for your family."

McLaren added that it wasn't just the manufacturing industries that were affected, but entire towns that depended on those industries. Factory towns have grocery stores, bowling alleys, and public schools that all rely on industrial workers as customers.

The example McLaren gave was this: "A waitress working in a town that depends heavily on apparel manufacturing might miss out on wage growth, even though she does not work in an industry directly affected by trade."

Beyond the job market

What's particularly startling about the negative trade shocks is that they might've led to reverberations beyond the labor market. One study has suggested that changes in people's personal lives and health have been linked to those shocks.

In a paper published in July, David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon Hanson found that negative trade shocks in manufacturing have hurt men's labor-market prospects, which then subsequently hurt the men's "marriage-market value" because of lower relative earnings and greater participation in risky and damaging behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse.

Taking it a step further, they found that their lower numbers of "marriageable" men led to lower levels of marriage and lower fertility, but slightly higher fractions of children born to young and unwed mothers, and a jump in the number of children living in impoverished single-parent homes.

"We conclude that the declining employment and earnings opportunities faced by young (under 40) US males are a plausible contributor to the changing structure of marriage and childbirth in the United States," the authors wrote.

opioidcrop2

In an op-ed for the Financial Times published in July, Nobel Prize-winning economist Angus Deaton examined the differences between the US and the UK when it came to the opioid crisis.

He argued that one reason why middle-aged Americans in the US might have seen an uptick in deaths related to drug overdoses, suicides, and alcohol, while those in UK did not is the differences between both countries' wages. They've risen in the UK, adjusted for inflation, while they haven't in the US.

In fact, median real wages in the UK were nearly 50% higher in 2008 than in 1988; median real wages in the US are basically the same today as they were in the early 1970s.

Politically polarized because of trade

The negative effects from trade seem to have spilled into the public arena. Areas that have been hit hardest by trade have become more politically polarized.

Economists David Autor, David Dorn, Gordon Hanson, and Kaveh Majlesi looked at the years from the first midterm election during the George W. Bush administration, in 2002, to the first midterm elections during Barack Obama's term, in 2010, and found empirical evidence linking the negative trade shock from China with an increase in electoral successes of non-centrist politicians and an increase in political polarization.

Crucially, it wasn't so much that the politicians who were already in office shifted their views away from the center, but rather that the electorate voted in new representatives who espoused more left- or right-leaning ideas.

"Trade-exposed districts initially in Republican hands become substantially more likely to elect a conservative Republican, while trade-exposed districts initially in Democratic hands become more likely to elect either a liberal or a conservative Republican," they wrote.

"Polarization is also evident when breaking down districts by race: trade-exposed locations with a majority white population are disproportionately likely to replace moderate legislators with conservative Republicans, whereas locations with a majority non-white population tend to replace moderates with liberal Democrats," they added.

trump rally

Though the authors of the paper looked at 2002 to 2010, trade was big issue in the 2016 US presidential election. We saw a similar pattern with the emergence of nontraditional candidates such as Donald Trump and, to a lesser degree but still espousing a shift from center, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. Both pointed a finger at trade with China.

Even Hillary Clinton, more centrist than either Trump or Sanders, eventually abandoned support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal — after previously calling it the "gold standard" of trade agreements — ostensibly to address voters' concerns.

Trade shocks are of course not the sole variable affecting voters' decisions. The relationship of economics, race, social trends, institutions, and politics in the US is far too complex to be limited to a single study looking at just eight years — not to mention that sometimes those factors are interconnected.

America's problems aren't just about trade — and the solutions likely won't be either

Trade is not the only factor contributing to changes in America's economy.

Automation has eaten away at manufacturing jobs and will likely continue to do so. Some argue retail is the next sector to see a significant hollowing out, which is notable because the sector employs way more people than manufacturing does. Plus, the Great Recession slammed US industries across the board, and rural areas have still struggled to recover.

The Trump administration has essentially focused on the manufacturing jobs lost in the past two decades. And while they could theoretically help alleviate some short-term pain for some individuals by getting companies to built plants in the states, it's unclear how companies will adjust to that, and it doesn't address the other issues like automation or the looming job losses in retail. Slapping tariffs on international partners wouldn't necessarily help either since many companies might find it cheaper to just automate rather than pay high US wages.

Against this backdrop, theoretical proposals across the political spectrum have been floated to address the hollowing out of middle-income and manufacturing jobs, though there's no consensus over what would work in practice.

Some have argued that school systems have to be adapted to the 21st century, instead of 19th-and-20th century model we have today, so that students will learn the necessary skills for the digital economy. Others have suggested that lowering taxes will encourage businesses to invest more and hire more people, and will encourage people to start small businesses.

A production line employee works at the AMES Companies shovel manufacturing factory in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, U.S. on June 29, 2017. Picture taken on June 29, 2017.   REUTERS/Tim Aeppel?

There have been a number of big-picture ideas. Tech leaders have argued for universal basic income, under which all citizens would receive a standard amount of money each month to cover basic expenses like food and rent. Others have argued that if many other industries were more unionized (and therefore workers could bargain for higher wages as in manufacturing and construction), then they would have more appeal to workers. And still others argue we need a federal job-guarantee policy.

As an aside, several companies have started "mid-career internship" programs, which help people who spent a significant amount of time out of the workforce jump back in. Theoretically, a similar model can be applied for workers who were displaced mid-career so that they could relearn necessary skills amid shifting technological changes.

SEE ALSO: An Ivy League professor explains chaos theory, the prisoner's dilemma, and why math isn't really boring

DON'T MISS: America is less divided than you might think.

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

$700 Billion: Crypto Market Hits New Milestone as Bitcoin Price Recovers to $15,000

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

The post $700 Billion: Crypto Market Hits New Milestone as Bitcoin Price Recovers to $15,000 appeared first on CCN

The cryptocurrency market cap hit a new all-time high above $700 billion on Wednesday, bolstered by strong performances from the bitcoin price and a variety of altcoins. Cryptocurrency Market Cap Hits $700 Billion The cryptocurrency market cap began the day below $650 billion but rose $64 billion — or 10 percent — during the ensuing

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$700 Billion: Crypto Market Hits New Milestone as Bitcoin Price Recovers to $15,000

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

The post $700 Billion: Crypto Market Hits New Milestone as Bitcoin Price Recovers to $15,000 appeared first on CCN

The cryptocurrency market cap hit a new all-time high above $700 billion on Wednesday, bolstered by strong performances from the bitcoin price and a variety of altcoins. Cryptocurrency Market Cap Hits $700 Billion The cryptocurrency market cap began the day below $650 billion but rose $64 billion — or 10 percent — during the ensuing

The post $700 Billion: Crypto Market Hits New Milestone as Bitcoin Price Recovers to $15,000 appeared first on CCN

STOCKS RISE: Here’s what you need to know

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

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after the Fed releases its monetary policy decisions in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Stocks finished up on Tuesday, as Fed chair Janet Yellen warned that the recently passed Republican tax reform package could cause the central bank to raise interest rates more quickly than previously signaled. 

Here’s Tuesday's scoreboard:

What happened:

  1. Spotify has confidentially filed for its initial public offering, Dan Primack of the news website Axios reported on Wednesday.
  2. Tesla is expected to report delivery numbers soon, and traders are bracing for the worst.
  3. BANK OF AMERICA: Tax reform could be a drag on company profits by next year.
  4. Macy's is about to announce another round of store closings. 

In other news…

SEE ALSO: Sign up for Crypto Insider to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox

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NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

STOCKS RISE: Here’s what you need to know

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

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks during a news conference after the Fed releases its monetary policy decisions in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Stocks finished up on Tuesday, as Fed chair Janet Yellen warned that the recently passed Republican tax reform package could cause the central bank to raise interest rates more quickly than previously signaled. 

Here’s Tuesday's scoreboard:

What happened:

  1. Spotify has confidentially filed for its initial public offering, Dan Primack of the news website Axios reported on Wednesday.
  2. Tesla is expected to report delivery numbers soon, and traders are bracing for the worst.
  3. BANK OF AMERICA: Tax reform could be a drag on company profits by next year.
  4. Macy's is about to announce another round of store closings. 

In other news…

SEE ALSO: Sign up for Crypto Insider to get the most important updates on all things crypto delivered straight to your inbox

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

Tesla misses its Model 3 deliveries by a mile (TSLA)

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

tesla model 3

  • Tesla delivered just 1,550 Model 3 sedans during the fourth quarter, falling well short of the 2,917 figure Wall Street expected.
  • Tesla produced just 2,425 Model 3s in the quarter.
  • In July, CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company could most likely produce 20,000 Model 3s a month by December.
  • Tesla shares were down more than 1% following the news.


Tesla delivered just 1,550 of its Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter, widely missing the 2,917 figure that Wall Street was expecting.

The company attributed missed deliveries over the holiday season to a production ramp-up in the final seven days of the quarter, in which it made 793 Model 3s, the company said in a release.

Tesla said it made as many Model 3s since December 9 as it had in the previous four months.

"This is why we were not able to deliver many of these cars during the holiday season, just before the quarter ended," the company said. "Model 3 deliveries to non-employee customers are now accelerating rapidly."

It's a big miss for the most anticipated car of the year, made worse by the CEO and founder Elon Musk's assertion in July that Tesla could hit a monthly Model 3 production target of 20,000 by December.

The Model 3, which starts at $35,000, is Tesla's first mass-market vehicle. It was unveiled in March 2016 and released last year.

Tesla said it delivered 29,870 vehicles total in the fourth quarter, including 15,200 of the Model S, 13,120 of the Model X, and 1,550 of the Model 3.

The company said it manufactured 24,565 vehicles, including 2,425 Model 3s.

Heading into the report, Tesla slightly reduced production of the Model S and Model X "because of the reallocation of some of the manufacturing workforce towards Model 3 production, which also caused inventory to decline," it said.

Tesla was trading down 1.34%, at $313 a share, following Wednesday's closing bell.

Tesla

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STOCKS RISE: Here’s what you need to know

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

janet yellen

Stocks finished up on Tuesday, as Fed chair Janet Yellen warned that the recently passed Republican tax reform package could cause the central bank to raise interest rates more quickly than previously signaled. 

Here’s Tuesday's scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,916 (+0.37%)
  • S&P 500: 2,712172 (+0.61%)
  • Nasdaq: 7,065.5 (+0.84%)

What happened:

  1. Spotify has confidentially filed for its initial public offering, Dan Primack of the news website Axios reported on Wednesday.
  2. Tesla is expected to report delivery numbers soon, and traders are bracing for the worst. 
  3. BANK OF AMERICA: Tax reform could be a drag on company profits by next year.
  4. Macy's is about to announce another round of store closings. 

In other news…

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's share of the crypto market hits an all-time low as 'alt-coins' go wild

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

STOCKS RISE: Here’s what you need to know

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

janet yellen

Stocks finished up on Tuesday, as Fed chair Janet Yellen warned that the recently passed Republican tax reform package could cause the central bank to raise interest rates more quickly than previously signaled. 

Here’s Tuesday's scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,916 (+0.37%)
  • S&P 500: 2,712172 (+0.61%)
  • Nasdaq: 7,065.5 (+0.84%)

What happened:

  1. Spotify has confidentially filed for its initial public offering, Dan Primack of the news website Axios reported on Wednesday.
  2. Tesla is expected to report delivery numbers soon, and traders are bracing for the worst. 
  3. BANK OF AMERICA: Tax reform could be a drag on company profits by next year.
  4. Macy's is about to announce another round of store closings. 

In other news…

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's share of the crypto market hits an all-time low as 'alt-coins' go wild

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

Opera update keeps sites from hijacking your browser to mine bitcoin

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

Did you know that your browser can be tricked into mining cryptocurrency like BitCoin without your knowledge? Apparently, there are scripts floating around out there on various servers and website plugins that can hijack your web browser and use its...

Judge Dismisses Long-Shot Bid to Overturn New York Bitcoin Law

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

The New York State Court granted a motion to dismiss a two-year one-man lawsuit that tried to overturn the existing New York bitcoin law.

Ripple's XRP explodes to record high above $3

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 3.10.56 PM

  • XRP, the cryptocurrency made by Ripple, continued its explosive tear Wednesday afternoon, according to data from both Markets Insider and CoinMarketCap
  • According to data from CoinMarketCap, the red-hot alternative cryptocurrency surged over $3 a coin Wednesday. 
  • It was trading at an all-time high of $3.21 at the time of print, up nearly 34% against the dollar on Wednesday.
  • XRP has gained 134% over the last week. 
  • Lesser known alternative cryptocurrencies, or alt coins, have pushed the cryptocurrency to new heights this year. 
  • Cardano and Stellar, two other cryptocurrencies, are up 150% and 304% respectively this week. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's share of the crypto market hits an all-time low as 'alt-coins' go wild

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Ripple's XRP explodes to record high above $3

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 3.10.56 PM

  • XRP, the cryptocurrency made by Ripple, continued its explosive tear Wednesday afternoon, according to data from both Markets Insider and CoinMarketCap
  • According to data from CoinMarketCap, the red-hot alternative cryptocurrency surged over $3 a coin Wednesday. 
  • It was trading at an all-time high of $3.21 at the time of print, up nearly 34% against the dollar on Wednesday.
  • XRP has gained 134% over the last week. 
  • Lesser known alternative cryptocurrencies, or alt coins, have pushed the cryptocurrency to new heights this year. 
  • Cardano and Stellar, two other cryptocurrencies, are up 150% and 304% respectively this week. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's share of the crypto market hits an all-time low as 'alt-coins' go wild

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Ripple's XRP explodes to record high above $3

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 3.10.56 PM

  • XRP, the cryptocurrency made by Ripple, continued its explosive tear Wednesday afternoon, according to data from both Markets Insider and CoinMarketCap
  • According to data from CoinMarketCap, the red-hot alternative cryptocurrency surged over $3 a coin Wednesday. 
  • It was trading at an all-time high of $3.21 at the time of print, up nearly 34% against the dollar on Wednesday.
  • XRP has gained 134% over the last week. 
  • Lesser known alternative cryptocurrencies, or alt coins, have pushed the cryptocurrency to new heights this year. 
  • Cardano and Stellar, two other cryptocurrencies, are up 150% and 304% respectively this week. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's share of the crypto market hits an all-time low as 'alt-coins' go wild

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

Ripple's XRP explodes to record high above $3

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 3.10.56 PM

  • XRP, the cryptocurrency made by Ripple, continued its explosive tear Wednesday afternoon, according to data from both Markets Insider and CoinMarketCap
  • According to data from CoinMarketCap, the red-hot alternative cryptocurrency surged over $3 a coin Wednesday. 
  • It was trading at an all-time high of $3.21 at the time of print, up nearly 34% against the dollar on Wednesday.
  • XRP has gained 134% over the last week. 
  • Lesser known alternative cryptocurrencies, or alt coins, have pushed the cryptocurrency to new heights this year. 
  • Cardano and Stellar, two other cryptocurrencies, are up 150% and 304% respectively this week. 

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin's share of the crypto market hits an all-time low as 'alt-coins' go wild

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

Bitcoin Price Crosses $15,000 on News of Founders Fund’s BTC Stake

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

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The bitcoin price saw a bullish bump on Wednesday following the publication of a report revealing that legendary Silicon Valley venture capital firm Founders Fund was holding hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoin. Bitcoin Price Recovers to $15,000 The bitcoin price had entered the new year trading around $13,000, and it fluctuated between that

The post Bitcoin Price Crosses $15,000 on News of Founders Fund’s BTC Stake appeared first on CCN

Ripple Becomes First Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin to Surpass $100 Billion

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

The post Ripple Becomes First Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin to Surpass $100 Billion appeared first on CCN

Ripple has achieved a historic milestone on January 3, becoming the first cryptocurrency after bitcoin to be valued at $100 billion. At press time, the total valuation of Ripple is $121 billion. Up by $19 Billion in 24 Hours Over the past 24 hours, the price of XRP, Ripple’s native token, has increased by more

The post Ripple Becomes First Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin to Surpass $100 Billion appeared first on CCN

Ripple Becomes First Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin to Surpass $100 Billion

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

The post Ripple Becomes First Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin to Surpass $100 Billion appeared first on CCN

Ripple has achieved a historic milestone on January 3, becoming the first cryptocurrency after bitcoin to be valued at $100 billion. At press time, the total valuation of Ripple is $121 billion. Up by $19 Billion in 24 Hours Over the past 24 hours, the price of XRP, Ripple’s native token, has increased by more

The post Ripple Becomes First Cryptocurrency After Bitcoin to Surpass $100 Billion appeared first on CCN

Here come the Fed meeting minutes ...

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

janet yellen

The Federal Reserve at 2 p.m. ET will release minutes of its meeting in December

At that meeting, the Fed raised its benchmark federal funds rate by 25 basis points to a range of 1.25% to 1.50%, as had been widely expected. 

The Fed hinged its decision on the US economy's faster-than-expected growth and strong job creation. It expects to raise rates three times this year. 

"Our attention will focus on three areas: inflation, labor markets and fiscal policy," said Lewis Alexander, the chief US economist at Nomura, in a preview on Tuesday. 

Some members of the Federal Open Market Committee have attributed weak inflation to technological changes and a weakened link between the unemployment rate and price changes. But Fed officials including the Chicago Fed's Charles Evans and the Minneapolis Fed's Neel Kashkari voted against raising interest rates partly because inflation remains short of the Fed's 2% target. 

The FOMC statement bumped up its assessment of the jobs market to show that members expected it to "remain strong," not to "strengthen somewhat further." At 4.1%, the unemployment rate was where they had forecast it would be in 2018.

And finally, Fed Chair Yellen was asked many questions about tax cuts (and bitcoin, of course) during her press conference. "If the minutes lack a discussion of federal spending, then we would view federal
spending as a significant upside risk to Fed policy," Alexander said.

More to come ... 

SEE ALSO: A Fed official who has been voting against rate hikes thinks he knows why wages aren't rising faster

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NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

FanDuel is giving away bitcoin to winners of a fantasy football tournament

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

 Daily fantasy sports platform FanDuel just announced The Bitcoin Bowl, a promotion that will last the length of the NFL playoffs and give winners a chance to win some bitcoin. They’ll be two contests – one is a single-entry free contest where the winner wins 1 bitcoin, and one is a multi-entry $3 contest that has a tiered payout – 1st place will get 2 bitcoin, 2nd place will… Read More

Trump's tax overhaul has slowed Manhattan's real estate market even before going into full effect

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

manhattan snow storm empire state

  • Fourth-quarter home sales in Manhattan slumped as buyers considered the impact of the new tax law. 
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act caps the amount of state and local tax deductions at $10,000, and rich taxpayers who itemize their deductions benefitted the most when it was uncapped.
  • Homeowners across high-tax states including New York, Virginia, and California lined up to prepay their property taxes late last year before the cap took effect in 2018. 


Manhattan's housing market reflected the impact of the new tax reform months before it was signed into law, according to Douglas Elliman Real Estate. 

The number of condo and co-op sales in the fourth quarter fell by 27% from the same period in 2016 to 2,127, a report released on Wednesday showed. It was the weakest fourth quarter since 2011, according to Bloomberg.

This suggests house hunters in the borough were cautious about the impact of the tax law at a time when the House and Senate were still negotiating their separate bills.

"The fall market cooled as market participants awaited the housing-related terms of the new federal tax law," the report said. 

New York's housing market is one of the most impacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law just before Christmas.

That's because the law caps the amount of state and local tax (or SALT) deductions at $10,000. It used to be limitless, and rich taxpayers who itemized their deductions benefitted the most from the unlimited SALT deduction. About 90% of people who used the deduction earned more than $100,000, according to the Tax Foundation.

Droves of homeowners across high-tax states including New York, Virginia, and California lined up to prepay their property taxes late last year before the cap took effect in 2018. 

"I’m not forecasting the price impact of the tax bill yet, but I am saying it has more of an effect on the higher end and it will take buyers and sellers a while to sort it out over the next year or two," said Jonathan Miller, the CEO of Miller Samuel and author of the report. 

Sales could pick up in the first quarter of 2018 if people who postponed their decision choose to buy, he said. Meanwhile, he expects that buyers will continue to push back on high prices. Nearly 6% of resales were made at a discounted price in Q4, up from 4.5% in the same period last year. 

SEE ALSO: BANK OF AMERICA: Tax reform could be a drag on company profits by next year

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NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone

The US states that spend the most money on lottery tickets

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

powerball lottery ticket

  • Americans love to play the lottery.
  • People living on the East Coast tend to spend more on lottery tickets, on average.
  • Those living in Massachusetts spend the most on lottery tickets, on average.

 

Americans love to play the lottery.

But people living in some states spend way more than those in others.

Business Insider looked at statistics from the US Census Bureau to figure out the average amount each resident in a state spends on lottery tickets using population and lottery spending figures for 2015. (We were inspired by an analysis done first by LendEDU, but we did our own calculations.)

Americans living in the eastern half of the US tend to spend more than those living in the western half. Those living in the northeast specifically tend to spend more than those living in other parts of the country on a per capita basis.

Residents living in Massachusetts spend the most on lottery tickets by far at $737.83. Rhode Island came in second place at $514.15, and Delaware was in third at $424.38.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, North Dakota residents spent the least at $34.14, followed by Oklahoma at $43.93 and Montana at $53.73.

Seven states do not have their own lotteries: Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming. They are gray on the map.

state lottery revenue per capita map

SEE ALSO: We did the math to see if it's worth buying a Powerball or Mega Millions lottery ticket

DON'T MISS: Here's exactly what to do if you win the $400 million lottery jackpot, according to a financial adviser

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NOW WATCH: A certified financial planner explains just how risky of an investment bitcoin is

Interstellar Leap: Stellar Lumens Up 50%, Surpasses Litecoin at $16 Billion

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

The post Interstellar Leap: Stellar Lumens Up 50%, Surpasses Litecoin at $16 Billion appeared first on CCN

Stellar Lumens investors are entering the new year with healthy portfolios and a positive outlook.  The asset rose nearly 50% overnight between Tuesday and Wednesday, raising the price per Lumens to $0.83 at press time. Stellar Knocking on the Door of the Top 5 Club This recent surge in investor confidence slung Stellar Lumens to

The post Interstellar Leap: Stellar Lumens Up 50%, Surpasses Litecoin at $16 Billion appeared first on CCN

What you need to know on Wall Street today

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

Welcome 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.

Sweeping financial regulatory reforms in Europe — which have been in the works for seven years — finally went live on Wednesday.

The lengthy and complex set changes, known as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), will impact a broad swath of financial firms across the globe, but especially investment banks that do business in Europe. Here's how banks will be affected.

In other news, Spotify has reportedly filed for its IPO in secret. And in markets news:

Here's what you missed over the holidays:

The world's hottest investment product is showing signs of slowing down - It used to be that if you wanted to attract interest in an exchange-traded fund, all you had to do was launch one. After all, as the ETF market exploded over the past decade, investor demand seemed to outpace supply.

The best stock market trade of 2017 was one that experts hate - The best stock market trade of 2017 doesn't involve a specific stock or sector. It instead relates to price fluctuations in equities — or in this case, the lack thereof.

Traders are betting billions that the hottest stocks of 2017 will get crushed - The so-called FANGS — Facebook, Apple, Netflix, and Google — helped drive the S&P 500 to what's set to be its best year since 2013.  But they've also attracted a swarm of short sellers. 

We asked the founder of a tech advisory firm with over $1 million in revenue per employee how they sort the real unicorns from the pretenders - The past decade has seen an unprecedented rise in tech entrepreneurship, with $1 billion "unicorns" morphing from a rare creature to a mundane sighting in the process.

An industry insider just blew the lid off the racket that makes American drugs so expensive - The infamous "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli is in jail, but the egregious drug-price-gouging scheme that shocked America and made him a household name last year is still doing just fine.

Theranos is gearing up for a rebound with $100 million to get it through 2018 - Theranos is gearing up for its rebound. 

A partner at one of the top bitcoin trading firms told us why crypto is "such an amazingly fun space to be in" - The news that Cboe Global Markets was going to launch a futures market for bitcoin was a landmark moment for trading firm Akuna Capital. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Cryptocurrency is the next step in the digitization of everything — 'It’s sort of inevitable'

Ripple's XRP Token Sets All-Time Price High Above $3

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

Ripple hit a new all-time-high above $3 today, up more than 200 percent from its value just a week ago.

Tesla's highly anticipated Model 3 delivery report has traders bracing for the worst (TSLA)

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

elon musk shrug

  • Traders are loading up on short bets ahead of Tesla's fourth-quarter delivery report, which is expected this week.
  • There's some concern that Tesla will fall short of forecasts, which helps explain the rise in hedging activity.


Tesla is set to report its fourth-quarter deliveries this week, and equity investors are taking no chances.

They've ratcheted up short interest — a measure of bets a stock will fall — by $6 million, or 22%, over the past three months leading up to the announcement, according to data compiled by financial analytics firm S3 Partners.

TSLA Short Interest

The increase in bearish wagers likely corresponds with mounting concerns over Tesla's ability to hit delivery targets. It's been an ongoing worry for Wall Street analysts like Jeffrey Osborne at Cowen, who's had a long-running "underperform" rating on the stock.

The biggest source of anxiety for Osborne is Tesla's Model 3 sedan, for which he forecasts 2,250 fourth-quarter deliveries, a far cry from the consensus forecast of 4,000 to 5,000 vehicles.

And while the rest of Wall Street isn't quite as bearish as Osborne, it's possible that the investment community at large is considering his overall bear case on Tesla. He argues the company will be negatively affected by increased competition in the electric vehicle space in 2018 and 2019, and forecasts that it'll continue to quickly burn through cash.

Another explanation for the surge in short interest is one recently floated by S3 Partners — that traders are using short bets on the market's best-performing stocks to hedge against broader weakness. The wisdom behind using stocks like Tesla as a proxy is that the biggest, most influential stocks dictate the overall direction of the market.

However, during a recent two-week period that saw Tesla's stock drop more than 9%, short interest continued to climb. Since hedges tend to decline during periods of weakness, the resilience seen in shorts suggests that there were other bearish forces in play — likely trepidation around the delivery report.

Short sellers have caught the eye of Elon Musk in recent months. Tesla's CEO and founder called them "jerks who want us to die" in a Rolling Stone profile and described their behavior as "hurtful." He's also been an outspoken critic on Twitter.

With all of this said, it's important to note that shorting Tesla has been an exercise in futility for quite some time, likely much to the pleasure of Musk. But that doesn't mean the increase in short interest is doomed to fail. It's entirely possible that Tesla will see a swift short-term pullback that will result in profits for these traders. Stay tuned to find out.

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 11.56.22 AM

SEE ALSO: There's an unorthodox way for traders to protect against big stock market losses

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NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

People thought millennials hated credit cards — then JPMorgan cracked the code with the Chase Sapphire Reserve (JPM)

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

Millennial happy

  • JPMorgan Chase made a splash with its now-legendary Sapphire reserve credit card, thanks in part to figuring out what millennials wanted in a premium card.
  • Pam Codispoti, who led the Sapphire team, told Bloomberg Businessweek that affluent millennials didn't dislike credit cards, they just wanted something marketed toward them and not their parents. 
  • After interviewing young spenders across the country, Codispoti and team realized a product featuring flexible travel and dining rewards would be a hit.

 

When JPMorgan Chase first launched its now-legendary Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, it had enough confidence to forego any formal marketing and rely on word of mouth — despite chasing a demographic, affluent millennials, that supposedly hated credit cards. 

That's because JPMorgan's Sapphire team, led by Pam Codispoti, had cracked the code on millennials and credit cards. They realized young spenders didn't loathe credit cards, they just didn't have much interest in having products that were made and marketed for their parents shoved down their throat. 

"What they were looking for was something different than what the market had to offer at the time," Codispoti, who has been promoted to oversee JPMorgan's retail bank branch network, told Bloomberg Businessweek's Jennifer Surane. "They weren’t interested in their father’s credit card."

After interviewing millennials across America, they realized that the cohort craved flexible travel and dining rewards.

So JPMorgan packaged unprecedented rewards — a $300 travel credit, an eye-popping 100,000-point sign-up bonus, lush bonus points for travel and dining spending — with a broad array of airline, hotel, and restaurant partners to redeem them with, making a hefty $450 annual fee seem like a worthwhile investment. 

The fallout has by now been well documented: Millennials responded so enthusiastically that JPMorgan temporarily ran out of the metal core feature in the card. JPMorgan booked a $200 million loss in the last quarter of 2016 thanks to the card — which it expects to recoup by retaining customers over the long haul — and subsequently cut the sign-up bonus in half

And American Express, which considered the card a direct attack on its Platinum credit card, and a slew of other card issuers scrambled to match the Sapphire Reserve. 

Read the full Businessweek story here. 

SEE ALSO: JPMorgan Chase and United are unveiling a new travel-rewards credit card — with a twist

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NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

RSK Beta Brings Ethereum-Style Smart Contracts Closer to Bitcoin

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

RSK, a much-anticipated project designed to boost bitcoin's functionality, took a step toward becoming real Tuesday with a beta launch.

AMD is gaining as Intel scrambles to fix security flaw (AMD, INTC)

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

AMD



AMD is rising after its rival central processing unit maker, Intel, was reported to have a security issue embedded in its hardware.

AMD shares are up 6.51% at $11.69 on Wednesday, while Intel shares slipped 2.45% to $45.70.

Intel's CPUs released over the last 10 years are reportedly be subject to a hardware bug that could allow hackers to access files, passwords, and other important security keys from Intel's chips, The Register reports. Programmers have been working on a fix for Windows and Linux for months. Apple will need to release a fix as well, as the bug affects any system using Intel's hardware.

Details of the bug are currently being kept confidential in an attempt to mitigate any potential attacks while a fix is being found.

The issue lies in how applications talk to the computer hardware. The current fixes for Linux and Windows systems are reportedly leading to performance hits as high as 30%, according to The Register.

AMD has said its chips do not possess the same security flaw.

Intel has grown 23.15% in the past year.

Read about a "submarine trend" that is affecting nearly every tech company you know.

amd stock price

SEE ALSO: There's a 'submarine trend' in the tech world, and it's affecting nearly every company you know

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NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin

Oregon now lets people pump their own gas — and some Oregonians are freaking out

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

oregon gas station

  • A law passed in 2017 permitting Oregon residents to pump their own gas has now taken effect.
  • Not at all residents took the news well on social media.


For decades, Oregon and New Jersey were the only two states where people didn't have to pump their own gas.

But a new law that was passed in 2017 by Gov. Kate Brown has taken effect, and it requires people to self-serve at the pumps.

The adjustment has some Oregonians freaking out.

A December 29 Facebook post from local CBS station KTVL, in Medford, Oregon, alerted locals to the new law, which took effect January 1. A handful of people quickly announced their displeasure with the change.

As the internet is wont to do, many more people jumped on the Facebook dogpile to make fun of the Oregonians who resented the new law.

The new law comes more than 65 years after Oregon successfully put laws on the books forbidding residents from filling up their own tanks. It was the second state after New Jersey, the only other state to have such a law, which was enacted in 1949.

Both states initially passed the laws after heavy lobbying from service station owners. People who support the ban generally argue the law creates jobs and increases safety.

Critics, especially those from the 48 states where fill-ups are self-serviced, claim pumping gas is perfectly safe, doesn't waste time, and doesn't make gas any cheaper.

SEE ALSO: What it's like to work at the greatest convenience store chain in America, where employees get stock options and are expected to have 'goose blood'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

China May Limit Bitcoin Mining, Reducing the Industry’s Geographic Centralization

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

The post China May Limit Bitcoin Mining, Reducing the Industry’s Geographic Centralization appeared first on CCN

China’s central bank has reportedly told a prominent government internet finance group that while it does not have the authority to regulate bitcoin mining directly, it can instruct local governments to implement regulations that cause bitcoin mining to become less profitable. China’s Central Bank Looks to Scale Down Domestic Bitcoin Mining According to Reuters, an

The post China May Limit Bitcoin Mining, Reducing the Industry’s Geographic Centralization appeared first on CCN

Why Bitcoin Is the Most Dangerous Global Scam in 20 Years

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

When bitcoin inevitably crashes, inexperienced investors who believed the hype could lose everything.

Spotify has reportedly filed for its IPO in secret

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

Daniel Ek, CEO and Founder of Spotify

Spotify has confidentially filed for its initial public offering, Axios reported on Wednesday. 

The music-streaming service filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission at the end of December and is aiming to list in the first quarter, the report said. 

By filing in private, companies are able to see how interested investors are in buying their stock before going public with their intentions. This used to only be available to companies with less than $1 billion in revenue under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act. Last June, the SEC under Jay Clayton, the chairman appointed by President Donald Trump, expanded the privilege to all companies. 

On Tuesday, Wixen Music Publishing hit Spotify with a $1.6 billion lawsuit for allegedly streaming thousands of songs without compensation. 

Spotify agreed in May to pay over $43 million to settle a proposed class action alleging it failed to pay royalties.

SEE ALSO: Spotify hit with $1.6 billion copyright lawsuit

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Disney is turning away from the 'dark side' with its 21st Century Fox acquisition (DIS, FOXA)

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

kylo moody star wars



It's now old news that Disney is buying 21st Century Fox's entertainment assets, pending regulatory approval.

What is less clear, is whether the acquisition will be enough to save Disney from the ever-further reaching Netflix and the impact of video streaming services. For Steven Cahall at RBC Captial Markets, it is the perfect move.

"Searching our feelings, we already feel the narrative of Disney changing with investors turning away from the dark side (ESPN) and towards the good within (content, DTC)," Cahall and his team wrote on Wednesday.

ESPN is still is a huge cash cow for Disney, but for Cahall, it represents Disney's old way of doing business. ESPN relies on cable companies paying a huge premium for its content relative to other channels. As more consumers cut the cord in favor of streaming video services, ESPN has become a growing problem for its parent company.

The Fox acquisition then, is Disney embracing the streaming video trend. 

Disney is an expert at monetizing its content, as evidenced by its parks and massive merchandising efforts around its popular franchises. Think about how many Star Wars toys you saw this holiday season. Disney's move to the streaming world is Disney doing what it does best, contextualized for today's streaming media environment.

As Disney starts its own over the top video platforms, as it said it will do with a sports service in 2018 and a TV and movie service in 2019, expanding the breadth of its offerings makes it a better Netflix competitor. It's not just trying to capture a bigger portion of its old cable business, Disney is trying to re-organize itself in the new streaming era.

The reframing doesn't change Cahall's rating of the company. In fact, Cahall chose Disney as a top pick before the acquisition and said his conviction is even stronger now.

"It is defensive to ecosystem challenges, a major beneficiary of tax reform and has an evolving narrative around content/DTC with the FOXA deal," Cahall said. "It's a worldclass content company and deserving of a premium to the market."

Cahall has a price target of $135 for Disney, about 20% higher than where the stock is currently trading.

Millennials did a terrible job picking stocks last year, read about which ones were their favorites here.

disney stock price

SEE ALSO: Millennials did a terrible job picking stocks in 2017

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

China Prepares to Limit Bitcoin Miners’ Power Usage: Report

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

The post China Prepares to Limit Bitcoin Miners’ Power Usage: Report appeared first on CCN

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has reportedly claimed it can pressure local governments in the country to regulate bitcoin miners’ power usage. Reuters is reporting that China’s central bank has told members of the Leading Group of Beijing Internet Financial Risks Remediation in a meeting that it can ‘tell’ local governments in Chinese provinces

The post China Prepares to Limit Bitcoin Miners’ Power Usage: Report appeared first on CCN

CRYPTO INSIDER: Alt-coins take over

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

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

The overall value of the global cryptocurrency market surpassed $700 billion on Wednesday to reach a fresh all-time high, with bitcoin's share of that fortune shrinking. 

Here are the standings as of Wednesday morning:

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: The global cryptocurrency hit a new record high above $700 billion

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

CRYPTO INSIDER: Alt-coins take over

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

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

The overall value of the global cryptocurrency market surpassed $700 billion on Wednesday to reach a fresh all-time high, with bitcoin's share of that fortune shrinking. 

Here are the standings as of Wednesday morning:

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: The global cryptocurrency hit a new record high above $700 billion

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

Warren Buffett brilliantly explains how bubbles are formed

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

warren buffettIn an interview with the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) back in 2010, Warren Buffett answered several questions about what he thought caused the housing and credit bubble.

He also gave a crystal clear explanation of how bubbles are formed.

It's a great read for anyone interested in investing or behavioral economics.

The interview comes from a recent document dump from the National Archives, which released transcripts, meeting agendas, and confidentiality agreements from the FCIC. The group was set up in the aftermath of the crisis by Congress to look into the causes of the event.

Anyway, here's Buffett (emphasis ours):

"... My former boss, Ben Graham, made an observation 50 or so years ago to me that it really stuck in my mind and now I've seen evidence of it.

He said, 'You can get in a whole lot more trouble in investing with a sound premise than with a false premise.'

If you have some premise that the moon is made of green cheese or something, it's ridiculous on its face. If you come out with a premise that common stocks have done better than bonds [... that] became the underlying bulwark for the [1929] bubble. People thought stocks were starting to be wonderful and they forgot the limitations of the original premise [....]  So after a while, the original premise, which becomes sort of the impetus for what later turns out to be a bubble is forgotten and the price action takes over.

Now, we saw the same thing in housing. It’s a totally sound premise that houses will become worth more over time because the dollar becomes worth less. [...]

And since 66% or 67% of the people want to own their own home and because you can borrow money on it and you're dreaming of buying a home, if you really believe that houses are going to go up in value, you buy one as soon as you can. And that’s a very sound premise. It’s related, of course, though, to houses selling at something like replacement price and not far outstripping inflation.

So this sound premise that it’s a good idea to buy a house this year because it’s probably going to cost more next year and you’re going to want a home, and the fact that you can finance it gets distorted over time if housing prices are going up 10 percent a year and inflation is a couple percent a year. Soon the price action – or at some point the price action takes over, and you want to buy three houses and five houses and you want to buy it with nothing down and you want to agree to payments that you can’t make and all of that sort of thing, because it doesn’t make any difference: It’ s going to be worth more next year.

And lender feels the same way. It really doesn’t make a difference if it’s a liar’s loan or you know what I mean? [...] Because even if they have to take it over, it's going to be worth more next year. And once that gathers momentum and it gets reinforced by price action and the original premise is forgotten, which it was in 1929.

The Internet was the same thing. The Internet was going to change our lives. But it didn't mean that every company was worth $50 billion that could dream up a prospectus.

And the price action becomes so important to people that it takes over the — it takes over their minds, and because housing was the largest single asset, around $22 trillion or something like that, not above household wealth of $50 trillion or $60 trillion or something like that in the United States. Such a huge asset. So understandable to the public – they might not understand stocks, they might not understand tulip bulbs, but they understood houses and they wanted to buy one anyway and the financing, and you could leverage up to the sky, it created a bubble like we’ve never seen."

You can check out the full interview with Warren Buffett at the National Archives.

SEE ALSO: Why this 2,073-foot Chinese building could be an omen of economic doom

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

CRYPTO INSIDER: Alt-coins take over

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

traders yell excited animated

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

The overall value of the global cryptocurrency market surpassed $700 billion on Wednesday to reach a fresh all-time high, with bitcoin's share of that fortune shrinking. 

Here are the standings as of Wednesday morning:

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: The global cryptocurrency hit a new record high above $700 billion

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

CRYPTO INSIDER: Alt-coins take over

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

traders yell excited animated

Welcome to Crypto Insider, Business Insider’s roundup of all the bitcoin and cryptocurrency news you need to know today. Sign up here to get this email delivered direct to your inbox.

The overall value of the global cryptocurrency market surpassed $700 billion on Wednesday to reach a fresh all-time high, with bitcoin's share of that fortune shrinking. 

Here are the standings as of Wednesday morning:

What's happening:

SEE ALSO: The global cryptocurrency hit a new record high above $700 billion

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

ECB Official Calls for Tax on Bitcoin Transactions

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

Bitcoin should be regulated and even taxed, according to a European Central Bank (ECB) governing council member.

A Ryanair passenger climbed onto the wing of a plane after becoming frustrated about the wait to deboard

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

ryanair passenger climbs onto wing

  • A passenger on a delayed Ryanair flight from London climbed onto a wing in Malaga, Spain.
  • The passenger was reportedly frustrated about the delay.
  • He was later arrested by Spanish authorities.


A passenger on a delayed Ryanair flight from London became frustrated and climbed onto a wing after opening the emergency exit, according to the Associated Press. The passenger exited the aircraft 30 minutes after the plane had landed in Malaga, Spain, on January 1. 

The plane's passengers were standing in the aisle before the man, whose name has not been disclosed, became impatient, found the emergency exit, and walked onto the plane's wing. After the police were called, the man returned to the plane's cabin. The rest of the passengers waited for another 15 minutes before leaving the plane.

Spanish police arrested the man and have taken over the case, a Ryanair spokesperson told Business Insider. They have opened a complaint against the man for breaching security, according to the Associated Press.

Another passenger filmed the incident.

 

SEE ALSO: Trump takes credit for the safest year in the history of commercial air travel

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

Analyst predicts Overstock.com is the ‘clear leader’ of emerging blockchain stocks (OSTK)

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

Patrick Byrne, Overstock



A slew of companies, from iced tea bottlers to casino game makers, have boosted their stock price by pivoting to blockchain in recent weeks.

But Overstock.com, which was one of the first to accept bitcoin as payment as well as issue blockchain-based stock, is still the clear leader, analyst Tom Forte at equity research firm D.A. Davidson said in a note to clients Wednesday.

"Our research increased our conviction that, today and likely in the near-term, Overstock stands head and shoulders above the others, when it comes to having developed a portfolio of companies with significant efforts to exploit blockchain technology," analyst Tom Forte said.

Overstock.com had an impressive 2017. Its stock has risen 265% in the last 12 months, and Davidson thinks it could go as high as $85 — 30% above the stock’s $65 opening price Wednesday.

The company also has a wholly-owned blockchain subsidiary, known as Medici Ventures, which includes a blockchain trading platform called TZero. Overstock took a $3.3 million hit from the rollout in 2017, Bloomberg reported, but the blockchain efforts — regardless of financial performance — helped offset any declines in share price from disappointing earnings.

Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures, told Business Insider last July it’s "crazy that so many retailers don't accept bitcoin." As of August 2017, Overstock was processing about $50,000 per week of purchases using bitcoin. Of the leading 500 internet retailers, just three accept bitcoin.

"The disparity between virtually no merchant acceptance and bitcoin’s rapid appreciation is striking," Morgan Stanley said in a note last year.

Overstock price

SEE ALSO: 7 companies whose stocks surged — then slumped — after jumping on the crypto bandwagon

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NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Bitcoin mania, a Nobel Prize-winning economist talks Trump, and a deep dive on unstoppable tech stocks

Zclassic Spikes 100x with ‘Bitcoin Private’ Fork Date Slowly Approaching

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

The post Zclassic Spikes 100x with ‘Bitcoin Private’ Fork Date Slowly Approaching appeared first on CCN

The price of Zclassic is moving quite quickly, as it intends to host an upcoming fork of Bitcoin that is privacy-centric. On December 8th, Zclassic developer and founder Rhett Creighton tweeted that he was going to be teaming up with another Zclassic founder in order to plan more active development for the project. Following that

The post Zclassic Spikes 100x with ‘Bitcoin Private’ Fork Date Slowly Approaching appeared first on CCN

DAVIDSON: Overstock.com is the ‘clear leader’ of emerging blockchain stocks (OSTK)

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

Patrick Byrne, Overstock



A slew of companies, from iced tea bottlers to casino game makers, have boosted their stock price by pivoting to blockchain in recent weeks.

But Overstock.com, which was one of the first to accept bitcoin as payment as well as issue blockchain-based stock, is still the clear leader, D.A. Davidson said in a note to clients Wednesday.

"Our research increased our conviction that, today and likely in the near-term, Overstock stands head and shoulders above the others, when it comes to having developed a portfolio of companies with significant efforts to exploit blockchain technology," analyst Tom Forte said.

Overstock.com had an impressive 2017. Its stock has risen 265% in the last 12 months, and Davidson thinks it could go as high as $85 — 30% above the stock’s $65 opening price Wednesday.

The company also has a wholly-owned blockchain subsidiary, known as Medici Ventures, which includes a blockchain trading platform called TZero. Overstock took a $3.3 million hit from the rollout in 2017, Bloomberg reported, but the blockchain efforts — regardless of financial performance — helped offset any declines in share price from disappointing earnings.

Jonathan Johnson, president of Medici Ventures, told Business Insider last July it’s "crazy that so many retailers don't accept bitcoin." As of August 2017, Overstock was processing about $50,000 per week of purchases using bitcoin. Of the leading 500 internet retailers, just three accept bitcoin.

"The disparity between virtually no merchant acceptance and bitcoin’s rapid appreciation is striking," Morgan Stanley said in a note last year.

Overstock price

SEE ALSO: 7 companies whose stocks surged — then slumped — after jumping on the crypto bandwagon

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NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund shares the 3 biggest risks of investing in cryptocurrencies

How a Massive Bet on Bitcoin Paid Off for Peter Thiel's Founders Fund

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

Thiel's Founders Fund bought between $15 and $20 million in bitcoin, which is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars after the cryptocurrency's dramatic surge in value.

BANK OF AMERICA: Tax reform could be a drag on company profits by next year

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

Trump truck

  • Equity strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, like many others, expect the corporate tax cut to boost company earnings. 
  • But BAML thinks the boost will be short-lived, probably not beyond 2018. 
  • More profits would mean more competition that could drive down margins, and the Fed could speed up interest rate hikes, the bank said in a note on Wednesday. 

 

Equity strategists at Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised their forecast for corporate profits this year, thanks to the expected boost from lower corporate taxes. 

But they're not anticipating a boost to growth far beyond December. 

In a note on Wednesday, a team of strategists led by Dan Suzuki said they raised their 2018 S&P 500 earnings per share target by 10% to $153. They'd already lifted the target late last year, just before President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law.

"The biggest impact on earnings from tax reform comes from the lowering of the federal tax rate from 35% to 21%, making up roughly $10 of the $14 increase," Suzuki and his team wrote. "Buybacks represent another $3 of the increase, with some modest offsets from the minimum foreign tax rate and the cap on interest deductions."

This boost, however, is less than the full tax-cut benefit they estimated last year, as some companies have already announced how they plan to spend their windfall, including one-time employee bonuses.

And beyond 2018, the strategists think tax reform could in fact be a deterrent to earnings growth. 

They cited three reasons. First, companies would be able to compete better with higher returns. While that's usually good for consumers, the downside is that the drive to increase market share could hurt company margins over time. Some industries like retail are already facing this predicament. 

Secondly, BAML argues that stronger growth could prompt the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than it is expecting, which could then turn around and be a drag on the economy.

One of the biggest criticisms of rate increases has been low inflation, the reasons for which Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said are mysterious. But with most major economies around the world solidly in expansion, and in a tight US labor market, many strategists have flagged that 2018 could be a year when inflation becomes an issue to deal with again.

Also, BAML recalled that tax reform was passed in 1986, one year before the slump into a bear market and shortly before the savings and loan crisis. Sure, the stock market got double-digit earnings growth from the tax law, but it didn't stop the descent. 

"Our economists expect only a modest lift to GDP growth from tax reform over the next couple of years, with growth slowing from 2.6-2.7% in 2018 to 2.2-2.3% in 2019," Suzuki said.

SEE ALSO: Blackstone's Byron Wien unveils his big surprises for 2018

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

JEFFERIES: There's an unorthodox way for traders to protect against big stock market losses

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

trapeze safety net

  • The best way to protect against a stock market downturn might be to own a basket of "out of favor" commodity stocks, says Jefferies.
  • The firm argues that the impact of low inflation on outsized stock market returns has been underappreciated.


The equity strategy team at Jefferies has a novel idea for how to protect against a big stock market downturn.

Rather than simply buying exposure to the CBOE Volatility Index — or VIX, which trades inversely to the benchmark S&P 500 roughly 80% of the time — the firm says the best hedge might be to own a basket of "out of favor" commodity stocks.

At the core of Jefferies' reasoning is what they identify as one of the most extreme divergences in 25 years between the S&P 500 and commodity indices. The firm sees this performance gap closing, and notes that commodities will likely rally at the expense of stocks sometime soon, making the hedge effective.

Commodity stocks "at least offer operational gearing to rising commodity prices," Jefferies Chief Global Equity Strategist Sean Darby wrote in a client note. "A hedge to global equity markets is to buy some commodity stocks including agriculture. Until the long end of the yield shifts upwards, asset prices will still be under pressure to inflate."

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 8.59.30 AM

The expectation of more inflation informs Jefferies' overall outlook for equities. In the firm's mind, low inflation was the true and underappreciated cause of stock market strength in 2017.

The so-called "disinflation boom" was huge for investors "with low inflation, declining real interest rates and a strong profit cycle acting as a tailwind for share prices," Darby wrote.

Now, Jefferies says, investors are at real risk of seeing inflation pick up, something that will put further downward pressure on the US dollar. However, the firm finds that over the last 18 months, commodity indices have trended sideways amid a weakening greenback, further strengthening the case for a commodity-based hedge.

"The bottom line is that the best 'hedge' for equity investors might simply be to own a basket of 'out of favor' commodity stocks rather than the VIX index," he said.

SEE ALSO: BAML: Stocks could surge 19% this year because investors are the right kind of cautious

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone

Bitcoin Miner Sued for Securities Fraud After ICO

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

Giga Watt, a startup that held an ICO to fund a bitcoin mining facility, is being sued for allegedly conducting an unregistered securities offering.

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 (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures in Rally mode, led by a 20bp pop in Nasdaq as NVDA, MU and NFLX all move ~1% higher.  Smallcaps continue their lagging ways, with Russell up very small.   It’s pretty much all green in Europe, with the DAX regaining 40bp of yesterday’s 1% hit.  Commod stocks in rally mode, led by Oil and Metals, adding to gains among industrials, healthcare and tech.  FTSE is up small despite NEXT leading retailers higher, as UK Banks retreat.   Volumes very light as MiFID rolls out, with EU STOXX having 40% lower turnover, and London’s volumes are off 20% from a tag team of MiFID and Storm Eleanor rocking the UK.  Asia added to yesterday’s strong session - Hang Seng up 15bp - Shanghai up 70bp - KOSPI added 30bp - Taiwan added almost 1% as AAPL suppliers popped - Aussie added small as the Miners squeezed 2% higher, but Banks tempered overall gains - Indonesia was hit for 1.4% on heavy profit-taking, while Japan remains closed.                      

The US 10YY is down 2bp and flatteners going thru ahead of FOMC Minutes later today.  There is a Decent bid for Bunds developing, with Germany’s 10YY retreating from 45bp.  The DXY is trying to get upside 92 after falling 7days in a row, touching 4month lows, while Euro trying to hold $1.20 and China’s central bank guided the yuan to 18month highs.   Sterling saw a firm reject from $1.36 on Light UK PMI.   Ore added 80bp overnight, but Copper is dropping 70bp early, while despite the $ rally, Gold is adding to yesterday’s rally which set a new record of 12 consecutive gains.  Brent and WTI are shrugging off the Forties restart, adding nearly 1% - while Natty Gas is getting hit for another 1.5%

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

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 (NYSE) in New York, U.S., October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures in Rally mode, led by a 20bp pop in Nasdaq as NVDA, MU and NFLX all move ~1% higher.  Smallcaps continue their lagging ways, with Russell up very small.   It’s pretty much all green in Europe, with the DAX regaining 40bp of yesterday’s 1% hit.  Commod stocks in rally mode, led by Oil and Metals, adding to gains among industrials, healthcare and tech.  FTSE is up small despite NEXT leading retailers higher, as UK Banks retreat.   Volumes very light as MiFID rolls out, with EU STOXX having 40% lower turnover, and London’s volumes are off 20% from a tag team of MiFID and Storm Eleanor rocking the UK.  Asia added to yesterday’s strong session - Hang Seng up 15bp - Shanghai up 70bp - KOSPI added 30bp - Taiwan added almost 1% as AAPL suppliers popped - Aussie added small as the Miners squeezed 2% higher, but Banks tempered overall gains - Indonesia was hit for 1.4% on heavy profit-taking, while Japan remains closed.                      

The US 10YY is down 2bp and flatteners going thru ahead of FOMC Minutes later today.  There is a Decent bid for Bunds developing, with Germany’s 10YY retreating from 45bp.  The DXY is trying to get upside 92 after falling 7days in a row, touching 4month lows, while Euro trying to hold $1.20 and China’s central bank guided the yuan to 18month highs.   Sterling saw a firm reject from $1.36 on Light UK PMI.   Ore added 80bp overnight, but Copper is dropping 70bp early, while despite the $ rally, Gold is adding to yesterday’s rally which set a new record of 12 consecutive gains.  Brent and WTI are shrugging off the Forties restart, adding nearly 1% - while Natty Gas is getting hit for another 1.5%

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone

Ripple Market Cap Surpasses $100 Billion as XRP Hedge Fund Goes Live

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

The post Ripple Market Cap Surpasses $100 Billion as XRP Hedge Fund Goes Live appeared first on CCN

The ripple price rose 15 percent on Wednesday, enabling XRP to become the second cryptocurrency to achieve a $100 billion market cap. Ripple Price Surge Raises XRP Market Cap to $100 Billion The ripple price defied expectations throughout 2017, rising nearly 30,000 percent to post the most significant rally of any top-tier cryptocurrency. Investors appear

The post Ripple Market Cap Surpasses $100 Billion as XRP Hedge Fund Goes Live appeared first on CCN

Bitcoin Cash Is Up, But Correction May Be On Cards

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

Despite decent gains today, bitcoin cash prices could take a hit in the short-term, technical charts suggest.

5 surprisingly simple investing rules that real people say will help preserve your wealth for your entire life

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

old couple retirement

  • Many baby boomers are starting to transition into retirement mindsets.
  • Investment management firm Capital Group identified five rules retired Boomer investors found to be "essential" to a secure retirement.
  • Investing isn't just reserved for hotshot Wall Street types — it's something that all Americans can do.

 

The baby boomer generation is starting to approach retirement.

And with that, they are getting into the retirement mindset.

In a recent report, investment management firm Capital Group shared its "Wisdom of Experience" survey, which looked at the changing dynamics for boomer investors, aged 53 to 71, as they transition into retirement.

The survey identified five rules retired boomer investors found to be "essential" to saving for a secure retirement, which could be useful for younger investors who are just starting out.

Some of these rules might seem obvious, but, to some degree, that is the point. Investing for retirement isn't something that's reserved for hotshot Wall Street types, but is something that all Americans can do.

They survey was conducted by APCO Insight, a global opinion research firm, in March 2017, and consisted of an online quantitative survey of 1,200 American adults — 400 of which were baby boomers — of varying income levels, who have investment assets and also who have some responsibility for making investment decisions for their families.

Below, the five rules boomer investors found to be essential, according to Capital Group's survey:

1. Stay invested for the long term.

The vast majority of retired baby boomers surveyed — 92% — think Americans need to save more for retirement by getting and staying invested in the market. Four out of five believe Americans should go for a consistent investment strategy with long-term objectives, and only 32% said they would change their strategies based on the fluctuating markets.

On a related note, billionaire investor Warren Buffett also champions the stay-in-it-for-the-long-term strategy. At the height of the financial crisis, in October 2008, he wrote in a New York Times op-ed article:

"Over the long term, the stock market news will be good. In the 20th century, the United States endured two world wars and other traumatic and expensive military conflicts; the Depression; a dozen or so recessions and financial panics; oil shocks; a flu epidemic; and the resignation of a disgraced president. Yet the Dow rose from 66 to 11,497."

2. Keep an eye on fees.

94% of retired boomers said they want to be able to "easily" understand what fees they're paying. And 78% said low-cost, simple investments are better for the long-term.

3. Diversify your portfolio.

85% of those surveyed said that a diversified portfolio is one of the most important things for "a safe path to a better retirement."

In other words, regular Americans just trying to save up for retirement probably shouldn't risk putting all of their money in things like bitcoin.

4. Protect yourself against market downturns.

80% said it's important to protect "your nest egg" and lower your risk of losses when markets swing downwards. And 30% said they wished they knew earlier about what to do when markets start getting shaky.

5. Start saving early and often.

79% said they think putting a portion of one's monthly income toward retirement is one of the best things you can do. Moreover, 60% of respondents said they wished they had started investing as young as possible.

Although some younger investors might think diving into investing right away is intimidating or boring, those who start investing earlier could end up with significantly greater returns.

As Business Insider's Andy Kiersz reported last year, the team at J.P. Morgan Asset Management showed a powerful illustration showing outcomes for hypothetical investors who invested $10,000 a year at a 6.5% annual rate of return over different periods of their lives.

The differences are remarkable: Chloe, who invested over her entire career from age 25 to 65, ends up retiring with nearly $1.9 million. Lyla, who started just 10 years later, has only about half of that, at $919,892.

And, somewhat astonishingly, Quincy, who invested only from ages 25 to 35, ends up with $950,588, slightly more money than Lyla, who invested for 30 years. That shows how important early compounding is to investing.

exponential curve chart pretty

SEE ALSO: Baby boomers could end up $227,000 richer if they stop bankrolling their adult children

SEE ALSO: Here's how your tax bracket will change in 2018

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A certified financial planner explains just how risky of an investment bitcoin is

Korean Law Firm to Appeal New Bitcoin Trading Rules

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

A South Korean law firm has reportedly filed a constitutional appeal over upcoming regulations restricting digital currency trading.

Ghana Should Invest 1% of Its Reserves in Bitcoin: Nduom VP Tells Central Bank

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

The post Ghana Should Invest 1% of Its Reserves in Bitcoin: Nduom VP Tells Central Bank appeared first on CCN

An executive at a prominent Ghanaian holding company has urged Ghana’s central bank to invest one percent of its reserves in bitcoin. Groupe Nduom VP Urgest Ghana’s Central Bank to Invest in Bitcoin Speaking with Accra-based publication Joy Business, Papa-Wassa Chiefy Nduom — vice president of Groupe Ndoum — said that bitcoin has grown so

The post Ghana Should Invest 1% of Its Reserves in Bitcoin: Nduom VP Tells Central Bank appeared first on CCN

Why Bitcoin Needs Fiat (And This Won't Change in 2018)

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

Cryptocurrency ecosystems are still dependent on the very financial system they vilify for daily support and stability, says Tim Swanson.

Bitcoin Trading is Forbidden Under Islamic Law: Egypt’s Religious Leader

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

The post Bitcoin Trading is Forbidden Under Islamic Law: Egypt’s Religious Leader appeared first on CCN

Egypt’s foremost religious leader, or imam, has called for a ban on cryptocurrencies including bitcoin after claiming they are forbidden under Islamic law. Sheik Shawki Allam, the Grand Mufti (the highest official of religious law) in Egypt has said it is forbidden to trade cryptocurrencies – selling, buying or leasing them – after issuing a

The post Bitcoin Trading is Forbidden Under Islamic Law: Egypt’s Religious Leader appeared first on CCN

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, AMZN, MGI, AAL, LUV)

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

Traders new years

Here is what you need to know. 

Sweeping regulatory reforms go live in EuropeMarkets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) is expected to chop $4.4 billion of revenue from the European operations of investment banks. 

The Nasdaq crosses 7,000 for the first timeThe Nasdaq Composite gained 1.5% on Tuesday to finish at 7,006.90. 

Bitcoin's share of the crypto market hits a record lowBitcoin's market capitalization as a percentage of the total crypto-market hit an all-time low below 36% on Tuesday, down from 65% at the start of December, CoinMarketCap.com data showed. 

Peter Thiel is reportedly making a killing on his bitcoin investmentThiel's venture capital firm Founders Fund has reportedly turned a $15 million to $20 million bitcoin investment into hundreds of millions of dollars, the Wall Street Journal says. 

Amazon shipped more than 5 billion Prime items in 2017The ecommerce giant says its Fire TV Stick and Echo Dot were the best-selling products on Prime. 

MoneyGram and Ant Financial terminate their merger agreementThe termination of the deal comes as the two companies were unable to get approval for the deal from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Reuters reports, citing a joint statement issued by the companies.

American and Southwest Airlines celebrate the GOP tax plan with bonuses for employeesAmerican and Southwest Airlines announced they will join a slew of other companies in giving $1,000 bonuses to employees in celebration of the GOP tax plan President Donald Trump signed into law last month.

Movie attendance hits a 25-year low in the USThe total number of tickets sold at the domestic box office in 2017 fell 5.8% year-over-year to 1.239 billion, making for the lowest total since 1992, Box Office Mojo says.

Stock markets around the world are higherChina's Shanghai Composite (+1.24%) paced the advance in Asia and France's CAC (+0.36%) leads the way higher in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open little changed near 2,700. 

US economic data is heavyConstruction spending and ISM Manufacturing will both be released at 10 a.m. ET before the latest FOMC minutes cross the wires at 2 p.m. ET. US auto and truck sales are due throughout the day. 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: PAUL KRUGMAN: Bitcoin is a more obvious bubble than housing was

Stock pickers are piling into these 6 stocks

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

Crowded pool China

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has released its quarterly list of the most overowned stocks held by active managers.

The set is part of a larger report on "active managers’ holdings" from the bank's equity and quant strategy group that was sent to clients Tuesday.

To be considered overowned, securities (excluding real estate investment trusts, or REIT’s) must be at least 1.5x their weight in the S&P 500 in the fund manager composite, and held by more than 35% of funds in the sample.

"History suggests one should watch out for crowded stocks at the beginning of the year: based on our data since 2009, the 10 most overweight stocks have lagged the 10 most underweight stocks on average by 57bp and 117bp during the first 15 and 30 calendar days of the year, respectively," the bank said.

Here’s the full list of overowned stocks, sorted by relative weight:

SEE ALSO: BANK OF AMERICA: Bitcoin is the 'most crowded' trade

6. Mastercard

Ticker: MA

Sector: Information technology

Current price: $151.34

Relative weight: 1.74

% of funds holding stock: 38.9%



5. Amazon

Ticker: AMZN

Sector: Discretionary

Current price: $1,187.51

Relative weight: 1.77

% of funds holding stock: 50.5%



4. Biogen

Ticker: BIIB

Sector: Healthcare

Current price: $328.97

Relative weight: 1.85

% of funds holding stock: 36.8%



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

BAML: Stocks could surge 19% this year because investors are the right kind of cautious

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

trader

  • For the entirety of the 8 1/2-year bull market, an undercurrent of skepticism has been a secret ingredient in keeping the rally going.
  • While investors have been getting more exuberant over the past few months, they're still nowhere near a level of extended sentiment that would suggest an imminent pullback, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.


Cautious stock traders are unwittingly helping their own cause by not getting ahead of themselves.

A monthly survey conducted by Michael Hartnett's team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch shows that while an indicator of investor exuberance has risen for a third straight month, it's still nowhere near extended enough to suggest a downturn is coming.

In fact, when the so-called "Sell Side Indicator" has been at this level in the past, it's preceded a median 12-month return of 19%, BAML data show. That would imply a 2018 year-end price of roughly 3,200 for the S&P 500, a target that would be at the top end of Wall Street strategist forecasts.

The chart below shows just how far investors are from getting overly exuberant. Only when the Sell Side Indicator climbs above the red line does it flash a "sell" signal — and, as you can see, it's still a long way away. 

Screen Shot 2018 01 02 at 3.46.33 PM

That this wariness exists at a time when stock indexes are continuing to hit records speaks to just how reluctant traders have been to throw caution to the wind when it comes to equities.

As such, the 8 1/2-year bull market, commonly referred to as the "most hated" in history, has kept grinding forward as sentiment has stayed largely in check. And that's allowed investors to focus on the fundamentals, which — between earnings growth, steady economic expansion and easy monetary conditions — look resoundingly positive.

But that's not to say US stock investors are totally out of the woods. It's entirely possible that all of these factors working in their favor will quickly push them into "extreme bullishness" territory. Also, while the buy and sell signals attached to the Sell Side Indicator are calculated based on a rolling 15-year average, the picture is much starker if you shorten that timeframe.

Back in October, BAML pointed out that an alternate methodology based on a four-year mean was flashing a sell signal for the S&P 500. And while clearly no such drop materialized, the firm has long recommended staying hedged against any sort of unexpected shock. Because while historical studies are helpful, there's no telling what will actually happen in real time.

SEE ALSO: The world's hottest investment product is showing signs of slowing down

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why bitcoin checks all the boxes of a bubble

Bitcoin Eyes $18,000 as Tide Turns in Bulls' Favor

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

Bitcoin is strongly bid today amid reports of institutional buying, and has climbed 10 percent in the last 24 hours.

The global cryptocurrency hit a new record high above $700 billion

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

global crypto valuation

  • Market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies passed $700 billion to reach a fresh all-time high on Wednesday.
  • The record high comes as bitcoin continues to recover from its Christmas plunge.
  • Bitcoin rallied over 10% on Tuesday after it was revealed that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel has put as much as $20 million into the cryptocurrency.


LONDON — The overall value of the global cryptocurrency market surpassed $700 billion on Wednesday to reach a fresh all-time high.

According to data provider Coin Market Cap, the market capitalisation of all combined cryptocurrencies in circulation is now $707 billion, as of around 8.45 a.m. GMT (3.45 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. The market has since dipped and is worth $683 billion at 10.55 a.m. GMT (5.55 a.m. ET) but the record high reached earlier in the day remains significant.

Market capitalisation is a basic valuation metric which multiplies the value of an asset — usually a share in a company — by the amount of that asset in circulation. The total market cap of the crypto market has spiked higher in recent months as many of the more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies in circulation rose. 

Mati Greenspan, an analyst at eToro, wrote in his daily crypto roundup on Wednesday: "There's a distinct buying sentiment among cryptotraders today. The pre-Christmas sell off seems to be well behind us now. Though Bitcoin is still a bit off her all-time highs some of the alts are generating some serious momentum."

Bitcoin saw its value drop as much as $8,000 in a matter of days over Christmas after a manic rally in December. The biggest and most recognisable cryptocurrency gained strongly on Tuesday after it was revealed by the Wall Street Journal that Founders Fund, the venture-capital firm founded by the tech billionaire Peter Thiel, has made hundreds of millions of dollars from bitcoin investments after investing $15-20 million in the asset.

Bitcoin's gains have continued into Wednesday, with the cryptocurrency up by around 1.5% to trade at close to $15,000 per coin, as of 9.55 a.m. GMT (4.55 a.m. ET):Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 09.55.42While the overall value of cryptocurrencies has increased to a new record, the proportion of that value made up by bitcoin is at an all-time low.

"Bitcoin's market capitalization as a percentage of the total crypto-market hit an all-time low below 36% on Tuesday as smaller so-called alternative cryptocurrencies rallied," Business Insider's Frank Chaparro wrote, citing data from Coin Market Cap.

There is increasing evidence that crypto investors are shunning bitcoin in favour of the likes of ethereum and Ripple, two currencies that are vying to be the second largest by market capitalisation.

Ethereum climbed to a record high of more than $880 on Tuesday.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

The global cryptocurrency hit a new record high above $700 billion

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

global crypto valuation

  • Market capitalisation of all cryptocurrencies passed $700 billion to reach a fresh all-time high on Wednesday.
  • The record high comes as bitcoin continues to recover from its Christmas plunge.
  • Bitcoin rallied over 10% on Tuesday after it was revealed that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel has put as much as $20 million into the cryptocurrency.


LONDON — The overall value of the global cryptocurrency market surpassed $700 billion on Wednesday to reach a fresh all-time high.

According to data provider Coin Market Cap, the market capitalisation of all combined cryptocurrencies in circulation is now $707 billion, as of around 8.45 a.m. GMT (3.45 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. The market has since dipped and is worth $683 billion at 10.55 a.m. GMT (5.55 a.m. ET) but the record high reached earlier in the day remains significant.

Market capitalisation is a basic valuation metric which multiplies the value of an asset — usually a share in a company — by the amount of that asset in circulation. The total market cap of the crypto market has spiked higher in recent months as many of the more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies in circulation rose. 

Mati Greenspan, an analyst at eToro, wrote in his daily crypto roundup on Wednesday: "There's a distinct buying sentiment among cryptotraders today. The pre-Christmas sell off seems to be well behind us now. Though Bitcoin is still a bit off her all-time highs some of the alts are generating some serious momentum."

Bitcoin saw its value drop as much as $8,000 in a matter of days over Christmas after a manic rally in December. The biggest and most recognisable cryptocurrency gained strongly on Tuesday after it was revealed by the Wall Street Journal that Founders Fund, the venture-capital firm founded by the tech billionaire Peter Thiel, has made hundreds of millions of dollars from bitcoin investments after investing $15-20 million in the asset.

Bitcoin's gains have continued into Wednesday, with the cryptocurrency up by around 1.5% to trade at close to $15,000 per coin, as of 9.55 a.m. GMT (4.55 a.m. ET):Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 09.55.42While the overall value of cryptocurrencies has increased to a new record, the proportion of that value made up by bitcoin is at an all-time low.

"Bitcoin's market capitalization as a percentage of the total crypto-market hit an all-time low below 36% on Tuesday as smaller so-called alternative cryptocurrencies rallied," Business Insider's Frank Chaparro wrote, citing data from Coin Market Cap.

There is increasing evidence that crypto investors are shunning bitcoin in favour of the likes of ethereum and Ripple, two currencies that are vying to be the second largest by market capitalisation.

Ethereum climbed to a record high of more than $880 on Tuesday.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

'Wealth Effect' From Bitcoin Trading Could Boost Japan's GDP, Say Analysts

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

Analysts from Japanese financial holdings company Nomura have estimated that the rise bitcoin prices could boost Japan's economic growth.

The maker of Marlboro took out a full-page ad saying its New Year's resolution is to 'give up cigarettes'

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

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 08.55.23

  • International tobacco giant Philip Morris International has said its 2018 New Year's resolution is to "give up cigarettes."
  • The firm ran full-page adverts in several UK newspapers claiming it aims to help people quit and to replace traditional cigarettes with smoke-free alternatives.
  • The firm said it will seek government approval to include information on quitting and on switching in cigarette packets.


LONDON — Global tobacco giant Philip Morris International's New Year's resolution is to give up cigarettes.

In an unusual move, the tobacco company, known for its Marlboro brand, placed full-page adverts in several UK newspapers on Tuesday claiming that the firm's "New Year's resolution" for 2018 is to "stop selling cigarettes in the UK."

"Philip Morris is known for cigarettes. Every year, many smokers give them up. Now it's our turn," reads the advert.

"Our ambition is to stop selling cigarettes in the UK. It won't be easy. But we are determined to turn our vision into reality. There are 7.6 million adults in the UK who smoke. The best action they can take is to quit smoking," it says.

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 08.57.45

Philip Morris said it aims to replace cigarettes with alternatives such as e-cigarettes and heated tobacco, "which are a better choice," and which it is rolling out in countries worldwide. The firm also announced the creation of a new website — www.smokefreefuture.co.uk — that contains information on quitting and on switching.

In addition to new products, Philip Morris said it plans to offer support to local stop-smoking services where smoking rates are highest and said it would seek UK government approval to include information about quitting smoking in cigarette packs.

“We believe we have an important role to play in helping the UK become smoke-free. The commitments announced today are practical steps that could accelerate that goal," said Peter Nixon, managing director of Philip Morris.

"We recognise that never starting to smoke — or quitting altogether — are always the best option. But for those who continue to smoke, there are more alternatives than ever available in the UK."

In September, the World Health Organisation advised governments to reject a plan by Philip Morris to set up a Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, saying the tobacco industry and "front groups" were "misleading" the public about the relative harm of alternative tobacco products.

To date, the firm has invested £2.5 billion into the research and development of smoke-free products to date, it said.

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NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

Fintech could be bigger than ATMs, PayPal, and Bitcoin combined

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

Fintech Ecosystem 2018This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Fintech broke onto the scene as a disruptive force following the 2008 crisis, but the industry's influence on the broader financial services system is changing. 

The fintech industry no longer stands clearly apart from financial services proper, and is increasingly growing embedded in mainstream finance. We’re now seeing the initial stages of this transformation.

For instance, funding is growing more internationally distributed, and startups are making necessary adjustments to prove sustainability and secure a seat at the table. Most fintech segments in the ascendant a year ago have continued to rise and grow more valuable to the broader financial system. Meanwhile, several fintech categories have had to make adjustments to stay on top. New subsegments are also appearing on the scene — such as digital identity verification fintechs — as new opportunities for innovation are discovered. 

Significantly, incumbents are responding more proactively to the rising influence of fintech by making updates to their consumer-facing channels, back-end systems, and overall business operations. Most are realizing that the best way to adapt is to work alongside the fintechs that are transforming the financial services environment, either by partnering with them or acquiring the startups entirely. As fintech's power grows, incumbents will have no choice but to change in order to stay relevant and competitive. All around, fintech is becoming embedded in mainstream finance.

Maria Terekhova, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has written the definitive Fintech Ecosystem report that looks at the shifts in the broader environment that fintechs operate in, including funding patterns and regulatory trends; examines the adaptations that some of fintech's biggest subsegments have had to make to secure a foothold in the financial services system; and discusses how the continued rise of the fintech industry is pressuring incumbents to make fundamental changes to their business models and roles. It ends by assessing what a global economy increasingly influenced by innovative fintechs will look like.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • The fintech industry is far more than a group of digitally native, consumer-centric startups, although they are, in many ways, becoming the new face of financial services. It's increasingly clear that fintech no longer stands apart from financial services proper, and is morphing into an integral part of the financial system. 
  • To secure their position in the mainstream economy, some of the main fintech subsegments have had to adjust their business models. These include neobanks, robo-advisors, and alt lenders. Other fintech categories, meanwhile, have instead found that current conditions are well suited to their original models, and are seeing largely smooth sailing, like regtechs, insurtechs, and payments fintechs. Innovation and dynamism is still alive in fintech too, with new categories still emerging.
  • The rising influence of fintechs is having a dramatic effect on incumbents, from banks to insurers to wealth managers, pushing them to respond proactively to stay relevant. Incumbents are reacting to changes wrought by fintechs on three key fronts: the front end, the back end, and in their core business operations. As such, incumbents and fintechs are converging on a digital middle ground.
  • As this happens, the fintech industry is on the cusp of becoming an integral component of the broader financial services ecosystem. But it will likely first have to go through a complete credit cycle, and survive an economic downturn like the one that set the stage for its arrival in 2008, for this to happen.

In full, the report:

  • Looks at how the environment in which the fintech industry operates is changing, and what that means for the digitization of financial services.
  • Gives an overview of the main subsegments within the global fintech industry, and discusses which categories have had to adapt to survive, which have reaped benefits from their original game plans, and which new segments have come to the fore in the past twelve months.
  • Outlines the adaptations that incumbent financial institutions have begun making to adjust to an economy that's inevitably shifting to digital, and in which tech-savvy fintechs are increasingly setting the standards.
  • Discusses what the future of financial services will look like as fintech embeds itself into the financial mainstream.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. 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
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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E-Trade Financial Launches CME Bitcoin Futures Trading

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

E-Trade Financial Corporation opened trading in bitcoin futures from CME Group Tuesday evening.

The UK's financial watchdog is investigating troubled construction firm Carillion

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

Housebuilder

  • The UK's financial regulator has begun an investigation into troubled construction firm Carillion.
  • The Financial Conduct Authority is looking into announcements made by the firm in 2016 and 2017, over which time Carillion's profits declined and shares plummeted.
  • Carillion said it was cooperating fully with the investigation.


LONDON — The UK's financial regulator has begun an investigation into troubled construction giant Carillion.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is investigating the "timeliness and content" of announcements made by the firm between December 7, 2016, and July 10, 2017.

Carillion said in a statement it was "cooperating fully with the FCA."

The firm's share price plummeted 63% over the course of three days in July after the extent of the group's debt was revealed in its half-year trading update, published on July 10.

The update also said Carillion planned to undertake a review of the business, suspend dividends and that former CEO Richard Howson would step down.

Prior to that, on December 7, 2016, the group had blamed a slowdown in government spending, following the UK's Brexit vote, for a fall in orders and lower-than-expected profits for the second half of 2016. 

In November 2017, Carillion's shares plunged a further 60% after it warned it may breach debt covenants.

The FCA declined to comment further on the investigation when contacted by Business Insider.

Carillion's shares were down 4.10% as of 8.24 a.m. GMT (3.24 ET) on Tuesday morning:

Screen Shot 2018 01 03 at 08.27.19

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NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

Ryanair is applying for a UK aviation licence to protect itself from a hard Brexit

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

RyanAir plane

  • Irish airline Ryanair is applying a for licence to operate UK domestic flights after Brexit.
  • It will safeguard Ryanair in case the UK and EU cannot strike a deal around aviation rules during Brexit negotiations.
  • Wizz Air, which is headquartered in Hungary, also applied for a UK licence in October.


LONDON — Irish airline Ryanair is applying for a UK aviation licence, which would allow it to continue operating domestic flights in the UK regardless of whether or not aviation is included in any Brexit deal.

The budget airline confirmed that it has applied for a so-called UK Air Operator's Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority. If successful, it would allow Ryanair to operate domestic flights — for example, routes between London and Glasgow — if the UK and EU fail to reach a Brexit agreement on aviation.

The move is thought to be a precautionary measure as the airline's UK domestic operation consist of just three routes. According to Sky News, which first reported the news, these routes account for "less than 2% of total revenues."

"Ryanair today confirmed that a subsidiary company, Ryanair UK, filed an application on 21 December last for an AOC with the CAA in the UK," the airline said in a statement to Sky. "This may be required for Ryanair's three UK domestic routes in the event of a hard Brexit in March 2019."

Ryanair is not the first non-UK airline to confirm an application for a UK AOC since the referendum. Wizz Air, which is headquartered in Hungary, did the same in October.

Ryanair's CEO Michael O'Leary has been a staunch critic of Brexit and has frequently proffered dire warnings about what Britain's departure from the EU could mean for flying in Europe.

In October 2017, he warned that the government was underestimating the risk of "serious disruption" to flights once Britain leaves the EU.

"There remains a worrying risk of a serious disruption to UK-EU flights in April 2019 unless a timely UK-EU bilateral is agreed in advance of September 2018," he said. "We worry that the UK government continues to underestimate the likelihood of such a flight disruption to/from the UK."

O'Leary said the airline industry needs clarity on a UK-EU Brexit deal by summer 2018 as that is when airlines will publish their schedules for the year ahead.

"Time is running short for the UK to develop a bilateral solution," O'Leary warned.

Britain's Chancellor Philip Hammond said last year that flights between the UK and the European Union could "theoretically" stop on the day Britain officially drops out of the bloc.

News of Ryanair's AOC application came just hours before the airline reported its final passenger numbers for 2017, which showed that it carried a total of 129 million people last year, with 9.3 million flying in December alone, an increase from nine million in December 2016.

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

Trading company Plus500's shares jump 25% thanks to 'strong volumes in cryptocurrency'

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

Soccer Football - Champions League - Atletico Madrid vs Roma - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - November 22, 2017

  • Plus500 said revenues and profits will be "ahead of market expectations" thanks to a record end to the year.
  • The trading platform said the strong popularity of cryptocurrency CFDs is behind its performance.
  • The UK regulator has expressed concern about people trading cryptocurrency CFDs, warning that customers are at risk of "significant losses."


LONDON — Online trading platform Plus500 raised its profit forecasts for the year on Wednesday, saying it has benefitted from the booming popularity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Plus500, which sponsors football team Atletico Madrid, lets retail clients trade contracts for difference (CFD), which are financial instruments that effectively allow people to bet on the price movement of assets without actually owning them.

The idea is that people can gain exposure to assets without incurring the higher fees associated with buying them. But the products are also extremely high risk and the entire industry has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny across Europe over the last year.

Last year a study from Britain's regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority found that 82% of people who use the products lose money, suggesting it is more akin to gambling than investing.

Israeli-headquartered Plus500 has offered cryptocurrency CFDs since 2013 but said in a trading statement on Wednesday that it has "experienced strong volumes in crypto currency CFDs and has seen increased interest throughout the year."

Cryptocurrencies exploded in popularity in 2017 thanks in part to the rapid rise of bitcoin against the dollar, which raised the profile of the sector. Bitcoin rose over 1,500% against the dollar last year, while other smaller digital coins enjoyed similar gains. Plus500 offers CFDs for bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, iota, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Plus500, which is listed in London, said the surging sector helped it achieve record revenues in the final quarter of 2017. New customer sign-ups over the year more than doubled to 246,000, another record. The board said both revenues and profits for the year will be "ahead of market expectations."

CEO Asaf Elimelech said in a statement: "Momentum in the business has continued to be strong with increased interest in our crypto currency CFD offering and record new and active customer numbers, demonstrating our ability to serve our customers' trading needs through product innovation and technology leadership."

Plus500's share price jumped over 25% at the open in London on the news:

Plus500_11_19__26_9245__While crypto CFDs are proving popular for Plus500, Britain's financial regulator has expressed concern about the appropriateness of these instruments in the cryptocurrency market.

People face potentially unlimited losses with CFDs if they are on the wrong side of a bet on a price movement and cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. Bitcoin moved by over 10% on Tuesday alone, for example.

To make matters worse, most CFD providers let people trade on leverage, meaning they lend people money to make bets with. This means traders can end up losing far more than they deposited.

Plus500 offers leverage of 10:1 on its cryptocurrency CFDs, meaning a person who deposits £100 can trade with £1,000.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority warned in November that cryptocurrency CFDs "are extremely high-risk, speculative products" that "place you at risk of suffering significant losses." The regulator said it found some firms offering leverage of up to 50:1.

Plus500 said in Wednesday's trading update that "remains focused on risk management which includes setting appropriate risk and leverage for all the instruments traded on its platform."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

Trading company Plus500's shares jump 25% thanks to 'strong volumes in cryptocurrency'

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

Soccer Football - Champions League - Atletico Madrid vs Roma - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - November 22, 2017

  • Plus500 said revenues and profits will be "ahead of market expectations" thanks to a record end to the year.
  • The trading platform said the strong popularity of cryptocurrency CFDs is behind its performance.
  • The UK regulator has expressed concern about people trading cryptocurrency CFDs, warning that customers are at risk of "significant losses."


LONDON — Online trading platform Plus500 raised its profit forecasts for the year on Wednesday, saying it has benefitted from the booming popularity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Plus500, which sponsors football team Atletico Madrid, lets retail clients trade contracts for difference (CFD), which are financial instruments that effectively allow people to bet on the price movement of assets without actually owning them.

The idea is that people can gain exposure to assets without incurring the higher fees associated with buying them. But the products are also extremely high risk and the entire industry has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny across Europe over the last year.

Last year a study from Britain's regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority found that 82% of people who use the products lose money, suggesting it is more akin to gambling than investing.

Israeli-headquartered Plus500 has offered cryptocurrency CFDs since 2013 but said in a trading statement on Wednesday that it has "experienced strong volumes in crypto currency CFDs and has seen increased interest throughout the year."

Cryptocurrencies exploded in popularity in 2017 thanks in part to the rapid rise of bitcoin against the dollar, which raised the profile of the sector. Bitcoin rose over 1,500% against the dollar last year, while other smaller digital coins enjoyed similar gains. Plus500 offers CFDs for bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, iota, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Plus500, which is listed in London, said the surging sector helped it achieve record revenues in the final quarter of 2017. New customer sign-ups over the year more than doubled to 246,000, another record. The board said both revenues and profits for the year will be "ahead of market expectations."

CEO Asaf Elimelech said in a statement: "Momentum in the business has continued to be strong with increased interest in our crypto currency CFD offering and record new and active customer numbers, demonstrating our ability to serve our customers' trading needs through product innovation and technology leadership."

Plus500's share price jumped over 25% at the open in London on the news:

Plus500_11_19__26_9245__While crypto CFDs are proving popular for Plus500, Britain's financial regulator has expressed concern about the appropriateness of these instruments in the cryptocurrency market.

People face potentially unlimited losses with CFDs if they are on the wrong side of a bet on a price movement and cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. Bitcoin moved by over 10% on Tuesday alone, for example.

To make matters worse, most CFD providers let people trade on leverage, meaning they lend people money to make bets with. This means traders can end up losing far more than they deposited.

Plus500 offers leverage of 10:1 on its cryptocurrency CFDs, meaning a person who deposits £100 can trade with £1,000.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority warned in November that cryptocurrency CFDs "are extremely high-risk, speculative products" that "place you at risk of suffering significant losses." The regulator said it found some firms offering leverage of up to 50:1.

Plus500 said in Wednesday's trading update that "remains focused on risk management which includes setting appropriate risk and leverage for all the instruments traded on its platform."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

Trading company Plus500's shares jump 25% thanks to 'strong volumes in cryptocurrency'

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

Soccer Football - Champions League - Atletico Madrid vs Roma - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - November 22, 2017

  • Plus500 said revenues and profits will be "ahead of market expectations" thanks to a record end to the year.
  • The trading platform said the strong popularity of cryptocurrency CFDs is behind its performance.
  • The UK regulator has expressed concern about people trading cryptocurrency CFDs, warning that customers are at risk of "significant losses."


LONDON — Online trading platform Plus500 raised its profit forecasts for the year on Wednesday, saying it has benefitted from the booming popularity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Plus500, which sponsors football team Atletico Madrid, lets retail clients trade contracts for difference (CFD), which are financial instruments that effectively allow people to bet on the price movement of assets without actually owning them.

The idea is that people can gain exposure to assets without incurring the higher fees associated with buying them. But the products are also extremely high risk and the entire industry has come under increasing regulatory scrutiny across Europe over the last year.

Last year a study from Britain's regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority found that 82% of people who use the products lose money, suggesting it is more akin to gambling than investing.

Israeli-headquartered Plus500 has offered cryptocurrency CFDs since 2013 but said in a trading statement on Wednesday that it has "experienced strong volumes in crypto currency CFDs and has seen increased interest throughout the year."

Cryptocurrencies exploded in popularity in 2017 thanks in part to the rapid rise of bitcoin against the dollar, which raised the profile of the sector. Bitcoin rose over 1,500% against the dollar last year, while other smaller digital coins enjoyed similar gains. Plus500 offers CFDs for bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, iota, litecoin, and bitcoin cash.

Plus500, which is listed in London, said the surging sector helped it achieve record revenues in the final quarter of 2017. New customer sign-ups over the year more than doubled to 246,000, another record. The board said both revenues and profits for the year will be "ahead of market expectations."

CEO Asaf Elimelech said in a statement: "Momentum in the business has continued to be strong with increased interest in our crypto currency CFD offering and record new and active customer numbers, demonstrating our ability to serve our customers' trading needs through product innovation and technology leadership."

Plus500's share price jumped over 25% at the open in London on the news:

Plus500_11_19__26_9245__While crypto CFDs are proving popular for Plus500, Britain's financial regulator has expressed concern about the appropriateness of these instruments in the cryptocurrency market.

People face potentially unlimited losses with CFDs if they are on the wrong side of a bet on a price movement and cryptocurrencies are notoriously volatile. Bitcoin moved by over 10% on Tuesday alone, for example.

To make matters worse, most CFD providers let people trade on leverage, meaning they lend people money to make bets with. This means traders can end up losing far more than they deposited.

Plus500 offers leverage of 10:1 on its cryptocurrency CFDs, meaning a person who deposits £100 can trade with £1,000.

The UK's Financial Conduct Authority warned in November that cryptocurrency CFDs "are extremely high-risk, speculative products" that "place you at risk of suffering significant losses." The regulator said it found some firms offering leverage of up to 50:1.

Plus500 said in Wednesday's trading update that "remains focused on risk management which includes setting appropriate risk and leverage for all the instruments traded on its platform."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The CIO of a crypto hedge fund reveals why you should be cautious of the ICO bubble

Malaysia Will Not Ban Bitcoin Trading, Confirms Finance Minister

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

The post Malaysia Will Not Ban Bitcoin Trading, Confirms Finance Minister appeared first on CCN

Malaysia will not enforce a blanket ban on the trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the country’s second finance minister revealed. In an interview with The Malaysian Reserve, the country’s second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani has confirmed that the country’s central bank will not impose a ban on cryptocurrencies, emphasizing that such a draconian move

The post Malaysia Will Not Ban Bitcoin Trading, Confirms Finance Minister appeared first on CCN

Cold weather saved Christmas for Next

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

Next promo image Spring 2018

  • Next's Christmas sales were up 1.5%, compared to guidance of a 0.3% slump.
  • Retailer upgrades full-year profit forecast as a result.
  • But Next warns that "challenges" remain and forecasts another fall in annual profits for the year ahead.


LONDON — High Street retailer Next performed better-than-expected over the Christmas period thanks to the UK's extended period of cold weather, the company said on Wednesday.

Both online and physical stores "experienced an improvement in sales" in the run-up to Christmas, "with our Online business performing particularly well," Next said in a trading update.

"We believe part of this improvement has been down to much colder weather leading up to Christmas," the company said.

Sales in the 54 days up to December 24 were up 1.5% compared to the same period a year ago. That's much better than the 0.3% fall in sales that Next had told investors to expect.next salesNext upgraded its profit forecast for the year by £8 million as a result, telling investors its core forecast is now £725 million for the year to January 2018. This would still represent a slump of 8% compared to the 2016/17 performance.

But while the topline figures are encouraging, an analysis shows continued trouble for Next's physical stores, which are a bellwether of British High Streets. Sales at its stores fell by 6.1% in the run-up to Christmas and are down by an estimated 7.2% across the entire year. The slump was masked by a 13.6% jump in online sales over the Christmas period.

Next warned: "Many of the challenges we faced last year look set to continue into the year ahead. Subdued consumer demand driven by a decline in real income, the increase in experiential spending at the expense of clothing, and inflation in our cost prices remain challenges for 2018.

"However, we believe that some of these headwinds will ease as we move through the year; we already know that cost price inflation will reduce to 2% in the first half and believe it will disappear in the second half."

Still, Next forecast a profit for the year to January 2019 at £705 million — meaning it is expecting yet another dip in annual profits. The retailer said this is because it expects "operational costs to continue to grow faster than sales."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman about tax reform, Trump, and bitcoin

10 things you need to know in markets today

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

A supermoon rises behind the fair tower ( Messeturm ) in Frankfurt, Germany, January 2, 2018.

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

1. Founders Fund, the venture-capital firm Peter Thiel founded in 2005, invested $15 million to $20 million in bitcoin, according to The Wall Street Journal. The firm has told investors the bet on bitcoin is now worth hundreds of millions of dollars thanks to bitcoin's dramatic rise in the fourth quarter of last year, The Journal reported.

2. The price of bitcoin spiked over 10% against the dollar on Tuesday after news of Thiel's investment. Bitcoin is up 2.8% against the dollar to $15,199.47 at the time of writing (6.20 a.m. GMT/1.20 a.m. ET).

3. US stocks finished higher on the first day of trading in 2018, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hitting records to open the year. The Dow closed up 0.40% at 24,819.10, the S&P 500 finished up 0.83% at 2,695.82, and the Nasdaq ended the day up 1.50% at 7,006.90.

4. MoneyGram and Alibaba's Ant Financial Services said on Tuesday they have agreed to terminate their amended merger agreement, due to regulatory hurdles. MoneyGram shares were down 8.5% at $12.06 in after-market trading.

5. Asian stocks struck a fresh decade high on Wednesday as risk appetites were whetted by a bevvy of upbeat manufacturing surveys that confirmed a synchronized upturn in world growth was well underway. The Hong Kong Hang Seng is up 0.13% at the time of writing (6.25 a.m. GMT/1.25 a.m. ET) and China's Shanghai Composite shares index is up 0.77%. Japan's Nikkei is still closed for national holidays.

6. UK construction numbers are coming. IHS Markit's construction PMI number for December will be published at 9.30 a.m. GMT (4.30 a.m. ET). Economists are expecting growth to have slowed slightly from November's reading.

7. Sweeping financial regulatory reforms in Europe — which have been in the works for seven years — are finally set to go live Wednesday, January 3. The lengthy and complex set changes, known as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), will impact a broad swath of financial firms across the globe, but especially investment banks that do business in Europe.

8. Vice News said two top executives were put on leave following a bombshell New York Times expose detailing a culture of harassment at the popular millennial news outlet. Last month, The New York Times reported that the company and its employees had settled four sexual harassment suits since 2003.

9. South and west London are experiencing the steepest drops in property prices in the British capital, according to estate agents Savills. Things may now finally stabilising — but Brexit uncertainty means prices are unlikely to rise anytime soon.

10. With 2017 over, Warren Buffett has sealed his victory over hedge funds in a bet he made a decade ago. The Berkshire Hathaway chairman in 2007 bet $1 million that the S&P 500 would outperform a selection of hedge funds over 10 years.

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NOW WATCH: These are the watches worn by the smartest and most powerful men in the world

(+) Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Major Coins Point Higher Led by Bitcoin

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

The post (+) Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Major Coins Point Higher Led by Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

The post (+) Asian Market Update – Wednesday: Major Coins Point Higher Led by Bitcoin appeared first on CCN

Southwest and American Airlines celebrate the GOP tax plan with $1,000 bonuses for employees

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

American Airlines Southwest Airlines

  • American and Southwest Airlines announced they will give $1,000 bonuses to employees in celebration of the GOP tax plan President Donald Trump signed into law last month.
  • The two airlines, which both announced their plans on Tuesday, cited the tax plan specifically, which, among other things, lowers the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.
  • Several other large corporations had touted similar employee bonuses immediately after Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 20.


Southwest and American Airlines have joined a handful of corporate giants that have announced $1,000 employee bonuses following the GOP tax overhaul that President Donald Trump signed into law last month.

In a pair of press releases on Tuesday, both airlines specifically cited sweeping new tax reforms that passed Congress on December 20. Among other things, the legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%.

American Airlines' bonuses, given to employees at its mainline and wholly owned regional carriers, totals about $130 million, according to the airline, which said the money would arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2018. Southwest said all of its full-time and part-time employees would receive their $1,000 on January 8.

"We applaud Congress and the President for taking this action to pass legislation, which will result in meaningful corporate income tax reform for the transportation sector in general, and for Southwest Airlines, in particular," Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said in a statement.

Additionally, the Dallas-based carrier said it would earmark $5 million for charitable causes.

The two airlines join a handful of large corporations that announced $1,000 employee bonuses immediately following the tax bill's passage. AT&T said it would dole out a total of $200 million in extra cash. Bank of America announced it would put up $145 million.

The gestures have received mixed reviews as economic policy experts sounded alarms about the GOP tax law's potentially negative effects. Former US Treasury secretary Jacob Lew called the tax overhaul a "ticking time bomb" on Tuesday, and said the "very concentrated benefits for global corporations and the top 1%" threatened to leave the US "broke."

SEE ALSO: Former Obama Treasury secretary says the GOP tax law is a 'ticking time bomb'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

Video: $1 Million? Bitcoin Sign Guy on Why It's Not Too Late to Buy

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

The man behind one of the crypto industry's most popular memes speaks out on his philosophy toward cryptocurrency and its future.

Nearly 200,000 people have started collecting Ethereum 'CryptoKitties' — which could very well become Beanie Babies of blockchain

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

cryptokitties ethereum

CryptoKitties is a colorful, feline-centric blockchain game.

• Blockchain-based computing platform Ethereum, which provides the cryptocurrency ether, introduced the virtual game in late November.

• Since then, the new digital felines have become enormously popular, attracting 180,000 users, according to The New York Times.



Cats probably aren't the first thing you'd associate with blockchain. But that's exactly what the hottest new game in the digital world is all about.

CryptoKitties is a colorful, cutesy blockchain game where players can purchase, sell, and breed their own unique "CryptoKitties." When you mate your digital pet with another CryptoKitty — which can be both dames and sires, the website's Q&A section advises users to "ease up on the labels" — you'll get a kitten with a mix of their "genes."

You can either breed your own CryptoKitties together, or pay another player in order to use their cat as a sire. The game's currency is ether, the currency of blockchain-based computing platform Ethereum.

So far, these virtual cats have proved to be a hot commodity.

cryptokitties 2

Since the game launched on November 28, The New York Times reported 180,000 players have already signed up, and spent a total of $20 million in ether. CNBC reported the digital cats have fetched as much as $114,481.59. One anonymous entrepreneur told The Verge that his performance on CryptoKitties has allowed him to accrue a "a hypothetical net gain of $42,321.15."

That net gain is hypothetical because, as CryptoKitties cofounder Mack Flavelle told The Times, "Nobody's even pretending it's going to be a transactional currency anymore. It's a stored value." You can't buy a coffee with ether, but, as he says, "for a couple bucks now you can get a cat."

The feline-induced surge in interest has actually caused problems for Ethereum's website, Business Insider's Frank Chaparro reported.

Some people are comparing the current trend to an earlier craze focused on cuddly-looking collectibles. According to Tech Crunch's Fitz Tepper, the new game is "reminiscent of the beanie baby trend where people were paying insane amounts of money for stuffed animals."

Business Insider reported that when the Beanie Baby bubble of the nineties burst, most collectors were just fine. But there still isn't really much of a market for most of the toys.

But for now, Cryptokitties will continue breeding.

"We're just like, man, people want cats," Flavelle told The New York Times. "We thought it would build slowly, take a few months, but it's been so fast."

SEE ALSO: Ethereum's blockchain is jamming up because of a new game that lets people buy virtual cats

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NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone

Delta is offering travel waivers as 'cold weather bomb' storm bears down on the East Coast

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

A Delta Airlines jet takes off from Washington National Airport in Washington, U.S., August 9, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

As a "cold-weather bomb" bears down on the East Coast, the entire eastern seaboard is preparing for heavy snowfall and record-breaking cold. While the forecast will narrow in the next few days as we see how the storm tracks, it's already a good time to start preparing.

Winter weather advisories have been issued all the way up the coast from Florida to Maine, but it's looking more like the mid-Atlantic and Northeast will face the brunt of the "bombogenesis" storm.

As the storm approaches, airlines have already begun planning for inevitable delays and flight cancellations. Delta was the first airline to offer reaccommodation due to the storm, though other airlines will likely follow soon.

Delta announced that it was issuing a travel waiver for January 3–4 in the mid-Atlantic. If you're flying into or out of one of the listed affected airports, Delta will let you change your flight to anything scheduled by January 7th without a fee. You can also fly after January 7th and have the change fee waived, but you may have to pay the difference in fares. If you can't reschedule your trip, you can cancel it altogether in exchange for a voucher for the unused value of your original ticket, which can be put towards another trip within a year.

Currently, the affected cities and airports covered by Delta's travel waiver are:

  • Allentown, PA (ABE)
  • Baltimore, MD (BWI)
  • Harrisburg, PA (MDT)
  • Newport News, VA (PHF)
  • Norfolk, VA (ORF)
  • Philadelphia, PA (PHL)
  • Scranton, PA (AVP)
  • Washington-Dulles, VA (IAD)
  • Washington-Reagan, VA (DCA)

As the forecast continues to evolve, look for other airports to be added to the list, and for other airlines to issue their own travel waivers.

SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 10 best economy-class airlines in the world

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NOW WATCH: The 5 issues to consider before trading bitcoin futures

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