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Gossip Mag Claims Bill Cosby is Using Bitcoin to Hide His Fortune [He’s Probably Not]

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

An online gossip magazine claims to have insider information that disgraced actor Bill Cosby is using bitcoin to try to conceal what remains of his fortune from his creditors. Citing an unnamed “insider,” celebrity gossip site Radar Online alleges that Cosby, who was convicted earlier this year on three counts of sexual assault, has purchased

The post Gossip Mag Claims Bill Cosby is Using Bitcoin to Hide His Fortune [He’s Probably Not] appeared first on CCN

A non-profit is suing the city of Chicago over its proposed Hyperloop deal

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

Musk Rahm

  • The Better Government Association has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago for allegedly failing to release documents pertaining to the city's agreement with Elon Musk's The Boring Company over a planned hyper-loop tunnel project.
  • "We feel the city needs to comply with the Freedom of Information Act that says the public records should be made available, given the mayor has made a final selection," BGA President David Greising told Business Insider. 
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially announced the choice of the Boring Company to build and operate the high-speed underground tunnel from downtown to O'Hare International Airport in June. 
  • "We will vigorously defend against this suit, which is without merit because the final contract does not yet exist," a spokesman for Chicago's Law Department told NBC 5 Chicago.

The Better Government Association has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago for allegedly failing to release documents pertaining to the city's agreement with Elon Musk's Boring Company over a planned underground tunnel project. 

The lawsuit by the Better Government Association (BGA), which can be read here, was brought against the City of Chicago Mayor's Office and the Chicago Infrastructure Trust, and cites a need to "obtain transparency into Defendants' selection of The Boring Company for the O'Hare Express System Project." 

"The main impetus (for the lawsuit) is we're very interested in the plan for an express train to O'Hare now that a contractor has been selected," BGA President David Greising told Business Insider on Monday. "We feel the city needs to comply with the Freedom of Information Act that says the public records should be made available, given the mayor has made a final selection."

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law established in 1967 that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government.

BGA is a non-partisan, non-profit watchdog based out of downtown Chicago whose website advocates "working for transparency, efficiency and accountability in government across Illinois."

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel officially announced the choice of The Boring Company to build and operate the high-speed underground tunnel from downtown to O'Hare International Airport in June, which included a press conference and interview with CBS

Greising said he is aware the city has not yet finalized its contract with The Boring Company, but believes FOIA records request for qualifications and bids are "fairly basic" and should be accessible. 

"They're saying that this is a pre-decisional information and what we say is that when you hold a press conference to announce that you've selected a contractor to build this, a final selection has been made," said Greising to Business Insider. 

"We will vigorously defend against this suit, which is without merit because the final contract does not yet exist," a spokesman for Chicago's Law Department told NBC 5 Chicago.

Greising said he is not sure if either the Boring Company or the Mayor's office is behind the refusal to release the requested records pertaining to the deal. 

"We have no information on who may be resisting the information, all we know is the city is declining to turn over the records that we're seeking," Greising said. 

SEE ALSO: Every bizarre thing that has happened since Elon Musk sent his 'funding secured' tweet about taking Tesla private

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Stocks jump on NAFTA hopes

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

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo (L-R), Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer arrive for a trilateral meeting during the third round of NAFTA talks involving the United States, Mexico and Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

Stocks jumped Monday after the US and Mexico settled a key trade dispute surrounding a modernized NAFTA. The dollar fell, and Treasury yields jumped. 

Here's the scoreboard:

Dow Jones industrial average26,055.03 +264.68 (+1.03%)

S&P 500: 2,895.98 +21.29 (+0.74%)

Nasdaq Composite8,017.40 +71.43 (+0.90%)

  1. The US and Mexico reached a preliminary trade deal that he signaled could overhaul NAFTA. Trump claimed a new agreement would be called the "United States-Mexico Trade Agreement" and threatened to hit Canada with auto tariffs if it did not join the two countries. But President Enrique Peña Nieto pushed back on threats to exclude Canada, which is expected to begin talks with administration officials right away.
  2. The Trump administration held a final round of hearings on proposed 25% tariffs targeting an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Companies testified last week that another tranche of tariffs, which would almost certainly include more consumer products than the last, would raise costs and reduce access to foreign markets. 
  3. In efforts to make up for losses from Trump's tariffs, the Department of Agriculture said it would pay farmers up to $4.7 billion in taxpayer funds. Soybean farmers — who have seen their biggest market compromised in the US-China trade war — are poised to get a majority of the payout at up to $3.6 billion, the Wall Street Journal first reported.
  4. Volkswagen only recently started taking steps to prevent an incident like its 2015 emissions scandal, a Justice Department-appointed lawyer said in a report. Larry Thompson, assigned to monitor the German carmaker following its civil settlement with the US, cited a lack of transparency from the company after it rigged its cars to cheat emissions tests.

And a look at the upcoming economic calendar:

  • Consumer spending numbers and GDP revisions are out in the US.

SEE ALSO: 'We think credibility has taken a hit': Wall Street is even more worried about Tesla's financials after Elon Musk's failed push to go private (TSLA)

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Stocks jump on NAFTA hopes

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

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo (L-R), Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer arrive for a trilateral meeting during the third round of NAFTA talks involving the United States, Mexico and Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie/File Photo

Stocks jumped Monday after the US and Mexico settled a key trade dispute surrounding a modernized NAFTA. The dollar fell, and Treasury yields jumped. 

Here's the scoreboard:

Dow Jones industrial average26,055.03 +264.68 (+1.03%)

S&P 500: 2,895.98 +21.29 (+0.74%)

Nasdaq Composite8,017.40 +71.43 (+0.90%)

  1. The US and Mexico reached a preliminary trade deal that he signaled could overhaul NAFTA. Trump claimed a new agreement would be called the "United States-Mexico Trade Agreement" and threatened to hit Canada with auto tariffs if it did not join the two countries. But President Enrique Peña Nieto pushed back on threats to exclude Canada, which is expected to begin talks with administration officials right away.
  2. The Trump administration held a final round of hearings on proposed 25% tariffs targeting an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports. Companies testified last week that another tranche of tariffs, which would almost certainly include more consumer products than the last, would raise costs and reduce access to foreign markets. 
  3. In efforts to make up for losses from Trump's tariffs, the Department of Agriculture said it would pay farmers up to $4.7 billion in taxpayer funds. Soybean farmers — who have seen their biggest market compromised in the US-China trade war — are poised to get a majority of the payout at up to $3.6 billion, the Wall Street Journal first reported.
  4. Volkswagen only recently started taking steps to prevent an incident like its 2015 emissions scandal, a Justice Department-appointed lawyer said in a report. Larry Thompson, assigned to monitor the German carmaker following its civil settlement with the US, cited a lack of transparency from the company after it rigged its cars to cheat emissions tests.

And a look at the upcoming economic calendar:

  • Consumer spending numbers and GDP revisions are out in the US.

SEE ALSO: 'We think credibility has taken a hit': Wall Street is even more worried about Tesla's financials after Elon Musk's failed push to go private (TSLA)

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AMD is surging after announcing a new data-center graphics card (AMD)

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

AMD CEo Lisa Su, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger


Shares of AMD surged as much as 12% Monday, hitting an 11-year high of $27.30, after the company on Sunday announced a new high-performance graphics card for data centers. It later pared some of those gains and was trading up about 7%. 

The Radeon Pro V240 card is intended to help speed up CAD software, rendering, and virtualization for enterprise users, and has 32 GB of memory. it should be available by the fourth quarter, the company said.

"As the flagship of our new Radeon Pro V-series product line, the Radeon Pro V340 graphics card employs advanced security features and helps to cost effectively deliver and accelerate modern visualization workloads from the datacenter,” Ogi Brkic, general manager of Radeon Pro at AMD, said in a press release.

AMD has been on a hot streak since its second-quarter earnings beat in July, which sent shares surging more than 6%. An upgrade from Rosenblatt Securities last week further catalyzed the rally that has helped the chip maker post seven straight days of gains, it's longest streak in about two years.

Shares of AMD are now up more than 121% in the past year, but Wall Street thinks the gains may be short-lived. Analysts polled by Bloomberg have an average price target of $18 a share — 29% below where they're currently trading.

Now read:

SEE ALSO: AMD: Our crypto boom is over

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JetBlue just became the first major US airline to charge $30 for a checked bag, and the move could spur other carriers to do the same (JBLU)

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

JetBlue Airbus A320

  • JetBlue Airways will now be charging $30 for a first checked bag, making them the first major U.S. airline to charge this amount. 
  • "As a matter of good business, we routinely review and adjust our ancillary pricing to ensure a healthy business so we can continue offering the best customer experience of any U.S. airline," a JetBlue spokesperson said in a statement to Business Insider. 
  •  This decision is another example of an industry-wide practice of hiking ancillary fees known as "unbundling."

JetBlue Airways  will now be charging $30 for a first checked bag, making them the first major U.S. airline to charge this amount. 

The change in price begins for tickets purchased on Monday, August 27.

In a statement to Business Insider, JetBlue spokesperson Doug McGraw said, "Customers consistently tell us what they love most about JetBlue: free Fly-Fi on all aircraft, live television and free entertainment, the most legroom in coach, free snacks, and great service. As a matter of good business, we routinely review and adjust our ancillary pricing to ensure a healthy business so we can continue offering the best customer experience of any U.S. airline."

According to the airline's website, JetBlue also increased the charge of the second checked bag from $35 to $40 and for a third piece of luggage from $100 to $150. The $30 first checked bag fee will be a $5 increase over the previous price of $25. Some JetBlue passengers, like those have purchased more expensive fares or have reached a specific loyalty program level, may be exempt from these fare hikes. 

According to Bloomberg, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and United Airlines all charge $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second, with fees for the third piece of luggage varying. Southwest Airlines Co. is the only large U.S. airline that doesn’t charge for one checked piece of luggage.

USA Today reports that JetBlue will also be hiking their changing fee for Blue and BluePlus customers, from $150 maximum to $200. 

JetBlue's decision to raise charges on the baggage fee and change fee is not the first time airlines have chosen to increase costs of ancillary fees. This industry practice is known as unbundling. 

Unbundling is the practice of separating various costs of services like baggage check, security check, seat assignments, meals, wi-fi use, and early boarding into their own price points. In short, charging little fees for different elements of travel. Unbundling first began in the late 2000s when airlines recognized the necessity of gaining extra revenue to counteract the higher price of crude oil, which had hit $132 a barrel in the summer of 2008.

According to Bob Mann, President of RW Mann & Company, an airline analysis firm with over 40 years of experience in the industry, American Airlines was the first to charge $20 for a baggage check.

"With that out of the box pretty much everybody else did it," Mann said. "It was the first big gasp of how to get unbundling started." 

Today, JetBlue has decided to continue the practice, as they are now the first major U.S. airline to cross the $30 for a baggage check threshold. 

SEE ALSO: Why you have to pay a fortune to get a decent seat on a plane

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Chinese video-streaming stocks are going nuts (IQ, BILI, HUYA)

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

video game china

  • Shares of Chinese video-streaming stocks are surging on Monday.
  • One of them — Bilibili — is scheduled to report earnings after markets close.
  • Watch IQiyi, Huya, Bilibili trade in real time here.

Shares of Chinese video-streaming stocks are surging in US action on Monday.

Here's the scoreboard:

Monday's gains come as these tech companies continue to recoup the losses that were incurred earlier this month when Chinese internet giant Tencent reported its first profit drop in almost 13 years. Tencent, one of the stocks included in the "FAANG+BAT" basket, along with Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google-parent Alphabet, Baidu, and Alibaba, said its business was dragged down by slower growth in mobile gaming and a decline in PC gaming.

IQiyi, commonly referred to as the Netflix of China, distinguishes itself by featuring popular original content, as well as other high quality partner-generated and user-generated content.

Huya competes with IQiyi in entertainment industry, but focuses more on game live-streaming, targeting gamer enthusiasts of China’s young generation.

Bilibili, also one of IQiyi's competitors, was built as a video-sharing website themed around animation, comic, and games where users can submit, view, and add commentary subtitles on videos.

IQiyi and Bilibili were listed on Nasdaq in March and Huya went public at The New York Stock Exchange in May.

Bilibili is scheduled to report its second-quarter earnings after Monday's closing bell. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect a loss of $0.04 a share on revenue of $146.3 million. After adjusted for pretax gains, loss is expected to be $0.02 per share. 

Bilibili shares are little changed since their March initial public offering. 

Bilibili

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Bitcoin Investors Have Been Brainwashed: ‘Wolf of Wall Street’

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

One of Wall Street’s most infamous scam artists continues to pound the table on bitcoin, predicting that the flagship cryptocurrency is primed for a crash that he has dubbed the “bust ‘heard round the world.” Jordan Belfort, who spent 22 months in prison and was ordered to pay back more than $110 million in restitution

The post Bitcoin Investors Have Been Brainwashed: ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ appeared first on CCN

[promoted] Democratizing Data: Bringing Data Harvesting and Analytics to the Masses

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

Flux Thumb Good

Some people like to say that "data is king." The team at Flux prefers a slightly different term: It believes that “data is a kingmaker.” The ability to collect, store and analyze data is what gives individuals and organizations power. 

To date, access to this kingmaking power is very unequal. It has been concentrated in the hands of a select few companies, most of which were already quite powerful to begin with. They alone possess the enormous resources required to collect quality data and turn it into value. 

Meanwhile, the rest of the world is drowning in data, but that data and the power it confers remain out of our reach. By extension, the ability to leverage that data in ways that maximize its potential for serving the collective good of society as a whole is limited.

Fortunately, that is now changing. New means of providing access to data, as well as novel tools for correlating data, contextualizing data and analyzing data in real time, promise to usher in an age of democratized data. 

In this article, Flux provides a look at how data is being democratized. It focuses on the specific use case of collecting and analyzing environmental data, although the trends discussed below have the potential to play out anywhere that data leads to insight. 

The Challenges of Data Democratization

In theory, anyone can collect data or access the various open data sets that are collected by government agencies and other organizations committed to open data.

Anyone can theoretically analyze and process data, too; after all, most of the major frameworks for big data processing, like Hadoop and Spark, are open source. There's no technical or legal barrier stopping someone from downloading and running them. 

At a practical level, however, actually collecting, transforming, storing and/or analyzing data on a large scale is unfeasible for most individuals and organizations today. That's true for a number of reasons:

  • Data is harvested at high, broad levels. Most open-access environmental data sets focus on broad regions. If you want to study a particular place or microclimate, it can be hard to find the data you need. And while you could theoretically collect the data yourself, deploying and managing your own sensors or other data collectors is often not realistic because of a traditional lack of affordable, open data sensors.
  • Data may be biased. Even if you have access to raw open-access data, you can’t be certain that the data is not presented in ways that skew your ability to interpret it accurately or fairly.
  • Data storage is expensive. Sure, you can now store data in the public cloud for just pennies per gigabyte. But when your data sets reach terabytes in size, those costs add up and few organizations have the budget to sustain them over the long term. (And if you don't collect data over the long term, you are likely to miss out on important insights, especially in contexts like environmental data where change typically results from infrequent, sudden events.)
  • Pre-collected data is outdated data. If you rely on data that was collected by someone else, chances are that the data will be stale by the time you access it. Plus, it will take you more time to transform the data, clean up data-quality issues and run analysis. By the time all of this is done, the insights you can glean from the data may be outdated. The only way to solve these problems is to collect and analyze data in real time, but again, most organizations lack the resources to do this on their own.
  • Lack of data interpretation and artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Again, many frameworks for collecting and processing large data sets are open source. But advanced tools for making sense of data, like AI algorithms, tend to be proprietary. The companies that develop these tools invest huge amounts of money in them and rarely make them available to third parties.
  • Poor incentives for data and AI sharing. Part of the reason for the challenge described in the preceding point is that few organizations have strong incentives to share their data and proprietary AI tools. To date, most companies that benefit from data monetize it through advertising or internal research; there has been little reward for them in sharing their data and data tools with third parties.

What all of the above means is that data has tended, so far, to be very undemocratic. It increases the power of organizations that are powerful to begin with and therefore have the resources to undertake large-scale, proprietary data collection and analysis programs. It leaves everyone else struggling to make sense of the tidbits of data that are available from open data sets, which are usually of limited value for gaining real-time insights. And even if you find access to meaningful, relevant data, you may not have the advanced AI tools that are necessary to turn the data into value.

This is why we struggle to maximize the value of all of the data that is being generated around us. As Microsoft’s Lucas Joppa noted in Nature:

“Today, we know more than ever about human activity. More than one-quarter of the 7.6 billion people on Earth post detailed information about their lives on Facebook at least once a month. Nearly one-fifth do so daily. ... Yet we are flying blind when it comes to understanding the natural world.” 

Joppa continued by pointing to some of the reasons why we do such a poor job of transforming all of the environmental data surrounding us into insight. The problem is not only that scientists “don’t have the kinds of data needed to make such predictions” but also that they “lack the algorithms to convert data into useful information.” 

When all but a handful of organizations have the power to glean meaningful insight from environmental data, and they are not actually doing it, people who interact in critical ways with the environment — like foresters and builders — cannot make data-driven decisions that are in the best interests of all stakeholders. Nor can anyone hold them to account.

What It Takes to Democratize Data

It doesn’t have to be this way. Data can be democratized in ways that make it practical for any person or group to derive insights from the data surrounding us.

Doing so requires:

  • The ability to store and share data in an open, decentralized way. Shared data would not only make more data available to people who need it but would also — and this is a really important part of data democratization — allow us to place data from many different sources on the same plane and in the same context, so that we maximize visibility and insights.
  • An incentives system that rewards people for sharing data with each other and makes it feasible to monetize data in ways that are not purely self-serving.
  • Access to AI-powered data analysis tools that anyone can use.
  • Open, affordable data harvesters that anyone can deploy.

These solutions are all part of the platform that Flux is building. Flux is the antidote to the natural tendency of big data and AI to monopolize power, rather than democratize it. By leveraging blockchain technology for open, affordable data storage, Flux provides the advanced AI tools necessary to reward organizations for sharing and collecting data via open-sourced hardware sensors called MICOs. In summary, Flux is creating a new environmental standard for data collection, storage and intelligence. 

Learn more by downloading the Flux white paper.

This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is entering a $1 trillion market in India

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

Paytm

  • Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway confirmed it is investing in the parent company of Paytm. 
  • The transaction is among the first of the company's investments in India.
  • Buffett said last year India is a "huge, enormous" market with "incredible" potential.

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is putting some of its massive cash pile to work in India.

Berkshire confirmed Monday it has invested in One97 Communications Ltd., the parent company of Paytm, which is the largest mobile-payment company in India.

Berkshire had been considering an investment of between $286 million to $357 million and a 3-4% stake in the company, the Economic Times reported earlier Monday. That would bring the value of Paytm, which is not profitable, to more than $10 billion. 

The transaction could mark one of Berkshire Hathaway's first direct investments in India, the Economic Times added, but Buffett wasn't directly involved in it. 

Buffett has been eager to boost Berkshire Hathaway's business outside of health insurance, writing in a company letter this year he wanted to do so through one or more "huge" acquisitions. Berkshire had a record $111 billion of cash on its balance sheet last quarter.

In an interview with ET Now last year, Buffett said the potential for the country is "incredible," calling it a "huge, enormous market."

"If you tell me a wonderful company in India that might be available for sale, I'll be there tomorrow," he added.

Other major Paytm investors include Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Japan's Softbank

SEE ALSO: Why Warren Buffett's record-breaking cash stockpile should have investors very worried

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Auto stocks get a boost after the US and Mexico reach an agreement on parts of NAFTA (F, GM, FCAU)

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

donald trump coal helmet

  • Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler — the US's largest automakers — all got a boost Monday following the announcement that the US and Mexico reached an agreement on parts of NAFTA.
  • The new rules could require 75% of a vehicle be sourced from a NAFTA nation, and up to 45% be made by workers receiving $16 per hour. 
  • President Donald Trump had previously threatened new tariffs on Canadian vehicles if no agreement was reached.

Shares of the largest US automakers got a boost Monday after President Donald Trump said the US and Mexico have reached an agreement on elements of NAFTA, marking a significant step toward reshaping the landmark trade deal.

Canada — which Trump had previously threatened with possible tariffs on cars coming to the US — was notably absent from the agreement. 

A major part of the agreement surrounds import taxes on cars. Among the negotiations was a US push to increase the percentage of a car that had to be sourced from a NAFTA nation to move freely across the border of the three NAFTA nations. That percentage will be increased to 75% from 62.5%.

Here's how the stocks responded:

The new agreement — pending the required signatures — could also change the proportion of a car that must be made by workers who are paid $16 per hour or more. According to Reuters, 40% to 45% of the car must be made by these higher-wage workers to move between the NAFTA countries without facing a duty.

Trump praised the deal at the White House on Monday, saying the new agreement would be "tremendous" for US farmers and workers. Trump has longed pushed for the renegotiation of NAFTA, saying the current deal is the "worst trade deal in the history of our country."

Auto companies have been particularly at-risk from the President's rhetoric surrounding trade in recent months, and previously spoke out about new taxes on imported metals that could hurt their bottom lines. 

Bob Bryan contributed to this report.

SEE ALSO: The US and Mexico struck an agreement on key parts of NAFTA, moving a step closer to reshaping the massive trade deal

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Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTCUSD Forming Near-term Ascending Triangle

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

Bitcoin price today spiked 3.5 percent against the US Dollar in an attempt to recover the losses incurred on Saturday. The BTC/USD pair started the Asian session by continuing to recover on the bounce from 6557-fiat. Despite a slow momentum, the pair protected its turg against the long-term bearish sentiment, rising to as high as

The post Bitcoin Price Intraday Analysis: BTCUSD Forming Near-term Ascending Triangle appeared first on CCN

MORGAN STANLEY: Amazon and Walmart are duking it out in a $4 trillion market (WMT)

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

employee walmart

  • The retail sales market will grow to $4.3 trillion by 2021, Morgan Stanley analysts estimate.
  • Walmart's opportunity for upscaling its customer base, which includes low income earners, is greater than Amazon's opportunity for downscaling, they said.
  • But competition with Amazon may weigh on Walmart's margins.
  • Watch Walmart trade in real-time here.

 

Walmart has an advantage over Amazon in their fight for the $3-4 trillion retail market, according to a group of analysts from Morgan Stanley.

Retail sales excluding motor vehicle & parts dealers totaled $3.9 trillion in 2017 and will likely reach $4.3 trillion by 2021, they estimated.

As the retail battles between Walmart and Amazon continue to escalate, Walmart has more to gain because of its current customer demographics, according to the analysts.

"Walmart dominates the low-income customer, who represents around 30% of total addressable spend, whereas Amazon dominates at the high end, which represent 50% of the spend," said the group led by Simeon Gutman in a note sent out to clients on Monday.

"Thus, Walmart's opportunity for upscaling could be much greater than Amazon's opportunity for downscaling."

Facing an uphill battle in reshaping its customer base, Walmart would likely have to invest more heavily in fulfillment, push hard on grocery, and buy more brands, Gutman said. These steps would also help it get rid of its negative brand image of being a low-income-focused retailer.

But the investment cycle in fulfillment, software upgrades and Click & Collect expansion will be longer than Walmart initially believed. Also, grocery competition with Amazon and Whole Foods' Prime Now offering will lead to a price and convenience war that may weigh on margins, he added.

"It [Walmart] needs to elevate its fulfillment capabilities to offer same- and next-day delivery in top markets to attract Amazon's sticky customer base," Gutman said. "This is essential to stall Amazon's encroachment across retail, but will likely dilute margins. We see Walmart's US EBIT margin contracting 15 bps in each of the next 3 years, to ~5% by fiscal year 2021."

Earlier this month, Walmart reported earnings per share of $1.29 on $128 billion in revenue, topping analysts' estimates for $1.22 and $126 billion respectively due to its rising same-store sales and digital orders.

Morgan Stanley has a price target of $98, which is 3% above its current trading price, and maintains an "Equal-weight" rating for Walmart.

Shares of Walmart are down 3.7% since the start of this year.

WMT

SEE ALSO: Walmart's new feature has its e-commerce business growing faster than Amazon's

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Mercedes just revealed a futuristic 738 horsepower electric concept inspired by one of its greatest race cars

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

Mercedes benz eq silver arrow

  • Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new EQ Silver Arrow concept on Friday at Pebble Beach in Monterey, California.
  • The striking electric concept pays homage to the company's record-breaking W125 Grand Prix racer that averaged an incredible 268.9 mph on the autobahn in 1938 with the legendary Rudolf Caracciola behind the wheel. 
  • According to Mercedes, the EQ Silver Arrow will have 738 horsepower at its disposal and a range of more than 250 miles.

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new EQ Silver Arrow concept on Friday at Pebble Beach in Monterey, California. The striking electric concept pays homage to the company's record-breaking W125 Grand Prix racer that averaged an incredible 268.9 mph on the autobahn in 1938 with the legendary Rudolf Caracciola behind the wheel. 

"Over 80 years ago, the historic Silver Arrows demonstrated that Mercedes-Benz was a pioneer when it came to speed, thanks, among other things, to their streamlined shape," Daimler AG chief design officer Gorden Wagener, said in a statement.  "The EQ Silver Arrow show car draws on that legacy."

Mercedes Benz EQ Silver ArrowMercedes envisions the stunning retro electric concept with 738 horsepower drawing energy from a rechargeable 80 kWh battery pack giving the EQ Silver Arrow a range of more than 250 miles on a single charge. 

"Intended for acceleration and driving pleasure, it embodies progressive luxury and provides an insight into the future of our design," Wagener added.

The EQ Silver Arrow is the latest in a line of flashy concept cars introduced at Pebble Beach by Mercedes-Benz. In 2016, the three-pointed star unveiled the dazzling Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6, an 18.5 foot-long electric concept featuring the brand's iconic gull-wing doors and styling inspired by classic luxury yachts.

Mercedes Benz EQ Silver ArrowLast year, Mercedes followed up with the convertible version of the concept called the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 Cabriolet

In addition to Mercedes, a host of other major automotive brands including BMW, Bugatti, Jaguar, Infiniti, Lamborghini, and McLaren also rolled out new models at Pebble Beach last week. 

SEE ALSO: Lamborghini just unleashed the ultimate version of its flagship Aventador supercar and it's $518,000 of Italian fury

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'We think credibility has taken a hit': Wall Street is even more worried about Tesla's financials after Elon Musk's failed push to go private (TSLA)

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

Elon Musk Australia 2017 pointing

  • Tesla will remain publicly traded, CEO Elon Musk announced over the weekend.
  • Several Wall Street analysts are worried that the company's credibility could take a hit, since its valuation is highly linked to its prolific CEO. 
  • Follow Tesla's stock price in real-time here.

Elon Musk will still have to deal with Wall Street analysts after all.

The billionaire CEO of Tesla announced late Friday that his electric-car company would remain publicly traded, ending a 16-day whirlwind of uncertainty that involved investment bankers, venture capitalists, PR firms, lawsuits, and a reported subpoena.

Now, as Musk said in a blog post, all focus can return to "ramping Model 3 and becoming profitable," something that's no more secured than before his cryptic tweet on August 7. But Wall Street analysts — the very group Musk has publicly bemoaned — are worried that the less-than-three-week ordeal could have caused long-term harm to Tesla's public image.

"We’d like to say the stock will return to trading on fundamentals, but the truth is the stock trades on sentiment," Joseph Spak, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, told clients in an note Monday. "It has become clear to us that funding was not secured or there was not sufficient interest to take the company private at $420/share. And we think credibility has taken a hit."

Musk initially said that "investor support is confirmed," but his blog post over the weekend explained that investors largely begged him not to take the company private. He also said the company can now focus on ramping production of the Model 3 — something it was struggling to do even before the go-private push.

"We believe even rational bulls would have to admit that Tesla and CEO Elon Musk have lost some of their luster," RBC's Spak said. "This is a non-trivial point considering that investor belief in Musk and wanting to invest with him, has to date, arguably been the largest driver of the stock."

And with all eyes back on Tesla's push to become a profitable company this year, another analyst says profitability may be as far away as ever.

"Given the company is in a cash crunch currently, with cash excluding deposits at $1.3 billion and debt maturities rapidly approaching, the tone from the company has started to change toward a more acute focus on profitability and cash management, which we appreciate," Jeffrey Osborne, an analyst at Cowen, told clients Monday.

In its latest quarterly report on August 1, Tesla said it had slowed its cash burn to $739.5 million, down slightly from $745.3 million in the previous quarter. The company also said its production rate at the time, of 7,000 Model S and X cars per week, would keep it on track for profitability.

But one analyst isn't as convinced. 

"We believe the company has learned the lesson the hard way that making cars is much harder than they had anticipated and find it hard to believe that 15 months into the ramp of the vehicle it can reverse the trends of losses to make the company profitable and cash flow positive in the September 2018 quarter," Osborne said. 

Documents seen by Business Insider last week confirm Osborne's worries.

Of the 5,000 Model 3s produced in the final week of June — the output rate that finally made Tesla a "real car company," Musk celebrated — 4,300 required significant reworking due to production errors. What's more, a Model 3 disassembled by UBS analysts showed "significant issues" with the fit and finish including missing bolts and misaligned parts.

Osborne, who has a $200 price target for shares of Tesla, estimates the company will have to raise $2 billion through convertible debt before the end of the fourth quarter, which would add to Tesla's current $11.5 billion worth of currently outstanding debt and could be tougher going forward following the go-private bid. 

Then there's the fear of unforeseen costs created by the go-private sideshow.

"We believe the investment community has fully digested increased legal expense for TSLA, but myriad opinions exist on what sort of SEC-related punishment may materialize," Colin Rusch of Oppenheimer said Monday. "We believe it is premature to speculate on specifics, but do expect this situation will help set SEC precedent on public communication of corporate strategy."

Wall Street analysts now have an average target price of $329 for shares of Tesla — 27% below Musk's $420 target for taking the company private. Shares plunged more than 3% on the first day of trading following the announcement by Musk that Tesla will remain public. 

SEE ALSO: Wall Street analysts tore down a Tesla Model 3 and found 'significant fit & finish issues'

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Reddit Co-Founder Bullish Despite Bitcoin Volatility

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

Reddit Co-Founder Bullish Despite Bitcoin Volatility

Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian has revealed his optimism about the future success of bitcoin despite the daily slump in price in an interview with Yahoo Finance. He believes bitcoin has the potential to be used as a store of value especially in countries where fiat currencies are being devalued.

Ohanian is no stranger to the cryptocurrency scene, having co-founded Initialized Capital with his partner, Gary Tan. in 2011. Initialized Capital started out as a company investing in Y Combinator startups before it delved into cryptocurrencies, as one of the earliest investors of digital asset platform Coinbase.

As a Coinbase investor, Ohanian strongly believes that the instability of fiat currencies in economically crippled countries might pave the way for cryptocurrencies such as Dash and Bitcoin.

Ohanian points to the socio-political relevance of cryptocurrencies in countries like Turkey where the citizens are “losing faith” in the Turkish lira, which opens an opportunity for widespread adoption of bitcoin.

“As a store of value, there is some real traction (with Bitcoin) and actually as we’re seeing in countries like Turkey that are having significant economic crisis — where people are losing faith in the Turkish lira — we’re going to see money move over to bitcoin because, as unstable as it is, it is actually a lot more stable for a lot of people than their own (currency).”

Turkey’s economic fortunes nose-dived following an increase in tariffs levied on the country’s steel and aluminum exports by the Trump-led administration. The decline in the value of the lira also led to high demand in BTC’s trading volume. One country that has used cryptocurrencies to support its faltering economy is Venezuela, where Dash is increasingly playing a substitutive role as private money. The Venezuelan government also issued a national coin, the petro, as a means to attract foreign capital to boost the economy.

Ohanian said he remains enthused about how far crypto has come, which he says is still in its “earliest stages,” but he believes it might take a while before it goes mainstream. He, however, sees cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase to be in the pole position to grow the ecosystem.

“No matter what the currency prices are doing, seeing more and more people creating accounts shows more and more adoption, and their end game is to be this interface between people, their fiat money and crypto,” he added.

Image credit: By nrkbeta - Reddit's Alexis Ohanian @ SXSW 2017, CC BY-SA 2.0,


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Reddit Co-Founder Bullish Despite Bitcoin Volatility

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

Reddit Co-Founder Bullish Despite Bitcoin Volatility

Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian has revealed his optimism about the future success of bitcoin despite the daily slump in price in an interview with Yahoo Finance. He believes bitcoin has the potential to be used as a store of value especially in countries where fiat currencies are being devalued.

Ohanian is no stranger to the cryptocurrency scene, having co-founded Initialized Capital with his partner, Gary Tan. in 2011. Initialized Capital started out as a company investing in Y Combinator startups before it delved into cryptocurrencies, as one of the earliest investors of digital asset platform Coinbase.

As a Coinbase investor, Ohanian strongly believes that the instability of fiat currencies in economically crippled countries might pave the way for cryptocurrencies such as Dash and Bitcoin.

Ohanian points to the socio-political relevance of cryptocurrencies in countries like Turkey where the citizens are “losing faith” in the Turkish lira, which opens an opportunity for widespread adoption of bitcoin.

“As a store of value, there is some real traction (with Bitcoin) and actually as we’re seeing in countries like Turkey that are having significant economic crisis — where people are losing faith in the Turkish lira — we’re going to see money move over to bitcoin because, as unstable as it is, it is actually a lot more stable for a lot of people than their own (currency).”

Turkey’s economic fortunes nose-dived following an increase in tariffs levied on the country’s steel and aluminum exports by the Trump-led administration. The decline in the value of the lira also led to high demand in BTC’s trading volume. One country that has used cryptocurrencies to support its faltering economy is Venezuela, where Dash is increasingly playing a substitutive role as private money. The Venezuelan government also issued a national coin, the petro, as a means to attract foreign capital to boost the economy.

Ohanian said he remains enthused about how far crypto has come, which he says is still in its “earliest stages,” but he believes it might take a while before it goes mainstream. He, however, sees cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase to be in the pole position to grow the ecosystem.

“No matter what the currency prices are doing, seeing more and more people creating accounts shows more and more adoption, and their end game is to be this interface between people, their fiat money and crypto,” he added.

Image credit: By nrkbeta - Reddit's Alexis Ohanian @ SXSW 2017, CC BY-SA 2.0,


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Breaking: Iran Reveals National Cryptocurrency Features as U.S. Sanctions Sting

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

The Republic of Iran has revealed the details of its national cryptocurrency in response to the United States-led economic sanctions. According to Informatics Services Corporations (ISC), a central bank-affiliated body, Iran’s future cryptocurrency is backed by Rial and is developed on the Linux Foundation-led open-source Hyperledger Fabric technology. In contrast to decentralized cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin that are issued

The post Breaking: Iran Reveals National Cryptocurrency Features as U.S. Sanctions Sting appeared first on CCN

Creditors of Defunct Cryptocurrency Exchange Mt. Gox Can Now File Claims

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

Creditors of Defunct Cryptocurrency Exchange Mt. Gox Can Now File Claims

Creditors of Mt. Gox, the defunct cryptocurrency exchange, can now start submitting proofs of claim in a newly approved rehabilitation process, according to an update posted on the exchange’s website.

In the update, Nobuaki Kobayashi, the trustee of Mt. Gox, announced that the online claim filing system was now active for creditors. The new system is also opened to creditors who have filed proofs for claims in the previous bankruptcy proceeding.

Kobayashi said creditors have until October 22, 2018, to file proofs of claim, after which, creditors will be disenfranchised. He was, however, hesitant to predict definitively how soon a filed claim will be approved or rejected.

"The planned deadline for the Rehabilitation Trustee to submit a statement of approval or rejection to the court is January 24, 2019, but, at the current point in time, a definite date has not been determined."

Users who have lost login access to Mt. Gox will have to send proofs to an address in Tokyo designated by Mt. Gox trustees.

Mt. Gox creditors won a victory in June 2018, after a Tokyo district court moved the exchange from bankruptcy to a civil rehabilitation process. This also opened the doors to creditors receiving actual bitcoin rather than a cash payout equal to the value of their holdings when the exchange went bankrupt in 2014.

Between 2011 and 2014, Mt. Gox is estimated to have lost at least 850,000 BTC, worth approximately $450 million at 2014 prices.

Based in the upmarket Tokyo district of Shibuya, Mt. Gox was once the undisputed king of cryptocurrency exchanges, at one point controlling as much as 70 percent of the global bitcoin exchange market.

By the middle of 2013, however, the platform had run into trouble, and despite all assurances to the contrary, the company closed abruptly in February 2014, ceasing all trading and exchange operations, closing down its website and filing for bankruptcy protection under Japanese law.

Former CEO Mark Karpeles was arrested, and a civil rehabilitation plan was agreed to serve as a framework for ensuring creditors get their money back.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Japanese Bitcoin Mining Firm GMO Stops Mining Bitcoin Cash

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

GMO Internet, a leading Japanese bitcoin mining firm, has informed investors that it has stopped mining bitcoin cash, documents purportedly distributed by the company show. Those documents, made public by “The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast” host Trace Mayer, indicate that the Tokyo-based GMO mined 0 BCH in July, down from a high of 287 in February.

The post Japanese Bitcoin Mining Firm GMO Stops Mining Bitcoin Cash appeared first on CCN

The Mexican peso jumps on report the US and Mexico reach preliminary NAFTA deal

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

kushner mexico nafta

  • The Mexican peso was up as much as 1% against the US dollar Monday.
  • The US and Mexico reportedly reached a preliminary NAFTA deal.
  • Watch the Mexican peso trade in real time here.

The Mexican peso jumped Monday after the US and Mexico reportedly reached a breakthrough on NAFTA, clearing the way for to an end to sluggish trade negotiations among the two countries and Canada that have dragged on for more than a year.

The peso was up as much as 1% against the dollar after US and Mexican trade negotiators reached an agreement to rewrite key parts of the deal, according to the New York Times, which could be announced as soon as Monday. 

Still, negotiations on at least one "major" issue are still pending, Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo told reporters, according to Reuters.

The two countries earlier this month entered a round of bilateral negotiations for modernizing the decades-old trade deal, which President Donald Trump has threatened to pull out of. Sticking points that have stalled those talks include rules on automobile manufacturing and energy.

"Positive NAFTA headlines would reinforce short-run downside in CADMXN," Mark McCormick, head of North American FX strategy at TD Securities, wrote in an email. 

The peso was up nearly 5% versus the dollar this year. 

Screen Shot 2018 08 27 at 9.51.55 AM

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Warren Buffett disciple Scott Black explains why old-school value investing has gotten so difficult — and how he’s managed to survive

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

scott black delphi

  • Scott Black, the founder and president of Delphi Management, made a household name for himself by employing the value investing techniques pioneered by Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham.
  • However, during the ongoing bull market, value investing has systematically underperformed as market conditions have changed rapidly.
  • Black explains why value has lagged the broader market so much over the last 9 1/2 years, and outlines what he's done to combat the trend.

It's a difficult time to be a value investor. And no one's more familiar with that fact than Scott Black.

Throughout the 9-1/2-year bull market, Black — the founder and president of Boston-based Delphi Management — has continued to employ the same strategies that have made him a household name over four decades.

However, during this market cycle, those methods haven't worked. Or — perhaps more accurately — their returns have trailed the market.

"If you look at any of the numbers, this is the worst period for value investing, ever," Black told Business Insider by phone. "Value has systematically underperformed since 2006." ...

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A fake Warren Buffett account is blowing up on Twitter

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

Warren Buffett

  • Someone with the Twitter handle @warrenbuffet99 has created an account claiming to be Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett, and is raking in followers.
  • The account was created in December 2016 and sent at least 11 tweets on Monday morning, adding thousands of followers. 
  • The real @WarrenBuffett account is verified and spells his last name correctly. 

An unverified Twitter account with the handle @warrenbuffet99 has amassed a cult following on the social-media platform. 

The account, which was started in December 2016 but doesn't appear to have tweeted until Saturday, had over 41,000 followers as of Monday morning. 

At least three things should have set off alarm bells for anyone who stumbled upon this account:

  1. It's unverified (the real @WarrenBuffett account is).
  2. The tweets hardly have anything to do with Berkshire Hathaway, the company Buffett runs, or financial markets or investing — things that most people look to Warren Buffett for advice on.
  3. The account spells Buffett with one 't' instead of two. 

The tweets were all motivational and have been shared several thousand times, like this one on how to be cool:

Screen Shot 2018 08 27 at 9.37.52 AM

How to be healthy: 

Screen Shot 2018 08 27 at 9.38.02 AM

And how to be smart: 

Screen Shot 2018 08 27 at 9.43.35 AM

It's against Twitter's terms of service to create an account impersonating another person.

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A group of investors with $16 trillion at stake is struggling to find success, and its survival is in jeopardy

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

trader

  • Fewer equity mutual funds are succeeding at beating their benchmarks, according to Morningstar.
  • They continue to be trounced by passive mutual funds and cheaper products designed to track an index.
  • JPMorgan and Vanguard Group this week announced products that could put the active-management industry under even more strain.

Stock pickers have one overarching mandate: Deliver more returns than your benchmark index.

But fewer of them are achieving that, according to Morningstar's latest semiannual report on mutual funds, which dives into how active funds stack up against their passive peers.

The success rate — defined as beating a benchmark — among actively managed funds this year through June was 36%, down from 43% in 2017. A smaller share of funds found success year-on-year in 15 out of 19 categories compiled by Morningstar, with real-estate funds seeing the most success.

"Selecting winning active managers is very difficult," said Ben Johnson, the author of the report and Morningstar’s director of global ETF and passive strategies research.

"Very few of them survive. Very few of them that wind up surviving also outperform their average passive peers over longer time horizons." One exception has been active foreign-stock funds. ...

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Warren Buffett disciple Scott Black explains why old-school value investing has gotten so difficult — and how he’s managed to survive

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

scott black delphi

  • Scott Black, the founder and president of Delphi Management, made a household name for himself by employing the value investing techniques pioneered by Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham.
  • However, during the ongoing bull market, value investing has systematically underperformed as market conditions have changed rapidly.
  • Black explains why value has lagged the broader market so much over the last 9 1/2 years, and outlines what he's done to combat the trend.

It's a difficult time to be a value investor. And no one's more familiar with that fact than Scott Black.

Throughout the 9-1/2-year bull market, Black — the founder and president of Boston-based Delphi Management — has continued to employ the same strategies that have made him a household name over four decades.

However, during this market cycle, those methods haven't worked. Or — perhaps more accurately — their returns have trailed the market.

"If you look at any of the numbers, this is the worst period for value investing, ever," Black told Business Insider by phone. "Value has systematically underperformed since 2006."

Chart for story

As the chart above shows, the Russell 1000 Value index has trailed its Russell Growth counterpart by 130 percentage points over the 9-1/2-year bull market. It's also lagged the benchmark S&P 500 by more than 50. In many cases, that degree of underperformance will prompt investment clients to look to put their money elsewhere.

But why has value struggled to keep up? An approach that involves buying stocks trading below their intrinsic values and waiting for them to rebound to fair value should work, theoretically. After all, it's just a version of the traditional buy low, sell high mantra.

Value has systematically underperformed since 2006.

The answer is that this record bull market is anything but normal. Stock valuations have long blown past conventional benchmarks, and the mega-cap tech juggernauts that have driven record-breaking performance seem almost invincible, regardless of how expensive they get.

But what truly sets this market apart from history is the rise of so-called passive investment and quantitative trading. Black says this has created a situation where many stocks trade in herd-like fashion, with their fates tied to the buying and selling of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

He says this is a serious detriment to value investors, whose work often revolves around finding mispriced companies whose fundamentals should be commanding higher stock valuations.

It also becomes an issue for value investors when people keep pouring money into funds tracking major indexes. This pushes the prices for the top performers — like mega-cap tech — even higher and out of reach for value investors.

With all of that said, Black isn't seeing bad results. He's just struggling to keep up with a market that looks nothing like the one he cut his teeth mastering.

Take 2017 for instance. According to Black, Delphi's All-Cap fund — which seeks value across the full spectrum of market caps — returned 14.4% for the year. Meanwhile, he says the firm's Small/Mid-Cap fund fared slightly better, returning 16%.

And while that seems like strong performance, note that the S&P 500 rose 19.4% over the same period, while the Russell 1000 Growth index surged 28.3%.

"On an absolute basis, we’ve had good results, but we’ve certainly lagged the indices," Black said. "The S&P 500 is cap-weighted, and the money is flowing into the biggest stocks, which all have very high P/Es."

A Warren Buffett disciple

Black's current investment principles date all the way back to the relationships he forged at Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA in 1971. It was through this extended network that he was first exposed to the stock-picking theories of Warren Buffett — who himself was informed by Benjamin Graham, the so-called father of value investing.

While Black initially tried his hand at corporate finance, his MBA program buddy, Robert Goldfarb, went to work for legendary investor Bill Ruane. As it turned out, Ruane was close friends with Buffett from their time together at Columbia Business School. They developed their investing habits alongside one another, with considerable overlap.

The money is flowing into the biggest stocks, which all have very high P/Es.

The wisdom gleaned from Buffett and Ruane trickled down to Black, who began religiously following a simple set of guidelines: Look for high-return-on-equity (ROE) companies, strong balance sheets, and low multiples.

As Black started to get more directly involved in professional investing, he fine-tuned his methods over a series of years before founding Delphi in 1980. That was around the time Buffett's principles were featured in the classic John Train book "The Money Masters," which Black devoured.

He recalls that era as a particularly fruitful one for value investing. With the rise of quant trading still decades away, Black says the market was much more inefficient, which created opportunities for diligent investors like him. Back then, it was still possible to find mispriced stocks with big underlying potential.

Now, Black says the rise of ETFs and passive investing has sapped the market of those exploitable idiosyncrasies.

"It's not as easy as it used to be to find individual companies that are undiscovered," Black said.

"And when people run for the exits, they’re going to dump everything. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a good company. If It’s in one of these baskets and people trigger the sale, it’s going to go down. It’s a big structural change since the 2000 tech bubble."

And while other value investors have adjusted their methodologies over time — in many cases so they can include more expensive, high-flying tech leaders in their portfolios — Black has stuck to his guns.

He doesn't buy any stock that's trading at more than 13 times future 12-month earnings. No exceptions.

Considering the average stock in the S&P 500 trades at roughly 17 times, that's a serious handicap in a market that's been grinding continuously higher for years.

It's not as easy as it used to be to find individual companies that are undiscovered.

Black notes that when the majority of shares are climbing, it's difficult to outpace the market, even if you're picking the right stocks.

"Over 95% of the companies are coming in with record earnings, but it doesn’t seem to matter," said Black. "We’ve not making any fundamental errors, its just that value is really systematically out of favor."

How Black has stayed afloat, and the road ahead

To get an idea how difficult it's been for Black in the market, consider that the investment guidelines outlined above have kept him from owning any of the index-leading FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google).

And to make matters even tougher, Black acknowledges that Delphi recently lost a big client that accounted for a large chunk of the firm's assets under management. As he describes it, the client started doing quantitative-driven smart-beta investing internally, and also pursued a shift away from US domestic assets to emerging markets.

Yet Black and his colleagues at Delphi have forged ahead, sticking by their staunch value principles.

And while Black admits the rise of indexing has made it difficult for his stock picks to avoid mass selling, he also sees himself as well-positioned for a major market downturn. The thinking there is — if a stock is already trading at a cheap multiple, it has less to lose during a sell-off, making it more insulated.

"You would think that with a lower P/E and price-to-book, that would provide more stability on the downside," Black said.

When this market event will occur is another matter entirely. Black himself admits that — between strong earnings and a growing economy — the current bull market could run a while longer before suffering a meltdown.

In the meantime, Black can find solace in the fact that he does own shares of Apple. The tech titan briefly dropped into Delphi's valuation sweet spot when it was trading at $108 per share, and Black wasted no time in loading up. It's now the firm's largest holding, offering a profitable sliver of exposure to mega-cap tech.

You would think that with a lower P/E and price-to-book, that would provide more stability on the downside.

Beyond that, Black has managed to make due with his bargain-hunting approach by buying what he calls "good companies" — or those offering both attractive ROE and cheap valuation, as outlined above.

There are no shortcuts at Delphi. They visit every company in which they invest. And they've been known to grill everyone from corporate marketing officers to human resource officials, all in pursuit of well-run operations.

In the end, Black's firm is still making money in the market. Even though value is historically out-of-favor, Delphi's guiding principles have kept the ship afloat. 

Because, ultimately, value investing still works at its core. It's just that in this environment, it can be a frustrating process marked by prolonged periods of underperformance.

And given Black's 40-plus years of experience, he's exactly the type to stay patient. Because managing money is a marathon, not a sprint.

SEE ALSO: The legendary investor who predicted the past 2 bubbles breaks down how the 9-year bull market will end

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Turkey's currency plunges amid ongoing feud between Washington and Ankara

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

trump Erdogan


Turkey's currency fell sharply Monday as the country resumed trading after a weeklong holiday.

The lira dropped 3.5% to 6.2964 against the dollar around 8:45 a.m. ET. The currency has shed nearly a third of its value this month, breaching 7 per dollar to a fresh all-time low last week.

The lira had already been under significant pressure following the June reelection of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is a proponent of unorthodox policies like cutting borrowing costs amid accelerating inflation.

As a rift between Turkey and the US widens, that selloff has accelerated. President Donald Trump doubled existing tariff rates on Turkish aluminum to 20% and on Turkish steel to 50% earlier this month after the two countries failed to make progress on a conflict over the imprisonment of Andrew Brunson, an evangelical pastor who has been detained in Turkey for nearly two years.

The Trump administration also imposed sanctions earlier this month on Turkey's minister of justice and minister of interior, whom the White House said played "leading roles" in the arrest and detention of 50-year-old Brunson. He was arrested in Izmir in 2016 for allegedly aiding a failed military coup, accusations the pastor denies.

Jameel Ahmad, head of currency strategy and market research at FXTM, said fears of a widening current account deficit and an expected jump in inflationary pressures are also leaving investors on edge. 

"I personally expect the lira to remain under pressure for some time as the same structural concerns that terrified traders away from Turkish assets still remain unchanged," Ahmad said. 

Screen Shot 2018 08 27 at 8.51.37 AM

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Trump’s deepening trade wars are threatening a key engine of the US economy

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

Trump

  • Some US firms are already putting the brakes on their investment plans due to uncertainties surrounding the mounting global-trade conflict. 
  • A new survey of firms conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago’s Booth School finds about one-fifth of companies are rethinking business spending due to "recently announced tariff hikes or concerns about retaliation."
  • The survey was conducted before the latest round of tariffs on China and the retaliation that followed.

The trade war resulting from US belligerence toward its global trading partners, in particular the Trump administration's imposition of unilateral tariffs on a range of imported goods, are already hurting the investment plans of US firms.

A new survey of firms conducted jointly between economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago’s Booth School found about one-fifth of respondents were rethinking their business spending because of "the recently announced tariff hikes or concerns about retaliation."

Within that group, "firms have reassessed an average 60% of capital expenditures previously planned for 2018–19. The main form of reassessment thus far is to place previously planned capital expenditures under review," the authors wrote in a blog post.

"Trade policy tensions between the United States and China have only escalated since our survey went to field. The negative effects of tariff worries on US business investment could easily grow."

macroblog_2018 08 06_chart1

The concerns were greater at goods-producing firms, which are on the frontline of the trade wars, rather than services companies. Some 30% of manufacturers and 28% of retail and wholesale trade firms said they were reassessing their capital expenditures, versus 14% of services companies.

"Manufacturing is highly capital intensive… so the investment effects of trade policy frictions are concentrated in a sector that accounts for much of business investment," the economists said.

"Trade policy tensions between the United States and China have only escalated since our survey went to field. The negative effects of tariff worries on US business investment could easily grow."

Trade War Chart

Fed officials have collectively expressed growing concern over global-trade frictions. Minutes from the central bank’s August meeting said some policymakers’ business contacts "reported that uncertainty regarding trade policy had led to some reductions or delays in their investment spending."

Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic told Fox Business in an interview from this weekend’s Jackson Hole conference that "the uncertainty around trade policy is something that comes up all the time when I talk to my contacts." 

SEE ALSO: Trump’s economic agenda is exacerbating America’s inequality crisis

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Tesla sinks after Elon Musk says the company will stay public (TSLA)

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

Elon Musk Picture.JPG

  • Tesla will remain publicly traded, CEO Elon Musk announced over the weekend.
  • Shares slid as much as 5% ahead of Monday's opening bell, and are set to open down about 2%.
  • The decision will allow the company to focus on Model 3 production and profitability, Musk said. 
  • Follow Tesla's stock price in real-time here. 

After 16 days of uncertainty, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced late Friday that the electric-car maker would remain public.

Shares of Tesla opened down about 1.5% Monday after falking as much as as 5% over the weekend, opening at $310 — 35% below Musk's targeted $420 per share for going private. 

In a blog post on Tesla's website, Musk explained that while "there is more than enough funding" to take the company private, investors overwhelmingly encouraged him to keep Tesla public. One major investor had even argued the stock could reach $4,000 per share in its pleading with the billionaire.

"It’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company," Musk wrote.

"Additionally, a number of institutional shareholders have explained that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company. There is also no proven path for most retail investors to own shares if we were private. Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was 'please don't do this.'"

Musk said the decision will allow focus to remain on ramping production of Tesla's newest car, the Model 3 sedan.

"I knew the process of going private would be challenging, but it’s clear that it would be even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated," Musk said.

"This is a problem because we absolutely must stay focused on ramping Model 3 and becoming profitable. We will not achieve our mission of advancing sustainable energy unless we are also financially sustainable."

Musk's initial announcement via twitter on August 7 was met with exuberance among investors and traders, with the stock careening to a near-record high of $389 per share. But reports of an investigation and subpoena from the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US' top stock regulator, and a slew of class action lawsuits by investors, quickly brought share prices back below $300.

Over the course of two weeks, Musk said he enlisted the advice of Goldman Sachs, Silver Lake, and Morgan Stanley. Analysts at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were forced to restrict coverage on Tesla, but the latter has already announced it has reinstated coverage with a $291 target price. 

Wall Street now has an average price target of $329 for Tesla, according to an analyst poll by Bloomberg, with many warning shares could be in for a wild ride in the coming trading sessions.

"We expect shares to be under pressure in the near term as investors question the go-private process and the outcome of staying public," Ben Kallo, an analyst at Baird, told clients Monday, per Bloomberg. However, Kallo says shares could hit $400 and has a buy rating on the stock.

The reversal could also hurt Musk's credibility, RBC Capital Markets warned. The "whole episode was not planned or fully thought out," analyst Joseph Spak said. He has a $315 price target for the stock, according to Bloomberg,

Shares are set to open near $315 Monday — 33% below Musk's $420 target price to take shares private.

Now read:

Tesla stock price

SEE ALSO: Wall Street analysts tore down a Tesla Model 3 and found 'significant fit & finish issues'

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Upside Calling? Bearish Bets on Bitcoin Futures Hit Record Low

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

The bearish bets in bitcoin futures market fell to lifetime lows last week, strengthening the bullish case put forward by the technical charts.

10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, TSLA)

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

Turkey currency exchange

Here is what you need to know.

Stocks closed at record highs on Friday. The S&P 500 settled at 2,874.69, erasing any doubt about this being the longest-running bull market in US history.

Powell says he sees interest rates rising gradually. "The economy is strong," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in his speech at the Kansas City Fed's Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday. "Inflation is near our 2 percent objective, and most people who want a job are finding one ... If the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate."

The yield curve is at its narrowest point since 2007. The spread between the US 10-year and two-year yields touched 19 basis points on Monday. It has gone negative before every recession dating back to the 1960s.

A group of investors with $16 trillion at stake is struggling to find success, and its survival is in jeopardy. Fewer mutual funds are missing their benchmarks, and JPMorgan and Vanguard Group recently announced new announced products that could put the active-management industry under even more strain.

Main Street's thriving job market could be foreshadowing a stock meltdown — and mass layoffs across Wall Street. As Main Street workers enjoy their lowest unemployment rate in 18 years, the fact it's so low could portend a dangerous period ahead for markets, according to Leuthold's chief investment strategist, Jim Paulsen.

Elon Musk now plans to keep Tesla public. "After giving this a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion that the best path for the foreseeable future is for Tesla to remain a public company," Musk told Tesla employees in an email sent Friday. "There are certainly a number of very compelling reasons to go private, so this is far from an obvious decision, but, on balance, being public appears to best serve the interests of Tesla and those who have invested in our future."

Tesla shares are lower. They are down 4.49% at $308.32 apiece following Musk's announcement. He had tweeted on August 7 that he was trying to take the electric-car maker private at $420 a share.

The Turkish lira is under pressure. The lira is weaker by 3.36% at 6.1839 per dollar as Turkish markets reopened after a week of holiday.

Stock markets around the world are higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+2.17%) led the gains in Asia, and Germany's DAX (+0.57%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.26% near 2,882.

US economic data is light. Dallas Fed manufacturing will cross the wires at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.82%.

Join the conversation about this story »

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10 things you need to know before the opening bell (SPY, SPX, QQQ, DIA, TSLA)

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

Turkey currency exchange

Here is what you need to know.

Stocks closed at record highs on Friday. The S&P 500 settled at 2,874.69, erasing any doubt about this being the longest-running bull market in US history.

Powell says he sees interest rates rising gradually. "The economy is strong," Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in his speech at the Kansas City Fed's Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday. "Inflation is near our 2 percent objective, and most people who want a job are finding one ... If the strong growth in income and jobs continues, further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will likely be appropriate."

The yield curve is at its narrowest point since 2007. The spread between the US 10-year and two-year yields touched 19 basis points on Monday. It has gone negative before every recession dating back to the 1960s.

A group of investors with $16 trillion at stake is struggling to find success, and its survival is in jeopardy. Fewer mutual funds are missing their benchmarks, and JPMorgan and Vanguard Group recently announced new announced products that could put the active-management industry under even more strain.

Main Street's thriving job market could be foreshadowing a stock meltdown — and mass layoffs across Wall Street. As Main Street workers enjoy their lowest unemployment rate in 18 years, the fact it's so low could portend a dangerous period ahead for markets, according to Leuthold's chief investment strategist, Jim Paulsen.

Elon Musk now plans to keep Tesla public. "After giving this a lot of thought, I have come to the conclusion that the best path for the foreseeable future is for Tesla to remain a public company," Musk told Tesla employees in an email sent Friday. "There are certainly a number of very compelling reasons to go private, so this is far from an obvious decision, but, on balance, being public appears to best serve the interests of Tesla and those who have invested in our future."

Tesla shares are lower. They are down 4.49% at $308.32 apiece following Musk's announcement. He had tweeted on August 7 that he was trying to take the electric-car maker private at $420 a share.

The Turkish lira is under pressure. The lira is weaker by 3.36% at 6.1839 per dollar as Turkish markets reopened after a week of holiday.

Stock markets around the world are higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+2.17%) led the gains in Asia, and Germany's DAX (+0.57%) is out front in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.26% near 2,882.

US economic data is light. Dallas Fed manufacturing will cross the wires at 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up 1 basis point at 2.82%.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: An early bitcoin investor explains what most people get wrong about the cryptocurrency

A 10% fall in the pound, a surging FTSE 100, and a drastic move from the Bank of England: here's how markets will react to a no-deal Brexit

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

trader floor brexit history

  • A no-deal Brexit is rising in likelihood as the UK's March 2019 deadline approaches.
  • No deal would be hugely disruptive for financial markets.
  • It would likely send the British pound plummeting, UK stocks surging, and force the Bank of England into drastic action.

As the day of Brexit draws ever nearer, the prospect of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal continues to grow. What started out as an almost unimaginable scenario is now, in the minds of the British public at least, the most likely Brexit outcome.

Earlier this week, the government released a series of papers detailing what might happen in the event of no deal. They varied from shortages of medicines, to rising credit-card fees, to a shortage of sperm. What the government didn't discuss is what might happen in financial markets if such a situation were to play out.

Thankfully, research house Pantheon Macroeconomics has modeled what no deal might mean for key British market assets in the aftermath of it happening next March. Although it would not be as seismic a shock as the initial vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, markets would see large moves across currencies, equities, and bonds.

More pain for the pound

First up, the British pound would inevitably suffer. Since the referendum, the pound's movements have been almost entirely linked to Brexit developments. Any news that suggests Britain is heading for a softer Brexit, and it rises; any news to the contrary, and it falls.

That relationship is reflected in the pound's recent slump to less than 1.28 against the dollar, which has coincided with the rising probability of no deal. If no deal does materialise, Samuel Tombs, Pantheon's chief UK economist, says the pound would drop more than 10% from current levels in the immediate aftermath, falling to a low of $1.15 by the end of March.

Other analysts are inclined to agree with Tombs' prognosis. Back in July, Neil Jones, Mizuho Bank's head of hedge fund sales, told Bloomberg that in the event of a no deal Brexit, the pound would drop sharply and "hit new post-referendum lows."

Commerzbank strategist Thu Lan Nguyen mirrored that viewing, saying she would "anticipate at least a reaction to the extent we saw after the referendum." On the day after the referendum, the pound dropped more than 8%.

A rampant stock market

Screen_Shot_2018 08 24_at_16_28_35

While the pound would plummet, the FTSE 100 — which enjoys an inverse relationship with the currency — would likely surge to record highs. 

A weak pound tends to mean a strong UK stock market. That is because it is heavily skewed towards companies that don't actually make their money in the UK. The FTSE 100, for example, contains miners, oil firms, and pharmaceutical giants, with around two-thirds of all revenues for companies in the index derived from abroad. This has helped the index hit record high after record high following the vote.

Pantheon's forecast is that the FTSE 100 breaks above 8,000 in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a rise of around 5.5% from Friday's closing price.

Bond yields fall

Turning to the UK's bond market, Pantheon forecasts the yield on the 2-year gilt would fall to 0%. It may seem counterintuitive that yields would fall, given that lower yields tend to reflect investors perceiving a bond as being safer — something unlikely in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Pantheon's argument, however, is that a no-deal Brexit would force the Bank of England to immediately reverse the normalisation of monetary policy it has embarked on in over last year.

The bank has raised interest rates twice since November 2017, hitting 0.75%, but would need to cut rates to 0%, as well as launch £100 billion ($129 billion) of new quantitative easing, which in turn would suppress gilt yields, according to Tombs. That cut would be the first time the UK's bank rate had dropped to 0%.

If these scenarios seem extreme, Tombs and his colleagues have some reassuring news, they put the prospect of a no-deal outcome at just 10%, citing their belief that Prime Minister Theresa May will capitulate to the EU's demands, eventually leading to the softest possible Brexit.

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(+) Bitcoin’s Emerging Market Connection and a $60,000 Price Target

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

The post (+) Bitcoin’s Emerging Market Connection and a $60,000 Price Target appeared first on CCN

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