News of the Day

  • Bankers See $1 Trillion of Zombie Investments Stranded in the Oil Fields

    There are zombies in the oil fields.After crude prices dropped 49 percent in six months, oil projects planned for next year are the undead -- still standing upright, but with little hope of a productive future. These zombie projects proliferate in expensive Arctic oil, deepwater-drilling regions and tar sands from Canada to Venezuela.In a stunning analysis this week, Goldman Sachs found almost $1 trillion in investments in future oil projects at risk. They looked at 400 of the world’s largest new oil and gas fields -- excluding U.S. shale -- and found projects representing $930 billion of future investment that are no longer profitable with Brent crude at $70. In the U.S., the shale-oil party isn’t over yet, but zombies are beginning to crash it.

  • Dow Gains 400 Points as Market Extends Rally

    The Dow Jones industrial average had its biggest day in three years, soaring more than 400 points as the stock market extended a rally into a second day. The Dow closed up 421 points, or 2.4 percent, to 17,778 Thursday, its largest gain since December 2011.The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index gained 48 points, or 2.4 percent, to 2,061. The Nasdaq climbed 104 points, or 2.2 percent, to 4,748.The market built on its surge from the day before, when the Federal Reserve indicated it was in no rush to raise interest rates.

  • Why large caps could be the way to go in 2015

    The big story this year may not just be that stocks have gone up. Instead it’s that large caps have done all the heavy lifting while small-cap stocks have gone nowhere.We all know that the S&P 500 is up 12 percent in 2014. But dig deeper and that’s where things get interesting.The large-cap S&P 100 has gained 11 percent year-to-date, almost at par with the overall market. Yet the small-cap S&P 600 has returned a mere 2 percent.And according to the chart work of one of the most authoritative technical analysts in the market, large caps will continue to outperform next year as well.

  • Nike Falls on Soft Future Orders: What Wall Street's Saying

    Nike (NKE) shares tumbled on Friday following Wall Street's concern that "future orders" for the sneaker and apparel company's merchandise were slipping.The Beaverton, Ore.-based company said as part of its fiscal second-quarter results that worldwide future orders for Nike brand athletic footwear and apparel scheduled for delivery between December and April 2015 were 7% higher than orders reported a year earlier. Excluding currency changes, orders were up 11% -- the slowest growth pace in four quarters.Nike reported fiscal second-quarter net income of $655 million, or 74 cents a share, compared to $534 million a year earlier. Analysts were expecting 70 cents a share. For the quarter ended Nov. 30, revenue rose 15% from last year's quarter to $7.4 billion. Nike attributed the earnings beat to gross margin expansion and a lower average share count that offset higher SG&A investments in Nike brands.

  • You See Sneakers, These Guys See Hundreds Of Millions In Resale Profit

    Luber, 36, understands this market better than anyone. Since 2012, he has compiled data on more than 13 million eBay auctions and posted his analysis on Campless, creating a price guide he calls the Kelley Blue Book of sneakers. The site tracks the prices of more than 1,100 pairs of collectible sneakers — that is, sneakers that sell on the secondary market above their primary market, or retail, price.The markup can be astonishing. The average eBay price of the LeBron 10 What the MVP sneaker? $2,086. The Nike Air MAG Back to the Future? $5,718. How about the Air Yeezy 2 Red October, designed by Kanye West and released by Nike this year for $250 retail? It sold on eBay for an average price of $2,958, with almost two dozen people paying at least $8,000, Luber said.1

  • Wealth gap between the rich and the middle class is now the widest on record

    As study after study has shown, the US economic recovery has been a top-heavy affair, with the bulk of the wealth regained from the Great Recession benefitting the wealthiest Americans.The latest comes from a report released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, which found that the wealth gap between high income Americans and middle income Americans is now the biggest on record. “In 2013, the median wealth of the nation’s upper-income families ($639,400) was nearly seven times the median wealth of middle-income families ($96,500), the widest wealth gap seen in 30 years when the Federal Reserve began collecting these data,” The Pew report reads. Additionally, the net worth of America’s high-income families is nearly 70 times that of lower income families.

  • U.S. Hourly Wages Surge 0.6% In November

    Real or inflation-adjusted U.S. hourly wages jumped by 0.6% in November after basically no change in the prior two months, bolstered by rising pay and falling gasoline prices, the government reported Wednesday. The increase matched a similar gain in August. The surge in real wages was spurred by a 0.3% increase in hourly earnings and a 0.4% decline in the consumer price index. Yet despite the big gain last month, real hourly wages are up just 0.8% in the past 12 months. Consumers will need to see further gains to encourage them to spend more and boost the economy.

  • Why Millennial consumer confidence matters to restaurants

    Two separate entities collect and report on consumer confidence monthly—the Conference Board and the University of Michigan. Both institutions arbitrarily index their measures to 100. A higher level means that consumers are feeling positive about the economy. And increased confidence usually leads to an increase in spending.The Conference Board consumer confidence index as of November 2014 was 94.5—the highest it’s been in seven years. The University of Michigan consumer sentiment index was also up at 86.9 for the same period. Both indices have been rising since 2009, from respective lows of 25.3 and 55.7.The Conference Board also reports on consumer confidence by age demographic. The confidence index for those under 35, Millennials, was 123.1 as of November 2014. This is great considering a low of 36.8 in 2009.

  • Millennial rent vs. own dilemma. Hint: Geography

    When it comes to a basic monthly payment for housing, owning is significantly cheaper today for most than renting. U.S. homebuyers on average pay about 15 percent of their incomes on their mortgages, compared to renters, who pay nearly twice that, according to a new survey by Zillow, a real estate company. This is the case even for first-time buyers who put smaller down payments on their mortgages. Interest rates are historically low, and home price gains are beginning to ease. So why aren't more young Americans buying? "It's very difficult to come up with a down payment when so much of your monthly paycheck-especially on an entry-level salary-is going to your landlord instead of into your savings," noted Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow. "Buying conditions are getting better every day, and in time the allure of fixed housing payments and building wealth through home equity will draw more buyers out of rentals and into home ownership

  • IBM says cloud business enjoying 'breakthrough year'

    IBM aims to expand the number of data centers it offers clients around the world by 25 percent to meet fast-rising demand for internet-based services, after what a company executive said has been a "breakthrough year" in 2014 for its cloud computing business.IBM has quadrupled the number of cloud data facilities it offers around the world to 49 in the past 18 months, responding in part to laws requiring the local retention of data following revelations over U.S. government Web surveillance as well as increased corporate compliance rules.

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