Passport to Wall Street http://www.pws.io/ pl-PL Copyright 2018, Passport to Wall Street 60 Gun Manufacturers Continue to Struggle After Florida Shooting http://www.pws.io/gun-manufacturers-continue-to-struggle-after-florida-shooting <p class='black-text'>In the aftermath of the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding that their nation and its government bring an end to gun violence. The latest high-profile school shooting in the U.S., which left 17 students and faculty dead, has rekindled the oft-repeated debate over gun control. But gun sales have been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/business/gun-makers-are-reeling-even-as-of-regulation-recedes.html">declining</a> in recent months, with major firearms manufacturers seeing their share prices drop.</p><p class='black-text'>Ironically, sales of firearms in the U.S. are actually declining at a time when gun-friendly Republicans are in charge. Though the president yesterday signaled his support for more thorough background checks as well as <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/20/trump-signs-a-memo-telling-attorney-general-sessions-to-ban-devices-that-turn-weapons-into-machine-guns.html">a ban on firearm modifiers</a>, Republican members of Congress seem uninterested in considering further significant federal regulation of firearm sales in the wake of the nation's latest gun-related massacre. Neither do Republican state legislatures - just days after the deadliest school shooting in the state's history, the Florida House of Representatives <a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/florida-house-assault-weapons-school-shooting_us_5a8c9bf4e4b03414379b2ce6">voted</a> to reject legislation that would ban the sale of assault rifles in the state. The shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School used an assault rifle made by Smith & Wesson.</p><p class='black-text'>The stocks of prominent gun makers have declined since the 2016 election, with gun sales falling noticeably over the last year. Using <a href="https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/nics_firearm_checks_-_month_year.pdf/view">background-check statistics from the FBI</a> as a measurement, this past month, January 2018, was the slowest for gun sales in over five years.</p><p class='black-text'>American Outdoor Brands Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AOBC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AOBC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AOBC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AOBC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AOBC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which owns Smith & Wesson, has seen its stock decline by 47% since this time last year. The oldest gun maker in the U.S., Remington Arms, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-remingtonoutdoor-bankruptcy/u-s-gunmaker-remington-reaches-deal-with-creditors-to-file-for-bankruptcy-idUSKBN1FW23Q">announced</a> last Monday that it plans to file for bankruptcy. In operation since 1816, Remington is facing mounting debt and continuing <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2017/11/14/health/sandy-hook-gun-hearing-begins-in-connecticut/index.html">lawsuits</a> related to the 2014 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut. Investors have shied away from the company, distancing themselves from the bad press associated with the killing of 26 people, 20 of them children under the age of seven.</p><p class='black-text'>In 2016, Colt's Manufacturing Company came out of <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/13/news/companies/colt-guns-bankruptcy/index.html">its own bankruptcy proceedings</a>, after sinking $350 million into debt.</p><p class='black-text'>Gun sales may be slowing because of the political climate, according to the head of one of the largest American arms manufacturers. During the Obama administration, gun makers saw a trend of rising sales in the wake of mass shootings, as buyers sought to make purchases before further restrictions on sales were enacted. With the election of Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress in power, there is little possibility that any form of substantial gun-control legislation will be passed. Regarding declining sales of his company's products, James Debney, chief executive of American Outdoor Brands, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-08/smith-wesson-maker-tumbles-as-gunmakers-battle-over-prices">said in December</a>, "There is no fear-based buying right now."</p><p class='black-text'>Though he has not pushed for significant restrictions of firearms sales, Donald Trump <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-takes-step-to-ban-bump-stocks-1519168128">announced</a> yesterday that he will be pursuing a ban on gun modification devices like bump stocks, four months after they were used in the Mandalay Bay shooting in Las Vegas. A bump-stock is a gun modification attachment for semi-automatic weapons that increases their firing rate to allow them to function like fully automatic guns.</p> http://www.pws.io/gun-manufacturers-continue-to-struggle-after-florida-shooting Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:47:18 -0500 Kingston Pung Major Bank CEOs Handed Biggest Paychecks In A Decade http://www.pws.io/major-bank-ceos-handed-biggest-paychecks-in-a-decade <p class='black-text'>Following a relatively strong year in investment banking and wealth management, the major banks have awarded raises to their CEOs. With the trauma of the Great Recession apparently long behind them, the boards of the largest banks in the U.S. have decided to give the CEOs of their firms their largest paychecks since 2006, awarding them with sizable bonuses in cash and stocks. The heads of JPMorgan Chase & Co. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Goldman Sachs, Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Citigroup, Inc <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/C"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">C</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="C" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="C" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Bank of America <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BOA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BOA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BOA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BOA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BOA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Morgan Stanley <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> each made at least $20 million in 2017, with a number receiving significant raises from 2016. In a particularly jaw-dropping <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/16/investing/citigroup-ceo-corbat-pay/index.html">example</a>, Citigroup gave its CEO, Michael Corbat, a total raise of 48%, paying him over $15 million as a stock bonus. In a year of big payouts, we've gathered a list of the top earners among heads of banking firms.</p><p class='black-text'><b>1. JPMorgan Chase -- Jamie Dimon, $29.5 million</b></p><p class='black-text'>Starting with a base salary of $1.5 million, JPMorgan Chase CEO Dimon <a href="https://www1.salary.com/James-Dimon-Salary-Bonus-Stock-Options-for-JPMORGAN-CHASE-CO.html">received</a> $5 million cash and $20.5 million in stock as a bonus. The highest-paid executive on Wall Street for the second straight year, Dimon's paycheck for 2017 was close to $30 million, a 5% raise from last year.</p><p class='black-text'><b>2. Morgan Stanley -- James Gorman, $27.1 million</b></p><p class='black-text'>Morgan Stanley chief James Gorman was awarded $11.6 million in cash bonuses as well as a $14 million stock bonus on top of his $1.5 million base salary, for a total yearly paycheck of $27.1 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>3. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. -- Lloyd Blankfein, $24 million</b></p><p class='black-text'>After a year when his firm <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-finance-goldman-sachs-targets/goldman-was-caught-wrongfooted-in-trading-but-outlook-better-ceo-idUSKBN1FX0I8">struggled</a> in its trading business, Lloyd Blankfein <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/goldman-ceo-blankfein-gets-9-raise-1518785508">earned</a> a total of $24 million, a raise of 9% from 2016. Blankfein, whose base salary is $2 million, received bonuses of $4.4 million in cash and $17.6 million in stocks.</p><p class='black-text'><b>4. Citigroup -- Michael Corbat, $23 million</b></p><p class='black-text'>The Citigroup CEO saw his paycheck for 2017 rise 48% since last year. Added to Corbat's $1.5 million base salary were bonuses, both cash and stock, totaling $21 million.</p><p class='black-text'><b>5. Bank of America -- Brian Moynihan, $23 million</b></p><p class='black-text'>Rounding out the list of top earners on Wall Street, Brian Moynihan <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/09/bank-of-america-board-approves-ceo-moynihans-2017-incentive-compensation.html">earned</a> a total of $23 million last year, the biggest paycheck he has received as CEO. Bank of America gave its CEO a $21.5 million bonus in stocks on top of his base salary of $1.5 million.</p> http://www.pws.io/major-bank-ceos-handed-biggest-paychecks-in-a-decade Thu, 22 Feb 2018 06:37:38 -0500 Kingston Pung Back and forth day as traders respond to Fed. http://www.pws.io/back-and-forth-day-as-traders-respond-to-fed <p class='black-text'>The markets continue to digest the current prices as many feel that this is the new range. The Dow 30 was lower by 167, the S&P 500 lost 14, and the Nasdaq 100 sold off 16. The Federal Reserve released their minutes from their previous meeting which investors seemed to shake off. Going forward the focus will be on how the new Chairman will handle the economy and markets volatility.</p><p class='black-text'>Existing home sales came out today which showed that Americans have to pay up if they want to get into a new home. Sales of homes under $100,000 fell 13% due to home prices moving higher. First time home buyers only accounted for 29% of the buyer pool. The biggest gains came in sales of homes from $500,000 to $750,000 which grew by 12% from last year.</p><p class='black-text'>Walmart <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares continued lower today following their disappointing online sales numbers released yesterday. This sparked a rumor that the head of their ecommerce division would be leaving the company. Though this rumor was quickly dispelled it left many investors wondering if maybe Walmart should make a change.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was one of the big financial headlines today as the company announced they're own brand of over the counter health products. The company's new line is called Basic Care and is produced by Perrigo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PRGO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PRGO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PRGO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PRGO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PRGO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. The product line includes around 60 offerings ranging from ibuprofen to men's hair regrowth treatment.</p><p class='black-text'>In other news La-Z Boy <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LZB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LZB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LZB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LZB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LZB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares popped over 8% thanks to stronger than expected revenue and earnings. Same store sales came in strong as well, up 2.6%.</p><p class='black-text'>Lending Club <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were lower on the day by 6% as the company came up short on profit, revenue, and guidance. Shares have been hovering near lows now since December.</p> http://www.pws.io/back-and-forth-day-as-traders-respond-to-fed Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:59:37 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts ETF's end their push higher...For now. http://www.pws.io/etfs-end-their-push-higherfor-now <p class='black-text'>The markets broke their win streak to start the holiday shortened week, and major ETF's went along for the ride. The S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was higher for 6 straight days but Tuesday marked the end of that streak. Many traders feel that a pause within a range of $275 to $270 is in order before making the next move.</p><p class='black-text'>The Nasdaq 100 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has attempted to be the leader this week so far. Tech names held the QQQ in positive territory for most of the day, but with no follow through from the other sectors, it eventually gave in. The QQQ has also had a 6 day win streak which came to an end on Tuesday.</p><p class='black-text'>The Gold Mining <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GDX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GDX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GDX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> space continues it's selloff this week with losses already nearing 3%. The GDX has been stuck in a very large range and for now that seems to be continuing. The Metals and Mining <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XME"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XME</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XME" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> sector has fared much better as many investors seem to want the diversification across many metals. The XME is lower by 2% for the week.</p><p class='black-text'>Volatility <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VXX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VXX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VXX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> started the week pushing slightly higher. The VXX was higher by 4% by Tuesday as investors seemed to think 6 days higher was enough. The VXX continues to hold up as investors still like the idea of a little protection.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, Consumer Staples <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XLP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XLP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XLP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XLP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XLP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> stands out as a weak sector. The XLP has sold off over 2% already this week and a closer look reveals that it has not recovered as much of it's recent declines unlike the other sectors, and markets. Technical traders note the 200 day moving average as being a notable resistance area in the short term, and support at the lows of $52.50.</p> http://www.pws.io/etfs-end-their-push-higherfor-now Wed, 21 Feb 2018 09:47:23 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Uber, Bell Helicopters Expect Flying Cabs In Service By 2025 http://www.pws.io/uber-bell-helicopters-expect-flying-cabs-in-service-by-2025 <p class='black-text'>According to reports last Tuesday, Uber and Bell Helicopter expect that they will be able to bring flying taxi services to cities by 2025.</p><p class='black-text'>The project, called Uber Elevate, is still developing. Uber has <a href="https://www.uber.com/elevate.pdf">hyped</a> the program for the last year. The transportation service company is working with Bell Helicopter and other aerospace manufacturers to develop a fleet of air-taxis that will service large metropolitan areas.</p><p class='black-text'>In a recent interview with Bloomberg Television, an executive with Bell Helicopters projected the service to launch before the end of the next decade. Patrick Moulay, executive vice president for commercial helicopter sales at Bell Helicopter, emphasized the importance of the project to the company's future vision. "Air taxi is the next way for our industry," <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-06/uber-bell-helicopter-alliance-to-bring-first-air-taxis-by-2025">said</a> Moulay. "It's very important for us to make sure we are among the disrupters to think about what should be transportation in the next 10-20 years."</p><p class='black-text'>An aerospace manufacturing division of Textron, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TXT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TXT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TXT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TXT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TXT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Bell Helicopters is one of several aerospace companies working with Uber on its air-taxi projects. At this past year's Consumer Electronics Show, Bell Helicopters <a href="http://www.bellhelicopter.com/company/innovation/air-taxi">unveiled</a> a cabin prototype for an electric, self-driving air taxi designed to work in urban environments. "Bell Helicopter is innovating at the limits of vertical flight and challenging the traditional notion of aviation to solve real-world problems. The future of urban air taxi is closer than many people realize...we believe in the positive impact our design will have on addressing transportation concerns in cities worldwide," Bell Helicopter's CEO, Mitch Snyder, <a href="https://www.maxim.com/rides/uber-bell-helicopters-urban-air-taxi-2018-1">said</a> at CES.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber Elevate will consist of a fleet of small aircraft capable of taking off and landing vertically (VTOL). As envisioned by Uber, the air taxis will operate much like helicopters. Unlike helicopters, however, the Uber Elevate fleet will be small, electric-powered, emissions-free, and noiseless, making it uniquely adapted to thrive in urban environments.</p><p class='black-text'>Uber announced its air-travel ambitions last year, outlining plans to bring flying taxis to consumers in major cities over the next ten years, with major benchmarks expected to be reached in the next five years. The company has <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/08/uber-nasa-work-on-flying-taxis.html">signed a deal</a> with NASA to allow Uber to develop its urban air-taxi program, called Uber Elevate, in Los Angeles over the next three years. Uber is also expecting to test its first flying cabs in Dubai and in Dallas, Texas. The project is expected to be ready for launch in less than a decade, with the first vehicles in flight by 2025. While Uber <a href="https://www.uber.com/elevate.pdf">expects</a> that at least initially each VTOL vehicle will be expensive, they also think that the price will drop over time, and that eventually VTOL flights will become an affordable means of mass transportation - perhaps even supplanting car ownership.</p> http://www.pws.io/uber-bell-helicopters-expect-flying-cabs-in-service-by-2025 Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:16:18 -0500 Kingston Pung White House Tech Advisor Announces Exit http://www.pws.io/white-house-tech-advisor-announces-exit <p class='black-text'>According to <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-tech-adviser-reed-cordish-is-leaving-the-white-house/2018/02/16/2895303c-0870-11e8-8777-2a059f168dd2_story.html?utm_term=.a8e83405b0f9">a report last Friday from the Washington Post</a>, Reed Cordish is leaving his position as a senior White House advisor on tech. After stepping down as Assistant to the President for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives, the 43-year-old former tech aide plans to return to work for his family's real estate company in Baltimore, the Cordish Companies.</p><p class='black-text'>Cordish was appointed to the position of Assistant to the President on January 16, 2017, and served as a member of the Office of American Innovation, which was launched in March by the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner. Cordish will be replaced by Brooke L. Rollins of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Rollins was a former aide to Energy Secretary Rick Perry.</p><p class='black-text'>Cordish's departure comes less than a week after the publication of a <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/research/why-is-trumps-staff-turnover-higher-than-the-5-most-recent-presidents/">Brookings Institute study</a> that examined the unusually high rate of turnover in the Trump administration, which has seen over a third of its staff members leave their positions for various reasons over the course of Trump's first year in office. The number of departures from the Trump White House in its first year is far greater than in any of the past five administrations - more than triple that of the Obama White House. Particularly striking is the number of high-profile figures in senior positions that have left Trump's staff.</p><p class='black-text'>The report from Brookings points to the negative consequences of such excessive turnover, highlighting the turbulence that often follows a resignation or a firing. Since report's publication, at least four more people have left positions within the administration.</p><p class='black-text'>In an interview with the Washington Post, Cordish <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-tech-adviser-reed-cordish-is-leaving-the-white-house/2018/02/16/2895303c-0870-11e8-8777-2a059f168dd2_story.html?utm_term=.a8e83405b0f9">said</a> that he had not planned on working for the White House for more than a year. Following Cordish's departure, Kushner <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/politics/reed-cordish-jared-kushner-american-innovation/index.html">spoke highly</a> of the former aide, calling him "invaluable to the administration."</p><p class='black-text'>Prior to his time at the White House, Reed Cordish had been a part of Donald Trump's transition team during the months between the election in November and Trump's January inauguration. Before joining the transition team, Cordish <a href="http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bal-reed-cordish-to-join-trump-administration-20170105-story.html">worked</a> as a partner for his family's real estate development company and had had little experience in politics. Cordish and his wife are close personal friends with Ivanka Trump and her husband Kushner.</p><p class='black-text'>While Assistant to the President, Cordish served as an important liaison to private tech companies and worked to shape the Trump administration's approach to the world of tech and tech education. In September, Cordish announced that through his facilitation, major tech companies including Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Google <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> had collectively committed to giving over $300 million toward computer science education.</p><p class='black-text'>In addition to his work on promoting computer science education and other workplace-centered initiatives, Cordish had also played a key role in developing the $1.5-trillion infrastructure plan outlined in the president's budget for the 2019 fiscal year.</p> http://www.pws.io/white-house-tech-advisor-announces-exit Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:15:17 -0500 Kingston Pung SpaceX Internet Satellites http://www.pws.io/spacex-internet-satellites <p class='black-text'>SpaceX is moving closer to its vision of a worldwide satellite-based internet network fueled by thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). This week, SpaceX is launching the first experimental satellites for its proposed satellite network, first announced by CEO Elon Musk in 2015.</p><p class='black-text'>In a flight scheduled for Wednesday morning, the private space exploration and technology company will oversee the launch of one of its Falcon 9 rocket carrying the first prototypes of satellite internet probes with which the company plans to offer worldwide satellite-based internet. Taking off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the Falcon 9 will also be carrying Hisdesat's PAZ, a satellite designed for the Spanish government.</p><p class='black-text'>The launch of the two demo satellites---called Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b---signals SpaceX's first major public steps in its satellite constellation project, called Starlink. According to regulatory filings made by SpaceX in 2017, if granted approval, the company plans to have 12,000 satellites in orbit by the mid-2020s.</p><p class='black-text'>SpaceX's ambitious satellite-internet project has gained the <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/fcc-chairman-ajit-pai-endorses-spacexs-satellite-internet-plan.html">endorsement</a> of Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In a <a href="https://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2018/db0214/DOC-349224A1.pdf">statement last week</a>, Pai encouraged his fellow FCC members to approve SpaceX's proposed satellite network, asking them to "[move] to unleash the power of satellite constellations to provide high-speed Internet to rural Americans." Bringing internet service to isolated geographic locations, including remote, rural areas of the U.S., remains a goal in an increasingly connected world.</p><p class='black-text'>In urging the commission to approve SpaceX's proposal, the Trump-appointed chairman argued that "it would be the first approval given to an American-based company to provide broadband services using a new generation of low-Earth orbit satellite technologies."</p><p class='black-text'>SpaceX faces serious competition in its satellite-internet ambitions from several companies. The company's most prominent competitor in this field is OneWeb, a proposed LEO satellite network of over 640 satellites capable of providing global internet service. In development since 2014, OneWeb is slated to begin service to consumers as early as 2019. OneWeb has already received approval from the FCC to use satellite technology to provide broadband services to consumers in the U.S. Space Norway and Telestat have also earned FCC approval to move forward on similar projects.</p><p class='black-text'>The Falcon 9 launch had originally been scheduled for the past weekend. On Saturday, due to additional time needed for final checks, SpaceX <a href="https://www.space.com/39736-spacex-rocket-launch-paz-satellite-delay.html">announced</a> a delay of the launch until February 21.</p> http://www.pws.io/spacex-internet-satellites Wed, 21 Feb 2018 07:10:35 -0500 Kingston Pung Trump's $4.4 Trillion Budget Slashes Domestic Programs, Funds Wall http://www.pws.io/trumps-44-trillion-budget-slashes-domestic-programs-funds-wall <p class='black-text'>Last Monday, the White House's Office of Budget and Management (OMB) <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/budget-fy2019.pdf">released</a> U.S. President Donald Trump's budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year. The $4.4 trillion budget would increase spending on military and border security, while implementing large cuts in funding to domestic programs, including Medicare, a federal government program that provides health coverage to seniors.</p><p class='black-text'>Though Trump's budget will be likely ignored by Congress, which controls the federal government's spending, the budget is revealing as a reflection of Trump's priorities for the remainder of his term. "This is a messaging document," <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/press-briefing-omb-director-mick-mulvaney-president-trumps-fy2018-budget/">said OMB Director Mick Mulvaney</a>, when asked about Congress's response to the budget proposal. "The executive budget has always been a messaging document."</p><p class='black-text'>In addition to cuts to Medicare, Trump's proposed budget would reverse the expansion of Medicaid enacted by the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, passed under President Obama. During the campaign, Trump had promised to leave Medicaid and Medicare untouched in his planned shrinking of federal spending. However, after so far unsuccessfully seeking a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Trump is moving to reduce the effectiveness of ACA initiatives.</p><p class='black-text'>Trump's <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/02/12/trump-budget-wants-billions-more-border-wall-immigration-agents-and-judges/329766002/">proposed increase</a> in spending on immigration and border security would allocate $25 billion over two years to addressing perceived immigration problems. Trump asks for $18 billion to be spent to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in the southern U.S. In addition to funding for a wall, Trump has also called for increased spending to hire 2,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and 750 more border patrol agents. Both ICE and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) would have their budgets increase by 27% under Trump's budget.</p><p class='black-text'>While the Department of Homeland Security would see an overall increase in funding under the president's proposal, the budgets of other federal agencies and departments would be slashed significantly. In his budget proposal, Trump calls for a 25% cut in spending on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which he has long disparaged as unnecessary and harmful to business. This marks the second year that Trump has proposed reducing the budget of the EPA, an agency that he had proposed eliminating while on the campaign trail. Trump's budget would also decrease funding to the State Department by 27%.</p><p class='black-text'>The White House's budget also focuses spending on improving and maintaining infrastructure and addressing the opioid epidemic in the U.S. $17 billion would be allocated to increasing drug enforcement and expanding treatment for opioid addiction.</p><p class='black-text'>The budget <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-12/trump-s-4-4-trillion-budget-boosts-defense-with-more-red-ink">outlines</a> a large $1.5-trillion infrastructure plan to be enacted over ten years. Aimed at improving existing roads and bridges, as well as implementing other development projects, the plan would require the cooperation of both state and local governments as well as private-sector companies. Of the projected $1.5 trillion to be spent, the federal government would take on $200 billion of the cost as seed money, with the remainder of the funding coming from state and local governments and private companies.</p> http://www.pws.io/trumps-44-trillion-budget-slashes-domestic-programs-funds-wall Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:52:08 -0500 Kingston Pung Trump Weekly: The Office Besieged http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-the-office-besieged <p class='black-text'>This week, Capital Hill was rocked by a bombshell in the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election: <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/us/politics/russians-indicted-mueller-election-interference.html">Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russians for their role in compromising the US election process in favor of the Trump campaign. </a>Although Mueller did not make a direct accusation against Trump himself, court papers state that Russians were in contact with numerous <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/us/politics/russians-indicted-mueller-election-interference.html">"unwitting individuals associated with the Trump campaign."</a> The indicted Russians stole American identities and posed as political activists online, leveraging hot-button topics such as immigration and race to further divide the electorate. Russian specialists created hundreds of social media accounts for this purpose, and these accounts attracted hundreds of thousands of followers. Americans that subscribed to these accounts falsely assumed that they were communicating with fellow Americans. The accounts posed as Black Lives Matter supporters, Christian activists, the Tennessee Republican Party, anti-immigration lobbyists, and more. The ultimate goal of these agents was to promote the candidacy of Donald Trump and sabotage the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, with a network spanning from St. Petersburg to American social networks to the polls of battleground states.</p><p class='black-text'>The indictment was only one storm in a week full of them, as Trump was besieged on all fronts. In addition to the news of his campaign being compromised, he faced criticism for his response to national crises and his own public comments made both on Twitter and otherwise. When the country suffered yet another mass shooting at a Florida high school, leaving seventeen students dead, Trump's tweet of, <a href="https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/964110212885106689?lang=en">"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"</a> prompted massive backlash, especially from the parents of the students lost in the attack. He faced a series of phone calls from these parents and other students demanding concrete action on gun control to curtail such tragedies. By and large, the Republican response to the shooting has been to emphasize the need for prayer, recovery, and the recognition of mental health dangers. American high school students across the country are currently attempting to organize a nationwide walkout to protest the danger that they face in school from active shooters.</p><p class='black-text'>On the personal front, Trump continues to face media frenzy over his pre-presidential affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump's personal lawyer <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/16/politics/trump-terrible-week-analysis/index.html">Michael Cohen admitted this week that he paid Ms. Daniels $130,000 out of his own pocket</a> in order to prevent her from speaking to the public about the affair. However, he insisted that Trump had no knowledge of this payment and that he himself was never reimbursed for the money. At the same time, <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-a-playboy-model-and-a-system-for-concealing-infidelity-national-enquirer-karen-mcdougal"><i>The New Yorker</i></a> has reported on yet another affair, this time between Trump and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal. Although these affairs do not compromise the president legally, they work to undermine the president's attempts at assuming a moral high ground in the face of myriad challenges.</p> http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-the-office-besieged Wed, 21 Feb 2018 06:39:57 -0500 Julia Chesler Can Qualcomm break above recent highs? http://www.pws.io/can-qualcomm-break-above-recent-highs <p class='black-text'>With all the news surrounding this stock, is there still room for the bulls to grab a bite of Qualcomm <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QCOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QCOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QCOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QCOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>?</p><iframe width="100%" height="400" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/qjDO4oQEga8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> http://www.pws.io/can-qualcomm-break-above-recent-highs Tue, 20 Feb 2018 13:09:10 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Six day win streak comes to an end. http://www.pws.io/six-day-win-streak-comes-to-an-end <p class='black-text'>The markets were lower today after 6 consecutive days higher. The Dow 30 was lower by 256 thanks mostly to Walmart, the S&P 500 sold off 15, and the Nasdaq 100 lost only 5 thanks to the tech space. Tomorrow investors will get a look at manufacturing numbers along with existing home sales. Both of which can be market moving numbers.</p><p class='black-text'>Walmart <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was one of the main focus stocks today as the company announced earnings for the previous quarter that were weaker than expected. The company showed that their online sales were below expectations which called into question again their ability to compete with their main rival Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. The company has been making strides to convert Sams club stores to distribution centers but this is all recent and investors are looking for a faster response. Shares were lower by 10.18% on the day, dragging down the Dow on the day.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced today that it would offer prime members who use their Prime Rewards Visa card at their newly acquired, Whole Foods will get a 5% cash back bonus. If you are not a prime member but still have the card you will get 3% cash back. Though there was question on Wall Street if this was due to a slower than expected growth, investors seemed to cheer the reward by pushing shares higher by 1%.</p><p class='black-text'>In other news it seems that KFC <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/YUM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">YUM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="YUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="YUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="YUM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has run out of chicken to serve at their stores in the UK. The company said that they will have to temporarily close 800 stores thanks to some "teething problems" with it's new delivery contactor, DHL. The shipping company has stopped chicken deliveries which seems to point to a payment issue but no word from either company on this. There also has been no update as to when the chicken will get back on track.</p> http://www.pws.io/six-day-win-streak-comes-to-an-end Tue, 20 Feb 2018 10:45:08 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Companies Change Policies to Address Uptick in Retail Fraud http://www.pws.io/companies-change-policies-to-address-uptick-in-retail-fraud <p class='black-text'>The level of retail fraud has gradually been climbing. As of December 2017, the level of fraudulent transactions hit 1.58%, up from 1.47% in 2016, according to a <a href="https://risk.lexisnexis.com/about-us/press-room/press-release/2017-12-06-retail-fraud">study</a> conducted by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.</p><p class='black-text'>The rise in the incidence of fraud is tied partly to a simultaneous rise in the number of online transactions, which are difficult and expensive to track. More international transactions and a proliferation of payment options, such as mobile wallets, have also exacerbated the problem. There are limited options available for verifying a consumer's identity, and there is often a lag between when a purchase is made and the transaction is confirmed, leaving a window of opportunity for fraud to occur. Current protection technology leaves much to be desired, and retailers have to walk a fine line between safeguarding consumers and irritating them with security protocols.</p><p class='black-text'>Returns are an area particularly vulnerable to fraud. Return fraud generally consists of an individual first stealing merchandise before attempting to return it for cash or gift cards, though more ambitious criminals can also fabricate counterfeit store receipts. Online transactions are not the only problem. The introduction of new technology in brick-and-mortar retail, like self-checkout areas, has also contributed to an uptick retail fraud, as shoppers can steal more easily and then return the merchandise for profit.</p><p class='black-text'>This is not a small problem for retailers. According to a report by research firm <a href="https://appriss.com/retail/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2017/12/2017_Consumer-Returns-in-the-Retail-Industry-Report.pdf">Appriss Retail</a>, the retail industry earned $3.5 trillion in sales, with roughly 10%, or $351 billion, lost to fraud. 6.5% of these returns involved fraud, valued at approximately $22.8 billion. Companies are not the only ones hurt by the practice: as per the report, improper returns can cost states $1.4 billion in lost sales tax revenue.</p><p class='black-text'>Consumers can often take advantage of companies with lax return policies. A <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/07/gift-card-crime-fueling-opioid-addiction-across-the-us.html">CNBC investigation</a>, for example, found that drug addicts often fuel their habit by making fraudulent returns at big-box stores like Home Depot <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Target <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TGT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TGT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TGT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TGT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. And after many years of a having a famously generous return policy as part of a 100% lifetime satisfaction guarantee, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/09/business/ll-bean-returns-policy.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">L. L. Bean</a> recently announced that it will begin enforcing stricter rules. Shawn O. Gorman, the executive chairman of L. L. Bean, explained in an email to customers that a "small, but growing number of customers has been interpreting our guarantee well beyond its original intent," with some customers seeking refunds for "heavily worn products used over many years," or for products purchased through "third parties, such as at yard sales."</p><p class='black-text'>L. L. Bean is not the only company to do so: a <a href="https://nrf.com/resources/retail-library/consumer-returns-the-retail-industry">National Retail Federation</a> survey found that nearly 30% of retailers had tightened their return policies this year, by asking that consumers show identification, cutting down the window of time when returns would be accepted, or requiring that the consumer provide proof of purchase. Some consumers have accepted the changes without complaint. But others worry that it is a sign that L. L. Bean plans to skimp on the quality of its products, and one regular customer was outraged enough to <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/lawsuit-filed-ll-beans-year-limit-returns-53079602">file a lawsuit </a>over the change.</p> http://www.pws.io/companies-change-policies-to-address-uptick-in-retail-fraud Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:34:13 -0500 Ariel Courage How Passive Investment Strategies Affect Market Movement http://www.pws.io/how-passive-investment-strategies-affect-market-movement <p class='black-text'>When people think of Wall Street, they often picture the classic clamor of a stock exchange floor. But much Wall Street activity now takes place more quietly, as computers increasingly handle passive investment strategies.</p><p class='black-text'>Passive investment strategies are the result of algorithms run by complex computer programs without direct human involvement. The strategies are rapid, automatic, and high-volume, capable of thousands of trades per second. They have become increasingly dominant over the past decade. Marko Kolanovic, global head of macro quantitative and derivates strategy at JPMorgan Chase, estimated in a <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/13/death-of-the-human-investor-just-10-percent-of-trading-is-regular-stock-picking-jpmorgan-estimates.html">report</a> last year that passive and algorithm-based "quantitative investing" accounted for about 60% of all stock trades. More traditional methods accounted for only 10%. Stock exchanges earn money by selling access to instantly-updated data feeds of market activity; Nasdaq, for example, earned roughly a <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/02/06/algorithms-just-made-a-couple-crazy-trading-days-that-much-crazier/?utm_term=.1f2a2a2dd217">quarter</a> of its revenue from such information services.</p><p class='black-text'>The strategies generally respond to the same market signs as humans. Some use their speed to recognize and take advantage of tiny price fluctuations, buying and reselling rapidly. Others try to be predictive based on analysis of wide swaths of data, including everything from labor-market news releases to the word choice and tone of political speeches.</p><p class='black-text'>One popular strategy is passive investment in ETFs, or exchange-traded funds. Such funds use computers to track financial indexes and general market trends instead of relying upon humans to select individual stocks. ETFs are listed on public exchanges, making them easy to trade. Cheap ETFs and index funds have blown up since 2009, and now have <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/vincentdeluard/2017/06/28/how-the-etf-bubble-feeds-the-stock-market-bubble/#504499825457">40% of market share</a> in the U.S.</p><p class='black-text'>Index funds and ETFs have propelled BlackRock and Vanguard, the two largest providers, to power. Both BlackRock and Vanguard use sophisticated computer programs to channel investments into global indexes. The funds tend to favor major index players like Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, raising their valuations even higher. Large hedge funds also increasingly rely upon computer-driven indexes that measure market swings.</p><p class='black-text'>We can thank these strategies in part for carrying the market to such dizzying highs. But these strategies can also worsen or accelerate steep declines, as we saw earlier this month. Passive market strategies promote uniformity in response to market movement, which may extend falls. Technology is certainly not solely to blame for the stock market turbulence. But programmed trading can compound existing volatility.</p><p class='black-text'>On Monday, February 5, for instance, the Dow Jones industrial average tanked 700 points in a span of 20 minutes. By Tuesday, February 6, it was up 567 points. While it is difficult to measure the exact role the passive trading played without auditing data, many pointed to algorithmic trading as a cause for the flashing, spiky nature of the highs and lows. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/02/06/algorithms-just-made-a-couple-crazy-trading-days-that-much-crazier/?utm_term=.c93d38c06c59">said</a> that passive strategies "definitely had an impact" on Dow's 1,175-point dip. And in 2015, a group of global financial power players <a href="https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/media/newsevents/news/banking/2015/SSG-algorithmic-trading-2015.pdf">cautioned</a> that algorithmic trading has been responsible for "significant volatility and market disruption" and carries "the potential for systemic risk...over very short periods."</p><p class='black-text'>Still, some are more sanguine, confident that over the long term these cheap funds tracking a broader index will still perform better than expensive, particularized stock programs put together by humans, and that increased volatility is ultimately not a major concern.</p><p class='black-text'>Regardless, passive trading strategies won't disappear or even slow down anytime soon, absent intervention from either the U.S. government or the exchanges themselves - neither of which seems likely.</p> http://www.pws.io/how-passive-investment-strategies-affect-market-movement Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:00:00 -0500 Ariel Courage Make-Up Redefined: The Digitization of the Beauty Industry http://www.pws.io/make-up-redefined-the-digitization-of-the-beauty-industry <p class='black-text'>Faced with declining in-store retail, the beauty industry has rapidly evolved to find innovative and creative ways to sell beauty products.</p><p class='black-text'>Younique is a direct sales company specializing in beauty products that markets and sells these products almost <a href="https://www.youniqueproducts.com/business/about#.WojBB7T81ok">exclusively</a> through the use of social media. It has combined the peer-to-peer sales model with digitization to create "<a href="https://www.youniqueproducts.com/business/about#.WojBB7T81ok">Younique Virtual Parties,</a>" in which <a href="https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/beauty-industry-gets-digital-makeover">200,000</a> women called "presenters" livestream online <a href="https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/beauty-industry-gets-digital-makeover">digital makeup parties</a> from their living rooms, kitchen table, or even their cars. These women are well-versed in the algorithmic models of social media, ensuring their parties are at the top of people's feeds. They can make anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars monthly by selling makeup through their personal networks, and have contributed to Younique's <a href="https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/beauty-industry-gets-digital-makeover">$400</a> million annual revenue. Beauty products manufacturer Coty Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COTY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COTY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COTY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COTY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COTY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> owns a majority stake in Younique.</p><p class='black-text'>"The biggest global beauty companies are experiencing massive disruption by the shift in consumer behavior that online shopping and social media has caused," <a href="https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/beauty-industry-gets-digital-makeover">says Irina Adler, </a>MD of Morgan Stanley's Consumer Investment Banking group. "Traditionally, cosmetics companies are one step removed from their end customers. That's because they sell products in department stores, which end up having the direct relationship with the consumer. But through a peer-to-peer sales model, they are able to dramatically grow their direct sales to consumers, at a time when department stores are suffering a decline in retail traffic."</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5546" alt="" src="//images5.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/86690ef311c1bfea18ffc4ce7d222da3.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; Zinkevych / bigstockphoto.com</div> </div><p class='black-text'>This notion is also reflected in the brand <a href="https://digiday.com/marketing/beauty-brands-remaking-peer-peer-sales-model-digital-age/">Ever Skin</a>, which gives its sellers the option to sell not just at special in-person events, but online, as well. It sets up each seller with a personal e-commerce site and provides them with digital marketing guidance for promoting its products on Instagram and Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Beautycounter, Rodan & Fields, and <a href="http://www.olapic.com/resources/how-beauty-brands-can-build-a-successful-multi-channel-strategy_blog-p1aw-f1tr-v1be-t1ec-t1dm/">Glossier</a> are all brands that follow similar models.</p><p class='black-text'>In fact, one of the reasons Glossier has experienced so much success is because of its ability to establish this "<a href="http://www.olapic.com/resources/how-beauty-brands-can-build-a-successful-multi-channel-strategy_blog-p1aw-f1tr-v1be-t1ec-t1dm/">anti-brand</a>" movement of sorts, in which the selling model is consumer-oriented. Employees are trained to talk to customers directly across all channels in a casual voice that resonates with its younger audience. Through understating its position as a brand, Glossier has been able to capitalize on the fact that <a href="http://www.olapic.com/resources/how-beauty-brands-can-build-a-successful-multi-channel-strategy_blog-p1aw-f1tr-v1be-t1ec-t1dm/">customers are looking for other users' knowledge to make purchase decisions</a>, for example by viewing YouTube <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> makeup tutorials.</p><p class='black-text'>That said, there are some limitations to this model that may become more apparent in the future. For one, the peer-to-peer sales model has been likened to a pyramid scheme that rips off its sellers. Another problem is that success of these companies are directly correlated with the popularity of certain social media outlets, so once something is not relevant it could have a huge impact on revenue streams.</p> http://www.pws.io/make-up-redefined-the-digitization-of-the-beauty-industry Mon, 19 Feb 2018 06:00:00 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar How important is the 200 day moving average? http://www.pws.io/how-important-is-the-200-day-moving-average <p class='black-text'>A quick look at how the 200 day moving average completely stopped the markets latest meltdown.</p><iframe width="100%" height="400" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ySh2xBOArBI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> http://www.pws.io/how-important-is-the-200-day-moving-average Sun, 18 Feb 2018 23:12:33 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Holiday week offers only two IPO's. http://www.pws.io/holiday-week-offers-only-two-ipos <p class='black-text'>As is typical in a holiday week the number of IPO's tends to be light. This week is no exception. With the Presidents day holiday on Monday there are only two names that are on the schedule to attempt their offering. Combined the two names will be looking for just under $300 million.</p><p class='black-text'>First up is a blank check company which was formed to acquire asset management businesses in the financial technology space. <b>Crescent Funding</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CFUNU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CFUNU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CFUNU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CFUNU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CFUNU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is the company which many have speculated on which company they are looking to acquire as this part of the industry really heats up, but the company remains mum. The quest to acquire the younger retirement investor business has led many to simply buying out the companies that have been able to gain the trust of that tough customer. The company is looking for $250 million by offering 10 million shares at a price of $10.</p><p class='black-text'>The second name this week is <b>Aspen REIT</b> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AJAX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AJAX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AJAX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AJAX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AJAX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which if the name hasn't given them away yet, is a REIT. The company is being formed to own Colorado's, St. Regis in Aspen. They will need $34 million to make this happen and will offer 1.7 million shares at a price of $20 per share to make this happen.</p><p class='black-text'>Now that the markets volatility seems to have settled down, many are expecting to see quite a few filings for new IPO's this week. It will be an important week to tell if the stocks looking to go public think it's safe to come back to this wild market.</p> http://www.pws.io/holiday-week-offers-only-two-ipos Sun, 18 Feb 2018 10:10:11 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Top Women in Venture Capital http://www.pws.io/top-women-in-venture-capital <p class='black-text'>Venture capitalism has long been a male-dominated field. Only <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/08/vc-ann-miura-ko-on-the-key-moment-in-college-that-launched-her-career.html">11 percent</a> of those in positions to make investment decisions in the industry are women. However, women like Ann Miura-Ko, who <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/velocity/2010/03/25/meet-ann-miura-ko-the-most-powerful-woman-in-startups/#4fb97a3e21a2">Forbes</a> recently named as "the most powerful woman in startups" - are changing that. Miura-Ko co-founded VC firm Floodgate, and sits on the board of Lyft, Ayasdi and Inscopix, with previous board experience on Refinery29, Xamarin, and TaskRabbit. But her impressive portfolio is not the only one worth noting.</p><p class='black-text'>Compiled by <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/top-women-venture-capital-2018-2">Business Insider</a>, here are a few more powerful women in VC to keep on your radar this year:</p><p class='black-text'><u><b>Trailblazing Founders:</b></u></p><p class='black-text'><b>1. Kirsten Green</b>, Founding Partner at Forerunner Ventures</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for:</i> Savvy e-commerce deals.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments:</i> Birchbox, Glossier, Bonobos, Retention Sciences, and Warby Parker.</p><p class='black-text'>2. <b>Theresia Gouw,</b> Founding Partner at Aspect Ventures,</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Serving as a long time partner at Accel; investments in security-tech companies.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Trulia, ForeScout, and The Muse.</p><p class='black-text'>3. <b>Anu Duggal</b>, Founding Partner at Female Founders Fund</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for:</i> Interest in female entrepreneurship; founding The Tasting Room.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Winky Lux, Maven Clinic, Shine Text, Billie, and LandIt.</p><p class='black-text'>4.<b> Alicia Syrett</b>, Founder & CEO at Pantegrion Capital</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for:</i> Early-stage investments.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments:</i> BeautyBooked, Cisse Trading Co., EnerKnol, Everwaters, and Nomad.</p><p class='black-text'>5. <b>Nisha Dua</b>, General Partner & Co-founder at Built by Girls Ventures</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for:</i> Investments in women-led startups</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments:</i> The Wing, Glamsquad, Modsy, Carbon38, GoTenna, Pymetrics, and Zola.</p><p class='black-text'><b><u>Powerhouse Partners:</u></b></p><p class='black-text'><b>1. Mary Meeker</b>, Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Leadership in Wall Street security analysis</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Square <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Spotify, Airbnb, Houzz, Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Slack, and Instacart.</p><p class='black-text'>2. <b>Laurel Touby,</b> Managing Partner at Supernode Ventures</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Transition from journalism to venture capital; pre-seed/early stage deals.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Braze, LaunchMetrics, PeerIQ, Credijusto, Click Therapeutics, and AlphaHQ.</p><p class='black-text'>3. <b>Sutian Dong</b>, Partner at Female Founders Fund</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Early-stage investments in software startups.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: ELOQUII, Tala, Maven, Zola, Winky Lux, WayUp, and Thrive Global are just a few of the companies she's invested in over the course of her career.</p><p class='black-text'>4. <b>Elizabeth Galbut</b>, Partner at SoGal Ventures</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Investing in diverse founding teams across the US and Asia.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Everlywell, Unbound, Proscia, eMocha, Hidrate, Insilico Medicine, and Glidian.</p><p class='black-text'>5. <b>Hayley Barna</b>, Partner at First Round Capital</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Founding cosmetics retailer BirchBox in 2010.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Madison Reed and RAB Lighting.</p><p class='black-text'>6. <b>Susan Lyne</b>, President & Managing Partner at Built By Girls Ventures</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Being the former CEO of AOL's brand group.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Full Harvest, Winky Lux, Modsy, and Maverick.</p><p class='black-text'>7. <b>Jessica Lee</b>, General Partner at Spark Capital</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Selling her fashion website, Polyvore, to Yahoo for $230 million in 2015</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Uber, Slack, Square, and InVision.</p><p class='black-text'>8. <b>Shauntel Poulson</b>, General Partner at Reach Capital</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Her work as a senior engineer at Procter and Gamble; co-founding $53 million education technology fund Reach Capital.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: SchoolMint, Schoolzilla, and Newsela.</p><p class='black-text'>9. <b>Beth Seidenberg</b>, General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Investing in the digital health and the biotech sector.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: 3-V Biosciences, Armo Biosciences <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ARMO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ARMO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ARMO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ARMO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ARMO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Atara <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ATRA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ATRA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ATRA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ATRA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ATRA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Auxogyn.</p><p class='black-text'>10. <b>Margit Wennmachers</b>, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Co-founding one of the tech world's elite PR firms, The OutCast Agency.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Autodesk <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ADSK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ADSK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ADSK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ADSK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ADSK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Netflix <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NFLX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NFLX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Salesforce.com <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CRM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CRM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CRM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CRM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CRM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Yahoo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'><b><u>Other Notable VC Leaders</u></b>:</p><p class='black-text'>1. <b>Maya Baratz Jordan,</b> Managing Director at Comcast NBCUniversal LIFT Labs Accelerator</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Creating new-to-market digital products.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Pilotworks, Purple, MovieQu, Wall Street Journal, and Disney <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>2. <b>Nisa Amoils,</b> Board Advisor for Scout Ventures</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Investments in AI, robotics, cybersecurity, and drones.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: HeTexted, BeautyBooked, Know Your Crew, BARTRENDr, Dealflicks, Modalyst, and laxmi.</p><p class='black-text'>3. <b>Beth Ferreira</b>, Managing Director at FirstMark Capital</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for:</i> Overseeing deals in generation commerce, consumer tech, and enterprise companies.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments</i>: Glossier, Daily Harvest, Masterclass, Hooked, and Hu.</p><p class='black-text'>4. <b>Joanne Wilson</b>, Angel Investor at Gotham Gal Ventures</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for</i>: Influence in New York city's tech scene.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments:</i> Food52, Sweeten, Vengo, Nestio, Shippabo, Flip, Clutter, and Union Station.</p><p class='black-text'>5. <b>Fran Hauser</b>, Angel Investor</p><p class='black-text'><i>Known for:</i> Influence in media companies; supporting women-founded companies.</p><p class='black-text'><i>Notable investments:</i> Gem&Bolt, Mogul, HelloGiggles, and The Wing.</p> http://www.pws.io/top-women-in-venture-capital Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:18:23 -0500 Jasmine Rashid AT&T Makes Unusual Move in Antitrust Case http://www.pws.io/att-makes-unusual-move-in-antitrust-case <p class='black-text'>In light of the government's decision to block AT&T's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/T"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">T</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="T" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="T" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="T" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/14/business/att-antitrust-witness-delrahim.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&action=click&contentCollection=business&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront">$85 billion</a> merger with Time Warner <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, the telecommunications giant is attempting to put the head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, on its witness list in the trial.</p><p class='black-text'>It is quite rare for government officials to be listed as witnesses in such cases. But the complexity and high-profile nature of the case has already distinguished it from precedent. The case has also drawn attention as Trump has <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/att-may-call-antitrust-chief-to-testify-over-time-warner-purchase-in-unprecedented-move.html">verbally censured CNN</a>, a channel owned by Time Warner, multiple times.</p><p class='black-text'>"This is a matter to be discussed in court, not the press, and as we have consistently told all reporters yesterday and today, we will reserve comment on it for the courtroom," Dan Petrocelli, lead trial counsel for Time Warner and AT&T, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/att-may-call-antitrust-chief-to-testify-over-time-warner-purchase-in-unprecedented-move.html">said in a statement.</a></p><p class='black-text'>The trial, which is scheduled for March 19th, is also unique because AT&T has amassed more than 100 lobbyists for its cause and its top litigator, Daniel Petrocelli, once defended Mr. Trump in a lawsuit involving Trump University. Time Warner has hired attorney <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/14/business/att-antitrust-witness-delrahim.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&action=click&contentCollection=business&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront">Christine A. Varney, the former head of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division</a>, as its representative.</p><p class='black-text'>"AT&T is sending a message by adding Delrahim to the list,"<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/14/media/makan-delrahim-witness-att-time-warner/index.html"> said Daniel Lyons</a>, a professor at Boston College's law school and a visiting fellow at American Enterprise Institute. "They're signaling to the Justice Department that they're taking this selective enforcement defense very seriously and intend to move forward with it to trial."</p><p class='black-text'>AT&T may intend to call Delrahim as a witness because last year, he gave an interview to a <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/14/media/makan-delrahim-witness-att-time-warner/index.html">Canadian television network </a>in which he stated that he did not see a major antitrust problem with the deal. This itself would serve as concrete evidence in favor of AT&T. AT&T has also claimed that Delrahim has unfairly targeted its deal. The phone giant described the government's decision as "<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/14/business/att-antitrust-witness-delrahim.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness&action=click&contentCollection=business&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront">selective enforcement</a>" and as evidence, it pointed to a 2011 decision by the Justice Department to approve a similar deal, Comcast's <a href="https://nypost.com/2017/12/26/doj-might-target-comcast-nbcuniversal-merger-next/">merger</a> with NBCUniversal. AT&T is expected to also claim Mr. Delrahim has changed his views of the deal multiple times and is mercurial in his statements.</p><p class='black-text'>However, there is a flip side to this, as Delrahim's testimony could also prove problematic for AT&T: "You never call the witness unless you know what the witness will say," Lyons <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/14/media/makan-delrahim-witness-att-time-warner/index.html">said</a>. "It's possible they have a smoking gun and they want present it to Delrahim...absent that I think there's a chance this will backfire."</p><p class='black-text'>The question now is whether the government will permit Delrahim to testify. "The government will attempt to keep Delrahim from testifying by moving to strike the selective enforcement defense or use other means such as objecting to his identification on the witness list on relevance, work product privilege, and other reasons," <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/14/media/makan-delrahim-witness-att-time-warner/index.html">said Andre Barlow</a>, a partner at Doyle, Barlow & Mazard PLLC who specializes in antitrust cases.</p> http://www.pws.io/att-makes-unusual-move-in-antitrust-case Fri, 16 Feb 2018 21:06:36 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar CEO Laurent Potdevin Leaves Lululemon Due to Conduct Claims http://www.pws.io/ceo-laurent-potdevin-leaves-lululemon-due-to-conduct-claims <p class='black-text'>Laurent Potdevin recently stepped down from his position as CEO of sportswear company Lululemon Athletica, Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/LULU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">LULU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="LULU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="LULU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="LULU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> in the wake of claims of inappropriate conduct against the 50 year-old Swiss executive.</p><p class='black-text'>In a <a href="http://investor.lululemon.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1056351">statement</a> released last Monday, Lululemon announced Potdevin's resignation from his position effective immediately, stating that the company "expects all employees to exemplify the highest levels of integrity and respect for one another" and that Potdevin "fell short of these standards of conduct." On a day when U.S. stocks were suffering a general downswing, Lululemon's stock dropped an additional 3% following the announcement.</p><p class='black-text'>Lululemon has been notably vague in its language around Potdevin's resignation, leaving it unclear how the now-former CEO had failed to meet the company's standards of conduct. According to a report by <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/lululemon-ceo-laurent-potdevin-had-inappropriate-employee-relationship.html">CNBC</a>, Potdevin, who has served as CEO of Lululemon for the last four years, allegedly had been in a years-long relationship with a female designer employed by the company. The designer left her full-time position with the company in 2014, but continued to work as a contractor for Lululemon. Sources within the company say that this relationship is one of the factors that led to Potdevin's departure, though there were other conduct issues that also contributed to the decision.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5547" alt="" src="//images2.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/a8bcbb1c167dd0f61481929d74f71c21.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine (Wikimedia Commons)</div> </div><p class='black-text'>Potdevin joined Lululemon in January 2014, taking over the position from the company's founder Chip Wilson, who stepped down from his position after a scandal erupted around his <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lululemon-founder-chip-wilson-issues-apology-following-thigh-rubbing-pants-comments/">comments</a> regarding his company's recalled yoga pants. Potdevin had previously served as an executive for Burton Snowboards for a decade and as the company's CEO for five years, before taking over leadership of the shoe company Toms as its president in 2011.</p><p class='black-text'>Though Potdevin's departure was unexpected, he is not leaving empty-handed. An SEC filing by the company shows that Lululemon has agreed to pay Potdevin a total of $5 million in his severance package, with a lump sum of $3.35 million to be paid and the remaining $1.65 million to be paid in installments over 18 months.</p><p class='black-text'>Lululemon does not have a successor for Potdevin immediately at hand. Until the company hires a new CEO, board chairman Glenn Murphy will oversee the direction of the company as "Executive Chairman" with three current Lululemon executives reporting to him in expanded roles. The executives, who will each take on a different aspect of the CEO's responsibilities, are the current senior vice president of marketing Sun Choe, chief operating officer Stuart Haselden, and Celeste Burgoyne, executive vice president of the company's Americas division.</p> http://www.pws.io/ceo-laurent-potdevin-leaves-lululemon-due-to-conduct-claims Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:47:54 -0500 Kingston Pung Markets Unsure of Next Direction http://www.pws.io/markets-unsure-of-next-direction <p class='black-text'>The stock market finished the week mostly positive, marking positive gains for 6 straight days. Every day was positive this week for the Dow and S&P 500 as the markets continue to try and erase the losses seen earlier in the month. The Dow 30 was higher by 16, the S&P 500 added 1, and the Nasdaq 100 lost 16.</p><p class='black-text'>Caterpillar <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CAT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CAT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CAT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CAT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CAT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> held back the Dow today as the IRS decided to add another $300 million to the company's tax bill, which now totals $2.3B. Caterpillar continues to argue that its offshore tax strategy is legitimate, and said that the $300 million will not have a major impact on the company's health. Shares were lower on the day by 2%.</p><p class='black-text'>YouTube <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> seems on track to earn more in advertising revenue than streaming giant Netflix <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NFLX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NFLX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. Analysts at R.W. Baird have predicted that YouTube is expected to reach $15 billion in ad sales this year, whereas Netflix is only on track for around $12 billion. We'll know soon, as Alphabet, YouTube's owner, is expected to report their earnings from revenue on YouTube ads shortly. Shares of Alphabet were higher on the day by about a half of a percent.</p><p class='black-text'>In other news, Coca Cola <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/KO"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">KO</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="KO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="KO" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="KO" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced earnings that were better than Wall Street's expectations. The holiday quarter was good to the beverage giant and shares were higher by 0.70% on the day.</p><p class='black-text'>Jack in the Box <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JACK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JACK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JACK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JACK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JACK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were higher by almost 6% on news that an activist investment group upped their stake in the company. Jana Partners now owns 7.3% of the company worth around $134 million. The company recently sold their Qdoba brand to Apollo for $305 million.</p> http://www.pws.io/markets-unsure-of-next-direction Fri, 16 Feb 2018 20:37:45 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Stock markets now higher 5 days in a row. http://www.pws.io/stock-markets-now-higher-5-days-in-a-row <p class='black-text'>The stock market was higher for the 5th straight day today though trading was more choppy than previous days. After such a move higher many are placing their bets that this short term run may be running out of steam. The major indices have now recovered over 65% of last weeks wild declines. The Dow 30 was higher by 300, the S&P 500 added 32, and the Nasdaq 100 gained 111.</p><p class='black-text'>McDonalds <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MCD"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MCD</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MCD" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MCD" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were lower on the day as they reported that they would no longer include cheeseburgers in their happy meals. In an effort to put a more "healthy" menu out to families, McDonalds is looking to have at least half of their happy meals at 600 calories or less by 2022. According to CNBC, 30% of orders at McDonalds are "Family" orders which include happy meals. Investors were concerned about how this may affect their bottom line in the meantime.</p><p class='black-text'>Fannie Mae <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FNMA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FNMA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FNMA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FNMA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FNMA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced a net loss of $6.5 billion for the previous quarter which they blamed on the new tax laws. Many Wall Street analysts had expected this but now the question is how much money they will ask for from the government. Expectations are around $3.7 billion at the moment. Remember they already borrowed $187 billion during the financial crisis, of which they have repaid just over $100 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>Investors got their first look at Warren Buffett's latest stock purchases today. Berksire Hathaway <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BRK.B"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BRK.B</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BRK.B" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BRK.B" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BRK.B" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> reported on their 13F that they had increased their position in Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, while reducing their position in Wells Fargo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> as the Federal Reserve has restricted them. They also reduced positions in American Airlines <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, General Motors <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and most notably IBM <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/IBM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">IBM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="IBM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="IBM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="IBM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> which they almost eliminated completely. Their cost basis on IBM is now around $170.</p><p class='black-text'>In other news, Google <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> will start blocking ad they don't see as "user friendly" in what many see as an attempt to push their own ads. With $3 of every $10 in ad revenue going to Google directly it seems like a smart move.</p> http://www.pws.io/stock-markets-now-higher-5-days-in-a-row Thu, 15 Feb 2018 10:27:22 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Four Straight Days of Market Gains http://www.pws.io/four-straight-days-of-market-gains <p class='black-text'>The stock market started the day lower as inflation numbers came in stronger than expected. The numbers showed a rise in consumer prices, but recently we saw weaker retail sales, so this was seen as negative. But the banks stepped in and pulled the markets into positive territory to close the day higher for the 4th consecutive day. The Dow 30 closed the day higher by 256, the S&P 500 added 35, and the Nasdaq 100 gained 130.</p><p class='black-text'>Goldman Sachs <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was one of the leaders in the financial space today, as they reported that during last week's meltdown, as retail investors were selling, their corporate desk was flooded with buy orders. Corporate buy orders were 4.5 times higher than their average, indicating that corporations took the opportunity to buy back some of their shares. While this won't stave off a major market correction, it is a good sign and will likely cause earnings per share to show higher than normal next quarter.</p><p class='black-text'>Chipotle <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CMG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CMG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CMG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CMG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CMG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> rallied sharply today as it was announced that they chose Brian Niccol from Taco Bell as their new CEO. The company has been on a CEO hunt for the past few weeks in an effort to recover the brand and start in a new direction.</p><p class='black-text'>Baidu <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BIDU"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BIDU</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BIDU" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares shot higher today by about 5% as the company reported earnings that were better than Wall Street's expectations. Investors were concerned about competition from Alibaba <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BABA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BABA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BABA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BABA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> but this earnings shows that Baidu can still compete.</p> http://www.pws.io/four-straight-days-of-market-gains Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:23:38 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Google Allows Others to Buy Its Proprietary Chip http://www.pws.io/google-allows-others-to-buy-its-proprietary-chip <p class='black-text'>Tech behemoth Google <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has revealed yet another of its technological secrets: a proprietary AI chip that was designed to train and execute <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/12/googles-ai-chips-are-now-open-for-public-use/">deep neural networks</a>, which will be integral to the future of the computer and machine learning industry.</p><p class='black-text'>On Monday, Google announced that it would make this chip accessible to other companies through a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/technology/google-artificial-intelligence-chips.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">cloud-computing service</a> which would allow them to purchase it for a fee. The chips will be called "Cloud Tensor Processing Units," or Cloud "TPUs." The chips work by <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/12/googles-ai-chips-are-now-open-for-public-use/">providing customers with specialized circuits solely for the purpose of accelerating AI computation. </a>Google tested using <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/12/googles-ai-chips-are-now-open-for-public-use/">64</a> of them to train <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/12/googles-ai-chips-are-now-open-for-public-use/">ResNet-50</a> in only 30 minutes.</p><p class='black-text'>"We are trying to reach as many people as we can as quickly as we can," said <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/technology/google-artificial-intelligence-chips.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">Zak Stone</a>, who works alongside the small team of Google engineers that designs these chips.</p><p class='black-text'>It is common for technology companies of this scale to design a lot of their own hardware in an insular fashion within their own facilities in order to cut costs and improve the efficiency of their <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/technology/google-artificial-intelligence-chips.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">multibillion-dollar data centers</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>"This is about packing as much computing power as possible within a small area, within a heat budget, within a power budget," <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/technology/google-artificial-intelligence-chips.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">said Casey Bisson,</a> who helps oversee a cloud computing service called Joyent.</p><p class='black-text'>In fact, Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has also started designing a custom artificial intelligence chip that would power future <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/12/17004734/amazon-custom-alexa-echo-ai-chips-smart-speaker">Echo</a> devices and improve the quality and response time of its Alexa voice assistant. Microsoft <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/MSFT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">MSFT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="MSFT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is using a fleet of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/12/googles-ai-chips-are-now-open-for-public-use/">speed up its in-house machine learning operations and provide customers of its Azure cloud platform with accelerated networking. </a>In the future, Microsoft will work on providing customers with a way to run their machine learning models on top of the FPGAs, just like the company's proprietary code.</p><p class='black-text'>Potential applications for such a device include teaching computers to recognize objects, called computer vision technology. Lyft, for instance, has been trying to apply this technology to their development of driverless cars, attempting to get the vehicles to visually identify street signs or <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/technology/google-artificial-intelligence-chips.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">pedestrians</a>. Considering that these chips were originally designed to <a href="https://www.wired.com/2017/05/google-rattles-tech-world-new-ai-chip/">render graphics for games</a> and other software, they also have a huge potential for application in that department, though this is a market sector currently dominated by developer Nvidia <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NVDA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NVDA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Google is unfazed by smaller competitors. "Google has become so big, it makes sense to invest in chips," <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/technology/google-artificial-intelligence-chips.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">said Fred Weber,</a> who spent a decade as the chief technology officer at the chip maker AMD. "That gives them leverage. They can cut out the middleman."</p><p class='black-text'>Google is currently charging <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2018/02/13/gv-leads-25-million-investment-in-ujets-customer-support-platform/">$6.50 per TPU per hour, </a>though that pricing may shift once the hardware is generally available. Right now, Google is still throttling the Cloud TPU quotas available to its customers, but anyone can request access to the new chips. Once people get access to the Cloud TPUs, Google has several optimized reference models available that will let them start pulling the ropes and using the hardware to accelerate AI computation.</p> http://www.pws.io/google-allows-others-to-buy-its-proprietary-chip Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:17:06 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar When Will Market Steady? Traders Want to Know http://www.pws.io/when-will-market-steady-traders-want-to-know <p class='black-text'>Just weeks after the stock market hit an all time high in a bullish spree, nearly <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-11/when-will-it-end-traders-bloodied-by-stock-wipeout-seek-clues">$5 trillion </a>was wiped out from markets worldwide in what is apparently the worst week for U.S. equities in two years.</p><p class='black-text'>While the comeback from this sudden downturn was strong and sharp, with the Dow climbing <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/investing/stock-market-dow-today/index.html">410</a> points on Monday and the S&P scoring its biggest<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/investing/stock-market-dow-today/index.html"> 2-day percentage</a> gain since June 2016, market volatility has traders and investors worried about the future.</p><p class='black-text'>"We don't think we are out of the woods yet," <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/investing/stock-market-dow-today/index.html">said</a> Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial. "This is an oversold bounce after last week's drubbing."</p><p class='black-text'>The volatility is beginning to cast doubts on the equities markets and corporate bonds themselves. Profits were easier to come by when the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-11/this-bond-stock-clash-has-just-begun-as-inflation-bogeyman-looms">10-year yield </a>traded in its smallest range in a half-century, inflation stayed low, and stability held across financial markets. Gains are harder when low rates start to disappear and are replaced by such instability, regardless of whether this instability also yields extremely high profits at times.</p><p class='black-text'>"What's happening now is just price discovery between bonds and equities -- how far can the bond market push yields up before the equity market cracks? The big fear in risk markets is that we get a big CPI print and it validates the narrative that inflation is coming back and the Fed is going to have to move faster," <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-11/this-bond-stock-clash-has-just-begun-as-inflation-bogeyman-looms">said</a> Stephen Bartolini, portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price.</p><p class='black-text'>Speculation regarding the driving forces behind the current market madness has narrowed it down to four main factors.</p><p class='black-text'>First, we have inflation. Inflation has taken the form of <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/investing/stock-market-volatility-faqs/index.html">rising wages</a>, which has caused prices to increase overall to accommodate higher labor costs. This has led to the second factor - interest rates - rising as the Fed utilizes them to counter inflation. Higher interest rates would make companies' stocks less valuable, as they would become less profitable. Consequently, bond yields <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/investing/stock-market-volatility-faqs/index.html">rise</a> because bond prices fall due to their low degree of attractiveness after higher prices.</p><p class='black-text'>The fourth and final factor is an overheated stock market, which is a separate but important issue nonetheless, as investors believed stocks were becoming pricey after a long-running bull market.</p><p class='black-text'>Keeping these conditions in mind, the market may have just collapsed because overheated stocks needed to be quelled at some point. Many believe the worst is over.</p><p class='black-text'>"The probability of a recession remains well below average, given strong global GDP growth and loose financial conditions," Goldman chief U.S. equity strategist David Kostin <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/investing/stock-market-dow-today/index.html">wrote</a> in a recent report.</p><p class='black-text'>Corporate profits continue to rise, and they'll likely grow even bigger after companies start to realize the benefits of the new corporate tax overhaul that comes into effect later this year. The economy is expected to grow strong this quarter, and inflation is still quite low.</p><p class='black-text'>What's happening now could be considered a correction of sorts - that is, when stocks fall <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/investing/stock-market-volatility-faqs/index.html">10%</a> from a recent high. While this hasn't explicitly happened, the market has come close, meaning that stock prices are actually becoming more affordable and investors should adopt a buy-and-hold strategy to make money in the long term.</p> http://www.pws.io/when-will-market-steady-traders-want-to-know Wed, 14 Feb 2018 16:10:20 -0500 Tamanna Chhibbar From Raiblocks to NANO: An Introduction to Nano http://www.pws.io/from-raiblocks-to-nano-an-introduction-to-nano <p class='black-text'>Earlier in February, the relatively new cryptocurrency <a href="https://cryptocurrencynews.com/daily-news/altcoins/raiblocks-rebrands-to-nano-xrb-37-increase/">Raiblocks successfully completed a name change</a> from Raiblocks (XRB) to Nanocurrency (NANO). It also successfully added a new website and logo, plus wallets and addresses. <a href="https://medium.com/@nanocurrency/the-rebrand-rationale-5c2f30af6e9c">The core developer team </a>changed the name mostly because users were confused about how to pronounce it, though the team was also concerned that the Raiblocks sounded generic and boring. The crypto community welcomed and celebrated the Nano name change decision, and Nano's price shot up 38% after the name change was complete. It currently has a $1.3 billion market capitalization, 25th of all cryptos. Savvy investors would be wise to carefully watch the young crypto as it transitions into a new stage.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5501" alt="RaiBlock's Former Logo" src="//images1.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/5862ecbfe7cd09a9121f0aa57b11f941.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; Andrey Apoev / Bigstockphoto</div> </div><div class="image-description">RaiBlock's Former Logo</div><p class='black-text'><a href="https://nano.org">Nano eschews the normal design</a> of a blockchain, or a line of blocks that records transaction history, in favor of a block lattice, or directed acyclic graph (DAG). A block lattice is a record system in which every account holder maintains a private blockchain in which each block holds a single transaction. Because each account holder provides the computational power to verify only their own transactions, the entire network is not required to update the account ledger together at the same time. Transfers require both a send transaction from the sender and a receive transaction from the receiving account. Nano touts basically instantaneous, no-fee transactions, unlimited scalability, minimal resources for network maintenance, and trustless decentralization. Nano cannot be mined and has no miners, only nodes that maintain the network. It has reached a maximum supply of 133,248,290 NANO. Nano is secured by a proof-of-stake form of node representative democracy: consensus is reached through votes weighted by account balances.</p><p class='black-text'>Some of the Nano team's goals include Nano becoming a Internet standard that is fully decentralized and free from political disagreement, competing with fiat currencies as a peer-to-peer payment mechanism, establishing the premier cross-currency trading pair on exchanges, and helping the world's unbanked poor to control and secure their finances. Nano hopes that if it reaches these goals, it will transform money.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://hackernoon.com/where-to-buy-nano-raiblocks-xrb-binance-kucoin-6a9a64672bf4">Investors attracted to</a> Nano's vision of the future of money have a few options to invest. NANO can currently be bought on just four exchanges: KuCoin, OKEx, BitFlip, and Binance. An easy way to buy NANO is to buy Bitcoin or Ethereum (ETH) and then send the funds to Binance to then trade for NANO. Long-term investors should store their newly acquired NANO off the exchange on their own wallets. Currently 3 wallets exist: an online, desktop, and integrated Telegram app wallet. The Nano team will release a mobile and light wallet in the future.</p><p class='black-text'>A few of NANO's headwinds include its youth and market frothiness. NANO was founded in 2015 by one man, Colin LeMahieu, and has risen out of obscurity in the last year alone. So NANO's ledger and network are relatively untested against cyberattacks and fraud. Also, NANO's recent rise could be a sign of irrational exuberance. <a href="https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/raiblocks/">Its price exploded</a> from $0.008 in March 2017 to an all-time high of $37.62 on January 2nd. Although NANO has fallen with the crypto bear market, its current price may still be overvalued with respect to utility and adoption.</p><p class='black-text'>However, Nano is a new frontier of cryptocurrency that offers exciting technology and applications. It would be reasonable to hold NANO as part of a well-diversified portfolio.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author does not hold any positions in NANO.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/from-raiblocks-to-nano-an-introduction-to-nano Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:57:53 -0500 Eric Yao Market Volatility Not Calming Just Yet http://www.pws.io/market-volatility-not-calming-just-yet <p class='black-text'>The markets started this week in a hurry to try and erase last week's gain. The S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has had three winning days in a row now, with Monday being the most exciting of days. As wide as the range is, for now the SPY seems to be settling into the $260 to $270 area, and many think that we are settling down from here.</p><p class='black-text'>The Nasdaq 100 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has also been working its way higher for the last three days. The volatility of the moves has slowed dramatically, which many believe indicates that the QQQ is settling in to the new range for a while.</p><p class='black-text'>Metals and Mining stocks <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XME"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XME</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XME" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XME" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has been a standout sector this week so far. The XME is higher by more than 4% in just the first few days of the week. The recent pullback that started in January has attracted investors to move some money into the space. For now the long term trend remains intact.</p><p class='black-text'>Oil and Oil Service stocks have remained near their lows so far this week. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Explore & Prod. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XOP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XOP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XOP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XOP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XOP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and VanEck Vectors Oil Services <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/OIH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">OIH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="OIH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="OIH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="OIH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> have pulled back over recent weeks due to weak oil prices. For now traders have not yet been convinced that the price of oil is ready to rebound.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, volatility <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VXX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VXX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VXX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> has been rather muted this week, though holding near recent highs. In moves past we would see the VXX pop higher for a day or two and then retreat to lows. This time around the VXX has pushed to highs, but as the market has calmed, the VXX has remained near those highs. Many investors are just not willing to take off their portfolio hedge.</p> http://www.pws.io/market-volatility-not-calming-just-yet Wed, 14 Feb 2018 15:36:54 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Amazon To Launch "Shipping With Amazon" http://www.pws.io/amazon-to-launch-shipping-with-amazon <p class='black-text'>The online retail giant <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=18749">Amazon</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is testing a new shipping service that could threaten the market share of traditional shipping companies like <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=124423">FedEx Corporation</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FDX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FDX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FDX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FDX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=238570">United Parcel Service, Inc</a> <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UPS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UPS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UPS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UPS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UPS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. According to <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-launch-delivery-service-that-would-vie-with-fedex-ups-1518175920?mod=e2tw">a report from the <i>Wall Street Journal</i></a>, Amazon plans to roll out a pilot version of the program, called Shipping With Amazon (SWA), in Los Angeles in coming weeks. A package-delivery service, Shipping With Amazon would see the company picking up packages directly from retailers and delivering them to consumers, reducing the need for third-party shipping companies. In response to the news, both FedEx and UPS saw <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-package-delivery-service-to-compete-with-fedex-and-ups-2018-2">their share prices fall</a> on Friday.</p><p class='black-text'>Los Angeles, a sprawling, high-demand city, is frequently used as a testing site for Amazon's various delivery initiatives . After a trial run in Los Angeles, the company plans to eventually expand SWA to all thirty-seven U.S. cities in which it currently operates delivery services.</p><p class='black-text'>Shipping With Amazon would capitalize on Amazon's already vast network of third-party retailers. In the testing stage, the program will be available to certain registered third-party vendors, and will only become more widely offered to all retailers after further development.</p><p class='black-text'>Though it seems that Amazon is seeking to eventually compete directly with FedEx and UPS, the traditional shipping companies have so far appeared unconcerned by Amazon's most recent foray into the industry. "The headline in [the Feb. 9, 2017] <i>Wall Street Journal</i> demonstrates a lack of basic understanding of the full scale of the global transportation industry," <a href="https://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2018/02/09/fedex-says-wsj-amazon-article-lacks-basic.html">said</a> Patrick Fitzgerald, a senior marketing and communications executive for FedEx. Amazon has yet to build a shipping and logistics network of a comparable scale to those of FedEx and UPS.</p><p class='black-text'>In its pursuit of expansion, the electronic commerce company has lately ventured into new sectors, though it has continued to develop its shipping and logistics network alongside these initiatives. Its big June 2017 purchase of Whole Foods was the latest move in Amazon's growing involvement in food retail, which the company began exploring with AmazonFresh, its grocery delivery service <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/28/amazon-debuts-amazonfresh-pickup-drive-up-groceries-delivered-to-your-trunk/">launched</a> last year.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazon-to-launch-shipping-with-amazon Tue, 13 Feb 2018 23:07:50 -0500 Kingston Pung After Four Years, Twitter Becomes Profitable http://www.pws.io/after-four-years-twitter-becomes-profitable <p class='black-text'>The social media platform Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> celebrated <a href="http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AMDA-2F526X/5998567709x0x970892/F9B4F616-659A-454B-89C6-28480DA53CCA/Q4_2017_Shareholder_Letter.pdf">its first profitable quarter</a> since going public in November 2013. On Thursday, the San Francisco-based company announced fourth-quarter net income of $91 million on $731.6 million in revenue, and saw an immediate response in the market.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter's stock rose more than 25% before the start of trading on the day that it released its Q4 2017 earnings. As markets opened on Thursday, Twitter's shares stood at $34.78, the highest they've been in three years. The company's performance at the end of 2017 was better than expected---analysts on Wall Street had <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/02/08/why-twitter-is-now-profitable-for-the-first-time-ever/?utm_term=.30f940335132">projected</a> that the company would generate revenue of $686 million in the fourth quarter, more than $45 million less than it actually earned.</p><p class='black-text'>This latest earnings release also marks the first time that the company reported year-over-year growth in the fiscal year 2017. The year's previous quarters had seen drops between 4 to 8 percent from corresponding periods in 2016. In an improvement on these figures, Twitter's latest quarterly revenue <a href="http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AMDA-2F526X/5998567709x0x971034/0258E410-8938-45CC-AE40-6D1991CC2F3E/Q4_2017_Twitter_Earnings_Transcript.pdf">was up 2%</a> from $717 million for last year's fourth quarter, with the site's latest advertising revenue up 7% from the same period. The company's fourth-quarter performance compensated for its poorer quarterly showings earlier in the year, pulling Twitter's total annual revenue numbers up to $2.4 billion.</p><p class='black-text'>The company's first profitable quarter was accompanied by less promising figures in the site's monthly active users. The company reported an average of 68 million monthly active users in the United States for the quarter, in a fall of 1 million from the third quarter. Twitter has struggled to continue to grow its user base in the U.S., where the social media platform seems close to saturation. The company's latest quarterly report was the second time in 2017 that U.S. monthly users figures fell in 2017.</p><p class='black-text'>The site's stagnating number of U.S. monthly users comes alongside slowing growth of Twitter's global user base. Twitter's average monthly active user count for the quarter came to 330 million worldwide, up 4% from the previous year. Though analysts had anticipated that the site would actually gain of 1 million monthly users from the previous quarter, Twitter saw zero net increase in monthly users from the third quarter. The number of Twitter's daily active users in the latest quarter rose 12% year over year, the fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in this sector for the company.</p> http://www.pws.io/after-four-years-twitter-becomes-profitable Tue, 13 Feb 2018 22:59:46 -0500 Kingston Pung Markets enjoy 3 days of gains. http://www.pws.io/markets-enjoy-3-days-of-gains <p class='black-text'>The markets were slightly higher today thanks again to the financials and tech. The Dow 30 added 39, the S&P 500 gained 7 and the Nasdaq 100 added 31. Tomorrow investors will be looking at news on retail sales and crude oil inventories which are due out in the morning.</p><p class='black-text'>Metals and mining stocks continued their rebound today. Since marking a low last Friday the XME is higher by 8.5% as investors seem to be rotating back into the space. Transports and emerging markets also led the way today as some of the best performing spaces in the market.</p><p class='black-text'>On the downside, Oil gave back some of yesterday's gains, and was a weak area of the market. The dollar was also off by about a half of a percent.</p><p class='black-text'>Under Armour <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was your leader in the S&P 500 today as the company reported earnings that were in line with Wall Street's expectations. Revenue for the quarter was higher than what analysts had predicted which investors cheered. The stock soared 15% today, running right into the every popular, 200 day moving average where it's momentum stalled.</p><p class='black-text'>Amerisource Bergen <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ABC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ABC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ABC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ABC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ABC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was also a big headline today as Walgreens Boots Alliance <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WBA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WBA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is said to be in talks to buy the company. Walgreens already has a stake in the company of around 26% but seems to be looking to grab the whole company. Shares were higher on the day by 8.80%. This is a pure distribution play to try and stay ahead of what Amazon may be planning.</p> http://www.pws.io/markets-enjoy-3-days-of-gains Tue, 13 Feb 2018 10:59:01 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Trump Weekly: Never a Dull Moment http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-never-a-dull-moment <p class='black-text'>Over the past week Trump has yet again found himself at the center of multiple scandals.</p><p class='black-text'>Earlier this month, Trump approved the <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/01/politics/nunes-memo-donald-trump/index.html">declassification</a> of a memo supposedly proving that the FBI was biased in its investigation of Trump campaign collusion with Russia. While Trump clearly hoped the memo would exonerate him in the eyes of the American public, evidence suggests that the memo was not exactly the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/02/06/the-nunes-memo-is-looking-like-a-bust-for-trump/?utm_term=.f6b372e44696">remedy</a> he sought.</p><p class='black-text'>Drafted by Republican Representative Devin Nunes of California, the memo stirred controversy in part because it circumvented typical security vetting procedures and released confidential information that could taint the credibility of the ongoing Russia investigation. Some also argue that it is clearly a partisan attempt to protect Trump at the expense of public trust in American institutions. This argument is only bolstered by the fact that on February 9, Trump <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/09/donald-trump-blocks-democrat-nunes-memo-russia">refused</a> to declassify a countering memo drafted by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff.</p><p class='black-text'>Trump also stoked the partisan fires by suggesting that Democratic party members who refused to applaud his State of the Union address might have committed <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/us/politics/trump-accuses-democrats-treason-market-rout.html">treason</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Trump has previously said that he has nothing to hide as far as the Russia investigation is concerned. Indeed, Trump has even said that he is eager to cooperate with the investigation, and would submit to an interview conducted by special counsel Bob Mueller. But his lawyers are now<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/05/us/politics/trump-lawyers-special-counsel-interview.html"> balking</a> at the prospect of such an interview, possibly concerned that Trump could be caught lying or contradicting himself. If Trump refuses, Mueller could subpoena Trump to testify before a grand jury. If Trump fights the subpoena, the battle could rage on all the way to the Supreme Court.</p><p class='black-text'>Trump also became embroiled in further controversy after he defended a top aide, Rob Porter, who was accused of domestic abuse. White House officials seem <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/politics/donald-trump-rob-porter-white-house/index.html">confused</a> by Trump's conflicting messages about Porter. In private, Trump was apparently willing to criticize Porter, referring to him as a "sick puppy." But via Twitter, Trump has <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/962348831789797381?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2018%2F02%2F12%2Fpolitics%2Fdonald-trump-rob-porter-white-house%2Findex.html">lamented</a> that careers can be ruined over mere allegations, without due process. The White House has <a href="https://theintercept.com/2018/02/07/rob-porter-wives-abuse-trump-aide/">refused to disclose </a>what and when exactly it knew about the allegations against Porter.</p><p class='black-text'>Finally, Trump also expressed his desire to hold a <a href="https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/10/americas-had-military-parades-before-heres-why-trumps-will-be-different-216962">full-scale military parade,</a> the likes of which have not been seen in the U.S. since 1946.</p><p class='black-text'>In somewhat more productive news, Trump announced his 2018 <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/12/politics/whats-in-the-trump-budget/index.html">appropriations budget</a>. If the budget is anything to go by, the administration's priorities are fossil fuels, opioid crisis, securing the southern border, and other domestic issues, such as pressuring Congress to again attempt a repeal of Obamacare and ensuring that "able-bodied" food stamp recipients are employed.</p><p class='black-text'>For the coming week, Trump will reveal the <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/defense/373204-week-ahead-trump-to-detail-716b-defense-request">full details</a> of his 2019 budget proposal, even as the 2018 appropriations budget is still in the works.</p> http://www.pws.io/trump-weekly-never-a-dull-moment Mon, 12 Feb 2018 20:47:14 -0500 Ariel Courage 证监会加密货币听证会是否改变其未来命运? http://www.pws.io/证监会加密货币听证会是否改变其未来命运 <p class='black-text'>2018年2月6日上午10点,在德克森参议院办公大楼,美国参议院举行了关于比特币 (BTC) ,加密货币和政府监督作用的听证会。有人担心由特朗普总统和司法部长杰夫·塞申斯 (Jeff Sessions) 领导的美国政府将以严峻的监管手段严厉打击加密货币领域。但是从听证会结果上来看,整体情绪是乐观的,给加密货币带来了比预期更多的期望。</p><p class='black-text'>证券交易委员会 (SEC) 主席杰伊·克莱顿 (Jay Clayton) 和商品期货交易委员会 (CFTC) 主席克里斯托弗·詹卡洛 (Christopher Giancarlo) 出席了此次听证会。克莱顿于2017年1月由特朗普任命; 詹卡洛于2013年被奥巴马提名为部长。两人都在财务和私营部门任职。</p><p class='black-text'>听证会的某些部分可能被认为是对加密货币的不好看。ICO和联邦证券法被几次强调。民主党参议员伊丽莎白·沃伦 (Elizabeth Warren) 强烈反对ICOs,指出很多其实是庞氏骗局,应该保护投资者免受欺骗性和误导性的虚假广告。对此,克莱顿证实,确实没有公司按照证券法的要求注册ICO,但SEC也一直在密切观察很多ICO。他重申,SEC将会继续管理规范所有的ICO。由于ICOs占据了加密货币领域的很大一部分,而且许多ICO违反证券法的规定,所以听证会对合法性的关注可能对ICOs是不利的。</p><p class='black-text'>然而,总体情绪还是看涨。克莱顿强调支持区块链技术,希望人们追求其发展潜力。在共和党参议员汤姆·科顿 (Tom Cotton) 问及分布式网络的发展潜力后,詹卡洛乐观地回应说:"我们要知道,如果没有比特币,就不会有分布式账本技术[...]这要归功于新一代,我们要尊重他们对虚拟货币的热情,通过一个周全平衡的回应而不是轻视的态度。"他还称赞了区块链的透明度和监管益处,并补充说,在全球金融危机之前,它将帮助监管机构意识到与抵押相关的衍生品的风险。然后,詹卡洛用他三十岁的侄女举例。他侄女是比特币的忠实拥护者,詹卡洛表示这样的投资人应该受到监管机构的支持。最后,参议院沃纳似乎更加看好加密货币。他将加密货币与手机和无线通信相比较,因为它有可能成为改变世界的技术。他预测到2020年市场价值将达到20万亿美元。</p><p class='black-text'>大家对詹卡洛和沃纳的声明的关注在很大程度上忽略了对ICO的担忧。 在r/Bitcoin和r/Cryptocurrency Reddits上,人们大力称赞 詹卡洛和他的侄女。投资者也对轻度监管态度感到高兴,BTC和其它加密货币的价格从3个月低点大幅反弹。听证会之后,詹卡洛的Twitter涨了14倍的粉丝。</p><p class='black-text'>展望未来,投资者应该避开ICOs以及支持ICO的平台,因为他们可能卷入欺诈和未注册的证券案件,比如以太坊 (ETH) 和NEO (NEO) 。但投资者应该寻找能够实现高科技变革的实际愿景的货币,包括BTC,Litecoin (LTC) ,IOTA,Stellar (XLM), Nano (XRB),Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL) 等投资组合。美国政府喜欢创新,并将支持加密货币继续创新。</p> http://www.pws.io/证监会加密货币听证会是否改变其未来命运 Mon, 12 Feb 2018 11:40:06 -0500 Eric Yao Markets Recover Half of Last Week's Losses http://www.pws.io/markets-recover-half-of-last-weeks-losses <p class='black-text'>The markets came roaring back today as the Dow 30 added 406, the S&P 500 gained 36, and the Nasdaq 100 popped 107.</p><p class='black-text'>Last week was the worst week for the markets in over two years, and for now it seems investors are enjoying the opportunity to buy the dip. Interest rates took a break today as investors turned their attention back to the markets.</p><p class='black-text'>Commodities were leaders today. The metals and mining space, along with energy, were the sector leaders. After suffering strong pullbacks over the last few weeks, the metals and miners added 3% and energy popped 2%.</p><p class='black-text'>Under Armour <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> is set to report earnings after the close today. There is no doubt this will be an important earnings for the company. The company has had its worst year as a public company. The CEO has promised that a "pivot" in the strategy should pay off. The stock was higher today by 6% ahead of this, but many speculated that this was simply short covering into the release.</p><p class='black-text'>Apple <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was the led the Dow today, adding 4%. Boeing <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> came in a close second with a 3.5% gain. Both stocks have now recovered more than half of last week's declines. The Dow has regained at least half of last week's declines thanks to today's moves alone.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced they will lay off of some employees at their Seattle headquarters to focus more attention to growing businesses. The layoffs affect Amazon's toys, books, and groceries divisions, so they can add more to the Alexa, AWS, and digital entertainment divisions. This may be the first look at how next quarters earnings will shape up. The stock was higher by 3.77% today.</p> http://www.pws.io/markets-recover-half-of-last-weeks-losses Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:05:59 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Titans of Beauty Industry Explore Revitalizing Strategies http://www.pws.io/titans-of-beauty-industry-explore-revitalizing-strategies <p class='black-text'>All across America, old drugstore staple brands like CoverGirl, Maybelline, a brand owned by L'Oréal (EPA: OR), and Revlon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/REV"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">REV</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="REV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="REV" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="REV" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> are on the wane. Once popular, these brands are now being outcompeted by smaller companies. Rival brands like MAC and Urban Decay are either distinctly higher-end, or online-only niche brands. Both higher-end and niche brands are experiencing a heyday of their own, at the expense of the old drugstore staples.</p><p class='black-text'>The big brands' faltering success can be traced to their marketing failures, which boil down to two basic problems: that they have not forged authentic consumer connections, and that they have not engaged meaningfully with social media. Social media has played a transformative role in reshaping the younger generation's beauty consumption. Younger consumers are more likely to discover new products from YouTube <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/GOOGL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">GOOGL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="GOOGL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> tutorials and Instagram <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> influencer posts than conventional advertisements. Thus the niche, social-media savvy brands have gotten a leg up by amplifying their appeal with younger consumers. Instagram influencers, often ordinary people who have attained fame solely through their social media presence, bring a degree of authenticity that celebrities and models cannot, as they can convey the impression that they are closer to the average consumer than Hollywood stars. Their product testimonials are therefore more likely to be trusted. Products promoted by more traditional celebrities are viewed with skepticism, as prospective consumers doubt that the celebrities themselves actually use that product.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5539" alt="" src="//images5.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/b9aba641b7746503d7f10cfa679d165a.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; Yastremska / bigstockphoto.com</div> </div><p class='black-text'>This new landscape has allowed smaller beauty companies to do better than larger ones. A company's method of connecting with their consumers was found to more directly impact their success. CEO of the large brand Coty <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/COTY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">COTY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="COTY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="COTY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="COTY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, owner of subsidiaries Rimmel and OPI, seeks to fix these shortcomings by producing trendier options like facial highlighter and metallic lip colors, hiring more suitable spokespeople, and speeding up the rate at which new products can <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/aging-beauty-brands-want-a-facelift-1517826601">enter the markets</a>. Coty has struggled to successfully integrate the holdings it acquired through Procter & Gamble <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> in 2016, as the brands were in poorer shape than presumed. One such example is CoverGirl, which saw its share of the U.S. color cosmetics market fall roughly <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/aging-beauty-brands-want-a-facelift-1517826601">2% from 2011 to 2016</a>. CoverGirl is resuscitating itself by formulating dozens of new products and new store displays and featuring unconventional spokeswomen, <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/aging-beauty-brands-want-a-facelift-1517826601">like a 69-year old grandmother</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>Coty also plans to simplify many of its fragrance and beauty product brands, which currently make up 6% to 8% of net sales, and top executives have been lobbying CVS Health Corp <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CVS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CVS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CVS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CVS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CVS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Walmart Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> to convince the retailers to reapportion some of their <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/cotys-beauty-sales-slump-1503418697">shelf space to its brands</a>. But Coty may be fighting a losing battle, as retailers like CVS have already embraced nontraditional brands, attracting niche beauty products and formulating company-specific private labels. CVS wants to compete with beauty retailers like Sephora and Ulta <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ULTA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ULTA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ULTA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ULTA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ULTA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> with the creation of higher-end beauty sections in stores with smaller brands and more exclusive offerings.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5540" alt="" src="//images2.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/0aba4b5fca3cabb917f2cc73afa809b9.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; Michael Gray / Flickr.com</div> </div><p class='black-text'>Right now, brands like CoverGirl and Revlon are caught in the middle of two popular purchasing choices. They are neither small, trendy upstarts, nor are they high-end luxury brands. Coty's executives suggest shortening the development time for new products and rejuvenating the existing <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/aging-beauty-brands-want-a-facelift-1517826601">offerings with 25% new products</a>. Shortening the development time may result in quality issues of its own, as it could involve shortening a process that takes as long as two years to as little as six months.</p><p class='black-text'>Unfortunately for Coty, its products are often viewed as less desirable than last-resort options. Young people prefer brands sold at stores like Sephora, turning to drug store brands only for cheap, emergency fixes. But CoverGirl and Revlon, though cheap, are not quite the bottom of the barrel, and thus miss this segment of the market too, as consumers opt for cheapest brands like Wet n Wild in a pinch. L'Oreal CEO Jean-Paul Agon referred to the mass-beauty segment as "pretty weak" and stated that the company would try to boost sales by<a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/aging-beauty-brands-want-a-facelift-1517826601"> leveraging its newer NYX brand</a>. Still, there are some success stories. Brands like e.l.f. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ELF"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ELF</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ELF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ELF" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ELF" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> began online, but now take up the majority of beauty sales at Walmart <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WMT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WMT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WMT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WMT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and similar retailers. In spite of e.l.f.'s small size, because of consumer awareness, it has successfully outcompeted established brands with historical reputations in the fight for young consumers.</p> http://www.pws.io/titans-of-beauty-industry-explore-revitalizing-strategies Sun, 11 Feb 2018 20:11:49 -0500 Marisa Liu Senate Makes A 2-Year Deal http://www.pws.io/senate-makes-a-2-year-deal <p class='black-text'>Early in the morning on Friday, lawmakers reached a new 2-year budget bill. Trump signed the bill later that morning, putting an end to a very brief government shutdown.</p><p class='black-text'>The bill is a government spending package that includes plans to spend <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/congress-edge-budget-deal-nears-vote/story?id=52942464">more money</a> on a variety of causes, from the opioid crisis to college affordability. It also allocates <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/budget-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html">$165 billion</a> to the Department of Defense alone.</p><p class='black-text'>Republican critics of the bill generally cited its increase in spending as irresponsible. Democratic critics focused on the fact that the bill excluded any provisions for immigration or the DACA program, which have been hotly contested.</p><p class='black-text'>Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi gave a speech on the current fate of undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients in the country. Running over eight hours to become one of the longest speeches on the House floor in the last 100 years, the speech pressured Speaker Paul Ryan to conduct a vote regarding immigration. In the days leading up to the vote, Pelosi expressed her disappointment that the bill did not address DACA, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/07/us/politics/budget-deal-trump.html">noting that</a> "without that commitment from Speaker Ryan, comparable to the commitment from Leader McConnell, this package does not have my support, nor does it have the support of a large number of members of our caucus."</p><p class='black-text'>Tension between Democrats and Republicans over the budget bill reached a fever pitch, and put the government on a path to its second shutdown in three weeks. President Trump seemed to welcome the possibility of a second shutdown, stating via Twitter <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/07/us/politics/budget-deal-trump.html">that </a>he'd "love to see a shutdown if [they] don't get this stuff taken care of...if [they] have to shut it down because the Democrats don't want safety, then shut it down."</p><p class='black-text'>The resolution following the brief government shutdown of 9 hours was a budget that increased by $300 billion, as well as funding that will allow the government to remain active until March 23rd. The agreement was <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/budget-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html">reached through a vote of 240-186 by the House of Representatives</a>. Ever strident, Trump later expressed his approval of the bill via Twitter, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/budget-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html">stating that</a> it was a "big victory." Some, like Senator Rand Paul, are concerned about the increase in spending, given that U.S. debt is already massive and continuing to balloon unchecked. Senator Rand Paul argued that the U.S should withdraw from Afghanistan to avoid allocating more money to U.S. Defense. "Washington is broken," <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/congress-edge-budget-deal-nears-vote/story?id=52942464">he added</a>, "[and is] spending money like its out of control."</p><p class='black-text'>The new budget, while notable for its goal to suspend national statutory debt until 2019, also marks the new shift in the Republican party itself. While most Republicans railed against the spending of money under the Obama administration, Republican party leaders are now supporting the increase of the budget.</p><p class='black-text'>Although Congress' budget vote on Friday did not include any promises regarding immigration reform, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/budget-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html">Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that an immigration debate will begin next week. </a>This will be an opportunity for both Democrats and Republicans <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/08/politics/budget-vote-congress-shutdown/index.html">to submit proposals for potential amendments to the immigration bill</a>.</p> http://www.pws.io/senate-makes-a-2-year-deal Sun, 11 Feb 2018 19:54:55 -0500 Arlene Lormestoire PepsiCo Faces Criticism Over "Lady Doritos" Comment http://www.pws.io/pepsico-faces-criticism-over-lady-doritos-comment <p class='black-text'>PepsiCo is the latest company to face an outpouring of online outrage.</p><p class='black-text'>In an interview with Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PEP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PEP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PEP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PEP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PEP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, claimed that women and men have different experiences consuming Doritos. Unlike men, Nooyi said, many women consider the loud crunch to be a drawback of eating Doritos in public. Women also prefer not having to lick their fingers too much in public. Society's standards of behavior also render many women hesitant to pour the crumbs straight from the bag into their mouths.</p><p class='black-text'>In response to Nooyi's remarks, the interviewer asked if the PepsiCo-owned Frito-Lay plans to distribute a male and female version of its Doritos product. Nooyi did not give details in her response, but seemed open to the idea, stating that the company could see the benefits of packaging and designing a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/06/business/lady-doritos-indra-nooyi.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">tweaked Doritos product for women</a>. The criteria for this hypothetical new version of Doritos included lower crunch, a "full taste profile" that nonetheless would involve less powder sticking onto fingers, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/06/business/lady-doritos-indra-nooyi.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">and purse-friendly packaging</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The interviewer's soundbite of Nooyi's words quickly caught on in the social media realm, where Nooyi was roundly mocked and critiqued. Many internet commenters found Nooyi's stance to be inflammatory and sexist, particularly as it relied on generalizations of certain female consumers' eating habits. The discussion quickly snowballed and took the concept of "Lady Doritos" out of its original context. The reaction to "Lady Doritos" went viral, and the ensuing flurry of indignation was decidedly bad PR for PepsiCo. Digimind, a firm that tracks consumer sentiment by reviewing social media mentions, happened to already be gauging consumer feelings about Doritos in advance of the Super Bowl when the "Lady Doritos" news broke. The firm found that negative opinions about the snack soared <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/40528577/lady-doritos-were-not-good-for-the-doritos-brand">138%</a>. Still, if you take the notion that <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/feb/10/lady-doritos-tragicomedy-outrage-four-parts">any PR is good PR</a>, it might not be such a disaster after all.</p><p class='black-text'>In response, PepsiCo's PR team issued a <a href="https://twitter.com/Doritos/status/960668947812093952">brief statement</a> to clear up the confusion. It maintained that the recent news proclaiming the release of a woman-specific Doritos product was inaccurate. It then hedged its claims about the actual product that will be released in the unspecified future, citing its belief that evolving consumer needs and preferences must still be catered to.</p><p class='black-text'>PepsiCo's "Lady Doritos" scandal has a parallel in Bic's (EPA: BB)<a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2018/02/06/what-pepsi-can-learn-from-its-lady-doritos-debacle/#23ca46737c43"> "Bic Pens for Her" PR disaster</a>. Marketing experts have offered the insight that gendered products can fail with the masses when the perceived rationale behind why a company is splitting their offerings into two categories is trivializing or demeaning. One successful example of a gendered split is Gilette's razors, made by Procter & Gamble Co. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which cater separately to men and women, addressing a fundamental difference in the way women shave their legs and how men shave their faces.</p><p class='black-text'>PepsiCo is just one more company to face the wrath of the internet of late: H&M (STO: HM-B) also had a PR fiasco over a seemingly <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolafumo/2018/01/18/hm-diversity-manager-hire/#18fb584d5337">racist ad</a>.</p> http://www.pws.io/pepsico-faces-criticism-over-lady-doritos-comment Sat, 10 Feb 2018 10:41:34 -0500 Marisa Liu Dow has 1000 point trading range. http://www.pws.io/dow-has-1000-point-trading-range <p class='black-text'>The market volatility continued to close out the worst week in over two years. The Dow was negative most of the morning but closed higher by 317. The S&P 500 added 36, and the Nasdaq 100 gained 90 on the day. For now the market indices have mostly held their Tuesday lows.</p><p class='black-text'>Oil was in focus today as the price of Crude dropped over 3%. This sent the commodity into correction territory, but technical traders liked the idea of support. Current support of $58 held today, and even saw a little buying.</p><p class='black-text'>Nvidia <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NVDA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NVDA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NVDA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares shot up 6.69% today as the company announced earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations. The stock has been one of the only names to safely stay near highs during this most recent market volatility. Volume in the stock has also remained rather steady as investors looking for crypto-mining exposure flock to the name.</p><p class='black-text'>Expedia <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EXPE"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EXPE</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EXPE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EXPE" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EXPE" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares plummeted 15.47% today as the company announced earnings that were well below Wall Street's expectations. The company blamed higher marketing expenses as one of the catalysts and traders wanted no part of it. Shares broke to new lows on the news, now down almost 20% on the year.</p><p class='black-text'>Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares traded in a wild range today as news broke that the secret delivery service is on schedule and planning to undercut prices of both FedEx and UPS. The Amazon delivery service aims to take packages from businesses direct to consumers which would completely eliminate the need for them to use other services. FedEx and UPS were both lower on the news.</p> http://www.pws.io/dow-has-1000-point-trading-range Fri, 09 Feb 2018 21:36:08 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Health Care Stocks Stumble After Bezos Plan Announcement http://www.pws.io/health-care-stocks-stumble-after-bezos-plan-announcement <p class='black-text'>After Amazon <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, JPMorgan Chase <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/JPM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">JPM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="JPM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="JPM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Berkshire Hathaway <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BRK.A"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BRK.A</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BRK.A" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BRK.A" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BRK.A" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> announced their plans to enter the insurance business, stock market shares of leading insurers and drug stores <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/investing/health-care-stocks-jpmorgan-chase-amazon-berkshire-hathaway/index.html">dropped significantly</a>. These three corporate behemoths failed to give a detailed plan of action, but investors nonetheless reacted conservatively in the markets. The three corporations' stated intent is to help lower the rising healthcare costs by starting a new company that will offer lower rates and remain free of profit incentives and <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/news/companies/amazon-berkshire-jpmorgan-health-insurance/index.html?iid=EL">similar constraints</a>. Their first step is to formulate an insurance product for their own employees.</p><p class='black-text'>Their actions have given rise to a great fear of pending disruption to the healthcare industry, and potential restructuring. The stocks affected included UnitedHealth <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/UNH"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">UNH</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="UNH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="UNH" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="UNH" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which dipped by 3%, equating to a 300 point drop in the Dow), Cigna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CI"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CI</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CI" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CI" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Anthem <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ANTM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ANTM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ANTM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ANTM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ANTM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, which <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/investing/health-care-stocks-jpmorgan-chase-amazon-berkshire-hathaway/index.html">dropped over 5%</a>. Aetna <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AET"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AET</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AET" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AET" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AET" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Humana <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/HUM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">HUM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="HUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="HUM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="HUM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> were also down <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/investing/health-care-stocks-jpmorgan-chase-amazon-berkshire-hathaway/index.html">by roughly 3%</a>. Furthermore, drug stores like CVS <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CVS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CVS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CVS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CVS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CVS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and Walgreens <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WBA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WBA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WBA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WBA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> each <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/investing/health-care-stocks-jpmorgan-chase-amazon-berkshire-hathaway/index.html">dropped by over 4%</a>. Express Scripts <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/ESRX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">ESRX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="ESRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="ESRX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="ESRX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, a pharmacy benefits manager, dropped <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/investing/health-care-stocks-jpmorgan-chase-amazon-berkshire-hathaway/index.html">by roughly 7%</a>.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5438" alt="A CVS Pharmacy " src="//images1.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/24ba7d217c1f81ebc3e91f76d8dbe4d7.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; Random Retail / Flickr</div> </div><div class="image-description">A CVS Pharmacy </div><p class='black-text'>The rise in the price of healthcare insurance in America has exceeded the pace of annual raises across American workers. Average individual annual premiums are almost $7,000, up from under <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/30/news/companies/amazon-berkshire-jpmorgan-health-insurance/index.html?iid=EL">$2,500 seventeen years ago</a>. Companies have historically paid most of this bill, although in recent years employees are paying higher percentages. The three big corporations are focusing first on increasing efficiency and transparency by providing more information to employees. They hope this will positively impact healthcare cost and quality.</p><p class='black-text'>With respect to the stock drops following the news, it's easy to wonder if investors are merely overreacting. After all, experts say, new entrants into the healthcare space are disadvantaged by virtue of the regulatory burdens they will experience. Likewise, healthcare insurance provider markets are highly consolidated, and opaque with respect to availability of information. Furthermore, existing healthcare giants like insurance companies, pharmacies, and drug distributors already have large scales, and the advantages that come with such scales, like the ability to better negotiate for drug prices with pharmaceutical giants. On top of all this, the trend of pharmacies merging with insurers (e.g. the CVS-Aetna merger of 2017) could mean that healthcare behemoths will be fewer and larger than ever.</p><p class='black-text'>Experts conclude that a potential competitive threat from a partnership between Berkshire-Amazon-JPMorgan may indeed be in the future, but the effects may not be as drastic as many fear. The recent drop in healthcare stocks is <a href="https://money.usnews.com/investing/stock-market-news/articles/2018-01-31/health-care-stocks-jpm-amzn-brk">predicted to be short-lived</a>. In the long-term, it is possible that existing healthcare giants may actually come to embrace the competitive stimulus of having a powerful new company on the scene.</p> http://www.pws.io/health-care-stocks-stumble-after-bezos-plan-announcement Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:13:58 -0500 Marisa Liu Fed Penalizes Wells Fargo Over 2016 Scandal http://www.pws.io/fed-penalizes-wells-fargo-over-2016-scandal <p class='black-text'>Last week, the Fed revealed its decision to penalize Wells Fargo <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WFC"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WFC</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WFC" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WFC" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> following revelations that the bank has deceived its customers over the past two years. This came on the last business day of Janet Yellen's tenure as chairwoman of the Fed.</p><p class='black-text'>It was disclosed in 2016 that Wells Fargo workers had opened 2 million customer deposit and credit accounts without the customers' authorization. They have been doing this since 2011. The bank had to pay $185 million in penalties. This penalty is quite uncommon. While in the past the Fed has penalized banks for misconduct, they have never imposed such strict limits before. The punishment is such that until the firm makes sufficient improvements as dictated by the Fed, Wells Fargo will be restricted from growing any larger than its total assets of $2 trillion. The Fed will not allow the bank's balance sheet to expand beyond that size. Because the bank's assets tend to expand with the growth of the economy, the Fed predicts that this will have a significant effect on the bank's ability to grow. However, the bank will remain open for business and will continue to make new loans.</p><p class='black-text'>Wells Fargo has stated that within the next 60 days, it will submit a plan to the Fed that outlines how the bank will improve its board overview and risk management practices. CEO of Wells Fargo Timothy Sloan made a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/wells-fargo-federal-reserve.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">statement</a> regarding this penalty: "We take this order seriously and are focused on addressing all of the Federal Reserve's concerns." He also mentioned that this order is unrelated to the bank's financial condition, which still remains quite strong. However, the bank's profits for this year are expected to go down by $300 million to $400 million.</p><p class='black-text'>In order to operate below the asset cap, the bank has said that it might reduce its portfolio in its commercial non-operational deposits, financial institution deposits and trading assets. Many believe that the bank is lucky that it is too big to be shut down and that had it been smaller, it might have lost its banking licenses. Thus, there is still hope that Wells Fargo could make a positive turnaround from this scandal and regain federal and consumer trust.</p> http://www.pws.io/fed-penalizes-wells-fargo-over-2016-scandal Fri, 09 Feb 2018 16:03:11 -0500 Karina Petrunova Markets Remain Uncertain In Aftermath of Historic Drops http://www.pws.io/markets-remain-uncertain-in-aftermath-of-historic-drops <p class='black-text'>Markets closed Monday after a tumultuous trading day that saw U.S. stocks experience the sharpest decline in years, with both the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/INDU:IND">Dow</a> and the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/SPX:IND">S&P 500</a> indices plunging more than 4.0 percent. Though both indices recovered on Tuesday, the Dow and S&P 500 had dropped significant points by the close of business on Wednesday, leaving the forecast uncertain for traders after three days of volatile conditions in world financial markets.</p><p class='black-text'>Stock prices began fluctuating late on Friday, but Monday's losses in the markets were historic in their magnitude. On that day, the Dow, notching its biggest intraday point decline in history, fell 1,175.21 points (4.6 percent), to 24,345.75, while the S&P 500 lost 113.19 points (4.10 percent), to 2,648.94 and the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/CCMP:IND">Nasdaq Composite</a> dropped 273.42 points (3.78 percent), to 6,967.53.</p><p class='black-text'>The volatile conditions in the U.S. significantly impacted the activity of international markets, as traders around the world reacted to the sharp drop. Major markets in Asia plunged in reaction, with Japan's benchmark <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/NKY:IND">Nikkei</a> 225 index falling 4.73 percent, or 1,071.84 points, to close at 21,610.24 and the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/HSCEI:IND">Hang Seng China Enterprises Index</a>, based in Hong Kong, losing 6.10 percent, or 822.11 points, to 12,657.72, on course for its biggest drop in seven years, since falling 6.2 percent in August 2011. South Korea's <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/KOSPI:IND">Kospi</a> was down 2.3 percent to 2,433.049, while Australia's <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/quote/AS30:IND">All Ordinaries</a> lost 3.2 percent to 5,930.20.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5498" alt="" src="//images.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/ee8077ed91b6c539359df529be99f61f.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; SeanPavonePhoto / bigstockphoto.com</div> </div><p class='black-text'>Markets bounced back on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones jumping close to 1,000 points in its fourth largest single-day point increase in history. But the latest day of trading has ended with noticeable slips in major markets, after Wednesday closed with further drops. The stock market has remained in turmoil, with further <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-markets-20180208-story.html">losses in major indices</a> throughout Thursday.</p><p class='black-text'>Experts seem to agree that the shocking tumble taken by the stock market on Monday was not caused by anything fundamental. "The key thing that I think people keep in mind here is that the market moves a lot very quickly, it doesn't mean fundamentals are changing that quickly," <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/05/why-the-stock-market-plunged-today.html">added</a> Richard Bernstein, CEO of Richard Bernstein Advisors. "What you are seeing is the recalibration among investors that we actually are in a late-cycle environment."</p><p class='black-text'>Nevertheless, a number of issues lie at the center of the sudden decline, primarily centered on fears of rising interest rates and corresponding fears over rising inflation.</p><p class='black-text'>Additionally, this drop comes amid concerns that the Trump administration's aggressive expansionary fiscal policy could risk overheating the U.S economy in one of the longest bull markets in years. On Wednesday morning, the U.S. president gave his thoughts on the market's ongoing troubles through <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/961253168968622086">Twitter</a>, stating: "In the 'old days,' when good news was reported, the Stock Market would go up. Today, when good news is reported, the Stock Market goes down. Big mistake, and we have so much good (great) news about the economy!"</p> http://www.pws.io/markets-remain-uncertain-in-aftermath-of-historic-drops Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:54:26 -0500 Kingston Pung Why the SEC & CFTC Senate Hearing Was Bullish for Crypto http://www.pws.io/why-the-sec-cftc-senate-hearing-was-bullish-for-crypto <p class='black-text'>On February 6, 2018 at 10 AM, in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, <a href="1.%20https://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?Id=D8EC44B1-F141-4778-A042-584E0F3B9D39&Statement_id=FA625A6D-AB8F-4E27-BAE5-A646A2CBFE0B">the United States Senate held a hearing</a> on Bitcoin (BTC), cryptocurrency, and government's role in oversight. Investors and traders had long awaited the hearing. Some feared that the U.S. government, led by President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would crack down on the cryptocurrency sector with a heavy regulatory hand. But the hearing was measured and optimistic, giving the crypto community more hope and joy than expected.</p><p class='black-text'>The main participants who testified to the Senate Banking Committee were the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo. Clayton was appointed by Trump in January 2017; Giancarlo was nominated as Commissioner by Obama in 2013. Both have storied careers in finance and the private sector.</p><p class='black-text'>Some parts of the hearing could be construed as bearish for crypto. Initial coin offerings (ICOs) and federal securities laws were <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16978636/bitcoin-cryptocurrency-virtual-us-regulation-securities-sec-cftc-congress">emphasized</a>. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren pressed hard against ICOs, stating that many are effectually Ponzi schemes, and that investors should be protected from deceptive and misleading advertising. In response, Clayton confirmed that no company has registered their ICO as required under securities laws and that the SEC was watching many ICOs. He reiterated that the SEC would continue to regulate all ICOs as securities. As ICOs make up a large part of the crypto space and many ICOs have operated in violation of securities laws, the hearing's focus on the legality of ICOs may be bearish for those respective ICOs.</p><p class='black-text'>However, <a href="http://fortune.com/2018/02/06/bitcoin-price-cftc-sec-cryptocurrency-hearing/">the overall sentiment was bullish</a>. Clayton proclaimed support for blockchain technology, hoping that people will pursue its potential. After Republic Senator Tom Cotton asked about the potential of distributed networks, Giancarlo responded optimistically, <a href="http://fortune.com/2018/02/06/bitcoin-price-cftc-sec-cryptocurrency-hearing/">stating</a>: "It's important to remember that if there were no Bitcoin, there would be no distributed ledger technology [...] We owe it to this new generation to respect their enthusiasm for virtual currencies, with a thoughtful and balance response, and not a dismissive one." He also touted the transparency and regulatory benefits of blockchain, adding that it would have helped regulators realize the risks of mortgage-related derivatives before the global financial crisis. Then Giancarlo held up his thirty-year-old niece - whom he referred to as a BTC "<a href="https://www.trustnodes.com/2018/02/06/giancarlos-niece-hodler-senator-secs-disclosure-rules-dont-work-clayton-icos-securities-crypto-senate-hearing">hodler</a>," or someone who would hold onto BTC for dear life - as an example of the kind of honest investor who should be supported by the regulatory framework. Finally, Warner sounded even more bullish on crypto. He compared crypto to cell phones and wireless communication in that it has the potential to be a world-changing technology. He predicted $20 trillion in market value by 2020.</p><p class='black-text'><a href="https://cointelegraph.com/news/sec-cftc-breathe-life-into-floundering-crypto-market">The crypto community largely ignored</a> the ICO concerns and focused on Giancarlo's and Warner's statements. On the r/Bitcoin and r/Cryptocurrency subreddits, people made memes praising Giancarlo and his niece as heroes. Investors also rejoiced at the light-touch regulatory attitude, and the prices of BTC and other cryptos bounced sharply from 3-month lows. After the hearing, Giancarlo gained 14 times more Twitter followers and thanked his new fans.</p><p class='black-text'>Going forward, investors would be wise to avoid ICOs and platforms that enable ICOs, as they may be caught up in fraud and unregistered securities cases. That includes popular cryptos like Ethereum (ETH) and NEO (NEO). But investors should seek out coins that promise a practical vision of high-tech change. These include portfolio staples like BTC, Litecoin (LTC), IOTA, Stellar (XLM), Nano (XRB), Quantum Resistant Ledger (QRL), and more. The US government likes innovation, and will help crypto keep innovating.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author holds long positions in BTC and IOTA.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/why-the-sec-cftc-senate-hearing-was-bullish-for-crypto Fri, 09 Feb 2018 15:49:30 -0500 Eric Yao Stock market takes another nose dive. http://www.pws.io/stock-market-takes-another-nose-dive <p class='black-text'>The markets continued their wild trading today but this time to the downside again. The Dow 30 fell 1034, the S&P 500 lost 100, and the Nasdaq 100 was lower by 274. Higher interest rates were once again the major focus pushing stocks lower. Crude Oil was once again lower on the day and volatility products spiked as well. All this market drama has taken away from the potential government shutdown to occur tonight at midnight if a deal isn't reached.</p><p class='black-text'>Tesla <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were lower on the day despite reported a smaller than expected loss for the previous quarter. The stock sold off 6% today as the company announced their largest loss ever. They state that they are on track to meet model 3 production goals but this was a downward revised number. They also suggested that they will start investing in the model Y crossover later this year. Many believe that this may cause more rounds of funding and that they should focus on hitting goals on existing offerings for now. Remember that recently the board announced that CEO, Elon Musk would not be paid a penny until his goals were met.</p><p class='black-text'>Twitter <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TWTR"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TWTR</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TWTR" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> responded to Snapchats earnings by showing growth as well. The company reported a beat on earnings a revenue for the previous quarter and also showed growth of 12% in daily active users. Shares were higher on the day by 16%.</p><p class='black-text'>Blackrock <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BLK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BLK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BLK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BLK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was in the news as they announced that they will be starting a Warren Buffet like fund to take stakes in companies like Berkshire Hathaway <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/BRK"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">BRK</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="BRK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="BRK" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="BRK" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. They are currently raising $10 billion to start. Keep in mind that Blackrock is already the world's largest asset manager. Shares are currently hovering around flat on the year.</p> http://www.pws.io/stock-market-takes-another-nose-dive Thu, 08 Feb 2018 10:29:22 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Amazon's New Service: FBA Onsite http://www.pws.io/amazons-new-service-fba-onsite <p class='black-text'>Amazon <b><nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr></b> is currently performing trial runs of an invitation-only program, FBA Onsite. This acronym stands for <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-expands-its-delivery-service-2018-1">Fulfillment by Amazon</a>, which was previously called <a href="https://www.thestreet.com/story/14465863/1/amazon-expands-delivery-trial-that-puts-pressure-on-fedex-ups.html">"seller flex</a>." This program will allow third party sellers to send their stock to Amazon's warehouses, where they will be shipped and dispatched as if they were first-party merchandise. Its purpose is to give sellers more efficient storage and cheaper shipping options. In return, Amazon will reap the benefits of increased flexibility and control over deliveries, while saving money through volume discounts, and avoiding warehouse congestion.</p><p class='black-text'>FBA Onsite has began expanding to different locales nationwide, after having initiated a pilot phase in Western states in <a href="https://www.thestreet.com/story/14465863/1/amazon-expands-delivery-trial-that-puts-pressure-on-fedex-ups.html">October 2017</a>. It will enable merchants to incorporate Amazon software and logistics into their own warehouses, while letting Amazon itself (and not FedEx <b>[NYSE: FDX]</b> or UPS <b>[NYSE: UPS]</b>) oversee transportation of vendor packages from the warehouse to consumer homes. FBA Onsite will allow for greater control over delivery, which enables the company to give two-day delivery for a greater number of products. Previously, merchants needed to first send their goods to Amazon's delivery centers, slowing down the process.</p><p class='black-text'>On the flip side, this program could disrupt Amazon's long-time partnerships with <a href="https://www.thestreet.com/story/14465863/1/amazon-expands-delivery-trial-that-puts-pressure-on-fedex-ups.html">FedEx and UPS</a>. When recent news about FBA Onsite broke, FedEx shares displayed "minor gains" in trading, while <a href="https://www.thestreet.com/story/14465863/1/amazon-expands-delivery-trial-that-puts-pressure-on-fedex-ups.html">UPS shares dipped 0.26%</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The program first began three months ago, issuing invitations to under 50 sellers. The program's development was triggered by the need to resolve the issue of warehouse congestion. It successfully resolved this problem by putting storage space owned by third-party sellers onto the platform, rather than building more Amazon-owned fulfillment centers. This program will also help sellers save on shipping by reducing the need to transport inventory to Amazon-owned warehouses. It also offers lower shipping rates for two day deliveries, by allowing sellers to take advantage of Amazon's low shipping rates. This can result in discounts of up to 85% from the normal price, for sellers.</p><p class='black-text'>The original name of the service was Seller Fulfilled Prime. SFP allowed sellers to ship Prime-eligible products from their own warehouses and not Amazon's, provided they could prove that meeting the two-day time frame was feasible. Whereas SFP does not give the benefit of low shipping rates, Fulfillment by Amazon lets sellers send their inventory to Amazon warehouses, and use Amazon's logistics system. Many sellers currently struggle with warehouse management, and were uneasy about joining the SFP program, given how costly two-day delivery from personal warehouses can be.</p><p class='black-text'>According to some experts, the largest advantage of that Amazon possesses is the company's ability to test its delivery system to FBA Onsite sellers, especially with its own trucks and personnel. They believe that Amazon will employ its own logistics and carrier system and seek to counterbalance USPS's final delivery duties with its own delivery services.</p> http://www.pws.io/amazons-new-service-fba-onsite Wed, 07 Feb 2018 22:25:20 -0500 Marisa Liu Booming Stock Market Shows Signs of Strain http://www.pws.io/booming-stock-market-shows-signs-of-strain <p class='black-text'>The stock market plunge sent investors into a flurry of anxiety this past Friday, causing many to worry about the future state of the economy. Stocks <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">fell by more than 2 percent</a>, resulting in the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-01/asia-stocks-to-slide-as-tech-stumbles-bonds-drop-markets-wrap">overall decrease of the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 666 points.</a> Such a decrease <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/02/a-drop-of-more-than-600-points-in-the-dow-is-very-very-rare.html">rivals the stock market plunge that occurred the day after the Brexit vote</a>. Multinational billion dollar company Apple Inc. <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AAPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AAPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AAPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> fell to its lowest stock price since October by 4.3 percent, and although electronic commerce company Amazon's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/AMZN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">AMZN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="AMZN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> stock reached new heights, such record prices did not prevent DOW from descending. Energy shares were <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">particularly hard hit</a>, decreasing at record levels with ExxonMobil <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XOM"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XOM</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XOM" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XOM" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> plunging by 5.1 percent and Chevron <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CVX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CVX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CVX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CVX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CVX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> dropping by 5.6 percent.</p><p class='black-text'>The strength of today's current market, while reassuring, may be the surprising cause of the market's unprecedented shift on Friday. Recent job data deemphasized the strength of the economy, which has been climbing since investors' increased purchase of corporate stocks and bonds. Likewise, the central bank's reduction of interest rates on safer government bonds has also <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">allowed</a> companies to invest in their businesses and hire more employees. President Trump's effort to <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">decrease</a> taxes and deregulation may also boost the economy. January also <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-07/good-is-bad-bad-is-good-and-trump-is-miffed-at-stock-traders">saw the addition of 200,000 new jobs</a> by the U.S government. Such activity has caused the job market to soar, thereby strengthening the economy as a whole.</p><p class='black-text'>Many investors are wary of the Federal Bank's rising rates on bonds that will inevitably occur as a result of economic growth. The increasing interest rates were indicated on Friday as well, with the U.S. Treasury note<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness"> increasing</a> to 2.8 percent. In the past, higher rates on the Treasury note have indicated the overall interest rates of the bond market. Therefore, higher interest rates may pose issues for all: for example, higher rates for borrowing money for <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">necessities</a> such as a home and a car, which will exacerbate with the increase of the fixed mortgage rate. However, rising rates may also bring benefits as well. Worker pay <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/02/business/stock-market-interest-rates.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fbusiness">can rise </a>with higher inflation, along with an increase in overall tax cuts.</p><p class='black-text'>Due to the potential benefits, some are attributing the decrease in the stock market as a necessary event. Financial consultant Jeanne Asseraf-Bitton <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-07/good-is-bad-bad-is-good-and-trump-is-miffed-at-stock-traders">asserts that</a> people "are finally starting to reprice reflation" and that it is "about time." Asseraf-Bitton <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-07/good-is-bad-bad-is-good-and-trump-is-miffed-at-stock-traders">continued that</a> "global economic growth is strong and corporate earnings are very solid, so there's no reason to question the equity bull market...it's just the speed at which it's happening that is making investors nervous. Bottom line: this is a healthy correction."</p> http://www.pws.io/booming-stock-market-shows-signs-of-strain Wed, 07 Feb 2018 22:20:54 -0500 Arlene Lormestoire SpaceX Launches Falcon Heavy, World's Largest Rocket http://www.pws.io/spacex-launches-falcon-heavy-worlds-largest-rocket <p class='black-text'>Private aerospace company SpaceX yesterday launched a first test of their most ambitious space-flight project to date, the Falcon Heavy. After months of delays and a couple last-minute postponements due to wind on the day of the launch, the Falcon Heavy successfully made its maiden flight yesterday at 3:45 PM EST from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The most powerful rocket in the world, the <a href="http://www.spacex.com/falcon-heavy">Falcon Heavy</a> is a three-booster rocket capping out at a height of 20 stories, boasting 27 engines that produce a combined 5 million pounds of thrust at liftoff, and which are capable of lifting close to 64 metric tons into low Earth orbit (LEO). As its payload, the rocket carried SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk's red Tesla <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/TSLA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">TSLA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="TSLA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> Roadster, manned by a dummy driver, into space, where it is currently in orbit through the astroid belt. The launch was streamed live by SpaceX and remains available for viewing on the company's <a href="http://www.spacex.com/webcast">website</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The only mistake in an otherwise flawless test of SpaceX's latest launch vehicle was <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/6/16980954/spacex-falcon-heavy-rocket-middle-core-failed-landing">the loss of the rocket's middle core</a>.</p><p class='black-text'>The Falcon Heavy is touted as an innovation in reusable spaceflight technology. The vessel's two side boosters were designed to land themselves in designated landing zones, while the rocket's middle core was to land on a drone ship that would return it to land. Though the Falcon Heavy's three cores were expected to return safely to ground, only two of the rocket's three boosters were successfully landed. The two side boosters were landed within a few seconds of each other back at Kennedy Space Center, but the rocket's middle booster fell into the Atlantic Ocean after missing its landing target drone three minutes after liftoff.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5430" alt="" src="//images3.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/8039dff042a6e5f4dfcad3ad2007530e.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; </div> </div><p class='black-text'>The flight saw the successful launch of Elon Musk's own Tesla Roadster and its driver, Starman, a mannequin outfitted in one of SpaceX's <a href="https://www.space.com/38132-elon-musk-spacex-spacesuit-crew-dragon-photo.html">pressure space suits</a>, which Musk first previewed on Instagram in 2017. The choice to use Musk's Tesla Roadster, instead of another, more conventional dummy payload, was a smart, likely calculated move, given the <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BezcvpzAgYI/">stunning images</a> to come out of the stunt. Once the car was in space, SpaceX hosted a live feed of Starman in the Roadster, floating above the Earth and playing David Bowie's "Space Oddity" on loop. Later, the Tesla vehicle and its cargo veered past their set course, <a href="https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/961083704230674438">overshooting the path</a> that would have set them in orbit around Mars, the planned route for the test. The car and its contents instead were sent beyond Mars and entered the asteroid belt.</p><p class='black-text'>Musk made the launch announcement for the Falcon Heavy on January 28 <a href="https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/957361443023695872">via Twitter</a> and was cautiously optimistic before the test, <a href="http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42950957">telling reporters</a>, "I'll consider it a win if it just clears the pad and doesn't blow the pad to smithereens." Musk has expressed his satisfaction with the rocket's first demo. The success of the Falcon Heavy could open up new possibilities for travel to the moon and to Mars.</p><p class='black-text'>Donald Trump <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/961073467784421382">publicly congratulated</a> the billionaire Tesla CEO and SpaceX on the launch, lauding the moment as "[continuing] to show American ingenuity at its best!" Musk was born and raised in South Africa, and attended university in Canada before transferring to the University of Pennsylvania.</p> http://www.pws.io/spacex-launches-falcon-heavy-worlds-largest-rocket Wed, 07 Feb 2018 22:10:13 -0500 Kingston Pung Mnuchin Readying to Regulate Bitcoin http://www.pws.io/mnuchin-readying-to-regulate-bitcoin <p class='black-text'>United States Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, is said to be taking the lead on coordinating government agencies to work towards federal regulation of cryptocurrencies, according to CNN. This, of course includes bitcoin; the first decentralized digital currency that has intrigued both the technological and financial realms. On Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee met to discuss this development, with Chairman Jay Clayton and Chairman Christopher Giancarlo - of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, respectively - testifying that they will "not ignore" the growing sector of financial interest. The testimony also aimed to educate senators on terms central to cryptocurrency, such as "initial coin offerings" and "blockchain" technology. As <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2018/02/06/virtual-currencies-oversight-hearing-sec-cftc-bitcoin/">TechCrunch</a> reports, this hint of openness and optimism may come as a pleasant surprise to bitcoin users, who have recently faced plunging prices with the currency.</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5429" alt="" src="//images.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/7fb91560b3751de36fc8134093d30a76.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; vchal / bigstockphoto</div> </div><p class='black-text'>In the past few weeks, the value of bitcoin has dropped by half and fluctuated greatly, despite its 2000% surge over the course of 2017. Yet, the fact that ICOs have generated $4 billion for projects that utilize blockchain technology is not lost on the financial regulatories (<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/us-government-is-trying-to-get-coordinated-in-its-efforts-to-regulate-bitcoin.html">CNBC</a>). In mid-January, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin announced that the department's Financial Stability Oversight Council formed a virtual currency working group, according to <a href="https://www.coindesk.com/mnuchin-talk-crypto-regulation-g20-summit/">CoinDesk</a>. In his speech, the motivation behind understanding and eventually regulating cryptocurrency was straightforward: Mnuchin wants to ensure that "bad people" cannot use bitcoin for illegal practices such as money laundering.</p><p class='black-text'>However, on Tuesday he ensured the Senate that he does now view virtual currency as a meaningful threat to stability of the financial market. "We are going to be coordinating our various responses. It's begun with just some broad conversations just establishing our different jurisdictions so we're all clear as to what we're doing, and what we're not doing, where the gaps are," Charman Giancarlo reported to <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/us-government-is-trying-to-get-coordinated-in-its-efforts-to-regulate-bitcoin.html">CNBC</a>. Chairman Clayton added that working group "may be back with our friends from Treasury and the Fed to ask for additional legislation," in regards to requesting government help on getting regulations in place.</p><p class='black-text'>While concentrated efforts on cryptocurrency regulation are certainly growing, the <a href="https://www.americanbanker.com/news/regulators-may-need-more-authority-to-catch-up-with-crypto-sec-chief">American Banker </a>assesses that it is unclear at this point whether or not the American government has enough regulatory authority to actually handle issues within this emerging international sector. For the governments of China, India, and South Korea, this poses a potential threat to their efforts in defusing cryptocurrency markets, according to <a href="https://www.investors.com/news/bitcoin-recovers-ahead-of-senate-cryptocurrency-hearing/">Investors.com</a>. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has also announced that he plans to bring the conversation of regulation to the upcoming G20 summit, being held this March in Argentina. For now, it is fair to say that the American government is increasingly accepting the idea of cryptocurrencies and their validity - as well as their own potential role in shaping the future of this sector.</p> http://www.pws.io/mnuchin-readying-to-regulate-bitcoin Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:24:12 -0500 Jasmine Rashid Markets settling in at these prices? http://www.pws.io/markets-settling-in-at-these-prices <p class='black-text'>The markets were lower on the day today but continue to trade in a wider than average range. The move today started to signify that traders are settling into these price levels for the short term. The Dow 30 lost 19, the S&P 500 was down 13, and the Nasdaq 100 lost 63. President Trump took to twitter in an attempt to stave off the markets declines, blaming the media once again for the move. Traders continue to worry that there is still more to come.</p><p class='black-text'>Chipotle <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CMG"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CMG</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CMG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CMG" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CMG" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares sold off 10% today despite the company reporting earnings better than expected. The company largely saw the increase thanks to price increases. They even announced bonuses for their employees and a tuition reimbursement program. The focus was on the announcement of their $50 million "refresh" program which will invest around $20,000 in each store. Analysts were quick to downgrade the stock today on this news for fear that it may not be enough to gain back the trust of customers. The company continues to struggle with food borne illness which has pushed away many of their loyal client base.</p><p class='black-text'>Snap <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SNAP"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SNAP</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SNAP" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares shot higher by 47% today as the company announced that user growth finally increased for the first time since going public. The company announced that they had fixed some of the issues that plagued them in the past and that led to users sticking around longer. The focus was also on advertisers as they were more eager to come to the app thanks to lower bid prices. More than 90% of ads are placed using their auction style bidding which drove prices down, leading to more revenue for the company.</p><p class='black-text'>Wynn Resorts <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/WYNN"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">WYNN</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="WYNN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="WYNN" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="WYNN" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> shares were higher by 9% today following news that the founder and CEO, Steve Wynn would step down. The stock has been under pressure following allegations of sexual misconduct of the CEO. Rumors of a buyout further fueled the rally today as well.</p> http://www.pws.io/markets-settling-in-at-these-prices Wed, 07 Feb 2018 17:06:32 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts Wild start to the week for ETF's. http://www.pws.io/wild-start-to-the-week-for-etfs <p class='black-text'>It has been quite the week already and we're only half way through it. The S&P 500 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SPY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SPY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SPY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SPY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> saw the worst one day drop in history followed by one of the best days ever in what has been a very volatile first few days of trade. The SPY spent the first day of the week trading down to lows that erased the years gains. The next day sent the SPY back up into the positive for the year. For now many expect the volatility to continue into this Friday when the Government will likely wait to decide the fate of their debt ceiling.</p><p class='black-text'>The Nasdaq 100 <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/QQQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">QQQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="QQQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> traded in a very similar fashion, though it has held on to more of it's gains for the year. It continues to outperform but many think the volatility will persist here as well.</p><p class='black-text'>Home builders <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XHB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XHB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XHB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XHB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XHB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> have had one of the more aggressive declines out of the markets and continued that this week. The XHB has been trending lower since hitting a high last month. As of now the space is just above correction territory with losses around 10%.</p><p class='black-text'>Retail <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/XRT"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">XRT</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="XRT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="XRT" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="XRT" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was also hit pretty hard and has been lower since making a high back in January. The XRT recovered quite nicely on Tuesday though showing gains of almost 3%. This nearly erased all of the losses on Monday. For now the uptrend is confidently broken.</p><p class='black-text'>The Dow <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/DIA"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">DIA</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="DIA" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="DIA" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> was more of the headline though as it had it's worst day on record (points wise) Monday. The volatility seen here was a record as well. Tuesday it did try to recover most of the losses but still has another point to go.For the year now the DIA is hovering right at the flat line.</p><p class='black-text'>Lastly, we have Volatility <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/VXX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">VXX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="VXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="VXX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="VXX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>. The move in this ETF is certainly one of record. With almost a 60% move to start the week, volatility was the major headline. Tuesday did see that calm a little, but many think there is still more to come.</p> http://www.pws.io/wild-start-to-the-week-for-etfs Wed, 07 Feb 2018 11:57:35 -0500 Dustin Tibbitts U.S. Stock Market Correction Spooks Global Markets http://www.pws.io/us-stock-market-correction-spooks-global-markets <p class='black-text'>After falling over 2% on Friday, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/05/pf/dow-selloff-explainer/index.html">the S&P 500 (INX) index plunged</a> more than 4% on Monday, February 5. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) plummeted a record 1,200 points. The NASDAQ Composite (IXIC) fell nearly 4%, and the small-cap Russell 2000 (RUT) dropped 3.5%. The U.S. stock market correction has also dragged down prices of global equity indices, especially in Asia and Europe. On February 6, the Nikkei 225 (NI225) fell 4.7%, the Shanghai Composite (SHA) fell 3.5%, and the Euro Stoxx 50 (SX5E) fell 2.5%. From its all-time high of 2,872.87 on January 26, the S&P 500 is down over 7.5%. As many investors were surprised by the sudden correction in a historic bull market, they have many questions going forward.</p><p class='black-text'>The conventional wisdom is that Friday's <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/02/nonfarm-payrolls-jan-2018.html">jobs report showed excellent wage growth</a>, which sparked fears of higher inflation than expected. Higher inflation usually means the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates more than expected, and higher interest rates hurt equities by increasing the cost of borrowing. Spooked investors sold off some of their stocks, and Wall Street's high-frequency trading algorithms did the rest, panic selling into the weekend and Monday's close.</p><iframe width="100%" height="400" src="Jerome Powell" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><iframe width="100%" height="400" src="https://youtu.be/a7pq2GOPXCA">Jerome" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe><p class='black-text'>Another potential factor is that a new Chair of the Federal Reserve, , President Trump's nominee, began his tenure as the 16th Chairman. Bucking a trend set by prior Fed appointees, Powell does not come from an academic background, instead building a career in law, investment banking, and venture capital. Considered more hawkish than dovish, Powell may raise interest rates more aggressively than his predecessor Janet Yellen. That policy shift could be concerning to long-term investors.</p><p class='black-text'>The correction has dragged down other markets because the U.S. economy is such a big and important part of the world. As major trading partners, China, Japan, and Western Europe are also spooked when U.S. equities drop. In addition, the generally uncorrelated cryptocurrency markets also took a hit over the weekend, with Bitcoin dropping over 20% to a new low below $6,000 before bouncing. Finally, <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/06/the-obscure-volatility-security-thats-become-the-focus-of-this-sell-off-is-halted-after-an-80-percent-plunge.html">the correction killed</a> a popular exchange-traded note (ETN), VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short (NASQAQ: XIV), which lets traders buy a derivative that is the inverse of the Chicago Board Options Exchange VIX volatility index futures. As VIX skyrocketed 100% over the weekend and on Monday, the price of VIX fell 90%. The issuer of XIV, Credit Suisse <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/CS"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">CS</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="CS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="CS" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="CS" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, has elected to liquidate the ETN on February 21. Because shorting VIX is a trillion-dollar trade made by institutional and retail clients alike, the acceleration event and liquidation will negatively affect a few unlucky, risk-pursuing investors.Fundamentally, the U.S. economy is in a good place. Job growth has reached record numbers, and wage growth is finally starting to catch up to the stock market. Bullish equity investors are rightfully exhausted after a historic bull run for almost a decade. The recent downturn is likely just a healthy correction that will give new investors-who should not be shaken-the opportunity to buy in at relatively cheaper prices.</p><p class='black-text'><i>The author holds a long position in the S&P 500 and BTC.</i></p> http://www.pws.io/us-stock-market-correction-spooks-global-markets Tue, 06 Feb 2018 17:33:11 -0500 Eric Yao Paypal Tumbles after Ebay Reports Switch to Rival http://www.pws.io/paypal-tumbles-after-ebay-reports-switch-to-rival <p class='black-text'>Ebay's <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/EBAY"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">EBAY</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="EBAY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="EBAY" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="EBAY" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> replacement of Paypal <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/PYPL"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">PYPL</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="PYPL" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> after a 15-year agreement sent shockwaves in the market. Following the announcement of Ebay's new payment processor, Dutch company Adyen, Paypal shares <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/01/technology/paypal-ebay-payments-split-adyen/index.html">plummeted</a> by approximately 11 percent during after-hours trading. In contrast, Ebay's shares increased by 14 percent, <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-31/ebay-to-ditch-paypal-for-dutch-processor-adyen-lowering-costs">allowing</a> the California-based company to reach its highest stock price to date. Although Paypal may face roadblocks ahead, their separation with Ebay provides the perfect space for Adyen's growth.</p><p class='black-text'>Although the two companies have split, Ebay has reassured Paypal that it will <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/01/why-ebay-abandoned-paypal-for-a-smaller-european-competitor.html">"remain an important partner."</a> In 2002, Ebay bought Paypal, but in 2015, Ebay allowed Paypal to become its own company again. Despite Paypal's new and separate identity, the two companies remained close afterwards. However, Ebay's choice to completely use a different payment processing platform appears to be a permanent severing of ties.</p><p class='black-text'>Ebay has recently touted the advantages that Adyen, a small, 12-year-old company, will bring. Along with <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/01/technology/paypal-ebay-payments-split-adyen/index.html">promises </a>that it will give the customer more control and lower costs for buyers, Adyen will be able to offer a multitude of different global payment options. Currently, Adyen transfers payments from<a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/01/technology/paypal-ebay-payments-split-adyen/index.html"> 150 currencies</a> and is compatible with approximately 200 different payment methods. The company is primarily a backend payment service, which allows merchants and clients to use the service without coming into contact with it directly. Paypal, on the other hand, requires that a user create a Paypal account in order to issue payments. Such flexibility has allowed companies like Netflix <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/NFLX"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">NFLX</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="NFLX" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, Facebook <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/FB"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">FB</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="FB" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="FB" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr>, and Uber to use Adyen.</p><p class='black-text'>In response to the announcement, Adyen CEO Pieter van der Dos <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/01/why-ebay-abandoned-paypal-for-a-smaller-european-competitor.html">noted</a> that the company is "thrilled that eBay, one of the most successful e-commerce companies of all time, has chosen Adyen as its new, global payments processing partner," and that they "look forward to powering transactions on eBay, starting in North America, and supporting their continued global growth."</p><div class="image-holder"><img id="5409" alt="Adyen CEO Pieter van der Does" src="//images.paszport.ws/uploaded_images/4eae08fe134bc6b626aee9cea398639f.jpg" /> <div class="copyright-holder">&copy; TechCrunch / Flickr</div> </div><div class="image-description">Adyen CEO Pieter van der Does</div><p class='black-text'>Although Paypal appears to be on the losing side of the split, the business decision may benefit them as well. In the past year alone, Ebay became the <a href="http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/01/technology/paypal-ebay-payments-split-adyen/index.html">slowest</a> growing component of Paypal compared to other auxiliary operations. Moreover, the Ebay-Paypal agreement <a href="https://finance.yahoo.com/news/paypal-coo-ebays-decision-drop-us-good-thing-170833338.html">enforced regulations</a> that did not allow Paypal to offer payment services at the same level to other companies. Now that Paypal has a bit more freedom, the company can potentially create new agreements and alliances that will draw in more transactions and new clientele to compete <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/01/why-ebay-abandoned-paypal-for-a-smaller-european-competitor.html">against other payment companies such as Square <nobr><span style="white-space: nowrap; display:inline-block"><a href="http://www.pws.io/stock/SQ"><span style="color:#333">(</span><span style=";">SQ</span>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker text alert" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="success" data-down="alert"><i data-symbol="SQ" data-type="direction_class" data-up="fa-arrow-up" data-down="fa-arrow-down" class="updatable-ticker fa"></i>&nbsp;<span class="updatable-ticker" data-symbol="SQ" data-type="changePercent"></span></span><span style="color:#333">)</span></a></span></nobr> and iZettle. </a></p><p class='black-text'>Paypal spokeswoman Amanda Miller perhaps puts it best when she <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-03/gop-memo-leaves-trump-with-little-new-ammunition-against-mueller">says that</a> "the planned evolution of [Paypal's] relationship with EBay is consistent with our strategic direction and growth opportunities and does not alter our financial guidance."</p> http://www.pws.io/paypal-tumbles-after-ebay-reports-switch-to-rival Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:44:46 -0500 Arlene Lormestoire Fujifilm Acquires Xerox for $6.1 Billion http://www.pws.io/fujifilm-acquires-xerox-for-61-billion <p class='black-text'>On January 31, <a href="http://www2.tse.or.jp/tseHpFront/JJK020030Action.do">Fujifilm Holdings</a> acquired <a href="https://www.nyse.com/quote/XNYS:XRX">Xerox Corp</a> in a $6.1 billion deal that will combine the operations of the U.S. company with an existing joint venture between the two corporations. The <a href="http://www.fujifilmholdings.com/en/news/2018/0131_01_01.html">historic deal</a> will see Fujifilm own a little over fifty percent of Xerox Corp's shares, making the Japanese corporation the sole owner of Xerox. The resulting company will operate as Fuji Xerox, using the name under which Xerox and Fujifilm have run their fifty-year joint venture.</p><p class='black-text'>The <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-xeroxcorp-m-a-fujifilm/japans-fujifilm-to-take-over-xerox-in-6-1-billion-deal-create-jv-idUSKBN1FK025">acquisition deal </a>merges Xerox with the Fuji Xerox program, which has been in operation since 1962 and primarily does business in Asia and the Pacific region. As a subsidiary of Fujifilm, the new Fuji Xerox will operate out of New York and will be headed by Xerox CEO Jeff Jacobson. The CEO of Fujifilm Shigetaka Komori will serve as the company's chairman. The move will allow the existing Fuji Xerox program to expand its market beyond Asia and the Pacific to include Xerox's clientele in North America and other parts of the world.</p><p class='black-text'>Fujifilm's takeover of Xerox comes at a time when the print technology industry faces growing competition from smartphones and other innovative devices that threaten to make the sector obsolete. Fujifilm CEO Komori has praised the deal in interviews as a "game changer" - speaking to the <a href="https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Xerox-acquisition-a-game-changer-says-Fujifilm-CEO">Nikkei Asian Review</a>, the executive said, "The combination will create synergies and produce cost savings worth $1.7 billion a year."</p><p class='black-text'>Though the deal may be a boon to both companies, Fujifilm's acquisition of Xerox is projected to result in 10,000 workers in Asia losing their jobs. In a <a href="http://www.fujifilmholdings.com/en/pdf/investors/library/ff_announcement_20180131_001.pdf">January 31 statement</a>, Fujifilm announced that the employees, who work for the existing Fuji Xerox program, would likely see their positions cut by March 2020.</p><p class='black-text'>A historic company in the U.S., Xerox was started as the Haloid Photographic Company in 1906 and has become ubiquitous in the vocabulary of the corporate world, if not in its offices. The company's name is synonymous with the activity of its most iconic product, the copy machine. The inventor of the copy machine, Chester Carlson, first filed patents for the invention in the 1930s, but it was with the help of Xerox founder Joseph C. Wilson that Carlson's invention became a widely commercialized and successful retail product. Having seen a period of growth and innovation in the 1960s and '70s, the company eventually saw a diminished market share after the emergence of stiff competition from other print technology companies. In more recent years, new technologies threatened to render Xerox's products obsolete. At the time of Fujifilm's acquisition of the company, Xerox had around 36,000 employees around the world.</p> http://www.pws.io/fujifilm-acquires-xerox-for-61-billion Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:20:17 -0500 Kingston Pung