Mon 23 January, 2017

19:46 'Trump in Asia:' Region poised for change as new era dawns» AP Top Business News at 7:41 p.m. EST
BEIJING (AP) -- People across Asia are poised for a potentially dramatic change in relations with Washington under President Donald Trump after decades with the United States as a major military and economic presence....
19:43 Yahoo Sees Verizon Deal Taking Longer Than Expected» WSJ.com: US Business
Yahoo, subject of two huge data breaches that have cast a shadow over its deal with Verizon Communications Inc., pushed back its expected closing date for the transaction, citing “work required to meet closing conditions.”
19:42 The World's Most Luxurious Boutique Hotels You've Never Heard Of That You Need To Know Now» Forbes Real Time
The world's most unique, seductive, and luxurious hotel rooms aren't always where you'd expect them to be. This company awards the top boutique hotel awards every year including best gourmet hotel, the world's sexiest bedroom, and the hottest hotel soundtrack. Meet the coolest hotels on the planet.
19:40 Trump Withdraws U.S. From Pacific Trade Deal» WSJ.com: US Business
President Trump formally pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-nation trade agreement negotiated by Barack Obama and championed by businesses but that fell out of favor in both political parties.
19:39 Samsung Elec Q4 profit jumps as record chip earnings mask Note 7 failure» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A flag bearing the logo of Samsung Electronics is pictured at its headquarters in SeoulSamsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday said fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent to its highest in over three years, as record earnings in its chips business masked the negative impact of its failed Note 7 phones. Samsung also said it plans to buy back 9.3 trillion won worth of shares this year. Samsung expected earnings to decline in the current quarter from the preceding quarter because of "increased marketing expenses in the mobile business and a sales decrease of TVs due to weak seasonal demand".

19:39 What Is Nokia's Massive Surprise?» Forbes Real Time
The return of the Nokia brand name to the world of mobile technology has been gathering pace since the start of 2017. The first big news was the reveal of the Nokia 6 handsets at the end of CES, then details of new handsets at MWCw there's information on a spectacularly sized bonus from Finland.
19:38 Former investment fund analyst arrested after skipping trial» AP Top Business News at 7:41 p.m. EST
NEW YORK (AP) -- A former analyst for a private investment fund has been arrested after he failed to show up for his insider trading trial....
19:30 Samsung's 4Q earnings more than double on record chip profit» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News
Samsung Electronics Co. said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter earnings more than doubled over a year earlier thanks to its brisk memory chip business that posted a record-high profit and strong sales of ...
19:28 Yahoo beats Wall Street view, sees Verizon deal closing in second quarter» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A photo illustration shows a Yahoo logo on smartphone in front of a displayed cyber code and keyboardYahoo Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc should be completed in the second quarter, allaying some investor concerns that the deal might collapse. The $4.8 billion Verizon transaction had originally been expected to close in the first quarter but was delayed by the disclosure of two major cyber breaches that exposed information from more than a billion Yahoo accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether Yahoo's data breaches should have been disclosed sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

19:25 Sprint to Buy 33% of Jay Z's Tidal Music Service» WSJ.com: US Business
Sprint Corp. will buy one-third of Tidal, the streaming-music service run by rap mogul Jay Z, the latest content deal secured by a network provider.
19:24 Samsung Elec fourth-quarter profit jumps as record chip earnings mask Note 7 failure» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

FILE PHOTO - An exchanged Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 is seen at the company's headquarters in SeoulSamsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday said fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent to its highest in over three years, as record earnings in its chips business masked the negative impact of its failed Note 7 phones. Samsung also said it plans to buy back 9.3 trillion won worth of shares this year. Samsung expected earnings to decline in the current quarter from the preceding quarter because of "increased marketing expenses in the mobile business and a sales decrease of TVs due to weak seasonal demand".

19:24 Hugo Barra Leaves Xiaomi» WSJ.com: US Business
Xiaomi Corp. Vice President Hugo Barra said he will leave the company in February and return to Silicon Valley, after signing on in 2013 to build the smartphone maker into an international force.
19:24 Fake News Fact Check: Do Millennials Spend More on Coffee Than They Save For Retirement?» Forbes Real Time
News stories report that most Millenials spend more on coffee than they're saving for retirement. But is this true? I went to the federal government's Consumer Expenditure Survey to find out.
19:22 Cramer Remix: Stocks that benefit in a Trump-free zone» Top News & Analysis
Jim Cramer decodes how to pick stocks that could thrive in a Trump administration.
19:21 Samsung Elec fourth-quarter profit jumps as record chip earnings mask Note 7 failure» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

FILE PHOTO - An exchanged Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 is seen at the company's headquarters in SeoulSamsung Electronics Co Ltd on Tuesday said fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent to its highest in over three years, as record earnings in its chips business masked the negative impact of its failed Note 7 phones. Samsung also said it plans to buy back 9.3 trillion won worth of shares this year. Samsung expected earnings to decline in the current quarter from the preceding quarter because of "increased marketing expenses in the mobile business and a sales decrease of TVs due to weak seasonal demand".

19:20 Samsung Profit Growth Driven by Component Sales» WSJ.com: US Business
The South Korean tech company recorded its highest operating profit in more than three years, as booming sales of components helped it shrug off last year’s massive Galaxy Note 7 recall.
19:20 McDonald's Struggles in U.S., as Global Sales Gain» WSJ.com: US Business
McDonald’s Corp.’s global sales in 2016 were the strongest in five years, but were down in the burger giant’s key U.S. market.
19:18 Liberty Media Names Chase Carey as Formula One CEO, Replaces Bernie Ecclestone» WSJ.com: US Business
Bernie Ecclestone, who turned Formula One from an elite motor racing series into a global media rights empire over four decades, stepped away from his role as the sport’s “supremo” as Liberty Media completed its takeover, appointing Chase Carey as chief executive.
19:10 Elizabeth Warren At Risk Of Losing Her Senate Seat In 2018, New Poll Shows»

As Democrats have struggled to rebuild in the "Post-Trump" era, one coping mechanism employed has been to focus on their potential contenders for the White House in 2020.  In fact, about a month ago we published a list, crafted by The Hill, of the top names being tossed around that were expected to make a bid for the Democratic nomination in four years (see "Here's Who Democrats Say Are The Top 15 Presidential Candidates For 2020"). 

Not surprisingly, and proving that Democrats learned very little from the 2016 election cycle, the list included several well-known establishment names including Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden and even Tim Kaine.  But, right at the top of the list at #1 was the ultra "progressive" Senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren. 

But while Warren might be the Dems' new hope for becoming the first female president in 2020 (something that Lena Dunham desperately needs in her life), a new poll from her home state suggests that she may want to focus on holding her Senate seat in Massachusetts before setting her sites on the White House.  According to a new poll from WBUR, 46% of registered voters in Massachusetts would like to "give someone else a chance" in the Senate while only 44% say Warren "deserves reelection."

Elizabeth Warrent


And while Warren's 51% "favorable" rating may provide some comfort to anxious Dems, it would seem concerning that Massachusetts' Republican governor is viewed more "favorably" at 59%.

Elizabeth Warrent


While Massachusetts' Republican Governor Charile Baker hasn't announced any plans to oppose Warren in 2018, WBUR notes that the poll numbers from the state, at least as of right now, suggest his bipartisan appeal give him a good chance of defeating the far more polarizing Elizabeth Warren.

But according to a new WBUR poll, only 44 percent think Warren "deserves reelection." Forty-six percent think voters ought to "give someone else a chance."


"No one's going to look at a 44 percent reelect number and think that that's a good number," said Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group, which conducts surveys for WBUR. "No one's going to look at it being close to even between 'reelect' and 'give someone else a chance' and think that that's reassuring.”


Warren’s numbers contrast sharply with those of Gov. Charlie Baker. His favorability rating is 59 percent — 8 points better than Warren. But what’s more striking is that only 29 percent of poll respondents think someone else should get a chance at the governor’s office.


How could the state’s top Republican be more popular than its top Democrat? Steve Koczela says it’s about bipartisanship.


"When you look at Elizabeth Warren's favorables, only 12 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of her," Koczela said. "When you look at Baker, 60 percent of Democrats view him favorably. So he has bipartisan appeal where Elizabeth Warren really never has.”

Seems there is a downside to being completely dismissive of the will of approximately 50% of the population...even in Massachusetts.

19:10 ASX and Kospi up in early trade, Samsung announces buyback in Q4 earnings» Top News & Analysis
Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday, following U.S. market's lower close.
19:08 Analysis: Trump's trade plans to test his deal-making skills» AP Top Business News at 7:41 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump said he was protecting jobs as he officially pulled out from the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday....
19:07 Trump Promises 'Very Major' Border Tax on Outsourcing Companies» WSJ.com: US Business
President Donald Trump said Monday that the U.S. will impose a “very major” border tax on companies that move overseas as he sharpens his focus on recasting America’s international trade relations.
19:01 Cramer: Here is why Target's shortfall is so frightening for retail» Top News & Analysis
Jim Cramer explains why Target's own self-cannibalization is the scariest of all for retail.
19:01 Lloyds champions coding skills for clever tykes» Finextra Research Headlines
Ben and Jodie Cook, creators of the Clever Tykes children’s storybooks, have secured a partnership w...
19:01 Nasdaq hails Estonian blockchain pilot for proxy voting» Finextra Research Headlines
Nasdaq has successfully completed a proof-of-concept using blockchain technology to streamline proxy...
18:59 Will Trump Prove The Trade Critics Wrong?» Forbes Real Time
Despite what the media tells us, behind closed doors the new administration seems to negotiate by carrot rather than stick. Trump comes to meetings bearing gifts and that creates buy-in.
18:57 Why The Trump Rally Will Continue» Forbes Real Time
Trump has talked tough on trade, the common threat most refer to is a potential trade war. But remember, Trump has also talked tough on U.S. companies moving jobs overseas. Thus far, he hasn't created enemies, he's gotten concessions and has created allies.
18:53 A star tech and media banker shares his thoughts on dealmaking in 2017» Markets

Aryeh Bourkoff

For Aryeh Bourkoff, the star tech, media, and telecom (TMT) banker and founder of the boutique bank LionTree, 2017 will be a year of uncertainty.

But it will also be ripe with opportunity, especially in the TMT and consumer spaces.

That's the message Bourkoff gave his team in a year-end letter sent out in December.

"Politics and technology can be destabilizing forces... They challenge our economic and civil orders," Bourkoff, who is a former vice chairman at UBS, wrote.

"I have always believed that in order to best serve the firm and our clients, we must understand new uncertainties, create strategies to account for them and remain nimble and alert to sudden shifts in the landscape."

He referred specifically to the election of Donald Trump as US president and said that political shift could lead to a repatriation of cash, among other things. That could free up cash for mergers and acquisitions — especially for companies like Apple, Microsoft, Alphabet, Cisco, and Oracle, which combined hold some $500 billion in cash overseas.

But it's not just going to be mergers, Bourkoff wrote: 

"We'll see companies test what it means to have the appropriate ratio of debt to equity. We'll see PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) deals become more popular as a way to bridge the gap between investors with short-term needs and CEOs with long-term vision. This is a huge opportunity for private capital markets."

He said the market is underpricing the risk these shifts pose as they create volatility and dislocation in asset prices.

'The middle-man is increasingly pressured'

Within the media industry, specifically, Bourkoff said that technologies and distribution platforms will continue to evolve but the global appetite for content will remain constant.

"In this paradigm, value shifts to the bookends – the underlying content and the technology platforms that touch the end user – and the middle-man is increasingly pressured," he said.

That could affect future dealmaking.

He said large media brands — like Time Warner, Comcast, and Verizon — and tech giants — like Apple, Netflix, and Facebook — have scale, access to capital, and global audiences. But they need to innovate and adapt to younger audiences and changing consumer preferences.

Their disruptors are companies like Snap, Buzzfeed, Jaunt VR, and Thrillist.

Screen Shot 2017 01 23 at 4.57.27 PM (2)

"The convergence of traditional and digital media will yield content synergies, advertising scale across several platforms and sales force efficiencies," Bourkoff wrote.

He added that this convergence does not mean that we'll see more over-the-top streaming and skinny programming bundles. Demand for OTT falls sharply when prices rise, Bourkoff said, and the programming costs needed to create skinny bundles of channels will force prices so high that demand will ween.

Bourkoff said his firm's deal pipeline included 50 mandated live deals at the end of the year.

"As we build out LionTree in 2017, I firmly believe it has never been more important to take a long-term investment view as it is now," he said.

SEE ALSO: Sprint just bought a big stake in Tidal

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How much money you need to save each day to become a millionaire by age 65

18:48 Frits van Paasschen reveals the key to a successful negotiation with President Trump» Top News & Analysis
Former CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Frits Van Paasschen offers some advice for negotiating with someone like Donald Trump.
18:45 Kunstler Warns "We Are Repeating The Greatest Misallocation Of Resources In The History Of The World"»

Submitted by Adam Taggart via PeakProsperity.com,

James Howard Kunstler returns to the podcast this week, observing that despite the baton being handed to a new American president, the massive predicaments we face as a society remain the same. And it seems the incoming administration is just as in denial of them as the old.

Kunstler adds fresh critique to his now decades-old warning that we are sleepwalking our way deep into the Long Emergency. The longer we delude ourselves and waste our energies in pursuit of reviving the failed "endless growth" model, the farther our journey back to a sustainable way of living will be when our current system collapses:

I don’t think there is any sense that they really know where we’re headed, what our destination is, and what the imperatives are and what the future is actually telling us that we need to do. Don’t forget that the so-called psychology of previous investment is a very powerful force in American life and it’s prompting us to do everything we can to maintain the investments we’ve already made. Those investments are the ones I have already mentioned: the freeways, the suburban housing developments, the strip malls.


A lot of the hope pinned on Trump is based on the idea that he’s assembling this team of mega-competent capitalist movers and shakers who know how to make deals -- the Wilbur Rosses and Rex Tillersons of the world -- and that they are going to conjure up a tremendous surge of economic activity that will be majorly fruitful going forward in the future and produce a tremendous amount of new wealth. Of course the stock market has been pricing that in. But if you really drill down and look what’s going on there, especially the infrastructure plans, the idea that we’re going to revive American manufacturing -- and especially the idea that we’re going to rebuild the happy motoring infrastructure so that we can have 50 more years of that -- that, it seems to me, would amount to once again repeating the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world.


The last thing that America needs to do is to desperately try to maintain its suburban matrix. There are many other things we can do and ought to do, including reviving main street communities. One of the things we have to think about is reviving the small towns and small cities in American because those are the places of the greatest disinvestment over the last 30 years and we’re going to need them very badly as the global economy withers. It’s not going to disappear; there’s still going to be trade between nations, I believe, outside of some kind of major set of kinetic war conflicts, but we’re going to see the economy of North America turn inward and become more focused on what we can do here. One of the things that that suggests is that we’re going to have to do more with some of the assets and virtues that we have, mainly our inland waterway system because that’s going to also have to take the place of the trucking industry, which is going to be failing over the next 20 years.

Click the play button below to listen to Chris' interview with Jim Kunstler (51m:56s)...


18:42 Samsung Q4 operating profit up 50%, announces share buyback plans» Top News & Analysis
Samsung's fourth-quarter operating profit jumped 50 percent on-year to 9.22 trillion Korean won, as it announces a share buyback.
18:37 How To Conduct A Long-Distance Job Search» Forbes Real Time
Abby is about to launch her first long-distance job search. What does Abby need to know?
18:35 The Wall Street Journal: Bernie Ecclestone out, Chase Carey in as Formula One CEO» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Chase Carey is replacing Formula One’s Bernie Ecclestone, the tycoon who built the auto-racing franchise into a global force, as chief executive amid Liberty Media Corp.’s deal for the firm.
18:33 TaxProf Calls An End To Day By Day IRS Scandal Coverage» Forbes Real Time
Paul Caron, the TaxProf, dean of the tax blogosphere has called the end of an era. Daily coverage of the IRS scandal ends with Day 1352.
18:25 In stagnant market, traders watching these reports for clues» Top News & Analysis
While the new White House administration gets settled in, Wall Street is looking for confirmation that the economy is healthy.
18:23 If Trump ends America's world leadership, who will step up?» AP Top Business News at 7:41 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's pursuit of an "America first" foreign policy is raising questions about who, if anyone, will fill the void if the U.S. relinquishes its traditional global leadership role. China and Russia are among the aspirants for greater economic and military influence, while an ambivalent Germany could emerge as the West's moral compass....
18:21 Yahoo beats Wall Street view, sees Verizon deal closing in second quarter» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A photo illustration shows a Yahoo logo on smartphone in front of a displayed cyber code and keyboardYahoo Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc should be completed in the second quarter, allaying some investor concerns that the deal might collapse. The $4.8 billion (3.85 billion pounds) Verizon transaction had originally been expected to close in the first quarter but was delayed by the disclosure of two major cyber breaches that exposed information from more than a billion Yahoo accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether Yahoo's data breaches should have been disclosed sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

18:20 The drug industry's lobby tried to scapegoat Martin Shkreli for rising prices— and he's outraged» Markets

Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, prepares to testify before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on On Monday, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, (PhRMA) kicked off a multi-year ad campaign to try and shift the criticism the industry's been getting on drug pricing onto a more positive topic. 

In a press briefing, PhRMA president Steve Ubl described the campaign as “Less hoodie, more lab coats,” an apparent jab at Martin Shkreli, who wore a hoodie while he was arrested for securities fraud in December 2015 and on stage at a conference earlier that same month.

Shkreli, just in case you've somehow forgotten, was the CEO of a small drugmaker that became famous for buying an old infection-fighting drug and jacking up its price by 5000% overnight. The move served only to draw attention to the size and scale of price increases across the industry. 

Shkreli, who isn't exactly a sympathetic character in all this — he was just kicked off Twitter after harassing a female journalist — responded by pointing the finger squarely back at the drug industry. (His arrest, incidentally, was not related to the price hike that made him famous). 

He built a website to that runs through a list of PhRMA members and links to instances of their own price hikes and other legal troubles. Business Insider hasn't been able to vet all his claims, though his comments highlight what the PhRMA campaign tries not to: The fact that routine price increases — often very large ones, sometimes many times a year — are standard practice across the industry.

Companies making everything from insulin to multiple sclerosis drugs have been called out for jacking up their prices.

"Pharma is a wonderful industry that does great things, but trying to throw me under the bus is foolish," Shkreli wrote.

Here's the first video ad of the campaign:

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump just took the joy out of the drug industry's biggest investor conference

DON'T MISS: A Nevada woman died from a bug that resisted 26 antibiotics — here's why it's so hard to develop new ones

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Shia LaBeouf got into a shouting match with a white nationalist on his anti-Trump live stream

18:20 The Evolution Of Mark Cuban: From "No Doubt The Market Tanks" To "[Trump's] A Big Plus For The Overall Economy"»

It has been an 'evolutionary' year for billionaire Mark Cuban as his perspective has shifted from Trump-is-smart, "I'd be his VP" to Trump terror, "no doubt the market tanks," to acceptance to reality...

2/16/2016 - I think Trump is smart. I'd be Donald Trump's VP as long as he said he's listen to me in everything I said we'd be okay.

9/6/2016 - In the event that @realDonaldTrump wins, I have no doubt in my mind that the market tanks. If the polls look like there's a decent chance that Donald could win, I'll put a huge hedge on that's over 100% of my equity positions... that protects me just in case he wins.

11/1/2016 If Trump wins I'm already hedged. My hedge is up a little bit this week because the markets have been down multiple days in a row. I put on the biggest hedge I've ever put on against all my equities and interest-bearing bonds simply because of what I just said. You know, this is not like Brexit where oh, my goodness, there's a big reaction, big selloff and then a big bounce back and things just trickle down.


11/9/2016 - We all need to give President-Elect Trump a chance. Support the good. Lobby against what we disagree on. No one is bigger than us all.

And now today...1/23/2017 - I think the discussed economic programs are potentially a big plus for public companies and the overall economy.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, Mark Cuban is now among those who think the Trump administration could be boon to the economy and markets.

The key word: could.


The Dallas Mavericks owner and entrepreneur is “playing it by ear” when it comes to the effect President Donald Trump’s policies will have on the stock market. But he thinks there’s possible upside.


“I think the discussed economic programs are potentially a big plus for public companies and the overall economy,” Mr. Cuban said in an e-mail Monday morning.


The potential policies Mr. Cuban is optimistic about: corporate tax cuts; getting rid of the “friction” for small businesses; and reducing and simplifying administrative activities.


The big question marks, though, are whether the Mr. Trump’s policies actually get passed, and whether his communication tactics, “create social issues that overwhelm the economic upside.”


“The devil is in the details,” Mr. Cuban said. “We will see what actually happens.”

So, how is he investing in this new era? As he always does, he said: He’s long the stock market but hedged against “something catastrophic.” He declined to discuss further.

18:19 What happens to 'startup visa' under Trump?» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
The Obama administration set a new path for foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. -- but will the Trump administration take it away?
18:18 Yahoo beats Wall Street view, sees Verizon deal closing in second quarter» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A photo illustration shows a Yahoo logo on smartphone in front of a displayed cyber code and keyboardYahoo Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc should be completed in the second quarter, allaying some investor concerns that the deal might collapse. The $4.8 billion Verizon transaction had originally been expected to close in the first quarter but was delayed by the disclosure of two major cyber breaches that exposed information from more than a billion Yahoo accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether Yahoo's data breaches should have been disclosed sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

18:17 Yahoo beats Wall Street view, sees Verizon deal closing in second quarter» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A photo illustration shows a Yahoo logo on smartphone in front of a displayed cyber code and keyboardThe $4.8 billion Verizon transaction had originally been expected to close in the first quarter but was delayed by the disclosure of two major cyber breaches that exposed information from more than a billion Yahoo accounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a probe into whether Yahoo's data breaches should have been disclosed sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Yahoo said Monday that it has spent approximately $10 million related to a 2014 security breach announced in September and a 2013 breach announced in December.

18:16 UPDATE 2-Yahoo beats Wall Street view, sees Verizon deal closing in second quarter» Reuters: Hot Stocks
Jan 23 (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc on Monday reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue, and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon Communications Inc should be completed...
18:15 Cramer's playbook to conquer Trump's 'protectionist agenda'» Top News & Analysis
Jim Cramer goes through the list of Trump-free stocks that could thrive in a new political landscape.
18:09 Trump didn't go after China on Day One » Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Donald Trump promised to call China out for being a 'currency manipulator' on day one. It didn't happen. CNNMoney explains what exactly that means and whether it is likely to happen later.
18:08 Trump names new FCC chairman» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
President Trump has found his man to regulate the media.
18:06 'SNL' writer suspended over Barron Trump tweet» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
A "Saturday Night Live" writer, Katie Rich, has been suspended indefinitely by the NBC variety show for a tweet about Barron Trump that was widely criticized.
18:06 As All-Day Breakfast Loses Steam, McDonald's Must Get More People In The Door» Forbes Real Time
McDonald's global sales were stronger in 2016, but they masked a big problem. Fewer people are walking into its restaurants. How can it get more people in the door?
18:05 Currencies: Dollar withers as President Trump’s early policy focus spooks» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
The U.S. dollar Monday weakens broadly against a wide swath of currencies as investors fear that President Donald Trump is promoting a protectionist agenda over policies, including infrastructure spending, that might be supportive to the greenback.
18:04 After hours buzz: YHOO, RMD, MRCY» Top News & Analysis
Check out which companies are making headlines after the bell: YHOO, RMD, MRCY
18:03 U.S. Investors Are Funding The Biggest Share Of The National Debt Since 2003. That's Not Great News» Forbes Real Time
If Trump erects barriers to trade in an environment where foreign capital is leaving the U.S., that's going to hurt growth.
18:00 Snapchat is making a big move in this European country» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Snapchat is making a big move in this European countrySnap is getting serious about growing as a global news network.  Snapchat launched its first localized Discover channel in Norway with VG , the most widely read online newspaper in the country, the companies announced Monday.  SEE ALSO: What kind of Snapchatter are you? Snapchat and Discover aren't brand-new to Norway. What's changed is that Snapchat users in the country now have access to an exclusive, localized channel. That comes along with new content guidelines for publishers and a mobile redesign Monday, all ahead of its expected initial public offering later this year.  Why Norway? It's an area of highly active users, according to Snap. The company declined to share exact numbers in the region. Snapchat has more than 50 million daily active Snapchat users in Europe overall.  “Norway has been a highly engaged community of Snapchatters from the early days and we’re thrilled to partner with VG — a highly respected publisher — to bring Norwegians daily news coverage that’s relevant to their lives," Nick Bell, Snap’s VP of content, said in an emailed statement to Mashable .  Image: snapchat VG will publish a daily edition at 7 a.m. local time. For its first edition, it included video ads from DNB, Tine and Bama.  Snapchat has editions that are distributed globally to all 150 million daily active users.  The app also offers exclusive editions in the United States ( Complex , Wall Street Journal , iHeartRadio), the United Kingdom (Sky News, Cosmo UK , Tastemade UK), and Australia (Fox Sports Au, ESPN Au, News Corp AU).  Snapchat cut local stories — 24/7, city-based feeds — from the app in September 2015. Snap hasn't given up on local news, but instead, the partnership hands off the curation and ad sales to a vetted publisher.  BONUS: Watch the first surgery recorded with Snapchat Spectacles

17:57 Rubio Saves Tillerson Confirmation In 11-10 Vote»

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Rex Tillerson’s nomination as secretary of state by a vote of 11-10 - falling along party lines (with Democrats dissenting). As Bloomberg notes, this vote clears the way for the full Senate to confirm one of President Donald Trump’s most critical cabinet choices.

Before the vote on Monday, Democrats also said they were concerned about Tillerson’s statement that he would recuse himself from matters related to Exxon during his first year as secretary and rely on guidance from the State Department’s ethics office after that.

“In the end, I just had too many concerns and questions about the kind of leadership he would provide at the state department to feel comfortable voting for him,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a New Hampshire Democrat.

The 11-10 vote came hours after Senator Marco Rubio, who had been the lone Republican withholding his support, said he would back the nomination of the former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive officer as the nation’s top diplomat despite concerns over his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his refusal in his nomination hearing to condemn human rights abuses in Russia and the Philippines. As The Hill reports,

“I concluded that it would not be good for our country to unnecessarily delay or created unwarranted political controversy over this particular nomination,” Rubio told the panel at the Monday meeting.



“My concern was that Mr. Tillerson would be an advocate for and would pursue a foreign policy of dealmaking at the expense of traditional alliances and at the expense of the defense of human rights and of democracy,” he said, which he weigh against positive answers from Tillerson on issues like Cuba and supporting armament for Ukraine against Russia.

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the panel’s chairman, said that Tillerson had “no doubt that Rex Tillerson is well-qualified.”

“He has managed the world’s eighth largest company by revenue, with over 75,000 employees. Diplomacy has been a critical component of his positions in the past, and he has shown himself to be an exceptionally able and successful negotiator who has maintained deep relationships around the world,” Corker said.

Two key GOP senators who have been concerned about Russia and Putin, Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and John McCain (Ariz.), also announced in recent days that they would support Tillerson.

 Tillerson will now face a vote in the full Senate, where he is nearly certain to get the majority vote that he needs to become the United States’ top diplomat.

17:56 The Wall Street Journal: Senate panel OKs Rex Tillerson, clearing path to confirmation» MarketWatch.com - Top Stories
Despite lingering concerns from some Republicans, secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson cleared a key procedural hurdle on Monday, all but ensuring he will be approved as the nation’s top diplomat
17:56 Trump’s new FCC chief is Ajit Pai, and he wants to destroy net neutrality» Top News & Analysis
Trump has elevated Ajit Pai to chairman of the FCC, giving control over the agency to a reliable conservative opposed to net neutrality.
17:55 Congressman Introduces Bill To Withdraw The U.S. From The United Nations»

Submitted by Lance Schuttler via The Mind Unleashed blog,

A new bill has been introduced which would allow the United States to withdraw from the United Nations, and is now beginning to turns heads.

Representative Mike Rogers from Alabama introduced H.R. 193 American Sovereignty Act of 2017 in early January but is just now getting media exposure. The full bill can be seen here on congress.gov.

The bill repeals the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 and other specified related laws.

The bill requires: (1) the President to terminate U.S. membership in the United Nations (U.N.), including any organ, specialized agency, commission, or other formally affiliated body; and (2) closure of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.

The bill prohibits: (1) the authorization of funds for the U.S. assessed or voluntary contribution to the U.N., (2) the authorization of funds for any U.S. contribution to any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (3) the expenditure of funds to support the participation of U.S. Armed Forces as part of any U.N. military or peacekeeping operation, (4) U.S. Armed Forces from serving under U.N. command, and (5) diplomatic immunity for U.N. officers or employees.

Clearly, many people would be in favor of such a move and many would oppose it. Many who would support the move believe that the United Nations Agenda 30 is a blueprint for a unipolar world order with a destructive agenda, as Zerohedge reported last year.

Regardless of one’s beliefs or opinions on the UN being a front for  a new world order, this bill is a direct and bold move against the elite’s plans. For any nation to reclaim true sovereignty from the United Nations is setting a powerful example for the rest of the world. It sends a message that a country does not need a global governing body, but instead can run itself without global oversight.

Essentially, if the U.S. reclaimed sovereignty from the United Nations, it would be the equivalent of what Britain did by reclaiming it’s sovereignty from the European Union…times 10. 

Perhaps the biggest revelations to come from such news would be the eventual exposure of the level of theft, deception and criminal activity done by the registered corporation known as The United Nations (yes it is a registered corporation). It would also move the U.S. back to Common Law and away from Maritime Law, a deep and complex subject that is explained further here by Judge Anna von Reitz.

In addition to this latest bill that seeks to end control by the elite, the U.S. has also proposed two other (among many) bills that if passed, would expose even more lies and corruption on a global scale.

The first of the two is the bill that Representative Tulsi Gabbard proposed in December of 2016; the Stop Arming Terrorists Act. The bill would cut off U.S. government (and tax-payer) funding to terrorist groups like ISIL and al-Qaeda. Gabbard says of the bill:

“Under U.S. law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups. If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the U.S. government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”

Like the American Sovereignty Act of 2017, the Stop Arming Terrorists Act would expose much corruption and deception that the elite have been engaging in. Both bills would be a major blow to the elite’s agenda and would pave the way for mass arrests of many well known elites on a scale that has never been seen before. 

Another bill that would signal enormous changes within the United States and the entire world would be the passing of the “Audit the Federal Reserve Bill of 2017” that was just recently reintroduced by Senator Rand Paul. As many reading this already know, the level of theft and corruption that the Federal Reserve has been involved in will bring the global elite to their knees when exposed. If audited correctly and fairly, exposure of the Federal Reserve (also another private registered corporation) would likely also lead to many well known names and public figures being arrested.

Regardless of one’s political party or position, if any, these three bills must be supported and discussed on a mass scale. What is also important to remember is that if any one of these three are passed, it is extremely likely to trigger a domino effect that will expose the global elite and reveal many once unbelievable truths. 

We live in extremely exciting times.

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17:30 Soaring Lease Returns Set To Wreak Havoc Used Car Pricing and Auto Industry Profits»

For months we've warned that declining used car prices could spell disaster for subprime auto securitizations (see "Slumping Used Car Prices Spell Disaster For Subprime Auto Securitizations").  While it's always difficult to predict the exact timing of when bubbles will burst, a combination of record-high lease returns in 2017 and 2018, combined with rising interest rates could imply that the auto bubble is on the precipice.

As Bloomberg recently pointed out, strong used car pricing is a critical component required to prop up the overall auto market.  While American's love their brand new cars, if used car prices become too soft then substitution can hurt new car sales.  Add to that the impact of falling residual values on the finance arms of the auto OEMs and you have all the ingredients required for an auto market meltdown.

A glut of used vehicles has started to depress prices. That trend will intensify as Americans will return 3.36 million leased cars and trucks this year, another jump after a 33 percent surge in 2016, according to J.D. Power. The fallout has already begun, with Ford Motor Co. shaving $300 million from its financial-services arm’s profit forecast for this year.


“Ford is the canary in the coal mine,” said Maryann Keller, a former Wall Street analyst who’s now an auto industry consultant in Stamford, Connecticut.


This drag may be hitting the rest of the industry, too. A National Automobile Dealers Association index of used-vehicle prices declined each of the last six months of last year. If used values weaken more than anticipated, it can lead to losses across the industry, hitting carmakers, auto lenders and rental companies.




Unfortunately, the volume of lease returns is only expected to grow even more in 2018 with returns expected to approach 4mm units.

Auto Leases


As J.D. Power points out in it's most recent "NADA Used Car Guide Industry Update," the flood of lease returns is driving used car prices lower.

Used Car Prices


Of course, how we got here is fairly obvious.  The majority of Americans buy cars based on one factor: monthly payment.  And when it comes to managing your monthly payment to the lowest level possible, leasing is the way to go.  Per the Bank Rate calculator below, buying a $30,000 car comes with a monthly payment of around $600 while leasing the same vehicle might only cost $420 per month. 



Of course, why buy a $30,000 Ford for a $600 monthly payment when you could lease a $40,000 BMW for $560?  You can afford it so long as you can cover the monthly payment, right?



Not surprisingly, these dynamics have caused lease share of U.S. vehicles to skyrocket in the wake of the "great recession" as people seek to maintain their excessive lifestyles on smaller budgets.

Auto Lease


Of course, the problem is that leased vehicles get returned to their originating lenders every 3 years for brand new leases...we wouldn't want anyone driving around in a 5-year-old clunker now would we?  But, as we all know, vehicles have useful lives of 15-20 years.  Therefore, it doesn't take too many excessive lease cycles to flood the market with used supply and bring the whole ponzi crashing down. 

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17:05 What Trump Means For Vol Trading: "This Is The Start Of Global Regime Change"»

Via Artemis Capital Management,

The world changed the night of November 8th when Donald Trump rode a wave of populist anger to become the president elect of the United States of America. Many readers of our investor letters know that Trump’s victory was not a surprise to Artemis… as I observed with fascination how many of friends and family from my birth state of Michigan, most of whom voted for Obama the last two elections, reluctantly admitted in private they were supporting Trump. I cautioned, both in writing and during a speaking engagement at the EQDerivatives Conference in May, that the market was dramatically underestimating the probability of a Trump victory given socio-economic factors and age demographics in swing states like Michigan and Florida. What the consensus failed to see is that the election was not between a Democrat and Republican, but rather a Globalist and a Populist. America wanted a populist of one vintage or the other. The Democratic party didn’t lose the election in November, but in the summer, when they suppressed their alternative populist candidate in favor of an oligarch. This is just the beginning - I’ll double down this a passage from my June 2016 Letter to Investors.


What Trump Means for Volatility Trading

Trump is a boost to volatility traders (but not traditional hedging or tail risk) because of his inherent unpredictability. Never before in history has a president been so able and willing to shift a policy debate with a tweet. In a world where we have gotten used to parsing Fed statements for methodically planned hints on policy shifts, Trump is a protectionist bull in a china shop. Trump will keep the price of uncertainty high, and high uncertainty is very good for the business of dynamic volatility trading, but oddly poses a challenge for traditional hedging and tail risk funds.

Uncertainty and volatility are not the same thing. 2016 was a year of low volatility but historically high uncertainty. For example, although the VIX index averaged only 15.82 in 2016 (36th percentile of observations) investor hedging drove the expectation of vol to historic highs as measured by skew, implied volatility premium, and volatility forward premium.

Traditional hedging and tail risk will struggle in an environment where markets remain calm and the cost of uncertainty remains high. Dynamic volatility traders can perform because we can recycle higher priced uncertainty to achieve a better return profile on long optionality. For example, this year Artemis found value by recycling overpriced skew and term premium into volatility-of-volatility and vol-of-vol-convexity.

Trump is the start of Global Regime Change

Trump is the first “populist” US president since Andrew Jackson in 1829 and takes office with a mandate to reverse the course of globalization. Denial is not a strategy and it’s time to face the reality that is coming… the good, the bad, and the ugly. First off, stop underestimating this man – you don’t become leader of the free world through stupidity and luck. The rants and twitter storms are part of a strategy of media control and distraction. Trump knows that if you can’t win, then you change the rules of the game – this is what he has already done with American politics – and what he is about to do to the entire Post-Bretton Woods World Order. If you really want to know a person, watch what they do, and not what they say… or what they tweet.

Trump’s business career was largely comprised of three core strategies 1) Leverage 2) Restructure 3) Brand… in that order. Throughout the late 1970s and 1980s Trump rode a generational decline in interest rates and debt binge to purchase a range of high profile real estate projects including the Grand Hyatt (1978). Trump Tower (1983), the Plaza Hotel (1988) and the Taj Mahal (1988). In the 1990s he went through a total of 6 bankruptcies due to over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York. In the 2000s he pivoted to move away from debt-driven property investments to building a global brand through the “Apprentice” TV show. Trump will run the country as he ran his businesses…. He will lever, and lever, and lever, and lever… and lever… and then restructure his way to success, or whatever success is defined as by the broadest measure of popularity at any given time. Trumponomics, if it delivers, will be a supply side free for all: massive tax cuts, deficit spending to create jobs, financial and energy deregulation, business creation, and trade protectionism all driving inflation. More importantly, Trump sees bankruptcy as a tool and not an obligation and will have no problem pushing the US to the limits of debt expansion.

“I do play with bankruptcy laws, they’re very good to me!” he once said. Trump may be willing to bring the US to the brink of default if it produces middle class jobs and popularity, and what he understands is that nobody can stop him, not Europe, not China. In a Trump mindset, the US national debt and deficits, or prior commitments (e.g. NATO), are not to be taken seriously as long as we hold all the cards… namely the biggest military in the world, energy independence, world reserve currency, and the world’s largest buyer of consumer goods. He is dangerously right, these geo-political solvency tools are far more powerful than the bankruptcy laws he used to protect his casino assets… the US is just another, bigger, badder, more bankrupt casino with air craft carriers. The media doesn’t seem to understand that Trump’s overtures to Russia and Taiwan are not diplomatic gaffes but rather forms of economic leverage. He is reminding Europe that NATO is nothing without the US, and reminding China that creditor nations lose trade wars. As a negotiating tactic, it may work … or may drive the world to a hot war… or both.

Like it or not --- the old rules are gone. Diplomacy has been replaced by Twitter, and the unexpected is now to be expected. Trump’s world is a zero-sum game – and this means a shock doctrine of US centric re-positioning in trade in a dramatic change from the post-World War II order. The US has the largest military, the best geography, best technology innovation, the largest economy, best demographics in the developed world, and shale-driven energy independence to boot.

Trump won the election by funneling the frustrations of the marginalized white middle class voter humiliated after three decades of wage stagnation… he is the “super-ego” of the American Middle Class… and Trump will restructure the global order to make that voter happy if that is what it takes to get him re-elected.

Trump’s biggest and newest brand is the U.S.A., and he will use nationalism and every publicity stunt possible to create spectacles of economic and military success.

All bets are off, and that is very good for volatility… but potentially very turbulent for the world.

The Trump presidency will mark the reversal of the Post-Bretton Woods World Order ending a multi-decade regime of reflexive globalism. Ever since the 1970s the world been dominated by a self-reinforcing arrangement between Developed-Debtor and Emerging-Creditor nations driving generational trends in currencies, commodities, interest rates, and stocks (see chart). The US provides the largest consumer base in the world, military protection of global trade routes, developed financial markets, and willingness to take on debt --- and the developed world produces cheap goods and in turn buys debt and dollars reinforcing the monetary-military reflexivity. Asset prices rise, debt expands, commodities rise, developed world inflation stays tame, and interest rates drop. The net effect is that the US exports its middle class and inflation abroad and the emerging world absorbs that inflation creating a new consumer class and social stability for authoritarian regimes (China). The financiers, technologists, and emerging world industrialists get richer and richer, while the developed world middle class is marginalized.

Trump marks a populist rejection of this global arrangement, which is going to send the entire world order down a very unpredictable path. Do not underestimate the probability that Trump will not serve out his full term – you do not threaten a multi-decade system empowering a transnational class of global elites without a bloody fight. The rally in the USD is more than just trade protectionism, it is about security and capital flight in anticipation of the new world order. For the US, Trump may be good in the short term but drive stagflation in the long term. For Europe and China, he will be a disaster. Volatility will be forthcoming, but it will be worse internationally than in the US. Markets are dramatically underpricing the three-year forward probability of a European Union breakup, and China’s debt bubble collapse, both of which have been probabilistically amplified by the Trump victory. For evidence of the later consider the current USD funding crisis that is causing inter-bank lending to spike in China, stealth devaluation of the RMB, and surges in Bitcoin. History serves as a guide to periods whereby globalism turned into isolationism, namely the 1910s and 1930s… and the lessons we can apply from those eras to today are further financial crises and higher probabilities of armed conflict between Russia vs. Europe, Iran vs. Saudi Arabia, and China vs. Japan in the next decade. Fourth turnings do not happen quietly.

The Trump promise of fiscal stimulus, de-regulation, and trade barriers has sent the USD soaring, the stock market higher, market sentiment to all-time highs, and nominal yields back to their highest levels in three years. All-in-all the rally appears a little overdone. It’s eerily similar to the rally that occurred after Reagan was elected in 1980, but the comparison should stop right there. In 1980 the S&P 500 index sported a PE ratio of 9x compared to 21x today, the 10yr UST yield was over 1100 basis points higher at 13.56%, US Debt to GDP was at 30% versus 105% today (not including off balance sheet liabilities and social security) and the top marginal tax rate was 70% vs. 39.6% today. The idea that Trump’s election somehow changes world demographics and deflation overnight, is about as naive as giving Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his role in ushering in a new era of global peace.

When looking at the effect of Trump, I don’t see a return to the 1980s, but rather the late 1990s. The aftermath of the Trump election resulted in an unusual positive correlation between the USD, Yields, and the S&P 500 Index. The last time the USD, Stocks, and UST yields both rose and fell simultaneously was at the height of the dot-com era in 1997-1999 (2008-2009 also experienced periods where all fell). During the late-1990s all three assets rose and declined in concert as the market gyrated between irrationally exuberant growth and international crises (Asia and Russia Default). High volatility and a bull-market co-existed during this time as the VIX averaged 25 between 1997 and 1999 (compared to 15.8 in 2016) as the S&P 500 index rose +98%. If supply side stimulus and animal spirits released by Trump amplify the current bull-market and lead to inflation, expect the second order effects of his policies to cause violent bouts of international turbulence and drawdowns reminiscent of the Asia (1997) and Russia (1998) crises two decades ago. The extent which international turbulence causes significant US equity volatility will depend on contagion effects. For example, in 1998 it took several months for the effects of Russia’s sovereign default to spread, eventually threatening the US financial system via the contagion vehicle of Long Term Capital Management. Expect a similar pattern for a banking crash in China, EU breakup, or regional war.

In the late-1990s overvaluation was concentrated to one asset class with ample room for policy response. Today there are historically high valuations in equities and fixed income coupled with high sovereign debt, unprecedented central bank balance sheets, and poor world demographics. Low beta and high dividend index stocks are the new dot-coms. According to S&P Capital IQ, Russell 2000 index stocks carried a 62 percent valuation premium over non-index stocks in 2015, rising from just 12% in 2006. This time around it may not be possible to print our way out of the next crisis… so mechanisms are already being put in place to “freeze” the assets inside the system... essentially a global version of the Cyprus “Bail-in”… but that is a different story for a different investment letter.

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16:45 Trump Wins The Unions: Teamsters Praise TPP Withdrawal, Labor Chiefs Describe "Incredible" Meeting With Trump»

Shortly after Donald Trump made good on one of his core campaign promises on Monday morning by signing an executive order formally withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal, Trump told labor union leaders that he would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement "at the appropriate time."

The remarks came at the start of a meeting at the White House with leaders of construction, carpenters, plumbers and sheet metal unions, during which Trump pledged to stop trade deals that harmed American workers. 

According to the White House, participants included North America's Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey, Laborers' International Union of North America President Terry O'Sullivan, SMART sheet metal workers' union President Joseph Sellers, United Brotherhood of Carpenters President Doug McCarron and Mark McManus, president of the United Association that represents plumbers, pipefitters, welders and others. The union meeting also included several local union officials and follows a gathering of 12 chief executives of large companies at the White House to discuss revitalizing the U.S. manufacturing economy.

“This is a group that I know well,” Trump said referring to the union bosses, adding “we’re going to put a lot of people back to work” and “stop the ridiculous trade deals.”

When Trump said the administration “just officially terminated TPP,” it prompted applause from the labor chiefs (and this time it certainly wasn't by paid members of the studio audience), who later described their meeting with Trump as "incredible."

Trump also added that he doesn’t blame former President Obama for decades of bad trade deals, which - at least mathematically - makes sense.

But even more notable, was the dramatic pivot by the US labor unions, historically stalwart democrat supporters, who have suddenly emerged as big supporters of Trump policies, and perhaps no one more so than AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka who said TPP withdrawal is "a good first step toward building trade policies that benefit workers."

As a reminder, nearly all major unions endorsed Trump's rival, Hillary Clinton, during the presidential election campaign: they now appear to be shifting their allegiance.

Below is the full statement issued by the Teamsters' Jimmy Hoffa, who said "Withdrawal from TPP the Right Choice for U.S. Trade Policy"

The following is a statement from Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa on President Donald Trump signing an executive order to formally withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership. 


“Today, President Trump made good on his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. With this decision, the president has taken the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs.


“The Teamsters Union has been on the frontline of the fight to stop destructive trade deals like the TPP, China PNTR, CAFTA and NAFTA for decades. Millions of working men and women saw their jobs leave the country as free trade policies undermined our manufacturing industry. We hope that President Trump’s meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Jan. 31 opens a real dialogue about fixing the flawed NAFTA.


“We take this development as a positive sign that President Trump will continue to fulfill his campaign promises in regard to trade policy reform and instruct the USTR to negotiate future agreements that protect American workers and industry.”

And with that statement, pundit attention will closely follow the Trump-Trumka relationship which promises to be one of the more interesting in US politics over the next few years. As Axios points out, "Trump and top advisers like Steve Bannon see an opportunity to destroy traditional political alliances. Their theory worked in the election: They peeled white working class voters (and many union households) away from the Democrats. Now, they believe that delivering major items for this constituency — watch also for a confrontation with Big Pharma — could further wreck the Democrats' hold on organized labor."

16:44 USD Dumps After Treasury Sec Nominee Mnuchin Warns Of "Excessively Strong" Dollar»

In Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin's written responses to Senate questions, he made it clear that the "strong dollar" policy may not always be his priority as he noted "an excessively strong dollar may be negative in the short-term."

“The strength of the dollar has historically been tied to the strength of the U.S. economy and the faith that investors have in doing business in America,” Mnuchin said in written responses to questions from U.S. senators obtained by Bloomberg News.


“From time to time, an excessively strong dollar may have negative short-term implications on the economy.”

Additional headlines include:


The reaction is clear in USDJPY...


The Dollar Index has dropped below 100 for the first time The ECB's December meeting...

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16:31 White House says it will have Supreme Court nominee in next couple of weeks» Top News & Analysis
Trump will soon announce a Supreme court nominee.
16:28 Wall Street dips on Trump protectionism, Qualcomm drag» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York CityU.S. stocks edged lower on Monday as early moves by President Donald Trump highlighting a protectionist stance on trade gave investors cause to rethink the post-election rally. In his latest executive order, Trump signed to formally withdraw the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific partnership trade deal. Trump has also vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with leaders of Canada and Mexico.

16:25 Here’s How Inflation Could Suck the Wind Out of Trump’s Economy» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Here’s How Inflation Could Suck the Wind Out of Trump’s EconomyDon't look now, but Federal Reserve officials could actually have a problem with price inflation on their hands — something they've been trying to encourage, via ultra-low interest rates and multiple bond buying programs, for years. The only problem: The signs of inflation have emerged now that Wall Street has grown addicted to a dovish Fed. A hawkish turn now, which the Fed has been threatening since the surprise election of Donald Trump boosted hopes of fiscal stimulus and economic growth, could undo the historic calm financial markets have enjoyed since former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke unleashed "QE3" in September 2012. All this comes after a surprisingly strong Consumer Price Index report was released last week showing prices rose 2.1 percent from last December, driven by shelter and fuel costs, vs. the 1.7 percent expected.

16:25 Trump declares National Day of Patriotic Devotion...but you already missed it» Top News & Analysis
Trump's National Day of Patriotic Devotion shouldn't be confused with previous presidential proclamations with similar names.
16:24 Yahoo says Verizon deal now expected to close in Q2» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:20 Yahoo is pushing back the timeline to close the $4.8 billion Verizon acquisition (YHOO)» Markets

Marissa Mayer

Yahoo has delayed the timeframe for closing its $4.8 billion acquisition by Verizon, as the company grapples with additional questions related to a pair of major security breaches that recently came to light. 

"Given work required to meet closing conditions, the transaction is now expected to close in Q2 of 2017," Yahoo said on Monday. The company had previously said the deal would close in the first quarter of the year.

Yahoo did not elaborate on the nature of the work causing the postponement. 

A source familiar with the matter told Business Insider that the parties are working through additional questions resulting from Yahoo's recent disclosures about hacking incidents affecting its service, as well as customary integration matters spanning sales, product and other operations.

Shares of Yahoo were up less than 1% in after hours trading on Monday.

Although Yahoo had aimed to close the deal by the end of Q1, the terms of the transaction specify that the parties have until April 24 to close the deal. After April 24, either party can terminate the deal, or seek a 3-month extension. Yahoo is subject to a $144.8 million termination fee if the deal falls through. 

The update on the deal's timing overshadowed the company's fourth quarter financial results, which topped Wall Street's targets.

Here are the key numbers:

Q4 Revenue (ex TAC): $960.1 million, down roughly 4% year-on-year, but above Wall Street's $908 million target.

EPS (adjusted): $0.25, above the $0.21 expected by Wall Street.

The delay to the closing of the Verizon deal adds further uncertainty to the transaction which has been thrown into turmoil following Yahoo's recent revelation that it had been the victim of several major hacking incidents. The two separate security breaches, which occurred in 2013 and 2014, affected more than a billion of its users' accounts. 

Yahoo did not publicly disclose the incidents until after it had inked the merger agreement with Verizon.

Verizon has reportedly sought to renegotiate the deal for a lower price or other concessions on account of the incidents. And on Monday the Wall Street Journal reported that the SEC was investigating why it took Yahoo so long to disclose the security breaches.

The company's decision not to hold the customary post-earnings conference call with Wall Street analysts (due to what it said was the pending Verizon deal) meant that investors were left with many unanswered questions.

Still, the fact that Yahoo believes the deal is still on track to close in the first half of the year may be a relief to some investors worried that the transaction could be scrapped altogether. 

Yahoo said on Monday that it is "working expeditiously to close the transaction as soon as practicable in Q2."

SEE ALSO: The SEC is investigating why it took so long for Yahoo to say it was hacked

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 9 iPhone tricks that will make your life easier in 2017

16:19 Apple and Other Big Stocks With Nice Charts» Barron's Most Viewed Today
When the market stalls, it pays to look at individual stocks. Apple, Adobe, and even Coke are tempting.
16:19 Shake Shack is giving away burgers if you download its app» Top News & Analysis
Shake Shack is offering a free burger to anyone who downloads its new app by Feb. 28.
16:17 Yahoo shares up 1.8% after company earnings, sales beats expectations» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:16 Yahoo Q4 revenue $1.47 billion vs. expectations $907 million» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:16 Yahoo Q4 adj. EPS 25 cents vs. expectations 21 cents» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:12 Breakingviews: Foxconn’s $7 billion U.S. bet goes beyond politics» Top News & Analysis
Building a huge American factory would fit neatly with President Trump's push to create domestic jobs.
16:05 "Sell The Inauguration" - Dow & Dollar Drop As Bonds & Bullion Pop»

Was it really that easy - Buy The Election (hope), Sell The Inauguration (reality)?...


The Dow continues to cling to unchanged for 2017 (small caps red)...


Since the inauguration...


VIX was the main play thing in American markets again (but The Dow ended down for the 6th day in the last 7... NOTE - the overnight futures ramp dragged cash up to perfectly tag stops at Trump Address highs...


Europe's VIX spiked most in 4 months today, above 17...


Notably, Treasury VIX remains notably elevated relative to Equity VIX post-Trump...

With SKEW at over 146, markets have only been more fearful of a collapse twice in its 27 year history...

Breadth remains divergent for the S&P 500...


But Kuwait is in panic melt-up mode...


Bank stocks dropped once again (contining the trend of up-down-up-down started since the beginning of 2017)...


Notably XLF - the US financials ETF - has fallen to key 50-day moving average...


QCOM was crushed but it didn't really help AAPL...


While the biggest Emerging Market ETF ripped higher today (as the dollar dropped), we note that it suffered a 'death cross'...


While health insurers all tumbled on the the Aetna, Humana deal blockage, only Aetna held on to losses...


Trumphoria is stalling as financial conditions have tightened post-election...


The 30Y Treasury yield fell back below 3.00% - notably, the 30Y yield has gone nowhere since 2 days after the election...


Treasury yields fell across the curve with the long-end outperforming...(note bonds did sell off after Europe closed)


Two words - "policy error"?


The Dollar Index extended its losses from Friday afternoon, stalling at Fed rate-hike lows...

Yen and Sterling strength were the heaviest weights on the dollar index today but everything was bid against the greenback...


While not the perfect analog, one wonders if the post fiscal year spike in the USD is starting to fade once again...


Crude slide despite USD weakness but copper gained...


Gold closed at its highest since Nov 17th...


Bonus Chart: Turning Japanese?


16:01 Dow off 0.1% at 19,800; S&P 500 index close down 0.3% at 2,265» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
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16:01 Nasdaq Composite Index ends little-changed at 5,552» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:01 WH spokesman Spicer decries 'demoralizing' negative media narrative of President Trump» Top News & Analysis
Spicer has faced criticism after claiming reporters misrepresented the crowd size at Trump's swearing in.
16:00 Stock market ends modestly lower on first full trading day of Trump presidency» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
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16:00 Dow closes off 0.1%, as blue-chips finish lower 6 of the past 7 sessions» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
16:00 STOCKS GO NOWHERE: Here's what you need to know» Markets

donald trump

The major US stock-market indexes traded in the red throughout nearly all of Monday. 

The dollar hit a six-week low on the first full working day of President Donald Trump's administration amid uncertainty about the impact of tighter trade policy. Treasurys and gold rallied as demand for safe-haven assets increased.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 19,799.85, -27.40, (-0.14%)

  • S&P 500: 2,265.20, -6.11, (-0.27%)

  • Nasdaq: 5,552.94, -2.39, (-0.04%)

  1. Trump signed an executive order regarding his intent to pull the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade dealThe deal, which would lower tariffs for 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Japan and Mexico but excluding China, was negotiated under the Obama administration.

  2. Trump said in a meeting with CEOs that his administration would 'cut regulations by 75%' and impose a 'very major border tax.' Trump met with CEOs including Kevin Plank of Under Armour, Elon Musk of Tesla, and Mark Fields of Ford.
  3. A federal judge blocked Aetna's proposed $37 billion takeover of Humana. The government alleged that the merger would likely lessen competition in the health-insurance market.

  4. McDonald's can't keep up with all-day breakfast. A "challenging comparison against the prior-year launch" was behind a 1.3% drop in same-store sales during Q4, the company said. 
  5. Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield services provider, warned of weakness in markets outside of North America. The company reported a better-than-expected adjusted profit for the fourth quarter as US shale drillers increased activity. 
  6. Sprint bought a 33% stake in the music-streaming service Tidal"Sprint shares our view of revolutionizing the creative industry to allow artists to connect directly with their fans and reach their fullest, shared potential," Jay Z, Tidal's co-owner, said in a statement. 


America's millennials stuck in their parents' basement may finally be able to move out

Sean Spicer won't say what the unemployment rate is

Trump's first week in office promises to be 'one of the most interesting if not exciting markets in a long time'

Sunday: Kellyanne Conway says Trump won't release his tax returns as "people didn't care." Monday: Kellyanne Conway backpedals: Trump will release his tax returns after audit is completed

LEE COOPERMAN'S OMEGA: 2017 is the year for stock pickers

Paul Ryan and Trump see 2 fundamentally different US economies — and one is a fantasy

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how to use one of the many apps to buy and trade bitcoin

15:56 2 GOP senators just unveiled a curious first attempt in the bid to replace Obamacare» Markets

Bill Cassidy

Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy and Susan Collins introduced the first Affordable Care Act replacement bill from the GOP on Monday, called the Patient Freedom Act.

Based on the fact sheet for the bill, it's a curious opening salvo from the party. It appears that the replacement would give states the option to keep nearly all of the law intact if they wish.

The bill has three options for how states can cover people:

  1. "Reimplementation of the ACA." This option would allow states to put most of the provisions of the ACA, which is also known as Obamacare, back into place, including the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion. Funding from the federal government would remain the same for Medicaid expansion, cost-sharing subsidies, and premium subsidies up to 95% of current outlays.
  2. "Choose a new state alternative." This would allow states to create a "new market-based system" with federal funding "equal to 95% of federal premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies" and having "per beneficiary grants or advanceable, refundable tax credits" deposited directly in health savings accounts.
  3. "Design an alternative solution without federal assistance." This would allow states to create their own individual market solution with no funding from the federal government.

The bill, according to the fact sheet, would keep in place a number of provisions of the ACA, including not allowing insurers to deny coverage because of a preexisting condition, allowing children to stay on their parents' insurance until age 26, and prohibiting lifetime limits.

It does, however, repeal mandates on certain baselines for coverage (the fact sheet did not specify what types of coverage), the provision that premiums for elderly people can be only three times that of young people, and other clauses.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan healthcare think tank, said the bill appears to keep a majority of the ACA intact — to the point that it's almost indistinguishable from the original law.

"Based on this summary, the ... plan basically block grants the ACA with a cut in federal funding of 5%," Levitt tweeted.

Levitt added that the final legislative language will be important to determining the effect of the law. Only the fact sheet has been released so far.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pushed back on the plan, saying it would be possible some people currently insured would lose coverage and that there were concerns about keeping parts of the ACA while repealing others.

"Ultimately, this proposal is an empty facade that would create chaos — not care — for millions of Americans," Schumer said in a statement. "Republicans should drop their disruptive repeal plans and work with Democrats to improve, not gut, the Affordable Care Act and healthcare system for all Americans."

SEE ALSO: CBO: The GOP's Obamacare repeal could leave 27 million people without health insurance and cause premiums to skyrocket

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These are Stratfor's chilling predictions for 2017

15:49 Stocks pare losses heading into close, Nasdaq swings to gain» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
15:47 Auto Industry's No. 1 Preoccupation: Trump» WSJ.com: US Business
New president’s tweets put Big Three car makers on the defensive about their commitment to U.S. jobs and investment. Their response shows the extent to which companies are factoring Mr. Trump’s criticism into their decision-making.
15:47 Trump wants a U.K. trade deal. Don't hold you breath» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
President Trump will meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May to talk about forging a trade deal between the two nations.
15:47 Mexico's Jose Cuervo planning February IPO» Top News & Analysis
Jose Cuervo, the world's biggest tequila producer, is planning a Feb. 8 pricing for its long-delayed IPO.
15:44 Trump's decision to kill TPP leaves door open for China» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
President Trump's decision to jettison the largest proposed free trade deal in history leaves the door open for Beijing to push its own brand of trade.
15:43 The so-called Trump rally hasn't been an actual rally since mid-December» Top News & Analysis
The S&P 500 has now moved sideways for a longer period than the actual post-election rally.
15:36 One thing great leaders never do» Top News & Analysis
Six tips for effectively managing people who know more than you.
15:34 Warby Parker to Open 25 Stores This Year» WSJ.com: US Business
Warby Parker plans to open at least 25 retail locations this year, a rare brick-and-mortar expansion amid store closures at several chains.
15:32 Trump reinstates 'global gag rule,' which limits abortions abroad» Top News & Analysis
The policy, also known as the 'global gag rule' and 'Mexico City policy,' has long been a political football, NBC News reports.
15:29 A rocket scientist who helped explore Mars explains how ignorance helps solve problems» Top News & Analysis
NASA engineer Adam Steltzner shares his counterintuitive but successful approach to challenges.
15:26 Deloitte's Dublin blockchain lab opens» Finextra Research Headlines
Deloitte, which works with 90 per cent of the world’s largest financial institutions today opened it...
15:23 Hedge Funds Hit $3 Trillion, but Some Investors Are Headed for the Door» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Hedge Funds Hit $3 Trillion, but Some Investors Are Headed for the DoorThe stock market rally since the election has pushed the value of hedge fund assets to a record level, despite sustained withdrawals from investors. Total hedge fund capital passed $3 trillion in the fourth ...

15:22 A third of Californians dreaming of a country without Trump, polls says» Top News & Analysis
One in every three California residents supports the most populous U.S.state's peaceful withdrawal from the union, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.
15:16 These stocks have more than doubled in two years — and I’m betting on more gains to come: Trader» Top News & Analysis
Netflix and Nvidia continue their rally, and one trader is betting on them to rise even higher.
15:10 Sean Spicer won't say what the unemployment rate is» Markets

Sean Spicer

During an exchange with a reporter at Monday's press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not want to settle on what the unemployment rate was.

Spicer was asked point-blank, "What is the national unemployment rate?"

He responded by saying there are "several versions" put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The press secretary later said that President Donald Trump "sees people that are hurting," and that "it's not just a number" to him. He said the president is "not focused on statistics," but "if people are doing better off."

"I think that's where his head is at," he said, adding that previously "it's been about what number we're looking at instead of what face we're looking at."

The BLS classifies people as unemployed if they do not have a job, are available to work, and have sought jobs within the past month. It does not count retirees, students, caretakers, and people who are not seeking work as part of the labor force, from which the unemployment rate is calculated.

For December, the unemployment rate was 4.7%. The labor force participation rate was 62.7%.

Trump has doubted the validity of the unemployment rate, saying at an Iowa rally in early December that it is "totally fiction."

"If you look for a job for six months and then you give up, they consider you give up," he said. "You just give up. You go home. You say, 'Darling, I can't get a job.' They consider you statistically employed. It's not the way. But don't worry about it because it's going to take care of itself pretty quickly."

During the campaign, he said the unemployment rate was really 42%, which included the millions of people who are not counted as a part of the labor force.

SEE ALSO: Ethics watchdog group files first major lawsuit against Trump in his presidency

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NOW WATCH: 'It's a little demoralizing': Watch Trump's press secretary go off on reporters over perceived bias

15:10 Kellyanne Conway backpedals: Trump may still release his tax returns» Markets

kellyanne conway

President Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway backpedaled on a statement she made on Sunday that Trump would not release his tax returns

"On taxes, answers (& repeated questions) are same from campaign: POTUS is under audit and will not release until that is completed," tweeted Conway

Conway's tweet contradicted a statement she made on ABC's "This Week," when host George Stephanopoulos asked Conway about the White House's response to 100,000 people petitioning the White House for Trump to release his full tax returns "with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance."

"The White House response is that he's not going to release his tax returns. We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care. They voted for him," said Conway.

Conway also suggested on Sunday that the American people want Trump to lower taxes, not to release his own tax returns.

"Let me make this very clear. Most Americans are very focused on what their tax returns will look like while President Trump is in office, not what his look like," she said.

Contrary to Conway's claims, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Monday found that 74% of Americans say Trump should release his tax returns.

"Tragically, the Trump plan to deal with his business conflicts announced today falls short in every respect," said Norman Eisen, former Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform in President Barack Obama's administration, according to the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza.

In December, lawmakers from several states proposed legislation that would prevent presidential candidates from appearing on their states' ballots unless the candidates release their tax returns, Reuters reported.

SEE ALSO: Trump signs executive order on TPP

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: These are Stratfor's chilling predictions for 2017

15:07 Trump's plan to jumpstart US manufacturing could backfire over a major flaw (F, GM, FCAU)» Markets

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump met with business leaders on Monday and offered his plans to cut corporate taxes, impose a steep border tax on imports, and curtail regulations.

Businesses aren't going to have any issues with the tax cuts and the regulatory rollback, but the border tax is something that everyone is going to furiously try to figure out.

This is especially true in the auto industry. Tax cuts will help Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to bolster their balance sheets, and a possible change to fuel-economy and emissions regulations will help them to build more profitable trucks and SUVs.

But a border tax is going to put them in the awkward position of potentially adding plants in the US that they don't need, given the high level of sales currently in the market. There doesn't seem to be any question that a border tax is coming, so while tax cuts could ultimately cause the whole thing to even out, automakers will need to decide if they simply want to pay whatever it is — or lobby to make sure that there are different levels of border taxation.

Obviously, imposing a border tax means adding to the federal bureaucracy — someone will have to figure out who owes what and how to pay — and that's not necessarily going to sit well with many conservatives.

What isn't going to sit well with Trump is the ultimate reluctance of automakers to go on a hiring spree in the US when a market downturn isn't a possibility, it's a certainty. GM just laid off an entire shift of workers at its Lordstown, Ohio factory — right in the heart of Trump country. Some 1,200 employees were let go because the car they build, the Cruze compact sedan, is experiencing declining sales in a market that's setting new sales records.

Risky jobs

This is important because even though the US economy is at full-employment now, with the unemployment rate under 5%, Trump's supporters need manufacturing jobs to be created — jobs that don't require a college degree and that can be located in the battleground states that the President won.

When companies sort out the math and the politics, they may decide that hiring is worth it to get the tax breaks and the regulatory rollbacks. 

But those jobs will be unstable; and in the auto industry, they'll be jobs that aren't supported by demand. As soon as the market dips, they'll be cut. 

Ford Kentucky Plant

Trump's policies could keep auto sales elevated for another 12 to 18 months, but the US market will eventually fall back to a 15 million to 16 million annual sales pace. Gas prices could also rise again, leading to layoffs at SUV and pickup factories.

So if the bargain with Trump is some US hiring in return for tax cuts and regulatory breaks, the President will be setting himself up to deal with a lot of laid-off workers in 2018-2019 — and no leverage on taxes or regulations.

At that point, the border tax might be his only bargaining chip. So patience and cooperation could be the best way for US manufacturers to come out of this ahead. And in the end, the overarching trend of automation replacing workers and making manufacturing more efficient and productive will continue apace. 

This is the tough math that Trump is facing. And we haven't even gotten to the inflationary pressures the economy would face if hiring increases and wages go up in a full-employment scenario.  

SEE ALSO: I took a Tesla Model S on a road trip — and found out the hard way why it's a very different car

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NOW WATCH: Ford just revealed some of the first production versions of its most expensive supercar — the Ford GT

15:01 March WTI oil settles at $52.75/bbl, down 47 cents, or 0.9%» MarketWatch.com - Real-time Headlines
This is a Real-time headline. These are breaking news, delivered the minute it happens, delivered ticker-tape style. Visit www.marketwatch.com or the quote page for more information about this breaking news.
15:00 The FTC is suing 2 drug companies for obstructing generic competition (AGN, ENDP)» Markets

The Federal Trade Commission has re-filed complaints against two drug companies for obstructing generic drug competition, with one company agreeing to settle with the agency.

The re-filed case is related to one the FTC filed in March 2016 against Endo International and Allergan. The FTC said at the time that Endo delayed the arrival of generic competition to its drugs Opana ER (an extended-release opioid painkiller) and Lidoderm (a patch used to treat pain related to shingles), a practice called pay-for-delay. 

The company that made the generic versions of Opana ER and Lidoderm, known as Watson before being acquired by Allergan, is still being sued by the FTC for entering the pay-for-delay agreement. 

Endo was down as much as 5% on the news Monday afternoon, while Allergan was up slightly. Teva, which acquired Allergan's generics business, was down 3%. Allergan declined to comment on the FTC's complaint. 

Here's what Endo agreed to, according to the FTC:

"The proposed Endo order prohibits Endo and its subsidiaries from entering into the type of anticompetitive patent settlements that the FTC charged Endo used to eliminate the risk of generic competition, including its use of no-authorized generic, or “no-AG,” commitments, in which a brand company agrees not to compete with an authorized generic version of a drug for a period of time. Because Endo is now prohibited by Commission order from entering into pay-for-delay settlements, the order also releases Endo from liability for its use of reverse-payment settlement agreements concerning the branded drug AndroGel."

Endo said in a release that the company made no admission of liability and won't have to pay the FTC. 

Screen Shot 2017 01 23 at 1.47.02 PM

SEE ALSO: The US just accused a drugmaker of paying companies not to compete, and its shares are tanking

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NOW WATCH: Here's how to use one of the many apps to buy and trade bitcoin

14:59 Investors worried about President Trump should buy these stocks, Goldman Sachs says» Top News & Analysis
Goldman recommends stocks "capable of growing sales rapidly, independent of economic and policy uncertainty" from Trump's agenda.
14:53 White House spokesman Sean Spicer: 'Our intention is never to lie to you'» Top News & Analysis
Sean Spicer was asked about whether he intended to always tell the truth.
14:34 LEE COOPERMAN'S OMEGA: 2017 is the year for stock pickers» Markets

Leon G. Cooperman, CEO of Omega Advisors, Inc., speaks on a panel at the annual Skybridge Alternatives Conference (SALT) in Las Vegas May 7, 2015.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Another Wall Street investor expects a strong year for stock pickers.

Leon Cooperman's Omega Advisors says active equity managers will be able to take advantage of increased volatility.

That's according to an investor letter from the equity-focused hedge fund dated January 19, a copy of which was viewed by Business Insider. The letter was written by Omega founder Cooperman and vice chairman Steve Einhorn.

"Active management needs asset and individual security volatility," the letter said, which the firm expects to come.

Increased volatility should come for four reasons, according to the letter:

  • Tightened central bank policies. "Very friendly Federal Reserve/global monetary policies have dampened fixed income volatility, in turn restraining equity market/individual stock volatility. The Federal Reserve has started to tighten policy and central banks in the Euro area and Japan are likely at their limit of friendliness. Global monetary policies have almost certainly reached the limit of their friendliness and should therefore no longer limit risk asset price volatility to the extent this was the case in the last several years."
  • Fiscal stimulus. "Fiscal stimulus is almost certain in the US in 2017 and this change in policy mix, from pure monetary/no fiscal to less monetary/more fiscal, should lift risk asset volatility."
  • Expansion. "An ever lower standard deviation of US economic growth and inflation explain a portion of currently below-average risk asset volatility and this should reverse given the above average length of the U.S. economic expansion, a greater portion of our growth attributed to the more volatile capex sector, and an almost certain lift in wage and consumer inflation."
  • Trump. "With the arrival of Mr. Trump in Washington, the risk of a boom/bust economic outlook has increased," the letter said. That's because Trump's administration has pitched fiscal stimulus even though the US economy is close to full employment. "This is highly unusual – the unemployment rate is typically much higher than current when fiscal stimulus is introduced," the letter said.

"2016 was a 'tale of two cities,' a first half which brought challenges to active stock pickers and tailwinds to defensive/passive investors and a second half  which brought the reverse," Cooperman and Einhorn wrote in the letter. "The critical question currently is which 'city' will dominate in 2017."

Omega isn't the first to point out the potential for stock pickers, with many others expecting a strong year. That would be a change in fortune for many active managers, particularly hedge funds, which have been criticized for lackluster returns.

Last year, Omega's flagship fund returned 7.7% net of fees compared to 5.5% for the HFRI equity hedge index, according to the letter. This year through January 18, the fund was up 2.1%, according to the letter.

Last year, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against Omega and Cooperman with allegations of insider trading. Cooperman has said he is innocent and plans to fight the charges.

Omega currently manages about $3.5 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter, and has faced outflows following the charges.

SEE ALSO: A hot new hedge fund expects 'billions of dollars' in tech deals

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NOW WATCH: The Property Brothers teach the actual meaning of tricky real estate 'code words'

14:29 And the official title of 'Star Wars: Episode VIII' is...» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Read full story for latest details.
14:29 Trump press secretary’s explanation for why Trump put a freeze on government hiring doesn’t hold up» Markets

On Monday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order freezing all federal government hiring with the exception of the military.

In a press conference on Monday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that the hiring freeze was due to "dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years." Spicer later said that the increase in the size of the federal workforce has been a source of government waste in recent years.

The only problem with this reasoning is that the workforce of the federal government is roughly the same as when President Barack Obama took office and much lower than in decades past. 

The non-military workforce was 2.80 million people according to the most recent jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (this number does include civilian employees in the Department of Defense). This is only slightly higher than the 2.79 million at the time when former President Barack Obama took office in January 2009.

Additionally, it is much lower than the 3.10 million federal employees in 1990.

Of note, the number does spike every 10 years as people are hired to assist with the US Census.

Neil Dutta, the head of US economics at Renaissance Macro, also noted the discrepancy between Spicer's statement and the actual rate of hiring.

"Dramatic is subjective," wrote Dutta in an email. "But, here is a chart of federal government ex Census payroll employment -- up 2.9% since bottoming in April 2014. During this time, private employment is up 5.7%. Also, one reason why federal employment is weaker is because postal service employment has declined as consumers shift online."

While a freeze on federal hiring may be a way to decrease federal spending, to say that the freeze was necessary due to a "dramatic expansion" in the government is misleading.

federal employees sean spicer COTD

SEE ALSO: TRUMP: We're going to 'cut regulations by 75%' and impose a 'very major border tax'

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14:27 StockTwits partners TradeIt for in-app trading from major brokerages» Finextra Research Headlines
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14:18 Can Trump, budget director get on the same page?» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
Conservative Mick Mulvaney has taken both Democrats and Republicans to task for being fiscally profligate. Here's a look at where he may clash with Trump on the key budget issues he'd oversee if confirmed as White House budget director.
14:07 RPT-UPDATE 2-Italy's Generali buys 3 pct of Italian bank Intesa in defensive move» Reuters: Hot Stocks
* Move comes after reports Intesa keen on investment in insurer
13:58 Trump breaking long precedent on tax returns» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
President Donald Trump is already breaking with one of the office's longstanding traditions by choosing not to release his tax returns.
13:38 Samsung details causes of Note 7 fires but questions remain» AP Top Business News at 7:41 p.m. EST
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Samsung says a thorough investigation into the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 phone has confirmed widely held suspicions that its batteries were to blame, marking a first but important step toward restoring consumer confidence....
13:23 UPDATE 4-McDonald's U.S. restaurant sales fall after five quarters of gains» Reuters: Hot Stocks
Jan 23 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp's sales at established U.S. restaurants fell for the first time in six quarters as the novelty of all-day breakfast failed to overcome competition from supermarkets...
13:22 Federal judge swats Aetna-Humana insurer combo» AP Top Business News at 7:41 p.m. EST
A federal judge has rejected health insurer Aetna's bid to buy rival Humana on grounds that the deal would hurt competition in hundreds of Medicare Advantage markets, ultimately affecting the price consumers pay for coverage....
13:21 Snapchat Discover is cracking down on sex, clickbait and fake news» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Snapchat Discover is cracking down on sex, clickbait and fake newsSnapchat doesn't need your clickbait. The mobile storytelling platform, once popularized as a sexting app, is cracking down on sexually explicit and deceptive content within Discover, the publisher section of the app, the company announced Monday.  SEE ALSO: Snapchat makes biggest move yet in becoming the new TV Snap Inc., Snapchat's parent company, unveiled new content guidelines that "prohibit sensitive content, including profanity, overly sexualized content, and violent content" from cover images and require warnings before other "shock" content, according to Snap. While Snapchat has always had guidelines for its publishing partners and worked hand-in-hand advising them on what to include and what to avoid, this announcement is the first time the app has been more stringent and explicit since launching almost two years ago to date. ( Mashable is a Discover partner.) "We take the responsibility of being a source of news, entertainment and information for our community of more than 150 million daily active Snapchatters very seriously," a Snap spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "Our updated Content Guidelines will help our editorial partners tell these stories."  What happened?  The changes, Snap said, were made in part as a response to the feedback they received from users and publishers. Snapchat users have long been aware of sexually explicit content on Discover: there's, um, a lot of sex stuff on snapchat discover today. pic.twitter.com/jQUg4Sk6D4 — Maya Kosoff (@mekosoff) September 30, 2016 I love Snapchat, but wish Discover contained more substance than celebrity divorces, Kimye’s boobs, or food that kills your sex drive. — Heath W. Black (@heathwblack) September 20, 2016 Snapchat Discover headlines are the most click-baity headlines ever written. Example: "Why I Pretended to Be a Sex Tourist" — John Linitz (@jlinitz) June 28, 2016 The proliferation of sex-related content in Discover, in fact, inspired one 14-year-old boy to file a lawsuit against Snapchat last July. That came shortly after Snapchat redesigned its app to allow publishers to create magazine-like covers for their editions instead of just having circular logos, thereby broadcasting more photos to users without their explicit approval and spurring a new wild west for clicks.  Snapchat had conversations with publishers following the suit, which pushed them to tone down what was shared. However, there was no formal agreement. That suit later was dismissed. The changes also follow a rise of conversation around the spread of fake news. Snapchat has positioned itself as a network free from misleading news and propaganda while Facebook is plagued by it.  "Social media companies tell us what to read based on what’s most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what’s important," Snapchat wrote in the blog post announcing Discover back in 2015.  Clearer guidelines also help Snapchat as they onboard new publishers. It also better positions Snapchat as a stable and strong company to Wall Street investors as its eyes an initial public offering later this year.  What's new  Snap outlined four key updates in its updated content guidelines.  The first centers around what is showed in a tile, or the cover image. Those cannot have any kind of profanity, sexualized content such as nude bodies, sex acts or sex toys.  The guidelines also forbid repeated use of clothed but sexualized bodies — for instance what you may see on Monday's Discover edition of The Daily Mail .  Don't worry, team, celebs in bikinis definitely still allowed in Snapchat Discover under new content guidelines pic.twitter.com/K9YHdK5rI3 — Kerry Flynn  (@kerrymflynn) January 23, 2017 The guidelines then have specific rules for subscribers as well as topsnap and longform content.  The above guidelines can be tweaked if there is a sufficient newsworthy value to what is being shown. Snap does require that publishers to have a warning before any violent content, as the company itself has done. For instance, for a recent Snapchat-curated Our Story around the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport, Snap included a 10-second warning image prior to a video showing blood on the tarmac.  In regards what some may categorize as addressing fake news, the guidelines state that publishers must properly fact-check any articles and images. Publishers are forbidden to link to any misleading or fraudulent content.  Snapchat is releasing a tool next month that will allow publishers to limit specific content to users above the age of 18. This "age-gating" feature has been available to advertisers, allowing alcohol brands to show video ads and geo-filters to those above 18. When turned on, this function applies to the entire edition.  Building more  The changes weren't shocking to publishers, who are all in continuous conversations with Snapchat. All editions published Monday were reflective of the new guidelines.  "Our relationships with our editorial partners are vital to us," a Snap spokesperson said in an email. "We have immense respect for their editorial perspectives, prioritize their editorial independence and want to help them achieve the loyalty and trust of our community through substantial, sourced and rewarding content." About 100 million of Snapchat's 150 million daily active users are using Discover, so far. But Snap touts more than those statistics when pitching publishers, advertisers and investors. Internally and with partners, Snap shares return visitors within three-day and week-long periods. Snap also emphasizes completion, or click-through, and watch time. “Snapchat thinks about the role that its content plays in the lives of consumers differently,” Steven Kydd, one of the founders of Tastemade , a Discover partner, told The New York Times . “This is cable all over again, except for a mobile and global audience.” BONUS: Take a look at Snapchat's new 'Spectacles'

13:20 U.S. auto parts sellers skid after report on Amazon's entry» Reuters: Hot Stocks
Jan 23 (Reuters) - Shares of U.S. auto part retailers fell sharply on Monday following a report that Amazon.com Inc had set its sights on the $50 billion do-it-yourself after-market auto parts...
13:18 Why It Might Be Time to Buy GameStop Shares» Barron's Most Viewed Today
The videogame retailer has been hurt by digital game downloads -- and a weak holiday season -- but Barron’s says the news could soon improve.
13:17 America's millennials stuck in their parents' basement may finally be able to move out» Markets

Screen Shot 2017 01 23 at 12.40.15 PM

Economists are hinging a lot of their forecasts for the US economy on how many election promises President Donald Trump keeps. 

Millennial household formation is one such trend, according to Matthew Pointon, a property economist at Capital Economics. 

Last year, the share of young adults living with their parents increased again, as the chart shows. Two important reasons for this are that millennials are getting married later, and wage growth has been sluggish for much of this economic recovery. 

"With wage growth finally set to accelerate, thanks to the fiscal stimulus, we think a larger number of youngsters will have the resources to move out of the parental home this year," Pointon said. The fiscal stimulus involves cutting taxes and increasing infrastructure spending to create domestic demand and, potentially, economic growth.  

Since young people can move out while still single, the decision to stay home goes back to economics: whether they can save enough to afford a down payment to buy, or are earning enough to afford renting on their own. And an improvement in their situation depends on how much American workers benefit if companies enjoy a windfall from the pro-business stimulus Trump has proposed. 

The share of young adults still living at home will stay high during a "transition phase" when younger Americans are not moving out but the older cohort is doing so, Pointon said. "Once a new equilibrium has been found, this 'tempo' effect will dissipate and household formation will return to its long-run level."

"If Trump follows through on his promise to slash regulations, credit conditions are also likely to ease," Pointon said. "Taken together, that will enable more Americans to leave the parental home, and 2017 should see the share living with their parents edge down."

SEE ALSO: Trump's tweets are driving millennials to make a rookie investing mistake

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13:15 Wells Fargo: When The Dust Settles» Most popular articles
13:09 Lawsuit: Trump is violating Constitution» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
An ethics group is suing President Trump, charging that he is violating the Constitution by accepting payments from foreign governments through his business empire.
13:03 CORRECTED-UPDATE 3-McDonald's U.S. sales drop for first time in six quarters» Reuters: Hot Stocks
Jan 23 (Reuters) - McDonald's Corp's sales at established U.S. restaurants fell for the first time in six quarters as the novelty of all-day breakfast failed to overcome competition from supermarkets...
12:27 Trump signs executive order on TPP» Markets

donald trump

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order regarding his intent to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

It's a "great thing for the American worker, what we just did," Trump said at the White House as he signed the order, according to Bloomberg.

The TPP deal, which would lower tariffs for 12 countries around the Pacific Rim, including Japan and Mexico but excluding China, was negotiated under the Obama administration. However, it was not ratified by Congress.

After the signing, Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, said he was "glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone." Meanwhile, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said that withdrawing from TPP was a "serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America's economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region."

Trump made the debate over free trade one of the central topics of his campaign after criticizing China, Mexico, and Japan. He argued in favor of ripping up trade deals, said the North American Free Trade Agreement was "the worst trade deal in the history of the country," and called TPP "a rape of our country."

Trump has not yet signed any executive orders about renegotiating NAFTA, although his administration posted on the White House website on Friday that it would tackle that trade agreement as well. Trump said on Sunday that he would meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discuss NAFTA, according to Bloomberg.

Wilbur Ross, the nominee for commerce secretary, said at his confirmation hearing last Wednesday that NAFTA would be an early priority for his department. He said he was "pro-trade," but only as long as it is "sensible trade."

Protectionism has become more popular as American workers worry about losing jobs to other countries. And politicians across the political spectrum — including Sanders and Hillary Clinton — zeroed in on these anxieties during the 2016 campaign as they vied for the top job in the White House.

Activists protest TPP in Washington D.C.

Although the bulk of the discussion regarding the TPP stateside has centered on the growing populist movement and the rising backlash against trade, there was also a key geopolitical angle in light of the world's increasing multipolarity — it was part of the Obama administration's "pivot to Asia."

As China has continued to grow economically on the global stage and militarily in Asia over the last few years, the Obama administration worked to both strengthen the US's relationship with China and other Asian states and increase the US's military presence in the region. And the TPP deal was interpreted by analysts as an economic arm of that agenda.

"The whole TPP agreement really isn't about workers, who are taking it on the chin whether it gets concluded or not," Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer told Business Insider in September. "It's about America's position in Asia.

"If it doesn't get done, China will become the fallback leader for Asian economic architecture," Bremmer said. "And US relations with many countries in the region will slip."

SEE ALSO: Legendary physicist Freeman Dyson talks about math, nuclear rockets, and astounding things about the universe

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NOW WATCH: Trump signs three executive orders, including a withdrawal from the TPP

12:23 What you need to know on Wall Street right now» Markets

trump business leaders meetingWelcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours.

President Donald Trump said in a meeting with CEOs on Monday that his administration would prioritize tax cuts for corporations and decreasing regulation in its first days.

Trump, speaking with CEOs including Kevin Plank of Under Armour, Elon Musk of Tesla, and Mark Fields of Ford, promised to "cut regulations by 75%, maybe more." Trump said regulations regarding worker safety would be "just as strong" and "just as protective of the people," but that current regulations "make it impossible to get anything built."

Elsewhere in Trump headlines:

In finance news, two startups are combining to fix a problem with Wall Street stock research. Ken Griffin's $26 billion firm has made a hire from a struggling hedge fund.

And here are all the people who made managing director at Morgan Stanley.

In tech news, Sprint just bought a big stake in Tidal. The SEC is investigating why it took so long for Yahoo to say it was hacked. And Apple is marching to "war" with a "direct assault" on Qualcomm's business model, according to Bernstein.

We asked pharma executives the one question they didn't want to hear about drug pricing. And the giant Aetna-Humana merger has been blocked.

Lastly, this New York apartment was transformed into a modern bachelor pad for a financier.

Here are the top Wall Street headlines from the past 24 hours

McDonald's can't keep up with its all-day-breakfast launchMcDonald's reported fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, beating expectations across the board.

HALLIBURTON: We are seeing weakness everywhere but in North AmericaHalliburton Co, the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider, on Monday warned of weakness in markets outside of North America, echoing comments made by larger rival Schlumberger last week.

Why Tesla's recent stock rally has caught Wall Street off guardFor the past few years, Tesla has presented a pattern appealing to skeptics of the company's future — and investors who want to short the stock, or who are just Tesla bears.

Drugmakers want to use a campaign featuring poetry and lab coats to clear up their drug pricing problem - The drug industry's pricing problem has made its way up to the president.

There's a $95 billion city in Saudi Arabia that has seen its population grow by 70% in one year - The boss of a $95 billion city being built in Saudi Arabia says that it has attracted more white-collar workers, companies and increased its population by 70% over the last year.

This trader is helping Europeans working in the UK leave after the Brexit vote -  The prospect of companies axing thousands of jobs in the UK has haunted the national psyche following Britain's vote to leave the European Union last year.

SEE ALSO: The 27 most important finance books ever written

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12:21 ITV, Mediaset and Ascential are the big M&A targets in European media in 2017 (IPG, HAV, ITV)» Markets

X Factor

The European media sector's busy mergers and acquisition activity in 2016 is likely to increase and will put M&As center stage in 2017, according to a note from Goldman Sachs.

The note highlights ITV, Mediaset, and Ascential as the main M&A targets for the European media sector.

Goldman Sachs notes that after 21st Century Fox's proposal to buy the remaining 61% stake it does not yet own in Sky in December, another British broadcaster, ITV, could be next.

The note names American telecoms group Liberty Global, which owns nearly 10% in ITV, as a potential buyer.

"Distributors like Liberty, Altice and BT have been increasingly moving up the value chain by creating their own content or buying content players, as owning relevant and attractive content can be an effective factor of differentiation (although this varies significantly by market)," according to the note.

The growth of streaming platforms in Europe makes owning a content producer attractive. Combined with a drop in the value of Sterling since Brexit, ITV is an attractive target for international buyers according to Goldman Sachs.

British B2B media groups Ascential and UBM were named as potential acquisition targets for the same reasons. Ascential organizes the Cannes Lions festival and owns the the fashion trends site WGSN. UBM organizes a number of IT conferences and owns specialist trade titles such as Property Week and Information Week.

The note also highlights Mediaset as a likely acquisition target, pointing to the ongoing discussions with French media group Vivendi.

According to Goldman Sachs M&A could also pick up among advertising companies as a result of clients continuing to get more services from fewer providers.

"Given their smaller size relative to other global agencies, we see Havas and Interpublic as the most likely targets," the note said.

Havas was the most likely of the two agency holding companies to be acquired, according to the note. Instead of an acquisition by another agency group, it's possible that Vivendi, in which Havas shareholder Bollore Group also has a stake, would be the acquirer according to the note.

Disclosure: The author is a former Havas employee.

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NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist reveals the best way to fake it till you make it

12:20 Alphabet Shares Could Top $1,000 in a Year, Barron's Says» Barron's Most Viewed Today
Digital ads should overtake TV spots for the first time in 2017. Plus, Google could finally benefit from the Cloud.
12:18 Robeco names Graham Elliot head of APAC, Middle East distribution» Reuters: Money
(Reuters) - Dutch money manager Robeco appointed Graham Elliot as head of Asia Pacific and Middle East distribution.
12:14 Qualcomm plunges 12% on word of Apple's $1 billion lawsuit (QCOM, AAPL)» Markets

Qualcomm is down 12.63% at $54.95 a share following word that Apple is suing the company for $1 billion.

Apple announced last Friday that it is suing Qualcomm, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court seen by Business Insider.

Apple buys wireless modem chips from Qualcomm and pays it license royalties to use its wireless patents.

Apple is accusing Qualcomm of withholding $1 billion in rebates under a deal they had struck to keep Qualcomm modems in Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad.

Both Apple and the Federal Trade Commission, which also accused Qualcomm of monopolizing its part of the chip market, say that Qualcomm is "double-dipping" on charging for its technology, and has been for the better part of the past decade. 

Analysts at Bernstein believe this suit suggests that Apple may drop Qualcomm as a supplier completely. "The filing also doesn’t read well for the future of Qualcomm's chipset business with Apple. It alleges that Apple has been willing, and able to use competing solutions for years," the analysts wrote. 

The analysts are bearish on Qualcomm, lowering their target price to $65 from $80 ahead of the company reporting earnings on Wednesday. "But we have a hard time spinning a war with [Apple, Qualcomm's] largest customer as anything but a clear negative," the analysts wrote. 

Screen Shot 2017 01 23 at 12.11.42 PM

SEE ALSO: Analyst: Apple is marching to 'war' with a 'direct assault' on Qualcomm's business model

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12:12 Aon Hewitt appoints William Parry as senior consultant» Reuters: Money
(Reuters) - Aon Hewitt, a unit of Aon Plc, has appointed William Parry as a senior consultant to the retirement and investment practice in its fiduciary management unit.
12:01 President Trump can levy tariffs without Congress» Business and financial news - CNNMoney.com
President Trump can use tariffs against other countries without approval from Congress.
12:01 UPDATE 1-Argentine lemon growers vow to rekindle U.S. export agreement» Reuters: Hot Stocks
BUENOS AIRES, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Argentina's citrus federation vowed to rekindle an agreement to export lemons to the United States on Monday after Washington issued a 60-day stay on its decision to...
11:49 The giant Aetna-Humana merger has been blocked (HUM, AET)» Markets

doctors performing surgery

The megamerger between the health insurers Aetna and Humana has been blocked by a federal judge.

The deal, in which Aetna proposed to buy Humana for $37 billion, has been ruled anticompetitive by US District Judge John Bates.

"In this case, the government alleged that the merger of Aetna and Humana would be likely to substantially lessen competition in markets for individual Medicare Advantage plans and health insurance sold on the public exchanges," Bates' decision said.

"After a 13-day trial, and based on careful consideration of the law, evidence, and arguments, the Court mostly agrees."

Bates also said the companies' arguments that the merger would not have a negative impact on Medicare Advantage patients was "unpersuasive," saying regulators would not be able to prevent a combined company from raising prices on consumers.

Aetna now owes Humana a $1 billion breakup fee, according to Bloomberg.

"We’re reviewing the opinion now and giving serious to consideration to an appeal after putting forward a compelling case," TJ Crawford, a spokesperson for Aetna, told Business Insider.

Last summer, Aetna threatened to pull out of the public health-insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, the law better known as Obamacare, after the Department of Justice brought a lawsuit to block the merger.

In July, Aetna responded to a letter from the DOJ that asked what would happen to the company's ACA program if the deal were to be denied.

"Finally, based on our analysis to date, we believe it is very likely that we would need to leave the public exchange business entirely and plan for additional business efficiencies should our deal ultimately be blocked," Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said at the time.

Of course, this may be a moot point given the desire of the Republican-controlled government to repeal the ACA.

Reuters last week reported that another healthcare tie-up, the Anthem-Cigna megamerger, would be blocked by a federal judge.

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch argued in July when the suit was brought that both the Anthem-Cigna merger and the Aetna-Humana merger would hurt consumer choice and increase prices, saying "not only would the bank accounts of the American people suffer, but the American people themselves."

Representatives from Humana were not immediately available for comment.

Aetna's stock is sliding following the move, down by 2.5% as of 12:52 p.m. ET. Humana's shares are down by 0.2%.

SEE ALSO: Sprint just bought a big stake in Tidal

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NOW WATCH: The Property Brothers teach the actual meaning of tricky real estate 'code words'

11:46 We asked pharma executives the one question they didn't want to hear about drug pricing» Markets

BI Graphics_Pharma 4x3

It's shaping up to be another rough year for the drug industry.

At his first press conference since being elected, on Jan. 11, President Donald Trump said drug companies are "getting away with murder," and suggested that the US government needs to negotiate drug prices. 

Biotech and pharma stocks fell on the comments and haven't really recovered. Investors might fear that a tweet from the president attacking a company over a high drug price could hit at any moment.

It's not just Trump, of course: the public's been upset about the rising cost of drugs for the past few years. The outrage started with "bad apples" that were taking extreme measures to jack up prices, but slowly expanded to hit companies where list-price increases are routine. Several politicians, both Democrat and Republican, have spoken out about this.

To counter that pressure, a handful of companies have already committed to sticking to only single-digit price increases on their drugs, and only increasing those prices once a year. 

So, during the JPMorgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this month, Business Insider spoke to drug company executives about how their jobs would be impacted if the price increases that the industry takes every year—  sometimes twice a year or even quarterly — stopped being standard practice.

  • Some insisted it wouldn't change their jobs or their companies because their growth is driven by volume instead of price increases
  • Others brought up the need to start pricing better right off the bat when a drug gets on the market
  • Many pointed to the discrepancy between high-rising list prices and either declining or similar net prices thanks to other players in the supply chain

Keeping investors interested

Drug development is a risky business, and often hypotheses don't pan out and a drug fails in clinical trials. It means investors need other reasons to back companies, and routine price increases are a way to ensure that those investors will stay interested.

Removing price hikes from the business model could mean that research and development budgets within major drugmakers could get hit, as well as investor interest in very early-stage projects that could be a decade or two away from reaching the market, some executives warned.

"There's a wellspring of innovation that needs to be fed coming out of the academic community in order for us have the foundation to build up the therapies of tomorrow," Scott Brun, head of AbbVie Ventures, the drugmaker's venture arm, told Business Insider.  "You need people willing to invest in that, or they're going to invest in something else."

To do that, he said, there are some questions that would need to be answered, including making sure those investors have enough certainty to stick around despite the risks associated with development. If investors do leave to fund more sure bets, he said, "I think we will all lose as a consequence there."

List price increases don't always translate to growth

Another common defense on the issue of drug prices is to point to all the other parts of the system of getting a drug to a patient. It's true, drugmakers are part of a complex system, filled with middlemen who all get a piece of a drug's sale, and they say that system means they don't actually profit off of price hikes. So, stagnant drug prices, without any other change to the system, would just erode their profits to the pharma companies.

Drugmakers pay rebates out to pharmacy benefits managers and insurance companies, and those rebates are increasing in part just so the companies can ensure their drug is kept on the list of approved drugs for a certain treatment.  

Enrique Conterno, the president of Lilly's diabetes unit, offered up an example. Lilly makes Humalog — an insulin that's seen it's price steadily increase. Conterno said that the net price for Humalog, or what the drugmaker actually collects, was down 24% in the third-quarter of 2016, from the third-quarter of 2015. 

Right now, there isn't a great alternative to the middlemen though, both for the drugmakers and the employers and insurance companies who count on pharmacy benefits managers. 

insulin"I was asked a question why doesn't the whole industry just price at a different level and not do all these rebates," Horizon Pharma CEO Tim Walbert said. "And I think everyone would give the same answer: If I could just make my medicine and get it to the consumer directly, we all would."

Many executives Business Insider spoke to said their businesses are driven by the volume of prescriptions they make for patients, rather than price increases.

So even if list prices were to stay the same after they were originally set, the growing payout to the middlemen would mean profit erosion at the drugmaker. 

Setting an initial price so high that doesn't need to be increased

In the debate over drug prices, there have been two kinds of drugs that have grabbed headlines: the new drugs start out with astoundingly high prices (think of the hepatitis C treatment that has a $84,000 list price), and old drugs that have seen their price climb — suddenly or steadily over the years — (like the EpiPen, or the prices of insulin). 

One response to a hypothetical world without price increases would simply be to set an initial price that is so high that it'll just reflect any foregone hikes. There are some drugs that are already priced this way, but right now the prices for those are extraordinary — think hundreds of thousands — and Big Pharma's trade organization, called PhRMA, has a new ad campaign that launched Monday to try and explain where these come from.

"It's really a question of what is the initial price," said Jan Lundberg, Lilly's executive vice president of science and technology and the president of Lilly Research labs. "Our aim is to have differentiated products that can motivate a very good starting price and that's what we clearly do."

Sean McCarthy, CEO of CytomX, a biotech that's developing safer ways to administer cancer immunotherapies, echoed that the initial price setting is a key issue.

"I think that we need to pay a lot more attention to where we initially set price."

tom price health and human secretary confirmation hearing

Will we see legislative changes to the way drugs are priced?

In this hypothetical situation, the conversation was more around self-policing and changes at the company level. But Trump has said he wants to have the US negotiate prices and importing drugs from Canada, which would mean that that the way drugs are priced drastically changes. 

But negotiating drug prices for Medicare wasn't something Trump's HHS pick Tom Price would commit to in a hearing Wednesday despite being pushed on it by Democratic senators. Analysts have noted that it's not a part of the Republican's healthcare plan, but with drug pricing striking such a chord with Trump, it's only a matter of time before a tweet or another soundbite sends biotech stocks into even more uncertainty. 

SEE ALSO: Donald Trump just took the joy out of the drug industry's biggest investor conference

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NOW WATCH: The Property Brothers teach the actual meaning of tricky real estate 'code words'

11:36 Buffett's New $10 Billion Deal» Most popular articles
11:22 Why Trump will find it hard to make American economy greater» AP Top Business News at 7:41 p.m. EST
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump's economic plans are nothing if not ambitious: Annual growth of 4 percent - or more. A diminished trade gap. The creation of 25 million jobs over 10 years, including the return of good-paying factory positions....
11:16 UPDATE 3-Halliburton says N. America revenue growth may beat rig count rise» Reuters: Hot Stocks
* Warns of weakness in international markets (Adds executive and analyst comments, stock movement)
11:02 N.Y. Fed adds PNC fund as reverse repo counterparty» Reuters: Money
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Federal Reserve said on Monday it added the PNC Government Money Market Fund as a counterparty for its reverse repurchase agreement program, effective Jan. 23.
10:48 Paul Ryan and Trump see 2 fundamentally different US economies — and one is a fantasy» Markets

paul ryandonald trump

Last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump had a seemingly small disagreement over a feature of what they hope will become our country's tax code.

And through that disagreement, they showed that they have two dramatically different ways of looking at our economy. One is based on the reality of the economy we have, and the other is a fantasy.

First, the plans.

Ryan's "Better Way" tax plan calls for something called "border adjustments." Without getting too deep into the weeds, it's basically a tariff on goods brought into the United States for sale. In other words, imports would be taxed.

Exports, on the other hand, would not be taxed.

It would seem as though a plan that punishes companies for overseas manufacturing would jibe with Trump. After all, on Monday he basically endorsed the same idea in a meeting with business leaders.

But the president told The Wall Street Journal he doesn't like Ryan's plan. He said it's too complicated.

"Anytime I hear border adjustment, I don't love it," Trump said, according to The Journal. "Because usually it means we're going to get adjusted into a bad deal. That's what happens."

It's unclear exactly what he means by "adjusted into a bad deal," but there's no doubt Ryan's proposal is a bit complicated and controversial. Among the disruptions that Morgan Stanley analysts expect the plan to create is "tighter financial conditions through a stronger dollar."

And the dollar's strength is where we see the divide between Trump and Ryan.

Embracing the now

The Ryan plan relies on the strength of the US dollar to offset import costs for American companies that make goods outside the country and then bring them back to sell to Americans.

Think of your favorite clothing brand that manufactures its jeans in, say, Vietnam. If the US adds a tax on those imported jeans, they will be more expensive. The retailer isn't going to eat the cost of that tax. You are.

But a stronger dollar would help offset this. It would, relatively speaking, make the jeans less expensive. It's a plan that plays on our economy's strength: consumption.

This is a problem for Trump. For his ideal American economy, we need a weaker currency so that more countries can afford to buy our exports.

"Our companies can't compete with them now because our currency is too strong," Trump told The Journal. "And it's killing us."

We have not had an export-led economy for generations — we have a services-and-consumption-based economy. America runs on people filling up their gas tanks for long road trips to the beach, buying new (made-in-Vietnam) sneakers for their kids on the first day of school, and spending money at restaurants.

This is something the world's manufacturing powerhouse — China — is trying desperately to mimic, and it is what makes us great.

"In 2015, US services industries accounted for 78 percent (or $11.0 trillion) of US private-sector GDP and 82 percent of US private-sector full-time employees — compared to 22 percent and 18 percent, respectively, for the goods-producing sector," fellow Paul Thanos wrote in a recent note for the Wilson Center, a think tank based in Washington, DC. "Services sectors such as education, healthcare, and social services are the United States' top employers with over 20 percent of jobs in 49 states."

US GDP breakdown

This is why it's so troubling to some that Trump would want to encourage policies that could slow our domestic consumption. Slower consumption would cripple the economy we actually have in order to try to recreate one we evolved from decades ago.

When you play me, you play yourself

It's no secret that Trump is obsessed with manufacturing jobs — this appeals to his base. Much of Trump's support comes from communities where factories and plants were shuttered and manufacturing jobs shifted overseas, leaving workers without a source of income.

But that just makes having a strong service sector more important, not less. Most simply, this is the sector where a lot of the good-paying jobs are, from healthcare to manufacturing logistics. Of course, they don't just pop up by themselves — people must be educated to be capable of doing this work.

A nurse holds a syringe as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in Nice, southeastern France, October 21, 2015.   REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

The US is already the world's biggest exporter of services, and negotiating trade deals with that in mind — not with the desire to revive manufacturing — is what will open up new markets and bring more money into the country. That won't happen by itself either.

"This is important because, without question, services providers face a myriad of trade barriers preventing the expansion of services trade, and along with it the economic growth and development that would result from greater services trade," Thanos wrote.

"US and other international services providers are facing new trade barriers on such disparate issues as cross-border data flows, unfair competition against state-owned enterprises, and local content requirements," he continued. "Most of these barriers are being erected by large economies seeking to restrain trade and expand their domestic industries at the expense of fair competition and what is best for its own citizens."

This is where policymakers need to focus their efforts to make America more prosperous. Focusing on education may be harder than threatening companies to bring jobs back to America, but it's the only real solution to our jobs problem.

In other words, it seems as though the ball Trump has his eye on is in an entirely different game than the one America is playing in.

SEE ALSO: Wall Street has found a company that Donald Trump would love to beat up on

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We got our hands on the $44,000 watch that only 352 people can own

10:43 Yahoo drifts little changed after the SEC says it's looking into why it took the company so long to tell investors about its hacks (YHOO)» Markets

Yahoo is down 0.02% at $42.04 a share on Monday morning after US regulators announced they are investigating why it took the company so long to disclose it was hacked.

According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is examining whether the company should have told investors sooner about two huge data breaches.

The disclosures from Yahoo about both breaches came after the company agreed to sell its main business to Verizon in July, triggering questions about whether the deal would still be viable and, if so, at what price. The deal is expected to close soon, according to The New York Post, and will see what's left of the business renamed as "Altaba."

Other agencies looking into the data breach include the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan and "a number of State Attorneys General," Yahoo said in the November filing.

Earlier this month, Yahoo announced that CEO Marissa Mayer will resign from the company's board of directors after its planned merger is completed.

Screen Shot 2017 01 23 at 10.32.34 AM

SEE ALSO: The SEC is investigating why it took so long for Yahoo to say it was hacked

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's how to use one of the many apps to buy and trade bitcoin

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Uber, Ola drivers go on strike as earnings, incentives fallIn their increasingly growing push to lure more drivers to their platforms in India, Uber and its local competitor Ola seem to have irked their existing driver base.  SEE ALSO: Ola thinks it has the perfect trick to compete in Uber's fastest growing market Several drivers of both the ride-hailing service have gone on strike in Bangalore today to protest adding more cars to their fleets, claiming it’s hurting the livelihood of existing drivers. With more drivers coming on board, existing ones are getting fewer rides. On top of that, both Uber and Ola have decreased the quantum of incentives, further hurting the drivers' earnings.  In a race to get more customers, both ride hailing services operate at loss-making tariffs and compensate drivers with incentives, which are either based on the number of trips they make during a particular time in a day or the distance they cover.  The disruption in Uber’s and Ola’s services today has naturally caused inconvenience to people in Bangalore. In some cases, drivers who weren’t aware of the protest dropped their passengers mid-way after learning about it.  "The biggest pain point in Bangalore is the drive back from the airport," one driver who took part in the strike told Mashable India . "We lose money because of the flat fare," he added, requesting not to be identified. Last month Uber drivers had stopped picking customers from Bangalore airport to protest against the flat fare. Though the strike, the deadline of which remains to be seen, is only being observed in Bangalore, drivers in other cities have also expressed concerns about drop in their earnings and fewer customers.  Two Uber drivers told Mashable India over the weekend that the ride hailing services are giving preference to drivers who have purchased cars through their leasing programs. Both Uber and Ola are offering drivers enticing offers — including easier leasing from banks, and somewhat affordable deals — to lure more drivers to join their fleets.   “ We strive to be a mobility option for everyone in Bengaluru and we regret the disruption caused to our rider and driver community by a small group of individuals," an Uber spokesperson told Mashable India.   "We remain committed to serving the city, ensuring driver partners can continue to access a stable income, while giving riders a convenient, reliable option to get around their city.”  BONUS: Uber driver surprises passengers with rescue puppies

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02:18 Hedge fund manager jailed in China insider trading case» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

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Sun 22 January, 2017

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23:01 U.S. SEC probing Yahoo over previously disclosed cyber breach - filing» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A photo illustration shows a Yahoo logo on smartphone in front of a displayed cyber code and keyboardThe U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a previously disclosed data breach at Yahoo Inc, the company said in a filing. Yahoo said in a November 2016 quarterly filing that it was “cooperating with federal, state and foreign” agencies, including the SEC, that were seeking information and documents about a "security incident and related matters." The SEC is investigating whether two massive data breaches at Yahoo should have been reported sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

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22:18 Trump on Trade: Peace Through Strength» WSJ.com: US Business
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22:02 U.S. SEC probing Yahoo over previously disclosed cyber breach - filing» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

A photo illustration shows a Yahoo logo on smartphone in front of a displayed cyber code and keyboardThe U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating a previously disclosed data breach at Yahoo Inc, the company said in a filing. Yahoo said in a November 2016 quarterly filing that it was “cooperating with federal, state and foreign” agencies, including the SEC, that were seeking information and documents about a "security incident and related matters." The SEC is investigating whether two massive data breaches at Yahoo should have been reported sooner to investors, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

21:23 SEC now investigating Yahoo's massive data breaches» Stock Markets News Headlines - Yahoo! News

SEC now investigating Yahoo's massive data breachesThe Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating a pair of Yahoo data breaches reported in 2016 to see if the company should have reported the breaches to investors sooner.  While the SEC investigation is in the early stages, according to the Wall Street Journal , a case brought against Yahoo could help clarify the timeline for companies to reveal such hacks.  SEE ALSO: Marissa Mayer is stepping down from Yahoo's board of directors — if the Verizon deal goes through The disclosures also prompted Verizon, which had reached a deal to acquire Yahoo before the hacks were announced, to look into how the hacks may have affected Yahoo's user numbers. At one point, after the second hack was announced, Verizon was reportedly considering exiting the deal but, according to Sunday night's WSJ report, Verizon says the deal is still in place.  The first data breach occurred in 2014, affecting up to 500 million users, and was reported in September 2016. Yahoo confirmed that user account information was stolen from the company’s network "in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor."  The company suggested at the time that the stolen information could include personal credentials such names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority protected by bcrypt) and even security questions and answers. The ongoing investigation also revealed that unprotected passwords, payment card data and bank account information were not included in the stolen information, since that info isn't stored in the affected system. The second incident occurred in August 2013, impacting nearly one billion users, and was reported in December 2016. That hack involved names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, MD5-hashed passwords (a form of encryption now widely considered insecure) and security question answers, according to the company.  Additional reporting by Nicole Galucci and Gianluca Mezzofiore BONUS: Hackers Play ‘Space Invaders’ on Billboard, Get Rewarded

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