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The latest news from Business Insider

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    traders yell excited animated

    • Ahead of third-quarter earnings, Citi's quant strategists have updated their model that predicts which stocks would rally in anticipation of strong results.
    • They detailed the most important factors that play into the model, and companies that are expected to outperform in the weeks ahead. 

    Earnings season is almost upon us once again. 

    The big banks, including JPMorgan and Wells Fargo, are scheduled to report their third-quarter earnings in the second week of October, marking the unofficial start to the deluge of results that will follow. 

    Profit growth is considered the most-material driver of stock prices, and so earnings reports are typically the most-significant market movers. Traders looking to profit from outsized moves during earnings season can find great opportunities in companies that surmount expectations.  

    But there's a "better way" to profit from earnings surprises, according to Hong Li, the head of equity quantitative strategy at Citi: start trading one month ahead of the reporting dates. 

    "This enables investors to capture both the market anticipation of surprises as well as the direct price impact of surprises," Li said. 

    Screen Shot 2018 09 25 at 11.43.27 AM

    Li and his team built a model that predicts earnings surprises and how these might influence stock prices. It uses a predictive machine-learning method called logistic regression to examine both earnings surprises and returns over the past 15 years.

    The most important factors over time included: 

    • A company's so-called standardized unexpected earnings, calculated as the actual earnings per share minus the mean estimate divided by the standard deviation of the estimate. There's a strong serial correlation over the previous four quarters, Li found.
    • Earnings surprises over the past two quarters, which tend to align with the third event. 
    • Stocks with high analyst ratings, which tend to beat expectations and rally strongly. 
    • The nine-week change of consensus stock recommendations; stocks that were recently upgraded tend to beat expectations and vice versa.

    One thing Li doesn't mention as a factor is earnings guidance and coincidentally, fewer companies are providing this to investors.

    According to a FactSet report on Monday, 98 companies on the S&P 500 had issued EPS guidance for the third quarter, on pace for the lowest number since Q1 2015.

    This may be due to uncertainty surrounding US trade policy, FactSet said. In June, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon published an oped telling companies to reduce or get rid of quarterly guidance. 

    As for the rest of the factors, most of which are based on historical trends, Li says Citi's model has an average hit ratio of 67% for companies that outperform and 61% for those that underperform. 

    Below are some stocks that are buy-rated by Citi analysts, which the model forecasts will see positive surprises and returns:

    SEE ALSO: GOLDMAN SACHS: Professional stock pickers can make a killing by buying these 15 companies everyone else is flocking to

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An aerospace company reintroduced its precision helicopter with two crossing motors

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    Brett Kavanaugh

    • Several of Brett Kavanaugh's Yale colleagues who endorsed his confirmation to the Supreme Court are now calling for an investigation into the sexual assault accusations he's facing.
    • Kent Sinclair, Douglas Rutzen and Mark Osler, all signed an August 27 letter from Yale Law School alumni to the Senate Judiciary Committee defending Kavanaugh's character.
    • Kavanaugh is set to testify with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on Thursday. Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers in the 1980s.

    Several of Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Yale colleagues who signed a letter publicly endorsing his nomination to the Supreme Court in August, are now voicing their support for an investigation into sexual assault accusations made against him.

    Kent Sinclair, Douglas Rutzen and Mark Osler, were among nearly 25 of Kavanaugh's law school classmates who signed a letter August 27 to the Senate Judiciary Committee, praising Kavanaugh's former judiciary accomplishments in support of his confirmation to the nation's highest court.

    But the three Yale alumni told The Washington Post in a story published on Tuesday that they agree there should be an investigation into sexual assault claims that emerged this month from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when the two were in high school.

    A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, claimed Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while they were in college at Yale. Kavanaugh has adamantly denied the accusations.

    Both Kavanaugh and Ford are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. And the vote for Kavanaugh's confirmation is scheduled for Friday.

    "The confirmation process should be conducted in a way that fosters trust in the process and the Supreme Court, and that seriously considers allegations of sexual violence,” Sinclair and Rutzen told The Post, adding that the latest allegations from Ramirez deserve "a fair and credible investigation."

    The three joined Yale law professor Akhil Amar, who once taught Kavanaugh and who also publicly endorsed his qualifications for the Supreme Court, in their collective assertion that there should be an investigation. Current Yale law students staged a sit-in on campus Monday to demand the same.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory

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    Kavanaugh protest

    • The message, "Kavanaugh is a sexual predator," was projected onto a US Court of Appeals building in Washington.
    • The women's rights group reportedly responsible for the message on Tuesday night is called UltraViolet. It previously projected the message, "Roe V Wade is more popular than Brett Kavanaugh" onto the front of the Supreme Court building.
    • At least two different women have accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault and misconduct as he looks to be confirmed to the nation's highest court.

    The women's rights group, UltraViolet, projected the words "Kavanaugh is a sexual predator" onto a courthouse building in Washington, DC.

    The incident happened Tuesday night, amid preparations for a Senate Judiciary hearing Thursday, where Kavanaugh is expected to formally answer to allegations from Christine Blasey Ford, who said Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

    A second woman, Deborah Ramirez, accused Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her when they were in college, but it's not yet clear whether she will also testify to lawmakers.

    Kavanaugh denies all of the allegations.

    The group cycled through a number of messages Tuesday night, according to the The Hill— at points displaying messages like "He lied every time he testified," and "Kavanaugh must withdraw."

    UltraViolet previously projected the message, "Roe v. Wade is more popular than Brett Kavanaugh" onto the front of the Supreme Court building September 4; a nod to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide, which some say is in jeopardy if Kavanaugh were gets confirmed.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Inside the Trump 'MAGA' hat factory

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    federal reserve

    Good morning! Here is what you need to know on Wednesday.

    1. It'd Fed day! With the Federal Reserve widely expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, financial markets are focused on whether signs of an acceleration in US economic growth will prompt the central bank to ramp up the pace of monetary policy tightening.This week's two-day policy meeting could mark the formal end of the "accommodative" level of rates the Fed has used to support the American economy since the onset of the 2007-2009 recession. Citigroup says to be prepared for a dovish rates announcement.

    2. China's state planner on Wednesday called for further advancement in the country's $3.8 trillion digital economy, saying sectors such as big data and artificial intelligence (AI) will become drivers of job creation.The Chinese economy is in the midst of a long-term restructuring that has seen the decline of low-end industries and the emergence of higher-value factories that make robotics and drones.

    3. Rosmah Mansor, the wife of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, arrived on Wednesday at the country's anti-graft agency for a second round of questioning over a corruption probe at state fund 1MDB. Her questioning comes amid indications that more charges could be filed in the investigation into how billions of dollars went missing from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

    4. A senior United Arab Emirates (UAE) official warned European powers on Tuesday that it was offering Iran a glimmer of hope by trying to keep trade flowing, but that ultimately they would fall behind the United States' tough approach on Tehran.The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain swiftly backed US President Donald Trump's decision in May to withdraw from a 2015 international accord with Iran that curbed Tehran's nuclear program in exchange for loosening economic sanctions. Meanwhile, White House national security adviser John Bolton on Tuesday dismissed an EU plan for a special payments plan to circumvent US sanctions against Iranian oil sales.

    6. Raytheon Co has been awarded a $1.5 billion modification to a contract for the sale of Patriot missile systems to Poland, the Pentagon said in a statement on Tuesday.

    7. Deutsche Bank has looked at a theoretical scenario of merging with UBS, the German business daily Handelsblatt reported, citing people familiar with the matter.The scenario, along with a potential merger with Commerzbank, was discussed at the bank's strategy meeting with the supervisory board earlier this month, Handelsblatt said.

    8. England's Football Association has reportedly agreed to sell Wembley Stadium to a US billionaire for £600 million. The FA board will vote on Thursday whether to sell the stadium to billionaire Shahid Khan, the Financial Times reported.

    9.Oil benchmark Brent traded little changed on Wednesday after rising to its highest in nearly four years in the previous session. US crude futures fell as US officials tried to assure that the market would be well-supplied before sanctions are re-imposed on producer Iran.

    10. British Prime Minister Theresa May will pledge on Wednesday that her government will be "unequivocally pro-business" as it seeks to forge a future role outside the European Union. May will say she has no plans to abandon her current Brexit plan, shrugging off criticism at home and in Brussels after an acrimonious meeting of EU leaders last week, according to extracts from a speech to be given to business leaders in New York.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Ray Dalio says the economy looks like 1937 and a downturn is coming in about two years

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    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

    1. The departure of Instagram's founders from Facebook follows a history of clashes between the two companies. Instagram insiders felt like they were losing autonomy after Facebook pushed for greater integration.
    2. Qualcomm accused Apple of stealing its secrets and giving them to its top rival. In a filing on Tuesday, Qualcomm said that it saw evidence in discovery that Apple took its trade secrets, including code, and gave it to Intel engineers to help them develop a replacement chip for iPhones.

    3. Google has named a new chief privacy officer who will testify before the US Senate today. Keith Enright will discuss privacy legislation with senators.
    4. Cody Wilson, the 3D printed gun advocate, has quit his company after he was charged with sexual assault. Defense Distributed said it would continue without its founder.
    5. Amazon has started paying its warehouse workers more money after repeated attacks on how little it pays. The raises were generally between 2-4% and amounted to about 25 to 55 more cents an hour.
    6. The original founders and ex-employees of blood testing startup Telomere Diagnostics say its health test is flawed. One former employee raised doubts about how clean Telomere Diagnostics' labs were.
    7. Tesla is building its own car carriers, as the electric carmaker faces vehicle distribution problems. The company is upgrading its logistics system but running into an "extreme" shortage of car carrier trailers, Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted on Monday.
    8. Square's stock could go up another 45% this year, according to an investment note sent by Nomura. The firm raised its price target to $125 from $86, citing not only better financials and valuation, but also the fact that its Cash App has over 1 million more downloads than competing Venmo.
    9. Roku announced three additions to its lineup of streaming devices: the Roku Premiere, Premiere Plus, and Ultra. Each device supports 4K streaming.
    10. Tinder has been testing a new feature called "My Move" that lets women message a match first before allowing men to message them. The feature is a copycat of rival app Bumble, which is based on women making the first move.

    Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    istanbul lightning

    • Turkish banks' reserves total about $80 billion, while their short-term external bank debt to foreign investors totals just over $100 billion, according to Oxford Economics.
    • The system remains solvent because foreign investors almost always agree to roll over their FX loans to Turkish banks.
    • But Turkey's banks remain vulnerable to mismatched maturity rates in the cross-currency swap market, analyst Nafez Zouk says.
    • It will probably be fine. But it's worth knowing about the risk.

    LONDON — Turkish banks do not have enough money to cover their liabilities, and if the FX credit markets don't agree to roll over those debts then "with confidence running so low, the fact that banks could run out of dollars leaves them vulnerable to a self-fulfilling bank run,"Oxford Economics analyst Nafez Zouk told clients this week.

    In a note sent September 24, Zouk pointed out that Turkish banks' available reserves total about $80 billion, while their short-term external bank debt to foreign investors totals just over $100 billion.

    turkey banks debt

    The system has been historically robust, but ...

    Normally, this isn't a problem.

    Foreign exchange (FX) investors have almost always agreed to rollover those debts into future time periods. As long as the Turkish financial system can keep replacing new credit with old, then everything will be fine, Zouk told Business Insider. In fact, that is still the likely scenario despite the Turkish lira losing 40% of its value since the beginning of the year. The system has been historically robust. Even during the financial crisis of 2008, Turkey's banks were still able to rollover 80% of their FX loans, Zouk says. The Turkish system would hit real trouble if it were unable to rollover less than 50% of its liabilities, and the crisis becomes "a bit dicier" still if the level dropped to 33%, Zouk speculates.


    Nonetheless, Zouk published his research to highlight the fact that Turkey's banks remain vulnerable to mismatched maturity rates in the cross-currency swap market.

    What that means in plain English

    Turkey has an unusually low domestic savings rate, so its banks are starved for domestic deposits of lira they can use to invest at home. To fund their operations, they use the foreign currency markets, where they have borrowed cash denominated in US dollars in the cross-currency swaps market, Zouk says. Those funds are short-term loans repayable in US dollars. Typically, a bank might take a swap for three months and lend money domestically in lira to a small business for five years. As long as the currencies are stable, that isn't a problem. But when the lira collapsed rapidly at the start of this year, banks found themselves trying to pay short-term US dollar debts that were rapidly becoming more expensive while their cash was trapped in long-term loans in the failing lira.

    That's why "the risk for a funding crisis isn’t yet off the table," Zouk told clients. "I wanted to highlight the degree to which the system actually rests on that point. If they can't secure that funding then they have a problem," Zouk added in a conversation with Business Insider.

    "Now, at what point will foreign banks say, 'We don't want to continue having this exposure to the Turkish banking sector'?" he says. 

    "I would expect the rollover ratio to dip a little. I don't think it's going to be systemically bad. It's not gone to 80%. I think that's good. It won't be an issue. Most of the banks exposed are European banks, and the Europeans have no interest in a collapse in Turkey," he added.

    'A bank run doesn't happen because the bank runs out of dollars, it happens because the people think the bank will run out of dollars'

    Technically, Turkish banks a perfectly solvent. "But that's not the point," Zouk warns. "In FX, a bank run doesn't happen because the bank runs out of dollars, it happens because the people think the bank will run out of dollars."

    Compounding the risk is the effect of the recent hike in interest rates from the Turkish central bank. The rate was raised an unheard of 625 basis points, from 17.75% to 24%. That will have boosted the value of the lira (because holding lira now pays a higher rate of interest) but, in turn, made the lira more expensive to lend out, thus reducing the amount of available credit in the economy, and potentially lowering GDP growth.


    Zouk believes Turkish banks will be stable for another nine months, based on current conditions.

    SEE ALSO: The crisis in Turkey is being caused by the US Fed, and we are only at the beginning

    AND: UBS: Turkey could be heading into a balance-of-payments crisis

    THE POLITICAL CONTEXT: Trump's fight with Turkey is helping Russia and Iran

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Wembley Stadium

    • The board of the FA will vote on plans to sell Wembley to US billionaire Shahid Khan on Thursday, the FT reports.
    • If approved, Khan will pay £600 million ($790.4 million) for the stadium.
    • Khan has been in talks to acquire the stadium from the FA since April.

    England's Football Association will hold a board vote on Thursday to decide whether to sell London's iconic Wembley Stadium to US billionaire Shahid Khan, the Financial Times reported.

    If the sale goes through, the home of English soccer, will be sold to Khan, also known as Shad Khan, for £600 million ($790.4 million), according to the newspaper. Khan, a Pakistani-American billionaire and philanthropist, is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League and Fulham F.C. of the English Premier League.

    Khan has been in talks to acquire the stadium from the FA since April. The terms of the deal must be approved by the FA's 10-member board at a meeting on Thursday, and a minority are yet to indicate their support, the FT said, citing people close to the talks. 

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Beware one huge mistake investors often make when the economy is at a crossroads, says Charles Schwab’s investment chief

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    deutsche bank

    • Deutsche Bank reportedly discussed plans to merge with Swiss banking giant UBS, according to a report from German newspaper Handelsblatt.
    • Citing people familiar with the matter, Handelsblatt said that senior Deutsche Bank staff discussed the possibility for a tie up with UBS at a strategy meeting earlier in September.
    • The discussions were part of a meeting in which the bank's supervisory board also discussed a long vaunted merger with Commerzbank, Germany's second biggest bank and one of Deutsche Bank's key domestic rivals.

    Deutsche Bank has made plans for a potential merger with Swiss banking giant UBS, a report from German newspaper Handelsblatt said on Wednesday.

    Citing people familiar with the matter, Handelsblatt said that senior Deutsche Bank staff discussed the possibility for a tie up with UBS — which would combine the biggest lenders in Germany and Switzerland — at a strategy meeting earlier in September.

    The discussions were part of a meeting in which the bank's supervisory board also discussed a long vaunted merger with Commerzbank, Germany's second biggest bank and one of Deutsche Bank's key domestic rivals.

    Speculation that Deutsche Bank may merge with Commerzbank, its German rival, has swirled for years in the market, but neither side has commented. Bloomberg reported in June that Deutsche Bank's board spoke with shareholders and the government privately about a potential deal.

    However, Handelsblatt says, executives were keen to stress that a merger with UBS would make more sense and be a better match. "Deutsche Bank and UBS would complement each other well with their different strengths in investment banking and asset management," Handelsblatt said, citing insiders at the bank.

    While Deutsche Bank's supervisory board discussed a potential tie-up, there is no indication that any talks have started between the two banks, or even that Deutsche Bank is actually planning an approach to UBS.

    Deutsche Bank declined to comment when contacted by Business Insider. UBS did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

    The report is the latest in long list of rumours about possible partners or targets for Germany's largest bank. In July, for example, the German magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported that JPMorgan and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China could be interested buying a stake, citing unnamed sources in German regional government. JPMorgan denied that report.

    Reports of discussions about a merger with UBS come just months after the ousting of Deutsche Bank's CEO John Cryan earlier in the year. Cryan was replaced by long-serving bank insider Christian Sewing in April.

    Soon after his appointment, Sewing announced plans to scale back US operations and cut jobs.

    Sewing has previously indicated publicly that Deutsche Bank would be willing to explore a merger, but only after the bank is profitable again. 

    "We have a very clear plan to remain a global bank, but we have to work on profitability now," Sewing said at an event in Berlin on Monday.

    "If that happens, we can talk about other things."

    Deutsche Bank in February reported a full-year loss of €497 million ($586 million) for 2017, its third straight year of losses.

    SEE ALSO: Santander poaches UBS investment bank chief Andrea Orcel as new CEO

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    SmartBird, innovated by Festo, is a similar

    • Benchmark US 10-year bond yields have risen more than 20 basis points ahead of tonight’s rate announcement by the US Fed.
    • However, Citi says the median projections for future rate increases by US Fed committee members may tilt to the dovish side.
    • Economist Andrew Hollenhorst also thinks officials may remove the word “accommodative” from the Fed’s policy statement.


    Tonight’s interest rate announcement by the US Fed is the main event for global markets this week.

    Benchmark interest rates are almost certain to rise by 25 basis points to a range between 2-2.25%, so all the focus will turn to the Fed’s outlook.

    Ahead of the meeting, US bond yields have been steadily rising, with benchmark 10-year yields climbing from 2.87% on September 6 to 3.098% this morning.

    That’s just shy of the 3.12% high reached in May, which has led to speculation that bond markets are positioning for a more hawkish outlook from FOMC committee members.

    But Citi economist Andrew Hollenhorst disagrees.

    “We see risks tilted dovish going into the meeting,” he said.

    Hollenhorst based his analysis on the Fed’s “dot-plot” — a tool used to show the interest rate projections of the 12 committee members who vote on monetary policy.

    Each dot represents a member’s view of where interest rates should rise to in each calendar year to 2020, as well as where rates should peak.

    Hollenhorst said Fed chair Jerome Powell has made it clear that 2020 is too far away for projections to be worthy of much emphasis, so he focused on the 2019 outlook.

    The chart shows the median forecast among Fed committee members is for rates to rise to a range between 3-3.25% by the end of 2019:

    Source: Citi

    That suggests another rate hike in December, followed by 2-3 additional hikes in 2019.

    The Fed’s 12-member voting group rotates across different Fed offices so its composition changes over time.

    On this occasion there’s an incoming member — the Fed’s newly appointed vice-chair Richard Clarida.

    “Clarida may be more dovish than former New York Fed president William Dudley,” Hollenhorst said.

    Dudley’s vote will be replaced by new NY Fed president John Williams.

    “Fed officials may also remove the reference that policy is ‘accommodative’ from the statement,” he added.

    Dropping “accommodative” would be dovish, because it indicates committee members are of the view that the Fed is now closer to the end of its current tightening cycle.

    Hollenhorst said he will also be keeping an eye out for any commentary from the Fed on its balance sheet reduction plan.

    He noted the the effective federal funds rate (EFFR) — a gauge of short-term liquidity in the US financial system — has been moving towards the top of the Fed’s target 0.25% range.

    That “has prompted speculation that balance sheet reduction may be stopped early, although we expect it will continue through 2019,” Hollenhorst said.

    “However, we do not expect any clear guidance from Fed officials at this meeting.”


    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Queen Elizabeth

    • Buckingham Palace's menu has seen a few changes thanks to the addition of hospitality workers from the Carribean.
    • Royal chef Mark Flanagan said that the callaloo soup was an "absolute sensation" and that he has been inundated with requests for the soup to become a more regular part of the palace's menu.
    • One of the young Carribean chefs said he wanted to give the Queen "a little idea of what we eat at home."
    • "It’s a change from what they are used to, from fish and chips," he joked.

    Diners at Buckingham Palace have developed a new love for Carribean food — and it seems that even the Queen might be a fan.

    A host of young hospitality workers from the Carribean were brought to the palace in London on a scholarship, where they brought new flavors to the royal kitchen that proved a huge hit.

    Mark Flanagan, a royal chef in the palace, said that it was "terrific" to have the new perspective in the kitchen and that the "a number of the Caribbean dishes were particularly well received" by those dining in the palace.

    Flanagan was speaking on "Queen of the World," a two-part documentary by British broadcaster ITV, which was granted year-long access to the Queen, her staff, and younger members of the royal family, including Meghan Markle.

    The biggest hit of all, Flanagan said, was the callaloo soup. The soup, which has callaloo leaves as its main ingredient, was an "absolute sensation," Flanagan said.

    "I had email after email telling me it must now feature more regularly."

    Jared Forbes, from the Bahamas, said he wanted to give the Queen "a little idea of what we eat at home."

    "It’s a change from what they are used to, from fish and chips," he joked.

    Forbes, making a traditional rice dish for fellow staff, expressed pride at working at the palace.

    "I don’t think my grandma, when she taught me how to make this rice, that she ever thought I would be serving it to Buckingham Palace. I’m quite proud of that."

    Other clips showed kitchen staff preparing more typical meals for the royal family, such as watercress pannacotta.

    "Queen of the World" part two broadcasts on ITV at 9 p.m. on October 2.

    Part one broadcasts in the US on HBO at 8 p.m. on October 1.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Medical breakthroughs we will see in the next 50 years

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    shanghai hanny naibaho

    • The global index provider FTSE 100 Russell is expected to add mainland Chinese shares to its major benchmarks on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
    • The move could push billions of dollars to the Chinese market, helping to stabilize it in the midst of its trade war with Washington.
    • FTSE inclusion would initially trigger $15 billion of foreign inflows into the market, a Chinese index publisher estimated.
    • This follows the inclusion of Chinese stock into the MSCI share index in June, and news that its index will expand China's weighting.


    Global index provider FTSE Russell is expected to add mainland Chinese shares to is major benchmarks this week after years of resisting, in a move that could push billions of dollars into the Chinese market suffering in the midst of a trade war with Washington.

    A FTSE Russell decision to include the shares, which are known as A-shares, would be another boost for China, following the inclusion of its stocks in the MSCI share index in June. The incorporation of the A-shares is expected on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

    The FTSE Russell is “likely” to include A-shares in its emerging markets index, after MSCI’s move to incorporate them, Managing Director of the Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA), Eugenie Shen, said. ASIFMA represents over 100 global financial institutions including some of the worlds biggest fund managers which use FTSE indexes as benchmarks.

    FTSE inclusion would initially trigger $15 billion of foreign inflows into the market, Duan Shihua, general manager of Chinese index publisher Shanghai Changer Investment Management Consulting has estimated.

    “If you don’t add China - the world’s biggest emerging market - into your emerging market index, your benchmark would be defective, at least incomplete,” he told Reuters.

    A spokesperson for FTSE Russell told Reuters that its annual country classification announcement would be released after the New York market close on Wednesday, but he would not comment on the whether A-shares would be included.

    If the move is approved, then the FTSE inclusion could happen within a year, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. The change could mean that funds which track the FTSE All World and emerging market indexes would be forced to buy Chinese A-shares. FTSE may give a greater weighting to the shares than the MSCI if a “yes” decision is made, FTSE Russell CEO, Mark Makepeace said.

    This comes as Chinese stocks surged on Wednesday following news that the MSCI is considering a large increase in China’s weighting of its benchmark indices in coming years. The SSE 50 Index, made up of the largest stocks listed in Shanghai is up 2% to a two month high following the news.

    The could help settle troubled Chinese markets as Beijing steps up efforts to counter the destabilizing impact of Washington’s trade war.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Beware one huge mistake investors often make when the economy is at a crossroads, says Charles Schwab’s investment chief

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    border wall map full border

    From western California to eastern Texas, across four US states and 24 counties, the 1,933-mile US-Mexico border criss-crosses arid desert, rugged mountains, and winding rivers.

    For 654 of those miles, fencing separates the two countries from each other.

    The 7.3 million people who live in the border counties on each side of the line have watched for years as security grew tighter and illegal crossings tapered off.

    In just the last 12 years, the US government built the barriers, deployed troops, and started using advanced surveillance technology — all in an effort to tame and control some of the wildest and remotest land in the United States.

    Today, making good on campaign promises to "build that wall," President Donald Trump and his administration has cracked down even further, pushing for more fencing, a border wall, and thousands of National Guard troops stationed along the boundary line.

    Trump has even issued a few government shutdown threats in recent weeks, angered that Congress has agreed to allocate just $1.6 billion for the wall in 2019 rather than the $5 billion he demanded.

    Amid a surge of families attempting to illegally cross the border, the Trump administration also sparked months of controversy by separating thousands of immigrant children from their parents and struggling to reunite hundreds of them.

    With public outrage has growing toward the government's immigration policies, it's worth taking a look at the complexity of the borderlands to understand the daunting task of securing them.

    From the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east, here's what the entire US-Mexico border looks like:

    SEE ALSO: Tactical units spent weeks trying to breach and climb Trump's border wall prototypes — and they're nearly impossible to scale

    DON'T MISS: The Trump administration just released new photos of 'the president's border wall' — and it looks more like a fence

    California has stood more defiantly than any other state against Trump's immigration agenda and his long-promised wall. Yet the Golden State's southern boundary is one of the most thoroughly fortified along the entire US-Mexico border.

    Source: Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and OpenStreetMap contributors

    Roughly 105 miles of the 140-mile border California shares with Mexico are walled off by pedestrian fencing or vehicle barriers, beginning on the west coast with a tall, metal fence that juts into the Pacific Ocean.

    Source: GAO analysis of Customs and Border Protection data

    Though some Trump critics have seized upon his recent attempt to deploy the National Guard in California, the San Diego coastline already hosts around 55 guardsman who assist in "counterdrug missions" and conduct surveillance support.

    Source: USA Today

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Steam All Controllers

    • According to Steam, more than 27 million players have registered an Xbox 360 controller with their account, making it the most popular option by far.
    • Steam is the most popular PC gaming social network and storefront, making it a pretty good indicator of larger market trends. 
    • Steam Input allows PC gamers to use more than 200 different video game controllers with their PC games, but console gamepads remain the most popular.
    • Together, the Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads account for 64% of the registered controllers on Steam.

    Despite being nearly 13 years old, Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller is by far the most popular controller for gamers on P PC gaming's single largest platform, Steam. According to a report from Steam, 27.2 million players have registered an Xbox 360 controller since 2015, making it more popular than PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gamepads combined.

    In 2015, Steam introduced Steam Input, allowing users to easily configure and edit the layout of just about any controller. This cleared the way for players to use whatever device they prefer for their computer games. Before that change, PC developers typically defaulted to supporting the Xbox 360 controller — because it was made by Microsoft, it connected deeply and reliably with the Windows operating system, and besides, many gamers already had one included with their Xbox 360 consoles.

    Steam Input Controller Chart

    PC gaming is becoming easier thanks to Steam Input integration, and gamers now have more controller options than ever. Steam Input supports more than 200 different controllers, including one made by Steam itself. The software helps ensure compatibility with most PC games without the need for developers to specifically add it themselves.

    More than 30 million players have registered at least one controller to Steam, and more than 15 million have registered multiple devices. Nowadays, the Xbox 360 controller accounts for 45% of all controllers registered on Steam, with PlayStation 4 controllers taking 20% of the share, and Microsoft's Xbox One — the successor to the original Xbox 360 — making up another 19%.

    xbox controller

    Though nearly two-thirds of Steam users have either an Xbox 360 or Xbox One controller registered, improved support for other devices will begin to chip away at its lead. Still, controllers connected to major consoles will remain popular due to their owner's familiarity and the ease of adoption for PC.

    However, as Steam continues to improve the implementation of new controllers, alternatives to the Xbox controllers have become increasingly popular. Steam introduced full support for Nintendo's Switch Pro controller in May 2018, about a year after its release, and it is now one of the most popular devices with more than 450,000 players using it. The Steam controller has about 1.5 milion users, and has been used for a larger variety of games than any other, the report says. 

    Xbox One S

    Controllers from the most popular consoles will likely remain popular with PC gamers too, due to owner familiarity and the ease of adoption, but Steam Input data shows that there's no shortage of gamers looking to customize their experience with their favorite device.

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft adds keyboard and mouse support to Xbox One

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    • Truck drivers' salaries have decreased by as much as 50% since the 1970s. 
    • Economists say The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 is partially to blame for the devaluation of one of America's most dependable blue collar jobs. 
    • The 1980 law fostered "destructive competition" in the industry, according to University of Pennsylvania sociologist Steve Viscelli.


    Lenny Oppelaar has been trucking since 1977. But his salary has only decreased.

    One of Oppelaar's first trucking jobs, which he started shortly after graduating high school 41 years ago, paid $30 an hour in today's dollars. "Great money for a teenager back then," he said.

    Now, as a line-haul driver for XPO Logistics, one of the world's largest logistics companies, Oppelaar said he earns around $25 an hour after taxes.

    It’s a decent pay for trucking, and Oppelaar knows that. His pay works out to twice the median earnings of truck drivers nationwide. And he works 10 hours less than the government-permitted maximum of 70 hours per week.

    Still, unlike most working Americans, Oppelaar’s real income has decreased even as he's gained experience.

    For truckers who have been in the industry for decades, that’s not uncommon. A Business Insider analysis showed that median wages for truck drivers have decreased 21% on average since 1980. In some areas, they've declined as much as 50%.

    truck driver

    When we think of blue collar jobs that have tumbled in status, pay, and working conditions, we typically blame technology for replacing workers or the outsourcing of labor to foreign countries.

    Trucking is obviously resistant to outsourcing, and self-driving technology has yet to replace any drivers. Still, its pay, prestige, and working conditions have tumbled over the past several decades. 

    So, why are America's 1.8 million truck drivers faring worse today than they did in the 1970s? The academics who study trucking point to one law: The Motor Carrier Act of 1980. 

    "This was a conscious decision to make the trucking industry a dog-eat-dog industry," Larry Mishel, a distinguished fellow at the Economic Policy Institute, told Business Insider. "The prices of trucking got cheaper, but the ability to make a living evaporated."

    The trucking industry in the mid-20th century was riddled with regulations

    To understand why trucking is the way it is today, it's necessary to go all the way back to 1935. That was the first year the federal government began regulating trucking in earnest.  

    In 1935, the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) became the oversight board for the trucking industry. A law also passed that limited the number of new entrants to the trucking industry.

    Trucking companies that were already in existence could continue operation, but new carriers "found it extremely difficult to get certificates,"wrote Thomas Gale Moore, then a senior fellow at Stanford University's conservative public policy think tank Hoover Institution. 

    The legislation set forth other limitations, according to Moore. Companies had to file their rates with the ICC thirty days before they came into effect. Other companies or individual carriers were allowed to see those rates, and would often protest the rates if they found them low enough that they would undercut their own business. The ICC could then suspend those rates as it inspected them.

    truckers 1974

    Truckers also had to buy routes, usually from firms that already had the authority to operate on those routes, and it often led to inefficiencies. Even if a trucker had the authority to transport, say, produce from Sacramento to Seattle, he or she might lack the authority to carry anything on the return trip.

    By the 1970s, Moore wrote that truckers were buying routes from each other for as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    These route regulations were jacking up the price of goods. Certain goods exempt from regulation moved at rates 20% to 40% below similar products that were regulated. Moore noted that rates for "cooked poultry" were 50% higher than rates for "fresh dressed poultry."

    However, the average truck driver during this era was well-paid. It was the sort of high-quality, blue-collar job that many lament doesn't exist today. In 1977, the mean earnings of a unionized truck driver stood at $96,552 in 2018 dollars. At least 80% of drivers were unionized at this time.

    Why a liberal president passed the deregulatory act

    The trucking industry in that inefficient yet lucrative state had been protected by a host of major corporate and union interests for decades, University of Pennsylvania sociologist Steve Viscelli said. After the 1935 law, it took 45 years for another major law governing trucking to pass. 

    The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 removed many of the cumbersome regulations that the previous law had put in place. Most notably, it allowed new trucking companies to open with relative ease and removed many of the route regulations. Companies also had more control over changing their rates. 

    The law was passed by President Jimmy Carter, who declared that the MCA would save consumers as much as $8 billion ($25 billion in 2018 dollars) each year. 

    It may seem unusual today for a liberal president to pass a law that deregulates an industry. But the economy in the 1970s was sluggish, and policymakers were looking for a way to ease people's spending.

    Conservatives had long been against the red-tape-ridden 1935 law, and liberals were joining them. It was becoming popular for even left-leaning thinkers to advocate for getting rid of government regulation, as Viscelli wrote in "The Big Rig: Trucking and the Decline of the American Dream."

    Indeed, the only folks that seemed against the MCA were the people involved in trucking themselves — the Teamsters Union and the American Trucking Associations (ATA). Teamsters is the largest truck driver union, while the ATA represents the corporations that employ them. 

    The decline of 'a good blue-collar, middle-class job'

    As it turns out, those drivers were right in their opposition. The MCA of 1980 helped spur the decline of their wages and working conditions by fostering an overly competitive atmosphere, where firms can only survive through a race to the bottom in cutting wages.

    "To be able to be a truck driver used to be quite a good blue-collar, middle-class job, but over the past 40 years, it has kind of dwindled away," Gordon Klemp, principal of the National Transportation Institute, previously told Business Insider

    From 1977 to 1987, mean truck driver earnings declined 24%, according to research by Wayne State University economics professor Michael Belzer. And from 1980 to today, a Business Insider comparison found that median trucking wages have sunk as much as 35.8% in some metropolitan areas. 

    Unions also lost much of their power. Membership in Teamsters, which was once one of the most powerful unions around, has declined dramatically. In 1974, Belzer wrote that there were 2,019,300 truckers in Teamsters. Now, there are 75,000

    trucker wages 1980 vs 2017

    Economists say that wage decline can be traced back to the ease with which a company could enter the trucking industry.

    The number of carriers exploded as a result of the MCA loosening regulations. From 1980 to 1990, the number of firms doubled. "For the first time ever, you had an actual competitive marketplace," Klemp said. "Over night, all sorts of people started competing for business."

    Viscelli described the trucking industry as newly being ruled by "destructive competition — competition so severe that it undermines profitability to the point that it causes underinvestment by firms, industry-wide inefficiency, market instability, and poor service quality."

    In the case of driver wages, trucking companies were forced to begin slashing payrolls in order to keep up with new industry entrants. 

    "You end up establishing a much more volatile market," Mishel said. "You have a lot more price competition."

    The consumers won, and the truckers lost

    As Carter predicted, trucking rates did sink. Truckload shipment rates fell by about 25%, adjusted for inflation, from 1977 to 1982. Logistics (half of which are trucking costs) used to account for 16% of our country's annual expenditure. Even though we're shipping more goods than ever, it's now down to less than 8%

    Today, Viscelli said trucking costs are around 40% lower than they were before deregulation. 

    Though it's not possible to calculate the exact amount of savings that we've enjoyed from deregulation, Viscelli said those saving costs have been passed on to the consumer.

    "Deregulation worked," Viscelli said. "It made things cheaper — no doubt about it."

    Walmart truck

    The MCA of 1980 also removed regulations that made it impossible for companies to ship goods at scale. Now that companies can send whatever they wish on any route, and because labor is cheaper, it's possible to truck huge amounts of goods from shipping ports receiving goods from China or elsewhere, to distribution centers or stores.

    That's allowed big box stores like Walmart and e-commerce to come into existence, while mom-and-pop stores have suffered. "Deregulation produced the big box store system," Viscelli said. 

    The folks who advocated for the MCA in 1980 were right that trucking has become more competitive, and the savings in transit costs have in part been passed on the consumer. There's a larger consequence that they didn't predict, though: a lost blue-collar profession.  

    "These are things that are supposed to make us more competitive, but in the end they really removed the scope of places where people could have good jobs," Mishel said.

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    Prepare for the year ahead with insights from today's brightest minds. Join us at Business Insider's flagship conference, IGNITION: Media, Technology & Transformation, now in its ninth year.

    IGNITION 2017_Scott Galloway

    This year's speakers are innovators transforming media, technology, and society. The lineup is packed with top executives from some of the hottest tech startups and innovative corporate enterprises. Thought leaders from Dropbox, Hulu, Etsy, and Openwater will be discussing critical topics, from AI and robotics to the future of entertainment, healthcare, finance, and transportation.

    Want to hear how Keller Rinaudo is working to build a life-saving drone-delivery service in the most remote regions of the world? Learn how Dropbox CEO and cofounder Drew Houston built his $12 billion company? Hear from AOL cofounder and entrepreneur Steve Case about his investing approach that he calls "Rise of the Rest"?

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    • Henry Blodget, CEO, cofounder, and editorial director, Insider Inc.
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    • Victoria Canal, singer-songwriter
    • Nicholas Carlson, global editor-in-chief, Business Insider and INSIDER, chief content officer, Insider Inc.
    • Troy Carter, founder and CEO, Atom Factory
    • Steve Case, chairman and CEO, Revolution; cofounder, AOL
    • Barbara Corcoran of ABC's "Shark Tank"
    • Randy Freer, CEO, Hulu
    • Craig Fuller, founder and CEO, FreightWaves
    • Scott Galloway, founder, Gartner L2; professor of marketing, NYU Stern
    • Paul Graham, founder, Y-Combinator
    • Rachel Holt, head of New Modalities, Uber
    • Drew Houston, cofounder and CEO, Dropbox
    • Dr. Mary Lou Jepsen, CEO and founder, Openwater
    • Janice Min, media consultant, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and Valence Media
    • Danica Patrick, entrepreneur, GoDaddy Spokesperson
    • Keller Rinaudo, CEO and cofounder, Zipline
    • Joe and Anthony Russo, codirectors of "Avengers: Infinity War"; cofounders, AGBO
    • Ryan Rzepecki, CEO and founder, JUMP Bikes
    • Aaron Samuels, co-founder and CEO, Blavity
    • Josh Silverman, CEO, Etsy
    • Sir Martin Sorrell, executive chairman, S4Capital Limited
    • Padmasree Warrior, U.S. CEO and CDO, NIO

    One ticket, two days, 50-plus insightful speakers, over 600 executives.

    Register now for IGNITION 2018.

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    gwyneth paltrow goop

    The trials and tribulations of Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle brand, Goop, have been well-documented.

    Just this month, Paltrow's company made headlines for settling a $145,000 lawsuit over claims that its vaginal eggs could balance hormones, admitting that some of its magazine's outlandish health advice may not work and for selling $30 repellent for "psychic vampires."

    Despite the controversies, Goop seems to be going from strength to strength. A source recently told The New York Times that the company was worth $250 million and they just opened a pop-up in London's affluent Notting Hill.

    With the lure of vaginal eggs and vampire repellent impossible to resist, Business Insider's London bureau decided to drop in on Goop's new outpost to check out it's most outrageous wares.

    Scroll down to see what we found.

    Goop's London pop-up is located on Westbourne Grove in leafy, affluent Notting Hill — a neighbourhood made famous by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. It will be open until January 24, 2019.

    The Elvie pelvic floor trainer, £169 ($223) and Fur pubic hair oil, £45 ($59).

    I was immediately drawn to a bright turquoise box encasing an indefinable gadget. Closer examination revealed that the gadget was a pelvic floor trainer retailing at £169 ($223). Apparently, the device is inserted like a tampon and can improve bladder control and orgasms, according to the Goop website.

    I almost missed the oil that the pelvic trainer was placed next to, which turned out to be designed for pubic hair. Made with grapeseed and jojoba oils, Fur is "for those who prefer to go au naturel in the bikini area," according to the website.

    Amethyst bottle, £78 ($103).

    Above the pubic oil and pelvic trainers were a collection of water bottles with a notable edition — an obelisk-like amethyst crystal rising from the bottom like a luminous stalagmite.

    For those unsatisfied by regular water, Goop's amethyst bottles claim to infuse your water with positive energy and even "enhance existing psychic abilities."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    James Mattis and Donald Trump

    • Defense Secretary James Mattis has a famously tight-lipped manner, but he made a telling joke at a speech at the Virginia Military Institute on Tuesday. 
    • Mattis said he was "so happy to be out of Washington, DC right now" that he could "cry," as rumors of his imminent departure swirled.
    • Mattis always dismisses these rumors, but President Donald Trump's White House has had a high rate of turnover, and Mattis hasn't always seen eye to eye with the president. 

    Defense Secretary James Mattis has a famously tight-lipped manner, but he made a telling joke at a speech at the Virginia Military Institute on Tuesday. 

    During a wide-ranging and lighthearted speech, Mattis briefly touched on problems facing the US today.

    "I would just tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that we all know our country's having a tough time right now in a number of areas,"said Mattis.

    "I stand here in your beautiful town, your beautiful school with mixed emotions. I'm so happy to be out of Washington, DC right now I could cry."

    Mattis's joke came amid persistent reporting that indicates he's set to be fired from President Donald Trump's White House any day now.

    A recent Politico report said Trump has cooled on the Pentagon chief he once praised, dropping the nickname "Mad Dog" for "Moderate Dog," in what was reported to be a swipe at the defense secretary's purported attempts to moderate or slow-walk White House initiatives.

    But Mattis shot down those rumors and all others of its kind.

    "Of course I don't think about leaving. I love it here. I'm thinking about retiring here, getting a nice little place down on the Potomac,"he said, gesturing toward the river, which is not far from the Pentagon.

    Trump's White House has had a historically high rate of high turnover. Trump's former secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, survived several rounds of rumors alleging his imminent departure before finally leaving.

    Mattis and Trump have appeared out of sync at pivotal times before, like when Trump announced a ban on transgender military service on Twitter and the Pentagon had no reply.

    When Trump said he agreed to halt military drills with South Korea in a concession to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, both North Korea and China appeared to have heard the news before Mattis

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    Samuel L Jackson and Kurt Russell

    • The Ryder Cup starts this week in France with Team USA hoping for their first win on European soil in 25 years.
    • On Wednesday, celebrities participated in the celebrity challenge match.
    • Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell were paired together, leading to a great golf joke.

    The Ryder Cup tees off this week at Le Golf National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, outside of Paris, with Team USA looking for their first win on European soil in 25 years.

    On Wednesday, things kicked off with the celebrity challenge match with stars such as Greg Kinnear, Luke Wilson, John McEnroe, Yanick Noah, Condoleezza Rice, Kelly Slater, Nick Jonas, Niall Horan and Michael Phelps among those playing.

    The celebrities also included Samuel L. Jackson and Kurt Russell, who were paired together, leading to a great golf joke. Take it away, Club Pro Guy.

    Kurt Russell and Samuel L. Jackson

    This joke is made all the better by the budding bromance between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in recent years. It is easy to picture them being inseparable in 18 years.

    That deserves a golf clap.

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    meghan markle givenchy dress

    • Meghan Markle has been closing her own car door lately, and people have mixed responses.
    • Some think she's staying "down to earth" and shunning royal protocol, while others think there's no official protocol in regards to car doors.
    • Etiquette expert Myka Meier told INSIDER that Markle did not break royal protocol by closing her own door.

    Since marrying into the royal family in May, almost every move Meghan Markle makes seems to face intense examination from the public.

    Markle hit a major royal milestone by attending her first solo engagement on Tuesday, and some people noticed something seemingly out of the ordinary: Markle closed her own car door.

    The response to the video — which was widely shared in a tweet by The Sun's royal correspondent Emily Andrews— has been varied.

    Some think the duchess is shattering royal stereotypes by staying "down to earth and humble." 

    Others think it's more of a sign that Markle isn't up to speed on royal protocol, while others — including royal commentator Victoria Arbiter— think that it has nothing to do with royal protocol at all.

    However, as Twitter user WhenMeghanMetHarry points out, fellow royal Kate Middleton has definitely shut her own car door before.

    It's also worth noting that Markle previously shut her own door when arriving at the launch event for her charity cookbook, which can be seen below in the video shared by HELLO!'s royal editor Emily Nash.

    So this begs the question: does royal protocol actually prohibit royal women from closing their own doors?

    According to royal etiquette expert Myka Meier from Beaumont Etiquette, there is actually no specific protocol when it comes to closing car doors.

    "As for opening and closing a car door, a member of the royal family may choose to do it themselves or not and there would not be a break in protocol either way," Meier told INSIDER.

    Meghan Markle car door

    However, there are a few etiquette tips most royal women keep in mind with exiting a car, such as the "swivel and pop" technique Meier teaches in her Duchess Effect course at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

    "While there isn’t a royal protocol on how to get in and out of a car, it’s important for a woman to protect her modesty, especially when wearing a skirt or dress," Meier told us. "We saw Princess Diana use an Anya Himdmarch clutch to cover her cleavage when exiting a car, and the Duchess of Cambridge is careful to keep her knees together when exiting a vehicle."

    Princess Diana

    So while Markle may take extra precaution to gracefully exit her vehicle, it looks like royal protocol doesn't police what she chooses to do with the door. 

    Visit INSIDER's homepage for more.

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    Marijuana buds

    • Marijuana stocks are booming— but much of investors' exuberance isn't surrounding financials so much as hype.
    • Simple press releases can increase a marijuana company's market value by billions. 
    • In the case of Aurora Cannabis, one analyst has warned that "significant positive news" is already priced in, and that investors should "wait for a better entry point."

    It's almost like clockwork for marijuana stocks these days: a company issues a press release and watches its stock price skyrocket, many times more than 10 percentage points in a single day. 

    Tilray, now the third-largest cannabis stock by market cap, is the perfect example. On at least three occasions in the past month alone, shares have rallied following what are relatively small news announcements from the Canadian producer.

    Wednesday's 5% rally — resulting in a $170 million spike in market value — was fueled by the announcement that Tilray will purchase 12 million Canadian dollars worth of dried cannabis from another producer, Supreme Cannabis, for its medical offerings.

    That purchase was an add on to the initial terms, which were announced on September 10, at just 2 million Canadian dollars in value — signaling the company may be having trouble keeping up with global demand for its products. Shares climbed 8.5% that day. 

    Announcements on two other days added a collective $4 billion to the Tilray's market capitalization:

    Tilray isn't the only company with such investor exuberance surrounding its stock price. The entire industry has seen tremendous growth, which has many on Wall Street worried that valuations are getting stretched.

    Aurora Cannabis, for instance, reported its fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Even though the numbers weren't breakout results, shares still climbed nearly 4% in trading, adding $328 million to its market cap, as plans of a US-stock listing overshadowed any fundamentals. That's not unlike what happened when Bloomberg reported Aurora was in talks with Coca-Cola to produce CBD-infused beverages. That report alone added $1.1 billion to Aurora's market cap.

    "Aurora’s shares have had significant momentum in recent weeks supported by rumors of a partnership with a global CPG company and also by the company’s intention to list on a US stock exchange," Martin Landry, an analyst at GMP Securities, said following the company's earnings on Tuesday.

    "These have overshadowed delays on the production ramp-up of the company’s largest facility and a significantly larger cost structure than expected."

    Because of that run-up, GMP gives Aurora a "hold" rating, adding that "significant positive news are priced into Aurora's shares and we would wait for a better entry point."

    This isn't to say all stock rallies are the result of mere press releases of small announcements. When Canopy Growth received a $4 billion investment from Constellation Brands, the beverage company behind Corona beer and Svedka vodka, it put out a press release, but the $1.63 billion increase in market cap was helped along by upgrades from sell-side firms across Wall Street. 

    Still, there are plenty of skeptics. Short sellers, or those betting against weed stocks, have $1.7 billion riding against the sector right now. Ihor Dusaniwsky, a managing director at financial-analytics firm S3 Partners, told Business Insider that despite losing $900 million this year, short sellers don't appear to be throwing in the towel anytime soon.

    "The move in Tilray is beyond comprehension," Andrew Left, founder of the notorious short-selling firm Citron Research, said last week.

    "No one needs a market pundit to explain that.  This is just the dynamic of trading low float stocks.  Yes we are short and will hold a manageable position until rationality sets in."

    SEE ALSO: A $10 billion marijuana producer just spun off its venture arm in the hopes it will become the 'Google Ventures of cannabis'

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