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Showing posts from July, 2020

News | Business | Economy | US Q 2: Second-quarter GDP plunged by worst-ever 32.9% amid virus-induced shutdown

Jeff Cox 4-5 minutes - Source: CNBC The U.S. economy saw the biggest quarterly plunge in activity ever, though the plummet in the second quarter wasn’t as bad as feared. Gross domestic product from April to June plunged 32.9% on an annualized basis, according to the Commerce Department’s first reading on the data released Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a drop of 34.7%. Still, it was the worst drop ever, with the closest previously coming in mid-1921. The report “just highlights how deep and dark the hole is that the economy cratered into in Q2,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “It’s a very deep and dark hole and we’re coming out of it, but it’ going to take a long time to get out.” The report comes amid a recession that began in February and pulled first-quarter growth down 5%. On a quarterly basis, the Q2 decline was 1.8%. Sharp contractions in personal consumption, expor

Market Insider | Biggest Moves Premarket: Stocks making the biggest moves in the premarket: Procter & Gamble, Comcast, UPS, Cigna & more

Peter Schacknow 5-7 minutes - Source: CNBC Take a look at some of the biggest movers in the premarket: Procter & Gamble (PG) – The consumer products company earned $1.16 per share for its fiscal fourth quarter, 15 cents a share above estimates. Revenue came in above forecasts as well. Organic sales rose 6%, with particular strength in cleaning products boosted by pandemic-related concerns. Comcast (CMCSA) – The NBCUniversal and CNBC parent reported quarterly earnings of 69 cents per share , 14 cents a share above estimates. Revenue topped consensus as well. Strength in the broadband business helped offset weakness in advertising sales. United Parcel Service (UPS) – The delivery service reported quarterly profit of $2.13 per share , nearly double the $1.07 a share consensus estimate. Revenue exceeded forecasts as well. UPS benefited from a surge in residential volume due to the pandemic, among other factors, but is still withho

DealBook: ‘This Is a New Phase’: Europe Shifts Tactics to Limit Tech’s Power

By Adam Satariano 9-11 minutes - Source: NYT LONDON — In Brussels, European Union leaders are pursuing a new law that could make it illegal for Amazon and Apple to give their own products preferential treatment over those of rivals that are selling on their online stores. In Britain, officials are drawing up a law to force Facebook to make its services work more easily with rival social networks, and to push Google to share some search data with smaller competitors. And in Germany, authorities are debating a rule that would let regulators essentially halt certain business practices at the tech companies during an antitrust investigation. Europe’s lawmakers and regulators have shifted to a new stage in their battle to limit the power of the world’s biggest tech companies. While the region has long been at the forefront of using existing antitrust laws and levying multibillion dollar penalties against the tech giants, officials now say that those tactic

Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: Klobuchar is bullish Congress will deliver more election money for states

Joseph Marks 10-12 minutes - Source: The Washington Post. with Tonya Riley Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is confident Congress will deliver another surge of funding to help states run safe and secure elections in November despite opposition from many Republicans and a barrage of attacks on mail voting by President Trump. The main driver, she says, will be state and local election officials of both parties convincing lawmakers and the public the money is necessary to manage massive increases in voting by mail and to buy protective equipment and other resources to ensure in-person voting doesn’t become a hotbed for spreading the coronavirus.   “ No matter what party anyone belongs to, they understand we’re going to have a cataclysmic change in how people are going to vote this fall ,” Klobuchar told me. “There are states that are changing from 3 percent to up to 60 percent vote by mail…People have figured that out.” The last

US Market | Futures Indicator: Dow futures drop more than 200 points as Big Tech stocks fall ahead of earnings

Fred Imbert 3-4 minutes - Source: CNBC U.S. stock futures fell early Thursday as big technology shares declined ahead of their earnings reports after the bell. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook, representing nearly $5 trillion in market capitalization , are all set to report. All four shares were lower slightly in the premarket. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 240 points, or 0.9%. The move implied a loss of about 230 points at the open. S&P 500 futures lost 1%. Nasdaq-100 futures dropped 1.1%. The Big Tech reports come after each stock has posted massive year-to-date gains. Facebook and Alphabet are both up more than 13% in 2020. Amazon has surged 64.2% in that time and Apple is up 29.5% this year. "Another round of bullish tech surprises could be enough to jump-start the next leg higher in the post-crash rally," said Ken Berman of Gorilla Trades. It will also be the busiest day of the current earnings se

News | Business | Car Industry | Volkswagen | Profit & Loss: Volkswagen posts $940 million first-half loss and cuts dividend as pandemic hammers sales

Elliot Smith 2-3 minutes - Source: CNBC An automobile assembly line worker wears a protective face mask as Volkswagen AG (VW) restart production at their headquarter factory in Wolfsburg, Germany, on Monday, April 27, 2020. Volkswagen is restarting output at its Wolfsburg car plant, the worlds biggest, with a labor leaders warning that political fallout from the coronavirus pandemic could be more harmful than production disruptions. Bloomberg Volkswagen has reported an operating loss of 800 million euros ($940 million) for the first half of 2020 and cut its dividend as the coronavirus pandemic hammered car sales. This compares to a profit of 10 billion euros for the same period last year. Group sales fell by 23.2% while deliveries plunged 27.4% year-on-year, with the percentage gap to last year’s performance falling consistently since May as worldwide shutdowns caused demand to crater. At its annual general meeting in September, the German au

News | Business | Central Banks | Lebanon: Controversy over seigniorage in Lebanon is a warning sign

John Plender  5-6 minutes - Source: FT The controversy over the Lebanese central bank’s decision to record seigniorage as an asset in its crisis-torn balance sheet is no parochial matter. Across the world, strange things are happening to this important source of income for central banks and finance ministries. Described as the profit made from printing money, seigniorage arises because currency carries a zero nominal interest rate and commercial banks receive, at best, paltry interest on the reserves they hold at the central bank. Seigniorage is a valuable asset, because issuing money and investing it in low-risk securities has always been a profitable business. Traditionally, central banks have treated the profits in accounting terms as an income stream rather than an asset. Yet putting a capital value on the discounted future income is not entirely outrageous. Indeed, it is odd that what is arguably any central ban

News | Business | Tech | Giants Conference: Big Tech’s leaders squirm as documents reveal their power

Hannah Murphy, Dave Lee, Richard Waters, and Kadhim Shubber  8-10 minutes - Source: FT A six-hour video conference with four of the world’s biggest tech bosses was never going to match the drama of a real-life hearing before Congress, and that was before the technical glitches and delays on the line. But there were plenty of uncomfortable moments for the heads of Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Facebook, who were often unable to answer questions on a trove of newly unearthed internal documents that showed how the companies chased dominance and then sought to protect it. Among the most damning revelations was a 2012 email in which Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that he planned to acquire photo app Instagram in order to “neutralise” it. Additional records released by the House judiciary committee showed that Instagram’s founder feared at the time that Mr Zuckerberg would go into “destroy mode” if he declined the of

News | Business | Banking: Credit Suisse launches restructuring after trading profit boost

Owen Walker 3-4 minutes - Source FT Credit Suisse unveiled sweeping changes to its structure as the bank benefited from a surge in trading in the second quarter. The revamp, which is designed to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, rolls back some of the changes brought in by previous chief executive Tidjane Thiam. It comes as his successor, Thomas Gottstein, sets about putting his mark on the business almost six months after taking on the role. Announcing the changes, which solidified the group’s global investment banking operations and combined risk and compliance oversight, Mr Gottstein said: “These initiatives should also help to provide resilience in uncertain markets and deliver further upside when more positive economic conditions prevail.” The group said it hoped to save SFr400m a year from the reshuffle by 2022. The Swiss lender benefited from the resilience of its domestic market during the coronavirus pa

News | Business | UK Car Industry: UK car output slumps to lowest level since 1954

3-4 minutes - Source: BBC Image copyright Getty Images The number of cars built in the UK over the past six months has slumped to the lowest since 1954, according to the industry's trade body. A total of 381,357 cars were made the six months to June, down 42% on the period last year, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The coronavirus lockdown led to widespread closures and job losses. But the SMMT warned more jobs were at stake amid fears of a "double whammy" with the addition of Brexit tariffs. The trade body estimated that 11,349 jobs were lost in the past six months at carmakers and companies which supply them with parts and services. Britain's major carmakers all suspended production earlier in the year in response to the lockdown, inc

News | Business | Smartphone Companies: Samsung profits soar on work from home demand

3minutes - Source: BBC Image copyright Getty Images Samsung Electronics has seen its earnings soar as sales were boosted by millions working and learning from home during the virus pandemic. The world’s largest maker of smartphones said second quarter operating profits rose 23% compared to last year. The results were helped by strong demand for computer chips, which pushed up prices on the global market. Data centres have expanded capacity to support home working and schooling. "The Memory Business saw robust demand for cloud applications related to remote working and online education as the impact from Covid-19 continued, while demand for mobile was relatively weak," the South Korean company said in a statement. Other major memory chip makers, incl

News | Business | Banks | UK: Standard Chartered profits take coronavirus hit

3-4 minutes - Source: BBC Image copyright Getty Images UK-based bank Standard Chartered has seen its profits slump as it was hit by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Underlying pre-tax profit fell 25% to $1.95bn (£1.5bn) for the first half of the year as economic weakness drove up the number of bad loans on its books. The bank's outlook was also clouded by political unrest in Hong Kong, which is its largest market. Both Standard Chartered and HSBC have faced criticism over their positions on China's actions in the city. "Low interest rates and depressed oil prices continue to be headwinds and we expect new waves of Covid-19 related challenge in the coming quarters but I am confident that our resilience and client franchise will see us through," group chief exec

Analysis | The Cybersecurity 202: The Trump administration's battle over mail-in voting heads to Congress

Joseph Marks 10-12 minutes - Source: The Washington Post with Tonya Riley Attorney General William P. Barr held fast to claims that a drastic expansion of mail voting in November could undermine the election amid an often combative hearing with House lawmakers. But he provided no concrete evidence for his assertions there's a “high risk” mail-in voting will lead to massive fraud, which have been roundly dismissed by election security experts. He said “common sense” guides his concern that U.S. adversaries might flood the election with phony ballots submitted by mail, even though election officials say safeguards such as bar codes and signature verification prevent this.  It was the first time a congressional committee scrutinized Barr's claims in person – and Democrats savaged him, contending that he and the president were spreading conspiracy theories and aiding U.S. enemies. “ The FBI and our intelligence servic