Bank of America will hike its minimum wage to $20

New York (CNN Business)Bank of America is raising its minimum pay to $20 an hour for its more than 205,000 employees. US employers are competing in a tight labor market in which fewer people are struggling to find jobs. In March, the unemployment rate stood at 3.8% year-over-year. Wages have been on the rise as well. Bank of America declined further comment on the matter. Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

America’s banks are big. China’s are massive

New York (CNN Business)1. Big banks: New York might be the financial capital of the world, but China is home to the planet’s mightiest banks. The next three biggest Chinese banks are each north of $3 trillion: China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China. All four banks are state-owned. American banks have only gotten bigger since the financial crisis, but they’ve still got some growing to do to catch up to their peers in China. Just two US banks — JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Bank of America (BAC) — crack the top 10 in S&P’s rankings of the world’s largest banks. JPMorgan, which sports $2.6 trillion in assets, cemented its role as the king of American …

Why the remarkable stock market recovery could just be getting started

New York (CNN Business)US stocks are closing in on all-time highs. And stock market bulls don’t expect to be disappointed anytime soon. “This won’t be an easy ride, and we fully expect some volatility, but this is definitely a bullet point for the bulls in 2019,” he said. A diversified portfolio of stocks is always the best strategy for investing for the long-term. That’s the best insurance policy against market dips like the one that took place between October and January. But most market analysts expect stocks that perform well in a strong economy will continue to do well throughout 2019. Some concerns remain. There are still questions, for example, about how much markets have priced in what is set …

Olive Garden owner posts solid jump in sales

New York (CNN Business)It appears the comeback for Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants, much like its famous pasta specials, is never ending. “Our strong top-line results exceeded the industry this quarter resulting in significant market share gains,” Lee said in a press release. “This sales performance, coupled with strong operating profit growth, is a testament to our strategy and the outstanding focus and execution by our restaurant teams who create exceptional dining experiences for our guests every day.” Under Lee, Olive Garden adopted a back to basics approach — emphasizing classic Italian dishes, adding pricier wine and alcoholic beverages and concentrating more on service. The company also boosted prices on its never ending promotions in order to make them more …

The stock market is worried about China, not Michael Cohen

New York (CNN Business)The stock market doesn’t care about Michael Cohen’s testimony. But it does care about whatever is happening with President Donald Trump’s trade deal with China. Cohen may have some “titillating” things to say onCapitol Hill on Wednesday, but “I don’t think he’s really significantly increased the chances of impeachment or conviction,” Valliere said. Valliere added that investors are also far more interested in what’s going on with the Federal Reserve. The Fed has pleased investors by signaling that it won’t be as aggressive with interest rate hikes this year. Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Fixed Income, said she predicts the Fed could soon be looking at reducing interest rates if US economic growth runs into more …

Glitch interrupts trading; Mylan disappoints; Ocado’s tech focus

London (CNN Business)1. Trading halt: Technical problems forced the world’s biggest exchange operator to halt trading for over three hours on Tuesday evening in the United States. 2. Spotify in India: Spotify (SPOT) has launched in India after keeping music fans waiting nearly a year. Indian users can now download the Spotify app and access more than 40 million songs, according to the streaming company. Spotify Premium, its ad-free subscription service, will cost 119 rupees ($1.65) per month, a fraction of its $9.99 price in the United States. The company is going after a chunk of India’s half a billion internet users. A recent boom in sales of smartphones and cheap mobile data plans has attracted Silicon Valley’s biggest players …

Trump-Kim summit fizzles; AB InBev surges; US GDP

London (CNN Business)1. Trump-Kim summit fizzles: Global stock markets dipped Thursday as investors reacted to negative economic data in Asia and the abrupt end of talks between the United States and North Korea. South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index closed down 1.8% after the summit in Hanoi ended without a joint agreement on North Korea’s nuclear program. Some investors had bet that improved relations between North Korea and the rest of the world would mean new business for regional infrastructure and mining companies. That now looks less likely. Shares in Yong Pyong Resorts, which builds ski resorts and gold courses, fell 25% in Seoul. Sungshin Cement stock dropped 20% and Dohwa Engineering dropped 26%. Mining company Ilshin Stone saw its shares …

Fed minutes; Glencore caps coal; Setback for Walmart

London (CNN Business)1. Fed minutes: US stock futures were little changed as investors prepare for the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s January meeting at 2 p.m. ET. The mining and commodities giant said it would also set new targets for cutting emissions from both its activities and products, bowing to pressure from shareholders. “As one of the world’s largest diversified mining companies, we have a key role in enabling transition to a low carbon economy,” Glencore said in a statement. Glencore on Wednesday reported weaker than expected profits for 2018, and it announced a $2 billion share buyback program. Its stock was trading 2.5% higher. 3. Setback for Walmart: Shares in UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s (JSNSF) tanked 15% …

Elon Musk and the SEC; Oil stabilizes; Brexit endgame?

London (CNN Business)1. Elon Musk vs. the SEC: Tesla CEO Elon Musk is in trouble again because of something he said on Twitter. Musk showed no signs of contrition, firing back at the SEC in a tweet that sought to explain away his actions. The CEO has previously disparaged the settlement and said he doesn’t “respect” the SEC. The episode is bound to raise more questions about the management of Tesla and Musk’s leadership. The billionaire stepped down as chairman of Tesla last year as part of the settlement agreed after the SEC accused him of misleading investors with tweets about taking the carmaker private. Tesla also agreed to appoint two new independent directors to its board and establish a …

Trade relief; China bull market; Huawei on tour

London (CNN Business)1. Trade and stocks: US President Donald Trump has boosted stock markets around the world by announcing that he’ll delay a major hike in tariffs on Chinese goods to allow more time to reach a trade deal with Beijing. Stock indexes in Tokyo and Hong Kong advanced 0.5%, while European markets opened with gains of a similar size. US stock futures were higher. The standout performance was in mainland China, where the benchmark Shanghai Composite jumped 5.6% and entered a bull market. It was the biggest daily percentage gain since July 2015, according to Reuters. Trump’s remarks and comments from Xi on the country’s financial sector were cheered by Chinese investors. Xi said over the weekend that China …

Walmart had a blowout holiday quarter

New York (CNN Business)Walmart’s all-important holiday sales blew past expectations, a sign the retailer can more than hold its ground against Amazon. Walmart’s strong holiday should calm fears about a troubling report from the Commerce Department last week, which showed core retail sales plummeted 1.7% in December, the most in nearly two decades. Walmart’s (WMT) stock jumped 5% in pre-market trading Tuesday. Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

US-China trade talks; VW warns over tariffs; Barclays and Brexit

London (CNN Business)1. Trade talks: US stock futures were pointing higher ahead of more trade talks between the United States and China. Diess told the Financial Times that he agreed with an analyst estimate that import tariffs would cost Volkswagen €2.5 billion ($2.8 billion) a year. “In the worst-case situation, that would probably be close to the real figure,” Diess said of the Evercore ISI estimate quoted by the Financial Times. On Sunday, Trump was given the results of an investigation into whether imports of cars and car parts threaten US national security. He has 90 days to act on the report’s findings. He could decide to impose tariffs of up to 25% on imports of vehicles, which experts warn …

Walmart earnings; HSBC warnings; Honda and Brexit

London (CNN Business)1. Walmart reports: Walmart is set to release earnings before markets open in New York. Yet Walmart (WMT) stock has gained over 7% so far this year to trade near $100. 2. HSBC warnings: Shares in HSBC (HSBC) dropped more than 2% in Hong Kong after the bank reported earnings that were below analyst expectations. The bank’s statement highlighted worries that global economic growth could slow further. HSBC said it faced “more challenging market conditions at the end of the year and a weaker global economic outlook.” HSBC also warned about Britain’s looming exit from the European Union, saying that “many” of its UK customers are “understandably cautious about the immediate future” because of the uncertainty around Brexit. …

How US sanctions on Venezuela are rippling through oil markets

New York (CNN Business)US sanctions on Venezuela’s national oil company have accelerated the unprecedented collapse of its oil output and set off a domino effect in the global energy market. Heavy crude is typically cheaper than light crude, but demand for it has become so intense that it’s suddenly trading at a premium to lighter barrels. US Gulf Coast refiners, led by Citgo, Chevron and Valero, blend heavy crude with lighter barrels found in US shale oilfields to churn out gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s government, which relies on oil exports for 90% of its revenue, is searching for other customers for its crude. Venezuela’s oil minister Manuel Quevedo traveled to India last week in an apparent bid …

Market may be ignoring risks of an earnings slowdown

New York (CNN Business)The market is rallying this year. But investors may be ignoring a few risks that could bring trouble in the year ahead. Portfolio manager: Tech earnings will rebound That’s not something that the market is forecasting right now. But she believes an earnings recession is more likely than a full-blown economic downturn. China is another major wild card for investors, according to Sonders and other strategists at Schwab. Sonders and her team pointed out in a report released earlier this month that many big US companies, including paint maker PPG (PPG), chip giant Texas Instruments (TXN) and auto parts supplier Lear (LEA), have cited weakening demand in China on their recent earnings conference calls. Sonders will be …

How elite investors use artificial intelligence and machine learning to gain an edge

New York (CNN Business)Artificial intelligence and machine learning might sound like the stuff of sci-fi movies. But hedge funds, major banks and private equity firms are already deploying next-generation technologies to gain an edge. Much of the technology that elite investors use isn’t really new. Financial firms are just better able to harness the power of AI and machine learning because today’s computers can process information much faster. And there now exists vastly more data than there did years ago. The rise of machine learning Still, technology is rapidly disrupting the financial industry — and will continue to do so. “The rise of machine learning will really make our industry unrecognizable in the future,” said Anthony Cowell, head of asset …