Posts belonging to Category USA



US Debt

Americans’ debt level notches a new record high

Americans’ debt level notched another record high in the second quarter, after having earlier in the year surpassed its pre-crisis peak, on the back of modest rises in mortgage, auto and credit card debt, where delinquencies jumped. Total U.S. household debt was $12.84 trillion in the three months to June, up $552 billion from a year ago, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of New York report published on Tuesday.

The proportion of overall debt that was delinquent, at 4.8 percent, was on par with the previous quarter. However a red flag was raised over the transitions of credit card balances into delinquency, which the New York Fed said “ticked up notably.” Loosening lending standards have allowed borrowers with lower credit scores to access credit cards, Andrew Haughwout, an in-house economist, said in the report.

http://www.reuters.com…   Wed.,  16  August 2017

Berkshire dumps GE

Buffet bets further on banking sector

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold its stake in General Electric as of the end of June, according to a regulatory filing on Monday. The conglomerate had previously held 10.6 million shares of GE, according to its regulatory disclosure in May. John Flannery became CEO of General Electric on Aug. 1 after Jeff Immelt stepped down after 16 years. Flannery was previously president and CEO of GE Healthcare.

Berkshire appears to be keeping its hand in a legacy part of GE. It reported a 17.5 million share stake in Synchrony Financial, the financing arm of GE that was spun out in a 2014 initial public offering. Shares of Synchrony are down more than 18 percent this year, but they bounced up over 4 percent in after-hours trading Monday. Berkshire also increased its holdings of Bank of New York Mellon by 52.2 percent, to 50.2 million shares.

http://www.cnbc.com…   Tue.,  15  August 2017

Bitcoin has broken $4,000

Continuing surge

The continuing surge in the price of bitcoin has seen it climb to over $4,000 for the first time since the cryptocurrency was created in January 2009. According to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index, the average price of bitcoin across global exchanges today reached a height of $4,225 at 9:07 a.m. UTC, having opened at $3,917. At press time, the price had dropped slightly to $4,162.

The total value of all cryptocurrencies has also set yet another new all-time high, with the combined market capitalization now sitting at over $137 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. That figure is $11 billion more than the previous high noted by CoinDesk just two days ago, when all crypto assets had a value of $126 billion.

http://coindesk.com…   Mon.,  14  August 2017

Pilotless planes could save airlines billions

Pilotless planes: would anyone fly?

The aviation industry could save $35 billion a year by moving to pilotless planes, according to a new report from UBS. Just one problem: The same report warns that only 17% of travelers are willing to fly without a pilot. UBS said that the technology required to operate remote-controlled planes could appear by 2025. Further advances beyond 2030 might result in automated business jets and helicopters, and finally commercial aircraft without pilots.

“The technologies in development today will enable the aircraft to assist and back up the pilot in all the flight phases, removing the pilot from manual control and systems operations in all types of situations,” the report said. Commercial flights already land with the assistance of on-board computers, and pilots manually fly the aircraft for only a few minutes on average.

http://money.cnn.com…   Fri.,  11  August 2017

Chinese tourists ditch shopping for culture

Shopping no longer the priority for Chinese tourists

This year’s National Day holiday in China saw record numbers of people taking trips at home and abroad, but many Chinese tourists now seem to be shunning the colossal shopping trips they were once renowned for in favor of a bit more rest and relaxation. More than 30,000 people a day visited the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in southwestern Sichuan Province during the weeklong holiday. A police officer commented on his blog that he “could not tell if it was a center for breeding pandas or for people,” after directing traffic at the site.

Congestion at the newly opened Shanghai Disneyland reached epic proportions during the holiday. One local resident said he had to wait over two hours for a 5-minute ride. “It is more like hell than a magic kingdom,” he said. According to the National Tourism Administration, the number of people traveling domestically and abroad during this year’s holiday reached a record 593 million, up 13% from last year. Spending increased 14% to 482.2 billion yuan ($71.1 billion), also a record.

http://asia.nikkei.com…   Thu.,  10  August 2017

Tensions with North Korea worry markets

Wall Street swings lower after Trump warns North Korea

U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday after a late afternoon selling spree as investors fled for safety after U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to respond aggressively to any threats from North Korea. After scaling back from record highs earlier in the session, Wall Street’s three major indexes dipped after Trump said North Korea “will be met with fire and fury” like the world has never seen if it threatens the United States. “Trump’s response was aggressive and that’s why the market turned lower,” said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE floor division at O’Neil Securities.

Japan said on Tuesday it was possible that North Korea had already developed nuclear warheads and warned of an acute threat posed by its weapons programs as Pyongyang’s continues missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. sanctions. Investors, who took the North Korea report from Japan in their stride earlier in the day, lost their appetite for risk after Trump’s comments to reporters during his vacation at his golf club in New Jersey.

http://www.reuters.com…   Wed.,  09  August 2017

Tesla needs funding to boost Model 3 production

Tesla seeks $1.5 billion junk bond issue

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) said on Monday it would raise about $1.5 billion through its first-ever offering of junk bonds as the U.S. luxury electric car maker seeks fresh sources of cash to ramp up production of its new Model 3 sedan.

The move to issue junk bonds – lower-quality investments that offer higher yields – represents a bet by Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk that bond investors will be as hungry as stock investors to back the company on expectations that its Model 3 will be a hit.

Tesla shares are up 67 percent this year, pushing the company’s market value to about $60 billion, above that of top U.S. automakers General Motors Co (GM.N) and Ford Motor Co (F.N), even though Tesla has yet to make an annual profit.

http://www.reuters.com…   Tue.,  08  August 2017

Stock Market: indicators warnings

Next break in the Stock Market

Alarms are going off even with the stock market at an all-time high. The obvious ones include a degree of complacency illustrated through low volatility and the overall valuation of the stock market.

But there are more reasons to be concerned below the surface. Brad Lamensdorf, the portfolio manager of the short-only Ranger Equity Bear ETF, laid out some of the more hidden warning signs that may be worth looking into.

http://www.businessinsider.com…   Mon.,  07  August 2017

Tesla: 1,800 Model 3 reservations a day

The waiting list for Tesla’s new Model 3 is growing fast

Tesla (TSLA) said Wednesday it is now averaging more than 1,800 net reservations each day for its cheaper electric car, following an event last week to hand over keys to the first 30 Model 3 vehicles. Tesla did not provide an updated figure for its total waiting list. At the event last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the reservation number was over 500,000. On a conference call with analysts Wednesday, he clarified the number was actually 455,000, including cancellations.

The strong demand is a mixed blessing for Tesla as it grapples with scaling up production to make good on deliveries for its first mass market car. Tesla said it remains “on track” to hit its production goals. Tesla expects to produce 1,500 Model 3 vehicles in the upcoming third quarter, 5,000 vehicles produced per week by the end of this year and 10,000 per week by the end of 2018.

http://cnn.com…   Thu.,  03  August 2017

Obamacare: US senate votes down ‘skinny repeal’ of health act

The revolt of John McCain

Arizona senator John McCain provided a historic and critical vote to torpedo the Obamacare repeal bill – and with it Donald Trump’s legislative agenda – in a night of high drama on Capitol Hill. McCain, who only returned to Washington earlier this week after a diagnosis of brain cancer, joined fellow Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska in voting down the so-called “skinny repeal” bill 51-49. The six-term senator, who was his party’s 2008 presidential candidate against Barack Obama, told reporters “wait for the show” before arriving for the vote in the Senate chamber.

Once there, McCain was lobbied by vice-president Mike Pence, who was on the floor of the Senate to preside in case of a tie, for over 20 minutes. The two went back and forth and occasionally disappeared from the chamber altogether. But as the votes were cast, McCain, who had long nurtured a reputation as a maverick willing to buck party lines, delivered a black eye to Trump, who had famously mocked McCain as “not a war hero” during the 2016 campaign. The dramatic conclusion ended months of furious negotiating that exposed a party riven over how to dismantle a law that extended healthcare coverage to millions of Americans and has taken root in several states, in some cases with the help of Republican governors.

http://www.theguardian.com…   Fri.,  28  July 2017