Posts belonging to Category Personal Finance



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

Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash

Orders for bitcoin cash are ‘exploding’

On Tuesday afternoon, bitcoin split into two in an event known as a “hard fork” that has divided the virtual currency’s online community.

Two competing strands of bitcoin emerged after some of its leading backers disagreed on the best way to take it forward.

The price of the cryptocurrency fell by around 4pc to around $2,700 (£2,000) after the fork, while the predicted price of Bitcoin cash rose from just over $200 to about $370, but traders are still unsure what will happen when the dust settles.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk…   Wed.,  02  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

U.S. home sales stumble

Prices hit record high

U.S. home resales fell more than expected in June as a dearth of properties amid strong demand pushed prices to a record high, keeping first-time buyers on the sidelines. The housing market has experienced an acute shortage of homes for sale for about two years. As the labor market churns out more jobs and builders struggle to secure land, building materials and skilled labor, the situation could worsen.

“The fact that demand is so high is actually a good sign of economic health,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “But that’s probably small comfort to buyers, especially first-time buyers that are having an especially difficult time finding entry-level homes for sale.”The National Association of Realtors said on Monday existing home sales dropped 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.52 million units last month.

Economists had forecast sales falling 1.0 percent to a 5.58 million-unit rate. Sales were up 0.7 percent from June 2016. The shortage of properties has led to bidding wars, culminating in house price increases outpacing wage gains.

http://www.reuters.com…   Tue.,  25  July 2017

US: Latest health care bill collapses

Republicans fail to overhaul the Affordable Care Act

The Republican Party’s efforts to gut former President Barack Obama’s legacy health care law came to an abrupt — if temporary — halt Monday night.
Just hours after the Senate was gaveled back into session, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was handed two more public defections on his health care bill to overhaul Obamacare. The dramatic and simultaneous announcement from Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah means McConnell officially does not have the votes to even begin debate on his legislation to overhaul the Affordable Care Act.
http://www.cnn.com…   Wed.,  19  July 2017

Sales record for Amazon

Amazon.com breaks sales record for ‘Prime Day’

 Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) said on Tuesday its Prime Day sale was on track to be the biggest shopping event in its history by sales. The world’s largest online retailer said customers ordered more than three times as many Echo-family speakers than during Prime Day 2016, which at the time broke records for Amazon devices. Third-party sellers sold over 50 percent more items on the site by noon local time (1900 GMT) than in the same timeframe last year, Amazon said in a statement.

The company has not disclosed sales figures, overall or for the Echo. Analysts estimated last year’s event brought in well over $500 million. The news underscores Amazon’s break-neck pace of growth as more shoppers order online instead of going to brick-and-mortar stores. It also highlights the winning formula of Amazon’s shopping club Prime, the cornerstone of its business. Customers had to join Amazon Prime to get discounts during the 30-hour event. U.S. members of the club pay $99 per year for benefits like two-day shipping, and they tend to buy more goods, more often from Amazon. A timer showing when the deals would expire added further shopping encouragement.

http://www.reuters.com…   Wed.,  12  July 2017

Fund managers rarely outperform the market for long

Stock-Picking Fund Managers Are Even Worse Than We Thought At Beating the Market

Rather than hiring a stock picker to run your investment portfolio, you’re probably better off just investing in market indexes. That advice has been gaining a lot of traction in recent years, especially as those indexes (at least in the U.S.) have reaped big gains in a bull market that’s now entering its ninth year. But data released this week underscores the idea even more forcefully.

More than six in 10 actively managed stock funds were outperformed by their market benchmarks in 2016, according to the S&P Indices Versus Active funds scorecard. Large-cap funds failed to keep up with the S&P 500 66% of the time, while mid- and small-cap funds were outperformed by their benchmarks 89.3% and 85.5% of the time, respectively. As bad as those numbers are, they only get worse over longer timelines. The overwhelming majority of all domestic funds were outperformed by their benchmarks over 1-, 3-, 5-, 10-, and 15-year intervals that ended December 2016.

http://www.fortune.com…   Thu.,  29  June 2017

Draft bill to replace Obamacare would cut Medicaid

Senate Republicans release healthcare bill that will affect coverage for millions

After weeks of secret negotiations, the US Senate has released its draft of a bill that could upend the healthcare system for millions of Americans.

The Senate’s 142-page proposal, unveiled on Thursday, would eliminate or reduce key benefits provided by Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act; lower taxes for the wealthy; strip funding from the women’s reproductive health provider Planned Parenthood; and dramatically cut and restructure Medicaid, America’s public health insurance program for low-income and disabled Americans.

The legislation mirrors the bill that the House of Representatives passed narrowly last month, with modest changes intended to win support from moderate senators. Meanwhile, Republican Senate leaders emphasized that the legislation is subject to change as they negotiate details in an effort to win 50 votes, the minimum required for the bill to pass.

http://www.theguardian.com…   Fri.,  23  June 2017

Malls are doomed: 25% will be gone in 5 years

Mom and Pops shops come back

Store closings and even dead malls are nothing new, but things might be about to get a whole lot worse. Between 20% and 25% of American malls will close within five years, according to a new report out this week from Credit Suisse. That kind of plunge would be unprecedented in the nation’s history.  In 1970 there were only 300 enclosed malls in the U.S., and now there are 1,211 of them. In fact, despite the recent turbulence in the retail industry, the number of malls open has actually edged higher every year. But now, as the brick-and-mortar chains die a slow and painful death, small businesses could make a comeback by filling the void, according to two Goldman Sachs executives.

“I think there will become a degentrification, for lack of a better word,”explains Kim Posnett, head of internet investment banking at Goldman Sachs.. “We will see the rents come down, and mom and pops shops will come back in a much more curated, personal way that goes along these lines of creating great service and a sense of community, and a desire to support your community.”

http://www.cnn.com…   Wed.,  21  June 2017

Icelandic bitcoin mine

Bitcoin is going nuclear

The digital currency is hitting all-time highs, with a single coin going for more than $2,197. It’s an epic bull run that has accelerated in recent months: Just a year ago, it was sitting at just $443. This is great news for bitcoin miners, the people responsible for creating new bitcoins. Their mining infrastructure is the backbone of bitcoin. Anyone who contributes computing power to help process transactions on the network is rewarded with the chance to “mine” bitcoin.

In plain English, in return for helping keep the network up and running, they have the chance of being given a newly created piece of the digital currency. This payout makes the entire process — with the right equipment — incredibly lucrative. It has helped spawned a huge and surreal industry.

You can mine at home, and many people do. But companies dedicated to mining have also sprung up, some worth tens of millions of dollars. These companies build huge data centres, or mines, that consume vast amounts of power and perform insane computations on the hunt for digital gold.

http://www.businessinsider.com…  Thu.,  25  May 2017