At The Wall Street Journal, the editors roll out Amazon’s amazing scheme. Amazon envisions opening more than 2,000 brick-and-mortar grocery stores under its name, depending on the success of the new test locations, according to the people. By comparison, Kroger Co. operates about 2,800 locations across 35 states. Adding grocery pickups will be “part of their secret sauce in terms of all of the different ways in which they can engage the customer in bringing the product to them,” says Bill Bishop, chief architect at grocery and retail consultancy Brick Meets Click. Until now, Amazon has … [Read more...]
Archives for December 2016
Trouble at LPL?
After a decade of heading up one of the biggest brokerage firms, LPL Financial Holdings Corp., Mark Casady is retiring. This may be the first step toward a sale of LPL, as The Wall Street Journal reports that the company has been considering "strategic alternatives." News of Mr. Casady’s departure follows the October disclosure that LPL is considering strategic alternatives, which are being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and could include a sale of the company. Messrs. Arnold and Casady declined to comment on the review process. But Mr. Arnold and lead board director James Putnam both … [Read more...]
Referendum Puts Italy’s Banks on the Ropes
The FT reports on the fallout in Italy's banking system from the Italian referendum. Bankers are running out of private-sector solutions for Monte dei Paschi di Siena and have told the Italian lender to prepare for a state bailout this weekend after prime minister Matteo Renzi was felled by a referendum defeat. While financial markets responded relatively calmly to the referendum result, people briefed on the situation said the political upheaval made it “more difficult” to secure a €1bn investment from Qatar on which Monte dei Paschi’s €5bn capital-raising plan hinges. Senior bankers fear … [Read more...]
December RAGE Gauge: It’s not all Guns and Roses, Keep Your Eye on the Gold
Yours truly has the December Rage Gauge tallied, and it’s actually the best I’ve seen all year: Neutral to Elevated Risk. Thank you Mr. Trump. Bond investors, if you listened to us and kept maturities short, you should be smiling. Not true for the turkey-faced, long-term bondholders that stooped for nickels and got steamrolled by the selloff. Speaking of steamrolled, the White House must be feeling joyful about the recent unemployment rate of 4.6%. But before they light that candle, let’s not forget the workforce cake shrank to a near-four decade low with a participation rate of only … [Read more...]
Be Sure to Take Your MRD to Avoid Tax Penalties
Year-end is coming up fast. If you are over 70 and 1/2 years old, don't forget to take your minimum required distribution from your retirement accounts. Fidelity has the scoop on the MRD rules. Beginning when you turn 70½, IRS regulations generally require you to withdraw a minimum amount of money each year from your tax-deferred retirement accounts, like traditional IRAs and 401(k) plans, or pay penalties of 50% on missed MRD amounts. This is why it’s important that you understand how MRDs work, and the timing of distributions. How the amount is determined Minimum required distributions, … [Read more...]
Not Enough Oil Products for the Economic Boom?
The amazing journey to synthetic lubricants is told here at energyfactor.exxonmobil.com. After World War II, the United States was poised for an economic boom so large that some feared the country would not have enough oil products to keep factories and machines running. This spurred American oil companies to seek ways to produce lubricants from natural gas and other non-crude resources. The goal was to find a synthetic lubricant that acted just like conventional lubricants produced from crude. Two Socony Vacuum Oil researchers made a breakthrough on the journey to synthetic lubricants, … [Read more...]
Your Retirement Life: Stay on Beat
One of my favorite drummers is the Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts, known for keeping it simple, keeping the beat, and playing to the song. He doesn’t look for something that’s not there. There’s a story about how Watts could play a song in the studio then have the volume turned off, with everyone leaving the room, continue playing in silence, and when they came back in and turned the music back on he was still on beat. Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in as you consider what’s going on today. There’s a lot of noise out there. Imagine turning it off. Would you stop what you’re … [Read more...]
Who Will Win in the Internet of Things?
The internet of things (IoT) is one of the more exciting secular themes just starting to reshape many industries across the global economic landscape. At Young Research we follow developments in the Internet of Things to remain current on the emerging threats and opportunities to the companies we advise for both our Intelligence Report subscribers as well as clients of Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd’s white-glove managed account service. You might expect that a cutting-edge Silicon Valley startup would have the drop in the IoT, and while that is likely true to some extent, old economy … [Read more...]
Apple’s iPhone Shipments Crater by 11%
All the air is running out of the iPhone balloon, the WSJ reports. The growth in global smartphone shipments ground to a near halt this year, according to research firm International Data Corp., in the latest sign that the mobile-phone boom is petering out. The accelerating slowdown this year comes in part from an estimated 11% decrease in shipments of Apple Inc. ’s iPhone—the first full year of declining shipments for the device since it made its debut in 2007. Apple held about 14% of the global smartphone market this year, IDC said. IDC estimated shipments this year of smartphones … [Read more...]
Are We Still Early in the Oil-Stock Rally?
Here MarketWatch offers a timely look at the brightening oil-stock scene. Among the 36 energy stocks in the benchmark S&P 500 Index, 16 were up at least 10% on Wednesday. So now the question is, how much higher can they go? With OPEC’s action, a revised 3.2% GDP growth rate for the U.S. economy in the third quarter and an ADP report showing 216,000 net jobs added during November, a roaring economy could provide strong support for higher oil prices. The potential for another $10 increase in the price of oil, along with all the positive economic indicators, should prompt analysts to … [Read more...]
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