News 

Ahead of Trump’s trip to Davos, its experts argue that he doesn’t understand trade deficits

“Trade deficits, such as the sprawling gap that exists in trade with China, are a particular subject of ire for the Trump administration, too” reports washingtonpost.com. The president has criticized not only multilateral trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement or the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but also bilateral deals with allies, such as the free-trade agreement with South Korea.Trump, meanwhile, is known for his populist views on trade and criticism of “the false song of globalism.” Indeed, Trump is expected to call for more reciprocal trade deals in a…

Read More
Markets News Stocks 

Bank of America has found the formula for a market meltdown — and we’re dangerously close

“Meanwhile, experts across Wall Street remain bullish on the stock market” writes Joe Ciolli for businessinsider.com. The firm, which has repeatedly warned of investor overexuberance, has identified what it sees as the perfect storm for a stock market correction — traditionally defined as a 10% selloff — and it involves four different metrics crossing particular thresholds.Let’s break it down: To further drive home just how confident investors still are in the stock market, even at record levels, look no further than recent flows into equity funds.Still, BAML is constructive on…

Read More
News 

Long shutdown could hurt economy, a short one just ‘a blip’

“Economists and investment advisers interviewed by The Associated Press generally didn’t foresee the shutdown that began Saturday lasting long enough to stifle the economy much” reports foxbusiness.com. The economy could take a hit if national parks and monuments are closed or operations curtailed for a long period.Investors and consumers are feeling optimistic now based on the tax cut signed into law last month, and the economy is strong enough to power through a short shutdown.A longer impasse, economists say, could rattle consumer and investor confidence, pulling stocks lower and dragging…

Read More
News 

Trump’s first year: He has delivered on his promises

“Trump’s third main accomplishment comes in the area of American energy” writes Dan K for washingtonexaminer.com. Lower taxes, lower regulatory burdens, and an emphasis on domestic energy is a recipe for long-term economic growth.When the president talks about American energy, he is acknowledging the need to focus on America’s long-term economic growth. Source: washingtonexaminer.com Share This:

Read More
News 

VRChat threatens permanent bans for players in wake of security concerns

“VRChat Inc. is threatening to ban players who download unofficial versions of VRChat that are floating around amidst growing security concerns over malware” writes Jan Est for polygon.com. VRChat Inc. is asking players to be patient with the developers as they work on making the servers more stable and implement additional security features.VRChat Inc. published a statement on Medium last night regarding the use of unofficial versions of VRChat and the security risk of malware spreading from those users who decide not to use the version of VRChat available through…

Read More
News 

Retail sales slow as families feel the pinch 

“Inflation has started to slow, but price increases of 3pc in the 12 months to December remain well above pay growth which came in at just 2.5pc in the year to October” writes Tim Wallace for telegraph.co.uk. Ian Gilmore of Barclays said: “The truth is that these kind of comparisons are increasingly dangerous for retail analysts trying to untangle performance over the Christmas period.” He added that trading patterns were shifting as a result of variables such as the “evolving influence of Black Friday”, the timing of wider price cuts and the importance of online…

Read More
Markets News Regulators 

A key recession indicator is flashing yellow while the stock market rips higher — but both can be right

“That matters because a yield curve inversion, when long-term rates actually dip below their short-run counterparts, has in the past been a precursor of recessions” writes Pedro Nicolaci Da for businessinsider.com. The most closely watched yield curve gauge, the spread between two- and ten-year Treasury notes, currently stands at 0.58 percentage point (2.63% vs. 2.05%).Fed officials have said they are watching movements in the yield curve closely and would like to avoid an inversion.There’s a new battle line in financial markets that’s dividing economic bulls from bears: the Treasury yield…

Read More
News Stocks 

Meet the unconventional portfolio manager who crushed Wall Street last year while barely watching the market

“What’s perhaps most telling, ultimately, is that he says he would make that Amazon investment again in a heartbeat” writes Joe Ciolli for businessinsider.com. Alex Umansky may be one of the hottest portfolio managers on Wall Street right now, but you won’t catch him scanning news headlines or closely monitoring the market. Source: businessinsider.com Share This:

Read More
News 

U.K. retail sales drop sharply in December

“Overall, retail sales made almost no positive contribution to quarterly economic growth in the final three months of 2017, the ONS said” writes Wiktor Szary for marketwatch.com. LONDON–U.K. retail sales fell steeply on the month in December, new figures showed Friday, with Britons paring back spending after taking advantage of Black Friday discounts the previous month.December’s was the steepest monthly drop in sales since June 2016, the month of the Brexit referendum, and the biggest decline for that month in seven years. Source: marketwatch.com Share This:

Read More
News 

UK retail sales fall by more than expected in December

“Retail sales fell by more than expected in December, confirming a weak Christmas trading period for shops and showing that UK consumers are still reining in their spending in the face of higher inflation” writes Ben Chu for independent.co.uk. The ONS said that sales volumes at non-food stores were down 0.6 per cent in the month while food store sales and non-store retailing both fell 0.4 per cent.The annual growth rate of sales volumes fell to 1.4 per cent in December, well below the 3 per cent City analysts had expected. Source: independent.co.uk Share…

Read More