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Profits in the first quarter are now expected to decline as company outlooks fall short

“At the end of September, analysts expected first quarter profits to increase by 6.7 percent, on average, according to FactSet” writes Brendan Mcdermid for cnbc.com. For investors cheering this earnings season, there could be trouble ahead.As the fourth-quarter results roll in, the S&P 500 is poised to post an average earnings growth rate of 12.4 percent, the fifth straight quarter of double-digit growth.And that’s caused analysts to rapidly slash their earnings expectations for the current quarter.In fact, Wall Street’s expectations for earnings growth for the first quarter of 2019 have…

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Gold prices decline, but tally 2nd straight weekly gain

“April gold GCJ9, -0.22% edged down by $3.10, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,322.10 an ounce” writes Markets Commodities Reporter for marketwatch.com. April platinum PLJ9, +0.27%  added 0.2% to $826.70 an ounce, contributing to a weekly rise of 1%.Once this inflection in Fed policy officially hits the tape, gold should have already commenced what we expect to be a significant and sustained advance,” said Trey Reik, senior portfolio manager at Sprott Asset Management. Source: marketwatch.com

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Sections across California look for ways to increase revenue as playoff ticket sales decline

“The Southern Section has cut expenses trying to make up for the loss in ticket revenue and is taking more action” writes Eric Sondheimer for latimes.com. It plans to increase the dues paid by schools for each sport they participate in by $15 next school school year and $10 the following year. The section is also raising fees that media pay to broadcast games on the Internet and TV, something that has been gaining in popularity and could be one of the reasons for the decline in attendance. Source: latimes.com

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Markets News Stocks 

Harley-Davidson is in an impossible position in the motorcycle business

“In business for 116 years, Harley disappointed Wall Street this week when the company generated effectively no profit in the fourth quarter” writes Matthew Debord for businessinsider.com. It’s like General Motors in the 1950s — and although GM’s business ebbed after the Eisenhower era, it took 59 years for the automaker to enter bankruptcy.Unless, of course, the company’s goes delusional and borrowers more money to chase growth, adding to an already elevated debt situation. Source: businessinsider.com

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Italian economy dips into recession in setback for the new anti-establishment government

“Italy’s economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter at the end of last year, data showed on Thursday, throwing the country into recession in a setback for the new anti-establishment government” writes Alessia Peirdomenico for cnbc.com. The average forecast in a Reuters survey of analysts had pointed to a 0.1 percent fall quarter-on-quarter, up 0.3 percent year-on-year.The coalition approved an expansionary budget in December aimed at heading off the growing threat of recession.A Reuters survey of 46 economists published this month forecast 2019 growth of 0.7 percent. Source: cnbc.com

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Historic shift: More Hispanic than black voters in 2020, whites decline to 66%…

“The growth of non-white voters, which Pew said favored Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 election, comes at the expense of the white vote” writes John Locher Ap for washingtonexaminer.com. This increase is at least partially linked to immigration and naturalization patterns: One-in-ten eligible voters in the 2020 election will have been born outside the U.S., the highest share since at least 1970,” said Pew. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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Hong Kong’s short-lived property price decline is just about over, analysts say

“The recent slide in Hong Kong’s residential property prices may soon be ending” writes Kelly Olsen for cnbc.com. Analysts last year predicted residential property prices in the city would decline between 15 percent and 20 percent, pressured by declines in the Hong Kong and mainland stock markets, a weakening Chinese yuan and rising local borrowing costs. Source: cnbc.com

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Crypto News Stocks 

Nvidia Decreases Q4 Revenue Estimates Citing Crypto Mining Decline, Conditions in China

“Taiwan-based computer hardware producer Nvidia updated its financial estimates for Q4 for the fiscal year of 2019, according to a press release on Jan. 28” writes Miranda Karanfili for cointelegraph.com. However, once the demand began to disappear due to decreased crypto valuations, GPU prices did not decrease enough to attract new consumers to purchase more affordable cards.Q4 revenue is expected to be at $ 2.20 billion, opposed to the previous projection of $2.70 billion according to a statement released by Nvidia on Jan 28. Source: cointelegraph.com

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Caterpillar shares slammed after equipment maker’s profit badly misses estimates

“Caterpillar Inc. shares fell sharply in early trade Monday after the maker of equipment for the mining and construction sectors missed profit expectations for the fourth quarter by a wide margin” writes Ciara Linnane for marketwatch.com. The company said it expects 2019 profit to range from $11.75 to $12.75, which compares with a $12.73 FactSet consensus.The almost $12 price decline was shaving about 80 points off the Dow, which was down 381 points. Source: marketwatch.com

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