Category Archives: Personal Finance

Personal Finance

The Latest: 2 Republican senators denounce Donald Trump

The Latest: 2 Republican senators denounce Donald TrumpThe Latest on President Donald Trump and Republican senators (all times EDT): 9 p.m. Two Republican senators are blistering President Donald Trump with criticism. Jeff Flake of Arizona says he will not …

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3 Value Stocks for Retirement

3 Value Stocks for RetirementYou've reached retirement, and that means it's time to pick three value stocks for stability and even some dividend income.

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China Names Top Leaders, With One Notable Absence

China Names Top Leaders, With One Notable AbsenceThe name of China’s powerful anti-graft chief was absent from the Communist Party’s new central committee, according to a list published by the official Xinhua News Agency, suggesting that President Xi …

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Adele could become Las Vegas’s highest-paid resident

Adele could become Las Vegas’s highest-paid residentBig news for Adele fans: The songstress could become Las Vegas’s highest-paid resident. The Wynn Hotel is reportedly planning to offer Adele a year long contract, paying half a million dollars per show.

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Oil keeps gains, supported by Iraq disruptions and drop in U.S. rigs

Oil keeps gains, supported by Iraq disruptions and drop in U.S. rigsOil prices largely held on to last week’s gains on Monday, supported by supply disruptions in Iraq and a drop in U.S. drilling. The number of U.S. rigs drilling for new oil fell by seven to 736 in the week to Oct. 20, the lowest level since June, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude (CLc1) was up 2 cents at $51.86.

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JD.com, Tencent, and Wal-Mart Join Forces Against Alibaba

JD.com, Tencent, and Wal-Mart Join Forces Against AlibabaA new e-commerce triumvirate has emerged in China.

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Intel Corp. Reveals New Detail About Upcoming 10-Nano Tech

Intel Corp. Reveals New Detail About Upcoming 10-Nano TechIt's more impressive than I thought it was.

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Why General Electric Stock Dropped, Then Bounced Back, on Friday

Why General Electric Stock Dropped, Then Bounced Back, on FridayDown more than 6% at one point, GE stock ended the day in positive territory. Why?

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Is Qualcomm Getting Any Closer to Owning NXP Semiconductors?

Is Qualcomm Getting Any Closer to Owning NXP Semiconductors?Qualcomm scraped together a larger cohort of tendered NXP shares in October, but it wasn't a game-changing victory.

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US Senate chops key obstacle to Trump tax reforms 

US Senate chops key obstacle to Trump tax reforms A key hurdle to Donald Trump’s tax reforms has been eliminated, as last night’s US Senate vote in favour of a 2018 budget resolution means the president will only need a simple majority of 51 senators, rather than 60, to pass his tax cuts. As a result he will not necessarily need to seek the support of Democratic legislators, assuming he can convince sufficient Republicans to back him. A major programme of tax cuts was key to the president’s election campaign, with pledges to slash income and business taxes, as well as cutting some of the deductions and loopholes which complicate the system. Great news on the 2018 budget @SenateMajLdr McConnell – first step toward delivering MASSIVE tax cuts for the American people! #TaxReformpic.twitter.com/aBzQR7KR0c— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2017 The latest budget bill opened the way for tax cuts of $1.5 trillion (£1.1 trillion) over 10 years, and also allows for extra spending in areas such as defence. Stocks climbed modestly with the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both closing up over 0.5pc, and gold sliding 0.6pc. Treasury yields climbed to a nine-year high while the move also raised expectations of further interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve. Analysts believe the move should support stocks over the coming months – but those hoping for rapid progress on the tax plans may be disappointed. “Overhauling the tax code and cutting taxes significantly, as planned by the president, is a very complex process and it will be no easy task for the administration to please all sides and get enough support for the final tax bill to be passed,” said Brian Davidson at Fathom Consulting. “We believe that large corporate tax cuts will eventually be enacted, but this is more likely to happen in the first or second quarter next year, and not later this year as the administration hopes.” For markets “the upshot is that we expect the so-called 'Trump trade' to come back to life as tax reform progresses, although it may be a bumpy ride as delays occur and divisions between Republicans are made public,” he said. Mr Trump has pinned his hopes on tax cuts and spending hikes creating a substantial economic boost, with the result that tax revenues ultimately rise sufficiently to limit extra borrowing. White House announces Trump's proposed tax overhaul 02:04 Economists remain sceptical of the proposals, however, and some Republicans are also keen to avoid a large increase in borrowing – meaning the president can expect some tough negotiations with his own party. Meanwhile reports indicate that Jerome Powell, a governor at the Federal Reserve, is now the favourite candidate to replace Janet Yellen at the top of the central bank. Ms Yellen had been considered a shoo-in by markets as unemployment is low and inflation under control, while she is very gradually pushing interest rates upwards from the emergency levels introduced in the wake of the financial crisis. But in August she criticised the president’s plans to roll back the banking regulations introduced since the credit crunch and this is thought to have damaged her chance of being re-appointed when her term of office expires in February. Gary Cohn, chief economic adviser at the White House, was another leading contender. But he criticised Mr Trump’s reaction to the Charlottesville protests, undermining his chances of taking the role. Mr Cohn is also keen to push through major tax reforms, giving him an incentive to remain in his current role.

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Why delaying the retirement age could hurt some older Americans

Why delaying the retirement age could hurt some older AmericansAs the average life expectancy for Americans increases, individuals are facing new challenges when it comes to saving for a longer retirement period.

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The Latest: Fla. senator blocks nominee over disaster aid

The Latest: Fla. senator blocks nominee over disaster aidThe Latest on President Trump, Congress and $4.1 trillion budget plan (all times EDT): 6 p.m. A Florida senator is blocking one of President Donald Trump’s nominees in frustration over the White House’s …

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The Yankee Greeter: Judge always the last man off for NY

The Yankee Greeter: Judge always the last man off for NYAaron Judge is the Yankee Greeter. A favorite to win AL Rookie of the Year and a contender for the league’s Most Valuable Player Award, Judge jogs toward the dugout at the end of every defensive inning, …

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The Latest: Trump sends check to fallen soldier's father

The Latest: Trump sends check to fallen soldier's fatherThe Latest on President Donald Trump and honoring the nation’s fallen (all times EDT): 5:55 p.m. The White House says President Donald Trump has sent a $25,000 check he promised to the father of an Army …

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US Rep: Trump says fallen soldier knew what he signed up for

US Rep: Trump says fallen soldier knew what he signed up forPresident Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger that her husband “knew what he signed up for,” according to a Florida congresswoman who says she heard part of …

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Me Too: Alyssa Milano elevates Harvey Weinstein conversation

Me Too: Alyssa Milano elevates Harvey Weinstein conversationAlyssa Milano was in bed with her two young children when a friend of a friend on Facebook suggested something that struck her as a great way to elevate the Harvey Weinstein conversation. She took the …

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North Korea Warns That Nuclear War Could ‘Break Out Any Moment’

North Korea Warns That Nuclear War Could ‘Break Out Any Moment’North Korea warned that a nuclear war “may break out any moment” as the U.S. and South Korea began one of the largest joint naval drills off both the east and west coasts of the peninsula.

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This never-registered 1997 McLaren F1 is for sale, if you have the cash

This never-registered 1997 McLaren F1 is for sale, if you have the cashIt has just 148 miles on the odometer.

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Down syndrome entrepreneur sews successful six-figure sock empire

Down syndrome entrepreneur sews successful six-figure sock empireJohn Cronin, a 21-year-old entrepreneur with Down syndrome has one motto “socks, socks and more socks!” Go inside John's $1.3 million sock empire, John’s Crazy Socks, and learn about his mission to overcome challenges and hire people with disabilities.

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Collins urges Trump to back effort to restore health subsidy

Collins urges Trump to back effort to restore health subsidyA key moderate Republican urged President Donald Trump on Sunday to back a bipartisan Senate effort to shield consumers from rising premiums after his abrupt decision to halt federal payments to insurers. …

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Opening new doors: After 30 years, how Ikea is undergoing a radical overhaul 

Opening new doors: After 30 years, how Ikea is undergoing a radical overhaul When IKEA first opened its doors in the UK 30 years ago, it made the mistake of assuming that everyone lived like Scandinavians.  But while many of us have now wholeheartedly embraced the clean lines of “Scandi” design, there was less enthusiasm in 1987 for the Swedish approach to sharing a bed. “We didn’t have any doubles or king covers because in Scandinavia it’s not done like that – couples have their own separate quilts despite lying side by side in bed”, says Gillian Drakeford, Ikea UK boss, about the furniture retailer’s early days. “I remember thinking ‘this ain’t going to sell’.” Ikea's catalogue cover from 1987 IKEA now sells double duvets along with 9,500 other products which helps drive 1.2m shoppers a week to its blue and yellow stores. “We are now very much part of UK society,” says Drakeford, acknowledging with a hearty laugh that an IKEA trip is often listed by couples as one of the main causes of marital arguments. “We’ve been here for 30 years now. There’s probably lots of people who were even conceived on an IKEA bed. We’ve had people buy with us for their first home, as their children were born and then went off to university, and now empty-nesters who are buying new furniture as they downsize,” she says. Ikea boss Gillian Drakeford Drakeford’s own experience of IKEA started on the shop floor in Warrington back in 1987. Following a break away from the retailer when she trained to become a teacher she was lured back to run IKEA’s Asian operations, which saw her young family move to Hong Kong and China, before she returned to run the UK arm in 2014.  Drakeford says her time outside Britain made her appreciate how different cultures behave differently in their homes, from the importance of sharing meals together to whether shoes are worn indoors or not. The way people live in the UK has also changed dramatically. “If you go back 30 years people tended to buy their house and move in after they got married. It was the done thing. A relative would buy you a suite of furniture and the idea was that you lived with that for the rest of your life.” Drakeford says. “And it was the ‘good furniture’ that you didn’t even use, it was kept in the spare room ‘for best’.” IKEA’s intervention in the sleepy home furnishings market triggered a profound shake-up, driving down prices to make furniture more affordable for the average home owner. That remains the primary aim.  The furniture giant obsesses over how people live, with Drakeford and her team often paying house visits to check whether the moody teenagers still retreat upstairs to their bedroom or people still eat dinners on their laps.  The enthusiasm for food, driven by celebrity chefs and a boom in casual dining, has seen the return of the dining table, while our screen addiction has meant that families are spending time together in the same room, albeit doing different things.  IKEA now sells a “Byllan” laptop cushion and “Grimar” bamboo iPad holder in a fresh sign of these digital times. Drakeford also reveals that the chain is even working with Nasa on storage solutions for life on the moon, based on cramped Mars research stations. “We need to think about what people might want in the next 30 years”, Drakeford giggles, aware at how madcap it sounds. While IKEA products have evolved as lifestyles have changed, IKEA bosses have realised that the retailer needs to do its own bit of home improvement. Its trusted “big box” retail model, which relies on people being happy to drive for hours to then spend half a day zigzagging warehouse aisles, is now under threat due to the rise in online shopping which has warped customer expectations. “The world has changed”, says Drakeford. “Our business model was originally ‘we do half, you do half and you save money’ but now saving time is equally important to people as saving money.” IKEA in numbers | Five facts about the Swedish giant IKEA has also been partly caught out by the decline in car ownership – owning a vehicle is not as aspirational as it once was. For example, in 1994 75pc of 21 to 29-year- olds held driving licences but that has dropped to 66pc as rising insurance costs has made driving extortionate.  Because fewer people own cars there has been a boom in demand for IKEA to deliver its flat-pack furniture. But IKEA has lagged far behind its retail rivals in online shopping, reluctant to interfere with its successful store model, which encourages consumers to impulse-buy tea-lights on their way to the tills.  That is now changing. In a radical overhaul of how IKEA has been operated for decades, Torbjorn Loof, boss of parent group Inter IKEA, last week said that the business was prepared to sign partnerships with internet giants such as Amazon and Alibaba in order to beef-up its e-commerce business.  Ikea has relied on customers being happy to walk miles of its warehouse stores “Previously at IKEA we kept everything inside,” explains Drakeford. “But we know now that if we want to be relevant and agile and where the customer is, we need to open up and engage in new partnerships.”  The most recent example of this is IKEA’s swoop on TaskRabbit, a website that allows users to hire people for odd jobs, last month. The purchase followed UK trials that revealed customers were more than willing to pay for someone else to assemble their wardrobe with the 55 screws and nails required. Until now IKEA had only offered expensive assembly fitters that were better suited to kitchens and bathrooms rather than smaller jobs.  “Instead of closing ranks we realised that we could engage with TaskRabbit and it means that now we have a service offer,” says Drakeford. She admits that IKEA realised one of the biggest off-putting factors for people to shop with them was the dread of having to build the furniture.  Ikea is exploring ways to be closer to its customers Drakeford is also aware that with only 20 shops in the UK there are still swathes of society that can’t reach a store within two-and-a-half hours, which means the business has committed around £250m on new stores in Sheffield, Exeter and Greenwich. “We still have an expansion strategy because we don’t have enough stores, despite a lot of other retailers complaining they have too much space. We are not accessible to the many yet,” she says. Last year IKEA flirted with the idea of opening a high-street store in BHS’s old shell on Oxford Street but it never came to pass. The company is still exploring opening a rash of smaller click-and-collect sites to bring it closer to the customer. It is also looking to follow its Swedish business by offering customers second-hand IKEA products, having realised how much of it is available on the internet.  “I see 2018 as a year of catch-up,” Drakeford says. Now that the Swedish furniture giant has woken up, it could bring fresh chaos for the retail market.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Wildfires, now up to 100 miles wide, threaten more wineries

Wildfires, now up to 100 miles wide, threaten more wineriesThe California wildfires raced toward wineries and the historic town of Sonoma on Saturday, chasing hundreds more people from their homes and threatening to roll back firefighters’ modest gains against …

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Tesla fired hundreds of employees in past week

Tesla fired hundreds of employees in past weekThe dismissals were a result of a company-wide annual review, Tesla said in an emailed statement, without confirming the number of employees leaving the company. “It’s about 400 people ranging from associates to team leaders to supervisors. The Palo Alto, California-based company said earlier in the month that “production bottlenecks” had left Tesla behind its planned ramp-up for the new Model 3 mass-market sedan.

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Suspect in 4 Ohio slayings arrested while walking along road

Suspect in 4 Ohio slayings arrested while walking along roadUnarmed, worn out and ready to give up, the suspect in the fatal shootings of three adults and a 7-year-old boy didn’t try to flee when officers arrested him Friday as he walked along a road in far southern …

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Boeing passenger jets have falsely-certified Kobe Steel products: source

Boeing passenger jets have falsely-certified Kobe Steel products: sourceBoeing Co , the world’s biggest maker of passenger jets, has used Kobe Steel products that include those falsely certified by the Japanese company, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. Boeing does not consider the issue a safety problem, the source stressed, but the revelation may raise compensation costs for the Japanese company, which is embroiled in a widening scandal over the false certification of the strength and durability of components supplied to hundreds of companies. The U.S. airline maker is carrying out a survey of aircraft to ascertain the extent and type of Kobe Steel components in its planes and will share the results with airline customers, said the source who has knowledge of the investigation.

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