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Dow Jones Industrial Average Breaks 29,000 For The First Time in History

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Screenshot of Dow Jones Industrial chart taken January 15, 2020.
By ELAINE KURTENBACH, AP Business Writer

Slight gains send Dow Jones Industrial Average above 29,000!

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 29,000 points for the first time and the S&P 500 index hit its second record high in three days Wednesday.

The milestones came on a day when the market traded in a narrow range as investors weighed the latest batch of corporate earnings reports and the widely anticipated signing of an initial trade deal between the U.S. and China.

President Donald Trump and China’s chief negotiator, Liu He, signed the “Phase 1″ deal before a group of corporate executives and reporters at the White House. The pact eases some sanctions on China. In return, Beijing has agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm products and other goods.

“This was telegraphed well enough that the market is kind of looking through it and toward the next phase and what that means,” said Keith Buchanan, portfolio manager at Globalt Investments.

Health care stocks accounted for much of the market’s gains. Utilities and makers of household goods also rose. Those gains outweighed losses in financial stocks, companies that rely on consumer spending and the energy sector.

The S&P 500 index rose 6.14 points, or 0.2%, to 3,289.29. The index also climbed to an all-time high on Monday.

The Dow gained 90.55 points, or 0.3%, to 29,030.22. The Nasdaq composite added 7.37 points, or 0.1%, to 9,258.70.

Smaller-company stocks fared better than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 picked up 6.66 points, or 0-4%, to 1,682.40.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is on track for its second straight weekly gain.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.78% from 1.81% late Tuesday.

While limited in its scope, investors have welcomed the U.S.-China deal in hopes that it will prevent further escalation in the 18-month long trade conflict that has slowed global growth, hurt American manufacturers and weighed on the Chinese economy. The world’s two largest economies will now have to deal with more contentious trade issues as they move ahead with negotiations. And punitive tariffs will remain on about $360 billion in Chinese goods as talks continue.

With the “Phase 1” agreement now a done deal, investors have more reason to focus on the rollout of corporate earnings reports over the next few weeks. Earnings have been flat to down for the last three quarters, and if the fourth quarter meets expectations, it should be around the same.

However, analysts are projecting 2020 corporate earnings growth to jump around 9.5%, which is why traders will be listening this earnings reporting season for any clues management teams give about their business prospects in coming months.

“We’re expecting a reacceleration in the back end of the year, so any (company) guidance that brings any type of skepticism to that could threaten the recent rally we’ve had and the gains that we’ve accrued in the past few months,” Buchanan said.

Health care stocks powered much of the market’s gains Wednesday. Several health insurers climbed as investors cheered a solid fourth-quarter earnings report from UnitedHealth Group.

The nation’s largest health insurer, which covers more than 49 million people, said its revenue rose 4% on a mix of insurance premiums and growth from urgent care and surgery centers. Its stock rose 2.8%. Other health insurers also moved higher. Anthem gained 1.6%, Cigna added 1.5% and Humana climbed 1.9%.

Technology companies also rose. The sector is reliant on China for sales and supply chains and benefits from better trade relations. Microsoft gained 0.7% and Advanced Micro Devices gained 0.8%.

Utilities and consumer staples sector stocks also notched gains. Edison International climbed 2.5% and PepsiCo rose 1.7%.

Financial stocks fell the most. Bank of America slid 1.8% after reporting weaker profits due to the rapid decline of interest rates in late 2019.

Energy stocks also fell along with the price of crude oil. Valero Energy dropped 3.3%.

Homebuilders marched broadly higher on news that U.S. home loan applications surged 30.2% last week from a week earlier. The pickup in mortgage applications reflects heightened demand for homes and suggests many buyers are eager to purchase a home now, rather than waiting for the traditional late-February start of the spring homebuying season. Hovnanian Enterprises jumped 6.4%.

Target slumped 6.6% after a disappointing holiday shopping season prompted the retailer to cut its forecast for a key sales measure in the fourth quarter. The company said weak sales of electronics, toys and home goods crimped sales growth to just 1.4% in November and December.

Benchmark crude oil fell 42 cents to settle at $57.81 a barrel. Brent crude oil, the international standard, dropped 49 cents to close at $64 a barrel.

Wholesale gasoline fell 1 cent to $1.64 per gallon. Heating oil declined 3 cents to $1.88 per gallon. Natural gas fell 7 cents to $2.12 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Gold rose $9.70 to $1,552.10 per ounce, silver rose 25 cents to $17.92 per ounce and copper fell 1 cent to $2.87 per pound.

The dollar fell to 109.91 Japanese yen from 110.00 yen on Tuesday. The euro strengthened to $1.1150 from $1.1128.

Markets in Europe closed mostly lower.

AP Business Writer Damian J. Troise contributed.

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Economy

STUDY: Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade

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Number of Billionaires Doubles in Last Decade
Image via Shutterstock

The number of billionaires has doubled in the past decade and the world’s wealthiest 2,153 people controlled more money than the poorest 4.6 billion combined last year, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

Meanwhile, unpaid or underpaid work by women and girls adds three times more to the world’s economy each year at least $10.8 trillion than the technology industry, the Nairobi-based charity said in its “Time to Care” report.

Women around the world work 12.5 billion hours combined each day without any pay or recognition, while the world’s 22 richest men have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

“It is important for us to underscore that the hidden engine of the economy that we see is really the unpaid care work of women. And that needs to change,” Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India, told Reuters.

“Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist,” Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam beginning Tuesday.

“Women and girls are among those who benefit least from today’s economic system,” he added.

There will be at least 119 billionaires worth about $500 billion attending Davos this year, according to Bloomberg, with the highest contingents coming from the US, India and Russia.

“The very top of the economic pyramid sees trillions of dollars of wealth in the hands of a very small group of people, predominantly men,” the Oxfam report said.

“Their wealth is already extreme, and our broken economy concentrates more and more wealth into these few hands,” it said.

To highlight the inequality, Behar cited the case of a woman called Buchu Devi in India who spends up to 17 hours a day walking almost two miles to fetch water, cooking, preparing her kids for school and working in a poorly paid job.

“And on the one hand you see the billionaires who are all assembling at Davos with their personal planes, personal jets, super rich lifestyles,” he said.

“This Buchu Devi is not one person. I in India encounter these women on a daily basis, and this is the story across the world. We need to change this, and certainly end this billionaire boom.”

Behar said that to remedy the problem, governments should make sure above all that the rich pay their taxes, which should be used to pay for amenities such as clean water, health care and better schools.

“If you just look around the world, more than 30 countries are seeing protests. People are on the street and what are they saying? That they are not to accept this inequality, they are not going to live with these kind of conditions,” he said.

Source: New York Post
Vanguard News

(c) 2020 2019 Vanguard Media Limited, Nigeria Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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benefits

Andrew Yang Wants You to Make Money Off Your Data by Making it Your Personal Property

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Andrew Yang, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, plans to regulate the tech industry by prioritizing in giving people the right to own their personal data (“data as a property right”), thus allowing them to make money by sharing it with companies. Currently, companies entirely own users’ data – users do not have much control over it.

Yang said, “our data is now worth more than oil” and gave emphasis to the great amount of data people create and how companies make money over it. “By implementing measures to increase transparency in the data collection and monetization process, individuals can begin to reclaim ownership of what’s theirs,” he said.

He also cited a report saying that the collection and use of Americans’ personal data has become a $198 billion industry. Yang believes that people should have more control over their data, such as being able to see how their data is being used and having the freedom to opt out if they choose.

Yang added that we need politicians “who understand technology and a modern way to regulate it,” as reported by Engadget. “In order to regulate technology effectively, our government needs to understand it. It’s embarrassing to see the ignorance some members of Congress display when talking about technology, and anyone who watched Congress question Mark Zuckerberg is well aware of this,” said Yang.

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Business

16 Finance Podcasts to Try in 2019

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Top Podcasts for Finance

Looking for some great podcasts on money? Look no further. This is a list of the top podcasts for finance.

Listen to them when you’re making breakfast, commuting to work, or falling asleep.

They’re free, popular, and super useful.

1. The Dave Ramsey Show

Famous guru Dave Ramsey talks about the basics of finances in his podcast the Dave Ramsey Show. He’s well-known for helping thousands of people get out of their financial debt. This podcast is perfect for people learning the fundamentals of money.

Dave Ramsey is encouraging for individuals struggling to pay off debt because he spends a lot of time navigating the mental and emotional obstacles of finance.

2. So Money

The podcast So Money, hosted by Farnoosh Torabi, is perfect for beginners in finance as well.

During her interviews, the audience gets to hear uplifting stories about individuals overcoming financial obstacles. You also get industry insights from professionals.

This podcast is directed more towards women but it’s beneficial for all audiences.

3. Planet Money

Planet Money is NPR’s podcast on finances and economics. One way to better understand finances is to understand the economy.

This podcast takes a look at larger societal issues and asks questions like “Are doctors paid too much?” and looks at interesting trends such as “Why the price of coke didn’t change for 70 years.”

4. Financial Independence Podcast

The Financial Independence Podcast is hosted by Brandon, who is also known as the Mad Fientist. He shares updates from his own financial progress including unexpected lessons and unique challenges.

He focuses on early retirement and financial independence and brings on a lot of great guests. This podcast is perfect if you’re building a nest egg for retirement.

5. Radical Personal Finance

The Radical Personal Finance podcast is hosted by Joshua Sheats, who worked for years as a professional financial advisor. Over the years he has discovered what works and what doesn’t. He shares his tools and tactics to achieve your goals more efficiently and quickly.

6. Money Guy Show

The Money Guy Show is hosted by Brian Preston and Bo Hanson. Together they bring their insights and experiences to deliver strategies and tricks on all things finance. Their podcast is featured on Fox Business, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and much more.

7. The Smart Passive Income Online

Smart Passive Income is a podcast hosted by Pat Flynn and focuses particularly on making passive income. Flynn shares his strategies in generating passive income to save time and energy. This podcast is all about making your money work for you.

8. Wake Up to Money

Wake Up to Money is BBC’s podcast for “News and views on business in the world of personal finance.” It focuses on the latest news and trends in the global financial market and how it affects your personal finances.

9. The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss is a famous best-selling author for his book “The 4-Hour Work Week.” His podcast The Tim Ferriss Show focuses on getting wisdom and advice from celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and LeBron James.

10. Money for the Rest of Us

In their own words, Money for the Rest of Us is “a podcast about money, how it works, how to invest it, and how to live without worrying about it.”

This podcast provides a wealth of insights on how to manage money, lessons we can learn from current events, and how everyday people can practice financial responsibility.

11. InvestED Podcast

The InvestED Podcast focuses particularly on investing. It’s up to date on the latest trends in the news and stock market. It also looks at the biggest names in the industry and analyzes their strategies.

12. We Study Billionaires

The name of this podcast – We Study Billionaires – is self-explanatory. The two hosts, Preston and Stig, analyze the practices of the top investors in the world like Warren Buffett. Then they break down their strategies to apply them on a smaller level for everyday folks.

13. ChooseFI

ChooseFI is one of the leading voices for the FIRE movement. FIRE is a popular strategy that stands for Financial Independence, Retire Early. Two hosts, Jonathan and Brad, experiment with different strategies as they pursue financial independence and then pass along their knowledge to you.

14. Financial Freedom

The podcast Financial Freedom is hosted by Grant Sabatier, who made $1,000,000 by the age of 30. He shares strategies from his own experience and also brings on guests who provide additional tips and tricks. His podcast is all about financially liberating yourself at a young age.

15. HerMoney

The podcast HerMoney is hosted by Jean Chatzky, who is a best-selling author and a journalist on financing. This podcast focuses on the particular challenges women face in the economy. She helps women achieve success in their careers and finances.

16. The BiggerPockets Podcast

The BiggerPockets Podcast focuses on individuals with more money but there’s still a lot of valuable lessons to learn even if you have lower income.

This podcast focuses particularly on real estate investment and has several guest speakers providing a wide variety of advice and tips.

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