NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. fund managers are betting that rising wages and the effects of the Republican-led corporate tax cut will prove a lifeline to middle-market retailers who have struggled to remain relevant in the age of Amazon. Wells Fargo, CM Advisors and Plumb Funds are among those […]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. economy likely maintained a brisk pace of growth in the fourth quarter, driven by an acceleration in consumer and business spending, which could set it on course to attain the Trump administration’s 3 percent annual growth target this year. Gross domestic product probably increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate also boosted by a rebound in homebuilding investment and a pickup in government outlays, according to a Reuters poll of economists. The strong growth pace would come despite anticipated drags from trade and inventory investment. It would follow a 3.2 percent pace of expansion in the third quarter and mark the first time since 2004 that the economy enjoyed growth of 3 percent or more for three straight quarters. The Commerce Department will publish its advance fourth-quarter GDP estimate on Friday at 08:30 am (1330 GMT). The economy’s growth spurt is part of a synchronized global rebound that includes the euro zone and Asia.
ZURICH (Reuters) – UBS’s investment banking business in the United States is doing well but lags its boss’s ambitions, he said on Friday.
“In our case, we continue to grow — not as fast as I would have liked, but certainly profitably,” group head of investment banking Andrea Orcel told Bloomberg TV in an interview from the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.
“So it’s a question we’re facing in the way we rebuild, in the way we gradually take share, and do that while we are exceeding our cost of equity there. And if you took that metric we’re very happy with the progress we’re making.”
US retail giant Walmart will team up with Japan’s Rakuten to launch a new online grocery delivery service. Customers will place orders through Rakuten, which will then be fulfilled by the joint venture. The operation – to launch later this year – will replace Walmart’s existing online grocery delivery service in Japan. As part of the deal, Rakuten subsidiary Kobo will sell e-books, audiobooks and e-readers through US Walmart stores. The launch of the new e-commerce business is the US firm’s latest attempt to crack a competitive overseas market, by teaming up with a popular local partner.
During winter when the nights are long and days short, getting up for work in the dark and coming home in the dark can be grim. Some of us succumb to the January blues, leading to increased illness, reduced productivity and a general feeling of melancholy. But can clever lighting improve our sleep patterns and lift our moods?
“I only feel like I start to breathe properly again after the solstice,” says Jacqueline Hazelton, a professor at the US Naval War College in Rhode Island.
She’s referring to the winter solstice – usually 21 December – the point after which the days start lengthening again following the longest night of the year.
“I’m happier and more productive on sunny days year round,” she says, but a string of dull days “puts a real crimp in my productivity.”
Most of us are affected by the change in seasons and the amount of natural light we experience, says the mental health charity Mind. Some are particularly badly affected. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – depressive feelings associated with a particular time of year – affects 9.5% of people in northern Finland and 9.9% in Alaska, but only 1.4% in sunny Florida, researchers say.
Six out of ten broadband customers endured slow service or had their connection stop working altogether last year, according to Citizens Advice. It wants the government to appoint a telecoms consumer advocate to help promote the case of fed-up customers. The advocate should be included in the upcoming Consumer Green Paper, it said. Almost a quarter of the 4,000 people surveyed for Citizens Advice said internet problems had disrupted their work or study. The report said that customers on average spend 2.4 hours trying to sort out problems with their service.
“People now rely on their broadband and mobile connection for the day-to-day running of their lives,” said Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice.
“Yet the majority of people continue to face significant disruptions that can waste their time
A government spokesman said broadband was “no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a modern necessity, and we all know how frustrating it is when it doesn’t work”.
British Prime Minister Theresa May has told business leaders in Davos that countries must not start pulling in different directions on trade. But, as Kate King reports, it was her meeting the President Trump which got the most attention.
(Reuters) – Viacom Inc (VIAB.O) Chief Executive Bob Bakish and CBS Corp (CBS.N) CEO Leslie Moonves have had an exploratory discussion about merging the two media companies, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday. The discussion is a potential first step toward a recombination of CBS and Viacom. The boards of both companies have regularly scheduled meetings in the next several weeks and are expected to discuss the potential merger, the sources said. The discussion between Bakish and Moonves, which took place earlier this month, was preliminary and no decisions have been made, but it signals that Moonves, who has had reservations about a potential deal between the companies, could be more open to the idea. The sources wished to remain anonymous because they are not permitted to speak to the media. Viacom and CBS declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Shari Redstone declined to comment.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Billionaire investor William Ackman said on Thursday that his hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management made a new bet on sportswear company Nike last year that has already earned his portfolio a roughly 30 percent return. For months the activist investor has been saying he had new ideas for his portfolio, and on Thursday he spoke about them publicly for the first time at his firm’s annual client dinner, an investor in the firm said. At the dinner, Ackman also said that Ali Namvar, one of Pershing Square Capital Management’s most senior investment team members, will be moving to the firm’s advisory board. Ackman, one of the world’s most closely watched activist investors whose bets have often helped push up a target company’s share price, bought Nike when it was trading around $53 a share. It closed trading on Thursday at $67.71.