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After-hours buzz: TWX, HRB and more

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Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc., right, speaks with Jeffrey 'Jeff' Bewkes, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner Inc.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T Inc., right, speaks with Jeffrey ‘Jeff’ Bewkes, chairman and chief executive officer of Time Warner Inc.

Check out the companies making headlines after the bell on Tuesday:

Shares of Time Warner surged more than 4 percent in extended trading, after a federal judge approved a proposed takeover by AT&T. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon imposed no conditions on the $85.4 billion deal, which the U.S. Department of Justice sued to block last year. Shares of AT&T dipped nearly 3 percent after the announcement.

The decision could have wide-ranging effects for the telecommunications industry. Now that the deal has been approved, Comcast is expected to formalizes a bid to acquire most of Twenty-First Century Fox on Wednesday. Shares of 21st Century Fox surged more than 7 percent, while Comcast fell by 3.4 percent.

A number of other telecommunications and entertainment stocks also moved following the announcement. Shares of mass media company Discovery gained 4 percent. DISH Network stock gained nearly 3 percent. Viacom gained more than 3 percent on the news. Even Lions Gate stock surged more than 7 percent. Lions Gate owns Starz, a premium network which decried the attempted merger for its potential to push customers to HBO, Reuters reported.

H&R Block shares plunged nearly 20 percent in extended trading, despite the tax preparation company’s beat on first quarter earnings and revenue. H&R Block reported $5.43 EPS on revenue of $2.39 billion. Analysts were expecting earnings of $5.27 per share on $2.34 billion in revenue. The company also approved a 4 percent quarterly dividend increase to 25 cents per share.

Shares of Oxford Industries dropped more than 7 percent in after hours trading. The high-end apparel company, which owns such brands as Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer, reported first quarter financial results that disappointed investors. Oxford Industries beat expectations on earnings, but missed on revenue and reported weaker than anticipated second quarter guidance, the Associated Press reported.

Pivotal Software stock gained more than 5 percent in the extended session, after the software as a service company reported first quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street expectations. Pivotal reported a first quarter loss of 10 cents on revenue of $155.7 million, versus the 13-cent loss per share on $140.4 million in revenue that analysts expected. Pivotal also projected strong second quarter and full year outlook.

Disclosure: Comcast, which owns NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com, is a co-owner of Hulu.



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Global stock market sell-off not an isolated event

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A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, Dec. 4, 2018. 

Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

A trader works at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, Dec. 4, 2018. 

The latest wave of heavy selling in financial markets is a clear sign of things to come, according to a new report from the world’s oldest international financial organization.

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), an umbrella group for the world’s central banks, warned on Sunday that a normalization of monetary policy is likely to trigger a flurry of sharp sell-offs over the coming months.

“The market tensions we saw during this quarter were not an isolated event,” Claudio Borio, head of the monetary and economic department at the BIS, said in the report.

“Monetary policy normalization was bound to be challenging, especially in light of trade tensions and political uncertainty,” Borio added.



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Fed is missing critical inflation trend, economic forecaster worries

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A veteran economic forecaster is worried the Federal Reserve and Wall Street are looking at inflation all wrong.

According to Economic Cycle Research Institute co-founder Lakshman Achuthan, they’re largely missing a critical economic trend that shows inflation is in a downturn.

“Inflation is cyclical, and I don’t think everybody really understands that — in particular, the Fed and a lot of market participants,” he said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “They’re looking at the level of inflation, and it’s generally up there around near target. But what’s really important is the direction.”

Achuthan highlighted a chart as evidence the inflation cycle is rolling over. He believes it could have market-moving consequences because it could affect the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy.

“This is just a couple years of inflation cycles here,” he said. “We have PPI growth now and CPI growth both sitting at around 10 and 11 month lows. It’s not simply about oil. The peak in these things happened back in July.”

Achuthan, a self-proclaimed former super bull, has been bearish this year. On “Trading Nation” last April, he turned sour on economic growth because leading indicators were pointing to a slowdown that was picking up momentum.

For Achuthan to become bullish again, he said two things need to happen: The Fed must become more aware of the inflation downturn and leading growth indicators must turn up. The Fed meets on Tuesday and Wednesday to decide whether to raise rates for the fourth time this year.

“With inflation ticking lower, they should consider stopping. But fixated on a 49-year low in the jobless rate and a 9 ½-year high in wage growth, it’s not clear that they will stop just yet,” Achuthan told CNBC by email.



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Harvard professor Roland Fryer faces reports of sexual harassment

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Harvard University professor Roland Fryer speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Sept. 25, 2008.

Ramin Talaie | Corbis Historical | Getty Images

Harvard University professor Roland Fryer speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York on Sept. 25, 2008.

A prominent Harvard University economics professor is being investigated for sexual harassment, according to a new report.

Roland G. Fryer Jr., a 2011 MacArthur “Genius” fellowship recipient, is the one of the latest powerful men to get flagged amid the #MeToo movement, which took hold last year. More than 200 men have lost their jobs or major roles as a result, the New York Times said in October.

A Harvard investigator found that Fryer was involved in “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” with four women who worked at Fryer’s research lab, the New York Times reported on Friday. The investigator learned that one person who made an accusation about Fryer took disability leave in response to Fryer’s behavior, according to the report.

Allegations about Fryer came to light earlier this year but Friday’s New York Times article provides new details.

One woman who worked in the lab reportedly said that Fryer regularly made inappropriate comments about women, but that his reputation for being vindictive made it difficult for people to speak up. And two women told the investigator they disapproved of how Fryer had put his crotch in the face of a woman at the lab by placing his foot on her desk, the article said.

Read the full article here.



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