A fire at an apartment building on Federal Street in Woburn is under investigation.
Britons rushed to book foreign holidays after the government laid out plans to gradually relax coronavirus restrictions, giving battered airlines and tour operators hope that a bumper summer could come to their rescue. Bookings flooded in on Monday evening and Tuesday following the government's announcement on Monday that travel could restart from mid-May, with Spain and Greece the most popular destinations, airlines and holiday companies said. EasyJet said that bookings on its flights from Britain for this summer had jumped by more than 300% compared to a week ago and bookings for its summer holiday packages had increased by more than 600% compared to a week earlier.
- FX Empire
Essentially, Powell appeared to be trying to sound supportive for economic growth while downplaying the potential impact of higher inflation.
The CEOs of Google, IBM, Goldman Sachs, and Blackstone endorsed a plan that includes $1,400 stimulus checks and a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour.
- Yahoo Finance
Berkshire Hathaway's Charlie Munger explains why Warren Buffett and Berkshire are selling Wells Fargo stock but the Daily Journal, for which Munger is the executive chair, has kept its shares.
- FX Empire
Silver is testing the support at $27.50.
Exxon could also receive about $300 million in contingent payments based on an increase in commodity prices. Exxon said on Wednesday HitecVision, which bought Exxon's Norwegian North Sea assets for $4.5 billion in 2019, was making the purchase through its British unit Neo. Exxon's share of production from the fields, which was about 38,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) in 2019, will more than double NEO's output to around 70,000 boepd, making it among the top five oil and gas producers in the UK.
- Yahoo Finance Video
We’re above our 50% goal of meeting that nat’l vaccination target of over 100m vaccinations by the end of April: Harvard Global Health Institute
Dr. Tom Tsai, Senior Fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute; Assistant Professor in Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health joins with the latest COVID-19 update.
(Bloomberg) -- One Japanese financial firm is riding the crypto wave like no other.Shares of Monex Group Inc. have been tracking the ups and downs of Bitcoin, and have more than tripled since the cryptocurrency’s rally gained momentum in October. The online brokerage owns crypto exchange Coincheck Inc., whose profit has soared as clients flock to digital assets.“People are starting to re-evaluate us” by realizing Monex isn’t just about stockbroking, said Chief Executive Officer Oki Matsumoto. “Our stock was underrated to begin with,” the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner said in an interview on Feb. 18.Investors have been pushing up shares of firms closely linked to digital tokens around the world, from U.S. crypto miner Marathon Patent Group Inc. to the U.K.’s On-Line Blockchain Plc. Bitcoin’s fivefold jump in the past year has come amid a flood of money pumped into the global financial system during the coronavirus pandemic.Even after a pullback during a sell-off in Bitcoin in recent days, Monex is the most expensive stock on an index of Japanese securities companies, with a price of more than three times the book value of its assets.The stock fell 6.4% at 10:36 a.m. in Tokyo on Wednesday, paring this year’s gain to 136% -- still the second-best performance on the benchmark Topix.“There has been sharp growth in earnings at Coincheck,” SMBC Nikko analyst Takayuki Hara wrote in a Feb. 22 note, raising his target price for Monex shares. “The soaring price of Bitcoin has spurred trading activity and encouraged more individual investors to jump into the fray.”Monex has been diversifying into crypto as intensifying competition dims prospects of its mainstay stock brokerage business. It bought Coincheck in 2018, when the exchange was regrouping after a costly hack. It received a license two years ago.Crypto business, domestic brokerage services and U.S. trading operations now represent Monex’s “three main pillars” of growth, Matsumoto said.Its crypto asset segment earned 2.4 billion yen ($23 million) in pretax profit in the quarter ended Dec. 31, reversing year-earlier losses and accounting for half of total group income, according to filings.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:Share gains by Monex and Remixpoint top those of SBI, GMO Financial and other Japan bitcoin stocks year-to-date partly due to strong performances by the Coincheck and BITPoint bourses. But competition is becoming fiercer: online broker SBI offers a broader range of crypto services, and more global exchanges may seek inroads into Japan.Francis Chan, senior BI analystWhile Matsumoto, 57, said it’s hard to assess the sustainability of Coincheck’s earnings growth, the unit is unlikely to post losses even in a calm market because of cost cuts and other steps taken in recent years.“If they become able to secure a good volume of orders from clients even when crypto trading becomes sluggish overall, we can see it as evidence of revenue diversification,” said Kengo Sakaguchi, an analyst at Japan Credit Rating Agency. He rates Monex as BBB, two levels above junk.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
- USA TODAY
The safety of the little-known Genesis luxury car brand was thrust into the spotlight after Tiger Woods crashed a Genesis GV80 in the L.A. area.
- FX Empire
Silver markets initially gapped higher to kick off the trading session on Tuesday but then turned around to break back below the $28 level.
What Happened: The largest crypto exchange in Southeast Asia, Philippines-based PDAX, experienced a technical failure that led to Bitcoin trading at $6,000 – an 88% discount to its current price. Following the incident, PDAX asked its customers to return their Bitcoins, threatening legal action, a local news outlet Bitpinas has reported. According to the exchange’s CEO, the system error was not due to a hack but a technical “glitch” caused by a massive surge in trading activity. Why It Matters: The initial outage is said to have taken place on February 18; however, since then, reports have surfaced on social media of customers being locked out of their exchange accounts and being asked to “return their Bitcoin.” “After almost 24 hours, they sent me a demand letter and SMS, requesting me to transfer back the BTC, or they “may” be compelled to take legal actions against me.” said one trader who believed his purchase was well within his rights without violating any laws or regulations of the trading platform. Rafael Padilla, an attorney representing the affected users who are currently locked out of their accounts, commented on the issue on Facebook. “Our client’s trade transaction was legitimate under applicable laws, decided cases, and of course according to PDAX’s very own terms and conditions/user agreement.” According to Padilla, PDAX has opted to lock users out of their accounts because it cannot unilaterally reverse the transactions. An official statement from PDAX claims that 95% of accounts have been restored, but according to the report, many users are still locked out of their accounts. “It’s very understandable that a lot of users will feel upset they were able to buy what they thought an order was there for Bitcoin at very low prices. But unfortunately, the underlying Bitcoins were never in the possession of the exchange, so there’s never really anything there to be bought or sold, unfortunately.”, said PDAX CEO Nichel Gaba in a press conference earlier today. Image: vjkombajn via Pixabay See more from BenzingaClick here for options trades from BenzingaElon Musk's Tweet About Dogecoin Sends Price Up 10% In 30 Minutes AgainMicroStrategy Buys Additional .026B Worth Of Bitcoin, Surpasses Tesla's Bitcoin Holdings© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Charlie Munger says it’s ‘really stupid to have a culture which encourages [so] much gambling in stocks’
Warren Buffett’s business partner and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, in a Wednesday interview with Yahoo Finance, said the GameStop chaos was encouraged by a gambling mentality on Wall Street.
The legislation, which goes to a vote on Friday, could put thousands back in your pocket.
- Motley Fool
On Monday, the House Budget Committee approved President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, moving Americans one step closer to a third round of direct stimulus payments. The president's bill -- known as the American Rescue Plan (ARP) -- will next go to the House Rules Committee. For example, most House Republicans have made it clear that they will fight Biden's $15 minimum wage proposal, meaning it may have to be shelved for the time being.
(Bloomberg) -- HSBC Holdings Plc will shift billions of dollars of investment to Asia’s faster growing economies as it looks to become the go-to bank for the region’s wealthy.The London-based bank said it would divert capital from its investment bank in Europe and the U.S. to fund the expansion of its Asian businesses. Europe’s largest lender said it would spend more than $6 billion over the next five years to expand its Asian operations, in particular its wealth management arm.“We are going to stop trying to be everything to everyone,” said Chief Executive Officer Noel Quinn, speaking on a call with analysts. “The new story here is Asia wealth.”The bank said it expected Asia’s share of group capital to rise from about 42% to more than half the total within the next years, a move that is likely to be accompanied by the relocation of several of the company’s top executives from London to Hong Kong.“It’s logical to have more of the management team down there,” Chief Financial Officer Ewen Stevenson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Fifty percent of our revenues, and the bulk of our profits, now come from Asia and certainly the thrust of our growth aspirations are in Asia.”While earnings beat consensus forecasts, adjusted pretax profit halved, the bank said. Despite the profit slump, HSBC said it would resume paying a dividend of $0.15 after British regulators relaxed a ban intended to preserve capital last year after the virus outbreak.The bank also said it was looking to reduce its “office footprint” by 40% over the next years as more of its staff move to hybrid working arrangements pioneereed during the pandemic.The bank said it was largely sticking to cost cutting plans that will reduce its workforce by about 35,000. HSBC said it shrank staff numbers by 11,000 in 2020 and that more shrinkage was inevitable.Analysts at Jefferies said the strategy looked “a bit dull in our view” and pointed to the lack of anything “concrete” in terms of the future of its retail businesses in France and the U.S.Shares were down 2% at 12:26 p.m. in London. Shares in HSBC had risen as much as 6% in Hong Kong on the back of the announcement before paring gains.The bank’s planned Asian investments include $3.5 billion earmarked for its wealth business, which is expected to hire more than 5,000 new wealth planners over the next three to five years. The investment comes at the expense of HSBC’s global banking and markets division, which houses its investment banking operations.Volatility in the markets brought on by the pandemic saw revenue from fixed income trading rise 33% over 2020 to $6.3 billion. But a 2% rise at the equities unit fell well short of its Wall Street rivals, and advisory fees fell 2% to $3.8 billion“We are essentially reducing the amount of capital we have invested in our global banking and markets business globally and reinvesting that capital into wealth and commercial banking,” said Quinn, speaking in a telephone interview with Bloomberg.“Much of our global banking and markets business in the U.S. and Europe were low-return businesses, so you could assume that that capital is coming out of global banking and markets, principally Continental Europe and the U.S., in order to fund the investment in capital we are making into wealth and commercial banking, primarily in Asia, but also in the Middle East.”The bank hopes commercial banking and markets will drive “double-digit growth in profit.” It singled out markets in southeast Asia such as Singapore, as well as China and Hong Kong.China’s crackdown on Hong Kong has increasingly forced HSBC to accept criticism from the U.S. and U.K. as a cost of doing business in the region. Quinn was summoned to testify to British lawmakers this month over the lender’s decision to close the accounts of an exiled Hong Kong democracy activist.Expected credit losses last year hit $8.8 billion, as expected at the low end of a previously announced range of $8 billion to $13 billion. HSBC expects them to be materially lower this year.The bank is targeting getting its cost base down to $31 billion or less in 2022 as well as a $100 billion reduction in gross risk-weighted assets. It doesn’t expect to reach a return on average tangible equity target of between 10% and 12% in 2022, but will now target a return of 10% or above in the medium term.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says:HSBC’s updated guidance, with a more ambitious, $5-5.5 billion cost-savings target combined with robust across-the-board 4Q results are signs the lender has turned the corner, paving the way for what could be a number of significant analyst upgrades, even after its shares’ 50% rally from 2020’s lows.Jonathan Tyce, BI financials analystThe bank divulged little news on its plans for Europe and the U.S.HSBC said it’s in talks on selling its French retail bank and is likely to post a loss on any divestment. It’s exploring “strategic options” for its U.S. retail franchise and wants to focus on high-net worth clients.HSBC has one of the largest U.S. businesses of any non-American bank, partly a result of its ill-fated acquisition of Household International in 2003, the subprime lender that ended up costing the company billions of dollars in writedowns. Quinn said the U.S. retail bank “could be attractive to buyers.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
- USA TODAY
CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Rite Aid and other major pharmacies are offering COVID-19 vaccines at certain locations.
Chinese national banks and Australia's Macquarie Group are quietly filling some of the multi-billion-dollar hole in Asian oil financing after the withdrawal of traditional European lenders, hurt by a raft of defaults and fraud allegations. Established financiers still taking on oil transactions, such as France's BNP Paribas and Singapore's OCBC, have raised compliance standards and are shying away from higher-risk small traders and refiners, according to interviews with over a dozen trading and banking executives. Beijing-controlled Bank of China, ICBC Standard and Agricultural Bank of China are among the few institutions that are expanding credit in the sector, mostly as customers activate dormant lending facilities set up previously but left unused as they were viewed as too expensive or restrictive.
Here's what still has to happen, following the big vote scheduled for Friday.
- Motley Fool
Shares of Churchill Capital IV (NYSE: CCIV) plunged 18.5% on Wednesday, following the special purpose acquisition company's deal with electric vehicle maker Lucid Motors. Churchill's stock price surged to a high of $64.86 on Feb. 18 following reports that the SPAC was in talks to merge with Lucid. Churchill Capital IV's stock price is down sharply since announcing its deal with Lucid Motors.
(Bloomberg) -- Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest property tycoon, is planning to raise funds for dealmaking by listing a special purpose acquisition company in the U.S., people with knowledge of the matter said.A company backed by Li’s family is working with advisers on the potential SPAC initial public offering, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. They are considering seeking around $400 million, though the exact terms haven’t been finalized, the people said.The blank-check company could file registration documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as soon as this week, the people said.Li is lionized by the public in Hong Kong, where he’s been nicknamed “Superman” for his investing prowess. The 92-year-old businessman became famous for his well-timed bets on everything from real estate to social media as he built a corporate empire spanning 50 countries.His family controls CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd., a $29 billion conglomerate that owns one of the world’s biggest port operators and has telecommunications, retail and infrastructure operations across Asia and Europe. They also run CK Asset Holdings Ltd., which is one of Hong Kong’s largest developers and also has investments in hotels, utilities and aircraft leasing. Both companies are now led by Li’s elder son, Victor.Li’s younger son, Richard, has already raised about $900 million via two U.S.-listed SPACs with tech mogul Peter Thiel. Richard is considering setting up a third blank-check company, Bloomberg News reported last week.No final decisions have been made, and details of the transaction could change, the people said. Representatives for Li didn’t immediately respond to emailed queries.(Adds details about Richard Li’s SPAC plans in sixth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.