Financial News from The Wall Street Journal

  • How a Chinese Highway Became a Boulevard of Broken Dreams The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 28, 2016 2:01 PM AEST

    CHANGTANG, China—A highway project here that is four years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget helps explain why Beijing’s effort to raise infrastructure spending is an increasingly​ineffective way to boost the​economy. Such setbacks are hurting Beijing’s efforts to halt a decline in economic growth that is rippling across the globe and threatening political stability at home. China also is drawing less benefit from the infrastructure projects it completes.

  • The Oil-Price Recovery Is Drowning in Gasoline The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 28, 2016 7:58 AM AEST

    Vast new supplies of gasoline around the world, combined with the overproduction of oil, has sent crude prices sliding. On Wednesday, oil prices continued to drop, with U.S.-traded crude hitting a three-month low, after a surprise increase in U.S. inventories of both oil and gasoline. Crude for September delivery fell $1, or 2.3%, to $41.92 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

  • The Most Lavish Secret Hotel Perks The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 28, 2016 7:54 AM AEST

    Like airlines, they’ve created stealthy loyalty program tiers, often by invitation only, where they aim to treat their very best customers better than the rest of their best customers. Often companies don’t list the special levels in loyalty program information. Marriott International is mum on particulars required to make the cut with its Platinum Premier program, which is offered based on a formula that tracks criteria like how many Marriott brands you use, not just how many nights you stay or dollars you spend.

  • Steven A. Cohen’s Newest Bet: Do-It-Yourself Computer Traders The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 2:00 PM AEST

    Steven A. Cohen is betting as much as a quarter billion dollars that mechanical engineers and nuclear scientists can come up with market-beating mathematical models in their spare time. The investment of as much as $250 million will go to a hedge fund launched by Boston investment firm Quantopian. Mr. Cohen, chief executive officer of Point72 Asset Management LP, is also making an undisclosed investment in Quantopian itself through his family-office venture arm Point72 Ventures.

  • Facebook’s Rally Is Too Much of a Good Thing The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 5:38 AM AEST
    Facebook’s Rally Is Too Much of a Good Thing

    Facebook Inc. is firing on all cylinders, but even fine-tuned machines make pit stops. Facebook is earning more money from each one of its 1.6 billion users, a base that is still growing at a healthy clip. After a little more than four years on the public markets, its market value is already approaching a level that took Google parent Alphabet Inc. nine years and Cisco Systems Inc. 10 years from their respective IPOs to achieve.

  • Modern Vikings Should Have Known Better The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 5:28 AM AEST

    The Viking ship’s operators claim to have been caught off guard by U.S. Great Lakes pilotage rates is unfounded (“Pilot Costs Make Viking Ship’s Voyage Less Than Clear Sailing,” U.S. News, July 16). The regulations for Great Lakes pilotage are clearly available under both the U.S. and Canadian pilotage authorities’ websites. Also, two of the three U.S. pilotage companies sent estimates of transit costs in October 2015 at the Viking ship’s request.

  • What Do Americans Do All Day? New Adds to Master List of U.S. Jobs The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 4:46 AM AEST

    In corporate America, data scientists and project managers are in high demand. The BLS has released proposed changes to the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification Manual, which lists the jobs that are held by the vast majority of American workers. The revisions offer a snapshot of how the labor market has changed in the last decade or so, as some professions, such as radar and sonar technicians, dwindle and are replaced with new titles or skills required to keep the wheels of the economy turning.

  • Why Sand Is the Oil Industry’s Bellwether The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 4:19 AM AEST

    Companies in the proppant business, while they have struck a more optimistic tone, haven’t seen a fundamental recovery quite yet and their share prices still are down by between 40% and 90% over the past two years. While it is unlikely that the glory days of 2012 and 2013 will return when privately financed sand mines popped up everywhere, the proppant market looks good for low-cost, well-capitalized companies.

  • Job-Hopping Executives No Longer Pay Penalty The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 27, 2016 2:12 AM AEST

    Corey Heller often finds himself ordering fresh business cards. The human resources executive has switched employers nine times since 1996—and spent less than three years at six of those workplaces. In any other era, the 51-year-old Mr. Heller would be viewed as an unstable job hopper. But today, that stigma is starting to fade amid greater pressure for rapid results and decreased workplace loyalty, according to executive recruiters and coaches.

  • Colleges Nudge Students to Graduate Within Four Years The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 9:51 AM AEST
    Colleges Nudge Students to Graduate Within Four Years

    College administrators are sending a message to their students: Hurry up. Low graduation rates hurt a school’s reputation, and staying enrolled for extra years adds to the tab for students. Schools have embraced marketing gimmicks like “Class of ’17” bumper stickers to rally students around their graduation year.

  • Putin and Those Democratic Emails The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 8:46 AM AEST

    Here’s the last word Democrats wanted to hear at their Philadelphia convention this week: emails. Remember those Casualties of Bill (Clinton) from the 1990s? Ms. Wasserman Schultz is the first Casualty of Hillary in this Clinton comeback.

  • DNC Hack Prompts Allegations of Russian Involvement The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 7:29 AM AEST

    WASHINGTON—The theft and leak of embarrassing Democratic National Committee emails created a political firestorm at the party’s convention and prompted Democratic allegations of involvement by the Russian government. U.S. authorities said they were still investigating who perpetrated the hack, but cybersecurity experts said the email release resembled past examples of political interference that other countries have tied to Russia. Russian officials have denied involvement in the DNC hack.

  • Things are Great...Buy Stocks! Things are Terrible...Buy Stocks! The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 2:13 AM AEST

    Wait, a strong U.S. economy is pushing bond yields up, you say? The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a series of record highs in the past two weeks as investors bought economically-exposed cyclical stocks but didn’t sell out of the defensive bond-like shares they had bought amid previous worries. This presents a puzzle: what looks like a classic rotation into cyclical stocks is happening without a rotation out of defensives, prompting a market melt-up.

  • LinkedIn Skills You Didn’t Think You Needed: ‘Round Tables,’ ‘Hugs,’ ‘Cheese’ The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 26, 2016 1:36 AM AEST
    LinkedIn Skills You Didn’t Think You Needed: ‘Round Tables,’ ‘Hugs,’ ‘Cheese’

    A couple of Rhys Wilson’s customers recently asked about his expertise in “fly fishing,” a listing that reeked of payback. Profile pranks, also known as endorsement bombing, sprang from the LinkedIn feature intended to highlight laudable skills. Officially, endorsements are a way for people to boost their marketability, LinkedIn spokeswoman Julie Inouye said.

  • Best-Paid CEOs Run Some of Worst-Performing Companies The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Jul 25, 2016 2:01 PM AEST

    The best-paid CEOs tend to run some of the worst-performing companies and vice versa—even when pay and performance are measured over the course of many years, according to a new study. The analysis, from corporate-governance research firm MSCI, examined the pay of some 800 CEOs at 429 large and midsize U.S. companies during the decade ending in 2014, and also looked at the total shareholder return of the companies during the same period. MSCI found that $100 invested in the 20% of companies with the highest-paid CEOs would have grown to $265 over 10 years.

  • Tesla Races to Finish ‘Gigafactory’ in Time for Model 3 Rollout The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Jul 25, 2016 1:19 PM AEST

    SPARKS, Nev.—Tesla Motors Inc. is scrambling to finish building its massive $5 billion battery factory here years ahead of schedule to meet demand for its coming cheaper sedan and provide power for new types of vehicles Chief Executive Elon Musk says are under development. Tesla has doubled the amount of people constructing the “gigafactory,” which sits on more than 3,000 acres near Reno. “We have to be ready with cell and pack production well ahead of vehicle production,” JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technical officer and co-founder, said during a walk-through of the factory.

  • How Much Oil Is in Storage Globally? Take a Guess The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Jul 25, 2016 10:34 AM AEST

    SINGAPORE—The historic fall in oil prices has created a pileup of inventories, much of it stashed in tanks in the U.S. and other industrialized countries that are committed to disclosing the latest tally, but millions of barrels of oil are flowing to locations outside the scope of industry trackers. Some countries, such as Russia and China, choose not to report their oil-storage levels. How much crude is in these locations, and how quickly it can be resold into the market, can affect oil prices.

  • Tesla: Not a Moment to Lose The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Jul 25, 2016 1:38 AM AEST

    The world is changing around Tesla Motors. Tesla is set to formally unveil the Gigafactory, its new battery-manufacturing plant, in Nevada this week. Tesla had received about 373,000 reservations as of May 15.

  • Rough Guides to the Golden Years: Retirement Calculators The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 10:39 PM AEST
    Rough Guides to the Golden Years: Retirement Calculators

    While assessing retirement calculators this past week, I plugged in my own information to see how much money I should sock away when one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen appeared on my computer screen. “To make a projection, you have to make lot of assumptions about past and future income based on current information,” said Anek Belbase, a research fellow at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Online calculators rely on information provided by users that typically includes age, income, savings, monthly contributions and the age the person expects to stop working.

  • The Closing of the American Mind The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Jul 22, 2016 8:53 AM AEST

    Innovations in countless fields have transformed society and radically improved individual well-being, especially for the least fortunate. What made these dramatic improvements possible was America’s uniquely free and open society, which has brought the country to the cusp of another explosion of life-changing innovation. When I attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1950s, I quickly came to appreciate that scientific and technological progress requires the free and open exchange of ideas.

  • Amazon Tiptoes Into Banking Business Through Student Loans The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 7:30 PM AEST
    Amazon Tiptoes Into Banking Business Through Student Loans

    Amazon.com Inc. is stepping into the student-loan marketplace. The online retailer has entered into a partnership with San Francisco lender Wells Fargo & Co. in which the bank’s student-lending arm will offer interest-rate discounts to select Amazon shoppers. An Amazon spokeswoman said this is the first time members of the company’s “Prime Student” service are receiving a student-loan offer by a lender through its site since that service was launched in 2010.

  • Why China’s Trapped Economy Won’t Find Easy Escape The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 6:16 PM AEST

    Cash is trapped in China. And there isn’t much Beijing can do about it. In recent months, a measure of Chinese monetary policy effectiveness shows that money created isn’t being put to work. China’s M1 ...

  • Barbie Gains Help Soften Sales Decline at Mattel The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 8:30 AM AEST

    Barbie bounced back in a big way. Mattel Inc. said sales of the iconic doll rose 23% in the second quarter, as a revamped lineup that included newly sized Barbies led to a surge in orders from retailers and more shelf space. Barbie’s gain helped soften an overall 3% sales decline for Mattel, which is coping with the loss to Hasbro Inc. of the license to make Disney Princess and “Frozen” dolls, broad slumps for dolls like Monster High and American Girl, and foreign exchange rates.

  • How the 1990s Became Donald Trump’s Personal Crucible The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 3:21 AM AEST

    Donald Trump’s real-estate empire was on the brink of crumbling under $3.4 billion in debt. His soon-to-be-ex-wife Ivana was demanding $10 million. Walking down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, he saw a blind ...

  • Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Rethinks Parts of ‘Lean In’ The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Jul 21, 2016 1:54 AM AEST

    It is advice that a friend gave Ms. Sandberg in a difficult moment shortly after her husband, technology executive Dave Goldberg, died suddenly last year. The post and the posters show how Ms. Sandberg, chief operating officer of a company that encourages its 1.65 billion users to share their lives online, is grappling with her grief in public. Over the past 14 months, she has wrestled with her feelings out loud in about a dozen Facebook posts.

  • U.S. Set to Seize $1 Billion in Assets Tied to Malaysian Fund 1MDB The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 4:56 PM AEST

    Federal prosecutors are poised to launch one of the largest asset seizures in U.S. history as they step up their investigation into billions of dollars siphoned away from a Malaysian government investment fund, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal has reported that people linked to the fund have invested millions of dollars in real estate and businesses in the U.S. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s international corruption unit have also been conducting a wide-ranging criminal investigation into people and institutions connected with 1Malaysia Development Bhd., known as 1MDB, a sovereign-wealth fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to drive the country’s economy.

  • Donald Trump Shows GOP’s Economic Pillars Are Loosening The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Jul 20, 2016 9:58 AM AEST

    For decades, the Republican Party bolted its economic platform to limited government, lower taxes and an abiding faith in free trade. Donald Trump has thrown much of that aside, deepening the party’s appeal to a subset of voters while raising questions about the GOP’s long-term identity. The presidential nominee threatens to undo trade deals and slap tariffs on U.S. companies that expand overseas.

  • Trump’s Best Path to Victory The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 9:22 AM AEST

    If this were a typical presidential election, the logical first step would be to pick the most likely combination of states to put the Trump campaign over the 270 threshold. Then you would spend all of your time, energy and resources targeting the battleground states. The reality, though, is that this election is unlike any other in recent history—and Mr. Trump is not your quintessential Republican nominee.

  • Gold’s Run Could Hit Roadblocks The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 9:14 AM AEST

    LONDON—After three bearish years, gold’s 25% year-to-date price increase has pushed its long-term fans to predict a sustained bull run. Some analysts, meanwhile, are nervously watching the speculative investors that have built an unprecedented position in gold, which adds fragility to its recent gains. The precious metal has shined as a gloomy global economic outlook—from China’s slowdown to the U.K.’s exit from the European Union—has boosted the fortunes of haven assets.

  • Ex-Cardinals Scouting Director Sentenced to 46 Months for Hacking Houston Astros The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 9:12 AM AEST

    Chris Correa, former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, was sentenced to 46 months in prison Monday for hacking the Houston Astros’ player personnel database system. Correa pleaded guilty in January to five counts in connection with having unauthorized access of the Astros’ network from 2013 to at least 2014. It was the first known case of cyber-espionage involving a professional sports team hacking into another team’s database.

  • What J.P. Morgan Found When It Weighed Its Own Brexit The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 3:26 AM AEST

    J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive James Dimon had his bank weigh the possibility of its own type of Brexit years before the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. It tapped executives, particularly finance chiefs, to analyze a variety of metrics, ranging from relocating employees to the cost of booking trades in various countries, a person familiar with the analysis said.

  • What a Sex Therapist Is Really Thinking The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 3:14 AM AEST

    Have you ever wondered what happens in a sex therapist’s office? Sari Cooper is an American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists-certified sex therapist, a licensed clinical social worker and family therapist, with a private practice in New York City for more than 20 years. Ms. Cooper uses a combination of techniques in her practice, including behavioral sex-therapy exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy, family systems therapy, psychodynamic therapy and mindfulness training.

  • Tiny Hard Drive Uses Single Atoms to Store Data The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Jul 19, 2016 1:00 AM AEST

    By comparison, tech companies today build warehouse-sized data centers to store the billions of photos, videos and posts consumers upload to the internet daily. Corporations including International Business Machines Corp. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. also have explored research to reduce such space needs. It may not sound “very impressive,” said Franz Himpsel, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who wasn’t involved in the study.

  • ‘Pokémon Go’ Players Cash In The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 1:40 PM AEST

    Dozens of advertisements pitching the chance to start “Pokémon Go” at an advanced level can be found on bulletin-board services like Craigslist, as well as eBay Inc. and other online marketplaces. Companies could eventually try the same with accounts, charging players a fee to swap game progress, said Edward Castronova, a professor of media at Indiana University focused on game design.

  • Trump Supporters Are a Rarity on Campus The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Jul 18, 2016 11:24 AM AEST

    From Yale University to New York University, students donning Trump gear across campus quads attract attention, if not hostilities, and spark debates. At Yale, philosophy student Karl Notturno is one of the few out-and-proud backers of the Republican candidate on the Connecticut campus, which, he said, has become his claim to fame.