Financial News from The Wall Street Journal

  • How to Raise the Next Mark Zuckerberg The Wall Street Journal - 20 hours ago

    Everybody wants to give their children the tools to be a success in life. Consider the advantage today’s children have over the first generations of tech entrepreneurs: They’re growing up immersed in technology. Have them embrace computers and social media as early as possible.

  • A Startup Takes the Stress Out of Eating Out With Children The Wall Street Journal - 20 hours ago

    Grace Paik found a way to turn a home-renovation nightmare into a thriving business. In 2004, Ms. Paik and her husband, Seung, now a colonel in the Air Force, hired a local contractor to double the size of their 900-square-foot home in Alexandria, Va. Then disaster struck. Eight months pregnant with their third child, Ms. Paik received a call from the Federal Bureau of Investigation warning that their contractor was a fraud.

  • How to Grab Customers With Real-Time Streaming Video The Wall Street Journal - 20 hours ago

    Mobile apps like Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live let users watch streaming video with their smartphones and have real-time conversation with the broadcasters. Now companies are leveraging those tools to show customers product demonstrations, answer questions and give behind-the-scenes tours, while having ongoing conversations with them. The real-time interaction inspires more customer trust than prerecorded videos, say entrepreneurs and experts, and viewers are more likely to buy impulsively in response to a live broadcast.

  • The On-Demand Economy Is Transforming Summer Jobs The Wall Street Journal - 20 hours ago
    The On-Demand Economy Is Transforming Summer Jobs

    The on-demand gig economy is transforming another corner of the job market: the summer job for students. Recent high-school grads and college students are turning to startups like Uber, TaskRabbit, Instacart and Postmates for work like delivering groceries or handling tech work for businesses. Unlike in traditional summer jobs, students can set their own schedule, and they don’t have to sell themselves to neighbors or managers to get work—the on-demand jobs are largely there for the asking.

  • Valeant’s CEO Was Key Force on Pricing The Wall Street Journal - 22 hours ago

    ​In early 2015, when Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc.’s top brass met to set prices on a soon-to-be-acquired cardiac drug, some executives suggested slow, staggered price increases. Chief Executive Michael Pearson disagreed. To reach Valeant’s internal profit targets, Mr. Pearson lobbied for a single, sharp increase.

  • The Internet of Old Things The Wall Street Journal - 22 hours ago

    You’ve no doubt heard of public television’s “Antiques Road Show.” I’ve come up with a home version of the show. All it takes is access to the Internet, a few tchotchkes lying around the house, and a mildly ...

  • Twitter Looks to Video to Increase Advertising Sales The Wall Street Journal - 23 hours ago

    For years, Twitter Inc. has struggled with its Main Street appeal. Twitter last week badly missed its first-quarter revenue estimates, attributing the shortfall to big-brand advertisers not increasing their spending as quickly as expected. The news was particularly unsettling for Twitter investors.

  • VW and UAW to Meet for Talks on Car Maker’s Chattanooga Plant The Wall Street Journal - 23 hours ago

    WOLFSBURG, Germany—Volkswagen AG and the United Auto Workers said Sunday that they will meet to try to iron out their differences, reopening a process that could lead to talks over union representation of the workforce at the German car maker’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. Volkswagen is challenging a recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board to uphold a vote in favor of the UAW by the plant’s maintenance workers—a group of skilled tradesmen who maintain machines and robots.

  • Sell Stocks in May? Tempting but Not Very Smart The Wall Street Journal - Mon, May 2, 2016 2:12 AM AEST

    Stocks have shaken off an early-year rout, but a reading of first-quarter growth for the U.S. economy came in below expectations last week and corporate earnings have been lackluster, clouding the long-term outlook for stocks. After falling 11% in about the first six weeks of the year, stocks have bounced back, but now at a slower pace. There are many interpretations of the long-running trading adage, but the underlying recommendation remains the same: Stock investors should avoid a summer slump.

  • U.S. Stocks Slip as Tech Sector Slumps The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Apr 30, 2016 11:48 AM AEST

    A selloff in the technology sector deepened Friday, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hung on to post monthly gains in April. On the other, the tech sector, which has the largest sector weighting in the S&P 500, posted its second consecutive week of sharp losses. A string of disappointing quarterly results from high-profile tech companies, including Microsoft and Apple, has led to persistent selling in the group in recent sessions, making it the worst-performing sector for the year to date.

  • Take a Hint from Goldman: Squeeze More Out of Your Cash The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Apr 30, 2016 11:10 AM AEST

    Low interest rates have made many investors too complacent with their cash. With yields so low, even the personal-finance columnist of The Wall Street Journal has thousands of dollars languishing in a bank savings account earning 0.04% a year. Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs—the Wall Street giant that has long personified wealth and power—began offering savings accounts and certificates of deposit through its online GS Bank.

  • AB InBev Offers to Sell SABMiller’s Central, Eastern Europe Brands The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Apr 30, 2016 9:56 AM AEST

    LONDON—Anheuser-Busch InBev NV has offered to sell SABMiller PLC’s Central and Eastern European brands, including Pilsner Urquell, ahead of a decision by the European Commission on whether to approve its acquisition of the London-based brewer. The assets could fetch around $5 billion, according to Exane BNP Paribas analysts, who estimate they made up about $2.3 billion in sales and $450 million in earnings before interest and taxes for SABMiller. AB InBev is offering up all of SABMiller’s assets in Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland, which includes the rights to Pilsner Urquell outside the U.S. Within the U.S. AB InBev has already agreed to sell Pilsner Urquell to Molson Coors Brewing Co. as part of a larger deal divesting its stake in the American brewer’s joint venture with SABMiller.

  • Big Oil, Big Mistake: Investors Overpay for Income at Exxon The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Apr 30, 2016 4:08 AM AEST

    If a time traveler had shown Friday’s first-quarter results for Exxon Mobil and Chevron to an investor a year ago, that person would have had a tough time guessing their share prices today. Exxon’s results beat expectations, but it posted its worst quarterly earnings this century. Chevron’s loss was its worst in 15 years.

  • Lost in the Seat Cushions, There’s $100 Million in Spare Change The Wall Street Journal - Sat, Apr 30, 2016 12:14 AM AEST

    The quarter stuck to the blob of gum in the ashtray, the dime wedged between the driver’s seat cushions—these are the coins of Ronnie Shahar’s realm. The U.S. ships hundreds of thousands of tons of scrap to China each year, much of it comprising the aluminum remains of broken-down vehicles that have been fed through industrial shredders. Mr. Shahar, a 46-year-old entrepreneur, was among the first to realize the potential in pocket change more than 25 years ago.

  • What Slump? How Eurozone Growth is Bucking the Global Trend The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 10:37 PM AEST

    Meanwhile, unemployment continued to fall, reaching 10.2% in March, down 1 percentage point from a year ago. Details are still missing, with no growth estimates publicly available for Germany and Italy in particular, which together account for 45% of the eurozone economy. The end of March saw the Stoxx Europe 600 down some 7.7% for the year, and 10-year German yields nearly half a percentage point lower than at the end of 2015.

  • SEC Vacates Order Allowing Rattner Return to Wall Street The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 2:01 PM AEST

    WASHINGTON—The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday vacated an order that would have allowed former Wall Street deal maker Steven Rattner to return to the securities industry after serving a regulatory ban for more than five years. The SEC’s action, posted on its website, came after the application for Mr. Rattner’s reinstatement was withdrawn on March 30. The reversal means Mr. Rattner, who ran the Obama administration’s auto-bailout program in 2009, won’t return to the securities industry as an investment banker.

  • Analysts Just Aren’t Buying the Oil Rally The Wall Street Journal - Fri, Apr 29, 2016 8:35 AM AEST

    The price of oil has jumped 76% from the decade-low it hit earlier this year. Banks surveyed now forecast Brent averaging $39.25 a barrel in the current quarter and rising to $42.30 in the third quarter.

  • Elon Musk Supports His Business Empire With Unusual Financial Moves The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Apr 28, 2016 1:13 PM AEST
    Elon Musk Supports His Business Empire With Unusual Financial Moves

    Since October 2014, SolarCity Corp. has tried to lure individual investors to the solar-power business by pitching $214 million of what it calls “solar bonds” through the company’s website. The bonds were an “excellent investment,” billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk said in an interview. Mr. Musk is their largest shareholder, the chairman of SolarCity and chief executive of SpaceX.

  • ‘Free’ Shipping Crowds Out Small Retailers The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Apr 28, 2016 12:39 PM AEST

    Ginger Greer, a Medford, Ore., attorney who does nearly all her shopping from work without leaving her desk, has drawn a line in the sand: “I absolutely refuse to pay for shipping,” she says. “We’re not having Saratoga Oil Prime anytime soon,” says Peter Koch, its operations analyst.

  • Consumer Finance Watchdog Plans to Supervise Marketplace Lenders The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Apr 28, 2016 8:01 AM AEST

    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to bring the largest online lenders under its supervision as soon as late 2017, the first time the lenders would face federal scrutiny similar to that of banks, according to people familiar with the matter. The agency aims to unveil a proposal this fall to supervise the largest so-called installment lenders that essentially offer small-dollar loans with set payment periods as well as lenders who tie such loans to car titles. The CFPB is now considering broadening its definition of “installment” lending to wrap in marketplace lenders, which operate online and offer similar types of small-dollar loans with set payments, these people said.

  • Next Up From Goldman: Checking Accounts? The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Apr 28, 2016 7:02 AM AEST

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is weighing additional banking services for its new online deposit-taking platform, including checking accounts and electronic-bill payments, people familiar with the matter said. Goldman launched its deposit website last week following the close of its acquisition of GE Capital’s platform, along with some $16 billion in deposits. The Wall Street firm opted to make few changes to the site, and kept rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposit the same, to help retain existing customers.

  • When Home Buyers Make Their Move The Wall Street Journal - Thu, Apr 28, 2016 1:01 AM AEST

    Many wealthy homeowners hire traditional moving companies for household goods and retain specialty movers to handle things like rare paintings, antique furniture and other high-value items. Some companies, such as New York-based Roadway Moving, offer concierge services to help plan and supervise the move, says Roadway CEO Ross Sapir. For a move from Austin, Texas, to Manhattan, one recent Roadway client requested special vaults constructed to transport his rare paintings, sculptures and musical instruments.

  • Laid-Off Oil Workers Struggle to Pay Loans, Credit Cards The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Apr 27, 2016 7:30 PM AEST

    The slump in crude prices is starting to show up as missed payments by consumers in the oil patch. In states from Oklahoma and Texas to North Dakota and Wyoming, rising unemployment in the energy sector is pushing up loan delinquencies and raising the risk of new losses for banks. Wells Fargo & Co. this month reported an increase in borrowers falling behind on payments in areas including Houston and parts of Alaska.

  • Tribune CEO Blasts Gannett as ‘Playing Games’ With Takeover Bid The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Apr 27, 2016 9:06 AM AEST

    Tribune Publishing Co. Chief Executive Justin C. Dearborn said the company’s board is reviewing Gannett Co.’s roughly $400 million takeover offer but criticized the USA Today owner for “playing games” during the proposal process. In a letter to Gannett dated Monday, Mr. Dearborn added that Gannett was being “erratic and unreliable.” Tribune made the letter public in a regulatory filing Tuesday. “We do not understand why you found our response to your proposal to be inadequate,” Mr. Dearborn said, adding that he had personally engaged with Gannett CEO Robert Dickey “numerous times, both in writing and via phone,” before Gannett went public Monday with its offer. Gannett offered to pay $815 million including debt to buy Tribune Publishing, which emerged from bankruptcy less than two years ago.

  • S&P Strips Exxon of Triple-A Credit Rating The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Apr 27, 2016 7:48 AM AEST

    Exxon Mobil Corp. was stripped Tuesday of the perfect triple-A credit rating it has held for more than six decades by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, a sign that the oil bust is hurting even the strongest players in the energy industry. The world’s largest publicly traded oil company, Exxon, was just one of three American companies—Microsoft Corp. and Johnson & Johnson are the others—that had the triple-A rating. S&P said it first gave the company the triple-A mark in 1949.

  • Once Bustling Trade Ports in Asia and Europe Lose Steam The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Apr 27, 2016 7:05 AM AEST

    At a logistics park bordering Shanghai’s port last month, the only goods stored in a three-story warehouse were high-end jeans, T-shirts and jackets imported from the U.K. and Hong Kong, most of which had sat there for nearly two years. Business at the 108,000-square-foot floor warehouse dwindled at the end of 2015 after several Chinese wine importers pulled out, said Yang Ying, the warehouse keeper, leaving lots of empty space. Pain is increasing among the world’s biggest ports—from Shanghai to Hamburg—amid weaker growth in global trade and a calamitous end to a global commodities boom.

  • Full-Time Hires Buck the Trend at Fast-Food, Retail Chains The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Apr 27, 2016 6:39 AM AEST
    Full-Time Hires Buck the Trend at Fast-Food, Retail Chains

    EASTON, Pa.—The orders came in fast during a recent Friday lunchtime rush at a Sheetz Inc. convenience store here. Behind the counter, Alexis Cooper layered tomatoes on two sandwiches, refilled a container of onions and swirled a peanut-butter milkshake. Six weeks into her job at Sheetz, Ms. Cooper easily distinguishes the beep of the deep fryer from the boop of the convenience store’s order-taking system and knows to have a pepperoni roll ready for a regular who shows up around noon.

  • Banks Are Falling Back in Love With Mortgages The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Apr 27, 2016 5:29 AM AEST

    America’s housing market is in good shape and the country’s biggest banks are taking advantage. The latest sign of strength came Tuesday from the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showing that prices across the country rose 5.3% in the year to February. Earlier, data from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales rising 5.1% in March after a decline in February that had some observers worried. In response, banks not only are making more mortgage loans but are also choosing to keep more of them on their books rather than selling them off to government-backed guarantors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

  • Fans Flock to the ‘Full House’ House, and Neighbors Aren’t Laughing The Wall Street Journal - Wed, Apr 27, 2016 1:00 AM AEST
    Fans Flock to the ‘Full House’ House, and Neighbors Aren’t Laughing

    SAN FRANCISCO—Devotees of the late 1980s-early ’90s sitcom “Full House” know its theme song is “Everywhere You Look.” Since a sequel series launched this year, that could also describe the prevalence of fans descending on Andrew Clemens’s block. The unwelcome influx owes to a decision by the producers of “Full House” some 30 years ago to use footage of a two-story Victorian on their block for exterior shots of the fictional home of the Danny Tanner family—a widower portrayed by Bob Saget raising his three daughters with the help of a friend and a brother-in-law. “Full House” fans, perhaps unaware the show was filmed on a soundstage in Burbank, Calif., have long made pilgrimages to the home.

  • Alibaba-Disney Partnership Frozen in China The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Apr 26, 2016 2:35 PM AEST
    Alibaba-Disney Partnership Frozen in China

    BEIJING—China is putting on ice an Alibaba partnership to bring Disney characters to Chinese screens, at a time when Chinese regulators are tightening control over online content. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said DisneyLife, an online content service it runs under a multiyear licensing agreement with Walt Disney Co., is down for a service upgrade and that it is issuing customer refunds. A spokesman for Alibaba declined to elaborate.

  • Sheltering Foreign Profits From U.S. Taxes Is No Big Feat The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Apr 26, 2016 9:43 AM AEST
    Sheltering Foreign Profits From U.S. Taxes Is No Big Feat

    The U.S. government chalked up a big victory this month when it stopped pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. from merging with Allergan PLC and shifting its address overseas to avoid U.S. taxes. While most countries tax only the money companies earn inside their borders, the U.S. taxes profits that American companies make world-wide at 35%, minus any foreign taxes paid. Using that phrase allows them to avoid deducting U.S. taxes on those funds from their overall earnings.

  • CEO Exits Show That Room at the Top Can Be Lonely The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Apr 26, 2016 8:58 AM AEST

    Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Monday tapped Perrigo Co. CEO Joseph Papa as its new leader, confirming a report in The Wall Street Journal last week. In the case of Perrigo, last year it convinced its shareholders to turn down a bid from Mylan NV. Undoubtedly, the directors expected Mr. Papa to lead Perrigo to performance that would prove shareholders were making the right decision.

  • Saudi Aramco: The Oil Giant’s Known Unknowns The Wall Street Journal - Tue, Apr 26, 2016 4:29 AM AEST

    Saudi Arabian Oil Co.: A company that enriched its private investors for decades through what was called a “golden gimmick” beckons to foreign capital once again. If the national oil champion were to become a holding company with 5% or so of its shares listed on the stock market, it would be too large for investors to ignore. Based on what Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed bin Salman estimated to be a potential market value of $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion, just its proposed float would be larger than supermajor BP or as valuable as ConocoPhillips and Italy’s ENI combined.

  • Blacklisted Terrorism Financiers Still Active on Social Media The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Apr 25, 2016 2:01 PM AEST
    Blacklisted Terrorism Financiers Still Active on Social Media

    Some terrorist financiers blacklisted by the U.S. government continue to raise money and attract followers on U.S.-based social media, a new report says. In one example, the Treasury Department sanctioned Kuwait-based financier Hajjaj Fahd al-Ajmi in August 2014, accusing him of delivering money to an al Qaeda-linked terror group in Syria, freezing his U.S. assets and banning American entities from doing business with him. About six months later, Mr. al-Ajmi told his more than one million followers on Instagram he was selling customized posts to sponsors, touting local businesses—a way around sanctions meant to financially squeeze him.

  • Warren Buffett’s Former Heir-Apparent Resurfaces as Activist Investor The Wall Street Journal - Mon, Apr 25, 2016 4:08 AM AEST
    Warren Buffett’s Former Heir-Apparent Resurfaces as Activist Investor

    A former heir apparent to billionaire investor Warren Buffett has resurfaced in an unusual role—as an activist agitating for the sale of a small Virginia bank. David Sokol, once widely expected to succeed Mr. Buffett as chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has kept a fairly low profile since leaving the conglomerate amid a stock-trading controversy five years ago. In recent weeks, though, Mr. Sokol has aggressively and publicly pushed Middleburg Financial Corp. to put itself up for sale.