• Stocks move higher as companies report solid earnings

    Solid financial results from some of the nation's largest companies helped push stocks higher in early trading on Wall Street Tuesday. Health care stocks led the market as insurer UnitedHealth Group and health care products company Johnson & Johnson raised their annual financial forecasts following surprisingly good third quarter results. Solid financial results from JPMorgan Chase and Charles Schwab helped push financial stocks higher.


  • UK labor market weakening amid Brexit uncertainty

    Brexit uncertainty appears to be finally affecting Britain's labor market, which has been resilient over the past three years in spite of a slowdown in economic growth. With the scheduled Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 looming, it's increasingly clear that firms are beginning to hold back on hiring, according to official figures released Tuesday. A number of Brexit scenarios remain in play, including a deal between Britain and the European Union, an extension to the departure, another referendum, and even a disorderly and chaotic exit.


  • BlackRock Benefits in Flight to Safety With Bond, Cash Flows

    (Bloomberg) -- BlackRock Inc. saw investors seek safety in the third quarter, as global trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainty continued to fuel fears of a slowdown.The world’s largest asset manager posted fixed income flows of $35 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to $22.9 billion a year earlier. Clients also moved to cash and alternatives, with both business lines gaining, the company said in a statement Tuesday.“People are shifting their focus toward de-risking,” said Kyle Sanders, an analyst at Edward Jones. “While some tiptoed back into the market, the general trend is people remaining cautious overall, especially in the third quarter.”President Donald Trump’s ongoing trade war with China and the market anxiety he stirs up with a single tweet are keeping investors on edge. To cushion the firm from market cycles, BlackRock is working to build its range of offerings.Adjusted earnings and revenue exceeded analysts’ estimates and key businesses showed strength. BlackRock gained 1.4% to $440.21 in trading in New York.BlackRock’s iShares index business continued to be a driver of flows, bringing in $41.5 billion. Indexing is a crucial business for the company, accounting for two-thirds of its assets under management.With online brokers cutting their trading commissions to zero on U.S. ETFs, Chief Executive Officer Larry Fink said BlackRock will benefit.“If you could see my face, I’m smiling at the opportunities,” Fink said on an earnings call with analysts. He added that short-duration bond ETFs could work as a compelling substitute to money market funds for some investors. “Commission-free in the fixed income realm is a real opener for so many more participants,” he said.Clients moving to safe havens brings risk for BlackRock. The fees earned from bonds and cash are generally lower than riskier assets. Equities accounted for nearly half of total base fees in the quarter versus 28% for fixed income and 5% for cash management.“No one knows what’s going to happen at any point in time with tweets, and geopolitical risk,” said Gary Shedlin, BlackRock’s chief financial officer, in a phone interview. As clients re-balance to cash and fixed income, “the impact that has on us is it creates some fee rate pressure. At some point those clients will re-risk, and we’ll benefit.”BlackRock missed analyst estimates on total net inflows, bringing in $84.2 billion in the third quarter. Its cash management net flows reached $32 billion, compared to withdrawals of $14.6 billion a year earlier.The firm’s burgeoning alternatives business posted strong quarterly inflows of $7.9 billion. BlackRock last year announced a private equity-style vehicle called Long Term Private Capital, which takes stakes in private companies. The project is behind schedule: the business raised $2.75 billion as of April. Last year, BlackRock said it was seeking to raise up to $12 billion. The fund struck its first deal in August, backing a company that manages brands including Sports Illustrated, Marilyn Monroe and Juicy Couture.Other highlights:Quarterly revenue of $3.69 billion increased 3%, slightly beating analyst estimates.Adjusted net income fell 8% to $1.1 billion.Adjusted earnings came in at $7.15 per share. Analysts estimated $6.97.BlackRock’s assets under management rose to $6.9 trillion.(Adds chart.)To contact the reporter on this story: Annie Massa in New York at amassa12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Mirabella at amirabella@bloomberg.net, Vincent BielskiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Amid Brexit tension, Irish PM says UK citizenship laws out of step with Northern Ireland peace deal

    British citizenship laws are out of step with Northern Ireland's 1998 peace accord that recognized the birthright of anyone in the British-run region to identify as Irish, British or both, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Tuesday. Varadkar was responding to a high-profile citizenship ruling handed down at a hugely sensitive time in Britain's negotiations to leave the European Union, which could redefine Northern Ireland's relationship with the rest of the United Kingdom and the Irish republic, threatening 20 years of peace in the region. Northern Ireland native Emma DeSouza identified herself as an Irish citizen when applying for her U.S.-born husband to live and work in Northern Ireland but the application was rejected when Britain's interior ministry said it considered DeSouza a British citizen because she was born in Northern Ireland.


  • Stocks Gain as Earnings Roll In; Treasuries Climb: Markets Wrap

    (Bloomberg) -- Health care and technology shares led U.S. stocks higher as earnings season begins in earnest. The pound strengthened as the European Union struck a more optimistic tone about the prospects of a Brexit deal.The three main U.S. equity indexes all opened higher, rising alongside stocks in Europe, defying concern Beijing and Washington remain far apart in their quest for a trade deal. Treasuries rose. In earnings news:JPMorgan’s third-quarter results beat estimates.Goldman Sachs reported investment bank revenue and earnings per share that undershot estimates, but its equities sales and trading was a beat.BlackRock said there was a decline in fixed income inflows from the previous quarter as clients moved some money back into equities.Wells Fargo’s EPS missed estimates; Citigroup’s adjusted EPS and FICC trading revenue were both a beat.Johnson & Johnson raised its sales and earnings forecast for the year. UnitedHealth beat profit estimates and raised its full-year outlook.“The earnings reports that will be particularly noteworthy are those from companies that are tied directly to the economic cycle,” saidMichael Geraghty, equity strategist at Cornerstone Capital Group. “They will provide an insight into how the U.S. consumer is doing and the U.S. consumer is the critical part of U.S. economy”Earlier Japan’s equity gauge had jumped as trading resumed after a long weekend during which President Donald Trump announced progress on an interim trade accord with China. Markets elsewhere in Asia were mixed. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose, with 18 of 19 sectors advancing.Investors are closely analyzing the reports, given the global backdrop of slowing growth and a host of unpredictable macro risks from the impeachment investigation into Trump and the trade war to Brexit and Turkey’s incursion into Syria.The International Monetary Fund made a fifth-straight cut to its 2019 global growth forecast, citing a broad deceleration across the world’s largest economies as trade tensions undermine the expansion.The pound strengthened as British negotiators submitted a revised set of Brexit plans to Brussels amid growing optimism that a deal could be struck this week. The euro slipped as data showed investor confidence in Germany’s economic outlook remains weak. Crude oil futures fluctuated and gold drifted.Meanwhile, the Turkish lira jumped and the country’s benchmark stock index rose after Trump imposed milder penalties over its military campaign in Syria than U.S. lawmakers had demanded.Here are some key events coming up this week:Wednesday brings a monetary policy decision in South Korea.U.S. retail sales are forecast to increase for a seventh straight month. Sales in the “control group” are also expected to rise. Consumer spending is carrying the weight of U.S. economic growth so the data will be monitored closely for any signs of slowing.China releases third-quarter GDP, September industrial production and retail sales data on Friday.Here are the main moves in market:To contact the reporters on this story: Todd White in Madrid at twhite2@bloomberg.net;Claire Ballentine in New York at cballentine@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at jherron8@bloomberg.net, Dave LiedtkaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • 2019 Stock Market Holidays and Bond Market Holidays

    Is the market open today? Here's a look at what holidays the stock markets and bond markets take off in 2019.


  • ESG Hardliners Blacklist $16 Trillion U.S. Treasuries Market

    (Bloomberg) -- Some of Europe’s strictest ESG funds are snubbing the world’s most liquid investment -- the $16 trillion U.S. Treasuries market.A 33 billion-euro ($36 billion) French state pension plan and ESG funds run by the likes of Erste Asset Management, Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co. and Union Investment all shun Treasuries based on the U.S. government’s stance on capital punishment or climate change. The exclusions rank the U.S. alongside arms makers, tobacco producers and distilleries in falling foul of environmental, social and governance standards.“ESG-dedicated investors would usually avoid or question investments in U.S. Treasuries,” said Rupini Deepa Rajagopalan, head of the ESG office at Berenberg, which oversees about 36.7 billion euros. She cited the death penalty, nuclear weapons and the U.S.’s non-participation in global environmental accords, such as the Kyoto Protocol.Boycotting Treasuries highlights a key challenge for ESG managers that often divides the industry -- defining what is and isn’t a “responsible” investment. It also shows how ESG investors have to balance ethical standards against the need to make money, particularly when avoiding large liquid markets makes it harder to spread risk or to react quickly in a crisis.“For any global fixed-income fund, excluding all Treasuries is a very big and far reaching decision,” said Chris Brils, a portfolio manager at Actiam NV, which has more than $60 billion in assets. “And what if U.S. Treasuries outperform? You’d be giving up a lot of performance for the benefit of better ESG properties.”European ESG investors who shun Treasuries are also giving up an opportunity to capture positive yields on sovereign debt. Ten-year Treasuries yield about 1.7%, compared with minus 0.47% in Germany.The French Public Service Additional Pension Scheme, known as ERAFP, excludes Treasuries because capital punishment is allowed in some states, according to Alice Blais, a spokeswoman. The fund, which manages pensions for civil servants, does buy U.S. corporate debt.Union Investment excludes Treasuries from the 48 billion euros of assets that it runs on the strictest ESG criteria. The funds also avoid French OATs, due to the country’s atomic policy, and Poland is being monitored because of free-speech concerns.The investor looks at U.S. mortgage bonds as an alternative to Treasuries, according to Henrik Pontzen, head of ESG at Union, which oversees 349 billion euros in total. It can also buy bonds from companies with high ESG ratings, even if the proceeds aren’t specifically earmarked for sustainable projects, he said.European bond buyers, traditionally the heart of ESG investing, may also be more easily able to snub Treasuries than investors elsewhere because they are naturally less disposed to hold U.S. debt. Still, this could change as ESG investing gains pace elsewhere.Other ESG funds exclude sovereigns from their ESG criteria. The $126 million Brown Advisory Sustainable Bond Fund invests “at least 80%” of its funds in ESG-compliant debt, and then also holds securities from the U.S. government and international government entities.“We aim to achieve as close to 100% positive impact in the fund as we can,” said Amy Hauter, a portfolio manager at Baltimore-based Brown Advisory. “Since we do not view Treasuries as having a materially positive ESG impact, we invest in these securities minimally and primarily for liquidity and duration management.”Treasuries QuandaryRobeco and Hermes Investment Management are among investors that don’t explicitly exclude Treasuries from sustainable funds, partly because they are focused on corporate rather than sovereign borrowers. Hermes recently launched a range of funds that aims to change the behavior of high-yield issuers in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.ESG investors are aware that boycotting Treasuries, or other major nations’ debt, may not impact state policies. That’s because countries can easily sell notes to a host of other investors and because there is no major history of governments responding to bondholders’ non-financial concerns.“It is far more difficult to lobby an overseas government on changing policy than an individual company that a fund may be able to meet face-to-face,” said Graeme Anderson, who is chairman of TwentyFour Asset Management and is leading the investment firm’s ESG efforts. “All investors have different opinions on what ESG means, but you have to be realistic.”(Updates with Treasuries yield in sixth paragraph, Brown Advisory comment in 12th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Mark Tannenbaum.To contact the reporter on this story: Alice Gledhill in London at agledhill@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Vivianne Rodrigues at vrodrigues3@bloomberg.net, Neil Denslow, Hannah BenjaminFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • ESG Hardliners Blacklist $16 Trillion U.S. Treasuries Market

    (Bloomberg) -- Some of Europe’s strictest ESG funds are snubbing the world’s most liquid investment -- the $16 trillion U.S. Treasuries market.A 33 billion-euro ($36 billion) French state pension plan and ESG funds run by the likes of Erste Asset Management, Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co. and Union Investment all shun Treasuries based on the U.S. government’s stance on capital punishment or climate change. The exclusions rank the U.S. alongside arms makers, tobacco producers and distilleries in falling foul of environmental, social and governance standards.“ESG-dedicated investors would usually avoid or question investments in U.S. Treasuries,” said Rupini Deepa Rajagopalan, head of the ESG office at Berenberg, which oversees about 36.7 billion euros. She cited the death penalty, nuclear weapons and the U.S.’s non-participation in global environmental accords, such as the Kyoto Protocol.Boycotting Treasuries highlights a key challenge for ESG managers that often divides the industry -- defining what is and isn’t a “responsible” investment. It also shows how ESG investors have to balance ethical standards against the need to make money, particularly when avoiding large liquid markets makes it harder to spread risk or to react quickly in a crisis.“For any global fixed-income fund, excluding all Treasuries is a very big and far reaching decision,” said Chris Brils, a portfolio manager at Actiam NV, which has more than $60 billion in assets. “And what if U.S. Treasuries outperform? You’d be giving up a lot of performance for the benefit of better ESG properties.”European ESG investors who shun Treasuries are also giving up an opportunity to capture positive yields on sovereign debt. Ten-year Treasuries yield about 1.7%, compared with minus 0.47% in Germany.The French Public Service Additional Pension Scheme, known as ERAFP, excludes Treasuries because capital punishment is allowed in some states, according to Alice Blais, a spokeswoman. The fund, which manages pensions for civil servants, does buy U.S. corporate debt.Union Investment excludes Treasuries from the 48 billion euros of assets that it runs on the strictest ESG criteria. The funds also avoid French OATs, due to the country’s atomic policy, and Poland is being monitored because of free-speech concerns.The investor looks at U.S. mortgage bonds as an alternative to Treasuries, according to Henrik Pontzen, head of ESG at Union, which oversees 349 billion euros in total. It can also buy bonds from companies with high ESG ratings, even if the proceeds aren’t specifically earmarked for sustainable projects, he said.European bond buyers, traditionally the heart of ESG investing, may also be more easily able to snub Treasuries than investors elsewhere because they are naturally less disposed to hold U.S. debt. Still, this could change as ESG investing gains pace elsewhere.Other ESG funds exclude sovereigns from their ESG criteria. The $126 million Brown Advisory Sustainable Bond Fund invests “at least 80%” of its funds in ESG-compliant debt, and then also holds securities from the U.S. government and international government entities.“We aim to achieve as close to 100% positive impact in the fund as we can,” said Amy Hauter, a portfolio manager at Baltimore-based Brown Advisory. “Since we do not view Treasuries as having a materially positive ESG impact, we invest in these securities minimally and primarily for liquidity and duration management.”Treasuries QuandaryRobeco and Hermes Investment Management are among investors that don’t explicitly exclude Treasuries from sustainable funds, partly because they are focused on corporate rather than sovereign borrowers. Hermes recently launched a range of funds that aims to change the behavior of high-yield issuers in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.ESG investors are aware that boycotting Treasuries, or other major nations’ debt, may not impact state policies. That’s because countries can easily sell notes to a host of other investors and because there is no major history of governments responding to bondholders’ non-financial concerns.“It is far more difficult to lobby an overseas government on changing policy than an individual company that a fund may be able to meet face-to-face,” said Graeme Anderson, who is chairman of TwentyFour Asset Management and is leading the investment firm’s ESG efforts. “All investors have different opinions on what ESG means, but you have to be realistic.”(Updates with Treasuries yield in sixth paragraph, Brown Advisory comment in 12th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Mark Tannenbaum.To contact the reporter on this story: Alice Gledhill in London at agledhill@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Vivianne Rodrigues at vrodrigues3@bloomberg.net, Neil Denslow, Hannah BenjaminFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


  • Were Hedge Funds Right About Piling Into Copart, Inc. (CPRT)?

    Hedge Funds and other institutional investors have just completed filing their 13Fs with the Securities and Exchange Commission, revealing their equity portfolios as of the end of June. At Insider Monkey, we follow nearly 750 active hedge funds and notable investors and by analyzing their 13F filings, we can determine the stocks that they are […]


  • Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On Diamondback Energy Inc (FANG)

    After several tireless days we have finished crunching the numbers from nearly 750 13F filings issued by the elite hedge funds and other investment firms that we track at Insider Monkey, which disclosed those firms' equity portfolios as of June 28. The results of that effort will be put on display in this article, as […]


(ARA) - Tax season is in full swing. Taxpayers receiving a refund tend to file earlier in the year, while those who owe Uncle Sam often wait until closer to the filing deadline. Whether you file now or wait until the last minute, make tax time easier with these tips.

Start by collecting all your tax documents and information, including W-2s, 1098s, 1099s, receipts and a copy of last year's return. Worried about forgetting something? Use a tax return checklist like the one offered at www.taxact.com/checklist.

Take a few minutes to get familiar with key tax law changes and expiring tax breaks. Notable changes this year include an increase in the standard deduction and standard mileage rates, and an end to the Making Work Pay Credit. A great place to start is by reading the one-page section called "What's New for 2011" in IRS Publication 17 at www.irs.gov.

Do your own taxes using an online or downloadable tax preparation solution. Products are designed for both tax experts and novices, guiding you step by step through your entire return, as well as your credits and deductions. The programs do the math, complete the forms and identify possible errors for you. If you need help from a tax expert, top solutions provide easy, in some cases free, answers.

Although these easy-to-use solutions do the hard work for you, remember they can't necessarily catch your data entry errors. Common errors include incorrect Social Security numbers, misspelled last names, and incorrect bank account numbers for direct deposit. Spend an extra minute or two checking this information to avoid rejection of your return.

It's common to spend upwards of $50 for a tax preparation solution, but there are quality free solutions. Compare free products carefully, as there are important differences. Many experts consider TaxACT to be the most complete free federal product, as it includes all e-fileable forms, free e-file, and free tax help. If you're changing solutions or filing for the first time, TaxACT in particular makes your experience easier with data import and fast start options. You can usually try online products risk-free, so you may find it worthwhile to take a couple for a test drive.

Electronically file your return. More than 100 million taxpayers chose this easy, convenient, and safe way to submit their federal returns last year. E-filed returns are processed faster than paper returns, and e-filers receive confirmation when their returns are processed, usually within minutes. If you owe taxes, you can e-file at any time and schedule payment via electronic funds withdrawal or credit card up until the filing deadline. Most states encourage e-filed returns.

If you're among the three out of four Americans who receive a refund from the IRS, e-file and select direct deposit for the fastest receipt. Your refund can be deposited directly into up to three accounts in as few as eight days (instead of six to eight weeks for mailed checks).

The deadline for filing tax year 2011 federal and most state income tax returns is Tuesday, April 17, 2012. Although you have a couple extra days to file, don't wait until the last minute. Rushing can result in data entry errors, and carefully reviewing tax credit and deduction information could end up saving you money. If you've experienced major life changes over the last year, allot extra time to make sure you get all your tax benefits.

If you need more time to file, simply file IRS Form 4868 for an automatic six-month extension to file. Keep in mind an extension does not extend your time to pay, so pay as much as possible by April 17. Filing late will land you a 5 percent per month penalty, up to a maximum for 25 percent of the unpaid balance, and the failure-to-pay penalty is 0.5 percent per month. Call the IRS to discuss payment plans and options if you can't pay your bill in full.

More tax tips and information can be found at www.irs.gov. To learn more about TaxACT and its Free Federal Edition, visit www.taxact.com.Tips for making tax time easier
Category: Business