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donald trump

President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested a "big surprise" in store on the Senate Republican healthcare bill, a day after its progress stalled in the chamber.

"Healthcare is working along very well. We're gonna have a big surprise," Trump said during an event in the White House with the Chicago Cubs. "We have a great healthcare package."

When asked for clarification, Trump replied, "We're going to have a great, great surprise."

The comments came a day after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell delayed a vote on the GOP bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, due to divisions between the conservative and moderate wings of the party.

Moderates believe the bill goes too far in its cuts to programs like Medicaid, while conservatives say it does not go far enough in repealing Obamacare.

Trump also held a meeting with the full Senate Republican conference on Tuesday, accounts of which suggested the president seemed to not grasp some of the basics of the healthcare bill.

McConnell is aiming to get an revised agreement on the legislation by Friday before the week-long July 4 recess so the Congressional Budget Office can score it over the break. That would set the bill up for a vote the week of July 10.

GOP senators on Wednesday hinted that such a deal was not close.

Sen. Rand Paul, a conservative holdout, told reporters the conference is at an "impasse." Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate hold out, said she still had serious, fundamental issues with the bill.

When asked if an agreement on the healthcare bill would be ready by Friday, Sen. John McCain told reporters: "Pigs could fly."

Watch Trump's comments below:


SEE ALSO: 'Trump doesn't bring us any votes': Trump appears to be losing influence on healthcare

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 'Where is Sean?': Things got awkward when April Ryan asked Sarah Sanders why Spicer didn’t attend the WH briefing

wealthy anonymous top hat

Distribution matters.

The United States has long taken pride in being the richest nation in the world. It remains so despite China’s quick game of catch-up and much larger population, at least when it comes to the broadest measure of a country’s economic output, gross domestic product (GDP).

Yet deep inequalities, which became a hot-button political issue in the wake of a deep recession and financial crisis that highlighted those disparities, paint a different picture of how well off most Americans really are.

Research from Berkeley economists has found incomes at the top 0.001% of the income strata surged a whopping 636% between 1980 and 2014, while wages for the bottom half of the population were basically stuck in place. 

Critics of that body of work say its use of pre-tax data masks some of the equalizing effects of the tax code, and thus overstates inequality. If that were indeed the case, a look at the distribution of wealth as opposed to just income, while harder to measure, could be a better barometer as to the true state of America’s social divide.

This chart courtesy of Deutsch Bank economist Torsten Slok shows the picture with regards to wealth is even bleaker. The richest 10% of families are worth a combined $51 trillion, equal to 75% of total household wealth. To put that figure in perspective, US GDP totaled $18.5 trillion in 2016. 


DB Wealth inequality

SEE ALSO: This eye-popping chart on inequality is a slap in the face of America’s middle class

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

(Reuters) - The S&P 500 on Wednesday was on pace for its biggest one-day percentage gain in about two months as financial and tech stocks led a broad market rebound.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Latest on Republican legislation to repeal and replace the Obama health care law (all times local):...

EU starts listing how to treat every traded item at precise moment of UK departure

Markets whipsawed as central bank chiefs hit snags in attempts to steer expectations

NEW YORK (AP) -- Twice in the space of six weeks, the world has suffered major attacks of ransomware - malicious software that locks up photos and other files stored on your computer, then demands money to release them....

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Samsung is investing $380 million in South Carolina to manufacture home appliances, creating an estimated 950 jobs over the next three years, state and company officials announced Wednesday....

Banks and other financial companies led U.S. stocks higher in afternoon trading Wednesday as the market bounced back from losses a day earlier. Technology stocks were among the big gainers. Energy companies also rose as the price of crude oil headed higher. Utilities and real estate companies lagged the broader market rally....

mary barra

Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas has lately been more bullish on General Motors, even as traditional car companies have seen their stock prices hammered while investors rush into upstarts such as Tesla, whose shares have surged almost 80% this year.

Morgan Stanley was involved with GM's recent proxy battle with Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn, so Jonas wasn't commenting on the carmaker.

But in a note published Wednesday, he resumed coverage with an "overweight" rating and a $40 price target (GM is now trading at $35).

Jonas also articulated a "bull case," however, which would see GM rising to $50. But that would depend on some aggressive business moves.

"While GM management in our view appear highly aware and attuned to the challenges and opportunities facing OEMs, they have not commented on specific subsequent transactions to exit, monetize or spin any of its specific businesses," he wrote.

"We believe that during this formative time of technology and business model change investors may show a willingness to value GM on the basis of some of its more valuable assets over the next 12-18 months."

You don't have to read between the lines there to realize what Jonas is suggesting. And this isn't the first time he's argued that GM could be broken up. He raised the issue earlier this year, months before Greenlight proposed that GM offer two new classes of shares, one for capital appreciation and growth, the other for dividend investors (the plan was shot down at GM's annual meeting this month).

Auto 1.0 to Auto 2.0

GM vs. Wall Street Chart

The last major spinoff in the auto industry, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' IPO of Ferrari in 2015, has returned 119% over the past 12 months, making it the best-performing stock in the sector. That's certainly influencing Jonas' thinking, something that's been confirmed by his questions for FCA and Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne about additional spinoffs (namely, Jeep).

For GM, Jonas wants to fit the automaker into his "Auto 1.0-to-Auto 2.0" thesis.

"Quite simply, we believe GM has a number of assets and businesses that are of potentially high strategic value to outside players or partners who are keen on entering the global mobility space," he wrote.

"We also believe there are steps that, hypothetically, can be taken to unlock hidden tech value at GM while maintaining some degree of benefit to the remaining business ... through commercial or ownership arrangements."

A few years back, GM would have balked at the idea of selling off chinks of itself. But under the leadership of CEO Mary Barra, the company has focused on maximizing its return on investment and has been ruthless about shedding underperforming assets, most recently in nearly 100-year-old European division, Opel/Vauxhall, which is sold to Peugeot for about $2 billion.

GM has also established a new brand, Maven, to market car-sharing and mobility to younger, urban customers, and the company is rolling out a ride-hailing initiative with Lyft after investing $500 million in startup. Either of these businesses could grow more rapidly than the legacy business and be a candidate for a spinoff. 

SEE ALSO: Morgan Stanley's top auto analyst suggests GM could be broken up

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NOW WATCH: A Tesla bull makes his case: 'We think it's real .... it's a good car. That's not a fluke'

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian courts can force internet search leader Google to remove results worldwide, the country's top court ruled on Wednesday, drawing criticism from civil liberties groups arguing such a move sets a precedent for censorship on the internet.

ZURICH/LONDON (Reuters) - Nestle's plan to shore up its capital structure, announced only days after being thrust into the spotlight by activist shareholder Third Point, was received by investors as a precursor to bigger changes under the company's new leadership.

warren buffettWelcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. 

If stock traders truly believed the Federal Reserve's assertion that the economy is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates, they would be fleeing from stocks offering high yields. It's doing the opposite.

In other words, the stock market is sending a crucial message to Janet Yellen

Elsewhere in markets news, ETFs are being unfairly blamed for one of the market's biggest problems. The tech stock Illuminati are getting too much credit. And there are "cracks emerging" in the calmest market in years.

Things could get messy if oil drops below $40, according to UBS. And US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that she does not believe that there will be a run on the banking system at least as long as she lives.

In Wall Street news, the hedge funder who had long hoped to work for Trump finally got a job. An activist investor called out 50 stocks, and then most of them tanked. Britain's financial regulator hits the "nuclear button" in its crackdown on the £7 trillion asset management industry.

And potential jurors in Martin Shkreli's trial have called him "evil" and a "snake" — and it's becoming a problem

In deal news, Blue Apron slashed its IPO range. The deal is supposed to price tonight, and start trading on Thursday. 

In healthcare news:

And in tech news:

Lastly, the new king of New York power lunching has arrived — here's what it's like to eat there.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: JIM ROGERS: The Fed is clueless and is setting us up for disaster

Singapore sovereign fund and HgCapital increase stakes in Nordic cloud service

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Barely five months into office, President Donald Trump keeps taking time out from governing to run for re-election....

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul on Wednesday sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell outlining requests for changes to the GOP healthcare bill.

Taken together, they are a prime example of why the bill will be so hard to pass even as leaders try to placate divided factions of the party and amend the legislation by Friday.

Paul announced that he would not support the current Senate bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), soon after it was released because it did not go far enough in its repeal of Obamacare.

Here's a quick rundown of the four key changes Paul is seeking in the bill:

  1. Create association health plans: This would allow groups of people to band together and create their own risk pool to access health insurance coverage. The current bill allows self-employed people to sign onto small business plans — Paul wants this expanded.
  2. Reduce spending on "insurance company bail outs": The Senate bill currently includes funding that would help insurers offset costs for low-income Americans in the individual insurance market and a state stability fund that can be used to reduce premiums and expand coverage. Paul said these merely help to grow insurance companies' profits.
  3. Eliminate premium tax credits: The current BCRA would give people making between 100% and 350% of the federal poverty line money to buy insurance. In the letter, Paul asked McConnell "to reconsider the advanced, refundable nature of this entitlement."
  4. Eliminate the continuous coverage requirement: The BCRA includes a provision that says anyone who goes without insurance for more than 63 consecutive days in a year must wait six months in the following year before they can get access to coverage again. Paul said this constituted another version of Obamacare's individual mandate and asked McConnell to "simply allow insurance companies to impose a waiting period."

Paul's policy goals are consistent with the conservative message he has touted since the release of the House's version of healthcare reform.

Politically, however, none of the requests are likely tenable if McConnell wants to get the needed 50 votes to pass the BCRA.

More moderate senators, like Dean Heller of Nevada, Susan Collins of Maine, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Rob Portman of Ohio have publicly said they would not support the current iteration of the bill because it goes too far in some of its changes to the current healthcare system. The Medicaid cuts are too deep, and the spending to help people get access to care is not enough, these senators have said.

If McConnell meets Paul's demands, that would likely solidify those four members opposition, killing the bill.

But attempting to pick up the moderate wing also poses a problem. Losing Paul could mean that conservative senators like Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin would follow. McConnell can only afford two defections for the bill to pass.

McConnell is reportedly aiming to get a deal done by Friday in order to get a vote on the revised bill as soon as the Senate returns from its week-long July 4 recess.

SEE ALSO: 'Trump doesn't bring us any votes': Trump appears to be losing influence on healthcare

Join the conversation about this story »

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Trump administration keen to keep US nuclear group out of Chinese or Russian hands

GM self-driving bolt

Self-driving cars are every car maker's dream market right now.

Owning a share of the "Auto 2.0" market before it takes off means company's shares would have the chance to rise along with the popularity of self-driving cars. Morgan Stanley's Adam Jonas thinks General Motors has just that opportunity.

In a research note sent out to clients on Wednesday, Jonas reinstates his firm's coverage of GM. His basic argument is that by starting new partnerships and ending some old ones, GM will be able to position itself to outpace competitors in the growing self-driving car market.

Jonas uses a sum-of-the-parts valuation to figure out how much GM shares could jump. By adding up what he thinks all aspects of GM's business are worth, Jonas comes to a market cap valuation of $60.36 billion, about 16.14% higher than its current valuation.

To get there, though, GM will have to make some changes. The company recently demonstrated its willingness to cash in the value of old assets. The company recently sold its Opel division in an attempt to narrow its focus. Opel was not one of GM's most valuable assets in the context of the connected self-driving cars.

According to Jonas, that is the type of transaction that will grow GM's business.

"After years of claiming the OPEL business was critical to the company's global platform strategy in small cars and diesel engines (while suffering billions on losses), the company surprised the market with its decision to completely exit the business through the divestiture to PSA," he wrote.

Jonas called the move "highly significant" and said while neither he nor his team have any indications that GM's management is actively trying to sell off other parts of its business, they do think selling Opel signals the company's willingness to dump underperforming assets to better focus on the future.

Jonas also mentions the ability for GM to unlock value by focusing on improving its technology research.

GM vehicles travel roughly 2.5 billion miles a day, according to Jonas. That's enormous compared to Uber's 100 million miles and Tesla's 5 million miles. The problem is that GM records very little of the information that could be gathered from driving these miles. If the company could begin collecting driving data from a just portion of those 2.5 billion miles, it could use the information on its own or sell it for a profit.

Jonas issued a $40 price target for GM shares. The stock has fallen by 1.42% this year.

Click here to watch GM's stock price in real time...

General motors price chart



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NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

PARIS (AP) -- The Latest on a widespread cyberattack that is affecting companies and government systems (all times local):...

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(Reuters) - Package delivery company FedEx Corp said on Wednesday operations in its TNT Express unit were disrupted after its information systems were hit by a virus attack.

Rome threatens to stop foreign rescue boats from docking unless other nations do more

Politicians in Kiev blame Kremlin as several large companies struggle to fight virus

trader incredulous accused

As the world's fastest-growing investment product, exchange-traded funds are a lightning rod for both effusive praise and cutting criticism.

On one hand, they provide an easy, low-cost way for investors to get diversified exposure to a number of markets. On the other, they funnel traders into many of the same companies, leaving stocks not included in ETFs fighting for relevance.

This latter argument is the basis for one complaint about ETFs: that they're homogenizing the market, and sapping it of price swings so crucial to generating returns for traders.

Goldman Sachs is calling BS.

They say that if passive funds were actually causing the ongoing low-volatility conundrum, correlations between stocks would be much higher. The logic goes that stocks bundled and traded together would move in tandem.

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 11.14.09 AM

They're not. In fact, realized correlation is currently sitting at its lowest level since the start of the eight-year bull market, according to data compiled by Goldman.

"Passive flows into broad indexes are not lifting all stocks in a uniform fashion," a group of Goldman derivatives strategists led by John Marshall wrote in a client note. "Rather, the fact that correlations have been low in the S&P 500 — despite the strong inflows from passive — have been supportive of a low realized volatility environment at the index level."

At present time, the low-volatility conundrum is among the hottest debates raging in global markets. In addition to active management being hamstrung by a lack of price swings, traders betting directly on volatility are having a tough time.

Many investors, thinking volatility has nowhere to go but up from historically low levels, have wasted money betting on price swings that haven't materialized. Meanwhile, traders wagering on lower volatility have found their position increasingly crowded, which has spurred pain on the rare occasions the CBOE Volatility Index — or VIX — has spiked.

The VIX is currently sitting at 10.11, close to the lowest on record and almost 50% below its average since the start of the bull market.

Count Sanford C. Bernstein among the firms not particularly worried either way. They attribute low equity volatility to muted realized price swings, and urge investors to be wary of attributing the low VIX to complacency.

"Yes, we should expect volatility to rise, but as long as that happens in a controlled way in response to an evolution in the cycle," a group of quantitative strategists at Sanford C. Bernstein wrote in a client note on Wednesday. "Then we see no reason why that, by itself, leads to a bearish implication for the market."

SEE ALSO: The tech stock illuminati leading the market higher are getting too much credit

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Senate GOP leaders scrambled Wednesday for a deal to revive their health care legislation, but encountered new obstacles as recalcitrant senators doubled down on their opposition to the bill sought by President Donald Trump....

Government hunts for rogue policeman as opposition claims raid was staged

(Reuters) - Beef Products Inc has settled a closely watched defamation lawsuit against American Broadcasting Co and its reporter Jim Avila, the meat processor said on Wednesday.

Peter Orszag

Washington might have just solved the problem of high drug prices. But the road to that would be incredibly painful.

It's an argument laid out in an unsettling column for Bloomberg by former Office of Management and Budget head Peter Orszag titled, "One Nightmare Scenario in Senate Bill: Drug Rationing."

"Senate Republicans may not realize it, but their repeal-and-replace health-care legislation, if passed, would set the U.S. on the road to European-style price controls and rationing of prescription medications. This would follow fairly directly from the enormous cuts to Medicaid that the bill would impose," he writes.

To be clear, Orszag isn't writing this because he thinks it's a merit of the bill that's aimed at repealing Obamacare. It's an unintended consequence, he says, and Orszag is one of President' Barack Obama's guys. 

But the scenario he lays out is fairly simple: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Federal spending on Medicare will fall by 25% by 2026 under this bill. After that Federal health care funding to states would increase at the rate of inflation, which is an estimated 2% less than the rate of healthcare cost inflation.

You can see how this problem could start to run away from state governments, especially those already suffering from budget constraints.

So Orszag, who now the global co-head of healthcare at investment bank Lazard, thinks that states will have to go into emergency mode, pulling back on big costs like prescription meds. After all, according to the Center for Sustainable Rx Pricing, prescription drugs now make up almost 20% of healthcare costs.

This would hit drug companies and patients subject to drug rationing alike. 

For more on this, read Orszag's full column>> 

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NOW WATCH: We drove a brand-new Tesla Model X from San Francisco to New York — here's what happened

Twenty years after the handover, many younger residents no longer feel Chinese as divisions deepen with the mainland

(Reuters) - Blue Apron Holdings Inc slashed its valuation expectations for its initial public offering by a third on Wednesday, as's $13.7 billion deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc weighed on prospects for the meal-kit industry.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Homeland Security Department is set to announce new security measures Wednesday for international flights bound to the United States, which could lead to a lifting of a ban on laptops and other electronics from passenger cabins from certain airports....

Sundar Pichai Google

Google was served the biggest antitrust fine in history by the European Commission Tuesday.

The $2.7 billion fine was aimed at Google's shopping practices, which the EC deemed unfair to Google's competition. Macquarie Research thinks that while the practice probably is unfair, the fine severely limits Google's ability to refine and improve its core product, which could mean big headwinds for Google in Europe.

The recent fine dealt directly with how Google shows shopping results at the top of the search, but the company is also facing antitrust investigations into its Android operating system and AdSense advertising platform. Macquarie argues in a recent note to clients that the recent decision to fine Google is a basic assault on its ability to do business in the EU.

Here is the firm's argument in a nutshell.

"In our view, the key issue here is that the EC is first making the (likely correct) determination that Google is dominant in general internet search markets throughout the European Economic Area. It is then, in effect, stating that if Google improves its services within is general offering (e.g., adding shopping services, or potentially a host of other features), then these improvements are harming competitors unfairly. We see this as misguided given that, in our view, Google should (and must) continually improve its offerings if it is to provide consumers and advertisers more useful features. We think improving its product is a good thing even if it means others do not rank as highly as they otherwise might have in the search engine results page," Macquarie wrote.

This argument makes sense. Every company is working to make its products and services more popular. Google put its shopping results at the top of its search page because it had seemingly put a lot of work into the shopping results algorithm and believed it would provide the best results for its users. Thinking in this way is what got Google to its dominant position.

What the EC is arguing then, is that because Google favors itself in its own products, it is anticompetitive simply because of its search engine dominance. This isn't necessarily wrong, but it shows that the EC values a fair market more than good products. A valid choice in a hard decision.

Google Shopping

For Google, Macquarie argues the shopping decision will ripple across the company's entire ecosystem. "Our biggest concern is once the EC takes this stance that by including more functionality in its core offering that Google is acting illegally, it opens the door to potentially even more far-reaching remedies and challenges to Google," Macquarie wrote.

Google has to place something in its search results. When Google chooses its own shopping service to place at the top of results, it is denying other search comparison companies access to that top spot.

This is really powerful. Citing the EC, Macquarie said that the top result in Google's search results receives 35% of the traffic, and moving that search result to the third position means the result received 50% less traffic. The EC claims that that means it's not the relevance of information that drives traffic, but the position in search. Google agrees with this logic, but not with its conclusion.

"GOOG claims that the EU’s decision underestimates the value that GOOG’s features provides users, and that customers usually prefer links that take them directly to the products themselves, not to other websites where they have to repeat their search," Macquarie wrote.

"Google’s response also points to other online retail platforms like Amazon and eBay, who have their own comparison tools, and particularly cites AMZN as being a “first port of call ” for product searches. Essentially, Google’s response is that large online retailers like Amazon and eBay are its real competition in this space, not legacy comparison sites (where GOOG believes its functionality is superior for both third-party retailers and customers), and in that broader e-commerce landscape, we think GOOG clearly does not have a dominant position."

Google may still appeal the decision, according to Macquarie. If it does, it would be arguing that a better product which serves users is more important than allowing fair competition on the platform. More broadly, it would be arguing its right to develop its product however the company sees fit, even as its dominant position means these developments can have an outsized impact on competitors.

Even if Google doesn't appeal, it is still fighting two other antitrust cases in the EU, regarding Android and AdSense. Both of these other cases come down to the same basic principle. Given the recent outcome, Macquarie still rates Alphabet, Google's parent company, a buy with a price target of $995 that is 2.4% higher than Alphabet's current price.

Google's stock slipped after the decision Tuesday, along with general FAANG stocks. Google is trading flat on Wednesday.

Click here to watch Google's stock price in real time...

Google stock price

SEE ALSO: Google's record-breaking antitrust fine is sending the stock slipping

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains the key issues that Trump needs to address to boost the economy

san francisco

Investors and wealthier shoppers are pricing first-time homebuyers out of the market.

After the 2008 reset of the housing market, prices have recovered — but at a much faster pace than wages. The S&P Dow Jones index that tracks home prices in 20 major cities like San Francisco and Chicago set a record for a fifth straight month in April, the latest month of data available.

That's because there aren't enough houses for all the prospective buyers, especially at affordable prices.

"The lack of listings in the affordable price range are creating lopsided conditions in many areas where investors and repeat buyers with larger down payments are making up a bulk of the sales activity," said Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.

With fewer affordable homes available to younger first-time buyers, sales are slowing. The NAR said on Wednesday that pending home sales, which track contracts that have been signed but not closed, fell in May for a third straight month.

"Many prospective first-time buyers can't catch a break," Yun said. Prices are going up and there's intense competition for the homes they're financially able to purchase."

Cyndi Lesinski, a realtor based in Los Angeles, said it was typical for homes priced under $550,000 to get multiple offers and move off the market anywhere from within 24 hours and two weeks.


"We had somebody right away," Lesinski said about her most recent listing, which was expected to close Wednesday.

"I listed it as a 'coming soon,' and we accepted an offer the day that we actually put it in as an active listing."

But it's not always the highest offer that closes the deal, Lesinski said. Sometimes it comes down to how well a buyer's agent is able to negotiate other terms and conditions.

It would be great to see an increase in new condo developments in the $450,000-to-$550,000 price range, Lesinksi said, though builders have focused on more expensive housing to get more bang for their buck. The National Association of Homebuilders, however, has repeatedly said land and labor shortages limit how much new housing can be added to the market.

So, maybe "we could all move to Ohio to all the towns that are depressed and dying," Lesinski said. "There's a lot of empty houses there."

SEE ALSO: Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway just made a big bet on real estate

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NOW WATCH: An economist explains what could happen if Trump pulls the US out of NAFTA

GANZHOU, China (AP) -- A worker with blood dripping from his head marked a low point in the tense, grinding life at a southeastern China factory used by Ivanka Trump and other fashion brands. An angry manager had hit him with the sharp end of a high-heeled shoe....

dean heller susan collins donald trump

President Donald Trump made the pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare one of the key issues of his 2016 election campaign. But as Republicans try in earnest to make good on that promise, Trump appears to be losing influence.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that GOP leadership would delay a vote on its healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, until after the weeklong July 4 recess because of a lack of support among Republican lawmakers.

Nine members of the party have publicly said they would not vote for the bill in its current form. McConnell can lose only two votes for the BCRA to pass, as all Democrats are expected to oppose it.

But Trump apparently isn't helping GOP members get to "yes." In contrast to his hard sell on the House healthcare bill, The Washington Post and The New York Times published reports late Tuesday saying Trump had done little to get the reluctant GOP senators to come to an agreement.

According to The Times' Glenn Thrush and Jonathan Martin, Trump has been "on the sidelines" during the Senate negotiations.

In fact, one Republican senator in favor of the BCRA told The Times that the president "did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan" during a meeting with all of the GOP members on Tuesday. The senator also said Trump was confused when a moderate expressed concern that the bill would be seen as a tax break for the rich.

A Tax Policy Center analysis showed that the top 0.1% of earners in America would receive, on average, a $207,390 tax break from the BCRA.

The Times also reported that Republican senators, including McConnell, expressed frustration with ads from a pro-Trump nonprofit group attacking GOP Sen. Dean Heller for going against the BCRA. Heller is up for reelection in Nevada come 2018 and faces an uphill battle in a state Democrat Hillary Clinton won in last year's presidential election.

A senior Republican close to both the Senate and the White House also told The Post that Republican lawmakers thought Trump was a "paper tiger" and did not mind going "their own way."

The lack of deference, according to The Post, comes from a feeling among lawmakers that Trump lacks an understanding of policy and that his low approval numbers do not give him much political capital.

"Trump doesn't bring us any votes. He just doesn't," a source close to McConnell told Politico.

Donald Trump

Sen. Susan Collins, a moderate GOP holdout on the Senate legislation, also criticized Trump's approach to the process while talking with reporters on Tuesday after the delay was announced.

"This president is the first president in our history who has had neither political nor military experience," Collins said. "Thus, it has been a challenge to him to learn how to interact with Congress and how to push his agenda forward. I also believe it would have been better had the president started with infrastructure, which has bipartisan support, rather than tackling a political divisive and technically complicated issue like healthcare."

Lawmakers were already wary of Trump's turnaround on the House bill. In just a few weeks, the president went from a White House Rose Garden ceremony celebrating the bill's passage to calling the bill "mean" during a private meeting with senators. Trump last weekend confirmed in a national TV interview that he called the bill "mean."

Trump's comments have become a rallying point for Democrats' attacks on the GOP healthcare effort and have already appeared in political ads.

Trump used Twitter on Wednesday morning to push back on the Times and Post reports.

"The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don't even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!" Trump tweeted. "Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare. Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S."

Trump also attacked The Post as "the guardian of Amazon not paying internet taxes" and "FAKE NEWS."

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Post privately, and the two entities do not have a business connection. Tax experts have debunked Trump's suggestion that The Post helps Amazon avoid taxes.

SEE ALSO: Trump admits that Senate Republicans may not pass Obamacare repeal bill, 'and that's okay'

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17:52 Ethereum explodes above $300 (Business Insider)

Ethereum is exploding higher Wednesday, trading up by 32% at $299.70. It hit a high of $308 earlier in the session.

The climb back above the $300 level comes just less than a week after a flash crash on the Global Digital Asset Exchange pushed Ethereum's price down to as low as $0.10 before it quickly recouped its losses. After initially saying customers would not be refunded, GDAX reversed course and said those affected would be made whole.

Despite the big run-up from the flash-crash low, Ethereum still remains well below its all-time high of $419.30, set June 12. It is up by close to 3,600% in 2017.


SEE ALSO: John McAfee's latest gambit is mining Ethereum — the cryptocurrency that's up nearly 4,000% this year

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Oil prices are rising after higher than expected oil inventory numbers.

Data from the Energy Information Administration show a slight increase of 0.118 million barrels, compared to Wall Street's expected draw of 2.585 million barrels from the US commercial crude inventories.

The previous report showed a reduction of 2.451 million barrels.

Oil is rising after the news. Futures for West Texas Intermediate are up 0.45% after the news, and Brent oil futures are up 0.60%.

The price increase is sending oil away from $40, which one Wall Street bank thinks could be the limit that sends a lot of companies' profits into a tailspin. 

Click here to watch the price of oil live...

oil price

SEE ALSO: UBS: Things could get messy if oil drops below $40

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Governor says some stimulus removal likely to be needed if investment and wages strengthen


There's no denying that stock market returns have been dominated by an elite group of mega-cap tech stocks over the past few months. 

Whether or not those torrid returns are fully justified is another matter entirely.

While so-called FAAMG stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Google — make up 13% of S&P 500 market cap, they only account for 6% of revenue and 10% of earnings, according to Goldman Sachs data.

Because the group represents such a small portion of revenue, even aggressively strong sales growth for FAAMG will fail to make much of an impact on overall S&P 500 earnings. Goldman finds that a 100-basis-point expansion in net margin for each of the five stocks would produce just 70 total cents of additional earnings for the benchmark.

Therein lies the disconnect between the extent to which FAAMG has been rewarded by the market, and how much credit the group truly deserves. After all, profit expansion has historically been the biggest driver of stock gains, and Goldman describes FAAMG's potential impact as "limited."

But while Goldman has some reservations around investors blindly piling into FAAMG, it still recommends they hold an overweight position on tech. FAAMG receiving undue credit aside — the sector, along with financials, will still be the biggest driver of earnings growth this year, outside of energy.

In fact, the profit growth expected in tech and financials is a big part of Goldman's decision to raise its S&P 500 year-end price target to 2,400 from 2,300 on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2017 06 28 at 9.30.14 AM

The increase puts the firm right around consensus. On average, Wall Street strategists see the benchmark finishing the year at 2,414, according to a 19-person survey conducted by Bloomberg. It also implies that Goldman expects a decline of about 1% in the S&P 500 from Tuesday's closing level.

So where should investors be focusing their attention in a market that's expected to grind slowly lower?

Goldman advises picking stocks that typically beat the market during periods of modest economic growth. And to them that means companies forecast to boost revenue by double-digits in each of the next two years.

It's even gone as far as to highlight some tech stocks that fit the bill. The list includes Nvidia, Symantec, Qorvo and Broadcom.

Noticeably absent? FAAMG.

SEE ALSO: There are 'cracks emerging' in the calmest market in years

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LONDON (Reuters) - With world oil inventories swelling despite a global pact on cutting output and crude prices falling by a fifth in the past month, OPEC appears to be losing its battle to balance the market.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Investing is all about having an edge over the competition.

To gain that edge, Bank of America Merrill Lynch hired a team of research analysts, like a lot of investment banks do. These analysts scrub through earnings reports, keep up on the news, talk to company executives and more to try and predict which stocks are going up, and which are not worth your time.

Unless you are a hedge fund or investment bank, you probably don't have the money required to hire a big team of analysts to do research for you. Luckily, BAML's team is here to help.

The investment bank keeps a list of stocks called the US 1 list. The list is made up of the best investment ideas BAML has right now, all aimed at generating returns over the long run. 

The US 1 list was updated Tuesday to include one new stock while kicking out an old stock. The 23 stocks that follow represent what can only be hundreds of hours of work by the bank's analysts.

The most recent addition to the US 1 list is at the bottom, along with the stock BAML had to kick off the list. Other than that, the list is in no particular order.

Read below to find out which stocks made the cut ...

Facebook (FB)

Sector: Information Technology

Date added: 02/08/2017

Percent change since added: +14.45%

Click here to watch this stock live ...

Hess (HES)

Sector: Energy

Date added: 04/11/2017

Percent change since added: -18.19%

Click here to watch this stock live ...

Broadcom (AVGO)

Sector: Information Technology

Date added: 04/18/2017

Percent change since added: +14.40% 

Click here to watch this stock live ...

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Traders New York Stock Exchange NYSE

Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at JonesTrading, has an overview of markets this Wednesday:

  • Tech could continue its decline today. FAANG, AMD and Nvidia shares are all down premarket.
  • Most of the European markets are in the red this morning.
  • The euro is at its 2017 highs while the dollar sinks to its lowest since Trump's election.
  • Oil is under pressure as American Petroleum Institute supply data came in higher than expected.

Here's Lutz:

Good Morning!  US Futures are mixed, with Russell climbing 25bp, but Tech looks to continue yesterday’s sloppy action.  Nasdaq under small pressure, remaining under the 50d, with FAANG, AMD and NVDA all in the red early.  It’s pretty much a sea of red in Europe, where the DAX is down 50bp - Exporters lagging all across Europe and UK, while EU’s Tech Sector has dropped 1.6%.  FTSE performing a touch better, with a rally in Consumer and Miners keeping the FTSE green.   Technology Weakness led declines across Asia - Nikkei lost 50bp, but Insurers loved the higher sov yields - Shanghai lost 50bp - Hang Seng lost 60bp - Aussie bucked the trend, climbing 70bp as Miners and Banks rallied

Dollar nearing Election-night lows as Euro hits 2017 highs as peeps positon for start of ECB tapering - Bunds still under pressure, up another 2bp this AM, after climbing 11bp yesterday, that is pressing the US 10YY sharply higher the last 2 sessions, currently nearing 2.25%. The Curve is steepening as well, so that may add some upside to the Banks ahead of CCAR later today.  DXY weakness is broad-based, with Sterling back over $1.28 - Commodity Currencies acting well, with Canadian and Aussie Dollars rallying with commodities.   Ore jumped another 3% overnight, bringing 2day gains to near 9%, but Copper and Zinc under pressure early.  WTI and Brent under slight pressure as API data showed a much bigger build than anticipated.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know about the markets today

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warren buffett

Warren Buffett thinks the Republican healthcare bill has one goal: to help rich people like him.

During an interview with "PBS NewsHour" on Tuesday, the legendary investor presented his tax return from last year to show just how much he would save from the two proposed Republican plans (the House's American Health Care Act and the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act).

"Well, I brought my tax return along for the last year," Buffett told PBS' Judy Woodruff. "I filed this on April 15. And if the Republican — well, if the bill that passed the House with 217 votes had been in effect this year, I would have saved — I can give you the exact figure. I would have saved $679,999, or over 17% of my tax bill."

Both the House and Senate GOP bills repeal all of the taxes created by the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, which primarily fall on the wealthiest Americans. According to a study by the Tax Policy Center, the top 1% of earners in the US would see an average tax-bill decrease of $37,240 under the proposed healthcare bills. People in the top fifth of earners would get 64.2% of the benefit from the tax cut.

"There's nothing ambiguous about that," Buffett said. "I will be given a 17% tax cut. And the people it's directed at are couples with $250,000 or more of income. You could entitle this, you know, Relief for the Rich Act or something, because it — I have got friends where it would have saved them as much as — it gets into the $10-million-and-up figure."

Buffett also criticized Republicans for voting for a bill that would bring down their own taxes, saying most members of Congress make more than $250,000 a year.

"They have given themselves a big, big tax cut, if they — if they voted for this," the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said.

Buffett also reiterated his call for a single-payer system for healthcare, which he said would be "more effective."

You can watch the exchange below:

SEE ALSO: Trump admits that Senate Republicans may not pass Obamacare repeal bill, 'and that's okay'

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Financial Conduct Authority wants fund managers to overhaul charges and governance

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding is investing an additional $1 billion in Southeast Asian online retailer Lazada Group, boosting its stake by nearly a third to 83 percent and amplifying its focus on the region.

Other offshore centres bow to pressure to comply with international standards

Donald Trump Susan Collins Lisa Murkowski Orrin Hatch

President Donald Trump appeared to take issue Wednesday morning with a New York Times report on his involvement in the Senate healthcare bill.

"Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare. Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S.," Trump tweeted Wednesday morning.

The New York Times on Tuesday reported that Trump was "largely on the sidelines" during much of the debate surrounding the bill. One GOP senator who The Times said supported the bill and met with Trump on Tuesday told the paper that the president "did not have a grasp of some basic elements of the Senate plan."

Trump targeted the paper specifically in a tweet earlier Wednesday.

"The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me," Trump tweeted. "They don't even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!"

Senate Republican leaders on Tuesday shelved a plan to vote on their healthcare legislation by the end of the week after resistance from several members of the Senate GOP conference. They plan to revise the bill and work toward passage after the weeklong July 4 recess.

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Brussels’ €2.4bn fine could lead to damages cases and probes in other areas of search

Bashar al-Assad

Here is what you need to know.

Senate Republicans come out in furious force against the healthcare bill. Nine Senate Republicans, including Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, have said they oppose the first iteration of the bill. Only two can vote against the bill for it to pass.

The stock market is sending the Fed a crucial message. In a sign the market believes the economy may not be strong enough to withstand higher rates, companies in sectors that serve as bond proxies — telecom, utility, and real estate — were the only ones to see net buying last week, aside from industrials, data compiled by Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed.

Janet Yellen doesn't think we will see another financial crisis in our lifetimes. "Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we're much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don't believe it will be," Yellen said while speaking in London.

The euro hits a one-year high. The single currency hit 1.1388 on Wednesday, a day after upbeat comments from European Central Bank head Mario Draghi. "As the economy continues to recover, a constant policy stance will become more accommodative, and the central bank can accompany the recovery by adjusting the parameters of its policy instruments — not in order to tighten the policy stance, but to keep it broadly unchanged," Draghi said.

Iron ore has its biggest gain in 4 months. The commodity rallied by 5.2% in overnight action to $59.70 a tonne, logging its biggest gain since February 13. It has advanced in eight of the past nine sessions, tacking on 11.9% during the streak.

Facebook tops 2 billion users. CEO Mark Zuckerberg made the announcement on his personal Facebook page on Tuesday.

KB Home beats. The homebuilder announced earnings of $0.33 a share on revenue of $1 billion, both better than expected.

Stock markets around the world are mostly lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng (-0.61%) trailed in Asia, and Germany's DAX (-0.48%) lags in Europe. The S&P 500 is set to open up 0.30% near 2,427.

Earnings reports trickle out. General Mills and Monsanto are among the names reporting ahead of the opening bell.

US economic data is light. Pending home sales will be released at 10 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is up by 4 basis points at 2.24%.

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HOUSTON (Reuters) - Halliburton Co is in late-stage talks to acquire a fast-growing U.S. oilfield equipment supplier backed by Oklahoma energy and banking billionaire George Kaiser, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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