Last 50 business news - ziare.eclub.ro

Publicaţii pe locaţii

Centrale (48)
Diaspora (16)
Republica Moldova (8)
Bucureşti (74)
Alba (6)
Arad (8)
Argeş (13)
Bacău (4)
Bihor (8)
Bistriţa-Năsăud (7)
Botoşani (6)
Braşov (8)
Brăila (5)
Buzău (3)
Caraş-Severin (6)
Călăraşi (6)
Cluj (24)
Constanţa (16)
Covasna (2)
Dâmboviţa (9)
Dolj (8)
Galaţi (5)
Giurgiu (2)
Gorj (9)
Harghita (1)
Hunedoara (5)
Ialomiţa (2)
Iaşi (12)
Maramureş (8)
Mehedinţi (5)
Mureş (11)
Neamţ (4)
Olt (3)
Prahova (11)
Satu-Mare (4)
Sălaj (6)
Sibiu (10)
Suceava (7)
Teleorman (2)
Timiş (17)
Tulcea (3)
Vaslui (5)
Vâlcea (11)
Vrancea (6)

tricouri funny
Austrian import hub blast adds to supply woes after North Sea pipeline shutdown


If the House Republican tax bill became law, victims of hurricanes in Texas and Florida who've yet to account for all their losses could deduct them on their 2018 taxes. Not so for victims of the California wildfires....


NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow industrials registered record closing highs on Tuesday with a boost from bank stocks as investors eyed a potential cut in U.S. corporate taxes and continued economic growth after strong inflation data.


SYDNEY/MELBOURNE/PARIS (Reuters) - Europe's biggest property firm Unibail-Rodamco is to buy U.S. and UK mall operator Westfield Corp for $16 billion, in a defensive move to create a global leader in a sector grappling with the online shopping challenge led by Amazon .


SEATTLE (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc's new electric Semi trucks, the largest known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday.


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Virtual currency bitcoin hit another all-time peak on Tuesday, two days after the launch of the first ever bitcoin futures on a U.S. exchange and ahead of the start of another futures contract next week, as investors grew optimistic that the $20,000-mark is within reach.


trader celebration

US stocks climbed to a record high ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting on Wednesday, where the central bank is expected to announce a 25-basis-point rate hike.

The S&P 500 increased 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.5% and the more tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 slid 0.2%.

First up, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 24,515.08, +129.05, (+0.53%)
  • S&P 500: 2,664.52, +4.52, (+0.17%)
  • Nasdaq: 6,861.65, -13.57, (-0.19%)
  • US 10-year yield: 2.40%, +0.018
  • WTI crude oil: $57.21, -$0.78, -1.35%

1. Bank of America says the bull market has plenty of 'gas in the tank'. The firm's technical team says the S&P 500 could hit 3,000 by the end of 2018, and compares the chart for 2018 to the one from 2014, when the market gained 11%.

2. America's small businesses haven't been this pumped up since the 'roaring Reagan economy'. A measure of US small business optimism hit its highest level since 1983 last month, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey.

3. A $200 billion quant fund says one of the biggest concerns about how companies will spend their tax savings is overblown. AQR Capital argues against the idea that share buybacks don't help the economy, calling it a myth.

4. Goldman Sachs says Bitcoin hasn't taken a bite out of demand for gold. Jeffrey Currie, the firm's global head of commodities research, said that the groups of investors looking to invest in the two assets are vastly different, therefore protecting gold demand.

5. Shopping mall owner Westfield sells itself for $15.7 billion. France's Unibail-Rodamco has agreed to buy the company in what would be the biggest takeover of an Australian company on record.

ADDITIONALLY:

Brent crude oil zooms higher after a major European pipeline is shut

A top exec at trading giant Virtu is out

Bitcoin just set yet another record high

BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed

Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

SEE ALSO: BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to the bond chief at the $6 trillion fund giant BlackRock about the most important issue for markets right now



The view from inside AImotive's test autonomous vehicle during Troy Wolverton's ride near Mountain View, California on Tuesday, December 5, 2017.

  • AImotive is developing self-driving car technology that relies on inexpensive cameras, rather than a pricey Lidar system.
  • The company recently began testing a car equipped with its technology in Silicon Valley.
  • I got a test ride, and it was an unnerving experience.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Covering the development of self-driving cars has offered some unique experiences.

I've ridden in a car with no one in the driver's seat. I've ridden in one that had the driver's seat turned around so that it faced the backseat. And I've ridden in one that piloted itself around the narrow, hilly streets of San Francisco.

But until last week, I'd never ridden in a self-driving car that sensed the world around it entirely with cameras. And I've got to say it wasn't the most reassuring experience.

The car — a late-model Toyota Prius — was a test vehicle equipped with technology from AImotive, a Hungarian startup (Hungary is primarily known in the automotive world for its tiny, toy-like "microcars").

AImotive is developing autonomous vehicle software that relies on cameras rather than laser-based Lidar arrays to detect vehicles, pedestrians, and other obstacles. Cameras cost a small fraction of Lidar systems, and the company is betting that by using them instead, its partners will be able to deploy self-driving cars faster and at a lower price.

Even at this early stage in the era of self-driving cars however, the sight of a vehicle without lidar is almost as jarring as that of a car without a steering wheel.

Our ride began like many ongoing test drives in autonomous cars, with a human driver behind the wheel and with another human in the passenger's seat monitoring the car's sensors and autonomous driving systems. But this ride was a bit different in that the human driver actually piloted the vehicle for a while.

AImotive is only testing its cars on highways right now

The view inside one of AImotive's self-driving cars as seen during a ride near Mountain View, California, on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. The screen shows the system's view of the world around it.At the moment, AImotive has only developed its technology enough to road test it on highways; it won't begin to test it on city streets (a more challenging environment for autonomous cars) until early next year. So AImotive's driver had to steer us from the company's house-like office at the end of a dead-end street in an industrial area here to the entrance to Highway 101, Silicon Valley's north-south artery. AImotive's system didn't kick in until we were already on the freeway, heading south.

Unlike other autonomous vehicles I've ridden in, this one lets you know when the computer is in control — it has a box on its dash that illuminates the word "self-drive." The AImotive engineers turned on the system, and we were under robot control.

The first thing I noticed was that the car kept drifting to the right side of the lane we were in. It never crossed the line, but it repeatedly got uncomfortably close. It was particularly disquieting near the beginning of my ride, when a semi-truck with a trailer was immediately to the right of us. A part of me was wishing AImotive's human driver would take control and steer us back to the center of our lane and away from the truck.

Laszlo Kishonti, AImotive's CEO, said it wasn't clear why our car was drifting to the right of its lane. It's possible, he and his colleagues suggested, that it had to do with the road being banked, but they also said it was likely just "a math problem."

"We are trying to find that reason," Kishonti said. He continued: "I think we'll solve this in the next two weeks."

The startup has a lot of work ahead

The side door of AImotive's test Toyota Prius, as seen on Tuesday, December 5, 2017, near the company's office in Mountain View, California.But it wasn't just the drifting that was unnerving. As we headed south, another car cut right in front of us. When it did, the human driver immediately took control and applied the brakes. The system could have handled the situation, but likely would have slowed down much more abruptly than the human driver did, because it hasn't yet been tuned for such scenarios, Kishonti said.

The test drive took place around 1 p.m. on a bright and clear day. In front of him, Bence Varga, AImotive's head of European sales, who road in the front-passenger seat, had a computer monitor that showed what car's cameras and systems could see. The display showed the view from the various cameras, labeled the lane lines in front of us, and identified the cars around us.

Lane drifting and sudden stopping aside, the big question for AImotive is how well its system will do at night, in the fog, or in other low-visibility conditions. Unlike Lidar or radar systems, regular cameras have similar limitations to human eyes in such situations — they just can't see very far. Kishonti said AImotive's system will respond to them the way human drivers do — by slowing down.

It remains to be seen if that will be good enough for consumers, AImotive's customers, or regulators. Regardless,my ride seemed to indicate that even on the basics of highway driving, the company still has a lot of work ahead of it.

SEE ALSO: Waymo's CEO says self-driving cars are 'really close' to being ready for the road — but plenty of challenges remain

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: I've been an iPhone user for 10 years — here's what happened when I switched to the Google Pixel 2 for a week



AImotive's self-driving test car

  • AImotive, a Hungarian startup, is developing self-driving car technology that relies on cameras, instead of Lidar laser sensors, to detect cars, obstacles, and signs.
  • Its approach differs sharply from Waymo, Uber, and General Motors, all of which are focusing on cars that use more expensive Lidar technology.
  • AImotive thinks using cameras could put autonomous cars on the road faster and at a much lower price than the competition, but some say cameras have big limitations and risks.


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — When it comes to developing self-driving cars, a startup based in Hungary, of all places, thinks it's come up with a better way — one that will get robo-cars on the road faster and at less cost than they would otherwise.

Many of the biggest players working on autonomous vehicle technology, including Waymo, General Motors, and Uber, use a bulky laser-based technology called Lidar to let their cars "see" the world around them. But AImotive CEO  argues that self-driving cars don't need Lidar. His company is instead building its autonomous car system around inexpensive, compact, off-the-shelf image sensors, the same ones you'd find in your smartphone or digital camera.

"Humans drive with their eyes and brains," noted AImotive CEO Laszlo Kishonti in a meeting this week with Business Insider. "They don't need Lidar."

Analysts think AImotive's camera-based approach to autonomous vehicles is risky

AImotive CEO Laszlo KishontiIt's a risky approach. Many self-driving car experts are skeptical that cameras alone will be enough for such vehicles. Cameras can't see through fog and could be flummoxed by dark or snow-covered roads. By themselves, they can't determine distances to objects; although computers can glean such information by analyzing images, their estimates can be highly inaccurate, according to experts.

Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, called such a system "a very bad idea."

A camera-based autonomous car system "would work under many conditions," said Rajkumar, leads CMU's autonomous vehicle project. But, he continued, "under specific conditions that happen on regular basis, it would fail."

Kishonti understands such concerns, but he's convinced AImotive's system will work. The entire road system today is designed to be navigated visually and is managed through visual signals, he noted. And if a car using cameras has trouble seeing around it, it can be trained to do what a human driver would do — slow down.

To prove his theory, AImotive has already begun test-driving cars equipped with cameras and its autonomous technology on roads in multiple areas around the world, including near its offices here in Silicon Valley.

Right now, the company is testing its system with highway driving; Kishonti expects to have it ready to be used for that purpose in production cars in about a year. The company plans to test the tech on city streets early next year and expects it to have that capability ready for within two years, he said.

The Hungarian startup already has notable backers and customers

AImotive's customized Toyota Prius, which serves as its test car for its autonomous vehicle system.And AImotive isn't just another startup that's long on dreams and short on cash and customers. It's already raised $10 million through two rounds of venture financing and is close to closing a much larger third round, Kishonti said. It's backed by companies including Nvidia, Bosch, and Samsung. The company already has 160 employees and offices in Europe, the United States, and Japan.

Unlike GM, AImotive isn't trying to build a car. Instead, it's developing technology that could be built into other companies' vehicles. Its partners include some of the biggest car companies, including Volvo and Groupe PSA, which owns Peugeot.

There's going to be a lot of appeal among such companies for technology like what AImotive is developing, Kishonti argued. A handful of auto-industry companies — maybe three, he estimated — will be able to develop self-driving cars completely in-house. The other car makers, parts suppliers, and ride-hailing service operators are going to need help from outside, particularly in developing the software that will underlie autonomous driving systems, he said.

"Software development is not their bread and butter," Kishonti said.

AImotive definitely has an opportunity to carve out a niche in the automotive market, said Egil Juliussen, an analyst who focuses on automotive technology for market research firm IHS. Although the largest car companies and suppliers will likely try to develop self-driving car technology on their own, many of the smaller and mid-sized firms will likely be looking for outside help, he said.

While several different companies — including Waymo — are pursuing the same market, AImotive could find success offering a portion of larger self-driving car system, Juliussen said.

"Some companies may want use [their technology] so they don't have develop it themselves," he said. He continued: "They don't need to do everything."

Cameras have some big advantages over Lidar arrays

One of the image sensors on AImotive's test car.The appeal of going with a camera-based system is undeniable. Lidar arrays can cost in the range of $80,000, according to Kishonti. By contrast, AImotive is building its system around the use of eight to 10 cameras that cost $15 each.

Other startups, such as AutoX are also developing camera-based autonomous driving systems. 

Image sensors benefit from the tremendous economies of scale inherent with their being a key feature of basically every smartphone made. Even if Lidar tech matures and prices come down, it's unlikely to be cost competitive with cameras anytime soon, Kishonti argued. And if it does, AImotive's system is flexible enough to incorporate Lidar data, he said.

"If we can solve the problem" of autonomous driving by using cameras, "then we don't have to wait for low-cost Lidar," he said.

AImotive has some other tricks up its sleeves besides cameras

The view of the highway as seen by AImotive's self-driving car system.And AImotive is working on other ways to lower the cost and speed the development of its technology. Kishonti's background is in chip development; AImotive is working on its own processor that will be far more efficient for self-driving car tasks that a traditional computer chip or even a graphic processor, he said. Meanwhile, it plans to rely heavily on its sophisticated simulator technology to virtual test its cars and get them up to speed.

Waymo recently touted the fact that its autonomous cars have driven 4 million miles on real roads. But the vast majority of those miles are likely uninteresting from a development standpoint, Kishonti said, because they didn't pose any real challenges or allow engineers to test how the system would work in certain conditions. AImotive can be much more efficient by running multiple simulations at once that focus on the conditions it wants to test, he said.

"We can accelerated our development faster than just using real-world testing," he said.

But the company faces some big challenges

To be sure, AImotive has its work cut out for it. It's not alone in using simulators; GM and Waymo are both using them to test and improve their self-driving car software. Even if AImotive can use simulations to rapidly improve its own software, it's still going to need to do plenty of tests on actual roads.

"Just because (something) worked in a simulator — you still have to test it in the real world," said Rajkumar. "Simulation is necessary but not sufficient."

And analysts and autonomous-vehicle experts remain skeptical that cameras alone will be sufficient to make self-driving cars safe. Such cars are likely going to need not only Lidar arrays, but also radars, in addition to cameras, particularly when when visibility is limited or in inclement weather, they said.

"We strongly believe you need all three sensors," Juliussen said.

What was it like to drive in AImotive's robo-car? Read about our somewhat unnerving test drive on BI Prime.

SEE ALSO: GM plans to mass produce self-driving cars 'in a matter of quarters' — and it offered rides in one for the first time this week

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's why Boeing 747s have a giant hump in the front



Banks led U.S. stocks mostly higher in late-afternoon trading Tuesday as the Federal Reserve met to discuss interest rates and the economy. The central bank was expected to raise interest rates for the third time this year on Wednesday. Banks benefit from higher interest rates because they can charge more to lend money....


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota announced restrictions Tuesday on how farmers can use the herbicide dicamba in 2018, responding to complaints by soybean growers across the country that it harmed their crops this year....


22:30 A top exec at trading giant Virtu is out (Business Insider)

Capture.PNG

  • Raymond Holmes, the head of client execution services technology at trading giant Virtu Financial, has left the firm, according to people familiar with the matter. 
  • Virtu has been shedding jobs and integrating KCG —  which it acquired earlier this year — into its business. 
  • The future looks bright for the firm, according to analysts. 


A top exec at trading giant Virtu Financial has left the firm. 

Raymond Holmes, who had been head of client execution services technology at Virtu, is no longer with the company, according to people familiar with the situation. Holmes joined the trading giant when Virtu's acquisition of KCG closed earlier this year. 

Holmes got his start at Computer Clearing Services, a New York technology company, in 2001. He graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 1999 with a degree in classical guitar performance and computer science, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Holmes' departure comes at a pivotal time for Virtu. The firm has been integrating KCG into its infrastructure, cutting costs and laying off upper management at legacy KCG at a clip. The success of the integration pushed one analyst to boost his price target for the firm. In a note to clients in late November, UBS analyst Alex Kramm said the trading firm has moved quickly:

"After shutting down poorly performing offices (e.g. Singapore/Mumbai), closing down Neonet, selling BondPoint to ICE, and removing a management layer from legacy KCG, VIRT has already been able to upsize expense synergies and free up capital."

Mifid II, the European regulatory overhaul, is also on the horizon. It will create a new environment in which investment banks will no longer charge for their services - such as investment research and trade execution - in one bundled package. That could benefit trading firms like Virtu, which specialize in execution.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Economist Jim Rickards on gold versus bitcoin — intrinsic value is meaningless for both but the bitcoin prices aren't real



LONDON/ZURICH (Reuters) - One of the three board members of the Swiss foundation that conducted the online fundraiser for the embattled Tezos cryptocurrency tech project has resigned, Reuters has learned.


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration met with major airlines on Tuesday to discuss complaints that some Gulf states are unfairly subsidizing state-owned carriers, keeping up pressure on the Middle East airlines at the center of a spat with U.S. rivals.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal government collected a record amount of tax income for the month of November and also had a record level of spending for the month, producing a budget deficit of $138.5 billion, up slightly from a year ago....


21:36 Glencore reveals plans for growth (Financial Times)
Commodities company raises earnings guidance for its powerful trading business


PARIS (Reuters) - Tom Enders has told the French Presidency he will not seek a third mandate as chief executive of European planemaker Airbus , Le Figaro daily reports on its website.


21:03 Bitcoin just set yet another record high (Business Insider)

Katie Ledecky Gold Medal

SEE ALSO: Litecoin creator issues stern warning after the cryptocurrency doubles in a single day

DON'T MISS: Bitcoin bull Tom Lee has identified 12 stocks that are perfect if you don’t want to own it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: One market expert says the financial system could collapse at any moment



WASHINGTON (AP) -- Congressional Republicans on Tuesday were speeding toward an agreement on a massive tax package that would ease the hit on Americans living in high-tax states and appease corporations that could have lost precious tax breaks....


rand paul

  • Sen. Rand Paul announced in a video on Twitter that he will vote against any government funding legislation.
  • A funding bill must be passed before December 22 — or the federal government will partially shut down.
  • Paul said he is still a "yes" on the GOP tax bill despite official analyses showing that it would add more than $1 trillion to the federal deficit.


Sen. Rand Paul announced Tuesday that he will reject any government funding legislation in the coming weeks.

Current funding, in the form of a short-term extension passed on Thursday, will expire December 22. Without new funding passed before that date, the federal government would enter a partial shutdown.

Paul argued in a video on Twitter that any funding legislation would likely result in a continued increase of the federal deficit. The Kentucky Republican said the current pace of debt accumulation is unsustainable, arguing there should be significant spending cuts to get the debt under control.

"I cannot in good conscience vote to add more to the already massive $20 trillion debt," Paul said. "I promised Kentucky to vote against reckless deficit spending and I will do just that. Count me as a 'no' on any budget-busting spending bill."

Paul is among a core group of conservatives in the House and Senate that have opposed the funding legislation due to avowed concerns about the federal debt.

Leaders from the Republican and Democratic leadership are attempting to hash out a deal, focused on defense spending and other legislative priorities like the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program.

In a follow-up tweet, Paul suggested he would still support the Republican tax bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Paul voted for the initial Senate version of the bill. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the TCJA would add roughly $1 trillion to the federal deficit even when factoring in increased economic growth from the bill.

But Paul tweeted that the tax bill would decrease the size of the federal government, which in his eyes makes it worthwhile.

"Tax cuts — people keeping more of their money — are never the problem," Paul tweeted. "The problem is spending. We should obey our rules, stop the deficit spending, and shrink government."

Watch Paul's announcement here:

 

SEE ALSO: World leaders think Trump's tax overhaul is dangerous, and they're getting ready to fight back

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: What it’s like to live in Putin’s Russia, according to an investigative reporter who lived there for 4 years



Unibail-Rodamco’s $25bn deal for Australia’s Westfield to forge 104-property company


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. producer prices rose in November as gasoline prices surged and the cost of other goods increased, leading to the largest annual gain in nearly six years.


Final price and the future of James Murdoch remain under negotiation


FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE)  in New York, U.S., December 1, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidWelcome to Finance Insider, Business Insider's summary of the top stories of the past 24 hours. Sign up here to get the best of Business Insider delivered direct to your inbox.

To hear detractors of Republicans' tax bill tell it, the plan as written wouldn't actually boost economic activity. These skeptics think corporations will simply use the excess capital from tax cuts to buy back their own shares.

And that's not too far-fetched of an idea. After all, buybacks have swelled during the 8-1/2-year equity bull market, and stock gains have followed in spades.

But AQR Capital Management, the quantitative hedge fund that manages $208 billion, doesn't buy it. The firm thinks buybacks are misunderstood — and don't directly drive much share appreciation at all.

Elsewhere in investing news, BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief says don't fear the Fed. And the bull market has plenty of "gas in the tank," according to Bank of America. 

In deal news, shopping mall owner Westfield sold itself for $15.7 billion. And Disney and 21st Century Fox are climbing as a report says a deal for assets is coming Thursday.

In crypto news:  

Lastly, we drove the $120,000 Porsche 911 Carrera GTS to see if it was worth the price — here's the verdict.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Warren Buffett lives in a modest house that's worth .001% of his total wealth — here's what it looks like



20:10 Conventional wisdom on Japan is wrong (Financial Times)
Solving its economic problems means doing something about private sector surpluses


mcconnell ryan hatch

  • The Republican tax bill is being ironed out by a conference committee to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the plan.
  • The members of the conference committee have not come to a solution on major discrepancies between the two plans.
  • Despite the issues, GOP leaders are still targeting a deadline of December 22 to pass the final compromise bill.


Republicans are setting an aggressive timeline to pass the final, compromise version of the their massive tax overhaul. Now, the party just needs to figure out what that bill is going to look like.

GOP leaders are targeting the start of next week for votes on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). But there appear to be significant disagreements on how to resolve the discrepancies between the House and Senate versions of the bill.

The committee is scheduled to have a public meeting on Wednesday, but Republican conferees are writing the bulk of the revised legislation behind closed doors.

Sen. John Thune told reporters that there are still disagreements between House and Senate members of the conference committee on key issues, but he said they are working quickly to solve the problems.

"I don’t think you can say at this point anything is really nailed down," Thune told reporters. "But I think the way it’s shaping up right now, I feel like we’re getting pretty close."

The Republican members of the conference need to find common ground on a significant number of issues, said Greg Valliere, chief strategist at Horizon Investments.

"Conferees said yesterday that they haven't resolved any of the key issues — the effective date and the top rate for corporate taxes; the estate tax; a flaw in the treatment of long-term vs. short term capital gains; all the pass-through tax details; the state and local tax exemption; whether to kill the Alternative Minimum Tax, etc," Valliere wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. "There are at least a dozen other major issues that also are unresolved."

Where exactly the conferees lands on each of these issues could invoke opposition from certain factions of Republican members of Congress and potentially throw a wrench into the TCJA's projected impact on economic growth and the federal deficit.

GOP leaders are attempting to hold a vote in both chambers on the bill by December 20. But given the unknown nature of the deliberations, the bill risks running into snags.

GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Marco Rubio have already made known their demands about the final version of the tax bill. With a slim margin in the Senate and Sen. Bob Corker already voting against the first version of the bill, Republicans can't stand to lose more than one other vote.

The bill still must conform to strict Senate rules so it can be passed by a simple majority vote. Meanwhile, it has continued to get hit with steady stream of dismal polling numbers and independent analyses.

Valliere said those issues could result in a bit of nerve-wracking noise for Republican leadership. But in the end, he said, the sheer force of momentum and political desire from the GOP would likely push the TCJA across the finish line.

"Could the bill hit a serious snag if Collins, Corker and others object to shoddy scoring and deals that aren't kept?" Valliere said. "Can't rule out a few more days of drama — or enactment just after Christmas — but we've come too far for this to fall apart."

SEE ALSO: World leaders think Trump's tax overhaul is dangerous, and they're getting ready to fight back

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: White House photographer Pete Souza on how Obama balanced being president with his family life



(Reuters) - Twitter said on Tuesday it would add a pair of buttons that will allow users to more easily see and add new tweets to existing ones on the same topic.


Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 12.09.40 PM

  • Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency trading platform, blocked users Tuesday from buying red-hot litecoin and ether
  • Investors poured into the two red-hot digital currencies Tuesday morning, pushing them both to new heights.
  • Litecoin hit a record of $312 on Tuesday, while ether soared over to more than $600 for the first time.
  • The cryptocurrency market is gunning for $500 billion. 

 

Cryptomania has propelled two lesser-known cryptocurrencies to record highs Tuesday, forcing one exchange to halt trading. 

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 1.01.59 PMCoinbase on Tuesday halted trading of red-hot litecoin and ether, according to cryptocurrency watcher CoinDesk. The publication tweeted a photo showing Coinbase "temporarily disabled" trades of the two digital coins on its platform. 

Coinbase's status page showed ethereum and litecoin were experiencing major outages. 

Both litecoin and ether hit all-time highs Tuesday morning. 

Ether hit $600 a token, while litecoin gained more than 40% to $312. 

Across the market for digital coins, new investors are pouring in. The 10 largest cryptocurrencies were all trading in the green Tuesday, according to data provider CoinMarketCap

At the time of print, the entire market nearly reached $500 billion. Cryptocurrencies volumes approached record highs above $35 billion. 

The launch of bitcoin futures by Cboe Global Markets, the Chicago exchange group, further pushed bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies into the spotlight. The new futures market, which went live Sunday, could pave the way for a bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund and dampen bitcoin's spine-tingling volatility. Of course, the 1,000% plus returns across the market has also piqued the interest of Wall Street and Main Street investors. 

Enthusiasts think the new found interest in the crypto-world will intensify in 2018. 

"2018 will be the year of mass public awareness for bitcoin and cryptocurrency," Perry Woodin, CEO of Node40, said in preparded remarks sent to Business Insider. "It is going to be the year when every friend and relative will want to know how much you have and how to purchase it."

Still, many market watchers see a massive bubble in the crypto-market. Even Mike Novogratz, a famed hedge fund manager turned crypto-investor, called it "the biggest bubble of our lifetimes." 

Litecoin's founder also chimed in on the frenzy. The former director of engineering at crypto exchange Coinbase tweeted a dire warning for potential litecoin holders Monday night:

"Sorry to spoil the party, but I need to reign in the excitement a bit…," he wrote. "Buying LTC is extremely risky. I expect us to have a multi-year bear market like the one we just had where LTC dropped 90% in value ($48 to $4). So if you can't handle LTC dropping to $20, don't buy!" 

A spokeswoman for Coinbase told Business Insider, "The site is seeing high traffic volume at the moment and some users may be experiencing intermittent service outages."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: This is one of the best responses to Jamie Dimon calling bitcoin a fraud that we have heard so far



Google engineer, servers

  • Vanguard, the $5 trillion mutual fund manager, announced on Monday it's using the blockchain to simplify how it updates the index data underpinning its mutual funds. 
  • Blockchain is the distributed ledger technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether. 


Vanguard
 is moving to use blockchain to simplify how it updates index data underlying mutual funds, executives said on Monday, an important sign of confidence for the new financial technology.

Closely-held Vanguard, the top mutual fund firm with nearly $5 trillion under management, has successfully tested blockchain to automatically update data like the names and share prices of companies in index funds, processes that must currently be closely overseen by individuals, said Warren Pennington, a principal in Vanguard's investment management group, in Pennsylvania.

Blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, is a shared and immutable database maintained by a network of computers on the internet. Banks and other large financial institutions have ramped up their investments in the technology, aiming for it to simplify and cut the cost of back-office processes.

Pennington declined to give a specific date as to when fund updates would chiefly rely on blockchain, saying the goal is not to replace human workers but instead to free them for other tasks.

Blockchain's potential, he said, is to serve as "a real-time automated index process."

Vanguard funds tested with blockchain were built on indexes from the Center for Research in Security Prices, at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. Vanguard manages 17 funds on those indexes including its largest, the $650 billion Total Stock Market Index Fund.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have hoped big institutional investors could start offering mainstream products based on blockchain, which would spur its popularity. Fund firms, however, seem more interested in making the technology part of their operations.

BlackRock, for example, has tested uses of blockchain with custodian bank clients, and CEO Larry Fink told analysts in October that the effort should reduce errors and could be expanded.

Fink told Reuters in November:

"Distributed ledger, lets be clear, is a real thing. I would love to see a blockchain for the whole financial system that’s legitimate, that is monitored, that is systematically monitored. I don’t see that day anytime soon."

For its blockchain effort, Vanguard partnered with New York-based technology firm Symbiont. Its CEO Mark Smith said in an interview the firm could license the technology to other firms, including additional asset managers and index providers.

"This can be used to automate all sorts of financial processes," he said.

SEE ALSO: Ethereum soars above $600 after a group of big banks announce a new project on its blockchain

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's why Boeing 747s have a giant hump in the front



Rick Rieder

  • Rick Rieder, who oversees $1.7 trillion as the global chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock, says market fears over Federal Reserve tightening are overblown.
  • He thinks that central banks are "maniacally focused" on not stirring up volatility.


As recently as two months ago, uncertainty around the Federal Reserve was among the market's biggest fears.

Of particular concern has been the unprecedented unwinding of the Fed's massive balance sheet, which is a reversal of the central bank’s extraordinary measures taken during the financial crisis. Now, with the Fed expected to raise interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, that alleged reckoning could soon be upon us.

However, Rick Rieder, the chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock, who oversees $1.7 trillion, thinks that any fears around Fed-driven volatility are overblown. In his mind, the central bank is predisposed to keep conditions as calm as possible, and he argues that it simply won't inject chaos into the market.

In an interview with Business Insider, Rieder elaborated on those thoughts, and shared some other Fed-related wisdom. He also gave his take on the the GOP tax plan, the equity and bond markets, the rise of exchange-traded funds, and shared his biggest market fear.

It was part of a wide-ranging discussion that also included a deep dive into Rieder's hectic daily schedule, which you can read about here.

Here's what Rieder had to say (emphasis ours):

"The one thing a central bank is not supposed to be is the instigator of volatility, and they won't be. Central banks are maniacally focused on not being an instigant to disrupt markets.

As for the changing leadership at the Fed, the Federal Reserve chair tends to act differently than an elected official. They tend to continue the path laid out by the predecessor, while an elected official oftentimes tries to shift gears.

Also, when the Fed tightens it's different than easing, in the sense that it can be behind the curve. You want to make sure growth is still durable when you're tightening, which is very different than the easing process, where you want to be fast and ahead of the economy. I think they'll be deliberate in what they do from here."

SEE ALSO: Why BlackRock's $1.7 trillion bond chief gets up at 3:30 a.m.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A senior investment officer at a $695 billion firm breaks down tax reform



A crack was found in the Forties pipeline which carries crude North Sea oil across land for processing.


Diplomats say EU irritated by Davis comment that divorce deal is only statement of intent


Director Rian Johnson has created a work of human imagination


Creditors say 40-fold rise in value means exchange’s assets now dwarf its liabilities


BERLIN (AP) -- An explosion Tuesday at a major natural gas facility near Austria's border with Slovakia killed one person and left 21 others injured, and caused some gas flow disruptions to other countries, authorities said....


BERLIN (AP) -- An international summit Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of the Paris climate agreement has drawn world leaders, celebrities, companies and environmental groups to the French capital, all aiming to keep up momentum on efforts to curb global warming....


Hitler at the Tag von Potsdam (Day of Potsdam) ceremony for the opening of the new Reichstag after the German federal election, March 1933.

  • New economic research shows that bad tax policy was instrumental in bringing about the rise of the Nazi Party in 1933.
  • Austerity measures implemented by an incompetent Weimar government had the unintended consequence of radicalizing German voters.
  • The US is not Weimar Germany, but Republican policies — starting with the Tax Cut and Jobs Act and continuing with cuts to social programs that may follow — in an already polarized environment could still have unintended consequences.
  • Doing away with tax deductions that are relied upon by poorer, sicker, or younger Americans to fund tax cuts for the rich is akin to an austerity measure and would push struggling Americans further into political extremes.


The intended consequences of the Republican tax plan are bad enough. Unanimously, economists across ideological spectrums have said the GOP's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would increase the deficit, hurt lower- and middle-income Americans, exacerbate inequality, and fail to provide the economic growth the Trump administration keeps touting without evidence.

The unintended consequences could be much worse.

In a new paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the economists Gregori Galofré-Vilà, Christopher M. Meissner, Martin McKee, and David Stuckler show the dramatic impact poor tax policy had on Weimar Germany from 1930 to 1932.

That policy — even more so than other economic factors like unemployment — radicalized the population and made Germans feel the government was out of touch with their struggles. In short, it created the perfect environment for the Nazi Party.

Let me be clear about something: The US is not Weimar Germany. Our situation obviously isn't as desperate. But an already polarized country can learn some things from Germany's example, including just how quickly bad policies pushed German voters to extremes.

The policies this paper examines were implemented for two years and then cast aside when a new chancellor was appointed in 1933. Support for the Nazi Party fell almost immediately. But by then it was too late. Even after losing seats in Germany's legislature, the Reichstag, from July to November of 1933, the Nazis had gained control of 44% of seats — enough to form a coalition.

Enough to come close to destroying the world.

Austerity

Desperate after Germany's economy collapsed in 1928, the country's president, Paul von Hindenburg, appointed a bunch of technocrats to run the government in 1930. At the helm was Chancellor Heinrich Brüning. He was an austerity guy who liked to issue "notverordunungen" — emergency decrees. He quickly implemented a mix of tax increases and spending cuts in an effort to get the country back to good.

From the paper:

"These measures involved drastic cuts to government expenditure, increased rates of taxation, new taxes, and cuts to unemployment benefits, payments to pensioners, and welfare recipients. In addition, the central government acted to centralize important fiscal decisions that were traditionally decentralized in the Weimar Republic.

"According to Brüning, the suffering they would cause would help elicit international sympathy for the Germans and help put an end to the unpopular reparations imposed at Versailles."

The political ramifications of these measures were almost immediate, according to researchers, and they went beyond the Nazi Party. This austere fiscal policy combined with a depression-induced public-sector slowdown only worsened the economic situation for Germans, and it radicalized people across the social spectrum.

As they lost faith in their government's ability to manage the situation, unemployed and low-income Germans became more likely to turn to the Communist Party. Middle- and upper-income Germans were more likely to turn to the Nazis.

German Chancellor Heinrich BruningOver the period when Brüning, who was dubbed "The Hunger Chancellor," was slashing and burning, the Nazis gained ground in Germany's legislature.

Hitler knew Brüning's policies were helping him. In 1932 he wrote a widely circulated pamphlet decrying the measures in which he ended by saying, "Although that was not the intention, this emergency decree will help my party to victory, and therefore put an end to the illusions of the present System."

In 1933 a new chancellor implemented fiscal stimulus, and again the political ramifications were almost immediate. The Nazis lost dozens of seats in the Reichstag from July to November of that year.

Still, it was too late. Hindenburg named Hitler chancellor in January 1933. By March the Nazi Party controlled 44.6% of the Reichstag and managed to pass the infamous Enabling Act, which allowed the German cabinet to pass laws without the legislature or the president.

"The coalition that allowed a majority to form government in March 1933 might not have been able to form had fiscal policy been more expansionary," the researchers wrote.

And so began one of the darkest periods in the history of the world.

Obviously, the US is not Weimar Germany

We are not Weimar Germany. We do not have painful war reparations from the Treaty of Versailles to deal with. We do not have a global financial crisis on our hands. We do not have austerity measures being implemented across the board in the midst of the economic downturn.

republicans tired of the party

What we do have, though, is intense political polarization. We also have a populace increasingly tired of its leadership.

Plus, we have a government taking steps that are isolationist, economically disruptive with no beneficial outcome, and going to add to the struggles of lower-income Americans who are already moving further away from the mainstream.

"The Depression-era was associated as much with a major decline in world trade as financial and monetary disturbances; it was a time of tariff increases, quotas, competitive devaluations, exchange controls, and the promotion of bilateral at the expense of multilateral trade (Crafts and Fearon 2013)," the researchers wrote.

The Trump administration has returned to that when it comes to trade policy, adding another layer of economic risk to an already fragile political situation. NAFTA, for example, is now in jeopardy, as the Mexican ambassador mused there was a 50-50 chance the deal would be terminated. The US is angering friends and enemies alike, pushing for nonsensical bilateral trade deals.

That antagonism extends to President Donald Trump's tax plan, which both European and Chinese officials have said could be detrimental to global trade. Chinese officials are calling it a "gray rhino" — an obvious problem that no one is doing anything to stop.

Again, the Weimar government engaged in this same behavior.

"As a result, Germany's GDP fell by one third from peak to trough and exports declined by 50% (Crafts and Fearon 2010; Grossman and Meissner 2010)," the paper said.

Austerity by any other name

Above all that, what we have is a tax policy that would hit some Americans harder than others. While the rich and corporations would enjoy a nice long tax cut under the GOP plan, the legislation doesn't indefinitely protect cuts for other Americans. By 2019, Americans making $30,000 and under would see their taxes go up. By 2021, everyone making $75,000 or less would see a tax increase. The median US household income was $59,039 in 2016 — so that's most people.

And then there are the increases here and there that Republicans hate talking about. The House plan does away with the medical-expense deduction, essentially raising taxes on those with high medical bills — especially the elderly. Young people with student loans and grad students get hit in the Senate bill. Those in high-tax states like California and New York will be hit if their ability to deduct state and local taxes is eliminated. Over at The Wall Street Journal, Richard Rubin figured out that some high-income businesses faced a 100% tax increase.

Healthcare, which is the only sector that has experienced price inflation since the financial crisis, would become even more of a burden on Americans. Analysts estimate that the Senate bill would leave 13 million people uninsured, increase Obamacare premiums on unsubsidized families by $2,000, and force automatic cuts to Medicare.

democrats, republicans say the other party makes them angry

At the same time, members of the GOP are already talking about cutting welfare and other social programs next, and there are signs that they'll be doing so at a bad time. Americans are starting to have difficulty paying off their credit cards. Though unemployment is low, wage growth is still stagnant. Inflation is also anemic, still hovering below the Federal Reserve's 2% target even though it is tightening economic conditions by ending the financial crisis' easy-money policies.

This is austerity in a country that has plenty. It's a heinous act of cruelty fueled by ideology, the desire for power, and the very toxic partisanship that it is likely to exacerbate.

To wit, as in Germany, this incompetently written tax policy would produce the unintended consequence of radicalizing Americans further.

"Germany today is in the grips of the most powerful deflation that any nation has experienced … many people in Germany have nothing to look forward to — nothing except a 'change,' something wholly vague and wholly undefined, but a change," the German chancellor Brüning once said.

Those who suffer in this twisted new form of American austerity will feel the same desire. It's what pushed many young people into the arms of Bernie Sanders. It's the same phenomenon that pushed some to give Trump a chance, despite his incessant lying, racism, and tendency toward authoritarianism. It has given us the Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore in Alabama.

If this tax plan passes, expect our faith in government to erode further. Expect our partisan divisions to worsen. Expect this to take our country to destinations unknown.

SEE ALSO: Here's what happened the last time America had a Steve Bannon

SEE ALSO: Here are all the ways the GOP tax plan kicks millennials in the teeth

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's why Boeing 747s have a giant hump in the front



Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 10.27.40 AM

  • Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token Tuesday.
  • Ether was trading up 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider
  • The record comes a day after a group of banks led by UBS announced a data quality control project on Ethereum's blockchain.
  • Ethereum's blockchain, unlike bitcoin's, can support layered on applications and facilitates so-called smart-contracts. 

 

Cryptomania is sweeping Wall Street and it's sending digital currencies to new heights. 

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, soared past $600 a token for the first time Tuesday. The red-hot digital currency was trading up more than 20% at $616 at 10:35 a.m. ET, according to data from Markets Insider

Across the vast market for digital coins records are being set. Bitcoin reached a record on Monday above $17,300 and litecoin hit a record above $300 Tuesday morning. 

Ether's record tear follows the announcement Monday of a data quality control project on Ethereum, the blockchain network underpinning ether, by a group of banks led by Switzerland-based money manager UBS. Ethereum, unlike bitcoin, can support applications on its network for projects outside of digital money, such as so-called smart contracts. 

Barclays, Credit Suisse and UBS are among the banks involved in the pilot, which will help prepare them for Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MIFID) II, a sweeping regulatory overhaul in Europe set to go live in 2018. 

"It is a tool that we are using to improve the quality of our reference data that will be used for regulatory reporting for Mifid II," Peter Stephens, head of blockchain innovation at UBS, told Business Insider. 

Instead of trusting a third party to review data and then provide feedback about the accuracy of each party's data, the banks will rely on the blockchain.

"We are putting our trust in the blockchain," Stephens said.

SEE ALSO: A blockchain tech company raised $42.5 million in 2 weeks — in 'one of the easiest fundraising processes ever'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: One market expert says the financial system could collapse at any moment



tesla trucks semi



Tesla shares are trading higher by 2.28% at $336.93 on Tuesday after the company received an order from PepsiCo for 100 of its new Semis.

The order is now the largest known preorder for the new Semi, which is set to start production in 2019. PepsiCo didn't disclose how much it paid to reserve the Semis, but Tesla is offering reservations for $20,000 a piece on its website, which suggests the reservation is worth about $2 million.

Walmart and Anheuser-Busch are among the other companies that have announced orders for the Semi, and Reuters' Eric Johnson the current total at 267 total reservations so far.

Even though production won't begin for over a year, Tesla is likely to fill preorders in the order it received them, meaning the first to request vehicles could gain a leg up on the competition.

The company's Model 3 was first available for preorders in April, and the waiting list quickly swelled to more than 400,000. Tesla has been plagued by production issues, and only made 260 of the cars in the third quarter, though it looks as if the production bottlenecks are slowly being solved. Ordering a Model 3 now is likely to see a delivery date well into 2018.

Before the Semi's launch, Morgan Stanley estimated preorder demand would hit 25,000. The trucking industry could benefit from the cost savings from the new truck, which will have autopilot capabilities, according to Tesla.

Tesla shares are up 56.05% this year.

Read more about the company's Model 3 production troubles here.

tesla stock price

SEE ALSO: Tesla is rising after Anheuser-Busch places an order for 40 electric semis

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone



fuel gauge

  • The S&P 500 could hit 3,000 by the end of 2018, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's technical team says.
  • It says the chart for 2018 looks a lot like that of 2014, when the S&P gained 11%.
  • Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus also recently set his 2018 target for the S&P 500 at 3,000.


The S&P 500 has come a long way since the depths of the Great Recession. After bottoming at 666 in March 2009, the benchmark index has rallied 300% to a record high of 2,665. Much of those gains have come in 2017 as traders have begun to price in what Republicans say is the widest-ranging tax overhaul since 1986.

And Bank of America Merrill Lynch says the good times are likely to keep rolling for investors, as it expects the S&P 500's 2018 performance to be similar to that of 2014, when it gained about 11%.

In a note sent out to clients on Tuesday titled "Equity bull market still has gas in the tank," the bank's technical team, led by Stephen Suttmeier, says the S&P 500 could hit 3,000 by the end of next year. That would make for a gain of 12.7% from current levels.

"The up channel from February 2016 is almost two years old and suggests that the S&P 500 could achieve 2700 to 2800+ during 1H18," the team wrote. "Price action hugged the upper end of the channel from 2011 in 2014. If a similar event occurs in 2018, the channel from 2016 hits 3000 in December 2018."

The 3,000 level is on the radar of at least one other Wall Street analyst. Last week, Oppenheimer's John Stoltzfus set his 2018 year-end S&P 500 target at that level.

Zooming out to the bigger picture, and comparing to other secular bull markets, the bank says the index could hit 5,000 by 2024.

12 12 17 bull market COTD

SEE ALSO: Bitcoin bull Tom Lee has identified 12 stocks that are perfect if you don’t want to own it

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to the bond chief at the $6 trillion fund giant BlackRock about the most important issue for markets right now



Charlie Lee CNBC

  • Litecoin, a smaller cousin of bitcoin, has seen its value more than double in just one day. 
  • Litecoin creator Charlie Lee tweeted a sobering warning to those not prepared to lose their entire investment.
  • Still, Litecoin fans on Reddit were preparing celebrations, some of which seem fairly risky. 


Cryptocurrencies have exploded since bitcoin futures began trading in Chicago over the weekend.

Litecoin, the fourth-largest coin by market-cap, has seen its value more than double since Sunday afternoon, trading above $300 Tuesday morning — 110% above its weekend price. 

Creator Charlie Lee wasn’t celebrating like some other Litecoin holders, though. The former director of engineering at crypto exchange Coinbase tweeted a dire warning for potential litecoin holders Monday night:

"Sorry to spoil the party, but I need to reign in the excitement a bit…," he wrote. "Buying LTC is extremely risky. I expect us to have a multi-year bear market like the one we just had where LTC dropped 90% in value ($48 to $4). So if you can't handle LTC dropping to $20, don't buy!" 

Charlie Lee twitter

That didn’t stop some Redditors from planning celebrations as litecoin passes more milestones.

One user, rashadthedad, claimed he would record himself eating a Carolina Reaper, one of the world’s hottest peppers, if Litecoin passed $300 before New Years Eve. Another user said he would streak down Wall Street in New York before swimming to the Statue of Liberty if the coin passed $1,000 before the same date.

Jay Clayton, head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, also weighed in on the cryptocurrency craze Monday. 

"The world's social media platforms and financial markets are abuzz about cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings. There are tales of fortunes made and dreamed to be made," he said. "Investors should understand that to date no initial coin offerings have been registered with the SEC.  The SEC also has not to date approved for listing and trading any exchange-traded products (such as ETFs) holding cryptocurrencies or other assets related to cryptocurrencies. If any person today tells you otherwise, be especially wary." (emphasis his)

Litecoin has mostly lived in the shadow of bitcoin, but has garnered a fan base through its slightly different mining technique which aims to use less electricity than its rival. A recent estimate from the UK said the electricity used to mine bitcoin this year is bigger than the annual usage of 159 countries.

Litecoin is up 5953% so far this year. You can watch its price move in real time here

Screen Shot 2017 12 12 at 9.12.55 AM

SEE ALSO: SEC head Jay Clayton weighs in on cryptocurrency mania

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin



Bakery owner John Foster explains how the rising price of imports is affecting his business.


tesla semi

  • Pepsi has ordered 100 Tesla Semis.
  • Pepsi joins major companies like Walmart and Anheuser-Busch as early customers for Tesla's new electric trucks.
  • Some were skeptical of Tesla's ability to break into the trucking industry.


Tesla just added another major client to its Semi pre-order list, as Pepsi has reserved 100 of Tesla's electric trucks, according to Reuters. Pepsi's order is the largest known order yet, as it represents over one-third of an estimated 267 reserved trucks so far.

The order is part of Pepsi's goal to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced throughout its supply chain by a minimum of 20 percent by 2030, Mike O'Connell, Pepsi's senior director of North American supply chain, told Reuters. 

While some had doubts about Tesla's ability to break into the trucking industry before it introduced the Semi, early orders indicate Tesla may beat expectations.

The electric trucks have impressive features, including a 500-mile range per charge and the ability to travel 400 miles on a 30-minute charge, impact resistant glass, an innovative cabin design, and the ability to go from 0-60 mph in five seconds without any cargo and in 20 seconds while carrying 80,000 pounds of cargo. But Tesla will ultimately be judged on the number of clients who buy and use the trucks over the long term.

These are the companies who have placed orders for the Tesla Semi so far:

  • Walmart: One of the first major companies to reserve the trucks, the retailer has made aggressive investments in technology in recent years as part of its effort to compete with Amazon.
  • Anheuser-Busch: On Wednesday, the brewer announced it ordered 40 Semis.
  • Sysco: The food distributor has reserved 50 Semis.
  • Pepsi: Pepsi placed the largest Semi order to date, as the company indicated it reserved 100 trucks on Tuesday.
  • DHL: The transportation and logistics company has reserved 10 Semis to add to its fleet.
  • Meijer: Based in Michigan, the grocery chain has ordered four of the electric trucks.
  • Ryder: The transportation company reserved an unspecified number of Semis in November.
  • J.B. Hunt: The trucking company is set to purchase "multiple" Semis, but hasn't revealed the exact number.
  • Flexport: Ryan Peterson, the freight company's CEO, announced the company has ordered one Semi.
  • JK Moving: The independent moving company has reserved four Semis.
  • Loblaw: After ordering 25 Semis, the Canadian supermarket chain announced plans to make its trucking fleet 100% electric by 2030.
  • Fercam: Based in Italy, the trucking company has reserved a single Semi.
  • Girteka Logistics: Not to be outdone by Fercam, the European transportation company also announced its plans to invest in one of Tesla's electric trucks.
  • Fortigo Freight Services: The Canadian logistics company reserved one Semi.
  • Best Transportation: The shipping company also ordered one Semi.
  • Mecca & Son Trucking: According to Jalopnik, this trucking company has reserved one Semi.

SEE ALSO: Everything Tesla wants to accomplish by 2020

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Watch Elon Musk show off Tesla’s first electric semi — which can go from 0-60 mph in five seconds



Social media company’s tax shakeup could see it pay more in local jurisdictions


Bob Iger Disney CEO



Reports that 21st Century Fox is expected to announce the sale of its entertainment business to Disney on Thursday have sent shares of both companies higher. Disney shares are trading up 0.18% at $107.02 on Tuesday while those of 21st Century Fox are higher by 0.53% at $33.84.

Fox is expected to split itself in two, selling its estimated $60 billion of entertainment and TV assets to Disney while holding on to its cable news business, CNBC's David Faber reports. The news business that remains is expected to be worth about $10 per share, and shareholders would receive one share of the remaining company as well as shares in Disney based on a fixed ratio, CNBC reports.

Shares of 21st Century Fox have surged about 34% over the past month as several interested buyers have circled the company. Comcast and Disney were seen as the leading bidders, but Comcast dropped its bid on Monday, leaving Disney in the pole position.

The size of the final bid is still unknown, but RBC analyst Steven Cahall previously said he expects a deal that values 21st Century Fox's assets at about $37 per share.

Read more about RBC's valuation of Fox here.

fox stock price

SEE ALSO: RBC: 21st Century Fox will keep going up as Disney acquisition talks simmer

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Here's what bitcoin futures could mean for the price of bitcoin



The Reagan Show Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

  • The NFIB's measure of small business optimism reached its highest level in 34 years in November.
  • A handful of more specific indexes also climbed to record or near-record levels.


A measure of US small business optimism hit its highest level since 1983 last month, according to a National Federation of Independent Business survey released Tuesday.

The index gained 3.7 points in November, a big jump from the near-record performance seen in the previous month, NFIB data showed. In addition, eight of 10 components posted gains, including a rare 16-point increase in a reading of expected better business conditions.

"Not since the roaring Reagan economy has small business optimism been as high as it was in November," NFIB wrote in its release.

Here are some other key takeaways from the report:

  • Job creation plans increased six points in November, "providing more evidence of a strong labor market," said the NFIB
  • The number of owners who said it’s a "good time to expand" rose 4 points
  • A net 24% of respondents said they plan to create new jobs, up 6 points to a record reading

"We haven’t seen this kind of optimism in 34 years, and we’ve seen it only once in the 44 years that NFIB has been conducting this research," Juanita Duggan, the organization's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Small business owners are exuberant about the economy, and they are ready to lead the U.S. economy in a period of robust growth."

SEE ALSO: A $200 billion quant fund says one of the biggest market concerns over GOP tax reform is a myth

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How to buy and sell bitcoin using one of the most popular cryptocurrency apps on the iPhone



Scandal-tainted Republican’s Senate run has implications for Congress and president


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Prices at the wholesale level rose 0.4 percent in November and 3.1 percent over the past year. It was the biggest annual jump in nearly six years and reflected a big spike in the price of gasoline and other energy products....


Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Dave Lutz, head of ETFs at JonesTrading, has an overview of today's markets.

Here's Lutz:

Morning!  US Futures starting on the right foot as Energy Commodities rally and the “FOMC Drift” starts to take hold.   Industrials leading again to the upside, adding 10bp early.   Pretty much a sea of Green over in Europe, where the DAX is adding 10bp with Tech and Energy outperforming.   Industrials weighing a bit in Frankfurt, but volumes off 25% as traders await a speech from Draghi after the EU Close.   London is up 25bp despite Profit-taking in the Fins and Miners, as Healthcare jumps 1% in early trade.    It was a Weak overnight in Asia - Nikkei off 30bp as Consumer stocks weighed - Hang Seng lost 60bp as Tencent got hit for 3% and Sunny Optical 8% - Shanghai dropped 1.3% as Airlines were crushed on profit-taking due to the Brent Spike - KOSPI off 40bp despite Sammy rallying small, and Aussie managed a 25bp gain behind commodity stocks 

The 10YY is hovering around week’s highs as NFIB Optimism hits the highest since 1983 – but the DXY is under a bit of pressure as Sterling jumps on UK Inflation printing the highest in 5years.  Euro seeing a bounce despite a Weaker ZEW, while Petro Currencies like Ruble, Aussie, Kiwi and Krone are all acting well.   No bounce in Gold despite the weaker Greenback, the Yellow metal just off yesterday’s 5month low – while Bitcoin surrenders 1.5% in early, thin trade.  Ore was up 1.5% in China, but Copper remains slightly red.  All eyes on the Energy Complex, where Brent is up 1.5% and at 2 1/2year highs, while front--month Natty prices in the UK are up 20% on the Forties Pipe outage and a explosion at Austria’s main LNG terminal.

Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

SEE ALSO: 10 things you need to know before the opening bell

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We talked to the bond chief at the $6 trillion fund giant BlackRock about the most important issue for markets right now



Inflation hits 3.1% as the squeeze on household incomes continues.


^ Top ^
Home page
Last news
Last politics news
Last economic news
Last science & technology news
Last health news
Last sports news






Copyright 2017 Pandora Impex SRL.