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Buffett looks to succession, signals future growth problem
In his 50 years at the helm of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Warren Buffett has transformed a failing textile company into a sprawling conglomerate that has vastly outperformed most of the rest of corporate America. In the 84-year-old's annual shareholder letter released on Saturday, Buffett said Berkshire has grown so large - 751,000 times its original net worth per share - that the future pace of gains "will not come close" to those of the past. "The numbers have become too big," Buffett wrote. Within 10 to 20 years, Buffett said, Berkshire's girth could require whoever then runs the Omaha, Nebraska-based company to consider steps he has resisted, such as paying dividends or conducting "massive" share repurchases.
Herbalife cuts pay of CEO Johnson 36 percent after missed...
Herbalife Ltd (HLF.N) cut the pay of Chief Executive Michael Johnson 36 percent for 2014 after the nutrition and weight loss company failed to meet performance goals set for him and other top executives, according to a securities filing on Friday. Herbalife said Johnson, who is also chairman, received total compensation of $6.73 million last year, down from $10.5 million in 2013, mainly because he did not receive the incentive plan compensation of $3.7 million he got the prior year. Herbalife has been closely watched since activist investor William Ackman accused the company of running a pyramid scheme in 2012, while rival investor Carl Icahn became the company's biggest owner in 2013. Herbalife, being investigated by state and federal regulators, has denied Ackman's charges.
Jobs report may test market's complacency
The U.S. stock market has been quiet this week - too quiet. Wall Street has traded in a tight range of late, with both volatility and trading volumes drying up as the earnings season winds down and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's recent Congressional testimony delivered no surprises. About 238,000 jobs are expected to have been added in February, according to the non-farm payroll report that will be released on Friday, down from the 257,000 added in January. "Economic data will be the biggest driver of market moves over the next month, and the key one is the jobs report," said Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Chicago-based Northern Trust Asset Management.
Airbus Group CEO says not ready for retirement: report
Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders has given the strongest hint yet that he may seek a new term as head of Europe's largest aerospace company, telling a French newspaper he does not feel ready for retirement when his mandate expires next year. Asked by Le Journal du Dimanche about his priorities for the coming year, the last before his term expires in 2016, Enders said, "Let me clarify one thing: I don't plan to retire in a year's time. Enders joins his direct rival, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, in keeping the industry guessing over his future. Enders said in Sunday's Le Journal du Dimanche interview that cashflow and profitability would be the two main Airbus priorities this year.
U.S. economy slowed in fourth quarter, but growth outlook...
U.S. economic growth braked more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter amid a moderate increase in business inventories and a wider trade deficit, but strong domestic demand brightened the outlook. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual pace, revised down from the 2.6 percent pace estimated last month, the Commerce Department said on Friday. The economy grew at a 5 percent rate in the third quarter. Businesses accumulated $88.4 billion worth of inventory in the fourth quarter, far less than the $113.1 billion the government had estimated last month.
Hyundai recalls more than 200,000 Elantras over steering...
Hyundai Corp is recalling 204,768 Elantras because of a power steering defect that might cause the cars to suddenly revert to manual steering, the company said Saturday in a report filed with U.S. auto safety regulators. The recall affects four-door Elantra sedans produced from June 1, 2008, to April 30, 2010, and 2009-10 model Elantra Touring hatchbacks, Hyundai said in a report on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. The carmaker said it had understood that the loss of power steering assist has not been considered a safety defect in the United States when manual steering was maintained. "More recently, however, the industry has increasingly handled similar issues through safety recalls due to the greater driver effort at low vehicle speeds," Hyundai said.
Dudley, top U.S. economists urge later Fed rate hike
Raising interest rates too late is safer than acting too early, an influential Federal Reserve official said on Friday, endorsing a high-profile research paper that argues the U.S. economy, given time, can rebound to the strong growth rate to which Americans are accustomed. The paper by four top U.S. economists, presented on Friday to a roomful of powerful central bankers in New York, argues the Fed would be wise to keep rates at rock bottom for longer than planned and then tighten monetary policy more aggressively. New York Fed President William Dudley, who offered a critique of the paper, cited currently low inflation and warned against being too anxious to tighten monetary policy. The U.S. central bank is in the global spotlight as it weighs when to lift rates after more than six years near zero, and how quickly to tighten policy thereafter.
Wall Street ends down after data; posts strong gains for...
The S&P 500 posted its best monthly gain since October 2011 on Friday, but U.S. stocks ended lower for the day as U.S. economic growth slowed more sharply than initially thought in the fourth quarter. The S&P 500 gained 5.5 percent for the month, while the Nasdaq rose 7.1 percent, its best monthly performance since January 2012. The strong gains have pushed the Nasdaq within striking distance of the 5,000 mark and record highs set in March 2000.
Greece seeks negotiations on ECB bond repayment
Greece called into question on Saturday a major debt repayment it must make to the European Central Bank this summer, after acknowledging it faces problems in meeting its obligations to international creditors. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said Athens should negotiate with the ECB on 6.7 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in Greek government bonds held by the Frankfurt-based bank that mature in July and August. Varoufakis did not say what he hoped to achieve in any talks, but he accused the ECB of making a mistake in buying the bonds around the time Greece had to take an EU/IMF bailout in 2010. The government of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras promised to honor all its debt obligations when it struck a deal with the euro zone last week that extended Greece's bailout program for four months.
HSBC not the troublemaker made out to be, rival Swiss...
HSBC (HSBA.L), in the spotlight after details emerged about how its Swiss unit allegedly helped clients dodge taxes, isn't the troublemaker it is currently depicted as, the head of a rival private bank was quoted saying on Saturday. "HSBC has been described as the troublemaker in class, and it is not," Carlos Esteve, founder and CEO of Geneva-based Heritage, said in an interview with Swiss daily Le Temps. "HSBC was among the first to take steps to regularize its clients. The comments are noteworthy because the unspoken rule among Swiss private bankers is to avoid directly commenting on rivals, a rare exception being three years ago when UBS (UBSG.VX) head Sergio Ermotti suggested Zurich's main banking thoroughfare, Bahnhofstrasse, was full of banks which took untaxed money, as did UBS.
Bubble or bust? Cramer says market not bubblicious
Mad Money's Jim Cramer shares his take on whether this market is in a bubble and if tech is well positioned for more IPOs.
House rejects three-week DHS funding extension
By David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Friday failed to approve a stopgap funding bill for the U.S. domestic security agency in an embarrassing setback for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, increasing the threat of a partial agency shutdown at midnight. With just hours left before spending authority expires for the Department of Homeland Security, a three-week spending bill was rejected in the House by a 224-203 vote that left lawmakers few options ahead of the deadline. The vote sent lawmakers scrambling to determine their next steps in a political battle that was originally triggered by Republican efforts to block funding for Democratic President Barack Obama's executive orders last November on immigration by attaching provisions to the department's spending bill. Boehner, who has struggled to control conservatives in his party who considered any compromise on immigration a surrender to Obama, left the House chamber and refused to comment before the final vote was announced.
Louisville Slugger parent mulls sale of famed batmaker:...
Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the parent of Louisville Slugger, is exploring a sale and has spoken with buyers including Amer Sports Oyj about a deal, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The family-owned business, based in Louisville Kentucky, is likely to be valued at less than $100 million, said the person, who asked not to be named because the information is private. Hillerich was a woodworking shop when John A. Hillerich began making bats there in 1884 -- with the brand registered a decade later.
Many traders fret over specter of Nasdaq 5000
Jeff Hirsch, The Stock Trader's Almanac, and CNBC Senior Contributor Larry Kudlow discuss the psychological importance of March for the Nasdaq.
An economic riddle: Where are all the construction workers?
Despite good wages and plenty of available jobs, the number of younger people going into construction work is lagging badly. Can more millennials be enticed to take up carpentry?
Next week: Economists see robust Feb. jobs report, Nasdaq...
Midday Movers takes a look at what might be moving markets next week
Content creation could become headwind for high-flying...
#TheDress goes viral: Sales soar 347%
A social media frenzy about the color of a dress is bringing fame and fortune for one small British fashion company. The retailer, Roman, said sales of the outfit that sparked #TheDress debate soared 347% ...
Hamm: My big fat divorce check 'got the job done'
Oil tycoon Harold Hamm tells CNBC his divorce from Sue Ann Arnall is "in the rearview mirror."
Congressional cowards push America to the brink -- again
The fight to fund the Department of Homeland Security is just the latest in a series of political "crises" both parties have inflicted on the nation in recent years, with no end in sight.
Class of 2014, You're hired!
The job market is looking up for new college graduates. That's according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
Got $172? That's the typical Obamacare penalty
About 6 million households will owe Uncle Sam money for failing to purchase health insurance in 2014.
Warren Buffett: What to watch for in his investor letter
Warren Buffett is about to release his annual letter to investors. There's a lot of stuff to learn from it.
Chicago May Owe Wall Street $58 Million After Moody's...
The outlook remains negative, signaling more cuts are possible, underscoring the city’s fiscal stress as Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces a runoff election. “This is a very significant, negative development for the city of Chicago’s financial position,” Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan research group in Chicago, said in an interview. Most swaps can be ended if one party fails to maintain a minimum credit rating, requiring payment of the entire amount due. Chicago has 15 agreements tied to variable-rate general-obligation debt and one to variable-rate sales-tax bonds, according to Moody’s. While the company said the city has the resources to cover the $58 million payment, it said the cut moves Chicago closer to further termination payments triggered by going below Baa2 or Baa3.
'House of Cards' a boon for Netflix, Weight Watchers'...
Yahoo Finance's Midday Movers is live each weekday at 12pm ET, covering all the latest news on the markets, the economy and the biggest stories of the day.
Where these confident CFOs are investing
CFO confidence in the US economy spiked this quarter, according to the latest CNBC CFO Council survey. This should trigger corporate spending in IT.
Confident Airbus juggles jet output and pays record dividend
Airbus Group (AIR.PA) defied warnings of a slowdown in the jetliner market with a steep production boost for its top-selling A320 and announced its biggest ever dividend. The world's second-largest aerospace group after Boeing (BA.N) said it would increase production of the A320 jet family to a record 50 a month in early 2017. "Airbus has bitten the bullet on the A330," said Edison Investment Research analyst Sash Tusa, adding that the move was widely expected. Airbus Group Chief Executive Tom Enders dismissed recent market concerns that the commercial aerospace cycle has peaked.
Global investors lift exposure to stocks as major markets...
Global investors increased their bets on stocks during February as major equity markets broke through all-time highs, fuelled by the promise of more monetary stimulus, Reuters' monthly asset allocation poll showed. As around 20 central banks have cut interest rates since the start of 2015, and with the European Central Bank set to launch quantitative easing next month, investors expect loose monetary policy to stir growth and boost corporate earnings. The monthly asset allocation poll, covering 47 fund managers and chief investment officers in the United States, Europe and Japan, found that the average recommended exposure to stocks in global balanced portfolios rose to 50.7 percent, the highest level since last September, from 49.5 percent a month earlier. The increased exposure to stocks came largely at the expense of alternative investments, a category that includes commodities, private equity and hedge funds.
Germany backs Greek extension but bailout fatigue grows
Germany's parliament approved an extension of Greece's bailout on Friday but a record number of dissenters from Angela Merkel's conservatives underscored growing scepticism in Berlin about whether a new Greek government can be trusted to deliver on its reform pledges. With Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble promising not to let Greece "blackmail" its euro zone partners, 542 members of the Bundestag voted "yes" to the extension, while 32 opposed it and 13 abstained.
Live: Stocks Fab February;Nasdaq 5000?; GDP in focus;...
February was one of the strongest months for stocks in years. Could today be the day we reach Nasdaq 5000? And economic growth slowed more that previously reported in the fourth quarter.
Wave goodbye to these 4 high-flying stocks
Investors should start shedding some rallying stocks as U.S. markets linger near highs, CNBC's "Fast Money" traders said.
Greenspan: Economy 'not strong'
Former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan provides insight into job growth and how the Fed moves the markets. Greenspan says capital investment is key to productivity growth.
European shares at fresh seven-year high as ECB QE nears
European shares rose to fresh seven-year highs on Friday, extending a two-month rally fueled by the European Central Bank's money printing program which starts in the coming weeks. European shares bucked a softer trend in Asian and U.S. markets as a sharp overnight pullback in crude oil prices dampened risk appetite there. The FTSEurofirst 300 index (.FTEU3) index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent at 1,561.60 points, with strong annual results from Airbus Group (AIR.PA), the world's second-largest aerospace company, spurring the rally. About two-thirds of the way into Europe's earnings season, 55 percent of companies have met or beaten profit forecasts.
Oil's drop chills Asia stocks, inflation data boosts dollar
Asian shares were mostly lower on Friday as a sharp overnight pullback in crude oil prices dampened risk appetite, while the dollar was firm after upbeat U.S. data tilted expectations back toward an early interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Strong factory ouput data and a weaker yen pushed Tokyo's Nikkei to a fresh 15-year high but the market was last flat as profit taking kicked in. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent after advancing to a five-month high on Wednesday.
Stock market records bring out the fearmongers
Embrace the record run for stocks and banish the bears.
Does Greece need a THIRD bailout?
Speculation is growing that embattled Greece is on the verge of asking for yet more cash.