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Berkshire preliminary first-quarter operating profit falls

30 Apr

Warren Buffett walks out to tour the exhibit hall during the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Shareholders Meeting at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, NebraskaOMAHA, Neb. (Reuters) – Warren Buffett on Saturday said preliminary first-quarter profit at his Berkshire Hathaway Inc fell about 12 percent, hurt by weaker performance in its railroad and insurance operations. Quarterly operating profit for the Omaha, Nebraska-based insurance and investment conglomerate probably fell to $3.73 billion from $4.24 billion. Net income probably rose to $5.59 billion from $5.16 billion, helped by a gain from the swap of Procter & Gamble Co stock for the Duracell battery business. Buffett said insurance underwriting suffered from hailstorm claims. …

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With weak earnings in tow, focus turns to jobs data

30 Apr

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New YorkComing off a barrage of flimsy company earnings reports that included Apple’s first revenue drop in 13 years, investors will turn to April jobs data for signs of budding resilience or further weakening in the second quarter. U.S. nonfarm payrolls, unemployment and wages data are due Friday May 6, when the economy is expected to have added 200,000 jobs in April, with the unemployment rate unchanged at 5 percent and a wage increase of 0.3 percent, according to Reuters data. Unlike in recent months, where weak jobs numbers were counted on to stave off another Federal Reserve interest rate hike, investors are now itching for better-than-expected employment data to indicate a stronger next earnings season, analysts said.

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Wall St. opens lower as investors assess earnings, data

29 Apr

Traders work on the floor of the NYSEThe Commerce Department said the personal consumption expenditures price index, excluding the volatile food and energy components, edged up 0.1 percent last month after an upwardly revised 0.2 percent increase in February. At 9:38 a.m. ET (1338 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was down 52.53 points, or 0.29 percent, at 17,778.23, the S&P 500 was down 3.91 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,071.9 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.50 points, or 0.01 percent, at 4,804.79. Stock markets around the world were in the red – with the yen rallying to an 18-month high, signaling a broader risk aversion among investors – a day after the Bank of Japan’s call to cap monetary stimulus rattled investors.

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U.S. economy stalls in first quarter as activity weakens broadly

28 Apr

A shopper takes part in Black Friday sales at a Target store in ChicagoBy Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. economic growth braked sharply in the first quarter to its slowest pace in two years as consumer spending softened and a strong dollar continued to undercut exports, but a pick-up in activity is anticipated given a buoyant labor market. Gross domestic product increased at a 0.5 percent annual rate, the weakest since the first quarter of 2014, the Labor Department said on Thursday in its advance estimate, also as businesses stepped up efforts to reduce unwanted merchandise clogging up warehouses.

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Wall Street opens lower after BOJ rate decision surprise

28 Apr

Traders work on the floor of the NYSEThe BOJ’s decision to hold steady in the face of soft global demand and a rise in the yen was particularly jarring for markets after media reports that the central bank wanted to go deeper into negative interest rates. The BOJ’s decision comes a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve decided to hold steady on rates and after fears eased that the Fed would signal a rise in June. While the labor market continues to gain strength, inflation remains below the central bank’s 2 percent target.

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Start-Up Airline Idles on a California Runway, Stymied by Bureaucracy

27 Apr

California Pacific Airlines has been waiting for years for Federal Aviation Administration certification. Its 95-year-old owner is getting impatient.

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Apple drags Nasdaq lower; S&P, Dow little changed

27 Apr

Traders work on the floor of the NYSEApple’s shares were down 7 percent at $97.09 after its first revenue decline in 13 years, while Twitter slumped 16 percent to $14.91 after its revenue missed expectations. No change in rates is expected but the Fed may signal its intention to tighten policy this year. “I don’t think the Fed is going to raise rates today but they are starting to lean towards the possibility of a hike and are going to buy themselves some insurance by saying that June is more possible than a lot of people … think,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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Wall St. opens slightly higher, Dow retakes 18,000 mark

26 Apr

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New YorkA rise in oil prices and a 2 percent rise in Dupont helped the Dow Jones industrial average cross the key psychological barrier. Fed officials have repeatedly said a hike in June is on the cards. While job growth has continues to gain strength, inflation stubbornly remains below the Fed’s 2 percent target.

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Wall St. opens slightly higher, Dow retakes 18,000 mark

26 Apr

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New YorkA rise in oil prices and a 2 percent rise in Dupont helped the Dow Jones industrial average cross the key psychological barrier. Fed officials have repeatedly said a hike in June is on the cards. While job growth has continues to gain strength, inflation stubbornly remains below the Fed’s 2 percent target.

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Wall St. opens lower as earnings continue to underwhelm

25 Apr

A trader works on the floor of the NYSE“We are looking at a mixed to lower session today as investors assess events that could cause some gyrations,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York. At 9:45 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was down 73.79 points, or 0.41 percent, at 17,929.96, the S&P 500 was down 6.78 points, or 0.32 percent, at 2,084.8 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 5.66 points, or 0.12 percent, at 4,900.57.

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