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Archive for the ‘Entrepreneur’ Category

Wall St. rallied broadly as BOJ ramps up stimulus

31 Oct

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Dow industrials hit a record high on Friday as stocks rallied on Wall Street after the Bank of Japan significantly ramped up its stimulus program, just days after the Federal Reserve wound down its own package of U.S. economic incentives. The S&P 500 came within 0.25 percent of its record and the December e-minis contract hit an intraday record earlier. Gains were broad, with close to 90 S&P 500 components hitting new 52-week highs and around 90 more trading within 2 percent of a record. …

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Daimler, VW dampen speculation about imminent CEO succession

30 Oct

The Volkswagen logo is seen on a Volkswagen XL Sport car during the media day at the Paris Mondial de l'AutomobileMUNICH (Reuters) – Succession is not an imminent topic at Daimler or Volkswagen, the chief executives of both carmakers said on Thursday, adding that any potential candidates would most likely come from within their respective companies. Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche and Martin Winterkorn, who heads up Volkswagen, were both asked during a panel discussion in Munich whether succession was imminent and whether a suitable candidate had emerged. …

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Energy stocks buoy Wall St. ahead of Fed statement; Facebook falls

29 Oct

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks edged higher on Wednesday boosted by gains in the energy sector, with traders looking forward to a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve as it winds down its stimulus program. The Nasdaq Composite was pressured by a decline in Facebook shares as investors fretted over its spending plans. In an otherwise data-light session, the Fed is likely to announce that it will no longer add to its holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, effectively ending a program that at its peak pumped $85 billion a month into the financial system. …

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Wall St. up on earnings, data mixed

28 Oct

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New YorkBy Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as strong earnings and an upbeat consumer confidence reading more than offset weaker-than-expected housing and industrial data. Ranking among the largest percentage gainers on the S&P 500 were Amgen, AutoNation and Cummins, which reported earnings between late Monday and Tuesday morning. They more than offset declines in Kohl’s, Coach and Freeport McMoRan. Indexes hit session highs in early trading after a report showed U.S. …

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Energy shares drag on Wall Street as crude prices fall

27 Oct

Trader works on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeBy Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) – Energy shares dragged Wall Street lower on Monday as crude prices fell further, while readings on the services sector and home sales came in below forecasts. Brent crude oil fell below $85 a barrel and U.S. crude dipped below $80 after Goldman Sachs slashed its price forecasts, citing abundant supply and lackluster demand. The S&P 500 energy sector was down 2.6 percent, the largest decline among the top ten industry groups. …

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Look to energy names for global demand clues

26 Oct

A Wall Street sign is pictured in the rain outside the New York Stock ExchangeBy Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK (Reuters) – Slumping energy shares drove the recent U.S. stock market selloff more than any other major group, so investors are turning to next week’s slate of earnings to see if the sector can pull itself out of the pit. The third-quarter earnings picture for energy looks grim. Profit growth expectations for S&P 500 energy companies have fallen more than any other sector – from a forecast of 13.8 percent on July 1 to the current 1.8 percent, Thomson Reuters data showed. Energy shares dropped 9. …

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Wall St. ends lower after shooting at Canada parliament

25 Oct

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeNEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks fell in afternoon trading on Wednesday, with major indexes erasing earlier gains as a shooting at the Canadian parliament unnerved investors and Boeing and Biogen sold off following results. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 151.05 points, or 0.91 percent, to 16,463.76, the S&P 500 lost 14.04 points, or 0.72 percent, to 1,927.24 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 36.63 points, or 0.83 percent, to 4,382.85. (Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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Adam Pollicino Picks – StartUP raises money to get back in play.

24 Oct

You may remember FormSpring a social networks that had a great following until they ran into problems with cyber bullying and other member issues including the rise of competitors. In yet another member acquisition play by another industry player Spring.me raised $5mm from a range of name players to re-launch. See the details in this great article on the raise.

Spring.me, the new social network that was previously Formspring, has raised a total of $5 million in debt and equity seed funding from investors including Right Click Capital, Tank Stream Ventures, Nextec Strategic Capital, and Rubicon Project Founder Craig Roah. The company plans to use the funding to expand Spring.me in the U.S., where it just launched.

Formspring’s demise was due in part to the site’s accidental role in faciliating cyberbullying. Though Spring.me, which currently claims five million regular visitors, acquired the Formspring website and database, it wants to create a completely different reputation for itself by becoming the world’s “friendliest social network.” The site lets users engage in Q&A discussions and group chats, share photos and opinion polls, and send private messages.

One of the first anonymous “ask me anything” platforms, Formspring shut down in March 2013. The closure was partly due to increasing competition from similar features on larger sites like Tumblr. Before closing, Formspring had tried to gain a second lease on life by announcing a shift from anonymous Q&A to interest-based discussions.

User attrition was not the only challenge that Formspring, which had raised $14 million in funding, faced. Cyberbullying was a much more serious problem. The anonymity of the site allowed users to send harrassing messages to one another and Formspring was cited in the suicides of at least two teenagers.

Since Formspring’s closure, a host of anonymous networking and discussion apps have sprung up to replace it, including Ask.fm, Yik Yak, and Whisper, but these sites still have their share of cyberbullies, which is especially problematic because many of their users are teenagers.

Spring.me wants to differentiate from other social networks by encouraging people to make friends through asking and answering questions, CEO Keith O’Brien says. “We have found that is the reason people are on Spring.me. Not for the voyeuristic reasons they are on Ask.fm, Whisper, and Secret.”

O’Brien says that the site will be able to avoid a “Lord of the Flies” environment in part because its members are older and (hopefully) more mature, with many in college or working at their first jobs.

“Most bullying affects 12-16 years old. We have less than 5 percent of our users in that age group, so it has become almost a non-existent issue for us,” he told TechCrunch. The median age of Spring.me’s users is 21 and the average age is 24.

“Our members don’t want to mix with the school kids who are on Yik Yak and Ask.fm. We are not about secrets, gossips, or even anonymity. We provide a platform where people can make friends through Q&A. Members hang out on Spring.me to explore ideas and conversations when they have a spare moment in between studying, shift work, working-from-home, or when traveling,” says O’Brien. “We’re closer to a modern day ICQ than we are to anonymous broadcasting.”

Other measures that Spring.me has taken in its effort to be more “friendly” than competing social networking platforms include Spring.me volunteers or ambassadors chosen from its user ranks, who flag trolls and offensive comments. There are currently about 1,000 ambassadors on the platform, who can earn rewards such as becoming Spring.me “royalty” and earning titles like “lady,” “count,” “princess,” “king,” and “queen,” and early access to new features. The site also uses exclusively smiley emojis in an effort to create a friendlier environment. Users who are under 18 can only receive certain types of messages, and there is a filtering system (similar to Google’s safe search filter) in place so people can decided what kind of content they see.

The site plans to acquire more users by releasing mobile apps by the end of November. Currently, 70 percent of its traffic on desktop and 30 percent is from mobile. The site will also launch matching features and other services similar to the ones on dating sites, including a personality quiz that will match users with similar people. Spring.me will monetize by introducing native advertising when it reached about 20 million to 30 million visitors per month.

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/24/spring-me/?ncid=rss

 
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Social Security benefits to go up by 1.7 percent

24 Oct

FILE - This Feb. 2005 file photo shows trays of printed social security checks, in Philadelphia, waiting to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury. More than 56 million Social Security recipients will see their monthly payments go up by 1.7 percent next year. The increase, which starts in January, is tied to a measure of inflation released Tuesday. It shows that inflation has been relatively low over the past year _ despite the recent surge in gas prices _ resulting in one of the smallest increases in Social Security payments since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. (AP Photo/Bradley C. Bower, File)More than 56 million Social Security recipients will see their monthly payments go up by 1.7 percent next year.

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Wall St. little changed as Microsoft offsets Amazon

24 Oct

A woman carries an umbrella as she passes by the New York Stock Exchange on Broad St. in New York's financial district during the morning rushBy Chuck Mikolajczak NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were little changed on Friday, as disappointing earnings from Amazon were offset by gains in Microsoft after its quarterly results. Amazon plunged 7.3 percent to $290.45 as the biggest drag on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 after the online retailer’s sales projections for the crucial holiday quarter disappointed Wall Street and third-quarter results missed forecasts. But Microsoft , up 1.3 percent at $45. …

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