News

  • After Making A Big Fuss About Group FaceTime, Apple Is Delaying It To A Later Update
    When Apple announced the iOS 12 software at WWDC in June, it made a huge fuss about Group FaceTime calls. It would allow you to make FaceTime video calls to up to 31 people simultaneously. Apple fans were excited. But […] The post After Making A Big Fuss About Group FaceTime, Apple Is Delaying It To A Later Update appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • Tinder's founders are suing Match Group and IAC saying they've been ripped off — and they're seeking at least $2 billion in damages (IAC, MTCH)
    A group of early Tinder employees, including cofounders Sean Rad and Jonathan Badeen, announced on Tuesday that they filed a lawsuit against InterActiveCorp and Match Group, the owners of Tinder, a popular dating app.  They're alleging that IAC undervalued Tinder, and used a lowball valuation based on false information to reduce the value of stock options that early employees and founders held. Tinder operates on a day-to-day basis independently from IAC and Match, according to the plaintiffs. Business Insider has reached out to Match Group for comment on the lawsuit and its allegations. Developing...Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Everything Samsung just announced — the Galaxy Note 9, Fortnite, and more
  • Oscar Health just raised $375 million from Alphabet
    Oscar Health just raised an additional $375 million from Alphabet, bringing the health insurer's total funding up to more than $1 billion.  As part of that raise, Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser told Wired, the company plans to expand beyond the individual healthcare exchanges and small employer market and into the Medicare Advantage market, caring for people 65 and older.  Oscar Health just got a cool $375 million from Google's parent company to bring its tech-backed health insurance plans to more people.  In total, the company has now raised more than $1 billion. Its last-reported valuation was $3.2 billion.  Co-founded in 2012 by Josh Kushner, whose brother Jared a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, Oscar Health is a health-insurance startup that got its start operating on the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges. The goal is to be a more consumer-friendly insurance option by integrating technology. It also works with small businesses to provide health insurance.  In 2019, Oscar plans to be in nine states, including Florida, Arizona and Michigan. As part of the additional funding, Oscar CEO Mario Schlosser told Wired that the company plans to go beyond the individual exchanges and small employer market and into the Medicare Advantage market. When seniors in the US turn 65, they can choose to be part of either traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage, which is operated through private insurers like Oscar and often provides additional healthcare benefits. Oscar's plan to move into the Medicare Advantage market will put it up against startups like Clover Health and Devoted Health.  See also: US investors are pouring hundreds of millions into a healthcare company that doesn’t take insurance and lists its prices like a 'McDonald's menu' Meet the 30 healthcare leaders under 40 who are using technology to shape the future of medicine One of America's largest healthcare companies wants to use AI to 'solve some of the most wicked problems in healthcare' SEE ALSO: The billion-dollar healthcare unicorns you should be watching in 2018 SEE ALSO: A VC who invested in Oscar and Flatiron Health explains why he sees disagreement about an investment as a sign it's a killer deal Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: NASA is flying a $1.5 billion spacecraft into the sun — here's why
  • Meet the 3 Tesla board members set to decide on Elon Musk's go-private plan (TSLA)
    Tesla's board of directors has formed a special committee to examine CEO Elon Musk's preference to take the company private, according to a statement on the electric-car maker's website.  Three independent board members — Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, and Linda Johnson Rice — will sit on the special committee. While Musk has not yet presented a formal proposal to take Tesla private, he will need the committee's approval before such a move can occur. Follow Tesla's stock price in real-time here.  Tesla on Tuesday said its board of directors had convened a special committee to act on the company’s behalf as chief executive Elon Musk presses forward with his plan to take the electric-car maker private. Two of the three special committee members — Brad Buss and Robyn Denholm — have backgrounds with Solar City, the energy company Tesla acquired for $2 billion in 2016. The third —Linda Johnson Rice — is the former chairman and CEO of Johnson Publishing in Chicago and the current CEO of Ebony Media.  Members of the board who have previously come under fire, like Kimbal Musk, Elon's brother; the 21st Century Fox cochairman Lachlan Murdoch; and Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist who was ousted from his own firm over sexual-assault allegations, which he denied, are notably absent from the special committee. Tesla also said the board has hired Latham & Watkins LLP, a legal firm based in Los Angeles, to assist with the process of going private. It also plans to hire an independent financial advisor. "The special committee has the full power and authority of the Board of Directors to take any and all actions on behalf of the Board of Directors as it deems necessary to evaluate and negotiate a potential Going Private Transaction and alternatives to any transaction proposed by Mr. Musk," Tesla said in a statement. The  special committee has not received any formal proposal from Musk about taking the electric-car maker private. Here’s what you need to know about the members of Tesla’s special committeeSEE ALSO: Tesla's dramatic stock rise and fall shows how skeptical investors are of Elon Musk's go-private plans Robyn Denholm Robyn Denholm is the chief operating and financial officer of Telstra Corp, the largest telecom company in Australia. She has served on Tesla’s board of directors since February 2017 following the merger with SolarCity, where she had been appointed to the board in November 2016. "I am a car enthusiast and am passionate about innovation, so Tesla is the perfect board role for me," she said in an interview in January. "I love being on the Tesla board as it marries many of the things I am passionate about, such as energy and technology." Denholm also said she is on her third Tesla car. She did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. Linda Johnson Rice Linda Johnson Rice has served on Tesla's board of directors since July 2017. She currently serves as the chief executive of Ebony Media, a magazine and brand that celebrates Black culture, that was founded by her father in 1945. Johnson came under fire from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Writers Union when she was appointed to Tesla's board because Ebony allegedly failed to pay freelancers as much as $200,000 that they were owed. Rice also sits on the board of Chicago-based GrubHub. According to Tesla she is a trustee at the Art Institute of Chicago and a council member of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Rice did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider. Brad Buss Brad Buss was the former chief financial officer of Solar City before it was acquired by Tesla in 2016 for $2 billion. He joined Tesla’s board of directors shortly after retiring from the renewable energy unit, in February 2017. Buss owns roughly 13,000 shares of the electric-car maker, worth $4.75 million at Tuesday’s prices. A native of Canada, Buss also serves on the board of Marvell Technology, a California-based computer storage and semiconductor chip maker.  Buss could not be reached for comment. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • Your opinion matters — Join BI Insiders program
    As a dedicated Business Insider reader, your opinion is important to us. That's why we'd like to invite you to join our BI Insiders program. The BI Insiders are an exclusive online community of Business Insider readers who like to: Share their opinions about Business Insider and a variety of topics from technology, to trending stories, to finance, politics, sports and many other subjects. Receive sneak peeks of what we learn, and happenings at Business Insider. Earn points towards free stuff. So join us today by clicking on the link below and apply to become a BI Insider. You’ll be asked to complete a short survey, after which you will receive a notification within 24 hours to let you know if you’ve qualified. Apply to be a BI Insider now >> And today we're giving you one more reason to join: Apply to be a BI Insider, and we'll give you immediate access to an exclusive slide deck from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research subscription service. Currently sold for $495, The Future of Fintech Slide Deck can be yours today for FREE. In this deck, we explore what's next for fintech, how it will reach new heights, and the developments that will help it get there. Apply to be a BI Insider now and get your FREE slide deck today >>  Join the conversation about this story »
  • The US restaurant industry could be the big winner of Trump's trade war
    President Donald Trump's trade war is causing pain for many US industries, but the tariffs could actually help US restaurants. The retaliatory tariffs on US agricultural goods are expected to cause a supply glut, which is already leading to price cuts for major agricultural goods. This means restaurants will pay less for ingredients like pork, cheese, and corn. According to restaurant invoice management company Plate IQ, the US restaurant industry should save just over $7.5 million due to Trump's trade war this year. President Donald Trump's trade war is taking its toll on a slew of US industries, but there could be one that comes out on top: restaurants. While the president's various tariffs are driving up costs for industries ranging from boat manufacturing to TVs, data from restaurant invoice management company Plate IQ showed that restaurants are actually seeing prices for ingredients fall due to the tariffs.  For most of the goods, Plate IQ's explanation for the drop is simple: the US exports a lot of goods, so as farmers are hit with an oversupply, the price of the items will drop and make it cheaper for the restaurants. While not on the Plate IQ list, one of the most prominent of these price changes for US farmers is soybeans. The crop is a key export, particularly to China, and the recent tariffs on US soybeans by foreign countries is causing a supply increase and a dramatic price drop. Other US agricultural products such as pork and cheese are also falling sharply since the European Union, Canada, China, and Mexico hit the US with various tariffs in response to Trump's trade moves. As these commodity prices drop, so too are costs for restaurants that buy these ingredients. Plate IQ used price trend data from its restaurants to determine the savings for the US restaurant industry between March 2018 and December 2018 across six major ingredients: pork, corn, apples, cheese, potatoes, and seafood. In order to determine the expected future price change, Plate IQ looked at 500,000 restaurant invoices from July 2017 to July 2018. According to the data, seafood is the only one of those major ingredient groups that is expected to increase in price over the course of the year. Obviously restaurants that are heavily weighted toward certain ingredients (such as pork) will see greater cost decreases than those that lean more toward seafood. But all told, Plate IQ's data shows that the restaurant industry will save roughly $8 million due to the tariffs.  Here's a breakdown of how much the restaurant industry could save on each ingredient because of Trump's trade war.Corn: $3,068,633 in savings Both China and the EU imposed tariffs on US corn in response to Trump's tariffs. In response, corn futures have fallen roughly 12% since the start of June as supply continues to grow.  Pork: $14,876,829 in savings China and Mexico, two of the three largest markets for US pork exports in 2017 according to the US Meat Export Federation, hit the US with tariffs in response to Trump's trade fights. According to Plate IQ, the backlog of US pork will result in a 2-3% price decrease for all pork products. As part of the decline, the price of bacon is expected to drop by 7.7% for the year. Apples: $991,570 - $1,442,283 in savings "Mexico being the biggest customer for apple exports from the US has hit the US hard by imposing tariffs on apples," Plate IQ said. "China and India have also imposed tariffs on apples thus threatening the market." See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • Tinder co-founders and 8 others sue dating app's owners, claiming they're owed $2 billion
    A lawsuit alleges that the popular dating app's current owners manipulated the valuation of the company.
  • Value Investor Mohnish Pabrai’s Key Holdings – The Best Bargains
    A value investor at heart, Mohnish Pabrai is not afraid to travel the world to find the best bargains. ET Now’s Karunya shares his top bets in the quarter gone by. Q2 hedge fund letters, conference, scoops etc Value Investor […] The post Value Investor Mohnish Pabrai’s Key Holdings – The Best Bargains appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • This is how banks can use digital tools to stay ahead of a trillion-dollar opportunity in the bill pay market
    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Between housing costs, utilities, taxes, insurance, loans, and more, US adults paid an estimated $3.9 trillion in bills last year. That market is growing slowly, but it’s changing fast — more than ever before, customers are moving away from paying bills via check or cash and toward paying online, either through their banks, the billers themselves, or using a third-party app. Thanks to rising customer familiarity with digital payments, an increase in purchasing power among younger consumers more interested in digital bill pay, and a rise in digital payment options, nearly three-quarters of bills will be paid digitally by 2022, representing a big opportunity for players across the space. In theory, banks should be in a great position to capitalize on this shift. Nearly all banks offer bill payment functionality, and it’s a popular feature. Issuers also boast an existing engaged digital user base, and make these payments secure. But that isn’t what’s happening — even as digital bill pay becomes more commonplace, banks are losing ground to billers and third-party players. And that’s not poised to change unless banks do, since issuer bill pay is least popular among the youngest customers, who will be the most important in the coming year. For banks, then, that makes innovation important. Taking steps to grow bill pay’s share can be a tough sell for digital strategists and executives leading money movement at banks, and done wrong, it can be costly, since it often requires robust technological investments. But, if banks do it right, bill pay marks a strong opportunity to add and engage customers, and in turn, grow overall lifetime value while shrinking attrition. Business Insider Intelligence has put together a detailed report that explains the US bill pay market, identifies the major inflection points for change and what’s driving it, and provides concrete strategies and recommendations for banks looking to improve their digital bill pay offerings. Here are some key takeaways from the report: The bill pay market in the US, worth $3.9 trillion, is growing slowly. But digital bill payment volume is rising at a rapid clip — half of all bills are now digital, and that share will likely expand to over 75% by 2022.  Customers find it easiest to pay their bills at their billers directly, either through one-off or recurring payments. Bank-based offerings are commonplace, but barebones, which means they fail to appeal to key demographics. Issuers should work to reclaim bill payment share, since bill pay is an effective engagement tool that can increase customer stickiness, grow lifetime status, and boost primary bank status.   Banks need to make their offerings as secure and convenient as biller direct, market bill pay across channels, and build bill pay into digital money management functionality. In full, the report: Sizes the US bill pay market, and estimates where it’s poised to go next. Evaluates the impact that digital will have on bill pay in the US and who is poised to capitalize on that shift. Identifies three key areas in which issuers can improve their bill pay offerings to gain share and explains why issuers are losing ground in these categories. Issues recommendations and defines concrete steps that banks can take as a means of gaining share back and reaping the benefits of digital bill pay engagement. Get The Bill Pay Report Join the conversation about this story »
  • Inside Alamo Drafthouse's beta test of its movie-ticket subscription plan, which has a waitlist of over 40,000 after less than a month
    Theater chain Alamo Drafthouse is beta testing its movie ticket subscription service, Alamo Season Pass. Business Insider got details about the plan from Drafthouse chief technology officer, Mikey Trafton. The pass is only being used by a few hundred people at the chain's Yonkers, New York location, but over 40,000 are on a waitlist to use the pass (the beta is less than a month old). Currently, the subscription price is between $15 and $20 for unlimited 2D and 3D movies (including going back and seeing the same movie as many times as you want). Alamo Season Pass will be expanding to other locations in the future, however, Trafton said there will be many changes to the plan during the beta phase before it's rolled out to all Drafthouse theaters. Since MoviePass disrupted the move-theater business last summer by offering a $10-a-month subscription, theater owners have taken a more serious look at launching their own plans. That includes a theater chain with some of the most loyal followers in the country: Alamo Drafthouse.  The chain is known best for being one of the first in the US to offer its patrons food and alcohol while watching movies. And Drafthouse is always looking for out-of-the-box ideas to showcase. That can be anything from doing female-only screenings last year of the first "Wonder Woman" movie to having a four-course meal while watching "Pineapple Express," which is happening later this month at its Brooklyn, New York location. But for a company that loves to do things as big and outlandish as its homegrown Austin, Texas roots, Drafthouse has been very methodical about its movie-ticket subscription service, Alamo Season Pass.  Launched in a beta version on July 18 at its Yonkers, New York location, Drafthouse has been generally mum about the pass, other than stating that for an undisclosed monthly free subscribers can see unlimited movies through its app, and can add on additional tickets.  However, after Business Insider had a chat with Drafthouse's chief technology officer, Mikey Trafton, we now know more details about Alamo Season Pass and how much its customers are using it. According to Trafton, a few hundred people are currently using Alamo Season Pass at its Yonkers theater, but that's not because it's having trouble finding subscribers. In less than a month, over 40,000 people have signed up for a waitlist for Alamo Season Pass, according to Trafton. Some of them are those waiting to be invited to use the service in Yonkers, but many are people in other parts of the country.  "We're going to roll it out and test it in other cities in the future," Trafton told Business Insider. "We're using the waitlist to figure out the next locations we should test at."   Trafton was very adamant that Alamo Season Pass is still in a beta version, and the plan will be tweaked often to figure out the best offer for when it's officially rolled out. But currently, at the Yonkers location, the pass has a monthly fee between $15 and $20 for unlimited movies, which includes seeing the same movie as many times as you want.  Through the Drafthouse app you can pick the movie and showtime you want, reserve your seat (this doesn't need to be done at the movie theater, and you can do it days in advance), and add any additional tickets. "You can just walk right into the theater and sit down," Trafton said, after you're done selecting the movie on the app. "You don't have to stop at the box office, there's no credit cards that you have to fiddle with, it's a completely seamless experience." Alamo Season Pass currently doesn't offer food or beverage deals, and it's only for standard-format 2D movies and 3D tickets (but not for any special Drafthouse screenings that have a higher ticket price). Trafton said the number of subscribers using the pass at the Yonkers location will increase over time. On a weekly basis, people on the waitlist in Yonkers are receiving email invites to take part. The price and features are included on the email — remember, they are beta testing, so the monthly price and options may change — and the invitee is given two weeks to agree to take part. Trafton said the biggest takeaway so far has been the mix of movies people are seeing with the pass. "Our number one movie people are seeing with Season Pass is 'Mission: Impossible — Fallout,' but our number two movie is 'Eighth Grade,'" Trafton said, referring to the acclaimed A24 release. "One of the big goals for having a subscription is to share independent films that we really think are the lifeblood of cinema and we love these movies and want to share them with as many people as possible. Our hypothesis is that if we can reduce the friction to seeing movies that people will take a chance on a movie that they didn't hear about as much as one of the big films. It's very early data, but that's really great." The reason Drafthouse is being so methodical about rolling out Alamo Season Pass is because the company wants to have a price point and options that are ideal for the Drafthouse moviegoer, but also make business sense. "If you price it too high the causal moviegoer won't be interested and if you go too low you'll drive yourself out of business from overuse," Trafton said. "The key variable is the price and then we have to determine what our members control, which is their behaviors, how often they see movies." Trafton said it's hard to figure that out now because, comparing it to a gym membership, Season Pass is in a binge period (Trafton said the most pass members are going right now is every three days on average). He said it will take months to see how the members use it in normal behavior. In that time, Season Pass may be rolled out to other locations for beta testing, but it's "going to be a while," Trafton said, before the subscription plan is available at all 29 Drafthouse locations around the country.  "People love it," Trafton said of the reaction to Season Pass so far. "The app has been solid and easy to use, the response has been over the moon."  SEE ALSO: Inside the long process of getting Led Zeppelin's music in HBO's "Sharp Objects," which has defined the mood of the show Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How a black cop infiltrated the KKK — the true story behind Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'
  • Ethereum is down another 10% as the global crypto market goes into 'panic mode'
    Ethereum is down another 10% on Tuesday after falling 17% on Monday. The cryptocurrency market has lost 10% of its value in the past 24 hours. Bitcoin dropped below $6,000 earlier in the session session. You can follow live cryptocurrency prices on Markets Insider. LONDON — Ethereum's steep price fall continued on Tuesday as the entire cryptocurrency market continues to fall. Ethereum is down just over 10% to $253.35 at 4.22 p.m. BST (11.22 a.m. ET). The current sell-off began on Monday, when Ethereum dropped to an 11-month low. Bloomberg reported that the slump was sparked by startups that had raised funding in ethereum through so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) now cashing their holdings into traditional fiat money they can spend on development. Matthew Newton, an analyst at eToro, said in an email: "The crypto market seems to have hit panic mode, with prices falling significantly across the board. As we can see in the case of ether, investors seem to be increasing liquidations of their ICO holdings, with significant drops in price and increased volumes." As of Tuesday morning London time, the value of the overall cryptocurrency market had fallen by about 10% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.com, to $193 billion from $218 billion. Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by value, dropped below the psychologically significant level of $6,000 early in the session before fighting back. Bitcoin was down 3.7% to $6,020.24 at 4.24 p.m. BST (11.24 a.m. ET). Other major cryptocurrencies were suffering similar drops at the same time: XRP is down 6.2% to $0.25 Bitcoin cash is down 9.4% to $481.49 Stellar is down 6.1% to $0.21 EOS is down 6.4% to $4.34 Litecoin is down 8.7% to $51.57 The cryptocurrency market has been under pressure since late June, when the US Securities and Exchange Commission delayed a decision on whether to approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund, a move that bitcoin bulls believe would have greatly increased the size of the market. "If an ETF doesn't see the light in the coming weeks expect to see a further selloff, as it suggests regulators will continue to fight against bringing cryptocurrencies into the mainstream," Hussein Sayed, the chief market strategist at FXTM, said in an email on Tuesday morning, adding that a break below $5,770 for bitcoin would "intensify selling pressure as it's the only major support still standing." The slump comes as emerging-market currencies are selling off, spooked by last week's collapse of the Turkish lira against the dollar. Neil Wilson, the chief market analyst at Markets.com, said in an email that this coincidence "puts paid to the notion of cryptos as a safe haven play." "Ultimately USD and US Treasury notes are the only real safe harbour," Wilson said.SEE ALSO: Ethereum plunges to its lowest level in 11 months DON'T MISS: Bitcoin dives after the SEC shoots down plans for another bitcoin ETF Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How a Wall Street chief strategist's Costco shopping experience explains the biggest misconception about global trade
  • Uber is going on the offensive and plotting clever ways to grow despite NYC's cap on ride-hailing cars
    Uber plans to use creative measures to remain competitive in New York City following the passage of a bill that put a cap on the number of vehicles that may operate within the city.  In a statement to Business Insider, an Uber spokesperson said, "Uber will do whatever it takes to keep up with growing demand." The company plans on setting up a system where drivers share cars so vehicles don't remain idle while also recruiting existing livery drivers in the New York City area into their app network.  Uber plans to use creative measures to remain competitive in New York City following the passage of bills that put a cap on and freeze the number of vehicles that may operate within the city for the next year.  On Wednesday, in a 39-6 vote, the New York City Council passed multiple bills that will pause the granting of new licenses for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-share companies for one year while a study is conducted by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) to determine the effects these companies are having on the city's transportation industry. The legislation passed by the city also grants a new minimum pay-rate for drivers.  Prior to the vote, City Council Speaker Corey Johnsons said, "We are pausing the issuance of new licenses in an industry that has been allowed to proliferate without any appropriate check or regulation," before adding that he does not expect the existing service for ride-sharing customers to diminish.  Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the legislation on Tuesday, which will take effect immediately. With new regulations in place, ride-sharing companies like Uber will now need to work within the limits of the law to continue to remain competitive.  In a statement to Business Insider, Uber spokesperson Danielle Filson said,  "We take the Speaker at his word that the pause is not intended to reduce service for New Yorkers and we trust that he will hold the TLC accountable, ensuring that no New Yorker is left stranded. In the meantime, Uber will do whatever it takes to keep up with growing demand and we will not stop working with city and state leaders, including Speaker Johnson, to pass real solutions like comprehensive congestion pricing." But Uber's options under the license freeze are limited in part because of the company will now be restricted to an existing pool of vehicles.  A company spokesperson told Business Insider that Uber is ready to use creative measures to get around the language of the bills. First, the spokesperson notes that this cap is not a limit on the number of drivers, but rather a pause on the number of new vehicles. This distinction is important, as the company is thinking of reaching out to Uber vehicle owners who may be off the app for two or three days a week and see if they will allow new Uber drivers to use their vehicle when it is idle. This way, the company can ensure it keeps a high number of cars on the road despite a limit on new licenses.  Another way Uber plans to work-around the new measures will be to recruit from within the existing field of livery drivers, which includes yellow taxis and black-cars.  While voicing his support for the legislation, Mayor Bill de Blasio told the New York Times, "More than 100,000 workers and their families will see an immediate benefit from this legislation."  Uber estimates the number of industry drivers in the area to be closer to 120,000, and an Uber spokesperson told Business Insider that the company believes there are at least 35,000 existing licensed vehicles not being utilized by their app system. In short, Uber plans to recruit black-car drivers into their network.   And while the newly passed bills plan on creating a new minimum pay-rate for drivers, Uber does not plan to oppose those changes to their business model.  An Uber spokesperson told Business Insider the company is "supportive" of a minimum wage or wage floor for their drivers.  The mayor's office told Business Insider that he plans to sign the legislation on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. SEE ALSO: Civil rights groups are speaking out against New York City's proposed freeze on Uber and Lyft FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content! Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Everything wrong with the iPhone
  • The US has more million-dollar real estate markets than ever — here are 23 cities where the typical home will be $1 million by next year
    Home prices in the United States are still rising, pushing more and more cities into $1 million territory. Nearly 200 cities currently have a median home value of at least $1 million, and another 23 cities are projected to join the seven-figure club by summer 2019. California is home to the most million-dollar real estate markets; it has 111 currently, and is expected to add 14 more cities over the next year. Nearly two dozen real estate markets are fast-approaching million-dollar territory, according to a recent report from Zillow. Zillow's data reveals that by June 2019, 23 cities will have median home values of at least $1 million, joining the 197 US cities where the typical home is already valued at seven-figures. (In these cities, half the homes are valued below $1 million and half are valued above.) California and New York are currently home to the most million-dollar real estate markets. The Golden State has a significant edge, with 111 cities that have a median home value of $1 million or more as of June 2018. The San Francisco metro area has 46 $1 million cities — the most of any metro in the country. New York state has 30 cities. Of the 23 new cities to join the million-dollar club by next summer, 14 are in California —  all in the San Francisco and Los Angeles metro areas — and three are in New York. And three cities that had a $1 million median home value before the housing bust in 2006 are set to regain their status by 2019. Keep reading to find out which cities will soon cross the $1 million mark.SEE ALSO: Homes have become so expensive in the Bay Area that renting is now a better deal than buying DON'T MISS: California's housing market has reached a boiling point, and a typical home costs $600,000 Biltmore Forest, North Carolina Metro: Asheville Median home value, June 2018: $978,900 Projected median home value, June 2019: $1,005,018   Newark, California Metro: San Francisco Median home value, June 2018: $919,200 Projected median home value, June 2019: $1,005,404 Sammamish, Washington Metro: Seattle Median home value, June 2018: $945,000 Projected median home value, June 2019: $1,006,068 See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • These are the countries most at risk if Turkey's lira crash spirals into a debt crisis
    The collapse of the Turkish lira and the strong dollar have hit emerging market currencies globally. If the trend continues, countries may start to have trouble paying back dollar-denominated debts. Analysts say Argentina, Pakistan, South Africa, and Colombia are among those most at risk. LONDON — The collapse of the Turkish lira against the dollar is the focus of global markets but emerging market currencies are getting hammered across the board and there are concerns that the issue could spiral from a currency crisis into a debt crisis. The Indian rupee hit an all-time low against the dollar overnight, the South African rand has been diving, Argentina's central bank hiked rates by 5% on Monday to arrest the peso's decline, and Indonesia's government is meeting to discuss emergency measures to defend the sinking rupiah. "EM [emerging market] currencies (judged by the Bloomberg EM currency basket) are now at their lowest nominal value in the past three years – below the level reached in early 2016 at the time of the commodity price fall and period of US$ strength," analysts Stuart Culverhouse and Hasnain Malik from emerging market specialist bank Exotix said in a note on Tuesday. UBS and Credit Suisse have both flagged the danger that Turkey's currency crisis could spiral into a debt crisis. If this does happen, we could see similar issues in other emerging markets. Many emerging markets loaded up on dollar-denominated debts when interest rates were low. But a combination of falling local currencies and a soaring US dollar mean those debts are getting more expensive to pay off. Turkey's foreign currency debts across businesses, banks, and the government are at 55% of GDP, according to the Telegraph. The newspaper reports that The Institute of International Finance "thinks events in Turkey are just the start of a long and painful hangover for those emerging markets that drank deepest from this cup." The report warns that South Africa, Indonesia, and Columbia are most at risk. David Jones, chief market strategist at Capital.com, said in an email: "Given that the memories of the far-reaching effects of the Greek crisis have not been forgotten, do not be surprised if we see cautious trading and further US dollar strength in the days ahead as investors decide that it is better to be safe and late to any recovery - rather than be too early and very wrong." Exotix's Culverhouse and Malik say that emerging markets are currently suffering mainly from the "risk off" sentiment rather than a belief among investors that they share similar characteristics with Turkey. But the pair refers to a ranking they made in May showing which countries could be most at risk if sentiment does shift. Here's the ranking: The Exotix pair writes: "Most of the others in our sample (except India) are too small to pose wider systemic risks. But difficulties could lead to localised, country-specific problems, especially for those with pre-existing weaknesses." Lale Akoner, a market strategist in BNY Mellon’s global investment strategy group, said on Tuesday: "In our view, Turkey is mostly the exception and not the rule, and not necessarily demonstrative of the larger EM complex. "Nevertheless, what is largely an idiosyncratic risk for Turkey did feed into the negative sentiment towards EMs in general."SEE ALSO: UBS: Turkey could be heading into a balance-of-payments crisis DON'T MISS: India's rupee hits an all-time low as the Turkish lira crisis spills over to other currencies Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: An early bitcoin investor explains what most people get wrong about the cryptocurrency
  • Big pickup trucks have one clear advantage over all other vehicles
    Full-size pickup trucks can combine hauling capacity with ample seating. They can also deliver these advantages while delivering cruising comfort. The main drawback is that the truck bed is exposed to elements. Everybody knows that pickup trucks have a killer feature: the truck bed. Other types of vehicles can be more practical for everyday use, but pickups come in pretty handy when you need to move house, engage in some heavy home improvement, serious gardening, or simply to move around everything from mountain bikes to kayaks. For just this reason, a lot of folks keep around a smaller pickup as a sort of weekend vehicle. But there are times when choosing a full-size pickup makes sense. Full-size pickups rule the US auto market. Ford, General Motors (with its Chevy and GMC brands), and Fiat Chrysler's RAM sell millions of big pickups annually. They're quite popular, and quite profitable. But they're usually favored by people who have serious use-cases. People like farmers, ranchers, and contractors. They demand hauling capacity, towing credibility, and legitimate offroad chops from their pickups. Every once in a while, a citizen such as myself gets to appreciate the virtues of a full-size pickup. This happened recently when I had to carry four kids and their gear back from summer sleepaway camp. I've driven plenty of full-size pickups, but I hadn't previously thrown this challenge at one. My chariot was a Toyota Tundra. Here's what happened:FOLLOW US: On Facebook for more car and transportation content! Last year, I pressed a classic family-hauler, the Toyota Sienna minivan, into service. As you can see, it handled the task. But I really had to work my packing skills to get four kids' gear into the cargo area. Here's more or less the same load, but in 2018. There was also ample seating space for four youths, in the CrewMax configuration of the Sienna's sibling, the Toyota Tundra. Yes, it's true that good weather is a prerequisite for throwing everybody's stuff into the bed. But as you can see, a tonneau cover would have kept rain out, as would a cap from an aftermarket outfit like Leer. Even a simple tarp with some tie-down would have been OK in my situation. You know how long it took to load this much gear? Less than five minutes. The other factor is that while smaller pickups can also accommodate a lot of stuff, full-size pickups often have a more plush ride. That was certainly true of the Tundra, which cruised in near-total comfort for 200 miles. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • Einhorn's Greenlight cuts back many top holdings, slices Apple
    Billionaire investor David Einhorn, whose Greenlight Capital is posting some of the hedge fund industry's worst returns, cut back several long-term holdings including Apple Inc , Voya Financial Inc ...
  • The Rise Of The Health Care Robotics [INFOGRAPHIC]
    In the year 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the da Vinci Surgical system, the first robotic surgical aid. Since its introduction, surgeons have used da Vinci to complete more than 20,000 procedures. Simultaneously, medical researchers have developed […] The post The Rise Of The Health Care Robotics [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • The FBI is reportedly quietly warning banks of a potential large-scale hacking scheme that could hit their ATMs
    The FBI reportedly sent a confidential email to banks Friday outlining a potential ATM security threat. The scheme is known as an "ATM cash-out." Hackers use malware to access machines, lift controls and access large sums of money. The FBI is privately warning banks of a potential global hacking scheme that could be carried out through their ATMs. The bureau sent a confidential alert to banks Friday to notify them individuals are planning a large-scale fraud scheme known as an "ATM cash-out," journalist Brian Krebs first reported on his cybersecurity news website.  FBI spokesperson Lauren Hagee did not comment on the matter specifically, but sent Business Insider the following statement in response to questions about it: "In furtherance of public-private partnerships, the FBI routinely advises private industry of various cyber threat indicators observed during the course of our investigations. This data is provided in order to help systems administrators guard against the actions of persistent cyber criminals." In an ATM cashout scheme, hackers can use malware to access a bank or payment card processor and sometimes make fraudulent copies of cards by imprinting stolen card data on reusable magnetic strip cards. Krebs said they can also manipulate account information and security settings to make large sums of money available for withdrawal. "Just prior to executing on ATM cash-outs, the intruders will remove many fraud controls at the financial institution, such as maximum ATM withdrawal amounts and any limits on the number of customer ATM transactions daily," Krebs wrote.SEE ALSO: 'Tech trendiness' has spiked to dangerous levels — here's why that could be signaling widespread market pain Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Is marrying your cousin actually dangerous?
  • Morgan Stanley raises its Salesforce price forecast, predicting big success from its latest multi-billion dollar deal
    Morgan Stanley raises its price target for Salesforce shares, predicting a large increase in its sales due to its MuleSoft deal.
  • FBI warns banks about potential ATM hacking scheme
    Read full story for latest details.
  • A new study shows Trump's trade war probably won't achieve one of its biggest goals
    President Donald Trump identified the reduction of the US trade deficit as one of the key goals for the recent tariffs imposed by the US. According to research by economists at the New York Federal Reserve, however, it is unlikely that Trump's tariffs will lead to a reduction of the trade deficit. The New York Fed economists identified two reasons that the deficit will not decline: increased costs will reduce the output of domestic exporters and retaliatory tariffs will reduce foreign appetite for US goods. President Donald Trump's tariffs are unlikely to help achieve one of the president's biggest trade goals, according to a new study by the New York Federal Reserve. Trump has repeatedly cited the US's trade deficit as a reason for starting the trade war and has pushed for the reduction of the trade deficit in various negotiations. But a new report from the New York Federal Reserve's Liberty Street Economics blog shows that Trump is unlikely to get the targeted reduction using his favorite trade tool: tariffs. According to the New York Fed economists, while the new duties on goods coming into the US will lead to a decrease in the amount of imports — as Trump intends — the value of exports sent out of the US will also come down. "In this post, we argue that US exports will also fall, not only because of other countries' retaliatory tariffs on US exports, but also because the costs for US firms producing goods for export will rise and make US exports less competitive on the world market," the New York Fed said. "The end result is likely to be lower imports and lower exports, with little or no improvement in the trade deficit." To understand what happens to exports under higher tariffs, the New York Fed economists looked at a case where tariffs changed dramatically, but in the opposite direction. Between 2000 and 2006, the average Chinese tariff dropped by 40%, leading to increased productivity and trade. Looking at the Chinese boost from dropping their tariffs, the economists were able to determine two reasons that a tariff increase would result in decreased exports: Domestic exporters produce less: Tariffs increase the cost for companies that import parts to use for final products, which in turn causes these firms to produce less. Many of these manufacturers are also exporters, so as the firms make less, they also export less. Retaliatory tariffs make US exports less attractive for foreign buyers: China, Canada, the European Union, and more have already hit many US goods with tariffs as a response to Trump's restrictions. This makes US exports more expensive and less attractive to customers outside of the US. Already, foreign buyers of US goods like soybeans and boats have canceled contracts and gone elsewhere for their needs. Put another way, even as Trump's trade war slows down the rate of imports, the increased cost of goods because of the tariffs will cause exports to shrink as well. Trade data since the start of Trump's trade war backs up the New York Fed's findings. According to the lastest data from the US Census Bureau, the US trade deficit increased through the first six months of 2018 and is growing faster than last year. In the month of June, exports actually fell while imports increased, the opposite of Trump's goal. While the trade war is still in its early days, based on the New York Fed's research, the current trend is unlikely to change anytime soon.SEE ALSO: One map shows why Trump's trade war with China could be a disaster for average Americans Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Meet the woman behind Trump's $20 million merch empire
  • Blue Light From Your Phone May Make You Blind [STUDY]
    Blue light is almost omnipresent nowadays; it is emitted by computers, televisions and smartphones. However, if the finding of a new study is anything to go by, one must stay away from this dreaded light for as long as possible. […] The post Blue Light From Your Phone May Make You Blind [STUDY] appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • What issuers can do to win market share in a period of unprecedented regulation and competition
    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. The US prepaid card ecosystem is huge, with 10.7 billion prepaid card transactions made in 2016 reaching $290 billion. And it’s shifting focus from low-income, un- and underbanked consumers toward millennials and higher-income adults. But as the market evolves, legacy prepaid issuers, like Green Dot, are under threat. The market is becoming more competitive as tech companies like Apple, Square, and Venmo develop their own prepaid offerings, likely as part of a push to drive customers to engage with their core peer-to-peer (P2P) transfer or digital wallet apps. These players’ robust digital offerings and ability to offer prepaid services for lower, or no fees are undercutting legacy businesses. And on top of crowding, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is implementing regulations next year that could impact some issuers’ monetization strategies. As a result, the US prepaid card market is becoming an increasingly complicated space for issuers to navigate, so prepaid issuers need to rethink their strategies to best attract consumers. Companies can attract a bigger user base if they target younger users from both low-income and high-income segments. They should also provide convenient offerings, that integrate digital features to make account information accessible, to cater to young consumers’ preferences. Business Insider Intelligence has put together a detailed report that explores the evolving prepaid card industry, identifies how issuers can maintain profitability in a market that’s being challenged by new players and impending government regulations, and evaluates various paths to success. Here are some key takeaways from the report: There were 10.7 billion prepaid card transactions worth $290 billion in 2016, according to The Federal Reserve. Business Insider Intelligence expects that to grow to $396 billion by 2022.  The prepaid space has historically been filled with incumbents like Green Dot. But new players, like Apple, Amazon, and Venmo, are trying to gain share, which is pushing large prepaid firms to merge or acquire one another to grow. Issuers can adapt to the change in the space, and grow their share of the market, by providing convenient, multichannel access, and doing so in a way that facilitates profitability. Targeting younger consumers, both from the underbanked and high-income segments, as well as accessing users from physical as well as digital channels, can help facilitate this growth. In full, the report: Sizes the US prepaid card market and estimates its future trajectory. Identifies industry leaders and the newcomers to prepaid that are threatening their market share. Evaluates growth factors and inhibitors that are increasing competition in the space. Issues recommendations and strategies that issuers can implement to stay ahead in such a rapidly shifting space. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports Access to all future reports and daily newsletters Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More Purchase & download the full report from our research store Join the conversation about this story »
  • Consumers spent big at Home Depot
    The home improvement store's bounce back could be a good sign for other big retailers.
  • Apple Pay still has room to grow in the US (AAPL)
    This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence "Payments Briefing" subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here. Apple Pay adoption is improving across the board, but the wallet continues to struggle in the US, according to new estimates that Gene Munster of Loup Ventures released late last week. Overall, Apple Pay users are rising. Loup estimates that Apple Pay now counts 253 million users globally, representing just under one-third of total iPhone users. That’s up from 127 million at the end of 2017 and about double the 16% of total iPhone users it counted at the end of last year; these gains can be attributed to Apple's efforts to expand Apple Pay's addressable base by moving into new markets and partnering with new banks. But most of that user base is coming from outside the US. Eighty-five percent of Apple Pay users come from outside the US. And the 15% of Apple Pay users who hail from the US is a smaller share than the 29% seen at the end of 2017, indicating that user base growth is being driven almost entirely by global markets. The user growth indicates that customers are warming to mobile wallets, particularly in non-US markets. Many of Apple’s international markets are already attuned to contactless payments — in the UK, for example, contactless card volume is doubling annually, which can precipitate demand for mobile wallets. And in China, QR-based payments are already common, which could drive users already acclimated to mobile wallets to Apple Pay when they want to use a credit card or other payment method incompatible with Alipay or WeChat Pay. And there could be pent-up demand, as Apple’s restriction on NFC hardware access means that banks and retailers can often develop proprietary wallets only for Android users, leaving iPhone users without a wallet. This means that Apple Pay sees quick uptick when it enters markets, as it has in Australia. For those reasons, it isn’t shocking that the wallet is overperforming internationally as it ramps up its addressable base. But sustained growth is twofold, so working to further accelerate transaction growth as the wallet enters new markets will be key.It’s likely that the US is the biggest single iPhone market worldwide, so by numbers alone it should have a larger, or at least growing, share of users. And though this issue isn’t specific to Apple — wallets across the board are struggling to gain adoption in a plastic-oriented market — if the firm hopes to rely on Apple Pay as a growing source of revenue for its Services segment, it’s going to have to work to improve in the market. The firm is beginning to make moves to do this — it recently added major retail partners including CVS and 7-Eleven, which could help encourage habit formation, and is running local promotions that could encourage users to test and incorporate the wallet into their day-to-day lives, in turn helping grow transactions while the wallet expands its addressable base. However, it should continue these efforts, or it'll risk missing a window of opportunity. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: Content like this delivered straight to your inbox daily Access to 250+ expertly researched reports plus all future reports Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More  Join the conversation about this story »
  • Jana Partners jumps back into Facebook, adds stakes in Alibaba, Wells Fargo
    Activist investor Jana Partners has taken new stakes in Alibaba, Alphabet, Facebook, Wells Fargo and Microsoft, according to an SEC filing reporting positions through the end of the second quarter.
  • Erdogan Takes On Trump! Turkey Boycotts US Electronics After Being Stabbed ‘In The Back’
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has outright rejected the notion that economic fundamentals are the reason behind the recent slide in Lira. On Tuesday, Erdogan announced that Turkey would boycott the US electronics products. His announcement came soon after the […] The post Erdogan Takes On Trump! Turkey Boycotts US Electronics After Being Stabbed ‘In The Back’ appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • Should you secretly tape conversations with your boss?
    Recording in the office can make sense, but recording someone without their consent isn't alwyas legal. And just because you can record a conversation, doesn't mean you should.
  • Companies Now Offer Customized Paths To Better Credit Repair
    Americans struggle with bad credit, having a record of past failures to keep up with payments. Millions of people have bad or poor credit scores. Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide an exact number. Numerous businesses that do credit […] The post Companies Now Offer Customized Paths To Better Credit Repair appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • Tesla: Not clear yet whether Elon Musk's plan to go private makes sense
    Read full story for latest details.
  • The threat Turkey's crisis poses to the world
    Read full story for latest details.
  • The results of the most brutal finance exam in the world have just been released — here are the questions those who took it faced
    On Tuesday, results for Levels I and II of the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification were released. Every year, more than 100,000 people take exams to earn the CFA. The series of three exams is notoriously difficult — less than 50% of people who take the first level pass. Below are seven questions from a recent Level I practice exam. Here's some advice to prepare for the exam. On Tuesday, thousands of aspiring financiers around the world are finding out how they performed in one of the most mentally grueling exam experiences on the planet, the Chartered Financial Analyst Program. The series of three exams is designed to ensure that people working in certain parts of the financial industry have all the right knowledge to succeed. More than 100,000 people around the world take the test in more than 100 countries every year. The exams are notoriously tough — pass rates have hovered around 40-50%. Most people study for more than 300 hours beforehand. Becoming a CFA charter holder is a huge leg up for anyone hoping to build a career in investment management. But what do the exams involve? Business Insider got hold of a recent practice test from the CFA Institute, which administers the exam, to see just how difficult it is. We've picked a handful of questions from the Level I exam, which is, in theory at least, the easiest one. The full exam is six hours and consists of 240 multiple-choice questions. "For many students, parts of the CFA Program exams that commonly cause the most trouble are those covering fixed income and derivatives," Alex King, a director for examination development at the CFA Institute, told Business Insider. Check out the questions, along with the answers and explanations from the CFA Institute:SEE ALSO: How much you can earn in your first year at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and other big investment banks QUESTION: A portfolio of securities representing a given security market, market segment, or asset class is best described as a: A) Benchmark B) Security market index C) Total return index ANSWER: B "A security market index represents a given security market, market segment, or assetclass and is normally constructed as portfolios of marketable securities." QUESTION: Colin Gifford, CFA, is finalizing a monthly newsletter to his clients, who are primarily individual investors. Many of the clients' accounts hold the common stock of Capricorn Technologies. In the newsletter, Gifford writes, "Based on the next six months' earnings of $1.50 per share and a 10% increase in the dividend, the price of Capricorn's stock will be $22 per share by the end of the year." Regarding his stock analysis, the least appropriate action Gifford should take to avoid violating any CFA Institute Standards of Professional Conduct would be to: A) Separate fact from opinion B) Include earnings estimates C) Identify limitations of the analysis See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • Genoa Bridge Collapsed In Italy, Dozens Dead
    A bridge in Genoa, Italy, known as Ponte Morandi collapsed today, trapping dozens beneath the rubble. There have been 11 confirmed dead in the Genoa bridge collapse, but the death toll is expected to continue to rise. The bridge collapsed […] The post Genoa Bridge Collapsed In Italy, Dozens Dead appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • A Wall Street investment chief says tech stocks have gotten too trendy for their own good — and explains why that could lead to market-wide pain
    Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, has concocted a tool to assess whether tech stocks have gotten too trendy. He then applies that methodology to stock-market history, in order to find out what top-tier trendiness has historically meant for both tech and the broader market — and the results aren't exactly encouraging. Anyone watching the stock market knows that the tech sector is flying high in seemingly unstoppable fashion. Contrarians have long called foul on this, blindly assuming that what goes up must surely come crashing down at some point. But that's been a long-running fool's errand. If you'd have dumped your tech shares at the first sign of overvaluation, you would've missed out on months — if not years — of massive returns. Fortunately for those waiting for the axe to fall on tech, Jim Paulsen, the chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group, has a tool for assessing when that might happen. And based on his most recent findings, the next year may not be so pretty for the red-hot sector — and, by extension, the market at large. Paulsen has concocted a measure for assessing "trendiness," which he defines as the number of weeks the tech sector's relative total return has either outperformed or underperformed the S&P 500, on a trailing one-year basis. By his methodology, a "persistent trend" requires that the measure meets or exceeds the previous week's reading. His findings are reflected in the chart below. As you can see, tech "trendiness" is at its highest level in 15 years, having spiked into its top quintile — an event that's happened infrequently over the years. So what does that mean for the future of tech stocks? If history is any indication, the sector could be in for a rude awakening. Paulsen finds that, since 1990, top-quintile tech trendiness has resulted in 11% lower average returns, relative to the S&P 500. This divergence is reflected below. Paulsen also finds that overextended tech trendiness whips up price swings, which can make losses worse during turbulent times. "Once trendiness reaches the top quintile, the risk of future underperformance rises significantly," he wrote in a client note. "It also significantly increases relative return volatility." As for the broader market, Paulsen finds that it too is adversely affected by immense tech trendiness. A top-quintile reading has been associated with a future average-annualized weekly return of only 2.74% for the S&P 500, which he notes is aberrantly low, relative to history. Ultimately, however, Paulsen qualifies his findings with the assurance that top-tier tech trendiness is not necessarily a death knell for the sector, nor the broader market. It simply implies that a repricing may be in order for both — which hasn't always meant a major, bone-rattling market meltdown. Still, he stresses caution for tech bulls still riding high off recent success. "They possess considerable positive price momentum, have sexy stories, offer huge future growth prospects, and are immensely popular with most investors," he said. "It’s a difficult time to sell! Perhaps though, technology has trended into a sell signal? While still mighty comfortable, the trend may no longer be a friend!”SEE ALSO: There’s a $1 trillion question hanging over stocks right now — and the answer could determine the ultimate fate of the market Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Everything wrong with the iPhone
  • We drove a $54,000 Audi A4 and a $46,000 Acura TLX to see which luxury sedan we liked better — here's the verdict
    The Audi A4 2.0T quattro and the Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD are two of our favorite compact luxury sedans. Both cars nearly won the Business Insider Car of the Year award. The Audi A4 is powered by a 2.0 liter, 252 horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine while the Acura TLX A-Spec has a 3.5-liter, 290 horsepower, V6 under the hood.  The base A4 starts at $36,000 while the top-of-the-line A4 Prestige starts at $45,000. The Acura TLX starts at $33,000 while the sporty TLX A-Spec edition costs $46,000. The Audi A4's superior driving dynamics, styling, and infotainment tech won out.  With the rise of the crossover SUV, the market for compact luxury sedans isn't what it once was. Even as the segment shrinks, competition within it remains red hot. Of all the cars we've driven from this segment over the past couple of years, the Audi A4 2.oT quattro and the Acura TLX A-Spec SH-AWD stand out as two of our favorites. The A4 was the runner-up for Business Insider's 2016 Car of the Year award while TLX A-Spec nearly finished in the top five of our 2017 awards. The current, fifth-generation A4 was all-new for the 2017 model year. It's the latest in a long line of successful compact luxury sedans from the Ingolstadt, Germany-based automaker.  The Acura TLX debuted in 2014 as a replacement for the compact TSX and the midsize TL. In 2017, Acura gave the sedan a mid-cycle refresh which included a brand new front end, updated infotainment, and the addition of a performance-oriented A-Spec trim level. We recognize that the TLX A-Spec is a performance trim with V6 power while the A4 2.0T is Audi's mainstream trim level with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. However, both vehicles are similarly priced and with similar capabilities. So, which one is better? Let's find out.SEE ALSO: We drove a $58,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit and a $65,000 Land Rover Discovery HSE Luxury to see which SUV we liked better — here's the verdict FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content! First up is the Audi A4. The Audi A4 starts at $36,000 while our top-spec Prestige model carries a starting price of $45,500. A heavy dose of optional goodies pushed our all-wheel-drive test car to $54,275. Styling-wise, the new A4 is elegantly understated. It's the latest evolution of the modern design language that has come to define the brand in recent years. Up front, Audi's trademark hexagonal "Singleframe" grille has grown in magnitude to become even more prominent. It's flanked by a pair of Xenon headlights with LED daytime running lamps. See the rest of the story at Business Insider
  • Are Gaming Consoles Approaching Death? Possibly, But Not Now
    Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation have been arch rivals in the gaming console space for ages now, but this rivalry may soon fade away. If the latest trends are anything to go by, the overall gaming consoles industry might not […] The post Are Gaming Consoles Approaching Death? Possibly, But Not Now appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • Bitmain is going public for $18 billion
    This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence "Fintech Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here. Chinese crypto conglomerate Bitmain is reportedly filing for an initial public offering (IPO) in which it hopes to raise $18 billion, according to CoinDesk. Bitmain, which is the world’s leading producer of crypto mining chips, or ASICs, has already closed $450 million in private funding from participants including Sequoia, GIC, and IDG Capital, as well as a $1 billion funding round led by Chinese tech giant Tencent and Japan’s SoftBank. The company is set to file for its IPO in September 2018 for listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE). According to documents seen by CoinDesk, the listing is planned for the end of 2018 or Q1 2019 and will be underwritten by China International Corporation. Bitmain’s listing follows a raft of other Chinese unicorns going public, with direct crypto mining competitors Canaan Creative and Ebang Communication having also filled for listings on the HKSE. This would mark the world's largest crypto-focused IPO, and one of the largest public floats in history. The record for the biggest IPO to date is held by Alibaba, which raised $25 billion in 2014, while Facebook’s highly anticipated IPO raised $16 billion in 2012. Bitmain’s anticipated public offering is set to dwarf the $1 billion target set by Canaan and Ebang, and could deliver the company a market cap of $40 billion to $50 billion. Bitmain's decision to pursue an IPO could bring more legitimacy to the crypto space. The completion of such a large public offering by a crypto company would serve as a major step toward the mainstream for the entire industry, enabling large swathes of investors to get exposure to crypto-related activities on the public market. Moreover, unlike ICOs, public stock offerings place regulatory scrutiny on companies and require them to meet certain transparency standards. This choice therefore could help Bitmain gain more credibility with investors, and suggests that crypto-focused companies are growing more cognizant of the need for a regulatory and legal framework to attract long-term investment, legitimize their businesses, and accelerate growth. Subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to: Content like this delivered straight to your inbox daily Access to 250+ expertly researched reports plus all future reports Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry And more! Learn More Join the conversation about this story »
  • Apple Pulls Its iOS 12 Beta 7 Update Due To Performance Issues
    Apple, in rushing to prepare the iOS 12 for the iPhone and iPad users as soon as possible, released the new iOS 12 beta 7 full of bugs. If you haven’t yet downloaded the iOS 12 beta 7 update, you […] The post Apple Pulls Its iOS 12 Beta 7 Update Due To Performance Issues appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • Tencent Removes Monster Hunter: World Probably Over Corpses In Game
    Tencent shares in Hong Kong took a beating on Tuesday after Chinese regulators banned the company from selling one of the hottest games – Monster Hunter: World – on its distribution platform, WeGame. The game only recently broke all records to […] The post Tencent Removes Monster Hunter: World Probably Over Corpses In Game appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • Square takes upper hand in payments battle as Cash app downloads surpass PayPal's Venmo
    Square's stock is poised for further upside now that cumulative downloads of its Square Cash app have surpassed those of Paypal's Venmo for the first time, according to Nomura Instinet.
  • Tesla's board has formed a special committee to consider going private (TSLA)
    Tesla's board of directors has formed a special committee to examine CEO Elon Musk's preference to take the company private, according to a statement on Tesla's website.  Three independent board members — Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, and Linda Johnson Rice — will sit on the special committee. While Musk has not yet presented the committee with a formal proposal to convert Tesla into a private company, he will need the committee's approval before Tesla can go private. Tesla's board of directors has formed a special committee to examine CEO Elon Musk's preference to take the company private, according to a statement on Tesla's website.  Three independent board members — Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm, and Linda Johnson Rice — will sit on the special committee. While Musk has not yet presented the committee with a formal proposal to convert Tesla into a private company, he will need the committee's approval before Tesla can go private. The committee has secured the law firm Latham & Watkins LLP as its legal counsel and intends to use an independent financial advisor. Last week, Musk expressed his desire to take Tesla private in a now-controversial tweet. "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured," Musk said via Twitter before issuing a formal statement on Tesla's website. In that statement, Musk said taking the company private was "the best path forward." He said the pressures of being a public company created distractions and promoted short-term thinking that may not produce the best decisions in the long term. Some were confused in the hours and days following the tweet, since Musk did not initially disclose who might provide the funding he mentioned. The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the US Securities and Exchange Commission had made an inquiry into Tesla about whether one of Musk's tweets regarding the possibility of taking the company private was truthful. And on Thursday, Bloomberg reported that the agency was "intensifying" its inquiry. On Monday, Musk said in a statement that he used the phrase "funding secured" because he believed there was "no question" Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund would provide funding for a deal to convert Tesla into a private company after a July 31 meeting with the fund's managing director. He made the announcement via Twitter, he said, because he wanted all Tesla investors to know about the possibility of Tesla going private at the same time. Musk said he was in discussions with the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and other investors and planned to fund most of a potential take-private deal with equity rather than debt, since he does not want to increase Tesla's debt load. Musk also estimated that about two-thirds of the shares owned by Tesla shareholders would roll over into shares of a private Tesla, were a deal to go through. In that case, he would not have to raise the over $70 billion that would be needed to buy out all current shareholders at $420 a share. "Reports that more than $70B would be needed to take Tesla private dramatically overstate the actual capital raise needed," he said. Musk said all relevant parties would be able to review a proposal before a decision was made about going private. He said a proposal would not be presented, however, until discussions with potential investors were finished. The Saudi sovereign wealth fund first met with Musk early last year about taking Tesla private, Musk said, adding that they'd met multiple times. After the fund purchased about 5% of Tesla's shares, it requested another meeting with Musk, which Musk said took place July 31. Musk said that during this meeting the fund's managing director "strongly expressed his support" to contribute funding to take Tesla private. Musk notified Tesla's board of directors of his desire to take Tesla private on August 2, he said. Tesla's board released a statement on Wednesday morning that was very brief and offered few details other than news that Musk had met with the board last week to bring up the possibility of going private. Tesla has been public since 2010, but Musk has previously said he would like to take Tesla private. "I wish we could be private with Tesla," Musk said in an interview with Rolling Stone published in November. "It actually makes us less efficient to be a public company." Musk has also said on multiple occasions that Tesla would become profitable by the end of this year and would not need to raise additional funds, despite its increased cash-burn rate in recent quarters. At the end of June, Tesla said it achieved its goal of making 5,000 Model 3s in one week. Musk previously said that the company would hit that number by the end of 2017 and that sustaining such a production rate was critical for Tesla to become profitable. Read Tesla's full comment below:  Tesla, Inc. (the “Company”) announced today that its Board of Directors has formed a special committee comprised of three independent directors to act on behalf of the Company in connection with Elon Musk’s previously announced consideration of a transaction to take the Company private (the “Going Private Transaction”). The special committee has not yet received a formal proposal from Mr. Musk regarding any Going Private Transaction nor has it reached any conclusion as to the advisability or feasibility of such a transaction. The special committee is composed of Brad Buss, Robyn Denholm and Linda Johnson Rice. The special committee has retained Latham & Watkins LLP as its legal counsel and intends to retain an independent financial advisor to assist in its review of a formal proposal once received. The Company has separately retained Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as its legal counsel in this matter.  The special committee has the full power and authority of the Board of Directors to take any and all actions on behalf of the Board of Directors as it deems necessary to evaluate and negotiate a potential Going Private Transaction and alternatives to any transaction proposed by Mr. Musk. The special committee’s grant of authority provides that no Going Private Transaction will be consummated without the approval of the special committee. The special committee expects to provide a further update concerning the process associated with Mr. Musk’s proposal as soon as practicable. No assurances can be given regarding the likelihood, terms and details of any proposal or potential Going Private Transaction, that any proposal made by Mr. Musk regarding a potential Going Private Transaction will be accepted by the special committee, that definitive documentation relating to any such Going Private Transaction will be executed or that such a transaction will be completed.  Forward Looking Statements Certain statements in this announcement, including statements regarding a potential Going Private Transaction, are “forward-looking statements” that are subject to risks, uncertainties and contingencies. These risks, uncertainties and contingencies include, but are not limited to, the impact of the announcement of the formation of the special committee and review of a potential Going Private Transaction on the Company’s business and its ability to implement any potential Going Private Transaction.  Various important factors could cause actual results to differ materially, including the risks identified in our SEC filings.  This list of factors is not intended to be exhaustive. Such forward-looking statements only speak as of the date of this announcement, and the Company disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements. This is a developing story. Check back for updates. Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com. Read more about Tesla possibly going private: 'It was, at best, hasty and naive, and, at worst, manipulative': Experts slam Elon Musk's confusing defense of why he tweeted 'funding secured' If the Saudis do help Elon Musk take Tesla private, the company could actually take over the world Elon Musk reveals what he meant by his 'funding secured' tweet Elon Musk's tweet about taking Tesla private might be ethically questionable, but it isn't morally wrong A couple of reasons Elon Musk could actually pull off his wild plan to take Tesla private Elon Musk's 'funding secured' tweet could cost Tesla millions, former SEC chairman says Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: An early investor in Uber, Airbnb, and bitcoin explains why it's actually a good sign that no one is spending their crypto
  • An $84 billion hedge fund used Facebook's struggles to build a massive stake (FB)
    Renaissance Technologies, a quant hedge fund that oversees $84 billion, bought up $479.5 million worth of Facebook between April 1 and June 30, regulatory filings show. The hedge fund was apparently "buying the dip" after the social network's scandal-ridden spring caused shares to plunge by 20% at the end of March.  Watch Facebook trade in real time here.  Renaissance Technologies, the $80 billion hedge fund founded by Cold War code breaker James Simons, seems to think the worst for Facebook is over. The hedge fund snapped up 2.47 million shares of the stock in the second quarter — at a valuation of $479.5 million — according to regulatory documents filed Tuesday. A back of the envelope calculation shows the stake was established at an average price of $194.13.  Facebook has been one of the market’s top performing stocks in recent months, coming off the Cambridge Analytica data-privacy scandal. The stock rose 26% in the second quarter after tumbling 20% when the scandal first broke in late March. Renaissance likely saw the brief lapse in stock price as a chance to "buy the dip" in the wake of the carnage at the end of the first quarter. That strategy has been wildly popular throughout the nine-year bull market. It's possible Renaissance exited its position at some point during the first half of the third quarter. If it hasn't, it is likely underwater on the trade as shares are now near $180 apiece.   Other new investments disclosed in the filing include a $706.9 million stake in Apple, a $191.3 million stake in Microsoft, and a 40% increase in its VMware holdings — now worth $777.4 million. Now read: One dirty word keeps popping up as Wall Street weighs the next market crash — and it should strike fear into the hearts of investors everywhere SEE ALSO: Elon Musk makes good on his promise to send David Einhorn 'a box of short shorts' after Tesla hurt the short-seller's performance Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How LeBron James makes and spends his millions
  • Thousands of young Wall Streeters are finding out their results from one of the toughest exams in the world
    The results of the Chartered Financial Analyst exams for 2018 will be released on Tuesday. Students who sat for levels I and II of the CFA exam in June 2018 are finding out their results today. Last year, just 43% of candidates passed Level I, while 47% passed Level II. Pass percentages will not be made public until August 28, when Level III results will also be released. The CFA is regarded as one of the most grueling exams in finance. In June 2018, after countless hours of study, lots of late nights, and gallons of coffee, more than 100,000 aspiring financial analysts around the world sat for the notorious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. The exam, which asks candidates questions on everything from financial modeling to the ethics of business, is considered to be one of the most grueling tests in the world, with less than 50% of people passing each year. It is split into three levels — I, II, and III — and on Tuesday, candidates who sat for Levels I and II back in June find out their fates. Students who took Levels I and II in 2018 were given access to their results beginning at 9 a.m. ET (2 p.m. BST). The CFA Institute, which administers the exams, gives students around the world access to their results at the same time.  "Each candidate who sits for a CFA Program exam is provided with a "pass" or "did not pass" exam result as well as detailed information on their performance," the CFA Institute said on its website. Generally speaking, pass rates increase on each ascending level, with Level I tending to flush out underprepared candidates. Only about one in five people who start the CFA program make it through all three levels and successfully complete the other requirements to become a charter-holder. While students of Levels I and II find out how they did on Tuesday, details of the exam's pass percentages will not be released until August 28, when information about performances on all three levels of the CFA will be made public. Last year, 43% of people sitting for Level I passed the exam, 47% passed Level II, and 54% succeeded at Level III. Becoming a CFA charterholder is a huge leg up for anyone hoping to build a career in investment management. It's also a much cheaper credential than an MBA. A CFA costs around $2,500 in total, while an MBA can easily run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.SEE ALSO: The CFA is the most brutal exam in the world of finance — here's what the questions look like Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The CEO of one of the largest health insurers in the US explains the problem with healthcare in America
  • Three theories why Omarosa's book is not a #1 best seller
    A version of this article first appeared in the Reliable Sources newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
  • Coca Cola is fighting Gatorade by investing in BodyArmor
    Read full story for latest details.
  • Nvidia’s New Turing Architecture Reveal Confirms All The Rumors
    Last night, Nvidia debuted its new Turing architecture, revealing some essential details regarding the first graphics card that will use it. Turing architecture is equipped with a dedicated “RT Core,” which is hardware that is made to drive ray tracing, […] The post Nvidia’s New Turing Architecture Reveal Confirms All The Rumors appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • The world's first professional fantasy football league uses blockchain technology
    A serial entrepreneur wants to create the world's first professional fantasy football league, and he thinks the blockchain -- yes, the blockchain -- is the best way to keep everyone honest as they compete for real money.
  • I've spent 6 months traveling the world on business, and I've found the perfect way to make airports less miserable
    Business travel can be an exhausting experience, with hundreds of hours wasted in airport terminals. The best tool for business travelers to make productive, fun use of their time is access to airport lounges at the airports they are flying into or out of.  I've gained access to airport lounges through my credit card, which offers a free Priority Pass membership as a perk. Priority Pass has access to over 1,200 lounges all over the world. Access to lounges has made traveling much more relaxed and enjoyable experience, as I can spend my downtime before flights working with reliable internet and enjoying a coffee or food. I highly recommend it. In the last six months, I’ve taken upwards of a dozen flights. That sounds fun, until you realize how much time that requires in the hostile and utterly exhausting environment of the world’s airports. Factor in that I’m the kind of traveler who always gets to airports early — no amount of travel experience will dispel my persistent anxiety of missing my flight — and it can be a lot of time wasted. Thankfully, I found a way to make the endless hours I spend at the airport both productive and fun. I’m a bit late to the party, but access to airport lounges is quite possibly the most essential tool in any business travelers' toolkit. Airport lounges are a haven. While each one is different, all tend to have a few essential features: comfy chairs to work or relax in, speedy Wi-Fi access, televisions, a buffet of fresh food, endless coffee and alcoholic beverages, and, most importantly, a space away from the chaos of the terminal.  These days, I'm no longer caught between my anxiety over missing my flight and the fear of being stuck in an acrid airport food court hellhole for several hours. I'm just excited to see how swanky the airport lounge is. I pop in — like a king — gather my spread of snacks and coffee (I avoid alcohol before flights as I'm prone to migraines), find a quiet corner, and set to working on my latest article. There's something intensely pleasurable about being able to get work done when I used to waste time wandering from the newsstand to boutiques from which I have no interest in purchasing luxury products. Airport lounges vary from destination to destination, so you have to be sure to do a bit of research ahead of time to figure out what's available and where it's located. Some lounges, like the Blossom Lounge at Singapore's Changi Airport, have showers, a nice perk after you've accumulated all sorts of smells  on a 14-hour flight. The Qantas Dreamliner Lounge in Perth, Australia offers yoga classes to help unwind after the inevitably long flight to Australia. Lufthansa's lounge in Frankfurt, Germany has a cigar room with fine whiskies and cognacs for tasting. The Al Safwa first-class lounge at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar even has private bedrooms so you can sleep on a long layover. Other lounges, like the Primeclass Lounge in Muscat International Airport in Oman, offer a spa, a cinema room, and a "game zone." Even if you've finished all your work, there's plenty to stay entertained. You can see where I'm going with this — it's worth it to get lounge access. How to access an airport lounge There are plenty of ways to get into airport lounges, through numerous networks and classes.  First of all, most lounges sell day passes for between $25-75 a day, depending on the lounge. If you're going this route, LoungeBuddy has deals on day passes and extensive reviews of lounges. You can also: Get access with Priority Pass Priority Pass is a network of 1,200 airport lounges that members can access, as well as a number of restaurants and spa-type properties that offer credits for Priority Pass members. One caveat: Priority Pass only has access to about 6o lounges at US airports (and I hear they might not be as reliable as the international lounges). The rest are abroad. Priority Pass sells memberships directly: $99 per year for Standard, which charges $27 per lounge visit; $249 per year for Standard Plus, which includes 10 free lounge visits; and $399 per year for Prestige, which provides unlimited lounge access. Unlike the Priority Pass offered through credit card perks, all membership levels charge for guest access. Get access with a credit card The most basic way to get lounge access is through perks offered by your credit card, particularly if it's travel-focused.  American Express offers Platinum and Centurion cardholders access to its network of Centurion Lounges and Delta's Sky Clubs, in addition to Priority Pass membership. Other American Express cardholders can get access to Centurion Lounges at $50 a pop. I currently have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which also includes a free Priority Pass membership. While it has a hefty $450 annual fee, it's a no-brainer if you travel even occasionally. The card has a $300 travel credit, bringing the fee down to $150. Hang at a few airport lounges before flights and you've got your moneys' worth. The Platinum Card from American Express also comes with a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. Check your frequent-flier (and ticket) status Some lounges are run by airlines, with access given to frequent fliers or first-class or business travelers. Others are run by third-party companies, which grant access to business or first-class travelers or members of participating clubs like Priority Pass. Others are run by the airports themselves and offer access in a similar fashion as the third-party operators. Airline-run lounges tend to sell yearly memberships for $350-550 a year and allow you to bring in family members or guests. Some particularly exclusive lounges, like the British Airways Concorde Room in Heathrow Airport (waiter-serviced fine dining, five-star ambiance), will only give you access with a first-class ticket.  If you fly one airline frequently, it's worth checking your frequent flier status. Elite status with an airline gets you access to the airline's lounge network. No matter what way you get in — I can promise, you won't regret it. And ignore the warnings from the Wall Street Journal that lounges have become overrun by normies. They're just trying to keep you from enjoying the best open secret in travel.SEE ALSO: How to get a free Priority Pass membership — which includes access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world Join the conversation about this story »
  • Latest Galaxy S10 Rumors: 5G Support, Ultrasonic Fingerprint Reader, Triple Camera
    Samsung’s 10th anniversary Galaxy S handset is expected to be revolutionary. It will launch around the same time major wireless carriers in the US and South Korea would start rolling out 5G services. The recently-launched Galaxy Note 9 lacks a […] The post Latest Galaxy S10 Rumors: 5G Support, Ultrasonic Fingerprint Reader, Triple Camera appeared first on ValueWalk.
  • Wall Street should brace for fewer rate hikes, bullish bank analyst Dick Bove says
    Hilton Capital’s Dick Bove predicts the Fed will raise interest rates less often through 2019 than Wall Street anticipates. Why? Donald Trump.
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