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ZODIAC

  1. Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’ has been breaking records since its release. Having comfortably crossed the Rs 100 crore mark by its 8th day, the film can be declared an unexpected success, considering it was made on a relatively paltry Rs 25 crores budget. The movie follows the story of Kashmiri Pandits who experienced atrocities that resulted in their mass exodus from the Valley in the 1990s. © Zee Studios While the film brings to light many uncomfortable conversations for the public at large, from allegations of distortion of reality, to subtly kindling Islamophobia among its viewers, it has also raised the issue of helping the Kashmiri Pandits who still suffer from the ordeals faced by the previous generations. With the box-office collections of ‘The Kashmir Files’ touted to have comfortably crossed Rs 150 crores, an MP & IAS officer from Madhya Pradesh named Niyaz Khan took to Twitter with a request bound to make the makers of the film sweat. Khan urged the producers of the film to donate all the proceeds from its success for the education of the kids coming from Kashmiri Pandit families and help build houses for them in Kashmir. Kashmir File shows the pain of Brahmins. They should be allowed to live safely in Kashmir with all honour. The producer must also make a movie to show the killings of Large number of Muslims across several states. Muslims are not insects but human beings and citizens of country — Niyaz Khan (@saifasa) March 18, 2022 In his tweet, Niyaz Khan said, “Income of Kashmir Files reached 150 crore. Great. People have given a lot of respect for Kashmiri Brahmins' feelings. I would respect film producer to transfer all earnings to the Brahmin children's education and construction of homes for them in Kashmir. It will be a great charity” Sir Niyaz Khaan Sahab, Bhopal aa raha hoon 25th ko. Please give an appointment so we can meet and exchange ideas how we can help and how you can help with the royalty of your books and your power as an IAS officer. https://t.co/9P3oif8nfL — Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) March 20, 2022 Director of ‘The Kashmir Files’, Vivek Agnihotri, promptly responded to Khan’s tweet, requesting for an in-person meeting with the official in order to better discuss the ideas to help the cause. He wrote, “Please give an appointment so we can meet and exchange ideas how we can help and how you can help with the royalty of your books and your power as an IAS officer.” Do you think the Member of Parliament and IAS officer, Niyaz Khan is right to urge the makers of ‘The Kashmir Files’ to donate their collections to a greater cause? Let us know in the comments. View the full article
  2. Ayushmann Khurrana has purchased a house in Mumbai along with his brother Aparshakti Khurana for a whopping amount that is close to the box office collection of his last release Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui. According to a report in Moneycontrol, Ayushmann has purchased 2 units on the 20th floor of Windsor Grande Residences, Lokhandwala Complex, Andheri West from the developer Windsor Realty Pvt Ltd. © Ayushmann Khurrana Instagram The deed of the apartment was registered on November 29, 2021, with Rs 96.50 lakh of stamp duty paid. The cost of the apartment is said to be a staggering Rs 19.30 crore which is in the same range as the lifetime box office of Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, which collected Rs 22 crore approx, according to Box Office India. The apartment purchased by Ayushmann is 4027 sq ft in size and has four car parking spaces. Similarly, Ayushmann’s younger brother Aparshakti too purchased an apartment in the same complex for Rs 7.25 crore. He paid a Rs 36.25 lakh stamp duty on it and was registered on December 7, 2021. The size of his apartment is 1745 sq ft and comes with 2 parking spaces. Take a look at some of the representational pictures from the Windsor Grande Residences below: © Windsor Grande Residences © Windsor Grande Residences © Windsor Grande Residences © Windsor Grande Residences © Windsor Grande Residences As for Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, the film was released on December 10 on the big screen and is directed by Abhishek Kapoor of Rock On, Kai Po Che and Kedarnath fame. © T-Series The film failed to make a mark at the box office upon its theatrical release despite receiving a positive response from critics and the audience. The film is currently streaming on Netflix and has been enjoying good viewership with acclaim towards the subject and performances. View the full article
  3. Expectations about major quarterly earnings' announcements by corporate sector helps the bourse maintain its bullish momentum
  4. Disney+ subscribers more than doubled from the same period a year earlier, while its Hulu and ESPN offerings also attracted more members
  5. The Royal Foundation took charge of Princess of Wales Memorial Fund?s legal control back in April 2013
  6. There has always been a battle between cricket and soccer. Both sports have a huge fan base and in India, cricket is highly liked. But across the globe, soccer has the biggest fan base. However, we don't intend to compare the two sports and rate which is better. But recently, there is a comparison being done, by Buzz Bingo, on the basis of who is earning more from the social media platform Instagram. View this post on Instagram I love this feeling â½ï¸ð #93... A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on Sep 11, 2019 at 10:30am PDT Cristiano Ronaldo has around 186 million followers and Lionel Messi has around 133 million followers on Instagram. Besides the two soccer players, Indian cricketer, Virat Kohli, who is currently among the best batsmen in the world cricket has around 42 million followers on the social media app. Ronaldo not only beats Messi but also Kendall Jenner in terms of social media followers, as per the study. The Portugal striker has earned a sum of USD 975K per post in his last 34 sponsored posts. Whereas, Messi has earned a revenue of USD 648K per post in his last 36 posts. According to the Republic, it has been confirmed that out of the top 10 earners in the world are players like David Beckham, Neymar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic who have made their way into the list. Kohli stands 11th on the list and has an earning of USD 196k per post. He has earned an amount of USD 1.18 million from Instagram in the last one year. View this post on Instagram Always looking forward to Test Cricket! ð A post shared by Virat Kohli (@virat.kohli) on Oct 1, 2019 at 5:52am PDT The Indian Captain is one of the best batsmen across all the formats and has led his team to several accolades under his captaincy. This year he guided India to a Test series win in Australia. He is one of the biggest marketable profiles in India where advertisement companies want to place their money. The Indian captain has a huge fan following compared to other sportspersons in the country.
  7. You have to be the filthy kind of rich to be able to gift your buddy a customised 'Captain America' themed 1967 Camaro that would make your wallet slimmer by Rs. 2 crores and still not scratch the surface of your bank account. And if your name is Robert Downey Jr and you have the charisma to handsomely pull off a gold and iron red coloured suit made up of tin, then you most definitely will have no problems establishing such a bank account for yourself. As the first piece of the elaborate puzzle the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become in the current day, RDJ was given what can be considered a complex and complicated yet extremely difficult task as an actor and that was to make the audience like Iron Man enough to build a complete universe in the coming years and hopefully decades. And as they say, “with great responsibility comes a lot of money!” Well, not exactly. When Downey was first bolted into the Iron Man suit, his deal was worth $500,000, which even though was still a lot of money, especially for an experiment like Iron Man, was nowhere near the kind of dough the 54-year-old would make in the coming years. A new clause was then added to his contract stating that Downey's take-home will also include a 2.5% share of all profits made by the movies. Iron Man (2008): $500,000 = Rs. 3,50,00,000 (approx.) Iron Man 2 (2010): $10 million + $3 million (film profits) = $13 million = Rs. 90,53,00,000 (approx) Avengers (2012): $10 million + $29 million (film profits) = $39 million = Rs. 2,72,00,00,000 (approx) Iron Man 3 (2013): $10 million + $22 million (film profit) = $32 million = Rs. 2,23,00,00,000 (approx.) Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015): $10 million + $25 million (film profit) = $35 million = Rs. 2,44,00,00,000 (approx.) Captain America: Civil War (2016): $40 million + $18.75 million in film profit + $5 million for beating Winter Soldier = $63.75 million = Rs. 4,45,69,60,000 (approx.) Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017): $ 15 million = Rs. 1,04,00,00,000 (approx.) Avengers: Infinity War (2018): $10 million + $10.25 million from film profit = $20.25 million Rs. 1,39,00,00,000 (approx.) Adding everything together, Robert Downey Jr has earned a total of approximately $200 million in the eight movies he has appeared. With the kind of craziness we are getting to see as the tickets finally went open for booking, this has to be the greatest draw in RDJ's career with Marvel Studios. Source: Cheat Sheet, Wealthy Gorilla, Verdict
  8. Russian President Vladimir Putin is known to be the most powerful man in the world. So, naturally, you'd expect the world's most powerful man to earn more than pretty much every other political leader in the world, right? Well, if you go by the numbers posted on the Kremlin's official website, it's not really the case. According to the website, Vladimir Putin earned 8.7 million Rubles last year as the President of Russia, which roughly translates to about $135,000. Yes, that's apparently how much he made from his official salary, a military pension, interest on savings, and other investment gains. © Reuters That number, in case you are wondering, comes down to about $11,200 a month as Putin's average monthly income. Funnily enough, Putin's real property did not change from last year. According to the tax returns, he owns an apartment with an area of 77 square meters and a garage of 18 square meters. And among his official assets are two vintage Volga GAZ M21 sedans as well as a Niva SUV and a Skif tent trailer. Of course, no one's questioning Putin's net worth here. But as noted by the folks over at Quartz, something doesn't quite add up. Take his luxury watch collection, for instance. The collection alone is said to be valued at 22 million rubles i.e. roughly $3.5 million. His watch collections reportedly include pieces like a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar, a Blancpain Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date, and a platinum A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph, which are some of the finest timepieces in the world. © Reuters Looks like it's true what they say about Putin. He may never appear on Forbes' rich list, but his personal wealth is bigger than that of Bill Gates. There's no way to tell if the reports are true, so we'll let you read Putin's financial disclosure here.
  9. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York, US, December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files NEW YORK: Global stocks kicked off the week in a lacklustre fashion on Monday, with US equities retreating from records ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting and a deluge of major earnings reports. All three major US indices fell in one of the few down days in 2018. Stock bourses elsewhere were also under pressure, with Paris and Frankfurt edging lower, Tokyo flat, and London eking out a modest gain. Earnings reports thus far have largely bested expectations and analysts have also been heartened by the high proportion of companies that have reported higher revenues than expected, suggesting profits will continue to rise in the coming quarters, said Nicholas Colas of DataTrek Research. But after a wave of Wall Street records in the first month of 2018, investors are nervous that stocks "may be priced for perfection" heading into the busiest stretch of earnings season, Art Hogan ? the chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities ? said. This week's earnings calendar includes tech giants Amazon, Apple, and Facebook as well as traditional blue chip companies such as Boeing, ExxonMobil, and McDonald's. Worries about aggressive moves by the Fed to tighten monetary policy are also weighing on stocks, Hogan said, citing rising US bond yields. Higher bond yields could attract funds from equities and elevated interest rates can crimp corporate investment. Higher yields also boosted the US dollar after volatility last week following remarks by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin supporting a weak dollar, a stance later amended by Mnuchin and explicitly opposed by President Donald Trump. Foreign exchange traders said Wednesday's Fed policy statement could alter the outlook for the US currency. "While the Fed is not expected to adjust monetary policy at this time, its accompanying statement could reflect an improving US economic backdrop that is currently not being reflected in the value of the dollar," said Omer Esiner of Commonwealth FX. "A more upbeat tone to the Fed's comments this week could move the needle on the market's outlook for lending rates in 2018 from just under three quarter-point moves by the Fed to four. Such a scenario could help limit additional dollar losses going forward." Key figures around 2200 GMT (3 AM PST, Tuesday) Indexes New York DOW: DOWN 0.7 percent at 26,439.48 (close) S&P 500: DOWN 0.7 percent at 2,853.53 (close) Nasdaq: DOWN 0.5 percent at 7,466.51 (close) London FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,671.53 points (close) Frankfurt DAX 30: DOWN 0.1 percent at 13,324.48 (close) Paris CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 5,521.59 (close) EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,642.91 Tokyo Nikkei 225: FLAT at 23,629.34 (close) Hong Kong Hang Seng: DOWN 0.6 percent at 33,966.89 (close) Shanghai Composite: DOWN 1.0 percent at 3,523.00 (close) Currencies Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2383 from $1.2428 at 2200 GMT on Friday Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.4073 from $1.4155 Dollar/yen: UP at 108.98 yen from 108.63 yen Energy Brent: DOWN $1.06 at $69.46 per barrel West Texas Intermediate (WTI): DOWN 58 cents at $65.56 per barrel
  10. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, December 6, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid Wall Street closed at record highs on Thursday as rising oil prices lifted energy stocks and investors bet on a strong U.S. corporate earnings season. The S&P energy sector closed up 2 percent as Brent crude went above $70 a barrel for the first time since December 2014, boosted by a surprise drop in US production and lower crude inventories. The consumer discretionary sector saw strong gains in media and retail stocks, while the industrials index was helped by airlines after news from No. 2 U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines. ?The unifying factor of today?s move and this whole week is a heightened confidence in the pace of economic activity. That helps explain the demand picture, which has oil up at $70,? said Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in New York. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 205.6 points (0.81 percent) to 25,574.73, the S&P 500 gained 19.33 points (0.70 percent) to 2,767.56, and the Nasdaq Composite added 58.21 points (0.81 percent) to 7,211.78. Wall Street had dropped on Wednesday, the first daily decline for S&P and Nasdaq in 2018, after a report China would slow US government bond purchases and a report that US President Donald Trump would end a key trade agreement. The major indexes pared gains briefly in late afternoon trading on Thursday after New York Fed President William Dudley said tax cuts could lead to economic overheating. He predicted above-trend GDP growth with rising inflation in 2018. ?Dudley is touching on something that investors should fear,? said Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago. ?The only threat to the stock market right now is high interest rates. If rates are higher, the present value of equities are too high.? Investors are betting on bullish quarterly earnings reports from big companies and details on savings from federal tax cuts. The reporting season kicks off in earnest on Friday, with results from the big US banks JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co. Earnings for S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased by 11.8 percent in the recently-ended quarter, with the biggest gain from the energy sector, according to Thomson Reuters. ?This market feels this week like a deep breath before the onslaught of earnings reports,? Clemons said. ?This is a wait-and-see mode with a healthy amount of optimism.? Delta Air Lines shares closed up 4.8 percent at $58.52 after it predicted a double benefit from the US corporate tax cut ? savings on its own bill and an uptick in business travel as companies to spend tax savings. It also reported an upbeat quarterly profit. Delta helped the Dow Jones U.S. Airlines index close up 4.2 percent. The Dow Jones Transport index rose 2.3 percent ? its biggest one-day percentage gain since November 29. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 3.40-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 3.18-to-1 ratio favoured advancers. The S&P 500 posted 107 new 52-week highs and 8 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 176 new highs and 18 new lows. On US exchanges, 6.74 billion shares changed hands, above the 6.39 billion average for the last 20 trading days.
  11. LONDON: European pay-TV giant Sky, facing a possible takeover by Rupert Murdoch´s 21st Century Fox, announced Thursday a surge in subscribers on keen demand for cult US series Game of Thrones. Sky's subscriber base swelled by a 160,000 new customers in the three months to late September, up 51 percent on a year earlier, it said in a trading update. Revenues grew five percent to £3.3 billion ($4.4 billion, 3.7 billion euros) over the same period. Underlying profit, which strips out items such as tax and interest payments, jumped 11 percent to £582 million. "We've had a strong start to our new financial year with good revenue growth and excellent profit growth," said chief executive Jeremy Darroch. He added: "Game of Thrones has become the most watched series ever on Sky." The London-listed group has exclusive rights to US broadcasting giant HBO´s television catalogue, which includes the current season of the award-winning show. Later on Thursday, shareholders voted in favour of the re-election of Murdoch´s son James as chairman. Some investor groups had expressed unease over him serving longer, in light of James being also chief executive of 21st Century Fox -- which is seeking to buy the 61 percent of Sky it does not already own. However, investors voted more than 78 percent in favour of his re-election at an annual general meeting at Sky´s London headquarters later on Thursday. One angry shareholder argued that the deal would not go through if James Murdoch remained in his post. "If everything remains the same (on the board) you have no chance of the deal going through," the shareholder, who declined to be named, told the meeting. "There´s nothing wrong with Mr Murdoch -- but it is because of the name." Meanwhile, the takeover of Sky is being held up by a UK investigation into the proposed deal worth £11.7 billion. Regulators on Tuesday said the probe would assess Rupert Murdoch´s influence on Britain´s political landscape. Overall, Britain´s Competitions and Markets Authority will assess the impact of the Murdoch family´s proposed deal on both broadcasting standards and media plurality. The CMA will seek to prevent "anyone media owner, or voice, having too much influence over public opinion and the political agenda". The regulator´s probe will scrutinise the ability of the Murdoch Family Trust (MFT) to "control or influence editorial and commercial decisions" at Sky News, a 24-hour news channel broadcast from London. It will assess also the current state of plurality within the UK media, and the commitment to accuracy in newspapers controlled by the MFT´s News Corp division, including The Times and The Sun.
  12. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, May 18, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files NEW YORK: Major stock indexes edged up to post record closing highs on Wednesday with sector moves in the S&P 500 showing preference toward so-called defensive stocks. While Wall Street reaction was muted to minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve policy meeting, a report that a market-friendly candidate was being pushed as successor to Janet Yellen at the helm of the US central bank helped indexes close near the highs of the day. Real estate, utilities, and consumer staples were among S&P 500 sectors that posted gains, while financials were pressured by a slip in Treasury yields and industrials also fell. ?You?ve got sector rotation grinding the indexes higher and it?s hard to see what stops that,? Art Hogan ? the chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York ? said. Federal Reserve policymakers had a prolonged debate about the prospects of a pickup in inflation during their September meeting, but many policymakers still felt that another rate increase this year ?was likely to be warranted?. ?Nothing changes the opinion that the Fed is likely to hike rates after the December meeting,? Hogan said. Stocks ended near session highs after a report from Politico said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was pushing president Donald Trump to name Jerome Powell ? seen as a safe pick for financial markets ? as the next Federal Reserve chairman. ?The market prefers status quo,? Ken Polcari ? the director of the NYSE floor division at O?Neil Securities in New York ? said. ?Everyone knows rates are going up but they prefer the policy that Yellen has laid out. Maybe the market is telling you it thinks it?s going to be status quo.? Powell is seen as closer policy-wise to Yellen than another front-runner, Kevin Warsh. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 42.21 points (or 0.18 percent) to end at 22,872.89, the S&P 500 gained 4.6 points (or 0.18 percent) to 2,555.24, and the Nasdaq Composite added 16.30 points (or 0.25 percent) to 6,603.55. Gains in Wal-Mart and Johnson & Johnson nudged the Dow Jones Industrial Average to another record high but declines in financials kept gains on the S&P 500 in check. J&J rose 2.1 percent to $136.65 after Jefferies upgraded the stock to ?buy,? saying the company?s pharma division would help it top analysts? profit estimates. The consumer staples sector got a boost from gains in Wal-Mart, which rose 1.9 percent, as well as from Kroger, which jumped 1.2 percent to $20.78 after news that it was exploring the sale of its nearly 800 convenience stores. Banks take the focus as JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup report results on Thursday, with analysts warning that results in the sector will largely be held back by low trading volumes compared with a year earlier. ?Third-quarter results of large banks are expected to be tepid,? Stephen Biggar ? an analyst at Argus Research ? said. ?Trading revenue (will be) down due to low volatility and loan growth remaining flat to slightly negative.? With the S&P 500 up 14 percent in 2017, investors are betting on strong earnings growth across the S&P 500. Wunderlich?s Hogan said the catalyst to stop the grind higher in stocks would be ?some big names missing the mark in earnings, away from any hurricane-related explanations?. General Electric fell 1.2 percent to $23.07 after JPMorgan said a dividend cut was ?increasingly likely? and lowered its price target on the stock. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.49-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.01-to-1 ratio favoured advancers. The S&P 500 posted 48 new 52-week highs and nine new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 147 new highs and 28 new lows. About 5.67 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges, compared with the 6.1 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions.
  13. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, September 21, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/Files NEW YORK: The S&P 500 closed slightly higher on Friday even though Apple was a drag, as worries about Washington?s latest healthcare legislation proposal eased and investors shrugged off concerns about North Korea. Investors in the broader market were also encouraged by a jump in the Russell 2000 small-cap index, which ended with a record high close. After a volatile day, the S&P?s healthcare sector ended 0.1 percent higher as insurance stocks regained ground after Republican Senator John McCain said he opposed his Republican peers? latest effort to replace President Barack Obama?s health care law. The S&P technology sector managed to eke out a small gain as investors had more appetite for risk even with a decline of 1 percent in Apple shares on muted reactions to the iPhone maker?s latest product launch. ?The removal of the healthcare overhang, the fact the North Korea market impact is dwindling and the move in the Russell 2000 has all the smart investors thinking that the grind higher continues,? Michael Antonelli ? the managing director of institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird ? said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 9.64 points (or 0.04 percent) to 22,349.59, the S&P 500 gained 1.62 points (or 0.06 percent) to 2,502.22, and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.23 points (or 0.07 percent) to 6,426.92. Some investors moved to safe-haven assets such as gold after North Korea said it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean in response to US President Donald Trump?s threat to destroy the reclusive country. But others felt that the market would cope with the ongoing stand-off between the countries, which has been ratcheting up in recent months. ?If you cry wolf enough it loses its impact in the end,? Antonelli said. Five of the 11 major S&P sectors ended the day lower and utilities led the decliners with a 0.7 percent loss. After falling as much as 0.5 percent, the healthcare sector ended 0.08 percent higher. Earlier in the day concern about the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill had wreaked havoc with insurers? stocks. UnitedHealth closed down 1.1 percent after falling as much as 3.6 percent earlier in the day. The small telecom services index, with only four stocks, was the biggest percentage gainer with a 1.4 percent rise on consolidation speculation while the energy index rose 0.5 percent as oil futures settled higher. T-Mobile gained 1 percent after Reuters reported that the cellphone network operator was close to agreeing to tentative terms on a deal to merge with Sprint, whose shares jumped 6.1 percent. The report also pushed up bigger rivals Verizon Communications and AT&T Inc, which could benefit from having one less competitor. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.82-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.91-to-1 ratio favoured advancers. About 5.26 billion shares changed hands on US exchanges compared with the 6.03 billion average for the last 20 sessions.
  14. Costly cyber attacks are having a bigger impact on corporate earnings and are becoming a fact of life for companies as Oreo cookie maker Mondelez, drug maker Merck and others said that a destructive "worm" attack in the last week of the second quarter disrupted operations. Mondelez International Inc, the world's second-largest confectionary company, reported a 5 percent drop in quarterly sales on Wednesday, blaming shipping and invoicing delays caused by the June 27 attack of the worm, known as NotPetya. Other NotPetya victims include Merck & Co Inc, which last week warned that NotPetya had halted production of some drugs, saying it has yet to understand the full costs associated with the attack. The attack also slowed deliveries at FedEx Corp, disrupted port operations of shipping company A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and halted production lines at British consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser PLC, according to accounts by those companies. Investors should get used to hearing about cyber attacks during earnings calls, said Ian Winer, equity co-head at Wedbush Securities. "The trend is accelerating," Winer said. "As hackers get more sophisticated they are taking shots at major companies." More hackers are becoming adept at developing or finding malware to wipe data on computers, making them inoperable. One mysterious group known as The Shadow Brokers in April dumped a trove of powerful hacking tools on the Internet, which security experts said were developed by the US National Security Agency. Code the group released was used for spreading NotPetya and in the "WannaCry" attack in May on hospitals, businesses and governments worldwide. Jake Dollarhide, head of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which manages $85 million in assets, said he expects cyber attacks to be as common as reports that a storm or oil prices hurt results. Cyence, a firm that helps insurers measure cyber risk, estimated that economic costs from NotPetya would total $850 million. Major global cyber attacks have the potential to cause economic losses on par with catastrophic natural disasters such as US Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Cyence and Lloyd's of London Ltd said in a joint report in July. Average economic losses caused by such disruptions could range from $4.6 billion to $121 billion, the report said. "As stock market investors we have to accept this brand new reality in this new digital age," Longbow's Dollarhide said. NotPetya is a destructive self-propagating "worm" capable of spreading quickly across computer networks, crippling computers by encrypting hard drives so that machines cannot run. It has taken victims weeks to get factories and other critical systems back online because businesses must individually replace damaged hard drives. Most businesses are inadequately protected from cyber attacks, said Tom Kellermann, chief executive of investment firm Strategic Cyber Ventures. "The day of reckoning has come for shareholders," Kellermann said.
  15. People gather for pictures around Charging Bull ? also referred to as the Wall Street Bull ? on July 26, 2017, in New York City. AFP/Spencer Platt NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks surged to fresh records at the close Wednesday following another round of strong earnings reports, with Boeing vaulting nearly 10 percent after it raised its profit forecast. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 21,709.34, up 0.4 percent. The broad-based S&P 500 added a hair to 2,477.84, edging to its second straight record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 0.2 percent to 6,422.75, also a second consecutive all-time high.
  16. People holding mobile phones are silhouetted against a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken September 27, 2013. PHOTO: Reuters File SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter Inc heads toward its quarterly earnings report on Thursday with a stock that has risen more than 40 percent since April when much of Wall Street was ready to write off the tech company. The company's share price popped after its most recent earnings report in April, when Twitter disclosed better-than-expected user growth. The number of people on Twitter will be in sharp focus on Thursday, when investors and analysts will see if it has kept up the 6 percent year-over-year growth in monthly active users it reported in April. Twitter said then that it had 328 million users. "For a company that people thought six months ago was knocking on death's door and going the way of Myspace and AOL, the double-digit rebound and the continued acceleration in users has really surprised investors," BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield said. Twitter shares closed on Tuesday at $19.97, nearly flat on the day but up 41.4 percent since its stock hit an intraday low of $14.12 on April 17. The S&P 500 information technology index is up 10.6 percent since its April 17 closing price. The surge of interest is a morale boost for Twitter, which has limped through past earnings announcements, struggled to keep a stable management and suffered unfavourable comparisons to its bigger and more profitable competitor Facebook Inc. This month, Twitter had a streak of 12 days when its shares closed up. The business is expected to report quarterly revenue of $536.6 million, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S forecast average. That would be a drop of 10.9 percent from $602 million a year earlier. What has investors upbeat, though, is the number of people on the service, which public figures including US President Donald Trump use to blast out 140-character messages. "People are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt if they start to grow again," Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said. Other positive signs cited by analysts include co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey purchasing additional shares and co-founder Biz Stone announcing in May his return to Twitter. Ex-banker Ned Segal starts next month as Twitter's next chief financial officer. Meanwhile, advertisers and investors have gotten used to Twitter existing as a niche platform, Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser said. "There's nothing wrong with that," he said.
  17. McDonald's enjoyed a fat day on Wall Street Tuesday after wowing investors with better-than-expected earnings and progress in efforts to grow sales through delivery and other tech-oriented services. Results in the key US market were boosted by a discounted soda promotion and the launch of premium sandwich offerings. Sales also were strong in Britain, Canada, Germany and China. Investors were impressed with the company's progress ramping up mobile order and mobile pay at more restaurants, and with its expansion of a delivery service, which has been launched at 4,000 restaurants in the US and other markets. "We're building a better McDonald's and more customers are noticing," said chief executive Steve Easterbrook. "Our relentless commitment to running great restaurants and keeping the customer at the center of everything we do is generating broad-based strength and momentum across our entire business." The fast-food chain saw its share price jump just under 5.0 percent to close at $159.07. Net income for the quarter ending June 30 surged 28 percent, a $1.4 billion jump and easily topping analyst expectations. However, revenues dipped three percent to $6.0 billion, partly due to the strong dollar and the refranchising of restaurants. Sales rose 3.9 percent in same-store US restaurants following a push to offer soft drinks in all sizes at just $1, and the launch of "Signature Crafted" sandwiches, which feature applewood smoked bacon, Dijon sauce and other premium ingredients. Easterbrook, hired in 2015 to turn around the slumping business, said initiatives like the soda promotions are helpful in winning back customers who wrote off the chain. Under Easterbrook, the company also has invested in restaurant beautification and higher pay for workers. "It's great just to have more customers visit your restaurant to actually notice the investments we've made," he said on a conference call. Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, praised the results as a sign the fast-food giant has become "more entrepreneurial and nimble" compared with a few years ago. "Although the measures may seem piecemeal, they are now part of a wider strategy to deepen McDonald's relevance to modern diners," Saunders said. "The company has rightly recognised that a one-dimensional fast-food offering will no longer deliver growth. "It is stepping up its efforts in premium offerings, family dining occasions such as breakfast, quick snacking and coffee stops, and a host of other areas. We believe that, as a whole, these things give McDonald's plenty of firepower for future growth." Delivery service McDonald's is on track to install mobile pay and ordering at 20,000 restaurants by the end of 2017, including 14,000 in the US, where curbside pickup is popular. Delivery also offers a potential avenue for reaching new customers. The program, unveiled in partnership with UberEats and other food delivery services, is boosting sales with college students, people watching live sporting events at home and some inner-city neighbourhoods. People are ordering food delivered in "some of the slightly tougher parts of town" late at night "where people are much more comfortable having (meals) delivered to them and not necessarily venturing out," Easterbrook said. Morningstar analyst RJ Hottovy said delivery fees could be a hurdle for restaurants like McDonald's, but noted 75 percent of the population in the chain's five biggest markets live within three miles of a restaurant. "We believe the framework may be in place for a successful delivery program," Hottovy said. CFRA analyst Tuna Amobi said the growth initiatives could be a winner over the long term. "However, in the near term, continued investments in those initiatives are expected to pressure operating margins," he said.
  18. NEW YORK: Snap Inc has many similarities with archrivals Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc, but shareholders are eager to avoid one in particular when the social media company reports earnings on Wednesday for the first time since its initial public offering: a plunging stock price. Investors delivered a stern message of disappointment to Facebook and Twitter when they posted debut quarterly scorecards following their IPOs. Twitter shares cratered 24 percent the following day, while Facebook's tumbled 11 percent, drops that stand to this day as the biggest one-day losses for both. While Facebook's shares recovered from the drubbing within two quarters and trade at nearly four times their $38 IPO price, Twitter’s shares never completely regained lost ground and currently trade down nearly a third from their $26 IPO price. The options market is already positioned for a double-digit swing in Snap shares by the end of this week. One key to Snap, the owner of the wildly popular Snapchat messaging app, dodging a similar reception from the market rests on whether its user growth and engagement measures meet investors' expectations as Facebook aggressively copies its most successful features. The earnings report and subsequent conference call after the bell "will be make it or break it" for Snap, said Eric Kim, co-founder and managing partner at Goodwater Capital. The stock, which started trading in March in the largest tech IPO since Facebook's in 2012, jumped 44 percent on its debut, but has since fallen 5.5 percent from that day's closing price. On Wednesday, the shares were down 1.11 percent to $23.06. FOCUS ON USER GROWTH Wall Street expects Snap to post a quarterly loss of 19 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts expect revenue of close to $158 million, roughly four times the $38.8 million figure from a year earlier, but down about 5 percent from $165.7 million for the fourth quarter of last year. But investors will focus on Snapchat's user numbers and how the service is holding up against encroachments by rivals. In recent months, Facebook has launched Facebook Stories, a near-identical clone of Snapchat's most popular feature, also called Stories. The feature lets users post a string of videos and photos that disappear after 24 hours and is also available on other Facebook services, including Instagram and WhatsApp. "Much of the call should be around Stories as it represents the bulk of Snap's future value given the importance of video advertising to the company's relatively nascent business model," Goodwater's Kim said. Facebook recently announced that Instagram Stories alone had reached 200 million daily active users (DAU), eclipsing Snapchat's year-end overall DAU count of around 161 million. JPMorgan expects Snap's first-quarter DAU to grow to 166 million, while Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co Inc is targeting 173 million. Snap still may have an edge over Facebook with its active user base aged between 18 and 34, many of whom visit more than 18 times a day and are a highly coveted group for advertisers. "Our favorable outlook on Snap stems not only from the company's ability to innovate and cater to millennials in high value markets, but also capture publisher content and consumer mindshare as video consumption grows on digital," said James Cakmak, an analyst at Monness, Crespi. A POPULAR SHORT Despite a modest rally in Snap shares in recent weeks, short sellers - who aim to make a profit by selling borrowed shares and buying them back at a lower price later - have not let up in placing bearish bets, according to Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of research at financial analytics firm S3 Partners. "We saw $100 million worth of short selling in this past week, ahead of the earnings and Snap short interest stands at $946 million, which is the highest level since the IPO," he said. Meanwhile, options market activity suggests a swing of about 13.5 percent in either direction by Friday, based on the price of certain options expiring this week. "Snap's option activity was bullish last week, but the bears came out in greater force just two days before earnings," said David Russell, senior manager at online broker E*Trade in Chicago.
  19. NEW YORK: Don't look for the outperformance of growth stocks to fade anytime soon, as long as corporate earnings continue to improve and hopes remain for stronger economic growth. The Russell 1000 Growth index, which tracks such shares, is up 10.9 percent so far this year, outpacing the US benchmark S&P 500 stock index's 6.6 percent rise and the 2.8 percent advance of the Russell 1000 Value index. And it's not just a US phenomenon. Growth stocks – whose profits are expected to grow at a faster pace than the broader market – are also outperforming their value counterparts in Asia and Europe. Still, the appeal of riskier stocks perceived as better positioned to ride an accelerating global earnings tailwind, as opposed to those with a greater cushion of safety, is nowhere as far ahead as it is on Wall Street. In the United States, an improving outlook for corporate earnings should help keep growth names in vogue, according to John Praveen, chief investment strategist at Prudential International Investments Advisers LLC in Newark, New Jersey. The average estimate of analysts for earnings per share growth this year of S&P 500 companies has risen to 11.3 percent from 10.9 percent at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters data, a trend that should continue to blunt concerns about lofty growth valuations. "When you have an earnings recovery, growth stocks will outperform. When you don't have good earnings, that's when people are looking for value," said Praveen. Hopes for pro-business US policy changes under the administration of President Donald Trump will likely also keep expectations for economic growth elevated, helping to maintain the case for growth stocks. "The value stocks have done okay but growth has done so much better in the anticipation we'll see a pickup in economic growth," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago. "Companies that are going to be more levered to economic growth tend to be growth stocks." "Right now I don't see a long-term condition for value stocks to outperform growth," said Nolte. To be sure, some strategists are less convinced that growth stock outperformance will continue indefinitely. While value stocks, which are cheaper relative to their earnings potential, have tended to do better in slower growth environments historically, JP Morgan Asset Management's global market strategist David Lebovitz says that trend has been changing. "It’s not going to be smooth sailing for one or the other. We think there'll be times people are more optimistic about the economy and in those cases, value can rally. Then you'll see periods where people are less optimistic about the economy, as we've seen over the course of the first quarter," he said. If economic trends look better in the second quarter, value stocks will do better, Lebovitz said. In Asia, the MSCI AC Asia ex Japan growth index, is up 18.5 percent so far this year, compared with a 12.6 percent gain for the comparable MSCI value index. Investment in India, traditionally a growth-driven market, has adjusted in recent years as value stocks have narrowed the gap with growth, which still leads, said Jayesh Shroff, co-founder of investment advisory Cask Capital in Mumbai. "That is because people were paying a premium for growth and somehow the growth did not materialise. That's why value came back and growth has taken a slight back seat," said Shroff. Still, he said as soon as growth returns, he expects investors to switch their focus back from value. In China, between 2009 and the 2015 stock market crash, small-cap growth stocks were the market’s darlings, but "a new rotation into value blue-chip investments started in 2016”, according to Zhou Liang, a fund manager at Shanghai Minority Asset Management Co. “In 2017, money will flow into blue-chips, as small-caps weaken and lose their lustre,” said Zhou. In Europe, the best outlook for corporate profits in seven years has ignited investor appetite for growth stocks, which are now up twice as much as their value counterparts so far this year, a reversal of the trend seen last year. As a result, the MSCI International Europe growth Index has jumped 8.9 percent this year so far, compared with a 4.5 percent gain for the MSCI International Europe Value index. With such a big gap between US growth and value stocks, some investors are eying overseas investments. "The entire US market is very expensive. Value investors definitely don't like to chase expensive valuations," said Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading in Greenwich, Connecticut. "I wouldn't expect to see a rotation until you saw a correction where both stock types are lower."
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