CEO Summit 2017 in Saudia Arabia

Corporate A-Listers Accompanied President Trump on Riyadh Trip for CEO Summit

Defense contractors were the biggest winners, but President Donald Trump’s first day in Saudi Arabia yielded a slew of high-profile business deals that showcased the administration’s ability to draw support from major corporations, something he promised on the campaign trail. Many top executives descended on Riyadh for a CEO summit timed to coincide with Trump’s visit, the CEOs included JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, Blackstone Group LP CEO Steve Schwarzman, and Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. Saturday’s meeting, the “Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum,” drew the kind of corporate firepower Trump suggested he could harness when he ran for the Oval Office as a Washington outsider/business executive who would reach outside the Beltway and enlist other executives in support of the administration’s economic goals. More than 30 CEOs of major U.S. companies were on hand for the summit, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Riyadh.

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UAE, Saudia Arabia to Donate $100M to Ivanka Trump Proposed Women Entrepreneurs Fund

Two Arab countries have promised to donate $100 million towards a fund designed for women entrepreneurs proposed by the president’s eldest daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, according to a report. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will contribute $100 million going towards the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, which Ivanka proposed, the Wall Street Journal reported. We all heard the headlines of President Trump signing the huge arms deal with the Saudis, but who knew Ivanka would play a key role in this visit.  ABC News reported that World Bank president Jim Yong Kim announced the countries’ pledge at a Sunday event on women’s economic empowerment with Ivanka. At the event, Ivanka praised Saudi Arabia for making “progress” as a nation towards empowering women, but she added that “there’s still a lot of work to be done.” “Saudi Arabia’s progress, especially in recent years, is very encouraging but there’s

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Five Guys Beats IN-N-OUT as US’s Top Burger Brand

The United States has crowned a new burger king (and, no, it’s not Burger King). Five Guys Burgers and Fries was, for the first time, named America’s best burger brand in the Harris Poll’s 2017 EquiTrend Study. The burger chain beat In-N-Out Burger, which slipped down to second place after holding the top spot for two consecutive years. The Harris Poll’s annual study spans a multitude of categories, asking consumers to rank a variety of brands on familiarity, quality, and likelihood of purchase. The other chains rounding out this year’s top five in the burger category are Shake Shack, Wendy’s, and Culver’s, while McDonald’s, Whataburger, and Smashburger also cracked the top 10. The Harris Poll surveyed more than 100,000 U.S. consumers 15 and older. The Cheesecake Factory was named best casual dining restaurant, Ben & Jerry’s was ranked the best ice cream and frozen yogurt shop and Papa John’s was named

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Traders react at the end of trade at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, March 5, 2013. The Dow Jones industrial average surged to a record high at the opening bell, surpassing a key level in its recovery from the 2008 financial meltdown. The Dow Jones closed at 14253.77 points topping the previous record high of 14,164 achieved on October 9, 2007.AFP PHOTO/EMMANUEL DUNAND (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)

S&P and Nasdaq Hit Record Highs; Stock Market Continues to Rise

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite rose and smashed records on Monday after a rise in tech and energy stocks. The S&P climbed 0.4 percent, with materials leading advancers. Energy was also among the best performers after a sharp rise in crude prices. West Texas Intermediate futures spiked 2.11 percent to settle at $48.85 per barrel after the Russian and Saudi energy ministers said the two countries agreed to extend a production cut until March 2018. That said, an increase production from the U.S. could cap energy’s gains, said Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede. “Our Take: Oil should trade in the $50-70 range as increased demand is met by supply from U.S. share oil producers,” Pride said in a note Monday. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, was led higher by a rise in large-cap tech stocks, including Facebook and Alphabet. Shares if tech giant Apple also hit record highs.

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OPEC logo is pictured ahead of an informal meeting between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Algiers, Algeria September 28, 2016. REUTERS/Ramzi Boudina

OPEC asks US to slow down oil production

OPEC has asked a favor of other major oil producers: Please stop pumping so much oil and help us balance the market. The highly unusual plea was issued Thursday in the oil cartel’s closely-watched monthly report, which found that global markets are still suffering from too much supply. The OPEC report said that balancing the market would “require the collective efforts of all oil producers” and should be done “not only for the benefit of the individual countries, but also for the general prosperity of the world economy.” OPEC leaders said that one producer in particular is to blame: The U.S., where shale producers have continued to ramp up their drilling despite lower crude prices. The increased production from the US, and other countries has undermined OPEC’s goal of keeping prices between $50 and $60 per barrel. OPEC and allied oil producers agreed in November to cut production, a move designed

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FILE PHOTO: A man counts U.S dollar bills at a money exchange office in central Cairo, Egypt, March 7, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

U.S. posts $182 billion surplus in April

WASHINGTON  – The U.S. government had a $182 billion budget surplus in April, confounding market expectations for a deficit, according to Treasury Department data released on Wednesday. The budget surplus was $106 billion in April 2016, according to Treasury’s monthly budget statement. The fiscal 2017 year-to-date deficit was $344 billion compared with $353 billion in the same period of fiscal 2016. When accounting for calendar adjustments, the surplus last month was $145 billion compared with an adjusted surplus of $146 billion the prior year. The adjusted deficit for the fiscal year to date was $373 billion compared with $314 billion the prior fiscal year period. Receipts last month totaled $456 billion, up 4 percent from April 2016, while outlays stood at $273 billion, a decrease of 18 percent from the same month a year earlier. Reuters contributed to this report.

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Disney CEO Bob Iger talks ESPN layoffs for first time on earnings call

During Disney’s earnings call on Tuesday, CEO Bob Iger found himself being asked several questions about ESPN and the recent layoffs that caused such a stir throughout the sports media world. No one at Disney, or within ESPN had commented on the layoffs until Tuesday’s call. “A lot has been said about cost reductions at ESPN,” Iger responded to one of the questions. “We’re managing that business efficiently. We always have, we always will. Obviously, there’s been a greater need to do it given challenges in the near term, but frankly what we’ve been doing, in terms of scale and size, is not that significant given that ESPN has 8,000 employees and we reduced by 100 employees. I don’t take it lightly but, the number gets these headlines … it wasn’t a particularly significant reduction.” Those layoffs of 100 or so employees included on-air talent such as Trent Dilfer, Ed Werder and Jayson Stark. The network was

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Photo Credit: Apple

Apple market cap tops $800 billion for the first time

Apple’s stock continues to break records — and on Monday, investors pushed Apple’s total market value to over $800 billion for the first time. Apple shares briefly surpassed a price of $153.44 a share, and with Apple’s 5.214 billion outstanding shares, according to its latest quarterly report, that makes its total market capitalization just over $800 billion. The iPhone manufacturer reported mixed quarterly earnings this last week, while selling fewer phones than thought, though they sold them at more expensive prices. But chief executive Tim Cook attributed some of the slowdown to the fact that consumers are holding out for the next launch, anticipated in September. Mark Neuling | CNBC Tim Cook Wall Street appears to agree — analysts have raised the company’s stocks 12-month price target nearly 30 times so far this May, according to FactSet. Drexel Hamilton analyst Brian White released Apple’s highest price target on the Street on Monday,

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Photo Credit: Michael Moss

U.S. sees rebounding job growth, unemployment rate hits 4.4 percent

After a disappointing March, April shows significant gains in jobs. Payrolls grew by 211,000 jobs in the month and unemployment fell to 4.4 percent, the lowest rate since May 2007. U.S. job growth rebounded in April and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.4 percent, approaching a 10-year low, pointing to a tightening labor market that could close the case for an interest rate increase next month despite moderate wage growth.. A broader measure of unemployment known as U-6, which includes people not actively looking for jobs as well as workers who can only find part-time jobs,  fell to 8.6 percent from 8.9 percent in March, the lowest level since November 2007.  Somewhat strangely, the decline in unemployment and rise in job creation was accompanied by a tick downward in the labor force participation rate to 62.9 percent. Wages grew seven cents an hour to an annualized pace of 2.5 percent, a decline from March’s

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AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Reports: Kusher has ties to Goldman Sachs, George Soros amongst Others

President Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner did not disclose his part ownership of a real-estate finance company known as Cadre, according to a Wall Street Journal review of Kushner’s securities and other filings. A Wall Street Journal review of Kushner’s securities and other filings find ties to Golman Sachs group, and billionaires including George Soros, and Peter Thiel. “means the senior White House official is currently a business partner of Goldman Sachs Group and billionaires including George Soros and Peter Thiel.” The Journal also reports that Kushner didn’t disclose a number of loans “totaling at least $1 billion, from more than 20 lenders,” on properties and companies he co-owns; and Kushner “has also provided personal guarantees on more than $300 million of the debt.” An analysis of the debt on these assets “found ties to a broad swath of U.S. and foreign banks, private-equity firms, real-estate companies and government-owned lenders.” From

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