Caterpillar shuts plant in Aurora, Illinois, that employs 800 – Reuters News


ReutersCaterpillar shuts plant in Aurora, Illinois, that employs 800ReutersA Caterpillar corporate logo is pictured on a building in Peoria, Illinois, U.S. March 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri. By Gayathree Ganesan and Akankshita Mukhopadhyay. Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) said on Friday it will shut its Aurora, Illinois, plant …Caterpillar to close Aurora plant, cut 800 jobsChicago TribuneCaterpillar to close plant near Aurora, lay off 800 workersChicago Sun-TimesCAT moving jobs to Decatur, closing Aurora plantBloomington PantagraphChicago Daily Herald
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Originally posted 2017-04-01 04:59:13. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

As large cap gets larger, can the tech rally continue?| Reuters

Heavy Construction News

By Rodrigo Campos
| NEW YORK

 

NEW YORK Technology shares have led U.S. stocks to record highs and are expected to continue to rise, but as market value becomes concentrated in the largest companies, some are beginning to look for the next rally leader.

 

The technology sector of the S&P 500 .SPLRCT has risen roughly 20 percent so far in 2017, led by Apple (AAPL.O), Alphabet (GOOGL.O), Facebook (FB.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O).

 

The only other company with comparable gains in market value this year is Amazon (AMZN.O), a market darling not in the tech sector despite being a big player in cloud services and data storage.

 

“These are the dominant players in their specific spaces and the hottest areas in tech,” said Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Company in Atlanta, highlighting their exposure to the cloud and artificial intelligence.

 

“You will continue to see money flowing into those names. People want to be exposed to the hottest areas,” he said.

 

(To view a graphic on ‘The Five Horsemen: growing influence of largest technology companies’ click reut.rs/2sntpYb)

 

Active funds have continued to throw their money behind the leaders with a record overweight on the technology sector, according to BofA/Merrill Lynch data going back to 2008.

 

 

But more than a third of the 2017 gains in the S&P 500 have come from these five companies, and the concentration of the advance has some investors jittery.

 

“Given how significant the (large cap) leadership has been year to date, I kind of think you need to find another group to produce that leadership,” said Jim Tierney, chief investment officer of concentrated U.S. growth at AllianceBernstein in New York.

 

Echoing Dell[DI.UL], Cisco (CSCO.O), Intel (INTC.O) and yes, Microsoft itself, the leaders of the Y2K tech boom, these new “five horsemen” have added more than $612 billion in value to the stock market this year. Their 2017 gains alone could buy the 85 smallest companies of the S&P 500.

 

Their combined value, near $3 trillion, is not far from the market value of all the other components of the Nasdaq 100.

 

 

NOT THAT EXPENSIVE, BUT…

 

This tech rally has come hand in hand with heightened expectations for profits. Investors are currently paying $18.50 for every $1 in earnings expected over the next 12 months in the sector, compared to the more than $40 they paid during the dot-com bubble and even the $20-plus seen during the most recent market peak in 2007.

 

Tech sector earnings are expected to grow 11 percent in the second quarter after rising near 21 percent in the first, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.

 

However, with gains of more than 33 percent for Apple, Facebook and Amazon, near 25 percent for Alphabet and 15 percent in Microsoft, compared to a gain of 8.5 percent for the S&P 500, the room for more upside is declining.

 

 

Despite expecting gains upward of 20 percent for the rest of the year on the so-called FANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet – and their ilk, analysts at Fundstrat recommended in a Friday note balancing portfolios by scooping up the year’s underperformers: banks, energy and telecoms.

 

They are not alone in searching for exposure outside technology.

 

“We’re most overweight in technology but I don’t want to stay too long at the party,” said Alan Gayle, director of asset allocation at RidgeWorth Investments in Atlanta.

 

“What I’m watching for is an opportunity to lighten up on tech exposure and put it into some of the more cyclical areas,” he said. “Financials are going to be catching a tailwind.”

 

AllianceBernstein’s Tierney bets beyond tech on healthcare .SPXHC, the second-largest sector weight on the S&P 500.

 

“Healthcare has really lagged the last 18 months or so. They could certainly pick up the mantle.”

 

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, additional reporting by Sinead Carew and Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

 

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Toyota sells all shares in Tesla as their tie-up ends| Reuters

Heavy Construction News
 

TOKYO Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said on Saturday it had sold all shares in Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) by the end of 2016, having canceled its tie-up with the U.S. luxury automaker to jointly develop electric vehicles.

 

Japan’s biggest automaker had bought around a 3 percent stake in the Palo Alto-based automaker for $50 million.

 

 

Toyota spokesman Ryo Sakai said the company had sold all of its shares in Tesla as of the end of 2016, part of a regular, periodic review of its investments, after it had initially sold down a portion in 2014.

 

 

“Our development partnership with Tesla ended a while ago, and since there has not been any new developments on that front, we decided it was time to sell the remaining stake,” he said.

 

 

In November, the Japanese automaker appointed its president to lead their newly-formed electric car division, flagging its commitment to develop a technology that it has been slow to embrace.

 

The department comprises a new in-house unit to plan Toyota’s strategy to develop and market electric cars as part of the company’s efforts to keep pace with tightening global emissions regulations.

 

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu, Writing by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

 

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NY prosecutor says Exxon misled investors on climate change| Reuters News

NY prosecutor says Exxon misled investors on climate change| Reuters

By Emily Flitter
| NEW YORK

 

NEW YORK New York’s top prosecutor on Friday accused Exxon Mobil of misleading investors about how it accounts for climate change risks, court filings show, increasing pressure on the company to turn over documents.

 

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman claims to have evidence of “potential materially false and misleading statements by Exxon” that could have led investors to think the U.S. oil giant company properly assessed the risks when it actually ignored a formula to estimate the impact of future environmental regulation on new deals.

 

Schneiderman’s filing came a day after President Donald Trump announced plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, in which nearly 200 countries pledged to lower their greenhouse gas emissions to try to slow global warming. World leaders and many U.S. executives condemned the decision.

 

“ExxonMobil’s external statements have accurately described its use of a proxy cost of carbon, and the documents produced to the Attorney General make this fact unmistakably clear,” said Exxon spokesman Scott Silvestri. “We will respond fully to the Attorney General’s inaccurate and irresponsible allegations about proxy cost in our court filings.”

 

‘MAY BE A SHAM’

 

 

Schneiderman’s filing focused on the method Exxon used to give its investors estimates of the regulatory cost of greenhouse gas emissions on new projects. The company frequently showed investors a number it called a “proxy cost” for greenhouse gasses as a way to assure them it was accounting for potential changes to government policy that would make producing and burning fossil fuels more expensive.

 

“The exercise described to investors may be a sham,” Schneiderman wrote, because Exxon may not have actually applied it when estimating profits and losses on its investments.

 

 

“Exxon’s own documents suggest that if Exxon had applied the proxy cost it promised to shareholders, at least one substantial oil sands project may have projected a financial loss, rather than a profit, over the course of the project’s original timeline,” Schneiderman wrote.

 

Exxon has been fighting Schneiderman’s requests for information about its climate change policies in both state and federal court, claiming it should not have to turn over records because the New York prosecutor’s probe is politically motivated and abusive to the company.

 

Friday’s filing included a request for internal documents Schneiderman says Exxon has been withholding, as well the ability to interview Exxon employees who might know about Exxon’s internal climate change discussions.

 

 

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is also investigating the company. Both probes are modeled after earlier investigations of tobacco companies, which were shown to admit in great detail internally that smoking was bad for human health while publicly maintaining it was not.

 

On May 23, a New York State appeals court ruled Exxon should turn over records Schneiderman was requesting.

 

Exxon has already turned over 2 million documents as part of the investigation, leading to the discovery that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who until December was chief executive of Exxon, used a separate email address and an alias, “Wayne Tracker,” to discuss climate change-related issues while at the company.

 

(Reporting By Emily Flitter; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

 

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Asia stocks firm as upbeat U.S., European data boosts confidence | Reuters News

Asia stocks firm as upbeat U.S
 

TOKYO Asian stocks edged up on Friday and the dollar bounced from recent lows as upbeat data on U.S. manufacturing and employment and buoyant European factory growth boosted investor optimism.

 

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS ticked up 0.1 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 gained 1 percent to top the psychologically important 20,000-point level for the first time since August 2015.

 

“Market sentiment is very good. The strength in Wall Street shares will be a tailwind for the Nikkei as well,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management.

 

MSCI ACWI .MIWD00000PUS, an index of 46 stock markets in the world, hit a record high, having gained 0.6 percent on Thursday.

 

The Wall Street’s volatility index .VIX, which measures implied volatility of stocks and is often seen as investors’ fear gauge, fell below 10, near a decade-low touched last month, in another sign of investors’ confidence that markets will be stable at least for the time being.

 

The Institute for Supply Management said its barometer of U.S. factory activity edged up to 54.9 last month from 54.8 in April, while ADP reported private payrolls grew by 253,000 last month, beating analysts’ median forecast of a 185,000 increase.

 

 

These numbers overwhelmed weakness in auto sales and set markets up for solid numbers in the government’s payrolls data due at 1230 GMT.

 

Following the latest data, the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s closely-watched GDP Now forecast model showed on Thursday that the U.S. economy is expected to grow at a 4.0 percent annualized pace in the second quarter.

 

The specter of solid U.S. growth led traders to almost fully price in chances that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its June 13-14 policy meeting. They also supported the outlook for possibly another hike by the year-end, likely in September.

 

That helped the dollar recover in the foreign exchange market.

 

 

The dollar JPY= firmed to 111.52 yen, from Wednesday’s near two-week low of 110.485 yen.

 

The euro EUR= slipped to $1.1218 from Thursday’s high of $1.1257, its highest in more than a week.

 

IHS Markit’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for the euro zone rose to 57.0 in May, up from April’s 56.7 and its highest level since April 2011.

 

 

Elsewhere in currency markets, traders are waiting to see if the Chinese yuan extends its recent strong and surprising gains.

 

The offshore Chinese yuan CNH= hit its highest level since October on Thursday, a move traders believe was engineered by Chinese authorities as a show of strength to scare off yuan sellers after Moody’s downgraded China last week.

 

The yuan stepped back to 6.7572 to the dollar from Thursday’s high of 6.7245.

 

Oil prices flirted with their recent lows on concerns that key producers were still adding to the global crude glut.

 

The Brent futures LCOc1 fell 0.8 percent to $50.24 per barrel, near its three-week low of $49.81 set on Wednesday.

 

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

 

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