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Stock market news: October 9, 2019

Stock market news: October 9, 2019

Stocks were higher across all of the major indices Wednesday on renewed trade optimism. However, Wednesday afternoon, Reuters reported that China lowered its expectation for significant trade deal progress this week. This new sentiment China’s surprise and anger on the heels of a decision by the U.S. to add 28 Chinese organizations to its blacklist Monday evening for alleged human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang region. The Trump administration also implemented travel bans on Chinese officials tied to the alleged human rights abuses Tuesday afternoon.
Here were how the markets ended Wednesday’s trading session:
S&P 500 ( ^GSPC ): +0.91%, or 26.35 points
Dow ( ^DJI ): +0.70%, or 181.97 points
Nasdaq ( ^IXIC ): +1.02%, or 79.96 points
Crude oil ( CL=F ): +0.08% to $52.67 per barrel
Gold ( GC=F ): +0.52% to $1,511.70 per ounce
While China isn’t optimistic about reaching a broad trade deal at this time, it is at least looking to reach a partial trade deal with the U.S., according to Bloomberg . One official with direct knowledge of the negotiations said that China would be open to a partial deal as long as no additional tariffs are slapped onto Chinese goods. The official also said that China would be willing to make non-core concessions such as purchasing agricultural products but would refrain from conceding on major sticking points.
Top negotiators from the U.S. and China are gearing up to kick off trade talks in Washington starting Thursday. If no material progress is made, U.S. tariffs on about $250 billion of Chinese goods will increase to 30% from 25% on October 15.
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid More At 2 p.m. ET, the Fed released the minutes of its September Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which ended with the committee cutting bringing down its target federal funds rate to a range of 1.75% to 2.00%.
“Participants generally judged that downside risks to the outlook for economic activity had increased somewhat since their July meeting, particularly those stemming from trade policy uncertainty and conditions abroad,” the minutes read . “In addition, al­though readings on the labor market and the overall economy continued to be strong, a clearer picture of protracted weakness in investment spending, manufacturing production, and exports had emerged.”
Among other things, committee members debated how to communicate when the Fed would stop loosening monetary policy.
“Several participants suggested that the Committee’s postmeeting statement should provide more clarity about when the recalibration of the level of the policy rate in response to trade uncertainty would likely come to an end.”
STOCKS: Johnson & Johnson hit with $8 billion jury award; Levi’s earnings beat; PG&E to cut power for 800,000 California customers Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ ) shares fell Wednesday after a jury in Philadelphia ordered the company to pay $8 billion in damages to a man who claimed that his use of Johnson & Johnson’s anti-psychotic drug Risperdal as a child made him grow unwanted breasts. The condition is called gynecomastia and causes enlargement of breast tissue. Risperidal was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1993 to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults. The plantiffs argued that J&J was aware of the negative side effect but underplayed the seriousness to doctors.
Levi Strauss ( LEVI ) reported a beat on both the top and bottom lines for its third quarter . The retailer reported adjusted earnings of 31 cents per share on $1.45 billion in revenue. However, North America revenue fell 3% compared to the same time period last year due to a decline in its wholesale business. Levi’s push to strengthen its direct-to-consumer (DTC) business is paying off. The company reported that its DTC business rose 9%. For the fourth quarter, Levi’s expects strong performance in its international, DTC, women’s and tops businesses.
More trouble for embattled power provider PG&E ( PCG ). Shares were taking another hit Wednesday after the company kicked off its shutoff strategy for homes in Northern California . The company will be shutting off electricity in a two-phase process starting Wednesday evening and will eventually affect 800,000 homes in the Bay Area. The move is the biggest planned blackout to date and is an attempt to ensure that PG&E’s power lines do not spark any more wildfires. PG&E was forced to file for bankruptcy after numerous devastating fires ravaged California for years. Nevertheless, PG&E’s decision to cut off power to hundreds of thousands of homes is a move that the company said is “unprecedented.”
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Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung .
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Heating your home: is it cheaper to keep it on low all day or turn it on and off?

Share By Rachel Pugh Money-Saving & Consumer Writer 16:11, 9 OCT 2019 Updated 13:57, 10 OCT 2019 News Video Loading Video Unavailable Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8 Cancel Play now Get the biggest daily Now the weather's getting colder, chances are you'll have started to put the heating on at home.
If you ask me, getting out of the shower when your home is anything less than warm should be an Olympic sport. That stuff is DIFFICULT.
There's just one setback to having a lovely, toasty house, and that, of course, is price.
Whacking on the heating can be a costly business, and bills soon rack up during the cold winter months. That said, you'll probably have considered whether it's cheaper to keep turning it on or off, or if it's financially more viable to keep the heating on a low setting all day.
Read More You could be entitled to £25 a week from the government when the weather turns cold Manchester Evening News has spoken to Martin Lewis' website MoneySavingExpert.com to get to the bottom of things, and we finally have answers.
When asked by the M.E.N. what the most cost-efficient way to heat a home is, Steve Nowottny, of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “As winter approaches, we’re often asked whether it’s cheaper to leave the heating on low all day even when you’re out, or turn it up only when you need it.
Read More Coleen Rooney 'in good form' in Manchester city centre after Rebekah Vardy row – but hardly anyone noticed “While the answer’s hotly debated, the consensus among most – though not all – energy experts seems to be that having the heating on only when you need it is the best way to save energy, and therefore money.
“The key point here is that it’s all about the total energy required to heat your home. Given that a certain amount of energy is constantly leaking out of your home, no matter how good your insulation, it’s best to only heat your home when you need it.”
He added: “It’s worth noting though that this isn’t clear-cut, and not everyone agrees. Some specialists argue you should avoid turning the heating on and off as it can cause condensation to collect within the walls, which in turn can mean you home leaks heat more quickly.”
So if you want to keep costs down, only turn the heating on when you need.
If you're struggling with costs, you can see if you're eligible for Government-funded grants for heating and such as winter fuel payments, cold weather payments and the warm home discount.
Shopping news, deals and money-saving tips For all the latest shopping news, deals, beauty tips and fashion trends, and the best money-saving tips from our shopping, money-saving and consumer writer Rachel Pugh, who you can follow here .
You can also join our Manchester Money-Saving Facebook group here .

Gov. Gavin Newsom signs bill to open Hollister Ranch beaches

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed into law a bill designed to open the exclusive beaches at Hollister Ranch — a significant move forward under his administration on an issue that has stalled for decades in the face of powerful landowners.
The law declares that the public must be allowed to enter the ranch by land and access some of its 8.5 miles of shoreline by April 2022. Further access would be phased in under a comprehensive plan to be developed in the next two years.
It is also now a crime, punishable by tens of thousands of dollars in fines, for any action by a person or group “to impede, delay, or otherwise obstruct the implementation of” public access to these coveted beaches and surf breaks in Santa Barbara County.
Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), who wrote the bill, said the legislation comes after almost 40 years of efforts to open this stretch of coastline to the public.
Advertisement “No matter your ZIP Code, all Californians deserve a chance to enjoy our public parks and beaches,” she said. “Hollister Ranch is no exception.”
Until Newsom signed the bill on Wednesday, it was not clear where he stood on it.
The legislation, Assembly Bill 1680, is tougher than a similar measure vetoed last year by then-Gov. Jerry Brown. This year’s bill sailed out of the Legislature , followed by declarations of support from the lieutenant governor, the state’s attorney general and controller, as well as a number of state agencies and environmental groups.
Ranch owners and their lobbyists also made their case in recent weeks to the governor and in editorials, calling the legislation unnecessary and hinting at more opposition and lawsuits.
Advertisement In a statement to The Times, Newsom made clear his position on beach access for all.
“As Californians, respect and reverence for our beaches is in our DNA, so much so that we enshrined public beach access into our state Constitution,” he said. “I’ve long fought to protect these public treasures for future generations and to ensure any person can experience their beauty. That won’t change now that I’m governor.”
California Video: Hollister Ranch | The view from above California Video: Hollister Ranch | The view from above Drone flyover at one of the most pristine stretches of coastline in California —Hollister Ranch.
Opening the beaches to the public now lies in the details. Ranch owners have long contended that this pristine stretch of coast has benefited from their private stewardship. Many worry what unfettered access, unmanaged trash and extra foot traffic could do to their years of work protecting the land.
Sam Schuchat, executive director of the California State Coastal Conservancy, said that the agencies designing and implementing the access plan will do it in a way that “responsibly and safely introduces public access to this special part of the coast.”
Hollister Ranch is one of California’s most pristine stretches of coastline. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times) In an agreement signed this year, the conservancy, the California Coastal Commission, the State Lands Commission and California State Parks pledged to work efficiently to expand and enhance “meaningful, safe, environmentally sustainable and operationally feasible public access to and along the coast at the ranch.”
Efforts are already underway and have so far been collaborative — even with the ranch, officials said.
Advertisement In July, about 20 officials from all four agencies, as well as Santa Barbara County, met with the Hollister Ranch Owners Assn. and toured the shoreline — yet another milestone in a standoff that in past decades had blocked state agencies from even entering the ranch.
Opinion Editorial: It’s time for rich homeowners to stop blocking access to your beach at Hollister Ranch Opinion Editorial: It’s time for rich homeowners to stop blocking access to your beach at Hollister Ranch The homeowners of Hollister Ranch have, for decades, treated the coast as their own private beach. It’s not and never has been.
Surveyors from the State Lands Commission have also been allowed in to map the public beaches for the first time.
The legislation specifies that the ranch must continue to grant access to state officials as they work on the public access plan.
Monte Ward, president of the Hollister Ranch Owners Assn., which represents the more than 1,000 people who own a share of the ranch today, said the new legislation risks more conflict and litigation. He said the ranch has been cooperating with state officials on recent initiatives but this bill might derail these good-faith efforts.
“We believe the courts will conclude that AB 1680 is unconstitutional,” Ward said. “As a practical matter, we believe the legislation will prove to be an impediment to the current collaborative efforts and the state’s desire to enhance public access to the beaches at Hollister Ranch.”
Jack Ainsworth, executive director of the coastal commission, said that “for our part, we will continue with this collaborative process that’s already begun and we hope all stakeholders will do likewise.”
“But if not,” he said, “this bill provides some important guardrails.”
Advertisement Development fees, which were subject to public scrutiny and controversy last year, have also been raised to $33,000 from $5,000 for ranch owners under the new law. This money will go into a fund dedicated to providing public access at the ranch.
Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš of Azul, who works on bringing more Latino voices to coastal issues, said that the governor’s signature resonates with many communities.
“This is a really huge deal, the folks that we work with already don’t feel comfortable going to the beach, they feel like they don’t belong,” she said Thursday. “This conveys to the public that all of California’s beaches, even at Hollister, are truly open to all.”
Public pressure to open the beaches mounted last year after ranch and coastal officials agreed, following years of litigation, to a controversial deal that would have allowed access only to ranch owners, their guests, visitors with guides and those who could boat or paddle in from two miles away.
The Times published the terms of this deal, which was struck behind closed doors. Coastal officials heeded the public outcry and have looked for new ways to obtain access once and for all.
A coalition of nonprofits has since been trying to stop the controversial settlement in court. In a ruling this year, a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge refused to approve the settlement and gave the coalition a chance to legally challenge the deal. Ranch lawyers responded by trying to disqualify the judge , questioning her impartiality and actions that they say have made her both “judge and advocate.”
“There’s been such a long history at Hollister, they’ve resisted access every step of the way,” said Susan Jordan of the California Coastal Protection Network, which is part of the coalition challenging Hollister in court.
“I personally think it’s time for everyone to roll up their sleeves and work together to develop a plan that protects resources, respects the privacy of the residents and provides the public with the access they’ve been entitled to for the last 40 years.”

Dove Cameron wants to play Gwen Stacy in the MCU [Video]

9 October 2019 Descendants 3 star Dove Cameron wants to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as classic character Gwen Stacy. The Disney star has already voiced Peter Parker’s iconic love interest and superhero alter-ego Spider-Gwen, also known as Ghost Spider, in the Disney XD animated series Marvel Rising . When asked if she’d be keen to also portray the popular comic book character in the live action MCU, she told Yahoo Movies: “I would love to play Gwen Stacy. I would love to play Spider-Gwen, or Ghost Spider, or whatever kind of incarnation they’re going to make her into.” “I think that she’s such a great character. I mean, I love Emma Stone in the last incarnation of Gwen Stacy,” said Cameron, of Emma Stone’s role as Gwen Stacy in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel, 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 , “But I was really honoured when they asked me to voice her and I would love a chance to audition.” “I think any kind of action girl – that’s my type of girl!” Cameron explained. Gwen Stacy as Ghost Spider in Marvel Rising. (Marvel Animation) More On what she would want from her own potential take on the character opposite Tom Holland’s MCU Spidey, Cameron revealed, “I would love it if she was an equal match. I would love it if she was a physical threat… if she was quite a force.” Read more: How Tom Holland saved the Spider-Man deal “I just love playing characters for women that are not so thin – and I mean thin, like emotionally – that are not so narrowly defined. I would love if she was a bit difficult or complex… just how real girls are.” Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is set to return for his third solo MCU film in July 2021 after Sony and Disney recently renewed their deal to co-produce the Webslinger’s big screen adventures. Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Far From Home (credit: Disney/Sony) More Gwen Stacy has yet to appear in this latest iteration of Spider-Man’s world, with Zendaya’s MJ playing the romantic foil to Tom Holland. The character is hugely important to the Spider-Man myth, playing a crucial role in the comics. Spider-Gwen, an alternate-universe, superhero alter ego of the character – was recently seen on the big screen in 2018’s ‘Best Animated Feature’ Academy Award-winning Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse , voiced by Hailee Steinfeld. Story continues Cameron was speaking to Yahoo ahead of the release of her upcoming third and final Disney Descendants live-action television film, Descendants 3 , in which she plays Mal: the daughter of iconic Sleeping Beauty villain, Maleficent. DESCENDANTS 3 – Disney Channel’s “Descendants 3” stars Dove Cameron as Mal. (Disney Channel/Ed Herrera) More The star is already well versed with the MCU’s home of Disney. Cameron has been starred in various popular Disney channel TV shows since she was 16, as well as the Descendants TV movie series, which tells the spin-off story of the lives of the children of classic Disney villains. Dove Cameron stars as ‘Mal’ in Disney Channel’s Descendants 3. The threequel of the hugely popular movie franchise will premiere on Disney Channel UK on Friday 11 October at 5.30pm

Mandy Wiener: ‘Bail out’ NPA, Hawks instead of SABC, SAA | News24

Treasury’s money would be best spent, in the eyes of the public at least, on paying for top class, competent, qualified investigators and prosecutors to go after the crooked and corrupt, writes Mandy Wiener .
A few days ago, Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams announced that the financially crippled state broadcaster, the SABC, will be receiving a R3.2bn bailout from government. The first payment of R2.1bn was set to be transferred on Monday this week, with stringent conditions having been set before the money was released. The remaining R1.1bn would be held back until the SABC had met all the outstanding set requirements
The SABC has not made a profit in six years and has said that it was expecting another loss for the last financial year. It actually needs a bailout of R6.8bn to be able to run but it will have to do with half of that in order to avoid a blackout.
Similarly, SAA is in desperate need of a government cash injection despite already receiving a R5.5bn bailout from Treasury over the past financial year. It needs an addition R2bn in working capital until December to stay afloat. It’s in even more trouble now that it has failed to submit audited financial statements in Parliament because of liquidity issues. Add to that a myriad of problems with labour issues and pending strike action.
Over the past few years, Treasury has given SAA bailouts amounting to over R20bn but Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has said that the airline must be sold off and the state cannot continue to bail out state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
State-owned arms company Denel also received a R1.8bn bailout from government this year after it was left struggling to pay salaries and suppliers. Government is considering a further R1bn recapitalisation in its budget for the next financial year. Eskom, which was horribly looted during the state capture project, is getting R59bn over the next three years.
Writing in Business Day, activist Terry Crawford-Browne criticised government for repeatedly throwing good money after bad in this manner. “Has the Treasury still not learnt anything from its dismal failures with the arms deal debacle? After years of mismanagement and corruption these SOEs have all proved to be unfixable and should be put into immediate bankruptcy instead of saddling SA and our citizens with still more debt.”
Meanwhile over in Silverton, National Prosecuting Authority director Shamila Batohi and head of the Special Investigating Directorate Hermione Cronje, are trying to tackle a decade of malfeasance, corporate corruption and state capture with a meagre budget of less than R4bn.
The NPA is underfunded, understaffed and overstretched, with enormous expectations from the public. It does not have enough money to pay all of its salaries this financial year and will have to slash staff if it is to remain within budget over the medium term.
Batohi earlier this year told Parliament that vacancy rates were about 20% on average in the country. The percentage was even higher at specialised units such as the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit and the Asset Forfeiture Unit, at between 25% and 28%. This means that in actual terms the NPA had lost about 600 prosecutors since 2015 as a result of not being able to recruit any new prosecutors.
We are desperately waiting for the NPA to act in state capture cases, but the resources are simply not there. There is no money to fund them. There is little doubt this is going to have a significant impact on service delivery and perpetuate the credibility crisis of the organisation. In order to unravel the intricacies of a case like Steinhoff or Trillian, the NPA would need the very best forensic expertise in the country and it’s unlikely to attract those resources with skinny public sector salaries.
According to the NPA’s 2018/2019 financial report, it ominously warns that “The organisation has now reached a point where it will not be able to continue to deliver on its mandate if it does not receive an increase in its budget baseline. The lack of budget within the NPA is a very serious problem. There has been no recruitment since 2016. The impact on the delivery of justice and morale of prosecutors working in extremely challenging conditions, is huge.”
Almost 90% of the NPA’s budget is spent on wages, which meant a R77m shortfall for the financial year. This shortfall was funded through reallocation of funds within the Department of Justice. Batohi has also said that the new investigating directorate, headed by Cronje, would get more than R200m over the next three years but those funds are insufficient to do the work the unit is meant to.
Speaking last week at the launch of the Health Sector Anti-Corruption Forum, Batohi took the unprecedented step of pleading with the president for more money to address the lack of capacity within both the NPA and the Hawks. Batohi has instead previously resorted to “very strong budget diplomacy” with the finance minister to address this.
Batohi explained that while the NPA has received a budget allocation through the adjusted estimates of the national expenditure process, the biggest challenge to investigating and prosecuting was capacity in the NPA and Hawks.
“This will be used primarily to recruit prosecutors in the specialised commercial crimes units and capacity in the Asset Forfeiture Unit. However, the Hawks capacity still remains a problem. I take this opportunity to urge the president to address this urgently.”
According to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), the Hawks need 2 500 more investigators as it is currently running at less than 50% capacity. This is having a direct impact on the failure by the state to charge politicians and criminals responsible for pillaging billions from the state over the past years of capture.
“The Hawks’ 1700 investigators, some of whom are helping the investigative directorate of the NPA, are working on almost 19 000 cases with over 15 000 accused on court rolls countrywide as of the end of March,” said the ISS’s Johan Burger.
Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has floated the idea of approaching private donors to fund some programmes of the NPA. This has raised concerns about how the NPA, which is already facing a credibility crisis, could compromise its independence. This just cannot be a viable option.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will know that the NPA is desperate for more money to get the job done. In his State of the Nation Address, he said, “We have asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions to develop a plan to significantly increase the capacity and effectiveness of the NPA, including to ensure effective asset forfeiture.” The new Special Investigations Unit Tribunal is also expected to bring in cash – its intention is to fast-track civil claims arising from its investigations, which is hoped to bring in R14.7bn.
But for now, Treasury’s money would be far better spent, in the eyes of the public at least, on paying for top class, competent, qualified investigators and prosecutors to go after the crooked and corrupt, than on bailing out a poorly run, inefficient SABC or SAA. Wouldn’t you rather see the corrupt behind bars than flying on your country’s national carrier?
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