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A staff wanted sign in the window of a restaurant in the Soho district of London, U.K., on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021. LONDON — U.K. unemployment unexpectedly rose to its highest level in two and a half years, data showed Tuesday, amid a heated general election campaign in which the economy is a key battleground. Simultaneous strong wage growth divided opinions from market-watchers mulling the timing of an interest rate cut from the Bank of England. While market pricing on Tuesday suggested next to no chance of a rate cut at the BOE's June meeting, and a 36% shot in August, that probability rises to nearly 60% for the September deliberations. Consultancy Capital Economics said that, while the stickiness of wage growth would be a "lingering concern" for the BOE, the rate should soon be on a "firm downward path" as unemployment rises.
Persons: Richard Carter, Cheviot, BOE, Capital's, Ruth Gregory, Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer, Sunak, We've, it's, Starmer Organizations: LONDON, Bank of England, National Statistics, Reuters, Consultancy Capital Economics, Conservative Party, Labour, Conservatives Locations: Soho, London
LONDON — Rolls-Royce shares jumped more than 8% on Thursday after the British aerospace group more than doubled its annual profits in 2023 and forecast further momentum this year. Rolls-Royce, which manufactures jet engines for commercial aircraft along with power systems for ships and submarines, posted an underlying operating profit of £1.6 billion ($2 billion) in 2023, compared to £652 million in 2022. The group also reported a record free cash flow of £1.3 billion, driven by strong operating profit and continued growth of its long-term service agreement (LTSA) book. Rolls-Royce was the top performer in Britain's FTSE 100 in 2023, soaring over 200% on the back of a profit forecast upgrade and the announcement in November that profits could quadruple by 2027. "Our strong delivery in 2023 gives us confidence in our 2024 guidance and is a significant step towards our mid-term targets," Erginbilgic added.
Persons: Tufan Erginbilgic, Royce, Erginbilgic, Cheviot Organizations: Airbus, Universal Sky, LONDON, Royce, Power Systems, Defence Locations: Barcelona, Spain, British, Britain's
Disney said the partnership will see it work together with Epic to create new games using its intellectual property, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and Avatar. Taylor Swift performs onstage during "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Allianz Parque on November 24, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Disney lost customers on streaming platform Disney+, but revenue was higher due to a hike in subscription costs. Stock Chart Icon Stock chart icon Walt Disney Company share price. The Epic Games partnership could prove fruitful but is likely to be a "slow burn," he said in a note.
Persons: Bob Iger, Disney, Taylor, Taylor Swift, Buda Mendes, Ben Barringer, Quilter Cheviot, Nelson Peltz Organizations: Disney, Epic Games, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, ESPN, Allianz Parque, Getty, Walt Disney Company, Parks, CNBC Locations: Sao Paulo, Brazil, Buda
Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during Meta Connect event at Meta headquarters in Menlo Park, California on September 27, 2023. Josh Edelson | AFP | Getty ImagesShares of Facebook parent company Meta jumped Friday, after the firm reported a threefold jump in fourth-quarter profit and issued its first-ever dividend. First-ever dividendMeta said it would pay investors a dividend of 50 cents a share on March 26, in the company's first-ever cash dividend. Meta also announced a $50 billion share buyback. Ben Barringer, technology analyst at Quilter Cheviot, said this represented a "symbolic moment and indicates what a turnaround story Meta has been on since its struggles in 2022."
Persons: Mark Zuckerberg, Josh Edelson, Meta, Ben Barringer, Cheviot, Barringer Organizations: Meta, AFP, Getty, Facebook, Revenue, Investors, Microsoft Locations: Menlo Park , California, U.S
Tech's longtime highfliers are growing up by getting smaller
  + stars: | 2024-02-02 | by ( Ari Levy | )   time to read: +7 min
They're still out hunting for the best technical talent, particularly in areas like artificial intelligence, but headcount growth is measured. Last year, tech companies were responding to dramatically changing market conditions — soaring inflation, rising interest rates, rotation out of risk — after an extended bull market. Meta slashed over 20,000 jobs in 2023, Amazon laid off more than 27,000 people, And Alphabet cut over 12,000 positions. Other than Nvidia , which had a banner 2023 due to soaring demand for its AI chips, none of the other mega-cap tech companies have been growing at their historic averages. By late this year, analysts are projecting growth at Meta will be back down to the low teens at best.
Persons: Tayfun, There's, Daniel Flax, Neuberger Berman, CNBC's, Morgan Stanley, Brian Nowak, Brian Olsavsky, They're, Mark Zuckerberg, Zuckerberg, Olsavsky, Phil Spencer, Justin Sullivan, Okta, Zuora, Evan Sohn,, " Sohn, Susan Li, Ben Barringer, Cheviot, Barringer, , Annie Palmer Organizations: Anadolu Agency, Getty Images Technology, Amazon, Meta, hasn't, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, SAN FRANCISCO, Activision, FTC, Getty, Federal, Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, Tech, Nvidia, Finance, CNBC Locations: Menlo Park , California, Silicon Valley, CALIFORNIA, San Francisco , California
London CNN —Shares in Tesla plunged as much as 11% after the market opened Thursday, wiping $73 billion off the company’s market value hours after it warned of slowing growth in electric car sales and an existential threat from Chinese rivals. While it reported a sizeable 38% increase in deliveries last year compared with 2022, Tesla had previously targeted a 50% annual growth rate averaged over several years. At the time, investors were worried about the outlook for Tesla’s sales and profitability, as well as the health of the US economy. Dan Ives, an analyst with market research firm Wedbush, said Tesla’s earnings call provided investors with “minimal answers” to the company’s shrinking margins. China’s BYD beat Tesla in the final three months of last year, selling more cars than Elon Musk’s carmaker for the first time.
Persons: Tesla, Thursday’s, Qilai Shen, Dan Ives, Musk, , China Tesla, China’s, Elon Musk’s carmaker, ” Garrett Nelson, Ben Barringer, Chris Isidore Organizations: London CNN —, Bloomberg, Getty, Elon, CFRA Research Locations: Shanghai, China, Cheviot
Data due out in February will show whether the U.K. has entered a technical recession — defined as when the economy shrinks for two consecutive quarters. There was also zero growth in the prior three months, the new figures showed, down from the 0.2% growth previously calculated. LONDON — The U.K. is edging closer to recession after revised figures showed the economy shrank in the previous quarter. Certainly, Rishi Sunak's pledge to grow the economy is now severely in doubt," he said. A near-term drop in interest rates would be a win for Sunak's government, as the U.K. enters an election year.
Persons: Jeremy Hunt, Richard Carter, Cheviot, Rishi Sunak's, Rishi Sunak, Downing, Andrew Bailey Organizations: Office, National Statistics, LONDON, Bank of England
Investors cautioned that tax breaks would not be sufficient to raise business investment while UK interest rates stayed high. But Wednesday, equity markets focused on Hunt's business boosts, such as a move to make full expensing on investment permanent. UK stock markets have underperformed their European and U.S. peers in 2023. The FTSE 100 index 12-month forward price-to-earnings ratio is around 10.7, about half that of U.S. stocks, with Hunt's budget unlikely to move the dial too far. Reuters GraphicsSTERLING SOGGYThe pound struggled to gain any traction on the back of Hunt's budget.
Persons: Dado Ruvic, Kwasi Kwarteng, Leigh Himsworth, Simon Harvey, Philip Shaw, Thomas McGarrity, Fuller, Smith, Turner, Oli Creasey, It's, BoE, GILTS, Craig Erlam, Goldman Sachs, Naomi Rovnick, Samuel Indyk, Lucy Raitano, Amanda Cooper, Harry Robertson, Angus MacSwan Organizations: REUTERS, Wednesday, Traders, Investors, Fidelity International, Reuters Graphics, Bank of England, BT, Investec, RBC Wealth Management, Reuters, BREWERS, Debt Management, Reuters Graphics STERLING, Thomson Locations: U.S, Cheviot, gilts, London
The deal was the biggest test of the CMA's global power to take on the tech giants since Britain left the European Union. "The new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming as this market takes off, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gaming customers," it said in a statement. Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed on displayed Activision Blizzard's games characters in this illustration taken January 18, 2022. Activision Blizzard said: "The CMA's official approval is great news for our future with Microsoft, and we look forward to becoming part of the Xbox Team." The European Commission said the new commitments given by Microsoft to the CMA did not interfere with its EU commitments.
Persons: Dado Ruvic, Jeremy Hunt, Sarah Cardell, Ben Barringer, Brad Smith, Activision Blizzard, Paul Sandle, Yadarisa Shabong, Aditya Soni, Foo Yun Chee, Varun H, Kate Holton, Sonali Paul, Jane Merriman, Sherry Jacob, Phillips Organizations: CMA, Microsoft, LONDON, Activision Blizzard, Sony, Activision, Competition, Markets Authority, Ubisoft Entertainment, Britain, European Union, PlayStation, U.S . Federal Trade Commission, FTC, REUTERS, British, Finance, Xbox, European Commission, Thomson Locations: Britain, Cheviot, London, Bengaluru, Foo
Microsoft logo is seen on a smartphone placed on displayed Activision Blizzard's games characters in this illustration taken January 18, 2022. The deal was blocked in April by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which said it could give the U.S. computing giant a stranglehold over the nascent cloud gaming market. The deal was the biggest test of the CMA's global power to take on the tech giants since Britain left the European Union. "The new deal will stop Microsoft from locking up competition in cloud gaming as this market takes off, preserving competitive prices and services for UK cloud gaming customers," it said in a statement. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission opposed the deal but after failing to stop it, the CMA was left standing alone.
Persons: Dado Ruvic, Jeremy Hunt, Sarah Cardell, Ben Barringer, Brad Smith, Activision Blizzard, Paul Sandle, Yadarisa, Foo Yun Chee, Varun H, Kate Holton, Sonali Paul, Jane Merriman Organizations: Microsoft, Activision, REUTERS, CMA, LONDON, Activision Blizzard, Competition, Markets Authority, Ubisoft Entertainment, Britain, European Union, PlayStation, Sony, U.S . Federal Trade Commission, FTC, British, Finance, Xbox, European Commission, Thomson Locations: Britain, Cheviot, London, Bengaluru, Foo
A pair of shoes is pictured in a window of a Birkenstock footwear store in Berlin, Germany, January 21, 2021. Birkenstock is the latest high-profile listing to put investor focus on the initial public offering (IPO) market, which is gradually reopening after two relatively quiet years and a burst of activity in September. Due to recent price hikes, worldwide footwear sales are expected to rise just 2.9% over 2022, according to market research firm Euromonitor International. AllBirds (BIRD.O), Dr Martens (DOCS.L), and On Running (ONON.N) have all seen their market value fall since their IPOs in 2021. "When you look at the trend of other shoe companies that have IPO-ed, it doesn't give a great outlook for Birkenstock," Valechha said.
Persons: Fabrizio Bensch, Birkenstock, Kellogg, Mamta, Cheviot, Valechha, Johann Adam Birkenstock, Barbie, Margot Robbie, Jessica Ramirez, Jane Hali, Siobhan Gehin, Roland Berger, Thomas Hayes, sneaker, Dr Martens, Allbirds, Alexandre Arnault, LVMH, Bernard Arnault, Matt Oguz, Iris, L, Ananya Mariam Rajesh, Helen Reid, Emma, Victoria Farr, Echo Wang, Abigail Summerville, Deepa Babington Organizations: REUTERS, LVMH, New York Stock Exchange, Euromonitor, Associates, Dick's Sporting, Reuters, Partners, Norges Bank Investment Management, Thomson Locations: Berlin, Germany, New York, London, Neustadt, United States, U.S, Cannes, Silicon Valley
Arm shares were even higher earlier but pared some of those gains. It comes after Arm shares rallied nearly 25% on the company's first day of trade on Thursday. With the rally ongoing, Arm continues to trade at a premium to chip giant Nvidia, even as its faces headwinds to its growth. SoftBank has faced criticism about its investment strategy with its massive Vision Fund tech investment arm posting a significant loss in its last fiscal year. This has been enough to put off some investors from the Arm IPO.
Persons: Ben Barringer, Cheviot, CNBC's, SoftBank Organizations: Arm Holdings, Nasdaq, Nvidia, Vision Fund
In August, the Bank of England increased interest rates for the 14th time in a row. LONDON — U.K. headline inflation cooled sharply in July to an annual 6.8%, but the core consumer price index remained unchanged, posing a potential headache for the Bank of England. Analysts noted that the participation rate broadly held steady, while the employment rate declined, signaling a weakening in labor demand. U.K. Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said the drop in headline inflation showed the government's action to tackle inflation is "working," but "we're not at the finish line." Cost-of-living crisis 'far from over'With headline inflation falling to 6.8% and wages growing at record pace, the U.K.'s prolonged cost-of-living crisis may be showing signs of abating, said David Henry, investment manager at Quilter Cheviot.
Persons: Jeremy Hunt, Hunt, David Henry, Henry, Suren, Thiru Organizations: Bank of England, LONDON, Reuters, National Statistics, Monetary, Analysts, Office, Finance, Institute of Chartered Accountants Locations: CPIH, Cheviot, England, Wales
"Bears in 2023 continue to be proven wrong — this has been one of the most hated rallies in recent memory. Given this uncertain backdrop, investors with a budget of $100,000 might be wondering where and how much to invest in each asset class. For those looking to invest $100,000, the CIO advised caution on allocating too much to stocks and bonds. He highlighted the Federal Reserve's restrictive monetary policy and said the impact of last year's interest rate hikes is "yet to be fully felt in the economy." The CIO is particularly bullish on real estate as he believes it offers a hedge against inflation.
Persons: Jeff Henriksen, James McManus, McManus, David Henry, Cheviot, Henry, we've, Ben Fraser, Fraser Organizations: Apple, Microsoft, Nvidia, . Investment, UBS, Bears, Thorpe, CNBC, JPMorgan, CNBC Pro, Angels ETF, Aspen Funds, Investors, Estate Investment Locations: U.S, Real, Fraser
LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - For all the thunder about Xbox versus PlayStation, it was the nascent cloud market that led to Britain's surprise decision to block Microsoft's record Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) takeover. That only answered the CMA's console concerns, leaving cloud gaming as the only remaining - and apparently lower - hurdle. Defining cloud gaming is not simple. The CMA disagreed, saying that cloud was the most rapidly growing sector in gaming, while consoles were a mature market. It said Microsoft already accounted for 60-70% of global cloud gaming services and had other trump cards: Xbox, the leading PC operating system Windows and cloud provider Azure.
Berkshire Hathaway faces high inflation, rising rates, and a potential recession and credit crunch. Warren Buffett's company will weather the storm and scoop up the bargains that emerge, experts say. Experts say Berkshire's ample cash reserves, strong brands, and prudent management will enable it to comfortably navigate a harsh economic environment. "Shareholders who plan on holding Berkshire for years into the future should hope for a near-term bear market in stocks. Brian Gongol, longtime Buffett follower and Berkshire shareholder:"It's better to be in Berkshire's shoes during challenging times than during a boom.
The BoE is due to announce on Thursday whether it has raised interest rates for an 11th meeting in a row. The annual inflation rate in the services sector, which most policymakers consider is a good measure of underlying price pressures in the economy, rose to 6.6% after standing at 6.0% in January. Finance minister Jeremy Hunt said the data showed the expected decline in inflation could not be taken for granted. "Falling inflation isn't inevitable, so we need to stick to our plan to halve it this year," Hunt said in a statement. Reporting by David Milliken and William Schomberg, editing by William JamesOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
U.K. inflation unexpectedly jumped in February, as food and energy bills continued to rise, placing further pressure on households. The consumer price index (CPI) increased by an annual 10.4%, above the 9.9% consensus forecast among economists in a Refinitiv poll and up from 10.1% in January. On a monthly basis, CPI inflation was 1.1%, exceeding a forecast of 0.6%. The surprise increase in February marked a break from three consecutive months of slowing price increases since the 41-year high of 11.1% reached in October. Last week, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility projected that U.K. inflation would plummet to 2.9% by the end of 2023 — a forecast Carter said was "increasingly ambitious" in light of the Wednesday print.
Britain's housing market has slowed markedly in recent months as higher mortgage rates and broader economic concerns deter buyers. The FTSE 100 (.FTSE) company proposed a final dividend of 60 pence per share for fiscal 2022 as per its new capital allocation policy. Persimmon has paid an annual dividend of 235 pence per share for the last five fiscal years except one, when pandemic lockdowns disrupted operations. Analysts had said in January that British housebuilders might cut dividends to preserve cash and ride out the property downturn. Persimmon stock slid as much as 10% to a near seven-week low of 1,310 pence and was the top percentage loser on the blue-chip FTSE 100 (.FTSE) index.
Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England, attends the Bank of England Monetary Policy Report Press Conference, at the Bank of England, London, Britain, February 2, 2023. Pool | ReutersLONDON — A tight labor market and comparatively slow return to earth for inflation means the Bank of England is likely to press ahead with a further interest rate hike in March, economists suggest. "However food prices remain a major driver of U.K. inflation, continuing their upwards march in January with an eye-watering 16.8% increase. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey last week urged workers and employers to consider the expected downward inflation trajectory when negotiating pay settlements. "The cocktail of a tight labour market and inflation failing to cool off quickly will remain a cause of concern for Bank of England policymakers, which may mean the Bank's aggressive strategy stays in place," Carter added.
LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - This Valentine's Day is set to look different after a year of record food inflation that has sent up prices of everything from flowers to chocolates and dining in restaurants. Last year, British restaurant chain PizzaExpress offered a three-course set menu complete with "a prosecco and raspberry mimosa, heart-shaped dough balls and a main, such as our Padana, with creamy goat’s cheese and sweet caramelised onion". This year, PizzaExpress is advertising a slightly less impressive "love bundle" of a starter and a "classic" pizza for 15 pounds. Reuters GraphicsThe nation's supermarkets are seeking to cash in, keepingprices for their Valentine's Day meal-deals stable in the hope of luring customers from restaurants. Tesco (TSCO.L), whose CEO recently noted that consumers are shifting away from eating out, has reduced the price of its Valentine's Day dinner-for-two to 12 pounds - down from 15 pounds last year - for a main, side dish, dessert and drink.
The Bank of England last week forecast that the British economy would enter a shallow five-quarter recession in the first quarter of 2023. The U.K. economy posted zero growth for the fourth quarter of 2023, according to preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics. In December, however, gross domestic product shrank by a larger-than-expected 0.5% month on month after two months of unexpected growth. The Bank of England last week forecast that the British economy would enter a shallow five-quarter recession in the first quarter of 2023. "We are still likely to be in a recession at some point during 2023 – which is still expected to be long and shallow - so these figures do not provide a huge amount of comfort."
The U.K. economy showed no growth in the final quarter of 2022, but shrunk by 0.5% in December, more than expected by analysts, according to the country's Office for National Statistics Friday. The figures mean the country narrowly avoided a recession — commonly defined as two quarters of negative growth — following a 0.2% contraction in the third quarter. Overall, GDP increased by an estimated 4% over the course of 2022, following a 7.6% expansion in 2021 as the economy rebounded from the Covid-19 pandemic. The Bank of England last week forecast that the British economy would enter a shallow five-quarter recession in the first quarter of 2023. "We are still likely to be in a recession at some point during 2023 — which is still expected to be long and shallow - so these figures do not provide a huge amount of comfort."
The tussle with Disney could be Peltz's biggest proxy battle since an acrimonious fight to bag a seat on the board of Tide detergent-maker P&G (PG.N). During his more than three-year tenure on P&G's board, the firm's stock price rose nearly 80%. Peltz's Trian Fund Management on Thursday filed documents with the U.S. securities regulator for his election as a director after Disney denied him a board seat. "Iger is a well-liked CEO, not only within Disney and its employees but also in Hollywood and the stock market. Investors will vote later this year on whether Peltz should sit on the company's board, unless it's settled before.
Brexit has added more than £200 to the average U.K. household food bill, according to a new study from the London School of Economics. LONDON — U.K. inflation came in slightly below expectations at 10.7% in November, as cooling fuel prices helped ease price pressures, though high food and energy prices continued to squeeze households and businesses. However, Carter suggested inflation may finally be passing its peak, after the U.S. also posted a better-than-expected CPI print on Tuesday. The market is pricing a 50 basis point interest rate hike from the Bank on Thursday, taking the benchmark rate to 3.5%. However, inflation remains well above target.
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