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Video: Understanding the difference between fintech and techfin
FinTech
<p>Understanding the difference between Fintech and Techfin from NexChange on Vimeo.</p>
Daily Scan: US stocks post best weekly returns since Feb; House approves oil exports
<p>Updated throughout the day.</p> <p>October 9</p> <p>U.S. stocks ended modestly higher Friday, posting the biggest weekly gains since February. European markets also notched their longest string of gains since July, with the Stoxx Europe 600 gaining 4.3% higher for the week after rallying for six straight sessions. Risk traders are counting on lower rates to power stocks higher. The S&amp;P 500 looks headed to close about 3.5% higher this week after finally closing above its 50-day moving average on Thursday. The Hang Seng gained 4.54% and the Shanghai Composite rallied 4.3%. The Nikkei 225 rose 3.87%. European markets, however, were hanging on to gains of about 1% as the dovish Fed outlook launched a commodities rally. On the calendar Friday:  Chicago's Charles Evans.</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>House okays bill to export oil but White House veto possible. The measure passed 261 to 159 on largely partisan lines. Obama had threatened to quash the bill, saying the U.S. should focus on clean energy. Reuters</p> <p>Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart sees rate liftoff soon. In a speech to the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, Lockhart said: "I see a liftoff decision later this year at the October or December FOMC meetings." He also said consumer data hold the key to giving the Fed confidence to move forward with higher rates. Atlanta Fed</p> <p>Oil crosses $50, dollar slips on dovish FOMC meeting notes. The Fed's policy-making body showed concerns about weak global growth and low inflation. Gold posted its highest settlement in seven weeks. Forecaster PIRA Energy sees oil headed to $70/barrel by the end of 2016. WBP Online</p> <p>Sharpen your crochet needles. Amazon is launching a competitor to Etsy. Handmade at Amazon launched with 80,000 crafted item from 5,000 sellers in 60 countries. New York Times (paywall)</p> <p>Alcoa earnings disappoint; outlook for China car production slashed. The aluminum giant posted third quarter earnings after the close of trading on Thursday of 7 cents/share -- well below the estimates of 13 cents. Sales dropped 11% as Alcoa battled softer prices. Alcoa sees China car production dropping to 1%-2% from earlier expectation sof 5% to 8%. The stock is set to open 4% lower. CNBC, MarketWatch</p> <p>Glencore slices zinc production. The company said in a statement that it would reduce output by one-third -- 4% of the total world output. Zinc prices, at a five-year low, promptly rallied 6%. Glencore is struggling to prove that it can handle its hefty $30 billion debt load. It's shares are up 11% in response to the latest move. BBC</p> <p>Dell would need $40 billion in debt to complete EMC merger. The $50 billion+ merger with the storage company would be the biggest tech deal ever and create a co</p>
Video: Online advisors pose respectable challenge in comparison test
FinTech
<p>Looking for 'good, better, and best' among financial advisors -- online and offline from NexChange on Vimeo.</p>
Video: JPMorgan Asset Management tells CNBC Russia is cheap; China real estate bottomed
<p>JPMorgan Asset Management's Andres Garcia-Amaya says China's real estate market has hit a bottom and that Russia is his "biggest overweight." In this CNBC's Fast Money: Halftime Report, Garcia-Amaya notes that Russian markets are trading at a P/E of 4 1/2, lower than the market yield of 5%.  "So either Russia's going bust, or there's a lot more upside and we think there's a lot more upside."</p>
People Moves: Deutsche builds investment team; Portfolio manager leaves Schroders
<p>Deutsche builds asset management team. Hilary Aldridge and Alex Sloane have joined Deutsche Asset &amp; Wealth Management as equity investment specialists in its UK active asset management business. Aldridge most recently worked as a fund of fund manager at Barclays Global Investments Solutionss. Sloane was an equity analyst at Societe Generale in London. Michael Keough and David Hanlon also joined the firm's institutional global client group in the Americas. Hanlon comes to the firm from F-Squared Investments, and Keough joins from BNY Mellon's investment management unit. Reuters</p> <p>Portfolio manager leaves Schroders. Rosemary Banyard will be departing Schroders in March after joining the firm in 1997. For the last 17 years, Banyard has worked closely with Andy Brough to head the firm's mid cap funds. Banyard says she is not joining another firm, but is leaving to spend more time with family. CityWire</p> <p>Sierra Investment Management poaches from Mercer. Sierra hired Spath as CIO, reporting to co-founders Dave Wright and Ken Sleeper. Spath most recently worked for Mercer Advisors, but has also worked for Franklin Templeton Investments, RSF Capital Management, and Fidelity Investments.</p> <p>JP Morgan insurance lead moves to Neuberger. Neruberger Berman has hired Matthew Malloy as global head of insurance solutions. Malloy most recently worked as global head of insurance solutions and advisory at JP Morgan Asset Management. Malloy has previously worked for Goldman Sachs and UBS Investment Bank. Reuters</p> <p>Pioneer Investments promotes portfolio manager. Chin Liu has been named portfolio manager of Pioneer's diversified high income trust. The trust was found in 2007, and run by Andrew Feltus, Jonathan Sharkey, and Charles Melchreit. Liu joined Pioneer in 2007 as a portfolio manager for fixed income.<br /> Photo: ©iStock.com/ooyoo</p>
Short-selling: Karl Loomes picks the six hottest US-listed stocks
Hedge Funds
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p> SunGard's Astec Analytics looks into short-selling activity.</p> <p> This week’s top pick, from a securities lending perspective, is Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).<br /> Other stocks that are seeing substantial short-selling activity include ZIOPHARM Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: ZIOP), Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE: CHK), Juno Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: JUNO), Fitbit Inc (NYSE: FIT) and GoPro Inc (NASDAQ: GPRO).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SunGard's Astec Analytics provides intraday short-selling market data via securities lending analytics. In a recent report sent to clients, the firm shared a “roundup of some of the hottest stocks from a securities lending perspective.”</p> <p>Below is a look at Karl Loomes’ list of top stocks in the Americas from a security lending perspective.<br /> Amazon<br /> After two consecutive weeks occupying the front-runner spot, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was displaced by Amazon. The online retailer recently banned the sale of Apple and Google streaming on its website, suggesting they don’t “interact well” with the Amazon Prime service, and announced its intentions to extend its one-day delivery service in the U.K. to include frozen and chilled food items – which led to some speculation around increasing competition with and from online supermarkets.</p> <p>The report explained, “The news helped bolster its stock in the cash market, while from a sec lending perspective Astec’s data hints at some growing optimism on the part of short sellers, with having fallen 26 percent during September.”<br /> ZIOPHARM Oncology<br /> Escalating one position in the list this week is ...</p> <p>Full story available on Benzinga.com<br /> Photo: Rob Hurson</p>
Commodities ETFs want to get back into your portfolio
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During the halcyon days of quantitative easing, dollar weakness and inflation expectations, commodities exchange traded products were hits. Just five years ago, there was $125 billion in assets under management across commodities exchange-traded funds and exchange traded notes (ETNs) and there was a time, albeit brief, when the SPDR Gold Trust (ETF) (NYSE: GLD) was the largest ETF in the world.</p> <p>Over the past year, commodities ETFs have been beset by dismal performances and massive outflows, prompting some investors to question the value of commodities as core portfolio holdings, even in modest allocations.<br /> What Commodities Are Doing<br /> While the PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSE: UUP), the U.S. dollar index tracking ETF, has climbed 9.3 percent over the past year, commodities ETFs have been decimated. For example, GLD and the iShares Silver Trust (ETF) (NYSE: SLV) have posted an average loss of 6.5 percent, while the United States Oil ...</p> <p>Full story available on Benzinga.com<br /> Photo: Sajid Pervaiz Fazal</p>
The FOMC minutes highlight reel: The pros and cons for raising rates
<p>Reading the Fed's FOMC minutes can be a beast sometimes, so in case you missed it, here's a chopped, highlighted, yet expertly curated version for the man – or woman – on the go.</p> <p>Pros for raising rates:</p> <p> Household spending, business investments figures are looking good.<br /> Labor market is improving, job gains are solid, and unemployment fell “to a level close to most participants' estimates of its longer-run normal rate.” Plus, labor resources are apparently better utilized than they were earlier in the year.<br /> Real GDP growth was stronger than expected.<br /> Inflation will pick up as labor continues to improve.<br /> Housing looks robust, and looks like it’ll stay that way for some time.<br /> “The conditions for policy firming had been met or would likely be met by the end of the year.”</p> <p>Cons for raising rates:</p> <p> Global economic developments may have added downside risks to the U.S. economy.<br /> Inflation is still below their 2% target.<br /> World developments may put more downward pressure on inflation in the near term.<br /> More of the FOMC members are spooked about inflation than before.<br /> Progress, “still possible” in the labor market, and a number would like that to happen so inflation could reach 2%.<br /> Recent core price inflation readings where underwhelming.<br /> China, emerging markets are sending the dollar higher and thus, holding core price inflation lower.<br /> Premature tightening might hurt the FOMC’s inflation objective.</p> <p>Guess that’s it then. With mean CPI trending lower, there's no way the Fed's lifting rates anytime soon. And then there was that nasty September labor report, which printed after the Fed's policy making committee met.<br /> Photo: Day Donaldson</p>
VCs tech investments trump exits for the first time in years
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Investors are now pumping more money into US startups than they are getting back in the form of exits.</p> <p>According to a report by CBInsights, total funding for this year has reached $42 billion, about $16 billion more than the $26 billion generated through exits.</p> <p>What's more, the VC investment total for the year to date has already surpassed that of 2014, and is more than double that of the 2010.  Exits meanwhile are less than a fifth of what they were in 2012.</p> <p>Fluctuations in exits and investments are to be expected over a long period. VC investments typically have a 5-year lifespan, while the fund life-cycle is anywhere between 8-10 years.</p> <p>Many of the VC funds making exits and returning capital to investors during 2012 have since returned to the market with follow-on funds. This means a lot of those VCs exiting investments in 2012 have raised and are spending the next three to four years deploying capital.</p> <p>That said, there are other trends to consider. Companies are staying private longer and funding rounds are getting larger, pushing up private market valuations. The upshot is that the funding aggregate is exceeding exit valuations faster -- even if we witness a number of large liquidity events in the fourth quarter.<br /> Photo: Indigo Skies</p>
Ex-asset manager and ex-consultant launch startup catering to Airbnb renters
<p>After graduating from London Business School, Zoe Vu and Alexander Lyakhotskiy, who previously worked in asset management and consulting, created a startup instead of returning back to the corporate ladder, writes FinBuzz. </p> <p>These days this cycle is becoming more and more popular, as professionals loosen their ties and swap business suits for a pair of jeans and sneakers.</p> <p>Two MBA graduates of London Business School, fresh from the class of 2015, Vu and Lyakhotskiy, quite successful in their corporate careers, have recently chosen this path as well.</p> <p>This May, they have launched Pass the Keys, a company that offers full Airbnb management services to help busy individuals manage their rental or spare flats. Since its inception in May, the startup has been growing by double digits each month, with new clients signing up every week.</p> <p>By June the company was serving its first clients and started making revenues. Now they are working with flat owners from the UK, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia and Russia, increasing revenues by 50% each month. What’s more, they are working really hard, getting ready to raise £150,000 in funding this winter.</p> <p>Clearly, the business has huge potential, taking into account that currently there are 18,000 (up from 13,000 last year) Airbnb listings in London alone. There are also almost 300,000 second homes, 3 million rentals and £50 billion in rental income in central London. The US competitor, Pillow Homes, has already raised around $2.65 million in funding.</p> <p>Prior to their entrepreneurial path, Vu worked in asset management at AIG and was responsible for $7bn of investments.</p> <p>Lyakhotskiy spent three years in McKinsey, having completed various projects in the Russian banking industry, including strategy and headcount optimization. They met at London Business School when they both did the MBA program.</p> <p>“To me, entrepreneurship is the only great alternative to continuing careers in finance or consulting. Corporate careers do not provide as fast paced career growth as in finance. And I am moving at a really fast pace,” Lyakhotskiy replied when asked why he took the entrepreneurial route.</p> <p>The business is based on the idea of a shared economy (or collaborative consumption), a fairly recent economic phenomenon, in which individuals share access to products and services.</p> <p>In 2014, Alex was on an exchange semester in HAAS, Berkeley, California and noticed the impact of the sharing economy, particularly platforms like Uber, Airbnb and Lyft. One of his friends was renting out his place on Airbnb and charging more than £300 pounds per night, netting more than £7000 per month. Quite a promising endeavor! However, managing Airbnb can take up to 40 hours of work per month.</p> <p>“This was an ‘aha!’ moment when we realized that many people can benefit from letting their places on Airbnb short-term but do not have time or possibility to do it themselves. When people are traveling abroad they don’t want to worry about guests in their place, whether the cleaner has come on time. They also don’t want to be woken up in the middle of the night by a call from guests saying that the boiler stopped working. Thus, I realized that a complete service package is required to make the process hassle-free,” said Lyakhotskiy.</p> <p>Pass the Keys helps its clients to list their places, price the property, organizes cleaning, laundry and guest meet &amp; greet. The company also provides extra concierge ser</p>