November 2019


Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Paul Morigi | WireImage | Getty Images
Microsoft has hired former United States Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct an audit of facial recognition company AnyVision to determine whether it complies with Microsoft's ethical principles on how the biometric surveillance technology should be used.
Microsoft's venture capital arm, M12, invested in AnyVision as part of a $74 million Series A funding round in June. Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft stipulated that AnyVision should comply with its six ethical principles to guide its facial recognition work: fairness, transparency, accountability, nondiscrimination, notice and consent, and lawful surveillance.
The last principle states, "We will advocate for safeguards for people's democratic freedoms in law enforcement surveillance scenarios and will not deploy facial recognition technology in scenarios that we believe will put these freedoms at risk."
AnyVision, headquartered in Israel, sells an "advanced tactical surveillance" software system, Better Tomorrow. It lets customers identify individuals and objects in any live camera feed, such as a security camera or smartphone, and then track targets as they move between different feeds.
NBC News reported in October that according to five sources familiar with the matter, AnyVision's technology has powered a secret military surveillance project that has monitored Palestinians in the West Bank. The project was so successful that AnyVision won Israel's top defense price in 2018 for preventing "hundreds of terror attacks" using "large amounts of data."
Human rights activist argued that AnyVision's work monitoring Palestinians in the West Bank was incompatible with its public statements about ethical standards for facial recognition technology.
"AnyVision's facial recognition technology is not being used for surveillance in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, and AnyVision would not allow its technology to be used for that purpose," said AnyVision in a statement issued to NBC News last month.
The company said that its technology was only used at checkpoints into and out of Israel, "similar to Global Entry in the United States."
AnyVision disputed the accuracy of the NBC News story published in October, but did not respond to subsequent questions seeking clarifications regarding its use of the technology.
AnyVision did not respond to a request for comment about the Holder audit when contacted Friday.
When NBC News reported on this classified work in October, Microsoft said it took the allegations of surveillance seriously because "they would violate our facial recognition principles," a company spokesman said.
"If we discover any violation of our principles, we will end our relationship."
"All of our installations have been examined and confirmed against not only Microsoft's ethical principles, but also our own internal rigorous approval process," AnyVision said at the time.
Holder will lead a team of former federal prosecutors at law firm Covington & Burling to carry out the investigation into how AnyVision's technology is being used.
"They will move quickly, reviewing documents and conducting on the ground interviews with Anyvision employees and others to ensure a full and thorough investigation," said a Microsoft spokesman in a statement.
In 2017, Uber hired Holder to investigate allegations of sexual harassment published by former employee Susan Fowler. Airbnb hired him the previous year to help develop the company's anti-discrimination policies, after reports that some Airbnb hosts had rejected African-American and trangender travelers.

Read More<


Frequent travelers now have a whole new way to view loyalty points — thanks to a growing trend in loyalty program: hard-to-replicate, bucket-list experiences.
From red carpet access and backstage passes to cooking classes with Michelin-starred chefs, there's an entire realm of VIP travel opportunities designed around the new "experience economy."
Fueled by public interest in meaningful, authentic travel (as opposed to guide book recommendations), loyalty programs are hard at work crafting redemptions that offer personalized value beyond a typical hotel stay.
According to Chris McGinnis of TravelSkills.com, such alternatives are great for consumers and hotel companies alike.
"Unclaimed awards show up as liabilities on supplier balance sheets. This can be alleviated by finding clever ways to wipe them off the books," said McGinnis. "The last thing a lot of frequent travelers want is another hotel stay. And many of these travelers have more points than they know what to do with."

Experiences that money can't buy

Marriott Bonvoy Moments makes points redeemable for premium access to one-time sporting, dining and entertainment events. Using points for experiences that cannot be purchased with money adds tremendous value, said McGinnis.
That's exactly what one lucky family can do by using points to walk the red carpet at the "Frozen 2" movie premiere in London. Polo fans can secure a private athlete meet-and-greet and VIP access to the World Snow Polo Championships in Aspen, while the starstruck can mingle with celebrities at an invitation-only GQ "Men of the Year" party in West Hollywood.
Idina Menzel and husband, Aaron Lohr at the world premiere of Disney's "Frozen 2" in Hollywood, California.
Michael Tran | FilmMagic | Getty Images
Points can be redeemed for VIP tickets to Manchester United matches with stadium lounge access (40,000 points) and the ability to travel on a charter plane with the team to an overseas match (386,400 points, via auction).
Automobile enthusiasts recently bid around 600,000 points to drive luxury sports cars through the Emirati desert while being pampered with luxe food and accommodations at various Ritz-Carlton hotels along the way.
In November 2019, someone cashed in 386,400 hotel points for Manchester United VIP tickets and the opportunity to fly with the team to the match.
Courtesy of Marriott
The night before kickoff, a sleepover package inside a lavish stadium suite at the 2019 Super Bowl "sold" for 3.2 million points via auction. It came with access to exclusive NFL events and top-notch dining.
Marriott has its own team of event planners that brainstorms and plans these special "moments," which for most people would be out of financial reach were it not for their loyalty points.

Trading points for the great outdoors

World of Hyatt's Find platform has carved a niche with redemptions across more than 50 destinations focused on the mind, soul and body. A California sailing package with Lindblad Expeditions — the program's new expedition cruise partner — was an immediate hit for those with limited vacation time. For as few as 10,000 points, travelers interacted with photography and nature experts on a one-night cruise designed especially for World of Hyatt members.
Members can paraglide in California (about 15,000 points), book a private sailboat in San Francisco for six people (77,000 points) or enjoy a private helicopter ride over the Bosporus in Turkey (114,500 points). Hiking is a huge draw; members can go on horseback riding treks through the desert of Abu Dhabi (about 19,000 points), and redeem one of the platform's most popular offers, a hike through California's Los Padres National Forest — with a pack of friendly wolves (about 21,500 points).
An Emirati kisses his horse in Abu Dhabi.
KARIM SAHIB | AFP | Getty Images
Many travelers may not know what immersive activities interested them before they travel, and those wellness and adventure packages do the leg work for them.

What about airlines points?

While most airline programs have not shown similar enthusiasm for experience redemptions, other hotel brands have, with Elite Experiences from Accor and Hilton Honors Experiences, which both offer varied redemption options.
Low on loyalty points or don't travel enough to rack up them up? There are lucrative ways to earn hotel points.
Elite status members of World of Hyatt and American Airlines AAdvantage can link accounts for reciprocal earning (redeem airline miles for hotel stays and hotel points for flights). World of Hyatt members can also earn points by paying in cash for U.S. and Mexico-based experiences under Hyatt's program.
Co-branded credit cards — like the World of Hyatt credit card or Marriott Bonvoy credit card — can help thanks to bonus points for hotel stays. The World of Hyatt credit card even tacks on extra points for dining, travel and gym purchases as well as local transit tickets.

Read More<


Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has stunned Republicans again, narrowly winning a second term Saturday as the Deep South's only Democratic governor and handing Donald Trump another gubernatorial loss this year.
In the heart of Trump country, the moderate Edwards cobbled together enough cross-party support with his focus on bipartisan, state-specific issues to defeat Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, getting about 51% of the vote.
Coming after a defeat in the Kentucky governor's race and sizable losses in Virginia's legislative races, the Louisiana result seems certain to rattle Republicans as they head into the 2020 presidential election. Trump fought to return the seat to the GOP, making three trips to Louisiana to rally against Edwards.
In a victory rally of his own late Saturday, Edwards thanked supporters who danced, sang and cheered in celebration, while he declared, "How sweet it is!"
He added, "And as for the president, God bless his heart" — a phrase often used by genteel Southerners to politely deprecate someone.
"Tonight the people of Louisiana have chosen to chart their own path," Edwards said.
Trump had made the runoff election between Edwards and Rispone a test of his own popularity and political prowess heading into the 2020 presidential race. On Saturday, Trump went on Twitter in a vigorous plug for Rispone.
The president's intense attention motivated not only conservative Republicans, but also powered a surge in anti-Trump and black voter turnout that helped Edwards.
As he conceded the race, Rispone called on supporters to give a round of applause for Trump, saying: "That man loves America and he loves Louisiana."
Democrats who argue that nominating a moderate presidential candidate is the best approach to beat Trump are certain to say Louisiana's race bolsters their case. Edwards, a West Point graduate, opposes gun restrictions, signed one of the nation's strictest abortion bans and dismissed the impeachment effort as a distraction.
Still, while Rispone's loss raises questions about the strength of Trump's coattails, its relevance to his reelection chances are less clear. Louisiana is expected to easily back Trump next year, and Edwards' views in many ways are out of step with his own party.
In the final days as polls showed Edwards with momentum, national Republicans beefed up assistance for Rispone. That wasn't enough to boost the GOP contender, who wasn't among the top-tier candidates Republican leaders hoped would challenge Edwards as they sought to prove that the Democrat's longshot victory in 2015 was a fluke.
He had ties to unpopular former Gov. Bobby Jindal and offered few details about his agenda. Edwards also proved to be a formidable candidate, with a record of achievements.
Working with the majority-Republican Legislature, Edwards stabilized state finances with a package of tax increases, ending the deficit-riddled years of Jindal. New money paid for investments in public colleges and the first statewide teacher raise in a decade.
Edwards expanded Louisiana's Medicaid program, lowering the state's uninsured rate below the national average. A bipartisan criminal sentencing law rewrite he championed ended Louisiana's tenure as the nation's top jailer.
Rispone, the 70-year-old owner of a Baton Rouge industrial contracting company, hitched his entire candidacy to Trump, introducing himself to voters in ads that focused on support for the president in a state Trump won by 20 percentage points.
But the 53-year-old Edwards, a former state lawmaker and former Army Ranger from rural Tangipahoa Parish, reminded voters that he's a Louisiana Democrat, with political views that sometimes don't match his party's leaders.
"They talk about I'm some sort of a radical liberal. The people of Louisiana know better than that. I am squarely in the middle of the political spectrum," Edwards said. "That hasn't changed, and that's the way we've been governing."
Rispone said he was like Trump, describing himself as a "conservative outsider" whose business acumen would help solve the state's problems.
"We want Louisiana to be No. 1 in the South when it comes to jobs and opportunity. We have to do something different," Rispone said. "We can do for Louisiana what President Trump has done for the nation."
The president's repeated visits appeared to drive turnout for both candidates.
Tour guide Andrea Hartman, 40, cast her ballot for Edwards in New Orleans.
"I do not agree with what Rispone advocates," she said. "I also don't want Trump coming here and telling me who to vote for."
Rispone poured more than $12 million of his own money into the race. But he had trouble drawing some of the primary vote that went to Republican U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, after harshly attacking Abraham in ads as he sought to reach the runoff.
"We have nothing to be ashamed of. We had over 700,000 people in Louisiana who really want something better, something different," Rispone said.
Rispone also avoided many traditional public events attended by Louisiana gubernatorial candidates and sidestepped questions about his plans. He promised tax cuts, without saying where he'd shrink spending, and he pledged a constitutional convention, without detailing what he wanted to rewrite.
Both parties spent millions on attack ads and get-out-the-vote work, on top of at least $36 million spent by candidates.

Read More<


Democratic presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks in Rochester, New Hampshire, on November 11, 2019, as he continues his 4-day bus tour of the state.
Jime Watson | AFP | Getty Images
Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, topped the latest poll of likely Democratic voters in Iowa, the first state in the nation to weigh in, via caucus, on who should be the blue party's choice for president.
The moderate mayor supported by 25 percent of respondents was followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 16 percent; former Vice President Joe Biden, 15 percent; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, 15 percent; and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, 6 percent.
The poll of 500 likely caucus-goers was conducted by the Des Moines Register, CNN and Mediacom.
Buttigieg was described by the Register as having "rocketed to the top" of the crowded Democratic field of about 19 candidates. His standing has risen 16 percentage points since September, according to its polling.
Iowa will hold caucuses Feb. 3, making it the first state to officially say who should represent the Democratic Party in 2020. It will be followed by the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 11, the Nevada primary Feb. 22 and South Carolina on Feb. 29.
More from NBC News:

Trump tweeted as Marie Yovanovitch testified: Was it witness tampering?

Colin Kaepernick holds his own workout, and NFL calls him a no-show

High anxiety: Jittery Democrats fear their candidate won't beat Trump

The poll didn't seem to give a lot of hope to the billionaires in the field, including California tech entrepreneur Tom Steyer, who registered 3 percent support, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a late entry to the field, who rang up 2 percent.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Sen. Kamala Harris of California all ended up in the middle of the pack, each with 3 percent support.
The poll was conducted Nov. 8 to 13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Read More<


It's no secret most people overindulge during the holidays.
Aside from feasting on holiday treats, nearly two-thirds of adults said they have felt pressure to overspend this time of year, according to a recent survey by Bankrate.com.
With that comes a heavy toll. Roughly two-thirds of Americans also said that holiday expenses negatively affect their finances and cause stress, according to a separate survey by Experian, which polled more than1,100 shoppers.
Debt you can't repay will certainly bring down one's holiday spirit.
Rod Griffin
director of consumer education at Experian
"Debt you can't repay will certainly bring down one's holiday spirit," Rod Griffin, Experian's director of consumer education, said in a statement.
Yet, despite being worried about debt, consumers will still spend an average of $1,679 on gifts this year, 75% more than last year, Experian found.
That's a hefty additional expense considering that last year, Americans racked up more than $1,000 in holiday debt by the end of the season, according to MagnifyMoney's annual post-holiday debt survey.
Less than half of shoppers, or 42%, said they would pay off that debt in three months or less. More said it would take five months or more to pay it off, MagnifyMoney found.
More from Invest in You:
A financial expert shares 3 tips to build a realistic budget
7 tips to avoid overspending
These mistakes could blow your holiday travel budget
Altogether, the National Retail Federation said it expects holiday retail sales to rise between 3.8% and 4.2% over 2018 to a total of $727.9 billion to $730.7 billion.
Outstanding consumer debt already exceeds $4 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve.

This year, there are some steps you can take to ensure you don't end up even deeper in the red.
Start a savings plan: Begin reducing expenses to improve your cash flow, said Shelly-Ann Eweka, a financial advisor with financial services firm TIAA. That means skipping some dinners out, weekend travel or other entertainment, she said — and "start as soon as possible."
Once you've created a separate slush fund, consider keeping it going for next year. If you put away $100 to $200 a month, that can be your holiday budget for 2020, Eweka said.
Create a budget: Write out a list of presents you plan to buy and other holiday expenses, such as a vacation or trip to see your family, then research prices and deals.
"When is the best time to buy that particular item?" said Jacqui Kearns, the chief brand officer at Affinity Federal Credit Union. "Planning is the key to all of this."
For example, if you haven't yet bought plane tickets for Christmastime travel, the optimal time to nab the cheapest seats is the first week of December — when prices decrease by 13%.
Suggest a group gift exchange: Having a large group of friends and family to buy gifts for can be daunting.
"Group gift exchanges are a great way to spread holiday cheer without all the pressure of buying individual gifts for everyone in your life," said David Kilby, the founder of the financial wellness company FinFit.
Skip over-the-top gifts: Another great way to keep costs down is to forgo some big-ticket items, according to the experts.
"It's a wonderful time of year to celebrate," said Kearns, but "you don't always have to buy something."
"Consider other forms of gifts," Eweka advised, such as babysitting, baking or volunteering.
And never feel pressured to buy something you can't afford, she added. "Stay committed to your long-term financial goals."
CHECK OUT: 3 holiday hosting hacks NYC chefs say can save you money and impress your guests via Grow with Acorns+CNBC.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.

Read More<


Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, speaks to the media before the opening of the Berlin representation of Google Germany in Berlin on January 22, 2019.
Carsten Koall | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Google is getting rid of one of its best-known workplace features: TGIF, its weekly all-hands meeting.
The company confirmed to CNBC that it will instead hold monthly all-hands meetings that will be focused on business and strategy while holding separate town halls for "workplace issues." An email announcing the change was previously reported by The Verge.
Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin started TGIFs in 1999 as a forum where employees could regularly express concerns and discuss topics open and freely with management. At that time, the company was small enough to fit in a meeting room, but the all-hands continued to grow as the employee base grew — until recently, that is. Page and Brin stopped attending regularly in 2019. A company spokesperson said that the meetings had recently become a biweekly instead of weekly occurrence.
The new model comes as the company cracks down on the open work culture that's long been part of its identity of holding free discussion. Employees have increasingly voiced their concerns about everything from the handling of sexual harassment to government hires and contracts. In recent months, employees have leaked meeting notes to the media, which have shown growing tension between executives and workers.
During the summer, Google said it would ban political discussions from internal messaging forums. In late October, CEO Sundar Pichai said, in a leaked video, that the company was "genuinely struggling" with employee trust.
"In other places -- like TGIF -- our scale is challenging us to evolve," Pichai said in a memo to employees this week. "TGIF has traditionally provided a place to come together, share progress, and ask questions, but it's not working in its current form."
In his note, Pichai alluded to recent leaks that employees have given to the media.
"We're unfortunately seeing a coordinated effort to share our conversations outside of the company after every TGIF," the note reportedly states. "I know this is new information to many of you, and it has affected our ability to use TGIF as a forum for candid conversations on important topics.
Pichai's note also said that only 25% of Google employees watch TGIF any given week, compared with 80% a decade ago.
"People come to TGIF with different expectations," the note said. "Some people come to hear more about Google's product launches and business strategies, others come to hear answers on other topics. By splitting the difference every week, we're not serving either purpose very well."
The note said that Google's TGIF team will set up "small group discussions" for feedback on the changes.
WATCH NOW: Google employees walk out to protest the handling of sexual harassment allegations

Read More<


"Where do you live?" is a simple question — but I don't have a quick answer. Instead of settling down and waiting to get old in one place, my husband and I devised an ongoing travel plan that each year includes France, Singapore, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand — as well as the odd side-trip or cruise along the way.
It all started with a boat. After 15 years in Singapore, we decided to retire — my husband from a career in shipping, and I from my job as a magazine editor — and build a barge to explore France every summer via that country's huge network of waterways. We launched the Karanja, our 49-foot replica Dutch barge built by Piper Boats in England, on the Thames. A year later, we sailed her across the Channel to Calais, down rivers and canals to the south of France — an unforgettably wonderful experience.
Canal du Midi canal in Toulouse, France.
pase4 | iStock | Getty Images
Every October, we winterize our boat and leave her in a safe port — for the moment, that's Moissac on the Canal de Garonne. Then we fly south — like migrating geese — to spend yet another summer between Durban and Perth. We simply don't do winter.

The nomadic retirement

Now meet South Africans Gail and Neil Greenfield, the epitome of retired nomads. After eight years as expats in the U.K., the U.S., Germany and Singapore, this occupational therapist and accountant couple retired in their late 40s to start living their dream.
Every year, they spend about three months each in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. They have a camper van in Europe for the summer and keep a pick-up truck and an off-road caravan in South Africa, too.
"We like to return to favorite spots like Phuket, Italy and South Africa every year, and we try to add a couple of new destinations too," said Gail. "This year we visited Colombia, Brazil, Panama and Saint Lucia for the first time."
Rather than slowing down, nomadic retirees quit work to travel the world.
Sam Diephuis | Tetra images | Getty Images
Choosing eclectic travel themes — like wine routes, music festivals, bird-watching, Grand Slam tennis tournaments and even barbecue restaurants across America — adds sometimes quirky twists to their travel adventures.
When it comes to the planning, big events like this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan are anchored in first, Gail explained. The monthly plan is finalized about a year in advance, with key flights and reservations booked. Other details fall into place closer to the time.
"For example, we'll rent a car for a road trip across the U.S. about three months ahead, but we won't set a daily itinerary," she said. "We like some flexibility."

The rules to retiring early

So you're probably wondering: As relatively ordinary salaried people, how were they able to retire so young and afford this lifestyle of extensive travel?
"If you want to retire early," Neil joked, "don't have kids and don't get divorced!" More seriously, he added, hard work and a good expat package make saving and investing easier in the last 10 years of your career when income earning potential is at its highest.
To retire early, don't fall into the trap of living above your means.
Sam Edwards | OJO Images | Getty Images
"Expats can fall into the trap of living above their means," said Gail. "We never skimped on lifestyle or travel, but we didn't waste money on unnecessary luxury."
Also, they don't believe in owning multiple properties. "It's always cheaper to rent," she said.
Like us, Gail and Neil's best experiences involve the people they meet and the time they spend with family and friends. "No amount of five-star luxury ever beats sitting around a barbecue in your mates' backyard," said Neil.

Living life as a nomad

There are umpteen variations on the nomadic lifestyle. Many Brits spend the summer in Europe on boats like ours; some have sold their houses and live year-round on their floating homes.
At the other end of the scale are the seriously well-heeled world cruisers. Right now, the luxurious Viking Sun Ultimate World Cruise — said to be the longest cruise ever — is visiting 53 countries over an astounding 245 days.
The author, Verne Maree and her husband Roy, on the boat Karanja at Henley-on-Thames.
Courtesy of Verne Maree
Affordability aside, that may not appeal to everyone. Likewise, nomadic retirement is not everyone's cup of Earl Grey — and it is certainly not for the kind of retiree who is deeply involved in family obligations, such as caring for elders or baby-sitting grandchildren.

The downsides to a life of constant travel

Global medical insurance can be an expensive minefield, and tax residency may be an issue. "Keeping track of all the admin can be difficult," said Gail. Internet banking and her phone's document scanner have helped.
"Don't skimp on accessibility and data, even if it means getting local SIM cards wherever you go," she said.
Her top advice? Travel light, with a good phone and a small laptop. Hold accounts with multiple banks and a selection of credit cards. Split them with a partner, if possible.

Read More<


U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event on transparency in healthcare prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019.
Alex Edelman | Bloomberg | Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan and restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq, a move critics have said would undermine military justice and send a message that battlefield atrocities will be tolerated.
The White House said in a statement Trump granted full pardons to First Lieutenant Clint Lorance and Major Mathew Golsteyn, and ordered that the rank Edward Gallagher held before he was convicted in a military trial this year be restored.
"For more than two hundred years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country. These actions are in keeping with this long history," the statement said.
A Pentagon spokesperson said the Department of Defense has confidence in the military justice system.
"The President is part of the military justice system as the Commander-in-Chief and has the authority to weigh in on matters of this nature," the spokesperson said.
In recent weeks, Pentagon officials had spoken with Trump about the cases, provided facts and emphasized the due process built into the military justice system.
In 2013, prosecutors accused Lorance of illegally ordering the fatal shootings of two men on motorcycles while on patrol in Afghanistan's Kandahar province. He was found guilty of two counts of murder.
Last year, Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret, was charged with murdering an Afghan man during a 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.
Gallagher, a decorated SEAL team platoon leader, was accused of committing various war crimes while deployed in Iraq in 2017.
In July, a military jury acquitted him of murdering a captured Islamic State fighter by stabbing the wounded prisoner in the neck, but it convicted him of illegally posing with the detainee's corpse. That had led to his rank being reduced.
In May, Trump talked about how he was considering pardons for U.S. troops charged with war crimes, a move he acknowledged would be controversial but that he said was justified because they had been treated "unfairly."
The overwhelming majority of pardons are granted to people who have already been convicted and served time for a federal offense.
But presidents have occasionally granted pardons preemptively to individuals accused of or suspected of a crime.
The most famous such case was the blanket pardon President Gerald Ford bestowed on his predecessor, Richard Nixon, after Nixon's resignation during the Watergate scandal in 1974.

Read More<


Major market indexes capped off another week of strong finishes, punctuated by the Dow Jones Industrial Average eclipsing 28,000 for the first time en route to a record close.
But CNBC's Jim Cramer is already looking at what is on the horizon, including potential developments in the trade war.
"After still one more bullish week ... this market needs a win in these negotiations with China," Cramer said. "If we don't get something positive, I think the whole edifice will start to crack."
The "Mad Money" host on Friday explained what stories and company earnings he'll be closely monitoring in the week ahead:

Monday: Health care stocks and ... trade deal?

It is not out of the question that, come Monday morning, the U.S. and China have agreed to a trade deal, Cramer said.
It is in reach, Cramer said, because "all it requires" is for China to agree to pay market prices for the American pork it needs, as the country's supply has been hurt by Asian Swine Flu.
"At this point, I honestly don't think they're that far apart, at least not according to the president's chief economic advisor, Larry Kudlow," Cramer said.
"However, if China doesn't give in and order some bacon, it could be curtains for these trade talks," Cramer said, noting that it would mean the tariffs set for December are likely to go into effect.
If there is no deal, expect to see investors taking profits in numerous sectors, especially health care, Cramer said.
Health-care stocks rose Friday after President Donald Trump announced new price disclosure rules for hospitals. Cramer said the sector was also boosted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a top-tier candidate in the Democratic primary, who said she wouldn't try to implement single-payer health insurance until her third year, if elected president.
Cramer said he expects some Democrats to argue the plan doesn't do enough to reduce health-care costs.
"No wonder the managed care cohort absolutely caught fire," Cramer said. Even so, Cramer said Wall Street is prone to "freak out" about risks to health-care stocks, so "I expect profit-taking Monday."

Tuesday: Home Depot, Kohl's and TJX

Home Depot is expected to report before the bell. The consensus quarterly EPS estimate is $2.52. Cramer said he expects leadership to issue positive statements due to the pickup in housing.
Cramer said the home improvement company tends to sell off after earnings, so "if you don't own it yet, though, I think you wait for the quarter."
Kohl's also reports before the market opens, with analysts expecting EPS to come in at $.85 for the quarter. The retailer reported an EPS of $.98 for the same quarter last year.
Cramer said its last quarter was "horrendous," adding he is "skeptical" the company could turn it around in 90 days despite its Amazon partnership.
TJX Companies, parent company of TJ Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods, is another firm reporting Tuesday morning. Analysts expect a $.66 EPS. It reported $.63 for the same quarter in 2018.
"TJX is worshipped on Wall Street," Cramer said. "Whatever they say goes."

Wednesday: Target and Lowe's

Target is set to report before the bell, with a quarterly EPS forecast of $1.18. For the same quarter last year, the Minneapolis-based retailer checked in at an EPS of $1.09.
Home Depot rival Lowe's is expected to report, as well. The consensus EPS forecast for the quarter is $1.35, which is above the EPS of $1.04 it ended up reporting for the same quarter in 2018.
Cramer said Lowe's is a work in progress, but one that is worth investing in due to CEO Marvin Ellison's leadership.
Medtronic, a medical devices company, also is expected to report.
The company "may not jibe with the stronger economy I've been talking about, but the company is a standout performer and the device stocks are red hot," Cramer said.

Thursday: Macy's, Ross Stores, Splunk, Nordstrom, Fed

Macy's is expected to report before the market opens, with a consensus EPS forecast of $.01 for the quarter. Last year, it reported $.27 for the same quarter.
"So many are betting against this chain because it has developed a habit, a nasty habit by the way, of missing the numbers," Cramer said. That negativity may mean it is a decent trade going into its earnings report, he said.
"But if you buy Macy's for a trade, do not overstay your welcome, though," he said.
Ross Stores should report after the close Thursday, and Cramer said the discount retailer usually reports a decent number.
Then its stock falls, he said, "and you have to buy it because 10 days it's dramatically higher. It's just how it trades."
Splunk will join Ross Stores by issuing its report after the close. Its stock was hurt this week after a research firm said the software company was overvalued. For the quarter, the consensus EPS forecast is $-0.18.
Cramer said he thinks the company is "fantastic" but understands that the software space has gotten crowded. Still, he said he is siding with the bulls.
Nordstrom also reports after the bell. Analysts are projecting a quarterly EPS of $.66.
"Hard pass," Cramer said of Nordstrom.
Cramer also noted that Loretta Mester, who is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, is expected to speak. He said her economic outlook has been less optimistic recently and he wouldn't be surprised if she talked about the need to raise interest rates.

Friday: J.M. Smucker and Foot Locker

J.M. Smucker is expected to report before the bell, and Cramer said the company is important to watch because food stocks have been trading all over the place as of late.
"I think this stock can bottom at a certain lower," he said.
Foot Locker also reports, with projected quarterly earnings at $1.07 per share. Cramer said its earnings report could offer insight into how the American consumer is handling tariffs from the trade war.
Disclosure: Cramer's charitable trust owns shares of Home Depot and Kohl's.
Disclaimer

Read More<


The interest in medical attendants and nursing associates has soared to an untouched high. Furthermore, in that capacity, being an attendant or any professional in the field of social insurance and prescription places you in a stupendous plan of things where open doors for a lucrative activity and a steady vocation in medicinal services loom. That stated, it is no big surprise that many are getting joined up with online nursing courses that are accessible on the World Wide Web.

So where is the best spot to learn? Which site offers increasingly favorable choices for you? Believe it or not, there are numerous great schools out there that give quality nursing instruction in the accommodation of your own home. Here are probably the best schools that do as such:

College of Phoenix - the Arizona-based College is praised for their online projects, including Certificates, Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees in human services;

Walden University - another extraordinary college in the United States, Walden University's online nursing degree programs are progressively custom fitted for nursing graduates who need to advance their insight in the field of human services while taking the instruction at their own pace.

Excellent Canyon University - considered a standout amongst other Christian-based schools in the nation, their online nursing courses         programs are likewise probably the best courses even with online instruction.

Kaplan University - another first-class college known for the high caliber of its web instruction programs. Their online nursing course is among the best in the United States.

The schools referenced here are only a hint of something larger. There are a few schools and colleges that give individuals incredible chances to become proficient and skilled medical attendants. On the off chance that you need to turn into a medical caretaker time permitting, at that point scanning for the incredible online nursing courses     is the best approach.


Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Nvidia shares seesawed in extended trading on Thursday after the company issued better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results and slightly soft quarterly guidance.
Here's how the company did:
  • Earnings: Excluding certain items, $1.78 per share, vs. $1.57 per share as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $3.01 billion, vs. $2.91 billion as expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv.
Nvidia's revenue fell 5% from a year ago in the quarter, which ended on October 27, according to a statement. The company sold inventory that it had previously written off in the quarter, but revenue has now declined four quarters in a row on an annualized basis.
Nvidia's largest business segment, Gaming, shrunk 6% year-over-year at $1.66 billion in quarterly revenue, which is above the $1.54 billion consensus among analysts polled by FactSet.
The company Data Center business delivered $726 million in revenue, less than the $754.2 million FactSet consensus estimate. The Professional Visualization segment came up with revenue of $324 million, higher than the $315.4 million estimate.
In the fiscal third quarter Nvidia announced new GeForce Super graphics processing units for gaming and a new kind of Microsoft Azure Data Box Edge hardware product containing its T4 GPUs.
In terms of guidance, Nvidia said it expects $2.95 billion in revenue, plus or minus 2%, for the fiscal fourth quarter, which implies a nearly 34% increase. But analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected $3.06 billion in fiscal fourth-quarter revenue.
The company believes the Data Center business will post a sequential improvement in the fiscal fourth quarter. Nvidia's forecast doesn't include the impact from Mellanox, a $6.9 billion acquisition that has not yet closed.
Nvidia is calling for $805 million in operating expenses in the fiscal fourth quarter, excluding certain items, more than the FactSet estimate of $768 million.
In the past year Nvidia has dealt with numerous issues, including the disappearance in revenue from selling cards for mining cryptocurrencies and a pause in spending from companies that operate hefty data centers, and they've hurt the company's track record of surpassing expectations, Deutsche Bank analysts led by Ross Seymore wrote in a note distributed to clients on Sunday.
The analysts, who have a hold rating on Nvidia, said it was likely the company would achieve "positive follow-through" in its Data Center segment in the fiscal fourth quarter, although the Gaming business would have a tougher sequential revenue comparison, partly because of negative seasonality effects from Nintendo Switch console sales.
Nvidia stock has risen 57% since the start of 2019.
WATCH: One surging chip stock has more room to run, trader says

Read More<


Frequent travelers now have a whole new way to view loyalty points — thanks to a growing trend in loyalty program: hard-to-replicate, bucket-list experiences.
From red carpet access and backstage passes to cooking classes with Michelin-starred chefs, there's an entire realm of VIP travel opportunities designed around the new "experience economy."
Fueled by public interest in meaningful, authentic travel (as opposed to guide book recommendations), loyalty programs are hard at work crafting redemptions that offer personalized value beyond a typical hotel stay.
According to Chris McGinnis of TravelSkills.com, such alternatives are great for consumers and hotel companies alike.
"Unclaimed awards show up as liabilities on supplier balance sheets. This can be alleviated by finding clever ways to wipe them off the books," said McGinnis. "The last thing a lot of frequent travelers want is another hotel stay. And many of these travelers have more points than they know what to do with."

Experiences that money can't buy

Marriott Bonvoy Moments makes points redeemable for premium access to one-time sporting, dining and entertainment events. Using points for experiences that cannot be purchased with money adds tremendous value, said McGinnis.
That's exactly what one lucky family can do by using points to walk the red carpet at the "Frozen 2" movie premiere in London. Polo fans can secure a private athlete meet-and-greet and VIP access to the World Snow Polo Championships in Aspen, while the starstruck can mingle with celebrities at an invitation-only GQ "Men of the Year" party in West Hollywood.
Idina Menzel and husband, Aaron Lohr at the world premiere of Disney's "Frozen 2" in Hollywood, California.
Michael Tran | FilmMagic | Getty Images
Points can be redeemed for VIP tickets to Manchester United matches with stadium lounge access (40,000 points) and the ability to travel on a charter plane with the team to an overseas match (386,400 points, via auction).
Automobile enthusiasts recently bid around 600,000 points to drive luxury sports cars through the Emirati desert while being pampered with luxe food and accommodations at various Ritz-Carlton hotels along the way.
In November 2019, someone cashed in 386,400 hotel points for Manchester United VIP tickets and the opportunity to fly with the team to the match.
Courtesy of Marriott
The night before kickoff, a sleepover package inside a lavish stadium suite at the 2019 Super Bowl "sold" for 3.2 million points via auction. It came with access to exclusive NFL events and top-notch dining.
Marriott has its own team of event planners that brainstorms and plans these special "moments," which for most people would be out of financial reach were it not for their loyalty points.

Trading points for the great outdoors

World of Hyatt's Find platform has carved a niche with redemptions across more than 50 destinations focused on the mind, soul and body. A California sailing package with Lindblad Expeditions — the program's new expedition cruise partner — was an immediate hit for those with limited vacation time. For as few as 10,000 points, travelers interacted with photography and nature experts on a one-night cruise designed especially for World of Hyatt members.
Members can paraglide in California (about 15,000 points), book a private sailboat in San Francisco for six people (77,000 points) or enjoy a private helicopter ride over the Bosporus in Turkey (114,500 points). Hiking is a huge draw; members can go on horseback riding treks through the desert of Abu Dhabi (about 19,000 points), and redeem one of the platform's most popular offers, a hike through California's Los Padres National Forest — with a pack of friendly wolves (about 21,500 points).
An Emirati kisses his horse in Abu Dhabi.
KARIM SAHIB | AFP | Getty Images
Many travelers may not know what immersive activities interested them before they travel, and those wellness and adventure packages do the leg work for them.

What about airlines points?

While most airline programs have not shown similar enthusiasm for experience redemptions, other hotel brands have, with Elite Experiences from Accor and Hilton Honors Experiences, which both offer varied redemption options.
Low on loyalty points or don't travel enough to rack up them up? There are lucrative ways to earn hotel points.
Elite status members of World of Hyatt and American Airlines AAdvantage can link accounts for reciprocal earning (redeem airline miles for hotel stays and hotel points for flights). World of Hyatt members can also earn points by paying in cash for U.S. and Mexico-based experiences under Hyatt's program.
Co-branded credit cards — like the World of Hyatt credit card or Marriott Bonvoy credit card — can help thanks to bonus points for hotel stays. The World of Hyatt credit card even tacks on extra points for dining, travel and gym purchases as well as local transit tickets.

Read More<


Pedestrians walk past the People's Bank of China headquarters in Beijing, China, on January 7, 2019.
Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg | Getty Images
China's central bank extended 200 billion yuan ($28.60 billion) through its medium-term lending facility on Friday, the second time it has done so this month, while keeping the lending rate unchanged.
The move to add long-term funds caught the market off guard as the central bank had already injected funds last week.
Several traders said the cash injection was likely a response to tighter liquidity in the interbank market from late Thursday, which pushed up borrowing costs.
Nie Wen, economist at Hwabao Trust in Shanghai, said the fund injection via MLF loans was to make up for the shortfall in liquidity even after multiple reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts so far this year.
In the short term, high consumer inflation was keeping policymakers from immediately cutting interest rates, he said.
"But at least it has to release liquidity to support economic growth, especially after October's sluggish credit lending data," Nie added.
"Consumer price inflation is high, but the producer price index is still in a negative range. Companies' real borrowing costs remain high."
Markets are closing watching for any signs of liquidity stress after a government takeover of an Inner Mongolia bank and state-rescue of other small banks this year revived concerns about the health of hundreds of small lenders in the country as China's economic growth slowed to nearly a 30-year low.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC) said on its website on Friday the interest rate on one-year MLF loans remained at 3.25%, the same as previous operation.
A trader at a Chinese bank said the MLF injection suggests the new lending benchmark — Loan Prime Rate (LPR) — is likely to follow with a 5 basis point cut next Wednesday.
Last week, the central bank cut the interest rate on MLF loans for the first time since February 2016, but only by a marginal 5 basis points. It also injected 400 billion yuan into financial institutions via the liquidity tool.
The volume-weighted average rate of the benchmark seven-day repo traded in the interbank market —considered the best indicator of general liquidity in China — jumped to a high of 3.4% on Thursday. That was the highest level since Sept 30, a day before a week-long National Day holiday.
The seven-day repo rate fell to 2.7481% as of 0330 GMT on Friday morning.
The PBOC said the MLF loans and funds released from the second phase of a targeted RRR cut offset factors, including the tax payment period, to keep the banking system liquidity "reasonably ample".
Friday is the effective date for the second phase of a targeted reduction in commercial banks' official reserves that was announced by the PBOC in September.
The central bank usually conducts MLF operations when there is a maturity coming due, but there are no such loans or reverse repos maturing on Friday.

Read More<

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.
Javascript DisablePlease Enable Javascript To See All Widget