tv First Business KICU December 26, 2013 4:00am-4:31am PST
out of the box ideas to prep your portfolio for 20-14. in today's cover story... why retailers are getting stricter with return policies. plus.. breaking down bitcoin. what you need to know about the "shiny" new currency that's making waves on wall street. and... a housing trend that could put the days of "movers" behind us! that's all ahead on today's first business. you're watching first business: financial news, analysis, and today's investment ideas. good morning everyone! it's thursday, december 26th, im chuck coppola. angela miles has the day off. in today's first look: brokers may soon be under surveillance. the reason---to prevent overcharging their customers. regulators levied 69-million
dollars in fines, in the last year. now, the financial industry regulatory authority wants your opinion on this proposal. speaking of being taken, scammers are targeting older americans. victims 60 and older now account for more than a quarter of people filing complaints. more than double what it was five years ago. hit the brakes. better still, hit the kill switch. regulators are weighing whether to offer firms on the new york stock exchange a kill switch to cut off trading in the event of high-speed trading errors. farmers may switch from corn to soy. this year's bumper crop of corn has contributed to the lowest price in three years. let's get our day started with lincoln ellis of green square capital. lincoln... what do you anticipate for the remainder of this holiday trading week? > >well the worst of this week is going to be relatively quiet and that means probably positive news for equities. if you don't really have sellers out there the trend is up and it's very much in tact. > >was gdp really as good as it looked? > >that friday number was a surprise significantly to the
upside from 36 to 41. unfortunately most of that uspide was built on inventory buildings and we'll have to wait and whether or not the demand side of that number actually pulls through in terms of the holiday spending. > >let's talk about incomes. are they enough to keep up with consumption levels that we saw this week? > >the consumption levels continue to climb, unfortunately they're climbing faster than incomes are growing and that leaves us a little bit concerned particularly when we see credit expansion happening at the same time. keep your eyes out on all three of those pieces. they make significant headwinds or tailwinds for equities in 2014. > >i have to ask, what do you think about what facebook has been doing? > > they have been executing on the plan that mark has put together along with sheryl all along and it's just been a bumpy ride here and there but they're really starting to monetize that business and monetize it nicely. > >this was quite a santa rally we just enjoyed. we get one
usually this time of year but is there any reason why this just wouldn't continue into the new year? > >the santa claus rally although it tends to be a bit lower when we come in off of these high numbers is very much in tact and there is no reason to think that equities don't still have a little room to grow in the first quarter. although we expect the final three quarters of 2014 to be much higher in terms of volatility and much more difficult for investors to navigate. > >lastly, what should we keep our eye on as we start the new year? > >you really want to keep an eye on the fed and all the central banks around the world. they have been the tailwinds of this extraordinary 5 year run and that is what people should be focused on. > >good advice. lincoln ellis, thanks very much. > >you bet. now that christmas is over... gift giving is turning into gift returning... as diane moca explains. chuck ... in today's cover story...retailers are looking forward to the seventh busiest shopping day of the year today... but some popular stores could end up confusing shoppers... or even alienating loyal customers... in an effort
to fight fraud with new return policies. "i don't think it's quite fair. you should be given the amount of time you need to return things." shoppers aren't welcoming what retailers have in store for them as they brave crowds to take back presents they don't want. many don't like being denied a refund or an exchange without a receipt... though they may not be as surprised as others who will be turned away even with a receipt -- if they wait too long. consumer-world-dot-org's annual survey found shortened return periods for: best buy... which will only give you until january 15th...toys 'r us... which cuts off electronics returns after january 9th...and sears... which reduced the time to bring back appliances to 30 days. "if you have a receipt you should be able to take it back whenever." while shoppers are interested in convenience... retailers are concerned about the bottom line. and bill martin of shopper trak says the evolving policies are economically driven... as stores hope to make room for their spring arrivals sooner... and cut down on bogus returns. "if they're finding that
they're eating into their margins by extending and having liberal return policies, then they'll have to figure out how they're going to adjust for that." the result is a patchwork of different rules depending on the store... and the item. " i compiled a dozen stores' policies, and it took 66 pages to include all the fine print." they include perks like fewer restocking fees and longer time to bring back clothing... but some hassles like a requirement to show an i-d to bring back an undesirable gift. "we've seen some stores, to thwart fraud, have started a returns blacklist." retailers are expecting an onslaught of shoppers this week... using new gift cards and grabbing post-christmas bargains... so experts recommend waiting until next week to return items... when lines are shorter and clerks are in a better mood and more likely to bend a few rules. consumer confidence is up,
bolstered by a better employment picture, higher property values and gains in the stock market.the thomson-reuters- university of michigan index of consumer sentiment rose to 82- and-a-half-percent in december.that's a five-month high and comes after it hit 75- point-one, in november.consumer spending is also up a half- percent.there is also the feeling of the inevitable nudge upward in inflation. americans expect inflation to reach three percent next near.that's up from two-point- nine percent, the month before. it took six years of negotiations, but apple has locked up a deal to sell its i- phone through the largest wireless carrier in the most populous country on earth. apple and china mobile agreed to terms that give apple access to the wireless provider's 760- million subscribers. financial terms were not disclosed..but analysts estimate apple could sell as many as 30-million i- phones through the carrier, next year. that would double 20- 13's i-phone sales in china. luxury jeweler tiffany and company is ordered to pay swatch group 449-million dollars in a contract dispute.
the dutch arbitration court ruling concerns a joint venture the companies entered into in 20-07. swatch was to create a new company to make and sell watches under the tiffany brand. but swatch accused tiffany of blocking and delaying the venture. a tiffany spokesperson expressed shock and - quote "extreme disappointment" over the ruling. he added that tiffany is exploring its legal options in the decision. this time, its joseph a bank's turn to say "it doesn't fit." the men's clothier rejected a more than one-and-a-half billion dollar takover bid from rival men's wearhouse that sent men's wearhouse to mull over a possible proxy battle at bank's next annual meeting. both retailers have tried taking over each other but neither has made offers that have been accepted. in june, men's wearhouse ousted it's founder and chairman, george zimmer, in a dispute over the direction of the company. more trouble at target. banks including jpmorgan chase and citibank may sue target to pay for costs associated to last week's widespread hack attack. also, at least three class- action lawsuits have been filed
against the retailer, alleging that target failed to maintain reasonable security procedures. last week, it was revealed that a security breach put data of 40 million target customers at risk. target says it is working closely with the u.s. secret service. swiss banks could be getting ready to "tell all." 300 banks in switzerland are considering seeking u.s. amnesty. the justice department is putting pressure on banks there to disclose details regarding american accounts. it's part of an effort by the justice department to crack down on offshore tax evasion. switzerland has long been a popular place for americans to park money due to lack of regulation. if banks choose not to tell, the government could pursue an investigation. lawmakers will head back to the hill next week, where familiar challenges await. the pressure is on congress to come to an agreement over the debt ceiling. treasury secretary jack lew has warned that the country will hit that limit faster than expected, sometime in late
february or early march. previously the deadline was set for this summer. president obama has already warned that he will not negotiate over raising the debt limit. republicans expect fiscal reforms to be included in a debt ceiling bill. a new vote.. on a revised contract for boeing machinists. unionized workers will vote on january third. the machinists are represented by the international association of machinist and aerospace workers. national leadership of the union says the revised contract contains significant improvements. but local leaders in washington state are calling on members to reject it. last month the machinists voted 2 to 1 against boeing's initial offer. since then boeing has been publicly courting offers from other states interested in hosting the work on boeing's latest 7-7- 7 x jet. a lot of air travelers complain about treatment at the hands of airlines but it's the behavior of passengers that has airlines calling for new laws. the number of incidents of unruly behavior in the air has grown from fewer than 500 in 20-07 to more than 6-thousand in 20-11 --
that according to an airline trade group that has been tracking the incidents. we spoke with one aviation expert who is not surprised at the call to give more latitude and authority to flight crews. "right now, flight crews feel hamstrung. they can't do much besides have a captain call ahead and have security waiting at the gate. so without any real options at the flight crew's disposal, it plays to the advantage of the unruly passenger." "you look at what flight attendants have to do to deal with passengers squeezed into smaller seats on crowded flights and they need something. whether its the ability to write citations or restrain with handcuffs, if necessary, they need more options." the international air transport association says laws concerning passengers haven't been updated in 50-years. that could change in march, when the international civil aviation organization meets to discuss the matter.
a big decision coming from daimler in 20-14. the car company will decide whether or not to build a new plant in north america. the automaker has been investing heavily in its mercedes-benz brand. daimler has said its goal is to surpass b-m-w as the world's best- selling luxury car by 20-20. so far, it's on track to do that in the united states this year. home builders are closely watching the jobs number. the wall street journal reports the glut of inventory leftover from the housing bubble has mostly been snapped up by buyers, which could push up demand for builders in 2014. stalled employment numbers have been blamed for the lack of new homebuyers coming onto the market. there were 1.99 people over the age of 20 for every u.s. household in september. the journal says if those rates were to fall to 1.95 per household, 2.9 million new buyers or renters would push up demand in the market. on the west coast... luxury homebuyers are lightening their load. it's the latest trend in upscale housing... ready made, fully furnished homes. we're talking furnished down to the towels in the linen closet. the trend is popular in all luxury markets, but especially so in l.a. -- where celebrities are jumping in on the action.
still to come on the show... two stocks that could be getting ready to rally. plus.... cash, check.... or bitcoin? why more retailers are placing bets on the digital currency.. but first... the key end of year portfolio moves you may want to consider, before it's too late! that's next with bill moller.
april 15th isn't the only important tax deadline every tear. there's december 31st and that's coming up fast. what do you need to consider before the year runs out? christine benz is the director of personal finance for morningstar. for many people, it's don't forget that required minimum distribution on an ira or a 401k. > >that's right. if you're over age 70 1/2 you have to take that required minimum distribution. you can find tables that will help you calculate how much of your balance you need to take out but
you absolutely do need to take that required minimum distribution otherwise you'll owe not just taxes on that withdrawal but a 50% penalty on that you should have taken but didn't. so very important to make sure you hit that deadline. > >i know that's overlooked by a lot of people. the other point is to have a full top to bottom review of your portfolio. > >that's right. it's often a good time to take a look at your portfolio by year end. you can scout around if you have securities that are trading below what you pay for them, you can actually sell them preemptively, take a tax loss, and if you have capital gains---and it's been a good year in the stock market so a lot of people do have capital gains---you can use that tax loss-- > >offset. > >exactly. if you have exhausted your capital gains with tax losses, you can use the loss to offset up to $3,000 in ordinary income. > >a lot of people don't consider the fact that if you make charitable contributions
that goes directly to the bottom line of your tax form. > >that's exactly right. especially if you are someone who is required to take those minimum distributions from the 401k or ira. you send that directly to the charity, you never touch the money--that will be deducted directly from your adjusted gross income so that's a great strategy. for the rest of us who aren't age 70 we will take it as a tax deduction. so if we itemize our deductions we can deduct the amount of our contribution. > >you say also to top up your company retirement plan. > >right. we've got a couple of weeks here as 2013 winds down. you can contibute 17,500 to a 401k if you're under age 50 and 23,000 if you're over age 50. the ira deadline is actually april 15th so you have a little more time for that. > >also, consider whether a roth ira makes sense. > >that's right. i know a lot of people who have traditional ira assets don't convert assets to roth all in one go. they do it in short stints. so you might consider converting a
little bit at a time. that way you can keep in the same tax bracket. > >christine benz from morningstar, thanks so much. > >bill, thank you. thanks bill! the international monetary fund is also looking ahead to next year, and things are looking up. director christine lagarde says the i-m-f is raising its forecast for u.s. economic growth. it expects g-d-p to expand, but did not specify by how much. lagarde says the u.s. has a much stronger outlook for 2014, thanks to a budget deal out of washington, and more clarity regarding the fed's bond buying purchases. coming up...risk versus reward...who is betting big on bitcoins? that's next. and later on in chart talk... two stocks that are playing catch up with the market. we'll be right back.
cash, visa, mastercard, and bitcoin...? now a growing number of merchants are accepting the digital money and it's proving that it can be very profitable. i had a haircut i did when the bitcoins were $50 and that coin is now worth $980. christopher hall owns splitends salon in santa ana, california and is a bitcoin fanatic-- even paying his employees with coins. the number of merchants worldwide that accepts bitcoin jumped 81% in november and overstock dot com announced it will be accepting bitcoin in the second half of the year. the freedom from big banks and government control that bitcoin provides is something experts say consumers are starting to embrace. in the wake of the global financial crisis, there has been a real explosion in interest for transferring, storing, and measuring value. with no government backing, bitcoin can wildly fluctuate in value depending on the investment of its users and geo-political pressures. one bitcoin peaked at a price of
twelve hundred dollars in early decemeber, but when china recently banned bitcoin, that caused the value to drop to nearly five hundred dollars. and the european banking authority has warned that bitcoin lacks consumer protections. nelms says that the political consequences of bitcoin's digital, universal availability will challenge worldwide government currencies. we are absolutely going to see a challenge to government issued currency. effects we need to have a conversation about, not just economic effects, but political effects. a customer here at lamborghini newport beach just bought a new car for 216.8 bitcoin. the dealership then transferred it into us dollars, something the general manger says he was happy to do. at the moment, i cannot be against it, i'm very positive for it. hall says he will continue to invest in the growing trend of digital money exchange while nelms warns investors to be
cautious of what experts are calling the bitcoin bubble. be wary! it's swift and it is making money. is it risky? can it go down? the risk is what makes the market, the volatility interesting. anyone can ignore this whole concept and go buy stock in walmart and disney and your investment willbe.safe. in los angeles, ky sisson, first business news. online stores like bitcoinshop dot us are popping up that exclusively accept the digital currency. these marketplaces sell everything from jewelry, electronics, even car parts. to find out where you can spend you bitcoins, check out coinmap dot org. coming up....two stocks that are behind on the rally action, but one trader is betting will make a comeback. chart talk is next. i'm going to pass chemistry, and i'll take it from there. i'm going to do what makes me happy. i'm going to work hard. be independent. live large. make the most of every opportunity.
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year. two of them i'm looking at are ibm and alcoa. ibm has been pretty depressed all year. i think they have a good shot at some growth. they always seem to come out of bad situations and do well over time. as far as alcoa goes, if you believe in the global growth story, and i do, i think alcoa has a lot of room to run as well. > >why have these 2 decided to not get caught up in the rally? > >alcoa was a big function of the world economy not doing well and that's starting to change right now. ibm i think is worried about their products and how they're gonna be able to fit into the future tech boom---maybe the cloud area. but they'll figure out a way. ibm has been around a long time and for good reason. > >what's your confidence level as to the strength of the economy with these 2 stocks? > >getting better and better each year---each month i should say. the economic numbers we have been seeing of late have been getting better and better. the last gdp, a nice revision to 4.1%. i think that will continue. you might have a drop in the 1st quarter of next year
but i'm not too worried about it. global growth seems to be starting to pick up especially in europe. if china can maintain its level we're gonna be in good shape. > >are we vulnerable to backwards---maybe a little bit of a slide in 2014? > >you're always gonna be vulnerable. the big issue is a confidence issue. that's what's changing right now. there's been a lack of confidence in our government. that seems to be a little bit better with the budget deal that came up last week. the only thing we do have to worry about is the budget ceiling or the debt limit we're coming up to. i don't think you're gonna see a problem with it. it might cause a temporary blip, but use any dips constructively. i think the market is good long term. > >very good insight daniel stecich, thank you very much. > >thank you very much. that's first business for this thursday. coming up tomorrow in traders unplugged. rally: round two. stocks that doubled in 2013 that the guys say, are still a buy in their book. from all of us at first business thank you for watching.
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