C - Citigroup Inc.

NYSE - NYSE Delayed Price. Currency in USD
+1.09 (+1.57%)
At close: 4:04PM EDT
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close 69.30
Open 70.34
Bid 70.04 x 3200
Ask 70.44 x 1400
Day's Range 69.86 - 70.74
52 Week Range 48.42 - 75.24
Volume 13,842,240
Avg. Volume 13,820,020
Market Cap 159.015B
Beta (3Y Monthly) 1.88
PE Ratio (TTM) 9.79
EPS (TTM) 7.19
Earnings Date Oct 15, 2019
Forward Dividend & Yield 2.04 (2.94%)
Ex-Dividend Date 2019-08-02
1y Target Est 81.70
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Bloomberg

    Attacks on Saudi Oil Risk Lowering Aramco IPO Valuation

    (Bloomberg) -- As bankers discussed Saudi Aramco’s initial public offering at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Dubai last week, a drone attack was being planned to hit the heart of its operations over the weekend. It caused Saudi Arabia to halve its oil output and may cut the valuation of Aramco’s milestone deal.The giant oil producer has accelerated preparations for a share sale that could happen as soon as November in Riyadh. Dozens of bankers from Citigroup Inc. to JPMorgan Chase & Co. met last week to work on the deal, with analyst presentations initially scheduled for next week, people familiar with the matter have said.“Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will push the company to demonstrate that it can effectively tackle terrorism or war challenges,” analysts led by Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group, said in a report. “The attacks could complicate Aramco’s IPO plans.”In an attack blamed by the U.S. on Iran, a swarm of drones laden with explosives set the world’s biggest crude-processing plant ablaze. Floating a minority stake of the oil giant, officially known as Saudi Arabian Oil Co., is part of Prince Mohammed’s efforts to modernize and diversify the economy.The attacks underscored geopolitical tensions in the region. Iran denied responsibility, which was instead claimed by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.The main Saudi stock index fell as much as 3.1% shortly after opening on Sunday, leading losses in the Gulf. It partially recovered and was down 1.1% as of 12:48 p.m. local time.Back in 2017, investors suspected that Saudi government-related funds swooped in to support the market after the imprisonment of local billionaires at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh. That also happened amid the international crisis following columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.Here’s more from analysts and investors:Eurasia“The latest attack on Aramco facilities will have only a limited impact on interest in Aramco shares as the first stage of the IPO will be local. The international component of the sale would be more sensitive to geopolitical risks”Current valuation estimates for Aramco and its assets might not fully account for geopolitical risksNOTE: Prince Mohammed, the architect of the IPO, has said he expects Aramco to be valued at over $2 trillion, but analysts see $1.5 trillion as more realisticAl Dhabi Capital, Mohammed Ali Yasin“I think this attack may delay the IPO even on the local exchange, and could affect the valuation negatively, as the investors have seen a live demonstration of the risk levels of the future revenues and business of the company. That was very low prior to this weekend attack”“Aramco has one main source of revenue, oil. That is its strength, but now it is becoming its biggest weakness if it gets disrupted.”United Securities, Joice MathewThis “will force investors to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate their risk models on Aramco”“Even though this is a rare event, which could be potentially categorized as 4 or 6 sigma levels, the geopolitical risk premium on Aramco’s valuation model would show a sharp increase”“As far as the pricing is concerned, my view is that there may not be much of an impact if the government is contemplating a 1% listing on the Tadawul. I think the government has the power and ability to influence the decisions of anchor investors there.”Tellimer, Hasnain Malik“Ultimately the security risk is not so acute that it outweighs oil price, oil output and free float drivers of the valuation”This attack “also provides an opportunity for Aramco to demonstrate the redundancy and resilience of its supply chain by minimizing disruption to customers and thereby helping to mitigate the valuation impact of this risk.”Qamar Energy, Robin Mills“It will be all but impossible to proceed with the IPO if there are ongoing attacks”“Valuing Aramco like Shell or ExxonMobil gets us to about $1.2-1.4 trillion. But that would drop significantly if we apply company-specific risk factors.”Al Ramz Capital, Marwan Shurrab“I don’t see a substantial hit on valuation.”(Adds comments from Qamar Energy and updates stock performance in 6th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Mahmoud Habboush.To contact the reporters on this story: Shaji Mathew in Dubai at shajimathew@bloomberg.net;Filipe Pacheco in Dubai at fpacheco4@bloomberg.net;Sarah Algethami in Riyadh at salgethami@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net, Paul Wallace, Claudia MaedlerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Investing.com

    Stocks – Market Ends Mixed; September Looks Bullish for Wall Street

    Investing.com - Stocks finished the day little changed, but that might be good news.

  • Bank Stock Roundup: Rising Treasury Yields, Dismal View, BAC, C, USB in Focus

    Bank Stock Roundup: Rising Treasury Yields, Dismal View, BAC, C, USB in Focus

    Rising long-term treasury yields are likely to support banks' financials to some extent. But lower interest rates and other concerns are expected to be headwinds.

  • China Backs U.S. Farm Purchases as Trade Talks Atmosphere Warms

    China Backs U.S. Farm Purchases as Trade Talks Atmosphere Warms

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. China said it is encouraging companies to buy U.S. farm products including soybeans and pork, and will exclude those commodities from additional tariffs, in the latest move to ease tensions before the two sides resume trade talks.The Commerce Ministry’s announcement on Friday follows a move earlier this week to exempt a range of American goods from 25% extra tariffs put in place last year, as the government seeks to lessen the impact from the trade war. China didn’t specify the amount of purchases of pork and soybeans, which are key exports from agricultural states important for President Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection bid.Equity markets have rebounded in recent days as both Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping sought to lower tensions that are clouding the outlook for the world’s biggest economies. Adding to the pressure on Beijing, China is facing pork shortages that are pushing up prices during a holiday period, prompting officials to ration sales in some areas. Still, major differences on the substantive issues that sparked the trade war remain.“It is hoped the U.S. side can keep goodwill reciprocity with China through practical actions,” Global Times editor-in-chief Hu Xijin said in a tweet shortly before the move was announced.Trump administration officials have discussed offering a limited trade agreement to China that would delay and even roll back some U.S. tariffs for the first time in exchange for Chinese commitments on intellectual property and agricultural purchases. Working-level teams from both countries are set to meet next week.“The ice is thawing,” said Chua Hak Bin, an economist at Maybank Kim Eng Research Pte. in Singapore. “China’s reciprocity to Trump’s goodwill gesture will set the stage for more cooperative trade talks.”Soybean futures were little changed in Chicago after the Xinhua announcement. Prices had jumped 3.3% on Thursday and hog futures rose the most allowed by the exchange amid optimism that China will boost imports of American farm products. The U.S. government also cut its outlook for soybean stockpiles more than expected in a monthly crop report.The Shanghai Composite Index increased for a second consecutive week, and the S&P 500 Index was on course for its third straight week of advances.The Chinese government is growing increasingly concerned about soaring prices and its potentially to mar celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China’s founding on Oct. 1. China is hoping to import 2 million tons for the year, some of which would be added to state reserves, according to people with knowledge of the plans.China bought about a million tons of pork so far this year, of which about 87,771 tons were from the U.S., according to Chinese customs data. Even if purchases tripled, imports would only make up about 6.6% of domestic supply, Citigroup Inc. said in a report on Sept. 12. The world’s biggest consumer of pork accounted for about half of global demand last year, while it produced about 54 million tons, Citigroup said.More imports are only going to go part of the way to addressing shortages. The country is likely to see a 10 million ton pork deficit this year, more than the roughly 8 million tons in annual global trade, according to Vice Premier Hu Chunhua. That means the country will need to fill the gap by itself, he said.China’s Fight Against Pork Prices Could Include U.S. Imports China had halted U.S. farm-product imports in August after trade-deal negotiations deteriorated. Before that, Beijing had given the go-ahead for five companies to buy up to 3 million tons of U.S. soybeans free of retaliatory import tariffs, people familiar with the situation had said.The goods exempted from additional tariffs this week by China included pharmaceuticals, lubricant oil, alfalfa, fish meal and pesticides. The exemptions are effective from Sept. 17 to Sept. 16, 2020, and will cover 16 categories of products worth about $1.65 billion, according to Bloomberg calculations based on China’s 2018 trade data. Further rounds of Chinese exemptions will be announced in due course, the ministry said.Wednesday’s exemptions apply to the round of tariffs Beijing imposed on U.S. goods starting last July in retaliation for higher U.S. levies. China began accepting applications for tariff exemptions in May, but it is the first time they have stated which products will be excluded. The U.S. Trade Representative’s Office has announced six rounds of exclusions for the punitive tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods since December.“We can all see there is a likelihood of a mini-deal given China’s pork problems and to a lesser degree the 2020 election issue,” said Michael Every, head of Asia financial markets research at Rabobank in Hong Kong. “Does this mean we get a ‘real deal’? Let’s just say that this is still highly unlikely.”\--With assistance from Karen Leigh, Anna Kitanaka, Enda Curran, Kevin Hamlin, Miao Han and Megan Durisin.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Crystal Chui in Zurich at tchui4@bloomberg.net;Lucille Liu in Beijing at xliu621@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeffrey Black at jblack25@bloomberg.net, ;Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Brendan MurrayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • China May Import More U.S. Pork to Fight Soaring Pork Prices

    China May Import More U.S. Pork to Fight Soaring Pork Prices

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. China wants to boost purchases of pork from overseas, including the U.S. and European Union, as the government grows increasingly concerned about soaring prices, according to people with knowledge of the plans.The need for more pork coincides with a potential move by Beijing to ease trade tensions with Washington by resuming imports of U.S. farm goods ahead of talks in coming weeks. Some of the pork would be added to state reserves, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly. There’s no official target, though total imports of 2 million tons for the year would be considered ideal, one of them said.Beijing has become increasingly vocal about the need to boost the country’s pork supplies as herds are decimated by African swine fever. Leaders are fretting over how record prices of the staple food will impact economic stability and potentially mar celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China’s founding on Oct. 1. No fewer than six ministries, including the top state planning agency, announced measures on Wednesday to mitigate the impact on pork prices, which surged 47% last month.China bought about a million tons of pork so far this year, of which about 87,771 tons were from the U.S., according to Chinese customs data. Even if purchases tripled, imports would only make up about 6.6% of domestic supply, Citigroup Inc. said in a report on Sept. 12. The world’s biggest consumer of pork accounted for about half of global demand last year, while it produced about 54 million tons, Citigroup said.“When U.S.-China trade talks warm up, China should be ready to buy significantly more from the U.S.” Citigroup economists including Xiangrong Yu wrote. “However, an increase in Chinese demand may move up global pork prices given its scale.”More imports are only going to go part of the way to addressing shortages. The country is likely to see a 10 million ton pork deficit this year, more than the roughly 8 million tons in annual global trade, according to Vice Premier Hu Chunhua. That means the country will need to fill the gap by itself, he said.Just over a year has passed since the world’s biggest hog producer first reported an outbreak of African swine fever. The highly contagious disease quickly spread throughout the country despite efforts to control it. China, which had more than 400 million pigs before the outbreak, has seen herds tumble by about a third with farmers afraid to restock for fear of a second contagion.While the disease is now endemic in some parts of China and has spread to neighboring countries including Laos, Vietnam, Philippines and Mongolia, Chinese authorities have been calling on the nation’s farms to rebuild their herds with offers of subsidies.Vice Premier Hu recently called the situation “much grimmer than we have been informed,” and told officials to take immediate steps to increase supplies.After data on Tuesday showed a 20 percentage point gain in pork prices from the previous month, the government has been increasingly public about the need to address prices. The National Development & Reform Commission on Wednesday said efforts to ensure supplies and stabilize prices will include releasing frozen pork from reserves to cover upcoming holidays, including next month’s anniversary celebrations.Pork production in the European Union and Brazil, meanwhile, is expected to rise to record levels, with exports climbing to help fill the supply gap emanating from China, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.But one Chinese government researcher says the shortfall is too vast to be made up by imports and prices simply have to rise to cap demand.(Updates with Citi comment in fourth, fifth paragraphs.)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Niu Shuping in Beijing at nshuping@bloomberg.net;Steven Yang in Beijing at kyang74@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anna Kitanaka at akitanaka@bloomberg.net, Alexander Kwiatkowski, Jason RogersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • IPO-Edge.com

    SmileDirectClub Sets Record: Worst First Day for a Big IPO Since at Least 2000

    Shares of SmileDirectClub, Inc. Fell 28% on Their First Day of Trade By John Jannarone This is one record that’s nothing to smile about. Shares of SmileDirectClub, Inc., the much-hyped orthodontics disruptor, fell 28% Thursday after pricing at $23 each, above the indicative range of $19 and $22 per share. That is by far the […]

  • Citigroup (C) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Citigroup (C) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

    Citigroup (C) closed at $69.32 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.61% move from the prior day.

  • 5 Top Stock Trades for Friday: A Bank Run in Play?

    5 Top Stock Trades for Friday: A Bank Run in Play?

    The S&P 500 is flirting with new all-time highs. The recent rally has been fast, and some names have done better than others. Today's top stock trades center around the banks. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow 1: iShares TLT Bond ETFNo one seems to care about the buybacks, dividends and low valuations from the banks. But one big driver has been rates, and thus, bonds. So let's look at the iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (NASDAQ:TLT) first.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe TLT has demanded plenty of traders' attention since the beginning of August. That's when bonds began to explode higher to the upside, rallying from $132 to $148 in just a few weeks. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September The ETF twice topped out in the $148+ area, and has now retreated in five of the past six sessions. Investors who are looking for a long trade in TLT may consider buying on a test of the 50-day moving average. That's a reasonable risk/reward area with $137.50 just below. Notice how the recent decline in TLT has helped pave the way for a run higher in the banks? If you're not trading TLT, that's great, but consider keeping the ETF up on the monitor for a clue on what's going on with the banks. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow 2: Bank of AmericaRemember a few weeks ago when we flagged the long trade in Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)? We liked this setup because of the reasonable risk/reward BAC stock was presenting buyers, as it bobbed near range support between $26 and $26.50.Now pushing toward $30, longs are likely considering booking some profits near current levels. I want to see if BAC stock can press into range resistance between $30.50 and $31. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow 3: CitigroupCitigroup (NYSE:C) has a very similar setup, bouncing off $61 range support and now trying to hurdle $70. If it can, it puts a retest of $72 on the table, with a possible run up to trend resistance (blue line). On the downside, longs will want to see the 50-day moving average hold as support. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow 4: JPMorganLike the two previous banks, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) held range support near $104. However, this one has a lot more "oomph" than the two above. Shares are already over $116 range resistance and making new highs. I'd love to see JPM continue higher, turning trend resistance (blue line) into trend support. At the very least though, see that $116 holds as support from here. Below could usher in a flush down to the 50-day moving average. Remember, as hot as some of these banks have been, they are still coming into or are near key resistance levels. In the past, these levels have held them in check, even when the news has been bullish. So stay disciplined, don't be greedy and let price guide your decision making -- not your bias! Resistance will either break and lead to higher prices or hold steady and send stocks lower. Top Stock Trades for Tomorrow 5: Goldman SachsGoldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) has really struggled, but man has this one been strong over the past few days. * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now Over $221 and a continuation rally can take hold. However, if it rejects GS, look to see how it responds to a test of the 50-day. If it attracts buyers, another $220 test is in the cards. If it fails as support or has a tepid response, uptrend support (purple line) could be in the cards. Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell is long BAC and C. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Battered Tech Stocks to Buy Now * 7 Strong-Buy Stocks Hedge Funds Are Buying Now * The 7 Best Penny Stocks to Buy The post 5 Top Stock Trades for Friday: A Bank Run in Play? appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Morgan Stanley Expects Muted Performance to Continue in 2H19

    Morgan Stanley Expects Muted Performance to Continue in 2H19

    Challenging operating backdrop and muted loan growth are likely to continue to adversely impact Morgan Stanley's (MS) prospects in the second half of 2019.

  • Citigroup Sees Mideast, Africa Revenue Growth Even as Oil Weighs

    Citigroup Sees Mideast, Africa Revenue Growth Even as Oil Weighs

    (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc. expects revenue from its Middle East and Africa business to keep growing this year even as lower oil prices and political uncertainty weighs on the region.“We typically do much better than the economic growth rate, given our business model,” Atiq Rehman, chief executive officer of Citigroup’s new EMEA emerging markets cluster, said in an interview. “I am cautiously optimistic on emerging markets” and falling interest rates in the U.S. will be positive overall.The U.S. bank’s income in the region may rise by a high single-digit this year driven by its markets, cash management and investment banking businesses, Rehman said. Revenue growth may slow to a mid-single digit rate in 2020 after climbing at a compound annual rate of 10% in recent years.Economic growth in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to remain flat at 1.3% this year, according to International Monetary Fund forecasts. Weak oil prices are crimping the governments’ ability to spend and the prospects of a showdown between the U.S. and Iran has fueled concerns over growth in countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.Citigroup this week appointed Rehman head of its EMEA emerging markets cluster, which consists of three sub-clusters Middle East and North Africa; Sub-Saharan Africa; and Turkey, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. This group is expected to account for about 10% of the bank’s global profit, Rehman said.Citigroup this year has advised on some of the region’s biggest deals, including Saudi Aramco’s $69.1 billion acquisition of petrochemicals maker Saudi Basic Industries Corp. It’s also the top arranger of bond sales in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.To contact the reporters on this story: Arif Sharif in Dubai at asharif2@bloomberg.net;Archana Narayanan in Dubai at anarayanan16@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Stefania Bianchi at sbianchi10@bloomberg.net, Alaa ShahineFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Won’t Find Love in London

    Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Won’t Find Love in London

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The audacious bid by Hong Kong’s stock exchange for its London rival is likely to fail – and that’s no bad thing.Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd.’s unexpected $36.6 billion offer for London Stock Exchange Group Plc would create one of the world’s largest trading hubs. The cash-rich, equities-focused HKEX would gain an edge in fixed-income trading, but in a world where algos and bots handle much of the action, the bidder would do better to take a page from LSE’s playbook and look for bigger data sources. Hong Kong Exchanges calls its plan to create an Asian-European giant that’s open 18 hours a day a "vote of confidence in London and the United Kingdom’s future role as a global financial center” at a time that Brexit paralysis is clouding the outlook. The move also shows belief that, despite the recent protests, Hong Kong can still produce world-stage firms.The more than 300-year-old London exchange has a lot going for it, including fixed-income heft and the FTSE Russell portfolio of index benchmarks used by institutional investors. The offer values LSE shares at 8,361 pence (about $103), around 42 times 2019 earnings, according to Citigroup Inc. analysts, much higher than the London bourse’s historical average price-earnings multiple of 22 times. But Hong Kong Exchanges’ offer would scupper LSE’s own bid for data provider Refinitiv, a deal that LSE shareholders like as shown by its soaring share price. They, and politics, may stand in HKEX’s way. U.K. regulators will have a tough time accepting the takeover of a British institution by a Hong Kong company. Given the impact to global financial markets and the popularity among exchange-traded funds of the FTSE Russell indexes, U.S. regulators may also weigh in. HKEX Chief Executive Charles Li can argue that his firm is already a global company, having acquired the London Metal Exchange in 2012, but it remains a foundation stone of Hong Kong. The city’s government owns just 5.9% but appoints the majority of the directors. Exchange mergers are sensitive propositions anywhere. The LSE has been a frequent target and was in the sights of Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG three years ago until  Brussels blocked the deal. In the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore Exchange Ltd.’s 2011 bid for ASX Ltd. was rejected by Australian regulators on national-interest concerns.There are also questions over HKEX’s deal-making prowess. HKEX acquired the LME, the world’s biggest venue for trading base metals like aluminum, at the top of the commodities cycle. It promised LME members that it would have a warehouse in China from which to access the country’s massive metals market.  Seven years later and it doesn’t, as Chinese authorities seek to protect homegrown commodities entities, including the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the Dalian Commodities Exchange.There is no doubt that HKEX needs to diversify. Volumes on the exchange have slumped and it has fallen off its perch as the world’s top IPO venue last year.Stock exchange businesses reliant on volatile volumes are increasingly passe in a world of computerized trading. With little overlap with LSE, Hong Kong Exchanges can’t count on simply cutting costs. The key to growth for exchanges is in the data that fixed-income, currency, and equities traders need and the analytical tools that deliver it to them. That’s why LSE has pursued Refinitiv. HKEX has depended on a strategy of being the gateway to China through its stock and bond trading links. The value of that role is diminishing as the country opens direct access to markets, removing quotas Tuesday on purchases by global  funds. Wanting to go beyond Hong Kong to create a global powerhouse is understandable. Doing so with another market grappling with its own political crisis and uncertain future post-Brexit is less so. Li likened the Hong Kong exchange’s unsolicited takeover of LSE to a “corporate Romeo and Juliet.”He missed the point on how that story ended.To contact the author of this story: Nisha Gopalan at ngopalan3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • 25 Dividend Stocks That Analysts Love the Most

    25 Dividend Stocks That Analysts Love the Most

    The longest bull market in history keeps charging. Stocks are near record highs, which sounds good, but it does create a problem for income investors. Specifically, where can they find dividend stocks poised for outperformance that still sport decent yields?The idea, after all, is to buy stocks when they're low, then sell high. And they don't seem too low when they're only a couple of percentage points below record levels. Stocks' lofty prices have crushed their yields, too. The trailing 12-month dividend yield on the S&P; 500 stands at a paltry 1.9%.High-quality dividend stocks with better-than-average yields do exist, however. We're here to help you find them.We scoured the S&P; 500 for dividend stocks with yields of at least 3%. From that pool, we focused on stocks with an average broker recommendation of Buy or better. S&P; Global Market Intelligence surveys analysts' stock ratings and scores them on a five-point scale, where 1.0 equals Strong Buy and 5.0 means Strong Sell. Any score of 2.0 or lower means that analysts, on average, rate the stock a Buy. The closer the score gets to 1.0, the stronger the Buy call.Lastly, we dug into research and analysts' estimates on the top-scoring names. That led us to these 25 great blue-chip dividend stocks that have the highest analyst ratings. SEE ALSO: The Berkshire Hathaway Portfolio: All 47 Buffett Stocks Explained

  • Benzinga

    Institutional Investors, From Credit Suisse To Citigroup, Helped Fund Cannabis Companies Last Month

    Since the beginning of the legal cannabis industry, the vast majority of investors in the space have been high-net-worth individuals and family offices. These groups were more able to make these investments ...

  • Trump Brags He’s the ‘King of Debt,’ But He Doesn’t Get It

    Trump Brags He’s the ‘King of Debt,’ But He Doesn’t Get It

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Financial markets at this point ignore just about any tweet from President Donald Trump about the Federal Reserve. Occasionally, one will merit a meme. But for the most part, the president’s tweets are dismissed either as evidence of frustration that he can’t simply fire Jerome Powell, his choice for Fed chair, or the search for a scapegoat if the U.S. economy falters and damages his re-election prospects.Then came this missive on Wednesday:The timing is obvious. It’s the day before the European Central Bank will presumably drop interest rates further below zero, and a week before the Fed’s own rate decision. A Washington Post-ABC News poll this week showed a majority of Americans fear the U.S. will enter a recession within a year. Stephen Moore, who withdrew his candidacy for the Fed board earlier this year, wrote a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal with the headline “Refinance U.S. Debt While Rates Are Low.”Put it all together, and you have Trump’s two-part tweet. Unfortunately, the self-proclaimed “king of debt” doesn’t appear to truly understand it. Let’s unpack the president’s comments piece by piece:The Federal Reserve should get our interest rates down to ZERO, or lessFirst, the Fed is already cutting its benchmark rate and is widely expected to drop it another 25 basis points on Sept. 18. A more significant reduction — and certainly to the extent the president wants — would probably just panic the markets. It could also severely damage banks, particularly if longer-term yields also tumble. Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. this week already reduced their annual net interest income targets.Second, the idea that Americans would willingly accept negative interest rates is very much an open question. After all, it’s not something they have ever had to deal with before. As Katherine Greifeld wrote for Bloomberg Businessweek, U.S.-based investors don’t just have the good fortune of buying Treasuries at above-zero interest rates. They can also easily turn the world’s $15 trillion pool of negative-yielding debt positive.and we should then start to refinance our debt.This is not something that the U.S. does in any significant way. The federal government is not like a company that issues bonds that can be bought back if borrowing costs fall. There’s no mechanism, for example, for the Treasury to get big investors to give back bonds issued in 1995 that mature in 2025 and pay 7.625% interest. In fact, these are likely among funds’ most-prized possessions because they boost both the credit quality and average payout of the overall portfolio.INTEREST COST COULD BE BROUGHT WAY DOWN, while at the same time substantially lengthening the term.This is hardly a given. The Fed controls only short-term interest rates, not long-term yields. In 2010, when the fed funds rate was near zero, the 10-year Treasury yield was 4%. If central bankers slash interest rates when the economy is on solid footing, it could boost inflation, which would cause yields on longer-term obligations to climb. The reason long-term rates in Japan and Germany are at or below zero is because their economies are stagnant and inflation is largely nonexistent.As for “substantially lengthening the term,” the Treasury Department itself has found that there’s insufficient demand for ultra-long Treasuries that mature in 50 or 100 years. Yes, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is taking another look, but the bond-market group that advises him is likely to dismiss the idea again. Also, issuing ultra-long bonds would probably steepen the yield curve, again making the claim that “interest costs could be brought way down” dubious at best.We have the great currency, power, and balance sheetAnd yet, the president clearly wants a significantly weaker dollar, which, if done recklessly, could threaten its position as the reserve currency of the world. The USA should always be paying the lowest rate.It goes without saying to anyone who took Macroeconomics 101 that stronger economies pay higher interest rates. But setting that aside, why should the U.S. receive more favorable treatment than Germany? It has the same triple-A ratings from Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, and Germany even has a top grade from S&P Global Ratings while the U.S. was dropped to AA+ in 2011.Plus, investors are begging Germany to borrow more, rather than stick to its rigid balanced budget. That’s of no concern whatsoever for the U.S. — its budget deficit grew to $866.8 billion in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, up 27% from the period a year earlier. The gap is now projected to reach $1 trillion by the 2020 fiscal year, two years earlier than previously estimated. Supply and demand isn’t everything in the Treasury market, but it is something. Obviously, the ECB has distorted the bond markets in its region. In Italy, which is barely rated investment-grade, 10-year debt yields less than 1%. But again, this is more a symptom of the lack of economic growth in the euro zone.No Inflation!Low inflation? Sure. But “no” inflation?On Wednesday, a Labor Department report showed underlying U.S. producer prices increased 2.3% in August from a year earlier, topping the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Producer prices excluding food, energy and trade services rose 0.4% from the prior month, the most since April.Those readings suggest Thursday’s consumer price index data could also meet or exceed expectations. Core CPI is already projected to rise to 2.3% year-over-year in August, which would be close to the fastest growth in the past decade. It’s fairly modest relative to the historical average, but it’s not nothing.It is only the naïveté of Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve that doesn’t allow us to do what other countries are already doing.Is this the first tweet from President Trump with accent marks?It’s not naivete that is keeping the Fed from more drastic interest-rate cuts, but rather prudence and a focus on economic data. Fed officials saw some slight weakness earlier this year —  business confidence was particularly rattled by the U.S.-China trade war — and provided a bit of accommodation to help ease concerns. Dropping interest rates to zero would serve little purpose except to most likely create a larger bubble in risky financial assets.The president seems to think that Europe and Japan want negative interest rates. I’m fairly confident that the ECB and Bank of Japan wish they were in a similar position as the Fed, which was finally able to move away from the zero-bound and now has some breathing room in the event of an economic downturn.A once in a lifetime opportunity that we are missing because of “Boneheads.”Readers can draw their own conclusions about who’s truly boneheaded. To contact the author of this story: Brian Chappatta at bchappatta1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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    (Bloomberg) -- Gold’s rally has grabbed a lot of investor attention, but other precious metals are making a strong bid to take the spotlight.Gold rose 19% this year through mid-August, the most among the main precious metals, on prospects for lower interest rates and demand for a refuge from slowing economic growth.Now, investors looking for cheaper entry into havens have helped widen the rally to silver and platinum, which surged the past few weeks to surpass gold’s 2019 gains. Palladium has also rebounded.“For the investors that have been nervous for a while and really loaded up on gold, it’s more of, ‘I’ve reached my max comfort level on gold, lets see what else I can add to it that might be more attractive from the value standpoint,’” Austin Pickle, investment strategy analyst at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said by phone. “For investors looking for precious-metals exposure, we still prefer silver and platinum over gold.”The following charts examine the case for a sustained rally across precious metals.Portents in ProportionsWhile gold’s rally has stalled this month, banks including Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and BNP Paribas SA recently boosted their price forecasts. With gold prices still well above historical averages compared with silver and platinum, gains in gold could mean further increases for the other metals as well.Even with silver surging more than 4% since mid-August while gold slipped, an ounce of gold still buys about 82 ounces of silver, topping the average of 67 ounces over the past decade.It’s a similar story for platinum, where an ounce of the pricier metal buys 1.59 ounces, compared with a 10-year average of 1.11. Platinum, commonly used in auto-pollution controls, has jumped 12% since mid-August. It had struggled to get investors’ attention as diesel-vehicle sales decline and manufacturing slumps amid the U.S.-China trade war.“Gold in U.S. dollar terms is at six-year highs,” Wells Fargo’s Pickle said. “There’s so much more room for people to say this still looks attractive in absolute terms and it’s super attractive versus gold,” he said, referring to silver and platinum.Citigroup also sees platinum as a “cheaper” haven asset that investors capitalized on to play catch up with gold. While the metal is likely to continue consolidation in the near-term, analysts including Aakash Doshi said they remain bullish on platinum over the next 12 months on expectations of an improvement in automotive demand, according to a note Tuesday.Generating InterestBNP Paribas raised its gold-price forecast amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut U.S. interest rates four times by mid-2020. With global economies at risk of tipping into recession, the analysts expect central banks in both developed and emerging markets will leave rates low or cut them further. Silver and platinum would benefit from that as well: precious metals don’t offer a yield, so low rates make them more competitive against assets that offer interest.“What has happened over last year is rates have become more important as they became more of a focus for the market,” Chris Louney, vice president of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, said by phone. Such low rates pushed negative-yielding debt to about $17 trillion globally at the end of August, brightening the appeal of precious metals.(Updates with comment from Citigroup in 10th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Justina Vasquez in New York at jvasquez57@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Luzi Ann Javier at ljavier@bloomberg.net, Joe Richter, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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