New York (CNN Business)Artificial intelligence and machine learning might sound like the stuff of sci-fi movies. But hedge funds, major banks and private equity firms are already deploying next-generation technologies to gain an edge. Citigroup (C) uses machine learning to make portfolio recommendations to clients. High-frequency trading firms rely on machine learning tools to rapidly read and react to financial markets. And quant shops like PanAgora Asset Management have developed complex algorithms to test sophisticated investment ideas. "It takes emotion out of it. Everything is rational," Mike Chen, an equity portfolio manager at Boston-based PanAgora, told CNN Business from the sidelines of the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit in Grand Cayman. "We're not crazy pointed-hair scientists," said Chen, whose quantitative investment firm manages about $43 billion in assets. Much of the technology that elite investors use isn't really new. Financial firms are just better able to … [Read more...] about How elite investors use artificial intelligence and machine learning to gain an edge
New York (CNN Business)1. Negative feedback loop: The American shopper — the MVP of the national, if not the global, economy — is suddenly showing signs of fatigue. Core retail sales plummeted 1.7% in December, the most in nearly two decades. Blame the December stock market chaos. Or the beginning of the government shutdown. Or even "glitches" in the data, as White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow did last week. No matter the cause, the apparent abrupt shift in spending sent economists scrambling to mark down their forecasts for growth. Goldman Sachs trimmed its fourth-quarter GDP estimate to 1.9%. Bank of America slashed its forecast to 1.5%. Worse, the New York Federal Reserve's "Nowcast" model for first-quarter growth has been halved to just 1.1%. Read More It's a stark reminder of how it's not just the likes of Amazon (AMZN), Macy's (M) and Best Buy (BBY) that depend on American shoppers. "The US consumer is holding the global economy on its shoulders," … [Read more...] about Shoppers are propping up the economy. What if they stop spending?
New York (CNN Business)Canopy Growth's cannabis business is booming thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada last fall. Revenue for its fiscal third quarter surged 282% compared to a year earlier, the company reported Thursday. Chairman and co-CEO Bruce Linton attributed the lift to the company's decision to make early, "meaningful" investments that helped it corner a big part of the Canadian market when the law took effect. Canopy Growth also reported a wider loss from a year ago as expenses increased. It spent more on marketing, research and development. But investors didn't seem to mind. Canopy Growth's (CGC) stock rose 4% Friday, and is now up nearly 80% this year. Ex-NFL player Tiki Barber now invests in pot The company's strong results came a few days after rival Aurora Cannabis (ACB) also posted a surge in sales during its latest quarter. Shares of that company's stock are up 40% for the year. Read More But, legal weed in Canada has … [Read more...] about Pot company Canopy Growth posts nearly 300% sales jump
London (CNN Business)1. Trade talks conclude: US stock futures were volatile Friday as investors worried about disappointing economic data and US-China trade talks. The latest round of trade talks between high-level US and Chinese delegations has wrapped up in Beijing. It wasn't immediately clear how much progress was made during this week's discussions, but US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin described them as "productive." Negotiators from the two countries have been trying to strike a deal before March 2, when the US government is due to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. President Donald Trump has indicated he might be willing to let that deadline slide if a deal is close. Investors are also worried about data released Thursday that showed a surprise drop in US retail sales for December. 2. Soda wars: PepsiCo (PEP) will report earnings before the opening bell. Read More The food and beverage maker has been expanding its portfolio of healthy foods and drinks … [Read more...] about US-China talks conclude; Soda wars; Brexit warning
London (CNN Business)Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has sold its entire $2 billion stake in Oracle after holding the investment for just one quarter. A regulatory filing by Berkshire Hathaway on Thursday revealed that it sold over 41 million shares in the software company before the end of 2018. The stake was worth over $2 billion when first disclosed in November. It's not clear whether the Oracle investment was made by Buffett or his portfolio managers, Todd Combs and Ted Weschler. Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) typically holds its investments over much longer periods of time. Shares in Oracle were down nearly 3% premarket. Buffett's legendary investment company has also trimmed its stake in Apple (AAPL). Berkshire Hathaway owned 249.6 million shares in the iPhone maker as of December 31, a reduction of 1% from the previous quarter. Read More The disposals coincided with a dramatic sell-off in tech stocks at the end of last year. Shares in Oracle declined 13% during the … [Read more...] about Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway does a rapid U-turn on Oracle