Frank Curzio's WALL STREET UNPLUGGED Podcast

Sunday, August 20, 2017

3 reasons why markets may be losing their minds… If you own junk bonds, cryptocurrencies, or exotic exchange-traded funds, congrats! You are probably feeling pretty rich right now. But so much money is pouring into these and other risky assets that sober-minded analysts are worried that markets have gone haywire. Three things stand out, in particular… – Quartz
AT&T may be plotting to revolutionize TV advertising… By hiring a big name ad executive in Brian Lesser, AT&T (T) made it clear it has big plans in advertising. But given its somewhat mysterious history in the ad business, it’s not clear what at AT&T Lesser is going to do. Here are some educated guesses… – Business Insider
Bitcoin now comes from satellites in space Welcome to the future. A bitcoin software company announced the launch of its Blockstream Satellite network that broadcasts bitcoin to people just about anywhere in the worldirrespective of their internet connection – for free. This will make the cryptocurrency more accessible to almost anyone, even in places where data costs are high and living standards and incomes are low… – Futurism

Fiat Chrysler shares jump on takeover talk… The stock gained as much as 13% to hit its highest level in 19 years after Automotive News reported Monday that a well-known Chinese automaker had made a bid for the company. Although Fiat Chrysler (FCAU) rejected the offer for being too low, the report went on to suggest that other Chinese firms may also be considering bids – CNN Money

Musk’s electric-car vision doubted by major auto-parts suppliers… Some of the world’s top auto-parts suppliers aren’t buying all the enthusiasm about the electric vehicles hyped by Tesla’s Elon Musk and larger carmakers trying to keep up. Executives at five of the 25 biggest suppliers to automakers in North America have all downplayed expectations for electric-vehicle sales. Here’s what they’re saying... – Industry Week

Shipping companies are going super-sized... A massiveconsolidation is underway in the $500 billion global industry and the survivors now enjoy big economies of scale and increased demand, one year after excess capacity caused the sector’s worst-ever crisis… – Bloomberg
Why Blackstone is betting $7 billion on natural gas... U.S. gas prices are stuck in a rut, which is fine with the world’s largest private-equity firm. Blackstone Group is making one of its biggest bets on the growth of natural gas production, wagering that even if gas prices remain stuck at depressed levels, it can profit… – Wall Street Journal (paywall)
GAME ON
Netflix’s big-spending strategy… Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos said this week that Netflix (NFLX) will spend over $7 billion on content in 2018, up from $6 billion in 2017 and $5 billion in 2016. As of now, the company currently has $15.7 billion in outstanding obligations in deals for new series and films over the next few years... – Streaming Observer
Apple is bringing a billion dollar checkbook to Hollywood… Apple is officially open for business in Hollywood. The company is telling content makers it wants to spend $1 billion on its own stuff over the next year. That’s music to studios’ ears, and a tune they have been expecting for some time, especially after Apple hired two top Sony TV executives in June… – Recode
RETAIL REVOLUTION
Walmart is quietly growing into an advertising force… With around 140 million people shopping at its 5,000 stores in the U.S. every week, Walmart (WMT) is not just a retail giant. It is also a growing advertising platform that touts its ability to connect online consumer behavior and a mountain of in-store sales data that its biggest rival Amazon lacks… – Digiday
Target buys same-day delivery company Competing with Amazon is no small task, but Target (TGT) is hoping that by improving its delivery capabilities, it might have a shot. The brick and mortar retailer just acquiredsoftware company Grand Junction, that connects distributors to a large network of over 700 carriers throughout North America… – Digital Trends
Amazon debuts ‘Instant Pickup Points’… Amazon’s (AMZN) latest physical retail foray is called “Instant Pickup,” and it works as the name implies: Amazon shoppers can pick up orders for certain items within two minutes of making their purchase. The program is live at five college campuses, and will expand to additional sites, including neighborhood spots within cities, by end of year… – TechCruch