Banks Are Approving Small Business Loans at Rates Not Seen Since Before The Great Recession

3D image of bank vault and gold ingots with red carpetGetty

Approvals of loan applications from small business owners reached post-recession high mark (26.9%) at big banks (assets of $10 billion+), while small banks granted more than half of the small business funding requests they received in November 2018, according to the latest Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index™.

Overall, 2018 has been a good year for both borrowers and small business lenders. Because the economy continues to show strength and companies are doing well, small businesses in search of capital have been able to find it. For good reason, optimism among entrepreneurs remains high, according to the October NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, which has trended upward for the past two years.

Meanwhile, the Fed has continuously raised interest rates over the past 18 months. While there are signs that the increases may slow down, the hikes have made it more profitable for banks to loan money – especially when compared to the near zero interest rates that were in place during the post-recession credit crunch.

Technology has played an important role, too. Data analytics have become very advanced and have helped reduce lender risk. Thus, default rates on business loans are lower than ever before, according to Biz2Credit’s data. Further, banks and credit unions have been making SBA loans at record volumes.

SBA loans come with government guarantees against default that mitigates lender risk, thereby providing incentives for institutions to lend money to businesses that might not otherwise qualify for term loans. SBA loans help thousands of small businesses get off the ground each year, and I do not see an end to this trend anytime soon. SBA lending helps bolster the economy.

[“source=forbes]

Vistara Offers Flight Tickets From Rs. 999 In 24-Hour Sale

Vistara Offers Flight Tickets From Rs 999 In 24-Hour Sale

Vistara Offers Flight Tickets From Rs 999 In 24-Hour Sale

Vistara 24-hour festive sale: Lowest fare of Rs. 999 is one-way economy fare from Bagdogra to Guwahati.

Vistara has announced flight tickets from Rs. 999 in a limited-period sale. The festive sale is open for a period of 24 hours and applicable to one-way fares across all three booking classes, according to the airline’s website, airvistara.com. Vistara is offering flight tickets at a discount of up to 80 per cent relative to standard last-minute fares across the economy, premium economy and business booking classes, according to its website. Under the scheme, flight tickets start from Rs. 999 in economy class, 2,199 in premium economy and Rs. 5,499 in business, according to Vistara.

Vistara 24-hour festive sale on flight tickets: booking details

Bookings for Vistara flight tickets under the 24-hour sale opened from 00:01 hours on Wednesday. Flight tickets under the scheme can be booked for travel between December 27, 2018 and April 10, 2019, both dates included, according to the carrier’s website.

(Also read: GoAir adds 24th domestic destination, offers flight tickets from Rs. 1,415)

A minimum of fifteen days of advance purchase is required for economy and premium economy class bookings under the scheme, and a minimum of three days for the business class, according to Vistara.

Seats are limited and are available on a first-come-first-served basis, Vistara said. These fares are all-inclusive, with no surprise fuel surcharges or taxes in addition to the stated fares.

Customers can make the bookings under the sale on the airline’s website – www.airvistara.com, mobile app (available on iOS and Android platforms), its airport ticket offices and call centre, and through online travel agencies and agents.

[“source=ndtv”]

Goldman Sachs: As long as consumers keep shopping, there’s hope for the economy

Shoppers carrying bags walk up Fifth Avenue in New York City. 

David Goldman | Getty Images
Shoppers carrying bags walk up Fifth Avenue in New York City.

For a market that’s become increasingly jittery over the U.S. economy, Goldman Sachs has a message: All is not lost.

Wall Street’s head-spinning volatility, which last week shaved more than 1,000 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has pushed stocks into correction territory and raised fears for 2019. Although falling stocks and rising interest rates will continue to weigh on sentiment, those negatives are likely to be offset by higher wages and oil prices in retreat, Goldman said in a research note to clients Saturday.

“Three of the key drivers of consumer spending send a positive message for the near-term outlook,” the bank’s analysts wrote.

“First, real disposable income is likely to continue its strong growth due to accelerating wage growth, and recent declines in the oil price are likely to be a significant tailwind to spending in 2019,” Goldman said. November’s jobs data released on Friday showed lower-than-expected payrolls growth but wages growing at the fastest rate in nearly a decade.

“Second, the saving rate looks elevated relative to the high level of household wealth, even after the recent sell-off,” the analysts wrote. And with consumer spending — which comprises 2/3rd of the vast U.S. economy — still strong, “consumer sentiment is likely to stay elevated, reflecting strong underlying economic fundamentals as well as optimism about the labor market and income growth,” the firm said.

Jobs numbers show economy slowing to a more gentle growth, says economist

Jobs numbers show economy slowing to a more gentle growth, says economist   12:13 PM ET Fri, 7 Dec 2018 | 03:32

Goldman’s relatively upbeat assessment came against a backdrop of a market buffeted by internal and external risks — most notably the U.S.’ ongoing trade war with China. The Dow has erased its gains for the year, while the S&P 500 pulled back 2.3 percent to 2,633.08 and turned negative for the year.

The bank acknowledged that those sharp losses will translate into “some near-term restraint on spending,” as well as consumer lending. Rising interest rates will also dampen the outlook, the bank said, adding that growth will gradually decelerate from 2.8 percent in the first quarter to an average of 2.4-to 2.5 percent over 2019.

In a somber assessment of its own on Friday, Morgan Stanley forecast the market would remain “range bound” in 2019, citing “the elevated risk of an earnings recession. We expect topline growth to decelerate (due to decelerating GDP) and margins to come under pressure.”

With the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank pulling back on loose money policies, “the good news is that tightening may be coming to a pause/end early next year which could bring relief to global asset prices particularly if China growth stabilizes,” Morgan Stanley’s analysts wrote.

Still, economists point to the sharp drop in crude prices, which recently fell below $50 per barrel, as a boost for consumers.

“The recent declines in the oil price, the high savings rate, and strong consumer sentiment, largely offset the drag from recent stock price declines, tightening lending standards, and higher rates,” according to Goldman.

“The bottom line is that even after recent declines in the equity market, we continue to expect strong but decelerating consumption growth over the next few quarters,” the bank said.

[“source=gsmarena”]

Bridge to nowhere? Some doubts on U.S. economy justified, doom and gloom is not

Getty Images
Wall Street scurrying for the exits? More and more investors apparently see the economy becoming a bridge to nowhere.

Just a few months ago, investors drove the U.S. stock market SPX, -2.33%  to an all-time high. Now they’re scurrying for the off-ramp and showing fresh doubts about economy. Have things really gone south that fast?

Not really.

The economy is forecast to grow at an above-average speed of 2.6% in the fourth quarter, for one thing. Consumer confidence is at a two-decade high. The unemployment rate remains at a 49-year low. And the holiday shopping season is shaping up to be a big one.

Still, some warning signs have emerged.

Home sales have softened after a rise in mortgage rates. Corporate investment has tapered off. Job creation slowed in November. And a festering trade dispute with China and resulting tariffs have raised costs for businesses and consumers.

“It’s becoming clearer by the day that the best days for this economic cycle are behind us,” asserted Scott Anderson, chief economist of Bank of the West.

The sudden shift in perception is forcing the Federal Reserve to reconsider how many times it will raises interest rates in the next year.

Not only does the economy seem a touch more vulnerable than it did a few months ago, a recent upturn in inflation also appears to have crested. The Fed has been gradually raising rates to head off an unwelcome increase in rates, but now the problem seems less urgent.

One sign came last week in a weaker-than-expected November employment report. The economy added just 155,000 new jobs — well below the 190,000 forecast — and the yearly increase in hourly wage growth stood pat at 3.1%.

More evidence might emerge this week. The consumer price index, which tracks the cost of living, could show a flat or even negative reading for the first time in eight months. The annual rate of inflation as measured by the CPI could drop to a nine-month low of 2.2% from 2.5%

Similarly weak readings are likely in other inflation barometers for wholesale U.S. goods and imported products.

What’s a common thread?

Falling oil prices . A surge in petroleum helped fuel an upturn in inflation earlier this year that spurred the Fed to raise U.S. interest rates three times. Now lower oil prices are acting as a brake on inflation.

Lower oil prices CLF9, +1.24%  will probably deliver seemingly disappointing retail sales in November.

Americans spent a lot less filling up at gas stations, making it look like retailers had a bad month. Economists polled by MarketWatch predict a lackluster 0.2% increase.

“Here’s a word of advice on anyone planning to use the November retail sales report as a guide to how the holiday shopping season is going: don’t,” said chief economist Richard Moody of Regions Financial.

[“source=forbes]

CAI trims cotton crop estimate for 2018-19 to 340 lakh bales

The Cotton Association of India on December 7 lowered its November estimate of the cotton crop by three lakh bales to 340.25 lakh bales for the 2018-19 season.

The decline in cotton crop estimate is mainly due to unfavourable weather conditions, CAI said in a statement.

Last month, the association had estimated cotton output at 343.25 lakh bales for the 2018-19 season, which began on October 1.

CAI reduced the crop estimate for Gujarat by three lakh bales, Maharashtra by one lakh bales and Telangana by 1.50 lakh bales.

However, it increased the crop estimate for Haryana by one lakh bales and upper Rajasthan, lower Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh by 50,000 bales each.

The association has projected total cotton supply during October and November at 95 lakh bales, which consists of the arrival of 70 lakh bales up to November 30, imports of two lakh bales and the opening stock at the beginning of the season as on October 1, that the CAI has estimated at 23 lakh bales.

Further, the association has estimated cotton consumption during October and November at 54 lakh bales, while the export shipment of cotton up to November 30, at 10 lakh bales.

The stock at the end of November 2018 is estimated at 31 lakh bales, including 27 lakh bales with textile mills and the remaining four lakh bales estimated to be held by Cotton Corporation Of India (CCI) and others (MNCs, traders, ginners among others).

The total cotton supply till end of the season is estimated at 390.25 lakh bales of 170 kg each, which includes opening stock of 23 lakh bales at the beginning of the season, cotton crop for the season at 340.25 lakh bales and imports of 27 lakh bales, which are estimated to be higher by 12 lakh bales, compared with the import figure of 15 lakh bales estimated for the 2017-18 crop year.

The CAI has estimated domestic consumption for the season at 324 lakh bales, while the exports at 53 lakh bales, which is lower by 16 lakh bales against the exports of 69 lakh bales estimated during last year.

The carry-over stock at the end of the 2018-19 season is estimated at 13.25 lakh bales.

[“source=moneycontrol].

Cramer’s lightning round: Barnes & Noble’s stock is trading like it could get acquired

Image result for Cramer's lightning round: Barnes & Noble's stock is trading like it could get acquiredBarnes & Noble: “I’m going to say something I typically wouldn’t say, but it does feel like it’s getting a bid or something, because it just goes up, up and up and yet the fundamentals are not great. So, I don’t want to recommend a stock on a takeover basis, but I see what’s happening and it seems pretty positive.”

Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp.: “It’s not a bad stock. A lot of people don’t talk about it. I think it’s pretty good. Now, candidly, I like Accenture more. I like ACN, really, a lot more.”

TE Connectivity Ltd.: “It’s interesting. It’s not great. It does network solutions, got a little cable stuff in it. It’s not compelling enough for me to pound the table.”

Adobe Inc.: “I cannot recommend this stock on a short-term basis because … I recommended it at $50. It’s at $250. I think you buy some and then you wait for it to come down because we’re not going to play the quarterly game. The quarter’s going to be good, but stocks aren’t reacting to the quarter. They’re reacting to the Fed. They’re reacting to the president. That’s not certain enough for me.”

Global Blood Therapeutics Inc.: “It’s had a very big run and it’s coming back down. I think you sold half and now portfolio management would say, ‘You know what? Let the rest run.'”

Activision Blizzard Inc.: “It has to do with Call of Duty. People think it’s not doing that well. I wish [CEO] Bobby Kotick would come on.”

[“source=gsmarena”]

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Supreme Court gives nod to two-member SIT to reopen 186 cases

Large-scale anti-Sikh riots had broken out in Delhi in 1984 after the assassination of the then PM Indira Gandhi. (File Photo: Reuters)

Large-scale anti-Sikh riots had broken out in Delhi in 1984 after the assassination of the then PM Indira Gandhi. (File Photo: Reuters)

The Supreme Court has modified its January 11 order and accepted the Central government’s suggestion that the two members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), supervising investigation into 186 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots of Delhi, can continue with the probe.

The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday (December 3) that it may not be necessary to substitute Rajdeep Singh who had declined to be a part of a three-member SIT supervising further probe into 186 cases of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, citing personal reasons.

The other two other members – former Delhi High Court judge Justice SN Dhingra and serving IPS officer Abhishek Dular – will be continuing the probe in the cases.

The government, on Monday, had told a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta that they have no objection if the other two members of the SIT continue with the work.

The bench said that, however, since the January 11 order constituting a three-member SIT was passed by a bench of three-judges, they cannot modify it while sitting in a combination of two judges.

The bench had posted the matter for hearing today.

The top court, on January 11, had constituted a three-member SIT headed by Justice (retired) Dhingra to supervise further probe into the 186 cases, in which closure reports had been filed earlier.

Large-scale riots had broken out in the national capital in the aftermath of the assassination of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her two Sikh security guards on the morning of October 31, 1984. The violence had claimed 2,733 lives in Delhi alone.

On February 5, the Centre had moved the court requesting it to include former DG-rank officer Navneet Rajan Wasan, who had earlier served as the Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), in the SIT to replace Singh.

Wasan, now retired, is a 1980-batch Andhra Pradesh cadre officer and had also served as Special Director General in the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

During the hearing on Monday, the ASG told the bench that they have suggested the name of former IPS officer Wasan to substitute Singh.

“You cannot choose your own judge. Give two-three names,” the bench told the ASG, who said that the apex court could appoint anybody to substitute Singh.

Senior advocates RS Suri and HS Phoolka, representing the petitioner, said appointing a third member in the SIT might delay the process and the other two members should continue with their work.

On August 16 last year, the Supreme Court had appointed a supervisory panel to examine the earlier SIT’s decision to close 241 cases.

The Centre had said that out of 250 riots cases which were probed by that SIT, closure reports were filed in 241. It said some cases were still being investigated by the SIT, and two by the CBI.

The earlier SIT was headed by Pramod Asthana, an IPS officer of 1986 batch, and had Rakesh Kapoor, a retired district and sessions judge, and Kumar Gyanesh, an additional deputy commissioner of Delhi Police, as its members.

Petitioner S Gurlad Singh Kahlon had earlier told the bench that a total of 293 riot-related cases were taken up for scrutiny by the earlier SIT which had decided to close 199 of them.

Kahlon, a member of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, had sought the court’s direction for setting up another SIT to ensure speedy justice to the riot victims.

[“source=indiatoday]

Why is Nomura upbeat about Indian tyre industry? Apollo Tyres, Ceat & Balkrishna on its radar

    Global research firm believes that the Indian tyre industry is witnessing a phase of cyclical uptick in demand.

    The industry fundamentals are in a better shape now due to the demand and high utilization as well, analysts at the firm wrote in their report.

    It sees 8 percent volume CAGR over FY18-21.

    The segment is a good play on the back of healthy growth outlook, pricing discipline, and benign commodity prices, which will support margins.

    Further, the benign commodity prices could also lead to 20-25% EBITDA CAGR over FY18-21.

    Nomura expects strong demand scenario to keep utilization healthy.

    Among stocks, it has initiated coverage on Apollo Tyres with a target at Rs 288, along with Ceat and Balkrishna Industries.

    On Ceat, it neutral with a target at Rs 1,346. In case of Balkrishna Industries, it is also neutral with a target at Rs 1,008.

    [“source=cnbc”]

    Cramer’s lightning round: I’m not a fan of Netflix’s stock as an end-of-year buy

    https://fm.cnbc.com/applications/cnbc.com/resources/img/editorial/2018/10/12/102079128-1539342565979105501689.720x405.jpg

    Netflix Inc.: “Candidly, I’m not a fan of Netflix. I’m not a fan of Netflix because I think that a lot of it depends on the content and I just don’t find the content as compelling as it once was. I think it’s a good story, but not a great story, because it’s up so much for the year and that’s been a real big determinant about how stocks are doing right now.”

    Cytokinetics Inc.: “Very speculative, but I’ll endorse it as long as you understand that that thing is literally one of the most speculative stocks out there.”

    Yeti Holdings Inc.: “Yeah, I think [its post-earnings dip is a buying opportunity]. I actually liked the quarter. I mean, far be it from me to disagree with the market’s view, but I liked the quarter. I think it’s OK. The market liked the PepsiCos and the Gileads this week, and the Celgenes.”

    The Kraft Heinz Co.: “[What’s not to love?] Well, the fact that it has no growth whatsoever. But I’ll do this for you: I’ll say that if you want to hope that they somehow manage to get some growth, then you can buy it. But if I want no growth, I want safety and I want a bond.”

    Chico’s FAS Inc.: “No. Don’t ask me about Chico’s. That was a horrible quarter, frankly. I mean, that may have been the worst of the mall-based stores. No, well, obviously there’s Sears and J.C. Penney, but it was a bad call. I don’t want you in that, OK?”

    LyondellBasell Industries NV: “People feel that we’re going into a big slowdown and you don’t want to own a chemical company into a slowdown, but I agree with you. I think it represents good value with a 4 percent yield, but I do prefer DowDuPont.”

    [“source=forbes]

    Microsoft has better fundamentals, but buy Apple, says tech investor

    Microsoft has better fundamentals, but buy Apple, says Heartland Financial CIO

    Microsoft has better fundamentals, but buy Apple, says Heartland Financial CIO   11 Hours Ago | 02:58

    Microsoft may have replaced Apple as the most valuable U.S. company, but don’t count Apple out, investor Nancy Tengler told CNBC on Friday.

    “Clearly the fundamentals are better for Microsoft in terms of which space they’re in — the cloud space, the growth they’re experiencing — but I’m not willing to walk away from Apple at these levels,” the chief investment officer at Heartland Financial said on “Closing Bell.”

    Microsoft’s market cap held an implied market valuation of $851.2 billion at Friday’s close, exceeding Apple’s market valuation of $847.4 billion.

    Tim Cook, chief executive office of Apple Inc., speaks during an event at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Apple is making announcements in a bid to win back students and teachers from Google and Microsoft Corp. 

    Christopher Dilts | Bloomberg | Getty Images
    Tim Cook, chief executive office of Apple Inc., speaks during an event at Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Apple is making announcements in a bid to win back students and teachers from Google and Microsoft Corp.

    Tengler, who owns shares of both Apple and Microsoft, said she’s closer to selling Microsoft and buying Apple right now. “This is an interesting time to be adding.”

    “We have to get used to the recalibration of iPhone flat sales, no transparency, what’s the next big thing,” she said. “We’re going to find it’s services and something we haven’t thought of yet. Look at the Apple Watch, it’s just kind of been a stealth outperformer.”

    Apple shares have had a few rough weeks, releasing disappointing earnings on Nov. 1. The tech giant also announced it would no longer break out iPhone, iPad and Mac sales figures, which garnered a swift response from Wall Street.

    However, Tengler dismissed analysts’ concerns.

    “Wall Street gets embarrassed. They’re like a woman scorned. When they don’t get the information they want, then they begin to pile on,” she said.

    She is betting that Apple will make the successful transition to the next big thing and will bring the Street along. It just may take some time, she added.

    [“source=cnbc”]