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The latest news from Business Insider

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    • Instagram pushed out an app update that introduced a redesigned feed that removed vertical scrolling in favor of a horizontal feed that you tap through.
    • Those who received the update promptly started freaking out and posting to social media about the redesign.
    • Instagram says it didn't mean to roll the update out as widely as it did, and that it was only intended as "a very small test."
    • Instagram has now rolled back the update.

    It may soon be time to say goodbye to Instagram as we know it. 

    On Thursday, the company started rolling out a major redesign to its interface that eliminated vertical scrolling. Users who had gotten the update quickly took to Twitter to express their displeasure about the change.

    It turns out that Instagram didn't intend to roll out the update as widely as it did. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri tweeted out an apology, stating that "this was supposed to be a very small test but we went broader than we anticipated."

    "Due to a bug, some users saw a change to the way their feed appears today," an Instagram spokesperson later told TechCrunch. "We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal. We apologize for any confusion."

    TechCrunch was the first to report about the redesign back in October. At the time, the feature was being tested internally and only on the app's Explore page. 

    But on Thursday, Instagram expanded the update to the main feed as well, whether intentionally or not. Users who received the update reported that when they opened Instagram, they were only be able to swipe left or right through photos rather than scrolling up and down, which has been the norm on Instagram since the app's inception. 

    Here's a screen capture video of how the new update worked:

    Much like past Instagram updates, the change sparked everything from mild displeasure to outright rage on Twitter: 


    There were also those who went the sarcastic route:


    After Instagram rolled back the update, users took to Twitter to voice their relief:



    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: We tested out $30 tiny spy cameras from Amazon by spying on our co-workers

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    face sheet mask

    • Amazon is a great place to search for affordable beauty products, including face masks. 
    • Amazon users seem to love the Glamglow SuperMud Mask and Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mask.
    • Origins Original Skin Re-Texturizing Mask with Rose Clay and the Sand Sky Australian Porefining Face Mask are incredibly well-reviewed. 

    Whether you prefer clay or sheet masks, we’ve combed through tons of products to find 11 of the absolute best masks that you can buy on Amazon based on glowing reviews from real customers. From drugstore brands like Neutrogena and Yes to Tomatoes to K-Beauty brands like Innisfree, read on to discover some of the best masks you can find on Amazon.

    The Glamglow SuperMud Mask is great for blackheads.

    One Amazon user wrote, "This is by far the best mask I have ever used. It actually DOES something" while another user wrote, "I have a ton of blackheads on my nose area and you can literally see the oil being sucked out!"

    Find out more about the Glamglow SuperMud Mask >

    The Sand Sky Australian Porefining Face Mask promises soft skin.

    One Amazon user wrote, "My face is so clear, soft, and smooth!!!" while another said, "it really does make your skin brighter and pores smaller."

    Find out more about the Sand Sky Australian Porefining Face Mask >

    Elixir Cosmetics Gold Face Mask refreshes your skin.

    One Amazon user wrote, "This is the mask if you want smaller pores, less fine lines and wrinkles, and a healthy glow."

    Find out more about the Elixir Cosmetics Gold Korean Face Mask>

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence "Payments Briefing" subscribers hours before appearing on Business Insider. To be the first to know, please click here.

    Credit cards are the most preferred payment method in Canada, favored among all age groups, according to a TSYS study.

    Canadian Consumers' Preferred Payment Method

    Respondents of all ages and income levels indicated that they love paying with credit cards, and many consumers have multiple cards: 67% of respondents said they have two or more credit cards, up from 63% in 2017. 

    Rewards have a sweeping impact on influencing consumer payment behavior across different payment methods.  

    • Loyalty and rewards programs are the main influencers when consumers decide which card to use. Ninety percent of respondents selected rewards as a feature that drives them to use one of their credit cards over another — an answer that was consistent across all age groups, indicating that incorporating rewards programs can allow issuers to make their cards top-of-wallet for a wide range of consumers.
    • Storing rewards cards is the top use case for mobile wallets. Mobile wallets are not yet mainstream in Canada, but respondents said they expect to become more reliant on them in the next couple of years. Further, thirty-three percent of respondents have used merchant mobile wallets, and the top use cases for mobile wallets are storing loyalty or rewards cards on phones and viewing transactions instantly. 

    But the Canadian government is combating interchange fees, and card issuers might have to cut back on rewards offerings as a result. Canada’s finance minister in August announced agreements with American Express, Mastercard, and Visa that will lower interchange and other card acceptance fees to cut merchant costs associated with card acceptance.

    The plan is set to begin in 2020 and last for five years. This move can lead to an increase in card acceptance, especially among small businesses, which struggle to accept card payments due to interchange fees and other associated costs. But at the same time, banks can lose out on revenue.

    While interchange fees are largely set by card networks, most of the fee revenue goes to issuers and is used to fund loyalty and rewards programs, among other offerings. So, if interchange fees are reduced, banks miss out on some of that revenue, which could make it more challenging to maintain these perks — which are the primary motivating factors for consumers in deciding which card to use.

    The study also shows there's considerable room for mobile payment growth. Eighty-five percent of respondents have used contactless payments, which could translate to a willingness to use mobile payments. The major phone-based mobile wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, should incorporate rewards to incentivize consumer adoption in a market where rewards have a significant impact on consumers' payment decisions.

    Samsung Pay, for example, saw a 49% boost in US users through its Samsung Rewards loyalty program and now sees the highest engagement of the three wallets in the US, demonstrating the impact of rewards on driving engagement.

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    SEE ALSO: The digitization of daily life is making phones and connected devices the preferred payment tools for consumers — here's what that means for stakeholders

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    The Parent Trap

    • In some movies, one actor takes on two roles and plays a set of twins. 
    • Actors like Nicolas Cage, Lindsay Lohan, and Bette Midler have played sets of twins in movies. 
    • Lisa Kudrow and Troian Bellisario have played twins in TV series.

    Not everyone has a twin. But if you are an actor (or, at least, a person who owns some camera equipment and editing software) and are willing to put in extra hours, you can pretend to have a twin by playing them yourself.

    And although some of the twins you see on-screen were actually twins (like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in "New York Minute"), such is not always the case. Actors like Lindsay Lohan, Armie Hammer, and Leonardo DiCaprio, have all played two people in one movie and, in some cases, you may not have even noticed that an actor didn't actually have an identical twin after all

    Here are 13 actors who have played a set of twins onscreen. 

    Lisa Kudrow's twin roles spanned across two TV shows.

    Most "Friends" fans know Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe Buffay in the show's 10 seasons, also played Phoebe's twin sister, Ursula, in a few episodes. But Ursula technically existed before Phoebe did Kudrow played Ursula, an absent-minded waitress on the sitcom "Mad About You," before booking "Friends,"according to Comedy Central.

    For a time, Kudrow appeared on both "Mad About You" and "Friends," which ran back-to-back on NBC. Reportedly, NBC decided to bring Ursula into the "Friends" universe and make her Phoebe's twin in order to make Kudrow's presence on both shows a bit less confusing.

    Read More: 21 surprising facts that you probably didn't know about 'Friends'

    Adam Sandler played fraternal twins.

    In 2011, Adam Sandler starred in "Jack and Jill," a movie about fraternal twins (Jack and Jill), whose relationship grows increasingly dysfunctional as they age. Sandler played both Jack and Jill.

    The movie, which has a 23 on Metacritic, was almost universally panned by critics and it won multiple Razzie Awards for being the "worst film of the year." 

    Lindsay Lohan has played twins more than once.

    Many are familiar with Lindsay Lohan's role in the 1996 reboot of "The Parent Trap." In it, she played long-lost sisters Annie James and Hallie Parker who run into one another at summer camp and hatch a plot to reunite their parents by switching places.

    Almost a decade later, Loha played twins once again in the poorly received 2007 thriller "I Know Who Killed Me." In the film, Lohan played a pair of twins who had been separated at birth. They finally meet after being kidnapped and brutally tortured by a serial killer.

    Read More: 11 celebrities who have gone to prison or jail

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    trader yell angry upset phone

    • Wells Fargo examined the stock-market downturns that have occurred since 1950 and found three instances in which the sell-off then resembled the sell-off now.
    • The S&P 500 posted declines of 20% or more during the strong economies of 1962, 1966, and 1987.
    • After each of these instances, the bank found, the stock market posted new highs within two years — without a recession.
    • "The sample size is obviously small, and the world today is very different from the 1960s and 1987," strategist Pravit Chintawongvanich told clients. "But these are useful historical examples showing that the market can correct when the economy is strong, without portending a recession." 

    It's one of the major question marks hovering over the stock market today: if the economy is historicallystrong, why are equities selling off so severely?

    Stocks have sold off sharply from their all-time highs earlier this year as rising interest rates, fears around slowing global growth, and the looming uncertainty of the US-China trade war have all hit the market.

    Now, the S&P 500 is down 17% from its all-time high on September 21 and 10% since the start of this year.

    Wells Fargo crunched the numbers on over six decades of significant S&P 500 drawdowns, and found the current market environment — wherein stocks are selling off but the economy is expanding — looks like the sell-offs in 1962, 1966, and 1987. Those years, stocks lost 28%, 22%, and 36% respectively from peak to trough.

    Investors may be able to find solace in the results. The bank discovered that after each of these instances, stocks recovered and made new all-time highs within two years — without the economy entering a recession. 

    Following those three periods of stock-market downturns, the S&P 500 posted double-digit gains, according to a Business Insider analysis.

    • After its June 1962 low, the S&P 500 climbed 42% to a new high in August 1963.
    • After its October 1966 low, the S&P 500 rallied 32% to a new high in April 1967.
    • After its October 1987 low, the S&P 500 soared 58% to an all-time high in July 1989.

    "The sample size is obviously small, and the world today is very different from the 1960s and 1987," Pravit Chintawongvanich, equity derivatives strategist at Wells Fargo, told clients in his note on Thursday. "But these are useful historical examples showing that the market can correct when the economy is strong, without portending a recession."

    Of course, most of the market's drawdowns going back to 1950 did occur during recessions, particularly the most serious ones, which involved big events like the high inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s, the global financial crisis in 2008, and the dot-com crash of 2000. However, Chintawongvanich and his team were more interested in the non-recession selloffs since it does not appear the US economy is heading into a recession anytime soon. 

    After all, the US unemployment rate is sitting at 49-year low of 3.7%, corporate earnings are growing, and Wells Fargo does not characterize the current US-China trade war as a global-macro event of historical precedent. 

    In 1962, 1966, and 1987, specifically, the US was strong and inflation was relatively contained, as it is today.

    Below is the table Wells Fargo put together, examining the 20-largest drawdowns in the S&P 500 since 1950, comparing their respective peaks and troughs, volatility, and some economic indicators. 

    Historical drawdowns in the S&P 500

    Wells Fargo noted other similarities between this year and the prior three instances of "strong economy selloffs."

    In 1966 and 1987, as is the case this year, the Federal Reserve was in the midst of tightening monetary policy, and there was some "executive branch uncertainty" in 1962 as some attribute that year's selloff to President John F. Kennedy's public inquiry into steel companies' price increases.

    The current decline has come fast and furious, in 97 days ending today (compared with the lengthier selloffs in the 1960s).

    "The 1962 selloff in particular has some resemblance to today in that prices slid lower for over a month, instead of rapidly crashing to the lows as we have grown accustomed to in this cycle," Chintawongvanich wrote.

    Now read:

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The equity chief at $6.3 trillion BlackRock weighs in on the trade war, a possible recession, and offers her best investing advice for a tricky 2019 landscape

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    esports audience 2 1

    Esports, which is short for electronic sports, refers to competitive video gaming watched by spectators. Esports are not as mainstream as traditional sports in the US, but the number of esports fans globally is still sizable. The worldwide esports audience reached 335 million in 2017, according to Newzoo. 

    And there’s still significant room for growth beyond that — we predict that 600 million consumers globally will watch esports in 2023, up 79% from 2017. 

    A growing number of brands are acting to capitalize on the growth of esports as the majority of professional gaming fans are millennials and open to brand sponsors. Sixty-two percent of US esports viewers are aged 18-34, according to Activate, while 58% have a positive attitude towards brand involvement in esports, per Nielsen.

    Meanwhile, Newzoo anticipates global esports sponsorship revenue to reach $359 million in 2018, up 53% year-over-year. The growing esports audience and brand activity helps explains why high-profile public figures are jumping in to capitalize on the action: In late October, basketball legend Michael Jordan and platinum-selling artist Drake both made investments into separate esports ventures, for example. 

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will explain the growth of the esports audience and why it presents an attractive advertising opportunity for brands. We'll begin by exploring the key drivers and barriers affecting esports audience growth. Finally, we'll detail the benefits of advertising to esports fans and outline the best practices for implementing a successful esports ad campaign.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Alibaba, Arby's, Audi, Bud Light, Hyundai, Intel, Mastercard, McDonald's, Red Bull, Skillz, and Turner.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The number of esports fans globally is anticipated to climb 59% over the next five years, but there’s still significant room for growth.
    • This expansion will be driven by many factors, including investment from traditional sports leagues, a higher number of broadcast deals, and the expansion of the mobile-based esports scene.
    • The majority of esports fans are millennials, while data suggests that Gen Zers are more receptive to nontraditional sports, like esports, than traditional sports.
    • Brands can sponsor esports leagues, competitions, and players as well as advertise on digital platforms like Twitch to reach the eyeballs of esports fans.
    • Whatever shape a brand's esports ad campaign eventually takes, displaying an authentic commitment to the gaming world is paramount.

     In full, the report:

    • Outlines the drivers and potential barriers to esports audience growth.
    • Details the various reasons esports fans are a compelling advertising opportunity for brands.
    • Discusses the different ways brands can invest spend to reach the eyeballs of esports fans.
    • Explains best practices brands advertising to esports fans should adopt in order to make inroads with the gaming community. 


    SEE ALSO: The eSports competitive video gaming market continues to grow revenues & attract investors

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    WatchTime NYC 2018

    • WatchTime New York is the biggest luxurywatch show in NYC.
    • It features exhibits by many of the biggest and most respected names in the luxury watch business, including Bovet, Montblanc, MB&F, and Breguet.
    • I know very little (read: almost nothing) about watches, but I decided to check it out.

    I'll preface this by saying I know very little about watches. I have a $100 Skagen that I've been wearing every day since I got it for Christmas two years ago and that, aside from some waterproof stopwatches I wore as a teenager, is the extent of my watch ownership.

    But, as the executive life editor for Busines Insider, I'm fascinated by the endless trappings of luxury, even the ones on our wrists, so I decided to check out WatchTime New York, NYC's biggest luxury watch show.

    The late October show is a two-day event in midtown Manhattan. This was its fourth year running, and it was co-hosted by watch publication WatchTime and luxury blog and Instagram account Watch Anish.

    It's a testament to the buzzy energy at the show, and to the attentiveness of the PR team that was showing me around, that I didn't feel completely lost.

    Here's what it's like inside NYC's biggest luxury watch show.

    WatchTime New York is a two-day event. It's the biggest luxury watch show in NYC, and for the fourth year running, it was held in Gotham Hall, a couple of blocks from Bryant Park in midtown.

    I showed up for the event after work at around 7 p.m. on Friday, by which point the show had already been running for about two hours.

    I wasn't sure what the attire was, so I wore black jeans and a black turtleneck, thinking I couldn't go wrong. A doorman let me into the building, where I was able to check my coat and backpack.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Aquaman 3 Warner Bros.

    • "Aquaman" is exceeding expectations at the box office and has breathed new life into Warner Bros.' DC Comics movie franchise.
    • Here are all of the DC movies that have been confirmed or reported to be in development after "Aquaman."

    Warner Bros. plotted a course correction for its DC Comics movies after "Justice League" disappointed at the box office last year, with a plan to focus more on standalone movies and less on the DC Extended Universe.

    That approach paid off for "Aquaman," which is surging at the box office and shows no signs of slowing down. The James Wan-directed movie has grossed $557 million worldwide and $122 million in the US since it debuted last week.

    Warner Bros. and DC's answer to the Marvel Cinematic Universe got fully underway in 2016 with the DC Extended Universe. "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Suicide Squad" were both released to underwhelming response, though.

    READ MORE: Henry Cavill will reportedly no longer play Superman as DC focuses on Supergirl instead

    The culmination of it all, "Justice League," failed to deliver both commercially and critically, as it made only $657 million worldwide and has a 40% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes.

    Before "Aquaman," the only DCEU movie that was both a financial and critical success was "Wonder Woman." But now, "Aquaman" has breathed new life into the future of Warner Bros.' DC Comics franchise. 

    That's good news for Warner Bros., which has a lot of DC movies in the works. To make sense of it all, Business Insider has rounded up all of the DC movies that have been confirmed or are reported to be in development.

    Below is every DC movie in the works:

    SEE ALSO: 'Avengers: Endgame' directors explain which superheroes are the hardest to adapt for a movie


    "Shazam!" is based on a DC Comics character named Billy Batson, a young boy who turns into an adult superhero by shouting the magic word "Shazam." Zachary Levi is playing the hero, Asher Angel is the young Batson, and Mark Strong will appear as the villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. David F. Sandberg, who directed horror movies "Lights Out" and "Annabell: Creation," is directing. It's set for release April 5, 2019. 

    Todd Phillips' "Joker"

    A Joker solo movie is coming from Warner Bros. and "The Hangover" director Todd Phillips. The movie, called "Joker," will be an origin story for Batman's greatest foe and star Joaquin Phoenix in the title role. It'll come to theaters October 4, 2019.

    "Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)"

    Warner Bros. announced this year that Cathy Yan will direct a movie based on the "Birds of Prey" comic book with Margo Robbie reprising her "Suicide Squad" character, Harley Quinn. The comic focuses on Gotham City-based female vigilantes like Black Canary and Huntress. In November, Robbie posted a photo to Instagram of the movie's full title, "Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)." It's coming to theaters February 7, 2020.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Next Smartphone

    The smartphone is an essential part of our everyday lives.

    But as with all technology, things change. So the question becomes: What will be the next smartphone?

    Will it be the connected car? Or the smart speaker? What about the smartwatch?

    Find out which device, if any, will take over the smartphone's role with this brand new slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence called The Next Smartphone.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Smartphones are the fastest adopted tech in the U.S.
    • Whichever device becomes the next smartphone needs to go everywhere
    • Consumer expectations around the smartphone are changing
    • And much more

    To get your copy of this FREE slide deck, simply click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Roswell incident

    • Whether you're a believer in aliens or just interested in the prospect of them, there are some locations you should consider visiting. 
    • Roswell, New Mexico, home to the later debunked 1947 UFO crash, is a must-stop on your journey.
    • Alien Con is held in Los Angeles and is where "Ancient Aliens" fans gather.

    If you're a true believer in extraterrestrial life, or maybe just a diehard fan of "The X-Files," there's a strong community of believers in alien life on this planet. From the campiest tourist spots to extraterrestrial sightseeing expeditions, if you think there's life out there, take a trip out to these UFO-friendly destinations.

    These are the places you should visit if you believe in aliens.

    Roswell, New Mexico is a must-stop on your journey.

    Home to the 1947 UFO crash, Roswell, New Mexico is a true believer's dream. Although the government declassified the air force research that was responsible for the debris crash in 1994, there are still skeptics who find the explanation of Project Mogul suspicious.

    The town has embraced its alien-friendly status, with alien-themed restaurants and shops, like this spaceship-shaped McDonald's, an interactive spacewalk, and the International UFO Museum and Research Center, a non-profit museum dedicated to uncovering the mystery of the 1947 crash and other unexplained phenomena.

    The Roswell 2019 UFO Festival will take place from July 5-7.

    Area 51 in Nevada is surrounded by fun stuff to do.

    The government once denied that Area 51 even existed, so there's no telling what they're still denying. Since getting into America's top-secret military facility is impossible without a badge, the next best thing is their tour.

    It's a celebration of theories where highlights include a drive on the extraterrestrial highway, a stop at the famous Little A'le' Inn, the mutant Joshua Tree Forest featured in "Men in Black," and the site of the allegedly abducted black mailbox. You may even see mysterious lights in the sky, which are often sighted in those areas.

    Chile has been holding UFO sighting tours since 2008.

    A 19 mile stretch of land that loops through the Andes can be toured with their UFO spotting trip. "Sightings have been made of shining spheres going into the water and into wooded zones without any human explanation," said the president of the Chilean Grouping for UFO Research (AION), Rodrigo Fuenzalida.

    Locals claim that the "200 perfectly sliced volcanic rocks built by ancient civilizations" are a perfect landing pad for flying sauces.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    colorful wedding photography

    • Every two months, Fearless Awards are given to photographers who have taken exceptional wedding photos.
    • The award recipients are chosen by a panel of experts from Fearless Photographers, an online search platform that helps engaged couples find photographers in their area.
    • Throughout 2018, more than 800 wedding photos were awarded.
    • 61 of the year's best photos showcase everything from couples with their pets to the emotions of loved ones.

    Engagement season is upon us, and upcoming weddings are on the minds of many. But before getting into the festivities of the new year, it's worth taking a look back at ceremonies from the past.

    Every two months, search platform Fearless Photographers pulls together a panel of experts to award those who took remarkable wedding photos. And throughout 2018, Fearless Awards were given to more than 800 pictures.

    The winning photos capture just about every aspect of weddings, from emotional loved ones to partying groomsmen. Out of the hundreds of recipients this year, these 61 photos were some of the best.

    Joy is tangible through many of the photos.

    Surrounded by flowers and a vast countryside, photographer Jorik Algra caught a set of newlyweds driving with no hands on the wheel.

    Many of the winning photos were taken in black and white.

    Photographer Marcin Karpowicz captured two wedding attendees as they embraced in a hug.

    Photographers weren't afraid to have a little fun this year.

    Photographer Hendra Lesmana took this photo of a bride grinning as her groom posed behind a cactus.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Edward Lampert

    • The deadline to submit bids for Sears is December 28. 
    • Chairman Edward Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, outlined a plan earlier this month to buy up the rest of Sears for up to $4.6 billion in cash and stock. However, sources told CNBC that as of Thursday afternoon Lampert had not submitted his bid or rounded up financing.
    • These sources also told CNBC that ESL Investments is the only party offering to buy Sears as a whole. Without this, Sears will likely be split up by the liquidators.

    The day of reckoning has come for Sears.

    The century-old department-store chain has just 24 hours to secure a bid for the company, without which it faces liquidation. 

    Sears chairman Edward Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, outlined a plan earlier this month to buy up the rest of Sears for up to $4.6 billion in cash and stock. However, sources told CNBC that as of Thursday afternoon Lampert had not submitted his bid or rounded up financing.

    These sources also said ESL Investments is the only party offering to buy Sears as a whole, CNBC reported.

    A spokesperson for ESL Investments declined to comment to Business Insider. 

    Lampert may well be biding his time, but sources told CNBC that it's also possible he could secure financing to meet Friday's deadline. 

    Read more:Sears, once the largest retailer in the world, has filed for bankruptcy and is closing 142 stores. Here's how it got there.

    Sears filed for bankruptcy in October. The company has been losing money and closing stores for years, and many employees blame its former CEO turned chairman, Lampert. In interviews with Business Insider's Hayley Peterson in 2016, executives accused Lampert of neglecting Sears' stores and leaving them to crumble in his bid to turn Sears into a tech company.

    Between 2013 and this October, Sears' store count dropped from 1,980 to 687, according to the company's bankruptcy filing. The department store stayed afloat thanks to Lampert bailing it out with billions of dollars of loans through his hedge fund ESL Investments.

    SEE ALSO: Sears is catching heat for dedicating over $25 million to exec bonuses while reportedly cutting off severance for laid-off store workers

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The true story behind the name 'Black Friday' is much darker than you may have thought

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    Constance Wu Crazy Rich Asians premiere

    • As 2018 comes to a close, INSIDER compiled a list of the best-dressed women in Hollywood.
    • Over the past 12 months, Constance Wu and Cardi B became breakout fashion stars.
    • Other celebrities, like Tracee Ellis Ross and Zendaya, took risks that paid off.
    • Meghan Markle pushed the boundaries of royal fashion.
    • And some stars kept it simple and chic, like Margot Robbie and Zoë Kravitz.

    With 2019 right around the corner, it's time to revisit some of the most memorable fashion moments of the year.

    Over the past 12 months, celebrities wore some truly unforgettable looks, from Constance Wu's Swarovski crystal-covered gown to Thandie Newton's custom "Star Wars"-themed dress.

    Below, see INSIDER's list of the 16 best-dressed women in Hollywood in 2018, shown in no particular order.

    Lady Gaga made a powerful statement in a suit.

    In October, the singer wore an oversized Marc Jacobs pantsuit to Elle's annual Women in Hollywood celebration.

    During the event, Lady Gaga gave a moving speech about power dynamics in Hollywood and opened up about her experiences as a survivor of sexual assault.

    At one point of her speech, the singer said she decided to wear a pantsuit to the ceremony to reclaim the power she felt she had lost.

    Fans also won't soon forget the many intricate looks Lady Gaga wore during the press tour for "A Star is Born," as well as during the movie's numerous premieres.

    Rihanna made major waves in the fashion industry.

    As expected, Rihanna wore some of the boldest streetwear looks of the year.

    The long-time style icon repurposed lingerie into daywear, turned a denim skirt into a top, and rocked the "no pants" trend over and over again.

    But it was perhaps the singer's work with Savage X Fenty — a lingerie collection she launched in May — that left the biggest mark on the fashion world.

    The collection itself, as well as its website and marketing efforts, have been praised for including people with a wide range of body shapes and skin tones.

    Chrissy Metz brought vibrant colors and bold prints to the red carpet.

    During awards season earlier this year, the "This Is Us" star wore one memorable ensemble after another.

    In January, Metz attended the Critics Choice Awards in a multicolored striped dress by Eloquii, which she customized with black sequin detailing.

    Later that month, the actress stunned at the Screen Guild Awards in a custom cobalt blue Kate Spade gown with ruffled tiers and flowers cascading down from her right shoulder. 

    Metz had another major fashion moment at the Emmys in September, where she wore a one-shoulder emerald green dress that was custom-made by John Paul Ataker.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    GM self-driving bolt

    Tech companies and auto companies are all racing to be the first to roll out self-driving cars onto the road.

    The stakes are high for everyone involved. The self-driving revolution and the prevalence of ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft threatens to reduce individual car ownership, which would eat into a sizable piece of automakers' core business.

    Meanwhile, tech companies are jockeying for a piece of the self-driving-car market, which Apple CEO Tim Cook dubbed"the mother of all AI projects." These companies are all looking to deploy self-driving cars as part of a commercial ride-hailing service that would operate similarly to how Uber and Lyft do now.

    In a new free report, Business Insider Intelligence — Business Insider's premium research service — takes an in-depth look at the most expansive self-driving-car tests taking place in the US, and offers insights on the leaders in the self-driving-car race.

    To get your copy of this free report, click here.

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    Tim Cook

    • Apple's stock could soon benefit from a shift in investor thinking about the company, Gene Munster, a longtime tech analyst, said.
    • The company is increasingly looking like Proctor & Gamble or other consumer staple companies, he said.
    • Those businesses are valued by investors for their stable and predictable revenue and growth — and trade at far more favorable multiples of their earnings. 
    • The combination of Apple's iPhone and services businesses allows it to portray itself as something very similar to investors, Munster said.

    You likely don't think of Apple as being in the same category of companies as Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Philip Morris, but Gene Munster thinks it has more in common with them than many people realize.

    Better yet — in Munster's book, Apple's stock could soon start trading like those consumer staples.

    Like those companies, "Apple has a more predictable business than it may have historically been and was thought of," Munster, a longtime Apple analyst who is now a managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures, told Business Insider in an interview

    He continued, "Over the next few years, it could see a multiple like a consumer staple." 

    Indeed, Munster thinks Apple next year will outperform its big-tech peers in the group of FAANGs — Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google owner Alphabet.

    Read this: Longtime Apple analyst Gene Munster thinks the iPhone maker will reclaim its crown as the best tech stock in 2019. Here's why.

    That may seem like an insult. After all, Apple is a tech company, and such businesses often trade at several dozen times their expected earnings. By contrast, consumer staples are often thought of as stodgy companies that aren't accorded such high premiums by investors. 

    Consumer-staple companies trade at a premium to Apple

    But Munster, who doesn't own Apple shares, thinks it would be a positive for Apple's stock if it started being placed in the latter category. On average, the consumer-staple companies in the S&P 500 trade at about 16 times their forecasted earnings for next year and top-tier companies in the sector, such as Coke and P&G, are accorded a multiple of 20 or more.

    Managing Director & Senior Research Analyst for Piper Jaffray Gene Munster, now of Loup Ventures, speaks on stage at LocationWorld 2016 Day 2 at The Conrad on November 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo byWhile there are high fliers in the tech sector, such as Amazon, which is valued at more than 50 times its predicted 2019 profits, the tech companies in the S&P 500 trade at less than 14 times their expected earnings. And Apple itself now has a multiple of about 11.

    So, if investors start thinking of Apple as a consumer staple, its stock price should appreciate markedly. If Apple were trading at the average consumer-staple multiple, its stock would be at around $214 a share, instead of $156.

    And Munster is convinced that's going to happen. Apple's stock has been weighed down by its iPhone business. The overall smartphone market has started to decline, in terms of units shipped, and Apple in particular has faced concerns about soft demand for its latest iPhones.

    But the company is in the process of redirecting investors' attention from the number of smartphones it sells to its overall revenue, Munster said. When investors realize that number is continuing to grow — regardless of what's happening with the number of iPhones it sells — they'll start to feel more comfortable with its stock and valuation, he said. 

    "Over the course of 2019, investors will take away that this is a reliable business, and this deserves a higher multiple than the smartphone business," he said.

    Apple wants investors to pay attention to its services business

    Apple announced last month that it would no longer disclose the number of iPhones, iPads, and other devices it sells, instead disclosing just its revenue from selling such products.

    The company and many of its backers on Wall Street have been arguing that the number of devices it sells is becoming less important as the prices of those devices has gone up and as it has started to bring in significant revenue from other parts of its business, particularly its services offerings. Those include subscription products such as Apple Music and iCloud storage, as well as the commissions it gets on sales of apps through its App Store.

    Munster thinks there are good reasons to be optimistic about Apple's services business. Its customers are paying more for apps, which means Apple is making more money off such sales, he said. And it's poised to launch a subscription streaming video offering next year, which should bring in additional revenue.

    But that business alone isn't why investors will give Apple's stock a higher multiple. Instead, Munster thinks investors will come around to the idea of Apple's business as a whole being akin to a subscription service offering, one with steady, reliable, and recurring revenue. 

    But its iPhone business is an important part of the story

    Apple's iPhone business accounts for more than 60% of its total revenue. Munster thinks that business will remain stable.

    The company created some concern among investors and analysts in its last earnings call when it announced that it would no longer release its iPhone unit sales, and offered disappointing guidance for the holiday quarter. Many on Wall Street interpreted that as a sign that its iPhone sales would decline, and worried that the company was on the wrong side of peak demand for the product. Other electronics companies have seen their sales plunge after their products hit peak demand.

    But Munster doesn't think that will happen to Apple. 

    Companies such as BlackBerry and Nokia saw their sales fall because something better or cheaper came along that undermined the market for their key products, he said. But that doesn't seem to be the case with Apple, at least not right now. Smart glasses or other wearable products that could steal sales away from smartphones still seem years off, he said. And cheaper phones, such as those from Huawei and Xiaomi, don't seem like they're really attracting iPhone customers, he said.

    The iPhone plus services is a compelling story for investors

    Instead, what seems to be happening with Apple is that its customers are starting to wait longer to trade in their iPhones for new ones, Munster said. But they are and will continue upgrading their devices on a regular basis, he said. And that business could become even more service-like if Apple builds on its iPhone trade-in program to offer iPhones on a subscription basis, he said.

    "I think Apple pretty well has their base locked up," he said. At least for the next year, he continued, "There doesn't seem to be anything out there that will shake that base."

    On top of that steady iPhone revenue stream, Apple has its fast-growing services business and it has the potential for a "wild card" that could significantly boost its sales in the form of either existing products such as the Apple Watch or others that it has in development, Munster said. 

    Add it all up, and you've got a business with a highly predictable revenue base and the room for notable — if not super-rapid — growth. That's pretty much the profile of a consumer-staple company, he said. Investors give those companies healthy multiples not because of their standout growth, but because of the combination of their steady growth and predictability, he said. 

    Munster thinks it will take Apple much of this next year to steer investors to this new way of thinking about its business. But each quarter it can show the steadiness of its business and results will help reinforce that message, he said. And once investors buy in, Apple's stock will benefit. 

    "I think it's going to have a positive impact," he said. 

    SEE ALSO: Microsoft's surprising comeback over Apple is the outcome of two new CEOs with radically different gameplans

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    NOW WATCH: China made an artificial star that's 6 times as hot as the sun, and it could be the future of energy

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    Blockchain is seemingly being explored by innovation teams in every corner of every industry. This includes the logistics industry, which, despite continuing on an impressive upward trajectory — the market is expected to reach $15.5 trillion by 2023, up from $8.1 trillion in 2015 — is filled with inefficiencies that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) is potentially well suited to fix.


    As a result, the DLT has become one of the most attractive investment opportunities for companies in the logistics space; in fact, the market for blockchain technology in supply chain management is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49% from $41 million in 2017 to $667 million in 2024, according to Zion Market Research.

    This is leading some of the largest firms in the logistics industry to explore blockchain and its potential use cases. For example, in 2017, a group of technology, transportation, and supply chain executives formed the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) to create a forum for the development of blockchain standards and education for the freight industry. BiTA now has over 450 members, including global heavyweights UPS, FedEx, SAP, Google, Cisco, and Daimler.

     However, there are still major hurdles to overcome before the technology can become commonplace. Many companies, especially small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), are still unaware of what blockchain is, how it works, or what the benefits of the technology are. 

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence explores how blockchain can provide value to the global logistics industry. We break down some of the inefficiencies in the logistics industry that are leading firms to explore blockchain and explain how the technology can be used to solve these issues. Additionally, we examine some specific use cases along the supply chain and identify some of the hurdles to adoption. And finally, we take a look at what needs to occur in the logistics industry for blockchain to be deployed widely. 

    The companies mentioned in this report are: BiTA, FedEx, IBM, Maersk, Modum, SAP, Volt Technology, and Walmart.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • The logistics industry suffers from a number of inefficiencies caused by outdated processes that blockchain could solve. Some of the issues plaguing the space include a lack of transparency caused by siloed, disparate systems, high costs as a result of slow, manual processes, and difficulties related to the amount of time it takes to create and close a contract.
    • Firms that deploy blockchain-based solutions are likely to achieve a more streamlined experience through a reduced need for intermediaries, better planning capabilities as a result of improved visibility, and lower costs through the digitization of documentation.
    • Major companies are allocating resources toward developing a viable blockchain-based platform. Although few solutions have actually been fully developed, companies including IBM and Maersk, as well as retail heavyweight Walmart and FedEx, are making considerable strides in bringing their blockchain solutions to market.
    • However, use of the technology is still in its infancy within the logistics industry. Firms are still confused about the potential benefits of the technology — only 11% of respondents to an MHI Annual Industry survey believe they have a working knowledge of blockchain.
    • Having industry-specific case studies will show firms that are exploring the technology how they can go from testing to full deployment. These high-profile companies, which are some of the biggest and most influential in the world, will also be able to help shape a global standard for the use of blockchain and aid in the development of new legislation.

    In full, the report:

    • Sizes the potential market for blockchain in the management of the supply chain.
    • Explains how blockchain technology can be used to improve the inefficiencies that have long plagued the logistics industry. 
    • Details how specific companies are testing blockchain technology to enhance parts of the supply chain, including freight shipments and last-mile delivery. 
    • Discusses the potential barriers that will challenge the adoption of blockchain in logistics and how these hurdles can be overcome.
    • Pinpoints what will likely need to happen next for the mass adoption of blockchain to occur.

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    David Kelly

    • David Kelly, JPMorgan Asset Management's chief global strategist, said December's market volatility was caused largely by passive and momentum investors, rather than active managers concerned about fundamentals. 
    • He said that much of the market is not decided "by millions of little Warren Buffetts thinking carefully about the value of stocks," but rather by pre-set indexes and algorithms. 
    • Market swings that "are not validated by an actual problem" in the economy will fade, Kelly said. 
    • Stocks erased sharp losses in a choppy trading session Thursday. After earlier dropping more than 600 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average erased losses and settled more than 250 points higher, up about 1.1%.

    Much of the blame for recent market volatility falls with two types of investors, David Kelly, JPMorgan Asset Management's chief global strategist, said on a Thursday call with clients and media. 

    Economic fundamentals, from jobs to earnings, look positive, he said, leading him to place responsibility for this month's series of sharp sell-offs on two groups: passive and "momentum" investors – those which buy and sell through algorithms and automatic trading systems.

    "One of the things we have to get over is the impression that this market is being decided and determined on a day-to-day basis by millions of little Warren Buffetts thinking carefully about the value of stocks. It was never quite like that and it’s not like that today," Kelly said. "Over time, you’ve gone from markets moved by individual and institutional investors who were at least thinking about the value of stocks, although they were very prone to bouts of fear and hope, to a market which is more and more dominated by passive or momentum investors." 

    See also:Investors are fleeing active funds in the worst month for managers in nearly 2 years

    Overall, Kelly said that growth rates are slowing but show no signs of weakness, a promising signal. He also pointed out that, over the holiday season, trading volume is thin and active managers and executives "are off on vacation." 

    "These wild swings in markets have always occurred. You always have some volatility – that’s the price you pay for being in equities," he said. "But when [the swings] are not validated by actual weakness in earnings or increases in interest rates – they’re not validated by an actual problem – then they will tend to fade."

    Kelly highlighted one opportunity for investors: with the market down 15% since the start of the quarter, it may be time to buy. 

    JPMorgan Asset Management managed $1.7 trillion as of September 30.

    Also read:

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    NOW WATCH: Bernie Madoff was arrested 10 years ago today — here's what his life is like in prison

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    Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

    • There are plenty of celebrity couples that have lasted over 20 years. 
    • Even today, they look just as happy as ever.
    • From Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, who got married in 1997, to David and Victoria Beckham, who wed in 1999, these celebrity couples glow as they grow together. 

    One of the benefits of a long-term relationship is that you get to grow old together. Long-lasting celebrity couples also do it in the public eye. 

    Many of these famous couples — from Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi— have gone through various transformations over their decades-spanning relationships. 

    From then to now, here's how these long-lasting celebrity couples have grown over time. 

    Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have been together for 14 years.

    Comedian Ellen DeGeneres met actress Portia de Rossi in 2004 and said "I do" in 2008. After 14 years together, the pair is still going strong. 

    Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher have been married for eight years but have been together for 16.

    Actors Sacha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher first met in 2002 at a party in Australia. The pair didn't tie the knot, though, until 2010 at a private wedding which only six people attended. 

    Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. have been together for 18 years.

    While filming "I Know What You Did Last Summer" in 1997, actors Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze Jr. met, but they didn't start dating until 2000. Today, they are married and have two children. 

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    arike ogunbowale

    • This year was filled with memorable sports moments, from jaw-dropping dunks to goosebumps-inducing buzzer-beaters.
    • Our list includes the best action from the World Cup, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, college sports, and plenty more.
    • Though he doesn't own the top play, it's hard to argue that anybody else produced more highlights this year than LeBron James.
    • Our top play was the buzziest play of 2018.

    With 2018 coming to a close, we compiled the best plays in sports we saw this year and arranged them in a completely subjective order.

    On the list you'll find feats of athleticism from jaw-dropping jumps to clever maneuvers. Of course, the stakes of the play, the athlete, and the situation all got taken into account. A game-winner in the playoffs is cooler than a great pass — it just is.

    Additionally, star power played a part. When LeBron James hits a game-winner or dunks on somebody, it simply means more than if the 8th man on the team does so. And — spoiler alert — James had a highlight-filled year.

    Our top 40 plays of 2018 include action from the World Cup, Super Bowl, World Series, NHL playoffs, NBA season and more.

    Check out the best plays of 2018 below.

    40. Tiger Woods eagles from 95 yards out at the Memorial Tournament

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    One thing to know: Was there anyone more watched or more rooted-for in 2018? Fresh off some encouraging rounds at The Players Championship and Masters, Woods continued to round into shape, sending the crowd into a frenzy with this shot.

    39. LeBron James fools the entire Lakers defense

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    One thing to know: James was on cruise control for half of the 2017-18 season, but in the latter part of the year, he turned it on, seemingly creating jaw-dropping highlights each night. This one was pretty, understated, and another example that he controls all parts of the game.

    38. Ping pong player practices perfect paddle defense

    One thing to know:According to Deadspin, this is 15-year-old Chris Chen at the Trondheim Table Tennis Club going with a last-ditch defense and coming up with the point. We're not sure he could do this again if he tried — then again, maybe he has!

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    donald trump

    • President Donald Trump pushed the US government into a partial shutdown over his demands for border-wall funding.
    • Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez suggested some alternative uses for Trump's demands for $5.7 billion toward the wall.
    • INSIDER polled people on alternative uses of the $5.7 billion in border wall funding, and most preferred other ideas, including infrastructure improvements, covering a half-million Americans' healthcare expenses, and expanded pre-K education.
    • The only group that supported the wall was conservatives, while border money came in last for moderates and liberals.

    As the partial government shutdown drags on into its sixth day, President Donald Trump has remained steadfast in his demands that $5 billion for a wall along the US-Mexico border be included in any package to funding and reopening the government.

    "Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border," Trump tweeted Thursday. "Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country."

    But according to an INSIDER poll, most Americans would prefer to put the $5 billion Trump is demanding toward other policy goals.

    At the start of the government shutdown, Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lamented House Republicans inclusion of $5.7 billion in border-wall money in their doomed funding package.

    "And just like that, GOP discovers $5.7 billion for a wall. $5.7 billion," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "What if we instead added $5.7B in teacher pay? Or replacing water pipes? Or college tuition/prescription refill subsidies? Or green jobs? But notice how no one’s asking the GOP how they’re paying for it."

    Read more:The government shutdown is now in day 6 — here's how long previous government shutdowns have lasted

    In response to Ocasio-Cortez's tweet, Washington Post writer Jeff Stein suggested a few alternatives for the $5.7 billion in funding, including funding pre-kindergarten education for every child in the US or covering the healthcare expenses for hundreds of thousands of Americans over the course of the year.

    INSIDER polled these alternatives against funding for the wall and found that the wall was not a particularly popular option.

    Conducted as a SurveyMonkey Audience poll with 1,025 respondents that ran December 21-22, INSIDER asked respondents, "What is the best use of $5.7 billion in federal funding?" and offered four options:

    • "build a portion of a wall along the US-Mexico border"
    • "fund pre-kindergarten programs for every child in the US for a year"
    • "pay the healthcare expenses for roughly 530,000 Americans for a year"
    • "fund infrastructure improvements"

    The figures were based on Stein's estimates for the utility of $5.7 billion in different areas of administration and calculations based on the most healthcare spending data.

    Only 19% of respondents thought the wall was the best use of that funding.

    The best-polling use of funds was paying healthcare expenses for a half-million people, backed by 36% of respondents.

    A further 30% thought infrastructure would most benefit from the funding, while 15% would fund pre-K programs.

    Only respondents who identified as conservative thought the wall was an important priority.

    • Of those who identified as moderately or very conservative, about 53% wanted the wall, with 22% preferring infrastructure improvements and 16% preferring healthcare.
    • Of those who only slightly leaned liberal or conservative or didn't identify with either political ideology, they vastly preferred healthcare (39%) and infrastructure (32%), then pre-K (16%) and only then the wall (13%).
    • Of those who identified as moderately or very liberal, only 2% want to fund the wall, with 49% preferring that spending go to healthcare, 34% on infrastructure and 14% on pre-K.

    Overall, 24% of respondents identified as very or moderately conservative, 28% very or moderately liberal, and 36% as neither or slightly liberal or conservative.

    It illustrates a key divide on the shutdown: According to this survey, only the core supporters who comprise Trump's base want the funding for the wall, while the rest of respondents were uninterested in allocating nearly $6 billion to the border partition.

    The finding also seems to match up with a previous INSIDER poll, conducted before the start of the shutdown, that found 60% of those surveyed wouldn't tolerate a shutdown over the wall. Other pollsters found similar results.

    SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Total 1,025 completed respondents December 21-22, margin of error plus or minus 3.12 percentage points with 95% confidence level.

    SEE ALSO: Here's everything you need to know about the current government shutdown

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