Economic Report: Consumers confident in the economy at the end of 2019, but don’t expect faster growth

Consumers are still very confident in the U.S. economy. The numbers: Americans felt very confident in the U.S. economy at the end of 2019, but they were not quite as optimistic as they were last summer, according to a new survey. The closely followed U.S. Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence fell slightly to 126.5…

Consumers are still very confident in the U.S. economy. The numbers: Americans felt very confident in the U.S. economy at the end of 2019, but they were not quite as optimistic as they were last summer, according to a new survey. The closely followed U.S. Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence fell slightly to 126.5 in December, but only because the initial figure for November was reviser higher. The November reading was raised to 126.8 from an original 125.5, the Board said Tuesday. By historical standards, consumer confidence is still quite high. The index hit an 18-year high of 137.9 in October 2018 and it has remained close to that mark since then. What happened: An index that gauges how consumers feel about the economy right now rose 4.4 points to 170, but that was offset by a decline in how American view the next six months. The so-called future expectations index slid to 97.4 from 100.3. That suggests Americans don’t think the economy will grow any faster in the first half of 2020. Still, consumer confidence was higher at the end of 2019 than i
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Uber, Postmates Sue California to Block Gig-Worker Law

Uber, Postmates Sue California to Block Gig-Worker Law (bloomberg.com) Posted by msmash on Monday December 30, 2019 @08:21PM from the how-about-that dept. Uber and Postmates sued the state of California, alleging that a labor rights law set to go into effect this week is unconstitutional. From a re

Uber, Postmates Sue California to Block Gig-Worker Law (bloomberg.com)

Posted
by

msmash

on Monday December 30, 2019 @08:21PM

from the how-about-that dept.

Uber and Postmates sued the state of California, alleging that a labor rights law set to go into effect this week is unconstitutional. From a re
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NIO’s new SUV can’t save the company from its current problems

NIO, China’s leading EV startup, announced its third production vehicle this past weekend, a small and sporty all-electric SUV called the EC6. The Tencent-backed automaker also announced it has developed a new battery pack that will enable all three of its production models to travel well over 300 miles on a full charge. But neither…

NIO, China’s leading EV startup, announced its third production vehicle this past weekend, a small and sporty all-electric SUV called the EC6. The Tencent-backed automaker also announced it has developed a new battery pack that will enable all three of its production models to travel well over 300 miles on a full charge.
But neither of these new products will arrive until late 2020, meaning they offer almost no direct help to NIO when it comes to fixing the troublesome financial situation the startup is currently in. NIO announced Monday that it finished the third quarter of 2019 with just $274 million in cash, and also told its shareholders the company will only survive if it rapidly raises new funding.
“The Company’s cash balance is not adequate to provide the required working capital and liquidity for continuous operation in the next 12 months,” NIO wrote deep in its third-quarter press release Monday. “The Company’s continuous operation … depends on the Company’s capability to obtain sufficient external equity or debt financing.” NIO said it is “working on several financing projects” at the moment, but did not offer any information about what stages those projects are in, or how much money they might bring the company.

One thing keeping NIO alive at the moment is the company’s second production model, the ES6. This five-seater SUV is more affordable than its larger sibling, the seven-seater ES8 SUV, which was NIO’s first production model. NIO started selling the ES6 in June and the pace of deliveries has steadily increased in the months since. The startup said Monday that it shipped 4,196 ES6s in the third quarter of 2019.
NIO has only sold more ES8s than that in the final quarter of 2018, which was the company’s best quarter to date. Since then, ES8 sales have plummeted thanks to a combination of factors, like the Chinese government’s decision to reduce some subsidies on expensive electric vehicles, an overall slowdown in the country’s economy (and especially its automotive sector), and a battery fire recall that impacted nearly 5,000 ES8s.
The ES8’s struggles dragged down NIO’s business in 2019.
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Year in Review: 2019’s business news – WWNY

By Natalie Kucko | December 30, 2019 at 1:05 PM EST – Updated December 30 at 6:20 PM WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) – From a state grant to revitalize a downtown to layoffs, hires and businesses that come and go, we take a look at the ups and downs of the north country’s economy in 2019.…

By Natalie Kucko | December 30, 2019 at 1:05 PM EST – Updated December 30 at 6:20 PM WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) – From a state grant to revitalize a downtown to layoffs, hires and businesses that come and go, we take a look at the ups and downs of the north country’s economy in 2019. “Potsdam is the recipient of $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Congratulations, Potsdam!” That was the big announcement in October from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul when Potsdam accepted $10 million to improve its downtown. “And that will allow Alcoa and the state to agree to a contract that keeps 450 jobs right here for seven years,” was an announcement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a deal in March between the New York Power Authority and the Alcoa plant in Massena. The deal extended a previous contract, which was set to expire. That contract included the protection of 145 jobs now supported by Arconic, which separated from Alcoa in 2016 but maintained operations at the same site. It was a tough start to 2019 for a zinc mine in Fowler, but a hopeful end to the year. The mine laid off half of its workforce in February. About nine months later in December, the mine called 26 miners back. It now employs 107 people. In Watertown, the Concentrix call center laid off more than 200 employees in two weeks. That was in February before the call center closed altogether. “This is a major blow to our community,” WorkPlace executive dire
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Economic Report: Chicago-region businesses improve in December, but they’re still struggling to grow

The economy in the Chicago region improved toward the end of the year, but growth was weak. The numbers: The economy in the Midwest improved in December for the second month in a row, but the region is still suffering from a trade war with China that’s hurt farmers and manufacturers, according to a regional…

The economy in the Chicago region improved toward the end of the year, but growth was weak. The numbers: The economy in the Midwest improved in December for the second month in a row, but the region is still suffering from a trade war with China that’s hurt farmers and manufacturers, according to a regional survey. The Chicago Purchasing Management Index rose to 48.9 this month from a revised 46.2 in November and 43.2 in October. The October reading was the weakest since the end of 2015. Although the latest reading was a bit better than Wall Street expected, the index still shows the economy in the Greater Chicago area is contracting. Any reading below 50 indicates deteriorating conditions. What happened: New orders and employment fell at an even faster pace compared to the prior month, but those negatives were largely offset by improved but still soft production numbers.
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Tesla ‘killers’ that failed miserably

In 2010, the future of electric vehicles looked wide open. The terrain was rocky, but fertile; full of opportunity, if you could make it through the technical and consumer crags.  Now, 10 years later, things look different. Established car companies like General Motors and Porsche are elbowing for their share alongside startups like Rivian and…

In 2010, the future of electric vehicles looked wide open. The terrain was rocky, but fertile; full of opportunity, if you could make it through the technical and consumer crags. 
Now, 10 years later, things look different. Established car companies like General Motors and Porsche are elbowing for their share alongside startups like Rivian and Byton. But one company is inarguably both the trailblazer and master of EVs: Elon Musk’s Tesla.
In the first half of the decade, headlines frequently predicted doom for the fledgling company. When any new all-electric vehicle idea came out, critics were quick to anoint it with the label “Tesla killer,” no matter car type, range, or level of luxury. Those labels didn’t stick, however: Tesla is still alive and well. In fact, is “affordable” sedan, the Model 3, made up an eighth of all EV sales worldwide this year. It dominates. 

As the decade comes to a close and the EV market is poised to get even more crowded in 2020 and beyond, here’s a look back at “Tesla killers” that never materialized. Better luck next decade.
Faraday Future

The ill-fated electric Faraday Future FF91.
Image: FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images
Stalling can happen to electric cars, too. 
When Faraday Future unveiled its FF91 at CES in 2017 to much fanfare and fandom, it said its luxury electric vehicle would go into production in 2018. That never happened. Instead, the EV startup  burned billions in cash, scrapped plans for production facilities, gone through layoffs, furloughs, re-structuring, and saw its (now former) CEO declare bankruptcy and hide from his Chinese debtors. Oh, and it still has yet to produce a car.
Newly instated CEO Carsten Breitfeld promises that FF91 cars will go into production and hit the road by fall 2020. Faraday Future *could* still pull that off if it’s able to line up new financing. But as a supposed Tesla killer of the 2010s, FF remains a failure.
Jaguar E-Type

The E-Type remains a classic.
Image: Jaguar
A classic redefined. That was the hype of Jaguar’s 1960s sports car revived as an all-electric beauty. For car collectors, Jaguar had big plans to convert original models into electric
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10 things to know about biggest job cuts of 2019

1 / 11Cognizant: 10 things to know about the biggest job cuts of 2019 In what can be termed as the biggest job cut in IT sector of 2019 in India, US-based Cognizant announced that it will be slashing as many as 10,000-12,000 jobs in the coming months. The New Jersey-headquartered company made the announcement…

1 / 11Cognizant: 10 things to know about the biggest job cuts of 2019 In what can be termed as the biggest job cut in IT sector of 2019 in India, US-based Cognizant announced that it will be slashing as many as 10,000-12,000 jobs in the coming months. The New Jersey-headquartered company made the announcement during post-earnings conference call with analysts early last month. The job cuts are part of the company’s new CEO Brian Humpries ‘fit-to-growth’ plan. Here’s all you need to know about biggest tech layoffs of 2019 ……Read more2 / 11Cognizant to sack 350 senior executives earning Rs 80 lakh to 1.2 croreIn the latest move, Cognizant has decided to sack nearly 350 people who earn annual salaries ranging from Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1.2 crore, according to a report in Economic Times. The report quotes people with knowledge of the move. Most of these employees are said to be aged between 50-55 years and based out of India. The list has been reportedly submitted to CEO Brian Humphries’ office….Read more3 / 11Cognizant has reduced the maximum bench time for employees The company has reduced the bench time for employees not on billable projects to 35 days from 60 days. This means that these employees could now be asked to leave after 35 days. The formal exit process may take another 60 to 90 days. Previously, such empl
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Fidelity’s enterprise cloud computing group has been hit by job cuts following a leadership shuffle

This story requires our BI Prime membership. To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content. Fidelity Investments has cut roles in its enterprise cloud computing (ECC) unit, according to two people familiar with the matter. The privately held firm’s unit told employees…

This story requires our BI Prime membership. To read the full article,

simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.

Fidelity Investments has cut roles in its enterprise cloud computing (ECC) unit, according to two people familiar with the matter. The privately held firm’s unit told employees that they could either try to find other positions internally or leave the firm, according to the one of the people. Separately, at least two senior leaders within the business line — the unit’s former head and the head of enterprise cloud computing architecture — exited earlier this year. The ECC unit builds out a central cloud solution for the firm’s different business lines. Boston-based Fidelity is one of the world’s biggest asset managers, and also has massive brokerage and retirement plan operations. The job cuts come as brokerages and asset managers have been facing intense pressures when it comes to commissions and fees. Contact this reporter at rungarino@businessinsider.com or on the secure app Signal — number available upon request — using a non-work phone.Visit BI Prime for more asset management and wealth management stories.Fidelity Investments has eliminated roles in its enterprise cloud computing group, according to two people familiar with the matter, and the move comes after the group saw senior leadership exits earlier this year. As many as 100 roles within the centralized group known as ECC were affected, and included cloud technologists and engineers, the sources said.The firm told some of the employees impacted by the ECC changes that they could either try to find positions in other internal groups at Fidelity (meaning the net number of job cuts could be lower than 100) or leave the company, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak with the press.  Boston-based Fidelity is one of the world’s biggest asset managers, and also has massive brokerage and retirement plan operations. The job cuts come as brokerages and asset managers have been facing intense pressures when it comes to commissions and fees. The job cuts were first announced in October, one of the people said, and will be effective at the end of December. Business Insider could not confirm each location the cuts impacted. Separately, a
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Cannabis Watch: Canadian cannabis company Hexo stock tanks after offering that dilutes existing shares

U.S.-listed shares of Canadian cannabis company Hexo Corp. tumbled more than 20% Thursday, after the Ottawa-based company said it has raised $25 million in a direct offering, diluting the value of its existing shares. The decline puts the stock HEXO, +4.58% HEXO, -18.29%  on track for its second-worst one-day percentage decline after a steep selloff…

U.S.-listed shares of Canadian cannabis company Hexo Corp. tumbled more than 20% Thursday, after the Ottawa-based company said it has raised $25 million in a direct offering, diluting the value of its existing shares. The decline puts the stock

HEXO, +4.58%

HEXO, -18.29%

 on track for its second-worst one-day percentage decline after a steep selloff on Oct. 10. Hexo said it sold 14.9 million shares at $1.67 a pop, a discount to Tuesday’s closing price of $1.96. The company said it plans to use the proceeds for working capital and general corporate purposes, including to fund research and development. The move is the latest dilutive financing by a Canadian cannabis company, as companies struggle to access capital to
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What Happens When Your Career Becomes Your Whole Identity

Caspar Benson/Getty Images Dan*, a partner at a major Boston law firm, was due at the office, but instead, he was curled on his bathroom floor, unshaven and in his pajamas, crying into a towel. It began slowly, in a meeting with a particularly pushy client, when a thought bubbled up in his mind: “Why…

Caspar Benson/Getty Images

Dan*, a partner at a major Boston law firm, was due at the office, but instead, he was curled on his bathroom floor, unshaven and in his pajamas, crying into a towel.
It began slowly, in a meeting with a particularly pushy client, when a thought bubbled up in his mind: “Why the hell am I even here?” From that moment, he noticed that his impatience, unhappiness, and frustration with his job grew deeper, until all at once, he realized: he didn’t find happiness or fulfillment in his work — and maybe he never had.
For someone who had built his entire idea of himself around his career, this thought sent Dan into an existential crisis. Who was he, if not a high-powered lawyer? Had he wasted so many years working for nothing? Would he have had more friends and a happier family if he hadn’t spent all those nights at the office?
Dan’s story is not uncommon. Many people with high-pressure jobs find themselves unhappy with their careers, despite working hard their whole lives to get to their current position. Hating your job is one thing — but what happens if you identify so closely with your work that hating your job means hating yourself?
Psychologists use the term “enmeshment” to describe a situation where the boundaries between people become blurred, and individual identities lose importance. Enmeshment prevents the development of a stable, independent sense of self. Dan — like many in high-pressure jobs — had become enmeshed not with another person, but with his career.
As a psychologist, I specialize in mental health challenges associated with high-pressure careers. People like Dan show up in my office every day — so often, in fact, I had to build a company, Azimuth Psychological, to focus on serving their needs. A particular confluence of high achievement, intense competitiveness, and culture of overwork has caught many in a perfect storm of career enmeshment and burnout. Over the years, we’ve found that these issues interact in such complex ways with people’s identity, personality, and emotions that it often requires full-on psychological therapy to address them successfully.
So, what is it about high-pressure careers that too often leads to mental health issues like those Dan faced?
The work culture in many high-pressure fields often rewards working longer hours with raises, prestige, and promotions. Dan found that spending more and more time in the office (or tethered to his corporate iPhone) was the price he had to pay for his rapid rise through the firm. However, when you engage in any intense activity for the great majority of your waking hours, that activity will tend to become more and more central to your identity — if only because it has displaced other activities and relationships with which you might identify.
Certain careers or career achievements are often highly valued in an individual’s family or community. Dan’s parents had both been lawyers, and while they never explicitly pushed Dan into a legal career, they had high expectations for his profe
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