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Goldman Sachs profit soars on bond-trading surge

A view of the Goldman Sachs stall on the floor of the New York Stock ExchangeGoldman Sachs Group Inc reported a nearly fourfold rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday thanks to a surge in bond trading revenue, with its finance chief offering a sunny outlook for business in 2017. Like other Wall Street banks, Goldman benefited from jumps in volume across fixed-income markets late in the quarter after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election and the Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate target. Business has remained strong in the first few weeks of 2017, Chief Financial Officer Harvey Schwartz said, offering optimism for the rest of the year.

S&P, Nasdaq little changed; health stocks weigh on Dow

A souvenir license plate is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange in Manhattan, New York CityThe S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were little changed in choppy trading on Wednesday as gains in tech stocks offset a weakness in retail sector, while the Dow was pulled lower by healthcare shares. The S&P 500 consumer discretionary sector was the biggest drag on the broader index, falling 0.4 percent as Target weighed. Bigger rival and Dow component Wal-Mart was off 0.8 percent.

S&P, Nasdaq little changed; health stocks weigh on Dow

A trader works on the floor of the NYSE in New York(Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were little changed in choppy trading on Wednesday as gains in tech stocks offset a weakness in retail sector, while the Dow was pulled lower by healthcare shares.

Target cuts earnings forecast due to weak holiday sales

A newly constructed Target store is shown in San Diego, CaliforniaThe news on Wednesday sent Target shares down nearly 6 percent. A sharp rise in holiday digital sales failed to offset declines at Target stores. For many retailers, rapid growth in their online sales is taking business away from their stores, which still generate more than 90 percent of their revenues.

Earnings in focus as European shares pause after Trump rally; Pearson dives

European shares ended little changed on Wednesday with investors looking at corporate earnings for market direction as more doubts emerged that a rally triggered by Donald Trump's U.S. presidential election win would continue. The STOXX 600 edged 0.2 percent higher after a choppy session, while the UK's FTSE added 0.4 percent, bouncing after posting its biggest one-day drop since June 2016 in the previous session on Brexit jitters. "The risk is that... (Trump's) early focus will be negative, focused more on tough trade politics, instead of the more market-positive tax cuts and infrastructure investments," Finnish investment company Evli said in a note.

This is what a venture capitalist in deep, deep denial sounds like: Theranos backer Tim Draper

This is what a venture capitalist in deep, deep denial sounds like: Theranos backer Tim DraperThere was once a moment in time when Theranos was one of the most successful startups in the country?a blood-testing dynamo that would change medical science forever, improve the lives of millions of people, and make a hefty chunk of change for its investors. Venture capitalist Tim Draper appears to still be living in that moment. If you haven't been keeping up with the Theranos saga, the company's been in a downward spiral since October 2015, when Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou first reported that the company wasn't relying on their own blood-testing machines they touted as being a revolutionary step in medical testing. At the time, Theranos was reportedly valued at around $9 billion. Since then, the company's been the subject of a variety of sanctions, regulatory issues and lawsuits. Theranos has laid off hundreds of employees and sold off its headquarters in Palo Alto. On Tuesday, the WSJ reported that Theranos had failed a second major inspection at its lone active lab. Draper, an early investor in Theranos, is a major name in the world of venture capital. He's a founding partner of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which has made investments in Tesla, SpaceX, Twitter, Twilio, SolarCity and a variety of other major tech companies. And as a venture capitalist, it's Draper's job to triage, and answer the question central to Theranos's downfall: Who's to blame? Well. According to Draper, who gave an interview to the new business-tech media startup Axios, it's the reporter behind the story , it's the WSJ, it's the competitors. In short everyone but the people at the heart of Theranos, including its founder, Elizabeth Holmes. Here is Draper, actually saying this, as quoted by Axios: This, for the record, is what a venture capitalist in deep, deep denial sounds like. Draper said he wasn't troubled by the initial report about problems at Theranos. By the second report, he had already identified what he called a "vendetta." "I dismissed it because there are always writers who want to take down big successes," Draper told Axios. "Then after the next one I realized there was some strange vendetta. Maybe it had to do with money. The guy is getting $4 million to continue this charade ." Emphasis ours, because it's worth pointing out here that a venture capitalist just accused a reporter of taking a four million dollar check. And speaking of that reporter, "the guy" that Draper is accusing of taking a $4 million bribe? Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou, whose coverage of Theranos has been broadly recognized as having been thorough and accurate. He and the WSJ were reportedly threatened by Theranos with legal action; the company hasn't followed through on that. Likely because they'd lose. As far as that $4 million figure, nobody is quite sure where it came from. We checked in with Carreyrou, who responded to our questions about Draper's claims via email. Basically, he's got no idea what Draper's referring to, and claimed that Draper had made the same claim to Fortune magazine last summer?but the number was $6 million: When pushed on why Theranos continues to encounter trouble beyond bad press, Draper verged on accusing the WSJ , the government, and the medical industry of entering into a conspiracy to sink Theranos. Draper declined to concede that Theranos did anything wrong at all. The company's problem, he said, was that it was just too disruptive to the status quo. "When an industry gets transformed, people who work for the status quo have lives that get challenged. They will do whatever it takes to take down the source of the transformation. In this case, that Wall Street Journal writer keeps pounding away but there isn't anything there," Draper [the investor of a now-flailing startup that was once reportedly valued at $9 Billion] said. Editor's note: This story has been corrected to clarify the name of the publication referred to by Carreyrou. BONUS: Severe burns can heal faster with this 3-D skin printer

It's complicated! Don't view Brexit as hard or soft - S&P

By Kirsten Donovan DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Brexit should not be viewed in terms of 'hard' or 'soft' but rather as a complicated process of redistributing sovereignty, S&P Global's chief economist said on Wednesday. Speaking in the Global Markets Forum live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Paul Sheard also said a recent rise in bond yields should be viewed, in principle, as a positive development. ANSWER: We've already shaved several basis points off our (UK) growth forecasts for the next two years.

Stocks, dollar steady after Trump-led dip

Traders work on the floor of the NYSEU.S. dollar recovered some ground on Wednesday while stocks posted modest losses, with investors still voicing caution over how U.S. policy will develop under Donald Trump's presidency days ahead of his inauguration. Energy stocks fell along with oil futures and U.S. Treasury yields rose on higher inflation ahead of a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. While Wall Street has been betting on Trump's promises of lower taxes, lighter regulation and fiscal spending, some investors hit the pause button before he officially takes office on Friday as he has yet to unveil clear policy plans.

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