U.S. stocks sink on tech weakness, dollar gains

(Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks tumbled to start the second quarter, as the weakness in technology shares persisted amid renewed presidential criticism of Amazon.com and retaliatory tariffs from China. Treasuries pared losses and gold rallied.

The S&P 500 Index slumped for the sixth time in eight days, with losses since its January high approaching 10 percent. Volumes were 13 percent below average. The Nasdaq 100 Index lost 2.5 percent as investors continued to offload some of the bull market’s biggest gainers. Amazon slipped after Donald Trump renewed his criticism. Bonds pared declines and gold spiked higher as the equity selling picked up steam.

“This is definitely a flight to safety type of market,” said said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oakbrook Investments. “You’re seeing people coming out of the stocks that had been performing well. There’d been various stories that momentum was extended in the market place, and I would say today’s activity supports that trying to unwind a bit.”

Investors are entering the second quarter on the defensive after the worst three months for global stocks in more than two years. February and March were characterized by a surge in volatility amid a barrage of concerns, from escalating trade tensions to a selloff in technology shares. Focus this week will turn to U.S. labor market data Friday, which is expected to show unemployment fall to its lowest level since 2000, while traders will also have one eye on trade developments.

“The US markets will likely serve as a focal point as investors stateside and elsewhere consider what tact the administration will take toward trade in the weeks ahead and what effects it could have on the US economy and the economies of its trading partners,” John Stoltzfus, the chief investment strategist of Oppenheimer & Co., wrote in a note to clients Monday.

Equities in …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


‘West Side Story’ a big deal (literally) at CCMT in Walnut Creek

“West Side Story” isn’t a musical you want to take on unless you’re really going to go big with it. With a book by Arthur Laurents and unforgettable songs with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, this 1957 musical update setting “Romeo and Juliet” among warring white and Puerto Rican street gangs in Manhattan requires a large cast and some dynamic dancing.

Contra Costa Musical Theatre rises to the occasion to celebrate Bernstein’s 100th birthday, with a 35-person cast and a 26-piece orchestra to take on the composer’s sumptuous score, and director/choreographer Christina Lazo to pay homage to original Broadway director Jerome Robbins’ iconic Tony Award-winning choreography. CCMT is also using the production as an opportunity to raise money to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria.

Details: Friday through March 30; Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek; $49-$71; 925-943-7469, www.ccmt.org.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


Ritzy fashion retailer to open first West Coast store in Palo Alto

At a time when retail stores are regularly biting the dust, opening a brick-and-mortar shop seems like it’s going against the tide.

But that’s exactly what’s happening this summer when Jeffrey, the ritzy purveyor of high-end luxury clothing and accessories, opens its third U.S. location in Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center.

Then again, Jeffrey, which launched nearly three decades ago — is not your average store.

The upscale shop sells goods from designers all over the world with price tags that often reach several-thousand dollars. It gained a reputation as a store so exclusive that the New York store inspired a sketch on Saturday Night Live. And this is Jeffrey’s first new store in almost 20 years.

Founder Jeffrey Kalinsky travels the world to find merchandise from international designers, including Banciaga, Dior, Gucci, and others. Scan the website and you’ll find a dress from Balmain for about $6,700 or a Fear of God sneaker for more than $1,100.

Come Aug. 2, that kind of merchandise will be available — to those with the cash to afford it — at a 12,000 square-foot Jeffrey store in the Stanford Shopping Center.

Kalinsky started with a boutique in Atlanta and opened Jeffrey New York in 1999. The move to open in lower Manhattan’s meatpacking district, which back then was not a retail hot spot, turned heads, but the store earned a reputation for its exclusivity and attracted high-end shoppers.

In 2005, Nordstrom bought a majority stake in Jeffrey, bringing on Kalinsky as director of designer merchandising for the department chain. Nordstrom still owns Jeffrey, and Kalinsky retains his title at Nordstrom, though he said the Jeffrey boutique, which he oversees and for which he does the buying, remains a completely separate business from Nordstrom’s department store operations.

Kalinsky said he was drawn to Palo Alto and loves the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business


Facebook will force advertisers to prove they have user consent for ad targeting over email

Facebook has been rolling out a series of changes to its platform that are all aimed at closing up loopholes following the Cambridge Analytica data breach. Now, the social media giant will be launching a certification tool that will check and ensure that marketers are only sending ads to email addresses that were rightfully obtained with user consent.

The tool is called the Custom Audiences certification tool. A Facebook rep wrote about the tool to a marketing client in a message spotted by TechCrunch. They wrote, “Advertisers will be required to represent and warrant that proper user consent has been obtained for the use of any data uploaded.”

Facebook is also going to prevent Custom Audience data from being shared across Business…

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Source:: The Verge – All Posts


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