Marco Rubio’s Approval Rating Hits All-Time Low After Parkland

After the mass shooting in Parkland, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Rubio's approval rating is in the toilet: He's sitting at a -15 percent net approval among Florida voters, the university's well-respected polling agency reports.According to Quinnipiac, 53 percent of Florida voters disapprove of Rubio's job performance, compared to 38 percent who approve and 9 percent who said they didn't know enough to answer. Quinnipiac has been taking stock of Rubio's approval rating since he entered the Senate in 2011, and this is his lowest approval rating. It's also the first time more than half of those polled said they didn't like him. And really, what's there to like? Democrats hate every fiber of his being, but he's also relatively unpopular amid the far-right Breitbart/Steve Bannon/conspiratorial loon crowd, which hates him for the few centrist stances he's taken in his short career. (Breitbart is still needlessly howling at him for trying to give amnesty to undocumented immigrants in 2013, for example.)"Republicans and white men are the only listed party, gender, education, age, or racial groups to approve," Quinnipiac wrote yesterday. "Sen. Rubio's approval rating among Republicans is a lackluster 65-24 percent. Disapproval is 49-44 percent among white voters, 63-28 percent among black voters, and 66-27 percent among Hispanic voters."In the meantime, Florida governor and deep-sea tube worm Rick Scott's approval rating hit an all-time high this week, 49 percent, despite the fact that he too is as much of a lying sellout as Rubio. Fellow Sen. Bill Nelson's approval rating sits at 48 percent, which is generally standard for the centrist Democrat.But running for president put a target on Rubio's back, and now the public appears to have realized that Marco does not care about anyone or anything except Marco. He spent all of 2017 transparently fighting for the interests of his corporate donors, including the Obamacare-hating health-insurance industry ($2.5 million in Continue Reading

Cod catch at all-time low, but rebound could be near

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — America's catch of cod is at an all-time low, but the fishery might finally experience a rebound in the coming fishing year. Atlantic cod were once the backbone of New England's commercial fishing fleet, but catch has plummeted in the wake of overfishing and environmental changes. The 2016 catch, which is the most recent to be fully tabulated, was the lowest in recorded history, according to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But NOAA officials said there are some positive signs for the cod stock, and quotas are set to increase slightly this spring after years of heavy cutbacks. Fishermen seek cod in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank, and both areas are scheduled for quota bumps on May 1. "The quotas are so constraining that there's not a lot of opportunity and interest in targeting cod," said Ben Martens, executive director of the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association. "But we're headed in the right direction." The U.S. cod fishery, based mostly in Massachusetts and Maine, brought in more than 100 million pounds (45.4 million kilograms) of fish per year in the early 1980s and bottomed out at 3.2 million pounds (1.45 million kilograms) in 2016. Scientists have blamed factors including years of heavy harvest and warming oceans for the collapse of the stock. Recent analysis, though, shows more abundance of cod in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, said Jamie Cournane, groundfish plan coordinator with the New England Fishery Management Council, an arm of NOAA. The council has proposed about doubling the commercial cod quota for the two areas to nearly 3.9 million pounds (1.8 million kilograms), she said. The move is still pending approval by the federal Department of Commerce. Cournane cautioned that ocean managers have seen the cod stock waffle before, and the reprieve could be brief. "It appears that federal information suggests there have been some recent increases, but we're not sure how long that's Continue Reading

3 of the Best-Performing Stocks of All Time

If you're looking for the stock market's next big gainers, a quick history lesson could be helpful. Though successful industries tend to change over time, the characteristics of the most successful companies are often the same. These companies are often profitable, regularly outperform the S&P 500, and have other unique strengths that have made them among the highest-returning stocks ever. Brand power and a desirable product or service are among the qualities that ties together the three companies we're going to look at. While there is no definitive list of the best-performing stocks of all-time -- Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO), Altria (NYSE: MO), and (NASDAQ: AMZN) -- have all delivered massive returns over their history. Company IPO Year Share Appreciation Coca-Cola 1919 1,062,200% Altria 1938 28,970% (since 1970) 1997 61,600% Data source: Company websites, Let's look at each stock's history to see why they've been among the best performers in stock market history. Image source: Getty Images. 1. Coca-Cola Coca-Cola was one of the best-performing stocks over the 20th century as the company built up a number of competitive advantages in beverages. First, the namesake brand itself has become one of the most valuable in the world. Coca-Cola is the first beverage many people around the world think of when they reach for something to drink, thanks to decades of successful advertising and the popularity of its original formula. Coca-Cola has used the same strategy to build up similar brands, such as Sprite and Fanta, as well as younger brands it's recently acquired, including Vitamin Water. Arguably as important as the company's brand portfolio is its distribution chain and marketing muscle, which has enabled it to create a global supply chain that helps it ramp up smaller beverage brands as it acquires them. Warren Buffett, Coke's largest investor through Berkshire Hathaway, once said, "If you give me $100 Continue Reading

Dow soars to record high, more than doubles its all-time low from more than five years ago

The Dow is back and it’s higher than ever. The blue-chip gauge rocketed to a record high on Tuesday, finally healing the deep gash made by the devastating financial crisis. “Investors have gained confidence in the market’s steady climb,” LibertyView Capital Management President Rick Meckler said. “The fear that drove people out of the market five years ago has been replaced by a cautious confidence that things are improving and that equities are a good place to be.” A vow by China to boost its economic growth helped spur the day’s rally, sending the 30-stock Dow up 126 points, or 0.9%, to 14,253.77. The broader S&P 500 — also within striking distance of its all-time peak — surged 1% to 1,539.79. European shares were also higher, with London’s FTSE 100 hitting a five-year high. Data showing the massive U.S. services sector grew at its fastest pace in a year boosted Wall Street’s mood further. The Dow hit its prior record high at 14,164.53 in October 2007, just as the Great Recession was about to take hold. Since cratering at a bear-market low of 6,547.05 in March 2009, the closely watched stock market measure has more than doubled. It has jumped nearly 9% this year alone, buoyed by a modestly improving economy, expanding corporate profits and unprecedented efforts by the Federal Reserve to jump-start growth. “We’re still at a point in the economy where we’re gaining some momentum,” said Mike Ryan, chief investment strategist at UBS Wealth Management. Stocks are less expensive relative to corporate earnings than they were in 2007, which could give the rally some staying power, Ryan said. Bulls also argue that ultralow interest rates on bonds will continue to prompt investors looking for bigger returns to snap up stocks. Investors have managed to shrug off even political squabbling Continue Reading

HOLY DOW! Stocks close at all-time high, as Dow beats 2007 record

NEW YORK — The Dow closed at an all-time high Tuesday, beating the previous record it set in October 2007, before the financial crisis and Great Recession. The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 14,253.77, up 125.95 points, or 0.89 percent. The index jumped from the opening bell, climbed as much as 158 points early and peaked at 14,286. Twenty seven stocks in the 30-member Dow advanced, with industrial companies leading the gains. The gains represent a remarkable comeback for the stock market. The Dow has more than doubled since falling to a low of 6,547 in March 2009 following the financial crisis and the onset of the Great Recession. Stocks have rebounded sharply since then, helped by stimulus from the Federal Reserve, even as the economic recovery has been slow and steady. “Whether they want to admit it or not, everyone is very impressed with the resilience of the market,” said Alec Young, a global equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. The last time the Dow was this high, Apple had just sold its first iPhone and George W. Bush had another year as president. The U.S. housing market had yet to bottom, and the financial crisis that brought down Lehman Brothers was still a year away. The recovery in stocks may even have been quicker had memories of the financial system’s near-collapse not been on investors’ minds, said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners. “It’s still pretty close to the front of people’s brains,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons that people are hesitant to invest in the stock market.” That could be changing. More money has been flowing into stock mutual funds since the beginning of the year. Now, investors who have missed out on the run-up may be deciding to get off the sidelines, Pavlik said. The Dow opened higher Tuesday following a surge in markets across the globe. China’s markets rose after the government Continue Reading

Bonnaroo ticket sales drop by 28,000, hitting all-time low

Ticket sales for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival fell precipitously this year to an all-time low of 45,537 — a drop of 46 percent from its 2011 high.Bonnaroo doesn’t release its actual ticket sales, but The Tennessean calculated the number following a public records request to the Coffee County government’s budget office.The festival sold 28,156 fewer tickets in 2016 compared to the prior year. The previous low came in 2008 when there were 65,164 tickets sold.With an average price of $324, Bonnaroo saw $9.07 million less in ticket sales revenue this year compared to 2015. The plummeting ticket sales came in the first full year since Live Nation purchased a controlling interest in Bonnaroo. Live Nation purchased a majority share of Bonnaroo just weeks before the 2015 festival. Related link: Complete coverage of 2016 Bonnaroo Music & Arts FestivalIndustry experts attributed the drop in ticket sales in part to what some viewed as a so-so slate of headlining artists – Pearl Jam, LCD Soundsystem and Dead & Company – along with rising competition among summer music festivals.Some within the music industry say that improving the headliners would return Bonnaroo to its 10-year average of about 75,000 tickets sold. But for the first time since its inception, there are questions as to whether Bonnaroo’s ticket price is worth the cost for four days of music and camping at the height of Tennessee's sweltering summer.With Live Nation's backing, Bonnaroo has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure at Great Stage Park in Manchester, and organizers are hoping to bring more music festivals to the farm in the coming years.Bonnaroo anticipated the drop in sales, and warned Coffee County leaders about it in the weeks prior to the festival. Bonnaroo pays a flat $30,000 plus $3 per ticket sold to Coffee County. The Tennessean submitted a records request for the yearly payments to the Coffee County Continue Reading

Facebook stock hits all-time low as IPO lock-up ends

Facebook’s stock hit another pothole along its bumpy Wall Street ride on Thursday as some of its early investors were freed up to dump shares. The stock hit a fresh record low, dipping below $20 for the first time since its May debut and falling about 48% from its $38 initial public offering price. The expiration of a temporary ban on selling, called a lock-up, following the social network’s stunningly underwhelming IPO meant about 271 million additional shares were eligible for sale. That is just the first of 2 billion shares to be unlocked in coming months, potentially setting off a burst of selling and pushing the stock even lower. Lock-ups are meant to keep insiders from unloading shares immediately after they go public. “We think there's a good chance additional lock-up expirations will lead to similar selloffs,” Morningstar IPO analyst James Krapfel told the Daily News. Facebook’s stock, which has been buffeted by worries that the company’s growth may not match its lofty valuation, ended the day down 6% at $19.87. Among those who got a green light to sell their sizeable stakes were PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and rocker Bono’s Elevation Partners. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who founded the company in his Harvard dorm room, can’t sell until November. Facebook has lost more than $40 billion in market value since its IPO, and Zuckerberg’s net worth has shrunk to $10 billion. Still, early investors will likely be able to reap a hefty profit by selling, Krapfel said. “Most people who would be eligible to sell are still are well ahead on their investment.” With News Wire Services Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Zipcar shares plunge to all-time low after revenues fail to meet Wall Street expectations

NEW YORK -- Zipcar Inc. shares tumbled to an all-time low Friday after the car-sharing network reported lower-than-expected revenue in the second quarter and cut its annual estimates. THE SPARK: Zipcar reported a smaller loss for its second quarter, but revenue fell short of Wall Street estimates. The company also offered a disappointing outlook for the third quarter and cut its revenue forecast for the full year. Zipcar said its revenue grew 15 percent to $70.8 million in the second quarter, but FactSet reports that analysts expected $73.1 million. The company said revenue in the third quarter should be between $74 million and $77 million while Wall Street was forecasting $81.4 million. For the full year, Zipcar now says its revenue will be between $272 million to $278 million, down from its previous estimate of $290 million to $296 million. Analysts were projecting $290.9 million on average. THE BIG PICTURE: The Cambridge, Mass., company said it gained fewer new members than it expected in the second quarter in both the U.S. and the U.K. As a result, revenue growth did not meet its estimates. In response, Zipcar said it is making it easier for members to give referrals to potential new members, expanding its partnership programs, is increasing its social media plans and expanding online media tracking. Zipcar said it canceled a radio advertising campaign after disappointing early results. THE ANALYSIS: Cowen & Co. analysts Kevin Kopelman and Andrew Marok downgraded the shares to "Neutral" from "Outperform." They said the company's new plans should lead to improved growth, but it's not clear how long that will take. SHARE ACTION: Zipcar stock plummeted $3.69, or 34.7 percent, to $6.94 in morning trading. Earlier the shares fell to a low of $6.50. Zipcar shares are down 54 percent over the last 12 months. Zipcar's April 2011 IPO priced at $18, and the shares traded as high as $31.50 on their first day of trading. Did you find this article Continue Reading

Consumer confidence drops to an all-time low

U.S. consumer confidence hit an all-time low in December, dropping unexpectedly in the face of layoffs and deteriorating markets for housing, stocks and other investments. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index fell to 38 in December from a revised 44.7 in November. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the index to rise incrementally to 45. The separate Present Situation index, which measures how respondents feel about business conditions and employment prospects, fell to 29.4 in December from 42.3 in November. It is now close to levels last seen after the 1990-1991 recession. "Deepening job insecurity and falling asset prices are outweighing any optimism consumers may have derived from falling gas prices," said Dana Saporta, U.S. economist at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort. The unemployment rate hit a 15-year high of 6.7 percent in November and economists expect additional job losses in the first half of 2009. In the Conference Board survey, those saying jobs are "hard to get" rose to 42 percent in December from 37.1 percent in November, while those claiming jobs are "plentiful" decreased to 6.2 percent from 8.7 percent. The proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes decreased to 12.7 percent in December from 13.1 percent in November. Those claiming business conditions are "bad" increased to 46.0 percent in December from 40.6 percent in November, while those saying business conditions are "good" declined to 7.7 percent from 10.1 percent. The survey is based on a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households. The cutoff date for December's preliminary results was Dec. 22. Stocks rose in morning trading despite the reading, with the Dow Jones industrial average up 81.08 to 8,565.01, while broader indexes also gained. The stock market has seen its worst year since Herbert Hoover was president, with the Dow down roughly 36 percent. The recession that began in late 2007 has deepened as companies Continue Reading


WOW, DOW! The bulls were running on Wall Street yesterday as the Dow surged to an all-time high, eclipsing the high-water mark set at the end of the dot-com boom 6 1/2 years ago. The index of 30 blue-chip stocks hit 11,727. 34, surpassing a previous record close of 11,722. 98, reached on Jan. 14, 2000. "This is a validation of the strength of the U. S. economy," said Barry Hyman, stock strategist at EKN Financial Services. The Dow added 56. 99 points yesterday as oil prices plunged nearly 4% - the biggest decline in more than a year to a seven-month low of $58. 68 a barrel. The sharp drop had Wall Street bullish on consumer confidence and less concerned about a big economic slowdown. Earlier in the day, the Dow had rallied as much as 89 points to an intraday high of 11,758. 95, overtaking its previous trading high of 11,750. 28 - also reached on Jan. 14, 2000. "Today was all about oil and the money flow out of energy stocks into technology and financial stocks," Hyman said. The Dow wasn't the only index rocking yesterday. The broader S&P 500 rose 2. 79 to 1,334. 11, and the Nasdaq climbed 6. 05 to 2,243. 65. Wal-Mart, which has said in recent months its shoppers are pulling back in the face of high gas prices, led yesterday's Dow rally - adding $1. 02 to close at $49. 46. Boeing also took flight, adding $1. 81 to $81. 78. Home Depot rose 49 cents to $36. 83. But energy stocks went cold, with ExxonMobil standing out as the biggest Dow decliner. It fell $1. 59, or 2. 4%, to $65. 41. Yesterday's record showing for the Dow caps three years of steady gains for the market. The index has surged 10% since July as oil prices dropped and the Fed ended a string of 17 straight interest rate hikes. Mindful of stock declines earlier this year that followed the Dow's approach to record territory, some Wall Street experts warned that the market could head down after this recent run. "The market is already up Continue Reading