Fiat Chrysler plans to open factory in Detroit to build new three-row, Jeep Grand Cherokee: Sources

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly workers build 2019 Ram pickup trucks at the FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, October 22, 2018. 

Rebecca Cook | Reuters
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles assembly workers build 2019 Ram pickup trucks at the FCA Sterling Heights Assembly Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, October 22, 2018.

Fiat Chrysler, riding a wave of strong truck and SUV sales, is planning to build a new final assembly plant in Detroit even as other American automakers scale back operations in the U.S., according to people familiar with the plan.

The assembly plant, an old Mack II Engine Plant that closed in 2012, will build a new three-row, Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV starting in 2020 as the automaker moves to keep up with strong demand for utility vehicles, the people said. A spokesperson for Fiat Chrysler would not comment on the report, nor confirm the automaker’s plans.

The move comes as the industry faces pressure from President Donald Trump to keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and stands in stark contrast to the recent decision by General Motors to stop production and idle five plants in North America including four in the United States.

Daimler CEO arrives at White House for auto meeting

Daimler CEO arrives at White House for auto meeting   11:43 AM ET Tue, 4 Dec 2018 | 02:01

GM has come under fire after announcing last week that it plans to cut 14,000 jobs in the U.S. and Canada, citing a weakening economy, the escalating trade war and a desire to reposition itself as a smaller, more nimble company. Ford is also scaling back, saying last week that it planned to cut a shift at two of its U.S. plants in an attempt to avoid more onerous layoffs.

Detroit will lose two GM facilities altogether. Both were performing well under capacity and contributing to a dismal capacity utilization rate of just 76 percent across the United States, far below Fiat Chrysler’s rate of 90 percent.

Fiat Chrysler’s plants are running at close to capacity due to continued strong demand for trucks and SUV’s. Overall, Fiat Chrysler’s sales in the U.S. are up 8 percent this year, easily outpacing the industry less than one percent according to the market research firm Autodata.

[“source=cnbc”]

Walmart to acquire home decor site Art.com, further extending its e-commerce push

Source: Art.com

Walmart plans to buy Art.com, adding another digital brand to its portfolio and bolstering its home decor business.

The retailer has been building a collection of e-commerce companies in categories ranging from clothing to lingerie since its roughly $3 billion acquisition of Jet.com in 2016. Those brands now include ModCloth, Moosejaw, Bonobos, Eloquii and Bare Necessities. The strategy helps Walmart target a younger audience that isn’t accustomed to going to its stores, as it rivals Amazon online.

Art.com is one of the largest online sellers of art and wall decor globally, Walmart said. A person familiar with the deal said the size of this acquisition is similar to Walmart’s other recent deals and that Art.com recently was bringing in more than $300 million in sales annually.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on the future of the retail industry

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon on the future of the retail industry   6 Hours Ago | 08:36

Eventually, items from Art.com will be sold on Walmart.com, Jet.com and Hayneedle.com, Walmart said. It will continue to run Art.com as a standalone website and wouldn’t comment on its plans to add merchandise from Art.com to Walmart stores. The website has roughly 2 million designs to chose from, and growing, according to Walmart.

Walmart has already started adding items from some of its acquired brands to its website. Outdoor gear company Moosejaw, for example, now has its own shop on Walmart.com. Walmart also landed a deal with Lord & Taylor to sell apparel from the department store chain on Walmart.com, again going after a more high-end and younger customer, something it hasn’t been able to do with its traditional brands.

It also aspires to do more with technology, and buying Art.com should help with that.

“As we think about the future right now, art will be one area where we will leverage augmented reality,” Anthony Soohoo, the senior vice president of Walmart’s online home business in the U.S., told CNBC. He said 25 percent of Art.com’s customers currently use a feature on the platform called ArtView, where shoppers can see what a piece of art looks like on their walls before they buy. Walmart will be able to “leverage that expertise” about augmented reality in other categories of its business moving forward, Soohoo said.

The deal is expected to close early next year.

Walmart could one day own upwards of 40 digitally native brands, according to the head of its U.S. e-commerce business, Marc Lore.

“Just four brands aren’t going to do it, but imagine 40,” Lore told investors earlier this fall. “The idea is to buy and build.”

Walmart has also started building its own online brands, one being Allswell, which launched earlier this year and sells bedding and mattresses. It runs on its own website, AllswellHome.com.

[“source=cnbc”]

The Fed is fighting 4 inflationary trends it can’t control, Cramer says

Fed fighting trends it can't control, says Cramer

Fed fighting trends it can’t control, says Cramer   4 Hours Ago | 01:17

The Federal Reserve is navigating four trends that it can’t control, but that directly affect its policies, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday after the stock market recovered from a massive intraday decline.

Stocks mounted a recovery late Thursday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Fed officials are seriously considering taking a wait-and-see approach to the central bank’s 2019 interest rate plans after a widely expected rate hike in December.

But four disruptive trends — decreasing immigration, state-level minimum wage boosts, a nationwide lack of truckers and the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China — are turning into an “awfully awkward situation” for the Fed, which is tasked with keeping inflation under control while keeping the economy humming, Cramer said.

“The Fed is fighting four trends that it doesn’t have any control over that are creating inflation,” the “Mad Money” host said.

First is President Donald Trump’s crackdown on immigration, which translates into fewer workers, especially those willing to take lower-wage jobs, and therefore higher wages. Second are state-level minimum wage boosts that amount to government-mandated wage inflation.

Third is the countrywide truck driver shortage, which has become “a major reason for all sorts of companies to raise prices … in order to make their customers eat higher shipping costs,” Cramer explained.

Fourth, but certainly not least, is the United States’ trade dispute with China, further escalated this week by the arrest of the CFO of Huawei, one of China’s most important companies. While Trump and China’s president seemed to agree to a ceasefire over the weekend, the arrest “makes the odds of a good trade deal most unlikely,” Cramer argued.

All four of these ongoing issues directly affect the Fed’s policy, and that’s what’s putting this independent entity in a bind when it comes to planning for the year ahead and maneuvering other major, economy-altering changes like the rise of workplace automation.

“Think about it: the Fed can’t change immigration laws. The Fed can’t lower the minimum wage. The Fed can’t train more truck drivers. The Fed can’t stop Trump from raising the tariffs,” Cramer said. “So what can it do? Well, they can make it too expensive, or too scary, for businesses to hire more people.”

Cramer, who has argued that the Fed should take a data-dependent, wait-and-see approach to its rate hike agenda, again called for more “common sense” and “prudent data dependence” at the central bank.

But, for now, investors might want to consider keeping their powder dry instead of trying to buy the market’s swings, the “Mad Money” host advised.

“If you took a long-term approach, buying stocks into weakness today based on their intrinsic worth rather than their minute-to-minute value, you actually came out on top as the averages roared back from their lows,” he said. “However, there are two caveats. We don’t know what the White House is planning on trade and we don’t know how the Fed will react to tomorrow’s employment number. For today’s lows to hold, at least one of these institutions needs to be rational and prudent. Who knows? Crazier things have happened.”

[“source=cnbc”]

Utility stocks soar to highest levels in a year

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

Beck Diefenbach | Reuters
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

CFRA just raised its price forecast on Tesla to $420 a share — the same as the now-infamous price target CEO Elon Musk told investors they would get if he tookthe company private earlier this year.

The electric car market is about to get more competitive in 2019, but CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson said he expects Tesla to roll out lower-priced versions of the Model 3 that will undercut rivals and limit any impact on sales. He also said the car’s cost should fall as Tesla becomes more efficient. Nelson reiterated a buy rating on the stock and raised the price target from his previous forecast of $375 a share.

Shares of Tesla were trading around $361 a share Tuesday afternoon.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

[“source=cnbc”]

Utility stocks soar to highest levels in a year as investors rush to safe havens

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

Beck Diefenbach | Reuters
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla

CFRA just raised its price forecast on Tesla to $420 a share — the same as the now-infamous price target CEO Elon Musk told investors they would get if he tookthe company private earlier this year.

The electric car market is about to get more competitive in 2019, but CFRA analyst Garrett Nelson said he expects Tesla to roll out lower-priced versions of the Model 3 that will undercut rivals and limit any impact on sales. He also said the car’s cost should fall as Tesla becomes more efficient. Nelson reiterated a buy rating on the stock and raised the price target from his previous forecast of $375 a share.

Shares of Tesla were trading around $361 a share Tuesday afternoon.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

[“source=cnbc”]

The FAANG stocks shed $140 billion in Tuesday’s market rout

Jeff Bezos

April Greer | The Washington Post | Getty Images
Jeff Bezos

Tech stocks are back in correction territory after a painful day for public exchanges.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index fell nearly 4 percent, with tech stocks like Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook weighing most heavily.

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We’re bullish long-term on Apple stock, says Michael Bapis   17 Hours Ago | 03:17

In total, the so-called FAANG stocks — Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Alphabet-owned Google — shed more than $140 billion in market value by the end of the trading Tuesday.

Here’s how it shook out:

  • Facebook fell 2.2 percent, losing $7.6 billion in implied market value
  • Amazon fell 5.9 percent, losing $50.8 billion in implied market value
  • Apple fell 4.4 percent, losing $38.5 billion in implied market value
  • Netflix fell 5.2 percent, losing $6.5 billion in implied market value
  • Alphabet fell 4.8 percent, losing $37.5 billion in implied market value

The losses extend pain periods for Apple, which has seen downturn in recent weeks, and Facebook, which is suffering a down year on the heels of several scandals. Amazon and Netflix, though, are each up more than 40 percent year-to-date despite getting caught in the rout.

With Tuesday’s losses, Alphabet is hanging onto modest year-to-date gains, up just 0.8 percent in 2018.

[“source=cnbc”]

US is well on its way to Trump’s goal of ‘energy dominance,’ says Marathon Petroleum CEO

US on its way to Trump's goal of 'energy dominance,' says Marathon CEO

US on its way to Trump’s goal of ‘energy dominance,’ says Marathon CEO   13 Hours Ago | 01:26

President Donald Trump’s goal of making the United States a global superpower in energy is starting to come true, Marathon Petroleum Corp. Chairman and CEO Gary Heminger told CNBC on Tuesday.

“When I look at the president’s theme to begin with and the beginning of his administration, he wanted to have energy dominance in the U.S. and I believe that we are well on our way,” Heminger told Jim Cramer in an exclusive “Mad Money” interview. “We’re the largest producer in the world today.”

Recent declines in oil prices haven’t stopped U.S. producers from pumping more oil ahead of OPEC’s meetings later this week, at which the group of oil-exporting countries are expected to cut production.

That puts the United States in a league above its competitors, said the Marathon chief, whose Ohio-based company specializes in petroleum refining, marketing and transportation.

“The U.S. refining system [is] second to none of anyone in the industry, so I believe we’re well on our way now” to global energy dominance, Heminger said.

The CEO added that he expected OPEC’s meetings in Vienna, Austria this Thursday and Friday to result in “a pullback in OPEC production,” in which case “we’ll see crude prices inch up” from their current levels.

And although oil’s recent pummeling has benefited business at Marathon — where oil is part of Marathon’s cost of goods sold, so price declines translate into higher margins — Heminger said the company sees prices for the benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rising significantly in 2019.

“We really believe the price is probably going to end up being … $65 to [$]70 in 2019, on an average,” he said. “I believe we’ve averaged almost $65 — about [$]64.50 — year to date in 2018, so we think we’re being conservative looking at that number for next year.”

WTI crude futures fell 0.64 percent on Tuesday to $52.61. Year to date, the commodity has lost 8.77 percent.

Shares of Marathon Petroleum shed 2 percent amid Tuesday’s marketwide meltdown, settling at $63.34.

[“source=cnbc”]