Contrary to earlier bullish predictions for 2016, several Wall Street strategists have started lowering their forecasts on S&P 500 stocks. The Chinese economy slowdown, volatile oil prices and interest rates are the major reasons for drop in forecast. The gap between highest and lowest forecast has been widening.
Venture capital (VC) funding activity seems to be heading towards pre-recessionary mark. The VC activity recorded robust growth phase for over seven years. The sluggish financial markets are discouraging VC funding and raising money.
Investors are concerned as the US stock index futures turned weaker. The marginal recovery in oil price amid drop in the US dollar puts the Wall Street on cautious note. On the other hand, Asian and European stocks were trading marginally higher on oil price recovery and drop in US dollar.
The lower oil price for about 19 months is benefiting the consumers, but creating a lot of problems for the global governments and business firms. Many banks and the US government forecast oil price above $40 a barrel this year. The oil price fell to below $30 during the past 19 months from $107 a barrel.
The latest forecast indicates 50 percent rebound in oil prices by the end of 2016. The oil price could be higher by $15 per barrel this year taking the New York crude to $46 a barrel by fourth quarter and Brent to $48 during the same period. The drop in US shale output is likely to drive oil price up in the second half of 2016.
Citigroup holds view that it's too early to come to a conclusion about the state of the world's largest economy. It advises investors not to offload stocks over China. Citigroup in its latest research reports terms the present uncertainty and sluggishness in the Chinese economy and markets as a 'correction.'
Xerox Corporation will be split into two separate business entities for hardware and services businesses. It's learnt that activist investor Carl Icahn will get multiple positions on the boards of the two companies including three on the board of services company. Xerox's fourth quarter numbers are expected to be released on Friday and an official statement about division may also be announced simultaneously.
KFit, a fitness-sharing platform that based in Kuala Lumpur, has raised a $12 million Series A funding from Sequoia Capital, SIG, and Venturra Capital. The fund will be used to enlarge its services to cities in Asia. Offering a cheaper rate, KFit will compete with its Singaporean rival, GuavaPass.
Cocoon Networks, a Chinese-backed venture capital group is setting up a £500 ($700) million fund in London. The fund is aimed to invest in European tech startups.
TrueBridge Capital Partners announced the closing of its fourth venture capital fund-of-funds on January 13. The fourth fund-of-funds is secured at its $400 million hard cap.
The UK-based technology firms mobilized $3.6 billion (£2.5 billion) funds from venture capitalists (VC) in 2015 and this is 70 percent higher than $2.1 billion in 2014. London technology companies accounted for more than half of the mobilized VC funds. The increasing investor appetite for technology startups and fintech firms has been the main factor that propelled the VC funding.
In a major setback, Silicon Valley’s largest startup accelerator reshuffles assignments for top executives. After five years of joining, Gmail and FriendFeed dreamer Paul Buchheit replaces Sam Altman as managing partner of startup accelerator’s core program. Sam Altman is reportedly assigned to advise his successor managing partners while overseeing the entire program.
U.S. fund managers are finding a lot to like about finger-painting and naptime. Fund ownership of Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc, the only publicly traded daycare company in the United States, swelled 21 percent in the most recently reported quarter according to fund tracker Morningstar.