Amazon beats profit forecasts after sales jump

Amazon苏州夜总会招聘 sales jumped 34 per cent in the third quarter and profit topped analysts’ estimates as Prime Day sales boosted its retail business and demand remained strong for its popular cloud service for companies.
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The company’s shares, which closed down 0.05 per cent on Thursday, rose about 6 per cent in after-hours trading following the quarterly earnings statement. They have gained about 30 per cent this year.

The world’s largest online retailer said net income rose to $US256 million, or 52 US cents per share in the quarter ending September 30. Analysts on average were expecting 3 US cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Amazon forecast fourth quarter operating income to range from $US300 million to $US1.65 billion. Analysts on average were expecting $US1.5 billion, according to data and analytics firm FactSet.

Net sales in North America, its biggest market, jumped 34.8 per cent to $US25.45 billion in the third quarter.

Revenue from Amazon Web Services, the company’s fast-growing cloud services business, surged 41.9 per cent to $US4.58 billion, beating the average estimate of $US4.52 billion given in polling by data and analytics firm FactSet.

Total operating expenses also surged 35 per cent to $US43.4 billion as the company poured money into expanding its Prime program, creating original video content and building its warehouse and delivery infrastructure.

The company’s net sales rose 33.7 per cent to $US43.74 billion from $US32.71 billion, including $US1.3 billion in about a month of sales for upscale grocer Whole Foods, which Amazon acquired for $US13.7 billion in August.

Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping event in July was its biggest ever by sales.

Reuters

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Investor confidence is rising

Despite continuing concerns about a possible conflict with North Korea and the ability of ‘s leading bank shares to maintain profitability under increased regulatory pressure, our sharemarket has followed the US and other world markets in rising strongly. This is boosting superannuation account balances and helping to reduce the impact of the new lower employer and personal contributions caps on funds available in retirement.
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Existing and future retirees caught by the new $1.6 million limit on tax-free retirement pension accounts will benefit if markets continue to perform well and rise even further. High investment returns will allow minimum annual tax-free pensions to be paid without dipping into capital and reducing the funds available in later years.

By setting an individual absolute cap of $1.6 million that can be invested in tax-free pension accounts, the government has deprived retirees of the opportunity to replenish their pension accounts when markets fall or their annual minimum pension payments exceed fund earnings. Their only hope of ensuring their money does not run out is to continue to achieve positive solid investment returns.

Achieving consistent and solid investment returns has always been the key to funding a comfortable retirement but is now far more important because of the greatly reduced opportunities to fast-track super contributions later in life. The exponential help from compound interest provides its greatest benefit for younger people unable to access their superannuation for an extended period.

The shorter time period involved and requirement to draw down a minimum annual pension that increases quickly with age reduces compound interest benefits for existing retirees but reinvesting as much annual fund income as possible is crucial to funding a lengthy retirement. Where other assets are available to help fund retirement, the best and most tax-effective strategy to make the tax-free pension account last if possible is to withdraw only the minimum mandated annual pension.

Funding additional annual expenses out of the non-pension assets will help preserve and even increase the pension fund assets for future use. The tougher super contribution limits increase the incentives to increase holdings of non-superannuation assets. Having these assets available to use when needed will help restrict withdrawals in retirement from tax-free pension accounts to the minimum mandated annual levels.

Where possible couples can boost their tax-free retirement income by ensuring that both partners make best possible use of the annual superannuation contribution limits. While one individual is restricted to the maximum $1.6 million tax-free retirement pension cap, with superannuation assets equally split, a couple can accumulate up to $3.2 million to fund their retirement. At the minimum annual pension withdrawal rate, at age 65, the combined annual tax-free income for a couple is $160,000.

Daryl Dixon is the executive chairman of Dixon Advisory. [email protected]苏州夜总会招聘.au

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Gagged Somerville House parents to march onto private school in anger

Somerville House parents banned from talking about a leaked report discussing the school’s future are planning a public protest as the facility’s governing body hits back at growing criticism.
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Protesters planned to march on the school at 7am on Friday to show their displeasure at the way the school has handled a series of information leaks and staff departures.

Organisers expected the short-notice protest to attract between about 70 to 100 people.

The PMSA’s statement dismissed a report that reportedly proposed a more centralised model for the association’s four schools. Photo: Jorge Branco

The agitation came as the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association, having newly engaged a Sydney-based crisis management firm, issued a lengthy statement seeking to “set the record straight”.

The response came the day after principal Florence Keaney was stood down, with the PMSA insisting she was not “sacked” despite leaving weeks earlier than planned and reportedly being ejected from the school grounds.

Ms Kearney had previously announced plans to quit at the end of the year, which were followed shortly after by the resignations of two other senior staffers.

The PMSA’s statement dismissed a report by Deloitte that reportedly proposed a more centralised model for the association’s four schools as a move to increase efficiency and denied it intended to “strip the ??? individual character” of the schools.

“Furthermore, no plans exist to centralise the operations of our schools,” the statement said.

Beyond PMSA, a protest group set up online as anger over the handling of the situation deepened, described the statement as “somewhere between laughable and insulting”.

The PMSA also sought to negate criticism over former Somerville House Foundation company secretary Rick Hiley’s move from the school to the governing body.

Mr Hiley downloaded foundation data onto a portable hard drive shortly before he left the school, sparking a warning to donors of a “serious security incident”.

But on Thursday, the association said independent experts had cleared Mr Hiley of any wrongdoing.

It also addressed a series of text messages reportedly sent between Mr Hiley and former PMSA chairman Robert McCall, which discussed trips to a nearby Korean bathhouse in school hours, involving nudity.

“Private dialogue referring to a scene from the PG-rated movie Eddie the Eagle was exchanged in a small number of inoffensive text messages,” the PMSA insisted.

“Reports that the event involved any inappropriate standards of behaviour are wrong.”

The school’s Parents and Friends’ Association was sent a legal letter on behalf of the PMSA on Tuesday warning members not to discuss or reference the Deloitte report in any way and calling for any copies to be destroyed.

“Any person who engages in behaviour contrary to their obligations to the PMSA and its schools will be addressed in an appropriate manner,” the letter warned.

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Trump settles on replacing Yellen at the Fed

President Donald Trump has largely settled on nominating either former investment banker Jerome “Jay” Powell or Stanford University economist John Taylor to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, three people briefed on the process said, setting the stage for what could be one of the most consequential economic decisions of his administration.
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These two men could have much different approaches to running the US central bank, which sets the direction for interest rates and also plays a lead role in financial regulation.

The three people confirming that Powell and Taylor are now the front-runners spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the internal deliberations publicly.

Trump is well-known, though, for changing his mind on nominations late in the process, and several people warned that a final decision had not yet been made.

But the emergence of Powell and Taylor as Trump’s two favourites puts the selection into much clearer focus, a decision that could have major implications for both the global economy and the Fed.

Powell is a Fed governor who has supported current chair Janet Yellen’s cautious pace of raising interest rates.

Taylor, a conservative economist, beloved by congressional Republicans for years, is considered more hawkish on fighting inflation, and many economists believe he would move more quickly to raise interest rates than Powell.

He has also criticised Yellen for going too far in trying to help stimulate the economy, warning that it could lead to out-of-control inflation that the United States saw in the 1970s and early 1980s.

In addition to his years at Stanford, Taylor held a senior role in the Treasury Department during the George W. Bush administration, focused on international affairs. He was also an economic adviser during George Bush sr’s administration and served at the White House during the Carter and Ford administrations.

Trump has said he likes having low interest rates, though, and it’s unclear if this might ultimately doom Taylor’s chances. Vice President Mike Pence has told White House officials that Taylor is an excellent economist and sat in on his interview with Trump.

Trump could make his decision as soon as next week. Yellen’s term ends in early February, and the Fed chairman must be confirmed by the Senate.

Trump recently met with Yellen about the prospect of renominating her to a four-year term at the Fed, and he has praised her approach to running the central bank. But in a recent interview with Fox Business, he suggested he was looking for someone new at the helm.

“I have to say you’d like to make your own mark,” he said when discussing the prospect of renominating Yellen.

The US economy is gaining strength, with a recent surge in the stock market, low inflation and low unemployment. Wages have lagged though, fuelling frustration among many Americans who feel they have been left behind by the recent economic recovery.

The next Fed chairman will have to decide how aggressively to raise interest rates, how tightly to retain supervision of banks, and how best to prevent the next financial crisis.

Powell has served as Fed governor for five years, but previously worked at a Washington think tank called the Bipartisan Policy Center, the investment firm Carlyle Group, and held senior roles in the Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush administration. He has earned the respect of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Mnuchin is playing a central role in the selection process.

The Fed chairman and the treasury secretary traditionally meet almost weekly on a range of issues and work very closely on monitoring financial markets and setting regulatory policy.

He has a law degree, however, and isn’t a PhD economist, which is unusual for someone selected to lead the US central bank.

Deutsche Bank economists on Monday wrote in a research note that they would prefer Trump pick Powell over Taylor, saying “he would provide the highest degree of continuity to current policy. As such, markets should take a Powell announcement largely in stride, keeping financial conditions easy and providing little disruption to an economy that is experiencing solid growth.”

But Republicans have long pushed for a major shake-up at the Fed, complaining that the central bank plays too much of an activist role in setting policy at the risk of distorting markets and the economy. Such a sentiment, if endorsed by Trump, could give Taylor an edge. But if Trump decides he doesn’t want to risk the recent economic gains, he could opt to nominate Powell.

The Washington Post

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30,000 lightning strikes, ‘huge’ hailstones strike NSW

Flooding in Drummoyne due to Sydney storm.
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WET WEATHER. Circular Quay, 20th October 2017, Photo: Wolter Peeters, The Sydney Morning Herald.

Sydney and the Hunter region were battered by thunderstorms overnight with heavy rain continuing into the morning, causing flooding and damage.

Meteorologists said there were about 30,000 lightning strikes in the Hunter region overnight, with the area hit by “huge” hailstones reported to be about five centimetres in diameter.

The NSW State Emergency Service received 250 calls for assistance overnight, with the Hunter and Sydney metropolitan region the worst affected areas.

Sydney commuters face a slow trip into work on Friday morning with wet roads and flooding in parts of the city, including Drummoyne, Moore Park and Beaconsfield. Trains between Sydney and Newcastle were also affected due to power supply problems caused by the weather.

Graeme Brittain, a senior meteorologist at Weatherzone, said heavy rain fell over a wide area of Sydney on Thursday night and early on Friday as a series of storm fronts moved across the city.

Little Bay in Sydney’s east received a dumping of 32 millimetres of rain, Chatswood received 27 millimetres and Campbelltown 26 millimetres.

“The showers will continue for a few hours throughout the morning as the storm passes,” Mr Brittain said.

“Conditions will gradually clear throughout the rest of the day.”

He said there were 30,000 lightning strikes in the Hunter region overnight. Storms also passed over Sydney throughout the night, although there were significantly fewer strikes than in the Hunter, which bore the brunt of the bad weather.

The hail fell in Newcastle shortly before 4.30pm and lasted about 15 minutes. The western reaches of the Hunter experienced hail about 4pm.

In Gresford, there were reports of hail about five centimetres in diameter, which is classified by meteorologists as “huge” hail.

???A low pressure system moving across NSW is the source of the unstable weather which comes after a lengthy dry spell across much of NSW.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting clearing conditions later on Friday, followed by a partly cloudy day on Saturday with a top temperature of 27 degrees.

A top of 29 degrees and mostly sunny conditions are forecast in Sydney on Sunday, rising to a top of 30 degrees on Monday. 10c-20c sized #hail in #newcastle just now #stormpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/Jp4yRzjZ0d??? Max Mason-Hubers (@MaxMasonHubers) October 26, 2017Sometimes nature reminds us who is in charge – 4cm #hail stones in #Newcastle this afternoon pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/xcpQkN86j8??? James McGregor (@JamesMcGregorAU) October 26, 2017Around 250 emergency calls to SES overnight, Hunter, Metro worst affected, no significant damage. Need emergency help? Call 132500.??? NSW SES (@NSWSES) October 26, 2017

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