US housing starts surge to 9-year high in October

U.S. housing starts surged to a more than nine-year high in October as builders ramped up construction of both single and multifamily homes, offering hope that housing will contribute to economic growth in the fourth quarter.

Groundbreaking jumped 25.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.32 million units, the highest level since August 2007, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. The percent increase was the biggest since July 1982. Starts increased in all four regions last month.

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September’s starts were unrevised at a 1.05 million-unit rate. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a 1.16 million-unit pace in October. Residential construction has been a drag on gross domestic product for two straight quarters.

Single-family home building, which accounts for the largest share of the residential housing market, jumped 10.7 percent to an 869,000-unit pace in October, the highest since October 2007.

The housing market is being driven by a tightening labor market, which is starting to drive up wages.

Housing starts for the volatile multi-family segment soared 68.8 percent to a 454,000-unit pace. Starts for buildings with five units or more hit their highest level since June 2015.

Permits for future construction edged up 0.3 percent in October. Single-family permits rose 2.7 percent last month, while building permits for multi-family units fell 3.3 percent.

source”cnbc”

 

Yellen: I’m not stepping down until my term is done

Federal Reserve Board chair Janet Yellen testifies before a Congressional Joint Economic hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S. November 17, 2016.

Yellen: I intend to serve full term as Fed chairThursday, 17 Nov 2016 | 10:28 AM ET | 03:08

Forget all that talk about Janet Yellen stepping down if Donald Trump becomes president: The Fed chair told Congress on Thursday she’s not leaving.

Trump has been critical of the central bank leader and has suggested that he would replace her at some point. He once told CNBC that Yellen should be “ashamed” of her actions, saying her policies were political positions to help President Barack Obama.

Amid expectations that the president-elect would step up political pressure on the Fed after he takes office in January, there was chatter that Yellen might just step aside.

“No I cannot,” she said when asked by Rep. Carolyn Maloney if there were circumstances under which she might leave before her term expires. “I was confirmed by the Senate to a four-year term, which ends at the end of January of 2018, and it is fully my intention to serve out that term.”

If Trump removes her from the chair, she could still stay on as a governor until her 14-year term expires in 2024.
Though she did not address the current political situation directly or even mention Trump’s name, Yellen stressed the need for central bank independence.

She pointed to countries where that is not the case experiencing inflation when central banks are ordered to buy debt to balance budgets.

“Markets come to expect low and stable inflation from a central bank that has political independence and good economic performance and I believe that we have seen that both in the United States and globally,” she said.

source”cnbc”

Don’t expect Yellen to push back on Trump

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen testifies during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee September 28, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong | Getty Images
Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen testifies during a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee September 28, 2016 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen made news Thursday morning by telling a Joint Economic hearing on Capitol Hill that she isn’t stepping down just because President-elect Donald Trump has been one of her harshest public critics.

But if Trump critics are hoping this means Yellen will stand as a major opponent to Trump’s eventual policies, they need to think again. History and Washington’s realities tell us that Yellen will probably toe the Trump line.

We tend to think of Fed Chairs as being independent of the usual partisan games in D.C. They’re not. But what they do have is more flexibility to shift with the political winds of the time and get in line with whatever the current president wants. How else can you explain the terms of chairmen like Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke that all spanned the terms of Republican and Democrat presidents and very different economic conditions to boot?

Even the Fed chairman widely considered to be the biggest failure of the modern era, William Miller, was so in line with the Carter administration at the time that the White House simply switched him from the Fed to the job of treasury secretary in 1979.

The reasons why Fed chairs keep their jobs for so long is because a strong economy is in both their and the current administration’s best interests. Logically, the only potential problem is when the Fed chair and the White House don’t agree on how to get there.

But most Fed chairs, except for Miller, understand that opposing the president of the United States publicly on interest rate policy would almost guarantee poor economic sentiment. So, they simply just go along.

Nobody in Washington stays in power without playing the political game. And so, Yellen’s statement today does not tell us really what her policies will be going forward. It certainly doesn’t tell us what President Trump’s policies will be either. But it does tell us that Yellen will almost definitely start singing a harmonious tune as soon as the Trump administration sends her the music.

source”cnbc”

Odds of another financial crisis are now at 67%that is ‘ridiculous,’ Fed official says

Tougher banking regulations put into effect since the Great Recession have lowered the chances of another financial crisis, but they odds are still much too high, Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari told CNBC on Thursday.

Based on an analysis of data from the International Monetary Fund on past crises, Kashkari said on “Squawk Box” the odds of another bust over the next century are now 67 percent, down from 84 percent.

“I think if most Americans knew that they’d say that’s ridiculous. That’s much too high,” he said.

Kashkari, who unsuccessfully ran as a Republican for governor of California in 2014, was the administrator of TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, at the Treasury Department during the 2008 financial crisis.

After leaving Washington, Kashkari joined Pimco as a managing director and head of global equities. Before his time at treasury, he was a vice president at Goldman Sachs.

On Wednesday, Kashkari unveiled a plan aimed at preventing future government bailouts by forcing the largest U.S. banks to hold so much capital that they would probably decide to break up into smaller parts.

The set of regulations introduced since the crisis known as Dodd-Frank, did not go far enough, he added.

In February, in his first speech as head of the Minneapolis Fed, Kashkari took on the “too big to fail” issue, calling on lawmakers to take radical action to rein in banks and protect taxpayers.

Kashkari: There is room to run, but reserving judgement

Kashkari: There is room to run, but reserving judgementThursday, 17 Nov 2016 | 6:53 AM ET | 02:38

On CNBC on Thursday, Kashkari also said the reaction in financial markets to Donald Trump’s victory rallies in stocks and bond yields is making the job of central bankers easier by “boosting inflation expectations a little bit.”

Fed policymakers have been waiting to see signs of increased inflation before they increase interest rates again.

The market widely expects the Fed to hike rates when it meets on Dec. 13-14. The cost of borrowing money was last increased in December 2015, the first such move in more than nine years.

source”cnbc”

Delhi: Web portal launched for complaint against private schools

People can register their complaints against private schools pertaining to fee hike and others issues at doepvt.delhi.gov.in, and within 15 days, grievances will be resolved by district education officers concerned, said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

The link for the portal will also be available on the Directorate of education (DOE) website edudel.nic.in, said Deputy Chief Minister. In picture Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia (File Photo)

The link for the portal will also be available on the Directorate of education (DOE) website edudel.nic.in, said Deputy Chief Minister. In picture Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia (File Photo)

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In a view to take strict actions against errant private schools, the Delhi government launched a web portal on Thursday for parents to register their complaints against such institutes at a single platform.

People can register their complaints against private schools pertaining to fee hike and others issues at doepvt.delhi.gov.in, and within 15 days, grievances will be resolved by district education officers concerned, he added.

Views of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia

  • Launching the portal, he said that the link for the portal will also be available on the Directorate of education (DOE) website edudel.nic.in
  • The government earlier received several complaints from people against private schools. They used to file complaints at different platforms including district, education offices, said Sisodia, who also holds the education portfolio
  • “In this portal, parents can file their complaints through a single platform. The government will closely monitor the complaints and fix the responsibility of officers concerned if there is any delay on his or her part in resolving complaints,” he said

View of a senior official:

  • “A list of all recognised unaided private schools with locality name has been made available. After registration of the complaint, the complainant will receive an SMS on their registered mobile number, having a unique grievance ID. The complaint will automatically be forwarded to deputy director education (district) concerned,” a senior official said
  • She also said once the complaint is disposed of, the complainant will receive an SMS. The complainant can exercise the feedback option about the steps taken to resolve the grievance

source”cnbc”

DU Convocation ceremony to be held on November 19

“The convocation will be conducted on Saturday at the multipurpose hall of university’s sports complex. Chief guest Nanda is associated with University of Denver, United Nations Association, American Bar Association, among others and is the recipient of various prestigious awards,” a Delhi University statement said.

Representational image, A live webcast of the convocation will also be available on university’s website

Representational image, A live webcast of the convocation will also be available on universitys website

  • 911 permanent posts of Professors lying vacant in Delhi University
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  • CBSE ask schools to provide key information publicly: Madhya Pradesh
  • Kashmir unrest: Govt announces mass promotion of school children
  • UGC issues circular to cut down junk food supply in colleges

The Delhi University will conduct its 93rd annual convocation on November 19. Ved P Nanda, eminent jurist professor from University of Denver Sturm College of Law will present degrees to students for 2015 session.

“The convocation will be conducted on Saturday at the multipurpose hall of the university’s sports complex. Chief guest Nanda is associated with University of Denver, United Nations Association, American Bar Association, among others and is the recipient of various prestigious awards,” a Delhi University statement said.

More on the convocation ceremony:

  • “Vice-Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi will preside over the function and confer the degrees of PhD, DM, and MCh in all disciplines. 666 doctoral degrees, 37 Doctorate of Medicine degrees and 181 medals will be awarded,” it added
  • The degrees of the students who passed various examinations in 2015 will be conferred in absentia and shall be released to the respective colleges, institutions, faculties or departments
  • A live webcast of the convocation will also be available on the university’s website.

source”cnbc”

Google Play Movies is rolling out 4K rental and purchasing options

google play movies
Credit: Derek Walter

The world is quickly moving to 4K streaming, and Google wants to be ready. The companys Google Play Movies & TV app will soon let you rent or buy titles in the highest quality available.

Android Police grabbed some screenshots with these choices. It looks like this option is going live on the server side, as even with the latest version of the app they havent showed up for everybody. The options are also a little costlier for both renting and buying in 4K.

play movies 4k
The rental and purchase options for 4K will definitely set you back a little more.

So if you have a Chromecast Ultra that you want to use for testing out 4K streaming, it looks like that option will be here soon. Be sure you have the latest version of Google Play Movies & TV from the Play Store.

The impact on you: The future is 4K, although many viewing options are fairly limited. While Netflix has jumped on board, the streaming market has varied in terms of who is supporting the highest of high definition viewing. Google Play Movies will soon give you an option to try out the latest releases in this new format.

This story, “Google Play Movies is rolling out 4K rental and purchasing options” was originally published by Greenbot.

source”cnbc”

This week in games: Free Overwatch, free Elder Scrolls Online, and more Rainbow Six: Siege

Were finally starting to wind down the year. Watch Dogs 2 hits PC in a week and a half, Dead Rising 4 shortly thereafter, and…thats pretty much it for 2016. Soon itll be time for Game of the Year discussions and then the steady drumbeat of Spring 2017.

But for now, the news rolls on. This weekend its a bunch of free games (including a few days of Overwatch), plus Remedy teases a fresh trailer, Rainbow Six gets another year of add-ons, and Total War goes for broke. This is gaming news for November 14 through 18.

Giving thanks early

If youre one of the dozen or so people whove yet to play Overwatch, set aside some time this weekendBlizzards hero-based shooter is free from today through November 21 at 4 p.m. Pacific. Download Battle.net and create an account if you havent already. Youll see Overwatch in the sidebar. All your progress from the trial carries over to the full game, if you decide to buy in once your free access runs out.

Shoot-y games not your style? You can also hop into Elder Scrolls Online for free, also through November 21. Its been a while since I played, but Ive heard its a bit better than it was at launch. Its no Morrowind, butwell, its free this weekend.

Okay, neither of those sounds good? Well I hope you like winter sports because Ubisofts open-world ski/snowboard/wingsuit(?)/whatever game Steep is in open beta this weekendif you can bear with Uplay.

Wake me up

Over the summer, Remedy 1) Teased two new games and 2) Said that neither of them is Alan Wake 2. So keep that in mind before you get your hopes up.

That being said, Remedys teasing a trailer for a new game. All weve got is this 20-second video of Sam Lake saying hes Sam Lake. Good enough for me.

sam lake remedy

Long haul truckin

American Truck Simulator captured the time-honored American tradition of roaring down an open road in a big rig, but it certainly didnt capture how damn big the US of A actually is. Good news, then: SCS Software went back in and redid the entire map, making it quite a bit larger in the process. The old map was 1:35 scale, the new (beta) map is 1:20. Time to load up on 7/11 taquitos.

Now if only we could somehow combine American Truck Simulator with Google Earth VR for maximum realism.

Total-er Warhammer

Total War: Warhammer is the strategy game that just keeps on giving this year, with yet another suite of DLC prepped to launch on December 6. This time its Realm of the Wood Elves with uh…Wood Elves, believe it or not. New campaign, new units, new leadersbut unfortunately the same ridiculous $19 price as the last DLC, from which the games Steam rating has still not recovered. Anyway, heres a trailer:

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Total-est War

The Total War news doesnt stop there though. Another historical Total War is on the horizon, and according to an interview with Eurogamer the series is going to an era we [meaning Creative Assembly] havent tackled yet. Considering the breadth of Empire and Medieval, best bets on something modern or something real old.

And the strange development saga of Total War: Arena continues. According to PC Gamer, publishing rights for the free-to-play multiplayer title are being handed over from Sega to Wargamings latest subdivision, Wargaming Allianceand theres still no release date in sight. Bizarre.

Press 0 for Operator

Rainbow Six Siege is coming up on its one-year anniversary, but the end isnt imminent yet. According to Ubisoft the game will receive at least another year of stuffmeaning four maps and eight new characters, if its anything like 2016. Not bad.

source”cnbc”

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) gets Bluetooth certified

After having been spotted in not one, but two benchmarks already, as well as in the database of an Indian import tracker, the upcoming Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) is now Bluetooth certified.

As always in these cases, the revelation comes straight from the Bluetooth SIG itself, and its official documents. The Samsung SM-A720F had its certification published today. While this in itself doesn’t reveal any specs for the device (unless you count it having Bluetooth connectivity as something that couldn’t have been guessed), it does mean that the phone’s announcement is nearing.

Its predecessor, the Galaxy A7 (2016) was launched last December, so it wouldn’t be surprising at all if the A7 (2017) officially surfaced exactly one year later.

The handset is expected to pack a 5.5″ or 5.7″ 1080p touchscreen, a pair of 16 MP cameras (one on the front, one on the back), 3GB of RAM, 32 or 64GB of built-in storage, and Samsung’s Exynos 7870 chipset at the helm. A fingerprint scanner should also be in.

source”cnbc”

Android Nougat update now rolling out for Motorola Z and Z Force on Verizon

Although Verizon hasnt officially announced it yet, many users with Verizon-branded Moto Zand the Moto Z Force have been getting reports of the device receiving and OTA update for Android Nougat 7.0. We can confirm that both the Moto Z and Z Force units we have are now downloading the update once we manually checked for them.

The software version of the OTA update is NCL26.86-11 for the Z Force Droid and NCL25.86-11 for the Moto Z Droid. The OTA measures in at around 1,500MB and it has an estimated install time of 20 minutes. It gets seriously warm, so take any Moto Mods or covers off to let it cool during installation.

The installation notes mention new Nougat features like split-screen (which is now baked into Android Nougat), App quick-switching (double tap the app switcher to switch between your two most recent apps).

This is the first Nougat update for Moto devices and still among the first Marshmallow devices to be updated to Nougat. But still not as fast as the time Verizons Moto X was the first to get KitKat back in 2014, even before Nexus devices that were up for the update. One of the upsides of having minimally modified software is the ability to release them before other OEMs.

The update is rolling out now so if you dont have the notification yet, head to Settings > System updates > Check for system update. When we did it, it pulled the OTA down right away.

source”cnbc”