Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa. N), told CNBC on Monday that his conglomerate had purchased about 120 million shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL. O) in 2017 and that U.S. stocks were not in "bubble territory." "Apple strikes me as having quite a sticky product," Buffett said. He said Berkshire's Apple stake, at 133 million shares, was worth about $17 billion and amounted to Berkshire's second-biggest holding. Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook had done a "terrific job," Buffett said, but added he had not bought shares since the company's earnings report. Buffett, who told the cable television network that Berkshire had spent about $20 billion on stocks since just before the Nov. 8 U.S. election, also said the U.S. stock market was cheap with interest rates at current levels. The billionaire investor said it was extremely difficult to attempt to find a floor in stock prices and that he did not know what would happen in the near term in the equity market. He said U.S. shares could conceivably "go down 20 percent tomorrow."
Buffett said Berkshire's positions in airlines remained unchanged. He said pricing shares of airlines has historically been a "very tough game" and that he had never met the chief executives of any of the four airlines in which Berkshire holds stakes. Buffett, who was a vocal supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, said he would judge U.S. President Donald Trump based on how safe the country is in four years. He said he would also judge the Republican president according to how the U.S. economy performs overall and how wide participation in a better economy extends. Despite his disagreement with some of Trump's policies, Buffett said the U.S. economy would be better off in four years under any president. Buffett said that U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made "a lot of sense."
On Kraft Heinz's (KHC. O) snubbed bid for Unilever (ULVR. L), Buffett said it was never intended to be a hostile offer and that there was not a "backup deal" for the company. Berkshire is a key investor in Kraft Heinz. Asked about Berkshire's $86 billion cash pile, he said the conglomerate was "always looking" for acquisitions but that there was "nothing close."
Fashion house BCBG Max Azria Group LLC filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday, the latest casualty in the struggling U.S. retail sector, as shoppers abandon malls in favor of internet shopping. The company, known for party dresses worn by celebrities including Selena Gomez and Drew Barrymore, listed assets in the range of $100 million to $500 million and liabilities in the range of $500 million to $1 billion, a filing under Chapter 11 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York showed. bit.ly/2lo7iMIBCBG Max Group's Canadian affiliate also separately filed for voluntary reorganization proceedings under Canada's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the company said in a statement. The fashion house has received a commitment of up to $45 million in debtor-in-possession (DIP) financing, which will be used for working capital and to ensure normal operations during the Chapter 11 process, the company said in a statement. The company is taking steps to close its freestanding stores in Canada and consolidate its operations in Europe and Japan, in addition to the 120 retail stores closed as part of the restructuring efforts.
Reuters had reported last week that BCBG Max Azria Group was preparing to file for bankruptcy."The steps we are taking now, to address the shift incustomer shopping patterns and the growth of online shopping, will allow us to focus on our partner relationships, digital, ecommerce, selected retail locations, and wholesale and licensing arrangements," Marty Staff, acting interim chief executive of the company said in the statement.
The reorganization process is expected to be completed within six months and the stores will remain open duringthe process, the company said. AlixPartners LLP and Jefferies LLC advised the company on its restructuring.
Snap to price long-awaited IPO on Wednesday amid signs of brisk demand Snap Inc, owner of popular messaging app Snapchat, will price its initial public offering after the U.S. stock market closes on Wednesday in the most eagerly awaited technology IPO since Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba went public in 2014.
Trump administration would ignore WTO rulings it sees as anti-U.S.: FT WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is preparing to ignore any rulings by the World Trade Organization that it sees as an affront to U.S. sovereignty, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, citing a report prepared by officials.
Asian factories pick up steam in shadow of Trump protectionist threat HONG KONG Asian factories extended a global manufacturing revival as activity picked up steam in February, though the outlook for many of the region's export-reliant economies remained uncertain in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's protectionist stance.