Clinton wins New Jersey, cements her nomination

2016-06-08 02:21:13

LOS ANGELES Democrat Hillary Clinton beat rival Bernie Sanders in New Jersey's presidential nominating contest on Tuesday, Fox News projected, adding to her lead a day after she captured the number of delegates needed to become her party's U.S. presidential nominee.Clinton, a former first lady, senator and U.S. secretary of state, would be the first woman to become the presidential candidate of a major U.S. political party.New Jersey was one of six states holding contests on Tuesday, including the big prize of California, where Clinton is still at risk of an embarrassing loss to Sanders as she heads into a campaign against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election.Clinton secured enough delegates to the party's convention next month to win the nomination before Tuesday's voting, U.S. media outlets reported on Monday night.But Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said the campaign was pushing supporters and volunteers to "stay at this" for the contests in New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and New Mexico and California. "We're on the verge of making history, and we're going to celebrate that tonight," Mook told CNN. "There's a lot of people we want to make sure turn out today. We do not want to send a message that anybody's vote doesn't count." Clinton, who now must try to unify the party and win over Sanders supporters, will highlight the historic nature of her nomination at an event in Brooklyn on Tuesday night. Her campaign has compiled a video tying her to women's rights movements in American history. She wants to move beyond the primary battle and turn her attention to Trump. But Sanders, a democratic socialist U.S. senator from Vermont, has vowed to stay in until July's party convention that formally picks the nominee, defying growing pressure from party leaders to exit the race. If Sanders wins the primary in California, America's most populous state, it would not be enough for him to catch Clinton in the overall delegate count but could fuel his continued presence in the race. "We will look forward tonight to marking having reached the threshold of a majority of the pledged delegates,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon told CNN, referring to delegates won in the state nominating contests. "And at that point, Bernie Sanders will be out of our race." Sanders has commanded huge crowds, galvanizing younger voters with promises to address economic inequality. Clinton has edged him out, particularly among older voters, with a more pragmatic campaign focused on building on President Barack Obama's policies.Steven Acosta, a 47-year-old teacher living in Los Angeles, voted for Clinton on Tuesday, saying that was partly because he believed she stood a better chance of winning in November."I like what Bernie Sanders says and I agree with almost everything that he says," Acosta said. "The problem is that I think Republicans would really unify ... even more against him." (Writing by John Whitesides and Ginger Gibson; Additional reporting by Amanda Becker and Doina Chiacu in Washington; Jonathan Allen and Chris Kahn in New York; Joseph Ax and Frank McGurty in New Jersey; Alex Dobuzinskis and Dan Whitcomb in California; Editing by Howard Goller)

Combative Trump says he raised $5.6 million for vets, bashes media

2016-05-31 22:16:24

NEW YORK Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday detailed $5.6 million in contributions he raised for military veterans, and sharply criticized the news media for questioning him for months about what happened to the money. At a combative news conference at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the billionaire accused the media of failing to give him credit for raising the funds at an event in January in Iowa."The press should be ashamed of themselves," he told reporters gathered before him. "You make me look very bad. I’ve never received such bad publicity for doing a good job."He called an ABC News reporter at the event, Tom Llamas, "a sleaze" and described Jim Acosta of CNN as "a real beauty."Trump's tirade flew in the face of the hopes of some Republican leaders who want him to tone down his rhetoric and become more magnanimous now that he has sealed the Republican presidential nomination for the Nov. 8 election.Trump, whose bellicose language has been a trademark of an insurgent candidacy that has upended the Republican Party, has shown no signs of doing so.While Trump has long had an adversarial relationship with the media, the donations to veterans touched a raw nerve with him. Reporters have been persistently questioning whether he in fact raised all the money he said he had in January and why it had taken so long to hand donations over to veterans groups.The Washington Post said Trump only handed over a personal donation of $1 million last week -- four months after announcing it -- once the newspaper started asking questions about the money.Trump said the coverage of his veterans group donations had been close to libelous. Asked whether he would keep his adversarial stance with reporters if elected president, Trump said: "Yeah, it's going to be like this." A reporter told Trump he seemed resistant to the kind of scrutiny that comes with the office of U.S. president.But Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush, said the news media should stop fretting about how Trump treats them."My advice to the press: Stop interviewing yourselves about Trump's attack on the press. Don't worry about it. Just do your jobs and be fair," he said. CLINTON POLL LEAD The campaign of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton sought to take advantage of Trump's discomfort by holding a conference call with reporters to accuse him of hypocrisy over veterans’ issues.John Douglass, a retired Air Force general and Clinton backer, raised Trump's disparagement a year ago of U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, a war veteran. Trump had said McCain, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, was not a hero because he got captured.“For him to disparage that service is despicable and disgraceful,” Douglass said.Clinton leads Trump by 11 percentage points in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll. According to the May 27-31 survey of likely voters, 46 percent support the former U.S. secretary of state while 35 percent back Trump. California Governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday endorsed Clinton for the Democratic nomination, saying it was the only way to "stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump."The New York real estate mogul in Tuesday also bristled at the possibility that Republicans opposed to him might run a third-party candidate as an alternative to Trump or the expected Democratic nominee Clinton.He said a leader of that effort, Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard magazine, "looks like such a fool.""Let me tell you these people are losers," said Trump, adding that a third-party candidacy would guarantee Clinton wins the White House and deny Republicans the chance to put conservatives on the Supreme Court."What you’re going to do is lose the election for the Republicans and therefore you lose the Supreme Court," he said.Trump read out a list of veterans' organizations that had received money from the January event, which he attended instead of participating in a Fox News-sponsored candidates' debate. He said the money was benefiting 41 groups and that the total of cash raised could climb as more comes in. He turned the microphone over briefly to Al Baldasaro, a Trump supporter and a veteran from New Hampshire who also skewered the news media, saying reporters should "get your head out of your butt, focus on the real issues." (Additional reporting by Amanda Becker and Doina Chiacu; Writing by Steve Holland; Editing by Alistair Bell)

Banks and tech drive Wall Street up over 1 percent

2016-05-25 02:13:07

Wall Street surged more than 1 percent on Tuesday and the Nasdaq had its strongest day in three months as investors made peace with the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve might soon raise interest rates.Comments from policymakers in recent days have investors expecting a rate hike potentially in June, much sooner than previously thought, given sluggish economic growth.Wall Street has benefited from historically low borrowing costs since the 2008 financial crisis and higher rates could choke further gains. But strategists on Tuesday said they were reassured by expectations the Fed would tighten borrowing costs only gradually. "The market is starting to contemplate the idea that Fed rate hikes this year are A: more likely, and B: not inherently bad in and of themselves," said Bill Merz, an investment strategist with U.S. Bank Wealth Management. Shares rose in the banking sector .SPSY, which stands to gain from higher interest rates. Bank of America (BAC.N), Citigroup (C.N) and JPMorgan (JPM.N) all rose more than 1.4 percent.Microsoft (MSFT.O) jumped 3.12 percent and provided the biggest boost to the Nasdaq and S&P 500, while 3M Co's (MMM.N) 1.52 percent rise lifted the Dow. It was the strongest session since March 1 for the Nasdaq Composite and since March 11 for the S&P 500. So far in 2016, the S&P 500 is up about 2 percent and the Nasdaq is down 3 percent.Data on Tuesday showed new U.S. single-family home sales surged to a more than eight-year high in April and prices hit a record high, offering further evidence of a pick-up in economic growth.The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI jumped 1.22 percent to end at 17,706.05 and the S&P 500 .SPX rallied 1.37 percent to 2,076.06. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC surged 2 percent to 4,861.06.Gains were broad-based, with all 10 S&P sectors rising and the tech sector .SPLRCT up 2.12 percent. Late in the day, oil prices extended gains in post-settlement trading after data showed a much bigger-than-expected reduction in U.S. crude inventories. Also after the bell, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE.N) jumped 9.6 percent after it said it would spin off its Enterprise Services business and merge it with Computer Sciences Corp (CSC.N), which surged 25 percent.During the session, Homebuilder Toll Brothers (TOL.N) jumped 8.71 percent after quarterly revenue beat expectations. Twitter (TWTR.N) fell 2.64 percent after brokerage MoffettNathanson downgraded the company's stock to "sell" from "neutral".About 6.9 billion shares changed hands on U.S. exchanges, below the 7.2 billion daily average for the past 20 trading days, according to Thomson Reuters data.Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,324 to 701. On the Nasdaq, 2,210 issues rose and 603 fell.The S&P 500 index showed 29 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 87 new highs and 29 new lows. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Dan Grebler)

Wall St. pulls back from record; utilities slump

2016-05-17 04:13:04

NEW YORK U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as investors engaged in profit-taking to pull major indexes from record levels, while the trend of modest moves and low volume continued heading into the final trading day of the year.The day's losses were broad, with each of the ten primary S&P 500 sectors in negative territory. Utilities .SPLRCU - 2014's best sector performer - led the decline with a drop of 2.1 percent. Equities have enjoyed a solid rally of late, buoyed by strong economic data and the U.S. Federal Reserve's commitment to be "patient" about raising interest rates. The S&P 500 gained nearly 6 percent over the prior eight sessions and managed to score its 53rd record close of the year on Monday.The speed and scale of the rally provided incentive to take profits, and amplified volatility is possible this week with many market participants out for the holiday, which dampens volume. The stock market will be closed on Thursday for the New Year's holiday."It wasn’t going to take much to prompt the decline, it’s probably more resting than anything else. We’ve had a pretty significant move higher," said Stephen Massocca, managing director at Wedbush Equity Management LLC in San Francisco. "We’ve marched straight up from 1,970 or so to about 2,100 so it’s only natural that we are going to get a little bit of a pullback here."The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI fell 55.16 points, or 0.31 percent, to 17,983.07, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 10.22 points, or 0.49 percent, to 2,080.35 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 29.47 points, or 0.61 percent, to 4,777.44.In the latest economic data, consumer confidence rose slightly less than expected in December, while U.S. single-family home price appreciation slowed less than forecast in October. NeuroDerm Ltd (NDRM.O) soared more than 193 percent to $18.14 on heavy volume after it said data from a mid-stage study suggested that a higher dose of its Parkinson's drug could provide an alternative to treatments that require surgery. Civeo Corp (CVEO.N), which provides temporary housing for oilfield workers and miners, late Monday slashed its workforce and forecast revenue could fall by one-third as slumping crude prices force oil producers to cut costs. The stock plunged 52.6 percent to $3.92 on volume of about 56.2 million shares, the most active day in its history. Volume was light, with about 4.42 billion shares traded on U.S. exchanges, well below the 7.06 billion average so far this month, according to data from BATS Global Markets.Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 1,806 to 1,262, for a 1.43-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,671 issues fell and 1,031 advanced for a 1.62-to-1 ratio favoring decliners.The benchmark S&P 500 posted 25 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 39 new lows. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

Clinton loses to Sanders in coal state of West Virginia

2016-05-11 09:42:31

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton on Tuesday in West Virginia's primary, winning over voters deeply skeptical about the economy and signaling the difficulty Clinton may have in industrial states in the general election.The loss slows Clinton's march to the nomination, but she is still heavily favored to become the Democratic candidate in the Nov. 8 election.In a November match-up with Donald Trump, Clinton will need to win over working-class voters in the U.S. Rust Belt, which includes key states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.Trump, 69, won contests in West Virginia and Nebraska handily on Tuesday. The presumptive Republican nominee is set to meet with party leaders in the U.S. Congress on Thursday, including U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan.After Ryan said last week that he was not yet ready to endorse Trump, Trump said on Sunday that he would have to decide whether he still wanted Ryan to preside over the party's July convention.Trump said in a Fox interview on Tuesday night that he would like Ryan to chair the convention as planned. "He's a very good man, he wants what's good for the party," the New York billionaire said.Trump has zeroed in on Clinton's protracted battle with Sanders, a 74-year-old U.S. senator from Vermont. He has taunted Clinton in recent days by saying she "can't close the deal" by beating Sanders, her only rival for the Democratic Party's nomination since Feb. 1.Clinton, 68, has said she will ignore Trump's personal insults, including his repeated use of his new nickname for her, "Crooked Hillary," and instead will criticize his policy pronouncements. TOP CONCERNS: ECONOMY AND JOBSDeep concerns about the economy underscored West Virginia's Democratic primary. Roughly six in 10 voters said they were very worried about the direction of the U.S. economy in the next few years. The same proportion cited the economy and jobs was their most important voting issue, according to a preliminary ABC News exit poll.A remark Clinton made at an Ohio town hall in March that the country would "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business" at an Ohio town hall in a comment may have hurt her with voters in coal-mining states such as West Virginia. During Clinton's visit to West Virginia and Ohio last week she repeatedly apologized to displaced coal and steel workers for her comment, which she said had been taken out of context, and discussed her plan to help retrain coal workers for clean energy jobs.To secure the Democratic nomination, a candidate needs 2,383 delegates. Going into West Virginia, Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state, had 2,228 delegates, including 523 so-called superdelegates, elite party members who are free to support any candidate. Sanders had 1,454 delegates, including 39 superdelegates. Another 29 delegates will be apportioned based on West Virginia's results.Clinton and Sanders will compete in another primary contest on May 17. Both candidates are also looking ahead to the June 7 contests, the last in the long nominating season, in which nearly 700 delegates are at stake, including 475 in California, where Sanders is now focusing his efforts.Sanders has vowed to take his campaign all the way to the Democrats' July 25-28 convention in Philadelphia, and wants a say in shaping the party's platform. Sanders has repeatedly told supporters at packed rallies that most opinion polls indicate he would beat Trump in a general election match-up by a larger margin than polls show Clinton defeating Trump.Trump, shifting into general election mode, has already begun to consider running mates. He told Fox on Tuesday night that he has narrowed his list to five people.He did not rule out picking New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former rival who ended his presidential bid in February. Christie, who endorsed Trump and then campaigned for him, on Monday was named to head Trump's White House transition team. (Story refiles to add first name of Republican candidate Donald Trump in second paragraph.) (Additional reporting by Alana Wise, Megan Cassella, Timothy Ahmann and Susan Cornwell in Washington; Editing by Alistair Bell and Leslie Adler)

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Wall St. pulls back from record; utilities slump
Wall St. pulls back from record; utilities slump
Dollar firms, Asia stocks slip as U.S. data, Fed comments awaited