Closing Bell The Spark


  Thursday, 8 Dec 2016 | 12:26 PM ET

The Trump market 'melt up': Euphoria now, but January hangover may be looming

Posted ByKelly Evans

The Trump rally has been so powerful it's starting to "melt up."

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average has closed higher in 17 of the 21 sessions since Donald Trump was elected president, with about a dozen record closes so far as it continues marching higher. It burst past the 19,000 mark for the first time and is now approaching 20,000.

And like a tropical storm gathering strength, the Dow just Wednesday had its largest point gain (up 297.84, to be exact) since the Nov. 8 election.

»Read more
  Sunday, 9 Oct 2016 | 11:00 AM ET

Going to boot camp, but joining an army of coders and self-driving car makers

Posted ByLaura Petti

As technology evolves and employees search for workers with the appropriate set of skills, schools focused primarily on technology have emerged as the new trade schools.

A trade school, defined as a vocational or technical school to teach a specific skill set, has traditionally taught crafts like electrical repair or carpentry work to people seeking out those careers. Now, with a heightened focus on technology, many Americans are turning to tech as a trade to learn specific skills that range from coding to virtual reality.

It's the idea of getting a "micro-credential," or training that leads to employment in a specialized field. The trend is moving to fill a void left by students who graduate from college without technology-specific degrees: According the National Science Foundation, a mere 32.6 percent of all four-year degrees awarded are science and engineering-related.

»Read more
  Saturday, 24 Sep 2016 | 8:49 AM ET

Bruce Berkowitz, facing rough patch, bucks conventional wisdom by betting big

Posted ByKelly Evans

Poring over financial reports to pick out gems from the rough helped Bruce Berkowitz become Morningstar's top equity fund manager last decade.

"I was a hero then," he said in a CNBC Pro "Value Spark" interview.

Now, he's in a rough patch himself.

Berkowitz, the founder and chief investment officer of Fairholme Funds, which he started in 1999, sat down this week to discuss the markets, politics, and his current investment picks.

Those picks include Bank of America; preferred shares of government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; northwest Florida developer St. Joe (which investor David Einhorn made a big bet against); and Sears, along with its spin-offs Lands End and Seritage, among a few others.

While Berkowitz is no stranger to hated holdings—he bought into AIG and other beaten-down financials soon after the 2008-09 crisis—investors lately haven't been loving it.

The Fairholme flagship fund is now "on pace for its third consecutive bottom-decile calendar-year finish…after nearly $5 billion in three-year outflows," and even faces "serious liquidity risks," according to Morningstar.

(To watch the full in-depth interview with Berkowitz, click here. You must be a CNBC Pro subscriber.)

»Read more
  Wednesday, 21 Sep 2016 | 8:51 AM ET

Sell your long-term bonds, billionaire Paul Singer warns

Posted ByKelly Evans

Paul Singer is once again putting global policymakers on notice.

The billionaire founder of investment firm Elliott Management was one of several investors who warned financial ministers in 2007 that a crack in the housing market could cause huge problems for the banking industry.

He is now cautioning that it is once again "a very dangerous time" in global markets.

»Read more
  Tuesday, 20 Sep 2016 | 7:13 AM ET

Start-up mansion fix for 'America's worst housing market'

Posted ByKelly Evans

Billionaire real estate investor Barry Sternlicht had declared Greenwich, Connecticut, with its glut of mega-mansions for sale, "may be the worst housing market in the United States."

"You can't give away a house in Greenwich," he said at CNBC/Institutional Investor's Delivering Alpha conference last week.

One broker has an idea for how to fix that.

"Get some start-up to buy them and put 12 people in them and work," said Fred Glick, a real estate veteran who is currently CEO of brokerages Arrivva and U.S. Spaces.

In an interview Monday on CNBC's "Closing Bell," Glick pointed to the success of that model in Silicon Valley hot spots.

"That's actually happening out here in San Francisco," he said. "They're buying a big house and putting 12 to 15 people in it at $3,000 to $4,000 a month, and it's working."

Of course, Silicon Valley also has a long track record with companies being operated out of houses.

As Barron's noted over the weekend, the joke in Silicon Valley lately is that Meg Whitman's recent split and accelerated downsizing of Hewlett Packard "will return the business to its 1939 roots under David Packard and William Hewlett: a tech shop run out of a garage."

As for gilded Greenwich, it has traditionally been the trophy, as opposed to the launching pad, for business success. Such a departure from its highfalutin history toward divvied-up work-mansions seems unlikely barring some dramatic catalyst.

But, "if Greenwich itself did something with giving start-ups some tax incentives, I bet you'll get some people out of New York to move up to Greenwich and start getting it going," Glick said.

There is now an abundance of "Silicon Alley" talent in New York City — where rents have surged — to draw upon.

And Sternlicht, chief executive of Starwood Capital Group, just moved from Connecticut to Florida, having tired of Connecticut's onerous taxes. He is part of an exodus of successful businessmen from the area, including Paul Tudor Jones and former New Jerseyan David Tepper.

A surge in new listings and a drop in sales has left Greenwich with a 12-month supply of homes on the market as of June, up from 7.7 months a year earlier, according to Bloomberg. Taxes are one factor, along with lifestyle changes across all generations that favor renting or buying newer homes in emerging communities (such as "active senior living" centers).

While certain to stir upset in the neighborhood, something "like Start-Up BNB" — an Airbnb-style service that matched start-ups with available rental space — could work well in Greenwich, said Glick.

Certainly, the deluxe accommodations — indoor pools, for instance, and plenty of outdoor and parking space — would seem a strong selling (or rather, renting) point.

And if that doesn't take? "Make 'em into dorms," Glick said.

»Read more
  Thursday, 21 Jul 2016 | 9:47 AM ET

CNBC's Kelly Evans explains: Why I quit social media

Posted ByKelly Evans
Kelly Evans unplugged and couldn't be happier!
Source: Kelly Evans
Kelly Evans unplugged and couldn't be happier!

Last Friday, I deactivated my Twitter account, thereby severing an eight-year relationship that had become a big part of my professional — and personal — life.

Perhaps too big.

»Read more

About The Spark

  • The Spark uncovers and explores key ideas, companies and developments sparking innovation in today’s rapidly changing economy. Featuring the thought leaders and companies delivering change on a large scale to America’s business landscape, The Spark digs deeper to uncover the future drivers of economic growth and change. Catch it weekdays at 4 p.m. EST on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” with Kelly Evans.

Contact The Spark


  • Kelly Evans

    Kelly Evans is anchor of CNBC's “The Exchange” and co-anchor of “Power Lunch.”