TIME stocks

A Japanese Day Trader Made $34 Million In the Market This Week

JAPAN-STOCKS
KAZUHIRO NOGI—AFP/Getty Images Japan's Nikkei index had its biggest one-day fall in nearly 10 months in the wake of Monday's carnage on Wall Street.

Not everyone's afraid of volatility

One of the iron-clad laws of trading is that you can’t time the market.

Of course, there’s always the exception that proves the rule. According to a report in Bloomberg, day trader in Japan perfectly timed the global market meltdown this week, netting himself a cool $34 million in the process.

The trader, known only by his internet handle “CIS,” believed there would be a sharp downturn in the markets, and had been “shorting futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average since mid-August.” By Monday of this week, he was looking at a paper profit of $13 million, but he didn’t stop there. He wagered that once the U.S. markets opened to a global selloff, it would force the markets lower in Japan too.

After doubling his winnings, CIS pivoted betting correctly that the market had bottomed.

“I do my best work when other people are panicking,” the trader told Bloomberg.

TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Templates for Overdue Email Response

TIME.com stock photos Computer Keyboard Typing
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Get your message across without damaging your reputation

The Muse logo

Raise your hand if, at this very moment, you have at least one email you should’ve already sent—a day ago, a week ago, even (eek!) a month ago.

I know there’s several messages I’m currently late in sending. Yet, they always conveniently slip my mind until right before I go to sleep—at which point I promise myself that I’ll send them first thing tomorrow morning.

Then time passes, and passes some more, and before I know it, I’m facing a situation where it’s almost embarrassing to respond. Isn’t it just better to pretend that it got caught in spam?

No. And to make finally sending that email a little easier, I’ve created a couple templates that will both salvage your professional reputation and make your recipient more understanding of the delay.

1. For “Friendly” Emails That Don’t Technically Require a Response

It’s really easy to procrastinate on replying to these types of emails, because your daily responsibilities usually take precedence. But trust me, it’s better to send a late response than never send one at all. Just make sure to extend a heartfelt apology and prove that despite your tardy response, you’re interested in the other person’s life.

Hi Amy,

Thanks so much for your kind note last month! Yep, it was definitely exciting for our team to get theWall Street Journal mention—things have been crazy here ever since, which is why I’m so late in answering your email. (I apologize!)

I saw your company recently announced its launching a new marketing division. That’s so awesome, congratulations! How’s everything been going over there?

Thank you again, and I hope to see you at another meet-up in the future.

Best,

Aja

2. For Request Emails

When someone asks you for information or help and you forget to respond (or put it off because it’s never the right time), you can feel pretty guilty. Show the person who reached out that you’re not a jerk by doing the best you can to help him or her now.

Dear James,

Last month, you asked me if I knew anyone who worked at Carol Smith Agency, and I apologize for not answering sooner! Are you still hoping to find a contact there? I just looked through my connections and discovered a couple people who might be helpful. Let me know if you want me to make some introductions.

And if there’s anything else I can do for you, just ask. I promise I’ll try to be quicker next time!

Aja

3. For Bad News Emails

It’s incredibly easy to put off breaking bad news (and find one million reasons to do it). However, you have to rip that Band-Aid off eventually. First, apologize, then try to explain the situation, and finally, actually make an effort to help!

Hi Maren,

I hope you’re doing well and that your last semester at Colgate is off to a great start. My sincerest apologies for not getting back to you about the remote internship sooner.

After thinking it over, our team doesn’t think this will work out—so much of our communication happens in person, and we’d hate for you to miss that. However, you’re clearly talented and motivated, and I’d be more than happy to see if I know anyone at another company who could use a remote intern. Let me know if you’re interested.

Sincerely,

Aja

4. For Every Other Email

For all those miscellaneous, oh-gosh-I-really-have-to-reply emails, you can use this template as a starter.

Dear Sam,

As I was looking through my drafts, I realized I had never [emailed/responded to] you about [subject]. I am sincerely sorry for letting the ball drop on this one—in the future, I’ll double-check that I’ve sent my messages to you so it doesn’t happen again.

After meeting with the Dev Ops team, we’ve decided to move forward with the original plan discussed at our March meeting.

Apologies again,

Aja

Answering a late email always requires a little willpower. But you know you’ll feel better once you do—and now that you have these templates, there’s no excuse not to push “send.”

This post is in partnership with The Muse. The article above was originally published on The Muse

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MONEY stocks

This Could Throw Cold Water on the Dow’s 1,000-Point Rebound

150827_INV_AnotherBigDay
Richard Drew—AP Specialist Charles Boeddinghaus, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015.

Despite two strong days for the market, investors shouldn't assume this sell-off is over.

For the second straight day, stocks soared on better-than-expected economic news.

After Thursday’s jump of more than 369 points, the Dow Jones industrial average is now up nearly 1,000 points in the past two days.

While that doesn’t erase the Dow’s 1,900-point decline between Aug. 17 and Aug. 25, the bounce back went a long way toward calming nerves on Wall Street.

Don’t be surprised, though, if the jitters return on Friday or next week.

Why?

For starters, in volatile times investors have a tendency to take profits heading into a weekend — if for no other reason than to guard against potential surprises that might hit the Asian markets before trading begins in New York on Monday.

It’s also important to remember why stocks surged on Wednesday and Thursday in the first place.

Rate Hikes May Be Off

When stocks were plummeting at the start of this week, investors feared that cratering equities might be signaling a much weaker than expected economy ahead.

But on Wednesday came what Wall Street interpreted as good news: A key Fed official indicated that as a result of recent global market shocks, the case for the Federal Reserve hiking interest rates in September was “less compelling.” That means the Fed isn’t likely to tap the economy’s brakes anytime soon.

Then the Commerce Department reported that orders for durable goods rose faster than expected, damping down recession worries.

And on Thursday, the Commerce Department came back and revised its earlier assessment of economic growth in the second quarter. Instead of growing at an annual rate of 2.3% as was thought, U.S. GDP actually expanded a robust 3.7% in the spring.

That seemed to slam the door on all this recession talk.

However, some market watchers believe the GDP report also may have reopened the door to the Fed raising rates in September.

Rate Hikes May Be On

Brian Singer, a portfolio manager at William Blair, says the new batch of good economic data — and Wall Street’s positive reaction to it — will likely trigger “a cat and mouse game between the markets and the Fed” that could go on for a while.

Here’s how that game is played: When there’s good economic news and equity prices rise, that’s likely to renew talk of rate hikes. And such talk is likely to be jeered by Wall Street in subsequent days.

Conversely, if there’s weak data that sparks a market sell-off, that will likely prompt speculation that the Fed will postpone rate increases. And that could push the equity markets higher.

So investors should brace themselves for ongoing volatility.

A Third Option

To be sure, there’s a small but growing group on Wall Street that believes a September rate hike would actually be bullish, not bearish.

“If anything, if the Fed were to raise rates that would send a signal that the Fed believes economic growth is strong enough to withstand higher rates,” says Kate Warne, investment strategist at Edward Jones. “To us, that’s good news, not bad news.”

Conversely, if the Fed keeps rates at zero — and begins talking up the need for further stimulus through yet another round of quantitative easing, “that would be a huge confidence crusher,” says Liz Ann Sonders, chief investment strategist at Charles Schwab.

At the very least, a Fed rate hike in September “takes off the table one of the market’s big uncertainties,” says Scott Clemons, a managing director for Brown Brothers Harriman.

That’s the uncertainty of when the Fed will finally pull the trigger.

But for now, the cat and mouse game goes on.

TIME Markets

U.S. Business Group Tells China to Open Insurance and Securities Markets

China Financial Markets
Ng Han Guan—AP A Chinese investor monitors stock prices at a brokerage in Beijing on Aug. 27, 2015

Foreign service businesses are "pessimistic about the regulatory environment"

(BEIJING) — An American business group urged China on Friday to allow more access to its insurance and other service industries, saying foreign skills could help develop its volatile stock markets and cope with disasters like the recent chemical explosion in Tianjin.

Opening largely closed banking, logistics and other markets wider to foreign competitors would support the communist leadership’s effort to nurture service industries and reduce reliance on trade and investment to drive economic growth, the American Chamber of Commerce in China said.

The group’s deputy chairman, Lester Ross, pointed to China’s stock market plunge and the Aug. 12 explosion in Tianjin that killed at least 145 people, and said bringing in more global expertise could help to develop financial markets and reduce the impact of disasters.

“Our hope, frankly, is that the downturn in the market will encourage the Chinese government to open faster,” Ross said at a news conference.

In a report, the chamber also cited potential opportunities in fields including engineering, health care, communications technology, legal services, real estate, entertainment, online commerce and logistics.

The report is part of an annual series but its release comes at a time when stock market turmoil and unexpectedly weak export and manufacturing data have fueled concerns about the health of China’s economy. That has prompted urging from economists for Beijing to move faster on promised reforms aimed at making the economy more productive by opening state-dominated industries to private and foreign competition.

Despite promises of reform, foreign service businesses are “pessimistic about the regulatory environment,” said the chamber chairman, James Zimmerman.

Ross said China’s insurance industry, with a history of just 35 years, lacks the experience of foreign insurers at spotting potential risks and encouraging policyholders to reduce them.

“The more of that China has, the less likely it would be that it’s going to have casualties and disasters like those we have recently seen,” he said.

Zimmerman said Beijing should take action on its own without waiting to complete talks underway with Washington on proposed bilateral investment treaties that are expected to lead to further market opening.

“For the Chinese economy’s own good, they need to move faster,” said Zimmerman.

The chamber also expressed concern about the impact of proposed Chinese anti-terrorism and cybersecurity laws that companies worry could restrict market access for a wide array of foreign communications, computer and other technology.

The number of telecommunications services open to foreign investment is “very, very limited,” and the government’s “exaggerated concern about security” could reduce access further, Ross said.

TIME Markets

Asian Stocks Rise After U.S. Data Calms Investors

<> on August 27, 2015 in New York City.
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on August 27, 2015

Regional markets took their lead from Wall Street

(HONG KONG) — Asian stocks rose Friday as upbeat U.S. economic data lifted investors’ spirits following days of stomach-churning turbulence sparked by a heavy sell-off in China.

Japan led regional gains, but Shanghai shares were not far behind as markets took their lead from Wall Street, where benchmarks had a strong finish after a government report showed that U.S. second-quarter economic growth was much stronger than initially estimated. The growth data, which also helped oil prices stage an impressive rebound, gave added encouragement to investors seeking bargains in beaten-down shares.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 3 percent to 19,124.85 after lackluster monthly data on inflation and household spending raised hopes of further stimulus.

The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China rose 2.1 percent to 3,149.35, adding to its 5.3 percent gain Thursday, which was its first increase in six days, during which it shed nearly 23 percent.

World stock markets are returning to calm after the tumult of the past two weeks, which saw Chinese stocks plunge, wiping out gains for the year, on jitters over the economy and a surprise devaluation of the yuan. Analysts warn there may be further volatility ahead.

“Uncertainties regarding China and the emerging world are likely to linger and uncertainty still remains around the Fed,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital.

However, he added that he believes markets have bottomed out and a “cyclical bull market” is likely to resume. “Despite the recent set-back, share markets are likely to remain in a broad rising trend,” he said.

Recent market turmoil has thrown into doubt expectations for a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in September, with most economists now saying it’s off the table for now. Fed officials hold their annual meeting at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this weekend, which will be heavily scrutinized for clues on the rate hike timing.

South Korea’s Kospi climbed 1.5 percent to 1,937.16 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7 percent to 21,984.11. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.5 percent to 5,259.00.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average climbed 2.3 percent to close at 16,654.77, recouping nearly half of its losses over the past two days following a sharp six-day slump. The S&P 500 index gained 2.4 percent to 1,987.66 and the Nasdaq composite rose 2.5 percent to 4,812.71.

The dollar slipped to 121.09 yen from 121.12 in late trading Thursday. The euro climbed to $1.1254 from $1.1242.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil extended gains, rising 68 cents to $43.24 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday the contract posted its biggest one-day gain in six years, leaping $3.96, or 10.3 percent, to $42.56 a barrel. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils imported by U.S. refineries, rose 74 cents to $48.34 in London.

TIME Markets

U.S. Stocks Close Higher Following Chinese Market Gains

Market
Andrew Burton—Getty Images Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during the morning of Aug. 27, 2015 .

The Dow climbed close to 370 points on Thursday

U.S. stocks are closing sharply higher after China’s main stock index logged its biggest gain in eight weeks. A report also showed that the U.S. economy expanded at a much faster pace than previously estimated.

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 369.26 points, or 2. 3 percent, to 16,654.77 on Thursday. That took the two-day gain for the index to almost 1,000 points.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 47.15 points, or 2.4 percent, to 1,987.66. The Nasdaq composite gained 115.17 points, or 2.5 percent, to 4,812.71.

Energy stocks surged as the price of oil jumped 10 percent.

Bond prices were little changed from Wednesday, keeping the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note at 2.18 percent.

TIME Careers & Workplace

5 Marketing Lessons From Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign

Donald Trump during a news conference ahead of a rally in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 25, 2015.
Daniel Acker—Bloomberg via Getty Images Donald Trump during a news conference ahead of a rally in Dubuque, Iowa on Aug. 25, 2015.

What you see is what you get

Donald Trump has taken over the 2016 Republican presidential primary campaign. Whether you agree or disagree with him, there’s no denying that his candidacy has been a powerful force in the race and has commanded a great deal of media attention.

Time will tell whether Trump’s campaign will be successful in winning the nomination, but he’s already been very successful at generating headlines. Despite his brash demeanor and highly questionable (some would say “hateful” or “stupid”) statements, as of this writing, Trump just keeps rising in the polls.

Regardless of what happens with Trump’s presidential campaign, he’s already a winner in the constant battle for public attention. Here are a few marketing lessons from Trump that any brand or political cause can emulate:

1. Know your audience

Donald Trump doesn’t care if you love him or hate him. He’s playing to a very select crowd of voters who believe in his message and who want to support him. There’s something about Trump’s tough-talking “I don’t care what the experts think” attitude that appeals to Republican primary voters in 2015. Lots of Republican primary voters are feeling frustrated and are passionate to take back the White House. Trump is giving voice to feelings that are widely shared in that political party.

In the same way, your brand doesn’t have to appeal to “everyone.” Know your target market and speak to their concerns in a relevant way.

2. Know your brand

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump knows who he is. The Trump that we’re seeing on the campaign trail is well known to New Yorkers (I’m a native New Yorker myself). We have watched him for decades become famous as a New York real estate developer, bestselling author and TV reality-show contest business mogul on “The Apprentice.” Trump hasn’t changed. He’s just talking about politics now instead of business deals. But he’s always been bold and brassy, with a take-no-prisoners attitude.

The lesson: Your brand needs to stand for something. Lots of people are not fans of Trump, but even people who oppose his candidacy find themselves grudgingly admiring the consistency of his brand message. What you see is what you get.

3. Be audacious

Trump has said a lot of outrageous things during the campaign, from inflammatory remarks about Mexican immigrants to accusing John McCain of not being a “war hero,” but every new media gaffe or media whirlwind just seems to boost his performance in the polls. The reason: Trump’s core supporters respect him for speaking his truth, even if he’s not saying it in a polite, genteel way.

Most political candidates are so polished and focus-grouped that it’s almost impossible for their real feelings and emotions to come out. Trump is in your face, every day, with unvarnished depictions of life as he sees it. He’s not afraid of what anyone thinks about him, and it shows.

The lesson: Don’t be afraid to really stand for something as a brand, even if it’s controversial. Too many companies try to be blandly inoffensive in a failed attempt to be “mainstream” and appeal to “everyone.” It’s better to be memorable, even if you lose some customers who don’t “get it,” as long as you keep appealing to the niche market of customers who love you the most.

4. Trust yourself

Trump doesn’t follow focus groups. All candidates these days test out their message, trying to find the right combination of words and issues to appeal to the right demographic segments of voters. But often, candidates end up sounding excessively “focus-grouped.” The real human connection of the candidate gets lost in trying to appeal to too many people. Trump seems to be resonating with conservative Republican voters because he’s so unrehearsed and unpolished — he’s not afraid to speak off the cuff. Every day on the campaign seems like he’s just really talking about whatever is most urgently on his mind at that moment.

The same goes with your product. It’s good to do some market research to find out whether a new product is viable, but it’s even more important to trust that you have a good idea. If you feel that way, trust that others will feel the same. I’ve seen so many great ideas become convoluted and watered down, when there are too many cooks in the kitchen. If you try to make your product appealing to everyone, you’ll ultimately end up appealing to no one.

5. No apologies

Trump is like no one else we’ve seen in presidential politics in recent years. He seems to have absolutely no sense of regret or shame. He says what he says, he calls it like he sees it, and then he moves on, ignoring the critics. Has Trump ever apologized for anything? He seems incapable of admitting to mistakes or being wrong.

This raises an interesting question for your brand: when should you apologize? If a customer has a bad experience with your product, should you apologize? Or should you just give them a refund and move on, writing it off as “Well, they’re not the right kind of customer for us?” If someone is offended by or misunderstands something your company posts on Twitter, should you apologize? Should you ignore the critics, or try to learn from them?

It’s hard to know when to draw the line. If you apologize too often, you’ll find yourself catering too much to customers who really don’t understand the value of what you offer. But if you don’t apologize when an apology was really warranted, you might damage your brand. You have to toe the line between maintaining your brand reputation and doing the right thing. Don’t spend all of your energy on trying to make bad customers happy.

Trump embodies the purity of a certain kind of bold, no-apologies approach to doing business. He’s almost Zen-like in his clear-headed refusal to get bogged down in details of saying “sorry.” He just keeps moving forward and on to the next deal. There’s something so refreshing about that, but not all brands can pull it off.

Whether you’re voting for Trump or not, there’s no denying that he’s a fascinating one-of-a-kind figure in American politics and business. You don’t have to become like Trump to learn from how he’s marketed himself and built his brand.

This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com

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TIME Media

This Is the Next Battleground for Netflix and Amazon

Gaby Hoffmann, Jeffrey Tambor, Jill Soloway
Richard Shotwell—Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP From left, Gaby Hoffmann, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jill Soloway speak onstage during the "Transparent" panel at the Amazon 2014 Summer TCA on Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The streaming wars continue to go global

Amazon and Netflix will soon be squaring off in a new Asian battleground. On Wednesday Amazon announced that it will bring its Prime Instant Video service to Japan in September. Netflix has had long-announced plans to roll out its own streaming service in the country on Sept. 2.

Amazon’s Japanese offering will include dramas, anime and variety shows popular in both the U.S. and Japan. Original shows like “Transparent” will also be available.

Amazon, which already offers Prime subscriptions in Japan, will have a significant price advantage. Amazon Prime costs ¥3900 (about $32) per year, or about $2.71 per month. Netflix will have multiple tiers starting at ¥650, or about $5.40 per month.

It reminans to be seen whether either service will find substantial success in the country. Hulu launched in the country in 2011 but ended up selling off its Japanese streaming business to the Nippon TV television network in 2014.

TIME diamonds

Now You Can Make Diamonds in a Microwave

A collection of natural diamonds are seen laid in rows on a
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images A collection of natural diamonds.

The process takes several weeks

Diamonds really are forever, now that we can manufacture them.

There’s a growing market for man-made jewels grown in science labs, Bloomberg reports. The diamonds are made by placing a carbon seed in a microwave chamber and superheating the substance into a plasma ball, which crystallizes into the much-desired jewels. Experts can only tell the difference between the manufactured diamonds and traditionally mined ones using a machine.

The man-made diamonds are starting to be sold by retailers such as Wal-Mart, although they still make up just a small fraction of total diamond sales. In 2014, an estimated 360,000 carats of lab-grown diamonds were manufactured while about 146 million carats of natural gems were mined. The number of man-made diamonds is expected to reach 20 million carats by 2026. (One carat = 0.2 grams).

Diamond industry heavyweights such as De Beers say they have nothing to fear from startups pushing lab-produced gems. The company told Bloomberg that the “formation,” “history,” and “emotional significance” of mined diamonds make them unique.

TIME conflict

This Graphic Shows How Blood Diamonds Arrive in the U.S.

There are many loopholes in the global supply chain

The diamond industry created the Kimberley Process in 2003 to reassure consumers that their gemstones had not been used to finance conflicts.

But while the Kimberley Process removed some conflict diamonds from the market, many still slip through loopholes along the supply chain, as detailed in the TIME article Blood Diamonds. Another problem is that the Kimberley Process’ narrow definition of “conflict diamond” does not include some of the practices in diamond mining and sale that consumers find troubling, including environmental degradation, child labor, worker exploitation and state-sanctioned violence. That allows for unethically sourced gems to end up in stores in the U.S.

This graphic shows how conflict diamonds can easily become part of the global supply chain:

blood.diamond

Read Next: TIME’s Report on Blood Diamonds

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