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With Roe gone, abortion foes tee up another precedent for the Supreme Court to overturn 2024-07-18 20:55:30+00:00 - When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, the majority complained that prior abortion rulings had “distorted First Amendment doctrines.” The case the court cited for that proposition was Hill v. Colorado, a 2000 decision that upheld a law that barred approaching people without consent outside of a health care facility for the purpose of leafletting, displaying signs, protesting, educating or counseling. A new petition to the justices this week asks the court to overrule Hill — and there’s reason to think the court will do it. Hill was decided 6-3 in 2000, when the court’s composition was much different than it is today (as one may have guessed from the Dobbs majority’s disapproving citation). Justice Clarence Thomas, who dissented in Hill, is the only justice from that original ruling who is still on the court. The new petition comes from the anti-abortion group Coalition Life. It challenges a Carbondale, Illinois, ordinance that it says is virtually identical to the one that the court upheld in Hill, which set the zone within 100 feet outside a facility and within 8 feet of a person. “The lower courts had no choice but to uphold that carbon-copy measure,” the group said in the petition filed by the group's legal representatives, the Thomas More Society and Paul Clement, a top conservative Supreme Court lawyer. “This Court has a better option,” it said: overrule Hill. The city has an opportunity to respond before the court considers whether to grant review, which takes four justices. Based on the majority’s negative reference to Hill in the Dobbs decision — on top of the court’s First Amendment rulings since Hill — it appears there are at least that many justices who would consider overturning Hill. And Coalition Life's is not the only petition seeking to ditch the 2000 precedent. There's another one pending before the justices, filed by the American Center for Law and Justice, whose chief counsel is Trump impeachment lawyer Jay Sekulow, who argued Hill for the challengers. Whether in these pending appeals or any another, the issue is one to watch as the court fills out its docket for the next term, which starts in October.
COVID Activity Is Elevated Across 26 States In Summer Surge, Biden Remains In Isolation: 3 Vaccine Stocks To Watch - Harbor ETF Trust Harbor Health Care ETF (ARCA:MEDI), First Trust Morningstar ETF (A 2024-07-18 20:55:00+00:00 - Loading... Loading... More than half of the states in the U.S. are experiencing significant Covid-19 activity in wastewater, and President Joe Biden remains in isolation after announcing Wednesday he caught the virus for the third time. Twenty-six states are reporting either “high” or “very high” levels of the virus at various sites, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. States with the highest levels include Arkansas, California, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon and Texas. The Biden administration no longer considers Covid-19 a public health emergency and instead treats it as a routine respiratory virus to be prevented through an annual vaccination campaign, the Washington Post reported. Also Read: European Commission Faces Court Criticism Over COVID Vaccine Contract Transparency Ahead Of Vote on Ursula Von Der Leyen’s Reappointment Biden is staying at his Rehoboth Beach home in Delaware while continuing to perform presidential duties. Vaccine Stocks To Watch: Novovax, Inc. NVAX, Moderna, Inc. MRNA and Pfizer Inc. PFE are all making new Covid vaccines that should be available before the end of September, the New York Times reported. The Novavax vaccine will target JN.1, the variant that was prominent in the winter and spring. Pfizer and Moderna are developing shots aimed at KP.2, which accounts for about one in four new cases. Two related variants, KP.3 and LB.1, are the culprint behind more than half of new cases, the Times said. All three variants are descendants of JN.1, so each of the vaccines is expected to be effective against them. NVAX, MRNA, PFE Price Action: Novovax shares were down 5.7% to $14.94 late in Thursday’s session. Moderna was down 2.16% to $121.37. Pfizer is down 1.07% at $29.70. Exchange-traded funds that hold shares of Pfizer, which has the largest market capitalization of the group of vaccine developers at $169 billion, declined in Thursday afternoon trading. First Trust Nasdaq Pharmaceuticals ETF FTHX fell 0.35%. fell 0.35%. First Trust Morningstar Dividend Leaders Index Fund FDL slipped 0.69%. slipped 0.69%. Invesco Pharmceuticals ETF PJP slid 0.55%. slid 0.55%. Harbor Health Care ETF MEDI lost 0.33%. lost 0.33%. Invesco S&P Ultra dividend Revenue ETF RDIV declined 0.66%. Read Now: Photo via Shutterstock.
Business owner goes viral for mass 'Trump 2024' email—why he missed the mark, from a 'productive discourse' expert 2024-07-18 20:48:00+00:00 - Anthony Constantino got a lot of responses after he sent a mass email to his custom printing company's customers with the subject line "Trump 2024." Some recipients applauded the Sticker Mule co-founder's message, which called for a stop to "insane political hate" toward former president Donald Trump and his supporters, after an attempted assassination of Trump on July 13. Others responded with intense distaste, especially once the memo went viral on social media. Prior to Constantino's email, which Sticker Mule also published on social media, the Amsterdam, New York-based company wasn't particularly known for its political stances. Now, its post on X alone has at least 10.3 million views. The virality raises a question among leadership experts: During politically fraught moments, do bosses have a responsibility to issue public statements? If you want to maximize your impact, keep your messaging within your company, says Steven Collis, a productive discourse expert and author of the upcoming book, "Habits of a Peacemaker: 10 Habits to Change Our Potentially Toxic Conversations into Healthy Dialogues." "You really need to assess how much good do statements like this really do. Do they actually persuade the public on something?" Collis, who teaches at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law, tells CNBC Make It. "The more important question is, could you do something else more valuable that gets less public recognition, but addresses this issue that you're worried about?" 'We are happy to take some heat' Emotions ran high on July 13. For Constantino, who co-founded the custom printing services company in 2010, supporting the 45th U.S. president was imperative. "I don't care what your political views are but the hate for Trump and his supporters has gone too far," Constantino wrote. "I support Trump. Many at Sticker Mule do. Many at Sticker Mule also support Biden. The political hate needs to stop." "Btw, this week, get 1 shirt for $4 (normally $19). I suggest buying one that shows you support Trump," he added in his email, which a recipient screenshotted and posted to Reddit. Those two sentences appear to have been removed from the version Sticker Mule posted to social media. The memo prompted more than 30,000 comments across social media platforms, and hundreds of reaction videos on TikTok. "You have my business for life," one Instagram user wrote. "Bye Sticker Mule! Seeking a new sticker supplier as we speak. SMH," commented another. Some people sent death threats to the company's customer support team, Constantino tells CNBC Make It. The company "took swift action by issuing a $2500 bonus to all 79 people on our support team to thank them for dealing with the bulls---," he says. Constantino stands by his original email, he notes. "Sticker Mule has an incredible reputation as a generous, caring brand and we are happy to take some heat to educate the world that the extreme hatred directed at Trump and his supporters is wrong," he says, adding: "We are doing the right thing to make the world happier ... Sticker Mule wants max happiness for everyone." Do's and don'ts for public statements
Is Adverum Biotechnologies Stock Outpacing Its Medical Peers This Year? - Medpace Hldgs (NASDAQ:MEDP), Adverum Biotechnologies (NASDAQ:ADVM) 2024-07-18 20:37:00+00:00 - Loading... Loading... The Medical group has plenty of great stocks, but investors should always be looking for companies that are outperforming their peers. Has Adverum Biotechnologies ADVM been one of those stocks this year? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Medical sector should help us answer this question. Adverum Biotechnologies is one of 1025 individual stocks in the Medical sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #4 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank includes 16 different groups and is listed in order from best to worst in terms of the average Zacks Rank of the individual companies within each of these sectors. The Zacks Rank is a proven system that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions, highlighting a variety of stocks that are displaying the right characteristics to beat the market over the next one to three months. Adverum Biotechnologies is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy). Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for ADVM's full-year earnings has moved 2.2% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving. Our latest available data shows that ADVM has returned about 16.6% since the start of the calendar year. Meanwhile, stocks in the Medical group have gained about 8.1% on average. This shows that Adverum Biotechnologies is outperforming its peers so far this year. Another Medical stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Medpace MEDP. The stock has returned 42.6% year-to-date. For Medpace, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year has increased 7.2% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Breaking things down more, Adverum Biotechnologies is a member of the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry, which includes 500 individual companies and currently sits at #70 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have gained 0.5% this year, meaning that ADVM is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns. On the other hand, Medpace belongs to the Medical Services industry. This 57-stock industry is currently ranked #67. The industry has moved +6% year to date. Adverum Biotechnologies and Medpace could continue their solid performance, so investors interested in Medical stocks should continue to pay close attention to these stocks. To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
The sibling trio turning Bali's river trash into sandals and furniture 2024-07-18 20:36:35+00:00 - Indonesia ranks as one of the world's biggest contributors to ocean plastics, and a lot of it comes from rivers. The local nonprofit Sungai Watch saves about 3 metric tons of trash from entering the ocean every day with simple barriers and manual labor. We visited the island of Bali to meet the three young siblings behind the nonprofit and learn why a tropical paradise has a huge trash problem.
MGM Resorts' BetMGM Expands Reach in Washington DC - PlayAGS (NYSE:AGS), American Public Education (NASDAQ:APEI) 2024-07-18 20:35:00+00:00 - Loading... Loading... MGM Resorts International's MGM leading sports betting and the iGaming brand, BetMGM, expanded its mobile sports betting service throughout Washington, D.C. This move allows sports fans across the district to use the BetMGM app and earn rewards from MGM Resorts and Marriott Bonvoy. The strategic expansion follows the D.C. Council's approval of its fiscal 2025 budget, which includes opening the digital sports betting market. MGM retains exclusivity around Nationals Park, operating the BetMGM Sportsbook through a partnership with the Washington Nationals. This allows fans to bet on their favorite teams across the District using BetMGM's award-winning mobile app. BetMGM continues to prioritize responsible gambling education as it expands into new markets. The company offers resources like GameSense, developed and licensed by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation and integrated into BetMGM's mobile and desktop platforms. This program provides customers with familiar tools for responsible gaming, complementing BetMGM's existing safety measures to ensure an enjoyable and secure digital gaming experience. Focus on Sports Betting MGM Resorts continues to focus on sports betting expansion. Sports betting and iGaming continue to be a major growth driver following the legalization of sports betting outside Nevada. The company emphasizes the approval and subsequent migration of the Entain platform in Nevada, setting the stage for the integration of a single account and wallet in Nevada during late spring 2024. The company is confident about the improved design and functionality of the BetMGM app launch (of a single wallet) and omnichannel growth prospects. BetMGM announced that it has partnered with Gila River Hotels & Casinos and the Arizona Cardinals in an effort to expand its retail and online sports betting. The company started a collaboration with Orix to build a world-class integrated resort in Japan. BetMGM has a long-term growth target of 20% to 25% in U.S. sports betting and iGaming. Currently, the company is on track to achieve its target. Price Performance Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Shares of this owner and operator of casino resorts through wholly-owned subsidiaries have gained 7.4% in the past six months compared with the Zacks Gaming industry's 15.9% growth. Although the company's shares have underperformed its industry, its ongoing focus on sports betting and iGaming along with international expansion, asset-light strategy, and non-gaming activities are likely to foster its growth in the upcoming period. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2025 earnings per share has increased to $3.19 from $3.13 in the past 30 days. Zacks Rank & Key Picks MGM Resorts currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are as follows: PlayAGS, Inc. AGS sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). AGS has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 33.3%, on average. The stock has appreciated 70.1% in the past year. The consensus estimate for AGS's 2024 sales and EPS suggests growth of 7.7% and 5,200%, respectively, from the year-ago levels. American Public Education, Inc. APEI currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1. APEI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 138.2%, on average. The stock has surged 283.6% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for APEI's 2024 sales and EPS indicates an increase of 3.9% and 124.6%, respectively, from year-ago levels. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). RCL has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 18.3%, on average. The stock has rallied 65.4% in the past year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for RCL's 2024 sales and EPS calls for growth of 16.9% and 64%, respectively, from the year-ago levels. To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Federal appeals court blocks Biden's new student loan relief plan 2024-07-18 20:34:00+00:00 - President Joe Biden delivers remarks on new Administration efforts to cancel student debt and support borrowers at the White House on October 04, 2023 in Washington, DC. Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images SAVE plan mired in legal troubles The Biden administration rolled out the SAVE plan in the summer of 2023, describing it as "the most affordable student loan plan ever." Indeed, the terms of the new income-driven repayment plan are the most generous to date, making it controversial among critics of debt forgiveness. So far, around 8 million borrowers have signed up for SAVE, according to the White House. SAVE comes with two key provisions that legal challenges have targeted: It has lower monthly payments than any other IDR plan, and it leads to quicker debt erasure for those with small balances.
Alterity Up on Interim Data From Advance MSA Study - Compugen (NASDAQ:CGEN), Alterity Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ATHE) 2024-07-18 20:33:00+00:00 - Loading... Loading... Shares of Alterity Therapeutics ATHE were up 7.8% on Jul 17 after the company announced positive interim data from the phase II ATH434-202 study evaluating its lead pipeline candidate ATH434 for treating patients with multiple system atrophy, a rare neurodegenerative disease. The study enrolled 10 participants with advanced MSA. Per the press company, interim analysis results from the open-label ATH434-202 study included clinical and biomarker data from seven participants who were treated with ATH434 for six months and neuroimaging data from three participants who were treated with ATH434 for 12 months. Data from the same showed that 43% of the participants displayed improvement on the Unified MSA Rating Scale Part I (UMSARS1), indicating reduced disability in activities of daily living following six months of treatment. Also, 29% of the participants had stable or improved neurological symptoms at the same time. Patients who were treated with ATH434 had favorable clinical and biomarker outcomes, which underlined the potential of ATH434 to modify the course of MSA treatment. Shares of Alterity have plunged 14.2% so far this year compared with the industry's decline of 1%. Phase I studies conducted on ATH434 showed that the candidate is well tolerated and achieved brain levels that are comparable to efficacious levels seen in animal models of MSA. Final 12-month data from the open-label ATH434-202 study is expected in the first half of 2025. Alterity is currently evaluating ATH434 across two separate mid-stage studies. Apart from the ATH434-202 study, which evaluates ATH434 in more advanced MSA, the phase II ATH434-201 study is evaluating ATH434 in early-stage MSA. An oral candidate, ATH434, is designed to inhibit the aggregation of pathological proteins implicated in neurodegeneration. ATH434 has been granted orphan drug designation in treating MSA indications by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency. Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider Alterity currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some top-ranked stocks in the biotech sector are Entrada Therapeutics, Inc. TRDA, Compugen Ltd. CGEN and Beyond Air, Inc. XAIR, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. In the past 60 days, estimates for Entrada Therapeutics' 2024 loss per share have narrowed from 14 cents to 13 cents. Loss per share estimates for 2025 have narrowed from $3.44 to $3.21. Year to date, shares of TRDA have jumped 13.4%. TRDA's earnings beat estimates in two of the trailing four quarters and missed the same on the remaining two occasions, the average surprise being 42.18%. In the past 60 days, estimates for Compugen's 2024 earnings per share have improved from 2 cents to 5 cents, while loss per share estimates for 2025 have narrowed from 27 cents to 11 cents. Year to date, shares of CGEN have lost 6%. CGEN's earnings beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters and missed on the remaining occasion, the average surprise being 5.79%. In the past 60 days, estimates for Beyond Air's 2024 loss per share have narrowed from 44 cents to 35 cents. Loss per share estimates for 2025 have narrowed from $1.45 to $1.01. Year to date, shares of XAIR have plunged 71.4%. XAIR's earnings beat estimates in three of the trailing four quarters while missing the same on the other occasion, the average surprise being 8.77%. To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Reasons to Add Masimo Stock to Your Portfolio Now - Masimo (NASDAQ:MASI) 2024-07-18 20:32:00+00:00 - Loading... Loading... Masimo Corporation MASI is well-poised for growth in the coming quarters, courtesy of its research and development (R&D) efforts. The optimism, led by a solid first-quarter 2024 performance and its solid product portfolio, is expected to contribute further. However, concerns regarding overdependence on its Signal Extraction Technology ("SET") unit and macroeconomic issues persist. Over the past year, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company's shares have lost 7.1% against the industry's 6% growth. The S&P 500 has witnessed 17.6% growth in the said time frame. The renowned global provider of non-invasive monitoring systems has a market capitalization of $5.84 billion. The company projects 9.3% growth for 2025 and expects to maintain its strong performance going forward. Masimo's earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the trailing four quarters and missed once, the average surprise being 4.7%. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Let's delve deeper. Product Portfolio: We are optimistic about Masimo's healthcare business, which develops, manufactures and markets a variety of non-invasive patient monitoring technologies, hospital automation and connectivity solutions, remote monitoring devices and consumer health products. Last month, Masimo introduced Sleep Halo, a powerful new feature, for its Masimo W1 Sport advanced health tracking wearable, intended for scientifically based sleep analysis. Sleep Halo is likely to offer overnight sleep data tracking with an unmatched 70,000+ daily measurements of second-by-second continuous health data. The company introduced White PerL, which is the latest from the Denon PerL product lines, in May. In February, Masimo received the FDA's clearance for MightySat Medical, making it the first and only FDA-cleared medical fingertip pulse oximeter available over-the-counter to consumers without a prescription. Research and Product Development: We are upbeat about Masimo's ongoing R&D efforts, which it believes are essential to its success. Its R&D efforts focus on continuing to enhance its technical expertise toward its existing product portfolios and expanding its technological leadership with innovations, among others. Additionally, the company continues to collaborate with Willow on R&D activities related to advancing rainbow technology and other technologies. Strong Q1 Results: Masimo's first-quarter 2024 results buoy optimism. Per management, shipments of non-invasive technology boards and instruments, excluding handheld and fingertip pulse oximeters, totaled 50,400 during the quarter. The company continues to gain market share, along with higher contracts with hospitals. Moreover, it expects shipments to cross 55,000 from the second quarter and reach more than 60,000 in the second half of 2024. Management plans three product launches in 2024, namely Freedom, H1 and the next-generation version of its Root Connectivity platform. Downsides Consumer Business Spin-off: Masimo is currently in discussion to spin off its Consumer business with an undisclosed third party. The company entered into a non-binding term sheet agreement in May to sell the majority stake in its consumer audio and consumer health businesses. The third party offered to acquire a stake in MASI's consumer business for a purchase price of $850-$950 million, on a cash and debt-free basis, following the completion of six weeks of due diligence. MASI added the majority of its Consumer business with the acquisition of Sound United in 2022 for more than $1 billion. The current offer price for the business seems to be lower than the acquisition price, implying a potential loss for its shareholders. Rift With Politan: Masimo has been facing challenges from activist investor, Politan, since last year. Politan acquired a stake in Masimo last year and added two members to the latter's board. Politan has been trying to gain control of the board since then. Currently, the activist investor has nominated members against MASI's CEO and founder, Joe Kiani, in a proxy vote for electing new board members. A potential loss of control over the board for Kiani may lead to uncertain times. Although Politan is claiming that it will help boost shareholders' value after gaining the board's control, it may take some time to get reflected in the company's share price. Estimate Trend MASI has been witnessing a positive estimate revision trend for 2024. In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for its earnings per share has moved north 0.8% to $3.63. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company's second-quarter revenues is pegged at $495.1 million, implying an 8.7% improvement from the year-ago quarter's reported number. Inari Medical, Inc. Price Inari Medical, Inc. price | Inari Medical, Inc. Quote Other Key Picks Some other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that have announced quarterly results are Haemonetics, Intuitive Surgical and Boston Scientific Corporation. Haemonetics, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2024 adjusted EPS of 90 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.3%. Haemonetics' shares have risen 7.1% year to date compared with the industry's 3.2% growth. It has a long-term growth rate of 12%. HAE's earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 13.24%. Intuitive Surgical, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 at present, reported first-quarter 2024 adjusted EPS of $1.50, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 7.1%. The stock has risen 29.8% year to date compared with the industry's 6.1% growth. ISRG has a long-term growth rate of 16.1%. Its earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 6.78%. Boston Scientific reported first-quarter 2024 adjusted EPS of 56 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.8%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Boston Scientific's shares have risen 35.2% year to date compared with the industry's 3.2% growth. BSX has a long-term growth rate of 12.5%. Its earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 7.49%. To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Intuitive Surgical Gains 26% Year to Date: Here's Why - Globus Medical (NYSE:GMED), Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) 2024-07-18 20:30:00+00:00 - Loading... Loading... Intuitive Surgical ISRG is witnessing strong momentum, with its shares having rallied 26.4% year to date compared with 6.1% growth of the industry. The S&P 500 composite has risen 17.6% during the said time frame. With healthy fundamentals and strong growth opportunities, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company appears to be a solid wealth creator for its investors at the moment. Intuitive Surgical Inc., a Sunnyvale, CA-based company, designs, manufactures and markets the da Vinci surgical system, Ion endoluminal system, and related instruments and accessories. The company's key product portfolio, da Vinci surgical system, is an advanced robot-assisted surgical system. It comprises a surgeon's console, patient-side cart, 3-D vision system, da Vinci Skills Simulator and Firefly Fluorescence Imaging. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research The robot-based da Vinci surgical system enables minimally invasive surgeries that reduce the trauma associated with open surgery. ISRG also manufactures EndoWrist instruments, such as forceps, scissors, electrocautery tools, scalpels, and other surgical tools, including wrist joints for natural dexterity for various surgical procedures. The company operates through three segments — Instruments and Accessories, Systems and Services. Catalysts Driving Growth Investors are upbeat about Intuitive Surgical's robot-based da Vinci surgical system that has been a key driver for the company's performance since its launch in 1999. The demand for medical procedures started to improve in 2023 after being disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, leading to robust growth. The procedure growth expectation for fiscal 2024 is slightly below the pre-pandemic growth rate of 18% for full-year 2019. Per ISRG's first-quarter 2024 earnings call in April, the installed base of da Vinci systems grew approximately 14% year over year to 8,887 units. The utilization of clinical systems in the field increased 2% from the prior-year quarter's level. The metric was up 10% year over year for da Vinci SP. In the first quarter, procedures improved 14% in the U.S. market and 20% in the ex-U.S. market compared with the year-earlier quarter's figure. Meanwhile, ISRG expects its gross margin in 2024 to be 67-68%, on par or lower than 68% in 2023. However, the rise in the cost of sales is likely to be driven by activities to support the launch of the company's new products and capital investments to aid its business growth. Investors are also optimistic about the recent FDA approvals received by Intuitive Surgical. Last month, the FDA cleared a labeling revision for da Vinci X and Xi specific to radical prostatectomy. In March, Intuitive Surgical received the FDA's 510(k) clearance for da Vinci 5, the company's next-generation multiport robotic system. Although ISRG has strong fundamental factors that should drive its growth going forward, it faces several challenges that hurt business performance. A constrained supply chain amid continuing geopolitical tensions may lead to choppy da Vinci 5 system placements in 2024. A challenging catheter supply may adversely impact Ion modulation system sales. Moreover, weakness in bariatric procedures, along with challenges in China from increasing provincial robotic competition and delayed tenders affecting capital placements, is likely to have a nearly three percentage point headwind for revenues in 2024. Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Price Intuitive Surgical, Inc. price | Intuitive Surgical, Inc. Quote Zacks Rank & Key Picks Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that have announced quarterly results are Globus Medical GMED, Haemonetics HAE and Boston Scientific Corporation BSX. Globus Medical, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present, reported first-quarter 2024 adjusted EPS of 72 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 30.9%. Globus Medical's shares have risen 36.6% year to date compared with the industry's 6.1% growth. GMED has a long-term growth rate of 12.7%. Its earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 10.79%. Haemonetics, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2024 adjusted earnings per share of 90 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.3%. Haemonetics' shares have risen 5.7% year to date compared with the industry's 3.2% growth. It has a long-term growth rate of 12%. HAE's earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 13.24%. Boston Scientific reported first-quarter 2024 adjusted EPS of 56 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9.8%. The company currently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Boston Scientific's shares have risen 33.9% year to date compared with the industry's 3.2% growth. BSX has a long-term growth rate of 12.5%. Its earnings surpassed estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average surprise being 7.49%. To read this article on Zacks.com click here.
Netflix’s subscriber and earnings growth gather more momentum as password-sharing crackdown pays off 2024-07-18 20:27:53+00:00 - Netflix’s subscriber and earnings growth accelerated in its latest quarter as the video streaming service benefits from a crackdown on freeloading viewers, an expansion into advertising and an acclaimed programming lineup. The results announced Thursday painted a portrait of a company still gathering momentum after a jarring decrease in subscribers during the first half of 2022 prompted a change in direction. Netflix added 8 million subscribers during the April-June period, marking a 37% increase over the same time last year. It was the sixth-consecutive quarter of that Netflix’s subscriber gains have increased from the previous year, a trend triggered by the 2022 downturn that served as a wake-up call for the Los Gatos, California, company. And Netflix is still financially thriving. The company’s profit in its latest quarter rose 44% from last year to $2.15 billion, or $4.88 per share — a figure that exceeded the estimates of analysts polled by FactSet Research. Revenue climbed 17% from last year to $9.56 billion, also eclipsing analysts’ projections. But management predicted its revenue for the July-September period would rise at a slightly slower pace of 14% from the same time last year, lagging the 18% growth that analysts had been anticipating. The forecast contributed to a muted reaction from investors who have driven up Netflix’s stock price by 32% so far this year. After initially falling by 3% in extended trading after the second-quarter report came out, Netflix shares recovered and were up about 1%. Given that the competition in video streaming seems to be ramping up again, Investing.com analyst Thomas Monteiro called “the lowering of guidance an intelligent strategy for keeping excitement put amid sky-high expectations.” As part of a shakeup that began in mid-2022, Netflix has been blocking the previously widespread practice of sharing subscriber passwords with friends and family living in other households. It also introduced commercials for the first time as part of a low-priced version of its service. Since those moves began rolling out two years ago, Netflix has picked up nearly 55 million more paying customers, pushing its worldwide subscriber count nearly 278 million through June. But Netflix is bracing for the gains from the password-sharing crackdown to taper off, prodding the company to sharpen its focus on selling more ads for its low-priced option, which the company said ended June with a 34% increase in total subscribers from March. It didn’t detail precisely how many of its worldwide subscribers have chosen to watch ads for the cheaper price. Despite the widening audience for commercials, Netflix said it doesn’t expect advertising to be a major source of revenue growth until 2026 at the earliest. “Ads are going to be a bigger piece of the puzzle, but it won’t be in 2024 or 2025,” Spencer Neumann, Netflix’s chief financial officer, told analysts during a conference call Thursday. As part of its effort to train investors to pay more attention to its financial growth and foray into advertising, Netflix in April disclosed it will stop providing quarterly subscriber updates beginning next year. The profit push also has made Netflix more judicious in its spending, resulting in fewer movies and TV series than the service has been making during most of the past decade. But the programming coming out of its pipeline is pleasing viewers and winning high praise — as demonstrated by the industry-leading 107 Emmy nominations Netflix received Wednesday. “Our goal and our mission is we have to spend the next billion dollars of programming better than anyone else in the world,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said during the conference call. Netflix’s strategic shift also has resulted in more marquee events streamed live, such as a recent roast of retired football star Tom Brady, a hot-dog eating showdown featuring renowned glutton Joey Chestnut and two National Football League games on Christmas Day. Live shows that pull in huge audiences make it easier for Netflix to sell advertising and, ironically, “take us back to television’s roots,” Forrester Research analyst Mike Proulx said.
Netflix had another blowout quarter 2024-07-18 20:21:06+00:00 - Netflix reported its second-quarter earnings on Thursday. New subscriber numbers surpassed analysts' expectations at just over 8 million. The streaming service has been luring more viewers by cracking down on password sharing. Sign up to get the inside scoop on today’s biggest stories in markets, tech, and business — delivered daily. Read preview Thanks for signing up! Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app Email address Sign up By clicking “Sign Up”, you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy . You can opt-out at any time by visiting our Preferences page or by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of the email. Advertisement Netflix's subscriber numbers grew more than expected during its second quarter, the latest sign that the company's password crackdown is working. The streamer attracted 8.05 million new subscribers for the quarter, helped by shows including the third series of "Bridgerton" and "Baby Reindeer." Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected 4.9 million new subscribers. This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. Have an account? Log in .
Airlines are scrambling to fix the unsustainable crisis caused by too many cheap flights 2024-07-18 20:20:11+00:00 - By clicking “Sign Up”, you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy . You can opt-out at any time by visiting our Preferences page or by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of the email. Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app Sign up to get the inside scoop on today’s biggest stories in markets, tech, and business — delivered daily. Read preview It may not feel like it, but there are a lot of cheap flights to be had this summer — and the influx of low-priced, often money-losing economy seats has airlines scrambling. "The unprofitable capacity is just not sustainable," United Airlines' chief commercial officer Andrew Nocella told investors Thursday. Despite reporting a 23% increase in second-quarter profits over the prior year, United's earnings guidance for the upcoming third quarter fell short of Wall Street expectations. This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. "This is a quarter where industry capacity growth has exceeded still solid demand," CEO Scott Kirby said on the earnings call. Advertisement In recent months, airlines have flooded the market with economy-class seats, leading to lower airfares as carriers cut prices to fill their planes as travel demand soars. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, pictured at Boeing's South Carolina plant in 2022, said capacity growth outstripped strong travel demand in Q2. LOGAN CYRUS/Getty Images According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average ticket prices in June were the cheapest in 15 years, excluding the COVID-19 pandemic years of 2020 and 2021. And in July, TSA screenings hit a record. But as labor, fuel and other overhead costs remain high, airlines — especially low-cost carriers — have sold seats at a loss in a desperate attempt to generate as much revenue as possible. "The pressure other US airlines are experiencing today is due in large part to their unprofitable flying in many domestic markets," Kirby said. Advertisement Nocella added: "In the past, the magnitude of the worst flying has never been this bad for the lower-margin airlines," the United CCO said. Low-cost airlines are bearing the brunt of the pain Delta CEO Ed Bastian also questioned the long-term financial viability of the business strategy of low-cost carriers during the airline's earnings call last week. Related stories "You cannot, if you are on the lower end of the industry's food chain, continue to post losses, particularly given the health of the demand set we've seen over these last couple of years," Bastian said. The carrier kicked off a series of bad news for airlines earlier in June, posting disappointing earnings that sent the entire sector down. Delta CEO Ed Bastian, pictured onstage at CES in 2019, questioned the long-term viability of money-losing low-cost airlines. Steve Marcus/Reuters Southwest Airlines, for example, lost $231 million in the first quarter of 2024, while fellow low-cost carriers Spirit and Frontier lost $143 million and $26 million, respectively, during that same period. Advertisement The most effective and direct method of addressing this issue for airlines is to slow the introduction of additional seats for sale. Something airlines are quickly working to do. "It was inevitable that carriers would begin to cancel this unprofitable flying, and you see that happening in earnest in the second half of August," Kirby said, echoing similar projections by Delta. Based on upcoming flight schedules, Kirby said the airline expects domestic capacity growth across the industry to decrease by 5% by the fourth quarter of 2024. United Airlines said Q2 revenue from premium cabins such as Polaris increased 8.5% . United Airlines In addition to capacity reduction, the US mainline carriers are leaning on their premium, higher-margin cabins to help cover the losses. Advertisement United reported an 8.5% revenue increase during the second quarter from its premium cabins, such as Polaris business class and domestic first class. Delta is also banking on its premium cabins, which accounted for 56% of its second-quarter revenue. In addition, Alaska Airlines announced this week that it's retrofitting its Boeing 737 fleet to add 1.3 million first-class and premium economy seats annually. The retrofit starts in September and will ensure that each Alaska Boeing 737 has 16 first-class and 30 premium economy seats. American Airlines will report its second-quarter performance on July 25.
Netflix Adds 8 Million Subscribers 2024-07-18 20:09:39+00:00 - Netflix added 8 million subscribers in its last quarter, the streaming company said in its earnings report on Thursday, bringing its global subscription base to 278 million. Shows like the third season of “Bridgerton,” “Baby Reindeer” (which landed 11 of Netflix’s industry-leading 107 Emmy nominations on Wednesday), “The Roast of Tom Brady,” which attracted the company’s largest live audience ever, and films like the French horror movie “Under Paris” and “Atlas” starring Jennifer Lopez propelled the streaming giant to net income of $2.1 billion and revenue of $9.5 billion, a 17 percent increase from the same period last year. The company said it was slightly raising expectations and now predicted revenue growth of 14 to 15 percent for the year. Netflix now offers subscriptions to an advertising-supported service for $6.99 a month in 12 countries. That tier now accounts for more than 45 percent of all sign-ups in those markets. The company has also been investing more heavily in live events, including a recent three-year deal with the N.F.L. to stream games on Christmas Day.
Bob Newhart, comedy legend and star of 'The Bob Newhart Show' and 'Elf,' dead at 94 2024-07-18 20:08:49+00:00 - By clicking “Sign Up”, you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy . You can opt-out at any time by visiting our Preferences page or by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of the email. Access your favorite topics in a personalized feed while you're on the go. download the app Sign up to get the inside scoop on today’s biggest stories in markets, tech, and business — delivered daily. Read preview Comedy icon Bob Newhart, whose deadpan delivery made him a legend of television and the silver screen, died on Thursday, according to his longtime publicist Jerry Digney. He was 94. Known for his comedic timing, the "Bob Newhart Show" and "Newhart" star was one of the funniest men of the 20th century. The Emmy winner gave us one of the most memorable series' finales of all time with his beloved CBS comedy. This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now. Though he was best known for his comedy albums and shows, Newhart made cameos on "Desperate Housewives," "ER," and, most notably, "The Big Bang Theory" in recent years. Disney fans may recognize his voice from "The Rescuers" and its sequel where he voiced the protagonist mouse, Bernard. Advertisement Newhart also starred opposite Will Farrell in the beloved Christmas comedy "Elf." Before he had audiences laughing, Newhart said he never knew what he wanted to do when he grew up. He told the Television Academy Foundation he hoped he'd be remembered as "someone who was on time, who knew his lines, didn't bump into the furniture, and never let anybody catch him at acting." Breaking through into comedy in the '50s Young Bob Newhart initially didn't consider comedy a career. Gerald Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images Born George Robert Newhart in Oak Park, Illinois, the comedian grew up in a middle-class family with a father who sold plumbing and heating supplies; his mother, who was a housewife; and three sisters. Influenced by cartoonist and humorist James Thurber, writer Max Shulman, and radio greats Fred Allen and Jack Benny, Newhart credited learning how to tell stories from them and his father, who he said was a pretty good story teller. Advertisement "I never thought of comedy as career. I was much too practical for that. I had a degree in management, a minor in accounting," Newhart told the Television Academy. From 1952 to 1954, Newhart was drafted into the United States Army where he worked as a personnel manager during the Korean war. Newhart said he hated it. Afterwards, he worked as an accountant and copywriter for a short time. He found the accounting work dull, but was constantly told he was funny so Newhart decided to give comedy a try. Related stories When he was bored, he and a coworker would do comedy routines over the phone at the office and they eventually started recording them. The tapes were sent out to radio stations and a few of them were interested in routines, which the two kept up for awhile until it wasn't cost-effective to send out anymore. Newhart continued to try his luck solo. "They thought I was out of my mind," Newhart told the Television Academy of his family's thoughts on his comedy dreams. "My mother and father couldn't really understand what I was doing." Advertisement He took part-time jobs in order to sustain his dream. Eventually, Newhart was invited to do one of his popular one-sided phone call routines at the local Chicago Emmy awards between Abraham Lincoln and his press agent. In 2007, Newhart told Conan O'Brien that "Abe Lincoln Vs. Madison Avenue," which you can listen to below, is "maybe the best piece of writing I ever did." It was a hit and ABC hired him in 1958 shortly afterward to do a "man on the street" routine. One of Newhart's friends, a disc jockey, Dan Sorkin, later introduced Newhart to the head of talent at Warner Bros. Records. The new record label signed him the following year after hearing three of Newhart's recordings. His first comedy album, "The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart," was released in 1960 and it was a hit. It was the first comedy album to become number one on the Billboard charts and Newhart later won Grammys for album of the year and best new artist. AV Club said it "changed stand-up comedy forever." Advertisement From comedy albums to a short-lived variety sitcom Bob Newhart doing stand-up comedy on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Hulton Archive via Getty Images Newhart's first album was selling so well and so fast that Warner Bros. released a second album from the comedian six months later, "The Button-Down Mind Strikes Back." It won a Grammy for best comedy performance — spoken word the same year. Over the next 11 years, he released seven more albums, including "Bob Newhart Faces Bob Newart" (1964) and "Best of Bob Newhart" (1971). "The first two albums flowed like a dam burst. You had these ideas," Newhart told Billboard. "'Retirement Party' was based on my background in accounting, "Grace L. Ferguson Airline" was based on plane flights I had taken while in service, looking for the cheapest way to get back home. And then it became harder. They dammed up the dam. The good ideas come full born, it's like giving birth." Bob Newhart during the first season of "The Bob Newhart Show," performing one of his popular telephone jokes. NBCUniversal/Getty After, NBC gave Newhart his own variety show in 1961 simply called "The Bob Newhart Show." Even though it won a Peabody and Primetime Emmy for outstanding program achievement in 1962 NBC canceled the series after one season. He also appeared on a short-lived CBS variety series with Carol Burnett called "The Entertainers." Advertisement In the '60s, Newhart could be seen on "The Dean Martin Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show," in movies like "Hell is for Heroes" and "Hot Millions," and at nightclubs. "The Bob Newhart Show" and "Newhart" Newhart on "The Bob Newhart Show." CBS/MTM When "The Bob Newhart Show" launched in 1972, it was an instant hit despite going up against "Sanford and Son" and "M*A*S*H." The CBS comedy about a Chicago psychologist, Dr. Bob Hartley, ran for six seasons. Its style partially inspired the types of comedies we would see later with "Seinfeld," "Roseanne," and even "The Big Bang Theory." He eventually guest-starred on the latter. In 2017, Newhart told Variety the series remains timeless because of a suggestion he made. Advertisement "I told the writers this show is going to be syndicated and we are going to look pretty silly in 20 years if we are doing a Gerald Ford joke. And I was right," said Newhart. "It's easy to write topical jokes, but you are going to look stupid. They all agreed." Another suggestion that Newhart made was that his character didn't have any children because he "didn't want to be the dumb father that seemed to be in every sitcom." The comedian returned to TV in 1982 with an eight-season run of "Newhart" where he played a Vermont innkeeper. The last scene of the finale was a shocker when it revealed the entire series was nothing more than a dream of Newhart. More than that, it revealed that the show existed within the world of Newhart's other show, "The Bob Newhart Show." Bob Newhart played author and innkeeper Dick Loudon on "Newhart." 20th Century Fox / MTM According to Entertainment Weekly, it was Newhart's wife, Ginnie, who came up with the finale idea. The finale is considered television's best by Rolling Stone, EW, and TV Guide. Advertisement Newhart was inducted into Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 1993, an achievement the comedian said was the proudest moment in his career. "The Big Bang Theory" and his first Emmy win Bob Newhart on set of "The Big Bang Theory" with Kaley Cuoco. Monty Brinton/CBS After appearances on "The Simpsons," "NCIS," and two more shows "George & Leo" and "Bob," Newhart began a recurring role on CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" in 2013. Newhart played Arthur Jeffries/Professor Proton, the star of a science show Sheldon Cooper grew up watching, on the longtime comedy for five seasons. Though Sheldon fanboyed over Jeffries, the scientist found Dr. Cooper incredibly irritating. Professor Proton died on the show, but lived on as a "Star Wars" Force ghost who gave Sheldon advice. The fan-favorite role won Newhart his first Primetime Emmy in 2013 for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series. Newhart married his wife, Virgina "Ginny" Quinn, in January 1963. He is survived by his wife, four children (Robert, Timothy, Jennifer, and Courtney), and 10 grandchildren. Advertisement Kirsten Acuna contributed to this obituary.
Long Beach breaks ground on $1.5B railyard expansion at port to fortify US supply chain 2024-07-18 20:03:46+00:00 - LOS ANGELES (AP) — U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other officials visited the port of Long Beach on Thursday to break ground on a $1.5 billion railyard expansion project that will more than triple the volume of rail cargo the dock can handle annually. Dubbed “America’s Green Gateway,” the project will expand the existing railyard and link the port to 30 major rail hubs around the country. It aims to streamline rail operations to reduce the environmental impact, traffic congestion, and air pollution caused by cargo trucks. “This work builds a rail network on a port that more than triples the volume of cargo that can move by rail to nearly five million containers a year — the kind of throughput that’ll keep America’s economy humming and keep costs down with benefits in every part of this country,” Buttigieg said. This project and others funded by the Biden administration aim to make American supply chains more resilient against future disruptions and to fix supply chains upended by the pandemic, he said. Long Beach is one of the busiest seaports in the country, with 40% of all shipping containers in the United States coming through it or Los Angeles’ ports. During the pandemic, these ports dealt with unprecedented gridlock, with dozens of ships waiting off-shore and shipping containers piling up on the docks because there weren’t enough trucks to transport them. The project is scheduled for completion in 2032. The railyard expansion means there will be a depot for fueling and servicing up to 30 trains at the same time and a place to assemble and break down trains up to 10,000 feet long. It will add 36 rail tracks to the existing 12 and expand the daily train capacity from seven to 17, overall contributing to meeting the port of Long Beach’s goal of moving 35% of containers by on-dock rail. One train can haul the equivalent of 750 truck trips’ worth of cargo. Without that train, the cargo would have to travel via truck to the downtown Los Angeles railyards, increasing traffic on Interstate 710 and increasing truck pollution in surrounding communities, according to project materials. “We should never forget the single most important piece of all of this is the health impacts,” said U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia, who was once the mayor of Long Beach. “The ability for families ... to breathe healthier air, to be free of cancer and asthma, to know that they can raise their children in a community that is cleaner and safer.” Remarks were also delivered by Long Beach’s current mayor, Rex Richardson, Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr., the port’s CEO, Mario Cordero, and others. The rail upgrade is one of 41 projects across the U.S. that were awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Mega Grant Program, receiving $283.4 million from the federal government. To date, it has acquired more than $643 million in grant funds. The investment is part of the $1 trillion in infrastructure investments included in a bipartisan law signed by President Joe Biden in 2021.
Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle were once called 'the prom king and queen of MAGA land.' Here's a timeline of their relationship. 2024-07-18 20:00:45+00:00 - November 2007: Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle ran in the same circles before they started dating. Donald Trump Jr. and Vanessa Trump (left) with Kimberly Guilfoyle (second from right) at an event in New York City. NEIL RASMUS/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images Guilfoyle and Trump Jr. were photographed together at events in New York City in 2007 and 2008. At the time, they were in other relationships. Guilfoyle was married to Democratic politician Gavin Newsom from 2001 to 2006, and she was first lady of San Francisco during his time as mayor. After they divorced, she married businessman Eric Villency in 2006 and had a son in 2007. The couple divorced in 2009. Trump Jr. married model Vanessa Haydon in 2005. They divorced in March 2018 and share five children.
Stellantis tells owners of over 24,000 hybrid minivans to park outdoors due to battery fire risk 2024-07-18 19:57:57+00:00 - AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Stellantis is telling the owners of more than 24,000 plug-in hybrid minivans to park them outdoors away from buildings, and to stop charging them due to the possibility of battery fires. The company said Thursday that it’s recalling certain 2017 through 2021 Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrids, mainly in North America. Some are being recalled for a second time. All can still be driven. Stellantis, maker of Jeep, Chrysler, Ram and other vehicle brands, said its investigation is ongoing but the company has linked the problem to a rare abnormality in individual battery cells. The risk of fires is reduced when the battery is depleted. A company review of warranty data discovered seven fires within the group of vans being recalled. All happened when the vehicles were turned off, and some occurred during charging, Stellantis said. Four customers reported symptoms of smoke inhalation. Engineers are still testing the remedy, which involves a software update designed to detect the battery abnormality. If a problem is found, dealers will replace the high-voltage battery at no cost to owners. Owners will be notified by mail when to take their minivans in for service. After July 24, they can go to recalls.mopar.com or checktoprotect.org and key in their vehicle identification numbers to see if their vans are part of the recall. Later models have an improved manufacturing process and are not being recalled, the company said. The recall comes six months after U.S. safety regulators began investigating a 2022 recall of nearly 17,000 of the vans. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in documents that it would review the effectiveness of the recall and try to understand the cause of the battery fires.
Bob Newhart, sitcom pioneer and beloved 'Elf' actor, dies at 94 2024-07-18 19:55:00+00:00 - Bob Newhart, the former accountant who rose to comedy superstardom with a mathematical precision in timing a deadpan routine down to a decimal point, died Thursday, according to his publicist. He was 94. Newhart certainly looked the part of the weary everyman that he played so well on the comedy albums that launched his career, and on the two major sitcoms that bore his name — “The Bob Newhart Show,” which ran on CBS from 1972 to 1978, and “Newhart,” which ran on the same network from 1982 to 1990. But there was as much Stan Laurel as there was Oliver Hardy in Newhart’s repertoire, said actor Peter Scolari, a friend and co-star on “Newhart” through most of the 1980s. It’s just that Newhart chose to leave most of the wildest slapstick for his scene partners. By the time he auditioned for the show during its third season, Scolari was already an established television veteran. Still, he was nervous enough reading opposite Newhart that he started stammering. “And I remember Bob looking at me, he had gotten this little (smirk) in the corner of his mouth,” recalled Scolari in an interview before his death in October 2021. “And he said, ‘You realize only one of us can do the stammering bit.’” The cast of "Newhart." Back row: Peter Scolari as Michael Harris, Julia Duffy as Stephanie Vanderkellen, and Tom Poston as George Utley. Front row: Bob Newhart as Dick Loudon and Mary Frann as Joanna Loudon. The series ran from Oct. 25, 1982, to May 21, 1990. CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images That took the pressure off Scolari. “He kind of set me on my path,” the younger actor said. Newhart’s own path included plenty of milestones along the way: two hit sitcoms and a major recurring stint on a third, a variety show, 14 feature films and millions of albums sold. He won three Grammy Awards and two Emmys five decades apart, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Not bad for a kid from a blue-collar suburb of Chicago. Born on Sept. 5, 1929, in Oak Park, Illinois, the son of a part owner of a plumbing supply company and a homemaker and the brother of three sisters, there was little in the first 30 years of his life to foreshadow the success that would come over the next six decades. The product of a Catholic upbringing — one of his sisters, Mary Joan, became a nun — Newhart seemed destined for a proper buttoned-down job, especially after graduating with a business degree from Loyola University of Chicago in 1952. After serving in the Army for two years during the Korean War, Newhart picked up where he left off, enrolling in law school. Newhart, however, objected to that career path. Dropping out and then in his mid-20s, Newhart logged time first as an accountant and then as a copywriter. That’s when he found his true passion. Teaming with friend Ed Gallagher, the two started spitballing improvised comedy routines. They tried their hand at recording them, but shortly afterward his partner got a job offer in New York, and the duo abruptly became a solo act. A local disc jockey, though, had heard enough of Newhart to make an introduction to the head of Warner Brothers Records, according to Newhart’s official bio. The resulting contract led to the album “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart,” and almost instant fame before Newhart even had a chance to establish himself on the stand-up circuit. Not that it mattered: Once the album landed, he became a sellout draw in nightclubs and theaters across the country. “The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart” became the first comedy album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. “The Bob Newhart Show” featuring, from left, Bill Daily as Howard Borden, Bob Newhart as Chicago psychologist Bob Hartley, and Suzanne Pleshette as Emily Hartley in the episode “The Last TV Show” in 1973. CBS via Getty Images “People kept telling me you’re funny, you should go to New York, and I said, ‘I’m going to give this a shot,’” Newhart told “TODAY” in 2017. “I was just about to go back into accounting, and I got this recording contract.” “Most comedians, most stand-ups, spend 20 years in the trenches. I had to learn at the top. It was tough.” Newhart approached comedy with economic precision, honing his craft by watching other comedians and seeing what they did well — especially his idol, Jack Benny. One of Newhart’s trademark schticks was doing phone calls in which only his half of the conversation could be heard, allowing the audience members to fill in the blanks with their imaginations. His first album notched three Grammys (album of the year, best new artist and best comedy performance: spoken word) in 1962. NBC handed the budding star his own variety show, the “Bob Newhart Variety Show,” which earned high praise — it won the Emmy for best comedy series in 1962 — but low ratings. The show was canceled after just one season. Comedian Bob Newhart and his bride, Virginia Quinn, kiss during a toast at a reception that followed their marriage in St. Victor Roman Catholic Church in West Hollywood, Calif., on Jan. 12, 1963. David Smith / AP file Newhart had better fortune offstage: He married Virginia “Ginny” Quinn on Jan. 12, 1963, a marriage that would last until she died in 2023 and produced four children — sons Robert and Timothy and daughters Jennifer and Courtney. He also became good friends with another popular comic of the era, Don Rickles, with whom he would travel across the globe on shared vacations with their wives over the ensuing years. Newhart released seven more comedy albums and continued to dabble in television. He hosted NBC’s “Tonight Show” for a three-week stretch during one of Johnny Carson’s salary disputes with the network. Newhart later said that he thought he was being groomed as a potential replacement for Carson. The perfect TV vehicle that had to date eluded him came in 1972 with the premiere of “The Bob Newhart Show.” Playing Dr. Bob Hartley, an exasperated psychologist and husband to a much more emotionally stable school teacher (Suzanne Pleshette), provided the opportunity to perfect the straight-man role that would mark much of the rest of his career. Over the show’s successful six-season run, he even got to use his trademark one-sided phone call schtick. Four years after the end of his first major sitcom hit, “Newhart” debuted. The titular star played Dick Loudon, a do-it-yourself book author who is running a Vermont inn with his wife, played by Mary Frann. Once again, the joke was usually on him, as a collection of oddball friends, neighbors and guests came and went from his orbit. But for all the joking going on in front of the studio audience, he was a “consummate professional” backstage, said William Sanderson, who played the local bumpkin Larry, whose brothers Darryl and Darryl perpetually followed in his wake. The cast and show creators of "The Bob Newhart Show." CBS Photo Archive via Getty Images “I had years of subsequently working for different bosses and you really appreciate Bob’s professionalism, not to mention his incredible sense of humor,” said Sanderson, who had been bartending as much as acting in the New York theater scene when he landed his big break. “I quickly saw the way he treated the crew, which had a lot of the same people from his first show. He didn’t believe in keeping the audience late at night. He would try to finish by 10 or 11 o’clock to get them home.” Scolari, who played the producer of Loudon’s television show in “Newhart,” became a real-life friend and golf buddy of his mentor’s over the course of the show. But he never stopped trying to keep up when the camera started rolling. “If you made Bob Newhart laugh, I mean come on, you must be somewhere in the right direction,” said Scolari. “And you don’t get that just anywhere, because there aren’t too many iconic geniuses around.” The similarity between the two lead characters he would be most associated with was so obvious that Newhart played it for laughs in the 1990 “Newhart” series finale. In that episode, Hartley wakes up next to his original on-screen wife — a role reprised by Pleshette in one of the most memorable cameos in television history — to realize that the whole eight seasons of the story set in Vermont had been just a dream. “A one-trick pony should not be underestimated,” said Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University. “Because if the one trick that that pony does is good enough, it can last an entire career. If at the end of the act, it sprouts wings and flies away, you don’t need any more tricks than that.” Bob Newhart as Professor Proton on "The Big Bang Theory." CBS Newhart struggled to find the same level of success in the 1990s with his next sitcom, “Bob” (1992), which lasted only one and a half seasons. Five years later, his next attempt at a signature show, “George & Leo,” proved an even bigger disappointment, canceled in the midst of its first season. But Newhart managed a third act. He found renewed popularity in the 21st century with a memorable supporting role in the 2003 movie “Elf,” playing opposite Will Ferrell, and then a recurring role as the former host of a children’s science show named Professor Proton on “The Big Bang Theory.” “What was important about ‘Big Bang Theory’ is that it brought that Newhart character that he had perfected over his entire, long career and brought it to a whole new audience,” said Thompson. “There were a lot of people who saw him ... who probably never had seen an episode of either of his two previous sitcoms.” The role also gave him a long-overdue actor Emmy, for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series.
New study finds increasingly positive link between money and happiness 2024-07-18 19:55:00+00:00 - This just in: money apparently does buy happiness. A new study conducted by a senior fellow at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania found an increasingly positive association between money and happiness. Matt Killingsworth, who tracks happiness for his large-scale research project, trackyourhappiness.org, sampled 33,269 employed US adults aged 18-65 with household incomes of at least $10,000 each year, who answered questions on a scale called “satisfaction with life”. Killingsworth also used data from the ultra-wealthy (people with a median net worth between $3m and $7.9m), which is often lacking and difficult to obtain. “Perhaps rich people are disinclined to spend their free time taking surveys,” said the study, Money and Happiness: Extended Evidence Against Satiation, which is self-published and not peer-reviewed. The data showed the happiness gap between wealthy and middle-income participants was wider than between middle- and low-income participants. In a 2024 Pew Research report titled The State of the American Middle Class, middle-income Americans are defined as those “living in households with an annual income that is two-thirds to double the national median household income”, which is around $74,580, according to the US census. “The difference in life satisfaction between the wealthy and those with incomes of $70-80,000 [per year] was nearly three times as large as the difference between $70-80,000 [per year] and the average of the two lowest income groups,” Killingsworth’s study said. His study also found wealthy individuals were “substantially and statistically significantly happier than people earning over $500,000 each year”. Killingsworth told the Guardian he was surprised by how big the overall difference in happiness is between people who are wealthy and those who are low income. “Money is just one of many things that matters for happiness, and a small difference in income tends to be associated with pretty small differences in happiness,” Killingsworth said. “But if the differences in income/wealth are very large, the differences in happiness can be, too.” These findings are counter to a widely covered 2010 study that found happiness rises with income, but plateaus at around $75,000. skip past newsletter promotion Sign up to Headlines US Free newsletter Get the most important US headlines and highlights emailed direct to you every morning Enter your email address Sign up Privacy Notice: Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Newsletters may contain info about charities, online ads, and content funded by outside parties. For more information see our Privacy Policy . We use Google reCaptcha to protect our website and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. after newsletter promotion So why might rich people be happier? The answer may seem obvious, but Killingsworth said it’s “more fundamental and psychologically deeper than simply buying more stuff”. He said: “A greater feeling of control over life can explain about 75% of the association between money and happiness. So I think a big part of what’s happening is that, when people have more money, they have more control over their lives. More freedom to live the life they want to live.” Killingsworth said his interest in studying happiness stems from wanting to understand how to make life better. “Ironically, part of the reason I’m so interested in happiness is because money alone – which we’re already pretty motivated to pursue – is just one small part of the overall equation for happiness. So part of the reason I study happiness is to broaden our horizons beyond things like money.” He added: “What would we do differently if we took happiness seriously? As individuals, families, organizations and societies? It’s a long-term question, and not one that we will instantly have perfect answers to.”