Your ‘CLV’ Might Affect How Long You’re on Hold

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Some people seem to have better luck navigating customer service than others. But as the Wall Street Journal explains, that likely has little to do with actual luck and more to do with something called customer lifetime value, or CLV. If you have a high CLV score, chances are you’ll spend less time on hold and get extra TLC from customer service reps. You might, for example, get that airplane seat upgrade over someone with a lower CLV rating. Companies use their own metrics to determine such scores, but the general rule is that if you shop a lot and don’t return stuff or make complaints—and all of this type of behavior is easy to track—you’ll have a solid score. Or scores, plural. Everyone probably has several with various companies.

“There’s no free lunch,“ a Harvard marketing professor tells the newspaper. “The more profitable you are, the better service you will get.“ General demographics play a role—a married middle-aged woman is probably going to get faster service on the phone than a single guy in his early 20s, according to data scientists interviewed. If those two people called to cancel a service such as a credit card or a cable package, the perks they are offered to change their mind will be different, too. Curious about your own CLV rating? Good luck with that. Unlike credit scores, these aren’t publicly available. “There needs to be a public conversation around the accuracy of the scores being used,“ says one privacy advocate. Click to read the full story.


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Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October, and the number of unemployed persons was little changed at 6.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point and 449,000, respectively.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no change in October.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially unchanged at 1.4 million in October and accounted for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.

The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in October but has shown little change over the year. The employment-population ratio edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent in October and has increased by 0.4 percentage point over the year.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.6 million in October. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Among the marginally attached, there were 506,000 discouraged workers in October, about unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 984,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities.

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 250,000 in October, following an average monthly gain of 211,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job growth occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.

Health care added 36,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in hospitals (+13,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities (+8,000). Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+14,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment grew by 323,000.

In October, employment in manufacturing increased by 32,000. Most of the increase occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with a gain in transportation equipment (+10,000). Manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs over the year, largely in durable goods industries.

Construction employment rose by 30,000 in October, with nearly half of the gain occurring among residential specialty trade contractors (+14,000). Over the year, construction has added 330,000 jobs.

Transportation and warehousing added 25,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth occurred in couriers and messengers (+8,000) and in warehousing and storage (+8,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 184,000.

Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up in October (+42,000). Employment was unchanged in September, likely reflecting the impact of Hurricane Florence. The average gain for the 2 months combined (+21,000) was the same as the average monthly gain in the industry for the 12-month period prior to September.

In October, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up (+35,000). Over the year, the industry has added 516,000 jobs.

Employment in mining also continued to trend up over the month (+5,000). The industry has added 65,000 jobs over the year, with most of the gain in support activities for mining.

Employment in other major industries—including wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government—showed little change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in October. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour to 40.8 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at 33.7 hours, was unchanged over the month.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 83 cents, or 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.89 in October.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised down from +134,000 to +118,000, and the change for August was revised up from +270,000 to +286,000. The downward revision in September offset the upward revision in August. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 218,000 over the past 3 months.

U.S. Market Weekly Summary – Week Ending 11.02.2018

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The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 2.4% this week, led by the materials and financial sectors, as the measure bounced back from last week’s near-correction closing level.

The market benchmark ended the week at 2,723.06, up from last week’s closing level of 2,658.69. Last week’s closing level had been down nearly 10% from the S&P 500’s Sept. 20 high, but this week’s climb helped put more distance between the index and correction territory.

The weekly climb also pulled the S&P 500 back into the black for the year to date. It is now up 1.9% for 2018, after last Friday’s closing level had marked a year-to-date decline at the time of 0.6%.

The week’s upward movement came as companies continued to report Q3 earnings that have been coming in largely above analysts’ expectations while the market also anticipated encouraging employment data that were reported Friday. The data showed an increase of 250,000 jobs to US payrolls in October while the unemployment rate held at 3.7% and wages increased 3.1% from a year earlier.

However, while US stocks initially rose Friday morning on the employment data, they moved lower as Friday’s session continued as the employment numbers prompted investors to worry about the potential impact of rate increases. With renewed trade concerns also weighing, the S&P 500 ended Friday down 0.6% from Thursday.

The materials sector had the largest percentage increase of the week, up 6.1%, followed by a 4.4% climb in financials. Of the sectors that rose this week, the weakest was technology, up 1.0%. Just one sector ended the week in the red versus last Friday: utilities, which slipped 0.6%.

The materials sector’s advancers included DowDuPont (DWDP), whose shares jumped 11% this week as the company reported better-than-expected Q3 adjusted earnings per share despite weaker-than-expected net sales. The company also announced a new stock buyback plan while lifting its guidance for how much will be saved from reducing duplicated costs after the merger that created the conglomerate.

The materials sector was also boosted by a rise in copper futures this week. Shares of copper-and-gold miner Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) added 6.4% on the week.

The financial sector’s advance came as a number of insurers reported better-than-expected Q3 results. Among them, MetLife (MET) shares rose 10% as the insurer posted Q3 adjusted earnings per share and revenue above analysts’ expectations and Lincoln National (LNC) shares climbed 9.4% amid better-than-expected Q3 results and a dividend boost.

The technology sector, meanwhile, had one of the weakest gains this week as consumer-technology giant Apple (AAPL) weighed. Shares of Apple fell 4.1% on the week despite its report of fiscal Q4 revenue and earnings per share above Street estimates, as investors were disappointed by iPhone shipments, which were roughly flat, and the company’s decision to stop providing iPhone unit numbers. Analysts at BMO Capital Markets and RBC Capital Markets cut their price targets on Apple’s shares in response.

The utilities sector’s decline came amid disappointment over some companies’ quarterly revenue. Among them, shares of NextEra Energy (NEE) fell 1.0% despite the Florida Power & Light operator’s report of better-than-expected Q3 earnings, as its revenue missed analysts’ expectations. Similarly, WEC Energy Group (WEC) shares slid 2.7% on the week as the company posted Q3 earnings above analysts’ mean estimate but its revenue fell short of the Street view.

Coke rides on sales of healthier drinks

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Strong sales of “premium” water and sugar-free sodas powered third-quarter earnings for Coca-Cola Co.

Coke President and CEO James Quincey said enhanced waters like the smartwater, vitaminwater and Topo Chico brands helping turn around a slump in water sales at the company.

Sales of water and sports drinks jumped 5 percent in the July-September period, with particularly strong growth in China and Mexico. Coke says it will launch smartwater in 20 markets by the end of this year, bringing it to a total of 32 countries.

Global sales of sparkling soft drinks grew 2 percent, led by low-calorie and no-calorie versions of Sprite and Fanta. Quincey said Coca-Cola Zero Sugar diet soda had its best quarter in 10 years.

Coke said sales of juice, dairy and plant-based drinks dropped 3 percent due to declining sales in the Middle East and Africa. Tea and coffee sales were also down 2 percent. Rising demand for Fuse tea failed to offset softness in markets like Turkey.

Quincey noted the unusual pace of acquisitions and investments in the quarter. That will likely slow in coming quarters, but acquisitions will continue to be an important tool for the company, he said.

“M&A can be like buses. You wait ages, then several come at once,” Quincey wrote in a company statement posted Tuesday.

In August, Coke announced a $5.1 billion acquisition of coffee company Costa Limited, which is expected to close in the first half of 2019. Quincey said Coke is focusing on ready-to-drink coffee beverages and coffee vending machines as well as selling pods and loose beans.

Also during the third quarter, Coke made minority investments in BodyArmor, a sports drink brand, and Made Group, an Australian maker of cold-pressed juice and smoothies. It bought Tropico, a French juice company, and Organic & Raw Trading Co., an Australian maker of kombucha.

Quincey wouldn’t address reports that Coke is also talking to Aurora Cannabis, a Canadian marijuana grower, about cannabis-infused drinks.

“We don’t have any plans at this point to get into this space,” Quincey said on a conference call with analysts.

Quincey said Coke has named a new Global Ventures team to ensure its acquisitions and partnerships are merged smoothly into its portfolio. Coke executive Jennifer Mann will head that team. Another longtime executive, Brian Smith, will take over as Coke’s president and chief operating officer on Jan. 1. Quincey will remain CEO.

The world’s largest beverage maker posted net income of $1.88 billion, or 44 cents per share, in the third quarter. Earnings, adjusted to account for discontinued operations and non-recurring costs, came to 58 cents per share, which is 3 cents better than Wall Street expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Operating profits were up in every segment, led by a 14-percent increase in Latin America.

Coca-Cola’s revenue fell 9 percent to $8.24 billion in the period, just above analysts’ expectations. Coke said the lower revenue was due in part to the refranchising of local bottling operations. The company has spent the last decade returning ownership of the low-margin business of bottling to local partners.

Coke shares rose 1.5 percent to $47.14 in morning trading.

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