A professional housekeeper swears by these 6 cleaning products—and they start at just $2

If you’ve ever found yourself down the social media rabbit hole of deep house cleaning, you’ve probably heard of Vanessa Amaro, TikTok’s “Queen of Cleaning.”

The 31-year-old has more than six million followers on social media, where she draws on her eight years of experience as a housekeeper and cleaning expert to share tips and tricks for scrubbing and tidying up.

For Amaro, “common sense is not common knowledge,” especially when it comes to what products are the most effective for maintaining that deep clean.

Here are six drugstore cleaning products she swears by:

1. Scrub Daddy Sponge

2. Zote Soap Bar

3. Swiffer Duster

4. Dawn Platinum Powerwash Dish Spray Soap

5. Clorox Clean-Up Cleaner With Bleach

6. Sprayway Glass Cleaner

What a brain expert eats in a day to boost memory and stay sharp

Biden makes surprise video appearance on ‘SNL,’ joining host Aubrey Plaza

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., February 15, 2022.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

President Joe Biden made a surprise video appearance on “Saturday Night Live” during first-time host Aubrey Plaza’s monologue.

The “White Lotus” star, who, like Biden, is from Delaware, joked that she was voted the most famous person from the state, beating out the president.

“That’s a fact and he was pissed, he was livid,” Plaza said.

Biden then appeared via video and said, “Aubrey, you’re the most famous person out of Delaware and there’s no question about that. We’re just grateful you made it out of ‘White Lotus’ alive.”

Many viewers took to Twitter to question whether the president’s appearance was real, or if the video was generated by AI, but Biden shared the clip on his Twitter account Sunday afternoon.

Despite Biden’s willingness to get in on the Delaware joke, cast members didn’t spare any punches and poked fun at his treatment of classified materials later in the show.

The FBI said Saturday that more classified documents were found at Biden’s Wilmington residence, marking the fourth time since November that classified records or materials has been found at a private address of Biden’s.

Jeff Zients reportedly will be Biden’s next chief of staff

Jeff Zients, the White House’s Covid-19 response czar, speaks during a press briefing at the White House where they spoke about a pause in issuing the Johnson & Johnson Janssen Covid-19 vaccine on April 13, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Jeff Zients will serve as President Joe Biden’s next chief of staff, according to media reports on Sunday.

Zients, who helped steer the Biden administration’s Covid-19 response and carry out its ambitious vaccine campaign, briefly left the White House in April before returning in the fall to help the current chief of staff, Ron Klain, prepare for turnover in the administration following the midterm elections.

Klain has been open about his intent to eventually leave his post, and he is reportedly preparing to step down in the coming weeks, according to a Saturday report from The New York Times.

Klain, a longtime adviser to President Joe Biden, supported Biden through his 2020 campaign and has helped guide the Biden administration since he was elected to office. After the midterm elections in November and an action-packed two years in the White House, Klain has told colleagues that he is ready for something different, a Washington Post report said.

Klain previously acted as Biden’s chief of staff during former President Barack Obama’s first term, and he’s worked with Biden since he ran for president back in 1987. Zients, in contrast, has spent most of his career in the private sector and first made his foray into politics during the Obama administration.

Though Zients has a relatively limited political background compared to Klain, he is a “master implementer” and “engenders deep loyalty” from his colleagues, the Post reported.

A White House representative did not immediately respond to CNBC requests for comment.

Top U.S. spy agency says more security assistance from allies is crucial for Ukraine to prevail

Members of Ukraine’s 95th Air Assault Brigade defend an area near the front line of fighting on Jan. 12, 2023, outside Kremina, Ukraine.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The director of America’s top spy agency described Russia’s war in Ukraine as a “grinding conflict” that will require the West to continue to provide security assistance packages in order for Kyiv to prevail.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum that both Ukrainian and Russian militaries are facing significant challenges but the war had not reached a stalemate.

“It’s not a stalemate but really, a grinding conflict where quite literally, we’re talking about hundreds of meters being fought over in the context of the frontlines,” Haines said in Davos, Switzerland.

“It will be extremely important for Ukraine to receive essential military assistance and economic assistance moving forward in order for them to be able to continue to manage what they have been heroically doing,” she added.

The U.S. has contributed the lion’s share of security assistance to the fight. Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin announced one of the largest weapons packages since Russia’s full-scale invasion began nearly a year ago.

Austin said the latest package of U.S. military equipment bound for Ukraine is valued at $2.5 billion and will help “meet Ukraine’s most urgent battlefield needs.”

The upcoming military assistance, the 30th such tranche, brings U.S. commitment to Ukraine’s fight to more than $26 billion since the beginning of the Biden administration.

Ukrainian serviceman holds a Next Generation Light Anti-armour Weapon (NLAW) on the position not far from the front line in the south of Kharkiv region, on July 11, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Anatolii Stepanov | Afp | Getty Images

“Weapons are the way to peace,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said alongside Haines. “That may sound like a paradox but the only way to have a negotiated agreement is to convince President [Vladimir] Putin that they will not win on the battlefield and he has to sit down and negotiate.”

Stoltenberg added that Ukraine’s battle has the full force of the 30-member NATO alliance because it is a “fight for democracy.” He said that “it is extremely important that President Putin doesn’t win this war, it will be a tragedy for Ukrainians, but also very dangerous for all of us.”

Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the West needs to do more to support Ukraine, adding that assistance from allies “is still not enough.”

“Ukraine needs more of our effort, needs more of our aid and we should mobilize ourselves to help them because their situation is really difficult,” he said, adding that the war is approaching a crucial moment.

Europe's real energy crisis will come next winter – but it also won't last forever

How willpower is affecting your relationships

Willpower is often associated with depriving yourself of a perceived vice. The more willpower you have the more easily you’ll be able to complete, say, meatless Monday or dry January.

Having more willpower doesn’t only affect how much you’re able to abstain from an activity, though. It also affects how much energy you have to give to certain activities, says Veronika Job, a motivational psychology professor at the University of Vienna who studies willpower. 

In a romantic partnership, this comes into play often. If your partner had an overwhelming day at work and forgot to pay a bill or do the dishes, how you respond reflects the amount of willpower you have, Job says.

It determines whether you are both understanding of their mistake and able to offer them support.

Limited versus non-limited willpower

In regards to willpower, there are two categories which most people fall into: 

  • Limited: Those who believe challenging situations deplete them of self-control. 
  • Non-limited: Those who believe challenging situations fuel them to resist temptation even more.

How you view yourself directly affects how much willpower you end up having, Job found in her research. If you have a “limited” view of your own will power, your actions generally reflect that. If you feel you have “non-limited” or unlimited willpower, the same applies.

In relationships, this perspective reveals itself in surprising ways.

‘Non-limited theorists showed better outcomes’

Those who are “limited theorists,” as Job calls them, are more empathetic if their partner makes a mistake. They are also unable to offer support. 

“They are more understanding but it’s canceled out because their own fatigue makes it harder for them to be actively positive in relationships,” she says. 

They are more understanding but it’s canceled out because their own fatigue makes it harder for them to be actively positive in relationships.

Veronika Job

motivational psychology professor

The Way of Water’ tops $2 billion at the global box office

Avatar: The Way of Water

Courtesy: Disney Co.

Disney‘s “Avatar: The Way of Water” has topped $2 billion at the global box office, marking the second James Cameron film to reach this benchmark.

Only five other films have hit this metric — the original “Avatar,” “Avengers: Endgame,” Cameron’s “Titanic,” “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

As of Sunday, “The Way of Water” had tallied $598 million from domestic ticket sales and $1.426 billion from foreign markets. The film is the sixth highest-grossing film of all time and will likely move up in the rankings as its run in theaters continues.

“The film has now joined that very exclusive box office club and has made it look almost effortless,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

The box office has struggled to recover in the wake of the pandemic, as audiences shifted to more at-home viewing and fewer films reached the big screen. As the industry rebounds, films like “The Way of Water” have proven that moviegoers are eager to return for big blockbuster spectacles. And many are willing to pay for premium showings like IMAX or large format screens that often come with a higher price tag.

While “The Way of Water” has had a more muted showing than expected in China, the result of a spike in Covid numbers and hospitalizations due to the virus, it has generated strong ticket sales from France, Germany and Korea.

Reaching the $2 billion mark is a good sign for the Avatar franchise, which has three more installments slated for release over the next five years. It also meets the goal set by Cameron, who had previously said the film would need to be the third or fourth highest-grossing film in history just to break even.

“Keeping in line with Cameron’s ‘king of the box office world’ career trajectory it should come as no surprise that the justification for completion of the director’s vision for the world of Pandora is now undeniably assured and given the stamp of approval by enthusiastic fans around the globe,” Dergarabedian said.

It is unclear what the film’s production budget was, although estimates range from $250 million to $350 million, not including marketing costs.

“The Way of Water” should steadily continue to generate box office receipts as it has no direct competition in theaters until mid-February when Marvel Studios’ “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” is released.

Best real estate markets to buy a home in 2023

Even with rising homeownership costs squeezing out buyers, some real estate markets will remain hot in 2023, mostly due to their relative affordability compared with the rest of the U.S., a new forecast finds.

The top places have something else in common, too: They’re all located in the South.

Based on a variety of factors, including home affordability, job growth, migration gains and housing supply, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) analyzed 179 markets to determine which will offer the most value to buyers. The data looks back one year from October 2022 and reflects expected demand from buyers in 2023.

The median price of homes in some of these markets isn’t cheaper than the national median of $398,500. However, these cities scored high on other metrics such as job growth or housing supply.

Here are the 10 best places to buy a home in 2023, according to NAR:

1. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia

Median home price: $371,200 

With major tech companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Visa opening Atlanta offices in recent years, the city has a robust job market. 

The Atlanta metro area remains relatively affordable compared with other regions in the country. Over 20% of renters can afford to buy a median-priced home in the area, based on a calculation that includes a 10% down payment. The national average is 15.1%.

2. Raleigh, North Carolina

3. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas

4. Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Arkansas-Missouri

Median home price: $328,400

Home to three Fortune 500 companies — Walmart, Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt Transport Services — this metro area is second among NAR’s top 10 rankings in terms of housing affordability.

It’s a growing market, too, with annual population growth of 2% — well above the national average of 0.01%.

Homes are also cheap, with prices second only to Huntsville, Alabama, among this list. The share of renters that can afford the typical home is nearly double the national average. 

5. Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, South Carolina

Median home price: $335,400

While housing affordability is on par with the national average, job growth in this area is strong, especially for high-paying information technology jobs like computer programming or web development. 

There are more houses to choose from, too, as the supply of homes in 2022 was more than twice the national average. 

6. Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina

Median home price: $416,800

Of the top 10 rankings, the Charleston area is second only to Raleigh for the highest median price for homes. It’s also below the national average when it comes to affordability.

However, this fast-growing market has strong migration gains and job growth that is nearly twice the national average.

7. Huntsville, Alabama 

Median home price: $327,500

Alabama’s most populous city is the most affordable area for homes amongst this list. Just under 30% of renters can afford a typical home with a 10% down payment, which is almost twice the national average.

Growing job opportunities and low cost of living will continue to attract even more movers in 2023, according to NAR.

8. Jacksonville, Florida

9. San Antonio-New Braunfels, Texas

10. Knoxville, Tennessee

Why rent in NYC is out of control right now

Too busy at work? Here’s how to minimize workplace distractions

Since the pandemic, a growing number of companies have turned to employee monitoring software to track productivity. But they’re missing the real culprit behind missed deadlines or lagging sales, according to behavioral design expert Nir Eyal. 

Much of Eyal’s work, including his bestselling book “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life,” revolves around conquering distractions.

Before a company starts spying on its employees, he recommends a much simpler solution: Get to the root of what’s really distracting people.

There are plenty of common culprits to consider — from a flood of emails to constant, unnecessary meetings — but how you go about identifying the issues determines how easily you can address them.

Here’s how to identify your most problematic distractions:

Start talking about it

“The problem of distraction at work is that we can’t talk about the problem of distraction at work,” according to Eyal.

When employees voice concerns about feeling distracted, there’s often a stigma attached: Is it just a personal problem? Are they unable to focus for trivial reasons? 

“If they can’t raise their hand and say, ‘Hey, this is a problem for me,’ how can we solve it?” Eyal says. 

Eliminating workplace distractions starts with fostering an environment where people feel safe enough to share their concerns, especially to higher-ups. 

“I believe that distraction in the workplace is a symptom of cultural dysfunction, that it’s the canary in the coal mine of a bad company culture,” Eyal says. 

Managers need to start leading by example. Often, Eyal says, it’s higher-ups that are constantly checking their phones and emails in meetings, making it seem like perpetual distractibility should be the standard. 

“It sends a message to everybody else in the organization,” Eyal says, “and perpetuates what we call a cycle of responsiveness because culture flows downhill.” 

Managers can break the stigma by talking about their own struggles with distractions, while creating forums for employees to air their concerns.

Sync up your schedules

For employees, becoming less distracted is all about communicating needs: “Manage your managers,” Eyal says.  

Often, managers don’t know how employees are really spending their time — jumping to incorrect conclusions when a task takes longer than they think it should. 

Employees can counter this by articulating how they plan to spend their time, says Eyal. Sit down with your manager — maybe on Mondays — and outline your schedule for the week ahead. 

Ask what should and shouldn’t be prioritized: Is that meeting really crucial? Should that deadline be tweaked? 

This provides managers with the kind of transparency they always want, without having to micromanage employees to get it. It also blocks off the time you don’t want to be interrupted. 

“It tells them, ‘This is my focus work time, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. It’s my time to work without distractions,'” Eyal explains. “Then, there’s no excuse as to why [your manager] should tap you on the shoulder and say, ‘Why didn’t respond to my email?'”

If you’re working remotely, you might want set a status on Slack, or whatever communication platform you use, to signal when you’re going into “focus” mode.

If you’re in the office, popping in headphones won’t do the trick, Eyal says, since it might look like you’re just watching a video or listening to music. Instead, move to a quieter area of the office, or put a “Do Not Disturb” placard on your desk.

Shift your mindset

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Top Wall Street analysts say buy Apple & Spotify

The Spotify logo hangs on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange with U.S. and a Swiss flag as the company lists its stock with a direct listing in New York, April 3, 2018.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Coming off a week that was packed with corporate earnings and economic updates, it is still difficult to determine whether a recession can be avoided this year.

Investing in such a stressful environment can be tricky. To help with the process, here are five stocks chosen by Wall Street’s top analysts, according to TipRanks, a platform that ranks analysts based on their past performances. 

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Six stocks Goldman Sachs likes ahead of earnings

CNBC Pro

Apple

Spotify

CVS Health Corp.

Shake Shack

TD Synnex

Despite last year’s challenges, business process service provider TD Synnex (SNX) has benefited from a steady IT spending environment amid the consistently high digital transformation across industries. The company recently posted its fiscal fourth-quarter results last week, where earnings beat consensus estimates and the dividend was hiked.

Following the results, Barrington Research analyst Vincent Colicchio dug into the results and noted that rapid growth in advanced solutions and high-growth technologies were major positives. Even though the analyst reduced his fiscal 2023 earnings forecast due to an expected rise in interest expense, he remained bullish on SNX’s efforts to achieve cost synergies by the end of the current fiscal year. (See TD Synnex Dividend Date & History on TipRanks)

Looking forward, the analyst sees a largely upward trend in growth, albeit a few hiccups. “The key growth driver in the first half of fiscal 2023 should be advanced solutions and high-growth technologies and in the second half should be PCs and peripherals and high-growth technologies. We expect Hyve Solutions revenue growth to slow in fiscal 2023 and slightly rebound in fiscal 2024 versus fiscal 2022 growth,” observed Colicchio, reiterating a buy rating and raising the price target to $130 from $98 for the next 12 months.

Importantly, Colicchio ranks 297th among almost 8,300 analysts on TipRanks, with a success rate of 61%. Each of his ratings has delivered 13% returns on average.

Trump drops lawsuit against New York Attorney General James

Former President Donald Trump stands on the 18th green during the Pro-Am tournament before the LIV Golf series at Trump National Doral, Oct. 27, 2022.

Jasen Vinlove | USA Today Sports | Reuters

Former President Donald Trump on Friday morning voluntarily dropped a longshot federal lawsuit in Florida against New York’s attorney general — a day after the same judge in the case sanctioned him and his lawyer nearly $1 million for filing another, “frivolous” lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and many other defendants.

The judge, John Middlebrooks, had pointedly noted in a scathing sanction order Thursday evening in the Clinton case that he was also handling Trump’s complaint against Attorney General Letitia James in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Trump’s suit against James — which Middlebrooks last month warned appeared “vexatious and frivolous” — was filed in reaction to her office’s civil lawsuit against Trump in New York state court alleging fraud at his company.

James’ spokeswoman, Delaney Kempner, noted that Trump’s dismissal of his lawsuit came on the same day that his “reply to our motion to dismiss this case was due.” It also came two days after Middlebrooks scheduled a jury trial of the suit to start in mid-July.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a question about why the lawsuit against James was voluntarily dismissed.

In the Clinton case, Middlebrooks ordered Trump, who is seeking the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, and his lawyer Alina Habba to pay Clinton and other defendants around $938,000 for filing the suit, which the judge previously dismissed.

Trump’s suit accused Clinton and the others, including the Democratic National Committee and various FBI officials, of conspiring to create a false narrative during the 2016 presidential election that his campaign was colluding with Russia.

“We are confronted with a lawsuit that should never have been filed, which was completely frivolous, both factually and legally, and which was brought in bad faith for an improper purpose,” Middlebrooks wrote in his order dunning Trump and Habba with monetary sanctions.

New York Attorney General Letitia James pauses during a press conference at the Office of the Attorney General in New York on May 9, 2022, to make an announcement about protecting access to abortion.

Timothy A. Clary | AFP | Getty Images

Middlebrooks’ order cited how Trump has responded in court in New York to James’ yearslong civil investigation of his company, the Trump Organization, as one of the multiple examples of “a pattern of abuse of the courts” by the Republican former president.

“Mr. Trump is a prolific and sophisticated litigant who is repeatedly using the courts to seek revenge on political adversaries,” the judge wrote.

“He is the mastermind of strategic abuse of the judicial process, and he cannot be seen as a litigant blindly following the advice of a lawyer.”

James in September filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court against Trump, his company, three of his adult children, and others, alleging widespread fraud involving false financial statements related to the company’s business.

In November, Trump sued James in Florida state court, alleging she was engaged in a “war of intimidation and harassment” against him. That suit sought to block James from getting records from a revocable trust he set up in Florida that has ownership of the Trump Organization.

James shortly thereafter removed that lawsuit to federal court in Florida, where Middlebrooks was assigned the case.

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Read more of CNBC’s politics coverage:

Middlebrooks in his order in the Clinton case Thursday noted that last month he had ruled that Trump’s “attempt to sidestep rulings by the New York court by suing AG James individually rather than in her official capacity was plainly frivolous.”

The judge also had found that Trump had “no likelihood of success on the merits” of the case, and that he had urged Trump to consider dropping his opposition to James’ bid to get the case.

“This litigation [against James] has all the telltale signs of being both vexatious and frivolous,” Middlebrooks had written last month.

But the judge later wrote, “a decision in Mr. Trump’s Florida lawsuit against the New York Attorney General, a case now pending before me, is premature.”

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