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Durham Prosecutes FBI Informants, While Protecting Their Handlers: Sperry

Durham Prosecutes FBI Informants, While Protecting Their Handlers: Sperry Authored by Paul Sperry via RealClear Investigations, Since being named special counsel in October 2020, John Durham has investigated or indicted several unscrupulous anti-Trump informants. But he has spared the FBI agents who handled them, raising suspicions he's letting investigators off the hook in his waning investigation of misconduct in the Russiagate probe. In recent court filings, Durham has portrayed the G-men as naive recipients of bad information, tricked into opening improper investigations targeting Donald Trump and obtaining invalid warrants to spy on one of his advisers. But as the cases against the informants have gone to trial, defense lawyers have revealed evidence that cuts against that narrative. FBI investigators look less like guileless victims and more like willing partners in the fraudulent schemes Durham has brought to light. Notwithstanding his reputation as a tough, intrepid prosecutor, Durham has made excuses for the misconduct of FBI agents, providing them a ready-made defense against any possible future prosecution, according to legal experts.  "Durham was supposed to clean up the FBI cesspool, but it doesn't look like he's going to be doing that," said Paul Kamenar, counsel to the National Legal and Policy Center, a Washington watchdog group. "He started with a bang and is ending with a whimper." In the latest example, critics point to a flurry of pretrial motions in Durham's case against former FBI informant Igor Danchenko, the primary source for the false claims regarding Trump and Russia advanced by the opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign known as the Steele dossier. Next month, Danchenko faces charges he lied to FBI investigators multiple times about the sourcing of the information in the dossier, which the bureau used to secure wiretap warrants to spy on a former Trump campaign adviser. Relying on Danchenko's reporting, the FBI claimed that the adviser, Carter Page, was a Russian agent at the center of "a well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" between Trump and the Kremlin to steal the 2016 presidential election. Igor Danchenko, dossier fabulist: Trial upcoming. "The defendant was providing them with false information" as part of "a concerted effort to deceive the FBI," Durham alleged in a recent filing with the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., where the trial is scheduled to be held Oct. 11. Had agents known Danchenko made up the allegations, Durham asserted, they might have asked more questions about the dossier and not relied on it to swear out the ultra-invasive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to electronically monitor Page, a U.S. citizen who was never charged with a crime. But Danchenko's legal team points out that he turned over an email to the FBI during a January 2017 meeting with agents and analysts that indicated a key dossier subsource may have been fictionalized. Stuart Sears, one of Danchenko's attorneys, argued earlier this month in a motion to dismiss the charges that investigators "essentially ignored" any concerns they may have had about Danchenko's sourcing, because they continued to renew the FISA warrants based upon it. Therefore, he argued, any lies his client allegedly told them were inconsequential, making them un-prosecutable under federal statutes requiring such false statements to have a "material" impact on a federal proceeding. While Durham did not dispute the FBI's apparent complicity in the fraud, he waved it aside as immaterial to the case at hand. "The fact that the FBI apparently did not identify or address these inconsistencies is of no moment," he said in his filing. At the same time, Durham acknowledged agents allowed the fabrications to contaminate their wiretap warrants – noting they were "an important part of the FISA applications targeting Carter Page." But he stopped short of blaming the FBI, even for incompetence. According to Durham, the nation's premiere law enforcement agency was misled by a serial liar and con man. "He's painting it as though the FBI was duped when the FBI was more than willing to take the initiative and go after Trump," Kamenar said, adding that though Danchenko may have been a liar, he was a useful liar to FBI officials and others in the Justice Department who were pursuing Trump. The special prosecutor's indifference to the FBI's role in the scandal is more remarkable in light of what Danchenko admitted in his January 2017 interviews with the FBI. He told investigators that much of what he reported to Steele was "word-of-mouth and hearsay," while some was cooked up from "conversation that [he] had with friends over beers," according to a declassified FBI summary of the interviews, which took place over three days. He confessed the most salacious allegations were made in "jest." Still, the FBI continued to use Danchenko's claims of a "well-developed conspiracy of cooperation" between Russia and Trump to convince the FISA court to allow investigators to continue to surveil Page, whom the FBI accused of masterminding the conspiracy based on Danchenko's bogus rumors. Agents even swore in FISA court documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations that Danchenko was "truthful and cooperative." Carter Page, junior Trump campaign aide: Spied on without justification. The combination of Danchenko reporting a "conspiracy" and the FBI vouching for his credibility persuaded the powerful FISA court to continue to authorize wiretapping Page as a suspected Russian agent for almost a year. In addition to collecting his emails and text messages in 2017, agents were able to sweep up all his prior communications with Trump officials from 2016. If the FBI were skeptical of Danchenko, it didn't show it. The next month, the bureau put him on its payroll as a confidential human source, or CHS, making him part of the bureau's untouchable "sources and methods" sanctum and thereby protecting him and any documents referencing him from congressional and other outside scrutiny. It made him a paid informant in spite of knowing Danchenko was a potential Russian spy threat who could be feeding federal agents disinformation. The FBI had previously opened a counterespionage probe of Danchenko from 2009 to 2011, and as his lawyers pointed out in a recent court filing, agents who were part of the case probing Trump/Russia ties, codenamed Crossfire Hurricane, "were well aware of the prior counterintelligence investigation" when they were supposedly conned by their informant. "It stretches credibility to suggest that anything else would have caused the FBI to be more suspicious of Mr. Danchenko's statements and his potential role in spreading disinformation than the very fact that he was previously investigated for possibly engaging in espionage on behalf of Russia," Sears said. "Armed with that knowledge, however, the FBI nevertheless persisted" in using him as a source – while never informing the FISA court of the prior investigation. The FBI didn't terminate Danchenko until October 2020, the month after the Senate declassified documents revealing the FBI had investigated him as a Russian agent. It also happened to be the same month Durham was appointed special counsel. On Oct. 19, 2020, then-Attorney General Bill Barr tapped Durham "to investigate whether any federal official, employee, or any other person or entity violated the law in connection with the intelligence, counter-intelligence, or law-enforcement activities directed at the 2016 presidential campaigns, individuals associated with those campaigns, and individuals associated with the administration of President Donald J. Trump, including but not limited to Crossfire Hurricane and the investigation of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller, III."  So far, Durham has focused on the "any other person" part of his mandate. Federal officials and employees appear to be getting a pass. Kevin Clinesmith, FBI lawyer: Doctored exculpatory evidence. Though Durham prosecuted former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith in August 2020, when he was acting as a U.S. attorney, he did not initiate the case. Rather, it was referred to him by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who first exposed how Clinesmith had doctored exculpatory evidence in the Page warrant process. Even though Clinesmith admitted forging a CIA email to make it look like Page never helped the agency monitor Russia, when in fact he did and clearly wasn't acting as a Russian agent, Durham failed to put him behind bars. Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months' probation and 400 hours of community service, which as RCI first reported, the registered Democrat satisfied by researching and editing articles for his favorite liberal weekly newspaper in Washington.  Kamenar said the Clinesmith case was a "bad omen" for how Durham would handle dirty FBI agents. He pointed out that the prosecutor could have charged Clinesmith with the more serious crime of altering a CIA document, but instead negotiated a deal letting him plead to the lesser offense of lying to a government agency, which Kamenar called "a garden variety process crime." And "now he's got his law license back." Clinesmith worked closely on the case with FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst Brian Auten, who was singled out by Horowitz in a 2019 report for cutting a number of corners in the dossier verification process and even allowing information he knew to be incorrect slip into the FISA affidavits and mislead the court. Auten met with Danchenko at the bureau's Washington field office and helped debrief him about the dossier in January 2017. And he wrote the official FBI summary of those meetings, which noted Danchenko "contradicted" himself several times. Auten learned firsthand that the information Danchenko passed to Steele was nothing more than bar gossip, and that his "network of subsources" was really just a circle of drinking buddies. Also at those meetings, the analyst received an Aug. 24, 2016, email revealing that Danchenko never actually communicated with Sergei Millian, the Belarusian-born American businessman whom he had identified as his main source of Trump/Russia connections – the all-important, albeit apocryphal, "Source E" and "Source D" of the dossier. It turns out Danchenko attributed the critical "conspiracy of cooperation" allegation the FBI cited as probable cause for all four FISA warrants to this made-up source, meaning the cornerstone evidence of suspected Trump-Russia espionage was also made up. What's more, Auten learned that though Danchenko was born in Russia, he was not based there and had no access to Kremlin insiders. On the contrary, he confirmed that Danchenko had been living in Washington and had previously worked for the Brookings Institution, a Democratic Party think tank whose president at the time was tied to Clinton. Yet Auten and his Crossfire team led the FISA court to believe Danchenko was "Russian-based" – and therefore presumably more credible. They used this same description in all four FISA affidavits, including the two renewals that followed the January 2017 meetings with Danchenko. Internal FBI emails from two months later revealed that Auten knew that using the term "Russian-based" was deceptive. While tasked with helping review Crossfire documents requested by Congress, including FISA applications, he worried about the description and whether it should be corrected. He discussed the matter with Clinesmith. But the falsehood reappeared in subsequent FISA applications. It was also in January 2017 that Danchenko revealed to Auten and his FBI handlers that one of his subsources was his childhood friend Olga Galkina, whom he said supplied him the rumor that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen traveled to Prague during the campaign to hatch a plot with Kremlin officials to hack Clinton campaign emails.  Michael Cohen, Trump lawyer: Baseless rumor victim. The FBI already knew from intelligence reports that Cohen had not, as the dossier claimed, traveled to Prague to conspire in the alleged Russian hacking of Democrats, or for any other reason. On Jan. 12, 2017, Auten and his Crossfire teammates received a CIA report that warned the Cohen rumor was likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign. The agency had discovered no such Prague meeting took place after querying foreign intelligence services, shooting a major hole in the dossier. The CIA report should have led the Crossfire team to treat any allegations sourced to Galkina with caution. But on the same day, the FBI got its FISA wiretap on Page renewed based on another groundless claim by Galkina – this one alleging the Trump aide secretly met with top Kremlin officials in Moscow to discuss removing U.S. sanctions. The falsehood showed up in two more FISA applications, which alleged "Russia's efforts to influence U.S. policy were likely being coordinated between the RIS [Russian Intelligence Services] and Page, and possibly others." Galkina also had a relationship with Charles Dolan, a Clinton adviser who figures prominently in the Danchenko case Durham is prosecuting. It turns out Dolan was one of the sources for the infamous "pee-tape" allegation about the Kremlin supposedly having blackmail evidence of Trump consorting with prostitutes at the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, which has been debunked as another dossier hoax. But according to Durham, Danchenko tried to conceal Dolan's role in the dossier from the FBI. The special prosecutor argued that the deception deprived FBI agents and analysts information that would have helped them evaluate "the credibility, reliability and veracity" of the dossier. He said if they had known Dolan was a source, they might have, among other things, sought emails Dolan and Danchenko exchanged exposing their Ritz-Carlton hoax.  "Had the defendant truthfully told the FBI that Dolan played a role in providing certain information for the Steele reports the FBI might well have interviewed and/or collected such emails from Dolan," Durham speculated. In addition, the prosecutor said, investigators might have learned of Dolan's "involvement in Democratic politics" and "potential bias as a source for the Steele reports." Except that they already knew about Dolan and his politics – as well as his involvement in the dossier. It's also likely they already had his emails. In another interview with Danchenko about his dossier sources, which took place June 15, 2017, FBI agents asked Danchenko if he knew Dolan and whether he was "contributing" to the Steele reports. Though Danchenko acknowledged he knew Dolan, he denied he was a source. Agents didn't ask any follow-up questions. (They also never sought to charge him with making false statements to federal agents.) How did the FBI know to ask about Dolan? Because he was well-known to the bureau's Russia counterintelligence agents as a businessman who frequently traveled to Moscow and met with Kremlin insiders. But more importantly, his friend Galkina was under FISA surveillance as a suspected Russian spy at the time, according to declassified records. The FBI was collecting not only Galkina's emails, but also those of Dolan and Danchenko, all of whom regularly communicated in 2016 – which suggests that at the time the FBI asked Danchenko about Dolan, it had access to those emails and was reviewing them. This may explain why, as defense lawyer Sears noted, "the FBI never asked Mr. Danchenko about emails or any other written communications with Dolan" – and why it never interviewed Dolan. While Durham acknowledged that the FBI knew about Dolan's troubling ties at the time and neglected to dig deeper, he said he's not bothered by the oversight. "The fact that the FBI was aware that Dolan maintained some of these relationships and failed to interview Dolan is of no moment," he maintained dismissively in a court filing. All that matters, he suggested, is that the FBI was lied to. One of those emails was particularly alarming. In an Aug. 19, 2016, email to Dolan, Danchenko made it clear he was compiling dirt on Trump and his advisers and sought any rumor, no matter how baseless and scurrilous. He solicited Dolan, specifically, for "any thought, rumor, allegation" on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Such emails called into question the veracity of the whole dossier and further tainted the credibility of Danchenko's "network of subsources." But on June 29, 2017 – two weeks after the FBI asked about Dolan – the FBI renewed the FISA wiretap on Trump adviser Page based on, once again, the dubious dossier. From its wiretapping of Galkina, moreover, Auten and others at the FBI who sorted through such FISA collections would have seen communications showing her strong support for Hillary Clinton, and how Galkina was expecting political favors in exchange for spreading dirt on Trump. In an August 2016 email to a friend, Galkina expressed hopes that Dolan would help her score a State Department job if Clinton won election. It was a major red flag. But like all the others, the FBI blew right past it. Agents continued to vouch for Danchenko as "truthful" and his subsources as reliable, and continued to cite Galkina's fabrications in FISA renewals. Under FISA rules, the FBI had a duty to "immediately inform" the secret court of any misstatements or omissions, along with any "necessary corrections" of material facts sworn in affidavits for warrants. But the FBI failed to correct the record, even after it became obvious it had told the court falsehoods and hid exculpatory evidence. In August 2017, agents finally got around to interviewing Galkina, who confessed the dossier allegations attributed to her were "exaggerated," according to the Horowitz report.  Scammed by the Alfa Bank Scam? Last year, Durham also painted the FBI as a victim of the 2016 political machinations of two other anti-Trump informants – Michael Sussmann and Rodney Joffe, who conveyed to investigators false rumors about Trump allegedly setting up a secret hotline with the Kremlin through Russia-based Alfa Bank. Michael Sussmann, Clinton lawyer: Acquitted. Durham charged Sussmann, a Washington lawyer who represented the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, with lying to the FBI's top lawyer James Baker when he told him he was coming in with the tip – outlined in white papers and thumb drives – all on his own and not on behalf of Democrats and Clinton, whom he was billing for the Trump-Alfa "confidential project." "Sussmann's false statement misled the FBI general counsel and other FBI personnel concerning the political nature of his work and deprived the FBI of information that might have permitted it more fully to access and uncover the origins of the relevant data and technical analysis, including the identities and motivations of Sussmann's clients," Durham maintained in the indictment. But evidence emerged at the trial of Sussmann, who was acquitted, that bureau officials already knew the "political nature" of the tip and where the data came from, but withheld the information from field agents so they would continue investigating Trump through the election. For example, in a Sept. 22, 2016, email describing the "special project," an FBI official in Washington stated that "Counsel Baker provided [Supervisory Special Agent] Joe Pientka with 2 thumb drives and identified they were given to him by the DNC." "Everybody at the FBI actually thought the data came from a political party," Sussmann lawyer Sean Berkowitz argued, according to the trial transcript. "The (case) file is littered with references to the DNC." But Durham kept offering explanations for why FBI brass bit on the politically tainted tip, opening a full field investigation based on it.  "Had Sussmann truthfully disclosed that he was representing specific clients [the Clinton campaign], it might have prompted the FBI general counsel to ask Sussmann for the identity of such clients, which, in turn, might have prompted further questions," Durham argued. James Baker, top FBI lawyer: Close friend of Sussmann. "In addition, absent Sussmann's false statement, the FBI might have taken additional or more incremental steps before opening an investigation," he added. "The FBI also might have allocated its resources differently, or more efficiently, and uncovered more complete information about the reliability and provenance of the purported data at issue." Headquarters, however, did know the identity of the clients. Problem was, they blinded agents in Chicago, where a cyber unit was assigned to the case, to the fact that the source for the information was Sussmann and Joffe – a federal cyber-security contractor who was angling for a job in a Clinton administration. (A longtime FBI informant, Joffe was terminated last year after he was exposed as the ringleader of the Alfa Bank scam.) "You were not allowed to speak to either the source of the information, the author of the white paper, or the person who provided the source of the information and the data?" Berkowitz asked Chicago-based FBI agent Curtis Heide during the trial, according to transcripts. "Correct," Heide replied. Another Chicago investigator was led to believe the tip came into the bureau as a referral from the "U.S. Department of Justice." Rodney Joffe, cybersecurity contractor: "Remains a subject." Still, field agents were able to debunk it within two weeks. The FBI was not fooled by the hoax, yet nonetheless went along with it for the next four months. The case wasn't formally closed until Jan. 18, 2017, just two days before Trump was inaugurated. But then it was soon reopened after Clinton operatives again approached the FBI – as well as the CIA – with supposedly new evidence, which also proved false. "Comey and crew kept the hoax alive," former FBI counterintelligence lawyer Mark Wauck said, referring to then-FBI Director James Comey. They welcomed any predication that allowed them to open investigations on Trump, he added. Pientka testified that Comey was "fired up" about the tip, despite the fact nothing had been corroborated. Comey even held senior-level meetings on the Alfa investigation in his 7th floor office. (Pientka, who led the "close-hold" investigation from headquarters, also helped supervise the Crossfire Hurricane probe.) Ironically, no one knew better that Sussmann was a Democratic operative with an agenda than Baker – the official Durham claimed was the direct victim of the scam. Baker, a fellow Democrat, was a close friend of Sussmann, who had his own badge to get past security at the Hoover Building. Sussmann had Baker's personal cell number and Baker cleared his busy schedule to meet with him within hours of Sussmann calling to discuss his tip. Baker was well aware that Sussmann was representing the DNC, because Sussmann entered the building numerous times during the 2016 campaign to talk with top FBI officials about the alleged DNC hack by Russia. In fact, Sussmann had just visited headquarters with a delegation from the DNC on Aug. 12, 2016 – several weeks before he approached Baker with the bogus Alfa tip. They were there to pressure the FBI into concluding Russian intelligence was behind the "hacking" of DNC emails. "I understood he had been affiliated with the Democratic Party, but that he had come representing himself," Baker testified during the trial. Why didn't he tell investigators about Sussmann? "I didn't want to share his name because I didn't want to color the investigation," he said. "I didn't want to color it with politics." In his closing argument, Durham prosecutor Andrew DeFilippis told jurors the FBI's conduct was "not relevant." "Ladies and gentlemen, you've seen that the FBI didn't necessarily do everything right here. They missed opportunities. They made mistakes. They even kept information from themselves," he said. "That is not relevant to your evaluation of the defendant's lie." Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton complained Durham and his team have been acting more like apologists for the FBI than potential prosecutors of the FBI. "The FBI leadership knew full well the Clinton gang was behind the Alfa Bank-Russia smears of Trump," he said. "Durham tried to pretend (the) FBI was a victim (when) it was a co-conspirator." Wauck agreed. "The FBI-as-victim narrative was a bit of a legal fiction that Durham deployed for the purposes of the trial," he said. "The reality that emerged is that the FBI's top management was complicit in the Russia hoax that Sussmann was purveying." Folding Up His Tent Durham was first tasked with looking into the origins of the Russiagate probe in May 2019, before his formal appointment as special counsel in 2020. Trump and Republicans have expressed disappointment that after a total of more than three years of investigation, he has not prosecuted any top former FBI officials, including Comey and Andrew McCabe, who signed some of the FISA affidavits, or Peter Strzok, the biased leader of the Crossfire Hurricane probe who assured McCabe's lawyer in an August 2016 text that "we'll stop" Trump from becoming president. None has received a target letter. In recent months, McCabe and Strzok have gone on CNN, where they work as paid contributors, and smugly bashed Durham for running a "partisan" investigation, while at the same time gloating he's held the FBI up to be more of a victim than a culprit. "Comey and Strzok and McCabe have gotten a free ride out of all this," Kamenar said. James Comey, FBI director: Not prosecuted. Also, Durham went easy on Baker, another top FBI official, even after he held back key evidence from the special prosecutor before the Sussmann trial, a blatant lack of cooperation that may have cost Durham a conviction in the case. Comey's general counsel has received "favorable treatment," Wauck observed. Baker, who reviewed and OK'd the FISA applications, never told Durham about a damning text message he received from Sussmann on his cellphone. Durham had already indicted Sussmann for lying to Baker, and he could not use Sussmann's smoking-gun message – "I'm coming on my own – not on behalf of a client or company" – during the trial to convince jurors he was guilty of lying about representing the Clinton campaign. Legal analysts said it was slam-dunk evidence that would have sealed his case. Baker testified he didn't turn over the text to Durham because no one asked for it. He proved a reluctant witness on the stand against his old pal Sussmann.  Andrew McCabe, deputy director: Not prosecuted "I'm not out to get Michael and this is not my investigation. This is your investigation," he told DeFilippis during questioning. DeFilippis has since stepped down to take a job in the private sector. (Demonstrating the incestuous nature of the Beltway, Baker also happens to be an old friend of Bill Barr, who hired Durham. Barr hired Baker as his deputy when he ran Verizon's legal shop in 2008.) In another sign Durham has not lived up to his billing as an aggressive prosecutor, FBI Director Christopher Wray suggested in recent Senate testimony that Durham's team has not interviewed all of the Crossfire members still employed at the bureau. In lieu of face-to-face interviews, he said Durham's investigators have reviewed transcripts of interviews of the agents previously conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility, the FBI's in-house disciplinary arm. Recent published reports say Durham is in the process of closing up shop and completing a final report on his findings by the end of the year. Republicans have promised to seize on the report if they win control of the House in November and take back the gavel to key oversight committees on the Hill, along with subpoena power. Peter Strzok, Crossfire Hurricane leader: Not prosecuted. Some former colleagues who have worked with Durham and are familiar with his inquiry blame COVID-19 for his relatively few prosecutions and lackluster record. They say pandemic-related shutdowns in 2020 and 2021 set back his investigation by limiting travel, interviews, and grand jury hearings. As a result, they say, the clock ran out on prosecuting a number of potential crimes. The last FISA warrant, which according to the court was illegally obtained, was approved June 29, 2017, which means the five-year federal statute of limitations for that crime expired months ago. Though Durham hinted in the Sussmann case about investigating a broader "conspiracy" or "joint venture," there are few signs pointing to such a massive undertaking. Bringing a "conspiracy to defraud the government" charge, naming multiple defendants, would require Durham adding staff and office space and beefing up his budget by millions of dollars, the former colleagues said. According to expenditure statements, Durham continues to operate on a shoestring budget with a skeletal staff compared with his predecessor Mueller's robust operation, which indicted 34 people. And one of the two grand juries Durham used to hear evidence has expired. It recently wrapped up work, apparently without handing down new indictments (though some could be under seal). "If Durham were building toward an overarching indictment alleging a corrupt conspiracy between the Clinton campaign and the FBI to deceive the court, he would not be charging people with lying to the FBI," former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy said. If there are any investigations still open after Durham retires, they could be handled by U.S. attorneys, the sources said. At least one of Durham's prosecutors works as a trial lawyer in the U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. According to a court exhibit, Joffe "remains a subject" in the Sussmann-related investigation into alleged attempts by federal contractors to defraud the government with false claims about Trump and Russia. Joffe invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify after receiving a grand jury subpoena and has not cooperated with requests for documents. His lawyer did not return phone calls and emails. The Special Counsel's Office did not respond to requests for comment. The FBI declined comment for this article, but issued a statement last year saying it "has cooperated fully with Special Counsel Durham's review."  Tyler Durden Fri, 09/30/2022 - 21:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge1 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Opioids At Work: Hidden Scourge Sapping The Economy

Opioids At Work: Hidden Scourge Sapping The Economy Authored by James Varney via RealClear Wire, Strung out on drugs half her life, Brandi Edwards, 29, said the longest she held a job before getting sober four years ago was “about two and a half months.” “I worked at an AT&T call center, a day-care center for a month, fast food places, but I had to take drugs to get out of bed in the morning and when I did show up, I wasn’t productive,” the West Virginia mother of three told RealClearInvestigations. “The first paycheck came along and I was out of there.” Fentanyl. Image 4 of 17. United States Drug Enforcement Administration In jail for the ninth time on drug-related charges, and separated from her children, Edwards had an awakening in “looking hard at what I’d lost.” Now clean for four years after rehab, she is married and back in her children’s lives with a home in Princeton, W. Va., and a steady job. But such success stories are too infrequent to offset the massive cost of the opioid epidemic to the American workforce. Only a couple of people in her former addict circle have returned to productive life, she says, while most are dead or incarcerated. That toll on labor, haunting America’s working present and future probably for years -- if not decades -- to come, is largely invisible and underreported because it is difficult to measure, according to physicians, counselors, economists, workers and public officials. But its staying power is suggested by other lasting national challenges, including the porous southern border -- a major conduit for smuggled, Chinese-made fentanyl -- and economic and social traumas set in motion by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to untold years of productivity lost from fatal overdoses, the nation’s labor participation rate has shrunk steadily since 2000. Precise correlation is elusive, but any graph of that decline would stand in sharp contrast to the rise of opioid addiction in the U.S. And while it is difficult to calculate just how much drug use has caused absenteeism, tardiness and stretches of disability, the connection is strong, as Brandi Edwards’ experience suggests. “We’ve been writing about this for years but it doesn’t seem to get a lot of traction,” said Dr. Gary Franklin, a research professor at the University of Washington who served as the medical director of the state’s Department of Labor and Industries. “People have not realized how much opioids contribute to disability and lost productivity, and I don’t know if anyone has been able to put a number on that.”  Headline figures on lives lost in the opioid epidemic have been fairly clear for years. In 2021, more than 107,000 people died from drug overdoses, a nearly 15% increase from the year before and more than double the grim tally recorded in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control. All told, overdose deaths are seven times higher than they were in 1999. Synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, which law enforcement has tracked from labs in China along trafficking routes through Mexico on the southern border, are now driving the overdose epidemic. The CDC attributed 69,000 overdose deaths to synthetic opioids in 2020, 82% of the nation's total that year. Heroin overdoses, meanwhile, went up 7% in 2020 to 13,000, according to CDC figures. That means synthetic opioids and heroin dwarf cocaine and methamphetamines, although totals for both of those have been rising for a decade and often cause overdose deaths in combination with opioids. The National Institutes of Health shows fewer than 5,000 people killed by cocaine alone and fewer than 10,000 by what it dubs "psychostimulants," which includes methamphetamines, in 2020.  Less precisely, economists since at least 2017 have pegged at over $1 trillion the epidemic’s annual dollar cost in terms of deaths, law enforcement and “lost productivity.”  But the amount attributable to deaths - $550 billion of the $1 trillion - is largely conjecture because it is derived from actuarial estimates for lost years; for example, the decades cut from what would have been a normal working life for someone who fatally overdoses at age 45. Then there is the less lethal side of the equation -- one that workers and employers grapple with daily. Roughly 8% of workplace fatalities in 2020 - 388 of 4,786 - were attributed to "unintentional overdose from nonmedical use of drugs," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the agency said it is unclear "how many of these deaths involved opioids specifically."  A post on a neighborhood social media platform asking about opioids’ dire impact in the workforce unleashes a barrage of firsthand horror stories. Homeowners speak of an inability to hire handymen, painters, landscape workers and the like. “If I’m lucky enough to have an employee that can pass a [urine analysis] the chances of them doing so after the first check is slim,” wrote a tree surgeon in suburban New Orleans. “Tree men get a terrible rap. People think we are all crazy, wild, no fear having, hard working dopeheads.” But he acknowledged some truth to the stories of workplace abuse of prescription opioids, mentioning laborers’ common habit of relying on increasingly higher-milligram dosages of pain pills like Percocet. Workers “didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Hmmm, great day to go down a road that will cost me it all,’ " he wrote. "Then it’s inevitable. We get hurt. Usually pretty badly. So we start out getting a few .5 [mg] maybe 7.5. Later, as our careers go so does the pain, so do the amounts needed to consume to keep it at bay.” A National Safety Council study reported that more than 75% of U.S. employers have been affected by employees’ prescription drug use, according to congressional testimony, and the National Institutes of Health estimates some 3 million Americans, including workers, are addicted to opioids.  Edwards managed to break her addiction and return to the workforce with the help of Jobs & Hope, a statewide West Virginia placement initiative launched in 2019 that claims more than 1,500 success stories. But with a budget of $3.1 million it cannot handle all of the 200-250 addicts referred to it each month, said Deb Harris, the group’s lead transition agent.  Businesses have been largely receptive to such programs, but the state is still trying to regain its footing from the “flood of pills” that hit it early in the 21st century, according to Dr. Matthew Christiansen, director of West Virginia’s Office of Drug Control in the Department of Health and Human Services. “We don’t keep a running tally at the state level, but the numbers have probably stayed pretty consistent or maybe gotten a little bit worse because of an increase in overdose deaths due to fentanyl,” Christiansen said. The Centers for Disease Control does keep a tally, although it hasn’t publicly updated the grim numbers on its “opioid dashboard” since 2017. The figures from that year show that the biggest economic hit has come in the Appalachian states around the Ohio Valley and in New England, two regions where opioids and synthetics have torn a hole through the workforce. For example, West Virginia, long considered ground zero in the opioid epidemic, had the biggest annual per capita loss due to opioids at $7,247, according to the CDC figures that include overdose deaths. That tops Ohio, where the per capita cost in 2017 was $6,226, and New Hampshire at $5,953. Ohio saw the highest overall economic cost, at $72.58 billion, followed by Massachusetts at $36.91 billion, according to the CDC.  Fixing opioid disorder costs is complicated by the fact much of it is now driven by black-market synthetic drugs like fentanyl and thus can no longer be tracked through prescriptions. Nor is substance abuse a topic that workers - or many employers - are comfortable quantifying. All those involved in coping with the epidemic, however, peg the cost as staggering. “It’s difficult to measure these things but it’s likely a substantial part of the labor decline,” said Michael Betz, an economist at The Ohio State University who researches opioid disorder issues. “You’re piecing together different pieces of evidence, but when you look at the decline in labor participation rates and opioid disorder figures, they match up pretty similarly.” Franklin’s team did calculate the odds opioids influenced the disability bills Washington state taxpayers foot each year for roughly 100,000 workers, a relatively uncomplicated tally since Washington is one of four states with a centralized government system and not a private workers’ compensation insurance market. “We found that two prescriptions of opioids for more than 7 days in the first six weeks after an injury doubled the risk of a worker being on disability one year later,” he said. Answers to broader questions on opioids’ baleful economic impact, however, are scarce. “Productivity losses due to anything is an extremely complex analysis and is not routinely tracked,” Franklin said. To date, the nation's prime age labor workforce has not recovered to where it was at the beginning of 2020 and is now the lowest it has been in 45 years. The hit has been especially pronounced among older adults, according to the Government Accountability Office. Between 2015 and 2019, adults 50 years old or older "were an estimated 22 percent less likely to be in the labor force (either employed or actively seeking work),” a GAO report found. In addition, people in that age group "were an estimated 40 percent less likely to be employed; and employed older workers who misused opioids were twice as likely to have experienced periods of unemployment."  Once again, however, pinpointing the precise connection between opioids and lost productivity remained elusive, as "the data did not allow GAO to determine causality." Middle-aged white men have long comprised the single biggest group of annual overdose deaths, but between 2015 and 2020 the rate among black men skyrocketed to 54.1 per 100,000, topping white men’s 44.2 per 100,000, according to the Pew Research Center.  “Local economic conditions play some part in all this but they aren’t the key role; the main driver is the increase in supply,” Betz said. That leads some experts on the topic to conclude that opioids’ catastrophic hit to the United States’ workforce has been misconstrued. For a time, as deaths rose early on, particularly among middle-aged white men, and labor participation rates began their decline, the phrase “deaths of despair” took hold among some researchers. Under this theory, the opioid epidemic fed on declining economic prospects, particularly for middle-aged white men facing unemployment or shrinking incomes. But the “deaths of despair” theory reverses cause and effect, according to some physicians and people dealing with the fallout from opioids, including their more deadly synthetic cousin fentanyl. “We’ve debunked that,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, a faculty member at Brandeis University whose practice has specialized in opioid addiction. “Rather than economic conditions leading to overdose deaths it’s really the other way around - it’s not the economy driving them to death, it’s the opioid crisis affecting the economy.” Tyler Durden Fri, 09/30/2022 - 19:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge3 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

Results of Operations for the Three Months Ended June 30, 2022 - American Overseas Group Limited Announces Net Loss Of $0.3 Million and Operating Loss of $0.5 Million For the Three Months Ended June 30, 2022

HAMILTON, Bermuda, Sept. 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Overseas Group Limited BSX: AORE.BH) (Pink Sheets: AOREF.PK) ("AOG" or the "Company") today reported consolidated net loss available to common shareholders of $0.3 million, or $6.28 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2022. This compares to consolidated net loss available to common shareholders of $3.0 million, or $63.75 per diluted share, for the three months ended June 30, 2021. Book value per weighted share at June 30, 2022 was $775.49, a decline from the book value per weighted share of $1,003.21 at June 30, 2021. For the three months ended June 30, 2022, the Company had an operating loss of $0.5 million, or $11.58 per diluted share, compared to operating loss of $2.4 million, or $51.26 per diluted share for the three months ended June 30, 2021. For the three months ended June 30, 2022, net earned property and casualty premiums decreased $0.4 million from $5.5 million a year ago to $5.1 million. Fee income remained constant at $2.7 million while gross written premiums increased $1.9 million, moving from $114.7 million to $116.6 million. Quarterly direct written premiums were positively impacted by rate increases in current business. Loss and loss adjustment expenses as a percentage of earned premium increased from 66.1% to 71.4% as loss costs continued to increase in 2022 due to both frequency and severity. For the three months ended June 30, 2022, operating expenses decreased $2.1 million from $4.9 million to $2.8 million due to a one-time recognition in the amount of $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2021 of items previously held as a receivable against a personal guarantee contract and $0.9 million expense in 2021 year taxes, licenses and fees associated with program business written in Louisiana that was related to business written in the prior year. As part of its ongoing capital management efforts, the Company will continue to redirect excess capital within the group to debt reduction unless other compelling opportunities present themselves. Forward-Looking Statements This release contains statements that may be considered "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, without limitation, the Company's expectations respecting the volatility of its insured portfolio, losses, loss reserves and loss development, the adequacy and availability of its liquidity and capital resources, its current run off strategy, its strategy for writing other reinsurance businesses and its expense reduction measures. These statements are based on current expectations and the current views of the economic and operating environment and are not guarantees of future performance. A number of risks and uncertainties, including economic competitive conditions, could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in forward-looking statements. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Explanation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures The Company believes that the following non-GAAP financial measure included in this press release serve to supplement GAAP information and is meaningful to investors. Operating income (loss): The Company believes operating income (loss) is a useful measure because it measures income from operations, unaffected by non-operating items such as realized investment gains or losses. Operating income (loss) is typically used by research analysts and rating agencies in their analysis of the Company. Information About the Company American Overseas Group Limited is an insurance holding company incorporated in Bermuda and a tax resident of the United Kingdom. Its operating subsidiaries provide specialty property/casualty insurance, reinsurance and insurance management services. More information can be found at www.aoreltd.com. American Overseas Group Limited info@aoreltd.com American Overseas Group Limited Consolidated Balance Sheets (unaudited) As at June 30, 2022 and December 31, 2021       (dollars in thousands)                                                                      June 30, 2022     December 31, 2021 Assets                                             Investments:                   Fixed-maturity securities held as available for sale, at fair value     $ 109,497       $ 102,678         Equity investments held as available for sale, at fair value       2,619         3,781       Cash and cash equivalents       25,146         31,908       Restricted cash       2,232         4,440       Accrued investment income       417         553       Premiums receivable       89,048         76,626       Deferred insurance premiums       124,521         108,904       Reinsurance balances receivable, net       228,444         223,982       Deferred policy acquisition costs       4,424         4,588       Intangible assets       4,800         4,800       Goodwill       33,050         33,050       Other assets       4,491         3,166         Total Assets     $ 628,690       $ 598,476                                                   Liabilities and Equity                                       Liabilities:                 Loss and loss expense reserve     $ 220,290       $ 215,642       Deferred commission income       3,037         3,210       Unearned premiums       129,428         113,423       Ceded premium payable       94,424         82,059       Payable to general agents       5,783         7,121       Funds withheld       107,708         104,257       Accounts payable and accrued liabilities       14,319         12,420       Notes payable       16,521         16,521       Non-owned interest in VIE       300         300       Interest payable       451         451         Total Liabilities       592,259         555,404                             Shareholders' Equity:                 Common shares       4,698         4,698       Additional paid-in capital       189,179         189,179       Accumulated other comprehensive (loss) income       (5,328 )       1,124       Retained deficit       (157,570 )       (157,982 )       Total Shareholders' Equity       30,979         37,019       Non-controlling interest of preferred shares of subsidiaries       5,453         6,053       Total Equity       36,431         43,072                                                         Total Liabilities and Equity     $ 628,690       $ 598,476                               See Notes to June 30, 2022 Consolidated Financial Statements available on American Overseas Group Ltd. Website at www.aoreltd.com                         American Overseas Group Limited   Consolidated Statements of Operations   (unaudited)   (dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)                                                                                   Three months ended June 30,   Six Months ended June 30,                     2022       2021.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga5 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Putin"s annexation of Ukrainian land raises the risks a nuclear weapon will be used and tanks the possibility of talks to end the war

Putin sees this moment as one of "civilizational conflict with the West," a former senior intelligence officer told Insider. Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on a screen set at Red Square as he addresses a rally and a concert marking the annexation of four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy - Lugansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, in central Moscow on September 30, 2022.ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images Putin's annexation of four regions of Ukraine raises the risk of a nuclear weapon being used in the long-term, experts warn. "Russia is committing to an escalation," one Russia expert told Insider.  Putin sees this moment as one of "civilizational conflict with the West," a former senior intelligence officer told Insider. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the annexation of four Ukrainian regions into Russia on Friday in a bombastic speech filled with anti-Western rhetoric, nuclear threats, and historical revisionism. He also warned that Russia "will defend our land with all the powers and means at our disposal."Russia watchers and military experts told Insider that these aggressive moves and statements show Putin is "losing" in Ukraine and wants the US and its NATO allies to "back off." They warn that Putin has effectively eliminated the possibility of negotiations and stressed that these annexations raise the risk of nuclear weapons being used in the long-term. Putin sees this moment as one of "civilizational conflict with the West," and he made this clear in his speech, Andrea Kendall-Taylor, a former senior intelligence officer who led strategic analysis on Russia for the National Intelligence Council from 2015 to 2018, told Insider. The Russian president is "raising the stakes in so many different ways," said Kendall-Taylor, now the director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.During his speech, Putin said that use of nuclear weaponry by the US against Japan during World War II set a "precedent."That Putin went out of his way to make such a point is "extremely unnerving," Kendall-Taylor said, adding that it almost seems as if the Russian leader is "talking himself into it and looking for ways to justify his potential use of a nuclear weapon if he needs to do so at a later date."The risks of Putin employing a nuclear weapon in the immediate future are "still low," she said, but she emphasized that the annexation "increased those risks.""I do worry now that as the Ukrainians reclaim territory that Russia has now annexed and that [Putin] claims as Russian, given that he now is so personally invested in this, that the risk of his use of a tactical nuke on the battlefield in Ukraine has gone up," Kendall-Taylor said.'Committing to an escalation'The Moscow-appointed heads of Kherson region Vladimir Saldo and Zaporizhzhia region Yevgeny Balitsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donetsk separatist leader Denis Pushilin and Lugansk separatist leader Leonid Pasechnik join hands after signing treaties formally annexing four regions of Ukraine Russian troops occupy, at the Kremlin in Moscow on September 30, 2022.GRIGORY SYSOYEV/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images"Russia is committing to an escalation," Cynthia Hooper, a history professor and Russia expert at the College of the Holy Cross, told Insider. Putin is using the illegal annexations of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts to reframe the war for Russian citizens, Hooper said, adding that "now he and his advisors can tell a story, going forward, of how the Kremlin wants peace but Ukraine and its US supporters are insisting on war and attacking Mother Russia.""This is scary. It is a false narrative, constructed by a person who absolutely knows his actions will prompt further conflict. It is a strategy designed in expectation of military escalation," Hooper said. The pressing issue for Putin at the moment is that he's "been losing," Jeffrey Edmonds, a CNA Russia expert and former CIA military analyst, told Insider, and the "annexation, the mobilization — these are all measures he's trying to take to fix the problem."The Ukraine war has been disastrous for the Russian military so far. Strategically, military experts say that Russia has essentially already been defeated. Putin launched the war with the goal of subjugating the whole of Ukraine. But Russia failed to take Kyiv and was effectively forced to turn its attention to the eastern Donbas region — a far less ambitious objective.Russian forces are estimated to have suffered as many as 80,000 casualties, if not more, since the war began, and they've struggled with myriad equipment issues.Meanwhile, Ukraine has in recent weeks managed to recapture a significant chunk of territory as part of a blistering counteroffensive. These losses are widely believed to be the reason behind Putin's decision last week to announced a military mobilization plan, calling up tens of thousands of reservists to help address Russia's manpower problems. There have been a number of signs that the mobilization is highly unpopular, with thousands of Russian men fleeing the country amid nationwide protests and even instances of violence. Putin realizes that Russia is "really on a negative trajectory at this point," Edmonds said. "The counteroffensive and the fact that he wasn't able to take these territories like he thought, that was a big turning point for him and the Russian population in which he really felt like he needs to escalate — or at least rhetorically escalate and warn of nuclear weapons."Putin knows the US and NATO do not want to go to war with Russia and is trying to send a message that if they keep providing Ukraine with weapons and security assistance, then that's "exactly what we'll have, with all the nuclear trappings that go with it," Edmonds said, "That's really where the rhetoric comes from. He's always used nuclear rhetoric, but it it is picking up."Indeed, the mobilization and annexations come at a desperate moment for Putin. In formally annexing the four Ukrainian regions — a move that came after referendums decried as a sham by leaders across the globe — Putin is vying to hold on to what little progress Russian forces have made. But as Ukraine's counteroffensive continues, Russia may find it difficult to hold on to the territory it now claims as its own and vows to defend. Putin announced the annexations "even as Ukrainian forces encircled Russian troops in the key city of Lyman, Luhansk Oblast, immediately demonstrating that Russia will struggle to hold the territory it claims to have annexed," according to a Friday report from the Institute for the Study of War, which has provided timely battlefield updates on the Ukraine conflict. "Putin likely intends annexation to freeze the war along the current frontlines and allow time for Russian mobilization to reconstitute Russian forces," the report added. 'There's not a negotiated settlement to this'A Ukrainian serviceman shoots at a Russian drone with an assault rifle from a trench at the front line east of Kharkiv, March 31, 2022.FADEL SENNA/AFP via Getty ImagesThe annexation of Ukraine's territory, which came eight years after Russia annexed Crimea, also greatly diminishes the possibility of any negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv. "The ceremony today was presented, on Russian television and to a domestic Russian audience, as a Russian victory. Putin said himself that now that these four regions have been, in his words, reunited with Russia, he is prepared to negotiate for peace — but then in the same breath, he added that any peace deal would have to respect these new territorial acquisitions and that their status was not up for future negotiation," Hooper said. Ukraine has been clear that it will not accept any peace deal that involves ceding territory to Russia."Russia has been and remains an aggressor illegally occupying parts of Ukrainian land. Ukraine has every right to liberate its territories and will keep liberating them whatever Russia has to say," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a tweet earlier this month. Along these lines, analysts say that Putin has helped ensure that the Ukraine war won't end any time soon. The annexations solidify for "the Ukrainians that they have to defeat the Russians in Ukraine," Edmonds said, "There's not a negotiated settlement to this.""I don't think there's room for negotiation for quite some time because the Ukrainians have been winning and the Russians just demand Ukrainian surrender. Why would you surrender when you're winning?" Edmonds added.And if Russia continues to lose ground, particularly in territories in now claims as its own yet does not fully occupy, this could reduce the threshold for further escalation and possibly even the use of a nuclear weapon. "In some ways the mobilization itself lowered the probability of nuclear use in the near-term," Edmonds said, explaining that Putin announced the draft to help address the issues Russian forces have been facing and that he wants to see how it all plays out. "Now, let's say in some scenario, it doesn't fix the problem. The Russian military collapses over the winter, and he starts losing big — then I think the chances for non-strategic nuclear use go up. But I think right now he's really trying to step up the rhetoric to get the US and NATO to back off," Edmonds added. Similarly, Kendall-Taylor said that the "unfortunate reality" is that the better the Ukrainians do on the battlefield, the higher the risk of Russia using a tactical nuclear weapon. "The stakes are higher for Putin," Kendall-Taylor said, because mobilization and annexation were "quite clearly his decisions."Putin will give mobilization a "little bit of time to play out and to see how effective it can be in turning the tide, or at least stemming Ukrainian advances," Kendall-Taylor said, but the use of a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine is "directly tied to Russia's fate on the battlefield."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider5 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

CHT transforming into ICT system integration provider, eyeing international market

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) is on track to gradually transform itself from a telecom services provider into an ICT system integration supplier by leveraging the growingly mature AI, 5GT, big data analysis and cloud technologies, looking to break the limitations of regionalized telecom operations through the new role and cooperate with partners to jointly develop international markets, according to Jay Huang, deputy managing director at CHT's International Business Group......»»

Category: topSource: digitimes6 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

AB Science today reports its revenues for the first half of 2022 and provides an update on its activities

         PRESS RELEASE AB SCIENCE PRESENTS ITS FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2022 AND THE KEY EVENTS OF THE PERIOD Clinical development Authorization by Health Canada in February 2022 to file a New Drug Submission for masitinib in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) under the Notice of Compliance with Conditions (NOC/c) policy and formal start of the review in May 2022. Health Canada has a target of 200 calendar days maximum to review the application Filing for conditional Marketing Authorization to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for masitinib in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and formal start of the review in August 2022 Launch of a confirmatory Phase 3 study with masitinib in progressive forms of multiple sclerosis Positive recommendation of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board to continue both Phase 2 studies in Covid-19 Financial information and other corporate information Operating loss of €9.6 million as of 30 June 2022, an increase of 58% compared to the first half of 2021 Cash position of €7.6 million as of 30 June 2022, plus the €7.1 million of 2020 and 2021 research tax credit and a financing agreement with the European Investment Bank of which 12.0 million euros are available at that date Paris, September 30, 2022, 6.30pm CET AB Science SA (Euronext - FR0010557264 - AB) today reports its revenues for the first half of 2022 and provides an update on its activities. CLINICAL DEVELOPMENT KEY EVENTS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2022 AND SINCE JUNE 30, 2022 Authorization by Health Canada to file a New Drug Submission for masitinib in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) under the Notice of Compliance with Conditions (NOC/c) policy AB Science announced that Health Canada has granted authorization to file a New Drug Submission for masitinib in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) under the Notice of Compliance with Conditions (NOC/c) policy. If granted, an NOC/c is authorization to market a drug with conditions. Such conditions will be discussed with Health Canada during the procedure. An assessment named Advance Consideration, performed by a Health Canada Adjudicating Committee, is necessary before being granted authorization to file under NOC/c policy. This assessment was made based on a pre-submission package sent by AB Science including, efficacy data of study AB10015, long-term survival data (75 months average follow-up from diagnosis) of study AB10015, and safety data. An estimated 3,000 Canadians are currently living with ALS. Each year approximately 1,000 Canadians die from ALS. A similar number of Canadians are diagnosed with ALS each year. Under the NOC/c policy, Health Canada has a target of 200 calendar days maximum to review the application. Filing for conditional Marketing Authorization to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for masitinib in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) AB Science filed an application for conditional Marketing Authorization to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Alsitek (masitinib) in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The application is based on results from the phase 2/3 AB10015 study and its long-term survival follow-up. Study AB10015 was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial over a 48-week treatment period, conducted with 394 ALS patients and evaluating Alsitek in combination with riluzole versus riluzole alone. This decision to file followed a pre-submission meeting held with the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) Rapporteur during which new data generated with Alsitek in ALS were presented, in particular, a clinical benefit in terms of a 25-month increase in median overall survival for patients with moderate ALS, which is a cohort that closely resembles newly diagnosed patients. During the pre-submission meeting, AB Science also presented how issues listed in the previous CHMP assessment for Alsitek on ALS (EMA/406203/2018) were resolved, in particular: The mode of action of Alsitek in ALS, which has been well-demonstrated and published in peer-reviewed publications. A remonitoring of all efficacy and safety data and a complete reassessment of the Alsitek safety database. Additional analyses for the primary efficacy endpoint, imputing all missing data for early discontinuation, and a conservative analysis imputing missing data with a penalty for patients who discontinued Alsitek for lack of efficacy or toxicity. These analyses were positive, and all showed a treatment effect in favor of Alsitek and convergent with the primary analysis. Long-term follow-up survival data showing a significant benefit in favor of Alsitek in moderate ALS patients (between group difference in median OS of +25 months, hazard ratio 0.56 (95%CI [0.32;0.96])). This application has now been validated by EMA and review by the CHMP has begun. The CHMP has a target of 210 active evaluation days to review the application. Launch of a confirmatory Phase 3 study with masitinib in progressive forms of multiple sclerosis AB Science announced that it has been authorized by the French Medicine Agency, ANSM, to initiate a Phase III study (AB20009) evaluating masitinib in patients with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) or non-active Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (nSPMS). The study will enroll 800 patients from numerous study centers with Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score between 3.0 to 6.0 and absence of T1 Gadolinium-enhancing brain lesions as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The primary objective of the study will be to evaluate the effect of masitinib on time to confirmed disability progression, with progression defined as 1-point worsening when EDSS baseline score ≤5.5, or 0.5 if baseline score >5.5 from randomization to week 96. This confirmatory study follows successful completion of a first Phase 2B/3 study (AB07002) in primary progressive (PPMS) and non-active secondary progressive (nSPMS) multiple sclerosis. This study met its primary analysis endpoint, demonstrating a statistically significant reduction in cumulative change on EDSS with masitinib 4.5 mg/kg/day (p=0.0256). Positive recommendation of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board to continue both Phase 2 studies in Covid-19 AB Science announced the continuation of the Phase 2 study evaluating masitinib in combination with isoquercetin in COVID-19, following the recommendation of the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB). This randomized (1:1), open-label, phase 2 study (AB20001) is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of masitinib plus isoquercetin in hospitalised patients with moderate COVID-19 (WHO 7-point ordinal scale level 4) or severe COVID-19 (level 5). The study is planned to recruit 200 patients (over 18 years of age with no upper age limit). The primary objective is to improve the clinical status of patients after 15 days of treatment, as measured by the WHO 7-point ordinal scale. The interim analysis was conducted with one third of the patients evaluated, as planned. The purpose of the interim analysis was to assess the safety and efficacy of the treatment. The DSMB recommends continuing the study without restrictions in moderate patients (level 4, i.e. hospitalized patients with oxygen supply.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzinga6 hr. 26 min. ago Related News

5 Winning Global ETFs of First Nine Months of 2022

These global fared better than the broader market indexes in the first nine months of 2022. Global markets have been into a tailspin this year on red-hot inflation and rising rate worries. The Fed has hiked interest rates this year by 300 bps so far. The European Central Bank (ECB) too embarked on the rate hike mode. The ECB has raised interest rates by 125 so far this year (read: ECB Hikes Rates: ETFs to Win/Lose).The Bank of England hiked its key interest rate to 2.25% from 1.75% on Thursday and said it would continue to "respond forcefully, as necessary" to tame inflation, despite the economic concerns.The Central Bank of Sweden announced a 100 basis points hike in interest rates last week saying that the inflation was too stubborn. Despite the 100-bps hike, the Riksbank is still behind its inflation target by 0.25%, which indicates further rate hikes. The Swiss central bank also hiked rates by 75 basis points to 0.5% Thursday. The move brought an end to an era of negative rates in Europe.The S&P 500 is down about 22% this year (as of Sep 23, 2022) while iShares MSCI ACWI ETF ACWI has added about 23.9% this year. Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few global equities ETFs that outdid the S&P 500 this year.ETFs in FocusWBI BullBear Yield 3000 ETF WBIG – Down 5.79% YTDThe WBI BullBear Yield 3000 ETF seeks long-term capital appreciation and the potential for current income, while also seeking to protect principal during unfavorable market conditions. This active cash-hedged all-cap ETF focused on value stocks with attractive dividend yields. The fund holds 60.9% of stock and 39.1% of cash. The expense ratio of WBIG is 1.25% while it yields 2.42% annually.WBI BullBear Yield 3000 ETF (WBIF) – Down 7.76% YTDWBIF is an active ETF focused on global small-, mid- and large-cap value stocks that pay dividends. The fund seeks to manage risk to capital while providing attractive returns and long-term growth of capital. The rigorous stock selection process targets the highest quality value stocks. The expense ratio of WBIG is 1.25% and it yields 1.52% annually.Alpha Architect Value Momentum Trend ETF VMOT – Down 9.6% YTDThe Alpha Architect Value Momentum Trend ETF seeks long term capital appreciation while attempting to minimize market drawdowns. The strategy seeks to invest in the cheapest, highest quality value stocks that have the highest quality momentum too. The strategy’s trend-following system looks to minimize large drawdowns via trend signals. The fund charges 83 bps in fees.Horizon Kinetics Inflation Beneficiaries ETF INFL – Down 10.7% YTDThe Horizon Kinetics Inflation Beneficiaries ETF is an actively managed ETF that seeks long-term growth of capital in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. It seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing primarily in domestic and foreign equity securities of companies that are expected to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from rising prices of real assets, such as those whose revenues are expected to increase with inflation without corresponding increases in expenses. The fund charges 85 bps in fees.IQ Hedge Macro Tracker ETF MCRO – Down 11.3% YTDThe underlying IQ Hedge Macro Index seeks to replicate the risk-adjusted return characteristics of a combination of hedge funds pursuing a macro strategy and hedge funds pursuing an emerging markets strategy. The fund charges 67 bps in fees. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI): ETF Research Reports Alpha Architect Value Momentum Trend ETF (VMOT): ETF Research Reports WBI BullBear Yield 3000 ETF (WBIG): ETF Research Reports IQ Hedge Macro Tracker ETF (MCRO): ETF Research Reports Horizon Kinetics Inflation Beneficiaries ETF (INFL): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks7 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Biohaven Pharma"s (BHVN) ALS Study Fail to Meet Both Endpoints

Biohaven Pharmaceuticals (BHVN) suffers a setback as verdiperstat fails to meet the primary and secondary endpoints in an ALS study. Biohaven Pharmaceuticals BHVN recently announced that the phase II/III HEALY ALS platform study evaluating verdiperstat for treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) failed.ALS is a progressive, rare and life-threatening neuromuscular disease characterized by the loss of motor neurons in the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord that leads to progressive muscle weakness and difficulties in speaking, swallowing, and breathing. Per the company, the disease affects approximately 30,000 people in the United States. Presently, there are no approved treatment options and no cure for ALS.The HEALY ALS study is an adaptive study evaluating multiple investigational treatments simultaneously for the easy and accelerated development of treatment options for ALS patients.Biohaven evaluated verdiperstat in the study participants with ALS for a period of 24 weeks. The candidate did not exhibit any statistically significant difference in the prescribed primary efficacy outcome, disease progression measured by the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised or survival in patients who received the drug compared with a placebo. The candidate also did not exhibit any improvements in the key secondary efficacy measures of the study.The initial data from the safety analysis of the study was in line with the candidate’s previous studies.The company continues to conduct additional analyses of the candidate and expects to report results from the complete results at an upcoming scientific meeting.Shares of Biohaven have returned 9.9% in the year-to-date period against the industry’s decline of 24.5%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBiohaven is a commercial-stage biopharma company focused on developing and commercializing therapies for rare neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases.Biohaven is also conducting a phase III study evaluating taldefgrobep alfa in Spinal Muscle Atrophy (SMA). In July, the company initiated the enrollment of participants in the SMA phase III study.Biohaven is among a handful of companies exploring the ALS market. Notably, in the ALS space, there are two companies, namely Amylyx Pharmaceuticals AMLX andIonis Pharmaceuticals IONS, who have made progress in the target market.Amylyx Pharmaceuticals recently announced that the FDA approved its pipeline candidate, Relyvrio (sodium phenylbutyrate and taurursodiol), for treating ALS in adults. In a randomized placebo-controlled study, Relyvrio significantly slowed down the loss of physical function in adult ALS patients.Ionis is also developing several candidates for different forms of ALS, including ION363 for ALS, with mutations in the fused in sarcoma gene, or FUS (FUS-ALS), and tofersen, in partnership with Biogen, for superoxide dismutase 1 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SOD1-ALS)In July, the FDA accepted the new drug application (NDA) for Ionis/Biogen’s tofersen in the treatment of SOD1-ALS. The application has also been granted priority review and a decision is expected by Jan. 25, 2023.Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. Price  Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. price | Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. Quote Investors should note that Biohaven entered into a definitive contract with Pfizer PFE in May 2022, wherein the latter will acquire the former for an all-cash transaction of $148.50 per share or a total equity value of $11.6 million.Per the terms of the transaction, Pfizer will acquire Biohaven’s calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) pipeline. With regard to the non-CGRP pipeline, all existing shareholders of Biohaven (including Pfizer) will receive half a share of a new publicly traded company that will retain the company’s non-CGRP programs for every one common share of Biohaven. The new company will continue to operate under Biohaven’s name. The transaction is expected to be complete by early 2023.Biohaven currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) Rank stocks here. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Free Stock Analysis Report Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (IONS): Free Stock Analysis Report Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. (BHVN): Free Stock Analysis Report Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMLX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks7 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Nomura: When Does The Fed "Blink"?

Nomura: When Does The Fed "Blink"? The velocity of “things breaking” around the world (Yen, Yuan, Euro, Sterling, SONIA, Gilts, MBS, Lev Loan deals, the entirety of the UK LDI / Pension complex) is obviously a “neon swan” telling us that we are clearly now in the “market accident” stage from the tightening surge. And, as Nomura's Charlie McElligott notes, let’s be fair…all of these things are happening for completely rational reasons, particularly for the USD vs lack of viable global alternatives, as the US economy remains the “cleanest dirty shirt” by-far, while rest of world is running increasingly “incongruent” monetary vs fiscal policy on structural issues. Again, looking at the below generic UK / Europe type set-up, McElligott points out a laundry-list of messy inputs (h/t Jordan Rochester): Collapsing terms of trade / trade-deficits largely due to energy imports Manu / Industrial growth slowing due to high energy / input costs “Hiking into recession” with slower consumer being negatively impact by broad inflation (energy bills, food costs) AND shock-resets on mortgage rates "Demand CONSTRUCTION" policies which feed actually FEED consumption and inflation (energy caps, subsidies, fiscal stim / tax cuts) And again, all while those central banks are trying to “rage tighten” monetary policy with hot inflation - but against collapsing currencies thanks to the “USD Wrecking Ball”. And so, authorities are starting to agitate against growing market and economic calamity being caused by the impulse tightening of FCI and the USD Wrecking Ball - which is making the “macro trend trades” which have dictated all thematic performance in 2022 now increasingly open to reversal. So what will make the Fed "blink"? The Nomura strategist writes that, outside of trying to project outrageously unpredictable Inflation data, there are two scenarios: Job losses / Negative NFPs - currently, labor mkt tightness and wage growth at all-time highs gives Fed room to hit the economy HARDER, bc a hot jobs mkt gives you room to crunch it—so the Fed will keep hiking into postive NFP prints; but my view has continued to be that the first time you print a negative NFP, the market will immediately interpret it as a counter-intuitive “constructive” signal for Equities, because this allows for a Fed pivot back towards “dual mandate” (from current solo focus on inflation) which means they can “move the goalposts” - ESPECIALLY as “job losses” then becomes a political feature / issue Credit Market “freeze,” as Corp access to Capital Markets dries-up (note: this is NOT necessarily then about some absolute Spread level of say HY)—if FCI tightening and / or market Vol hits such an extent that BBBs can’t do debt deals…then the Fed will make a move; watching Lev Loans- and / or CLO- markets as most reasonable spots for an “issue” due to floating-rate nature of the products. Are we starting to see any signs of this anticipation of a Fed Pivot? Turning to tactical Equities / Vol - yesterday was the first day in four where we saw some normalization in the recent blast of Vol / Skew / Crash outperformance vs Spot Index,despite the seemingly big “down day”—with a resumption of fairly aggressive “monetization of downside” flows in Equities index / ETF options. And this segues nicely into today’s quarterly rebalance of the large client SPX Put Spread Collar, which tends to exhibit tremendous market impact on hype alone…but for many of the past year and a half’s rebal cycles, has indeed marked local market inflection points. Per the desk Put Spread Collar update: “The SPX Sept 30th 3020/3580/4005 Put Spread Collar (cust long the Sep 30th PM 3580/3020 Put Spreads vs. short the Sep 30th PM 4005 Calls) is expected to be rolled at some point today. The gamma on the SPX Sep 30th PM 3580 Put was ~$2.3B as of last night’s close, so dealers/market makers are broadly welcoming this morning’s de minimis move in futures. Based on last night’s closing level, the expectation is that the investor will roll into something like a a new SPX Dec 30th 2910/3460/3800 Put Spread Collar ~46,000x, which will create ~$16.8M of vega supply in that Dec 30th bucket (along with a fair amount of downside skew via that Dec 30th 2910 Put). The structure has ~$7B of net delta to sell as it currently stands on the MOC, though in the past we have seen this structure trade with a 1-day option (would sell a Sep 30th ITM call for example) so that the delta impact comes on the close as opposed to intra-day” McElligott's point is that with the recent “bid” to Vol / Skew that it is looking “rich” again (as an entry point then for it to fade from) - and yes, with a likelihood that the end of day Equities MOC imbalance could be a disasterously huge “$7B FOR SALE” print that frightens the mkt….i actually kinda think it sets up for a potential relief trade thereafter next week or even into / around Oct Op-Ex, because Dealers are getting a BUNCH of Vega and Gamma back, as well as picking up some big downside Skew…IF WE CAN AVOID A MELTDOWN TO THE 3580 STRIKE FIRST. I think all of this sets-up for a short-term tactical dynamic where Equities implied Vol could come off the recent squeeze higher and begin fading again next week, which then along with the reduced “Short Gamma” dynamic, but against so much “Negative $Delta”…could allow for Equities “relief” as iVol softens further with Dealers in a much “cleaner” place from an Options market perspective. Interestingly, the team at SpotGamma note a similar tactical dynamic as today's put expiration is enough to give equities a bump, and that could lead to a rapid decline in implied volatility. So, we have puts deltas coming off due to expiration, but also vanna. Shown below is the VIX which has hit recent highs – but note too the movement of the TDEX “Tail Risk” index. There was a sharp move in this metric over the last week which tells us that traders were buying deep out of the money puts. On a rally this stuff could get smoked, and could help generate a ~5% equity rally rather quickly. But SpotGamma warns, the macro risks in this environment are massive, an its the perfect environment for something to snap and lead to limit down style moves. This is why we favor playing rallies in call positions with fixed risk. Second, this view of a rally is based on positional analysis, nothing fundamental. Because we are in a put-heavy environment with high volatility rallies should be treated as very unstable and subject to rapid reversal. Think CPI crash, or even yesterdays reversal from 3940 Wed closing to 3910 Thursday lows. Those were 3-5% rallies which retraced in hours. Tyler Durden Fri, 09/30/2022 - 14:15.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge7 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

New viewership numbers are here for Amazon"s "Rings of Power" — here"s how it compares to HBO"s "House of the Dragon"

Amazon's big-budget "Lord of the Rings" series had a strong premiere, but the coming weeks could better determine its staying power. "The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power."Prime Video Nielsen said that "The Rings of Power" was watched for 1.25 billion minutes in its first four days. It's a strong premiere and, on the surface, ahead of HBO's "House of the Dragon." But Nielsen's data doesn't paint a complete picture. After months of anticipation, Amazon's mega-expensive "Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" is here — and so are some early viewership figures.The show topped Nielsen's latest streaming chart — which reflected the week of August 29 through September 4 — the first for an Amazon series. The first two episodes of "The Rings of Power," which debuted September 1, were watched for a total of 1.253 billion minutes in the US in their first four days.At an hour in length for each episode, that would break down to roughly 10 million US viewers in that time period, assuming for the purposes of this analysis that there were no repeat viewers and everyone finished each episode (it's not a perfect science)."The Rings of Power" had a lot of pressure on it leading up to its premiere, largely because of its hefty pricetag. Amazon spent $250 million for the rights alone, and the first season cost $465 million to make, according to The Hollywood Reporter.The numbers indicate that "The Rings of Power" had a strong debut, but the show has also faced growing pains. It's been rocked by poor audience reception and online engagement has appeared lukewarm since its premiere, with Google searches related to the show peaking with its debut, for instance.Its fantasy counterpart, HBO's "Game of Thrones" prequel "House of the Dragon" — which premiered less than two weeks before "The Rings of Power" — hasn't seemed to faced those headwinds."House of the Dragon."HBOAt first glance, "The Rings of Power" won the "streaming battle of the prequels" in their premieres, as Nielsen put it. But "House of the Dragon" highlights limitations to the the company's data.Nielsen said last week that the first two episodes of "House of the Dragon" were watched for 741 million minutes on HBO Max from August 22 through August 28. This didn't include the show's premiere, which debuted Sunday, August 21 at 9 pm EST. Nor does it include linear programming on the traditional HBO network, only streaming viewership on HBO Max.With that in mind, "House of the Dragon" is more popular than the Nielsen data suggests. HBO said that the series premiere alone was watched by almost 10 million viewers in the US on its first night across streaming and linear platforms, the network's biggest premiere ever.The show is also driving viewership for "Game of Thrones," which Nielsen said was watched for nearly 800 million minutes over the week of August 22.But that doesn't mean that "The Rings of Power" didn't have a strong premiere (it did), and it's trending ahead of other recent hit Amazon series. But the coming weeks will  better suggest whether it has staying power — though Amazon told Insider that the series "continues to be the most-watched show worldwide on Prime Video, breaking all previous viewing records."Here's how it stacked up against other Amazon shows:As a reminder, "The Rings of Power's" first two episodes were watched for 1.253 billion minutes over its first four days."The Wheel of Time's" three-episode premiere was watched for 1.163 billion minutes in its first three-day weekend after it debuted last November."The Boys" was watched for 949 million minutes over the first weekend that its third season premiered with the first three episodes in June."The Terminal List" debuted all eight of its episodes at once in July, which were watched for 1.106 billion minutes in the show's debut weekend.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt8 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

5 Best Inverse-Leveraged ETFs of September

Inverse and inverse-leveraged ETFs either create an inverse short position or a leveraged inverse short position in the underlying index through the use of swaps, options, futures contracts and other financial instruments. Wall Street has been being badly hit in September as Fed’s aggressive rate hikes have sparked fears of a recession. The three major bourses are in deep red over the past month. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones are down 8.2% and 7.7%, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index underperformed, plunging 9%.This has resulted in huge demand for inverse or inverse-leveraged ETFs as these fetch outsized returns on bearish sentiments in a short span. Direxion Daily MSCI Real Estate Bear 3X Shares DRV, Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares SOXS, MicroSectors FANG & Innovation -3x Inverse Leveraged ETN BERZ, ETFMG 2x Daily Inverse Alternative Harvest ETF MJIN and Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x Shares TZA might continue their strong performance if sentiments remain the same.Inverse and inverse-leveraged ETFs either create an inverse short position or a leveraged inverse short position in the underlying index through the use of swaps, options, futures contracts and other financial instruments. Due to their compounding effect, investors can enjoy higher returns in a very short time, provided the trend prevails.The S&P 500 hit lows last seen in late November 2020, while the Dow Jones Industrial Index fell into bear territory early this week. The renewed selling pressure came after Fed Chair Jerome Powell raised interest rates by another 75 bps. This marks the third consecutive rate hike of 0.75% and pushed the benchmark interest rate to 3.0-3.25%, the highest level since 2008 (read: ETFs That Won After Fed Rate Hike).With inflation nearly at a 40-year high, the central bank also signaled that additional large rate hikes were likely at the upcoming meetings as it combats inflation. Fed officials now expect the federal funds rate in the range of 4.25% to 4.5%, a full percentage point above 3.25% to 3.5% to end 2022 that was projected in June. This means that the central bank could approve another three-quarter point hike at its November meeting and then a half-point rate rise in December. Economists warned that the rapid tightening would hurt the labor and housing markets, thereby pushing the economy into recession and impacting the stock market.Direxion Daily MSCI Real Estate Bear 3X Shares (DRV) – Up 65.2%Direxion Daily MSCI Real Estate Bear 3X Shares seeks to deliver three times the inverse performance of MSCI US REIT Index. It has AUM of $202.8 million and an average daily volume of around 468,000 shares.Direxion Daily MSCI Real Estate Bear 3X Shares charges 95 bps in fees per year (read: Short Rate-Sensitive Sectors With These ETFs).Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares (SOXS) – Up 57.9%Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares targets the semiconductor corner of the technology sector with three times inverse leveraged exposure to the ICE Semiconductor Index.Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3x Shares has amassed about $545.9 million in its asset base while charging 95 bps in fees per year. Volume is good as it exchanges 66.7 million shares per day on average.MicroSectors FANG & Innovation -3x Inverse Leveraged ETN (BERZ) – Up 52.1%MicroSectors FANG & Innovation -3x Inverse Leveraged ETN is linked to the three times leveraged inverse performance of the Solactive FANG Innovation Index. The index tracks the stock prices of 15 large-capitalization, highly liquid U.S. technology stocks.With AUM of $20.5 million, MicroSectors FANG & Innovation -3x Inverse Leveraged ETN has an expense ratio of 0.95% and trades in an average daily volume of 260,000 shares.ETFMG 2x Daily Inverse Alternative Harvest ETF (MJIN) – Up 43.2%ETFMG 2x Daily Inverse Alternative Harvest ETF provides leveraged inverse exposure to companies within the cannabis ecosystem bene???tting from global medicinal and recreational cannabis legalization initiatives. It measures the two times opposite performance of the return of the Prime Alternative Harvest Index.ETFMG 2x Daily Inverse Alternative Harvest ETF has amassed $1.4 million and trades in average daily volume of 24.000 shares. It charges 95 bps in fees per year.Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x Shares (TZA) – Up 39.9%Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3x Shares provides three times inverse exposure to the Russell 2000 Index, charging 94 bps in fees and expenses. It has been able to manage $540.3 million in its asset base with a heavy average daily volume of 9.4 million shares (read: Should You Buy Small Cap ETFs Now?).Bottom LineWhile the strategy is highly beneficial for short-term traders, it could lead to huge losses compared with traditional funds in fluctuating or seesawing markets. Further, their performances could vary significantly from the actual performance of their underlying index over a longer period compared to a shorter period (such as weeks or months) due to their compounding effect (see: all the Inverse Equity ETFs here).Still, for ETF investors bearish on equities for the near term, either of the above products could make an interesting choice. Clearly, these could be intriguing for those with a high-risk tolerance and a belief that the “trend is the friend” in this specific corner of the investing world. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Direxion Daily Small Cap Bear 3X Shares (TZA): ETF Research Reports Direxion Daily Real Estate Bear 3X Shares (DRV): ETF Research Reports Direxion Daily Semiconductor Bear 3X Shares (SOXS): ETF Research Reports MicroSectors FANG & Innovation 3X Inverse Leveraged ETN (BERZ): ETF Research Reports ETFMG 2X Daily Inverse Alternative Harvest ETF (MJIN): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks9 hr. 42 min. ago Related News

Is Brighthouse Financial (BHF) a Great Value Stock Right Now?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks. Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks.Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors rely on traditional forms of analysis on key valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are undervalued, leaving room for profits.In addition to the Zacks Rank, investors looking for stocks with specific traits can utilize our Style Scores system. Of course, value investors will be most interested in the system's "Value" category. Stocks with "A" grades for Value and high Zacks Ranks are among the best value stocks available at any given moment.Brighthouse Financial (BHF) is a stock many investors are watching right now. BHF is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock holds a P/E ratio of 3.28, while its industry has an average P/E of 6.09. Over the past 52 weeks, BHF's Forward P/E has been as high as 4.17 and as low as 2.57, with a median of 3.58.Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. Some people prefer this metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement. This means it could be a truer performance indicator. BHF has a P/S ratio of 0.28. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.63.Finally, investors should note that BHF has a P/CF ratio of 1.84. This figure highlights a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find firms that are undervalued when considering their impressive cash outlook. BHF's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 6.74. Over the past year, BHF's P/CF has been as high as 5.08 and as low as -13.33, with a median of -0.86.Voya Financial (VOYA) may be another strong Insurance - Life Insurance stock to add to your shortlist. VOYA is a # 2 (Buy) stock with a Value grade of A.Voya Financial is currently trading with a Forward P/E ratio of 8.40 while its PEG ratio sits at 1.76. Both of the company's metrics compare favorably to its industry's average P/E of 6.09 and average PEG ratio of 0.57. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Brighthouse Financial, Inc. (BHF): Free Stock Analysis Report Voya Financial, Inc. (VOYA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Should Value Investors Buy bpost (BPOSY) Stock?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks. While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.One stock to keep an eye on is bpost (BPOSY). BPOSY is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as an A grade for Value. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 5.43, which compares to its industry's average of 11.52. Over the past 52 weeks, BPOSY's Forward P/E has been as high as 7.58 and as low as 5.43, with a median of 6.61.Value investors also use the P/S ratio. The P/S ratio is is calculated as price divided by sales. This is a popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. BPOSY has a P/S ratio of 0.2. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 0.53.If you're looking for another solid Consumer Services - Miscellaneous value stock, take a look at Pactiv Evergreen (PTVE). PTVE is a # 1 (Strong Buy) stock with a Value score of A.Pactiv Evergreen also has a P/B ratio of 1.23 compared to its industry's price-to-book ratio of 5.78. Over the past year, its P/B ratio has been as high as 2.27, as low as 1.19, with a median of 1.50.These are just a handful of the figures considered in bpost and Pactiv Evergreen's great Value grade. Still, they help show that the stock is likely being undervalued at the moment. Add this to the strength of its earnings outlook, and we can clearly see that BPOSY and PTVE is an impressive value stock right now. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report bpost (BPOSY): Free Stock Analysis Report Pactiv Evergreen Inc. (PTVE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Should Value Investors Buy Flagstar Bancorp (FBC) Stock?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks. While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.One stock to keep an eye on is Flagstar Bancorp (FBC). FBC is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as an A grade for Value. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 7.24, which compares to its industry's average of 8.54. Over the past 52 weeks, FBC's Forward P/E has been as high as 9.21 and as low as 4.56, with a median of 7.70.Another notable valuation metric for FBC is its P/B ratio of 0.68. The P/B is a method of comparing a stock's market value to its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. This company's current P/B looks solid when compared to its industry's average P/B of 0.85. Over the past year, FBC's P/B has been as high as 1.12 and as low as 0.65, with a median of 0.84.Value investors also love the P/S ratio, which is calculated by simply dividing a stock's price with the company's sales. This is a popular metric because sales are harder to manipulate on an income statement, so they are often considered a better performance indicator. FBC has a P/S ratio of 1.16. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 2.66.Finally, investors will want to recognize that FBC has a P/CF ratio of 4.25. This metric focuses on a firm's operating cash flow and is often used to find stocks that are undervalued based on the strength of their cash outlook. This stock's P/CF looks attractive against its industry's average P/CF of 8.33. FBC's P/CF has been as high as 5.31 and as low as 3.43, with a median of 3.97, all within the past year.These are just a handful of the figures considered in Flagstar Bancorp's great Value grade. Still, they help show that the stock is likely being undervalued at the moment. Add this to the strength of its earnings outlook, and we can clearly see that FBC is an impressive value stock right now. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. (FBC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Are Investors Undervaluing CI Financial (CIXX) Right Now?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks. While the proven Zacks Rank places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find strong stocks, we also know that investors tend to develop their own individual strategies. With this in mind, we are always looking at value, growth, and momentum trends to discover great companies.Of these, perhaps no stock market trend is more popular than value investing, which is a strategy that has proven to be successful in all sorts of market environments. Value investors use tried-and-true metrics and fundamental analysis to find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.On top of the Zacks Rank, investors can also look at our innovative Style Scores system to find stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will want to focus on the "Value" category. Stocks with high Zacks Ranks and "A" grades for Value will be some of the highest-quality value stocks on the market today.One stock to keep an eye on is CI Financial (CIXX). CIXX is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #1 (Strong Buy), as well as an A grade for Value. The stock is trading with a P/E ratio of 3.85, which compares to its industry's average of 9.54. Over the past 52 weeks, CIXX's Forward P/E has been as high as 8.95 and as low as 3.65, with a median of 5.37.We also note that CIXX holds a PEG ratio of 0.48. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. CIXX's industry has an average PEG of 0.71 right now. Over the past 52 weeks, CIXX's PEG has been as high as 1.12 and as low as 0.46, with a median of 0.67.We should also highlight that CIXX has a P/B ratio of 1.43. Investors use the P/B ratio to look at a stock's market value versus its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. CIXX's current P/B looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/B of 2.75. Over the past year, CIXX's P/B has been as high as 3.89 and as low as 1.37, with a median of 2.40.Value investors also frequently use the P/S ratio. This metric is found by dividing a stock's price with the company's revenue. This is a prefered metric because revenue can't really be manipulated, so sales are often a truer performance indicator. CIXX has a P/S ratio of 0.85. This compares to its industry's average P/S of 1.81.Finally, investors will want to recognize that CIXX has a P/CF ratio of 3.99. This metric takes into account a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find stocks that are undervalued based on their solid cash outlook. CIXX's P/CF compares to its industry's average P/CF of 13.29. Over the past 52 weeks, CIXX's P/CF has been as high as 10.50 and as low as 3.80, with a median of 5.73.These are only a few of the key metrics included in CI Financial's strong Value grade, but they help show that the stock is likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, CIXX looks like an impressive value stock at the moment. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CI Financial Corp. (CIXX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Should Value Investors Buy Installed Building Products (IBP) Stock?

Here at Zacks, our focus is on the proven Zacks Rank system, which emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find great stocks. Nevertheless, we are always paying attention to the latest value, growth, and momentum trends to underscore strong picks. Here at Zacks, we focus on our proven ranking system, which places an emphasis on earnings estimates and estimate revisions, to find winning stocks. But we also understand that investors develop their own strategies, so we are constantly looking at the latest trends in value, growth, and momentum to find strong companies for our readers.Considering these trends, value investing is clearly one of the most preferred ways to find strong stocks in any type of market. Value investors use fundamental analysis and traditional valuation metrics to find stocks that they believe are being undervalued by the market at large.Zacks has developed the innovative Style Scores system to highlight stocks with specific traits. For example, value investors will be interested in stocks with great grades in the "Value" category. When paired with a high Zacks Rank, "A" grades in the Value category are among the strongest value stocks on the market today.One company value investors might notice is Installed Building Products (IBP). IBP is currently holding a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy) and a Value grade of A. The stock has a Forward P/E ratio of 10.09. This compares to its industry's average Forward P/E of 10.86. Over the last 12 months, IBP's Forward P/E has been as high as 24.54 and as low as 9.22, with a median of 13.45.Finally, we should also recognize that IBP has a P/CF ratio of 8.81. This figure highlights a company's operating cash flow and can be used to find firms that are undervalued when considering their impressive cash outlook. IBP's current P/CF looks attractive when compared to its industry's average P/CF of 13.40. IBP's P/CF has been as high as 18.81 and as low as 8.04, with a median of 11.72, all within the past year.These are only a few of the key metrics included in Installed Building Products's strong Value grade, but they help show that the stock is likely undervalued right now. When factoring in the strength of its earnings outlook, IBP looks like an impressive value stock at the moment. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Installed Building Products, Inc. (IBP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Top and Flop ETFs of Nine Months of 2022

We have highlighted the three ETFs each from the best and worst-performing zones of the nine months of 2022. The stock markets across the globe are struggling this year as consumer prices are showing no signs of easing, compelling the central banks to fight against inflation by raising interest rates once again. In fact, the Federal Reserve has been on an aggressive tightening policy to bring down inflation, which is near its highest levels since the early 1980s.In its fight, Fed Chair Jerome Powell raised interest rates by 75 bps for the fourth consecutive time that pushed the benchmark rate to 3.0-3.25%, the highest level since 2008. The rapid tightening has sparked worries over recession, leading to a sell-off in the stock markets. Additionally, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in supply-chain issues while most of the developed and developing economies are witnessing a slowdown.Meanwhile, the hot commodity market started to cool off in recent months and the yields are hovering around their multi-year highs (read: Higher Yields to Fuel Rally in These ETFs).Given this, we have highlighted the three ETFs each from the best and worst-performing zones of the nine months of 2022:Best ZonesEnergyEnergy prices have been soaring this year, with natural gas on a tear buoyed by supply disruptions, adverse weather conditions and declining inventories. United States Natural Gas Fund UNG is the biggest winner, gaining 89.7% so far this year. United States Natural Gas Fund provides direct exposure to the price of natural gas on a daily basis through futures contracts. If the near-month contract is within two weeks of expiration, the benchmark will be the next month's contract to expire.United States Natural Gas Fund has AUM of $467.1 million and trades in a volume of around 6.3 million shares per day. The fund has 1.11% in expense ratio.Hedge FundInvestors flocked to Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF PFIX to combat rising rate worries. Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF seeks to provide a hedge against a sharp increase in long-term interest rates and benefit from market stress when fixed-income volatility increases, while providing the potential for income. It buys put options on longer-term Treasury bonds to offer “the most liquid and the most cost-efficient way of getting interest rate protection.” Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF is the first ETF providing a simple, direct and transparent interest rate hedge (read: 5 ETFs Up 20% or More in the First Nine Months of 2022).PFIX has accumulated $361.2 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 160,000 shares. It charges 50 bps in annual fees and has gained 78.3% so far this year.Long/ShortLong/short ETFs are less volatile, less risky and relatively stable when compared to the market-cap counterparts. These products provide hedging facilities that protect the portfolio from huge losses in turbulent times. The long/short strategy takes the best of both bull and bear prediction by involving buying and short selling of equities at the same time.KFA Mount Lucas Index Strategy ETF KMLM is leading in this space, gaining 45%. It is benchmarked to the KFA MLM Index, which consists of a portfolio of 22 liquid futures contracts traded on U.S. and foreign exchanges. The index includes futures contracts on 11 commodities, six currencies, and five global bond markets. These three baskets are weighted by their relative historical volatility, and within each basket, the constituent markets are equal-dollar weighted.KFA Mount Lucas Index Strategy ETF has amassed $275.8 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 81,000 shares. It charges 92 bps in annual fees.Worst ZonesTechnologyThe technology sector has been badly caught in a selling spree triggered by rate hikes. This is because it relies on easy borrowing for superior growth, and its value depends heavily on future earnings. A rise in long-term yields lowers the present value of companies’ future earnings, sparking fears of overvaluation. VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF DAPP has tumbled 73.3% this year.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF aims to offer exposure to companies that are at the forefront of the digital asset transformation, such as digital asset exchanges, payment gateways, digital asset mining operations, software services, equipment and technology or services to the digital asset operations, digital asset infrastructure businesses or companies facilitating commerce with the use of digital assets. VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF tracks the MVIS Global Digital Assets Equity Index and holds 25 securities in its basket.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF charges 50 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 93,000 shares. DAPP has accumulated $28.9 million in its asset base.ShippingThough the shipping ETF performed well in September, it is among the worst performers due to declining freight rates amid waning dry bulk demand. Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF BDRY has plunged 69.6% so far this year. It is the only freight futures ETF exclusively focused on the dry bulk shipping market through a portfolio of near-dated freight futures contracts on dry bulk indices.Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF holds freight futures with a weighted average of approximately three months to expiration, using a mix of one-to-six-month freight futures based on the prevailing calendar schedule (read: 5 ETFs That Survived September Slump With Double-Digit Gains).Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF has accumulated about $44.2 million in AUM and trades in a good volume of about 334,000 shares per day on average. It charges a higher annual fee of 2.85%.CannabisBeing a high-growth sector, cannabis has been a victim of a round of broad market sell-off. AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF YOLO has tumbled 67.6% so far this year. It is an actively managed fund with a dedicated cannabis investment mandate domiciled in the United States. YOLO seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing in both domestic and foreign cannabis equity securities.AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF holds a basket of 24 stocks with a double-digit exposure to the top two firms. American firms make up 61.4% of the portfolio, followed by a 28.7% share of the Canadian firms.AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF has gathered $57.4 million in its asset base and charges 76 bps in annual fees. YOLO trades in an average daily volume of 53,000 shares. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG): ETF Research Reports Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY): ETF Research Reports AdvisorShares Pure Cannabis ETF (YOLO): ETF Research Reports KFA Mount Lucas Index Strategy ETF (KMLM): ETF Research Reports VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP): ETF Research Reports Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF (PFIX): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

3 Dividend Yield Mutual Funds to Buy Now for Regular Income

Invest in high dividend-paying mutual funds, like ABRYX, CABIX and RAPZX to generate regular income. The Federal Reserve has adopted an aggressive monetary policy to tame inflation with yet another 75-basis point interest rate hike in its last meeting in September. The consumer price index (CPI) for the month of August rose 0.1% after remaining unchanged for the month of July, mostly because of the increasing prices of goods and services, including rents, food and healthcare.Inflation is still hovering at a four-decade high and is pinching hard the pockets of an average American. The Fed chairman has signaled in his speech that the central bank would continue with its rate hike stance to bring inflation to its desired level of around 2%.Investors suffering from the beginning of this year have reacted bearishly toward Fed’s hawkish stance since such tightening measures to curb inflation might derail economic growth in the near future. After all, interest rate hikes will increase the cost of borrowing, impact consumer spending, increase unemployment and slow down economic growth, which will eventually push the economy toward a recession. The S&P 500, the DOW & the Nasdaq declined 23.62%, 19.57%, and 31.37%, respectively, so far this year.On the other hand, the incessant Russia-Ukraine war and rising military tension between China and Taiwan are also disrupting the global supply-chain environment in their own ways. Thus, investors looking to diversify their portfolios and earn a regular income in such uncertain times can choose to invest in dividend-paying mutual funds.Mutual funds, in general, reduce transaction costs and diversify their portfolios without an array of commission charges that are mostly associated with stock purchases (read more: Mutual Funds: Advantages, Disadvantages, and How They Make Investors Money).We have, thus, selected three mutual funds that have a promising dividend yield, have given impressive 3-year and 5-year annualized returns, boast a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), offer a minimum initial investment within $5,000 and carry a low expense ratio.Invesco Balanced-Risk Allocation Fund ABRYX seeks to achieve positive returns during a market downturn by investing in derivative instruments like futures, options, currency forward contracts and swap agreements. ABRYX invests in multiple asset classes.Mark Ahnrud has been the lead manager of ABRYX since Jun 2, 2009, and most of the fund’s exposure is in sectors such as the money market, U.S. treasury bonds and U.S. treasury bills.ABRYX’s dividend yield is 13.9%. The fund’s 3-year and 5-year annualized returns are 3.6% and 3.4%, respectively. The annual expense ratio of 1.04% is lower than the category average of 1.29%. ABRYX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #2.To see how this fund performed compared in its category, and other 1 and 2 Ranked Mutual Funds, please click here.A.B. Global Risk Allocation Fund Class I CABIX seeks total return consistent with reasonable risks through income-generation and long-term growth of capital by investing in a portfolio of global asset classes, including equity/credit, fixed-income, and inflation-sensitive instruments. CABIX also invests in hybrid securities.Leon Zhu has been the lead manager of CABIX since Oct 8, 2012, and most of the fund’s exposure is in sectors such as others, technology and finance.CABIX’s dividend yield is 10.0%. The fund’s 3-year and 5-year annualized returns are 6.6% and 5.1%, respectively. The annual expense ratio of 1.07% is lower than the category average of 1.29%. CABIX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1.Cohen & Steers Real Assets Fund Inc Class Z RAPZX invests most of its net assets domestic and foreign companies with exposure in real estate companies, including real estate investment trusts, commodities, natural resource companies, infrastructure companies, and gold and other precious metals. RAPZX also invests in short-term, fixed-income securitiesBenjamin Morton has been the lead manager of RAPZX since Jan 31, 2012, and most of the fund’s exposure is in sectors such as others, finance and industrial cyclical.RAPZX’s dividend yield is 7.6%. The fund’s 3-year and 5-year annualized returns are 9.0% and 6.7%, respectively. The annual expense ratio of 0.80% is lower than the category average of 1%. RAPZX has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1.Want key mutual fund info delivered straight to your inbox?Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing mutual funds, each week Get it free >> This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Get Your Free (RAPZX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (ABRYX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (CABIX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 10 min. ago Related News

Here is What to Know Beyond Why Agenus Inc. (AGEN) is a Trending Stock

Recently, Zacks.com users have been paying close attention to Agenus (AGEN). This makes it worthwhile to examine what the stock has in store. Agenus (AGEN) has been one of the most searched-for stocks on Zacks.com lately. So, you might want to look at some of the facts that could shape the stock's performance in the near term.Shares of this biotechnology company have returned -24.5% over the past month versus the Zacks S&P 500 composite's -9.5% change. The Zacks Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry, to which Agenus belongs, has lost 2.4% over this period. Now the key question is: Where could the stock be headed in the near term?While media releases or rumors about a substantial change in a company's business prospects usually make its stock 'trending' and lead to an immediate price change, there are always some fundamental facts that eventually dominate the buy-and-hold decision-making.Earnings Estimate RevisionsRather than focusing on anything else, we at Zacks prioritize evaluating the change in a company's earnings projection. This is because we believe the fair value for its stock is determined by the present value of its future stream of earnings.Our analysis is essentially based on how sell-side analysts covering the stock are revising their earnings estimates to take the latest business trends into account. When earnings estimates for a company go up, the fair value for its stock goes up as well. And when a stock's fair value is higher than its current market price, investors tend to buy the stock, resulting in its price moving upward. Because of this, empirical studies indicate a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and short-term stock price movements.For the current quarter, Agenus is expected to post a loss of $0.18 per share, indicating a change of -126.1% from the year-ago quarter. The Zacks Consensus Estimate remained unchanged over the last 30 days.For the current fiscal year, the consensus earnings estimate of -$0.70 points to a change of -536.4% from the prior year. Over the last 30 days, this estimate has remained unchanged.For the next fiscal year, the consensus earnings estimate of -$0.60 indicates a change of +13.8% from what Agenus is expected to report a year ago. Over the past month, the estimate has remained unchanged.Having a strong externally audited track record, our proprietary stock rating tool, the Zacks Rank, offers a more conclusive picture of a stock's price direction in the near term, since it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions. Due to the size of the recent change in the consensus estimate, along with three other factors related to earnings estimates, Agenus is rated Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).The chart below shows the evolution of the company's forward 12-month consensus EPS estimate:12 Month EPSRevenue Growth ForecastEven though a company's earnings growth is arguably the best indicator of its financial health, nothing much happens if it cannot raise its revenues. It's almost impossible for a company to grow its earnings without growing its revenue for long periods. Therefore, knowing a company's potential revenue growth is crucial.In the case of Agenus, the consensus sales estimate of $19.86 million for the current quarter points to a year-over-year change of -92.2%. The $82.14 million and $100.97 million estimates for the current and next fiscal years indicate changes of -72.2% and +22.9%, respectively.Last Reported Results and Surprise HistoryAgenus reported revenues of $20.93 million in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +95.1%. EPS of -$0.17 for the same period compares with -$0.37 a year ago.Compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $18.7 million, the reported revenues represent a surprise of +11.93%. The EPS surprise was +26.09%.Over the last four quarters, Agenus surpassed consensus EPS estimates three times. The company topped consensus revenue estimates three times over this period.ValuationWithout considering a stock's valuation, no investment decision can be efficient. In predicting a stock's future price performance, it's crucial to determine whether its current price correctly reflects the intrinsic value of the underlying business and the company's growth prospects.While comparing the current values of a company's valuation multiples, such as price-to-earnings (P/E), price-to-sales (P/S) and price-to-cash flow (P/CF), with its own historical values helps determine whether its stock is fairly valued, overvalued, or undervalued, comparing the company relative to its peers on these parameters gives a good sense of the reasonability of the stock's price.As part of the Zacks Style Scores system, the Zacks Value Style Score (which evaluates both traditional and unconventional valuation metrics) organizes stocks into five groups ranging from A to F (A is better than B; B is better than C; and so on), making it helpful in identifying whether a stock is overvalued, rightly valued, or temporarily undervalued.Agenus is graded F on this front, indicating that it is trading at a premium to its peers. Click here to see the values of some of the valuation metrics that have driven this grade.ConclusionThe facts discussed here and much other information on Zacks.com might help determine whether or not it's worthwhile paying attention to the market buzz about Agenus. However, its Zacks Rank #1 does suggest that it may outperform the broader market in the near term. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Agenus Inc. (AGEN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks11 hr. 54 min. ago Related News

Here is What to Know Beyond Why United Rentals, Inc. (URI) is a Trending Stock

Zacks.com users have recently been watching United Rentals (URI) quite a bit. Thus, it is worth knowing the facts that could determine the stock's prospects. United Rentals (URI) is one of the stocks most watched by Zacks.com visitors lately. So, it might be a good idea to review some of the factors that might affect the near-term performance of the stock.Shares of this equipment rental company have returned -6.4% over the past month versus the Zacks S&P 500 composite's -9.5% change. The Zacks Building Products - Miscellaneous industry, to which United Rentals belongs, has lost 11.3% over this period. Now the key question is: Where could the stock be headed in the near term?Although media reports or rumors about a significant change in a company's business prospects usually cause its stock to trend and lead to an immediate price change, there are always certain fundamental factors that ultimately drive the buy-and-hold decision.Earnings Estimate RevisionsRather than focusing on anything else, we at Zacks prioritize evaluating the change in a company's earnings projection. This is because we believe the fair value for its stock is determined by the present value of its future stream of earnings.Our analysis is essentially based on how sell-side analysts covering the stock are revising their earnings estimates to take the latest business trends into account. When earnings estimates for a company go up, the fair value for its stock goes up as well. And when a stock's fair value is higher than its current market price, investors tend to buy the stock, resulting in its price moving upward. Because of this, empirical studies indicate a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and short-term stock price movements.United Rentals is expected to post earnings of $8.88 per share for the current quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +35%. Over the last 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate remained unchanged.For the current fiscal year, the consensus earnings estimate of $31.73 points to a change of +43.8% from the prior year. Over the last 30 days, this estimate has remained unchanged.For the next fiscal year, the consensus earnings estimate of $35.16 indicates a change of +10.8% from what United Rentals is expected to report a year ago. Over the past month, the estimate has remained unchanged.With an impressive externally audited track record, our proprietary stock rating tool -- the Zacks Rank -- is a more conclusive indicator of a stock's near-term price performance, as it effectively harnesses the power of earnings estimate revisions. The size of the recent change in the consensus estimate, along with three other factors related to earnings estimates, has resulted in a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) for United Rentals.The chart below shows the evolution of the company's forward 12-month consensus EPS estimate:12 Month EPSProjected Revenue GrowthEven though a company's earnings growth is arguably the best indicator of its financial health, nothing much happens if it cannot raise its revenues. It's almost impossible for a company to grow its earnings without growing its revenue for long periods. Therefore, knowing a company's potential revenue growth is crucial.In the case of United Rentals, the consensus sales estimate of $3.06 billion for the current quarter points to a year-over-year change of +18.1%. The $11.58 billion and $12.46 billion estimates for the current and next fiscal years indicate changes of +19.2% and +7.6%, respectively.Last Reported Results and Surprise HistoryUnited Rentals reported revenues of $2.77 billion in the last reported quarter, representing a year-over-year change of +21.2%. EPS of $7.86 for the same period compares with $4.66 a year ago.Compared to the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.7 billion, the reported revenues represent a surprise of +2.81%. The EPS surprise was +19.63%.Over the last four quarters, United Rentals surpassed consensus EPS estimates three times. The company topped consensus revenue estimates three times over this period.ValuationWithout considering a stock's valuation, no investment decision can be efficient. In predicting a stock's future price performance, it's crucial to determine whether its current price correctly reflects the intrinsic value of the underlying business and the company's growth prospects.While comparing the current values of a company's valuation multiples, such as price-to-earnings (P/E), price-to-sales (P/S) and price-to-cash flow (P/CF), with its own historical values helps determine whether its stock is fairly valued, overvalued, or undervalued, comparing the company relative to its peers on these parameters gives a good sense of the reasonability of the stock's price.As part of the Zacks Style Scores system, the Zacks Value Style Score (which evaluates both traditional and unconventional valuation metrics) organizes stocks into five groups ranging from A to F (A is better than B; B is better than C; and so on), making it helpful in identifying whether a stock is overvalued, rightly valued, or temporarily undervalued.United Rentals is graded A on this front, indicating that it is trading at a discount to its peers. Click here to see the values of some of the valuation metrics that have driven this grade.ConclusionThe facts discussed here and much other information on Zacks.com might help determine whether or not it's worthwhile paying attention to the market buzz about United Rentals. However, its Zacks Rank #2 does suggest that it may outperform the broader market in the near term. This Little-Known Semiconductor Stock Could Be Your Portfolio’s Hedge Against Inflation Everyone uses semiconductors. But only a small number of people know what they are and what they do. If you use a smartphone, computer, microwave, digital camera or refrigerator (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg), you have a need for semiconductors. That’s why their importance can’t be overstated and their disruption in the supply chain has such a global effect. But every cloud has a silver lining. Shockwaves to the international supply chain from the global pandemic have unearthed a tremendous opportunity for investors. And today, Zacks' leading stock strategist is revealing the one semiconductor stock that stands to gain the most in a new FREE report. It's yours at no cost and with no obligation.>>Yes, I Want to Help Protect My Portfolio During the RecessionWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report United Rentals, Inc. (URI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

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