A quick read-through of the top tech earnings from yesterday. We generally think of the big tech names as growth stocks, and they are, going by the way they continue grow year upon year. But when big tech is relatively undervalued, it’s a really great time to invest. Because this segment really offers the quality of earnings that value investors are looking for.The best thing about tech is the way it helps increase efficiencies across other sectors, meaning that it doesn’t just grow because of dynamics within the industry but also as a result of overall economic growth across industries. And that is why I have always been in favor of a tech weighting in the portfolio.Over time, tech stocks tend to appreciate really well. In the last 20 years, the tech sector gained 545.4% compared to 383.8% for the S&P 500. It also outgrew the S&P in the last 10 years at 382.4%/310.3%. The differential only increased in recent history: 178.5% to the S&P’s 125.0% in the last five years, 118.6% to 78.2% in the last three years, and so on.This quarter, it was Microsoft’s Nadella that also mentioned how tech tends to be “deflationary”: “Digital technology is a deflationary force in an inflationary economy. Businesses – small and large – can improve productivity and the affordability of their products and services by building tech intensity.” The idea being that since technology helps increase efficiencies, you would need less of the more expensive resources (because of inflation), so you wouldn’t need to pass on these costs to the consumer.Another factor that’s often overlooked is the fact that tech companies tend to return a ton of cash to investors. Not all tech companies will pay dividends of course, since there is tremendous scope for higher returns by reinvesting the cash in the business. But almost all tech companies buy back a lot of shares. That’s because they tend to hire more engineering talent that’s often paid with stock-based compensation. Since this increases the share count, most tech companies regularly buy back a ton of shares. So there are many good reasons to invest in tech, especially the big ones that just reported earnings results-Microsoft Corp. MSFTMicrosoft topped earnings estimates by 10.2% and revenue estimates by 3.3%.Strength was broad-based across segments and product lines: the largest segment Intelligent Cloud grew 31% with the server side jumping 35% and Azure and other services up 50%; Productivity and Business Processes grew 22% with office commercial and consumer both up double-digits, LinkedIn up 42% and Dynamics up 31%; More Personal Computing increased 12% with the Windows side growing low double-digits, search and advertising up 40%, Xbox content and services a seasonally soft 2% while the Surface category declined.The results display the success of the company’s cloud strategy, its clout at legacy customers who are leveraging its hybrid system to jump to the cloud, the continued strength in digitization even as markets open up, a strong job market that’s pushing LinkedIn revenue, the platform approach that continues to pull more users into its productivity ecosystem and strong AI tools that helps it create more sticky platforms and sell ads. The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company looks very strong and well positioned to make the most of ongoing digitization and other trends with growth rates likely to remain elevated as it continues to take share in the cloud.Alphabet Inc. GOOGLAlphabet reported a revenue beat of 3.5% and earnings beat of 21.0%.The company’s 45% cloud revenue growth was almost as strong as Microsoft’s, albeit off a much smaller base. Alphabet continues to add to its capabilities and since this is a very big opportunity with not necessarily a single winner, we should expect continued growth here.The company’s bread and butter is of course search advertising, which remains robust as some areas of the economy (like travel and retail) that were hit by the pandemic last year comes back online. Apple’s privacy initiative has impacted the quarter’s results, but there are many other offsetting factors, not the least of which is the fact that some ad spending likely moved to more easily measurable Google platforms from Apple platforms. Even YouTube, which is particularly susceptible to Apple’s changes, grew 43% on the year on the back of more than 50 million music and premium subscribers. That has to count for something!The Zacks Rank #2 company grows like a youngster but spills cash like a granddaddy. That situation is unlikely to change at any time in the foreseeable future.Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. AMDAMD’s revenue beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.7% while its earnings beat by 10.6%.It was a stupendous quarter from AMD, which grew revenue 54% (the fifth quarter in a row of 50%+ increases), gross profit 70%, operating income 111% and EPS 134%. Both reporting segments grew strong double-digits: Computing and Graphics up 44% and the slightly smaller Enterprise, embedded, and semi-custom segment up 69%. Data center sales more than doubled. AMD’s premium business is picking up across consumer, gaming and commercial markets and high-volume deployments across media and entertainment, engineering, architecture, and automotive verticals continues. The positive mix shift supports stronger margins.The Zacks Rank #2 company should continue growing strongly as it enjoys a design edge that it wrested from Intel, and that is very hard to outdo in a few years’ time. So it’s easy to see why revenue growth guidance for the year was raised from 60% to 65% with gross margin remaining at the 48% level reached in Q3.Other tech companies that also reported yesterday were-#2 ranked Texas Instruments Inc. TXN, which reported in-line earnings on revenue that missed by 1.1%.#2 ranked Teradyne, Inc. TER, which reported an earnings beat of 9.7% on revenue that was essentially in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate.#3 (Hold) ranked F5 Networks, Inc. FFIV, which reported revenue that exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by about 1.2% while earnings beat by 8.7%.NCR Corp. NCR was another #3 ranked company with a mixed quarter. Its earnings beat of 4.6% came on revenue that missed by 4.8%.Twitter TWTR is perhaps the hottest of the #3 ranked tech stocks that reported an unexciting quarter. The social media company that prefers the Taliban to Trump missed earnings by 417.7% on revenue that missed by 0.3%.One-Month Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment Research Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>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 Texas Instruments Incorporated (TXN): Free Stock Analysis Report Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report NCR Corporation (NCR): Free Stock Analysis Report F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV): Free Stock Analysis Report Teradyne, Inc. (TER): Free Stock Analysis Report Twitter, Inc. (TWTR): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»
Looking for a great gift? We have the best ideas for every holiday, budget, and type of person in your life. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. To help you pick thoughtful, unique gifts without the stress, we rounded up all the gift guides we've written over the years. Gilbert Espinoza/Business Insider Giving gifts is supposed to be joyful - a way to show someone you care. We rounded up all the gift guides we've written over the years to make gift shopping less stressful. Bookmark this page for easy access to great gift ideas whenever you need them. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyGifts are normally associated with the holidays, but there are many reasons to give a gift at any time of year. From birthdays to graduation to "just checking in," there are so many moments that call for great gifts.As product experts, we spend a lot of time testing and researching the best gifts for all sorts of occasions. 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Donald Trump bashes Democrats" new billionaire tax and suggests he might flee the US, but he"ll "stick it out"
"I just wonder, will I be allowed to run for president again if I move to another country?" Trump said in a statement Wednesday. Trump James Devaney Donald Trump bashed Democrats' proposal to tax billionaires to pay for their social spending bill. This comes after House Finance Chair Richard Neal said the proposal is off the table. But his Senate counterpart and author of the proposal Ron Wyden said the tax is not "dead." Former president Donald Trump assailed the new billionaire tax proposal from Democrats on Wednesday, suggesting he might flee the United States to escape taxation. But he says he'll be sticking around."I just wonder, will I be allowed to run for president again if I move to another country?" he said in a statement. "No, I guess I'll just stick it out, but most others won't!"Trump was referring to the new billionaire tax proposal that's already on life-support in the Senate only hours after it was introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. It would levy a 23.8% capital gains tax rate on assets like stocks and bonds in an effort to compel roughly 700 billionaires to pay annual taxes on their gains, regardless if they sell or not.Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia imperiled the measure after criticizing it as both punitive to successful people and unworkable. "I don't like the connotation that we're targeting different people," he told reporters, floating a 15% "patriotic tax" without elaborating further.As Insider previously reported, this proposal would slap people like Tesla CEO Elon Musk with a $10 billion annual bill, which Musk himself spoke out against on Twitter: "Eventually, they run out of other people's money and then they come for you."An analysis from economist Gabriel Zucman found that the tax could bring in $500 billion, $275 billion of which would come from just the top 10 richest billionaires. If the proposal came to fruition, it would be a "a major structural reform to the tax system" to tax income from wealth like income from wages, according to Frank Clemente, executive director at the left-leaning advocacy group Americans for Tax Fairness.But just a day after the proposal was brought to the table, House Finance Chair Richard Neal struck it down, telling reporters on Wednesday that it's "very unlikely" the tax will be used to finance Democrats' scaled-down social-spending bill. At the same time, though, Neal's counterpart Wyden was far from throwing in the towel on the proposal he authored."I'm not saying that it's dead!" Wyden told Insider, noting that the White House still backs the proposal.This disagreement is emblematic of the negotiations Democrats are undergoing as they work to develop a framework for their scaled-down bill. Free community college, paid family and medical leave, and an extended five-year child tax credit are already reportedly on the chopping block, and a major Democratic priority to roll back Trump tax cuts were struck down by Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
North Korea has the world"s largest special-operations force. A defected spy offers hints about how they"d be used in a war.
Not much is known about North Korea's huge special-operations force, but they are believed to be well trained and highly motivated. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspecting a North Korean military special-operation forces event in a photo released April 14, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images Within North Korea's massive army is another massive force: some 200,000 special-operations troops. Not much is known about those troops, but they are believed to well trained and highly motivated. Pyongyang would likely deploy them before or early in a war to disrupt US and South Korean military operations. North Korea frequently taunts its rivals with a nuclear destruction, and despite its own dire economic and social situation, Pyongyang certainly has the military capabilities to instigate a war that could kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions.Nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, thousands of artillery pieces, and millions of fanatical troops are the core of the North Korean threat. But Kim Jong Un has another ace up his sleeve: potent special-operations forces.Not much is known about this force, but recent revelations by a senior North Korean spy who defected offer some insight into how Pyongyang's commandos train and fight.North Korea's commandos North Korean special-forces soldiers at a parade for the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj The Korean People's Army (KPA) is one of the largest in the world, with an active-duty force of about 1.3 million. Pyongyang also has more than 200,000 special operators organized in standard formations, such as brigades, regiments, battalions, and in even smaller, more specialized outfits.The typical special-operations unit has between 3,000 and 5,000 commandos and falls under the different branches of the North Korean military and under Pyongyang's intelligence service, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.North Korean special-operations units can be divided by specialty.Reconnaissance units specialize in collecting intelligence and passing it back to headquarters. Airborne units can infiltrate by air and seize and hold targets like airfields or bridges. Maritime units can infiltrate from submarines or ships and conduct littoral raids. Commando units can conduct direct-action operations, such as raids.North Korean troops may appear very well equipped during parades in Pyongyang, but those weapons and gear aren't necessarily distributed to the rest of the force. Because of their special mission, North Korean special-operations units receive the best equipment and training.In a recent report, the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) said "North Korean SOF are highly trained and well-equipped in comparison to other units, and, if successfully infiltrated into the South, would be capable of disruptive attacks in the rear area."That gear is rudimentary compared to other countries' special-operations units, but even with technological or logistical shortcomings compared to US and South Korean special-operations units, North Korean commandos are a dedicated and dangerous foe.Crossing the line South Korean soldiers at the border between South and North Korea in Panmunjom, South Korea, July 12, 2017. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images According to the US military, KPA doctrine and tactics for ground operations have largely remained the same since the Korean War in the 1950s. Special-operations forces play an important part in KPA's war-fighting doctrine, which seeks to attack an enemy target simultaneously from numerous angles.North Korean special-operations doctrine emphasizes speed and surprise. Pyongyang's special-operations forces have two strategic missions: to infiltrate South Korea and conduct unconventional warfare and sabotage on the US and South Korean rear lines and to defend North Korea against US or South Korean special-operations units.If a major war broke out, the North Korean play would be to swiftly cross the Demilitarized Zone and flood South Korea with troops, attempting a repeat of the early stages of the Korean War, when communist forces almost drove South Korean and UN troops into the sea.In such a scenario, North Korean heavy infantry or mechanized units would strike at South Korean and US forces' frontlines. North Korean special-operations forces, organized in commando or light infantry units, would conduct unconventional warfare to the rear or on the flanks, attacking supply lines, command-and-control centers, and other strategic facilities.By design, North Korea's commandos are aggressive and would prefer to be on the offensive, which is in line with special-operations doctrine around the around. North Korean special-operations forces during an exercise, in a photo released August 26, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images They "would be a fierce enemy" if a war broke out, a former Green Beret who served in South Korea told Insider.The Kim regime has cultivated a cult of personality around its leaders, with public pledges of loyalty by troops and military elites."We have the technological advantage and our planes and missiles can bomb them back to the Stone Age, but they will be fighting for their 'god,'" the former Green Beret said. "Since birth, they have been brought up in this cultish environment where the supreme leader is their 'god.' They are fanatical and tough. Korean winters are no joke, and these guys have been trained to survive and operate in such environments. They would fight to the last man."Pyongyang might also use conventional military operations to distract US and South Korean forces and allow its special-operations units to infiltrate the South successfully.In 2010, 46 sailors were killed when a South Korean vessel was sunk in a suspected North Korean submarine attack. A few months later, North Korean artillery shelled a South Korean island near the two countries' maritime boundary, killing four people.In a recent interview with the BBC, Kim Kuk-song, a senior North Korean intelligence officer who defected to South Korea, described how Kim Jong Un uses North Korea's military and intelligence resources for personal enrichment or revenge against real or perceived enemies. North Korean special-operations forces may also facilitate such "gang-style" operations. North Korean troops during a special-operations forces event, in a photo released April 14, 2017. STR/AFP via Getty Images In the event of a war with South Korea, North Korean commandos would also likely attempt a strike against South Korea's leaders and command-and-control centers, seeking to decapitate South Korean leadership and sow confusion in the initial hours of the conflict.It wouldn't be the first time North Korean commandos have tried something like that. On January 31, 1969, a North Korean special-operations assault force infiltrated into South Korea with the goal of assassinating South Korean President Park Chung-hee.The commando team moved fast and aggressively and managed to reach Park's residence in Seoul, even though they were spotted by some farmers along the way. That's when everything unraveled, however, as the North Koreans didn't know the code word to enter the residence and got into a running firefight with South Korean troops.In the end, only one North Korean commando managed to get back into North Korea, with the rest captured or killed.The threat of infiltration and of other attacks by North Korean commandos remains. North Korea may exaggerate its military capabilities regularly, but its special-operations forces are no joke.Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
You can connect a PS4 controller using the micro-USB cable that comes with the device. But connecting a second one requires a different method. To connect your PS4 controller to your PS4 console, you'll need a micro-USB cord. picture alliance/Contributor/Getty Images You can connect a PS4 controller to your PS4 console using a USB cable. You can also use the USB cable to charge your controller. You'll have to use the first connected controller to connect additional controllers to your PS4. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. If you're new to the PlayStation 4 console, you may be feeling a bit behind on the basics. For example, you might not know how to connect and use the wireless controllers. While the controllers can be used wirelessly - assuming they're charged - you'll need to use the micro-USB cable that's included with them to start using a controller.And although you can connect up to four controllers to your PS4 at one time, the process is different for the first controller than it is for the subsequent ones.Here's what you need to know to connect and charge your PS4 controllers.Quick tip: You can also connect a PS4 controller to other devices, like an iPhone, Android, Mac, and PC. How to connect your PS4 controller1. Turn on your console.2. Plug the USB end of the cable for the controller into the console's USB port, and then connect the other end to the controller. The ports are located on the front of the console and the top-center of the controller.3. Press the PS button, located in the center of the controller. You'll see a light appear on the back of the controller when it's properly connected. The PS button is in the middle of the controller. Amazon 4. Once connected, you can unplug the cable and use your controller wirelessly - assuming it's charged.How to charge a PS4 controller1. To check the current charge level on your controller, press and hold the controller's PS button, and the controller's charging progress will appear on your screen. 2. To charge a PlayStation 4 controller, simply connect it to the PS4 console using the USB cable provided with the system. There's a micro-USB port on the back of the PS4 controller, which you'll use to plug it in. Amazon 3. As long as the PS4 is switched on (it can be in Rest Mode), the controller will begin charging. You can charge up to two controllers at once.Quick tip: A complete charge takes about two hours. You should be sure to let the battery run out, and then fully charge your PS4 controllers several times a year, to ensure their battery life doesn't shorten.How to connect another PS4 controller1. Using your synced controller, go into your PS4 Settings, located above the home menu.2. Choose Devices.3. Select Bluetooth Devices.4. Press and hold the PS button and the Share button on the controller you want to pair for five seconds. Hold down the PS and Share buttons for 5 seconds. Amazon 5. When the controller has been paired, you'll see it appear on the list of devices on your screen.Note: You can connect and use up to four PS4 controllers at once. 'Do PS4 controllers work on PS3?': How to connect your PS4 controller to a PS3 in 2 waysYou can play PS3 games on your PS4 with Sony's PlayStation Now streaming service - here's howHow to properly clean a PS4 console, on both the exterior and the interiorHow to remove a credit card from your PS4, and edit or add other cards to make purchases from the PlayStation StoreRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Dow closes 266 points lower, halts string of gains as Nasdaq ekes out 3rd straight rise and Treasurys log steepest yield slide in 3 months
The Dow and S&P 500 closed lower Wednesday, ending a string of gains for the equity benchmarks that have been mostly rising to all-time highs on the back of upbeat quarterly results from American corporations. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 266 points, or 0.7%, at about 35,491, the S&P 500 index closed 0.5% lower at 4,552. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished the session nearly unchanged at 15,236, as a retreat in yields for the 10-year Treasury note and the 30-year Treasury bond hit lows not seen since July 19, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Lower yields can buoy yield-sensitive sectors like information technology and investment factors like growth. In corporate results, Microsoft Corp. reported quarterly earnings that shot over $20 billion for the first time, late Tuesday, which helped to limit declines in the broader market and supported the tech sector on Wednesday. Microsoft shares rose 4.2% to $323.17, notching a record close, according to Dow Jones Market Data. Meanwhile, in a surprise move Wednesday, the Bank of Canada said it would abruptly end its bond-buying program and warned of prolonged inflation through 2023, while also signaling it may hike interest rates sooner than expected, the second quarter of 2022. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news......»»
In bond markets across the world, yield curves are twisting and turning -- and flattening. The curve is a summary of the spreads between the yields on short-, medium- and long-term sovereign debt. In the second half of this year, from the U.S. to South Korea, gaps have been narrowing between long- and short-term rates as investors weigh the odds that the current surge of inflation will prompt central banks to move more quickly to dial back their massive pandemic-triggered monetary support of the.....»»
US Coal Stockpiles Slump To Two Decade Low As Power Plant Demand Surges One of the biggest ironies this year is the transition from fossil fuel generation to green energy has created a global energy crisis that is forcing the U.S., among many other countries, to restart coal-fired power plants ahead of the Northern Hemisphere winter. Coal is roaring back this fall but supplies are not catching up with demand. According to Bloomberg, US coal supplies dropped to 84.3 million tons in August, the lowest level since 1997. As of August, about a quarter of all US power generation was derived from coal. As winter approaches, coal-fired power plants will become a more significant percentage of all U.S. power generation. Power plants are expected to burn 19% more coal this year because soaring natural gas prices have made it uneconomical to produce power. In return, this is forcing generators to burn through coal reserves much quicker and has caught coal producers off guard who cannot bring new coal to the market. "The ability for the producers to respond is not what the utilities thought it was," Paul Lang, CEO at Arch Resources Inc., said during a conference call Tuesday. "It just doesn't exist anymore." Weeks ago, Ernie Thrasher, CEO of Xcoal Energy & Resources, the largest U.S. exporter of fuel, said demand for coal will remain robust well into 2022. He warned about domestic supply constraints and power companies already "discussing possible grid blackouts this winter." He said, "They don't see where the fuel is coming from to meet demand," adding that 23% of utilities are switching away from gas to burn more coal. There are not enough coal miners to rapidly increase mining output. Joe Craft, CEO for Oklahoma-based miner Alliance Resource Partners L.P., warned Monday, "coal stocks for customers are at critically low levels." Inventory declines came on very quickly as the global energy crisis emerged this year. Stockpile trends were well in line for the first half of the year, but stockpiles began to drop as soon as July rolled around. S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows Central Appalachia coal prices have surged 39% since the start of the year to $75.50 a ton due to supply constraints. Matt Preston, director of North American coal markets research for Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said total U.S. inventories could slump by 50 million tons by the end of the year: "Stockpiles are coming down very rapidly," Preston said. "If we have a cold winter, and there has been lots of talk that there could be a cold winter, we could see some issues." With natgas, coal, and oil prices all soaring is a clear signal the green energy transition will take decades, not years. Walking back fossil fuels for unreliable clean energy has been a disaster in Asia and Europe. It could soon cause trouble in the U.S. These power-hungry continents are scrambling to source fossil fuel supplies as stockpiles are well below seasonal trends ahead of cooler weather. Suppose La Niña conditions produce cooler weather trends in certain parts of the world. In that case, especially, Asia, Europe, and the U.S., coal demand could continue to increase, which would benefit Peabody Energy Corporation's share price. So far, Peabody's earnings have tripled as coal roars back under a Biden administration. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 18:30.....»»
NASA Facing Massive $2.7 Billion Cost Overruns At Its Facilities Authored by Adam Andrzejewski via RealClearPolicy.com, The space race between private companies continues with actor William Shatner flying to the edge of space on Blue Origin’s New Shepard 4 vehicle and SpaceX recently sending a civilian crew to space. While the competition between Blue Origin and SpaceX heats up, NASA is taking a back seat as it faces billions of dollars in project overruns. While the National Aeronautics and Space Administration manages $40 billion in facility assets, more than 75 percent of it is beyond its design life and NASA faces a deferred maintenance backlog of $2.7 billion as of 2020, according to a recent report on cost overruns from NASA Office of Inspector General. The IG reviewed 20 construction projects and found that six had “significant cost overruns” and 16 took or will take longer to complete than initially planned. It looked at six projects at Glenn Research Center, Kennedy Space Center and Langley Research Center “that were significantly over budget as of June 2021.” Cost increases ranged from $2.2 million for upgrades at Glenn to $36.6 million for repairs and modifications at Kennedy, the report found. The increased costs for two of the projects were attributed to changing requirements, while contract prices for four others were either higher than originally estimated or resulted from disagreements between NASA and the contractor, the IG report found. NASA didn’t provide effective oversight to determine whether the projects met cost, schedule and performance goals, the report found. A second NASA IG report estimated that delays from the Covid-19 pandemic cost nearly $3 billion. Pandemic delays aside, NASA’s cost overruns can’t be accepted as the norm when private industry is passing up our taxpayer-funded space program almost daily. * * * The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 18:10.....»»
Taiwan Is A 'Number One Issue' For The CIA’s New China Center Authored by Dave DeCamp via AntiWar.com, Now that the CIA has established a new mission that will exclusively focus on China, CIA Deputy Director David Cohen said that Taiwan will be one of the "number-one issues" for the new spy center. "There’s a series of number-one issues with China," Cohen said at an intelligence conference on Sunday. "Taiwan is definitely one of the number one issues with China we are focused on." Cohen’s comments came after President Biden said the US has a "commitment" to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although US officials were quick to clarify that Biden’s statement was not a change in policy, hawks in Congress are ready to give the president war powers to fight China over Taiwan. Biden’s comments came against the backdrop of media hysteria over Chinese flights in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The ADIZ concept is not covered by any international laws or treaties, and the Chinese warplanes usually enter the southwest corner of the ADIZ, nowhere near the island of Taiwan. But some Western media outlets falsely portrayed these flights as violations of Taiwan’s airspace. The hype over the ADIZ flights has filled Western media with articles predicting an imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Cohen said that the CIA’s job is to find out how Chinese President Xi Jinping is "thinking about Taiwan" and to provide policy makers in Washington with "indicators" of a potential invasion. When announcing the new spy center, CIA Director William Burns called China the "most important geopolitical threat" facing the US. In response to the announcement, China’s ambassador to the US said Washington should drop its "James Bond" theatrics and work towards better relations with Beijing. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 17:30.....»»
A good pair of gloves is a necessity in the winter. These are the 15 best pairs we've found in 2021. Rafael Elias/Getty Images Whether you're hiking, skiing, or just shoveling your walk, you need a good pair of winter gloves. You might need different pairs of gloves made of different materials for multiple situations. Winter gloves come in a variety of materials each with its own benefits and downsides. When the temperatures drop and the chill gets into your bones, it's time to slip on some winter gloves. Like other cold-weather gear essentials, you need to consider what you'll be using them for. Fine leather driving gloves won't cut it snowboarding and thick ski gloves probably aren't the best for driving. We've included some all-purpose gloves and purpose-designed selections. If you're looking for mittens, see our guide here. At the very least, winter gloves should have some sort of water resistance and a modicum of insulation. From there, you'll find styles that offer a wide range of water and windproofing and insulating materials, like PrimaLoft and Thinsulate (the same synthetic fibers found in many winter coats). There are even gloves with built-in battery-powered heaters. Some selections in this roundup also offer touchscreen compatibility and while they all work to varying degrees, the Moshi Digits gets the best reviews in this area. Even so, you're never going to have the same level of touchability as your bare fingers, so you might want to save your Tweeting for indoors this winter. Many of the selections have unisex sizing. Some come in gendered sizing, but can be worn by any gender identity. Here are the best winter gloves in 2021:Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Patagonia R1 Daily Gloves Patagonia Patagonia's R1 Daily Gloves are sustainable, sleek, stretchy, and versatile.Sizing options: XS to XLColor options: Ink Black, Classic NavyPatagonia's unisex R1 Daily Gloves are great all-around winter gloves that are made from recycled polyester and spandex (making them environmentally friendly), low-profile enough to use as liners if need be, and stretchy so you have lots of mobility. They're also touchscreen compatible at the thumb and forefinger, moisture-wicking, and have a grippy palm with an aesthetically appealing design. Moshi Digits Touchscreen Gloves Moshi Moshi's Digits Touchscreen Gloves give you touchscreen compatibility with all 10 fingers in a knit fabric with a soft, warm microfleece interior.Sizing options: S to LColor options: Light GreyThe Moshi Digits Touchscreen gloves have been getting rave reviews for their true touchscreen compatibility at all 10 fingertips, along with their minimalist looks and ability to keep your hands warm. These unisex knit gloves combine high-tech conductive fiber with a soft, warm microfleece interior. They only come in three sizes but are stretchy enough to fit onto larger hands. Norrona Unisex Trollveggen Gore-Tex Gloves Norrona The Trollveggen Gore-Tex Gloves from Norrona, a Norwegian brand with a storied history of creating products able to tackle the infamous Scandinavian winters, are perfect for whatever cold-weather adventure you throw at them.Sizing options: XS to XLColor options: BlackThe Norrona Trollveggen Gore-Tex Gloves have you covered for all your winter sports adventures, whether you're skiing, hiking, or even ice climbing. The outer shell is made from a combination of durable goat leather and Cordura ripstop fabric with a waterproof Gore-Tex liner and 130 grams of PrimaLoft insulation. The inside is lined in warm, soft wool. These unisex gloves from this storied Norwegian brand are water and windproof while still being breathable, and come in a wide range of sizes so you should be able to find a perfect fit. Kate Spade Quilted Leather Gloves Zappos The Kate Spade Quilted Leather Gloves are attractive, subtle, made from supple lamb leather, and lined in polyester for extra warmth. Sizing options: XS to XLColor options: BlackIf you're looking for gloves that are as stylish as they are warm, the Kate Spade leather gloves with a quilted spade pattern on the back, are a good option. Sleek but with a pop of eye appeal from the monochrome pattern, these gloves are made from buttery lamb leather and lined in polyester. The North Face Men's Denali Etip Gloves The North Face The North Face's Denali Etip Gloves improve upon traditional fleece gloves with touchscreen compatibility, nylon at the knuckles and fingers for added durability, and a hefty fleece to keep your hands warm in the dead of winter. Sizing options: S to XXLColor options: TNF Medium Grey Heather, TNF BlackFleece gloves are an excellent winter companion for their freedom of movement, warmth, and softness. The North Face improves on this with touchscreen compatibility, a silicon gripper print on the palm, and nylon over the knuckles and fingers for added durability. They're also super soft and are made from 300-weight fleece (that's a high count!) that can handle cold winter weather. Smartwool Merino Sport Fleece Training Glove Smartwool Smartwool is best known for its performance socks, but the brand also makes exceptional winter gloves for running and other outdoor athletic activities.Sizing option: XS to XLColor options: BlackSmartwool, an outdoor industry innovator that turned Merino wool into the beloved performance fabric it is today, may be best known for its socks, but they also make fantastic running gloves. The Merino Fleece Training Glove—like the brand's socks—is moisture-wicking, warm, soft, and naturally antimicrobial, making them perfect for winter runs, or other physical activities. They also feature silicone grippers on the palm and fingers to keep a grip on your ski pole or snow shovel. These aren't 100 percent wool but a poly-wool-elastane blend for better finger mobility and durability. Find men's sizes here.Find womnen's sizes here. Hestra Heli Insulated Gloves Hestra Hestra's Heli Insulated Gloves offer dexterity and exceptional warmth for your next skiing or snowboarding outing. Sizing options: 6 to 11 (XS to XL)Color options: Black, GreyHestra, another old-school Scandinavian brand, makes some of the best winter gloves around. The Heli Insulated Gloves combine tough goat leather and wind and nylon that's both wind and waterproof, yet breathable, along with a lot of insulation. These unisex gloves offer dexterity and exceptional warmth in extremely cold conditions so you can focus on avoiding other skiers and trees on your downhill run and not on having chilly hands. Barbour Insulated Leather Gloves Barbour Barbour's men's Insulated Leather Gloves are handsome enough for a night out but still rugged enough for winter chores.Sizing options: M to XLColor options: Olive, Black, TanBritish heritage brand Barbour has been making rugged and handsome country wear for more than 120 years. Their men's Insulated Leather Gloves combine style with substance, making them perfect for any number of occasions, whether it's a night out in the city or a brisk walk in the country. The water-resistant nubuck outers are classically good-looking and feature a wrist strap to keep the wind and snow out. Inside, the gloves are lined with thermal fleece for a warm and comfortable feel. Harssidanzar Women's Winter Lambskin Gloves Amazon Harssidanzar's Women's Winter Gloves are made from smooth lambskin, lined in cashmere, offer a wide range of sizes and colors, and come in at under $30. Sizing options: S to XXLColor options: 13 colorwaysHarssidanzar's Women's Winter Gloves are made of a smooth lambskin, lined in cashmere, and come in at under $30. They offer a wide range of sizes and colors, from basic black to bright orange. These make great driving gloves and are elegant enough for an evening out. Give'r 4 Season Gloves Huckberry Give'r 4 unisex Season Gloves are some of the best overall winter gloves for whatever you get up to when the temperatures drop. Sizing options: S to XXLColor options: 3 ColorwaysGive'r 4 Season Gloves are some of the best all-around winter gloves around whether you're on the slopes, chopping wood, or yanking a log out of the fire (yes, you can apparently do that with these gloves). They're made from wax-coated heavy-duty leather, have a waterproof membrane, and are insulated with 40 grams of Thinsulate. These unisex gloves are ruggedly good-looking and breathable so you can look good and feel good no matter what you get up to in them. Marmot Unisex BTU Gloves Marmot Marmot's Unisex BTU Gloves can tackle the wind and snow and still keep your hands comfortable and dry. Sizing options: S to XLColor options: BlackMy wife, a longtime skier, swears by Marmot and she's both a gearhead and very choosy. The BTU gloves are gauntlet-style—meaning they extend past the wrist—for more protection from the elements, waterproof, breathable, and warm thanks to the high-loft fleece lining and Thermal R insulation. They have a good weight-to-warmth ratio, a removable waterproof liner, and even include an absorbent nose wipe for when there's no Kleenex around. L.L. Bean Katahdin Gloves L.L. Bean Get that retro look with L.L.Bean's classic knit Katahdin gloves. Sizing options: S/M, L/XLColor options: 3 ColorwaysSometimes you just want a classic and the L.L.Bean unisex Katahdin Gloves have that retro feel with their throwback colorways that feature a stylized image of Maine's highest mountain, Mount Katahdin. Pair them with the Katahdin Pom Hat, and a puffer jacket, and you'll nail that nostalgic 80s vibe. M Gore Windstoppers Gorewear The M Gore Unisex Windstoppers are my favorite winter running gloves. They're windproof, warm, water-resistant with a lightweight design. Sizing options: XS to XXXLColor options: 3 ColorwaysThese are my winter running gloves. I wore them all last winter (I live in New York's Hudson Valley and winter can be pretty brutal) and my hands stayed dry and warm during four-mile runs along the Hudson River. The Gore Windstoppers are especially windproof, as the name suggests, but are also water-resistant, and very breathable. These unisex gloves are light, especially considering how well they keep your hands warm, fit snugly, and have reflective details if you're into evening runs. Snow Deer Waterproof Heated Gloves Amazon When it's time to bring out the big guns against winter weather, the Snow Deer Waterproof Heated Gloves get the job done. Sizing options: XS to XXXLColor options: BlackSometimes you need to bring out the big guns when winter weather becomes unrelenting. The unisex Snow Deer Waterproof Heated Gloves are definitely big guns against the cold. They're made from a combination of lambskin and polyester, have an adjustable temperature setting (low, medium, high), and the battery power lasts up to 6.5 hours, giving you plenty of time to ski or shovel the walk. The heating element gets the fingers and back of the hands warm in only 30 seconds, according to the company, and they're wind and waterproof too. Carhartt Women's Quilts Gloves Amazon Carhartt's Quilts Gloves have everything you'd expect from the iconic workwear brand plus some nice color choices, quilting, and an adjustable strap. Sizing options: S to LColor options: 4 ColorwaysCarhartt is well known for its tough workwear, but the company also has a more colorful side. The Women's Quilts Gloves have all the qualities you'd expect from the brand—waterproofing, a soft microfiber liner that's quick-drying, tough ripstop taffeta outer shell, reinforcement in all the right places—plus quilting and nice color choices like Nightshade (dark purple) and Crabapple (bright red). It also features an adjustable strap to keep snow and wind out and a stretch fleece cuff. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
GOP Sen. Tom Cotton erupts at Attorney General Merrick Garland: "Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court"
"You should resign in disgrace," Cotton told Garland over a memo he issued this month to address threats against public school officials. Attorney General Merrick Garland; Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas Tasos Katopodis-Pool/Getty Images Sen. Tom Cotton confronted Attorney General Merrick Garland during a hearing on Wednesday. Cotton called for Garland's resignation over a memo he issued earlier this month to address threats against school officials. "Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court," Cotton told Garland. Sen. Tom Cotton sparred with Attorney General Merrick Garland and called for his resignation during an intense exchange at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.The back-and-forth concerned a memo that Garland issued on October 4, in which he directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to meet with state and local officials to address an increase in threats against public school officials.Republicans have characterized the memo as an attempt by the Department of Justice to prevent parents from expressing concerns at local school board meetings, some of which have grown increasingly heated and even violent over issues like teaching race in the classroom, policies for transgender students, and COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates. Cotton reiterated the GOP talking point on Wednesday by linking a prominent report of an alleged sexual assault at a school in Loudoun County, Virginia, to Garland's directive.Garland responded that the reported rape is "the most horrific crime I can imagine" and that parents are "certainly entitled and protected by the First Amendment to protest to their school board about that."Garland then added that Cotton's framing of his memo was "wrong" before being cut off by the Arkansas Republican."This is shameful. This testimony, your directive, your performance is shameful. Thank God you are not on the Supreme Court," Cotton said, referring to Garland's 2016 nomination for the bench by former President Barack Obama, which Senate Republicans blocked at the time. "You should resign in disgrace, judge," Cotton added. -Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) October 27, 2021 Garland tried to clarify that the DOJ wants to prevent threats of violence against school officials, not to stop parents from speaking up at school board meetings."I wish if senators were concerned about this, they would quote my words. This memorandum is not about parents being able to object in their school boards," Garland said. "They are protected by the First Amendment, as long as there are no threats of violence, they are completely protected. So parents can object to their school boards about curriculum, about the treatment of their children, about school policies, all of that is 100 percent protected by the First Amendment and there is nothing in this memorandum contrary to that."Besides Cotton, several other Republicans at the hearing ripped into the memo. The committee's ranking member, Sen. Chuck Grassley, pressed Garland to revoke it.Garland defended his directive, saying it "responds to concerns about violence, threats of violence, other criminal conduct."That's all it's about and all it asks is for federal law enforcement to consult with, meet with, local law enforcement to assess the circumstances, strategize about what may or may not be necessary to provide federal assistance if it is necessary," he said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
The meme has broken out of conservative media and onto the streamer's platform of 3.58 million YouTube subscribers, shared as an in-joke with fans. Video game streamer Dr. Disrespect. Rich Fury/Getty Images The "let's go Brandon" chant has moved beyond the confines of conservative media. A new #LetsGoBrandonChallenge is giving the meme viral steam on TikTok. Dr. Disrespect, one of the most successful video game streamers of all time, said it on his channel. Over the past two weeks, the anti-Biden chant "let's go Brandon" has broken out of the confines of conservative media into new frontiers, including the otherwise apolitical realm of video game streaming.Some of the momentum for the euphemism appears to be coming from the #LetsGoBrandonChallenge hashtag on social media, with TikTok views for the tag topping 3.3 million as of Oct. 27 - not even three full weeks since its origin at the Talladega NASCAR race on Oct. 9.Dr. Disrespect, one of the most successful video game streamers of all time, broke into the chant during one of his streams on YouTube earlier this month, with a viral TikTok following shortly thereafter. The video has over 93,000 views, despite coming from an account with a following in the low hundreds. Born Herschel "Guy" Beahm IV, the 39-year-old "Call of Duty" superstar has tens of thousands of viewers tune into his hours-long play sessions on YouTube, with his all time record viewership landing at 363,980 during a stream on his former platform, Twitch, averaging around 78,000 per session. He has a YouTube following of more than 3.58 million subscribers.Beahm is suing Twitch after the platform banned him for undisclosed reasons in June 2020. Beahm and his representatives did not return Insider's request for comment.The doc - who also refers to himself as "the two-time back-to-back Blockbuster 1993-1994 video game champion" or just "the two-time" - has built a brand as an unabashedly cocky and domineering persona, showing up to award shows and festivals in-character.His mantra of "Violence. Speed. Momentum" is also the title of his memoir, published in March by Simon & Schuster. Politics has not been part of his on-camera persona, but a seemingly cryptic comment from someone in his live chat caught his attention earlier this month regarding the "let's go Brandon" meme."'It burns when I pee,' says Brandon, with a $5 donation," Beahm said during the stream, a common interaction with fans who donate to him mid-game via YouTube. "Brandon? Champs, Brandon? Come on, who's gonna be the first one to say it?"Apparently familiar with the meme, Beahm broke into the chant once the rest of the chatroom caught on.Video game streaming remains a mostly untapped venue for American political parties. Younger members of Congress such as Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have both dabbled in streaming before, with AOC garnering a top five all-time viewership of nearly 438,000 watching her play Among Us on Twitch in Oct. 2020 for a get out the vote initiative.AOC's Twitch stream is now 21st highest all-time, with her impact on the platform showing the potential for politicians to connect with voters in new ways via parasocial relationships.Around 65% of Twitch users are male, according to the best available 2021 data from Statista and StreamScheme, down from 81.5% in 2017.The heavily male viewership could give Republicans an advantage on the platform, but as AOC demonstrated last year, there is still a massive audience for games such as Among Us that draw a more diverse player base.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Joe Biden promised more family and medical leave for US workers during his presidential campaign. Now Democrats are stripping the benefits from his signature social spending package.
Biden's big social-spending bill keeps getting smaller as centrists Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema block most ways of paying for it. President Joe Biden. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Democrats are removing paid family and medical leave from the social spending package, according to Politico. It's yet another big cut to the bill, which is getting whittled down as negotiations with moderates continue. However, lawmakers and advocates say the fight to implement paid leave isn't over. Senate Democrats have decided to strip paid family and medical leave benefits from Biden's social spending package, Politico reporter Eleanor Mueller said on Wednesday. Sources told Mueller that attempts to water down the bill didn't work out. In recent weeks, Democrats have scrambled for new revenue sources to pay for the "Build Back Better" bill, which was initially targeted at $4 trillion and may end up at $1.5 trillion or smaller. Key centrist Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have variously opposed most of the new tax proposals that Democrats have suggested."It is still a little inconceivable to me that after the last 18 months - and everything we saw during the course of the pandemic - that we are hearing that Congress is going to leave paid leave for another day," Laura Narefsky, counsel on education and workplace justice at the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), told Insider.The family and medical leave benefits were a central focus of President Joe Biden during his 2020 campaign and, even if enacted, would leave Americans with some of the stingiest leave benefits in all the developed world, The New York Times' Upshot reported. The US is already an outlier when it comes to benefits. A report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that, out of 41 countries, the US was the only one not to mandate paid leave. The US also has no federal sick leave mandates."If the news reports are true, this is a devastating and incomprehensible blow to American families," Vicki Shabo, a paid leave expert at think tank New America, told Insider.She added: "This was a once in a generation opportunity to build on the Family and Medical Leave Act to finally bring the promise of paid leave to the US, to end its outlier status, and to make good on promises that the president ran on."Advocates for paid leave argue that it bolsters the economy, with an analysis from the University of Massachusetts Amherst finding that paid leave would increase Americans' incomes by $28.5 billion every year.Paid leave is among the latest of many cuts Democrats have reportedly made to appease Joe Manchin, including tuition-free community college and an expanded five-year child tax credit. But some lawmakers have been clear that they will keep fighting for all of their priorities until they see the final version of the bill."Until the bill is printed, I will continue working to include paid leave in the Build Back Better plan," New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been a leading advocate for paid leave, said in a statement on Wednesday.Other lawmakers have been making similar statements with regards to wanting to see the final bill text. Michigan Rep. Andy Levin, for example, told Insider during a Tuesday interview that he will keep fighting to get free community college in the bill "right up to the closing whistle."Democrats were hoping to pass the "Build Back Better" bill - along with a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill - this week."We cannot recover holistically unless you provide the full range of supports that working families need," Narefsky said. "It is so short-sighted to think that because we are trimming down some abstract top-line number, that that is the end goal. Paid family and medical leave is a benefit that touches everyone."This story is developing. Please check back for updates. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
Cacao has been a spiritual symbol for Indigenous people for millenia. Today, people in Guatemala are bringing back the ritual of drinking pure cacao. Cacao has been a sacred plant for Indigenous people for millennia. The modern chocolate industry has pushed many ancient cacao rituals to the side. Today, people in Guatemala are preserving old traditions of drinking pure cacao. Cacao has been a spiritual symbol for Indigenous people in Central America for thousands of years. When the modern chocolate industry took over, much of the plant's sacred use was lost. Today, people in Guatemala are bringing back the ritual of drinking pure cacao.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»
You can pair a new Firestick remote via the "home" button. But if you want to replace an old Firestick, there are additional steps. To use your Amazon Fire TV, you must first pair its remote. Pictureesque Japan/Shutterstock You can pair your Firestick remote by pressing and holding down the "Home" button. There are extra steps you'll need to take if you're pairing a second Firestick remote. You can pair some non-Firestick remotes, but they must use specific Bluetooth profiles to work. Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. If you have an Amazon Fire TV, the Firestick remote can be a useful tool. But before you can start using it, you have to pair the remote to your TV. The process will vary slightly depending on whether or not you have existing paired remotes, as well as whether you're using an off-brand Bluetooth remote.Here's what you need to know to pair your Firestick, or other compatible remote, to your Amazon Fire TV.How to pair a Firestick remote1. Hold down the Home button on your Firestick remote for 10 seconds.2. You'll then either see the blue light on your remote flash a few times, or there will be an on-screen confirmation message that your remote has been paired. If you don't see either, try unplugging the Firestick from its power source and taking out the batteries, then reconnecting it and adding the batteries back. Then try holding down the Home button again.How to add or replace a Firestick remoteQuick tip: You can also use this method for replacing a remote. Just be sure to check its compatibility and remove the old remote at the end.1. Press the Home button on your original Firestick remote.2. Select Settings.3. Choose Controllers and Bluetooth Devices. Select "Controllers & Bluetooth Devices" in the menu. William Antonelli/Insider 4. Go to Amazon Fire TV Remotes. Select "Amazon Fire TV Remotes." William Antonelli/Insider 5. On the next screen, select Add New Remote. Go to "Add new remote." William Antonelli/Insider 6. Press and hold the Home button on your new Firestick remote until it's recognized.7. Using your old remote, press Select. Both remotes should then appear in your list.How to pair a Firestick remote when you lost the old oneIf you don't have a working, paired remote, you can use your phone as a remote to connect your new Firestick remote instead:1. Open the Firestick app on your iPhone, iPad, or Android.2. Select your Fire TV device - or select Add device if you don't see that option - then enter your account login information.3. Enter your PIN to start using your phone as a remote.4. Using your phone or tablet, select Home then hit Settings.5. Choose Controllers and Bluetooth Devices.6. Go to Amazon Fire TV Remotes and select Add New Remote.7. Press and hold the Home button on your new Firestick remote until it's recognized.8. On your phone or tablet, press Select. Your new remote should then appear in your list.How to pair a non-Firestick remoteIn order to pair a non-Firestick remote, it has to be compatible. Amazon Fire TV recognizes specific types of Bluetooth profiles, including advanced audio distribution profile (A2DP), human interface device profile (HID), and serial port profile (SPP). Your remote's user manual should say which type of Bluetooth profile it uses, and it might even say if it's Amazon Fire TV compatible.If it is compatible, here's how to pair your remote:1. Go into the Settings of your Fire TV menu.2. Choose Controllers and Bluetooth Devices.3. Select Other Bluetooth Devices. Click "Other Bluetooth Devices." William Antonelli/Insider 4. Choose Add Bluetooth Devices. Click "Add Bluetooth Devices." William Antonelli/Insider 5. Your Amazon TV will then scan for your device. Once it recognizes it, select the name from the list of devices on the screen.You should see a confirmation message letting you know that your non-Firestick remote has been paired. You can then start using it as you would a regular Firestick remote.Quick tip: If your Firestick remote isn't working, you may want to try resetting your remote rather than getting a brand new remote.'What is an Amazon Fire TV Stick?': Amazon's portable but powerful streaming device, explainedYes, the Amazon Fire Stick has YouTube - here's how to download it and watch videosHow to set up any Amazon Echo device and customize its settingsAll the ways you can watch Amazon Prime Video on your TV, from smart TVs to streaming from an iPhoneRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»
A Global Oil Shortage Is Inevitable Authored by Tsvetana Paraskova via OilPrice.com, While oil and gas companies come under pressure to reduce production, the world’s thirst for new supply is only growing Without a significant uptick in investment, demand for oil and gas will surpass supply in the not-so-distant future This disconnect between the political desire for less fossil fuels and the global hunger for fossil fuels could drive the price of oil up to $100 Chronic underinvestment in new oil supply since the 2015 crisis and the pressure on oil and gas companies to curb emissions and even “keep it in the ground” will likely lead to peak global oil production earlier than previously expected, analysts say. This would be a welcome development for green energy advocates, net-zero agendas, and the planet if it weren’t for one simple fact: oil demand is rebounding from the pandemic-driven slump and will set a new average annual record as soon as next year. The energy transition and the various government plans for net-zero emissions have prompted analysts to forecast that peak oil demand would occur earlier than expected just a few years ago. However, as current investment trends in oil and gas stand, global oil supply could peak sooner than global oil demand, opening a supply gap that would lead to increased volatility on the oil market, with spikes in prices, and, potentially, structurally higher oil prices by the middle of this decade and beyond. Supply Could Peak Before Demand “On current trends, global oil supply is likely to peak even earlier than demand,” Morgan Stanley’s research department wrote in a note this week carried by Reuters. “The planet puts boundaries on the amount of carbon that can safely be emitted. Therefore, oil consumption needs to peak,” analysts at Morgan Stanley said. The problem with the world is that oil consumption - wishful thinking, investor pressure, and all - is not peaking. Nor will it peak until the end of this decade at the earliest, according to most estimates. OPEC expects global oil demand to continue to grow into the mid-2030s to 108 million barrels per day (bpd), after which it is set to plateau until 2045, as per the cartel’s latest annual outlook. Some other analysts expect peak demand at some point in the late 2020s. Investment in new supply, however, is severely lagging global oil demand growth. Demand is growing again after the 2020 COVID crisis and, contrary to some expectations from early 2020 that the world’s oil consumption would never return to pre-pandemic levels, demand is currently just a few months away from hitting and exceeding those levels. Supply Gap Is Looming In Just A Few Years Supply, on the other hand, looks constrained beyond the OPEC+ deal horizon. New investment last year slumped to a decade-and-a-half low. Last year, global upstream investment sank to a 15-year low of $350 billion, according to estimates by Wood Mackenzie from earlier this year. Investment is not expected to materially pick up this year, either, despite $80 oil. That’s because supermajors stick to capital discipline and pledge net-zero emission targets, part of which some of them plan to reach by curbing investment and developments in non-core little-profitable new oil projects. U.S. shale, for its part, is not rushing this time to “drill themselves into oblivion,” as Harold Hamm said in 2017, as American producers look to finally reward shareholders after years of plowing cash flows into drilling and chasing production growth. Considering that oil demand will still grow, at least for a few more years, underinvestment in new supply would be a major problem in the medium and long term. Despite the energy transition, demand will not just vanish, and new supply will be needed for years to come to replace declining production and reserves. The oil industry will need massive investments over the next 25 years in order to meet demand, according to OPEC. The industry will need cumulative long-term upstream, midstream, and downstream oil-related investments of $11.8 trillion by 2045, OPEC says. Patrick Pouyanné, chief executive at France’s TotalEnergies, said at the Energy Intelligence Forum this month that oil prices would “rocket to the roof” by 2030 if the industry were to stop investments in new supply, as some scenarios for net-zero by 2050 suggest. “If we stop investing in 2020, we leave all these resources in the ground ... and then the price will rocket to the roof. And even in developed countries, it will be a big issue,” Pouyanné said. $100 Oil Is No Longer An Outrageous Prediction A triple-digit oil price is no longer an outrageous prediction as it would have been in early 2020. Francisco Blanch, global head of commodities and derivatives research at Bank of America, expects oil to hit $100 by September 2022, or even earlier if this winter is much colder than expected. Demand is coming back, while we have seen severe underinvestment in supply the last 18 months, Blanch told Bloomberg at the end of September. “The underinvestment problem cannot be solved easily, and at the same time we have surging demand,” he said. “We are moving into a straightjacket for energy, we don’t want to use coal, we want to use less and less gas, we want to move away from oil,” Blanch told Bloomberg. While oil is unlikely to sit at triple digits for a sustained period of time, underinvestment has become “a multi-year problem” for the industry, Blanch noted. Even if oil doesn’t stay at $100 a barrel, a supply crunch down the road would nevertheless move the floor under oil prices higher and lead to unsustainable price spikes. As much as climate activists want a stop to investment in new supply, the industry and the world cannot afford it because oil demand continues to grow. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 16:50.....»»
October 2021 will be long-remembered in the investing world for the launch of bitcoin futures ETFs. October 2021 will be long-remembered in the investing world for the launch of bitcoin futures ETFs. ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITO, the first US listed bitcoin ETF has started trading on Oct 19, making the world’s biggest cryptocurrency available in a tax-efficient wrapper to investors via any brokerage account.VanEck will join ProShares in launching a bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (XBTF). Plus, Valkyrie Investments’s bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund also won the green signal of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund (BTFD) started trading from Oct 22.These are great success from the issuers’ point of view. Despite the humongous success witnessed lately, regulatory concerns have always been a hurdle for bitcoin. There have been repeated attempts in the past by ETF issuers to bring an exchange-traded-product on the cryptocurrency. But none received the SEC nod up until October 2021. The SEC was seemingly looking for more proof of safety in this trade (read: Bitcoin Matches SPY ETF in 1H: What Lies in 2H of 2021?).More Futures-Based ETF Launches Ahead?SEC Chair Gary Gensler indicated his preference for futures tracking ETFs, created under the existing 1940 Investment Company Act, which provide considerable investor protection. Futures-based products are however not as efficient as physically-based products in general since derivatives add another layer of complexity, with the need to rollover. They also are not very good at tracking spot prices (read: Bitcoin & Blockchain ETFs: What Investors Should Know).The likelihood the ETF’s listing appeared to push up the price of bitcoin over the past week. Bitcoin hit a record level of $66K on ETF news. Several companies, including Invesco have applied to bring about similar ETFs that could follow ProShares into the market in the weeks ahead.In the absence of an ETF before, investors used to track products like the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) that can trade at a significant discount or premium to their NAV. But these are only available to qualified wealthy investors or in over-the-counter markets.Any More Downsides in the Cards?Environmental concerns may be a downside risk for the fund. Per a CNBC article, questions regarding the bitcoin’s impact on the environment could be another issue for the cryptocurrency. “Bitcoin mining equipment requires lots of electricity to run, and bitcoin’s energy consumption has risen considerably over the years in tandem with its price. While bitcoin’s critics have long warned of its huge carbon footprint, Tesla CEO Elon Musk brought the issue back to the fore this year,” the article noted.ETFs in Focus If you are still unsure about investing in BITO, XBTF and BTFD and want to wait for more futures-based ETF launches, stocks that are related to bitcoin mining or trading may entice you as they play an indirect role in betting on this crypto asset.Coinbase Global Inc. COIN is a U.S. company that operates a cryptocurrency exchange platform without an official physical headquarter. Coinbase has exposure to funds like VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF DAPP, Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF (VFIN) and Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO). Blockchain ETFs like Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF BLOK should also be watched by investors interested in bitcoin.Then there is crypto innovators ETF namely Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF BITQ. The underlying Bitwise Crypto Innovators 30 Index measures the performance of companies involved in servicing the cryptocurrency markets, including crypto mining firms, crypto mining equipment suppliers, crypto financial services companies, or other financial institutions servicing primarily crypto-related clientele. 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 Amplify Transformational Data Sharing ETF (BLOK): ETF Research Reports Coinbase Global, Inc. (COIN): Free Stock Analysis Report VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP): ETF Research Reports Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ): ETF Research Reports ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»
TE Connectivity's (TEL) fiscal fourth-quarter results reflect benefits from solid momentum across transportation, communications and industrial solutions. TE Connectivity Ltd. TEL has reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.69 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.4%. The figure rose 46% year over year.Net sales in the reported quarter were $3.818 billion, which beat the consensus mark of $3.811 billion. The figure rose 17% from the year-ago quarter.Top-line growth was driven by well-performing transportation, communications and industrial solutions of the company.However, TE Connectivity witnessed the pandemic-induced supply-chain constraints, which were acting as headwinds.Nevertheless, the company’s strong momentum across hybrid and electric vehicles, data and devices, factory automation, and cloud remains a major positive.TE Connectivity Ltd. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise TE Connectivity Ltd. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | TE Connectivity Ltd. QuoteTop-Line DetailsTransportation Solutions: The segment generated $2.2 billion, which accounted for 57.6% of net sales. The figure rose 18% year over year. This can be attributed to the growing proliferation of electric vehicles and strong content trends of electronification, which led to a 14% year-over-year rise in the company’s automotive sales. Commercial transportation sales grew 40% year over year. Sensor sales grew 16% from the year-ago quarter on the back of solid momentum across transportation applications.Industrial Solutions: The segment generated $1.02 billion, which accounted for 26.6% of net sales. The figure rose 6% year over year. This was driven by robust industrial equipment sales, which grew 33% from the prior-year quarter, owing to the growing capital investment in factory automation applications. Solid momentum across renewable applications led to 3% growth in energy sales. Recovery in interventional procedures led to 5% year-over-year growth in the medical category.However, weakness in the commercial aerospace market remained a headwind.Communications Solutions: The segment generated $603 million, which accounted for 15.8% of net sales. Further, the figure rose 38% year over year. This was driven by solid content growth from cloud applications, which led to a year-over-year rise of 37% in data and devices sales. Appliance sales grew 39% from the prior-year quarter, which contributed well.Operating DetailsPer management, the gross profit was $1.3 billion, which was up 30.3% year over year. As a percentage of revenues, the figure expanded 340 basis points (bps) from the year-ago quarter to 33.1%.We note that selling, general and administrative expenses, and research and development expenses of $384 million and $173 million rose 9.1% and 16.9% year over year, respectively.The company’s adjusted operating margin was 18.5% in the reported quarter, which expanded 400 bps year over year.Balance Sheet & Cash FlowAs of Sep 24, 2021, cash and cash equivalents were $1.2 billion, down from $1.4 billion as of Jun 25, 2021.Long-term debt was $3.59 billion in the fiscal fourth quarter, down from $3.63 billion in the prior quarter.The company generated $774 million of cash from operations in the reported quarter compared with $682 million in the previous quarter.Further, it generated a free cash flow of $536 million.GuidanceFor first-quarter fiscal 2022, TE Connectivity expects net sales growth of 5% and 4% year over year on a reported basis and an organic basis, respectively, to $3.7 billion. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for the same is pegged at $3.8 billion. Adjusted earnings are projected to be $1.60 per share, reflecting growth of 9% from the year-ago quarter. The consensus mark is pegged at $1.64 per share.Zacks Rank and Stocks to ConsiderCurrently, TE Connectivity carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Lam Research LRCX, Coupa Software, Inc. COUP and Trimble Inc. TRMB. All three companies currently carry a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. The long-term earnings growth rates of Lam Research, Coupa Software and Trimble are pegged at 17.01%, 24.28% and 10%, respectively. Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>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 Lam Research Corporation (LRCX): Free Stock Analysis Report Trimble Inc. (TRMB): Free Stock Analysis Report TE Connectivity Ltd. (TEL): Free Stock Analysis Report Coupa Software, Inc. (COUP): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»
Billionaires To Fund "Anti-Disinformation" Media Companies To "Restore Social Trust" Authored by Katabella Roberts via The Epoch Times, Billionaires Reid Hoffman and George Soros are backing a public benefit corporation that will provide funding to new media companies aimed at tackling disinformation online and restoring social trust. Good Information Inc. launched on Tuesday and is being led by former Democratic strategist Tara McGowan who previously ran a progressive non-profit called ACRONYM, which was backed by LinkedIn founder Hoffman. Others contributing to the multi-million seed effort include investors Ken and Jen Duda, and Incite Ventures. In a press release on Oct. 26, Good Information Inc said its aim is to “restore social trust” and “strengthen democracy” by “investing in solutions that counter disinformation and increase the flow of good information online.” “America is currently in the throes of a disinformation epidemic that is threatening public health, social trust, and democracy around the world. Good Information Inc. believes there is un-met audience demand for fact-based information, especially in local markets that have lost many of their legacy local news sources in recent years, and among audiences that are being left behind by evolving media business models,” the corporation said in a statement. Good Information Inc. will be investing in media outlets that provide customers with trusted and fact-based information, as well as local community news, particularly in markets where there are little to no local news outlets reaching online communities. The company said that an “increasingly decentralized media environment, anti-democracy forces, and networks of bad actors” have resulted in “dangerous consequences,” noting that 96 million Americans believe the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, while 89 million Americans believe voter fraud is a major problem. Trump has maintained that there was “massive voter fraud” in the 2020 elections. “Good information that upholds the truth, common sense, and shared values of a society is the lifeblood of democracy, and orchestrated disinformation—fueled and amplified by bias-driven algorithms—is its greatest threat. The disinformation crisis we are facing in America today is increasing polarization and eroding our trust in each other, which is having a corrosive effect on our democracy, jeopardizing public health, and destabilizing our economy,” founder and CEO McGowan said in a statement. “This is no longer a political dispute about the truth, but the direct result of unregulated business models that are putting whole communities around the world at risk, and putting democracy around the world in peril.” McGowan’s former progressive non-profit, ACRONYM, ran one of the biggest digital campaigns—costing $100 million—aimed at convincing millions of Americans to vote against Donald Trump in the 2020 elections, Fast Company reports. One of the companies ACRONYM invested in, called Shadow, produced the vote tabulation app used in the Iowa caucuses and contributed to the delayed reporting of the results following a string of technical issues. McGowan later apologized for the incident, telling Axios that the Shadow team, “made an enormous mistake that has dire consequences in this election and so we want to own that.” As its first major investment, Good Information Inc. has officially acquired Courier Newsroom, a civic media company composed of eight state-based news outlets. Pat Kreitlow, who co-founded Courier’s Wisconsin news outlet UpNorthNews, said in a statement that the company is “extremely happy to be the first investment of Good Information’s portfolio.” “We are seeing unparalleled threats to our country’s democracy and a free press today—threats so grave that the long-running fight against misinformation seems almost quaint as we confront outright disinformation from people preying upon Americans fears and anxieties to push their own agenda or profit margins,” Kreitlow said. Tyler Durden Wed, 10/27/2021 - 15:46.....»»