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3 Municipal Bond Funds That Should Be on Your Radar

Below, we share with you three top-ranked municipal bond funds. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The debt securities category will always be the first choice for risk-averse investors because this class of instruments provides a regular income flow at low levels of risk. Income from regular dividends helps to ease the pain caused by plunging stock prices.When considering the safety of capital invested, municipal bond mutual funds are second only to those investing in government securities. In addition, interest income earned from these securities is exempt from federal taxes and, in many cases, from state taxes.Below, we share with you three top-ranked municipal bond funds, viz., Vanguard Short Term Tax Exempt Fund VWSTX, Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund HICOX and AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy AUNAX. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of municipal bond funds.Vanguard Short Term Tax Exempt Fund usually maintains a dollar-weighted average maturity of 1 to 2 years. VWSTX invests the majority of its assets in municipal bonds that are in the top three credit-rating categories as determined by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by the advisor.Vanguard Short Term Tax Exempt Fund has three-year annualized returns of 0.4%. VWSTX has an expense ratio of 0.17% compared with the category average of 0.60%.Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund invests the majority of its net assets in tax-exempt bonds and other tax-exempt securities. HICOX declares dividends daily and distributes them monthly.Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund has three-year annualized returns of 1.7%. Fred R. Kelly Jr.has been one of the fund managers of HICOX since 1990.AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy invests the majority of its net assets in high-quality investment-grade municipal fixed-income securities that pay interest exempt from federal tax, and are rated A or better by one or more recognized rating agencies. AUNAX also invests a small portion of its assets in below-investment-grade fixed-income securities or junk bonds.AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy has three-year annualized returns of 2.8%. As of April 2022, AUNAX had 63.6% of its assets invested in Total Misc. Bonds.To view the Zacks Rank and the past performance of all municipal bondfunds, investors can click here to see the complete list of municipal bond funds.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 >> Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock And 4 Runners UpView All Zacks #1 Ranked Mutual FundsWant 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 (AUNAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (HICOX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (VWSTX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2022

Here"s Why Investors Should Steer Clear of MDC Stock Now

Rising mortgage rates and affordability issues are potent headwinds for MDC. M.D.C. Holdings, Inc.’s MDC shares plunged 50.5% this year compared with the Zacks Building Products - Home Builders industry’s 38.5% decline. The overall industry has been grappling with supply chain disruptions and labor and raw material shortages. Also, rising inflation, particularly for materials and transportation, the Fed’s interest rate hikes and affordability issues are adding to the woes.Although MDC and its peers like KB Home KBH, D.R. Horton, Inc. DHI and Lennar Corporation LEN have undertaken various price actions as well as cost-saving moves, they are witnessing reduced demand and project delays.Analysts are pessimistic about MDC’ near-term prospects, as evident from the recent estimate revision trend. Earnings estimates for the third quarter and 2022 have fallen in the past month. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has decreased 6.3% and 4.5% for both the said periods, respectively. This reflects 12.6% earnings growth on just an 8% revenue rise for third quarter. For 2022, earnings estimates reflect 17.6% improvement on 8.2% revenue increase. For 2023, the situation is likely to worsen, as evident from 27.7% earnings decline over 2022 for a 7.3% revenue decrease.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchLet’s check out the factors insisting investors to sell MDC — a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) — stocks now. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.What Makes MDC a Sell Rated Stock?Fed’s Back-to-Back Interest Rate Hikes to Deal InflationThe housing industry is cyclical and affected by consumer confidence levels, prevailing economic conditions and interest rates. Currently, the Fed's determination to curtail inflation through interest rate increases and quantitative tightening has started to show the desired effect of slowing down sales in some markets across the country.In September, the Fed approved its third consecutive interest-rate rise of 0.75 percentage points and signaled additional large increases were likely at upcoming meetings as it combats inflation that remains near a 40-year high. The rate hike brings the central bank’s benchmark interest rate, the federal funds rate, to a new range of 3.0% to 3.25% — its highest level since 2008 — from a range between 2.25% and 2.5%. Officials expect the Fed funds rate to rise to 4.4% by the end of 2022 and 4.6% by the end of 2023. Hence, it increased by 3.4% for this year and 3.8% previously.Above 6% Mortgage Rates Hurt Buyers IntentionThe highly interest-rate-sensitive housing sector in the United States has been significantly impacted by the rising mortgage rates as the Fed made an aggressive move to bring down the high inflation by lifting borrowing costs. Interest rate hikes, soaring inflation and a smaller bond-buying program are hitting the affordability of the prospective buyers.The recent Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has gone up to 6.29% for the week ending Sep 22. This marks the highest reading since 2008 and more than double the year-ago figure. Mortgage activity declined 3.7% for the week ending Sep 23 from the previous week, per the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.Low Orders, Deliveries & BacklogsDue to lower demand from higher mortgage interest rates, inflation and other macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns, MDC experienced a year-over-year decline in deliveries and net orders during the second quarter.Units delivered were down 7% from the year-ago level to 2,536 homes. Net new orders fell 29% from the prior-year quarter to 2,237 homes. The value of net orders also declined 40% from the year-ago quarter’s levels to $882.1 million, despite a 16% higher ASP of net orders. Cancellations, as a percentage of beginning backlog, increased 400 basis points to 9.7% from 5.7%.Quarter-end backlog totaled 7,426 homes, down 3% from a year ago. Potential housing revenues from backlog rose 8% from the prior-year period’s levels to $4.44 billion on a 12% higher ASP of homes in backlog.For third-quarter 2022, the company expects home deliveries of between 2,200 and 2,500 units. This indicates a decline from 2,419 units reported in third-quarter 2021 (considering the mid-point of the guidance).Supply-Chain Bottlenecks & InflationMDC has been witnessing challenges related to supply chain issues, material shortages and municipal delays. Raw material inflation is eating into homebuilders’ margins. Labor shortages are resulting in higher wages and delays in construction, which eventually hurts the number of homes delivered. In addition, the rising lumber prices could dampen housing market momentum. There is a lot of variability in lumber prices that are building cost pressure. The increase was mainly due to insufficient domestic production and tariffs on Canadian sources.A Brief Discussion of Above-Mentioned StocksKB Home, a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company, recently reported mixed results in third-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended Aug 31, 2022), with earnings surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate and revenues missing the same.On a year-over-year basis, KBH’s earnings and revenues increased, despite prevailing industry headwinds and moderate housing demand, given the solid backlog level.D.R. Horton, a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) stock, is expected to witness a 41.4% year-over-year improvement in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings. Also, revenues are likely to gain 25.9% from the prior-year levels.However, DHI’s earnings per share are expected to register a 20.7% decline in fiscal 2023 after the expected 49.7% growth in fiscal 2022.Lennar, a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company, also reported its third-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022) results, wherein quarterly earnings topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues missed the same amid rising interest rates.Pertaining to the quarterly release, Stuart Miller, executive chairman of Lennar, said, "While our new orders declined 12% compared to last year's third quarter, we continued to maintain a consistent starts pace and drive sales by adjusting pricing and incentives. Sales have clearly been impacted by rising interest rates, but there remains a significant national shortage of housing, especially workforce housing, and demand remains strong as we navigate the rebalance between price and interest rates." Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock And 4 Runners UpWant 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 KB Home (KBH): Free Stock Analysis Report Lennar Corporation (LEN): Free Stock Analysis Report D.R. Horton, Inc. (DHI): Free Stock Analysis Report M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 28th, 2022

Tri Pointe (TPH) Down 45% in YTD: Will it Recover in 2022?

TRI Pointe (TPH) ails from supply chain disruption and inflationary pressures. Tri Pointe Homes, Inc.’s TPH shares have plunged 44.5% year to date compared with the Zacks Building Products - Home Builders industry’s 38.1% decline. The overall industry has been grappling with significant inflationary pressure and project delays, thanks to persistent supply chain woes.For the third quarter and 2022, TRI Pointe is likely to experience a 4.6% and 3.5% revenue decline year over year, respectively, due to softening demand trends. Also, its earnings are likely to fall 1.7% and 12.9% year over year in the current quarter and year, respectively.Let’s delve deeper into the factors hurting this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchSoftening Housing Demand: After benefiting from solid demand in the past several quarters, the overall housing market started witnessing soft demand. The softness mainly results from the year’s high inflation and supply chain disruption that started during the pandemic. Also, rising mortgage and interest rates, lack of adequate supply, tight labor market and affordability issues have ailed the industry.In the second quarter, TPH’s home revenues declined slightly due to 4% low deliveries on a 4% higher average sales price. New orders declined 16% year over year to 1,356 homes. The cancellation rate of 16% was more than double the year-ago figure of 7%. Backlog at quarter end decreased 2% to 3,826 homes.For the third quarter, it anticipates delivering 1,300-1,500 homes at an average sales price of $700,000-$715,000 versus 1,632 homes at $630,000 in the year-ago period.Intense Inflation: High inflation is eating into every homebuilders’ margins. Although TPH has been navigating the challenges associated with supply shortages well, these headwinds are serious threats to the company’s margins.Higher labor costs are threatening margins, as they limit homebuilders’ pricing power. Labor shortages are leading to higher wages and delays in construction, which eventually hurts the number of homes delivered. Also, land prices are increasing due to limited availability. This is somewhat exerting pressure on homebuilders’ margins, considering that home prices are moderately increasing. Also, it has been witnessing challenges related to raw material shortages and municipal delays due to supply chain woes.Federal Government Actions: The housing industry is cyclical and affected by consumer confidence levels, prevailing economic conditions and interest rates.Currently, the Fed's determination to curtail inflation through interest rate increases and quantitative tightening has started to show the desired effect of slowing down sales in some markets across the country. In September 2022, the Fed approved its third consecutive interest-rate rise of 0.75 percentage points and signaled additional large increases were likely at upcoming meetings as it combats inflation that remains near a 40-year high. The rate hike brings the central bank’s benchmark interest rate, the federal funds rate, to a new range of 3.0% to 3.25% — its highest level since 2008 — between 2.25% and 2.5%. Officials expect the Fed funds rate to rise to 4.4% by the end of 2022 and 4.6% by the end of 2023. Hence, it increased by 3.4% for this year and 3.8% previously.Consequently, the highly interest-rate-sensitive housing sector in the United States has been significantly impacted by the rising mortgage rates as the Fed made an aggressive move to bring down the high inflation by lifting borrowing costs. Interest rate hikes, soaring inflation and a smaller bond-buying program are hitting the affordability of the prospective buyers.According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo’s Housing Market Index (HMI), sentiment among U.S. homebuilders for newly-built single-family homes slipped to the lowest level from May 2020 to September 2022. However, barring the readings for April 2020 and May 2020 (when HMI fell to 30 and 37, respectively), the September 2022 reading of 46 marks the lowest level since May 2014. High home prices, above 6% mortgage rates and back-to-back interest rate hikes make it difficult for entry-level and first-time buyers to indulge in such activity.Key PicksSome better ranked stocks in the Zacks Construction sector are Arcosa, Inc. ACA, Gibraltar Industries, Inc. ROCK and Primoris Services Corporation PRIM.Arcosa, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1, is a manufacturer of infrastructure-related products and services, serving construction, energy and transportation markets.ACA’s expected earnings growth rate for 2022 is 7.8%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 13.7% over the past 30 days.Gibraltar, currently carrying a Zacks Rank of 2 (Buy), is benefiting from its three-pillar value creation strategy, the strong housing market and solid demand for legacy and TerraSmart businesses.ROCK’s expected earnings growth rate for 2022 is 18.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has remained stable over the past 60 days.Primoris, a Zacks Rank #2 company, is a specialty contractor company operating in the United States and Canada. A robust backlog of more than $4 billion and solid contract awards in the Energy/Renewables and Utilities segments imply incredible momentum in the future despite supply-chain and permitting challenges. Utility-scale solar projects continued to drive progress in the Energy/Renewables segment.PRIM’s earnings for 2022 are expected to grow 18.4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 4% in the past 30 days. Just Released: Zacks Unveils the Top 5 EV Stocks for 2022 For several months now, electric vehicles have been disrupting the $82 billion automotive industry. And that disruption is only getting bigger thanks to sky-high gas prices. Even titans in the financial industry including George Soros, Jeff Bezos, and Ray Dalio have invested in this unstoppable wave. You don't want to be sitting on your hands while EV stocks break out and climb to new highs. In a new free report, Zacks is revealing the top 5 EV stocks for investors. Next year, don't look back on today wishing you had taken advantage of this opportunity.>>Send me my free report revealing the top 5 EV stocksWant 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 Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (ROCK): Free Stock Analysis Report Tri Pointe Homes Inc. (TPH): Free Stock Analysis Report Primoris Services Corporation (PRIM): Free Stock Analysis Report Arcosa, Inc. (ACA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 27th, 2022

KB Home (KBH) Down 29.2% YTD: Lower Orders & Higher Rates Ail

Rising rates and affordability issues are potent headwinds for KB Home (KBH). KB Home KBH, like other homebuilders, has been reeling under industry-wide challenges like rising mortgage rates and home prices. These are ultimately impacting the affordability of prospective buyers.Recently, this Los Angeles, CA-based homebuilder reported mixed results in third-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended Aug 31, 2022), with earnings surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate and revenues missing the same. On a year-over-year basis, the metrics increased, despite prevailing industry headwinds and moderate housing demand, given the solid backlog level.Earnings estimates have also shown the inevitable effect of the industry-wide slowdown, decreasing 3.5% for fiscal 2022 and 13.8% for fiscal 2023 over the past seven days. This depicts the analysts’ concern for the company’s growth prospects. Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchKBH’s shares have lost 29.2% year to date, underperforming the Zacks Building Products - Home Builders industry’s 35.7% decline this year.Let’s discuss the factors impacting the performance of this Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) company.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Factors Impacting PerformanceRising Mortgage Rates: The Fed's determination to curtail inflation through interest rate increases and quantitative tightening has started to show the desired effect of slowing down sales in some markets across the country. In September 2022, the Fed approved its third consecutive interest-rate rise of 0.75 percentage points and signaled additional large increases were likely at upcoming meetings as it combats inflation that remains near a 40-year high.The rate hike brings the central bank’s benchmark interest rate, the federal funds rate, to a new range of 3.0% to 3.25% — its highest level since 2008 — from a range between 2.25% and 2.5%. Officials expect the Fed funds rate to rise to 4.4% by the end of 2022 and 4.6% by the end of 2023. Hence, it is up from 3.4% for this year and 3.8% previously.Consequently, the highly interest-rate-sensitive housing sector in the United States has been significantly impacted by the rising mortgage rates as the Fed made an aggressive move to bring down the high inflation by lifting borrowing costs. Interest rate hikes, soaring inflation and a smaller bond-buying program are hitting the affordability of the prospective buyers.Lower Orders: Given lower demand stemming from higher mortgage interest rates, inflation and other macroeconomic and geopolitical concerns, net orders of 2,040 and net order value of $979 million decreased 50% and 51%, respectively, during the fiscal third quarter. Monthly net orders per community were 3.1 compared to 6.6 a year ago. Gross orders decreased 30% year over year to 3,137. The cancelation rate, as a percentage of gross orders, was 35% significantly up from 9%.Lower Builder Confidence: According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo’s Housing Market Index (HMI), sentiment among U.S. homebuilders for newly-built single-family homes slipped to the lowest level since May 2020 in September 2022. However, barring the readings for April and May of 2020 (when HMI fell to 30 and 37, respectively), the September 2022 reading of 46 marks the lowest level since May 2014. High home prices, above 6% mortgage rates and back-to-back interest rate hikes make it difficult for entry-level and first-time buyers to indulge in such activity.Lower Expected Earnings Growth Rate: For fiscal 2023, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues and earnings is pegged at $6.94 billion and $8.47 per share, reflecting a year-over-year decline of 2.7% and 14.1%, respectively.Some Better-Ranked Stocks in the Construction SectorArcosa, Inc. ACA, currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1, is a manufacturer of infrastructure-related products and services, serving construction, energy and transportation markets.ACA’s expected earnings growth rate for 2022 is 19.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved to $2.31 per share from $2.08 over the past 30 days.United Rentals, Inc. URI, presently sporting a Zacks Rank #1, has been benefiting from a broad-based recovery of activity across its end markets served. Higher margins from rental revenues and used equipment sales are added benefits.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for URI’s 2022 earnings rose to $31.73 per share from $29.70 in the past 60 days. The estimated figure suggests 43.8% year-over-year growth.Dycom Industries, Inc. DY is benefiting from the higher demand for network bandwidth and mobile broadband, extended geography, proficient program management and network planning services. Dycom expects considerable opportunities across a broad array of customers.Dycom’s, currently sports a Zacks Rank #1, earnings for fiscal 2023 are expected to grow 142.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for DY’s 2022 earnings rose to $3.68 per share from $3.37 in the past 30 days. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>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 KB Home (KBH): Free Stock Analysis Report United Rentals, Inc. (URI): Free Stock Analysis Report Dycom Industries, Inc. (DY): Free Stock Analysis Report Arcosa, Inc. (ACA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 26th, 2022

3 Municipal Bond Funds That Should Be on Your Radar

Below, we share with you three top-ranked municipal bond funds. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The debt securities category will always be the first choice for risk-averse investors because this class of instruments provides a regular income flow at low levels of risk. Income from regular dividends helps to ease the pain caused by plunging stock prices.When considering the safety of capital invested, municipal bond mutual funds are second only to those investing in government securities. In addition, interest income earned from these securities is exempt from federal taxes and, in many cases, from state taxes.Below, we share with you three top-ranked municipal bond funds, viz., Vanguard Short Term Tax Exempt Fund VWSTX, Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund HICOX and AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy AUNAX. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of municipal bond funds.Vanguard Short Term Tax Exempt Fund usually maintains a dollar-weighted average maturity of 1 to 2 years. VWSTX invests the majority of its assets in municipal bonds that are in the top three credit-rating categories as determined by a nationally recognized statistical rating organization or, if unrated, determined to be of comparable quality by the advisor.Vanguard Short Term Tax Exempt Fund has three-year annualized returns of 0.4%. VWSTX has an expense ratio of 0.17% compared with the category average of 0.60%.Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund invests the majority of its net assets in tax-exempt bonds and other tax-exempt securities. HICOX declares dividends daily and distributes them monthly.Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund has three-year annualized returns of 1.7%. Fred R. Kelly Jr.has been one of the fund managers of HICOX since 1990.AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy invests the majority of its net assets in high-quality investment-grade municipal fixed-income securities that pay interest exempt from federal tax, and are rated A or better by one or more recognized rating agencies. AUNAX also invests a small portion of its assets in below-investment-grade fixed-income securities or junk bonds.AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy has three-year annualized returns of 2.8%. As of April 2022, AUNAX had 63.6% of its assets invested in Total Misc. Bonds.To view the Zacks Rank and the past performance of all municipal bondfunds, investors can click here to see the complete list of municipal bond funds.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 >> Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock And 4 Runners UpView All Zacks #1 Ranked Mutual FundsWant 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 (AUNAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (HICOX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (VWSTX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2022

American Dream bondholders move to challenge mall"s tax appeals

American Dream, the super mall in New Jersey’s Meadowlands, has appealed its tax assessment from the borough of East Rutherford for the last four years. Mutual funds that hold the vast majority of the $800 million of municipal bonds that were issued for the mall and that are backed by property-tax-like payments are pushing back. The trustee representing fund companies Nuveen LLC, Invesco Ltd. and Lord Abbett & Co. has moved to intervene in cases filed by America Dream in New Jersey Tax Court. The funds hold bonds backed by payments in lieu of taxes made by the project. Known as “Pilots,” they were used to spur the development and are dictated by the annual assessed value of the venture, which was dealt a financial blow by the pandemic.If American Dream wins the appeals, the likelihood that investors will be paid back on time and in full will be at greater risk. Last month, the mall failed to make an $8.8 million interest payment on separate muni bonds sold to help finance the venture. “It is bondholders, and not the local government, that have by far and away the most substantial interest in the assessed value of the project,” lawyers for the trustee, U.S. Bank Trust Co., argued in a filing last month seeking status as a co-defendant.Lockdown delay American Dream, located across the Hudson River from New York City, opened the doors of its entertainment complex in October 2019, almost two decades after a mall on the site was first proposed. Five months later, the pandemic spurred lockdowns, postponing the opening of the mall’s retail stores until October 2020. The complex, owned by Canadian developers Triple Five Group, lost $60 million in 2021, according to a financial disclosure. Gross sales at the mall totaled $193.3 million in the first half of 2022, a 39% increase from the same period last year. “It feels like at long last it has the momentum it needs in order to succeed,” N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy said in a phone interview. “I’m not suggesting it’s a straight line or it’s not going to be bumpy, but a combination of a lot of things are conspiring in a positive way.” The governor, a Democrat and retired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. senior director, cited the waning pandemic plus tourism’s return as positives.Still short Even with American Dream’s current assessed value of $3.1 billion in 2022, bondholders are coming up short. The 2022 debt service on the Pilot bonds is $54.1 million, but based on the mall’s tax bill—if it were subject to taxes— American Dream’s Pilot payment to bondholders is about $5 million less than that, according to US Bank’s motion. The Pilot payment is equal to 90% of the estimated property tax due on the mall. “Any reduction in such amount resulting from a reduced assessment would exacerbate such shortfall,” lawyers for U.S. Bank wrote. East Rutherford will receive $500,000 in 2022 under a schedule in the bond agreement. The borough is entitled to its share before investors, and because its portion is so small it has little financial interest in the outcome of the tax appeal, according to the trustee for bondholders. Melissa Howard, a spokeswoman for American Dream, declined to comment. East Rutherford Mayor Jeffrey Lahullier couldn’t be reached for comment, and George Cronk, the borough’s council president, declined to comment. Dan Solender, head of municipal securities at Lord Abbett, declined to comment. Spokespeople for Nuveen and Invesco didn’t respond to a request for comment. Nuveen owned $628 million of the Pilot bonds as of July 19, according to court filings. Invesco owned $66.4 million, and Lord Abbett held about $49 million. To help finance the mall, which features an indoor ski slope, amusement park, water park and ice skating rink, New Jersey in 2016 approved a package of $1.1 billion of tax-exempt municipal bonds for Triple Five. State officials pitched the project as a boost to New Jersey’s economy, estimating that it would generate tax revenue and jobs. In addition to $800 million in Pilot bonds, the state approved $290 million in debt that’s backed by state economic-development grants. It’s that second portion on which the mall missed an interest payment last month. The mall also has $1.7 billion in construction loans from lenders including JPMorgan Chase & Co. The Pilot bond agreement calls for American Dream to make Pilot payments to the trustee each quarter. The trustee distributes interest payments to bondholders semiannually, on June 1 and Dec. 1. Principal matures in balloon payments scheduled in 2027, 2037, 2042 and 2050. If the trustee doesn’t have have enough money to make the principal payments, the maturity of the bonds is extended until they’re paid in full or Dec. 1, 2056. If the bonds aren’t paid by 2056, the Pilot bondholders aren’t entitled to more payments......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkSep 15th, 2022

10 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks in the Last 10 Years

In this article, we discuss 10 best performing S&P 500 stocks in the last 10 years. If you want to see more stocks in this list, click 5 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks in the Last 10 Years.  According to a latest Business Insider report, Jeremy Grantham, a British financier who manages GMO Asset Management, expects […] In this article, we discuss 10 best performing S&P 500 stocks in the last 10 years. If you want to see more stocks in this list, click 5 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks in the Last 10 Years.  According to a latest Business Insider report, Jeremy Grantham, a British financier who manages GMO Asset Management, expects the S&P 500 to drop roughly 26% to around 3,000 points over the next year, plummeting about 38% from its December highs. He is also betting against the Nasdaq index and junk bonds in the current market. Grantham told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on September 7: “This is a more dangerous looking moment in global economics than even the madness of the housing bubble of 2007.” John Butters, senior earnings analyst at FactSet, reported that analysts have trimmed estimates for Q3 2022 earnings growth by 5.5% since June 30. This is higher than normal and is the largest decline since Q2 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdowns led the global economy to become stagnant. Firms have also been highly pessimistic as of late. A total of 240 companies in the S&P 500 cited recession in their earnings conference calls for the third quarter, the highest ever in FactSet’s data since 2010.  Stocks plummeted, government bond yields rose, and the dollar strengthened after investors were caught off guard by excessively high price increases in August. Amid an extremely volatile and uncertain market, investors need to study historic stock trends and focus on predictions for the future while managing their investment portfolios. A wise idea would be to check out the best performing S&P 500 stocks in the last 10 years, since these companies are backed by robust financials, strong dividend profiles, and have had a positive performance record despite market volatility. These include Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA).  Hadrian / Shutterstock.com Our Methodology  We selected the most prominent S&P 500 stocks that have returned tremendously over the last 10 years. We have used YCharts to assess the share price gains in the last decade as of September 13. The hedge fund sentiment around the securities was assessed from Insider Monkey’s Q2 2022 database of about 900 elite hedge funds.  We have ranked the list according to the 10-year share price gains, from lowest to highest.  Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks in the Last 10 Years 10. Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 34   10-Year Share Price Returns as of September 13: 1,340% Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) is a California-based managed health care services company that caters to low income families and individuals under the Medicaid and Medicare programs. On September 13, Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH)’s New Mexico division announced that it had collaborated with Pyx Health to increase access to behavioral health services for Molina’s Medicare members. The stock has gained about 1340% in the last 10 years, making it one of the best performing S&P 500 names.  On August 26, Wells Fargo analyst Stephen Baxter raised the price target on Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) to $345 from $307 and maintained an Underweight rating on the shares after the California Department of Health Care Services disclosed contract awards for the state’s Medicaid Managed Care program. The awards reflect a best-case scenario for Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH), the analyst told investors in a research note. According to Insider Monkey’s data, 34 hedge funds were long Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) at the end of Q2 2022, compared to 36 funds in the prior quarter. Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies held the biggest position in the company, consisting of 1.7 million shares worth about $481 million. Like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), Molina Healthcare, Inc. (NYSE:MOH) is one of the top S&P 500 stocks to consider based on historical share price gains.  9. Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 66   10-Year Share Price Returns as of September 13: 1,750% Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) is an American designer of semiconductor devices. The company operates in two segments – Semiconductor Solutions and Infrastructure Software. On September 1, Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) declared a $4.10 per share quarterly dividend, in line with previous. The dividend is payable on September 30, to shareholders of record as of September 22. Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) has paid growing dividends to shareholders for 12 years in a row. In the last 10 years, as of September 13, the share price has climbed 1,750%.  On September 2, Truist analyst William Stein reiterated a Buy recommendation on Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) but lowered the price target on the shares to $630 from $658. Despite the latest negative tech data, the company posted solid Q2 results, with above-consensus guidance and optimistic sentiment around the supply chain, the analyst told investors in a research note. He contended that investors should purchase Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) stock for its 3.3% dividend yield, a potential 20% dividend hike this year, and M&A benefits. According to Insider Monkey’s data, 66 hedge funds were bullish on Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) at the end of Q2 2022, compared to 71 funds in the earlier quarter. Ken Fisher’s Fisher Asset Management featured as the leading position holder in the company, with roughly 1.5 million shares worth $716.3 million.  In its Q4 2021 investor letter, ClearBridge Investments, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) was one of them. Here is what the fund said: “However, ClearBridge portfolio companies are responding by supporting their workforces and showing resilience in adapting and thriving. Semiconductor companies ClearBridge owns and engages with have been successful in advancing vaccinations in their global supply chains. In Malaysia, for example, Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) has taken part in PIKAS, a public-private partnership vaccination program focusing on the workforce in critical manufacturing sectors. By the summer of 2021 Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO) was able to get over 90% of workers in its Penang factory at least one dose of vaccine, and roughly 73% fully vaccinated. Companies in the program also pay the administration cost for vaccinations including cases where the employee is no longer employed by the company before full immunization of the employee.” 8. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 87   10-Year Share Price Returns as of September 13: 1,870% Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) was incorporated in 1969 and is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, operating as a semiconductor company worldwide. On August 30, Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) disclosed its new Ryzen 7000 series of processors, which was described as the “fastest core” in gaming. The Ryzen 7000 CPUs will utilize the Zen 4 desktop processing architecture and be available from September 27. On September 7, Stifel analyst Ruben Roy initiated coverage of Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) with a Buy rating and a $122 price target, appraising its “strong product roadmap” and sustained leadership position against Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). The present valuation “appears reasonable,” especially compared to other product cycle firms such as NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), the analyst added. According to Insider Monkey’s data, 87 hedge funds were bullish on Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) at the end of the second quarter of 2022, compared to 83 funds in the preceding quarter. Israel Englander’s Millennium Management is a notable stakeholder of the company, with more than 4 million shares worth $313.40 million. Here is what Carillon Tower Advisers had to say about Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) in its Q4 2021 investor letter: “Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) supplies semiconductor chips for central processing units (CPUs) and graphic processing units (GPUs). The firm has been gaining share against its primary competitor in the datacenter server CPU space, as this rival has been unable to match the design and manufacturing capabilities of AMD and its partners. Investors are also looking forward to the closing of the previously announced merger with a semiconductor manufacturer that is another one of the portfolio’s holdings. The merger will increase AMD’s capabilities in the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) chip space, and the combined company should possess the potential to win additional market share in the datacenter chip market.”  7. Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 36   10-Year Share Price Returns as of September 13: 2,200% Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) is a Washington-based company that develops and sells semiconductor-based power electronics solutions to the computing and storage, automotive, industrial, communications, and consumer end markets. For Q3 2022, Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) expects revenue in the range of $480 million to $500 million, compared to a $399.68 million consensus. The company forecasts a GAAP gross margin between 58.4% and 59.0% and a non-GAAP gross margin between 58.7% and 59.3%. Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) is one of the best S&P 500 performers, and the shares have gained about 2,200% over the last 10 years as of September 13.  On August 2, Cowen analyst Matthew Ramsay raised the price target on Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) to $600 from $550 and reaffirmed an Outperform rating on the shares. The analyst noted that macro constraints notwithstanding, there are significant greenfield growth opportunities across multiple end markets, especially in xEV and Datacenter. He said Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) remains his top pick. Among the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, 36 funds were bullish on Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) at the end of June 2022, up from 29 funds in the earlier quarter. Alex Sacerdote’s Whale Rock Capital Management is the biggest position holder in the company, with 729,061 shares worth about $280 million.  Here is what Alger has to say about Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) in its Q3 2021 investor letter: “Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. was among the top contributors to performance. Monolithic Power Systems is a semiconductor company that designs, develops and markets high-performance power solutions. Its core strengths include deep system-level applications knowledge, strong analog design expertise and innovative proprietary process technologies, which enable the company to deliver highly integrated products that are energy efficient, cost effective and easy to use. Monolithic serves the consumer, computing and storage, industrial, automotive and communications end markets. Its strong process technology and use of partners to produce silicon wafers is a unique combination that provides the company with an unencumbered ability to innovate and offer nimble yet scaled manufacturing. Shares of Monolithic outperformed after the company said it produced very strong second quarter results and provided third quarter guidance that exceeded consensus expectations. Monolithic’s revenue growth accelerated in an environment in which most analog and broader semiconductor peers have struggled with industry-wide supply constraints. The company is benefiting from its continuous investments in capacity and its ability to carry inventories during previous times of weak demand. The results also underscore the success the company is having with winning contracts to provide sockets, which connect computer motherboards to CPUs. We believe the results increased investor confidence that the company can sustain this strong revenue growth, which is well above the industry average, over the next one to two years.” 6. EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 36   10-Year Share Price Returns as of September 13: 2,250% EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) is a Pennsylvania-based company that offers digital platform engineering and software development services worldwide. The company’s Q2 revenue of $1.2 billion exceeded market consensus by $80 million. On a constant currency basis, revenues were up 40.1% year over year. In Q3 2022, EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) expects the revenue to be at least $1.21 billion, reflecting a year-over-year growth rate of at least 22%, versus a consensus of $1.18 billion. GAAP EPS is projected to be at least $1.65 and non-GAAP EPS will be at least $2.48, compared to a consensus of $1.99. EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) is one of the best performing S&P 500 stocks in the last 10 years, as the stock has gained about 2,250% over the decade.  On September 13, KeyBanc analyst Thomas Blakey initiated coverage of EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) with an Overweight rating and a $510 price target. The stock trades at a discount to historical averages, and the company should reduce its Russian headcount growth in 2023, the analyst told investors. According to Insider Monkey’s data, 36 hedge funds were bullish on EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) at the end of Q2 2022, compared to 38 funds in the last quarter. Stephen Mandel’s Lone Pine Capital is the leading position holder in the company, with 1.26 million shares worth $373.3 million.  In addition to Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA), and Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) is on the radar of elite hedge funds. Here is what Carillon Clarivest Capital Appreciation Fund has to say about EPAM Systems, Inc. (NYSE:EPAM) in its Q1 2022 investor letter: “Stock selection contributed the most while sector allocation was also positive. An underweight to communication services and an overweight to energy helped performance, while an underweight to consumer staples and an overweight to materials detracted. Stock selection was strong within healthcare and materials but was weak within information technology and industrials. EPAM Systems (NYSE:EPAM) offers information technology services. The company struggled amid geopolitical instability given its 14,000 employees in Ukraine and associated operational, relocation, and travel costs. The Fund sold the stock.”   Click to continue reading and see 5 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks in the Last 10 Years.    Suggested articles: 9 Biggest EV Charging Companies Best Robotics Stocks To Invest In 12 Best AI Stocks To Buy   Disclosure: None. 10 Best-Performing S&P 500 Stocks in the Last 10 Years is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeySep 14th, 2022

3 Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks: A Smarter Way to Boost Your Retirement Income

The traditional ways to plan for your retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses post-employment. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in your nest egg years? Believe it or not, seniors fear running out of cash more than they fear dying.Also, retirees who have constructed a nest egg have valid justifications to be concerned, since the traditional ways to plan for retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses. Some retirees are now tapping their principal to make a decent living, pressed for time between decreasing investment balances and longer life expectancies.The tried-and-true retirement investing approach of yesterday doesn't work today.In the past, investors going into retirement could invest in bonds and count on attractive yields to produce steady, reliable income streams to fund a predictable retirement. 10-year Treasury bond rates in the late 1990s hovered around 6.50%, whereas the current rate is much lower.The impact of this rate decline is sizable: over 20 years, the difference in yield for a $1 million investment in 10-year Treasuries is more than $1 million.In addition to the considerable drop in bond yields, today's retirees are nervous about their future Social Security benefits. Because of certain demographic factors, it's been estimated that the funds that pay the Social Security benefits will run out of money in 2035.How can you avoid dipping into your principal when the investments you counted on in retirement aren't producing income? You can only cut your expenses so far, and the only other option is to find a different investment vehicle to generate income.Invest in Dividend StocksAs a replacement for low yielding Treasury bonds (and other bond options), we believe dividend-paying stocks from high quality companies offer low risk and stable, predictable income investors in retirement seek.Look for stocks that have paid steady, increasing dividends for years (or decades), and have not cut their dividends even during recessions.A rule of thumb for finding solid income-producing stocks is to seek those that average 3% dividend yield, and positive yearly dividend growth. These stocks can help combat inflation by boosting dividends over time.Here are three dividend-paying stocks retirees should consider for their nest egg portfolio.Amgen (AMGN) is currently shelling out a dividend of $1.94 per share, with a dividend yield of 3.2%. This compares to the Medical - Biomedical and Genetics industry's yield of 0% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.69%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 10.23%. Check Amgen (AMGN) dividend history here>>>Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE) is paying out a dividend of $0.07 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 5.44% compared to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 4.04% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 1400% over the past year. Check Apple Hospitality REIT (APLE) dividend history here>>>Currently paying a dividend of $0.4 per share, Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (ARLP) has a dividend yield of 6.24%. This is compared to the Coal industry's yield of 0% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 250%. Check Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (ARLP) dividend history here>>>But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?It is true that stocks, as an asset class, carry more risk than bonds, but high-quality dividend stocks not only have the ability to produce income growth over time but more importantly, can also reduce your overall portfolio volatility relative to the broader stock market.A silver lining to owning dividend stocks for your retirement portfolio is that many companies, especially blue chip stocks, increase their dividends over time, helping offset the effects of inflation on your potential retirement income.Thinking about dividend-focused mutual funds or ETFs? Watch out for fees.If you're thinking, "I want to invest in a dividend-focused ETF or mutual fund," make sure to do your homework. It's important to know that some mutual funds and specialized ETFs charge high fees, which may diminish your dividend gains or income and thwart the overall objective of this investment strategy. If you do want to invest in fund, research well to identify the best-quality dividend funds with the least charges.Bottom LineRegardless of whether you select high-quality, low-fee funds or stocks, looking for a steady stream of income from dividend-paying equities can potentially lead you to a solid and more peaceful retirement. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>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 Amgen Inc. (AMGN): Free Stock Analysis Report Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (ARLP): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (APLE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 6th, 2022

How to Maximize Your Retirement Portfolio with These Top-Ranked Dividend Stocks

The traditional ways to plan for your retirement may mean income can no longer cover expenses post-employment. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in your nest egg years? Here's an eye-opening statistic: older Americans are more afraid of running out of money than of death itself.And unfortunately, even retirees who have built a nest egg have good reason to be concerned - with the traditional approaches to retirement planning, income may no longer cover expenses. That means retirees are dipping into principal to make ends meet, setting up a race against time between dwindling investment balances and longer lifespans.In today's economic environment, traditional income investments are not working.For example, 10-year Treasury bonds in the late 1990s offered a yield of around 6.50%, which translated to an income source you could count on. However, today's yield is much lower and probably not a viable return option to fund typical retirements.The impact of this rate decline is sizable: over 20 years, the difference in yield for a $1 million investment in 10-year Treasuries is more than $1 million.Today's retirees are getting hit hard by reduced bond yields - and the Social Security picture isn't too rosy either. Right now and for the near future, Social Security benefits are still being paid, but it has been estimated that the Social Security funds will be depleted as soon as 2035.Unfortunately, it looks like the two traditional sources of retirement income - bonds and Social Security - may not be able to adequately meet the needs of present and future retirees. But what if there was another option that could provide a steady, reliable source of income in retirement?Invest in Dividend StocksAs a replacement for low yielding Treasury bonds (and other bond options), we believe dividend-paying stocks from high quality companies offer low risk and stable, predictable income investors in retirement seek.Look for stocks that have paid steady, increasing dividends for years (or decades), and have not cut their dividends even during recessions.A rule of thumb for finding solid income-producing stocks is to seek those that average 3% dividend yield, and positive yearly dividend growth. These stocks can help combat inflation by boosting dividends over time.Here are three dividend-paying stocks retirees should consider for their nest egg portfolio.American Assets Trust (AAT) is currently shelling out a dividend of $0.32 per share, with a dividend yield of 4.67%. This compares to the REIT and Equity Trust - Retail industry's yield of 4.32% and the S&P 500's yield of 1.69%. The company's annualized dividend growth in the past year was 14.29%. Check American Assets Trust (AAT) dividend history here>>>Amer Movil (AMX) is paying out a dividend of $0.44 per share at the moment, with a dividend yield of 3.63% compared to the Wireless Non-US industry's yield of 1.23% and the S&P 500's yield. The annualized dividend growth of the company was 110.22% over the past year. Check Amer Movil (AMX) dividend history here>>>Currently paying a dividend of $1.18 per share, Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) has a dividend yield of 3.14%. This is compared to the REIT and Equity Trust - Other industry's yield of 4.04% and the S&P 500's current yield. Annualized dividend growth for the company in the past year was 5.36%. Check Alexandria Real Estate Equities (ARE) dividend history here>>>But aren't stocks generally more risky than bonds?It is true that stocks, as an asset class, carry more risk than bonds, but high-quality dividend stocks not only have the ability to produce income growth over time but more importantly, can also reduce your overall portfolio volatility relative to the broader stock market.An advantage of owning dividend stocks for your retirement nest egg is that numerous companies, particularly blue chip stocks, raise their dividends over time, helping alleviate the impact of inflation on your potential retirement income.Thinking about dividend-focused mutual funds or ETFs? Watch out for fees.If you're thinking, "I want to invest in a dividend-focused ETF or mutual fund," make sure to do your homework. It's important to know that some mutual funds and specialized ETFs charge high fees, which may diminish your dividend gains or income and thwart the overall objective of this investment strategy. If you do want to invest in fund, research well to identify the best-quality dividend funds with the least charges.Bottom LinePursuing a dividend investing strategy can help protect your retirement portfolio. Whether you choose to invest in stocks or through low-fee mutual funds or ETFs, this approach can potentially help you achieve a more secure and enjoyable retirement. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>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 American Assets Trust, Inc. (AAT): Free Stock Analysis Report America Movil, S.A.B. de C.V. (AMX): Free Stock Analysis Report Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (ARE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 6th, 2022

Top 3 Nuveen Mutual Funds to Add for Stable Returns

Below, we share with you three Nuveen mutual funds, viz., NPSAX, NHMRX and FTLRX. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Nuveen Investments, headquartered in Chicago, IL, was founded in 1898 by John Nuveen. The company aims to provide financial services to its clients using a multi-boutique structure. It provides these services through an independent team comprising Nuveen Asset Management, Winslow Capital and Symphony.Nuveen is the number one farmland assets manager in the world and a leader in alternative investments. In its Multi-Asset Solutions, the company had $1.1 trillion of assets under management as of Jun 30, 2021. Nuveen offers a wide range of asset classes and products, ranging from equity and alternative funds to municipal and taxable fixed-income bond funds.Below we share with you three top-ranked Nuveen mutual funds, viz.,Nuveen Preferred Securities & Income Fund NPSAX, Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class I NHMRX, Nuveen Louisiana Municipal Bond Fund Class I FTLRX. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of Nuveen mutual funds.Nuveen Preferred Securities & Income Fund invests most of its assets along with borrowings, if any, in preferred and other income-producing securities. NPSAX also invests a small portion of its net assets in financial services companies along with securities that are rated investment-grade or below investment grade.Nuveen Preferred Securities & Income Fundhas three-year annualized returns of 2.3%. As of the end of March 2022, NPSAX had 65.03% of its assets invested in preferred stocks.Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class I seeks high current income, which is exempted from regular federal income taxes along with the appreciation of capital by investing most of its assets along with borrowings, if any, in municipal bonds that pay interest that is exempted from regular federal personal income tax. NHMRX advisors also invest in lower-quality long-term municipal bonds using effective leverage through investments in inverse floaters.Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class I has three-year annualized returns of 1.7%. NHMRX has an expense ratio of 0.52% compared with the category average of 0.92%.Nuveen Louisiana Municipal Bond Fund Class I seeks a high level of interest income exempt from regular federal and Louisiana state income taxes along with capital preservation by investing most of its assets in investment-grade municipal bonds rated BBB/Baa or higher by an independent rating agency at the time of purchase. FTLRX may also invest a small portion of its net assets in below investment grade municipal bonds known as "high yield" or "junk" bonds.Nuveen Louisiana Municipal Bond Fund Class I has three-year annualized returns of 1.0%. Steven M. Hlavin has been the fund manager of FTLRX since January 2011.To view the Zacks Rank and the past performance of all Nuveen mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of Nuveen mutual funds.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 >> 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days Just released: Experts distill 7 elite stocks from the current list of 220 Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buys. They deem these tickers "Most Likely for Early Price Pops." Since 1988, the full list has beaten the market more than 2X over with an average gain of +24.8% per year. So be sure to give these hand-picked 7 your immediate attention. See them now >>View All Zacks #1 Ranked Mutual FundsWant 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 (NPSAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (NHMRX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FTLRX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 6th, 2022

Futures Tumble As Market Braces For Jackson Hole Hawk-ano

Futures Tumble As Market Braces For Jackson Hole Hawk-ano The staggering "most hated rally" melt-up, which we warned back in June would steamroll shorts, and which ended up being one of the biggest summery rallies on record, is officially over... ... with BofA superstar strategist Michael Hartnett proven correct again this morning, as stocks retreated further from the bear market peak he called at 4,328 last week, with US equity futures sliding more than 1% on Monday along with stocks in Europe as a risk-off mood took hold at the start of a critical week for global markets when central bankers gather at their annual Jackson Hole symposium starting on Thursday.  Both S&P and Nasdaq futures slumped more than 1.1%, with spoos down 50 points to 4,180, as 10-year Treasury yields are little changed after briefly kissing 3.0%, while two-year yields rose about six basis points, deepening the yield-curve inversion that’s seen as a harbinger of a recession. The dollar spot index climbed to a five-week high, while gold and bitcoin slumped. In China, banks lowered the one-year and five-year loan prime rates on Monday in the aftermath of a decision by the nation’s central bank last week to cut a key policy rate. The Chinese demand outlook has weighed on oil, which briefly sank below $90 a barrel in New York before rebounding and turning green. Traders are monitoring Iran nuclear talks that could lead to more supplies. In premarket trading, GameStop and Bed Bath & Beyond led the declines in meme stocks as the latest frenzy in the cohort loses steam. GameStop -5.6%, Bed Bath & Beyond -8.6%; Fellow retail trading favorite AMC Entertainment Holdings was also down as the cinema theater operator’s preferred stock will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “APE” on Monday. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Signify Health (SGFY US) jumps 35% in premarket trading after reports of UnitedHealth (UNH US), Amazon.com (AMZN US), CVS (CVS US) and Option Care Health (OPCH US) vying to buy the health- care technology provider. Tesla (TSLA US) and fellow electric-vehicle makers fall amid worries over a hawkish Fed ahead of Jackson Hole symposium this week, and following data showing China EV registrations declined in July. Tesla drops as much as 2.7%; Rivian (RIVN US) -2.3%, Nikola (NKLA US) -2.8%. CFRA cut its recommendation on Netflix (NFLX US) to sell from hold, saying the stock may underperform the S&P 500 Index for the rest of the year after rallying 40% from mid-July lows. Netflix falls 2.2% amid a decline for Nasdaq futures. GigaCloud (GCT US) shares rally as much as 40%, before paring gains to trade around 12% higher. The Chinese e-commerce firm is on course for its third session of straight gains following its Nasdaq debut last week. A huge squeeze in global shares from June’s bear-market lows, stoked by the market’s expectations for a pivot to slower rate hikes, is rapidly fizzling after repeated Fed policy makers warned that interest rates are going higher. This weekend's Jackson Hole symposium gives Jerome Powell a platform to reset those bets, which are vulnerable to the possibility of persistently elevated price pressures even as economic growth stumbles. Investors are also waking up to the looming acceleration of the Fed’s balance-sheet reduction: quantitative tightening kicks into top gear next month, and will add to pressure on riskier assets which have benefited from ample liquidity. “It is likely central bankers, including Fed Chair Powell, will remain hawkish in dealing with inflation albeit with a bit of caution creeping in given the emerging economic downturn,” Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Services Ltd., wrote in a note. Of course, the irony would be if markets melt up again next week just as hedge funds aggressively reset shorts: “The expectation is still that Powell will reaffirm what he and his colleagues have been saying in public recently,” said Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda. “The risk is that he says something dovish -- intentionally or otherwise -- after investors position for the opposite and triggers another risk-on rally in the markets.” The selling also accelerate in Europe, where the Stoxx 600 index dropped to its lowest level in more than three weeks, with autos, chemicals and tech the worst-performing industries as all sectors fall.  The DAX lags, dropping 2%. S&P futures slide 1.3%, Nasdaq contracts tumble 1.6%. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Fresenius SE shares rose as much as 7.1% after the company said Fresenius Kabi CEO Michael Sen will replace CEO Stephan Sturm. Berenberg says the choice is sensible and expected EVS Broadcast Equipment shares jumped as much as 4% after the company announced a 10-year, $50m contract with a US-based broadcast and media production company on Friday Scandinavian Tobacco Group shares fell as much as 19% after the Danish cigar and pipe tobacco manufacturer published its preliminary 2Q numbers and lowered its FY22 guidance Deliveroo shares dropped as much as 6.8% amid a broader decline among European food delivery stocks. FY23 growth expectations for Deliveroo seem “stretched,” according to Morgan Stanley B&S Group shares slid as much as 13%, dropping to the lowest since April 2020, after the company reported interim results ING described as a “weak set” of numbers Intrum shares fell as much as 7.5%, their biggest decline since early May, after the board of the credit management firm replaced CEO Anders Engdahl with immediate effect Covestro fell as much as 5.9%, hitting lowest since May 2020, after Stifel slashed its price target to EU34 from EU53,  citing “shaky prospects” for the company Dassault Aviation shares were down as much as 4.7% after French Transport Minister Clement Beaune said he wanted to regulate private jet use, according to an interview with Le Parisien newspaper Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell to more than a two week low as investors braced for a hawkish stance by US officials at the upcoming Jackson Hole symposium. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.7%, with the region’s tech giants TSMC and Tencent Holdings dragging down the measure the most. MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific share index fell for a third day with losses evident in most major markets except for some gains in China, where a move by banks to trimlending rates aided property developers. Philippine stocks were the region’s biggest losers, sinking more than 2% as the central bank there signaled more hikes. Chinese equities advanced.  Jerome Powell’s Friday speech at the central bankers’ gathering will be the highlight of the week, with markets expecting the Fed chair to reaffirm his determination to get inflation under control. Traders have already been paring back risky bets after Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin said Friday that the central bank was resolved to curb red-hot inflation even at the risk of a recession. “The bear market rally seems to be fading ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium this week, which may see the Fed pushing back further on easing expectations for next year,” said Charu Chanana, a senior strategist at Saxo Capital Markets.   Equities in mainland China posted rare gains in the region after the nation’s banks lowered their borrowing costs in a bid to stabilize the property market. That gave a positive boost, said Banny Lam, head of research at Ceb International Inv Corp. But markets are still on a bumpy ride as the dollar’s rise extends the outflow of liquidity from Asian assets, he added.  Other key issues on the radar include corporate earnings results. More than 340 members of the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, including battery heavyweight Contemporary Amperex Technology and e-commerce giant JD.com, are expected to release their financial results this week. Japanese stocks fell as hawkish comments from a Federal Reserve official put investors on edge ahead of the Jackson Hole symposium later this week.  The Topix Index fell 0.1% to 1,992.59 in Tokyo on Monday, while the Nikkei declined 0.5% to 28,794.50. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, as the producer of sensors and scanners decreased 1.3%. Out of 2,170 stocks in the index, 1,123 fell, 924 rose and 123 were unchanged. “There is a bit of hawkishness coming out from the Fed as its seen trying to correct the direction of the market,” said Naoki Fujiwara, a chief fund manager at Shinkin Asset Management. “In the end, it’s profit taking as the market has gone up so far.”  Indian stocks fell for a second session on concerns the US Federal Reserve may remain committed to tightening monetary policy, which could impact foreign inflows to local equities. The S&P BSE Sensex declined 1.5%, its biggest drop since June 16, to 58,773.87 in Mumbai. The NSE Nifty 50 Index fell by a similar magnitude. Of the 30 member stocks of the Sensex, all but two declined. ICICI Bank Ltd. slipped 2.1% and was the biggest drag on the index. All 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. dropped, with a gauge of metal companies the worst performer. “While a correction was overdue for sometime after the recent upsurge, fresh concerns of a likely hawkish stance by the US Fed in its September meet and strengthening dollar index turned investors jittery and triggered a massive fall in banking, IT, metal & realty stocks,” Shrikant Chouhan, head of equity research at Kotak Securities Ltd., wrote in a note.   Overseas investment into local stocks totaled $6.3 billion from end-June through Aug. 18, after record outflows since October. The Fed’s symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming this week will be key for markets for clues on how the central bank plans to tackle price pressures.  In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1% to close at 7,046.90, tracking Friday’s losses on Wall Street as investors weighed the Fed’s next steps. The benchmark posted its worst session since July 11 as all sectors declined in Australia. Adbri was the biggest laggard after reporting a drop in 1H underlying Npat and trimming its interim dividend. EML Payments gained after announcing a buyback. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.7% to 11,763.95. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced for a fourth consecutive day, to the highest level since July 18, while the greenback advanced versus most of its Group-of-10 peers. The euro fell to a seven-year low against the Swiss franc, extending losses as concerns about a global economic slowdown prompted demand for the safe-haven Swiss currency.  Australia’s dollar gained for the first time in six days after Chinese banks cut their loan prime rates in an effort to bolster the struggling property sector. Aussie bonds extended opening declines. The yen slipped to its lowest level in nearly a month as higher US yields amid growing bets for a hawkish Federal Reserve stance weighed on sentiment. Bonds fell, tracking US Treasuries. In rates, Treasuries were cheaper, the 10- year US yield rising as much as three basis points to 2.9997%, adding to Friday’s climb, before falling back. 2-year yields rose by around 5bps, inverting the curve further with losses led by front-end of the curve where two-year yields trade 6bp higher versus Friday’s close. Further out the curve, bunds and gilts both lag with notable bear steepening move seen across UK curve. US yields cheaper by 6bp to 1bp across the curve in bear flattening move which sees 2s10s, 5s30s spreads trade tighter by 6bp and 1.5bp on the day; 10-year yields around 2.98% after peaking at 2.9997% in early Asia session. Focus this week is on US auctions which kick-off Tuesday with $44b two-year note sale, followed by $45b five-year Wednesday and $37b seven-year Thursday. IG dollar issuance slate empty so far; issuance expectations are low for the week and dependent on market conditions with the Federal Reserve’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, due to commence Thursday. Bunds and Italian bonds snapped four- day sliding streaks, with German debt gains led by the belly and Italy’s yield curve bull flattening as stock futures drop. Belgium sells five- and 10-year notes. In commodities, WTI trades within Friday’s range, first falling as much as 1% before spiking and recovering all losses, with Brent jumping from a session low of $94.50 to a high of $96.90. Most base metals are in the red; LME copper falls 1%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $15 to trade near $1,732/oz. It's a busy week for the calendar, but we kick off on a day quiet note, with the day at hand featuring the Chicago Fed’s national activity index and earnings from Zoom and Palo Alto Networks. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.1% to 4,183.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.1% to 432.35 MXAP down 0.6% to 159.83 MXAPJ down 0.9% to 518.65 Nikkei down 0.5% to 28,794.50 Topix little changed at 1,992.59 Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 19,656.98 Shanghai Composite up 0.6% to 3,277.79 Sensex down 1.2% to 58,934.14 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.9% to 7,046.88 Kospi down 1.2% to 2,462.50 Gold spot down 0.7% to $1,735.45 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.18% to 108.36 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.20% Euro down 0.3% to $1.0006 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg European gas prices surged after Moscow’s move to shut a major pipeline ramped up fears of a prolonged supply halt, leaving Germany once again guessing as to how much Russian fuel it can count on this winter About 2,000 dockers at the Port of Felixstowe began an eight-day walkout on Sunday, halting the flow of goods through the UK’s largest gateway for containerized imports and exports Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will have a chance -- if he wants to take it -- to reset expectations in financial markets when central bankers gather this week at their annual Jackson Hole retreat A sober warning for Wall Street and beyond: The Federal Reserve is still on a collision course with financial markets. Stocks and bonds are set to tumble once more even though inflation has likely peaked, according to the latest MLIV Pulse survey, as rate hikes reawaken the great 2022 selloff New Zealand’s central bank is open to the possibility of raising its benchmark rate as high as 4.25% amid uncertainty over the amount of tightening needed to regain control of inflation, Deputy Governor Christian Hawkesby said Swedish kronor bonds tied to environmental, social and governance goals are helping keep the country’s waning issuance market afloat this year A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pacific stocks were mostly lower after last Friday’s declines in stocks and bonds across global markets in the aftermath of red-hot PPI data from Germany which rose by a new record high and stoked inflationary concerns, while the region also digests the PBoC’s latest actions on its benchmark lending rates. ASX 200 was pressured with all sectors subdued and as the influx of earnings continued. Nikkei 225 declined at the open as it took its cue from global peers and following reports that PM Kishida tested positive for COVID-19, although the index clawed back around half of the losses with help from a weak currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were mixed with early indecision as participants reflected on the PBoC’s rate actions in which it cut the 1-Year LPR by 5bps to 3.65% and reduced the 5-Year LPR by 15bps to 4.30% vs expectations for a 10bps cut to both, while the reduction in the 5-Year LPR which is the reference for mortgages, also followed recent measures to support the construction and delivery of unfinished residential projects through special loan schemes from policy banks. This provided some early support for developers although the broader sentiment was restricted amid the extension of factory power cuts in Sichuan. Top Asian News China’s Sichuan extended its factory power cuts to August 25th, according to Caixin. Japanese PM Kishida tested positive for COVID-19 and is recuperating at his official residence, according to NHK. Singapore PM Lee announced to reduce mask requirements as the COVID-19 situation stabilises with masks to only be required for public transport and healthcare settings with everywhere else optional. PM Lee also confirmed that Deputy PM Wong has been chosen to be the next leader and said authorities will soon announce new initiatives to attract talent, according to Reuters Aluminum Up as China’s Worsening Power Shortages Tighten Supply Debt Audit, Constitution Change on Angolan Opposition’s Agenda Shanghai United Imaging Jumps 65% in Debut Post $1.6 Billion IPO China Province Extends Power Cuts on Worst Drought Since ‘61 European bourses are under pressure, Euro Stoxx 50 -1.8%, amid Nord Stream 1 maintenance. Updates that sparked a continuation of Friday's downbeat price action and has caused particular downside for the likes of Uniper (-10%) while defenisve sectors outperform slightly. S futures are in-fitting both in terms of direction and magnitude, ES -1.3%, amid global recession and inflation fears. Panasonic (6752 JT) is to increase prices on 17 products from September 1st due to increasing material and manufacturing costs, hike will range between 2-33%. Top European News Cineworld Says It Considers Filing for Bankruptcy in the US Vodafone Agrees to Sell Hungary Unit for 1.8 Billion Euros (1) Borealis Curbs Fertilizer Output for Economic Reasons UK Trial Lawyers Vote to Strike Indefinitely Over Fees Biggest Rate Hike in Decades Is in Play in Israel: Day Guide FX DXY sees a firm start to the week as the index extends gains above 108.00, topping Friday’s peak. EUR/USD has again dipped under parity amid jitters over a potential supply disruption as Russia is to shut the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The Antipodeans are the relative outperformers but have waned off best levels amid the broader deterioration in sentiment. The JPY has climbed its way up the ranks having experienced mild losses in APAC trade owing to widening yield differentials alongside losses in broad APAC FX. Turkey’s Central Bank revised rules for Lira government bond collateral for FX deposits in which it raised the RRR for credit from 20% to 30% for bond collateral, according to Reuters. Fixed Income A session of pronounced two-way action for fixed benchmarks as energy and inflation vie for the limelight. Initial upside (Bunds tested 152.85 Fib of Friday) occurred as sentiment deteriorate on Nord Stream 1's unscheduled maintenance announcement. However, this then swiftly retraced with core benchmarks modestly negative at worst, perhaps as attention pivoted to the associated inflation implications. Stateside, USTs have been moving in tandem though the move lower was somewhat more contained as participants look to Jackson Hole at the tail-end of the week. Commodities WTI and Brent October contracts have continued trending downwards in a resumption of Friday’s action. The main focus of this morning has been on European gas prices surging on news that Russia’s Gazprom will shut down the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for three days. Dutch TTF October surged over 18% whilst European coal for the next year rose over 5% to a new record. Metals markets are hit by the firmer Dollar with spot gold losing further ground under USD 1,750/oz while LME copper eyes USD 8,000/t to the downside Libya’s NOC said oil production was running at 1.211mln bpd, while the Waha Oil Co said gas output from the Faragh field increased to 149mcfd on Sunday from 95mcfd on Saturday, according to Reuters. Caspian Pipeline Consortium suspended oil loadings from two of three single mooring points at its Black Sea terminal for inspection, while CPC exports continue from the third mooring point and August loadings are currently unaffected, according to Reuters sources. Subsequently confirmed Turkey has increased its imports of Russian oil to over 200k BPD so far this year (vs 98k BPD in the same period last year), according to Refinitiv data. Norway Prelim. July production: Oil 1.646mln BPD (vs 1.298mln BPD in June); gas 10.9bcm (vs 10.0bcm in June), according to the Norway Oil Directorate. US Event Calendar 08:30: July Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. -0.25, prior -0.19 DB's Tim Wessel concludes the overnight wrap The annual plenary of the global central bank cognoscenti kicks off in Jackson Hole this week. The main macro dish of the deep dog days of summer – where this year’s theme is “Reassessing Constraints on the Economy and Policy” – will be highlighted by Chair Powell’s remarks due on Friday morning. Global production data will serve as suitable hors d’oeuvres throughout the week, while US PCE data on Friday will be a side dish commanding ample attention. Elsewhere, we receive the second estimate of 2Q US GDP; will the poor aftertaste of two consecutive quarterly retractions continue to overwhelm the otherwise supportive ingredients that comprise near-term growth? Back to Jackson Hole, as the market looks for direction on the uncertain economic outlook and Fed reaction function, Chair Powell’s remarks are one of the key events that can jolt US policy expectations from their recent range, along with inflation and employment data preceding the September FOMC. Indeed, since the day of the July CPI print, 2yr Treasury yields are on net less than a basis point lower, while pricing of the September rate hike has oscillated in a narrow range that effectively has placed equal probabilities on a 50 or 75bp hike, as conviction around the terminal rate and intervening path of policy is low until the market can assess which way inflation (and the Fed) is breaking. The Chair will likely strike an imposing tone against the inflationary scourge, all the more given his remarks last year noted the bout of inflationary pressure was likely to be a transitory phenomenon (important to keep in mind how much the policy outlook can evolve over a 12-month time frame, let alone when uncertainty is this high here). While the Fed has taken to emphasizing two-way risks around the tightening cycle, most visibly in the minutes at the July meeting, the easing of financial conditions since the July meeting may force the Chair to re-orient expectations away from the balance of risks back toward the primary objective of bringing inflation lower. Executive Board member Schnabel will be the highest profile ECB speaker at the gathering, where focus is on calibrating the ECB’s next policy action, which our team takes careful measure of, here, preserving another 50bp hike as their base case. Before Schnabel, due on a panel Saturday, the ECB’s account of the July meeting’s 50bp hike will provide yet more detail into the super-sized kickoff to the ECB’s tightening cycle. Elsewhere in Europe, the looming energy crisis will remain top of mind. German Chancellor Scholz and Vice Chancellor Habeck are in Canada to try and plug the energy gap left by dwindling Russian gas supplies. Along with alternative imports, the government is still weighing whether to extend the life of heretofore condemned nuclear facilities if sufficient supplies cannot be secured. Asian equity markets are trading in negative territory at the start of the week amid a broad strength in the US dollar coupled with a potentially tighter Fed policy path. The Kospi (-0.78%) is the biggest underperformer across the region followed by the Nikkei (-0.46%) and the Hang Seng (-0.45%). Over in mainland China, markets are reclaiming earlier losses, with the Shanghai Composite (+0.43%) and CSI (+0.60%) both in the green after the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) surprisingly slashed its benchmark lending rates yet again to shore up an economy battered by a worsening property slump and a resurgence of Covid-19 cases. The PBOC slashed the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) by -5bps to 3.65%, the first reduction since January while the five-year LPR (a reference for mortgages) was cut by -15 bps to 4.3% at the central bank’s monthly fixing. This move comes after a raft of data released last week indicated that the world’s second largest economy slowed in July. US stock futures point to continued losses after ending last week on the downbeat, with the S&P 500 (-0.38%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.51%) edging lower. Elsewhere, crude oil prices are trading lower in Asia trading hours with Brent futures -0.98% down at $95.77/bbl. Turning to a brief wrap of last week, the S&P 500 retreated -1.29% on Friday to bring the index -1.21% lower on the week, its first weekly decline in a month. The sharp decline Friday came absent any material data or policy developments; instead, it appeared programmatic selling and large options expiries concocted headwinds that were too hard for the index to overcome, where health care (+0.27%) and energy (+0.02%) were the only sectors to escape the day in the green, and only just. The STOXX 600 also fell over the week, retreating -0.80% (-0.77% Friday). In rates, 10yr Treasuries gained +14.1bps over the week, +9.0bps of which came on Friday, though, as mentioned, the net move in 2yr Treasury yields was smaller, having fallen -0.08bps over the week (+3.6bps Friday) as we await further direction from the Fed or from the data. 10yr bund yields increased each of the last four days of the week to end +24.3bps higher (+12.8bps Friday), as the inflationary impact of the energy crisis gripped markets. For their part, OATs climbed +26.1bps (+12.8bps Friday) and BTPs were +43.0bps higher (+17.1bps Friday). Of course, European energy prices from natural gas (+18.65%, +1.47% Friday) to German power (+21.42%, +4.02% Friday) rose to record highs as crisis binds the continent. The week kicks off on a day quiet note, with the day at hand featuring the Chicago Fed’s national activity index and earnings from Zoom and Palo Alto Networks. Tyler Durden Mon, 08/22/2022 - 08:01.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 22nd, 2022

What Would A Crypto Crash Mean For Markets And The Economy

What Would A Crypto Crash Mean For Markets And The Economy By Peter Tchir of Academy Securities On “bitcoin infinity” day (apparently 8/21 is symbolic of ∞ infinity, the projected value of bitcoin) divided by 21,000,000 (the total number of bitcoin that can ever be mined), it seemed like a good time to explore what a crypto crash would look like and what it would mean for markets and the economy. We all know what a mortgage bank collapse looks like (Washington Mutual). We’ve seen broker dealers collapse (Lehman), we’ve seen the stress on the system when money center banks and insurance companies come under intense pressure. Heck, we’ve even endured a sovereign default (Greece). We’ve also experienced flash crashes in equities and bond yields. In all those cases, I would argue that having a gameplan ahead of time allowed companies and investors to profit from the events (both positive and negative). I haven’t seen much on what a crypto crash would mean, so I figured we could examine that today. Jackson Hole I could have written the 900th Jackson Hole primer, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. I’ve already covered a lot that is applicable to Jackson Hole in Taxi Strategies, Orwellian Moments, Things You Won’t See, and Inversion and Inventories. My focus right now is pretty simple: What is the real story on jobs? The weak data is a more accurate sign of the current situation. How bad is the inventory build? I think it might be the worst we’ve seen in my lifetime. Is the wealth effect a problem? I think that the concentrated nature of the wealth effect in disruptive stocks and crypto is different than anything else we’ve experienced historically, and the housing sector weakness is ominous to me. Inflation Fighting. Be careful what you wish for is all that comes to mind. Time and again, lower commodity prices have accompanied stock prices as they became much lower as well and I’m not sure why that will be different this time. Anyways, let’s get back to being off topic and discussing a crypto crash. 6 Impossible Things Before Breakfast I cannot come up with 6 impossible things before breakfast, but as the Queen suggested to Alice, you do need to practice. Let’s start with the premise of a crypto crash or crypto collapse. If it is impossible, then there is no point even thinking about it. However, not only is it possible, but I put the possibility of it occurring in the next year at 10% or higher. Still unlikely, but a high enough probability that I should think about what it would mean. Why a crypto crash or collapse seems possible: It has already happened. Luna/Terra is gone. Poof. XRP is down 80% from its highs, Cardano is down 85%, Bitcoin Cash (you got to love the name) is down 91%, and Dogecoin is down 90% as well. Dogecoin was allegedly started as a joke, which makes it all the more ironic (or moronic) that an SNL skit helped pump it to the moon. So, collapses and crashes have occurred in some segments of the market, which alone tells me that it is worth exploring more. This chart is precarious. Bitcoin continues to hover near levels that would ensure that no “hodler,” or someone who buys crypto and will never sell (diamond hands as opposed to lettuce hands), has made money on any purchase in almost two years. That is a long time to wait to make money (or to sit on large losses). FOMO is a big part of crypto trading, and we are on the precipice of declining to levels where many could decide to take their money and run. There is an ongoing theme in crypto that the “whales” keep buying dips, which might be possible, though it seems more likely to me that many have decided to lock in massive amounts of wealth into the much maligned (but useful) “fiat” currency. Crypto bounced here recently, but that was just the first test and I suspect that there were some heavily incentivized holders who went out of their way to support the price (there really are no rules in this space). This chart, by itself, doesn’t convince me that a crash is possible, but when I highlight the other issues, it certainly adds to that overall theme that a crash or collapse is a non-zero probability event. The chart isn’t much better.   The $13.5 billion trust, GBTC, is currently at a 32% discount to NAV. This isn’t an ETF, so it has the ability to trade at a discount or premium to NAV for extended periods. A 33% discount lets you buy bitcoin at the equivalent of under $14,000 ($21,000 * 67%). There is, to some extent, over $4 billion in “free” money in this stock if the discount closes to 0. It is bizarre and scary to me that the discount continues to widen. In ETF’s, I believe that discount/premium to NAV leads the way (cheapness begets lower prices and vice versa). While that view doesn’t quite translate given the nature of GBTC, it is cautionary to me. A lack of interest. Recently one of the largest asset managers on the planet announced plans to collaborate with one of the largest public companies focused on crypto to work on some crypto projects. Two years ago, I can only imagine the impact that headline would have had on bitcoin. My guess is $10k in a heartbeat, but we are already back below the price when that deal was announced. Every headline like that (a year or more ago) was met with thousands (if not millions) of social media posts touting ADOPTION! While adoption is growing and more big banks have announced crypto strategies, the response seems to be more like “well, of course they are going to see if they can make money in it” rather than “OMG, XYZ just endorsed crypto, BUY!” Subtle shift in response, but an important one (albeit subjective). The best “use” cases are diminishing. China, to me, has always been the best use case. A large population with enough money to matter. For all the talk about banking the unbanked, etc., which sounds nice, this isn’t what will drive crypto prices higher. There are stats saying that as many as 4 billion people are unbanked across the globe. According to the World Bank, about 700 million people make less than $2.15 per day. That is depressing, scary, and almost mind-boggling, but from the crypto perspective, it is not the poor that will drive prices (there just isn’t enough money). But China, where millions of “middle class” citizens exist under a regime where they may want to keep money outside of the system, it has always been a good use case. With the property market in tatters, a slowing economy, and the government continuing to crackdown on crypto (outside of the digital Yuan), that use case may be dropping rapidly. Sanction avoidance as a use case may also be diminishing. If you were illicitly trading embargoed products (like oil), crypto may have been the “currency” of choice. But with the U.S. looking to ease restrictions on places like Iran and Venezuela (hypothetically), maybe some of the alleged trade will come back onto the books. With China and India openly buying Russian oil and Chinese currency gaining in stature (at least amongst some nations), there is less reason to use crypto when the Yuan is about 10 times less volatile than bitcoin (30-day vol of 5.4 versus 53). Criminal activity still flourishes, though the ability to track and reclaim ransomware payments seems to be increasing. It’s about blockchain and blockchain technology. The number of pundits, experts, and companies that seem to be doing contortions to pitch themselves as blockchain rather than crypto is high. Again, this is subtle, but it seems that re-positioning oneself as blockchain rather than crypto is occurring, which doesn’t bode well for crypto. It’s a Ponzi scheme, but it’s our Ponzi scheme. There were always the slogans that accompanied crypto, like “have fun staying poor” but they often included passionate explanations about the greatness of crypto. The use cases would take up pages including such themes like it is banking the unbanked (already discussed), that it is an inflation hedge (hasn’t worked on that front for some time), that it is outside the reach of the government (it is being regulated more by the day, and many in crypto, after some recent highly visible failures, now seem to embrace this), that it is lower cost (costs remain high and there is little protection against mistakes or fraud, unlike with bank accounts or credit cards), or speed (but how many people really need to instantaneously shift large amounts of money, but aren’t already served by Venmo or Zell or some similar product?) I still see those arguments being made, but with far less enthusiasm. However, there is another “use case” that seems to be getting traction (at least in my social media streams). It basically amounts to the argument that convincing more people to participate will help. Kind of like “adoption” but with a more cynical tone. Basically, it is admitting that it only really works if more people get in (so get in, and get more people in). It has the advantage of being true and seems honest, but it seems like the last vestige of a pump and dump scam. I’m not sure about you, but that is enough for me to at least take a look at what a crypto collapse or crash would mean. Crypto Market Cap Let’s start with the market capitalization of crypto currencies as that is the most obvious and direct hit to investors. We will use coinmarketcap for this section (beware of using the link as it will ask to send notifications, know your location, etc., but I figured there should be a link to something to verify). Bitcoin at $21,262 has a market cap of $406 billion. Ethereum at $1,628 has a market cap of $199 billion. Binance Coin at $286 has a market cap of $46 billion. Then XRP, Cardano, and Solana come in between $13 billion and $17 billion. Dogecoin, Polkadot (love the name), and Shiba Inu are all about $7 billion, with Avalanche, Polygon, TRON, and Uniswap, all a bit over $5 billion. Let’s call it about $750 billion in total market capitalization for crypto. To make things “simple” let’s assume that after the top 3, most of the coins could disappear and people would hardly notice (I’m assuming that many of those coins are not widely held, and a few “whales” would lose a lot, but the average person wouldn’t lose much more than what they are already prepared to lose.) If you believe that this is an area where many have spent their “winnings” or took money made in bitcoin or Ethereum to really roll the dice (which I believe), that gives us further reason to argue that the hit here would be minimal on the economy (it also makes the analysis much easier as we only have to focus on a few key currencies). Stablecoin Market Cap We need to also consider the stablecoins. Terra/Luna was supposed to be a stablecoin. Stablecoins, in theory, are backed by assets of some sort, except those that were algorithmically backed (whatever that means). Tether (USDT) is still the biggest at $67 billion. I love how much everything is made to sound like dollars (USD) despite the rhetoric against fiat. This stablecoin, in particular, attracts a lot of negative posts about how it is backed. The company asserts that Tether is backed by T-bills, commercial paper, etc., but to my knowledge, it has never produced a detailed list of its holdings, let alone an audited list of its holdings. This behemoth of an account ($67 billion is large even in money markets) is unknown by any money market participant I speak to (albeit that is only a handful of people outside of Academy’s strong short-term liquidity desk). Someone recently pointed out that they apparently manage that much money without a Bloomberg terminal account (there is no Bloomberg account linked to a company called “Tether,” but they could use a different name on Bloomberg to obfuscate their existence, which isn’t unheard of). Tether has seen their market cap drop from $82 billion to $67 billion, and part of that could be that some investors, given what has gone on this year, have shied away from it. USD Coin or USDC (again, notice how much it tries to sound like the dollar) has a market cap of $52 billion. Its market cap only peaked at $55 billion, so it has gained at the expense of USDT. Circle, which is the company behind USDC, makes a big deal out of being transparent and regulated in the U.S. I’ve had brief conversations with people involved in the company and the pitch makes sense to me (though I have not yet gone through the effort of figuring out how granular that transparency is – that’s a project for another day). But they are clearly marketing themselves on the transparency issue and have surged relative to Tether over the past year or so. Binance USD (BUSD) weighs in at $18 billion and is a distant third and seems relatively tied to the Binance ecosystem. Vegan hotdogs. When I see all these names trying so hard to associate themselves with the dollar despite being part of an ecosystem designed to avoid the dollar, I can’t help thinking about vegan hotdogs and why vegans try to replicate an already weird food, when vegan food in its own right can be awesome! But I digress. My view is that stablecoins and their market caps are a function of the overall utility of cryptocurrencies. If crypto crashes, we should see a decline in the market cap of stablecoins. Two things could occur: Those backed by assets will have to sell the assets to meet redemptions. If it is a few billion and they are back by T-bills, then no sweat. Markets would digest that easily and no one would be impacted. But if the size is bigger (10s of billions) and the assets are less liquid (non-standard commercial paper programs for example) then we could see some friction in markets. Again, if we knew exactly what they held we could be more or less prepared. What they hold and the size of the selling would impact the knock-on effects of any unwind (Terra/Luna held nothing, so that didn’t spread to the greater financial system, but this could). If the stablecoins don’t truly hold sufficient assets or the assets are of low quality (there are all sorts of conspiracy theories out there on what it might be invested in that isn’t worth me repeating here, even if they intrigue me) then we could see what looks like a “bank run” occur not just in stablecoins, but ultimately in the assets they hold and asset classes that compete with what they hold. Let’s just pretend, for the moment, that they have money market lending that is off the radar screen, and presumably paid a lot, as it wasn’t standard. If they have to sell, that could cause prices to plummet, possibly to a level that more traditional players sell what they have to buy this stuff, creating that first domino effect. There is a circularity between crypto and stablecoins. They can bring each other down. While crypto losses themselves will be largely isolated to the holders (we still have to dig into that), the unravelling of stablecoins is likely to influence other markets, possibly quite negatively. Direct Losses The direct losses are relatively easy to figure out. Crypto losses. Let’s say $500 billion could be wiped out of crypto. While some evidence points to there being a small subset of “whales” that would bear the brunt of that loss, I think there is a broad enough swath of the population that would take a serious hit and it would affect spending in the near-term. Stablecoin losses. Stablecoins in theory should have an orderly unwind. If, and that remains a question, there is a disorderly unwind of one or more stablecoins, the losses would be in the 10’s of billions (which isn’t so bad). The problem is that unlike crypto losses, where investors presumably treated this as a risky portion of their portfolio, stablecoins are viewed as cash equivalents. Losing cash is always more problematic than losing risky investments. Something to watch. Public Company Losses. There are at least a couple of public companies that are linked to crypto. Then there are the miners, mostly listed on foreign exchanges. HIVE for example went from almost $2 billion to just over $400 million (higher than the recent lows of $237 million). Not a huge market cap loss, but only one of many miners out there. This would add up to more losses, some of which would hit mainstream funds. The bigger losses would likely be felt in the private domain as many of the companies in the space have not yet made the leap from private equity to public equity. The losses shouldn’t be material to the broader market, but would likely be concentrated enough to leave a mark disproportionate to the size of the losses. On the private equity side (even more than the public side) the losses will hit employees the hardest and that will hit spending. Jobs. If you consider day trading crypto and waiting for NFT drops to be a job, then there will be job losses. The companies I’ve mentioned, both the public and private ones, will be forced to let go of employees (that already will have lost significant paper wealth). These are skilled employees, so in theory, could find other jobs, but that could be more difficult to do in an environment where crypto losses cause investors (including private equity) to be more conservative across the fintech space. Domino or knock-on effects. Assuming the stablecoins hold liquid assets, that unwind should be handled easily (there is a risk that isn’t the case, at least for some stablecoins) but I won’t harp on it. There is not a lot of direct debt tied to crypto (though there are some bonds out there, but they are too small to have any material impact). I don’t see crypto being used as a major source of collateral. If bitcoin holdings, for example, were being used to leverage up stock investments, then I’d be very scared. I think some individuals may manage their personal wealth along those lines, but I don’t see it as a widespread issue (unlike housing in 2008, for example). Spending. How much spending is coming from this sector and what does that mean for us? Spurious Correlation or Real Threat You can take any two data series and potentially see a correlation. They may have nothing to do with each other, so we can stare at the “correlation” chart as long as we want, but it isn’t going to help us because there is no causation. Complicating matters further, we should be looking at correlations between the rate of change rather than correlations between asset classes themselves (I vaguely remember the reasons for this, but I will ignore that technicality for today). Here is the SOX (Philadelphia Semiconductor Index) versus bitcoin. I chose to use this index because it is more likely to be spurious and highlights how much more correlated some individual semi-conductor stocks are. Spurious correlation. The argument for “spurious correlation” is strong. It seems impossible that a small segment of the market, like crypto, could have a large effect on such a big diversified market. Many of the things that drove crypto were also driving other industries that placed huge demands on the chip industry (video conferencing, autonomous driving, big data, etc.). So crypto was just one of many things driving those industries and those industries should not be impacted by a crash in crypto. I could go on, but I can see heads nodding here, so I won’t spend any more time arguing what is a consensus (and probably correct) view. What if it is correlated? The wealth being generated by those in crypto was large. From the miners to the “exchanges,” there was a race to capture revenue and there was plenty of revenue to capture. The spending on chips (rigs to mine, servers to provide customer service, etc.) was large. Chip companies presumably saw this demand and knew that they could charge a premium to an industry where speed and timeliness meant everything. Were chips designed specifically for the crypto industry? Was production of generics shifted to higher profit margin lines? Not only were the companies (that succeeded) spending money, but many failed business ideas (or those just not yet successful) had money to spend as well. What if crypto spending went to web services (seems like it would). What if it went to advertising? (It did). What if that spending caused those companies to spend more? Maybe they needed to add systems, components, and people to keep up with the demand from the crypto industry. Did that spending then create more spending and make it very difficult (if not impossible) to figure out where crypto spending ended and where “regular” spending went? How much money was crypto spending on energy? At one time I saw stories that in terms of energy usage, crypto, if treated as a nation, would have been the 10th largest country in terms of energy use. Commodity prices are always affected by the marginal 5% or 10% of demand. Is it possible that part of energy inflation was due to crypto? Does that mean policy makers are responding to a problem (high inflation) while ignoring one of the causes (because it isn’t on their radar screen, except in China, which has been clamping down on mining in that country?) The case for crypto being a bigger driver than previously thought may seem weak, but I cannot help but believe that it is a risk we should be discussing more than I think we are. What if the correlation was a driver for exciting new technologies where enormous wealth seemed possible (to such an extent) that current spending or success was irrelevant? What if crypto’s decline and potential collapse may not be causal, but is correlated to some broader move in markets and the economy? Then in that case, it might be spurious, but is still dangerous. Impossible Things, Black Swans, and Thinking Out of the Box I do not think a crypto collapse is impossible. It isn’t my base case, but there is a real possibility that it occurs. Black swans are things that people didn’t think were possible (and turned out to be possible). We can get a pass on missing black swans, but not if we are looking at a grey swan and choose to ignore it. I’m not lying awake at night thinking about a crypto collapse because: It “probably” won’t happen. If it does happen, the damage to the economy “could” or maybe even “should” be minimal. But I am thinking more and more about it because if there is a correlation between crypto and the broader economy (and markets) or because crypto, the broader markets, and the economy are moving to the same theme, there is serious risk to the downside. Some of this risk may not be getting priced in based on some simple charts of crypto versus other asset classes. On this broader correlation theme, check out ARKK shares outstanding because something seems to have shifted in terms of the investor mentality there. For those who celebrate, enjoy bitcoin infinity day! It really seems weird that not only is that a thing, but on 8/21/21 the CEO of a public company enjoyed tweeting it out. I’m possibly too old and jaded, but stuff like that seems silly rather than compelling. Tyler Durden Sun, 08/21/2022 - 21:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 21st, 2022

Buy These 3 Municipal Bond Funds for Steady Returns

Below, we share with you three top-ranked municipal bond funds. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Municipal bonds, or "muni bonds," comprises debt securities issued by various states, cities, counties and other governmental entities to raise money to build roads, schools and a host of other projects for the public good. These municipal securities regularly pay interest payments, usually semi-annually, and pay the original investment or principal amount at the time of maturity. Interest paid on such bonds is generally exempted from federal taxes making them especially attractive to people in higher income tax brackets.Thus, risk-averse investors looking to earn a regular tax-free income may consider municipal bonds mutual funds. These mutual funds are believed to provide regular income while protecting the capital invested. While mutual funds from this category seek to provide dividends more frequently than other bonds, they offer greater stability than those primarily focusing on equity and alternative securities.Below, we share with you three top-ranked municipal bond funds, viz., Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund ORNAX, Delaware National High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class A CXHYX and AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy AUNAX. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of municipal bond funds.Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund invests the majority of its assets in municipal securities that its advisors believe are exempt from federal income tax and the fund's corresponding state income tax. ORNAX invests in securities issued by the governments of states, their political subdivisions, and the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, commonwealths, and possessions or by their agencies and other authorities.Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund has three-year annualized returns of 2%. ORNAX has an expense ratio of 0.69% compared with the category average of 0.92%.Delaware National High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class A seeks a high level of exempted current income by investing most of its assets in medium and lower-grade municipal securities exempted from federal income tax. CXHYX primarily invests in lower-rated municipal securities with higher income potential and greater risk.Delaware National High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class A has three-year annualized returns of 1.9%. Stephen J. Czepiel has been the fund manager of CXHYX since 2007.AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy invests the majority of its net assets in high-quality investment-grade municipal fixed-income securities that pay interest exempt from federal tax, and are rated A or better by one or more recognized rating agencies. AUNAX also invests a small portion of its assets in below-investment-grade fixed-income securities or junk bonds.AB Municipal Bond Inflation Strategy has three-year annualized returns of 3.3%. As of April 2022, AUNAX had 63.6% of its net assets invested in Miscellaneous Bonds.To view the Zacks Rank and the past performance of all municipal bond funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of municipal bond funds.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 >> Free: Top Stocks for the $30 Trillion Metaverse Boom The metaverse is a quantum leap for the internet as we currently know it - and it will make some investors rich. Just like the internet, the metaverse is expected to transform how we live, work and play. Zacks has put together a new special report to help readers like you target big profits. The Metaverse - What is it? And How to Profit with These 5 Pioneering Stocks reveals specific stocks set to skyrocket as this emerging technology develops and expands.Download Zacks’ Metaverse Report now >>View All Zacks #1 Ranked Mutual FundsWant 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 (ORNAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (AUNAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (CXHYX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 18th, 2022

Is PCLAX a Strong Bond Fund Right Now?

MF Bond Report for PCLAX Have you been searching for a Mutual Fund Bond fund? You might want to begin with PIMCO CommoditiesPlus Strategy A (PCLAX). PCLAX carries a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank of 3 (Hold), which is based on nine forecasting factors like size, cost, and past performance.History of Fund/ManagerPIMCO Funds is responsible for PCLAX, and the company is based out of Newport Beach, CA. Since PIMCO CommoditiesPlus Strategy A made its debut in June of 2010, PCLAX has garnered more than $128.57 million in assets. A team of investment professionals is the fund's current manager.PerformanceInvestors naturally seek funds with strong performance. PCLAX has a 5-year annualized total return of 15.41% and is in the top third among its category peers. Investors who prefer analyzing shorter time frames should look at its 3-year annualized total return of 19.71%, which places it in the top third during this time-frame.When looking at a fund's performance, it is also important to note the standard deviation of the returns. The lower the standard deviation, the less volatility the fund experiences. The standard deviation of PCLAX over the past three years is 28.75% compared to the category average of 15.59%. The fund's standard deviation over the past 5 years is 24.4% compared to the category average of 13.83%. This makes the fund more volatile than its peers over the past half-decade.This fund has a beta of -2.35, meaning that it is less volatile than a broad market index of fixed income securities. Taking this into account, PCLAX has a positive alpha of 17.61, which measures performance on a risk-adjusted basis.RatingsInvestors should also consider a bond's rating, which is a grade ( 'AAA' to 'D' ) given to a bond that indicates its credit quality. With this letter scale in mind, PCLAX has 95.34% in high quality bonds rated at least 'AA' or higher. The fund has an average quality of AAA, and focuses on high quality securities.ExpensesFor investors, taking a closer look at cost-related metrics is key, since costs are increasingly important for mutual fund investing. Competition is heating up in this space, and a lower cost product will likely outperform its otherwise identical counterpart, all things being equal. In terms of fees, PCLAX is a load fund. It has an expense ratio of 1.18% compared to the category average of 0.83%. PCLAX is actually more expensive than its peers when you consider factors like cost.While the minimum initial investment for the product is $1,000, investors should also note that each subsequent investment needs to be at least $50.Bottom LineOverall, PIMCO CommoditiesPlus Strategy A ( PCLAX ) has a neutral Zacks Mutual Fund rank, and in conjunction with its comparatively strong performance, worse downside risk, and higher fees, this fund looks like a somewhat average choice for investors right now.Want even more information about PCLAX? Then go over to Zacks.com and check out our mutual fund comparison tool, and all of the other great features that we have to help you with your mutual fund analysis for additional information. Want to learn even more? We have a full suite of tools on stocks that you can use to find the best choices for your portfolio too, no matter what kind of investor you are. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>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 Get Your Free (PCLAX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 25th, 2022

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley stand to cash in on $3.9 billion Amazon-One Medical deal

Today's biggest story on Wall Street looks at the rainmakers at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley who crafted Amazon's $3.9 billion buy of One Medical. It's a welcome injection for investment-banking teams, which were largely blamed for banks' recent earnings. Hi! Aaron Weinman reporting from New York. Amazon's $3.9 billion purchase of One Medical could net Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley millions-of-dollars in advisory fees apiece. It comes as investment banks fall under the microscope for a slow year in dealmaking.Let's unpack who at the two Wall Street giants put this deal together.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app here.Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are in line for multimillion-dollar paydays following Amazon's announcement that it's purchasing One Medical.IronHeart/Getty Images1. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley got the nod for Amazon's $3.9 billion purchase of One Medical. It's a welcome payday for the pair especially after investment-banking teams across Wall Street shouldered much of the pain in last quarter's earnings cycle.Goldman Sachs advised Amazon — rekindling a relationship that spans back to 2017,  when the company bought Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion — and Morgan Stanley advised One Medical on the sale, Insider has learned.Morgan Stanley has advised One Medical at least three times now, following up its lead role on the clinic operator's $245 million initial public offering in January 2020, and its $2.1 billion acquisition of Iora Health in June last year.Amid a dearth of M&A activity, a deal of this size should net each bank millions of dollars in fees. Investment banks typically earn between 2% to 4% (of the enterprise value of a transaction) in revenues for their advisory services. A sought-after client like Amazon, however, might lead banks to lower their price in exchange for the tech giant's business.Amazon's interest in One Medical, meanwhile, started back in the spring of 2022, a person with knowledge of the process told Insider. But the company was not seeking a buyer at the time, this person said.News of Amazon's acquisition sent One Medical's share price to more than $17 per share from a little over $10 last week.For the full story on the genesis of this deal, and the bankers who helped piece the transaction together, check out this report from Insider's Reed Alexander, and myself.In other news:Robert A Tobiansky/Getty; Boris Zhitkov/Getty; Jake Wyman/Getty; José Miguel Hernández Hernández/Getty; Spencer Platt/Getty; Twitter; Anna Kim/Insider2. Legendary Silicon Valley investor Bill Gurley was fed up with how Wall Street handled IPOs. Here's how he took on the Street and revolutionized how companies go public.3. Hedge-fund assets dipped below $4 trillion in June due to poor performance and investor exits. But commodity-trading advisors and macro hedge funds soared. Here are the winners and losers for the first half of the year.4. Investors have piled about $41 billion into artificial-intelligence startups this year, according to Pitchbook. Meet eight lawyers helping these startups patent AI and comply with rules around privacy and safety.5. The crypto world is riled up about former Coinbase employee Ishan Wahi, who's accused of trading tokens before they were listed. The SEC asserted that some of the traded tokens were securities, a label that could create serious issues for entities enabling crypto trading.6. Blackstone's Chief Operating Officer Jon Gray is still all about rental housing and logistics. It's not surprising – short supply and steady demand mean that rents are through the roof right now.7. Staying on real estate, the commercial property market is getting iced by rising rates. One investor expects deals to emerge later this year as the market braces for fire sales.8. Index Ventures partners Nina Achadjian and Paris Heymann are betting on vertical software. They argue these tools — software tailored to specific industries — are "mission critical" to customers. Here's how founders of such companies can pitch VCs.9. Andreessen Horowitz is setting up shop in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, and doing most of it virtually. Here's why the firm is spreading its influence beyond Silicon Valley.10. Citi has shuttered its municipal proprietary-trading effort, Bloomberg reported. The decision, alongside some high-profile departures from Citi's municipal-bond business, sparked concerns that the bank is stepping back from its storied public-finance business.Done deals:Smart Care, a Wind Point Partners' portfolio company that provides commercial cooking equipment, acquired Espresso Partners, a coffee equipment company.Fifth Wall, a proptech-focused venture-capital fund, closed a $500 million fund. It was the investor's first climate-focused fund that will be invested in renewable energy, and carbon sequestration to decarbonize the real-estate industry.Curated by Aaron Weinman in New York. Tips? Email aweinman@insider.com or tweet @aaronw11. Edited by Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJul 25th, 2022

3 Municipal Bond Funds to Add for Stable Returns

Below, we share with you three municipal bond funds, namely, TXRAX, ORNAX and HICOX. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1. The debt securities category will always be the first choice for risk-averse investors because this class of instruments provides a regular income flow at low levels of risk. Income from regular dividends helps to ease the pain caused by plunging stock prices.When considering the safety of capital invested, municipal bond mutual funds are second only to those investing in government securities. In addition, interest income earned from these securities is exempt from federal taxes and, in many cases, from state taxes as well.­­Below, we share with you three top-ranked municipal bond funds, namely, JPMorgan Tax Aware Real Return Fund TXRAX, Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund ORNAX, and Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund HICOX. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of funds, their Zacks Rank and past performance.JPMorgan Tax Aware Real Return Fund seeks protection after-tax return by investing most of its net assets in a portfolio of municipal securities whose interest payments are excluded from federal income tax. TXRAX creates inflation-protected instruments by investing in a combination of municipal securities along with inflation-linked derivatives such as Non-Seasonally Adjusted Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers swaps.JPMorgan Tax Aware Real Return Fundhas three-year annualized returns of 1.7%. As of the end of April 2022, TXRAXhad 45.45% of its net assets invested in Miscellaneous Bonds.Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fund invests most of its assets along with borrowing if any in municipal securities that its advisors believe are exempted from federal income tax in the fund's respective state income tax. ORNAX invests in securities issued by the governments of states, their political subdivisions, and the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, commonwealths, and possessions or by their agencies, instrumentalities, and other authorities.Invesco Rochester Municipal Opportunities Fundhas three-year annualized returns of 0.8%. ORNAX has an expense ratio of 0.69% compared with the category average of 0.92%.Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund invests most of its assets along with borrowings if any in tax-exempt bonds, securities, notes, and municipal leases of political subdivisions, municipalities and public authorities in the State of Colorado. HICOX only invests in Tax-Exempted securities.Colorado Bond Shares A Tax Exempt Fund has three-year annualized returns of 1.2%. Fred R. Kelly has been the fund manager of HICOX since November 1990.To view the Zacks Rank and the past performance of all municipal bond funds, investors can click here to see the complete list ofmunicipal bond funds.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 >> Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>View All Zacks #1 Ranked Mutual FundsWant 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 (ORNAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (HICOX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (TXRAX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 15th, 2022

We"ve got nearly 50 pitch decks that helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. New twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series APersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalG 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of TulipshareTulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundHelping small banks lendTKCollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed roundA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BAn alternative auto lenderTricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investors A new way to access credit The TomoCredit teamTomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingQuantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BAnalyzing financial contractsEric Chang and Alex Schumacher, co-founders of ClairaClairaIt was a match made in heaven — at least the Wall Street type.Joseph Squeri, a former CIO at Citadel and Barclays, had always struggled with the digitization of financial documents. When he was tapped by Brady Dougan, the former chief executive of Credit Suisse, to build out an all-digital investment bank in Exos, Squeri spent the first year getting let down by more than a dozen tools that lacked a depth in financial legal documents. His solution came in the form of Alex Schumacher and Eric Chang who had the tech and financial expertise, respectively, to build the tool he needed.Schumacher is an expert in natural-language processing and natural-language understanding, having specialized in turning unstructured text into useful business information.Chang spent a decade as a trader and investment strategist at Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, and AQR. He developed a familiarity with the kinds of financial documents Squeri wanted to digitize, such as the terms and conditions information from SEC filings and publicly traded securities and transactions, like municipal bonds and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs). The three converged at Exos, Squeri as its COO and CTO, Schumacher as the lead data scientist, and Chang as head of tech and strategy. See the 14-page pitch deck that sold Citi on Claira, a startup using AI to help firms read through financial contracts in a fraction of the timeSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOSussing out bad actorsFrom left to right: Cofounders CTO David Movshovitz, CEO Doron Hendler, and chief architect Adi DeGaniRevealSecurityAn encounter with an impersonation hacker led Doron Hendler to found RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity startup that monitors for insider threats.Two years ago, a woman impersonating an insurance-agency representative called Hendler and convinced him that he made a mistake with his recent health insurance policy upgrade. She got him to share his login information for his insurer's website, even getting him to give the one-time passcode sent to his phone. Once the hacker got what she needed, she disconnected the call, prompting Hendler to call back. When no one picked up the phone, he realized he had been conned.He immediately called his insurance company to check on his account. Nothing seemed out of place to the representative. But Hendler, who was previously a vice president of a software company, suspected something intangible could have been collected, so he reset his credentials."The chief of information security, who was on the call, he asked me, 'So, how do you want me to identify you? You gave your credentials; you gave your ID; you gave the one time password. How the hell can I identify that it's not you?' And I told him, 'But I never behave like this,'" Hendler recalled of the conversation.RevealSecurity, a Tel Aviv-based cyber startup that tracks user behavior for abnormalities, used this 27-page deck to raise its Series AA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series AHelping fintechs manage dataProper Finance co-founders Travis Gibson (left) and Kyle MaloneyProper FinanceAs the flow of data becomes evermore crucial for fintechs, from the strappy startup to the established powerhouse, a thorny issue in the back office is becoming increasingly complex.Even though fintechs are known for their sleek front ends, the back end is often quite the opposite. Behind that streamlined interface can be a mosaic of different partner integrations — be it with banks, payments players and networks, or software vendors — with a channel of data running between them. Two people who know that better than the average are Kyle Maloney and Travis Gibson, two former employees of Marqeta, a fintech that provides other fintechs with payments processing and card issuance. "Take an established neobank for example. They'll likely have one or two card issuers, two to three bank partners, ACH processing for direct deposits and payouts, mobile check deposits, peer-to-peer payments, and lending," Gibson told Insider. Here's the 12-page pitch deck a startup helping fintechs manage their data used to score a $4.3 million seed from investors like Redpoint Ventures and Y CombinatorE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series AShopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy VoProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series ADeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Branded cards for SMBsJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym.TandymJennifer Glaspie-Lundstrom is no stranger to the private-label credit-card business. As a former Capital One exec, she worked in both the card giant's co-brand partnerships division and its tech organization during her seven years at the company.Now, Glaspie-Lundstrom is hoping to use that experience to innovate a sector that was initially created in malls decades ago.Glaspie-Lundstrom is the cofounder and CEO of Tandym, which offers private-label digital credit cards to merchants. Store and private-label credit cards aren't a new concept, but Tandym is targeting small- and medium-sized merchants with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Glaspie-Lundstrom said that group often struggles to offer private-label credit due to the expense of working with legacy players."What you have is this example of a very valuable product type that merchants love and their customers love, but a huge, untapped market that has heretofore been unserved, and so that's what we're doing with Tandym," Glaspi-Lundstrom told Insider.A former Capital One exec used this deck to raise $60 million for a startup helping SMBs launch their own branded credit cardsCatering to 'micro businesses'Stefanie Sample is the founder and CEO of FundidFundidStartups aiming to simplify the often-complex world of corporate cards have boomed in recent years.Business-finance management startup Brex was last valued at $12.3 billion after raising $300 million last year. Startup card provider Ramp announced an $8.1 billion valuation in March after growing its revenue nearly 10x in 2021. Divvy, a small business card provider, was acquired by Bill.com in May 2021 for approximately $2.5 billion.But despite how hot the market has gotten, Stefanie Sample said she ended up working in the space by accident. Sample is the founder and CEO of Fundid, a new fintech that provides credit and lending products to small businesses.This May, Fundid announced a $3.25 million seed round led by Nevcaut Ventures. Additional investors include the Artemis Fund and Builders and Backers. The funding announcement capped off the company's first year: Sample introduced the Fundid concept in April 2021, launched its website in May, and began raising capital in August."I never meant to do Fundid," Sample told Insider. "I never meant to do something that was venture-backed."Read the 12-page deck used by Fundid, a fintech offering credit and lending tools for 'micro businesses'Embedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote teamHighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingSpeeding up loans for government contractors OppZo cofounders Warren Reed and Randy GarrettOppZoThe massive market for federal government contracts approached $700 billion in 2020, and it's likely to grow as spending accelerates amid an ongoing push for investment in the nation's infrastructure. Many of those dollars flow to small-and-medium sized businesses, even though larger corporations are awarded the bulk of contracts by volume. Of the roughly $680 billion in federal contracts awarded in 2020, roughly a quarter, according to federal guidelines, or some $146 billion that year, went to smaller businesses.But peeking under the hood of the procurement process, the cofounders of OppZo — Randy Garrett and Warren Reed — saw an opportunity to streamline how smaller-sized businesses can leverage those contracts to tap in to capital.  Securing a deal is "a government contractor's best day and their worst day," as Garrett, OppZo's president, likes to put it."At that point they need to pay vendors and hire folks to start the contract. And they may not get their first contract payment from the government for as long as 120 days," Reed, the startup's CEO,  told Insider. Check out the 12-page pitch deck OppZo, a fintech that has figured out how to speed up loans to small government contractors, used to raise $260 million in equity and debtHelping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Jackson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersAutomating accounting ops for SMBsDecimal CEO Matt Tait.DecimalSmall- and medium-sized businesses can rely on any number of payroll, expense management, bill pay, and corporate-card startups promising to automate parts of their financial workflow. Smaller firms have adopted this corporate-financial software en masse, boosting growth throughout the pandemic for relatively new entrants like Ramp and massive, industry stalwarts like Intuit. But it's no easy task to connect all of those tools into one, seamless process. And while accounting operations might be far from where many startup founders want to focus their time, having efficient back-end finances does mean time — and capital — freed up to spend elsewhere. For Decimal CEO Matt Tait, there's ample opportunity in "the boring stuff you have to do to survive as a company," he told Insider. Launched in 2020, Decimal provides a back-end tech layer that small- and medium-sized businesses can use to integrate their accounting and business-management software tools in one place.On Wednesday, Decimal announced a $9 million seed fundraising round led by Minneapolis-based Arthur Ventures, alongside Service Providers Capital and other angel investors. See the 13-page pitch deck for Decimal, a startup automating accounting ops for small businessesInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now co-foundersNowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionCheckout made easyRyan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DPayments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia MontesiQoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ABetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay DavisAtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounderGleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPOAgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of LadderLadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionData science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of CounterpartCounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in fundingDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysSoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalPay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair SilverbergHum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Helping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo ParejoKaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed roundThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 11th, 2022

How Public Pensions Turn Cities Into Unlivable Hellholes

How Public Pensions Turn Cities Into Unlivable Hellholes Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com, “It’s like going to the ATM in Vegas and then going to the roulette wheel and it comes up red and you go back to the ATM.” The remark was recently made by Steve Mermell.  The man retired last year as city manager of Pasadena, California.  He knows a thing or two about how borrowing to enhance pension fund returns can result in spectacular losses. The Wall Street Journal article did not clarify whether red was a winning turn of the roulette wheel or not.  Within the article’s context it didn’t really matter. The main point was that public pension funds are grossly underfunded.  Consequently, more and more pension funds are borrowing money to play the markets.  The goal is to boost returns to cover their massive funding gaps. If you recall, public-sector retirement plans offer defined benefits, where retiree pension checks are calculated based on salaries and years of service.  Private employers, on the other hand, generally offer defined-contribution plans (like 401Ks), where payouts are based on market returns. If you live long enough, and are a recipient of a public pension fund you will get out far more than you put in.  If you work in the private sector, there’s a good chance you will outlive your retirement savings. Certainly, pension funds can attempt to fill their funding gaps by requesting increases in yearly contributions from governments and workers.  But the public-employee unions go full ape when such measures are proposed.  So the remaining option is to take on greater risk.  What could go wrong? The late Robert Citron could tell you.  As he discovered the hard way, even the most calculated bets will eventually go against you. Something Special Nearly 20-years ago, while providing consulting services to a county sanitation district, we crossed paths with a grumpy fellow who had only a secondary interest in providing industrious work.  His primary interest was deliberating on his upcoming retirement; he could bend your ear off. Between sips of coffee and bites of a glazed donut one Friday morning, he told us of an important milestone that would be reached within six months.  This would be achieved by the coalescing of two critical marks: (1) his 55th birthday, and (2) exactly 36 years of doing time at the district. As he explained it, after 55 years of age the retirement formula went from 2 to 2.5.  So after collecting a paycheck every two weeks for the past 36 years, something special was about to happen. He could take a factor of 2.5 and times it by 36 to equal 90.  Specifically, he would now receive 90 percent of his final year’s pay for the rest of his life.  He set his retirement date accordingly. Mr. Grumpy was an entitled member of the roughly $469 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS).  The nation’s largest public pension fund.  It’s so large it takes 2,843 full time equivalent positions to administer it. At last count, there were over 2 million members in the CalPERS retirement system.  Some of these people may have done good work prior to retirement.  Others were likely career loafers.  All, without question, did their time with purpose and intent and eyes squarely on the prize. Are they feeling lucky? Starting this month, CalPERS will add leverage for the first time in its 90-year history.  Perhaps it will all work out just fine.  Regardless, the fund’s managers have their work cut out for them. Legacy Costs Officially, CalPERS has roughly two-thirds of the money it needs to pay benefits that state and local governments have promised their workers.  But this is based on an assumption of future investment returns averaging 7 percent a year.  Historically, CalPERS’ returns have fallen well short of this assumption. Over the last 20 years, the average annual return has been 5.5 percent.  Hence, the unofficial gap between what CalPERS has and the promises it owes is much larger than advertised. For instance, if CalPERS investment returns assumption was lowered to its historical average, unfunded liability would rise from $160 billion to over $200 billion.  For this reason, the mega pension fund will now attempt to lever its returns. In the case of Pasadena and Steve Mermell’s experience, funding the local pension plan it once offered to its police and firefighters has been a decades long struggle.  In 1999, in an effort to keep pace with its inflation-adjusted benefits, Pasadena borrowed $102 million through municipal bonds.  The borrowed money went towards its pension obligations. The idea was simple enough.  The pension fund could immediately begin earning on a larger amount of money, while the bonds would be paid back gradually. But then the stock market crashed during the dot com bust in 2001-03.  Yet the city still had to make bond payments at interest rates north of 6 percent. Pasadena then went back to the ATM in 2004 with another pension-obligation bond.  Several years later, in 2007-09, the stock market crashed again.  Still, the city’s pension legacy costs remain.  As noted by the Wall Street Journal: “The local police and fire pension plan has been closed for nearly 50 years.  Pension recipients have dwindled to fewer than 180.  But the city still owes about $135 million in bond debt on the plan.  Payments on it are expected to be about $6 million in 2022.” What a complete cluster. Following Pasadena’s closure of its local pension plan, public pensions are managed by CalPERS.  To add insult, the city’s annual contributions to CalPERS have doubled since 2015, to about $70 million last year.  That’s more than the city spends on transportation. What to make of it… How Public Pensions Turn Cities into Unlivable Hellholes Without question, gambling with public money is a foolish thing to do.  Nonetheless, many pension funds – like CalPERS – are now using leverage to juice returns. According to a Municipal Market Analytics analysis of Bloomberg data, more than 100 city, county, state, and other governments borrowed for their pension funds last year.  This is twice the highest number that did so in any prior year. Standing behind these pension funds are state and local taxpayers – that’s you, acting as the ATM.  Moreover, when the investment returns of public pension funds fall short, governments are primarily responsible for filling the void.  This means cutting other spending and services or increasing taxes. Covering pension fund obligations is a massive drag on state and local government finances.  The fact is, there’s a legion of public workers out there who’ve been promised a retirement that’s no longer affordable. These grand promises must be broken. You can witness the effects when traversing through just about every city in America that has been in existence for more than 60 years.  By repeatedly reallocating spending from much needed services, the present and future conditions of cities and municipalities are being transformed to unlivable hellholes. Your neighbor, who retired from the city over 25 years ago, may frequently lament the shoddy conditions of the streets and sidewalks.  He may bemoan the lack of resources to address burgeoning homeless encampments and the mobs of mentally ill zombies flailing about on the tired asphalt. Yet it has never occurred to him that he and his retired cohorts are receiving money that should be used to maintain basic municipal services.  The generous promises made many decades ago – the entitlements – are now destroying the world around them. *  *  * A massive wave of municipal and corporate bankruptcies is cresting.  The longer the bear market runs, the greater the collateral damage.  Don’t leave your retirement in the hands of others.  Instead, consider trying simple, practical steps everyday Americans can take to protect their wealth and financial privacy.  The steps are documented in the Financial First Aid Kit.  If you’d like to find out more about this important and unique publication, and how to acquire a copy, stop by here today! Tyler Durden Sat, 07/02/2022 - 17:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJul 2nd, 2022

Top 3 High-Yield Bonds to Add Now to Your Portfolio

Below, we share with you three high-yield bond mutual funds, namely FUSIX, MNHYX and AHITX. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1. High-yield bonds behave more like stocks than investment-grade bonds. These bonds have significant holdings in smaller companies, which have a weaker financial condition but benefit as the economy moves north. Though high-yield bonds are more exposed to credit risk, these have less exposure to interest rate risk, making them a differentiated source of return. Despite headwinds faced in the early months of the pandemic, demand for high yield has recovered since the Fed’s rate cut and reopening of the economy. The improving economic activity renewed the search for yield, and given the current scenario, these bonds are poised to grow.Below we share with you three top-ranked high-yield bond mutual funds, namely Strategic Advisers Fidelity International Fund FUSIX, Manning & Napier High Yield Bond Series MNHYX and American Funds American High-Income Trust Class A AHITX. Each has earned a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of funds.Strategic Advisers Fidelity International Fund invests most of its net assets in common stocks of companies located in foreign countries, especially in emerging markets. FUSIX invests indirectly in securities through one or more other funds.Strategic Advisers Fidelity International Fundhas three-year annualized returns of 8.1%. As of the end of February 2022, FUSIX has 70.70% of its assets invested in Others Investment.Manning & Napier High Yield Bond Series invests most of its net assets in investment-grade bonds, derivative instruments and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), U.S. dollar-denominated, fixed-income securities issued by U.S. and foreign corporations and governments, including those in emerging markets. MNHYX also invests a portion of its net assets in bank loans, which are, generally, non-investment grade floating rate investments.Manning & Napier High Yield Bond Serieshas three-year annualized returns of 5.7%. MNHYX has an expense ratio of 0.90% compared with the category average of 0.95%.American Funds American High-Income Trust Class A seeks current income along with capital appreciation by investing in higher-yielding and lower-quality debt securities (rated Ba1 / BB+ or below by Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations. AHITX may also invest a portion of its net assets in securities of foreign issuers.American Funds American High-Income Trust Class Ahas three-year annualized returns of 4.0%. David A. Daigle has been the fund manager of AHITX since December 2003.To view the Zacks Rank and the past performance of all high-yield bond funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of high-yield bond funds.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 >> 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>View All Zacks #1 Ranked Mutual FundsWant 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 (FUSIX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (MNHYX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (AHITX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 28th, 2022

Top 3 Nuveen Mutual Funds to Buy Now for Stable Returns

Below, we share three Nuveen mutual funds, viz., NHMAX, FWIRX and NPSAX. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Nuveen Investments, headquartered in Chicago, IL, was founded in 1898 by John Nuveen. The company aims to provide financial services to its clients using a multi-boutique structure. It provides these services through an independent team comprising Nuveen Asset Management, Winslow Capital and Symphony.Nuveen is the number one farm land assets manager in the world and a leader in alternative investments. In its Multi-Asset Solutions, the company had $1.2 trillion of assets under management as of Mar 31, 2021. Nuveen offers a wide range of asset classes and products, ranging from equity and alternative funds to municipal and taxable fixed-income bond funds.Below we share with you three top-ranked Nuveen mutual funds, viz.,Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class A NHMAX, Nuveen Wisconsin Municipal Bond Fund Class I FWIRX,Nuveen Preferred Securities & Income Fund NPSAX. Each has a Zacks Mutual Fund Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and is expected to outperform its peers in the future. Investors can click here to see the complete list of Nuveen mutual funds.Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class A seeks high current income that is exempted from regular federal income taxes along with capital appreciation by investing most of its assets, along with borrowings, if any, in municipal bonds that pay personal income tax-free interest. NHMAX also invests a small portion of its investment in lower-quality long-term municipal bonds and inverse floaters.Nuveen High Yield Municipal Bond Fund Class A has three-year annualized returns of 2.0%. As of the end of December 2021, NHMAX has 89.84% of its assets invested in Miscellaneous Investment.Nuveen Wisconsin Municipal Bond Fund Class I seeks preservation of capital along with high current interest income, which is exempted from regular federal, Wisconsin State and, in some cases, Wisconsin local income taxes by investing most of its assets along with borrowings, if any, in investment-grade municipal bonds that have BBB/Baa or higher rating by at least one independent rating agency at the time of purchase. FWIRX also invests a small portion of its net assets in high-yield below-investment-grade municipal bonds or junk bonds.Nuveen Wisconsin Municipal Bond Fund Class I has three-year annualized returns of 1.3%. FWIRX has an expense ratio of 0.69% compared with the category average of 0.87%.Nuveen Preferred Securities & Income Fund invests most of its assets along with borrowings, if any, in preferred and other income-producing securities. NPSAX also invests a small portion of its net assets in financial services companies along with securities that are rated investment-grade or below investment grade.Nuveen Preferred Securities & Income Fund has three-year annualized returns of 3.5%. Douglas M. Baker has been the fund manager of NPSAX since December 2006.To view the Zacks Rank and the past performance of all Nuveen mutual funds, investors can click here to see the complete list of Nuveen mutual funds.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 >> Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>View All Zacks #1 Ranked Mutual FundsWant 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 (NHMAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (NPSAX): Fund Analysis Report Get Your Free (FWIRX): Fund Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze"

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze" Following a relentless rout that erased nearly $2 trillion in market value from the S&P 500 last week, US equity futures have surged, extending their Monday holiday gains just as predicted on Sunday when we said that a "Nasty Squeeze" was on Deck following last week's "Second Largest Ever" shorting by hedge funds. Nasdaq 100 futures rose as much as 2.2% before trading 1.7% higher as major US tech and internet stocks advanced, poised to extend Friday’s gains; shares of Tesla and Twitter also rose following billionaire Elon Musk’s comments at the Qatar Economic Forum; S&P 500 futures gained 1.8%; the cash market was closed on Monday for a holiday. Asian and European stocks also advanced as did bitcoin which jumped above $21K after sliding below $18K briefly on Saturday. Meanwhile Treasuries and the US Dollar retreated. US stocks came under renewed pressure last week, with the S&P plunged into bear market territory amid surging inflation and fears that aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 is set for an 11% drop in June, poised for the worst month since March 2020, which marked the lows of the pandemic selloff. Sentiment was somewhat boosted by Biden’s Monday comments on the economy in which he said that a recession isn't "inevitable" (what else will he say) but strategists have warned of more volatility ahead. “Even if the mid-term investing landscape remains blurry to most market operators at the beginning of this summer season, some investors looking for opportunities to buy shares at a discounted price have been reassured,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “The fact central banks are moving quickly towards a super hawkish stance in order to tame inflation is also perceived as good news by some.” In premarket trading, bank stocks also pushed higher amid a broader rebound in risk assets. In corporate news, HSBC has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows. Meanwhile, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator will focus a pair of market reviews on the rising card fees charged by Visa and Mastercard. Tech names were also solidly higher; notable movers included Apple +2.4%, Microsoft +2%, Amazon.com +2.6%, Alphabet +2.6%, Meta Platforms +2.1%, Nvidia +3.1% premarket; all six stocks closed higher on Friday, while US markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. Stocks related to cryptocurrencies were also indicating a rally as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Meanwhile, Revlon surged as much as 27% in premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Tesla (TSLA US) and Twitter (TWTR US) shares rose in premarket trading on Tuesday after billionaire Elon Musk said the CEO label at the social media firm was less important than driving the product and that Tesla will cut its salaried workforce by about 10% over  the next three months. Tesla rose 3.1% and Twitter was up 1.2% in premarket trading Revlon shares surge as much as 27% in US premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for bankruptcy. Major US technology and internet stocks advanced in premarket trading on Tuesday, poised to extend Friday’s gains. Apple (AAPL US) +2.4%, Microsoft (MSFT US) +2%, Amazon.com (AMZN US) +2.6%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +2.6% Spirit (SAVE US) shares jump 13% in US premarket trading, to $24, after JetBlue (JBLU US) raised its offer to $33.50 per share from $31.50 on June 6, the latest move in a multi-billion dollar takeover contest with rival Frontier (ULCC US). Arrival shares jump 8.6% in US premarket trading after the electric- vehicle maker announced that its zero-emission van has achieved EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. US-listed Chinese stocks are mostly higher in premarket trading, tracking a two-day 2.3% rise in the Hang Seng Tech Index. Alibaba (BABA US) +4.6%, Baidu (BIDU US) +3.5%, Pinduoduo (PDD US)+3.3% Stocks related to cryptocurrencies rise on Tuesday in US premarket trading as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +5.6%, Coinbase (COIN US) +4.7%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5% Citi cuts ratings on International Paper Co. and WestRock to neutral from buy, citing increasing questions about demand as supply additions loom. International Paper falls 1.1% in premarket trading, WestRock -1.5% Keep an eye on Maxar shares as Wells Fargo said the stock is its top pick in the burgeoning space sector, initiating it at overweight, Rocket Lab at equal-weight and Virgin Galactic at underweight. Adobe (ADBE US) shares may be in focus today as the stock was downgraded to equal-weight and given Street-low $362 target from $591 by Morgan Stanley, on expectation of a slowing structural growth profile for the computer software company. After unexpectedly accelerating to a fresh 40-year high in May, US consumer price growth is seen slowing, with a Bloomberg survey of economists predicting 6.5% by the fourth quarter and to 3.5% by the middle of next year. Yet fears are rampant that Federal Reserve policy makers intent on cooling price pressures will go too far and trigger an economic slowdown. Strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned equities may have further to fall to fully price in the risk of recession, reflecting wider skepticism about Tuesday’s rebound. “We think equities will struggle to rebound sustainably until earnings expectations reset lower and/or central banks turn more dovish, which seems unlikely for now,” said Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays Plc. European stocks also extended their recent recovery, with the region’s benchmark Stoxx 600 Index rising 1%, led by gains in basic resources and chemical companies’ shares. Consumer discretionary, chemicals and autos also trade well. CAC 40 outperforms. Leonardo jumps as much as 9.7% in Milan trading after its DRS unit agreed to buy Israeli radar-maker RADA Electronic in an all-stock transaction. Valneva rises as much as 23% after CEO Franck Grimaud said the company’s Lyme disease vaccine has the potential of becoming a “blockbuster” with sales of more than 1 billion euros. K+S and OCI shares gain after JPMorgan said valuations are “compelling” and fundamentals remain positive. European fertilizer shares had dropped recently because of rising gas prices. OCI rises as much as 4.6%; K+S +6.3% Air Liquide climbs as much as 3.9%, after the French industrial gas company signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Vattenfall. Mithra rises as much as 21% after the pharmaceutical company said it received subscription commitments for 3.87m new shares at an issue price of EU6.07 apiece, representing a 5% discount to last close. Richemont and Swatch advance after Swiss watch exports for the month of May showed strong demand versus the year-earlier period in the US and Japan as well as in European countries such as France and the UK. Luxury peers also trading higher in a wider rebound. Richemont gains as much as 2.8%, Swatch +2.8%, Hermes +3.3%, LVMH +3.7% European apparel retail shares drop after JPMorgan downgrades Asos, About You, Boohoo and Primark owner AB Foods to neutral from overweight, citing the cost of living crisis with cracks emerging in discretionary spending. Asos declines as much as 5.1%, Boohoo -4.8%, About You -4.3%, AB Foods -3.2% Proximus and Telenet slide after a statement by the Belgian telecom regulator showed that new entrant Citymesh partnered with Romanian carrier Digi Communications and acquired spectrum across various bands. Proximus shares fall as much as 7.8%, Telenet -3.9% Earlier in the session, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index snapped an eight-day slide to add more than 1% as Asian equities headed for their biggest gain this month. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.8%, set to snap an eight-day losing streak, with financial and tech stocks among the biggest contributors to its advance. The US president spoke overnight after a conversation with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, as the White House and congressional Democrats are in talks on legislation that aims to fight inflation. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong led gains in the region. Australia’s index advanced for the first time in days after central bank chief Philip Lowe signaled he will only raise interest rates by 25-to-50 basis points at the July meeting. Chinese shares edged lower after recent gains.  “It’s a respite, not a rebound,” said Charu Chanana, a market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “We are still in a bear market that is facing a double whammy of Fed tightening and building recession fears, and the second-quarter earnings season is likely to be particularly painful for the markets” due to cost pressures, she added.  Valuations for the MSCI Asia gauge have continued to slide toward pandemic lows, with the index down 18% this year. Still, it’s outperforming a measure of global shares, supported by a rally in Chinese equities this month as the country emerges from Covid-triggered lockdowns. Japanese stocks advanced as investors weighed the impact of the yen’s weakness and the extent of the recent selloff. The Topix Index rose 2% to 1,856.20 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.8% to 26,246.31. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 2,023 rose and 108 fell, while 39 were unchanged. “Stocks that are expected to have an upward revision from the weak yen may be firm,” said Mitsushige Akino, a senior executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.4% to close at 6,523.80, snapping a seven day losing steak. The benchmark was led by gains in banks and miners, with the financials sub-gauge rising the most since March 10.  In early trade, Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe said he didn’t see a recession on the horizon for the nation.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 10,701.59 India’s benchmark share index posted its biggest two-day advance since May 30, boosted by a recovery in information technology stocks and as investors looked for bargains after a sharp selloff last week.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.8% to close at 52,532.07 in Mumbai, taking its two-day advance to 2.3%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 1.9%. All of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a measure of oil & gas companies. “Crude prices have corrected by almost 10% from its recent peak, providing some breather to the Indian market,” Motilal Oswal Financial analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.   Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 1.6%. All but one of 30 shares in the Sensex index rose. Of the top ten performers on the measure, half were information technology companies, led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. that clocked its biggest advance this month.  In rates, treasuries were cheaper across the curve as trading resumed after Monday’s US holiday; cash USTs bear steepened, but trim losses after cheapening ~5bps at the Asia reopen.  Long-end leads losses with stock futures rising after last week’s rout. US yields are ere cheaper by as much as 6bp at long end, steepening 2s10s by nearly 3bp, 5s30s by nearly 4bp; 10-year, higher by ~5bp at 3.27% lags bund and gilts by 3bp and 4.5bp while Italian bonds outperform Treasuries by 12bp in the sector. Bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries, while Italian bonds extend recent gains after ECB’s Olli Rehn reiterated determination to combat unwarranted spikes in borrowing costs for some of the region’s most vulnerable economies.  That said the ECB has yet to disclose said measures, a move which most agree will lead to selling the news. Gilts bull flatten, 10y yields drop 4bps after stalling near 2.6%. Bunds are comparatively quiet. Shorter-maturity Australian bonds rallied after central bank chief Philip Lowe said interest rates are likely to rise by 50 basis points at most in July. Money markets subsequently scrapped bets he would track the Federal Reserve with a 75 basis-point move. Japanese government bonds were mixed after a five-year note sale that drew the weakest demand in more than two years in the aftermath of wild price swings in futures that have made some traders uneasy about their exposure to cash bonds. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.3% as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. JPY is the weakest in G-10, plunging to a fresh 24 year low of 136. NOK and SEK outperform. The euro advanced and European bonds rallied, led by the front end even as ECB Governing Council Member Peter Kazimir said negative rates must be history by September. Governing Council member Olli Rehn separetely said that “there has been good reason to expedite the normalization of monetary policy”. The pound extended gains amid broad dollar weakness while UK government bonds inched up. BOE Chief Economist Huw Pill said policy makers would sacrifice growth in order to bring down inflation, saying there’s a risk of prices developing a “self-sustaining momentum. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.3% higher to trade near $112. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 2.8%, outperforming peers. LME aluminum lags, dropping 0.3%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,838/oz. Bitcoin is bid and above the USD 21k mark, after last week's slip to a sub-USD 18k low. Elon Musk says he intends to personally support Dogecoin, via BBG TV. Coinbase (COIN) says connectivity issues across Coinbase and Coinbase Pro could cause failed trades and delayed transactions; issue was subsequently resolved. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.9% to 3,744.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 411.06 MXAP up 1.5% to 158.77 MXAPJ up 1.5% to 528.18 Nikkei up 1.8% to 26,246.31 Topix up 2.0% to 1,856.20 Hang Seng Index up 1.9% to 21,559.59 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,306.72 Sensex up 2.2% to 52,741.19 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.4% to 6,523.81 Kospi up 0.7% to 2,408.93 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.76% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0567 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.53/bbl Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.52/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,835.31 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.61% to 104.06 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UK rail workers began Britain’s biggest rail strike in three decades after unions rejected a last-minute offer from train companies, bringing services nationwide to a near standstill. Britain’s local authorities say they can’t afford to pay a mandated increase in the legal minimum wage over the next year without a £400 million cash injection from the national government A majority of European businesses are worried about their ability to meet employee demands for higher wages amid the current spike in inflation, according to a regional survey by Intrum AB Companies in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy are the most distressed since August 2020, according to the Weil European Distress Index. The study aggregates data from more than 3,750 listed European firms A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks gained across amid a broad constructive global risk tone despite a lack of fresh macro drivers and the recent holiday closure in the US, with Bitcoin and Chinese commodity prices also stabilising after the recent tumultuous price action. ASX 200 was led higher by the energy sector and after RBA's Lowe effectively ruled out a 75bps hike next month. Nikkei 225 outperformed and reclaimed the 26,000 level amid a predominantly weaker currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive with sentiment in Hong Kong underpinned by news the SAR is to propose a quarantine-free business travel corridor with mainland China, while mainland bourses lagged with the US ban on imports from Xinjiang taking effect from today. Japan's PM Kishida says rapid JPY weakening is a source of concern, must closely watch FX moves and consider monetary policy and FX measures separately. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers China Junk Bond Selloff in New Phase With Record Fosun Rout Gold Steady as Traders Weigh Central Bank Plans to Hike Rates Australian Tesla-Supplier Eyes First Lithium Exports Over- Optimism Among China Steel-Makers Behind Iron Ore’s Plunge European bourses are firmer and building on Monday's upside, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; thus far, newsflow has largely focused on familiar themes. Additionally, participants are awaiting the return of the US after Monday's market holiday. Currently, ES +1.7% with the region incrementally outperforming European peers. Elon Musk says there a still a few unresolved matters with Twitter (TWTR) including the number of spam users, via BBG TV; still awaiting a resolution, very significant. Adds, they are reducing the salaried workforce of Tesla (TSLA) by circa. 10% over the next three-months. Top European News French President Macron will invite all parties able to form a group in the new parliament for talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Reuters. BDI revises down 2022 German GDP forecasts: 1.5% (prev. 3.5%); return to pre-COVID level expected at end-2022 at the earliest Central Banks ECB’s Lane said very high inflation means there is a risk inflation psychology could take hold and said the larger increment for rate increase in September does not represent a red alert assessment of inflation. Lane also commented that he doesn’t see a situation where they would need to revisit the plan for a July decision and there is no preview beyond September of what will be the appropriate pace of tightening, according to Reuters. ECB’s Villeroy said the new instrument should be available as much as necessary to make the no-limit commitment to protect the Euro very clear and the more credible such an instrument is, the less it may have to be used in practice. Villeroy added the new instrument will have rules but there will be elements of judgement also and said they would not necessarily need to hold purchases of government or private sector securities to maturity, according to Reuters. ECB's Rehn says EZ inflation pressured are broader and stronger; very likely the September move is more than 25bp in magnitude. BoE's Pill says if there is evidence of persistent price pressures, the MPC is certainly prepared to act, expects further tightening in the coming months, need to consider the exchange rate when assessing inflationary pressures. Worries that using monetary policy to stabilise the FX rate in the short-term would be a distraction from the BoE's goals. HKMA purchases HKD 9.6bln from the market, as the HKD hits the weak-end of the trading range. FX Euro firm as risk revival continues and ECB’s Rehn says 50bp hike in September is highly probable, EUR/USD eyeing 1.0600 after breaching 1.0550, but could be capped by 1bln option expiry interest between 1.0575-85. Sterling rebounds ahead of CBI industrial trends and after BoE chief economist Pill underlines willingness to act if price pressures prove persistent; Pound probes 1.2300 vs Dollar as DXY slips further from recent peaks through 104.000. Loonie and Nokkie boosted by firmer crude prices, as former awaits Canadian retail sales data; USD/CAD close to 1.2900 vs circa 1.3078 double top, EUR/NOK sub-10.4000 within 104.4200+/10.3400 range. Kiwi and Aussie underpinned by improvement in risk appetite, but hampered as NZ consumer sentiment slides to record low and RBA Governor Lowe pushes back on the amount of 2022 tightening priced in at present; NZD/USD hovers above 0.6350 and AUD/USD shy of 0.7000. Franc and Yen remain divergent with SNB and BoJ policy paths, latter largely ignoring latest verbal intervention; USD/CHF pivots 0.9650 and USD/JPY back above 135.00. Israel PM Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid agreed on dissolving the Knesset and going for an early election, while the vote will take place next week and Lapid will become PM once the vote passes, according to Walla News. Fixed Income Debt divergent and erratic awaiting the return of US cash markets from long holiday weekend. Bunds hold within 143.05-144.01 range and Gilts between 111.11-68 parameters. Treasury futures retreat and curve flits from marginal flattening to steepening ahead of US existing home sales and more Fed speak via Mester and Barkin Commodities WTI and Brent are bid amid broader risk sentiment with newsflow focusing on familiar themes primarily around the reduction in Russia's gas supply to Europe. Thus far, Brent has tested but failed to connivingly breach the USD 116.00/bbl mark ahead of touted USD 116.37/bbl resistance. US Treasury Secretary Yellen said she does not see resuming the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a short-term measure that can address high oil prices, while she added it would take years to have an impact. Yellen also commented that evidence is mixed on the level of pass-through from a gasoline tax holiday to lower prices and said that an exception or ban on insurance for certain Russian oil shipments would effectively provide a price cap on oil, according to Reuters. Brazilian Economy Minister Guedes said Brazil is part of the western energy security, particularly for Europe, while he added that privatising and moving Petrobras to Novo Mercado would increase its market cap from BRL 450bln to BRL 750bln. Guedes added that they will conduct new measures again if the war in Ukraine is escalating, according to Reuters. PetroEcuador may have to stop exports if protests continue and it declared a force majeure to avoid contract penalties, according to Reuters. Vitol CEO says markets are faced with underinvestment and falling production capacity for crude and there is a relatively tight refining situation, via Reuters; if China exports some more products, the tightness felt today won't be felt. Denmark's energy agency declared an 'early warning' stage of gas supply preparedness, according to Reuters. German regulator says they are not in a hurry to declare the highest gas emergency level yet, via Reuters citing BR; however, Sweden declares an "early warning" stage of gas supply preparedness for Western and Southern parts of the nation. Codelco's union presidents ratified the start of a national strike beginning on Wednesday, according to Reuters; an update which, alongside broader risk, is supporting LME Copper. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.47, prior 0.47 10:00: May Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -3.7%, prior -2.4% 10:00: May Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.4m, prior 5.61m Central Banks 11:00: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed During NABE Event 12:00: Fed’s Mester Speaks at Women in Leadership Event 15:30: Fed’s Barkin Speaks in Richmond DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ll be publishing my latest monthly chartbook later today so keep an eye out for it. It will include the slides for last week’s webinar on the default study “The end of the ultra-low default world”. See here for the webinar replay and here for the original default study. Welcome to the longest day of the year although most in markets will already say we've had numerous of those already so far this year. Actually if you're outside of London, trying to get in it could be a very, very long day as the UK is today gripped by the first of three alternate day rail strikes. There is a tube strike today thrown in for good measure. It does seem industrial relations with the government are on a knife edge across the UK as at least 3 million workers across different professions are considering industrial action at the moment over pay and working conditions. So this could become a much bigger story if tensions are not eased. With inflation this high it's not easy to see how they can be without big pay rises being offered. However on this day of wall to wall sun (sorry to the Southern Hemisphere readers), there has been a little more light than dark in markets over the last 24 hours after what was the worst week for global equities since March 2020. The next major event(s) to look forward to are Fed Chair Powell’s congressional testimonies from tomorrow. To be honest though, its been a fairly quiet start to the week given the US holiday yesterday, with the biggest news instead being a fresh rise in European sovereign bond yields after President Lagarde reiterated the ECB’s intentions to start hiking next month, and also shone a bit more light on their plans to deal with any potential fragmentation. We’ll start with those remarks from Lagarde, who appeared in a hearing at the European Parliament yesterday and spoke strongly against any potential fragmentation in the Euro Area. Indeed, she said that “we need to be absolutely certain” that monetary policy was being transmitted to the different Euro Area countries and went as far to say that it was “right at the core of the mandate”, whilst adding “anybody who doubts that determination will be making a big mistake”. So not quite “whatever it takes” but along the same lines. Given the ECB has promised to deal with any fragmentation, that should make life easier for them when it comes to raising rates, and European sovereign bond yields responded accordingly yesterday. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr bunds (+9.0bps), OATs (+11.8bps) and BTPs (+12.3bps) all moved noticeably higher, although by the standards of last week that seemed quite modest given that 10yr bund yields had seen absolute moves of 11bps in either direction on 3 out of 5 days last week. When it came to bonds though, it was UK gilts who were one of the biggest underperformers yesterday after we heard from one of the more hawkish members of the Bank of England’s MPC. Catherine Mann (who was in the minority that favoured of a 50bps move last week) said in a speech that “the incoming data on inflation show increasingly domestic embeddedness, persistence, and momentum”. Furthermore, she also warned about the risk of embedded domestic inflation being “further boosted by inflation imported via a Sterling depreciation”. Against that backdrop, 10yr gilt yields rose by +10.6bps to close above 2.6% for the first time since 2014, whilst overnight index swaps are continuing to price in a more aggressive response from the BoE after the next meeting, with 50bp moves priced in for each of the next 3 meetings, which would be the fastest pace of hikes since they gained operational independence in 1997. In spite of the sovereign bond selloff, equities put in a much better performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (+0.91%) seeing a broad-based advance that was supported by all the main sector groups. Other indices on the continent also moved higher, including the FTSE 100 (+1.50%), the DAX (+1.06%) and the FTSE MIB (+0.99%). The worst performer on a relative basis was France’s CAC 40 (+0.64%), which struggled following the news that President Macron had lost his parliamentary majority, which will make passing his agenda much more difficult in the coming years. See our economists’ piece on the topic here. With the US holiday we only had futures to look at, but those on the S&P 500 had moved around +1% higher by the time of the European close. They are +1.62% higher this morning with the NASDAQ 100 futures (+1.71%) also meaningfully higher. Meanwhile, Fed funds futures were again moving in the direction of pricing in a more aggressive path of rate hikes, with the implied rate by the December meeting up +7.18bps to 3.625%, albeit still beneath their closing peak of 3.72% just before the Fed meeting, which meant that Treasury futures were also pointing to fresh declines yesterday as well. Asian equity markets are relatively buoyant this morning with the Nikkei (+1.76%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.42%). In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.18%) and CSI (+0.12%) are also trading in positive territory whilst the Kospi (+1.03%) is sharply higher in early trade. Elsewhere, the meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released this morning indicated that the central bank is leaning towards more monetary policy tightening over the coming months. The minutes also revealed that inflation was expected to increase to 7% by the end of the year due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, before coming back towards the 2-3% inflation range in 2023. Meanwhile, the RBA Governor Philip highlighted that interest rates were still "very low" but watered-down expectations of 75bps rate hikes thus signaling a 25 or 50bps move at the July meeting. On the FX side, the Aussie Dollar did witness a sharp dip during the RBA Governor’s Q&A session but is reversing losses, trading +0.35% at 0.697 per US dollar, as I type. Elsewhere the Japanese yen has remained under pressure at 135.03 per dollar, not far off a 24-year low of 135.58 hit early last week. Separately, oil prices are higher this morning with Brent futures (+1.04%) at $115.32/bbl and WTI futures increasing +1.79% to $111.52/bbl. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022