Advantages Fade

New Platforms Gaining Demand Share at Expense of Netflix Source: Media Play News     Earlier this month, I discussed how money compounds slowly, how the world often changes at a geologic pace. This is not always the case: Sometimes, the world can be upended relatively quickly. Case in point: Netflix. They began life doing… Read More The post Advantages Fade appeared first on The Big Picture. New Platforms Gaining Demand Share at Expense of Netflix Source: Media Play News     Earlier this month, I discussed how money compounds slowly, how the world often changes at a geologic pace. This is not always the case: Sometimes, the world can be upended relatively quickly. Case in point: Netflix. They began life doing DVD rentals through (!) snail mail. The website allowed you to create an ordered queue of what you wanted to see; each time you mail back a DVD the next item on your list is mailed to you. This fixed the “Why do we want to drive to the store (!) when we won’t know what to rent and besides they are out of it” problem, to say nothing of late fees. In the early days of broadband, Netflix rolled out an ambitious program to stream content over the internet. It was clunky and imperfect but gradually improved. In 2010, they offered a streaming-only plan (no more DVDs by mail). Netflix is still the dominant video streamer, with more subscribers than Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, Apple+, Paramount+ et al. combined. But a > 50% market share is down from domination when they invented the sector 12 years ago. Does anyone imagine that Netflix will be dominant in 50 years? What about 20 years? 5? I don’t know, but if history is any guide, at a certain point, that first-mover advantage will in large part erode away. This is not about which company is the biggest or hottest at the moment — tastes change, sectors rotate in and out of favor. Strategic advantage in one era becomes an anchor tying you to the past in the next. A pivot — like DVD by Mail to Streaming is less common than you imagine. To get a sense of how the world changes, consider the top 10 S&P Companies from 1980–2020 (via John VanGavree). Over that 40 year period, priorities change, economics shift, even investor taste changes. In the 1980s and ’90s, AT&T and IBM were the big guys in technology; today, 6 of the top 10 are technology. Will Exxon or any other Oil company ever grace the top 10? GM, GE are yesteryear stories.   The list of innovative and groundbreaking companies that changed the world only to fade into relative obscurity is endless: Blockbuster, obviously, but also RCA, Lucent, Woolworth, Citi, Sears, US Steel, Eastman Kodak, Circuit City, etc. Successful companies come and go; terrific success is difficult, delicate flower to keep alive. Long-lasting is incredibly rare indeed. The world changes. The most important companies in the world wake up one day to discover their products are no longer desired and their services are no longer needed. Best of luck in your future endeavors, thank you for your years of service. Capitalism is cruel but fair.       Previously: Gradually, Then Suddenly (October 1, 2021)   The post Advantages Fade appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureOct 15th, 2021

Fed Gives Bond-Buy Tapering Signal Without Timeline: 5 Picks

We have narrowed down our search to five U.S. corporate behemoths that have strong growth potential for the rest of 2021. These are: AAPL, MSFT, NVDA, DHR and COST. On Sep 22, Wall Street closed sharply higher ending its 4-day losing streak and recouped some of the losses it has suffered in September. The three major stock indexes — the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite — rallied 1% each, while the small-cap-centric Russell 2000 surged 1.5%.U.S. stock markets rebounded following Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s confirmation that a shift from the central bank’s ultra-dovish monetary policy is not immediate. The Fed will maintain its monetary stimulus and stick to a near-zero short-term benchmark interest rate at least for the time being.Powell Maintains Dovish StanceIn his statement after the conclusion of the two-day FOMC meeting, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said “If progress continues broadly as expected, the Committee judges that a moderation in the pace of asset purchases may soon be warranted.”Fed Chairman made the point that it is “more important to do it right than fast.” “While no decisions were made, participants generally viewed that so long as the recovery remains on track, a gradual tapering process that concludes around the middle of next year is likely to be appropriate,” he said.Powell said that the central bank’s further progress test has been met regarding its inflation target. He added “My own view is the test for substantial further progress on employment is all but met.” However, Powell made it clear “For me it wouldn’t take a knockout, great, super strong employment report. It would take a reasonably good employment report for me to feel like that test is met.”Fed’s latest dot plot for rate projection is showing nine out of18 members believing that the first rate cut will come in the second half of 2022. This number was just seven after June’s FOMC meeting. However, Powell had commented in June that dot plots should be taken with a “big grain of salt.” It is “not a great forecaster of future rate moves." Fed's policy will be guided by the actual outcome of economic variables and not by its officials' expectations about the future.Tapering Likely Priced in Market ValuationThe Fed Chairman has said repeatedly that the central bank will give enough indication to market participants before it actually starts tapering in order to minimize volatility.Although the Fed has restrained from providing any timeline as to when the tapering of the monthly $120 billion bond-buy program will start, many economists and financial researchers believe that the announcement will come in the next FOMC meeting in November and the process will start from December.Despite this, yesterday’s rally indicates that the impact of tapering seems already factored in market valuations. The central bank had taken this extraordinary measure last year to tackle an extraordinary health hazard-led economic devastation. Everyone knows that this monetary stimulus will fade out gradually with the pace of U.S. economic recovery.Therefore, a possible tapering of the Fed’s monthly $80 billion Treasury Notes and $40 billion mortgage-backed bond-buying program this year may not shake market participants’ confidence. The important point is that the Fed has taken an extremely cautious approach to tapering its quantitative easing program.Stock Selection CriteriaAt this stage, it will be prudent to invest in stocks of U.S. corporate behemoths (market capital > $100 billion) that have performed better than the market’s benchmark — the S&P 500 Index — in the past month, amid September’s volatility.The stocks must carry a favorable Zacks Rank. These companies have highly established business models spread across the world, lucrative product pipelines, globally acclaimed brand recognition and robust financial positions, which will help them to cope with a higher interest rate.Accordingly, we have narrowed down our search to five U.S. corporate behemoths that have strong growth potential for the rest of 2021. These stocks have seen positive earnings estimate revisions in the last 60 days. Each of our picks carries either a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The chart below shows the price performance of our five picks in the past month.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchApple Inc.'s AAPL Services and Wearables businesses are expected to drive top-line growth in fiscal 2021 and beyond. Although Apple’s business primarily runs around its flagship iPhone, the Services portfolio has emerged as the company’s new cash cow. Its focus on autonomous vehicles and augmented reality/virtual reality technologies presents growth opportunities in the long haul.This Zacks Rank #1 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 2.2% for next year (ending September 2022) after estimated 70.4% growth in the current year (ending September 2021). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for next year improved 6.3% over the last 60 days.Microsoft Corp. MSFT is introducing new and improved Surface devices that could encourage enterprises to stick with Windows as they move toward BYOD and cloud computing. Microsoft’s advantages in this respect are two-fold.First, the company has a very large installed base of Office users. Most legacy data are based on Office, so enterprises are usually reluctant to use other productivity solutions. Second, the BYOD model is dependent on security and cloud integration, both of which are Microsoft’s strengths.This Zacks Rank#2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 8.4% for the current year (ending June 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings improved 3.7% over the last 60 days.NVIDIA Corp. NVDA is benefiting from the coronavirus-induced work-from-home and learn-at-home wave. It is also benefiting from strong growth in GeForce desktop and notebook GPUs, which are boosting gaming revenues.Moreover, a surge in Hyperscale demand remains a tailwind for the company’s Data Center business. The expansion of NVIDIA GeForce NOW is expected to drive its user base. Further, a solid uptake of artificial intelligence-based smart cockpit infotainment solutions is a boon.This Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 68% for the current year (ending January 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 5.8% over the last 60 days.Danaher Corp. DHR is poised to gain from Danaher Business System (“DBS”), the policy of rewarding shareholders through dividend payments, synergistic benefits from acquired assets and investment in product innovation in the quarters ahead.The company anticipates core revenue growth in the mid to high-teens range for the third quarter of 2021 and in the high-teens for 2021. The pandemic-led tailwinds are expected to boost core sales by high-single digits in the third quarter and by 10% in 2021.This Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 50.4% for the current year. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1% over the last 30 days.Costco Wholesale Corp. COST operates membership warehouses in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Australia, Spain, France, Iceland, China, and Taiwan. It offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories.Its growth strategies, better price management, decent membership trend and increasing penetration of e-commerce business reinforce its position. The strategy to sell products at discounted prices has helped to draw customers seeking both value and convenience. These factors have been aiding in registering impressive sales numbers.This Zacks Rank #2 company has an expected earnings growth rate of 7.9% for the current year (ending August 2022). The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1.1% over the last 30 days. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>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 Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Danaher Corporation (DHR): Free Stock Analysis Report NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

Headliners Week of 11/28 – 12/4

RISMedia Vice President of Online Editorial Beth McGuire delivers this week's Headliners, a video recap of the week's top stories in real estate. The post Headliners Week of 11/28 – 12/4 appeared first on RISMedia. News Catch Up on This Week's Biggest Stories /wp-content/uploads/2021/12/Headliners_120421_OPT.mp4 RISMedia Vice President of Online Editorial Beth McGuire delivers this week's Headliners, a video recap of the week's top stories in real estate. Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Read This Week's Top Stories Permanent Living Transforms Resort Towns, Vacation Homes By Jesse Williams  December 2, 2021 They say if you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. But what if you... Read more Year-End Outlook: Price Growth to Cool as Affordability Challenges Persist By Jordan Grice  December 2, 2021 Editor’s Note: RISMedia’s Year-End Outlook series provides an in-depth analysis of the housing market’s leading indicators for economic health, and... Read more Shorewest, REALTORS® Celebrates 75 Years of Relationship Building By Liz Dominguez  November 29, 2021 Organizations that have been part of the fold of real estate for several decades understand how the tides change, bringing... 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Previous Headliners Headliners Week of 11/14 – 11/20 By Brit Owen December 3, 2021 RISMedia Executive Editor Maria Patterson delivers this week's Headliners, a video recap of the week's top stories in real estate.... Read more Headliners Week of 10/31 – 11/6 By Brit Owen November 6, 2021 RISMedia Associate Online Editor Jesse Williams breaks down this week in news for ‘Headliners.’ In focus: Zillow drops out of... Read more Headliners Week of 10/24 – 10/30 By Brit Owen October 30, 2021 RISMedia Associate Online Editor Jordan Grice delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real... Read more Headliners Week of 10/17 – 10/23 By Kevin Kirwan October 29, 2021 RISMedia Managing Editor Paige Tepping delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real estate.... Read more Headliners Week of 10/10 – 10/16 By Kevin Kirwan October 22, 2021 RISMedia Content Editor Paige Brown delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real estate.... Read more Headliners Week of 9/26 – 10/2 By Kevin Kirwan October 30, 2021 RISMedia Senior Online Editor Liz Dominguez delivers this week's Headliners, which provides an overview of the week's most significant market... Read more Headliners Week of 10/3 – 10/9 By Kevin Kirwan November 5, 2021 RISMedia Blog/Social Media Editor Jameson Doris, delivers this week’s ‘Headliners,’ a video recap of the week’s top stories in real... 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The post Headliners Week of 11/28 – 12/4 appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismedia3 hr. 3 min. ago

Xplore plans hardware buildout as space industry grows in Redmond

Xplore has competition all over Redmond, but Lisa Rich says the concentration of space companies has its advantages......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournals22 hr. 47 min. ago

November Payrolls Huge Miss: Just 210K Jobs Added, But Unemployment Rate Tumbles

November Payrolls Huge Miss: Just 210K Jobs Added, But Unemployment Rate Tumbles With the median Wall Street economist expectation of a 550K print, just slightly above last month;s 531K, and whisper numbers of 564K, any number that came at or above (and wasn't a huge miss) would be seen by the market as validating the Fed's accelerated taper which could be announced as soon as Dec 15. Alas it was not meant to be, because moments ago the BLS reported that in November, the US added just a tiny 210K jobs (down a stunning 336K from October's upward revised 546K), and the smallest monthly increase since December! Needless to say, this was a huge miss to consensus expectations of 550K, and coming in at less than half the expected number the actual print was a whopping 5 sigma miss! With the November gains, total payrolls remain some 3.9 million, or 2.6 percent, from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020. Still, as CNBC's Steve Liesman notes, this number does seem suspect and the reason is because as Goldman noted overnight, the BLS has revised up each of the prior six payrolls reports (including +235k with last month’s release). It is thus probable that this month will also be revised higher, especially since the BLS revealed that the change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up by 67,000, from +312,000 to +379,000, and the change for October was revised up by 15,000, from +531,000 to +546,000. With these  revisions, employment in September and October combined is 82,000 higher than previously reported. So yes, the upward revisions continue. Adding to the confusion is that the Household Survey found employment rose by a whopping 1.136 million, up from just 359K last month, a substantial divergence from the more closely watched Establishment survey. Some more details from the BLS: Workers unable to work due to bad weather came in at 37,000. The historical average for November is 74,000. Another 163,000 workers who usually work full-time could only work part-time due to the weather last month. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.3 million, changed little in November. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. This figure was about the same as in February 2020. The number of persons not in the labor force who currently want a job was 5.9 million in November, little changed over the month but up by 849,000 since February 2020. These individuals were not counted as unemployed because they were not actively looking for work during the 4 weeks preceding the survey or were unavailable to take a job. Among those not in the labor force who wanted a job, the number of persons marginally attached to the labor force was little changed at 1.6 million in November. These individuals wanted and were available for work and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months but had not looked for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey Perhaps the bigger story was the plunge in the unemployment rate, which tumbled from 4.6% to 4.2%, beating estimates of 4.5%, and coming below the bottom of the range of 4.3%-4.6%. The chart above shows that the black unemployment rate dropped by 1% to 6.7%. It still has a ways to go before hitting it record lows... hit under Trump. Additionally, as Bloomberg notes, the key metric in the household survey aside from the headline unemployment rate -- the prime working-age (25-54) employment-to-population ratio -- jumped by half a percentage point last month, marking the strongest advance since July. At 78.8%, there’s still ground to cover to return to the pre-pandemic level of 80.5%, but if we keep going at this rate, we’ll be there sometime next year. The underemployment rate for young adults aged 16 to 24 in Nov. was 13.5%, with the total unemployed aged 16-24 at 1,584,000, the marginally attached workers aged 16-24 at 390,000 and those employed part-time for economic reasons aged 16-24 at 860,000. The youth civilian labor force (aged 16-24) was at 20,533,000. As DeBusschere of 22V Research said, “WOW...OK. This number was all over the place. Significant miss on the headline number. But that’s not the story. The u-rate declined significantly with a slight increase in participation. That is because the household employment number was +1.1 million, which is a huge number. Now, household is a volatile number, but it’s hard not to assume this will ultimately be viewed as a somewhat positive report for the labor market -- unless we are totally missing something on the household reading. So we would fade the move lower in short rates.” Helping the plunge in the Unemployment rate is that the number of people Unemployed dropped from 7.419MM to 6.877MM. And with the labor force rising from 161.458MM to 162.052MM, the labor force participation rate jumped to 61.8% from 61.6% previously, the highest. print since the onset of Covid There was some more disappointment on the wage front, with average hourly earnings at 4.8%, missing expectations of 5.0% Y/Y, and flat from a downward revised 4.8% in October. On a M/M basis earnings rose 0.3%, also missing expectations of a 0.4% increase. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 8 cents to $31.03. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 4.8 percent. In November, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 12 cents to $26.40. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour to 34.8 hours in November. In manufacturing, the average workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.4 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.1 hours. * * * Looking at the components of the report, in November, notable job gains occurred in professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, construction, and manufacturing. Of note, it was another bad month for hiring in leisure and hospitality: "employment in leisure and hospitality changed little in November (+23,000), following large gains earlier in the year. Leisure and hospitality has added 2.4 million jobs thus far in 2021, but employment in the industry is down by 1.3 million, or 7.9 percent, since February 2020." Tetail trade also had a poor month. Here are the details: Professional and business services added 90,000 jobs in November. Job gains continued in administrative and waste services (+42,000), although employment in its temporary help services component changed little (+6,000). Job growth also continued in management and technical consulting services (+12,000) and in computer system design and related services (+10,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 50,000 in November and is 210,000 above its February 2020 level. In November, job gains occurred in couriers and messengers (+27,000) and in warehousing and storage (+9,000). Construction employment rose by 31,000 in November, following gains of a similar magnitude in the prior 2 months. In November, employment continued to trend up in specialty trade contractors (+13,000), construction of buildings (+10,000), and heavy and civil engineering construction (+8,000). Manufacturing added 31,000 jobs in November. Job gains occurred in miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+10,000) and fabricated metal products (+8,000), while motor vehicles and parts lost jobs (-10,000). Employment in machinery declined by 6,000, largely reflecting a strike. Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in November (+13,000) and is 30,000 above its February 2020 level. Job growth occurred in securities, commodity contracts, and investments in November (+9,000). Employment in retail trade declined by 20,000 in November, with job losses in general merchandise stores (-20,000); clothing and clothing accessories stores (-18,000); and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-9,000). These losses were partially offset by job gains in food and beverage stores (+9,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (+7,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality changed little in November (+23,000), following  large gains earlier in the year. Leisure and hospitality has added 2.4 million jobs thus far in 2021, but employment in the industry is down by 1.3 million, or 7.9 percent, since February 2020. Health care employment was about unchanged in November (+2,000). Within the industry, employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+17,000), while nursing and residential care facilities lost 11,000 jobs. Commenting on the report, Bloomberg's Chris Antsey notes that this his is "a bad-news report from the perspective of the Fed and the Biden administration. It suggests that the job market is tight, even though we’re making less-good progress in returning payrolls to their pre-pandemic level. It strengthens the argument of those saying that Covid-19 has imposed structural changes to the job market, and that pre-pandemic levels of employment aren’t the right metric to use when thinking about full employment." Others were more cheerful: "While the headline number disappointed relative to expectations, the big household survey figure, the rise in the workweek, the increase in the participation rate and employment to population ratio, along with the near 5% average weekly earnings print, all point to a Fed that will quicken the pace of taper as many have said, and we’ll see how that goes before debating rate hikes,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. In his reaction to the market's kneejerk response which saw futures jump and yields initially dip then spike, BMO's Ian Lyngen writes that “treasuries were modestly bid immediately ahead of the payrolls report with 10-year yields as low as 1.418%. Since the release, we’ve seen the market rally a bit further, but is largely range-bond at the moment. The slight steepening impulse is a fade into the weekend; even if there is a policy angle underlying the sentiment.” Chris Zaccarelli at Advisor Alliance said that “we expect this report is a positive for equities and more negative for the bond market, although the knee-jerk reaction in markets has not shown this. Lower interest rates are not what we would expect given the Fed is likely to taper and raise rates more quickly. Clearly there is a lot of skepticism in the bond market over the strength of this economy.” Others were more sarcastic: “One of the weirdest reports I have ever seen,” said Danny Dayan, chief investment officer at Dwd Partners. “The yield curve should be steepening on this in a big way, but rates market participants may be too wary to try that again.” Indeed, as Bloomberg analyst Katia Dimitrieva notes, ;ots of data in this report point to the structural shifts in the workforce and a clear gulf between workers and employers: Number of people not in the labor force but who want a job remains about 850,000 higher than pre-pandemic Long-term unemployed (jobless for 27+ weeks) is 1.1 million higher than pre-pandemic and barely budged in November Number of people working part-time but wanting full-time remains 4.3 million Yet as some noted, today's data may be completely meaningless and comparable to the Feb 2020 report when the world was going into lockdown, but employment data didn’t show it yet. With Omicron having arrived, and it's just a matter of time before it imposes a new round of lockdowns, today's data sadly tells us nothing about how bad the US economy is about to be hit in order to make it easy for Biden to rush out a new round of trillions in stimmies. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 08:34.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

Who"s Hiring And Who"s Firing In November: More Head-Scratchers

Who's Hiring And Who's Firing In November: More Head-Scratchers As discussed extensively earlier, there were some pretty striking disconnects in today's jobs report: while the headline payrolls number was a huge miss and printed the lowest monthly gain of 2021, the unemployment rate tumbled, the labor participation rate jumped and the number of employed workers actually surged by 1.1 million according to Household survey. In short, the establishment survey suggested employment rose just 0.1% in November, while the household survey suggests employment surged by 0.7%. As Danny Dayan, chief investment officer at Dwd Partners, put it best, this was “one of the weirdest reports I have ever seen." TD Ameritrade chief market strategist JJ Kinahan added some more details to the confusion: “Obviously, the top-line numbers in the November jobs report disappoint, which is a strange contradiction to the unemployment rate having come down so significantly." Then there was Dennis DeBusschere of 22V Research who was laconic: “WOW ... OK. This number was all over the place. Significant miss on the headline number. But that’s not the story. The u-rate declined significantly with a slight increase in participation. That is because the household employment number was +1.1 million, which is a huge number. Now, household is a volatile number, but it’s hard not to assume this will ultimately be viewed as a somewhat positive report for the labor market -- unless we are totally missing something on the household reading. So we would fade the move lower in short rates.” Of course, as we also showed earlier, a big reason for the confusion was the gaping seasonal adjustment factor used by the BLS to "normalize" the November number. Had it used a more in-line adjustment, payrolls would have increased by some 300K more, or above 500K, and in line with expectations. In other words, one month from today we expect the BLS to revise today's 210K print some 200-300K higher. And while we wait, here is our traditional breakdown of the components of the establishment survey, looking at which jobs increased and which dropped, with the knowledge that all of these will change dramatically next month. Here too, some peculiarities emerge. As Jefferies economist Thomas Simons notes, "retail trade payrolls fell 20K (vs +38K in October), while leisure & hospitality payrolls rose only 23K after rising 170K in October and averaging well over 100K for the last few months. We had thought there would be a pickup in both of these, but November was curiously soft on this front. It is not clear if this is a seasonal issue, or some sort of shift in terms of the timing of holiday help, but overall the payroll data does not match up with the alternative indicators of labor market activity that we track.” Meanwhile, TDA's Kinahan further notes that "this report contains a few head-scratchers: for example, leisure and hospitality are up only slightly, and retail being down is odd for this time of year. But we did see strong numbers in important areas -- warehousing, construction, and manufacturing, to name a few." With that in mind, here is the full breakdown: Professional and business services added 90,000 jobs in November. Job gains continued in administrative and waste services (+42,000), although employment in its temporary help services component changed little (+6,000). Job growth also continued in management and technical consulting services (+12,000) and in computer system design and related services (+10,000). Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 50,000 in November and is 210,000 above its February 2020 level. In November, job gains occurred in couriers and messengers (+27,000) and in warehousing and storage (+9,000). Construction employment rose by 31,000 in November, following gains of a similar magnitude in the prior 2 months. In November, employment continued to trend up in specialty trade contractors (+13,000), construction of buildings (+10,000), and heavy and civil engineering construction (+8,000). Manufacturing added 31,000 jobs in November. Job gains occurred in miscellaneous durable goods manufacturing (+10,000) and fabricated metal products (+8,000), while motor vehicles and parts lost jobs (-10,000). Employment in machinery declined by 6,000, largely reflecting a strike. Employment in financial activities continued to trend up in November (+13,000) and is 30,000 above its February 2020 level. Job growth occurred in securities, commodity contracts, and investments in November (+9,000). Curiously, employment in retail trade declined by 20,000 in November, with job losses in general merchandise stores (-20,000); clothing and clothing accessories stores (-18,000); and sporting goods, hobby, book, and music stores (-9,000). These losses were partially offset by job gains in food and beverage stores (+9,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (+7,000). Employment in leisure and hospitality changed little in November (+23,000), following  large gains earlier in the year. Leisure and hospitality has added 2.4 million jobs thus far in 2021, but employment in the industry is down by 1.3 million, or 7.9 percent, since February 2020. Health care employment was about unchanged in November (+2,000). Within the industry, employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up (+17,000), while nursing and residential care facilities lost 11,000 jobs. And visually: While the overall picture was mixed, even the one job sector which has kept on giving since Lehman, namely employees in food services and drinking places (or waiters and bartenders) added just 11K jobs in November. Well, at least they are still hiring. Which brings us to a curious point: as Bloomberg economist Carl Ricadonna observes, "the jobs deficit relative to February 2020, which currently stands at 3.9 million jobs, is entirely comprised of workers who lack a college degree. College-educated workers are now about 2% above their February 2020 employment levels and continue to see the strongest job growth, with high-school-educated workers still about 5% below pre-pandemic levels. Employment among workers with less than a high-school diploma actually declined over the last three months." The good news: all those who spent over $100,000 to major in feminist studies, can take comfort that they will always have a job waiting for them in America's food service industry. Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 11:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

Janney assigns neutral rating to Blackstone Secured Lending Fund

Janney Montgomery Scott analyst John Rowan on Friday initiated coverage of Blackstone Secured Lending Fund with a neutral rating and a fair value estimate of $30 a share. The rating comes after the business development company went public on Oct. 27 at a price of $26.15 per share. Rowan said the specialty finance unit of Blackstone Inc. ranks as the fifth largest business development company (BDC) by assets under management as an investor in first lien debt of middle market companies. "The company's size and scale give it several advantages, notably BXSL runs with a low expense rate and a return profile that exceeds its cost of capital," Rowan said. BXSL's portfolio was comprised of debt and equity invests in 117 portfolio companies with a fair value of $8.22 billion as of Sept. 30. With BXSL now trading above Janney's fair value estimate, analysts see "limited total return potential" with the inclusion of the company's 7% regular dividend yield. Shares of Blackstone Secured Lending Fund closed at $32.39 on Thursday. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 3rd, 2021

The Fed Admits It Has Lost Control

The Fed Admits It Has Lost Control Submitted by QTR's Fringe Finance Like any junkie with an addiction, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. It was no sooner than Paul Krugman came out less than two months ago declaring a win for what he called “Team Transitory” that Jerome Powell sat in front of a Senate panel and was forced to admit he had a problem. Powell seemed to come to terms yesterday that he was stuck between a rock (brutal, unrelenting consumer inflation) and a hard place (the inability to raise rates or taper without fuck-tangling the entire economy and capital markets). The Fed Chair admitted in front of a Senate panel yesterday that “it’s probably a good time to retire” the word “transitory” to describe inflation. He continued: “At this point, the economy is very strong and inflationary pressures are higher, and it is therefore appropriate in my view to consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases, which we actually announced at the November meeting, perhaps a few months sooner,” according to CNBC. Of course, to those of us without our heads up our asses over the last 18 months, like Jerome Powell, this admission doesn’t come as that much of a surprise. I have been covering, writing and ranting [here, here, here and here] about why I believed it was obvious that the inflation we’re experiencing is not transitory, for months now. In fact, I would argue that the extent of the coming inflation problem has been pretty obvious to just about anybody. This makes it extra hilarious that the Fed has been hiding behind this vaudeville act of pretending they just noticed that inflation has barely nudged above their 2% target. The reality is that price hikes for the everyday American are 10%, 20%, sometimes up to 50% on products and services they need for their day-to-day lives. In addition to what we can experience with our very own eyes and wallets, every single major consumer products manufacturer and industrial company has commented that their cost of raw materials has gone up. The American public has been so aware of inflation, it has even become a part of the mainstream media narrative on both the left and the right. Photo: The Counter SignalInflation has been out of control for years now: you know it, and now nobody can say that the Fed doesn’t know it. In addition to relinquishing the “transitory” term yesterday, Powell even indicated to the Senate panel that accelerating their taper and considering rate hikes were on the table. This is especially bold language in the face of the newly-discovered omicron variant, which I predicted days ago would give the Fed a perfect excuse if they wanted to to continue quantitative easing. While I happen to think this will be the Delta variant part 2 (in that it drums up a lot of hysteria and then everyone eventually ignores it), that doesn’t mean the government and markets won’t overreact to the news. Remember, scary sounding words like “mutation”, “spike protein” and “variant” are a prompt to act like hysterical hyenas and usurp power unilaterally for those on the left side of the aisle (read: our entire government right now). But based on Powell’s testimony yesterday, it looks like the problem of high prices is going to take precedence over using omicron as another crutch to push a socialist modern monetary theory agenda - at least for the time being. And while uncertainty surrounding omicron is part of the discussion, markets plunged on Tuesday of this week mainly because of the verbiage Powell used when describing the taper and potential rate hikes, in my opinion. The only question now is whether Powell has the stones to stand by his hawkishness. If the Fed does look to accelerate the taper and toss around the idea of rate hikes in order to try and rope inflation in, as indicated, I think we can expect further downside in equity markets in December, as I predicted about a week ago. In fact, Powell doesn’t even have to re-acknowledge what he said yesterday, he simply has to say nothing until the Fed’s next official nod to the markets. That isn’t to say that his taper/rate hike plan is or isn’t going to work. It’s only to say that it will introduce a significant amount of volatility to markets that hasn’t been there over the last year and a half. In other words, if your strategy is like that Target manager that made a million dollars shorting the VIX 2018, it might be a great time to take a month off. In a volatile situation, I would expect small caps and technology to get hit the hardest, with some rotation into blue chips, staples and Dow Industrials, although these three areas of respite may eventually wind up lower as well. From there, it’s going to be a question of how inflation responds and how much leeway the market gives the Fed before fear of an impending credit catastrophe starts to spread. Photo: NY TimesOf course, the newfound hawkishness also leaves Powell room to backtrack - something that the Fed loves to do and are experts in - by slowing the taper or pushing rate hikes back further. At least for now, however, the market appears to have started to take its medicine due to Powell’s change of stance. As of today, the omicron variant doesn’t look like it’s going to have a material effect on the Covid universe. That is, except for the effect our overreaching government wants to cause themselves. While most indications over the last 72 hours have been that omicron isn’t more deadly than other variants, the government doesn’t seem to care and has already sought out new restrictions that will once again throw a wrench in the gears of business, industry and people’s daily lives. Creating a problem where there isn’t one: it’s the Keynesian Government’s way. Precious metals were higher on the day yesterday before Powell’s testimony, when they shifted drastically lower on expectations of hawkish policy. An interesting setup for gold here is that it may actually transition from being an inflationary hedge to just a hedge for market volatility and systemic risk. If we start to try and redline a taper or rate hikes and the economy or credit markets start to get really volatile, gold may be still seen as a safe haven, despite the fact that the clear and present worry wouldn’t necessarily be inflation at the time. I think this is why my friend Rosemont Seneca wants to own it heading into 2022. But of course there’s also many of the school that believe inflation is coming no matter what the outcome over the next several months is. Many believe that the Fed won’t be able to raise rates because they won’t be able to service the national debt or do so without creating a credit crisis. Ergo, the only option is then to try to print their way out of the corner they have painted themselves in. I think both of these scenarios act as a tailwind for gold. I also think commodities may still be in play as demand fears from omicron will eventually fade away, in my opinion. Omicron will, in my opinion, go the way of the Delta variant, in that it’ll be a great new scary sounding headline for people in the liberal media to push, but the everyday person isn’t going to give a shit about it. What is important here is that it truly looks like the Fed is trying to shift gears. It looks like we’re heading into a new era as we move into December and into 2022. I had a feeling this type of volatility would be on its way heading into the end of the year because the Fed has painted itself into a very difficult corner to get out of. While I don’t think they have done anything productive in terms of bringing new solutions to the inflation problem to the table, they have at least acknowledged the fact that they have lost control. Yesterday may only be the beginning of the every day investor realizing not just that there’s an inflation problem, but more importantly that we may not have the solution for it. *  *  * Zerohedge readers always get 10% off a subscription to my blog for life by using this link. DISCLAIMER:  It should be assumed I have positions in any security or commodity mentioned in this article and could benefit from my analysis proving correct. None of this is a solicitation to buy or sell securities. None of this is financial advice. Positions can always change immediately as soon as I publish, with or without notice. You are on your own. Do not make decisions based on my blog. I exist on the fringe. The publisher does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in this page. These are not the opinions of any of my employers, partners, or associates. I get shit wrong a lot.  Tyler Durden Thu, 12/02/2021 - 11:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 2nd, 2021

Thursday links: the weighing machine

MarketsThe FAANG stocks have cooled off. ( Treasury yield curve is flattening. ( advantages of great operators grow over time. ( effect would sustained inflation have on equity valuations? ( appeal to a very different demographic. ( fashion brands are so eager to get their wares into video games. ( serviceApple's ($AAPL) customer-facing employees are struggling. ( ($COST) is a standard bearer for good customer service. ( should not treat customer service as a cost center. ( estateBill McBride, "In real terms, house prices are now above the previous peak levels." ( investors are stepping up their purchase of single family home rentals. ( Bentonville, Arkansas is the next Austin. ( initial unemployment claims are levels not seen since the onset of the pandemic. ( is the only thing holding back the economy at this point. ( biggest companies have been key in the rise in wage. ( bicycle manufacturers say about the prospects for inflation. ( on Abnormal ReturnsLongform links: filled channels. ( ESG links: emissions incentives. ( you missed in our Wednesday linkfest. ( finance links: gratitude and generosity. ( you a financial adviser looking for some out-of-the-box thinking? Then check out our weekly e-mail newsletter. ( mediaProductive things to do on a three-hour flight including 'Update your resume.' ( case for deleting your social media apps, even temporarily. ( remote work should be mostly asynchronous. (»»

Category: blogSource: abnormalreturnsDec 2nd, 2021

How to make six figures selling products online through dropshipping

Business Insider interviewed and vetted e-commerce entrepreneurs to offer advice about how to break into the exploding market and scale a business. Samantha Lee/Business Insider E-commerce is a growing sector of retail, as well as a burgeoning market for individuals looking to make money by selling products online. Dropshipping is a form of e-commerce selling in which the seller doesn't have to invest in inventory, so the start-up costs are low. Dropshipping can be done from anywhere, as a side-hustle or a full-time career. Business Insider has spoken to and vetted various e-commerce experts to put together a list of resources for people interested in starting dropshipping, or growing their existing business. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. E-commerce is bigger than ever and it's only getting bigger. Today, it's not uncommon to shop on Instagram or buy products from companies you've never heard of directly off your phone. These trends aren't just good news for retail companies, they've also created an exploding market for individuals looking to make money through e-commerce, either as a side gig or full-time job.Many entrepreneurs use a product fulfillment method called "dropshipping" where they don't have to invest in inventory in order to sell items online. Dropshipping successfully can lead to six-figure sales — in fact, Business Insider has spoken with sellers who have sold more than $1 million of a single product.So what exactly is dropshipping? Dropshipping is a fulfillment method for online sales. It means the seller doesn't hold any inventory and essentially acts as a middleman between the customer and the supplier or manufacturer. The role of the seller — or dropshipper — is to market retail products and find potential buyers. First, they create an online store for the product (many dropshippers use Shopify to do this), and then they design ads and buy ad placements on social media platforms.When a product is sold, it gets shipped straight from the supplier to the customer. Often, dropshippers work with suppliers in China through wholesale marketplaces like Alibaba. Because the seller doesn't have to spend money on inventory, they can run their business from anywhere and the startup costs are relatively low. To start selling a product, dropshippers need to pay for a Shopify subscription, as well as for the product ads they run on Facebook or Google that drive shoppers back to their Shopify store.Samantha Lee/Business InsiderThere are tons of dropshipping tutorial videos on YouTube. But some dropship "mentors" out there make more money from selling courses than they do from actual dropshipping — and use YouTube content to portray a false sense of success. Luckily, Business Insider has interviewed and vetted dropshippers and industry experts to give our readers only the most trusted, useful information on the topic. Below are some resources that guide e-commerce entrepreneurs through everything from setting up a store and scaling their business to the overall global impact of dropshipping.This is how dropshipping works, its advantages, and how to set up your own storeKamil Sattar began dropshipping in 2017 using Shopify to set up online stores and sell products. Sattar recommends focusing on selling one product and making your store and branding look legitimate, because today's consumer has high standards for professionality when shopping online. Using additional apps and tools to automate aspects of your business, like a customer service bot, can improve reach and help you move more products.Read more: A 21-year-old is 'dripping in dropshipping money,' selling $1.7 million in products on Shopify this year. He shares his biggest tips for making e-commerce work for you.Here's how to identify a winning product and make it go viralDropshippers thrive by finding "niches," or categories of products, that are popular with consumers — like home goods, loungewear, or baby products. Brothers Steve and Evan Tan explain how to get in on a trend or niche early, which can lead to a product going viral and bringing in big money.Read more: Two brothers spotted a toy hamster in China and figured out how to make it a viral hit in the US, sparking over $1 million in sales. Here's the inside story of how it happened.Why working with vetted suppliers can improve customer experienceMany dropshippers source their products on wholesale sites based in China, like Alibaba and AliExpress. Often these suppliers have long ship times and no return policy, which can lead to frustrated customers. Saba Mohebpour created an online wholesale marketplace called Spocket that includes US and European based suppliers, all of which are vetted for reliability, to help dropshippers improve their customer experience.Read more: How dropshipping marketplace Spocket vets suppliers to help entrepreneurs gain repeat customers and compete with AmazonAdvice on smartly scaling your business from side hustle to full-time gigMany dropshippers operate as solo entrepreneurs, which can limit the amount of stores they're able to operate. Steve and Evan Tan grew their company to more than 400 employees since they began dropshipping in 2016, and recommend investing in team members as a part of a plan to scale. If you try to scale without the infrastructure, it can lead to issues with everything from supplier communications to shipping to answering customer emails.Read more: This dropshipping duo sold $12 million in goods during their first full year in business. Here's what they say about scaling from a side hustle to a money-making machine.Why dropshipping products you're passionate about can help with long term successMoving from niche to niche is one way to dropship, but e-commerce and marketing expert Neil Patel says that focusing on one category you're really passionate about is better in the long run. Patel says that becoming an expert in your category and creating useful content and thought leadership requires emotional investment, and can help you establish a real presence.Read more: An e-commerce mentor shares his top 5 strategies for sustaining a dropshipping careerWhy major retailers are also adopting dropshippingDropshipping isn't just a method used by e-commerce entrepreneurs, it's also become a crucial method for big-name retailers to expand their online inventory. When retailers like Nordstrom and Kohl's create these deals with suppliers, the supplier gets the benefit of broader reach through the retailer's site, and the retailer doesn't have to buy inventory or use up warehouse space. An expert explains the pros and cons of these relationships.Read more: At least 40% of retailers use dropshipping to expand their online inventory and compete with Amazon — and those numbers will only grow, experts sayRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021

The best gaming keyboards for every budget in 2021

If you love to play video games on your PC, you need a great gaming keyboard. These are the best gaming keyboards you can buy. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Amazon; Alyssa Powell/Insider Gaming keyboards can make or break your game, so we rounded up the best for you to choose from. The best gaming keyboard overall is the Corsair K100 RGB, combining sheer performance with a deep feature set. We've picked out the best mechanical, optical, and mini keyboards too, meeting every PC gamer's need. Choosing an excellent keyboard that meets your gaming demands isn't as easy as you may think. There are a lot of them out there to sift through, from big-name offerings to bargain-basement alternatives you'll only find on Amazon. That's not to mention the different types and sizes you must choose from. You have your work cut out for you, especially if you don't already know the kind of keyboard you need.Luckily, we are here to help you narrow down your choices. The final decision is still yours, but we'll make it easier by testing them ourselves and highlighting the best gaming keyboards we found on this list. We've also included a short yet detailed guide to choosing the right gaming keyboard just below to help you figure out exactly the kind of keyboard that's best for the kinds of games you play.Just looking for something cheap in general? Cyber Monday deals are still ongoing. Models from Razer's BlackWidow and Logitech G's Lightspeed lines have seen deep discounts in the past. You should be able to find a premium gaming keyboard that's within your budget this year. In the days leading up to these sales events, we'll help you do just that. In the meantime, be sure to check out our top picks for every need and even budget. Whether you hit that buy button now or are here to window-shop so you know what you want when Black Friday and Cyber Monday arrive, you'll find something that's a perfect fit.Here are the best gaming keyboards of 2021Best gaming keyboard overall: Corsair K100 RGBBest mechanical gaming keyboard: Razer BlackWidow V3 Best optical gaming keyboard: Roccat Vulcan ProBest customizable gaming keyboard: Razer Huntsman V2 AnalogBest TKL gaming keyboard: Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro Best mini gaming keyboard: Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed Phantom EditionBest wireless gaming keyboard: Logitech G915 Lightspeed WirelessBest gaming keyboard for less than $50: Corsair K55 RGBThe best Cyber Monday deals on gaming keyboards from this guideA decent and comfortable gaming keyboard is crucial to any PC gaming setup. Gaming peripherals generally don't go on sale much outside of specific events, namely ongoing Cyber Monday deals.Corsair K100 RGB$189.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $229.99 | Save 17%Razer BlackWidow V3 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard$89.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $139.99 | Save 36%Roccat Vulcan Pro$149.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $199.99 | Save 25%Razer Huntsman V2 Analog$199.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro$119.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $159.99 | Save 25%Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless RGB$179.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $229.99 | Save 22%Read more about how the Insider Reviews team evaluates deals and why you should trust us.Best gaming keyboard overallThe Corsair K100 RGB is the best gaming keyboard overall for its combination of performance, features, and build.CorsairIf you're looking for a premium experience, the Corsair K100 RGB brings sheer performance that is only surpassed by its feature set.Type: Optical-mechanical full-sized keyboardSwitch: OPX switchesInterface: WiredFeatures: Fully-customizable keys and RGB lighting, dedicated macro keys, onboard memory, passthrough chargingPros: Solid construction, top-notch performance, a host of great featuresCons: More expensive than most, takes up space, bulkier than othersCompetitive gamers want the best, and the Corsair K100 RGB is the best. But, even if you're more about getting the most features for your money, this gaming keyboard is also a win. We've used it on games like Marvel Avengers, Death Stranding, and Cyberpunk 2077 – and it really delivers on performance. Touting Corsair's impressive OPX switches and Axon Hyper-Processing technology, it boasts a 4,000 polling rate, 1 millimeter (mm) actuation point, and the N-key rollover with anti-ghosting. That means that it's as fast as it is responsive, which matters in games where every fraction of a second and every key press count. The Corsair K100 RGB is also one of the most robust and premium feeling gaming keyboards we've ever tested. You just know it's going to survive years of button-mashing and pounding, as well as resist everyday wear and tear, swimmingly while staying elegant-looking and comfortable to use. What gives the Corsair K100 RGB even more value, however, is its host of incredible features. Corsair really took advantage of its sizable footprint by stuffing it with a whole bunch of useful features. There are extra media keys and six dedicated macro keys on top of its already fully-programmable design. There's also a very accessible control dial that lets you cycle through five different functions and adjust their settings.Passthrough charging via its USB port allows you to attach another device to your rig. And, its RGB lighting is also grouped into 44 zones, so you can get as creative as you'd like without spending too much time on customizations.To really make it worth your money, Corsair also gave it an 8MB onboard memory so you can create up to 200 key remap, macro and RGB lighting profiles that you can take with you.$189.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $229.99 | Save 17%Best mechanical gaming keyboardDelivering excellent value, the Razer BlackWidow V3 is deserving of the best mechanical gaming keyboard title.RazerTouting premium features without the premium price, the Razer BlackWidow V3 is a terrific and affordably priced mechanical keyboard.Type: Full optical keyboardSwitch: Titan optical switchInterface: WiredFeatures: 100 million keystroke life-cycle, 512kb integrated macro & settings memory, 6 programmable macro keys, magnetic wrist restPros: Great value, solid build, a whole lot of customization optionsCons: Sizable form factor, wrist rest is not comfortable, minimal keycap curvatureIf there's one thing the Razer BlackWidow V3 proves, it's that those features we don't pay much attention to really do matter. The minimal curvature in its keycaps and lack of foam on its wrist rest make this keyboard an adjustment to use, especially if you're upgrading from something that keeps your fingers and wrist resting nice and comfortable.Still, this full-sized keyboard is much-lauded and for good reason. Those green or yellow mechanical switches are not only very precise and solid with a rating of 80 million keystrokes, but they're also extremely satisfying to use. In fact, we love typing on this keyboard as much as we love gaming on it. Of course, it's in gaming where it really shines, boasting a 1,000Hz polling rate and N-key rollover that allows its performance to be as responsive and accurate as its pricier rivals. There aren't as many features here, sadly, with Razer putting its focus on making it among the best mechanical keyboards out there. However, it's not bare-bones either – at that price, it better not be. You're getting onboard memory for up to five profiles, a multifunction media button, a multifunction roller wheel, and a handy cable routing solution in the back.Plus, as much as this keyboard belongs in the entry-level category of gaming keyboards due to its more stripped-down approach, it still has a robust set of customization options to match its excellent performance. Via the Razer Synapse software, you can personalize its RGB lighting (though not per-key), program per-key remaps and macros, and take full advantage of Razer's Hypershift feature that basically gives you a whole new set of shortcuts and key reassignments.Razer then rounds those out with the BlackWidow V3's keycaps and matte aluminum body, both of which feel like they can take their share of beating. Speaking of those keycaps, they're labeled using a doubleshot molding process, which means you'll never wear those letters off no matter how much button-mashing you do.$89.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $139.99 | Save 36%Best optical gaming keyboardThe Roccat Vulcan Pro is among the best performing and best looking gaming keyboards out there, optical or otherwise.RoccatThe Roccat Vulcan Pro packs robust performance and solid build in a beautiful and elegant design. If you're looking for an optical option, you'll fall in love with this one.Type: Full optical keyboardSwitch: Titan optical switchInterface: WiredFeatures: 100 million keystroke life-cycle, 512kb integrated macro & settings memory, 6 programmable macro keys, magnetic wrist restPros: Aircraft-grade aluminum body, thin and light, excellent performanceCons: Hard wrist rest, keypresses may take some getting used toWe cannot deny that we're big fans of Roccat's gaming accessories. The manufacturer has a knack for producing luxurious peripherals that masterfully combine robust performance and rugged build with sexier aesthetics. The Roccat Vulcan Pro certainly doesn't fall far from that high-class tree, and is the best performing and best feeling optical gaming keyboard we've ever used.Optical keyboards are generally considered to be faster and more durable than the traditional mechanical ones. However, they tend to also have a bit more resistance. If you're unfamiliar with optical switches, you should do your due diligence before buying. If, however, you are a fan, then the Roccat Vulcan Pro is the one to get. We love the bounce its keys offer, as much as we do the curvature of those keycaps that are incredibly effective in keeping our fingers in place.Gaming on this thing is a pleasure, which isn't surprising. After all, it boasts an actuation point of 1.4mm, which is much shorter than other premium keyboards, a 1,000Hz polling rate, and a 32-bit ARM Cortex-M0 based processor for incredibly fast responses. And, its Titan optical switches are rated at 100 million keystrokes.As far as features, you're getting an onboard memory to save five profiles in, a set of mixer-style audio controls, and a detachable wrist rest that magnetically snaps onto the keyboard.It's beauty and brains in one, and there's certainly a lot of beauty here. The floating keys on an aluminum plate aesthetic are designed to let that customizable RGB light up like the Rockefeller Christmas tree. And, even though it is a full-sized keyboard, its 3.20cm-thin profile makes it feel less in your face. So much so you won't be embarrassed to use this at the office, especially because those keys are also elegantly quiet.$149.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $199.99 | Save 25%Best customizable gaming keyboardThe Razer Huntsman V2 Analog offers plenty of customizations that make it worth the price.RazerPerhaps the most feature-rich and most customizable gaming keyboard we've ever tested, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog makes gaming incredibly seamless and easy.Type: Full optical keyboardSwitch: Razer analog optical switchInterface: WiredFeatures: Adjustable actuation, Dual-step actuation, USB 3.0 passthrough, magnetic leatherette wrist restPros: Adjustable actuation, dual-step actuation, comfortable wrist restCons: Pricey, a bit of a learning curve with some features, heavyThe Razer Huntsman V2 Analog isn't what most would call cheap, but it's also among the best value gaming keyboards out there thanks to its treasure trove of features. We're not just referring to its unbelievably plush wrist rest that magnetically snaps onto the keyboard and makes your wrists feel like they're resting on clouds or the USB passthrough that offers another port to which you can connect other peripherals or the underglow RGB lighting that extends to the wrist rest. Although those do add to this keyboard's appeal.Most importantly for gamers, the Razer Huntsman V2 Analog is incredibly customizable, offering per-key adjustments and remapping like you've never seen on other keyboards. Via the Razer Synapse software, you can toggle each key's actuation point from 1.5mm, which is the default, to 3.6mm, so the keyboard responds to your presses exactly how you want it.That's nothing, however, next to the keyboard's dual-step actuation function, which actually lets you assign two different functions at two different actuation points on the same key. It's an incredibly nifty feature to have, as it gives you the ability to press fewer keys for similar game actions. A great, if basic, example of this would be to keep the W key's default forward action at 1.5mm actuation point while assigning the run action as its secondary function at 3.5mm in games like Valheim. It essentially eliminates the need for extra key presses and makes your gaming experience much more seamless, mimicking the dynamism of analog gamepads.Of course, essentials like customizable RGB lighting, macro recording – which can be done on-the-fly, onboard memory for up to five profiles, media keys, and robust doubleshot PBT keycaps are on hand as well. That's not to mention its super responsive and accurate performance thanks to its 1,000Hz polling rate, optical switches and N-key roll-over with anti-ghosting.$199.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $249.99 | Save 20%Best TKL gaming keyboardGo compact but keep your arrow keys with the elegant Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro.RoccatThe Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro stands out by combining elegance and style with sheer performance and durability, making it our tenkeyless champion.Type: TKL optical keyboardSwitch: Titan optical switchInterface: WiredFeatures: 1.4mm actuation distance, beautiful RGB lighting, volume dial, floating keys designPros: Compact form factor, quiet operation, short actuation distanceCons: Pricey, FN shortcuts take a bit of adjustment, bouncy feedback not for everyoneIf you want the best tenkeyless (TKL; lacking a number pad) gaming keyboard, take a look at the Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro, which is among our favorite gaming keyboards at the moment.This optical option takes the classy route with its elegant and stunning aesthetic that features a floating keys approach on a brushed gunmetal finish. The whole thing seems to be designed to allow its customizable RGB lighting to shine brilliantly, which it does even in broad daylight.Don't let that elegant exterior fool you. The Roccat Vulcan TKL Pro is as robust as they come, boasting aircraft-grade aluminum and optical switches that are rated at 100 million keystrokes.Speaking of those optical switches, they are Roccat's Titan optical switches, renowned for not just being durable but also for being extremely responsive. With an actuation distance of 1.4mm, you don't have to press those keys all the way for them to register — and accurately, we might add. In fact, we've typed up a song verse on this keyboard with very light presses, and it did not miss a single key. Combined with its 1,000Hz polling rate, you'll find this keyboard a huge advantage when gaming.Because it's incredibly quiet, you'll also have the peace of mind knowing that you can game late at night and not piss off your roommate with all the button-mashing. Don't worry about the more compact form factor, either. Its Function (FN) key shortcuts allow for quick access to media controls, settings, or RGB lighting presets, while the Roccat Swarm software lets you adjust keyboard settings, program key remaps and macros, and fine-tune the RGB lighting. There might just be an adjustment period — it's the price you pay for compactness. However, you definitely won't be missing out on full keyboard functionalities.$119.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $159.99 | Save 25%Best mini gaming keyboardRazerThe Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed Phantom Edition earns our highest regard for a mini gaming keyboard because of its high polling rate and ability to store up to 50 custom key profiles for use with several games.Type: 65% mechanical keyboardSwitch: Razer Green or Razer YellowInterface: Wireless and wiredFeatures: Three types of connection, Phantom keycaps, Razer Hyperspeed Multi-Device support, Razer Chroma RGBPros: Very small form factor, fast performance, multiple connectivity options, robust build, floating keys appearanceCons: No dedicated arrow keys, steep learning curveThe Corsair K65 RGB Mini was our previous top choice for a mini keyboard, but it's been since toppled by the extremely versatile Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed Phantom Edition. The Corsair K65 RGB Mini remainsan impressive piece of kit, especially to hardcore and pro gamers who need its ultrafast polling rate of 8,000Hz and onboard memory that stores up to 50 profiles. However, the Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini Hyperspeed Phantom Edition is the mini keyboard for the rest of us who need versatility and comfort just as much as we do power. This 60% gaming keyboard boasts a 1,000Hz polling rate and on-board memory that lets you store up to 5 profiles, which is more than enough for most non-pro gamers. It combines those capabilities with the versatility of having three different modes of connectivity, something that the fully-wired K65 doesn't offer. What that means is that this mini gaming keyboard will let you connect it to your gaming PC or laptop via the Razer HyperSpeed Wireless (2.4 Ghz) dongle, Bluetooth, or the detachable USB-C cable. And, all of them are almost equally reliable for gaming.There's also a solid-keycap version of this keyboard, but we do adore the version with  Phantom keycaps, which gives it the illusion of having low-profile floating keys and, in effect, letting that gorgeous RGB shine even brighter. For comfort, there's a tapered design that angles down towards your hands as well as an incredibly plush, mini ergonomic wrist rest. Though this wrist rest is sold separately, it's more than worth its $20 price, so much so this author uses it for all her keyboards, even the non-gaming ones.Rounding all that out are the keyboard's fully programmable keys, on-the-fly macro recording capabilities, and an 80-million-keystroke lifespan.$199.99 FROM RAZERBest wireless gaming keyboardThe Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless RGB’s wireless performance makes it deserving of the title.AmazonBeautiful and incredibly thin, the Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless RGB is the best wireless gaming keyboard for its impressive wireless features and performance.Type: TKL mechanical keyboardSwitch: Low Profile GL tactile switchInterface: WirelessFeatures: Dual device connectivity, onboard memory, low profile switches, fully customizable per-key lightingPros: Great performance, incredibly thin profile, long battery lifeCons: Expensive, no numeric pad, not all keys are programmableThe Logitech G915 TKL Tenkeyless Lightspeed Wireless RGB is one good looking keyboard, with its thin floating keycaps, brushed aluminum alloy top, round multimedia buttons, and beautiful RGB lighting. It doesn't just go by looks alone, however. Despite being one of the thinnest gaming keyboards out there, it also feels robust, its aluminum alloy top case supported by a steel-reinforced base. Meanwhile, its GL switches feel like they can take their share of button mashing.There are a lot of other things to love here. Though it may not have an expansive feature set, it does come with its share. Those dedicated media keys, all round in shape, as well as the volume dial, are definitely useful additions. Meanwhile, the dedicated wireless, Bluetooth, game mode, and RGB brightness buttons are a boon to multitaskers who either use two devices at once or want to go from being productive to gaming in seconds.Because, honestly, you'll love using this keyboard for typing up documents and writing those work emails as much as you would gaming with it. Combining a 1 millisecond response time and 1.5mm actuation distance with its satisfying tactile feedback, it's just as comfortable to use for work as it is responsive and accurate for gaming.Of course, being our top wireless contender, there are a few noteworthy things here. It has two connectivity options — one via its Lightspeed USB receiver, the other via Bluetooth. This is something we often see with Logitech's wireless keyboards, but it isn't something we often see with wireless gaming keyboards.While Logitech didn't specify its Lightspeed USB receiver's range, we've used this keyboard six to seven meters away from the laptop it's connected to in another room with the door closed, and it didn't miss a single keypress.$179.99 FROM AMAZONOriginally $229.99 | Save 22%Best gaming keyboard for less than $50The Corsair K55 RGB may be cheap, but its performance and features prove that it can hold its own against its more expensive rivals.CorsairThe Corsair K55 RGB may cost less than $50, but it still looks like a fully-featured gaming keyboard and boasts many of the same features.Type: MembraneSwitch: Rubber Dome switchesInterface: WiredFeatures: Programmable macro keys, detachable palm rest, dust and water resistance, anti-ghostingPros: Cheap, RGB lighting, customizable keysCons: Keys aren't mechanical, not fully programmable, This is the third time Corsair has featured on this list, though for good reason. Not only does the company build excellent top-tier keyboards, it also builds great affordable keyboards for the gamer on a budget. The best of those is the Corsair K55 RGB, which comes in at less than $50.The Corsair K55 RGB, as the name suggests, offers full RGB lighting, making it look much more expensive than it really is. It also boasts a total of six programmable buttons, which can be programmed through the same great software you'll get with the K95 Platinum. It also has dedicated media controls, and well-built keys.So why is the keyboard so cheap? Well, those keys may be well-built, but they're not mechanical keys, and as such, they may not be as satisfying to press or durable as other gaming keyboards. Still, that doesn't make this a bad keyboard, it's just something to keep in mind.$49.99 FROM AMAZONHow we test gaming monitorsWhen it comes to buying computer peripherals, gamers often need something a little higher quality than everyone else. After all, when you're gaming, every millisecond counts, and the feel of a keyboard and mouse can have a pretty major effect on a gamer's performance. Those are the things we test when deciding whether or not a particular gaming keyboard is a worthy addition to this list.In terms of performance, we typically see what a gaming keyboard does in the face of the latest popular games, playing a good mix of game genres on it. For example, we tested our most current picks above on AAA games, like Cyberpunk 2077 and Resident Evil Village, as well as lower-budget but equally popular titles, like Valheim and It Takes Two. Of course, since most people often just use the same keyboard for productivity as they do for gaming, we've done our fair share of typing up emails and articles on these picks as well, which also helped us gauge each one's comfort level, tactile feedback, and overall typing experience.We also make sure to test the software every keyboard utilizes for customizations, especially when it comes to macros, remaps, and RGB lighting. After all, many gamers rely on those supporting apps to improve their gaming experience. Naturally, if a gaming keyboard is wireless, we test its range and amount of latency as well, typically by taking it as far as we can from the PC it's connected to or in another room and using it like we normally would. Finally, we test specific features as well — for example, if a keyboard has some specifically for MMORPG and MOBA, we make sure to utilize such features for such online multiplayer games.What to look for in a gaming keyboardMore so than gaming PCs or laptops, the ideal gaming keyboard for one person isn't necessarily going to be the same for another. It highly depends on a number of factors, including gaming preferences, budget, space, and comfort. So, let's try to narrow yours down for you:Type of switchesMost high-quality gaming keyboards opt for mechanical switches, of which there are also several subtypes: linear, tactile, and clicky. Do bear in mind that different manufacturers have their own names for these subtypes – Razer, for example, calls its own mechanical switches Green (tactile and clicky), Yellow (linear and silent) and Orange (tactile and silent). This means that choosing the mechanical switch you like most is actually a bit more involved, and for that, you should check out our Guide to Mechanical Switches. But, then there are keyboards that use optical switches, which tend to have faster actuation and longer lifespans in general. Of course, with these two types of switches competing against one another, this isn't necessarily a hard and fast rule. There are mechanical switches out there that now have just as long of a lifespan as optical ones, for example. And, while most people prefer the feel and feedback that mechanical switches offer, some optical switches have managed to deliver that same satisfying feel.Finally, some gaming keyboards – usually the budget ones – come with membrane switches, which have very little tactile feedback but tend to be cheaper and can allow the keyboards to be waterproof.Size, layout and form factorThere are a lot of full-sized gaming keyboards out there, which is likely the type of keyboard most gamers have. But, in recent years, manufacturers have come to realize the value of smaller ones. TKL, or TenKeyLess, gaming keyboards were the first to really hit the mainstream, abandoning the number pad and other miscellaneous keys most people don't need for gaming use to save space.Then mini – or 60%, 65% and 75% – keyboards hit the shelves, offering that extremely compact and portable form factor to gamers with smaller spaces and setups. These are definitely ideal if you have a small or already overcrowded desk. However, these have really steep learning curves. You will be sacrificing small luxuries like having easy access to your arrow keys, which means you'll have to take time to program or learn shortcuts before diving into your games.Whichever size/layout you choose, you'll find some thick ones and some with very thin profiles. These come with their own advantages and disadvantages as well, which means that the right one for you greatly depends on your comfort level and, to an extent, the size of your hands.ConnectivityFor most gamers, a wired connection is still king, which is true in some ways. You don't have to worry about battery life or your connection getting cut in the middle of a pivotal game moment.However, wireless gaming keyboards have come a long way in terms of performance, accuracy, and connectivity. Choose one of the best wireless options out there, and you're pretty much guaranteed the same quality as their wired counterparts. And, these tend to also have very long battery lives. The only thing is that you do have to remember to charge it once in a while.PerformanceWhen it comes to gaming keyboards, performance is key, no matter the type of games you typically play. However, there are also different levels of performance ideal for different types of games. An 8,000Hz polling rate might be the dream, for example, but realistically, a 1,000Hz one should be more than enough for gamers not playing at pro levels. And, keyboards with 1,000Hz polling rates tend to be cheaper.Make sure to get something with N-key rollover and anti-ghosting features if the games you play tend to require a lot of button-mashing, fast presses, or macros, as these ensure that the keyboard registers every single key your press, no matter how fast in succession you do them.FeaturesThe most basic keyboards tend to be minimal in features, but pricier ones come kitted out with things like onboard memory to store profiles and macros in, dedicated media controls, fully programmable keys, and an included wrist rest. Before you hit buy, make sure you know which features are vital to you so you can choose the gaming keyboard that offers them.What else we consideredThere are so many excellent gaming keyboards out there that narrowing them down to eight has been tough. We've considered models like the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition, the SteelSeries Apex 3, and the HyperX Alloy Origins 60, all of which are incredible in their own right. It's just that our picks above simply did it better.It was also hard to knock off previous picks like the Corsair K65 RGB Mini and the Corsair K95 RGB Platinum, but for varying reasons, we've had to give them up to make space for newer and perhaps slightly better entries.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

What Happens When Omicron Meets Powell

What Happens When Omicron Meets Powell By Steve Englander, head of global FX research and North America macro strategy at Standard Chartered Bank, NY Branch 30 November FX moves most likely reflect position and G10 commodity currency unwinds Weakest currencies of the past two months were best performers as Fed and Omicron fears ramped up G10 currencies other than safe havens were weak, especially oil exporters FX price action on 30 November reflected concerns related to Omicron, the new COVID variant, and a hawkish shift in Fed Chair Powell’s monetary policy stance in an appearance before the US Senate. Investors have treated Omicron largely as a downside risk for G10 commodity currencies, although it is uncertain how serious a health risk it is. Indications of a high degree of infectiousness and the likelihood that the variant is present in many countries outside of Africa are prompting concerns over intensified public health measures and slower-than-expected growth (yet again). Some market participants likely were caught flatfooted by Powell’s Senate appearance. We and many others saw his prepared comments released 29 November as in line with expectations. The emergence of Omicron risk had led some to believe that renewed downside economic risk had fattened the monetary policy tail on the dovish side. The combination of Omicron and Fed surprises may lead to widespread cutting of FX positions and paradoxical strength in currencies that are rarely strong in risk-off episodes (Figure 1). The rally of high-beta currencies on a day of sharply falling equity and commodity prices feels more like position unwinding than the establishment of new positions, particularly as the strongest currencies had been the weakest in the prior two months. Economic and policy fears are likely to weigh on G10 commodity currencies until some daylight appears. However, the AUD and NZD are back to November 2020 levels and the CAD is flirting with its lows of the year, so it is hard to argue that investors are ignoring recent developments (Figure 2). Our index of COVID fears (driven by the ratio of COVID-sensitive stocks to techs, Figure 3) is similarly back to November 2020 levels. The CAD at 1.30 and AUD at 0.70 would undo almost all the progress made since the vaccine announcement in November 2020. If Omicron fears fade, there is room for a significant retracement upwards even if long positions look risky now. Except for the period of chaos in March 2020, risk reversals for commodity currencies are heavily bid for USD strength and commodity currency weakness relative to the past five years. The Powell shift was the more surprising because it followed a relatively bland opening statement. It is possible that he saw himself increasingly in the minority with respect to FOMC voters and as chair did not want to be far out of the FOMC consensus. It seems unlikely that he would be so concrete had he not anticipated a strong FOMC consensus to accelerate tapering. He reiterated his concerns on the inflation trajectory and on the likely discussion of accelerated tapering a couple of times, an indication that he did not want his initial comments to be seen as a slip of the tongue. His references to bringing the tapering schedule forward a few months sounded as if he sees the FOMC thinking March or April rather than May or June. The flattening of G10 curves suggests either that positions remain stretched on the fixed income side or that medium-term growth concerns are emerging even as (and possibly because) the Fed is shifting in a more hawkish direction (see MSV - Ride). In the aftermath of Powell’s comments, fed funds futures rates rose, but the maximum increase was in the February 2023 contracts, up 6bps. A similar pattern was seen in Eurodollar futures, where the expected yield increase peaked in late 2022 and early 2023 and then faded – this does not feel like a taper tantrum. For the USD, the knee-jerk reaction to a more hawkish Fed is likely to be strength (USD – Q4 upside risk on wage/price fears), but we are sceptical that this will persist if growth fears emerge, and it would not take too much of a 2022 easing in inflation fears – not back to 2% but noticeably lower than at present – for investors to unwind USD optimism. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 15:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 1st, 2021

Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest Spending Plan Puts Earnings Goal ‘Back On Track’

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) Chairman & CEO Darren Woods on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F 9AM – 11AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 1st. Following is a link to video on Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC exclusive interview with Exxon Mobil Corp (NYSE:XOM) Chairman & CEO Darren Woods on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F 9AM – 11AM ET) today, Wednesday, December 1st. Following is a link to video on if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Exxon Mobil CEO: Latest Spending Plan Puts Earnings Goal 'Back On Track' DAVID FABER: Welcome back to “Squawk on the Street.” I’m David Faber on the Houston campus of Exxon Mobil joined now by the company's Chairman and CEO, Darren Woods. A nice background behind you, by the way, I'm told Darren it’s the drilling fluids analysis that's going on. There's some people actually working on that. Important part of the business, figuring out new fluids that will actually help obviously optimize the drilling process, not what we're here to talk about today though but very glad that we could join you. We are here to talk about the release out this morning in which, you know, you codify many of the targets that you shared to a certain extent during your last quarter. So, what is different about today in terms of why people should think about these numbers again if they already sort of saw you talk about them a few weeks back? DARREN WOODS: Well, let me just extend my welcome. Glad to have you here, David, and glad to share the view of the lab and some of the discussions and things that we're doing there. With respect to the release today, what we did and our third quarter earnings call in October is we had just had a preliminary review with the board, shared some of the perspective of the things the board was looking at as part of our plan. In November, we finalize that plan and in this release, basically puts in a lot more detail behind the initial numbers that we shared in October. And it's a plan frankly that we’re very, very proud of. If you think back in 2018, we set some fairly aggressive targets like for 2025 to double earnings and cash flow. Pandemic got in the way of that and obviously set those plans back. This plan basically achieves doubling the earnings by 2025 back on track, nearly doubles cash flow and by 2027 basically double earnings and cash flow very soundly so very proud of the progress that we've made despite the setback of the pandemic. FABER: Yeah, a lot of focus is also going to be on the $15 billion number, again, a number that we had seen previously, but a bit more detail behind it as well. You know, you're talking about 15 billion on greenhouse gas emission reduction products over the next six years. There are those who want to know what's the return going to look like on that expenditure and how are you going to go about spending it? WOODS: Yeah, so it's a mix and what we've tried to do here, and I think one of the things that board has brought to this year's plan in the discussion is challenge us to take a lead in how Exxon Mobil can help society address this challenge of reducing emissions. That portfolio, $15 billion, includes projects that today generate good returns with existing policy. There are other aspects of that portfolio where we are developing projects, seeding projects, large scale projects, in anticipation of policy and trying to develop those projects in a way that can inform policymakers to help them think about how best to shape policy— FABER: So, what would be an example of that Darren? WOODS: So, the Houston hub that we proposed is a great example of that where we've got 11 companies collaborating to make a significant step change in emissions 50 million tons per annum by 2030, 100 million tons per annum by 2040, very high concentrations of CO2 and do that at a cost which is cheaper than essentially any other programs or initiatives that the government is currently funding. So that's a great example but it needs some policy to help support that project. FABER: What’s the policy then? WOODS: So, you need, you need policy, which frankly, the infrastructure bill has helped with to regulate pore space and allow access to pore space. We're going to need infrastructure and pipeline, we need some additional 45Q, some additional incentives for carbon reduction that's being considered in the Build Back Better legislation, so I think there's the, you know, the, the policy makers are receptive to the ideas and the constructs that we're trying to put together to table opportunities, make significant reductions in a cost-effective way. FABER: So, if you see those policy changes that you're talking about, is it possible that you will choose to increase that number or is that number going to be what your shareholders should expect for the next six years? WOODS: If you look at that number, last year, we've more than quadrupled it and it's really a function of the organization focusing and finding the opportunities around the world. We're working with governments around the world. So, I would expect that if those policies come into play and provide the necessary incentives to drive that investment, you'd see that investment level go up. Absolutely. FABER: And you talked about the use in the hub, and you talked about, you know, carbon capture obviously. There’s a lot of carbon that comes out of there. But we're not in a technological place where we can actually suck it out of the air in an efficient way and just store it somewhere or are we? WOODS: No, that's the holy grail if you think about if you could leave the existing infrastructure in place which is very efficient today and find a way to extract CO2 out of the air cost effectively, that's the holy grail because you get your cake and you eat it too. There are a lot of people working on that technology and I think we will make advances there, but I would say you need to spend money on that technology have some breakthroughs there and you also need to develop a broader set of portfolios because as you know, predicting when you're going to have a breakthrough and the magnitude of that breakthrough is often challenging so you better have a portfolio of opportunities that you're pursuing. But I think direct air captures is an important technology. FABER: You do, you know, when you talk about carbon capture which is becoming an important component of your product portfolio for lack of a better term, I mean, you say, unique capability that Exxon Mobil has. You talk about leveraging your advantage in science and technology. Give our viewers some sense as to what you're talking about when you say that. What is it about Exxon Mobil that gives you the confidence that that's where you should be focused and that that's where you can distinguish yourself, as you say, in terms of being sort of unique? WOODS: So, if you go back and look at our history over 135 years, I mean, our job has been to discover and develop hydrocarbon and then to transform that hydrocarbon into products that consumers need and to manage the impact of that hydrocarbon. What we're talking about with carbon capture is just a variation on that theme of managing carbon and managing hydrocarbon molecules. And so today, we're the largest sequester of carbon in the world today, we've captured more anthropogenic CO2 than any other entity in the world and, so we've got a lot of experience in that space. It's going to require large scale projects, which we have an expertise in. It’s going to be needed all around the world where we have the relationships with governments and had done that work in the past, requires technology and advances in technology which is where we spend a lot of money and it requires an understanding of how to integrate those projects into existing facilities which obviously, we have a very large facility footprint. So, there's a lot of aspects of what we do today that lend itself and support what we can do tomorrow with carbon capture and the beauty of carbon capture hydrogen and biofuels, all those lower emissions investment opportunities draw on the same sets of skills and capabilities, and in fact, are competitive advantages. So as the world transitions and we have this uncertainty as to exactly when it's going to happen, we have the optionality and the flexibility to shift from the traditional investments in what we're leveraging are those skills to the alternative investments and we can pace that as the world transitions and as we work with governments, and if that accelerates faster, we can ship those resources faster. If it slows down, we can keep those resources balanced. FABER: What’s your guess right now, you know, based on what you see right now and our ability to actually combat climate change, come to some sort of agreement by the way within our own country, not to mention with nations around the world, what's your best guess in terms of how that shift is going to take place and when? WOODS: You know, I think it's hard to predict and that is not, in fact, very different than what the price of crude or any of our other products can be very difficult to predict so the plan is to basically build an optionality, so you're prepared irrespective of what direction that goes in. It's challenging to put that policy in place. The fact of the matter is today, the alternatives to replacing the existing energy system are expensive, and consumers will have to pay for that. We're working hard to bring that cost down. I think that's the best solution is to invest in the technology, provide alternatives that don't require consumers to give up the standards that they’ve become accustomed to and don't require them to spend a lot of money. I think that's the work that has to happen, and how quickly that technology evolves to get those costs down will help drive the pace of the transition. FABER: But people are going to have to potentially be willing to spend more is what I hear you saying. WOODS: I think, you know, there will be a cost for moving to what is today a very efficient to a new alternative. The more that we do that cost will come down obviously and the better the technology becomes that that cost will come down but that there will be a transition cost. No doubt about it. FABER: You know, speaking of that transition of course, we're focused on Europe to a certain extent this winter because the wind hasn’t been blowing quite as hard in the North Sea, the sun doesn't always shine and there has been a transition that has taken place more, more so than here certainly in terms of power generation. Are you concerned at all about what you see in Europe and potentially what they're facing? WOODS: Yeah, no, I think, it's I am concerned and it is this, I think when you're moving from if you think about today's global energy system, it has developed over decades and billions of people around the world depend on it to support their modern living and so as you transition out of that, which has to happen to get the emissions down which I think is the right objective, you gotta be very thoughtful about how you do that because if you, if you don't have the same availability and reliability, that will translate into people going without energy, which is absolutely critical to their standards of living and obviously in the wintertime, it becomes very important with heat so we're going to have a challenge I think. It's going to be a function of how, how cold it gets and what the demand looks like. It's been compounded not just by the transition in the investments and the alternatives, but coming out of the pandemic, the industry saw a tremendous impact from that pandemic and a loss of revenue and prices being as low as they were and so investments had to pull back. The industry didn't have the money to make the investments that has in a depleting business has really constrained supply. Now the demand is picking back up again. So, there’s a number of dynamics there are influencing that, we got to get our, we got to get through that, frankly. FABER: Well, speaking of rising prices, I did want to get your response to President Biden a few weeks back when he asked the Federal Trade Commission to examine oil and gas companies and their role in rising gasoline prices. There seem to be this idea that there's potentially illegal conduct. What's your response? WOODS: I think, you know, if you go back in time in history, every time we see the supply and demand balances get tightened, prices rise. You see similar types of investigations. I think you're gonna find there's nothing, there's no there there. I mean, frankly, this is a commodity market. The prices are set by the amount of supply that's out there and by the amount of demand. If you restrict that supply and you don't do anything about demand, I promise you prices will go up. FABER: Can you give us any prediction on oil prices? WOODS: I can't do that, David. I wish I could. FABER: And finally though, how about cost reduction? You've taken four and a half billion out in costs since I think 18 or maybe 19, you have a $6 billion target, are you going to be able to exceed that? WOODS: Absolutely. I think, I've been very proud of the organization. The changes that we made starting in 2018, 2019, where we changed how the organization was configured and moved to value change that allowed us to really focus the organization in becoming more efficient, both from a capital deployment standpoint, if you look at the, the earnings and cash flow growth that I talked about, we're doing that with a lot less capital than we had before in large part because of the productivity we're getting out but it's also allowing us to significantly reduce our expenses and I expect to beat $6 billion easily. FABER: Alright, we'll hold you to that. WOODS: Okay. FABER: And look forward to future interview, as well when we discuss it. Darren, thank you for taking time. Appreciate it. WOODS: Thank you David. Thanks for coming down. FABER: Sure thing. Darren Woods, Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil. Carl, back over to you. Updated on Dec 1, 2021, 11:22 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 1st, 2021

The government"s response to making homeownership more attainable is buying $1 million mortgages

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are required by law to pay $1 million per home in some areas. Like everyone in this housing market, Uncle Sam is paying up. Everyone wants a house right now, and that means Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have to pay up.Newsday LLC / Contributor/Getty Images Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will soon buy mortgages of nearly $1 million in high-priced markets. The higher loan limits — required by law — come as home prices surge at historic pace across the US. The agencies aim to make homes attainable, but they're just catching up to a runaway market. Mortgages are pretty expensive right now. Even the government is shelling out more and more for them.As of this week, Uncle Sam is required to buy mortgages nearly as high as $1 million in some areas through its agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Blame the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 for the government backing high-six-figure mortgages in the name of affordable housing. Since the 2008 law passed, the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had to keep something called "the conforming loan limit" close to the going rate for houses in markets around the country. The law is meant to make it easier for homebuyers to borrow cash. In an ordinary year, the limits climb by a few thousand dollars. Yet the record home-price inflation seen through 2021 will soon require Fannie and Freddie to buy mortgages worth roughly $100,000 more than last year's. That's how a law intended to help Americans afford homes more easily has turned into the government splashing out more and more to keep up with the market.The conforming loan limit for single-family properties rose to $647,200 from $548,250, according to a press release. That matches the 18% year-over-year jump in the FHFA's Home Price Index.In areas where median home values are much higher than the baseline limit, the ceiling for one-unit properties will be $970,800, according to FHFA. That higher limit will be effective in 102 counties starting next year. Metropolitan hubs in California, New York, and Washington, DC host most of the pricier counties.Broadly, conforming loan limits will be higher in all but four US counties.Federal Housing Finance AgencyHome prices climbed at a record pace through much of 2021 as historically low mortgage rates sparked a wave of pandemic-era moves. A nationwide home shortage left buyers bidding home prices sharply higher. Home inflation is expected to ease over the next several months, but experts forecast price growth will remain historically strong for at least another year. The new limits underscore just how difficult it's become to afford a home in the US. While the median home price leaped by 18% over the past year, the average hourly wage only climbed 4.9% from October 2020 to October 2021.The surge in prices has left Americans feeling historically pessimistic about buying a home. Only 38% of surveyed adults said it was a good time to buy a home in October, according to the University of Michigan's Surveys of Consumers. While that's up from the four-decade low of 32% seen in September, it still signals sour attitudes toward the white-hot market.In more encouraging news, relief is on the horizon. Fannie Mae's latest housing forecast estimates home-price inflation peaked in the third quarter and will move lower over the next two years. Price growth will remain historically high in 2022, but inflation in 2023 should be some of the weakest the market has seen in nearly a decade, Fannie Mae's economists said.The market could heal even faster if supply-chain problems fade, the team added. Bottlenecks of key materials like lumber made homebuilding more expensive this year. Difficulties with rehiring also crimped construction and kept homebuilding from accelerating."If these supply constraints can be resolved faster than we currently anticipate, there is upside risk to the pace of housing starts and new home sales," the economists said.For now, home demand continues to dramatically outpace supply. Buyers in 2022 will have to borrow more than ever just to keep up. And so will the government, in the form of Fannie and Freddie. Instead of making housing more affordable, the agencies are helping buyers take on even more debt to buy a home in this market.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 1st, 2021

The Air Force"s most advanced jets may be vulnerable because of their own weapons

Air Force leaders warn that outdated weapons could undercut the advantages of the service's most sophisticated aircraft. An F-15 Eagle fires an AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range air-to-air missile during a weapons system evaluation.US Air Force/Master Sgt. Michael Ammons The US Air Force has some of the world's most sophisticated aircraft and is developing more advanced jets. But the Air Force's development of new air-to-air weapons has lagged in many respects. Air Force leaders warn that outdated weapons could undercut the advantages of those high-tech aircraft. The US Air Force already fields some of the best fighters and bombers ever built and has more highly sophisticated projects in the pipeline.But its current fleet and those future platforms may face an unexpected obstacle in the next war: their own weapons.The Air Force has invested heavily in sophisticated aircraft, but its air-to-air missile arsenal has fallen behind in many respects. The main concern is that the limited range of outdated weapons will make those aircraft easy targets for adversaries with advanced air defenses and longer-range missiles."We need fifth-gen weapons for our fifth-gen Air Force," Gen. Mark Kelly, head of Air Combat Command, said at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in October."We've invested a lot of time, energy, and national resources to build a low-observable force," Kelly said. "We will not get a good return on that investment of low-observable platforms if, due to weapons limitations, we have to push them into ranges where everyone is observable."The biggest threat comes from the air-to-air missiles of the Chinese and Russian air forces, both of which have been modernizing their arsenals with the threat from the US Air Force in mind.China's arsenalChinese PL-9C, left, and PL-5E air-to-air missiles at the China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, November 7, 2000.ReutersChina's AAM arsenal is particularly impressive, considering its humble origins.China's first AAM, the PL-1, was a copy of the Soviet K-5 and was very underwhelming. China's PL-2 was a licensed-built version of the Soviet K-13. The K-13 was reverse-engineered from a AIM-9 Sidewinder that hit a Chinese fighter during a dogfight with Taiwanese fighter jets in 1958 but failed to detonate.Later Chinese air-to-air missiles were also copies or licensed-built versions of foreign missiles, but China's AAM arsenal today features domestically produced models with advanced capabilities.The PL-10, China's most advanced short-range AAM, has a range of about 12 miles and has "off-boresight" capability, which enables the pilot to lock onto a target by simply looking at it instead of flying directly behind it.The PL-12, China's medium-range AAM, boasts a range between 43 miles and 62 miles and features a dual-thrust motor that can exceed Mach 4. The missile has a fire-and-forget capability and active radar homing and can endure 38Gs.The PL-15 long-range AAM is the most impressive in China's arsenal. With a range between 93 miles and 124 miles, the PL-15 likely outdistances its closest American counterpart, the AIM-120D.The PL-15 has an active electronically scanned array radar and is believed to have a composite guidance system that enables it to make course corrections with information from an airborne early warning and control aircraft like the KJ-2000. Crucially, the missile can make course corrections without the pilot turning on his radar and giving away his position.China is also currently developing the PL-XX, which may have a range between 186 miles to 248 miles.Russia's arsenalAn airman places an R-73 air-to-air missile on a MiG-31BM before a training flight in Russia's Far East, October 25, 2018.Yuri SmityukbackslashTASS via Getty ImagesRussia is also modernizing its arsenal, recovering from a lull in AAM development after the breakup of the Soviet Union.Most Russian fighter jets use variants of the R-73 short-range AAM or the R-27 medium-range AAM. R-73 variants have ranges of about 18 miles to 24 miles, while R-27 variants have ranges from 15 miles to about 60 miles.In 2010, after years of delays, the Russian Air Force introduced the R-77-1, which has active radar guidance and a range of about 68 miles.Russia is also developing newer models with longer ranges. The K-77M, for instance, is an upgraded version of the R-77-1 reportedly being designed for use on the Su-57 stealth fighter.The K-77M is believed to have a range of over 100 miles and will be stored internally on the Su-57, allowing the jet to maintain its stealth profile.The Russians are also developing the R37M, a modernized variant of the R-37 beyond-visual-range missile that will improve upon its 124-mile range. The R-37 was at one time only able to be used with MiG-31 interceptors, but Russia has developed ways to use it with Su-35s and Su-57s.US developmentAn AIM-120 AMRAAM being loaded onto an F-16CJ.US Air ForceAware of the dangers of falling behind, the US is working on several new missiles to maintain its air-to-air dominance.The US Air Force specifically wants missiles with longer ranges than its longest-range AAM, the AIM-120D. The AIM-120D's exact range is classified but is estimated to be about 100 miles.Boeing's recently unveiled Long-Range Air-to-Air Missile will have a two-stage rocket motor configuration, giving it a higher speed and longer range than the AIM-120D.Lockheed Martin's AIM-260 Joint Advanced Tactical Missile is the Air Force's highest priority air-to-air weapon and has been developed in strict secrecy. It may have twice the range of the AIM-120D and is expected to be carried by F-22s, F-35s, F-15EXs, and Navy F/A-18s.About 30 Full-Scale Aerial Target missions have been flown in support of the AIM-260 program, and the Air Force has said it hopes to have it in service in 2022.The Air Force also plans to acquire longer-range bombs for ground targets.Last year, Boeing unveiled a plan for a long-range version of the Joint Direct Attack Munition. Called the Powered JDAM, it has a wing kit and propulsion module that will extend its range up to 20 times — though it will decrease the payload to 500 pounds from the JDAM's 2,000 pounds.The Air Force is also testing the new GBU-53/B StormBreaker, a 200-pound smart munition that uses millimeter wave radar, infrared imaging, and semi-active lasers to reach targets as far as 45 miles away.Some of those projects will take years to develop, but the efforts reflect the Air Force's focus on working with private industry to develop new weapons for emerging threats."If we do not get our relationship with industry correct, we'll end up with fifth-generation fighters shooting fourth-generation weapons against a sixth-generation threat," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr. said in September.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytDec 1st, 2021

TransitoRIP: "In Just A Few Days, The Market Was Treated With Two Big Shocks"

TransitoRIP: "In Just A Few Days, The Market Was Treated With Two Big Shocks" By Michael Every of Rabobank TransitoRIP In a matter of just a few days, the market has been treated with two big shocks. Last Friday, it was the omicron scare that got markets re-pricing the risks of more restrictions and hence a slowdown for the global economy. But yesterday it was Fed Chair Powell, who added fuel to the fire. In a testimony before the Senate Banking Committee he pledged to bury the term “transitory” and instead recommends Fed policy makers to consider explaining more clearly what the Fed thinks/means when it is talking about inflation. Or was Powell running out of dollar bills to put in the Atlanta Fed’s swear jar? We wonder if Powell now still owes Bostic a dollar for using the word while retiring it. More importantly, a lot of folks will now surely be looking forward to know what the Fed really thinks! For example, did Powell mean to say that the effects of the temporary price rises will remain and not fade after a while? That would be more dovish than meaning inflation has reached a higher ‘plateau’. As a corollary of the acknowledgment that inflation is, at least, not transitory, the Fed Chair suggested that it would be appropriate to “consider wrapping up the taper of our asset purchases, which we actually announced at the November meeting, perhaps a few months sooner.” That remark shook markets, after they were lulled into a bit of a slumber a day earlier, when Powell suggested that omicron posed downside risks to the Fed’s employment mandate, and more general uncertainty about the inflation outlook. Clearly, the Fed is now moving closer to an inflation fighting mode as it has become more concerned about inflation in recent months. Does this mean that an accelerated taper is now all but a given? Or did Powell make a BoE-like faux pas, where it turns out in December that the FOMC does not want to follow through with this faster taper? The market surely seems to think the former. Does that then leave the risk that the Fed is embarking on a policy error by tightening into a potential economic slowdown? Against the backdrop of a market that was still trading the omicron story one can imagine that there was suddenly a lot of sigma. EUR/USD fell almost 1 big figure on the back of Powell’s comments, but more noteworthy even was the strong risk-off reaction in asset markets, with US equity markets down nearly 2% and a flattening Treasury curve. 10y yields were down 5bp on the day, whilst the yield on the 2y note rose 5bp. In fact, the Treasury curve reached its flattest level since the onset of the pandemic. Concerns expressed by Moderna executives on the efficacy of the vaccine on the new strain may have played a role here as well, although  a BioNTech co-founder said that shots may still be quite effective. Uncertainty remains high in any case. Despite the change of tack at the Fed and elevated uncertainty, a broad based reaction in emerging market currencies failed to materialize. Indeed, some EM currencies actually performed well, such as India’s rupee, which has benefited from the decline in oil prices. Moreover, a good number of Asian economies have been reporting stronger manufacturing activity in PMI surveys (although China’s Caixin survey for November disappointed), which is seen as a sign that supply-bottlenecks have started to ease, albeit gradually. This obviously does not include the potential impact of the potential omicron wave. The Turkish lira, though, is a whole different story. President Erdogan seems to be doubling down on his promise that rate cuts will bring rampant inflation to an end and thereby more stability in the currency. In an interview with TRT yesterday he also argued that the country needs to rid itself of “hot money” from foreign investors and that the country should not try to attract foreign funding. Market participants still think otherwise and have sent the Turkish lira into a tail-spin. Yesterday TRY lost another 5% against the dollar, potentially aggravating the inflation situation, which is already running at four times the official target of 5%. What is interesting, though, is that the country’s current account balance (and FX reserves) have been steadily improving since early 2020. Not fighting inflation does appear to have boosted the country’s competitive position. But the ultimate cost of its policy choices could be significant. Talking about inflation, the Eurozone preliminary estimate jumped by a hefty 0.8%-points to 4.9%, making this one of the biggest upside surprises in recent history. And – for good measure – this is also more than twice the central bank’s long-term target. The core estimate rose by no less than 0.6%-points. Consensus was far off in both cases, although German data – released the other day, had already given market participants a pre-warning. The biggest single contributor was, unsurprisingly, energy, with a 0.4%-points contribution to that 0.8%. October and November were the months where the gas and electricity price hikes really kicked in. However, services provided another 0.24%-points, although the data from Germany had already indicated that the recreation and culture sector – which can be very volatile due to seasonal effects – was probably the main culprit. Food and non-energy industrial goods both added 0.1%-points. In other words, this was a fairly broad-based increase in prices. Full stop. Will this challenge the ECB’s ‘transitory’ story as well come the December meeting? We still expect the Council to hold on to this line of reasoning, but even the Bank of Japan may be throwing in the towel. Tyler Durden Wed, 12/01/2021 - 10:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 1st, 2021

Next Avenue: Did we learn anything from the pandemic? ‘If it doesn’t turn the tide on nursing homes, then shame on us.’

Smaller nursing homes did a better job of protecting residents, and they have other advantages, too. It's time to rethink America's long-term care facilities......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 1st, 2021

easyJet – Further To Climb

easyJet plc (LON:EZJ)’s pre-tax losses for the full year were better than the market expected, at £1.1bn. That included a 52% reduction in revenue to £1.5bn, which was partially offset by a 33% fall in headline costs to £2.6bn. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The group said it’s too early to say […] easyJet plc (LON:EZJ)’s pre-tax losses for the full year were better than the market expected, at £1.1bn. That included a 52% reduction in revenue to £1.5bn, which was partially offset by a 33% fall in headline costs to £2.6bn. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Icahn eBook! Get our entire 10-part series on Carl Icahn and other famous investors in PDF for free! Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet or print it! Sign up below. NO SPAM EVER (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The group said it’s too early to say what effect the new Covid variant will have. However, it still expects next year’s summer travel capacity to be close to pre-pandemic levels. With the first quarter of the new financial year expected to see capacity at around 65% of 2019 levels. Dividends are still off the table, and the policy will be reviewed during the new financial year. The shares were broadly flat following the announcement. The Impact Of Travel Restrictions On easyJet 's Earnings Sophie Lund-Yates, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown: “Airlines can’t seem to catch a break. News of new Covid variants, and the potential for further travel restrictions, makes it incredibly difficult to predict trading patterns from here. Unsurprisingly, easyJet flew a significantly reduced number of passengers this year than it did in 2020, and just when it thought it was breaking out of the clouds, there’s further uncertainty to contend with. There are some competitive advantages where easyJet’s concerned. The biggest is that it’s a lower cost short-haul carrier, where demand should return at a faster rate than long haul. The group remains confident that capacity will be near pre-pandemic levels by next summer. A large pillar of that success comes down to easyJet’s favourable network too, with it holding more popular slots at prized airports. There is no getting away from the fact there’s further to climb and the coming months will be patchy at best. But a newly refreshed liquidity position and competitive advantages means there are some reasons for optimism where easyJet’s concerned.” About Hargreaves Lansdown Over 1.67 million clients trust us with £138.0 billion (as at 30 September 2021), making us the UK’s number one platform for private investors. More than 98% of client activity is done through our digital channels and over 600,000 access our mobile app each month. Updated on Nov 30, 2021, 4:51 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkNov 30th, 2021

The Army is looking at New York City as it prepares for future combat in megacities

In the past, the Army has tried to bypass and isolate cities to avoid urban fighting. That approach may not work with today's megacities. A New York Army National Guard UH-60 helicopter over Manhattan as part of the Dense Urban Leaders Operations Course, November 2021.Spc. Marla Ogden In the 21st century, the potential for combat in a dense urban environment is increasing. With the emergence of megacities, it will be harder for the military to avoid urban areas in future conflicts. The New York Army National Guard aims to use New York City as a classroom for those kinds of operations. Urban warfare has always been a challenge on the battlefield. From Stalingrad to Fallujah, fighting in close quarters can be an equalizer that negates technological advantages and results in high casualties.In the 21st century, the potential risks of fighting in a dense urban environment are magnified increases in population density. The New York Army National Guard aims to use New York City as a classroom to teach operations in such an environment.In early November 2021, 18 officers and senior NCOs of the NYNG completed a five-day class in the Big Apple that explored the challenges of military operations in large cities. The soldiers worked alongside civilian fire officials, transit staff, and emergency managers to develop an understanding of the specific challenges that a city like New York presents."This class was critical in terms of bridging a knowledge gap between military operations and working with our civilian counterparts," said Lt. Col. Jason Secrest, commander of the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, to the New York National Guard. "The course was helpful for whether we're involved in large-scale combat operations or if tasked with stability operations, like humanitarian assistance disaster relief at home."New York Army National Guard leaders look over the Manhattan waterfront during the Dense Urban Leaders Operations Course, November 4, 2021.Spc. Marla OgdenDuring the class, leaders had to account for the complexities of a crowded airspace, skyscrapers, narrow streets, dense populations and even the city's subway system. These unique factors present challenges to already complex military operations like troop movement, communication and logistical trains.The class was led by Lt. Col. Brian Higgins, a New York City Police Department detective. Lt. Col. Higgins also spent two and a half years on active duty as the officer-in-charge of the Dense Urban Terrain Detachment of the Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group at Fort Meade, Maryland.There, he used his experience as a cop in New York to help the Army develop its megacity doctrine. "The problem has to do with globalization trends," Lt. Col. Higgins told the New York National Guard. "The world is becoming more populated. The majority of people are living in cities for a variety of reasons."In the past, the Army's approach to large cities has often been to bypass and isolate them to avoid getting bogged down in urban fighting. However, this approach is not feasible with today's megacities boasting populations in excess of 10 million.New York is not new to hosting military training. The New York National Guard regularly trains with the city's police and fire departments to build and maintain interoperability for civil support operations. Additionally, Task Force 46, a National Guard team that specializes in reacting to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks trained there in August.US Army paratroopers in a hallway during training for a nighttime air assault of an enemy compound, at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, March 20, 2018.US ArmyLt. Col. Dan Colomb, commander of the 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (CST) out of Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn, volunteered to participate in the course."Every day we work in New York City and the metro area," Lt. Col. Colomb said to the New York National Guard. "We're those sensors that are out in the environment and these streets every day, so I'd like to take some of these methodologies, apply them and see if they work better."The November class focused on helping National Guard leaders to understand the complexities of megacities and the planning considerations that have to be taken into account for military operations. To accomplish this, participants walked the narrow and irregular streets of lower Manhattan, explored the grid layout streets of Harlem, and visited the city's famous subway system.The class focused on applying the "Five Is" of city fighting to New York: infrastructure, interoperability, information operations, interagency, intensity.Lt. Col. Higgins and the NYNG hope to develop a two-week Dense Urban Leaders Operations Course from their five-day class. DULOC would bring Army leaders from across the service to New York to experience the challenges of dense urban operations first-hand. Until then, Higgins noted that the five-day class was a good start.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

We slept on hybrid mattresses from Leesa and Casper — Leesa"s is better, with its strong edge support and minimal motion transfer

Leesa and Casper are two of the most well-known mattress startups. We compared the two hybrid mattresses to see which one is best. Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Alyssa Powell/Business Insider Casper and Leesa both offer comfortable mattresses, 100-night risk-free trials, and 10-year warranties. Casper launched a Hybrid mattress to challenge Leesa's Hybrid mattress, which was formerly called the Sapira.  Both mattresses are excellent options, but Leesa's has better motion transfer, strong edge support, Goldilocks firmness, and heat dissipation. You can also read my full reviews of the Casper Hybrid and Leesa Hybrid for more details. When discussing the top brands in the bed-in-a-box industry, Casper and Leesa inevitably lead the conversation.Casper is often credited with popularizing the concept, and Leesa quickly grew to be a giant in the industry with its great beds and its socially-conscious initiatives, like the "One-Ten" program, which donates one mattress for every 10 sold.Both Leesa and Casper now have hybrid versions of their flagship, all-foam mattresses. Hybrid mattresses are a combination of foam and the innersprings you might find in more traditional beds. But, unlike the spring mattresses of yore, the best new hybrids feature individually-wrapped coil springs that are meant to provide even support and cut down on motion transfer.Casper's Hybrid mattress has three foam layers found in the all-foam Casper, with a zoned support layer combining springs and foam. The springs provide a boost in airflow and lift.For years, the Leesa Hybrid Mattress was known as the Sapira Mattress, but in 2019, the company dropped the "Sapira" moniker. The Leesa Hybrid is marketed as a luxury alternative to Leesa's main mattress with strong edge support and the ability to adapt to all sleeping styles and body types.I had the opportunity to test both the Leesa Hybrid and Casper Hybrid. Both have their weaknesses and advantages. Below, we compare the hybrid mattresses in a few key categories: price, style, return policy, warranty, set-up process, comfort, edge support, and motion transfer.Leesa Hybrid Mattress (Queen)$1519.20 FROM LEESA Originally $1899.00 | Save 20%Casper Hybrid Mattress (Queen)$1160.00 FROM CASPEROriginally $1295.00 | Save 10%Price and specs comparedLeesaWinner: The Casper Hybrid wins on price, as it is more affordable than the Leesa Hybrid. In terms of specs, it's more or less a tie on paper.Every size of the Casper Hybrid costs less than the Leesa Hybrid. Though the prices of each of these mattresses are constantly changing, and you may be able to get promo codes for some sweet discounts. Currently, the price difference is $393 for a Twin-sized mattress, $398 for Twin XL, $413 for full, $598 for Queen, and $608 for King and Cal King. Pricing for the Leesa Hybrid Mattress:Twin: $1,049Twin XL: $1,149Full: $1,399Queen: $1,699King and CA King: $1,799Pricing for the Casper Hybrid Mattress:Twin: $796Twin XL: $876Full: $1,036Queen: $1,116King and CA King: $1,436By no means should the price be the main factor when considering to buy a mattress. The mattress you buy should serve you for a decade or more. So, the price differences will work out to only a few cents per day over the lifetime of the mattress. We tend not to encourage people to go into debt, but both companies offer monthly payment plans for the beds with 0% APR.The mattress size you chose will depend on how big you are and — if you're sharing a bed — how big your partner is. If you're on your own, your best bet is a Twin, Twin XL, or Full bed. Smaller people will find a Twin works well. Taller folks should turn to a Twin XL. And, if you are bigger, go with the Full. Queen, King, and Cal King mattresses are designed for couples with King best serving bigger couples and Cal King ideal for taller couples.Though both mattresses are hybrids, there are some slight differences in how they are designed. The Casper Hybrid is one inch thicker than the Leesa Hybrid (12 inches versus 11 inches). Within the Casper Hybrid there are four layers: a breathable comfort foam top layer, pressure-relieving memory foam, zoned support layer to keep your spine aligned, and the durable base layer featuring individually-wrapped spring coils.The Leesa mattress has five layers. From top to bottom, the layers are a 1.5-inch cooling premium foam, 1.5-inch contouring memory foam, 1-inch core support foam layer, 6-inch individually-wrapped pocket spring system, and a 1-inch core support foam base.Both brands use CertiPUR-US certified foams, which means they were made without ozone-depleting chemicals and have low VOC emissions for better indoor air quality.When it comes to looks, I like the Leesa more. The cover is made with a single knitted length of fabric and features Leesa's signature "patterns of life" stripes. The breathable cover of the Casper is fairly plain looking with its white top and gray sides. Of course, looks aren't all that important since you'll want to cover it with a fitted sheet and maybe a mattress protector. Both mattresses have removable and washable covers.Return policy and warranty comparedCasperWinner: The return policies and warranties are nearly identical for the two companies, but when you get into the real nitty-gritty, Casper's fine print is slightly more advantageous for the consumer.Both Leesa and Casper offer a 100-night risk-free trial. Both give you a full refund when you return your mattress. Casper will coordinate to have your mattress picked up by a recycling center or local charity. It's unclear where your mattress goes when you return a Leesa. However, Leesa's policy has one stipulation that isn't found in the Casper policy. The company requires you to try your mattress for at least 30 nights before you can return it. The difference between the 10-year warranties is slightly more pronounced. Both warranties cover significant indentation (an inch or more), physical flaws, and manufacturing defects. Both are only valid if you use the bed normally, care for it properly, and use a supportive foundation.The big difference is Casper will cover the cost of shipping your mattress back to them for repair or replacement. The company will also cover the cost of sending the repaired or replacement mattress to you. Leesa has the buyer pay for these shipping costs. We may be splitting hairs, but mattresses aren't cheap to ship so it could make a big difference if you do need to take advantage of the warranty.Set-up process comparedCasperWinner: The Casper Hybrid was slightly easier to set up because it weighs less than the Leesa, though it did have an initial odor to it.In this section, I'm going to get a little hypothetical. I tested a King-sized Leesa Hybrid and a Queen-sized Casper Hybrid. So, to compare the set-up of the two is somewhat unfair. A King-sized bed will almost always be more difficult because of its sheer size.However, mattress sizes equal, I think the Leesa is harder to set up just because of the weight differential. A Queen-sized Leesa Hybrid weighs 115 pounds. The Queen-sized Casper weighs 106. I've found that even nine extra pounds are enough to make mattress set-up more of a task. For either mattress, I strongly recommend getting help from a second person. I've thrown out my back doing this on my own.Other than weight, I seemed to have more trouble getting through all of the packaging of the Leesa. Casper was somewhat easier. Yet, the Casper Hybrid was slightly harder to move because it's softer and more pliable. Also, the Casper had an initial odor and needed to be aired out for a day. The Leesa Hybrid didn't have any odor to it out of the box. We could sleep on it that night.Lastly, if you want to skip the whole set-up process, both brands offer "white glove" services. That means the companies will send people to your home to set up the mattress and remove the packaging and your old mattress.The cost for this service varies based on your specific location. For me, in Lansing, Michigan, the service is $149 through Casper and $150 through Leesa. Leesa also gives you the option of just getting white-glove delivery and set-up without mattress removal for $100.Comfort comparedLeesaWinner: The average firmness of the Leesa Hybrid is just what my heavy, side-sleeping body needs to wake up refreshed in the morning.There are several factors that go into whether a mattress is comfortable for you specifically. Firmer mattresses tend to benefit people with back pain, stomach sleepers, back sleepers, and heavier folks. Softer mattresses usually feel better to side sleepers and light people. So, as a 6-foot-tall, 250-pound side sleeper, my comfort preferences may not be the same as yours. When it comes to firmness, there's isn't a big difference between the Casper Hybrid and the Leesa Hybrid, but it's enough to affect my comfort levels. The Casper Hybrid is softer than your average mattress, but since I'm a heavier guy, it's a little too soft. The Leesa Hybrid is right in the middle, and I find it's ideal for my body and sleeping style. It gives me the right balance of support and comfort. That said, the Casper Hybrid is still great. The Leesa Hybrid is just amazing.Since foam tends to trap heat, it's important to look at how hot mattresses sleep when considering comfort. I'm a hot sleeper and didn't find that either mattress trapped my heat. They both appear to have excellent breathability, and I can't say that one sleeps cooler than the other.Edge support comparedLeesaWinner: The Leesa Hybrid has better edge support with its individually-wrapped coils that extend all the way to the edge.There are a few reasons why edge support is crucial. Whether you are transitioning from laying to standing or just want to put on your socks and shoes, being able to sit on the edge of your mattress is a must. Without edge support, it isn't the most comfortable. Also, you might start to feel like you are falling off the bed if it sags on the sides. Both mattresses have good edge support, but the Leesa Hybrid is better. I can lay on the very edge of the Leesa Hybrid and not feel like I'm going to fall off. It's also a nice spot for putting on my socks in the morning. The Casper Hybrid clearly had more give on the edges. Yet, I never felt like I might fall off even when my wife decided she needed all of the bed.Motion transfer comparedCasperWinner: The Leesa Hybrid passed our motion transfer tests every time, while the Casper Hybrid failed each time.If your partner is constantly getting up in the night or tossing and turning, your only chance at a good night's sleep is a mattress with excellent motion transfer dampening or isolation. After all, uninterrupted sleep is more productive.Based on practices throughout the mattress-testing industry, I've taken materials I have readily available to make my own motion transfer test. I start by placing a 12-ounce soda can in the upright position in the middle of each bed. Next, from four feet above the mattress, I drop a 20-pound weight so it lands 12 inches from the soda can. I know the mattress has good motion transfer isolation if the can stays upright after many tries. On the other hand, the motion dampening is poor if the can falls over consistently.This is where the two mattresses differ the most. The Leesa Hybrid passed the motion transfer tests with flying colors. The Casper Hybrid failed every time. These results are backed by my subjective experience. If my wife or I are up and down during the night or wake up before the other, we almost never notice on the Leesa. Our movements don't cause the other to stir. This is not the case with the Casper Hybrid. My wife's sleep troubles regularly woke me up. Therefore, the Leesa Hybrid is better for couples sharing a bed. While we are talking about movement, we should touch on another major way couples use mattresses: intimate activities. For this, most people want mattresses with a little bounce and ease of movement for changing one's positioning. In both of these departments, the Leesa Hybrid is superior. The Casper Hybrid doesn't have much bounce, and thanks to its softness, one tends to sink in a little, which makes it harder to move about.The bottom lineLeesaOverall winner: The Leesa Hybrid is the mattress I keep coming back to after testing the competition. It's the best I've tried for my sleeping preferences and body type.When I tested the Casper Hybrid, I thought it was great, but I still looked forward to getting back to my Leesa Hybrid. The Leesa Hybrid is superior in the three categories that matter most to me: comfort, edge support, and motion transfer. But, this is coming from someone who sleeps on his side, is heavier, and shares a bed.If you are lighter, don't share a bed, and want to save a couple hundred dollars, you might benefit from the Casper Hybrid. This is especially true if you are in the market for a bed that is easier to set up and are concerned about the warranty.Or, you could take the companies up on the 100-night risk-free trials. Start with the mattress you think you'll like the most. If you don't like it within 100 nights, return it and try the other mattress.A less extreme solution may be trying the mattresses out in-store. Casper lets you schedule a 30-minute nap session in any of its locations across the country. You can also find Casper in all Target stores. Leesa has "Dream Galleries" in New York City and Virginia Beach, where you can kick up your feet and enjoy its mattresses. You can do the same in West Elm stores and select Pottery Barn locations.When it comes down to it, your personal preferences are what will determine which mattress is best for you. Use the above categories that are most important to you when choosing a mattress to buy. If you don't like your decision, you can always return it.Leesa Hybrid Mattress (Queen)$1519.20 FROM LEESA Originally $1899.00 | Save 20%Casper Hybrid Mattress (Queen)$1160.00 FROM CASPEROriginally $1295.00 | Save 10%Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021

How to set up WhatsApp Web and use the messaging platform from your computer

You can use WhatsApp Web from your computer's browser by linking your account through a QR code from the WhatsApp mobile app. WhatsApp's web version and desktop app offer certain advantages over the mobile app.Tara Moore/Getty Images You can use WhatsApp Web from your computer's browser by linking your account through a QR code from the WhatsApp mobile app. You can also use WhatsApp from your computer by installing the WhatsApp desktop application. You can open multiple WhatsApp accounts on your computer as long as you use a different browser window for each one.  Visit Insider's Tech Reference library for more stories. Most people are familiar with using WhatsApp via a mobile app on their phone, but not everyone is aware that it's also possible to use WhatsApp on the computer desktop — either in a web browser or using a desktop app. The main difference? You still need to log into WhatsApp on the computer using your WhatsApp mobile app. How to access WhatsApp Web or the desktop appThere are two ways to access your WhatsApp account on your PC or Mac computer:Use the web app. Go to in a web browser.Use the desktop app. Install the WhatsApp desktop app on your Mac or Windows computer from the WhatsApp download page.Click the link to install WhatsApp on your desktop and follow the installation instructions.Dave JohnsonHow to set up and use WhatsApp Web or the desktop app1. Once you've opened the webpage or installed and run the desktop app, you should see a QR code on your computer.You'll need to scan the QR code in your WhatsApp mobile app to log in.Dave Johnson2. Start WhatsApp on your phone. 3. Tap Settings. On iPhone, you'll find Settings at the bottom right of the screen, but on Android tap the three-dot menu at the top right and then choose Settings in the drop-down menu. 4. To the right of your account name, tap the QR code icon. Use the QR code icon to log in to your desktop's WhatsApp.Dave Johnson5. On the QR code screen, get ready to scan. On iPhone, tap Scan at the bottom of the page; on Android, tap the Scan Code tab at the top. Point your phone at the QR code on the computer.Dave Johnson6. Point your phone's camera at the QR code in WhatsApp on your computer.7. If this is your first time using WhatsApp on the computer, you will see the Device Login Detected pop-up. Tap Continue and then tap Link a Device. For a rundown on all the different ways to use WhatsApp, see our guide to the popular messaging app.How WhatsApp Web differs from the mobile appOnce you've linked your computer and mobile app, you should see your WhatsApp Chats page in the web app or desktop app. Everything you do on either the computer or mobile app will be kept in sync and mirrored on the other device. New messages will appear in bold and you'll hear a notification on your computer. Click any conversation to reply from your computer. WhatsApp web replicates the chat conversations from your mobile app.Dave JohnsonWhatsApp offers other features on the computer as well:Click your own account icon to change your profile details like display name and About message.Click any contact icon to control your interactions with that user. You can start an audio or video call, for example, mute notifications, block or report the user, and delete the chat.At the top of the window you can also start a new chat (including start a new group chat) and see starred messages.There are some significant advantages to using WhatsApp Web or the desktop app. It's often easier to type using a real mouse and keyboard, for example, and you can keep WhatsApp on the screen, side by side with other windows to copy and paste information into chat messages. And you can easily log into more than one WhatsApp account at the same time just by opening them in different WhatsApp Web browser windows.On the other hand, be aware that you always need your phone to log into WhatsApp on the computer — there's no way to use WhatsApp Web without your mobile app.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 30th, 2021