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Airfares drop to record low at Orlando International Airport as passengers return for the summer

Travel trends looks promising — and prices even better......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 25th, 2021

I flew American Airlines to Europe for the first time during the pandemic and found it"s back to normal with bad food, uncomfortable seats, and free alcohol

American did a great job of getting me to Madrid on time but the flight was far from memorable. One thing I didn't miss was the bad airplane food. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American Airlines is one of four US carriers flying overseas to Europe and has recently started increasing services as more countries open to American tourists. Transatlantic flights are pretty much back to normal, besides having to wear a mask. Hot meals and alcohol are once again served in all cabins including economy class. See more stories on Insider's business page. American Airlines is one of the leading US carriers flying between the US and Europe, especially from its international gateway in New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The summer before the pandemic saw American fly to 23 European destinations from the US. Fast forward to the summer of 2021, however, and that number stood at 11 as American wasn't as quick to rebuild in Europe following its reopening. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: Cirium But even still, American has maintained service to core cities like London; Madrid; and Rome, while opening new routes including New York-Athens. Athens, Greece. Shutterstock Read More: American and JetBlue just unveiled a new partnership with 33 new routes combined— here's what it means for travelers And American has proved to be an inexpensive option when crossing the pond, as I found when planning a recent work trip to Doha, Qatar with flights on American, British Airways, and Qatar Airways. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: Gulfstream just debuted its new $75 million ultra-long-range plane that's also the world's largest purpose-built private jet: Meet the G700 I flew American Airlines from New York to Madrid during the summer of vaccinated travel. Here's what it was like. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I booked a flight on American Airlines despite the airline canceling thousands of flights this summer – here's how I'm preparing for the worst After recent bad experiences on American, I was a bit nervous to fly the carrier overseas. I made sure to do extra research on backup options in case something went wrong, and even arrived at the airport four hours early. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I was stranded in Bogotá airport for 10 hours and it taught me the true value of credit card perks and not taking no for an answer But having flown American internationally earlier in the summer, I knew how to prepare. The first step was to download Verifly, American's preferred health passport service that speeds along airport check-in and document verification. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I submitted all my required documentation and got the green light. As a result, check-in at the airport was less painful than expected as I was able to use a self-serve kiosk to get my boarding pass. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider For those checking a bag, though, there was a bit of a line, as is usually the case in international terminals. I was glad to have only brought a carry-on. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I was instantly relieved once I had my boarding pass and headed straight to the gate with only a minimal line at security. I felt silly having arrived four hours before departure but as the old saying goes, better safe than sorry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One benefit of flying out of American's Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy International Airport is that Bobby Van's Steakhouse is open, and Priority Pass members through Chase can get a free meal. I had the burger and it was delicious. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I used a credit perk to dine for nearly free at an airport restaurant and it's my new favorite travel hack The rest of the concourse was quiet as I arrived before the bulk of the evening overseas departures. Even still, there were shops and restaurants open for business in a good sign for the industry. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I headed straight to the gate after lunch and got my first glimpse at the aircraft taking us to Spain, the mighty Boeing 777-200. American now only flies Boeing 777 aircraft between New York and Europe in a win for business class and first class customers that get to enjoy the airline's best premium cabin products. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Pandemic-era safety measures including social distancing floor placards and plexiglass portions at the gate counter were still on display. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Boarding began around 45 minutes prior to departure in American's standard group boarding procedure. Most US airlines have abandoned back-to-front boarding. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American's Boeing 777-200 aircraft seat 273 passengers across three cabins, with classes of service including business, premium economy, and economy. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru In economy, seats are arranged in a 10-abreast, 3-4-3 configuration that's standard for most airlines flying the 777. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Seat pitch in economy is between 31 and 32 inches, according to SeatGuru, while seat width is a standard 17 inches. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Source: SeatGuru I booked this flight quite late and there weren't too many seats from which to choose that didn't require paying an extra fee. American isn't alone in the practice of charging for advance seat assignments on long-haul flights but I despise the practice as these tickets are expensive enough as it is. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But to American's credit, there were a good showing of complimentary aisle and window seats towards the back of the plane from which to select. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider And to my surprise, the most unique seats in economy were available for selection. The last three rows on this aircraft are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration meaning there are six two-seat pairs. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I thought I had lucked out by selecting one of them but my excitement was short-lived. Simply put, these seats were not the most comfortable for a larger traveler. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The small width didn't help and I felt like I was taking up part of the seat next to me. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider One thing that could've helped was if the armrest for the window seat was moveable, but it was fixed in place. I was so close to the seat in front of me that my tray table couldn't even lay flat (a problem I didn't have on the other carriers on which I flew during this trip). Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider My top concern was having enough room once my seat neighbor arrived. But I lucked out and had both seats to myself as nobody showed up to claim the other. Flying American Airlines to Europe during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider There was a gap between the seat and the cabin wall which offered some additional legroom and a place to store the pillow and blanket kit left on the seat. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider American is quite generous with seat features on its wide-body aircraft. Each seat has an 8.9-inch in-flight entertainment screen with a variety of movies, television shows, games, and music. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The moving map proved handy during the flight to keep track of our location. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider A tethered remote is also available to control the system and act as a game controller or keyboard for the seat-to-seat chat function. It also comes in handy when scrolling through content since the touch functionality is quite poor in that regard. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider In-flight WiFi is also available on the aircraft for a price. And for those using devices during the flight, in-seat power is offered through USB charging ports and 110v C power outlets at seats. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The rest of the aircraft was quite full, which surprised me as it was quite late in the season for transatlantic travel. Some passengers were visiting family and friends while others were starting their study abroad term. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Bad weather in New York wreaked a bit of havoc on the airport but we weren't overly affected. I was quite relieved that our departure was pretty close to on time as I had a connection to make in Madrid. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The storm did, however, make for some great views as we blasted out of New York. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Madrid is quite a short flight from New York and while I wanted to go straight to sleep, I did want to see what the meal service was like. This was the first time I'd had a hot meal on American during the pandemic. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider As I waited for the service to begin, I had a look at what was on offer in the movie department. American had quite a good selection in all categories, and I ultimately picked "The Vault." Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider First attendants started the drink service first with a selection of soft drinks, juices, wine, and beer. Alcohol isn't currently served in economy on American's domestic flights but it flows freely on transatlantic hops. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I ordered a club soda along with some red wine to help ease my sleep after the meal. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Next came the meal service as flight attendants quickly passed out the trays. I felt like I was being served in a cafeteria as one flight attendant curtly asked, "chicken or pasta?" Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I unwrapped the entree to find that not much has changed at all when it comes to American's economy catering. The chicken dish was accompanied by a side salad, cheese and crackers, and a cinnamon dessert bar. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I couldn't describe the chicken beyond that it was served in a tomato-based sauce. I enjoyed the sides more than the main and was glad I had the burger at Bobby Van's before the flight. Next time, I think I'll head straight to sleep. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants were very quick to complete the meal service, though, and got it done in under an hour and a half. The flight to Madrid is only six hours and 30 minutes so every second counts. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Ready for bed with a full stomach, I used the pillow and blanket that American had left on the seat and did my best to get comfortable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Another downside of the two-seat row is that there's a gap between the seat and window, making propping a pillow up against the cabin wall near-impossible. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider But even then, it wasn't too difficult to get to sleep and I woke just before breakfast was served. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants once more came around to serve drinks first, followed by a pre-packaged cold breakfast. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider On offer for the optimistic morning meal included Chobani strawberry yogurt, a raspberry fig bar, and coconut cashew granola. All in all, it was quite standard but still enjoyable. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider The flight to Madrid was nearing its end and I can't say I was upset to see it go. American did a great job of getting me to Spain on time but the in-flight experience was exactly what I expected it to be. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider I did appreciate the modernity of the aircraft and the efficiency of the crew but there wasn't anything memorable about this flight. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Besides having to wear a mask, though, I'd say that American is back to normal on these flights, for better or worse. Flying American Airlines from New York to Madrid, Spain during the pandemic. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider14 hr. 8 min. ago

United Airlines hit with record $1.9 million fine for delays that left passengers stuck on planes for lengthy periods

The US Transportation Department cited 25 incidents of tarmac delays on United planes between December 2015 and February of this year. The fine imposed on United was the largest of its kind, according to the Transportation Department. Thomas Pallini/Insider United Airlines has been hit with a $1.9 million penalty for long tarmac delays, per Reuters. A consent order cited 25 incidents that occurred between December 2015 and February of this year. The airline breached federal rules by keeping passengers stuck on planes for too long. See more stories on Insider's business page. United Airlines has been fined $1.9 million by the Transportation Department for keeping thousands of passengers stuck on planes for hours, in violation of federal rules, Reuters reported.It is the largest penalty of its kind to be imposed, according to the outlet. The department said in a consent order that United failed to adhere to the assurances in its contingency plan for long tarmac delays for 20 domestic flights and five international flights at airports across the US. A total of 3,218 passengers were affected.A tarmac delay occurs when a plane on the ground is either awaiting takeoff or has just landed and passengers do not have the opportunity to get off the plane.In one 2019 incident, a United flight en route to Chicago was diverted to an airport in Wisconsin, due to a winter storm. It was held on the tarmac for more than four hours.In a statement to Reuters on Friday, United said its "committed to fully meeting all DOT rules and will continue identifying and implementing improvements in how we manage difficult operating conditions." United Airlines did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. In July 2021, airlines reported a total of 40 tarmac delays of more than three hours on domestic flights, compared with 11 the month before, per the department. United is not the only airline to have faced sky-high penalties in recent years. In 2019, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines were fined a total of $1.75 million for long tarmac delays at US airports.Delta said at the time that it provided customers with substantial compensation for the delays, including cash reimbursements, SkyMiles, and future travel vouchers. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2021

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown US futures and European stocks fell amid ongoing nerves over the Evergrande default, while cryptocurrency-linked stocks tumbled after the Chinese central bank said such transactions are illegal. Sovereign bond yields fluctuated after an earlier selloff fueled by the prospect of tighter monetary policy. At 745am ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.5 points, or 0.43%, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 88.75 points, or 0.58% and Dow e-minis were down 112 points, or 0.33%. In the biggest overnight news, Evergrande offshore creditors remain in limbo and still haven't received their coupon payment effectively starting the 30-day grace period, while also in China, the State Planner issued a notice on the crackdown of cryptocurrency mining, will strictly prohibit financing for new crypto mining projects and strengthen energy consumption controls of new crypto mining projects. Subsequently, the PBoC issued a notice to further prevent and dispose of the risks from speculating on cryptocurrencies, to strengthen monitoring of risks from crypto trading and such activities are illegal. The news sent the crypto space tumbling as much as 8% while cryptocurrency-exposed stocks slumped in U.S. premarket trading. Marathon Digital (MARA) drops 6.5%, Bit Digital (BTBT) declines 4.7%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) -5.9%, Coinbase -2.8%. Big banks including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp slipped about 0.5%, while oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp were down 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, in premarket trading.Mega-cap FAAMG tech giants fell between 0.5% and 0.6%. Nike shed 4.6% after the sportswear maker cut its fiscal 2022 sales expectations and warned of delays during the holiday shopping season. Several analysts lowered their price targets on the maker of sports apparel and sneakers after the company cut its FY revenue growth guidance to mid-single- digits. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Helbiz (HLBZ) falls 10% after the micromobility company filed with the SEC for the sale of as many as 11m shares by stockholders. Focus Universal (FCUV), an online marketing company that’s been a favorite of retail traders, surged 26% in premarket trading after the stock was cited on Stocktwits in recent days. Vail Resorts (MTN) falls 2.7% in postmarket trading after its full-year forecasts for Ebitda and net income missed at the midpoint. GlycoMimetics (GLYC) jumps 15% postmarket after announcing that efficacy and safety data from a Phase 1/2 study of uproleselan in patients with acute myeloid leukemia were published in the journal Blood on Sept. 16. VTV Therapeutics (VTVT) surges 30% after company says its HPP737 psoriasis treatment showed favorable safety and tolerability profile in a multiple ascending dose study. Fears about a sooner-than-expected tapering amid signs of stalling U.S. economic growth and concerns over a spillover from China Evergrande’s default had rattled investors in September, putting the benchmark S&P 500 index on course to snap a seven-month winning streak. Elaine Stokes, a portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles & Co., told Bloomberg Television, adding that “what they did is tell us that they feel really good about the economy.” While the bond selloff vindicated Treasury bears who argue yields are too low to reflect fundamentals, others see limits to how high they can go. “We’d expected bond yields to go higher, given the macro situation where growth is still very strong,” Sylvia Sheng, global multi-asset strategist with JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “But we do stress that is a modest view, because we think that upside to yields is still limited from here given that central banks including the Fed are still buying bonds.” Still, Wall Street’s main indexes rallied in the past two session and are set for small weekly gains. European equities dipped at the open but trade off worst levels, with the Euro Stoxx 50 sliding as much as 1.1% before climbing off the lows. France's CAC underperformed at the margin. Retail, financial services are the weakest performers. EQT AB, Europe’s biggest listed private equity firm, fell as much as 8.1% after Sweden’s financial watchdog opened an investigation into suspected market abuse. Here are some of the other biggest European movers today: SMCP shares surge as much as 9.9%, advancing for a 9th session in 10, amid continued hopes the financial troubles of its top shareholder will ultimately lead to a sale TeamViewer climbs much as 4.2% after Bankhaus Metzler initiated coverage with a buy rating, citing the company’s above-market growth AstraZeneca gains as much as 3.6% after its Lynparza drug met the primary endpoint in a prostate cancer trial Darktrace drops as much as 9.2%, paring the stock’s rally over the past few weeks, as a technical pattern triggered a sell signal Adidas and Puma fall as much as 4% and 2.9%, respectively, after U.S. rival Nike’s “large cut” to FY sales guidance, which Jefferies said would “likely hurt” shares of European peers Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for a second day, led by rallies in Japan and Taiwan, following U.S. peers higher amid optimism over the Federal Reserve’s bullish economic outlook and fading concerns over widespread contagion from Evergrande. Stocks were muted in China and Hong Kong. India’s S&P BSE Sensex topped the 60,000 level for the first time on Friday on optimism that speedier vaccinations will improve demand for businesses in Asia’s third-largest economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7%, with TSMC and Sony the biggest boosts. That trimmed the regional benchmark’s loss for the week to about 1%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 2.1%, reopening after a holiday, pushing its advance for September to 7.7%, the best among major global gauges. The Asian regional benchmark pared its gain as Hong Kong stocks fell sharply in late afternoon trading amid continued uncertainty, with Evergrande giving no sign of making an interest payment that was due Thursday. Among key upcoming events is the leadership election for Japan’s ruling party next week, which will likely determine the country’s next prime minister. “Investor concerns over the Evergrande issue have retreated a bit for now,” said Hajime Sakai, chief fund manager at Mito Securities Co. in Tokyo. “But investors will have to keep downside risk in the corner of their minds.” Indian stocks rose, pushing the Sensex above 60,000 for the first time ever. Key gauges fell in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, while the Thai market was closed for a holiday. Treasuries are higher as U.S. trading day begins after rebounding from weekly lows reached during Asia session, adding to Thursday’s losses. The 10-year yield was down 1bp at ~1.42%, just above the 100-DMA breached on Thursday for the first time in three months; it climbed to 1.449% during Asia session, highest since July 6, and remains 5.2bp higher on the week, its fifth straight weekly increase. Several Fed speakers are slated, first since Wednesday’s FOMC commentary set forth a possible taper timeline.  Bunds and gilts recover off cheapest levels, curves bear steepening. USTs bull steepen, richening 1.5bps from the 10y point out. Peripheral spreads are wider. BTP spreads widen 2-3bps to Bunds. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed back from a one-week low as concern about possible contagion from Evergrande added to buying of the greenback based on the Federal Reserve tapering timeline signaled on Wednesday. NZD, AUD and CAD sit at the bottom of the G-10 scoreboard. ZAR and TRY are the weakest in EM FX. The pound fell after its rally on Thursday as investors looked ahead to BOE Governor Andrew Bailey’s sPeech next week about a possible interest-rate hike. Traders are betting that in a contest to raise borrowing costs first, the Bank of England will be the runaway winner over the Federal Reserve. The New Zealand and Aussie dollars led declines among Group-of-10 peers. The euro was trading flat, with a week full of events failing “to generate any clear directional move,” said ING analysts Francesco Pesole and Chris Turner. German IFO sentiment indeces will “provide extra indications about the area’s sentiment as  businesses faced a combination of delta variant concerns and lingering supply disruptions”. The Norwegian krone is the best performing currency among G10 peers this week, with Thursday’s announcement from the Norges Bank offering support In commodities, crude futures hold a narrow range up around best levels for the week. WTI stalls near $73.40, Brent near $77.50. Spot gold extends Asia’s gains, adding $12 on the session to trade near $1,755/oz. Base metals are mixed, LME nickel and aluminum drop ~1%, LME tin outperforms with a 2.8% rally. Bitcoin dips after the PBOC says all crypto-related transactions are illegal. Looking to the day ahead now, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,423.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 464.18 German 10Y yield fell 8.5 bps to -0.236% Euro little changed at $1.1737 MXAP up 0.4% to 201.25 MXAPJ down 0.5% to 643.20 Nikkei up 2.1% to 30,248.81 Topix up 2.3% to 2,090.75 Hang Seng Index down 1.3% to 24,192.16 Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,613.07 Sensex up 0.2% to 60,031.83 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,342.60 Kospi little changed at 3,125.24 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $77.57/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,755.38 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.14 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China Evergrande Group’s unusual silence about a dollar-bond interest payment that was due Thursday has put a focus on what might happen during a 30-day grace period. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation target is increasingly out of step with international counterparts and fails to account for structural changes in the country’s economy over the past 30 years, Westpac Banking Corp.’s Bill Evans said. With central banks from Washington to London this week signaling more alarm over faster inflation, the ultra-stimulative path of the euro zone and some of its neighbors appears lonelier than ever. China’s central bank continued to pump liquidity into the financial system on Friday as policy makers sought to avoid contagion stemming from China Evergrande Group spreading to domestic markets. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed with the region failing to fully sustain the impetus from the positive performance across global counterparts after the silence from Evergrande and lack of coupon payments for its offshore bonds, stirred uncertainty for the company. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was negative as underperformance in mining names and real estate overshadowed the advances in tech and resilience in financials from the higher yield environment. Nikkei 225 (+2.1%) was the biggest gainer overnight as it played catch up to the prior day’s recovery on return from the Autumnal Equinox holiday in Japan and with exporters cheering the recent risk-conducive currency flows, while KOSPI (-0.1%) was lacklustre amid the record daily COVID-19 infections and after North Korea deemed that it was premature to declare that the Korean War was over. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) were indecisive after further liquidity efforts by the PBoC were offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds but has a 30-day grace period with the Co. remaining quiet on the issue. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower on spillover selling from global counterparts including the declines in T-notes as the US 10yr yield breached 1.40% for the first time since early-July with the pressure in bonds also stemming from across the Atlantic following a more hawkish BoE, while the presence of the BoJ in the market today for over JPY 1.3tln of government bonds with 1yr-10yr maturities did very little to spur prices. Top Asian News Rivals for Prime Minister Battle on Social Media: Japan Election Asian Stocks Rise for Second Day, Led by Gains in Japan, Taiwan Hong Kong Stocks Still Wagged by Evergrande Tail Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index Extends Decline to More Than 2% European equities (Stoxx 600 -0.9%) are trading on the back foot in the final trading session of the week amid further advances in global bond yields and a mixed APAC handover. Overnight, saw gains for the Nikkei 225 of 2.1% with the index aided by favourable currency flows, whilst Chinese markets lagged (Shanghai Comp. -0.8%, Hang Seng -1.6%) with further liquidity efforts by the PBoC offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds. As context, despite the losses in Europe today, the Stoxx 600 is still higher by some 1.2% on the week. Stateside, futures are also on a softer footing with the ES down by 0.4% ahead of a busy Fed speaker schedule. Back to Europe, sectors are lower across the board with Retail and Personal & Household Goods lagging peers. The former has been hampered by losses in Adidas (-3.0%) following after hours earnings from Nike (-4.2% pre-market) which saw the Co. cut its revenue guidance amid supply chain woes. AstraZeneca (+2.1%) sits at the top of the FTSE 100 after announcing that the Lynparza PROpel trial met its primary endpoint. Daimler’s (+0.1%) Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will take a 33% stake in a battery cell manufacturing JV with Total and Stellantis. EQT (-6.5%) sits at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after the Swedish FSA announced it will open an investigation into the Co. Top European News EQT Investigated by Sweden’s FSA Over Suspected Market Abuse Gazprom Says Claims of Gas Under-supply to Europe Are ‘Absurd’ German Sept. Ifo Business Confidence 98.8; Est. 99 German Business Index at Five-Month Low in Pre-Election Verdict In FX, the rot seems to have stopped for the Buck in terms of its sharp and marked fall from grace amidst post-FOMC reflection and re-positioning in the financial markets on Thursday. Indeed, the Dollar index has regained some poise to hover above the 93.000 level having recoiled from 93.526 to 92.977 over the course of yesterday’s hectic session that saw the DXY register a marginal new w-t-d high and low at either end of the spectrum. Pre-weekend short covering and consolidation may be giving the Greenback a lift, while the risk backdrop is also less upbeat ahead of a raft of Fed speakers flanking US new home sales data. Elsewhere, the Euro remains relatively sidelined and contained against the Buck with little independent inspiration from the latest German Ifo survey as the business climate deteriorated broadly in line with consensus and current conditions were worse than forecast, but business expectations were better than anticipated. Hence, Eur/Usd is still stuck in a rut and only briefly/fractionally outside 1.1750-00 parameters for the entire week, thus far, as hefty option expiry interest continues to keep the headline pair in check. However, there is significantly less support or gravitational pull at the round number today compared to Thursday as ‘only’ 1.3 bn rolls off vs 4.1 bn, and any upside breach could be capped by 1.1 bn between 1.1765-85. CAD/NZD/AUD - Some payback for the non-US Dollars following their revival, with the Loonie waning from 1.2650+ peaks ahead of Canadian budget balances, though still underpinned by crude as WTI hovers around Usd 73.50/brl and not far from decent option expiries (from 1.2655-50 and 1.2625-30 in 1.4 bn each). Similarly, the Kiwi has faded after climbing to within single digits of 0.7100 in wake of NZ trade data overnight revealing a much wider deficit as exports slowed and imports rose, while the Aussie loses grip of the 0.7300 handle and skirts 1.1 bn option expiries at 0.7275. CHF/GBP/JPY - The Franc is fairly flat and restrained following a dovish SNB policy review that left in lagging somewhat yesterday, with Usd/Chf and Eur/Chf straddling 0.9250 and 1.0850 respectively, in contrast to Sterling that is paring some hawkish BoE momentum, as Cable retreats to retest bids circa 1.3700 and Eur/Gbp bounces from sub-0.8550. Elsewhere, the Yen has not been able to fend off further downside through 110.00 even though Japanese participants have returned to the fray after the Autumn Equinox holiday and reports suggest some COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted in 13 prefectures on a trial basis. SCANDI/EM/PM/CRYPTO - A slight change in the pecking order in Scandi-land as the Nok loses some post-Norges Bank hike impetus and the Sek unwinds a bit of its underperformance, but EM currencies are bearing the brunt of the aforementioned downturn in risk sentiment and firmer Usd, with the Zar hit harder than other as Gold is clings to Usd 1750/oz and Try down to deeper post-CBRT rate cut lows after mixed manufacturing sentiment and cap u readings. Meanwhile, Bitcoin is being shackled by the latest Chinese crackdown on mining and efforts to limit risks from what it describes as unlawful speculative crypto currency trading. In commodities, WTI and Brent are set the conclude the week in the green with gains in excess of 2% for WTI at the time of writing; in-spite of the pressure seen in the complex on Monday and the first-half of Tuesday, where a sub USD 69.50/bbl low was printed. Fresh newsflow has, once again, been limited for the complex and continues to focus on the gas situation. More broadly, no update as of yet on the Evergrande interest payment and by all accounts we appear to have entered the 30-day grace period for this and, assuming catalysts remain slim, updates on this will may well dictate the state-of-play. Schedule wise, the session ahead eyes significant amounts of central bank commentary but from a crude perspective the weekly Baker Hughes rig count will draw attention. On the weather front, Storm Sam has been upgraded to a Hurricane and is expected to rapidly intensify but currently remains someway into the mid-Atlantic. Moving to metals, LME copper is pivoting the unchanged mark after a mixed APAC lead while attention is on Glencore’s CSA copper mine, which it has received an offer for; the site in 2020 produced circa. 46k/T of copper which is typically exported to Asia smelters. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are firmer but have been very contained and remain well-within overnight ranges thus far. Which sees the yellow metal holding just above the USD 1750/oz mark after a brief foray below the level after the US-close. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. New Home Sales MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.0% 10am: Aug. New Home Sales, est. 715,000, prior 708,000 Central Bank Speakers 8:45am: Fed’s Mester Discusses the Economic Outlook 10am: Powell, Clarida and Bowman Host Fed Listens Event 10:05am: Fed’s George Discusses Economic Outlook 12pm: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Equitable Community Development DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap WFH today is a bonus as it’s time for the annual ritual at home where the latest, sleekest, shiniest iPhone model arrives in the post and i sheepishly try to justify to my wife when I get home why I need an incremental upgrade. This year to save me from the Spanish Inquisition I’m going to intercept the courier and keep quiet. Problem is that such speed at intercepting the delivery will be logistically challenging as I remain on crutches (5 weeks to go) and can’t grip properly with my left hand due to an ongoing trapped nerve. I’m very glad I’m not a racehorse. Although hopefully I can be put out to pasture in front of the Ryder Cup this weekend. The big news of the last 24 hours has been a galloping global yield rise worthy of the finest thoroughbred. A hawkish Fed meeting, with the dots increasing and the end of QE potentially accelerated, didn’t quite have the ability to move markets but the global dam finally broke yesterday with Norway being the highest profile developed country to raise rates this cycle (expected), but more importantly a Bank of England meeting that saw the market reappraise rate hikes. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +13.0bps to 1.430% in their biggest daily increase since 25 February, as both higher real rates (+7.9bps) and inflation breakevens (+4.9bps) drove the advance. US 10yr yields had been trading in a c.10bp range for the last month before breaking out higher, though they have been trending higher since dropping as far as 1.17% back in early-August. US 30yr yields rose +13.2bps, which was the biggest one day move in long dated yields since March 17 2020, which was at the onset of the pandemic and just days after the Fed announced it would be starting the current round of QE. The large selloff in US bonds saw the yield curve steepen and the long-end give back roughly half of the FOMC flattening from the day before. The 5y30y curve steepened 3.4bps for a two day move of -3.3bps. However the 2y10y curve steepened +10.5bps, completely reversing the prior day’s flattening (-4.2bps) and leaving the spread at 116bp, the steepest level since first week of July. 10yr gilt yields saw nearly as strong a move (+10.8bps) with those on shorter-dated 2yr gilts (+10.7bps) hitting their highest level (0.386%) since the pandemic began.That came on the back of the BoE’s latest policy decision, which pointed in a hawkish direction, building on the comment in the August statement that “some modest tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period is likely to be necessary” by saying that “some developments during the intervening period appear to have strengthened that case”. The statement pointed out that the rise in gas prices since August represented an upside risks to their inflation projections from next April, and the MPC’s vote also saw 2 members (up from 1 in August) vote to dial back QE. See DB’s Sanjay Raja’s revised rate hike forecasts here. We now expect a 15bps hike in February. The generalised move saw yields in other European countries rise as well, with those on 10yr bunds (+6.6bps), OATs (+6.5bps) and BTPs (+5.7bps) all seeing big moves higher with 10yr bunds seeing their biggest climb since late-February and back to early-July levels as -0.258%. The yield rise didn’t stop equity indices recovering further from Monday’s rout, with the S&P 500 up +1.21% as the index marked its best performance in over 2 months, and its best 2-day performance since May. Despite the mood at the end of the weekend, the S&P now starts Friday in positive territory for the week. The rally yesterday was led by cyclicals for a second straight day with higher commodity prices driving outsized gains for energy (+3.41%) and materials (+1.39%) stocks, and the aforementioned higher yields causing banks (+3.37%) and diversified financials (+2.35%) to outperform. The reopening trade was the other main beneficiary as airlines rose +2.99% and consumer services, which include hotel and cruiseline companies, gained +1.92%. In Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.93%) witnessed a similarly strong performance, with index led by banks (+2.16%). As a testament to the breadth of yesterday’s rally, the travel and leisure sector (+0.04%) was the worst performing sector on this side of the Atlantic even while registering a small gain and lagging its US counterparts. Before we get onto some of yesterday’s other events, it’s worth noting that this is actually the last EMR before the German election on Sunday, which has long been signposted as one of the more interesting macro events on the 2021 calendar, the results of which will play a key role in not just domestic, but also EU policy. And with Chancellor Merkel stepping down after four terms in office, this means that the country will soon be under new management irrespective of who forms a government afterwards. It’s been a volatile campaign in many respects, with Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the Greens and the centre-left SPD all having been in the lead at various points over the last six months. But for the last month Politico’s Poll of Polls has shown the SPD consistently ahead, with their tracker currently putting them on 25%, ahead of the CDU/CSU on 22% and the Greens on 16%. However the latest poll from Forschungsgruppe Wahlen yesterday suggested a tighter race with the SPD at 25, the CDU/CSU at 23% and the Greens at 16.5%. If the actual results are in line with the recent averages, it would certainly mark a sea change in German politics, as it would be the first time that the SPD have won the popular vote since the 2002 election. Furthermore, it would be the CDU/CSU’s worst ever result, and mark the first time in post-war Germany that the two main parties have failed to win a majority of the vote between them, which mirrors the erosion of the traditional big parties in the rest of continental Europe. For the Greens, 15% would be their best ever score, and exceed the 9% they got back in 2017 that left them in 6th place, but it would also be a disappointment relative to their high hopes back in the spring, when they were briefly polling in the mid-20s after Annalena Baerbock was selected as their Chancellor candidate. In terms of when to expect results, the polls close at 17:00 London time, with initial exit polls released immediately afterwards. However, unlike the UK, where a new majority government can immediately come to power the day after the election, the use of proportional representation in Germany means that it could potentially be weeks or months before a new government is formed. Indeed, after the last election in September 2017, it wasn’t until March 2018 that the new grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD took office, after attempts to reach a “Jamaica” coalition between the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens was unsuccessful. In the meantime, the existing government will act as a caretaker administration. On the policy implications, it will of course depend on what sort of government is actually formed, but our research colleagues in Frankfurt have produced a comprehensive slidepack (link here) running through what the different parties want across a range of policies, and what the likely coalitions would mean for Germany. They also put out another note yesterday (link here) where they point out that there’s still much to play for, with the SPD’s lead inside the margin of error and with an unusually high share of yet undecided voters. Moving on to Asia and markets are mostly higher with the Nikkei (+2.04%), CSI (+0.53%) and India’s Nifty (+0.52%) up while the Hang Seng (-0.03%), Shanghai Comp (-0.07%) and Kospi (-0.10%) have all made small moves lower. Meanwhile, the Evergrande group missed its dollar bond coupon payment yesterday and so far there has been no communication from the group on this. They have a 30-day grace period to make the payment before any event of default can be declared. This follows instructions from China’s Financial regulators yesterday in which they urged the group to take all measures possible to avoid a near-term default on dollar bonds while focusing on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors. Yields on Australia and New Zealand’s 10y sovereign bonds are up +14.5bps and +11.3bps respectively this morning after yesterday’s move from their western counterparts. Yields on 10y USTs are also up a further +1.1bps to 1.443%. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.04% while those on the Stoxx 50 are down -0.10%. In terms of overnight data, Japan’s August CPI printed at -0.4% yoy (vs. -0.3% yoy expected) while core was unchanged in line with expectations. We also received Japan’s flash PMIs with the services reading at 47.4 (vs. 42.9 last month) while the manufacturing reading came in at 51.2 (vs. 52.7 last month). In pandemic related news, Jiji reported that Japan is planning to conduct trials of easing Covid restrictions, with 13 prefectures indicating they’d like to participate. This is likely contributing to the outperformance of the Nikkei this morning. Back to yesterday now, and one of the main highlights came from the flash PMIs, which showed a continued deceleration in growth momentum across Europe and the US, and also underwhelmed relative to expectations. Running through the headline numbers, the Euro Area composite PMI fell to 56.1 (vs. 58.5 expected), which is the lowest figure since April, as both the manufacturing (58.7 vs 60.3 expected) and services (56.3 vs. 58.5 expected) came in beneath expectations. Over in the US, the composite PMI fell to 54.5 in its 4th consecutive decline, as the index hit its lowest level in a year, while the UK’s composite PMI at 54.1 (vs. 54.6 expected) was the lowest since February when the country was still in a nationwide lockdown. Risk assets seemed unperturbed by the readings, and commodities actually took another leg higher as they rebounded from their losses at the start of the week. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot index rose +1.12% as Brent crude oil (+1.39%) closed at $77.25/bbl, which marked its highest closing level since late 2018, while WTI (+1.07%) rose to $73.30/bbl, so still a bit beneath its recent peak in July. However that is a decent rebound of roughly $11/bbl since its recent low just over a month ago. Elsewhere, gold (-1.44%) took a knock amidst the sharp move higher in yields, while European natural gas prices subsidised for a third day running, with futures now down -8.5% from their intraday peak on Tuesday, although they’re still up by +71.3% since the start of August. US negotiations regarding the upcoming funding bill and raising the debt ceiling are ongoing, with House Speaker Pelosi saying that the former, also called a continuing resolution, will pass “both houses by September 30,” and fund the government through the first part of the fiscal year, starting October 1. Treasury Secretary Yellen has said the US will likely breach the debt ceiling sometime in the next month if Congress does not increase the level, and because Republicans are unwilling to vote to raise the ceiling, Democrats will have to use the once-a-fiscal-year tool of budget reconciliation to do so. However Democrats, are also using that process for the $3.5 trillion dollar economic plan that makes up the bulk of the Biden agenda, and have not been able to get full party support yet. During a joint press conference with Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer said that Democrats have a “framework” to pay for the Biden Economic agenda, which would imply that the broad outline of a deal was reached between the House, Senate and the White House. However, no specifics were mentioned yesterday. With Democrats looking to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill early next week, negotiations today and this weekend on the potential reconciliation package will be vital. Looking at yesterday’s other data, the weekly initial jobless claims from the US for the week through September 18 unexpectedly rose to 351k (vs. 320k expected), which is the second week running they’ve come in above expectations. Separately, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index fell to 0.29 in August (vs. 0.50 expected), and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity index also fell more than expected to 22 in September (vs. 25 expected). To the day ahead now, and data highlights include the Ifo’s business climate indicator from Germany for September, along with Italian consumer confidence for September and US new home sales for August. From central banks, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Tyler Durden Fri, 09/24/2021 - 08:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 24th, 2021

Unvaccinated Americans abroad will need a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of flying home from November, rather than the current 3 days, the White House said

Unvaccinated Americans abroad will need to prove they've bought a "viral test" for when they land in the US from November, the White House said. A health care worker tests a traveller at a COVID-19 testing station at LAX airport. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Unvaccinated Americans abroad will need a negative COVID-19 test within a day of their return flight from November. They will also need to buy a "viral test" to take when back in the US, the White House said. Currently, returning Americans need a test within 72 hours of flying, regardless of vaccination status. See more stories on Insider's business page. Unvaccinated Americans abroad will have to test negative for COVID-19 within a day of their return flight to the US, rather than within three days, under new rules coming in November, the White House press secretary said Monday.Jen Psaki said in a briefing that unvaccinated Americans flying home would need "proof of a negative test result taken within one day of their departure," as well as proof they have bought a "viral test" to take when they get to the US.The rules would "obviously apply to children as well," she said.Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules state that all air passengers coming to the United States, including US citizens and vaccinated people, must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their flight, or proof that they've recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months.Everyone must be tested three to five days after their return flight, too. Unvaccinated people must also self-quarantine for seven full days even if they test negative - if they don't get tested, they must self-isolate for 10 days. Vaccinated people don't have to self-quarantine if they test negative.Some of the details of the upcoming November rules remain unclear, such as what kind of tests passengers would need to prove they have bought, and whether the new rules apply to partially vaccinated people. Psaki said there were ongoing "discussions" about how the new process would work.About 37% of the US population are unvaccinated, according to Our World in Data. A further 9% are partially vaccinated, according to the data.The CDC has advised against international travel for unvaccinated Americans since January.The announcement came as the White House said it expected to ease the travel ban for vaccinated travelers from Europe and the UK. The ban has been in place since March 14, 2020.Some airlines worldwide have already mandated vaccines for flyers. Alan Joyce, chief executive officer at Qantas, said on September 9 that the airline would only allow vaccinated people to board its flights.It's not yet clear whether the White House will introduce vaccine mandates for domestic flights.Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden's chief medical adviser, said Sunday that the Biden administration had "not yet gotten to the point of requiring vaccinations on domestic flights, but everything is on the table.""I would support that if you want to get on a plane and travel with other people then you should be vaccinated," he said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021

Vail Resorts Reports Fiscal 2021 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Results, Provides Fiscal 2022 Outlook, Announces Transformational Capital Plan and Declares Dividend

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Sept. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) today reported results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended July 31, 2021, which were negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, and reported results of season-to-date season pass sales. Vail Resorts also provided its outlook for the fiscal year ending July 31, 2022, announced a one-time transformational capital plan for calendar year 2022, and declared a dividend payable in October 2021. Highlights Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. was $127.9 million for fiscal 2021, an increase of 29.4% compared to fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions, including the early closure of Whistler Blackcomb on March 30, 2021 and "stay at home" orders and periodic resort closures impacting our Australian ski areas. The prior year period was negatively impacted by the early closure of the Company's North American destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas on March 15, 2020 due to COVID-19 (the "Resort Closures"). Resort Reported EBITDA was $544.7 million for fiscal 2021, an increase of 8.2% compared to fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 was negatively impacted by COVID-19 and related limitations and restrictions. The prior year period was primarily impacted by the Resort Closures, which included the resulting deferral of approximately $120.9 million of pass product revenue and $2.9 million of related deferred costs from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2021 as a result of pass holder credits offered to 2019/2020 North American pass product holders. Pass product sales through September 17, 2021 for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season increased approximately 42% in units and approximately 17% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through September 18, 2020, without deducting for the value of any redeemed credits provided to certain North American pass product holders in the prior period. To provide a comparison to the season pass results released on June 7, 2021, pass product sales through September 17, 2021 increased approximately 67% in units and approximately 45% in sales dollars as compared to the period through September 20, 2019, with pass product sales adjusted to include Peak Resorts pass sales in both periods. Pass product sales are adjusted to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar in all periods for Whistler Blackcomb pass sales. The Company issued its fiscal 2022 guidance range and expects Resort Reported EBITDA to be between $785 million and $835 million. The guidance includes an expectation that Resort Reported EBITDA for the first quarter of fiscal 2022 will be between negative $118 million and negative $106 million, which includes the negative impact from COVID-19 resort closures in Australia. Fiscal 2022 guidance assumes, among other assumptions described below, no material impacts associated with COVID-19 for the 2021/2022 North American ski season or the 2022 Australian ski season, other than an expected slower recovery for international visitation and group/conference business. The Company continues to maintain significant liquidity with $1.2 billion of cash on hand as of July 31, 2021 and $613 million of availability under our U.S. and Whistler Blackcomb revolving credit facilities. The Company declared a cash dividend of $0.88 per share payable in October 2021 and plans to exit the temporary waiver period under the Vail Holdings, Inc. revolving credit facility ("VHI Credit Agreement") effective October 31, 2021. The Company announced a transformational $315 million to $325 million capital plan for calendar year 2022 focused on the addition and/or upgrade of 19 new chairlifts and other improvements to enhance the guest experience ahead of the 2022/2023 North American ski season. Commenting on the Company's fiscal 2021 results, Rob Katz, Chief Executive Officer, said, "Given the continued challenges associated with COVID-19, we are pleased with our operating results for the year. Our results highlighted our data-driven marketing capabilities, the value of our pass products, the resiliency of demand for the experiences we offer throughout our network of world-class resorts and our disciplined cost controls. "Results continued to improve as the 2020/2021 North American ski season progressed, primarily as a result of stronger destination visitation at our Colorado and Utah resorts. Excluding Peak Resorts, total skier visitation at our U.S. destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas for fiscal 2021 was only down 6% compared to fiscal 2019. Whistler Blackcomb's performance was disproportionately negatively impacted due to the closure of the Canadian border to international guests, including guests from the U.S., and the resort closing earlier than expected on March 30, 2021 following a provincial health order issued by the government of British Columbia. Whistler Blackcomb's total skier visitation for fiscal 2021 declined 51% compared to fiscal 2019. Our ancillary lines of business were more significantly and negatively impacted by COVID-19 related capacity constraints and limitations throughout the 2020/2021 North American ski season. We generated Resort Reported EBITDA margin of 28.5% driven by our disciplined cost controls as well as a higher proportion of lift revenue relative to ancillary lines of business compared to prior periods." Regarding the Company's fiscal 2021 fourth quarter results, Katz said, "We are pleased with the strong demand across our North American summer operations during the fourth quarter, which exceeded our expectations and which we believe highlights our guests' continued affinity for outdoor experiences. In Australia, we experienced strong demand trends at the beginning of the 2021 Australian ski season. However, subsequent COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders and temporary resort closures negatively impacted financial results for the fourth quarter by approximately $8 million relative to our guidance expectations issued on June 7, 2021. Fourth quarter results were also negatively impacted relative to our June 7, 2021 guidance by a one-time $13.2 million charge for a contingent obligation with respect to certain litigation matters." Katz continued, "We remain focused on our disciplined approach to capital allocation, prioritizing our investments in our people, as well as high-return capital projects, strategic acquisition opportunities, and returning capital to shareholders. Our liquidity position remains strong, and we are confident in the free cash flow generation and stability of our business model. Our total cash and revolver availability as of July 31, 2021 was approximately $1.9 billion, with $1.2 billion of cash on hand, $418 million of revolver availability under the VHI Credit Agreement, and $195 million of revolver availability under the Whistler Blackcomb Credit Agreement. As of July 31, 2021, our Net Debt was 3.0 times trailing twelve months Total Reported EBITDA. Given our strong balance sheet and outlook, we are pleased to announce that the Company plans to exit the temporary waiver period under the VHI Credit Agreement effective October 31, 2021, declared a cash dividend of $0.88 per share payable in October 2021, and announced a transformational $315 million to $325 million capital plan for calendar year 2022 to add or upgrade 19 new chairlifts and make other investments to enhance the guest experience and are expected to generate strong returns for our shareholders." Operating Results A more complete discussion of our operating results can be found within the Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations section of the Company's Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2021, which was filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The discussion of operating results below compares the results for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2021 to the fiscal year ended July 31, 2020, unless otherwise noted. The following are segment highlights: Mountain Segment Total lift revenue increased $163.5 million, or 17.9%, to $1,076.6 million primarily due to strong North American pass sales growth for the 2020/2021 ski season, including the deferral impact of the pass holder credits offered to 2019/2020 North American pass product holders from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2021 as a result of the Resort Closures, partially offset by a decrease in non-pass visitation due to limitations and restrictions on our North American operations due to the impacts of COVID-19, which disproportionately impacted Whistler Blackcomb. Ski school revenue decreased $44.9 million, or 23.7%, dining revenue decreased $70.4 million, or 43.8%, and retail/rental revenue decreased $42.3 million, or 15.7%, each primarily as a result of by COVID-19 related capacity limitations and restrictions in the current year, partially offset by the Company operating for the full U.S. ski season in the current year as compared to the impact of the Resort Closures in the prior year. Operating expense decreased $65.9 million, or 5.4%, which was primarily attributable to cost discipline efforts in the current year associated with lower levels of operations and limitations, restrictions and closures of resort operations resulting from COVID-19. Mountain Reported EBITDA increased $50.3 million, or 10.1%, which includes $20.3 million of stock-based compensation for fiscal 2021 compared to $17.4 million in the prior year. Lodging Segment Lodging segment net revenue (excluding payroll cost reimbursements) decreased $26.4 million, or 11.1%, primarily due to operational restrictions and limitations of our North American lodging properties in the current year as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, partially offset by stronger summer demand in the U.S. during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021. Lodging Reported EBITDA decreased $9.0 million, which includes $3.8 million of stock-based compensation expense in fiscal 2021 compared to $3.4 million of stock-based compensation expense in fiscal 2020. Resort - Combination of Mountain and Lodging Segments Resort net revenue was $1,907.9 million for fiscal 2021, a decrease of $50.9 million, or 2.6%, compared to resort net revenue of $1,958.9 million for fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 revenue included approximately $12 million of favorability from currency translation, which the Company calculated on a constant currency basis by applying current period foreign exchange rates to the prior period results. Resort Reported EBITDA was $544.7 million for fiscal 2021, an increase of $41.3 million, or 8.2%, compared to fiscal 2020. Fiscal 2021 includes the impact from the deferral of $118 million of pass product revenue and related deferred costs from fiscal 2020 to fiscal 2021 as a result of credits offered to 2020/2021 North American pass product holders, a one-time $13.2 million charge for a contingent obligation with respect to certain litigation matters, and approximately $2 million of favorability from currency translation from Whistler Blackcomb, which the Company calculated on a constant currency basis by applying current period foreign exchange rates to prior period results. Total Performance Total net revenue decreased $54.0 million, or 2.7%, to $1,909.7 million. Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. was $127.9 million, or $3.13 per diluted share, for fiscal 2021 compared to net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. of $98.8 million, or $2.42 per diluted share, in fiscal 2020. Net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. for fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020 included tax benefits of approximately $17.9 million and $8.0 million, respectively, related to employee exercises of equity awards (primarily related to the CEO's exercise of SARs). Additionally, fiscal 2021 net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. included approximately $3 million of unfavorability from currency translation, which the Company calculated by applying current period foreign exchange rates to the prior period results. Season Pass Sales Commenting on the Company's season pass sales for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season, Katz said, "We are very pleased with the results of our season pass sales to date, which continue to demonstrate the strength of our data-driven marketing initiatives and the compelling value proposition of our pass products, driven in part by the 20% reduction in all pass prices for the upcoming season. Pass product sales through September 17, 2021 for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season increased approximately 42% in units and approximately 17% in sales dollars as compared to the period in the prior year through September 18, 2020, without deducting for the value of any redeemed credits provided to certain North American pass holders in the prior period. To provide a comparison to the season pass results released on June 7, 2021, pass product sales through September 17, 2021 for the upcoming 2021/2022 North American ski season increased approximately 67% in units and approximately 45% in sales dollars as compared to sales for the 2019/2020 North American ski season through September 20, 2019, with pass product sales adjusted to include Peak Resorts pass sales in both periods. Pass product sales are adjusted to eliminate the impact of foreign currency by applying an exchange rate of $0.79 between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar in all periods for Whistler Blackcomb pass sales." Katz continued, "We saw strong unit growth from renewing pass holders and significantly stronger unit growth from new pass holders, which include guests in our database who previously purchased lift tickets or passes but did not buy a pass in the previous season and guests who are completely new to our database. Our strongest unit growth was from our destination markets, including the Northeast, and we also had very strong growth across our local markets. The majority of our absolute unit growth came from our core Epic and Epic Local pass products and we also saw even higher percentage growth from our Epic Day Pass products. Compared to the period ended September 18, 2020, effective pass price decreased 17%, despite the 20% price decrease we implemented this year and the significant growth of our lower priced Epic Day Pass products, which continue to represent an increasing portion of our total advance commitment product sales. "We are very pleased with the performance of our pass product sales efforts to date, which exceeded our original expectations for the impact of the 20% price reduction, particularly in the growth of new pass holders and in the trade up we are seeing from pass holders into higher priced products. As we enter the final period for pass product sales, we feel good about the current trends we are seeing. However, it is important to point out that we know a portion of the growth we have seen to date represents certain pass product holders purchasing their pass earlier in the selling season than in the prior year period and we saw strong growth in the late fall in the prior year period due to concerns around COVID-19, including questions about resort access as a result of our mountain access reservation system. Given these factors and the other changing economic and COVID-related dynamics, it is difficult to provide specific guidance on our final growth rates, which may decline from the rates we reported today." Capital Investments Commenting on the Company's capital investments, Katz said, "As previously announced, we are on track to complete several signature investments in advance of the 2021/2022 North American ski season. In Colorado, we are completing a 250 acre lift-served terrain expansion in the signature McCoy Park area of Beaver Creek, further differentiating the resort's high-end, family focused experience. We are also adding a new four-person high speed lift at Breckenridge to serve the popular Peak 7, replacing the Peru lift at Keystone with a six-person high speed chairlift, and replacing the Peachtree lift at Crested Butte with a new three-person fixed-grip lift. At Okemo, we are completing a transformational investment including upgrading the Quantum lift to replace the Green Ridge three-person fixed-grip chairlift. In addition to the transformational investments that will greatly improve uplift capacity, we are continuing to invest in company-wide technology enhancements, including investing in a number of upgrades to bring a best-in-class approach to how we service our guests through these channels. "We are encouraged by the outlook for our long-term growth and the financial stability we have created. The success of our advance commitment strategy, the expansion of our network and our focus on creating an outstanding guest experience remain at the forefront of our efforts. Toward that end, we are launching an ambitious capital investment plan for calendar year 2022 across our resorts to significantly increase lift capacity and enhance the guest experience as we drive increased loyalty from our guests and continuously improve the value proposition of our advance commitment products. These investments are also expected to drive strong financial returns for our shareholders. The plan includes the installation of 19 new or replacement lifts across 14 of our resorts that collectively will increase lift capacity in those lift locations by more than 60% and a transformational lift-served terrain expansion at Keystone, as well as additional projects that will be announced in December 2021 and March 2022. All of the projects in the plan are subject to regulatory approvals. "We expect our capital plan for calendar year 2022 will be approximately $315 million to $325 million, excluding any real estate related capital or reimbursable investments. This is approximately $150 million above our typical annual capital plan, based on inflation and previous additions for acquisitions, and includes approximately $20 million of incremental spending to complete the one-time capital plans associated with the Peak Resorts and Triple Peaks acquisitions. Given our recent financings and strong liquidity, the outlook for our business driven by the growth of our advance commitment strategy, and the tax benefit in 2022 from additional accelerated depreciation on U.S. investments, we believe this is the right time for our Company to make a significant investment in the guest experience at our resorts and expect this one-time increase in discretionary investments will drive an attractive return for our shareholders. Additional details associated with our calendar year 2022 capital plan can be found in our capital press release issued on September 23, 2021. We also intend to return our capital spending to our typical long-term plan in our calendar year 2023 capital plan, with the potential for reduced spending given the number of projects we would complete in calendar year 2022. We will be providing further detail on our calendar year 2022 capital plan in December 2021." Return of Capital Commenting on the Company's return of capital, Katz said, "The Company plans to exit the waiver period under the VHI Credit Agreement effective October 31, 2021, reinstating the required quarterly compliance with our financial maintenance covenants beginning with the first quarter of fiscal year 2022. We are also pleased to announce that the Board of Directors has reinstated our quarterly dividend by declaring a cash dividend on Vail Resorts' common stock of $0.88 per share, payable on October 22, 2021 to shareholders of record on October 5, 2021. This dividend payment equates to 50% of pre-pandemic levels and reflects our continued confidence in the strong free cash flow generation and stability of our business model despite the ongoing risks associated with COVID-19. Our Board of Directors will continue to closely monitor the economic and public health outlook on a quarterly basis to assess the level of our quarterly dividend going forward." Guidance Commenting on guidance for fiscal 2022, Katz said, "As we head into fiscal 2022, we are encouraged by the robust demand from our guests, the strength of our advance commitment product sales and our continued focus on enhancing the guest experience while maintaining our cost discipline. Our guidance for net income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. is estimated to be between $278 million and $349 million for fiscal 2022. We estimate Resort Reported EBITDA for fiscal 2022 will be between $785 million and $835 million. We estimate Resort EBITDA Margin for fiscal 2022 to be approximately 32.1%, using the midpoint of the guidance range, which is negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19 impacts associated with Australia in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 and the anticipated slower recovery in international visitation and group/conference business. We estimate Real Estate Reported EBITDA for fiscal 2022 to be between negative $6 million and $0 million. The guidance assumes normal weather conditions, a continuation of the current economic environment and no material impacts associated with COVID-19 for the 2021/2022 North American ski season or the 2022 Australian ski season other than an expected slower recovery for international visitation, which is expected to have a disproportionate impact at Whistler Blackcomb, and group/conference business, which is expected to have a disproportionate impact in our Lodging segment. At Whistler Blackcomb, we estimate the upcoming winter season will generate approximately $27 million lower Resort Reported EBITDA relative to the comparable period in fiscal 2019, primarily driven by the anticipated reduction in international visitation. "Fiscal 2022 guidance includes an expectation that the first quarter of fiscal 2022 will generate net loss attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. between $156 million and $136 million and Resort Reported EBITDA between negative $118 million and negative $106 million. We estimate the negative impacts of COVID-19 in Australia and the associated limitations and restrictions, including the current lockdowns, will have a negative Resort Reported EBITDA impact of approximately $41 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 as compared to the first quarter of fiscal 2020. "There continues to be uncertainty regarding the ultimate impact of COVID-19 on our business results in fiscal year 2022, including any response to changing COVID-19 guidance and regulations by the various governmental bodies that regulate our operations and resort communities, as well as changes in consumer behavior resulting from COVID-19, which are not factored into the guidance and could negatively impact it. The guidance assumes an exchange rate of $0.80 between the Canadian Dollar and U.S. Dollar related to the operations of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and an exchange rate of $0.74 between the Australian Dollar and U.S. Dollar related to the operations of Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia." The following table reflects the forecasted guidance range for the Company's fiscal 2022 first quarter ending October 31, 2021 and full year ending July 31, 2022, for Reported EBITDA (after stock-based compensation expense) and reconciles net (loss) income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. guidance to such Reported EBITDA guidance. Fiscal 2022 Guidance Fiscal 2022 Guidance (In thousands) (In thousands) For the Three Months Ending For the Year Ending October 31, 2021 (6) July 31, 2022 (6) Low End High End Low End High End Range Range Range Range Net (loss) income attributable to Vail Resorts, Inc. $ (156,000) $ (136,000) $ 278,000 $ 349,000 Net (loss) income attributable to noncontrolling interests (3,000) (7,000) 24,000 18,000 Net (loss) income (159,000) (143,000) 302,000 367,000 (Benefit) provision for income taxes (1) (60,000) (54,000) 82,000 100,000 (Loss) income before income taxes (219,000) (197,000) 384,000 467,000 Depreciation and amortization 63,000 61,000 250,000 238,000 Interest expense, net 41,000 38,000 150,000 142,000 Other (2) (5,000) (8,000) (5,000) (12,000) Total Reported EBITDA $ (120,000) $ (106,000) $ 779,000 $ 835,000 Mountain Reported EBITDA (3) $ (122,000) $ (110,000) $ 766,000 $ 814,000 Lodging Reported EBITDA (4) 3,000 5,000 16,000 24,000 Resort Reported EBITDA (5) (118,000) (106,000) 785,000 835,000 Real Estate Reported EBITDA (2,000) — (6,000) — Total Reported EBITDA $ (120,000) $ (106,000) $ 779,000 $ 835,000 (1) The (benefit) provision for income taxes may be impacted by excess tax benefits primarily resulting from vesting and exercises of equity awards. Our estimated (benefit) provision for income taxes does not include the impact, if any, of unknown future exercises of employee equity awards, which could have a material impact given that a significant portion of our awards are in-the-money. (2) Our guidance includes certain known changes in the fair value of the contingent consideration based solely on the passage of time and resulting impact on present value. Guidance excludes any change based upon, among other things, financial projections including long-term growth rates for Park City, which such change may be material. Separately, the intercompany loan associated with the Whistler Blackcomb transaction requires foreign currency remeasurement to Canadian dollars, the functional currency of Whistler Blackcomb. Our guidance excludes any forward looking change related to foreign currency gains or losses on the intercompany loans, which such change may be material. (3) Mountain Reported EBITDA also includes approximately $5 million and $21 million of stock-based compensation for the three months ending October 31, 2021 and the year ending July 31, 2022, respectively. (4) Lodging Reported EBITDA also includes approximately $1 million and $4 million of stock-based compensation for the three months ending October 31, 2021 and the year ending July 31, 2022, respectively. (5) The Company provides Reported EBITDA ranges for the Mountain and Lodging segments, as well as for the two combined. The low and high of the expected ranges provided for the Mountain and Lodging segments, while possible, do not sum to the high or low end of the Resort Reported EBITDA range provided because we do not expect or assume that we will hit the low or high end of both ranges. (6) Guidance estimates are predicated on an exchange rate of $0.80 between the Canadian Dollar and U.S. Dollar, related to the operations of Whistler Blackcomb in Canada and an exchange rate of $0.74 between the Australian Dollar and U.S. Dollar, related to the operations of our Australian ski areas. Earnings Conference Call The Company will conduct a conference call today at 5:00 p.m. eastern time to discuss the financial results. The call will be webcast and can be accessed at www.vailresorts.com in the Investor Relations section, or dial (888) 204-4368 (U.S. and Canada) or (323) 994-2093 (international). A replay of the conference call will be available two hours following the conclusion of the conference call through October 7, 2021, at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. To access the replay, dial (888) 203-1112 (U.S. and Canada) or (719) 457-0820 (international), pass code 8866986. The conference call will also be archived at www.vailresorts.com. About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:MTN) Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts' subsidiaries operate 37 destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, and Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com. Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements discussed in this press release and on the conference call, other than statements of historical information, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws, including the statements regarding fiscal 2022 and the first quarter of fiscal 2022 performance (including the assumptions related thereto), including our expected net income and Resort Reported EBITDA; our expectations regarding our liquidity; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on, among other things, our operations; expectations related to our season pass products; our expectations regarding our ancillary lines of business; the payment of dividends and our expectations regarding electing out of the temporary waiver period under the VHI Credit Agreement; and our calendar year 2022 and calendar year 2023 capital plan and expectations related thereto. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on ...Full story available on Benzinga.com.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 23rd, 2021

South African Airways is flying again after its government cut funding last year. Here"s a look at the collapse and revival of the 87-year-old national airline.

The airline has served South Africa since before the country became truly independent from the UK and has a history largely molded by its country's laws. SAA relaunches flights after a year of inactivity Reuters South African Airways relaunched operations with a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town after a year of inactivity. Though not involved in the relaunch, the airline has likely secured a new investor, Takatso Consortium. SAA said it's optimistic about its revival, but it's not without its skeptics. See more stories on Insider's business page. South African Airways was on the brink of disappearance after years of financial struggles, but it may have received a lifeline.On Thursday, the carrier relaunched operations on a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town using money it received from the South African government. After getting in millions from the state, the long-suffering carrier was denied further funding last year, and, as FlightGlobal reported, business rescuers entrusted with the difficult task of rescuing the 87-year-old airline had given it two options: liquidation or a wind-down and sale process.However, SAA has likely secured a private investor, Takatso Consortium, in June 2021, which agreed to funnel up to $243 million into the crippled airline over the next three years. Takatso Consortium CEO Gidon Novick said the relaunch is independent of the negotiations between the consortium and the carrier.Take a look at South African Airways' collapse and rebirth. The airline itself dates back to 1934 when South Africa's Union Airways was nationalized to form the new South African Airways. The state-owned airline would become the flag carrier of South Africa, which was still part of the British Empire at the time. A South African Airways Junkers aircraft. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Source: South African Airways Initial operations for South African included regional flights within Africa. Intra-African and domestic flights were operated by aircraft including the Junkers Ju 52, Douglas DC-3, and Junkers Ju 86. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways Once World War II ended, South African expanded beyond the shores of its home continent with a multi-stop flight to the heart of the British Empire. The route was known as the "Springbok" service, after the national animal of South Africa. An Avro York aircraft similar to the one used by South African Airways. The Montifraulo Collection/Getty Source: South African Airways The 34-hour, three-day service initially flown by an Avro York aircraft, stopped in Nairobi, Kenya; Khartoum, Sudan; Cairo, Egypt; and Castel Benito, Libya, before arriving in Bournemouth, England. An Avro York aircraft similar to the one used by South African Airways. The Montifraulo Collection/Getty Source: South African Airways Springbok would also become the radio callsign for South African Airways flights. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com More modern aircraft from Western manufacturers including the Lockheed Constellation L-749 and Douglas DC-4 were later added, helping fuel international expansion. A Douglas DC-4 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The airline added flight attendants on its services in 1946 and later added in-flight movies to some of its flights in the same decade. A Douglas DC-3 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways South Africa entered the jet age in 1953 with a British Overseas Airways Corporation de Havilland Comet operated by South African Airways that flew from Johannesburg to London. A BOAC de Havilland Comet aircraft. PA Images/Getty Source: South African Airways Intercontinental expansion continued with South African Airways later growing its route network to Australia in 1957 with "Wallaby" service. A Douglas DC-4 painted in South African Airways former colors. Simon_g / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The 1960s then saw further expansion to South America, with flights to Rio de Janeiro, and then North America, with flights to New York, using the Boeing 707. A South African Airways Boeing 707 aircraft. Antony Matheus Linsen/Fairfax Media/Getty Source: South African Airways South African hit a milestone in the 1970s with its first Boeing 747 aircraft, an aircraft that had begun flying passengers only at the beginning of the decade. The quad engine aircraft quickly became a status symbol for the world's airlines. A South African Airways Boeing 747 aircraft. Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty Source: South African Airways Other new arrivals included the Boeing 737… A South African Airways Boeing 737-800 aircraft. JOKER/Hady Khandani/ullstein bild/Getty Source: South African Airways And Airbus A300. A South African Airways Airbus A300 aircraft. STR New/Reuters Source: South African Airways South African was also one of the first commercial operators of a unique Boeing product, the 747SP. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways A shortened version of the popular Jumbo Jet but with the same four engines, the 747SP offering extended ranges unmatched by most aircraft of the time. The range of the 747SP was so great that South African flew it from Seattle to Cape Town nonstop, a distance of over 8,800 nautical miles, on its delivery flight. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways While airlines liked the 747SP for its performance capabilities, South African had a different reason involving the country's apartheid policy. A Boeing 747SP aircraft. Mo Azizi / Shutterstock.com Due to the discriminatory policy, some African countries had restricted South African Airways flights from entering their airspaces and the airline would often have to fly indirect routes to get to Europe. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: New York Times The Boeing 747SP allowed for South African to go around the countries without having to stop for fuel on the way to Europe. Other aircraft frequently used Cape Verde as a refueling stop for flights to Europe, despite the archipelago's location off the coast of West Africa. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: New York Times A route from Johannesburg to Athens on the 747SP, for example, stopped in Lisbon and Rome along the way. The flight flew direct or with one stop to Lisbon, and then headed into the continent. A South African Airways Boeing 747SP aircraft. EQRoy / Shutterstock.com Source: South African Airways The 1980s then saw turbulence for the carrier as Western nations adopted sanctions against South Africa for its apartheid policies. Flights to the US and Australia were revoked in addition to the countries that had barred South African's flights. Australian protests against South Africa's apartheid policy. Robert Pearce/Fairfax Media/Getty Source: South African Airways When apartheid ended in the 1990s, South African was allowed to grow its route network once again and the airline no longer needed to fly the long, costly routes to avoid some nations. A South African Airways Airbus A320 aircraft. Rogan Ward/Reuters Source: South African Airways One of the most notable displays of the new airline came in 1995 during the Rugby World Cups when a South African Airways Boeing 747 did a flyover of the stadium with "Good Luck Bokke," a nickname for the South African team, painted on the belly. The feat was repeated multiple times in later years by other airlines. An aircraft flyover at a 2013 Springboks vs All Blacks rugby match, David Rogers/Getty Source: South African Airways and Safair The decade also saw the airline win the title of Africa's leading airline from 1994 on to 2015. The 1990s, however, also saw the airline begin its financial losing streak. South African Airways aircraft. William F. Campbell/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Source: QZ The 2000s saw South African undergo a fleet renewal where most of its long-haul Boeing jets were retired in favor of European-built Airbus planes. The new long-haul flagships became the Airbus A330… A South African Airways Airbus A330 aircraft. SUMAYA HISHAM/Reuters Source: Planespotters.net And A340-600. A South African Airways Airbus A340-600 aircraft. Bruce Bennett/Getty Source: Planespotters.net South African was later brought into organizations to which it had been denied including the International Civil Aviation Organization and joined the Star Alliance. South African Airways joined Star Alliance in 2006. SIPHIWE SIBEKO/Reuters Source: South African Airways Its new-found praise and acceptance, however, couldn't replace the financial woes of the airline. In 2019, South African entered the equivalent of bankruptcy protection and began restructuring after racking up nearly $3 billion in debt. South African Airways employees protest during the airline's bankruptcy. Siyabonga Sishi/Reuters Source: QZ Despite being in the midst of restructuring, South African leased a new aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 XWB, which ultimately launched on the Johannesburg-New York route in January 2020. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways Read More: Bankrupt South African Airways just debuted its newest plane, the Airbus A350, weeks early despite verging on the brink of collapse The swanky new aircraft would be ideal for the ultra-long-haul routes that South African planned to use them for. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways With the new aircraft in the air and flying passengers, the hope was that South African might have a plan to save itself from collapse. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. South African Airways South Africa's government, which has been incrementally providing relief, however, ultimately pulled the plug in April 2020. A South African Airways Airbus A340-600. Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Source: FlightGlobal Without intervention from either the government or a private buyer willing to keep the airline going, South African Airways looked like it was going to disappear from the skies for good. A South African Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. Sumaya Hisham/Reuters However, the airline is back up and running after over a year of inactivity. SAA relaunched operations on September 23 with a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town using an A320 aircraft, which carried 123 passengers on the maiden journey. SAA's first flight in over a year Reuters Source: Aerotime Hub The relaunch came after months of restructuring, which included reducing its debt and cutting its workforce by 80%, down from 4,000 to 802. SAA relaunch at Johannesburg airport Reuters Source: Aerotime Hub, ch-aviation The airline will be backed by Takatso Consortium, a joint-venture between Harith General Partners and Global Aviation, which is in late stage talks to buy the majority stake from the South African government in June. South African union buildings Burhan Ay Photography/Shutterstock Source: africannews Takatso Consortium is set to be SAA's lifeline, though is not reportedly involved in the airline's management, relaunch, or funding. However, Takatso CEO Gidon Novick said in a statement that negotiations to take a 51% share are "substantially complete." SAA A320 at Johannesburg airport Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock Source: ch-aviation The consortium's deal made with South Africa's Department of Public Enterprises includes investing up to $243 million into the airline over the next three years. SAA A330 takes off from Lusaka, Zambia Vidit Luthra Source: africannews Without its private funds yet secured, the company is using $33.8 million of the $712.3 million bailout it received from the state to restart operations. SAA A320 Thiago B Trevisan/Shutterstock Source: ch-aviation SAA's interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo said the company needs a modern fleet of aircraft if it is going to be competitive outside of Africa. Currently, its all-Airbus fleet has an average age of more than 15 years. SAA plane in Namibia Felix Lipov/Shutterstock Source: africannews However, Kgokolo said ticket sales are promising and early numbers indicate flights could be 75% full. SAA passengers Reuters Source: africannews The airline's fleet has shrunk, having only six of the original 44 it had before insolvency. SAA will start with a small network, operating one domestic route and five regional routes, including to Accra, Ghana; Kinshasa, DRC; Harare, Zimbabwe; Lusaka, Zambia; and Maputo, Mozambique. SAA plane in Johannesburg Reuters Source: ch-aviation While it still has a long way to go, SAA's relaunch has brought pride and excitement for its employees. Crew members danced and sang at the Johannesburg airport before the maiden flight. SAA employees dance after relaunch Reuters Source: Reuters While the airline is optimistic about its return, skeptics believe it will be short-lived. According to Efficient Group economist Dawie Roodt, Takatso Consortium's absence from the relaunch is not a good sign. SAA A340 wing Vidit Luthra/Shutterstock Source: jacarandafm He explained that the slow deal with the consortium makes him wonder where the money to keep SAA in the air is going to come from. Without the agreement finalized, the airline will likely have its wings clipped again soon, according to Roodt. SAA tail at Frankfurt airport Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock Source: jacarandafm Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 23rd, 2021

Stocks Jump 1% to Save Week and Set New Record Highs

Stocks Jump 1% to Save Week and Set New Record Highs This holiday-shortened week ended on Friday in the same way as last week… with the major indices all at record highs! Stocks recovered from yesterday’s malaise with a 1%+ rally that turned the weekly totals positive and provided some momentum for the beginning of earnings season. What happened to all the concerns about a stalled economic recovery, which was reported as the main reason for Thursday’s slide? It goes to show that one session’s performance doesn’t mean a whole lot for such a skittish market. You know what does carry some weight? The major indices all soaring by double-digits in the first six months of 2021. The Dow had the best performance with a jump of 1.3% (or about 448 points) to 34,870.16, while the S&P was close behind with a 1.13% advance to 4369.55. The NASDAQ was right there too with an increase of 0.98% (or around 142 points) to 14,701.92. Those results make record closes for each index, just like last Friday before the July 4th holiday. It also gave the indices slight gains for the four days. The S&P and NASDAQ were each up about 0.4%, while the Dow advanced 0.2%. It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the 1%+ gains we were enjoying last Friday, but this short week really served as a buffer between the big jobs report from July 2 and the beginning of earnings season. “Total Q2 earnings for the S&P 500 index are currently expected to be up +62.2% from the same period last year on +18.2% higher revenues. This would follow the +49.3% earnings growth on +10.3% higher revenues in 2021 Q1,” said Sheraz Mian in his just-released Earnings Preview article. “Estimates have steadily gone up in recent months, with the current +62.2% growth rate up from +50.6% at the start of the quarter on April 1st and +41.6% at the start of January,” he continued. As usual, the big banks kick things off with JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) reporting before the market opens on Tuesday. Then we’ll get Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C) and Wells Fargo (WFC) on Wednesday, all before the open. Morgan Stanley (MS) and US Bancorp (USB) go to the plate on Thursday, along with Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) and UnitedHealth (UNH). In all, there’ll be nearly 130 companies reporting next week. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Blockchain Innovators: Back in 2020, Dave pulled a more than 50% return out of eGain (EGAN), a leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement solutions. It was a play on the new ‘stay at home’ economy. These days, EGAN is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each quarter stretching back to September 2019. And growth is slated to return next year with EPS estimated to rise more than 22% on revenue improvement of nearly 12.7%. The editor wants to see if history will repeat itself, so he added EGAN again on Friday. The portfolio also sold iCAD (ICAD) for a loss. Read the full write-up for more on today’s action. Counterstrike: "And just like that we are back at highs. Impressive and steady rally after yesterdays selling, that to be honest, took me by surprise. This back and forth is really something. I was ready to get short and making my list of stocks to buy and wham, new highs. "I talk to many traders throughout the day and a few others on a weekly basis. There seems to be a common theme that this market is very difficult. We all are struggling to make head and tales of these daily moves. It's one of the weirdest atmospheres I've ever seen and very hard to be confident in a position. "As we get earnings season going, we will be focused on the down moves to scoop. But I also want to stress that we might do things a little differently. I’m toying with the idea of more trades, with tighter stops and price targets that are achievable in a shorter amount of time. This means we are a little more active, but also with a mindset not to overtrade. I think there is a happy medium that we can achieve over these summer months." -- Jeremy Mullin Options Trader: "It’s funny how everybody was wringing their hands on Thursday over growth concerns (for no good reason), and how everybody went from runaway inflation panic (wrong) to suddenly deflation panic (also wrong) for no reason whatsoever, other than to ‘explain’ a less than -1% move to the downside. "That hysteria seemed to have lasted one day. "The point is, sometimes markets go down a bit. And after such a spectacular run, a little bit of profit taking is totally normal. And that’s the takeaway. Keep your eyes on the big picture and don’t get spooked by ordinary noise, which is what Thursday’s pullback was." -- Kevin Matras Have a Great Weekend! Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Record-Setting Pace Continues as Earnings Season Begins

Record-Setting Pace Continues as Earnings Season Begins SPECIAL ALERT: Remember, the latest episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session will be available for viewing no later than this Wednesday, July 14. Kevin Matras, Jeremy Mullin, Brian Bolan and Sheraz Mian will cover the investment landscape from several angles in this informative event. Don’t miss your chance to hear: ▪ Jeremy and Brian Agree to Disagree on whether crude oil is in a bullish run and will print $100 a barrel before it’s over ▪ Kevin answers your questions in Zacks Mailbag ▪ Sheraz and Brian choose one portfolio to give feedback for improvement ▪ And much more So be sure to mark your calendar then log on to Zacks.com and bookmark this page. Business is about to pick up big time in the market as earnings season is finally here. Stocks grinded slowly higher on the eve of a couple major bank reports, but the indices still made records since they came into the session at new highs. This week also sees the CPI report tomorrow and testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday and Thursday. So this is going to be a pretty busy and possibly consequential week for investors. We got started on the right foot, though, with gains on Monday. The Dow was up 0.36% (or about 126 points) to 34,996.18, while the S&P rose 0.35% to 4384.63. The NASDAQ contributed with an advance of 0.21% (or around 31 points) to 14,733.24. That marks new record closes for each of the major indices. Of course, any increase would make history since stocks had a fantastic end to last week with a more than 1% rally. The uptrend reversed losses from the day before, which momentarily had investors worried that the economic recovery would stall. Those fears seem to be on the backburner for now. Earnings season gets underway before the market opens tomorrow with reports from JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS). People must be feeling pretty good because JPM was up 1.4% today and GS climbed 2.4%. PepsiCo (PEP) also goes to the plate tomorrow and inched out a 0.02% advance on Monday. There’s plenty of reason to be optimistic for this season. According to our Director of Research Sheraz Mian, total Q2 earnings for the S&P is expected to jump 62.2% from last year on revenue growth of 18.2%. (This would be a great time to check out his recent article titled Previewing Q2 FY21 Bank Earnings.) The big question is: Will the market actually reward strong reports this time? And there’s even more going on before the bell tomorrow. The CPI report will be released. Last month, consumer prices rose 5% for May year over year, which was the highest in nearly three decades and above expectations. Nevertheless, stocks rose in that session (June 10). “This has market moving implications as a hot number could force the Fed’s hand in tapering and rates,” said Jeremy Mullin in Counterstrike. “Hard to speculate here as prices have shot higher in some areas of the economy, but we have seen some relief over the last month. The move lower in rates lately gives me a feel that we won’t get a hot number.” And if you want more potentially market moving news this week, let’s not forget Mr. Powell’s Monetary Policy Report to Congress later this week. There was some talk of tapering in the Fed minutes released last week, but for the most part the Committee plans to be patient and continue supporting this economy until the benchmarks say otherwise. Get ready for a crazy week!   Today's Portfolio Highlights: Counterstrike: The new week kicked off with two trades on Monday, as the editor added Foot Locker (FL) and Gibraltar Industries (ROCK). FL is a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) athletic shoes and apparel retailer that jumped after a big quarter back in May, but has since been trading sideways. A move below $60 prompted Jeremy to get involved before its earnings report. ROCK is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) that provides products to the industrials and buildings markets. The stock has been loitering around after a double digit drop, but the $75 level has been holding. The editor thinks its poised for a bounce before the early August report. FL was added with an 8% allocation and ROCK has a 4% allocation. Read the full write-up for more, including the suggested limit order for ROCK. Surprise Trader: The early days of earnings season are full of reports from banks, but Dave is going somewhere else for his first buy of the week. On Monday, the portfolio picked up Controladora Vuela (VLRS), a provider of aircraft transportation services. This is a reopening play, which will be the editor’s focus here in the early days of the season. VLRS beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the past two quarters and has a positive Earning ESP of 71.43% for the quarter coming after the bell on Thursday, July 15. The stock was added today with a 12.5% allocation. Read the full write-up for more on this move. Value Investor: The portfolio added an E&P and a regional bank on Monday... with the possibility of a third pick later this week! Diamondback (FANG) is a larger-cap E&P and one of the largest drillers in the Permian. Tracey is well aware that this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is up 85% year to date, but earnings are expected to rise 196% this year and another 26.5% next year. But most importantly, it’s still cheap (it has yet to return to 2018 highs) and has one of the best balance sheets in the space. Meanwhile, United Community Banks (UCBI) is a mid-cap regional bank in the Southeast, which is a part of the country enjoying population growth. Shares have cooled off more than 7% over the past three months, but are still up 11.2% year-to date. The stock is cheap and pays a dividend yielding 2.4%. Read the full write-up for a lot more on these new additions and the editor’s plans for the portfolio this summer. By the way, InMode (INMD) was easily the best performer on Monday after “crushing” preliminary results again, which included raising its full-year revenue guidance. Shares of the company, which uses radio-frequency tech for beauty treatments, soared 12.5% today and is now the biggest winner in Value Investor with a 343.6% return since being added in April 2020. Canadian Solar (CSIQ) also made the Top 5 with a rise of 5.5%.   Black Box Trader: The portfolio switched three names in this week's adjustment. The stocks that were sold included: • Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF, +7.7%) • Signet Jewelers (SIG, +2.4%) • Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH) The new buys that filled these just-opened spots are: • Athene Holding (ATH) • Covanta Holding (CVA) • Jabil (JBL) Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service. Headline Trader: "We are on the precipice of Q2 earnings hysteria, and all the large-cap indexes grinded up to new record closes today. The markets are just floating higher as investors prepare their portfolios for this quarterly public equity catalyst. "The incessant bullish narrative in stocks may be vulnerable to change in the coming weeks. Nevertheless, investors & traders are optimistic about the first reporting sector, as banks catch a solid bid to lead today's session. "The commencing June quarter reporting season will put the 'goldilocks' markets theory (not too hot, not too cold) to the test and either validate or nullify the lofty valuations amid the swiftest economic rebound in US history." -- Dan Laboe Until Tomorrow, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). 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Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears Even though China was closed for a second day, and even though the Evergrande drama is nowhere closer to a resolution with a bond default imminent and with Beijing mute on how it will resolve the potential "Lehman moment" even as rating agency S&P chimed in saying a default is likely and it does not expect China’s government “to provide any direct support” to the privately owned developer, overnight the BTFD crew emerged in full force, and ramped futures amid growing speculation that Beijing will rescue the troubled developer... Algos about to go on a rampage — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 21, 2021 ... pushing spoos almost 100 points higher from their Monday lows, and European stock were solidly in the green - despite Asian stocks hitting a one-month low - as investors tried to shake off fears of contagion from a potential collapse of China’s Evergrande, although gains were capped by concerns the Federal Reserve could set out a timeline to taper its stimulus at its meeting tomorrow. The dollar dropped from a one-month high, Treasury yields rose and cryptos rebounded from yesterday's rout. To be sure, the "this is not a Lehman moment" crowed was out in full force, as indicated by this note from Mizuho analysts who wrote that “while street wisdom is that Evergrande is not a ‘Lehman risk’, it is by no stretch of the imagination any meaningful comfort. It could end up being China’s proverbial house of cards ... with cross-sector headwinds already felt in materials/commodities.” At 7:00 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 34.00 points, or 0.79% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis 110.25 points, or 0.73%, while futures tracking the Dow  jumped 0.97%, a day after the index tumbled 1.8% in its worst day since late-July,  suggesting a rebound in sentiment after concerns about contagion from China Evergrande Group’s upcoming default woes roiled markets Monday. Dip-buyers in the last hour of trading Monday helped the S&P 500 pare some losses, though the index still posted the biggest drop since May. The bounce also came after the S&P 500 dropped substantially below its 50-day moving average - which had served as a resilient floor for the index this year - on Monday, its first major breach in more than six months. Freeport-McMoRan mining stocks higher with a 3% jump, following a 3.2% plunge in the S&P mining index a day earlier as copper prices hit a one-month low. Interest rate-sensitive banking stocks also bounced, tracking a rise in Treasury yields. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: U.S.-listed Chinese stocks start to recover from Monday’s slump in premarket trading as the global selloff moderates. Alibaba (BABA US), Baidu (BIDU US), Nio (NIO US), Tencent Music (TME US)and Bilibili (BILI US) are among the gainers Verrica Pharma (VRCA US) plunges 30% in premarket trading after failing to get FDA approval for VP-102 for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum ReWalk Robotics (RWLK US) shares jump 43% in U.S. premarket trading amid a spike in volume in the stock. Being discussed on StockTwits Aprea Therapeutics gains 21% in U.S. premarket trading after the company reported complete remission in a bladder cancer patient in Phase 1/2 clinical trial of eprenetapopt in combination with pembrolizumab Lennar (LEN US) shares fell 3% in Monday postmarket trading after the homebuilder forecast 4Q new orders below analysts’ consensus hurt by unprecedented supply chain challenges ConocoPhillips (COP US) ticks higher in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to buy Shell’s  Permian Basin assets for $9.5 billion in cash, accelerating the consolidation of the largest U.S. oil patch SmileDirect (SDC US) slightly higher in premarket trading after it said on Monday that it plans to enter France with an initial location in Paris KAR Global (KAR US) shares fell 4.6% in post-market trading on Monday after the company withdrew is full-year financial outlook citing disruption caused by chip shortage Sportradar (SRAD US) shares jumped 4.5% in Monday postmarket trading, after the company said basketball legend Michael Jordan will serve as a special adviser to its board and also increase his investment in the sports betting and entertainment services provider, effective immediately Orbital Energy Group (OEG US) gained 6% postmarket Monday after a unit won a contract  to construct 1,910 miles of rural broadband network in Virginia. Terms were not disclosed “So much of this information is already known that we don’t think it will necessary set off a wave of problems,” John Bilton, head of global multi-asset strategy at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “I’m more concerned about knock-on sentiment at a time when investor sentiment is a bit fragile. But when we look at the fundamentals -- the general growth, and direction in the wider economy -- we still feel reasonably confident that the situation will right itself.” Aside from worries over Evergrande’s ability to make good on $300 billion of liabilities, investors are also positioning for the two-day Fed meeting starting Tuesday, where policy makers are expected to start laying the groundwork for paring stimulus.  Europe's Stoxx 600 index climbed more than 1%, rebounding from the biggest slump in two months, with energy companies leading the advance and all industry sectors in the green. Royal Dutch Shell rose after the company offered shareholders a payout from the sale of shale oil fields. Universal Music Group BV shares soared in their stock market debut after being spun off from Vivendi SE. European airlines other travel-related stocks rise for a second day following the U.S. decision to soon allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19; British Airways parent IAG soars as much as 6.9%, extending Monday’s 11% jump. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Stagecoach shares jump as much as 24% after the company confirmed it is in takeover talks with peer National Express. Shell climbs as much as 4.4% after selling its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion. Bechtle gains as much as 4.3% after UBS initiated coverage at buy. Husqvarna tumbles as much as 9% after the company said it is suing Briggs & Stratton in the U.S. for failing to deliver sufficient lawn mower engines for the 2022 season. Kingfisher slides as much as 6.4% after the DIY retailer posted 1H results and forecast higher profits this fiscal year. The mood was decidedly more sour earlier in the session, when Asian stocks fell for a second day amid continued concerns over China’s property sector, with Japan leading regional declines as the market reopened after a holiday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.5%, headed for its lowest close since Aug. 30, with Alibaba and SoftBank the biggest drags. China Evergrande Group slid deeper in equity and credit markets Tuesday after S&P said the developer is on the brink of default. Markets in China, Taiwan and South Korea were closed for holidays. Worries over contagion risk from the Chinese developer’s debt problems and Beijing’s ongoing crackdowns, combined with concern over Federal Reserve tapering, sent global stocks tumbling Monday. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 1.6%, the most since July 19. Japan’s stocks joined the selloff Tuesday as investor concerns grew over China’s real-estate sector as well as Federal Reserve tapering, with the Nikkei 225 sliding 2.2% - its biggest drop in three months, catching up with losses in global peers after a holiday - after a four-week rally boosted by expectations for favorable economic policies from a new government. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 1.7%. SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 2.2% loss in the Nikkei 225. Japanese stocks with high China exposure including Toto and Nippon Paint also dropped. “The outsized reaction in global markets may be a function of having too many uncertainties bunched into this period,” Eugene Leow, a macro strategist at DBS Bank Ltd., wrote in a note. “It probably does not help that risk taking (especially in equities) has gone on for an extended period and may be vulnerable to a correction.” “The proportion of Japan’s exports to China is greater than those to the U.S. or Europe, making it sensitive to any slowdown worries in the Chinese economy,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Nomura Asset Management in Tokyo. “The stock market has yet to fully price in the possibility of a bankruptcy by Evergrande Group.” The Nikkei 225 has been the best-performing major stock gauge in the world this month, up 6.2%, buoyed by expectations for favorable policies from a new government and an inflow of foreign cash. The Topix is up 5.3% so far in September. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower and the greenback fell versus most of its Group-of-10 peers as a selloff in global stocks over the past two sessions abated; the euro hovered while commodity currencies led by the Norwegian krone were the best performers amid an advance in crude oil prices. Sweden’s krona was little changed after the Riksbank steered clear of signaling any post-pandemic tightening, as it remains unconvinced that a recent surge in inflation will last. The pound bucked a three-day losing streak as global risk appetite revived, while investors look to Thursday’s Bank of England meeting for policy clues. The yen erased earlier gains as signs that risk appetite is stabilizing damped demand for haven assets. At the same time, losses were capped due to uncertainty over China’s handling of the Evergrande debt crisis. In rates, Treasuries were lower, although off worst levels of the day as U.S. stock futures recover around half of Monday’s losses while European equities trade with a strong bid tone. Yields are cheaper by up to 2.5bp across long-end of the curve, steepening 5s30s spread by 1.2bp; 10-year yields around 1.3226%, cheaper by 1.5bp on the day, lagging bunds and gilts by 1bp-2bp. The long-end of the curve lags ahead of $24b 20-year bond reopening. Treasury will auction $24b 20-year bonds in first reopening at 1pm ET; WI yield ~1.82% is below auction stops since January and ~3bp richer than last month’s new-issue result In commodities, crude futures rose, with the front month WTI up 1.5% near $71.50. Brent stalls near $75. Spot gold trades a narrow range near $1,765/oz. Base metals are mostly in the green with LME aluminum the best performer Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD publishes their Interim Economic Outlook. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.0% to 4,392.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 459.10 MXAP down 0.5% to 200.25 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 640.31 Nikkei down 2.2% to 29,839.71 Topix down 1.7% to 2,064.55 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 24,221.54 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,613.97 Sensex up 0.4% to 58,751.30 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,273.83 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,140.51 Brent Futures up 1.6% to $75.13/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,761.68 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.19 German 10Y yield fell 5.0 bps to -0.304% Euro little changed at $1.1729 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Lael Brainard is a leading candidate to be the Federal Reserve’s banking watchdog and is also being discussed for more prominent Biden administration appointments, including to replace Fed chairman Jerome Powell and, potentially, for Treasury secretary if Janet Yellen leaves Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will this week face the challenge of convincing investors that plans to scale back asset purchases aren’t a runway to raising interest rates for the first time since 2018 ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos says there is “good news” with respect to the euro-area recovery after a strong development in the second and third quarter The ECB is likely to continue purchasing junk-rated Greek sovereign debt even after the pandemic crisis has passed, according to Governing Council member and Greek central bank chief Yannis Stournaras U.K. government borrowing was well below official forecasts in the first five months of the fiscal year, providing a fillip for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as he prepares for a review of tax and spending next month U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warned the next few days will be challenging as the energy crisis deepens, and meat producers struggle with a crunch in carbon dioxide supplies The U.K.’s green bond debut broke demand records for the nation’s debt as investors leaped on the long-anticipated sterling asset. The nation is offering a green bond maturing in 2033 via banks on Tuesday at 7.5 basis points over the June 2032 gilt. It has not given an exact size target for the sale, which has attracted a record of more than 90 billion pounds ($123 billion) in orders Germany cut planned debt sales in the fourth quarter by 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), suggesting the surge in borrowing triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is receding Contagion from China Evergrande Group has started to engulf even safer debt in Asia, sparking the worst sustained selloff of the securities since April. Premiums on Asian investment-grade dollar bonds widened 2-3 basis points Tuesday, according to credit traders, after a jump of 3.4 basis points on Monday Swiss National Bank policy makers watching the effects of negative interest rates on the economy are worrying about the real-estate bubble that their policy is helping to foster Global central banks need to set out clear strategies for coping with inflation risks as the world economy experiences faster-than-expected cost increases amid an uneven recovery from the pandemic, the OECD said A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded cautiously following the recent downbeat global risk appetite due to Evergrande contagion concerns which resulted in the worst day for Wall Street since May, with the region also contending with holiday-thinned conditions due to the ongoing closures in China, South Korea and Taiwan. ASX 200 (+0.2%) was indecisive with a rebound in the mining-related sectors counterbalanced by underperformance in utilities, financials and tech, while there were also reports that the Byron Bay area in New South Wales will be subject to a seven-day lockdown from this evening. Nikkei 225 (-1.8%) was heavily pressured and relinquished the 30k status as it played catch up to the contagion downturn on return from the extended weekend with recent detrimental currency inflows also contributing to the losses for exporters. Hang Seng (-0.3%) was choppy amid the continued absence of mainland participants with markets second-guessing whether Chinese authorities will intervene in the event of an Evergrande collapse, while shares in the world’s most indebted developer fluctuated and wiped out an early rebound, although affiliate Evergrande Property Services and other property names fared better after Sun Hung Kai disputed reports of China pressuring Hong Kong developers and with Guangzhou R&F Properties boosted by reports major shareholders pledged funds in the Co. which is also selling key assets to Country Garden. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher amid the underperformance in Japanese stocks and with the Japan Securities Dealers Association recently noting that global funds purchased the most ultra-long Japanese bonds since 2014, although upside was limited amid softer demand at the enhanced liquidity auction for 2yr-20yr maturities and with the BoJ kickstarting its two-day policy meeting. Top Asian News Richest Banker Says Evergrande Is China’s ‘Lehman Moment’ Hong Kong Tycoons, Casino Giants Find Respite in Stock Rebound Taliban Add More Male Ministers, Say Will Include Women Later Asian Stocks Drop to Lowest Level This Month; Japan Leads Losses European equities (Stoxx 600 +1.1%) trade on a firmer footing attempting to recoup some of yesterday’s losses with not much in the way of incremental newsflow driving the upside. Despite the attempt to claw back some of the prior session’s lost ground, the Stoxx 600 is still lower by around 1.6% on the week. The Asia-Pac session was one characterised by caution and regional market closures with China remaining away from market. Focus remains on whether Evergrande will meet USD 83mln in interest payments due on Thursday and what actions Chinese authorities could take to limit the contagion from the company in the event of further troubles. Stateside, futures are also on a firmer footing with some slight outperformance in the RTY (+1.2%) vs. peers (ES +0.8%). Again, there is not much in the way of fresh positivity driving the upside and instead gains are likely more a by-product of dip-buying; attention for the US is set to become increasingly geared towards tomorrow’s FOMC policy announcement. Sectors in Europe are firmer across the board with outperformance in Oil & Gas names amid a recovery in the crude complex and gains in Shell (+4.4%) after news that the Co. is to sell its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips (COP) for USD 9.5bln in cash. Other outperforming sectors include Tech, Insurance and Basic Resources. IAG (+4.1%) and Deutsche Lufthansa (+3.8%) both sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 as the Co.’s continue to enjoy the fallout from yesterday’s decision by the US to allow travel from vaccinated EU and UK passengers. Swatch (-0.7%) is lagging in the luxury space following a downgrade at RBC, whilst data showed Swiss watch exports were +11.5% Y/Y in August (prev. 29.1%). Finally, National Express (+7.7%) is reportedly considering a takeover of Stagecoach (+21.4%), which is valued at around GBP 370mln. Top European News U.K. Warns of Challenging Few Days as Energy Crisis Deepens Germany Trims Planned Debt Sales as Pandemic Impact Recedes U.K.’s Green Bond Debut Draws Record Demand of $123 Billion Goldman Plans $1.5 Billion Petershill Partners IPO in London In FX, all the signs are constructive for a classic turnaround Tuesday when it comes to Loonie fortunes as broad risk sentiment improves markedly, WTI consolidates within a firm range around Usd 71/brl compared to yesterday’s sub-Usd 70 low and incoming results from Canada’s general election indicate victory for the incumbent Liberal party that will secure a 3rd term for PM Trudeau. Hence, it’s better the devil you know as such and Usd/Cad retreated further from its stop-induced spike to just pips short of 1.2900 to probe 1.2750 at one stage before bouncing ahead of new house price data for August. Conversely, the Swedish Krona seems somewhat reluctant to get carried away with the much better market mood after the latest Riksbank policy meeting only acknowledged significantly stronger than expected inflation data in passing, and the repo rate path remained rooted to zero percent for the full forecast horizon as a consequence. However, Eur/Sek has slipped back to test 10.1600 bids/support following an initial upturn to almost 10.1800, irrespective of a rise in unemployment. NOK/AUD/NZD - No such qualms for the Norwegian Crown as Brent hovers near the top of a Usd 75.18-74.20/brl band and the Norges Bank is widely, if not universally tipped to become the first major Central Bank to shift into tightening mode on Thursday, with Eur/Nok hugging the base of a 10.1700-10.2430 range. Elsewhere, the Aussie and Kiwi look relieved rather than rejuvenated in their own right given dovish RBA minutes, a deterioration in Westpac’s NZ consumer sentiment and near reversal in credit card spending from 6.9% y/y in July to -6.3% last month. Instead, Aud/Usd and Nzd/Usd have rebounded amidst the recovery in risk appetite that has undermined their US rival to top 0.7380 and 0.7050 respectively at best. GBP/CHF/EUR/JPY/DXY - Sterling is latching on to the ongoing Dollar retracement and more supportive backdrop elsewhere to pare losses under 1.3700, while the Franc continues its revival to 0.9250 or so and almost 1.0850 against the Euro even though the SNB is bound to check its stride at the upcoming policy review, and the single currency is also forming a firmer base above 1.1700 vs the Buck. Indeed, the collective reprieve in all components of the Greenback basket, bar the Yen on diminished safe-haven demand, has pushed the index down to 93.116 from 93.277 at the earlier apex, and Monday’s elevated 93.455 perch, while Usd/Jpy is straddling 109.50 and flanked by decent option expiry interest either side. On that note, 1.4 bn resides at the 109.00 strike and 1.1 bn between 109.60-70, while there is 1.6 bn in Usd/Cad bang on 1.2800. EM - Some respite across the board in wake of yesterday’s mauling at the hands of risk-off positioning in favour of the Usd, while the Czk has also been underpinned by more hawkish CNB commentary as Holub echoes the Governor by advocating a 50 bp hike at the end of September and a further 25-50 bp in November. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer in the European morning post gains in excess of 1.0%, though the benchmarks are off highs after an early foray saw Brent Nov’21 eclipse USD 75.00/bbl, for instance. While there has been newsflow for the complex, mainly from various energy ministers, there hasn’t been much explicitly for crude to change the dial; thus, the benchmarks are seemingly moving in tandem with broader risk sentiment (see equities). In terms of the energy commentary, the Qatar minister said they are not thinking of re-joining OPEC+ while the UAE minister spoke on the gas situation. On this, reports in Russian press suggests that Russia might allow Rosneft to supply 10bcm of gas to Europe per year under an agency agreement with Gazprom “as an experiment”, developments to this will be closely eyed for any indication that it could serve to ease the current gas situation. Looking ahead, we have the weekly private inventory report which is expected to post a headline draw of 2.4mln and draws, albeit of a smaller magnitude, are expected for distillate and gasoline as well. Moving to metals, spot gold is marginally firmer while silver outperforms with base-metals picking up across the board from the poor performance seen yesterday that, for instance, saw LME copper below the USD 9k mark. Note, the action is more of a steadying from yesterday’s downside performance than any notable upside, with the likes of copper well within Monday’s parameters. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits MoM, est. -1.8%, prior 2.6%, revised 2.3% 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts MoM, est. 1.0%, prior -7.0% 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits, est. 1.6m, prior 1.64m, revised 1.63m 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts, est. 1.55m, prior 1.53m 8:30am: 2Q Current Account Balance, est. -$190.8b, prior -$195.7b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Global markets slumped across the board yesterday in what was one of the worst days of the year as an array of concerns about the outlook gathered pace. The crisis at Evergrande and in the Chinese real estate sector was the catalyst most people were talking about, but truth be told, the market rout we’re seeing is reflecting a wider set of risks than just Chinese property, and comes after increasing questions have been asked about whether current valuations could still be justified, with talk of a potential correction picking up. Remember that 68% of respondents to my survey last week (link here) thought they’d be at least a 5% correction in equity markets before year end. So this has been front and centre of people’s mind even if the catalyst hasn’t been clear. We’ve all known about Evergrande’s woes and how big it was for a while but it wasn’t until Friday’s story of the Chinese regulatory crackdown extending into property that crystallised the story into having wider implications. As I noted in my chart of the day yesterday link here Chinese USD HY had been widening aggressively over the last couple of months but IG has been pretty rock solid. There were still no domestic signs of contagion by close of business Friday. However as it stands, there will likely be by the reopening post holidays tomorrow which reflects how quickly the story has evolved even without much new news. Before we get to the latest on this, note that we’ve still got a bumper couple of weeks on the calendar to get through, including the Fed decision tomorrow, which comes just as a potential government shutdown and debt ceiling fight are coming into view, alongside big debates on how much spending the Democrats will actually manage to pass. There has been some respite overnight with S&P 500 futures +0.58% higher and 10y UST yields up +1.5bps to 1.327%. Crude oil prices are also up c. 1%. On Evergrande, S&P Global Ratings has said that the company is on the brink of default and that it’s failure is unlikely to result in a scenario where China will be compelled to step in. The report added that they see China stepping in only if “there is a far-reaching contagion causing multiple major developers to fail and posing systemic risks to the economy.” The Hang Seng (-0.32%) is lower but the Hang Seng Properties index is up (+1.59%) and bouncing off the 5 plus year lows it hit yesterday. Elsewhere the ASX (+0.30%) and India’s Nifty (+0.35%) have also advanced. Chinese and South Korean markets are closed for a holiday but the Nikkei has reopened and is -1.80% and catching down to yesterday’s global move. Looking at yesterday’s moves in more depth, the gathering storm clouds saw the S&P 500 shed -1.70% in its worst day since May 12, with cyclical industries leading the declines and with just 10% of S&P 500 index members gaining. There was a late rally at the end of the US trading session that saw equity indices bounce off their lows, with the S&P 500 (-2.87%) and NASDAQ (-3.42%) both looking like they were going to register their worst days since October 2020 and late-February 2021 respectively. However, yesterday was still the 5th worst day for the S&P 500 in 2021. Reflecting the risk-off tone, small caps suffered in particular with the Russell 2000 falling -2.44%, whilst tech stocks were another underperformer as the NASDAQ lost -2.19% and the FANG+ index of 10 megacap tech firms saw an even bigger -3.16% decline. For Europe it was much the same story, with the STOXX 600 (-1.67%) and other bourses including the DAX (-2.31%) seeing significant losses amidst the cyclical underperformance. It was the STOXX 600’s worst performance since mid-July and the 6th worst day of the year overall. Unsurprisingly, there was also a significant spike in volatility, with the VIX index climbing +4.9pts to 25.7 – its highest closing level since mid-May – after trading above 28.0pts midday. In line with the broader risk-off move, especially sovereign bonds rallied strongly as investors downgraded their assessment of the economic outlook and moved to price out the chances of near-term rate hikes. By the close of trade, yields on 10yr Treasuries had fallen -5.1bps to 1.311%, with lower inflation breakevens (-4.1bps) leading the bulk of the declines. Meanwhile in Europe, yields on 10yr bunds (-4.0bps), OATs (-2.6bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) similarly fell back, although there was a widening in spreads between core and periphery as investors turned more cautious. Elsewhere, commodities took a hit as concerns grew about the economic outlook, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (-1.53%) losing ground for a third consecutive session. That said, European natural gas prices (+15.69%) were the massive exception once again, with the latest surge taking them above the peak from last Wednesday, and thus bringing the price gains since the start of August to +84.80%. Here in the UK, Business Secretary Kwarteng said that he didn’t expect an emergency regarding the energy supply, but also said that the government wouldn’t bail out failed companies. Meanwhile, EU transport and energy ministers are set to meet from tomorrow for an informal meeting, at which the massive spike in prices are likely to be discussed. Overnight, we have the first projections of the Canadian federal election with CBC News projecting that the Liberals will win enough seats to form a government for the third time albeit likely a minority government. With the counting still underway, Liberals are currently projected to win 156 seats while Conservatives are projected to win 120 seats. Both the parties are currently projected to win a seat less than last time. The Canadian dollar is up +0.44% overnight as the results remove some election uncertainty. Turning to the pandemic, the main news yesterday was that the US is set to relax its travel rules for foreign arrivals. President Biden announced the move yesterday, mandating that all adult visitors show proof of vaccination before entering the country. Airline stocks outperformed strongly in response, with the S&P 500 airlines (+1.55%) being one of the few industry groups that actually advanced yesterday. Otherwise, we heard from Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine trials on 5-11 year olds had successfully produced an antibody response among that age group. The dose was just a third of that used in those aged 12 and above, and they said they planned to share the data with regulators “as soon as possible”. Furthermore, they said that trials for the younger cohorts (2-5 and 6m-2) are expected as soon as Q4. In Germany, there are just 5 days left until the election now, and the last Insa poll before the vote showed a slight tightening in the race, with the centre-left SPD down a point to 25%, whilst the CDU/CSU bloc were up 1.5 points to 22%. Noticeably, that would also put the race back within the +/- 2.5% margin of error. The Greens were unchanged in third place on 15%. Staying with politics and shifting back to the US, there was news last night that Congressional Democratic leaders are looking to tie the suspension of the US debt ceiling vote to the spending bill that is due by the end of this month. If the spending bill is not enacted it would trigger a government shutdown, and if the debt ceiling is not raised it would cause defaults on federal payments as soon as October. Senate Majority Leader Schumer said the House will pass a spending bill that will fund the government through December 3rd and that the “legislation to avoid a government shutdown will also include a suspension of the debt limit through December 2022.” Republicans may balk at the second measure, given that it would take the issue off the table until after the 2022 midterm elections in November of that year. There wasn’t a great deal of data out yesterday, though German producer price inflation rose to +12.0% in August (vs. +11.1% expected), marking the fastest pace since December 1974. Separately in the US, the NAHB’s housing market index unexpectedly rose to 76 in September (vs. 75 expected), the first monthly increase since April. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD will be publishing their Interim Economic Outlook. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 07:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

Nashville international airport"s flight plan: Turbulence

After months of record-setting traffic, Nashville International Airport is eerily quiet. CEO Doug Kreulen sees a long runway to a return to normal, which has major implications for the rest of Nashville’s economy......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 15th, 2020

New international flights helped drive record traffic at Austin airport in 2019

Austin's airport continued its ascent in 2019 — although not at the same breakneck pace as the previous year. More than 17.3 million passengers traveled through Austin-Bergstrom International Airport last year, according to data provided by the .....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsFeb 6th, 2020

Goldman Raises Year-End Oil Price Target To $90

Goldman Raises Year-End Oil Price Target To $90 Just days after Goldman's head commodity analyst Jeff Currie told Bloomberg TV that the bank anticipates oil spiking to $90 if the winter is colder than usual, on Sunday afternoon Goldman went ahead and made that its base case and in a note from energy strategist Damien Courvalin, he writes that with Brent prices reaching new highs since October 2018, the bank now forecasts that this rally will continue, "with our year-end Brent forecast of $90/bbl vs. $80/bbl previously." What tipped the scales is that while Goldman has long held a bullish oil view, "the current global oil supply-demand deficit is larger than we expected, with the recovery in global demand from the Delta impact even faster than our above consensus forecast and with global supply remaining short of our below consensus forecasts." Among the supply factors cited by Goldman is hurricane Ida - the "most bullish hurricane in US history" - which more than offset the ramp-up in OPEC+ production since July with non-OPEC+ non-shale production continuing to disappoint. Meanwhile, as noted above, on the demand side Goldman cited low hospitalization rates which are leading more countries to re-open, including to international travel in particularly COVID-averse countries in Asia. Finally, from a seasonal standpoint, Courvalin sees winter demand risks as "further now squarely skewed to the upside" as the global gas shortage will increase oil fired power generation. From a fundamental standpoint, the current c.4.5 mb/d observable inventory draws are the largest on record, including for global SPRs and oil on water, and follow the longest deficit on record, started in June 2020. For the oil bears, Goldman does not see this deficit as reversing in coming months as its scale will overwhelm both the willingness and ability for OPEC+ to ramp up, with the shale supply response just starting. This sets the stage for inventories to fall to their lowest level since 2013 by year-end (after adjusting for pipeline fill), supporting further backwardation in the oil forward curve where positioning remains low. But what about a production response? While Goldman does expect short-cycle production to respond by 2022 at the bank's higher price forecast, from core-OPEC, Russia and shale, this according to Goldman, will only lay bare the structural nature of the oil market repricing. To be sure, there will likely be a time to be tactically bearish in 2022, especially if a US-Iran deal is eventually reached. The bank's base-case assumption is for such an agreement to be reached in April, leading the bank to then trim its price target to an $80/bbl price forecast in 2Q22-4Q22 (vs. its 4Q21-1Q22 $85/bbl quarterly average forecast). This would, however, remain a tactical call and a likely timespread trade according to Courvalin, with long-dated oil prices poised to reset higher from current levels, especially as the hedging momentum shifts from US producer selling to airline buying (a move which Goldman says to position for with a long Dec-22 Brent and short Dec-22 Brent put trade recommendations).   Meanwhile, the lack of long-cycle capex response - here you can thank the green crazy sweeping the world - the quickly diminishing OPEC spare capacity (Goldman expects normalization by early 2022), the inability for shale producers to sustain production growth (given their low reinvestment rate targets) and oil service and carbon cost inflation will all instead point to the need for sustainably higher long-dated oil prices. Remarkably, Goldman now expects the market to return to a structural deficit by 2H23, which leads it to raise its 2023 oil price forecast from $65/bbl to $85/bbl, and the mid-cycle valuation oil price used by Goldman's equity analysts to $70/bbl. Translation: expect a slew of price hikes on energy stocks in the coming days from Goldman. Finally, where could Goldman's forecast - which would infuriate the white house as gasoline prices are about to explode higher - be wrong? For what it's worth, the bank sees the greatest risk on the timeline of its bullish view. On the demand side, it would take a potentially new variant that renders vaccine ineffective. Beyond that, however, the bank expects limited downside risk from China, with its economists not expecting a hard landing and with our demand growth forecast driven by DMs and other EMs instead. This leaves near-term risks having to come from the supply side, most notably OPEC+, which next meets on October 4. And while an aggressively faster ramp-up in production by year-end would soften (but not derail) our projected deficit, it would only further delay the shale rebound, which would reinforce the structural nature of the next rally given binding under-investment in oil services by 2023. In addition, a large ramp-up in OPEC+ production would simply fast-forward the decline in global spare capacity to historically low levels, replacing a cyclical tight market with a structural one. The full report as usual available to pro subscribers in the usual place. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 20:36.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt6 hr. 8 min. ago

Can Consumer Discretionary ETFs Make Good Bets for Q4?

The recovering U.S. economy and progress in coronavirus vaccine rollout are expected to increasingly drive investors toward the consumer discretionary sector. Wall Street is seeing some strength amid September’s dull performance so far. The easing of China’s property market-related tensions and the absence of any hint on an immediate move to taper the bond purchasing program and keeping the benchmark interest rates unchanged have been supporting the market rally.Investors are still on the edge with concerns over the rising inflationary levels, possibilities of a tax hike and spike in coronavirus cases. Amid the current market environment, investors looking to rake in some good returns can consider the consumer discretionary sector.The U.S. consumer sentiment marginally improved despite the rising concerns about the surging coronavirus cases and the rising inflationary levels. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment inched up to 71 in September from 70.3 last month, per a BloombergQuint article.The strength in consumer sentiment can be the major driving force behind the solid performance by the consumer discretionary space as consumers are expected to splurge this holiday season after being restricted for more than a year.The latest retail sales data has surprised investors pleasantly. The metric inched up 0.7% sequentially in August 2021 against market expectations of a 0.8% decline, per a CNBC article. Online retail sales rose 5.3% last month after dropping 4.6% in July, per the Reuters article. There was an increase in clothing sales as well as that of building material and furniture in the previous month.According to Mastercard SpendingPulse,  U.S. retail sales — excluding automotive and gas — for the “75 Days of Christmas” spanning from Oct 11 to Dec 24 are anticipated to increase 6.8% from the year-earlier tally.The progress in coronavirus vaccine rollout is presenting a strong case in favor of a faster return to normalcy and economic recovery. The FDA has approved emergency use of a booster dose of the Pfizer Inc. (PFE) and BioNTech SE (BNTX) COVID-19 vaccine. President Joe Biden has also outlined a very effective plan to accelerate the vaccination rate and control the coronavirus outbreak. He has made it mandatory for federal employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination, per a CNBC article. The Biden government will also issue guidelines to the Labor Department for imposing vaccine mandates for employers with more than 100 employees or run weekly tests.The United States will likely relax travel restrictions for international visitors who are vaccinated against COVID-19 in November, including those from the U.K. and EU, the White House said recently, per a CNBC article. Foreigners visiting the United States will have to present a vaccination proof and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of departure.  The latest White House announcement came post the peak summer travel season, which signals at strong holiday travel demand.Notably, a number of restaurants and retailers that have resumed business after restrictions were relaxed in the United States should see some accelerated demand and footfall. Also, the leisure and entertainment space should see a rebound as casinos and amusement parks have started welcoming visitors.ETFs to ConsiderAlong with the other favorable factors as mentioned above, the moderate improvement in consumer sentiment is likely to boost the consumer discretionary sector. Below, we have highlighted the four most popular ones that target the broader consumer discretionary sector (see all Consumer Discretionary ETFs):The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR Fund XLYThis is the largest and most popular product in the consumer discretionary space, with AUM of $20.08 billion. It tracks the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector Index. The fund charges 12 basis points (bps) in fees per year and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy), with a Medium-risk outlook (read: Will ETFs Gain as US Consumer Sentiment Improves in September?).Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF VCRThis fund currently follows the MSCI US Investable Market Consumer Discretionary 25/50 Index. VCR charges investors 10 bps in annual fees. The product has managed $6.54 billion in its asset base and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #1 (Strong Buy), with a Medium-risk outlook (read: ETF Areas to Gain From the Upcoming Holiday Shopping Season).First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX Fund FXDThis fund tracks the StrataQuant Consumer Discretionary Index, which employs the AlphaDEX stock-selection methodology to select stocks from the Russell 1000 Index. FXD has AUM of $1.97 billion. It charges 63 bps in annual fees and has a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold), with a Medium-risk outlook.Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF FDISThis fund tracks the MSCI USA IMI Consumer Discretionary Index. The product has amassed $1.60 billion in its asset base. It charges 8 bps in annual fees from investors and carries a Zacks ETF Rank #2, with a Medium-risk outlook. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Consumer Discretionary ETF (VCR): ETF Research Reports Fidelity MSCI Consumer Discretionary Index ETF (FDIS): ETF Research Reports First Trust Consumer Discretionary AlphaDEX ETF (FXD): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks15 hr. 40 min. ago

I traveled to Iceland as a vaccinated American and the entry and exit process was tedious, but easy if you understand the rules

Vaccinated travelers from the US need to present their vaccine card, a negative COVID test, and a pre-arrival form. Icelandair ticket counter at New York-JFK Taylor Rains/Insider I traveled to Iceland as a vaccinated American and the process was easy, yet tedious. Vaccinated travelers from the US need to present their vaccine card, a negative COVID test, and a pre-arrival form. Reykjavik has a number of testing sites for Americans to get a COVID test before re-entering the US. See more stories on Insider's business page. Americans are itching for a vacation, and the vaccine rollout has given travelers more freedom to go overseas. TSA checkpoint at JFK Taylor Rains/Insider Iceland is one of the many European countries that allow vaccinated Americans to enter without quarantine, so I made the hop across the pond in early September. Luggage for Iceland Taylor Rains/Insider The entry and exit processes were tedious and there were specific steps I had to follow, including getting a negative covid test, having my vaccine card, and filling out pre-arrival paperwork. Vaccine card and negative covid test Taylor Rains/Insider Accepted vaccines are Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and Sinopharm BIBP and covid tests must be either PCR or rapid antigen. Travelers who do not present a negative covid test will be fined 100,000 ISK ($781) at the border.Source: Island.is I flew Icelandair from New York's JFK International Airport to Keflavik Airport in Reykjavik. Icelandair is very transparent about the entry requirements for Iceland on its website. Signs at JFK Terminal 7 Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images Source: Icelandair To enter Iceland as a vaccinated American, visitors must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least 14 days past the final dose, receive a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours before the first leg of the journey, and pre-register their arrival. Passport, COVID vaccine card, and mask Evgenia Parajanian/Shutterstock Certification of previous infection dated between 14 and 180 dates from arrival into Iceland is also acceptable at the border. These travelers do not need to present a negative covid test to enter without quarantine.Source: Island.is The pre-arrival form must be done online. I was required to fill out my departure and return date, my personal information, and certify I would get a COVID test before travel. Once submitted, I received a barcode in my email to verify it was complete. Barcode received after completing pre-arrival form Taylor Rains/Insider Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was unable to check in online or on the mobile app and was instructed by Icelandair to collect my boarding pass at the desk. Icelandair check-in email Taylor Rains/Insider When I arrived at JFK, I made my way to the Icelandair check-in counter where signs reminded passengers to fill out the online pre-arrival form. You could not check in without it. Reminders to fill out pre-arrival form Taylor Rains/Insider The pre-arrival form can be found online. At the counter, I was asked to present my negative COVID test, vaccine card, and pre-arrival form. The agent checked the date of my test and the result and verified my vaccine card was legitimate before handing me my boarding pass. Icelandair check-in counter Taylor Rains/Insider For those who forgot or did not know to get a COVID test, JFK has a few options, including Adams Medical in Terminal 1, Xpresscheck in Terminal 4, and NYC Test & Trace Corps in Terminal 5. The test must be PCR, not rapid antigen. COVID testing site at JFK Terminal 5 Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock I did not have to show any COVID-related entry documents again until I landed in Iceland. Icelandair Boeing 757 cabin Peter Gudella/Shutterstock Upon arrival in Reykjavik, I deplaned and headed to customs where airport employees split passengers into two lines - one for those entering Iceland and a second for those connecting to onward flights. Two lines to enter customs at Keflavik Airport Taylor Rains/Insider The line looked long but only took about 15 minutes to clear. The customs agent only checked my passport but told me COVID documents would be verified later in the entry process. Customs sign at Keflavik Airport Roberto La Rosa/Shutterstock After passing customs, I made my way through the arrivals hall before coming to a large "Exit to Iceland" sign and a roped-off section for travelers entering the country. Exit to Iceland sign Taylor Rains/Insider I made my way downstairs to a second counter where I was asked to present the barcode I received after filling out the pre-arrival form. Travelers at Keflavik Airport Wolfgang Kaehler/Getty Images Once the agents checked the barcode, I was directed to a third desk where my vaccine card, pre-arrival form, and negative COVID test were checked for a second time. Passengers a Keflavik Airport arrival area Kollawat Somsri The agent scanned my barcode and verified my vaccine card and test results before allowing me to exit the airport. About five minutes later, I received a text saying I was free to enter Iceland without quarantine Text saying I don't need to quarantine Taylor Rains/Insider If I was unvaccinated, I would need to take a test at the border and undergo quarantine.Source: Island.is Getting back into the US was a simpler process and only required a negative COVID test taken no earlier than three days before departure from Iceland. Fortunately, Reykjavik had a handful of testing centers available. Downtown Reykjavik Taylor Rains/Insider Source: CDC I booked my test and received a barcode verifying my payment and appointment. The test cost me $60 and guaranteed I would have the results within 48 hours, which was perfect timing for my flight. Fortunately, I received my negative result in less than 24 hours with a QR code certifying its validity. Negative COVID test result Taylor Rains/Insider For the return flight, I was once again unable to check in online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Icelandair check-in counter at Keflavik Airport Taylor Rains/Insider When the check-in counter opened at Keflavik, I only needed to show my negative COVID test to receive a boarding pass. After that, I was able to pass through security, passport control, and board the aircraft with only my passport. Icelandair check-in counter at Keflavik Airport Taylor Rains/Insider Upon arrival in JFK, I was not asked again for my negative COVID test and simply re-entered the US with just my passport. CBP Global Entry kiosk Taylor Rains/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt18 hr. 40 min. ago

Expensive housing is the reason the planet is burning, the rich are getting richer, and women are choosing to have fewer children

The housing market sits at the center of several economic battles. Building more of it can shape a more equitable America. Just look at the data. Flames from the Dixie Fire consume a home on Highway 89 south of Greenville on August 5, 2021, in Plumas County, California. AP Photo/Noah Berger Soaring home prices are contributing to the biggest economic crises of the 21st century. Climate change, birth rates, and inequality have all been slammed by the housing affordability crisis. Building more homes and denser apartments can fight a number of economic calamities, economists said. See more stories on Insider's business page. Falling birth rates. Widening inequality. The climate crisis. They have an unlikely common denominator in the housing market. Home prices have rocketed higher at record pace for three straight months. Americans' views of buying conditions are the worst since 1982. And supply remains grossly insufficient after decades of underbuilding.The price spikes started in summer 2020 as record-low mortgage rates and new flexibility around remote working sparked a wave of pandemic moves. That quickly dragged inventory to record lows. Supply has rebounded somewhat, but it remains well below the levels needed to normalize the red-hot market.The housing crisis isn't unique to the US, either. Markets in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, Brazil, and Turkey all saw home prices surge through the pandemic, and the global rally shows "little sign of stopping," JPMorgan economists said earlier in September.Famous economist Larry Summers theorized almost a decade ago that developed economies were in a phase of "secular stagnation," without enough productive investments to fuel their economies. The result is an inflated housing sector, which lingers as a reminder of greater economic dysfunctions. Look under the hood of the global housing crisis, then, and you see connections to the great economic problems of the 21st century.Equality in housing is equality everywhereOwnership of a home allows people to profit from its rising value and tap their equity in the property when they need extra cash. Failure to purchase a home doesn't just lock Americans out of those benefits, it leaves them stuck paying landowners in monthly rent.Those who own land - or have the means to invest in properties - win out as values climb, while those who've been renting are trapped paying higher rates and placed even further from owning a home.Income inequality has long been characterized as the biggest driver of economic inequity, but housing is the true culprit, researchers Fabian Pfeffer and Nora Waitkus said in an August paper. The distribution of housing equity plays the biggest role in deciding where wealth is allocated, according to the researchers.Shoring up home supply and allowing for denser construction could directly level the playing field, economists Sam Bowman and Ben Southwood wrote for the Works in Progress online magazine, with housing advocate John Myers."Increasing the supply of housing and commercial space, while ensuring that it benefits existing residents, could turn this zero-sum situation into one where everyone can be better off," they added.Forming a household requires a homeWhere affordable housing allows Americans to start families and grow their households, expensive housing can delay such plans. And the lack of affordable homes might already be affecting birth rates.Women in developed countries are having fewer children than they'd like, according to the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development. Fertility crested in 2007 before tumbling during the Great Recession and continuing its downward slope.Although factors such as increased contraception use and climate-related fears contributed to the slide, the economy was the biggest driver by far, Insider's Hillary Hoffower reported. The lack of affordable childcare, weak wage growth, and lingering gender inequities in the workplace all dragged on women's plans to have kids. In other words, the secular stagnation forecast by Larry Summers has discouraged procreation, and it's daunting to have a child when you can't afford to house it.All else being equal, a 10% jump in home prices powers a 1.3% drop in birth rates, according to researchers at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.Fighting the climate crisis requires a new kind of housing marketShoring up home supply doesn't just rely on more houses in undeveloped areas. Rethinking housing in dense cities can serve as a one-two punch for fighting home inflation and climate change.Urban areas like New York City and Philadelphia account for much less carbon emissions than rural and suburban locales. Cities require shorter car trips and offer public transit alternatives."One of the most efficient ways for us to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is by having people live close to where they work and having them take public transit," Jesse Arreguín, mayor of Berkeley, California, told Insider in a recent interview. Arreguín has been one of the biggest proponents for denser apartment development, particularly near transportation hubs.The world's housing markets have a choice to make: Either tackle these interconnected crises or stagnate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt20 hr. 24 min. ago

Hedge Fund Net Leverage At All Time Highs As No Dips Are Sold

Hedge Fund Net Leverage At All Time Highs As No Dips Are Sold Two weeks ago, JPMorgan's prime desk wrote about 2 main themes among the hedge fund community: elevated leverage levels and low exposure to cyclicals/value that tend to do better when rates are rising. However, over the past week, both of these things have come into sharper focus as US equities suffered one of their larger pullbacks in a while and rates globally jumped higher towards the end of this week.  So what has the largest bank's prime brokerage desk seen in the past week?  According to the latest weekly Positioning Intelligence report published by the bank, at a high level, it seems that HFs are not that concerned about the broader market (nor is anyone else for that matter) with the bank finding that over the past few months, there’s been limited willingness to sell dips.  In line with this, the bank saw neutral flows globally over the past week with small buying on Monday, alongside retail BTFDers, even as professional sentiment tracked by AAII turned the most bearish since last October... ... followed by small selling on Thursday.  But more generally, net flows globally have remained neutral to skewed towards buying in the past 2 weeks with Asia the only region to see some selling. Furthermore, as has been the case for much of 2011, net leverage remains near highs with little change in the past few weeks—net at 98th percentile (of all time) across All Strategies. While gross leverage has come down a little to the 76th percentile, that appears to be more derivatives related and there could be an element of Quadruple Witching that might be impacting this as the largest gross leverage reductions were among Multi-Strat funds. According to JPM, one reason why leverage and flows among HFs might be more neutral this month is that performance has held in relatively well MTD: long-short spreads have been improving over the past few months.  Looking at this month, longs are holding up well, while shorts are down in line with the market. This leaves HFs up slightly MTD, according to JPM estimates. Back to the topic of leverage, FINRA just came out with its latest statistics on Margin Debt which showed them at a new ATH. Given it is up almost 60% since the start of 2020, it begs the question Bank of America asked one month ago: should we be concerned? Not surprisingly, JPM dismisses this indicator and thinks "this alone is not something that is concerning when one breaks down the changes and behavior to account for how the market has been performing." Furthermore the JPM prime desk notes that "this appears to be very different from the peaks in 2000 and 2007 when Margin Debt rose about 50% faster than the S&P 500 over a 12-month period." Instead, to JPM the recent moves seem more reminiscent to what happened in the early 90s. At a more micro level, cyclicals / value / inflation / travel related stocks have all been doing better recently as COVID are falling once more, some travel restrictions are getting lifted, and rates are rising globally.  In line with this, JPM continued to see buying of NA Financials, something that has been noted over the past few weeks, but this week JPM saw Banks getting bought (vs. more Insurance and Div. Fins in prior weeks).  COVID recovery stocks have also been bought but there’s room for more to go as positioning and valuations remain low in many cases (especially among the US COVID – Domestic Recovery basket, JPAMCRDB).  EMEA Travel & Leisure stocks saw strong buying in the past week as the US prepares to drop its ban for transatlantic travel, and net positioning is getting a bit elevated vs. history; however, EMEA Airlines still has low positioning.  Finally, not everything cyclical is getting bought—HFs have continued to sell Energy into strength - despite the recent surge in oil and all other commodities - and have also sold Materials.  Below we share some more details on each of these core themes Main theme #1: Global Flows and Leverage: HFs Don’t Seem Too Concerned While markets have been volatile over the past week, due to the myriad concerns, HF flows remained quite calm.  The reason is that hedge funds have been reluctant to sell dips and that appeared to be the case again last Fri/this Mon as global flows were quite neutral.  However, at the same time, HFs are also not chase the rally as the JPM Prime net flows were fairly neutral on Wed and skewed towards selling on Thurs when markets rallied back. A notable observation is that there appears to be some strategy differences in the past 2 weeks as Equity L/S and Quant funds have been buyers while Multi-Strats have been net sellers across JPM prime.  The selling among Multi-Strats comes as gross and net leverage have started to pull back from peak levels.  The gross reductions among some Multi-Strat funds have been the main driver of the broader “All Strategies” gross leverage figure lower WoW.  However, net leverage was basically unchanged. Furthermore, it appears derivative positions might be driving some of the changes as notional LMV and SMV increased WoW while delta adjusted LMV and SMV fell.   Among Equity L/S funds, who have been moderate net buyers of equities most days MTD, net leverage actually rose slightly WoW and it’s now at the 93rd %-tile since Mar 2017.   #2:  US Margin Debt: New ATHs at End of Aug…Should We Be Concerned? FINRA just released the latest monthly stats on “Margin Debt” which showed a fairly large increase, following a decrease in July.  As Margin Debt is at new All-Time-Highs and is now up almost 60% since the start of 2020, it’s worth asking -as BofA did one month ago -  if this is something we should be concerned about.   In order to answer this, we’ve looked at the relationship between Margin Debt and the markets over time, augmenting the data FINRA has on it’s website with NYSE Margin Debt data that goes back to 1959.  What this shows is that while there is a very big increase recently, it is 1) in line with the markets and 2) seems to be following the general pattern of the past 60+ years.   Similar to discussions of rate-driven VaR shocks, JPM argues that it’s not so much the level of Margin Debt that one should be focused on, but rather the rate of change. On this point, the bank measured the 12M change in Margin Debt and the S&P 500 over the past ~60 years and what this shows is that there is typically a fairly strong correlation over time. In particular, this correlation has been very strong since the GFC, but there were a couple notable divergences in 2000 and 2007 when Margin Debt rose much faster than the market. In its attempt to mitigate concerns about record margin debt, JPM then notes that increases in Margin Debt (i.e. investors taking on more leverage) that exceed the market returns by a wide margin could indicate greater potential for future stress because it might suggest that investors are adding leverage at market highs, but not actually making much money while doing so. Thus, when markets start to pull back, the recent investments start to lose money more quickly than if they had been added when the markets weren’t at highs. Addressing this point, JPM notes that when looking at what’s happened in the past 2 years, we have seen Margin Debt increase faster than the markets on a 12M rolling basis with the difference reaching +28% at its recent high.  However, the recent high in the 12M difference metric was reached in January of this year (perhaps due to the fact that HFs had performed very well in 2020 and had been adding risk throughout 2H20 in particular). Thus, this difference has been falling for much of the past 7 months.  Furthermore, the recent rise follows a period when Margin Debt had generally lagged the market increases; since the start of 2018, margin debt is only up ~40% vs. the S&P up ~70% in price terms. When it looks back even further, JPM notes that there were periods in the 70s-80s when large increases in Margin debt were followed by market weakness, suggesting this isn’t only a 2000 and 2007 phenomenon (left chart below).  Furthermore, one could reasonably ask why the relatively large increase in the early 90s didn’t result in a market pullback.  While there are likely other contributing factors as well, one thing to note about Margin Debt was that it had gone through a period of relatively slower growth in the late 80s, so the rise in the early 90s was somewhat of a “catch-up” period for it.  Similarly, JPM argues that the rise into Jan of this year could also be considered a bit of a “catch-up” period, which appears to be different from 2000 and 2007 when Margin Debt was reaching new highs, even when measuring it relative to the S&P changes.   In light of the above it's hardly a surprise that JPM thinks that while there are many potential reasons one could cite for market caution, "the level and changes in Margin Debt do not appear to be setting us up for extreme market drawdowns like we saw in 2000 and 2007." #3:  Reopening/Recovery Trades Back in Focus? With COVID cases appeared to be on the decline globally, and travel restrictions getting lifted in some places, reopening/recovery themes have been more topical as they’ve started to perform better. On the HF side, JPM Prime has seen net buying over the past 2-3 weeks in both the Domestic Recovery basket (JPAMCRDB) and the International Recovery Basket (JPAMCRIB).  Positioning in both groups remains low on a YTD basis and very low on a multi-year basis for the Domestic basket.  In addition, JPM’s U.S. Equity Research Strategist, Dubravko, recently wrote about this in a recent note where he showed that the COVID Recovery – Domestic basket had seen relative valuations fall back to multi-year lows while COVID Beneficiaries were back near highs. In a similar vein, Travel & Leisure stocks have seen strong performance this week in both N. America and EMEA, along with HF buying as the US said it would remove its ban on EU travel for vaccinated passengers starting in November. The recovery in performance, relative to the market, still has more to go before getting back to  where we were earlier this year. In terms of where the recent buying and outperformance leaves HF positioning, net exposures are nearing average levels among US Travel & Leisure stocks, but are a bit closer to highs in EMEA. Where there appears to be more potential upside for positioning in EMEA is among the Airlines stocks where net exposures is still about 1z below average and JPM has yet to see shorts covered in the group, after persistent additions for the past 6 months. Among US stocks, the rise in rates was accompanied by further buying of Inflation Winners and Rising Bond Yield Winners. Despite the recent buying, net exposure to the Inflation winners remains quite low with net exposures about 1 std dev below average and for the Rising Bond Yield Winners, the net exposure is still slightly below average.   Similarly, a couple weeks ago JPM wrote about how positioning and flows in Value vs. Growth had done a “180” in the past few months as Value had underperformed. Perhaps not surprisingly, US Value seems to be getting a revival recently as the Value factor has been bought in the past 2 weeks. This is coming from both Value Longs getting bought and Value Shorts being sold/shorted.  In line with this, Growth stocks have seen some selling. #4:  Performance – HFs Holding Well in Sep With a risk-on backdrop of cyclicals outperforming defensives, small caps rallying, and rising rates this week (Rising Bond Yield Winners up +5% WTD), Hedge Funds find themselves in the rare position of outperforming broader equity market indices MTD. And with WSB's short squeeze hunts fading, shorts are not detracting from performance as they are generally down in-line with the market; whereas, longs have fared better and protected to the downside.  Among Global Equity L/S funds, net returns continue to track positively with gains of +60-70bps MTD, outperforming MSCI ACWI (which is down -1.2%). The long-short spread has continued to improve since mid-August, driven more recently by shorts selling off faster in September than the market (down -1.3% on wgtd avg basis) and longs holding up relatively well (only down -15bps MTD). Non-Equity L/S funds are also up MTD and outperforming global equity indices, up between +30-85bps. In terms of alpha, longs have outperformed shorts throughout most of September (some reversion over the past 2 days). At a regional level, N. America L/S funds are flat to slightly up MTD, up around +0-30bps and are thus outpacing the SPX. The long-short spread has continued to improve steadily since mid-August but slowed yesterday as shorts outperformed. In EMEA, net returns among L/S funds are positive MTD, gaining around +0.5-1.3% and outperforming the headline European index. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/25/2021 - 20:30.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytSep 25th, 2021

JetBlue just began flying between New York and London with the smallest plane of any airline on the route - here"s why I"m eager to book it again

There's a certain weight to international travel that I didn't feel on JetBlue, largely because it's familiar and the plane only seated 138 people. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider JetBlue Airways just began flying between New York and London with one of Airbus' newest jets. The Airbus A321neoLR is the next-generation variant of the popular A321 and is capable of flying transatlantic flights. JetBlue has packed the aircraft full of customer-friendly features that take away from the fact that the aircraft is smaller than what competitors use. See more stories on Insider's business page. JetBlue Airways began flying between New York and London in August, bringing its low fares to Europe for the first time. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I flew on JetBlue's historic first trip to London and saw how low fares and great service will give competitors a run for their money Introductory fares on the route started at $599 round-trip for economy class and $1,979 for Mint business class. Inside JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR. Thomas Pallini/Insider One way the airline is keeping prices low is by flying smaller aircraft across the pond. Inside JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR. Thomas Pallini/Insider JetBlue chose the Airbus A321neoLR for its European flights and is currently the only airline to fly a single-aisle aircraft between New York and London. JetBlue Airways' first Airbus A321neoLR. JetBlue Airways and Airbus The trend is becoming more common as airlines try to lower costs on lucrative transatlantic flights, and manufacturers like Airbus are accommodating by making the planes fly further than ever before. Dominique Boutin/TASS/Getty Read More: Double-decker planes are going extinct as Airbus and Boeing discontinue their largest models. Here's why airlines are abandoning 4-engine jets. Some frequent flyers, including myself, dread the idea of having to fly on a single-aisle plane across an ocean. But after two flights on the aircraft, I was more than happy with the experience and enjoyed flying on it more than some larger aircraft. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider Here's why I'd book another flight on a JetBlue Airbus A321neoLR when flying transatlantic. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Insider paid a media rate to fly from New York to London and back As a New Yorker, I've taken countless JetBlue flights in my flying career and have seen how quickly the airline has improved its onboard product in recent years. Those improvements culminated in the Airbus A321neoLR, flying exclusively between New York and London. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider JetBlue's latest seat products and satellite WiFi can be found on the aircraft, as well as other features like the JetBlue "pantry." Inside JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR. Thomas Pallini/Insider I specifically book a standard economy seat for the overnight flight to London in seat 24A. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider I sat down in the seat and felt surprisingly at ease. It felt like just another flight on JetBlue, an airline on which I'd become incredibly comfortable flying. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I flew on a newly upgraded JetBlue plane and despite less legroom and slimmer seats, the refresh is exactly what the airline needed JetBlue offers 32 inches of legroom in these seats as well as 18.4 inches of width. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider For a larger traveler like myself, the extra room made a world of difference. I didn't feel hemmed in or struggling to find a comfortable position. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Those dimensions make JetBlue's seats more spacious than all of its competitors on the route, despite the smaller plane. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider American Airlines offers between 31 and 32 inches of seat pitch for its economy seats on the Boeing 777-300ER, according to SeatGuru, while seat widths range between 16.2 and 17.1 inches. An American Airlines Boeing 777-300ER. Nicolas Economou/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Source: SeatGuru British Airways' Boeing 777-200 aircraft offers 31 inches of pitch and 17.5 inches of seat width in economy, according to SeatGuru. A British Airways Boeing 777. Reuters Source: SeatGuru Delta Air Lines' Boeing 767-400ER aircraft offer 31 inches of pitch and a nearly comparable 18.1 inches of width, according to SeatGuru. A Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-400. Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock.com Source: SeatGuru Virgin Atlantic Airways offers between 31 and 34 inches of pitch on its Airbus A350-1000 XWB aircraft in economy, according to SeatGuru, with a seat width of 17.4 inches. A Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A350-900 XWB. Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto/Getty Images Source: SeatGuru United Airlines offers the closest rival on its premium-configured Boeing 767-300ER with seat pitches varying between 31 and 34 inches for economy seats and 18.5 inches of pitch, according to SeatGuru. The 34-inch pitch seats are paid, extra-legroom "Economy Plus" seats. A United Airlines Boeing 767-300ER. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider JetBlue's spacious seats are accompanied by a low-density configuration of only 138 seats across 31 rows. In economy, you can see from the first row all the way to the last with no dividers in between. Inside JetBlue Airways' new Airbus A321neoLR. Thomas Pallini/Insider American, by comparison, has 216 economy seats alone on its Boeing 777-300ER flying between New York and London. American Airlines Boeing 777 at New York JFK airport before boarding passengers. William Perugini/shutterstock The only other airline flying planes with fewer passengers between New York and Europe is French boutique airline La Compagnie. A La Compagnie Airbus A321neo. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I toured La Compagnie, the all-business class airline flying between the US and France. It's the closest thing to flying private across the Atlantic. Having fewer seats means it takes less time to board and deplane the aircraft. It might even take less time to board and deplane than JetBlue's other aircraft that have more seats. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Personally, having fewer people onboard made it feel like there was a lot less hassle during boarding and deplaning. Flying to London felt no different than if I was flying down to Florida, and it made the overall experience a lot less stressful. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Beyond its impressive spaciousness, the economy seat itself had all the usual trimmings for a transatlantic product a 10.1-inch in-flight entertainment screen with a USB charging port, 110v AC power outlet, and adjustable headrest. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Also on display during boarding was the Airbus Airspace cabin found on its newest jets. Mood lighting welcomes passengers onboard with LED lights above giving the impression of a starry night. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Economy seats are configured in a standard 3-3 configuration with an equal number of aisle, window, and middle seats. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider It didn't take long to get everybody onboard and ready for the seven-hour crossing. We would've departed right on time had it not been for bad weather in the area that prevented us from pushing back from the gate. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider But once we got underway, it was smooth sailing to London. The A321neoLR handled what little turbulence we experienced quite well. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider Flight attendants walked up and down the aisle to perform the in-flight service, just like a normal flight. It took a bit longer than it should have but that was chalked up to it being the very first flight. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider One cool feature of JetBlue's transatlantic product is that customers can order their meals from the in-flight entertainment system. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider I quickly fell asleep and woke up over Ireland in time for breakfast with only around an hour left in the flight. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider The fuel-efficient Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engines also make the cabin incredibly quiet and conducive to uninterrupted sleep. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider The flight ended, as all do, and I was thinking more about how happy I was in London than the fact that I flew across the Atlantic in a single-aisle plane. Flying JetBlue Airways from New York to London. Thomas Pallini/Insider I flew back to New York just a few days later on the very same aircraft. The only difference was that this time, I was in business class. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider JetBlue rolled out a brand-new Mint business class seat for this aircraft to give flyers maximum privacy and exclusivity. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read More: I flew JetBlue's new London to New York route in Mint business class. It's a premium leisure traveler's dream but some kinks need to be ironed out. Business class seats are arranged in a 1-1 configuration across 12 rows, taking up nearly half of the aircraft. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider Each seat offers direct aisle access and has closing doors for additional privacy. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider There were even fewer passengers on this flight so boarding took less than 30 minutes and we were quickly on our way to New York. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider The flight time was also around seven hours for this leg thanks to favorable winds. What the A321neoLR lacks in speed, however, JetBlue makes up for in the in-flight service. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider A three-course meal was served for lunch, accompanied by multiple pre-landing snacks. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider And for those still hungry, the JetBlue "pantry" is available on the aircraft where passengers can take whatever snacks and beverages they like. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider Besides the extra flight duration, I could hardly tell the difference or care that I was on a smaller plane. Flying JetBlue Airways from London to New York in Mint business class. Thomas Pallini/Insider Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2021

While world leaders are at the UN talking climate change, their private jets are often forced to fly and park hundreds of miles away

An obscure rule forces aircraft ferrying world leaders to the UN to fly far away to find parking during the UN General Assembly. Boris Johnson speaking at the United Nations General Assembly EDUARDO MUNOZ/POOL/AFP/Getty World leaders from across the globe flew into New York City to attend the United Nations General Assembly. Their aircraft, however, weren't allowed to stay at New York City's airports due to a long-standing rule. Boris Johnson took Amtrak's Acela from New York to Washington, DC while his plane was parked in Virginia. See more stories on Insider's business page. New York City in September is a hotspot for world leaders as the United Nations holds its annual General Assembly. Climate change is a key topic at this year's conference, with leaders including President Joe Biden announcing additional investments in climate finance for developing countries. But while leaders talk about commitments to climate change on the world stage, their government planes are burning extra jet fuel by flying empty to airports across the Northeast just to park during the event. New York's JFK International Airport is the preferred gateway to the UN for many visiting countries due to its proximity to Manhattan. A long-standing rule of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, however, restricts those aircraft from staying at JFK while their passengers head to the UN. Foreign military and state aircraft are barred from staying at Port Authority airports overnight due to traffic and space constraints, a spokesperson confirmed to Insider. After they've landed at a Port airport, those aircraft have two hours to depart for another airport where they'll park while in the US.Commercial airports under the Port's purview also include LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International. New York Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York, around 60 miles north of the UN, is a popular parking spot for foreign aircraft given its large runway and parking availability for large aircraft. Flight tracking data shows that aircraft staying in Newburgh this year included a Boeing Business Jet 747-8i of the Turkish government, Airbus A319 of the Italian government, and Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, among many others. The Turkish government Boeing Business Jet 747-8i that brought President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to New York. Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Aircraft will travel as far as Washington, DC, nearly 200 nautical miles south of New York, just for a parking spot. Airports closer to New York including Farmingdale Republic Airport and Long Island MacArthur Airport are favorites of countries with smaller diplomatic aircraft. But larger aircraft, such as a Boeing 747, cannot use them or other nearby airports such as New Jersey's Teterboro Airport and White Plains, New York's Westchester County Airport due to runway constraints. Foreign governments and militaries can request exemptions to the rule outside of UN week, the Port spokesperson told Insider, and an airport's general manager may grant it if traffic levels allow. Newburgh is a Port facility and exemptions are often made because of the airport's low traffic levels. But during UN week, the aviation equivalent of tipping the valet extra to "keep it nearby" is considered bribery. Marlene Mizzi, a former assistant airport deputy supervisor at JFK, pleaded guilty in 2019 to accepting "benefits" for letting aircraft stay overnight during a session of the General Assembly.Mizzi admitted to receiving " free limousine rides, meals, and gifts" in return for letting a Qatar state aircraft stay overnight in 2014, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.How the rule causes headaches for multi-stop US visitsUK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to America's high-speed Amtrak Acela train to visit the White House while in the US. But Johnson's plane also made the trip to the nation's capital. The UK version of Air Force One flew from New York to Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia after dropping off Johnson on September 19. Had Johnson chose to fly between New York and Washington, his plane would have had to fly back to New York to pick him up, then fly back to Virginia to park. And after Johnson's visit, the plane would have had to fly him back to New York, only to fly back to Virginia to park for the rest of the prime minister's UN visit, and then fly back to New York for the return flight to London. Boris Johnson arriving in New York for the United Nations General Assembly. Stefan Rousseau - Pool/Getty A 2018 report from the International Council on Clean Transportation, an independent non-profit organization, found that aviation contributed to 2.4% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Even with the industry working towards a greener future, empty repositioning flights are still incredibly common for all aircraft operates. The COVID-19 pandemic gave New York skies a reprieve as the General Assembly went virtual in 2020. But despite fears of the Delta variant, this year's in-person session pressed on and foreign leaders were ready to adopt "have plane, will travel."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 25th, 2021

Kemp: Worldwide Energy Shortage Shows Up In Surging Coal, Gas And Oil Prices

Kemp: Worldwide Energy Shortage Shows Up In Surging Coal, Gas And Oil Prices By John Kemp, Reuters commodity market analyst and reporter Record gas and electricity prices in Europe, record coal prices in China, multiyear-high gas prices in the United States and oil prices well above their real long-term average are all manifestations of the same global energy shortage. In the aftermath of the coronavirus recession, energy production has failed to keep up with rapid growth in consumption, as energy producers struggle to raise output while demand has bounced back quickly. The business cycle downturn and slump in energy prices caused by the pandemic, and before that the U.S./China trade conflict, depressed investment throughout the energy sector in 2019/2020. Since then, the global economy has experienced an exceptionally rapid cyclical recovery, aided by low interest rates, bond buying and massive government spending, which has focused on energy-intensive merchandise rather than services, boosting energy consumption at extraordinary rates. The result is a severe cyclical shortage of energy, evident in below-average inventories and surging prices for coal, gas and oil in all the major consuming regions of the world. Unusual weather has worsened the shortages, including a cold winter in the Northern Hemisphere in 2020/21, a late winter storm in Texas in February 2021, slow wind speeds in Europe in August-September 2021, and hurricane-related disruption to oil output in the Gulf of Mexico. In recent months, China has reported low coal stocks at power stations and the government has urged major producing regions to boost output as a matter of urgency; coal futures prices have more than doubled from a year ago. In the gas market, inventories are 5% below the pre-pandemic seasonal average in the United States and 15% below average in Europe. Front-month gas futures prices have risen 140% in the United States, more than 500% in Europe, and more than 600% in Northeast Asia, compared with the same time last year. On the oil side, U.S. commercial petroleum stocks are 5% below the pre-pandemic seasonal average and commercial inventories across the OECD are also around 5% below the 2015-2019 seasonal average. Benchmark Brent futures are trading in the 70th percentile in real terms since 1990... ...  while the six-month calendar spread is in the 98th percentile, indicating traders anticipate inventories will become even tighter. Aftershocks Energy industries have always exhibited strongly cyclical behavior. The bigger the initial disturbance to production, consumption, inventories and prices, the larger the immediate response, and the larger the subsequent reaction. In this case, low inventories and high prices for coal, gas and oil are the direct consequence of high inventories and low prices this time last year caused by the first wave of the pandemic. Following an exceptionally rapid economic rebound, global industrial production... ... and world trade volumes are both down by less than 1% compared with their pre-pandemic and pre-trade-war trends. Global spare capacity is limited, especially in merchandise-producing industries, which are far more energy-intensive than service-producing sectors. In consequence, global energy consumption is running very close to its long-term trend, with isolated exceptions, the most important of which is a sharp drop in the use of jet fuel for international passenger aviation. With large sections of the global economy operating at close to full capacity, the energy system is struggling to meet incremental demand and prices are accelerating as a result. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/25/2021 - 07:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 25th, 2021

Extreme weather disrupted almost half of JetBlue"s flights on Thursday with cancellations continuing as the airline recovers

JetBlue Airways canceled or delayed over half of its flights yesterday, leaving passengers stranded for hours. AP/Elaine Thompson JetBlue left hundreds of passengers stranded after delaying or canceling half of its flights on Thursday. The airline said severe weather in Florida and New England caused the flight disruptions. Weather was a primary factor in delays that occurred over the summer, causing issues for American and Spirit. See more stories on Insider's business page. JetBlue Airways canceled or delayed over half of its flights yesterday, leaving passengers at some airports stranded for hours.On Thursday, JetBlue passengers complained on Twitter about hours-long flight delays and subsequent cancellations, with some saying they were stranded for up to 25 hours."The bulk of cancellations ... were the result of dangerous thunderstorms in South Florida and the Northeast last night and into this morning. This weather leads to airport closures and air traffic control programs. Whenever these weather events take place they can also create residual impacts as we work to reposition aircraft and crews," a JetBlue spokesperson told Insider.According to data from FlightAware, 50% of JetBlue flights were disrupted yesterday, with 44% being delayed and 6% being canceled. The airline had the highest ratio of flight disruptions compared to other carriers, including Southwest and American which only had 20% of flights delayed and 1% and 2% canceled, respectively.Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines, which, according to the airline, has the largest operation at New York's JFK International Airport, only had 17% of its flights delayed and 0% canceled on Thursday. Today, JetBlue has already delayed 27% and canceled 6% of its flights, compared to Delta, American, United, and Southwest that have all delayed less than 10% and canceled between 0 and 1%.Weather was the principal factor in the hundreds of flight cancellations incurred by airlines over the summer. In June, American was forced to slash 80 flights a day after extreme weather disrupted the operation. The airline also cut 1% of its schedule for July to help manage the travel boom as it battled weather and labor shortages.Meanwhile, Spirit Airlines' operation broke down after a poorly timed combination of severe weather and staffing issues, forcing it to cancel 2,000 flights as it fought to get its schedule back on track. Its slow recovery got the attention of the US Department of Transportation, which contacted the airline to "remind" them of passenger rights when their flights are canceled, reported The Points Guy. Spirit was still canceling half of its flights into its fifth day of disruptions, while JetBlue has only canceled 8% on its second day, according to FlightAware.Editor's note: An earlier headline implied JetBlue canceled half of its flights on Thursday. It has been updated.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 24th, 2021