Bear of the Day: Toll Brothers, Inc. (TOL)

TOL shares have tumbled off their December 2021 highs, and its earnings outlook for FY23 has plummeted since Toll Brothers reported its quarterly results on August 23. Toll Brothers, Inc. TOL is one of the top luxury homebuilders in the country. Toll Brothers has been on an impressive run of revenue growth for the last 10 years, but its outlook is fading as the housing market cools on the back of soaring mortgage rates and economic downturn fears.TOL shares have tumbled off their December 2021 highs, and its earnings outlook for FY23 has plummeted since Toll Brothers reported its quarterly results on August 23.   Victim of Its Own Success?Toll Brothers is a diversified luxury housing builder that operates its own architectural, engineering, mortgage, title, and land development subsidiaries, as well as other offerings that fit into its high-end offerings such as golf course development. TOL also operates its own lumber distribution, house component assembly, and manufacturing segments.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchTOL builds in roughly half of U.S. states and in over 60 markets from Arizona and California to New York and North Carolina. Despite being in the luxury market, Toll Brothers caters to nearly every aspect of the industry, including first-time, move-up, empty-nester, active-adult, and second-home buyers. Toll Brothers also operates in the rental market in both urban and suburban areas.The higher-end homebuilder has posted a rather solid run of sales and earnings expansion during the last roughly 10 years and it befitted from the covid housing boom. But the once-soaring housing market is slowing as mortgage rates jump off historic lows.Mortgage rates recently climbed above 6% for the first time since 2008, up from 2.9% this time last year. The higher rates make buying homes far more expensive. Plus, the covid and low rate-boosted market saw so many people buy homes so quickly that it was due for a slowdown at some point.Fresh data out earlier this week showcased that the U.S. housing market slowed for a seventh straight month in August. This marked the longest stretch of declining sales since 2007. The higher rates and economic downturn fears are hitting the luxury housing market particularly hard.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchBottom LineZacks estimates call for Toll Brothers to post another strong year of top and bottom-line expansion, with 10% sales growth expected and 41% higher adjusted earnings. The company’s FY23 sales are projected to dip 9% against these levels, with its earnings expected to slip 11%.TOL’s downward earnings revisions help it land a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell) right now. And Wall Street doesn’t appear ready to touch home builder stocks until there are some signs of mortgage rates leveling off or coming back down, which won’t happen until the Fed backs off.Toll Brothers could benefit from long-term demographic trends and the ongoing undersupply of single-family homes. Still, it might be best for investors to stay away from TOL and other home builders for now. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock And 4 Runners UpWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2022

Meet the union leaders powering a wave of organizing at Amazon, Starbucks, Target, and more

Unions are booming in the US and enjoying their highest support since the '60s. But the ordinary people leading them have their work cut out. Alycee Byrd/Simon Simard/Meron Menghistab/Erika Ramirez/Joe Martinez for InsiderDerrick Palmer's campaign base was a Staten Island bus stop.For nearly a year, he would pitch up at the stop day and night with two tables and a tent, along with other leaders of the Amazon Labor Union.They held bonfires, toasted marshmallows, and waited up at 4 a.m. with breakfast sandwiches to catch workers coming off the night shift nearby at JFK8, Amazon's main New York distribution center, where Palmer works as a packer, and encourage them to sign up to support a trade union.On windy winter nights, the tent would often blow away.Their efforts were rewarded in April this year when JFK8, which has more than 8,000 workers, became the first and only Amazon warehouse in the US to unionize following a vote — the process to formally establish a union by showing enough workers support it.This year has seen a wave of union activism after decades of declining membership. A flurry of workers have won elections to form unions in industries that have never had them, including at more than 200 Starbucks stores and at Apple, Trader Joe's, and the outdoor store REI.Union-representation petitions filed with the National Labor Relations Board jumped almost 60% in the nine months that ended in June. A Gallup poll last year found support for unions to be at its highest since the '60s.But the ordinary people leading this workers-rights revival have their work cut out.American corporations often fiercely resist union efforts. A 2019 report by the Economic Policy Institute estimated that US companies spend nearly $340 million a year on "union avoidance" consultants, and illegal firings are alleged to happen in up to 30% of union-election campaigns.Insider spoke with people organizing workers at Amazon, Trader Joe's, Target, Wells Fargo, and Starbucks, in conversations spread over several weeks, about what drives them to try to unionise in America today. Some have had their unions recognised, others are still campaigning.Derrick Palmer at the bus stop near the JFK8 warehouse.Erika Ramirez/InsiderDerrick Palmer, Amazon, New YorkDerrick Palmer and his best friend led a strike at Amazon's Staten Island warehouse in March 2020 in protest at the company's safety measures after a worker contracted COVID-19.His friend, Chris Smalls, was fired after the strike, though he remains the president of the Amazon Labor Union they then founded together. (Amazon says it fired Smalls for violating its quarantine policy. Smalls disputes this.)But Palmer, who is now 33, kept his job.He told Insider he felt no sense of direction before unionizing, going through a string of temporary warehouse roles before he joined Amazon."I've been in their shoes," he says of finding purpose in supporting his Amazon colleagues. "I know what it's like to be unmotivated — I know what it's like to not be taken seriously."Palmer told Insider the union started small, with money from a GoFundMe page. He said he spent up to eight hours a day, on top of his 40-hour workweek, working on the campaign ahead of the vote."I had a lot of sleepless nights," he said, later adding: "We were building a community, and I felt like the last thing we wanted to do was let them down."Erika Ramirez/InsiderSpeaking with Insider while heating up some chicken and rice during his shift at JFK8, Palmer said Amazon created a "climate of fear" after the strike. He later added that Amazon engaged in "union-busting" including sending text messages to workers encouraging them to vote against joining the ALU and posting anti-union messages in bathroom stalls.An Amazon representative told Insider that "it's important that everyone understands the facts about joining a union and the election process itself."Amazon has since tried to overturn the vote with objections, including taking issue with organizers' handing out marijuana during campaigning. The Amazon representative said the company has filed evidence that the ALU "improperly suppressed and influenced the vote."Palmer said he believed the company was monitoring his actions and tweets. But "fear is the last thing on my mind," he told Insider.The union is trying to secure a contract with Amazon to bargain for things like higher wages, increased job security, and cutting back on mandatory overtime.Tensions are said to be high at the warehouse, and the two sides have yet to engage. No other Amazon centers have unionized despite efforts around the US.But for the organizers, it's still a time to celebrate. Palmer's co-leader, Smalls, met President Joe Biden in May at an event where the president called him "my kind of trouble."Palmer's mother raised him by herself. He says he's changed a lot since childhood. "I was a very small kid, very soft-spoken. I used to walk with my head down. I didn't have the confidence that I do now," he said."I feel like that relates to Amazon workers now."It's like I'm talking to my old self saying, 'You've got to keep your head up, you've got to fight back, you've got to stand your ground.'You've got to let your presence be known.'"Adam Ryan in the trailer park where he heard the rumour that would lead him to work at Target.Alycee Byrd for InsiderAdam Ryan, Target, Virginia"I've always had the itch to organize" Adam Ryan told Insider. "If I'm not doing it, I don't feel okay about myself."Ryan started working at Target because of a rumor he heard in a trailer park.He was asking the park's residents about housing issues as part of a workers-rights campaign when one told him about a manager at Target who was widely accused of abusive behavior, including sexual harassment.He got a job at the store in his hometown of Christiansburg, Virginia, in 2017 with the goal of forcing the manager out. Four months later, he organized a strike that he says triggered an internal investigation into the claims. The accused manager was later fired.Ryan, 34, is a serial campaigner. He was trained in organizing in 2011 and has pushed to unionize at every job since then.He grew up in a conservative, working-class family as the youngest of four brothers in what he describes as a "small, ranch-style house." His father worked at an Army ammunition plant, and his mother was a school cafeteria worker for over 20 years.He told Insider he "didn't feel poor per se" but felt an expectation that "if you want anything, you're going to have to get a job and work for it."Things were tense between Ryan and his family from his teenage years into his 20s. But his involvement in unions has helped them reconnect."We're in a common struggle, and we're dealing with a lot of the same issues," he said, adding that his efforts had inspired his brother to push for unionization in his job as a wildland firefighter.He calls unionizing "the only power working-class people have."Alycee Byrd for InsiderRyan's job involves unloading stock deliveries and putting products on the sales floor. He said Target began monitoring workers more closely after the strike he organized, including by bringing in managers from other stores to surveil workers and question them individually. He has filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board over this.Ryan said management had grilled him too: He said after he invited coworkers to labor-rights meetings, he was pulled into a meeting with management and told not to do that. "It's definitely anxiety-inducing — it's stressful," he later said.Target did not respond to Insider's request for comment.He started calling for a union election with the wider campaign Target Workers Unite in 2019. "I don't want to see something I've invested a number of years in just like dissipate overnight if I happen to leave," he said.He filed a petition for a union election in May of this year, but it didn't have enough signatures, which he blames on confusion over "on-demand workers," which he says the organizers didn't realize counted as employees.He is pushing for benefits like hazard pay for workers who get sick with COVID-19 and seniority pay to reward long-term employees.Campaigning has taken an emotional toll. Ryan moved to the countryside two years ago and says he finds comfort in the quiet of his garden. He said he felt drained by what he described as "constant infighting" in labor organizing.He describes himself as "a disgruntled person" who struggles with "how to motivate people when I'm generally very frustrated and upset with how things are in the world."But he argues the changes at his store so far have exposed "cracks" at Target. "It shows that even if you're small, you can still pack a punch," he said, "and you can punch above your weight."Jessie McCool on her diving board, where she took a call which resulted in an informal warning.Joe Martinez for InsiderJessie McCool, Wells Fargo, MissouriLike many Americans in office jobs, Jessie McCool worked from home during the coronavirus pandemic. She's a senior compliance officer at Wells Fargo, the US's third-biggest bank.She told Insider she took one meeting while sitting on the diving board of her backyard pool last year so she could keep an eye on her child who was swimming.She said she asked her manager whether she could have her camera switched off on the call but was told to switch it on. She said she was later given an informal warning, without her manager being present, accusing her of "disruptive behavior that could have diverted attention" on the call.McCool describes this as an example of remote-working policies being applied inconsistently, saying she saw someone on a comparable Zoom call running on a treadmill in a bathrobe weeks later. (McCool said her manager at the time confirmed this other employee received no warning.)McCool said she wanted to lead union efforts to try to "take back some of the control" that she said senior management had "run awry" with, recalling witnessing a colleague reduced to tears by her superiors on another video call in 2020.Joe Martinez for InsiderThere's a growing push to unionize across Wells Fargo, where McCool, 42, has worked for 10 years, but no union has yet been recognised by the company.She leads unionizing efforts at the Missouri headquarters and says remote communication during the pandemic helped workers start a union drive across Wells Fargo's US offices, though her group hasn't decided whether to be part of the wider campaign or to form an independent union.Characterizing herself as "confrontational," McCool said she challenged people in her work and personal life."If I see something that I don't agree with, I will just stand up and say it, and I think in a way people have begun to rely on me to do things like that," she said.She said she's lobbying for more transparency around policies and procedures, equitable pay, and fair treatment for employees.McCool told Insider she was referred to as a "diversity hire" by a human-resources officer in an initial interview. She describes herself as having Hispanic, Jewish, and Middle Eastern heritage.The banking giant has come under scrutiny over scandals including holding job interviews for "diverse" candidates despite already filling the roles with other candidates, as first reported by The New York Times. A spokesperson for Wells Fargo told Insider that diverse representation across the company has increased year-on-year since 2020.McCool said she had a six-month internal battle with HR after being asked to remove a reference to the union in the headline bar of her Skype profile, something she argues is a federally protected right. "My coworkers are also having similar experiences," she added. She was ultimately allowed to use the tagline. The spokesperson for Wells Fargo told Insider it doesn't comment on "specific personal matters".Outside her day job, McCool is a rally race-car driver, model, and burlesque performer. Activism was part of her upbringing. "Everybody deserves a community that will uphold them, and I think I just fell into that," she said, speaking of the punk marches in Pittsburgh that she said she went to as a child in the early 1990s."My mother was always like: 'You stand up for what's right — it doesn't matter whether you're popular,'" she said.Jamie Edwards outside the Trader Joe's store which became the first in the US to unionize.Simon Simard for InsiderJamie Edwards, Trader Joe's, Massachusetts"I know what it's like to be trapped at a job," said Jamie Edwards, who worked strenuous hours with long commutes across five other retail jobs before joining a Trader Joe's store in Hadley, Massachusetts."When I'm employed at a place where there are issues, I'm always thinking about the fact that not everyone has the ability to just easily go find another job," Edwards added.Edwards, who is nonbinary and uses the pronouns they/them, is a lead organizer at the Trader Joe's that in July became the chain's first location to unionize. A second followed in August at the chain, which has more than 500 US locations.They said they grew up "idolizing too many radicals" but viewed unionizing as a "bare minimum" for working-class people's well-being."I think that organizing a union is not really the most radical thing someone could do," they said. "It's a very basic thing."Edwards celebrated their 33rd birthday in May. The next day, they said, they were sent home from their job at Trader Joe's for wearing a pro-union pin on their uniform, something that is generally not allowed under the National Labor Relations Act, according to the National Labor Relations Board.Simon Simard for InsiderEdwards says efforts to create a union were driven mainly by safety concerns. Though Trader Joe's enforced mask wearing through some of the pandemic, Edwards said they had felt unsafe at times, for example early on when they say the chain discouraged workers from wearing masks and gloves out of fear this would "scare" customers. Trader Joe's did not respond to Insider's request for comment.Their co-organizers at the store have also said that, though the store followed policies set by the local health board, they felt masks were dropped too quickly once vaccinations became available and the company didn't make them aware of a state law mandating paid time off for COVID-19-related absences (a representative for Trader Joe's told the New York Times this account was incorrect).Edwards got their first job when they were 17. They have been at Trader Joe's for nine years. Speaking with Insider on their day off, Edwards said that during the campaign they had feared misinformation was being spread about the union, including rumors that unionized workers would be paid less."I've stopped engaging with certain people who have shown themselves not to be acting in good faith because I feel like the purpose of it is to take time away from me actually organizing," they added.Edwards works night shifts and describes themself as a socialist who has always been pro-union. They had already attempted once before to unionize at the store.With the milestone of formal recognition achieved, they plan to keep working to try to improve life for colleagues."I'm always of the mindset that I should exhaust my options at trying to make the workplace better before leaving," they said, "if only for the fact that there's still going to be people who are working there who are going to have to deal with it."Lindsey Price outside a Starbucks, after the company fired her in April.Meron Menghistab for InsiderLindsey Price, Starbucks, SeattleLindsey Price worked for Starbucks for 17 years until she was fired in April.Price argues she was fired because she was helping to organize workers at her store in Seattle's Eastlake neighborhood, where she worked as a shift supervisor.Soon after her team's petition for a union election went public, Starbucks fired her, citing an incident where she had found the door to her store unlocked one morning, with the lock dislodged.Price told Insider the door was often left unlocked after deliveries were made to the store, and the lock often dislodged. Starbucks Workers United said there were no complaints about her for nearly nine years before she lost her job.A Starbucks spokesperson told Insider that Price was fired for putting her team "in an unsafe situation" because she failed to call 911 as the scene could have been a burglary. They added that Starbucks denies firing any workers for invovlement in unions.Price's old store is now officially unionized. She describes safety at Starbucks as a key concern, telling Insider that her store caught on fire because of faults with the electrical systems in September 2021 and workers were tasked with finding their own shifts at other stores when it closed a few months later."We didn't feel taken care of," Price said, adding in another conversation that she felt "completely on my own."She said her manager once asked her to clean up a "significant" amount of blood without protective clothing while working at a Starbucks store in Costa Mesa, California, in 2012 or 2013 after someone came into the store with a gunshot wound. She said she ultimately didn't clean it up, following instructions from the police.Meron Menghistab for InsiderPrice, 38, says she's always been "a parent" to her colleagues and has acted as a go-between with managers.Yet she hasn't always supported unions. She chuckles when saying her opinions have shifted like "night and day." "I was raised thinking that unions were not helpful," she told Insider.Price's father worked a white-collar job, and her mother held a cool view toward unions after her own father had experience with a union that he said treated him "terribly."But she got involved to advocate on behalf of her colleagues, and, looking back, wishes her store had unionized earlier, saying her career path "could have changed drastically had I felt taken care of and listened to."Being fired felt like a bad breakup, Price says.She has a new job at the Seattle Public Library and is in graduate school studying library science. There's relief in her voice when she says she now has "an actual career path, which I've never felt like before."But she says she will still be part of the Eastlake Starbucks union bargaining committee when it is set up and feels connected to her former colleagues, saying she knows "that feeling of just hopelessness I guess that some people can feel working there, and that I know I felt many times.""I think that's what makes me want to be on a bargaining committee," she said, "and continue to try to help as much as I can." .gi-mtl body { overflow-x: hidden; } .gi-mtl .l-masthead.unified-masthead { margin-bottom: 0; } .gi-mtl .post-headline-wrapper { position: absolute; width: 1px; height: 1px; padding: 0; margin: -1px; overflow: hidden; clip: rect(0, 0, 0, 0); white-space: nowrap; border: 0; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero { overflow: initial; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero { overflow: initial; position: relative; height: 100%; width: 100vw; max-width: 100vw; margin: 0; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio { padding: 0 !important; width: 100%; height: calc(100vh - 71px); top: 0; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio img { top: 0; left: 0; transform: initial; width: 100%; height: 100%; object-fit: cover; object-position: 50% 50%; } .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio::after { content: ""; display: block; background: linear-gradient( to top, rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.6) 0, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0) 100% ); position: absolute; bottom: 0; left: 0; width: 100vw; height: 60%; pointer-events: none; z-index: 1; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-header { z-index: 2; top: 85%; left: 50%; transform: translate(-50%, -85%); line-height: 1.1; width: max-content; color: white; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-hed { font-size: 2.5rem; letter-spacing: -0.025em; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-dek { font-size: 1.5rem; max-width: 35ch; } .gi-mtl .image-source-only.full-bleed-hero { width: 100%; margin-left: 0; margin-right: 0; } .gi-mtl .image-source-only.full-bleed-hero .image-source { padding: 0 1rem; } .gi-mtl .insider-raw-embed { overflow-x: visible !important; } @media (min-width: 768px) { .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-hed { font-size: 4rem; } } @media (min-width: 1920px) { .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-hed { font-size: 6rem; } .gi-mtl .gi-mtl-main-dek { font-size: 2.25rem; } } @media (orientation: portrait) { .gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio img { animation: 8s infinite alternate translate; } @keyframes translate { from { object-position: 0% 50%; } to { object-position: 100% 50%; } } } document.documentElement.classList.add("gi-mtl"); document.addEventListener("readystatechange", (e) => { if ( === "interactive") { const fullBleedHero = document.querySelector( ".gi-mtl div.full-bleed-hero figure.figure.image-figure-image.full-bleed-hero div.aspect-ratio" ); if (fullBleedHero) { const displayHed = ` Meet the union leaders They're powering a wave of organizing at Amazon, Starbucks, and more `; fullBleedHero.insertAdjacentHTML("afterbegin", displayHed); } } }); Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 10th, 2022

US stocks will overcome international headwinds and outperform their global peers going forward, top economist Mohamed El-Erian says

"The west is going to suffer quite a bit in the next 12 to 24 months, [but] the US is in a good position to consolidate its gains," Mohamed El-Erian said. Mohamed El-ErianREUTERS/Shannon Stapleton US stocks will take a hit from the economic crisis taking place in Asia and Europe, top economist Mohamed El-Erian warned. But it's still likely to outperform its peers due to the resilience of the US economy and the US dollar. "The west is going to suffer quite a bit in the next 12 to 24 months, [but] the US is in a good position to consolidate its gains," he said. US stocks are going to take a beating from the economic crisis taking place in Asia and Europe - but even with international headwinds, US markets will still outperform its peers, according to top economist Mohamed El-Erian."The US will outperform other markets, other economies, and other currencies consistently," El-Erian said in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday. "People who want to fade the US in favor of other jurisdictions simply don't understand the extent to which the US is more resilient, more agile than other parts of the world."He pointed to the energy crisis looming in Europe and Asia, as both continents are at risk of being choked off from Russian gas supplies, which has led global energy prices to skyrocket.That's been a big factor in growing European debt and inflation so far, spelling trouble for its economy. JP Morgan analysts found that Europe's energy import costs have quadrupled in the last few months, and expect European inflation to hit 10% this year.Inflation is also bearing its toll on Asia, as the result of high energy prices as well as the economic impact of China's lockdown restrictions, which the country is slowly easing out of. The International Monetary Fund slashed its growth estimates for China to 3.2% this year, down from the 3.6% it predicted in April.Meanwhile, US inflation is showing subtle improvement: July's Consumer Price Index quelled slightly to 8.5% inflation, and some analysts have speculated inflation could start to come down rapidly into early 2023.And despite promises of more central bank hikes, the labor market is still resilient, adding twice the amount of jobs than expected in July. Rate hikes have also led the US dollar to dominate foreign currencies in an impressive rally this year: As of Wednesday, the dollar was at parity with the euro, and was valued at 1 dollar to 6.97 Chinese yuan.But that doesn't mean the US is completely immune from international pressures, El-Erian warned, as experts have pointed that the economy is still vulnerable to supply chain issues stemming from China, as well as the energy shortage in Europe. US stockpiles have been hit from extra shipments to Europe, which has the potential to send the US into its own energy crisis this winter. So far, the S&P 500 has erased about half of its gains from the summer bear market rally, with mixed predictions of an impending crash or another high for the stock index next year."It is impressive we are in the green given what's been happening to the world," El-Erian said. "The west is going to suffer quite a bit in the next 12 to 24 months, [but] the US is in a good position to consolidate its gains."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 7th, 2022

A prison where the prisoners were in charge

The General Penitentiary of Venezuela was a place where inmates mostly roamed freely. But there was also a rigid, if convoluted, code of conduct. Inmates are seen praying early in the morning. At the time, inmates here have run afoul of La Routina and were awaiting punishment would stay here.Oscar B. Castillo Oscar B. Castillo, a documentary photographer, had extraordinary access to Venezuela's PGV prison during an extended period when it was controlled by inmates. This photo essay was adapted from Castillo's book about the Free Convict hip-hop collective. The book, "Esos Que Saben," was published this month.  One of Venezuela's hottest venues for musicians and sports stars was, for part of the last decade, a maximum-security prison run by its own inmates. "Party at the PGV tonight," local DJs would announce over the radio. Visitors would come from the nearby towns, or all the way from the capital, Caracas, 100 miles away. The PGV, or the General Penitentiary of Venezuela, was a place where inmates mostly roamed freely. The cell blocks had been torn out and there was no "behind bars." But there was also a rigid, if convoluted, code of conduct that was maintained by gangs and an arsenal of heavy weapons. Infractions were met with brutal punishments.Visitors were considered sacred, and off-limits. The PGV was at its best on Visitors' Days — which could run for weeks since there wasn't a formal limit.  Christmas, Mother's Day, or the birthdays of gang leaders who ran the place were always a good excuse to put on concerts, or bring in bouncy castles, clowns, and hot dog carts for visiting kids. As night fell, DJs would be brought in to perform in the penitentiary's central square with electronic music, laser shows, and fireworks. A prisoner dances with a woman during a Visitors' Day event at the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloKids play and jump in one of the several bouncy castles that prisoners set up on Visitor days.Oscar B. CastilloAs a group of Mariachis played songs about maternal love during a Mother's Day celebration at the prison, the mother of an inmate walked onto the stage and joined the performance.Oscar B. CastilloOutside/Inside From the outside, there were vestiges of ordinary prison infrastructure: High fences heavily crowned with barbed wire, control towers, and checkpoints manned by military officers armed with rifles and machine guns. Long lines of relatives, mostly women and kids, carrying large bags of goods and tired expressions on their faces, lined up under the scorching heat to submit to searches — or be made to pay bribes — before being allowed through. But look closer, and you would have seen a thin fence. On one side were guards, employed by the state and confined to the prison's perimeter. On the other side, manning the PGV's entrance, a select group of prisoners held far more powerful guns, and many more of them. Once inside, most inmates — everyone here was an inmate — walked around freely through the maze of corridors, pavilions, and wards. In some areas, shacks and other private dwellings had been erected.  From the alleyways and through the prison's windows, the rugged mountain landscape, which lent the town of San Juan de Los Morros its name, could be seen in the distance — beautiful, but also painful, for how it reminded prisoners of their lost freedom. The PGV first opened in 1948, billed as a model South American prison where prisoners could work the soil, care for animals, and live in the relative open. But starting around 2007, as the institutional structure of Venezuela crumbled and mafia activity and corruption spiraled out of control, prison gangs amassed weapons and drugs and, with it, leverage. After years of continuous abandonment and failed policies, police and soldiers were often interchangable with criminals, and human rights groups documented their abuses.Around 2009, the criminal group called "El Carro" (The Car), under the command of El Principal, had taken over the daily workings of the PGV.  By 2010, many of Venezuela's biggest male prisons were under the effective control of inmates.  The General Penitentiary of Venezuela, known as the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloChristian evangelist prisoners during a prayer visit from Caracas. These prisoners had their own zone at the PGV and were responsible for jobs like cleaning and carrying water. They could not roam around the prison after 7pm.Oscar B. CastilloHéctor, right, playfully points a gun at another inmate.Oscar B. CastilloDrugs laid out on a table for sale.Oscar B. CastilloLa RutinaAt the PGV's entrance was a makeshift market. There, entrepreneurial prisoners filled tables with basic items, like bread and DVDs, or marijuana joints that were artfully arranged to look like a bouquet of flowers. More stands lined the prison's narrow corridors, which reverberated with the rhythms of Salsa and Reggaeton. You might find barbeque meat, or rum or vodka-based cocktails spun in blenders and served with a lime twist. Even in those times when extreme shortages plagued Venezuela, here at the PGV, people could find practically anything they wished to buy. On visitor days, you might see free Venezuelans shopping for toilet paper, flour or cooking oil — basic products that had completely disappeared from supermarkets shelves.All of this happened under the attentive eyes of Los Luceros. Select members of the gangs that ran the PGV, they answered to orders from the Principal. Armed with revolvers, rifles, and even hand grenades, Los Luceros made sure that everything ran smoothly. They also enforced the payment of an obligatory weekly tax, called "La Causa," which officially paid for prison maintenance and security (more weapons), as well as parties and other activities. For inmates, life at the PGV was like walking a tightrope over a pool of sharks. Abiding by an unwritten code known as La Rutina was obligatory, and prisoners lived under the constant threat of ruthless punishment if they stepped outside of it. A minor offense, or the wrong look, might make you into a pariah, or lead to a punishment that could be the last thing seen in this world. Stealing a cigarette could result in a bullet through your hand. On Mondays, in an improvised arena called the Coliseum, dozens of inmates were compelled to settle their debts or other disputes over knife fights. Ordinary words like egg, milk or water — that in Venezuelan slang might carry a vague sexual connotation — were banned because of their potential to offend other inmates. Saying them could get you banished to dirty and trash-filled corners of the prison, far from the markets and the fun.Free Convict For three years, from the beginning of 2014 until Venezuelan authorities finally shut the place down in 2016, I had extraordinary access to the PGV as a Venezuelan documentary photographer. At that point, the PGV had a population of around 5,000 people — more than six times its intended capacity. Most of the inmates were still in legal limbo; many hadn't yet been tried for their alleged offense, or given an exact sentence. It was also extraordinarily violent: In 2014, there were at least 309 homicides in Venezuelan prisons, where some 60,000 prisoners were held, according to the Venezuelan Prisons Observatory. The recording studio that Free Convict group built inside the prison.Oscar B. CastilloAn inmate rides a motorcycle in one of PGV's sports fields. Motorcycles of all sizes from 80cc to 650cc were common inside the jail.Oscar B. CastilloFree Convict's recording studio at the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloI was at the PGV with Free Convict, a Hip Hop collective formed by 12 inmates and to try to understand their lives in all of their  complexities. These men had survived gang life, street violence, drugs, and now this bizarre penitentiary existence. They were now looking to chart a new path for themselves, making rhymes around the themes of non-violence, self-improvement, and redemption. In the early days, Free Convict would gather in a Freestyle circle in the prison's central square. The meetings became bigger and more frequent, and eventually even the PGV's toughest bosses began to show them respect. (It helped that their leader, Ray Martinez, was part of the "El Carro" gang that controlled the prison.) Through the same cracks by which drugs and weapons flowed into the PGV, Free Convict managed to smuggle in  a recording studio, where they recorded a full album and produce music videos. In time, they got to be good enough, and famous enough, to attract collaborators both from inside the prison and beyond its walls. Only in total chaos, as Venezuela was of those years, would a place like the PGV be possible. Out of that anarchic landscape, Free Convict offered the possibility of a different way of life, a fresh start, and an oasis in the midst of madness. HéctorOne of the inmates behind Free Convict was a man named Héctor. Like a few of the others, he had arrived at the PGV as something of a stereotype of the hardened criminal. By the time I met him, he was much more interested in self-reflection and finding redemption. Born in 1992, Héctor came up in the Pinto Salinas neighborhood of Caracas. As a kid, he was a promising basketball player. But his future in the sport was cut short in 2010. His gang was fighting for control of the area, a notorious staging ground for drug distribution, and he got caught in a hail of bullets that nearly killed him and tore up one of his arms at the elbow. Héctor.Oscar B. CastilloBy 2012, the year Héctor was sent to the PGV for being an accomplice to a homicide, his two brothers had been killed. Humberto, the oldest, was gunned down near their home in Pinto Salinas in 2008. Junior, the youngest, died a similar death in 2011. Now, another son seemed to be heading down the same inexorable path.Like most prisoners at the PGV, Héctor depended on his family, outside, to bring him things to sell at the market. In good times, he might make enough to pay La Causa, take care of his needs, and even send some profits home. The best bet for making money was to set up a table selling crack, cocaine, base paste, marijuana and blunts. But even in this environment, where drugs could be sold and consumed out in the open, this line of work could be unpredictable and dangerous. Héctor liked the money; the money was useful to him. But selling drugs brought problems. So Héctor mostly avoided it. At one point, he sold nails, screws, wires, and pieces of wood to inmates — coveted objects that inmates used to build improvised shacks. If he got his hands on some flour, he might set up a stand selling banana cake or Venezuelan arepas.Héctor lies with his mother, whom he calls "La Pucha," during a Visitors day at the PGV. Venezuela's violence has taken a heavy toll on La Pucha, who lost two sons and whose third, Héctor, was locked up for six years.Oscar B. CastilloWhenever possible, he'd hoped to make enough money so his mother, Rosalia Rivero, who worked as a janitor and whom he playfully called "La Pucha," could travel from Caracas for a Visitors Day. On these visits, she would head straight to her son's room, willfully ignoring the strangeness she passed along the way. She was used to seeing drugs and weapons, and she associated both with losing two of her sons, and almost losing a third. At the PGV, she found Héctor a changed man. Héctor was never an angel; nobody in Free Convict was. But now he was searching for something different. Together with the rest of Free Convict, Héctor had resolved to take control of his life, and break the cycle that had put him on the frontlines of the street wars that were tearing apart Venezuela and that nobody had asked for. To do that, Héctor had to sharpen his talent, and believe in himself.Héctor, center, and two other members of Free Convict are seen seated at the highest point of the PGV as they use a drone to record a music video. Once the church bell tower, it became a command post for prison gangs to watch the perimeter of the PGV. Bullet holes testify to the many battles between prisoners and authorities.Oscar B. CastilloBoom!By 2016, the situation in Venezuela had become catastrophic. Inflation was out of control and finding basic items had become nearly impossible. At the PGV, families were barely able to send help. Inmates went from drinking good rum at parties to making their own alcohol, from fermenting banana skin, in plastic Gatorade bottles. Instead of manning tables piled high with drugs, inmates like Héctor scraped together money selling single cigarettes or hot chocolate. La Causa had to be paid first. There was barely any money for food. The beginning of the end of the PGV came in September of 2016. Musicians and sports players had been brought in, along with the usual flood of friends and family from the outside, to celebrate the birthday of the PGV's big boss, Franklin "Viru Viru." Trophies from sports events and portraits of gang bosses, some allegedly killed by police after their release, are displayed in a central area of the PGV.Oscar B. CastilloInmates at the overcrowded PGV sleep on the floor and makeshift hammocks. The prison housed more than 6 times its expected capacity.Oscar B. CastilloThen, suddenly, BOOM, a hand grenade explosion caused the prison's foundation to tremble. Smoke was everywhere. Some people screamed in agony, others ran in all directions. In the confusion, Los Luceros pointed their guns at each other, looking for signs of treason.When the black cloud had cleared, there was a hellish scene of wounded people and dead bodies. Visitors and prisoners alike were among the almost 20 victims. Afterwards, tension and fear were everywhere, and the prison divided into warring factions. Punishment, including murder, was more common, and even more random. Seeing an opening, forces from the state finally stormed the prison. For two weeks, there was fighting, leading to an estimated 80 deaths. There was no water or electricity. Starving inmates killed their pets for food, or consumed whatever drugs they could find to fight off hunger. Tuberculosis was plaguing the prison and infected prisoners were dying daily. When it was finally over, government soldiers emptied the PGV and inmates were sent to other detention centers around the country. Free Convict scrambled to stay in touch, but finding out who had ended up where was almost impossible.Free Convict, which by then was better and more popular than ever, seemed to be dying. Héctor ended up at Tocuyito, another prisoner-controlled prison, where he stayed for another two years.CaracasOne day in 2020 — six years after I began documenting Free Convict at the PGV — I went to a recording studio in Caracas to meet up with the collective. Nearly all of them had been released, and they were trying to keep Free Convict's work alive from the outside. Free in Caracas, there was still so much to navigate. The immediate problem was Héctor. His family hadn't heard from him in three days. At first, the police said they had no record of him being arrested. Now, thanks to pressure from his family, they were saying he had been arrested, and would be released soon. We predicted he'd come to the studio directly, and were waiting for him there. When he finally arrived, fear, rage, and frustration filled his eyes. He told us that he had been in his neighborhood with his cousin, known as "The Cat," when police arrived and shot his cousin dead. They'd then arrested Héctor, who now told us he'd been spared only thanks to a divine intervention.Héctor, in Caracas, is seen with local kids he helps mentor.Oscar B. CastilloMembers of Free Convict and Otro Enfoque, a local NGO, are seen late at night visiting a group of kids living under a bridge in Caracas. The river below receives water from the city's sewers. Free Convict uses their history with crime and incarceration to collaborate on initiatives that inspire crime-prevention, non-violence, and change.Oscar B. CastilloWe couldn't confirm Héctor's story, but there were plenty of others like it. Later that year, the United Nations would call on President Nicolas Maduro to disband various police units that had been behind extrajudicial killings and "crimes against humanity."It was possible that Héctor had actually been spared because, since his release, he'd become relatively well-known both for his work with Free Convict and for his anti-violence and community-building work in prisons, schools, and other areas affected by violence and exclusion. Having overcome so much in an upside-down Venezuela where police forces could turn their guns on civilians and prisoners controlled the prisons, Héctor is a survivor.  After so many close calls with death and so much adversity, he had done so much to rebuild his life and forge a new path. His mistakes were part of who he was, but the actions he had taken in his life because of those mistakes, and his skill in communicating the things he'd learned, made him a valued mentor to so many Caracus youths who were in a desperate search for new paths to walk away from violence.But for all the progress Héctor had made in his life, he was still at the mercy of the arbitrary violence of Venezuela. Together, we all wondered where Héctor was safest: In Caracas, trying to contribute to his community while at the mercy of the arbitrary violence of Venezuela, and possibly at the hands of Venezuelan police, or back under La Rutina. Héctor stands for a portrait while he and other members of Free Convict take a day job cleaning and painting a disco club. Steady jobs that pay well are scarce in Venezuela.Oscar B. CastilloOscar B. Castillo is a documentary photographer and multimedia artist. His book about the PGV, "Esos Que Saben" was published this year and is available for purchase here.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 19th, 2022

Futures Slide, Oil Tumbles After Dismal Chinese Data

Futures Slide, Oil Tumbles After Dismal Chinese Data US equity futures stocks were mixed and commodities from oil to iron ore tumbled as the latest round of terrible data from China further clouded the outlook for the global economy, an unexpected rate cut from the PBOC notwithstanding. Contracts on both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 were lower by about 0.5% follows gains last week that sent the tech-heavy index up 22% from June to the highest since April, suggesting a four-week stocks rally - the longest since November 2020 - may stall at least until the $13Bn in daily buying from systematic funds and buybacks kicks in. Europe’s equity benchmark advanced about 0.2%, as corporate news buoyed healthcare stocks while miners and carmakers declined. Asian stocks added less than 0.1% and emerging-market stocks dropped. The dollar jumped as the Euro and yuan tumbled, crude oil plunged, the downside accelerating after Iran's foreign minister said that a "basis exists for signing an agreement “in the very near future” to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. After hitting $25K, a bout of aggressive shorting and dollar strength sent bitcoin back to $24K. In premarket trading on Monday, tech giants including Apple Inc. and declined, alongside the broader tech sector as growth fears reemerged. US-listed Chinese electric-vehicle makers slid in premarket trading Monday after Li Auto (LI US) forecast revenue for the third quarter that fell short of analysts’ estimates. Cisco Systems (CSCO US) traded 0.6% lower after Citi says the company is losing market share as supply chain issues hurt the network gear maker more than its peers. Lufax (LU US) shares rose as much as 3.5% amid a report that the Chinese fintech firm is planning to file for a listing in Hong Kong as soon as the second half of the year. PlayAGS (AGS US) shares gained 7.5% to $8.08 after the company said it got a non-binding indication of interest valued at $10 a share in cash. UNITY Biotechnology (UBX US) shares rose 15% after Citigroup analyst Yigal Nochomovitz (buy) said the data for UBX1325 in in patients with diabetic macular edema were better than expected. Illinois Tool Works (ITW US) was downgraded to sell from hold at Deutsche Bank, which struggles to sees the equipment manufacturer’s valuation as justified. Equity markets in recent weeks have been propelled higher by signs of slowing price pressures, which stirred hopes of a shift by the Fed to less aggressive rate hikes. But China’s faltering economy shows many hurdles still lie ahead for a near-13% rebound in global stocks from June bear-market lows. Sentiment took a hit after Chinese retail sales, industrial output and investment all slowed and missed economist estimates in July. An unexpected cut to the nation’s interest rates is unlikely to turn things around as a worsening property slump and coronavirus lockdowns continue to weigh on the economy. “Bad data from China also weighs on recession worries for the rest of the world,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote. “It’s too early to uncork the champagne, and call the end of the market selloff,” especially as the Fed continues to warn that inflation is still high, she said. Equities have been rallying as data pointed to softer US inflation, bolstering bets of a pivot by Federal Reserve policy makers before the economy dives into a significant recession. While there is a thin calender of Fed speakers before the conference in Jackson Hole later this month, investors will be assessing minutes from the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting that are due on Wednesday. In the ongoing feud between Wall Street permabulls and bears, Morgan Stanley's Michael Wilson reiterated his weekly mantra that the sharp rally since June is just a pause in the bear market, predicting that share prices will be pulled down in the second half of the year as profits weaken, interest rates keep rising and the economy slows. On the other side, strategists at JPMorgan also unleashed their weekly dose of unicorns and rainbows, saying the rally could continue. European stocks softened since a stronger open, with energy and basic resources weighing on market. Health care, construction and chemicals are the strongest-performing sectors.  The risk of a euro-area recession has reached the highest level since November 2020, according to economists polled by Bloomberg.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: HelloFresh shares jump as much as 10%, the most since May, after the meal-kit maker confirmed results published in a preliminary report on July 20 and reiterated its full-year outlook Encavis rises as much as 5.4% after the renewable energy company confirmed preliminary 2Q results and a guidance raise for FY22, which were originally reported earlier this month RS Group climbs as much as 7.1% after The Times noted “growing speculation” that the company is preparing to bolster its defenses in the event of a takeover approach Henkel gains as much as 1.5% after the firm posted a 1H beat and guidance raise, which Jefferies says was due to the company’s strong pricing and a managed impact on volume Nordex swings between gains and losses after mixed results. While the company confirmed its FY22 guidance, the top- line was weaker-than-expected amid higher costs, analysts said Phoenix Group drops as much as 1.2%, reversing initial gains, after reporting interim results that Citi said contained few surprises GSK and Haleon fall, extending recent losses amid concerns over possible litigation risks related to antacid drug Zantac. Morgan Stanley says “considerable uncertainty” surrounds the litigation Treatt tumbles as much as 34% after cutting FY estimates. Peel Hunt said the update was disappointing in the short-term, and cut its price target on the stock to a Street low Earlier in the session, Asian equities eked out gains with Japanese stocks giving a boost, while investors weighed China’s unexpected policy rate cut against disappointing economic data. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up less than 0.1% erasing the bulk of its 0.6% rise driven by health care and tech shares. Japan’s Nikkei 225 led gains in the region, with the benchmark turning positive for the year helped by a weaker yen and continued stimulus by Bank of Japan. China stocks turned lower after retail sales, industrial output and investment all missed estimates, erasing a gain caused by the country’s central bank lowering the rate on its one-year policy loans. The undershoot in data highlighted the growing toll of the nation’s Covid restrictions, casting a pall over the market’s outlook. Hong Kong shares were the worst performers in Asia.  “The cuts by themselves may not be material enough to stimulate the economy given monetary policy is increasingly loosing its teeth in China - but on the margin - I feel this is positive for Chinese stocks,” said Chetan Seth, Asia Pacific equity strategist at Nomura Holdings. The MSCI Asia gauge is trading close to a two-month high after capping its fourth weekly advance, with further gains dependent on the ongoing earnings season and whether global appetite can further improve. Still, China’s economic slowdown, worsened by virus curbs and a property crisis, and the Fed’s tightening trajectory continue to be bugbears for investors.  Thai stocks rose even after data showed the domestic economy grew at a slower pace than economists estimated last quarter. India and South Korea were closed for holidays on Monday. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to close at 7,064.30, with materials and real estate stocks contributing the most to its move. Core Lithium was the top performer after an update on its exploration activities in the Northern Territory. Beach Energy was the biggest decliner after its FY underlying profit missed estimates.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5% to 11,789.03 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index jumped about 0.5%, gaining for a second day as the currency climbed against all of its Group-of-10 peers except the yen amid demand for havens. Euro falls to week’s low versus USD, the Chinese yuan also slumped after the latest terrible economic data. Australian and New Zealand dollars slid after China’s central bank unexpectedly cut a key policy interest rate for the first time since January as it ramped up support for an economy struggling to recover from Covid lockdowns and a property downturn. Separately, China’s retail sales for July undershot estimates, as did industrial production.  The yuan slumped and China’s benchmark 10-year China bond yield slid to the lowest since May 2020. Iron ore, copper and other metals declined. The yen held up against the dollar in thin summer trading, with traders waiting to see if US yields can vault higher on the back of aggressive Federal Reserve rate hikes. Japanese government bonds were mixed. In rates, Treasuries were narrowly mixed with the curve slightly flatter; gains led by 20-year sector where yields are richer by around ~1bp on the day. Bunds, gilts both outperform vs Treasuries amid thin liquidity with Assumption Day holiday observed in many parts of Europe. 10-year TSY yields were around 2.83%, slightly richer and underperforming bunds and gilts in the sector by ~3bp; curves slightly flatter although spreads broadly remain within 1bp of Friday’s close. Italian bonds twist flattened, while bunds advanced and the German curve bull flattened. Treasury moves were small and the curve twist flattened slightly. IG dollar issuance slate empty so far; this week’s Treasury coupon auctions include 20-year new issue Wednesday and 30-year TIPS reopening Thursday. The latest CFTC positioning data shows hedge funds were aggressive net sellers of 10-year note contracts over the week. In commodities, WTI drifts 3.5% lower to trade around $88. Spot gold falls roughly $20 to trade near $1,782/oz. Spot silver loses 2% near $20. Most base metals trade in the red; LME nickel falls 4.6%, underperforming peers. US economic data slate includes August Empire manufacturing (8:30am), NAHB housing market index (10am) and June TIC flows (4pm); industrial production, retail sales and FOMC meeting minutes are ahead this week Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.4% to 4,263.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.3% to 442.36 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.96% MXAP up 0.1% to 163.32 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 529.88 Nikkei up 1.1% to 28,871.78 Topix up 0.6% to 1,984.96 Hang Seng Index down 0.7% to 20,040.86 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,276.09 Sensex up 0.2% to 59,462.78 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,064.34 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,527.94 Euro down 0.3% to $1.0229 Gold spot down 0.9% to $1,786.91 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.32% to 105.97 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Fund managers are warning the market is turning complacent over the outlook for inflation in Europe, where the prospect of recession has stoked the appeal of sheltering in bonds Hedge funds have turned bearish on the dollar for the first time in a year in a wager the US currency’s best days may be over Russian President Vladimir Putin offered to expand relations with North Korea, reaching out to his neighbor as the Kremlin scours the globe for weapons for its war in Ukraine The Rhine River’s water level continued to decline, hitting a new threshold as a climate crisis exacerbates Europe’s energy-supply crunch A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed with markets focused on China, as the PBoC’s surprise 10bps rate cuts to its 1-year MLF rate and 7-day Reverse Repo was overshadowed by the latest activity data from China in which both Industrial Production and Retail Sales fell short of market expectations. ASX 200 was positive with upside led by tech and miners amid a busy schedule of earnings this week and with Bluescope Steel firmly higher after its FY net more than doubled. Nikkei 225 outperformed and was unfazed by the Japanese GDP data for Q2 which printed weaker-than-expected but returned to expansion territory. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp swung between gains and losses with early support after the PBoC delivered surprise 10bps rate cuts for the 1-year MLF and 7-day Reverse Repo rates, although Chinese stocks then slipped back into the red after disappointing Chinese activity data Top Asian News PBoC injected CNY 400bln vs CNY 600bln maturing via 1-year MLF with the rate cut by 10bps to 2.75% (exp. 2.85%), while it conducted CNY 2bln of 7-day reverse repos with the rate cut by 10bps to 2.10%. China’s local COVID-19 cases topped 2,000 on Friday despite the recent tighter restrictions and lockdowns, according to Bloomberg. Shanghai extended the weekly COVID-19 testing requirement until end-September, although it was also reported that Shanghai announced primary schools, middle schools, kindergartens and nurseries will be permitted to reopen on September 1st, according to a statement cited by Reuters. China's stats bureau said China's economy continued a recovery trend in July but the foundation for a recovery is not solid and said the momentum of China's economic recovery slowed in July, while it added that the economy remains resilient despite facing difficulties and they expect China's economy to continue to recover, according to Reuters. "Rivers in multiple provinces, regions across China have dried up due to persistently high temperature and far below average amount of rainfall, posing threat to drinking water resources and agriculture productions", according to Global Times. China's Sichuan province order industrial plants to shut down between Aug 15-20th to ensure residential power supply, according to a document cited by Reuters. Major bourses in Europe kicked off the session with modest broad-based gains before trimming gains amid a cautious tone. US equity futures have been subdued since the resumption of trade following the gains on Wall Street on Friday, and with retailers such as Walmart set to round off the Q2 earnings season whilst FOMC minutes are due on Wednesday. Regional sectors are now mixed (vs mostly positive at the open), with the theme more of a defensive one as Healthcare, Personal Goods, Food & Beverages, and Utilities among the top performers German gas levy set at 2.419cents/kWh, via Trading Hub Europe. Additionally, German Finance Ministry spokesperson said there is no response yet from the EU commission on the proposed VAT exemption for gas levy. Panasonic (6752 JT) is to boost its EV battery output for Tesla (TSLA) by 10%, according to Nikkei. Top European News BoE Governor Bailey told Chancellor Zahawi that he would be "open to a review" of the Bank's mandate, following Liz Truss's criticism of its approach to inflation, according to The Telegraph. Reuters poll showed 30 out of 51 economists expect the BoE to hike rates by 50bps to 2.25% next month and the remaining 21 economists expect a 25bps increase. UK Treasury plans a government-backed lending scheme for suppliers which would reduce energy bills for households by an extra GBP 400 this winter, according to The Times. Two of the biggest UK energy suppliers are calling for a special fund that would allow the industry to freeze customers’ bills for two years and spread the cost of the gas-price crisis over a decade or more, according to The Times. It was also reported that UK energy suppliers called for the UK government to scrap levies and charges on bills, according to FT. SAS Shares Jump as Apollo Provides $700 Million Loan to Airline Russia Opens Trading to Some Foreign Investors Turkey Budget Remains in Deficit on Increased Spending in July FX Dollar back in favour as safe haven with Yuan down on disappointing Chinese data and unexpected PBoC easing, DXY up to 106.340 from 105.540 low, USD/CNH tops 6.7850 and USD/CNY through 6.7700 from 6.7410 midpoint fix. Yen holds up better than others irrespective of sub-forecast Japanese GDP, USD/JPY mostly sub-133.50. High beta and commodity currencies hit hardest, while Euro, Franc and Sterling also retreat vs Greenback NZD/USD sub-0.6400, AUD/USD under 0.7050, USD/CAD over 1.2900, EUR/USD below 1.0200, USD/CHF 0.9460 and Cable close to 1.2050. Norwegian Crown undermined by slide in Brent to extent that wider trade surplus shrugged off, but Turkish Lira unable to benefit from cheaper oil as budget deficit blows out, EUR/NOK nearer 9.9000 than 9.9800, UDY/TRY nearer 18.0000 than 17.9000. Fixed Income Bonds bounce strongly from early lows amidst China-related risk aversion and holiday-thinned turnover. Bunds top 156.00 from just above round number below, Gilts reach 116.66 from 115.94 and T-note nearer 119-16 top than 119-04+ bottom. UK STIRs contracts underperform as poll predicts another 50bp BoE hike before reversion to 25bp and then pause. Commodities Crude markets have been selling off since the start of European trade alongside constructive developments on the Iranian Nuclear deal front. The firmer Dollar has hit the metals market - spot gold back under USD 1,800/oz, LME copper has been extending on losses back under USD 8,000/t. Saudi Aramco’s CEO said they are working to increase production from multiple energy sources and they will invest in the reliable energy and petrochemicals that the world needs, while he added that global oil demand is healthy in which he expects the recovery in oil demand to continue for the rest of the decade and said that global spare capacity is under 2mln bpd and declining fast. Saudi Aramco’s CEO also stated that Saudi oil production capacity increase will come gradually with a limited increase in 2024 and in 2025 they should go to 12.3mln bpd, as well as noted that they are confident in their ability to ramp up to 12mln bpd whenever there is a call from the government or Energy Ministry, according to Reuters. Ukrainian state gas transit operator said Gazprom booked transit capacity of 41.82mcm for August 15th (prev. 40.81mcm on August 14th), according to Reuters. Iran set September Iranian light crude prices to Asia at Oman/Dubai + USD 9.50/bbl, according to the National Iranian Oil Company. The damaged pipeline at the Louisiana port has been repaired, according to a port spokesman cited by Reuters. Germany’s top network regulator warned that Germany must cut gas use by 20% to avoid winter rationing, according to FT. US Event Calendar 08:30: Aug. Empire Manufacturing, est. 5.0, prior 11.1 10:00: Aug. NAHB Housing Market Index, est. 55, prior 55 16:00: June Total Net TIC Flows, prior $182.5b; June Net Foreign Security Purchases, prior $155.3b DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap Whilst the global economy looks to be heading towards a very difficult winter ahead, for markets the summer rally has shown few signs of abating. Indeed, the MSCI World Index has now advanced for 4 weeks running for the first time this calendar year, and the S&P 500 has recovered by a significant +16.5% in less than two months. That run of gains has been turbocharged over the last couple of weeks by a number of good news stories that have fed into a narrative about whether we might have seen “peak inflation” now, raising hopes that central banks might not need to be as aggressive as feared about raising rates. We’ve raised questions about whether this optimism can hold, not least given Fed officials themselves are discussing a much more hawkish path for rates than what markets are pricing in, but for now there’s been little sign of a reversal, even as an increasing number of recessionary signals like the 2s10s Treasury curve have been flashing with growing alarm. Overnight in Asia however, we’ve seen a slight loss of momentum after Chinese economic data for July came in weaker than expected. Industrial production was up by +3.8% on a year-on-year basis (vs. +4.3% expected), whilst retail sales were up +2.7% year-on-year (vs. +4.9% expected). In turn, that’s prompted the central bank to cut their one-year policy loan rate by -10bps to 2.75%, and yields on 10yr Chinese government debt are down -6.3bps this morning to 2.68%. Equity markets have also lost momentum, with the Shanghai Comp (-0.06%) and the CSI 300 (-0.07%) seeing modest declines, unlike elsewhere in Asia, where the Nikkei (+1.15%) and the Kospi (+0.16%) have both advanced this morning. In fact, that advance for the Nikkei puts it at a 7-month high, and back in positive territory on a YTD basis. Looking forward now, the week ahead is a quieter one on the market calendar as we await the traditional late summer gathering of central bankers at Jackson Hole next week. However, we do have a few events to watch out for, including the expected signing by President Biden of the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed the House of Representatives on Friday by a margin of 220-207 following its earlier tie-breaking path through the Senate. The legislation includes funds for clean energy provisions, a 15% minimum tax for corporations with more than $1bn in revenue, and a 1% excise tax on stock buybacks. It also offers a political win for the Biden administration ahead of the mid-term elections in early November, and if you look at FiveThirtyEight’s average then President Biden’s approval rating is now running at its highest in a couple of months now, at 40.3%. On the central bank side, we don’t have much in the way of decisions or speakers over the week ahead, which will mean this Wednesday’s release of the FOMC minutes from July will take on added importance. That meeting saw the Fed hike rates by 75bps again, following up their similar move in June, but investors interpreted the meeting in a dovish light as they latched onto comments that the Fed would move away from 75bp moves “at some point”. However, officials then moved to push back on that dovish interpretation, and by the close on Friday futures were almost evenly split between whether the Fed would hike by 75bps for a third time or whether they’ll step down to a 50bps pace. Our US economists write that these minutes could well provide some clues about how officials are likely to determine whether a downshift in the pace of rate hikes is warranted, and these signals from the minutes and other Fedspeak will become more important as the Fed moves towards greater data dependency when making decisions. Staying on the US, the week ahead will also see an increasing amount of hard data for July come out. What we’ve had so far from the jobs report and the CPI has been very positive for markets, with investors growing more hopeful about a soft landing after more than half a million jobs were added and inflation came in beneath expectations. But in terms of what’s still ahead, we’ve got retail sales on Wednesday, where our economists expect that headlines sales should be boosted by the rebound in unit motor vehicle sales last month, as well as industrial production, housing starts and building permits on Tuesday. Also keep an eye out for the weekly initial jobless claims on Thursday, which have been on a fairly consistent path higher over recent months. Furthermore, our US economists have previously found that an 11.5% rise in the 4-week moving average of continuing claims relative to the minimum over the past year provides the most accurate recession signal. So a further move higher this week would only add to the recessionary signals we’ve seen like the 2s10s curve that’s been moving deeper into inversion territory over recent weeks. On the inflation front, the week ahead will also bring us a number of countries’ CPI releases. One of them will be the UK, where our economist expects headline CPI to have risen to 9.8% in July, which would be its fastest pace in four decades. Meanwhile in Japan, our economist expects that core inflation excluding fresh food should rise to +2.4%, the highest since late-2014. Finally in Canada, the consensus expects that CPI will fall back from its multi-decade high of +8.1% in June to +7.6% in July, echoing what we saw in the US where year-on-year inflation has now begun to fall back from its June peak. When it comes to earnings, this week will see the current season continue to wind down, with 455 of the S&P 500 having already reported results by now. However, we’ll still get a number of US retailers including Walmart (Tuesday) and Target (Wednesday). Both have cut their profit forecasts over the last couple of months, so it’ll be interesting to see what their earnings have to tell us about the strength of the US consumer right now. Recapping last week now, it was yet another positive one for risk assets, with the S&P 500 (+3.26%) gaining for a 4th week running for the first time since November. It was a similar pattern across the major global indices, with the STOXX 600 (+1.18%) and the Nikkei (+1.32%) both moving higher as well. Small-cap stocks were a particular beneficiary, with the Russell 2000 seeing a +4.93% advance, but the moves were fairly broad-based, and the S&P 500 now stands “only” -10.20% lower on a YTD basis. A key driver behind that optimism were the weaker-than-expected US CPI and PPI inflation readings last week. That led to a growing belief that the Fed might not hike by 75bps again at their next meeting in September, with the hike priced in by futures coming down from 69.0bps to 62.2bps by the end of the week. However, at the same time we saw the rate priced in by end-2023 move higher again as Fed officials struck a more hawkish tone on the future policy path than markets were already pricing, sending the December-2023 implied rate up from 3.08% to 3.20%. In turn, that sent government bond yields higher, with those on the 10yr Treasury up by +0.4bps to 2.83%, whilst those on 10yr bunds rose +3.2bps to 0.99%. Finally, a major area of continuing concern was the European energy situation. Natural gas futures rose by +4.99% over the week to €206 per megawatt-hour, having been trading around €80 as recently as early June. Power prices for next year have also continued to make significant gains, with French power for 2023 up +14.64% on the week to €617 per megawatt-hour, which also marked its 9th consecutive weekly rise. German power was also up by +13.16% to a record €460 per megawatt-hour. Tyler Durden Mon, 08/15/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytAug 15th, 2022

All 13 books on the 2022 Booker Prize longlist this year, one of the most prestigious literary awards

This year's Booker Prize longlist includes four new authors, as well as the oldest and youngest people to ever be nominated. This year's Booker Prize longlist includes four new authors, as well as the oldest and youngest people to ever be nominated.Anna Kim/InsiderWhen you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. The Booker Longlist (13 forerunners for the prestigious book award) was announced on July 25, 2022. The 2022 list contains the shortest book plus the youngest and oldest authors ever nominated. Find the full reading list of the 13 must-read books of the year below. The Booker Prize, one of the literary community's most prestigious prizes, is awarded annually to the best novel written in English and published in Ireland and the UK each year. For months, a panel of multidisciplinary experts read and reread 169 submissions in search of the most inventive, incisive, and unforgettable books of the year. The resulting longlist is a gift to anyone struggling to find a new book to dive into.Before the Booker Prize Foundation shares its shorter list of six frontrunners (September 6, 2022) or the 2022 winner (October 17), it publishes its longlist — the year's 13 "Booker dozen" forerunners. In past years, the panel has rewarded virtues like innovation and experimentation in form or unusual genres and debut authors.This year, the longlist includes books by three debut authors ("Maps of Our Spectacular Bodies," "Nightcrawling," and "After Sappho") as well as the shortest book ("Small Things Like These") and both the youngest (Leila Mottley, 20) and oldest (Alan Garner, 87) authors to ever be nominated. The US and independent publishers also dominated the 2022 Booker Prize list; six of the nominees come from the US, with other writers hailing from Ireland to Zimbabwe, and eight of the books come from indie publishers. Descriptions provided by Amazon and edited for length and clarity. The 13 books on the 2022 Booker Prize longlist:"Glory" by NoViolet BulawayoAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.49NoViolet Bulawayo's bold new novel follows the fall of the Old Horse, the long-serving leader of a fictional country, and the drama that follows for a rumbustious nation of animals on the path to true liberation. Inspired by the unexpected fall by coup in November 2017 of Robert G. Mugabe, Zimbabwe's president of nearly four decades, "Glory" shows a country's imploding, narrated by a chorus of animal voices that unveil the ruthlessness required to uphold the illusion of absolute power and the imagination and bulletproof optimism to overthrow it completely. By immersing readers in the daily lives of a population in upheaval, Bulawayo reveals the dazzling life force and irresistible wit that lie barely concealed beneath the surface of seemingly bleak circumstances.Note: Bulawayo was also a Booker Prize finalist for "We Need New Names" in 2013."Trust" by Hernan DiazAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.99Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth — all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end. But at what cost have they acquired their immense fortune? This is the mystery at the center of "Bonds," a successful 1937 novel that all of New York seems to have read. Yet there are other versions of this tale of privilege and deceit.At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, "Trust" engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts."The Trees" by Percival EverettAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.88Percival Everett's "The Trees" is a page-turner that opens with a series of brutal murders in the rural town of Money, Mississippi. When a pair of detectives from the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation arrive, they meet expected resistance from the local sheriff, his deputy, the coroner, and a string of racist White townsfolk. The murders present a puzzle, for at each crime scene there is a second dead body: that of a man who resembles Emmett Till.The detectives suspect that these are killings of retribution but soon discover that eerily similar murders are taking place all over the country. Something truly strange is afoot. As the bodies pile up, the MBI detectives seek answers from a local root doctor who has been documenting every lynching in the country for years, uncovering a history that refuses to be buried. "Booth" by Karen Joy FowlerBookshopAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18"Booth" is an epic and intimate novel about the family behind one of the most infamous figures in American history: John Wilkes Booth.In 1822, a secret family moves into a secret cabin some 30 miles northeast of Baltimore, to farm, to hide, and to bear 10 children over the course of the next 16 years. Junius Booth — breadwinner, celebrated Shakespearean actor, and master of the house in more ways than one — is at once a mesmerizing talent and a man of terrifying instability. One by one the children arrive, as year by year, the country draws frighteningly closer to the boiling point of secession and civil war.As the tenor of the world shifts, the Booths emerge from their hidden lives to cement their place as one of the country's leading theatrical families. But behind the curtains of the many stages they have graced, multiple scandals, family triumphs, and criminal disasters begin to take their toll, and the solemn siblings of John Wilkes Booth are left to reckon with the truth behind the destructively specious promise of an early prophecy.Note: Fowler was also a Booker Prize finalist for "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves" in 2014."Treacle Walker" by Alan GarnerAmazonAvailable on Amazon and eBay, from $15.49An introspective young boy, Joseph Coppock squints at the world with his lazy eye. Living alone in an old house, he reads comics, collects birds' eggs, and plays with his marbles. When, one day, a rag-and-bone man called Treacle Walker appears, exchanging an empty jar of a cure-all medicine and a donkey stone for a pair of Joseph's pajamas and a lamb's shoulder blade, a mysterious friendship develops between them.A fusion of myth, magic, and the stories we make for ourselves, "Treacle Walker" is an extraordinary novel."The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida" by Shehan KarunatilakaAmazonCurrently unavailableColombo, 1990. Maali Almeida — war photographer, gambler, and closet queen — has woken up dead in what seems like a celestial visa office. His dismembered body is sinking in Beira Lake and he has no idea who killed him. At a time when scores are settled by death squads, suicide bombers, and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long.But even in the afterlife, time is running out for Maali. He has seven moons to try and contact the man and woman he loves most and lead them to a hidden cache of photos that will rock Sri Lanka."Small Things Like These" by Claire KeeganAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.39It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man, faces his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery that forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church."Small Things Like These" is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy."Case Study" by Graeme Macrae BurnetAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.69'I have decided to write down everything that happens, because I feel, I suppose, I may be putting myself in danger.'London, 1965. An unworldly young woman believes that a charismatic psychotherapist, Collins Braithwaite, has driven her sister to suicide. Intent on confirming her suspicions, she assumes a false identity and presents herself to him as a client, recording her experiences in a series of notebooks. But she soon finds herself drawn into a world in which she can no longer be certain of anything. Even her own character.In "Case Study," Graeme Macrae Burnet presents these notebooks interspersed with his own biographical research into Collins Braithwaite. The result is a dazzling – and often wickedly humorous – meditation on the nature of sanity, identity, and truth itself.Note: Burnet was also a Booker Prize finalist for "His Bloody Project" in 2016."The Colony" by Audrey MageeAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $23.94It is the summer of 1979. An English painter travels to a small island off the west coast of Ireland. Mr. Lloyd takes the last leg by currach, though boats with engines are available and he doesn't much like the sea. He wants the authentic experience, to be changed by this place, to let its quiet and light fill him, give him room to create. He doesn't know that a Frenchman follows close behind. Jean-Pierre Masson has visited the island for many years, studying the language of those who make it their home. He is fiercely protective of their isolation — essential to exploring his theories of language preservation and identity.But the people who live on this rock ― three miles long and half a mile wide ― have their own views on what is being recorded, what is being taken, and what ought to be given in return. Over the summer, each of them ― from great-grandmother Bean Uí Fhloinn, to widowed Mairéad, to 15-year-old James, who is determined to avoid the life of a fisherman ― will wrestle with their values and desires. Meanwhile, all over Ireland, violence is erupting. And there is blame enough to go around."Maps of our Spectacular Bodies" by Maddie MortimerAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.66This lyrical debut novel is at once a passionate coming-of-age story, a meditation on illness and death, and a kaleidoscopic journey through one woman's life — told in part by the malevolent voice of her disease.Lia, her husband Harry, and their beloved daughter, Iris, are a precisely balanced family of three. With Iris struggling to navigate the social tightrope of early adolescence, their tender home is a much-needed refuge. But when a sudden diagnosis threatens to derail each of their lives, the secrets of Lia's past come rushing into the present, and the world around them begins to transform.Deftly guided through time, we discover the people who shaped Lia's youth; from her deeply religious mother to her troubled first love. In turn, each will take their place in the shifting landscape of Lia's body; at the center of which dances a gleeful narrator, learning her life from the inside, growing more emboldened by the day."Nightcrawling" by Leila MottleyAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.17Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison.But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent — which has more than doubled — and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed. One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.Rich with raw beauty, electrifying intensity, and piercing vulnerability, "Nightcrawling" marks the stunning arrival of a voice unlike any we have heard before. "After Sappho" by Selby Wynn SchwartzAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $26.92"After Sappho" reimagines the intertwined lives of feminists at the turn of the twentieth century."The first thing we did was change our names. We were going to be Sappho," so begins this intrepid debut novel, centuries after the Greek poet penned her lyric verse. Ignited by the same muse, a myriad of women break from their small, predetermined lives for seemingly disparate paths: in 1892, Rina Faccio trades her needlepoint for a pen; in 1902, Romaine Brooks sails for Capri with nothing but her clotted paintbrushes; and in 1923, Virginia Woolf writes: "I want to make life fuller and fuller." Writing in cascading vignettes, Selby Wynn Schwartz spins an invigorating tale of women whose narratives converge and splinter as they forge queer identities and claim the right to their own lives. "Oh William!" by Elizabeth StroutAmazonAvailable on Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.34I would like to say a few things about my first husband, William. Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are. So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret — one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout's "perfect attunement to the human condition." There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together — even after we've grown apart. Note: Strout was longlisted for a Booker Prize in 2016 for "My Name Is Lucy Barton," and won the Pulitzer Prize for "Olive Kitteridge" in 2009.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 29th, 2022

The night the Lord of the Skies got away

In 1985, US agents had a chance to stop Mexico's top drug lord. Years later, evidence from that night proved valuable in a way no one could predict. Reuters; John Moore/Getty Images; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderOne night in 1985, US agents may have had a chance to stop the rise of Mexico's most powerful drug lord — a chance they quickly gave up without knowing it. But the evidence gathered that night would prove valuable in a way no one could predict. If he'd blinked he might have missed them.The pair of cars were parked window to window, just off the side of Highway 67, nine miles north of the tiny border town of Presidio, Texas. As David Ramirez cruised by in his dun-colored U.S. Border Patrol sedan, the night sky outside the range of headlights was so pitch-black that he could have been forgiven for not spotting the vehicles.    Ramirez guessed that something was up. Slowing the cruiser, he banged a quick U-turn and headed back. "They were on the side of the road, at that time of night, in that area, which was known for drug trafficking," Ramirez recalled. "And there wasn't any other traffic. We were out there in a patrol vehicle and we saw maybe two other vehicles in a three-hour time span."It was May 1985, and Ramirez had only been with the Border Patrol for two and a half years. But at a posting as remote as southwest Texas, where only a handful of agents were stationed at the time, that qualified him to train the new guy. So, in the passenger seat sat his partner for the evening, a trainee agent learning the ropes as they cruised along this ribbon of pebbles, dust, and potholes masquerading as a state highway.As Ramirez maneuvered his patrol car, two pairs of headlights came on, two engines rumbled to life, and two cars peeled out. A late-model pickup truck went first, and, following closely behind, a big-body, white Mercury Grand Marquis. They were headed south, toward Presidio, and toward Mexico.Ramirez spun the cruiser around once again and sped off in pursuit, flashing his red-and-blues to signal the drivers to stop. The two vehicles ignored him.The Mercury wasn't going that fast, 60, maybe 70 miles-per-hour, but it acted as a sort of rearguard, allowing the driver of the pickup truck to put more and more distance between himself and the Border Patrol agents giving chase. This went on for a while, five minutes maybe. Finally, with the pickup truck out of sight, the driver of the Mercury eased to the side of the road and crunched to a stop. Ramirez knew it was a feint designed to let the other driver — and whatever cargo he might be carrying — get away. But he also knew that at the end of that road, just before the international port of entry, was a Border Patrol station. He radioed ahead for agents to be on the lookout, and turned his focus to the Mercury.Carefully opening his door, Ramirez climbed out of the cruiser, unclasped the snap on his holster, and drew his .38-caliber service revolver, holding it at a downward angle. It had been dark for hours, but in these parts even after midnight  in late spring can be mind-bendingly hot. The thermostat hovered around 95 degrees and the night air hung heavy like a blanket. As Ramirez approached the Mercury from the driver-side door, his heart rate quickened. The ambient sounds of the desert night, the buzz of insects and snuffling of wild javelinas, receded into the background. His training — and his survival instinct — kicked in to guide him. The trainee, armed with a shotgun, mirrored the more experienced agent and sidled toward the car from the passenger side. Speaking in Spanish through the rolled down window, the driver had an easy-does-it, friendly manner. With the trainee standing back, Ramirez holstered his revolver and requested the suspect's documents. The driver obliged.One was a border-crossing card, issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, that allowed Mexicans living close to the border to cross back and forth for errands and jobs.The other document identified the driver as an agent of the Federal Security Directorate, or DFS, a powerful — and phantasmagorically corrupt — branch of Mexico's federal law enforcement. For Ramirez, this didn't prove the man was a cop. The DFS was notorious for its connections to drug traffickers, and its agents were known to hand out fake badges to the smugglers they worked with. But he couldn't be sure the man wasn't a cop.Ramirez asked the man if he had any weapons, and the driver said no, no guns. But peering into the Marquis, Ramirez could see a box of ammo sitting on the passenger seat, clear as day. He asked again. No weapons? You sure about that?David Ramirez (r); John Moore/Getty Images; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderThe driver made no attempt to keep the lie going and admitted that, sure, he had a small gun in the trunk. On Ramirez' orders, the driver opened the door and walked around to the rear to pop the trunk. The "small gun" turned out to be a loaded AR-15 assault rifle.Ramirez eyed the driver more closely now. He stood about six feet tall, trim and lanky, and dressed like a well-heeled cowboy, with nice boots and well-fitting clothes. Despite everything, he seemed relaxed. Ramirez gave the driver a careful patdown and, finding no other weapons on him, escorted him back to the Border Patrol cruiser and directed him into the back seat, locking him in there but deciding not to place him in handcuffs, given the DFS badge."In any law enforcement, I would say there's a certain courtesy you give to [other] law enforcement," Ramirez told me. "As a young agent, I didn't really know how to deal with it. I was naive."The trainee took the keys to the Mercury and started back to the station at the Presidio-Ojinaga border. Ramirez followed. In the backseat, the driver sat – quiet, calm, no fuss.The man's name, according to his INS card and DFS badge, was Amado Carrillo Fuentes.The Lord of the Skies Within a decade of that traffic stop, Amado would be the most significant drug trafficker in Mexico. His knack for using airplanes to smuggle huge quantities of drugs earned him the nickname "el señor de los cielos," the Lord of the Skies, and, to this day, he is easily the most prolific and most powerful drug lord the country has ever seen. His would be a household name in Mexico and a curse on the lips of U.S. federal agents tasked with fighting the narcotics trade. Another two decades after that, he would feature prominently as the absurdly white-washed protagonist of the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico. But on the night David Ramirez encountered him on that desolate stretch of Highway 67, Amado was just one trafficker among many. Not a nobody, certainly, but his photo wouldn't yet be on any police bulletin boards, nor his name in any newspapers.Amado was then 28 years old, and for years he had found a comfortable niche for himself in the growing drug empire run by his uncle — a fearsome brute named Ernesto "Don Neto" Fonseca — Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, and Rafael Caro Quintero. Like nearly all major drug traffickers of the era — including Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán Loera, who was born around the same time as Amado — they all hailed from the northwestern state of Sinaloa. But they ran their operation out of the city of Guadalajara, and became known as the Guadalajara cartel. As the demand for cocaine began to surge in the late 1970s and exploded in the early 1980s, most cocaine headed to the U.S. from Colombia, across the Caribbean, and into Florida. But as the DEA and the Coast Guard cracked down on that route, the Colombians needed a new way of getting drugs north The syndicate that Don Neto, Félix Gallardo, and Caro Quintero operated, which previously focused on heroin and marijuana and was well positioned to offer an alternative route to their new friends in Colombia, was busy forging contacts with Colombian cocaine suppliers. Within a few years, the Mexican traffickers had become an integral link in the chain that saw cocaine travel by air from its roots high in the Andes to labs in the jungles of Colombia to local smugglers in Mexico, and finally to an eager customer base in the United States. Using the staggering infusion of cash that came along with their new specialty in moving cocaine, the Guadalajara network was able to bring most of the major drug traffickers in Mexico under a unified protection racket negotiated by Félix Gallardo and overseen by the DFS and other federal police agencies.Amado, who was quickly gaining a reputation for being cool-headed and having a talent for forging political connections, played a key role in this transformation of the drug game, coordinating cargo planes, loaded down with hundreds — and later thousands — of kilos of coke, to clandestine air strips in northern Mexico.An act of supreme recklessnessEverything changed, however, just a few months before Amado was stopped in southwest Texas. In February 1985, a group of gunmen snatched a young DEA agent named Enrique "Kiki" Camarena off the streets of Guadalajara, tortured and murdered him along with a pilot who'd worked with the DEA, and dumped their bodies on a distant ranch. Amado Carrillo Fuentes (c). Henry Romero/Reuters; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderThe brutal kidnapping, torture, and murder of a U.S. federal agent was an act of supreme recklessness and the consequences were sweeping. By April, Don Neto and Caro Quintero were in prison, Félix Gallardo was in hiding, and the network they had carefully built and paid a fortune to protect was in disarray, cracking under the pressure of a vengeful United States, and the obligatory, if belated, efforts of Mexican cops. (Just this month, on July 15, Caro Quintero was arrested in Mexico in a joint U.S.-Mexican operation. In 2013, while serving a 40-year sentence for the murders, a Mexican court had ordered Caro Quintero released. U.S. officials immediately sought to re-arrest him, adding him to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, but Caro Quintero went into hiding. During the operation on July 15, 14 marines died when their Black Hawk helicopter crashed outside the city of Los Mochis. A few days after the re-capture of Caro Quintero, in a seemingly unrelated move, Félix Gallardo officially trademarked his own name, apparently for a fashion brand.)Mid-level traffickers who were lucky or savvy enough to escape the dragnet exploited a sudden power vacuum and set up territorial fiefdoms, negotiating new protection pacts with corrupt officials and continuing to traffic all the cocaine, heroin, and marijuana that North Americans could sniff, shoot up?, or smoke.Amado was one of those survivors, but he couldn't stay in Guadalajara. So he headed to Ojinaga, just across the border from Presidio, Texas, where he joined forces with a rough-and-tumble smuggler named Pablo Acosta. The Wild West At the northern extreme of the Chihuahuan Desert and the southwest extreme of Texas, Presidio sits just east of Ojinaga — rather than the proverbial "north of the border," as the Rio Grande runs south there. Located just to the south and east lies Big Bend National Park, and with its canyons, culverts, and deep ravines scored into the earth over millennia, the landscape is such a godsend to smugglers of all kinds that it could almost seem as if it was created for that express purpose.   For as long as the border has divided Presidio and Ojinaga, this remote land has been a causeway for smugglers looking to take advantage of prohibition in the U.S. — first of alcohol, later of marijuana and heroin, and finally cocaine — and of Mexico's booming black market for illegally imported commercial goods that resulted from the country's high tariffs.David Ramirez, a native of of El Paso, arrived in Presidio in 1982, shortly after joining the Border Patrol. He could almost count his fellow agents on two hands, and together they were tasked with patrolling not only the port of entry, with its wooden, two lane bridge crossing the river, but also the vast desert landscape stretching out on either side. (It was still many years before the Border Patrol would morph into the veritable army that polices the border today, with its drones, seismic motion sensors, and agents more numerous than the armies of more than a dozen small nations.) "We often had no radio comms, and all of Big Bend [National Park] to deal with," Ramirez recalled. "It was like the Wild West."Ramirez and his fellow agents may have had the might of the U.S. government at their backs, but down in Presidio, with the drug trade in overdrive, they were tilting at windmills.It wasn't like they could rely much on the Mexican authorities across the border either. The dirty and not so well-kept secret of the drug trade in Mexico is that it is inextricably tied to and controlled by extra-official protection rackets run by corrupt members of the country's business, political, and judicial elite. Just like every other lucrative smuggling corridor along the border, Ojinaga was controlled by a local boss. For much of the 1970s, that person had been Manuel Carrasco; when he eventually ran afoul of too many people he fled town and with time — and after a few shootouts — control passed to an up-and-coming trafficker named Pablo Acosta. 'He's their guy'According to the journalist Terrence Poppa, who chronicled the rise and fall of Acosta in his 1991 book "Drug Lord," Acosta came to power in Ojinaga in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and by 1982 he was either directly involved with, or charging a tax on, all illegal merchandise flowing across the border.Acosta, like Amado, was treated to a sympathetic portrayal in Narcos: Mexico. The actor Gerardo Taraceno plays Acosta up as a sentimental, old-school cowboy — reckless and violent at times, sure, but living by a code of honor and harboring a sentimental streak to boot. This flies in the face of all available evidence. Poppa — and a number of sources I spoke with who either investigated Acosta or did business with him — said that the real-life Acosta was a brutal thug, quick to mete out violence and shocking cruelty against anyone he saw as a threat. He shot men down in the street in broad daylight, subjected people to brutal torture, and was said to have once strapped a rival to the back of his pickup truck and dragged him to his bloody, horrible death. And as the years wore on, Acosta grew ever more erratic, thanks in part to his growing number of enemies and also to his fondness for basuco, a crude cocaine paste that he sprinkled into cigarettes and smoked around the clock.He was, in other words, the polar opposite of Amado. Little is known of Amado and Acosta's working relationship, one the young face of the drug trade to come and the other the proud, battle-scarred avatar of what came before. Amado was there not to do Acosta's bidding but to look after the interests of his uncle's syndicate in Guadalajara, which was increasingly coordinating shipments of cocaine on behalf of the Colombians and moving it through Ojinaga. David Ramirez (r); Rachel Mendelson/InsiderOne player who had the opportunity — or misfortune — to see that dynamic up close was Don Henry Ford, Jr, a former drug trafficker working in the region in the '70s and '80s."Amado Carrillo was never working for Pablo Acosta, not for one fucking day," Ford told me. "He represents the big guys down there, the cartel, he's their guy."When Pablo Acosta was finally gunned down in a raid by Mexican police in the tiny village of his birth in 1987, rumors immediately proliferated that Amado had paid a corrupt police commander $1 million to take him out. Unrepentant cowboyIf Ramirez that night in 1985 saw the amiable, confident face that Amado showed when being detained, Don Henry Ford Jr., two years prior, saw something closer to the real Amado — the careful balance of friendly and ruthless with which Amado gained the trust of business partners and government benefactors, while rooting out potential traitors and rivals.Ford grew up on a Texas ranch a few hundred miles north of the border, but as his family's business started to fail in the late 1970s he began to drift down to Mexico, making trips back and forth across the border in search of easy money and unlimited weed."You may consider one side Mexico and one the U.S., but it ain't either. It's the border," Ford told me recently when I reached him by phone. "People in Presidio and Ojinaga have more in common with each other than with anyone in Washington or Mexico City."By the time I talked to him, Ford had been out of the drug game for decades. The beginning of the end had come in 1986 when he was arrested in Texas but then managed to escape and spend a year or so as an honest-to-god fugitive outlaw, laying low in a tiny communal ejido south of the border, guarding multi-ton shipments of Colombian weed in a cave with just a rifle by his side. In 1987, he was caught while moving about a hundred pounds of weed in southern Texas and ended up serving seven years of a 15-year sentence before being released on good behavior — after which he spent another few years under tight restrictions, pissing in a cup for his parole officer as many as three times a week. As much as he hated giving up those years to prison and parole, Ford knows how lucky he was: less than a year after his second arrest, in 1988, the US eliminated parole for federal offenses and introduced mandatory minimums for large-scale drug trafficking. If he'd been busted any later, he could have spent the rest of his life behind bars, as did many drug traffickers — particularly Black and Brown people — sentenced amid the drastic ramping up of the U.S. war on drugs.He put that life behind him — raised kids, raised cattle, and even put aside some land and a business to pass on to his children. But he still has the spark of an outlaw in his voice. Even his email address, which includes the words "unrepentant cowboy," makes clear that he remains resolutely nonconformist. The south Texas ranch where Ford spends his days is so remote that his cell phone barely gets a signal. When we spoke, his voice crackled out of earshot every time he moved in the wrong direction or when he sat down.Ford had a rather haphazard start as a drug trafficker, running into some greedy cops on his first trip to Mexico who were happy to relieve him of his seed money and send him packing. But before long he found a knack for the business, and developed a lucrative operation trading with a loose network of marijuana growers and wholesalers, trafficking hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars in weed at a time.He did most of his business in the state of Coahuila, east of Acosta's territory in Chihuahua, where he could work without having to deal with Acosta, who he knew by reputation to be a fickle and violent man. Years later, Ford would find that out firsthand, when he was attacked by men he believes to have been working for Acosta, and interrogated at length by a man he believes to be Acosta himself. He believes it to have been Acosta because he was blindfolded, and Ford is not one to say things he's not 100% sure of. (I had to take Ford's word on this incident, as there's no record of it aside from Ford's memory of the experience, and Acosta is not around to confirm it.)But before his near-death encounter with Acosta, it was in Coahuila, in the home of his main connect, a guy named Oscar, that he first met Amado around 1983.Their first meeting was just in passing; Amado was one of several cowboy-looking guys milling about during a visit to the home of his partner, where Ford was visiting on one of his many trips south to score wholesale loads of weed. Amado was dressed, like the rest of the guys, in wide-cut polyester pants and the boots popular with Mexican cowboys with a high, slanted Spanish riding heel."He didn't look like anybody extraordinary at all, he looked like Oscar was giving him some work on the farm," Ford told me. "He wasn't wearing a bunch of gold jewelry and shit that would give away the sense of being wealthy. His boots were worn."For most of his career, Ford had stuck to marijuana. And even in the early years of the cocaine boom he said he could see the effect that the introduction of cocaine was having on the business of smuggling. Guys he had known to be sworn pacifists motivated by peace and love as much as money, began carrying weapons, acting all jittery."All of a sudden it was like Miami Vice," he recalled. But he wasn't so altruistic as to turn down good business, and it soon became clear to him that the real money was in cocaine. He wanted in. So he made some inquiries and was told the person to talk to was Amado — that quiet guy in cowboy boots he'd met once a while back.The meeting happened sometime in 1983, just Ford, his cousin, his partner Oscar, and Amado in a motel room in the city of Torreon, in the southern reaches of Coahuila. It started off well enough — like many meetings between drug traffickers, it was mostly a chance to size each other up. Amado brought with him some of the product he had on hand, and for a few hours, the wirey Texan and the Sinaloan trafficker hung out, drank, sniffed cocaine, and chatted pleasantly. Just as Ramirez would observe later, Ford recalled Amado as a smooth customer, calm and collected but friendly. Even a few drinks and a few lines deep, Amado kept his wits about him."He did a lot more listening than he did talking," Ford said.Ford liked that, and he told Amado that he didn't have any interest in working with a hothead like Acosta."I told him 'If you're like that, I don't wanna do business with you,'" Ford said. "I'm interested in fuckin' moving some drugs and making some money."Ford and Amado didn't make a deal that night, but Ford said they agreed to "something tentative." When it was time for Amado to go, but he left the remaining coke as a gift, more where that came from, and Ford and his cousin set about enjoying it.Rachel Mendelson/InsiderA few hours later, as they were trying to sleep off their coke jitters, there came a series of thunderous knocks on the door, bam-bam-bam, and chaos descended on them. A team of heavily armed men rushed into the hotel room. They wore no uniforms, but they moved with such trained precision that Ford immediately took them for cops of some sort. Over the next few hours, he said, they questioned the pair relentlessly."This motherfucker did this to see if I was a cop," Ford said. "He didn't trust us, and decided he was gonna find out who we were."He never saw Amado again.200 miles from El PasoTwo years or so after Ford met him in Torreon, Amado sat patiently in the Border Patrol station in Presidio with agent David Ramirez. The other driver, the one Amado had slowed down to let escape, had made it to the point of entry. His car was clean and, after showing his ID — along with a DFS badge like Amado's — the agents who spoke to him had nothing to charge him with, and let him cruise back into Mexico. (In an interview, Ramirez told me ruefully that he had written the man's name down in his notebook but later lost it, and the question of the man's identity piques his curiosity to this day.)As for Amado, Ramirez may not have caught him trafficking drugs in flagrante, nor had he proven any collusion with the driver of the pickup truck. But there was the AR-15 he'd found in the trunk. For a nonresident of the United States, it was a serious crime to be in possession of a loaded assault rifle. If charges were brought, it could have earned him a few solid years in a federal prison. No one knew it then, but that could have put a serious crimp in Amado's upward trajectory. But that wasn't the purview of the Border Patrol. If they were going to hold Amado, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms — 200 miles away in El Paso — would have to get involved. If they agreed, someone would have to come in from El Paso, a four-hour drive away, bring Amado back, and then take him to magistrate court in Pecos, another two-hour drive from El PasoRamirez made the call, and waited. In the meantime, in case Amado would be charged, Ramirez fingerprinted the suspect, and took a couple mugshots.By now it was around three in the morning. Amado had been pretty quiet as they drove into Presidio, but sitting in the Border Patrol station, he started to open up a bit more, chatting with Ramirez, even boasting a bit as they made small talk to kill time."The guy, once again, had not a worry in the world," Ramirez said. "Real easy guy, and you know it was strange, he offered a lot of info, like that his uncle was Don Neto and that Caro Quintero was his partner."It might seem strange that an experienced heavy in the drug trade would brag about his connections to a well-known trafficker like Don Neto and the notorious killer of a federal agent like Caro Quintero, but the code of silence only applies to the saps at the bottom of the totem pole, or to the civilians ensnared in the web of violence, corruption, and extortion that funnels money up to the bosses. For the guys making the real money, the relationship with law enforcement is a lot more fluid, with a lot more give and take. Perhaps Amado saw an opportunity to cultivate a contact, pocket a card that he could play at a later date. Or maybe he just knew that no ATF agents were getting their asses out of bed at three in the morning and driving all the way to Presidio and back to book him. Much more likely was that he'd be back in Mexico by sun-up no matter what he said to Ramirez.An hour passed, and then Ramirez got word from the Bureau that they weren't going to bother with this one. Coming all that distance to Presidio, it was too much trouble. So he let Amado go. Ramirez held on to the box of ammo, but Amado drove back into Mexico a free man with the illegal AR-15 in his trunk.'You can't live in what-ifs'Looking back to that night in Presidio in 1985, It's hard to fathom how it was possible that agents of the federal government had one of the top drug traffickers in Mexico in their custody and didn't even know it. But according to Ramirez, that was par for the course back then. "At that time, in that area, there was no intelligence collection. It was very primitive," he said. "We were patrol, we weren't really trained for intelligence gathering. Unfortunately that was the attitude back then."Ramirez doesn't pester himself much wondering how things might have gone if the ATF had bothered to haul Amado in. "He coulda done some time, sure," Ramirez replied when I pushed the point. "But you can't live in what-ifs."After that night in 1985, Ramirez would see Amado from time to time around town on the other side of the border. Ramirez would mostly avert his gaze so as not to make eye contact with the man whose night he'd ruined. He saw him at the border crossing too, and from the way Amado carried himself there, Ramirez said he could tell Amado had pull among Mexican officials."He was a charismatic kinda guy," Ramirez recalled. "He made friends with the inspectors there on the U.S. side, the Customs inspectors and the immigration inspectors, invited them to his ranch and they would go over and come back and tell about the cookouts and the time they had." One of the inspectors even invited Ramirez to the party. Ramirez politely declined.Whatever scrutiny caused him to flee Guadalajara did not appear to have followed Amado to Ojinaga, according to Ramirez. "He wasn't hiding! I mean he was out in the open," Ramirez said with some bemusement.In the years that followed, Amado continued to plot his deliberate, careful rise to power. That evening he spent with Ramirez would go down as his only known brush with US authorities — or at least the only one in which he was a suspected criminal rather than a guy asking Customs inspectors over for lunch. Alongside other major traffickers of his generation, like "El Chapo" in Sinaloa and Sonora and the Arellano-Félix brothers in Tijuana, Amado expertly navigated every power vacuum that presented itself — or triggered power vacuums himself. By the late 1980s Amado had moved his base of operations to Ciudad Juárez, the sprawling metropolis that sits across the river from El Paso, where the multiple ports of entry allow a far greater amount of train, truck, and car traffic — and contraband — than Ojinaga ever could. It was there that Amado truly came into his own, controlling organized crime in the city so tightly that normal, everyday street crime became a rarity, lest criminals incur the wrath of the henchmen tasked with keeping things quiet and orderly. David Ramirez had left Presidio as well, transferring to his hometown of El Paso, where he began doing undercover work investigating trafficking networks alongside Mexican cops. He saw firsthand the control that Amado exercised in the city.He even saw Amado once. Ramirez was in Juárez, eating breakfast with some Mexican colleagues, including a federal police commander, when who walks in but Amado, surrounded by a swarm of burly, heavily armed guards. Amado made a beeline for their table and greeted the commander warmly as Ramirez studied his food and preyed that he wouldn't be recognized. "I thought 'oh shoot, this is the guy I arrested!'" Ramirez recalled. "Everybody says they're looking for him, and he's right there!" Once again, though, Ramirez's hands were tied: no matter how much the U.S. might want its hands on Amado, he was out of reach in Mexico, where his massive web of bribes and political connections made him largely untouchable. Still, even if Ramirez's actions did nothing to stop Amado's rise to power, it wasn't all for naught.The Lord of the Skies is deadOn July 3, 1997, Amado Carrillo Fuentes entered Hospital Ángeles Santa Mónica in the ritzy Mexico City neighborhood of Polanco. Amado had had a rough time of it recently, and it would have shown, his voracious cocaine habit and relentless workload taking their toll on his face and his increasingly heavy frame. The hospital was under heavy security, with an entire wing shut down for the guest of honor's privacy. Reuters; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderAmado was by now the undisputed public face of the drug trade in Mexico, with mansions all over the country and countless men doing his bidding. Being the boss is great for a guy like Amado, but not if everyone knows it. In Juárez he and his henchmen had worked hard to keep his name out of the papers, intimidating and threatening journalists and even discouraging singers from composing narcocorridos, the norteño ballads penned in honor of prominent drug traffickers that form an important role in the folk history of organized crime in Mexico. But when you amass power and wealth like Amado had, you can only remain in the shadows for so long. Things had really taken a turn for Amado that February, when one of his most important guardian angels — General Jesús Héctor Gutierrez Rebollo, Mexico's drug czar  — was arrested and publicly accused of collaboration with Amado. Just a few months earlier, Guttierrez Rebollo had been feted in Washington, described by his American counterpart as "a guy of absolute, unquestioned integrity." So it was with a deeply embarrassed vengeance that the attention of both governments now trained itself on Amado.Amado knew as well as anyone that a drug lord's days are numbered as soon as he becomes a liability to the government. By multiple accounts, Amado started looking for an exit almost immediately. He bought property in Chile, moved money abroad, and was even rumored to have approached contacts in the government to offer a massive bribe in exchange for his freedom to retire in anonymity.On July 3, he checked in under a fake name at the hospital in Polanco to undergo plastic surgery to alter his features. (Or, it was rumored later, for a bit of liposuction. It may have been both.)He was never seen alive again.The next day, July 4, about two miles away from the hospital in the similarly posh Lomas Altas neighborhood, Fourth of July festivities were underway at the fortress-like mansion that was home to the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Diplomats and dignitaries, bureaucrats and spooks were spread out across the lawn, mingling with their spouses. Among the revelers were a handful of agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration, who, as Amado might have suspected, had been racing to pin down Amado before he could vanish.Their day off came to a sudden end when one of the DEA agents got a call. According to his source, Amado had succumbed to an overdose on the operating table and the body was headed for burial in his home state of Sinaloa.The call kicked off a furious race by U.S. and Mexican officials alike desperate to confirm the drug lord's death. Rumors were swirling that it was all a lie, that Amado couldn't possibly be dead, and to quiet this talk Mexican officials would a few days later take the extraordinary step of laying out Amado's body — puffy by now; his skin a ghastly grey-green — for a viewing at a government building in Mexico City, inviting journalists to show his corpse to the world.Meanwhile, a young intelligence officer for the DEA named Larry Villalobos was racking his brains to think of a way to confirm that the body was Amado's.Then it hit him: the fingerprints. Villalobos had worked for a while as a fingerprint technician with the FBI before joining the DEA, and, prior to his posting in Mexico City, he had been stationed at the DEA field office in El Paso, where he'd helped build a dossier on Amado. As part of his research, he had learned of Amado's brief detention by Border Patrol agent David Ramirez back in 1985, and he knew Ramirez had taken Amado's mugshot and fingerprints. Villalobos made some calls, and it wasn't long before Ramirez found himself awoken by the ring of his telephone. Amado may not have been worth getting out of bed for when Ramirez called the ATF back in 1985, but he sure was now.."They called me about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, wanting to know if I still had his prints," Ramirez recalled rather matter-of-factly. "So I dug 'em up and I sent 'em to him."In Mexico City, Villalobos received a fax of the prints and headed to the morgue to compare them with those belonging to the corpse.They were a match.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 22nd, 2022

3 Dangerous Dow Stocks to Sell Now

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips The bear market ravaging equities is taking a toll on blue-chip stocks. Here are three wounded Dow stocks to sell now. The post 3 Dangerous Dow Stocks to Sell Now appeared first on InvestorPlace. More From InvestorPlace $200 Oil Sooner Than You Think – Buy This Now The Best $1 Investment You Can Make Today Early Bitcoin Millionaire Reveals His Next Big Crypto Trade “On Air” It doesn’t matter if you have $500 in savings or $5 million. Do this now......»»

Category: topSource: investorplaceJul 15th, 2022

Stock Market News for Jul 1, 2022

U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday, with the S&P recording its worst first-half performance in more than 50 years. U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday, with the S&P recording its worst first-half performance in more than 50 years. The Dow and S&P 500 also registered their worst quarterly performance since the first quarter of 2020, while the Nasdaq recorded its worst quarter since 2008. All the three major indexes ended Thursday’s session in negative territory.How Did The Benchmarks Perform?The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slid 0.8% or 253.88 points to close at 30,775.43 points.The S&P 500 declined 0.9% or 33.45 points to finish at 3,785.38 points. Energy, consumer discretionary and tech stocks were once again the biggest losers.The Energy Select Sector SPDR (XLE) gave up 1.1%. The Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) slipped 1.5%, while the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) lost 1.3%. Seven of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in negative territory.The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 1.3% or 149.16 points to end at 11,028.74 points.The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was up 1.95% to 28.71. Decliners outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by a 1.75-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.52-to-1 ratio favored declining issues. A total of 12.58 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 12.86 billion.Market Volatile on Recession FearsThursday marked the final day of the first half of the year and also the second quarter. The first half, particularly the second quarter, witnessed one of the most turbulent times for the markets in recent times, as major indexes entered bear market and correction territory from their all-time highs.Stocks started taking a hit from the beginning of the year as rising prices and soaring interest rates have been making investors jittery. Investors now are fearing an economic slowdown owing to the aggressive rate-hike stance adopted by the Fed to check surging inflation. This has been taking a toll on stocks.On Thursday, a fresh batch of economic data showed personal consumption expenditures declining in June, indicating that people are now skeptical about spending freely, as soaring price of consumer goods is pinching their pockets. The consumption data came just a day after a downwardly revised first-quarter GDP showed that growth contracted more than it was previously expected in the first three months of the year.This further dented investors’ confidence. Healthcare, energy and consumer discretionary stocks were the big losers. Shares of HCA Healthcare, Inc. HCA declined 4.3%. Shares of Carnival Corporation & plc CCL fell 2.5%, while Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. NCLH declined 3.1% and 3.9%, respectively. Norwegian Cruise Line carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Investors’ Worries AggravateStocks have been taking a beating since the beginning of the year. A rise in COVID-19 cases owing to the Omicron variant, followed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine during the initial months aggravated concerns over a financial meltdown. Fears of a possible recession further escalated on decades-high inflation and aggressive interest rate hikes by the Fed.Higher interest rates sent bond yields higher and historically price equity valuations saw growth stocks, especially the tech sector, taking a hit. Future earnings, like those promised by growth businesses, become less alluring as rates rise. Thus, tech stocks have been one of the worst affected this year, which saw the Nasdaq taking a major hit. The index is now down over 31% from its Nov 22 all-time high.The Fed has so far lifted the policy rate by 150 basis points in its past three meetings and more hikes are likely to follow. Aggressive interest rate hikes have now raised concerns over a slowing economy, which have been denting the confidence of investors, leading to massive selloffs almost every week. The S&P 500 is also down by more than 20% at the halfway point of the year. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 are both in bear market territory, while the Dow is in a correction zone.Economic DataEconomic data released on the last day of the quarter further aggravated fears among investors. Consumer spending slowed, disposable income decreased and inflation remained high.The Commerce Department said on Thursday that inflation rose marginally lower than expected by still remained hot. Core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) prices jumped 4.7% year over year in May, declining 0.2% from the previous month. Economists had expected a rise of 4.8%.On a month-over-month basis, the index, which excludes prices of volatile food and energy, rose 0.3%, less than analysts’ expectations of a rise of 0.4%. Headline inflation figures rose 0.6% in May, which was high compared to a 0.2% rise in April. This kept the year-over-year inflation figure at 6.3%, unchanged from April.The report also mentioned that personal income rose 0.5% in May, higher than expectations of a rise of 0.4%. However, disposable personal income declined 0.1% on a month-over-month basis and 3.3% from a year ago.Also, personal spending, after adjusting for inflation, saw a sharp decline of 0.4% in May from 0.3% in April. However, it was up 2.1% year over year.Goods inflation jumped 9.6%, while services inflation increased 4.7% month over month in May.In other economic data released on Thursday, the Labor Department said that initial jobless claims fell to 231,000 for the week ending Jun 25, a declining 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The four-week moving average also increased to 231,750, an increase of 7,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 224,500.Continuing claims came in at 1,328,000, a decline of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week's numbers were revised down by 16,000 from 1,315,000 to 1,331,000. The 4-week moving average came in at 1,319,500, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week's revised average.Half-Yearly RoundupThe first half of the year has been one of the worst for markets in decades. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are in the bear market and the Dow is in correction territory. The S&P 500 is down 20.6% year to date, recording its worst first half since 1970 when it declined 21.1%.The Nasdaq fell 29.5% through Thursday’s close to record its worst first half ever.The Dow fell 15.3% through Thursday to record its worst first half since 1962 when it declined 23.2%.Quarterly RoundupAll the three major indexes recorded their second straight quarterly decline. The S&P 500 declined 18.3% through Thursday’s close. The last time the index recorded two straight quarters of decline was in 2015.The Dow declined 12.8% for the quarter. The last time the blue-chip index posted two declines for two consecutive quarters was in 2015.The Nasdaq ended the second quarter down 22.4%. The tech-heavy index recorded two-straight quarters of decline for the last time in 2016.Monthly RoundupThe S&P and Dow ended the month down 9% and 7.3%, respectively. The Nasdaq declined 9.1% in June. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 Carnival Corporation (CCL): Free Stock Analysis Report Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL): Free Stock Analysis Report HCA Healthcare, Inc. (HCA): Free Stock Analysis Report Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. (NCLH): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 1st, 2022

Should Investors Be Considering Dividend-Paying Stocks?

Companies often increase dividends in down markets to keep investors interested in the shares. With inflation hugging 40-year highs, the possibility of a recession looming in the not-too-distant future and constantly shrinking portfolio values, many of us are losing our appetite to spend.Whether it is the Conference Board or the University of Michigan, consumer surveys are telling the same story: Americans are incrementally cautious about the near future, about job prospects, their income growth and the business environment.According to the university, “consumers across income, age, education, geographic region, political affiliation, stockholding and homeownership status all posted large declines” (in sentiment). Food and gas inflation in particular appear to be “eroding living standards.”According to the Conference Board, “Purchasing intentions for cars, homes and major appliances held relatively steady—but intentions have cooled since the start of the year and this trend is likely to continue as the Fed aggressively raises interest rates to tame inflation. Meanwhile, vacation plans softened further as rising prices took their toll.”The board finds that consumer sentiment about the present situation has changed marginally (the present situation index went from 147.4 in May to 147.1 in June). But it is their expectation about the future (i.e. the next six months) that has changed dramatically: the expectations index continued its downward trajectory from 73.7 to 66.4 from May to June. This is the lowest level since the 63.7 recorded in March 2013.Rising inflation in essentials and rising interest rates to combat it will keep the pressure on sentiments, for sure.But while all of us are entering this uncertainty together, we will not all be exiting it in the same way. Some will be cutting all spending and hoarding cash. Some will be investing in essentials and commodities since they tend to hold relatively steady in bear markets. And some will look for bargains in the stock market.Stocks have outdone most other asset classes in recent history and at the cheap valuations to which many of them have sunk, they are certainly worth building strategies around.Today, I’m focusing on investors looking for income generating stocks. These are stocks that pay a dividend. The main reason a company pays a dividend is it generates more earnings that it can invest back into the business. This is usually because it is a mature player, but can also be because it operates in an industry where further growth in the near future is limited for some reason. It supports its stock price and investor interest by paying dividends. During a bear market, or a recession, dividend-paying companies are therefore incentivized to pay more dividend.A few things need to be kept in mind, however, when investing in these stocks.First, ascertain that the company’s growth outlook is sound, even if it is likely to be impacted by the current uncertainties. This can be done by choosing stocks in the top 50% of Zacks-classified industries. Our research shows that the top 50% outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of 2 to 1. This will point you toward the industries that appear to be battling the uncertainties better than others.Second, revenue growth is the real indicator of quality earnings. It ensures that the earnings growth is really coming from more business and not just production efficiencies or accounting jugglery. Therefore, it’s worth checking out what’s happening with revenues, if possible. Analyst revenue expectations for up to a couple of years are usually available. Although these are moving numbers and liable to change as analysts update their expectations, they are worth checking out.Third, in order to lower your risk, ascertain that the debt/total capital ratio is low, say under 40-50%. If a company falls into very hard times, it will still be required to pay its debt obligations. So, the lower this is, the better.Fourth, check the dividend yield and how far the dividend has grown in the last few years. This gives you an idea of what to expect.Fifth, make sure you choose stocks that have Zacks #1 (Strong Buy) or #2 (Buy) ranks, because our research has shown consistently that this is where most of the action will be in the near term.Finally, be sure to buy cheap. For example, the price based on earnings potential should be relatively lower than the past year (for example) and also preferably lower than a benchmark, say the S&P 500.Here are a few stocks that satisfy the above criteria:The RMR Group, Inc. RMRThis provider of business and property management services in the U.S. belongs in the top 37% of Zacks-classified industries. It also carries a Zacks Rank #1. RMR’s current dividend yield is 5.63% while dividend growth over the last five years is 11.6%. Revenue growth expectations for the company are 22.6% and 2.9% in its current and following fiscal years (ending September). RMR has no long-term debt. The shares also trade at 12.5X earnings, which is below their median level over the past year and the S&P 500’s 16.4X.Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha NPNYYThis provider of marine, land and air transportation services worldwide is in the top 18% of Zacks-classified industries. Moreover, it carries a Zacks Rank #2. These two factors in combination are normally enough to indicate upside in the shares. But since we are concerned with dividend growth potential, it’s worth looking at Nippon Yusen’s other numbers as well. And so, we see that analysts expect the company to grow revenues by 25.2% in the current year ending in March 2023 followed by 17.4% growth the following year. Nippon Yusen pays a dividend that yields 22.17%. Its dividend has grown 125.9% over the last five years. The Debt/Cap of 32.0 is totally manageable. At 1.3X earnings, the shares are well below their annual highs.Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras PBRZacks #1 ranked Petrobras explores for, produces, and sells oil and gas in Brazil and internationally. The industry to which it belongs is in the top 25%. What’s more, its dividend which currently yields 25.92% has grown 104.04% in the last five years. Petrobras’ revenues are expected to grow 32.1% this year. While a decline is currently forecasted for the following year, the direction of analyst estimate revisions is encouraging. Debt/Cap of 34.9% isn’t a cause for concern. P/E of 2.9X is lower than its median value over the past year.One-Month Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment Research Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>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 Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. Petrobras (PBR): Free Stock Analysis Report The RMR Group Inc. (RMR): Free Stock Analysis Report Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NPNYY): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 29th, 2022

Stock Market News for Jun 27, 2022

U.S. stocks ended sharply higher on Friday to record their first weekly advance since May as investors deliberated if markets have hit their lows and reassessed Fed's aggressive rate hike plans. U.S. stocks ended sharply higher on Friday to record their first weekly advance since May as investors deliberated if markets have hit their lows and reassessed Fed’s aggressive rate hike plans. The rebound rally was led by tech stocks. All the major indexes ended in positive territory.How Did The Benchmarks Perform?The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) jumped 2.7% or 823.32 points to finish at 31,500.68 points.The S&P 500 rose 3.1% or 116.01 points to close at 3,911.74 points. Consumer discretionary, materials, communication services and tech stocks were the best performers.The Materials Select Sector SPDR (XLB) gained 4%, while the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR (XLY) and the Communication Services Select Sector SPDR (XLC) added 3.8% each. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) gained 3.6%. All the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in positive territory.The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 3.3% or 375.43.16 points to end at 11,607.62 points.The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 6.27% to 27.42. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 4.66-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 2.15-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues. A total of 19 billion shares were traded on Friday, higher than the last 20-session average of 12.9 billion.Positive Sentiments Send Stocks on a RallyInvestors have been worrying about slowing economic growth as the Fed has continued to hike interest rates aggressively in its battle to check soaring inflation. This has been taking a toll on stocks. However, investors’ sentiments finally seem to have got a lift over the past few sessions, which saw all the three major indexes record weekly gains for the first time after three weeks.The bear market rally continued for the third consecutive session on Friday. Commodity prices have finally started falling and going by the Fed’s fund futures, investors are now expecting lower rate hikes over the course of time in the Fed’s benchmark interest-rate target.Investors now expect rate hikes to hit a high of something between 3.25% to 3.5% by December, which is lower than the 3.5% to 3.75%, which was being expected until a week ago, according to CME’s FedWatch tool.Also, investor sentiment got a boost after a reading of the consumer sentiment, which is followed closely by the Fed, showed that people now expect inflation to ease slightly. This has been giving a boost to investor confidence lately.Tech, Financial Stocks Drive RallyThe upbeat mood has been helping markets over the past three days. Friday wasn’t any different. Friday’s rally was led by the beaten-down tech stocks. Shares of Meta Platforms, Inc. META soared 7.2%, while Apple Inc. AAPL gained 2.5%. Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Other notable gainers from Friday’s rally were financial, materials and consumer discretionary stocks. Shares of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. GS jumped 5.8%, while Wells Fargo & Company WFC rallied 7.6%.The gains in S&P 500 were led by cruise line stocks. Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. RCL surged 15.8%. Carnival Corporation & plc’s CCL shares gained 12.4%.Economic DataIn economic data released on Friday, the University of Michigan’s final reading of consumer sentiment reflected a massive decline. Consumer sentiment hit a record low of 50 in June. Although the reading isn’t impressive, a reading in the detailed report showed that consumers’ 12-month inflation expectations eased to 5.3%, which is being seen as a positive.  In other economic data, the Census Bureau said that new home sales in the United States increased 10.7% in May to 696,000 units from April’s decline of 12%.Weekly RoundupAll the three major indexes finally managed to snap a three-week losing streak in the holiday-shortened week. The Dow finished 5.4% higher for the week.The S&P 500 ended 6.5% up for the week. The index had entered a bear market last week after recording its worst week since March 2020. The Nasdaq was the best performer for the week, finishing 7.5% up. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>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 The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS): Free Stock Analysis Report Wells Fargo & Company (WFC): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Carnival Corporation (CCL): Free Stock Analysis Report Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL): Free Stock Analysis Report Meta Platforms, Inc. (META): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

With The S&P In A Bear Market, Read This Before Your Next Trade

Valuations are at their lowest levels in more than two years, so there are tons of bargains in the market right now. But you still need to be selective. Kevin Matras will help put the probability of success in your favor. The S&P officially entered bear market territory on Monday, June 13th, when it closed down -21.3% from their all-time high close made earlier this year.For the record, the Nasdaq entered bear market territory in March. And they made a new low on Monday as well, putting their total decline at -32.7%.The Dow has so far avoided a bear market (given their lesser exposure to tech, which has been weighing on the markets). But at -17.1%, those few percentage points separating a bear market from a correction is of little consolation.Raging inflation (41-year high according to the latest CPI report last week), is largely responsible for the economic and market angst.With inflation running hot, and the Fed way behind the curve in trying to mitigate it, fears of a recession are growing. Problem is, if the Fed remains too slow in raising rates, then inflation itself will take its toll by reducing demand and eating away at consumers’ purchasing power. On the other hand, if the Fed raises too high and too fast, that could bring about the kind of demand destruction that could send the economy into a recession.So, the Fed has to thread the needle.We will see how the Fed’s 75 basis point rate increase on Wednesday, and the expectation for another 50 basis points in July (culminating in 3.4% by year’s end), does in trying to do just that.But now that we’re in a bear market, now what?For one, it suggests we’re closer to hitting bottom that we were previously.The average bear market decline for the S&P (going back 100+ years), is -38%. With the S&P down by more than -21%, we’re more than halfway there.If a hard landing is to be seen, there’s likely more downside to go.If the worst-case scenario does not unfold, however, and a softer landing indeed is what we see (no recession), then stocks are grossly oversold and a sharp repricing higher should be seen.The question on whether we see a recession or not won’t be answered until at least the end of the second quarter, plus a few weeks, for the stats to come out.In the meantime, with over 1,450 stocks down more than -50% YTD, and over 500 stocks down more than -70%, there’s tons of bargains out there right now. And it presents an opportunity to pick up some great names at prices you could only have wished for a few short months, or even years ago.And in spite of inflation, and fears of recession (we shall see), there’s plenty of positives in the economy that have been virtually ignored during this sell-off, including a strong labor market (near 50-year low unemployment), strong household spending, strong business investment, and strong industrial production. So much so that the Fed (in the latest FOMC Minutes), said they anticipate GDP would ‘advance at a solid pace over the remainder of the year.’Which means now is a great time to start looking for new stocks to buy, especially with valuations having fallen to their lowest levels in more than 2 years.But you need to be selective.And it’s now more important than ever to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get the most out of your trades. Because there will be distinct winners and losers as we move forward.So, before you make your next trade, please read this first to learn how to put the probabilities of success in your favor.Knowledge Is Power We’ve all heard the old adage; knowledge is power.It’s a great saying because it’s true.And that saying couldn’t be truer than when it comes to investing.Take a look at your last big loser for example. After analyzing what went wrong, you soon discover some piece of information that ‘had you known beforehand, you never would have gotten into it in the first place.’I’m not talking about things that are unknowable, like inside information or surprise announcements that can catch even the most professional of professionals off guard.I’m talking about things that you could have known about or SHOULD have known about before you got in.Did You Know?... • Did you know that roughly half of a stock's price movement can be attributed to the group that it’s in?• Did you also know that oftentimes a mediocre stock in a top performing group will outperform a ‘great’ stock in a poor performing group?• And did you know that the top 50% of Zacks Ranked Industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1?• And did you also know that the top 10% of industries outperformed the most?More . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Get Your Free Copy of Finding #1 Stocks – A $49.95 ValueOne single idea changed Kevin Matras’ life as an investor, enabling him to tap into the greatest force driving stock prices. In Finding #1 Stocks, Kevin reveals his top stock-picking secrets and strategies based on this powerful concept.In 2021 - while the market climbed +28.8% - these strategies actually produced gains up to +48.2%, +67.6%, and even +95.3%.¹You can take full advantage of them without attending a single class or seminar, in a lot less time than you think. Opportunity ends Saturday, June 18.Get your free book now >>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Was your last loser in one of the top industries or in one of the bottom industries?If it was in one of the bottom industries, you should have known to not take a chance on something with a reduced probability of success.That’s what is meant by ‘knowledge is power’. Knowable things that you need to know.That’s not to say that stocks in crummy industries won’t go up -- they do. And that’s not to say that stocks in good industries won’t go down -- because they do too.But more stocks go up in the top industries, and more stocks go down in the bottom industries.And since there are over 10,000 stocks out there to pick and choose from, why settle for one with a reduced chance of making any money?Did You Know?... • Did you know that stocks with ‘just’ double-digit growth rates typically outperform stocks with triple-digit growth rates?• Did you also know that stocks with crazy high growth rates test nearly as poorly as those with the lowest growth rates?Did your last loser have a spectacular growth rate?If so, and it got crushed, would you have picked it if you knew that stocks with the highest growth rates have spotty track records?It seems logical to think that the companies with the highest growth rates would do the best. But it doesn’t always turn out to be the case.One explanation for this is that sky high growth rates are unsustainable. And the moment a more normal (albeit still good) growth rate emerges, the stock gets a dose of reality as well.For example, a company earning 1 cent a share that is now expected to earn 6 cents, has a 500% growth rate. But, if it receives a downward estimate revision to 5 cents, that’s a significant drop. Even though it still has a 400% growth rate, the estimates were just reduced by -16.7% and the price is likely to follow.If you’ve ever wondered how a stock with a triple-digit growth rate could possibly go down -- that’s how.Instead, I have found that comparing a stock to the median growth rate for its industry is the best way to find solid outperformers with a lesser chance to disappoint. And focusing on companies with growth rates above the median, but less than 50%, has produced some of the best results. Did You Know?... • Did you know that stocks receiving broker rating upgrades have historically outperformed those with no rating change by more than 1.5 times? And did you know they outperformed stocks receiving downgrades by more than 10 x as much? The next time one of your stocks is upgraded or downgraded, be sure to remember these statistics so you know how the odds stack up and whether they’re for you or against you.• Did you know that stocks with a Price to Sales ratio of less than 1 have produced significantly superior results over companies with a Price to Sales ratio greater than 1? And did you know that those with a Price to Sales ratio of greater than 4 have typically shown to lose money? That doesn’t mean that all stocks with a P/S ratio of less than one will go up and those over four will go down, but you can greatly increase your odds of success by following these valuations.• Did you know that the Zacks Rank is one of the best rating systems out there? And did you know that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buy have beaten the market in 28 of the last 34 years, with an average annual return of 25% per year? That’s more than 2 x the returns of the S&P with an 82% annual win ratio. And when doing this year after year, that can add up to a lot more than just two times the returns.• Did you know that two simple filters added to the Zacks Rank #1 stocks significantly increases its returns? What if you did? We have a screen that utilizes these two additional items to narrow that list down to 5 high probability stocks per week. Over the last 22 years (2000 thru 2021), using a 1-week rebalance, it’s produced an average annual return of 51.2%, which is 6.8 x the market. That screen is aptly called the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 screen.Do you know how well your stock picking strategies have performed?Whether good or bad -- do you know why?Do you know if your favorite item to look for is helping you or hurting you?This is important stuff to know. Beat The Market On Your Next Trade  After the recent sell-off, and with stocks trading at huge discounts, now is the time to build your watchlist with new stocks to get into that will lead the market.And there's a simple way to add a big performance advantage for stock-picking success. It's called the Zacks Method for Trading: Home Study Course.With this interactive online program, you can master the Zacks Rank in your own home and at your own pace. You don’t have to attend a single class or seminar.Zacks Method for Trading covers the investment ideas I just shared and so much more. It guides you to better trading step by step.You'll quickly see how to get the most out of the proven system that has more than doubled the market for over three decades. Discover what kind of trader you are, how to find stocks with the highest probability of success, and how to trade them so you can consistently beat the market no matter where stock prices are headed.You’ll get the formulas behind our top-performing strategies suited for a variety of different trading styles.The best of these strategies produced gains up to +48.2%, +67.6% and even +95.3% in 2021.¹The course will also help you create and test your own stock-picking strategies.Today is the perfect time to get in. I'm giving participants free hardbound copies of my book, Finding #1 Stocks, a $49.95 value. Its 300 pages unfold virtually every trading secret I’ve learned over the last 25 years to beat the market.Please note: Copies of the book are limited and your opportunity to get one free ends midnight Saturday, June 18, unless we run out of books first. If you're interested, I encourage you to check this out now.Find out more about Zacks Home Study Course >>Thanks and good trading,KevinZacks Executive VP Kevin Matras is responsible for all of our trading and investing services. He developed many of our most powerful market-beating strategies and directs the Zacks Method for Trading: Home Study Course.¹ The results listed above are not (or may not be) representative of the performance of all strategies developed by Zacks Investment Research.  Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 15th, 2022

Decision Time

S&P 500 declined, within the existing narrow range, but more downside is likely to come. Bonds continue pointing lower, commodities are squeezing, yields aren‘t meaningfully retreating, and inflation keeps biting. As stated yesterday: (…) So, stocks are still facing the tightening Fed phase, not yet smelling the Fed pivot – the downside can reach further […] S&P 500 declined, within the existing narrow range, but more downside is likely to come. Bonds continue pointing lower, commodities are squeezing, yields aren‘t meaningfully retreating, and inflation keeps biting. As stated yesterday: (…) So, stocks are still facing the tightening Fed phase, not yet smelling the Fed pivot – the downside can reach further still, and the new battle for 4,080 is approaching. Odds are we would head that way before mid-session tomorrow – today, I‘m looking for a lackluster, paring the gains, session in stocks. And that holds true for precious metals as well – Monday‘s decline was duly reversed, and copper is carving out a local bottom as we speak. Crude oil is of course offering only shallow corrections, and didn‘t make it much below $117.50. Energy keeps running, and it ain‘t over by a long shot – when it comes to time though, I‘m looking for the rally to last a few short months more before taking even greater toll toll on the real economy, and starting to decline somewhat. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Cryptos are refusing to decline much, and that illustrates the current balance of power nicely – larger moves are unlikely. Friday‘s CPI awaits, and it would likely show limited Fed room to back off tightening – Treasuries aren‘t waiting, and keep requesting more rate hikes. The daily price action between different maturities illustrates the building strains. In this environment, sticking with real assets while favoring the short side in stock indices, is the reasonable positioning. The point of today‘s analysis is to assess the shape markets are in right at the ECB forestaste of dealing with inflation – distinguishing the verbal and real moves, and market sensitivities. Plainly stated, how much these doubt the newfound inflation fighting spirit in the face of deteriorating economic data... Let‘s move right into the charts (all courtesy of S&P 500 and Nasdaq Outlook S&P 500 bears won the day, and are readying another charge – odds are the current price congestion would resolve to the downside. Too much underperformance in the high beta plays. Credit Markets This isn‘t a risk-on turn, there is still some bottom searching to be done. Tightening, that‘s still the name of the game – not enough worries about growth prospects yet. Gold, Silver and Miners Precious metals are still sideways, waiting for a catalyst to start looming. Countdown is on, and the risks of being out of the market outweigh those of being in. Crude Oil Crude oil keeps moving higher, and it‘s little surprising. Still no peak – I‘m looking for the climb to continue in a relatively narrow range where dips are to be bought. Copper Copper is also lagging, but at least the panic selling is over – with more focus on the monetary turn ahead and stockpile dynamics, the red metal would start recovering, gradually first. Lean times ahead for now. Bitcoin and Ethereum Cryptos aren‘t convincing in the least – that‘s another market in trouble. Biting global liquidity – the bottom isn‘t yet in. Summary S&P 500 is likely to get weaker as increasingly dull economic and monetary data keep arriving. The coming 4,080 break to the downside would be just the start – the path of getting there remains slow, but the direction is clear, bonds say. Semiconductors, smallcaps, financials, you name it – these shouldn‘t underperform in a bull upleg. And that means we aren‘t in one (my words continuously) – the bottom hasn‘t yet been reached, and the relative lull (bear market rally) is in its latter innings. As commodities continue surging, crude oil is leading – stocks can‘t meaningfully bottom without oil rolling over first. Not happening now or in the weeks ahead – precious metals and copper are waiting patiently for their turn to shine. Thank you for having read today‘s free analysis, which is available in full at my homesite. There, you can subscribe to the free Monica‘s Insider Club, which features real-time trade calls and intraday updates for all the five publications: Stock Trading Signals, Gold Trading Signals, Oil Trading Signals, Copper Trading Signals and Bitcoin Trading Signals. Thank you, Monica Kingsley Stock Trading Signals Gold Trading Signals Oil Trading Signals Copper Trading Signals Bitcoin Trading Signals All essays, research and information represent analyses and opinions of Monica Kingsley that are based on available and latest data. Despite careful research and best efforts, it may prove wrong and be subject to change with or without notice. Monica Kingsley does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the data or information reported. Her content serves educational purposes and should not be relied upon as advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks and options are financial instruments not suitable for every investor. Please be advised that you invest at your own risk. Monica Kingsley is not a Registered Securities Advisor. By reading her writings, you agree that she will not be held responsible or liable for any decisions you make. Investing, trading and speculating in financial markets may involve high risk of loss. Monica Kingsley may have a short or long position in any securities, including those mentioned in her writings, and may make additional purchases and/or sales of those securities without notice. Updated on Jun 9, 2022, 11:20 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJun 9th, 2022

The New York Times" Dramatic Shift On Victory In Ukraine

The New York Times' Dramatic Shift On Victory In Ukraine Authored by John Walsh via Consortium News, On May 11 The New York Times ran an article documenting that all was not going well for the U.S. in Ukraine, and a companion opinion piece hinting that a shift in direction might be in order. Then on May 19, the editorial board, the full Magisterium of the Times, moved from hints to a clarion call for a change in direction, declaring that “total victory” over Russia is not possible and that Ukraine will have to negotiate a peace in a way that reflects a “realistic assessment” and the “limits” of U.S. commitment. The Times serves as one the main shapers of public opinion for the elite and so its pronouncements are not to be taken lightly. US Limits The editorial contains the following key passages: “In March, this board argued that the message from the United States and its allies to Ukrainians and Russians alike must be: No matter how long it takes, Ukraine will be free. …” “That goal cannot shift, but in the end, it is still not in America’s best interest to plunge into an all-out war with Russia, even if a negotiated peace may require Ukraine to make some hard decisions.”  And, to ensure that there is no ambiguity, it went on: “A decisive military victory for Ukraine over Russia, in which Ukraine regains all the territory Russia has seized since 2014, is not a realistic goal. …Russia remains too strong…” Image: Flickr Then, to make certain that President Joe Biden and the Ukrainians understand what they should do, it adds: “… Mr. Biden should also make clear to President Volodymyr Zelensky and his people that there is a limit to how far the United States and NATO will go to confront Russia, and limits to the arms, money and political support they can muster. It is imperative that the Ukrainian government’s decisions be based on a realistic assessment of its means and how much more destruction Ukraine can sustain.” As Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky read those words, he must surely have begun to sweat.  The voice of his masters was telling him that he and Ukraine will have to make some sacrifices for the U.S. to save face.  As he contemplates his options, his thoughts must surely run back to February 2014, and the U.S.-backed Maidan coup that culminated in the hasty exit of President Viktor Yanukovych from his office, his country and almost from this earth. Alexander Mercouris of The Duran explains the shift in Western media reporting: Too dangerous In the eyes of the Times editorial writers, the war has become a U.S. proxy war against Russia using Ukrainians as cannon fodder – and it is careening out of control:  “The current moment is a messy one in this conflict, which may explain President Biden and his cabinet’s reluctance to put down clear goal posts. “The United States and NATO are already deeply involved, militarily and economically. Unrealistic expectations could draw them ever deeper into a costly, drawn-out war… “Recent bellicose statements from Washington — President Biden’s assertion that Mr. Putin ‘cannot remain in power,’ Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s comment that Russia must be ‘weakened’ and the pledge by the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, that the United States would support Ukraine ‘until victory is won’ — may be rousing proclamations of support, but they do not bring negotiations any closer.” While the Times dismisses these “rousing proclamations,” it is all too clear that for the neocons in charge of US foreign policy, the goal has always been a proxy war to bring down Russia. This has not become a proxy war; it has always been a proxy war. The neocons operate by the Wolfowitz Doctrine, enunciated in 1992, soon after the end of Cold War 1.0, by the necoconservative Paul Wolfowitz, then under secretary of defense: “We endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. “We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global power.” Clearly if Russia is “too strong” to be defeated in Ukraine, it is too strong to be brought down as a superpower. Paul Wolfowitz, then deputy secretary of defense, on March 1, 2001. Image: DoD What Changed? After seven years of slaughter in the Donbas and three months of warfare in southern Ukraine, has the Times editorial board suddenly had a rush of compassion for all the victims of the war and the destruction of Ukraine and changed its opinion?  Given the record of the Times over the decades, it would seem that other factors are at work. First of all, Russia has handled the situation unexpectedly well despite dire predictions from the West. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support exceeds 80 percent. Out of 195 nations, 165 —including India and China with 35 percent of the world’s population —have refused to join sanctions against Russia, leaving the U.S., not Russia, relatively isolated in the world.  The ruble, which Biden said would be “rubble,” has not only returned to its pre-February levels but is trading recently around a two-year high of about 60 rubles to the dollar compared to 150 in March.  Russia is expecting a bumper harvest and the world is eager for its wheat and fertilizer, oil and gas all of which provide substantial revenue. The EU has largely succumbed to Russia’s demand to be paid for gas in rubles.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Yellin is warning the suicidal Europeans that an embargo of Russian oil will further damage the economies of the West. Russian forces are making slow but steady progress across southern and eastern Ukraine after winning in Mariupol, the biggest battle of the war so far, and a demoralizing defeat for Ukraine. In the U.S., inflation, which was already high before the Ukraine crisis, has been driven even higher and reached over 8 percent with the Federal Reserve now scrambling to control it by raising interest rates.  Partly as a result of this, the stock market has come close to bear territory.  As the war progresses, many have joined Ben Bernanke, former Fed Chair, in predicting a period of high unemployment, high inflation and low growth — the dread stagflation.  US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at World Bank meeting in March. Image: World Bank Domestically, there are signs of deterioration in support of the war.  Most strikingly, 57 House Republicans and 11 Senate Republicans voted against the latest package of weaponry to Ukraine, bundled with considerable pork and hidden bonanzas for the war profiteers.  (Strikingly no Democrat, not a single one, not even the most “progressive” voted against pouring fuel on the fire of war raging in Ukraine.  But that is another story.)  And while US public opinion remains in favor of U.S. involvement in Ukraine there are signs of slippage.  For example, Pew reports that those feeling the U.S. is not doing enough declined from March to May.  As more stagflation takes hold with gas and food prices growing and voices like those of Tucker Carlson and Rand Paul pointing out the connection between the inflation and the war, discontent is certain to grow. Finally, as the war becomes less popular and it takes its toll, an electoral disaster looms ahead in 2022 and 2024 for Biden and the Democratic Party, for which the Times serves as a mouthpiece. Note of Panic There is a note of panic in this appeal to find a negotiated solution now.  The US and Russia are the world’s major nuclear powers with thousands of nuclear missiles on launch-on-warning, aka hair-trigger alert.  At moments of high tension, the possibilities of accidental nuclear Armageddon are all too real.  Biden’s ability to stay in command of events is in question. Many people of his age can handle a situation like this, but many cannot and he seems to be in the latter category. The neocons are now in control of the foreign policy of the Biden administration, the Democratic Party and most of the Republican Party. But will the neocons in charge give up and move in a reasonable and peaceful direction as the Times editorial demands?  This is a fantasy of the first order.  As other commentators have observed, hawks such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan have no reverse gear; they always double down. They do not serve the interests of humanity nor do they serve the interests of the American people. They are in reality traitors to the US.  They must be exposed, discredited and pushed aside. Our survival depends on it. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/30/2022 - 20:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 30th, 2022

18 critically acclaimed movies highlighting Asian-American voices

Asian American-led and created movies run the gamut from dramas to comedies. Here are 18 movies to stream, from "Minari" to "The Paper Tigers." Prices are accurate at the time of publication.When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Yellow Rose Film/A24/Lionsgate May is Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. To mark the occasion, we rounded up some of the best Asian-American movies you can stream right now. Our selection covers a variety of genres and cultures, with picks ranging from "Minari" to "The Big Sick." With every passing year, it's becoming more common to see Asian-American stories in movies — and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is a great time to watch them.Though you may have already heard of "Crazy Rich Asians" and "The Joy Luck Club," there are many other highly rated movies out there featuring prominent Asian-American voices. Regardless of what month it is, these films are all worth streaming.Our selection represents movies that feature Asian-American artists either in front of or behind the camera. This list doesn't get anywhere close to covering all of the worthwhile entries out there, but it's a great place to start. When choosing films for our roundup, we limited our selection to movies that satisfy this criteria:Movies must feature AAPI actors and/or filmmakersMovies must be rated "fresh" on review aggregator Rotten TomatoesWe also ensured that our picks include a variety of genres; not every film needs to be about the emotional and financial baggage that comes with immigration (though we love those, too). Keep scrolling to find feel-good comedies, tear-jerking dramas, martial arts action flicks, and more, all featuring Asian American Pacific Islanders. Check out these 18 AAPI movies to stream now'Always Be My Maybe'Co-writersRandall Park and Ali Wong star in "Always Be My Maybe."NetflixWatch "Always Be My Maybe" on Netflix.Ali Wong and Randall Park co-wrote and star in "Always Be My Maybe," a romantic comedy about two adults who dated as teens trying to reconnect despite their vastly different lives. It's a refreshing entry in the genre with a diverse cast and Asian-American leads — without playing into stereotypes. "Always Be My Maybe" is directed by Nahnatchka Khan, and features James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Daniel Dae Kim, and Keanu Reeves. It's rated "90% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Better Luck Tomorrow'MicrosoftWatch "Better Luck Tomorrow" on Starz.A crime drama directed by Justin Lin ("Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"), "Better Luck Tomorrow" follows a group of Asian American A-students who turn to lives of crime out of boredom. The film illustrates the mentality of upper-middle-class youth, and what pressure causes them to take for granted. The cast includes Parry Shen, Jason Tobin, Sung Kang, Roger Fan, John Cho, and Karin Anna Cheung. The movie is rated "81% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Crazy Rich Asians'Warner Bros.Watch "Crazy Rich Asians" on HBO Max. Though the events of "Crazy Rich Asians" largely take place overseas, Rachel, the main character, is an Asian-American professor residing in New York. When she travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's ridiculously wealthy family, she finds that they don't approve of her, putting her relationship on the rocks. The film is one of the first American movies to feature a majority Chinese cast in a modern setting since "The Joy Luck Club" — it holds a "91% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Everything Everywhere All At Once'Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh, and Ke Huy Quan in "Everything Everywhere All at Once."A24Preorder "Everything Everywhere All at Once" from Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. Hong Kong acting legend Michelle Yeoh stars as Evelyn Wang, a Chinese immigrant running a failing laundromat in California with her husband. From there, things get wild. "Everything Everywhere All At Once" illustrates the struggles of immigrant families, both financially and in terms of their personal relationships, through wild multiversal travel and fight scenes. It's directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and stars a majority AAPI cast. The film holds a "95% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of writing. 'Gook'Samuel Goldwyn FilmsWatch "Gook" on Amazon Prime Video.The 1992 Los Angeles Riots famously resulted in the destruction of Koreatown at the expense of many immigrant business owners residing there. Set during these events, "Gook" follows two South Korean-American brothers who befriend a young Black girl in the midst of the chaos. Justin Chon directed and stars in "Gook" alongside Simone Baker, David So, Sang Chon, Curtiss Cook Jr. and Ben Munoz. The film holds a "94% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle'"Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle."New Line CinemaWatch "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" on Netflix.A buddy-comedy starring John Cho and Kal Penn, "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" is about two friends who go on a bumpy adventure to satisfy their munchies for White Castle. The film balances stoner humor and hijinks with nods to the pressures Asian Americans face, from workplace stress to heavy parental expectations. More than anything, this movie makes the list because it's a rarity to find two Asian leads in a stoner comedy film that subverts racial stereotypes, especially during the time of its release. It holds a "74% Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Minari'A24Watch "Minari" on Showtime."Minari" details the struggles of the Yi family, a Korean immigrant family trying to succeed in rural Arkansas in the 1980s. Steven Yeun stars as Jacob Yi, a married father of two who tirelessly works alongside his wife Monica (Han Ye-ri) to make a living for their family by growing produce. The film is semi-autobiographical, written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung based on his own rural upbringing. "Minari" holds a "98% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Moana'Walt Disney Animation StudiosWatch "Moana" on Disney Plus.Set in the fictional island of Motunui, "Moana" is an animated Disney film based on the culture and myths of various Polynesian islands. We follow Moana, the free-spirited daughter of the village chief, who embarks on a journey to restore balance to the decaying nature around her. The film stars a majority Polynesian cast including Auli'i Cravalho (Hawaiian), Dwayne Johnson (Samoan), Rachel House (Maori), Temuera Morrison (Maori), and Jermaine Clement (Maori). "Moana" is rated "95% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings'"Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" will be available to stream November 12 on Disney Plus.Marvel StudiosWatch "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" on Disney Plus.The first Asian-American Marvel hero to enter the cinematic universe, Shang-Chi is a gifted martial artist and son of Xu Wenwu, the owner of the all-powerful 10 rings. The movie follows Shang-Chi, known as Shaun by his American friends, as he's forced to confront his tumultuous past while protecting those he loves. Simu Liu stars as our charismatic hero, along with Awkwafina, Meng'er Zhang, and Hong Kong acting legend Tony Leung. The movie is rated "91% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Big Sick'LionsgateWatch "The Big Sick" on Amazon Prime Video.Co-written by and starring Kumail Nanjiani, "The Big Sick" follows an interethnic couple who must tackle their cultural differences when illness threatens one of their lives. The romantic comedy follows Kumail, a Pakistani-American comedian, who kindles a relationship with Emily, a white psychology student, despite his parents' plans for arranging his marriage. The movie explores the dilemma of Asian Americans like Kumail who must balance personal wants with parental expectations, while hoping to achieve a middle ground. "The Big Sick" holds a "98% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Farewell'A24Watch "The Farewell" on Showtime."The Farewell" is a tear-jerking drama that follows Billi, a Chinese-American New Yorker who travels to China with her family to say goodbye to her terminal grandmother — who does not know she's dying. The film illustrates the East versus West dilemma that Asian Americans are often forced to face: Billi desperately wants to tell her grandmother the truth, while the rest of her family adheres to the collectivist mentality that they should bear the burden without inconveniencing her. "The Farewell" stars Awkwafina, Tzi Mai, Diana Lin, and Zhao Shu-Zhen; it holds a "97% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Joy Luck Club'"The Joy Luck Club."Buena Vista PicturesWatch "The Joy Luck Club" on Amazon Prime Video."The Joy Luck Club" is an instrumental piece of Asian-American cinema, and one of the first films to star a majority Chinese cast in a modern setting. Based on a book, the movie explores the relationships between four Chinese-American women and their immigrant mothers through the regular mahjong meetings they hold. Directed by Wayne Wang, "The Joy Luck Club" stars Tsai Chin, France Nuyen, Lisa Lu, Kieu Chinh, Rosalind Chao, Lauren Tom, Tamlyn Tomita, and Ming-Na Wen. It holds an "86% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Namesake'Fox Searchlight PicturesWatch "The Namesake" on Amazon Prime Video.Based on the novel of the same name by Jhumpa Lahiri, "The Namesake" follows the struggles of East Indian immigrants Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli, and their two children. Nikhil "Gogol" Ganguli (Kal Penn) is a young man caught between two cultures, often finding himself in disagreement with his parents' traditions. The film illustrates how first-generation Asian Americans can often feel disconnected from their own heritage, while being ostracized by the culture they live in. "The Namesake" is rated "85% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Paper Tigers'Well Go USA EntertainmentWatch "The Paper Tigers" on Netflix."The Paper Tigers" stars Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, and Mykel Shannon Jenkins and three has-been kung fu prodigies who are brought back into the world of martial arts when their master suspiciously dies. Directed by Bao Tran, the film is inspired by his personal experience along with those of the producers. It's a fresh take on the martial arts genre with a more diverse cast than other kung fu movies. "The Paper Tigers" is rated "98% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'The Wedding Banquet'MubiWatch "The Wedding Banquet" on Pluto TV. Directed by Ang Lee, "The Wedding Banquet" stars Winston Chao as a bisexual Taiwanese immigrant who marries a Chinese immigrant in need of a green card in order to placate his parents and to hide his gay partner. Things fall apart when his parents fly to the States to plan his extravagant wedding. The romantic comedy is not only one of few films to star Asian-American actors in the 1990s, it's also one of the few to handle LGBTQ relationships without playing into stereotypes. "The Wedding Banquet" is rated "97% Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'To Be Takei'George Takei attends the Los Angeles Premiere of Focus Features' "Blue Bayou" at DGA Theater Complex on September 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.Rodin Eckenroth/Getty ImagesRent or buy "To Be Takei" on Amazon, Apple TV, or Vudu. This documentary details the career and struggles of Japanese-American acting legend and LGBTQ activist, George Takei. The "Star Trek" actor speaks to his upbringing in US internment camps and the upward climb for an Asian-American actor early on in his career. "To Be Takei" also explores his works as an activist, and his experience as a gay man in Hollywood. The film is directed by Jennifer M. Kroot and is rated "90% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.'Turning Red'Disney/PixarWatch "Turning Red" on Disney Plus.Though the events of "Turning Red" take place in Toronto, Canada, the Pixar film colorfully illustrates the internal conflict a lot of young Asian Americans face. The movie follows Mei Lee, a Chinese-Canadian teenager who must balance pleasing her micromanaging mother (that she loves) with having fun with her friends. Also, she has a habit of turning into a giant red panda when she's emotional. The movie stars Rosalie Chiang, Sandra Oh, Ava Morse, Hyein Park, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan; it holds a "94% Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.'Yellow Rose'Yellow Rose FilmWatch "Yellow Rose" on Starz."Yellow Rose" is the tumultuous story of a Filipina illegal immigrant in Texas who dreams of being a country music star. Eva Noblezada plays Rose, who yearns to leave her small town to pursue a career in country music, but is held back by love for her family. The movie is directed and co-written by Diane Paragas, and stars Princess Punzalan and Lea Salonga alongside Noblezada. "Yellow Rose" is rated "87% Certified Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 27th, 2022

Wall Street thinks the only thing that will save the stock market is a "Fed pause" — but 3 things would need to happen first for the central bank to stop tightening

"Until the Fed is less hawkish and oil breaks down, we'll stay with our 10:3 ratio of defensive value and selected growth," Stifel said. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.Xinhua/Liu Jie via Getty ImagesThe stock market won't find its bottom until the Federal Reserve pauses its current tightening cycle, the consensus on Wall Street seems to be.For the Fed to pause hiking interest rates, it needs to see lower gas prices, inflation, and GDP growth, according to Stifel.Stocks will bottom "when the Federal Reserve signals that it feels inflation pressures have started to ease," DataTrek said.The ongoing decline in the stock market is likely to last for as long as the Federal Reserve continues its current tightening cycle, according to notes from Stifel and DataTrek Research.The Fed began unwinding its pandemic-related stimulus in March, when it hiked rates for the first time since 2018. It continued the process by raising them another 50 basis points earlier this month, and signaled that it plans to begin reducing its $9 trillion balance sheet starting next week.The ongoing tightening cycle, which is expected to include at least two more 50-basis-point rate hikes over this summer, is likely the biggest headwind for stocks as they try to rally from their current bear market depths. The Nasdaq 100 is down about 30% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is down nearly 20% over the same time period.But for the Fed to slow down or pause its quantitative tightening cycle, it would need to see three main criteria, according to Stifel: lower gas prices, lower inflation, and lower GDP growth. In other words, bad news may be good news for investors and the stock market. Stifel expects some of those factors to materialize in the fourth quarter of this year, which could set stocks up for a rally into year-end.There are inklings that the stock market sell-off and swift interest rate hikes are already taking a toll on the economy. New home sales fell 17% in April as mortgage rates spiked above 5%, layoffs are starting to pick up, and the so-called wealth effect could lead to reduced spending as consumers check on the balance of their retirement accounts.What separates the current market decline from others is that the Fed likely welcomes the ongoing stock sell-off as a tool to fight inflation, according to DataTrek."Lower stock prices tell companies to stop hiring so aggressively and feeding wage inflation. They also create a reverse wealth effect, which should curtail consumer spending. The Fed also knows that the S&P 500 is still 15% above its February 2020 pre-pandemic peak of 3,386. Long term holders of US equities still have reasonable gains," DataTrek co-founder Nicholas Colas said. But for now, as long as the Fed sticks with its tightening cycle, the playbook for investors is to own more value stocks relative to growth, according to Stifel."Until the Fed is less hawkish and oil breaks down, we'll stay with our 10:3 ratio of defensive value and selected growth," Stifel's Barry Bannister said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

Whether We"re At The Bottom Or Not, Read This Before Your Next Trade

This pullback has been extremely difficult, but stock valuations are now at their lowest level in over two years. Kevin Matras will help you prepare for the inevitable rebound by putting the probability of success in your favor. Stocks got off to a rough start this year. And they are still struggling.40-year high inflation, rising interest rates, the war on Ukraine, which sent already high energy prices even higher, has taken its toll on the market.Pullbacks and corrections are common. In fact, stocks usually pull back about -5% roughly 3-4 times per year, while the market typically corrects -10% on average of once a year.A pullback is defined as a decline between -5% and -9.99%, while corrections are defined as declines between -10% and -19.99%.All of the major indexes have fallen into correction territory. Actually, the S&P briefly slipped into bear market territory (which is defined as a decline of -20% or more), on Friday, intraday, before escaping by the close. But the Nasdaq breached bear market territory back in March and is still in it.What’s roiling the market right now is the fear of a recession. Some think we may already be in one.While bear markets typically precede recessions, they don’t always do.True, GDP was down -1.4% in Q1, so we’re technically halfway there. But the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s GDP Now forecast has Q2 GDP coming in at 2.4%.And for the record, last quarter’s Q1 contraction actually showed lots of positives in the economy with consumer spending up 2.7% q/q, which was a faster growth rate than the previous quarter’s 2.5%; business investment was up 9.2%; residential investment was up 2.1%; and final sales to private domestic purchasers were up 3.7% vs. last quarter’s 2.6%. (What tanked Q1 GDP numbers was lower government spending, lower exports, and lower inventories, as businesses built up supplies very slowly, in spite of surging demand.)So, the prospect of 2 quarters in a row of negative GPD does not look like it’s in the cards for now.Moreover, for comparison purposes, the S&P was down by nearly -20% at its worst so far. But during the flash crash of 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic when everybody thought the world was coming to an end, the S&P plunged -33.9%. And due to the economic lockdown, we actually saw a real recession of 2 quarters in a row of negative GDP with Q1 down by -5.1% and Q2 down by -31.2%.That was real economic carnage. And that’s why stocks tanked.We aren’t anywhere near anything like that.Plus, it should be noted that over the last 50 years, there’s never been a recession (aside from 2020’s pandemic-induced plunge), when the Fed Funds rate was under 4%.And with the Fed pegging rates at 1.9% by the end of this year, and 2.8% next year, with no further rate hikes in 2024, we’ll still be a long way from 4%.And that’s why talk of a recession looks to be premature. And why the current sell-off looks to be overdone.Now, as the John Maynard Keynes saying goes, the “markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.”So, one can’t dismiss the possibility of going down even further.But the current sell-off has pushed valuations down to the lowest level in more than 2 years (since April 2020 during the pandemic).And whether the lows are already in, or whether they’ve yet to be seen, stocks are trading at a bargain. And given their growth prospects, if they end up going even lower, the bargains look to only get better.So, now is the time to start planning for the next leg up. And picking up stocks at prices you only wished you could have gotten into before.But before you make your next trade, please read this first to learn how to put the probabilities of success in your favor.Knowledge Is Power We’ve all heard the old adage, ‘knowledge is power.’It’s a great saying because it’s true.And that saying couldn’t be truer than when it comes to investing.Take a look at your last big loser for example. After analyzing what went wrong, you soon discover some piece of information that ‘had you known beforehand, you never would have gotten into it in the first place.’I’m not talking about things that are unknowable, like inside information or surprise announcements that can catch even the most professional of professionals off guard.I’m talking about things that you could have known about or SHOULD have known about before you got in.Did You Know?...• Did you know that roughly half of a stock's price movement can be attributed to the group that it’s in?• Did you also know that oftentimes a mediocre stock in a top performing group will outperform a ‘great’ stock in a poor performing group?• And did you know that the top 50% of Zacks Ranked Industries outperforms the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1?• And did you also know that the top 10% of industries outperform the most?More . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Saturday Deadline: Claim your Free Copy of Finding #1 StocksOne single idea changed Kevin Matras' life as an investor, enabling him to tap into the greatest force driving stock prices. In Finding #1 Stocks, Kevin reveals his top stock-picking secrets and strategies based on this powerful idea. Now you can claim a free copy of the 300-page hardcover book.In 2021 - while the market climbed +28.8% - these strategies actually produced gains up to +48.2%, +67.6%, and even +95.3%.¹You can take full advantage of them without attending a single class or seminar, in a lot less time than you think. Opportunity ends Saturday, May 21.Get your free book now >>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Was your last loser in one of the top industries or in one of the bottom industries?If it was in one of the bottom industries, you should have known to not take a chance on something with a reduced probability of success.That’s what is meant by ‘knowledge is power.’ Knowable things that you need to know.That’s not to say that stocks in crummy industries won’t go up -- they do. And that’s not to say that stocks in good industries won’t go down -- because they do too.But more stocks go up in the top industries, and more stocks go down in the bottom industries.And since there are over 10,000 stocks out there to pick and choose from, why settle for one with a reduced chance of making any money?Did You Know?...• Did you know that stocks with ‘just’ double-digit growth rates typically outperform stocks with triple-digit growth rates?• Did you also know that stocks with crazy high growth rates test nearly as poorly as those with the lowest growth rates?Did your last loser have a spectacular growth rate?If so, and it got crushed, would you have picked it if you knew that stocks with the highest growth rates have spotty track records?It seems logical to think that the companies with the highest growth rates would do the best. But that doesn’t always turn out to be the case.One explanation for this is that sky high growth rates are unsustainable. And the moment a more normal (albeit still good) growth rate emerges, the stock gets a dose of reality as well.For example, a company earning 1 cent a share that is now expected to earn 6 cents, has a 500% growth rate. But, if it receives a downward estimate revision to 5 cents, that’s a significant drop. Even though it still has a 400% growth rate, the estimates were just reduced by -16.7% and the price is likely to follow.If you’ve ever wondered how a stock with a triple-digit growth rate could possibly go down -- that’s how.Instead, I have found that comparing a stock to the median growth rate for its industry is the best way to find solid outperformers with a lesser chance to disappoint. And focusing on companies with growth rates above the median, but less than 50%, has produced some of the best results.Did You Know?...• Did you know that stocks receiving broker rating upgrades have historically outperformed those with no rating change by more than 1.5 times? And did you know they outperformed stocks receiving downgrades by more than 10 x as much? The next time one of your stocks is upgraded or downgraded, be sure to remember these statistics so you know how the odds stack up and whether they’re for you or against you.• Did you know that stocks with a Price to Sales ratio of less than 1 have produced significantly superior results over companies with a Price to Sales ratio greater than 1? And did you know that those with a Price to Sales ratio of greater than 4 have typically been shown to lose money? That doesn’t mean that all stocks with a P/S ratio of less than one will go up, and those over four will go down, but you can greatly increase your odds of success by following these valuations.• Did you know that the Zacks Rank is one of the best rating systems out there? And did you know that stocks with a Zacks Rank #1 Strong Buy have beaten the market in 28 of the last 34 years, with an average annual return of 25% per year? That’s more than 2 x the returns of the S&P with an 82% annual win ratio. And when doing this year after year, that can add up to a lot more than just two times the returns.• Did you know that two simple filters added to the Zacks Rank #1 stocks significantly increases its returns? What if you did? We have a screen that utilizes these two additional items to narrow that list down to 5 high probability stocks per week. Over the last 22 years (2000 thru 2021), using a 1-week rebalance, it’s produced an average annual return of 51.2%, which is 6.8 x the market. That screen is aptly called the Filtered Zacks Rank 5 screen.Do you know how well your stock picking strategies have performed?Whether good or bad -- do you know why?Do you know if your favorite item to pick stocks with is helping you or hurting you?If not, you should.Beat The Market On Your Next Trade  With stocks poised for another historic move, there's a simple way to add a big performance advantage for stock picking success. It's called the Zacks Method for Trading: Home Study Course.With this fun, interactive online program, you can master the Zacks Rank in your own home and at your own pace. You don’t have to attend a single class or seminar.Zacks Method for Trading covers the investment ideas I just shared and guides you to better trading step by step, plus so much more.You'll quickly see how to get the most out of the proven system that has more than doubled the market for over three decades. Discover what kind of trader you are, how to find stocks with the highest probability of success, and how to trade them so you can consistently beat the market no matter where stock prices are headed.You’ll get the formulas behind our top-performing strategies suited for a variety of different trading styles.The best of these strategies actually produced gains up to +48.2%, +67.6%, and even +95.3% in 2021.¹The course will also help you create and test your own stock-picking strategies.Today is the perfect time to get in. I'm giving participants free hardbound copies of my book, Finding #1 Stocks, a $49.95 value. Its 300 pages unfold virtually every trading secret I’ve learned over the last 25 years to beat the market.Please note: Copies of the book are limited and your opportunity to get one free ends midnight Saturday, May 21, unless we run out of books first. If you're interested, I encourage you to check this out now.Find out more about Zacks Home Study Course >>Thanks and good trading,KevinZacks Executive VP Kevin Matras is responsible for all our trading and investing services. He developed many of our most powerful market-beating strategies and directs the Zacks Method for Trading: Home Study Course. ¹ The results listed above are not (or may not be) representative of the performance of all strategies developed by Zacks Investment Research. Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 21st, 2022

Stock Market News for May 20, 2022

U.S. stocks gave up early gains in a volatile trading session to end lower on Thursday, as investors feared that the Fed???s aggressive stance to hike rates in order to fight surging inflation could push the economy into recession. U.S. stocks gave up early gains in a volatile trading session to end lower on Thursday, as investors feared that the Fed’s aggressive stance to hike rates in order to fight surging inflation could push the economy into recession. This saw the S&P 500 inching closer to a bear market. All the three major indexes ended in negative territory.How Did The Benchmarks Perform?The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) slid 0.8% or 236.94 points to finish at 31,253.13 points. The blue-chip index at one point rose more than 300 points only to give up all its gains and finish in the red.The S&P 500 fell 0.6% or 22.89 points to close at 3,900.79 points, after swinging between small gains and losses almost throughout the day. Consumer staples, industrials and tech stocks were the biggest losers.  The Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR (XLP) declined 1.8%, while the Industrials Select Sector SPDR (XLI) fell 0.9%. The Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK) declined 1.1%. Eight of the 11 sectors of the benchmark index ended in negative territory.The tech-heavy Nasdaq slipped 0.3% or 29.66 points to end at 11,388.50 points.The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) was down 5.20% to 29.35. Advancers outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by a 1.15-to-1 ratio. On Nasdaq, a 1.31-to-1 ratio favored advancing issues. A total of 12.7 billion shares were traded on Thursday, lower than the last 20-session average of 13.4 billion.Concerns Over Economic Growth Worry InvestorsThe S&P 500 inched closer to a bear market, while the Dow and the Nasdaq gave up all their gains on Thursday in a volatile trading session. Stocks have been suffering for a while now, with all the major indexes closing in the red for the past few weeks.This week too seems to be no different. On Thursday, all the major indexes extended their weekly losses. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have now lost over 3% this week, while the Dow is down 2.9%. Investors continued to dump equities on Thursday on fears that the Fed’s move toward steep rate hikes to combat surging inflation could end up pushing the economy into recession.High-growth stocks were once again the biggest casualties Shares of Cisco Systems, Inc. CSCO plummeted 13.7% after the company missed revenue estimates in the last reported quarter. Cisco Systems reported third-quarter fiscal 2022 revenues of $12.84 billion, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $13.33 billion. Cisco has a Zacks Rank #3 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Shares of Apple Inc. AAPL also declined 2.5%, while shares of Broadcom Inc. AVGO fell 4.7%.Rising rates have been worrying investors for quite some time now, which has been taking a toll on stocks. Besides, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war along with a slowdown in China’s economy has further added to their worries. Moreover, several major retailers reporting quarterly results have cited rising fuel costs and a supply chain crisis as reasons behind shrinking profits. These have been further weighing on stocks.Economic DataThe Labor Department said on Thursday that initial jobless claims rose to 218,000, increasing 21,000 for the week ending May 14. This is the highest level since January. The four-week moving average also increased to 199,500, an increase of 8,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 191,250.Continuing claims came in at 1,317,000, decreasing 25,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the lowest level since December 1969. The previous week's numbers were revised down by 1,000 from 1,343,000 to 1,342,000. The 4-week moving average came in at 1,362,250, a decrease of 22,500 from the previous week's revised average.In other economic data, the National Association of Realtors said existing-home sales declined 2.4% in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.61 million units against expectations of 5.64 million units. On a year-over-year basis, home sales declined 5.9%. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO): Free Stock Analysis Report Broadcom Inc. (AVGO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 20th, 2022

Futures Slide After Dismal Target Earnings, Plunging Mortgage Apps

Futures Slide After Dismal Target Earnings, Plunging Mortgage Apps The brief bear market rally in US stocks was set to end with a whimper following Tuesday’s strong dead cat bounce, after Fed Chair Jerome Powell gave his most hawkish remarks to date. Hope that China lockdowns would soon end turned to skepticism, as the yuan slumped after its biggest gain since October, while dismal guidance from Target - which warned that inflation was crushing margins - confirmed what Walmart said yesterday, namely that the US consumer is running on fumes. An 11% plunge in the latest weekly mortgage applications only reaffirmed that a hard-landing is inevitable and just a matter of time. Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 1%, while S&P 500 futures slipped 0.7% after US stocks surged on Tuesday. Treasury yields hit session highs, rising back to 3.0%, and the dollar snapped a three-day losing streak. Bitcoin got hammered again, sliding back under $30k. Among the biggest premarket movers, Target crashed 22% with Vital Knowledge calling its margin shortfall “more dramatic” than what Walmart posted on Tuesday, citing industry-wide macro problems. The retailer reduced its full-year forecast on operating income margin to about 6% of sales this year. It also reported first-quarter adjusted earnings per share that came in below expectations. Food and gas inflation is drawing money away from discretionary and general merchandise spending, forcing “aggressive” discounting to clear out product in the latter category, Vital’s Adam Crisafulli said in a note. Elsewhere in US premarket trading, Tesla slipped 1% after its price target was cut at Piper Sandler. Meanwhile, Twitter Inc. also traded slightly lower even as the social media platform’s board said it plans to enforce its $44 billion agreement to be bought by Elon Musk. Here are some other notable premarket movers: US tech hardware stocks may be in focus as Jefferies Group LLC strategists have turned bullish on the likes of IBM (IBM US), Cisco Systems (CSCO US) and Microchip Technology (MCHP US) after this year’s steep declines for US information technology shares National CineMedia (NCMI US) shares jump as much as 33% in US premarket trading after AMC Entertainment (AMC US) reported a 6.8% stake in the cinema advertising company. AMC shares gain 1.2% in premarket trading. DLocal Ltd. (DLO US) shares gain as much as 15% in US premarket trading after the Uruguay-based payment platform posted 1Q revenue that doubled from the year-earlier period and topped expectations. Doximity (DOCS US) shares fall as much as 19% in US premarket trading, after the online healthcare platform provider’s forecast for 1Q revenue missed the average analyst estimate, prompting analysts to slash their price targets on the stock. Penn National (PENN US) may be active on Wednesday as Jefferies raised the recommendation to buy from hold. The company’s shares rose 4% in premarket trading. On Tuesday, Powell said the Fed will keep raising interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat, which initially pushed stocks lower but then was faded as risk closed near session highs as nothing Powell said was actually new. The S&P 500 is emerging from the longest weekly slump since 2011 as investors have been gripped by fears of hawkish monetary policy and surging inflation driving the economy into a recession. As also discussed yesterday, Bank of America’s survey published yesterday showed that fund managers are the most underweight equities since May 2020 and are piling into cash. “This is one of the most challenging markets I have been in in my career,” Henry Peabody, fixed income portfolio manager at MFS Investment Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “I suspect at a certain point of time we’re going to have the liquidity of the markets challenged. They really haven’t been thus far.” As the Fed embarks on interest-rate hikes, frothy growth shares, including the tech sector, have suffered in particular as higher rates mean a bigger discount for the present value of future profits. This marks a major shift in investor outlook after tech stocks had been some of the market’s best performers for years. “Investor sentiment and confidence remain shaky, and as a result, we are likely to see volatile and choppy markets until we get further clarity on the 3Rs — rates, recession, and risk,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management, wrote in a note. Rebounds in risk sentiment are proving fragile amid tightening monetary settings, Russia’s war in Ukraine and China’s Covid lockdowns. In what’s seen as his most hawkish remarks to date, Powell said that the US central bank will raise interest rates until there is “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation is in retreat. “We’ll have this kind of volatility as people jump in and look at opportunities to buy as markets decline,” Shana Sissel, director of investments at Cope Corrales, said on Bloomberg Television, referring to the Wall Street bounce. The Fed is going to struggle to achieve a soft economic landing, she added. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was little changed, with energy stocks outperforming. Spain's IBEX outperformed, adding 0.5%. ABN Amro slumped almost 10% after the Dutch lender reported first-quarter results burdened by rising costs.  The Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources sub-index drops, underperforming other sectors in the broader regional benchmark on Wednesday as base metals ended a three-day rebound and as iron ore declined. Base metals paused a recovery from this year’s lows, with copper and aluminum stalling after hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Iron ore futures declined as investors weighed China’s faltering economy and the prospect of support measures amid a mixed outlook for steel demand. Basic resources index -0.6%, halting three days of gains; broader benchmark little changed. Siemens Gamesa jumped as much as 15% as Siemens Energy weighs a bid for the shares of the troubled Spanish wind-turbine maker it doesn’t already own. Here are the most notable movers: European oil and gas stocks rise amid higher crude prices and broker upgrades, while renewables rallied after Siemens Energy confirmed it was considering a buyout offer for Siemens Gamesa. Shell gains as much as 1.8%, BP +1.8%, Equinor +3.4%, Gamesa +15%, Vestas +7.7% Air France-KLM shares rise as much as 7.5% in Paris on news that container line CMA CGM intends to take a stake of up to 9% in the French carrier following the signing of a long-term strategic partnership in the air cargo market. Rockwool shares gain as much as 8.3%, most since Feb. 15, as the company boosts its sales in local currencies forecast for the full year. British Land shares rise as much as 4.2%, as the company’s results show a strong recovery and a good performance in the UK landlord’s portfolio, analysts say. Vistry shares climb as much as 8% with analysts saying the UK homebuilder’s trading update looks positive, particularly the robust momentum in its sales rate. The Stoxx Europe 600 Basic Resources sub-index drops, underperforming other sectors in the broader regional benchmark on Wednesday as base metals ended a three-day rebound and as iron ore declined. Rio Tinto slips as much as 1.5%, Antofagasta -2.7%, Anglo American -1.5% Prosus shares fall as much as 4.2% and Naspers sinks as much as 6.7% after Tencent reported first- quarter revenue and net income that both missed analyst expectations. TUI shares drop as much as 13% in London after the firm announced an equity raise in order to repay a chunk of government aid that helped see it through the coronavirus crisis. ABN Amro shares declined as much as 11% after the lender reported 1Q earnings that showed higher costs related to money laundering. Experian shares fall as much as 5.1% after the consumer-credit reporting company reported full-year results, with Citi saying organic growth missed consensus. Meanwhile, UK inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister 40 years ago, adding to pressure for action from the government and central bank. The pound weakened and gilt yields fell as traders speculated that the Bank of England will struggle to rein in inflation and avoid a recession. Elsewhere, the Biden administration is poised to fully block Russia’s ability to pay US bondholders after a deadline expires next week, a move that could bring Moscow closer to a default. Sri Lanka, meantime, is on the brink of reneging on $12.6 billion of overseas bonds, a warning sign to investors in other developing nations that surging inflation is set to take a painful toll. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced for a fourth session as strong US economic data allayed worries about the global growth outlook, while Chinese equities slipped. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index rose as much as 1%, extending its rebound from an almost two-year low reached last Thursday. Materials shares led the gains, with Australia’s BHP Group climbing 3.2%. Benchmarks in most markets were in the black, with Indonesia, Taiwan and Singapore chalking up gains of at least 1%.  Upbeat retail sales and industrial production data from the US underpinned sentiment, so much so that investors barely reacted to hawkish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. He indicated that policy makers won’t hesitate to raise interest rates beyond neutral levels to contain inflation. Equities in China bucked the trend. Property shares paced the drop after data showed the decline in China’s new home prices accelerated in April, while tech shares also lost steam ahead of Tencent’s earnings which missed expectations and slumped. Local investors may be underwhelmed by a lack of details from Chinese Vice Premier Liu He’s fresh vow to support tech firms. Liu said the government will support the development of digital economy companies and their public listings, in remarks reported by state media after a symposium with the heads of some the nation’s largest private firms. Lee Chiwoong, chief economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, said Liu’s comments point to an easing of the crackdown on internet firms. “The Chinese government is stepping up measures to support the economy following the slowdown,” Lee said.  “As bottlenecks stemming from lockdowns in Shanghai ease, that impact will gradually show up in the economy,” Lee added. “We should be able to clearly see an economic recovery in the second half of this year.” Japanese equities gained as investors assessed strong US economic data and comments by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on the outlook for interest rate hikes.  The Topix Index rose 1% to close at 1,884.69. Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.9% to 26,911.20. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 2.9%. Out of 2,172 shares in the index, 1,345 rose and 749 fell, while 78 were unchanged. Chinese stocks erased losses intraday after earlier disappointment over a much-anticipated meeting between Vice Premier Liu He and some of the nation’s tech giants. Overnight, data showed US retail sales grew at a solid pace in April, while factory production rose at a solid pace for a third month. Australia's stocks also gained, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 1% to close at 7,182.70, extending its winning streak to a fourth day. Miners contributed the most to its advance. All sectors gained, except for consumer staples and financials. Eagers slumped after saying that its 1H profit will be lower than it was a year ago and flagged reduced new vehicle deliveries. Wage data was also in focus. Australian wages advanced at less than half the pace of consumer-price gains in the first three months of the year, reinforcing the RBA’s signal that it will stick to quarter-point hikes.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 11,258.28 India’s benchmark equities index fell, snapping two sessions of gains, weighed by declines in engineering company Larsen & Toubro Ltd.    The S&P BSE Sensex dropped 0.2% to close at 54,208.53 in Mumbai, after rising as much as 0.9% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.1% to 16,240.30.  Larsen & Toubro slipped 2% and was the biggest drag on the Sensex, which saw 17 of its 30 member stocks decline. Sixteen of 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. dropped, led by a gauge of realty shares.   State-run Life Insurance Corporation, which debuted Tuesday, rose 0.1% to 876 rupees, still below the issue price of 949 rupees. In earnings, of the 34 Nifty 50 firms that have announced results so far, 20 have either met or exceeded analyst estimates, while 14 have missed. Consumer goods company ITC Ltd. is scheduled to announce results on Wednesday. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an early loss and the greenback advanced versus all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. The pound was the worst G-10 performer, tracking Gilt yields lower and paring the previous day’s gains. A widely expected jump in UK inflation prompted investors to pare back bets on BOE rate hikes. Money markets are pricing around 120bps of BOE rate hikes by December, down from 130bps from the previous day. UK inflation rose to its highest level since Margaret Thatcher was prime minister 40 years ago, adding to pressure for action from the government and central bank. Consumer prices surged 9% in the year through April. The euro fell for the first day in four and weakened beyond $1.05. The Bund curve has twist flattened as traders bet on a faster pace of ECB tightening after Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn said there’s broad agreement among members of the Governing Council that policy rates should exit sub-zero terrain “relatively quickly.” That’s to prevent inflation expectations from becoming de- anchored, he said. The Aussie swung between gains and losses while Australia’s bonds trimmed earlier declines after a report showed wage growth last quarter was less than economists forecast. The wage price index climbed an annual 2.4% last quarter, trailing economists’ expectations and coming in well below headline inflation of 5.1%. The yen rose as US yields declined amid fragile risk sentiment. Japanese government bonds were mixed, with a decent five-year auction lending support while an overnight rise in global yields weighed on super-long maturities. In rates, Treasuries were under pressure, though most benchmark yields remained within 1bp of Tuesday’s closing levels. 10-year yields rose just shy of 3.00%, higher by less than 1bp with comparable bund yield +3.3bp and UK 10-year flat. TSY futures erased gains amid a series of block trades in 5- and 10-year note contracts starting at 5:20am ET, apparently selling flow. According to Bloomberg, six 5-year block trades and two 10-year block trades -- all 5,000 lots -- have printed since 5:20am, apparently seller-initiated as cash yields concurrently rebounded from near session lows. Wednesday’s $17b 20-year new-issue auction at 1pm ET may also weigh on the market. 20-year bond auction is this week’s only nominal coupon sale; WI yield ~3.37% exceeds all 20-year auction stops since then tenor was reintroduced in 2020, is ~27.5bp cheaper than last month’s result. Elsewhere, the UK yield curve bull-steepened with the short end richening ~5bps, while pound falls after inflation surged to a four-decade high. Money markets pare BOE rate-hike wagers. Bund curve bear-flattens while money markets bet on a faster pace of ECB tightening after ECB’s Rehn said the central bank needs to move quickly from negative rates. In commodities, WTI trades within Tuesday’s range, adding 1.6% to around $114. Most base metals are in the red; LME tin falls 1.5%, underperforming peers, LME aluminum outperforms, adding 1%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,815/oz. Looking to the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for April, along with US data on housing starts and building permits for the same month. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker and the ECB’s Muller. Earnings releases include Cisco, Lowe’s, Target and TJX. Finally, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will be meeting in Germany. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.5% to 4,065.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.2% to 438.11 MXAP up 0.8% to 164.43 MXAPJ up 0.7% to 539.81 Nikkei up 0.9% to 26,911.20 Topix up 1.0% to 1,884.69 Hang Seng Index up 0.2% to 20,644.28 Shanghai Composite down 0.2% to 3,085.98 Sensex up 0.3% to 54,469.39 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 7,182.66 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,625.98 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.03% Euro down 0.4% to $1.0505 Brent Futures up 1.5% to $113.66/bbl Gold spot down 0.0% to $1,815.04 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.33% to 103.70 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Sweden’s biggest pension company has begun buying government bonds amid a “paradigm shift” in the market that pushed yields to their highest level since 2018. The CIO views Treasuries as “quite attractive” after a prolonged period of razor-thin yields that forced the company into alternative and riskier asset classes to preserve returns across its $117 billion portfolio While outright China bulls may be hard to find, shifts in positioning at least point to improving sentiment. Bearish bets on stocks are being abandoned in Hong Kong, expectations for yuan volatility are falling, domestic equity traders have stopped unwinding leverage and foreigners have slowed their once-record exit from government bonds The EU is set to unveil a raft of measures ranging from boosting renewables and LNG imports to lowering energy demand in its quest to cut dependence on Russian supplies. The 195 billion-euro ($205 billion) plan due Wednesday will center on cutting red tape for wind and solar farms, paving the way for renewables to make up an increased target of 45% of its energy needs by 2030, according to draft documents seen by Bloomberg that are still subject to change A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed as the regional bourses only partially sustained the momentum from global peers. ASX 200 was led higher by outperformance in the mining and materials related sectors, while softer than expected wage price data reduced the prospects of a more aggressive RBA rate hike next month. Nikkei 225 briefly reclaimed the 27,000 level but retreated off its highs as participants digested GDP data which printed in negative territory, albeit at a narrower than feared contraction. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were subdued with large-cap tech stocks pressured in Hong Kong including despite beating earnings expectations and with Tencent bracing for the expected slowest revenue growth since its listing, while the mainland was hampered by the mixed COVID-19 situation as Shanghai registered a 4th consecutive day of zero transmissions outside of quarantine, although Beijing was said to lockdown some areas in its Fengtai district for 7 days. Top Asian News Shanghai authorities issued a new white list containing 864 financial institutions permitted to resume work, according to sources cited by Reuters. China, on May 20th, is to remove some COVID test requirements on travellers to China from the US, according to embassy. China's Foreign Ministry says the BRICS foreign ministers are to meet on May 19th. Goldman Sachs downgrades its 2022 China GDP growth forecast to 4.0% from 4.5%. European bourses are rangebound and relatively directionless, Euro Stoxx 50 U/C, taking impetus from a mixed APAC session which failed to sustain US upside. Stateside, futures are modestly softer and a firmer Wall St. close; ES -0.2%. Limited Fed speak due and near-term focus on retail earnings. Tencent (0700 HK) Q1 2022 (CNY): adj. net profit 25.5bln (exp. 26.4bln), Revenue 135.5bln (exp. 141bln). Lowe's Companies Inc (LOW) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 3.61 (exp. 3.22/3.23 GAAP), Revenue 23.70bln (exp. 23.76bln). SSS: Lowe's Companies: -4.0% (exp. -2.5%); Lowe's Companies (US): -3.8% (exp. -3.7%). -0.2% in the pre-market Top European News UK Chancellor Sunak is reportedly mulling bringing forward the 1p income tax cut to the basic rate by one year, according to iNews citing Treasury insiders. Other reports suggest that Sunak is putting plans together to raise the warm home discount by hundreds of GBP in July ahead of lowering taxes in autumn to assist with the cost of living crisis, according to The Times. EU is to offer the UK new concessions on the Northern Ireland protocol but has threatened a trade war if UK PM Johnson refuses to agree to a compromise, according to The Telegraph. In FX Sterling slides to the bottom of the major ranks as fractionally sub-forecast UK CPI dampens BoE rate hike expectations; Cable reverses from just over 1.2500 to sub-1.2400, EUR/GBP nearer 0.8500 after dip below 0.8400 only yesterday. Hawkish Fed chair Powell helps Buck bounce ahead of US housing data, DXY towards the upper end of 103.770-180 range. Aussie hampered by softer than expected wage metrics that might convince the RBA to refrain from 40bp hike in June, AUD/USD heavy on the 0.7000 handle. Yen relatively resilient in wake of Japanese GDP showing less contraction in Q1 than feared, USD/JPY closer to 129.00 than 129.50. Euro loses momentum irrespective of comments from ECB’s Rehn echoing Summer rate hike guidance as final Eurozone HICP is tweaked down, EUR/USD fades from 1.0550+ to test support around 1.0500. Loonie treads cautiously before Canadian inflation metrics as oil prices come off the boil, USD/CAD back above 1.2800 within 1.2795-1.2852 range. In Fixed Income Gilts sharply outperform as UK CPI falls just shy pf consensus and dampens BoE tightening expectations. 10 year UK bond rebounds towards 119.50 from sub-119.00 lows, while Bunds lag below 152.50 and T-note under 119-00. Record high cover for 2052 German auction and low retention sets high bar for upcoming 20 year US offering. Central Banks ECB's Rehn says June forecasts are seen near the adverse scenario from March, first rate increase will likely take place in the summer. Many colleagues back stance for quick moves. ECB's de Cos says the end of APP should be finalised early in Q3, first hike shortly afterwards. Further rises could be made in subsequent quarters of medium-term outlook remains around target; the build-up of price pressures in EZ in recent months raises the likelihood of second-round effects, which have not strongly materialised. In commodities WTI and Brent are modestly supported after yesterday's lower settlement; currently, firmer by just over USD 1.00/bbl. Focus has been on the narrowing WTI/Brent spread, particularly going into US driving season; see link below for ING's views. US Energy Inventory Data (bbls): Crude -2.4mln (exp. +1.4mln), Cushing -3.1mln, Gasoline -5.1mln (exp. -1.3mln), Distillates +1.1mln (exp. unchanged). Spot gold and silver are modestly firmer but capped by a firmer USD, yellow metal just shy of USD 1820/oz. US Event Calendar 07:00: May MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 2.0% 08:30: April Building Permits MoM, est. -3.0%, prior 0.4%, revised 0.3% 08:30: April Housing Starts MoM, est. -2.1%, prior 0.3% 08:30: April Building Permits, est. 1.81m, prior 1.87m, revised 1.87m 08:30: April Housing Starts, est. 1.76m, prior 1.79m DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Another reminder of my webinar replay from last week discussing our recession call for 2023 and an update on credit spreads. In it I said that while we have high conviction that HY spreads would be +850bp in H2 2023, the outlook over the next few weeks and months may actually be positive from this starting point. I would say I am nervous of that view but I still don't think that the real economic pain comes until deeper into 2023 when the lagged impact of an aggressive Fed starts to bite. Click here to view the webinar and to download the presentation. Good luck to Glasgow Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt in tonight's Europa League final. These are not teams that any would have expected to reach this final and I will watch with stress free divided loyalties. My father's family were all from the former and supported Rangers while the latter play at the fabulously named Deutsche Bank Park. So good luck to both. I suspect I'll be less stress free in 11 days' time when Liverpool are out for revenge against Real Madrid in the Champions League Final. At the moment I’m feeling nervously optimistic. Talking of which, investor optimism has returned to markets over the last 24 hours as more positive data releases raised hopes that the US economy might be more resilient in the near-term than many have feared. The economic concerns won't go away, but stronger-than-expected numbers on retail sales and industrial production helped the S&P 500 (+2.02%) close at its highest level in over a week. Remember monetary policy acts with a lag and it would be very unusual historically if the data rolled over imminently. By this time next year it will likely be a very different story. The higher yield momentum was reinforced by a Powell speech after Europe went home but there was a steady march of slightly hawkish central bank speakers through the day. Before we review things keep an eye out for UK CPI just after this goes to press. The headline rate is expected to be a huge 9.1%. Expect a lot of headlines reporting of 40 year highs. With regards to Powell, most in focus was his claim that policy rates would rise above neutral if that was required to tame inflation. While the sentiment was not necessarily new, his explicit comment that neutral rates are “not a stopping point” garnered focus, noting that the Fed was looking for “clear and convincing evidence” that inflation was subsiding. The rates market have already priced terminal policy rates above the Fed’s estimate of neutral, but a combination of the risk on, and stronger data meant that equities could go up alongside yields. Earlier in the day we got a smattering of communications from Fed regional Presidents, none of which registered as materially but it reinforced the direction of travel after a month to date where markets have repriced the Fed lower. Indeed, even resident hawk, St Louis Fed President Bullard, reiterated Powell’s message in that the Fed was on course for 50bp hikes at the upcoming meetings and said that “I think we have a good plan for now”. Sovereign bonds had already sold off significantly ahead of all that Fedspeak, aided by the broader risk-on tone yesterday, but continued drifting higher through the US session. Yields on 10yr Treasuries closed +10.4bps to a one-week high of 2.99%, driven by a +7.9bps rise in real yields to 0.24%. The moves were more pronounced at the front-end however, and the 2yr yield rose by a larger +13.1bps as investors priced in a more aggressive path of hikes over the next 12 months after data showed the economy was performing stronger than the consensus had anticipated. In terms of the headlines, retail sales were up by +0.9% in April (vs. +1.0% expected), but the growth in March was revised up to +1.4% (vs. +0.5% previously). Retail sales excluding autos and gas were up by +1.0% as well (vs. +0.7% expected), whilst the industrial production number was another that came in above expectations at +1.1% (vs. +0.5% expected). Europe also had a large move in yields, which followed comments by Dutch central bank Governor Knot who became the first member of the Governing Council to openly float the idea of a 50bp hike. Although he said that “my preference would be to raise our policy rate by a quarter of a percentage point”, he said that “bigger increases must not be excluded” if data were to show inflation “broadening further or accumulating”. So even though he’s one of the more hawkish members of the council, that’s still a significant milestone in that larger moves are being openly discussed, and echoes what we saw with the Fed at the turn of the year when the policy trajectory became increasingly aggressive. Market pricing reflected that shift yesterday, and for the first time overnight index swaps were pricing in that the ECB would hike by more than 100bps by their December meeting and thus catching up with the DB House View. That growing belief behind additional hikes led to a fresh selloff in sovereign bonds, with those on 10yr bunds (+10.9bps), OATs (+10.5bps) and BTPs (+11.7bps) all moving higher. The biggest moves were seen from gilts (+15.0bps) however, which followed data that pointed to an increasingly tight labour market in the UK, and overnight index swaps nearly doubled the probability of a 50bp rate hike from the BoE in June, with the odds moving from 17% on Monday to 33% yesterday. Over in equities, stronger risk appetite led to a significant rebound yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+2.02%) hitting a one-week high, whilst the NASDAQ (+2.76%) saw an even larger rebound in spite of the simultaneous rise in yields. Walmart (-11.38%) was by far the worst performer in the S&P, which came as it cut its earnings per share forecast, which it now expected to decrease by 1%, relative to previous guidance that expected it to rise by the mid single-digits. But that was the exception, and every sector except consumer staples moved higher on the day, with the more cyclical areas leading the advance. Over in Europe the STOXX 600 (+1.22%) posted a strong performance of its own, bringing its advance to more than +5% since its recent closing low just over a week ago. Overnight in Asia, performance in regional stock indices is diverging partly on the back of economic data. Japan’s Q1 GDP (-1.0%) contracted less than expected (-1.8%), lifting the Nikkei (+0.50%) this morning. In China, though, rising covid cases and waning optimism about government’s support of tech companies weighed on the Shanghai composite (-0.37%) and the Hang Seng (-0.66%). New home prices (-0.30%) in the country also slid for an eighth month in a row. This slight souring of sentiment has extended to S&P 500 futures (-0.23%) with the US 10y yield edging back lower by -2.2bps. Elsewhere, tensions over Brexit ratcheted up again yesterday after UK Foreign Secretary Truss announced plans to introduce legislation that would override parts of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Truss said that the UK’s preference “remains a negotiated solution with the EU” and that the bill would contain an “explicit power to give effect to a new, revised Protocol if we can reach an accommodation”, but that “the urgency of the situation means we can’t afford to delay any longer.” Unsurprisingly the EU did not react happily, and Commission Vice President Šefčovič said in a statement that if the UK moved ahead with the bill, then “the EU will need to respond with all measures at its disposal.” Staying on the UK, the latest employment data out yesterday pointed to an increasingly tight labour market, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.7% in the three months to March (vs. 3.8% expected), which is the lowest it’s been since 1974. Furthermore, the number of vacancies was larger than the total number of unemployed for the first time, and the more up-to-date estimate of payrolled employees in April saw an increase of +121k (vs. +51k expected). Elsewhere in Europe, the latest estimate of Euro Area GDP growth in Q1 showed a bigger than expected expansion of +0.3% (vs. +0.2% previously). Elsewhere the chances of a Russian sovereign debt default increased, following the Treasury department confirming a temporary waiver that allowed Russia to pay US creditors would expire on May 25. Meanwhile, the US is reportedly considering a tariff on Russian oil in conjunction with European allies, as the saga about banning imports to Europe drags on. To the day ahead now, and data releases include the UK and Canadian CPI readings for April, along with US data on housing starts and building permits for the same month. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker and the ECB’s Muller. Earnings releases include Cisco, Lowe’s, Target and TJX. Finally, G7 finance ministers and central bank governors will be meeting in Germany. Tyler Durden Wed, 05/18/2022 - 07:51.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 18th, 2022

Are Putin And Xi "Gray Champions"? Part 2

Are Putin And Xi 'Gray Champions'? Part 2 Authored by Jim Quinn via The Burning Platform blog, In Part 1 of this article I examined previous Fourth Turnings and the Gray Champions who won and lost, but made a difference in the course of history. Now I will try to peer through the fog of disinformation, lies, and false narratives to try and determine which Gray Champions will make a difference in this Fourth Turning. The U.S. and NATO are playing with fire by poking the bear. This is no longer a limited conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. In the early days of the conflict, there were constant talks between both sides, with the possibility of a negotiated resolution. The American Empire nixed those talks. The neo-cons, representing the interests of the military industrial complex uni-party, see an opportunity to further enrich themselves, while believing they can bleed and weaken Putin. But who is really being weakened in the long run? Putin’s military operation began on February 24. Oil was $93 a barrel. It is up 13% and despite economic sanctions, Russian oil revenue is higher, and the ruble is at a two year high versus the USD and Euro. Natural gas prices are up 69%. Diesel prices are up 89%. Gasoline prices are up 29%. Wheat prices are up 31%. The stock market is down 5% and at a one year low. As an exporter of oil, natural gas, and wheat, is Russia really suffering from these price increases, or are the citizens of the EU and U.S. bearing the brunt of the pain? Russians are paying $2.80 a gallon for gasoline, while Americans are paying $4.65 per gallon. Who’s winning this proxy war? Russian oil exports are up 50% in 2022. The Biden administration is amateur hour on steroids. The State Department and Defense Department are led by inept woke lightweights who are stumbling and bumbling our country into World War 3. They keep pushing Putin, attempting to instigate him into an action they can use as a basis for officially declaring war against Russia. Make no mistake about it, the U.S. is already at war with Russia and Putin knows it. Economic sanctions, even though they have backfired and hurt Europe and the U.S. far more than Russia, are an act of war. Providing the Ukraine with tactical information so they can target generals and naval ships is an act of war. Shipping high tech military weaponry, in addition to enriching U.S. arms makers, to the Ukraine is an act of war. Sending $54 billion, printed out of thin air by Powell and his cronies and exacerbating our already 40-year high inflation, to the corrupt Zelensky so he can buy U.S. arms, is an act of war. I wonder if the “Big Guy” will get his 10%. Calling for the overthrow of a world leader, who has 6,000 nuclear weapons at his disposal, is a reckless act of war. This isn’t a video game, where you get to start over if you make the wrong move. This game of Risk could end life on this planet as we know it if someone makes the wrong move. Fourth Turnings have a life of their own, with the generational juxtaposition driving events towards conflict rather than towards a negotiated resolution. The Prophet Generation leaders are sure of themselves, even when the facts argue against their plans. They will plunge forward, as their arrogance and self-absurdness convince them they are destined to achieve immortality in history books as the leader who changed or saved the world. We are in the midst of an era where events are being orchestrated by evil men whose agendas, while not totally coordinated, all coalesce around a future world of authoritarian domination by the few and passive subjugation by the many. It is clear Gates and Clinton are active conspirators in the Great Reset scheme being implemented by the billionaire global oligarchs. Trump is an enigma, as his rhetoric appears to be against these forces of evil, but his actions speak otherwise. His assessment and selection of key personnel, endorsement of candidates, and continued full throated support of the blood clot inducing Big Pharma experimental gene therapies that don’t keep you from catching or transmitting a low-risk flu, classifies him as either a clueless dupe or just controlled opposition, paid to keep half the masses distracted from their conspiracy to implement their Build Back Better New World Order. His actions in not doing everything in his power to free the January 6 hostages, rotting in government dungeons, passive support for Biden’s reckless Ukraine provocations, and endorsement of left wing lunatics like Oprah talk show host and Turkish citizen Mehmet Oz for Senate in a state where he doesn’t reside, prove his true colors. A Trump victory in the 2024 presidential election would ensure a chaotic whirlwind of domestic violence as a likely global conflict would already be underway. Is Putin the world’s last hope in derailing the WEF Great Reset agenda or is he just playing his part in enslaving the global population in squalor and debt within a techno-gulag dystopian surveillance federation, where you will own nothing and be happy while your overlords own everything and dole out your rations depending upon your level of subservience? Even though there have been tenuous links between Putin and the WEF globalist cabal, the reaction of these globalists to his military operation reveals he is not on their side. The U.S. controlled NATO has been slowly encircling Russia with missiles and the imminent admission of Sweden and Finland will put their missiles on Putin’s doorstep. Putin and his closest advisors are clear headed and understand the stakes, as stated by Dimitry Medvedev: “The pumping of Ukraine by NATO countries with weapons, the training of its troops to use Western equipment, the dispatch of mercenaries and the conduct of exercises by the countries of the Alliance near our borders increase the likelihood of a direct and open conflict between NATO and Russia instead of their ‘war by proxy. Such a conflict always has the risk of turning into a full-fledged nuclear war. This will be a disastrous scenario for everyone.” – Dimitry Medvedev – Former Russian President It appears this showdown between the failing and flailing American Empire and Putin will be the existential clash of this Fourth Turning. There is one certainty. Putin will not accept defeat in Ukraine. He plans to attain his objectives, whatever the cost. If the U.S. and NATO are foolish enough to directly intervene, they risk confirming Robert Oppenheimer’s lament – “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”. Putin has seen the writing on the wall since the 2014 U.S. orchestrated coup d’état and has shown tremendous restraint in his response. His Ukraine invasion has been targeted on military objectives, making all efforts to avoid civilian casualties. The Russian military is methodical, efficient, and boring, as opposed to the Shock & Awe U.S. military that has failed miserably at achieving their objectives for 20 years. The false flag Ukrainian attempts to create atrocity narratives have failed pathetically. But Putin’s restraint should not be mistaken for weakness. He is a man of his word, not one of Biden’s bloviating apparatchiks who got their job based on race, sex, or wokeness credentials. He means what he says and is willing to back up his words with actions. “If someone intends to intervene in the ongoing events from the outside and create strategic threats for Russia that are unacceptable to us, they should know that our retaliatory strikes will be lightning-fast. We have all the tools for this, and we will use them if necessary. And I want everyone to know that.”  – Vladimir Putin – April 28, 2022 There is no doubt in my mind Putin will be the most impactful of the Gray Champions over the last several years of this Crisis. The other Gray Champion who has been biding his time and generally keeping a low profile is Xi Jinping. Like Putin, a dictator for life, he can play the long game, while the U.S. fiddles and burns. He has refused to condemn Putin’s invasion and is tacitly supporting Russia by purchasing their oil and wheat, sanctioned by the West. He is also learning the U.S. and the EU are paper tigers, bogged down by immense levels of debt, vacuous leadership, a willfully ignorant populace, and militaries focused on wokeness rather than preparation for war. He continues to rattle his sword towards Taiwan, probing and testing the U.S. reaction. Xi’s aspiration is for China to dominate the 21st Century and he is applauding the foolishness of the American Empire in its death throes as it accelerates its fall by seeing its currency and military domination degraded rapidly. Xi is a serious man, on par with Putin, when it comes to tenaciously implementing his agenda. Both Russia and China have major demographic issues and as dictators, they always have the possibility of being overthrown by an internal adversary. Human rights, gender inclusivity, and choosing preferred pronouns are not high priorities for these men. Xi has been rapidly building up his military, using the hundreds of billions the U.S. has supplied buying their cheap crap for decades. China’s CCP has infiltrated American universities and stolen our technological innovations, bribing corrupt politicians, greedy corporate CEOs, spineless college administrators, and our dishonest whore media, to gain control over key aspects of our economic system. They are truly the enemy within. And the Biden crime family is beholden to both China and Ukraine. Xi played Trump like a fiddle, pretending they were personal friends and making promises he never intended to keep, as shown by our trade deficit with China up 30% from 2021 and on-track to reach an all-time high over $450 billion in 2022. Both Putin and Xi see the deterioration, degradation, and unseriousness of those steering the American ship of state into a sea of icebergs. They witness the bumbling fool of a president on a daily basis and the dimwitted sycophants running his administration behind the curtain. It would be comical if these amateurs weren’t in the process of tearing the fabric of American society to shreds, while simultaneously pushing the world into a global conflict in which the likelihood of nuclear confrontation grows by the day. Xi most certainly plans to enact a takeover of Taiwan when he believes the U.S. is too distracted, militarily stretched and bogged down in their European misadventure. Biden has already pushed Russia and China closer, along with India, while the majority of the world supports Russia in this conflict. You will not hear that from the U.S. media, but it is a fact. The U.S. Empire is not loved by the rest of the world. It has been feared, because if you stepped out of line in honoring the USD for all obligations you were summarily bombed into oblivion or cut off from the billions in “foreign aid” (aka bribes) doled out by American politicians. None of the foreign aid ever aids the people of those countries. It aids corrupt foreign leaders, arms dealers, and politicians who have a portion of the funds funneled back into their pockets. It has worked like a charm for decades, but these arrogant psychopaths went too far this time with their Covid scheme, unleashing a tsunami of inflation and destroying the just in time global supply chain they created when they sold off our manufacturing to China. The horrific reported inflation of 8.3% is really 17%, if measured as it was during Paul Volcker’s reign as Federal Reserve Chairman. Of course, he took the courageous action of raising rates to 20% in order to crush it and succeeded. The cowardly Powell has rates under 1% and will do as he is told by his globalist overlords, destroying our economy so the Great Reset can move forward unabated. History seems to be accelerating, with major developments and sudden turns every few weeks. False narratives and engineered distractions (Ukraine war, leaked abortion ruling, covid variant of the month) are designed to divert your attention from the collapse of our economy and financial markets. No one is really in control, though there are many egomaniacal self-absorbed despots who believe they can alter the course of history in the direction they choose. Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, and the rest of the World Economic Forum authoritarian evil globalist purveyors of real disinformation want to destroy our way of life so they can implement the way of life they want us to have – owning nothing, eating bugs, obeying their commands, under constant technological surveillance, and in constant fear of being turned in if they voice dissent. Essentially, they want to impose a techno-fascist global regime upon the masses. Those pulling the strings know the jig is up. They’ve played the debt card to the hilt. It began to unravel in September 2019 when the repo market cracked. Everything since has been part of their exit strategy plan. They know the house of cards is about to come crashing down and are attempting to pull off a controlled demolition in which they retain their wealth, power, and control. Of course, their hubris will ultimately lead to their downfall, as the world is too complex, has too many variables to control, and their malevolent machinations will blow up in their faces and possibly blow up the entire world. As we see shortages of baby formula, eggs, wheat, fertilizer, diesel fuel, high tech equipment, vehicles, along with open borders allowing hordes of illegals to pour into the country, and Democrat run urban enclaves encouraging murder and mayhem, all created by purposeful decisions made at the highest levels of government and funded by the likes of Soros and Gates, you can’t help but recognize their real goal is to destroy this country. We’ve reached the point Frank Zappa warned us about a few decades ago. “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.” – Frank Zappa I understand what they are trying to accomplish. With little food or fuel, and less than 1% of the population able to grow their own food to sustain themselves, the Build Back Better oligarchs expect the masses to beg them to be saved. This is where the WEF slogan, “You will own nothing and be happy” comes to fruition. You will be doled out a food ration, work menial jobs, live a squalid existence, use their global digital currency, and try to maintain a high social credit score so you are not ostracized and condemned to the gulag, or worse. The world is highly complex, and the best laid plans of these psychopaths are likely to go awry. I don’t believe they can pull off this controlled demolition without unleashing a myriad of unintended consequences. There is a pugnacious, heavily armed minority who will refuse to bend the knee to the arrogant, soft, egg head billionaires like Gates. His man boobs and pot belly don’t inspire admiration from average hard working blue collar man. A motivated minority of skilled freedom minded patriots can cause a multitude of problems for globalist totalitarians. I also believe Putin and Xi are roadblocks to the WEF agenda, explaining the fawning over failed comedic actor Zelensky and his invitation to speak at Schwab’s annual World Economic Forum. The course of this Fourth Turning now hinges upon the actions of Putin and Xi in response to the threats and warlike actions being taken by an American Empire desperately clinging to the mantle as the dominant world power. In theory I understood this Fourth Turning would ultimately lead to a bloody global conflict, but a few years into this Crisis I didn’t visualize a scenario which would lead to such an outcome. Each Fourth Turning has seen an exponential increase in deaths, as the killing technology has improved. There were approximately 65 million deaths during World War II, with Russia incurring 27 million of those deaths. That means approximately 3% of the global population were killed during the last Fourth Turning. Over 4% of the U.S. male population was killed during the Civil War. A similar death toll percentage today would exceed 250 million people. With the killing technology available today to men of dubious intellect and malicious motives, the potential loss of life could exceed our worst nightmares. I hoped for a less dismal route for this inevitable Crisis, but we are now careening towards our own rendezvous with destiny. On the current trajectory, we are running out of time on the Doomsday Clock. Strauss and Howe laid out four potential outcomes, which I have presented many times before in previous articles. Three of the four are not positive. If you asked me a few years ago, I would have selected outcome three as the most likely, as the American Empire died with a whimper, much like the British Empire after World War II. Now I realize outcomes three and four are highly unlikely. I believe outcome two is inevitable, as the dominant nation (America) has chosen to take a course which will engulf the planet in a war with an unknowable outcome. Once war starts on a grand scale, it could spin out of control and result in outcome number one. We can only hope cooler heads will prevail, but observing what is considered leadership in this day and age, I’m not optimistic. This Fourth Turning could mark the end of man. It could be an omnicidal Armageddon, destroying everything, leaving nothing. If mankind ever extinguishes itself, this will probably happen when its dominant civilization triggers a Fourth Turning that ends horribly. For this Fourth Turning to put an end to all this would require an extremely unlikely blend of social disaster, human malevolence, technological perfection, and bad luck. The Fourth Turning could mark the end of modernity. The Western saecular rhythm – which began in the mid-fifteenth century with the Renaissance – could come to an abrupt terminus. The seventh modern saeculum would be the last. This too could come from total war, terrible but not final. There could be a complete collapse of science, culture, politics, and society. Such a dire result would probably happen only when a dominant nation (like today’s America) lets a Fourth Turning ekpyrosis engulf the planet. But this outcome is well within the reach of foreseeable technology and malevolence. The Fourth Turning could spare modernity but mark the end of our nation. It could close the book on the political constitution, popular culture, and moral standing that the word America has come to signify. The nation has endured for three saecula; Rome lasted twelve, the Soviet Union only one. Fourth Turnings are critical thresholds for national survival. Each of the last three American Crises produced moments of extreme danger: In the Revolution, the very birth of the republic hung by a thread in more than one battle. In the Civil War, the union barely survived a four-year slaughter that in its own time was regarded as the most lethal war in history. In World War II, the nation destroyed an enemy of democracy that for a time was winning; had the enemy won, America might have itself been destroyed. In all likelihood, the next Crisis will present the nation with a threat and a consequence on a similar scale. Or the Fourth Turning could simply mark the end of the Millennial Saeculum. Mankind, modernity, and America would all persevere. Afterward, there would be a new mood, a new High, and a new saeculum. America would be reborn. But, reborn, it would not be the same. I’ve always preached preparedness and combining forces with like-minded people, but can you really prepare for a world where outcome one or two is the climax of this Fourth Turning? I know many bloggers make money off of doom, but I simply cannot conceive of a positive outcome based on the current dynamics driving the world towards war. I’d love to give a Knute Rockne speech to inspire the team to rally around someone who can lead us to victory. But all I see are monkeys with matches in a room full of dynamite. It’s only a matter of time until it explodes. The decline of an empire is awful to watch and even worse to live through. I wish you Godspeed and thank you for reading my ramblings. I hope I’m wrong. *  *  * The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. Tyler Durden Tue, 05/17/2022 - 23:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 18th, 2022

Futures Slide After China"s "Huge" Data Miss Sparks "Broad-Based Recession Talk"

Futures Slide After China's "Huge" Data Miss Sparks "Broad-Based Recession Talk" Friday's bear market rally dead-cat bounce appears to be over, and global stocks have started the new week in the red with US equity futures lower after a "huge miss", as Bloomberg put it, in Chinese data fueled concerns over the impact of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. As reported last night, China’s industrial output and consumer spending hit the worst levels since the pandemic began, hurt by Covid lockdowns. And even though officials took another round of measured steps to help the economy by cutting the interest rate for new mortgages over the weekend to bolster an ailing housing market, even as they left the one-year policy loan rate was left unchanged Monday, few believe that any of these actions will have a tangible impact and most continue to expect much more from Beijing.  As such, after a weekend that saw even Goldman's perpetually optimistic equity strategists slash their S&P target (again) from 4,700 to 4,300, and amid growing fears that a recession is now inevitable, Nasdaq 100 futures slid as much as 1.2%, before paring losses to 0.4% as of 730 a.m. in New York. S&P 500 futures were down 0.3%. 10Y Treasury yields were flat at 2.91% and the dollar dipped modestly while bitcoin traded just above $30,000 dropping from $31,000 earlier in the session. Among notable moves in premarket trading, Spirit Airlines jumped as much as 21% following a report that JetBlue Airways is planning a tender offer at $30 a share in cash. Major US technology and internet stocks were down after rebounding on Friday, while Tesla shares dropped, with the electric-vehicle maker set to recall 107,293 cars in China over a potential safety risk. Twitter shares fall 3.4% in premarket trading on Monday, on course to wipe out all the gains the stock has made since billionaire Elon Musk disclosed his stake in the social media platform. Twitter fell to as low as $37.86 -- below the the April 1 close of $39.31, before Musk disclosed his stake. US stocks have been roiled this year, with the S&P 500 on tick away from a bear market as recently as last Thursday, on worries of an aggressive pace of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve at a time when macroeconomic data showed a slowdown in growth. Data from China on Monday highlighted a massive toll on the economy from Covid-19 lockdowns, with retail sales and industrial output both contracting. Although lower valuations sparked a rally in stocks on Friday, strategists including Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson warned of more losses ahead as equity markets also price in slower corporate earnings growth. Goldman Sachs strategists led by David Kostin cut their year-end target for the S&P 500 on Friday to 4,300 points from 4,700.  "The broad-based recession talk is the major catalyzer this Monday,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote, wrote in a note. “Activity in US futures hint that Friday’s rebound was certainly nothing more than a dead cat bounce” just as we said at the time.  The risk of an economic downturn amid price pressures and rising borrowing costs remains the major worry for markets. Goldman Sachs Group Senior Chairman Lloyd Blankfein urged companies and consumers to gird for a US recession, saying it’s a “very, very high risk.” Traders remain wary of calling a bottom for equities despite a 17% drop in global shares this year, with Morgan Stanley warning that any bounce in US stocks would be a bear-market rally and more declines lie ahead. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 index fell as much as 0.8% before paring losses, with declines for tech and travel stocks offsetting gains for basic resources as industrial metals rallied. The Euro Stoxx 50 falls 0.4%. IBEX outperforms, adding 0.3%. Tech, personal care and consumer products are the worst performing sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Basic Resources stocks outperformed with broad gains among mining and steel companies; ArcelorMittal +3.5%; SSAB +2.6%; Glencore +2.1%; Voestalpine +3.1%. Sartorius AG and Sartorius Stedim shares gain as UBS upgrades both stocks to buy following a “significant de-rating” for the lab-equipment companies, seeing supportive global trends. Carl Zeiss Meditec gains as much as 4.9% after HSBC raised its recommendation to buy from hold, saying the medical optical manufacturer is “well-equipped to deal with supply chain challenges.” Interpump rises as much as 7.6%, extending winning streak to five days, as Banca Akros upgrades the stock to buy from accumulate following Friday’s 1Q results. Casino shares jump as much 5.8% after the French grocer said it’s started a process to sell its GreenYellow renewable energy arm, confirming a Bloomberg News report from Friday. Ryanair shares decline as much as 4.3% on FY results, with analysts focusing on the low-budget carrier’s recovery outlook. They note management is cautiously optimistic about summer travel. Vantage Towers shares decline after the company posted FY23 adjusted Ebitda after leases and recurring free cash flow forecasts that missed analyst estimates at mid- points. Unilever falls after a 13-F filing from Nelson Peltz’s Trian shows no position in the company, according to Jefferies, damping speculation after press reports earlier this year that the fund had built a stake. Michelin shares fall as much as 3.7% after being downgraded to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan, which says it writes off any chance of seeing a recovery in volume production growth in FY22. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks eked out modest gains as surprisingly weak Chinese economic data spurred volatility and caused traders to reassess their outlook on the region. The MSCI Asia-Pacific Index was up 0.1%, paring an earlier advance of as much as 0.9%  on stimulus hopes. The region’s information technology index rose as much as 1.5%, with TMSC giving the biggest boost. A sub-gauge on materials shares fell the most. Equities in China led losses, as Beijing’s moves to cut the mortgage rate for first-time home buyers and ease lockdown restrictions in Shanghai failed to reverse the downbeat mood. Asian stocks were trading higher early Monday, building on Friday’s rally, only to trim or reverse gains as data showed a sharper-than-expected contraction in Chinese activity in April. Signs of an earnings recovery in China are needed for investors to come back, Arnout van Rijn, chief investment officer for APAC at Robeco Hong Kong Ltd., said on Bloomberg Television. “It looks like China is not going to meet the 15% earnings growth that people were looking for just a couple of months ago. So now we’re looking for five, 10, maybe it’s even going to fall to zero.”   Meanwhile, JPMorgan analysts, who had called China tech “uninvestable” in March, upgraded some tech heavyweights including Alibaba in a Monday report, citing less regulatory uncertainties. Benchmarks in Japan, Australia, India and Taiwan maintained gains while Hong Kong also recovered some ground later in the day. Markets in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia were closed for holidays.      Japanese equities were mixed, with the Topix closing slightly lower after worse-than-expected Chinese economic data amid the impact from virus-related lockdowns. The Topix fell 0.1% to close at 1,863.26, with Honda Motor contributing the most to the decline after its forecast for the current year missed analyst expectations. The Nikkei advanced 0.5% to 26,547.05, with KDDI among the biggest boosts after announcing its results and a 200 billion yen buyback. “Though the lockdowns in China are pushing down the economy and causing supply chain difficulties, there’s a positive outlook since the weekend that there could be a gradual easing of the lockdowns as it seems that virus cases have peaked out,” said Masashi Akutsu, chief strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to 7,093.00, trimming an earlier advance of as much as 1.1% after soft Chinese economic data stoked concerns about global growth. Read: Aussie, Kiwi Slump After Weak China Data: Inside Australia/NZ Brambles was the top performer after confirming it’s in talks with private equity firm CVC Capital Partners on a takeover proposal. Qube also climbed after completing a A$400 million share buyback.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.1% to 11,157.66. In rates, Treasuries were steady with yields within 1bp of Friday’s close. US 10-year yield near flat ~2.91% with bunds cheaper by ~5bp, gilts ~3.5bp amid heavy. German 10-year yield up 5 bps, trading narrowly below 1%. Italian 10-year bonds underperform, with the 10-year yield up 8 bps to 2.93%. Peripheral spreads are mixed to Germany; Italy and Spain widen and Portugal tightens. The Italy 10-year was cheaper by more than 6bp on the day amid renewed ECB jawboning. Core European rates are higher, pricing in ECB policy tightening. During Asia session, Chinese data showed industrial output and consumer spending at worst levels since the pandemic began. The dollar issuance slate includes CBA 3T covered SOFR; $30b expected for this week as syndicate desks seek opportunities for pent-up supply. Three-month dollar Libor +1.13bp at 1.45500%. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed while the greenback advanced against most of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasuries inched lower, led by the front end, and outperformed European bonds. The euro inched up against the dollar. Italian bonds dropped, leading peripheral underperformance against euro- area peers, while money markets showed increased ECB tightening wagers after policy maker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said a consensus is “clearly emerging” at the central bank on normalizing monetary policy and that June’s meeting will be “decisive.” He also signaled that the weakness of the euro is focusing the minds of ECB policy makers at a time when the currency is heading toward parity with the dollar. The euro may resume its rally versus the pound in the spot market as options traders pile up bullish wagers. The pound fell against both the dollar and euro, staying under selling pressure on concerns that high UK inflation will weigh on the economy. Markets await testimony from Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey and other central bank officials later in the day, ahead of a reading of April inflation later in the week. Australian and New Zealand dollars fell after Chinese industrial and consumer data fanned concerns of a further slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. In commodities, WTI drifts 0.4% lower to trade above $110. Spot gold pares some declines, down some $6, but still around $1,800/oz. Most base metals trade in the green; LME tin rises 3.4%, outperforming peers. Bitcoin falls 4.6% to trade below $30,000 Looking ahead, we get the US May Empire manufacturing index, Canada April housing starts, March manufacturing, wholesale trade sales. Central bank speakers include the Fed's Williams, ECB's Lane, Villeroy and Panetta, BOE's Bailey, Ramsden, Haskel and Saunders. We get earnings from Ryanair, Take-Two Interactive. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,008.75 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 433.33 MXAP up 0.2% to 160.34 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 523.32 Nikkei up 0.5% to 26,547.05 Topix little changed at 1,863.26 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 19,950.21 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,073.75 Sensex up 0.6% to 53,119.79 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,093.03 Kospi down 0.3% to 2,596.58 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.98% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0424 Brent Futures down 1.4% to $109.98/bbl Gold spot down 0.8% to $1,797.30 US Dollar Index little changed at 104.46 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg NATO members rallied around Finland and Sweden on Sunday after they announced plans to join the alliance, marking another dramatic change in Europe’s security architecture triggered by Russia’s war in Ukraine The euro area’s pandemic recovery would almost grind to a halt, while prices would surge even more quickly if there are serious disruptions to natural-gas supplies from Russia, according to new projections from the European Commission UK energy regulator Ofgem plans to adjust its price cap every three months instead of every six. Changing the level more often would help consumers to take advantage of falling wholesale prices more quickly, it said in a statement Monday. This would also mean higher prices filter through bills quicker Boris Johnson has warned Brussels that the UK government will press ahead with unilateral changes to parts of the Brexit agreement if it does not engage in “genuine dialogue” While debt bulls on Wall Street have been crushed all year, market sentiment has shifted markedly over the past week from inflation fears to growth. That theme gathered more strength Monday, when data showing China’s economy contracted sharply in April set off fresh gains for Treasuries China’s economy is paying the price for the government’s Covid Zero policy, with industrial output and consumer spending sliding to the worst levels since the pandemic began and analysts warning of no quick recovery. Industrial output unexpectedly fell 2.9% in April from a year ago, while retail sales contracted 11.1% in the period, weaker than a projected 6.6% drop Japanese manufacturers are increasingly looking to move offshore operations to their home market, according to a Tokyo Steel Manufacturing Co. executive. The rapidly weakening yen, global supply-chain constraints, geopolitical risks and shifting wages patterns are prompting the switch, Kiyoshi Imamura, a managing director of the steelmaker, said in an interview in Tokyo last week A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed after disappointing Chinese activity data clouded over the early momentum from Friday’s rally on Wall St. ASX 200 was higher as tech stocks were inspired by US counterparts and amid M&A related newsflow with Brambles enjoying a double-digit percentage gain after it confirmed it had talks with CVC regarding a potential takeover by the latter. Nikkei 225 kept afloat as earnings releases provided the catalysts for individual stocks but with gains capped by a choppy currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp initially gained with property names underpinned after China permitted a further reduction in mortgage loan interest rates for first-time home purchases and with casino stocks also firmer in the hope of a tax reduction on gaming revenue. However, the mood was then spoiled by weak Chinese data and after the PBoC maintained its 1-year MLF rate. Top Asian News PBoC conducted a CNY 100bln in 1-year MLF with the rate kept unchanged at 2.85% and stated the MLF and Reverse Repo aim to keep liquidity reasonably ample, according to Bloomberg. Beijing extended work from home guidance in several districts and announced three additional rounds of mass COVID-19 testing in most districts including its largest district Chaoyang, according to Reuters. Shanghai will gradually start reopening businesses including shopping malls and hair salons in China's financial and manufacturing hub beginning on Monday following weeks of a strict lockdown, according to Reuters. Shanghai city official said 15 out of the 16 districts achieved zero-COVID outside quarantine areas and the city's epidemic is under control but added that risks of a rebound remain and they will need to continue to stick to controls. The official said the focus until May 21st will be to prevent risks of a rebound and many movement restrictions are to remain, while they will look to allow normal life to resume in Shanghai from June 1st and will begin to reopen supermarkets, convenience stores and pharmacies from today, according to Reuters. Chinese financial authorities permitted a further reduction in mortgage loan interest rates for some home buyers whereby commercial banks can lower the lower limit of interest rates on home loans by 20bps based on the corresponding tenor of benchmark Loan Prime Rates for purchases of first homes, according to Reuters. China's stats bureau spokesman said economic operations are expected to improve in May and that China is steadily pushing forward production resumption in COVID-hit areas, while they expect China's economic recovery and rebound in consumption to quicken but noted that exports face some pressure as the global economy slows, according to Reuters. Macau is reportedly considering a tax cut for casinos amid a decline in gaming revenue in which a cut could be as much as 5% off the current 40% levied on casino gaming revenue, according to Bloomberg. European bourses are mixed, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.6%, following a similar APAC session with impetus from Shanghai's reopening offset by activity data and geopolitics. Stateside, futures are lower across the board, ES -0.4%, with the NQ marginally lagging as yields lift; Fed's Williams due later before Powell on Tuesday. US players are focused on whether the end-week bounce is a turnaround from technical bear-market levels or not. China's market regulator says Tesla (TSLA) has recalled 107.3k Model 3 & Y vehicles, which were made in China. JetBlue (JBLU) is to launch a tender offer for Spirit Airlines (SAVE); JetBlue is to offer USD 30/shr, but prepared to pay USD 33/shr if Spirit provides JetBlue with requested data, WSJ sources say. Elon Musk tweeted that Twitter’s (TWTR) legal team called to complain that he violated their NDA by revealing the bot check sample size and he also tweeted there is some chance that over 90% of Twitter’s daily active users might be bots. Top European News UK PM Johnson is reportedly set to give the green light for a bill on the Northern Ireland protocol, according to the Guardian. UK PM Johnson said he hopes the EU changes its position on the Northern Ireland protocol and if not, he must act, while he sees a sensible landing spot for a protocol deal and will set out the next steps on the protocol in the coming days, according to Reuters. UK PM Johnson is expected to visit Northern Ireland on Monday for talks with party leaders in an effort to break the political deadlock at Stormont, according to Sky News. Irish Foreign Minister Coveney says the EU is prepared to move on reducing checks on goods coming into the region from Britain, via Politico. UK Cabinet ministers have turned on the BoE regarding rising inflation, whereby one minister warned that the Bank was failing to "get things right" and another suggested that it had failed a "big test", according to The Telegraph. Group of over 50 economists warned that the UK's post-Brexit plans to boost the competitiveness of its finance industry risk creating the sort of problems that resulted in the GFC, according to Reuters. European Commission Spring Economic Forecasts: cuts 2022 GDP forecast to 2.7% from the 4.0% projected in February. Click here for more detail. Central Banks ECB's Villeroy expects a decisive June meeting and an active summer meeting, pace of further steps will account for actual activity/inflation data with some optionality and gradualism; but, should at least move towards the neutral rate. Will carefully monitor developments in the effective FX rate, as a significant driver of imported inflation; EUR that is too weak would go against the objective of price stability.   ECB’s de Cos said the central bank will likely decide at the next meeting to end its stimulus program in July and raise rates very soon after that, while he added that they are not seeing second-round effects and are monitoring it, according to Reuters. FX Euro firmer following verbal intervention from ECB’s Villeroy and spike in EGB yields EUR/USD rebounds from sub-1.0400 to 1.0435 at best. Dollar up elsewhere as DXY pivots 104.500, but Yen resilient on risk grounds as Chinese data misses consensus by some distance; USD/JPY capped into 129.50. Franc falls across the board after IMM specs raise short bets and Swiss sight deposits show SNB remaining on the sidelines; USD/CHF above 1.0050 at one stage. However, HKMA continues to defend HKD peg amidst CNY, CNH weakness in wake of disappointing Chinese industrial production and retail sales releases. Norwegian Crown undermined by pullback in Brent and narrower trade surplus, EUR/NOK over 10.2100. SA Rand soft as Gold retreats to test support around and under Usd 1800/oz. Loonie slips with WTI ahead of Canadian housing starts, manufacturing sales and wholesale trade, Sterling dips before BoE testimony; USD/CAD 1.2900+, Cable sub-1.2250. Fixed income EGBs rattled by ECB rhetoric inferring key policy meetings kicking off in June and extending through summer. Bunds down towards 153.00 and 10 year yield back up around 1%, Gilts almost 1/2 point adrift and T-note erasing gains from 12/32+ above par at best. Eurozone periphery underperforming with added risk-off angst following much weaker than expected Chinese data. In commodities WTI and Brent are pressured, but well off lows, and torn between China's lockdown easing and poor activity data amid numerous other catalysts Specifically, the benchmarks are around USD 110/bbl and USD 111/bbl respectively, Saudi Aramco Q1 net income rose 82% Y/Y to INR 39.5bln for its highest quarterly profit since listing, according to Sky News. Saudi Energy Minister says they are going to get to 13.2-13.4mln BPD, subject to what is done in the divided zone, by end-2026/start-2027; can maintain production when there, if the market demands this. OPEC+ to continue with monthly output increases, according to Bahrain's oil minister via Reuters. Iraqi state-run North Oil Company said Kurdish armed forces took control of some oil wells in northern Kirkuk, according to Reuters. Iraq oil minister says they aim to increase oil production to 6mln BPD by end-2027, OPEC is targeting a energy market balance not a price; adding, current production capacity is 4.9mln BPD, will reach 5mln BPD before the end of 2022. China is to increase fuel prices from Tuesday, according to China's NDRC; gasoline by CNY 285/t and diesel by CNY 270/t. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Empire Manufacturing, est. 15.0, prior 24.6 16:00: March Total Net TIC Flows, prior $162.6b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Markets managed a big bounce on Friday but the mood has soured again in the Asian session after a weak slew of data from China as covid lockdowns had an even worse impact than expected. Industrial production (-2.9% vs +0.5% expected), retail sales (-11.1% vs -6.6% expected) and property investment (-2.7% vs -1.5% expected) all crashed through estimates by a large margin. The slump in retail sales and industrial production was the weakest since March 2020. The latter also had the lowest print on record, with the worst decline coming from auto manufacturing (-31.8%). The surveyed jobless rate (6.1% vs estimates of 6.0%) also ticked up by more than expected from 5.8% in March and is now close to the high of 6.2% in February 2020. Although the 1-year policy loan rate was left unchanged today, the PBoC did ease the rate on new mortgages this weekend. In other data releases, Japan’s April PPI (+10.0%) came in above estimates of +9.4%, the highest since 1980. Amid this, the Shanghai Composite (-0.51%) and the Hang Seng (-0.43%) are in the red, and outperformed by the KOSPI (-0.21%) and the Nikkei (+0.46%). The sentiment has soured in American markets too, with S&P 500 futures also trading lower (-0.68%) and the US 10y yield declining by -2.2bps. Oil (-1.48%) is edging lower too on growth concerns. After last week’s meltdown in crypto markets, Bitcoin is back at above $30k this morning – a jump since the lows of nearly $26k last Thursday but way short of the $38k it traded at in the beginning of the month and $68k early last November. The infamous TerraUSD, the stablecoin that fuelled the crypto slide, is at $0.18. It is supposed to trade at $1 at all times. Looking forward now and there's not a standout event to focus on this week but they'll be plenty to keep us all occupied. US retail sales (tomorrow) looks like the highlight alongside Powell's speech the same day. There will also be US housing data smattered across the week and UK and Japanese inflation on Wednesday and Friday respectively. Let's start with US retail sales as it will be a good early guide for Q2 GDP. Our US economists are anticipating a +1.7% print, up from +0.7% in March. Rebounding auto sales should help the headline number. For more on the consumer, Brett Ryan put out this chartbook last week on the US consumer (link here). US industrial production is out the same day. We have a long list of central bank speakers this week headed by Powell and Lagarde (tomorrow) and BoE Bailey today. There are many more spread across the week and you can see the list in the day by day event list at the end. We do have the last ECB meeting minutes on Thursday but the subsequent push towards a July hike might make these quite dated. US housing will be a big focus next week. It's probably too early for the highest mortgage rates since 2009 to kick in but with these rates around 220bps higher YTD, some damage will surely soon be done after the highest YoY price appreciation outside of an immediate post WWII bounce, in our 120 year plus housing database. On this we will see the NAHB housing market index (tomorrow), April’s US building permits and housing starts (Wednesday), and existing home sales (Thursday). Turning to corporate earnings, it will be another quiet week after 457 of the S&P 500 companies and 368 of the STOXX 600 companies have reported earnings this season so far. Yet, it will be an important one to gauge how the US consumer is faring amid inflation at multi-decade highs, including reports such as Walmart, Home Depot (tomorrow), Target and TJX (Wednesday). Results will also be due from China's key tech and ecommerce companies like (tomorrow), Tencent (Wednesday) and Xiaomi (Thursday). Other notable corporate reporters will include Cisco (Wednesday), Applied Materials, Palo Alto Networks (Thursday) and Deere (Friday). A quick recap of last week’s markets now. Fears that global growth would slow due to the tightening task at hand for central banks sent ripples across markets, without a clear specific catalyst. Equities declined, credit spreads widened, the dollar rallied, and sovereign yields declined. The S&P 500 fell for the sixth consecutive week for the first time since 2011, falling -13.0% over that time. Even with a +2.39% rally on Friday, it fell -2.41% last week. Large cap technology firms underperformed, with the NASDAQ falling -2.80% (+3.82% Friday), while the FANG+ index fell -3.48% (+5.45% Friday). Volatility was elevated, with the Vix closing above 30 for 6 straight days for the first time since immediately following the invasion, narrowly avoiding a 7th straight day above 30 by closing the week at 28.8. European equities outperformed, with the STOXX 600 climbing +0.83% after a banner +2.14% gain Friday. The Itraxx crossover ended the week at 446bps, its widest level since June 2020. Crypto assets sharply declined, with Bitcoin down -12.51% and Coinbase -34.58% over the week, with a number of so-called ‘stablecoins’ breaking their pledged parity, forcing some to stop trading. The growth fears drove a flight to quality. The dollar index increased +0.87% (-0.27% Friday) to its highest levels since 2002. Only the yen outperformed the US dollar in the G10 space. Sovereign yields rallied significantly, with 10yr Treasuries, bunds, and gilts falling -19.3bps (+8.5bps Friday), -23.0bps (+6.2bps Friday), and -28.7bps (+4.7bps Friday), respectively. Reports that the EU was considering softening their oil-related sanctions due to member resistance combined with growth fears to send oil prices much lower at the beginning of the week, with Brent crude futures almost breaking $100/bbl. When all was said and done, a gradual rally over the back half of the week saw Brent merely -1.04% lower (+3.82% Friday). On the back of disappointing data from China it is down -1.48% this morning. There was a lot of high-profile central bank speak to work through, as there will be this week. The main takeaways included Fed officials aligning behind a series of +50bp hikes the next few meetings, downplaying the chances of +75bp hikes until September at the earliest. Meanwhile, momentum in the ECB is growing toward a July policy rate hike, with policy rates breaching positive territory by the end of the year. In terms of data Friday, the University of Michigan survey of inflation expectations for the next five years was unchanged at 3 percent, though inflation has weighed on consumers’ perception of the current situation. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/16/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 16th, 2022