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Canadian National upgraded to Buy from Hold at Loop Capital

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Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallMay 25th, 2021

From fear-mongering about asylum seekers at the border to preemptively accusing Afghan refugees of terrorism, the GOP"s rhetoric on people coming to America puts lives at risk

GOP politicians are stoking fears about refugees and immigrants. Instead of debating policy, their language fuels dangerous conspiracy theories. An immigrant father and daughter embrace after crossing the border from Mexico on August 13, 2021 in Roma, Texas. John Moore/Getty Images Texas Gov. Abbott has repeatedly referred to the situation at the Southern border as an "invasion." This language pulls from a white supremacist conspiracy theory that has led to numerous killings. As we welcome Afghan refugees, fear-mongering language instead of policy debate only causes harm. Jack Herrera is an independent reporter writing about immigration, race, and human rights. He is a contributing opinion writer for Insider. This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author. See more stories on Insider's business page. More and more, it feels like one of the defining features of reporting on refugees and asylum-seekers is tackling misinformation - confronting the untruths, misconceptions, and lies that exist about refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants. When I'm on the Mexican border embedded with families fleeing violence, I read tweets accusing them of being gang members; when I talk with mothers in ICE detention, I get emails ranting about MS-13. I tend to keep an unhappy peace with this misinformation and fear-mongering - "things I can't change" and all that - but this last month I've struggled to contain my anger and my fear. The way powerful people talk, loudly and openly, about refugees isn't just untrue or cynical; it's putting lives in danger - from Afghan refugees to asylum-seekers on the border - in a very real way. At the Southern borderIn early August, I went to a church in San Francisco's Mission District, a Latino capital, to spend time with my thoughts. It was the second anniversary of the massacre in El Paso, where a white gunman went to kill people like me in an act of terrorism motivated by, in his words, "the Hispanic invasion of Texas." When I left the church, my phone began buzzing: A friend was asking about news reports of police and National Guard from red states being sent to the Texas border. In June, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Arizona Governor Doug Doucey sent a letter to all 48 other states requesting they send armed personnel to the border "in defense of our sovereignty and territorial integrity." During a press conference announcing the request, Abbott claimed "homes are being invaded," and his Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick went even further saying, "We are being invaded." Hearing Texan elected officials opine against immigration isn't anything new, and it's not something I begrudge them. Abbott and Patrick were elected by a largely anti-immigration electorate in their party, and they're representing them well. A politician can argue against immigration without putting anyone in active danger. But both of these leaders should know the dangers of using language like "invasion" - especially Abbott. After meeting with El Paso community members after citizens of his state were slaughtered in 2019, Abbott issued a rare admission of guilt. Just the day before the El Paso massacre, Abbott's campaign sent out a fundraising email calling on Texan citizens to "DEFEND" the border and claiming that Democrats were trying to "transform" Texas "through illegal immigration." Abbott's call to action was echoed, eerily and disturbingly, in the El Paso shooter's manifesto, which ranted about the "great replacement" - a white supremacist conspiracy theory that elites in Europe and the US are trying to "replace" white people with immigrants of color. After talking with El Paso community leaders about the threats posed by "dangerous rhetoric," Abbott admitted that "mistakes were made," and said that he and his campaign would correct the course. But Abbott is facing re-election this year, and his commitment to do better seems to have been replaced with his desire for re-election. While there is a real problem on the Texas border - a large number of people have begun arriving in a very specific area, in the Rio Grande Valley, stressing local resources - Abbott should know he has a serious and solemn responsibility when he speaks publicly on the issue. He can't hyperbolize or exaggerate. He can't use the language of invasion, or any of its synonyms. Even when used as a metaphor, that language is a call to arms, a call to action. It's the same twisted belief that Texas is facing an "invasion" that sent a gunman to murder people in a Walmart. We need to be clear: This is not a national security crisis, it's a humanitarian crisis. The same language harms Afghans fleeing the Taliban There's a through-line that exists from "invasion" rhetoric targeting Latin Americans to the currency hysteria over Afghan refugees and potential terrorism. The El Paso shooter's manifesto was not a one-off; it exists within a loosely associated group of white supremacists, united by online conspiracy theories and alarmist rhetoric. The El Paso shooter was himself directly inspired by the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist, who shot 51 predominantly Muslim people to death in two mosques. Just as the El Paso shooter feared that Latin American immigrants were "invading" the US, the Christchurch murderer found motivation in virulent Islamophobia and the deranged fear that Muslims were seeking to replace the white majority in New Zealand. His manifesto's title - "The Great Replacement" - is itself a reference to a theory developed by the French extremist thinker Renauld Camus, who coined the term in 2012. Today, that same set of "great replacement" theories - explicitly in white supremacist spaces, and implicitly in anti-immigrant politicians' offices - are driving opposition to Afghan refugees resettling in the US and those still trying to make it here after fleeing the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. Former senior advisor to Donald Trump, Stephen Miller, offered a reliably anti-refugee take during the effort to evacuate Afghans who had aided the US during the war effort. Miller posted a long Twitter thread claiming the US didn't owe anything to Afghans, arguing against an "immigration policy that has brought the threat of jihadism inside our shores." "Some arrivals don't assimilate. Others hold more extreme beliefs. Some blame the host country for what happened to their home. Sometimes 2nd or 3rd generation becomes radicalized," Miller wrote. (To date, there has not been a single fatal terrorist attack committed by a refugee in the United States. Researchers at the Cato Institute estimate that an American's chance of dying in an attack committed by a refugee on any given year is 1 in 3.86 billion.)GOP Senator Tom Cotton, after accusing Biden of failing to evacuate Afghans, suddenly changed his tone once Afghans began arriving in the US, worrying out loud that refugees would not "accept our way of life here in terms of constitutional government."Politicians should certainly be talking about how to best help Afghans resettle. Last week, I spoke with an Afghan father in California who is struggling to find housing for himself and his young children. More attention must be paid to how best to help these new arrivals make a home here. However, Cotton's useless dithering about assimilation is dangerous. His language connects with strong, coherent sentiments already in the air in the US, which pushed extremists to murder Muslims multiple times in recent years. In 2019 alone, there were more than 500 attacks on Muslims in the US - arsonists targeted multiple mosques, and a man in California plowed his car into a group of people he assumed were Muslim, putting an middle school girl into a coma. Since 2010, there have been three different bombings or at temped bombings targeting Muslims. Anti-Muslim attacks have also claimed Indian, Sikh, and Orthodox Jewish victims, when attackers mistakenly assumed they were Muslims. If leaders like Cotton are going to discuss the integration of refugees, they have to take responsibility for their words and speak with sensitivity to the extraordinary violence refugees and Muslims of all backgrounds can face in this country. If conservatives are serious about preventing terrorism on US soil, they should consider that white supremacist violence has taken far more lives in recent years than any terrorism associated with Islam. Likewise, when it comes to the border, politicians like Abbott have a right to argue in favor of decreased immigration and increased border enforcement. But they can do that without issuing a call to arms to white supremacists.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytSep 21st, 2021

10 quick tips to be your most disciplined, productive, happy, and healthy self while working from home

Jules Rogers was homeschooled and is now a work-from-home writer. From paper planners to self care, these are Rogers' top tips for working from home. Justin Lewis/Getty Images I was homeschooled from first through eighth grade, and now I'm a work-from-home writer. Years later, I still use my homeschooling experience to create a healthy and productive work routine. These are my 10 tips to get the most out of working from home. See more stories on Insider's business page. Homeschooled from first through eighth grade with my three brothers and one sister, I grew up in a strict orthodox group and was generally only allowed outside of the property to take walks for P.E. class, the church, ballet class, the library, and the grocery store until I was 14 years old.There, the internet password was a secret, the TV was kept in a cupboard, and only 30 minutes of screen time was allowed on the weekends - including video games. In our free time, we played outside, read books, or created art.Today, I use my homeschooling experience and apply it to my work-from-home life as a writer. Here are my top tips to maintain productivity, mental health, and sense of self while working or studying mobile.1. Keep a paper calendar, planner, or bullet journalDuring my homeschool years, our mom would set each of us lesson plans in a three-ring binder articulating the week's assignments - it's simple enough for a first-grader to do alone, and there are all kinds of formats, including styles targeted toward neurodiverse adults.As an adult, I love having a beautiful planner with monthly pages and weekly spreads so I can plan events, daily deadlines, and monthly budgets while watching my progress. I never forget a deadline because I have a dedicated place to write everything down immediately, and I always know where to start my day as soon as I sit down.2. Leave your home at least once a dayIn homeschool, we would regularly meet our elderly neighbor outside for a brisk, three-mile walk at 7 a.m., do indoor ab workouts, and take long family hikes and bike rides on the weekend. Working from home, it's easy to accidentally become sedentary as the weeks pass. I make sure to at least walk to the mailbox or take out the recycling, plus I incorporate yoga and light weights into my day.3. Have at least one extracurricular hobbyWe were each allowed to choose one extracurricular hobby growing up, and mine was ballet. I danced, and I could also be found cheering for my siblings on the sidelines of a soccer field or watching their horseback-riding lessons at the barn.Even when I can't get out of the house now, I fill my free time at home with things that bring me peace such as yoga, typing with my vintage Royal Tab-O-Matic, or reading library books. My sister enjoys spinning, knitting, felting, and crocheting. Creative hobbies like these are the key to avoiding becoming a TikTok couch potato in the off hours.4. Make a routine for starting the day and for winding downI use tips from Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit" to set up my cue for my habit loop, be disciplined enough to sit down and write, and then get my reward - in my case, playing Nintendo Switch after work.Every morning, I wash my face and brush my hair and teeth, and then I'm ready to sit down and work. In homeschool, we would sing the national anthem and some prayers every morning before starting.Before bedtime growing up, we always chanted group prayers after reading something like C.S. Lewis aloud. Now, the hour before bedtime is my sacred, screen-free time to read books, journal, meditate, set goals, or just think. Pull a tarot card, read a bible verse, or whatever resonates with you, but take quiet time to connect with your spirituality, if applicable.5. Make yourself a hot brunchWhile discipline and keeping to a schedule are important to sanity, it pays to be flexible in other areas. Most days, I make myself hot brunch in the late morning and a healthy afternoon snack instead of traditional mealtimes.Homeschool meals inspired this, as they could be anything - grilled-cheese sandwiches, toasted bagels, oatmeal, or even blueberry pancakes and muffins.6. Have a dedicated work zoneCommit a space for work that you don't have to set up or take down. Some projects need to be spread out for days - like childhood crafts, a manuscript, or a newspaper layout. In our homeschool, we shared a big dining room table in our schoolroom, each of us having a place, a shelf for books, and a chair.Sometimes it's OK to grab your laptop and change up the scenery, but using a small screen all the time gives me migraines. Now, I've gone back to my habitual ways and installed an oversized desk for my iMac and a tall bookshelf in an exclusive area.7. Manage your breaksAs a child, admitting to boredom resulted in farm chores such as bringing in logs for the wood-burning cast iron stove, trimming the fruit trees, or harvesting berries and veggies from the garden.I still take intentional breaks today. For a short break, I manage the budget or do household administration. For a medium break, I make the bed, do one step of laundry, or do the dishes. For a long break, I swiffer, vacuum, or clean the bathroom.8. Cut your own hair (and self-care)My mom has never gone to a hair salon during my living memory. My dad would always buzz my brothers' hair, and my two options were to keep it long or have dad bob off my ponytail.This is a tough one for me as an adult, but I'm choosing to let my hair grow long for now - however, I deeply enjoy an elaborate daily skincare routine to keep me grounded, even when the salons are closed.9. Clock out when you clock outGrowing up, if I didn't finish all the homework on my daily schedule, I would sit there all evening working on it - even if my brothers finished at lunchtime. I could break at bedtime at 9:30 p.m., and then would start up again on the task in the morning - in addition to the new day's agenda.If I didn't finish all the piled-up tasks by the end of the school year, I would have to continue the course over the summer. If I failed an exam, I had to retake new versions every week until I passed.Today, even when I don't write as much as I want, I set the work aside when I hit the appropriate deadlines or 2,000 words a day. I use time-management skills to know when I can still hit all my deadlines - and when I'm burned out for the day and no longer efficient. My new mantra is: You did enough for today. There will always be more than enough work to do until bedtime, and you still have a full to-do list for tomorrow.10. Dream about a long-term goal As a child starting a new year at school that was destined to be exactly the same as the last, I told myself someday I would grow up and go out to experience the whole world.As an adult in 2021, I dream about the day we will be able to plan trips to Hawaii, New York, and Sacramento again - the places we were supposed to go, but were canceled. I can still research and plan the trips, and studies show the anticipation alone can have mental health benefits.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider54 min. ago

Milley"s Calls To Chinese General Could Have Jeopardized US National Security: Former Military Officials

Milley's Calls To Chinese General Could Have Jeopardized US National Security: Former Military Officials Authored by J/M/Phelps via The Epoch Times, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, could have jeopardized the national security of the United States in allegedly secret calls to Gen. Li Zuocheng of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), according to former U.S. military officers. Milley also overstepped his own authority while allegedly discussing the launch of nuclear weapons with senior military officials, they say. Endangering National Security According to a new book titled, “Peril,” Milley called Li once in October 2020 and another time on Jan. 8 to assure him that the United States wouldn’t attack the Chinese Communist Party, and if it was poised to attack, he would alert his counterpart. “General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley reportedly said. Milley made those calls, the book has alleged, because he was fearful that then-President Donald Trump would carry out military action during the waning days of his presidency. Some U.S. lawmakers have described Milley’s actions as treasonous, saying the general overstepped his authority, and have called for President Joe Biden to fire Milley. Biden, in response, has backed the general. Retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold, who was the commanding officer of the USS Cole when it was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists in 2000, said he was incredibly concerned about Milley’s allegedly secret conversations with Li. That the nation’s top military officer has not denied any of the allegations, but defended his conversations, has shocked Lippold, who told The Epoch Times, “Milley may have purposefully—or inadvertently—created a window of strategic vulnerability.” Milley has since described the calls as “routine” and “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job. As chairman, Milley is the top military adviser to the president and to the defense secretary. Lippold said the call to Li could have easily called into question “America’s resolve and willingness” to safeguard itself and ensure its survival. The smallest misinterpretation could cause the Chinese regime to believe aggression from the communist-led country would be “met with acquiescence or acceptance from the United States rather than military action and resolve,” Lippold warned. Having served as a member of the War on Terrorism Division of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Lippold said that Milley’s call could have “given the Chinese government the impression that the United States was hesitant or, at worst case, unwilling to use nuclear weapons to ensure our national survival.” According to the new book, Milley on Jan. 8 also conveyed instructions to senior military officials not to take orders regarding military strikes or launching nuclear weapons from anyone without the chairman’s approval. According to Lippold, it is far outside Milley’s normal chain of command to engage in a conversation about nuclear engagements. Robert Maginnis, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and Pentagon analyst agreed, saying, “The chairman is little more than a presidential military adviser, who is prohibited by law from exercising executive authority and does not have nuclear release authority.” “Milley commands nothing,” Maginnis added. China’s Growing Nuclear Capabilities The risks posed by Milley’s calls with Li are heightened given that China is a nuclear-capable nation, according to Lippold. The repercussions of such revelations could have an effect on “the very survival of the United States,” he said. Nations possess nuclear weapons because their respective governments view them as “the ultimate guarantor of that nation’s survival,” Lippold pointed out. Since World War Two, nuclear weapons have served as a deterrent for wide-scale global conflict. China’s DF-41 nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missiles are seen during a military parade at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China, on Oct. 1, 2019. (Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images) “The conversation undermined U.S. military credibility and capability by undermining the deterrent effect of U.S. firepower, both conventional and nuclear, that provides for the security of the nation,” he said. According to Lippold, it is unconscionable for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to speak about U.S. military readiness with the top military officer of another nuclear-capable nation, particularly “one that has expansive goals in mind, both regionally and globally.” The Chinese regime, Lippold said, is “going out of their way to modernize their nuclear triad across the board,” which includes the building up of land-based intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine-launched ballistic missile, and strategic bomber capability. Lippold called for a thorough accounting of the precise words of Milley’s conversations. “These types of phone calls are usually very tightly controlled, so there must be an investigation initiated by Congress to get a full accounting of exactly what was said during the course of the conversation,” he said. “If he intimated or indicated to the head of the PLA what the United States actions or intents might be,” Lippold said, “that would prove to be a very dangerous road to tread down.” This would amount to a “huge breach of trust,” indicating that Milley is not fit to serve in his role as the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense and president, Lippold said. If this is found to be the case, then Milley should have the “moral integrity to lay his stars on the table” and resign, he added. Accountability The Joint Chiefs of Staff, which Milley chairs, said in a statement last week that Milley regularly talks with counterparts around the world, including counterparts in China and Russia. “His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” a spokesman for the group said. “All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.” Trump and other former White House and Defense officials, however, have said they were not informed of the calls. “The fact that the acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller was not informed of the call—nor was his staff—indicates that the general had an agenda behind this phone call that was purposefully designed to mislead, or flat out not inform, the chain-of-command of what he was doing and thinking,” Lippold said. For Milley not to inform his superiors of the calls was “out of the norm” and “completely unprecedented,” according to Lippold. “His chain-of-command should have known everything about these calls—when they were going to be made, what was going to be discussed, and how he was going to frame his words.” Lippold believes that Milley is “banking on the fact that the American people and Congress do not understand how these types of conversations are conducted.” “Milley should not be able to have these conversations, couch them in the way he did, calling them ‘perfectly within the duties and responsibilities’ of his job, and get away with it,” he added. Maginnis said, “If this entire series of events hold true, it is arguably the closest the United States has come to a military coup—and elected leaders must not rest until the country gets answers and all those involved are held to account.” Milley is expected to appear before a Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28 to speak about Afghanistan, but it is expected he will be forced to field questions under oath about the reports from the book. “Nothing can be more important than knowing whether or not a top military official committed treason and tried to take control of America’s nuclear arsenal from the former president of the United States,” Maginnis said. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 22:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge10 hr. 21 min. ago

Petrobras (PBR) Enters Binding Stage to Sell Off Deten Stake

Petrobras (PBR) begins the binding phase of the sale of its full 27.88% ownership holding in Deten as part of its strategy to lower expenses and improve its capital deployment to add shareholder value. Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras PBR recently announced that it completed the non-binding phase of the sale of its full 27.88% ownership holding in Deten Qumica S.A. (Deten) and now began the project's binding phase. Prospective buyers who qualified for this phase will get a process letter outlining the divestiture process in full including rules for due diligence and the submission of binding offers.Earlier in June, the company commenced the sale process of its full ownership in the petrochemical company Deten. Per management, the plan was in sync with the energy player’s strategy to reduce expenses and enhance its capital allocation for maximizing shareholder value.Located in the Camaçari industrial complex in Bahia, Deten petrochemical is the sole national manufacturer of Linear Alkylbenzene (LAB) and involved in manufacturing and selling major raw ingredients used in the production of biodegradable liquid and powder detergents.Also, recently, the state-run energy firm decided to divest two of its operated oilfields, namely Urugua and Tambau, located in the Santos Basin off the coast of Brazil.The oilfields were acquired through the Round Zero of the National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. The company operates with 100% interest in both fields.The fields are located in the northern part of the Santos Basin between 140 kilometers and 160 kilometers offshore Rio de Janeiro at a water depth of 1,000-1,500 meters. In 2020, the fields produced 5 thousand barrels of oil per day and 32.4 million cubic feet of gas per day.Petrobras is involved in an extensive divestment program with the aim to pay off debt and free up capital for deepwater offshore projects. The latest transaction is in line with the company’s portfolio optimization strategy as it focuses its resources on high-quality assets in deep and ultradeep waters wherein it showed a great competitive edge over the years.Company Profile & Price PerformancePetrobras is the largest integrated energy firm in Brazil and one of the biggest firms in Latin America. Its activities include exploration, exploitation and the production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks. It comprises refining, processing, trading and transportation of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons besides other energy-related operations.Shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the past year. Its stock has gained 32.9% compared with the industry’s 7.6% rise.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Stocks to ConsiderPetrobras currently carries a Zack Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked players in the energy space are Canadian Natural Resources Limited CNQ, Whiting Petroleum Corporation WLL and Continental Resources, Inc. CLR, each currently sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.In the past 60 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Canadian Natural’s 2021 earnings has been raised 14.7% while that for Whiting Petroleum and Continental has moved 52.8% and 52.7% north, respectively. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. Petrobras (PBR): Free Stock Analysis Report Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNQ): Free Stock Analysis Report Continental Resources, Inc. (CLR): Free Stock Analysis Report Whiting Petroleum Corporation (WLL): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks19 hr. 37 min. ago

Elizabeth Warren and Cori Bush are fighting an "extremist" Supreme Court on the eviction ban by introducing a bill to keep renters in their homes until the pandemic is over

AOC and Ayanna Pressley support the bill, which gives the federal government the power to implement its own eviction moratorium. Elizabeth Warren and Cori Bush. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Cori Bush unveiled a bill to protect renters from eviction during the ongoing pandemic. It would allow the Dept. of Health and Human Services to automatically implement an eviction ban. This comes after the Supreme Court struck down Biden's eviction ban extension in August. See more stories on Insider's business page. After the Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden's ban on evictions, progressive lawmakers said they would not give up on protecting renters during the pandemic. On Tuesday, they followed through on that promise.Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush unveiled the Keeping Renters Safe Act of 2021 to "enact an urgently needed nationwide eviction moratorium," according to a press release. The bill, supported by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, would allow the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) to automatically implement a national residential eviction moratorium in the interest of public health, which Bush called during a press conference "lifesaving legislation.""Thanks to an extremist SCOTUS, evictions are now on the rise," Warren said during the press conference. "We can avoid further exacerbating this crisis if Congress can step up now and pass legislation that keeps families in their homes through the duration of this emergency."The Supreme Court ruled in August that HHS does not have the authority to mandate an eviction moratorium, and according to the bill text, the Democrats' legislation would amend section 361 of the Public Health Service Act to grant HHS the permanent authority to institute an eviction ban. As the bill lays out, the HHS would implement an eviction that would:Be automatic, meaning no individuals would have to apply;Apply to all residential eviction filings and judgments;Allow the HHS Secretary to establish moratorium exceptions necessary to protect the health and safety of others;And remain in effect at least 60 days after the pandemic ends. On August 3, Biden's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new eviction ban following pressure from progressives, after a nationwide ban had just lapsed on July 31. Progressive lawmakers were so enraged by the July lapse of the ban that some of them, including Bush, slept on the steps of the Capitol until the CDC issued the most recent 60-day moratorium that was struck down.Biden had extended the CDC moratorium despite anticipating that it would face legal challenges after the Supreme Court ruled in June that the nationwide eviction ban was unconstitutional.In a 6-3 decision last month, the Supreme Court's majority affirmed that ruling, reiterating that only Congress, not the CDC, had the power to "specifically authorize" a "federally imposed eviction moratorium."The court's three liberal justices dissented, arguing that Congress has allocated billions in federal aid to help landlords cover rent, and that an eviction ban isn't as extreme as government-imposed coronavirus lockdown restrictions. Congressional Democrats, including Bush, swiftly denounced the court's move and pledged to take action. On Tuesday, Bush said the moratorium was "shamefully struck down with a partisan Supreme Court."About 7.4 million Americans are at risk of eviction in the coming months -about 16% of all renters, according to Census Pulse Survey Data. And given the surge of the Delta variant, there isn't any way to know when the pandemic will end and how long the proposed eviction ban would need to last.Insider reported on the reasons why the Supreme Court voted to expose millions to eviction, given that multiple courts ruled the government did not hold the authority to impose a nationwide ban. But a federal judge recognized the concerns Bush, Warren and other progressives had, and said while she did not think the ban was legal, she would uphold it given that the pandemic is not over.A date is not yet set for when the Democrats' bill will be brought to the House floor."Housing is a human right, not a bargaining chip to let fall between bureaucratic cracks," Bush said in a statement. "Nearly 40 million Americans have tested positive for COVID-19. Over 670,000 people have died of this virus, and countless are living permanently disabled from its aftereffects. As the Delta variant continues to force individuals to quarantine, close schools, and stifle businesses, we must do all we can to save lives."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider19 hr. 53 min. ago

4 leading public-health experts describe what it would take for them to fully return to normal life

Some experts are holding out for specific COVID-19 case rates or vaccination thresholds. But others aren't relying on metrics at all. A couple take a selfie as Madison Square Garden reopens for a full-capacity concert in New York City on June 20, 2021. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images Insider asked four public-health experts what it would take for them to fully return to their pre-pandemic lifestyles. Some are holding out for specific COVID-19 case rates or vaccination thresholds. Others are waiting to hear about fewer cases among their extended social networks. See more stories on Insider's business page. It's the question many of us are, somehow, still confused about, more than a year and a half into the pandemic: How do we know when it will be safe to fully return to normal?Insider asked four public-health experts for their takes - what they would need to see in order to return to a pre-pandemic lifestyle without worry. How will they decide it's time to resume activities like traveling internationally, throwing parties, or attending conferences?Each said that probably won't happen until at least next year, and will likely depend on whether a new variant arises that could overtake Delta. But the metrics these experts are using to make those decisions vary significantly.Some are holding out until the US hits a certain vaccination threshold - at least 80% of the population fully vaccinated. Others are waiting until hospitals aren't overwhelmed, or their local COVID-19 rate dips below 10 daily cases per 100,000 people.But some experts just aren't comfortable relying solely on data anymore. Instead, they're focused on how often they hear about friends and family who've recently been exposed to the virus - an informal sign of how prevalent COVID-19 is in their community."We're moving away from a point where you can pinpoint a given number and say, 'We should feel safe,'" ​​Rachael Piltch-Loeb, a fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told Insider. "It becomes much more your perception of risk to yourself, to your family."Still, the experts offered several tipping points that would facilitate their return to normal.Chris Beyrer is waiting for higher vaccination rates Debbie Bonnett (left) administers a COVID-19 vaccine at a pop-up clinic at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans on August 14, 2021. Mario Tama/Getty Images Before the Delta variant became dominant, Chris Beyrer had hoped to resume his HIV research in Thailand or South Africa this fall. Beyrer, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said he's now waiting to see higher vaccination rates in those countries before visiting."International travel to places where vaccine access is low, or uptake is low, is a ways off," Beyrer told Insider. "We will be very fortunate if we're able to do this by late 2022. I think probably mid-2023 is more realistic."Beyrer estimated that countries will likely need to see vaccination rates above 80% - perhaps 85% or 90% - before Delta infections stop spreading easily. Getting to that number is possible in the US, he said, but it will require patience. (Just 55% of Americans are fully vaccinated right now.)"I am hopeful that we will start to turn the corner both once we have more mandates in place and we get higher immunization coverage, and once we have approval for the under-12-year-olds," Beyrer said. "That's going to be a big change. Until then, we have to be cautious."Cindy Prins is looking for low daily cases in her community A woman gets a COVID-19 test at the Utah County Health Department in Salt Lake City on November 20, 2020. George Frey/Getty Images Dr. Anthony Fauci recently told Axios that the US needs to see fewer than 10,000 daily COVID-19 cases before the virus no longer poses a public-health threat. Currently, the US is seeing around 140,000 daily cases. But Cindy Prins, an epidemiologist at the University of Florida, is looking at her local case rate, not a national number, to determine when she'll return to indoor restaurants and fitness classes."I'd like to see it maybe hit 10 cases per 100,000 population," Prins said. "The likelihood of you encountering someone who actively has COVID at that point becomes a lot lower, so it just makes me feel like the odds are in my favor."Alachua County, where Prins is located, is currently reporting around 360 cases per 100,000 people.Like Beyrer, Prins thinks a vaccination target of around 85% would help communities significantly lower transmission. But she cautioned that vaccination metrics "may not show the whole story," since many people have also acquired immunity through infection.The promise of booster shots doesn't do much to sway her comfort level, she added."A third shot would be great, but I don't think a third shot is going to send me back to the activities right away that I consider to be risky," Prins said.​​Rachael Piltch-Loeb wants to be sure there's enough hospital capacity Clinicians work on intubating a COVID-19 patient in the ICU at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital in Louisiana on August 10, 2021. Mario Tama/Getty Images Piltch-Loeb is still avoiding indoor concerts and sports stadiums where there's no vaccination requirement, or where public-health measures like masks and social distancing aren't enforced. To get back to those activities, she said, she needs to feel confident that there are ample hospital beds available where she lives in the Northeast.That will happen naturally, she added, once more people in her region get vaccinated."I'm trying to move away from being hung up on a given case number and really focus on vaccination rates and healthcare capacity to respond to severe infection in my geographic area," Piltch-Loeb said.She expects masks to become part of her "new normal" on planes and in healthcare facilities."There will be new normals for everyone," she said, "but I'm looking to the future with high hopes for 2022."Ellen Eaton is waiting until her kids can get vaccinated Kindergartner Grace Truax, 5, removes her mask before posing for a portrait during "picture day" at Rogers International School in Stamford, Connecticut, on September 23, 2020. John Moore/Getty Images Data can, of course, can be flawed."In the deep South especially, a lot of the dashboards aren't being updated for reasons that are largely political and cultural," , Ellen Eaton, an infectious-disease expert at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, told Insider, adding, "a lot of my colleagues and I are really not following our dashboards because we're just not convinced that they are being updated and the data quality is as robust as it was early in the pandemic."Eaton isn't focused much on vaccination rates, either. The coronavirus doesn't respect borders, she said, and vaccine uptake differs dramatically from county to county.Instead, she's waiting until her young children can get vaccinated before she'll consider hosting indoor dinner parties with friends or allowing her kids to return to indoor Boy Scout meetings and church services. Then once they get the shots, Eaton said, she'll probably hold off on those activities until she hears about fewer COVID-19 cases in her community."When we're hearing about fewer of our friends contracting COVID at similar events, when we're hearing about fewer school children coming home or coming to school with a case of coronavirus, we'll start widening our bubble," she said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider19 hr. 53 min. ago

4 Dirt Cheap Stocks to Bet on Amid September Market Meltdown

Amid the decline of the benchmarks, investors should bet on discounted stocks like SNDR, NOG, GIII, and ANF for future growth. The number of new COVID-19 cases and the market both displayed a rising trend in the last three months. The job market gained consistently in this period, reflecting a stable economy. In August, particularly, unemployment rates were lower in 15 states and the District of Columbia and stable in 35 states. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 11 states, decreased in three states, and was unchanged in 36 states and the District — per the data by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.While many of the market watchers assured us about this sustained bull run despite a massive spread of the more lethal Delta strain, others apprehended a bloodbath round the corner. Eventually, over the past two trading days, the market is deep into the bear territory, displaying the worst run since May.Yesterday, the stock market crashed with benchmarks like the S&P 500 and Dow Jones both down nearly 2%. NASDAQ Composite Index, which gained support last week from the technology bigwigs, declined 2.2% yesterday, shedding more than 300 points.Two Primary Pull-Down FactorsThe intensifying China property market crisis is expected to have played a major role behind the dragging down of the benchmarks. Alliance Bernstein’s Co-Head of Asia Pacific Fixed Income Jenny Zeng recently warned that the highly distressed real estate developer of China, Evergrande (tagged as the world’s most indebted developer with $300 billion of debt at present) is on the edge of default. As quoted by CNBC, she also stated that this collapse will have a ‘domino effect’ on China’s property sector. In the overseas dollar market, these distressed developers combinedly hold a meaningful portion. Consequently, market watchers are worried that the collapse, if it occurs, will have a spillover effect worldwide.Another point that is troubling the investors is the apprehension that amid the job market growth, the COVID-19 induced monetary stimulus might get significantly tapered. During the economic crisis, several stimulus measures were launched mainly in the form of rate cuts and bond purchases.  There are concerns that the Fed and other central banks, which are going to have a two-day meeting starting today, might start winding down stimulus.Market to Revive with OSHA RuleThanks to the ongoing market selloffs, a number of growth stocks have once again moved into the undervalued territory. However, the ongoing extensive rollout of vaccines across the nation, particularly, the latest launch of President Biden’s COVID-19 action plan called “Path Out of the Pandemic” is claimed to boost the financial market rebound.As per the six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will develop a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their workforce is fully vaccinated. Any worker who remains unvaccinated will be required to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. The OSHA will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to implement this requirement.Once the OSHA rule is implemented, the COVID-19 fear factor is likely to ease further. Market watchers believe that steep rebounds are once again in the cards for the currently beaten-down stocks.Value Investing: The Ideal Strategy NowGiven the grim U.S. stock market scenario, investors may choose some fundamentally strong stocks,which have been currently pushed into the value territory because of the September market meltdown. These beaten-down stocks are currently available at dirt-cheap prices.It has been observed that growth stocks outshine value stocks during economic downturns. However, when the economy picks up pace, post the pandemic-led economic mayhem, value stocks are expected to outperform the market.To narrow down the list, we have selected stocks with a Value Style Score of A or B. Our research shows that stocks with a Value Score of A or B, when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) or 2 (Buy), offer the best upside potential. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Listed below are four companies that investors can consider during these trying times.Schneider National SNDR: This Zacks Rank #1 stock with a Value Score of A is a leading transportation and logistics services company. The company is currently being aided by strong performances of the Intermodal and Logistics units. The Intermodal segment is benefiting from yield management and increased volumes, while the Logistics unit is thriving on the back of favorable constructive market conditions and other factors. The stock is currently priced at $22.30. In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 56.8% and 8.5% respectively.Schneider National, Inc. Price Schneider National, Inc. price | Schneider National, Inc. QuoteNorthern Oil and Gas NOG: The company’s core operations are focused on three leading basins of the United States — the Williston, Permian,and the Appalachian. The company employs a unique non-operating business model, which helps it to keep costs down and increase free cash flow. Prioritizing returns to investors, Northern Oil and Gas recently initiated a 3 cents per share quarterly base dividend, with the first payment to be made in the third quarter.This Zacks Rank #1 stock with a Value Score of A is currently priced at $19 a share. In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 70.9% and 209.7% respectively.Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. Price Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. price | Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. QuoteG-III Apparel, Ltd. GIII: Solid gains from the company’s assortments and digital business are currently driving results. Although the retail business has been sluggish, management has completed the division’s restructuring and the new model is poised to attain profitability. G-III Apparel’s digital business also continues to exhibit strength.This stock too sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Value Score of A. It is currently priced at $28.45 a share. In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 341.6% and 30.2%, respectively.GIII Apparel Group, LTD. Price GIII Apparel Group, LTD. price | GIII Apparel Group, LTD. QuoteAbercrombie & Fitch Company ANF: The company operates as a specialty retailer of premium, high-quality casual apparel for men, women, and kids through a network of approximately 850 stores across North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Abercrombie is making significant progress in expanding digital and omni-channel capabilities to better engage with consumers. Despite the reopening of stores, the company’s strong digital momentum continued in the last-reported second-quarter 2021.This stock too sports a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Value Score A. It is currently priced at $28.45 a share.In 2021, the company’s earnings and sales are expected to grow 341.6% and 30.2%, respectively.Abercrombie & Fitch Company Price Abercrombie & Fitch Company price | Abercrombie & Fitch Company Quote 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Abercrombie & Fitch Company (ANF): Free Stock Analysis Report GIII Apparel Group, LTD. (GIII): Free Stock Analysis Report Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NOG): Free Stock Analysis Report Schneider National, Inc. (SNDR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks20 hr. 53 min. ago

The IQ Protocol Origin Story – How It All Began

Subscription models are everywhere these days. From Spotify to fitness gyms, it seems as if there is nothing that a business can’t turn into a subscription model. You can even get a monthly bacon subscription – please wait until the end of this article before signing up for this tasty monthly delivery! Q2 2021 hedge […] Subscription models are everywhere these days. From Spotify to fitness gyms, it seems as if there is nothing that a business can’t turn into a subscription model. You can even get a monthly bacon subscription – please wait until the end of this article before signing up for this tasty monthly delivery! 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 .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Icahn eBook! Get our entire 10-part series on Carl Icahn and other famous investors in PDF for free! Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet or print it! Sign up below. NO SPAM EVER (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more This all goes to show, consumers love this new business model. Many members of the current generation are proving time and time again that they value experiences over ownership. So much so, that we may be in the midst of a new era itself, one where humanity sees the end of ownership all together. At the same time, the rising price of Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies would soon garner increasing public interest in the crypto space, driving more and more demand for new and exciting projects. The “chicken and the egg” issue of launching a project via ICO refers to the case when potentially good teams had to create native tokens, tie them to the core product, all in an effort to raise funds for product development. Without capital, projects would not be able to get off the ground. Without anything to show to the public, projects would have trouble raising capital. While many projects may have found success raising capital via an ICO – many were later trapped with the painful reality that the issued tokens had no viable use cases. Dreams that a successful project would equate to a rising token price were soon met with the harsh reality that such ties were not as linear as initially expected. And while many successful crypto projects continue today – it would not be surprising to see that this success had very little carryover into the relevant tokens that were issued to get those projects off the ground to begin with. PARSIQ has previously faced such a situation, so I would like to tell how our team invented the solution, which can also be implemented for any other cryptocurrency project. The solution is called IQ Protocol. How Did PARSIQ Start? Most of the PARSIQ team are comprised of professional blockchain engineers who have built numerous blockchain systems and backends for crypto exchanges. In prior roles and projects, each of the team members faced the same issue – they had to build something to connect blockchain activity to centralized applications, devices, user-facing front-ends, legacy systems and other off-chain networks. Realizing this, the PARSIQ team saw an opportunity to build a platform where absolutely anyone (coder or non-coder, individual, team or enterprise) could develop and deploy blockchain to off-chain connections with just a few clicks or a few lines of code. In 2019, PRQ tokens went live through a regulated IEO on Coinmetro exchange. Initially, PRQ tokens were a part of the PARSIQ platform which co-existed with fiat payments for using it’s services. In other words, PARSIQ platform users could pay either via Stripe or PRQ. There are hundreds of companies that have a very similar tokenomics model - having their tokens as means of payment or discount while taking fiat at the same time. Under such models, this setup is flawed, as it disincentivizes an individual from holding the token to begin with. Why go through the extra step of acquiring a token to pay for services, when the services can be paid in fiat instead? Such an arrangement erodes any utility the token was initially designed to have, and ultimately leads to an overall lack of use or interest in the token. Most purchasers become speculators, hoping that an eventual rise in popularity of the project will translate into price appreciation for the related token. PARSIQ Evolved, The Birth Of IQ Protocol Since the beginning, PARSIQ had always envisioned being more than just a coding language for skilled individuals. Our company now has a user-friendly interface so that anyone (regardless of technical skillset) can find the PARSIQ monitoring solution useful and profitable for themselves. Today, PARSIQ is continuing to push the boundaries with its innovations. As of Q2 2021, the innovative side of the project is focused on: Scaling the monitoring suite of solutions for corporate usage; Building the next-generation subscription model for all SaaS companies in the world - the IQ Protocol. Our approach is very different from traditional Layer 1 blockchains, such as Ethereum and Bitcoin. The creation of a universal bridge between the different ecosystems will catalyze broader adoption of blockchain technology. We have been working with a lot of cryptocurrency projects, and at times, helping to mitigate hacks and forking impacted tokens. Many companies have also come to us asking to help them build a proper token economy model, taking into account their exciting products and services. In December 2020, Anatoly Ressin, PARSIQ’s Chief Blockchain Architect held an AMA demonstrating how our proposed IQ Protocol solution would work within the PARSIQ ecosystem. The idea was to align the interests of all of the tokenholders for PRQ - hodlers and traders - with the interests of our utility users. PARSIQ Became The First Tokenized SaaS Business PARSIQ was the first ‘client’ to IQ Protocol for utilizing this DeFi framework in order to build a transparent and risk-free economy model for its tokens and the platform. Our team has devised a blockchain agnostic solution for implementing subscriptions on-chain in a flexible and cheap manner. This has been done all while preserving the all important workflows such as cancel/refund policies, different time-frame considerations, consumption rate quotas, discounts, and more. This was accomplished through the introduction of a concept utilizing PowerTokens. PowerTokens are not used as a means of payment, but rather, as a deterministic over-time “energy” generator. Within IQ, energy plays a role in accounting for the unit of service consumption (like gas units in Ethereum). Solving the common crypto “token not needed” problem, we have become the first enterprise to transform the traditional subscription model using IQ Protocol. As of today, every PARSIQ user can use the platform and build monitoring solutions simply by holding PRQ tokens as a method of payment. IQ Protocol helps companies build a circular economy and take into account the interests of the main shareholder groups: HODLers, service users, and traders. Under IQ, the new PARSIQ subscription model works as follows: Platform users, mainly businesses, pay for the service by holding special PRQ tokens. Consumers have two options: either buy the original tokens that have life-time value, or rent PRQ tokens from the renting pool. The main idea here is that the original tokens are not released from the renting pool. Instead, the pool mints an expirable version of these tokens. Lenders can loan their PRQ into the IQ Protocol and start earning yield. If a person lends his PRQ to the pool, he will be issued iPRQ (interest PRQ) as proof that he has placed PRQ into the pool. As the name suggests, the lender earns an interest on his PRQ when PARSIQ customer borrows them from the pool. IQ Protocol Provides Existing Tokens Utility For Any Project Fixing a broken economy is not for the faint of heart, after all, full careers have been built around such monumental tasks – understanding everything from borrowing and lending, to national and global consumption in the consideration of setting various economic policies. However, in the context of token economies, PARSIQ, and our IQ Protocol, has created the ultimate “plug and play” tokenomics model. This solution, which is industry and blockchain agnostic, lays out the framework to provide instant utility to existing and/or planned tokens. IQ Protocol is a risk-free, collateral-less solution to tokenize subscriptions. Effectively, any product or service sold by a project can be turned into a subscription – where access to that solution is controlled via the project’s token. Under this protocol, we have completely reimagined how the subscription model is executed, and have also introduced a new dimension in terms of how businesses can operate. How To Utilize IQ Protocol For A Project Businesses utilizing IQ will first need to look at their product portfolio to understand how such solutions can be turned into a subscription model. Once the business has defined what the token can represent, the product can then be tied to the token, giving the token holder the rights and privileges that have been assigned to that token as defined by the business. Tokens are then assigned a lifetime value – which determines how much and how long the token holder has access to the products and services for while holding that token. IQ Protocol also takes an innovative approach to token utility through the introduction of Power Tokens. Unlike conventional utility tokens which represent a fixed amount of utility, Power Tokens generate utility over time. Therefore, holders of Power Tokens "subscribe" to utility rather than possessing a fixed quantity. For example, the conventional "tomato token" would represent rights to collect 1 kg of tomatoes, whereas a Power "tomato token" (with weekly flow and expiry in 1 year) would represent a right to collect 1 kg of tomatoes per week for a year. Power Tokens are housed in a "Power Enterprise" - a series of smart contracts which aggregate several IQ Protocol features, including governance, funding, and the ability to mint new Power Tokens. IQ also introduces a concept known as the renting pool – which ultimately allows consumers to rent tokens from token holders versus holding them outright. The Next Steps Currently, our team is now investigating another great use case for IQ Protocol - NFT renting. Using IQ renting pools, projects could build their own marketplaces for trustless, decentralized, risk-free, collateral-less renting of NFTs. This is suitable for any type of NFT token and creates new utility for collectibles or in-game NFTs, as an example. NFT owners can earn passive income from renting their NFTs, assured by knowing it’s absolutely risk-free and time-estimated. Users can rent expirable versions of these NFTs by paying a fee for a trial period or in order to get the benefit immediately without buying the asset, like renting a unique powerful weapon (or other in-game assets) to defeat an opponent in-game. Updated on Sep 21, 2021, 12:52 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; 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: valuewalk22 hr. 9 min. ago

Rabobank: As With Evergiven, Evergrande Is Just The Symptom Of Far Larger Problems

Rabobank: As With Evergiven, Evergrande Is Just The Symptom Of Far Larger Problems By Michael Every of Rabobank It's Ever Something On 23 March, the giant cargo vessel Evergiven got stuck in the Suez Canal and blocked it for six days. Obviously, this dominated global headlines. Even Joe Shmoe could see global supply chains were not operating efficiently because of their gigantism. Six days, six months ago: yet today bullwhip supply-chain problems are still passing through the global system in escalating waves. Evergiven was just a symbol for those who had not been paying any attention to the underlying ‘too big to sail’ problems it represented. These were decades in the making, and will be years in the solving; will involve lots of money; and because they will also involve a different way of doing things, we haven’t even started yet in most places. Evergrande, a giant Chinese property developer, has also run aground. Suddenly everyone in markets knows who it is, and is worrying about it. It is huge, and its debts are equally huge: $300bn, perhaps more. The whisper is that this could be China’s “Lehman moment”. Even with Chinese markets closed until Wednesday, we are seeing knock-on sell-offs around the world. Naturally, the upside specialists are also out there: Bloomberg today suggests market panic makes a bailout more likely: I think that dynamic only works on the US fiscal policy front. Indeed, within China there is a spectrum of possible government approaches to the crisis. At one extreme, ‘the Austrian’, where the pieces fall where they may. I don’t think any economy anywhere would allow that to happen. At the other extreme, ‘socialism for the rich’, where everyone gets to carry on as if nothing happened, which is what we have seen in OECD since 2008. That also seems unlikely. Indeed, the decision will be made against the backdrop of ‘common prosperity’, rooted in Marxist-Leninist theory, and which separates between ‘productive’ (manufacturing), ‘unproductive’ (services), and ‘fictitious’ (financial asset) forms of capital. Against that backdrop, are we going to see an outcome that rewards markets for not having listened to Beijing’s warnings about housing being for living, not speculation, and the three ‘red lines’ for property developers (1. 70% ceiling on liabilities to assets, excluding advance proceeds from projects sold on contract; 2. 100% cap on net debt to equity; 3. cash to short-term borrowing ratio of at least one)? That seems unlikely. Yet are we going to see an outcome where the physical capacity of the company is wiped out, and everyone fired? That also seems unlikely. The outcome is likely to involve serious pain for some markets --and management-- as we have already seen under ‘common prosperity’. However, a variety of bail-outs and bail-ins may ensure ordinary people are not too badly bruised. The industry and banking sector can be consolidated, and the tab passed to the PBOC. Evergrande itself can be renamed or repurposed: perhaps building “productive” social housing(?) – at the very least, operating under a tighter leash. Yet as with Evergiven, Evergrande is just the symbol of far larger problems. Everyone knows that China’s property sector is over-leveraged, its households are over-leveraged, and that far too much ‘productive’ physical output is channelled into building empty concrete high-rise boxes as a ‘store of wealth’, despite the fact they crumble over time and the population is about to shrink. Indeed, the key question is what the Chinese growth model looks like after Evergrande is resolved. What do you do with the 30% of GDP and 70% of household wealth tied up in property if, under ‘common prosperity’, house prices must stop going up (even if they are also strong-armed from going down)? It is a question that everyone is looking for an answer to. The West, with similar problems, has no idea. That’s why all we do is blow asset bubble after asset bubble, while burbling ‘Build Back Better’. Allegedly, PM BoJo in the UK thinks this a 30-year project: I doubt society has that kind of patience. In China’s case, the range of achievable state goals is far more immediate, and far wider, while the ideological imperative is far clearer. The problem is that what one might look to as a counter --more infrastructure, higher state spending, etc.-- has already been done à outrance unless China is to build a welfare state….by taxing whom? If not, how can one shift from a pre- to post-Covid fiscal deficit when one starts at a post-Covid fiscal deficit? The risks remain that China is forced to embrace RRR cuts, rate cuts, an even larger fiscal deficit, QE, and indeed MMT – which it can achieve as long as it retains capital controls and a trade surplus. Yet as global supply chains shift ahead to prevent Evergiven problems re-emerging, keeping that trade surplus might mean a need for a lower exchange rate at some point, even if CNY is pretending to be a true reserve currency for now by not moving in a crisis as others do: domestic brokers reportedly no longer being able to provide FX forecasts underline the opacity ahead. Yet more liquidity in the same system will just create new Evergrandes, just as more fiscal stimulus in the US without supply-chain restructuring will just see more Evergivens waiting in ports to unload. ‘The spice must flow’ – but *where* it flows will need to be directed much more carefully ahead, in both China and the US. Markets should be panicking about that, if anything: how we do things now is not how we will do them for ever and ever. (Amen.) Meanwhile, as alluded to, in the US the fiscal cliff-edge is being heralded as looming just a day ahead of the oncoming Fed tapering train. Will the debt ceiling drop on us? Will fiscal stimulus pass in a watered down form after (read: because of) a market panic, as Bloomberg thinks re: Evergrande? Again, take a step back and see that markets are panicking about the political direction of where money will, or won’t, flow….and yet most market analysts and economists claim ‘not to do’ politics! For the RBNZ, it is already enough for them to make clear they won’t be going 50bp next month, jus 25bp…if they go at all. Let’s see how our ‘it’s ever something’ problems play out before counting our unhatched Kiwis. The RBA’s minutes from September also underlined that its central scenario remains rates on hold until 2024. They have expensive submarines to help pay for now, after all! Lastly, I have to share last night’s ABC interview with China’s Victor Gao as a sample of the current zeitgeist in this region. It is worth a watch in its entirety if you don’t live in the region: imagine if this was your prime-time TV slot last night. Gao was emphatic about Australia being “logically” targeted for a potential nuclear attack because it wants nuclear-powered submarines. Notably, he is correct in saying this threat is clear strategic logic. Yet geostrategists would point out that Australia wanting such subs is also clear strategic logic – of the need for a balance of power and deterrence against any threats. Also recall, this is happening as China lobbies Australia to support its entry into the CPTPP trade partnership - which would of course help Beijing prop up those soon-to-be-needed-even-more trade surpluses, structurally. Realpolitik doesn’t change - ever. It just gets overlooked for long periods before it becomes obvious to even ‘always buy the dip’ markets. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 09:35.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. Reports Fourth Quarter Financial Results

DALLAS, Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:RAVE) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter ended June 27, 2021. Fourth Quarter Highlights: The Company recorded net income of $926 thousand for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to net income of $31 thousand for the same period of the prior year. Income before taxes was $892 thousand for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to net income before taxes of $32 thousand for the same period of the prior year. Total revenue increased by $0.8 million to $2.4 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the same period of the prior year. Pizza Inn domestic comparable store retail sales increased 63% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the same period of the prior year. Pie Five comparable store retail sales increased 36% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to the same period of the prior year. On a fully diluted basis, net income increased $0.05 per share to $0.05 per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 compared to net income of $0.00 per share for the same period of the prior year. Cash and cash equivalents increased $1.8 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 to $8.3 million at June 27, 2021. Pizza Inn domestic unit count finished at 135. Pizza Inn international unit count finished at 32. Pie Five domestic unit count finished at 33. Annual Highlights: Net income improved by $5.7 million to $1.5 million in fiscal 2021 compared to a net loss of $4.2 million in fiscal 2020. Net income before tax improved by $1.7 million to $1.5 million in fiscal 2021 compared to a loss of $0.2 million in fiscal 2020. Adjusted EBITDA of $2.0 million for fiscal 2021 was a $1.4 million increase from the prior year. On a fully diluted basis, the Company reported net income of $0.09 per share in fiscal 2021 compared to a net loss of $0.28 per share in the prior year. RAVE total domestic comparable store retail sales decreased 2.0% for the 52 weeks ended June 27, 2021 compared to the same period of the prior year. Pizza Inn domestic comparable store retail sales decreased 1.0% for the 52 weeks ended June 27, 2021 compared to the same period of the prior year. Pie Five comparable store retail sales decreased 6.2% for the 52 weeks ended June 27, 2021 compared to the same period of the prior year. Total consolidated revenue decreased by $1.4 million in fiscal 2021 to $8.6 million. Both fiscal 2021 and fiscal 2020 contained 52 weeks. Cash and cash equivalents increased $5.4 million in fiscal 2021 to $8.3 million. "We are pleased that the heroic efforts of our franchisees and team members have resulted in our fifth consecutive quarter of profitability. Our maniacal focus on cost control and relentless consumer-facing innovation is paying off with improving sales and consistent earnings despite the pandemic and the latest variant," said Brandon Solano, Chief Executive Officer of RAVE Restaurant Group. "Our fourth quarter net income of $.9M marks the fifth consecutive quarter of positive income, showing sequential improvement each quarter, in a pandemic, while running a buffet brand. This is RAVE's best streak of positive income in nearly a decade. While our fourth quarter income includes a one-time PPP loan forgiveness, we are generating positive operating income, have limited leverage and hold more than $8M in cash." "In Q4 we capitalized on the category's hottest trend of stuffed crust by elevating the experience and introducing Pie Five's Parmesan Crunch Stuffed Crust pizza with a trial-driving value offer. Earlier in the year we introduced our Panzano Pan pizza as well as our Impossible Tuscan meatball," said Solano. "Pie Five now offers three significant innovations a majority of our fast casual pizza competitors do not: pan pizza, plant-based meat pizza and stuffed crust. We will continue to focus on driving same store sales with innovation and strong operations." "Pizza Inn's core product significantly improved this year with our new garlic butter crust, transition to house-shredded 100% whole-milk mozzarella and our classic house-made dough. This month we introduced our House Pan Pizza with a campaign to highlight the differences between our house-made dough and Pizza Hut's frozen dough and frozen cheese. We have significant innovation in our pipeline and can't wait to share them with our customers," said Solano. "The financial results for fiscal 2021 underscore the tremendous efforts by our team at RAVE to advance our turnaround despite the many challenges facing the restaurant industry," said Clint Fendley, Chief Financial Officer of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. "We increased our cash from operations by $1.8 million and our cash and cash equivalents by $5.4 million, reduced our debt, and posted one of the best years of profitability for RAVE in a decade. We look forward to 2022 as we continue to invest in both brands in order to ignite growth in future periods." Non-GAAP Financial Measures The Company's financial statements are prepared in accordance with United States generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). However, the Company also presents and discusses certain non-GAAP financial measures that it believes are useful to investors as measures of operating performance. Management may also use such non-GAAP financial measures in evaluating the effectiveness of business strategies and for planning and budgeting purposes. However, these non-GAAP financial measures should not be viewed as an alternative or substitute for its financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  The Company considers EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA to be important supplemental measures of operating performance that are commonly used by securities analysts, investors and other parties interested in our industry. The Company believes that EBITDA is helpful to investors in evaluating its results of operations without the impact of expenses affected by financing methods, accounting methods and the tax environment. The Company believes that Adjusted EBITDA provides additional useful information to investors by excluding non-operational or non-recurring expenses to provide a measure of operating performance that is more comparable from period to period. Management also uses these non-GAAP financial measures for evaluating operating performance, assessing the effectiveness of business strategies, projecting future capital needs, budgeting and other planning purposes. "EBITDA" represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Adjusted EBITDA represents earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, stock compensation expense, severance, gain/loss sale of assets, costs related to impairment and other lease charges, franchise default and closed store revenue/expense, and closed and non-operating store costs. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP financial measures to net income is included with the accompanying financial statements.  Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements Certain statements in this press release, other than historical information, may be considered forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations that involve numerous risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Assumptions relating to these forward-looking statements involve judgments with respect to, among other things, future economic, competitive and market conditions, regulatory framework and future business decisions, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately and many of which are beyond the control of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. Although the assumptions underlying these forward-looking statements are believed to be reasonable, any of the assumptions could be inaccurate and, therefore, there can be no assurance that any forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate. In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in these forward-looking statements, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation that the objectives and plans of RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. will be achieved.  About RAVE Restaurant Group, Inc. Founded in 1958, Dallas-based RAVE Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:RAVE) owns, operates, franchises and/or licenses 200 Pie Five Pizza Co. and Pizza Inn restaurants and Pizza Inn Express kiosks domestically and internationally. Pizza Inn is an international chain featuring freshly made pizzas, along with salads, pastas, and desserts. Pie Five Pizza Co. is a leader in the rapidly growing fast-casual pizza space. Pizza Inn Express, or PIE, is developing unique opportunities to provide freshly made pizza from non-traditional outlets. The Company's common stock is listed on the Nasdaq Capital Market under the symbol "RAVE". For more information, please visit www.raverg.com. Contact:Investor RelationsRAVE Restaurant Group, Inc.469-384-5000   RAVE RESTAURANT GROUP, INC. CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (In thousands, except per share amounts) (Unaudited) Three Months Ended Twelve Months Ended June 27, 2021 June 28, 2020 June 27, 2021 June 28, 2020 REVENUES: $ 2,379 $ 1,617 $ 8,593 $ 10,028 COSTS AND EXPENSES: Cost of sales 35 86 264 439 General and administrative expenses 1,186 920 4,710 5,503 Franchise expenses 612 487 2,394 3,051 Gain on sale of assets 146 (31) (10) (24) Impairment of long-lived assets and other lease charges - 44 21 880 Bad debt expense 103 14 121 53 Interest expense 23 20 92 95 Depreciation and amortization expense 39 45 167 186 Total costs and expenses 2,144 1,585 7,759 10,183 OTHER INCOME: - - - - Gain on forgiveness of PPP loan (657) - (657) - Total other income (657) - (657) -.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 21st, 2021

AutoZone 4th Quarter Same Store Sales Increase 4.3%; 4th Quarter EPS Increases to $35.72; Annual Sales of $14.6 Billion

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Sept. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) today reported net sales of $4.9 billion for its fourth quarter (16 weeks) ended August 28, 2021, an increase of 8.1% from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2020 (16 weeks). Domestic same store sales, or sales for stores open at least one year, increased 4.3% for the quarter. "Our strong sales and earnings this quarter are a testament to our AutoZoners' ongoing commitment to going the extra mile for our customers. Our retail business performed very well this quarter ending with virtually flat same store sales on top of last year's historic growth of over 20%.  And, our commercial business growth continues to be exceptionally strong at 21.2%. The investments we are making continue to strengthen our competitive positioning in all the sectors and markets we compete. We are optimistic about our growth prospects heading into our new fiscal year," said Bill Rhodes, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. For the quarter, gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.3%, a decrease of 82 basis points versus the prior year. The decrease in gross margin was primarily driven by the initiatives to accelerate growth in our Commercial business. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, was 31.0% versus 30.7% last year. Our expense growth was primarily driven by higher payroll to support our sales and customer service initiatives, partially offset by a decrease in pandemic related expenses. In addition, we are investing in   technology to underpin our growth initiatives and we are seeing higher wage costs in our stores and distribution centers. Operating profit increased 2.6% to $1.0 billion. Net income for the quarter increased 6.1% over the same period last year to $785.8 million, while diluted earnings per share increased 15.5% to $35.72 from $30.93 in the year-ago quarter. For the fiscal year ended August 28, 2021, sales were $14.6 billion, an increase of 15.8% from the prior year, while domestic same store sales were up 13.6%. Gross profit, as a percentage of sales, was 52.8% versus 53.6%. The decrease in gross margin was primarily attributable to the initiatives to accelerate growth in our Commercial business. Operating expenses, as a percentage of sales, were 32.6% versus 34.5%. The reduction in operating expenses as a percent of sales was driven by strong sales growth and a decrease in pandemic related expenses. For fiscal 2021, net income increased 25.2% to $2.2 billion and diluted earnings per share increased 32.3% to $95.19 from $71.93. Return on invested capital finished at 41.0%. Under its share repurchase program, AutoZone repurchased 592 thousand shares of its common stock for $900 million during the fourth quarter, at an average price of $1,519 per share. For the fiscal year, the Company repurchased 2.6 million shares of its common stock for $3.4 billion, at an average price of $1,303 per share. At year end, the Company had $417.6 million remaining under its current share repurchase authorization. The Company's inventory increased 3.7% over the same period last year, driven by new stores and improved product assortment. Inventory per store was $686 thousand versus $683 thousand last year and $701 thousand last quarter. Net inventory, defined as merchandise inventories less accounts payable, on a per store basis, was negative $203 thousand versus negative $104 thousand last year and negative $167 thousand last quarter."While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our customers' and AutoZoners' lives, our primary focus remains everyone's health and well-being. We will continue to help wherever we can to make our stores the best and safest place to shop for everyone's automotive needs. We remain committed to helping our AutoZoners during these difficult times. As always, we will take nothing for granted while striving for continued sales growth in fiscal 2022. As we continue to prudently invest capital in our business, we remain committed to our long-term, disciplined, approach of increasing operating earnings and cash flow while utilizing our balance sheet effectively," said Rhodes. During the quarter ended August 28, 2021, AutoZone opened 76 new stores in the U.S., 29 stores in Mexico and five stores in Brazil. At our fiscal year end, the Company had 6,051 stores in the U.S., 664 in Mexico and 52 in Brazil for a total store count of 6,767. AutoZone is the leading retailer and a leading distributor of automotive replacement parts and accessories in the Americas. Each AutoZone store carries an extensive product line for cars, sport utility vehicles, vans and light trucks, including new and remanufactured automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories, and non-automotive products. Many stores also have a commercial sales program that provides commercial credit and prompt delivery of parts and other products to local, regional and national repair garages, dealers, service stations and public sector accounts. We also have commercial programs in all stores in Mexico and Brazil. AutoZone also sells the ALLDATA brand diagnostic and repair software through www.alldata.com. Additionally, we sell automotive hard parts, maintenance items, accessories and non-automotive products through www.autozone.com and our commercial customers can make purchases through www.autozonepro.com. We also provide product information on our Duralast branded products through www.duralastparts.com. AutoZone does not derive revenue from automotive repair or installation. AutoZone will host a conference call this morning, Tuesday, September 21, 2021, beginning at 10:00 a.m. (EDT) to discuss its fourth quarter results. This call is being web cast and can be accessed, along with supporting slides, at AutoZone's website at www.autozone.com and clicking on Investor Relations. Investors may also listen to the call by dialing (877) 407-8031. In addition, a telephone replay will be available by dialing (877) 481-4010 through October 19, 2021,11:59 pm (EDT). This release includes certain financial information not derived in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"). These non-GAAP measures include adjustments to reflect return on invested capital, adjusted debt and adjusted debt to EBITDAR. The Company believes that the presentation of these non-GAAP measures provides information that is useful to investors as it indicates more clearly the Company's comparative year-to-year operating results, but this information should not be considered a substitute for any measures derived in accordance with GAAP. Management targets the Company's capital structure in order to maintain its investment grade credit ratings. The Company believes this is important information for the management of its debt levels and share repurchases. We have included a reconciliation of this additional information to the most comparable GAAP measures in the accompanying reconciliation tables. Certain statements contained in this press release constitute forward-looking statements that are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements typically use words such as "believe," "anticipate," "should," "intend," "plan," "will," "expect," "estimate," "project," "positioned," "strategy," "seek," "may," "could," and similar expressions. These are based on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors that we believe to be appropriate. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including without limitation: product demand; energy prices; weather; competition; credit market conditions; cash flows; access to available and feasible financing; future stock repurchases; the impact of recessionary conditions; consumer debt levels; changes in laws or regulations; risks associated with self-insurance; war and the prospect of war, including terrorist activity; the impact of public health issues, such as the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic; inflation; the ability to hire, train and retain qualified employees; construction delays; the compromising of confidentiality, availability or integrity of information, including cyber-attacks; historic growth rate sustainability; downgrade of our credit ratings; damages to our reputation; challenges in international markets; failure or interruption of our information technology systems; origin and raw material costs of suppliers; disruption in our supply chain; impact of tariffs; anticipated impact of new accounting standards; and business interruptions. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are discussed in more detail in the "Risk Factors" section contained in Item 1A under Part 1 of the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended August 29, 2020, and these Risk Factors should be read carefully. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results, developments and business decisions may differ from those contemplated by such forward-looking statements, and events described above and in the "Risk Factors" could materially and adversely affect our business. However, it should be understood that it is not possible to identify or predict all such risks and other factors that could affect these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made. Except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Contact Information:Financial: Brian Campbell at (901) 495-7005, brian.campbell@autozone.comMedia: David McKinney at (901) 495-7951, david.mckinney@autozone.com     AutoZone's 4th Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2021   Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations 4th Quarter, FY2021 (in thousands, except per share data)     GAAP Results     16 Weeks Ended   16 Weeks Ended     August 28, 2021   August 29, 2020(2)           Net sales   $ 4,913,484     $ 4,545,968   Cost of sales     2,345,646       2,132,993   Gross profit     2,567,838       2,412,975   Operating, SG&A expenses     1,523,808       1,394,930   Operating profit (EBIT)     1,044,030       1,018,045   Interest expense, net     58,119       65,638   Income before taxes     985,911       952,407   Income taxes(1)     200,140       211,950   Net income   $ 785,771     $ 740,457   Net income per share:           Basic   $ 36.72     $ 31.67     Diluted   $ 35.72     $ 30.93   Weighted average shares outstanding:           Basic     21,400       23,383     Diluted     22,000       23,942                 (1)The sixteen weeks ended August 28, 2021 and the comparable prior year period include $21.2M and $3.3M in tax benefits from stock option exercises, respectively (2)The sixteen weeks ended August 29, 2020 was negatively impacted by pandemic related expenses, including Emergency Time-Off of approximately $10.7M (pre-tax)     Fiscal Year 2021         (in thousands, except per share data)                 GAAP Results         52 Weeks Ended   52 Weeks Ended         August 28, 2021(2)   August 29, 2020(2)               Net sales   $ 14,629,585     $ 12,631,967   Cost of sales     6,911,800       5,861,214   Gross profit     7,717,785       6,770,753   Operating, SG&A expenses     4,773,258       4,353,074   Operating profit (EBIT)     2,944,527       2,417,679   Interest expense, net     195,337       201,165   Income before taxes     2,749,190       2,216,514   Income taxes(1)     578,876       483,542   Net income   $ 2,170,314     $ 1,732,972   Net income per share:           Basic   $ 97.60     $ 73.62     Diluted   $ 95.19     $ 71.93   Weighted average shares outstanding:           Basic     22,237       23,540     Diluted     22,799       24,093      (1)The 52 weeks ended August 28, 2021 and the comparable prior year period include $56.4M and $20.9M in tax benefits from stock option exercises, respectively (2)The 52 weeks ended August 28, 2021 and the comparable prior year period were negatively impacted by pandemic related expenses, including Emergency Time-Off of approximately $43.0M (pre-tax) and $83.9M (pre-tax), respectively     Selected Balance Sheet Information         (in thousands)                 August 28, 2021   August 29, 2020               Cash and cash equivalents   $ 1,171,335     $ 1,750,815   Merchandise inventories     4,639,813       4,473,282   Current assets     6,415,303       6,811,872   Property and equipment, net     4,856,891       4,509,221   Operating lease right-of-use assets     2,718,712       2,581,677   Total assets     14,516,199       14,423,872   Accounts payable     6,013,924       5,156,324   Current liabilities     7,369,754       6,283,091   Operating lease liabilities, less current portion     2,632,842       2,501,560   Total debt     5,269,820       5,513,371   Stockholders' deficit     (1,797,536 )     (877,977 ) Working capital     (954,451 )     528,781                 AutoZone's 4th Quarter Highlights - Fiscal 2021                                     Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations                                         Adjusted Debt / EBITDAR                 (in thousands, except adjusted debt to EBITDAR ratio)   Trailing 4 Quarters                   August 28, 2021   August 29, 2020         Net income    $ 2,170,314     $ 1,732,972           Add:  Interest expense     195,337       201,165                     Income tax expense     578,876       483,542           EBIT       2,944,527       2,417,679                             .....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 21st, 2021

PRA Group (PRAA) Declares Pricing of Senior Notes Offering

To boost financial flexibility, PRAA Group (PRAA) prices senior notes to procure funds and pay back its outstanding revolving borrowings under the North American Credit Agreement. PRA Group, Inc. PRAA announced the pricing of its public offering of senior notes. The company upsized the notes from the previously announced amount of $300 million to $350 million. Subject to certain closing conditions, the offering is expected to be complete on or about Sep 22, 2021.Inside the HeadlinesThe notes carry an interest rate of 5% and are due 2029. The same will be guaranteed on a senior unsecured basis by the company’s present and forthcoming domestic units, which are guarantors or borrowers under its North American Credit Agreement.The company intends to use the funds raised from the above-mentioned notes to pay back $345.5 million of its outstanding revolving borrowings under the aforesaid agreement.However, the prepayment will not decrease the revolving borrowing commitment and the prepaid amount can be availed of for re-borrowing, pending certain approvals.In the last several quarters, higher borrowing costs and an increased leverage shot up interest expenses. Consequently, the company’s total debt to total capital of 63.3% is higher than the industry’s figure of 41.8%. Its times interest earned stands at 2.98X, lower than the industry's average of 14.14X. Thus, its lack of financial flexibility remains a concern.However, repurchase of notes will be a relief. At the end of the second quarter of 2021, borrowings dropped 9.5% to $2.4 billion from the number at 2020 end. On the last earnings call, management said that it expanded the company’s European credit facility and even extended the maturity of both its credit capacities.Zacks Rank and Price PerformanceWith a market capitalization of $1.868 billion, shares of this currently Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 14.8% in six months’ time, outperforming its industry’s growth of 11.1%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchStocks to ConsiderSome better-ranked stocks in the same space are Credit Acceptance Corporation CACC, CIT Group Inc. CIT and HoulihanLokey, Inc. HLI, earnings of which managed to deliver a trailing four-quarter surprise of 65.4%, 224.59% and 38.33%, respectively, on average. All the companies presently hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Breakout Biotech Stocks with Triple-Digit Profit Potential The biotech sector is projected to surge beyond $2.4 trillion by 2028 as scientists develop treatments for thousands of diseases. They’re also finding ways to edit the human genome to literally erase our vulnerability to these diseases. Zacks has just released Century of Biology: 7 Biotech Stocks to Buy Right Now to help investors profit from 7 stocks poised for outperformance. Recommendations from previous editions of this report have produced gains of +205%, +258% and +477%. The stocks in this report could perform even better.See these 7 breakthrough stocks now>>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report CIT Group Inc. (CIT): Free Stock Analysis Report PRA Group, Inc. (PRAA): Free Stock Analysis Report Credit Acceptance Corporation (CACC): Free Stock Analysis Report Houlihan Lokey, Inc. (HLI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Dow Surges 2.3% as Boeing Begins Testing the 737 Max

Dow Surges 2.3% as Boeing Begins Testing the 737 Max SPECIAL ALERT: We’ve just released this quarter’s Ultimate Four report which includes four stocks our team believes have the greatest upside potential over the upcoming quarter. This latest report features favorite stocks from David Bartosiak, Tracey Ryniec, Jeremy Mullin and Madeleine Johnson. Log on to Zacks.com to see these stocks today. Coronavirus cases continued to rise over the weekend, but the market decided not to worry about it on Monday. Instead, the major indices each gained well over 1% to begin a holiday-shortened week. The biggest winner was the Dow, which soared 2.32% (or about 580 points) to 25,595.80. The index got a lot of help from Boeing (BA), which soared 14.4% as test flights for the beleaguered 737 Max began today. The airline giant has been a drag on the index for more than a year now, since a pair of crashes in early 2019 grounded the aircraft and led to several lawsuits. Meanwhile, the S&P jumped 1.47% to 3053.24, while the NASDAQ improved 1.2% (or nearly 117 points) to 9874.15. The indices rallied into the close. Stocks are coming back from their second negative week in the past three. This was the penultimate session for the month of June and each of the indices are heading into the final day with gains for the month. It’s been a wild ride as stocks were very optimistic to start the month before growing increasingly skeptical of the recovery in the back half. Unfortunately, we won’t see as strong a month as May (when each of the indices soared by more than 4%), but a positive result would still be encouraging given the herky-jerky recovery amid a rise in virus cases. We also got some help today from really positive pending home sales, which soared 44.3% in May. That’s the largest one-month spike in the survey’s history and showed that buyers were willing – even eager – to put their money to work. This might be a short week since the market is closed on Friday, but it won’t be an uneventful one. The government employment situation report will be released a day early on Thursday. You may remember that the last one was unexpectedly and impressively positive, with the economy adding 2.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate moving lower to 13.3%. It should be a big factor in sentiment as we begin the three-day, July 4th weekend. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Insider Trader: The E&Ps aren't doing nearly as badly as you’d think from their stocks, so Tracey decided to make another buy in the volatile energy space on Monday. The editor picked up Magnolia (MGY), a small-cap, Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) exploration & production company that’s well off its March lows but still down 52% year-to-date. Several companies from this space will likely declare bankruptcy, but Tracey doesn’t think MGY will be one of them. And neither does their CEO apparently, who bought shares of his own company FIVE times this month in a series of 'confidence' buys. The stock was added today with a 10% allocation. However, the editor warns that this one will be a wild ride, so get ready to be “whipped around”. The complete commentary has a lot more on this new addition. TAZR Trader: The portfolio kicked off the week with a pair of buys: Ciena (CIEN) and Inseego (INSG). CIEN is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) provider of optical networking equipment that reported a beat-and-raise quarter early this month. Analysts have upgraded their outlooks, and the stock is expected to see profit growth of 38% this year. INSG is a small-cap “pioneer” in 5G and intelligent IoT device-to-cloud solutions. It got a lot of attention and a share price surge after partnering with Verizon to rollout 5G in San Diego. It also reported a beat-and-raise quarter, while its 2020 sales consensus is up 37% to more than $300 million. Kevin put 10% into CIEN and 7% in INSG. Read his complete commentary for much more on these moves. Surprise Trader: This portfolio will see a “major purge” this week as Dave gets ready for the beginning of earnings season. Yep, it’s almost that time once again! The editor started today by selling CarMax (KMX) for an approximately 0.65% profit in about two-and-a-half weeks. The new buy is MSC Industrial (MSM), a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) supplies to industrial customers. It has a positive Earnings ESP of 4.95% for the quarter coming before the bell on Wednesday, July 8. The editor added MSM on Monday with a 12.5% allocation. Read more about today’s moves in the full write-up. Healthcare Innovators: Two innovative companies with tons of potential were added on Monday: Acadia Pharmaceuticals (ACAD) and Axcella Health (AXLA). ACAD has a central nervous system drug that's already approved for Parkinson’s disease psychosis, but might also be used for dementia-related psychosis, depression, and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. These opportunities hold billions of dollars of potential, though there is some event risk with the FDA and clinical trial data. Sales of ACAD are expected to grow 30% this year and another 67% next. AXLA is a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) emerging pharma company focused on liver diseases, especially the development of EMMs for NASH, sickle cell, muscle atrophy and others. This stock has a highly speculative risk/reward profile, but Kevin is taking a chance given the potential upside for research into NASH, which is begging for a partnership with a big pharma name. Read the editor’s full write-up for a lot more on these new buys. Black Box Trader: This week's adjustment included three swaps. The stocks that were sold included: • Louisiana-Pacific (LPX, +0.66%) • Herbalife (HLF) • Lennar (LEN) The new buys that replaced these names were: • Commercial Metals (CMC) • Dine Brands (DIN) • Phillips 66 (PSX) Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service designed to take the emotion out of investing. All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Dow Jumps Over 1% on Fourth Consecutive Day in the Green

Dow Jumps Over 1% on Fourth Consecutive Day in the Green SPECIAL ALERT: Remember, we need your input to make next week’s new Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session episode the best it can be. There are two ways you can participate: 1) Zacks Mailbag: In this regular segment, Kevin Matras answers your questions ranging from current market conditions, general investing wisdom, usage of the Zacks Rank or any resources of Zacks.com and more. Pretty much anything goes. 2) Portfolio Makeover: Sheraz Mian and David Bartosiak review a customer portfolio to give feedback for improvement. No need to send us personal information such as dollar value of holdings. Simply email us with all of the tickers you own. Just make sure to email your submissions for either one, or both, by tomorrow morning, August 6. Email now to mailbag@zacks.com. Not even a soft ADP employment report could stop this market from continuing to advance on Wednesday. And now, the major indices have all started the month of August with three straight days of gains. The Dow took the lead today by rising 1.39% (or about 373 points) to 27,201.52. Disney (DIS) was a big help by jumping 8.8% after last night’s third-quarter report, which included a surprise profit of 8 cents despite all its coronavirus challenges. The entertainment giant surprised by more than 118% and boasted 100 million subscribers across its streaming platforms. The S&P was up 0.64% to 3327.77. This index and the Dow have four-day winning streaks each. The NASDAQ participated in this solid day with an increase of 0.52% (or about 57 points) to 10,998.40. The index briefly surpassed 11,000 on Wednesday and still finished with a third straight closing high. It has also gained for the past six sessions. So the ADP employment report was a disappointment. The private sector added only 167,000 jobs last month, which was way off expectations of more than 1 million. It was also down sharply from last month’s more than 4 million. The market didn’t mind very much. This report traditionally comes before the big government employment situation, but doesn’t have to be a bellwether. Meanwhile, the ISM services report was solid, rising to 58.1 in July. (Anything over 50 indicates expansion.) The result beat expectations of 55 and improved upon last month’s 57.1. And we’re still waiting for Congress to find some common ground on the next coronavirus relief package. The market isn’t too concerned about this right now either, since we’re all pretty sure that something will eventually get done. However, the market can change in an instant. In other words, it can shrug off these delays for a while… and then suddenly decide to care and move sharply lower if people don’t get the help they need. So hurry up, Washington! Today's Portfolio Highlights: Blockchain Innovators: Shares of WISeKey International (WKEY) just keep going up, but Dave doesn’t mind doing a little chasing in this portfolio. This cybersecurity company deploys large scale digital ecosystems for those using blockchain, AI and the Internet of Things. It recently created an app that allows users to upload and certify the results of their coronavirus test, which the company believes can be used to facilitate international travel. The editor added WKEY on Wednesday, while also selling 360 Finance (QFIN) for a 36.7% return in a little over three months. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves. By the way, this portfolio now has four of the top five best performers among all ZU services over the past 30 days. Those winners include Advanced Micro Devices (AMD, +59.8%), iClick Interactive (ICLK, +47.4%), PFSweb (PFSW, +45.8%) and eXp World Holdings (EXPI, +41.4%). Counterstrike: The market’s reaction to a quarterly report can be unpredictable… even if a stock beats earnings expectations. Therefore, Jeremy decided to sell half of Turtle Beach (HEAR) on Wednesday to reduce risk ahead of its report coming tomorrow. The move brought a return of 15.9% in about three weeks. The editor will hold onto the other half through the print and manage it from there. Meanwhile, the portfolio also sold all of Workday (WDAY) for a 3.4% return in two months. Read the full write-up for more. Surprise Trader: It’s not a bad idea to own a stock like PGT (PGTI) during hurricane season. This company is the nation’s leading manufacturer and supplier of residential impact-resistant windows. It beat by more than 115% in its most recent quarterly report, and has a positive Earnings ESP of 0.5% for the one coming up before the bell on Wednesday, August 12. If PGTI beats again, it would be the third straight positive surprise. Dave added this Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) on Wednesday with a 12.5% allocation. The editor also sold Turning Point Brands (TPB) for a 4.15% return in 2 weeks. See the complete commentary for more on today’s moves. In other news, this portfolio had a big winner today as JELD-WEN Holdings (JELD) rose 11.2% after its quarterly report.   Home Run Investor: Last week, Comfort Systems (FIX) reported second-quarter earnings that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 237%! It was the company’s third positive surprise in the past four quarters. FIX is a national provider of comprehensive HVAC installation, maintenance, repair and replacement services. Rising earnings estimates have made it a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Brian thinks its valuation is “great”. The editor also sold the underperforming Rambus (RMBS) to make room for FIX. Read the full write-up for more on today’s action. Have a Great Evening, Jim Giaquinto   Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

S&P Crosses New Milestone With First Close Above 3700

S&P Crosses New Milestone With First Close Above 3700 SPECIAL ALERT: The December episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session is now available for viewing! Tune in to this “must-see” event when Kevin Matras, Sheraz Mian, Jeremy Mullin, Tracey Ryniec and Madeleine Johnson discuss the investment landscape from several angles.   Don’t miss your chance to hear: ▪ Tracey and Madeleine Agree to Disagree on whether Black Friday, when consumers rush to stores to get deals the day after Thanksgiving, is over in 2020 as online shopping takes precedence ▪ Kevin covers his position on stop-loss orders in Zacks Mailbag   ▪ Sheraz and Jeremy choose one portfolio to give feedback for improvement ▪ And much more Simply log on to Zacks.com and view the December episode here. And please let us know what you think of this format. Email all feedback to mailbag@zacks.com. More records and more milestones were reached on Tuesday as the market cheered news that the U.K. began administering the Pfizer (PFE)/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. The S&P closed above 3,700 for the first time ever today, which is exactly two weeks after the Dow made history with its first close above 30K. The index rose 0.28% to a new record of 3702.25. Meanwhile, the NASDAQ advanced 0.50% (or about 62 points) to 12,582.77, marking its fourth straight day with a record closing high. The Dow jumped 0.35% (or around 104 points) to 30,173.88. Its just about 45 points away from its own all-time high and remained above 30K for a third consecutive session. The U.K. ordered enough vaccine for 20 million people and started putting it to use today. It’s a big development in the fight against the coronavirus, as was the FDA’s finding here in the U.S. that the vaccine is safe and effective. The news helped the market rebound from a soft open, but the advance wasn’t very dramatic since positive vaccine developments are priced in. It’s been a month now since we first heard about the efficacy of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine back on November 9, which sent the Dow higher by more than 800 points. Since then, we’ve enjoyed positive data from a few other companies, leaving investors feeling pretty good that the virus’ days are numbered. But you know what would have a dramatic impact on the market? A stimulus deal! And it feels like Washington may finally be serious about getting something done, following the sharp rise in coronavirus cases and the weak jobs report from last Friday. Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Pelosi have both talked about the need for a deal before Congress goes home. It would certainly be a nice gift for investors heading into the holidays. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Stocks Under $10: Two double-digit winners were cashed in today, as Avid Bioservices (CDMO) was sold for a 42.6% return in just over a month and Interface (TILE) was let go for a 47.3% profit in about five weeks. Both of these names slipped to a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) and Brian wanted to hang onto those solid gains. The plan now is to replace one name today and the other name next week. The addition on Tuesday was business process services company Conduent (CDNT). In other words, this is another outsourcing play. It has easily beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the last two quarters, while rising earnings estimates have made the stock a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The editor was especially impressed with its “great valuation”, which includes 7x forward earnings and a price-to-book below 1x. Read the full write-up for more specifics on these moves. By the way, this portfolio easily had the best performer of the day among all ZU names as Liquidity Services (LQDT) soared 41.5%. The auction site reported a strong fiscal fourth quarter, which included beats on the top and bottom lines along with an encouraging outlook. The stock is now up more than 72% in the portfolio since being added on October 6. Meanwhile, Eton Pharmaceuticals (ETON) also made the top movers list today with an advance of 5.6%. Options Trader: Whenever a portfolio position doubles its premium, Kevin likes to reposition into a new option with the original investment amount. The editor did it TWICE on Tuesday. He sold to close the March 145.00 Call in Lear (LEA) for a 182.8% return and then immediately re-invested by buying to open a March 170.00 Call. Likewise, the March 120.00 Call in Visteon (VC) was sold to close for a 131.9% profit and replaced by buying to open a March 145.00 Call. Kevin considers such moves to be “free trades”, since they won’t be giving back any principal on a decline. The portfolio also bought to open a February 310.00 Put in S&P Global (SPGI), a provider of ratings, benchmarks, analytics and data to the capital and commodity markets. Kevin noticed “a sloppy bearish head and shoulders pattern in its chart”. And while it could still go higher, he wants to invest on the downside because the stock failed to hold any meaningful gains after its recent positive EPS surprise. Get more specifics about all of today’s action in the full write-up.  Zacks Short Sell List: This week's adjustment included only one change. The portfolio short-covered Incyte (INCY) and replaced it by adding Shift4 Payments (FOUR).  Learn more about this emotion-free portfolio that takes advantage of falling and volatile markets by reading the Short Sell List Trader Guide. Insider Trader: "The bulls found some extra energy in the second half of today's session on positive headlines about the vaccine, including the news out of the "vaccine" summit at the White House. "But it was pictures of the first "civilian" in the UK getting the vaccine, a 90-year old woman who turns 91 next week, which brought the "hope" trade back to life on Wall Street. "In the United States, the FDA approved Pfizer's vaccine so it's rollout to essential medical workers will begin shortly. "The world is on the cusp of getting this virus under control but we still have to get through the next few months." -- Tracey Ryniec, which had a top performer today as Arlo Technologies (ARLO) continues to advance with a 14.5% jump. All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

NASDAQ, S&P Back at Record Closing Highs

NASDAQ, S&P Back at Record Closing Highs The major indices added another 1% on Thursday and moved into Friday’s session with robust gains for the first week of February… along with a couple new all-time records as well.   The NASDAQ returned to form today by jumping 1.23% (or about 167 points) to 13,777.74. Uncharacteristically, the index slipped 0.02% yesterday while its counterparts continued to advance. But now it’s back at an all-time closing high. The S&P also made history by gaining 1.09% to its own new record of 3871.74. The Dow advanced 1.08% (or around 332 points) to 31,055.86. Both of these indices now have four-day winning streaks. Investors enjoyed another encouraging jobless claims report this week with a tally of 779,000, which was below expectations of well over 800K. Perhaps more importantly, this was the third straight week with a better-than-expected result. As encouraging as that trend is, investors are most interested in the Government Employment Situation report coming tomorrow. Last month’s print was rough with the economy losing 140K jobs in December while a gain of 50K was expected. The expectation is 50K again for January. We’ve enjoyed some good jobs numbers of late. In addition to today’s jobless claims, Wednesday’s ADP employment report crushed expectations with private payrolls adding 174K. However, these reports aren’t necessarily harbingers of the BLS number. But does it really matter to the market? Stocks rose in the same session of that big miss last month because investors saw more proof for stimulus. And the market is just as interested in more stimulus today as it was then. Plus, sentiment is pretty positive right now. Earnings season has been strong and SqueezeMania appears to have simmered down significantly. And now stocks are back at all time highs while we wait for the vaccines to take hold. The NASDAQ is up more than 5% for the week heading into Friday, while the S&P is over 4% and the Dow is over 3%, which means stocks have recovered all of last week’s slide. Let’s see if we can add more tomorrow regardless of what the jobs report says. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Healthcare Innovators: Shares of Anavex Life Sciences (AVXL) have been soaring since the portfolio added this emerging biopharma back in June. Kevin still likes the company, but feels its stock is rising due to the squeeze-a-palooza and not new data or pipeline advances. Therefore he sold AVXL on Thursday for a nice return of at least 300% in less than eight months, while also buying two other names. The editor picked up Dynavax (DVAX), a provider of vaccine adjuvants (molecular aids for immunogenicity). The company has enjoyed a lot of good news lately. For example, DVAX and Clover Biopharmaceuticals announced a global Phase 2/3 efficacy trial of its adjuvanted covid vaccine candidate. The other buy is Arbutus Biopharma (ABUS), a HIGHLY SPECULATIVE small-cap biotech that uses RNA-interference technology to tread chronic hepatitis B infection. The editor has been watching this stock for a while now, and finally made the move after reading one of his favorite analysts. But remember to proceed according to your allocation of risk capital. Read the full write-up for a lot more about today’s moves. Surprise Trader: The past two quarterly surprises have been huge for Bunge Limited (BG). Dave thinks there’s a pretty good chance that this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) agribusiness and food company manages to top expectations for a third straight quarter. It has an Earnings ESP of 3.09% for the report coming before the bell on Wednesday, February 10. The editor added BG on Thursday with a 12% allocation, while getting out of Evoqua (AQUA) for a slight loss. See the complete commentary for more on today’s moves. Commodity Innovators: We’re getting ready for some frigid temperatures here in the Midwest, which has natural gas bulls buying despite record levels of inventories. Jeremy wants to get involved, so he added ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas (BOIL) on Thursday. This investment moves 2X the daily natural gas move. The editor is going to keep a “tight leash” on this one though, since this commodity is known for being volatile. He considers it a short term move. The portfolio also sold the underperforming Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 2X Shares (JNUG) position. See the complete commentary for more. Blockchain Innovators: This portfolio had the two best performers of the day among all ZU names... and they were both up in the double digits. Those big winners were Digi Int'l (DGII, +15.5%) and Danaos Corp. (DAC, +13.6%). Actually, Dave's service had three of the Top 5 movers on Thursday as A10 Networks (ATEN) also made the list with a more modest 8.6% advance. All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Concerns Of Higher Taxes Lead to Lower Stocks

Concerns Of Higher Taxes Lead to Lower Stocks Few things can drain the market’s energy quicker than threats of higher taxes, which is exactly what we got in Thursday’s session. The major indices may have been able to finish in the green today after another encouraging jobless claims print, but any upward movement was ruined by reports that President Biden is considering a hike in capital gains taxes. Actually, the reports say that he proposes nearly doubling the rate to 39.6% from 20% for people making $1 million or more. Now, this is probably just the opening move in Congressional negotiations, where the Democrats hold a slim majority over the Republicans. Nevertheless, investors don’t like hearing that taxes may double, especially when they’re already skittish about a frothy market. As a result, the major indices all dropped by nearly 1% on Thursday. The Dow dipped 0.94% (or about 321 points) to 33815.90, while the S&P was off 0.92% to 4134.98. The NASDAQ was also down by 0.94% (or nearly 132 points) to 13818.41. Unfortunately, another fantastic jobless claims report was wasted. The number for last week was 547,000, which beat expectations that were north of 600K. It also marked a new pandemic low after bettering last week’s upwardly revised print of 586K. The big news of the week (at least until today) has been the better-than-expected start to earnings season. However, a good report doesn't always lead to a rise in share price. Take Intel (INTC) as the latest in a long string of examples. The chipmaker beat on both the top and bottom lines after the bell today, and even raised its guidance for the full year. But it wasn't enough for the market, which was concerned with a drop in the data center segment. Shares of INTC are down 2.8% afterhours as of this writing. Stocks have now slipped in three of the past four sessions, leaving the major indices with declines of more than 1% each heading into Friday. The Dow and S&P are on four-week winning streaks, while the NASDAQ has a three-week run. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Surprise Trader: Not only has Avnet (AVT) beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the past four quarters, but it has also amassed an average surprise of 389% in that time. Now it has a positive Earnings ESP for the quarter coming after the bell on Wednesday. AVT is one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components and computer products, which makes it part of a space in the top 6% of the Zacks Industry Rank. Dave added AVT on Thursday with a 12.5% allocation, while also selling Alcoa (AA) for a 6.6% return in two weeks. Read the full write-up for more. Insider Trader: In October of 2020, this portfolio cashed in two triple-digit profits from Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) as the specialty retailer was in the midst of a turnaround. So Tracey certainly paid attention when three insiders picked up shares in recent days. The CFO bought 20,000 shares on April 16, while two directors also got involved. Shares of BBBY are down 16.8% in the past month, but the company should be a big beneficiary of the upcoming economic boom. Therefore, shares look pretty cheap right now. The service had some cash on hand, so the editor added BBBY on Thursday with a 10% allocation. Get more specifics on this new addition in the complete commentary. Counterstrike: "Taxes are a fundamental driver of investment, so a drastic rise like that would really harm the market. While I think some hike was expected, a move this large was not. I don't think this could pass, but we have to realize this will be a big risk until the potential tax structure becomes clear. "That being said we have a new risk. In a market that is approaching bubble territory, just a little prick can cause violent sell offs like we saw today. The S&P stopped short of yesterday's lows so the 4120 will be the one to watch over the next week. "This week really got interesting quickly. More details on this should be out over the next 24 hours. Stay tuned!" -- Jeremy Mullin All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Market Inches Higher While Meme Mania Takes Off

Market Inches Higher While Meme Mania Takes Off SPECIAL ALERT: The June episode of the Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session will be available for viewing no later than Wednesday, June 9. Kevin Matras, Tracey Ryniec, Kevin Cook and Sheraz Mian will cover the investment landscape from several angles in this popular event. Don’t miss your chance to hear: ▪ Kevin Cook and Tracey Agree to Disagree on whether history will write that Elon Musk disrupted both auto and oil industries ▪ Kevin Matras answers your questions in Zacks Mailbag ▪ Sheraz and Kevin Cook choose one portfolio to give feedback for improvement ▪ And much more Remember, we need your input. Please submit your questions for Zacks Mailbag and Portfolio Makeover by Friday morning, June 4. Email now to mailbag@zacks.com. Then log on to Zacks.com and bookmark this page. We had another slow session on Wednesday as the market sits directionless ahead of some big economic data set for the next couple of days. However, the major indices managed to stay on the positive side this time. The S&P rose by 0.14% to 4208.12, while the NASDAQ advanced by the same percentage (or nearly 20 points) to 13,756.33. Both of these indices started the week slightly lower yesterday. Meanwhile, the Dow climbed a modest 0.07% (or about 25 points) to 34,600.38. That makes five straight days of gains for the index, though it has only advanced about 0.8% in that time amid all the sluggishness. The slow trading makes the ‘meme mania’ stick out even more, though a 95% surge would probably attract a lot of attention in any environment. That’s how much AMC Entertainment (AMC) soared today, as retail investors have made this movie theater company their new project. And AMC is fine with all the craziness. The company just launched the AMC Investor Connect initiative to stay in contact with its “extraordinary base of enthusiastic and passionate individual shareholders”. Meanwhile, it is also raising capital to make improvements for the future. For example, it recently sold more than $230 million worth of shares to a hedge fund… which then promptly sold it for a nice profit. Investors are anxiously awaiting the monthly jobs report, which is just two days away now due to the short week. Expectations are for somewhere north of 650K, but we all know how far off expectations were last month when the result missed by more than 700K. There’s plenty of data coming tomorrow too, including the ADP employment report. Last month, this result came to 742K for April, which marked a nice improvement over the previous month’s 565K though missed expectations of 800K. And as usual, we’ll be getting the weekly jobless claims number. The ISM services is also scheduled for Thursday. It came to 62.7 for April, which was below the previous month though well within expansion territory over 50. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Stocks Under $10: The transportation space is “on fire” of late, so Brian added a name from this industry with “amazing” earnings estimate revisions and a great valuation. Diana Shipping (DSX) specializes in transporting dry bulk cargoes along worldwide shipping routes, including iron ore, coal, grain and other materials. The editor thinks the turnaround has begun for DSX, which just snapped three quarters of earnings misses with a 50% positive surprise in its most recent release. Earnings estimates have been soaring in recent weeks with this year moving to a profit of 34 cents from a loss of 5 cents over 60 days. Next year’s improvement is even more impressive by soaring to $1.32 from 32 cents in that time. Brian likes DSX’s solid fundamentals and believes it will move higher along with other transportation names as the economy continues to open up. Read the full write-up for more on this move.   Surprise Trader: Its now been 15 straight quarters of meeting or beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate for Signet Jewelers (SIG)… and Dave expects that trend to continue when it reports again before the bell on Thursday, June 10. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) jewelry retailer beat by 15% last time and has a positive Earnings ESP of 2.84% for the quarter coming next week. The editor added SIG on Wednesday with a 12.5% allocation, while also getting out of Capri Holdings (CPRI) with a slight gain. Read the full write-up for more. In other news, Dillards (DDS) continues to pay off for the service as the department store staple rose 18.1% today, which was the best performance among all ZU names. The company is also the biggest winner over the past 30 days with a gain of more than 54%. Counterstrike: "While the overall market could have put you to sleep, some “stonks” or “meme stocks” were back. AMC (AMC) led the way with an absurd move higher that had the stock up over 100%. BBBY, GME, KOSS, RKT and BB also had big moves higher. These stocks are fueled by a mania, not fundamental or technical reasons. "The AMC move stemmed from some neat moves by the company that are bringing shareholders together and even offering free popcorn at movies to those that hold the stock. "These gimmicks don’t add any real value, but can drive this momentum. And if the momo continues and the company can do more stock offerings to raise money, it will put them in great shape to thrive after the pandemic. "After they have cash, they can pay debt, buy distressed theaters and actually grow!" -- Jeremy Mullin Until Tomorrow, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Dow Soars Nearly 600 Points as Stocks Stage Big Comeback

Dow Soars Nearly 600 Points as Stocks Stage Big Comeback The major indices began the week with a sharp rally that recovered Friday’s losses. The Dow was especially impressive by soaring nearly 600 points on Monday as the market calmed down over the weekend from the Fed’s modestly-hawkish announcement in its recent meeting. When last we left you, investors were in a rather sour mood. The Dow just had its worst week of the year by plunging 3.6%. Friday's decline was a delayed reaction to the Fed announcement on Wednesday, in which the Committee raised its inflation projection and opened the possibility of two rate hikes in 2023. Quadruple witching added to the volatility. But on second thought, maybe that selloff was a bit of an overreaction. The Dow returned today and launched 1.76% (or nearly 587 points) to 33,876.97. Therefore, the index recovered all of Friday’s 533-point plunge and then some. Recovery names outperformed tech on Monday, which has been rare over the past few weeks as investors have been fretting over higher inflation. The S&P also got back all of Friday’s losses with a jump of 1.4% to 4224.79. The NASDAQ rose 0.79% (or about 111 points) to 14141.48, which was most of its recent deficit. Both of these indices were at record highs at this time last Monday, but finished that week lower by 1.9% and 0.3%, respectively. “What drove stocks higher? The same thing that’s been driving them higher all year – the improving economy and prospects for even bigger growth ahead,” said Kevin Matras in today’s Options Trader. “With the country opening back up, and life starting to get back to something closer to normal, there’s huge pent-up demand out there that’s fueling growth.” Will the market continue moving higher the rest of this week and set new all-time highs? Or do we need another significant pullback before stocks move higher? It’s tough to tell in the current environment. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Home Run Investor: One of the biggest success stories in all ZU services has been Cassava Sciences (SAVA), which is up more than 1,000% in less than six months for Stocks Under $10. There’s a lot of excitement over the company’s Alzheimer’s therapy. Now Brian wants some exposure to that space for this portfolio and found a name that "could do just as well if not better”. Athira Pharma (ATHA) is a late clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecules to restore neuronal health and stop neurodegeneration. The company plunged 40% on Friday due to a weird story about its CEO altering images in her doctoral work. She’s been placed on leave. So does this scandal negate the company’s positive developments, which includes moving onto a Phase 2 trial? The editor says ‘NO!’ and capitalized on that plunge by adding ATHA to the portfolio today. He also sold Matson (MATX) and Echo Global (ECHO), which have not performed well as the price of oil increased. Read the full write-up for more on these moves. By the way, Smith & Wesson Brands (SWBI) gained 18.5% today, making this firearms company the best performer among all ZU names for the second straight session. TAZR Trader: Eventually, Kevin believes that Shopify (SHOP) will surpass $1700, but he thinks this market is due for one more big dip before a July-August rally. Therefore, he trimmed some profits from this cloud-based, multi-channel commerce platform and banked a 31% return in a little over three months. The editor also trimmed the BigCommerce Holdings (BIGC) position for 8.1% in four months. Read the full write-up for more specifics. Black Box Trader: More than half of the portfolio was replaced in this week's adjustment. The stocks that were sold today included: • Cornerstone Building Brands (CNR, +3.3%) • Alcoa (AA, +1.7%) • Toll Brothers (TOL) • Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) • Party City Holdco (PRTY) • CNH Industrial N.V. (CNHI) The new buys that filled these open spots were: • American Axle & Manufacturing (AXL) • Avis Budget Group (CAR) • Build-A-Bear Workshop (BBW) • Realogy Holdings (RLGY) • The Chemours Company (CC) • Tronox Holdings (TROX) Read the Black Box Trader’s Guide to learn more about this computer-driven service. Headline Trader: "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a market pullback (5-10% pulldown) in the coming months, but there is just too much sidelined cash buying up the dips for a more substantial pulldown. As I have said in many prior commentaries, the equity markets remain the most attractive place to hold your capital. "The credit markets are low-yielding, the retail investor revolution has ignited, and the persistent easy money policy from the Federal Reserve is going to continue to drive capital into the equity markets. Still, fund managers are waiting for a buying catalyst, and the Q2 earnings season, which initiates next month, could be the impetus we need." -- Dan Laboe Until Tomorrow, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

Precarious Market Action

Precarious Market Action Dan Laboe here, Editor of the Headline Trader portfolio. I am covering for the acclaimed Jim who will be back in action tomorrow. The market is growing increasingly cautious as we enter post-earnings season action. This precarious market posture was apparent in today's dicey trade. Stocks were buoyant for most of the day (trading right around even) until the last hour of the session, where indecisiveness turned into panic, causing all the major averages to spill into the close. We are entering a seasonally weak period for the public equity market (September & October have been the worst months for stocks in the past decade), where down days are expected. Market participants are increasingly taking on the mindset that this may be as good as it gets, which could cause further short-term volatility. This is the second consecutive down day for all the major averages, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones slipping 1.07% & 1.08%, respectively. The growth-driven Nasdaq 100 was punished marginally less because of its larger decline yesterday but still experienced a 0.97% decline. The VIX broke above its 200-day moving average for just the 3rd time since early March, and its 50-day turned into a support today. This may be an indication that volatility will remain with us for a time. Consumer discretionary, the biggest laggard yesterday following weak retail sales data, was the only market sector to close in the green today. This morning, robust earnings from Lowe's (LOW) and TJX (TJX) drove fresh hope back into the retail space. Fed Minutes July's Fed Minutes were published this afternoon, and the markets had an immediate knee-jerk reaction to the Fed's focus on the potential impact of the Delta-variant, causing the US 10 Year yield to plummet and equity indexes to jump in the 5 minutes that followed its release. This move quickly reversed with an exaggerated move in the opposite direction, which inevitably led to the end of session sell-off. Today's released Fed Minutes were stale. The Fed in last month's FOMC meeting is not the same Fed that we have today. Since the exceptional July jobs report earlier this month, members of the Fed have changed their stance on the tapering timeline. In the last couple of weeks, several Central Bankers have come out and said that it would be prudent to start paring its $120 billion in asset purchases sooner rather than later. The markets are now pricing in a September announcement (FOMC meeting September 21-22) to start tapering in October and complete its asset purchasing program in mid-2022. This morning, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard discussed the risks of delaying monetary tightening, stating that if the Fed's inflation projections are wrong, they may be forced to implement abrupt and potentially "very disruptive" policy changes. He declared that "every indication is that labor markets are about as tight as they ever get." Bullard wants the Fed to be done tapering by the first quarter of next year so that the Central Bank would have the flexibility to begin liftoff (first Fed Funds rate hike) as soon as possible. Every day it seems that the Fed gets more hawkish, but if the Delta-variant does begin to impact the economy, this narrative will quickly reverse.  Is This As Good As It Gets? Market participants are taking on a 'this is as good as it gets' mentality with peak earnings growth, ultra-low interest rates, peak consumer demand, and accommodative monetary/fiscal policies, all now ostensibly in the rearview mirror. Investors still have their mouths open as we round out a jaw-dropping Q2 earnings season. This was one of the best earnings seasons in history, with 88% of companies beating EPS estimates by an average of 17.5% while exhibiting record profit margins averaging 13.6%. Earnings and revenues are up an unprecedented 103% & 28% year-over-year, respectively. Despite the exceptionally weak Q2 2020 EPS comps, earnings are still up over 30% from pre-pandemic levels. Now investors are looking at decelerating earnings growth in the coming quarters, forcing market participants to reevaluate the market's rich valuation multiples. Since the pandemic lockdowns began, the Fed-induced ultra-low interest rate environment has provided a nice tailwind for high-growth stocks. Record low cost of capital (driven by low yields) provided nascent innovation-powered companies with an almost endless upside in the equity market. Analysts were able to catapult the value of growth businesses' projected future earnings, justifying some of the crazy valuation multiples we saw earlier this year. Most of the over euphoric valuations on unprofitable growth stocks have been compressed by the rising yields in anticipation of liftoff. Consumer spending took off in the first 4 months of 2021 as the economic reopening drove an unparalleled tidal wave of pent-up demand on Main Street. The pandemic lockdowns and resulting record levels of savings/wealth in the US ($19 trillion increase in wealth, 26% increase in net wealth) propelled our society's propensity to spend as storefronts reopened across the country. This effect has decelerated since April, causing investors to question if peak consumer spending is in the past. With back-to-school shopping and the holiday season around the corner, I find this notion unlikely. The unprecedented level of accommodation provided by record monetary (Federal Reserve) and fiscal (Federal Government) spending amid the pandemic is the only reason that our economy has been able to not only recover at such a speed but come out the other side better than ever. The PPP loans, COVID checks, and unemployment benefits provided by the Federal government provided the economy with enough liquidity to do a little better than survive last year and now thrive during the recovery. The Fed's swift action of dropping Fed Fund rates to 0-0.25% and its subsequent $120 billion monthly asset purchases (aka quantitative easing) allowed the equity market to take off after the initial pandemic sell-off. The accommodative monetary and fiscal policies are beginning to phase out. Still, I expect the aforementioned positive impacts will continue to echo in our economy for quarters to come. The best is yet to come. We are reentering the Roaring 20s with ambition. Technological advancements are accelerating faster than ever, pushing our economy to do the same. I expect to see growing annual stock market returns as prolifically advancing tech thrusts valuations to continuously new highs. A Technical Omen That Could Spell Trouble For Investors A Hindenburg Omen, a technical indicator that signals an elevated probability of a market crash, has been reached by this precarious market. This indicator looks for an elevated number of new 52-week highs and lows that surpasses 2.2% of all securities traded that day (the number of highs cannot be more than double the number of lows), along with an upward trending 50-day moving average, and negatively shifting market sentiment (indicated by the McClellan Oscillator or MCO). This indicator generally implies that market participants are tentative and uncertain. The Hindenburg Omen almost always precedes a stock market downturn but is only about 25% accurate when it is seen. Investors have been positioning themselves defensively as post-earnings price action commenced. These defensive investors are buying stocks in low beta sectors like health care, utilities, consumer staples, and real estate, which have led over the past week of trading. All of the previously mentioned sectors have lagged the broader market over the past 52-weeks, so it's only natural for weakness chasing money managers to rotate into these segments even if an index level correction (10%+ decline from recent highs) isn't coming. I'm not running for the hills quite yet, with trillions of bullish capital still waiting to be deployed on even the most immaterial dips. I am also not adding many new positions to my portfolio. I don't think we will experience a full correction, but I do believe that some consolidation may be in order over the next few months.  Cathie Wood vs. The Big Short's Michael Burry Expected interest rate growth and overzealous valuation multiples on ultra-high-growth stocks have some investors betting against Cathie Wood's Ark Innovation ETF (ARKK). 'Big Short' investor, Michael Burry, who is famous for predicting and profiting from the 2008 financial crisis, revealed a $31 million put position against ARKK, along with a $731 million bet against Tesla (TSLA), which happens to be Cathie's largest holding, in his latest 13-F filing (institutional investment managers' SEC required quarterly report). The actively traded ARKK fund has become the benchmark for high-growth 'market-disruptors,' and Cathie Wood has become an investing icon. Her innovation-driven ETF saw an impressive bull run during the pandemic, exhibiting a 384% 11-month rally from its March 2020 lows to its peak in mid-February, but has recently fallen out of market favor. Soaring yields forced investors to reevaluate the extreme growth multiples in Cathie's 4th Industrial Revolution focused holdings. Cathie Wood fired back at the press surrounding Burry's notable position against her ETF with a tweet saying, "I do not believe that he (Michael Burry) understands the fundamentals that are creating explosive growth and investment opportunities in the innovation space." Burry doesn't have a vendetta against Cathie Wood but sees a short-term trading opportunity. He is making a relatively small bet in his over $2 billion Scion Asset Management portfolio (ARKK put up just 1.5% of total assets under management). Burry believes that the current fundamentals of ARKK's high growth holdings are out of whack in this rising interest rate environment, and he is not alone with this thinking. A record 13.5% of outstanding ARKK shares are currently held short (24.87 million shares), and a Short ARKK ETF, which will trade under the ticker SARK, is awaiting SEC approval. ARKK is looking at a days-to-cover short ratio (number of shares held short divided by daily volume) of 4.6, which isn't exactly a concerning level yet, but it is growing. I personally love how Cathie Wood views this rapidly advancing market and focuses on long-term profitability instead of short-term volatility. I perceive Cathie's pandemic success as a reflection of her savvy ability to recognize market-disrupting innovators, and it finally paid off after more than 5 years of flying under the radar (relatively speaking). That being said, I still utilize her ETF for put option opportunities when they reveal themselves because of the speed at which ARKK moves. Cathie Wood remains one of if not the most influential players in the market today. "The Cathie Wood Effect" has replaced "The Warren Buffett Effect" in this rapidly progressing and digitalizing economic/market environment. ARKK is undoubtedly a long-term hold for the commencing 4th Industrial Revolution, which is already changing the world in which we live.  Today’s Portfolio Highlights Options Trader: Following some of this week's precarious price action, Kevin is pulling profits on the September call option in Nasdaq, Inc (NDAQ), after almost two months of holding. The NDAQ September 180 call contracts crossed the 30 days till expiration threshold, and Kevin doesn't want to lose that time premium baked into these options. This exchange has been an excellent trade for the Options Trader portfolio this year, with NDAQ providing three separate profit-driving trades since April. According to Kevin: "First one was a $892 gain on 4/16. Second one was a $906 gain on 6/24. Looks like we'll get approx. $435 on this one." NDAQ has been on an absolute tear so far this year, rallying over 40% year-to-date (more than doubling the S&P 500s performance). Kevin stated that he would likely jump back into this trade as he still sees further upside potential. Stocks Under $10: The health care sector has led the broader market over the past month of trading, with Moderna (MRNA) and Pfizer (PFE) leading the pack. Brian is taking advantage of this sector's momentum with the addition of Immunovant (IMVT) on this down day for the market. IMVT and its development of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases are developing an early treatment for those with COVID. Brian expects this stock to get a Delta-variant catalyzed boost, and most analysts seem to agree with him with every price target showing a sizable increase from current price levels. Surprise Trader:  Car manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand as chip shortages continue to plague the space, causing used/old cars to stay on the road longer. Dave is taking advantage of this notion with a read-through trade, adding Advanced Auto Parts (AAP) to the Surprise Trader portfolio. More old cars on the road means more tune-ups and breakdowns that will require vehicle parts. The company is reporting before open next Tuesday, and Dave believes that it has some strong upside potential that the markets are yet to price in. Happy Wednesday! DanRecommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021