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Genesis Seeks $20.9M From ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Over Crypto Options Trades That Weren’t Settled

The court action seeks damages from the Bitcoin Cash backer Roger Ver related to the alleged failure to settle cryptocurrency options transactions that expired on Dec. 30, 2022......»»

Category: forexSource: coindeskJan 24th, 2023

Check out these 44 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Deploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 18th, 2022

Check out these 43 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Gut Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 28th, 2022

Bankrupt crypto lender Genesis wants "Bitcoin Jesus" to pay $20.9 million over expired options trades

The faltering digital asset firm filed for chapter 11 this month after enduring a double-whammy of exposure toThree Arrows Capital and FTX. bitcoin cryptocurrency digital currencyEdward Smith/Getty Images A unit of Genesis Global says a trader known as "Bitcoin Jesus" has yet to settle all his crypto options trades. GGC International's claim was part of a January 23 filing in New York State Supreme Court. Genesis filed for bankruptcy this month after being impacted by the bankruptcies of FTX and Three Arrows.  GGC International, a branch of Genesis Global, alleged that veteran trader Roger Ver, also know as "Bitcoin Jesus," has yet to settle some of his cryptocurrency options trades, according to January 23 court filings first cited by CoinDesk.The claims were noted in documents with the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan shortly after Genesis' chapter 11 bankruptcy filing earlier this month.The Genesis subsidiary is a British Virgin Islands company that offers spot trading and derivatives for digital assets, and is owned by Genesis Bermuda Holdco Limited, the report noted. That's one of the names included in Genesis' bankruptcy filing. Court documents show GCG International seeks "money damages for defendant's failure to settle cryptocurrency options transactions that expired on Dec. 30, 2022, in an amount to be determined at trial but no less than $20.9 million."So-called Bitcoin Jesus was an early advocate for the world's most popular token, but has also been a polarizing figure within the crypto and blockchain communities. Meanwhile, crypto lender Genesis had been facing issues long before the recent collapse of FTX, as Insider previously reported. Months before Sam Bankman-Fried's exchange imploded, Genesis was impacted by the fall of hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. A wave of executive departures ensued later in the year, and insiders say they felt like they were in the dark regarding the stability of the firm.Here's what Derar Islim, interim CEO of Genesis, said in a January 19 statement:"While we have made significant progress refining our business plans to remedy liquidity issues caused by the recent extraordinary challenges in our industry, including the default of Three Arrows Capital and the bankruptcy of FTX, an in-court restructuring presents the most effective avenue through which to preserve assets and create the best possible outcome for all Genesis stakeholders."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 25th, 2023

2022 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead

2022 Greatest Hits: The Most Popular Articles Of The Past Year And A Look Ahead One year ago, when looking at the 20 most popular stories of 2021, we said that the year would be a very tough act to follow as "the sheer breadth of narratives, stories, surprises, plot twists and unexpected developments" made 2021 the most memorable year yet in our brief history, and that it would be an extremely tough act to follow. And yet despite the exceedingly high bar for 2022, not only did the year not disappoint but between the constant news barrage, the regime shifts, narrative volatility, market rollercoasters, oh and the world being on the verge of a nuclear Armageddon for much of the year, the past year was the most action, excitement, and news (including fake news)-packed yet. Where does one even start? While covid - which was the story of 2020 - finally faded away from the front page and the constant barrage of fearmongering coverage (with recent revelations courtesy of Elon Musk's "Twitter Files" showing just how extensively said newsflow was crafted, orchestrated and -y es - censored by the government, while a sudden U-turn by China in its Covid Zero policy prompting a top Chinese research to admit that the "fatality rate from the omicron variant of the virus is in line with the flu"), and the story of 2021 was the scourge of soaring inflation (which contrary to macrotourist predictions that it would prove "transitory" just kept rising, and rising, and rising, until it hit levels not seen since the Volcker galloping inflation days of the 1980s)... ... then the big market story of 2022 was the coordinated central bank crusade to put the inflation genie back into the bottle and to contain soaring prices (which were no longer transitory, especially after Putin launched his "special military operation" in Ukraine which we will discuss shortly)... ... even if it meant crushing the housing market... ... sparking a global recession, or as Goldman calls it a "broad-based but necessary slowdown in global growth"... ... and leaving millions out of work (the BLS still pretends hundreds of thousands of workers are being added to payrolls even though as we all know - as does the Philadelphia Fed - that is a lie, and the real employment number has not changed since March)... ... not to mention triggering the worst bear market in both stocks and bonds since the global financial crisis. Yes, less than a year after the S&P hit a record just above 4800 in January of this year, both global stock and bond markets have cratered, and in a profound shock to an entire generation of "traders" who have never lived through a hiking cycle and rising inflation, for the first time since 2008 no central banks are riding to the market's rescue. Meanwhile, with a drop of more than 20% in 2022 translating into a record $18 trillion wipeout, the MSCI All-Country World Index is on track for its worst performance since the 2008 crisis, amid the Fed's relentless rate hiking campaign. Add bond market losses - because in 2022 everything was sold - and you get a staggering $36 trillion in value vaporized, which in absolute terms is nearly double the damage from the Lehman failure and the global financial crisis. None of this should come as a surprise: the staggering liquidity injections that started in 2020, continued throughout 2021 and extended into the first half of 2022 before gently reversing as QT finally returned; the final tally is that after $3 trillion in emergency liquidity injections in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic to "stabilize the world", the Fed injected another $2 trillion in the subsequent period, most of which in 2021, a year where economists were "puzzled" why inflation was soaring (this, of course, excludes the tens of trillions of monetary stimulus injected by other central banks as well as the boundless fiscal stimulus that was greenlighted with the launch of helicopter money). And then, when a modest $500 billion in Fed balance sheet liquidity was withdrawn... everything crashed. This reminds us of something we said two years ago: "it's almost as if the world's richest asset owners requested the covid pandemic." Well, last year we got confirmation for this rhetorical statement, when we calculated that in the 18 months after the covid pandemic hit, the richest 1% of US society saw their net worth increase by over $30 trillion, which in turn officially made the US into a banana republic where the middle 60% of US households by income - a measure economists use as a definition of the middle class - saw their combined assets drop from 26.7% to 26.6% of national wealth, the lowest in Federal Reserve data, while for the first time the super rich had a bigger share, at 27%. Yes, for the first time ever, the 1% owned more wealth than the entire US middle class, a definition traditionally reserve for kleptocracies and despotic African banana republics. But as the Fed finally ended QE and started draining its balance sheet in 2022, the party ended with a thud, and this tremendous wealth accumulation by the top 1% went into reverse: indeed, just the 500 richest billionaires saw their fortunes collapse by $1.4 trillion with names such as Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Masa Son and Larry Page and Sergey Brin all losing more than a third (in some cases much more) of their net worth. This also reminds us of something else we said a year ago: "this continued can-kicking by the establishment - all of which was made possible by the covid pandemic and lockdowns which served as an all too convenient scapegoat for the unprecedented response that served to propel risk assets (and fiat alternatives such as gold and bitcoin) to all time highs - has come with a price... and an increasingly higher price in fact. As even Bank of America CIO Michael Hartnett admits, Fed's response to the the pandemic "worsened inequality" as the value of financial assets - Wall Street -  relative to economy - Main Street - hit all-time high of 6.3x." In other words, for all its faults, 2022 was a year in which inequality finally reversed - if only a little - and as Michael Hartnett said in one of his final Flow Shows, "Main St finally outperformed Wall St significantly in 2022" as the value of financial assets relative to the economy slumped from 6.3x to 5.4x. Sadly, we doubt that this will cheer anyone up - be it workers - who have seen their real, inflation-adjusted earnings decline for a record 20 consecutive months (or virtually all of Joe BIden's presidency)... ... or investors who have seen crushing losses across all industries, with the exception of the one sector we have been pounding-the-table-on bullish on since the summer of 2020: energy (with our favorite stock, Exxon, blowing away the competition with its nearly triple digit return YTD). There is some good news for jittery bulls looking ahead at 2023: statistics show that two consecutive down years are rare for major equity markets — the S&P 500 index has fallen for two straight years on just four occasions since 1928, and they usually marked market crashes or social cataclysms -  the Great Depression, World War II, the 1970s oil crisis and the bursting of the dot-com bubble. The scary thing though, is that when they do occur, drops in the second year tend to be deeper than in the first. And with Joe Biden at the helm, betting on a second great depression may be prudent. Even if that sounds hyperbolic, when it comes to markets the big question for 2023 is simple: have markets bottomed or is there much more room to fall, in other words, are we facing a hard or soft landing. And speaking of Joe Biden at the helm, another glaring risk factor for 2023 is - of course- nuclear war. Because while the great inflation fight and Biden bear market were the defining features of 2022 from an economic and capital markets standpoint, the biggest event in terms of geopolitical and social importance was the war between Russia and Ukraine. While one could write - pardon the pun - the modern day equivalent of "war and peace" on the causes behind the war in Ukraine, for the sake of brevity we will merely note that a conflict that had been simmering for years if not decades... ... finally got its proverbial spark in February when - encouraged by NATO to join the military alliance in an act that Russia had repeatedly warned would be casus belli against Ukraine - Putin ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine, sending Russian troops to invade the country because, as he subsequently explained, "if Russia did not do this now, it itself would be invaded by neighboring NATO countries a few years later." And speaking of what else Putin said in the lead up to the Ukraine war, the following snapshots reveal much of the Russian leader's thinking about the biggest geopolitical conflict since World War II. And while the geopolitical implications of the war are staggering and long-reaching, the single most important consequence to the world, and especially Europe, is the threat of persistent energy shortages over the coming years as Russian energy output has been sanctioned and curtailed for the foreseeable future... ... in the process sending energy prices in Europe and elsewhere soaring, and pushing inflation sharply higher. Which is especially ironic, because the same central banks we showed above that are hiking rates like crazy in hopes of containing inflation are doing precisely nothing to address the elephant in the room, namely that inflation is not demand-driven (which the Fed can control by adjusting the price of money) but entirely on the supply-side. And since the Fed can't print oil or gas, all that central banks are doing is executing Vladimir Putin's indirect bidding and pushing the world into a global recession if not all out depression as they hope to crush enough energy demand to lower prices in a world where energy supply is also much lower. What they forget is that this will lead to tens of millions of unemployed people, and while that is not a major issue yet, something tells us that the coming mass layoffs - both in the US and around the globe - and not just in tech but across all industries, will be the story of 2023. One final thing worth mentioning in the context of the Ukraine war is what it means strategically for the future of the world, and here we would argue that some of the best analysis belong to former NY Fed repo guru, Zoltan Pozsar whose periodic dispatches throughout 2022 (all of which are available to professional subscribers), and whose year-end report on the fate of Bretton Woods III, the petrodollar, the petroyuan and petrogold, are all must-read for anyone who hopes to be ahead of the curve in today's rapidly changing world. Away from Inflation and the Ukraine war, the next most important topic in the past year, were the revelations from the Twitter Files, exposed by the social medial company's new owner, Elon Musk, who paid $44 billion so that the world can finally see first hand just how little free speech there really is in the so-called land of the free and the home of the First Amendment, and how countless three-lettered, deep-state alphabet agencies - and the military-industrial complex - will do anything and everything to control both the official discourse and the unofficial narrative to keep their preferred puppets in the White House, and keep those they disapprove of - censored and/or locked up, both literally and metaphorically... or simply designate them "conspiracy theorists." None other than Matt Taibbi wrote the best summary of what the Twitter Files revealed, namely America's stealthy conversion into a crypto-fascist state where some unelected government bureaucrat tells corporations what to do: This last week saw the FBI describe Lee Fang, Michael Shellenberger and me as “conspiracy theorists” whose “sole aim” is to discredit the agency. That statement will look ironic soon, as we spent much of this week learning about other agencies and organizations that can now also be discredited thanks to these files. A group of us spent the last weeks reading thousands of documents. For me a lot of that time was spent learning how Twitter functioned, specifically its relationships with government. How weird is modern-day America? Not long ago, CIA veterans tell me, the information above the “tearline” of a U.S. government intelligence cable would include the station of origin and any other CIA offices copied on the report. I spent much of today looking at exactly similar documents, seemingly written by the same people, except the “offices” copied at the top of their reports weren’t other agency stations, but Twitter’s Silicon Valley colleagues: Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, LinkedIn, even Wikipedia. It turns out these are the new principal intelligence outposts of the American empire. A subplot is these companies seem not to have had much choice in being made key parts of a global surveillance and information control apparatus, although evidence suggests their Quislingian executives were mostly all thrilled to be absorbed. Details on those “Other Government Agencies” soon, probably tomorrow. One happy-ish thought at month’s end: Sometime in the last decade, many people — I was one — began to feel robbed of their sense of normalcy by something we couldn’t define. Increasingly glued to our phones, we saw that the version of the world that was spat out at us from them seemed distorted. The public’s reactions to various news events seemed off-kilter, being either way too intense, not intense enough, or simply unbelievable. You’d read that seemingly everyone in the world was in agreement that a certain thing was true, except it seemed ridiculous to you, which put you in an awkward place with friends, family, others. Should you say something? Are you the crazy one? I can’t have been the only person to have struggled psychologically during this time. This is why these Twitter files have been such a balm. This is the reality they stole from us! It’s repulsive, horrifying, and dystopian, a gruesome history of a world run by anti-people, but I’ll take it any day over the vile and insulting facsimile of truth they’ve been selling. Personally, once I saw that these lurid files could be used as a road map back to something like reality — I wasn’t sure until this week — I relaxed for the first time in probably seven or eight years. Well said Matt, and we say this as one of the first media outlets that was dubbed "conspiracy theorists" by the authorities, long before everyone else joined the club. Oh yes, we've been there: we were suspended for half a year on Twitter for telling the truth about Covid, and then we lost most of our advertisers after the Atlantic Council's weaponized "fact-checkers" put us on every ad agency's black list while anonymous CIA sources at the AP slandered us for being "Kremlin puppets" - which reminds us: for those with the means, desire and willingness to support us, please do so by becoming a premium member: we are now almost entirely reader-funded so your financial assistance will be instrumental to ensure our continued survival into 2023 and beyond. The bottom line, at least for us, is that the past three years have been a stark lesson in how quickly an ad-funded business can disintegrate in this world which resembles the dystopia of 1984 more and more each day, and we have since taken measures. Two years ago, we launched a paid version of our website, which is entirely ad and moderation free, and offers readers a variety of premium content. It wasn't our intention to make this transformation but unfortunately we know which way the wind is blowing and it is only a matter of time before the gatekeepers of online ad spending block us for good. As such, if we are to have any hope in continuing it will come directly from you, our readers. We will keep the free website running for as long as possible, but we are certain that it is only a matter of time before the hammer falls as the censorship bandwagon rolls out much more aggressively in the coming year. Meanwhile, for all those lamenting the relentless coverage of politics in a financial blog, why finance appears to have taken a secondary role, and why the political "narrative" has taken a dominant role for financial analysts, the past three years showed conclusively why that is the case: in a world where markets gyrated, and "rotated" from value stocks to growth and vice versa, purely on speculation of how big the next stimulus out of Washington will be, now that any future big stimulus plans are off the table until at least 2024 thanks to a divided Congress, and the Fed is still planning on hiking until it finally crushing inflation, we would like to remind readers of one of our favorite charts: every financial crisis is the result of Fed tightening, and something always breaks. Which brings us to the simplest forecast about the coming year: 2023 will be the year when something finally breaks. As for more nuanced predictions about the future, as the past three years so vividly showed, when it comes to actual surprises and all true "black swans", it won't be what anyone had expected. And so while many themes, both in the political and financial realm, did get some accelerated closure, dramatic changes in 2022 persisted and new sources of global shocks emerged, and will continue to manifest themselves in often violent and unexpected ways - from the ongoing record polarization in the US political arena, to "populist" upheavals around the developed world, to the gradual transition to a global Universal Basic (i.e., socialized) Income regime, to China deciding that the US is finally weak enough and the time has come to invade Taiwan. As always, we thank all of our readers for making this website - which has never seen one dollar of outside funding (and despite amusing recurring allegations, has certainly never seen a ruble from either Putin or the KGB either, sorry CIA) and has never spent one dollar on marketing - a small (or not so small) part of your daily routine. Which also brings us to another critical topic: that of fake news, and something we - and others who do not comply with the established narrative - have been accused of. While we find the narrative of fake news laughable, after all every single article in this website is backed by facts and links to outside sources, it is clearly a dangerous development, and a very slippery slope that the entire developed world is pushing for what is, when stripped of fancy jargon, internet censorship under the guise of protecting the average person from "dangerous, fake information." It's also why we are preparing for the next onslaught against independent thought and why we had no choice but to roll out a premium version of this website. In addition to the other themes noted above, we expect the crackdown on free speech to only accelerate in the coming year - Elon Musk's Twitter Files revelations notwithstanding, especially as the following list of Top 20 articles for 2022 reveals, many of the most popular articles in the past year were precisely those which the conventional media would not touch with a ten foot pole, both out of fear of repercussions and because the MSM has now become a PR agency for either a political party or some unelected, deep state bureaucrat, which in turn allowed the alternative media to continue to flourish in an information vacuum (in less than a decade, Elon Musk's $44 billion purchase of Twitter will seem like one of the century's biggest bargains) and take significant market share from the established outlets by covering topics which established media outlets refuse to do, in the process earning itself the derogatory "fake news" condemnation. We are grateful that our readers - who hit a new record high in 2022 - have realized that it is incumbent upon them to decide what is, and isn't "fake news." * * * And so, before we get into the details of what has now become an annual tradition for the last day of the year, those who wish to jog down memory lane, can refresh our most popular articles for every year during our no longer that brief, almost 14-year existence, starting with 2009 and continuing with 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. So without further ado, here are the articles that you, our readers, found to be the most engaging, interesting and popular based on the number of hits, during the past year. In 20th spot with just over 510,000 views, was one of the seminal market strategy reports of 2022 by the man who has become the most prescient and accurate voice on Wall Street, former NY Fed repo guru Zoltan Pozsar, whose periodic pieces previewing the post-war world - one where Bretton Woods III makes a stunning comeback, where the petrodollar dies, and is replaced by the Petroyuan - have become must-read staple fare for Wall Street professionals. In "Wall Street Stunned By Zoltan Pozsar's Latest Prediction Of What Comes Next", Zoltan offered his first post-Ukraine war glimpse of the coming "Bretton Woods III" world, "a new monetary order centered around commodity-based currencies in the East that will likely weaken the Eurodollar system and also contribute to inflationary forces in the West." Subsequent events, including the growing proximity of Russia, China and various other non-G7 nations, coupled with stubborn inflation, have gone a long way to proving Zoltan's thesis. The only thing that's missing is the overhaul of the world reserve currency. In 19th spot, some 526,000 learned that amid the relentless crackdown against free speech by a regime which Elon Musk's Twitter Files have definitively revealed is borderline fascist (as in real fascism, not that clownish farce which antifa thugs pretend to crusade against) Zero Hedge was among the first websites to be targeted by the CIA when that deep state mouthpiece, the Associated Press, said that "intelligence officials accused a conservative financial news website [Zero Hedge] with a significant American readership of amplifying Kremlin propaganda." As we explained in "Now We've Done It: We Pissed Off The CIA" - the 19th most viewed article of 2022 - we have done no such thing but as the AP also revealed, the real motive behind the hit piece is that "Zero Hedge has been sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter." Of course, only a few weeks later we would learn that reports of wrongdoing by "his son Hunter" as unveiled in the infamously censored laptop story fiasco, were indeed accurate (despite dozens of "former intel officials" saying it is Russian disinfo) but since only "Kremlin propaganda" sites dare to attack Joe Biden while the MSM keeps deathly silent, nobody in the so-called "free press" bothered to mention it. Incidentally, since the CIA did a full background check on us and republishing some pro-Russian blogs was the best they could find, we are confident that  On the other hand, since being designated a pro-Russian operation meant that we have been blacklisted by most advertisers, we are increasingly reliant on you, dear readers (and not Vladimir Putin) for support, and we would be extremely grateful to everyone who can sign up for our premium product to support us into 2023 and onward. In 18th spot, and suitably right below our little tete-a-tete with the CIA, was the disclosure of a huge trove of corruption Hunter Biden's "laptop from hell." In April, with over 568,000 page views, readers learned that "450GB Of 'Deleted' Hunter Biden Laptop Material To Be Released Within Weeks." The ultimate result was the long overdue confirmation by the mainstream press (NYT and WaPo) that the Biden notebook was indeed real (again, despite dozens of "former intel officials" saying it is Russian disinfo) but since the state-corporatist apparatus had already achieved its goal, and suppressed and censored the original NYPost reporting just ahead of the 2020 presidential election and Biden had been elected president, few cared (just a few months later, thanks to Elon Musk and the Twitter files would we learn just how deep the censorship hole went, and that it involved not only the US government, the Democratic Party, the FBI, but also the biggest tech and media companies, all working together to censor anything that they found politically unpalatable). Yes, 2022 was also a midterm year, and with more than 617,000 views, was our snapshot of what happened on Nov 8 when in a carbon copy of 2020 it initially seemed like Republicans would sweep Congress as we described in the 17th most popular article of 2022, "Election Night Results: FL "Catastrophic" For Dems, Vance Takes OH, Fetterman Tops Oz"... but it was not meant to be and as the mail-in votes crawled in days and weeks later, the GOP lead not only fizzled (despite a jarring loss among Florida Hispanics), but in the end Democrats kept the Senate. Ultimately the result was anticlimatic, and with Congress divided for the next two years, governance will be secondary to what the Fed will do, which in our humble view, will be the big story of 2023. For all the political, market and central bank trials and tribulations of 2022, one could make the argument that the biggest story of the past year was Elon Musk's whimsical takeover of twitter, which started off amicably enough as laid out in the 16th most popular article of 2022 (with more than 627,000 page views) "Buffett Says "Musk Is Winning...It's America" As TWTR Board Ponders Poison Pill", then turned ugly and hostile, transitioned into a case of buyer's remorse with Musk suing to back out of the deal only to find out he can't, and culminated with the release of the shocking Twitter Files, Musk's stunning expose of the dirt and secrets of how the world's most popular news outlet had effectively become a subsidiary not only of the Democratic party but also of the FBI, CIA and various other deep state alphabet agencies, validating once again countless "conspiracy theories" and confirming once and for all that any outlet that still dares to oppose the official party line is the biggest enemy of the deep state. And speaking of the deep state, we had a glaring reminder in September why one should be very careful when crossing the US secret police FBI when pro-Trump celeb pillow entrepreneur Mike Lindell was intercepted by the Feds during a hunting trip and had his cell phone seized as described in "FBI Tracks Down Mike Lindell On Hunting Trip, Surrounds His Car And Seizes Cell Phone". That this happened to one of the most vocal critics of the 2020 election just two months before the midterms, was surely a coincidence, as over 625,000 readers obviously concluded. 2022 was not a good year for markets, and certainly wasn't good for retail investors whose torrid gains from the meme stock mania of 2021 melted down almost as fast as the Fed hiked rates (very fast). But not everyone was a loser, and one story stood out: that of 20-year-old student Jake Freeman (who together with his uncle) bought up a substantial, 6.2% stake in soon-to-be-broke retailer Bed Bath and Beyond, and piggybacking on the antics of one Ryan Cohen, quietly cashed out after making a massive $110 million by piggybacking on one of the most vicious short/gamma squeezes in recent history. The "Surreal Story Of A 20-Year-Old Student Who Acquired 6% Of Bed Bath & Beyond, And Made $110 Million In 3 Weeks" was the 14th most read article of 2022. The 13th most read story of 2022 with over 668,000 reads was the bizarre interlude involving superstar-trader and outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's husband, Paul, and his bizarre attack by a "right wing" progressive as described in "Paul Pelosi Undergoing Brain Surgery Following 'Brutal' Attack; Suspect Identified." While authorities have struggled to craft a narrative that the attacker, nudist transient David Depape of Berkeley, was a pro-Trumper and the attack was politically motivated, the evidence has indicated that he suffered from serious mental illness and drug addiction and lacked any coherent political ideology; some have even claimed that there was a sexual relationship between him and Pelosi, a theory that could be easily disproven if only the police would release the bodycam footage from the moment of the arrest. Unfortunately, San Fran PD has vowed to keep it confidential. Depape's trial is set to be 2023's business, so expect more fireworks. 2022 was also a year in which Europeans realized how brutally expensive electricity can be when the biggest commodity, nat gas and oil supplier to Europe, Russia, is suddenly cut off. And judging by the 668,500 people who read "How In The Name Of God": Shocked Europeans Post Astronomical Energy Bills As 'Terrifying Winter' Approaches" and made it into the 12th most popular article of the year, the staggering number were also news to our audience: indeed, the fact that Geraldine Dolan, who owns the Poppyfields cafe in Athlone, Ireland, and was charged nearly €10,000 for just over two months of energy usage, was shocking to everyone. To be sure, there were countless other such stories out of Europe and with the Russia-Ukraine war unlikely to end any time soon, Europe's commodity hyperinflation will only continue. Adding insult to injury, Europe is on a fast track to a brutal recession, but the ECB remains stuck in tightening mode, perhaps because it somehow believes that higher rates will ease energy supplies. Alas that won't happen and instead the big question for 2023 will be whether Europe is merely hit with a recession or if instead the ECB's actions escalates the local malaise into a full-blown depression. Earlier we said that one of the most prophetic voices on Wall Street in 2022 (and prior) was that of Zoltan Pozsar, who laid out his theory of a Bretton Woods III regime in the days immediately following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Well, just one month later we saw the first tentative steps toward just such a paradigm shift when in April the Russian central bank offered to buy gold from domestic commercial banks at a fixed price of 5000 rubles per gram; by doing so the Bank of Russia both linked the ruble to gold and, since gold trades in US dollars, set a floor price for the ruble in terms of the US dollar. We described this in "A Paradigm Shift Western Media Hasn't Grasped Yet" - Russian Ruble Relaunched, Linked To Gold & Commodities", an article red 670,000 times making it the 11th most popular of the year. This concept of "petrogold" was also the subject of extensive discussion by Pozsar who dedicated one of his most recent widely-read notes to the topic; if indeed we are witnessing the transition to a Bretton Woods 3 regime, 2023 will see a lot of fireworks in the monetary system as the dollar's reserve status is challenged by eastern commodity producers. The 10th most popular article of 2022, with 686K views was a reminder of just how much "the settled science" can change: as described in "You Murderous Hypocrites": Outrage Ensues After The Atlantic Suggests 'Amnesty' For Pandemic Authoritarians, many were shocked when after pushing for economy-crushing lockdowns, seeking to block children from going to school (and stunting their development), and even calling for the incarceration or worse of mask, vaccine and booster holdouts, the liberal left - realizing that it was completely wrong about everything to do with covid, a virus with a 99% survival rate - suddenly and politely was hoping to "declare a pandemic amnesty." Brown Professor Emily Oster - a huge lockdown proponent, who now pleads from mercy from the once-shunned - wrote "we need to forgive one another for what we did and said when we were in the dark about COVID. Let’s acknowledge that we made complicated choices in the face of deep uncertainty, and then try to work together to build back and move forward." The response from those who lost their small business, wealth, or worse, a family member (who died alone or from complications from the experimental gene therapy known as "vaccines" and "boosters") was clear and unanimous; as for those seeking preemptive pardons from the coming tribunals, their plea was clear: “We didn't know! We were just following orders."  And from one covid post we segue into another, only this time the focus is not on the disease but rather the consequences of mandatory vaccines: over 730K readers were shocked in February when a former finance professional discovered a surge in "excess mortality", or unexplained deaths among otherwise healthy young adults, yet not linked directly to covid (thus leaving vaccines as the possible cause of death), as we showed in "Long Funeral Homes, Short Life Insurers? Ex-Blackrock Fund Manager Discovers Disturbing Trends In Mortality." This wasn't the first time we had heart of a surge in excess mortality: a month earlier it was the CEO of insurance company OneAmerica to observe that the death rate for those aged 18-64 had soared by 40% over pre-pandemic levels (this was another post that received a lot of clicks). While the science is clearly not settled here - on either covid or the vaccines - the emerging trend is ominous: at this rate the excess deaths associated with covid (and its vaccines) will soon surpass the deaths directly linked to covid. And anyone who dares to bring this up will be branded a racist, a white supremacists, or a fascist, or all three. One of the defining features of 2022 was the record surge in the price of food. And while much of this inflation could be attributed to the trillions in helicopter money injected over the past three years, as well as the snarled supply chains due to the war in Ukraine, a mystery emerged when one after another US food processing plant mysteriously burned down. And with almost 800,000 page views, a majority of our readers wanted to know why "Another US Food Processing Plant Erupts In Flames", making it the 8th most read post of the year. While so far no crime has been alleged, the fact that over 100 "accidental fires" (as listed here) have taken place across America's food facilities since the start of 2021, impairing the US supply chain, remains one of the biggest mysteries of the year. While some will argue that runaway inflation was the event of 2022, we will counter that the defining moment was the war between Ukraine and Russia, which broke out in February after what the Kremlin said was a long-running NATO attempt to corner Russia (by pushing Ukraine to seek membership in the military alliance), forcing it to either launch an invasion now, or wait several years and be invaded by all the neighboring NATO countries. Still, many were shocked when Putin ultimately gave the order to launch the "special military operations", as most had Russia to merely posture. But it was not meant to be and nearly 840K readers followed the world-changing events on February 2 when "Putin Orders "Special Military Operation" In Ukraine's Breakaway Regions." The war continues to this day with no prospects of peace or even a ceasefire. And from one geopolitical hotspot we go to another, namely China and Taiwan, which many expect will be the next major military theater at some time in the near future when Beijing finally invades the "Republic of China" and officially brings it back into the fold. Thing here got extra hot in early August when Democrat Nancy Pelosi decided to make an unexpected trip to the semiconductor-heavy island, sparking an unprecedented diplomatic escalation, with many speculating that China could simply fire at Nancy's unsanctioned airplane. In the end, however, as nearly 950,000 found out, the situation fizzled as "China Summoned US Ambassador Overnight, Says Washington "Must Pay The Price"." Since then Pelosi's political career has officially ended, and while China has not yet invaded Taiwan, it is only a matter of time before it does. While Covid may have been a 2021 story, that was also the year when nobody was allowed to talk about the Chinese pandemic. Things changed in 2022 when liberal censorship finally crashed under its own weight, and long overdue discussions of Covid became mainstream. nowhere more so than on Twitter where Elon Musk fired all those responsible for silencing the debate over the past three years, and of course, the show of the always outspoken Joe Rogan, where mRNA inventor Robert Malone, gave a fascinating interview to Joe Rogan which aired on New Year's Eve 2022 and which took the world by storm in the first days of the new year. It certainly made over 908,000 readers click on "COVID, Ivermectin, And 'Mass Formation Psychosis': Dr. Robert Malone Gives Blistering Interview To Joe Rogan." The doctor, who had been suspended by both LInkedIn and Twitter, for the crime of promoting "vaccine hesitancy" argued that if the risks of vaccines are not discussed, informed consent is not possible. As Malone concluded "Informed consent is not only not happening, it's being actively blocked." Luckily, now that Elon Musk has made it possible to discuss covid - and so much more - on twitter without fears of immediate suspension, there is again hope that not only is informed consent once again possible, but that the wheels of true justice are starting to steamroll liberal censorship. A tragic and bizarre interlude took place in early July when "Former Japanese PM Abe Shot Dead During Speech, "Frustrated" Assassin Arrested", a shocking development which captured the attention of some 927,000 readers.  While some expected the assassination to be a Archduke Ferdinand moment, coming at a time of soaring inflation around the globe and potentially catalyzing grassroots anger at the ruling class, the episode remained isolated as it did not have political motives and instead the killer, Yamagami, said that he killed the former PM in relation to a grudge he held against the Unification Church, to which Abe and his family had political ties, over his mother's bankruptcy in 2002. That's the good news. The bad news is that with the fabric of society close to tearing across most developed nations, it is only a matter of time before we do get a real Archduke 2.0 moment. Just days after Rogan's interview with Malone (see above), another covid-linked "surprise" emerged when Projected Veritas leaked military documents hidden on a classified system showing how EcoHealth Alliance approached DARPA in March 2018, seeking funding to conduct illegal gain of function research of bat borne coronaviruses. But while US infatuation with creating viral bioweapons is hardly new (instead it merely outsourced it to biolabs in China), one of the discoveries revealed in "Ivermectin 'Works Throughout All Phases' Of COVID According To Leaked Military Documents" - the third most popular post of 2022 with 929K page views, is that the infamous "horse paste" Ivermectin was defined by Darpa as a "curative" which works throughout all phases of the illness because it both inhibits viral replication and modulates the immune response. Of course, had that been made public, it would have prevented Pfizer and Moderna from making tens of billions in revenue from selling mRNA-based therapies (not vaccines) whose potentially deadly side effects we are only now learning about (as the 9th most popular post of 2022 noted above confirms). The fake news apparatus was busy spinning in overtime this past year (and every other year), and not only when it comes to covid, inflation, unemployment, the recession, but also - or rather especially - the Ukraine fog of propaganda war. A striking example was the explosion of both pipelines connecting Russia to Europe, Nord Stream I and II, which quickly escalated into a fingerpointing exercise of accusations, with Europe blaming Putin for blowing up the pipelines (even though said pipelines exclusively benefit the Kremlin which spent billions building them in the recent past), while the Kremlin said it was the US' fault. This we learned in "EU Chief Calls Nord Stream Attack "Sabotage", Warns Of "Strongest Possible Response", which was also the 2nd most read article of the year with just over 1,050,000 page views. In the end, there was no "response" at all. Why? Because as it emerged just two months later in that most deep state of outlets, the Washington Post, "Evidence In Nord Stream Sabotage Doesn't Point To Russia." In other words, it points to the US, just as professor Jeffrey Sachs dared to suggest on Bloomberg, leading to shock and awe at the pro-Biden media outlet. The lesson here, inasmuch as there is one, is that the perpetrators of every false flag operation always emerge - it may take time, but the outcome is inevitable, and "shockingly", the culprit almost always is one particular nation... Finally, the most read article of 2022 with nearly 1.1 million page views, was "White House Says Russian Forces 20 Miles Outside Ukraine's Capital." It cemented that as least as far as ZH readers were concerned, the biggest event of the year was the war in Ukraine, an event which has set in motion forces which will redefine the layout of the world over the next century (and, if Zoltan Pozsar is right, will lead to the demise of the US dollar as a reserve currency and culminate with China surpassing the US as the world's biggest superpower). Incidentally, while Russian forces may have been 20 miles outside of Kiev, they were repelled and even though the war could have ended nearly a year ago and the world would have returned to some semblance of normalcy, it was not meant to be, and the war still goes on with little hope that it will end any time soon. And with all that behind us, and as we wave goodbye to another bizarre, exciting, surreal year, what lies in store for 2023, and the next decade? We don't know: as frequent and not so frequent readers are aware, we do not pretend to be able to predict the future and we don't try, despite repeat baseless allegations that we constantly predict the collapse of civilization: we leave the predicting to the "smartest people in the room" who year after year have been consistently wrong about everything, and never more so than in 2022 (when the entire world realized just how clueless the Fed had been when it called the most crushing and persistent inflation in two generations "transitory"), which destroyed the reputation of central banks, of economists, of conventional media and the professional "polling" and "strategist" class forever, not to mention all those "scientists" who made a mockery of both the scientific method and the "expert class" with their catastrophically bungled response to the covid pandemic. We merely observe, find what is unexpected, entertaining, amusing, surprising or grotesque in an increasingly bizarre, sad, and increasingly crazy world, and then just write about it. We do know, however, that with central banks now desperate to contain inflation and undo 13 years of central bank mistakes - after all it is the trillions and trillions in monetary stimulus, the helicopter money, the MMT, and the endless deficit funding by central banks that made the current runaway inflation possible, the current attempt to do something impossible and stuff 13 years of toothpaste back into the tube, will be a catastrophic failure. We are confident, however, that in the end it will be the very final backstoppers of the status quo regime, the central banking emperors of the New Normal, who will eventually be revealed as fully naked. When that happens and what happens after is anyone's guess. But, as we have promised - and delivered - every year for the past 14, we will be there to document every aspect of it. Finally, and as always, we wish all our readers the best of luck in 2023, with much success in trading and every other avenue of life. We bid farewell to 2022 with our traditional and unwavering year-end promise: Zero Hedge will be there each and every day - usually with a cynical smile (and with the CIA clearly on our ass now) - helping readers expose, unravel and comprehend the fallacy, fiction, fraud and farce that defines every aspect of our increasingly broken economic, political and financial system. Tyler Durden Sat, 12/31/2022 - 11:05.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytDec 31st, 2022

Futures Surge Over 4,000 As Yields And Dollar Slide On Positive US-China Sentiment, Solid Earnings

Futures Surge Over 4,000 As Yields And Dollar Slide On Positive US-China Sentiment, Solid Earnings US futures jumped from Monday's shallow dip, which in turn followed the S&P 500’s best week since June, boosted by a triple-whammy of positive news out of China, including the Xi-Biden meeting which pointed to easing tensions between Washington and Beijing, China's Covid pivot and property measures, and solid earnings from Walmart which boosted guidance and announced a new $20BN buyback. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 extended earlier gains and were up 1.1% as of 7:1 a.m. ET while S&P 500 futures surged above 4000, rising almost 1.0%. Treasury yields and the dollar slipped while bitcoin resumed its modest rise. At 8:30am we get another inflation read in the form of the latest PPI Print, which is also expected to ease modestly. In premarket trading, chipmakers AMD, Nvidia and Intel Corp. rose between 1.3%-2% while Tesla Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., and Alphabet Inc. all added about 1% each. Coinbase and Marathon Digital led cryptocurrency-linked stocks higher as Bitcoin extended gains with investors waiting for more details about an industry-recovery fund promised by Binance Holdings Chief Executive Officer Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao. Chinese stocks listed in the US were set to rise for a fourth day, after a triple-whammy of positive news including Xi-Biden meeting, Covid pivot and property measures. Alibaba (BABA US) soared 11% in premarket trading. Lithium-exposed stocks edged lower following a selloff in Asian peers amid worries over potentially weaker demand from Chinese firms. Here are the other notable premarket movers: Getty Images (GETY US) falls 12% in US premarket trading, after the media company reported third quarter earnings that missed the average analyst estimate. Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA US) shares slip as much as 2.6% in US premarket trading as the cell-programming platform provider’s revenue beat was eclipsed by worries over how a tougher economic environment could impact prospects. Harley-Davidson (HOG US) is initiated with an underperform rating, its only sell-equivalent recommendation, and a $39 PT at Jefferies, which says the strength in the motorcycle maker’s shares is overdone. Lithium-exposed stocks edged lower in US premarket trading following a selloff in Asian peers amid worries over potentially weaker demand from Chinese firms. Nubank (NU US) shares jump 15% in premarket trading after the Brazilian digital bank’s third-quarter results. Morgan Stanley said the lender delivered a strong print, showing beats for client net adds, revenue, gross profit and adjusted net income. Shoals Technologies (SHLS US) shares soar as much as 22% in US premarket trading, on track for its biggest rise in five months, as analysts nudged their price targets higher after the solar energy products supplier narrowed its revenue forecast for the full year. Brokers said that the firm’s rising backlog and awarded orders bode well for the future and increase visibility for next year Markets have turned risk-on in recent days, trading off a softer-than-expected US data print that many reckon will allow the Fed to raise rates in 50 basis-point increment, after consecutive 75 basis-point hikes. That view was encouraged by dovish comments from Vice Chair Lael Brainard who said on Monday it would probably be “appropriate soon to move to a slower pace of increases.” “The issue the market has to wrestle with is how long is the Fed going to keep rates at that level and I think there is some positive sentiment out there that the Fed is going to pivot sometime in 2023,” Peter Kraus, Chairman and CEO at Aperture Investors, told Bloomberg Television. Sentiment also got a solid boost overnight following signs of easing tensions between the US and China (even if Xi probably does not see it that way, and instead he delivered a speech at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, in which he urged against politicizing food and energy issues, and called for scrapping unilateral sanctions and restrictions on technology cooperation in this area, something which won't happen). In any case, after the meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping on Monday, Washington said the two sides would resume cooperation on issues including climate change and food security, and that Biden and Xi jointly chastised the Kremlin for loose talk of nuclear war over Ukraine. Investors also remain focused on central banks: Swissquote analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya said equity markets are in “a vicious circle” as “investors want to feel better, but the Fed can’t let them feel much better as a market rally would play against its inflation fight.” Last week’s rebound was a “flash in the pan, but the downside risks have certainly eased,” she said. Meanwhile, markets are watching growing risks to earnings following corporate America’s weakest reporting season since the first quarter of 2020, and the outlook for stock markets in 2023. “The equity market will continue to rally until the end of the year with some volatility, but once you get to 2023 there will be some realization that interest rates will actually start to slow economic activity,” said Peter Kraus, chief executive officer at Aperture Investors. “In 2023, you will have more volatility and you’ll have a decline in equity markets,” Kraus said on Bloomberg TV. The latest Bank of America’s global fund manager survey for November showed sentiment remains “uber-bearish,” with investors still crowded into the dollar and cash, while tech stocks remain unpopular. “My biggest concern is the market gets ahead of itself and we get into a situation where the Fed feels it needs to rein in, and tighten more than it otherwise would have, as markets became too frothy,” Kristina Hooper, chief global strategist at Invesco said on Bloomberg Radio. In Europe the Stoxx 600 index swung between losses and gains, though the market is close to a three-month high and Germany’s Dax index is on the cusp of a technical bull-market, having narrowly missed that milestone on Monday. The Euro Stoxx 50 rises 0.1%. CAC 40 outperforms peers, adding 0.3%, FTSE MIB lags, dropping 0.3%. Utilities, food & beverages outperformed while retail and telecoms underperform as more sectors turn negative on the day. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Teleperformance shares rise as much as 9.4%, the third session of gains in a recovery from a recent drop suffered by the customer relationship management services firm following a report related to its content moderation business in Colombia. UK utilities and energy firms advance after reports that UK’s Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is considering a new 40% windfall tax on the “excess returns” of electricity generators. Drax rises 4.0%, Centrica +5.0% BAE Systems shares gain as much as 4.1% after a trading update from the defense contractor that analysts said shows trading momentum remains solid. Ambu falls as much as 16%, the most since May, after the Danish medical technology firm’s latest earnings and outlook disappointed, according to analysts. Ocado shares plunge as much as 13% in Tuesday morning trading, paring the 30% rally in the previous two sessions after last week’s softer-than-expected US inflation data provided a boost to growth stocks. Nexi shares fall as much as 11%, the most intraday since March 2020, after holder Intesa Sanpaolo sold its stake in the payment services firm. Vodafone shares slump as much as 9.2% and are on track for their lowest close in 25 years after the telecom operator trimmed its outlook for Ebitda after- leases to the lower end of its previous range, citing higher energy costs. Cellnex slides as much as 6.5% after a share placement of 25.6m shares at EU33.50/share. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rallied as China led the region higher, buoyed by more property easing measures and signs of reduced US-China tensions. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 1.9% to a two-month high, lifted by technology shares. Chinese stocks in the sector helped pace the benchmark’s gain as investors bet the worst may be over for some of the major players. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s TSMC surged after a filing showed Warren Buffett recently bought a stake of about $5 billion in the chipmaker. China and Hong Kong benchmarks extended their recent rebounds, with the Hang Seng Index entering a bull market, gaining as much as 4.2% as regulators moved to further ease a liquidity crunch faced by real estate developers. Sentiment was also lifted by Monday’s meeting between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping that generated hopes of warmer ties between the two superpowers. That encounter offset the weak retail sales data that underscored the impact of Covid lockdowns on China’s economy. There’s “some easing of bilateral tensions from the Xi-Biden meeting,” said Marvin Chen, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst, who added that China’s macro data, which came in below expectations, could “boost the probability of more easing measures in the near term.”  Japanese equities erased earlier losses, as investors weighed Fed comments for clues on where rate hikes might go and as improvement in US-China ties lifted sentiment across Asia.  The Topix Index rose 0.4% to 1,964.22 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.1% to 27,990.17. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 4.2% as the company raised its key profit forecast and announced a share buyback plan. Out of 2,165 stocks in the index, 1,308 rose and 766 fell, while 91 were unchanged. “The financial results are almost all done as of yesterday and the stock market is running out of materials,” said Hideyuki Suzuki, general manager at SBI Securities. “All the important indicators from the FOMC, US CPI data, and earnings are over. The question is what the future holds from here.” Stocks in India advanced as easing inflation boosted investors’ sentiment while the country’s corporate earnings season ended. A rally in lenders boosted the benchmark Sensex to a new high while pushing the NSE Nifty 50 Index near its record level. The S&P BSE Sensex rose 0.4% to 61,872.99 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced by an similar measure. Thirteen of the 19 sector sub-indexes advanced, led by oil and gas and telecom companies.    ICICI Bank contributed the most to the index gain, increasing 1.9%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex index, 19 rose and 10 fell, while 1 was unchanged. The consumer-price index for October rose 6.77%, easing from the 7.4% rise in September, which was the highest level in nearly two years, while the pace of wholesale inflation slowed to 8.4%, its first single digit reading in 19 months. In FX, the dollar resumed its decline, giving G-10 FX some relief. The yen trades at around the level of 139/USD, while pound rises to $1.18.  The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index swung to a loss early in the European session as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasury yields fell, led by the belly of the curve. The five-year yield was down around 5bps. The euro rose to a four-month high of $1.0437. Most European bond yields fell, led by the long end of the curve; Italy’s 10-year yield fell by 10bps and Germany’s by 4bps. Germany Nov. ZEW investor expectations rise to -36.7; est. -51.0 The pound rose against both the dollar and the euro after UK wages grew at the fastest pace in more than a year. Investors will also be watching inflation data Wednesday and the UK’s fiscal announcement Thursday UK investors are facing the biggest glut of gilts in nearly a decade. Government bond sales will hit £185 billion ($217 billion) for this fiscal year to April, according to the median estimate of 10 banks surveyed by Bloomberg. The bid-to- cover on a UK 10-year gilt sale fell to its lowest level since Oct. 2019 at 2.11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg The Aussie and Kiwi touched fresh two-month highs. RBA minutes showed policy makers were prepared to return to larger rate hikes if needed. Australia’s bond curve twist-flattened. The yen rebounded on broad-based dollar weakness. The Japanese currency earlier dropped after data showed Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank in the third quarter. In rates, Treasury and bunds 10-year yields are about 1.5bps lower, gilts 10-year yield little changed. Treasury futures topped Monday’s highs in early US trading, led by bunds after ECB’s Villeroy said a slower pace of hikes is likely after next month’s meeting. Into the move 10-year yields drop below 50-DMA for the first time since August.  The US Treasuries' advance was led by the belly, with 5-year yields richer by nearly 6bp on the day, steepening 5s30s spread by ~3bp; 10-year, lower by 4.5bp at ~3.81%, trails bunds by more than 2bp.US auctions resume Wednesday with $15b 20-year bonds, followed by $15b 10-year TIPS Thursday. In commodities, WTI crude futures ease to below $85; as benchmarks are pressured with the overarching COVID headwind weighing on the demand side and overshadowing any potential upside from the USD & G20. Currently, WTI Dec’22 and Brent Jan’23 are lower by just over USD 1/bbl and have printed fresh November troughs of USD 84.06/bbl and USD 91.52/bbl respectively. Precious metals have lost their initial shine but spot gold remains in proximity to yesterday's USD 1775/oz high. Ags. are in focus on the above reports, though initial pressure has eased a touch as Russia says it will make a decision at an appropriate time. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include October’s PPI reading and the Empire state manufacturing survey for November, while in Europe there’s UK employment data for October and the German ZEW survey for November. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker, Cook, Barr and the ECB’s Elderson. Finally, earnings releases include Walmart and Home Depot. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 3,990.50 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 432.94 MXAP up 1.9% to 154.34 MXAPJ up 2.3% to 500.95 Nikkei little changed at 27,990.17 Topix up 0.4% to 1,964.22 Hang Seng Index up 4.1% to 18,343.12 Shanghai Composite up 1.6% to 3,134.08 Sensex up 0.3% to 61,785.91 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,141.63 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,480.33 German 10Y yield down 2.1% to 2.13% Euro up 0.6% to $1.0394 Brent Futures down 1.3% to $91.89/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,774.81 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.35% to 106.29 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Signs of inflation peaking in the US are a relief for policy makers around the world who’ve been raising interest rates at a record pace to combat price pressures, ECB Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is considering a new 40% windfall tax on the “excess returns” of electricity generators as part of his sprawling package of tax rises and spending cuts this week, according to a person familiar with the proposal Oil inventories in developed nations have sunk to the lowest since 2004, leaving global markets vulnerable as sanctions on Russian exports take effect, according to the International Energy Agency Global investors reduced their holdings of China government bonds in the onshore market for a ninth-month running in October amid concerns over policy uncertainty spurred by President Xi Jinping’s consolidation of power A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks traded mixed following a weak lead from Wall Street with newsflow also quiet overnight. ASX 200 saw pressure from its Metals & Mining sector, whilst the RBA minutes provided little in terms of hints for the upcoming meeting and left all options open. Nikkei 225 saw some downside after Q3 Japanese GDP unexpectedly fell into contraction, but losses were trimmed as the JPY weakened. KOSPI was contained whilst Taiwan’s Taiex outperformed as TSMC was boosted by a Berkshire Hathaway stake in the name. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp cheered the meeting between US President Biden and Chinese President Xi, which was telegraphed as candid, whilst Chinese stocks saw little action to the Retail Sales contraction and sub-forecast IP metrics. Top Asian News China reports 1,661 new confirmed COVID cases in mainland (prev. 1,794 a day earlier), via Reuters. PBoC injected CNY 850bln via 1yr MLF at a maintained rate of 2.75%; PBoC injected CNY 172bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate at 2.00% for a CNY 170bln net injection. PBoC said longer-term fund injection exceeds Nov MLF maturities, according to Bloomberg. Chinese Vice President Wang said China will maintain strong policy continuity, according to Bloomberg. China's Stats Bureau said will actively expand demand, stabilise employment and prices; will consolidate the foundation of economic recovery; economic recovery slows due to COVID flare-ups, via Reuters. China's stats bureau spokesman said the property market shows some positive changes but the downward trend continues; expects China's CPI to remain benign, via Reuters. European bourses are mixed overall, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.2%, as opening gains scale back after a mostly constructive APAC session. Stateside, US futures are firmer across the board with Tech leading after strong APAC tech trade and in wake of Fed's Brainard, ES +0.7%. Home Depot Inc (HD) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 4.24 (exp. 4.12), Revenue38.9bln (exp. 37.95bln); Comps sales +4.3% (exp. 3.1%); reaffirms FY22 guidance. Top European News UK PM Sunak will accept an official recommendation to increase the living wage from GBP 9.50 an hour to about GBP 10.40 an hour — a rise of nearly 10%, according to The Times. UK Chancellor Hunt is considering a 40% windfall tax on "excess returns" made by electricity generators as part of his Autumn Statement, according to Bloomberg sources. ECB's Villeroy said ECB will probably continue to hike rates but may do so in a more flexible and less rapid manner; jumbo hikes will not become a new habit. We are clearly approaching the normalisation range of around 2%, via Reuters. EU Parliament and member states agreed on an EU budget for 2023, according to dpa. G20 draft declaration noted that central banks will continue to appropriately calibrate the pace of monetary policy tightening, via Reuters. FX DXY continues to slip after a pronounced move which occurred prior to the European cash open, currently near sub-106.00 lows to the broad benefit of peers. USD/JPY has been touted by some as a key driver of the above move given its quick move from above-140.00 to sub 139.00. GBP benefits from the USD weakness and perhaps firm wage metrics though this was accompanied by an unexpected unemployment uptick, ahead of Wednesday's CPI and Thursday's fiscal update. Yuan remains in keen focus as it moves comparatively closer to the 7.00 handle, though proved resilient to soft overnight data with focus firmly on the broader USD move. SEK was unfased by soft-headline but hot-core vs exp. CPIF metrics, though this has prompted SEB to raise the risk of a 100bp Riksbank hike. Fixed Income BTPs are leading the fixed income complex with upside in excess of a point to a session peak of 117.26 vs trough 116.04 on supply-side dynamics. Bunds are similarly bid though to a lesser extent than periphery counterparts, having incrementally surpassed yesterday's 139.26 peak. Well-received German 7yr supply sparked limited upside while a softer UK outing caused Gilts to temporarily pullback to near-unchanged. USTs move in tandem with EGBs with yields lower as such in wake of Fed's Brainard, who backed the FOMC downshifting to a lower increment of rate hikes in December. Retail orders for the November 2028 BTP Italia reach EUR 4bln, via Reuters citing Bourse data. Commodities Crude benchmarks are pressured with the overarching COVID headwind weighing on the demand side and overshadowing any potential upside from the USD & G20. Currently, WTI Dec’22 and Brent Jan’23 are lower by just over USD 1/bbl and have printed fresh November troughs of USD 84.06/bbl and USD 91.52/bbl respectively. IEA Monthly Oil Market Report: 2023 global oil output is to grow 740k BPD to 100.7mln BPD. Demand growth will slow to 1.6 mb/d in 2023, down from 2.1 mb/d this year, as mounting economic headwinds impede gains. Russia is reportedly expected to agree to extend the Black Sea grain-export deal, via Bloomberg. Subsequently, Russia says it will announce its decision on extension of Black Sea grains deal in an appropriate time, TASS reports. Precious metals have lost their initial shine but spot gold remains in proximity to yesterday's USD 1775/oz high. Ags. are in focus on the above reports, though initial pressure has eased a touch as Russia says it will make a decision at an appropriate time. G20 Australian PM says there were positive discussions on trade embargoes levelled on Australia by China. Adds, the meeting with Chinese President Xi was another important step towards stabilising the relationship, will cooperate where possible with China. Many steps yet to take. Chinese President Xi says Sino-Australian relations have encountered difficulties in recent years and this is not what we wanted to see, according to State Media Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov says he has proposed to the G20 the removal of discriminatory barriers on energy markets; UN will deal with the removal of barriers for Russian grain and fertilizers; the G20 draft declaration has reference to an exchange of views re. Ukraine, West added phrase that many delegations condemned Russia. Russia highlighted alterative points of view. Geopolitics Chinese President Xi said China advocates a ceasefire in the Ukraine crisis and calls for peace talks, via state media. Chinese President Xi told US President Biden that China will make all efforts for peaceful "reunification" with Taiwan, according to the Chinese Foreign Minister. China upholds the "one country, two systems" proposal for Taiwan, according to Reuters Chinese President Xi told French President Macron that China and Europe should expand two-way trade and investments, via state media. US Event Calendar 08:30: Oct. PPI Final Demand YoY, est. 8.3%, prior 8.5% Oct. PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.4% Oct. PPI Ex Food and Energy YoY, est. 7.2%, prior 7.2% Oct. PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.3% Oct. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade YoY, est. 5.6%, prior 5.6% Oct. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.4% 08:30: Nov. Empire Manufacturing, est. -6.0, prior -9.1 Central Banks 09:00: Fed’s Harker Discusses the Economic Outlook 09:00: Fed’s Cook Discusses Post-Covid Challenges Facing Women 10:00: Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Barr Speaks Before Senate Panel DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I appreciate the EMR is often a medical bulletin as well as a market report and today's there's a new entry on the former. It looks like I'm going to have a back operation in the next few weeks. My sciatic nerve has no room to move and while I'm not in pain at the moment (unlike earlier this year) due to two injections in recent months, I have constant tingling and pins and needles down my leg. All conservative approaches have hit the end of the road and the worry is that if I leave it too long I'll do permanent damage to the nerve. If anyone wants to make a late intervention to help sway me one way or the other in terms of back surgery feel free to do so. I think my mind is made up though as I don't see an alternative. All a bit scary but all with the aim of getting me 30 more years (minimum) on the golf course and the chance to reach my goal of getting to scratch before the ageing process prevents that!! The injection of optimism inserted into the limbs of the financial market after last week's US CPI report showed some signs of fading yesterday although there's been a recovery in Asia as China continues to support the economy and the interpretation of Biden/Xi meeting yesterday is spun a bit more positively in Asia. Yields have risen across the Treasury curve to start the week as investors moved to dial back some of their more dovish post-CPI expectations for next year. In part, that was prompted by some pretty hawkish comments from Fed Governor Waller on Sunday night that we mentioned in yesterday’s edition. But that trade was then given further momentum by the New York Fed’s latest Survey of Consumer Expectations, which showed inflation expectations moving higher across all horizons, and echoes the uptick we saw in the University of Michigan’s reading last Friday as well. Consistent with that, our US economist's composite measure of inflation expectations has increased. They've published their latest series in a full update, available here. Diving into those inflation expectations from yesterday, the New York Fed’s latest survey showed the 1yr expectation moving up half a point to 5.9%, 3yr expectations rising two-tenths to 3.1%, and 5yr expectations up two-tenths as well to 2.4%. To be fair, all those measures are still below their levels as recently as Q2, but the upticks over the last couple of months will raise some fears that the longer inflation remains elevated, the more difficult it’ll be to keep expectations anchored around target levels. For now you would have to say that long-run expectations have held in remarkably well in the face of 40-yr highs in actual inflation. October's US PPI will be an important release today, especially the health care component that feeds directly into core PCE - the Fed's preferred gauge. A notable push back on the slightly more hawkish momentum to start the week were comments as Europe closed from Fed Vice Chair Brainard, who struck a far less hawkish tone than Governor Waller had the previous day. For instance, Brainard said that it would “probably be appropriate soon to move to a slower pace of increases”, which gave further support to the idea the Fed will slow down its hikes to a 50bp pace next month (fully priced now though). That wasn’t too out of line with the rest of Fed speakers since the November meeting, but where the Vice Chair did separate herself was by noting the step down in pace need not be explicitly tied to a higher terminal rate, something Chair Powell argued during his Press Conference, and she did not explicitly rule out interest rate cuts next year, which would be more of a ‘pivot’ rather than the recently communicated ‘pause’ for the Fed. That gave risk assets a bit of support, but it appears she is out of consensus from the rest of the Committee, so the gains were not sustained. With all said and done, investors ended the day expecting a slightly more aggressive Fed, with the rate priced in by Fed funds futures for end-2023 up +6.2bps to 4.46%. As a result, US Treasury yields rose across the board as trading resumed after Friday’s Veterans’ Day holiday. The 10yr yield was up +4.1bps to 3.85% (3.87% in Asia), and the more policy-sensitive 2yr yield saw an even larger move of +5.7bps to 4.39%. Those moves were driven by real yields, with the 10yr real yield up +8.4bps on the day to 1.49%. As you'll see from my CoTD yesterday, 10yr US real yields had their second largest fall since the GFC on Thursday (link here). Only the intitial covid related fall in March 2020 beats it. Against that backdrop, US equities struggled for momentum too, with the S&P 500 (-0.89%) losing ground after its massive +6.52% surge over the previous two sessions. The more cyclical sectors led the declines, and the NASDAQ (-1.12%) lost even more ground on the day. However in Europe there was a much more positive story, with the STOXX 600 up +0.14% to its highest level in over two months, alongside gains for the FTSE 100 (+0.92%), the CAC 40 (+0.22%) and the DAX (+0.62%). This European strength was evident in sovereign bond markets too, where yields on 10yr bunds (-1.5bps), OATs (-1.2bps) and BTPs (-3.0bps) all ended the day lower. Asian equity markets are mostly trading higher this morning with the Hang Seng (+3.62%) sharply higher lifted by the outperformance of the Hang Seng Tech index (+6.81%) as Chinese listed tech stocks rose significantly. Stocks in mainland China are also up with the CSI (+1.47%) and the Shanghai Composite (+1.27%) extending their previous session gains despite a slew of disappointing economic data. As discussed at the top, the Asian interpretation is that we saw a slight easing of China-US tensions following the Biden-Xi meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia (more below). Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.10%) is modestly higher with the KOSPI (-0.11%) bucking the trend in early trade. In overnight trading, US stock futures are pointing to a positive start with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.52%) and the NASDAQ 100 (+0.74%) both rising. Coming back to China, early morning data revealed that industrial production rose +5.0% y/y in October, lower than the market expected rise of +5.3% and much slower than September’s +6.3% increase indicating a further loss of momentum in the world’s second biggest economy. At the same time, retail sales unexpectedly contracted -0.5% y/y (v/s +0.7% expected), down from +2.5% growth in September as strict Covid restrictions along with a downturn in property markets pushed consumers to tighten their belts. Markets are largely ignoring this data as covid and property restrictions have subsequently been eased so the direction of travel should get more positive from here. Elsewhere, Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank for the first time in four quarters as Q3 GDP fell -0.3% q/q (v/s +0.3% expected) compared to an upwardly revised growth of +1.1% in the prior quarter as inflation and the weak yen hit the country. In the geopolitical sphere, let's now recap US President Biden and Chinese President Xi's first meeting in person as the leaders of their respective countries yesterday. That took place on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia, and the White House said afterwards that US Secretary of State Blinken would visit China to follow up on the discussions, which was taken by many as a positive sign towards de-escalating tensions. However, there were some points of tension, with the White House statement saying that Biden had “raised U.S. objections to the PRC’s coercive and increasingly aggressive actions towards Taiwan, and China’s statement said that “anyone that seeks to split Taiwan from China will be violating the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation”. So something for the hawks and doves but the conclusion might be that the summit beat low expectations coming into it. Staying on politics, it’s now been a week since the midterm elections and we still don’t know which party will control the House of Representatives following the weekend confirmation that the Democrats took the Senate. It’s looking increasingly likely it will go to the Republicans, who currently have a lead in the vote count across enough of the outstanding districts to win a majority, and NBC’s forecast points to a narrow 220-215 Republican majority based on what we currently have as well. As we go to press, the current tally stands at 217 Republicans and 204 Democrats with Republicans just 1 win away from taking the House. Tonight however, attention will turn towards the 2024 presidential contest, since former President Trump has said he’ll be making an announcement at 9pm EST, and speculation has centred around a potential 2024 announcement. Normally, the presidential announcements from the top-tier contenders happen around Q1 or Q2 of the year after the midterms. But if today does mark an announcement, the rationale for going early will be to clear the field of other potential contenders, with Trump hoping that the Republican primary is effectively uncontested like normally happens for sitting presidents. As it stands, Trump’s biggest rival for the nomination is widely considered to be Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was re-elected Governor last week with lead of almost 20 points over his Democratic opponent. He was seen to be the Republican's big success story of the night. The crypto saga continues, but there was some stabilisation in Bitcoin prices, which retreated just -0.57% after bouncing around all day. There’s certainly still more to come on the story as it becomes clear who was exposed to failed exchanges and funds, but Marion Laboure on my team has already contextualised the episode and looks ahead about what it implies in her piece out yesterday. Link here To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include October’s PPI reading and the Empire state manufacturing survey for November, while in Europe there’s UK employment data for October and the German ZEW survey for November. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Harker, Cook, Barr and the ECB’s Elderson. Finally, earnings releases include Walmart and Home Depot. Tyler Durden Tue, 11/15/2022 - 07:47.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytNov 15th, 2022

Futures, Global Markets Rally, Bonds Slide As Traders Turn More Bullish

Futures, Global Markets Rally, Bonds Slide As Traders Turn More Bullish Following the best week for stocks in one month, global stocks extended gains on Monday on continued easing of fears for a hawkish Fed; US futures rose, with the Nasdaq 100 advancing 0.5% as by tech giants Amazon, Apple and Microsoft all rose in premarket trading. Tech shares also boosted indexes in Europe and Asia. Treasuries slipped, pushing the rate on the US 10-year note to 3.17%. Yields have retreated from June highs on growth worries, but whether that marks the end of the Treasury bear market is a live debate. The dollar fluctuated while oil and bitcoin rose. In the US premarket, major US technology and internet stocks were higher, poised to extend gains. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 closed up 7.5% last week, its best week since March. Among notable movers: Apple +0.6%, Microsoft +0.6%, Amazon.com +1%, Meta +0.8%, Nvidia +1.6% in premarket trading. Other notable premarket movers include: JD.com (JD US) is among the top performers in US-listed Chinese stocks, rising 5% in premarket trading, after tech investor Prosus disposed of its stake in JD.com for about $3.67 billion. Coinbase (COIN US) shares fall 4% in premarket trading as the stock was downgraded to sell from neutral, with a joint Street-low price target of $45 at Goldman Sachs, which cited the “continued downdraft” in crypto prices and drop in industry activity levels. Robinhood (HOOD US) shares rise 3.9% in premarket trading as Goldman Sachs analyst William Nance raised the recommendation on the stock to neutral from sell Epizyme (EPZM US) jumps 64% to $1.56 in US premarket trading after Ipsen announced the acquisition of the US biotech firm for $1.45/share in cash plus a contingent value right of $1/share. Selective Insurance Group (SIGI US) shares may be in focus after Morgan Stanley initiated an overweight rating on the stock, citing a favorable business model that will help the company’s margin to outperform peers. Keep an eye on WEC Energy Group (WEC US) as KeyBanc Capital Markets raised the recommendation on the stock to overweight from sector weight, citing “valuation dislocations” triggered by the recent industry volatility. As Goldman traders speculated over the weekend, Friday's massive Russell rebalance may have helped flush out any leftover liquidation trades, while the upcoming month- and quarter-end portfolio rebalancing by pensions could boost stocks by as much as 7% this week according to JPM's Marko Kolanovic. Further boosting bullish sentiment - if only temporarily - one of Wall Street’s biggest bears sees the rally in US stocks extending, prior to the selloff recommencing. Morgan Stanley's Michael Wilson say the S&P 500 Index may climb another 5% to 7%, before resuming losses. Meanwhile, investors are also parsing incoming data to work out if the highest inflation in a generation is close to topping out as that will give the Fed latitude to ease up on sharp interest-rate hikes, something the market last week aggressively repriced. A more troubling scenario is of lasting price pressures and tighter policy even as the global economy falters. “There’s a feeling that things aren’t as bad as we thought they were going to be,” Carol Pepper, founder of Pepper International, said on Bloomberg Radio. She added “there’s a hope that perhaps we’ve oversold, perhaps there’s not going to be a recession.” Traders are also monitoring a summit of the Group of Seven leaders, who plan to commit to indefinite support for Ukraine in its defense against Russia’s invasion. The G-7 in addition is weighing a price cap on Russian oil. As reported yesterday, the US, UK, Japan and Canada also plan to announce a ban on new gold imports from Russia during the G-7 summit. Prices for the precious metal naturally rose. European equities trade off session highs as an earlier rally in Asian tech stocks buoys sentiment. Miners, tech and autos are the strongest performing sectors in Europe. Euro Stoxx 50 rallies 1%. DAX outperforms peers, adding 1.2%, FTSE MIB lags, dropping 0.2%.  Among notable European stock moves, Prosus NV soared on plans to sell more of its $134 billion stake in Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. to finance a buyback program. Mediobanca SpA fell after the death of Italian entrepreneur Leonardo Del Vecchio, the single largest investor in the bank.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Prosus shares surge as much as 17% in Amsterdam after the tech investor said it will sell down its holding in Tencent to finance an open-ended share buyback program, which could help close the gap between the firm’s market value and the value of the Tencent stake, according to analysts. Mining stocks lead gains in the Stoxx 600 Index on Monday as iron ore and base metals recover ground amid signs of improvement in China’s economy. Rio Tinto shares rise as much as 4.4%, Anglo American +4.6%, Glencore +4.2% Nordex shares jump as much as 12% after the firm announced a EU139.2m cash injection from Acciona in a bid to increase liquidity and strengthen its balance sheet to shield itself against the risks of short term headwinds in the industry. Kion shares rise as much as 7.7% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to overweight from underweight, saying that the structural case for warehouse and forklift companies remains intact even amid a de-rating for the stocks. Lundbeck soars as much as 15% after the Danish pharmaceutical company reported positive data in a clinical study of agitation in patients with Alzheimer’s dementia. Ocado shares fall as much as 3.1% after the stock was cut to neutral from outperform and PT slashed to 960p from 1,600p at Credit Suisse, with the broker saying new disclosures from the online grocer indicate that its prior assumptions were “too optimistic.” Ipsen shares drop as much as 5.1% after the pharmaceutical company announced the acquisition of US biotech Epizyme for $1.45/share in cash plus a contingent value right of $1/share. Analyst had mixed reactions to the deal. Mediobanca shares fall as much as 4.4% in Milan after news that Italian entrepreneur Leonardo Del Vecchio, the single largest investor in the bank with a stake of about 19.4%, has died. Wise shares drop as much as 5.3% after the money transfer firm said its CEO is facing a probe by UK regulators. Tecnicas Reunidas shares tumble as much as 17% after the company said it began arbitrage to recover excess costs in a dispute with the Sonatrach-Neptune Energy consortium over a contract for the Touat Gaz Plant in Algeria. Elsewhere, Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in a century, the culmination of ever-tougher Western sanctions that shut down payment routes. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced after battered technology shares rebounded as easing recession fears underpinned investor sentiment.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose as much as 2.1%, its biggest intraday gain this month, as chip and internet companies including TSMC and Alibaba climbed. Tech-heavy markets such as Taiwan and South Korea extended gains made Friday, while an index of Asian tech stocks rallied for a second straight session after dropping to the lowest since September 2020.  Asian equities are bouncing back from a two-year low, as US Treasury yields retreat. Almost all markets in the region rose, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index leading gains and China’s benchmark coming closer to a bull market as Shanghai’s leader declared victory in defending the financial hub against Covid. A Chinese tech index in Hong Kong advanced 4.7%. Still, the rally in technology shares may be short-lived, as global demand for consumer electronics remains fragile.  “Korea and Taiwan have high leverage to tech products, and we’ve seen a lot of that come under pressure so the end demand has slowed down,” Ray Sharma-Ong, investment director at Abrdn Asia, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We expect continued outflows post this relief rally.” Japanese equities climbed as the latest comments from Federal Reserve officials buoyed sentiment on the economy and a reading on US inflation expectations eased.  The Topix Index rose 1.1% to 1,887.42 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.4% to 26,871.27. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 2.3%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,490 rose and 568 fell, while 112 were unchanged. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.9% to close at 6,706, the benchmark’s biggest daily gain since Jan. 28, as investors in Asia assessed whether inflation is bottoming and recession can be averted. The index’s biggest gains were seen in the financial, energy and tech sectors. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index closed 1.7% higher at 10,997.92, the benchmark’s best day since March 1 Emerging-market stocks climbed to the highest in more than a week as China’s recovery from its virus-induced slump propels the Asian nation’s equities toward a bull market. Technology stocks led emerging-market equity gains, with China’s economy showing some improvement in June amid a further easing of pandemic curbs in Shanghai. Chinese shares look to be the best home for fresh money in Asia amid a tough investment environment, according to abrdn plc’s regional chairman Hugh Young. China plans to extend the yuan’s trading hours as it seeks to increase global investor participation in onshore currency trading as part of its internationalization push. In FX, the Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.2% as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the Australian dollar.  AUD and CHF are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, SEK and GBP outperform. The volatility term structures for the Group-of-4 currencies focus on the upcoming central bank meetings as there is little demand for long gamma in the front-end. The euro advanced, nearing $1.06 and European bonds fell broadly, with the exeption of Greece and Sweden, as focus turns to ECB President Christine Lagarde’s speech. Sterling rose for a second day, supported by a rally in global stocks that is limiting demand for the dollar. Gilts extended their slide across the curve, while money markets raised BOE tightening bets as haven- buying was unwound amid equity advances. In rates, Treasuries are weaker amid a selloff in core European rates, which extended losses after EU’s sale of EU2.5b four-year bonds. US yields are cheaper by nearly 4bp at long end, steepening 2s10s by ~2.4bp, 5s30s by ~1bp on the day; 10-year is up 3.6bp at ~3.17% with bunds and gilts lagging by additional 8bp and 5bp in the sector.  As Bloomberg notes, the broad risk-asset rally puts added cheapening pressure on Treasury yields with S&P 500 futures and Estoxx50 rising led by big gains for Asia stocks. Two coupon auctions slated for Monday may also weigh: Monday’s auctions include $46b 2- year at 11:30am ET and $47b 5-year notes at 1pm. The WI 2-year yield near 3.07% (vs 2.519% last month) is above auction stops since 2007; WI 5Y near 3.22% (vs 2.736% in May) exceeds results since 2008. IG dollar issuance expectations for the week are around $15b, although remain highly dependent on market conditions. The long- end of the curve may benefit this week from anticipated month- end demand; Bloomberg Indices estimated a 0.07yr Treasury index duration extension for July 1, slightly below 12-month average. In Europe, Gilts underperform Treasuries and bunds, cheaper by about 5-6bps at the long end. In commodities, industrial metals rebounded, while oil rose. Copper steadied and most other base metals rebounded after their worst week in a year as China’s economy showed signs of recovering and Goldman Sachs said global supplies were still constrained. Oil fluctuated near $107 a barrel in New York as investors monitored developments from the gathering of Group of Seven leaders; G7 leaders met to decide on a Russian oil price cap ahead of Iranian nuclear talks and on the week of the OPEC+ meeting. French CGT unions will participate in strikes at LNG terminals and gas storage facilities this week; strike in the energy sector on June 28th. Most base metals trade in the green; LME tin rises 6.8%, outperforming peers. LME zinc lags, dropping 0.9%. Spot gold maintains gains, adding ~$13 to trade near $1,840/oz. as some G-7 nations plan to announce ban on new gold imports from Russia Looking at today's US calendar, we get the May durable goods orders, capital goods orders, pending home sales, and June Dallas Fed manufacturing index. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 3,944.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.2% to 417.68 MXAP up 1.6% to 161.83 MXAPJ up 1.8% to 538.51 Nikkei up 1.4% to 26,871.27 Topix up 1.1% to 1,887.42 Hang Seng Index up 2.4% to 22,229.52 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,379.19 Sensex up 1.2% to 53,368.36 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.9% to 6,705.95 Kospi up 1.5% to 2,401.92 Brent Futures up 0.2% to $113.31/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,840.40 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.29% to 103.88 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.49% Euro up 0.3% to $1.0580 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg ECB policy makers gather on a Portuguese hillside on Monday with the sinking feeling that their rush to tackle the inflation shock they failed to forecast risks both a recession and echoes of the euro area’s sovereign debt crisis It was while sitting apparently alone in a London hotel basement that Christine Lagarde engineered a fix to the euro zone’s most alarming debt turmoil since the pandemic struck The ECB is pushing back its policy decisions and the timing of the subsequent press conferences by 30 minutes as of July The US, UK, Japan and Canada plan to announce a ban on new gold imports from Russia during a summit of Group of Seven leaders that’s getting underway Sunday. Prices of the precious metal climbed Monday President Joe Biden rebooted his effort to counter China’s flagship trade-and- infrastructure initiative after an earlier campaign faltered, enlisting the support of Group of Seven leaders at their summit in Germany China’s economy showed some improvement in June as Covid restrictions were gradually eased, although the recovery remains muted China plans to extend the yuan’s trading hours as it seeks to increase global investor participation in onshore currency trading as part of its internationalization push Russia defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt for the first time in a century, the culmination of ever-tougher Western sanctions that shut down payment routes to overseas creditors The world economy risks entering a new era of high inflation which central banks need to keep in check, the Bank for International Settlements said Signs of distress flashing in bond markets suggest the world’s poorest nations are set to see a wave of debt restructurings. But a growing cohort of investors say that’s a buying opportunity A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were higher across the board as the region took impetus from last Friday's firm gains on Wall St heading closer into month-end. ASX 200 enjoyed broad gains across its sectors although gold miners lagged as Evolution Mining shares dropped by more than 20% due to a cut in its FY output guidance. Nikkei 225 was lifted after the BoJ’s Summary of Opinions reiterated that they must maintain easy policy and with Tepco among the biggest gainers on tight electricity supply amid the hot weather. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. conformed to the upbeat mood as Hong Kong benefitted from a rampant tech sector and with the mainland encouraged by further easing of restrictions in Shanghai and Beijing, while the PBoC also upped its liquidity efforts with a CNY 100bln injection. Top Asian News Beijing will permit schools to resume in-class teaching as soon as Monday, ending one of the last major curbs in the capital, according to Bloomberg. Shanghai is to gradually resume dining-in at restaurants from June 29th, according to an official cited by Reuters. PBoC injected CNY 100bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate at 2.10% for a CNY 90bln net injection, according to Reuters. China requested that banks make preparations for longer trading hours for the CNY, with trading in the onshore CNY potentially to extend until 03:00 local time the following day (20:00BST/15:00CDT), according to Bloomberg. BoJ Summary of Opinions from the June meeting stated the BoJ must maintain easy policy and keep a close eye out on the market and FX impact on the economy and prices. It also noted the number of goods seeing prices rise is increasing due to higher raw material costs and a weak yen but it is appropriate to keep easy policy as inflation is not driven by a positive economic cycle. Furthermore, it said maintaining ultra-easy policy is effective in sustaining a rise in wages and that a sharp fall in Yen would hurt the economy and heighten uncertainty. Japanese government issued power shortage warnings for Tuesday, for a second straight day, according to Reuters. Japan has proposed removing reference to the goal of 50% zero-emission vehicles by 2030; wants less concrete target, according to a draft cited by Reuters. BoJ's holding of JGBs has reportedly topped 50% of its total, according to Nikkei. European bourses are kicking off the week on the front-foot as global equities see tailwinds from Wall Street’s bounce on Friday. Sectors in Europe are mostly positive – but Utilities and Insurance are subdued, with the overall picture being a cyclical one. Stateside, US equity futures track sentiment higher – with the NQ the current outperformer vs the ES, YM, and RTY. Top European News ECB says as of the July meeting, the policy decisions will be released at 14:15CET and presser at 14:45CET, according to Reuters. ECB’s Pivot Toward Rate Hikes Feeds Fears of New Bond Crisis; ECB to Announce Rate Decisions 30 Minutes Later From July EU Confronts Low Gas Storage Risk in Test of Unity on Russia Gas Jumps as Europe Struggles to Fill Russian Gap UK’s Battered Economy Is Sliding Toward a Breaking Point FX Greenback continues to gravitate as risk sentiment improves, but could get a month end boost given models indicating broad rebalancing requirement - DXY pivots 104.000 within 104.120-103.790 range just shy of last week's low. Yen benefits from all round fix buying ahead of final trading day of June and Q2 on Thursday - Usd/Jpy not far from 134.50 at one stage overnight alongside declined in Yen crosses. Pound perks up as IMM spec accounts trim short positions again and Euro tests technical resistance ahead of 1.0600 vs Buck amidst firmer rebound in EGB yields - Cable probes 1.2300 at best, Eur/Usd touches 21 DMA at 1.0591. Aussie lags on Aud/Nzd headwinds, but Loonie pares losses in tandem with oil - Aud/Usd sub-0.6950, cross under 1.1000, Nzd/Usd hovering over 0.6300 and Usd/Cad back below 1.2900. Yuan underpinned by net PBoC liquidity injection and easing of Covid restrictions in China - Usd/Cnh and Usd/Cny both beneath 6.6900. Lira knee jerks higher after Turkey cuts credit to firms with more than Try 15 mn FX cash assets - Usd/Try down to 16.1040 or so before rebound towards 16.8900. Fixed Income Debt futures unwind more recovery gains with EGBs leading the way. Bunds retreat towards 146.50 vs 149.00 at one stage last Friday. Gilts closer to 113.00 than 114.00 and 10 year T-note near the base of 116-31/117-13 overnight range. US durable goods data ahead and a double dose of issuance comprising Usd 46 bn 2 year and Usd 47 bn 5 year auctions. Commodities WTI and Brent futures consolidate with modest intraday losses as G7 leaders meet to decide on a Russian oil price cap ahead of Iranian nuclear talks and on the week of the OPEC+ meeting. French CGT unions will participate in strikes at LNG terminals and gas storage facilities this week; strike in the energy sector on June 28th. Spot gold piggy-backs off the softer Dollar – with the yellow metal currently eyeing its 21 DMA (1,841.60/oz) and 200 DMA (1,845.20/oz) to the upside Base metals are largely rebounding following the recent rout – also aided by the Buck. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Durable Goods Orders, est. 0.2%, prior 0.5%; -Less Transportation, est. 0.3%, prior 0.4% 08:30: May Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.1%, prior 0.4% 08:30: May Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, est. 0.2%, prior 0.8% 10:00: May Pending Home Sales YoY, prior -11.5% 10:00: May Pending Home Sales (MoM), est. -3.9%, prior -3.9% 10:30: June Dallas Fed Manf. Activity, est. -6.5, prior -7.3 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap This morning we are launching our monthly survey which hopefully comes at an opportune time to assess what you all think about recession risk, whether the next big move in markets will be up or down, whether the BoJ will be able to hold the line on YCC, whether your market view includes the risk of Russian gas being cut off from Europe, and whether you think negative rates will be seen again in the next decade after the ECB likely moves away from it by September. There are a couple of other repeat questions to answer. It should take 2-3 minutes, is all anonymous, with answers likely Thursday morning. The link is here and all help gratefully received. A reminder that my chart book was out last week with lots of charts on one of the worst H1s in history, recession risks and lots more. See here for more. Without having a blockbuster event to look forward to this week there are plenty of things to keep us occupied in what are highly uncertain times. Perhaps the ECB's Forum on Central Banking in Sintra will be the key event to watch, with a policy panel on Wednesday which will bring together Chair Powell, President Lagarde and Governor Bailey together the likely highlight. Staying in Europe, all eyes will be on the June CPI numbers released for Germany (Wednesday), France (Thursday) and Italy and the Eurozone on Friday. Consensus expectations don’t suggest we’re yet at peak headline inflation with CPI expected to pick up a few tenths YoY this week. With commodity prices fading sharply in June the hope is that we will be near the top soon. In fact, our US economists put out an inflationary chart book last week that suggested that the peak will be in September (9.1% headline and 6.3% core). The problem is that even if headline dips because of energy, core won’t necessarily fall as quickly with wages and second round effects in full force. We had a small indicator of that last week as our economists also pointed out that the recent acceleration in US hospital workers’ wage growth from around 2.5% to almost 5% should serve to add an additional 50bps to core PCE inflation next year (link here). On Thursday, we’ll get the latest reading of the US core PCE deflator within the personal income and spending data. Core PCE is the Fed's preferred inflation measure so this and the healthcare news is important. Staying with US data, we have a fair amount to look forward to with the all important ISM on Friday (53.2 expected vs 56.1 last month). We'll also see the Chicago PMI on Thursday and regional Fed's manufacturing indices throughout the week. Durable goods orders (today) and wholesale and retail inventories (tomorrow) will be key to assessing inventory pressures flagged by several firms in recent weeks as well as corporate behaviour amid some easing in supply-chain backlogs. How the consumer is faring under rising rates and stubborn inflation will be another key theme, with the Conference Board’s June consumer confidence index out tomorrow (99.9 expected vs 106.4 last month). Elsewhere, China's industrial data and PMIs (Thursday), as well as key economic indicators from Japan, will be in focus. Even though we at the very back end of Q2 earnings, this week will see some bellwether consumer spending companies such as Nike (Monday), H&M and General Mills (Wednesday) report. Other corporates releasing results will include Prosus (Monday), Micron and Walgreens Boots Alliance (Thursday). Overnight in Asia, equity markets are continuing last week’s rally with the Hang Seng (+2.72%) leading gains thanks to a strong performance in Chinese tech firms. The Kospi (+2.08%), Nikkei (+1.04%), Shanghai Composite (+0.89%) and CSI (+1.24%) are all also up. Outside of Asia, DM equity futures point to further gains with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.19%), NASDAQ 100 (+0.44%) and DAX (+0.79%) moving higher. Bitcoin is above $21,000 after falling to as low as $17,600 last week for the first time since December 2020, while 10yr US yields are up around +2.5bps. Earlier today, data released showed that China’s industrial profits (-6.5% y/y) contracted at a slower pace in May following a big fall of -8.5% in April as companies resumed their activity in major manufacturing hubs amid easing Covid restrictions. In other overnight news, Russia has defaulted on its foreign-currency sovereign debt ($100 million) for the first time in more than 100 years, after the grace period for the payment deadline expired on Sunday. Recapping last week now, markets grew increasingly concerned about a recession as the week went on, thanks to weak economic data, hawkish central bank rhetoric, and the threat of a Russian gas cut-off in Europe. That led to a significant rally in sovereign bonds as investors sought out safe havens and cast doubt on whether central banks could keep hiking into a downturn. Indeed, yields on 10yr bunds came down by -21.9bps over the week as a whole (+1.0bps Friday), which is their 3rd biggest weekly decline in the last decade. Yields on 10yr Treasuries also saw a similar, albeit less marked decline, with yields down -9.6bps (+4.3bps Friday). That decline in yields came in spite of continued hawkish central bank commentary, and on Friday we saw San Francisco Fed President Daly say that a 75bps hike in July was “where I’m starting”, thus joining a growing number of officials who’ve openly backed a 75bps move again. Bear in mind if the Fed did move by 75bps in July, that would mean the hiking cycle since March would now be at 225bps, which matches the entire hiking cycle we saw in 3 years between 2015 and 2018. Nevertheless, when it came to monetary policy expectations, the growing fears of a recession led investors to take out the probability of more aggressive tightening, with the fed funds rate priced in by December’s meeting down by -16.0bps over the week (-5.0bps Friday). And looking at the entire profile of meetings ahead, futures are now expecting the peak Federal funds rate to come as soon as March 2023, before pricing in cuts after that. With investors expecting somewhat more dovish central banks, global equities rallied strongly last week as they recovered from their worst weekly performance since the pandemic began. The S&P 500 gained +6.45% on the week, and its Friday advance of +3.06% was the best daily performance for the index since May 2020. Europe’s STOXX 600 put in a weaker +2.40% advance (+2.62% Friday), but matters weren’t helped by German equities, with the DAX losing -0.06% (+1.59% Friday) as concerns grew about a potential cut-off in Russian gas. That’s sent natural gas futures in Europe to a 3-month high, with last week seeing a further +9.14% gain (-3.63% Friday). Lastly, after the poor mid-week data including the flash PMIs for June, Friday’s releases did bring some modest respite. First, the final reading of the University of Michigan’s long-term inflation expectations was revised down to 3.1% (vs. 3.3% previously). The unexpected jump in that measure before the Fed’s meeting was said to be a factor in their move to 75bps, as they’re very concerned about the prospect that longer-term inflation expectations could become unanchored, making inflation much harder to control. Furthermore, new home sales for the US in May rose to an annualised rate of 696k (vs. 590k expected), whilst the previous month also saw upward revisions. To be fair though, it wasn’t all positive on Friday, and Germany’s Ifo business climate indicator fell to 92.3 in June (vs. 92.8 expected), which marks an end to two successive monthly increases in April and May. Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 08:06.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 27th, 2022

5 ETFs Making the Most of the Tech Rebound

The Nasdaq Composite Index staged a nice comeback after last week's sell-off that wiped out about $1.1 trillion from the value of the index. The Nasdaq Composite Index staged a nice comeback after last week’s sell-off that wiped out about $1.1 trillion from the value of the index. Most of the rally was driven by tech stocks that gained momentum on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's testimony.As such, some ETFs have gained more than 5% on the tech rally. These include Global X Blockchain ETF BKCH, VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF DAPP, Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF VFIN, Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF BITQ and Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF BITS. These funds seem excellent choices to play the rebound in the tech sector.The testimony revealed no surprises and pointed to Jerome Powell’s likely confirmation for a second term in the job. Powell sounded less hawkish than expected and painted a soft-landing picture for the economy. He assured investors that the central bank’s tightening plans, which include higher interest rates and a reduction in its asset holdings, were necessary to maintain the economic expansion.Further, the tech sector outlook remains upbeat given the global digital shift that has accelerated e-commerce for everything, ranging from remote working to entertainment and shopping. The rapid adoption of cloud computing, big data, the Internet of Things, wearables, VR headsets, drones, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital communication and 5G technology should continue to drive the sector higher (read: 5 Most-Loved ETFs to Start 2022).In a tight policy era, technology seems one of the safest sectors as most companies are sitting on a huge cash pile. The cash reserves will ensure that these companies are not plagued by any financial trouble, even in a rising interest rate environment.Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH)Global X Blockchain ETF seeks to invest in companies positioned to benefit from the increased adoption of blockchain technology, including companies in digital asset mining, blockchain & digital asset transactions, blockchain applications, blockchain & digital asset hardware, and blockchain & digital asset integration. Global X Blockchain ETF holds 25 stocks in its basket with double-digit allocation to the top three firms.Global X Blockchain ETF has gathered $103.8 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 195,000 shares. It charges 50 bps in annual fees.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP)VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF aims to offer exposure to the companies that are at the forefront of the digital asset transformation, such as digital asset exchanges, payment gateways, digital asset mining operations, software services, equipment and technology or services to the digital asset operations, digital asset infrastructure businesses or companies facilitating commerce with the use of digital assets. VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF tracks the MVIS Global Digital Assets Equity Index and holds 25 securities in its basket.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF charges 50 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 80,000. DAPP has accumulated $44.6 million in its asset base (read: Why These Tech ETFs Are Bargain Buys).Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF (VFIN)Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF seeks to offer exposure to the most disruptive fintech companies that are on the forefront of cashless payments. It aims to invest heavily across Square (SQ) stock and Square call options and also Upstart stock and Upstart call options. A modest put option overlay is designed to help mitigate sharp market crashes.Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF has accumulated $1.9 million and charges 0.95% in annual fees.Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ)Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF offers exposure to the companies leading the new crypto economy. It tracks the Bitwise Crypto Innovators 30 Index, which measures the performance of the companies involved in servicing the cryptocurrency markets, including crypto mining firms, crypto mining equipment suppliers, crypto financial services companies, or other financial institutions servicing primarily crypto-related clientele.Holding 30 stocks in its basket, Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF is concentrated on the top three firms with nearly double-digit exposure each. It charges 85 bps in annual fees from investors and trades in an average daily volume of 185,000 shares. Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF has attracted $112.7 million in its asset base.Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITS)Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF is an actively managed fund that seeks to capture the long-term growth potential of the blockchain and digital assets theme. It takes long positions in U.S. listed bitcoin futures contracts and invests, directly and indirectly, in companies positioned to benefit from the increased adoption of blockchain technology. Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF will not invest directly in bitcoin, and it currently delivers exposure to blockchain companies through other ETFs, including the affiliated Global X Blockchain ETF (read: Top ETF Stories of 2021 & 2022 Outlook).  Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF has newly debuted in the space and attracted $7.8 million in its asset base in just two months. It charges 65 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 13,000 shares. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>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 Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH): ETF Research Reports Simplify Volt Fintech Disruption ETF (VFIN): ETF Research Reports VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP): ETF Research Reports Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ): ETF Research Reports Global X Blockchain & Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITS): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 13th, 2022

What Bitcoin"s New Exchange (Day) Traded Fund Means

What Bitcoin's New Exchange (Day) Traded Fund Means Submitted by @bit_hedge, While nobody has missed the discussion surrounding a possible Bitcoin ETF this year and the subsequent 40% rally this month as prospects materialized, discussion in some circles has already turned to doubt in the success of what has now become the first approved crypto ETF by the SEC - one investing in Bitcoin futures. Following SEC Chair Gensler’s apparent nod towards a Bitcoin ETF operating within the bounds of CME traded futures, giants such as ProShares, VanEck, and now Cathie Wood quickly threw their hats into the ring for a chance at getting approval for such a product. This week, speculation hit a fever pitch as CME Bitcoin futures saw their largest jump in open interest since last year and Bitcoin options stretched to all time high volumes, culminating finally in the confirmation of approval for ProShares’ filing as the following Bloomberg headlines hit on Friday afternoon: *PROSHARES BITCOIN FUTURES ETF LAUNCH REVEALED IN SEC FILING *PROSHARES SIGNALS BITCOIN FUTURES ETF LAUNCH AS SOON AS MONDAY So with with the ETF going live as soon as today, questions are flying as to whether it will measure up to current vehicles such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Fund which is pushing $40B in assets under management, and if inflows into futures contracts will have as much of an impact as they’d have going into spot. The good news is that there certainly is a mechanism for futures inflows to lift the price of Bitcoin. Via the popular ‘basis trade’ allowing directionally neutral firms to net double digit APY in a yield starved world by buying spot Bitcoin and selling CME futures against it, a renewed premium on Bitcoin CME futures would serve to attract more traders towards this strategy and hence more spot Bitcoin would be bought. There is no doubt that such a relationship between futures buys and spot buys would be less than 1:1, but nonetheless the effect does exist. The bad news is that the efficiency of a futures-based ETF in an asset which typically trades in brutal contango (forward prices higher than spot) needs to be questioned. Per ProShares’ prospectus, ‘The Fund generally seeks to invest in “front month” CME Bitcoin futures contracts. “Front month” contracts are the monthly contracts with the nearest expiration date. CME Bitcoin Futures are cash settled on their expiration date unless they are “rolled” prior to expiration. The Fund intends to “roll” its CME Bitcoin Futures prior to expiration. Typically, the Fund will roll to the next “nearby” CME Bitcoin Futures. The “nearby” contracts are those contracts with the next closest expiration date.’ And while many have expressed concerns, no one has offered a quantification of the problem until now. Simulated by mirroring the fund’s 0.95% management fee, and by holding the front month CME Bitcoin futures contract until rolling to the next on the Monday prior to expiration, the hypothetical performance of such a product (shown since roughly the launch of CME Bitcoin futures, which coincidentally? debuted at the top of the 2017/18 mania) would look like this: An investment in such a product at the start of 2018 would have lost almost a quarter of its value against Bitcoin since. Looking at this underperformance, it becomes apparent that in the long run a futures based ETF in a contango-heavy product has an expected value of zero. So if Bitcoin fails to continue posting staggering returns, the chart of this ETF will eventually look like that of many other futures-based ETFS: down and to the right. United States Oil Fund vs. front month crude oil contract Which makes it painstakingly obvious that the approved ETF is not suitable for long term investment, and serves only as yet another way for day traders to partake in the exact ‘highly speculative’ activity that Gary Gensler regularly criticizes. And since ‘uber-wealthy’ Gensler, ex-Goldman Sachs, (how else would he have gotten his current position) knows all too well how this contango effect plays out, one has to wonder what exactly his angle is in approving such a product. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/18/2021 - 12:10.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 18th, 2021

5 Tech ETFs Riding High on Sectors" Comeback to Start 2023

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 2.6% in the initial days of the year, outperforming the other major indices. After the worst year, the technology sector showed a strong comeback at the start of 2023. Hopes that the Fed will soon wrap up its inflation-fighting campaign have bolstered the risk appetite. Optimism over cooling inflation has compelled investors to buy beaten-up technology stocks.The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 2.6% in the initial days of the year, outperforming the other major indices. The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 2% and 1.7%, respectively. As such, tech ETFs have been leading higher, with Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF WGMI stealing the show with a 40.5% rise. This is followed by gains of 33.4% for VanEck Digital Assets Mining ETF DAM, 30.1% for Global X Blockchain ETF BKCH, 29.1% for VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF DAPP and 28% for Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF BITQ.Inflation has been easing and consumer confidence is rising. The latest job data showed a deceleration in wage growth, which gave investors hope that the Fed could ease off on its interest-rate increases, resulting in a boost to the tech shares.Markets are expecting that the Fed could soon signal an end to its rate hiking cycle. A moderation in wage increases and a decline in U.S. services activity in December signal a slowdown in the U.S. economy and buoyed hopes of a less hawkish stance from the Fed. Per the latest data, traders are betting on a 25-bps rate hike at the central bank's upcoming policy meeting in February, with the rate seen slightly below 5% by June (read: 6 Sector ETFs That Show Promise After December Jobs Data).After a massive decline, tech stocks have become extremely cheap at current valuations. The top 10 tech stocks shed a combined $4.6 trillion in market cap in 2022 as interest rates climbed and growth outlooks soured. The so-called FAAMG cohort — Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. META, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN, Apple AAPL, Microsoft MSFT and Alphabet Inc. GOOGL — lost 38% of its market value.Further, the upside to the technology sector is confirmed by the Zacks Sector Rank in the top 30%, with more than 60% of the industries ranking in the top 37%. This suggests continued outperformance in the sector for the coming months.Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI)Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF is an actively managed ETF that will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of companies that derive at least 50% of their revenues or profits from bitcoin mining operations and/or from providing specialized chips, hardware and software or other services to companies engaged in bitcoin mining. Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF is an actively managed ETF that holds 24 stocks in its basket with an expense ratio of 0.75%.Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF has amassed $1.7 million in its asset base while trading in an average daily volume of 5,000 shares.VanEck Digital Assets Mining ETF (DAM)VanEck Digital Assets Mining ETF offers exposure to companies participating in the digital assets mining economy by tracking the MVIS Global Digital Assets Mining Index. It holds 20 stocks in its basket with a well-diversified portfolio, as each accounts for no more than 9% share.VanEck Digital Assets Mining ETF has attracted $0.7 million in its asset base since its inception in May. It charges 50 bps in annual fees and trades in volume of under 1,000 shares per day on average (read: 5 Winning ETF Ideas for Your Portfolio in 2023).Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH)Global X Blockchain ETF seeks to invest in companies positioned to benefit from the increased adoption of blockchain technology, including companies in digital asset mining, blockchain & digital asset transactions, blockchain applications, blockchain & digital asset hardware, and blockchain & digital asset integration. Global X Blockchain ETF holds 24 stocks in its basket with a double-digit allocation to the three top firms.Global X Blockchain ETF has gathered $41.3 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 124,000 shares. It charges 50 bps in annual fees.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP)VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF aims to offer exposure to companies that are at the forefront of the digital asset transformation, such as digital asset exchanges, payment gateways, digital asset mining operations, software services, equipment and technology or services to the digital asset operations, digital asset infrastructure businesses or companies facilitating commerce with the use of digital assets. VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF tracks the MVIS Global Digital Assets Equity Index and holds 20 securities in its basket.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF charges 50 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 94,000. DAPP has accumulated $19 million in its asset base.Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ)Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF offers exposure to the companies leading the new crypto economy. It tracks the Bitwise Crypto Innovators 30 Index, which measures the performance of the companies involved in servicing the cryptocurrency markets, including crypto mining firms, crypto mining equipment suppliers, crypto financial services companies, or other financial institutions servicing primarily crypto-related clientele (read: Tech ETFs 2022 Low-Down: Dividend Wins, Cryptocurrency Loses).Holding 27 stocks in its basket, Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF is concentrated on the top three firms with nearly double-digit exposure each. It charges 85 bps in annual fees from investors and trades in an average daily volume of 148,000 shares. Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF has attracted $36.5 million in its asset base. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>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 Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN): Free Stock Analysis Report Apple Inc. (AAPL): Free Stock Analysis Report Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL): Free Stock Analysis Report Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH): ETF Research Reports VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP): ETF Research Reports Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF (BITQ): ETF Research Reports Meta Platforms, Inc. (META): Free Stock Analysis Report Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI): ETF Research Reports VanEck Digital Assets Mining ETF (DAM): ETF Research ReportsTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 12th, 2023

Top and Flop ETFs of 2022

We have highlighted three ETFs, each from the best and worst-performing zones of 2022. The year 2022 has been turbulent for the global stock market, which was marred by global monetary tightening, recession fears and a war in Ukraine. The global stocks are on pace to close the worst year since the financial crisis in 2008.The Fed has been on an aggressive tightening spree for more than decades. Fed Chair Jerome Powell raised interest rates for the seventh time this year, taking the benchmark rate to the range of 3.75% and 4.00% — the highest level since 2008. The hike in interest rates has made borrowing expensive, pushed up the cost of buying a new car or house and increased the cost of carrying credit card debt.Not only were trillions of dollars wiped off the world stocks, the year was also marked by bond market tantrums, whip-sawing currency, and the collapse of a few crypto empires. On the other hand, commodities are the best-performing asset class of 2022 with everything from metals, energies to agriculture racking up astronomical double to triple-digit gains (read: 5 ETF Stories of 2022 to Stay Hot in 2023).Given this, we have highlighted three ETFs, each from the best and worst-performing zones of 2022:Best ZonesTurkeyTurkish stocks have been the biggest winners this year. While Turkey has also been hit hard by inflation, like the rest of the world, and its currency — lira — has plummeted against the U.S. dollar and other leading global currencies, its stock market thrived because of divergence in the monetary policy. The central bank has been slashing interest rates to prop up consumer spending at a time when other countries are following the rate-hike path. As such, iShares MSCI Turkey ETF TUR climbed more than doubled. It offers exposure to a broad range of companies in Turkey by tracking the MSCI Turkey IMI 25/50 Index. iShares MSCI Turkey ETF holds 54 stocks in its basket, with key holdings in industrials, materials, financials and consumer staples.iShares MSCI Turkey ETF has amassed $413.4 million and trades in a volume of 307,000 shares a day on average. It charges 58 bps in annual fees.Interest Rate HedgeRising rate worries have provided a boost to Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF PFIX. This is especially true as the Fed has been on an aggressive tightening spree for more than decades. Fed Chair Jerome Powell raised interest rates for the seventh time this year, taking the benchmark rate to the range of 3.75% and 4.00% — the highest level since 2008. Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF is the first ETF providing a simple, direct and transparent interest rate hedge. It seeks to provide a hedge against a sharp increase in long-term interest rates and benefit from market stress when fixed-income volatility increases while providing the potential for income (read: Interest Rate Hedge ETF Wins in 2022: What's Behind the Surge?).Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF holds a large position in over-the-counter interest rate options intended to provide a direct and transparent convex exposure to large upward moves in interest rates and interest rate volatility. It invests in long-dated put options on 20-year US Treasury bonds to offer “the most liquid and the most cost-efficient way of getting interest rate protection. PFIX has accumulated $388.6 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 339,000 shares. It charges 50 bps in annual fees.EnergyThe energy sector has been the outperformer this year on surging oil prices. Tightening supply and improving demand fundamentals have been driving prices higher. Overall demand for fuel has rebounded to the pre-pandemic levels. VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF OIH has climbed 65% this year. It tracks the MVIS U.S. Listed Oil Services 25 Index, which offers exposure to companies involved in oil services to the upstream oil sector, including oil equipment, oil services or oil drilling. VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF holds 25 stocks in its basket, with a higher concentration on the top two firms.With AUM of $2.6 billion, VanEck Vectors Oil Services ETF charges 35 bps in annual fees. It trades in an average daily volume of 803,000 shares and has a Zacks ETF Rank #2 (Buy) with a High risk outlook (read: Energy ETFs Beat S&P 500 in 2022, More Gains Likely in 2023).Worst ZonesTechnologyThe technology sector has been badly caught in a selling spree triggered by rate hikes. This is because it relies on easy borrowing for superior growth, and its value depends heavily on future earnings. A rise in long-term yields lowers the present value of companies’ future earnings, sparking fears of overvaluation. Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF RIGZ has tumbled 87% this year. It is an actively managed ETF focused on the securities of companies that engage in Bitcoin mining, holding 21 stocks in its basket.  Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF will not invest in Bitcoin directly or indirectly through the use of derivatives. Instead, it invests in companies that process transactions on the Bitcoin network in exchange for newly minted Bitcoin, and fabricate or manufacture chips used in specialized Bitcoin mining computers.Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF has attracted $2.6 million in its asset base. It charges 90 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 9,000 shares.CannabisBeing a high-growth sector, cannabis has been a victim of a broad market sell-off. AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF MSOS has plunged 72.7% this year. It is the first actively managed U.S.-listed ETF with dedicated cannabis exposure focusing exclusively on U.S. companies, including multi-state operators. AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF holds 30 securities in its basket with a double-digit concentration on the top four firms. AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF is highly skewed toward MSOs in terms of sector, making up for 95% of the portfolio.   AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF has amassed $456.3 million in its asset base while trading in an average daily volume of $3.5 million shares. AdvisorShares Pure US Cannabis ETF charges 80 bps in annual fees.ShippingThe dry bulk shipping market suffered a major slump triggered by the lockdowns in China and concerns over the country’s property market. Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF BDRY has declined 68%. It is the only freight futures ETF exclusively focused on the dry bulk shipping market through a portfolio of near-dated freight futures contracts on dry bulk indices. Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF holds freight futures with a weighted average of approximately three months to expiration, using a mix of one-to-six-month freight futures based on the prevailing calendar schedule (read: 5 Niche ETFs That Were in Green Last Week).Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF has accumulated about $37.1 million in AUM and trades in a good volume of about 285,000 shares per day on average. It charges a higher annual fee of 3.50%. Want key ETF info delivered straight to your inbox? Zacks’ free Fund Newsletter will brief you on top news and analysis, as well as top-performing ETFs, each week.Get it free >>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 VanEck Oil Services ETF (OIH): ETF Research Reports iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (TUR): ETF Research Reports Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY): ETF Research Reports Simplify Interest Rate Hedge ETF (PFIX): ETF Research Reports Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF (RIGZ): ETF Research ReportsTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 30th, 2022

Futures Jump As China Adds Fresh 1 Trillion Yuan Stimulus; J-Hole Forum Begins

Futures Jump As China Adds Fresh 1 Trillion Yuan Stimulus; J-Hole Forum Begins Futures jumped overnight after China revealed its latest massive stimulus (which however is still woefully insufficient to prop up the country's crashing housing sector) steadied nerves in the anxious wait for Jerome Powell's key speech at 8am tomorrow, where the only question is will it be even more hawkish than the market expects, or will it meet expectations, and send dollar and yields tumbling and stocks soaring. Shortly after 2am ET, China stepped up its economic stimulus with a further 1 trillion yuan ($146 billion) of funding largely focused on infrastructure spending, support that analysts quickly agreed won’t go far enough to counter the damage from repeated Covid lockdowns and a property market slump.  The State Council, China’s Cabinet, outlined a 19-point policy package on Wednesday, including another 300 billion yuan that state policy banks can invest in infrastructure projects, on top of 300 billion yuan already announced at the end of June. Local governments will be allocated 500 billion yuan of special bonds from previously unused quotas. However, as has been the case for the past 2 years with Beijing's drip-drip stimulus, economists were downbeat on the measures, while financial markets were muted. The yield on 10-year government bonds rose 2 basis points to 2.65%. China’s CSI 300 Index of stocks rose as much as 0.6% before paring gains to trade up 0.3% as of 2:28 p.m. local time. A similar reaction was observed in US futures which initially spiked by nearly 30 points, reaching a high of 4187.5 before fading most of the gains; emini futures traded +0.6%, or 25 points higher, at 7:30am  ET, while Nasdaq futures were up 0.85%.  Emerging-market stocks also rallied the most in two weeks on the Chinese stimulus news, only to see gains fade. Treasury yields and a dollar gauge dipped, while the crypto space rose on China's stimulus. The Chinese-inspired gains failed to stick as traders expect markets to remain volatile as they look to Powell’s comments due Friday at the Jackson Hole meeting for clues on the pace of US monetary tightening. Fed officials in the run-up to Jackson Hole have been clear they see more monetary tightening ahead, a message that’s eroded a bounce in stocks and bonds from mid-June troughs. The tension in markets is whether those assets will continue to head back toward the lows of the year. “Powell is likely to push back on premature expectations of a dovish pivot, reiterating the focus on the fight against high inflation,” said Silvia Dall’Angelo, a senior economist at Federated Hermes Ltd. “Whether markets take him seriously amid an increasingly gloomy outlook for the global economy is yet to be seen.” In premarket trading, Chinese stocks in the US rallied amid recent positivity over Beijing boosting stimulus with a further 1 trillion yuan of funding, and as the country takes measures to shore up its currency. Tesla shares rose 2% as the electric-vehicle maker’s 3-for-1 stock split takes effect, confirming US markets remain dominated by idiots. Snowflake shares soared ~17% in premarket trading after the infrastructure software company reported second-quarter revenue that beat expectations and raised its full-year forecast for product revenue. On the other end, Nvidia shares slide ~4% in premarket trading after the chipmaker, which preannounced a month ago and gave a dire forecast, did it again and gave a third- quarter revenue forecast that was below expectations as demand for chips used in gaming computers slipped. Other notable premarket movers: Salesforce (CRM US) shares are down 6.6% in premarket trading after the application- software company reported second-quarter results that beat expectations but lowered its full-year forecast. Analysts note that the company’s forecast is being hit by FX headwinds and delays in closing large deals. Teladoc Health (TDOC US) shares climb 5% in premarket trading after Amazon says it will close its primary care and telehealth service by the end of the year. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY US) shares rose as much as 6% in US premarket trading before turning lower. The fluctuation follows a report that the home furnishings retailer is nearing a $375 million loan deal with Sixth Street Partners. Kinetik (KNTK US) initiated with an equal-weight recommendation and Street-high price target at Morgan Stanley, which says the midstream services company offers an “attractively positioned set of Permian midstream assets run by a growth-oriented management team.” NetApp (NTAP US) shares were up ~4% in extended trading after the computer hardware company reported first-quarter results that beat expectations and affirmed its forecast. Analysts note the company continues to see broad-based demand strength, despite supply challenges and FX headwinds. In Europe, the Stoxx 50 rose 0.3%, paring an earlier advance amid mixed economic data from the region’s biggest economy. Energy and basic resources stocks were the biggest gainers, with retailers underperforming. Sovereign bonds across Europe gained led by short-end bonds. IBEX outperforms, adding 0.6%, FTSE MIB lags, adding 0.1%. In fixed income, short-end bonds lead the move. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Harbour Energy shares jump as much as 13%, the most since November 2020, as analysts applaud an increased buyback and strong cash flows. Jefferies says 1H results “beat on all metrics” Ambu rises as much as 11% on its latest earnings, which were in-line with figures released on Aug. 3. Handelsbanken sees a “no drama” report and DNB highlights a positive free cash flow Rentokil gains as much as 2.7% after JPMorgan put the pest control company on a positive catalyst watch as the closing date for the Terminix acquisition nears Hunting rises as much as 19% after the company posted better-than-expected profitability, while the outlook for the rest of 2022 and 2023 is positive Yara gains as much as 2.8% as Citi flags rising demand for fertilizers. Yara earlier said it would cut production, citing record gas prices Tessenderlo climbs as much as 8.1% to a level last seen in April after the Belgian chemicals company raised annual guidance again and said it sees adjusted Ebitda for the year rising 15% to 20% Komax rises as much as 5% after Credit Suisse raises the wire processing machines maker to outperform, seeing its recent merger with Schleuniger as highly- accretive Elekta falls as much as 11%  after the firm presented its latest earnings. Jefferies noted a “disappointing” drop in order intake, while Handelsbanken flags a soft outlook Baloise drops as much as 7.6%, hitting the lowest since March, after the Swiss financial services firm reported solid, “yet unspectacular” results, according to Vontobel Daetwyler falls as much as 6.3%, the most since May, as Credit Suisse cut its price target on the rubber components and seals maker following its results in the prior session Grafton declines as much as 5.4% after reporting 1H profit that missed expectations. The company said the weakness was due to hot weather in the UK and less construction activity Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rebounded strongly after a five-day loss to head for their biggest advance since the end of May, boosted by a late surge in Hong Kong shares. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.6% late in the Asian day, with Hong Kong-listed Chinese tech stocks like Alibaba and Tencent being the biggest contributors to its gain. The gauge’s increase earlier in the session was driven by export-heavy markets like Korea and Taiwan as the dollar weakened. The Hang Seng Index surged 3.6%, the most since April 29, leading the late regional rebound that some traders attributed to short-covering ahead of a key speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole conference. The morning trading session in Hong Kong was suspended due to a tropical storm warning. The amount of bearish bets against Hong Kong stocks rose to levels that could trigger a surge in share prices as traders rush to close out their positions, according to quantitative analysts at Morgan Stanley. A gauge of Chinese tech names listed in the financial hub soared 6%. It is still down about 25% this year. Markets have been edgy ahead of Powell’s speech, with the MSCI Asia gauge losing 3.1% in the last five sessions. Thursday’s move looks like “pre-positioning,” said Justin Tang, the head of Asian research at United First Partners. “Investors are taking positions on expectations” of a less hawkish commentary from Powell, he said. Chinese stocks on the mainland also rose as the nation stepped up measures to bolster growth with a further 1 trillion yuan ($146 billion) of stimulus. South Korean shares gained on foreign buying even after the nation’s central bank raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points, while Taiwanese stocks also climbed. “It may be a combination of risk-on sentiment across the region heading into Jackson Hole and the China support measures,” said Marvin Chen, a strategist with Bloomberg Intelligence. “Growth, tech and offshore-listed China stocks are leading gains suggesting that Fed meeting may be playing a bigger role in the late-day move.” Japanese equities advanced, with the Nikkei 225 posting its first gain in six sessions, as the market looked ahead to remarks Friday from Fed Chair Jerome Powell at the Jackson Hole meeting. The Nikkei rose 0.6% to close at 28,479.01, while the Topix added 0.5% to 1,976.60. Daiichi Sankyo Co. contributed the most to the Topix gain, increasing 4.6%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,445 rose and 597 fell, while 128 were unchanged. “Investors will continue to take a wait-and-see stance until after the speech by Chairman Powell scheduled for the 26th,” said Takashi Ito, a senior strategist at Nomura Securities. “After a round of buying, there is a possibility that there will be a small drop.”  Australia,'s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% to close at 7,048.10, driven by gains in banks and mining shares. The materials sub-gauge rallied to its highest level since June 16, amid advances in iron ore prices.  Uranium company Paladin was the top performer, surging after Japan said it is planning a dramatic shift back to nuclear power more than a decade on from the Fukushima disaster. City Chic was the biggest decliner after it flagged an uncertain outlook.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2% to 11,627.14 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers. The Aussie led G-10 gains, jumping as much as 1.1% against the greenback as traders turned more optimistic after China announced fresh economic stimulus with a further $146 billion of funding largely focused on infrastructure spending. Australia’s dollar outperformed the kiwi after New Zealand reported disappointing retail sales data. The euro rose to briefly trade above parity against the dollar. Germany’s economy proved more resilient than initially thought in the second quarter, growing 0.1% despite surging inflation and the war in Ukraine; the initial reading was 0%. Separately, German Aug. Ifo business confidence came in at 88.5 vs est. 86.8. The gauge of business expectations for the next six months inched down to 80.3 from 80.4, but better than forecast 79.0. Yen rose on flows-driven trade amid a decline in US yields and general dollar weakness during Asian hours In rates, Treasury futures were off session highs into the early US session, although yields remained richer by 1bp-2bp across the curve, following wider gains across UK gilts where 10s rally as much as 7bp on the day. US 10-year yields around 3.09%, richer by ~1bp on the day with bunds and gilts outperforming by 2bp and 5bp in the sector; curves steady with gains seen across maturities. US auctions conclude with 7-year note sale at 1pm New York time. European bonds advanced in a rally that was led by Italian bonds. Gilts outperform USTs and bunds; gilts 2-year yields drop ~10bps to 2.81%. USTs push higher, led by the belly.  Bunds 2-year yield down about 5.5bps to 0.85%. Peripheral spreads tighten to Germany with 10y BTP/Bund narrowing 5.1bps to 225.7bps.  Benchmark 10-year JGB yield climbed to its highest in more than a month. The yield on China’s 10-year government bonds rises the most since June 27 after the State Council outlined a 19-point policy package to stimulate the economy. The 10-year yield advanced 3bps to 2.66% while the 30-year note yield gained 3bps to 3.14%. Bitcoin is essentially unchanged but closer to the top-end of circa. USD 500 parameters that reside well within the USD 21k area. WTI jerked drifts 0.4% higher to around $95 after the WSJ reported that the OPEC president is open to cutting oil production. Most base metals trade in the green; LME copper rises 1.4%, outperforming peers. Spot gold rises roughly $13 to trade near $1,764/oz.  Natural gas has surged to fresh highs, intensifying an energy crisis that threatens the euro-area economy and hence the global outlook. Looking at the day ahead, data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, the second estimate of Q2 GDP and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity in index. In Germany there’s also the Ifo Institute’s business climate indicator for August. Otherwise from central banks, we’ll get the account of the ECB’s July meeting. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.9% to 4,179.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.7% to 435.05 MXAP up 1.6% to 160.34 MXAPJ up 2.0% to 523.18 Nikkei up 0.6% to 28,479.01 Topix up 0.5% to 1,976.60 Hang Seng Index up 3.6% to 19,968.38 Shanghai Composite up 1.0% to 3,246.25 Sensex up 0.5% to 59,385.35 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,048.13 Kospi up 1.2% to 2,477.26 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.35% Euro up 0.4% to $1.0004 Gold spot up 0.8% to $1,765.17 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.45% to 108.18 Top overnight news from Bloomberg China stepped up its economic stimulus with a further 1 trillion yuan ($146 billion) of funding largely focused on infrastructure spending, support that likely won’t go far enough to counter the damage from repeated Covid lockdowns and a property market slump As the countdown to the Jackson Hole symposium begins, an abrupt shift has taken place in the options market. When trading got underway in Asia on Thursday, investors had to pay more for options which benefit when dollar-yen rises. Just a few hours later, the premium had shifted in favor of options that benefit when the currency pair falls European natural gas extended its blistering rally as the worst supply crunch in decades boosts pressure on politicians to do more to rescue industries and households. Benchmark futures jumped as much as 8.1%, after closing at a record on Wednesday The good news is that Ukraine’s crucial grain is leaving its ports again. The bad news is that farmland lost to the war and weak local prices are threatening its next wheat harvest Climate change is having a “clear impact” on inflation in the euro area, ECB President Christine Lagarde said in an interview The current state of the economy and prices doesn’t allow the Bank of Japan’s easing bias to be shifted to neutral, board member Toyoaki Nakamura tells reporters A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pacific stocks took impetus from the positive handover from Wall St but with gains capped as attention remained on the looming Jackson Hole Symposium. ASX 200 was led higher by commodity stocks after the recent upside in energy and precious metals. Nikkei 225 was underpinned as the government mulled a further loosening of COVID rules and is expected to extend local travel incentives through next month. Shanghai Comp was initially choppy amid the absence of Stock Connect flows after morning trade in Hong Kong was cancelled, although the mood gradually improved with Hong Kong opening for the afternoon session after the storm signal 8 was dropped and following the recent support pledges by China. Top Asian News Chinese Industry Ministry says will accelerate research and development of new types of batteries including sodium-ion batters and hydrogen energy storage batteries; will improve supply capabilities of key resources including lithium, nickel, cobalt and platinum. Some of China's sate-backed financial firms are said to be pushing back on calls to support the Chinese property sector amid the exposure risk on their balance sheets, according to sources cited by Reuters. BoK hiked its base rate by 25bps to 2.50%, as expected, with the decision unanimous. BoK said inflation will remain high for the time being and export growth is to slow, while Governor Rhee said strong inflation could last longer than previously seen. Furthermore, Rhee noted that policies will continue to be inflation-focused for a while and said there will be no change in the 25bps rate increase stance for the foreseeable future. China Human Resources Ministry official said they will focus on expanding jobs and will promote fiscal, monetary and industrial policies to support job market stabilisation, according to Reuters. European bourses are essentially unchanged, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.1%, as an initial pronounced foray higher around the cash open that occurred without driver has dissipated since. Fresh drivers have been slim with the German Ifo release sparking a brief extension on initial gains of circa. 50 points in Euro Stoxx 50, for instance. Stateside, futures remain modestly firmer but are similarly off best levels, ES +0.5%, ahead of Jackson Hole beginning today (Powell on Friday). Top European News ECB's Lagarde says "we can no longer rely exclusively on the projections provided by our models – they have repeatedly had to be revised upwards over these past two years.". Private Jet Shortage Hits English Football’s Pre-Match Prep Veolia Must Sell 3 Businesses to Complete Suez Deal, UK Says Germany Aug. IFO Business Confidence Index 88.5; Est. 86.8 London’s Stock Market Misery Grows as Delistings Add to IPO Woes Commodities WTI and Brent October contracts consolidated in the early hours following a session of gains yesterday. Spot gold is edging higher in tandem with the decline in the Dollar, with the yellow metal approaching its 50 and 21 DMAs. Base metal futures are mostly firmer amid the softer Dollar, with 3M LME copper making its way further above USD 8,000/t. Caspian Pipeline Consortium says the SPM-3 inspection has completed, mooring point is fine to work, via Reuters. Italian government to update emergency plan for gas next week; will not announce gas rationing plan for now, according to Reuters citing government sources; to include tougher measures in case of further cut or stop of Russian gas flows. German Network Regulator VP says is on right track with gas storage but more must be done; will reach 85% storage by October 1st Fixed Income Core benchmarks have derived a pronounced upward bias, despite pronounced pressure alongside initial equity strength and post-Ifo. Pressure which has dissipated and given way to modest across the board strength with Bunds eyeing 151.00, Gilts above 111.00 and USTs firmer by 4 ticks. Yield dynamics are mixed and are modestly off earlier WTD peaks given the above action, US 7yr due, Central Banks ECB's Lagarde says "we can no longer rely exclusively on the projections provided by our models – they have repeatedly had to be revised upwards over these past two years.". BoJ Board Member Nakamura says JPY has weakened significantly so far this year, high volatility has had big impact on Japan's economy; premature to tweak the BoJ's dovish guidance now, there are pros and cons to soft JPY, therefore will watch carefully but there is not much the BoJ can do as moves are driven by changes in US economy. South Korean Presidential Office says closely monitoring forex markets, will take timely measures to stabilise the market. Fed's Bostic (2024 Voter) says he has not decided whether a 50bp or 75bp increase is appropriate in September, at this point it is a coin toss, via WSJ. Key employment and inflation reports are due prior to the meeting, if data remains strong and inflation clearly doesn't soften then it may make the case for another 75bp move. Too soon to say the inflation surge has peaked, some hopeful signs. Cautioned that expectations the Fed could reverse course in short-order and reduce rates fairly soon is misguided. Upbeat on the economic outlook. US Event Calendar 08:30: 2Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. -0.7%, prior -0.9% Personal Consumption, est. 1.5%, prior 1.0% GDP Price Index, est. 8.7%, prior 8.7% PCE Core QoQ, est. 4.4%, prior 4.4% 08:30: Aug. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 252,000, prior 250,000 Continuing Claims, est. 1.44m, prior 1.44m 11:00: Aug. Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 10, prior 13 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap It’s been an eventful 24 hours for markets, with sovereign bonds selling off again as investors keep ratcheting up their expectations for central bank rate hikes over the months ahead. Fed Chair Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole tomorrow could throw some more light on how far they’ll go, but the rise in yields has shown no sign of relenting ahead of that, not least since the energy situation in Europe keeps getting worse. In turn, that’s adding to fears that “peak inflation” might not actually have arrived yet for some countries, whilst policymakers are about to face some unenviable choices as they grapple with the worst stagflation we’ve seen in decades. In terms of the specific moves yesterday, European natural gas futures (+8.59%) settled at another record high of €292 per megawatt-hour amidst growing supply concerns as we head towards the winter months. That wasn’t helped by the news after the European close the previous day, as Freeport LNG said that their natural gas terminal in Texas wouldn’t restart until early to mid-November, having previously been aiming for October. In addition, there’s also the usual Russian supply issues of late to contend with, and there are serious worries that flows through the Nord Stream pipeline might not resume at all following maintenance for three days from August 31. There wasn’t much respite to be found elsewhere either, as German power prices for next year hit a fresh record of their own at €643 per megawatt-hour. With these supply shocks continuing to fester, investors moved to price in an increasingly aggressive response from central banks. In fact for the ECB, the hikes now priced in for 2022 are the most rapid we’ve seen to date, with an additional +133bps priced by year-end on top of the +50bps we already had in July. And looking further out, overnight index swaps are pricing in +194bps of hikes by June 2023 relative to today, which is up by +9.1bps on the day before. So it was little surprise that sovereign bonds lost ground across the continent, with yields on 10yr bunds (+5.2bps), OATs (+6.8bps) and BTPs (+3.5bps) all moving higher. Here in the UK those moves were even more pronounced, with gilts underperforming European sovereigns for a 7th consecutive session. That continues a pattern we’ve seen since the release of the stronger-than-expected UK CPI print last week, as investors have also moved to price in faster rate hikes from the Bank of England. Unlike their continental counterparts however, gilt yields are now at multi-year highs once again, with the 10yr gilt yield (+12.2bps) closing at its highest level since 2014, at 2.69%. Furthermore, the 2s10s curve in the UK flattened a further -9.7bps, leaving it deeper in inversion territory than at any time since 2008. Over in the US, all attention is on what Fed Chair Powell might say tomorrow at the Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming. Nevertheless, the performance for Treasuries echoed what happened in Europe, with 10yr yields up +5.8bps on the day to 3.10%, which is their highest level since late June. They’ve remained fairly stable around those levels overnight too, coming down just -0.9bps. Given the US faces a more favourable situation on the energy side, the moves in central bank pricing weren’t as pronounced as in Europe yesterday. But the peak rate priced in by Fed funds futures for March 2023 still rose +3.5bps on the day as investors continued to adjust their policy expectations closer towards the more hawkish rhetoric from FOMC officials. Equities weren’t too affected by those developments on the rates side yesterday, with the S&P 500 (+0.29%) paring back its initial losses to end a run of 3 consecutive declines. Tech stocks were a big outperformer, with the FANG+ index (+0.96%) of megacap tech stocks seeing sizeable gains, while the NASDAQ (+0.41%) also put in a decent performance. A number of European indices did lose ground on the day however, including the UK’s FTSE 100 (-0.22%) and Spain’s IBEX 35 (-0.35%), although the broader STOXX 600 did manage to advance +0.16%. That trend from the US has continued in Asian markets overnight, where equities are broadly trading higher. One supportive factor has been a further package of measures from China’s State Council that includes 1 trillion yuan focused largely on infrastructure spending. That’s bolstered the Shanghai Composite (+0.41%) and the CSI (+0.13%), although both are lagging the Nikkei (+0.56%) and the Kospi (+0.89%). The latter has seen strong gains after the Bank of Korea only hiked rates by 25bps overnight, marking a step down from the 50bps hike at the July meeting, yet the South Korean Won has still strengthened +0.43% against the US Dollar this morning. The Bank of Korea also moved their forecasts in a stagflationary direction, raising their inflation projection for this year to 5.2%, and cutting their growth forecast to 2.6%. Looking forward, US and European equity futures are pointing towards additional gains today, with those on the S&P 500 up +0.35%. Back on the energy scene, another notable trend over the last week has been a decent recovery in oil prices, with Brent Crude (+1.0%) closing at its highest level so far this month, at $101.22/bbl. And this morning it’s seen further gains as well, up +0.56% to $101.79/bbl. Bear in mind that early last week it had closed at $92.34/bbl, so that’s a recovery of just over +10% since that point. That echoes the recovery we’ve seen in commodities more broadly over recent weeks as well, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (+0.67%) closing at a 2-month high yesterday. Separately, we heard from President Biden yesterday, who announced student debt relief of up to $10,000 for those with an individual income of less than $125,000. For Pell Grant recipients, the relief would be up to $20,000. Furthermore, the current pause on federal student loan repayments is being extended again through the rest of 2022, taking that beyond the mid-term elections in November. Speaking of the midterms, there are signs that the Democrats’ political fortunes are continuing to rise after they won the special election for New York’s 19th congressional district, which had been a closely watched swing race. In addition, FiveThirtyEight’s forecast for the Senate now gives the Democrats a 64% chance of retaining control, their highest number to date. For the House, their model puts them at a 22% chance of retaining control. On the data side yesterday we had a mixed set of releases from the US. On the positive side, the preliminary reading for core capital goods orders in July showed a +0.4% gain (vs. +0.3% expected), and the previous month also saw an upward revision of two-tenths to +0.9%. Durable goods orders were unchanged (vs. +0.8% expected), although excluding transportation they were up +0.3% (vs. +0.2% expected). Finally, pending home sales fell -1.0% to their lowest level since April 2020. That was better than the -2.6% decline expected, but if you exclude April 2020 during the lockdowns then you’ve got to go back to September 2011 to find a lower reading for that index, which echoes the decline in various housing indicators we’ve seen recently. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include the weekly initial jobless claims, the second estimate of Q2 GDP and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity in index. In Germany there’s also the Ifo Institute’s business climate indicator for August. Otherwise from central banks, we’ll get the account of the ECB’s July meeting. Tyler Durden Thu, 08/25/2022 - 08:04.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 25th, 2022

Fed Issues Guidelines for Banks Engaging in Crypto Activities

Banks like JPMorgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS) and many others seeking to engage in crypto activities need to follow the guidance recently issued by the Fed. Given that more banks in the United States are now seeking to expand exposure to the digital asset world, the Federal Reserve has issued additional guidelines to be followed by banks, considering activities involving cryptocurrencies.In a supervisory letter, the Fed stated, “The emerging crypto-asset sector presents potential opportunities to banking organizations, their customers, and the overall financial system; however, crypto-asset-related activities may pose risks related to safety and soundness, consumer protection, and financial stability.”The Fed has, thus, outlined the steps that the Board-supervised banks need to take before engaging in crypto-asset-related activities.The letter stated that a Fed-supervised banking organization engaging or seeking to engage in crypto-asset-related activities should notify its lead supervisory point of contact at the Federal Reserve.Also, prior to engaging in any crypto-asset-related activity, a supervised banking organization must ensure such activity is legally permissible and determine whether any filings are required under applicable federal or state laws.Prior to engaging in these activities, banks should have adequate systems, risk management, and controls to conduct such activities in a safe and sound manner and consistent with all applicable laws, including applicable consumer protection statutes and regulations.Last year, the Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation released an interagency statement regarding their crypto-asset policy initiative. The regulators said that they intended to clarify in 2022 as to which activities the banks could engage in involving crypto, including whether they would be allowed to hold digital assets on their balance sheets and facilitate crypto trades on behalf of customers.The Digital Asset Space and Rising CompetitionUntil July 2020, the OCC did not grant permission to banks in the United States to hold cryptocurrencies. The amendment post-July gave banks the go-ahead to begin exploring cryptocurrency operations.A few years ago, banks were not that interested in the crypto and digital asset space. But now, after witnessing an increase in demand for the emerging market, banks and financial institutions are embracing cryptocurrencies.This March, JPMorgan JPM decided to make a “strategic investment” in TRM Labs, a leader in blockchain intelligence. JPM announced that it would invest in the blockchain analysis firm’s crypto compliance and risk management technology.Moreover, JPMorgan opened a virtual lounge named “Onyx lounge” in Decentraland (a virtual world based on blockchain technology), thus, becoming the first bank in the United States to enter the metaverse. Within Decentraland, users can acquire virtual plots of land in the form of non-fungible tokens, making purchases using cryptocurrency backed by the Ethereum blockchain.Apart from these, JPM has been undertaking other initiatives to expand its presence in the emerging market. In July 2021, JPM became the first major bank in the United States to allow its financial advisors to give all its wealth-management clients access to cryptocurrency funds. Then, it came to light that JPMorgan was offering its Private Bank wealth management customers access to an in-house passively managed bitcoin fund. The offering was being made in partnership with bitcoin powerhouse New York Digital Investment Group.Likewise, Citigroup C announced in November 2021 that it would hire 100 additional people in its blockchain and digital assets division.Citigroup, which has been long planning to enter the crypto space, began offering digital asset services for its wealthy clients with the launch of the business offshoot — Digital Assets Group. The division, part of Citigroup’s wealth management division, focuses on cryptocurrencies, NFTs, stablecoins and central bank digital currencies.Among others, Goldman Sachs GS launched trading with non-deliverable forwards, i.e., derivatives tied to Bitcoin’s price, which are cash-settled. Goldman Sachs is shielding itself from the cryptocurrency fluctuations by trading Bitcoin futures in block trades on CME Group Inc., with Cumberland DRW as its trading partner. Want to Know the #1 Semiconductor Stock for 2022? Few people know how promising the semiconductor market is. Over the last couple of years, disruptions to the supply chain have caused shortages in several industries. The absence of one single semiconductor can stop all operations in certain industries. This year, companies that create and produce this essential material will have incredible pricing power. For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the top semiconductor stock for 2022. You'll find it in our new Special Report, One Semiconductor Stock Stands to Gain the Most. Today, it's yours free with no obligation.>>Give me access to my free special report.Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS): Free Stock Analysis Report JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): Free Stock Analysis Report Citigroup Inc. (C): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksAug 17th, 2022

Futures Reverse Early Losses As Walmart Beat Sparks Relief Buying

Futures Reverse Early Losses As Walmart Beat Sparks Relief Buying US stock futures drifted modestly lower after hitting a 4-month high just above 4,300 during Monday's session, boosted by solid earnings and a guidance boost from Walmart, as attention turned back to lingering worries about the path of economic growth, how long until the NBER admits the US is in a recession and how Fed policy ties the room together. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were down less than 0.1% by 7:45 a.m. ET.  Gains in technology stocks on Monday spurred the broader benchmark equity index to its highest since May, with investors shrugging off terrible Chinese economic data. Crude oil reversed some of its recent sharp losses amid economic headwinds that clouded the demand outlook and prospects for an increase in supply. The greenback settled higher after fluctuating between gains and losses, while bitcoin traded above $24K. Chinese stocks listed in the US declined in premarket trading after a Reuters report that Tencent would liquidate its $24BN stake in Meituan to appease Beijing, sparking concerns it would do the same to its other investments. Among notable movers in premarket trading, Snowflake fell 3.5% after Tiger Global Management cut its position in the software firm for the first time in eight quarters, according to latest 13F filings. Chinese stocks listed in New York fell in premarket trading following the Tencent report. Pinduoduo Inc. lost 4%, while JD.com Inc. declined 2.2%. Zoom Video Communications slid 3% after Citigroup Inc. downgraded its recommendation on the stock to sell from neutral, seeing “new hurdles to sustaining growth.”  Here are some other notable premarket movers: Big-box retailers gain in premarket trading after Walmart said it sees a full-year adjusted EPS decline of 9% to 11% -- less steep than its previous projection for a decline of 11% to 13% -- following a stronger-than-expected earnings report for the second quarter. Zoom VideoCommunications (ZM US) down 3% in pre-market trading as Citi cuts its recommendation on the stock to sell from neutral, saying it sees “new hurdles to sustaining growth,” including growing competition from services like Microsoft Teams and macro-related pressures hitting customers. Bird Global (BRDS US) shares drop 6.4% in premarket trading after the electric vehicle company on Aug. 15 posted second-quarter results that showed a wider net loss than the same period a year earlier. Chinese stocks in US fall in premarket trading following a report that Tencent plans to sell all or much of its stake in food delivery company Meituan, in an effort to appease Beijing and lock in profits. Alibaba (BABA US) -2.2%, Nio (NIO US) -1%, Baidu (BIDU US) -1.8% Compass (COMP US) analysts at Barclays and Morgan Stanley cut their price targets on the real estate brokerage after it reduced its full-year guidance and announced plans to cut costs. The shares plunged 12% in US postmarket trading on Monday. Ginkgo Bioworks (DNA US) shares jump as much as 23% in US premarket trading after the cell programming platform operator’s revenue for the second quarter beat estimates. Snowflake (SNOW US) drops 3.5% in premarket trading after Tiger Global Management cut its position in the software firm for the first time in eight quarters, according to latest 13F filings. “The lack of clear direction is driving the markets up and down,” Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank, wrote in a note. “Yesterday’s data softens the case for the continuation of the steep recovery, and throws the foundation of a period of consolidation, and perhaps a downside correction.” A sharp drop in New York state manufacturing, the second-worst reading since 2001, along with the longest streak of declines since 2007 in homebuilder sentiment, sparked another round of "bad news is good news" and boosted hopes that the Fed may slow interest-rate hikes. However, it was soon outweighed by fears of a recession and belief among some traders the Fed could still press ahead with its tightening irrespective of a slowdown.  US stocks have been rallying since mid-June on optimism that corporate earnings are holding up even with higher prices and weakening consumer sentiment. The market also has gotten a boost from speculation that the Fed will slow the pace of interest rate increases after cooler-than-expected inflation data. While some strategists, especially those at JPMorgan, suggest the rebound could extend until the end of the year as investors turn less bearish, others including Michael Wilson at Morgan Stanley have said disappointing earnings are likely to spark another selloff in stocks. As a result of the recent frenzied positional rally, four weeks of gains have pushed more than 90% of S&P 500 members above their 50-day moving averages. That’s been a good omen in the past, with stocks showing gains of 5.7% on average in the following three months and rising 18% in the 12 months after the signal. Negative returns have been a rare exception, with stocks falling only twice. “While this is not a necessary condition for the end of the bear market, it would increase our confidence that a rally back to the old highs will come before a return to the June lows,” Jeff Buchbinder, a strategist at LPL Financial, wrote in a note on Monday. On the other hand, Skylar Montgomery Koning, senior global macro strategist at TS Lombard, said the bar for the Fed to stop its hiking cycle was high. “The market is betting not only that inflation comes down to a level that the Fed is comfortable with, but that the Fed reaction is timely,” she said on Bloomberg Television. “It may take until we get a 75-basis point hike in September or the new set of dot projections, and that may have to be what makes the market narrative shift.” European bourses are firmer across the board after a relatively constructive APAC handover, the Euro Stoxx 50 rising +0.4%, though off best levels post-ZEW. IBEX outperforms, adding 1.1%. Miners, telecoms and utilities are the strongest performing sectors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Delivery Hero shares jump as much as 14% after the firm projected 7% q/q growth in gross merchandise value in 3Q, in- line with expectations and putting the firm on track to meet its FY targets Glencore and other European miners outperform the broader market after BHP posted its highest ever FY profit and said it will push ahead with growth options Philips rises as much as 3.6% after its CEO Frans van Houten said he would step down in October, with the current head of the company’s Connected Care division, Roy Jakobs, taking over Watches of Switzerland jumps as much as 7.1%, reaching the highest since June 7, after the watchmaker published a first-quarter trading update. Analysts found the update to be solid Jyske Bank gains as much as 9.1% after the Danish lender reported 2Q pretax profit that topped Citigroup’s estimate by more than 20%, with Citi noting provisions came in well above expectations DFDS climbs as much as 8.7% after the Danish logistics company published 2Q results that beat consensus estimates and boosted its FY22 revenue forecast, RBC writes in a note Pandora drops as much as 8%, the most in more than three months, after the jewelery maker reported Ebit before significant items that missed the average analyst estimate Sonova and other European hearing aid makers lead losses on the Stoxx 600 after the firm and Danish peer Demant cut their guidance, with analysts flagging negative consensus revisions Straumann plunges as much as 14%, the most intraday since May 2020, after the oral care company announced 1H results and reaffirmed its guidance for the year Hemnet falls as much as 16% after the Swedish property ad company offered 8 million shares at SEK147 a share in a secondary offering announced on Monday after markets closed Hargreaves Lansdown declines as much as 1.8% after Credit Suisse downgraded its recommendation to neutral from outperform due to the personal investment firm’s valuation Earlier in the session, Asian equities fell as investors weighed growth risks in the region against the probability of a slower pace of US interest-rate increases. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.4%, and is poised to snap a four-day winning streak. Hong Kong shares fell the most, with Meituan among the biggest drags on the regional gauge after Reuters reported that Tencent intends to sell all or much of its $24 billion stake in the food-delivery giant to appease Beijing. Across Asia, energy shares slid as oil prices fell on rapidly cooling US manufacturing that followed weaker-than-expected Chinese data Monday -- offsetting gains in materials and utilities shares. After improving sentiment pushed up the region’s stocks for four straight weeks, markets are looking ahead to minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting due Wednesday for hints on its rate-hike trajectory. Closer to home, China’s surprise interest-rate cut on Monday did little to allay concerns over the property sector and the broader slowdown from Covid restrictions. Economists and state media are calling for additional stimulus, which could aid a rally in Chinese stocks and Asian peers. “While the downside surprises across the economic calendar suggested that growth conditions have clearly worsened, market participants seem willing to ride on optimism” that the Fed may shift to a looser policy stance sooner with easing inflation, Jun Rong Yeap, market strategist at IG Asia said in a note. Japan’s benchmarks dropped while gauges in the Philippines, Malaysia and India rose. Indonesian shares were higher after President Joko Widodo said in his annual budget speech that he aims to narrow next year’s deficit to below 3% of gross domestic product for the first time since 2019. Japanese stocks edged lower as investors remained on the lookout for signs of an economic slowdown in the US and China. The Topix Index fell 0.2% to 1,981.96 at the market close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 was virtually unchanged at 28,868.91. SoftBank Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, decreasing 2.6% after Elliot Management sold off almost all of its position in the company. Out of 2,170 stocks in the index, 908 rose and 1,138 fell, while 124 were unchanged.  Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to close at 7,105.40, its highest level since June 8. BHP, the largest-weighted stock in the benchmark, was among the top performers Tuesday after its full-year profit exceeded analysts’ expectations. Challenger slumped after announcing a strategic review of Challenger Bank. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5% to 11,847.15. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index advanced a third day as the greenback was steady to higher against all of its Group-of-10 peers. The euro touched an almost two-week low of $1.0125 after German ZEW expecations index came in lower than forecast. Aussie recovered a loss after the Reserve Bank’s August minutes failed to bolster bearish views, only to resume its slide in the European session. Australia’s central bank signaled further interest-rate increases would come in the period ahead, while restating it will be guided by incoming economic data and the inflation outlook. The yen was steady in the Asian session only to slip in the European session. China’s onshore yuan fell to the lowest since May, tracking Monday’s losses in the offshore unit. The nation’s central bank didn’t push back strongly against the currency weakness through its daily reference rate on Tuesday but traders are watching if its stance would change in case the yuan selloff deepens. USD/CNY rose as much as 0.3% to 6.7978, the highest since May 16; USD/CNH falls 0.1% to 6.8113 after surging 1.2% on Monday In rates, Treasuries were mixed, pivoting around a near unchanged 10-year sector with the curve flatter as long-end outperforms. Bunds and gilts underperform with the latter following stronger-than-forecast UK wage figures for June. US yields cheaper by up to 2bp across front-end and richer by 1.5bp in long-end of the curve -- 2s10s, 5s30s spreads subsequently flatter by 1.7bp and 2.7bp on the day; 10-year yields around 2.79% and near unchanged, outperforming both bunds and gilts by over 1bp.  European bonds fall, with the yield on German 10-year up about 2bps, while gilts 10-year yield rises ~3bps following stronger-than-forecast UK wage figures for June. . Both are trading within Monday’s range. Peripheral spreads are mixed to Germany; Italy and Spain widen, Portugal tightens. Italian 10-year yield rises ~7bps to 3.04%. Australian and New Zealand bonds extended opening gains amid concerns over economic growth. Japanese government bonds rallied as a smooth five-year auction and concerns over global economic slowdown encouraged buying. In commodities, WTI traded within Monday’s range when crude futures fell around 5% over the previous two sessions. Besides economic worries, investors are also facing the prospect of rising supply as demand moderates. Libya is pumping more and Iran is edging closer to reviving a nuclear deal that will likely see higher crude flows. On Tuesday, oil reversed recent losses however, and rose more than 1% to over $90 as the prospect of an "imminent" Iranian deal once again faded; Iran responded to the EU's draft nuclear deal and expects a response in the next two days, according to a source cited by ISNA. It was also reported that an adviser to the Iranian negotiating delegation told Al-Jazeera they are not far from an agreement and chances of reaching a nuclear deal are very high. Iran's response to the draft EU JCPOA text will probably fail to satisfy Western parties, particularly the US, according to Iran International; Iran wants further provisions around economic guarantees above the one-year exemption reportedly being offered. Elsewhere, spot gold falls roughly $4 to around $1,775/oz. Base metals are mixed; LME tin falls 1% while LME zinc gains 1.9%. Looking to the day ahead, data releases from the US include July’s industrial production, capacity utilization, housing starts and building permits. In the UK, there’s unemployment for June, Germany has the ZEW survey for August and Canada has July’s CPI. Elsewhere, we’ll get earnings releases from Walmart and Home Depot. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 4,295.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 443.91 MXAP down 0.3% to 163.03 MXAPJ little changed at 529.75 Nikkei little changed at 28,868.91 Topix down 0.2% to 1,981.96 Hang Seng Index down 1.0% to 19,830.52 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,277.89 Sensex up 0.5% to 59,751.63 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.6% to 7,105.39 Kospi up 0.2% to 2,533.52 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.91% Euro down 0.2% to $1.0140 Gold spot down 0.3% to $1,774.93 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.18% to 106.74 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Tencent-Backed Giants Dive on Report of $24 Billion Meituan Sale Oil Extends Losses on Global Slowdown and Chance of More Supply Babylon Said to Mull Take-Private Not Long After SPAC Deal Chipmakers’ Pandemic Boom Turns to Bust as Recession Looms Apple Lays Off Recruiters as Part of Its Slowdown in Hiring FAA Warns of Monday Evening Delays at NYC Area Airports Wong Says Singapore Must Compromise Over Law on Sex Between Men ‘Broken’ Barclays ETN Soars to 33% Premium With Issuance Halted Trump Executive Weisselberg in Plea Talks to Resolve Tax Case US Congress Pushes Biden Toward Risky Confrontation With China Twitter Must Give Musk Data, Documents From Ex-Product Head Next Singapore PM Warns US, China May ‘Sleepwalk Into Conflict’ Apple Sets Return-to-Office Deadline of Sept. 5 After Delays Tiger Global, Yale Cut Stocks Last Quarter as Markets Tumbled Druckenmiller Sold Big Tech in Bear Market as Soros Dove Back In A Century of Fed Crises Holds Secrets to Fight Future Recession Compass Stock Slumps as CEO Reffkin Plots Out More Cost Cuts A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were mostly positive as the region followed suit to the gains on Wall Street but with upside limited as economic slowdown concerns lingered. ASX 200 traded higher amid a deluge of earnings and with the index led by the mining sector including BHP shares after the industry giant reported a record FY underlying net and dividend. Nikkei 225 lacked direction amid the absence of any major fresh macro drivers and alongside a choppy currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were initially kept afloat by support-related optimism with developers encouraged after reports that China is considering issuing government-guaranteed bonds to provide liquidity to certain developers, while PBoC-backed press noted that China needs additional policy stimulus to increase economic growth. However, the Hang Seng later pulled back ahead of the European open to slip below 20k. Top Asian News China's NDRC said macro policies should be strong, reasonable and moderate in expanding demand actively, while it will roll out practical measures to support starting up businesses and job employment, according to Reuters. PBoC-backed Financial News front page report stated that China needs additional policy stimulus to increase economic growth, while Securities Times suggested the recent surprise PBoC rate cut could be the first in a series of measures to stabilise growth. China is to consider issuing government-guaranteed bonds to provide liquidity to certain developers. RBA Minutes from the August 2nd meeting stated the board expects to take further steps in the process of normalising monetary conditions in the months ahead, but is not on a pre-set path and seeks to do this in a way that keeps the economy on an even keel. The minutes also reiterated that members agreed it was appropriate to continue the process of normalising monetary conditions and that inflation was expected to peak later in 2022 and then decline back to the top of the 2%-3% range by the end of 2024. Australian Bureau of Statistics will begin publishing a monthly CPI indicator with the first publication on October 26th to coincide with the release of the quarterly CPI data, while it added that quarterly CPI will continue to be the key measure of inflation. China is reportedly to enhance policy to increase new births, will boost housing support for those with additional children, via Bloomberg. European bourses are firmer across the board after a relatively constructive APAC handover, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%, though off best levels post-ZEW. US futures are in contained ranges and pivoting the unchanged mark at this point in time, ES -0.2%; HD and WMT in focus. Home Depot Inc (HD) Q1 2023 (USD): EPS 5.05 (exp. 4.94), Revenue 43.79 (exp. 43.36bln); confirms FY22 guidance. Top European News Delivery Hero Sees Path to 2023 Profit Powered by Asia Unit Pandora Sells Lab-Grown Diamonds in US as Mined Ones Dropped UK Real Wages are Falling at Their Fastest Pace on Record: Chart Hearing Aid Makers Plunge After Sonova, Demant Cut Guidance DFDS Gains on Guidance Upgrade; RBC Sees Future Growth Potential Turkey Limits Resales of Newly Bought Cars by Dealers FX DXY breaches last week’s peak as Treasury yields rebound and Yuan weakens further amidst Chinese growth concerns, index up to 106.860 vs 106.810 on August 8, USD/CNY and USD/CNH approach 6.8000 and 6.8200 respectively. Euro stumbles after unexpected deterioration in German ZEW economic sentiment and Pound slips following mixed UK jobs and wage data, EUR/USD down to 1.0125 and Cable low 1.2000 area. Yen and Franc retreat as risk sentiment improves and bonds back off, USD/JPY tops 134.00 and USD/CHF above 0.9500. Kiwi cautious ahead of RBNZ, but Aussie holds up better post-RBA minutes flagging more hikes, NZD/USD eyes bids into 0.6300 and AUD/USD hovers just under 0.7000. Loonie underpinned awaiting Canadian CPI as crude prices stabilise to a degree, USD/CAD straddles 1.2900. Fixed Income Debt futures retreat further from Monday's lofty levels in corrective price action and as broad risk sentiment improves. Bunds down to 156.07 having been closer to 157.00, Gilts to 116.52 vs 116.99 earlier and 117+ yesterday, T-notes to 119-19 from almost 120-00. UK 2029 and German 2027 supply snapped up amidst given some yield concession. Commodities Crude benchmarks pressure, but off worst levels and well within yesterday's ranges, as the EU receives Iran's response to the JCPOA draft. Initial indications are that a deal is in reach, though, caveats/unknowns remain in focus - particularly the US' response. EIA said US oil output from top shale regions in September is due to increase to the highest since March 2020, according to Reuters. Iran sets September Iranian light crude OSP to Asia at Oman/Dubai + USD 9.50/bbl, via Reuters. Major European zinc smelter (Nyrstar Budel) reportedly to shut due to elevated energy costs, via Bloomberg; will shut as of September 1st. Spot gold under modest pressure as the USD lifts, but still near the 50-DMA while base metals recoup from Monday's data-driven pressure. US Event Calendar 08:30: July Housing Starts, est. 1.53m, prior 1.56m July Housing Starts MoM, est. -2.0%, prior -2.0% July Building Permits, est. 1.64m, prior 1.69m, revised 1.7m July Building Permits MoM, est. -3.3%, prior -0.6%, revised 0.1% 09:15: July Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.3%, prior -0.2% July Capacity Utilization, est. 80.2%, prior 80.0% July Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 0.3%, prior -0.5% DB's Henry Allen concludes the overnight wrap Here in the UK we’ve had quite a historic weather spell recently. Last month was the driest July in England since 1935, and a new record temperature just above 40°C was also recorded. But as this dry spell finally comes to an end, there are now weather warnings about thunderstorms over the coming days. My wife and I discovered this to our cost on our evening walk yesterday, when we hadn’t packed an umbrella and got soaked. One thing I hadn’t realised until watching the news the other day was that healthy grass actually absorbs water much quicker than parched grass – I had assumed like humans that the grass that’s been without water for days would drink it up rapidly. So while I’m not paid to give you my bad hunches on how weather works, the risk now is that the water just runs off the hard ground and leads to flooding. Let’s hope we can catch a break from this in the days ahead. Markets were also struggling to catch a break yesterday thanks to a succession of disappointing data releases that brought the risks of a recession back into focus. That marks a shift in the dominant narrative over the last couple of weeks, when there had actually been a small but growing hope that central banks might be able to execute a soft landing, not least after the much stronger-than-expected US jobs report for July. But ultimately, a number of leading indicators are still moving in the wrong direction, and yesterday’s releases served as a reminder that hard landings have historically been the norm when starting from a position as unfavourable as the present one. In terms of the specifics of those data releases, the more negative tone was set from the outset by the Chinese data we mentioned in yesterday’s edition, which showed that retail sales and industrial production for July had been weaker than expected by the consensus. But we then also got the Empire State manufacturing survey for August, which plunged to -31.3 (vs. 5.0 expected), thus also marking its worst performance since the GFC apart from April and May 2020 during the Covid lockdowns. Lastly, we then had the NAHB’s housing market index for August, which similarly fell to its lowest level since May 2020 at 49 (vs. 54 expected). That marked its 8th consecutive move lower, which comes against the backdrop of one of the most aggressive Fed tightening cycles in decades, with housing one of the most sensitive sectors to rate hikes. Growing fears of a slowdown led to a decent risk-off move across multiple asset classes, but one of the places that was most evident was in oil prices, where both Brent crude (-3.11%) and WTI (-2.91%) underwent sizeable declines on the day. In fact on an intraday basis, Brent crude traded at $92.78 per barrel at its lows, which exactly matches its previous intraday low on August 5, and prior to that you’ve got to go back before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February for the last time that oil prices were trading lower. That decline in oil prices was offered further support by the latest developments on the Iran nuclear deal, where Iran sent its response to the European Union’s proposed text to revive the deal. While the specific contents of the response are unknown, it’s been reported by the semi-official Iranian Students’ News Agency that Iran expects a response back from the EU within the next two days, so there could be tangible progress this week. Furthermore, Iran’s foreign minister said that an agreement with the US could be reached in the coming days. That trend towards weaker oil prices has continued this morning as well, with Brent crude down a further -0.87% at $94.27/bbl, and WTI down -0.62% at $88.86/bbl. Whilst oil prices fell back yesterday, the seemingly inexorable move higher in European natural gas continued, with futures up +6.79% on the day to €220 per megawatt-hour, which is just shy of their March peak at €227. Prices have been bolstered by the latest European heatwave, which has seen rivers dry up and caused issues with fuel transportation, further compounding the continent’s existing woes on the energy side. That gloomy backdrop saw Germany’s government announce a levy of an extra 2.419 euro cents per kilowatt hour for natural gas, which comes as policymakers are hoping that measures to reduce demand will help the continent get through the winter. Meanwhile, German and French power prices for next year rose to fresh records yesterday, rising +3.67% and +3.24% respectively. In light of the decline in oil prices and the more general risk-off tone, sovereign bonds rallied on both sides of the Atlantic yesterday, and yields on 10yr Treasuries came down -4.3bps to 2.79%. Inflation breakevens led the bulk of that decline amidst the moves lower in commodity prices, with the 10yr breakeven down by -2.9bps, whilst the 2s10s curve (+2.1bps) remained firmly in inversion territory at -40.0bps, even as it underwent a modest steepening. For Europe there were even larger declines in yields yesterday, with those on 10yr bunds (-8.8bps), OATs (-8.1bps) and BTPs (-6.5bps) all moving lower on the day, which came as investors moved to price in a less aggressive ECB hiking cycle over the coming months, with the June 2023 implied rate down by -9.9bps on the day. In overnight trading, yields on 10yr USTs (-0.9bps) have posted a further decline to 2.78% as we write. One asset class that didn’t fit this pattern so well were equities yesterday, as they pared back their earlier losses to move higher on the day, building on a run of 4 consecutive weekly moves higher. In the US, the S&P had opened -0.54% lower, but reversed course to end the session up +0.40%, which brings its advances from its recent low in mid-June to more than +17% now. It was a fairly broad-based advance across sectors, and the NASDAQ posted a similar +0.62% gain as well, whilst in Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.34%) also strengthened in the afternoon to post a 4th consecutive daily advance. Those moves in US and European equities have been echoed in Asia this morning, with the Hang Seng (+0.12%), Shanghai Composite (+0.24%), CSI (+0.13%) and the Kospi (+0.31%) all edging higher in early trade. The main exception is the Nikkei (-0.08%), which has lost ground modestly after reaching a 7-month high in the previous session. That said, there are signs that equities may be losing momentum as well this morning, with futures on the S&P 500 (-0.12%) and the NASDAQ 100 (-0.12%) both pointing lower following their strong run of gains recently. To the day ahead now, and data releases from the US include July’s industrial production, capacity utilisation, housing starts and building permits. In the UK, there’s unemployment for June, Germany has the ZEW survey for August and Canada has July’s CPI. Elsewhere, we’ll get earnings releases from Walmart and Home Depot. Tyler Durden Tue, 08/16/2022 - 08:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytAug 16th, 2022

Futures, Oil Fall As Searing Rally Wobbles

Futures, Oil Fall As Searing Rally Wobbles While European and Asian stocks have extended the blistering July rally to start August, US futures remain have traded in the red in the overnight session, if only modestly, which is to be expected after the best month for US markets since November 2020. Contracts on both the Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 were lower by about 0.1%, alongside a drop in oil, the dollar and crypto, as investors assessed recession risks against the latest remarks from Neel Kashkari over the weekend and Bill Dudley this morning that higher interest rates are needed to bring inflation under control. The Stoxx 600 Index rose 0.2%, led by banks, as HSBC Holdings Plc posted better-than-estimated profits. 10Y yields dipped to 2.64%. Oil declined after poor Chinese economic data added to concerns that a global slowdown may sap demand. West Texas Intermediate dropped below $97 a barrel after sinking almost 7% in July in the first back-to-back monthly loss since late 2020. In thin premarket trading, bank stocks were lower as investors remain on edge over recession risks. In corporate news, Global Payments agreed to buy Evo Payments for $34 per share in cash. Meanwhile, HSBC delivered better-than-estimated profits and pledged to return to paying quarterly dividends next year as it seeks to head off a call by its largest shareholder to split up. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Siga Technologies (SIGA US) shares are set to rebound on Monday after the stock sank in the previous session following an FDA update on monkeypox. Shares of other companies making vaccines and antiviral products tied to the disease were also higher in premarket trading. Mobile Global Esports (MGAM US) shares surge as much as 76%, set for another day of gains, following the esports platform’s initial public offering on Friday when it jumped 180%. Cryptocurrency-linked stocks fall as Bitcoin slips following its best month since October 2021, with traders assessing the strength of a recovery from the market’s worst levels. Coinbase (COIN US) down 2%, Marathon Digital (MARA US) falls 4.2%. Comcast (CMCSA US) and Charter Communications (CHTR US) both downgraded at Barclays which said it sees the cable companies as “likely past peak growth.” Comcast shares down 0.1%. Bumble (BMBL US) is cut to hold at Jefferies, with the broker citing incremental FX headwinds and a valuation that is not “compelling.” PubMatic (PUBM US) and Taboola (TBLA US) both cut to sector weight at KeyBanc as the broker anticipates “disparate” 2Q results from the adtech sector. Prefers overweight-rated TradeDesk (TTD US). Traders have been speculating the Federal Reserve will tone down its anti-inflation campaign and opt for a slower path of rate hikes after data showed the US economy shrank a second quarter. While that sentiment drove July’s market turnaround after historic first-half losses, over the weekend some Fed officials - such as Kashkari and Dudley - sought to reinforce the message that higher rates are needed to stamp out price pressures and downplayed recession risks. "The fact that a very weak run of data is seen as equity bullish just purely on the basis of lower rates speaks to just how utterly dominant Fed policy has become in driving investor behavior,” said James Athey, investment director at abrdn. "Unless the Fed pulls off a miracle I am afraid the bear market is absolutely not over." Investors are also monitoring US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Asia. A statement from her office skipped any mention of a possible stopover in Taiwan. A visit may stoke US-China tension over the island. Here are a handful of related headlines: US House Speaker Pelosi’s official itinerary for her trip to Asia was released which did not mention Taiwan, while Radio France Internationale’s Chinese website quoted sources that stated Pelosi will fly to Taiwan via Clark Air Base in the Philippines on August 4th, according to Dimsum Daily HK. China held live-fire drills off the coast opposite Taiwan and its air force said it will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity regarding Taiwan, according to Associated Press and Chinese state media. A senior official in Beijing said the atmosphere of last week’s Biden-Xi telephone conversation was the worst among the five talks between the leaders and President Xi was said to have showed the toughest attitude he has ever shown to any world leader, while the most important topic in the conversation was China-US relations especially the 'Taiwan Question'. Furthermore, the official believes the probability of US House Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is low, as President Xi’s tough position on Taiwan will push President Biden to put more pressure on Pelosi to bypass Taiwan on this trip and the official warned that an accidental military conflict around the island of Taiwan cannot be ruled out if Pelosi insists on visiting Taiwan, according to SGH Macro Advisors. European stocks climb as earnings continue to buoy risk sentiment, while US futures slide, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 down 0.4%. Euro Stoxx 50 rises 0.3%. FTSE MIB outperforms peers, adding 0.9%, Stoxx 600 lags, adding 0.2%. Banks, telecoms and autos are the strongest-performing sectors. Here are the other notable European movers: HSBC jumps as much as 7%, the most since January 2021, after the lender reported interim results. Analysts were impressed with second-quarter pretax profit coming in ahead of consensus. Pearson shares rise as much as 10% after first-half sales beat analyst estimates, with weakness in the higher education segment more than offset by strong growth in other divisions. EssilorLuxottica shares climb as much as 4.2% after CEO Francesco Milleri told Les Echos he’s bullish about the eyewear giant’s outlook. Analysts also are positive about its prospects. Deutsche Telekom shares rise after Kepler Cheuvreux re-initiated coverage with buy, saying its free cash flow yield is set to rise to over 13% by 2024 from about 8% in 2022. Air- France KLM shares gain as much as 6.1% after being upgraded to buy at HSBC and to outperform at Oddo BHF, with the latter noting that the effects of the airline’s restructuring seem to be underestimated. Quilter shares gain as much as 18% amid a report that NatWest is considering a bid for the wealth management firm. The article said several other private equity firms are also considering an offer. Spectris drops as much as 8.2%, the most since Feb. 28, after the precision instrumentation and controls supplier reported half-year results. Jefferies said the interims were a “touch light.” Heineken shares fall as much as 3.5% after the company reported strong 1H results, with investors focusing on the cautious outlook and tweaked 2023 guidance. Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden shares plunged after a fresh sell rating by Goldman Sachs, which downgraded the landlord, saying it’s overleveraged as financing costs continue to surge. Varta fell the most since November 2021 after the German battery maker cut its full-year forecast for sales and earnings over headwinds including rising raw materials and energy costs. CEZ shares fell the most in a month as investors in the Czech power utility digested mounting signals that the government was ready to impose a windfall tax on the most profitable companies. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose as investors bet corporate earnings will support market valuations and as weak economic data from China spurred hopes for more stimulus.   The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.8% with Toyota boosting the measure the most ahead of its earnings release later this week. Industrials led gains among the sectoral gauges as Mitsubishi jumped ahead of its quarterly report. Benchmarks in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand outperformed.  Hong Kong and mainland China indexes reversed their earlier losses, buoyed by prospects that weak factory data increases the likelihood of fresh policy support from Beijing. China’s factory activity unexpectedly contracted in July while property sales continued to shrink, data over the weekend showed. Some investors said the weak figures have already been priced into last month’s losses in Chinese markets.  “Expecting more stimulus is reasonable, although the market feels the GDP target is no longer a hard target,” said Steven Leung, an executive director at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong. “Weak economy means more policies needed to achieve their target, or get closer to their target.” Asian stocks have been on a downtrend despite Monday’s pending gain, with the regional benchmark down almost 30% from its February 2021 high. The gauge has underperformed US peers so far this year as Covid woes continue in China, along with the nation’s property crisis, while ongoing earnings reports in the region are being closely watched.  Japanese equities erased earlier losses to end higher as better-than-expected domestic corporate earnings boosted sentiment. The Topix Index rose 1% to 1,960.11 as of the close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei advanced 0.7% to 27,993.35. Toyota Motor Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index’s gain, increasing 3.5%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,706 rose and 395 fell, while 69 were unchanged. Earnings are “fairly good,” said Hiroshi Namioka, chief strategist and fund manager at T&D Asset Management. “The numbers coming out are clearly positive compared to the previous quarter especially in terms of profit growth.” In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% to close at 6,993.00, the highest since June 9, boosted by gains across mining, healthcare and energy shares. A subgauge of miners climbed for a third session, closing the highest since June 29. Investors await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision due Tuesday, with it expected to lift the key interest rate by 50 basis points to 1.85%.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% to 11,525.87 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index is down about 0.4%; NOK and CAD are the weakest performers in G-10 FX, NZD and JPY outperform. Yen trades at 132.33/USD. The yen climbed as much as 1% against the greenback to 131.89, rising a fourth day in its longest-winning streak since February. While the gains were initially spurred by signs the Federal Reserve will rein back rate hikes, an Asia-based FX trader said Monday that the yen is increasingly seen as a haven play. The euro edged up 0.4%, bolstered by dollar weakness; Goldman Sachs strategists have revised down their three- and six-month forecasts for EUR/USD to 0.99 and 1.02 (from 1.05 and 1.10 previously), citing the shifting European growth outlook. In rates, Treasuries bear-flatten, with the 10-year rate at 2.64%, well down from June’s peak near 3.50%, after hawkish comments from Kashkari and Bostic. Bund 10-year yields rose about 5 bps, after German and Euro Area PMIs were revised higher, while the yield on 10-year gilts climbs about 4 bps to 1.91%. Italian bonds rallied, sending the 10-year yield below 3% for the first time since May, as investors bet that a new government will stick to commitments needed to unlock about 200 billion euros ($205 billion) of European Union funds. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.2% lower to trade at around $96. Base metals are mixed; LME aluminum falls 1.8% while LME nickel gains 4.4%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,766/oz.  Bitcoin declined after reaching the highest levels since mid-June on Saturday amid optimism that the market may have recovered from its worst levels. Looking at today's calendar, we get the July ISM index and June Construction Spending data, Japan July vehicle sales, Eurozone June unemployment rate, Italy July PMI, budget balance, new car registrations, June unemployment rate. We also get earnings from Devon Energy, Activision Blizzard. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,123.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.2% to 439.12 MXAP up 0.7% to 161.54 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 523.50 Nikkei up 0.7% to 27,993.35 Topix up 1.0% to 1,960.11 Hang Seng Index little changed at 20,165.84 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,259.96 Sensex up 0.8% to 58,043.18 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 6,992.97 Kospi little changed at 2,452.25 Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,766.44 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.26% to 105.63 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.87% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0241 Brent Futures down 1.2% to $102.77/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg European stocks climb as earnings continue to buoy risk sentiment, while US futures slide, with S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 down 0.3%. Stoxx 600 rises 0.1% with banks, telecoms and autos the strongest-performing sectors. In fixed income, Bund 10-year yield rises about 5 bps, after German and Euro Area PMIs were revised higher, while the yield on 10-year gilts climbs about 4 bps to 1.91%. Italian bonds hold gains, with the 10-year yield falling below 3% for the first time since May. European factory activity plunged and Asian manufacturing output continued to weaken in July amid lingering supply-chain complications and a slowing global economy. Natural gas prices in Europe rose, after posting the biggest weekly gain in more than a month, as Russia’s tightening grip over supply rips through the economy and heightens concerns about shortages in the winter. The US Treasury is expected to make its fourth straight reduction in a quarterly sale of longer-term debt this month, with most dealers predicting extra cutbacks for the 20-year bond. China’s massive trade surplus helped to offset capital outflows in the first half of the year, anchoring its balance of payments even as the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes fuel outflows from developed and emerging markets alike. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were choppy as momentum from last week’s earnings-inspired euphoria on Wall St was partially offset by disappointing Chinese PMI data and cautiousness ahead of upcoming risk events including central bank rate decisions, NFP jobs data and US House Speaker Pelosi’s trip to Asia. ASX 200 was kept afloat by strength in energy and utilities after the competition regulator’s interim gas report forecast Australia’s east coast could face a shortfall of 56PJ in 2023, while the latest domestic manufacturing PMI data remained in expansion territory. Nikkei 225 was also positive with the biggest movers driven by recent earnings releases and reports also noted that Japan’s panel is expected to seek a record increase of at least JPY 30 to minimum wages. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were initially pressured after Chinese PMI data missed expectations in which the official manufacturing reading printed at a surprise contraction, with sentiment also not helped by US-China tensions as the world second-guesses whether or not US House Speaker Pelosi will defy China’s warnings regarding visiting Taiwan during her Asia trip. However, the mood in Chinese stocks gradually improved and retraced the majority of losses. Top Asian News US House Speaker Pelosi’s official itinerary for her trip to Asia was released which did not mention Taiwan, while Radio France Internationale’s Chinese website quoted sources that stated Pelosi will fly to Taiwan via Clark Air Base in the Philippines on August 4th, according to Dimsum Daily HK. China held live-fire drills off the coast opposite Taiwan and its air force said it will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity regarding Taiwan, according to Associated Press and Chinese state media. A senior official in Beijing said the atmosphere of last week’s Biden-Xi telephone conversation was the worst among the five talks between the leaders and President Xi was said to have showed the toughest attitude he has ever shown to any world leader, while the most important topic in the conversation was China-US relations especially the 'Taiwan Question'. Furthermore, the official believes the probability of US House Speaker Pelosi's visit to Taiwan is low, as President Xi’s tough position on Taiwan will push President Biden to put more pressure on Pelosi to bypass Taiwan on this trip and the official warned that an accidental military conflict around the island of Taiwan cannot be ruled out if Pelosi insists on visiting Taiwan, according to SGH Macro Advisors. Macau is to permit dine-in services and will reopen gyms, bars and beauty parlours beginning this Tuesday, according to Bloomberg. US, South Korea and Japan will begin joint ballistic missile defence exercises in waters off Hawaii this week, according to Yonhap. "China is willing to boost China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership to yield more results based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit while appropriately handling differences," according to the Chinese Foreign Minister via Global Times. European bourses remain firmer across the board, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%, as the region shrugs-off Final Manufacturing PMIs and a mixed APAC handover given Friday's strong Wall St. performance. However, US futures are underpressure in a continuation of downbeat APAC trade amid poor Chinese PMIs and with multiple key risk events looming for the week, ES -0.2%. In Europe, sectors are mixed with the breadth of performance narrow ex-banks given pronounced upside in HSBC, +6.0%, post-earnings; note, HSBC accounts for 18% of the Europe Stoxx 600 Banking sector. Top European News HSBC Shares Jump After Profit Rise and Vow to Restore Dividends Ukraine Latest: First Grain Ship Since Start of War Leaves Odesa Marex Agrees to Buy ED&F Man Brokerage in Global Expansion Italy 10-Year Yield Falls Below 3% for the First Time Since May Quilter Gains; Potential NatWest Deal Has Clear Logic: Investec Vinci Agrees Deal for 30% Stake in Mexico Airport Operator OMA FX DXY down to deeper cycle low sub-105.500 as Yen revival continues and activity currencies climb, USD/JPY retesting underlying bids and support into 132.00 including next layer of Japanese importer buying interest. Aussie up in anticipation of RBA and Kiwi ahead of NZ jobs data, AUD/NZD and NZD/USD firmly back above 0.7000 and 0.6300 respectively. Euro eyes recent peaks and Sterling probes stops around last Friday’s high, EUR/USD touches 1.0270 and Cable tops 1.2250 . Yuan softer in wake of weaker than expected Chinese PMIs, but Rand remains bid irrespective of inflation contractionary SA PMI as Gold underpins, USD/CNH and USD/CNY 6.7600+ and 6.7500+, USD/ZAR under 16.5000. Fixed Income Debt continues to consolidate and retrace from new corrective peaks, but curves remain steeper. Bunds and Gilts sub-par within 157.74-156.74 and 118.22-117.72 respective ranges, T-notes flattish between 121-07+/120-28 parameters. BTPs bid and sharply outperform ahead of Italy's snap elections and into month bereft of issuance. 10 year bond tops 127.50 from 126.40 low just 7 ticks above prior close. Commodities Crude benchmarks are pressured in a resumption of Friday's action after modest overnight consolidation as the complex looks towards OPEC+. Currently, benchmarks are firmer by over USD 1.50/bbl; while Dutch TTF remains around the EUR 200/MWh mark as Russia put the onus on others re. Nord Stream 1. Spot gold is firmer, deriving upside from the pressure seen in the USD though the magnitude of the yellow metal's move perhaps capped by the generally constructive European tone. OPEC Secretary General Al-Ghais said OPEC is not in competition with Russia and that Russia is a big main player in the world energy map with its membership in OPEC+ vital for the success of the agreement. Al-Ghais added OPEC doesn’t control oil prices but practices tuning markets in terms of supply and demand, while he added that the recent rise in prices is not just related to the Ukraine crisis but is also due to lack of spare production capacity. Furthermore, he said the current state of the global oil market is very volatile and that the most important factor to affect oil prices by year-end is the lack of investments in the sector, according to an interview with Al Rai newspaper cited by Reuters. Libya’s Unity government oil minister said oil production is at 1.2mln bpd, according to Reuters. Gazprom said it is halting gas supplies to Latvia and accused it of violating conditions, while Latvia said that it doesn’t expect Gazprom’s decision to have any major impact, according to Reuters. European governments have eased back on efforts to curb trade in Russian oil in which they are delaying a plan to shut Moscow out of the vital Lloyd’s of London maritime insurance market and will permit some international shipments amid fears of rising crude prices and tighter global energy supplies, according to FT. The first ship with grain left the port of Odessa, according to CNN Türk; subsequently, Ukrainian Infrastructure minister says if the grain deal works in full, they will start consultations to open the port of Mykolaiv, via Reuters. Part of the damaged Beirut port silos collapsed following a weeks-long fire, according to Al Jazeera US Event Calendar 10:00: June Construction Spending MoM, est. 0.2%, prior -0.1% 10:00: July ISM Manufacturing, est. 52.0, prior 53.0 Employment, est. 48.2, prior 47.3 New Orders, est. 49.0, prior 49.2 Prices Paid, est. 73.5, prior 78.5 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap The 2023 global II survey opens in 11 months' time. If you are likely to value our work in the next year please ...... ah ok, I did promise not to mention it again. Thanks for all the support and we'll see how we do in October or November when the results drop. Talking of results, congratulations to the England women's football team for winning the Euros. After years of watching the men's team lose time and time again in important moments it was strange watching them win, especially against Germany. First second place in the Eurovision Song Contest and now this. The world order is being turned upside down! Anyway, welcome to August and a spectacular start to H2 for markets with the S&P 500 in July (+9.1%) seeing its best month since November 2020 and 10yr US Treasuries (-37bps and +1.7%) seeing their best performance since March 2020. This follows the worst H1 since 1962 and 1788 respectively. A stunning comeback for 60/40, 50/50 or whatever ratio you chose to allocate. See our monthly performance review, out soon after this mail, for all the details. It's a complicated outlook at the moment as we don't think the US is in a typical recession yet but will almost certainly be within a few quarters. That delay is supportive for markets relative to what was priced a few weeks ago but it's hard to say the outlook is positive. However the market has more rallied on lower expected terminal rates and the move to price rate cut probabilities within 6 months. We don't think either will come to pass but my rates colleague Francis Yared always tells me not to fight bullish fixed income markets in the summer. Indeed the CoTD on Friday (link here) showed that August is by far and away the best month of the year for bonds. Interestingly Larry Summers had some harsh words over the weekend suggesting the Fed is engaging in "wishful thinking" in what it will take to tame inflation and that “Jay Powell said things that, to be blunt, were analytically indefensible ...." and that “...there is no conceivable way that a 2.5% interest rate, in an economy inflating like this, is anywhere near neutral.” So this debate will rage on but the winner in August may not be the winner by year end. Markets haven't had a chance to wind down for summer yet and maybe they won't get the chance with US payrolls on Friday, followed by CPI on Wednesday 10th. If nothing out of the ordinary occurs in these two prints though maybe we can have a quiet two or three weeks. However if payrolls are far from consensus and/or CPI is strong then we may have some fun and games in August. It’s a month of low liquidity and if something big happens it can be multiplied in such thin trading. Outside of payrolls, the other most important events this week include the manufacturing PMIs and ISM today, the RBA decision and US JOLTS tomorrow, services PMIs and ISM Wednesday, and the likely biggest hike from the BoE for 27 years alongside the increasingly important US jobless claims data on Thursday. Apart from that, earnings are still coming from all directions, but we are past halfway in the US with over 260 companies having reported. It’s 232 in the Stoxx 600. It might be hard to eclipse the big US tech week last week though. The other thing to look out for is whether US House Speaker Pelosi visits Taiwan this week on her Asian trip. It could set off a major geopolitical incident if she does and domestic accusations of backing down to China if she doesn't given she'd previously said she would visit. The full day by day week ahead is at the end as usual on a Monday but let's preview the main highlights in detail with the big one being payrolls of course. Our US economists expect a 250k reading for nonfarm payrolls (down from 372k in June with consensus also at 250k) and for the unemployment rate to slightly decline to 3.5% from 3.6% (consensus 3.6%). Our economists think the gradual increase in continuing claims since last month is enough to slow the pace of job growth. Remember we did a CoTD on payrolls day last month showing that the first month of a recession on average has a negative payroll print whereas the months leading up to it don't (including R-1). See here for a reminder. This is one of the main reasons we don't think we're there yet in terms of a recession. Our favoured measure of the strength of the labour market has been the JOLTS data which next comes out tomorrow for June. The problem is that it is always one month behind other data. However it gives us a decent if slightly rear-view mirror look at job openings and labour market tightness. Moving on, the BoE's decision on Thursday will be a big event with our UK economists and consensus expecting a +50bps move, which will take the Bank Rate to 1.75% and become the largest single increase since 1995. It will likely also be accompanied by somewhat hawkish economic forecasts from the Bank. The team's full preview, including expectations on forward guidance and QT, can be found here. Before the BoE, our economists expect the RBA to also hike +50bps tomorrow. Regarding policy guidance, they expect the central bank to reiterate the need for higher interest rates, which would implicitly keep another +50bps hike in September among the options. Turning to corporate earnings, this week's line-up will feature a number of important commodities companies, including BP, Occidental Petroleum (tomorrow), ConocoPhillips and Glencore (Thursday). Travel & leisure firms like Marriott, Airbnb (tomorrow) and Booking (Wednesday) will be in the spotlight as well to assess trends in consumer spending on services. Notable carmakers reporting results will include Toyota (Thursday), BMW (Wednesday) and Ferrari (tomorrow). In healthcare, investors will be focused on Regeneron, Moderna (Wednesday), Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Bayer (Thursday). Other notable reporters will include Advanced Micro Devices, PayPal (tomorrow), Maersk (Wednesday) and Alibaba (Thursday). Asian equities are quiet at the start of the week but with China’s disappointing economic data pointing to further weakness in the world’s second biggest economy (more below). As I type, the Nikkei (+0.47%), Shanghai Composite (+0.15%), the CSI and the Kospi (+0.10%) are holding on to their gains helped by a strong US session on Friday. Elsewhere, the Hang Seng (-0.25%) is lower. Outside of Asia, DM stock futures are weaker with contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.50%), NASDAQ 100 (-0.45%) and DAX (-0.25%) edging lower. Oil prices are around -1.5% lower post China data and uncertainty over the OPEC+ meeting this week. Separately, yields on 10yr USTs (-2.0bps) have moved lower, trading at 2.67%, as we go to press. Onto that China data, and factory activity expanded at a slower pace with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for July easing to 50.4 from 51.7 in June, below analysts’ expectations for a slight dip to 51.5 as growth momentum softened in output, new orders and employment. Over the weekend, China’s factory activity contracted unexpectedly in July with the official reading falling to 49.0 (50.3 expected) from 50.2 in June, underscoring the extent of the uncertainty around growth stemming from fresh virus flare-ups, declining global demand and property market risks. Onto last week now, the FOMC raised rates a super-charged 75bps for the second consecutive meeting, yet financial conditions eased as the market latched onto comments that the hiking cycle would slow at some point and that the Committee was paying heed to slowing activity data. On that news, the splashiest data of the week was the Q2 US GDP which showed the second consecutive quarter of contraction, spurring endless debates as to what constitutes a recession. In Europe, lower Nord Stream capacity continues to ratchet energy pressure higher. The perceived pivot in Fed communications along with slowing activity data drove a shallower pricing of global monetary policy, and thus a rally in global sovereign yields. 10yr Treasuries were -10.2bps lower (-2.7bps Friday), led by a -30.8bp decline in real yields, while 2yr Treasuries were -8.6bps lower on the week (+2.2bps Friday). Not to be outdone, 10yr bunds fell even more, declining -21.4bps (-0.9bp Friday), as the continent looks exposed to even larger potential external shocks. With less aggressive tightening expected, 10yr BTPs tightened -8.1bps versus bunds, -14.3bps of which came on Friday as the main populist far-right party Brothers of Italy, who are polling very strongly, were reported to be likely to adhere to EU budget rules if elected. The easing of expected tightening was a boon to equity markets, which staged big gains across the Atlantic. The S&P 500 was +4.26% higher (+1.42% on Friday) while the NASDAQ picked up +4.70% (+1.88%). Many of the mega cap tech companies reported this week in the US to mixed results. Advertising revenue was sluggish, but supply chain pressures seemed to ease which helped those facing retail customers. Across the board, it seemed like hiring was either slowing or plans were in place to start reducing hiring. European equities also enjoyed some respite from global policy tightening, with the STOXX 600 picking up +2.96% (+1.28% Friday), the DAX +1.74% (+1.52% Friday), and the CAC higher by +3.73% (+1.72% Friday). Despite slowing activity data, oil prices showed no signs of a demand slowdown, with Brent futures climbing +6.60% over the week (+2.68% Friday). On Friday’s data, the US Employment Cost Index increased +1.3%, above 1.2% expectations but a marginal deceleration from 1Q’s 1.4%. The final University of Michigan Sentiment reading was 51.5, versus 51.1 expectations, while year-ahead inflation expectations stayed at 5.2% even if longer term ones edged back up a tenth to 2.9%. Tyler Durden Mon, 08/01/2022 - 07:56.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeAug 1st, 2022

5 ETFs to Ride High Amid Red-Hot Inflation

Persistently soaring inflation has been the hottest issue in the stock market that has made investors jittery. Investors could well be served with investments designed to counteract inflation. Persistently soaring inflation has been the hottest issue in the stock market that has made investors jittery. This is especially true as high inflationary pressure has compelled the central bank to follow a tighter monetary policy to quell inflation.In such a scenario, investors could well be served with investments designed to counteract inflation. While there are several ways to do this, Inflation Beneficiaries ETF INFL, AXS Astoria Inflation Sensitive ETF PPI, Merk Stagflation ETF STGF, Fidelity Stocks for Inflation ETF FCPI and VanEck Inflation Allocation ETF RAAX look compelling and better options to hedge inflation (read: ETF Strategies to Navigate 40-Year High U.S. Inflation Levels).These “inflation-protected ETFs” provide positive returns during periods when inflation is pushing down the performance of other asset classes and help to ride out volatility in a portfolio. These funds generally outperform when inflation is peaking as well as offset rising inflation.The latest data shows that inflation roared to a level not seen in more than four decades. The consumer price index climbed 9.1% year over year in June to a fresh 40-year high, up from an 8.6% jump in May. The data raised bets that the central bank could increase rates by a historic 100 bps this month to battle the 40-year high inflation.Fed policymakers have already signaled a second 75 bps hike in interest rates later this month amid persistent inflation. According to the latest data by CME Group, traders are pricing in a nearly 80% probability of a full percentage-point rise at the coming meeting.Inflation Beneficiaries ETF (INFL)Inflation Beneficiaries ETF is an actively managed ETF that seeks long-term growth of capital in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. It seeks to invest primarily in domestic and foreign companies that are expected to benefit from rising prices of real assets (i.e., assets whose value is mainly derived from physical properties such as commodities), such as those whose revenues are expected to increase with inflation without corresponding increases in expenses.Inflation Beneficiaries ETF holds 40 stocks in its basket with AUM of $1.2 billion. It charges 85 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 348,000 shares.AXS Astoria Inflation Sensitive ETF (PPI)AXS Astoria Inflation Sensitive ETF is actively managed and seeks long-term capital appreciation in inflation-adjusted returns. AXS Astoria Inflation Sensitive ETF provides investors a one-stop inflation strategy with multi-asset exposure to equities, commodities and TIPS (read: 5 ETFs With More Than 1000% AUM Growth This Year).AXS Astoria Inflation Sensitive ETF has accumulated $63.9 million since its debut in December 2021 while charging 71 bps in annual fees. It trades in volume of 25,000 shares per day, on average.Merk Stagflation ETF (STGF)Merk Stagflation ETF provides exposure to investments that are expected to benefit, either directly or indirectly, from persistent inflation, including in an environment of weak economic growth (stagflation). It tracks the Solactive Stagflation Index, and offers exposure to Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), gold, oil, and U.S. real estate.Merk Stagflation ETF has newly debuted in the space in May and gathered $2.1 million in its asset base so far. It charges 45 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 5,000 shares.Fidelity Stocks for Inflation ETF (FCPI)Fidelity Stocks for Inflation ETF tracks the Fidelity Stocks for Inflation Factor Index, which reflects the performance of stocks of large and mid-capitalization U.S. companies with attractive valuations, high-quality profiles and positive momentum signals, emphasizing industries that tend to outperform in inflationary environments. It holds 101 stocks in its basket, with none accounting for more than 5% share.Fidelity Stocks for Inflation ETF has amassed $242.6 million and charges 29 bps in fees per year. 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Category: topSource: zacksJul 15th, 2022

Transcript: Spencer Jakab

     The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Spencer Jakab on Reddit, Gamestop & Meme Stocks, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ,… Read More The post Transcript: Spencer Jakab appeared first on The Big Picture.      The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Spencer Jakab on Reddit, Gamestop & Meme Stocks, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’re listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. My special guest this week is Spencer Jakab. He is an editor at The Wall Street Journal’s Heard on the Street column. Before that, he wrote the Ahead of the Tape column and was the Lex Column author for the Financial Times. He just wrote a new book “The Revolution That Wasn’t: GameStop, Reddit and the Fleecing of Small Investors.” Spencer Jacob, welcome to Bloomberg. SPENCER JAKAB, WRITER AND EDITOR, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Thank you. RITHOLTZ: So first of all, I really enjoyed the book. I read it on the beach this summer and a couple of weekends, really reads like a fascinating novel. If it wasn’t a work of nonfiction, it could never have been made into a work of fiction because it just wouldn’t be believable, would it? JAKAB: It’s crazy, right? It lends itself to a book and I knew that right away. When the story began to unfold, I sent an email. I had a three-quarters written book proposal about something else, sitting at home during the pandemic, and wrote an email to the Acquisitions editor at Penguin Random House, a person I don’t even know, didn’t know then. And when I saw this story begin to unfold, the first article had not been written about it. One of my sons brought to my attention — yeah? RITHOLTZ: Yeah. Let me stop you and just say the book came about, and please pardon my language, because your sons’ self-described themselves as degenerates, apes, and retards. Can you explain why a group of people would self-describe themselves that way? JAKAB: So I have three sons, and two of them are very online. They’re all online, but two of them are very online. They are on Reddit all the time, and they were on this forum on Reddit called WallStreetBets, which was at the epicenter of this story. And the people on this forum, it’s an investing forum but not really an investing forum. There’s a different investing forum on Reddit called r/Investing. This is r/WallStreetBets, which is an entirely different place. RITHOLTZ: Speculative, lots of axes to grind, lots of social issues come up. It’s not a straight-up investing group. JAKAB: No. It’s like Jackass for finance. What it is, it’s like, you know, you do crazy stuff on there, and you show off crazy stuff. And you — I don’t know if a lot of the crazy stuff actually ever happens because you can’t tell. People are using pseudonyms, but they were all over that. And my oldest boy, he’s now 23. He was a college senior when this happened, came over and he said, “Dad, are you going to write something about GameStop?” And so GameStop, they’re all into video games. I’ve driven them there lots of times. They were going there less and less over time, which is a problem with GameStop as a business. RITHOLTZ: Right. It’s, you know — it’s in a mall. It’s old school. It’s the blockbuster of video games. JAKAB: Totally. Totally. That’s the problem. That’s why it had been losing money for years. That’s why — that’s how it found itself at the center of the story. The book is not really about GameStop and people always ask me about “Don’t you think this? Don’t you think that about GameStop?” Like, I can talk to you about GameStop, but that’s not really the interesting thing here. RITHOLTZ: Right, right. JAKAB: The interesting thing is this unprecedented thing that made it the most traded security in the world for a while, the most searched term in the world for a while, you know, and from just total obscurity and I said, “No.” Why? You know, a friend of mine, this kid who I’ve known since he was, you know, as tall as my knee, had bought it. And I took a look and he’s doubled his money in the last two days, maybe he should sell. They’re talking about it on WallStreetBets. And I’ve seen this dozens of times before, you know, it’s a kind of a flash in the pan and — RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: — I really wouldn’t hang on too long. And what kind of got my attention was he said, “No, he’s not going to sell ever. No, he can’t sell.” So what do you mean he can’t sell? And so, you know, I started reading the board, and I was like, “Oh, my God, they’re executing a corner on this stock.” So they all sort of agreed online to buy as much as they could, and not sell, and then buy options too, which forces further buying by options dealer. So it was this trap. It’s this thing that you can’t really do, as you know, Barry, like you can’t — RITHOLTZ: Not legally. JAKAB: Not legally. Right. RITHOLTZ: Like, you and I can’t get together and do this. But a bunch of anonymous teenagers and others, it wasn’t just teenagers, could talk about it in this venue without real fear of reprisal because they’re a bunch of little guys engaging in some speculative wishful thinking. JAKAB: That’s right. And if you take it at that point, there were about 1.9 million people on the forum. By the end of the next month, there were 11 million people. So they quadrupled in four days. The number of people in this forum is big, people got so excited by it. And so those people, individually, may not have had a lot of money, but they did two things. First of all, there are a lot of them. JAKAB: And they all rushed in, in the same way, into the same stocks, especially GameStop. And also, people were telling them, “Hey, if you want to get real bang for your buck, don’t even buy the stock, by way out of the money, call options on the stock RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: And then the options dealers will have to basically, as it goes up, they’ll have to buy and they’ll buy a lot more than the money that you put down. RITHOLTZ: In professional terms, that’s a gamma squeeze. JAKAB: Yes, it’s a gamma squeeze. And most of these kids — well, very few of these kids know what a gamma squeeze was, but it was all explained there. I was reading all about it on the board. I don’t think they were breaking the law because they’re talking about it openly. RITHOLTZ: Right. Right. This was no dark conspiracy. So let’s talk a little bit about WallStreetBets. When it first started to erupt, I think the knee-jerk response, and I’m as guilty as anybody, was how is this any different than the 1990s in Yahoo message boards and Raging Bull? But there was a slightly different factor. What made this so different than what we saw 30 years ago? JAKAB: So you’ve heard it, it’s a cliche by now, but it is true, more or less, that “The four most dangerous words in investing are: this time it’s different,” right? And that’s something, I’m a real student of financial history. I was really — RITHOLTZ: John Templeton very famously said that. JAKAB: Totally. And I went into this, with that echoing in my head. I go into everything with that echoing in my head. Whenever there’s a crash, or mania or panic, that people — human psychology is basically unchanged since Paleolithic times. And so the way that we react to something financially is never good, but it’s always very similar. So history rhymes, it doesn’t repeat, but it rhymes. That’s the reason. It’s the way that our brains are wired. But this was different. And — RITHOLTZ: And tell us — tell us what was different about it. JAKAB: The difference is that private companies understand psychology too. They have psychologists who work for them. They have social psychologists who work for them. And the same people who you go into a Vegas casino. And there are no clocks on the wall, there are no windows, people are bringing you drinks. The same people who designed sports gambling apps and things like that, designed social media and designed brokerage apps that that these young people were using to access this. And they induced all kinds of — they just put these speculative tendencies on steroids basically, is what they did. Social media and the investing apps together on the same device, on your smartphone, being used by the same people together — RITHOLTZ: Along with — along with WallStreetBets and Reddit. JAKAB: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: So the difference — this time was different because — and to the fact that everybody is stuck at home. Most of us got stimulus checks, so people have cash in their pocket. And there’s no gambling, there’s no sports, their usual entertainment is shut down. This really seems — and you described it in the book as a perfect storm that just teed up to send this — to use their power lens to the moon. JAKAB: Yeah. I mean, it’s so interesting because several things had to happen really all at once, for this to happen. And so I traced that and explained the social forces, because I think that’s — I mean, that’s how you tell the whole story, and it’s very interesting, but it’s also how you understand what it means going forward. And I want them, you know — and I hope that there are lessons in the book for people who invest, people who invest their own money, people on Wall Street to take away from this, to understand how it happened. Not that it’s going to happen exactly this way again because, as I said, it was a perfect storm. But you have to go back to 2018 when you had sports gambling legalized outside of Vegas, in most of the U.S. RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: And so you had all these young, mainly men, playing daily fantasy sports. They had the apps already, the FanDuel, DraftKings and what have you on their phones. And all of a sudden, they were actually gambling. There’s this legal distinction between daily fantasy sports and gambling-gambling. So it’s the only type of sports that negatively correlates with age is sports gambling. Then — RITHOLTZ: Oh, really? JAKAB: Totally. Everything else is — the older you are, the more likely you are to play slots and things like that, but not this. Then you had, in late 2019, so you had a five-year period when half of the new brokerage accounts opened in the U.S. were opened by Robinhood, which is a tiny broker, even though at this time. RITHOLTZ: Give that data point again, half of all new brokerage accounts were Robinhood/ JAKAB: Yeah. Not in dollar value because they were tiny, so the median value of those accounts was $241, which is peanuts. RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: But the number of accounts, that’s something and I would love to go into what made Robinhood possible, okay, because there’s some changes there that you need to understand but — RITHOLTZ: So let’s explore that right now. Why was Robinhood — and PS, you know, I looked at Robinhood in 2014 in a seed round and I weighed. You want to give free trading to millennials? This is the single dumbest investing idea I’ve ever heard of. And I passed on it. What made that possible, Robinhood possible, where 20 years ago, you couldn’t have had the sort of app on your phone like Robinhood? JAKAB: Well, our mutual friend Howard Lindzon was one of the early investors in Robinhood. RITHOLTZ: He’s the one who pitched me on it. JAKAB: He was? Okay. And then so he — RITHOLTZ: Literally, Howard, that’s the dumbest, blank idea I’ve ever weighed. The trades are free, and you’re giving it to the least wealthy people in the world? How are they ever going to make money? JAKAB: It was Howard in video. He was kind of a dummy about it too because he was smart enough to invest. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. JAKAB: But then he was dumb enough to say, “Guys, this is a great app. You should charge like $1 or $2 for it, like people will pay that,” which was totally wrong because the fact that — and so — RITHOLTZ: You still had to link it to a bank account. JAKAB: Right. RITHOLTZ: But you could download it for free. And once you went through the process of opening the account, that’s when you found out they need this info, they need your phone number, they need that. JAKAB: Right. RITHOLTZ: They need your bank account. And before you know it, you’ve opened up your financial life completely to Robinhood. JAKAB: And your first brokerage account and it costs 75 bucks to get out, to sort of — you know, to move your account to somewhere else. RITHOLTZ: Well, you don’t — you don’t — JAKAB: So if you have $241, you know — yeah. RITHOLTZ: You liquidate it and move on. JAKAB: Exactly. Yeah, that’s — that would be the smarter thing to do, not that their customers always did the smarter thing, but we’ll get into that later, but yeah. So they — I mean, in late 2019, every other broker said, “Well, screw this. You know, we’re — if you can’t, you know, can’t beat them, then join them.” And for a Schwab or a Fidelity that has much wealthier customers, they sell all kinds of services that Robinhood doesn’t, they’re like, “Wow, we’re going to lose some money on this, but we have to match them.” RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: And it shows you how dumb they were because they all were wringing their hands about cutting their commissions to zero. It was no longer the bulk of the money they made anyway. RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: But it was still a pretty nice chunk of change for them. And they thought that it would cost them money, and it made them money because you had an explosion in trading activity as a result of everyone going to zero and so that — there’s a psychological concept that’s not appreciated. I mean, you have — you learn all about elasticity of demand, and you learned that when things get cheaper, people will desire more of it, but it depends what kind of thing it is. RITHOLTZ: And this is only up to a point. JAKAB: Only up to a point. But there’s a special kind of product where people — once you go from costing something, it doesn’t matter how little to nothing, but people will go crazy, they will explode, and that’s specifically fun thing. And so you don’t think about buying a stock as a fun thing, but Robinhood made it fun. RITHOLTZ: It’s the same dopamine hit as gambling or getting on a roller coaster, or just a little smidgen of heroin for the weekend. JAKAB: Totally. And it’s the same thing as think about when you’re a few years old, I mean, so you’ll remember like if you had to call somebody long distance, I mean, you know, my family, my parents are immigrants and we had, you know, relatives far away. And I remember like, you know, the very rare occasion they would spring for a phone call, like everyone had to be lined up next to the phone and you got your one minute on the phone and then hand the phone to the next person. And then it was like, oh, they’re tearing their hair about how much it would cost. Now, calling anyone in the world anywhere is free, and so people do it all the time. You know, they do it way, way more than if it just cost a tiny amount of money because there’s no cost to it. There’s no incremental cost to it. RITHOLTZ: Right. And as a note with Schwab, when they — and they were the first major broker that seemed to have introduced free trading, and then all the other dominoes fell after them. When you looked at their revenue the next quarter, I think something like 59% of their pre-free revenue came from just float on cash. JAKAB: Right. RITHOLTZ: And trading volume was really, really, you know, that high single digits, low double digits. And then eventually payment for order flow more than made that up so — and a lot of assets flowed into them. So all told, this was a win-win, at least, for established Wall Street firms. JAKAB: Yeah. And they were like, “Why did we wait so long to do this? This is great.” They were all, you know, just gushing about how smart they were to do this, even though they had held off on doing it for a while. That was late 2019. And then what happened in the early 2020 is you had the pandemic, and the pandemic was just the perfect thing to kick off the speculative excess. Of course, you know, you’d had free money for many years, basically. You know, you’d have zero — RITHOLTZ: You would, low cost credit, but literal free money showing up in the mail, in the form of a check or direct deposit that kicked in the second quarter of 2020. JAKAB: Yeah. If you were 23 years old and you had been, let’s say, working, maybe living with friends. All of a sudden, you’re in mom and dad’s basement. You get this check for 1,200 bucks. You might be getting extended unemployment benefits. You’re not spending money going out every night. You know, you’re at the age where you spend money as soon as you make it. All of a sudden, you weren’t. You’re bored. You’re sitting there looking at your phone for 12 hours a day. And you’re looking at social media. All of a sudden, all these new social media people are popping up, talking about stocks, the stock market, you know, this whole rise of influencers. And so you go in — you know, your buddy tells you to open up a Robinhood account. And you opened up a Robinhood account because he already has a Robinhood account. And he’ll get — he got a free share of stock when he opened it. And he’ll get another free share of stock. Mystery, it’s like a sweepstakes because it could be a $2 stock, but it could possibly be a $50 stock, right? RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: You don’t know. It’s like a, you know — I mean, it’s like — RITHOLTZ: All told, that’s a cheap cost of acquisition for a brokerage firm, right? JAKAB: All told, the average payback period was five months for that investment. RITHOLTZ: That’s unbelievable. JAKAB: So they didn’t really need to — they did have advertisements. Their advertisers were really kind of to — kind of, you know, make themselves look good, basically. It wasn’t to get new customers. Their ads were all touchy feely, “You were born an investor. I never thought I could do this.” And the people they showed their ads are not the typical lucrative customers they had either. They were, you know, mainly female, a few older people. It was young males primarily. And the thing is most of their customers, they don’t make money on, but there’s a subset on which they make a lot of money. And so those are the people they’re trying to get. It was young, risk-seeking, you know, kind of maybe not two wise men. And as a father of three young men, I can — I know what I’m talking about. And you know, and so that’s when you had the explosion during the pandemic. And you had all this volatility which was just addictive. It was like crack cocaine, you know, you couldn’t stop. And then in the year from the pandemic bear market bottom to a year after, 96% of American stocks rose, which was crazy. RITHOLTZ: It’s huge. JAKAB: It’s unprecedented. RITHOLTZ: It’s a huge, huge number. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about the revolution that was and by using GameStop as an example, as you did so well in the book, and it has to begin with a guy whose name we now know as Keith Gill. Since this is a family station, I can only use an acronym, he went by DFV on Reddit. And on YouTube, he was Roaring Kitty. And he basically takes all of his money, some 50,000-something dollars, buys LEAPS like a year or two, off in the future, way out in the money. And this just looks like wild. So he buys calls, betting the stock will go up on GameStop, which is a couple of bucks, a buck or two, or three at that time. And he posts it without a whole lot of commentary on WallStreetBets on Reddit, just a picture of his brokerage account with the options there in his portfolio, apparently nothing else, and the phrase, “I like the stock.” JAKAB: Yeah, YOLO, you only live once. So he is a really, really fascinating character, an unusual character. And the one of the interesting things is — let me tell you that — I mean, of course, this whole history is there to be seen. But for 90% of this story, he’s there in the background, doing these videos, four-hour, five-hour long, you know, videos, talking about the stock and talking about investing, making these posts, responding to people who mainly made fun of him on his message board, like a lot — he took a lot of heat. And you know, he was — he was unusual in a lot of ways on this forum WallStreetBets. One thing is he wrote in complete sentences. The other is like he was — I mean, you might not think it’s — RITHOLTZ: He didn’t advocate people go out and buy it. He just said, “I like the stock.” JAKAB: Yeah. Right. RITHOLTZ: Basically, as much as — as much influencing as he did was “Here’s a picture of my account. I’m going to live and die on it. You guys go do you want.” JAKAB: You want a textbook example of not — how not to influence people online. RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: And that’s it. Because he was cerebral, he was polite. You know, people would kind of make fun of him. He said, “Well, that’s not the way I think about it because, you know, behavioral finance dictates that blah, blah, blah. And as I follow the teachings of Aswath Damodaran,” whatever, like, you know, stuff like that. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. No one knows NYU. JAKAB: Yeah, exactly. The valuation guru at NYU. None of these kids know who that was, you know, right? RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: I mean, and so he was just basically sort of — you know, it was like a tree falling in the woods. I mean, some people were like — you know, sometimes he would make money and then say, “Hey, you should sell.” I’m like, “No, no. no.” And then he’d lose half of it. And people who were following said, “Wow, what an idiot. You know, for the money that you lost, I could have done this and that. You could have bought a GameStop franchise.” Yeah. So he invested $53,000 of his money. He’s not a rich guy at all. He was working — he didn’t say anything about himself, by the way. And he was — and I think had he said this, he probably would have had less influence, he’s a chartered financial analyst, which was a difficult qualification to get. RITHOLTZ: CFA. Sure. One, two and three have — each have like a 50-something percent fail rate. JAKAB: Yeah. RITHOLTZ: So he’s in the industry. And then being smart and hardworking is always good. but getting a little lucky is better. And not long afterwards, along comes Michael Burry of “The Big Short” fame and basically takes a position in GameStop saying, “Hey, you know, this is a classic cigar butt. There’s some value here and there’s way too much negativity about it.” What happens from there? JAKAB: Well, I’ll tell you, this is interesting too because I won’t say the entire name, but DFV is Deep Effing Value. So value is part of his moniker. And he was upset, he said, you know, “Thanks a lot, Burry, for jacking up my cost basis,” because — RITHOLTZ: I can’t buy more. JAKAB: Well, he said, “Now it’s going to be more expensive to buy more.” Thanks for nothing. RITHOLTZ: Right. You would build the position over a couple of years. The technical term is pyramiding. You keep adding to an existing position as prices gradually rise, but they practically doubled overnight. JAKAB: Right. And he — and most people, I mean, 99.9% of people on this board would be like — RITHOLTZ: Especially option traders. JAKAB: — “I bought these options and, like, now doubled my money, you know, because the stock went up, because Michael Burry shows up, who was played by Christian Bale. That’s why most people think of Christian — RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: — the picture of Christian Bale instead of Michael Burry himself. RITHOLTZ: At the drum set in “The Big Short.” JAKAB: Yeah. Totally. And so — and people are like, “What’s wrong with you? Like, you should sell.” Like, you know, he — this is like a stroke of luck. And it’s not how he viewed it at all, which is a very rare form of thinking. So he — I think like — RITHOLTZ: He was surprisingly long time for someone buying options. JAKAB: Totally. And I think — I would not be surprised if this guy shows up one day, five years, 10 years, maybe not even that long, you know, managing some kind of value fund, just sort of like a kind of a hip Warren Buffett or something, because he really — he has that way of thinking. First of all, obviously, he has analytical chops by having had a CFA — RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: — maybe not Buffett-like, but he certainly knows what he’s talking about. But he just has that kind of unusual way of looking at things and inverting things that you need for success. But at the same time, as we’ll see later, he’s got that — you know, he’s cool and young. And he was 33, 34 during this episode. And the point at which he became really super influential, one of the most followed people on the planet, basically, for a couple of weeks, he wasn’t posting any kind of analysis. You know, he was like — he became the hero briefly of this whole movement. RITHOLTZ: So following Michael Burry, not much longer than that, Ryan Cohen, who is the founder of Chewy, which essentially is the most successful online pet food and goods store, essentially what Pets.com couldn’t do, Chewy became. And Ryan Cohen then says, “Hey, we think GameStop can become an online purveyor of video games. Forget the brick-and-mortar, that’s just where they were. Let’s talk about the future.” And now, the stock takes another leg up from $1 and $2and $3 to $5 and $10. Tell us what happens next. JAKAB: Yeah. So he shows up, and then things start to get interesting. It starts going up to the point that it was at the point that Deep Effing Value would have sold. You know, he said, like, “I think, you know, this” — he had made enough money, he was a millionaire. RITHOLTZ: Right. On paper. JAKAB: Just a million, just 1 million, 1 million then 2 million, a couple of million, no big deal and life-changing money for him. RITHOLTZ: Before taxes? JAKAB: Exactly. Before taxes. But then a light bulb goes off. And even before this, a light bulb kind of went off in his head, some months before, because someone had pointed out on this board, like, “Hey, this could be the greatest short squeeze of your life.” RITHOLTZ: The mother of all short squeeze. JAKAB: The mother of all short squeezes, you know, the kind of the Saddam language. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. JAKAB: And it briefly doubled, and then settled back down. But that was a foretaste and that’s the first time he mentioned like, “Hey, in addition to all the good stuff I think about GameStop, there’s this additional possibility, I’m not going to really count on it, there could be a short squeeze.” Because, you know, the thing that GameStop and the other, they call the meme stocks, you know, had in common was that they’re all kind of losers. They weren’t — RITHOLTZ: AMC, the big movie chain, which was dying on the vine during the pandemic; Hertz, which had already declared bankruptcy and was waiting for the court to just dole out the assets, which is insane. What were some of the other ones that — JAKAB: Blackberry, remember those? RITHOLTZ: That’s right. Nokia was another one that popped up. JAKAB: Yes. RITHOLTZ: Like, we used to call — JAKAB: Bed Bath & Beyond. RITHOLTZ: We used to call that dumpster diving, when you’re looking through the wreckage on Wall Street to find that cigar stub, what can I still smoke that someone else has thrown away? JAKAB: And 2020 was possibly the worst year ever for short sellers, for people who bet that stocks are going to decline, usually by borrowing the stock and selling it. So basically, they opened themselves up to unlimited losses, in theory, and limited gains. And so 2020 was a terrible year. You had all kinds of dumb stuff going up, that they were betting against, Nikola and you know, I can go on and on and on about them. RITHOLTZ: So let’s put — let’s put some flesh on those bones, and this is data from the book. In the 2020 market, we saw a 34% drop. And then beginning on March 25th, markets rallied to finish up more than 20% for the year. And during that year, short sellers lost collectively $245 billion, which is pretty astounding. But then when you look at the three months leading into January 2021, when the meme stocks really exploded, a basket of the 50 most shorted stocks that had a market cap of at least a billion dollars, that basket doubled. Those are some insane stats if you’re a short seller. JAKAB: Yeah. That is just a world of pain if you’re a short seller. And so think about it, if you’re — I mean, there are people out there, Jim Chanos and what have you, who are dedicated short sellers. There are a lot more people out there who have short selling as part of their strategy. That’s the bulk of short selling, RITHOLTZ: Right. Some people just find bad companies to bet against them. Others run what’s called like 130-30, a long/short portfolio, where you’re 130% long and then 30% short. So net, you’re 100% long, but you have a hedge if the market goes down. And you bet that, the worst stocks will fall more than the best stocks. JAKAB: Totally. And that’s usually a smart bet because usually you don’t worry about something terrible happening to you, being ruined, right? I mean, you don’t think “What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen?” Then you bet against GameStop. And let’s say somebody shows — the best buyer shows up and buys it — RITHOLTZ: Pays double. JAKAB: Pays double. Okay. You had a really bad day. RITHOLTZ: (Inaudible), right? JAKAB: Right. You got a terrible day, but that’s it. Not a terrible day, but you had a bad day. It’s probably some small part of your — RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: — huge portfolio. And so what these meme stocks had in common was that they’re all losers like that. They’re all companies that have not made money in years, were headed for bet possible bankruptcy, were sort of just anachronisms like Blackberry. They’re the companies, like in 2001, were sort of hot, not in 2021, right? And so, they were in a horrible year for short selling, they felt safe betting against these companies, but they felt too safe. And that was the kind of the dry kindling that started this fire was that they felt so safe betting against some of these companies, that their short positions left them no exit if things really went wrong. But no one — as we said, at the beginning of the show, it’s not like you and I, it would be illegal for us to gang up and say, “Hey, I happen to know that XYZ hedge fund is very heavily short this thing. And we can ambush him by basically colluding, putting all our money together, and pushing it, you know, to the moon.” But because then he would be forced to buy back, then his money — he would pile his buying on top of ours to buy back the stock, and then there’ll be a stampede for the sort of — it’s like shouting fire in a crowded theater. RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: Short squeezes happen all the time, but you don’t — like those ambushes, they used to happen before there was an SEC. Now, you can’t do that. RITHOLTZ: So again, more data points, you know, a normal stock, a billion dollar-plus stock might have a short interest of 10% or 20%. If that gets up to 30%, 40%, 50%, that’s called a crowded short, “Hey, too many people are betting against it.” Some of these small cap and micro-cap stocks had shortest interests of 80%, 90%, 100%. GameStop had a short interest of 140%. This was a lot of dry kindling and people lighting sparks, wasn’t it? JAKAB: It totally was. I mean, 140% of the float. And people — and of course, there are ongoing sort of, you know, complaints and conspiracy theories, like that’s illegal. You can’t — you know, it is not illegal because there’s a process called rehypothecation, where if you — you know, if you go in the market today and you buy a stock, and then it’s in your account at Schwab or whatever, Schwab might lend that stock out even if you purchase that stock from a short seller. They don’t know where it came from. So — RITHOLTZ: Right. A stock can rehypothecate that and — RITHOLTZ: Right. Right. It could be lent twice or three times. It happens. RITHOLTZ: Right. There’s no ceiling on the amount of short interest other than, hey, at 200% or 300%, you know, it’s financial suicide. At a 100%, there’s no room for error — JAKAB: No, no. RITHOLTZ: — you know, as we clearly saw. So let’s talk a little bit about short selling, and what’s good and bad about it. But I got to start by asking about a story you tell about the history of the paperwork crisis on Wall Street, and how does that relate to what’s going on with Reddit and GameStop, and the meme stocks? Tell us about the paperwork crisis. JAKAB: Sure. Well, there’s a great book by John Brooks called “The Go-Go Years,” where I think I first heard about that. I’ve read about it in other places, too. But the paperwork crisis was something that happened during a previous speculative mania in the late 1960s, when you had just an explosion in trading activity. And this was before things were computerized. RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: There was so much paperwork, in fact, that the stock market had to be for a long, long time closed on Wednesdays, just in order to allow people to catch up, you know, settling all the trades and making — RITHOLTZ: This was the Nifty Fifty era and a lot of stocks. The postwar bull market was still running from, you know, the late ‘40s right up to the mid ‘60s. Wall Street was hot. JAKAB: Wall Street was hot. And that was at a time that it was really expensive to trade, which is the — that’s the reason that I — one reason that I brought it up because it wasn’t until 1975 that commissions were deregulated. So for years and years and years, this is a complaint saying that, like, brokers could charge fixed commissions, and it was just really expensive for brokers to help themselves to your money, basically, on Wall Street. RITHOLTZ: Right. JAKAB: So you know, all these people who were involved in this never could have been involved because the hurdle, financially, to get into trading was just too high, and then you couldn’t be hyperactive, and even then people were hyperactive. Then when you brought commissions down, and down and down, you know, you had dot-com and whatever, and then — you know, then now you had this, which was — RITHOLTZ: That was $8 tradings down to — now to free. JAKAB: Down to free, that kind of makes it a little bit easier for there to be a speculative mania. And so, that was just kind of part of the kind of long arc of history on Wall Street that I tell, and yeah, and so making it free. You really crossed the Rubicon, but even making it cheaper made things easier. Of course, it’s made cheaper in the middle of the worst decade ever really, except the 1930s. For Wall Street, 1975 was a terrible time. You know, if you had gone to like these brokers with like, you know, sideburns and white ties and polyester suits and stuff in 1975, who were like having a terrible time financially in 1975, and you’re like, “Oh, this is the first step in, you know, this kind of revolution.?.....»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureJul 12th, 2022

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

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJul 11th, 2022

5 ETFs That Gained Double Digits in Thursday"s Session

U.S. stock markets have stabilized in July, with all three gauges notching their fourth consecutive wins. After logging their worst first-half performance in decades on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, tightening monetary policy and surging prices, U.S. stock markets have stabilized in July, with all three gauges notching their fourth consecutive wins. The rally followed a drop in Treasury yields, whose rapid rise this year has made the technology sector one of the worst-performing in the stock market.The Nasdaq Composite Index has been the outperformer, jumping 2.3% — its longest winning streak since March. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index has climbed more than 1% so far this year — its longest winning streak since March. Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF RIGZ, VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF DAPP, iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF IBLC, Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF WGMI and Global X Blockchain ETF BKCH has been the biggest beneficiary in Thursday’s trading session, gaining in double digits.Notably, chipmakers injected optimism in the tech sector after South Korea’s Samsung posted an 11% jump in profit and a 21% surge in revenues for the latest quarter on strong sales of memory chips. The latest Fed minutes showed that the central bank is committed to bringing down inflation that has driven investors’ sentiment (read: 6 Reasons Why Tech ETFs May Rebound Soon).Additionally, the strong sell-off in commodities price over the past few days has bolstered the risk apetite.Let’s dig into the detail of the above-mentioned ETFs:Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF (RIGZ)Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF is an actively managed ETF focused on the securities of companies that engage in Bitcoin mining, holding 21 stocks in its basket.Viridi Cleaner Energy Crypto-Mining & Semiconductor ETF has attracted $5.6 million in its asset base. It charges 90 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 6,000 shares.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP)VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF aims to offer exposure to companies that are at the forefront of the digital asset transformation, such as digital asset exchanges, payment gateways, digital asset mining operations, software services, equipment and technology or services to the digital asset operations, digital asset infrastructure businesses or companies facilitating commerce with the use of digital assets. VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF tracks the MVIS Global Digital Assets Equity Index and holds 25 securities in its basket.VanEck Vectors Digital Transformation ETF charges 50 bps in annual fees and trades in an average daily volume of 122,000. DAPP has accumulated $25 million in its asset base.iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC)iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF seeks exposure to a wide variety of companies that are involved in the development, innovation, and utilization of blockchain and crypto technologies. It follows the NYSE FactSet Global Blockchain Technologies Index and holds 33 stocks in its basket (read: Bitcoin to Soar 40% to $28K by Year-End? ETFs to Play).iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF has gathered $4.7 million in its asset base and charges 47 bps in annual fees. It trades in a volume of 8,000 shares per day on average.Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI)Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF is an actively managed ETF that will invest at least 80% of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) in securities of companies that derive at least 50% of their revenue or profits from bitcoin mining operations and/or from providing specialized chips, hardware and software or other services to companies engaged in bitcoin mining. Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF is an actively managed ETF that holds 24 stocks in its basket with an expense ratio of 0.75%.Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF has amassed $3.1 million in its asset base while trades in an average dialy volume of 12,000 shares.Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH)Global X Blockchain ETF seeks to invest in companies positioned to benefit from the increased adoption of blockchain technology, including companies in digital asset mining, blockchain & digital asset transactions, blockchain applications, blockchain & digital asset hardware, and blockchain & digital asset integration. Global X Blockchain ETF holds 25 stocks in its basket with a double-digit allocation to the top firm (read: Top & Flop Zones of First Half 2022 and Their ETF).Global X Blockchain ETF has gathered $47 million in its asset base and trades in an average daily volume of 179,000 shares. It charges 50 bps in annual fees. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. It’s a little-known chemical company that’s up 65% over last year, yet still dirt cheap. With unrelenting demand, soaring 2022 earnings estimates, and $1.5 billion for repurchasing shares, retail investors could jump in at any time. This company could rival or surpass other recent Zacks’ Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in little more than 9 months and NVIDIA which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Global X Blockchain ETF (BKCH): ETF Research Reports VanEck Digital Transformation ETF (DAPP): ETF Research Reports Viridi Bitcoin Miners ETF (RIGZ): ETF Research Reports Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF (WGMI): ETF Research Reports iShares Blockchain and Tech ETF (IBLC): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJul 10th, 2022

These 46 pitch decks helped fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking raise millions in funding

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

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 30th, 2022

Stocks, Cryptos Tumble To Close Out Catastrophic First-Half

Stocks, Cryptos Tumble To Close Out Catastrophic First-Half It was supposed to be a 7% ramp into month-end on billions in pension fund residual buying. Instead, it ended up being more or less the opposite, with crypto-led liquidations dragging futures and global markets lower, and extending Wednesday losses after central bankers issued warnings on inflation and fueled concern that aggressive policy will end with a hard-landing recession, which increasingly more now see as being 2022 business, an outcome that now appears assured especially after yesterday's disastrous guidance cut from RH, the second in three weeks! Recession fears and inflation woes may be prolonged by today's PCE deflator report. The consumer price gauge favored by the Fed may have picked up to 6.4% last month from 6.3%. Personal income growth probably edged up but Bloomberg Economics highlights an anticipated decline in real personal spending as a major worry. Meanwhile, China’s economy showed further signs of improvement in June with a strong pickup in services and construction, even if the latest Chinese PMI print came slightly below expectations. Also overnight, Russia said it withdrew troops from Ukraine’s Snake Island in the Black Sea after Ukraine said its forces drove Russian troops from the area. In any case, with zero demand from pensions so far (even though the continued selling in stocks and buying in bonds will only make the imabalnce bigger), overnight Nasdaq 100 contracts dropped 1.8% while S&P 500 futures declined 1.3%, and cryptos crumbled, with bitcoin dragged back below $19000 and Ether on the verge of sliding below $1000. The tech-heavy gauge managed to end Wednesday’s trading slightly higher, while the S&P 500 fell for a third straight day. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index slid 1.9%. Treasuries gained, the dollar was steady and gold declined and crude oil futures edged lower again. Which brings us to the last trading day of a quarter for the history books: the S&P 500 is set for its biggest 1H decline since 1970 and the Nasdaq 100 since 2002, the height of the dot.com bust. The Stoxx 600 is set for the worst 1H since 2008, the height of the GFC.  Traders have ramped up bets that the global economy will buckle under central bank tightening campaigns -- and that policy makers will eventually backpedal. The bond market shifted to price in a half-point rate cut in the Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate at some point in 2023. On Wednesday, during the annual ECB annual forum, Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his counterparts in Europe and the UK warned inflation is going to be longer lasting. A view that central banks need to act fast on rates because they misjudged inflation has roiled markets this year, with global stocks about to close out their worst quarter since the three months ended March 2020. “Markets are worried about growth as central bankers continue to emphasize that bringing down inflation is their overriding objective, and that it may take time to bring inflation down,” said Esty Dwek, chief investment officer at Flowbank SA. “We still haven’t seen total capitulation in markets, so further downside is possible.” Meanwhile, the cost of insuring European junk bonds against default crossed 600 basis points for the first time in two years on Thursday. And speaking of Europe, stocks are also down over 2% in early trading, with all sectors in the red. DAX and CAC underperform at the margin with autos, consumer discretionary and banking sectors the weakest within the Stoxx 600.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Uniper shares slump as much as 23% after the German utility withdrew its outlook and said it was discussing a possible bailout from the German government following Russia’s move to curb natural gas deliveries. SAP sinks as much as 6.5% after Exane BNP Paribas downgraded stock to neutral from outperform, saying it sees risks on demand side in the near term as software spending decisions come under increased scrutiny. Sanofi shares decline as much as 4.5% after the French drugmaker said the FDA placed late-stage clinical trials of tolebrutinib on partial hold in US because of concerns about liver injuries. European semiconductor stocks fell, following peers in the US and Asia lower amid growing concerns that the industry might face a downturn soon as chip stockpiles build. ASML drops as much as 3.4%, Infineon -4.1%, STMicro -3.1% Norsk Hydro shares slide as much as 6% amid metals decline and as DNB cuts the stock to sell from hold, citing concerns about rising aluminum supply. Stainless steel stocks in Europe fall, with Morgan Stanley saying the settlement on the latest ferrochrome benchmark missed its expectations. Outokumpu shares down as much as 6.6%, Aperam -7.2%, Acerinox -4% Saab shares jump as much as 8.4%, after getting an order worth SEK7.3b from the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration for GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft. Orsted shares rise as much as 2.5%, before paring some of the gains. HSBC raises to buy from hold, saying any further downside for the wind farm operator looks limited. Bunzl shares rise as much as 2.6% after the specialist distribution company said it now expects very good revenue growth in 2022. Grifols shares rise as much as 7.8% after slumping on Wednesday, as the company says that the board isn’t analyzing any capital increase “for the time being.” Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell for a second day as tech-heavy indexes in Taiwan and South Korea continued to get pummeled amid concerns over the potential for aggressive monetary tightening in the US to rein in inflation.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 1.2%, dragged down by technology shares including TSMC, Alibaba and Tencent. Taiwan slid more than 2%, while gauges in Japan, South Korea, Australia dropped more than 1%.  Stocks in mainland China rose more than 1% after the economy showed further signs of improvement in June with a strong pickup in services and construction as Covid outbreaks and restrictions were gradually eased. Traders are also watching Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Hong Kong, his first time outside of the mainland since 2020.  Asian stocks are struggling to recover from a May low as the threat of higher US rates outweighs China’s emergence from strict Covid lockdowns and its pledge of stimulus measures. While mainland Chinese stocks led gains globally this month, the rest of the markets in the region -- especially those heavy with technology stocks and exporters -- saw hefty outflows of foreign funds.  “Investors continue to assess recession and also inflation risks,” Marcella Chow, JPMorgan Asset Management’s global market strategist, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “This tightening path has actually increased the chance of a slower economic growth going forward and probably has brought forward the recession risks.” Asian stocks are set to post a more than 12% loss this quarter, the worst since the one ended March 2020 during the pandemic-induced global market rout. Japanese stocks declined after the release of China’s data on manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMIs that showed slower than expected improvements.  The Topix Index fell 1.2% to 1,870.82 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei declined 1.5% to 26,393.04. Sony Group contributed the most to the Topix Index decline, falling 3.4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 531 rose and 1,574 fell, while 65 were unchanged. “Although China is recovering from a lockdown, business sentiment in the manufacturing industry is deteriorating around the world,” said Tomo Kinoshita, global market strategist at Invesco Asset Management China’s Economy Shows Signs of Improvement as Covid Eases. Indian stock indexes posted their biggest quarterly loss since March 2020 as the global equity market stays rattled by high inflation and a weakening outlook for economic growth.  The S&P BSE Sensex ended little changed at 53,018.94 in Mumbai on Thursday, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.1%. The gauges shed more than 9% each in the June quarter, their biggest drop since the outbreak of pandemic shook the global markets in March 2020. The main indexes have fallen for all but one month this year as surging cost pressures forced India’s central bank to raise rates twice and tighten liquidity conditions. The selloff is also partly driven by record foreign outflows of more than $28b this year.  Despite the turmoil in global markets, Indian stocks have underperformed most Asian peers, partly helped by inflows from local institutions, which made net purchases of more than $30b of local stocks. “Investors worry that the latest show of central bank determination to tame inflation will slow economies rapidly,” HDFC Securities analyst Deepak Jasani wrote in a note.  Fourteen of the 19 sector sub-gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. fell Thursday, with metal stocks leading the plunge. The expiry of monthly derivative contracts also weighed on markets. For the June quarter, metal stocks were the worst performers, dropping 31% while information technology gauge fell 22%. Automakers led the three advancing sectors with 11.3% gain. Australian stocks also tumbled, with the S&P/ASX 200 index falling 2% to close at 6,568.10, weighed down by losses in mining, utilities and energy stocks.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.8% to 10,868.70 In rates, treasuries advanced, led by the belly of the curve. German bonds surged, led by the short-end and outperforming Treasuries. US yields richer by as much as 5.4bp across front-end and belly of the curve which outperforms, steepening 2s10s, 5s30s by 2bp and 2.8bp; wider bull-steepening move in progress for German curve with yields richer by up to 13.5bp across front-end with 2s10s wider by 3.5bp on the day. US 10-year yields around 3.055%, richer by 3.5bp. Money markets aggressively trimmed ECB tightening bets on relief that French June inflation didn’t come in above the median estimate. Bonds also benefitted from haven buying as stocks slide. Month-end extension flows may continue to support long-end of the Treasuries curve. bunds outperform by 7bp in the sector. IG issuance slate empty so far; Celanese Corp. pushed back plans to issue in euros and dollars, most likely to next week, after deals struggled earlier this week. Focal points of US session include PCE deflator and MNI Chicago PMI.  In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady as the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers. The yen advanced and Antipodean currencies were steady against the greenback. French inflation quickened to the fastest since the euro was introduced. Steeper increases in energy and food costs drove consumer-price growth to 6.5% in June from 5.8% in May . Sweden’s krona swung to a loss. It briefly advanced earlier after the Riksbank raised its policy rate by 50bps, as expected, signaled faster rate hikes and a quicker trimming of the balance sheet. The pound rose, snapping three days of losses against the dollar. UK household incomes are on their longest downward trend on record, as the nation’s cost of living crisis saps the spending power of British households. Separate figures showed that the current-account deficit widened sharply to £51.7 billion ($63 billion) in the first quarter. The yen rose and the Japan’s bonds inched up. The BOJ kept the amount and frequencies of planned bond purchases unchanged in the July-September period. The Australian dollar reversed a loss after data showed China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index rose above 50 for the first time since February in a sign of improvement in the world’s second largest economy. Bitcoin is on track for its worst quarter in more than a decade, as more hawkish central banks and a string of high-profile crypto blowups hammer sentiment. The 58% drawdown in the biggest cryptocurrency is the largest since the third quarter of 2011, when Bitcoin was still in its infancy, data compiled by Bloomberg show. In commodities, WTI trades a narrow range, holding below $110. Brent trades either side of $116. Most base metals trade in the red; LME zinc falls 3.1%, underperforming peers. Spot gold falls roughly $3 to trade near $1,814/oz. Bitcoin slumps over 6% before finding support near $19,000. Looking to the day ahead now, data releases include German retail sales for May and unemployment for June, French CPI for June, the Euro Area unemployment rate for May, Canadian GDP for April, whilst the US has personal income and personal spending for May, the weekly initial jobless claims, and the MNI Chicago PMI for June. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.2% to 3,775.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 1.8% to 406.18 MXAP down 1.0% to 158.01 MXAPJ down 1.1% to 524.78 Nikkei down 1.5% to 26,393.04 Topix down 1.2% to 1,870.82 Hang Seng Index down 0.6% to 21,859.79 Shanghai Composite up 1.1% to 3,398.62 Sensex up 0.2% to 53,136.59 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 2.0% to 6,568.06 Kospi down 1.9% to 2,332.64 Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,814.91 US Dollar Index little changed at 105.04 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.42% Euro little changed at $1.0443 Brent Futures down 0.4% to $115.85/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The surge in the dollar has set Asian currencies on course for their worst quarter since the 1997 financial crisis and created a dilemma for central bankers French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the EU can deliver the global minimum corporate tax with or without the support of Hungary, circumventing Budapest’s veto earlier this month just as the bloc was on the brink of a agreement German unemployment unexpectedly rose, snapping 15 straight months of decline as refugees from the war in Ukraine were included in those searching for work The SNB bought foreign exchange worth 5.7 billion francs ($5.96 billion) in the first quarter of 2022 as the franc sharply appreciated against the euro and briefly touched parity in March The ECB plans to ask the region’s lenders to factor in the economic hit of a potential cut off of Russian gas when considering payouts to shareholders European stocks were poised for their biggest drop in any half-year period since 2008, as investors focused on the prospects for economic slowdown and stubbornly high inflation in the region New Zealand will enter a recession next year that could be deeper than expected, Bank of New Zealand economists said after a survey showed business sentiment continues to slump A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were varied at month-end amid a slew of data releases including mixed Chinese PMIs. ASX 200 was dragged lower by weakness in energy, miners and the top-weighted financials sector. Nikkei 225 declined after disappointing Industrial Production data and with Tokyo raising its virus infection level. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were somewhat mixed with Hong Kong indecisive and the mainland underpinned after the latest Chinese PMI data in which Manufacturing PMI printed below estimates but Non-Manufacturing PMI firmly surpassed forecasts and along with Composite PMI, all returned to expansion territory. Top Asian News NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg said China's growing assertiveness has consequences for the security of allies, while he added China is not our adversary, but we must be clear-eyed about the serious challenges it presents. US blacklisted 5 Chinese firms for allegedly helping Russia in which Connec Electronic, King Pai Technology, Sinno Electronics, Winnine Electronic and World Jetta Logistics were added to the entity list which restricts access to US technology, according to WSJ. Japan's government cut its assessment of industrial production and noted that production is weakening, while it stated that Japan's motor vehicle production declined 8% M/M and that industrial production likely saw the largest impact of Shanghai's COVID-19 lockdown in May, according to Reuters. Tokyo metropolitan government will reportedly increase COVID infections level to the second-highest, according to FNN. It’s been a downbeat session for global equities thus far as sentiment deteriorates further. European bourses are lower across the board, with losses extending during early European hours. European sectors are all in the red but portray a clear defensive bias. Stateside, US equity futures have succumbed to the glum mood, with the NQ narrowly underperforming. Top European News Riksbank hiked its Rate by 50bps to 0.75% as expected, and said the rate will be raised further and it will be close to 2% at the start of 2023. Bank said the balance sheet its to shrink faster than previously flagged, and suggested that policy rate will increase faster if needed. Click here for details. Riksbank's Ingves said inflation over forecast probably not enough for Riksbank to hold extra policy meeting in summer. Ingves added that if the situation requires a 75bps hike, then Riksbank will carry out a 75bps hike. Orsted Gains as HSBC Upgrades With Shares Seen ‘Good Value’ Aston Martin Extends Losses as Carmaker Reportedly Seeking Funds Climate Litigants Look Beyond Big Oil for Their Day in Court Ukraine Latest: Putin Warns NATO on Moving Military to Nordics FX DXY extends on gains above 105.00, but could see more upside on safe haven demand and residual rebalancing flows over fixes - EUR/USD inches towards 1.0400 to the downside. Yen regroups as yields drop and risk sentiment deteriorates to compound corrective price action. Franc unwinds some of its recent outperformance and Loonie lose traction from oil ahead of Canadian GDP. Swedish Crown unable to take advantage of hawkish Riksbank hike in face of risk aversion - Eur/Sek stuck in a rut close to 10.7000. Pound finds some underlying bids into 1.2100 and Kiwi at 0.6200, while Aussie holds above 0.6850 with encouragement from China’s services PMI that also propped the Yuan. Fixed Income Bonds on bull run into month, quarter and half year end - Bunds top 148.00 at best, Gilts approach 113.50 and 10 year T-note just a tick away from 118-00. Debt in demand on safe haven grounds rather than duration as curves steepen on less hawkish/more dovish market pricing. Italian supply comfortably covered to keep BTP futures propped ahead of US PCE data and yet another speech from ECB President Lagarde. Commodities WTI and Brent front-month futures are resilient to the broader risk downturn, and firmer Dollar as OPEC+ member members gear up for what is expected to be a smooth meeting. Spot gold is uneventful but dipped under yesterday's low, with potential support at the 15th June low at USD 1,806.59/oz. Base metals are softer across the board amid the broader risk profile. Dalian and Singapore iron ore futures were on track for quarterly losses. Ship with 7,000 tonnes of grain leaves Ukraine port, according to pro-Russia officials cited by AFP. US Event Calendar 08:30: June Initial Jobless Claims, est. 229,000, prior 229,000 08:30: June Continuing Claims, est. 1.32m, prior 1.32m 08:30: May Personal Income, est. 0.5%, prior 0.4% 08:30: May Personal Spending, est. 0.4%, prior 0.9% 08:30: May Real Personal Spending, est. -0.3%, prior 0.7% 08:30: May PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.7%, prior 0.2% 08:30: May PCE Deflator YoY, est. 6.4%, prior 6.3% 08:30: May PCE Core Deflator YoY, est. 4.8%, prior 4.9% 08:30: May PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3% 09:45: June MNI Chicago PMI, est. 58.0, prior 60.3 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap We’ve just released the results of our monthly EMR survey that we conducted at the start of the week. It makes for some interesting reading, and we’re now at the point where 90% of respondents are expecting a US recession by end-2023, which is up from just 35% in our December survey. That echoes our own economists’ view that we’re going to get a recession in H2 2023, and just shows how sentiment has shifted since the start of the year as central banks have begun hiking rates. When it comes to people’s views on where markets are headed next, most are expecting many of the themes from H1 to continue, with a 72% majority thinking that the S&P 500 is more likely to fall to 3,300 rather than rally to 4,500 from current levels, whilst 60% think that Treasury yields will hit 5% first rather than 1%. Click here to see the full results. When it comes to negative sentiment we’ll have to see what today brings us as we round out the first half of the year, but if everything remains unchanged today we’re currently set to end H1 with the S&P 500 off to its worst H1 since 1970 in total return terms. And there’s been little respite from bonds either, with US Treasuries now down by -9.79% since the start of the year, so it’s been bad news for traditional 60/40 type portfolios. Ultimately, a large reason for that has been investors’ fears that ongoing rate hikes to deal with inflation will end up leading to a recession, and yesterday saw a continuation of that theme, with Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde and BoE Governor Bailey all reiterating their intentions in a panel at the ECB’s Forum to return inflation back to target. In terms of that panel, there weren’t any major headlines on policy we weren’t already aware of, although there was a collective acknowledgement of the risk that inflation could become entrenched over time and the need to deal with that. Fed Chair Powell described the US economy as in “strong shape”, but one that ultimately requires much tighter financial conditions to bring inflation back to target. Year-end fed funds expectations remained steady in response, down just -0.7bps to 3.45%. However, further out the curve the simmering slower growth narrative continued to grip markets and sent 10yr Treasury yields -8.2bps lower to 3.09%, and the 2s10s another -1.1bps flatter to 4.7bps. In line with a tighter Fed policy path and slower growth, 10yr breakevens drove the move in nominal yields, falling -8.2bps to 2.39%, their lowest levels since January, having entirely erased the gains seen after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when it peaked above 3% at one point in April. Along with 2s10s flattening, the Fed’s preferred measure of the near-term risk of recession, the forward spread (the 18m3m – 3m), similarly flattened by -5.7bps, hitting its lowest level in nearly four months at 154bps. And thismorning there’s only been a partial reversal of these trends, with 10yr Treasury yields (+1.3bps) edging back up to 3.10% as we go to press. Over in equities, the S&P 500 bounced around but finished off of its intraday lows with just a -0.07% decline, again with the macro view likely skewed by quarter-end rebalancing of portfolios. The NASDAQ was similarly little changed on the day, falling a mere -0.03%. In terms of the ECB, President Lagarde said on that same panel that she didn’t think “we are going back to that environment of low inflation” that was present before the pandemic. But when it came to the actual data yesterday there was a pretty divergent picture. On the one hand, Spain’s CPI for June surprised significantly on the upside, with the annual inflation rising to +10.0% (vs. +8.7% expected) on the EU’s harmonised measure. But on the other, the report from Germany then surprised some way beneath expectations, coming in at +8.2% on the EU-harmonised measure (vs. +8.8% expected). So mixed messages ahead of the flash CPI print for the entire Euro Area tomorrow. As in the US, there was a significant rally in European sovereign bonds, with yields on 10yr bunds (-10.7bps), OATs (-10.7bps) and BTPs (-16.0bps) all moving lower on the day. Equities also lost significant ground amidst the risk-off tone, and the STOXX 600 shed -0.67% as it caught up with the US losses from the previous session. That risk-off tone was witnessed in credit as well, where iTraxx Crossover widened +21.5bps to a post-pandemic high. At the same time, there were further concerns in Europe on the energy side, with natural gas futures up by +8.06% to a three-month high of €139 per megawatt-hour, which follows a reduction in capacity yesterday at Norway’s Martin Linge field because of a compressor failure. Whilst monetary policy has been the main focus for markets lately, we did get some headlines on the fiscal side yesterday too, with a report from Bloomberg that Senate Democrats were working on an economic package that had smaller tax increases in order to reach a deal with moderate Democratic senator Joe Manchin. For reference, the Democrats only have a majority in the split 50-50 senate thanks to Vice President Harris’ tie-breaking vote, so they need every Democrat Senator on board in order to pass legislation. According to the report, the plan would be worth around $1 trillion, with half allocated to new spending, and the other half cutting the deficit by $500bn over the next decade. Overnight in Asia we’ve seen a mixed market performance overnight. Most indices are trading lower, including the Nikkei (-1.45%) and the Kospi (-0.81%), but Chinese equities have put in a stronger performance after an improvement in China’s PMIs in June, and the CSI 300 (+1.62%) and the Shanghai Comp (+1.31%) have both risen. That came as manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in four months, with the PMI up to 50.2 in June (vs. 50.5 expected) from 49.6 in May. At the same time, the non-manufacturing climbed to 54.7 points in June, up from 47.8 in May, which also marked the first time it’d been above the 50 mark since February. Nevertheless, that positivity among Chinese equities are proving the exception, with equity futures in the US and Europe pointing lower, with those on the S&P 500 (-0.28%) looking forward to a 4th consecutive daily decline as concerns about a recession persist. When it came to other data yesterday, the third estimate of US GDP for Q1 saw growth revised down to an annualised contraction of -1.6% (vs. -1.5% second estimate). Separately, the Euro Area’s M3 money supply grew by +5.6% year-on-year in May (vs. +5.8% expected), which is the slowest pace since February 2020. To the day ahead now, data releases include German retail sales for May and unemployment for June, French CPI for June, the Euro Area unemployment rate for May, Canadian GDP for April, whilst the US has personal income and personal spending for May, the weekly initial jobless claims, and the MNI Chicago PMI for June. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 07:58.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 30th, 2022