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How to soak up the sun safely

Summer should mean sunscreen – and a lot of it. Not only does sunscreen safeguard against sunburn and skin cancer, it also protects against early skin aging. People of all ages and ethnicities are at risk for developing skin cancer. Over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. “A common misconception is that if you have a darker skin tone you won’t get skin cancer or sun damage,” said Dr. Lindsay….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 14th, 2022

Futures Drift Lower After Kremlin Dashes Ukraine Peace Hopes; Curve Inversion Persists

Futures Drift Lower After Kremlin Dashes Ukraine Peace Hopes; Curve Inversion Persists After yesterday's explosive session, which saw stocks trade in violent kneejerk response to conflicting headlines out of Ukraine at first, only to post the biggest ever post FOMC reversal, as markets realized that the Fed's overly hawkish ambitions are too great and doom the rapidly slowing economy to an accelerated recession, overnight trading has been positively subdued with emini S&P futs trading in a tight 20 point range between 4,340 and 4,360 until 6 am ET, when European stocks turned negative and US equity futures suddenly dropped as much as 0.5%, after the Kremlin said reports of major progress in Ukraine talks are "wrong" and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissed reports that the warring parties are moving toward a settlement, blaming Kyiv for slowing the negotiations, crippling any hope for a quick ceasefire deal and adding to worries about the outlook for economic growth as the Federal Reserve’s campaign against inflation gets underway. Futures were already wavering as the bond market flagged a growing risk that the Fed’s efforts to rein in prices could trigger an economic downturn with the 5s10s curve inverting. Ominously, Brent jumped more than $5/bbl after tumbling below $100 yesterday. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 dipped 0.4% by 7:30 a.m. in New York, while S&P 500 futures were 0.34% lower. The benchmark S&P 500 on Wednesday posted its best two-day rally since April 2020 as the Fed hiked interest rates by a quarter point and Chair Jerome Powell signaled the economy could weather tighter monetary policy. Gold and 10Y yields dropped to session lows, and bitcoin was modestly lower on the session. Europe was slightly green while Asia stocks closed higher, led by the Hang Seng which rose 7% On Wednesday, the Fed raised borrowing costs by a quarter percentage point and signaled hikes at all six remaining meetings in 2022, while projecting an "above-normal" policy rate at 2.8% by the end of 2023. Chair Jerome Powell said the U.S. economy is “very strong” and can handle monetary tightening. Treasuries advanced, while a portion of the bond curve - the gap between 5- and 10-year yields - inverted for the first time since March 2020, a sign investors expect recession. The Fed also said it would begin shrinking its $8.9 trillion balance sheet at a “coming meeting,” without elaborating as Biden breathes down Powell's neck to get inflation under control. Meanwhile, the commodity shock from Russia’s war in Ukraine is continuing to aggravate price pressures and economic risks, portending more market volatility. “It won’t be easy -- rarely has the Fed safely landed the U.S. economy from such inflation heights without triggering an economic crash,” Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors, said in emailed comments. “Furthermore, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, of course, has the potential to disrupt the Fed’s path. But for now, the Fed’s priority has to be price stability.” “This type of normalization policy does not always end well,” said Nicolas Forest, global head of fixed income at Candriam Belgium SA. “While the Fed began its tightening cycle later than usual, at a time when inflation has never been so high, financial conditions could also harden, making the 2.80% target ambitious in our view. In this context, it is easy to understand why the U.S. curve has flattened.” In the latest Ukraine war developments, Russia continued to “hammer” cities like Kharkiv and Cherniyiv with bombardments and rocket systems and isn’t acting like it wants to settle, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Meanwhile, Russia’s Finance Ministry said a $117 million interest payment due on two dollar bonds had been made to Citibank in London amid mounting speculation that the country is heading for a default. Russia had until the end of business Wednesday to honor the coupons on the two notes. The ruble gained for a sixth day in Moscow trading, while the country’s stock market remains shut. Here are some more headlines courtesy of Newsquawk: Ukrainian President Zelensky said talks with Russia are challenging but are still ongoing. He added that Russia has the advantage in the air and already crossed all red lines, while he hopes for assistance from allies. Russian Foreign Minister says that discussions with Ukraine are continuing via video link with the sides discussing humanitarian and political issues. Ukrainian Defense Minister says so far there is nothing to satisfy us in negotiations with Russia; a peaceful solution can be reached with Russia, but "on our terms". Russian Kremlin says their delegation is putting colossal energy into Ukraine peace talks, conditions are absolutely clear. Agreement with Ukraine with clear parameters could very fast stop what is going on; on the recent FT report re. peace talk progress said this is not right, elements are correct but the entire peace is not true. A rebound in China stocks listed on U.S. exchanges also cooled a day after they soared the most since at least 2001 on a pledge from Beijing to keep its stock market stable. American depository receipts of Alibaba were down 2% in premarket trading following their biggest gain since their trading debut in September 2014, while Baidu dropped 5.7%. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Shares in Marrone Bio (MBII US) jumped 20% premarket after announcing a merger pact with Bioceres Crop Solutions (BIOX US), which falls 5.9%. Williams-Sonoma (WSM US) gained 6.2% in extended trading Wednesday after the home-goods retailer reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings that beat the average analyst estimate. The company also raised its dividend and announced a share buyback authorization. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 index gained, nearly erasing losses that were sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The index then dipped on the abovementioned news out of the Kremlin which said reports of major progress in Ukraine talks are “wrong”, only to bounce back into the green. DAX and FTSE MIB lag, slipping ~1%. Banks, autos and personal care are the worst performing sectors. Energy, real estate and tech outperform.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Deliveroo shares rise as much as 9.8% after reporting full-year results, with Barclays (equal-weight) saying the food-delivery company’s mid-term margin commentary was “helpful.” Grenke shares jump 16%, the most since May, after the company reported dividend per share that beat the average analyst estimate. EQT shares rise as much as 9.5%, extending Wednesday’s 12% gain following the acquisition of Baring Private Equity Asia for $7.5 billion in what is the biggest takeover of a private equity firm by another in the sector. Atos shares jump as much as 7.4% after BFM Business reported that Airbus has been mulling a possible takeover of the French IT firm’s cybersecurity unit. Atos reiterated that its BDS cybersecurity business is not for sale. DiaSorin shares soar as much as 9.7%, their best day in nearly one year as analysts upgraded the Italian diagnostics company following results, with the firm reporting net income for the full year that beat the average analyst estimate. Verbund shares rise as much as 7.7% after 2021 profit beats estimates and Austria’s biggest utility forecasts higher profit next year. Thyssenkrupp shares fall as much as 11% after the company suspended its full-year forecast for free cash flow. The move is a disappointment, given the FCF focus in the steel company’s equity story after years of cash burn, Deutsche Bank says. Asian stocks extended their rebound through a second day after Chinese shares rallied again on a vow of state support and the Federal Reserve expressed confidence in the U.S. economy.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rallied as much as 3.6%, lifted by technology and consumer-discretionary shares. Japan and Hong Kong benchmarks led the way, with the Hang Seng Index surging 17% over two days, its biggest back-to-back advance since the Asian financial crisis in 1998, and the Topix jumping 2.5%.  A combination of China’s pledge to stabilize markets, Fed comments on the U.S. economy’s strength after the expected quarter-point interest rate hike by the central bank, and hopes for progress on Russia-Ukraine talks have put Asian stocks on track to end four consecutive weekly losses. “Following recent corrections, markets have reached a point that prices in, or presumes, a fair amount of rate hikes and economic stress,” said Ellen Gaske, lead economist for G-10 economies at PGIM Fixed Income. “It would not be surprising to see investors begin to inch back into the market in search of yield.” Japanese equities rose for a fourth day, as investors were cheered by comments from the Federal Reserve on U.S. economic growth and China’s moves to support its market. Electronics and machinery makers were the biggest boosts to the Topix, which rose 2.5%, to the highest level since Feb. 21. All 33 industry groups advanced. Fast Retailing and Tokyo Electron were the biggest contributors to a 3.5% rise in the Nikkei 225. The yen extended its losses against the dollar after weakening 3.4% over the previous eight sessions. The Fed raised interest rates by a quarter percentage point and signaled hikes at all six remaining meetings this year, while saying “the American economy is very strong” and able to handle tighter policy. Global stocks got a lift Wednesday after Beijing vowed to keep its stock market stable. “The FOMC dot plot clearly shows that the number of interest rate hikes will be reasonable, and the stock market is pleased that the risk of accelerating long-term interest rates rising due to monetary policy following has decreased,” said Kazuharu Konishi, head of equities at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management. In domestic news, a magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck near Fukushima prefecture late Wednesday, killing four and injuring dozens of people, as well as derailing a bullet train and disrupting power India’s benchmark stocks index rose, tracking regional peers, as lenders drove gains. The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 1.8% to 57,863.93, in Mumbai. The measure added 4.2% this week, and with local markets closed for a holiday Friday, it is the biggest weekly advance for the index since February 2021. With today’s gains, it completely recovered all losses that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   Mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. rose 5.4%, its biggest jump in over a year and was the best performer on the Sensex, which saw all but two of 30 shares advance. Seventeen of 19 sectoral sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a gauge of realty companies. The NSE Nifty 50 Index added 1.8% to 17,287.05 on Thursday. China’s pledge to support its markets, the prospect of progress on Russia-Ukraine cease-fire talks and the U.S. Federal Reserve’s comments on America’s economic strength boosted sentiment. Brent crude, a major import for India, down to $100 a barrel from $127.98 last week, also eased concerns. The Fed announcement was on expected lines for the market and they rallied in relief, Nishit Master, portfolio manager at Axis Securities wrote in a note.  “Despite the recent rally, the markets will continue to remain volatile in the near future on the back of tightening of liquidity conditions globally. One should use this volatility to increase equity allocation for the long term.” In rates, the post-Fed flattening move has extended as investors continue to digest expectations on latest policy path, with some strategists calling for a top in yields. 10-year yields around 2.12%, richer by ~6bp on the day and outperforming bunds and gilts by  4.5bp and 3bp; 2s10s spread is flatter by ~4bp on the day.  US TSY yields are richer by as much as 7bp across long-end of the curve, flattening 5s30s by a further 2.4bp with the spread dropping as low as 24.2bp;  the 5s10s was again inverted, trading fractionally in the red after first inverting yesterday during Powell's FOMC presser. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index pared a loss and the greenback traded mixed after earlier sliding against all of its Group- of-10 peers apart from the Swedish krona, as risk aversion gave rise to a haven bid. The euro snapped a three- day advance after the news out of Kremlin dampened sentiment; short-dated European benchmark bond yields were little changed while they contracted longer out on the curve. The pound advanced and gilts rose, led by the long end before the Bank of England looks all but certain to take interest rates back to their pre- Covid level. The Australian dollar still outperformed G-10 peers after the nation’s February unemployment rate falls to the lowest since 2008, boosting bets of earlier interest-rate hikes. The yen inched up amid risk aversion, but still held near its lowest level in six years as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda vowed to continue with monetary stimulus even after the Federal Reserve kicked of its rate hike cycle Wednesday. In commodities, WTI crude futures climb near $99.50 while Brent rallies through $102; spot gold adds ~$16 to trade around $1,944. Base metals are mixed; LME nickel falls 8% to maximum limit while LME aluminum gains 1.8%. Bitcoin is modestly softer but remains well within yesterday's parameters and retains a USD 40k handle. Looking at the day ahead now and housing starts, building permits, initial jobless claims and industrial production are due. We will also hear from ECB's Lagarde, Lane, Knot, Schnabel and Visco. Earnings releases include Accenture, Enel, FedEx, Dollar General and Verbund. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% at 4,337.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 450.44 MXAP up 3.5% to 178.08 MXAPJ up 4.0% to 582.21 Nikkei up 3.5% to 26,652.89 Topix up 2.5% to 1,899.01 Hang Seng Index up 7.0% to 21,501.23 Shanghai Composite up 1.4% to 3,215.04 Sensex up 2.1% to 58,014.18 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.1% to 7,250.80 Kospi up 1.3% to 2,694.51 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.38% Euro up 0.2% to $1.1057 Brent Futures up 3.0% to $100.97/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,940.77 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.42% to 98.21 Top Overnight News Russia’s Finance Ministry said a $117 million interest payment due on two dollar bonds had been made to Citibank in London amid mounting speculation that the country is heading for a default Rates and currency markets are skeptical of the Bank of England’s ability to tame inflation without triggering an economic slowdown. Policymakers may undo tightening as soon as next year, swaps contracts suggest After the Federal Reserve raised interest rates and signaled hikes at all six remaining meetings this year, a section of the Treasury curve -- the gap between five- and 10-year yields -- inverted for the first time since March 2020. Meanwhile the flattening trend between two- and 10-year yields continued Hungary’s central bank kept the effective interest rate unchanged after a rally in the forint eased pressure on policy makers to further hike the European Union’s highest key rate Commodities trader Pierre Andurand sees a path for crude oil to get to $200 by the end of the year as historically tight markets struggle to ramp up production and replace lost supply from Russia A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks gained post-FOMC while Chinese tech remained euphoric on support pledges. ASX 200 was led higher again by outperformance in tech and following strong jobs data. Nikkei 225 rallied after recent currency weakness and despite the deadly earthquake in Fukushima. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. continued to benefit from China’s recent policy support pledges which  lifted the NASDAQ Golden Dragon China Index by 33% and with the PBoC boosting its liquidity efforts. Significant gains were also seen amongst developers after reports that China is not planning to expand its pilot property tax reform this year. Top Asian News China Affirms Friendship With Ukraine, Promise to ‘Never Attack’ Indonesia Holds Rates While Monitoring Inflation, War Risks War in Ukraine Triggers Slew of Shelved IPOs in Japan: ECM Watch Strong Quake Hits Japan, Killing Two and Halting Factories European bourses are predominantly negative, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.4%, after a relatively constructive open post Wall St./APAC handover. Initial upside faded as updates on Russia/Ukraine are downbeat overall and push back further on some of Wednesday's more constructive updates. US futures are lower across the board, ES -0.4%, after yesterday's upbeat close post a hawkish-FOMC. Top European News Raiffeisen CEO Says Bank is Considering Exit From Russia UBS, Mitsubishi Sell Japan Realty Unit to KKR for $2 Billion Russia’s Ruined Gameplan for Ukraine Is Visible in the South Diageo Rises; JPMorgan Lifts to Overweight on U.S. Position In FX, the dollar flips after hawkish Fed hike and more aggressive dot plot before unwinding all and more upside in buy rumor, sell fact reaction; DXY almost 100 ticks down from pre-FOMC peak and just off 98.000. Aussie outperforms following upbeat labour data and Kiwi lags on the back of sub-forecast GDP, AUD/USD eyeing Fib ahead of 0.7350, AUD/NZD back up over 1.0700 and NZD/USD capped into 0.6850. Sterling firm awaiting confirmation of 25 bp hike from the BoE and vote split plus MPC minutes for further guidance; Cable close to 1.3200 at best and EUR/GBP sub-0.8400. Euro clears 1.1000 again, while Yen extends decline to cross 119.00 line. Lira looks ahead to CBRT with high bar for any direct support in contrast to Real that got a full point hike from BCB and signal of more to come. Brazilian Central Bank raised the Selic rate by 100bps to 11.75%, as expected, while the decision was unanimous and it considered it appropriate to advance monetary tightening significantly into even more restrictive territory. In commodities, crude futures continue to nurse recent wounds, with Brent May back around USD 102.50/bbl while WTI April inches toward USD 100/bbl. Upside occurred, picking up from initial choppy action, amid the most recent geopolitical developments from the Kremlin and Ukrainian Defence Ministry. India may purchase up to 15mln bbls of oil from Russia with state-run oil firms preparing to  purchase heavy volumes of Russian crude that's going at a deep discount to help ease the margin pressure oil refiners. China is to increase gasoline prices by CNY 750/ton and diesel by CNY 7220/ton as of March 18th, according to the NDRC via CCTV. Italy is considering blocking the export of raw materials, according to the Deputy Industry Minister. Spot gold/silver are firmer given geopolitical-premia., while LME Nickle hit the new adj. limit down of 8% after the reopen. In fixed income, debt derives impetus from downturn in risk sentiment as Russia and Ukraine deny major strides towards ceasefire deal. Bond curves remain flatter following Fed's hawkish dot plots. Bonos and OATs soak up Spanish and French supply. US Event Calendar 8:30am: March Initial Jobless Claims, est. 220,000, prior 227,000; March Continuing Claims, est. 1.48m, prior 1.49m 8:30am: Feb. Building Permits, est. 1.85m, prior 1.9m; Building Permits MoM, est. -2.4%, prior 0.7%, revised 0.5% 8:30am: Feb. Housing Starts, est. 1.7m, prior 1.64m; Housing Starts MoM, est. 3.8%, prior -4.1% 8:30am: March Philadelphia Fed Business Outl, est. 14.8, prior 16.0 9:15am: Feb. Industrial Production MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 1.4% Capacity Utilization, est. 77.9%, prior 77.6% Manufacturing (SIC) Production, est. 1.0%, prior 0.2% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap After I press send today I’ll be venturing back on a plane for the first time in two years this morning. I'm off to give a speech at a conference in Cannes just at the time when all the tabloid papers here say that London is going to be hotter than Greece and the Costa Brava in a rare March warm spell here in the UK. Rarer than a warm spell in the UK in March, we now have the start of only the fourth Fed hiking cycle in 27 years. We saw a wild ride in markets after the decision as initially the hawkish dot plot led to a big sell off in rates, and an S&P 500 that fell nearly -1.5% from pre announcement levels and into negative territory for the session. However markets completely turned on Powell’s comments in the press conference that the probability of recession was "not particularly elevated" and that the "economy is very strong" and can handle tighter policy. The S&P closed +2.24%, completing its biggest 2-day move in 23 months, while the Nasdaq climbed +3.77%. The big winners were mega cap tech stocks, with the FANG+ index putting in its best day on record, climbing +10.19%. The latter were almost certainly helped by earlier news that China would “actively introduce policies that benefit markets” and take steps to ease the most spartan lockdown measures. The FANG index includes Baidu and Alibaba that were up nearly +40% yesterday. To be fair the Fed meeting and the surrounding price action makes sense. Although I think the risks of a US recession by late 2023 / early 2024 are increasingly elevated I'm not convinced that the risks are particularly high in 2022. The start of the hiking cycle isn't historically the problem point for the economy or for that matter equities. Further to this, in my CoTD yesterday (link here) I showed that on average it takes around three years from the first Fed hike to recession. However the bad news is that all but one of the recessions inside 37 months (essentially three years) occurred when the 2s10s curve inverted before the hiking cycle ended. With all the recessions that started later than that, none of them had an inverted curve when the hiking cycle ended. In fact, hiking cycles that ended with the curve still in positive territory saw the next recession hit 53 months on average after the first rate hike, whereas the next recession for hiking cycles that ended with an inverted curve started on average in 23 months, so just under two years. As a reminder, none of the US recessions in the last 70 years have occurred until the 2s10s has inverted. On average it takes 12-18 months from inversion to recession. The problem is that all but one of the hiking cycles in the last 70 years have seen a flatter 2s10s curve in the first year of hikes. The exception saw a very small steepening. So these are the risks. Indeed the yield curve flattened after the Fed with 2s10s moving from just under +31bps to +21bps an hour later. It closed at +23bps. 10yr yields rose 6bps after the announcement but reversed most of this into the close and ended +4.1bps on the day at 2.18%. We are at 2.137% this morning. The rise in 2 years was more durable at +8.9bps on the day with a -2.4bps reversal this morning to 1.912%. At one point yesterday this was +15bps on the day and at a hair's breadth below 2%. The tighter policy path meant that breakevens declined and real rates increased; 10yr Treasury breakevens fell -5.5bps to 2.80%. Digging into the meeting itself. Two years to the day after cutting rates to the zero lower bound, the Fed raised rates by 25 basis points yesterday, and communicated a much tighter path of policy to come (our US econ team’s full recap here). Yesterday’s meeting came with an updated Summary of Economic Projections, and the dots were much more hawkish. The median dot showed expectations for 7 hikes in 2022, including yesterday and in line with what our US economics team is expecting, and which would represent a hike at every meeting for the rest of the year. The median dot reaches 2.75% next year, above the Fed’s long-run estimate for the fed funds rate, signaling policy will need to get to a restrictive stance. Indeed, the dots actually showed the long-run neutral fed funds rate fell, so a restrictive stance will come even sooner. These were just the medians. There was considerable variance in the dots, and Chair Powell noted the risks to inflation were to the upside, suggesting rates could be even higher than what the hawkish medians are suggesting. On the balance sheet, the Fed noted that QT would start at a coming meeting. Chair Powell signaled it could start as early as May, noting the Committee made excellent progress on the parameters of balance sheet runoff, even if they did not provide more details yesterday. Chair Powell noted the minutes from this meeting would have more details around runoff parameters. Elsewhere in the press conference, the Chair noted that every meeting was live, and that the Fed would move more quickly if appropriate, which ostensibly means +50bp hikes are on the table, but also said the Fed’s expected QT program will equate to approximately one more hike, which is in line with our team’s expectations for QT this year. Indeed, each of the next few meetings is pricing a meaningful chance of a +50bp hike. He noted the Fed would be evaluating month-over-month inflation readings when determining the pace of policy tightening and that financial conditions needed to be tighter. In all, a hawkish meeting, which was expected, with little for doves to cling to. After yesterday’s Fed hike, it is the Bank of England turn to raise rates with the decision scheduled for 12pm London time. A preview from our UK economist is available here. Our team expects a +25bps hike to bring the key rate to its pre-pandemic level of 0.75%. They also added a +25bps June hike to their projections for the path of the monetary policy in 2022, which would bring the benchmark rate to 1.5% by the end of this year. Beyond 2022, they see another hike in February 2023 that would bring the key rate to 1.75%, their projected terminal rate. More on their economic outlook for the UK can be found in the UK Macro Handbook here. As of this morning, the market is pricing in slightly less than 70bps of hikes by the end of 2022. Turning to geopolitics, net net, more positive news flow came out of Russia-Ukraine talks, as a neutrality model that would allow Ukraine to preserve its army seems to be among options on the negotiations table. While comments were otherwise scarce, the head of Russian delegation Vladimir Medinsky said that the talks were going slowly and strenuously. Meanwhile, Russia was officially excluded from Council of Europe yesterday. Putin’s address on Russian TV was pretty hawkish but he was talking to a domestic audience. An FT report that suggested significant progress in the talks contributed to the optimism that fuelled European shares higher as the STOXX 600 gained +3.06%, although an earlier catalyst for the rally was China’s announcement of economic support. Country-level stock markets like Germany’s DAX (+3.76%) and France’s CAC 40 (+3.68%) have notched even stronger gains. The former is now just 1.30% below its pre-invasion close on February 23rd. On that China story, the news was that Shanghai would not implement a strict lockdown in response to the recent outbreak but would instead encourage working from home helped support risk sentiment. Arguably more impactful for markets, top economic ministers noted that the government would introduce policies to benefit markets after the recent volatility, which was a boon to equities. Following on from this, Asian stock markets have surged higher for a second day. The regional sentiment remains buoyant as a rally led by the Hang Seng (+5.79%), CSI (+3.19%) and Shanghai Composite (+2.59%) came after a blistering surge in tech stocks over the last 24 hours as a top Chinese official in his comments yesterday stated that the administration will introduce market friendly policies. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+3.14%) is sharply higher this morning, extending the gains in the previous two sessions while the Kospi (+1.77%) is also surging. US stock futures are fairly flat. Prior to the Fed’s decision, European yields rallied after Sweden’s Riksbank governor did not rule out a possibility of a hike as early as this year – a significant shift from its previous 2024 projections. Swedish yields marched higher across the curve in response, with 10y rising by +7.2bps and hitting the highest level since January 2019 and the 2s10s curve steepening (+1.3bps), while the krona rose by +1.73% against the dollar in what was an overall down day for the greenback as the Bloomberg USD index declined by -0.35%. The British pound (+0.48%) rose as well ahead of the BoE decision and the yield on gilts (+5.3bps) reached the highest level since November 2018. Together with aforementioned geopolitical developments, these news fuelled risk appetite and bond yields rose across most of the Eurozone before we even got to the Fed. Moves in bunds (+6.0bps), OATs (+4.2bps) and BTPs (-0.3bps) were accompanied by sizeable declines in underlying breakevens, with those on bunds (-5.1bps) and BTPs (-5.1bps) edging lower. Inflation expectations were partially muted by a rather calm day for major commodities. Both Brent (-1.89%) and WTI (-1.45%) dipped although this has been reversed so far this morning. There were more fun and games in nickel after a week of no trading due to last week’s massive spike. This time trading was suspended as prices dropped below the new daily threshold and a technical glitch occurred. Despite relative calm in oil markets, other Russia-related commodities continued to slide, especially so in Europe. The Dutch TTF futures for April delivery fell by -10.73% yesterday and around -70% since their intra-day peak on March 7th. Meanwhile, E.ON, German energy supplier, announced it will stop new purchases of gas from Russian companies, although the firm has no long-term contracts. Soft commodities like corn (-3.69%) and wheat (-7.36%), export of which was recently sanctioned by Russia, also declined. In yesterday’s data releases, US retail sales came in at +0.3%, below +0.4% expected, with gasoline spending (+5.3%) driving the advance. The NAHB index also disappointed (79 vs 81 expected), dropping to a six month low. To the day ahead now and housing starts, building permits, initial jobless claims and industrial production are due from the US. We will also hear from ECB's Lagarde, Lane, Knot, Schnabel and Visco. Earnings releases include Accenture, Enel, FedEx, Dollar General and Verbund. Tyler Durden Thu, 03/17/2022 - 07:58.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 17th, 2022

The best men"s undershirts to soak up sweat and protect your clothing

From super affordable tees we all know to performance styles with sweat-resistant technology, these are the best men's undershirts in 2021. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Hanes A great undershirt will prevent you from walking around in a sweat-soaked top. The best undershirts are close-fitting, don't lose shape, and come in diverse materials. We've rounded up the best undershirts for comfort, sweat protection, budget, and more. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyIt really doesn't matter if your wardrobe is sporty, casual, formal, or a mash-up of all kinds of clothing, good undershirts are an important part of getting dressed. The primary purpose of an undershirt is to absorb your body's sweat as the first layer of clothing - and this is beneficial for a few key reasons.It's good for the long-term care of your garments. The right undershirt will save your clothing from sweat, deodorant, and other stains from being in direct contact with your skin. An undershirt is also important for your style and comfort. A sweat-soaked T-shirt or a dress shirt with wet armpits has never been a flattering, or comfortable, look.We've done the research and smoked out the best undershirts for men that you can buy today. Undershirts are fairly straightforward pieces of clothing, but we've made sure that our top picks cover a range of different styles, fabrics, and price points so you can find the right one for your tastes and budget. Not sure how an undershirt should fit? We have a handy section on that. Here are the best men's undershirts of 2021: The best men's undershirt overall Tommy John Tommy John has a collar that stays flat, fits closely to your body, and never comes untucked.  Second Skin Crew Neck Stay-Tucked Undershirt 2.0 (3 pack) (small)Sizing options: S-4XLTo be honest, I gave up on T-shirt-style undershirts a long time ago because they're almost always ill-fitting at the collar, the sleeves become loose, and they rarely stay tucked in. But Tommy John's undershirts are the complete opposite. Close-fitting but not tight, they're long enough to stay comfortably tucked into your pants, and they almost disappear underneath your top layer of clothes.While browsing, you'll find that Tommy John undershirts are available in two materials — Second Skin and Cool Cotton. I've tested and reviewed both and I can't say one is better than the other; it really depends on what you look for most in an undershirt, whether that's softness or breathability.I especially like Tommy John's undershirts instead of basic tank tops when wearing dress shirts. They're more comfortable (which is important when you're already wearing not-so-comfortable dress clothes), they help prevent sweat stains on the armpits, and they're a lot less visible if you're wearing a white or light-colored shirt.  — Amir Ismael The best deep V-neck undershirt All Citizens The All Citizen AirWeight Undershirt Deep V pairs perfectly with casual button-up shirts.AirWeight Undershirt Deep V (small)Sizing options: S-XLBelieve it or not, V-neck undershirts serve a purpose other than style: When sporting a button-up shirt, you can leave the top button undone while still hiding the shirt underneath. And if you're going for a super casual look with two or three buttons undone, you're going to need an even deeper V-neck.All Citizens' AirWeight Undershirt is a solid choice because it offers the option of a standard V-neck or a deep V-neck. The shirt also features mesh zones on the sides for breathability, a stay-tucked length, and a soft microfiber feel on the skin. The best men's undershirt to avoid sweat stains Thompson The Thompson Tee V-neck is made from breathable fabric, has an underarm sweat guard, and is, undoubtedly, the last undershirt you'll ever need to buy.Sweatproof V-Neck Undershirt (small)Sizing options: XS-3XLManaging sweat while being dressed up is an ever-present challenge (especially in a suit). However, the Thompson Tee is uniquely designed with a second layer — the "sweat pad" — to put some more material and distance between your skin and a nice shirt.The trim cut is form-fitting and long enough to tuck, too, while the V-neck is suitably deep so it won't be peeking out from under your shirt collar. It's also woven from soft-combed cotton and the "sweat pads" are made from a bamboo-derived cotton and spandex blend for stretch and flexibility. The best men's undershirt multi-pack David Archy David Archy provides soft and lightweight undershirts at a great value. Micro Modal Undershirt (small)Sizing options: S-XLAlthough synthetic fabrics have a bad rap in the menswear scene, they do confer some advantages for certain pieces of clothing. Synthetics are durable, they dry quickly, and they're useful for garments where you want some stretch such as socks or athletic wear.David Archy undershirts are made of a soft micro-modal fabric with a touch of spandex. It's thin and light without being transparent, although it's best to tumble dry these and then hang them up damp to air-dry rather than drying them with heat.The V-neck is suitably deep and the David Archy shirts are slimmer than most other multi-pack undershirts from popular brands like Hanes, the cuts of which tend to be a bit boxier than most, but these undershirts don't have much of a taper in the body. You may want to consider sizing down if you're between sizes. The sleeves are also nice and slim-fitting so the material doesn't bunch up around your arms under your dress shirt.Micro Modal Undershirt (button) The best men's undershirt on a budget Hanes As a brand we all know and have probably worn, Hanes delivers variety and a great bang for your buck.FreshIQ ComfortSoft White Crewneck Undershirt 6-Pack (small)Sizing options: S-XLWhat would a list of undershirts be without Hanes? In short, incomplete. As one of the most popular underwear brands, if not the most popular, Hanes has a huge assortment of all types of undergarments, including undershirts. If you're going for a classic T-shirt style rather than a tank top, the FreshIQ ComfortSoft Crewneck is what you'll want to buy, especially if you're on a budget. Each pack comes with six undershirts, making it the best bang for your buck.Made from 100% preshrunk cotton, these Hanes undershirts are tagless, have lay-flat collars, and feature the brand's odor-resistant technology, FreshIQ.Much like any budget-friendly pack of undershirts, they won't last forever, as they can potentially lose shape after a handful of wear and wash cycles. But at $19 for six, you can't really beat the price.If you're looking for a basic white T-shirt, this is one you can actually pull off because it's not too form-fitting or too long, like some of the other undershirts on this list. — Amir Ismael The best tank top men's undershirt Hanes If you prefer tank tops over T-shirts, Hanes FreshIQ ComfortSoft Tanks are cheap and dependable.FreshIQ Comfort Soft Tank 6-Pack (small)Sizing options: M-XLWhile T-shirt undershirts are best for preventing armpit stains under button-ups and dress shirts, tank top undershirts get the job done if you're only concerned with having a sweaty back and chest.The Hanes FreshIQ ComfortSoft White Tank is a no-frills undershirt, but with no tags, soft preshrunk cotton, and moisture-wicking technology, it has everything you need. In line with all of Hanes' other products, the ComfortSoft tank tops are reasonably priced within everyone's budget. Although I regularly recommend skipping on low-cost underwear for pairs that have a better value (but are considerably more expensive), I haven't found any issues with Hanes tank tops that should deter you from buying them.I usually wear more casual styles and don't need to worry about armpit stains on dress shirts, so tank tops are my personal preference when it comes to undershirts. I wear Hanes' on a daily basis and they hold up very well. — Amir Ismael The best casual men's undershirt J. Crew The heather gray V-neck T-shirt from J.Crew is an undershirt that doubles as a casual tee. Broken-in Short Sleeve V-neck T-shirt (small)Sizing options: XS-XXLUndershirts are typically designed to be worn under collared shirts, but they're still essentially just T-shirts. This means that, so long as they're styled right, there's no reason you can't pop on an "undershirt" with a pair of jeans for a simple, basic outfit.As one of the premier brands of casual men's style, it should come as no surprise that J. Crew made it into our list. This heather gray V-neck tee lives up to the brand's simple-yet-stylish design ethos. It features a tailored cut that's not baggy or restricting. It's slim enough to be an undershirt and made of soft combed cotton, too.The V-neck is also deep enough that you can safely undo a button on your collared shirt, but it's not so low as to be unsuitable for casual wear. It's a no-nonsense, well-made, nicely-styled staple tee that'll get a lot of play in your rotation whether you're wearing it under a dress shirt or just pairing it with jeans or chinos. How to choose an undershirt Tommy John Here are some quick guidelines to follow when selecting an undershirt that's right for you:Keep it fitted. Your dress shirts should be trim, not baggy and blousy, and so it stands to reason that you don't want big, billowy undershirts, either. Many brands today are offering slimmer modern cuts for their clothing, and undershirts are no exception. Go with something more tailored or even opt for snug-fitting stretch undershirts which hug your torso like a glove.Avoid white. White is probably the most common color for undershirts. It's also probably the worst. We've all seen it: The guy wearing a white or blue dress shirt with his white undershirt sleeves shining through like the sun. This is because white is a high contrast color that shows up easily under other materials. Play it safe and keep it gray. This low-contrast shade will blend in much more easily so you're not getting those unsightly "undershirt lines" under your dress shirt sleeves.Go with a V-neck. People have a lot of opinions about men sporting V-necks for casual wear, but for undershirts, it's pretty much a requirement – especially if you're going sans necktie, which you'll probably do fairly often. Having the top of your undershirt peeking out behind your dress shirt collar screams "my mom made me wear a button-up shirt today," but a V-neck cut keeps it nicely out of view below the neckline. If you already have a bunch of crew-neck undershirts, relegate them to casual wear or toss them. Check out our other menswear buying guides Tommy John The best men's underwearThe best T-shirts in men's sizingThe best shorts in men's sizingThe best swim trunks in men's sizingThe best sweatpants in men's sizingThe best suits in men's sizing Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 20th, 2021

When Amazon drones crashed, the company told the FAA to go fly a kite

Amazon is pushing to launch the first version of its drone program by mid-2024, and aims to expand test deliveries to 1,300 customers this year. An early version of an Amazon drone flies in front of the company logo.Peter Endig/picture alliance via Getty Images Amazon has tried to avoid federal investigations of some of its drone crashes, according to federal documents obtained by Insider. At least eight Amazon drones have crashed during testing in the past year, Insider previously reported. Amazon has been expanding its drone delivery tests and hopes to make an early version available to customers by mid-2024. Amazon's Prime Air autonomous drone delivery program has tried to put off federal investigations into some of its drone crashes by claiming that the company has the authority to investigate its own crashes, according to federal documents obtained through a public records request. The company has also been slow to turn over data related to crashes, the documents show. On at least two occasions, inspectors for the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates drone flights, were surprised to learn that Amazon had moved crash evidence, which an inspector said inhibited at least one of the investigations, according to the documents. During another investigation, Amazon told the FAA that the agency's involvement was unnecessary.At least eight Amazon drones crashed during testing in the past year, Insider previously reported, including one that sparked a 20-acre brush fire in eastern Oregon last June after the drone's motors failed. Taken together, the documents suggest that Amazon has at times begrudged federal inspections of its experimental drone crashes. These findings come as the company seeks FAA approval to fly its drones in residential areas ahead of a potential mid-2024 customer debut.Regulatory delays could "totally disrupt" that timeline, the company told FAA officials in a Zoom call with the agency earlier this year, according to the FAA's notes on that call. An Amazon spokesperson said that Insider's characterization of the FAA documents was "misleading and inaccurate." Prime Air "has complied with all incident reporting, investigation, and other applicable regulatory requirements," the spokesperson, Kelly Nantel, said. "Over the last seven years, the FAA has never taken an enforcement action against Prime Air, and has awarded us an air carrier certificate to enable commercial deliveries — showing that our comprehensive process has met the FAA's high bar."Amazon's former retail chief Jeff Wilke showed off a Prime Air drone model at the 2019 Re:Mars robotic conference.JORDAN STEAD/ AmazonSince launching in 2013, Prime Air has been beset by delays and missed deadlines. The division has been under recent pressure to deliver results. Executives earlier this year concluded the seven years the team had spent on R&D had failed to produce "a delivery service that could be safely operated over populated areas," Insider previously reported. Prime Air VP David Carbon, a former Boeing executive, has spent the past two years pushing the division to complete testing needed to obtain regulatory approval for its autonomous drones. But changing goals, frequent delays, and a shifting culture has led to low morale, employee burnout, and an attrition rate as high as 70% on the company's test team, Insider previously reported. Some employees have left amid concerns about Prime Air's safety culture, Bloomberg reported last month. Amazon has taken so long to unveil its drone delivery program because its engineers are "working to solve complicated problems and are committed to extensive testing to ensure our drone delivery service is safe and reliable. Doing so involves meeting very high internal, technical, and regulatory bars," Nantel said. An FAA inspector spars with AmazonTo adhere to its timeline of unveiling drone delivery by 2024, Amazon needs a suite of FAA approvals within the next two years. The approvals would allow the drones to fly beyond the sight-lines of Prime Air operators and observers, over cities and towns, and to take off and land in close proximity to people, according to internal company documents obtained by Insider.Obtaining those approvals requires the FAA to sign off on the drones' safety. Amazon, however, has insisted the FAA did not need to be involved in investigating the cause of some of its drone crashes, according to public records.Last July, Amazon told an FAA inspector who had been sent to investigate crashes at Amazon's drone test site in Pendleton, Oregon, that the agency's involvement was unnecessary because Amazon was conducting its own crash investigations, the inspector, Jim Holden, wrote in notes appended to two crash reports. An FAA spokesperson said the agency has the ultimate authority to investigate aircraft crashes when it decides it is necessary to do so. Amazon's spokesperson did not respond to questions about jurisdiction over crash investigations.The company also seemed reluctant to release details about crashes, Holden wrote. In one report, he noted that he was still waiting for "photos and information" about a crash a month after it occurred. Holden wrote in the same report that Amazon's representative had tried to put off the crash inspection by saying he had a dentist appointment.In a separate report, Holden noted that he was prompted to make an in-person visit to the crash site in order to "remedy" Amazon's "slow and cautious release of details about incidents." Amazon was "confused as to why we are looking into" drone crashes "in so much detail," Holden wrote, speculating that "Amazon legal is likely communicating their concerns of our elevated involvement directly to FAA Headquarters personnel." An FAA spokesperson declined to comment on the agency's communications with Amazon. Reached by phone, Holden declined to respond to questions.Amazon at least twice removed drone wreckage before the FAA could investigate, according to the documents. Last July, during an inspection related to a drone that had dropped 120 feet out of the sky, Holden asked to see the remains of the drone's motor and propeller, central and sensitive parts of the machine. He reported that the "motor and propeller had been removed by the engineers and sent to Seattle for THEM TO INVESTIGATE," the all-caps a departure from the style of the rest of his reports. Two months earlier, Amazon had also removed wreckage of a drone that had crashed due to a propeller failure. Investigation of that crash site "was not possible," the inspector noted in that instance, and reminded Amazon that crash debris "should not be disturbed or moved until after release of wreckage" by federal regulators. An earlier model of Amazon's Prime Air drone.Amazon Prime AirAn Amazon spokesperson said it is now the company's practice to notify the FAA before moving crash wreckage. Motor and propeller failures have been the cause of many of Amazon's recent drone crashes, according to seven federal crash reports reviewed by Insider, as well as two former Prime Air employees. In the fiery crash last June, Amazon's 89-pound drone plummeted 160 feet to the ground "in uncontrolled free fall," according to an FAA crash report. An "intense lithium battery fire quickly consumed the aircraft," and the fire spread to the field where the drone had crash-landed, the report added. The municipal fire department contained the blaze, according to a fire report from the incident.Companies and regulators expect some experimental aircraft to crash during testing, where the machines are pushed to their limits. "With rigorous testing like this, we expect incidents like these to occur, and we apply the learnings from each flight towards improving safety overall," Nantel said. Amazon tests its drones "over a controlled, unpopulated area," Nantel said, and "no people or property were harmed in the process." Internally, Prime Air recognizes that in order for autonomous drone delivery to catch on, customers must perceive it to be safe. "Safety is paramount" is the first of Prime Air's seven organizational tenets. Prime Air's first major public-facing test of its capabilities comes this fall, when the company expects to begin dropping Amazon packages to 1,300 test customers in Texas and California. Prime Air has previously only delivered packages to a handful of customers in a small-scale pilot program, largely in Oregon.Do you work at Amazon? Got a tip? Contact reporter Katherine Long on the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-206-275-9280) or email (klong@insider.com). Reach out using a non-work device.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider4 hr. 5 min. ago

Inflation Metrics Continue Ticking Down, Pre-Markets Rally

PCE inflation and Advance Trade news all look like the burn of higher price points is finally starting to cool. Friday, May 27, 2022We begin a final trading day of the week with our fingers crossed — the Dow, currently +4.4% since Monday morning, is looking for break an 8-week losing streak. This is only the worst stretch on the blue-chip index in the past 99 years.And while it looks a safe bet that the Dow will finish higher for the week, whipsaw trading over the past couple months has at time been merciless — kind of like taking only a 2-point lead into the 4th quarter versus the Golden State Warriors: you’re likely to get buried before the end of the game. But if we’re looking for more good news, pre-market futures bounced from flat to up on new economic data this morning:Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) inflation for April reached +0.2% month over month, well below the +0.9% posted for March, which itself was a 17-year high. Stripping out volatile food and energy, this print comes in-line with expectations and the same as a month ago: +0.3%. This indicates that current inflation metrics are mostly as the gas pump and the supermarket, which you likely already know.Year-over-year PCE inflation is one of the key metrics tracking overall inflation in the U.S. economy, and here we see a +6.3%, down 30 basis points from the March read, which at +6.6% was the highest pinnacle we’d reached since President Reagan’s first term, 1982. Core PCE inflation year over year came in-line at +4.9%, again down 30 basis points month over month. These are all good developments for those of us interested in seeing overall inflation come down.Real Disposable Income was exactly flat for April, a big improvement from the -0.5% registered a month ago, while Real Personal Spending bumped up to +0.7% from +0.5% in March. So while the consumer continues to chug along — being more selective, perhaps out of necessity with sky-high gasoline prices, as we saw in a plethora of Q1 earnings reports from the Retail space — they continue to fight through the economic squeeze which, it looks like, is already starting to ease up. A few more months in this direction would be like manna for the markets.Advance Trade in Goods, also for April, also eased month over month: -$105.9 billion was a big step in the right direction from the -$125.9 billion registered in last month’s print — the largest-ever monthly headline deficit in the history of this record keeping. Retail Inventories were lower than expected at +0.7%, while Wholesale was in-line at +2.1%. Again, metrics are cooling the burn from previous months.That’s what pre-market investors think, too: from flat early-morning levels to the Dow now +120 points, the S&P 500 +30 points and the Nasdaq +130 points, it would appear there is a tad bit of relief on inflation concerns. Thus, perhaps there will be some more faith that the Fed will be able to land this economic plane safely, after all.Questions or comments about this article and/or its author? Click here>> Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant 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 Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): ETF Research Reports SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks6 hr. 3 min. ago

Fed"s Favorite Inflation Gauge Shows Sign of Decline

Fed's Favorite Inflation Gauge Shows Sign of Decline. We begin a final trading day of the week with our fingers crossed — the Dow, currently +4.4% since Monday morning, is looking for break an 8-week losing streak. This is only the worst stretch on the blue-chip index in the past 99 years.And while it looks a safe bet that the Dow will finish higher for the week, whipsaw trading over the past couple months has at time been merciless — kind of like taking only a 2-point lead into the 4th quarter versus the Golden State Warriors: you’re likely to get buried before the end of the game. But if we’re looking for more good news, pre-market futures bounced from flat to up on new economic data this morning:Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) inflation for April reached +0.2% month over month, well below the +0.9% posted for March, which itself was a 17-year high. Stripping out volatile food and energy, this print comes in-line with expectations and the same as a month ago: +0.3%. This indicates that current inflation metrics are mostly as the gas pump and the supermarket, which you likely already know.Year-over-year PCE inflation is one of the key metrics tracking overall inflation in the U.S. economy, and here we see a +6.3%, down 30 basis points from the March read, which at +6.6% was the highest pinnacle we’d reached since President Reagan’s first term, 1982. Core PCE inflation year over year came in-line at +4.9%, again down 30 basis points month over month. These are all good developments for those of us interested in seeing overall inflation come down.Real Disposable Income was exactly flat for April, a big improvement from the -0.5% registered a month ago, while Real Personal Spending bumped up to +0.7% from +0.5% in March. So while the consumer continues to chug along — being more selective, perhaps out of necessity with sky-high gasoline prices, as we saw in a plethora of Q1 earnings reports from the Retail space — they continue to fight through the economic squeeze which, it looks like, is already starting to ease up. A few more months in this direction would be like manna for the markets.Advance Trade in Goods, also for April, also eased month over month: -$105.9 billion was a big step in the right direction from the -$125.9 billion registered in last month’s print — the largest-ever monthly headline deficit in the history of this record keeping. Retail Inventories were lower than expected at +0.7%, while Wholesale was in-line at +2.1%. Again, metrics are cooling the burn from previous months.That’s what pre-market investors think, too: from flat early-morning levels to the Dow now +120 points, the S&P 500 +30 points and the Nasdaq +130 points, it would appear there is a tad bit of relief on inflation concerns. Thus, perhaps there will be some more faith that the Fed will be able to land this economic plane safely, after all. Just Released: The Biggest Tech IPOs of 2022 For a limited time, Zacks is revealing the most anticipated tech IPOs expected to launch this year. Concerns about Federal interest rates and inflation caused many private companies to stay on the bench- leading to companies with better brand recognition and higher growth rates getting into the game. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity. See the complete list today.>>See Zacks Hottest IPOs NowWant the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacks6 hr. 3 min. ago

U.S. Senate Confirm Sandra Thompson as Permanent FHFA Director

Nearly a year after assuming interim leadership of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Sandra Thompson has been named the agency’s permanent director. On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Thompson as FHFA director by a 49-46 vote. Thompson touts more than four years of experience in government, particularly in financial regulation, risk management, and consumer… The post U.S. Senate Confirm Sandra Thompson as Permanent FHFA Director appeared first on RISMedia. Nearly a year after assuming interim leadership of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Sandra Thompson has been named the agency’s permanent director. On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Thompson as FHFA director by a 49-46 vote. Thompson touts more than four years of experience in government, particularly in financial regulation, risk management, and consumer protection. She’s also worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for more than 23 years, holding several leadership roles, including director of the Division of Risk Management Supervision. Thompson was named FHFA’s acting director by President Biden in June 2021. He then asserted that Thompson was his front runner for the job toward the end of last year. “I am honored that President Biden nominated me to be the FHFA Director and for my confirmation by the Senate today,” said Thompson in a statement. “I appreciate the support I received, and I look forward to continuing to work with Congress and other stakeholders as I fulfill my new role.” While the day was ultimately hers, Thompson gained mixed reviews during her confirmation hearing as a member of the Senate Banking Committee and discussed her achievements in the short time she led the FHFA. “I can think of no other nominee as qualified to work and make homes more affordable and available to families throughout the country while strengthening the financial standing of the GSEs,” said Senate Banking Committee’s chairman, Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio. Brown used his opening remarks to highlight Thompson’s resume and accomplishments in the past six months, including her work to strengthen the GSE’s plans to preserve affordable housing and support manufactured housing in rural areas. Over the last several months, Thompson has tackled the homeownership gap, addressing “irresponsible lending practices,” and collaborated on an interagency fair lending initiative. Thompson was also criticized by ranking Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who questioned the lack of prioritizing the transition out of conservatorship for the GSEs. “I’m concerned that the administration is seeking to use FHFA and the GSEs to take on more risks for taxpayers and expand affirmative action into housing,” Toomey said, suggesting that Thompson’s nomination was a “referendum on the administration’s radical housing policy.” He also claimed that the policy would repurpose the GSEs as social policy tools while embracing a failed model. “This administration is using the power of the GSEs conservatorship to command and control a huge swath of the American economy and are now asked to ratify this radial housing policy and take ownership of the bailouts and foreclosures that I’m afraid are likely to follow especially given where we might be in the housing cycle,” Toomey said. “We should be reluctant to do so.” Despite the concerns, leaders of the GSEs commended Thompson and celebrated her confirmation as they looked forward to the growth of the collaborative relationship between the agencies. “We look forward to building on this relationship under the leadership of Director Thompson with a continued focus on our mission to advance equitable and sustainable access to homeownership and quality affordable rental housing across America,” said Fannie Mae President and interim CEO Dave Benson in a statement. Freddie Mac CEO Michael DeVito echoed similar sentiments and applauded the announcement in a separate statement emailed to RISMedia. News of Thompson’s confirmation also garnered praise across the housing and lending industry as organizations showed their support following the decision. “Director Thompson’s confirmation comes at a time when the housing market and mortgage finance system face historic challenges, including critical questions related to housing affordability, accessibility, and inventory,” said Leslie Rouda Smith, president of the National Association of REALTORS®. “We look forward to working with her and the entire FHFA to identify solutions that will secure the future of housing finance in America.” Bob Broeksmit, CMB, president, and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, issued the following statement on Thompson being confirmed as director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA): “Since being appointed Acting Director in June 2021, she has repeatedly demonstrated leadership, expertise, and a strong commitment to sound risk management principles while safely expanding access to mortgage credit and creating equitable and sustainable housing solutions for homeowners and renters. “We look forward to continuing our important work with Director Thompson, FHFA, the GSEs, and other stakeholders to provide affordable housing opportunities for all Americans, while protecting taxpayers and ensuring a robust secondary mortgage market for single-family and multifamily lenders of all sizes and business models.” The post U.S. Senate Confirm Sandra Thompson as Permanent FHFA Director appeared first on RISMedia......»»

Category: realestateSource: rismedia13 hr. 3 min. ago

Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin says stablecoin turmoil should push investors back to "principles-based thinking" and not rely on endless growth

"In general, the crypto space needs to move away from the attitude that it's okay to achieve safety by relying on endless growth." Vitalik Buterin.Jesse Morgan/ ETHDenver Ethereum's co-founder thinks stablecoin's need a back-to-basics approach for future success. In a blog post, Vitalik Buterin said "principles-based thinking" will return confidence to the market After the collapse of Terra, Buterin also warned that endless growth isn't sustainable. Ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin thinks that the stablecoin collapse needs a back-to-basics approach for future success and confidence.He touted "principles-based thinking" in a blog post entitled "Two Thought Experiments to Evaluate Automates Stablecoins" published Wednesday. Buterin also cautioned that expecting the broader cryptocurrency market to continue to notch limitless growth is detrimental."In general, the crypto space needs to move away from the attitude that it's okay to achieve safety by relying on endless growth," he wrote.Instead, Buterin said, investors should move to "evaluate how safe systems are by looking at their steady state, and even the pessimistic state of how they would fare under extreme conditions and ultimately whether or not they can safely wind down."The remarks come after the crash of Terra earlier this month. The algorithmic stablecoin used code and relied on the minting and burning of a sister-token to maintain a peg to the dollar. But Terra crashed and sent the broader crypto market reeling.As part of a thought experiment in his blog post, Buterin examined a hypothetical stablecoin tracking an index that promised 20% annual returns. Such a stablecoin would have to charge some kind of negative interest rate to maintain equilibrium to cancel out growth from the index. Otherwise, it would turn into a Ponzi that suddenly collapses one day."Even outside of crazy hypotheticals where you build a stablecoin to track a Ponzi index, the stablecoin must somehow be able to respond to situations where even at a zero interest rate, demand for holding exceeds demand for borrowing," Buterin wrote. "If you don't, the price rises above the peg, and the stablecoin becomes vulnerable to price movements in both directions that are quite unpredictable."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt16 hr. 5 min. ago

"Too Slow": FDA Admits Delayed Response To Complaints About US Baby Formula Plant

"Too Slow": FDA Admits Delayed Response To Complaints About US Baby Formula Plant Authored by Caden Pearsen via The Epoch Times, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) initial response to complaints about Abbott’s infant formula plant was “too slow” and some decisions could have been “more optimal,” the FDA’s top official said while facing a grilling from lawmakers on Wednesday. FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf appeared before a congressional panel to answer questions about the FDA’s handling of events that led to the biggest infant formula shortage in recent U.S. history after Abbott in February recalled some products and closed its Sturgis manufacturing plant. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), chair of the panel, raised the question of the “timeline of FDA’s investigation and response,” citing a “four-month lapse before returning to inspect the Sturgis facility,” and a delay in contacting a former Abbott employee whistleblower. Lawmakers heard that senior FDA officials only saw the complaint in February because of pandemic-related mail routing issues. Califf acknowledged that the “FDA’s timeliness of interviewing the whistleblower and getting into the facility for a for-cause inspection were too slow. And some decisions in retrospect could have been more optimal.” “While there are many steps along the way where different actions could have sped up the sequence of events, to this day, I can find no evidence of intentional delay or malfeasance,” he said. The FDA inspected the plant following reports of bacterial infections in babies allegedly linked to Abbott’s formula, and the whistleblower complaint in late October. But an investigation by the FDA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “could not conclude” that the “egregiously unsanitary conditions” at the Abbott plant caused the illnesses in the infants. “However, we cannot rule it out either. There’s a confluence of events that’s highly unusual. There is no dispute that the facility was unacceptably unsanitary, as evidenced by the consent decree. Frankly, the inspection results were shocking,” he said. Califf noted that inspectors found cracks in vital equipment, a lack of adequate handwashing, evidence of previous bacterial contamination, and water leaks in areas where formula is produced, a risk factor for bacteria. It is critical to return the Sturgis plant to safe production of infant formula as soon as possible, Califf said, because Abbott holds the largest market share in America, “leaving it with a responsibility” to produce safe formula “that was not met.” Abbott did not have a contingency plan to produce its lines of specialty formulas that serve as the only source of nutrition for thousands of babies with metabolic disorders, lawmakers heard. “We will do everything in our power to work with Abbott to make this happen as quickly and safely as possible. But this timing is in Abbott’s control,” Califf said. Reflecting on the FDA’s role in exacerbating the formula shortage, Califf cited chronic underfunding of the FDA as one issue that needs to be addressed, hinting that “you will see changes in the future.” “Our requests for funding and authority are essential in concert with improved operations and leadership,” he said. For the sake of expediency, the FDA entered a consent decree with Abbott, which allows the company to avoid litigation by pledging to voluntary act to improve and address deficiencies. An outside official will have full oversight of “every single step.” Abbott said on Tuesday that it planned to reopen the plant on June 4. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Tuesday launched an inquiry into the ongoing shortage of formula. In a statement, the FTC said the inquiry seeks information on the “nature and prevalence of any deceptive, fraudulent, or otherwise unfair business practices aimed at taking advantage of families during this shortage.” The inquiry also seeks to find out what factors “have led to concentration in the infant formula market and the fragility of the supply chains for these crucial products,” the FTC said. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/26/2022 - 17:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 26th, 2022

The Crypto Industry Was On Its Way to Changing the Carbon-Credit Market, Until It Hit a Major Roadblock

Crypto entrepreneurs hoped to revolutionize the carbon credit market to fight climate change. They've been met with resistance. Last year, the startup Toucan launched with a bold vision: it was going to use the blockchain to upend the entire carbon credits system. The traditional voluntary carbon market—in which polluting companies can pay for credits that fund emission-reducing efforts—was disorganized, archaic, and lacked incentives, Toucan’s founders argued. By pushing carbon markets onto the blockchain—a public and decentralized database—they felt they could turbocharge the climate fight with crypto economics, provide a global infrastructure data layer, and force polluting companies to either pay higher prices for carbon credits or seek more environmentally friendly approaches to their businesses. And upend the system they did—though not necessarily in the ways that they hoped. Toucan’s aim was to create infrastructure to facilitate the buying of carbon credits, which would be retired and then placed on-chain in the form of a new token. From there, the tokens would be stored publicly and safely, and could then be bought and traded like any other crypto asset, with the hopes of enticing prospective buyers who previously had no interest in the carbon credit world. And in October, millions of carbon credits started arriving on chain thanks to a campaign from another crypto environmental group called KlimaDAO. But many of them were attached to low-quality, long-dormant projects that didn’t actually improve the environment, according to some scientists and watchdogs. Market prices swung wildly, causing mild panic among traditional carbon-credit issuers and buyers. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Now, after several months of deliberation, Verra, the primary carbon credits issuer and a standard-bearer for the industry, has taken a stand against Toucan’s activity. On May 25, Verra announced it would ban the conversion of retired Verra credits into crypto tokens, which is Toucan’s central mechanism. After just seven months, the first phase of the crypto’s supposed carbon-credit revolution is over. Verra did open the door for a potential new chapter of collaboration, in which only live Verra credits could be tokenized. This would give Verra greater control and oversight over the flow of credits throughout these new markets. But Robin Rix, the chief legal, policy, and markets officer at Verra, told TIME that while his organization definitely wants to scale up the carbon-credit market, it is now leaning towards trying to do so through bank-led initiatives, like Carbonplace, as opposed to crypto ones. The decision will force Toucan and others to make a hard pivot in their operational models. Toucan’s initial response about Verra’s news was cautiously optimistic: it believes that Verra’s actions show Toucan’s outsize impact, and that despite Verra’s rhetoric about preferring banks, Toucan will nonetheless somehow play a role in this next stage of innovation. Carbon credit insiders, for their part, believe that while crypto carries long-term potential in the fight against climate change, many difficulties and obstacles stand in the way in the creation of a streamlined system that all parties are happy with. “Both crypto and carbon are pretty complex and difficult—And when you put them together, it’s like difficulty squared,” says Ollie Gough, strategy lead for the carbon-rating startup Sylvera. “Mistakes have been made—and we’re waiting to see how it pans out.” Streamlining a messy market The voluntary carbon market was developed in the ‘90s as a means by which companies in industries ranging from air travel to banking to oil could, in theory, track and offset their CO2 emissions. The idea was to ascribe a specific cost of the environmental damage of CO2 emissions, and then enable companies to purchase carbon offsets, which were similarly cost-assessed based on their ability to reduce environmental damage. Those credits might be tied to a forestation project, say, or a new wind farm. But three decades later, the carbon market is still largely unregulated and fragmented, with interested parties squabbling over criteria for inclusion and decision-making processes. Several studies have shown that the system has overvalued projects that have had little-to-no positive impact on the environment. One study from last year, for example, found that many forest-growing carbon-reduction projects in California systemically over-exaggerated their climate benefits. “I am continually underwhelmed by the quality we’re seeing,” Grayson Badgley, a co-author of that study and a research scientist at the climate nonprofit CarbonPlan, says. “I think there are a lot of low-quality carbon-offset projects that are out there, and I think their usefulness has been exaggerated.” Crypto proponents believe the blockchain could be wielded to keep a streamlined public record of the whole system. The blockchain, for example, could help solve the problem of “double counting,” in which two parties claim credit for the same emission-reducing action. Many members of the traditional carbon world were immediately intrigued. “It’s important to understand how untransparent the markets are,” Gough says. “This was really the first time ever you had some sort of indices roughly tracking the price at which the market was paying for carbon in a very public format.” Sweeping the floor Toucan hoped that other crypto projects would build on top of its infrastructure. In October, an organization called KlimaDAO did just that, creating its own token, Klima, that could be acquired with Toucan’s token, BCT, with the hopes of turning carbon credits into an in-demand market commodity. If crypto traders got involved and started investing in these tokens, KlimaDAO’s team argued, they might drive the price of the credits up, forcing polluting companies to either pay for higher-priced, higher-quality carbon credits or find more energy-efficient production methods. KlimaDAO’s first approach was what they called “sweeping the floor,” or rallying crypto enthusiasts to buy the cheapest carbon credits available via Toucan. (Cheaper credits are often attached to projects that the market has determined are of dubious environmental value, like Chinese hydropower dams.) The idea was to take all of the bad credits out of commission, so that only the better and more expensive ones remained. And crypto traders eagerly jumped in: in Toucan’s first six months, more than a quarter of all carbon credits bought on Verra were done so via Toucan and transferred on-chain. But there was one problem: most of these bad credits hadn’t been in circulation for years, because established carbon credit buyers already understood their lack of worth. Because of their age, many of these credits weren’t even eligible to be sold on some established trading markets. So instead, KlimaDAO’s tokens created fake value for worthless carbon-credits, worsening the situation. Suddenly, dozens of old projects that were once deemed unsellable began to reemerge, taking advantage of a gold rush and offering themselves up to this new clientele. “We aren’t convinced that ‘sweeping the floor’ is doing anything but increasing churn in a market that needs fundamental reform, not new software platforms,” Badgley and Danny Cullenward, policy director of Carbonplan, wrote on the non-profit’s website in April. The Toucan team, first excited by KlimaDAO’s entrance, now watched with alarm as scientists and carbon credit issuers like Verra began to criticize or distance themselves from crypto carbon projects. “I do think that hype ultimately wasn’t beneficial for everyone. It pushed expectations and prices into areas that made zero sense,” Raphaël Haupt, co-founder of Toucan, says. “And it’s really hard for an infrastructure provider like Toucan to suddenly have to play the police.” For months, the Toucan team debated on the best way to excise these bad credits from the system. In May, they finally changed their criteria to ban old, low-integrity credits. But the gaffe made clear the perils of a brash approach to a complicated problem. Haupt argues that Toucan had no choice but to take an imperfect approach—and that by doing so, they were able to both galvanize the crypto world’s interest while forcing issuers like Verra to adapt to their methods. “We don’t see retirement as the right way of doing things, but it was the lack of a clear system that forced us to take this route,” he said. “It was the first little door we could open to match the demand that exists right now.” Bigger problems with carbon credits Toucan’s efforts exposed some of the baseline flaws of the carbon market: the lack of a single standard of quality, and the likelihood that many sub-optimal projects end up being valued even if they aren’t helping the environment. In 2020, Greenpeace even went as far as calling the entire system “​​a distraction from the real solutions to climate change,” like actually reducing the emissions from fossil-fuel energy generation. Gough, at Sylvera, says it’s extremely difficult to establish a simple set of criteria for valuating carbon-offset projects because of all of the different factors in play. “You can try and do it by registry, age, or project type, but it doesn’t work: You will let some things in of low quality, and you will cut out actually high quality stuff,” he says. This year, a carbon-offset task force of hundreds of companies and sustainability experts were forced to scale back their efforts because they couldn’t agree on how to define a high-quality project. Meanwhile, many carbon-reducing programs already set in motion have also raised questions about viability. A recent study by Kyla Mandel in TIME found that current reforestation plans would require nearly 1.4 million square miles to meet their goals, which is nearly half of the continental United States. Even if all those trees get planted, there’s no guarantee of their long-term impact. “Trees can die, burn, or get chopped down,” says Badgley, all of which immediately negate any CO2 offsetting they’d offered. More crypto confusion Environmentalists and carbon market experts are also concerned by the volatility crypto introduces into their efforts. So much of crypto markets is currently fueled by speculation: the desire for traders to make money fast on tokens that swing wildly in value. “If [carbon-offset] prices keep fluctuating as widely as some of the crypto assets have been fluctuating, that makes it difficult…to plan and develop” carbon-reduction projects, says Ben Rattenbury, vice president of policy at Sylvera. In recent weeks, values have been depressed across the crypto world, and carbon crypto projects are no exception: As of writing, Toucan’s BCT token is less than half of what it was in February, and KlimaDAO’s token is a third of what it was in March. The number of credits coming on chain through those two projects has essentially grinded to a halt; with prices so low, there’s very little incentive for people to enter the market. Haupt, at Toucan, says he’s fine with this slowdown. “We’re in the consolidation phase. We came out guns blasting more than we thought,” he says. “We’re building this long-term, and it’s cool to have the opportunity to speak with different people on how they see the world and make sure we build a functioning system.” Toucan is far from the only player in this space. Since its launch last year, venture capital money has flooded into the space and a slew of new crypto carbon projects have been launched, each one jockeying for attention with what they argue is a unique twist or perspective. There’s Chia, an independent blockchain that’s forged a partnership with the World Bank’s Climate Warehouse; Flow Carbon, which is backed by WeWork founder Adam Neumann and just raised $70 million; Open Forest Protocol, Moss, and many more. Some of the projects collaborate and are interoperable; others are not. Many players in the space expect that some sort of consolidation will happen, although there is little agreement on exactly how that might come to pass. “Now we have like a trillion carbon projects that all want to bring carbon to web 3 that all use their own tokens and are not compatible with each other,” Haupt says. And then there’s the question of the climate harm of these blockchain projects themselves. In March, President Biden signed an executive order requesting research on the potential climate impact of digital assets, given the high energy costs of crypto mining. A letter written in response, penned by a climate-focused blockchain committee that included members of Toucan, conceded that “currently, Blockchains do have an energy problem,” before pledging to make the entire crypto industry net-zero in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, in part by switching completely to renewable sources of energy. (Some critics are skeptical that this is an achievable goal.) Verra halts Toucan’s activity Verra’s decision to stop the tokenization of retired credits means Toucan’s main activity will halt for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, it’s unclear what will happen to 22 million retired credits that have already been placed on chain, and whether they will be worth anything going forward. Both the Toucan and Klima tokens dropped severely in price following Verra’s decision. The Twitter user who goes by Rez and is the head of protocol for the climate-crypto community Solid World DAO wrote on Twitter that Verra’s announcement sent the climate-crypto markets “into a sort of existential limbo.” Crypto carbon proponents hope they will be able to help Verra build a new system of tokenizing “live” credits as opposed to retired ones. But Verra’s legal officer Rix told TIME that Verra is leaning toward working with a project like Carbonplace, which was created by a consortium of banks including CIBC and UBS. Carbonplace has many similar aims to Toucan, including to scale and organize carbon markets. But crucially, it operates on a closed, proprietary system, as opposed to the blockchain, which theoretically allows anyone to see its code, contribute to its governance processes, and build on top of it. Verra choosing a more centralized project like Carbonplace would also allow greater control over who buys credits; Rix expressed concern over crypto tokens being used for shady purposes like laundering money. “Banks have sophisticated KYC [know-your-customer] processes in place. They’re regulated entities,” Rix says. “That strikes us as a very good model to follow and a way to work with credible leading financial institutions.” When asked if crypto projects could play a role in this next stage of development, Rix didn’t rule it out, and said Verra would begin a public consultation process. “It doesn’t have to be banks. It could be any entity that has sophisticated KYC checks and the infrastructure to be able to do this,” he said. “But [banks] are probably the direction things are going.” Haupt, in an interview on Wednesday morning, held out hope that Toucan and other crypto entities would be involved moving forward. “Given the point we are in this climate crisis, I don’t think restricting the amount of innovation you can have around this is the right way to go,” he says. “I personally think this is unstoppable: I don’t see a world in which only banks will have the monopoly over carbon.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 26th, 2022

Datadog (DDOG) Accomplishes AWS Education Competent Status

Datadog (DDOG) achieves AWS Education Competency Status by building solutions that support mission-critical workloads for educational institutions. Datadog DDOG recently achieved Amazon AMZN Web Services (AWS) Education Competency status.The recognition proves that Datadog has demonstrated technical proficiency and success in building solutions that support customers’ critical workloads in K-12 primary/secondary, higher education, research and publishing sectors.Amazon Web Services’ established AWS Competency Program to help customers identify technology and consulting partners with experience and deep industry expertise.Achieving the AWS Education Competency status proves that Datadog has earned its place within the AWS Partner Network. The event confirms that Datadog’s specialized solutions align with AWS architectural practices and support the academic experiences of learners and teachers and the operational needs of administrators.To receive the recognition, Datadog underwent an assessment based on its solutions’ performance, reliability and security, thus validating its deep AWS expertise.Receiving this designation is expected to help the company boost customer growth in the education market in the near term as its real-time monitoring solutions help maintain uptime for educational institutions.Datadog, Inc. Price and Consensus  Datadog, Inc. price-consensus-chart | Datadog, Inc. Quote Datadog’s Education Monitoring Solutions to Aid ProspectsWith the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of students around the globe became distant from their classrooms. Though initially unprepared, schools and universities all over the world began unearthing opportunities to deliver superior digital learning experiences to students. But there are several challenges to delivering virtual smart classroom learning experiences using the existing network and IT infrastructure.To cater to real-time solutions and deal with the mission-critical workloads of educational institutions, Datadog has been upgrading its educational monitoring solutions. As educational enterprises rapidly migrate to digitization and the cloud, the company is witnessing robust demand for its network performance and infrastructure monitoring solutions.Per a Research and Market report, the global digital education content market is expected to reach $108 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 11.11%. The K-12 education segment is anticipated to grow at 12.6%, reaching $61.1 billion by 2026. The higher education segment is readjusted to a revised CAGR of 9.8%.With the effort to modernize the learning environment, institutions and administrators face the challenge of safely replacing legacy systems and learning to manage new, highly-distributed infrastructure at scale.This is where Datadog’s real-time monitoring solutions come in. The solutions unify data from legacy and cloud-based systems, allowing educational enterprises to monitor every stage of their digital transformation.Owing to the visibility of these solutions, institutions can improve the speed and reliability of their devices. It also enables them to deliver a better experience to the learners, educators and administrators, while simultaneously keeping their IT costs minimal and reducing risks.Datadog platform also implements various security measures like encrypting data with Transport Layer Security (TLS) and HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) and automatically scanning logs to discover, classify and protect sensitive student information.The company gains from the growing demand for its infrastructure cloud services. In June, the company expanded its Watchdog AI capabilities to include Root Cause Analysis and Log Anomaly Detection, which helps detect network and data issues across infrastructure and services. Growth in usage from existing customers, as they continued on their cloud migration and digital transformation journeys, continues to benefit the company.DDOG’s focus on growing partnerships has increased the visibility of its cloud solutions among consumers, which contributes to its business growth and customer base.Earlier this year, Datadog was chosen as a Microsoft MSFT partner within the Azure Cloud Adoption Framework.Per the Datadog-Microsoft partnership, Datadog will integrate its monitoring and security capabilities with Azure’s full suite of services, thus helping organizations accelerate their cloud adoption process.In the present situation, organizations across industries, from education to retail, need to embrace digital conversion soon. As a monitoring and security platform for cloud applications, Datadog has a strategic advantage and anticipates witnessing robust growth in the ongoing fiscal year.Zacks Rank and Stock to ConsiderCurrently, Datadog has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)Datadog’s shares are down 50.2% year to date compared with the Zacks Internet - Software industry’s fall of 51.1% and the Computer and Technology sector’s decline of 31%.A better-ranked stock in the Zacks Computer & Technology sector is Ceridian HCM CDAY, carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.CDAY has plunged 47.6% year to date. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2022? Last year's 2021 Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +147.7%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these long-term buysAccess Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 today >>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 Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Free Stock Analysis Report Ceridian HCM (CDAY): Free Stock Analysis Report Datadog, Inc. (DDOG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 26th, 2022

Equinor (EQNR) Winds Down its Energy Business in Russia

Equinor (EQNR) frees itself from all future commitments and obligations, thereby transferring its participating interests in four joint ventures in Russia to Rosneft. Equinor ASA EQNR recently announced its exit from all joint ventures in Russia, clinching the title of the first major Western oil producer to completely remove its exposure in the country.From all future commitments and obligations, Equinor has now freed itself, thereby transferring its participating interests in four joint ventures in Russia to Rosneft. Equinor is exiting the Kharyaga project, and the accord to leave the development has been inked.Equinor said that in line with the sanctions legislation of Norway and the European Union against Russia, it has completed its exits from all joint ventures.It was on Feb 27 that the integrated energy major made the decision to commence the process of exiting its joint ventures in Russia just a few days after the country’s troops invaded Ukraine. With the exit from Russia, Equinor has witnessed a massive impairment of its assets in the country. As of Mar 31, 2022, EQNR witnessed an impairment of $1.08 billion on the balance sheet.Equinor is now optimizing its gas production, which will aid it in delivering higher volumes of the commodity. This, in turn, will make EQNR capable of delivering gas securely and safely to combat the ongoing energy crisis in Europe.Equinor ASA Price Equinor ASA price | Equinor ASA QuoteCurrently, Equinor sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Other prospective players in the energy space include ConocoPhillips COP, Marathon Oil MRO and Occidental Petroleum OXY. While ConocoPhillips carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), Marathon Oil and Occidental Petroleum sport a Zacks Rank #1. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Considering production and reserves, ConocoPhillips is one of the leading exploration and production players in the global market. COP has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2022 and 2023 in the past 30 days.In 2022, ConocoPhillips is likely to see earnings growth of 141.6%.Marathon Oil is a leading oil and natural gas exploration and production company. MRO has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2022 and 2023 in the past 30 days.In 2022, Marathon Oil is likely to see earnings growth of 201.3%.In the United States, Occidental Petroleum is among the largest oil producers. OXY has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2022 and 2023 in the past 30 days.In 2022, Occidental Petroleum is likely to see earnings growth of 278.8%. Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top buy-and-hold tickers for the entirety of 2022? Last year's 2021 Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio returned gains as high as +147.7%. Now a brand-new portfolio has been handpicked from over 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these long-term buysAccess Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 today >>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 ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report Marathon Oil Corporation (MRO): Free Stock Analysis Report Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Free Stock Analysis Report Equinor ASA (EQNR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 26th, 2022

What is Spam Risk? Why the message appears on your phone, and how to block calls associated with it

You can ignore calls marked Spam Risk or take additional steps to block those calls. Here's what you need to know. InsiderIf you see a call marked Spam Risk, odds are good that it's a call from a scammer, spammer, or telemarketer.The Spam Risk label originates with your mobile carrier, which maintains a database of likely telemarketing numbers.You can ignore calls marked Spam Risk, or take additional steps to block those calls. It's not uncommon to see the label "Spam Risk" appear on screen when your phone rings. Most of the time, you can trust that your phone is accurate; you're receiving a spam call — most likely a telemarketer — and you can let it go to voicemail, or even take steps in some cases to block further calls from that number. What is Spam Risk?Most mobile carriers make an effort to shield you from the brunt of unwanted phone calls, such as calls from scammers and telemarketers. AT&T, for example, labels suspected spam calls as Spam Risk. Other carriers may use the same term or slightly different ones, such as Scam Likely or Telemarketer.This call has been labeled a likely spam risk by the phone carrier.InsiderYou probably know that spam is the word commonly used to indicate unwanted messages, whether it's email, text messages, or voice phone calls. Spam Risk, then, is the term your carrier may use to warn you that it suspects the incoming call is unwanted. If you tend to get a lot of spam calls, it's probably worth your effort to heed the warning and ignore incoming calls marked this way.Why Spam Risk appearsThese days, most phone carriers have automated systems in place to filter and screen incoming calls to assess if they post a spam risk. The carriers have enormous databases of phone numbers which are known (or suspected) to be used by telemarketers and other spammers for automated calls or telemarketing call center operations. If you get a call that's labeled Spam Risk, odds are good that it's from one of these callers and can be safely ignored. Spam Risk warnings are not always 100% accurate, though, and sometimes a valid phone call can be accidentally flagged as spam. If you recently missed an important call from someone who is not already stored in your phone's contact list, you might want to check the Phone app's call history to check what numbers you recently missed. Legitimate calls could also appear on your Phone app's call log as "Spam Risk."InsiderHow to block Spam Risk callsThe Spam Risk warning is certainly helpful and can help you avoid answering every telemarketing call you receive. But it's far from a perfect solution because those calls still ring, which is potentially annoying.Depending on what kind of smartphone you use, there are additional steps you can take to block Spam Risk calls, including blocking specific phone numbers, using a third-party robocall blocking app, and putting your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. None of those solutions are perfect, but each one can help reduce the number of unwanted calls you receive. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 26th, 2022

I"m a professional mover based in New York City. We see it all and often have to act like therapists to stressed customers.

"There's always something under the bed," says Sergio Markovic, 28, of Piece of Cake Moving which completed 35,000 moves last year. Sergio Markovic.Courtesy of Piece of Cake Moving Sergio Markovic, 28, is the head of long-distance operations for Piece of Cake Moving & Storage. He began his career as a mover, and now he and his team of 15 coordinate moves to Miami and LA. Here's what the moving business is like, as told to writer Jenny Powers. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Sergio Markovic, the 28-year-old head of long-distance operations for Peace of Cake Moving & Storage in New York City, about his job. It has been edited for length and clarity.When I was 21 and a student at ASA College in New York City, a classmate of mine was working as a mover and told me the company he worked for was hiring, so I called the manager. He asked me to come in the very next day and offered me a job as a mover on the spot, which I accepted.Seven years later, I'm now the long-distance operations manager at Piece of Cake Moving & Storage, where I manage a team of 15.When it comes to being a professional mover, there's a lot more to the job than heavy lifting.In many ways, a mover is like a therapist Often considered one of the top five stressors in a person's life after the death of a loved one and divorce, moving can cause a great deal of emotional stress. It's our job to remain calm, respectful, and sensitive to our client's needs during what can be a difficult process for many. That's why a good attitude, strong customer service skills, and the ability to work under pressure are just as essential as good health and fitness when it comes to this type of work. Everything else — how you properly pack items, carry them correctly, and handle narrow walk-ups — we can train you to do.There's an age-old misconception that movers are bad boys, but it's not true. Many of us are young people, often students, who are just trying to earn extra money.Moving is a well-paid job But you can't do it for too many years because it's hard on the body. If you want to build a career in this industry, at some point, you need to transition into a different type of position. That's what I did. When I started at the company in 2019, I was a mover. From there, I was promoted to sales and as of four months ago, I began managing all long-distance moves.When the pandemic hit, it had a huge impact on the moving industry overall since we were considered essential businesses. It seemed like the whole city was moving and we were right there in the trenches helping people pack up and move them to wherever it was they wanted to go.In 2021, we completed 35,000 moves It was an annual record. We moved people from 40 states as well as Washington, DC. We oversaw anywhere from 75 to 200 moves per day. As a mover, it's not uncommon to see 360 homes a year, especially when you're doing full-packing jobs.We can move people anywhere in the US and even some places abroad as long as the place of origination or the destination is within the larger NYC tri-state area or in the greater South Florida area.To give you an idea of just how busy we were last year, our business was up 133% from 2020 when we completed 15,000 moves and up nearly 500% from 2019 when we did a total of 6,000 moves. In the first quarter of this year, we've already completed 10,500 moves and are projected to well surpass our 2021 record. Out of our 35,000 moves last year, 4,000 were out-of-state or long-distance moves.New Jersey proved to be the most popular destination, particularly Hudson County, followed by Florida, which is why we opened a Miami office last year to help facilitate the busy New York to Florida corridor.There are a lot of moving parts that come into play Many people often assume once their belongings are loaded onto the truck, the movers simply hop in the truck, drive to the destination, and meet you at your new home, but when it comes to out-of-state or cross-country moves, there's a lot more to it, beginning with the way we pack.For long-distance moves such as those from New York to Florida, everything is packed in special protective boxes, and once all the items are inventoried and loaded into one of our 100 trucks, they're taken to our local warehouse, where they're unloaded.Here our long-distance team reviews the inventory list to make sure it matches up, ensures everything is well protected, and reloads everything into wooden crates assigned to each client.Those crates are then loaded into one of our huge trailers that depart from New York and head to our Miami warehouse two to three times a week. Once our trailer arrives at our Miami warehouse, our local team there unloads the crates, placing the belongings into small local trucks, which are then dispatched to our individual clients. The entire process can take up to nine business days from door to door.If you're moving locally, tip 15%Tip 20% of the total for long-distance moves and split it 50/50 between the mover who picks up your belongings and those who drop them off at your final destination.The busiest times to move are the beginning and end of the month and during the spring and summer seasons, and the cost to move is based on the date, the distance, and the size of the move itself.The average price of a move from New York City to Miami is around $3,400 while moving from New York City to Los Angeles typically runs closer to $3,950 based on an average two-bedroom apartment with the standard amount of furniture and moving during peak moving season in the spring or summer.Moving really provides you with a window into other people's lives As movers, we see it all — we see what's inside the nightstand, below the sink, beneath the carpets, and under the bed, and there's always something under the bed! If you've lost something, chances are that's where it winds up. I once came across a marriage license that the customer had been looking for when I disassembled their bed. They were so happy they hugged me.We also deal with the heaviest of items, like pianos, to the most challenging, like fish tanks.During my career, I've had to move everything from a 30-foot airplane wing one city block — when the truck was only 26-feet long — to a painting by Frida Kahlo.One time a woman was in such a rush to pick up the keys to her new place that she accidentally left her little dog behind in her apartment. She called in a panic and told me the dog was inside her bedroom, so I scooped him up and moved him, too.Sometimes we have no choice but to say no As much as we try to accommodate everyone's requests, sometimes they're impossible. We moved a college girl from the Lower East Side of Manhattan back to her parent's farm upstate. After we completed the job, the girl's mother asked if we wouldn't mind helping them move a couple of things a few miles away.We were happy to lend a hand until she brought out five live sheep.Despite the fact that the mother told us not to worry and insisted that she'd strap all the sheep safely into our truck, we had to draw the line with farm animals. After all, everyone has their limits!Want to share your career story? Email Lauryn Haas at lhaas@insider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 26th, 2022

How a Dutch justice accelerator is helping startups tackle social issues worldwide, from legal aid in Kenya to rent in New York City

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law spots holes in justice systems, calls for addressing them, then supports the most promising startups. Kazi Awal/InsiderSam Muller is the founder and CEO of the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law.Courtesy of HiiL The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law is a nonprofit based in The Hague, Netherlands. Its work focuses on injustices such as people getting kicked off their land or losing their job. It surveys people about pressing justice issues and supports entrepreneurs trying to solve them. This article is part of the "Financing a Sustainable Future" series exploring how companies take steps to set and fund sustainable goals. In 2004, Sam Muller was a lawyer helping build the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, where people accused of war crimes and genocide are tried. It was the kind of work he'd always dreamed of doing. Then, he said, "something odd" happened to him.Muller told Insider that during his travels around the world, he "had seen so much 'ordinary justice' go wrong." Ordinary justice, as Muller sees it, involves people's ability to work, to support their family, or simply to live safely. He'd seen people get kicked off the land they owned and others lose their jobs unfairly.These infractions, Muller said, tended not to draw the attention of lawmakers and policymakers. But they had profound effects on people's livelihood and well-being. In 2005, this realization prompted Muller to found the Hague Institute for Innovation of Law, or HiiL, a nonprofit headquartered in The Hague that today has 44 staff members and donors like the European Union and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.The institute researches justice issues worldwide while identifying and supporting the social entrepreneurs meeting those needs in local markets. It says some 139 startups have participated in its Justice Accelerator program to address justice issues, with 84 of them in operation as of 2021.It also runs events such as the annual World Justice Forum, which kicks off on May 30, with speakers including Sherrilyn Ifill, the president and director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Mary Robinson, the chair of The Elders, the global leadership organization founded by Nelson Mandela.It's about making global justice efforts more local and more agile."I wanted to step out of the rather cumbersome, complex, sometimes bureaucratic UN, even though it did a lot of good stuff, and find a more dynamic environment," Muller said.He added that creating that environment fits into a broader goal of building a sustainable society. "One of the things that justice systems do is they allow societies to keep their trust, to keep their social cohesion," he said.HiiL's research suggests that injustices related to family, work, and land are among the most pressingThe institute's employees watching a presentation at the office.Courtesy of HiiLThe institute's approach to user-friendly justice involves identifying problems and testing solutions.Through surveys of populations across the globe, it has found that the injustices that bother most people have to do with family, work, land, public services, and crime. It has published research on the state of justice and how citizens feel served by their justice systems in Nigeria, Syria, and the United States, among other countries.It runs "Justice Needs and Satisfaction" surveys on a national scale and then convenes entrepreneurs who can tackle the problems.The institute looks to partner with organizations developing tools to help people resolve injustice on their own. Justice Accelerator alums include We Are More, a digital legal-aid platform in Kenya, and Molao365, a free legal-advice service in South Africa. Housing was identified as an issue in America, so the institute supported a startup called JustFix that wants to make it easy for New York City renters to research property owners, put in requests for repairs, and protect themselves from eviction.The institute has also worked with the international law firm Clifford Chance on promoting equal access to justice in Africa and with the information-services firm Wolters Kluwer on mentoring entrepreneurs.HiiL communicates the impact of its work through stories and statisticsThe institute sometimes draws on the stories of people who have experienced injustice — as people tend to remember stories better than facts and numbers — but more often uses data and statistics to show how widespread injustice is.Muller said that "it's very important to be in touch with the real stories and the lives" that injustice affects. "At the same time, you can't get stuck in that," he said. "You've got to make it something that somebody who works on policy or strategy can actually work with."To that end, its leadership tries to quantify the impact of its work in ways that make sense to both the public and potential investors. In a 2021 policy brief, the institute reported on an economic-advice agency's finding that resolving or preventing 80% of ordinary injustices in the Netherlands would yield a roughly 0.15% contribution to the country's gross domestic product. It said the agency found that every $1 invested in achieving user-friendly justice translated to a $14 gain in productivity and $10 saved in the cost of public services.Ultimately, Muller thinks building a user-friendly justice system will require his team to keep adapting. "It's a big, wicked problem," he said. @media (min-width: 960px) { #piano-inline-content-wrapper .content-header .figure.image-figure-image { min-width: 100%; margin-left: 0; } }  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 26th, 2022

US Allows 2 Million Baby Formula Cans In From UK, Lets Abbott Release 300,000 Specialty Cans

US Allows 2 Million Baby Formula Cans In From UK, Lets Abbott Release 300,000 Specialty Cans Authored by Mimi Nguyen Ly via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday it will allow about 2 million cans of baby formula from the United Kingdom into the country, and allow Abbott Laboratories to release about 300,000 cans of specialty formula, to help ease the ongoing nationwide shortage. “We continue to do everything in our power as part of the all-of-government efforts to ensure there’s adequate infant formula available wherever and whenever parents and caregivers need it,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement. “Our recent steps will help further bolster supply of infant formula, including through the import of safe and nutritious products from overseas based on our increased flexibilities announced last week. “Importantly, we anticipate additional infant formula products may be safely and quickly imported into the U.S. in the near-term based on ongoing discussions with manufacturers and suppliers worldwide.” Shelves are empty of baby formula at a store in Chelsea, Massachusetts, on May 20, 2022. (Joseph PreziosoAFP via Getty Images) The FDA announced it is “exercising enforcement discretion” to allow the importation of the 2 million cans from UK-based company Kendal Nutricare. The cans, which are under the company’s Kendamil brand, have no safety or nutrition concerns after an evaluation, and are expected to land on U.S. store shelves starting in June, the FDA said. Kendal Nutricare currently has over 40,000 cans in stock for immediate dispatch, the agency said, adding that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is discussing options to get those cans into the country as soon as possible. The FDA also announced it is letting Abbott release some 300,000 cans of its EleCare amino acid-based formula for babies and infants who urgently need it to survive, on a case-by-case basis. The cans of specialty formula were previously produced at Abbott’s facility in Sturgis, Michigan, where other baby formula products that were recalled by Abbott on Feb. 17 were produced. “These products will undergo enhanced microbiological testing before release. Although some EleCare product was included in Abbott Nutrition’s infant formula recall, these EleCare products that will be released were in different lots, have never been released and have been maintained in storage under control by Abbott Nutrition,” the FDA noted. “Given the critical need of this product for some individuals, the FDA encourages parents and caregivers to consult with their health care providers to weigh the potential risk of bacterial infection with this product,” it added. “Parents and caregivers seeking access to these products should contact Abbott directly to request that a product be made available to them by calling 1-800-881-0876.” The ongoing baby formula shortage in the United States was recently exacerbated after Abbott Laboratories, the biggest U.S. supplier of powder baby formula, in February recalled some products, including those under the brand Similac, and temporarily shuttered its manufacturing facility in Sturgis, Michigan, which was producing up to one-quarter of the country’s baby formula. The recall came after reports of bacterial infections among four infants, two of whom died. The FDA, which launched an investigation into the matter following consumer complaints, cannot conclude whether the cases of infants that fell sick were directly related to the Abbott facility until its investigation is concluded, Califf previously said. Production at the Sturgis facility is set to restart on June 4, Abbott said in a statement. The company said it would prioritize making EleCare and supplying it on or about June 20. It also the formula would be provided to children in need for free. Prior to the Abbott recall, the baby formula shortage among multiple manufacturers was brought on by supply chain pressures linked to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Also on Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission launched an inquiry into the ongoing shortage of baby formula in the country, calling for public input on the matter. The Biden administration has sought to relieve the shortage by importing emergency supplies from Europe via Defense Department-contracted commercial aircraft under “Operation Fly Formula.” The first lots of formula arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana, from Germany on Sunday. President Joe Biden has also invoked the Cold War-era Defense Production Act to help manufacturers obtain ingredients to produce more formula. Tyler Durden Thu, 05/26/2022 - 07:20.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 26th, 2022

Walmart reveals the items customers are ordering for drone delivery the most

Convenience is king with Hamburger Helper ranking as the best-selling item at one delivery hub, according to a Walmart executive. Walmart Walmart is expanding drone delivery to six states and four million households. Customers primarily use the service for last-minute convenience needs, like food and medications. Walmart says it plans to complete one million deliveries by the end of the year.  Walmart just announced plans to expand its drone delivery program to reach four million Americans by the end of the year, and it also revealed some information from deliveries so far. Hamburger Helper is the best-selling item at one of the delivery hubs, senior VP of innovation and automation at Walmart David Guggina wrote in a blog post. So far, customers primarily use the service for convenience, like "a quick fix for a weeknight meal," such as hot dog buns, Guggina wrote. Other sellers include diapers and over the counter medications like Tylenol.Walmart buyers in the delivery range can order items totaling up to 10 pounds for drone delivery, and anything that fits safely in the drone is eligible, Walmart said. The service costs $3.99 and is available from 8 am to 8 pm. Walmart completed hundreds of deliveries in the past few months with positive feedback from customers, it said in the post. The grocery chain is growing its partnership with DroneUp to create 34 delivery sites in 2022, offering grocery delivery by drone to customers in six states: Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Virginia with the capacity to complete one million deliveries by the end of the year.Walmart has partnered with other drone companies in the past, including Flytrex in Zipline in addition to DroneUp. In 2020, senior vice president for last-minute delivery Tom Ward told Insider the different partnerships were part of Walmart's experimentation "to increase [delivery] speed and convenience in a very new and innovative way."Other companies have also experimented with drone delivery in recent years. Amazon is running a small test program with Prime Air drone deliveries this year, Insider reported. Google's drone delivery arm, Wing, partnered with Walgreens to distribute food, medications, and other household necessities in 2021, and UPS started delivering prescriptions by drone with UPS in 2020.Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

3 Gold Stocks to Watch in a Promising Industry

The Zacks Mining - Gold industry's near-term prospects remain bright as gold prices are expected to gain. One can watch for stocks like GOLD, FNV and RGLD backed by their revision activity and prospects. The prospects of Zacks Mining - Gold industry looks bright at the moment on the back of improving gold prices this year. The yellow metal had topped the $2,000 an ounce mark earlier and is currently trading at around $1,855 an ounce, riding on the back of geopolitical tensions and surging inflation.With gold prices anticipated to gain further on demand-supply imbalance, stocks like Barrick Gold Corporation GOLD, Franco-Nevada Corporation FNV and Royal Gold Inc. RGLD are well-poised for growth backed by their strong balance sheets, efforts to lower costs, and growth initiatives.About the IndustryThe Zacks Mining - Gold industry comprises companies engaged in extracting gold from mines, which are either underground or open pits. Mining is a long and complex process and requires significant financial resources. It entails exploration to evaluate the deposit's size, followed by assessing ways to extract and process the ore efficiently, safely and responsibly, and finally, the development of the mine before the actual mining process. It normally takes 10-20 years for a gold mine to produce material that can be refined. The players in the industry nowadays use a range of sophisticated techniques to extract gold and convert it into doré bars, which is an alloy of gold and silver, alongside other impurities. These are then sent for purification, following which the gold is purchased in the form of bars or coins or used in jewelry or for other purposes.What's Shaping the Future of Mining-Gold IndustryRising Gold Prices: Gold prices have been fueled by geopolitical crisis and persistently high inflation this year, which solidified its status as a safe-haven asset. Gold had even topped the $2,000 an ounce mark in March. Gold prices are currently at around $1,855 an ounce, up 1% so far this year. Recently, disappointing U.S. economic data and mounting concerns over U.S. economic growth have increased the yellow metal’s appeal to investors.Labor Issues, Higher Costs Persist: The industry has been facing a shortage of skilled workforce, leading to a spike in wages. COVID-19-related absenteeism also remains a concern. The industry players have been grappling with escalating production costs, including electricity, water and materials, and supply chain issues. Since the industry cannot control gold prices, it focuses on improving sales volume, operating cash flow, and lowering unit net cash costs. The industry participants are opting for alternate energy sources such as solar or wind farms to minimize fuel-price volatility and secure supply. Miners are now committed to cost-reduction strategies and digital innovation to drive operating efficiencies.Investment Demand Remains Strong: Per the World Gold Council, in the first quarter of 2022, gold demand increased 34% year on year to 1,234 tons — the highest since the fourth quarter of 2018. It was mainly driven by strong ETF flows that witnessed its strongest quarterly inflows since the third quarter of 2020, fueled by safe-haven demand that offset weaker jewelry and retail investment. Jewelry demand was down 7% in the quarter, weighed down by softer demand in China and India, which together account for around 55-60% of total quarterly jewelry consumption. After a strong start to the year, demand in China came to a virtual halt in March as strict new lockdowns were imposed to contain a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, in India, the lack of auspicious days, as well as higher gold prices, hampered gold purchases. Nevertheless, demand will pick up in India in the latter part of the year due to the timing of the festival and wedding season. Gold demand in China is likely to bear the brunt of the repeated lockdowns and the economic slowdown in the country.Impending Demand and Supply Imbalance: Depleting resources, declining supply in old mines, and lack of new mines remain an inherent threat to the industry. Due to the scarcity of new discoveries and depleting existing resources, miners prefer to build up reserves through acquisitions rather than digging for new ones that are inherently risky and capital intensive. On the demand side, the use of gold in energy, healthcare, and technology is on the rise. The yellow metal has long been considered a safe-haven investment in times of financial or political uncertainty. Emerging market central banks are turning their attention to gold. So, there will be an eventual demand-supply imbalance that is likely to drive gold prices, which bodes well for the industry in the long haul.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Bright ProspectsThe group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates bright prospects in the near term. The Zacks Mining- Gold Industry, which is a 36-stock group within the broader Zacks Basic Materials Sector, currently carries a Zacks Industry Rank #96, which places it at the top 38% of 256 Zacks industries. Our research shows that the top 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries outperform the bottom 50% by a factor of more than 2 to 1.Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture. Industry Lags S&P 500 & SectorThe Mining-Gold Industry has underperformed the S&P 500 Index and the Basic Material sector in a year’s time. The stocks in the industry have collectively fallen 19.4%, compared with the S&P 500 and the broader sector’s decline of 7.5% and 8.9%, respectively.One-Year Price PerformanceIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of the forward 12-month EV/EBITDA, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing gold-mining companies, we see that the industry is currently trading at 5.57X compared with the S&P 500’s 11.75X and the Basic Material sector’s forward 12-month EV/EBITDA of 4.46X. This is shown in the charts below.Enterprise Value/EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) F12M RatioEnterprise Value/EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) F12M RatioOver the last five years, the industry has traded as high as 9.240X and as low as 4.63X, with the median being at 6.61X.3 Mining-Gold Stocks to Keep an Eye OnBarrick Gold: Its strong liquidity position and healthy cash flow position it well to take advantage of attractive development, exploration, and acquisition opportunities. The company’s growth projects — Turquoise Ridge third shaft, Goldrush and the Pueblo Viejo plant and tailings expansion — are currently in execution. These projects are advancing as per schedule as well as within budget, which underpins the next generation of profitable production from the core region. The combination of Turquoise Ridge and Twin Creeks delivers a tier-one asset with another in the making at Goldrush. The company maintained its target of zero net debt for the second consecutive year in 2022, which is commendable. GOLD anticipates attributable gold production in the range of 4.2-4.6 million ounces in 2022. The company has been delivering on its annual guidance targets for the past three years. The company’s shares have gained 9% so far this year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for this Toronto, Canada-based company’s fiscal 2022 indicates year-over-year growth of 5%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate has gone up 2.5% over the past 30 days. Barrick Gold has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 11.4%, on average. GOLD has a long-term estimated earnings growth rate of 5% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Price & Consensus: GOLDFranco-Nevada Corporation: Franco-Nevada appears to be on a promising long-term trajectory backed by a healthy portfolio of streaming and royalty agreements on several properties mined by some of the most reputable mining companies in the world. FNV is debt-free and uses its free cash flow to expand the portfolio and pay out dividends. The company sold 128,627 Gold Equivalent Ounces (GEOs) from precious metal assets in the first quarter of 2022 and is on track to meet the current year’s total GEOs guidance between 680,000 and 740,000. FNV’s shares have moved up 1% year-to-date.The Toronto, Canada-based gold-focused royalty and stream company has a long-term estimated earnings growth rate of 4%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings for fiscal 2022 has been revised upward by 3% over the past 30 days. The consensus mark indicates year-over-year growth of 6%. The Zacks Ranked #3 stock pulled off a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 0.01%, on average.Price & Consensus: FNVRoyal Gold: The company's strong balance sheet, focus on reducing debt levels, and healthy cash position enable it to invest in properties with exploration and production upside. Focus on acquiring streams and addition of the high-quality, long-life Khoemacau development project will drive growth. The company remains focused on allocating its strong cash flow to dividends, debt reduction and new business. In November 2021, Royal Gold's board hiked the annual dividend by 17% to $1.40 per share. This is the largest percentage increase since 2013 and marks the company’s 21st consecutive annual dividend increase. Its shares have appreciated 8% so far this year.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Royal Gold’s fiscal 2022 earnings indicates year-over-year growth of 4%. The estimate has remained stable over the past 30 days. RGLD has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.3%, on average. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #3 and a long-term estimated earnings growth of 10%.Price & Consensus: RGLD  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 Barrick Gold Corporation (GOLD): Free Stock Analysis Report FrancoNevada Corporation (FNV): Free Stock Analysis Report Royal Gold, Inc. (RGLD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 25th, 2022

UK Backs Lithuania"s Plan For Naval "Protective Corridor" To Lift Russian Blockade Of Ukraine Ports

UK Backs Lithuania's Plan For Naval "Protective Corridor" To Lift Russian Blockade Of Ukraine Ports It's clear things are escalating fast over Ukraine when Western powers start rolling out phrases like "coalition of the willing" à la Iraq war speeches circa 2003. And now this from The Guardian: Britain has backed in principle a proposal by Lithuania for a naval coalition "of the willing" to lift the Russian Black Sea blockade on Ukrainian grain exports. The Lithuanian foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, proposed the plan during talks with the UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, on Monday in London. A great meeting with a true friend Liz Truss. Full agreement on the need to help Ukraine to achieve a complete victory. Covered the food crisis caused by Russian blockade of Odessa and the need to boost the security of NATO’s Eastern flank, incl forward defence in the Baltics. pic.twitter.com/zSLcB89r7i — Gabrielius Landsbergis (@GLandsbergis) May 23, 2022 This as global and economic leaders gathered at Davos' World Economic Forum have been warning of a looming food catastrophe potentially impacting billions of people, especially in the Middle East and North Africa. Describing ominously that time is running out, the top Lithuanian diplomat informed his UK counterpart that "It is not possible to store this grain, and there is no other adequate alternative. It is extremely important to show vulnerable countries that we are ready to take the necessary measures to feed the world." Landsbergis' plan is to establish a multi-national naval escort, however not directly under the aegis of NATO (he assures), in order to protect grain ships traversing the Black Sea under watch of Russian warships. He specifically named Egypt as an example of a non-NATO country that could step up and provide protection, given it's already been perhaps hardest hit by the wheat shortage. It should be noted that what he's not addressing is the extreme danger posed by Ukraine-placed mines outside Ukrainian harbors - something which Moscow has charged Kiev forces with as a deliberate provocation aimed at placing blame for blocked ports squarely on Russia. UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is broadly backing Lithuanian plan for a naval escort to take grain convoys out from the port of Odessa. Pitfalls - Mines in harbour. Need for stronger artillery in Odessa and as yet absent support from Turkey, guardians of entry to Back Sea. — Patrick Wintour (@patrickwintour) May 23, 2022 In explaining details of the plan, and attempting to stress it would carefully avoid provoking direct military confrontation with the Russian navy, Landsbergis described, "This would be a non-military humanitarian mission and is not comparable with a no-fly zone." But he then followed with: "In this endeavor military ships or planes or both would be used to ensure that the grain supplies can leave Odesa safely and reach the Bosphorus without Russian interference. We would need a coalition of the willing – countries with significant naval power to protect the shipping lanes, and countries that are affected by this." Such a scenario would of course depend on Turkey's approval as well, given it controls passage through the Bosphorus according to the Montreux Convention. But likely Russia would rally Turkey toward blocking approval (parallel to the current Finland, Sweden NATO ascension controversy) of the plan which would require opening the straits to foreign military vessels given the Kremlin certainly wouldn't see it as "non-military" in nature. After all, Landsbergis said he and Truss are in "Full agreement on the need to help Ukraine to achieve a complete victory." Map source: BBC/ISW In response to the Monday talks with the Lithuanian FM, Truss said: "What we need to do is deal with this global food security issue and the UK is working on an urgent solution to get the grain out of Ukraine." According to the latest from the UK Times, London remains open to the plan and is in discussion with allies for establishing the "protective corridor" from Odesa through the Bosphorus, but has stopped short of approving that it should move forward at this early phase. It seems that the 'invitation' has gone out to allies, however, and the two leaders are actively floating the idea - perhaps also waiting for Washington's backing. Meanwhile... RUSSIA'S DEFENCE MINISTRY SAYS HAS COMPLETED DEMINING OF MARIUPOL PORT - IFX — First Squawk (@FirstSquawk) May 24, 2022 Tyler Durden Wed, 05/25/2022 - 04:15.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 25th, 2022

GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene easily wins the Republican nomination for another term

In another Georgia district, Democratic Rep. Lucy McBath defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in a member-on-member primary. InsiderControversial GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was elected in 2020, easily defeated multiple Republican primary challengers in Georgia's primaries on Tuesday. And Rep. Lucy McBath defeated Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in a member-on-member primary election in the metro Atlanta area.  The races and the stakes: Greene was removed from her committee assignments in 2021 over a series of inflammatory, conspiratorial, and anti-Semitic tweets and was permanently suspended from Twitter in 2022. More recently, she's come under scrutiny for an outburst at President Joe Biden's state of the union address and for also speaking at a white-nationalist conference headlined by Nick Fuentes, whom the Anti-Defamation League has described as a "well-known white supremacist pundit and organizer."Greene, a prolific small-dollar fundraiser, has raised $9.2 million and spent $6.3 million so far this cycle, dwarfing the roughly $230,000 spent by her main Republican rival Jennifer Strahan. The Democrats running against her in the deep-red district include Marcus Flowers, Holly McCormack, and Wendy Davis. Both McBath and Bourdeaux flipped control of previously-GOP held districts in the past two election cycles. Bourdeaux made her mark as the only Democrat to flip a competitive, Republican-controlled seat in the 2020 election while Democrats lost a dozen House seats on net nationwide. In response, Georgia Republicans eliminated both their competitive seats in post-2020 congressional redistricting.Republicans redrew the 6th District to include more safely-Republican exurbs highly unlikely to elect a Democrat and made the new 7th District into an overwhelmingly Democratic seat based in blue-trending Gwinnett County. Bourdeaux represents 57% of the new district's population while McBath only represents 12% of the new seat, according to FiveThirtyEight, but neither currently reside in the district. State Rep. Donna McLeod also ran for the district against McBath and Bourdeaux — and is the only candidate out of three who lives within the new district's boundaries. Federal law doesn't require members of Congress to live within the districts they represent, but McLeod emphasized her ties to the newly-drawn seat in primary debates, the 19th* News reported.Both McBath and Bourdeaux share largely similar policy positions and voting records, but McBath benefited from significantly more outside spending on her behalf, according to OpenSecrets. Groups including Black PAC, the Black Progressive Action Coalition, Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund, and Protect our Future, a PAC funded by a prominent cryptocurrency billionaire, spent over $4 million supporting McBath, while the Democrats Serve PAC has spent a much smaller sum of $20,000 opposing her. Billionaire and 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg also resumed his big political spending habits after a hiatus. In a bid to influence this race, his PAC dropped a last-minute $1 million into ads supporting McBath, Politico reported.Democratic members drawn into the same district are also set to face off in member-on-member primaries in Michigan, Illinois, and New York later this year. A crowded Republican primary is also taking place in the safely-Republican 10th Congressional District vacated by Rep. Jody Hice, who is running for secretary of state. If no candidate wins over 50% of the vote in Georgia's primaries on Tuesday, the top two candidates will head to a June 21 runoff election.  Follow Insider's live coverage of all of Tuesday night's primaries here. Georgia state legislative primaries:  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 24th, 2022

Embattled AG Ken Paxton defeats George P. Bush in Texas GOP primary runoff

Paxton, who has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015, won the nomination for another term as Texas' chief law enforcement official. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (C).REUTERS/Jonathan ErnstTexas is holding primary runoff elections for a number of key statewide and congressional races. Polls close at 7 p.m. local time. Follow Insider's live coverage of all of Tuesday night's primaries here. The races and the stakes: The most high-profile statewide primary runoff is the race between embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton, and George P. Bush. Paxton faced three primary challengers, including Bush and Rep. Louie Gohmert, in Texas' March primaries, but failed to clear the 50% of the vote necessary to avoid a runoff.Paxton has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015, but has yet to face trial, and has faced numerous scandals since. But he still holds President Donald Trump's endorsement over Bush, who is Texas' current Land Commissioner and the only member of the Bush political dynasty currently holding elected office. Paxton also played a major role in aiding Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election, including filing a long-shot lawsuit in the Supreme Court to overturn election results in four states that voted for President Joe Biden, which failed.On the Democratic side of the aisle, immigration attorney Rochelle Garza and former Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski are facing off in a runoff for their party's nomination to face either Paxton or Bush. The biggest congressional primary runoffs of the night are taking place in South Texas. Incumbent Rep. Henry Cuellar, one of the most conservative House Democrats and the only anti-abortion Democrat left in Congress, is facing off against a progressive primary challenger Jessica Cisneros in Texas' 28th District. Meanwhile, Sandra Whitten and Cassy Garcia are facing off for the Republican nomination for the newly-redrawn 28th District, which would have voted for Biden by seven points in 2020, according to the Texas Tribune.Next door in Texas' 15th District, Ruben Ramirez and Michelle Valejo are facing off for the Democratic nomination to face Monica De La Cruz Hernandez for an open congressional seat. The 15th and 28th Districts are likely to be Texas' most competitive seats in the November general election, according to election experts.And in the safely-Democratic, Dallas-based 30th Congressional District, state Rep. Jasmine Crockett and Jane Hope Hamilton are competing for the Democratic nomination to succeed retiring Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, who has backed Crockett to replace her. Texas state legislative runoffs: Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytMay 24th, 2022