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How United"s union deal with pilots could impact negotiations at Southwest and American

Tension has been rising between American, Southwest and their pilot unions. United's contract offers hope for resolutions in those negotiations......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 13th, 2022

How United"s union deal with pilots could impact negotiations at Southwest and American

Tension has been rising between American, Southwest and their pilot unions. United's contract offers hope for resolutions in those negotiations......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 13th, 2022

United Airlines (UAL) Inks Tentative Deal With Pilots" Union

United Airlines (UAL) reaches an agreement in principle with its pilots' union on better pay and other improvements amid labor tensions among other major U.S. airlines. United Airlines UAL reached a deal with the Air Line Pilots Association (“ALPA”), which represent its pilots, on new terms of their collective bargaining agreement. UAL is the first major carrier to have struck such a deal since the beginning of the pandemic.Other major U.S. airlines are said to be still in negotiations with the pilots’ union. Lately, union members have even organized pickets to protest against hectic work schedules.While the ALPA and United Airlines did not disclose terms of the agreement in principle, it is likely to include higher pay and other improvements for pilots. The agreement will be voted upon by the union as well as pilots.United Airlines Holdings Inc Price United Airlines Holdings Inc price | United Airlines Holdings Inc QuotePer a CNBC report, United Airlines’ CEO, Scott Kirby, said in a LinkedIn post, “United Airlines was the only airline to work with our pilots union to reach an agreement during COVID.” Kirby further added, “It’s not surprising that we are now the first airline to get an Agreement in Principle for an industry leading new pilot contract.”As air-travel demand rebounded from the pandemic-led slump, U.S. airlines, including United Airlines, have struggled to ramp up operations amid staffing shortages. To meet the uptick in demand, airlines are boosting hiring efforts.Zacks Rank & Key PicksUnited Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks within the broader Transportation sector are as follows:C.H. Robinson Worldwide CHRW sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The company has an impressive earnings surprise history, having outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in three of the preceding four quarters while missing the same in one. The average beat was 17.1%. You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Shares of C.H. Robinson have gained 13.2% in the past six months.Eagle Bulk Shipping EGLE carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s earnings have surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in two of the trailing four quarters, while missing the same in the other two. The average surprise was -2.9%.Shares of Eagle Bulk have rallied more than 84% in the past six months. Investor Alert: Legal Marijuana Looking for big gains? Now is the time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $13.5 billion in 2021 to an expected $70.6 billion by 2028. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could kick start an even greater bonanza for investors. Zacks Investment Research has recently closed pot stocks that have shot up as high as +147.0%. You’re invited to immediately check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW): Free Stock Analysis Report Eagle Bulk Shipping Inc. (EGLE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 16th, 2022

Is The Woke Cultural Agenda Of Union Leaders Undermining Support For Organized Labor Groups?

Is The Woke Cultural Agenda Of Union Leaders Undermining Support For Organized Labor Groups? Authored by Batya Ungar-Sargon via Outside Voices, Doug Tansy is living the American Dream. A 44-year-old Native Alaskan, Tansy is an electrician living in Fairbanks in a house he and his wife Kristine own. Kristine has a social work degree, but for 13 years she stayed home to raise their five kids. It was something the couple could afford thanks to Tansy’s wages and benefits, secured by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. All of Tansy’s union friends have similar stories; those who chose not to have kids traveled the world on the money they earned.  Buena Park, CA, Monday, April 11, 2022 - Union organizer answers questions as Southern California grocery workers vote to approve a union contract at UFCW Local 324. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) Tansy started an apprenticeship right out of high school, a decision he calls “one of the best things I ever did for myself.” His high school pushed everyone to go to college, which Tansy did, but to pay for his first year he took a summer job working construction. It provided an instructive contrast with his college courses. “College was certainly challenging, but it didn't excite me. Construction did. It grabbed me,” Tansy told me. “I was always told ‘find what your hands want to do, and when you do, do it with all your might.’ And I did.” Tansy now serves as the assistant business manager of the IBEW in Fairbanks and as president of the Fairbanks Central Labor Council, which is sort of like the local chapter of the AFL-CIO. “I consider myself a labor person and that simply means a lot of what we do is focus on the middle class,” Tansy explained. “Putting really great wages into our economy and helping people save up to get ahead, to pay off a house.” But the union is about more than just securing a middle-class life for working class Americans. Tansy calls it a fraternity. “If I ever have trouble, I can make one phone call and that's the only call I need to make,” he says. “They will take care of the rest of it and whatever I need will be coming.” And this support system traverses ideological and ethnic divisions. The IBEW in Fairbanks has Republicans, independents, Democrats, progressives, and everything in between. Debates can get testy, especially when social issues like abortion come up in the breakroom. Tansy has also on rare occasions experienced racism. And yet there is a deep bond connecting the members of the IBEW that crosses ideological lines. This bond is the result of a simple fact: that more unites members of the union than divides them, and that what unites them is sacred. “Having good wages, good benefits, good conditions, and being treated fairly and with dignity in retirement should not be only for Republicans or Democrats or red states or blue states,” Tansy explained. “To me, these are nonpartisan issues that should be for everybody. And that's how we reach our common ground.” Tansy’s story is not unique. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans who belong to unions in the U.S. make on average 17% more than their non-unionized brothers and sisters, with a median $1,144 in weekly earnings—compared to $958 for those not unionized. It’s not just wages, either. Unions offer apprenticeships and ongoing training, a debt-free career, a pension, and workplace safety and other protections. They give workers a seat at the table and a voice to balance out the power of the businesses they work for, no mean feat at a time when the majority of working-class Americans are living lives of precarity. Working-class wages decoupled from production and stagnated in the late 70s; it’s estimated that over $47 trillion of working- and middle-class wages have been sapped from the bottom 90% of earners and redistributed to the top 1% since then. So it’s no surprise that approval of labor unions is the highest it’s been since 1965: 68% of Americans told Gallup they approve of unions last year. And yet, despite this fact, Americans aren’t signing up to join unions at record rates. Just the opposite: fewer Americans than ever belong to unions, a scant 6% of Americans working in the private sector. Many believe they are a dying institution in the U.S. Some cast this as proof of yet another case of working-class conservatives choosing a cultural stand against their economic interests. William Sproule is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters and says his union is actively engaged in combating negative stereotypes about unions when recruiting. “In the South and other parts of the country, the Southeast, even some of the middle of the country, you say the word ‘union,’ people have been basically brainwashed to think that there are people like me who are some kind of fat-cat millionaires who are stealing money from their pension funds and all this other stuff, all these bad things they try to present about unions,” Sproule says. Of course, there are political reasons unions aren’t popular in some corners of the South. Labor has for a century been affiliated with the Democratic Party and remains so. Sproule views the Democrats as much better for organized labor, and though the Carpenters Union will endorse pro-labor Republicans, right now he says it’s important that the Democrats maintain control over government. “The predominant anti-union forces do seem to come from the Republican Party,” Sproule says, citing things like punishing, anti-union “Right to Work” laws. The Carpenters Union advised its members to vote for Joe Biden based on the policies President Trump pursued that were hostile to organized labor—things like deregulations at the National Labor Relations Board and appointments of pro-business judges, among other things.  Certain pro-labor positions are undoubtedly the province of the Left, from minimum wage campaigns, to support for the NLRB and the PRO Act, to even the expansion of social security benefits. Then there’s healthcare. When employers are responsible for employee healthcare, they have immense, unfair, and corrosive leverage over their workers. The push for universal healthcare is crucial for stabilizing the downward slide of many working-class families, and it is something only Democrats bring up, however sporadically. And yet, thanks to an emergent class chasm in America, the laboring class is increasingly made up of people who find more in common with the Republican Party. In 2020, Bloomberg News found that truckers, plumbers, machinists, painters, correctional officers, and maintenance employees were among the occupations most likely to donate to Trump (Biden got the lion’s share of writers and authors, editors, therapists, business analysts, HR department staff, and bankers).  Others have blamed the fear of corporate consolidation—and corporate retaliation—for a lack of interest in unionizing. The pressures of starting a union are immense, like trying to hold an election in a one-party state, David Rolf, Founding President of Seattle-based Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union and author of The Fight for Fifteen: The Right Wage for a Working America, explained. “Sort of like if you were running to become the mayor, but before you were allowed to be the mayor, you had to first fight to establish that there should be a mayor at all. And then once you establish that there should be a mayor, then you find that your opponent is the only one with access to the electorate for eight hours a day, and that they've had the voter list for years and you just get it six weeks before the election. Also they have unlimited resources.” Meanwhile, there are numerous stories of ugly union busting and retaliation at companies like Tesla and Amazon. But even in companies where union busting is minimal, many people don't want to go to work and have a permanently conflict-based and litigious relationship with their boss, Rolf explained. And there’s the fact that things like sectoral or regional bargaining are just not part of the American worker’s lexicon. But in addition to overcoming the immense challenges of starting a union from scratch while facing corporate union busting, there’s another, less discussed reason workers give for not flocking to unions at a time when they are most in need of what unions offer: a political and class divide separating the people leading unions from the rank and file. More and more, unions are led not by people like Doug Tansy, who sees his job as overcoming partisan divides, but by people enmeshed in a progressive culture that is increasingly at odds with the values of the people the unions purport to represent. And it’s resulted in the paradox of waning union membership despite the near record level of popular support for unions. Labor is definitely having a moment. Anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 workers went on strike in October 2021. Workers at four Kellogg cereal plants ended an 11-week strike after announcing a deal had been made with the company. The first Starbucks voted to unionize a branch in Buffalo, New York, and has been followed subsequently by other branches across the nation, many of them voting unanimously. At the end of last year over 10,000 workers at John Deere ended a five-week strike after making substantial improvements to their working conditions. Those included a 20% increase in wages over the next six years as well as a return on cost-of-living adjustments and gains to their pension plan. Most recently, an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island became the first Amazon center to unionize, an effort that the corporation spent $4.3 million to combat. The COVID-19 pandemic created a much tighter labor market, which has given workers the upper hand in negotiations for the first time in decades. Expanded unemployment and stimulus checks gave many workers a cushion, some for the first time in their lives, which, combined with the absence of childcare for much of the pandemic and a shortage of workers due to illness or even death, created a real labor shortage. In some cases, that shortage has led to resignations. Over 4 million Americans quit their jobs in November, the majority of them low-wage. In other cases, it’s led to workers demanding better conditions in order to stay—and succeeding at getting them. Chris Laursen lives in Ottumwa, Iowa and has worked at John Deere as a painter for 19 years. He says the strike was a long time coming and sees in it evidence of the rebirth of the American labor movement. “The strikes like the one that we spearheaded showed working people that it is possible to take a stand and get a seat at the table and secure better wages and benefits for your families and yourselves,” Laursen says. “The cheap labor bubble’s busted. Gone are the days where you can bring in employees and not pay them anything.” Like in the IBEW, for John Deere workers, the union’s power is a non-partisan proposition. Ottumwa is the kind of factory town that went for Barack Obama in 2012 then for Trump in 2016. A 2018 rally for Bernie Sanders saw 800 people turn out—followed by one for Trump two weeks later which drew a crowd of 1,200. “Twenty years ago, if you were a Republican here, you were pretty much a closet case about it,” Laursen, who was a delegate for Bernie Sanders, says. “That's really not the case anymore.”  Key to the strike’s success was a laser-like focus on what united the striking workers over what divided them. “We didn't want to politicize the strike or have anything that could divide us, because we understood the importance of us staying together,” Laursen explained. “People who own all the stuff and the media, they want to divide the herd and get us fighting amongst each other. And it really is nonsense because we work in the same place, and our kids go to the same schools. We eat in the same restaurants. We have a lot more commonalities than we do differences.” The COVID labor market has been a boon for non-union workers, too. Latasha Exum is a health aid in a school in Cleveland. She’s in charge of evaluating children who need medical attention. Exum has been in the medical field for 10 years—she’s certified as a medical assistant—but she’s new to her current job and not sure she’ll stay (she loves children, but she worries about how much they spread germs in the age of COVID). And due to the current pressures of the job market, she’s certain that she would be able to find another one. She had no trouble finding this job and was even able to negotiate for a higher starting pay, although the supply chain crisis has made her job harder (thermometers and even band aids have been in short supply).  “Pay isn't everything as far as working conditions,” Exum explained. “Pay is one of the factors that some places are willing to wiggle and negotiate, but the conditions might not be the best.” The COVID economy hasn’t worked for everyone, though. Jenna Stocker is a former marine who worked retail at a pet store in Minneapolis throughout the pandemic. Her job was deemed essential, and she couldn’t afford to miss a paycheck, so while millions were able to work from home, she went to work every day. “I couldn’t afford to stay home and bake bread,” she said. “And those who did looked at us like we were lepers. Essential workers were looked down upon for having a job that allowed other people to stay home.” And she does mean lepers. “They didn’t want to touch us,” Stocker recalled. “When I would deliver dog food, they made me leave it outside. It was dehumanizing.” But it was also part of a larger trend Stocker has noticed, of feeling what she calls “morally wrong” for being poor or working class. There’s a smugness that’s imposed on the lower classes by those in the upper classes, and the class divide is only getting worse. Yet within the working class, divisions evaporate. “I work with a whole spectrum of people, including liberals and conservatives,” Stocker says. “It’s just not something that divides us. We have to work together. We have to make it work. Politics is not something we let divide us at work or in our friendships.” They simply don’t have that luxury. One of the things that the labor shortage has done is something the federal government failed to do: It normalized the idea of a $15 an hour wage. 80% of American workers now make at least $15 an hour—up from 60% in 2014. But that’s nothing close to a living wage for most American cities. Working-class wages have simply not kept up with production; all that extra GDP that’s come from increased production went instead to the top 1%. “Had you merely kept pace with the economy since the 1970s, a full-time, prime-age worker in America who in 2020 made $50,000 a year, that person would be making between $93,000 and a $103,000 a year without any growth in their personal income or share of GDP since the 1970s,” Rolf said. “Half of the income people should have expected to receive over that time was functionally stolen by a series of public policy and boardroom decisions that rewired the economy as upwardly sucking.” Jason Offutt is a 47-year-old from Parma, Ohio who paints lines on roads and in parking lots. He’s seen wage stagnation firsthand. Offutt took a summer job as a line painter when he was 16 and stayed with the company after he left school. He worked for a number of other companies after that, until he was finally able to buy a line-painting machine—it was a friend's, and it was in pieces—for $1,000. He put it back together by hand, and now he works for himself. “I just got tired of watching everybody else making money that I was busting my butt for,” Offutt told me. It took a while to become viable, but once Offutt got in the church directories, the jobs started to come regularly.  In the 30 years Offutt has been a line painter, he’s seen the security of working-class life collapse. “Inflation has gone up so much, even compared to when I started,” he told me. “I was making $16, $17 an hour back in my 20s and 30s, so that was pretty decent money back then, if you had one kid and didn't have too many responsibilities. But as you get older and your kids get older, your son's out working and he barely has enough to pay for his apartment, where I could work and pay for my apartment and car and still be ok. Now, if you’re working class, you've got to have two incomes, two and a half incomes, just to be an above-board person and enjoy your life. Back then, you could do great on just one income.” The percentage of American workers who have what might be called a secure job—who work at least 30 hours a week and earn $40,000 a year with health benefits and a predictable schedule—is less than one in three, and for people without a college degree, it’s just one in five. That’s what Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass and author of The Once and Future Worker, recently found in an extensive survey. “The economy has generally bifurcated into a labor market that has relatively better paying, secure jobs in what we would call knowledge industries, that have tended to see expansion and wage growth and so forth, and generally less secure jobs in shrinking or stagnating industries, that tend to be filled with people without college degrees,” says Cass. One of those people is Cyrus Tharpe, a 46-year-old hazmat truck driver from Phoenix. Tharpe has spent his entire life living below the state median household income everywhere he has lived, and he is deeply cynical about talk of a resurgent labor movement. “Everything is getting worse,” Tharpe tells me. Working class bodies are born to work until they are in too much pain to do so—and then die. “If you’re working class, you die in your early seventies. You know that and there's nothing you can do about it. This is the business model,” Tharpe says. Most of the successful strikes have been won by the tiny percentage of workers who are already unionized. But the 94% of workers in private sector jobs without union representation like himself are just out of luck; to them, attempting to unionize means an antagonistic relationship with management or retaliation from bosses or risking their jobs entirely, facing an influx of new workers flown in from elsewhere or a corporation shutting down the branch where they work. These are luxuries most American workers just can’t afford. Someone from the AFL-CIO in Arizona once reached out to Tharpe and asked if he was interested in forming a union. He said yes and asked for contact information for the lawyers who would back him up when his boss started pushing back. He never heard back from the union representative. It's exhilarating to see workers at places like Amazon and Starbucks unionize. But those jobs tend to be temporary ones—by design at a place like Amazon, which is infamous for paying people to quit. Meanwhile Starbucks workers are often younger and even college-educated. Though both are huge employers—Amazon is America’s second biggest—they also aren’t typical of working-class jobs. And there’s a question of scale, too. The efforts at the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island succeeded where others had failed in large part due to the eschewal of a national union in favor of the creation of a new one specific to the site—the Amazon Labor Union. Far from an endorsement, the success of the Staten Island Amazon warehouse is largely being viewed as a rebuke of organized labor. Moreover, there’s something of a Catch-22 to starting a union in the workplaces where people most need union protections and collective bargaining: It requires someone who paradoxically doesn’t really need the work, who will be ok if the corporate backlash is extreme and they lose their job. Gianna Reeve is a 20-year-old shift supervisor who has worked at a Starbucks in Buffalo for a year and a half. Reeve is a student at Buffalo University where she’s studying psychology, and she is active in the effort to unionize her branch, hoping to follow the lead of another Buffalo Starbucks, the first to unionize. For now, Reeve’s branch seems to have voted against unionizing, though the pro-union faction is contesting the results. Reeve came to Starbucks from Tim Hortons, which she says was grueling work. At Starbucks, employees—Starbucks calls them “partners”—seemed happy to come to work, and Reeve initially felt that they were respected by the company. But in mid-August, a coworker texted to ask if they could talk about something to do with work but “outside of work.” They met at another coffee shop that had recently unionized—a symbolic choice, it turned out—and Reeve’s coworker explained the unionization effort to her and asked if she was interested in helping out.  “I was like, yeah,” Reeve recalled. “I mean, of course, if it means better working conditions for people like my partners, then absolutely.” Reeve was thinking of the people she supervises, most of whom are older than her. She made a point of checking her privilege, pointing out the sad irony of union organizing. “I don't blame any of my partners for being scared or being against unionizing,” she told me. “I'm in a position where I'm able to say, yeah, you know what, let's do it either way. But it's a privilege. I don’t have kids. I don’t have a family I support,” she explained. “I don’t really have anything personally that tethers me. I know that I’m going to be financially and benefits-wise stable, no matter what, so it’s not really a threat they can put against me.” But it’s not just economic privilege. There is an emerging cultural disconnect between the people who most need unions and the people who sometimes run them. At the national level, union staff—especially on the political and public policy side of things—are very likely to be part of what one longtime union leader called the “revolving door of Democratic operatives in Washington.” They have often been guilty of subordinating core working-class interests to what he called “the permanent culture of progressive college-educated coastal elites.” And they are alienating the workers they're supposed to be representing—who are much more socially conservative. A YouGov/American Compass survey of 3,000 workers found that “excessive engagement in politics is the number one obstacle to a robust American labor movement.” “Among those who said they would vote against a union, the top reason cited was union political activity, followed by member dues,” the survey found. “These workers anticipate that unions will focus on politics rather than delivering concrete benefits in their workplaces, and don’t want to pay the cost.” Meanwhile, fear of retaliation was the least cited reason workers gave for why they haven’t unionized. The alliance of unions and Democratic politics often goes beyond labor issues, whether it’s the president of the AFL-CIO applauding a Netflix walkout over a Dave Chappelle special, or one of America's biggest unions endorsing Supreme Court packing, or unionization efforts drawing on slogans like Black Lives Matter to convince workers to vote yes. “When you survey workers, which is what we did, what you find is that this is the thing that they most hate about unions,” Cass told me. Jeff Salovich is a pipefitter foreman at the Minneapolis City Hall, which means he’s in charge of all the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems for local government offices, including those of the police chief, the fire chief, City Council, and the mayor. Salovich has been with the Local 539 since 2002, something he’s proud of. But he’s worried about the future of labor in America.  “I think unions are dying,” Salovich told me. And he blames what he calls “political theater.” “There's too many progressives in my mind that don't really understand unions. And although they're trying to represent unions, they're actually doing more harm to unions than they are good.” Though Salovich’s union has people from across the political spectrum, it leans conservative, and there is a divide forming between the blue-collar members and the top-down liberal culture that’s being imposed upon them. “A great majority of the people that I work with—other pipefitters and plumbers and mechanical trades—I would say at least 75% of the workers tend to lean more conservative and are more concerned about keeping their jobs instead of saying the right things or addressing people by pronouns and this and that, all the theatrics that are going on,” he said. “Whereas the people that are running things are being pressured by outside influences to succumb to that.”  For example, in the pipefitter trade, there’s a tool called a nipple that connects different pieces of pipe. But as part of what Salovich sees as progressive pressures on leadership, the word is now verboten, and if you're caught saying it, you'll get reprimanded by your boss. It’s a small example of a much larger trend, he explained. “I think there's that breaking point where people will start to leave if they feel like their dues money is going to political alliances that don't line up with their family's convictions,” he explained.  Many conservatives in the union just stay quiet, hoping this new tidal wave will blow over. But for some, even the good pay and benefits that the union provides isn’t worth it. So, they’re willing to give up their economic interests for cultural issues? “No,” Salovich explained. “Because my interests are not just limited to my paycheck. It's your life,” he said. “They don't understand that people just want to work. I'm coming from a mechanical side. As far as trade staff like painting and plumbing and carpentry and trades that people work with their hands, we don't want to have to be perfect in how we address people and how we talk or be afraid to talk or be who we are as people And the Left side, the progressives, are really pushing a lot of agendas that are not aligned with how we raise our families.” There are a lot of people willing to work for half as much as the unions are offering for peace of mind and a stress-free environment, and to not see their dues go to groups that fund Planned Parenthood. But the more progressive culture may also be contrary to their economic interests; after all, marriage has been correlated with significantly higher earnings, especially for men. They may not have the data at hand to support what they can observe in their communities, but working-class people resisting a politics that is indifferent at best and hostile at worst to traditional values like marriage are, it turns out, acting in their economic interests, too. Many union leaders are cognizant of this cultural divide, like Doug Tansy of Alaska. Tansy is a registered Democrat, but he actively works to combat the politicization of his union. “I purposely always try to get people that will check me,” he told me. “I definitely want that conservative voice at the table, debating with me and decision-making with me because, left to my own devices, I will go too far. I represent a very diverse membership and I use my conservative friends to help check me, to make me defend my ideas and to defend my choices, because I don't want to be one-sided.” But how many Tansys are there?  There’s a devastating irony to the fact that it was a bipartisan anti-worker consensus that resulted in stagnant wages and downward mobility for America’s working-class, and that it is now partisanship that is keeping a strong working class from fighting back.  Americans are often told how divided the nation is, how politically polarized, how we entombed in our own tightly sealed echo chambers. But this is not the reality for millions and millions of working-class Americans outside the few elites who make up our political and chattering classes. Political polarization is a luxury they cannot afford in a marketplace dominated by powerful, profit-maximizing corporations. With the blessing of free-market policies pushed by both political parties in the U.S., millions of good working-class jobs have been shipped overseas, jobs that once catapulted working-class Americans into the middle class and now do the same for the burgeoning middle class in China and elsewhere.  What would help America’s working class? A number of solutions came up with everyone I spoke to. Vocational training was the first. America is unique among wealthy countries in its refusal to invest in skilled trades, something that in countries like Germany and Switzerland has offset the drastic effects of offshoring manufacturing. Universal healthcare was another thing nearly everyone I spoke to agreed upon. Regional or sectoral bargaining was another option that came up, or just a larger culture of collective bargaining that isn’t tied to individual workplaces; it’s why across Northern Europe, corporations like Starbucks and Amazon are forced to deal with unions. And we need new federal labor laws that protect workers—not just businesses.  But none of these goals are achievable so long as organized labor is a political football and what one longtime union organizer and leader called a “subsidiary of the Left wing of the Democratic Party.” Rather than holding the benefits of organized labor hostage until Republican workers agree to fund groups that support Planned Parenthood, those who claim to want a strong labor movement would do better to meet workers where they are—which is increasingly on the social and political right. In other words, Americans who truly care about a stable and thriving working class, one that has access to the American Dream, would do well to learn what workers understand: that more unites us than divides us. In other words, politicians and pundits and journalists and influencers who seek to advance workers’ causes should stop trying to lead and should start following.  Batya Ungar-Sargon is the deputy opinion editor of Newsweek. She is the author of "Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy." *  *  * NOTE FROM GLENN GREENWALD: As is true with all of the Outside Voices freelance articles that we publish here, we edit and fact-check the content to ensure factual accuracy, but our publication of an article or op-ed does not necessarily mean we agree with all or even any of the views expressed by the writer, who is guaranteed editorial freedom here. The objective of our Outside Voices page is to provide a platform for high-quality reporting and analysis that is lacking within the gates of corporate journalism, and to ensure that well-informed, independent reporters and commentators have a platform to be heard. To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article Tyler Durden Fri, 04/15/2022 - 19:15.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 15th, 2022

Planet Earth’s Future Now Rests in the Hands of Big Business

On a brisk Monday in Houston in early March, dozens of protesters gathered across the street from the giant Hilton hotel hosting CERAWeek, the energy industry’s hallmark annual conference. Their signs accused the corporate executives inside of betraying humanity in pursuit of financial return. STOP EXTRACTING OUR FUTURE, read one. PEOPLE OVER PROFIT, read another.… On a brisk Monday in Houston in early March, dozens of protesters gathered across the street from the giant Hilton hotel hosting CERAWeek, the energy industry’s hallmark annual conference. Their signs accused the corporate executives inside of betraying humanity in pursuit of financial return. STOP EXTRACTING OUR FUTURE, read one. PEOPLE OVER PROFIT, read another. Two days later, inside a standing-room-only hotel ballroom, Jennifer Granholm, the U.S. secretary of energy, offered a different message to the executives: the Biden Administration needs your help to tackle climate change. The scene encapsulated this moment in the fight to address global warming: some of the most ardent activists say that companies can’t be trusted; governments are saying they must play a role. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] They already are. The U.S. Department of Energy has partnered with private companies to bolster the clean energy supply chain, expand electric-vehicle charging, and commercialize new green technologies, among a range of other initiatives. In total, the agency is gearing up to spend tens of billions of dollars on public-private partnerships to speed up the energy transition. “I’m here to extend a hand of partnership,” Granholm told the crowd. “We want you to power this country for the next 100 years with zero-carbon technologies.” Across the Biden Administration, and around the world, government officials have increasingly focused their attention on the private sector—treating companies not just as entities to regulate but also as core partners. We “need to accelerate our transition” off fossil fuels, says Brian Deese, director of President Biden’s National Economic Council. “And that is a process that will only happen if the American private sector, including the incumbent energy producers in the United States, utilities and otherwise, are an inextricable part of that process—that’s defined our approach from the get go.” Photo illustration by C.J. Burton for TIME For some, the emergence of the private sector as a key collaborator in efforts to tackle climate change is an indication of the power of capitalism to tackle societal challenges; for others it’s a sign of capitalism’s corruption of public institutions. In the three decades since the climate crisis became part of the global agenda, scientists, activists, and politicians have largely assumed that government would need to dictate the terms of the transition. But around the world, legislative attempts to tackle climate change have repeatedly failed. Meanwhile, investors and corporate executives have become more aware of the threat climate change poses to their business and open to working to address its causes. Those developments have laid the foundation for a new approach to climate action: government and nonprofits partnering with the private sector to do more—a new structure that carries both enormous opportunity and enormous risk. Read More: This Mining Executive Is Fighting Her Own Industry to Protect the Environment Just 100 global companies were responsible for 71% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions over the past three decades, according to data from CDP, a nonprofit that tracks climate disclosure, and pushing the private sector to step up is already showing dividends. Last fall, more than 1,000 companies collectively worth some $23 trillion set emissions-reduction goals that line up with the Paris Agreement. “We are in the early stages of a sustainability revolution that has the magnitude and scale of the Industrial Revolution,” says Al Gore, the former U.S. Vice President who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change. “In every sector of the economy, companies are competing vigorously to eliminate unnecessary waste to become radically more energy efficient, and focus on the sharp reduction of their emissions.” Despite that momentum, risks abound. Companies have an incentive to make big commitments, but they need a credible system to set the rules of the road and ensure that those pledges can be scrutinized. Even then, corporate progress is unlikely to add up to enough without clear policy that incentivizes good behavior and/or punishes bad behavior. “To catalyze business, we need governments to lead and set strong policies,” says Lisa Jackson, vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives at Apple and a former head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. “That’s just what the science says.” Nor are companies built to address the array of social challenges—millions displaced, millions more with livelihoods destroyed, the escalating health ailments—that will arise from climate change and the transition needed to address it. “The private sector has been surprisingly aggressive on climate in the last 12 months,” says Michael Greenstone, former chief economist in Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. “But that is a very misshapen approach: there’s no real substitute for a coherent climate policy.” It’s increasingly hard to imagine how we find such a policy in time. In February, the IPCC, the U.N.’s climate science body, warned of a “rapidly closing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future.” Emissions need to peak by 2025 in order to have a decent chance of limiting warming to 1.5°C. In a landmark report outlining the possible levers to cut global emissions, the IPCC found that private sector initiatives, if followed through, could make a “significant” contribution to that goal. The group assessed the impact of 10 private sector initiatives, and found they could result in a total of 26 gigatonnes in reduced or avoided emissions by 2030—equivalent to more than five years of U.S. carbon pollution. How this partnership between government and industry plays out will shape not just the trajectory of emissions over the coming years and decades but also the future of democratic governance and how society will manage the now inevitable social disruption that will result from climate change. To understand how we got here, it’s helpful to look back to a remarkable coincidence of history. Climate change entered public consciousness at the same time that, in the U.S., the zeitgeist turned against government’s playing a robust role in society. In 1988, when then NASA scientist James Hansen offered his now famous warning that the planet was already warming as a result of human activity, and TIME soon after named the “Endangered Earth” as “Planet of the Year,” American voters had spent eight years hearing President Ronald Reagan tell them that government lay at the root of society’s problems. So it’s perhaps no wonder that in the decades that followed, government attempts to tackle a new problem, unprecedented in scope and scale, encountered roadblocks. That effort began in earnest in 1992 as heads of government from around the world gathered in Rio de Janeiro to inaugurate a new U.N. framework to address climate change. Every year since, with the pandemic-related exception of 2020, countries have met to hash out solutions to the problem. But, in the first two decades of talks, a comprehensive solution failed to break through. In the U.S., the lagging climate policy can in large part be attributed to the then pervasive free-market ideology, which dictated that businesses exist to make a profit. From the 1990s, and into the new century, fossil-fuel companies as well as heavy industry spent millions denying the existence of the problem and funding organizations that opposed climate rules. Other firms remained on the sidelines of an issue that seemed unrelated to their core business. The results in the political arena were clear. President Bill Clinton tried to pass an energy tax in Congress, but a concerted lobbying effort from manufacturers and the energy industry doomed the plan. George W. Bush publicly questioned the science of climate change and appointed executives from the oil and gas industry into senior positions in his Administration. Barack Obama pursued comprehensive climate legislation that would have capped companies’ emissions in 2009; the legislation failed to make it to the floor of the Senate after a prominent group of businesses condemned it. Christophe Archambault—Pool/ReutersThe launch of a key climate coalition for businesses in 2017 with Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, and others But around that time, many business leaders began to feel pressure to do something on climate for the first time. Prioritizing environmental, social, and corporate governance concerns in investing, or ESG for short, had risen from a niche idea in the early 1990s to a mainstream approach to investment two decades later. At that point, a growing flow of reports from financial institutions warned of the economic consequences of inaction. And key voices in the business community—from Michael Bloomberg to Bill Gates—took the message on the road, telling CEOs to take climate change seriously. From 2012 to 2014, the value of investment in the U.S. earmarked for sustainable funds that took into account ESG issues close to doubled, to nearly $7 trillion, according to data from the U.S. SIF Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for sustainable investment strategies. To foster this momentum, government leaders sought to bring business into the policymaking conversation. Their goal was to create what is often referred to as a virtuous cycle: if they could get commitments from the private sector on climate issues, they argued, it would, theoretically, push government to do more, which in turn would push companies to double down. In 2015, that approach was put into practice as a group of business leaders showed up in Paris to talk with government officials. The result: CEOs declared their commitment to reducing emissions, and the final text of the Paris Agreement created a formalized framework for involving private companies in the official U.N. process. Just a year later, the U.S. elected Donald Trump as President and began to unravel the country’s environmental rules. Five months into office, he announced that he would take the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. Within hours, 20 Fortune 500 companies declared that they were “still in” the global climate deal and would cut their emissions in hopes of keeping the U.S. on track. By the time Trump left office, more than 2,300 American companies had joined the coalition. For many pushing climate action, working with the private sector became the best path forward. “More and more power is distributed in societies,” Antonio Guterres, the U.N. Secretary-General, told me in 2019, explaining his extensive outreach to the business community on climate. “If you want to achieve results, you need to mobilize those that have an influence in the way decisions are made.” The most important private-sector push came from the institutional investors at the center of the global economy, who control trillions of dollars in assets and are invested in every sector and essentially every publicly traded firm. When you own a little bit of everything, the scenarios portending climate-driven economic decline are terrifying. “We’re too big to just take all of our hundreds of billions, and try to find a nice safe place for that money,” Anne Simpson, then-director of board governance and sustainability at CalPERS, California’s $500 billion state pension fund, told me in 2019. “We’re exposed to these systemic risks, so we have to fix things.” With the U.S. government on the sidelines, these investors joined together to send a signal. When French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a climate summit in Paris in December 2017, he brought together a group of investors controlling $68 trillion in assets to launch Climate Action 100+. In the beginning, this consortium used their status as high-profile investors to push emissions reductions in 100 publicly traded companies through one-on-one engagements with high-level executives. “All of this made for a reorganization of the politics of climate,” says Laurence Tubiana, a key framer of the Paris Agreement who now heads the European Climate Foundation. “It has now crystallized into something new: a strong coalition between business, financial institutions, investors, and governments.” All these threads came to a head last year in Glasgow at the U.N. climate conference. Walking around the Scottish Events Center last November, it would have been easy to forget that the conference was ostensibly for government officials. An attendee could easily spot, among the 40,000 attendees, high-profile business leaders mingling in the hallway. And by many accounts, the most significant news involved the private sector. Six major automakers joined with national governments to declare that they would produce 100% zero-emissions passenger vehicles no later than 2035. A group of financial institutions representing $130 trillion in assets committed to aligning its investments and operations with the Paris Agreement. What sort of emissions reduction does this all add up to? The truth is no one really knows. An analysis of more than 300 member companies of the Science Based Targets initiative, a leading voluntary program for corporations to set emissions reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement, found that, on average, each company succeeded in reducing their direct emissions annually by more than 6% between 2015 and 2019. But the global framework for emissions reduction centers on country-level commitments, and in its most recent report, the IPCC noted the ability to track corporate progress separate from national-level commitments remains “limited.” The multilateral system for addressing climate change inaugurated in Rio, created by government for government, has evolved into something else. And, in the assessment of many activists, the result has left out concerns about justice in the transition. In Glasgow, activists and civil-society groups complained about being excluded from negotiating rooms while business leaders were ushered onstage. “It now looks more like a trade summit, rather than a climate convention,” says Asad Rehman, who organized for the COP26 Coalition, a climate-justice group. These activists worry about what the resulting government decisions look like when they’re made hand in hand with businesses. “The very people who created this crisis are now positioning themselves as the people who will solve it,” says Rehman. “The decisions being made seem very much to be locking us into a particular approach to solve the crisis—and, of course, that approach is not necessarily in the best interest of the people.” Last December, just a few weeks after returning to the U.S. from Glasgow, I caught a flight from Chicago to Washington, D.C., on what United Airlines billed as the first flight operated with an engine running on only a lower-carbon alternative to jet fuel. As we approached Reagan Airport, Scott Kirby, the airline’s CEO, told me about the coalition—including companies like Deloitte, HP, and Microsoft—he has formed to help bring the fuel to market. “This is not just about United Airlines; this is about building a new industry,” Kirby told me. “To do that, we’ve got to have a lot of airlines participate, we’ve got to have partners participate… and we’ve got to have government participate.” Kirby had chosen Washington as the destination for this flight for a reason: to truly deploy the technology would require some help from the U.S. government. The Biden Administration has been eager to serve as a partner, proposing a tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel and using the bully pulpit to tout United’s work—and aviation is just the tip of the iceberg. The administration has sought to partner on climate with companies across the country and across industries. It almost goes without saying that Biden has been the most aggressive U.S. president yet on the climate issue. His administration has introduced or tightened more than 100 environmental regulations; worked with activists to address the inequalities worsened by climate change; and put climate at the center of “Build Back Better,” its signature $2 trillion spending package that failed to pass Congress last year. He has worked with activists to address the inequalities worsened by climate change. But engagement with the private sector offers a different avenue to push for emissions reduction, and, administration officials say, it has been a key part of his climate strategy. “That’s him availing every tool he’s got,” says Ali Zaidi, Biden’s Deputy National Climate Advisor, of Biden’s private sector engagement. “One of those superpowers that he has is the ability to meet people where they are and bring them along.” Jeff J Mitchell—Getty ImagesGreenpeace activists protest corporate involvement at the COP26 U.N. climate talks, in November 2021 That approach is also based in a sense of realism: the technologies we need to cut emissions over the next decade exist today and any reasonable consideration of how the world can cut carbon emissions means deploying those technologies as quickly as possible—largely by getting companies to adopt them. We need “to take the technology that DOE has spent so many years working on and actually get it in the hands of consumers,” says Jigar Shah, who runs the department’s Loan Program Office. I met Shah, who previously ran a clean energy investment fund, in a small conference room in Houston where he had been taking meetings with a range of companies to convince them to do business with his agency—and more broadly the federal government. Shah has $40 billion at his disposal to invest in promising companies and projects. The idea, he says, is if business and government work together, they can move quickly to build a low-carbon economy by restoring the country’s ability to do big things. “We actually haven’t done these big things for 30 years,” he says. “America truly has sort of lost this general understanding of, like, how does an airport add a runway? How does a road get widened? Who makes the decision on upgrading our wastewater treatment plant?” The business-oriented approach to climate change permeates the Biden Administration. Last September, I watched in the back of the room in Geneva as John Kerry, Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, pitched the Administration’s approach to CEOs of some of the world’s biggest companies, presenting more than 30 slides detailing a new government program to catalyze production of clean technologies, in sectors ranging from air travel to steel manufacturing. Instead of government mandates, Kerry proposed that companies themselves take the lead by making deals to purchase clean technology. “Because we’re behind, we have got to find ways to step up,” he told the gathered CEOs. Read More: Biden Wants an American Solar Industry. But It Could Come at an Emissions Cost Kerry’s approach echoes the realism of the Biden Administration’s. The truth is that in 2022 Big Business has the power to influence—and halt—much of what the government does. “I’m convinced, unless the private sector buys into this, there won’t be a sufficient public-sector path created, because the private sector has the power to prevent that,” Kerry told me in September. “The private sector has enormous power. And our tax code reflects that in this country. And what we need is our environmental policy to reflect the reality.” It makes sense then that from the outset the Biden Administration’s climate-spending plan has focused primarily on carrots rather than sticks. That is, it included a laundry list of rewards for companies doing positive things—namely tax credits for clean energy and subsidies for technologies like electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the two key policies that would have penalized businesses for their emissions—a fee for methane emissions and a tax when power companies failed to meet emissions-reductions targets—were abandoned after industry pushback. Despite those concessions, the most influential trade groups that lobby in Washington on behalf of big businesses still refused to back the overall legislation—because it required an increase in corporate taxes. It’s a reality that climate advocates readily decry as hypocrisy, and an indicator that business isn’t serious about climate change. In the coming weeks, as negotiations for a revamped climate-spending bill accelerate, businesses will have another chance to show they are serious about climate policy. It brings to mind a key moment in a panel I moderated in April last year with Granholm, and a handful of top corporate executives’ work to reduce their companies’ emissions. “You are visionaries and you are leading, and there’s so many thousands of other businesses that can learn from your example, and there are a lot of members of Congress that could learn from your words. And it’s not to get political, but sometimes folks just need to hear,” she told them. “To the extent you can, we’d be really grateful because we feel like our hair is on fire.” They can still help, but the clock is ticking. Even before Joe Biden took office, the American auto industry had begun to adopt the President-elect’s ambition of a rapid transition to electric vehicles. Within weeks of the election, GM dropped a lawsuit that sought to block more stringent fuel-economy standards. Two months later, it said it would go all electric by 2035. Meanwhile, Biden committed to a federal-government purchase of hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles. Since then, the U.S. auto industry has become an electric-vehicle arms race, with companies left and right announcing new capital expenditures to advance the national electric-vehicle fleet. GM says it will spend $35 billion in the effort over the next few years. Ford says it’s spending $50 billion. “The biggest thing that’s happening here is there’s a realization, on the part of both labor and business now, that this is the future,” Joe Biden said as he stood with auto industry executives, union leaders and administration officials on the White House lawn last August. Last year, I traveled to Ohio and Tennessee to see firsthand how the pressing questions about this transformation were playing out on the ground in the cities and towns that have relied on the auto industry for decades. In conversations with workers and local officials, I could sense excitement, but also consternation. Building an electric vehicle requires less labor than does its old-fashioned counterpart, and there’s no guarantee that new jobs created will be covered with a union. “There’s just going to be a lot less people building cars,” Dave Green, a GM assembly worker who previously led a local UAW branch in Ohio, told me at the time. The green transition will also displace oil, gas, and coal workers. Entire cities in flood and fire zones will be dislocated. Diseases will spread more quickly. How will society manage such problems, accounting for a diverse array of interests, without a comprehensive, government-led approach to the transition? Not well, if past transitions are any indicator. Inequality soared during the Industrial Revolution, and the U.S. is still dealing with the economic fallout of globalization in the 2000s, when many blue collar jobs were outsourced. To make up for the slow pace of government policy to guarantee an equitable transition, many activists have set their sights on influencing corporations directly. In 2019, for example, hundreds of Amazon employees walked out of work, insisting that the company do more to address climate change. Across a range of industries, corporate leaders now say that climate change is a top concern for recruits. Consumers, too, have begun to push companies to change, largely through the power of their dollars, by refusing to buy from companies with poor labor and environmental practices. “It’s not perfect,” says Michael Vandenbergh, a law professor at Vanderbilt University Law School who served as chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Clinton. But “it will buy us time until the public demands that government actually overcome some of the democracy deficits that we face.” As challenging as it may be in these polarizing times, overcoming that democracy deficit is necessary, not just to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels but also to protect those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and to the necessary changes ahead. It’s for that reason that the upswing in climate-activist movements—from the youth’s marching for a Green New Deal to the union members’ joining with climate activists to push for a just transition—matters beyond any policy platform. Climate change will reshape the lives of people everywhere. A truly just transition will require people to engage in the fight to fix it. —With reporting by Nik Popli and Julia Zorthian......»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 14th, 2022

Airline Stock Roundup: JBLU to Boost Workforce, ALK Gives Better Q1 Revenue View

Alaska Air (ALK) expects Q1 fuel cost per gallon to be $2.62. Spirit (SAVE) declares to expand its network in response to the air-travel demand expansion this summer. In the past week, Alaska Air Group ALK issued a view for first-quarter 2022 revenues, much better than the earlier expectation. The improved projection was owing to the upbeat air-travel demand scenario, despite the steep rise in fuel costs.JetBlue Airways JBLU was another primary news maker in the past week when it announced plans to add 5,000 jobs in the New York City this year to meet the uptick in air-travel demand. In an encouraging update on the labor front, Southwest Airlines LUV announced inking a provisional pay-related deal with the union representing its customer service employees.An expansion-related update was also available from Spirit Airlines SAVE in the past week. SAVE is constantly looking to add routes to meet the demand surge. Another expansion-related update from SAVE was also reported in the past week’s write up.Recap of the Latest Top Stories1. For the first quarter, Alaska Air Group expects capacity to decline approximately 11-12% from the first-quarter 2019 level compared with the previous expectation of a 10-13% decrease. Total revenues are now expected to decline 11-12% from the first-quarter 2019 level compared with the 14-17% decrease estimated earlier. Revenue passengers are estimated to fall 17-18% from the comparable period’s level in 2019 (previous guidance: decrease of 19-21%). ALK predicts load factor (percentage of seats filled by passengers) to be 76-78% in the current quarter (previous guidance: 71-74%). Cost per available seat miles, excluding fuel and special items, is forecast to increase 18-19% in the first quarter from the comparable period’s level in 2019 (previous expectation: increase of 15-18%). Economic fuel cost per gallon is estimated to be $2.62.2. In a customer-friendly move, JetBlue, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), aims to strengthen its existing partnership with Qatar Airways. The latest agreement will include more codesharing, enhanced benefits for JetBlue TrueBlue and Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty members and streamlined flight schedules across both airlines. Post materialization, this new deal will unlock more options to travel between JetBlue’s more than 100 destinations across North America and the Caribbean, and Qatar Airways’ global network of 82 countries. The two airlines have been partnering since 2011.In another update, JetBlue announced its intension to hire additional employees in the New York City this year, ranging from in-flight crew members and people for ground operations as well as information technology. The airline currently has around 8,000 crew members based in the New York City at airports and in its Long Island City support center.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.3. To meet the anticipated demand swell during the upcoming summer season, Spirit Airlines announced plans to expand its network. To this end, SAVE decided to add four routes from the Newark airport. Spirit Airlines will operate four non-stop flights daily to Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Oakland and Pittsburgh. The flights to the said destinations will be operational on May 5, Jun 22, Aug 10 and Jun 22, respectively. Following its expansion at Newark, SAVE will offer 24 departures on peak days this summer, thus doubling in size from the 2019 level.4. The tentative four-year agreement with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) that got through after long-standing negotiations is meant to increase wages and other benefits for the 6000 plus customer service LUV employees, covered by the union. However, the new contract won’t be effective anytime soon. We note that tentative agreements do not necessarily mean that the deal will be functional. The provisional deal inked by Southwest Airlines will be voted upon by union members. The deal will be effective only if the voting result turns out to be favorable.PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of the major airline players over the past week and during the last six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe table above shows that all airline stocks have traded in the green over the past week. This was mostly owing to the oil price decline from the astronomical highs touched recently. The NYSE ARCA Airline Index has gained 6.65% to $79.81. Over the past six months, the NYSE ARCA Airline Index has declined 16%.What's Next in the Airline Space?Investors will keep an eye on the oil price movement and its resultant effect on the airline stocks. Following the resurgence of new coronavirus cases and the pandemic-related lockdowns in China, investors will now wait and see their impact on air-travel demand.  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 Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis Report Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report Spirit Airlines, Inc. (SAVE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMar 31st, 2022

How China turned a Tiananmen Square memorial into one of the most sought-after sculptures in the world

The "Pillar of Shame" was meant to spread all around the world. It didn't — until now, thanks to its removal in Hong Kong. Danish sculptor Jens Galschiøt (right) with a Pillar of Shame.Mikkel Møller for Insider Last December, Hong Kong removed the Pillar of Shame, a memorial to the Tiananmen Square massacre. The removal only increased the monument's fame – and brought a flood of requests for replicas.  Creator Jens Galschiøt gave up his copyright to the sculpture, enabling 3D printers to make copies. HONG KONG – In the 1990s, a Danish sculptor launched an audacious project to pepper the earth with copies of a grotesque sculpture that depicted human bodies wreathed together in pain. The monument, known as the "Pillar of Shame," is constructed out of bronze, copper or concrete and stands atop a square plinth. It rises about 8 meters, or 26 feet, in all. Its creator, Jens Galschiøt, envisioned it as a "Nobel Prize of Injustice" and vowed to place replicas of the pillar all over the world to mark acts of genocide and murder. For a time, Galschiøt's effort was something of a success. He installed a copy of the pillar in Hong Kong in 1997 to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre, in which Chinese troops killed hundreds if not thousands of peaceful pro-democracy protesters. He landed a second copy in Mexico in 1999 to commemorate the slaughter of Indigenous people and a third in Brazil in 2000 to honor landless peasants killed by military police. But then the project stalled. For over two decades, it seemed no one was interested in getting a Pillar of Shame — that is, until now.These days, the 67-year-old sculptor is so inundated with requests for copies of his signature artwork that he needs a full-time apprentice just to manage the endless stream of emails and phone calls. He's being sought out for art exhibitions, speeches, interviews, and new Pillar of Shame installations around the world. At Galschiøt's foundry, about two hours outside of Copenhagen, Denmark, his team is working overtime to cast replicas of various sizes. He has also invited artists everywhere to help meet the demand for replicas by using 3D-printing technologies and a free blueprint of the sculpture."The Pillar of Shame in miniature.Mikkel Møller for InsiderThe spark that led to an explosion of interest in Galschiøt's project came in October, when Hong Kong University  ordered that the Pillar of Shame be removed from its longtime home on the school's campus — part of a larger effort to erase any public commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre.The sculpture's removal, carried out in the dead of night two days before Christmas, accomplished its goal of eliminating the controversial monument from public view. But it also unleashed something unexpected: China and Hong Kong authorities gave Galschiøt's struggling art project the sort of publicity that no amount of money and PR firms could buy. Galschiøt's Pillar of Shame was suddenly being discussed in The Washington Post and The New York Times and in outlets in Thailand, Iceland, Brazil, Turkey, Nigeria, Norway, Ireland, Germany, and Indonesia, to name just a few."They have made a big mistake," Galschiøt said in an interview. "Now, instead of one, they're getting hundreds of Pillars of Shame."A group of former US government officials is working to erect a full-size replica in front of the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC. In Norway, there's a request to display a replica near the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. In Taiwan, a pro-democracy group plans to unveil a 3D-printed model by June 4 to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. An artists collective is planning to organize a worldwide tour with Galschiøt's pillar to raise awareness of Hong Kong's struggle for democracy.Makerwiz 3D-printing studio in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Source: Makerwiz.Galschiøt is also making smaller, 8.5-foot replicas in copper that he aims to hoist on top of plinths with plates dedicated to Tiananmen victims and Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement, installing them at universities. For everyone else — volunteers at his workshop and ordinary people who are inspired by Galschiøt's vision, or perhaps his tenacity — he has finished a batch of 60 bronze copies that are about a foot tall. He's working on another 40. "There's a lot of people who ask for a copy of that sculpture now," Galschiøt said.The nascent efforts are a cautionary tale of what happens when regimes try to censor art. "The rulers, tyrants know the power of art. That's why artists, poets, and musicians are the first ones they persecute and even kill," said Rose Tang, a Tiananmen survivor and artist. But, as one 3D printer who recently replicated Galschiøt's sculpture put it, "ideas can never be suppressed." Galschiøt's Pillar of Shame is finally an idea whose time has come. Except, rather than commemorating atrocities in spots across the globe, the monument now seems poised to become synonymous with one event above all others: the Tiananmen Square massacre and China's efforts to erase it from memory. A witness For more than two decades, anyone who visited the western edge of Hong Kong University's winding Pok Fu Lam campus would inevitably bump into Galschiøt's Pillar of Shame. It was situated off a major campus walkway, boxed inside a narrow atrium next to a popular student canteen. (Disclosure: The author teaches at Hong Kong University's journalism program.) As you looked up from your meal, your eyes would fall upon the Eiffel Tower-like heap of some 50 twisted bodies screaming in pain. Many of the faces looked like cadavers that had already breathed their last while others appeared to be in the act of dying; a man clutching a baby looked as if he was running away from some danger. Layers of thick orange paint flowed from the top down, turning yellow and peeling in places, giving the whole mass the hellish appearance of a pile of burning human flesh. The inscription "THE TIANANMEN MASSACRE" was etched in thick, blood-red letters on one side of the square base, above the date June 4, 1989. Directly to the left was another inscription that read, "the old cannot kill the young forever."Students gather around Galschiøt's Pillar of Shame sculpture in Hong Kong on October 12, 2021.Cezary Podkul for InsiderFor students who came to study here from mainland China, the pillar might be their first introduction to the Tiananmen massacre. On one side of the pillar's base, a plaque provided "A Brief History of the 1989 Beijing Pro-Democracy Movement." It recounted how the death of pro-reform Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang in April 1989 sparked mass demonstrations in favor of democratic reforms. Beijing's Tiananmen Square became a central gathering spot for students who waged a hunger strike to try to prompt a dialogue with Communist Party leaders. The government refused, declared martial law, and ultimately sent in military convoys to clear the square. On June 3 and 4, 1989, "several thousand soldiers forced their way via various routes into Beijing City, using guns and bullets to shoot unarmed citizens and students. Tanks were deployed to recover the Square," the plaque read. An official death toll was never confirmed. A 1990 report on the massacre by Amnesty International noted that Chinese authorities tallied some 200 civilian casualties, while Amnesty itself concluded that at least 1,000 people had been killed. Another more recent estimate based on a diplomatic cable declassified in 2017 pinned the number of civilian casualties at more than 10,000.Whatever the ultimate toll, there was no doubt in Rose Tang's mind that it had been a bloody day. Rose Tang in Tiananmen Square on May 21, 1989. At the time, she was a 20-year-old freshman in college.Rose Tang/HandoutTang was a freshman studying English at what was then known as the Beijing Second Foreign Languages Institute. She ditched classes in the spring of 1989 to join her classmates in Tiananmen Square to chant pro-democracy slogans, even though, she now says, she had very little idea of what democracy even meant. Her memoir of the events of June 4 describes bullets whizzing overhead, a stampede trampling over dead bodies, and the deafening noise of tanks moving in and crushing tents set up in the square. But there's one detail of the aftermath that helps explain why Galschiøt's sculpture found a loyal following in Hong Kong, which was a British colony until 1997. When Tang revisited Tiananmen Square some seven months after the massacre, she found no trace of what had happened there that day. There were no signs of blood stains or bullet holes from June 4, 1989, let alone any memorial. She walked around, trying to find proof to back up her memories. There were only a few armed soldiers patrolling the square as water trucks sprinkled water on the ground. "All I could see was the clean wet concrete ground glittering in street lights," she recalled in her memoir.Tang turned to a life of art and activism to help her cope with the events of that day. She has written poetry and music inspired by June 4, 1989, and toured with a band that performed songs that student protesters sang at Tiananmen Square. "Making music and using music to heal and mobilize people is my way of carrying on the true legacy of Tiananmen. Art is power. Performance is protest," she said.Tang eschewed making sculptures, though. "I just personally found it really hard to convey the experience of Tiananmen through visual art," she said. She admires Galschiøt for trying. Rose Tang at a Tiananmen Square massacre memorial in New York City on June 4, 2020.Thirdblade PhotographyBut something about Galschiøt's sculpture always puzzled Tang. On close inspection, the figures assembled on Galschiøt's pillar appeared to span the races. One could be excused for wondering whether this was all a mistake: A white man from Denmark created a sculpture to commemorate the killings of Chinese civilians, and he filled it with people from all over the world?'My Inner Beast'The international nature of the sculpture was precisely what Galschiøt had in mind when he began to sketch out the vision for his Pillar of Shame in the early 1990s. Galschiøt had turned to making sculptures in the 1980s after a career as a blacksmith at a Danish shipyard and a rebellious youth filled with drugs, travel, and a desire to distance himself from his father's communist sympathies. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, he grew hopeful for a more egalitarian future but was soon dismayed by Serbian militias' mass rape of Muslim women in Bosnia and other atrocities. He became convinced that civilization is only a thin veneer that can crumble at any time and unleash an inner barbarism laid bare in such episodes. In 1993 he installed concrete sculptures of a pig dressed in a gentleman's overcoat in 20 cities across Europe. Titled "My Inner Beast," the project aimed to call attention to Europeans' mistreatment of ethnic minorities. The sculptures proved an unwelcome sight to governments that never asked for them. Most were torn down, and only a few remain standing today. Galschiøt's middle son, Kasper Galschiøt Markus, recalled eating "significantly more porridge" in the months that followed since Galschiøt nearly went broke paying for the project out of pocket. But profit wasn't the goal. The reaction to the sculpture became part of the story the art sought to tell, summarized by the motto, "It is not the foreigners but our reaction to the foreigners that threatens our civilization." Galschiøt preparing a Pillar of Shame replica.Mikkel Møller for InsiderGalschiøt began to make small models of the Pillar of Shame that same year. As the idea took shape, he assembled 7 tons of clay to create the casting mold for the sculpture.He included faces of people that represented a wide variety of races and ethnicities, hoping to create a universal symbol. Once he finished his prototype in 1996, he went looking for contacts who could help him install it in various places around the world. The Tiananmen Square massacre quickly came to mind, but he knew it would be impossible to install a pillar in Beijing. 'They made a good fight for freedom'Hong Kong offered the tantalizing possibility of a work-around. After years of negotiations, the UK was due to hand control of Hong Kong back to China on July 1, 1997.  If Galschiøt could get the pillar to Hong Kong while the city was still in British hands, China would take the sculpture with it. "At that time, we had good reason to believe that this statue would not be allowed to enter after the transition," Albert Ho, who helped Galschiøt get the pillar to Hong Kong, recalled in a later interview.Ho was a leader of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, a group founded in 1989 just before the massacre. One of the alliance's signature projects was an annual candlelight vigil commemorating Tiananmen victims. Galschiøt reached out to see whether the group would help him install a replica of the sculpture and soon he had a partner: On May 2, 1997, he packed up a copy of the pillar in a shipping container and sent it off to Hong Kong. The sculpture arrived at a Hong Kong container terminal nine days before the alliance's annual candlelight vigil in the city's sprawling Victoria Park. The alliance displayed it prominently at the June 4 vigil, which happened to coincide with Galschiøt's birthday. Afterward, the pillar was loaded onto a truck headed for Hong Kong University, where student leaders hoped to install it near their student union. Tang joined part of the march to campus, walking alongside Galschiøt. Galschiøt grew concerned as scuffles broke out between students and security guards who wouldn't let the truck through to campus. Security guards eventually relented, and the sculpture was dropped off as onlookers applauded, according to Associated Press archival footage from the night. "They made a good fight for freedom," Galschiøt told an AP reporter at the time.The pillar made the rounds to several schools around the city before the Hong Kong University student union voted in 1998 to permanently host it on its campus. Galschiøt, meanwhile, wrote a manifesto for his artwork. "My name is Jens Galschiøt. I'm a Danish artist born 1954. My new art happening the Pillar of Shame has just been launched, as the sculpture was displayed 4th June '97 in Hong Kong," began the lengthy December 1997 missive, which predicted that "over the next ten years the happening will spread over the Planet." Galschiøt listed Auschwitz, the site of the infamous Nazi death camp, and Rwanda, where a 1994 genocide had just killed an estimated 800,000 people, as two possible candidates for Pillars of Shame.Galschiøt outside his studio in Denmark.Mikkel Møller for InsiderSoon he managed to install a "Columna de la infamia" in Mexico to commemorate the 1997 killings of 45 Indigenous people in Chiapas state and a "Coluna da infâmia" in Brazil to mark the 1996 murder of 19 landless Brazilian peasants. Both sculptures made brief appearances near parliament buildings in their respective countries, elevating their visibility in Mexico and Brazil. In 1999 he outlined a grand vision to install a pillar in Berlin atop a platform covered with bronze plates notched with 10 million lines representing the victims of Nazi-era persecution (the project was too costly, and he gave up on it in late 2002). In 2012, he traveled to Iraq to explore the possibility of placing a pillar there to commemorate the victims of Saddam Hussein's mass murders of Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s (installing a sculpture in a war zone was too dangerous, though Galschiøt hopes to try again someday).Galschiøt openly mused that Hong Kong's Pillar of Shame might someday move to Beijing if political circumstances allowed it. But he acknowledged that it might just as well be removed or destroyed: "The Pillar of Shame will be a test of the validity of the new authorities' guarantees for human rights and freedom of expression in Hong Kong," he wrote in a post on his website.'The old cannot kill the young forever'Galschiøt was right about the possibility of his sculpture being removed from Hong Kong.The early signs of trouble came in April 2008, when Galschiøt flew to the city only to be denied entry. He was there to paint the pillar orange as part of a campaign to raise awareness of China's alleged human-rights abuses ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. In Galschiøt's absence, members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China carried out the paint job. News reports at the time described the ordeal as a test of the freedoms China had granted to Hong Kong when it took over.Hong Kongers would experience many more such tests in the years that followed. In 2014, protests erupted when China insisted on vetting any candidates for the territory's chief executive before allowing the post to be elected directly by the people. The tense 79-day standoff with pro-democracy protesters became known as the Umbrella Movement after demonstrators used umbrellas to shield themselves from the pepper spray police used to try to disperse them. The sense of togetherness and community among the protesters felt like a repeat of the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement to Tang, who flew from the US to Hong Kong to camp out with the protesters and speak up for their cause. Even larger protests shook the city in 2019 after Hong Kong leaders proposed amending the territory's extradition laws to allow criminal suspects to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. The protests grew into a broader movement against Beijing's encroachments on the freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong under the terms of its handover from the UK. Meanwhile, Beijing readied a national-security law that would give China broad authority to stamp out dissent in Hong Kong. Even before the law took effect, in June 2020, authorities had already taken aim at Hong Kong's long tradition of commemorating the Tiananmen victims. They refused to let the alliance organize its annual June 4 vigil in 2020, citing COVID-19 restrictions. Thousands showed up anyway. In 2021, Hong Kong blocked the June 4 vigil again and put up a massive police presence to deter Hong Kongers from defying the ban. The same month, the alliance's museum commemorating the massacre was forced to shut down. Police raided the museum in September and confiscated its exhibits just a day after arresting the alliance's leaders under the guise of the national-security law. The alliance disbanded on September 25, and days later reports surfaced that the digital version of its Tiananmen Square massacre museum had been blocked in Hong Kong.  By early October, the pillar's time had come. Galschiøt wasn't formally notified that the Pillar of Shame would be removed. Mayer Brown, an American law firm representing Hong Kong University, sent a letter demanding its removal to the liquidators of the alliance (the alliance didn't actually own the sculpture; Galschiøt had always retained ownership). The October 7 letter gave the now-defunct pro-democracy group six days to remove the sculpture from the university, a publicly funded institution, or consider the pillar abandoned property that would be dealt with "at such time and in such manner" as the university saw fit. Galschiøt tried to intervene but said he couldn't get a reply to his lawyer's pleas to let him come to Hong Kong to retrieve the artwork.The sudden deadline was sandwiched between two typhoons that pummeled Hong Kong with heavy rains and winds. As the storms moved through the city, the October 13 removal deadline held firm. Hong Kongers flocked to the sculpture to bid their farewells to what many saw as one of the last vestiges of freedom of expression in the Chinese territory. "Say goodbye to freedom," one man said as he snapped a photo of the sculpture one day before the deadline. Steps away, a father took a selfie in front of the pillar with his 9-year-old daughter. Afterward, the little girl grabbed her father's phone and snapped some photos of it herself. On their way out, he pointed to the inscription "the old cannot kill the young forever" as she looked on attentively. Shortly after, it started to rain again. But the crowds kept coming.A father introduces his daughter to Galschiøt's Pillar of Shame sculpture in Hong Kong on October 12, 2021.Cezary Podkul for InsiderThe university hit a snag when Mayer Brown bowed out of the legal matter amid public outrage that an American law firm would be helping Chinese authorities stifle freedom of expression in Hong Kong. (Mayer Brown's decision prompted a former Hong Kong chief executive to call for a China-wide boycott of the law firm. Spokespeople for Mayer Brown did not respond to comment requests.) Several weeks followed when the sculpture's fate stood in a strange state of limbo; it wasn't clear when exactly it would disappear, but there was no doubt the end was near. An artists' collective known as Lady Liberty Hong Kong made use of the delay to take detailed photos of the pillar and create a three-dimensional model that could be used as a basis for 3D printing. Galschiøt, meanwhile, dusted off old molds that he had used to create smaller replicas of the Pillar of Shame in the 1990s so that he would be ready if his sculpture were removed. The limbo ended on December 22. Galschiøt had just told the workers in his workshop in Odense, Denmark, to go home early and enjoy the holiday when he got a call from a reporter seeking comment on the sculpture's removal.  The energy drained from his body; he looked like a parent who had just learned about the loss of his child, recalled his apprentice, Lauge Jakobsen. Social media lit up with footage of workers fencing off the area around the pillar so no one would witness its removal. Reporters still managed to document parts of the ordeal, which ended with a human-like fragment of the sculpture being loaded into a shipping container by a group of workers in hard hats resembling pallbearers at a funeral.The former site of the Pillar of Shame at Hong Kong University as seen the day after the monument was removed.Cezary Podkul for Insider As Galschiøt watched from a distance, all he could do was decry the university's actions. He issued a statement calling the sculpture's removal an unreasonable act of "self-immolation against private property in Hong Kong." Hong Kong University said in a statement that "no party has ever obtained any approval from the university to display the statue on campus," and the statue would be placed in storage pending legal advice on what to do with it. Galschiøt said the university has now responded to his lawyer, and he is sorting out the details of how to return the sculpture from Hong Kong. A spokeswoman for the university did not provide further details. 'Jens' biggest supporter has been the Chinese government'The sculpture's dramatic removal gave Galschiøt the kind of worldwide attention he had long hoped to bring to his international art project. "Suddenly, all the world's eyes were turned on this Pillar of Shame," recalled Jakobsen, his apprentice. "From 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. at night the phone was calling all the time, and our email was looking like a celebrity's fan email because every 10 seconds there were coming new emails."Jakobsen switched from working in Galschiøt's workshop to assisting him in the office as he juggled media requests and inquiries about how to acquire a Pillar of Shame. "Jens' biggest supporter last year has been the Chinese government," Jakobsen said during a phone interview. Galschiøt could be heard laughing beside him.Jessica Chiu was one of those requesters. The native Hong Konger, who's 32 and lives in Norway, first learned about Tiananmen Square from her high school math teacher, who would abandon his usual lesson every June and instead teach about the massacre. Later, as a student at Hong Kong University, Chiu would occasionally pass by Galschiøt's sculpture. Chiu leads a Norwegian nonprofit focused on supporting human rights in Hong Kong. The group had been interested in exhibiting Galschiøt's pillar in Norway since 2020; its removal in Hong Kong reinforced those plans. "It makes us more motivated to do it, and it just makes the impact bigger," Chiu said. Her nonprofit has already applied for permits to display the sculpture at two locations in Oslo, including a plaza near the Nobel Peace Center.Galschiøt at his gallery in Odense, Denmark.Mikkel Møller for InsiderA similar effort is taking shape to bring a copy of the pillar in the US. The most provocative spot under consideration includes a park directly across from the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC. A group of former US government officials, outraged by Mayer Brown's involvement, is spearheading the initiative, which is still in its initial planning stages, according to a person familiar with the effort. Getting a 2-ton sculpture cast and transported abroad — let alone securing a spot for it — is no easy feat, so it's unclear how many of such installations will ultimately succeed. Galschiøt estimated that making the sculpture in a full-size bronze cast costs about $800,000. To make it more affordable and easier to handle, he has started making the smaller, 8.5-foot replicas in copper using an old mold he created in the 1990s. He hopes to distribute the smaller pillars to universities around the world (and requests that schools interested in a copy contact him). He scored his first win in Budapest, Hungary, on March 2, when one of the copper replicas was installed on the site of a future Budapest campus of Fudan University. Hungary lawmakers had voted in 2021 to donate four plots of land toward the planned campus of the Shanghai-based university, which ranks as one of China's most elite schools. The move sparked criticism of Chinese influence-buying and prompted Budapest's mayor to rename streets near the proposed site after various alleged human-rights abuses committed by China. Galschiøt traveled to Budapest to personally dedicate his "a szégyen oszlopa" (Hungarian for "Pillar of Shame") near the corner of Free Hong Kong Road and Uyghur Martyrs Road.Galschiøt applies paint to a pillar, which will soon be shipped aboard.Mikkel Møller for InsiderThe use of the artwork to make political statements about China's alleged human-rights abuses could get easier thanks to the rise of 3D printing. Lady Liberty Hong Kong's three-dimensional model of the sculpture has enabled anyone with access to a 3D printer to create a copy of the sculpture without bothering with the cost and logistics of transporting it from Denmark. To make the process even more hassle-free, Galschiøt surrendered his copyright to the sculpture, writing in an open letter on Christmas Day that anyone is free to 3D print or mass-produce replicas of the pillar as long as profits go to benefit pro-democracy causes in China and Hong Kong.  A 2-foot-tall replica created using Lady Liberty's model recently showed up at a Hong Kong pro-democracy rally in Manchester, England. An even bigger version — 10 feet or taller — is set to be 3D-printed in Taiwan in time for the June 4 anniversary of the massacre. The New School for Democracy Association Taiwan, a pro-democracy group, is spearheading that effort, which is in the planning and fundraising stages, according to the project's manager.Lady Liberty itself is hoping to organize an international art tour with Galschiøt that would feature the pillar as well as the group's own signature artwork,  a symbol of the 2019 protest movement in Hong Kong known as Lady Liberty Hong Kong. The 3.5-meter-tall, crowdfunded sculpture of a woman wearing a helmet, goggles, and a respirator made the rounds to various sites across Hong Kong in 2019, including a famous summit known as Lion Rock, before being vandalized and thrown off the cliff (most likely by pro-government activists). Lady Liberty is preparing to sell small replicas of the Pillar of Shame to help fund the art tour, which would also invite other artists to participate, a spokesperson said.Galschiøt's team with a copy of the Pillar of Shame.Mikkel Møller for InsiderTang is raising her hand for the effort. She said she'd like to reunite her Tiananmen band and perform under Galschiøt's Pillar of Shame if a replica makes its way for a tour in the US. In Canada, a scrappy group of expatriate Hong Kongers created a supply chain that allows them to 3D print and ship copies of the pillar anywhere in the world. Their website, CanHKer.ca, sells a variety of Hong Kong-themed merchandise — including 3D prints of Lady Liberty Hong Kong — to fund pro-democracy causes. Proceeds from the 3D-printed pillar replicas are earmarked for organizations that help young Hong Kong refugees resettle in Canada and seek asylum, said Eric Li, who cofounded one of the groups and helped launch the merchandise website. Many of the refugees are youths who faced persecution for their pro-democracy activities, Li said. Some are depressed and feel guilty, even suicidal, for having left Hong Kong behind, he said. Others are traumatized after their violent clashes with police. "They feel they betrayed their friends because they ran away from the action," said Li, who helps arrange counseling for the youths as part of his work for one of the groups that will receive proceeds from the pillars'  sales. Art 'without interruption'There isn't much action left when it comes to protests in Hong Kong. The Beijing-imposed national-security law has succeeded in ending the mass demonstrations that gripped the city in 2019. You might find an occasional pro-democracy slogan or poster here or there, but any public artwork the government could deem subversive to Beijing is likely to quickly vanish from public view. A day after Galschiøt's pillar disappeared in December, two other Tiananmen-themed monuments were removed by universities in Hong Kong. The "Goddess of Democracy," an imitation of a sculpture created by Tiananmen Square protesters in 1989, was hauled away from the Chinese University of Hong Kong on December 24. A relief depicting the Tiananmen Square massacre was removed from the campus of Lingnan University the same day. Both artworks were created by Chen Weiming, an exiled Chinese sculptor who lives in California. Chen is now trying to repatriate the monuments from the universities and is planning to house them at a Tiananmen Square museum that he hopes to build at his sculpture park in Yermo, California. "In America, I can do anything I want to do. In China, I can't do it," Chen said.In late January, Hong Kong University covered up the last public tribute to Tiananmen victims on its campus — a hand-painted slogan on a bridge outside a dormitory. It read, "The souls of the martyrs shall forever linger despite the cold-blooded massacre. The spark of democracy shall forever glow for the demise of evil." Every year, students would touch up the paint on the 32-year-old inscription and wash the Pillar of Shame.The former site of the Pillar of Shame at Hong Kong University has been replaced with an outdoor seating area.Cezary Podkul for InsiderThe former site of the pillar is now a seating area with movable plastic furniture atop wooden planks. The area stood empty on a recent Monday evening as the clean, wet planks glittered in overhead lights. With the usual churn of a university, it won't take more than a few years for future generations of students to sit in the area without any idea of what stood here previously, or why. But nearby, another sculpture remains intact. It's a commemoration of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, widely regarded as the father of modern China, who sits calmly in a chair surrounded by a placid fishpond topped with water lilies. Sun is a rare figure in recent Chinese history, revered on both sides of the Taiwan Strait for helping to end feudal imperial monarchy in China and briefly serving as the first president of the Republic of China in 1912. Even as Hong Kong stamps out dissent, posters honoring him as a "great outlaw" invite visitors to a museum of Sun's life and legacy. The university installed Sun's statue in 2003 so students could follow his historic footprint, according to a dedication issued at the time. A sculpture of Sun Yat-sen, the father of modern China, adorns a lily pond on the Hong Kong University campus.Cezary Podkul for InsiderIt is impossible to know what Sun might say about the removal of the Pillar of Shame and other artworks in Hong Kong if he were alive today. But a speech that he gave nearly 100 years ago on Hong Kong University's campus gives a clue. In his remarks, Sun called Hong Kong and the university his "intellectual birthplace" and explained why he got his revolutionary ideas there: "Hong Kong impressed me a great deal, because there was orderly calm and because there was artistic work being done without interruption."Cezary Podkul is an award-winning investigative reporter who has written for ProPublica, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters. He teaches at Hong Kong University's Journalism and Media Studies Centre.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 18th, 2022

Hochul announces start date for $9B JFK terminal addition

Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reached a revised agreement with The New Terminal One (NTO) – a consortium of financial sponsors – to build a 2.4 million square foot state-of-the-art new international terminal that will anchor the south side of John F. Kennedy International Airport.  The $9.5 billion project will be built in phases and will create more than 10,000 jobs, becoming the fourth major terminal project announced... The post Hochul announces start date for $9B JFK terminal addition appeared first on Real Estate Weekly. Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has reached a revised agreement with The New Terminal One (NTO) – a consortium of financial sponsors – to build a 2.4 million square foot state-of-the-art new international terminal that will anchor the south side of John F. Kennedy International Airport.  The $9.5 billion project will be built in phases and will create more than 10,000 jobs, becoming the fourth major terminal project announced by the Port Authority as part of a complete transformation of JFK into a world-class airport worthy of New York and the region.  When completed, The New Terminal One will be the largest international terminal at JFK and aspires to be among the top rated airport terminals in the world.      “As we recover from this pandemic, I want to ensure that everyone traveling to New York has a welcoming and streamlined experience, and that New Yorkers have the modernized transportation hubs they deserve,” Governor Hochul said. “The time to get large infrastructure projects done is now, and I’m committed to getting JFK’s brand new Terminal One underway and completed as soon as possible.”      The Port Authority Board of Commissioners will vote on the proposed lease agreement at its meeting this Thursday. The full cost of the terminal will be privately financed by the NTO consortium which includes financial partners Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure, and Ullico. A joint venture of Munich Airport International and CAG Holdings is the operating and technical services partner to the consortium.      As part of the project, the Port Authority will undertake a number of infrastructure upgrades and improvements including roads, parking, and utilities including a new electrical substation. The New Terminal One will be built on the sites of the current undersized and outdated Terminal 1, the aging and obsolete 59-year-old Terminal 2, and the site of the former Terminal 3, which was demolishedin 2013. Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to begin in mid-2022 and the first phase, including the new arrivals and departures hall and first set of new gates, is expected to open in 2026.     The project was initially scheduled to break ground in 2020. Due to the severe impact of the COVID-19 on air travel, the terms of the agreement needed to be restructured. The restructured deal announced today marks a major step forward in the ambitious plan to transform JFK into a unified, 21st century global gateway. The new terminal will be built in phases, subject to international passenger traffic levels, with full completion anticipated in approximately 2030.      The New Terminal One will ultimately have 23 new gates, as well as bright and airy check-in halls and arrival spaces designed to enhance the customer experience and compete with some of the highest-rated airport terminals in the world. Customers will enjoy world-class, New York-inspired dining and retail amenities, as well as space for lounges, an indoor green space and family-friendly amenities. The New Terminal One will incorporate the latest advances in both sustainability and security and be infused a with uniquely New York sense of place.        In October 2018, following a competitive review of leasing proposals, the Port Authority entered into exclusive negotiations for the development of two major new international terminals, one each on the airport’s north and south sides, that would lead the transformation of JFK and increase the airport’s capacity to accommodate projected growth.      Today’s announcement reflects a significant vote of confidence by the private sector in the future of JFK Airport, the return of air travel, and the economic recovery of the region. A key element of the restructured agreement is an extended lease term to 2060 to provide sufficient time after the terminal opens to enable the private investors recover their multi-billion-dollar investments. The City of New York’sten-yearemergency extension of the master lease for JFK Airport, which had been set to expire in 2050, enabled this important element of the restructured deal with NTO.        This week, the Port Authority Board will also vote on the authorization of the full $2.9 billion of funds which were included in the Port Authority’s 2017-2026 Capital Plan for the JFK Redevelopment program. These funds are allocated to enabling infrastructure in direct support of JFK Redevelopment, including roadway improvements, utilities, improved parking facilities, a ground transportation center and airfield work. (To date, approximately $1.24 billion of those funds have been authorized through separate Board actions.) Thus, the Port Authority capital is leveraging private investment at a rate of more than 5:1 when taking into account the full private investment of more than $15 billion that has been committed to the four projects comprising the full JFK redevelopment program.      The development of The New Terminal One is expected to result in over 10,000 total jobs including more than 6,000 union construction jobs.        NTO is a private consortium comprised of Carlyle, JLC Infrastructure (formed in 2015 by Loop Capital and Magic Johnson Enterprises), and Ullico (the only labor-owned insurance and investment company), and is supported by Reach Airports, a joint venture between Munich Airport International and Carlyle’s airport platform, CAG Holdings, providing technical services. NTO selected a design build team, led by AECOM Tishman, and Gensler, a design and architecture firm.        JLC’s participation as a minority-owned equity investor in the project is notable not only in that it continues the state’s trend of MWBE firms creating wealth by investing in such a major public-private partnership – beyond the provision of goods and services such as construction contracts – but doing so at the 30 percentlevel, which is both historic and nation-leading.       The passenger facilities at The New Terminal One will feature significantly larger check-in, security and concessions areas with high ceilings, natural light and modern architecture coupled with interior green space, exhibits and art featuring iconic New York landmarks and local artists. World-class retail, restaurants and bars will include locally inspired restaurateurs, craft beverage options and Taste NY stores. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi and an abundance of charging stations throughout the terminal will enable passengers to stay connected at each step of their journey.        State-of-the-art technology will further improve the customer experience and security in the new terminal including elements such as touchless passenger journey, digital passenger flow and queue management, TSA security lanes featuring the latest technology, advanced video search analytics, biometric-based systems and a flexible design to accommodate future technology and/or regulatory changes.       Sustainability enhancements will include the use of renewable energy technologies such as a solar hot water, aircraft de-icing and fluid recovery, and the conversion of diesel ground service equipment to electric-powered ground service fleet across the airport – such as baggage tractors and belt loaders.        Plans for The New Terminal One build on the momentum of the other three major components of the airport’s transformation. The $3.9 billion development of a state-of-the-art new Terminal 6, to be built by JFK Millennium Partners, on the airport’s north side that will seamlessly connect with JetBlue’s existing Terminal 5 was approved by the Port Authority Board of Commissioners in August. The $1.5 billion expansion of Terminal 4, led by Delta and JFK International Air Terminal, was approved in the spring and will begin construction in the immediate future. Additionally, work began in December 2019 on the $425 million expansion of JFK’s Terminal 8, led by American Airlines, which operates the terminal, and British Airways, which will be relocating to Terminal 8 from Terminal 7, set to be demolished to make way for the new Terminal 6.      The post Hochul announces start date for $9B JFK terminal addition appeared first on Real Estate Weekly......»»

Category: realestateSource: realestateweeklyDec 15th, 2021

The labor shortage is reshaping the economy and how people talk about work. Here"s a glossary of all the new phrases that sum up workers" frustration with their deal, from "lying flat" to "antiwork."

Americans are rebelling against work, from striking to quitting en masse. Here's your guide to the terms they're using that you should know. Samantha Lee/Insider The labor shortage has its own language, as American workers exercise newfound power. The slang of the Great Resignation captures emerging attitudes about work - and it has a Gen Z vibe. Here's a guide to the key terms and tactics that workers are adopting. The labor shortage is giving rise to a whole new way of thinking - and talking - about work.The historic number of job openings and quitting employees is coinciding with Gen Z's emergence in the workplace. As is wont to happen, the newest generation of workers is bringing new norms with it. Corporate lingo is out; lols on Slack are in (just not the laughing crying emoji).Beyond surface-level communication, Gen Zers are bringing a new work ethos tied to ongoing labor movements. They want work they care about, that mirrors their values. They question the need for a traditional 9-5, rather than days that mirror how much time their work takes up.Their older millennial bosses are also scared of them, according to The New York Times.Oh, and strikes are back in full force. But short of this old-school union tactic, workers are finding other ways to express their displeasure with the demands of corporate overlords. Here's our ever-evolving glossary on the key labor terms and tactics you need to know right now. "Labor shortages" abound as businesses can't fill open positions. Businesses, especially those that offer lower wages, have been struggling to hire workers. Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM/Getty Images You've probably heard about — or experienced the effect of — labor shortages. This is the phenomenon of businesses, especially low-wage ones, struggling to hire. As a result, you might see some of your favorite restaurants closing earlier or their service slowing.There's no one reason for labor shortages.Mismatches between the jobs that are open and the skills that workers have are likely partially responsible. Workers are also moving and leaving jobs behind. And workers have higher expectations and want more out of work after living through a pandemic.Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told Insider that he thought three things were driving shortages: the mere fact of living through unprecedented times, health concerns, and people rethinking what they want out of work.Importantly, there's a mismatch between businesses saying they're eager to hire and the people who are still out of work. For instance, in August the Black unemployment rate went up, even as businesses said they were scrambling to hire. William Spriggs — an economics professor at Howard University and the chief economist for the AFL-CIO, described it as "the self-evident discrimination in the labor market revealing itself." The Black unemployment rate ticked down a bit in September but remains elevated. "Antiwork" permeates online culture as people rethink 9-to-5s. An "antiwork" community on Reddit has grown significantly in the past few months. Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images The "antiwork" community on Reddit has exploded in recent months, with the number of followers skyrocketing. It's become the internet's new home for people who are quitting their jobs and revolting over low pay and poor working conditions.The subreddit has coalesced around ways that work could fundamentally be restructured, Insider's Kat Tenbarge reported. Posts ruminate on topics like the length of the workday, the impact of overwork, and ways that workers can build power.The subreddit has over 950,000 subscribers. Publicly available Reddit data indicates the subscriber count nearly doubled from about 500,000 in early October to over 900,000 by the month's end.  A permanent "slowdown" or "slow-up" could make work life more sustainable. A work slowdown is one way that unionized workers can exert pressure on their employers. FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images A work slowdown is fairly straightforward: It's when workers "deliberately work slowly," often in an effort to change something about their working conditions. It's one pressure unionized workers can exert.Erika Rodriguez argued in The Guardian that the current labor movement called for a "slow-up," or a widespread rethinking of the pace of work.The slow-up, Rodriguez wrote, "signals that slowing down can improve workers' quality of life.""The objective is not to drive down profits (though that may happen), but to uphold the ideal that everyone deserves a life of dignity, which includes rest and distance from work," Rodriguez added.Examples of slowing up, according to Rodriguez, could include checking your email on just certain days. Or you could practice strategic "time theft," when you're not working during work hours but doing things like socializing, taking unrecorded breaks, or even just watching some TikToks. In China, young people are "lying flat" after seeing their peers suffer from overwork. Chinese and American millennials face similar challenges, including rising debt and staggeringly high home prices. Dan Porges/Getty Images "Lying flat" is more than just resting. A translation of "tang ping," it's a rebuke of work and hustle culture by Gen Z and millennial Chinese workers that's been likened to a spiritual movement, according to the BBC.The movement is centered on people finding happiness in their lives as is and taking the proper time to unwind, Insider's Stephen Jones reported. The country's younger tech workers have contended with a "996" work schedule, where they work 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.The concept is seen as a response to "neijuan," a word that describes "the hyper-competitive lifestyle in China," Insider's Cheryl Teh reported.The movement posits that it's OK and good to not strive for constant success and upward movement. The Brookings Institution reported in July that Chinese state media had decried the movement and that discussions across social media platforms had been shut down. The "take this job and shove it" indicator shows that people are quitting in droves. Economists have used the phrase "take this job and shove it" to describe Americans quitting en masse. richiesd/Getty Images Some economists have latched on to a new phrase to describe the millions of people quitting their jobs: "Take this job and shove it."The phrase was popularized in a country song in which the singer Johnny Paycheck croons, "Take this job and shove it / I ain't working here no more," interspersed with verses about his partner leaving, bosses with superiority complexes, and coworkers dying.The economic research group DataTrek Research created a "take this job and shove it" indicator. Every month it tracks how many job separations came from quits rather than layoffs or other reasons for people leaving. In August, the indicator rose to a high of 71.1%. The "YOLO economy" means some people are quitting to pursue a better life. The "YOLO economy" describes well-off millennial workers who've decided to make big life changes in the wake of the pandemic. Marko Klaric/EyeEm/Getty Images You Only Live Once, and, if you're like some people, you're not going to spend that time in your current job for one minute longer.The New York Times coined the term the "YOLO economy" earlier this year to describe the relatively well-off millennial workers who survived a pandemic and decided to overturn their lives. Their priorities shifted; some took their side hustles full time, others moved out of state for a change, and still others are staying home to spend more time with loved ones.Dane Drewis, who left his corporate finance job to become a musician, built up his savings and financial strategy before taking the plunge from part-time music fan to full-time performer."Honestly I'm tired of doing spreadsheets all day," Drewis told Insider's Phil Rosen. "I'm ready to share as much happiness and love as possible through committing myself to music."Of course, the YOLO economy isn't applicable for everyone. The Washington Post chronicled some older workers still scrambling to find employment. The Times noted that many of the YOLO-ers were able to build up a financial cushion for their new lives. Organized "labor strikes" mean major work stoppages across the country as workers flex newfound power. John Deere workers in Davenport, Iowa, went on strike in October. Scott Olson/Getty Images You've probably been hearing a lot about strikes in recent months as more workers take to the picket line.Simply put, a strike is when workers collectively stop working in an effort to change conditions about their work. Collective action by workers has been an effective tool for workplace change for centuries: The first recorded labor strike took place in 1156 BC, when Egyptian workers participated in a work stoppage over late payment, Insider's Allana Akhtar and Joey Hadden reported.The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines a "major work stoppage" as a stoppage that involves over 1,000 workers and lasts at least one shift. Over the past two decades there has been an average of 16 work stoppages beginning each year.In the US, the National Labor Relations Act gives workers the right to strike, though there are limitations on what's considered a lawful and unlawful strike. "Striketober" was when several major companies had work stoppages in October 2021. Workers at Kellogg's cereal plants struck in October over the loss of premium healthcare; holiday and vacation pay; and reduced retirement benefits. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images In October, an increasingly powerful labor movement took to the streets. Thousands of workers went on strike or geared up to hit the picket line over working conditions and contract negotiations. Labor activists and politicians called it #Striketober.Over 100,000 workers voted to authorize strikes, The Hill reported. Over 1,000 workers at Kellogg's went on strike in early October; contract negotiations started up again in early November."There seems to be a movement sweeping across America with labor right now. People are finally standing up for what they believe, and the workers are trying to get what they deserve," Dan Osborn, the president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' Union Local 50G in Omaha, Nebraska, and one of the striking workers, previously told Insider.Ten thousand John Deere workers also went on strike. In early November they were gearing up to vote on a tentative agreement that would double an initially proposed wage increase.Tens of thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers are gearing up to strike, while healthcare workers in Buffalo, New York, have been striking for over a month. Miners in Alabama have been on strike since April. Workers have been quitting in record numbers amid a "Great Resignation." Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist, coined the term "the Great Resignation" earlier this year. Mays Business School In May, Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist, uttered the labor phrase heard around the world: "the Great Resignation.""I don't know why I used the word 'great' and called it 'the Great Resignation,'" Klotz previously told Insider. He had been using it at home with his wife to describe what he thought might happen to the workforce.It ended up being prophetic. For five months Americans have been quitting at record rates. In August alone — the last month that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data for — about 4.3 million people quit their jobs. Some of them may have wanted to quit earlier but waited during the pandemic. Others may be part of the YOLO economy or leveraging worker movements to find higher wages elsewhere."From organizational research, we know that when human beings come into contact with death and illness in their lives, it causes them to take a step back and ask existential questions," Klotz said. "Like, what gives me purpose and happiness in life, and does that match up with how I'm spending my right now? So, in many cases, those reflections will lead to life pivots." Some experts say workers aren't just quitting for good but switching to better jobs in a "Great Reshuffle." "The Great Reshuffle" is an offshoot of "the Great Resignation." Peter Dazely The Great Resignation even has its own offshoot. Insider's Hillary Hoffower reported on the "Great Reshuffle," where workers are switching from one job to another — with the youngest members of the workforce driving the trend.LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky told Time in mid-October that, year-over-year, job transitions on LinkedIn had gone up by 54%. For Gen Z workers, transitions skyrocketed by 80%, with millennials trailing behind, at 50%, Roslansky said.A reshuffle might help workers do more than just escape from a crappy job. In July, Insider's Aki Ito reported that job switchers were using the red-hot labor market to "supercharge their careers" or land in a different field completely. Employers were getting into bidding wars, upping offers, and even offering hefty bonuses to lure workers to reshuffle with them. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 3rd, 2021

The labor shortage is reshaping the economy, and how people talk about work. Here"s a glossary of all the new phrases that sum up workers" frustration with their deal, from "lying flat" to "antiwork."

Americans are rebelling against work, from strikes to quitting en masse. Here's your guide to all of the terms they're using that you should know. Samantha Lee/Insider The labor shortage has its own language, as American workers exercise newfound power and a vocabulary to explain it. The slang of the Great Resignation captures Americans' emerging new attitude toward work - and it has a Gen Z vibe. Here's your guide to the key terms and tactics that workers are adopting to describe "take this job and shove it." The labor shortage is giving rise to a whole new way of thinking - and talking - about work.The historic number of job openings and quitting employees is coinciding with Gen Z's emergence into the workplace. As is wont to happen, the newest generation of workers is bringing new norms with them. Corporate lingo is out; lols on Slack are in (just not the laughing crying emoji). But beyond surface-level communication, Gen Z is also bringing a new work ethos tied to ongoing labor movements. They want work they care about, that mirrors their values. They question the need for traditional 9-5 days, rather than days that mirror how much time their work takes up.Their older millennial bosses are also scared of them, according to the New York Times.Oh, and strikes are back in full force. But short of this old-school union tactic, workers are finding other ways to express their displeasure with the demands of corporate overlords. Here's our ever-evolving glossary on the key labor terms and tactics you need to know right now. "Labor shortages" abound as businesses can't fill open positions Photo of a help wanted sign along Middle Country Road in Selden on July 20, 2021. Thomas A. Ferrara/Newsday RM/Getty Images You've probably heard about — or experienced the effect of — labor shortages. This is the phenomenon of businesses, especially low wage ones, struggling to hire up. The result: You might see some of your favorite restaurants closing earlier, or service slowing.There's no one reason for labor shortages.Mismatches between the jobs that are open and the skills that workers have are likely partially responsible; workers are also moving, and leaving jobs behind. And, of course, workers have higher expectations and want more out of work after living through a pandemic.Labor Secretary Marty Walsh told Insider that he thinks three things are driving shortages: The mere fact of living through unprecedented times, health concerns, and people rethinking what they want out of work.Importantly, there's a mismatch between between businesses saying they're eager to hire and who's still out of work. For instance, in August, the Black unemployment rate went up, even as businesses said they were scrambling to hire. It's what Dr. William Spriggs — an economics professor at Howard University and the chief economist for the AFL-CIO — said was "the self-evident discrimination in the labor market revealing itself." The Black unemployment rate ticked a bit in September, but still remains elevated. "Antiwork"permeates online culture as people rethink 9-to-5s Snoo, the alien mascot of Reddit. Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images The "antiwork" community on Reddit has exploded in recent months, with the number of followers skyrocketing by hundreds of thousands. It's become the Internet's new home for people who are quitting their jobs and revolting over low-pay and poor work conditions.As Insider's Kat Tenbarge reports, the subreddit has coalesced around ways that work could fundamentally be restructured. Posts ruminate on topics like the length of the work day, the impact of overwork, and ways that workers can build power.The subreddit currently has over 950,000 subscribers. Publicly available Reddit data shows the subscriber count nearly doubling from around 500,000 in early October to over 900,000 by the month's end.  A permanent "slowdown" or "slow-up" could make work life more sustainable FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images A work slowdown is a fairly straightforward term: It's when, according to Collins English Dictionary, workers "deliberately work slowly" — often in an effort to change something about their working condition, from wages to hours. It's one pressure unionized workers can exert.However, Erika Rodriguez argues in The Guardian that the current labor movement calls for a "slow-up": A widespread rethinking of the pace of work.The slow-up, Rodriguez writes, "signals that slowing down can improve workers' quality of life. The objective is not to drive down profits (though that may happen), but to uphold the ideal that everyone deserves a life of dignity, which includes rest and distance from work."Examples of slowing up, per Rodriguez, could include checking your email on just certain days. Or you could practice strategic "time theft" — when you're not working during work hours, but instead doing things like socializing, taking unrecorded breaks, or even just watching some TikToks.   In China, young people are "lying flat" after seeing their peers suffer from overwork Chinese millennials face similar challenges to American millennials, including rising debt and staggeringly high home prices. Dan Porges/Getty Images "Lying flat" is more than just resting. A translation of "tang ping," it's a rebuke of work and hustle culture by Gen Z and millennial Chinese workers, according to the BBC. The outlet said that lying flat has been likened to a spiritual movement.As Insider's Stephen Jones reports, the movement is centered around people finding happiness in their lives as is, and taking the proper time to unwind. The country's younger tech workers have contended with a "996" work schedule — where they work 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week. Insider's Cheryl Teh reports that the concept is seen as a response to what's called "neijuan" — a word that describes "the hyper-competitive lifestyle in China."The movement posits that it's okay — and, in fact, good — to not strive for constant success, jobs, and movement upwards. According to the Brookings Institute, government media has already decried the movement, and discussions across different social media platforms were shut down. The "take this job and shove it" indicator shows that people are quitting in droves richiesd/Getty Images Some economists have latched onto a new phrase to describe the millions of people quitting their jobs en masse: "Take this job and shove it."The phrase was first popularized in a country song by Johnny Paycheck, where the singer croons, "Take this job and shove it/I ain't working here no more," interspersed with verses about his partner leaving, bosses with superiority complexes, and coworkers dying.Economic research group DataTrek Research has created its own "take this job and shove it" indicator. Every month, they track how many job separations came from quits, rather than layoffs or other reasons for people leaving. In August, the "take this job and shove it" indicator rose to a record high of 71.1%.  The "YOLO economy" means some people are quitting to pursue a better life Hawaii's governor has asked tourists to postpone plans to travel to the state. Marko Klaric/EyeEm/Getty Images You Only Live Once (YOLO), and, if you're like some people, you're not going to spend that time in your current job for one minute longer.The New York Times first coined the term the "YOLO economy" to describe the relatively well-off millennial workers who survived a pandemic — and decided to completely overturn their lives. Their priorities shifted; some took their side hustles full time, others moved out of state for a change, and still others are just staying home to spend more time with loved ones.Insider's Phil Rosen profiled Dane Drewis, who left his corporate finance job to become a musician full time. Drewis built up his own savings and financial strategy before taking the plunge from part-time music fanatic to full-time performer."Honestly I'm tired of doing spreadsheets all day," Drewis told Insider. "I'm ready to share as much happiness and love as possible through committing myself to music."Of course, the YOLO economy isn't applicable for everyone. As The Washington Post chronicles, some older workers are still scrambling to find employment; The New York Times notes that many of the YOLO-ers were able to build up a financial cushion to back their new lives. Organized "labor strikes" mean major work stoppages across the country as workers flex newfound power John Deere workers on strike on October 15, 2021 in Davenport, Iowa. Scott Olson/Getty Images You've probably been hearing a lot about strikes in recent months, as more workers take to the picket line. Simply put, a strike is when workers collectively stop working in an effort to change conditions about their work. Collective action by workers has been an effective tool for workplace change for centuries; as Insider's Allana Akhtar and Joey Hadden report, the first recorded labor strike took place in 1156 BC. Egyptian workers participated in a work stoppage over late payment.The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines a "major work stoppage" as a stoppage that involves over 1,000 workers, and lasts at least one shift. Over the past two decades, there have been an average of 16 work stoppages beginning each year.In the US, the National Labor Relations Act gives workers the right to strike, although there are limitations on what's considered a lawful and unlawful strike.  "Striketober" was when several major companies saw work stoppages in the month of October 2021 Kellogg's Cereal plant workers demonstrate in front of the plant on October 7, 2021 in Battle Creek, Michigan. Workers at Kellogg’s cereal plants are striking over the loss of premium health care, holiday and vacation pay, and reduced retirement benefits. Rey Del Rio/Getty Images October 2021 saw an increasingly powerful labor movement take to the streets. Thousands of workers went on strike — or geared up to hit the picket line — over working conditions and contract negotiations. It's what labor activists and politicians called #Striketober.The month saw over 100,000 workers vote to authorize strikes, according to The Hill. Over 1,000 workers at Kellogg's went on strike in early October; contract negotiations are reportedly starting up again for the first time this week."There seems to be a movement sweeping across America with labor right now. People are finally standing up for what they believe and the workers are trying to get what they deserve," Dan Osborn, the president of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Works and Grain Millers Union local 50G in Omaha, Nebraska, and one of the striking workers, previously told Insider.Ten thousand John Deere workers also went on strike. They're currently gearing up to vote on tentative agreement that would double the initially proposed wage increase.Tens of thousands of Kaiser Permanente workers are gearing up to strike, while healthcare workers in Buffalo have been striking for over a month. Alabama miners have been on strike since April.  Workers have been quitting in record numbers amidst a "Great Resignation" Anthony Klotz Mays Business School In May, organizational psychologist Anthony Klotz uttered the labor phrase heard around the world: The Great Resignation."I don't know why I used the word 'great' and called it 'the Great Resignation,'" Klotz previously admitted to Insider; he had been colloquially using it at home with his wife to describe what he thought might happen to the workforce.It ended up being ultimately prophetic. For five months, Americans have been quitting at record highs. In August alone — the last month that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has released data for — about 4.3 million people quit their jobs. Some of those people may be part of the group who wanted to quit earlier, but waited during the pandemic. Others may be experiencing the YOLO economy, or leveraging worker movements to find higher wages elsewhere."From organizational research, we know that when human beings come into contact with death and illness in their lives, it causes them to take a step back and ask existential questions," Klotz said. "Like, what gives me purpose and happiness in life, and does that match up with how I'm spending my right now? So, in many cases, those reflections will lead to life pivots." Some experts say workers aren't just quitting for good, but instead switching to better jobs in a "Great Reshuffle" Woman in job centre Peter Dazely The Great Resignation even has its own offshoot. Insider's Hillary Hoffower reported on the "Great Reshuffle," where workers are switching from one job to another — with the youngest members of the workforce driving the trend.LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky told TIME that, year-over-year, job transitions have gone up by 54%. For Gen Z workers, transitions skyrocketed by 80%, with millennials trailing behind at 50%.A reshuffle might help workers do more than just escape from a crappy job: In July, Insider's Aki Ito reported that job switchers are using the red-hot labor market to "supercharge their careers" or land in a different field completely. Employers were getting into bidding wars, upping offers, and even offering hefty bonuses to lure workers to reshuffle with them. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 3rd, 2021

Flight attendants at one of American Airlines" largest regional carriers vote to strike

Piedmont Airlines flight attendants voted to strike in response to a new contract proposal which union leader say would actually net less income. An American Eagle Embraer ERJ145 regional aircraft. Lukas Wunderlich/Shutterstock.com Piedmont Airlines flight attendants voted 100% to strike in response to a new contract proposal. The carrier said high health premiums outpace the minimal pay increases offered by Piedmont. Union leaders say Piedmont flight attendants make 45% less than mainline flight attendants offering the same service. Flight attendants at Piedmont Airlines had a 100% strike vote on Thursday after management offered a contract that the union says does not provide a living wage for members. In a vote by Piedmont's flight attendant union, The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, members unanimously voted to authorize a strike, said the AFA, with 75.4% of members participating. The vote comes after years of talks and stalled negotiations over flight attendant pay and benefits. Under Piedmont's proposed contract, flight attendants would get minimal raises that fail to keep up with rising health premiums, meaning they would earn less income under the new contract than they do today, said the AFA. According to AFA Piedmont president Keturah Johnson, the offer is below a living wage and flight attendants "can't afford to work at Piedmont."Following the vote, team members picketed outside Philadelphia International Airport, bringing the matter public, according to the union.According to AFA International President Sara Nelson, flight attendants at Piedmont make up to 45% less than their mainline counterparts at American for doing the same work. According to Glassdoor, the average hourly pay for Piedmont flight attendants is $20 per hour, while American mainline flight attendant pay is $31 per hour."Workers across the country are on strike right now to end two-tier employment systems where workers earn less for the same jobs," said Nelson. "Piedmont Flight Attendants want a fair deal, but if it takes a strike we've got their backs across the industry."Piedmont's management said in a statement it is committed to coming to a contract agreement."We are dedicated to getting a competitive contract negotiated for our more than 350 Piedmont Flight Attendants," a Piedmont spokesperson told Insider. "We have the most professional Flight Service professionals in the industry, and Piedmont is a leader in safety and performance because of their efforts. We are in agreement our team members deserve the best contract and we are committed to delivering that to them. We look forward to getting back to negotiations in November."According to the AFA, the union could request the National Mediation Board declare deadlocked negotiations and send both parties into a 30-day "cooling off" period, which means the company could strike 30 days after making the request. If the union strikes, it would do so under its Create Havoc Around Our System, or CHAOS, strategy. The AFA explained the strike could impact just one flight or the entire system, and it does not have to give notice to management or passengers before striking.Nelson warned about the impact the union strike would have on American's network, mentioning the airline industry's fragile operation and the consequences of staffing shortages. "We've seen in the last few months how delicate the aviation system is, and how much it depends on every worker. The Flight Attendants at Piedmont are sending a message to management and to our entire industry," said Nelson.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 22nd, 2021

American Airlines flight attendants union tells employees they won"t be fired if they refuse to get vaccinated by the airline"s deadline

The flight attendant union said that American is taking a different approach from rival United Airlines, which has achieved a nearly 100% vaccination rate. An American Airlines flight attendant. LM Otero/AP American Airlines' flight attendant union is telling members that they won't be immediately fired if they remain unvaccinated past the airline's deadline. All American employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 per a Biden administration mandate for federal contractors. American's deadline for vaccination is just days before the Thanksgiving holiday. American Airlines' flight attendant union is telling flight attendants unvaccinated for COVID-19 that they won't immediately be fired or taken off flights if they don't abide by the airline's deadline to be vaccinated.The Association of Professional Flight Attendants on Monday updated its members on the status of its negotiations with the airline regarding the vaccine mandate. American, the union stated, indicated that it wouldn't be taking a hardline approach like its rival, United Airlines, to those requesting exemptions for medical or religious reasons."For those Flight Attendants who remain unvaccinated and do not receive an accommodation, you will not be automatically removed from service or terminated from employment on the deadline for compliance," the Association of Professional Flight Attendants said in an October 18 letter to members. "Our Contract provides for a process that must be followed before anyone can be terminated."An American spokesperson told Insider that workers were told they need to submit proof of vaccination by the November 24 deadline and it's still codifying details on an exemption and accommodation process. The airline did not say whether unvaccinated flight attendants would be fired or allowed to fly after the deadline imposed by the airline or the December 8 deadline imposed by the Biden administration.The APFA had previously said that receiving a reasonable accommodation wouldn't guarantee flight attendants would be allowed to keep their jobs. "It is important to know, however, that reasonable accommodation does not necessarily mean you will be allowed to continue working without receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, as we have seen at other carriers and in other industries," the union wrote in an October 2 memo.The AFPA did not return Insider's request for comment. On October 1, an American memo to employees viewed by Insider stated that the airline will have to comply with President Joe Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors and can't offer a testing opt-out."While we are still working through the details of the federal requirements, it is clear that team members who choose to remain unvaccinated will not be able to work at American Airlines," the airline said, adding that those requesting an exemption for medical or religious reasons can do so through an internal company system called Jetnet. The November 24 vaccination deadline falls just one day before the Thanksgiving holiday, one of the busiest travel times of the year. And American, like many airlines, has been operating with a reduced workforce stemming from pandemic cuts in 2020. Any reduction in pilots, flight attendants, or other airline workers during the holiday travel rush could impact airlines like American operationally and lead to delayed and canceled flights if not properly managed. Southwest Airlines most recently felt the impact of being understaffed when it canceled thousands of flights following a bad weather event combined with air traffic control issues. United is in the process of terminating 232 employees that refused to be vaccinated for COVID-19 after vaccinating nearly 100% of its staff. Delta Air Lines has yet to announce a company-wide vaccine mandate in compliance with the Biden administration's mandate but says around 90% of workers are vaccinated. "For those colleagues who did not [get vaccinated], we realize this federal mandate may be difficult, but it is what is required of our company, and we will comply," American said in its letter. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 19th, 2021

Hollywood IATSE union closes tentative deal with studios to avert industry-wide strike

The crew members' union had authorized a potential strike after months of failed negotiations with the AMPTP over pay disparities and working conditions on set. Crew on the New York City set of "And Just Like That..." the follow-up series to "Sex and the City" in September. James Devaney/Getty Images Hollywood's crew members' union reached a tentative deal with the studios late Saturday. The deal secured many IATSE demands, including longer rest periods and higher wages. Terms of the deal need to be ratified by IATSE members before Sunday to avoid a strike on Monday. Negotiators for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) settled on a deal on Saturday to avert a potential industry-crippling workers' strike."Everything achieved was because you, the members, stood up and gave us the power to change the course of these negotiations," leaders of Hollywood's 13 local unions said in a statement to their members. "Our solidarity, at both the leadership and rank and file level, was the primary reason that no local was left behind and every priority was addressed.""This is a Hollywood ending," said IATSE International President Matthew Loeb. "Our members stood firm. They're tough and united."The proposed three-year contract, which would affect 40,000 union members, included the following:• Living wage achieved• Improved wages and working conditions for streaming• Retroactive scale wage increases of 3% annually• Employer-funded benefits for the term• Increased meal period penalties including prevailing rate• Daily reest periods of 10 hours without exclusions• Weekend rest periods of 54 and 32 hours• Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday as a holiday• Diversity, equity and inclusion initiativesThe individual locals will be updating members on more specifics in the coming days, IATSE added.The unions entered 11th-hour virtual marathon meetings late on Friday, according to Variety, with AMPTP President Carol Lombardini addressing details surrounding problematic working conditions in the industry. Lombardini and Loeb came to an agreement on multiple fronts, understanding the repercussions a crew member strike would have on the industry as it recovers from COVID-19 shutdowns.Industry sources also told Variety that Walt Disney Television chief Peter Rice was among those present at the meeting who helped bridge the gap between the two parties.IATSE union members have pushed for longer rest breaks as well as higher wages for lower-paid crafts, after multiple accounts of dangerous working conditions spread via social media, sparking support from the industry's actors, directors, and writers, among others.Saturday's agreement was met with cautious optimism from the industry and IATSE union members, with many praising the efforts of the union over the past weeks, and others saying they expected more from the negotiations."Just confirmed with an IATSE member that they received an email from their Local that a deal has been made!" wrote #PayUpHollywood co-founder Liz Hsiao Lan Alper in a tweet. "IATSE members, I hope like hell you [got] much of what you deserve.""I'm excited if IATSE members are excited," actress Yvette Nicole Brown tweeted. "This is their new contract potentially. They get to decide if what's being offered is what they need to feel safe, well-paid and respected.""Good for IATSE for standing your ground," tweeted actor Patton Oswalt. "And don't forget we got your back anytime you need us #IASolidarity.""I'm still trying to figure out how I feel about it, to be honest," Matt Schouten, a digital imaging technician in IATSE's local 600, told Insider. "At least preliminarily, some of the things that they're mentioning - it seems pretty basic. I think a lot of members were expecting to get more out of the negotiation ... I know already there's a few people that have expressed concern, but it's good to see that they're making progress."-Matthew Federman (@matthewfederman) October 17, 2021 -Travis Helwig (@travishelwig) October 17, 2021Capturing some of that concern was a tweet from Franklin Leonard, the founder of the Black List and a prominent voice for equity in Hollywood. After tweeting about the deal, he added, "Fascinating that leadership is hanging a mission accomplished banner and so many members have jumped in my mentions to assert that they are not a fan of this deal. Genuinely curious how representative of the rank and file they are."-Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) October 17, 2021Many comments on the @IA_stories Instagram account, where crew members have shared tales of difficult working conditions, were skeptical or critical of the agreement outlined Saturday night.Ninety-eight percent of IATSE members voted to authorize a strike in October. The IATSE and AMPTP resumed bargaining negotiations last week after the Loeb announced the former would go on strike unless the parties could reach a deal by the weekend. Negotiations have gone on since July, with the threat of an impending strike hanging overhead.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 17th, 2021

Futures Bounce On Evergrande Reprieve With Fed Looming

Futures Bounce On Evergrande Reprieve With Fed Looming Despite today's looming hawkish FOMC meeting in which Powell is widely expected to unveil that tapering is set to begin as soon as November and where the Fed's dot plot may signal one rate hike in 2022, futures climbed as investor concerns over China's Evergrande eased after the property developer negotiated a domestic bond payment deal. Commodities rallied while the dollar was steady. Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 flipped from losses to gains as China’s central bank boosted liquidity when it injected a gross 120BN in yuan, the most since January... ... and investors mulled a vaguely-worded statement from the troubled developer about an interest payment.  S&P 500 E-minis were up 23.0 points, or 0.53%, at 7:30 a.m. ET. Dow E-minis were up 199 points, or 0.60%, and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 44.00 points, or 0.29%. Among individual stocks, Fedex fell 5.8% after the delivery company cut its profit outlook on higher costs and stalled growth in shipments. Morgan Stanley says it sees the company’s 1Q issues getting “tougher from here.” Commodity-linked oil and metal stocks led gains in premarket trade, while a slight rise in Treasury yields supported major banks. However, most sectors were nursing steep losses in recent sessions. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers: Adobe (ADBE US) down 3.1% after 3Q update disappointed the high expectations of investors, though the broader picture still looks solid, Morgan Stanley said in a note Freeport McMoRan (FCX US), Cleveland- Cliffs (CLF US), Alcoa (AA US) and U.S. Steel (X US) up 2%-3% premarket, following the path of global peers as iron ore prices in China rallied Aethlon Medical (AEMD US) and Exela Technologies (XELAU US) advance along with other retail traders’ favorites in the U.S. premarket session. Aethlon jumps 21%; Exela up 8.3% Other so-called meme stocks also rise: ContextLogic +1%; Clover Health +0.9%; Naked Brand +0.9%; AMC +0.5% ReWalk Robotics slumps 18% in U.S. premarket trading, a day after nearly doubling in value Stitch Fix (SFIX US) rises 15.7% in light volume after the personal styling company’s 4Q profit and sales blew past analysts’ expectations Hyatt Hotels (H US) seen opening lower after the company launches a seven-million-share stock offering Summit Therapeutics (SMMT US) shares fell as much as 17% in Tuesday extended trading after it said the FDA doesn’t agree with the change to the primary endpoint that has been implemented in the ongoing Phase III Ri-CoDIFy studies when combining the studies Marin Software (MRIN US) surged more than 75% Tuesday postmarket after signing a new revenue-sharing agreement with Google to develop its enterprise technology platforms and software products The S&P 500 had fallen for 10 of the past 12 sessions since hitting a record high, as fears of an Evergrande default exacerbated seasonally weak trends and saw investors pull out of stocks trading at lofty valuations. The Nasdaq fell the least among its peers in recent sessions, as investors pivoted back into big technology names that had proven resilient through the pandemic. Focus now turns to the Fed's decision, due at 2 p.m. ET where officials are expected to signal a start to scaling down monthly bond purchases (see our preview here).  The Fed meeting comes after a period of market volatility stoked by Evergrande’s woes. China’s wider property-sector curbs are also feeding into concerns about a slowdown in the economic recovery from the pandemic. “Chair Jerome Powell could hint at the tapering approaching shortly,” said Sébastien Barbé, a strategist at Credit Agricole CIB. “However, given the current uncertainty factors (China property market, Covid, pace of global slowdown), the Fed should remain cautious when it comes to withdrawing liquidity support.” Meanwhile, confirming what Ray Dalio said that the taper will just bring more QE, Governing Council member Madis Muller said the  European Central Bank may boost its regular asset purchases once the pandemic-era emergency stimulus comes to an end. “Dovish signals could unwind some of the greenback’s gains while offering relief to stock markets,” Han Tan, chief market analyst at Exinity Group, wrote in emailed comments. A “hawkish shift would jolt markets, potentially pushing Treasury yields and the dollar past the upper bound of recent ranges, while gold and equities would sell off hunting down the next levels of support.” China avoided a major selloff as trading resumed following a holiday, after the country’s central bank boosted its injection of short-term cash into the financial system. MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index declined for a third day, dragged lower by Japan. Stocks were also higher in Europe. Basic resources - which bounced from a seven month low - and energy were among the leading gainers in the Stoxx Europe 600 index as commodity prices steadied after Beijing moved to contain fears of a spiraling debt crisis. Entain Plc rose more than 7%, extending Tuesday’s gain as it confirmed it received a takeover proposal from DraftKings Inc. Peer Flutter Entertainment Plc climbed after settling a legal dispute.  Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Entain shares jump as much as 11% after DraftKings Inc. offered to acquire the U.K. gambling company for about $22.4 billion. Vivendi rises as much as 3.1% in Paris, after Tuesday’s spinoff of Universal Music Group. Legrand climbs as much as 2.1% after Exane BNP Paribas upgrades to outperform and raises PT to a Street-high of EU135. Orpea shares falls as much as 2.9%, after delivering 1H results that Jefferies (buy) says were a “touch” below consensus. Bechtle slides as much as 5.1% after Metzler downgrades to hold from buy, saying persistent supply chain problems seem to be weighing on growth. Sopra Steria drops as much as 4.1% after Stifel initiates coverage with a sell, citing caution on company’s M&A strategy Despite the Evergrande announcement, Asian stocks headed for their longest losing streak in more than a month amid continued China-related concerns, with traders also eying policy decisions from major central banks. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 0.7% in its third day of declines, with TSMC and Keyence the biggest drags. China’s CSI 300 tumbled as much as 1.9% as the local market reopened following a two-day holiday. However, the gauge came off lows after an Evergrande unit said it will make a bond interest payment and as China’s central bank boosted liquidity.  Taiwan’s equity benchmark led losses in Asia on Wednesday, dragged by TSMC after a two-day holiday, while markets in Hong Kong and South Korea were closed. Key stock gauges in Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam rose “A liquidity injection from the People’s Bank of China accompanied the Evergrande announcement, which only served to bolster sentiment further,” according to DailyFX’s Thomas Westwater and Daniel Dubrovsky. “For now, it appears that market-wide contagion risk linked to a potential Evergrande collapse is off the table.” Japanese equities fell for a second day amid global concern over China’s real-estate sector, as the Bank of Japan held its key stimulus tools in place while flagging pressures on the economy. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 1%. Daikin and Fanuc were the largest contributors to a 0.7% loss in the Nikkei 225. The BOJ had been expected to maintain its policy levers ahead of next week’s key ruling party election. Traders are keenly awaiting the Federal Reserve’s decision due later for clues on the U.S. central banks plan for tapering stimulus. “Markets for some time have been convinced that the BOJ has reached the end of the line on normalization and will remain in a holding pattern on policy until at least April 2023 when Governor Kuroda is scheduled to leave,” UOB economist Alvin Liew wrote in a note. “Attention for the BOJ will now likely shift to dealing with the long-term climate change issues.” In the despotic lockdown regime that is Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to close at 7,296.90, reversing an early decline in a rally led by mining and energy stocks. Banks closed lower for the fourth day in a row. Champion Iron was among the top performers after it was upgraded at Citi. IAG was among the worst performers after an earthquake caused damage to buildings in Melbourne. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% to 13,215.80 In FX, commodity currencies rallied as concerns about China Evergrande Group’s debt troubles eased as China’s central bank boosted liquidity and investors reviewed a statement from the troubled developer about an interest payment. Overnight implied volatility on the pound climbed to the highest since March ahead of Bank of England’s meeting on Thursday. The British pound weakened after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warnedthat people should prepare for longer-term high energy prices amid a natural-gas shortage that sent power costs soaring. Several U.K. power firms have stopped taking in new clients as small energy suppliers struggle to meet their previous commitments to sell supplies at lower prices. Overnight volatility in the euro rises above 10% for the first time since July ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision announcement. The Aussie jumped as much as 0.5% as iron-ore prices rebounded. Spot surged through option-related selling at 0.7240 before topping out near 0.7265 strikes expiring Wednesday, according to Asia- based FX traders.  Elsewhere, the yen weakened and commodity-linked currencies such as the Australian dollar pushed higher. In rates, the dollar weakened against most of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasury futures were under modest pressure in early U.S. trading, leaving yields cheaper by ~1.5bp from belly to long-end of the curve. The 10-year yield was at ~1.336% steepening the 2s10s curve by ~1bp as the front-end was little changed. Improved risk appetite weighed; with stock futures have recovering much of Tuesday’s losses as Evergrande concerns subside. Focal point for Wednesday’s session is FOMC rate decision at 2pm ET.   FOMC is expected to suggest it will start scaling back asset purchases later this year, while its quarterly summary of economic projections reveals policy makers’ expectations for the fed funds target in coming years in the dot-plot update; eurodollar positions have emerged recently that anticipate a hawkish shift Bitcoin dropped briefly below $40,000 for the first time since August amid rising criticism from regulators, before rallying as the mood in global markets improved. In commodities, Iron ore halted its collapse and metals steadied. Oil advanced for a second day. Bitcoin slid below $40,000 for the first time since early August before rebounding back above $42,000.   To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned Federal Reserve decision and Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Otherwise on the data side, we’ll get US existing home sales for August, and the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area in September. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.4% to 4,362.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.5% to 461.19 MXAP down 0.7% to 199.29 MXAPJ down 0.4% to 638.39 Nikkei down 0.7% to 29,639.40 Topix down 1.0% to 2,043.55 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 24,221.54 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,628.49 Sensex little changed at 59,046.84 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.3% to 7,296.94 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,140.51 Brent Futures up 1.5% to $75.47/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,775.15 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.26 German 10Y yield rose 0.6 bps to -0.319% Euro little changed at $1.1725 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg What would it take to knock the U.S. recovery off course and send Federal Reserve policy makers back to the drawing board? Not much — and there are plenty of candidates to deliver the blow The European Central Bank will discuss boosting its regular asset purchases once the pandemic-era emergency stimulus comes to an end, but any such increase is uncertain, Governing Council member Madis Muller said Investors seeking hints about how Beijing plans to deal with China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis are training their cross hairs on the central bank’s liquidity management A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed as caution lingered ahead of upcoming risk events including the FOMC, with participants also digesting the latest Evergrande developments and China’s return to the market from the Mid-Autumn Festival. ASX 200 (+0.3%) was positive with the index led higher by the energy sector after a rebound in oil prices and as tech also outperformed, but with gains capped by weakness in the largest-weighted financials sector including Westpac which was forced to scrap the sale of its Pacific businesses after failing to secure regulatory approval. Nikkei 225 (-0.7%) was subdued amid the lack of fireworks from the BoJ announcement to keep policy settings unchanged and ahead of the upcoming holiday closure with the index only briefly supported by favourable currency outflows. Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) was initially pressured on return from the long-weekend and with Hong Kong markets closed, but pared losses with risk appetite supported by news that Evergrande’s main unit Hengda Real Estate will make coupon payments due tomorrow, although other sources noted this is referring to the onshore bond payments valued around USD 36mln and that there was no mention of the offshore bond payments valued at USD 83.5mln which are also due tomorrow. Meanwhile, the PBoC facilitated liquidity through a CNY 120bln injection and provided no surprises in keeping its 1-year and 5-year Loan Prime Rates unchanged for the 17th consecutive month at 3.85% and 4.65%, respectively. Finally, 10yr JGBs were flat amid the absence of any major surprises from the BoJ policy announcement and following the choppy trade in T-notes which were briefly pressured in a knee-jerk reaction to the news that Evergrande’s unit will satisfy its coupon obligations tomorrow, but then faded most of the losses as cautiousness prevailed. Top Asian News Gold Steady as Traders Await Outcome of Fed Policy Meeting Evergrande Filing on Yuan Bond Interest Leaves Analysts Guessing Singapore Category E COE Price Rises to Highest Since April 2014 Asian Stocks Fall for Third Day as Focus Turns to Central Banks European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.5%) trade on a firmer footing in the wake of an encouraging APAC handover. Focus overnight was on the return of Chinese participants from the Mid-Autumn Festival and news that Evergrande’s main unit, Hengda Real Estate will make coupon payments due tomorrow; however, we await indication as to whether they will meet Thursday’s offshore payment deadline as well. Furthermore, the PBoC facilitated liquidity through a CNY 120bln injection whilst keeping its 1-year and 5-year Loan Prime Rates unchanged (as expected). Note, despite gaining yesterday and today, thus far, the Stoxx 600 is still lower to the tune of 0.7% on the week. Stateside, futures are also trading on a firmer footing ahead of today’s FOMC policy announcement, at which, market participants will be eyeing any clues for when the taper will begin and digesting the latest dot plot forecasts. Furthermore, the US House voted to pass the bill to fund the government through to December 3rd and suspend the debt limit to end-2022, although this will likely be blocked by Senate Republicans. Back to Europe, sectors are mostly firmer with outperformance in Basic Resources and Oil & Gas amid upside in the metals and energy complex. Elsewhere, Travel & Leisure is faring well amid further upside in Entain (+6.1%) with the Co. noting it rejected an earlier approach from DraftKings at GBP 25/shr with the new offer standing at GBP 28/shr. Additionally for the sector, Flutter Entertainment (+4.1%) are trading higher after settling the legal dispute between the Co. and Commonwealth of Kentucky. Elsewhere, in terms of deal flow, Iliad announced that it is to acquire UPC Poland for around USD 1.8bln. Top European News Energy Cost Spike Gets on EU Ministers’ Green Deal Agenda Travel Startup HomeToGo Gains in Frankfurt Debut After SPAC Deal London Stock Exchange to Shut Down CurveGlobal Exchange EU Banks Expected to Add Capital for Climate Risk, EBA Says In FX, trade remains volatile as this week’s deluge of global Central Bank policy meetings continues to unfold amidst fluctuations in broad risk sentiment from relatively pronounced aversion at various stages to a measured and cautious pick-up in appetite more recently. Hence, the tide is currently turning in favour of activity, cyclical and commodity currencies, albeit tentatively in the run up to the Fed, with the Kiwi and Aussie trying to regroup on the 0.7000 handle and 0.7350 axis against their US counterpart, and the latter also striving to shrug off negative domestic impulses like a further decline below zero in Westpac’s leading index and an earthquake near Melbourne. Next up for Nzd/Usd and Aud/Usd, beyond the FOMC, trade data and preliminary PMIs respectively. DXY/CHF/EUR/CAD - Notwithstanding the overall improvement in market tone noted above, or another major change in mood and direction, the Dollar index appears to have found a base just ahead of 93.000 and ceiling a similar distance away from 93.500, as it meanders inside those extremes awaiting US existing home sales that are scheduled for release before the main Fed events (policy statement, SEP and post-meeting press conference from chair Powell). Indeed, the Franc, Euro and Loonie have all recoiled into tighter bands vs the Greenback, between 0.9250-26, 1.1739-17 and 1.2831-1.2770, but with the former still retaining an underlying bid more evident in the Eur/Chf cross that is consolidating under 1.0850 and will undoubtedly be acknowledged by the SNB tomorrow. Meanwhile, Eur/Usd has hardly reacted to latest ECB commentary from Muller underpinning that the APP is likely to be boosted once the PEPP envelope is closed, though Usd/Cad is eyeing a firm rebound in oil prices in conjunction with hefty option expiry interest at the 1.2750 strike (1.8 bn) that may prevent the headline pair from revisiting w-t-d lows not far beneath the half round number. GBP/JPY - The major laggards, as Sterling slips slightly further beneath 1.3650 against the Buck to a fresh weekly low and Eur/Gbp rebounds from circa 0.8574 to top 0.8600 on FOMC day and T-1 to super BoE Thursday. Elsewhere, the Yen has lost momentum after peaking around 109.12 and still not garnering sufficient impetus to test 109.00 via an unchanged BoJ in terms of all policy settings and guidance, as Governor Kuroda trotted out the no hesitation to loosen the reins if required line for the umpteenth time. However, Usd/Jpy is holding around 109.61 and some distance from 1.1 bn option expiries rolling off between 109.85-110.00 at the NY cut. SCANDI/EM - Brent’s revival to Usd 75.50+/brl from sub-Usd 73.50 only yesterday has given the Nok another fillip pending confirmation of a Norges Bank hike tomorrow, while the Zar has regained some poise with the aid of firmer than forecast SA headline and core CPI alongside a degree of retracement following Wednesday’s breakdown of talks on a pay deal for engineering workers that prompted the union to call a strike from early October. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny by default have regrouped amidst reports that the CCP is finalising details to restructure Evergrande into 3 separate entities under a plan that will see the Chinese Government take control. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer this morning though once again fresh newsflow for the complex has been relatively slim and largely consisting of gas-related commentary; as such, the benchmarks are taking their cue from the broader risk tone (see equity section). The improvement in sentiment today has brought WTI and Brent back in proximity to being unchanged on the week so far as a whole; however, the complex will be dictated directly by the EIA weekly inventory first and then indirectly, but perhaps more pertinently, by today’s FOMC. On the weekly inventories, last nights private release was a larger than expected draw for the headline and distillate components, though the Cushing draw was beneath expectations; for today, consensus is a headline draw pf 2.44mln. Moving to metals where the return of China has seen a resurgence for base metals with LME copper posting upside of nearly 3.0%, for instance. Albeit there is no fresh newsflow for the complex as such, so it remains to be seen how lasting this resurgence will be. Finally, spot gold and silver are firmer but with the magnitude once again favouring silver over the yellow metal. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -1.7%, prior 2.0% 2pm: Sept. FOMC Rate Decision (Lower Boun, est. 0%, prior 0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap All eyes firmly on China this morning as it reopens following a 2-day holiday. As expected the indices there have opened lower but the scale of the declines are being softened by the PBoC increasing its short term cash injections into the economy. They’ve added a net CNY 90bn into the system. On Evergrande, we’ve also seen some positive headlines as the property developers’ main unit Hengda Real Estate Group has said that it will make coupon payment for an onshore bond tomorrow. However, the exchange filing said that the interest payment “has been resolved via negotiations with bondholders off the clearing house”. This is all a bit vague and doesn’t mention the dollar bond at this stage. Meanwhile, Bloomberg has reported that Chinese authorities have begun to lay the groundwork for a potential restructuring that could be one of the country’s biggest, assembling accounting and legal experts to examine the finances of the group. All this follows news from Bloomberg yesterday that Evergrande missed interest payments that had been due on Monday to at least two banks. In terms of markets the CSI (-1.11%), Shanghai Comp (-0.29%) and Shenzhen Comp (-0.53%) are all lower but have pared back deeper losses from the open. We did a flash poll in the CoTD yesterday (link here) and after over 700 responses in a couple of hours we found only 8% who we thought Evergrande would still be impacting financial markets significantly in a month’s time. 24% thought it would be slightly impacting. The other 68% thought limited or no impact. So the world is relatively relaxed about contagion risk for now. The bigger risk might be the knock on impact of weaker Chinese growth. So that’s one to watch even if you’re sanguine on the systemic threat. Craig Nicol in my credit team did a good note yesterday (link here) looking at the contagion risk to the broader HY market. I thought he summed it up nicely as to why we all need to care one way or another in saying that “Evergrande is the largest corporate, in the largest sector, of the second largest economy in the world”. For context AT&T is the largest corporate borrower in the US market and VW the largest in Europe. Turning back to other Asian markets now and the Nikkei (-0.65%) is down but the Hang Seng (+0.51%) and Asx (+0.58%) are up. South Korean markets continue to remain closed for a holiday. Elsewhere, yields on 10y USTs are trading flattish while futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.10% and those on the Stoxx 50 are up +0.21%. Crude oil prices are also up c.+1% this morning. In other news, the Bank of Japan policy announcement overnight was a non-event as the central bank maintained its yield curve target while keeping the policy rate and asset purchases plan unchanged. The central bank also unveiled more details of its green lending program and said that it would immediately start accepting applications and would begin making the loans in December. The relatively calm Asian session follows a stabilisation in markets yesterday following their rout on Monday as investors looked forward to the outcome of the Fed’s meeting later today. That said, it was hardly a resounding performance, with the S&P 500 unable to hold on to its intraday gains and ending just worse than unchanged after the -1.70% decline the previous day as investors remained vigilant as to the array of risks that continue to pile up on the horizon. One of these is in US politics and legislators seem no closer to resolving the various issues surrounding a potential government shutdown at the end of the month, along with a potential debt ceiling crisis in October, which is another flashing alert on the dashboard for investors that’s further contributing to weaker sentiment right now. Looking ahead now, today’s main highlight will be the latest Federal Reserve decision along with Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference, with the policy decision out at 19:00 London time. Markets have been on edge for any clues about when the Fed might begin to taper asset purchases, but concern about tapering actually being announced at this meeting has dissipated over recent weeks, particularly after the most recent nonfarm payrolls in August came in at just +235k, and the monthly CPI print also came in beneath consensus expectations for the first time since November. In terms of what to expect, our US economists write in their preview (link here) that they see the statement adopting Chair Powell’s language that a reduction in the pace of asset purchases is appropriate “this year”, so long as the economy remains on track. They see Powell maintaining optionality about the exact timing of that announcement, but they think that the message will effectively be that the bar to pushing the announcement beyond November is relatively high in the absence of any material downside surprises. This meeting also sees the release of the FOMC’s latest economic projections and the dot plot, where they expect there’ll be an upward drift in the dots that raises the number of rate hikes in 2023 to 3, followed by another 3 increases in 2024. Back to yesterday, and as mentioned US equity markets fell for a second straight day after being unable to hold on to earlier gains, with the S&P 500 slightly lower (-0.08%). High-growth industries outperformed with biotech (+0.38%) and semiconductors (+0.18%) leading the NASDAQ (+0.22%) slightly higher, however the Dow Jones (-0.15%) also struggled. Europe saw a much stronger performance though as much of the US decline came after Europe had closed. The STOXX 600 gained +1.00% to erase most of Monday’s losses, with almost every sector in the index ending the day in positive territory. With risk sentiment improving for much of the day yesterday, US Treasuries sold off slightly and by the close of trade yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +1.2bps to 1.3226%, thanks to a +1.8bps increase in real yields. However, sovereign bonds in Europe told a different story as yields on 10yr bunds (-0.3bps), OATs (-0.3bps) and BTPs (-1.9bps) moved lower. Other safe havens including gold (+0.59%) and silver (+1.02%) also benefited, but this wasn’t reflected across commodities more broadly, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (-0.30%) losing ground for a 4th consecutive session. Democratic Party leaders plan to vote on the Senate-approved $500bn bipartisan infrastructure bill next Monday, even with no resolution to the $3.5tr budget reconciliation measure that encompasses the remainder of the Biden Administration’s economic agenda. Democrats continue to work on the reconciliation measure but have turned their attention to the debt ceiling and government funding bills.Congress has fewer than two weeks before the current budget expires – on Oct 1 – to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling. Republicans yesterday noted that the Democrats could raise the ceiling on their own through the reconciliation process, with many saying that they would not be offering their support to any funding bill. Democrats continue to push for a bipartisan bill to raise the debt ceiling, pointing to their votes during the Trump administration. If Democrats are forced to tie the debt ceiling and funding bills to budget reconciliation, it could limit how much of the $3.5 trillion bill survives the last minute negotiations between progressives and moderates. More to come over the next 10 days. Staying on the US, there was an important announcement in President Biden’s speech at the UN General Assembly, as he said that he would work with Congress to double US funding to poorer nations to deal with climate change. That comes as UK Prime Minister Johnson (with the UK hosting the COP26 summit in less than 6 weeks’ time) has been lobbying other world leaders to find the $100bn per year that developed economies pledged by 2020 to support developing countries as they reduce their emissions and deal with climate change. In Germany, there are just 4 days to go now until the federal election, and a Forsa poll out yesterday showed a slight narrowing in the race, with the centre-left SPD remaining on 25%, but the CDU/CSU gained a point on last week to 22%, which puts them within the +/- 2.5 point margin of error. That narrowing has been seen in Politico’s Poll of Polls as well, with the race having tightened from a 5-point SPD lead over the CDU/CSU last week to a 3-point one now. Turning to the pandemic, Johnson & Johnson reported that their booster shot given 8 weeks after the first offered 100% protection against severe disease, 94% protection against symptomatic Covid in the US, and 75% against symptomatic Covid globally. Speaking of boosters, Bloomberg reported that the FDA was expected to decide as soon as today on a recommendation for Pfizer’s booster vaccine. That follows an FDA advisory panel rejecting a booster for all adults last Friday, restricting the recommendation to those over-65 and other high-risk categories. Staying with the US and vaccines, President Biden announced that the US was ordering 500mn doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be exported to the rest of the world. On the data front, there were some strong US housing releases for August, with housing starts up by an annualised 1.615m (vs. 1.55m expected), and building permits up by 1.728m (vs. 1.6m expected). Separately, the OECD released their Interim Economic Outlook, which saw them upgrade their inflation expectations for the G20 this year to +3.7% (up +0.2ppts from May) and for 2022 to +3.9% (up +0.5ppts from May). Their global growth forecast saw little change at +5.7% in 2021 (down a tenth) and +4.5% for 2022 (up a tenth). To the day ahead now, and the main highlight will be the aforementioned Federal Reserve decision and Chair Powell’s subsequent press conference. Otherwise on the data side, we’ll get US existing home sales for August, and the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area in September. Tyler Durden Wed, 09/22/2021 - 08:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 22nd, 2021

New police union boss seeking new deal amid unprecedented uncertainty

Multiple factors could impact negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsFeb 4th, 2021

Airline Stock Roundup: LUV, JBLU"s Rosy Q2 Revenue Views, ALK"s Labor Woes & More

With air-travel demand bouncing back rapidly from the pandemic pits, JBLU and LUV lift their respective Q2 revenue forecasts. With air-travel demand increasing by the day as reflected in the northbound trend in bookings, Southwest Airlines LUV and JetBlue Airways JBLU raised their respective forecasts for second-quarter 2022 revenues. Also driven by strong bookings, European carrier Ryanair Holdings RYAAY anticipates load factor (percentage of seats occupied by passengers) to reach pre-pandemic levels at 94-95% in June-August. Ryanair was also recently in the news when it reported narrower-than-expected loss per share for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022. That story was reported in details in the previous week’s write-up.Alaska Air Group ALK also grabbed the headlines, thanks to its labor problems that saw its pilots voting to authorize a strike in case the ongoing negotiations with the management on a new contract (the deadlock persists for more than three years) ultimately fizzle out. Meanwhile, Delta Air Lines DAL decided to trim its summer schedule to dodge travel disruptions during the busy season.Recap of the Latest Top Stories1 On the back of upbeat air-travel demand, Ryanair expects traffic for the month of May to exceed 15 million passengers. The reading in April was14.24 million. Load factor is expected to be 92% in May, indicating growth from 91% in April. Per CEO, Michael O'Leary, "Bookings over the last number of weeks have continued to strengthen – both the numbers are strengthening and average fares being paid through the summer are rising." O'Leary added that bookings are especially strong for travel to the beaches of Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.2.. Highlighting the labor trouble, which has been hurting the U.S. Airline industry of late, Alaska Air’s pilots voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if an agreement on a new employment contract fails to materialize. This development was confirmed by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). ALPA represents the 3,000 plus pilots at Alaska Air, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). 96% of pilots participated in the voting procedure with 99% supporting the call of a strike by union leaders if the talks with the airline, which have been prolonged for more than three years, eventually falls through. However, the vote to authorize a strike does not imply that passengers of Alaska Air will be inconvenienced. The pilots can halt work and go on a strike only if the National Mediation Board allows them to take this drastic step. So, ALK’s operations are currently in no way impactedYou can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.3. Driven by the continued strength witnessed with respect to passenger yield, Southwest Airlines’ management expects second-quarter 2022 operating revenues to increase in the 12-15% band from the earlier estimate of an 8-12% increase. The same is compared with the second-quarter 2019 actuals. Capacity is still expected to decline around 7% in the current quarter from the second-quarter 2019 level. Economic fuel costs per gallon are now forecast in the $3.30-$3.40 range (earlier forecast was in the $3.05-$3.15 band). Management said that the yield strength, driven by upbeat demand, more than offset the fuel price increase. LUV still expects cost per available seat miles or CASM, excluding fuel, oil and profit-sharing expenses, and special items, to increase 14-18% in the ongoing quarter from the comparable period’s level in 2019.4. Driven by a strong demand environment, JetBlue Airways’ management expects revenues for second-quarter 2022 to be “at or above high-end” of the earlier expectation of an 11-16% increase. The metric is also compared with the second-quarter 2019 actuals. On the back of a healthy completion factor so far this quarter, capacity is now expected to increase in the 2-3% band (earlier expectation for the second-quarter 2022 capacity was either flat or an increase up to 3% from the second-quarter 2019 actuals). JBLU still expects CASM, excluding fuel, oil and profit-sharing expenses, and special items, to increase 15-17% in the ongoing quarter from the comparable period’s level in 2019. Fuel price per gallon is now expected to be $4.08 compared with the earlier estimate of $3.79.5. To improve operational reliability as air-travel demand bounces back from the pandemic lows, Delta’s management confirmed that in the Jul 1-Aug 7 time frame, it will reduce services by roughly 100 daily departures. The cuts will be primarily in the US and Latin America markets. Highlighting the buoyant air-travel demand scenario, DAL anticipates to carry 2.5 million customers this Memorial Day weekend. The projection, if comes true, would mean a 25% increase from the year-ago reported figure.PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of the major airline players over the past week and during the last six months.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe table above shows that the airline stocks have traded in the green over the past week, driven by the optimistic revenue forecasts for the June quarter as air-travel demand soars. The NYSE ARCA Airline Index has gained 3.8% to $70.98. Over the past six months, the NYSE ARCA Airline Index has declined 11%.What's Next in the Airline Space?With Delta scheduled to be present at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on Jun 1, all eyes will be on whether DAL ups its second-quarter 2022 revenue forecast like LUV and JBLU. 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 Ryanair Holdings PLC (RYAAY): Free Stock Analysis Report Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU): Free Stock Analysis Report Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks6 hr. 2 min. ago

Futures Rise As Dip Buyers Emerge To Cap Best Week Since Mid-March

Futures Rise As Dip Buyers Emerge To Cap Best Week Since Mid-March Unless stocks crater today, and the S&P tumbles by 4.3%, the streak of seven consecutive weekly declines in the S&P is about to end... ... as US stock futures rose again on Friday, their third consecutive gain, setting up the underlying indexes for the first strong weekly finish since late March on signs consumers remain resilient despite inflationary pressures, as upbeat earnings from Alibaba and Baidu eased some fears on the economic impact of China’s Covid lockdowns, and as investors (mostly retail) have staged a cautious return to the market hoping that the selloff earlier this month left valuations at bargain levels. Nasdaq 100 contracts rose 0.5% by 7:15 a.m. in New York, while S&P 500 futures were up 0.4%. Still, even after the recent rout, upside may be limited as the S&P 500’s 12-month fwd P/E ratio is now near its 10-year average. Among notable moves in premarket trading, Gap Inc. shares sank as much as 17% as analysts after analysts said that the retailer’s guidance cut was worse than expected, prompting brokers to lower their targets and downgrade the stock given a worsening macroeconomic environment could trigger further bad news. China's Uber, Didi Chuxing, jumped after a Bloomberg News report that state-owned automaker China FAW Group is considering acquiring a significant stake in the ride-hailing company. Zscaler Inc. rose after the security software company reported results above expectations.  Here are some other notable premarket movers: Gap (GPS US) shares dropped as much as 17% in US premarket trading with analysts saying that the retailer’s guidance cut was more than expected, prompting brokers to lower their targets and downgrade the stock given a worsening macroeconomic environment could trigger further bad news. Costco (COST US) shares dropped 2.1% in US after-hours trading on Thursday. While Costco’s margins disappointed analysts, brokers were generally positive on how the wholesale retailer is navigating an environment with rising inflation by controlling expenses. Zscaler (ZS US) shares rose 2% in extended trading on Thursday, after the security software company reported third- quarter results that beat expectations and raised its full-year forecast. Analysts lauded strength in multi-product deals. Marvell Technology (MRVL US) shares climbed 3.4% in US postmarket trading after results. Analysts highlighted that the semiconductor maker is seeing strength across key markets, in particular across data center and carrier infrastructure. 23andMe Holding Co. (ME US) dropped 8.3% in postmarket trading Thursday. It is in a “tough spot,” Citi says in note after the consumer genetics firm gave a fiscal 2023 revenue forecast that missed expectations. Workday (WDAY US) shares fell 9% in extended trading on Thursday, after the software company reported adjusted first-quarter earnings that missed expectations. Analysts noted that software deals were pushed out of the quarter and cut their price targets as they factored in the increased global uncertainty. The latest round of retail earnings have restored some confidence in consumer demand, lifting appetite for risk assets, while speculation is growing that the Federal Reserve will pause its rate hikes later this year as inflation shows signs of peaking. Still, Citigroup strategists on Friday cut their recommendation on US stocks to neutral on the risk of a recession, joining an increasing number of banks in warning of a growth slowdown. The path for the Federal Reserve to successfully bring inflation down while keeping the rate of economic growth above zero is narrow, according to Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management. “If Fed policymakers underestimate the strength of the US economy, we face an extended period of above-target inflation. If they overestimate it, we face a recession. And we can’t know with great conviction which path we’re on,” he wrote in a note. Global stock funds saw their biggest inflows in 10 weeks, led by US stocks, according to EPFR data, as cheaper valuations lured buyers after a steep selloff on recession fears. The selloff made valuations attractive and enticed investors back into a market still shadowed by worries about inflation and higher interest rates, China’s downbeat economic outlook and the war in Ukraine. “We may see a little bit more stability here because we have repriced the stocks so much already,” Anastasia Amoroso, iCapital chief investment strategist, said on Bloomberg Television. “In the next three to six months it’s still going to be a constrained market environment.” Meanwhile, China-US tensions are once again being played out after direct comments from Secretary of State Antony Blinken aimed at Chinese President Xi Jinping. And in a fresh challenge to Beijing, the US and Taiwan are planning to announce negotiations to deepen economic ties. And elseshwere, as the Russins war in Ukraine approaches 100 days, the US may announce a new package of aid for Kyiv as soon as next week that would include long-range rocket systems and other advanced weapons. Boris Johnson urged further military support for Ukraine, including sending it more offensive weapons such as Multiple Launch Rocket Systems that can strike targets from much further away. Russia’s efforts to avoid its first foreign default in a century are back in focus on Friday, when investors are supposed to receive about $100 million in interest on Russian debt. Turning back to markets, consumer and technology sectors led gains in Europe’s Stoxx 600 which rose 0.9%, and was headed for its best weekly advance since mid-March, while utilities and energy shared lagged after the UK government announced windfall tax plans on oil and gas companies on Thursday. BP Plc said it will look again at its plans in the country. Here are some of the more notable movers in Europe: Cantargia gains as much as 23%, the largest intraday rise since December, after releasing three research updates late Thursday. The interim readout for the company’s nadunolimab (CAN04), used in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel as a first line treatment of PDAC, a type of pancreatic cancer, was the most interesting of the data releases, according Kempen. FirstGroup shares jump as much as 9.8%, extending the gains from yesterday’s confirmation that the public transport operator received an unsolicited takeover approach from I Squared. Richemont shares rise as much as 8.3%, heading for their best weekly advance since November, pushing the Swiss Market Index higher as dip buyers returned more broadly this week. European miners advance for a third day, outperforming all other sectors on the Stoxx 600 on Friday as iron ore futures climb and metals posted broad gains. Hapag-Lloyd falls as much as 7.1% after Citi cut the recommendation to neutral from buy due to valuation versus peers. In note on European shipping, broker says it expects the supply and demand dynamics to remain favorable in the near term. Rieter Holding falls as much as 5.4% as Baader Helvea downgrades its recommendation to reduce from add after the manufacturer of chemical fiber systems said that it’s seeing a challenging first half. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks also advanced as upbeat earnings from Alibaba and Baidu eased some fears on the economic impact of China’s Covid lockdowns and fueled risk-on sentiment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 1.6%, poised for its first gain in four sessions, led by consumer discretionary and technology shares. Most markets in the region were up, led by Hong Kong.  Alibaba and Baidu both delivered better-than-expected quarterly sales growth, providing investors with some relief after Tencent’s recent lackluster report and amid concerns over China’s virus measure and regulatory crackdowns. The Hang Seng Tech Index, which tracks the nation’s tech giants listed in Hong Kong, surged 3.8%. Asian equities have gained about 0.7% this week, set for a back-to-back weekly advance as dip buyers emerged. The regional MSCI benchmark is still down about 14% this year amid ongoing market concerns over global inflation and higher US interest rates, China’s economic outlook and the war in Ukraine. “The risk of a bull trap cannot be dismissed,” Vishnu Varathan, the head of economics and strategy at Mizuho Bank, wrote in a note. “Bear markets are famous for the pockets of relief rallies,” and increasing strains on liquidity in the coming quarters “may not pass without pain.” Japan’s stocks likewise advanced as the nation prepared to reopen to foreign tourists and China’s tech shares jumped.    The Topix rose 0.5% to 1,887.30 as of the 3pm close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7% to 26,781.68. Tokyo Electron Ltd. contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 3.2%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 1,480 rose and 615 fell, while 76 were unchanged In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.1% to close at 7,182.70, the highest level since May 6, led by energy and consumer discretionary shares. Woodside Energy Group was among the biggest gainers as US crude and gasoline stockpiles showed signs of continuing decline ahead of the summer driving season. Appen was the top decliner after saying that Telus revoked its indicative proposal for a takeover. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 11,065.15 In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slumped as the dollar was steady to weaker against all of its Group-of-10 peers. Treasuries were steady across the curve. The euro inched up to touch a fresh one- month high of 1.0765 before paring. The bund yield curve bull- flattened slightly, drawing the 10-year yield away from 1%. Risk- sensitive Antipodean and Scandinavian currencies led gains. The Australian dollar climbed as a decent retail sales print brightened the outlook and a drop in the greenback triggered buy-stops. Benchmark bonds slipped. Australian retail sales rose 0.9% m/m in April vs estimate +1% and prior +1.6%. The pound ticked higher, touching its highest level in a month against the dollar, while gilts advanced. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said that his package of support for the UK economy will have a “minimal” impact on inflation. The yen advanced for a second day as lower Treasury yields weighed on the dollar. Japanese bonds rise after being sold off on Thursday In rates, Treasuries were steady, following gains in European markets where bull-flattening was observed across bunds and gilts. Yields were richer by 1bp-3bp across the curve, the 10-year yield dropped by ~2bp to 2.72%, underperforming bunds by 1.5bp, gilts by ~3bp. IG dollar issuance slate still blank in what has so far been the slowest week of the year for new deals; next week’s calendar is expected to total $25b- $30b. Focal points for US session include several economic data releases including April personal income/spending with PCE deflator. Sifma recommended 2pm close of trading for dollar-denominated fixed income ahead of US holiday weekend.    In commodities, WTI drifts 0.7% higher to trade below $115. Spot gold rises roughly $7 to trade at $1,858/oz. Most base metals are in the green; LME nickel rises 6.6%, outperforming peers. Looking to the day ahead, and data releases include US personal income and personal spending for April, as well as the preliminary wholesale inventories for that month, and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May. In the Euro Area, there’s also the M3 money supply for April. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB Chief Economist Lane. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 4,068.25 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.7% to 440.64 MXAP up 1.6% to 165.89 MXAPJ up 2.1% to 542.44 Nikkei up 0.7% to 26,781.68 Topix up 0.5% to 1,887.30 Hang Seng Index up 2.9% to 20,697.36 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,130.24 Sensex up 1.2% to 54,919.92 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.1% to 7,182.71 Kospi up 1.0% to 2,638.05 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.99% Euro up 0.1% to $1.0737 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $117.91/bbl Gold spot up 0.5% to $1,859.48 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.16% to 101.67 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The path for Russia to keep sidestepping its first foreign default in a century is turning more onerous as another coupon comes due on the warring nation’s debt. Investors are supposed to receive about $100 million of interest on Russian foreign debt in their accounts by Friday, payments President Vladimir Putin’s government says it has already made China’s oil trading giant Unipec has significantly increased the number of hired tankers to ship a key crude from eastern Russia A central bank legal proposal envisages Russian eurobond issuers placing “substitute” bonds in order to ensure debt payments come through to local investors, Interfax reported The US and Taiwan are planning to announce negotiations to deepen economic ties, people familiar with the matter said, in a fresh challenge to Beijing, which has cautioned Washington on its relationship with the island. Profits at Chinese industrial firms shrank last month for the first time in two years as Covid outbreaks and lockdowns disrupted factory production, transport logistics and sales “The process of increasing interest rates should be gradual,” ECB Governing Council member Pablo Hernandez de Cos comments in op- ed in Expansion. “The aim is to avoid abrupt movements, which could be particularly damaging in a context of high uncertainty such as the current one” The RBA is poised for its first review in a generation as new Treasurer Jim Chalmers makes good on a pledge to ensure the nation’s monetary and fiscal regimes are fit for purpose The UK signed its first trade agreement with a US state, amid warnings that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s stance on Brexit is hindering progress on a broader deal with Joe Biden’s administration A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks took impetus from the risk-on mood on Wall St where all major indices were lifted amid month-end flows and encouraging retailer earnings.  ASX 200 was led higher by outperformance in the commodity and resources industries, while consumer stocks were mixed after Retail Sales printed in line with expectations, albeit at a slowdown from the prior month. Nikkei 225 traded positively but with upside capped by a mixed currency and weakness in energy and power names after increases in international prices and with the government looking to address the tight energy market. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were firmer with notable outperformance in Hong Kong amid a euphoric tech sector after earnings from Alibaba and Baidu topped estimates which also inspired the NASDAQ Golden Dragon China Index during the prior US session, while advances in the mainland were moderated by the contraction in April Industrial Profits and after Premier Li’s unpublished comments from Wednesday’s emergency meeting came to light in which he warned of dire consequences for the economy. Top Asian News China’s State Council will seek specific implementation rules by May 31st regarding necessary measures at all levels of government and will dispatch inspection teams to all 31 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions to oversee the rollout amid an urgent need for national economic mobilisation, according to SGH Macro Advisors. US is seeking to hold economic discussions with Taiwan in the latest test with China, while supply chains and agriculture are said to be among the topics, according to Bloomberg. Furthermore, reports noted that bilateral economic talks will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Evergrande (3333 HK) is reportedly considering repaying offshore bondholders in instalments, according to Reuters sources; discussing giving the option of converting part of debt into equity of property management and EV units. China's Health Official says some areas along the Jilin border report local infections without a clear source, close attention should be paid to the risk of importing the virus; COVID infections show a trend of gradual spread from border to inland areas, via Reuters European bourses are firmer, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%, drawing impetus from APAC strength into month-end with catalysts thin thus far. Stateside, futures are supported across the board with familiar themes in play pre-PCE Price Index for insight into the 'peak' inflation narrative; ES +0.3%. Note, the FTSE 100 Unch. is the mornings underperformer amid pressure in energy names after Chancellor Sunak's windfall tax announcement on Thursday. DiDi (DIDI) has reportedly drawn interest from FAW Group, regarding a stake purchase, according to Bloomberg. +7.5% in the pre-market Top European News UK Oil Windfall Tax Prompts BP to Review Investment Plans; UK Energy Stocks Extend Windfall Declines as Retailers Gain Richemont Leads Swiss Stocks Higher as Dip Buyers Return Hapag-Lloyd Drops; Cut to Neutral at Citi on Valuation Big Dividend Payers May Be Next After UK Windfall Tax on Energy FX Greenback grinds higher ahead of PCE inflation metrics with month end rebalancing flows providing impetus, DXY bounces from fresh WTD base just under 101.500 to 101.800. Kiwi and Aussie propped by bounce in commodities and Loonie protected by further gains in crude; NZD/USD tests Fib retracement at 0.7129, AUD/USD eyes 0.7150 and USD/CAD probes 1.2750. Big option expiries in the mix and potentially supportive for the Dollar into long US holiday weekend, +1bln rolling off at NY cut not far from spot in EUR/USD, USD/JPY, AUD/USD and USD/CAD. Rand firmer as Gold touches Usd 1860/oz after 200 DMA breach, USD/ZAR below 15.7000. Fixed Income Debt futures on a firmer footing ahead of US PCE price metrics, but some way below weekly peaks. Bunds sub-154.00, Gilts under 119.00 and 10 year T-note below 121-00. Curves a tad flatter following hot reception for 7 year US issuance. Commodities Crude benchmarks are underpinned, but off best levels, by broader sentiment and initial USD weakness going into a long US weekend with Memorial Day touted as the driving seasons commencement. WTI July and Brent August, at best, were in proximity to USD 115/bbl vs troughs of USD 113.61/bbl and USD 113.77/bbl respectively. US Treasury is reportedly expected to renew Chevron’s (CVX) license to operate in Venezuela as soon as Friday, according to Reuters citing sources. China's State Planner has approved a coal mine in the Shanxi area to bolster annual output to 12mln tonnes per annum from 8mln; investment of CNY 5.35bln, via Reuters. Spot gold is steady and holding onto the bulk of overnight upside after breaching the 21-DMA at USD 1850.80/oz; USD 1860.19/oz peak, thus far. US Event Calendar 08:30: April Advance Goods Trade Balance, est. -$114.8b, prior -$125.3b, revised -$127.1b 08:30: April Retail Inventories MoM, est. 2.0%, prior 2.0% April Wholesale Inventories MoM, est. 2.0%, prior 2.3% 08:30: April Personal Income, est. 0.5%, prior 0.5%; April Personal Spending, est. 0.8%, prior 1.1% 08:30: April PCE Deflator MoM, est. 0.2%, prior 0.9%; PCE Deflator YoY, est. 6.2%, prior 6.6% April PCE Core Deflator MoM, est. 0.3%, prior 0.3%; PCE Core Deflator YoY, est. 4.9%, prior 5.2% April Real Personal Spending, est. 0.7%, prior 0.2% 10:00: May U. of Mich. Current Conditions, est. 63.6, prior 63.6; Expectations, est. 56.3, prior 56.3; Sentiment, est. 59.1, prior 59.1 10:00: May U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 5.4%, prior 5.4%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 3.0% DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that it’s your last chance to answer our latest monthly survey, where we try to ask questions that aren’t easy to derive from market pricing. This time we ask if you think the Fed would be willing to push the economy into recession in order to get inflation back to target. We also ask whether you think there are still bubbles in markets and whether equities have bottomed out yet. And there’s another on which is the best asset class to hedge against inflation. The more people that fill it in the more useful so all help from readers is very welcome. The link is here. I did have tickets available for tomorrow night's Champions League final but there is a big 36 hole golf tournament at my club so I decided that at my age you never know when your body will fail next so playing sport now pips watching it live. So I'll be playing golf all day, trying to rescue my marriage for an hour when I get home, and then blaring out the final on the TV at home with a couple of glasses of wine for good measure. I can't honestly think of a better day. However I may come last and Liverpool may lose so let's see what happens! The market comeback this week is on a par with some of Madrid's remarkable ones this year and indeed it’s been another strong performance over the last 24 hours, with better-than-expected outlooks from US retailers helping to bolster sentiment, coupled with growing hopes that the Fed won’t take policy much into restrictive territory, if at all. Those developments helped the S&P 500 to post a +1.99% advance yesterday, bringing its gains for the week to +4.01%, and means we should finally be on the verge of ending a run of 7 consecutive weekly losses. Obviously it’s not impossible things could end up in negative territory given recent volatility, and it was only last week the index posted a one-day decline of more than -4%, but it would still take a massive slump today to get an 8th consecutive week in the red for only the third time since the Great Depression. That advance grew stronger as the day went on, with S&P futures having actually been negative when we went to press yesterday. But sentiment was aided by a number of positive earnings developments, with Macy’s (+19.31%) boosting its adjusted EPS guidance before the US open, whilst the discount retailers Dollar Tree (+21.87%) and Dollar General (+13.72%) both surged as well thanks to decent reports of their own. That helped consumer discretionary (+4.78%) to be the top performing sector in the S&P, and in fact Dollar Tree was the top performing company in the entire index. Cyclicals were the outperformers, but defensives also shared in the advance that saw around 90% of the index’s members move higher on the day. As well as that news on the retail side, risk appetite has been further supported by growing speculation that the Fed won’t be as aggressive in hiking rates as had been speculated just a few weeks ago. I'm not sure I agree with that conclusion but if you look at the futures-implied rate by the December 2022 meeting of 2.64%, that is some way down from its peak of 2.88% back on May 3rd, and in fact means that markets have now taken out just shy of one 25bp hike from the rate implied by year end, which makes a change from that pretty consistent move higher we’ve seen over recent months. Yesterday also brought fresh signs that this re-pricing is beginning to filter its way through to the real economy, with data from Freddie Mac showing that the average rate for a 30-year mortgage fell to 5.10% last week, down from 5.25% the week before. For reference that’s the biggest weekly decline since April 2020, and comes on the back of recent housing data that’s underwhelmed against the backdrop of higher rates. There was another report fitting that pattern yesterday too, with pending home sales for April dropping by a larger than expected -3.9% (vs. -2.1% expected). But as with the retail outlooks, the more timely data was much more positive, with the weekly initial jobless claims falling to 210k (vs. 215k expected) in the week ending May 21, whilst the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing index for May came in at 23 (vs. 15 expected). Treasuries swung back and forth against this backdrop, but ultimately the more bullish outlook led to a small steepening in the curve, with the 2yr yield down -1.6bps as 10yr yields were essentially flat at 2.75%. In a change from recent weeks, breakevens marched higher despite the little changed headline, with the 10yr breakeven up +7.0bps to come off its two-month low the previous day. But to be fair, that came amidst a big surge in oil prices after US data showed gasoline stockpiles fell to their lowest seasonal level since 2014, with Brent Crude (+2.96%) up to a 2-month high of $117.40/bbl, whilst WTI (+3.41%) rose to $114.09/bbl. European markets followed a pretty similar pattern to the US, with the STOXX 600 advancing +0.78% on the day. However, utilities (-1.12%) were the worst-performing after the UK government moved to impose a temporary windfall tax on oil and gas firms’ profits at a rate of 25%. That came as part of a wider package of measures to help with the cost of living, adding up to £15bn in total. They included a one-off payment of £650 to 8mn households in receipt of state benefits, with separate payments of £300 to pensioner households and £150 to those receiving disability benefits. There was also a doubling in the energy bills discount from £200 to £400, whilst the requirement to pay it back over five years has been removed as well. See Sanjay Raja’s blog on it here and where he also compares the measures to similar ones seen in the big 4 EuroArea economies. With more fiscal spending in the pipeline, UK gilts underperformed their counterparts elsewhere in Europe, with 10yr yields ending the day up +5.9bps. Those on bunds (+4.6bps) and OATs (+3.2bps) also rose too, but the broader risk-on tone led to a tightening in peripheral spreads, with the gap between 10yr BTPs over bunds falling -10.4bps yesterday to 189bps. There was a similar pattern on the credit side, with iTraxx crossover coming down -23.9bps to 439bps, which was its biggest daily decline in nearly 2 months. Asian equity markets are joining in the rally this morning with the Hang Seng rising +2.93% as Chinese listed tech stocks are witnessing big gains after Alibaba (+12.21%) posted better than expected Q4 earnings yesterday. Mainland Chinese stocks are also trading higher with the Shanghai Composite (+0.52%) and CSI (+0.63%) up. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.63%) and Kospi (+0.89%) are also in the green. Outside of Asia, futures contracts on the S&P 500 (-0.11%) and NASDAQ 100 (-0.14%) are seeing mild losses. Data released earlier showed that Tokyo’s core CPI rose +1.9% y/y in May versus +2.0% expected. Core core was +0.9% y/y as expected with nothing here at the moment to change the BoJ's stance. Elsewhere, China’s industrial profits (-8.5% y/y) shrank at the fastest pace in two years in April, swinging from a +12.2% gain in March. On the geopolitical front, we heard from US Secretary of State Blinken yesterday, who gave a significant speech on the Biden Administration’s China policy. Blinken zoomed out to give a view of the forest from the trees, noting that the Russia-Ukraine conflict was not as strategically important as America’s relationship with China over the long-run. He offered a three pillar strategy for managing the relationship with China that involved investing in US competitiveness, aligning strategy with allies to enhance effectiveness, and to compete with China across economic, military, and technological frontiers. He noted the countries’ two different political systems need not impair connection between its peoples, or inhibit dialogue. Staying on the US-China front but switching gears, a bi-partisan group of US senators sent a letter to President Biden urging him to keep tariffs on China, to improve the US’s negotiating position in future deals, pouring cold water on the prospects for tariff relief to provide a temporary salve to raging price pressures. To the day ahead, and data releases include US personal income and personal spending for April, as well as the preliminary wholesale inventories for that month, and the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for May. In the Euro Area, there’s also the M3 money supply for April. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB Chief Economist Lane.   Tyler Durden Fri, 05/27/2022 - 07:54.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge18 hr. 35 min. ago

Pilots at Alaska Air Group (ALK) Vote to Approve Strike

99% of Alaska Air's (ALK) pilots, who were part of the voting procedure, are in favor of a strike if talks fail to reach a consensus. Highlighting the labor trouble, which has been hurting the U.S. Airline industry of late, Alaska Air Group’s ALK pilots voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if an agreement on a new employment contract is not reached. This development was confirmed by the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).Evidently, ALPA represents the 3,000 plus pilots at Alaska Air. 96% of pilots participated in the voting procedure with 99% of them supporting the call of a strike by  union leaders if the talks with the airline, which have been dragging for more than three years, eventually fail. The vote came after almost 50% of ALK’s pilots resorted to informational picketing last month.Expressing his frustration over the contract dialogue going on for such a long time, Captain Will McQuillen, chairman of the Alaska Airlines ALPA Master Executive Council, said, “For three years, Alaska pilots have been resolved in their commitment to reach a new agreement and today, we spoke with one unified voice, just like we did with our recent informational picketing event.” However, the vote to authorize a strike does not imply that passengers of Alaska Air will be inconvenienced. The pilots can halt work and go on a strike only if the National Mediation Board permits them to take this extreme measure. So, ALK’s operations are currently in no way impacted.ALK is not the only U.S. airline facing such labor crisis. With airlines trimming their labor force substantially during the peak of the pandemic, the industry is now grappling with staffing issue as demand bounces back. Most airlines are therefore facing pilot protests, demanding higher pay and better work conditions to cope with the fatigue due to overwork following labor inadequacy.In this context, it is worth mentioning that United Airlines UAL scored a major victory on the labor front when UAL reached an agreement in principle with ALPA, on new terms of their collective bargaining deal.Even though the terms of the deal are not yet disclosed, the same is believed to be related to higher pay and better working conditions. However, the provisional deal is not yet effective and will be voted upon by the union members. It will be implemented only if the voting result is favorable.  United Airlines like Alaska Air, currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).Key PicksSome better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Airline industry are as follows:Delta Air Lines DAL: Improved air-travel demand, particularly on the domestic front, is aiding Delta. Anticipating travel-demand to increase further, DAL provided a bullish outlook for the second quarter. DAL expects revenue recovery to accelerate to 93-97% in the second quarter, with unit revenues likely to rise in double digits from the second-quarter 2019 tally.Delta expects to generate a strong free cash flow in the June quarter. DAL currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). The positivity surrounding the stock is evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being revised 71.4% upward over the past 60 days.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here   Southwest Airlines LUV: Continued recovery in air-travel demand bodes well for LUV. Anticipating a steady improvement in bookings, the carrier expects to reap profits in the remaining three quarters of 2022 as well as for the full year. LUV's management predicts operating revenues to increase 8-12% in the second quarter of 2022 from the comparable period’s level in 2019. LUV is seeing strong bookings for both spring and summer travel. Southwest Airlines currently sports a Zacks Rank of 1. The optimism surrounding the stock is evident from the Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings being skyrocketed in excess of 100% over the past 60 days. 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 Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK): Free Stock Analysis Report Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL): Free Stock Analysis Report United Airlines Holdings Inc (UAL): Free Stock Analysis Report Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksMay 26th, 2022

Futures Slide As Snap Forecast Steamrolls Rebound Optimism

Futures Slide As Snap Forecast Steamrolls Rebound Optimism It's not every day that a relatively small social media company (whose market cap is now less than Twitter) slashing guidance can send shockwaves across global markets and wipe out over a trillion in market cap, yet SNAP's shocking crash after it cut its own guidance released one month ago which hammered risk assets around the globe, and here we are. Add to this the delayed realization that Biden was just spouting his usual senile nonsense yesterday when he said Chinese trade tariffs would be discussed and, well, wave goodbye to the latest dead cat bounce as futures unwind much of Monday's rally. SNAP just crushed any hope of a sustained dead cat bounce — zerohedge (@zerohedge) May 23, 2022 US futures declined as technology shares were set to come under pressure after Snap warned it would miss second-quarter profit and revenue forecasts amid deteriorating macroeconomic trends. Nasdaq 100 futures slid 1.5% at 7:30 a.m. ET and S&P 500 futures retreated 1.0% just as the benchmark was starting to pull back from the brink of a bear market amid fears the Federal Reserve’s tightening could hurt growth. Meanwhile in other markets, Chinese tech stocks fell by more than 4%, while Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index dropped 1%, led by losses in shares of utilities and retail companies. The dollar was little changed, while Treasuries advanced. Snapchat plunged more 31% in premarket trading, while Facebook Meta and other companies that rely on digital advertising also tumbled amid fears that the sudden collapse in ad spending is systemic. Technology shares have been hammered this year amid rising interest rates and soaring inflation, with the Nasdaq 100 trading near November 2020 lows and at the cheapest valuations since the early days of the pandemic. Social media stocks are on course to erase more than $100 billion in market value Tuesday after Snap’s warning: Meta Platforms (FB US) declined 6.3%, Twitter (TWTR US) -4.1%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) -3.8% and Pinterest (PINS US) -12%. “It highlights how fleeting swings in sentiment are now and also that investors are running at the first sign of trouble,” Jeffrey Haley, a senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific, wrote in a note. “The market continues to turn itself inside out and back to front as it tries to decide if it has priced all of the impending rate hikes, soft landing or recession, inflation or stagflation, China, Ukraine, US summer driving season, supply chains, the list goes on.” Among other notable moves in US premarket trading, Zoom Video’s shares rallied as much as 6.3% after better-than-expected guidance. Deutsche Bank said the video-software maker’s continued post-pandemic growth in its Enterprise business is encouraging, though analysts remain cautious on the company’s comments around free cash flow. Tesla shares fell 2.6% in premarket trading on Tuesday, amid news that it may take the electric-vehicle maker at least until later this week to resume full production at its China factory. Also, Daiwa analyst Jairam Nathan lowered his price target on TSLA to $800 from $1150, the latest in a string of target cuts by Wall Street analysts. Nathan cited the lockdowns in Shanghai and supply chain concerns impacting ramp-up of Austin and Berlin plants, and lowered the EPS estimates for 2022 and 2023. Elsewhere, Frontline shares rallied 3.1% after the crude oil shipping company reported net income for the first quarter that beat the average analyst estimate. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Social media and other digital advertisers fell in US premarket trading after Snap cut its forecasts. Albemarle (ALB US) shares may be in focus as analysts raise their price targets on the specialty chemicals maker amid a boost from higher lithium prices. BitNile (NILE US) swings between gains and losses in US premarket trading, after the crypto miner reported 1Q results amid a broader slump across high-growth stocks. Nautilus (NLS US) got a new Street-low price target after exercise equipment maker’s “lackluster” guidance, with the company’s shares slumping as much as 24% in US extended trading on Monday. INmune Bio (INMB US) shares dropped 23% in postmarket trading on Monday after the FDA placed the company’s investigational new drug application to start a Phase 2 trial of XPro in patients with Alzheimer’s disease on clinical hold. Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF IS)  falls as much as 21% premarket after the clothing retailer reported an unexpected loss for its first quarter Equities have been volatile as investors assess the outlook for monetary policy, inflation and the impact of China’s strict Covid policies on the global economy. Minutes on Wednesday of the most recent Federal Reserve rate-setting meeting will give markets insight into the US central bank’s tightening path. “With the era of cheap money hurtling to an end the focus will be on a speech from Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve later, with investors keen to glean any new titbit of information about just how far and fast the US central bank will go in raising rates and offloading its mass bond holdings,” Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, wrote in a note. In Europe, the Stoxx 50 slumped 1.4%. FTSE 100 outperformed, dropping 0.6%, while CAC 40 lags. Utilities, retailers and consumer products are the worst performing sectors. Utilities were the biggest decliners in Europe, as Drax Group Plc, Centrica Plc and SSE Plc all sank on Tuesday following a report about UK plans for a possible windfall tax. Air France-KLM fell after plans to sell about 2.26 billion euros ($2.4 billion) of new shares to shore up its balance sheet. Oil and gas stocks underperformed the European equity benchmark in morning trading as crude declines amid investors’ concerns about Chinese demand, while mining shares also fall alongside metal prices.  Here are some of the biggest European movers: Big Yellow shares gain as much as 4% after what Citi described as a “strong set” of results, supported by structural tailwinds. SSP rises as much as 13% after the U.K. catering and concession-services company reported 1H results that Citi says were above expectations. Adevinta climbs as much as 7.8% after reporting 1Q results that were broadly as expected, with revenue slightly below expectations and Ebitda ahead, according to Citi. Frontline gains as much as 6.4% in Oslo after the crude oil shipping company reported 1Q net income that beat the average analyst estimate. Moonpig gains as much as 8.2%, extending a rise of 11% on Monday when the company announced the acquisition of Smartbox Group UK U.K. utility firms sink after the Financial Times reported that Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has ordered officials to prepare plans for a possible windfall tax on power generators as well as oil and gas firms. SSE declines as much as 11%, Drax Group -19% and Centrica -12% European technology and advertising stocks slump with Nasdaq futures after Snap cut its revenue and profit forecasts below the low end of its previous guidance. Just Eat falls as much as 4.8%, Deliveroo -4.9%, Delivery Hero -4.4%, STMicro -3%, Infineon -2.8%, AMS -3% Prosus drops as much as 6.7% in Amsterdam and Naspers declines as much as 6.1% in Johannesburg as Barclays cuts ratings on both stocks after downgrading Tencent in the prior session. The latest flash PMI data showed that Europe’s two largest economies kept growing in May as they benefited from a sustained rebound in services that offset fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the pound fell after a report showed the UK economy faces an increasing risk of falling into a recession as firms and households buckle under the fastest inflation rate in four decades. At the same time, the euro climbed above $1.07 for the first time in four weeks as ECB President Christine Lagarde said the currency bloc has reached a “turning point” in monetary policy and rejected the idea that the region is heading for a recession, but said the ECB won’t be rushed into withdrawing monetary stimulus. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks dipped as traders remained cautious on global growth concerns while assessing the impact of China’s fresh fiscal stimulus.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell as much as 1.2%, with tech names the biggest drags. Lower revenue and profit forecasts from Snap Inc. weighed on the broader sector. Chinese stocks led declines in the region as the government’s new support package including more than 140 billion yuan ($21 billion) in additional tax relief failed to impress investors. Covid-19 lockdowns remain a key overhang, while market participants are looking to major China tech earnings this week, including Alibaba and Baidu, for direction. Hong Kong equities also dropped after the city’s outgoing leader said border controls will remain in place for now.  Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index tumbles as much as 4.2% in afternoon trading on Tuesday, on track for a second day of declines.  “Markets have caught a glimpse of the impact of regulatory risks and Covid-19 lockdowns from Tencent’s recent lackluster earnings,” and a potential mirroring of the weakness by big tech earnings ahead “may be driving some caution,” Jun Rong Yeap, a market strategist at IG Asia Pte., wrote in a note Japanese equities dropped as investors mulled China’s new stimulus measures and amid growing concerns over global economic health.  The Topix Index fell 0.9% to close at 1,878.26 on Tuesday, while the Nikkei declined 0.9% to 26,748.14. Recruit Holdings Co. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, as the staffing-services firm tumbled 6.6%. Among the 2,171 shares in the index, 1,846 fell, 249 rose and 76 were unchanged. “The markets will continue to be in an unstable situation for a while as the US is still in the process of raising its interest rates and we are entering a phase where the effects of interest rate tightening on the economy will start to be felt in the real economy,” said Hiroshi Matsumoto, senior client portfolio manager at Pictet Asset Management. Indian stocks also declined, dragged by a selloff in information technology firms, as investors remained cautious over global economic growth.  The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.4% to 54,052.61 in Mumbai while the NSE Nifty 50 Index eased 0.6%. The gauges have now dropped for four of five sessions and eased 5.3% and 5.7% this month, respectively. All but two of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined on Tuesday, led by information technology stocks. Foreign funds have been net sellers of Indian stocks since end of September and have taken out $21.3 billion this year through May 20. The benchmark Sensex is now 12.5% off its peak in Oct. Corporate earnings for the March quarter have been mixed as 26 out of 41 Nifty companies have reported profit above or in line with consensus expectations. “There is a lot of skepticism among investors over interest rate hikes in the near term and its impact on growth going ahead,” according to Kotak Securities analyst Shrikant Chouhan. In FX, the dollar dipped while the euro jumped to a one-month high versus the US dollar after the European Central Bank reiterated its plans to end negative rates quickly, bolstering market expectations that rates will rise as early as July. It pared some gains after ECB Governing Council’s Francois Villeroy de Galhau argued against a 50 bps increase. “The single currency is dancing to the tune of ECB policymakers this week as the Governing Council attempts to talk up the euro to insure against imported inflation,” said Simon Harvey, forex analyst at Monex Europe. “The euro’s rally highlights how dip buyers are happy to buy into the ECB’s messaging in the near-term.” Elsewhere, the pound slid and gilts rallied after a weak UK PMI reading ramped up speculation that the country is heading toward recession. The Australian and New Zealand dollars led declines among commodity currencies after Snapchat owner Snap Inc. slashed its revenue forecast, spurring doubts about the strength of the US economy. Japan’s yen snapped a two-day drop as Treasury yields resumed their decline. Japanese government bond yields eased across maturities, following their US peers. In rates, Treasuries were richer by up to 4bp across belly of the curve as S&P futures gapped lower from the reopen and extended losses over Asia, early European session. Treasury 10-year yields around 2.815%, richer by 3.5bp vs. Monday close US session focus to include Fed Chair Powell remarks and 2-year note auction. Gilts outperformed following soft UK data. Gilts outperform by additional 1.5bp in the sector after May’s preliminary PMI prints missed expectations. Belly-led gains steepened the US 5s30s by 1.8bp on the day while wider bull steepening move in gilts steepens UK 5s30s by 5bp on the day.  The US auction cycle begins at 1pm ET with $47b 2- year note sale, followed by $48b 5- and $42b 7-year notes Wednesday and Thursday. In commodities, oil and gas stocks underperformed as crude declined amid concerns about Chinese demand, while mining shares also fall alongside metal prices. WTI is in the red but recovers off worst levels to trade back on a $109-handle. Most base metals trade poorly; LME nickel falls 4.5%, underperforming peers. Spot gold rises roughly $5 to trade above $1,858/oz. Looking at the day ahead, we’ll get the rest of the May flash PMIs from Europe and the US, along with US new home sales for April and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the ECB’s Villeroy and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 1.3% to 3,920.75 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.9% to 432.44 MXAP down 1.1% to 163.24 MXAPJ down 1.3% to 531.58 Nikkei down 0.9% to 26,748.14 Topix down 0.9% to 1,878.26 Hang Seng Index down 1.7% to 20,112.10 Shanghai Composite down 2.4% to 3,070.93 Sensex down 0.3% to 54,148.93 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.3% to 7,128.83 Kospi down 1.6% to 2,605.87 Gold spot up 0.3% to $1,859.38 US Dollar Index down 0.11% to 101.96 Brent Futures down 0.2% to $113.15/bbl German 10Y yield little changed at 0.99% Euro up 0.2% to $1.0713 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Social media stocks are on course to shed more than $100 billion in market value after Snap Inc.’s profit warning, adding to woes for the sector which is already reeling amid stalling user growth and rate-hike fears. The US must be “strategic” when it comes to a decision on whether to remove China tariffs, Trade Representative Katherine Tai said a day after President Joe Biden mentioned he would review Trump-era levies as consumer prices surge. China rolled out a broad package of measures to support businesses and stimulate demand as it seeks to offset the damage from Covid lockdowns on the world’s second-largest economy. China’s central bank and banking regulator urged lenders to boost loans as the economy is battered by Covid outbreaks that have threatened growth this year. President Joe Biden is seeking to show US resolve against China, yet an ill-timed gaffe on Taiwan risks undermining his bid to curb Beijing’s growing influence over the region. Europe’s two largest economies kept growing in May as they benefited from a sustained rebound in services that offset fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia’s currency extended a rally that’s taken it to the strongest level versus the dollar in four years, prompting a warning from one of President Vladimir Putin’s staunchest allies that the gains may be overdone. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newqsuawk Asia-Pac stocks mostly declined after Snap's profit warning soured risk sentiment and weighed on US tech names. ASX 200 was rangebound but kept afloat for most of the session by resilience in tech and mining stocks, while PMIs remained in expansion territory. Nikkei 225 fell below 27,000 although losses are stemmed by anticipation of incoming relief with Finance Minister Suzuki set to present an additional budget to parliament tomorrow. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were pressured after further bank downgrades to Chinese economic growth forecasts, while the recent announcement of targeted support measures by China and reports of the US mulling reducing China tariffs, did little to spur risk appetite. Top Asian News Shanghai will allow supermarkets, convenience stores and drugstores to resume operations with a maximum occupancy of 50% before May 31st and 75% after June 1st, according to Global Times. Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said they are unlikely to lift the quarantine in her term, according to Bloomberg. US President Biden said there is no change to the policy of strategic ambiguity regarding Taiwan, while Defense Secretary Austin earlier commented that he thinks US President Biden was clear that US policy has not changed on Taiwan, according to Reuters. USTR Tai said the US is engaging with China on Phase 1 commitments of trade, while she added they must be strategic on tariffs and that President Biden's team believes trade needs new ideas, according to Reuters. China's push to loosen USD dominance is said to take on new urgency amid Western sanctions on Russia and some Chinese advisers are urging the government to overhaul the exchange rate regime to turn the Yuan into an anchor currency, according to SCMP. European bourses are subdued following the Snap-headwind, further hawkish ECB rhetoric and disappointing Flash PMIs; particularly for the UK, Euro Stoxx 50 -0.7%. US futures are similarly subdued and the Nasdaq, -1.7%, is taking the brunt of the pressure as tech names are hit across the board, ES -1.1%. Snap (SNAP) said the macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated since its last guidance issuance and it now believes it will report revenue and adjusted EBITDA below the low end of its Q2 guidance range, according to the filing cited by Reuters. Samsung (005935 KS) is to reportedly invest USD 360bln on chips and biotech over a period of five years, according to Bloomberg. Tesla (TSLA) could take until later this week to restore full production in China after quarantining thousands of workers. Uber (UBER) has initiated a broad hiring freeze across the Co. as it faces increased pressure to become profitable, according to Business Insider sources Top European News UK Chancellor Sunak ordered officials to draw up a plan for a windfall tax on electricity generators' profits, according to FT. ECB's Nagel said it seems clear that the wage moderation seen for 10 years in Germany is over and they think they will see high numbers from German wage negotiations. Germany's Chambers of Commerce DIHK cuts 2022 GDP growth forecast to 1.5% (vs prev. view of 3% made in Feb). FX Yen outperforms on risk off and softer yield dynamics, USD/JPY at low end of wide range stretching from just above 128.00 to just over 127.00 and multiple chart supports under the latter. Franc and Euro underpinned as SNB and ECB pivot towards removal of rate accommodation, USD/CHF sub-0.9650, EUR/USD 1.0700-plus. Dollar suffers as a result of the above, but DXY contains losses under 102.000 as Pound plunges following disappointing UK preliminary PMIs; Cable recoils from the cusp of 1.2600 to touch 1.2475. Aussie, Loonie and Kiwi all suffer from aversion and latter also cautious ahead of RBNZ on Wednesday; AUD/USD loses grip of 0.7100 handle, NZD/USD under 0.6450 having got close to 0.6500 yesterday and USD/CAD probing 1.2800 vs virtual double bottom around 1.2765. Lira loses flight to stay above 16.0000 vs Buck as Turkish President Erdogan refuses to acknowledge Greek leader and sets out plans to strengthen nation’s southern border defences. Fixed Income Gilts fly after UK PMIs miss consensus and only trim some gains in response to much better than expected CBI distributive trades 10 year bond holds near the top of a 118.86-117.92 range Bunds bounce from sub-153.00 lows after more hawkish guidance from ECB President Lagarde, but Italian BTPs lag under 128.00 as books build for 15 year issuance US Treasuries bull-flatten ahead of 2 year note supply and Fed's Powell, T-note just shy of 120-00 within 120-02+/119-18 band Italy has commenced marketing a new syndicated 15yr BTP, guidance +11bp vs outstanding March 2037 bond, according to the lead manager via Reuters; subsequently, set at +8bp. Commodities WTI and Brent are subdued amid the broader risk environment with familiar factors still in play; however, the benchmarks are off lows amid USD downside. Meandering around USD 110/bbl (vs low 108.61/bbl) and USD 113/bbl (vs low USD 111.70/bbl) respectively. White House is considering environmental waivers for all blends of US gasoline to lower pump prices, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is modestly firmer though it has failed to extend after briefly surpassing the 21-DMA at USD 1856/oz. Central Banks ECB's Lagarde believes the blog post on Monday was at a good time, adding we are clearly at a turning point, via Bloomberg TV; adds, we are not in a panic mode. Rates are likely to be positive at end-Q3; when out of negative rates, you can be at or slightly above zero. Does not comment on FX levels, when questioned about EUR/USD parity. Click here for more detail, analysis & reaction. ECB's Villeroy says he believes the ECB will be at a neutral rate at some point next year, via Bloomberg TV; 50bps hike does not belong to the Governing Council's consensus, does not yet know the terminal rate. NBH Virag says continuing to increase rates in 50bp increments is an options, increasing into double-digits is not justified. US Event Calendar 09:45: May S&P Global US Manufacturing PM, est. 57.6, prior 59.2 May S&P Global US Services PMI, est. 55.2, prior 55.6 May S&P Global US Composite PMI, est. 55.6, prior 56.0 10:00: May Richmond Fed Index, est. 10, prior 14 10:00: April New Home Sales MoM, est. -1.7%, prior -8.6%; New Home Sales, est. 750,000, prior 763,000 Central Banks 12:20pm: Powell Makes Welcoming Remarks at an Economic Summit DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap These are pretty binary markets at the moment. If the US doesn’t fall into recession over the next 3-6 months then it’s easy to see markets rallying over this period. However if it does, the correction will likely have further to run and go beyond the average recession sell-off (that we were close to at the lows last week) given the rich starting valuations. For choice I don’t think the US will go into recession over this period but as you know I do think it will next year. As such a rally should be followed by bigger falls next year. Two problems with this view. Timing the recession call and timing the market’s second guessing of it. Apart from that it's all very easy!! This week started on a completely different basis to most over the past few months. So much so that there's hope that the successive weekly losing S&P streak of seven might be ended. 4 days to go is a long time in these markets but after day one we're at +1.86% and the strongest start to a week since January. And that comes on top of its intraday recovery of more than +2% late on Friday’s session, after the index had briefly entered bear market territory, which brings the index’s gains to more than 4% since its Friday lows at around the European close. However just when you thought it was safe to emerge from behind the sofa, S&P 500 futures are -0.84% this morning with Nasdaq futures -1.42% due to Snapchat slashing profit and revenue forecasts overnight. Their shares were as much as -31% lower in after hours, taking other social media stocks with it. Asia is also weaker this morning as we'll see below. Before we get there, yesterday's rally was built on a few bits of positive news that are worth highlighting. Investors were buoyed from the get-go by remarks from President Biden that he’d be considering whether to review Trump-era tariffs on China. It had been reported previously that such a move was under consideration, but there are also geopolitical as well as economic factors to contend with, and a Reuters report last week cited sources who said that US Trade Representative Katherine Tai favoured keeping the tariffs in place. Biden said that he’d be discussing the issue with Treasury Secretary Yellen following his return to the United States, so one to watch in the coming days with the administration under pressure to deal with inflation. This comes as the Biden administration unveiled the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework yesterday, which covers 13 countries and approximately 40% of the world’s GDP. Conspicuously, China was not one of the included parties, but US officials said there was a path for them to join. The framework reportedly does not contain any new tariff reductions, but instead seems focused on new labour, environmental, and anti-money laundering standards while seeking to build resilience. The 13 involved countries said in a joint statement, “This framework is intended to advance resilience, sustainability, inclusiveness, economic growth, fairness, and competitiveness for our economies.” It is not clear what is binding, or what Congress will think about the framework, but regardless, this is battle to halt or slow the anti-globalisation sentiment so prominent in recent years. It was not just Biden who helped encourage the rally. We then had a further dose of optimism in the European morning after the Ifo Institute’s indicators from Germany surprised on the upside. Their business climate indicator unexpectedly rose to 93.0 in May (vs. 91.4 expected), thus marking a second successive increase from the March low after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This morning we’ll get the May flash PMIs for Germany and elsewhere in Europe, so let’s see if they paint a similar picture. Ahead of that, equity indices moved higher across the world, with the S&P 500 up +1.86% as mentioned, joining other indices higher including the NASDAQ (+1.59%), the Dow Jones (+1.98%), and the small-cap Russell 2000 (+1.10%). It was a very broad-based advance, with every big sector group moving higher on the day, and banks (+5.12%) saw the largest advance in the S&P 500. Meanwhile, consumer discretionary (+0.64%) continues to lag the broader index. Over in Europe there were also some major advances, with the STOXX 600 (+1.26%), the DAX (+1.38%) and the CAC 40 (+1.17%) all rising. They have lagged the US move since Friday's Euro close mostly because they have out-performed on the downside. Staying on Europe, we had some significant developments on the policy outlook as ECB President Lagarde published a blog post that basically endorsed near-term market pricing for future hikes. In turn, that helped the euro to strengthen against other major currencies and led to a rise in sovereign bond yields. In the post, Lagarde said that she expected net purchases under the APP “to end very early in the third quarter”, which would enable rates to begin liftoff at the July meeting in just over 8 weeks from now. Furthermore, the post said that “on the current outlook, we are likely to be in a position to exit negative interest rates by the end of the third quarter”, so implying that we’ll see more than one hike in Q3, assuming they move by 25bp increments. Interestingly, Bloomberg subsequently reported that others at the ECB wanted to keep open the possibility of moving even faster. Indeed, it said that Lagarde’s plan had “irked colleagues” seeking to keep that option open, and was “a position that leaves some more hawkish officials uncomfortable.” So according to this, some officials want to keep the option of moving in 50bp increments like the Fed did earlier this month, although so far only Dutch central bank Governor Knot has openly referred to this as a possibility. That move from Lagarde to endorse an exit from negative rates in Q3 sent sovereign bonds noticeably higher after the blog post was released, with 10yr bund yields giving up their initial decline to rise +7.5bps by the close, aided by the broader risk-on move. Those on 10yr OATs (+7.1bps) and BTPs (+3.3bps) also moved higher, with a rise in real yields driving the moves in all cases. Nevertheless, when it came to what the market was pricing for future rate hikes, Lagarde’s comments seemed to just solidify where they’d already reached, with the amount priced in for the ECB by year-end rising just +5.5bps to remain above 100bps. Given the ECB’s more hawkish rhetoric of late as well as the upside Ifo reading, the Euro gained further ground against the US dollar over the last 24 hours, strengthening by +1.20% in yesterday’s session. In fact, the dollar was the second-worst performer amongst all the G10 currencies yesterday, narrowly edging out the yen, and the dollar index has now shed -2.64% since its peak less than two weeks ago. That’s in line with what our FX colleagues argued in their Blueprint at the end of last week (link here), where they see the reversal of the dollar risk premium alongside ECB tightening sending EURUSD back above 1.10 over the summer. But even though the dollar was losing ground, US Treasury yields still moved higher alongside their European counterparts, with 10yr yields up +7.0bps to 2.85%. They given back around a basis point this morning. Over to Asia and as discussed earlier markets are weaker. The Hang Seng (-1.50%) is extending its previous session losses with stocks in mainland China also lagging. The Shanghai Composite (-1.09%) and CSI (-0.80%) are both trading lower even as the government is offering more than 140 billion yuan ($21 billion) in extra tax relief to companies and consumers as it seeks to offset the impact of Covid-induced lockdowns on the world’s second biggest economy. Among the agreed new steps, China will also reduce some passenger car purchase taxes by 60 billion yuan. Meanwhile, the Nikkei (-0.51%) and Kospi (-0.90%) are also trading in the red. Early morning data showed that Japan’s manufacturing activity expanded at the slowest pace in three months in May after the au Jibun Bank flash manufacturing PMI slipped to +53.2 from a final reading of +53.5 in April amid supply bottlenecks with new orders growth slowing. Meanwhile, the nation’s services PMI improved to +51.7 in May from +50.7. Elsewhere, manufacturing sector activity in Australia expanded at the slowest pace in four months as the S&P Global flash manufacturing PMI fell to +55.3 in May from April’s +58.8 level while the services PMI dropped to +53.0 in May. While markets try to judge whether or not a near-term recession is imminent and how severe it may be, another external shock to contend with is the growing Covid case count in mainland China and how stiff the lockdown measures authorities will impose to contain outbreaks. As we reported yesterday, Beijing registered record case growth over the weekend. The Chinese mainland on Monday reported 141 locally-transmitted confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 58 were in Shanghai and 41 in Beijing. So these numbers will be closely watched over the next few days. To the day ahead now, and we’ll get the rest of the May flash PMIs from Europe and the US, along with US new home sales for April and the Richmond Fed’s manufacturing index for May. Otherwise, central bank speakers include Fed Chair Powell, the ECB’s Villeroy and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Tyler Durden Tue, 05/24/2022 - 08:08.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 24th, 2022

Futures Jump After Biden Says Trump"s China Tariffs Under Consideration

Futures Jump After Biden Says Trump's China Tariffs Under Consideration US stock futures advanced for a second day after staging a furious rally late on Friday having slumped into a bear market just hours earlier, after President Joe Biden said China tariffs imposed by the Trump administration were under consideration, although concerns about hawkish central banks and record Covid cases in Beijing continued to weigh on the sentiment.  Contracts on the S&P 500 were up 1% by 7:15 a.m. in New York, trimming earlier gains of as much as 1.4% following remarks from Christine Lagarde that the European Central Bank is likely to start raising interest rates in July and exit sub-zero territory by the end of September which sent the euro sharply higher and hit the USD. Meanwhile, Beijing and Tianjin continue to ramp up Covid restrictions as cases climbed. Nasdaq futures also jumped, rising 1.1%. Europe rose 0.6% while Asian stocks closed mostly in the green, with Nikkei +1% and Hang Seng -1.2%. The dollar and Treasuries retreated, while bitcoin jumped to $30,500 as the crypto rout appears over. Traders interpreted Biden’s comments that he’ll discuss the US tariffs on Chinese imports with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen when he returns from his Asia trip as a signal there could be a reversal of some Trump-imposed measures, sparking a risk-on rally.  “Today’s appetite for risk has been sparked by the US President’s announcement that trade tariffs imposed on China by the previous Trump administration will be discussed,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “Investors see this as a possible de-escalation of the trade war between the two economic superpowers, and this has revived trading optimism towards riskier assets.” Among the notable movers in premarket trading, VMware surged 19% after Bloomberg News reported that Broadcom is in talks to acquire cloud-computing company; Broadcom fell 3.5% in premarket trading. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Software stocks, such as Oracle (ORCL US), Splunk (SPLK US), ServiceNow (NOW US), Check Point Software Technologies (CHKP US), are in focus after the report on Broadcom and VMware setting up for a blockbuster tech deal. Antiviral and vaccine stocks rise in US premarket trading amid spreading cases of the monkeypox virus. SIGA Technologies (SIGA US) jumps 39%; Emergent BioSolutions (EBS US) rises 15%, Chimerix (CMRX US) gains 15%, Inovio Pharmaceuticals (INO US) +13% Dow (DOW US) shares fall as much as 1.3% premarket after Piper Sandler downgraded the chemicals maker to neutral from overweight, along with peer LyondellBasell (LYB US), amid industry concerns. TG Therapeutics (TGTX US) shares are down 3.3% premarket after falling 11% on Friday, when BofA started coverage on the biotech company with an underperform rating and $5 price target. Upwork (UPWK US) could be in focus as RBC Capital Markets analyst Brad Erickson initiates coverage of the stock with a sector perform recommendation, saying some near-term negatives for the online recruitment services firm are well discounted. US stocks have been roiled in the past two months by concerns the Fed's tightening will push the economy into a recession. A late-session rebound lifted the market from the session’s lows on Friday, though the S&P 500 still capped a seventh straight week of losses - the longest since 2001 - and briefly dipped into bear market territory, while the Dow dropped for 8 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since 1923! “As we have seen time and time again recently, any attempted rallies appear to be short-lived with the backdrop of macroeconomic uncertainty, and any bullish breakouts have failed to endure with overall market sentiment biased toward the bears,” said Victoria Scholar, head of investment at Interactive Investor. The string of weekly losses has seen the S&P 500’s forward price-to-earnings ratio drop to 16.4, near the lowest since April 2020. This is below the average level of 17.04 times seen over the past decade, making the case for bargain hunters to step in. Separately, Biden said the US military would intervene to defend Taiwan in any attack from China, comments that appeared to break from the longstanding US policy of “strategic ambiguity” before they were walked back by White House officials. Meanwhile, his administration announced that a dozen Indo-Pacific countries will join the US in a sweeping economic initiative designed to counter China’s influence in the region. Minutes of the most recent Fed rate-setting meeting will give markets insight this week into the central bank’s tightening path. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said the Fed should front-load an aggressive series of rate hikes to push rates to 3.5% at year’s end, which if successful would push down inflation and could lead to easing in 2023 or 2024 In Europe, the Stoxx 50 rose 0.3%. The FTSE 100 outperformed, adding 0.9%, FTSE MIB lags, dropping 1.1%. Energy, miners and travel are the strongest performing sectors. European energy shares vie with the basic resources sector to be the best-performing group in the Stoxx Europe 600 benchmark on Monday as oil stocks rise with crude prices, while Siemens Gamesa rallies after Siemens Energy made a takeover offer. Shell rises 1.7%, BP +2.4%, TotalEnergies +2.1%. Elsewgere, the Stoxx Europe Basic Resources sub-index rallies to the highest level since May 5 to lead gains in the wider regional benchmark on Monday as metals rise amid better demand outlook. Aluminum, copper and iron ore extended rebound after China cut borrowing rates last week, dollar weakened and as investors weighed outlook for lockdown relief in Shanghai. The euro rose to its highest level in four weeks and most of the region’s bonds fell after European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said the ECB is likely to start raising interest rates in July and exit sub-zero territory by the end of September. Here are the most notable European movers: Siemens Gamesa shares gain as much as 6.7% after Siemens Energy made an offer to acquire the shares in the wind-turbine maker it does not own. Kingfisher shares advance as much as 4.9% after the B&Q owner reported 1Q sales that beat estimates and announced plans for a further GBP300m share buyback. Deutsche EuroShop shares jump as much as 44% after Oaktree and CURA offered to acquire the German retail property company in a deal valuing it at around EU1.39b. Moonpig Group gains as much as 14% as Jefferies analysts say its plan to buy Smartbox Group UK is a good use of the online greeting card company’s strong cash generation. Kainos Group shares jump as much as 25%, as Canaccord Genuity raises the stock’s rating to buy from hold following FY results, saying cost-inflation headwinds are priced in. Intertek shares fall as much as 5.3%, with Stifel cutting its rating on the company to hold from buy, saying none of the key elements of its positive thesis are still intact. Leoni shares drop as much as 7.3% after the wiring systems manufacturer said it was in advanced talks on further financing. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks were mixed as traders assessed Chinese authorities’ efforts to support the economy amid ongoing concerns over its Covid situation. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.4%, supported by healthcare and industrials, after paring an early gain of as much as 0.7%. Japanese stocks outperformed and US index futures advanced.  Chinese shares slid after Beijing reported a record number of coronavirus cases, reviving concerns about lockdowns. Covid concerns offset any positive impact from last Friday’s greater-than-expected reduction in a key interest rate for long-term loans in an effort to counter weak demand. Investors may be turning more upbeat on Asian stocks, with the regional benchmark beating global peers last week by the most in more the two years, snapping a streak of six weekly losses. Still, the region faces the same worries about inflation and rising US interest rates that have been rattling markets around the world this year. “The energy crisis in the EU and policy tightening in the US, combined with China’s economic soft patch” are potential headwinds for Asian equities and may lead to “weak external demand for more export-oriented economies like Taiwan and Korea,” Soo Hai Lim, head of Asia ex-China equities at Barings, wrote in a note. Japanese equities climbed as US President Joe Biden’s comments during his visit to the country lifted market sentiment. Biden said a recession in the US isn’t inevitable, and reaffirmed close ties between the two countries. He also said China tariffs imposed by the Trump administration were under consideration, helping to lift regional stocks.  The Topix Index rose 0.9% to 1,894.57 as of market close, while the Nikkei advanced 1% to 27,001.52. Tokio Marine Holdings contributed the most to the Topix Index, increasing 7.6%. Out of 2,171 shares in the index, 1,681 rose and 415 fell, while 75 were unchanged. Defense stocks also got a boost after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said President Biden supports Japan’s plan for an increase in its defense budget Stocks in India mostly declined after the central bank chief said the Reserve Bank is taking coordinated action with the country’s government to tackle inflation and a few interest rate hikes will be in store in coming months. His comments came soon after the government unveiled measures that will cost the exchequer $26 billion and will probably force the government to issue more debt to bridge the yawning budget deficit. The S&P BSE Sensex ended flat at 54,288.61 in Mumbai after giving up an advance of as much as 1.1%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index dropped 0.3%, its third decline in four sessions. Gauges of mid-sized and small stocks also plunged 0.3% and 0.6%, respectively. Out of the 30 stocks in the Sensex index, 20 advanced while 10 ended lower, with Tata Steel being the biggest drag. Eleven of 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. declined, led by metal stocks. Steel stocks plunged after the new rules imposed tariffs on export of some products. Auto and capital stocks were the best performers.  Investors remain wary of the policy decisions the central bank could take in the near-term to tackle in rising inflation, according to Arafat Saiyed, an analyst with Reliance Securities. “Changes in oil prices and amendments to import and export duties might play a role in assessing the market’s trajectory.” In rates, Treasuries dropped as investors debate the Federal Reserve’s tightening path amid mounting worries about an economic slowdown. US bonds were cheaper by 3bp-5bp across the curve with belly leading declines, underperforming vs front- and long-end, following weakness in bunds. 10-year yield around 2.83%, higher by ~5bp on day, and keeping pace with most European bond markets; belly-led losses cheapen 2s5s30s fly by ~1.5bp on the day. US IG credit issuance slate empty so far; $20b-$25b is expected this week, concentrated on Monday and Tuesday. European fixed income faded an initial push higher after Lagarde’s comments while money markets up rate-hike bets. Bund futures briefly trade above 154 before reversing, cash curve bear-flattens with the belly cheapening ~6bps. Peripheral spreads tighten to Germany, 10y Bund/BTP spreads holds above 200bps. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as the greenback traded weaker against all of its Group-of-10 peers. The euro jumped to a session high of $1.0635 and bunds reversed an advance after ECB President Christine Lagarde said the central bank is likely to start raising interest rates in July and exit sub-zero territory by the end of September. The EUR was also bolstered by Germany IFO business confidence index rising to 93.0 in May vs estimate 91.4. The Aussie and kiwi were among the pest G-10 performers as they benefitted from Biden’s comments about the tariffs on China. Aussie was also supported after the Labor Party won the weekend election and is increasingly hopeful of gaining enough seats to form a majority government.  The pound advanced against the dollar, touching the highest level since May 5, amid broad-based greenback weakness. While asking prices rose to a new record for the fourth-straight month, there are signs the housing market is slowing, according to Rightmove. Yen steadied after gains last week as traders sought clues on the global economy. Japanese government bonds were mostly higher. The purchasing power of the yen fell to a fresh half-century low last month. In commodities, WTI rose 1.1% to trade just below $112. Most base metals are in the green; LME aluminum rises 1.4%, outperforming peers. LME nickel lags, dropping 4.2%. Spot gold climbs roughly $18 to trade around $1,865/oz Looking at today's calendar, at 830am we get the April Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index (est. 0.50, prior 0.44). CB speakers include the Fed's Bostic, ECB's Holzmann, Nagel and Villeroy and BoE's Bailey. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 3,922.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 433.69 MXAP up 0.4% to 165.23 MXAPJ little changed at 539.33 Nikkei up 1.0% to 27,001.52 Topix up 0.9% to 1,894.57 Hang Seng Index down 1.2% to 20,470.06 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,146.86 Sensex up 0.4% to 54,556.08 Australia S&P/ASX 200 little changed at 7,148.89 Kospi up 0.3% to 2,647.38 German 10Y yield little changed at 0.97% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0622 Brent Futures up 0.9% to $113.61/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,859.91 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.63% to 102.50 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg President Joe Biden said the US military would intervene to defend Taiwan in any attack from China, some of his strongest language yet seeking to deter Beijing from an invasion The Biden administration announced that a dozen Indo-Pacific countries will join the US in a sweeping economic initiative designed to counter China’s influence in the region, even as questions remain about its effectiveness The US Treasury Department is expected to tighten sanctions this week on Russia, threatening about $1 billion owed to bondholders for the rest of this year and putting the country once again on the edge of default The ECB is poised to get the power to oversee so-called transition plans by 2025, in which lenders map out their path to a carbon-neutral future. Yet several national officials who sit on the ECB’s supervisory board are skeptical that climate risks merit new rules to address them, and some are wary that the initiative exceeds the central bank’s mandate Russia is considering a plan to ease a key control on capital flows which has helped drive the ruble to the highest levels in four years as the rally is now threatening to hurt budget revenues and exporters Natural gas prices in Europe fell as much as 5.6% to the lowest level since the start of the war in Ukraine, as storage levels across the continent rise to near-normal levels As the biggest selloff in decades shook the world’s bond markets this year, some extraordinarily long-dated debt went into free fall, tumbling even more than Wall Street’s usual models predicted. To Jessica James, a managing director with Commerzbank AG in London, it wasn’t a surprise. In fact, it was validation A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk APAC stocks were mixed as momentum waned due to China's COVID woes and record Beijing infections. ASX 200 was just about kept afloat before ebbing lower after initial strength in mining names and the smooth change of government in Australia. Nikkei 225 advanced at the open with Tokyo said to be planning to revive its travel subsidy plan for residents. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were pressured by ongoing COVID concerns after Beijing extended its halt of dining in services and in-person classes for the whole city, as well as reporting a fresh record of daily COVID infections, while Shanghai restored its cross-district public transport on Sunday but ordered supermarkets and shops in the central Jingan district to shut and for residents to stay home until at least Tuesday Top Asian News Beijing reported 83 new symptomatic cases and 16 new asymptomatic cases for May 22nd with the city's total new cases at a new record, according to Bloomberg. It was also reported that thousands of Beijing residents were relocated to quarantine hotels due to a handful of infections, according to the BBC. Beijing is mulling easing its hotel quarantine requirement to one week in a hotel and one week at home from a previous hotel requirement of ten days and one week at home for international travellers, according to SCMP. Shanghai reported 570 new asymptomatic cases, 52 asymptomatic cases, 3 new COVID-related deaths and zero cases outside of quarantine, according to Reuters. Shanghai’s central district of Jingan will require all supermarkets and shops to close, while residents will be required to stay at home and conduct mass testing from May 22nd-24th, according to Reuters. China NHC Official says the COVID situation, overall, is showing a steady declining trend. Japanese PM Kishida said it is very disappointing that China is unilaterally developing areas in the East China Sea when borders are not yet set which Japan cannot accept, while it has lodged a complaint against China through diplomatic channels, according to Reuters. Japanese PM Kishida told US President Biden that they must achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific together, while President Biden said the US is fully committed to Japan's defence and that the IPEF will increase cooperation with other nations and deliver benefits to people in the region, according to Reuters. US-South Korea joint statement noted they agreed to discuss widening the scope and scale of joint military exercises and the US reiterated its commitment to defending South Korea with nuclear, conventional and missile defence, as well as reaffirmed its commitment to deploy strategic military assets in a timely and coordinated manner as necessary. The sides also condemned North Korea’s missile tests as a grave threat and agreed to relaunch a high-level extended deterrence strategy and consultation group at the earliest date, while they noted the path to dialogue with North Korea remains open and called for a resumption of negotiations, according to Reuters. US President Biden said the US-South Korea alliance has never been stronger and more vibrant. President Biden added they are ready to strengthen the joint defence posture to counter North Korea and are ready to work toward the complete denuclearisation of North Korea, while he offered vaccines to North Korea and said he would meet with North Korean leader Kim if he is serious, according to Reuters. South Korean President Yoon said North Korea is advancing nuclear capabilities and that US President Biden shares grave concerns regarding North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, while Yoon said they discussed the timing of possible deployment of fighter jets and bombers, according to Reuters. European bourses are mixed/modestly-firmer, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.3%, as the initial upside momentum waned amid fresh China COVID updates and hawkish ECB commentary. Note, the FTSE MIB is the noted underperformer this morning, -1.0%, amid multiple large-cap names trading ex-divided. Stateside, futures are firmer but similarly off best levels, ES +0.5%, with recent/familiar themes very much in focus ahead of a thin US-specific docket. XPeng (XPEV) Q1 2022 (USD): EPS -0.32 (exp. -0.30), Revenue 1.176bln (exp. 1.16bln); Vehicle Deliveries 34.56k, +159% YY. -2.8% in pre-market JPMorgan (JPM) has reaffirmed its adjusted expenses guidance; credit outlook remains positive; sees FY22 NII USD 56bln (prev. USD 53bln) Top European News EU’s infectious-disease agency is to recommend member states prepare strategies for possible vaccination programmes to counter increasing monkeypox cases, according to FT. It was also reported that Austria confirmed its first case of monkeypox and that Switzerland also confirmed its first case of monkeypox in the canton of Bern, according to Reuters. EU policymakers are reportedly renewing efforts to push for real-time databases of stock and bond trading information as they believe that a 'consolidated tape' will make EU exchanges more attractive for investors, according to FT. EU Commission has proposed maintaining EU borrowing limits suspension next year amid the war in Ukraine; expects to reinstate limits in 2024; Germany supports the suspension. Fixed Income Bunds and Eurozone peers underperform as ECB President Lagarde signals end of negative rates by September. 10 year German bond nearer 153.00 having topped 154.00, Gilts around 1/4 point below par after trading flat at best and T-note shy of 120-00 within 120-03+/119-21+ range. EU NG issuance covered 1.38 times and Austria announces leads for 2049 Green syndication. In FX Euro joins Kiwi at the top of G10 ranks as President Lagarde chimes with end of NIRP by Q3 guidance, EUR/USD sets fresh May peak near 1.0690. Bulk of NZIER shadow board believe RBNZ will deliver another 50bp hike on Wednesday, NZD/USD hovers comfortably above 0.6450 in the run up to NZ Q1 retail sales. DXY in danger of losing 102.000+ status as Euro revival boosts other index components. Aussie up with price of iron ore and extended Yuan recovery gains with change of PM and Government regime taken in stride; AUD/USD probes 0.7100, USD/CNH not far from Fib support sub-6.6500, USD/CNY a tad lower. Sterling eyes 1.2600 awaiting BoE Governor Bailey at a PM panel discussion, Loonie and Nokkie glean traction via firm WTI and Brent, USD/CAD under 1.2800, EUR/NOK beneath 10.3000. Lira languishing after CBRT survey showing higher end 2022 forecasts for Turkish CPI, current account deficit and USD/TRY circa 17.5690 vs just shy of 16.0000 at present. Commodities WTI and Brent are firmer and in-proximity to session highs amid USD action offsetting the earlier drift with risk sentiment/China's mixed COVID stance. Currently, the benchmarks are just off highs of USD 111.96/bbl and USD 114.34/bbl respectively, vs lows of 109.50 and 111.97 respectively. Saudi Arabia signalled it will stand by Russia as a member of OPEC+ amid mounting pressure from sanctions, according to FT. Iraq’s government aims to set up a new oil company in the Kurdistan region and expects to enter service contracts with local oil firms, according to Reuters. Iran’s Oil Minister agreed to revive the pipeline laying project to pump Iranian gas to Oman which was stalled for nearly two decades, according to IRNA. Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Iran’s leadership has matters under review regarding “the Iranian nuclear file” and said that pumping additional quantities of Iranian oil to the market will help stabilise crude prices and lower inflation, according to Al Jazeera TV. India cut its excise duty on petrol by INR 8/litre and diesel by INR 6/litre which will result in a revenue loss of about INR 1tln for the government, while Indian Finance Minister Sitharaman announced subsidies on cooking gas cylinders, as well as cuts to custom duties on raw materials and intermediaries for plastic products, according to Reuters. Indian oil minister says oil remaining at USD 110/bbl could lead to bigger threats than inflation, via CNBC TV18. Central Banks ECB's Lagarde says based on the current outlook, we are likely to be in a position to exit negative interest rates by the end of the third quarter; against the backdrop of the evidence I presented above, I expect net purchases under the APP to end very early in the third quarter. This would allow us a rate lift-off at our meeting in July, in line with our forward guidance. The next stage of normalisation would need to be guided by the evolution of the medium-term inflation outlook. If we see inflation stabilising at 2% over the medium term, a progressive further normalisation of interest rates towards the neutral rate will be appropriate. ECB President Lagarde indicated that July is likely for a rate increase as she noted that they will follow the path of stopping net asset purchases and then hike interest rates sometime after that which could be a few weeks, according to Bloomberg. Bundesbank Monthly Report: German GDP is likely to increase modestly in Q2 from current standpoint. Click here for more detail. RBI Governor Das says, broadly, they want to increase rates in the next few meetings, at least at the next one; cannot give a number on inflation at present, the next MPC may be the time to do so. CBRT Survey (May), end-2022 Forecasts: CPI 57.92% (prev. 46.44%), GDP Growth 3.3% (prev. 3.2%), USD/TRY 17.5682 (prev. 16.8481), Current Account Balance USD -34.34bln (prev. USD -27.5bln). US Event Calendar 08:30: April Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.50, prior 0.44 12:00: Fed’s Bostic Discusses the Economic Outlook 19:30: Fed’s George Gives Speech at Agricultural Symposium DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap After a stressful couple of hours in front of the football yesterday afternoon, there's not too much the market can throw at me this week to raise the heart rate any higher than it was for the brief moments that I thought Liverpool were going to win the Premier League from a very unlikely set of final day circumstances. However it is the hope that kills you and at least we have the Champions League final on Saturday to look forward to now. There will be a lot of market water to flow under the bridge before that. This all follows a fascinating end to last week with the S&P 500 in bear market territory as Europe went home for the weekend after the index had fallen -20.6% from its peak going into the last couple of hours of another brutal week. However a sharp late rally sent the index from c.-2.3% on the day to close +0.01%. There was no catalyst but traders clearly didn’t want to go home for the weekend as lightly positioned as they were. Regardless, this was the first time we’ve seen seven successive weekly declines in the index since the fallout from the dotcom bubble bursting in 2001. Watch out for my CoTD on this later. If you’re not on my daily CoTD and want to be, please send an email to jim-reid.thematicresearch@db.com to get added. For what it's worth the Dow saw the first successive 8 weekly decline since 1923 which really brings home the state of the current sell-off. After having a high conviction recession call all year for 2023, I can't say I have high conviction in the near-term. I don't expect that we will fall into recession imminently in the US or Europe and if that's the case then markets are likely to eventually stabilise and rally back. However if we do see a H2 2022 recession then this sell-off will likely end up at the more severe end of the historical recessionary sell-offs given the very high starting valuations (see Binky Chadha's excellent strategy piece here for more on this). However if I'm right that a 2023 recession is unavoidable then however much we rally back this year we'll be below current levels for equities in 12-18 months' time in my view. Given that my H2 2023 HY credit spread forecast is +850bp then that backs this point up. Longer-term if we do get a recession and inflation proves sticky over that period then equities are going to have a long period of mean reversion of valuations and it will be a difficult few years ahead. So the path of equities in my opinion depends on the recession timing and what inflation does when we hit that recession. Moving from pontificating about the next few years to now looking at what's coming up this week. The global preliminary PMIs for May tomorrow will be front and centre for investors following the growth concerns that have roiled markets of late. Central banks will also remain in focus as we will get the latest FOMC meeting minutes (Wednesday) and the US April PCE, the Fed's preferred inflation proxy, on Friday. An array of global industrial activity data will be another theme to watch. Consumer sentiment will be in focus too, with a number of confidence measures from Europe and personal income and spending data from the US (Friday). Corporates reporting results will include spending bellwethers Macy's and Costco. After last week’s retail earnings bloodbath (e.g. Walmart and Target) these will get added attention. On the Fed, the minutes may be a bit stale now but it’ll still be interesting to see the insight around the biases of 50bps vs 25/75bps hikes after the next couple of meetings. Thoughts on QT will also be devoured. Staying with the US, for the personal income and spending numbers on Friday, our US economists expect the two indicators to slow to +0.2% and +0.6% in April, respectively. The Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, the PCE, will be another important metric released the same day and DB’s economics team expects the April core reading to stay at +0.3%. Other US data will include April new home sales tomorrow and April durable goods orders on Wednesday. A number of manufacturing and business activity indicators are in store, too. Regional Fed indicators throughout the week will include an April gauge of national activity from the Chicago Fed (today) and May manufacturing indices from the Richmond Fed (tomorrow) and the Kansas City Fed (Thursday). In Europe, the May IFO business climate indicator for Germany will be out today, followed by a manufacturing confidence gauge for France (tomorrow) and Italy (Thursday). China's industrial profits are due on Friday. This week will also feature a number of important summits. Among them will be the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos that has now started and will run until next Thursday. It'll be the first in-person meeting since the pandemic began and geopolitics will likely be in focus. Meanwhile, President Biden will travel to Asia for the first time as US president and attend a Quad summit in Tokyo tomorrow. Details on the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework are expected. Finally, NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s 2022 Spring Session will be held in Vilnius from next Friday to May 30th. In corporate earnings, investors will be closely watching Macy's, Costco and Dollar General after this week's slump in Walmart and Target. Amid the carnage in tech, several companies that were propelled by the pandemic will be in focus too, with reporters including NVIDIA, Snowflake (Wednesday) and Zoom (today). Other notable corporates releasing earnings will be Lenovo, Alibaba, Baidu (Thursday) and XPeng (Monday). Overnight in Asia, equity markets are weak but US futures continue to bounce back. The Hang Seng (-1.75%) is the largest underperformer amid a fresh sell-off in Chinese listed tech stocks. Additionally, stocks in mainland China are also weak with the Shanghai Composite (-0.47%) and CSI (-0.99%) lower as Beijing reported record number of fresh Covid-19 cases, renewing concerns about a lockdown. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.50%) is up in early trade while the Kospi (+0.02%) is flat. S&P 500 (+0.80%), NASDAQ 100 (+1.03%) and DAX (+0.96%) futures are all edging higher though and 10yr USTs are around +3.5bps higher. A quick review of last week’s markets now. Growth fears gripped markets while global central bankers retrenched their expectations for a strong dose of monetary tightening this year to combat inflation. The headline was the S&P 500 fell for the seventh straight week for the first time since after the tech bubble burst in 2001, tumbling -3.05% (+0.01% Friday), after back-and-forth price action which included an ignominious -4% decline on Wednesday, the worst daily performance in nearly two years. The index is now -18.68% from its YTD highs, narrowly avoiding a -20% bear market after a late rally to end the week, after dipping into intraday on Friday. Without one discreet driver, an amalgamation of worse-than-expected domestic data, fears about global growth prospects, and poor earnings from domestic retail giants that called into question the vitality of the American consumer soured sentiment. Indeed, on the latter point, consumer staples (-8.63%) and discretionary (-7.44%) were by far the largest underperformers on the week. European stocks managed to fare better, with the STOXX 600 falling -0.55% (+0.73% Friday) and the DAX losing just -0.33% (+0.72% Friday). The growth fears drove longer-dated sovereign bond yields over the week, with 10yr Treasuries falling -13.7bps (-5.6bps Friday). Meanwhile, the front end of the curve was relatively anchored, with 2yr yields basically unchanged over the week (-2.7bps Friday), and the amount of Fed hikes priced in through 2022 edging +3bps higher over the week to 2.75%, bringing 2s10s back below 20bps for the first time since early May. Chair Powell reiterated his commitment to bring inflation back to target, suggesting that getting policy rates to neutral did not constitute a stopping point if the Fed did not have “clear and convincing” evidence that inflation was falling. In Europe the front end was also weaker than the back end as Dutch central bank Governor Knot became the first General Council member to countenance +50bp hikes. 10yr yields didn't rally as much as in the US, closing the week at -0.4bps (-0.5bps Friday). The spectre of faster ECB tightening and slowing global growth drove 10yr BTPs to underperform, widening +15.2bps (+10.2bps Friday) to 205bps against bund equivalents. Gilts underperformed other sovereign bonds, with 10yr benchmarks selling off +14.9bps (+2.8bps Friday) and 2yr yields increasing +25.8bps (+1.6bps Friday). This came as UK CPI hit a 40yr high of 9.0% in April even if it slightly missed forecasts for the first time in seven months. Oil proved resilient to the growth fears rumbling through markets, with both brent crude (+0.90%, +0.46% Friday) and WTI futures (+2.48%, +0.91% Friday) posting modest gains over the week. Tyler Durden Mon, 05/23/2022 - 07:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMay 23rd, 2022

U.S. Soccer to Pay Women’s and Men’s Teams Equally in Milestone Agreement

U.S. women have been successful on the international stage but took home far less than the men's winners The U.S. Soccer Federation reached milestone agreements to pay its men’s and women’s teams equally, making the American national governing body the first in the sport to promise both sexes matching money. The federation announced separate collective bargaining agreements through December 2028 with the unions for both national teams on Wednesday, ending years of often acrimonious negotiations. The men have been playing under the terms of a CBA that expired in December 2018. The women’s CBA expired at the end of March but talks continued after the federation and the players agreed to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by some of the players in 2019. The settlement was contingent on the federation reaching labor contracts that equalized pay and bonuses between the two teams. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “I feel a lot of pride for the girls who are going to see this growing up, and recognize their value rather than having to fight for it. However, my dad always told me that you don’t get rewarded for doing what you’re supposed to do — and paying men and women equally is what you’re supposed to do,” U.S. forward Margaret Purce said. “So I’m not giving out any gold stars, but I’m grateful for this accomplishment and for all the people who came together to make it so.” Perhaps the biggest sticking point was World Cup prize money, which is based on how far a team advances in the tournament. While the U.S. women have been successful on the international stage with back-to-back World Cup titles, differences in FIFA prize money meant they took home far less than the men’s winners. The unions agreed to pool FIFA’s payments for the men’s World Cup later this year and next year’s Women’s World Cup, as well as for the 2026 and 2027 tournaments. Each player will get matching game appearance fees in what the USSF said makes it the first federation to pool FIFA prize money in this manner. Read more: Megan Rapinoe Is on the 2020 TIME 100 List “We saw it as an opportunity, an opportunity to be leaders in this front and join in with the women’s side and U.S. Soccer. So we’re just excited that this is how we were able to get the deal done,” said Walker Zimmerman, a defender who is part of the U.S. National Team Players Association leadership group. The federation previously based bonuses on payments from FIFA, which earmarked $400 million for the 2018 men’s tournament, including $38 million to champion France, and $30 million for the 2019 women’s tournament, including $4 million to the champion United States. FIFA has increased the total to $440 million for the 2022 men’s World Cup, and its president, Gianni Infantino, has proposed that FIFA double the women’s prize money to $60 million for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, in which FIFA has increased the teams to 32. For the current World Cup cycles, the USSF will pool the FIFA funds, taking 10% off the top and then splitting the rest equally among 46 players — 23 players on the roster of each team. For the 2026-27 cycle, the USSF cut increases to 20% before the split. After missing the 2018 World Cup, the men qualified for this year’s World Cup in Qatar starting in November. The women’s team will seek to qualify this year for the 2023 World Cup, cohosted by Australia and New Zealand. For lesser tournaments, such as those run by the governing body of North America, players will earn identical game bonuses. And for exhibition games, players will receive matching appearance fees and performance payments based on the match result and opponent rank. Players who don’t dress will earn a fee that is the equivalent of participating in a national team training camp. The women gave up guaranteed base salaries which had been part of their CBA since 2005. Some players had been guaranteed annual salaries of $100,000. “I think we’ve outgrown some of the conditions that may look like we have lost something, but now our (professional) league is actually strong enough where now we don’t need as many guaranteed contracts, you know, we can be on more of a pay-to-play model,” Purce said. Child care, covered for women for more than 25 years, will be extended to men during national team training camps and matches. The women and men also will receive a portion of commercial revenue from tickets for matches controlled by the USSF, with bonuses for sellouts, and each team will get a portion of broadcast, partner and sponsor revenue. Players will get a 401(k) plan and the USSF will match up to 5% of a player’s compensation, subject to IRS limits. That money will be deducted from the shares of commercial revenue. “There were moments when I thought it was all going to fall apart and then it came back together and it’s a real credit to all the different groups coming together, negotiating at one table,” said federation President Cindy Parlow Cone, a former national team player who became head of the governing body in 2020. “I think that’s where the turning point really happened. Before, trying to negotiate a CBA with the women and then turn around and negotiate CBA terms with the men and vice versa, was really challenging. I think the real turning point was when we finally were all in the same room sitting at the same table, working together and collaborating to reach this goal.” Women ended six years of litigation over equal pay in February in a deal calling for the USSF to pay $24 million, a deal contingent on reaching new collective bargaining agreements. As part of the settlement, players will split $22 million, about one-third of what they had sought in damages. The USSF also agreed to establish a fund with $2 million to benefit the players in their post-soccer careers and charitable efforts aimed at growing the sport for women. Mark Levinstein, counsel for the men’s union, said the agreement ended “more than 20 years of federation discrimination against the USWNT players.” “Together with the USWNTPA, the USMNT players achieved what everyone said was impossible—an agreement that provides fair compensation to the USMNT players and equal pay and equal working conditions to the USWNT players,” he said. “The new federation leadership should get tremendous credit for working with the players to achieve these agreements.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeMay 18th, 2022