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NXP to close APS R&D unit in China

Speculation has been circulating in China's chipmaking sector that NXP Semiconductors is about to cease its Advanced Power Systems (APS) R&D operations in China. The move could indicate another international IC IDM vendor pulling out its R&D team in the country......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesJun 24th, 2022

Cornerstone Building (CNR) Divests Coil Coatings Business

Cornerstone Building (CNR) sells the coil coatings unit to reshape its portfolio. Cornerstone Building Brands, Inc. CNR divested its coil coatings business to BlueScope Steel Limited for $500 million in cash, thereby optimizing its portfolio for further growth in the large, deep markets and strengthening its financial flexibility. The transaction, which includes products sold under the Metal Coaters and Metal Prep brands, is subject to certain customary adjustments.This largest manufacturer of exterior building products in North America also inked a long-term supply deal with BlueScope to secure a continued supply of light gauge coil coating and painted hot roll steel at favorable service levels.On Jun 28, shares of Cornerstone Building inched up 0.2%.CNR has been actively involved in acquisitions and divestitures to drive growth. In an attempt to fuel high-growth, high-profitability businesses, it has been divesting assets on a regular basis.Moreover, on Mar 7, management announced that Cornerstone Building inked a deal with the affiliates of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice (CD&R) to sell its business for $5.8 billion in cash, including the assumption of debt.Per the deal, CNR’s shareholders will receive $24.65 in cash per share, representing an approximately 16% premium to the closing price of its common stock as of Mar 4, 2022. The deal is expected to close in the second or third quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) player have surged 73.8% since Feb 4 (the last trading day prior to speculation in the market regarding a potential transaction) against the Zacks Building Products - Concrete and Aggregates industry’s 20.7% fall.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some Better-Ranked Stocks in the Construction SectorSterling Construction Company, Inc. STRL, a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) player, is benefiting from broad-based growth across the E-Infrastructure, Building and Transportation solutions segments.The consensus mark for Sterling’s 2022 earnings has been stable at $2.88 per share over the past 30 days, suggesting 34% growth from the year-ago reported figure.Granite Construction Inc. GVA, a Zacks #2 Ranked player, is the largest diversified infrastructure company in the United States. GVA has been banking on strategic initiatives, inorganic moves and a strong bidding activity.Earnings estimates for 2022 have increased to $2.11 per share from $1.97 in the past 60 days. Earnings for the current year are expected to climb 17.2% year over year.AECOM ACM, with a Zacks Rank of 2, is a leading solutions provider for supporting professional, technical and management solutions for diverse industries across end markets like transportation, facilities, government and environmental, and energy and water businesses.AECOM’s expected earnings growth rate for 2022 is 21.6%. The consensus mark for 2022 earnings has moved up to $3.43 per share from $3.40 in the past 60 days. 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 AECOM (ACM): Free Stock Analysis Report Sterling Infrastructure, Inc. (STRL): Free Stock Analysis Report Granite Construction Incorporated (GVA): Free Stock Analysis Report Cornerstone Building Brands, Inc. (CNR): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacks15 hr. 31 min. ago

Futures Slide Amid Renewed Recession Fears After China Doubles Down On "Covid Zero"

Futures Slide Amid Renewed Recession Fears After China Doubles Down On "Covid Zero" One day after futures ramped overnight (if only to crater during the regular session) on hopes China was easing its highly politicized  Zero Covid policy after it cut the time of quarantine lockdowns, this morning futures slumped early on after China's President Xi Jinping made clear that Covid Zero isn't going anywhere and remains the most “economic and effective” policy for China during a symbolic visit to the virus ground zero in Wuhan, in which he cast the strategy as proof of the superiority of the country’s political system. That coupled with renewed recession worries (market is again pricing in a rate cut in Q1 2023) even as monetary policy tightens in much of the world to fight supply-side inflation, sent US futures and global markets lower. S&P futures dropped 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 0.4% after the underlying index slumped on 3.1% on Tuesday. The dollar was steady after rising the most in over a week while WTI crude climbed above $112 a barrel, set for a fourth session of gains. In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin dipped below the closely watched $20,000 level on news crypto hedge fund 3 Arrows Capital was ordered to liquidate. The Nasdaq's Tuesday’s slump added to what was already one of the worst years in terms of big daily selloffs in US stocks. The S&P 500 Index has fallen 2% or more on 14 occasions, putting 2022 in the top 10 list, according to Bloomberg data. Not helping the tech sector, on Wednesday morning JPMorgan cut its earnings estimates across the sector, especially for companies exposed to online advertising, citing macroeconomic pressures, forex and company-specific dynamics. One of the chief drivers for overnight weakness, China's Xi said during a trip Tuesday to Wuhan where the virus first emerged in late 2019 that relaxing Covid controls would risk too many lives in the world’s most populous country. China would rather endure some temporary impact on economic development than let the virus hurt people’s safety and health, he said, in remarks reported Wednesday by state media. As a result, China’s CSI 300 Index extended loss to 1.4% after the headline, while the yuan drops as much as 0.2% to trade 6.7132 against the dollar in the offshore market. Among key premarket movers, Tesla slipped in US premarket trading. The electric-vehicle maker laid off hundreds of workers on its Autopilot team as it shuttered a California facility, according to people familiar with the matter. Carnival slumped as Morgan Stanley analysts warned that the London and New York-listed cruise vacation company’s shares could lose all their value in the event of another demand shock. Pinterest gained 3.7% as the company’s co- founder and CEO Ben Silbermann quit and handed the reins to Google and PayPal veteran Bill Ready in a sign the social-media company will focus more on e-commerce. Also, despite the pervasive weakness, the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund ETF (XLE) rebounded off key support (50% Fibonacci) relative to the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). That said, energy was alone and most other notable movers were down in the premarket: Carnival (CCL US) shares fall 8% premarket as Morgan Stanley analysts warned that the cruise vacation firm’s shares could lose all their value in the event of another demand shock. Nio (NIO US) shares drop 8.2% after short-seller Grizzly Research published a report on Tuesday alleging that the electric carmaker used battery sales to a related party to inflate revenue and boost net income margins. The company rejected the claims. Upstart Holdings (UPST US) shares slump about 9% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the consumer finance company to underweight from equal-weight amid rising cyclical headwinds. Ormat Technologies (ORA US) rallies as much as 5% after the renewable energy company is set to be included in the S&P Midcap 400 Index. 2U (TWOU US) shares rise 16% premarket. Indian online-education provider Byju’s has offered to buy the company in a cash deal that values the US-listed edtech firm at more than $1 billion, a person familiar with the matter said. Watch Amazon (AMZN US) shares as Redburn initiated coverage of the stock with a buy recommendation and set a Street-high price target, saying “there is a clear path toward a $3 trillion value for AWS alone.” Shares in data center REITs could be active later in the trading session after short-seller Jim Chanos said in an FT interview that he’s betting against “legacy” data centers. Watch Digital Realty (DLR US) and Equinix (EQIX US), as well as data center operators Cyxtera Technologies (CYXT US) and Iron Mountain (IRM US) Investors are growing increasingly skeptical that the Fed can avoid a bruising economic downturn amid sharp interest-rate hikes. Evaporating consumer confidence is feeding into concerns that the US might tip into a recession. Naturally, Fed officials sought to play down recession risk. New York Fed President John Williams and San Francisco’s Mary Daly both acknowledged they had to cool inflation, but insisted that a soft landing was still possible. “It seems the market is in this tug of war between on the one hand the hope that we are close to the peak in inflation and rates, and on the other hand the challenge of a slowing economy and potential recession,” Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays Bank Plc, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Central banks are walking a very tight line and to a certain extent dictate the mood in the markets.” European equities snapped three days of gains, trading poorly but off worst levels with sentiment also hurt by China remaining committed to its zero-Covid approach. Spanish inflation unexpectedly surged to a record, dashing hopes that inflation in the euro zone’s fourth-biggest economy had peaked, and emboldening European Central Bank policy makers pushing for big increases in interest rates. The ECB should consider raising interest rates by twice the planned amount next month if the inflation outlook deteriorates, according to Governing Council member Gediminas Simkus, as calls not to exclude an outsized initial move grow. German benchmark bonds rose, while 10-year Treasury yields slipped to 3.16%. DAX lags, dropping as much as 1.8%. Real estate, autos and miners are the worst performing sectors. In notable moves in European stocks, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) gained after the Swedish low-cost retailer’s earnings beat analyst estimates. Just Eat Takeaway.com NV tumbled to a record low after Berenberg analysts rated the stock sell, saying the food delivery firm’s UK business will remain under pressure. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Just Eat Takeaway shares plunge as much as 21% after Berenberg initiated coverage with a sell rating, saying the firm’s UK business will remain under pressure and a sale of its Grubhub unit is unlikely to satisfy the bulls. Carnival stocks slumped over 12% in London as Morgan Stanley analysts warned that the cruise vacation firm’s shares could lose all their value in the event of another demand shock. Pearson drops as much as 6.1% after the education company was cut to sell at UBS, which reduced forecasts to reflect a weak outlook for 2022 college enrollments. Grifols shares plunge as much as 13% on a media report the Spanish plasma firm is weighing a capital raise of as much as EU2b to cut its debt. Diageo shares fall after downgrades for the spirits group from Deutsche Bank and Kepler Cheuvreux, while Pernod Ricard also dips on a rating cut from the latter. Diageo declines as much as 4.2%, Pernod Ricard -3.7% Fluidra shares fall as much as 8.4% after Santander cut its rating on the Spanish swimming pools company. The bank’s analyst Alejandro Conde cut the recommendation to neutral from outperform. H&M shares rise as much as 6.8% after the Swedish apparel retailer reported 2Q earnings that beat estimates. Jefferies said the margin beat in particular was reassuring, while Morgan Stanley said it was a “positive surprise” overall. Ipsen shares rise as much as 3.1% after UBS analyst Michael Leuchten said that accepting palovarotene refiling priority review should be a net present value and confidence boost. Asian stocks fell, halting a four-day gain, as renewed angst over the outlook for global economic growth and inflation help drive a selloff across most of the region’s equity markets. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index dropped as much as 1.5%, led by consumer discretionary and information sectors. Chinese equities in particular took a hit, as the CSI 300 Index fell 1.5% Wednesday after Xi Jinping reiterated his firm stance on Covid zero. Tech-heavy indexes in markets such as South Korea and Taiwan took the brunt of Wednesday’s drop amid lingering concerns that monetary tightening in much of the world to fight inflation will cause an economic slowdown. While Federal Reserve members have played down the risk of a US recession, gloomy data such as US consumer confidence have damped investor sentiment. “Volatility is going to be the enduring feature of the market, I suspect, for the next couple of quarters at least until we get a firm sense that peak inflation has passed,” John Woods, Credit Suisse Group AG’s Asia-Pacific chief investment officer, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “Markets, I think, have aggressively priced in quite a serious or steep recession.”  China’s four-day winning streak came to a halt, putting its advance toward a bull market on hold.  “We will continue to see a risk of targeted lockdowns, and that spoils the initial euphoria seen in the markets from the announcement on relaxation of quarantine requirements,” said Charu Chanana, market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “Still, economic growth will likely be prioritized as this is a politically important year for China.”  Japanese equities decline as investors digested data that showed a drop in US consumer confidence over inflation worries and increased concerns of an economic downturn.  The Topix Index fell 0.7% to 1,893.57 in Tokyo on Wednesday, while the Nikkei declined 0.9% to 26,804.60. Toyota Motor Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s decline, decreasing 1.8%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 1,114 fell, 984 rose and 72 were unchanged. “There are concerns about stagflation,” said Hideyuki Suzuki a general manager at SBI Securities. “The consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan, which provides one of the fastest data points, has already shown poor figures.” Stocks in India tracked their Asian peers lower as brent rose to the highest level in two weeks, while high inflation and slowing global growth continued to dampen risk-appetite for global equities. The S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.3% to 53,026.97 in Mumbai, while the NSE Nifty 50 Index declined by an equal measure. Both gauges have lost more than 4% in June and are set for their third consecutive month of declines. The main indexes have dropped for all but one month this year. Twelve of the 19 sub-sector gauges compiled by BSE Ltd. eased, led by banking companies while power producers were the top performers.   Investors will also be watching the expiry of monthly derivative contracts on Thursday, which may lead to some volatility in the markets.  Hindustan Unilever was the biggest contributor to the Sensex’s decline, decreasing 3.5%. Out of 30 shares in the Sensex, 10 rose and 20 fell. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched up modestly as the greenback traded mixed against its Group-of-10 peers; the Swiss franc led gains while Antipodean currencies were the worst performers and the euro traded in a narrow range around $1.05. The relative cost to own optionality in the euro heading into the July meetings of the ECB and the Federal Reserve was too low for investors to ignore and has become less and less underpriced. The yen strengthened and US and Japanese bond yields fell. In rates, fixed income has a choppy start. Bund futures initially surged just shy of 200 ticks on a soft regional German CPI print before fading the entire move over the course of the morning as Spanish data hit the tape, delivering a surprise record 10% reading for June and more hawkish ECB comments crossed the wires. Treasuries and gilts followed with curves eventually fading a bull-steepening move. Long-end gilts underperform, cheapening ~4bps near 2.75%. Peripheral spreads are tighter to core.  Treasuries are slightly higher as US trading day begins, off the session lows reached as bund futures jumped after the first monthly drop since November in a German regional CPI gauge. Yields are lower across the curve, by 1bp-2bp for tenors out to the 10-year with long-end yields little changed; 10-year declined as much as 5.3bp vs as much as 8.2bp for German 10- year, which remains lower by ~3bp. Focal points for the US session include a final revision of 1Q GDP, comments by Fed Chair Powell, and anticipation of quarter-end flows favoring bonds. Quarter-end is anticipated to cause rebalancing flows into bonds; Wells Fargo estimated that $5b will be added to bonds, with most of the flows occurring Wednesday and Thursday. In commodities, crude futures advance. WTI drifts 0.3% higher to trade near $112.13. Base metals are mixed; LME tin falls 5.6% while LME zinc gains 0.4%. Spot gold falls roughly $5 to trade near $1,815/oz Looking ahead, the highlight will be the panel at the ECB Forum that includes Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde and BoE Governor Bailey. We’ll also be hearing from ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Schnabel, the Fed’s Mester and Bullard, and the BoE’s Dhingra. On the data side, releases include German CPI for June, Euro Area money supply for May, and the final Euro Area consumer confidence reading for June. From the US, we’ll also get the third reading of Q1 GDP. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,829.00 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.8% to 412.69 MXAP down 1.3% to 159.96 MXAPJ down 1.6% to 531.04 Nikkei down 0.9% to 26,804.60 Topix down 0.7% to 1,893.57 Hang Seng Index down 1.9% to 21,996.89 Shanghai Composite down 1.4% to 3,361.52 Sensex little changed at 53,204.17 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.9% to 6,700.23 Kospi down 1.8% to 2,377.99 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.59% Euro little changed at $1.0510 Brent Futures down 0.4% to $117.46/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,816.09 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 104.55 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The Fed’s Loretta Mester said she wants to see the benchmark lending rate reach 3% to 3.5% this year and “a little bit above 4% next year” to rein in price pressures even if that tips the economy into a recession The ECB should consider raising interest rates by twice the planned amount next month if the inflation outlook deteriorates, according to Governing Council member Gediminas Simkus, as calls not to exclude an outsized initial move grow ECB has “ample room” to hike in 25bps-50bps steps to “whatever rate we think, we consider reasonable,” Governing Council member Robert Holzmann said in interview with CNBC Swedish consumers are gloomier than they have been since the mid-1990s, as prices surge on everything from fuel to food and furniture China’s President Xi Jinping declared Covid Zero the most “economic and effective” policy for the nation, during a symbolic visit to Wuhan in which he cast the strategy as proof of the superiority of the country’s political system NATO moved one step closer to bolstering its eastern front with Russia after Turkey dropped its opposition to Swedish and Finnish bids to join the military alliance A more detailed look at markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were pressured amid headwinds from the US where disappointing Consumer Confidence data added to the growth concerns. ASX 200 failed to benefit from better than expected Retail Sales and was dragged lower by weakness in miners and tech. Nikkei 225 fell beneath the 27,000 level as industries remained pressured by the ongoing power crunch. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. conformed to the negative picture in the region although losses in the mainland were initially stemmed after China cut its quarantine requirements which the National Health Commission caveated was not a relaxation but an optimization to make it more scientific and precise. Top Asian News Chinese President Xi said China's COVID prevention control and strategy is correct and effective and must stick with it, via state media. Shanghai will gradually reopen museums and scenic sports from July 1st, state media reports. US Deputy Commerce Secretary Graves said the US will take a balanced approach on Chinese tariffs and that a clear response on China tariffs is coming soon, according to Bloomberg. China State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office said it firmly opposes the US signing any agreement that has sovereign connotations with Taiwan, according to Global Times. BoJ Governor Kuroda said Japanese Core CPI reached 2.1% in April and May which is almost fully due to international energy prices and Japan's economy has not been affected much by the global inflationary trend so monetary policy will stay accommodative, according to Reuters. Japanese govt to issue power supply shortage warning for a fourth consecutive day on Thursday, according to a statement. European bourses are on the backfoot as the region plays catch-up to the losses on Wall Street yesterday. Sectors are mostly lower (ex-Energy) with a defensive tilt as Healthcare, Consumer Products, Food & Beverages, and Utilities are more cushioned than their cyclical peers. Stateside, US equity futures trade on either side of the unchanged mark with no stand-out performers thus far, with the contracts awaiting the next catalyst. Top European News UK expects defence spending to reach 2.3% of GDP and said PM Johnson will announce new military commitments to NATO, according to Reuters. UK Weighs Capping Maximum Stake in Online Casinos at £5 Europe Is the Only Region Where Earnings Estimates Are Rising European Gas Prices Rise as Supply Risks Add to Storage Concerns Gold Steady as Traders Weigh Fed Comments on US Recession Risks Choppy Start for Euro-Area Bonds on Mixed Inflation FX Dollar mostly bid otherwise as rebalancing demand underpins - DXY pivots 104.500 within 104.700-350 confines. Franc outperforms on rate and risk considerations - Usd/Chf breaches 0.9550 and Eur/Chf approaches parity. Euro erratic in line with conflicting inflation data - Eur/Usd rotates around 1.0500. Aussie and Kiwi undermined by downturn in sentiment - Aud/Usd loses 0.6900+ status, Nzd/Usd wanes from just over 0.6250. Yen rangy following firmer than forecast Japanese retail sales and BoJ Governor Kuroda reaffirming intent to remain accommodative - Usd/Jpy straddles 136.00. Nokkie welcomes oil worker wage agreement with unions to avert strike action, but Sekkie hampered by softer Swedish macro releases pre-Riksbank policy call tomorrow - Eur/Nok probes 10.3000, Eur/Sek hovers around 10.6800. Rand rattled by decline in Gold and ongoing SA power supply problems, but Rouble rallies irrespective of CBR and Russian Economy Ministry divergence over deflation. Central Banks ECB's Lane said there are two-way inflation risks: "on the one side, there could be forces that keep inflation higher than expected for longer. On the other side, we do have the risk of a slowdown in the economy, which would reduce inflationary pressure", via ECB. ECB's Holzmann said "We will have to make an assessment where the economic development is going and where inflation stands and afterwards there’s ample room to hike in 0.25 and 0.5 levels to whatever rate we think, we consider reasonable" via CNBC. ECB's Simkus said if data worsens, then he wants a 50bps July hike as an option, 50bps hike is very likely in September; ECB's fragmentation tool should serve as a deterrent, via Bloomberg. ECB's Herodotou said EZ inflation will peak this year, via CNBC. ECB's Wunsch said government aid may spell more rate hikes, via Bloomberg; 150bps of hikes by March 2023 is reasonable ECB is said to be weighting whether or not they should announce the size and duration of their upcoming bond-buying scheme, according to Reuters sources. Fed's Mester (2022, 2024 voter) said on a path towards restrictive interest rates; July debate between 50bps and 75bps hike, via CNBC. Mester said if inflation expectations become unanchored, monetary policy would have to act more forcefully; current inflation situation is a very challenging one, via Reuters. SARB Governor said a 50bps hike is "not off the table", Via Bloomberg CBR Governor said she does not see risks of deflation; sees room to cut rates; sticking to policy of floating RUB exchange rate. PBoC will step up implementation of prudent monetary policy, will keep liquidity reasonably ample. Fixed Income Bunds unwind all and a bit more of their hefty post-NRW CPI gains as other German states show smaller inflation slowdowns and Spanish HICP soars. Gilts suffer more pronounced fall from grace in relative terms and US Treasuries slip from overnight peaks in sympathy. UK debt and STIRs also await testimony from MPC member elect to see if newbie leans dovish, hawkish or middle of the road 10 year benchmarks settle off worst levels within 147.37-145.14, 112.66-11.85 and 117-12+/116-27 respective ranges awaiting comments from ECB, Fed and BoE heads at Sintra Forum. Commodities WTI and Brent front-month futures traded with no firm direction in early European hours before picking up modestly in recent trade. US Private Inventory (bbls): Crude -3.8mln (exp. -0.6mln), Cushing -0.7mln, Distillate +2.6mln (exp. -0.2mln) and Gasoline +2.9mln (exp. -0.1mln). Norway's Industri Energi and SAFE labour unions agreed a wage deal for oil drilling workers and will not go on strike, according to Reuters. OPEC to start today at 12:00BST/07:00EDT; JMMC on Thursday at 12:00BST/07:00EDT followed by OPEC+ at 12:30BST/07:30EDT, via EnergyIntel. Libya's NOC suspends oil exports from Es Sider port. Spot gold is under some mild pressure as the Buck and Bond yields picked up, with the yellow metal back to near-two-week lows Base metals are mixed but off best levels after President Xi reaffirmed China's COVID stance – LME copper fell back under USD 8,500/t US Event Calendar 07:00: June MBA Mortgage Applications, prior 4.2% 08:30: 1Q PCE Core QoQ, est. 5.1%, prior 5.1% 08:30: 1Q GDP Price Index, est. 8.1%, prior 8.1% 08:30: 1Q Personal Consumption, est. 3.1%, prior 3.1% 08:30: 1Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. -1.5%, prior -1.5% Central Banks 09:00: Powell Takes Part in Panel Discussion at ECB Forum in Sintra 09:00: Lagarde, Powell, Bailey, Carstens Speak in Sintra 11:30: Fed’s Mester Speaks on Panel at ECB Forum in Sintra 13:05: Fed’s Bullard Makes Introductory Remarks DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I'm finishing this off in a taxi on the way to the Eurostar this morning and I made the mistake of telling the driver I was slightly pressed for time. He seems to be taking the racing line everywhere and my motion sickness is kicking in. A little like this car journey, it's been another volatile 24 hours in markets, with a succession of weak data releases raising further questions about how close the US and Europe might be to a recession. That saw equities give up their initial gains to post a decent decline on the day, whilst there was little respite from central bankers either, with sovereign bonds selling off further as multiple speakers doubled down on their hawkish rhetoric. That comes ahead of another eventful day ahead on the calendar, with investors primarily focused on a panel featuring Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde and BoE Governor Bailey, as well as the flash German CPI print for June, who are the first G7 economy to release their inflation print for the month, which will provide some further clues on how fast central banks will need to move on rate hikes. Just as we go to print the NRW region of Germany has seen CPI print at 7.5% YoY, way below last month's 8.1%. This region is around a quarter of GDP so it could imply the national numbers will be notably softer when we get them later. The energy tax cuts were always going to come through in June so some respite was always possible but at first glance this seems materially below what might have been expected. This comes after a significant sovereign bond selloff in Europe once again yesterday as President Lagarde reiterated the central bank’s determination to bring down inflation, and described inflation pressures that were “broadening and intensifying”. And although Lagarde stuck to the existing script about the ECB raising rates by 25bps at the next meeting, we also heard from Latvia’s Kazaks who said that “front-loading the increase would be a reasonable choice” in the event that the situation with inflation or inflation expectations deteriorates. Lagarde did nod to this in part, saying that if the ECB was “to see higher inflation threatening to de-anchor inflation expectations, or signs of a more permanent loss of economic potential that limits resources availability, we would need to withdraw accommodation more promptly to stamp out the risk of a self-fulfilling spiral.” Separately on fragmentation, Lagarde said that they could “use flexibility in reinvesting redemptions” from PEPP starting July 1 in order to deal with the issue. For now, overnight index swaps are only pricing in a +31.3bps move in July from the ECB, so still closer to 25 than 50 for the time being. Meanwhile the rate priced in by year-end rose also by +7.9bps as investors interpreted the comments in a hawkish light. That supported a further rise in yields, with those on 10yr bunds up another +8.1bps yesterday, following on from their +10.7bps move in the previous session. That’s now almost reversed the -21.9ps move over the previous week, which itself was the third-largest weekly decline in bund yields for a decade, and brought the 10yr yield back up to 1.63%, so not far off its multi-year high of 1.77% seen last week. A similar pattern was seen elsewhere, with 10yr yields on 10yr OATs (+9.6bps), BTPs (+4.2bps) and gilts (+7.2bps) all moving higher too. Things turned near the European close with some poor US data releases piling on to some lacklustre confidence figures in Europe. Earlier in the day the GfK consumer confidence reading from Germany fell to -27.4 (vs. -27.3 expected), taking it to another record low. Separately in France, consumer confidence fell to 82 on the INSEE’s measure (vs. 84 expected), which we haven’t seen since 2013. Then in the US, the Conference Board’s measure fell to 98.7 (vs. 100.0 expected), which is the lowest since February 2021. The Conference Board’s one-year ahead inflation expectations hit a record high of 8.0%, surpassing the June 2008 record of 7.7%, adding to the pessimism. Along with waning confidence, the Richmond Fed’s Manufacturing Index registered a -19, its lowest since the peak onset of the pandemic, versus expectations of -7 and a prior of -9, showing that production data has weakened as well. This put a serious damper on risk sentiment which drove Treasury yields and equities lower intraday during the New York session. 10yr Treasury yields ended down -2.8bps after trading as much as +5.5bps higher during the European session. They are down another -4bps this morning. Concerningly as well, there was a fresh flattening in the Fed’s preferred yield curve indicator (which is 18m3m – 3m), which came down another -9.1bps to 165bps, which is the flattest its been since early March. With that succession of bad news helping to dampen risk appetite, US equities gave up their opening gains to leave the S&P 500 down -2.01% on the day. Tech stocks saw the worst losses, with the NASDAQ (-2.98%) and the FANG+ (-3.74%) seeing even larger declines. And whilst there was a stronger performance in Europe, the STOXX 600 ended the day up just +0.27%, having been as high as +0.95% in the couple of hours before the close. We didn’t hear so much from the Fed ahead of Chair Powell’s appearance today, although New York Fed President Williams said that at the upcoming July meeting “I think 50 to 75 is clearly going to be the debate”. Markets are continuing to price something in between the two, although since the last Fed meeting futures have been consistently closer to 75 than 50, with 69.0 bps right now. Those sharp losses in US equities are echoing across Asia this morning. The Hang Seng (-1.86%) is leading the losses followed by the Kospi (-1.82%), the Nikkei (-1.07%) and the ASX 200 (-1.06%). Over in mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (-0.77%) and the CSI (-0.80%) are slightly out-performing after yesterday’s surprise move by China to slash the quarantine period for inbound travellers (more on this below). Looking ahead, US stock index futures point to a positive opening with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.18%) and NASDAQ 100 (+0.19%) mildly higher. Earlier today, data released showed that Japan’s retail sales advanced for the third consecutive month in May (+3.6% y/y) but lower than the consensus of +4.0%, but with the previous month's data revised up to +3.1% (vs +2.9% preliminary). Meanwhile, South Korea’s consumer sentiment index (CSI) fell sharply to 96.4 in June (vs 102.6 in May), sliding below the long-term average of 100 for the first time since Feb 2021. Separately, Australia’s retail sales put in another strong performance as it climbed +0.9% m/m in May, surpassing analyst estimates of a +0.4% increase. Oil has fallen back slightly overnight after three sessions of gains with Brent futures down -0.84% at $116.99 and WTI futures (-0.64%) at $111.04/bbl as I type. Just after we went to press yesterday, it was also announced that China would be shortening the required quarantine period for inbound travellers to one week from two. So although China is still very-much committed to a Covid-zero strategy for the time being, this step towards loosening rather than tightening restrictions is an interesting development that helped support Chinese equities in yesterday’s session towards the close which filtered through into early northern hemisphere risk performance. In terms of other data yesterday, there were signs that US house price growth might finally be slowing somewhat, with the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index up by +20.4% in April, which is down slightly from the +20.6% gain in March. So still a long way from an absolute decline, but that marks a reversal in the trend after the previous 4 months of rises in the year-on-year measure. To the day ahead now, and the highlight will likely be the panel at the ECB Forum that includes Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde and BoE Governor Bailey. We’ll also be hearing from ECB Vice President de Guindos, the ECB’s Schnabel, the Fed’s Mester and Bullard, and the BoE’s Dhingra. On the data side, releases include German CPI for June, Euro Area money supply for May, and the final Euro Area consumer confidence reading for June. From the US, we’ll also get the third reading of Q1 GDP. Tyler Durden Wed, 06/29/2022 - 08:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt22 hr. 31 min. ago

US special operators are picking up a softer skill as they refocus on countering China

At a recent Senate hearing, special-operations leaders described the importance of operators who are proficient in foreign languages. A US Army Green Beret with Albanian special-forces soldiers during an exercise in Albania, July 23, 2021.US Army/Sgt. Devin J. Andrews As competition with China increases, US special operators are investing in language skills to counter Chinese influence. At a recent Senate hearing, special-operations leaders described the importance of operators who are proficient in foreign languages. As the US military's focus on competition with China grows, the US special-operations community is investing in a softer skill to counter Chinese influence in the Indo-Pacific region.At a Senate Armed Services subcommittee hearing in late April, leaders of the US special-operations community highlighted the importance of and need for special operators who are proficient in foreign languages.Countering China through languageA US Army Green Beret discusses close quarters battle with Philippine national police and coast guard special operations forces in Palawan, May 30, 2022.US Army/Sgt. 1st Class Jared N. GehmannDuring the hearing, Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga, commanding general of US Army Special Operations Command, said the units he commands — including the Army Special Forces groups, Civil Affairs, and Psychological Operations teams — are arguably the most proficient and invested in language skills within the US special-operations community.Among those units, Braga said, language skills are "maintained throughout through sustained training" and are tailored to specific regions because those units "stay regionally aligned."US special operators have a worldwide presence and are deployed to more than 60 countries at any given time, where they train foreign forces or participate in deterrence and combat operations.Braga said that despite putting a lot of effort into language skills, members of the US special-operations community can't speak the language of every country to which they might deploy.A US Green Beret and Royal Thai Army soldiers stack up to enter a building during Exercise Cobra Gold 21 in Lopburi, Thailand, August 6, 2021.US Army"They're operating around the globe," supporting the priorities of every combatant command, Braga said, "but language is absolutely critical to being part of that interoperability. It's not just equipment, and it also shows that you care."Those relationships that language skills foster and sustain are extremely value in great-power competition, whether the US is trying to maintain deterrence or fight a full-blown war."Human beings communicate by body language, chemistry, and words," said Lino Miani, a former Army Special Forces officer. "It is the combination of the three that really allows people to form bonds and communicate instinctively in the way that war sometimes demands."To measure language skill, the US military uses the Defense Language Proficiency Test, which has four levels — 0 to 3. The training needed to use the language effectively can take anywhere from a few months to more than a year, depending on the complexity of the language."War is a complex endeavor and it's not always enough to just be stronger than the enemy," said Miani, who is chief executive officer of AeroEye, a security firm offering aerial surveillance services."Troops on the ground, particularly special-operations troops that are often isolated and/or embedded with allies or surrogates, will depend on their ability to understand complexity not just for mission accomplishment, but for survival," Miani added. "Language skills are the basic foundation of that understanding."US Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion and Philippine Marine Special Forces Group troops start a fire during jungle training in the Philippines, September 29, 2015.US Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Juan BustosDuring the hearing, Maj. Gen. James Glynn, who at the time was commanding general of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, said that his command has shifted its focus to some of the "more significant languages" in the Indo-Pacific region, including Mandarin Chinese.US troops should be skilled in Chinese, but the language has limited use, especially for official purposes, in many of the countries where US special-operators often work, Miani said. Proficiency in languages spoken in those countries is vital to reassuring partners and deterring foes.While the Chinese have influence in those countries, "our success in those geographic areas will be more dependent on our skill with other languages, like Korean, Thai, Indonesian, or Tagalog," added Miani, who is president of the Combat Diver Foundation.More language, more missionsA Japan sailor and a US Naval Special Warfare operator cover each during a drill aboard USS Frank Cable, August 27, 2021.US Navy/Ensign Amara TimberlakeSome special operators develop more language skills because of their mission sets. US Army Green Berets have a focus on foreign internal defense — the training, advising, and leading of partner forces — and as such have long focused on language skills.But over the last two decades there has been a wider push for language capabilities among special-operations units."Language and culture have been part of our training pipeline since inception, and so every critical skills operator that is created or has been created over the course of the last 15 years goes through a language unique to the theater in which we intend or they are most likely to deploy," Glynn said about MARSOC.An information technology specialist with US Naval Special Warfare sets up satellite communications with Palauan security forces, December 9, 2013.US Navy/MCS2 Timothy WilsonOne reason for the push was that during the global war on terror, better language skills often meant more missions, which in turn meant more funding and greater relevance for the unit.At one point, foreign internal defense was the hottest mission set, and every unit — even Navy SEALs and Delta Force, which tend to focus on direct-action operations — jumped at the opportunity to conduct it in order to be deployed."Understanding our adversary through his own language and culture is important, but it is also important to understand our potential allies," Miani said. "Language skills are the basic foundation of this understanding."Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 28th, 2022

Why Government Anti-Inflation Plans Fail

Why Government Anti-Inflation Plans Fail Authored by Daniel Lacalle, Governments love inflation. It is a hidden tax on everyone and a transfer of wealth from bank deposits and real wages to indebted governments that collect more receipts via higher indirect taxes and devalue their debts. That is why we cannot expect governments to take decisive action on inflation. To curb inflation effectively, interest rates must rise to a neutral level relative to inflation, to reduce the excessive increase in credit and new money from negative real rates. Additionally, central banks must end the repurchase of bonds, exchange traded funds and mortgage-backed securities as this would immediately reduce the quantity of currency in circulation. Finally, and most important of all, governments need to cut deficit spending which is ultimately financed by more debt and monetized with newly created central bank reserves. These three measures are crucial. One or two would not be enough. However, governments are unwilling to cut deficit spending. The increase in outlays from 2020 due to extraordinary circumstances has been largely consolidated and is now annual structural expenditures. As we have seen in previous crises, many of the one-off and temporary measures become permanent, driving mandatory spending to a new all-time high. Citizens are suffering the elevated inflation and consumer confidence is plummeting to historic lows in the economies that massively increased money supply growth throughout the pandemic, fuelling inflationary pressures through money printing well above demand and demand-side state expenditure plans financed with newly created currency. What do governments implement when this happens? More demand-side policies. Spending and debt. Imagine for a second that we believed the myth of cost-push inflation and the argument that inflation comes from a supply shock. If that were the case, governments should implement supply-side measures, cutting spending and reducing taxes. Reducing taxes does not drive inflation higher because it is the same quantity of currency, only a bit more in the hands of those who earn it. Cutting taxes would only be inflationary if demand for goods and services would soar due to higher consumer credit and demand, but that is not the case. Consumers would only have less difficulties to purchase daily essential goods and services that they acquire anyway. And some would save, which is good. That same money in the hands of government, which weighs more than 40% in the economy, will inevitably be spent and more, with rising public debt. One unit of currency in the hands of the private sector may be consumed or invested-saved. The same unit in the hands of government is going to current spending and will be multiplied by adding debt, which means more currency in circulation and higher risk of inflation. Currency supply does not drive more currency demand. It is the opposite. If inflation ends up destroying the private sector consumption ability and the economy goes into recession, demand for currency will fall further from supply growth, keeping inflation elevated for longer. The rules of supply and demand apply to currency the same as to everything else. Rising discontent is leading governments to present bold and aggressive anti-inflation plans, yet almost none of those are supply-side measures but demand-side ones. Furthermore, the vast majority imply more spending, higher subsidies, rising debt, and increased money supply, which means higher risk of inflation. Giving checks with newly printed money creates inflation. Providing more checks to reduce inflation is like stopping a fire with gasoline. The Bank of International Settlements recently said that “leading economies are close to tipping into a high-inflation world where rapid price rises are normal, dominate daily life and are difficult to quell”. However, it is only difficult to quell because governments and central banks keep elevated levels of deficit and monetization. In the 70s media and analysts repeated constantly how difficult it was for governments to cut inflation, but they never explained that you cannot reduce price pressures destroying the purchasing power of the currency that governments monopolize. Prices do not rise in unison for the same amount of currency. Anti-inflation plans as they have been presented in numerous countries are inflationary and hurt those that they pretend to help. Governments should stop helping with other people’s money and supporting by demolishing the purchasing power of their currency. The best way to reduce inflation is to defend real wages and deposit savings. Tyler Durden Mon, 06/27/2022 - 14:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 27th, 2022

Kennametal (KMT) Surges 6.5%: Is This an Indication of Further Gains?

Kennametal (KMT) witnessed a jump in share price last session on above-average trading volume. The latest trend in earnings estimate revisions for the stock doesn't suggest further strength down the road. Kennametal (KMT) shares soared 6.5% in the last trading session to close at $23.57. The move was backed by solid volume with far more shares changing hands than in a normal session. This compares to the stock's 20% loss over the past four weeks.Kennametal’s rally is primarily led by optimism around the company’s strong momentum in its metal-cutting business unit. Strength across the company’s general engineering, aerospace and energy end markets coupled with strong innovation capabilities, solid product offerings and a wide geographical presence bode well for Kennametal.This engineered products maker is expected to post quarterly earnings of $0.48 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of -9.4%. Revenues are expected to be $524.99 million, up 1.8% from the year-ago quarter.While earnings and revenue growth expectations are important in evaluating the potential strength in a stock, empirical research shows a strong correlation between trends in earnings estimate revisions and near-term stock price movements.For Kennametal, the consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has remained unchanged over the last 30 days. And a stock's price usually doesn't keep moving higher in the absence of any trend in earnings estimate revisions. So, make sure to keep an eye on KMT going forward to see if this recent jump can turn into more strength down the road.The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Kennametal is part of the Zacks Manufacturing - Tools & Related Products industry. Enerpac (EPAC), another stock in the same industry, closed the last trading session 1.8% higher at $19.42. EPAC has returned -5.5% in the past month.For Enerpac, the consensus EPS estimate for the upcoming report has remained unchanged over the past month at $0.29. This represents a change of +3.6% from what the company reported a year ago. Enerpac currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). Just Released: Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2022 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2022? From inception in 2012 through 2021, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolios gained an impressive +1,001.2% versus the S&P 500’s +348.7%. Now our Director of Research has combed through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank and has handpicked the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in…because the sooner you do, the more upside you stand to grab.See Stocks Now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Kennametal Inc. (KMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Enerpac Tool Group Corp. (EPAC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 27th, 2022

New US weapons package for Ukraine includes 18 patrol boats to help protect its riverways from the Russian invasion

The United States said it will provide 18 patrol boats to help Ukraine protect its riverways as part of the latest $450 million security aid package. Sailors aboard a SeaArk patrol boat fire an LA51 warning device from an M500 shotgun during an weapons qualification course in Djibouti.National Museum of the U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons The US said it will provide Ukraine with 18 patrol boats to help protect its riverways. The boats are part of the US' latest $450 million security aid package to Ukraine. The latest security assistance packages have focused on helping Ukraine boost its coastal and river defenses. The United States said it would provide 18 patrol boats to help Ukraine protect its riverways as part of the latest $450 million security aid package.The package includes two 35-foot small-unit riverine craft, six 40-foot maritime combat craft, and ten 34-foot Dauntless Sea Ark patrol boats, the Department of Defense said on Thursday."These are largely to protect the riverways and to enable Ukraine to maintain its control of the riverways. They can also be used in close-in coastal areas," a senior defense official said during a briefing at the Pentagon. Several 34-foot Dauntless Sea-Ark's from Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 3 patrol the waters of San Diego Bay, Feb. 19, 2009. The U.S. recently pledged ten of these vessels to Ukraine as part of a $450 million security assistance package.US NanvyIn addition to the boats, the package includes artillery such as four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 36,000 rounds of 105 mm ammunition, 18 tactical vehicles with which to move 155 mm artillery, 1,200 Mk 19 grenade launchers, and 2,000 machine guns. "Obviously, with each of these packages, we [also] provide a lot of spare parts," the official said. "We want to make sure they can keep the systems up and running." A soldier finishes firing the Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher, March 15, 2019, at Camp Atterbury, Ind. The U.S. pledged delivery of 1,200 Mk 19 automatic grenade launchers to deliver. .Photo By: Army Maj. Dan MarchikEarlier this month, the US committed to providing two truck-mounted Harpoon systems to Ukraine to contribute to coastal defense. Other allied nations will send the Harpoon missiles themselves.Ukraine recently claimed to have sunk a Russian tugboat in the Black Sea using two Harpoon missiles."This will be helpful in enabling the Ukrainians to defend Odesa and other positions along the Black Sea coast," the defense official said. A high mobility artillery rocket system is offloaded from a C-17 Globemaster III, Jan. 27, 2022, at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, Calif. Four similar HIMARS were recently sent to Ukraine aPhoto By: Marine Corps Cpl. Jailine Alicea-SantiagoAs Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, the conflict in the Black Sea has intensified. Russia has imposed a blockade on Ukrainian ports, leading to the disruption of global wheat exports and exacerbating a global food crisis.Last week, Ukraine launched missile strikes against three Russian gas rigs in the Black Sea."On those towers, Russia had organized small garrisons and stored equipment for air defense, radar warfare, and reconnaissance," Sergiy Bratchuk of Odesa's regional military administration told an online briefing, according to Deutsche Welle.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 26th, 2022

CARNIVAL CORPORATION & PLC PROVIDES SECOND QUARTER 2022 BUSINESS UPDATE

MIAMI, June 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Corporation & plc ((NYSE/LSE: CCL, NYSE:CUK) provides second quarter 2022 business update. U.S. GAAP net loss of $1.8 billion and adjusted net loss of $1.9 billion for the second quarter of 2022. Cash from operations turned positive in the second quarter of 2022. Second quarter 2022 ended with $7.5 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the company's revolving credit facility. Revenue increased by nearly 50% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to first quarter 2022, reflecting continued sequential improvement. For the cruise segments, revenue per passenger cruise day ("PCD") for the second quarter of 2022 decreased slightly compared to a strong 2019. Occupancy in the second quarter of 2022 was 69%, an increase from 54% in the prior quarter. Customer deposits increased $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion as of May 31, 2022 from $3.7 billion as of February 28, 2022. As of June 24, 2022, 91% of the company's capacity is in guest cruise operation. Booking volumes for all future sailings during the second quarter of 2022 were nearly double the booking volumes during the first quarter of 2022; the company notes these were its best quarterly booking volumes since the beginning of the pandemic. As previously announced, effective August 1st, Arnold Donald, President and CEO, is being appointed Vice Chair of the Boards of Directors. Josh Weinstein, currently Chief Operations Officer for the company, will assume the role of President and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. At that time, Weinstein will also assume the role of Chief Climate Officer and become a Director on the Boards of Directors. A 20-year veteran of Carnival Corporation & plc, Weinstein has a long history of success in critical senior-level roles in the company. In his most recent assignment for the past two years as Carnival Corporation & plc's Chief Operations Officer, Weinstein oversaw several major operational functions including global maritime, global ports and destinations, global sourcing, global IT and global internal audit. During this time, he also oversaw Carnival UK, the operating company for P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard, which he previously managed directly for three years as president. Prior to his role with Carnival UK, Weinstein was treasurer for the company for 10 years and an attorney in the corporate legal department for five years. Carnival Corporation & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald noted, "With cash from operations turning positive and the company heading in the right direction, now is the time to transition leadership to the next generation. Josh Weinstein has the skill set ideally suited to take this company forward, including strong operating experience and in-depth industry knowledge cultivated over the past two decades. I am confident our positive momentum will continue under Josh's leadership and I remain confident in the long-term future of our company." Carnival Corporation & plc's next President and CEO Josh Weinstein noted, "I am honored to lead this company as we push forward with a relentless long-term focus on driving revenue and returns to improve our balance sheet, while ensuring each brand provides an authentic cruise experience that resonates with their unique guest base, delivering value for our shareholders and our other many stakeholders." Weinstein added, "It is truly humbling to support our exceptionally talented team—150,000 strong ship and shore—in this effort. They've accomplished so much during our restart, with incredible determination, perseverance and integrity. This gives me tremendous confidence and optimism about our future." Second Quarter 2022 Results and Statistical Information Revenue increased by nearly 50% in the second quarter of 2022 compared to first quarter 2022, reflecting continued sequential improvement. For the cruise segments, revenue per PCD for the second quarter of 2022 decreased slightly compared to a strong 2019. Onboard and other revenue per PCD for the second quarter of 2022 increased significantly compared to a strong 2019. Occupancy in the second quarter of 2022 was 69%, an increase from 54% in the prior quarter. Available lower berth days ("ALBD") for the second quarter of 2022 were 16.7 million, which represents 74% of total fleet capacity, increasing from 60% in the first quarter of 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2022 was $(0.9) billion, an improvement over the first quarter of 2022. Total customer deposits increased $1.4 billion to $5.1 billion as of May 31, 2022 from $3.7 billion as of February 28, 2022. Cash from operations turned positive in April and was positive for the second quarter of 2022. During the second quarter of 2022, the company issued $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2030, intended to refinance various 2023 debt maturities and invested $0.5 billion in capital expenditures. In addition, the company repaid $0.2 billion of debt principal and incurred $0.4 billion of interest expense, net during the quarter. The company ended the second quarter of 2022 with $7.5 billion of liquidity, including cash, short-term investments and borrowings available under the revolving credit facility. Resumption of Guest Cruise Operations Donald noted, "We are aggressively, yet thoughtfully, ramping up to full operations with over 90 percent of the fleet now in service. We are driving occupancy higher, while at the same time significantly increasing available capacity, resulting in a nearly 50 percent sequential improvement in revenue in the second quarter, despite facing constantly changing and far more restrictive protocols than broader society and travel at large." Donald added, "Carnival Cruise Line, our largest brand, achieved consistently positive adjusted EBITDA beginning in March. Carnival Cruise Line also became our first brand to sail its entire fleet in May and is expecting occupancy to approach 110 percent during our third quarter." As of June 24, 2022, 91% of the company's capacity is in guest cruise operation as part of its ongoing return to service. Five of the company's nine brands now have their entire fleet back in guest cruise operations, including Carnival Cruise Line, which became the first major cruise line in the U.S. to celebrate its entire fleet entering service. The company's enhanced COVID-19 protocols have helped it become among the safest forms of socializing and travel, with far lower incidence rates than on land. While the company's adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (see Non-GAAP Financial Measures) have benefited from the sale of smaller-less efficient ships and the delivery of larger-more efficient ships, this benefit is offset by a portion of its fleet being in pause status for part of the year, restart related expenses, an increase in the number of dry-dock days, the cost of maintaining enhanced health and safety protocols, inflation and supply chain disruptions. The company anticipates that some of these costs and expenses will end in 2022. Additionally, the company continues to expect to see a significant improvement in adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD from the first half of 2022 to the second half of 2022 with a mid-teens increase for the full year 2022 compared to 2019. The COVID-19 global pandemic and its ongoing effects, inflation and higher fuel prices are collectively having a material impact on the company's business, including its results of operations, liquidity and financial position. In addition, as is the case with the travel and leisure sector generally, the company is making meaningful progress in resolving the challenges it is experiencing with onboard staffing which have resulted in occupancy constraints on certain voyages. The company expects a net loss for the third quarter of 2022. For the full year 2022, the company continues to expect a net loss. The company continues to believe that adjusted EBITDA will improve with the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations and continues to expect improvement in occupancy throughout 2022 until it returns to historical levels in 2023. The company expects positive adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter of 2022. Fleet Optimization Carnival Cruise Line – proudly known as America's cruise line – is teaming up with Costa Cruises – Italy's favorite cruise line – creating a new concept for Carnival's North American guests when COSTA® by CARNIVAL® debuts in the spring of 2023 and Costa Venezia joins the Carnival fleet. Costa Venezia will be followed by Costa Firenze arriving in the spring of 2024. Carnival will operate the ships, which will marry the great service, food and entertainment that Carnival's guests enjoy with Costa's Italian design features. In addition, Carnival Cruise Line announced earlier this month that Costa Luminosa will join their fleet later this year and will start guest operations as Carnival Luminosa in November 2022. This will allow Carnival to finally start highly anticipated itineraries from Brisbane and have two ships operating in Australia for the high season Down-Under. Furthermore, last week the company announced the removal of another smaller-less efficient ship from our fleet. This brings the planned removal to 23 smaller-less efficient ships since the beginning of the pause in guest cruise operations further reducing the company's rate of capacity growth. Donald noted, "We continue to build on our fleet optimization efforts by reallocating capacity in a highly differentiated way to strengthen return on invested capital across our portfolio. In addition, we continue to further refine our fleet and have announced the removal of an additional smaller-less efficient ship. Upon returning to full operations, nearly a quarter of our capacity will consist of newly delivered ships, expediting our return to profitability." Update on Bookings Donald noted, "It is reinforcing to see continued strength in demand with our guests overcoming far more restrictive protocols than broader society and travel at large, leading to a near doubling of booking volumes since last quarter with near-term bookings even outpacing 2019. We were encouraged by close-in demand and remain focused on optimizing occupancy while preserving long term pricing." Donald added, "As friction from protocols is removed and society becomes increasingly more comfortable managing the virus, we expect to see demand continue to build, as we have already seen with the strength in Carnival Cruise Line's closer-to-home cruises." Booking volumes for all future sailings during the second quarter of 2022 were nearly double the booking volumes during the first quarter of 2022; the company notes these were its best quarterly booking volumes since the beginning of the pandemic, albeit still below 2019 levels. Booking volumes for the second half of 2022 sailings, since the beginning of April, have been higher than 2019 levels. The company believes this is a reflection of the previously expected extended wave season. (Due to the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations, the company's current booking trends will be compared to booking trends for 2019 sailings.) While cumulative advance bookings for the second half of 2022 are below the historical range, the company's booked position is consistent with its expected improving occupancy levels for the second half of 2022. Cumulative advance bookings for the second half of 2022 are at lower prices, with or without future cruise credits ("FCCs"), normalized for bundled packages, as compared to 2019 sailings. Cumulative advanced bookings for the full year 2023 continue to be both at the higher end of the historical range and at higher prices, with or without FCCs, normalized for bundled packages, as compared to 2019 sailings. Sustainability Update  Continued focus on decarbonization and transparency of disclosures The company has made significant progress over the past 15 years reducing its carbon emission intensity and achieving its 2020 goal three years early (in 2017). The company has also made significant progress towards its 2030 carbon intensity reduction goals of 40% from a 2008 baseline, measured in both grams of CO2e per ALB-km and kilograms of CO2e per ALBD. The company has decided to update the baseline year for both goals to 2019 from 2008. This new baseline year will help the company better communicate recent progress against its climate goals to its investors and stakeholders as well as modernize its disclosures in alignment with developing best practice and reporting standards. Both 2030 goals now require a 20% improvement from 2019. With the updated baseline year, the company strengthened its goal measured in kilograms of CO2e per ALBD since the initial 2030 goal would only have required a further 15% reduction from 2019 levels. Its goal measured in grams of CO2e per ALB-km remains the same. Achieving these 2030 goals will require: The delivery of larger-more efficient ships, as part of its ongoing newbuild program, some of which will replace existing ships in its fleet Investing in energy efficiency projects for its existing fleet Designing more energy efficient itineraries Investing in port and destination projects The company continues to evaluate and implement changes to its various annual planning processes to further support its focus on decarbonization, such as the recently adopted Corporate Itinerary Decarbonization Reviews. These changes, together with the updates to its 2030 carbon intensity reduction goals, will improve both performance in sustainability and transparency to its investors and stakeholders on its progress. Advancing progress on circular economy through food waste management In May the company announced the installation of nearly 600 shipboard food waste bio-digesters across its fleet, as a continuation of its efforts to manage food waste and contribute to a circular economy. First piloted in 2019, this food waste processing technology naturally breaks down food waste, which supports the company's ongoing waste management and drives progress against its goal to achieve a 30% reduction in unit food waste by 2022 and a 50% reduction in unit food waste by 2030. These goals build on the company's latest achievement of reducing food waste per person by over 20% in December 2021 relative to a 2019 baseline. 2024 Mandatory Auditor Rotation Carnival plc is subject to UK law regarding mandatory auditor rotation. Under UK law, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP ("PwC") must be changed as Carnival plc's auditor for the 2024 audit at the latest. Yesterday, the Boards of Directors appointed Deloitte & Touche LLP ("Deloitte") as the company's independent registered public accounting firm for 2024 to be effective upon the execution of an engagement letter and related completion of Deloitte's standard client acceptance procedures to ensure their independence. The Boards of Directors will propose the appointment of Deloitte as external auditors for 2024 at the company's annual shareholder meetings as required. Other Recent Highlights Carnival Cruise Line broke ground on its new cruise port destination on Grand Bahama Island, expected to open in late 2024. Carnival Cruise Line saw its busiest booking week in the company's history, for the one-week period of March 28 -April 3. Cunard saw its busiest booking day in a decade for the first day of bookings for new ship Queen Anne. Holland America Line's Volendam is being used to provide temporary housing for Ukrainian refugees through September 2022. Carnival Corporation was recognized on Forbes' annual listing of Best Employers for Diversity for the fourth consecutive year and by Latino Leaders Magazine as one of the Best Companies for Latino to Work in 2022 for the second consecutive year. Carnival Corporation and BetMGM announced their partnership to provide on-ship mobile sports betting and iGaming experiences. Selected Forecast Information Available Lower Berth Days ("ALBDs") The company's ALBD forecast consists of contracted new ships, announced sales and planned restart schedule. Actuals Forecast Full Year 2022 (in millions) 1Q 2022 2Q 2022 3Q 2022 4Q 2022 ALBDs 13.3 16.7 20.9 21.7 72.6 Fuel The company's fuel consumption forecast for the remainder of the year is 1.4 million metric tons. The blended spot price for fuel is currently $978 per metric ton. Depreciation and Amortization The company's depreciation and amortization forecast for the remainder of the year is $1.1 billion. The 2022 full year forecast, which includes year-to-date actuals, is $2.3 billion. Interest Expense, Net of Capitalized Interest The company's interest expense, net of capitalized interest forecast for the remainder of the year is $0.8 billion. The 2022 full year forecast, which includes year-to-date actuals, is $1.6 billion. Outstanding Debt Maturities As of May 31, 2022, the company's outstanding debt maturities are as follows: (in billions) 2022 2023 2024 2025 Principal payments on outstanding debt (a) $                  1.3 $             2.8 $             2.0 $             4.4 (a)  Excludes the revolving credit facility. As of May 31, 2022, borrowings under the revolving credit facility were $2.7 billion, which mature in 2024. Capital Expenditures The company's annual capital expenditure forecast, which includes year-to-date actuals for 2022, is as follows: (in billions) 2022 2023 2024 2025 Contracted newbuild $                4.2 (a) $                2.4 $                1.6 $                0.9 Non-newbuild 1.4 1.9 2.0 2.0 Total (b) $                5.6 $                4.3 $                3.6 $                2.9 (a)  Includes three newbuild deliveries during the first quarter of 2022. (b)  Forecasted capital expenditures will fluctuate with foreign currency movements relative to the U.S. Dollar. Conference Call  The company has scheduled a conference call with analysts at 10:00 a.m. EDT (3:00 p.m. BST) today to discuss its business update. This call can be listened to live, and additional information can be obtained, via Carnival Corporation & plc's website at www.carnivalcorp.com and www.carnivalplc.com.  Carnival Corporation & plc is one of the world's largest leisure travel companies with a portfolio of nine of the world's leading cruise lines. With operations in North America, Australia, Europe and Asia, its portfolio features – Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, P&O Cruises (Australia), Seabourn, Costa Cruises, AIDA Cruises, P&O Cruises (UK) and Cunard. Additional information can be found on www.carnivalcorp.com, www.carnivalsustainability.com, www.carnival.com, www.princess.com, www.hollandamerica.com, www.pocruises.com.au, www.seabourn.com, www.costacruise.com, www.aida.de, www.pocruises.com and www.cunard.com. Cautionary Note Concerning Factors That May Affect Future Results Some of the statements, estimates or projections contained in this document are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions with respect to us, including some statements concerning future results, operations, outlooks, plans, goals, reputation, cash flows, liquidity and other events which have not yet occurred. These statements are intended to qualify for the safe harbors from liability provided by Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical facts are statements that could be deemed forward-looking. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about our business and the industry in which we operate and the beliefs and assumptions of our management. We have tried, whenever possible, to identify these statements by using words like "will," "may," "could," "should," "would," "believe," "depends," "expect," "goal," "aspiration," "anticipate," "forecast," "project," "future," "intend," "plan," "estimate," "target," "indicate," "outlook," and similar expressions of future intent or the negative of such terms. Forward-looking statements include those statements that relate to our outlook and financial position including, but not limited to, statements regarding: • Pricing • Goodwill, ship and trademark fair values • Booking levels • Liquidity and credit ratings • Occupancy • Adjusted earnings per share • Interest, tax and fuel expenses • Return to guest cruise operations.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJun 24th, 2022

NXP to close APS R&D unit in China

Speculation has been circulating in China's chipmaking sector that NXP Semiconductors is about to cease its Advanced Power Systems (APS) R&D operations in China. The move could indicate another international IC IDM vendor pulling out its R&D team in the country......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesJun 24th, 2022

The Federal Bureau Of Tweets: Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents

The Federal Bureau Of Tweets: Twitter Is Hiring An Alarming Number Of FBI Agents Authored by Alan MacLeod via Mint Press News, Twitter has been on a recruitment drive of late, hiring a host of former feds and spies. Studying a number of employment and recruitment websites, MintPress has ascertained that the social media giant has, in recent years, recruited dozens of individuals from the national security state to work in the fields of security, trust, safety and content. Chief amongst these is the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is generally known as a domestic security and intelligence force. However, it has recently expanded its remit into cyberspace. “The FBI’s investigative authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies,” the “About” section of its website informs readers. “The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence [and] cyber crime,” it adds. For example, in 2019, Dawn Burton (the former director of Washington operations for Lockheed Martin) was poached from her job as senior innovation advisor to the director at the FBI to become senior director of strategy and operations for legal, public policy, trust and safety at Twitter. The following year, Karen Walsh went straight from 21 years at the bureau to become director of corporate resilience at the silicon valley giant. Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president of legal, Jim Baker, also spent four years at the FBI between 2014 and 2018, where his resumé notes he rose to the role of senior strategic advisor. Meanwhile, Mark Jaroszewski ended his 21-year posting as a supervisory special agent in the Bay Area to take up a position at Twitter, rising to become director of corporate security and risk. And Douglas Turner spent 14 years as a senior special agent and SWAT Team leader before being recruited to serve in Twitter’s corporate and executive security services. Previously, Turner had also spent seven years as a secret service special agent with the Department of Homeland Security. When asked to comment by MintPress, former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley said that she was “not surprised at all” to see FBI agents now working for the very tech companies the agency polices, stating that there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate. This created a serious conflict of interests in her mind, as many agents have one eye on post-retirement jobs. “The truth is that at the FBI 50% of all the normal conversations that people had were about how you were going to make money after retirement,” she said. Many former FBI officials hold influential roles within Twitter. For instance, in 2020, Matthew W. left a 15-year career as an intelligence program manager at the FBI to take up the post of senior director of product trust at Twitter. Patrick G., a 23-year FBI supervisory special agent, is now head of corporate security. And Twitter’s director of insider risk and security investigations, Bruce A., was headhunted from his role as a supervisory special agent at the bureau. His resumé notes that at the FBI he held “[v]arious intelligence and law enforcement roles in the US, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East” and was a “human intelligence and counterintelligence regional specialist.” (On employment sites such as LinkedIn, many users choose not to reveal their full names.) Meanwhile, between 2007 and 2021 Jeff Carlton built up a distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps, rising to become a senior intelligence analyst. Between 2014 and 2017, his LinkedIn profile notes, he worked for both the CIA and FBI, authored dozens of official reports, some of which were read by President Barack Obama. Carlton describes his role as a “problem-solver” and claims to have worked in many “dynamic, high-pressure environments” such as Iraq and Korea. In May 2021, he left official service to become a senior program manager at Twitter, responsible for dealing with the company’s “highest-profile trust and safety escalations.” Other former FBI staff are employed by Twitter, such as Cherrelle Y. as a policy domain specialist and Laura D. as a senior analyst in global risk intelligence. Many of those listed above were active in the FBI’s public outreach programs, a practice sold as a community trust-building initiative. According to Rowley, however, these also function as “ways for officials to meet the important people that would give them jobs after retirement.” “It basically inserts a huge conflict of interest,” she told MintPress. “It warps and perverts the criminal investigative work that agents do when they are still working as agents because they anticipate getting lucrative jobs after retiring or leaving the FBI.” Rowley – who in 2002 was named, along with two other whistleblowers, as Time magazine’s Person of the Year – was skeptical that there was anything seriously nefarious about the hiring of so many FBI agents, suggesting that Twitter could be using them as sources of information and intelligence. She stated: Retired agents often maintained good relationships and networks with current agents. So they can call up their old buddy and find out stuff… There were certainly instances of retired agents for example trying to find out if there was an investigation of so and so. And if you are working for a company, that company is going to like that influence.” Rowley also suggested that hiring people from various three-letter agencies gave them a credibility boost. “These [tech] companies are using the mythical aura of the FBI. They can point to somebody and say ‘oh, you can trust us; our CEO or CFO is FBI,’” she explained. Twitter certainly has endorsed the FBI as a credible actor, allowing the organization to play a part in regulating the global dissemination of information on its platform. In September 2020, it put out a statement thanking the federal agency. “We wish to express our gratitude to the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force for their close collaboration and continued support of our work to protect the public conversation at this critical time,” the statement read. One month later, the company announced that the FBI was feeding it intelligence and that it was complying with their requests for deletion of accounts. “Based on intel provided by the FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate,” Twitter’s safety team wrote. Yet the evidence they supplied of this supposed threat to American democracy was notably weak. All four of the messages from this Iranian operation that Twitter itself shared showed that none of them garnered any likes or retweets whatsoever, meaning that essentially nobody saw them. This was, in other words, a completely routine cleanup operation of insignificant troll accounts. Yet the announcement allowed Twitter to present the FBI as on the side of democracy and place the idea into the public psyche that the election was under threat from foreign actors. Based on intel provided by the @FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate. — Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) October 1, 2020 Iran has been a favorite Twitter target in the past. In 2009, at the behest of the U.S. government, it postponed routine maintenance of the site, which would have required taking it offline. This was because an anti-government protest movement in Tehran was using the app to communicate and the U.S. did not want the demonstrations’ regime-change potential to be stymied. A carnival of spooks The FBI is far from the only state security agency filling Twitter’s ranks. Shortly after leaving a 10-year career as a CIA analyst, Michael Scott Robinson was hired to become a senior policy manager for site integrity, trust and safety. The California-based app has also recruited heavily from the Atlantic Council, a NATO cutout organization that serves as the military alliance’s think tank. The council is sponsored by NATO, led by senior NATO generals and regularly plays out regime-change scenarios in enemy states, such as China. The Atlantic Council has been associated with many of the most egregious fake news plants of the last few years. It published a series of lurid reports alleging that virtually every political group in Europe challenging the status quo – from the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and UKIP in Great Britain to PODEMOS and Vox in Spain and Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece – were all secretly “the Kremlin’s Trojan Horses.” Atlantic Council employee Michael Weiss was also very likely the creator of the shadowy organization PropOrNot, a group that anonymously published a list of fake-news websites that regularly peddled Kremlin disinformation. Included in this list was virtually every anti-war alternative media outlet one could think of – from MintPress to Truthout, TruthDig and The Black Agenda Report. Also included were pro-Trump websites like The Drudge Report, and liberatarian ventures like Antiwar.com and The Ron Paul Institute. PropOrNot’s list was immediately heralded in the corporate press, and was the basis for a wholescale algorithm shift at Google and other big tech platforms, a shift that saw traffic to alternative media sites crash overnight, never to recover. Thus, the allegation of a huge (Russian) state-sponsored attempt to influence the media was itself an intelligence op by the U.S. national security state. In 2020, Kanishk Karan left his job as a research associate at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research (DFR) Lab to join Twitter as information integrity and safety specialist – essentially helping to control what Twitter sees as legitimate information and nefarious disinformation. Another DFR Lab graduate turned Twitter employee is Daniel Weimert, who is now a senior public policy associate for Russia – a key target of the Atlantic Council. Meanwhile, Sarah Oh is simultaneously an Atlantic Council DFR Lab non-resident senior fellow and a Twitter advisor, her social media bio noting she works on “high risk trust and safety issues.” In 2019, Twitter also hired Greg Andersen straight from NATO to work on cybercrime policy. There is sparse information on what Andersen did at NATO, but, alarmingly, his own LinkedIn profile stated simply that he worked on “psychological operations” for the military alliance. After MintPress highlighted this fact in an article in April, he removed all mention of “psychological operations” from his profile, claiming now to have merely worked as a NATO “researcher.” Andersen left Twitter in the summer of last year to work as a product policy manager for the popular video platform TikTok. Twitter also directly employs active army officers. In 2019, Gordon Macmillan, the head of editorial for the entire Europe, Middle East and Africa region was revealed to be an officer in the British Army’s notorious 77th Brigade – a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations. This bombshell news was steadfastly ignored across the media. Positions of power and control With nearly 400 million global users, there is no doubt that Twitter has grown to become a platform large and influential enough to necessitate extensive security measures, as actors of all stripes attempt to use the service to influence public opinion and political actions. There is also no doubt that there is a limited pool of people qualified in these sorts of fields. But recruiting largely from the U.S. national security state fundamentally undermines claims Twitter makes about its neutrality. The U.S. government is the source of some of the largest and most extensive influence operations in the world. As far back as 2011, The Guardian reported on the existence of a massive, worldwide U.S. military online influence campaign in which it had designed software that allowed its personnel to “secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.” The program boasts that the background of these personas is so convincing that psychological operations soldiers can be sure to work “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.” Yet Twitter appears to be recruiting from the source of the problem. These former national security state officials are not being employed in politically neutral departments such as sales or customer service, but in security, trust and content, meaning that some hold considerable sway over what messages and information are promoted, and what is suppressed, demoted or deleted. It could be said that poachers-turned-gamekeepers often play a crucial role in safety and protection, as they know how bad actors think and operate. But there exists little evidence that any of these national security state operatives have changed their stances. Twitter is not hiring whistleblowers or dissidents. It appears, then, that some of these people are essentially doing the same job they were doing before, but now in the private sector. And few are even acknowledging that there is anything wrong with moving from big government to big tech, as if the U.S. national security state and the fourth estate are allies, rather than adversaries. That Twitter is already working so closely with the FBI and other agencies makes it easy for them to recruit from the federal pool. As Rowley said, “over a period of time these people will be totally in sync with the mindset of Twitter and other social media platforms. So from the company’s standpoint, they are not hiring somebody new. They already know this person. They know where they stand on things.” Is there a problem? Some might ask “What is the problem with Twitter actively recruiting from the FBI, CIA and other three-letter agencies?” They, after all, are experts in studying online disinformation and propaganda. One is optical. If a Russian-owned social media app’s trust, security and content moderation was run by former KGB or FSB agents and still insisted it was a politically neutral platform, the entire world would laugh. But apart from this, the huge influx of security state personnel into Twitter’s decision-making ranks means that the company will start to view every problem in the same manner as the U.S. government does – and act accordingly. “In terms of their outlooks on the world and on the question of misinformation and internet security, you couldn’t get a better field of professionals who are almost inherently going to be more in tune with the government’s perspective,” Rowley said. Thus, when policing the platform for disinformation and influence campaigns, the former FBI and CIA agents and Atlantic Council fellows only ever seem to find them emanating from enemy states and never from the U.S. government itself. This is because their backgrounds and outlooks condition them to consider Washington to be a unique force for good. This one-sided view of disinformation can be seen by studying the reports Twitter has published on state-linked information operations. The entire list of countries it has identified as engaging in these campaigns are as follows: Russia (in 7 reports), Iran (in 5 reports), China (4 reports), Saudi Arabia (4 reports), Venezuela (3 reports), Egypt (2 reports), Cuba, Serbia, Bangladesh, the UAE, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Honduras, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Armenia, Spain, Tanzania, Mexico and Uganda. One cannot help noticing that this list correlates quite closely to a hit list of U.S. government adversaries. All countries carry out disinfo campaigns to a certain extent. But these “former” spooks and feds are unlikely to point the finger at their former colleagues or sister organizations or investigate their operations. The Cold (cyber)war Twitter has mirrored U.S. hostility towards states like Russia, China, Iran and Cuba, attempting to suppress the reach and influence of their state media by adding warning messages to the tweets of journalists and accounts affiliated with those governments. “State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” it noted. In a rather bizarre addendum, it explained that it would not be doing the same to state-affiliated media or personalities from other countries, least of all the U.S. “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the U.K. or NPR in the U.S. for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy,” it wrote. It did not explain how it decided that Cuban, Russian, Chinese or Iranian journalists did not have editorial independence, but British and American ones did – this was taken for granted. The effect of the action has been a throttling of ideas and narratives from enemy states and an amplification of those coming from Western state media. As the U.S. ramps up tensions with Beijing, so too has Twitter aggressively shut down pro-China voices on its platform. In 2020, it banned 170,000 accounts it said were “spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China,” such as praising its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic or expressing opposition to the Hong Kong protests, both of which are majority views in China. Importantly, the Silicon Valley company did not claim that these accounts were controlled by the government; merely sharing these opinions was grounds enough for deletion. The group behind Twitter’s decision to ban those Chinese accounts was the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a deeply controversial think tank funded by the Pentagon, the State Department and a host of weapons manufacturers. ASPI has constantly peddled conspiracy theories about China and called for ramping up tensions with the Asian nation. ASPI - The Gov’t-Funded Conspiracist Think Tank Now Controlling Your Social Media Feed Perhaps most notable, however, was Twitter’s announcement last year that it was deleting dozens of accounts for the new violation of “undermining faith in the NATO alliance.” The statement was widely ridiculed online by users. But few noted that the decision was based upon a partnership with the Stanford Internet Observatory, a counter-disinformation think tank filled with former spooks and state officials and headed by an individual who is on the advisory board of NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. That Twitter is working so closely with organizations that are clearly intelligence industry catspaws should concern all users. Not just Twitter While some might be alarmed that Twitter is cultivating such an intimate relationship with the FBI and other groups belonging to the secret state, it is perhaps unfair to single it out, as many social media platforms are doing the same. Facebook, for example, has entered into a formal partnership with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, whereby the latter holds significant influence over 2.9 billion users’ news feeds, helping to decide what content to promote and what content to suppress. The NATO cutout organization now serves as Facebook’s “eyes and ears,” according to a Facebook press release. Anti-war and anti-establishment voices across the world have reported massive drops in traffic on the platform. The social media giant also hired former NATO Press Secretary Ben Nimmo to be its head of intelligence. Nimmo subsequently used his power to attempt to swing the election in Nicaragua away from the leftist Sandinista Party and towards the far-right, pro-U.S. candidate, deleting hundreds of left-wing voices in the week of the election, claiming they were engaging in “inauthentic behavior.” When these individuals (including some well-known personalities) poured onto Twitter, recording video messages proving they were not bots, Twitter deleted those accounts too, in what one commentator called a Silicon Valley “double tap strike.” An April MintPress study revealed how TikTok, too, has been filling its organization with alumni of the Atlantic Council, NATO, the CIA and the State Department. As with Twitter, these new TikTok employees largely work in highly politically sensitive fields such as trust, safety, security and content moderation, meaning these state operatives hold influence over the direction of the company and what content is promoted and what is demoted. Likewise, in 2017, content aggregation site Reddit plucked Jessica Ashooh from the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force to become its new director of policy, despite the fact that she had few relevant qualifications or experience in the field. Jessica Ashooh: The Taming of Reddit and the National Security State Plant Tabbed to Do It In corporate media too, we have seen a widespread infiltration of former security officials into the upper echelons of news organizations. So normalized is the penetration of the national security state into the media that is supposed to be holding it to account, that few reacted in 2015 when Dawn Scalici left her job as national intelligence manager for the Western hemisphere at the Director of National Intelligence to become the global business director of international news conglomerate Thomson Reuters. Scalici, a 33-year CIA veteran who had worked her way up to become a director in the organization, was open about what her role was. In a blog post on the Reuters website, she wrote that she was there to “meet the disparate needs of the U.S. Government” – a statement that is at odds with even the most basic journalistic concepts of impartiality and holding the powerful to account. Meanwhile, cable news outlets routinely employ a wide range of “former” agents and mandarins as trusted personalities and experts. These include former CIA Directors John Brennan (NBC, MSNBC) and Michael Hayden (CNN), ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (CNN), and former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend (CBS). And news for so many Americans comes delivered through ex-CIA interns like Anderson Cooper (CNN), CIA-applicants like Tucker Carlson (Fox), or by Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC), the daughter of a powerful national security advisor. The FBI has its own former agents on TV as well, with talking heads such as James Gagliano (Fox), Asha Rangappa (CNN) and Frank Figliuzzi (NBC, MSNBC) becoming household names. In short, then, the national security state once used to infiltrate the media. Today, however, the national security state is the media. Social media holds enormous influence in today’s society. While this article is not alleging that anyone mentioned is a bad actor or does not genuinely care about the spread of disinformation, it is highlighting a glaring conflict of interest. Through its agencies, the U.S. government regularly plants fake news and false information. Therefore, social media hiring individuals straight from the FBI, CIA, NATO and other groups to work on regulating disinformation is a fundamentally flawed practice. One of media’s primary functions is to serve as a fourth estate; a force that works to hold the government and its agencies to account. Yet instead of doing that, increasingly it is collaborating with them. Such are these increasing interlocking connections that it is becoming increasingly difficult to see where big government ends and big media begins. Tyler Durden Thu, 06/23/2022 - 22:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJun 23rd, 2022

Tenet Healthcare (THC) Unit Ties Up to Boost Urology Services

Tenet Healthcare's (THC) unit, USPI, signs a joint venture partnership with UUG to acquire ownership interests in the latter's 22 ambulatory surgery centers and concurrently assuring to develop these centers. Tenet Healthcare Corporation’s THC subsidiary, United Surgical Partners International (“USPI”), recently inked a definitive deal with the well-established urology affiliate practices network of the United States – United Urology Group (“UUG”). The deal revolves around creating a joint venture partnership, through which the largest U.S. ambulatory platform — USPI — will purchase part of UUG’s ownership interests in 22 ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) situated across Maryland, Colorado and Arizona.Subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2022. On closing the deal, USPI will not only be in charge of enhancing the growth of ASCs with its innovative capabilities and operational knowledge but also be entrusted with the joint ownership of the centers along with UUG and its affiliated practices. Meanwhile, the centers will be included within the financial statements of Tenet Healthcare.The recent deal seems to be a win-win situation for both the partners involved in the joint venture. The expanding urology service line of USPI is likely to receive a boost with the inclusion of UUG and its affiliated practice ASCs in the former’s portfolio. Concurrently, the partnership network of USPI will be widened comprising more than 140 well-known urology physicians due to the latest joint venture partnership with UUG. For benefiting UUG and its affiliated practices, USPI will accelerate the extension of ASCs across new markets and pave the way for enhanced and more accessible patient care.Initiatives similar to the latest one highlight prudence exhibited by Tenet Healthcare, which remains in charge of operating USPI’s facilities. While choosing UUG as a partner, which is best known for providing commendable urologic care, the THC subsidiary will be equipped to introduce high-quality urology centers across its existing markets, with the help of which it can reach out to more patients.With the portfolio of USPI’s ASCs constantly growing through moves similar to the latest one, the Ambulatory Care segment of the parent company benefits in return. The ASCs and surgical hospitals of USPI, in which Tenet Healthcare holds a majority stake of around 95% as of Mar 31, 2022, are contained within the Ambulatory Care segment.As of Mar 31, 2022, USPI held ownership interests in 404 ASCs and 24 surgical hospitals across 34 states. THC remains steadfast in pursuing buyouts, organic growth, building new outpatient centers and strategic tie-ups to boost the growth prospects of its Ambulatory Care segment.Shares of Tenet Healthcare have dropped 23.7% in a year compared with the industry’s decline of 23.8%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Key PicksTenet Healthcare currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the Medical space are ShockWave Medical, Inc. SWAV, Lantheus Holdings, Inc. LNTH and AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, each sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.ShockWave Medical’s earnings surpassed estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 189.99%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for ShockWave Medical’s 2022 earnings is pegged at $1.84 per share, which compares favorably with a loss of 26 cents reported in the year-ago period. The consensus mark for SWAV’s 2022 earnings has moved north by 25.2% in the past 60 days.Lantheus delivered a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 77.82%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Lantheus’ 2022 earnings stands at $3.04 per share, which indicates an increase of more than sixfold year over year. The same for revenues suggests an improvement of 93.5% year over year. The consensus mark for LNTH’s 2022 earnings has moved north by 48.3% in the past 60 days.The bottom line of AMN Healthcare outpaced earnings estimates in each of the last four quarters, the average surprise being 15.60%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for AMN Healthcare’s 2022 earnings indicates a 30.3% improvement from the prior year’s reported figure, while the same for revenues suggests 25.9% growth year over year. The consensus mark for AMN’s 2022 earnings has moved north by 3.3% in the past 30 days.Shares of Lantheus and AMN Healthcare have rallied 38.2% and 7.6%, respectively, in a year. However, ShockWave Medical stock has declined 13.5% in the same period. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Tenet Healthcare Corporation (THC): Free Stock Analysis Report AMN Healthcare Services Inc (AMN): Free Stock Analysis Report Lantheus Holdings, Inc. (LNTH): Free Stock Analysis Report ShockWave Medical, Inc. (SWAV): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 22nd, 2022

Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) to Divest EWP Business for $210M

Louisiana-Pacific (LPX) to focus more on Siding and OSB units with the divestiture of EWP business. Louisiana-Pacific Corporation LPX — commonly known as LP Building Solutions (LP) — inked a deal with Pacific Woodtech to divest its Engineered Wood Products (EWP) business for $210 million.Per the deal, LP will divest its laminated veneer lumber and I-joist manufacturing facilities in Wilmington, NC, Red Bluff, CA, and Golden, British Columbia, Canada, associated timber license assets and the SolidStart brand. The transaction is expected to close in third-quarter 2022 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory reviews.LP’s chair and chief executive officer, Brad Southern, stated, "We believe that Pacific Woodtech is well positioned to invest in and grow the SolidStart brand, and its acquisition of LP's EWP business marks another important step in LP's ongoing strategic transformation. We will work with Pacific Woodtech to ensure a smooth transition for our EWP employees, customers, and suppliers."Inorganic Moves & Transformation Strategy to Drive GrowthLP’s business banks on acquisitions, business combinations and divestitures of low-profitable businesses. In June 2020, the company divested the Nova Scotia, Canada-based East River facility to Maibec, Inc. for $16 million. Maibec also took charge of the assets and brand rights of CanExel — the fiber-based siding product manufactured in the East River facility.LP is gradually transforming from a commodity producer into a more stable cash-generative business by increasing revenues and the EBITDA mix. From January 2019 to 2020, Louisiana-Pacific achieved $178 million of cumulative EBITDA from growth and efficiency. It exceeded its three-year target of $165 million for cumulative EBITDA in fourth-quarter 2020. During first-quarter 2022, adjusted EBITDA increased 37.7%, primarily backed by higher OSB prices, strong volume (primarily in the Structural Solutions unit) and increased raw material costs.LP continues focusing on three areas: increasing the efficiency of mills by improving productivity, run time and quality through overall equipment effectiveness or OEE initiatives, applying best practices to its supply chain and optimizing infrastructure costs.To reduce costs, LP lowered the cost structure of its facilities through Lean Six Sigma efforts, the sale or shutdown of underperforming mills and manufacturing facilities and investments in technology. Louisiana-Pacific resorts to a strategy of curtailing production at selected facilities to meet customer demand and optimize its portfolio as well as margins.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of LP have declined 7.6% in the past year compared with the Zacks Building Products – Wood industry’s 14.9% fall. Earnings estimates for 2022 have moved up 14.2% in the past 60 days. Louisiana-Pacific has a solid surprise history, with its earnings surpass the Zacks Consensus Estimate in the trailing nine quarters. This trend reflects bullish analyst sentiments. Its impressive VGM Score of A is a testimony to that.Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to ConsiderLP currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Based in Seattle, WA, Weyerhaeuser Company WY — currently sports a Zacks Rank 1 —focus on operational excellence is expected to drive growth. More home improvement and R&R market activities are raising hopes. Focus on operational excellence and efforts to boost financial flexibility enabled it to generate solid cash flow and strengthen the balance sheet. Weyerhaeuser remains optimistic about its performance despite persistent supply-chain issues, the recent uptick in mortgage rates and ongoing affordability concerns in the housing market, given favorable demographics and a decade of underbuilding and historically low inventory for new and existing homes.Weyerhaeuser has dropped 1.4% in the past year. WY has seen an 18.5% upward estimate revision for 2022 earnings in the past 60 days. The positive estimate revisions depict analysts' optimism over the company’s prospects.Headquartered in Grand Rapids, MI, UFP Industries, Inc. UFPI — currently holds a Zacks Rank 2 — supplies wood, wood composite and other products in retail, industrial, and construction markets. Increased home improvement activity resulting from stay-at-home orders benefited UFP Industries’ Retail segment. Expansion of the product portfolio through acquisitions and product innovations is also noteworthy.UFP Industries has dropped 9.2% in the past year. UFP Industries’ 2022 earnings are expected to grow 11.8%.Boise, ID-based Boise Cascade Company BCC — currently carries a Zacks Rank 2— makes wood products and distributes building materials in the United States as well as Canada. Higher commodity wood products pricing and robust construction activity are consistently aiding it in delivering strong results. Building Materials Distribution and Wood Products segments are gaining strength from strong end-product demand (particularly for EWP) as well as higher commodity product prices. BCC has also been increasing its commodity offerings for a while to instill growth in the existing markets, underserved markets and across its entire national footprint.BCC has gained 13.4% in the past year. Earnings estimates for 2022 moved up to $18.43 from $15.07 per share in the past 60 days. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report UFP Industries, Inc. (UFPI): Free Stock Analysis Report Weyerhaeuser Company (WY): Free Stock Analysis Report LouisianaPacific Corporation (LPX): Free Stock Analysis Report Boise Cascade, L.L.C. (BCC): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 22nd, 2022

I"m a hospice nurse who works on my own schedule. People assume my job is depressing, but I love it.

Julie McFadden has turned her expertise into a TikTok niche and now shares wisdom about death with her nearly 900,000 followers. Julie McFadden.Courtesy of Julie McFadden Julie McFadden is a hospice nurse who posts about death and dying on TikTok. She said it's the best job because she gets to improve people's quality of life every day. Here's what it's like and how she got her start on TikTok, as told to writer Jenny Powers. This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Julie McFadden, the 39-year-old TikToker "Hospice Nurse Julie." It has been edited for length and clarity.Whenever I tell someone I'm a hospice nurse, people react one of two ways: They either shriek, "Oh, you must be an angel" or groan and say, "God, that must be the most depressing job in the world."In reality, neither of those sentiments could be further from the truth. In nursing school, I had this notion that being a nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU) was the ultimate job and so in 2017, I became one. During the 10 years I worked in the ICU, I learned a great deal about nursing, death, and dying. I also learned a great deal about myself. I learned that I hated the feeling of being in a constant rush and forced to operate in what seemed like an endless cycle of "hurry up and care." That's when I began to consider working in hospice care, which is traditionally for individuals with less than six months to live and is completely focused on comfort rather than treatment.In 2017, I left the ICU behind and ventured into the world of travel and agency nursing.Shortly after, I came across a classified ad for a hospice nurse position. Despite the fact it required hospice experience, I decided to apply anyway since I had nursing experience and was passionate about going in this direction. I wound up getting the job.  Being a hospice nurse is the best job I've ever had because every single day, I get to help improve someone's quality of lifeI'm dyslexic, so at least once a week I knock on the wrong person's door and say, "Hi, I'm Julie, your hospice nurse." As soon as the words come out of my mouth and I see the panicked expression on the person's face, it hits me that I've read the address wrong, and off I go. My days all look different: One day I might be getting a patient's home set up or ordering their required medication, supplies, and equipment, while another day might be spent with them at their home ensuring they're able to experience the maximum amount of comfort.I don't just love my job — I love how I do it as wellInstead of being a full-time employee at the hospital I work for, I've chosen to work per diem, which allows me to control my own schedule and avoid ever being on-call. This means that I'm only contractually obligated to work four days a month — however, I typically work four to five days a week, eight hours a day. The difference is it's by choice.Having this kind of flexibility allows me to take time off to regroup — which is critical in my work — visit with family and friends for extended periods of time, or simply just relax near my home in Santa Monica. I'm pretty independent, and while I'm OK being alone, I'd like to get married and have kids one day. I've even made a video about it here and there in the hopes that TikTok can hook me up, but so far nothing has panned out.My work has taught me so much about death and dying that I wanted to find a way to share what I've learned on a larger scale Last spring, when my 10- and 11-year-old nieces introduced me to TikTok, it seemed like an easy way to share my thoughts, so I decided to launch my own channel under the handle "Hospice Nurse Julie." I'd only posted a handful of videos when one of them about a book I always recommend called "Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience" went viral — and things just took off from there.When I first launched, there was so much I wanted to share and so many myths I wanted to debunk, I'd spend hours before and after work cranking out new material and posting up to three videos daily. It's easy to find inspiration through my daily work, the people I meet, and the questions people ask.  What I learned pretty quickly was that people were ready and willing to not only listen but to engage and talk about topics that until now were only being addressed behind closed doors in whispers, which was completely validating.One aspect I didn't expect was how many people would reach out to me directly These days, I have nearly 900,000 followers, but even at 100,000, it would have been a full-time job to answer every message I received. Some followers reach out seeking medical advice, which is both illegal and unethical for me to give, so at times it can be difficult because people look to me for answers. I'll suggest they speak to their doctor or hospice team directly. I've gotten close to a few of my followers from my early days who have cancer, but not many because it's hard unless you can really open up that door and be their friend. So in general when it comes to both nursing and social, I try to ensure I practice solid boundaries.Another thing I learned was not to get caught up in the excitement of going viral. I hate to admit it but at times, especially in the beginning, it was exciting to watch as my number of followers and views went up, but then I'd do a quick reality check and remind myself the reason I started doing this was to erase the stigma around death and dying and serve as a resource for people.  In truth, if I'm able to reach just one person and teach them something, then I've done my job. These days, I devote about 20 to 30 hours a week to social media and marketing, which includes creating, editing, and posting videos, doing interviews and podcasts, and responding to a certain number of messages from followers.I make money through TikTok's Creator Fund and advertising but not enough to quit my day job — not that I'd want toIf I like a product, it's a good fit, and I want others to know about it, I'll agree to mention it in a video in exchange for an ad sponsorship. I only do this about once a month and it's usually for something bereavement-related, like the Empathy app, or some other sort of helpful resource. In these instances, the brands typically reach out to me directly to partner with them. My biggest hope for my TikTok channel is that it continues to be a place where people can openly talk about topics long considered to be taboo and decrease the fear and stigmas attached to death, which is a normal part of life. We don't have to celebrate death, but we don't need to keep it a secret or cringe at the thought of discussing it.Right now, I'm concentrating on building up my Instagram presence and focusing on other creative outlets. I always say there's that popular book "What to Expect When You're Expecting" that every pregnant woman seems to have on their nightstand, but there should be one about what to expect when you're dying since inevitably we all will. Who knows, maybe one day I'll write it.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 22nd, 2022

Landore Resources Limited ("Landore Resources" or the "Company") Final Results and Notice of AGM

LONDON, June 22, 2022 /CNW/ - The Board of Landore Resources (AIM: LND) is pleased to announce its audited results for the year to 31 December 2021. The Company's Annual General Meeting ("AGM") is to be held at La Tonnelle House, Les Banques, St Sampson, Guernsey, GY1 3HS on 22 July 2022 at 12.30 pm. The full text of the Annual Report, the Notice of AGM and the associated imagery will be available from the Company's website shortly, www.landore.com Chief Executive Officer's statement I am pleased to present the 2021 Annual Report for Landore Resources Limited ("Landore Resources" or "the Group"). 2021 saw further disruption around the globe due to the spread of a novel strain of coronavirus ("COVID-19").  The Group, however, continued to safely maintain its Canadian operations to achieve significant exploration milestones. During 2021 all of Landore Resources' exploration efforts were focussed on the Junior Lake property; drilling to further infill, extend and deepen the BAM Gold resource to 1,496,000 ounces of gold (reported by the Company on 8 February 2022) – a considerable increase of 481,000 ounces (47%) from the 2019 Mineral Resources Estimate ("MRE") (reported by the Company on 7 January 2020). Financial Results In the year ended 31 December 2021, the Group incurred a loss, after tax, of £3,911,717 (2020: £2,553,556). Operating expenses were in line with our budgets and expectations. Financing was secured in February 2021, at which time the Group raised gross proceeds of £3.5 million by the issuance of shares at an issue price of 30p per share.  In addition, a number of existing warrants over Ordinary Shares in the Group have been exercised pre and post 31 December 2021 and have provided further funding to the Group to continue its operations. The Group has no debt and believes it is capable of continuing to raise further equity as needed to carry out its development plans. Shareholders have been very supportive of the Group's financing needs and the Directors are confident of raising further funds as required. The Junior Lake Property The Junior Lake property, 100 per cent. owned by Landore, is located in the province of Ontario, Canada, approximately 235 kilometres north-northeast of Thunder Bay and is host to the BAM Gold Deposit, the B4-7 Nickel-Copper-Cobalt-PGEs Deposit, the VW Nickel-Copper Deposit and numerous other highly prospective mineral occurrences. The Junior Lake property together with the adjacent 90.2% owned Lamaune Lake property extends for 31 kilometres across highly prospective Archean greenstone belt and covers an area of 33,029 hectares. BAM Gold Deposit: In May 2021 Landore re-commenced drilling aimed at further infilling and extending the defined resource and to test the depth potential of the previously delineated mineralization. Up to December 2021, a total of 353 NQ and HQ diamond drill holes for approximately 69,857 metres have been completed on the BAM Gold Resource maintaining the highly successful discovery rate of 21 ounces of gold for every metre drilled. The BAM Gold Deposit now extends 4,300 metres from grid line 200W to 4100E and remains open down dip and along strike to the east and the west. The continued rapid growth of the BAM Gold Deposit, together with the possible future development of the other known gold prospects along this highly prospective 31 kilometre long Archean greenstone belt, bodes well for the high potential of the Junior Lake Property hosting a multi-million ounce gold deposit. Battery Metals Deposits: The burgeoning interest for electric cars has significantly increased demand for battery metals throughout the world, such as nickel, cobalt and lithium. The Junior Lake Property is host to two defined battery metals deposits, the B4-7 and VW, which between them contain 55,581 tonnes of Nickel Equivalent Metals, both deposits have growth potential. In addition there are numerous polymetallic prospects ranged along the southern margin of the major zoned gabbro complex ("the "Grassy Pond Sill"). Landore is currently reviewing its Battery Metals Deposits and occurrences with the aim of maximising value in this promising uplift in demand in this sector.   Further details are set out in the Operations Report. Planned works for 2022: Drilling will re-commence in July 2022 to further delineate and test the depth potential of the BAM Gold Deposit together with drilling the highly prospective Felix area along strike and to the west for both Gold and battery metals. In addition, drilling will be carried out on the Lamaune Gold deposit to advance it to defined resource status. Landore also plans to commence pre-feasibility studies in H2 2022 on the BAM Gold Deposit, now that the Indicated portion of the resource has passed the one million ounce target. Social and Environmental Responsibility: The Group continues to enjoy solid working relationships with the local First Nations on whose traditional lands our Junior Lake Property is located. Landore believes that a successful project is best achieved through maintaining close working relationships with First Nations and other local communities. On behalf of my fellow directors I wish to thank our shareholders for their continued support together with Landore's Management and Exploration team for their dedication and perseverance in advancing our highly prospective Junior Lake Property.  William Humphries Chief Executive Officer 21 June 2022 Operations report INTRODUCTION Landore Resources Limited, through its 100 per cent. owned subsidiary Landore Resources Canada Inc. ("Landore"), is actively engaged in mineral exploration in Eastern Canada. Landore owns or has the mineral rights to three properties in Eastern Canada including its highly prospective Junior Lake Property. During 2021 Landore Resources' exploration efforts were focussed on the Junior Lake property. Drilling identified additional shallow mineralization along strike east and west of the main BAM Gold Deposit mineralization, infilled for depth extension of high grade intersections including the westerly down plunge extensions of the main BAM Gold Deposit unit mineralization as well as shallow hanging wall mineralization within the Grassy Pond Sill, and also infilled to target zones with good continuity for resource definition. Drilling also converted Inferred Mineral Resources of the existing resource to the Indicated Mineral Resource category for inclusion in the upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate reported by Landore on 8 February 2022. Full details of the Group's projects, including maps and Canadian National Instrument 43-101 (NI 43-101) resource reports can be viewed on the Group's website, www.landore.com. JUNIOR LAKE PROPERTY The Junior Lake property, 100 per cent. owned by Landore, is located in the province of Ontario, Canada, approximately 235 kilometres north-northeast of Thunder Bay and is host to the BAM Gold Deposit, the B4-7 Nickel-Copper-Cobalt-PGEs Deposit and the adjacent Alpha PGEs zone. Junior Lake also contains the VW Nickel Deposit and numerous other highly prospective mineral occurrences. The Junior Lake property is comprised of the Junior Lake claim group and the immediately adjacent claim group of Lamaune Iron Inc. ("Lamaune Iron").  In October 2017, Landore acquired a 90.2% ownership of Lamaune Iron, which became a subsidiary of Landore. Landore's Junior Lake property including the Lamaune Iron claim group now consists of 1,318 (2020: 1,158) staked mineral claims and six mining leases, all together totalling approximately 33,029 ha (2020: 30,507). The property extends for 31 kilometres across highly prospective Archean greenstone belt. BAM GOLD DEPOSIT: The BAM Gold Deposit (formerly BAM East Gold Deposit) is located approximately 2 kilometres to the east of the B4-7 Deposit and 1 kilometre north of the VW Deposit and is situated midway along an east-southeast to west-northwest trending MaxMin geophysical anomaly (MM-7).  The latest BAM Gold resource estimate and report, completed by Cube Consulting Pty Ltd ("Cube") of Perth, Western Australia and reported by Landore on 8 February 2022, increased the in-situ resource to: 49,231,000 tonnes (t) at 1.0 grams/tonne (g/t) for 1,496,000 ounces of gold including 30,965,000t at 1.0g/t for 1,029,000 ounces gold in the Indicated Category and 18,266,000t at 0.8g/t for 467,000 ounces of gold in the Inferred Category (compliant with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101). This upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) modelling has increased the in-situ resource by 481,000 ounces of gold (47%) compared with the 2019 MRE of 1,015,000 ounces of gold (reported by the Group on 7 January 2020). Table 0-1 BAM Mineral Resource Estimate Block Model, January 2022 versus 2019 BAM Block Model 2022 BAM Block Model 2019 Res Cat Au g/t cut off Tonnes (kT) Grade (g/t Au) Contained Metal(kOz Au) Res Cat AU Ok Fin cut off Tonnes (kT) Grade (g/t) Contained Metal (kOz Au) IND >0.0 33,201 1.0 1,045 IND >0.0 25,537 0.94 772 >0.3 30,965 1.0 1,029 >0.3 21,930 1.06 747 INF >0.0 21,254 0.7 488 INF >0.0 10,757 0.81 280 >0.3 18,266 0.8 467 >0.3 9,153 0.91 268 TOTAL >0.0 54,455 0.9 1,533 TOTAL >0.0 36,293 0.9 1,052 >0.3 49,231 1.0 1,496 >0.3 31,083 1.02 1,015 In-situ Model estimate report: Grades have been reported above 0g/t Au and above 0.3g/t Au; These figures are not constrained by open pit optimisations; and do not take into account metallurgical factors or other economic considerations. With the addition of the 2020-2021 drilling results and changes to the gold mineralisation interpretation and domaining, the updated modelling has resulted in the increase in Indicated and Inferred Resource of 47% (in-situ contained metal) above a cut-off of 0.3g/t Au compared with the MRE reported in 2019. Open pit optimisations, mine design and scheduling work, along with economical analysis are currently being conducted by Cube Consulting. The BAM Gold Deposit was discovered in December 2015 while drilling to test the MM-7 geophysical target. Mineralization consisted of near-surface low grade gold with periodic intervals of higher grade gold.  Subsequent drilling has grown the resource considerably, now extending 4,300 metres from grid line 200W to 4100E and remains open down dip and along strike to the east and the west. In addition, soil sampling has identified widespread gold mineralization along strike to the west for a further 7 kilometres. The BAM Gold Deposit is interpreted as an Archean-aged mesothermal gold deposit.  Findings from drilling to-date on the BAM Gold Deposit have revealed a lithological sequence consisting of leucogabbro and gabbro of the Grassy Pond Sill to the south, metasedimentary rocks of the BAM sequence in the central portion, to mafic volcanics to the north. All lithological units have been subjected to variable shearing and deformation, markedly the metasedimentary unit. The deposit consists of gold mineralization that is hosted by sheared and altered rocks of the Grassy Pond Sill and the BAM Sequence.  The gold mineralization is commonly observed in drill core to exist as visible gold that is hosted by very thin, foliation-parallel quartz-rich veinlets, hosted by highly fissile ultramafic sediments of the BAM sequence, or by foliated rocks of the Grassy Pond Sill. The BAM Gold Deposit has the potential to be initially developed as a low cost, bulk tonnage, open pit operation. 2020-2021 Drill Campaign: In May 2021 Landore re-commenced drilling aimed at further infilling and extending the defined resource and to test the depth potential of the previously delineated mineralization. The 2020/2021 drill campaign, conducted mid October 2020 to mid November 2021, consisted of 24,171 metres for 102 HQ diamond drill holes (0420-725 to 0421-826). Drilling successfully intersected gold mineralization of similar widths and grade to the existing BAM Gold Deposit with numerous instances of visible gold ("VG"). Intersections included bonanza grade gold reporting 432.0 grams/tonne (g/t) gold over 0.32 metres in drill hole 0421-785 on cut grid line 2850E below the currently defined east pit of the BAM Gold Deposit. Other encouraging results included 53.37 metres at 1.35 g/t gold including 13.14 metres at 2.99 g/t gold in drill hole 0421-789 on line 2700E. Results received in the 2020/2021 drilling campaign included: Easting Northing Drill-hole From Interval* Au No Metres Metres g/t 600E 350N 0421-822 144.49 0.97 7.47 and 150.56 1.02 14.40 and 328.39 2.13 1.49 750E 330N 0421-826 255.60 1.00 2.76 and 274.30 0.86 9.81 800E 300N 0421-820 148.08 0.83 19.75 800E 350N 0421-813 220.80 20.55 1.10 including 227.75 1.15 7.76 and 251.62 1.00 3.30 850E 340N 0421-823 231.72 9.25 4.04 including 237.97 1.01 31.50 900E 285N 0421-819 273.68 1.5 3.52 900E 335N 0421-814 222.12 17.45 4.13 including 232.74 5.98 9.80 and 236.80 1.02 47.20 950E 350N 0421-815 160.52 1.76 4.25 and 170.77 7.35 0.84 1000E 290N 0421-816 238.92 1.92 1.78 and 284.04 2.78 4.24 2550E 60S 0421-811 138.80 1.33 1.92 and 175.63 3.96 2.87 including 178.60 0.99 9.33 and 200.51 2.66 0.96 and 233.95 8.27 0.86 and 280.50 1.06 8.80 2600E 100S 0421-810 180.26 6.05 0.80 and 195.19 8.67 1.02 2650E 100S 0421-790 132.17 2.09 1.06 and 152.79 4.99 0.62 and 168.91 6.05 0.53 and 181.61 3.35 1.98 and 224.45 3.55 1.04 2700E 150S 0421-809 154.30 1.00 11.35 and 168.30 15.00 2.48 including 171.30 4.00 7.36 including 174.30 1.00 22.60 and 195.55 3.00 4.07 including 195.55 1.00 10.75 and 252.11 1.09 3.07 2700E 100S 0421-789 108.89 53.37 1.35 including 116.60 13.14 2.99 and 133.74 0.51 9.70 and 221.73 4.80 1.58 2750E 100S 0421-808 103.65 14.05 0.61 and 193.73 6.17 1.45 2750E 50S 0421-788 79.00 2.00 1.39 and 87.00 2.53 1.10 and 94.14 6.01 0.67 and 108.00 3.55 0.80 2800E 125S 0421-795 112.70 7.98 0.91 and 190.86 11.62 0.55 2800E 75S 0421-786 72.09 8.05 1.92 including 73.14 2.00 4.64 and 163.72 7.17 0.92 2800E 25S 0421-787 44.00.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaJun 22nd, 2022

BNP Paribas (BNPQY) Interested in Buying State-Owned ABN Amro

BNP Paribas (BNPQY) reaches out to the Dutch government for a meeting to discuss its interest in a deal with ABN Amro. BNP Paribas SA BNPQY has shown interest in a potential acquisition of state-owned ABN Amro Bank NV. The news was first reported by Bloomberg, citing people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified as the information is private. Notably, the Dutch consumer lender, ABN Amro, has been owned by the government since the 2008 financial crisis.People with knowledge of the matter said that BNP Paribas recently reached out to the Dutch government for a meeting to discuss its interest in a deal. ABN Amro’s retail and corporate franchise is drawing BNP Paribas’ interest. Moreover, BNPQY sees the transaction as an opportunity to expand in northern Europe.BNP Paribas’ preliminary contact has not yet progressed to any detailed negotiations and the Dutch government is not seriously examining the interest for the time being. One of the people said that the state might prefer to sell down further shares on the market, allowing it to raise money, while retaining some control.Even though some other banks have approached the Dutch government to express interest in ABN Amro, there is no certainty that any of them will result in a formal bid as deliberations are ongoing. Representatives for BNPQY and ABN Amro have declined to comment on the matter.Nevertheless, after agreeing to sell its Bank of the West unit to Bank of Montreal for $16 billion in cash, BNP Paribas is set to have additional capital for any potential deal. The sale of its U.S. retail business is expected to close this year.Notably, under the ownership of the government, ABN Amro has transformed itself from one of the world’s largest banks to a consumer lender focused on the Netherlands.Earlier this year, the Dutch government asked NLFI (which holds the ABN Amro stake on behalf of the state) to advise on the potential sale of shares in the bank. But a spokesperson said, “For as long as the ministry has been holding a stake in ABN Amro, it has talks with various stakeholders on a regular basis about a broad arrange of topics. The decision on possible further sell-down transactions is determined based on several factors.”In the last decade, cross-border mergers within banks in Europe have not been very popular because negative interest rates weighed on the results. However, a recent push to resuscitate negotiations over a single market for banks, along with increasing interest rates, have increased prospects for deal-making despite the possibility of a recession in Europe.Over the past year, shares of BNPQY have lost 22% compared with a decline of 14.2% recorded by the industry. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research Currently, BNP Paribas carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Inorganic Growth Efforts by U.S. BanksEarlier this month, in order to bolster its presence in North Carolina, F.N.B. Corp FNB signed an agreement to acquire Greenville-based UB Bancorp. The all-stock deal is valued at $19.56 per share or nearly $117 million.Following the deal's completion, which is expected in the last quarter of 2022, F.N.B. Corp will likely move to the eighth position in North Carolina in terms of deposit market share. Also, the cost of deposits of 11 basis points will be accretive to the company’s financials in a rising rate environment.Huntington Bancshares Incorporated HBAN recently completed the acquisition of Capstone Partners, a preeminent investment banking and advisory firm. The acquisition was announced in March and helped HBAN create a full-service banking experience for clients in its growing capital markets and commercial banking franchise.Capstone and Huntington Bancshares are poised to offer a comprehensive set of banking solutions across traditional commercial banking, investment banking and capital markets. The deal also enhances HBAN’s expertise across 12 primary industry sectors and expands its geographic reach. 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 Huntington Bancshares Incorporated (HBAN): Free Stock Analysis Report BNP Paribas SA (BNPQY): Free Stock Analysis Report F.N.B. Corporation (FNB): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 21st, 2022

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze"

Futures, Cryptos Surge As Dip Buying Turns Into "Nasty Squeeze" Following a relentless rout that erased nearly $2 trillion in market value from the S&P 500 last week, US equity futures have surged, extending their Monday holiday gains just as predicted on Sunday when we said that a "Nasty Squeeze" was on Deck following last week's "Second Largest Ever" shorting by hedge funds. Nasdaq 100 futures rose as much as 2.2% before trading 1.7% higher as major US tech and internet stocks advanced, poised to extend Friday’s gains; shares of Tesla and Twitter also rose following billionaire Elon Musk’s comments at the Qatar Economic Forum; S&P 500 futures gained 1.8%; the cash market was closed on Monday for a holiday. Asian and European stocks also advanced as did bitcoin which jumped above $21K after sliding below $18K briefly on Saturday. Meanwhile Treasuries and the US Dollar retreated. US stocks came under renewed pressure last week, with the S&P plunged into bear market territory amid surging inflation and fears that aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve will push the economy into a recession. The S&P 500 is set for an 11% drop in June, poised for the worst month since March 2020, which marked the lows of the pandemic selloff. Sentiment was somewhat boosted by Biden’s Monday comments on the economy in which he said that a recession isn't "inevitable" (what else will he say) but strategists have warned of more volatility ahead. “Even if the mid-term investing landscape remains blurry to most market operators at the beginning of this summer season, some investors looking for opportunities to buy shares at a discounted price have been reassured,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “The fact central banks are moving quickly towards a super hawkish stance in order to tame inflation is also perceived as good news by some.” In premarket trading, bank stocks also pushed higher amid a broader rebound in risk assets. In corporate news, HSBC has lost two senior investment bankers in Asia as global banks compete for financial technology talent and dealmaking slows. Meanwhile, the UK’s Payment Systems Regulator will focus a pair of market reviews on the rising card fees charged by Visa and Mastercard. Tech names were also solidly higher; notable movers included Apple +2.4%, Microsoft +2%, Amazon.com +2.6%, Alphabet +2.6%, Meta Platforms +2.1%, Nvidia +3.1% premarket; all six stocks closed higher on Friday, while US markets were closed for a holiday on Monday. Stocks related to cryptocurrencies were also indicating a rally as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Meanwhile, Revlon surged as much as 27% in premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Tesla (TSLA US) and Twitter (TWTR US) shares rose in premarket trading on Tuesday after billionaire Elon Musk said the CEO label at the social media firm was less important than driving the product and that Tesla will cut its salaried workforce by about 10% over  the next three months. Tesla rose 3.1% and Twitter was up 1.2% in premarket trading Revlon shares surge as much as 27% in US premarket trading, extending Friday’s rally after the cosmetics firm filed for bankruptcy. Major US technology and internet stocks advanced in premarket trading on Tuesday, poised to extend Friday’s gains. Apple (AAPL US) +2.4%, Microsoft (MSFT US) +2%, Amazon.com (AMZN US) +2.6%, Alphabet (GOOGL US) +2.6% Spirit (SAVE US) shares jump 13% in US premarket trading, to $24, after JetBlue (JBLU US) raised its offer to $33.50 per share from $31.50 on June 6, the latest move in a multi-billion dollar takeover contest with rival Frontier (ULCC US). Arrival shares jump 8.6% in US premarket trading after the electric- vehicle maker announced that its zero-emission van has achieved EU certification and received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval. US-listed Chinese stocks are mostly higher in premarket trading, tracking a two-day 2.3% rise in the Hang Seng Tech Index. Alibaba (BABA US) +4.6%, Baidu (BIDU US) +3.5%, Pinduoduo (PDD US)+3.3% Stocks related to cryptocurrencies rise on Tuesday in US premarket trading as the price of Bitcoin continues to hold above $20,000 amid a tentative recovery and hopes that prices have bottomed. Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +5.6%, Coinbase (COIN US) +4.7%, MicroStrategy (MSTR US) +5% Citi cuts ratings on International Paper Co. and WestRock to neutral from buy, citing increasing questions about demand as supply additions loom. International Paper falls 1.1% in premarket trading, WestRock -1.5% Keep an eye on Maxar shares as Wells Fargo said the stock is its top pick in the burgeoning space sector, initiating it at overweight, Rocket Lab at equal-weight and Virgin Galactic at underweight. Adobe (ADBE US) shares may be in focus today as the stock was downgraded to equal-weight and given Street-low $362 target from $591 by Morgan Stanley, on expectation of a slowing structural growth profile for the computer software company. After unexpectedly accelerating to a fresh 40-year high in May, US consumer price growth is seen slowing, with a Bloomberg survey of economists predicting 6.5% by the fourth quarter and to 3.5% by the middle of next year. Yet fears are rampant that Federal Reserve policy makers intent on cooling price pressures will go too far and trigger an economic slowdown. Strategists at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. warned equities may have further to fall to fully price in the risk of recession, reflecting wider skepticism about Tuesday’s rebound. “We think equities will struggle to rebound sustainably until earnings expectations reset lower and/or central banks turn more dovish, which seems unlikely for now,” said Emmanuel Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays Plc. European stocks also extended their recent recovery, with the region’s benchmark Stoxx 600 Index rising 1%, led by gains in basic resources and chemical companies’ shares. Consumer discretionary, chemicals and autos also trade well. CAC 40 outperforms. Leonardo jumps as much as 9.7% in Milan trading after its DRS unit agreed to buy Israeli radar-maker RADA Electronic in an all-stock transaction. Valneva rises as much as 23% after CEO Franck Grimaud said the company’s Lyme disease vaccine has the potential of becoming a “blockbuster” with sales of more than 1 billion euros. K+S and OCI shares gain after JPMorgan said valuations are “compelling” and fundamentals remain positive. European fertilizer shares had dropped recently because of rising gas prices. OCI rises as much as 4.6%; K+S +6.3% Air Liquide climbs as much as 3.9%, after the French industrial gas company signed a long-term power purchase agreement with Vattenfall. Mithra rises as much as 21% after the pharmaceutical company said it received subscription commitments for 3.87m new shares at an issue price of EU6.07 apiece, representing a 5% discount to last close. Richemont and Swatch advance after Swiss watch exports for the month of May showed strong demand versus the year-earlier period in the US and Japan as well as in European countries such as France and the UK. Luxury peers also trading higher in a wider rebound. Richemont gains as much as 2.8%, Swatch +2.8%, Hermes +3.3%, LVMH +3.7% European apparel retail shares drop after JPMorgan downgrades Asos, About You, Boohoo and Primark owner AB Foods to neutral from overweight, citing the cost of living crisis with cracks emerging in discretionary spending. Asos declines as much as 5.1%, Boohoo -4.8%, About You -4.3%, AB Foods -3.2% Proximus and Telenet slide after a statement by the Belgian telecom regulator showed that new entrant Citymesh partnered with Romanian carrier Digi Communications and acquired spectrum across various bands. Proximus shares fall as much as 7.8%, Telenet -3.9% Earlier in the session, MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index snapped an eight-day slide to add more than 1% as Asian equities headed for their biggest gain this month. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 1.8%, set to snap an eight-day losing streak, with financial and tech stocks among the biggest contributors to its advance. The US president spoke overnight after a conversation with former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, as the White House and congressional Democrats are in talks on legislation that aims to fight inflation. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong led gains in the region. Australia’s index advanced for the first time in days after central bank chief Philip Lowe signaled he will only raise interest rates by 25-to-50 basis points at the July meeting. Chinese shares edged lower after recent gains.  “It’s a respite, not a rebound,” said Charu Chanana, a market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets. “We are still in a bear market that is facing a double whammy of Fed tightening and building recession fears, and the second-quarter earnings season is likely to be particularly painful for the markets” due to cost pressures, she added.  Valuations for the MSCI Asia gauge have continued to slide toward pandemic lows, with the index down 18% this year. Still, it’s outperforming a measure of global shares, supported by a rally in Chinese equities this month as the country emerges from Covid-triggered lockdowns. Japanese stocks advanced as investors weighed the impact of the yen’s weakness and the extent of the recent selloff. The Topix Index rose 2% to 1,856.20 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 1.8% to 26,246.31. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 4%. Out of 2,170 shares in the index, 2,023 rose and 108 fell, while 39 were unchanged. “Stocks that are expected to have an upward revision from the weak yen may be firm,” said Mitsushige Akino, a senior executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.4% to close at 6,523.80, snapping a seven day losing steak. The benchmark was led by gains in banks and miners, with the financials sub-gauge rising the most since March 10.  In early trade, Australia’s central bank Governor Philip Lowe said he didn’t see a recession on the horizon for the nation.  In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.1% to 10,701.59 India’s benchmark share index posted its biggest two-day advance since May 30, boosted by a recovery in information technology stocks and as investors looked for bargains after a sharp selloff last week.  The S&P BSE Sensex rose 1.8% to close at 52,532.07 in Mumbai, taking its two-day advance to 2.3%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index advanced 1.9%. All of the 19 sectoral indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. gained, led by a measure of oil & gas companies. “Crude prices have corrected by almost 10% from its recent peak, providing some breather to the Indian market,” Motilal Oswal Financial analyst Siddhartha Khemka wrote in a note.   Reliance Industries contributed the most to the Sensex’s gain, increasing 1.6%. All but one of 30 shares in the Sensex index rose. Of the top ten performers on the measure, half were information technology companies, led by Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. that clocked its biggest advance this month.  In rates, treasuries were cheaper across the curve as trading resumed after Monday’s US holiday; cash USTs bear steepened, but trim losses after cheapening ~5bps at the Asia reopen.  Long-end leads losses with stock futures rising after last week’s rout. US yields are ere cheaper by as much as 6bp at long end, steepening 2s10s by nearly 3bp, 5s30s by nearly 4bp; 10-year, higher by ~5bp at 3.27% lags bund and gilts by 3bp and 4.5bp while Italian bonds outperform Treasuries by 12bp in the sector. Bunds and gilts outperform Treasuries, while Italian bonds extend recent gains after ECB’s Olli Rehn reiterated determination to combat unwarranted spikes in borrowing costs for some of the region’s most vulnerable economies.  That said the ECB has yet to disclose said measures, a move which most agree will lead to selling the news. Gilts bull flatten, 10y yields drop 4bps after stalling near 2.6%. Bunds are comparatively quiet. Shorter-maturity Australian bonds rallied after central bank chief Philip Lowe said interest rates are likely to rise by 50 basis points at most in July. Money markets subsequently scrapped bets he would track the Federal Reserve with a 75 basis-point move. Japanese government bonds were mixed after a five-year note sale that drew the weakest demand in more than two years in the aftermath of wild price swings in futures that have made some traders uneasy about their exposure to cash bonds. In FX, Bloomberg dollar spot index fell 0.3% as the greenback weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen. JPY is the weakest in G-10, plunging to a fresh 24 year low of 136. NOK and SEK outperform. The euro advanced and European bonds rallied, led by the front end even as ECB Governing Council Member Peter Kazimir said negative rates must be history by September. Governing Council member Olli Rehn separetely said that “there has been good reason to expedite the normalization of monetary policy”. The pound extended gains amid broad dollar weakness while UK government bonds inched up. BOE Chief Economist Huw Pill said policy makers would sacrifice growth in order to bring down inflation, saying there’s a risk of prices developing a “self-sustaining momentum. In commodities, WTI drifted 2.3% higher to trade near $112. Most base metals trade in the green; LME zinc rises 2.8%, outperforming peers. LME aluminum lags, dropping 0.3%. Spot gold is little changed at $1,838/oz. Bitcoin is bid and above the USD 21k mark, after last week's slip to a sub-USD 18k low. Elon Musk says he intends to personally support Dogecoin, via BBG TV. Coinbase (COIN) says connectivity issues across Coinbase and Coinbase Pro could cause failed trades and delayed transactions; issue was subsequently resolved. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.9% to 3,744.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.0% to 411.06 MXAP up 1.5% to 158.77 MXAPJ up 1.5% to 528.18 Nikkei up 1.8% to 26,246.31 Topix up 2.0% to 1,856.20 Hang Seng Index up 1.9% to 21,559.59 Shanghai Composite down 0.3% to 3,306.72 Sensex up 2.2% to 52,741.19 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.4% to 6,523.81 Kospi up 0.7% to 2,408.93 German 10Y yield little changed at 1.76% Euro up 0.5% to $1.0567 Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.53/bbl Brent Futures up 1.2% to $115.52/bbl Gold spot down 0.2% to $1,835.31 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.61% to 104.06 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg UK rail workers began Britain’s biggest rail strike in three decades after unions rejected a last-minute offer from train companies, bringing services nationwide to a near standstill. Britain’s local authorities say they can’t afford to pay a mandated increase in the legal minimum wage over the next year without a £400 million cash injection from the national government A majority of European businesses are worried about their ability to meet employee demands for higher wages amid the current spike in inflation, according to a regional survey by Intrum AB Companies in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy are the most distressed since August 2020, according to the Weil European Distress Index. The study aggregates data from more than 3,750 listed European firms A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks gained across amid a broad constructive global risk tone despite a lack of fresh macro drivers and the recent holiday closure in the US, with Bitcoin and Chinese commodity prices also stabilising after the recent tumultuous price action. ASX 200 was led higher by the energy sector and after RBA's Lowe effectively ruled out a 75bps hike next month. Nikkei 225 outperformed and reclaimed the 26,000 level amid a predominantly weaker currency. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp. were positive with sentiment in Hong Kong underpinned by news the SAR is to propose a quarantine-free business travel corridor with mainland China, while mainland bourses lagged with the US ban on imports from Xinjiang taking effect from today. Japan's PM Kishida says rapid JPY weakening is a source of concern, must closely watch FX moves and consider monetary policy and FX measures separately. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Accepts Wheat, Garlic as Payment to Woo Buyers China Junk Bond Selloff in New Phase With Record Fosun Rout Gold Steady as Traders Weigh Central Bank Plans to Hike Rates Australian Tesla-Supplier Eyes First Lithium Exports Over- Optimism Among China Steel-Makers Behind Iron Ore’s Plunge European bourses are firmer and building on Monday's upside, Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; thus far, newsflow has largely focused on familiar themes. Additionally, participants are awaiting the return of the US after Monday's market holiday. Currently, ES +1.7% with the region incrementally outperforming European peers. Elon Musk says there a still a few unresolved matters with Twitter (TWTR) including the number of spam users, via BBG TV; still awaiting a resolution, very significant. Adds, they are reducing the salaried workforce of Tesla (TSLA) by circa. 10% over the next three-months. Top European News French President Macron will invite all parties able to form a group in the new parliament for talks on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Reuters. BDI revises down 2022 German GDP forecasts: 1.5% (prev. 3.5%); return to pre-COVID level expected at end-2022 at the earliest Central Banks ECB’s Lane said very high inflation means there is a risk inflation psychology could take hold and said the larger increment for rate increase in September does not represent a red alert assessment of inflation. Lane also commented that he doesn’t see a situation where they would need to revisit the plan for a July decision and there is no preview beyond September of what will be the appropriate pace of tightening, according to Reuters. ECB’s Villeroy said the new instrument should be available as much as necessary to make the no-limit commitment to protect the Euro very clear and the more credible such an instrument is, the less it may have to be used in practice. Villeroy added the new instrument will have rules but there will be elements of judgement also and said they would not necessarily need to hold purchases of government or private sector securities to maturity, according to Reuters. ECB's Rehn says EZ inflation pressured are broader and stronger; very likely the September move is more than 25bp in magnitude. BoE's Pill says if there is evidence of persistent price pressures, the MPC is certainly prepared to act, expects further tightening in the coming months, need to consider the exchange rate when assessing inflationary pressures. Worries that using monetary policy to stabilise the FX rate in the short-term would be a distraction from the BoE's goals. HKMA purchases HKD 9.6bln from the market, as the HKD hits the weak-end of the trading range. FX Euro firm as risk revival continues and ECB’s Rehn says 50bp hike in September is highly probable, EUR/USD eyeing 1.0600 after breaching 1.0550, but could be capped by 1bln option expiry interest between 1.0575-85. Sterling rebounds ahead of CBI industrial trends and after BoE chief economist Pill underlines willingness to act if price pressures prove persistent; Pound probes 1.2300 vs Dollar as DXY slips further from recent peaks through 104.000. Loonie and Nokkie boosted by firmer crude prices, as former awaits Canadian retail sales data; USD/CAD close to 1.2900 vs circa 1.3078 double top, EUR/NOK sub-10.4000 within 104.4200+/10.3400 range. Kiwi and Aussie underpinned by improvement in risk appetite, but hampered as NZ consumer sentiment slides to record low and RBA Governor Lowe pushes back on the amount of 2022 tightening priced in at present; NZD/USD hovers above 0.6350 and AUD/USD shy of 0.7000. Franc and Yen remain divergent with SNB and BoJ policy paths, latter largely ignoring latest verbal intervention; USD/CHF pivots 0.9650 and USD/JPY back above 135.00. Israel PM Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid agreed on dissolving the Knesset and going for an early election, while the vote will take place next week and Lapid will become PM once the vote passes, according to Walla News. Fixed Income Debt divergent and erratic awaiting the return of US cash markets from long holiday weekend. Bunds hold within 143.05-144.01 range and Gilts between 111.11-68 parameters. Treasury futures retreat and curve flits from marginal flattening to steepening ahead of US existing home sales and more Fed speak via Mester and Barkin Commodities WTI and Brent are bid amid broader risk sentiment with newsflow focusing on familiar themes primarily around the reduction in Russia's gas supply to Europe. Thus far, Brent has tested but failed to connivingly breach the USD 116.00/bbl mark ahead of touted USD 116.37/bbl resistance. US Treasury Secretary Yellen said she does not see resuming the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a short-term measure that can address high oil prices, while she added it would take years to have an impact. Yellen also commented that evidence is mixed on the level of pass-through from a gasoline tax holiday to lower prices and said that an exception or ban on insurance for certain Russian oil shipments would effectively provide a price cap on oil, according to Reuters. Brazilian Economy Minister Guedes said Brazil is part of the western energy security, particularly for Europe, while he added that privatising and moving Petrobras to Novo Mercado would increase its market cap from BRL 450bln to BRL 750bln. Guedes added that they will conduct new measures again if the war in Ukraine is escalating, according to Reuters. PetroEcuador may have to stop exports if protests continue and it declared a force majeure to avoid contract penalties, according to Reuters. Vitol CEO says markets are faced with underinvestment and falling production capacity for crude and there is a relatively tight refining situation, via Reuters; if China exports some more products, the tightness felt today won't be felt. Denmark's energy agency declared an 'early warning' stage of gas supply preparedness, according to Reuters. German regulator says they are not in a hurry to declare the highest gas emergency level yet, via Reuters citing BR; however, Sweden declares an "early warning" stage of gas supply preparedness for Western and Southern parts of the nation. Codelco's union presidents ratified the start of a national strike beginning on Wednesday, according to Reuters; an update which, alongside broader risk, is supporting LME Copper. US Event Calendar 08:30: May Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.47, prior 0.47 10:00: May Existing Home Sales MoM, est. -3.7%, prior -2.4% 10:00: May Home Resales with Condos, est. 5.4m, prior 5.61m Central Banks 11:00: Fed’s Barkin Interviewed During NABE Event 12:00: Fed’s Mester Speaks at Women in Leadership Event 15:30: Fed’s Barkin Speaks in Richmond DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ll be publishing my latest monthly chartbook later today so keep an eye out for it. It will include the slides for last week’s webinar on the default study “The end of the ultra-low default world”. See here for the webinar replay and here for the original default study. Welcome to the longest day of the year although most in markets will already say we've had numerous of those already so far this year. Actually if you're outside of London, trying to get in it could be a very, very long day as the UK is today gripped by the first of three alternate day rail strikes. There is a tube strike today thrown in for good measure. It does seem industrial relations with the government are on a knife edge across the UK as at least 3 million workers across different professions are considering industrial action at the moment over pay and working conditions. So this could become a much bigger story if tensions are not eased. With inflation this high it's not easy to see how they can be without big pay rises being offered. However on this day of wall to wall sun (sorry to the Southern Hemisphere readers), there has been a little more light than dark in markets over the last 24 hours after what was the worst week for global equities since March 2020. The next major event(s) to look forward to are Fed Chair Powell’s congressional testimonies from tomorrow. To be honest though, its been a fairly quiet start to the week given the US holiday yesterday, with the biggest news instead being a fresh rise in European sovereign bond yields after President Lagarde reiterated the ECB’s intentions to start hiking next month, and also shone a bit more light on their plans to deal with any potential fragmentation. We’ll start with those remarks from Lagarde, who appeared in a hearing at the European Parliament yesterday and spoke strongly against any potential fragmentation in the Euro Area. Indeed, she said that “we need to be absolutely certain” that monetary policy was being transmitted to the different Euro Area countries and went as far to say that it was “right at the core of the mandate”, whilst adding “anybody who doubts that determination will be making a big mistake”. So not quite “whatever it takes” but along the same lines. Given the ECB has promised to deal with any fragmentation, that should make life easier for them when it comes to raising rates, and European sovereign bond yields responded accordingly yesterday. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr bunds (+9.0bps), OATs (+11.8bps) and BTPs (+12.3bps) all moved noticeably higher, although by the standards of last week that seemed quite modest given that 10yr bund yields had seen absolute moves of 11bps in either direction on 3 out of 5 days last week. When it came to bonds though, it was UK gilts who were one of the biggest underperformers yesterday after we heard from one of the more hawkish members of the Bank of England’s MPC. Catherine Mann (who was in the minority that favoured of a 50bps move last week) said in a speech that “the incoming data on inflation show increasingly domestic embeddedness, persistence, and momentum”. Furthermore, she also warned about the risk of embedded domestic inflation being “further boosted by inflation imported via a Sterling depreciation”. Against that backdrop, 10yr gilt yields rose by +10.6bps to close above 2.6% for the first time since 2014, whilst overnight index swaps are continuing to price in a more aggressive response from the BoE after the next meeting, with 50bp moves priced in for each of the next 3 meetings, which would be the fastest pace of hikes since they gained operational independence in 1997. In spite of the sovereign bond selloff, equities put in a much better performance yesterday, with the STOXX 600 (+0.91%) seeing a broad-based advance that was supported by all the main sector groups. Other indices on the continent also moved higher, including the FTSE 100 (+1.50%), the DAX (+1.06%) and the FTSE MIB (+0.99%). The worst performer on a relative basis was France’s CAC 40 (+0.64%), which struggled following the news that President Macron had lost his parliamentary majority, which will make passing his agenda much more difficult in the coming years. See our economists’ piece on the topic here. With the US holiday we only had futures to look at, but those on the S&P 500 had moved around +1% higher by the time of the European close. They are +1.62% higher this morning with the NASDAQ 100 futures (+1.71%) also meaningfully higher. Meanwhile, Fed funds futures were again moving in the direction of pricing in a more aggressive path of rate hikes, with the implied rate by the December meeting up +7.18bps to 3.625%, albeit still beneath their closing peak of 3.72% just before the Fed meeting, which meant that Treasury futures were also pointing to fresh declines yesterday as well. Asian equity markets are relatively buoyant this morning with the Nikkei (+1.76%) leading the pack followed by the Hang Seng (+1.42%). In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite (+0.18%) and CSI (+0.12%) are also trading in positive territory whilst the Kospi (+1.03%) is sharply higher in early trade. Elsewhere, the meeting minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) released this morning indicated that the central bank is leaning towards more monetary policy tightening over the coming months. The minutes also revealed that inflation was expected to increase to 7% by the end of the year due to pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, before coming back towards the 2-3% inflation range in 2023. Meanwhile, the RBA Governor Philip highlighted that interest rates were still "very low" but watered-down expectations of 75bps rate hikes thus signaling a 25 or 50bps move at the July meeting. On the FX side, the Aussie Dollar did witness a sharp dip during the RBA Governor’s Q&A session but is reversing losses, trading +0.35% at 0.697 per US dollar, as I type. Elsewhere the Japanese yen has remained under pressure at 135.03 per dollar, not far off a 24-year low of 135.58 hit early last week. Separately, oil prices are higher this morning with Brent futures (+1.04%) at $115.32/bbl and WTI futures increasing +1.79% to $111.52/bbl. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US existing home sale for May, as well as the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for the same month. Otherwise, central bank speakers include the Fed’s Barkin and Mester, the ECB’s Rehn and the BoE’s Pill. Tyler Durden Tue, 06/21/2022 - 08:02.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJun 21st, 2022

Sonic Automotive (SAH) Surges 5.5%: Is This an Indication of Further Gains?

Sonic Automotive (SAH) was a big mover last session on higher-than-average trading volume. The latest trend in earnings estimate revisions might not help the stock continue moving higher in the near term. Sonic Automotive (SAH) shares rallied 5.5% in the last trading session to close at $36.53. This move can be attributable to notable volume with a higher number of shares being traded than in a typical session. This compares to the stock's 20.2% loss over the past four weeks.Sonic is riding on its strategic acquisitions, especially the buyout of RFJ Auto Partners. The deal has catapulted the firm into the top-five biggest dealership groups in the United States. The company is also benefitting from its used vehicle unit EchoPark. Rising new and used vehicle prices is set to drive Sonic’s top-line growth.This auto dealer is expected to post quarterly earnings of $2.53 per share in its upcoming report, which represents a year-over-year change of -3.8%. Revenues are expected to be $4.02 billion, up 19.9% from the year-ago quarter.Earnings and revenue growth expectations certainly give a good sense of the potential strength in a stock, but empirical research shows that trends in earnings estimate revisions are strongly correlated with near-term stock price movements.For Sonic Automotive, the consensus EPS estimate for the quarter has been revised 1.6% lower over the last 30 days to the current level. And a negative trend in earnings estimate revisions doesn't usually translate into price appreciation. So, make sure to keep an eye on SAH going forward to see if this recent jump can turn into more strength down the road.The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here >>>>Sonic Automotive is a member of the Zacks Automotive - Retail and Whole Sales industry. One other stock in the same industry, Lithia Motors (LAD), finished the last trading session 6.1% higher at $270.11. LAD has returned -10.3% over the past month.Lithia Motors' consensus EPS estimate for the upcoming report has changed +7.9% over the past month to $11.85. Compared to the company's year-ago EPS, this represents a change of +6.6%. Lithia Motors currently boasts a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).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 Sonic Automotive, Inc. (SAH): Free Stock Analysis Report Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 20th, 2022

US Air Force commandos trained to rescue other troops are getting used to a "way more difficult" environment in the Pacific

The jungle is "very unforgiving" and US commandos "need to be ready for that," a US Air Force special operations officer said. A US Air Force pararescuemen crosses a waterway using a rope system during jungle warfare training in Wahiawa, Hawaii, April 1, 2022.US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer The US military is shifting its focus toward the Indo-Pacific region amid competition with China. That shift means US troops are doing more training to deal with conditions specific to that region. This spring, Air Force commandos trained in one of the region's toughest environments: the jungle. Georgia-based Air Force special operators deployed to the Pacific this spring for jungle-warfare training.Such training is nothing new for US troops, but this exercise comes as the US military is shifting its focus a potential conflict with China in the Indo-Pacific region — where US conventional and special-operations forces may find themselves up against a well-armed enemy in a dense, sweltering jungle.Air Force Special Operations Command commandos from the 38th Rescue Squadron based at Moody Air Force Base spent almost a month between March and April in Hawaii to hone their jungle-warfare skills.As pararescuemen, these commandos focused their training on tracking personnel in the jungle and on avoiding being tracked themselves, while also testing their tactics, techniques, and procedures in other skill sets.In a press release, Lt. Col. Michael Vins, the squadron's commanding officer, noted that the jungle is a "very unforgiving environment" and that US special operators "need to be ready for that kind of environment by training there, understanding how to survive there."Air Force special warfare operators learn about tracking in the jungle of Wahiawa, March 29, 2022.US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Devin BoyerAs US special operators found in World War II and Vietnam, the jungle is probably one of the hardest places to fight. Visibility is limited — sometimes to just a few yards — and the surroundings are rife with dangers, including poisonous plants and lethal animals, that can put troops out of commission pretty quickly.US troops have had "to take a step back" from what worked in the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan and figure out what works in the jungle, "which is way more difficult to operate in," Staff Sgt. Evan Rogowski said in the release."It's pretty unpredictable out here," Rogowski added. "It can be raining in the morning and then completely sunny in the afternoon, and back to rain. Outside of carrying the proper equipment, there's not much we can do to control that."During the Vietnam War, US special-operations recon teams from the highly secretive Military Assistance Command Vietnam-Studies and Observations Group lived and fought in the jungles of Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, where they tracked the movements of North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops and fought running battles against an often overwhelming enemy.MACV-SOG still influences modern US special operations, but many of the jungle-warfare skills those Vietnam-era operators developed have atrophied.Staff Sgt. Evan Orth writes coordinates while Staff Sgt. Evan Rogowski uses a radio during a tracking exercise in Wahiawa, April 1, 2022.US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer"As highly trained special warfare operators, we're always thinking about modern-day warfare and high-tech weapon systems, but something so primitive like grenades that roll out of bamboo if you kick the wrong stick over is enough to wipe us all out," Staff Sgt. Evan Orth said in the release.The importance of fundamental combat skills and small-unit tactics are constants wherever troops find themselves, but what troops need to do to properly apply them can change radically in different locations.Orth added that by training in the jungle, the pararescuemen would be "more aware of threats" that they wouldn't otherwise expect.Tracking people in the jungle has dual importance for pararescumen and other special operators. Whether they are pursuing an enemy or trying to rescue a friendly, the principles are the same.The "footprint" of that target "is going to explain a story to you," Rogowski said in the release. "Where that person went, what they did, how fast they were moving, where they're going to, are they paranoid? And I think that's kind of hard to put into words unless you've actually been there."Air CommandosAn Air Force pararescueman climbs a tree to secure a tarp over a campsite in the jungle of Wahiawa, March 29, 2022.US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Devin BoyerUS Air Force Special Operations Command is the Air Force component of US Special Operations Command, and its Air Commandos provide air transport, close air support, precision strike, and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities to other special-operations units.AFSOC itself has two components. In the air, it operates a variety of special-operations aircraft, including the AC-130 "Spooky" gunship, the CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, the MQ-9 Reaper drone, that support other US commando units.On the ground, AFSOC's pararescuemen, special reconnaissance operators, combat controllers, and tactical air control party commandos augment other special-operations units as individuals or in teams, acting as a link to forces in the air.Air Force pararescuemen set up a rope system to cross a waterway in the jungle of Wahiawa, April 1, 2022.US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Devin BoyerPararescue is unique among the US military's career fields. Pararescuemen specialize in combat search and rescue and personnel recovery and are probably some of the most competent medics in the entire military.Reflecting their motto, "so that others may live," pararescuemen are ready to deploy anywhere to search for or recover US troops. To do so, pararescuemen need to be familiar with and proficient in every operational environment."The lessons and skills learned here will further expand the way we operate in the" Indo-Pacific, Rogowski said of the exercise in Hawaii. "We'll take these lessons and shape our [tactics, techniques, and procedures] for the future of special operations, personnel recovery, and combat search and rescue."Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJun 19th, 2022

Teledyne (TDY) Nears Delivery of 127 PackBot Robots to Germany

Teledyne Technologies (TDY) is expected to complete the delivery of 127 PackBot 525 unmanned ground vehicles to the German Army by July 2022. Teledyne Technologies Incorporated’s TDY business unit, Teledyne FLIR, recently announced that it has neared the delivery completion of 127 PackBot 525 unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) to the German Army, with final shipments expected in July 2022.With Germany having recently enhanced its defense spending by $112 billion following the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, we may expect more order flows for Teledyne from this nation, like the latest one.What’s Favoring Teledyne?The PackBot 525 is the most advanced model of Teledyne FLIR's signature ground robot. Its efficiency can be gauged from its multi-tasking abilities, ranging from bomb disposal, close-in surveillance and situations, involving hostages or hazardous materials.Moreover, this technologically advanced UGV encourages improved communications and tablet-based controller. Also, its common architecture enables the fast connectivity of cameras and other attachments, which eases its wide applications. PackBot also accepts a wide variety of sensors to detect chemical, biological and nerve agents, radiation levels and explosives.Hence, such enhancements to an already efficient product are likely to witness a northbound demand as nations increase their defense spending to strengthen their defense structures.Growth ProspectsConsidering the wide applications of the UGV, its demand is poised to escalate going forward as it tends to smoothen military navigation and surveillance tasks and ease military missions significantly in hazardous situations. Per a report from Markets and Markets, the global UGV market is expected to witness a CAGR of 5.7% over the 2022-2027 period.Such a potential growth enhancement opportunity in the UGV market is likely to usher in more contracts for TDY involving the PackBot 525, which is already an established military product in the global defense landscape. In this context, it is imperative to mention that Teledyne’s PackBot 525 already enjoys a lucrative position in the global military market, with 57 countries commissioning this rugged robot.A few prominent defense majors that are likely to benefit from the expanding UGV market areNorthrop Grumman NOC, BAE System BAESY and L3Harris Technologies LHX.Northrop Grumman's Andros FX is a dexterous unmanned ground vehicle designed to defeat a wide range of threats, including vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices. It also features updated system electronics, mobility improvements for increased speed and maneuverability and a new touchscreen operator control unit with 3-D system graphics, advanced manipulator controls and improved user interface.Northrop Grumman has a long-term earnings growth rate of 6.1%. NOC shares have appreciated 21.8% in the past year.BAE Systems’ Ironclad has a unique set of capabilities for a UGV. Using high-endurance battery power, it offers near-silent running up to a 50 km range. A modular connection system allows two vehicles to be connected together to handle additional loads, such as a specialized stretcher. It is also protected against blasts and small arms fires to increase mission survivability.BAE Systemsboasts a long-term earnings growth rate of 7.2%. BAESY stock has rallied 21.4% in the past year.L3Harris T4 is a versatile, highly mobile UGV with the superior strength and all-terrain, all-weather performance to overcome any challenge.L3Harris’ long-term earnings growth rate is pegged at 4.4%. LHX stock has appreciated 0.7% in the past year.Price MovementIn the past year, shares of Teledyne Technologies have declined 17.2% compared with the industry’s fall of 9.8%.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks RankTeledyne Technologies currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Free: Top Stocks for the $30 Trillion Metaverse Boom The metaverse is a quantum leap for the internet as we currently know it - and it will make some investors rich. Just like the internet, the metaverse is expected to transform how we live, work and play. Zacks has put together a new special report to help readers like you target big profits. The Metaverse - What is it? And How to Profit with These 5 Pioneering Stocks reveals specific stocks set to skyrocket as this emerging technology develops and expands.Download Zacks’ Metaverse Report now >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC): Free Stock Analysis Report Bae Systems PLC (BAESY): Free Stock Analysis Report Teledyne Technologies Incorporated (TDY): Free Stock Analysis Report L3Harris Technologies Inc (LHX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 17th, 2022

FedEx (FDX) to Report Q4 Earnings: What"s in the Offing?

High costs may dent FedEx's (FDX) Q4 bottom-line performance. FedEx Corporation FDX is set to release fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended May 31, 2022) results on Jun 23, after market close.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings in the fiscal fourth quarter has been revised 0.88% upward in the past 60 days. FDX has a disappointing surprise record with its earnings per share outperforming the Zacks Consensus Estimate in only one of the preceding four quarters, missing the mark in the other three. The average miss is 0.11%.Against this backdrop, let’s look into the factors that are likely to have impacted FedEx’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 performance.Similar to the last few quarters, high transportation and labor costs are likely to have hurt FedEx’s fourth-quarter fiscal 2022 performance. Costs are likely to have been high due to supply-chain disruptions.Specifically, higher operating expenses pertaining to labor market woes and wage pressures as well as increased costs related to network expansion are expected to have dented the bottom-line performance in the to-be-reported fiscal quarter. Due to high costs, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for operating income at FedEx’s Ground unit indicates a 7.8% decline from the year-ago fiscal quarter’s reported figure.However, favorable pricing and a healthy demand scenario are likely to have aided the top-line performance. Moreover, the penchant for online shopping remains strong even with economies reopening and people going out for work. Therefore, e-commerce demand should have remained strong, driving the top line in the to-be-reported fiscal quarter. The Ground unit, which handles e-commerce deliveries for many retailers, is expected to have benefited from higher residential delivery volume growth. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Ground revenues in the fiscal fourth quarter suggests a 7% uptick from the year-ago fiscal quarter’s reported number.Earnings WhispersThe proven Zacks model does not conclusively predict an earnings beat for FedEx this time around. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of a positive earnings surprise. However, that is not the case here. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Earnings ESP: FedEx has an Earnings ESP of -2.30% as the Most Accurate Estimate is pegged at $6.70, lower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $6.86. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.Zacks Rank: FedEx currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.Highlights of Q3 EarningsFedEx's third-quarter fiscal 2022 (ended Feb 28, 2022) earnings (excluding 39 cents from non-recurring items) of $4.59 per share fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.69. The bottom line, however, increased 32.3% from the prior-year fiscal quarter’s reading.Quarterly revenues for the fiscal quarter came in at $23,641 million. The top line exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $23,569.3 million and increased 9.91% from the year-earlier fiscal quarter’s actuals, with revenues rising at all its key segments.Recap of Recent Results From the IndustryBelow we present the latest quarterly results of United Parcel Service UPS and Air Transport Services ATSG, which belong to the same industry as FedEx.UPS’ earnings (excluding 2 cents from non-recurring items) of $3.05 per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.87. The bottom line jumped 10.11% year over year with strong segmental performances.Quarterly revenues of $24,378 million also outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $23,896 million. The top line improved 6.42% year over year, driven by favorable pricing and upbeat e-commerce demand.Air Transport Services Group’s first-quarter 2022 earnings (excluding 1 cent from non-recurring items) of 56 cents per share surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 45 cents. The bottom line surged in excess of 100% year over year on the back of an impressive revenue performance. Revenues not only rose 29.2% year over year to $485.9 million but also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $458.7 million.Stay on top of upcoming earnings announcements with the Zacks Earnings Calendar. Special Report: The Top 5 IPOs for Your Portfolio Today, you have a chance to get in on the ground floor of one of the best investment opportunities of the year. As the world continues to benefit from an ever-evolving internet, a handful of innovative tech companies are on the brink of reaping immense rewards - and you can put yourself in a position to cash in. One is set to disrupt the online communication industry. Brilliantly designed for creating online communities, this stock is poised to explode when made public. With the strength of our economy and record amounts of cash flooding into IPOs, you don’t want to miss this opportunity.>>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 FedEx Corporation (FDX): Free Stock Analysis Report United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS): Free Stock Analysis Report Air Transport Services Group, Inc (ATSG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJun 16th, 2022

With a new unit and F-35s, US Air Force "aggressors" are trying to replicate the latest threat posed by China

"As the China threat has stepped up, we have to step up our replication," a senior US Air Force official said this spring. F-35As and F-15s after a combat training mission to mark the 65th Aggressor Squadron and its reactivation, at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, June 9, 2022.US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Alexandre Montes This month, the US Air Force reactivated the 65th Aggressor Squadron and unveiled its first F-35. The Air Force's aggressor squadrons mimic adversaries' tactics to provide training for US pilots. The squadron and the F-35s it will operate reflect US concerns about facing rivals' advanced jets. The US Air Force reactivated the 65th Aggressor Squadron and unveiled the first F-35 stealth fighter assigned to the unit in a ceremony at Nellis Air Force Base this month.The Air Force's "aggressor" squadrons replicate the tactics and techniques of adversaries in exercises with other US pilots, and reactivating the 65th squadron with F-35s reflects the service's efforts to keep up with the threat it sees from China, which is developing its own advanced aircraft.Prior to the ceremony, Gen. Mark Kelly, who oversees the organization, training, and maintenance of combat-ready units as head of Air Combat Command, flew an F-15E against the first F-35 assigned to the 65th Squadron, which was piloted by the squadron's new commander, Lt. Col. Brandon Nauta.The F-35 and the F-22 are considered fifth-generation jets because of their advanced capabilities, including low-observable technology. The only other fifth-generation jets in operation are flown by Russia and China.Lt. Col. Brandon Nauta, 65th Aggressor Squadron commander, at the squadron's activation ceremony, June 9, 2022.US Air Force/Airman 1st Class Josey BladesBecause of "the growing threat" posed by China's development of fifth- and sixth-generation jets, "we must use a portion of our daily fifth-generation aircraft today at Langley, Elmendorf, Hill, Eielson, and now Nellis to replicate adversary fifth-generation capabilities," Kelly said in a release, referencing other US Air Force bases."Precisely because we have this credible threat, when we do replicate a fifth-gen adversary, it has to be done professionally. That's the Aggressors," Kelly added.The 65th Aggressor Squadron flew F-15s out of Nellis from 2005 to 2014. After its deactivation, the 64th Aggressor Squadron, which flies F-16s, continued the mission; F-16s are fourth-generation multirole fighters that lack stealth characteristics. In 2019, Air Force officials announced plans to reactivate the 65th Squadron and assign it F-35As in order to help prepare pilots for "the high-end fight."During an exercise last summer, F-35s worked "in concert" with the 64th Squadron's F-16s in the "Red Air" role and "dismantled significant components of the 'Blue Air' game plan," Col. Scott Mills, commander of the Nellis-based 57th Operations Group, said in the release."Using the F-35 as an aggressor allows pilots to train against low-observable threats similar to what adversaries are developing," Mills said.'Step up our replication'The 64th Aggressor Squadron debuts a new paint scheme for its F-16s, August 5, 2016.US Air Force/Airman 1st Class Kevin TanenbaumThe Chinese air force and navy now have the world's third-largest aviation force. Many of China's fighter jets were bought or copied from the Soviets and Russians, but Beijing has also developed its own fighters, bombers, and special-mission aircraft, and the Pentagon has said China's air force is catching up to its Western counterparts.The J-20 stealth fighter, which is believed to have been developed with designs stolen from the US, still faces challenges, like engine problems that limit its capabilities, but US commanders have noted that China is making progress with the jet."What we're noticing is they are flying it pretty well," Gen. Kenneth Wilsbach, commander of US Pacific Air Forces, said of the J-20 this spring.Wilsbach said it wasn't clear what in role the J-2o would be used but described an encounter "where we got relatively close to the J-20s with our F-35s in the East China Sea and were relatively impressed with command-and-control that was associated with the J-20s."The US Air Force has for years relied on contractors flying older jets — including Russian MiGs and Sukhois and used F-16s — to supplement its aggressor training, but the service believes that is no longer an effective option in the face of increasingly sophisticated threats.F-35As and F-15s after a combat training mission to mark the 65th Aggressor Squadron and its reactivation at Nellis Air Force Base, June 9, 2022.US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Alexandre Montes"These companies do wonderful work for the Air Force, especially at our formal training units" where pilots receive basic flight training, Lt. Gen. David Nahom, Air Force deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in May."What we are finding now, though, is these contracts aren't very effective at Nellis in that high-end training environment," Nahom added.In questions to Nahom, Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada expressed concern about the Air Force's plans for aggressor training, noting that private firms provide 63% of aggressor flying hours and that by ending contracts with them at Nellis without a firm plan to replace them with F-35s the service risked creating a "capability gap" that could affect overall training capacity.Nahom underscored the growing challenge posed by China and said contractors at Nellis were "not meeting what we need" to prepare."Five, six years ago, we wouldn't be talking about F-35s being adversary air because our adversaries didn't fly fifth-generation airplanes. Well, the Chinese do now," Nahom said. "As the China threat has stepped up, we have to step up our replication."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJun 16th, 2022