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Taiwan"s TSMC to build Arizona chip plant

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Category: videoSource: reutersMay 15th, 2020

Auto Roundup: GM"s $918M Investment, STLA-Terrafame Deal & More

While General Motors (GM) is set to spend $918 million for the development of its next-gen V-8 engines, Stellantis (STLA) inks a deal with Terrafame for the supply of nickel sulfate. Last week, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (“ACEA”) released data on passenger car registrations for December 2022. The European Union (“EU”) passenger vehicle market soared 12.8% last month to 896,967 units, marking the fifth straight month of growth. Registrations in Italy and Germany witnessed a year-over-year rise of 21% and 38.1%, respectively. Meanwhile, Spain and France saw registrations decline 14.1% and 0.1%, respectively. For full-year 2022, new car registrations contracted 4.6% to 9,255,930 units, owing to supply chain snarls and chip concerns. During the first 12 months, three of the major EU markets witnessed a decline in registrations, including Italy (9.7%), France (7.8%), Spain (5.4%); while Germany’s sales rose 1.1% year over year.On the news front, General Motors GM intends to invest around $1 billion for the production of its next-gen V-8 engines as well as certain components for its electric vehicles (EVs). In a telling sign that gas-powered vehicles are here for the foreseeable future, the bulk of the investment is directed toward the production of V-8 engines. Having said that, GM remains committed to fully electrify its portfolio by 2035. But until the EV technology is completely perfected, the legacy automaker is balancing its existing line up of ICE vehicles and emerging EVs.Stellantis STLA inked a deal with Terrafame Ltd. in a bid to boost its global value chain for EV production in sync with its Dare Forward 2030 targets. Japan’s auto biggie Toyota TM notified its production target for February. Allison Transmission ALSN joined forces with Larson and Turbo to provide its transmission propulsion solution to The Indian Army’s new Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle. Lastly, China’s EV maker NIO Inc. NIO and one of the leading battery manufacturers in the world Contemporary Amperex Technology Co Ltd. (“CATL”) deepened their partnership to develop a battery supply system that is more efficient and capable.While STLA sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), TM and ALSN carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold); while GM and NIO are #4 Ranked (Sell) currently.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 stocks here.Last Week’s Top StoriesGeneral Motors announced an investment of $918 million in four of its facilities in the United States. The investment will aid in the production of the company’s sixth-generation V-8 engine. The latest outlay brings the total investment of General Motors to more than $37 billion since 2013. Investment in Flint, Bay City, Defiance and Rochester facilities to build V-8 engine is aimed at strengthening GM’s portfolio of pickups and SUVs as well as supporting its electrification strides. Here are the details of the investment.General Motors will invest $579 million at the Flint plant in Michigan for assembling small-block V-8 gas engines used in some of the most profitable offerings of the company. Around $216 million will go to the Bay City plant in Michigan for the production of camshafts, connecting rods and other components supporting next-gen V-8 engine production. Then, another $55 million will be allocated for casting developments for both ICE and EVs at the Defiance factory in Ohio. Finally, $68 million will be invested in the Rochester plant in New York for developing battery pack cooling lines for EV production and building intake manifolds and fuel rails V-8 engines. Stellantis signed an agreement with Terrafame, per which the latter will supply the auto giant with nickel sulphate to be used in EV batteries. Terrafame is to supply nickel sulphate to Stellantis beginning from 2025 for five years. Based in Finland, Terrafame operates a leading battery chemicals plant for EV batteries. Its production technology is such that the amount of carbon footprint emitted by Terrafame’s nickel sulphate production is among the lowest in the industry.Stellantis’ CEO Tavares said, “This agreement is part of the key battery material sourcing to fit with our electrified vehicle battery pack needs.” Stellantis targets to become carbon net zero by 2038. Per its Dare Forward 2030 plan, Stellantis aims for 100% of its passenger car sales in Europe to be electric by 2030. It targets 50% of its passenger car sales in the United States to be battery-powered by 2030. To meet its goals, it intends to spend €30 billion through 2025 in electrification and software development.Toyota announced plans to manufacture around 750,000 vehicles in February, including 300,000 units in Japan and 450,000 units overseas. Despite continued supply chain snarls, February production targets indicate an increase from 700,000 units planned for January. In fact, the company’s production target of 10.6 million vehicles during 2023 suggests an increase from pre-pandemic levels as well. Notably, Toyota manufactured 9.05 million vehicles in 2019.While Toyota expects output recovery in 2023, it also warns that the final shipments could be 10% lower if chip crunch and supply chain problems persist. While the firm’s production challenges owing to chip deficit have been ebbing, supply shortage is still a challenge that Toyota needs to overcome, especially in its domestic market. In fact, owing to semiconductor shortage, the auto biggie limited orders for nine models under its Lexus division. Lexus dealers are also experiencing long wait times for vehicles in Japan.Allison Transmission has collaborated with Larsen and Toubro (L&T) to provide its 3040 MX TM propulsion solution for the Indian Army’s Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) prototype. Allison and L&T have partnered on select wheeled and tracked vehicles in the past and are building on the partnership for one of India’s premier modernization programs. Allison will manage engineering design, development and demonstration of the 3040 MX for the FICV prototype vehicles through 2024.The Indian Army’s new FICV includes Allison’s 3040 MX propulsion solution. The U.S. Army’s newest tank, the Mobile Protected Firepower Light Tank, is equipped with Allison’s 3040 MX propulsion solution.Allison’s 3040 MX is based on X300 propulsion solution and boasts advanced electronic system controls for better performance and additional functionality. Vice President for Allison’s Defense Programs, Dana Pittard, said, “The FICV is one of several programs that will continue to support Allison’s international defense business over the next several decades and represents our commitment to the Indian defense sector.”NIO signed a five-year strategic cooperation agreement with CATL to step up battery innovation and EV adoption. The two companies will leverage their respective strengths to create a more advanced and efficient battery supply system, leading to a more satisfying experience for EV drivers. The agreement seeks to strengthen the companies’ existing ties in order to improve battery supply chains, expand to new markets and advance technological cooperation in new brands and projects.Neither of the companies has shared any additional details of their agreement now. While CATL is currently focused on the expansion of its battery production outside China, NIO also looks to expand EV sales and deliveries to new markets. Late last month, NIO slashed its fourth-quarter 2022 delivery outlook taking into account supply chain snarls amid the resurgence of COVID in China. Early this month, NIO announced its fourth-quarter delivery updates. NIO delivered 40,052 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2022, up 60% year over year. In fact, this marked record-high quarterly deliveries but missed the company’s initial delivery expectations of 43,000-48,000 vehicles.Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some of the major auto players over the last week and six-month period.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat's Next in the Auto Space?Industry watchers will keep a tab on December commercial vehicle registrations to be released by the ACEA soon. Also, fourth-quarter 2022 earnings of the auto sector are slated to kick off this week.  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 UpWant 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 Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Allison Transmission Holdings, Inc. (ALSN): Free Stock Analysis Report NIO Inc. (NIO): Free Stock Analysis Report Stellantis N.V. (STLA): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksJan 23rd, 2023

The collateral damage of America"s tech war with China

The battle for the future of tech is heating up, but government-funded, billion-dollar computer-chip factories come with a cost for local Americans. President Biden has pushed to bring semiconductor manufacturing to the US, but the race to outrun China is costing AmericansSaul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderThe collateral damage of America's battle with China for the future of techThe world runs on computer chips. From the phone in your hand and the fridge in your kitchen to car companies' manufacturing equipment and the military's missile systems, almost every part of today's digitally run society relies on the tiny, intricate devices known as semiconductors.Semiconductors are also incredibly difficult to make — especially the most advanced chips. They require massive, delicate machines, hard-to-find materials, and a staggering amount of technical know-how. Right now, production of these chips is made up of a complex web of companies and facilities around the globe — with a few key choke points. For instance, Taiwan's TSMC controls 90% of the physical production of the highest-end chips.The critical importance of semiconductors and the delicate manufacturing process have combined to turn these chips into the main battleground in a new race between the US and China for the future of technology. If the first Cold War was defined by the development of nuclear weapons, this Tech Cold War is defined by the computer chip."Strategists in Beijing and Washington now realize that all advanced tech — from machine learning to missile systems, from automated vehicles to armed drones — requires cutting-edge chips," Chris Miller, an associate professor of international history at Tufts University, wrote in his recent book, "Chip War."The Tech Cold War between the US and China, along with the recent surge in pandemic-induced chip shortages, has triggered a massive push by the federal government to bring semiconductor manufacturing to the US. But the reality of onshoring chip production has been far less glamorous than the patriotic aspirations of outpacing a geopolitical rival.The rush by states, counties, and cities to get in on the semiconductor gold mine has resurfaced old fights about how best to create jobs and exacerbated local battles over housing, public schools, and business development. While revitalizing parts of the country that are struggling economically is an admirable goal, the frenzied pace of the chip war is resulting in billions of dollars getting funneled to corporations, while locals are left with vague promises and underfunded public institutions. In the scramble to seize the future of technology, governments are ignoring the problems of today — and leaving many of their constituents out to dry. Building the 'Silicon Heartland'America's position as a semiconductor powerhouse has been eroding for decades. According to the Semiconductor Industry Association, a lobbying group, the share of chips made in the US fell from 37% in 1990 to just 12% in 2020. To reverse this decline, governments have been pulling out all the stops to attract chipmakers to bring their new factories to the US. On the federal level, Congress passed the CHIPS Act in August, which provides $280 billion in new funding to accelerate domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors.This pool of cash, along with a wave of incentives from state and local governments, has already helped push companies to bring projects to the US. Intel, America's leading semiconductor maker, is spending $20 billion to build the world's largest chip factory, in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, which the company says will employ at least 3,000 people after it's completed in 2025. "We helped to establish the Silicon Valley," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger told Time when the facility was announced in January 2022. "Now we're going to do the Silicon Heartland." Intel considered 38 other sites across the country before choosing New Albany. In addition to the proximity to plenty of fresh water, which is needed to make computer chips, the suburb is prime for the new middle-class plant workforce. The affluent suburb is home to data centers for Amazon, Google, and Facebook, and the median household income is over $200,000. Early reports say the plant's average salary will be $135,000, with 70% of the jobs consisting of manufacturing technicians, a position that requires at least a two-year STEM degree.The massive Intel plant in Ohio is a key part of the race with China for the future of tech.SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty ImagesEager to shed the "Rust Belt" label, Ohio lawmakers didn't hesitate to lay out the welcome mat for Intel's plant, the biggest private-sector investment in the state's history. Even before the company's announcement, Ohio's state Legislature passed a fiscal budget in June 2021 with incentives to attract megaprojects. And last-minute additions to the 2022-23 budget conveniently expanded tax credits and property-tax abatements — a reduction or complete omittance of property taxes — for projects that exceed $1 billion in investments. "We are in the game for these projects now," Lt. Gov. Jon Husted of Ohio said in a press conference on the budget. "We have the opportunity with the reshoring that's occurring, and we are going to aggressively fight for these investments and these jobs in the state of Ohio." A week after the announcement of the Intel site, Ohio announced an additional $2 billion incentive package, the largest in the state's history. As a part of the package, the state will spend $700 million on expanding the nearby highway and other infrastructure improvements, $600 million on the plant itself, and an additional $650 million on income-tax incentives.On the local level, New Albany granted Intel the longest property-tax abatement in its history — 30 years with zero property taxes — and annexed its neighboring township to have enough space to fit the 1,000-acre plant wholly within the city. "New Albany is a strategically-planned community, and this project fits within the parameters of our business park, where 19,000 people already work," New Albany's mayor, Sloan Spalding, said in a statement about the plant. In sum, the federal, state, and local subsidies granted to Intel are saving the company billions of dollars.What does the city get in return? But as with any funding decision, the effort to entice Intel comes with some trade-offs. Unlike the federal government, which has a vast ability to fund its initiatives and take on debt, state and local governments are more constrained in where they can put their resources. Giving companies cash or letting them forgo taxes means other initiatives or services miss out on those funds. In theory, the thousands of jobs created by these new businesses are supposed to bring more small businesses and taxpayers to the area — for the Columbus plant, Intel estimates 10,000 jobs in addition to the plant jobs — increasing the tax base and incentivizing growth. But as a 2020 analysis by researchers at the Ohio State University on the benefits of development policies like tax abatements found, instead of growing the base for everyone, these sorts of programs "undermine traditional public institutions, such as schools, who rely heavily on property taxes for their financial needs."Even before the Intel plant, the Columbus area was well acquainted with these sorts of trade-offs. Over the past few years, the city has battled over tax abatements given to developers as an incentive to build housing. In 2021 alone, the city's schools lost out on $51 million because of tax abatements given to developers as part of a push to incentivize new housing developments. The abatements were attempting to address a real problem: Central Ohio's population is projected to grow from 2 million in 2010 to over 3 million by 2050, so the city needs plenty of new homes. But, the Ohio State study found, Columbus' residential tax-abatement programs did little to meaningfully address the housing problem, while draining the city's funds.Federal, state, and local subsidies add up to billions of dollars that Intel is saving on its new Ohio semiconductor factory.SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images"While the abatement programs have helped spur an influx of high wealth households into abatement areas, they degrade the public resources available to the nearly 30,000 children (of which more than half live in households with income under the poverty line) in abatement areas," the report said.The budget shifting — and the deteriorating facilities at many local schools — eventually sparked protests from the teachers union in 2022. "Developers get handouts; kids get sold out," teachers chanted as they marched on developers' headquarters in April. The battle culminated in a three-day 4,500-teacher strike in August, the union's first since 1975, that ended only after the school board agreed to a three-year contract that guaranteed some basic provisions, like air conditioning in all school buildings by 2025.This struggle will get worse since the city has handed out even more property-tax abatements to incentivize the construction of housing to absorb the 3,000 plant workers and 7,000 temporary construction workers needed for the Intel facility. According to the rental platform Zumper, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Columbus has jumped from $600 in 2015 to almost $1,000 in 2023. The development incentives that the city has implemented do require developers who receive tax abatements to set aside a portion of "affordable" units built in designated zones. But the trouble with the policy, called the Community Reinvestment Area Program, is that the city determines "affordable" rent rates based on citywide data, which results in "affordable housing" that costs twice the average rent in lower-income neighborhoods. For example, the median income in Columbus is $57,800, but the median household income in the neighborhood of South Linden is $28,610. A CRA housing development built in Linden would far exceed what the average resident of the neighborhood could afford. There is also a buyout option in the policy where developers can choose to pay a fee to avoid including any "affordable" units. Mitchell Toomey, an organizer with Affordable Housing Columbus, told me that while the CRA policy incentivized housing that might be affordable for a six-figure salary, the middle- and low-income workers who need affordable housing are left with no options. Essentially, the affordable-housing policy, he told me, is "making it easier for people coming in from the Intel plant, who have a medium to high income, to price out all of the local people."Little chips, big waterThanks in part to the CHIPS Act, central Ohio isn't the only region getting in the semiconductor game. Factories are also being built in New York and Texas, and two factories are getting major expansions outside Phoenix. But the chip factories in Phoenix raise an even more serious problem than the battles over housing and tax incentives in Columbus. To make semiconductors, chip factories use millions of gallons of water every day. So it may seem odd that Arizona — famous for its desert and multidecade water crisis — would be the focal point of the burgeoning American chip industry. Advocates for the plants see the trade-off between new jobs and high water usage as a net positive. Intel already employs more than 10,000 people in Arizona and contributed $3.9 billion in GDP to Arizona in 2019. And despite the fact that the plants will be the largest water users in the state, the chipmakers say much of that water can be recycled: Intel's data shows that about 80% of the Arizona plant's water usage in 2020 was later recycled. "Given all the ways that we could allocate our water, semiconductor plants that recycle most of what they use are not a bad investment," Joanna Allhands, an editor, wrote in an op-ed in the Arizona Republic. Sarah Porter, the director of Arizona State University's Kyl Center for Water Policy, told KJZZ that with semiconductor plants, 1 million gallons of water can provide 200 high-paying semiconductor jobs, while a golf course would provide only 50 low-paying jobs.But that cost-benefit analysis does not address the long-term strain that the plants could place on the region's already taxed water resources. Intel's 16,000 acre-feet of water usage in 2020 converts to roughly 14 million gallons a day. Even if 80% of that was recycled, roughly 2.8 million gallons lost each day would still be a significant amount.Critics argue that the excessive water usage and housing issues are far from net positive. Rashad Shabazz, a professor of geography at Arizona State University and the author of "Spatializing Blackness," told me that the cultural desire to become the new Silicon Valley and the political drive to create jobs outweighed concerns over housing, schools, and water. "This is what happens when politicians and developers get together to create public policy," he told me. "Neither one of them has the foresight to see the bigger picture, to understand the impact that this is going to have on the environment, on schools, on infrastructure, on water."The discontents of onshoring Even if the massive investments in bringing chip production home help to grow America's domestic semiconductor industry, the US will still have to rely on other countries to complete the manufacturing process. Assembly and packaging will still be shipped abroad, and the technology being manufactured in these plants will be years behind the advanced chips that Taiwan can produce. In the meantime, companies like Intel and TSMC will enjoy billions of dollars in incentives as part of the chip war.It begs the question whether the onshoring of tech manufacturing can be done sustainably and equitably — without displacing, defunding, or diverting the funds that the most vulnerable and essential workers need. If there's a way to bring back jobs while securing funds for schools and not jeopardizing communities' water supply, it's still up for debate. What is clear is that, as Ashik Siddique, a research analyst for the Institute for Policy Studies, wrote, the bipartisan support for onshoring chip manufacturing "shows that getting an edge over China is apparently our government's most urgent priority."Taylor Dorrell is is a writer and photographer based in Columbus, Ohio.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 19th, 2023

Transcript: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1

       The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including any podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is… Read More The post Transcript: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1 appeared first on The Big Picture.        The transcript from this week’s, MiB: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1, is below. You can stream and download our full conversation, including any podcast extras, on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here. ~~~ ANNOUNCER: This is Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz on Bloomberg Radio. BARRY RITHOLTZ, HOST, MASTERS IN BUSINESS: This week on the podcast, I have an extra special guest, Jennifer Grancio was there at Barclays when the beginning of ETFs and passive indexing really took off on an institutional basis. She was one of the founding members when BlackRock bought iShares from Barclays and really helped drive broad adoption of passive and ETFs in the financial community. Today, she is the CEO of Engine No. 1, which focuses on the fascinating transitions that are taking place in broad strokes across the economy. There are numerous opportunities in energy, in climate, in robotics, in automation, and her firm helps invest in those spaces. Not quite an activist investor, but she has worked with a number of companies like Exxon and General Motors and Occidental, where the input of Engine No. 1 drove significant changes at those companies. They’re a longtime investor than a black hat activist where they’re looking to buy stock Forza, an exit of the CEO and sell once the stock pops, really fascinating story. I found it quite fascinating and I think you will as well. So with no further ado, my interview with Engine No. 1’s Jennifer Grancio. Let’s start out talking about the early part of your career. I’m really curious how you ended up in BlackRock. But before that, you’re working as a consultant. JENNIFER GRANCIO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ENGINE NO. 1: Yes. I think like a lot of people in undergrad, I went to Stanford thinking I was going to do genetics and science — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — did an internship, pivoted, ended up doing international relations. Then as you head towards the end of college, you figured you’re going to save the world, then I’m going to go work for the World Bank. The World Bank wants you to take out more student debt and get a master’s degree. So like so many other bright-eyed graduates, I trooped off to, you know, one of the traditional professional services professions. But what’s kind of interesting for me about consulting was this idea that you almost apprentice with somebody that’s senior, and you run around and try to help companies and problems. So it seems like a good idea at that time. RITHOLTZ: At that time. GRANCIO: And that’s what I went off to do. RITHOLTZ: So how do you go from that? How do you end up at a place like BlackRock? iShares seems to have been almost an accidental business line from them. Am I remembering correctly, that was a post financial crisis Barclays’ purchase, something along those lines? GRANCIO: Yes, exactly. Yeah. So if you go back, so management consulting, moved back to California and decided I was going to be a California person, not a New Yorker, no offense to New York, spent a lot of time here, all those things, right? RITHOLTZ: Better weather. The geography is beautiful. Sure. GRANCIO: And so I went looking for what I thought would be the best asset management business, I focused on asset management within the consulting space. Like, this idea that somehow if you got portfolio construction and savings right, you help people over time. And so I joined what was Barclays at that time. The asset management business of Barclays Bank was this little firm called Barclays Global Investors based in San Francisco. RITHOLTZ: And that was not such a little firm at that time, was it? GRANCIO: No. It was growing very quickly. And that business was an institutional business. So as an institutional business, we did indexing. We thought indexing was cool. And the iShares and the ETF idea came from, we just had a fundamental belief it was a better mousetrap. So there’s something about an ETF and we could go into that another time. There’s something about an ETF that’s a better mousetrap than a mutual fund. And so for Barclays Bank, we pitched here’s a great idea. Let’s build this ETF business in the U.S. And it’s a way for Barclays to build in the United States. And so we launched the business in 2000. So we launched it right into the dot-com crisis. RITHOLTZ: So from the dot-com crisis to the global financial crisis, what were the circumstances surrounding BlackRock saying to Barclays, yeah, we’ll take that little worthless business off your hands for a couple of hours? GRANCIO: Yeah. And the interesting thing about an ETF business is that it takes a long time to build. And so to your question, around that time, you’re going into 2008, Barclays needed cash. And the index business was starting to take off in the form of ETFs, or at least we thought that, but it was still a relatively small business. And so who were the other people that probably looked at that acquisition included other big indexers, big asset managers who weren’t sure, was indexing going to be a thing or not? Because remember, at the time, ETFs and index were synonymous, but Larry, you know, was more forward-looking. RITHOLTZ: Larry being? GRANCIO: Larry Fink of BlackRock. RITHOLTZ: Who arguably, and I know who Larry is, I just want the audience to know, arguably the purchase of iShares by BlackRock from Barclays could be one of the great opportunistic distressed purchases in the middle of a crisis ever in financials. What is iShares up to now? Like $4 trillion, something insanely? GRANCIO: Enormous. RITHOLTZ: Yeah. And they picked it up for a teeny tiny fraction of that. So what was your experience like when BlackRock took over iShares? GRANCIO: Yeah. So we built the iShares business first within Barclays. And we were a, you know, small but mighty team doing ETFs. And the whole idea I remember of ETFs is to go and to challenge mutual funds and challenge active management. So that’s a big thing to take on. And so as BlackRock work through the acquisition of all of the BGI business, including iShares, we spent a couple of years then getting to know BlackRock, as a little iShares team, and talking about ETFs and fee-based advice and portfolio construction, and all these things that we thought were trends we could take advantage of and use to build the business. But then the business really just got from strength to strength after that acquisition. We came out of the financial crisis, few rocky years in the ETF industry overall. Vanguard decided to get into ETFs in a serious way. BlackRock and iShares launched that core series as a competitive business. So kind of responding to what was going on in the market, and the business continued to grow and grow. And then I think from an ETF industry perspective, we did some important work on trying to protect the category of ETFs. So we did a lot of work with the U.S. regulators, European regulators and run the business in Europe for a while as well, talking about the differences between like a passive index fund, for example, an ETF that’s got commodity exposure and ETF that’s leveraged or inverse, in terms of trying to protect the vehicle and protect the category. And really since then, there’s just been continued explosive growth. RITHOLTZ: In your wildest dreams, did you ever imagine back from the sleepy early days of passive and ETF at Barclays that would grow up to be just the dominant intellectual force in investing, and reach the size it’s reached? What is even after this year, BlackRock has something like $8 trillion? $9 trillion? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, the numbers are huge. I think we did, but maybe we were naïve. But our view was, it was a trend that was going to happen. And if you could own the trend, and if you could accelerate the trend, this was a better way to invest. A better way to invest is to have a low cost solution at the core of the portfolio, and then hire people that are deeply capable to deliver alpha. So I would say we thought it could be big. But you know, it’s pretty amazing. RITHOLTZ: So you talk about accelerating the trend. What exactly do you do to help accelerate that trend? How do you drive acceptance of both ETFs as a wrapper as opposed to traditional ‘40 Act mutual funds, and passive versus more traditional stock picking market timing, active investment? GRANCIO: Yeah. I think when the industry first started, so going back, you know, 20 years now, the two things were synonymous. But, you know, let’s take those one at a time. So from a passive perspective, the argument we made as an industry selling passive ETFs was you really had to take a look at what the portfolio is doing over time, total cost, total risk exposure. And when you did that, you often found that there was a way to get better long-term performance and cheaper, by having some index in a portfolio. So that was the story on indexing. And then we kind of kept driving that into this idea of models. So now, you know, there’s a model, a huge amount of money, you know, trillions of dollars sit in models in U.S. wealth. What does that mean? It means a big wire house. Your brokerage puts a model together, this much of Europe, this much U.S., this much small cap. And then you can use index products to fill all those allocations. And so that was the kind of the 20-year build of how did passive get so big. And then ETF as a wrapper, it’s just a great way to get the price at the moment if you’re buying into the public markets, number one. And number two, it’s a great way to manage tax, where if you buy something now and you sell it in 20 years, and the markets gone up, guess what, we have to pay tax on that. But the kind of annual capital gains gift you get from a lot of mutual funds, it can be managed very astutely in the ETF wrapper. And that’s great. Like, that’s great for all investors. RITHOLTZ: Meaning if you’re a mutual fund owner who’s not selling, but somebody else sells and generates a capital gain, that gets spread around to the other older (ph) — GRANCIO: Exactly. So even if you’re — RITHOLTZ: — which doesn’t make sense at all. GRANCIO: I mean, as somebody that’s been doing ETFs for a long time, I say it doesn’t make any sense, whatsoever, because there’s another way to do it. And we’re finally seeing that now. We’re finally seeing a lot of the big mutual fund companies start converting into ETFs. RITHOLTZ: The flows even in a down year like 2022, the flows have all been towards passive, towards ETFs, towards low cost. It seems like a much better mousetrap. GRANCIO: I think it is. RITHOLTZ: But I’m not going to get much of an argument from you on that. So you mentioned Vanguard, we’re talking about Black Rock. Let’s talk a little bit about the role of brand on in the industry. How important is that when you’re putting out either a low cost passive ETF at 3 or 4 BPS, or something more active or thematic on the ETF side? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, the role of brand is pretty critical. And if you think about in the index business, if you’re managing it well, there’s not a lot of performance. It’s are you tracking the index? Yes or no. And so that power of the brand is massive. And my observation in this space is that the average investor, the average retail person that’s going out and investing or talking to an advisor, they don’t necessarily know one product provider or investor versus another. But they definitely know who they do business with or who they buy from. So that retail brokerage brand, their advisory brand has a huge impact on them. So to your question on Vanguard, like Vanguard is a brokerage firm, so you kind of know Vanguard. Vanguard does your 401(k), you’ve heard of Vanguard. And so for other people that enter the industry, and this is certainly what we did in the iShares business or what we do now at Engine No. 1, is you really have to be clear on who are you and what is your story because that brand matters a lot. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned brokerage firms, and Vanguard does 401(k) brokerage. They do all sorts of obviously mutual funds and ETFs. How do you see some of the bigger custodians and actual brokers like Schwab and Fidelity in terms of ETF developments? We know it’s BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street at the top. These guys are no slouches either, are they? GRANCIO: No. I mean, I would say if we go back and we look at the history of ETFs and how they’ve developed, we see State Street, Vanguard and BlackRock. BlackRock iShares is very dominant, and they’re going to continue to be dominant in passive, period. They’re there. They’re big. They’re so big now. And we’ll come back to this later. I personally think there’s some problems with how big they are. But from an ease of buying decision-making perspective, they’re big. They’re dominant. The brokerages were late to get in the game. So Fidelity and Schwab got in much later. They don’t charge fees for those products. And so it makes it harder for them as a kind of a corporate organism to, you know, have that be a big part of their business. And then what we’re very excited about it Engine No. 1, and what you’re seeing with the mutual fund conversions, the big ones at DFA, at Franklin Templeton, and the list goes on, there are many, is that we’re now ready to move active funds into the ETF structure. And that I think is very exciting. But that’s new, that’s very new development. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about Engine No. 1. First, how did you get there from Black Rock? What led that transition? GRANCIO: Yeah. So I left BlackRock very large. I wanted to do a little bit more innovation. And I think sometimes the biggest firms are great, but they can’t always lead from an innovation or change perspective. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: So I spent a couple of years, I built an advisory firm, and took a couple years to decide on, you know, what was the next move? And I did some great work with a number of large wealth and IRA firms that were going through an M&A or selling themselves process, did some work on impact investing, actually led me to Ethic and joined the MannKind board, but decided I was definitely going to be a builder, that there was this opportunity to do something different than traditional mutual fund and passive ETF. And so I started looking for what would be the thing I wanted to build with partners, and then I met Chris James. RITHOLTZ: And did you launch Engine No. 1, or did you join him when it was already existing? GRANCIO: We launched it together. Going back, you know, before we started the firm, so Chris James is our founder at Engine No. 1. And Chris’ background is hedge fund and private fund investments. And what he’s really known for, he’s known for taking an extremely long view on something and doing the work to let’s say, where is the opportunity as you go through a huge transformation or transition? So Chris was hard at work on this and wanted to reach into the wealth space. So rather than just doing products that were private and you could help institutions invest, what could we do that was broad and into the wealth space? So I joined him to collaborate, given my background on that side of the business. And the idea of Engine No. 1 is just to help people benefit from these huge transitions and transformations that are very much not the backwards-looking. Look, Google and Amazon got great. You know, our portfolios have a lot of growth in tech, great. There’s a lot of money to be made in the energy transition, transportation, agriculture. And so really, the idea of the firm is to be able to look forward, find mispricing, and make money as we go through these huge changes. RITHOLTZ: The firm’s name is intriguing. Where does Engine No. 1 come from? GRANCIO: The first firehouse in San Francisco is actually a couple of blocks from our office. And in talking about what we were trying to do, which is maybe it’s grandiose, but if you think about it like capitalism works. And what we were agitated about is we saw the market, you have ESG over here, very small. We think old school ESG does not work. We have a strong view on that. We’ll come back to that. Indexing, too many shares are locked up in indexes. Index don’t vote their shares. And then maybe most important of all, we’re going to need a General Motors and Ford to actually be able to do this huge transition from internal combustion to battery electric vehicles. And so, you know, actually, the firehouse is the center of the community, right. And if you think about how a community survives, the firehouse is the center of the community. It takes care of itself. A well-run business really should be as simple as sort of taking care of the environment, it’s in being aware of it. And in public markets, that means you also have to be able to adapt and manage their change. RITHOLTZ: So tell us a little bit about the strategies you guys employ. What are your key focuses? How do you deploy capital? GRANCIO: Yeah. As a business, we run an alts business, and then we run the ETF platform. So if you think about it very simply, these huge ideas about transition and transformation and how to make money are very common across what we do. But we have two businesses. And the big ideas are these transitions and transformations, and how do you take advantage. And so when we look at public companies, we look at every single company, and we look at what their path is through time. So I think this is one of the problems with a lot of investment strategies right now is they’re looking to short term. And then we build the impact or externality data, we just build it into the financial model, right? Because the data is out there particularly on governance, particularly on environmental issues. And when we do that, in the sectors that are in transition, let’s take energy, for example. If you’re an oil and gas company, and you don’t account for the emissions that you’re dealing with and you don’t decrease them over time, you’re going to have a problem. And we saw this when we started building the business that a lot of these companies were heading towards zero terminal value. So let’s take Exxon, for example — RITHOLTZ: Okay. GRANCIO: — where if you take Exxon, and Exxon keeps doing long-dated fossil fuel projects, and has no plan to reduce emissions at any point in time, and has no plans to develop a green business. Well, that’s not very good for Exxon stock when we get to 7 or 10 years out. And so we see a lot of these opportunities where like it’s just math. The capitalist system is supposed to have the company govern itself, so that it’s making money through time. It has a longer duration of business, and it has a higher value. And that’s the kind of the way that we work in everything that we do. RITHOLTZ: So you mentioned environmental issues and impact. You mentioned governance. This sounds a lot like two-thirds of ESG. GRANCIO: Yeah. We think the way people use that label is a little bit problematic. So people often use that label looking backwards. RITHOLTZ: Flash that out a little more — GRANCIO: Yeah, yeah. RITHOLTZ: — because when I hear someone mentions ESG, I typically think of an investor and for the most part, as we go through this generational wealth transfer, you do surveys of investors, husband passed away, the wife tends to be much more empathetic with issues of equality and environmental concerns. And the next generation is much more concerned. So it seems like there is a desire to express those beliefs in their portfolios. Why does that not work with ESG? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, I guess our view on that would be, you can always express values in a portfolio. But if you’re going to express values in a portfolio, say that I am expressing my values in the portfolio, which is different than the core concept of managing money over time generally, for the person that’s doing the managing is to be a fiduciary — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — and drive good outcomes and strong returns. And in general, for the investor, is to drive returns over time. And so the way we think about it is, really, you can do that. And any business that is going to survive over time has to be sustainable, has to address or basically cover their impacts, right, after the cost of capital so that they can be profitable over time. So instead of thinking ESG means it’s values based, I don’t like the company, they’re bad, I’m going to screen them out of my portfolio. We don’t think that’s a great way to manage your core portfolio over time. We think the better way is you simply have to engage with the companies to make sure that their most material impacts that’s financial data, right? That’s risk data if you don’t manage your emissions as an oil and gas company. And so let’s build that into just investing to make returns as opposed to this special class, which, you know, it devalues base and ESG tends to kind of infer value over performance, right, or divesting from companies that you don’t like. And we don’t think that’s a great way to invest. RITHOLTZ: So let me push back a little bit on the low carbon strategy. It seems like it’s half of the economic equation because people seem to be approaching entities like ExxonMobil and others, the suppliers of the carbon-based fuel. What is that doing if you’re ignoring the other half, the consumers? So every other company that is not a carbon energy producer is likely to be a carbon energy consumer. They’re running factories. They’re shipping goods. They’re having offices. Why focus on one half of the equation and not the other? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, I think that’s the right question. And we focus on both. And so let’s take for a minute the energy industry, and then the transportation or auto industry. That’s an example of that kind of handshake or handlock, right? So in the case of the car companies, that’s consumption. So if we’re consumers and we’re driving cars, which we still do and people are planning to do in the future, the car company can switch from encouraging the behavior of driving internal combustion engines, which have very high emissions, or the car company can know that the consumer demand is shifting a little bit and they can build a car that is an awesome battery electric, reasonably priced vehicle. And then they can capture that shift in demand. And that’s really good for the car company. So actually, we a hundred percent believe that this has to primarily be driven on the consumer demand side and on my first piece of that. So if I’m a consumer, I buy a car, you’ve got to start with the car company. However, if you look at global emissions, you know, 34 percent of that today comes from the energy companies. So at the same time in parallel, there’s still an opportunity to work with those companies on, as battery electric comes up, as fossil fuel comes down, how do those companies make a lot of money 9 or 10 years from now as we go through that transition? RITHOLTZ: Explain that 34 percent. Because, again, it’s that someone is a buyer, someone is a seller. They’re not burning 34 percent of the fossil fuels, they’re selling it to consumers — GRANCIO: That’s right. RITHOLTZ: — who were burning it. Like, there are some low carbon ETFs. I just don’t understand. It’s why the war on drugs failed, if you’re only going to interdict the supply but ignore the demands, you’re not going to be successful. GRANCIO: Yeah, that’s right. I mean, and we think from an investment perspective, if you want to solve this problem on how do you take emissions down, we think that problem can be solved and you can make money by owning the people that are going to win. So you asked before, like, what do we do? What strategies do we run in the ETF business? Our active team, it’s effectively hedge fund investors. So they’re very concentrated portfolios. We believe we’re right. There’s a handful of names, like under 30 names today in the portfolio. Ticker is NETZ, Transform Climate (NETZ), and what that portfolio holds is it holds companies that have emissions. But we believe that the companies in the portfolio are the companies that have the right strategy to, if I’m an energy company, I’m producing energy. There’s demand for energy, that’s what I do. But I’ll tell you my emissions, I’ll do methane third-party monitoring. I’ll do all the right things. So that from a social license to operate perspective, I’m at the top of my peer group. And in all cases, they have a strategy whereas fossil fuel demand declines, not today, but in 7, 10 years, they have a strategy to actually make money and still have value. So we’re picking the top best performing energy companies. We’re not saying energy is bad. Energy is essential, and we need that energy in the transition. And the portfolio then also holds the car companies that we think win. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about a couple of names. So a couple of energy names from NETZ and a couple of core companies from NETZ. GRANCIO: Yeah. And so one of the names we had in the portfolio, which is actually so highly valued, it goes in and out, depending on if it’s overvalued — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — it’s an active fund, is Occidental (OXY). And that’s an example, they were really the leader in the space. So they had started to develop greener businesses so that as fossil use comes down, they have another business and they’re competitive. That’s great for long-term value of the company. And — RITHOLTZ: What are their green businesses? Things like solar and wind or — GRANCIO: They have a range of things that they do in that space, but think of it as committing early to find ways to make money, having these people on staff, on the board that know how to run green businesses. And then from an emissions perspective, also, they were very early on telling us, being very transparent on Scope 1 and 2, and agreeing to oil, gas, methane partnership emissions with third-party monitoring of emissions, which we think is critical because again, methane emissions leaking, that’s probably the biggest thing. RITHOLTZ: Especially with natural gas. But with pretty any form of car being — GRANCIO: That’s right. RITHOLTZ: — capture, your carbon removal from the ground, that’s a big risk. Methane is even worse than CO2 in the atmosphere, right? GRANCIO: That’s right. And that’s right, and that’s some of the active ownership work we did on that portfolio, where Conoco and Devon are companies that we worked with, to join the methane third-party verification partnership this past summer. And that’s when we talk about Engine No. 1 as active owners, it’s not always, you know, the black hat activist. We actually haven’t done that other than Exxon. But the ability to really understand their business and go in and work with them. And actually, having them methane verified is a big deal, because then people understand what you’re doing in that part of the business. And it gives you license to operate because we need that energy source. RITHOLTZ: What are the car companies that are in NETZ? GRANCIO: General Motors is in NETZ. Ford has been, it goes in and out of the portfolio, based on how they’re doing, managing some of their supply chain constraint issues. And then Tesla is in the portfolio. But GM is at a much larger weight than Tesla. And then Tesla went out of the portfolio for governance reasons. RITHOLTZ: Because? Give me more specific. GRANCIO: Twitter. Because of Twitter. So the way that we manage that portfolio, basically what NETZ is, is you’re holding some of the biggest emitters, and you’re holding this 1.8 metric tons of emissions a year, so not low carbon, high carbon. And then what we expect is that those companies are going to take that number down to less than half within a decade. And so if you care about impact or sustainability, yeah, that’s great. That’s a huge win. You’re holding the companies, watching them. They’re taking emissions down. But if you want to make money, you’re holding the companies that are providing energy, but doing it in a way that they have a social license to operate. And then sort of come back to your Tesla example, all of this starts with governance. And so if a public company is going to make money over years and years, it’s all about governance. And do you understand your markets? Do you understand how things change? And so if you’re running Tesla and you have a huge job to do in terms of scaling that business, but you’re also doing other things at the same time — RITHOLTZ: Assess. GRANCIO: — and saying you don’t have time to run Tesla, well, that’s kind of a governance issue. RITHOLTZ: So when I looked at the acquisition of Twitter which started out as a lark, $44 billion, the market drops, wild overpayment. The bigger issue is if you think about who’s Tesla buyers, they seem to not be the people who Elon is playing to on Twitter. And in fact, as much as there are a lot of fanboys and I think you have to give Elon full credit for moving the entire auto industry to EVs, I think all the legacy-makers looked at him and said, we can’t let Elon do to us what Bezos did to the book industry and the booksellers and a dozen other industries. But it seems like he’s alienating that core middle left, all those liberals we’re going to own on Twitter. He seems to be chasing away a lot of his future buyers of Tesla’s. GRANCIO: He may be. That’s good news for GM NASA. We’re okay. We’re covered on that one. RITHOLTZ: And to say nothing about valuation issues and other assorted things — GRANCIO: Right. RITHOLTZ: — I’m assuming this is in strictly an ESG checklist. You looked at the usual — GRANCIO: Not at all. Yeah, we looked at the usual things and that’s maybe our main point, which is the people get in our industry in particular. They get stuck in old frameworks, right? An ETF is an index fund. An activist is somebody that comes in short term and fires the CEO. So I think we need to be careful of those sort of short ways and shorthand ways of thinking in investments. Our point of view is that there’s a lot of data available now. We have a huge amount of data. Take the climate and environmental-related issues. We have a lot of data on carbon, and we can estimate carbon prices. And so in a basic fundamental financial model, you can start with your old traditional financial model. But you can add in, we do this, we can add in the monetization of those emissions. And then as you build out your financial model, you can look at how the company reduces them over time. And we see those as purely financial metrics, right? That large externality for a company is a risk or financial measure. It’s not some separate ESG dot bubble rating system. It’s just their numbers, it’s math. It should go into the long-term valuation of the business. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about the Exxon situation. You accumulated a relatively small number of shares, and then reached out to management. Tell us about the process and how they reacted to your overtures. GRANCIO: Yeah. So from a team perspective, we started by making an economic case. So we did the work on here’s what we would do differently, here’s how we think the value of the business wouldn’t be higher if we did this. And the suggestions on what we would do differently included disclosure of emissions. It included better capital allocation decisions between this sort of short-term energy transition period. And we don’t know when it’s going to be, thanks to, you know, Putin and the Ukraine, longer than we thought a year ago. RITHOLTZ: Right. Right. GRANCIO: But at some point, we’re going to start to really pivot into an energy transition. And so what’s your best thinking, Exxon as a company, on what your business looks like, and your capability at a board level to extend the duration of the business, do things that may be renewable, or whatever they may be. What is it that you can do that’s in that area? And so those were the things that we requested. RITHOLTZ: They were receptive to that? GRANCIO: They were not receptive to that. But those are the things that we requested, which is usually how these things start. RITHOLTZ: So .02 percent of outstanding shares doesn’t exactly put the fear of God into them. Why a toe in the water and not a more substantial stake? GRANCIO: Exxon, going back to when we started the proxy campaign — RITHOLTZ: They were giant, right? GRANCIO: They were giant, but also they were a giant in terms of the big asset managers had not been able to get them to pivot from a governance perspective. So there were known concerns about governance. A lot of the big investors take a slower approach to work with management, not cause too much change, request changes. And there just hadn’t been any progress in this case. So we were able to have conversations. And the team did a huge amount of work with investors and passive investors, and active investors, walking through our economic case. If these things happen, better governance, better economic performance, and that, we think, is what allowed us to rally support. And as we were rallying support, as you see in this situation, I’m sure Exxon was talking to some of those investors as well. And so as we went through the campaign process, we saw some of these changes, changes in capital allocation decisions, and intention to launch a green business. So some of these changes started even before the proxy vote where new directors were elected onto the board. RITHOLTZ: So we talk a lot about specific companies. How do you look at the macro environment and geopolitics? You mentioned Putin’s invasion or the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Arguably, that’s going to accelerate the greening of Europe in particular, and the move to alternative energy sources, not dependent on Russia, which is all carbon. GRANCIO: Yeah. And I think to some extent, you can’t control what is the moment in time where the energy transition happens, right? However — RITHOLTZ: Right now. Right. Aren’t we more or less in the midst of this today? GRANCIO: We are in the transition. Absolutely. But we think that if you wanted to not use fossil or carbon intensive now, it wouldn’t possibly work. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: We’re not ready to be transitioned. We are in the transition. And so the way we think about it is we have to be very savvy about where do you have a brown business? Where can that brown business be gray? Where does it start to use green techniques? Natural gas is a great example. We need natural gas. So how do you move natural gas in a way where you’re looking at methane. You don’t have methane leaks. You’re using green energy and electric sources to process the natural gas. There are a lot of things we can do even while we’re using fossil to be cleaner, nd to put the people that are cleaner and doing fossil in a better position to sell versus their competitor, because we are seeing these changes. And we do have a lot of people looking at carbon footprint as they’re buying or investing in companies. RITHOLTZ: So my colleague, Matt Levine mentioned your win. And now says, when they see you coming, you are no longer presenting as a scrappy, small startup. You’re bringing some receipts to the table. Hey, Exxon knuckled down. Now, you and I have a conversation. How has that changed since that win? GRANCIO: Yeah. We started with Exxon effectively. And so I wouldn’t say the next day, it was a sea change in a positive way. I would say it’s complicated, because after you’ve done that, the board and the CEO are a little bit worried about what our intentions are and it takes time to build those relationships. And Chris does a lot of this work directly with the CEOs and the companies that are in the portfolios. And it takes time to build trust. But our relationship with them is basically having modeled their business ourselves and modeled all their competitor businesses, and have gone to kind of up and down the supply chains. And once we get to know each other, we’re giving them what they find is actually some very helpful point of view on if I like your business, I think this, you know, consumer demand is going to flip sooner, you’re going to miss it, or how organized are you on supply chain? What are your bottlenecks? And so it’s become really very constructive with a lot of the companies that we work with. RITHOLTZ: It sounds like your early training in the consultant world wasn’t for naught. This is almost a hybrid between activist investing and consultants. GRANCIO: And just investing, right, high quality investing means you really have to understand what a company strategy is and what are the bottlenecks, what are the places where they may miss. If you understand those, you can make those faster, shorter, better, less risk. Then that’s really positive for being more sure that the company increases in value. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk a little bit about your toolbox. You mentioned proxy voting, you mentioned modeling. What else does Engine No. 1 bring to the table as ways to get management to see the world from your perspective? GRANCIO: Yeah. And part of it is the data science work that we do around the sizing of emissions, comparative emissions, monetization of emissions, so call that our total value approach to looking at the externalities of these companies. So we bring that. We’ve done the modeling all the fundamental work that we do. And then it’s very active engagement, where we want to stay engaged. That’s part of where the alts business came from. If there’s something in the private markets that could work differently to help a big public company move, can we make connections? Can we help that move along? And then proxy voting is important. So most of what we do is this kind of very intense active engagement. And we’re active owners of the company, not always an activist in a traditional meaning. We also launched an index product. So you know, our view is that you really have to hold these companies if you want to own the winners over time. And if you want to drive change, you also have to hold the companies, you can’t divest. A problem in the dominance of the current index providers is that they’re big and it’s complicated to vote shares, because you have people on different sides of every issue. So while we’re at it, put a new index product out on the market, that ticker is VOTE, which is pretty simple. It’s literally an index. We vote the shares in line with our economic outcomes, and we post them as soon as we vote. So a little option for people that still want to use index instead of active. RITHOLTZ: That’s really interesting. We’ve talked about Exxon so far, and Tesla and Ford. Tell us about your involvement in General Motors, what attracted you to the company, and what sort of positioning do you have with it. GRANCIO: Yeah. And General Motors, it’s going to take some time, right? So General Motors has been in the portfolio since we launched NETZ and still is, and has stayed there. And when we work with General Motors, a lot of our work has been about how do we accelerate the transition to battery electric vehicles for them as a manufacturer, and not for an ideological reason, purely because we think the consumer demand is shifting more quickly. RITHOLTZ: That’s where the market is going. GRANCIO: Right. That’s where the market is going. RITHOLTZ: That’s where the consumer demand is moving. GRANCIO: Again, this is an economic argument for us in working with General Motors, that the faster you get to all battery electric, which means you need to build the battery plants, you need to build them bigger, you need to build them faster, you need supply agreements locked up for the rare metals, and then you need to work on bringing the cost of batteries down. Because as all of that happens, GM makes 8 to 9 million cars a year. And so if those cars are all battery electric vehicles and the battery cost comes down, you know, what’s Tesla’s multiple, right? They have the opportunity to go from where the GM multiple is today, which is very low, very depressed value stock, all the way up to what producing BEVs at scale is going to look like. And that’s a huge value creation opportunity. RITHOLTZ: Let’s talk about what’s going on in the world of ESG and greenwashing and wokeism. There’s so many things happening here and I think people don’t really use these buzzwords appropriately. Let’s start out with greenwashing. Tell us your view of it and why it’s problematic. GRANCIO: Well, I think if you could do everything from scratch, I get this a lot from people that run large asset management companies, they’re like, gosh, I wish I could just start everything from scratch again in this environment. So I think the reality is, if you’re running a strategy and you don’t care, or you don’t have risk metrics on, let’s say, the environment and your strategy, it’s very hard to fit them on top. And I think a lot of people get caught in that from a greenwashing perspective. What we do is we start from scratch. We think about these material impact things as financial data, and it’s just part of our process. And so there’s no greenwashing there. But for people that were investing in something and now want to take advantage of a moment in time, or people that are investing and actually don’t really understand how environmental risk factor into the portfolio, I do think you just have to take a timeout and go back to basics and better articulate what the strategy is and what you’re actually doing to the market. And if it’s not a green strategy, you kind of have to say that. RITHOLTZ: It seems like a lot of this has just been on the hot buzzword of the day. GRANCIO: Well, a lot of our society right now has been on the buzzword of the day. So I think we need to be very careful about that when it comes to investing. RITHOLTZ: So let’s talk about wokeism. You’re describing ESG as sort of a risk management tool to filter out certain potential problems down the road. But if I pick up the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post and flip it to the editorial section, all I hear is woke capitalism and this is what Disney is doing, and this is what Apple is doing, and this is what Nike is doing. Is this really woke capitalism? Tell us what’s happening in that space. GRANCIO: Yeah, I think we have to remember what capitalism is. And then I’m not sure what we mean by woke, which is part of the problem. So your capitalism is meant to be you in public markets kind of, you know, put that in the private markets as well. It’s meant to be you have a set of financial shareholders, you have other stakeholders. You’re making money for the shareholders over time. That’s the definition of capitalism. It’s really hard to make money for shareholders, the financial shareholders over time if you don’t treat your workers well or you destroy the community in which you live. That’s just kind of good business or doing business the right way. I think we sometimes get confused when we talk about values or practices, and you can’t link it directly back to financial returns. So, listen, when it comes to climate, we feel like we can do a pretty good job with the data out there, to link how a company handles climate and environment with how they perform as a stock over time. You know, there’s not enough data on the social side. The research is spotty. I really hope there’s better data. I hope the research gets better. I hope we have causality there. But I think as investors, we have to be careful what we’re talking about. If the company has less emissions, they get credit for trying to do the right thing and the stock price goes up. That’s capitalism. Where from a values-based perspective, we want to ask a company to do something, that’s a little bit different. So I think that distinction is really important. RITHOLTZ: And it’s pretty robust then on governance, if you — GRANCIO: Yes, it did. RITHOLTZ: — elevate women to senior members, if you have people on your board that are diverse. Those companies historically have outperformed the companies that have not. GRANCIO: Yeah. And the board, for a minute, is another one that’s very hard to reduce into one stat. So if you think about all the research that’s been done on boards, in Engine No. 1, we do a lot of work with academics. So we’re always trying to look for these places where we’ve got data and causality, and we can link it to economic outcomes. And when it comes to boards, what a lot of the research would tell us is if a board is deeply non-diverse, that first, if you add one diverse person or thinker, they may actually have worse performance. But if a board starts to have multiple varieties of diversity, and the board listens to the diverse points of view, those are the boards where we get the real outperformance. And then remember, it’s a board. So it’s not just diversity of thought, it has to be diversity of capability. Because as these companies go through change, you know, you need other CEOs that have been successful through change. You know, if you’re an old school media company, you need people on the board that are successful with where the puck is going. So I think we have to look for both of those kinds of diversity. And boards that listen to each other, have diversity and have that important diversity of capability, absolutely, those are going to be the highest performing ones. RITHOLTZ: So we talked about Exxon. We talked about GM, and Ford, and Tesla. What other companies are you looking at as being on the cutting edge of change to take advantage of this transitional moment? GRANCIO: Yeah. I mean, one of the things we’re excited about, I can’t talk about the product because we’re not through the SEC with it yet — RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: — although it’s in filing. But from a theme perspective, we’re super excited for the U.S., from a U.S. competitiveness perspective. What happened during COVID is supply chains were too global, too fragile, and they broke. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: And so what we’re already seeing, and we’re going to see a lot more of this in the next few years, is we’re seeing a huge resurgence of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. and it’s going to be great for a lot of these communities. So we see semiconductor plants. We see battery plants, Michigan, Tennessee, Kentucky. RITHOLTZ: Arizona is starting a big chip — GRANCIO: — Texas. Exactly. So it’s happening already. There’s a huge increase in manufacturing. And then as that happens, if you build a manufacturing plant, there’s a huge job multiplier. You have people come in to build the plant, and people work in the plant, and people work to move goods in and out of a plant. And we’re going to see a huge growth, we believe, in railroads. So if you’re going to increase manufacturing in the North America, guess what, you don’t need to ship things overseas. You need better, more effective railroad, continuing to strengthen the lines and the movement of goods around the U.S. And then automation, so good and bad is, you know, we have less birthrate and less people coming to the U.S. And we’re going to have a huge number of quality jobs. And so companies like Rockwell Automation, that high quality jobs and brand new factories, with automation to assist in the manufacturing. It’s going to be pretty awesome from an investment team perspective. RITHOLTZ: So Rockwell just isn’t terrifying us with YouTube videos of robots that are coming to kill jobs (ph)? GRANCIO: No. The high quality blue collar, if you will, workers and all these new plants, they’re not going to be enough of them. And they’re going to be happy that robots are there to help them RITHOLTZ: Really quite interesting. So let’s talk a little bit about some of the political pushback to the sort of investing you do. Maybe Florida is the best example, passing laws to punish a specific company, Disney, who objected to Florida’s anti-LGBTQ sort of legislation. Is the environment changing for this sort of proxy voting and criticism and working with companies? Or is Florida just Florida and you know, it’s kind of a one-off? GRANCIO: Listen, I think companies have consumers. And so if I’m a company, if I’m Disney and I have consumers, and I feel like my company needs to stand for something because it allows me to serve my consumers to say my brand has value, that’s something that Disney is going to have to push for. So I think, first of all, when it comes to public companies, some of them have one audience, some of them have another audience, and they may need to behave in ways to make their audience feel good so they can be in business and sell their product. And I think, separately, if we talk about proxy voting, successful proxy votes should be economic. So back to the kind of fiduciary concept we were talking about earlier. So if a proxy vote says, you know, can you please disclose more information about your workforce? That’s helpful to investors. Great. That often makes sense to us. If the proxy vote says, I don’t like this thing you do, please don’t do it. But there’s no economic causality. RITHOLTZ: Right. GRANCIO: I think it’s hard for that to be a proxy voting issue versus a values-based conversation with the company. So our belief is proxy votes matter. We should all use our vote. But proxy voting is a tool to drive kind of long-term economic performance with companies. Sometimes there are just value-based issues that shouldn’t be tackled through proxy votes. RITHOLTZ: I know I only have you for a limited amount of time. So let’s jump to our favorite questions that we ask all of our guests starting with, tell us about your early mentors who helped to shape your career. GRANCIO: Yeah. It’s funny, I don’t have a lot of mentors where it was that one guiding light. I found that I picked up little bits and pieces from different people. So Condi Rice was a provost when I was at Stanford. RITHOLTZ: Really? GRANCIO: And so it was that inspiration that sort of sent me off down the international relations path. There was just a level of smarts and confidence that I really appreciated, that I picked up from her. And then a professor in business school who said women can definitely have it all. But you’re kidding yourself if you think you can have it all at the same time. So, like, pace yourself, Like, go after it, but pace yourself. You can’t literally do it all at the same time, which is good advice. And then I think there are a lot of people for me, where I learned one or two lessons from different people. And now, I do a lot of mentoring of other people. And that is my overarching suggestion on this is you got to ask a lot of questions. And you don’t always have to have a lifetime relationship with everyone, but get any nugget you can get and run with it. RITHOLTZ: I like it. Let’s talk about books. What are some of your favorites and what are you reading currently? GRANCIO: So Maya Angelou is actually a favorite of mine. I find it relaxing and it’s so different than what I do every day, and kind of American and lyrical. Harry Potter, one of our kids is younger, so working our way through Harry Potter. And then the Daniel Kahneman Thinking Fast and Acting Slow, I read that last year. I like that a lot because you got to remember sometimes how our brains work. And the fact that we rush to things and we shortcut, and we group things. And so I find that helpful sometimes and just being calm about how else can we solve a problem, or why is somebody reacting the way that they do. RITHOLTZ: What sort of advice would you give to a recent college graduate who is interested in a career in either impact ESG activist, whatever you want to call it, type investing, or ETF and passive investing? GRANCIO: Well, first, I’d say those are great areas to go into. You should go into it. And definitely learn how to invest, learn how to be an investor. Don’t stick to one fad or one mousetrap. If you can learn how to be an investor, or how investors think, that will serve you so well in our business. And I guess to new graduates, I would say don’t give up hope. It’s going to be a bad job market. So take those internships, be a little bit scrappy, and just learn from whatever that first job is, two years in, because you’ll pick up a phenomenal amount of information. And if it’s not what you love, great, then go do something else after it. But it’s a great place to build a career. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. And our final question, what do you know about the world of investing today that you wish you knew 30 or so years ago? GRANCIO: I think it’s that the overall portfolio construction matters, right? So as an investor, thinking about when you build, like when we build Engine No. 1, we built products or we put strategies out into the market, the more you can make them balanced and with some duration. So if somebody puts something in the portfolio, they sort of understand what it’s going to do, and what the return stream looks like and what the risk looks like, as we’re investing and then selling to other people. I think that ability to build products that are durable, and it’s clear what they do is really, really important. It lets you build your brand. It lets you build trust with the investors. RITHOLTZ: Really interesting. Thank you, Jennifer, for being so generous with your time. We have been speaking with Jennifer Grancio. She is the CEO of Engine No. 1. If you enjoy this conversation, well, check out any of our previous 450 interviews. You can find those at iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Sign up from my daily reads at ritholtz.com. You can follow me on Twitter @ritholtz. Check out all of the Bloomberg podcast @podcast. I would be remiss if I did not thank our crack team who helps put these conversations together each week. Sarah Livesey is my audio engineer. Atika Valbrun is my project manager. Sean Russo is my head of Research. Paris Wald is my producer. I’m Barry Ritholtz. You’ve been listening to Masters in Business on Bloomberg Radio. END ~~~   The post Transcript: Jennifer Grancio, Engine No. 1 appeared first on The Big Picture......»»

Category: blogSource: TheBigPictureJan 17th, 2023

Futures Flat Ahead Of Closely Watched Jobs Report

Futures Flat Ahead Of Closely Watched Jobs Report US equity futures struggled to maintain gains on Friday as traders awaited the December jobs report that will help chart the path forward for Fed monetary tightening. Contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were unchanged at 7:15am ET, erasing earlier gains sparked by a report that China was planning to relax restrictions on developer borrowing, and dial its stringent “three red lines” policy that exacerbated one of the biggest real estate meltdowns in the country’s history. US equities dropped on Thursday as separate data showed the labor market remained strong. European markets were steady as data showed euro-area inflation returned to single digits for the first time since August. Treasury 10-year yields steadied after climbing for the first time this week on Thursday following comments from Fed officials, while a  measure of dollar strength climbed for a second day, as the yen fell to levels not seen in a week, after the Bank of Japan unveiled further unscheduled bond buying to control its yield curve. Among notable movers in premarket trading, Tesla tumbled as the electric-car maker made another round of price cuts on its Model 3 and Y electric vehicles in China. Bed Bath & Beyond dropped after the home furnishings retailer began preparing for a bankruptcy filing, also weighing on shares of other retail trader favorites. Here are other notable premarket movers: Apple is little changed as Morgan Stanley says the stock could fall further on worries over wilting demand and production snags. Alvotech & Teva Pharmaceuticals say the U.S.  Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review a Biologics License Application for AVT04, Alvotech’s proposed biosimilar to Stelara, which is prescribed to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions. Alvo shares gain 6.4%, Teva rises 0.4% in light trading. Atai Life Sciences (ATAI) says it may explore steps including strategic partnership options after its Phase 2a trial of PCN-101 (R-ketamine) for treatment-resistant depression missed its primary endpoint. Shares sink 45%. Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) slumps 13% after the home furnishings retailer began preparing for a bankruptcy filing, also weighing on shares of other retail trader favorites. CytomX (CTMX) surges 64% as analysts raised their price targets on the biotech after reporting a research collaboration agreement with Moderna, which brokers said demonstrated the strength of CytomX’s platform. Separately, CytomX gave an update on a phase 2 study for its CX-2029 treatment, which brokers said was mixed. Fate Therapeutics (FATE) tumbles 53% after the biotech company terminated a collaboration deal with Janssen Biotech and said it would discontinue its FT596 product candidate. Several analysts slashed their share price targets, with Cantor Fitzgerald describing Fate’s moves as major setbacks. Graphite Bio Inc. (GRPH) plunges 50% as it pauses a study of its experimental gene therapy for sickle cell disease after the first patient had a serious adverse event, prompting at least two analysts to downgrade the stock. Molson Coors (TAP) upgraded to outperform at Cowen with the group seen on a strong footing for 2023, while peer Constellation Brands is cut to market perform on downtrading challenges. TAP gains 1.4% in light trading. Novocure (NVCR) shares fall 6.4% as Wells Fargo cuts the stock to equal- weight from overweight with its positive thesis on the oncology firm now played out. Sight Sciences Inc. (SGHT) shares are up 2.8% after Stifel upgraded the medical device company to buy from hold, seeing a positive near-term setup for the stock. Tesla (TSLA) shares fall 6% as the electric-car maker makes another round of price cuts on its Model 3 and Y electric vehicles in China. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) shares rise 10% after controlling shareholder and former CEO Vince McMahon sought to return to the company and is proposing a possible sale of the business. Zynex (ZYXI) is upgraded to overweight from neutral at Piper Sandler, which notes strong execution from the medical device maker and sees room for possible multiple expansion. Shares gain 1.5%. After their worst annual drop since 2008 and a record underperformance against European stocks in the fourth quarter, US equities began the new year with further declines amid signals from the Fed that it remains staunchly hawkish until inflation cools further. The next clue will in today's December jobs report, with Bloomberg Economics expecting a more subdued increase in employment. Estimates for US nonfarm payroll numbers peg a decline in new jobs added, indicating a cooling in the labor market that would in turn reduce the need for higher interest rates. Median estimate for December nonfarm payrolls change is 202k (vs crowd-sourced whisper number 243k), while average hourly earnings are expected to increase 0.4% vs 0.6% in November. However, private payrolls figures out on Thursday surpassed estimates and a surprise drop in new claims for unemployment benefits underscored a robust jobs market. Our full preview can be found here. “Investors are still highly sensitive to the direction of monetary policy and this has potential to cause fresh headwinds for valuations,” said Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown. Any indications of resilience in the labor market or stubborn inflation “are likely to send fresh jitters through stocks,” she said. The Fed has remained “extremely hawkish” to avoid unintentionally easing financial conditions, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda. “But another strong jobs report today would further justify such a hawkish approach and perhaps send risk assets into a bit of a tailspin as the prospect of a higher terminal rate increases alongside recession risks,” he wrote in a note. Overnight, Citi strategists led by Robert Buckland cut US shares to underweight on the grounds that earnings expectations are still too optimistic. Meanwhile, the latest EPFR fund flows data showed investors continued to flock to cash and out of equities in the week through Jan. 4. Inflows into money market funds were at $112 billion for the week - the most since April 2020, when the pandemic was spreading globally - as equity fund outflows continued. Market pricing for US interest rates to peak in June rose to above 5% following comments from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, who said the central bank still has “much work to do” to tame inflation. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who is no longer a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, said rates were approaching a sufficiently restrictive zone and that inflation expectations had retreated, offering investors some optimism. In Europe, energy and miners outperformed while financial services and autos lag. The Euro Stoxx 50 was steady with FTSE MIB outperforming peers, adding 0.4%. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Shell shares gain after the oil and gas group reported higher gas trading in 4Q, though analysts said its update looks “mixed.” Shares rise as much as 1.3%. Nel shares gain as much as 5.9% in Oslo after agreeing with HH2E for FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) study and Letter of Intent for two 60 MW electrolyser plants. Small-cap UK stock Nanoco rises a record 69% in London, after the company said it had settled its litigation with Samsung ahead of a trial that was due to start today. Shares in British shipping company Clarkson rise as much as 9.2%, with Liberum anticipating “strong” 2022 results that will be ahead of current market expectations, including at least £98m profit before tax. Standard Chartered shares fall as much as 2.8% after analysts said they consider a takeover of the London-listed lender as unlikely given the “deal complexity,” with JPMorgan analyst noting that such a transaction would require “a number of regulatory approvals.” Sodexo shares lost as much as 3% after the French catering and services group reported fiscal first- quarter revenue that beat the average analyst estimate but left limited upside after the stock rallied close to 50% in 2H 2022. Rentokil Initial shares drop as much as 5.2% after Exane BNP Paribas initiated coverage with a recommendation of underperform. Danone shares fall as much as 2.8% after Morgan Stanley makes a number of changes to its order of preference within the sector, including a lower rating on Diageo to equal- weight, Danone to underweight. Earlier in the session, Asia stocks rose in the first week of trading in 2023 amid optimism over China’s reopening and a potential bottoming out of earnings in the chip sector. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced as much as 0.8% Friday before paring gains to 0.1%, led by South Korea. Samsung’s worst profit fall in more than a decade cemented expectations of capex cuts and a price boost from reduced chip supplies, supporting sentiment for the sector. China’s CSI 300 Index rose for a fifth day while Hong Kong stocks retreated after a recent rally. The nation is set to reopen its borders to international travelers on Sunday. It’s also planning to relax restrictions on developer borrowing, dialing back the stringent “three red lines” policy that exacerbated its real estate meltdown. China’s Consumer Sentiment Rebounds as Economy Reopens: Chart The Asian stock benchmark is on track for its longest winning streak since September 2021. The gains came ahead of the US nonfarm payroll report due later Friday. Private payrolls data released Thursday surpassed estimates, underscoring a robust jobs market. “Even though the US Fed is expected to remain hawkish, the US economy is most likely to be resilient on the back of strong consumption,” said Daniel Yoo, head of global asset allocation at Yuanta Securities Korea. “This is a positive for Asian exporters in the medium to long term.” Japanese equities erased their morning losses to close higher, as the weakening yen boosted exporting companies.  The Topix Index rose 0.4% to 1,875.76 as of market close Tokyo time, while the Nikkei advanced 0.6% to 25,973.85. Sony Group Corp. contributed the most to the Topix Index gain, increasing 2.4% as analysts were positive on announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show on new products including its self-driving electric vehicle with Honda as well as PlayStation sales. Out of 2,162 stocks in the index, 1,273 rose and 768 fell, while 121 were unchanged. “The ADP jobs data exceeded market expectations, with investor worries that the Fed would continue to be hawkish, which strengthened the dollar and weakened the yen slightly in the foreign exchange market,” said Kiyoshi Ishigane chief fund manager at Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management. “The slightly weaker yen has softened the downside from the fall in US stocks.” In FX, the dollar climbs 0.2% to session high ahead of the jobs report, pulling all G-10 FX lower. The yen was the biggest underperformer, falling to its lowest level against the dollar since Dec. 20, trading at ~134.26 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%; for the week, the gauge is up 1.2% in what’s set to be its biggest rally since the week ended Sept. 23. The Yen extended losses after a Bloomberg report that Bank of Japan officials see little need to rush to make another adjustment to its yield-curve control policy. USD/JPY rose as much as 0.9% to 134.59; The move came as Japan reported that real earnings declined 3.8% in November from a year earlier, the most since May 2014. “Most significant and marginally yen-negative news out of Japan was the weaker-than-expected cash and real earnings data which serves to reinforce the notion that a formal YCC policy change is far from imminent,” said NAB’s Attrill. “We don’t expect one at least until 2H 2023.” EUR/USD fell as much as 0.2% to 1.0497 before paring part of that drop; Data showed that euro-area inflation returned to single digits for the first time since August. While the headline inflation figure fell to 9.2%, below economists’ 9.5% forecast, a measure that strips out energy and food edged up to a record 5.2% The Norwegian krone is set to be the biggest loser of the week vs. dollar, down 4.4%, its worst week since April In rates, this week’s sharp flattening move extends into early US session with long-end yields slightly richer on the day and front-end lagging, guided by wider bull-flattening move seen in the German curve following euro-zone CPI data. US yields are cheaper by up to 2bp across front-end and belly of the curve with 10-year trading around 3.725%, cheaper by 0.5bp vs Thursday’s close and lagging bunds by 3bp in the sector; bunds and UST 10-year yields are little changed, trading within Thursday’s range; comparable gilts yields underperform by about a basis point. In commodities, oil stabilized after a string of declines that wiped nearly 10% from the price of crude. WTI up 0.8% to below $75. Gold climbed after retreating Thursday from a six-month high reached earlier in the week. Spot gold rose ~$3 to near $1,836/oz. Most base metals trade in the green. Looking to the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the US jobs report for December. Otherwise in the US we’ll get the ISM services index for December and factory orders for November, whilst in Europe there’s the flash Euro Area CPI reading for December, along with German factory orders and retail sales for November. Meanwhile from central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Bostic, Cook, Barkin and George, as well as the ECB’s Centeno and Lane. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures little changed at 3,825.75 STOXX Europe 600 little changed at 438.97 MXAP little changed at 157.70 MXAPJ little changed at 520.71 Nikkei up 0.6% to 25,973.85 Topix up 0.4% to 1,875.76 Hang Seng Index down 0.3% to 20,991.64 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,157.64 Sensex down 0.8% to 59,867.28 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,109.59 Kospi up 1.1% to 2,289.97 German 10Y yield little changed at 2.31% Euro little changed at $1.0512 Brent Futures little changed at $78.70/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,835.99 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.34% to 105.40 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China is planning to relax restrictions on developer borrowing, dialing back the stringent “three red lines” policy that exacerbated one of the biggest real-estate meltdowns in the country’s history The European Central Bank should complete its interest-rate increases “by the summer” and then be prepared to hold for a potentially sustained period to tame inflation that remains too high, Governing Council member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said Japanese workers’ real wages fell by the most in eight years, suggesting that there’s still some way to go before the central bank can achieve its wage-growth accompanied price goal. The Bank of Japan resumed additional bond buying operation after a new benchmark bond yield touched its 0.5% ceiling Japan wants the Group of Seven advanced economies to take a coordinated approach this year aimed at preventing the “economic coercion” that China has applied to some of its trading partners Mexico’s Finance Ministry nominated Banxico adviser Omar Mejia Castelazo to the central bank’s board, an unexpected choice to replace its most dovish member Gerardo Esquivel China’s trade restrictions on Australian wine, lobsters and other commodities could be the next to ease amid a warming of diplomatic ties and expectations that Beijing will soon resume imports of coal The US House adjourned as Kevin McCarthy’s allies tried to strike a deal with members of the group who’ve blocked the California Republican from being elected speaker in a historic 11 rounds of voting A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mostly with cautious gains despite a negative lead from Wall Street, and ahead of the US labour market data. ASX 200 saw gains across the Metals, Mining and Resources names, but the upside was capped by the Healthcare and Tech sectors. Nikkei 225 briefly topped the 26k level whilst the banking sector underperformed after Thursday’s sectoral outperformance. Hang Seng and Shanghai Comp were firmer with the former initially bolstered by property names, with source reports from Bloomberg flagging further housing market easing measures, although the earlier gains faded throughout the session. Top Asian News BoJ reportedly sees little need to rush major yield adjustments, according to Bloomberg sources BoJ to conduct emergency bond buying for 5yr and 10yr maturities, according to Reuters. China could ease "three red lines" property rules in a major shift, according to Bloomberg sources. It will allow some property firms to add more leverage, and it pushes back the grace period for meeting debt targets, whilst deadlines may be extended by at least six months. PBoC drained a net CNY 1.6tln for the week via OMO - the largest weekly net cash withdrawal on record, according to Reuters. PBoC injected CNY 2bln via 7-day reverse repos with the rate maintained at 2.00%; daily net drain CNY 384bln Samsung Electronics (005930 KS) Prelim Q4 (KRW): Revenue 70tln (exp. 71tln), Operating Profit 4.3tln (exp. 5.9tln, BBG exp. 6.65tln); Memory chip demand fell more than expected in Q4 amid clients' concerns on consumer sentiment. Smartphone sales fell in Q4 due to demand weakness from macro issues. Price of memory chips fell continuously in Q4 due to chipmakers' increased inventory, according to Reuters. China has released the 10th edition of COVID prevention and control protocols, will further optimise clinical catergorisation and treatment method. Adds positive antigen tests as a diagnostic standard. Evergrande (3333 HK) to hold a meeting with offshore bondholders on Wednesday, to discuss debt restructuring proposals, via Reuters citing sources. European bourses are little changed overall but do feature a slim positive skew, Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%, pre-NFP. US futures are similarly contained with modest divergence around the unchanged mark, ES +0.1%, with attention on the NFP print, subsequent ISM Services PMI and Fed speak thereafter. Tesla (TSLA) to cut Model 3 & Y prices in China, Japan and South Korea according to reports. Subsequent Reuters sources state price cuts outside of China are being done with a view to support plant output. Citi (C) equity updates: cuts US to Underweight, raises continental-Europe to Overweight, raises Australia to Neutral. Top European News German Chancellor Scholz to invite the auto industry for talks on Tuesday, to discuss supply chains, mobility and climate. Lufthansa to Revive Aging A340s Amid Dearth of First Class Seats UK House Prices May Decline by 8% This Year, Halifax Says German Factory Orders Plummet as Manufacturers Under Siege Stellantis May Shut More Plants as Electrification Costs Bite FX DXY maintains its recovery momentum ahead of the US agenda with the index up to a 105.52 peak at best. Though, it has slipped a touch from this in wake of hotter-than-expected core EZ inflation, sending EUR/USD more comfortably above 1.05, though shy of initial best levels. JPY has taken the brunt of the USD's resurgence amid reports that the BoJ sees little need for further hasty YCC tweaks, with USD/JPY surpassing 134.50. More broadly, peers are down across the board vs the USD, though to varying degrees with the overall tone somewhat tentative pre-NFP. PBoC set USD/CNY mid-point at 6.8912 vs exp. 6.8914 (prev. 6.8926) Fixed Income Bunds experienced modest but ultimately fleeting downside in wake of the hot core/super-core EZ inflation print, sending the German benchmark to a 135.74 low. Albeit, the move pared back in short order with EGBs and USTs lower to the tune of around 10/15 and 5 ticks respectively ahead of the PM agenda. Australian government cuts FY22/23 bond issuance by AUD 10bln vs original plans, according to reports. Commodities Crude benchmarks are firmer, but have been subject to two-way price action throughout the morning which has been directionally in-fitting with but slightly more pronounced than equity action. Currently, WTI Feb’23 and Brent Mar’23 are posting gains just shy of 1.0% as the upside stalled a touch around USD 0.30/bbl shy of the USD 75/bbl and USD 80/bbl handles respectively. China Energy has reportedly placed an order for Australian coal - among the first deals since the 2020 unofficial ban, according to Reuters sources. Spot gold is modestly firmer though is yet to recoup all of the marked downside seen in yesterday’s session, which saw the yellow metal surrender the USD 1850/oz handle. Geopolitics US and Japan to hold security talks in Washington on January 11th, according to Bloomberg. Russian State TV says the ceasefire has come into force along the entire front in Ukraine; in-fitting with the order from President Putin. Turkish Defence Minister says Greece is carrying out acts of incitement against us, and we did not get a positive response from them regarding the establishment of a dialogue, via AJ Breaking. US Event Calendar 08:30: Dec. Change in Nonfarm Payrolls, est. 202,000, prior 263,000 Change in Private Payrolls, est. 182,000, prior 221,000 Change in Manufact. Payrolls, est. 8,000, prior 14,000 Unemployment Rate, est. 3.7%, prior 3.7% Labor Force Participation Rate, est. 62.2%, prior 62.1% Underemployment Rate, prior 6.7% Average Weekly Hours All Emplo, est. 34.4, prior 34.4 Average Hourly Earnings MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.6% Average Hourly Earnings YoY, est. 5.0%, prior 5.1% 10:00: Nov. Factory Orders, est. -1.0%, prior 1.0% 10:00: Nov. Durable Goods Orders, est. -2.1%, prior -2.1%; Less Transportation, prior 0.2% Nov. Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air, prior -0.1% Nov. Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air, prior 0.2% Nov. Factory Orders Ex Trans, prior 0.8% 10:00: Dec. ISM Services Index, est. 55.0, prior 56.5 Central Bank Speakers 11:15: Fed’s Cook Takes Part in Panel Discussion on Inflation 11:15: Fed’s Bostic and ECB’s Lane Discuss the Global Economic... 12:15: Fed’s Barkin Speaks on the Economic Outlook 13:00: Fed’s George Discusses the Economic Outlook 15:30: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Lessons From the Pandemic DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Following a strong start to 2023, markets finally fell back yesterday after strong US data and hawkish remarks from Fed officials led investors to price in more rate hikes over the months ahead. The initial catalyst came from the ADP’s report of private payrolls, which showed an unexpectedly strong gain in December of +235k (vs. +150k expected), whilst the previous month was also revised up to +182k (vs. +127k previously). Treasury yields began to rise immediately after that release, which was then followed up by the jobless claims data, which showed that initial claims had fallen to a 3-month low of just 204k in the last week of 2022 (vs. 225k expected). So further evidence pointing to a tight labour market, particularly when you consider the JOLTS report for November from the previous day. Claims likely showed some seasonal distortion but there is little doubting the still strong labour market. That focus on the labour market will continue today, since we’ll get the US jobs report for December at 13:30 London time. In terms of what to expect, our US economists are looking for nonfarm payrolls to have grown by +175k in December, which should keep the unemployment rate steady at 3.7%. Keep an eye on average hourly earnings growth as well, particularly given the Fed’s focus on wage inflation. Our economists are expecting that to step down to +0.3%, having come in at a 10-month high of +0.6% last month. In the meantime, these signs of strength in the labour market data led investors to price in a more aggressive path of rate hikes from the Fed yesterday. For instance, the chances they’ll continue hiking by 50bps at the next meeting in February now stand at 44.2% according to futures, which is up from 32% the previous day. And looking further out, the terminal rate priced in for June hit a 6-week high of 5.03% (cycle high 5.146% - Nov 3rd), with the year-end rate for December also up +13.6 bps to 4.67%. Those views on the future policy path were given added support by the latest speakers from the FOMC. For instance, Kansas City Fed President George said that the Fed should keep rates above 5% into 2024, and Atlanta Fed President Bostic said that inflation was still “way too high”. St. Louis Fed President Bullard last night spoke a little more dovishly when he said that “the policy rate is not yet in a zone that may be considered sufficiently restrictive, but it is getting closer.” In a presentation, Bullard cited the recent FOMC dot plot showing the median projection of 5.1% as being adequately restrictive. Notwithstanding Bullard, the overall backdrop yesterday meant that the sovereign bond rally so far this year came to a halt, with yields on 10yr Treasuries up by +3.5bps to 3.718%. That was echoed in Europe, where yields on 10yr bunds (+4.4bps), OATs (+4.5bps) and BTPs (+5.4bps) all moved higher on the day as well. The moves were driven by higher real yields, with the US 10yr real yield up +1.0bps to 1.49%, whilst the German 10yr real yield was up +10.4bps. Yields on 10yr USTs are fairly stable in the Asian session as we go to press. For equities it was a similarly downbeat picture, with the S&P 500 (-1.16%) moving back into negative territory for 2023, with losses for both the NASDAQ (-1.47%) and the Dow Jones (-1.02%) as well. The main exception to that pattern were energy stocks (+1.99%), which were aided by the rebound in oil prices yesterday that saw WTI (+1.14%) back at $73.67/bbl. This morning, oil prices continue to build on their previous gains with Brent futures (+1.02%) trading just below $80/bbl and WTI (+1.06%) at $74.45/bbl. Otherwise it was a poor performance across the board however, and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.20%) lost ground for the first time this year, even as it continued its relative outperformance against the US indices with a c.5pp gap opening up in the first few days of the year. Asian stock markets are generally trading higher this morning, but Chinese related equities have gone from positive to slightly negative as I finish this off. Elsewhere, the Nikkei (+0.42%) and the KOSPI (+0.66%) are losing a bit of momentum after a much more positive first half of the session. Outside of Asia, US stock futures are indicating a positive start with contracts on the S&P 500 (+0.31%) and the NASDAQ 100 (+0.27%) edging higher ahead of the December jobs report, but again off their highs. Early morning data showed that real wages in Japan (-3.8% y/y) fell by the most in eight years and declined for the eighth consecutive month in November (v/s -2.8% expected). It followed the prior month’s revised drop of -2.9%. At the same time, cash earnings (+0.5% y/y) were also disappointing in November (v/s +1.7% expected) against a downwardly revised +1.4% rise in October. In addition, Japan’s services sector activity remained in expansion territory as the final au Jibun Bank services PMI advanced to 51.1 in December following a reading of 50.3 in November. For a third straight day, the US House of Representatives was not able to vote in a new speaker. GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was not able to get Republicans to coalesce around him through another 5 ballots yesterday, taking the overall failed ballot count to 11. This is now the most ballots it has taken in order to elect a new Speaker since 1860. McCarthy had reportedly offered the holdouts one of their bigger demands – allowing any single member to bring forward a motion to vote on ousting the speaker, currently it takes half of the chamber. It would still take 50% of the chamber to remove the speaker, but it raises the risks of disorder around important votes. There continues to be a group of 6 or so Republicans who have declared themselves “Never-Kevin”, which complicates matters as the Republican leader can only afford 5 defections. Some McCarthy supporters have acknowledged that this process could extend into the weekend or longer if the party must find a new consensus candidate. Otherwise on the geopolitical side, yesterday brought an announcement from Russia that there would be an unexpected ceasefire in Ukraine for 36 hours over today and tomorrow. The move coincides with Russian Orthodox Christmas and Putin asked Ukraine to reciprocate, but the request was rejected and Ukrainian presidential aide Mikhailo Podolyak said that Russia “must leave the occupied territories – only then will it have a “temporary truce”.” Finally on the data side, Italian CPI fell to +12.3% in December on the EU-harmonised measure, which was in line with expectations but down from +12.6% in November. That comes ahead of the flash CPI release for the entire Euro Area today, where economists are widely expecting the year-on-year measure will decline for a second consecutive month. To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the US jobs report for December. Otherwise in the US we’ll get the ISM services index for December and factory orders for November, whilst in Europe there’s the flash Euro Area CPI reading for December, along with German factory orders and retail sales for November. Meanwhile from central banks, we’ll hear from the Fed’s Bostic, Cook, Barkin and George, as well as the ECB’s Centeno and Lane. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/06/2023 - 08:02.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeJan 6th, 2023

Looking Back at the Top Auto Stories of 2022

As we flip the calendar, here's a recap of the key stories and trends that made the biggest ripples in the auto industry this year. It has been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride for the auto industry in 2022. From historically low levels of inventory and record high prices of vehicles to the transformative Climate Bill and e-mobility acceleration, there were stories that made the biggest ripples in the auto industry. As 2022 draws to a close, let's take a much-deserved flashback into the most impactful stories and trends of the auto sector that grabbed headlines this year.Russia-Ukraine War Throws the Industry Into Disarray: After a rocky 2020 amid coronavirus woes, semiconductor supply deficit rattled the auto market in 2021. Just when industry watchdogs and auto giants were predicting the chip deficit to gradually start easing out from mid-2022, the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Ukraine triggered the second round of global microchip shortage.The war created ripple effects in the automotive supply chain and exacerbated the chip deficit as raw materials got difficult to come by. Most auto biggies like General Motors GM, Ford F, Stellantis STLA and Honda HMC among others suspended operations/business in Russia. Apart from gasoline getting expensive, the war also led to a spike in commodity prices, adding to automakers’ woes.Historically Low Inventory Levels, Record High Cars Prices: While the demand for cars remained strong, parts shortage (a byproduct of COVID-19 that got worsened by the Russia-Ukraine war) choked supplies and low stockpiles impacted sales. And it was not just microchip shortage that disrupted the supply chain, other parts and components also ran into short supply. All this adversely impacted inventory levels, especially in the first half of the year when new vehicle inventory in the United States was mostly running below 1 million units. While it started improving in the back half of the year, it’s still way below the pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, amid the demand-supply mismatch car prices went off the roof. The average selling price of new vehicles hit a record high of $48,681 last month, beating the previous record high of $48,301 in August. Vehicle Affordability Concerns Amid Hawkish Fed: To rein in the stubborn inflation, Fed became ultra-aggressive, cranking up borrowing rates repeatedly in 2022. Increasing costs of vehicle financing are making monthly payments less affordable for less-affluent and subprime consumers. With borrowing getting expensive and threats of a recession looming large, consumers are gradually starting to get apprehensive on buying cars at a heavy premium. As a result, the demand for vehicles has already begun to cool off. Resultantly, vehicle sales forecasts are getting slashed and automakers’ pressing concern is now shifting from inventory challenges to rising interest rates, which may erode demand with recessionary risks lurking around the corner.The Landmark Climate Bill Supercharges EV Revolution: In August, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — the boldest climate legislation in U.S. history. The bill seeks to transform the U.S. auto industry with incentives that would induce automakers to accelerate the production of electric vehicles (EVs). To encourage the adoption of EVs, the IRA included a $7,500 tax credit till 2032 on the purchase of a new EV. Importantly, the tax credit will be sans the 200,000-car cap. What’s worth noting here is that the new bill has provisions for tax credits only for vehicles manufactured in North America and meet the raw material sourcing requirements.The sweeping climate bill looks like surefire legislation to fast-track the EV industry.Notable EV Rollouts and Massive Battery Investments: Thanks to increasing customer enthusiasm about EVs, automakers rolled out several new models this year. Some of the more notable ones include Ford’s F-150 Lightning Pro and General Motors’ Cadillac Lyric. And as auto giants are fast changing their gears to electric, they are also actively ensuring that the future models don’t get held up amid a shortfall of batteries. To that end, the year 2022 saw major investments related to EV battery production. For instance, Honda and LG Energy Solutions announced their plans to invest $4.4 billion to build a new battery production plant in the United States.Stellantis also joined forces with LG Energy to invest $4.1 billion to build an EV battery plant in Ontario. STLA also inked a deal with Samsung SDI to invest more than $2.5 billion to build a JV battery facility in Indiana. Hyundai broke ground on a $5.5 billion U.S. EV battery facility in October.F Abandons While GM Goes Aggressive on Driverless Car Dreams: While electric dreams gathered steam, the self-driving car revolution seems to be stuck in low lane. In a telling sign that autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is more complicated than once thought to be, Ford-Volkswagen backed AV startup, Argo AI, shut down amid mounting losses. Meanwhile, Tesla TSLA is also under federal investigation for its self-driving tech. While these developments make a self-driving future look more of a distant dream, General Motors continued to make progress on its driverless tech ambitions. GM expanded its ownership stake in self-driving car subsidiary Cruise. The U.S. legacy automaker acquired SoftBank Vision Fund 1's stake in Cruise for $2.1 billion.The Two Mega Acquisitions of the Year: Leading truck engine maker Cummins acquired Meritor in a deal valued at $3.7 billion. The buyout of Meritor positions Cummins as a leading provider of integrated powertrain solutions across internal combustion and electric power applications. The acquisition adds products to Cummins’ components business, offering attractive growth opportunities across the firm’s range of power solutions and applications. Auto equipment provider Tenneco got acquired by Apollo Funds, an affiliate of Apollo Global, for a whopping $7 billion, including debts. EV SPACs Burning Cash: It seemed that the EV SPAC party of the last two years entered the hangover phase in 2022. Many EV startups generating no meaningful sales are now facing a liquidity crunch. Amid surging inflation and the global supply chain crisis, many firms, including Canoo, Lordstown Motors and Faraday Future, face survival concerns unless they manage to raise additional capital. Fresh funds are getting more difficult and costlier to come by.  With the market meltdown and depressed stock prices, smaller startups fear equity dilution.Carvana’s Drastic Crash: Once a Wall Street darling, used vehicle e-retailer Carvana grabbed headlines for all the wrong reasons, with its shares sinking to fresh lows multiple times this year. Shares have tanked 98% year to date, with growing concerns about the company going out of business. Massive layoffs, executives forgoing salaries and rising bankruptcy concerns made several analysts downgrade their ratings on the stock, warning that the company might run out of cash by the end of next year as chances of a potential cash infusion seem less likely.Musk’s Twitter Obsession Makes Way for TSLA’s Worst Year on Record: The world’s EV leader Tesla is headed for its worst month, quarter and full year ever. And while there might be a number of reasons behind that, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter has supposedly played the most consequential role in Tesla’s stock plunge of around 65% year to date. TSLA has lost more than 45% since Musk’s Twitter takeover. The company faced investors’ backlash as they felt Musk would be spread too thin across all his responsibilities and lose focus on Tesla.While Musk is known to juggle several ventures at once, the Twitter acquisition is his most immense undertaking yet. It also doesn’t help that Musk sold nearly $40 billion Tesla shares this year. The billionaire CEO has warned the public consistently about a potential “hard landing” caused by the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. So far this month, Tesla has tanked 37%, and quarter to date, its shares have plummeted 54%. To put it in perspective, shares of Tesla had not dropped more than 25% and 38% in a single month and quarter, respectively. So, December 2022 and the fourth quarter of 2022 will mark Tesla’s worst monthly and quarterly share price performance.TSLA currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks Top 10 Stocks for 2023 In addition to the investment ideas discussed above, would you like to know about our 10 top picks for the entirety of 2023? From inception in 2012 through November, the Zacks Top 10 Stocks portfolio has tripled the market, gaining an impressive +884.5% versus the S&P 500’s +287.4%. Now our Director of Research is combing through 4,000 companies covered by the Zacks Rank to handpick the best 10 tickers to buy and hold. Don’t miss your chance to get in on these stocks when they’re released on January 3.Be First to New Top 10 Stocks >>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 Ford Motor Company (F): Free Stock Analysis Report Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC): Free Stock Analysis Report General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report Stellantis N.V. (STLA): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 30th, 2022

2 Stand-Outs as Uncertainties Loom Over Semiconductors

While secular growth prospects for the Semiconductor - General industry remain bright, the macroeconomic outlook continues to deteriorate. STM and SUOPY stand out as exceptions. Companies in the Semiconductor – General industry are at the forefront of the ongoing technological revolution based on HPC, AI, automated driving, IoT and so forth. These semiconductors also enable the cloud to function and help analyze the data into actionable insights that can be used by companies to operate more efficiently.  The pandemic led companies to ramp up technology investments in order to stay operational when it was unsafe for us to go to work or meet people. But this brought forward several years of investments, weakening the near-term outlook. With the financial tightening increasing the possibility of a recession in 2023, it has become notable harder to predict the impact on this industry.Additionally, supply chains are adjusting to increase reliability, build some inventory, reduce dependence on China, and onshore projects with national security implications. All these factors are contributing to increased uncertainty and as a result, the valuation is also looking rich. Longer-term trends continue to favor strong growth due to auto electrification, structural changes in industrial automation, data center strength, and increased adoption of the cloud, AI, IoT, etc. Despite these concerns, STMicroelectronics and Sumco Corp. may be worth considering.About the IndustryThe companies grouped under the Semiconductor – General category produce a broad range of semiconductor devices, both integrated and discrete, like microprocessors, graphics processors, embedded processors, chipsets, motherboards, wireless and wired connectivity products, DLPs and analog, serving multiple end markets. It includes companies like NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, Intel and STMicroelectronics.According to the latest data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), global semiconductor sales growth in the third quarter of 2022 declined 3% from the prior year, reaching $141 billion. Gartner forecasts semiconductor revenue to grow about 4% this year before declining 3.6% in the next. While macro concerns are impacting near-term performance, the long-term outlook is solid.Major Themes Shaping the IndustryThe long-term outlook for the industry remains robust because of its being on the building-block side of technology, which makes it crucial for the proliferation of the Internet and the ongoing digitization of every aspect of life. The short-term outlook appears bleak however. The pandemic has accelerated the move toward digitization, but it has created a lot of imbalances in demand and supply. The smartphone market for example (a primary application of semiconductors) is seeing issues on both the demand and the supply sides. Demand is affected by inflation while supply is affected by not only inflation but also geo-political tensions, China shutdowns and ongoing supply chain constraints. The other major chip consumer is the PC market, where the consumer and education segments remain soft following two years of very strong growth. With global economies engaged in financial tightening, there is the concern that demand could weaken significantly over the next year or so.  The good news is that some of the weakness in these traditional markets is being made good by strength in emerging areas like AI and machine learning, IoT, and automotive. ReportLinker expects the AI chip market to grow at a CAGR of 29.9% between 2022 and 2030. Driven by Internet connectivity across the developed and developing worlds and supportive technology such as sensor networks and AI adoption, the IoT market is also expected to grow steadily over the next few years. Future Market Insights expects the market to grow at a 5.3% CAGR between 2022 and 2032. Mordor Intelligence expects a stronger 14.7% CAGR between 2022 and 2027. Automotive electronics is another area of evolving needs with increasing electronics (including ADAS), safety enhancements and transition to electrified power trains being important drivers. Grand View Research estimates a 10.7% CAGR through 2025, which it attributes to awareness regarding energy-efficient lighting systems, as well as increasing sales of luxury vehicles that come fitted with navigation and infotainment systems. Automation and robotics, with increasing adoption across industrial operations, are other areas of growth. These strong end markets will drive continued demand for semiconductor components for years to come.Semiconductor supply chains are adjusting. Semiconductor supply chains have become increasingly efficient over the years. While this has brought down cost, the just-in-time model has made the supply chains relatively unreliable in case of external disruptions, as happened during the pandemic, or when China imposed its zero tolerance COVID shutdowns. This, along with the recently-imposed restraints on dealing with China has led semiconductor companies to diversify their supply chains and reduce their dependence on China. This is an ongoing process that will take several years. In the meantime, there is a growing concern that all the most important leading-edge chips are currently made in Taiwan, a country that China threatens to annex all the time. Since this has national security implications, there is an ongoing drive to onshore manufacturing. The $52 billion infusion from the CHIPS Act will help.Zacks Industry Rank Indicates Uncertain ProspectsThe Zacks Semiconductor-General industry is a stock group within the broader Zacks Computer and Technology sector. It carries a Zacks Industry Rank #90, which places it in the top 36% of the nearly 250 Zacks-classified industries.The group’s Zacks Industry Rank, which is basically the average of the Zacks Rank of all the member stocks, indicates that near-term prospects aren’t too bright. Our research shows that the bottom 50% of the Zacks-ranked industries underperforms the top 50% by a factor of 1:2.An industry’s positioning in the top 50% of Zacks-ranked industries is normally because the earnings outlook for the constituent companies in aggregate is relatively strong. The opposite is true for stocks in the bottom 50% of industries. In this case, the aggregate earnings estimate for 2022 is down 27.8% from the year-ago level. The aggregate earnings estimate for 2023 is down 32.2% from last year. The numbers have deteriorated significantly since July.Before we present a few stocks that you may want to consider for your portfolio, let’s take a look at the industry’s recent stock-market performance and valuation picture.Industry Lags on Stock Market PerformanceTracking the performance of the Zacks Semiconductor – General Industry over the past year shows that the industry has traded below than both the broader Zacks Computer and Technology Sector and the S&P 500 index since April of this year. As of now, it trails both the industry and the S&P 500.The industry lost 36.0% of its value over the past year compared to the 33.1% loss of the broader sector and the 17.2% loss of the S&P 500 index.One-Year Price PerformanceImage Source: Zacks Investment ResearchIndustry's Current ValuationOn the basis of forward 12-month price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, which is a commonly used multiple for valuing semiconductor companies, we see that the industry is currently trading at 27.24X, which is above its median level of 23.47X over the past year. However, the S&P 500 trades at 17.15X while the sector trades at 20.23X. Therefore, the industry appears overvalued in all respects.Forward 12 Month Price-to-Earnings (P/E) RatioImage Source: Zacks Investment Research2 Stocks Worth Considering STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM): The company designs, develops, manufactures and markets a broad range of semiconductor integrated circuits and discrete devices used in a wide variety of microelectronic applications, including telecommunications systems, computer systems, consumer products, automotive products and industrial automation and control systems.STMicroelectronics is seeing strong demand across all segments with particular strength in the automotive and B2B industrial markets. Backlog is solid and covers six to eight quarters of planned capacity and the book-to-bill remains above 1. Therefore, demand is extremely strong and utilization is 100%.The strength in auto is coming from the ongoing electrification and digitalization, increased semiconductor content in legacy auto and replenishment across the automotive supply chain. Demand is currently stronger than available and planned capacity through 2023.Factory automation and infrastructure investment will continue in the industrial market, which is the other significant end market for STMicroelectronics. The increase in semiconductor content, digitalization of devices and systems, energy management and power efficiency improvements, and building and home control are the biggest drivers.The pricing strength that STM is seeing this year may not continue next year but mix is expected to remain a positive contributor to margins.STM beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 11.5% in the last quarter. In the last 60 days, the current year EPS estimate of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock increased 13 cents (3.4%).The shares of the company are down 21.6% over the past year, despite the spike after very strong third-quarter results.Price & Consensus: STMImage Source: Zacks Investment Research Sumco Corp. SUOPY: Tokyo-based Sumco manufactures and sells silicon wafers for the semiconductor industry primarily in Japan, the U.S., China, Taiwan and Korea.Consistent with industrywide trends, #3 (Hold) ranked Sumco is seeing strength in automotive, industrial and data center markets and softness in PC and consumer markets. As a result, management has said that 300mm and 200mm production will continue as planned while production for 150mm wafers will continue to be moderated in line with consumer market demand.At any rate, demand for state-of-the-art wafers is expected to remain strong. Therefore, capital investment will also continue as planned last year in new plant buildings, and in utility and manufacturing equipment. Additionally, AI-enabled productivity improvements will continue. Geopolitical conditions, US-China tensions and financial tightening in economies across the world have not had a material impact on results so far. But that situation can change quickly since semiconductor supply chains are still very efficient with relatively short lead times.There is no change in the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2022 and 2023 in the last 90 days.The Zacks Rank #3 stock is down 11.4% in the past year.Price: SUOPYImage Source: Zacks Investment Research 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 STMicroelectronics N.V. (STM): Free Stock Analysis Report SUMCO (SUOPY): Free Stock Analysis ReportTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksDec 20th, 2022

71 gifts under $50, including last-minute options if you"re running out of time

We found great gift ideas under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to get just the right gift for any occasion. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.We found great gift ideas $50 and under that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to get just the right gift for any occasion.Baublebar; Crystal Cox/InsiderWith holiday parties and family gatherings galore, there's plenty of merriment on the horizon this time of year. But there tends to be some stress around gifting, too. With coworkers, friends, partners, siblings, and so many other loved ones on your gift list, it can be stressful to think about how you're going to get all those presents — without breaking the bank. To help, we rounded up the best gifts you can find — all for $50 or less. From silly custom art to life-changing tech to cookware, there's something for everyone in your life.A flower they can grow themselvesModern SproutPaperwhite Winter Bulb Kit, available at Modern Sprout, $20Best for: The green thumbFlowers are always a great gift, but this DIY grow kit takes that up a notch. The kit has everything they need to plant three Paperwhite bulbs. In just a few weeks, they'll get to enjoy the beautiful blooms they planted. A monogram necklaceAnthropologieDelicate Monogram Necklace, available at Anthropologie, $38For fans of minimalist jewelry, this take on the classic monogram necklace features the letter off to the side, giving it a sleek, updated look. A trio of spicy sauces and seasoningsFly By JingHoliday Triple Threat, available at Fly By Jing, $45Best for: The adventurous eater Help them spice up their home cooking with fresh takes on traditional Sichuan flavors. This spicy features the brand's iconic Sichuan Chili Crisp, the umami-rich, tangy Zhong Sauce which is perfect for dumpling-dipping, and the numbingly spicy Mala Spice Mix which can be added to rubs, marinades, batters, and more.A funky mugBlumeCloud Mug, available at Blume, $16.40Best for: The one who loves their beverages Anyone who loves their morning coffee knows that the mug said coffee is in is almost as important as the coffee itself. This ceramic one has an oversized handle with a retro, bubble design to make their morning sipping ritual all the sweeter.A fun sherpa throwUrban OutfittersPrinted Sherpa Throw Blanket, available at Urban Outfitters, $49Everyone can use a soft sherpa blanket, and this one comes in a lot of fun'70s-style  prints like snails, mushrooms, and flowers for a truly groovy setup.A popular guided journalCrystal Cox/InsiderBestSelf Self Journal, available at BestSelf and Amazon, from $32For anyone with a big goal in mind (even if that goal is just being more organized), this sleek planner will help them get far. It lasts for 13 weeks, making their goal feel more approachable while also helping them set a new journaling habit.A pair of classic gold hoopsBaubleBarVerbena Earrings, available at BaubleBar, from $36.80Best for: The minimalist dresser A great pair of gold hoops has the power to make any lackluster outfit feel special and more put-together. If they don't already have a go-to pair, why not give them one? These huggies come in multiple different sizes that look great no matter the occasion.A Bluetooth karaoke microphoneAmazonBonaok Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone, available at Amazon, $27.99Best for: The songbirdThis Bluetooth karaoke microphone is the perfect accessory to gift the one who's the life of the party. They can sing along to their favorite songs with this gift that offers premium sound and noise reduction. The fanny pack they'll forget they're wearingPatagoniaPatagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack, available at REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, Patagonia, $35Best for: The one who's always on the goMade from 100% recycled ripstop nylon and treated with a silicone face coating for weather resistance, this mini pack is durable and practical. Our pick for the best small fanny pack, the Patagonia Ultralight Blackhole is so light that they'll forget it's on. From the trails to the streets, they'll be secured and ready to go, always.A set of spa-worthy shower bombsAmazonEuka Wellness Shower Bombs 6-Pack, available at Amazon, $9.99Best for: The person who doesn't have a bathtub but wants the same funNo bathtub? No problem. With these shower bombs, anyone can transform their bathroom into a makeshift spa, and they don't even need a bathtub to do it. These come in a variety of options including Calm, Detox, Breathe, and Happy (and come 6 in a pack). A box of fiber-rich mac and cheeseGoodlesMac Pac, available at Goodles, $50Best for: The comfort food connoisseur For Kraft mac and cheese lovers, this brand features the same nostalgic taste but with more fiber and protein in the noodles. This sampler comes with four flavors of mac, a rainbow spork, and a plush toy of a bowl of mac and cheese.A personalized video message from their favorite celebrityCameoCameo video, available on Cameo, from $1Best for: The pop culture fanaticWhether they have a favorite musician, reality TV star, comedian, or actor, there's a good chance their favorite celebrity is on Cameo. You can even choose from pre-recorded video messages with a personal shoutout, or opt to give them a super special one-on-one video call. Of course, the price will greatly vary depending on who the star is.A pair of stylish wearable weightsBandierBala Bangles, available at Amazon, Target, and Bala, from $42Best for: The committed athleteIncorporate fitness into your daily life with these wearable weights that fit on your wrist or ankles. At one to two pounds, these stylish weights intensify any movement and build strength whether it's a workout or running errands.A rocks glass etched with a city mapUncommon GoodsUrban Map Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $18Best for: The one who really loves their city (and whiskey)Whether you want to bring back fond memories of a place you visited together or just want a gift that highlights their favorite stomping grounds, you can cheers to these rocks glasses intricately etched with a city map and interspersed street names. Over 30 major US cities are available to choose from.To really up the ante, consider pairing the glass with a nice bottle of bourbon. A monogrammed clutchMark & GrahamPalm Leaf Rounded Clutch, available at Mark and Graham, from $37.99Best for: The beach vacationerYou can get your giftee's initials embroidered on this cute roll-up clutch for a personal touch. The bag is woven from natural palm leaves for a beachy vibe, and the blue and white striped interior adds to the fun coastal feel.An easy way to make their own bubble teaUncommon GoodsBubble Tea Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $40Best for: The boba loverFor the bubble tea drinker in your life, this kit comes with two flavors of loose-leaf tea, tapioca pearls, and two reusable stainless steel straws. All they'll have to do is add a little milk (if they like!) and sip on this delicious brew.A foam roller for recoveryTPTherapyTriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller, available at Amazon and TPTherapy, from $36.95Best for: The perpetually sore athlete Proper recovery is paramount for optimal performance. That's why this foam roller is such a great gift; it'll help them improve mobility, increase circulation, relieve muscle pain and tightness, and get them in fighting shape all around.A cozy knit beanieAsosStormlock Rip Knit Cap, available at Amazon, $28.22Best for: The one who lives up northCold-weather accessories make a great gift for anyone braving the cold this winter and the Jack Wolfskin's Stormlock Rip Knit Cap is exactly what they need. Built of a blend of wool and acrylic, this beanie also features Stormlock fleece which just about guarantees a warm noggin. It's even available in two different colors to match a variety of outfits.  A meal kit from their favorite restaurantGoldbelly/FacebookRestaurant Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $39.95Best for: The foodieBring a bit of their favorite restaurant right to their door. From bagels to barbeque, Goldbelly ships food gifts nationwide from iconic eateries in major cities. A personalized pillow of their favorite fur babyaurespaces/EtsyAurespaces Custom Pet Pillow, available at Etsy, from $42.99Best for: The proud pet parentIf there's nothing they love more than their cat or dog, this pillow — featuring a blown-up picture of their pet — is sure to make them smile. A small but mighty smart assistantGoogleGoogle Nest Mini (2nd Generation), available at Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, from $49Best for: The multitaskerGive the gift of a virtual helper. Currently on sale for under $30, the Google Nest Mini offers a compact, affordable smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in. Friends and family members will love being able to dim lights, control the volume on their TV, check the weather, and more, all with just the sound of their voice.Read our full review of the Google Nest Mini here.Notepads chock full of affirmationsAmazonKnock Knock Notepads, available at Amazon and Knock Knock, from $5.25Best for: Anyone in need of a motivational talkWhether you want to give them a quick pep talk or celebrate them just because, these notepads from Knock Knock provide a creative and encouraging way of doing so. Each set comes with 50 sheets, so they'll make plenty of use of these witty notes.A spice and herb kit packed with international flavorsUncommon GoodsGourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $42Best for: The seasoning aficionado Whether it's a dash of Italian oregano or za'atar from the Middle East, any cook will appreciate this international spice kit that lets them cook with various tastes of the world. A tracker for lost itemsAppleApple AirTag, available at Amazon, Target, and Apple, from $26.49Best for: Anyone always losing their keysWhether you lose track of your keys or a bag, Apple's AirTag is a sure way to find any lost item. This water-resistant tracker plays a sound or uses its precise distance findings to lead you straight to the item regardless of the distance on the Find My app.A hatch decanter to sophisticatedly store alcoholCrate & BarrelHatch Decanter, available at Crate & Barrel, $44.95Best for: The scotch drinkerIf their barware collection bares a sophisticated flair, they'll appreciate this elegant hatch decanter. This 32oz decanter is a more affordable price than others thanks to its beautiful molded diamond pattern that resembles cut crystal.A DIY recipe bookAmazonMy Recipes Cookbook, available at Amazon, $8.99Best for: The chefWhether they're a huge foodie or want to preserve a favorite family meal, this DIY cookbook offers 120 blank pages to fill with their favorite recipes. The notebook's table of contents and additional note space at the end will help keep them extra organized. Taking the time to add in your own savory vodka sauce pasta dish or having their loved ones fill in grandma's homemade recipes will make this gift feel extra special.Snacks for movie nightKnackPopcorn Snack Medley, available at Knack, $46Best for: The movie buffHelp them take their next Netflix marathon to the next level with this popcorn mix set. The mix includes two microwavable Pop on The Cob popcorn cobs, toffee pretzels, dark chocolate-covered cherries, and Virginia peanuts. If they have a particular favorite treat, each snack can also be added in extra quantities at an additional cost.Cozy house slippersSally Kaplan/Insider;Sally Kaplan/InsiderEQUICK Cloud Slides, available at Amazon, from $16.99Best for: The loungerClean space enthusiasts who enjoy a no outdoor shoe policy in their homes will appreciate these pillow slipper slides. The platform bottom and cushioned sole make for a cute and cozy fit. Farm-to-skin lip balmsEtsyBeekman 1802 Ten Piece Lip Balm Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $48Best for: The sustainable beauty fanThis farm-to-skin lip balm set is just right for the green beauty obsessive. All 10 lip balms are made from natural goat's milk and essential oils. Beautifully packaged and scented, the fragrances include Ylang Ylang and Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Fig Leaf, Sweet Grass, Grapefruit, Oak Moss, Apricot and Honey, Vanilla, and an unscented balm.A sand-free, quick-dry towelSand CloudSand Cloud Towel, available at Sand Cloud, from $48Best for: The avid beachgoer Not only are these thin towels easy to roll up and throw in your beach bag or picnic basket, but they also easily shake off sand and dry three times faster than classic beach and pool towels. Choose from a wide array of vibrant patterns and colors, from a navy blue whale shark print to tie-dye options.A cute kitchen gadget that makes breakfast in a flashCrystal Cox/InsiderDash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, Amazon, and Dash, from $10Best for: The brunch champion This compact waffle maker makes a great addition to any college dorm or small kitchen. All they have to do is plug it in and they can make their favorite breakfast treat in a flash.A 51-piece art kitAmazon51-Piece Watercolor Art Set, available at Amazon, $24.47Best for: The artistEncourage them to pick up a new hobby (or take advantage of an existing one) with this watercolor set that's built for both beginners and experts. The set includes various cakes and paints, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes, a paint palette, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener — all within a pre-packaged case that can save you the pain of gift wrapping. Authentic Japanese ramenICHIRAN USAICHIRAN Take-Home Ramen Kit, available at Amazon and ICHIRAN USA, from $29Best for: The ramen loverICHIRAN Ramen has been delighting ramen aficionados since 1960. Known for its original Tonkatsu (pork bone) soup, its ramen combines the rich umami flavors of the broth with Hakata-style noodles that are slender, chewy, and perfect. Enjoy a little bit of heat? The kit also comes with ICHIRAN's original spicy seasoning, using togarashi pepper spice to amp up the flavors even more.A cult-favorite candleOtherlandCandles, available at Otherland, $36Best for: The fancy candle collectorWe love Otherland's candles, whether seasonally inspired or from the classic collection. Notable scent combinations such as champagne, saffron, and leather, gorgeous packaging, and a 55 hour burn time have deemed Otherland's candles as a foolproof gift among the Insider Reviews team.A streaming stick that turns any TV into a smart oneAmazonRoku Streaming Stick 4K, available at Amazon, Walmart, and Roku, from $24.98Best for: The TV fanaticUpgrade their Netflix marathons without actually buying them a whole new TV. The Roku Streaming Stick 4K offers 4K, HD, and HDR streaming in a portable package and at an affordable price. A set of loose-leaf teas that Oprah lovesAmazonVadham Chai Tea Reserve Set, available at Amazon, $23.99Best for: The tea drinker who wants to spice it upThis classy set of loose-leaf teas made it into Oprah's Favorite Things back in 2018. It's filled with three variations of chai tea that any tea lover will appreciate. An at-home spa kitUncommon GoodsEucalyptus Spa Gift Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $40Best for: The one in need of a breakGive them the gift of soothing relaxation with this at-home kit that includes pampering botanical bath salts and natural jute body scrubber. The recipient will also be able to grow their own eucalyptus in the bamboo pot so they can continue to breathe deep and say ahh.A smooth olive oil that'll instantly elevate any dishBrightlandAlive Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Best for: The EVOO drizzlerIf they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, they probably already know the merits of high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the beautiful bottle will look great on display in their kitchen. An affordable electric toothbrush subscriptionQuipQuip Toothbrush Starter Set, available at Quip and Target, from $24.99Best for: The one who takes their dental care seriouslyHelp them upgrade their oral care routine with a Quip toothbrush. Not only is it a great electric toothbrush at a reasonable price, but Quip will send them a refill every three months with a new brush head and toothbrush. Delicious mini cupcakesBaked by Melissa/FacebookCupcake Gift Boxes, available at Baked by Melissa, from $37Best for: Anyone with a sweet toothWho doesn't love getting a sweet surprise? With delicious flavors ranging from Cookie Dough to Pink Frosted Donut, these bite-size treats are sure to please. You can also add a special gift box to complete the gift. A set of magnets that are fun to play with and can boost concentrationCrystal Cox/InsiderSpeks 2.5mm Magnet Balls, available at Speks and Barnes & Noble, from $29.99Best for: The fidgeter Almost everyone on the Insider Reviews team has a set of Speks at their desk. The little magnetic balls can be mashed, molded, and built into fun shapes and are a fun fidget toy that even adults will love. A sugary and fun snackNeiman MarcusSugarfina Champagne Bears, available at Neiman Marcus, Amazon, and Sugarfina, from $13.95Best for: The one in need of a toastElevate their next sugar fix with these fun champagne gummy bears. Don't worry if they're under 21, despite the name and flavor, these gummies are non-alcoholic. There are rosé options, too.    A simple, inspiring necklaceBan.doban.do Good Intentions Necklace, available at Amazon and ban.do, from $20Best for: The person who exudes posi vibesA sweet necklace with an even sweeter mission. Choose from a selection of positive intentions like "optimism," "strength," or "gratitude," which they can carry with them throughout the day. For every necklace sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Girls Inc.A taste of Japan by way of snacksBokksu3-Month Snack Gift Box, available at Bokksu, $45.99Best for: Anyone bored of their current snack rotationAdventurous foodies will love the chance to taste-test a curated box of gourmet Japanese snacks. In this Bokksu box, they can expect to find between 10-14 snacks, a tea pairing, and an in-depth guide that details every product included.A bestselling face mask for clearer skinAztec SecretAztec Secret Indian Healing Mask, available at Target and Walmart, from $9.98Best for: The one in search of the best skincare productsAnyone in on the latest skincare trends will know about this mask. Many claim it has helped clear their skin, and it has over 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The best part is that this powerful facial is just $10.A soft pair of socks made from sustainable fabricUnited by BlueSoftHemp Socks (2-Pack), available at United by Blue, $12Best for: Anyone with cold feetWith cold weather approaching, there's nothing better than slipping on cozy socks. Made from soft, sustainable hemp fabric, these are sure to do the trick (and why not get them two pairs?).A luxurious exfoliator to keep skin smoothNecessaireNecessaire The Body Exfoliator, available at Sephora, Amazon, and Nordstrom, from $28.99Best for: The one dreading winter skinNecessaire's clean beauty products come in beautiful, minimalist packaging that looks as good in their bathroom as it feels on their skin. This gentle exfoliator will help them slough off dry winter skin for good.A beautiful way to store olive oilUncommon GoodsHandblown Glass Olive Oil Pourer, available at Uncommon Goods, $46Best for: The kitchen curatorThese stunning handmade jars can hold up to 12 ounces of olive oil or vinegar. Plus, they look beautiful sitting out on the kitchen counter.Cruelty-free nail polish in a range of fun colorsSmith & CultNail Polish, available at Smith & Cult, $18Best for: The at-home nail painterSmith & Cult's polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and chip-resistant. With 46 fun colors to choose from, you're sure to find one (or two, or three) they'll love. Useful cable clipsAmazonShintop Cable Clips (6-pack), available at Amazon, $3.97Best for: The desktop organizerWhether their phone charger is always falling under their desk or they simply have too many cables to keep track of, these affordable and efficient clips will allow them to simplify their workspace. Plus, the pink, orange, and green shades contribute a fun pop of color.A Disney+ subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderGift subscription, available at Disney Plus, $7.99/monthBest for: The lifelong Disney loverIt gives them unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, "Star Wars," National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.A sheet mask that'll hydrate dry, stressed skinSephoraDr. Jart+ Soothing Hydra Solution, available at Sephora and Amazon, from $7Best for: The face mask fanFall and winter skin tends to be dry and dull. While you can't change the weather, you can throw on a hydrating face mask to stay moisturized. This one will add lots of soothing hydration to their skin to keep it feeling fresh.A set of playing cards inspired by music's greatsAmazonMusic Genius Playing Cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $10Best for: The music loverWhether they love game night, music, or are equal fans of both, they'll surely get a kick out of these playing cards. The pack features illustrations of all the big names in pop, rock, country, and R&B.Makeup towels that make washing their face less of a choreWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40Best for: The one who struggles to remove their mascaraIf they've never thought of washcloths as anything special, Weezie towels will change their minds. The adorable towels are embroidered with either hearts, winky eyelids, or the words "stain me." Plus, the dark navy blue color will conceal makeup stains.A spray that protects their shoesAmazonJason Markk Repel, available at Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, and The Container Store, from $17Best for: The sneakerheadIf they love shoes, they should have the right products to take care of their favorite footwear. This spray protects shoes from stains caused by water and oil, and there are multiple people on our team who swear by it for every new pair of shoes they get.A lip gloss that has all the benefits of a balmTower 28 BeautyTower28 Beauty Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora and Tower28, $15Best for: Anyone complaining about dry lipsThis clean-beauty favorite delivers the glossy sheen they'd expect from a lip gloss, but it's loaded with nourishing oils to keep lips hydrated, too. A unique case that protects their phoneCasetifyCasetify Phone Case, available at Casetify, from $42Best for: The one with a falling-apart phone caseOur phones are our lifelines these days and if you know someone who's always glued to theirs, consider giving them a unique case that's as protective as it is pretty thanks to being drop-tested and shock-absorbent. They have options ranging from watercolor forest scenes to cute sayings to cuddly animals. You can even do a customized option and put their initials on it.  A silky-smooth sleep mask to block lightNordstromSlip Pink Marble Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $50Best for: The beauty sleeperIf there's nothing they appreciate more than a good night's sleep, they'll love Slip's silk sleep mask. It's made from 100% pure Mulberry silk for a luxe, light feel on their skin. A fitting vehicle for their post-run brewsUncommon GoodsEtched Marathon Pint Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Best for: The runner If they like to celebrate a long run with a big pint, they'll appreciate these pint glasses etched with famous marathon routes. A set of colorful silicone straws that reduce plastic wasteFood52Five Two Silicone Straw, available at Food52, $19Best for: The environmentalist Bendable, sustainable, and portable (thanks to the set of carrying cases), these fun straws are the accessory any eco-conscious person should have.A bold lip color that'll last all day longSephoraLancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick, available at Sephora and Macy's, from $27.20Best for: The one who sticks to one lipstick at a timeWhether it's a pale peach or a deep-red look they crave, they'll love this long-lasting lipstick with its saturated colors and hydrating formula.A book subscriptionBook of the Month3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99Best for: The obsessive readerA subscription box that sends them an exciting new read catered to their tastes each month is the perfect gift for a bookworm. A coffee mug that keeps their drinks hot or cold for hoursAmazonHydro Flask Travel Coffee Mug, available at Hydro Flask and REI, from $20.89Best for: The hot coffee loverHydro Flask's Travel Coffee Mug is a team favorite. It combines the classic shape of a mug with Hydro Flask's TempShield insulation to keep beverages hot, or cold, for hours— a great gift for the coffee or tea lover who's always on the move. A cute reusable tote that can fit tons of stuffBAGGUStandard Baggu, available at Baggu, $14Best for: The tote wearerIt's no wonder these bags are bestsellers — they can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff and come in a range of fun colors and patterns. Plus, at just $12, they're a great deal. A classy carrying case to stash chargersMark & GrahamLeather Charger Roll-Up, available at Mark & Graham, from $39Best for: The expert packerAfter they fill the three pockets with cables and chargers, all they have do is roll everything up and they're good to go. The soft, supple leather comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns. A cult-favorite cast-iron skilletAmazonLodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, available at Williams Sonoma, Target, and Amazon, from $19.90Best for: The frequent home cookEvery cook needs a cast-iron skillet in their kitchen. Lodge makes some of the best out there, but at prices that won't break the bank. A candle that reminds them of their favorite placeAmazonHomesick Location Scented Candle, available at Amazon, Homesick, and Uncommon Goods, from $34Best for: The one with state pride This is a great gift that's sure to make anyone sentimental. Whether it's their hometown, college town, or favorite spot to vacation, a Homesick candle, with scents inspired by all sorts of locations, will bring them back to that favorite place. An apron loaded with plenty of clever featuresFood52Five Two Ultimate Apron, available at Food52, from $35Best for: The kitchen splatter-averseAnyone who spends a good amount of time in the kitchen will appreciate this durable apron with its sturdy fabric, clever pockets made to hold the essentials, and pot-holders built right in. A cold brew coffee maker to keep up with their iced coffee habitAmazonTakeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon and Target, $27.99Best for: The at-home coffee brewerIf their morning ritual includes a cup of cold brew, they'll appreciate this convenient cold brew maker. All they have to do is fill it with their favorite coffee grinds, add water, let it sit, and they've got a glass of delicious cold brew on the way. A portable straw that makes water drinkableAmazonLifeStraw Personal Water Filter, available at Amazon, $12.74Best for: The outdoor adventurerThis portable, personal water filter is consistently one of the bestselling products on Prime Day. It filters water from creeks and rivers, making it perfect for hiking, camping, and travel.A simple and elegant photo calendarArtifact UprisingWalnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $29.75Best for: The fan of the old-school paper calendarAll of Artifact Uprising's customized photo gifts are simple, beautiful, and made from eco-friendly materials. This simple calendar is an easy choice for anyone on your list. Just pick 12 photos (one for each month) of the people and places they love most to add a special sentiment to their desk setup.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytDec 14th, 2022

The 34 best gifts for foodies and gourmands, starting at $6

Whether the foodie in your life has a sweet tooth or a spicy side, these mouth-watering food gifts are creative and delicious. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.Boarderie Ciccetti; Mark Wang for Insider; Vicky Leta/InsiderIn our opinion, food is one of the best gifts you can give or receive. Food gifts are appropriate for any occasion and can be customized depending on the person's taste or your budget. Even the trickiest giftee on your list is bound to enjoy a consumable treat — even if they follow a special diet, there's a food gift out there that will feel tailor-made for them. At Insider Reviews, we have decades of taste testing under our belts. This gift guide is pulled together based on treats that have delighted and surprised us over the years. Check out the 34 best gifts for foodies below. An ice cream mix for the foodie who loves inventing their own flavorsHijinxHomemade Ice Cream Mix, available at Hijinx, $9.99This ice cream base lets them experiment with making their own custom flavors. Just add milk and your favorite ingredients, blend, and then freeze. If you need inspiration, Hijinx has a number of recipes on its site, ranging from Everything Bagel to Chili Oil Chocolate Caramel. A plant they can eatVia Citrus/EtsyVia Citrus Meyer Lemon Citrus Plant, available at Amazon, Etsy, and Via Citrus, $65If you have a green-thumbed foodie in your life, give them a plant they can use in their kitchen. This dwarf lemon tree grows indoors and produces petite meyer lemons you can actually eat.Oprah's favorite cheese boardBoarderieBoarderie Ciccetti All Cheese Board, available at Amazon, Williams Sonoma, and Boarderie, from $129Named one of Oprah's Favorite Things for 2022, Boarderie makes prearranged cheese and charcuterie boards that ship right to your door. This one serves 3-4 and includes artisan cheese, crackers, dried fruits, nuts, chocolates, and jam. It would make an excellent host gift.A bundle of tinned fish they probably haven't tried beforeFishwifeLimited Edition Trio, available at Fishwife, $36Tinned fish: so hot right now. One of the most talked about brands in the space is Fishwife, a buzzy startup known for its smoky flavor profiles. This limited edition bundle includes a tin of Fishwife's collaboration with chili crisp brand Fly By Jing, along with tins of smoky Campfire Cod and chewy Rainbow Trout Jerky Gems.A box of 'self love' from our favorite chocolate brandVosgesSelf Love Chocolate Box, available at Vosges, $32What says "self love" better than peanut butter bonbons and caramel marshmallows? We named Vosges our best overall pick in our chocolate buying guide, which was written by an actual chocolatier. This gift set includes a mix of aforementioned bonbons and marshmallows as a sweet treat for anyone who needs a little confidence boost.  A double dose of birthday cake babkaGoldbellyJake Cohen's Birthday Cake Babka (2-pack), available at Goldbelly, $59.95As Jake Cohen says, "this isn't your bubby's babka." Instead of a classic fruit jam or cinnamon filling, this babka is filled with frosting and sprinkles.Colorful croissant-shaped gnocchiAmazonSalty Seattle Crocchi Croissant-Shaped Gnocchi (18 oz), available at Amazon and Salty Seattle, $69 While $70 may seem like a wild amount to pay for a little over a pound of pasta, you won't find anything like these Oprah-approved gnocchi anywhere else. Brainchild of Linda Miller Nicholson (aka @saltyseattle), these "crocci" are handmade and get their vibrant color from vegetables and herbs, not food dye. They'd make a special gift for the pasta lover in your life.Swedish fish that are actually SwedishAmazonKolsvart Swedish Gummy Fish & Licorice Candy Variety Pack, available at Amazon and Food52, from $46.99 In addition to the classic red gummy fish, this Swedish candy brand makes gummy turbot, pike, and cod in flavors like elderflower and sour blueberry.A fresh take on the classic popcorn tinFood52Food52 x BjornQorn Limited Edition Holiday Popcorn Tin, available at Food52, $50This popcorn tin, which was made as part of a collaboration between Food52 and BjornQorn, eschews the traditional trio of butter, cheese, and caramel in flavor of classic, maple, and chili crisp flavors. It comes with a hearty 3.5 gallons of popcorn; enough for a crowd (or one person who just really loves popcorn).The best part of any box of Lucky CharmsAmazonLucky Charms Just Magical Marshmallows, available at Amazon and Walmart, from $5.98Hearts, stars, and horseshoes, clovers, and blue moons…live out all your childhood fantasies with this box of Lucky Charms that only includes the very best parts: the marshmallows.A huge tub of flakey sea saltAmazonMaldon Sea Salt Flakes (3.1 lb), available at Amazon and Walmart, $24.78 Pardon the pun, but any food lover worth their salt knows that the root of all flavor lies in a little sodium. Maldon is beloved by chefs worldwide, and this tub should last them a solid year before they need to restock.  Explosively delicious and spicy chili crispMilk StreetFly By Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp, available at Target, Thrive Market, and World Market, $14.99Fly by Jing is a relatively new food startup making delicious Sichuan-inspired condiments and dumplings. This is the chili crisp that first put them on the map, and it can be drizzled over everything from noodles to fried eggs. It's not incredibly spicy, but it uses warming Sichuan peppercorns, dried chili, garlic, and more to create a complex and delicious pop of flavor. Everything they need to make buttery lobster rollsGoldbellyMcLoons Lobster Shack Maine Lobster Roll Kit (4-pack), available at Goldbelly, $124.95Not included — chips, pickles, or a gorgeous coastal view. Still, if your recipient loves lobster and lighthouse drives, they'll be grateful for this gift. Read our review of Goldbelly here. Some of the best ice cream in the countryHumphry Slocombe/InstagramHumphry Slocombe Choose Your Own (6 Pints), available at Goldbelly, $104.95Best for: The all-year ice cream eaterBay Area favorite Humphry Slocombe serves up interesting flavors like Matchadoodle, Toasted Sesame and Chocolate, and perennial favorite Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with cornflake cookies). Your recipient will be thankful you sent over six whole pints instead of just one. A breakfast spread they'll be excited to wake up forGoldbellyRuss & Daughters New York Nostalgia, available at Goldbelly, $230They can customize their breakfast with a variety of smoked and pickled fish, cream cheese, and assorted bagels. Cap it all off with a sweet treat of marble halvah or rugelach.  Fundamental spices for flavorsome cookingBurlap and BarrelFundamentals Collection, available at Burlap and Barrel, from $52.99 The right spices accentuate flavors and uplift flat dishes, so it's worth it to splurge on the good ones. Burlap & Barrel sustainably sources its spices and works directly with the farmers. We used Burlap & Barrel black peppercorns to test the best pepper mills and were amazed by the freshness and complexity of the spice's flavor.  A pack of non-alcoholic sparkling drinksTOSTTÖST 25.4 fl oz. Sparkling Beverage, 3-pack, available at Amazon, $33.99Made with white tea, cranberry, and ginger, TÖST is the perfect drink for sober party-goers. It has the look of a bottle of bubbly, but without the alcohol content. We found it refreshing and very sweet, a great non-alcoholic option for a celebration.  A pickle subscriptionMouthPickle of the Month Club Subscription, available at Mouth, from $47.75/monthA crunchy pickle makes nearly anything taste better, and this subscription will ensure your recipient always has one to accompany a sandwich or a salad.  A big box of charcuterie that includes duck, pork, and chickenD'ArtagnanClassic Charcuterie Gift Box, available at D'Artagnan, $99.99Save this delicious sampler for wine nights and summery picnics. You can trust this 35-year-old farm-to-table purveyor of sustainable, free-range meats to deliver on flavor and quality.  Classic cocktails in gummy formSmith & Sinclair/InstagramThe Night in Box of Alcoholic Cocktail Gummies, available at Smith & Sinclair, $25We love making our own cocktails, but we also don't mind creative twists like Smith & Sinclair's cocktail gummies. They're a fun, mess-free way to enjoy happy hour.  A colorful assortment of bite-sized treatsBaked by Melissa/InstagramClassic 25-Pack Cupcake Gift Box, available at Baked by Melissa, $47There's no rule saying they can only eat one. And with 12 different flavors including PB&J, brownie batter, and chocolate chip banana, they won't want to.  Premium maple syrupAmazonRunamok Maple Organic Vermont Maple Syrup Barrel-Aged and Infused Collection, available at Amazon, $31.95Vermont maple syrup calls to mind warmth and sweetness. Your giftee can dress up their pancakes, drinks, or baking with one of these four classic and unique flavors: Pecan wood smoked, bourbon barrel-aged, vanilla-cinnamon, and makrut lime leaf infused syrups.  An international cheese tourMurray's CheeseCheeses of the World Sampler, available at Murray's Cheese, $87They'll never get bored of this six-pound set that features French, Swiss, and Spanish cheeses from local farms and Murray's own cheese caves. It should serve 5-7 people, but we're sure it varies depending on how much your recipient loves cheese.  A mix of rich cake truffles and creatively flavored cookiesMilk BarThe Little Somethings Box, available at Milk Bar, $84The truffles and cookies are a couple of the best things you can get from New York City institution Milk Bar. There's no shortage of variety in this gift: your lucky recipient will get six different cookies (like the famous Compost Cookie), 12 birthday cake truffles, and 12 chocolate birthday cake truffles. Read our review of Milk Bar here.A guide to the world of honeySavannah Bee HoneyBook of Honey, available at Uncommon Goods, $49Spread on toast or dropped into tea, the earthy sweetness of Savannah Bee Honey goes with everything. This gift set comes with five varieties and a book to explain where the honey comes from, how it was produced, and the different tasting notes.    Bread to pair with their favorite brewThe GrommetSoberDough Artisan Brew Bread Sampler, available at SoberDough, $75With this bread baking kit, they can have a fresh loaf imbued with their favorite beer in under an hour. Plus, the gift includes six starter doughs, so they can experiment and perfect their art. A box of yummy mochiMochidokiMochidoki Signature Box Set, available at Mochidoki, $100The mochi lover in your life will adore this assortment of ice cream treats. The collection includes 12 of Mochidoki's most popular flavors, including matcha, passion fruit, chocolate, and strawberry.  Zero-proof cocktail kitsLily AligZero-Proof Cocktail Subscription, available at Raising the Bar, from $50.75/monthEach Raising the Bar box is like a crash course in mixology, teaching you about flavors and techniques that you could apply to any cocktail. The box includes your zero-proof cocktail materials as well as extras like cocktail picks and pink peppercorns.  The subscription is a little pricey, but the experience of such a cohesive and jam-packed kit is worth it.  Fairtrade and organic chocolateAmazonTheo Chocolate Organic Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Variety Pack, available at Amazon, $27.48This collection of dark chocolate peanut butter cups is only the beginning of what Theo Chocolate has to offer. Theo Chocolate is creamy and has a full cocoa flavor that isn't overshadowed by mix-ins. An alcohol subscription that supports indie wine makersJada Wong/InsiderBuzzworthy Wines 11-Pack, available at Nakedwines.com, $334.99Nakedwines.com supports wine enthusiasts' desire to bring you new blends and brands. Once a wine is approved, they can sell their wine through the website at shockingly affordable prices considering the quality. Your favorite wine snob can enjoy trendy wine from small winemakers around the country, even from the most prestigious soils of Napa Valley.Read our review of NakedWines.com here. A subscription that delivers responsibly sourced meat, poultry, and seafoodCrowd CowBest of Crowd Cow Box, available at Crowd Cow, $150Crowd Cow sources its meat, poultry, and seafood directly from independent farms with ethical and environmentally friendly practices or from the wild. In addition, the service provides you with information about where your meat came from and how the animal was treated before you cook it. Send someone an e-gift card to go towards a subscription which they can pause, change the frequency of, or cancel at any time (delivered on an automatic basis) or build a custom box for a one-time delivery.  Read our review of Crowd Cow here. Authentic Japanese snacksBokksu/InstagramClassic Box, available at Bokksu, from $39.99/monthEvery month feels like an adventure when they have a subscription to Bokksu, which delivers Japanese snacks, candies, and a tea pairing they can't find in most stores. The cool snacks also come with a culture guide that explains each snack's origins and flavors. Read our review of Bokksu here. Hot sauces ranging in heat level from "mellow" to "evil"Food52Fuego Box Tame to Insane Hot Sauce Box, available at Food52, $135Gift this 11-bottle box of fiery sauces to that friend who goes to the Hot Sauce Expo every year and always has a new bottle of hot sauce in their grocery cart. They'll probably want to keep a glass (or jug) of milk nearby.  A monthly delivery of cool international snacksUniversal YumsYum Yum Gift Box, available at Universal Yums, from $15/monthIt's not always possible to travel, but Universal Yums' boxes let your recipient do so through food. Past boxes have highlighted the sweet and savory snacks of Scandinavia, Brazil, France, and Indonesia. Read our review of Universal Yums here. This article is part of "Holiday Insider," your go-to guide for celebrating the festive season.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 12th, 2022

Chips Take Center-Stage As Businesses Manage Risks And Countries Manage Rivalries

Chips Take Center-Stage As Businesses Manage Risks And Countries Manage Rivalries On Tuesday, President Biden visited Phoenix for a "tool-in" ceremony at a new, $12 billion plant being built by Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC. Just ahead of his arrival, the firm announced it would build a second factory in Arizona. Now totaling $40 billion, TSMC's Arizona expansion is the company's largest foreign investment, and among the largest foreign investments in American history.  BIDEN: "They'll construct a second fab here in Phoenix to build chips three nanochips, the three nanochip, chips that are three nano..." pic.twitter.com/vGJgUQyr1p — RNC Research (@RNCResearch) December 6, 2022 In addition to bringing jobs, TSMC's Arizona facilities will also provide some reassurance for manufacturers all over the world who've grown increasingly uneasy about the concentration of chip production on the contested island of Taiwan.  “Companies like TSMC are facing multiple reasons to rethink the geography of supply chains. And it’s not just politicians calling them . . . but their customers as well,” Chris Miller, author of Chip War: The Fight for the World's Most Critical Technology, tells Financial Times this week. As the Times' Andrew Hill writes:  Taiwan sits on geopolitical and seismic faultlines. Until recently, companies trusted that seamless globalised networks would underpin their chip supply. But boards are suddenly worrying about “Taiwan risk.” They are contemplating the possibility of military confrontation between the US and China and grappling with the implications of a trade war over chip development and supply. Then there's the U.S. government's war on Chinese semiconductor capabilities, which some view as central to the rivalry between the two countries.   “World War II was decided by steel and aluminum, and followed shortly thereafter by the Cold War, which was defined by atomic weapons,” writes Miller. “The rivalry between the United States and China may well be determined by computing power.” Efforts to undermine China's chip industry started with the Trump administration, and have intensified during Biden's presidency. In October, the Commerce Department barred companies from selling advanced computing chips, chip-making equipment and other goods to China unless they first secure a special license to do so. Most requests are expected to be denied.   A TSMC facility in Nanjing, China (STR/AFP/Getty Images via FT) Under U.S. government leadership, trade wars are evolving. The emphasis is shifting -- from defensively blocking access to one's own domestic market, to using economic coercion to deny a foreign rival access to crucial products and finance.  Rather than being an alternative to a shooting war, such tactics may prove to be a precursor.  As the apocryphal quotation, dubiously attributed to Bastiat, goes: "When goods don't cross borders, soldiers will."  Tyler Durden Sun, 12/11/2022 - 12:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 11th, 2022

68 gifts under $50 perfect for any occasion or holiday

We found great gift ideas under $50 that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to get just the right gift for any occasion. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.We found great gift ideas $50 and under that prove you don't have to spend a fortune to get just the right gift for any occasion.Baublebar; Crystal Cox/Insider'Tis the season! The gift-giving season, that is. With holiday parties and family gatherings galore, there's plenty of merriment on the horizon this time of year. But there tends to be some stress around gifting too. With coworkers, friends, partners, siblings, and so many other loved ones on your gift list, it can be stressful to think about how you're going to get all those gifts without breaking the bank. Luckily you have us, a team of expert product reviewers with a knack for gift-giving, on your side. We've already done the heavy lifting and have spent the past few months scouring the web for the best gifts you can buy this year. And below, we've rounded up the gifts you can find for $50 or less. From silly custom art to life-changing tech to cookware, there's something for everyone on your list.A flower they can grow themselvesModern SproutPaperwhite Winter Bulb Kit, available at Modern Sprout, $20Best for: The green thumbFlowers are always a great gift, but this DIY grow kit takes that up a notch. The kit has everything they need to plant three Paperwhite bulbs. In just a few weeks, they'll get to enjoy the beautiful blooms they planted. A trio of spicy sauces and seasoningsFly By JingHoliday Triple Threat, available at Fly By Jing, $45Best for: The adventurous eater Help them spice up their home cooking with fresh takes on traditional Sichuan flavors. This spicy features the brand's iconic Sichuan Chili Crisp, the umami-rich, tangy Zhong Sauce which is perfect for dumpling-dipping, and the numbingly spicy Mala Spice Mix which can be added to rubs, marinades, batters, and more.A pair of classic gold hoopsBaubleBarVerbena Earrings, available at BaubleBar, from $36.80Best for: The minimalist dresser A great pair of gold hoops has the power to make any lackluster outfit feel special and more put-together. If they don't already have a go-to pair, why not give them one? These huggies come in multiple different sizes that look great no matter the occasion.A funky mugBlumeCloud Mug, available at Blume, $16.40Best for: The one who loves their beverages Anyone who loves their morning coffee knows that the mug said coffee is in is almost as important as the coffee itself. This ceramic one has an oversized handle with a retro, bubble design to make their morning sipping ritual all the sweeter.A Bluetooth karaoke microphoneAmazonBonaok Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone, available at Amazon, $27.99Best for: The songbirdThis Bluetooth karaoke microphone is the perfect accessory to gift the one who's the life of the party. They can sing along to their favorite songs with this gift that offers premium sound and noise reduction. The fanny pack they'll forget they're wearingPatagoniaPatagonia Ultralight Black Hole Mini Hip Pack, available at REI, Dick's Sporting Goods, Patagonia, $35Best for: The one who's always on the goMade from 100% recycled ripstop nylon and treated with a silicone face coating for weather resistance, this mini pack is durable and practical. Our pick for the best small fanny pack, the Patagonia Ultralight Blackhole is so light that they'll forget it's on. From the trails to the streets, they'll be secured and ready to go, always.A set of spa-worthy shower bombsAmazonEuka Wellness Shower Bombs 6-Pack, available at Amazon, $9.99Best for: The person who doesn't have a bathtub but wants the same funNo bathtub? No problem. With these shower bombs, anyone can transform their bathroom into a makeshift spa, and they don't even need a bathtub to do it. These come in a variety of options including Calm, Detox, Breathe, and Happy (and come 6 in a pack). A box of fiber-rich mac and cheeseGoodlesMac Pac, available at Goodles, $50Best for: The comfort food connoisseur For Kraft mac and cheese lovers, this brand features the same nostalgic taste but with more fiber and protein in the noodles. This sampler comes with four flavors of mac, a rainbow spork, and a plush toy of a bowl of mac and cheese.A personalized video message from their favorite celebrityCameoCameo video, available on Cameo, from $1Best for: The pop culture fanaticWhether they have a favorite musician, reality TV star, comedian, or actor, there's a good chance their favorite celebrity is on Cameo. You can even choose from pre-recorded video messages with a personal shoutout, or opt to give them a super special one-on-one video call. Of course, the price will greatly vary depending on who the star is.A pair of stylish wearable weightsBandierBala Bangles, available at Amazon, Target, and Bala, from $42Best for: The committed athleteIncorporate fitness into your daily life with these wearable weights that fit on your wrist or ankles. At one to two pounds, these stylish weights intensify any movement and build strength whether it's a workout or running errands.A rocks glass etched with a city mapUncommon GoodsUrban Map Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $18Best for: The one who really loves their city (and whiskey)Whether you want to bring back fond memories of a place you visited together or just want a gift that highlights their favorite stomping grounds, you can cheers to these rocks glasses intricately etched with a city map and interspersed street names. Over 30 major US cities are available to choose from.To really up the ante, consider pairing the glass with a nice bottle of bourbon. A monogrammed clutchMark & GrahamPalm Leaf Rounded Clutch, available at Mark and Graham, from $37.99Best for: The beach vacationerYou can get your giftee's initials embroidered on this cute roll-up clutch for a personal touch. The bag is woven from natural palm leaves for a beachy vibe, and the blue and white striped interior adds to the fun coastal feel.An easy way to make their own bubble teaUncommon GoodsBubble Tea Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $40Best for: The boba loverFor the bubble tea drinker in your life, this kit comes with two flavors of loose-leaf tea, tapioca pearls, and two reusable stainless steel straws. All they'll have to do is add a little milk (if they like!) and sip on this delicious brew.A foam roller for recoveryTPTherapyTriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller, available at Amazon and TPTherapy, from $36.95Best for: The perpetually sore athlete Proper recovery is paramount for optimal performance. That's why this foam roller is such a great gift; it'll help them improve mobility, increase circulation, relieve muscle pain and tightness, and get them in fighting shape all around.A cozy knit beanieAsosStormlock Rip Knit Cap, available at Amazon, $28.22Best for: The one who lives up northCold-weather accessories make a great gift for anyone braving the cold this winter and the Jack Wolfskin's Stormlock Rip Knit Cap is exactly what they need. Built of a blend of wool and acrylic, this beanie also features Stormlock fleece which just about guarantees a warm noggin. It's even available in two different colors to match a variety of outfits.  A meal kit from their favorite restaurantGoldbelly/FacebookRestaurant Meal Kits, available at Goldbelly, from $39.95Best for: The foodieBring a bit of their favorite restaurant right to their door. From bagels to barbeque, Goldbelly ships food gifts nationwide from iconic eateries in major cities. A personalized pillow of their favorite fur babyaurespaces/EtsyAurespaces Custom Pet Pillow, available at Etsy, from $42.99Best for: The proud pet parentIf there's nothing they love more than their cat or dog, this pillow — featuring a blown-up picture of their pet — is sure to make them smile. A small but mighty smart assistantGoogleGoogle Nest Mini (2nd Generation), available at Best Buy, Target, and Walmart, from $49Best for: The multitaskerGive the gift of a virtual helper. Currently on sale for under $30, the Google Nest Mini offers a compact, affordable smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in. Friends and family members will love being able to dim lights, control the volume on their TV, check the weather, and more, all with just the sound of their voice.Read our full review of the Google Nest Mini here.Notepads chock full of affirmationsAmazonKnock Knock Notepads, available at Amazon and Knock Knock, from $5.25Best for: Anyone in need of a motivational talkWhether you want to give them a quick pep talk or celebrate them just because, these notepads from Knock Knock provide a creative and encouraging way of doing so. Each set comes with 50 sheets, so they'll make plenty of use of these witty notes.A spice and herb kit packed with international flavorsUncommon GoodsGourmet Oil Dipping Spice Kit, available at Uncommon Goods, $42Best for: The seasoning aficionado Whether it's a dash of Italian oregano or za'atar from the Middle East, any cook will appreciate this international spice kit that lets them cook with various tastes of the world. A tracker for lost itemsAppleApple AirTag, available at Amazon, Target, and Apple, from $26.49Best for: Anyone always losing their keysWhether you lose track of your keys or a bag, Apple's AirTag is a sure way to find any lost item. This water-resistant tracker plays a sound or uses its precise distance findings to lead you straight to the item regardless of the distance on the Find My app.A hatch decanter to sophisticatedly store alcoholCrate & BarrelHatch Decanter, available at Crate & Barrel, $44.95Best for: The scotch drinkerIf their barware collection bares a sophisticated flair, they'll appreciate this elegant hatch decanter. This 32oz decanter is a more affordable price than others thanks to its beautiful molded diamond pattern that resembles cut crystal.A DIY recipe bookAmazonMy Recipes Cookbook, available at Amazon, $8.99Best for: The chefWhether they're a huge foodie or want to preserve a favorite family meal, this DIY cookbook offers 120 blank pages to fill with their favorite recipes. The notebook's table of contents and additional note space at the end will help keep them extra organized. Taking the time to add in your own savory vodka sauce pasta dish or having their loved ones fill in grandma's homemade recipes will make this gift feel extra special.Snacks for movie nightKnackPopcorn Snack Medley, available at Knack, $46Best for: The movie buffHelp them take their next Netflix marathon to the next level with this popcorn mix set. The mix includes two microwavable Pop on The Cob popcorn cobs, toffee pretzels, dark chocolate-covered cherries, and Virginia peanuts. If they have a particular favorite treat, each snack can also be added in extra quantities at an additional cost.Cozy house slippersSally Kaplan/Insider;Sally Kaplan/InsiderEQUICK Cloud Slides, available at Amazon, from $16.99Best for: The loungerClean space enthusiasts who enjoy a no outdoor shoe policy in their homes will appreciate these pillow slipper slides. The platform bottom and cushioned sole make for a cute and cozy fit. Farm-to-skin lip balmsEtsyBeekman 1802 Ten Piece Lip Balm Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $48Best for: The sustainable beauty fanThis farm-to-skin lip balm set is just right for the green beauty obsessive. All 10 lip balms are made from natural goat's milk and essential oils. Beautifully packaged and scented, the fragrances include Ylang Ylang and Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Fig Leaf, Sweet Grass, Grapefruit, Oak Moss, Apricot and Honey, Vanilla, and an unscented balm.A sand-free, quick-dry towelSand CloudSand Cloud Towel, available at Sand Cloud, from $48Best for: The avid beachgoer Not only are these thin towels easy to roll up and throw in your beach bag or picnic basket, but they also easily shake off sand and dry three times faster than classic beach and pool towels. Choose from a wide array of vibrant patterns and colors, from a navy blue whale shark print to tie-dye options.A cute kitchen gadget that makes breakfast in a flashCrystal Cox/InsiderDash Mini Waffle Maker, available at Target, Amazon, and Dash, from $10Best for: The brunch champion This compact waffle maker makes a great addition to any college dorm or small kitchen. All they have to do is plug it in and they can make their favorite breakfast treat in a flash.A 51-piece art kitAmazon51-Piece Watercolor Art Set, available at Amazon, $24.47Best for: The artistEncourage them to pick up a new hobby (or take advantage of an existing one) with this watercolor set that's built for both beginners and experts. The set includes various cakes and paints, watercolor pencils, paintbrushes, a paint palette, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener — all within a pre-packaged case that can save you the pain of gift wrapping. Authentic Japanese ramenICHIRAN USAICHIRAN Take-Home Ramen Kit, available at Amazon and ICHIRAN USA, from $29Best for: The ramen loverICHIRAN Ramen has been delighting ramen aficionados since 1960. Known for its original Tonkatsu (pork bone) soup, its ramen combines the rich umami flavors of the broth with Hakata-style noodles that are slender, chewy, and perfect. Enjoy a little bit of heat? The kit also comes with ICHIRAN's original spicy seasoning, using togarashi pepper spice to amp up the flavors even more.A cult-favorite candleOtherlandCandles, available at Otherland, $36Best for: The fancy candle collectorWe love Otherland's candles, whether seasonally inspired or from the classic collection. Notable scent combinations such as champagne, saffron, and leather, gorgeous packaging, and a 55 hour burn time have deemed Otherland's candles as a foolproof gift among the Insider Reviews team.A streaming stick that turns any TV into a smart oneAmazonRoku Streaming Stick 4K, available at Amazon, Walmart, and Roku, from $24.98Best for: The TV fanaticUpgrade their Netflix marathons without actually buying them a whole new TV. The Roku Streaming Stick 4K offers 4K, HD, and HDR streaming in a portable package and at an affordable price. A set of loose-leaf teas that Oprah lovesAmazonVadham Chai Tea Reserve Set, available at Amazon, $23.99Best for: The tea drinker who wants to spice it upThis classy set of loose-leaf teas made it into Oprah's Favorite Things back in 2018. It's filled with three variations of chai tea that any tea lover will appreciate. An at-home spa kitUncommon GoodsEucalyptus Spa Gift Set, available at Uncommon Goods, $40Best for: The one in need of a breakGive them the gift of soothing relaxation with this at-home kit that includes pampering botanical bath salts and natural jute body scrubber. The recipient will also be able to grow their own eucalyptus in the bamboo pot so they can continue to breathe deep and say ahh.A smooth olive oil that'll instantly elevate any dishBrightlandAlive Olive Oil, available at Brightland, $37Best for: The EVOO drizzlerIf they spend a lot of time in the kitchen, they probably already know the merits of high-quality olive oil. A drizzle of Alive from Brightland adds a vibrant, zesty flavor to any dish, plus the beautiful bottle will look great on display in their kitchen. An affordable electric toothbrush subscriptionQuipQuip Toothbrush Starter Set, available at Quip and Target, from $24.99Best for: The one who takes their dental care seriouslyHelp them upgrade their oral care routine with a Quip toothbrush. Not only is it a great electric toothbrush at a reasonable price, but Quip will send them a refill every three months with a new brush head and toothbrush. Delicious mini cupcakesBaked by Melissa/FacebookCupcake Gift Boxes, available at Baked by Melissa, from $37Best for: Anyone with a sweet toothWho doesn't love getting a sweet surprise? With delicious flavors ranging from Cookie Dough to Pink Frosted Donut, these bite-size treats are sure to please. You can also add a special gift box to complete the gift. A set of magnets that are fun to play with and can boost concentrationCrystal Cox/InsiderSpeks 2.5mm Magnet Balls, available at Speks and Barnes & Noble, from $29.99Best for: The fidgeter Almost everyone on the Insider Reviews team has a set of Speks at their desk. The little magnetic balls can be mashed, molded, and built into fun shapes and are a fun fidget toy that even adults will love. A sugary and fun snackNeiman MarcusSugarfina Champagne Bears, available at Neiman Marcus, Amazon, and Sugarfina, from $13.95Best for: The one in need of a toastElevate their next sugar fix with these fun champagne gummy bears. Don't worry if they're under 21, despite the name and flavor, these gummies are non-alcoholic. There are rosé options, too.    A simple, inspiring necklaceBan.doban.do Good Intentions Necklace, available at Amazon and ban.do, from $20Best for: The person who exudes posi vibesA sweet necklace with an even sweeter mission. Choose from a selection of positive intentions like "optimism," "strength," or "gratitude," which they can carry with them throughout the day. For every necklace sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit Girls Inc.A taste of Japan by way of snacksBokksu3-Month Snack Gift Box, available at Bokksu, $45.99Best for: Anyone bored of their current snack rotationAdventurous foodies will love the chance to taste-test a curated box of gourmet Japanese snacks. In this Bokksu box, they can expect to find between 10-14 snacks, a tea pairing, and an in-depth guide that details every product included.A bestselling face mask for clearer skinAztec SecretAztec Secret Indian Healing Mask, available at Target and Walmart, from $9.98Best for: The one in search of the best skincare productsAnyone in on the latest skincare trends will know about this mask. Many claim it has helped clear their skin, and it has over 12,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. The best part is that this powerful facial is just $10.A soft pair of socks made from sustainable fabricUnited by BlueSoftHemp Socks (2-Pack), available at United by Blue, $12Best for: Anyone with cold feetWith cold weather approaching, there's nothing better than slipping on cozy socks. Made from soft, sustainable hemp fabric, these are sure to do the trick (and why not get them two pairs?).A luxurious exfoliator to keep skin smoothNecessaireNecessaire The Body Exfoliator, available at Sephora, Amazon, and Nordstrom, from $28.99Best for: The one dreading winter skinNecessaire's clean beauty products come in beautiful, minimalist packaging that looks as good in their bathroom as it feels on their skin. This gentle exfoliator will help them slough off dry winter skin for good.A beautiful way to store olive oilUncommon GoodsHandblown Glass Olive Oil Pourer, available at Uncommon Goods, $46Best for: The kitchen curatorThese stunning handmade jars can hold up to 12 ounces of olive oil or vinegar. Plus, they look beautiful sitting out on the kitchen counter.Cruelty-free nail polish in a range of fun colorsSmith & CultNail Polish, available at Smith & Cult, $18Best for: The at-home nail painterSmith & Cult's polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and chip-resistant. With 46 fun colors to choose from, you're sure to find one (or two, or three) they'll love. Useful cable clipsAmazonShintop Cable Clips (6-pack), available at Amazon, $3.97Best for: The desktop organizerWhether their phone charger is always falling under their desk or they simply have too many cables to keep track of, these affordable and efficient clips will allow them to simplify their workspace. Plus, the pink, orange, and green shades contribute a fun pop of color.A Disney+ subscriptionAlyssa Powell/Business InsiderGift subscription, available at Disney Plus, $7.99/monthBest for: The lifelong Disney loverIt gives them unlimited access to movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, "Star Wars," National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox, and costs just $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year after a free seven-day trial. Read everything there is to know about Disney+ over here.And if you need some binge-spiration, here are all the new movies available to stream.A sheet mask that'll hydrate dry, stressed skinSephoraDr. Jart+ Soothing Hydra Solution, available at Sephora and Amazon, from $7Best for: The face mask fanFall and winter skin tends to be dry and dull. While you can't change the weather, you can throw on a hydrating face mask to stay moisturized. This one will add lots of soothing hydration to their skin to keep it feeling fresh.A set of playing cards inspired by music's greatsAmazonMusic Genius Playing Cards, available at Uncommon Goods, $10Best for: The music loverWhether they love game night, music, or are equal fans of both, they'll surely get a kick out of these playing cards. The pack features illustrations of all the big names in pop, rock, country, and R&B.Makeup towels that make washing their face less of a choreWeezieMakeup Towels, available at Weezie, $40Best for: The one who struggles to remove their mascaraIf they've never thought of washcloths as anything special, Weezie towels will change their minds. The adorable towels are embroidered with either hearts, winky eyelids, or the words "stain me." Plus, the dark navy blue color will conceal makeup stains.A spray that protects their shoesAmazonJason Markk Repel, available at Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, and The Container Store, from $17Best for: The sneakerheadIf they love shoes, they should have the right products to take care of their favorite footwear. This spray protects shoes from stains caused by water and oil, and there are multiple people on our team who swear by it for every new pair of shoes they get.A lip gloss that has all the benefits of a balmTower 28 BeautyTower28 Beauty Jelly Lip Gloss, available at Sephora and Tower28, $15Best for: Anyone complaining about dry lipsThis clean-beauty favorite delivers the glossy sheen they'd expect from a lip gloss, but it's loaded with nourishing oils to keep lips hydrated, too. A unique case that protects their phoneCasetifyCasetify Phone Case, available at Casetify, from $42Best for: The one with a falling-apart phone caseOur phones are our lifelines these days and if you know someone who's always glued to theirs, consider giving them a unique case that's as protective as it is pretty thanks to being drop-tested and shock-absorbent. They have options ranging from watercolor forest scenes to cute sayings to cuddly animals. You can even do a customized option and put their initials on it.  A silky-smooth sleep mask to block lightNordstromSlip Pink Marble Sleep Mask, available at Nordstrom, $50Best for: The beauty sleeperIf there's nothing they appreciate more than a good night's sleep, they'll love Slip's silk sleep mask. It's made from 100% pure Mulberry silk for a luxe, light feel on their skin. A fitting vehicle for their post-run brewsUncommon GoodsEtched Marathon Pint Glass, available at Uncommon Goods, $20Best for: The runner If they like to celebrate a long run with a big pint, they'll appreciate these pint glasses etched with famous marathon routes. A set of colorful silicone straws that reduce plastic wasteFood52Five Two Silicone Straw, available at Food52, $19Best for: The environmentalist Bendable, sustainable, and portable (thanks to the set of carrying cases), these fun straws are the accessory any eco-conscious person should have.A bold lip color that'll last all day longSephoraLancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick, available at Sephora and Macy's, from $27.20Best for: The one who sticks to one lipstick at a timeWhether it's a pale peach or a deep-red look they crave, they'll love this long-lasting lipstick with its saturated colors and hydrating formula.A book subscriptionBook of the Month3-Month Subscription, available at Book of the Month, $49.99Best for: The obsessive readerA subscription box that sends them an exciting new read catered to their tastes each month is the perfect gift for a bookworm. A coffee mug that keeps their drinks hot or cold for hoursAmazonHydro Flask Travel Coffee Mug, available at Hydro Flask and REI, from $20.89Best for: The hot coffee loverHydro Flask's Travel Coffee Mug is a team favorite. It combines the classic shape of a mug with Hydro Flask's TempShield insulation to keep beverages hot, or cold, for hours— a great gift for the coffee or tea lover who's always on the move. A cute reusable tote that can fit tons of stuffBAGGUStandard Baggu, available at Baggu, $14Best for: The tote wearerIt's no wonder these bags are bestsellers — they can hold up to 50 pounds of stuff and come in a range of fun colors and patterns. Plus, at just $12, they're a great deal. A classy carrying case to stash chargersMark & GrahamLeather Charger Roll-Up, available at Mark & Graham, from $39Best for: The expert packerAfter they fill the three pockets with cables and chargers, all they have do is roll everything up and they're good to go. The soft, supple leather comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns. A cult-favorite cast-iron skilletAmazonLodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, available at Williams Sonoma, Target, and Amazon, from $19.90Best for: The frequent home cookEvery cook needs a cast-iron skillet in their kitchen. Lodge makes some of the best out there, but at prices that won't break the bank. A candle that reminds them of their favorite placeAmazonHomesick Location Scented Candle, available at Amazon, Homesick, and Uncommon Goods, from $34Best for: The one with state pride This is a great gift that's sure to make anyone sentimental. Whether it's their hometown, college town, or favorite spot to vacation, a Homesick candle, with scents inspired by all sorts of locations, will bring them back to that favorite place. An apron loaded with plenty of clever featuresFood52Five Two Ultimate Apron, available at Food52, from $35Best for: The kitchen splatter-averseAnyone who spends a good amount of time in the kitchen will appreciate this durable apron with its sturdy fabric, clever pockets made to hold the essentials, and pot-holders built right in. A cold brew coffee maker to keep up with their iced coffee habitAmazonTakeya Cold Brew Coffee Maker, available at Amazon and Target, $27.99Best for: The at-home coffee brewerIf their morning ritual includes a cup of cold brew, they'll appreciate this convenient cold brew maker. All they have to do is fill it with their favorite coffee grinds, add water, let it sit, and they've got a glass of delicious cold brew on the way. A portable straw that makes water drinkableAmazonLifeStraw Personal Water Filter, available at Amazon, $12.74Best for: The outdoor adventurerThis portable, personal water filter is consistently one of the bestselling products on Prime Day. It filters water from creeks and rivers, making it perfect for hiking, camping, and travel.A simple and elegant photo calendarArtifact UprisingWalnut Desktop Photo Calendar, available at Artifact Uprising, from $29.75Best for: The fan of the old-school paper calendarAll of Artifact Uprising's customized photo gifts are simple, beautiful, and made from eco-friendly materials. This simple calendar is an easy choice for anyone on your list. Just pick 12 photos (one for each month) of the people and places they love most to add a special sentiment to their desk setup.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2022

World"s Top Chipmaker To Build Another US Plant In Arizona

World's Top Chipmaker To Build Another US Plant In Arizona Currently, US semiconductors are a measly 10% of global production. Most chips are produced in Asia, particularly South Korea and Taiwan, and the Biden administration has pushed the Chips and Science Act to boost development and production domestically.  The CHIPS Act earmarks $52 billion to revert a decades-long trend of US production shifting abroad to low-cost labor regions. There was evidence some of this production is being reshored, according to a WSJ report, revealing Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world's largest contract chipmaker, is laying the groundwork for a second US factory in Arizona.  People familiar with the plans told WSJ that TSMC would soon announce one of the most advanced semiconductor plants just north of Phoenix, Arizona, next to another one of its chip factories. They said the investment in the new plant could be upwards of $12 billion, similar to what was committed in 2020 to build the factory beside it.  TSMC is making a big bet on the revival of US semiconductor production after increasing US-China tensions led Washington to pass the CHIPS Act to spur domestic semiconductor manufacturing.  "TSMC's new facility would manufacture so-called 3-nanometer transistors, some of the tiniest and most lightning-fast currently possible," the people said.  In a statement to WSJ on Wednesday, TSMC confirmed it was constructing a building to "potentially" house a second chip plant at its site in Arizona. The statement said it would add more advanced chip capacity there, though a final decision has yet to be announced.  The Biden administration's move to rebuild semiconductor production in the US comes after a massive chip shortage in Asia that caused supply chain snarls for manufacturers of automobiles, electronics, and defense systems. The expansion signifies that reshoring supply chains from China and surrounding countries will ensure secured chip production during wartime.  TSMC, whose production plants are based primarily in Taiwan, has begun to diversify over the past year due to invasion threats by China. In August, TSMC Chair Mark Liu told CNN that if China were to invade Taiwan and seize the world's most advanced chip factories, it would cause devastating supply chain disruptions worldwide.  Apart from domestic initiatives, the Biden administration has slapped China with export restrictions on advanced chips and curbed the sale of chipmaking equipment. The restrictions attempt to slow advancements in China while buying the US time to rebuild its chip production base.   Intel Corp. and memory maker Micron Technology Inc. are also investing in new US chipmaking factories as global supply chains are rejiggered due to national security threats.   Tyler Durden Wed, 11/09/2022 - 20:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 9th, 2022

SK Hynix Slashes CapEX After "Unprecedented" Plunge In Chip Demand

SK Hynix Slashes CapEX After "Unprecedented" Plunge In Chip Demand South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. provided a worsening outlook for the already slumping semiconductor market in its latest quarterly report, dashing all hopes for a quick rebound.  Hynix said it would slash capital expenditures by more than 50% from the current year due to an oversupply of memory chips. It reported that 2022 spending would be between $7 billion and $14 billion, meaning 2023 investments would be dramatically lower.  The move by Hynix is similar to the memory chip industry's cuts made during the 2008-09 financial crisis. It may provide the understanding that the global economy is set for a vicious downturn next year.  "SK Hynix diagnosed that the semiconductor memory industry is facing an unprecedented deterioration in market conditions," the company wrote in an earnings release, adding that "shipments of PCs and smartphone manufacturers, which are major buyers of memory chips, have decreased."  Hynix warned about the steep decline in DRAM and NAND storage prices, falling by at least 20% last quarter. It will cut production gradually and expects elevated memory supply for the remainder of this year.  The South Korean chipmaker is one of the largest players in the memory space, trailing only Samsung Electronics Co.  Last month, Korea Economic Daily warned Samsung "lowered its semiconductor sales forecast for the second half of the year by more than 30%." The newspaper attributed declining semiconductors demand "as the economy froze due to central bank rate hikes caused by global inflation."  The paper warned: "As the semiconductor industry has entered a full-fledged ice age, there are many forecasts in the industry that the recession will continue until the first half of next year when semiconductor inventories are eliminated."  Hebe Chen, an analyst at IG Markets Ltd., wrote Hynix's massive capital expenditure cut is a "bold statement demonstrating their determination to confront the escalated uncertainties." "This CAPEX cut is a strong action that the market has been waiting for," Greg Roh, head of technology research at HMC Investment & Securities, said after the earnings report. The move by the company could clear the memory glut by the second half of next year.  Global chip demand has rapidly slowed in recent quarters due to a plunge in shipments of PCs and smartphones as consumers and companies pull back on spending.  "I would say the current downturn is very severe for everyone involved in an unprecedented manner," Noh Jong-won, the company's chief marketing officer, said in an earnings call. Besides Hynix, Texas Instruments Inc. also offered more gloom for the industry. It warned about a chip slowdown for personal devices and in the industrial-equipment market.  Other chip companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Intel Corp., and Nvidia Corp. have all warned about sliding demand this year.  The Philadelphia Stock Exchange Semiconductor Index has slid more than 40% since peaking in late 2021.  Hynix also warned that the Biden administration's chip restrictions on China could force closures of at least one major plant -- though it said that would be in an "extreme situation."  We recently pointed out that prices of graphics processing units have also plunged in recent months. Perhaps, this fall could be a great time to build out a gaming trading computer for a fraction of the price compared to where prices were earlier this year.  Tyler Durden Wed, 10/26/2022 - 07:39.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 26th, 2022

The fate of the world economy may depend on what happens to a company most Americans have never heard of

The Taiwanese firm TSMC is the world's largest chipmaker. But if tensions boil over with China, it could have trillions of dollars of economic costs. Military helicopters flying the Taiwanese flag over Taiwan, which China claims as its own. Escalating rhetoric between China and the US over Taiwan is sparking concern over the world's largest semiconductor company.Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images The fate of the global economy may rest on the shoulders of one company: TSMC.  TSMC is the world's biggest chipmaker — its chips power everything from cars to iPhones.  But US-China tensions, and China's standoff with Taiwan, could cost the global economy trillions. On a tiny island off the coast of China, one company manufactures a product used across the globe for countless household products as varied as PCs and washing machines.And as that island — Taiwan — worries about the threat of a standoff between the US and China, the world's economy holds its breath. That's because there could be trillions of dollars' worth of economic activity tied to that one company: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world's biggest chipmaker.Industry watchers say an escalating dispute between the US and China over Taiwan could drag down the global economy, given the fact that no other company makes such advanced chips at such a high volume. If TSMC goes offline, they say, the production of everything from cars to iPhones could screech to a halt."If China would invade Taiwan, that would be the biggest impact we've seen to the global economy — possibly ever," Glenn O'Donnell, the vice president and research director at Forrester, told Insider. "This could be bigger than 1929."What is TSMC?TSMC's factory in Nanjing, in China's Jiangsu province.VCG/VCG via Getty ImagesWhile TSMC may not be a household name, you almost certainly own something that's powered by its chips.TSMC is in the foundry business, meaning it doesn't design its own chips but instead produces them at fabrication plants for other companies. The company accounts for over half of the global semiconductor market, and when it comes to advanced processors that number is, by some estimates, as high as 90%. In fact, even the best chip from China's top semiconductor manufacturer, SMIC, has been said to be about five years behind TSMC's.TSMC counts Apple as its biggest customer, supplying the California tech giant with the chips that power iPhones. In fact, most of the world's roughly 1.4 billion smartphone processors are produced by TSMC, as are about 60% of the chips used by automakers, according to The Wall Street Journal.TSMC semiconductors are also used in high-performance computing: They can quickly process reams of data and guide missiles, making the company highly valuable in the eyes of government entities.As TSMC has grown to dominate the industry, it has automatically become an oligopoly, according to William Alan Reinsch, a senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a national security think tank."When you have a very complex, very sophisticated, and very expensive technology where barriers to entry are very high — I mean, building a fab plant is in the billions — you can't just decide tomorrow, 'Well, I'm going to go into that business,'" he said. "It's not like making tea."How did we become so reliant on chips made in Taiwan?A chip being tested in a lab in Taiwan.Ann Wang/ReutersThe semiconductor industry has its roots in the US, as much of the research and development is done on US soil. Companies in other countries license the US-made technology.Dylan Patel, a chief analyst at the semiconductor research and consulting firm SemiAnalysis, pointed to the Dutch company ASML as an example: ASML produces high-end chipmaking equipment, but one of the technologies for which it's best known was invented in the US National Laboratories.Over the past 30 years or so, manufacturers in developed countries concluded it was in their best interest to outsource the manufacturing of the chips, according to Reinsch."You build a big factory and you crank these things out by the thousands, and you do it in a low-wage, nonunion country that probably doesn't have environmental requirements," he said. "You keep all the design and IP at home and you do all your sales, marketing, and service at home, and that's where you make the money."It's this approach that has directly led to the growth of chip foundries like TSMC and reduced production on American soil, Reinsch said.According to a 2021 report from the Semiconductor Industry Association, in 1990 the US produced 37% of the world's chip supply. These days, the US is responsible for only 12% of global chip production.Why is this a problem now?Container ships waiting off the coast of the congested ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, in California, on September 29, 2021.Mike Blake/REUTERSAs the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine have illustrated, having too much reliance on certain countries can upend supply chains when disruptions arise. It's for this reason that many US corporations are exploring "onshoring" — moving some of their manufacturing to the US — to make their supply chains more resilient.The US's access to TSMC chips, however, is especially vulnerable, because though Taiwan is self-governing, China claims the island as its own and has threatened to invade. Controlling Taiwan is central to Chinese President Xi Jinping's goal of achieving a "great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation" by 2049, the 100th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.While the consequences of an invasion could be significant, many experts say it's just a matter of time before it happens, whether it's by 2030, 2025, or even by the end of next year. On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken predicted China would take steps to annex Taiwan on a "much faster timeline" than previously thought, signaling that it could be sooner rather than later. The US government is already playing out war-game scenarios to prepare for this, and in the event of a full invasion it would reportedly consider evacuating the skilled chipmaker engineers on which it's become so reliant.The spotlight has focused increasingly on Taiwan and the semiconductor industry as a whole in recent weeks following the export regulations the US government slapped on China. Those regulations limit sales of semiconductors made using US technology and are meant to curb China's ability to develop advanced technology.The US and China are now locked in what Patel described as "a full-scale bilateral economic cold war," one that's likely to have severe financial repercussions, especially given how intertwined the semiconductor supply chain is.What would happen if China invaded Taiwan?A Chinese military parade in June 2020.Alexander Vilf - Host Photo Agency via Getty ImagesTaiwan hopes its semiconductor business will protect it from Chinese aggression — government leaders have called the industry a "silicon shield" against invasion.But if China did invade, disrupting the world's access to chips, "the entire global economy comes to a screeching halt," O'Donnell from Forrester said. "Semiconductors have become almost like the oxygen of the global economy," he said. "Without the chips, you can't breathe."The effects of such a halt would be "economically devastating," says Martijn Rasser, a former senior intelligence officer at the CIA who is now a security and technology expert at the Center for a New American Security, a left-leaning think tank."You'd be looking at trillions of dollars in economic losses," he told Insider.The US National Security Council agrees, and in July the US commerce secretary said the US would face a "deep and immediate recession" if American businesses no longer had access to these chips.Some experts have speculated that, in the event of an invasion, the chip-manufacturing facilities would be intentionally destroyed so China couldn't access them. In a US Army journal article published in December, the academic Jared McKinney described this strategy as the "broken nest" — another way to put it is mutually assured destruction.The destruction of those facilities, or an inability to access their chips, could have major national security implications, Rasser said."Every military system that we rely on has a ton of semiconductors in them," he said. "It would start impacting our ability to maintain existing weapon systems, upgrade ones, build new ones."Considering that the US has committed to defending Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, these hits to the US's defense capabilities could be especially significant.But while a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would produce the most serious disruption, Rasser says it wouldn't necessarily take an invasion for the world's chip access to be blocked. As well as making investments in Taiwanese firms and poaching their workers, China could institute a blockade on the island that could cut off the world from semiconductor supplies.What's the solution?President Joe Biden holding the signed CHIPs Act in August.SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty ImagesThe US is taking some steps to make itself less reliant on Taiwan. In July, for instance, Congress passed the CHIPS Act, which includes nearly $53 billion in subsidies and tax breaks in an effort to bolster chip manufacturing in the US.Some companies have already begun adding US facilities: Intel is building two $20 billion factories in Ohio, Micron has pledged to spend up to $100 billion on a massive chip factory in upstate New York, Samsung is building a $17 billion factory in Texas, and TSMC is constructing a $12 billion plant in Arizona.TSMC is also building a new facility in Japan, one that will produce the less advanced chips needed in the auto industry. The Wall Street Journal reported that Japanese officials had signaled they'd like TSMC to expand its presence there by adding capacity for advanced chips as well, another sign global powers are growing wary of the geopolitical risk to Taiwan.But O'Donnell warned it would be premature to celebrate an end to the chip shortage or to the US's reliance on Taiwanese chips. The factories themselves require equipment that's in short supply because of — ironically enough — the chip shortage. And besides, those plants take years to build and get online."Once you stick a shovel in the ground, you're not going to get chips for at least three years," he said.Plus, there remain obstacles to substantially decreasing the country's reliance on TSMC. While the subsidies and tax breaks will help, Taiwan may continue to remain the cheaper option for businesses. And, for the time being at least, TSMC's chips are likely to be higher quality as well. Given that TSMC is "really at the cutting edge," Rasser said, the chips produced in the US by Intel, for instance, "wouldn't be as sophisticated" as those made in Taiwan.While producing even these lower-quality chips would go some way to reduce the US's reliance on Taiwan, the US has a shortfall of the skilled workforce needed to ramp up production, a problem companies in this industry are facing across the globe. Rasser says enhanced training and education will be necessary to fill this gap.It's for these reasons that it could be "years and potentially decades" before the US will be able to declare independence on the chipmaking front."The CHIPS Act, it's a good step in the right direction, but it's just a little more than scratching the surface," Rasser said.In the meantime, the US may have to cross its fingers that an economy-shaking disruption doesn't come to pass.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 22nd, 2022

What Micron’s News Means for Semiconductors

InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips In today’s Market 360, let’s take a look at Micron’s two recent announcements: its fourth-quarter earnings and its plan to build the largest U.S. chip plant ever. And we’ll discuss what it all means for the future of the chip industry… The post What Micron’s News Means for Semiconductors appeared first on InvestorPlace......»»

Category: topSource: investorplaceOct 8th, 2022

Micron shares perk up premarket on news Japan to grant it $320 million subsidy to make advanced memory chips at Hiroshima plant

Micron Technology Inc. shares perked up in premarket trade Friday, after news that Japan will give the company a subsidy of up to 46.5 billion yen ($320 million) to make advanced memory chips at its Hiroshima plant. The news was announced by Japan's industry ministry, Reuters reported. It comes after a visit to Japan by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and is the latest example of cooperation between Tokyo and Washington in chip manufacturing. "Micron appreciates the support of the Japanese government, and are proud to be a global partner in Japan's effort to expand semiconductor production and advance innovation," Micron's executive vice president of global operations, Manish Bhatia, said in a press release, Reuters reported. The news comes after Micron late Thursday posted quarterly earnings that included a forecast for a loss in the coming quarter and plans to scale back a build out of capacity as it strives to emerge from an "unprecedented" current market downcycle. Shares were up 2.5% premarket, but are down 46% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 24%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchSep 30th, 2022

SK Hynix invests KRW15 trillion in new chip plant; China, US-based smartphones highlight satellite communication; Nikon increases investment in 3D printing

The observations of this issue's Asia Enterprise include SK Hynix plans to invest KRW15 trillion (US$10.8 billion) to build a new factory in Cheongju, South Korea in five years. The company is boldly investing in the memory market during the downturn. Geely, Huawei, and Apple are all introducing innovative services of mobile communication combined with satellite communication. Nikon increases investment in 3D printing for metal, aerospace, and automotive applications......»»

Category: topSource: digitimesSep 16th, 2022

Is China Using Cyberattacks To Maintain Its Rare Earth Dominance?

Is China Using Cyberattacks To Maintain Its Rare Earth Dominance? Via Ag Metal Miner, China currently controls as much as 80% of the global rare earth supply. As more firms aim to chip away at China’s dominance, there are growing suspicions that the CCP is using cyberattacks against rare earth companies to maintain its influence. US cybersecurity firm Mandiant and Albert Zhang, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, both allege these attacks were China’s deliberate attempt to block President Joe Biden’s efforts to build a critical minerals industry in the US. For the longest time, the world relied solely on China for its supply of rare earths. Now, it seems that most countries have woken up to the “rare earths reality.” That is, we are starting to understand how important these elements are for vital sectors like defense as well as for products we use every day, like cars. Moreover, we’re starting to realize that we can’t let one single nation control the entire supply chain. This changing attitude has encouraged many countries, including the US, to start tapering their reliance on China for critical metals and minerals. However, it’s possible this shift has not gone over well with the Chinese government. This is particularly evident given the growing number of cyber attacks on rare earth producers of late. The most recent example targeted Australia’s Lynas Rare Earths Ltd. According to reports, the company fell victim to a series of cyber attacks from social media accounts potentially linked to the Chinese Communist Party. A few months prior, US cybersecurity firm Mandiant alleged that Chinese government-funded programs were spreading disinformation. This time, the target of their ire was Canadian rare earths miner Appia Rare Earths & Uranium Corp. Why Attack Rare Earths Firms? Experts believe that China simply doesn’t want any other country to develop rare earth production capabilities. After all, their success would quickly erode China’s position as the world’s largest rare earths miner. Therefore, these cyber attacks are likely a way of destabilizing the investment plans of Western companies in the field.   This isn’t the only strategy at work. For instance, earlier this year, China announced it was setting up a new state-owned enterprise, China Rare Earth Group. This new organization will control 60-70% of the country’s rare earth production, which amounts to 30-40% of the global supply. It represents the next logical step in the country’s market domination. Even back in the early 2000s, Chinese state-owned companies were already investing billions in foreign nations to secure long-term supplies of critical minerals. Lynas, the victim of the latest cyber attack, is actually the world’s largest producer of rare earths outside China. It already has an operating processing plant in Malaysia and is constructing multiple other facilities in the US and Australia. In fact, reports indicate the recent attack largely focused on this upcoming US plant. Indeed, the same bot campaign against Lynas, known as “Dragonbridge,” was also identified by Mandiant. Are We Witnessing the Beginning of a New Commodities Strategy? The real question at hand: will this become the “new normal” for non-Chinese rare earths companies? According to Albert Zhang, a researcher at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, these attacks are just the beginning. In fact, both Zhang and Mandiant claim these attacks were China’s deliberate attempt to block President Joe Biden’s efforts to build a critical minerals industry in the US. Rare earths are important because of their use in a range of high-tech, green technology, and military applications. Given the current growth rate of these sectors, there’s no denying these minerals will become more important. Right now, the US Geological Survey estimates that China controls about 80% of the rare earths industry, which certainly gives them a lot to lose. As Canada, Australia, and the US make efforts to establish their own supplies, China may retaliate in any number of ways. In fact, corporate sabotage may already be on the table. We’ll have to wait to see what else the CCP has up its sleeve. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/01/2022 - 14:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 1st, 2022

Semiconductors Emerge As Battleground In US-China Race

Semiconductors Emerge As Battleground In US-China Race Authored by Jessica Mao via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), 300-millimeter wafers are pictured in a machine for coating with gold in a clean room during the mass production of semiconductor chips at the Bosch's semiconductor plant in Dresden, eastern Germany, on July 12, 2022. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/AFP via Getty Images) As every aspect of modern life becomes more and more digitized, not just the economies of nations but their sovereign influence will rely more and more on the command of technology. Although the United States and China are not engaged in traditional warfare, they are engaged in a war of ideas, trade, and technology, especially in semiconductor hegemony, where both sides are battling for supply and advancement. In recent years, the United States has made a series of moves to hinder and outpace Chinese development in semiconductors, including persuading Asian semiconductor powerhouses to join its alliance, passing a massive spending bill to aid domestic chip production, and banning exports of high-end chipmaking equipment to China. In late July, the United States expanded its bans on exports to China of equipment that can make semiconductors up to 14 nanometers in size, according to major U.S. chipmaking equipment suppliers, such as Lam Research Corp. and KLA, who were notified by the government about the expanded restrictions. Previously, the United States had banned the sale of equipment that can produce chips of 10 nm or smaller to Chinese chip manufacturers. Generally in semiconductor fabrication, the smaller the process technology, the more advanced the chip. The smaller the technology node, the higher the transistor density and the lower the chip power consumption, resulting in higher performance. However, the smaller manufacturing process requires more advanced material and equipment, and will incur a greater cost in R&D and production. Semiconductors are seen on a circuit board that powers a Samsung video camera at the Samsung MOBILE-ization media and analyst event in San Jose, Calif., on March 23, 2011. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) The development follows a historic $52 billion bill passed by U.S. congress on July 27 to aid domestic chip makers in research, development, and production volume. One of the conditions is that the companies receiving the funds will not increase advanced chip production in mainland China. The U.S. Department of Commerce said the tightening policies impair “PRC efforts to manufacture advanced semiconductors to address significant national security risks to the United States.” Meanwhile, the United States is also reportedly planning to ban the exports of U.S. chipmaking equipment that produces advanced NAND chips to major Chinese chipmakers, such as Yangtze Memory Technologies Corp (YMTC). YMTC is a state-owned company and China’s only storage NAND flash memory manufacturer competing with major U.S. manufacturers. Its global market share is about 5 percent. In a report released by the White House in June 2021, YMTC was identified as the “national champion” enterprise of the Chinese regime, having received $24 billion in subsidies from the Chinese government. NAND chips are used to store data in a wide range of electronic devices such as smartphones and personal computers, as well as in the data centers of companies such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google. If the NAND chip initiatives are officially issued, they will be the first time that the United States uses trade restrictions to contain China’s ability to produce non-military use memory chips, broadening the scope of protecting the U.S.’s national security and dealing a massive blow to Chins’s memory chip industry. On Aug. 1, U.S. senators, including Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), requested that the Department of Commerce add YMTC to the U.S. trade blacklist. The move could further hamper the growth of China’s semiconductor industry and protect American companies; the only two U.S. memory chip makers, Western Digital and Micron Technology. The two account for about a quarter of the NAND chip market share. According to a Bloomberg report, the United States is also pushing the Netherlands and Japan to stop the chipmaking equipment suppliers, ASML and Nikon, from selling lithography machines to China. The move could potentially deal a severe blow to major Chinese chipmakers such as Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) and Hua Hong Semiconductor Ltd. US CHIPS Act On July 26, the U.S. Senate voted to advance its Chips and Science Bill aimed at boosting domestic semiconductor production and improving technological competitiveness with China. The bill was later passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on July 28 and signed into law by President Joe Biden on Aug. 2. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) speaks alongside a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, including (L-R) Roger Wicker (R-Miss.); Mark Warner (D-Va.); Todd Young (R-Ind.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), following the passage of the CHIPS Act, providing domestic semiconductor manufacturers with $52 billion in subsidies to cut reliance on foreign sourcing, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on July 27, 2022. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images) The legislation will provide $280 billion in funding to prop up and kickstart domestic semiconductor manufacturing and research; the price tag is far above previous legislation that aimed to provide just $52 billion to manufacturers. Officially dubbed the CHIPS [Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors for America] Act of 2022, the measure would provide tens of billions of dollars in subsidies and tax breaks to technology corporations in an effort to spur new market growth, as well as funding for government-backed tech research. Proponents of the legislation have long said that it’s necessary in order to maintain a competitive edge with China, which is pouring money into its own domestic chip production. The legislation also clarifies that entities receiving U.S. government funding are prohibited from engaging in transactions involving substantial expansion of semiconductor manufacturing in China or any other foreign country of concern for at least ten years after the Act takes effect. These restrictions are designed to prevent chipmakers from significantly expanding the production of chips more advanced than 28nm in China within the next decade. Even though the 28-nanometer chips are a few generations behind today’s advanced semiconductors, they are still widely used in cars, lower-end smartphones, appliances, and more. Chip 4 Alliance The United States has also been working to persuade Asian semiconductor powerhouses to participate in its “Chip 4 alliance.” The U.S.-led alliance aims to strengthen cooperation in the semiconductors industry among the United States and the East Asian powerhouses of Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan to build a secure supply chain that excludes China. Taiwan and Japan have already agreed to participate in the Chip 4 alliance proposed by the United States this March, pending South Korea’s decision to join. The United States has reportedly given South Korea a deadline to decide whether it will join the “Chip 4 alliance” by Aug. 31, according to local South Korean reports citing unnamed sources in Washington. Read more here... Tyler Durden Mon, 08/08/2022 - 16:50.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytAug 8th, 2022

Joe Manchin On Inflation Reduction Act: This is an American Bill

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (M-F, 3PM-4PM ET) today, Tuesday, August 2nd. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Sen. Joe Manchin On Inflation Reduction Act: This is an American Bill SARA EISEN: And joining us now is Senator Joe […] Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” (M-F, 3PM-4PM ET) today, Tuesday, August 2nd. Following is a link to video on CNBC.com: Sen. Joe Manchin On Inflation Reduction Act: This is an American Bill SARA EISEN: And joining us now is Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Senator Manchin, welcome to the show. Good to have you. .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Ray Dalio Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Ray Dalio in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   SENATOR JOE MANCHIN: Good to be with you, Sara. Thank you for having me. EISEN: So you told my colleague at MSNBC earlier that you had planned to speak with Senator Sinema this afternoon about the bill. Have you done that yet? MANCHIN: Yes. EISEN: And what can you tell us? MANCHIN: We had a good conversation. EISEN: Is she supportive? MANCHIN: We had a good conversation, Sara. I'm not gonna say any more than that because, you know, she's, she does her own homework and she looks at the bill and looks at the content and she'll make her decision and give a reason for making her decision, I'm sure. But with that, you know, we talked about just an array of different things and and we'll leave it at that. EISEN: What, did you talk about carried interest because I know I knew that she was on board in December about a lot of things but that this provision wasn't in that bill. MANCHIN: We just had a good conversation. We're gonna give her some information that we have and we’ll share information back and forth, which is how we operate and it works out well in the end. EISEN: Alright, let me ask it one more different way, which is, if carried interest does prove to be a sticking point for her, would you be willing to negotiate on that point and what would that look like? MANCHIN: We've really had a good conversation, Sara, and I'm not saying anything else. I know you're trying and you're doing your you're doing a great job but— EISEN: Well, it’s the key question. MANCHIN: It's just it's, yeah. Well, it's a very delicate question too and you’ll have to talk about all that but, you know, we're just looking in exchanging ideas and exchanging different information we have of why each other's position that's all we've always done that so we're not doing anything different we haven't done before. EISEN: Okay, so let's talk about the bill and inflation, which we talk about— MANCHIN: Yeah now we're talking. EISEN: A lot here on CNBC. So you bill it as an Inflation Reduction Act, but some of the early studies coming out, Senator, are saying that it does nothing to fight inflation, especially in the near term. So isn't that a bit misleading of a title? MANCHIN: Well, it's a bit misleading for those who come out and said that because there's been so many others have looked at it so favorably. Sara, I think just the common sense, I know I've been involved with 17 Nobel laureates telling me back in March, almost over a year ago, that inflation will be transitory. And the figures I saw and everything I was evaluating said it would not be. It'd be very detrimental and harming to our economy and to the people of America and harmful to West Virginia. And guess what, that's what turned out to be. So I know different people have different opinions. Sara, what we're doing, we're basically paying down debt. We're fighting inflation by putting more production out and energy, produce more, produce more oil and gas and making sure that our fossil industry can carry the load. We're making investments for more jobs, more energy, more jobs here in America with clean energy. So we're basically taking care of the needs of energy now, and basically investing for the energy for the future and we're doing all that while we're reducing the amount of inflation within our prices for gas because I think all of us will agree the supply and demand, the more supply you have, the better chance you have of driving down the price. And that's going to be for gasoline that's going to be for your home heating and air conditioning, everything else you're using. So we're doing tha.t We're also paying down, reducing all the drug prices. So you think that millions of people across America will be paying lower drug prices because of Medicare being able to negotiate. That's a tremendous factor. They're not factoring any of these things in. All they're taking is that companies who haven't paid for whatever reason they haven't paid will be paying 15% minimum. Sara, the only thing I've said the corporate rate was at 35% before and that was way too high. There was a bipartisan group of us in 2017 thought it would be reduced to 25. It went clear to 21. That was a 14% reduction. That was great and people were tickled to death but I guess it's not enough and all we're saying is companies who aren't paying or paying very low, if any at all, and there's 55 of the largest corporations, this only affects Sara companies that have a billion dollars of revenue or greater annually are even going to be evaluated this way to pay a 15% minimum and I just can't believe that these patriotic companies don't want to help this country defend itself and be able to do what we need to do to be the superpower of the world. EISEN: Now JCT found that 50% of those companies would be America's manufacturing companies at a time where Senator Manchin, we're trying to re-sure American manufacturing, aren't we? MANCHIN: Right. Well we’re putting an awful lot— EISEN: So doesn’t that hurt their hiring and investing decisions? MANCHIN: Well, let me if you thought it was going to hurt, don't you think the last two years it would have you've seen record capital investments, and you've seen the least amount of capital investments with record profits. So the only thing we're saying is the thing they tell me most is reliability, making sure this government will then do their job permitting regulations and that's what we're going to basically accelerate and streamline to where people can, you know, we can do things and build things much quicker than we ever have in the past. That's all part of this package. So it's going to be wonderful from that end of it. EISEN: Well the National Association of Manufacturers disagree. They say that the tax the tax in 2023 alone will reduce GDP by $68.5 billion, cut labor income by $17.1 billion. That's problematic. MANCHIN: I've heard also, I've heard also that the CDC you've heard about that that the joint tax, I’m sorry the JCT, the Joint Committee on Taxation, you heard that they said it was going to cause the people paying taxes that made $200,000 which is absolutely totally a lie. That's not the fact. What they're not telling you Sara is that that only came out from one half of the Republican side. You know, the Joint Tax Committee, the committee on taxes, basically has two sides. You have a Republican side, Democrat side, they work together. When they have a joint statement, it’s basically by both sides. This only came from one side so a lot of this is being skewed right now. We are for the first time, we're paying down our debt $300 billion, haven't done that in 25 years, not in 25 years we're paying down debt. Okay, we're increasing production of the energy— EISEN: But that doesn’t come for 5 years. Sorry to cut you off Senator Manchin but if that if that is the reason this is disinflationary that, the deficit reduction doesn't happen for five years. That doesn’t do anything about inflation now. MANCHIN: Sara, I’m just saying. When is the last time Sara you saw the intent of us paying down anything in this. We’re 30.5, 3.5 trillion dollars— EISEN: For sure, I’m just going back to the inflation question. MANCHIN: Okay, how about, let me ask you this then. How about production, don't you think you've got to produce your way out of this work your way out of inflation? You can't just sit back and wait for it and let the Feds basically raise the rate until you quit buying anything. I think think differently. I think production is the way to go. And on top of that, we're accelerating permitting, which is what every one of my Republican friends have said we've got to do to get America back. And then the investments we're making on the renewable side and all the new technology is going to be production tax credits and investment tax credits. So let me give you an example. We have a coal fired plant in West Virginia that’s going to be closing down in two years. It's a 1300 megawatt. Okay, there's a couple 100 jobs that work there. We have a company now looking at buying it and turning it into green energy, hydrogen, so making basically green ammonia to be shipped anywhere in the country of the world. There are some other opportunities if we just keep our minds open and work together. This is an American bill. It's not a Republican bill, it’s not a Democrat bill. It's not a green bill. It's a red, white and blue bill. And for God's sake, can't we come together and do something that's great for our country and— EISEN: It is a Democrat bill if it's only voted on by, by Democrats. Right? You’re doing this through reconciliation. MANCHIN: It’s a process we have. Sara, the things, the things we have in this bill are things that my Republican colleagues have talked to me for the last year. They were tickled to death for the three and a half trillion-dollar spending bill, a bill back better I was totally opposed to it. Totally opposed, never could get on. I was the only one couldn't get on board. Okay. And then all this goes on and I started talking again. I'm trying to look and see if there's a pathway for. I'm sick and tired of us running around the world, asking people to do what we haven't done for ourselves produce more energy, and they produce it in a much more climate harming way. So there's so much we can do. Decarbonization works ina couple of ways. If the United States of America produces more and we drill more and we produce more and we do it cleaner and we replace the dirtier, the dirtier product around the world, then we're decarbonizing. But then if you look at the geopolitical unrest that we have, and what Russia is doing to Europe right now by screwing down the lid so tight, they're going to basically have to make some decisions they go back to Russia for their cheap dirty energy check or can we help offset that. That's what we got to do. EISEN: What about this sort of side deal bill for the $6.6 billion pipeline, natural gas pipeline that would one run through West Virginia? What, are you confident that you can get the votes for that to become law? MANCHIN: It's the only piece of legislation that we have that basically puts energy and production within six months, 2 billion cubic feet a day. Do you know what that does? It’s unbelievable, and it goes down through Virginia to North Carolina, it gets in the system and goes to the southwest. It basically gives us a chance to reduce the natural gas prices in America because we're putting production into the market. We're not waiting five or 10 years, 94% of that has already been built. It's been built, put in the ground, covered up, receded, gone. And all we're saying is finish that like the national production. Okay, we need a defense production act. We need energy right now to get ourselves out of this mess and the only way you can get energy is by build and production. EISEN: Is there a path toward this happening? Because you would need ten Democrats, assuming all Republicans vote yes on it. MANCHIN: Sure. Oh, absolutely. This is a path. It's a basically a product that we're putting together all as one – that one has to be voted on separately because it doesn't fit in to the reconciliation. And we have agreements from the President, we have agreements from Chuck Schumer, we have agreements from Nancy Pelosi. That's all been worked together in that understanding, and they need it basically for renewables. You can't build transmission lines, taking them to where the wind projects may be, or solar projects, these large projects, unless we can get basically fast permitting and regulations so we can get this stuff done. You can't bring it to market unless you can finish it. EISEN: So you've got guarantees on that. Just back to the Inflation Reduction Act. You mentioned, Senator Manchin, the drug pricing. And so for a long time, the pharmaceutical industry has been fighting this but it looks like included in this bill, Medicare, the federal government will be able to negotiate prices. And sure we all want to pay less for prescription drugs, but we also want key innovations and new blockbusters in fighting cancer and heart disease and all these issues which the industry says it will prevent because it totally changes the economics for them. MANCHIN: Well, let's use some comparisons here. The largest provider of health care in America is the VA. Okay? The largest provider is the VA. So with them being the largest provider, they have been negotiating for the lowest drug prices for many, many years. Way before Medicare Part D came into play and the George W. Bush allowed PBMs and all of them to come into play. So that has not stymied at all any innovation or creation. Medicaid has been negotiating for prices. Why should Medicare – why is not – for some reason Medicare not allowed to enjoy the same low prices? Why can't we put caps on insulin – life-saving insulin? Why can't we do some of the things that we've been allowing other agencies to do? That's all we've asked for. And that's something we've all agreed on. I think 80% of Americans agree that should be done and we're – that's in this bill. EISEN: I think they would argue though, it makes the economics less predictable and makes it even riskier to go into high risk areas of research and development around the healthcare side. MANCHIN: Those drugs were never touched. Those drugs they're talking about, which are on the board right now just came into being and still don't – and they still have the protection of exclusivity. Those drugs aren't being touched at all, Sara. It's only the ten most drugs that have gone and it's just unbelievable how they distorted this. EISEN: Well, they think it'll expand – the ten and I think there's room for expansion into 20. But the bottom line, Senator Manchin – MANCHIN: It won’t expand unless we have legislation. EISEN: Why are you putting this in this bill? Drug prices – I went back and looked at the CPI report in June, 2.5% higher than they were last year. This is not what is hurting Americans. At least it's not the primary driver of higher prices right now. MANCHIN: 80% of Americans – Democrat and Republican – we're here representing our constituents. I can tell you my constituents in West Virginia want to be able to get lower drug prices than through Medicare and life-saving insulin they need, okay? They want caps on that. It's ridiculous. And 80% of Americans across this great nation, Democrats and Republicans alike, overwhelmingly, please reduce the prices of drug. This is a start. And if they think this is gonna basically disassemble the whole pharmaceutical and big pharma, I'm sorry, that's not going to happen. That's not the intent. EISEN: I think they just think it's harder. It's not the primary driver of inflation. You've been critical Senator Manchin, of the Federal Reserve in the past for being late and slow when it comes to the inflation fight. MANCHIN: Sure. EISEN: Do you think they're doing a good job now? MANCHIN: Well, they're coming on now. They're doing their job now. It took them a little while to get kicked in, but they're doing their job. Let's just see what happens. But we can do an awful lot more basically by producing. Taking the chains off of production for energy. Let our oil companies do what they do. Let our natural gas companies – let's build some pipelines. Let's get some things done here. And I'll guarantee it will drive down prices. You know, they're just trying to basically stop everything or basically tap things down by putting higher interest rates so it takes the desire from people wanting to buy. I want people to consume, I want them to be in the marketplace. I want them to have good opportunities. But I want them also to have an affordable energy price. Inflation is killing us. It will not let up. it's harming West Virginians, and it is harming everybody in America, I can assure you. EISEN: Who owns that? Who should get the blame for that? Fed? The Biden administration? Congress? You guys passed $2 trillion of spending at a time where America was reopening. MANCHIN: Sara, that's not my job here to blame people. You want to blame people, you’ll never get anything accomplished. I'm here to get things done. My Republican friends are upset right now for whatever reason, I don't know. These are still my friends. They will always be my friends. And we work very well together. We did three things they told me to do. They've always said, can we produce more? Absolutely. Can we pay down debt? Absolutely. Can we streamline the permitting process? Absolutely. And in normal time that wasn't this toxic, because people hate each other so bad. I love them all. These are my Democrats and Republicans. This is not their bill. This is an American bill. Let the American people have a win. One time let them have a win. EISEN: What about China? In the news today, clearly with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Taiwan. China threatened serious consequences. Is it a mistake that she went? MANCHIN: Not at all. No, I think Nancy Pelosi did the right thing. EISEN: You support it? MANCHIN: Basically, we've all been there. We've all – I support it 1,000%. We've all been there. You can't let someone say you can't come to this country. They've been a major trading partner of ours. We've had great relationships. They embrace democracy and the freedoms of democracy. My goodness, and we are afraid to stop and say how are you doing? Are we doing okay? Can we work better together? Is there anything else we can do? And we rely on them a good bit as you know, on our chips. Now we're going to be able to have a robust chip industry. And I was basically very leery about electric vehicles because we were changing our transportation mode, Sara, and basically being told with a foreign supply chain, depending on China for the batteries, and I said that's wrong. So if you want discounts on cars made in America, that battery better be made in America, too. And that takes away from China also the dependency we have. So we have to be self reliant also. I respect China for who they are and what they've done. I don't agree with them, but they've been very aggressive. We're gonna get aggressive now. And we're aggressive in chips and we’ll be aggressive in batteries and we’re aggressive in producing our own energy here in America. EISEN: Senator Joe Manchin, thank you so much for the time today, sir. MANCHIN: Thank you, Sara. Appreciate it. Always. Updated on Aug 2, 2022, 5:33 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkAug 3rd, 2022

The One Question You Have To Ask Before Investing In Intel Stock

The impending passage of the $52 billion chips bill in Congress is stimulating interest in semiconductor stocks. One company that is drawing some attention is Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). On the surface I can understand why. Intel is trading at a low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 6.6. And because the company is making a sizeable investment […] The impending passage of the $52 billion chips bill in Congress is stimulating interest in semiconductor stocks. One company that is drawing some attention is Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). On the surface I can understand why. Intel is trading at a low price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of around 6.6. And because the company is making a sizeable investment to bringing semiconductor manufacturing in the United States, Intel stands to benefit more than many other chip makers. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get Our Activist Investing Case Study! Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below! (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q2 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more   That being said, the return on Intel’s investment is years away, and the semiconductor boom cycle of the last couple of years looks to be winding down. That means before investors consider diving into INTC as an undervalued stock, they should ask themselves one question. A Terrible Earnings Report Before I get to what that question is, it’s impossible to overlook the company’s earnings report which came in after the market closed on July 28. The company reported earnings per share (EPS) of 29 cents which was 58% below the forecasted 69 cents. And the top line was also a miss with revenue of $15.32 billion coming in 14% below the forecast of $17.93 billion. This is having an impact on INTC shares which are down more than 10% since the report was released. 52 Billion Reasons to Be Excited The U.S. Senate recently passed the $52 billion chip bill. This will benefit semiconductor companies that build manufacturing facilities in the United States. As Bloomberg reported, "the legislation also includes funding for research and workforce training as well as money for 5G wireless technology. It also includes a 25% tax credit for semiconductor manufacturing...” Intel along with Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) manufactures its own chips. Therefore, these companies stand to benefit from this bill more than some other chip makers. And Intel may benefit more than the rest. That’s because in January, Intel announced plans to build a chip manufacturing facility in Ohio. This will be in addition to the two facilities it has built in Arizona in the last several years. The total investment in the Ohio plant could be up to $100 billion. Chip Demand May Be Slowing Semiconductor demand historically moves in boom and bust cycles. It just so happens that since 2020, there has been a nearly unprecedented demand cycle. Demand for chips was already high in areas like data centers, consumer electronics, and automobiles both of the internal combustion and electric varieties. But the chip industry was affected by the pandemic as much as other industries causing a chip shortage that is still being resolved. That is unless the consumer resolves it for them. According to the Gartner research group, demand for semiconductor chips is slowing at a faster rate than expected. To make matters worse, the firm now believes that demand will start to decline in 2023. The demand destruction is particularly true in an area like personal computers (PCs) for which Intel relies for a considerable part of its business. This was expected due to more workers returning to the office and, in any event, companies already spent the money on equipping its remote workforce. However, it does bring to light the fact that Intel does not have significant market share in the data center and automotive sectors that continue to show strong growth. Is The Dividend Enough? So I’ll finally get to the question I teased earlier. And that is simply is a dividend enough to keep you interested? Analysts are projecting single-digit revenue growth over the next five years. That means investors will want to get a dividend for hanging onto the stock. Here again, Intel looks attractive. The company pays out $1.46 per share on an annual basis. That calculates to a 3.68% dividend yield. Intel has increased its dividend in each of the last eight years. But is that enough to get investors excited? I’m not sure, particularly because if Intel can’t figure out a way to slow or reverse its decline in earnings, its dividend growth could be in jeopardy. But for now, the dividend is one thing for investors to consider before buying what may appear to be a fundamentally attractive stock. Article by Chris Markoch, MarketBeat Updated on Jul 29, 2022, 5:38 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkJul 29th, 2022