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The Wall Street Journal: Netflix employee group plans walkout amid tensions over Dave Chappelle special

Tensions are rising inside Netflix Inc. over a Dave Chappelle stand-up special that some employees said was offensive to the transgender community, the latest clash between the streaming giant’s radical-candor culture and its embrace of creative freedom......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchOct 13th, 2021

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears

BTFD Arrives: Futures Rebound, Europe Surges While Asia Slumps On Evergrande Fears Even though China was closed for a second day, and even though the Evergrande drama is nowhere closer to a resolution with a bond default imminent and with Beijing mute on how it will resolve the potential "Lehman moment" even as rating agency S&P chimed in saying a default is likely and it does not expect China’s government “to provide any direct support” to the privately owned developer, overnight the BTFD crew emerged in full force, and ramped futures amid growing speculation that Beijing will rescue the troubled developer... Algos about to go on a rampage — zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 21, 2021 ... pushing spoos almost 100 points higher from their Monday lows, and European stock were solidly in the green - despite Asian stocks hitting a one-month low - as investors tried to shake off fears of contagion from a potential collapse of China’s Evergrande, although gains were capped by concerns the Federal Reserve could set out a timeline to taper its stimulus at its meeting tomorrow. The dollar dropped from a one-month high, Treasury yields rose and cryptos rebounded from yesterday's rout. To be sure, the "this is not a Lehman moment" crowed was out in full force, as indicated by this note from Mizuho analysts who wrote that “while street wisdom is that Evergrande is not a ‘Lehman risk’, it is by no stretch of the imagination any meaningful comfort. It could end up being China’s proverbial house of cards ... with cross-sector headwinds already felt in materials/commodities.” At 7:00 a.m. ET, S&P 500 e-minis were up 34.00 points, or 0.79% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis 110.25 points, or 0.73%, while futures tracking the Dow  jumped 0.97%, a day after the index tumbled 1.8% in its worst day since late-July,  suggesting a rebound in sentiment after concerns about contagion from China Evergrande Group’s upcoming default woes roiled markets Monday. Dip-buyers in the last hour of trading Monday helped the S&P 500 pare some losses, though the index still posted the biggest drop since May. The bounce also came after the S&P 500 dropped substantially below its 50-day moving average - which had served as a resilient floor for the index this year - on Monday, its first major breach in more than six months. Freeport-McMoRan mining stocks higher with a 3% jump, following a 3.2% plunge in the S&P mining index a day earlier as copper prices hit a one-month low. Interest rate-sensitive banking stocks also bounced, tracking a rise in Treasury yields. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: U.S.-listed Chinese stocks start to recover from Monday’s slump in premarket trading as the global selloff moderates. Alibaba (BABA US), Baidu (BIDU US), Nio (NIO US), Tencent Music (TME US)and Bilibili (BILI US) are among the gainers Verrica Pharma (VRCA US) plunges 30% in premarket trading after failing to get FDA approval for VP-102 for the treatment of molluscum contagiosum ReWalk Robotics (RWLK US) shares jump 43% in U.S. premarket trading amid a spike in volume in the stock. Being discussed on StockTwits Aprea Therapeutics gains 21% in U.S. premarket trading after the company reported complete remission in a bladder cancer patient in Phase 1/2 clinical trial of eprenetapopt in combination with pembrolizumab Lennar (LEN US) shares fell 3% in Monday postmarket trading after the homebuilder forecast 4Q new orders below analysts’ consensus hurt by unprecedented supply chain challenges ConocoPhillips (COP US) ticks higher in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to buy Shell’s  Permian Basin assets for $9.5 billion in cash, accelerating the consolidation of the largest U.S. oil patch SmileDirect (SDC US) slightly higher in premarket trading after it said on Monday that it plans to enter France with an initial location in Paris KAR Global (KAR US) shares fell 4.6% in post-market trading on Monday after the company withdrew is full-year financial outlook citing disruption caused by chip shortage Sportradar (SRAD US) shares jumped 4.5% in Monday postmarket trading, after the company said basketball legend Michael Jordan will serve as a special adviser to its board and also increase his investment in the sports betting and entertainment services provider, effective immediately Orbital Energy Group (OEG US) gained 6% postmarket Monday after a unit won a contract  to construct 1,910 miles of rural broadband network in Virginia. Terms were not disclosed “So much of this information is already known that we don’t think it will necessary set off a wave of problems,” John Bilton, head of global multi-asset strategy at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “I’m more concerned about knock-on sentiment at a time when investor sentiment is a bit fragile. But when we look at the fundamentals -- the general growth, and direction in the wider economy -- we still feel reasonably confident that the situation will right itself.” Aside from worries over Evergrande’s ability to make good on $300 billion of liabilities, investors are also positioning for the two-day Fed meeting starting Tuesday, where policy makers are expected to start laying the groundwork for paring stimulus.  Europe's Stoxx 600 index climbed more than 1%, rebounding from the biggest slump in two months, with energy companies leading the advance and all industry sectors in the green. Royal Dutch Shell rose after the company offered shareholders a payout from the sale of shale oil fields. Universal Music Group BV shares soared in their stock market debut after being spun off from Vivendi SE. European airlines other travel-related stocks rise for a second day following the U.S. decision to soon allow entry to most foreign air travelers as long as they’re fully vaccinated against Covid-19; British Airways parent IAG soars as much as 6.9%, extending Monday’s 11% jump. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Stagecoach shares jump as much as 24% after the company confirmed it is in takeover talks with peer National Express. Shell climbs as much as 4.4% after selling its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips for $9.5 billion. Bechtle gains as much as 4.3% after UBS initiated coverage at buy. Husqvarna tumbles as much as 9% after the company said it is suing Briggs & Stratton in the U.S. for failing to deliver sufficient lawn mower engines for the 2022 season. Kingfisher slides as much as 6.4% after the DIY retailer posted 1H results and forecast higher profits this fiscal year. The mood was decidedly more sour earlier in the session, when Asian stocks fell for a second day amid continued concerns over China’s property sector, with Japan leading regional declines as the market reopened after a holiday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was down 0.5%, headed for its lowest close since Aug. 30, with Alibaba and SoftBank the biggest drags. China Evergrande Group slid deeper in equity and credit markets Tuesday after S&P said the developer is on the brink of default. Markets in China, Taiwan and South Korea were closed for holidays. Worries over contagion risk from the Chinese developer’s debt problems and Beijing’s ongoing crackdowns, combined with concern over Federal Reserve tapering, sent global stocks tumbling Monday. The MSCI All-Country World Index fell 1.6%, the most since July 19. Japan’s stocks joined the selloff Tuesday as investor concerns grew over China’s real-estate sector as well as Federal Reserve tapering, with the Nikkei 225 sliding 2.2% - its biggest drop in three months, catching up with losses in global peers after a holiday - after a four-week rally boosted by expectations for favorable economic policies from a new government. Electronics makers were the biggest drag on the Topix, which declined 1.7%. SoftBank Group and Fast Retailing were the largest contributors to a 2.2% loss in the Nikkei 225. Japanese stocks with high China exposure including Toto and Nippon Paint also dropped. “The outsized reaction in global markets may be a function of having too many uncertainties bunched into this period,” Eugene Leow, a macro strategist at DBS Bank Ltd., wrote in a note. “It probably does not help that risk taking (especially in equities) has gone on for an extended period and may be vulnerable to a correction.” “The proportion of Japan’s exports to China is greater than those to the U.S. or Europe, making it sensitive to any slowdown worries in the Chinese economy,” said Hideyuki Ishiguro, a senior strategist at Nomura Asset Management in Tokyo. “The stock market has yet to fully price in the possibility of a bankruptcy by Evergrande Group.” The Nikkei 225 has been the best-performing major stock gauge in the world this month, up 6.2%, buoyed by expectations for favorable policies from a new government and an inflow of foreign cash. The Topix is up 5.3% so far in September. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched lower and the greenback fell versus most of its Group-of-10 peers as a selloff in global stocks over the past two sessions abated; the euro hovered while commodity currencies led by the Norwegian krone were the best performers amid an advance in crude oil prices. Sweden’s krona was little changed after the Riksbank steered clear of signaling any post-pandemic tightening, as it remains unconvinced that a recent surge in inflation will last. The pound bucked a three-day losing streak as global risk appetite revived, while investors look to Thursday’s Bank of England meeting for policy clues. The yen erased earlier gains as signs that risk appetite is stabilizing damped demand for haven assets. At the same time, losses were capped due to uncertainty over China’s handling of the Evergrande debt crisis. In rates, Treasuries were lower, although off worst levels of the day as U.S. stock futures recover around half of Monday’s losses while European equities trade with a strong bid tone. Yields are cheaper by up to 2.5bp across long-end of the curve, steepening 5s30s spread by 1.2bp; 10-year yields around 1.3226%, cheaper by 1.5bp on the day, lagging bunds and gilts by 1bp-2bp. The long-end of the curve lags ahead of $24b 20-year bond reopening. Treasury will auction $24b 20-year bonds in first reopening at 1pm ET; WI yield ~1.82% is below auction stops since January and ~3bp richer than last month’s new-issue result In commodities, crude futures rose, with the front month WTI up 1.5% near $71.50. Brent stalls near $75. Spot gold trades a narrow range near $1,765/oz. Base metals are mostly in the green with LME aluminum the best performer Looking at the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD publishes their Interim Economic Outlook. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 1.0% to 4,392.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 459.10 MXAP down 0.5% to 200.25 MXAPJ up 0.2% to 640.31 Nikkei down 2.2% to 29,839.71 Topix down 1.7% to 2,064.55 Hang Seng Index up 0.5% to 24,221.54 Shanghai Composite up 0.2% to 3,613.97 Sensex up 0.4% to 58,751.30 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% to 7,273.83 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,140.51 Brent Futures up 1.6% to $75.13/bbl Gold spot down 0.1% to $1,761.68 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.19 German 10Y yield fell 5.0 bps to -0.304% Euro little changed at $1.1729 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Lael Brainard is a leading candidate to be the Federal Reserve’s banking watchdog and is also being discussed for more prominent Biden administration appointments, including to replace Fed chairman Jerome Powell and, potentially, for Treasury secretary if Janet Yellen leaves Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will this week face the challenge of convincing investors that plans to scale back asset purchases aren’t a runway to raising interest rates for the first time since 2018 ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos says there is “good news” with respect to the euro-area recovery after a strong development in the second and third quarter The ECB is likely to continue purchasing junk-rated Greek sovereign debt even after the pandemic crisis has passed, according to Governing Council member and Greek central bank chief Yannis Stournaras U.K. government borrowing was well below official forecasts in the first five months of the fiscal year, providing a fillip for Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as he prepares for a review of tax and spending next month U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng warned the next few days will be challenging as the energy crisis deepens, and meat producers struggle with a crunch in carbon dioxide supplies The U.K.’s green bond debut broke demand records for the nation’s debt as investors leaped on the long-anticipated sterling asset. The nation is offering a green bond maturing in 2033 via banks on Tuesday at 7.5 basis points over the June 2032 gilt. It has not given an exact size target for the sale, which has attracted a record of more than 90 billion pounds ($123 billion) in orders Germany cut planned debt sales in the fourth quarter by 4 billion euros ($4.7 billion), suggesting the surge in borrowing triggered by the coronavirus pandemic is receding Contagion from China Evergrande Group has started to engulf even safer debt in Asia, sparking the worst sustained selloff of the securities since April. Premiums on Asian investment-grade dollar bonds widened 2-3 basis points Tuesday, according to credit traders, after a jump of 3.4 basis points on Monday Swiss National Bank policy makers watching the effects of negative interest rates on the economy are worrying about the real-estate bubble that their policy is helping to foster Global central banks need to set out clear strategies for coping with inflation risks as the world economy experiences faster-than-expected cost increases amid an uneven recovery from the pandemic, the OECD said A quick look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equities traded cautiously following the recent downbeat global risk appetite due to Evergrande contagion concerns which resulted in the worst day for Wall Street since May, with the region also contending with holiday-thinned conditions due to the ongoing closures in China, South Korea and Taiwan. ASX 200 (+0.2%) was indecisive with a rebound in the mining-related sectors counterbalanced by underperformance in utilities, financials and tech, while there were also reports that the Byron Bay area in New South Wales will be subject to a seven-day lockdown from this evening. Nikkei 225 (-1.8%) was heavily pressured and relinquished the 30k status as it played catch up to the contagion downturn on return from the extended weekend with recent detrimental currency inflows also contributing to the losses for exporters. Hang Seng (-0.3%) was choppy amid the continued absence of mainland participants with markets second-guessing whether Chinese authorities will intervene in the event of an Evergrande collapse, while shares in the world’s most indebted developer fluctuated and wiped out an early rebound, although affiliate Evergrande Property Services and other property names fared better after Sun Hung Kai disputed reports of China pressuring Hong Kong developers and with Guangzhou R&F Properties boosted by reports major shareholders pledged funds in the Co. which is also selling key assets to Country Garden. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher amid the underperformance in Japanese stocks and with the Japan Securities Dealers Association recently noting that global funds purchased the most ultra-long Japanese bonds since 2014, although upside was limited amid softer demand at the enhanced liquidity auction for 2yr-20yr maturities and with the BoJ kickstarting its two-day policy meeting. Top Asian News Richest Banker Says Evergrande Is China’s ‘Lehman Moment’ Hong Kong Tycoons, Casino Giants Find Respite in Stock Rebound Taliban Add More Male Ministers, Say Will Include Women Later Asian Stocks Drop to Lowest Level This Month; Japan Leads Losses European equities (Stoxx 600 +1.1%) trade on a firmer footing attempting to recoup some of yesterday’s losses with not much in the way of incremental newsflow driving the upside. Despite the attempt to claw back some of the prior session’s lost ground, the Stoxx 600 is still lower by around 1.6% on the week. The Asia-Pac session was one characterised by caution and regional market closures with China remaining away from market. Focus remains on whether Evergrande will meet USD 83mln in interest payments due on Thursday and what actions Chinese authorities could take to limit the contagion from the company in the event of further troubles. Stateside, futures are also on a firmer footing with some slight outperformance in the RTY (+1.2%) vs. peers (ES +0.8%). Again, there is not much in the way of fresh positivity driving the upside and instead gains are likely more a by-product of dip-buying; attention for the US is set to become increasingly geared towards tomorrow’s FOMC policy announcement. Sectors in Europe are firmer across the board with outperformance in Oil & Gas names amid a recovery in the crude complex and gains in Shell (+4.4%) after news that the Co. is to sell its Permian Basin assets to ConocoPhillips (COP) for USD 9.5bln in cash. Other outperforming sectors include Tech, Insurance and Basic Resources. IAG (+4.1%) and Deutsche Lufthansa (+3.8%) both sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 as the Co.’s continue to enjoy the fallout from yesterday’s decision by the US to allow travel from vaccinated EU and UK passengers. Swatch (-0.7%) is lagging in the luxury space following a downgrade at RBC, whilst data showed Swiss watch exports were +11.5% Y/Y in August (prev. 29.1%). Finally, National Express (+7.7%) is reportedly considering a takeover of Stagecoach (+21.4%), which is valued at around GBP 370mln. Top European News U.K. Warns of Challenging Few Days as Energy Crisis Deepens Germany Trims Planned Debt Sales as Pandemic Impact Recedes U.K.’s Green Bond Debut Draws Record Demand of $123 Billion Goldman Plans $1.5 Billion Petershill Partners IPO in London In FX, all the signs are constructive for a classic turnaround Tuesday when it comes to Loonie fortunes as broad risk sentiment improves markedly, WTI consolidates within a firm range around Usd 71/brl compared to yesterday’s sub-Usd 70 low and incoming results from Canada’s general election indicate victory for the incumbent Liberal party that will secure a 3rd term for PM Trudeau. Hence, it’s better the devil you know as such and Usd/Cad retreated further from its stop-induced spike to just pips short of 1.2900 to probe 1.2750 at one stage before bouncing ahead of new house price data for August. Conversely, the Swedish Krona seems somewhat reluctant to get carried away with the much better market mood after the latest Riksbank policy meeting only acknowledged significantly stronger than expected inflation data in passing, and the repo rate path remained rooted to zero percent for the full forecast horizon as a consequence. However, Eur/Sek has slipped back to test 10.1600 bids/support following an initial upturn to almost 10.1800, irrespective of a rise in unemployment. NOK/AUD/NZD - No such qualms for the Norwegian Crown as Brent hovers near the top of a Usd 75.18-74.20/brl band and the Norges Bank is widely, if not universally tipped to become the first major Central Bank to shift into tightening mode on Thursday, with Eur/Nok hugging the base of a 10.1700-10.2430 range. Elsewhere, the Aussie and Kiwi look relieved rather than rejuvenated in their own right given dovish RBA minutes, a deterioration in Westpac’s NZ consumer sentiment and near reversal in credit card spending from 6.9% y/y in July to -6.3% last month. Instead, Aud/Usd and Nzd/Usd have rebounded amidst the recovery in risk appetite that has undermined their US rival to top 0.7380 and 0.7050 respectively at best. GBP/CHF/EUR/JPY/DXY - Sterling is latching on to the ongoing Dollar retracement and more supportive backdrop elsewhere to pare losses under 1.3700, while the Franc continues its revival to 0.9250 or so and almost 1.0850 against the Euro even though the SNB is bound to check its stride at the upcoming policy review, and the single currency is also forming a firmer base above 1.1700 vs the Buck. Indeed, the collective reprieve in all components of the Greenback basket, bar the Yen on diminished safe-haven demand, has pushed the index down to 93.116 from 93.277 at the earlier apex, and Monday’s elevated 93.455 perch, while Usd/Jpy is straddling 109.50 and flanked by decent option expiry interest either side. On that note, 1.4 bn resides at the 109.00 strike and 1.1 bn between 109.60-70, while there is 1.6 bn in Usd/Cad bang on 1.2800. EM - Some respite across the board in wake of yesterday’s mauling at the hands of risk-off positioning in favour of the Usd, while the Czk has also been underpinned by more hawkish CNB commentary as Holub echoes the Governor by advocating a 50 bp hike at the end of September and a further 25-50 bp in November. In commodities, WTI and Brent are firmer in the European morning post gains in excess of 1.0%, though the benchmarks are off highs after an early foray saw Brent Nov’21 eclipse USD 75.00/bbl, for instance. While there has been newsflow for the complex, mainly from various energy ministers, there hasn’t been much explicitly for crude to change the dial; thus, the benchmarks are seemingly moving in tandem with broader risk sentiment (see equities). In terms of the energy commentary, the Qatar minister said they are not thinking of re-joining OPEC+ while the UAE minister spoke on the gas situation. On this, reports in Russian press suggests that Russia might allow Rosneft to supply 10bcm of gas to Europe per year under an agency agreement with Gazprom “as an experiment”, developments to this will be closely eyed for any indication that it could serve to ease the current gas situation. Looking ahead, we have the weekly private inventory report which is expected to post a headline draw of 2.4mln and draws, albeit of a smaller magnitude, are expected for distillate and gasoline as well. Moving to metals, spot gold is marginally firmer while silver outperforms with base-metals picking up across the board from the poor performance seen yesterday that, for instance, saw LME copper below the USD 9k mark. Note, the action is more of a steadying from yesterday’s downside performance than any notable upside, with the likes of copper well within Monday’s parameters. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits MoM, est. -1.8%, prior 2.6%, revised 2.3% 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts MoM, est. 1.0%, prior -7.0% 8:30am: Aug. Building Permits, est. 1.6m, prior 1.64m, revised 1.63m 8:30am: Aug. Housing Starts, est. 1.55m, prior 1.53m 8:30am: 2Q Current Account Balance, est. -$190.8b, prior -$195.7b DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Global markets slumped across the board yesterday in what was one of the worst days of the year as an array of concerns about the outlook gathered pace. The crisis at Evergrande and in the Chinese real estate sector was the catalyst most people were talking about, but truth be told, the market rout we’re seeing is reflecting a wider set of risks than just Chinese property, and comes after increasing questions have been asked about whether current valuations could still be justified, with talk of a potential correction picking up. Remember that 68% of respondents to my survey last week (link here) thought they’d be at least a 5% correction in equity markets before year end. So this has been front and centre of people’s mind even if the catalyst hasn’t been clear. We’ve all known about Evergrande’s woes and how big it was for a while but it wasn’t until Friday’s story of the Chinese regulatory crackdown extending into property that crystallised the story into having wider implications. As I noted in my chart of the day yesterday link here Chinese USD HY had been widening aggressively over the last couple of months but IG has been pretty rock solid. There were still no domestic signs of contagion by close of business Friday. However as it stands, there will likely be by the reopening post holidays tomorrow which reflects how quickly the story has evolved even without much new news. Before we get to the latest on this, note that we’ve still got a bumper couple of weeks on the calendar to get through, including the Fed decision tomorrow, which comes just as a potential government shutdown and debt ceiling fight are coming into view, alongside big debates on how much spending the Democrats will actually manage to pass. There has been some respite overnight with S&P 500 futures +0.58% higher and 10y UST yields up +1.5bps to 1.327%. Crude oil prices are also up c. 1%. On Evergrande, S&P Global Ratings has said that the company is on the brink of default and that it’s failure is unlikely to result in a scenario where China will be compelled to step in. The report added that they see China stepping in only if “there is a far-reaching contagion causing multiple major developers to fail and posing systemic risks to the economy.” The Hang Seng (-0.32%) is lower but the Hang Seng Properties index is up (+1.59%) and bouncing off the 5 plus year lows it hit yesterday. Elsewhere the ASX (+0.30%) and India’s Nifty (+0.35%) have also advanced. Chinese and South Korean markets are closed for a holiday but the Nikkei has reopened and is -1.80% and catching down to yesterday’s global move. Looking at yesterday’s moves in more depth, the gathering storm clouds saw the S&P 500 shed -1.70% in its worst day since May 12, with cyclical industries leading the declines and with just 10% of S&P 500 index members gaining. There was a late rally at the end of the US trading session that saw equity indices bounce off their lows, with the S&P 500 (-2.87%) and NASDAQ (-3.42%) both looking like they were going to register their worst days since October 2020 and late-February 2021 respectively. However, yesterday was still the 5th worst day for the S&P 500 in 2021. Reflecting the risk-off tone, small caps suffered in particular with the Russell 2000 falling -2.44%, whilst tech stocks were another underperformer as the NASDAQ lost -2.19% and the FANG+ index of 10 megacap tech firms saw an even bigger -3.16% decline. For Europe it was much the same story, with the STOXX 600 (-1.67%) and other bourses including the DAX (-2.31%) seeing significant losses amidst the cyclical underperformance. It was the STOXX 600’s worst performance since mid-July and the 6th worst day of the year overall. Unsurprisingly, there was also a significant spike in volatility, with the VIX index climbing +4.9pts to 25.7 – its highest closing level since mid-May – after trading above 28.0pts midday. In line with the broader risk-off move, especially sovereign bonds rallied strongly as investors downgraded their assessment of the economic outlook and moved to price out the chances of near-term rate hikes. By the close of trade, yields on 10yr Treasuries had fallen -5.1bps to 1.311%, with lower inflation breakevens (-4.1bps) leading the bulk of the declines. Meanwhile in Europe, yields on 10yr bunds (-4.0bps), OATs (-2.6bps) and BTPs (-0.9bps) similarly fell back, although there was a widening in spreads between core and periphery as investors turned more cautious. Elsewhere, commodities took a hit as concerns grew about the economic outlook, with Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (-1.53%) losing ground for a third consecutive session. That said, European natural gas prices (+15.69%) were the massive exception once again, with the latest surge taking them above the peak from last Wednesday, and thus bringing the price gains since the start of August to +84.80%. Here in the UK, Business Secretary Kwarteng said that he didn’t expect an emergency regarding the energy supply, but also said that the government wouldn’t bail out failed companies. Meanwhile, EU transport and energy ministers are set to meet from tomorrow for an informal meeting, at which the massive spike in prices are likely to be discussed. Overnight, we have the first projections of the Canadian federal election with CBC News projecting that the Liberals will win enough seats to form a government for the third time albeit likely a minority government. With the counting still underway, Liberals are currently projected to win 156 seats while Conservatives are projected to win 120 seats. Both the parties are currently projected to win a seat less than last time. The Canadian dollar is up +0.44% overnight as the results remove some election uncertainty. Turning to the pandemic, the main news yesterday was that the US is set to relax its travel rules for foreign arrivals. President Biden announced the move yesterday, mandating that all adult visitors show proof of vaccination before entering the country. Airline stocks outperformed strongly in response, with the S&P 500 airlines (+1.55%) being one of the few industry groups that actually advanced yesterday. Otherwise, we heard from Pfizer and BioNTech that their vaccine trials on 5-11 year olds had successfully produced an antibody response among that age group. The dose was just a third of that used in those aged 12 and above, and they said they planned to share the data with regulators “as soon as possible”. Furthermore, they said that trials for the younger cohorts (2-5 and 6m-2) are expected as soon as Q4. In Germany, there are just 5 days left until the election now, and the last Insa poll before the vote showed a slight tightening in the race, with the centre-left SPD down a point to 25%, whilst the CDU/CSU bloc were up 1.5 points to 22%. Noticeably, that would also put the race back within the +/- 2.5% margin of error. The Greens were unchanged in third place on 15%. Staying with politics and shifting back to the US, there was news last night that Congressional Democratic leaders are looking to tie the suspension of the US debt ceiling vote to the spending bill that is due by the end of this month. If the spending bill is not enacted it would trigger a government shutdown, and if the debt ceiling is not raised it would cause defaults on federal payments as soon as October. Senate Majority Leader Schumer said the House will pass a spending bill that will fund the government through December 3rd and that the “legislation to avoid a government shutdown will also include a suspension of the debt limit through December 2022.” Republicans may balk at the second measure, given that it would take the issue off the table until after the 2022 midterm elections in November of that year. There wasn’t a great deal of data out yesterday, though German producer price inflation rose to +12.0% in August (vs. +11.1% expected), marking the fastest pace since December 1974. Separately in the US, the NAHB’s housing market index unexpectedly rose to 76 in September (vs. 75 expected), the first monthly increase since April. To the day ahead now, and data releases include US housing starts and building permits for August, along with the UK public finances for September. From central banks, we’ll hear from ECB Vice President de Guindos. Otherwise, the General Debate will begin at the UN General Assembly, and the OECD will be publishing their Interim Economic Outlook. Tyler Durden Tue, 09/21/2021 - 07:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

Employers are being forced to reveal how much they will pay potential workers. It"s a good idea, but it isn"t a cure-all for our giant pay gaps.

Disclosing salary ranges to job candidates is good, but it doesn't go nearly far enough to address the many causes of pay inequity. Pay transparency does not go far enough to solve pay inequities. SDI Productions/Getty Images While pay transparency does help minorities, there are other factors that continue to perpetuate bias and inequities. Compensation in the form of non-salary benefits, overtime, bonuses, and equity are still undisclosed. Companies must address explicit and implicit biases, assumptions, and policies and programs that perpetuate oppression. Monique Cadle and Fran Benjamin are partners at Good Works Consulting and experts in holistic inclusive leadership strategy and education. This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the authors. For decades, pay secrecy has been a point of contention for advocates of pay equity, often described as a problematic feature of the employment process meant to ensure negotiations are always in favor of the corporation. However, over the past several years, a culture shift has made it challenging to maintain this system as many employees have begun disclosing their salary information regardless of company rules as a way to self-organize to support fair salary negotiations for their peers. Now, legislation in several jurisdictions has moved to make pay transparency a requirement for employers to create a more fair negotiation process and improve pay equity for underrepresented groups in the workplace. The majority of compulsory pay disclosure regulations require individualized disclosure to a specific individual under specified circumstances, including but not limited to at the candidate's request. Employers in several states are subject to similar regulations. Colorado went further, introducing a comprehensive, affirmative pay posting law this year, requiring wage disclosures in job advertising for physically located occupations or remote jobs that could be done in Colorado.Some top companies not impacted by legislation have chosen to adopt these practices to stand out, attract top talent, and gain visibility as being ahead of trends in equity, diversity, and inclusion. While this transition has many positive attributes, it undoubtedly creates new challenges for business leaders and applicants alike. And since much of the conversation around this recent move is centered around improving pay equity, it's essential to consider how this impacts the pay disparity issue in practice, and if it helps them at all. Behind the push for transparency is the belief that if applicants know what a company is willing to pay, they will be less likely to be under-compensated. While this may help some candidates, it won't cure pay inequality. Many factors impact how salaries are distributed, and bias - explicit or implicit - and discrimination still play a role. Pay becomes a new strategic considerationThis simple change to the structure of our hiring process creates significant new strategic considerations for recruiters and hiring managers as these public pay rates will become part of the decision-making process for applicants. Now, leaders must consider how pay ranges might be perceived, who will and will not apply at certain ranges, and what these decisions will mean at the negotiation stage.Before pay transparency, the corporation held the cards by keeping their budgets a secret. By forcing the applicants to share what they required to be paid first, the company could find out if the individual would accept a lower rate than what was budgeted and potentially save money. Candidates who were historically underpaid might simply ask for a slightly higher salary than their last position rather than knowing what a company should be willing to spend for the work being done. Today, candidates will become more aware of their compensation potential without needing to conduct additional research, but this may also impact who applies. For example, an individual who has been chronically underpaid may essentially self-select out of higher-paying positions under the belief that it's too high of a jump. In contrast, highly compensated individuals may not apply under the assumption that the top of the salary range is a non-negotiable cap. Therefore, it becomes even more crucial to enable candidates to understand the total compensation for a given role. Disparities in non-cash compensation, bonus, and promotions impact equityWhile creating equitable compensation for women, BIPOC, queer folks, people with disabilities, and other marginalized groups is helped by greater transparency, the administration of pay transparency by the employer varies and still stands to perpetuate bias and inequities.Base salary or pay rate are two fundamental components of compensation: how much cash the individual makes on an hourly or annual basis. For hourly workers, an organization may make the pay range transparent during the application. Still, it may not be aware of nor address the common occurrence that special projects and overtime opportunities often go to men more frequently than women, and take-home pay is still wholly disparate. For salaried employees, this equation may seem a little easier. However, in our work consulting with companies, we have observed that while an organization may disclose a codified pay range, in many instances, they will also exceed that range during the negotiation process - a fact not made transparent. We also know that groups historically underrepresented in specific roles, levels, and industries, including women, tend to negotiate less than their white male-presenting counterparts, and therefore may never access these secret dollars that exist beyond the top of the range.Many organizations offer an annual or performance-based bonus structure. Often this bonus target or range (an intended percentage of base salary, usually) may or may not be disclosed as a part of these pay transparency programs. What often is not disclosed is that senior management and boards of directors may elect to apply a multiplier to an individual's bonus that either increases or decreases the total cash payout based on corporate performance. Further, organizations often hold back bonus dollars for those considered "high potential," which often translates to rewarding individuals they feel are most similar to themselves. As a result, take-home bonus cash is highest among majority group members, often white folks, who tend to fill the top ranks in the organization by the sheer symptom of their proximity and similarity to those at the top making the pay decisions.Long-term compensation incentives and equity (e.g., stock plans, others) usually are out of the equation for pay transparency efforts yet could hold the biggest value and potential for pay inequity and disparity. Most of the legislation we discuss here applies to cash compensation, and most elective programs that we are aware of do as well. In practice, frameworks for awarding these grants are difficult to codify equitably because the value assigned to the awards can change dramatically over time, market data for awards like these are variable and up for interpretation, and therefore many employers avoid pay-parity analyses of this form of compensation and any attempt at transparency altogether.Lastly, due to some of the shortcomings mentioned above, systems like these require maintenance over time to be effective. If the organization is simply making base-pay range data transparent to candidates, but not conducting regular pay-parity analyses internally and market-based pay adjustments and corrections, unequal and unfair pay will propagate as the employee navigates their career.Bias and privilege are still at the core of hiring practicesPay transparency is just one tactic, and on its own it doesn't solve all of the challenges of inequity in the hiring process. Ultimately, much of the issue rolls back into the hands of the hiring managers and leaders making decisions about the candidates worthy of a particular pay tier. Systems of oppression continue to disadvantage people less proximal to the access and privilege often afforded white workers, whether by lacking the network to receive insider pay and negotiation tips, or by being evaluated with greater or varied levels of scrutiny, to name just two challenges.Breaking this cycle involves systematically undoing explicit and implicit discriminatory biases, policies, and programs that perpetuate oppression throughout the employment process. It requires evaluating candidates based on actual capacity to accomplish the expectations of the role while correcting for disparities of power and privilege.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt20 hr. 5 min. ago

New airline ITA has officially taken over for Alitalia - see the full history of Italy"s troubled flag carrier

Alitalia has officially ceased operations and handed the baton to newcomer ITA, which stands for Italian Air Transport. ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery ITA Press Office/Handout via REUTERS Government-owned Alitalia ceased operations on October 15, marking the end of its 74-year era. Alitalia has been replaced by ITA Airways, a brand new airline that will not be responsible for the old carrier's debt. ITA plans to buy 28 Airbus jets, create a new aircraft livery, and launch a new loyalty program. Alitalia has officially ceased operations and handed the baton to newcomer ITA Airways, which stands for Italian Air Transport.Italy's national carrier Alitalia has had a rocky past full of financial struggles, employee strikes, and other damaging events, forcing it to make the decision to cease operations on October 15 after 74 years of service. The airline stopped the sale of tickets in August and has committed to refunding all passengers who were booked on flights after October 14.On Thursday, the airline flew its final flight from Cagliari, Italy to Rome, according to FlightAware, officially sealing the fate of Alitalia. On Friday, the country's new flag carrier ITA took its place with a new livery, airplanes, and network, flying its first route from Milan Linate Airport to Bari International Airport in southern Italy.-João ☕ (@joaointhesky) October 14, 2021 Here's a look at Alitalia's storied past and the plan of its successor. Alitalia as a brand began in 1946, one year after World War II ended, first flying in 1947 within Italy and quickly expanding to other European countries and even opening intercontinental routes to South America. Passengers disembarking from an Alitalia Douglas DC-3 aircraft. Archivio Cameraphoto Epoche/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia The full name of the airline was Italian International Airlines, a joint effort between the United Kingdom through British European Airways - a precursor to British Airways - and the Italian government. A British European Airways Vickers Viscount. Museum of Flight/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia True to its name, Alitalia flew its first with Italian aircraft produced by now-defunct manufacturers in aerospace including Fiat and Savoia-Marchetti. An Alitalia Fiat G-12. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Following a merger with Italy's other airline, aptly named Italian Airlines or Linee Aeree Italiane, in 1957, Alitalia - Linee Aeree Italiane became Italy's top carrier. A Linee Aeree Italiane Douglas DC-3. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Armed with a sizeable fleet of 37 aircraft including the four-engine Douglas DC-6 and Corvair 340, the airline was ranked 12 in the world for international carriers. Passengers disembarking an Alitalia aircraft. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia As Europe returned to normalcy following the war, so did Italy and the 1960s became a pivotal decade for both the country and its airline as the 1960 Summer Olympics would be held in Rome. An Alitalia poster highlighting the upcoming Olympic Games in Rome. David Pollack/Corbis via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia The year saw Alitalia carry over one million passengers, introduce jets into its fleet, and move to a new home at Rome's Fiumicino Airport. Rome's Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport in 1961. Carlo Bavagnoli/Mondadori via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Alitalia entered the jet age with a mix of European and American aircraft such as the Sud Caravelle SE210… An Alitalia Sud Caravelle. Touring Club Italiano/Marka/Universal Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia And the Douglas DC-8. An Alitalia DC-8. Adams/Fairfax Media via Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia American aircraft largely comprised the airline's fleet once settled into the jet age with a short-haul fleet featuring the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 and later the McDonnell Douglas MD-80... An Alitalia MD-80. Etienne DE MALGLAIVE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Complemented by a similarly American-dominated long-haul fleet consisting of aircraft such as the Boeing 747. An Alitalia Boeing 747 chartered by Pope John Paul II. Scott Peterson/Liaison/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia The arrival of the 747 was a seminal moment for Alitalia and it was the first aircraft to wear the airline's famed green, white, and red livery with an "A" shape on the tail. Alitalia's red and green "A" tail design. Etienne DE MALGLAIVE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Alitalia was the first European airline to transition fully into the jet age and continued the switch with more wide-body aircraft such as the Airbus A300. An Alitalia Airbus A300. aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Other aircraft that would join the Alitalia jet fleet included the McDonnell Douglas MD-11, McDonnell Douglas DC-10... An Alitalia McDonnell Douglas MD-11. Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia And Boeing 767-300ER for long-haul flights. An Alitalia Boeing 767-300ER. JOKER/Hady Khandani/ullstein bild/Getty Source: Boeing and Alitalia Alitalia even had uniforms designed by Georgio Armani, who also contributed to aircraft interior designs. Italian designer Georgio Armani. Vittoriano Rastelli/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Source: Alitalia The airline's short-haul fleet later included a European favorite, the Airbus A320 family. An Alitalia Airbus A320 airplane approaches to land at Fiumicino airport in Rome Reuters Source: Boeing As Italy's national airline, Alitalia was also known for flying the Pope with the papal plane using the flight number AZ4000, better known as Shepherd One An Alitalia plane chartered by the Pope. AP Photo/Plinio Lepri Source: Telegraph Despite rising traffic throughout its history with Italy being a popular European tourist and leisure destination, the airline struggled with profitability. Alitalia check-in desks at Rome's Fiumicino Airport. ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty As a state-owned airline, Alitalia could always depend on the government to keep it flying, until the European Union stepped in and forbade financial support in 2006. An Alitalia Airbus A330. AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca Source: New York Times The 2000s then saw serious discussion into Alitalia's future with the Italian government wanting to sell its stake in the airline. The airline was opened for bidders in 2007 but yielded no results. A crow flying passed an Alitalia plane. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia Source: New York Times Air France-KLM Group, the parent company of Air France and KLM as well as several smaller European airlines, then offered to buy the struggling airline but couldn't get labor unions on board and the deal collapsed. Alitalia and Air France-KLM Group signage. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Source: Reuters The Italian government, not wanting to lose its flag carrier, continued to prop up its airline via emergency loans in violation of European Union rules. The European Commission in Brussels. Greg Sandoval/Business Insider Source: European Union The third attempt in two years to sell the airline came after the Air France-KLM Group deal collapsed with an investors group forming the Compagnia Aerea Italiana to purchase the airline, despite heavy pushback from labor unions. An Alitalia Boeing 777. VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Source: Reuters This Alitalia began operations in 2009, with Air France-KLM soon coming back into the picture taking a 25% stake from CAI. Alitalia meeting with Air France, Delta, and KLM executives. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Source: Financial Times The new airline quickly began differentiating itself from its former self, leasing aircraft instead of purchasing them with the fleet consisting of the Airbus A330 family… An Alitalia Airbus A330. Alberto Lingria/Reuters Source: FlightGlobal And Boeing 777 family comprising the airline's long-haul fleet. An Alitalia Boeing 777. Abner Teixeira/Getty Source: FlightGlobal It wasn't long before Alitalia was plagued with issues ranging from union strikes to underperforming subsidiaries and even a sting operation that saw Alitalia employees arrested for theft, according to contemporaneous news reports. Alitalia workers protesting at Fiumicino Airport. AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino Source: New York Times and BBC With bankruptcy looming in 2013, Alitalia secured another bailout with help from the government that highlighted the need for restructuring. An Alitalia Airbus A320. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni Source: New York Times Alitalia saw a new investor in 2015, Eithad Airways, which would take a 49% stake in the airline and Alitalia - Compagnia Aerea Italiana became Alitalia - Societa Aerea Italiana. Alitalia and Etihad celebrating a new partnership. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni Source: Alitalia With a new investor in tow, Alitalia began cost-cutting measures but facing a backlash from employees due to planned job cuts, the airline began bankruptcy proceedings and the government announced Alitalia would be auctioned. Alitalia and Etihad's merger livery. AP Photo/Antonio Calanni Source: Reuters Meanwhile, another airline was positioning itself to become the new Italian flag carrier, the aptly named Air Italy. An Air Italy Airbus A330-200. Air Italy Rebranded from Meridiana, a regional Italian airline, Air Italy was jointly owned by private company Alisarda and Qatar Airways. A Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200LR. Thomas Pallini/Business Insider The airline chose Milan as its main hub ceding Rome to Alitalia. Long-haul flights from Milan to New York began in June 2018, with expansion to Asia happening soon after. Air Italy's inaugural ceremony for Milan-New York flights. David Slotnick/Business Insider Affected by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max and without the Italian government as a benefactor, Air Italy closed up shop in early 2020, giving back full control of Italy to Alitalia. An Alitalia Airbus A320. ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty While Air Italy was getting its start, the Italian government would once again seek outside investors with European, North American, and Asian airlines expressing interest in Alitalia. Alitalia aircraft in Italy. Alberto Lingria/Reuters Among those interested were UK low-cost carrier EasyJet... EasyJet airplanes are pictured at Tegel airport in Berlin. Reuters Source: Bloomberg Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair… A Ryanair commercial passenger jet takes off in Blagnac near Toulouse. Reuters Source: The Guardian The Lufthansa Group… Strike of Germany's cabin crew union UFO at Frankfurt airport. Reuters Source: CNBC Delta Air Lines… A Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-200. James D. Morgan/Getty Source: Bloomberg And China Eastern Airlines… A China Eastern Airlines Airbus A320. REUTERS/Jon Woo Source: Reuters As well as Italian railway group Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane. A Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane train. TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Source: Reuters One after the other, the airlines dropped their interest, and ultimately, the Italian government re-nationalized the airline on March 17 during the coronavirus pandemic. Alitalia was re-nationalized amid the coronavirus pandemic. Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Source: Reuters  Despite bailouts from the state, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown of Italy took the ultimate toll on Alitalia, forcing it to make the decision to close the airline and launch a new one. Alitalia aircraft at the Frankfurt airport Vytautas Kielaitis/Shutterstock Source: The Local On August 25, the airline stopped selling tickets and announced on its website that it would be offering free flight changes or refunds for passengers booked on Alitalia flights after October 14. People at Alitalia check in counter TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock Source: The Local When the airline ceased operations, its successor, Italia Transporto Aereo, took its place. Alitalia's last flight flew from Cagliari, Italy to Rome on October 14, and ITA launched operations with a flight from Milan to Bari, Italy on October 15. ITA app and logo rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: AeroTime Talks between the European Commission and Italy over Alitalia and ITA began in March 2021, with Rome designating 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion) to establish the new flag carrier. ITA signage at Catania airport rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Initially, ITA was slated to begin operations in April 2021, but lengthy discussions between Italy and the European Commission delayed its launch. Flags outside European Commission building in Brussels VanderWolf Images/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Part of the negotiations focused on confirming ITA's independence of Alitalia to ensure it did not inherit the billions of debt the old carrier owed to the state. Alitalia Airbus A319 Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Talks also included asking ITA to forfeit half of Alitalia's slots at Milan Linate Airport, which the airline was unwilling to do. Alitalia aircraft sit at Milan Linate airport Gabriele Maltinti/Shutterstock Source: Reuters ITA determined giving up that many slots at Linarte would be too big of a loss and proposed forfeiting slots at Rome Fiumicino Airport as a compromise. Alitalia check in counter Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino airport TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock Source: Reuters At the end of the discussions, negotiators agreed to allow ITA to keep 85% of slots at Linate and 43% at Fiumicino. Green ribbon barrier with the ITA airline logo inside the Leonardo da Vinci airport rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Also under negotiation was Alitalia's brand and its loyalty program, MilleMiglia. The European Commission said ITA would have to give up both. Alitalia Airbus A320 Yaya Photos/Shutterstock Source: Reuters Under European Commission rules, MilleMiglia cannot be bought by ITA and must be put out for public tender, meaning another airline or entity outside the aviation industry can purchase the program. There are an estimated five million MilleMiglia miles that customers have not been able to use. Customer checking into an Alitalia flight Sorbis/Shutterstock Source: EuroNews However, ITA was able to bid on Alitalia's brand, which it did the day before its launch. The airline bought the Alitalia name for €90 million ($104 million), though ITA executives say they don't plan on replacing the ITA name. Alitalia aircraft Light Orancio/Shutterstock Source: Reuters ITA began operations on October 15, the day after Alitalia's last flight. The new airline secured €700 million ($830 million) in funding earlier this year, which helped it purchase some of Alitalia's assets. Alitalia employees with new livery in 2015 Simone Previdi/Shutterstock Source: Reuters The successor acquired 52 of Alitalia's aircraft, seven being wide-bodies, and has plans to purchase and lease new ones, the first of which will enter the fleet in early 2022. Alitalia Boeing 777 Deni Williams/Shutterstock Source: Reuters By 2025, the airline expects to have 105 aircraft in its fleet and earn over 3.3 billion euros in revenue. ITA logo with Alitalia aircraft Yaya Photos/Shutterstock Source: Reuters, Airways Magazine Moreover, ITA plans to renew its fleet with next-generation aircraft, which is expected to make up 77% of its fleet in four years. According to ITA, the aircraft will reduce CO2 emissions by 750 thousand pounds from 2021 to 2025. Milan Linate Airport Alexandre Rotenberg/Shutterstock Source: Airways Magazine, ITA Airways The 31 new-generation planes, which include short, medium, and long-haul aircraft, will be leased by Air Lease Corporation. Airbus A320neo Airbus Source: Airways Magazine Meanwhile, 28 new Airbus jets, including ten Airbus A330neos, seven Airbus A220 family aircraft, and 11 Airbus A320neo family jets, will be purchased. Airbus A220 Airbus Source: Airways Magazine As part of a carbon-reducing project, the first 10 flights to depart Rome on October 15 will use sustainable aviation fuels made by Italian energy company Eni. The project will contribute to the EU's "Fit for 55" proposal, which strives to reduce carbon emissions by at least 55% by 2030. Eni headquarters in Rome MyVideoimage.com/Shutterstock Source: Airways Magazine ITA introduced a new livery on launch day, which includes a light blue paint scheme representing unity, cohesion, and pride of the nation, as well as homage to Italy's national sports team, which wears sky blue during competitions. On the tail will be the Italian tricolor of red, white, and green. ITA Airways Chairman Alfredo Altavilla poses with rendering of new livery ITA Press Office/Handout via REUTERS Source: Airways Magazine In regards to its network, the carrier launched with 59 routes to 44 destinations. ITA plans to increase its routes to 74 in 2022 and 89 by 2025, while destinations are expected to increase to 58 in 2022 and 74 by 2025. ITA logo ITA Airways Source: Airways Magazine ITA will focus its operation out of Rome's Leonardo da Vinci International Airport and Milan Linate Airport, establishing itself as a "reference airline" for both business and leisure travelers. bellena/Shutterstock.com Source: Airways Magazine The carrier also plans to target the North American market, with flights from Rome to New York launching on November 4. Joey Hadden/Insider Source: CNN As for the over 11,000 Alitalia workers, 70% were hired to work for ITA, which has 2,800 employees. 30% of that came from outside Alitalia. The company plans to add 1,000 new jobs in 2022 and reach 5,750 employees by 2025. Alitalia staff at Milan Linate Sorbis/Shutterstock Source: Reuters, Airways Magazine ITA plans to improve upon Alitalia's services, including incentivizing good customer service by attaching employee salary with customer satisfaction. Alitalia staff Sorbis/Shutterstock Source: CNN ITA has set up a loyalty program called Volare, effective October 15, which is split into four levels: smart, plus, premium, and executive. Customers can use accrued points for any flight in ITA's system. ITA app rarrarorro/Shutterstock Source: Airways Magazine According to ITA executives, the company plans to join a major international alliance, though it has not stated which one it prefers. Alitalia was aligned with the SkyTeam alliance, which is comprised of carriers like Delta, Air France, and KLM. Alitalia Embraer 190LR SkyTeam livery InsectWorld/Shutterstock Source: CNN, Reuters However, ITA chairman Alfredo Altavilla said it was open to all options. "ITA can't be a stand-alone carrier forever," he said. Alitalia Boeing 767 SkyTeam livery Eliyahu Yosef Parypa/Shutterstock Source: Reuters While it is the end of an era with the closing of Alitalia, there are high hopes for its successor. "ITA Airways has been created to intercept the recovery of air traffic in the coming years on the strength of the foundations of its strategy: sustainability, digitalization, customer focus, and innovations," said ITA CEO Fabio Lazzerini. Alitalia plane with ITA logo Yaya Photos/Shutterstock Source: Airways Magazine Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Netflix fires the organizer of a trans employee walkout

The employee told Bloomberg that Netflix spent exorbitant amounts of money to produce Dave Chapelle's comedy specials. Dave Chappelle during "The Closer." Mathieu Bitton An unnamed Netflix employee was fired for leaking internal data, the company said. Netflix is under fire for supporting Dave Chappelle's comedy special, which features transphobic jokes. The ex-employee organized a planned October 20 walkout in protest of Netflix's stance. Netflix said Friday it had fired the leader of a trans resource group at the company for leaking financial data "outside the company."The now ex-employee, who did not want to share their identity for fear of online harassment, but who the Verge reported is "Black" and "pregnant," is accused of sending information to Bloomberg detailing the higher-than-average cost to produce Dave Chappelle's latest Netflix special, "The Closer," which has been criticized for containing transphobic comments. The individual was also in charge of staging a walkout on October 20 to protest Netflix's handling of the controversial comedy special.Hollywood Reporter first reported the firing on Friday."We have let go of an employee for sharing confidential, commercially sensitive information outside the company," a Netflix spokesperson said to Insider on Friday. "We understand this employee may have been motivated by disappointment and hurt with Netflix, but maintaining a culture of trust and transparency is core to our company."The employee told Bloomberg that Netflix spent exorbitant amounts of money to produce Dave Chapelle's comedy specials.According to the Bloomberg report, Netflix spent a whopping $24.1 million on The Closer and $23.6 million on Chappelle's 2019 special, "Sticks & Stones." For comparison, Netflix spent $21.4 million to produce the cultural phenomenon "Squid Game." The internal documents also revealed that Chappelle's 2019 special had an "impact value" of $19.4 million, meaning the special cost more to produce than it created in value for the company. A Netflix spokesperson said a review of internal logs found that only one employee had accessed the information shared with Bloomberg. Critics tore into "The Closer," which debuted October 5, after the comedian made transphobic comments in the special, including "gender is a fact" and voicing support for "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling, who has made anti-trans comments in the past. Multiple Netflix employees took to social media condemning the special and Netflix's decision to give Chappelle a platform. LGBTQ+ comedian Hannah Gadsby criticized Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos in an Instagram post on Friday, after Sarandos referenced her in a memo defending the decision to air Chappelle's special. Jaclyn Moore, who identifies as trans and works as an executive producer on Netflix's "Dear White People," announced she would stop working with the company, which she said profits from "blatantly and dangerously transphobic content."Meanwhile, Netflix reinstated trans employee Terra Field and two others who were suspended for attending an executive meeting uninvited to protest Chappelle's special."Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly, and we support their right to do so," a Netflix spokesperson previously told Insider. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Dollar General"s (DG) Pricing Strategy, Business Model Bode Well

Dollar General (DG) has been deploying resources to enhance omni-channel capabilities and provide a seamless shopping experience. Better pricing, private label offerings, effective inventory management, and merchandise initiatives have helped Dollar General Corporation DG in carving out a niche in the retail space. The company’s everyday low-price model is anticipated to draw customers, who have been seeking both value and convenience amid the pandemic. We believe that store expansion initiatives, continued restructuring and the improvement of distribution centers are likely to drive revenues.This Goodlettsville, TN-based company has been focusing on both consumables and non-consumables categories to drive traffic. The company has been offering better-for-you products at affordable prices.Let’s IntrospectDollar General, which is among the gainers amid the pandemic, has been deploying resources to enhance omni-channel capacities and adopt strategies to provide seamless shopping experience. The company’s initiatives such as DG Fresh, DG Go and “popshelf” coupled with real estate growth strategy position it well to gain market share by targeting low-to-middle income group consumers.Management had earlier introduced two transformational strategic initiatives — DG Fresh, designed to enable self-distribution of fresh and frozen products, and Fast Track, an in-store labor productivity and customer convenience initiative. The company completed the initial rollout of DG Fresh across the entire chain and are now delivering to more than 17,500 stores from 12 facilities.We also note that the non-consumable initiative offering was available in more than 8,800 stores at the end of the second quarter of fiscal 2021. The company plans to expand the offering to a total of more than 11,000 stores by year-end.Markedly, the company has been expanding its cooler facilities to enhance the sale of perishable items. During the first half of fiscal 2021, the company installed about 34,000 cooler doors across its store base, and plans to install roughly 65,000 cooler doors in fiscal 2021. The company has been expanding DG GO! mobile checkout, which was available in approximately 4,300 stores at the end of the second quarter. The company’s DG Pickup initiative, which is buy online and pickup in store, is available across entire stores.Store Expansion Well UnderwayDollar General, which shares space with Dollar Tree DLTR, Costco COST and Target TGT, has been making prudent investments relating to store infrastructure, store openings, expansions, remodels and relocations to drive revenues. Management incurred capital expenditures of $518 million in the 26-week period ended Jul 30, 2021, and plans to spend $1.1-$1.2 billion in fiscal 2021.During the second quarter of fiscal 2021, Dollar General completed 772 real estate projects, including 270 new openings, 477 remodels and 25 relocations. As of July this year, it operated more than 17,600 stores. For fiscal 2021, the company remains on track to carry out 2,900 real estate projects. This includes 1,050 openings, 1,750 remodels and 100 relocations.The company also targets establishing stores with a selling space of approximately 8,500 square feet. It expects the 8,500 square foot box, along with existing Dollar General Plus format of a similar size, to become base prototypes for the majority of new stores going forward. The company anticipates having nearly 2,000 stores in this format by the end of the fiscal year.In latest developments, management shared plans about its expansion into Idaho, which highlights the retailer’s strong foothold into the 47th state. Construction of the store, which is slated to open at N. Old Highway 95 in Athol (Kootenai County) by spring next year, is already in progress. This store strengthens the company’s Pacific Northwest footprint.Wrapping UpIn the current scenario, people have been shopping at discount stores for essentials and other discretionary purchases. Quite obviously, Dollar General has emerged as a viable option for them. Its differentiated product range resonates well with customers’ spending habits. The company is also making every effort to boost guests’ experience via unique store concepts, affordable and convenient assortment, and other innovations. Infrastructure Stock Boom to Sweep America A massive push to rebuild the crumbling U.S. infrastructure will soon be underway. It’s bipartisan, urgent, and inevitable. Trillions will be spent. Fortunes will be made. The only question is “Will you get into the right stocks early when their growth potential is greatest?” Zacks has released a Special Report to help you do just that, and today it’s free. Discover 7 special companies that look to gain the most from construction and repair to roads, bridges, and buildings, plus cargo hauling and energy transformation on an almost unimaginable scale.Download FREE: How to Profit from Trillions on Spending for Infrastructure >>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 Target Corporation (TGT): Free Stock Analysis Report Dollar General Corporation (DG): Free Stock Analysis Report Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR): Free Stock Analysis Report Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

Comedian Hannah Gadsby tore into Netflix"s "amoral algorithm cult" after its co-CEO defended releasing Chappelle"s new special

Hannah Gadsby, who won an Emmy for a Netflix special, lambasted Ted Sarandos as Netflix continues to face criticism for its new Chappelle special. Gadsby. Netflix Comedian Hannah Gadsby, who won an Emmy for a Netflix special, lambasted the company's co-CEO. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos referenced Gadsby in a memo to staff defending Dave Chappelle's new special. Some Netflix employees and talent have criticized the special, in which Chappelle makes transphobic comments. Comedian Hannah Gadsby tore into Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos in an Instagram post on Friday, after Sarandos wrote a memo to staff, which referenced her, defending Dave Chappelle's controversial new standup special."Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle's fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial word view," Gadsby wrote. "You didn't pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted."Gadsby has two standup specials on Netflix, including "Nanette," for which she won an Emmy. Sarandos defended Chappelle and Netflix's decision to release his new special, "The Closer," in an all-staff memo this week after employees began speaking out against the special, as reported by multiple outlets including Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. The Netflix trans employee resource group is planning a company-wide walkout next week."We are working hard to ensure marginalized communities aren't defined by a single story," Sarandos wrote in part. "So we have 'Sex Education,' 'Orange is the New Black,' 'Control Z,' Hannah Gadsby and Dave Chappelle all on Netflix. Key to this is increasing diversity on the content team itself.""The Closer" is Chappelle's sixth and perhaps final Netflix special. The comedian struck a three-special deal in 2016 with Netflix worth $60 million, The New York Post reported at the time, but it's unclear if he was paid more for the additional specials.In "The Closer," Chappelle makes transphobic comments and defends "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling by exclaiming "Team TERF!," which stands for trans exclusionary radical feminist, a term Rowling has referred to herself as.Gadsby isn't the first person with content on Netflix who has spoken out against the streamer over the special.Jaclyn Moore, who is trans and is an executive producer on Netflix's "Dear White People," said that she wouldn't work with the company "as long as they continue to put out and profit from blatantly and dangerously transphobic content." Below is Gadsby's full post:"Hey Ted Sarandos! Just a quick note to let you know that I would prefer if you didn't drag my name into your mess. Now I have to deal with even more of the hate and anger that Dave Chappelle's fans like to unleash on me every time Dave gets 20 million dollars to process his emotionally stunted partial word view. You didn't pay me nearly enough to deal with the real world consequences of the hate speech dog whistling you refuse to acknowledge, Ted. Fuck you and your amoral algorithm cult … I do shits with more back bone than you. That's just a joke! I definitely didn't cross a line because there isn't one."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

The 5 best thermometers in 2021

A reliable thermometer can accurately tell if you or your child are running a fever. We rigorously tested 10 of the top brands; here are the 5 best. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Every household should have an accurate digital thermometer and know how and when to use it. The CDC recommends checking your temperature before heading to work, school, or other public places. Our top pick, iProven's DMT-489, reads accurately in 1 second and can be used in-ear or on forehead. This article was medically reviewed by Benjamin Hoffman, MD, professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University. Having an accurate thermometer on hand can help tell you how severely the body is in distress - whether it's confirming that you or your baby is ill enough to need a doctor or the hospital, or if your systems are safe after being exposed to dangerous weather.A fever also one of the key symptoms of COVID-19, and many businesses, school, gyms, and other public places as you to confirm you don't have one before entering. (It's worth noting that influenza usually produces higher fevers than common colds, and not everyone with COVID19 even spikes a fever.) Luckily, getting a quick temperature reading is remarkably easy and safe these days. But the biggest variable among thermometers you can buy is really just: Is it accurate? That's why I tested 10 leading thermometers, in addition to speaking with many experts and parents on which type of home thermometer is best and other FAQs on therometers and fevers.Here are the best thermometers to check for a fever:Best thermometer overall: iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-489Best thermometer on a budget: Vicks Comfort Flex ThermometerBest infrared non-contact thermometer: iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3Best thermometer for daily testing: Kinsa Quick Care Smart ThermometerBest thermometer for kids: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow How we tested thermometers Molly Hebda/Insider I reached out to a number of pediatricians for their expert opinion on thermometers and read journal articles, "Consumer Reports," customer reviews, and even spoke with 20 parents about their temperature-taking experiences.I narrowed it down to the top 10 thermometers and tested each myself nine times over the course of three days on myself and my two kids, as well as a handful of times on my sister and two of my nieces, one of whom is an infant. I also handed off two of the infrared thermometers to Cindy Mrotek, owner of A.C.E Behavior Solutions, an essential business screening adults and children with special health care needs upon entry, for testing over the course of one week.I looked at each product's speed, size of display, mute options, memory recall, batteries, warranty options, and storage containers. I also looked hard look at:Accuracy, precision, and readability of thermometer instructions: You have to use a thermometer correctly for an accurate reading, so I evaluated the information on each product's box and inside its user manual from a health literacy perspective, including how helpful and easy to read the instructions were. Models varied, with some having a quick guide with pictures (great), information in Spanish (big bonus), or a QR code for video instructions, while others had print so tiny you need a magnifying glass to read it.  Cost and availability: Since thermometers are an essential part of an at-home health kit, they need to be affordable. Some on our list are the price of two cups of coffee, while others are upwards of $30, but we also layout how you can save money on a thermometer by using your health savings account or flex spending account.  Best thermometer overall Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-489 is highly impressive with an accurate instant read in just one second, versatile use, and comprehensive instructions on quality packaging. Pros: User friendly, easy to read, nice storage pouch, precise, can be used either contactless or in-earCons: Cap to change methods difficult to snap on, no probe covers The iProven DMT-489 infrared therometer is two-in-one, as it allows you to switch from reading via an in-ear probe or a forehead setting, the latter of which is safer for infants under 3 months old.It was highly accurate in my tests, reading within 0.5-1.0 degrees again and again for forehead readings and within 0.5-0.8 degrees for ear mode. It also displays the temperature within one second.There are separate buttons for "head" and "ear," and to change from one to the other, you need to snap on or off the top cap of the thermometer, which I found a little difficult but still doable.To get an accurate ear temperature,  you have to insert and place the probe top correctly, so be sure to read the instructions thoroughly. It took me a couple of tries to feel confident taking my own temperature this way.I liked that it has a fever alarm and color temperature indication to take the guesswork out of interpreting the readings. The manual also includes a very comprehensive comparison table on how to interpret measurements based on age and method. The thermometer can also store up to 20 past readings for easy comparison. The devices comes with two AA batteries, a soft pouch for storage (great for travel and diaper bags), and cleaning instructions. It also comes with a two-year limited warranty and the option of an extended year warranty for free. Best budget thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer was the most affordable of the thermometers tested, easy to use, and has a large digital screen with color-coded readings to indicate fever.Pros: Affordable, multiuse, precise, large digital display, comes with probe coversCons: Very loud beep, must turn off and on between readings, colored fever alerts misleading, coin cell battery is more annoying to replace The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer is easy to use right out the box: There's only one button and you have the option to use the device orally, rectally, or under the arm. Its runs on an included coin cell button battery.I found the large digital display to be the easiest to read of all the thermometers I tested. It also beeps the loudest of the group, which is especially helpful for seniors with visual and hearing impairments, but also could be a nuisance for some considering the beeping lasts a full eight seconds.The LCD screen uses a color temperature indication alongside displaying the actual number, which is generally helpful but fever isn't the same for everyone so this could be alarmist if you run hot.The precision and repeatability of the thermometer was quite good in my tests and only varied by about 0.5 degrees. Although the box says the Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer takes 10-12 seconds to read your temperature, I found it was actually much quicker with a response time of 5 to 6 seconds orally and 6 to 7 seconds rectally. It is a little annoying that you have to turn it off and back on to take a second reading, and it is  only able to recall the last reading you took. But I did like that this model comes with 100 disposable probe covers and a protective holder, along with a one-year limited warranty and instructions in English and Spanish. Best infrared non-contact thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 reads in just one second and makes it easy to accurately take anyone's temperature while being socially distant. Pros: Fast reading, precise, no beeping, helpful content in user manual  Cons: Vibration may be missed, prone to user error, doesn't work well for kids that won't sit stillPrior to testing the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 myself, I'd already seen it in action for pre-screening at both my dentist's office and my daughter's daycare. It seemed like a good product that offered quick readings.When I tested it myself, I found that first impression held up. Instead of a beeping alarm, the device vibrates once it has a reading, which also lights up the LED display. This is nice if you don't want a loud noise, and upon testing, I found the precision and repeatability varied only by 0.5 degrees. I also had Cindy Mrotek, whose business A.C.E Behavior Solutions screens people upon entry, try it out and she said the iHealth was a faster read compared to other infrared thermometers. However, she added it was a bit difficult to use on kids that can't sit still. I myself found the device woudn't read if it was too far away from the skin.The iHealth comes with a user manual in English and Spanish, a quick guide with pictures, two AAA batteries, and cleaning instructions. It also has a one-year limited warranty.  Best thermometer for daily testing Molly Hebda/Business Insider If you're tech-savvy and looking for a great smart thermometer, the Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer can be used three ways and even allows you to contribute to public health research. Pros: Diverse way to read temps, can support multiple family members and keep temperature records separate, has great app features, contributes to public health research  Cons: Needs app to work, does not include probe covers,Every morning, I have to self-certify that my kids are free of COVID-19 symptoms before sending them off to school. A smart thermometer like the Kinsa — which stores all the readings for each individual family member on my phone and helps me monitor their baseline temperature — makes that daily routine much easier to manage.The Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and uses an app, which I found easy to set up. I then created profiles for each member of my family, which includes inputting their birthdays to help the app's algorithm provide appropriate care instructions person to person. You can also add notes, symptoms, and track medication doses within the app.After each reading, the thermometer displays not only the temperature but a happy, neutral, or sad-face emoji corresponding with fever status.You can check the temperature orally, under the armpit, or rectally (they also make a separate model specific for in-ear use). Although the box says the response time is 8 seconds, I found it to read a temperature between 2 to 3 seconds when used orally. The precision varies between 0.8 and 0.5 degrees.Kinsa sits in a really unique space for both thermometers and smart equipment contributing to public health: As Hilary Brueck, Insider's Senior Health and Science reporter, has laid out, the smart thermometer has helped forecast outbreaks of both the coronavirus and the flu, including detecting fever spikes weeks before hospitals and clinics start to see an influx of patients. It's an added bonus that using this stellar, versatile, and accurate thermometer can help contribute to predicting COVID hotspots. Best thermometer for kids Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow was the most accurate and consistent out of all the thermometers I tested and has over 80 peer-reviewed clinical studies to back up its use on children. Pros: Most precise tested, suitable for all ages older than three monthsCons: Unintuitive, dim display, plastic cap to protect the sensor easy to lose Next to rectal thermometers, temporal artery thermometers are the most reliable way to get an accurate reading on children and babies over 3 months of age. (Use a rectal thermometer on infants under 3 months.) With the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer, a gentle stroke across a child's forehead captures the naturally emitted heat waves coming from the skin over the temporal artery to give a reading in 2 to 3 seconds. It can store up to eight readings. When tested repeatedly, the Exergen thermometer delivered the most consistent and precise results of any model tested on myself and my kids — within 0.3 degrees.However, unlike other models with backlight displays, the Exergen has a relatively small LCD display screen with a dim readout. It may be hard to see if you are in a dark room. However, unlike others, this thermometer wasn't as intuitive to use, despite having instructions printed directly on the back of the device, I wasn't sure if I was correctly stroking the top of the unit across the forehead. But the instruction manual had a QR code which led to videos demonstrating how to use it, which was helpful. The model comes with a 9V battery already installed, cleaning instructions, and a five-year limited product warranty.Read our guide to the best thermometers for babies and children for additional options. What else we considered Molly Hebda/Business Insider What we recommendBraun Thermoscan 7 Ear Thermometer ($38): This is a fantastic in-ear thermometer with much peer-reviewed research to back it up, and not only do we recommend it but many parents I spoke with already own it. The downsides are it takes 10 seconds to read a temp, and it's the most expensive option I tested — especially when you factor in the disposable lens filters that need replacing for accuracy and hygiene.Dr. Talbot's Infrared Forehead Thermometer, Non-Contact ($19.89): This device has comparable precision and speed to the iHealth and is designed for contactless reading of infants over 3 months, including adults. I liked this device and it was easy to operate, but it's more expensive than the iHealth and was difficult to change the settings using only the trigger. Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer ($39.99): The Kinsa is super sleek and easy to use on yourself, which can be tricky for the ear. I also found the app to be tremendous in terms of content with very helpful instructions. Even though the readings only took a second, the precision tended to vary by 1.5 degrees.What we don't recommendCVS Health Flexible Tip Digital Thermometer ($18.49): This unit was disqualified because did not function at all. Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer with Fever InSight ($9.72): Despite being called "SpeedRead," this device took 8 seconds to deliver a reading — slower than its cousin, the Vicks Comfort Flex, our best budget thermometer. Plus, I found the SpeedRead to have a metallic taste. What we're looking forward to tryingExergen Temporal Artery Thermometer Original ($42.99): We were unable to test this due to an inventory shortage at the time we were evaluating thermometers for this guide. Which type of at-home thermometer is best? Your basic digital thermometer options to choose from are: Single-use stick thermometer (marketed for rectal only) Multiuse stick thermometer (rectum, mouth, or armpit)  Tympanic thermometer (ear) Temporal artery thermometer (forehead)Tympanic and temporal thermometer (ear and forehead) Infrared non-contact thermometer (forehead)  Though there's plenty of apprehension about no-contact thermometers, a column in Ask a Pediatrician by Dr. Elizabeth Murray, an official spokesperson for the AAP, addresses those concerns directly. Murray says that "the claims about their danger are false … It is the infrared energy coming from the person that is being gathered by the thermometer, not infrared light being projected to the person."All thermometers sold in the United States must meet federal standards and are already calibrated for home use at the time of purchase. FAQs Which type of thermometer is the most accurate?Dr. John Vann, a pediatrician in Omaha, told Insider that only a rectal temperature offers a true outpatient reading. "Everything else is an estimate," he said."Luckily, the exact number is not usually as important as how the patient looks," he adds. Which is to say, there are other indicators of how severe someone's illness or condition is other than an optimally-accurate temperature reading. There are also reliable methods for checking your temperature even if you don't have access to a thermometer.No matter if you opt for an infrared thermometer or a strictly ear-based model, it's important to know fever isn't the same for everyone and that it varies by age, gender, and time of day, among other variables. Using a thermometer at various times of the day when you're feeling well gives you an idea of what's normal for you, or your baseline temperature. Which is the best thermometer for home use?Among at-home thermometers, medical research hasn't determined an exact correlation between oral, rectal, ear, armpit, and forehead temperature measurements. But Kaiser Permanente notes that an ear (tympanic) temperature is 0.5 to 1 degree higher than an oral temperature and a forehead (temporal) scanner is usually 0.5 to 1 degree lower than an oral temperature. What is the best thermometer to use for COVID?The best thermometer for COVID is really just one that is accurate and reliable. That means any of the thermometers on our list are great for checking for COVID symptoms. That being said, if you're using the thermometer on more than one person, it's best to use a contactless reader to not cross-contaminate. In that case, we highly recommend the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 or the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow, both of which proved to be accurate and reliable in my tests.Can I use my HSA/FSA funds to buy a thermometer?If you have an HSA or an FSA account, know that over-the-counter digital thermometers are eligible for reimbursement without a prescription. Here's how it works: If you pay with cash or credit card in a store or online, you can request a reimbursement from your HSA/FSA account. Different plans have different requirements on what's needed for reimbursement but usually, a copy of your thermometer receipt will be enough.There are HSA and FSA-specific retailers, like the HSA Store and the FSA Store that make shopping for items that qualify for reimbursement really simple. According to both websites, when shoppers use an HSA or FSA card to pay, they typically don't have to submit receipts; purchases on these websites automatically substantiate. It is worth noting, however, that the thermometer options available on these websites are limited and cost more than other retailers. What counts as a fever?Many Americans think anything over 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is a problem, but what constitutes a fever is actually different person to person.Rik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert, tells Insider, "Age, gender, and even time of day impact normal body temperatures." Some children's temperatures especially run higher than others, points out Dr. Jesse Hackell, a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics. Any reading of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 3 months is reason to call the pediatrician. "Another reason to call is if the fever persists for more than 24 hours in children younger than two and more than three days in a child 2 years of age or older," he said.Meanwhile, older adults tend to have lower baseline temperatures than younger adults; sometimes fevers in the elderly are completely absent.To figure out what's a fever for you, you want to find your baseline temperature (i.e., what's normal for you) by checking your temperature at various times of the day when you are feeling well. At the end of the day, how you or your child is acting and feeling is the best indicator of a fever over the number on a thermometer, multiple of our doctors say. Our expert sources Jesse Hackell MD, FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine and a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics, a division of Boston Children's Health PhysiciansJohn Vann, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician at Omaha Children's Clinic in Omaha, NebraskaDr. Jenifer Johnson, a family medicine physician and internist at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, NYRik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert who founded the clinical-grade thermometer company, WelloCindy Mrotek, business owner of ACE Behavior SolutionsAP News. Infrared thermometers used for COVID-19 testing do not pose risk to pineal gland. July 28, 2020Consumer Reports. Thermometer Buying Guide. September 23, 2016NASA. Ingestible Thermometer Pill Helps Athletes Beat the Heat. January 8, 2007EPA. Mercury Thermometers. June 26, 2018CDC. How COVID19 Spreads. October 5, 2020Business Insider. Coronavirus temperature scans are nothing more than pandemic security theater. In some cases, they're dangerous.Mayo Clinic. Thermometers: Understand the options. September 15, 2018HealthyChildren.org. When to Call the Pediatrician: Fever. November 21, 2015HealthyChildren.org. How to Take Your Child's Temperature. October 12, 2020HealthyChildren.org. Are Infrared Thermometers Safe? October 15, 2020New York Times. Can Smart Thermometers Track the Spread of the Coronavirus? March 18, 2020Kaiser Permanente. Fever Temperatures: Accuracy and Comparison. June 26, 2019HSA Store websiteFSA Store website Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

The 5 Best Thermometers in 2021

A reliable thermometer can accurately tell if you or your child are running a fever. We rigorously tested 10 of the top brands; here are the 5 best. Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky Every household should have an accurate digital thermometer and know how and when to use it. The CDC recommends checking your temperature before heading to work, school, or other public places. Our top pick, iProven's DMT-511, reads accurately in 1 second and can be used in-ear or on forehead. This article was medically reviewed by Benjamin Hoffman, MD, professor of pediatrics at Oregon Health and Science University. Having an accurate thermometer on hand can help tell you how severely the body is in distress - whether it's confirming that you or your baby is ill enough to need a doctor or the hospital, or if your systems are safe after being exposed to dangerous weather.A fever also one of the key symptoms of COVID-19, and many businesses, school, gyms, and other public places as you to confirm you don't have one before entering. (It's worth noting that influenza usually produces higher fevers than common colds, and not everyone with COVID19 even spikes a fever.) Luckily, getting a quick temperature reading is remarkably easy and safe these days. But the biggest variable among thermometers you can buy is really just: Is it accurate? That's why I tested 10 leading thermometers, in addition to speaking with many experts and parents on which type of home thermometer is best and other FAQs on therometers and fevers.Here are the best thermometers to check for a fever:Best thermometer overall: iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-511Best thermometer on a budget: Vicks Comfort Flex ThermometerBest infrared non-contact thermometer: iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3Best thermometer for daily testing: Kinsa Quick Care Smart ThermometerBest thermometer for kids: Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow How we tested thermometers Molly Hebda/Insider I reached out to a number of pediatricians for their expert opinion on thermometers and read journal articles, "Consumer Reports," customer reviews, and even spoke with 20 parents about their temperature-taking experiences.I narrowed it down to the top 10 thermometers and tested each myself nine times over the course of three days on myself and my two kids, as well as a handful of times on my sister and two of my nieces, one of whom is an infant. I also handed off two of the infrared thermometers to Cindy Mrotek, owner of A.C.E Behavior Solutions, an essential business screening adults and children with special health care needs upon entry, for testing over the course of one week.I looked at each product's speed, size of display, mute options, memory recall, batteries, warranty options, and storage containers. I also looked hard look at:Accuracy, precision, and readability of thermometer instructions: You have to use a thermometer correctly for an accurate reading, so I evaluated the information on each product's box and inside its user manual from a health literacy perspective, including how helpful and easy to read the instructions were. Models varied, with some having a quick guide with pictures (great), information in Spanish (big bonus), or a QR code for video instructions, while others had print so tiny you need a magnifying glass to read it.  Cost and availability: Since thermometers are an essential part of an at-home health kit, they need to be affordable. Some on our list are the price of two cups of coffee, while others are upwards of $30, but we also layout how you can save money on a thermometer by using your health savings account or flex spending account.  Best thermometer overall Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iProven Forehead and Ear Thermometer DMT-511 is highly impressive with an accurate instant read in just one second, versatile use, and comprehensive instructions on quality packaging. Pros: User friendly, easy to read, nice storage pouch, precise, can be used either contactless or in-earCons: Cap to change methods difficult to snap on, no probe covers The iProven DMT-511 infrared therometer is two-in-one, as it allows you to switch from reading via an in-ear probe or a forehead setting, the latter of which is safer for infants under 3 months old.It was highly accurate in my tests, reading within 0.5-1.0 degrees again and again for forehead readings and within 0.5-0.8 degrees for ear mode. It also displays the temperature within one second.There are separate buttons for "head" and "ear," and to change from one to the other, you need to snap on or off the top cap of the thermometer, which I found a little difficult but still doable.To get an accurate ear temperature,  you have to insert and place the probe top correctly, so be sure to read the instructions thoroughly. It took me a couple of tries to feel confident taking my own temperature this way.I liked that it has a fever alarm and color temperature indication to take the guesswork out of interpreting the readings. The manual also includes a very comprehensive comparison table on how to interpret measurements based on age and method. The thermometer can also store up to 20 past readings for easy comparison. The devices comes with two AA batteries, a soft pouch for storage (great for travel and diaper bags), and cleaning instructions. It also comes with a two-year limited warranty and the option of an extended year warranty for free. Best budget thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer was the most affordable of the thermometers tested, easy to use, and has a large digital screen with color-coded readings to indicate fever.Pros: Affordable, multiuse, precise, large digital display, comes with probe coversCons: Very loud beep, must turn off and on between readings, colored fever alerts misleading, coin cell battery is more annoying to replace The Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer is easy to use right out the box: There's only one button and you have the option to use the device orally, rectally, or under the arm. Its runs on an included coin cell button battery.I found the large digital display to be the easiest to read of all the thermometers I tested. It also beeps the loudest of the group, which is especially helpful for seniors with visual and hearing impairments, but also could be a nuisance for some considering the beeping lasts a full eight seconds.The LCD screen uses a color temperature indication alongside displaying the actual number, which is generally helpful but fever isn't the same for everyone so this could be alarmist if you run hot.The precision and repeatability of the thermometer was quite good in my tests and only varied by about 0.5 degrees. Although the box says the Vicks Comfort Flex Thermometer takes 10-12 seconds to read your temperature, I found it was actually much quicker with a response time of 5 to 6 seconds orally and 6 to 7 seconds rectally. It is a little annoying that you have to turn it off and back on to take a second reading, and it is  only able to recall the last reading you took. But I did like that this model comes with 100 disposable probe covers and a protective holder, along with a one-year limited warranty and instructions in English and Spanish. Best infrared non-contact thermometer Molly Hebda/Business Insider The iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 reads in just one second and makes it easy to accurately take anyone's temperature while being socially distant. Pros: Fast reading, precise, no beeping, helpful content in user manual  Cons: Vibration may be missed, prone to user error, doesn't work well for kids that won't sit stillPrior to testing the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 myself, I'd already seen it in action for pre-screening at both my dentist's office and my daughter's daycare. It seemed like a good product that offered quick readings.When I tested it myself, I found that first impression held up. Instead of a beeping alarm, the device vibrates once it has a reading, which also lights up the LED display. This is nice if you don't want a loud noise, and upon testing, I found the precision and repeatability varied only by 0.5 degrees. I also had Cindy Mrotek, whose business A.C.E Behavior Solutions screens people upon entry, try it out and she said the iHealth was a faster read compared to other infrared thermometers. However, she added it was a bit difficult to use on kids that can't sit still. I myself found the device woudn't read if it was too far away from the skin.The iHealth comes with a user manual in English and Spanish, a quick guide with pictures, two AAA batteries, and cleaning instructions. It also has a one-year limited warranty.  Best thermometer for daily testing Molly Hebda/Business Insider If you're tech-savvy and looking for a great smart thermometer, the Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer can be used three ways and even allows you to contribute to public health research. Pros: Diverse way to read temps, can support multiple family members and keep temperature records separate, has great app features, contributes to public health research  Cons: Needs app to work, does not include probe covers,Every morning, I have to self-certify that my kids are free of COVID-19 symptoms before sending them off to school. A smart thermometer like the Kinsa — which stores all the readings for each individual family member on my phone and helps me monitor their baseline temperature — makes that daily routine much easier to manage.The Kinsa Quick Care Smart Thermometer connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and uses an app, which I found easy to set up. I then created profiles for each member of my family, which includes inputting their birthdays to help the app's algorithm provide appropriate care instructions person to person. You can also add notes, symptoms, and track medication doses within the app.After each reading, the thermometer displays not only the temperature but a happy, neutral, or sad-face emoji corresponding with fever status.You can check the temperature orally, under the armpit, or rectally (they also make a separate model specific for in-ear use). Although the box says the response time is 8 seconds, I found it to read a temperature between 2 to 3 seconds when used orally. The precision varies between 0.8 and 0.5 degrees.Kinsa sits in a really unique space for both thermometers and smart equipment contributing to public health: As Hilary Brueck, Insider's Senior Health and Science reporter, has laid out, the smart thermometer has helped forecast outbreaks of both the coronavirus and the flu, including detecting fever spikes weeks before hospitals and clinics start to see an influx of patients. It's an added bonus that using this stellar, versatile, and accurate thermometer can help contribute to predicting COVID hotspots. Best thermometer for kids Molly Hebda/Business Insider The Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow was the most accurate and consistent out of all the thermometers I tested and has over 80 peer-reviewed clinical studies to back up its use on children. Pros: Most precise tested, suitable for all ages older than three monthsCons: Unintuitive, dim display, plastic cap to protect the sensor easy to lose Next to rectal thermometers, temporal artery thermometers are the most reliable way to get an accurate reading on children and babies over 3 months of age. (Use a rectal thermometer on infants under 3 months.) With the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer, a gentle stroke across a child's forehead captures the naturally emitted heat waves coming from the skin over the temporal artery to give a reading in 2 to 3 seconds. It can store up to eight readings. When tested repeatedly, the Exergen thermometer delivered the most consistent and precise results of any model tested on myself and my kids — within 0.3 degrees.However, unlike other models with backlight displays, the Exergen has a relatively small LCD display screen with a dim readout. It may be hard to see if you are in a dark room. However, unlike others, this thermometer wasn't as intuitive to use, despite having instructions printed directly on the back of the device, I wasn't sure if I was correctly stroking the top of the unit across the forehead. But the instruction manual had a QR code which led to videos demonstrating how to use it, which was helpful. The model comes with a 9V battery already installed, cleaning instructions, and a five-year limited product warranty.Read our guide to the best thermometers for babies and children for additional options. What else we considered Molly Hebda/Business Insider What we recommendBraun Thermoscan 7 Ear Thermometer ($60): This is a fantastic in-ear thermometer with much peer-reviewed research to back it up, and not only do we recommend it but many parents I spoke with already own it. The downsides are it takes 10 seconds to read a temp, and it's the most expensive option I tested — especially when you factor in the disposable lens filters that need replacing for accuracy and hygiene.Dr. Talbot's Infrared Forehead Thermometer, Non-Contact ($20): This device has comparable precision and speed to the iHealth and is designed for contactless reading of infants over 3 months, including adults. I liked this device and it was easy to operate, but it's more expensive than the iHealth and was difficult to change the settings using only the trigger. Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer ($40): The Kinsa is super sleek and easy to use on yourself, which can be tricky for the ear. I also found the app to be tremendous in terms of content with very helpful instructions. Even though the readings only took a second, the precision tended to vary by 1.5 degrees.What we don't recommendCVS Health Flexible Tip Digital Thermometer ($18.50): This unit was disqualified because did not function at all. Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer with Fever InSight ($10): Despite being called "SpeedRead," this device took 8 seconds to deliver a reading — slower than its cousin, the Vicks Comfort Flex, our best budget thermometer. Plus, I found the SpeedRead to have a metallic taste. What we're looking forward to tryingExergen Temporal Artery Thermometer Original ($35): We were unable to test this due to an inventory shortage at the time we were evaluating thermometers for this guide. Which type of at-home thermometer is best? Your basic digital thermometer options to choose from are: Single-use stick thermometer (marketed for rectal only) Multiuse stick thermometer (rectum, mouth, or armpit)  Tympanic thermometer (ear) Temporal artery thermometer (forehead)Tympanic and temporal thermometer (ear and forehead) Infrared non-contact thermometer (forehead)  Though there's plenty of apprehension about no-contact thermometers, a column in Ask a Pediatrician by Dr. Elizabeth Murray, an official spokesperson for the AAP, addresses those concerns directly. Murray says that "the claims about their danger are false … It is the infrared energy coming from the person that is being gathered by the thermometer, not infrared light being projected to the person."All thermometers sold in the United States must meet federal standards and are already calibrated for home use at the time of purchase.  FAQs Which type of thermometer is the most accurate?Dr. John Vann, a pediatrician in Omaha, told Insider that only a rectal temperature offers a true outpatient reading. "Everything else is an estimate," he said."Luckily, the exact number is not usually as important as how the patient looks," he adds. Which is to say, there are other indicators of how severe someone's illness or condition is other than an optimally-accurate temperature reading. There are also reliable methods for checking your temperature even if you don't have access to a thermometer.No matter if you opt for an infrared thermometer or a strictly ear-based model, it's important to know fever isn't the same for everyone and that it varies by age, gender, and time of day, among other variables. Using a thermometer at various times of the day when you're feeling well gives you an idea of what's normal for you, or your baseline temperature. Which is the best thermometer for home use?Among at-home thermometers, medical research hasn't determined an exact correlation between oral, rectal, ear, armpit, and forehead temperature measurements. But Kaiser Permanente notes that an ear (tympanic) temperature is 0.5 to 1 degree higher than an oral temperature and a forehead (temporal) scanner is usually 0.5 to 1 degree lower than an oral temperature. What is the best thermometer to use for COVID?The best thermometer for COVID is really just one that is accurate and reliable. That means any of the thermometers on our list are great for checking for COVID symptoms. That being said, if you're using the thermometer on more than one person, it's best to use a contactless reader to not cross-contaminate. In that case, we highly recommend the iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer PT3 or the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer with Smart Glow, both of which proved to be accurate and reliable in my tests.Can I use my HSA/FSA funds to buy a thermometer?If you have an HSA or an FSA account, know that over-the-counter digital thermometers are eligible for reimbursement without a prescription. Here's how it works: If you pay with cash or credit card in a store or online, you can request a reimbursement from your HSA/FSA account. Different plans have different requirements on what's needed for reimbursement but usually, a copy of your thermometer receipt will be enough.There are HSA and FSA-specific retailers, like the HSA Store and the FSA Store that make shopping for items that qualify for reimbursement really simple. According to both websites, when shoppers use an HSA or FSA card to pay, they typically don't have to submit receipts; purchases on these websites automatically substantiate. It is worth noting, however, that the thermometer options available on these websites are limited and cost more than other retailers. What counts as a fever?Many Americans think anything over 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is a problem, but what constitutes a fever is actually different person to person.Rik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert, tells Insider, "Age, gender, and even time of day impact normal body temperatures." Some children's temperatures especially run higher than others, points out Dr. Jesse Hackell, a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics. Any reading of 100.4 F or higher in a baby younger than 3 months is reason to call the pediatrician. "Another reason to call is if the fever persists for more than 24 hours in children younger than two and more than three days in a child 2 years of age or older," he said.Meanwhile, older adults tend to have lower baseline temperatures than younger adults; sometimes fevers in the elderly are completely absent.To figure out what's a fever for you, you want to find your baseline temperature (i.e., what's normal for you) by checking your temperature at various times of the day when you are feeling well. At the end of the day, how you or your child is acting and feeling is the best indicator of a fever over the number on a thermometer, multiple of our doctors say. Our expert sources Jesse Hackell MD, FAAP, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine and a practicing pediatrician with New York-based Pomona Pediatrics, a division of Boston Children's Health PhysiciansJohn Vann, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician at Omaha Children's Clinic in Omaha, NebraskaDr. Jenifer Johnson, a family medicine physician and internist at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, NYRik Heller, a biomedical engineer and thermographic expert who founded the clinical-grade thermometer company, WelloCindy Mrotek, business owner of ACE Behavior SolutionsAP News. Infrared thermometers used for COVID-19 testing do not pose risk to pineal gland. July 28, 2020Consumer Reports. Thermometer Buying Guide. September 23, 2016NASA. Ingestible Thermometer Pill Helps Athletes Beat the Heat. January 8, 2007EPA. Mercury Thermometers. June 26, 2018CDC. How COVID19 Spreads. October 5, 2020Business Insider. Coronavirus temperature scans are nothing more than pandemic security theater. In some cases, they're dangerous.Mayo Clinic. Thermometers: Understand the options. September 15, 2018HealthyChildren.org. When to Call the Pediatrician: Fever. November 21, 2015HealthyChildren.org. How to Take Your Child's Temperature. October 12, 2020HealthyChildren.org. Are Infrared Thermometers Safe? October 15, 2020New York Times. Can Smart Thermometers Track the Spread of the Coronavirus? March 18, 2020Kaiser Permanente. Fever Temperatures: Accuracy and Comparison. June 26, 2019HSA Store websiteFSA Store website Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Netflix"s co-CEO said content doesn"t "translate to real-world harm" in defense of Chappelle"s new special. A Netflix documentary suggests otherwise.

The Netflix documentary "Disclosure" makes the case that content can lead to real-world harm against the trans community. Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO & Chief Content Officer Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Netflix's co-CEO sent a memo defending the decision to stream Dave Chappelle's new special. In the memo, he said that content "doesn't directly translate to real-world harm." Some people pointed out that a Netflix documentary, "Disclosure," argues otherwise. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos issued another defense of the company releasing Dave Chappelle's controversial new standup special, "The Closer," in which he said "content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world hard."That sentiment prompted a slew of people, including the creator of Netflix's "BoJack Horseman," to point out that a Netflix documentary, called "Disclosure," argues the exact opposite.In "The Closer," Chappelle makes transphobic comments that have sparked a backlash from some Netflix employees. Sarandos sent a company-wide memo on Monday addressing concerns over the special, according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, which obtained copies of the note."With 'The Closer,' we understand that the concern is not about offensive-to-some content but titles which could increase real world harm (such as further marginalizing already marginalized groups, hate, violence etc.)," Sarandos wrote in part. "Last year, we heard similar concerns about '365 Days' and violence against women. While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn't directly translate to real-world harm."In light of Sarandos' memo, people including critics, industry professionals, and activists have pointed to a documentary, Netflix's "Disclosure," that suggests otherwise.A Netflix spokesperson declined to comment for this story."If only Sarandos had access to a documentary called 'Disclosure' that makes a very convincing argument about the many ways content has translated to real-world harm for the trans community," Rolling Stone chief TV critic Alan Sepinwall tweeted. "It's on … [checks notes] … Netflix."Raphael Bob-Waksberg, who created Netflix's adult animated comedy "BoJack Horseman," tweeted: "There's a very good documentary called 'Disclosure' that I would recommend to anyone who works in the content biz. It's on Netflix."In a statement to Variety in response to Sarandos' comments, GLAAD also cited the documentary."Authentic media stories about LGBTQ lives have been cited as directly responsible for increasing public support for issues like marriage equality," GLAAD said. "But film and TV have also been filled with stereotypes and misinformation about us for decades, leading to real world harm, especially for trans people and LGBTQ people of color. Ironically, the documentary 'Disclosure' on Netflix demonstrates this quite clearly."After "The Closer" debuted, some Netflix employees spoke out against the release of the special. Notably, Terra Field, a senior software engineer who is trans, went viral on Twitter last week, saying that Chappelle "attacks the trans community, and the very validity of transness - all while trying to pit us against other marginalized groups."Field and two other employees were suspended last week for attending an executive meeting they were not invited to, The Verge and Variety reported, but have since been reinstated following an investigation. Netflix issued a statement this week pushing back against the notion that the employees were suspended for any criticism of the Chappelle special. "It is absolutely untrue to say that we have suspended any employees for tweeting about this show," a Netflix spokesperson said. "Our employees are encouraged to disagree openly and we support their right to do so."Sarandos' all-staff memo follows a memo to executives last week, in response to questions fielded during the aforementioned executive meeting, in which he defended the special by calling Chappelle "one of the most popular stand-up comedians today."Now, Netflix's trans employee resource group is planning a company-wide walkout on October 20, The Verge reported on Wednesday.In the special, Chappelle said that "gender is a fact" and defended "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling, who has also been criticized for transphobic comments. Rowling has identified as a "TERF" (trans exclusionary radical feminist), and Chappelle exclaimed "Team TERF!" in his special.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

10 Things in Politics: McConnell defies Trump on the debt ceiling

And sources say they're not buying Matt Gaetz's new "happy husband" rebrand. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to bgriffiths@insider.com.Here's what we're talking about:Mitch McConnell reverses on the debt ceiling as Congress moves to give itself more timeSources say they're not buying Matt Gaetz's new 'happy husband' rebrandTrump lawyer is urging former top aides to stonewall the Capitol riot inquiryWith Phil Rosen. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky speaks after a GOP policy luncheon on Capitol Hill. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File 1. FROM THE HALLS OF CONGRESS: Washington's latest drama is almost over - kind of. Senators moved last night to extend the debt limit to last until December, ending weeks of brinksmanship as top CEOs and administration officials begged lawmakers to act. The Senate vote sparked its own saga, with an agitated former President Donald Trump, annoyed conservatives, and some gleeful Democrats. Key disagreements very much remain, meaning this is more of a to-be-continued kind of ending.Here's where things stand:Mitch McConnell and top leaders had to squeeze their fellow Republicans: McConnell summoned his colleagues for a tense meeting before the vote as they discussed the party's strategy, Politico reports. Sen. Ted Cruz told reporters afterward that "it was a mistake to offer this deal." In the end, the GOP mustered 11 votes, one more than necessary to give Democrats the necessary 60 votes so they could end debate and pass the two-month fix on their own. Many Republicans didn't seem to care that Trump was also opposed to the deal.McConnell is still pressing Democrats: He previously said the extension was meant only to give Democrats more time to raise the debt ceiling for the longer term by themselves through the special budget process known as reconciliation. Democrats continue to insist they won't do that. (Now you see why this is far from over.)Republicans were also furious at how Democrats responded: "There's a time to be graceful and there's a time to be combative. That was a time for grace and common ground," Sen. Mitt Romney, who did not vote to help Democrats, said of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's blistering speech after the vote. Schumer chided Republicans for pushing things to this point.Centrist Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin was also not pleased, per Politico's Burgess Everett: Burgess Everett/Twitter The House is expected to send the extension to President Joe Biden's desk next week.2. Not everyone is buying Rep. Matt Gaetz's new image: The family-man depiction is a notable shift for the 39-year-old Florida congressman, who is the subject of a federal sex-trafficking investigation that centers on allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. "It's somewhere between look-over-here magic-trick stuff and maybe pretending" the investigation isn't happening, a Republican who worked with Gaetz in Florida told Insider. Read more about how Florida political insiders see Gaetz's marriage as "image management" by the congressman.3. US Marines are said to be training troops in Taiwan: The Wall Street Journal reports that the trainings have taken place for at least a year amid concerns about China. The force is said to includes about two dozen special operators and support troops working with ground-force units and an unspecified number of Marines working with Taiwan's maritime units. The Pentagon didn't confirm the report but did comment on what it called "the current threat posed by the People's Republic of China."4. Trump lawyer is urging former top aides to stonewall Capitol riot inquiry: A letter from the Trump legal team instructs former advisors and aides not to comply with subpoenas issued by the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection, Politico reports. Trump's team cited executive privilege and what it called the "outrageously broad" nature of the requests as reasons for its objection to any testimony. The Washington Post reports that Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland who serves on the riot panel, threatened contempt charges for those failing to comply with the committee's requests. It's unclear whether top officials like the former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will now refuse to cooperate with the investigation.5. Tesla HQ is moving to Texas: ​​CEO Elon Musk stressed that while Tesla's home base was moving to Austin from Palo Alto, the company wasn't leaving California altogether. Signs of such a move have abounded, including Musk's public frustration with California's pandemic-related restrictions. Musk also cited the lack of affordable housing and long commutes as reasons for his decision. More on the news.6. Trump claims Haitians seeking to enter the US "probably have AIDS": The former president lashed out against Haitian migrants seeking to enter the US, saying that hundreds of thousands of them were "flowing in." The Post reported in 2018, of course, that Trump privately called Haiti a "shithole" country when discussing the protection of immigrants. His latest remarks echo his widely criticized past comments.7. Texas abortion clinics spring into action after a favorable ruling: Representatives from Whole Woman's Health, a national abortion provider with four abortion clinics in Texas, told reporters that they and several other providers had already begun to perform previously prohibited abortion procedures after the roughly six-week deadline presented by the law. A federal judge this week temporarily blocked Texas' law, which functions as a near-complete ban on abortions. The state is appealing. The abortion clinics are still taking major risks and could be opening themselves up to future penalties.8. Matthew McConaughey breaks silence on whether he'll run for office: The Academy Award winner told The New York Times that he's still undecided about whether he'd challenge Gov. Greg Abbott, adding that many had told him "politics is a bag of rats." McConaughey did take public positions on some issues for the first time, deeming the state's abortion law "juvenile in its implementation." More from the interview, including how McConaughey responded to a jab from Beto O'Rourke.9. Eighteen former NBA players are accused of massive medical fraud: Authorities allege that the group defrauded the NBA's health and welfare benefit plan with nearly $4 million in fraudulent claims. According to court filings, players in question include the former Memphis Grizzlies defensive star Tony Allen, the league journeyman Sebastian Telfair, and the former Celtics center Glen "Big Baby" Davis. More details from the indictment. Princess Keisha and Prince Kunle at their home in London. Mikhaila Friel/Insider 10. Nigeria's Prince Kunle and Princess Keisha left royal life years before Harry and Meghan: Prince Kunle told Insider he turned down the opportunity to be king of the Arigbabuowo ruling house, and now he lives in London with his wife. The couple have no plans of returning to royal life, and Kunle said he made the move to preserve his family's freedom. Get the inside scoop on the once royal couple.Today's trivia question: Here's another Bond-related question to mark the US release of "No Time to Die." In "Skyfall," a replica of a masterpiece painting is shown. The real painting was stolen a few years before the movie's release. Which artist painted the original? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at bgriffiths@insider.com.Yesterday's answer: Walt Disney looked at St. Louis as a location for his second park before choosing Florida. Legend says the deal fell apart over Disney's reported refusal to sell alcohol, but historians think money was the big reason things went sour. Disney is pulling out all the stops to mark Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary. Watch a pianist return to play in the park half a century later.That's all for now. Have a wonderful weekend!Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 8th, 2021

How Facebook Forced a Reckoning by Shutting Down the Team That Put People Ahead of Profits

Facebook's civic-integrity team, where whistle-blower Frances Haugen worked, pledged to put people ahead of profits. Facebook shut it down, but some former members are still honoring their promise. Facebook’s civic-integrity team was always different from all the other teams that the social media company employed to combat misinformation and hate speech. For starters, every team member subscribed to an informal oath, vowing to “serve the people’s interest first, not Facebook’s.” The “civic oath,” according to five former employees, charged team members to understand Facebook’s impact on the world, keep people safe and defuse angry polarization. Samidh Chakrabarti, the team’s leader, regularly referred to this oath—which has not been previously reported—as a set of guiding principles behind the team’s work, according to the sources. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Chakrabarti’s team was effective in fixing some of the problems endemic to the platform, former employees and Facebook itself have said. But, just a month after the 2020 U.S. election, Facebook dissolved the civic-integrity team, and Chakrabarti took a leave of absence. Facebook said employees were assigned to other teams to help share the group’s experience across the company. But for many of the Facebook employees who had worked on the team, including a veteran product manager from Iowa named Frances Haugen, the message was clear: Facebook no longer wanted to concentrate power in a team whose priority was to put people ahead of profits. Illustration by TIME (Source photo: Getty Images) Five weeks later, supporters of Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol—after some of them organized on Facebook and used the platform to spread the lie that the election had been stolen. The civic-integrity team’s dissolution made it harder for the platform to respond effectively to Jan. 6, one former team member, who left Facebook this year, told TIME. “A lot of people left the company. The teams that did remain had significantly less power to implement change, and that loss of focus was a pretty big deal,” said the person. “Facebook did take its eye off the ball in dissolving the team, in terms of being able to actually respond to what happened on Jan. 6.” The former employee, along with several others TIME interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity, for fear that being named would ruin their career. Paul Morris—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesSamidh Chakrabarti, head of Facebook’s civic-integrity team, stands beside Katie Harbath, a Facebook director of public policy, in Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California, on Oct. 17, 2018.   Enter Frances Haugen Haugen revealed her identity on Oct. 3 as the whistle-blower behind the most significant leak of internal research in the company’s 17-year history. In a bombshell testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security two days later, Haugen said the civic-integrity team’s dissolution was the final event in a long series that convinced her of the need to blow the whistle. “I think the moment which I realized we needed to get help from the outside—that the only way these problems would be solved is by solving them together, not solving them alone—was when civic-integrity was dissolved following the 2020 election,” she said. “It really felt like a betrayal of the promises Facebook had made to people who had sacrificed a great deal to keep the election safe, by basically dissolving our community.” Read more: The Facebook Whistleblower Revealed Herself on 60 Minutes. Here’s What You Need to Know In a statement provided to TIME, Facebook’s vice president for integrity Guy Rosen denied the civic-integrity team had been disbanded. “We did not disband Civic Integrity,” Rosen said. “We integrated it into a larger Central Integrity team so that the incredible work pioneered for elections could be applied even further, for example, across health-related issues. Their work continues to this day.” (Facebook did not make Rosen available for an interview for this story.) Impacts of Civic Technology Conference 2016The defining values of the civic-integrity team, as described in a 2016 presentation given by Samidh Chakrabarti and Winter Mason. Civic-integrity team members were expected to adhere to this list of values, which was referred to internally as the “civic oath”. Haugen left the company in May. Before she departed, she trawled Facebook’s internal employee forum for documents posted by integrity researchers about their work. Much of the research was not related to her job, but was accessible to all Facebook employees. What she found surprised her. Some of the documents detailed an internal study that found that Instagram, its photo-sharing app, made 32% of teen girls feel worse about their bodies. Others showed how a change to Facebook’s algorithm in 2018, touted as a way to increase “meaningful social interactions” on the platform, actually incentivized divisive posts and misinformation. They also revealed that Facebook spends almost all of its budget for keeping the platform safe only on English-language content. In September, the Wall Street Journal published a damning series of articles based on some of the documents that Haugen had leaked to the paper. Haugen also gave copies of the documents to Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The documents, Haugen testified Oct. 5, “prove that Facebook has repeatedly misled the public about what its own research reveals about the safety of children, the efficacy of its artificial intelligence systems, and its role in spreading divisive and extreme messages.” She told Senators that the failings revealed by the documents were all linked by one deep, underlying truth about how the company operates. “This is not simply a matter of certain social media users being angry or unstable, or about one side being radicalized against the other; it is about Facebook choosing to grow at all costs, becoming an almost trillion-dollar company by buying its profits with our safety,” she said. Facebook’s focus on increasing user engagement, which ultimately drives ad revenue and staves off competition, she argued, may keep users coming back to the site day after day—but also systematically boosts content that is polarizing, misinformative and angry, and which can send users down dark rabbit holes of political extremism or, in the case of teen girls, body dysmorphia and eating disorders. “The company’s leadership knows how to make Facebook and Instagram safer, but won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their astronomical profits before people,” Haugen said. (In 2020, the company reported $29 billion in net income—up 58% from a year earlier. This year, it briefly surpassed $1 trillion in total market value, though Haugen’s leaks have since knocked the company down to around $940 billion.) Asked if executives adhered to the same set of values as the civic-integrity team, including putting the public’s interests before Facebook’s, a company spokesperson told TIME it was “safe to say everyone at Facebook is committed to understanding our impact, keeping people safe and reducing polarization.” In the same week that an unrelated systems outage took Facebook’s services offline for hours and revealed just how much the world relies on the company’s suite of products—including WhatsApp and Instagram—the revelations sparked a new round of national soul-searching. It led some to question how one company can have such a profound impact on both democracy and the mental health of hundreds of millions of people. Haugen’s documents are the basis for at least eight new SEC investigations into the company for potentially misleading its investors. And they have prompted senior lawmakers from both parties to call for stringent new regulations. Read more: Here’s How to Fix Facebook, According to Former Employees and Leading Critics Haugen urged Congress to pass laws that would make Facebook and other social media platforms legally liable for decisions about how they choose to rank content in users’ feeds, and force companies to make their internal data available to independent researchers. She also urged lawmakers to find ways to loosen CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s iron grip on Facebook; he controls more than half of voting shares on its board, meaning he can veto any proposals for change from within. “I came forward at great personal risk because I believe we still have time to act,” Haugen told lawmakers. “But we must act now.” Potentially even more worryingly for Facebook, other experts it hired to keep the platform safe, now alienated by the company’s actions, are growing increasingly critical of their former employer. They experienced first hand Facebook’s unwillingness to change, and they know where the bodies are buried. Now, on the outside, some of them are still honoring their pledge to put the public’s interests ahead of Facebook’s. Inside Facebook’s civic-integrity team Chakrabarti, the head of the civic-integrity team, was hired by Facebook in 2015 from Google, where he had worked on improving how the search engine communicated information about lawmakers and elections to its users. A polymath described by one person who worked under him as a “Renaissance man,” Chakrabarti holds master’s degrees from MIT, Oxford and Cambridge, in artificial intelligence engineering, modern history and public policy, respectively, according to his LinkedIn profile. Although he was not in charge of Facebook’s company-wide “integrity” efforts (led by Rosen), Chakrabarti, who did not respond to requests to comment for this article, was widely seen by employees as the spiritual leader of the push to make sure the platform had a positive influence on democracy and user safety, according to multiple former employees. “He was a very inspirational figure to us, and he really embodied those values [enshrined in the civic oath] and took them quite seriously,” a former member of the team told TIME. “The team prioritized societal good over Facebook good. It was a team that really cared about the ways to address societal problems first and foremost. It was not a team that was dedicated to contributing to Facebook’s bottom line.” Chakrabarti began work on the team by questioning how Facebook could encourage people to be more engaged with their elected representatives on the platform, several of his former team members said. An early move was to suggest tweaks to Facebook’s “more pages you may like” feature that the team hoped might make users feel more like they could have an impact on politics. After the chaos of the 2016 election, which prompted Zuckerberg himself to admit that Facebook didn’t do enough to stop misinformation, the team evolved. It moved into Facebook’s wider “integrity” product group, which employs thousands of researchers and engineers to focus on fixing Facebook’s problems of misinformation, hate speech, foreign interference and harassment. It changed its name from “civic engagement” to “civic integrity,” and began tackling the platform’s most difficult problems head-on. Shortly before the midterm elections in 2018, Chakrabarti gave a talk at a conference in which he said he had “never been told to sacrifice people’s safety in order to chase a profit.” His team was hard at work making sure the midterm elections did not suffer the same failures as in 2016, in an effort that was generally seen as a success, both inside the company and externally. “To see the way that the company has mobilized to make this happen has made me feel very good about what we’re doing here,” Chakrabarti told reporters at the time. But behind closed doors, integrity employees on Chakrabarti’s team and others were increasingly getting into disagreements with Facebook leadership, former employees said. It was the beginning of the process that would eventually motivate Haugen to blow the whistle. Drew Angerer—Getty ImagesFormer Facebook employee Frances Haugen testifies during a Senate hearing entitled ‘Protecting Kids Online: Testimony from a Facebook Whistleblower’ in Washington, D.C., Oct. 5, 2021. In 2019, the year Haugen joined the company, researchers on the civic-integrity team proposed ending the use of an approved list of thousands of political accounts that were exempt from Facebook’s fact-checking program, according to tech news site The Information. Their research had found that the exemptions worsened the site’s misinformation problem because users were more likely to believe false information if it were shared by a politician. But Facebook executives rejected the proposal. The pattern repeated time and time again, as proposals to tweak the platform to down-rank misinformation or abuse were rejected or watered down by executives concerned with engagement or worried that changes might disproportionately impact one political party more than another, according to multiple reports in the press and several former employees. One cynical joke among members of the civic-integrity team was that they spent 10% of their time coding and the other 90% arguing that the code they wrote should be allowed to run, one former employee told TIME. “You write code that does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and then you had to argue with execs who didn’t want to think about integrity, had no training in it and were mad that you were hurting their product, so they shut you down,” the person said. Sometimes the civic-integrity team would also come into conflict with Facebook’s policy teams, which share the dual role of setting the rules of the platform while also lobbying politicians on Facebook’s behalf. “I found many times that there were tensions [in meetings] because the civic-integrity team was like, ‘We’re operating off this oath; this is our mission and our goal,’” says Katie Harbath, a long-serving public-policy director at the company’s Washington, D.C., office who quit in March 2021. “And then you get into decisionmaking meetings, and all of a sudden things are going another way, because the rest of the company and leadership are not basing their decisions off those principles.” Harbath admitted not always seeing eye to eye with Chakrabarti on matters of company policy, but praised his character. “Samidh is a man of integrity, to use the word,” she told TIME. “I personally saw times when he was like, ‘How can I run an integrity team if I’m not upholding integrity as a person?’” Do you work at Facebook or another social media platform? TIME would love to hear from you. You can reach out to billy.perrigo@time.com Years before the 2020 election, research by integrity teams had shown Facebook’s group recommendations feature was radicalizing users by driving them toward polarizing political groups, according to the Journal. The company declined integrity teams’ requests to turn off the feature, BuzzFeed News reported. Then, just weeks before the vote, Facebook executives changed their minds and agreed to freeze political group recommendations. The company also tweaked its News Feed to make it less likely that users would see content that algorithms flagged as potential misinformation, part of temporary emergency “break glass” measures designed by integrity teams in the run-up to the vote. “Facebook changed those safety defaults in the run-up to the election because they knew they were dangerous,” Haugen testified to Senators on Tuesday. But they didn’t keep those safety measures in place long, she added. “Because they wanted that growth back, they wanted the acceleration on the platform back after the election, they returned to their original defaults. And the fact that they had to break the glass on Jan. 6, and turn them back on, I think that’s deeply problematic.” In a statement, Facebook spokesperson Tom Reynolds rejected the idea that the company’s actions contributed to the events of Jan. 6. “In phasing in and then adjusting additional measures before, during and after the election, we took into account specific on-platforms signals and information from our ongoing, regular engagement with law enforcement,” he said. “When those signals changed, so did the measures. It is wrong to claim that these steps were the reason for Jan. 6—the measures we did need remained in place through February, and some like not recommending new, civic or political groups remain in place to this day. These were all part of a much longer and larger strategy to protect the election on our platform—and we are proud of that work.” Read more: 4 Big Takeaways From the Facebook Whistleblower Congressional Hearing Soon after the civic-integrity team was dissolved in December 2020, Chakrabarti took a leave of absence from Facebook. In August, he announced he was leaving for good. Other employees who had spent years working on platform-safety issues had begun leaving, too. In her testimony, Haugen said that several of her colleagues from civic integrity left Facebook in the same six-week period as her, after losing faith in the company’s pledge to spread their influence around the company. “Six months after the reorganization, we had clearly lost faith that those changes were coming,” she said. After Haugen’s Senate testimony, Facebook’s director of policy communications Lena Pietsch suggested that Haugen’s criticisms were invalid because she “worked at the company for less than two years, had no direct reports, never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives—and testified more than six times to not working on the subject matter in question.” On Twitter, Chakrabarti said he was not supportive of company leaks but spoke out in support of the points Haugen raised at the hearing. “I was there for over 6 years, had numerous direct reports, and led many decision meetings with C-level execs, and I find the perspectives shared on the need for algorithmic regulation, research transparency, and independent oversight to be entirely valid for debate,” he wrote. “The public deserves better.” Can Facebook’s latest moves protect the company? Two months after disbanding the civic-integrity team, Facebook announced a sharp directional shift: it would begin testing ways to reduce the amount of political content in users’ News Feeds altogether. In August, the company said early testing of such a change among a small percentage of U.S. users was successful, and that it would expand the tests to several other countries. Facebook declined to provide TIME with further information about how its proposed down-ranking system for political content would work. Many former employees who worked on integrity issues at the company are skeptical of the idea. “You’re saying that you’re going to define for people what political content is, and what it isn’t,” James Barnes, a former product manager on the civic-integrity team, said in an interview. “I cannot even begin to imagine all of the downstream consequences that nobody understands from doing that.” Another former civic-integrity team member said that the amount of work required to design algorithms that could detect any political content in all the languages and countries in the world—and keeping those algorithms updated to accurately map the shifting tides of political debate—would be a task that even Facebook does not have the resources to achieve fairly and equitably. Attempting to do so would almost certainly result in some content deemed political being demoted while other posts thrived, the former employee cautioned. It could also incentivize certain groups to try to game those algorithms by talking about politics in nonpolitical language, creating an arms race for engagement that would privilege the actors with enough resources to work out how to win, the same person added. Graeme Jennings—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesMark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer and founder of Facebook, speaks via video conference during a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on, July 29, 2020. When Zuckerberg was hauled to testify in front of lawmakers after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal in 2018, Senators were roundly mocked on social media for asking basic questions such as how Facebook makes money if its services are free to users. (“Senator, we run ads” was Zuckerberg’s reply.) In 2021, that dynamic has changed. “The questions asked are a lot more informed,” says Sophie Zhang, a former Facebook employee who was fired in 2020 after she criticized Facebook for turning a blind eye to platform manipulation by political actors around the world. “The sentiment is increasingly bipartisan” in Congress, Zhang adds. In the past, Facebook hearings have been used by lawmakers to grandstand on polarizing subjects like whether social media platforms are censoring conservatives, but this week they were united in their condemnation of the company. “Facebook has to stop covering up what it knows, and must change its practices, but there has to be government accountability because Facebook can no longer be trusted,” Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, chair of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, told TIME ahead of the hearing. His Republican counterpart Marsha Blackburn agreed, saying during the hearing that regulation was coming “sooner rather than later” and that lawmakers were “close to bipartisan agreement.” As Facebook reels from the revelations of the past few days, it already appears to be reassessing product decisions. It has begun conducting reputational reviews of new products to assess whether the company could be criticized or its features could negatively affect children, the Journal reported Wednesday. It last week paused its Instagram Kids product amid the furor. Whatever the future direction of Facebook, it is clear that discontent has been brewing internally. Haugen’s document leak and testimony have already sparked calls for stricter regulation and improved the quality of public debate about social media’s influence. In a post addressing Facebook staff on Wednesday, Zuckerberg put the onus on lawmakers to update Internet regulations, particularly relating to “elections, harmful content, privacy and competition.” But the real drivers of change may be current and former employees, who have a better understanding of the inner workings of the company than anyone—and the most potential to damage the business. —With reporting by Eloise Barry/London and Chad de Guzman/Hong Kong.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 7th, 2021

Nu Skin (NUS) Lowers Q3 Revenue View Amid Pandemic-Led Hurdles

Nu Skin (NUS) expects Q3 revenues in the band of $637-$642 million, lower than the previous range. Challenges caused by the delta variant across several markets are a downside. Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. NUS seems to be in a tight spot, as it announced third-quarter 2021 revenue guidance in the band of $637-$642 million. The projection is lower than the earlier-anticipated range. The beauty and wellness solutions provider had earlier guided quarterly revenues in the band of $700-$730 million. The company’s revenues came in at $703.3 million in the same quarter last year.Management stated that quarterly revenues bore the brunt of challenges stemming from the disruptions caused by the delta variant across several markets. Unexpected government-imposed restrictions disrupted the sale and distribution of the company’s products, especially across the Mainland China and Southeast Asia regions. Nu Skin also encountered disturbances in its promotional activities including incentive trips and performance of local expos across various markets.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThat being said, management is impressed with the launch of Collagen+ in the United States amid pandemic-inflicted disruptions. The company’s Tencent digital tools’ introduction across China, during the third quarter, bodes well. Management is optimistic about its upcoming product roll outs. It expects to introduce more social commerce tools by the end of 2021 and into 2022. Incidentally, the company expects 2021 revenues to improve modestly on a year-over-year basis.What Else Should You Know?With the help of advanced technology and well-strategized product programs, Nu Skin tries to capture greater market share and maintain growth momentum. The company’s long-term strategies stand on three key pillars — Products, Programs and Platforms. Management is encouraged about the company’s launch of beauty device system — ageLOC Boost — in some markets in the first half of the year. Management is also impressed with the rollout of Nutricentials Bioadaptives — a customizable skincare line targeted toward the millennials and Gen Z. The company plans to introduce a key Pharmanex innovation — ageLOC Meta — a metabolic health supplement. Nu Skin hopes to start introducing connected devices in 2022. This will accelerate personalization and enhance customers’ experience further.Nu Skin, which shares space with Coty Inc. COTY, sells and distributes products through a network of sales leaders and consumer group. The company is focused on empowering them through product launches and engaging technology platforms among other initiatives. Management is transforming its business with the help of robust social commerce and distinctive person-to-person affiliate marketing channel to create more brand awareness as well as acquire customers at a higher rate. The company’s focus on building a robust digital ecosystem to enhance customer attraction bodes well.The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company’s shares have declined 25.6% so far this year against the industry’s 7.1% growth.Top 2 Cosmetics Pickse.l.f. Beauty, Inc. ELF, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 48.9%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Helen of Troy Limited HELE, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2, has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 28.2%, on average. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 Helen of Troy Limited (HELE): Free Stock Analysis Report Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NUS): Free Stock Analysis Report Coty Inc. (COTY): Free Stock Analysis Report e.l.f. Beauty Inc. (ELF): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2021

Kinder Morgan (KMI) Affiliate Starts 3 RNG Plants Construction

Kinder Morgan (KMI) expects operations at three RNG facilities to start as soon as the fall of 2022. Kinder Morgan, Inc.’s KMI affiliate Kinetrex Energy recently started construction works for three renewable natural gas (RNG) facilities located in Indiana. Kinetrex has an electric cooperative, namely Wabash Valley Power Alliance, as a partner in the project.This August, Kinder Morgan completed the $310-million Kinetrex acquisition from a subsidiary of a private equity investment firm, Parallel49 Equity. The move was aimed at boosting its green energy exposure. Per the deal, Kinder Morgan acquired a 50% stake in a massive renewable natural gas unit located in Indiana. Kinetrex supplies liquefied natural gas in the U.S. Midwest.The commencement of the construction of three landfill-based units is following the company’s previously announced plans. Total RNG production from the three facilities will likely be 3.5 billion cubic feet per annum. Operations are expected to start as soon as the fall of 2022. Kinetrex plans to invest a total of $146 million and build facilities that will process gas purchased from the Wabash Valley Power Alliance. The new facilities are expected to be operated by Waste Management and located at the Prairie View Landfill in Wyatt, Twin Bridges Landfill in Danville, and Liberty Landfill in Monticello.RNG is developed from renewable sources like organic waste in landfills, waste from agricultural operations and wastewater treatments. The decomposition process of these organic wastes creates methane, which is captured by the company. The production process decreases greenhouse gas emissions. Kinder Morgan expects the RNG facilities to make enough production to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 280,000 tons per annum.As pressure from investors to reduce emissions in the energy spectrum is rising, several companies are boosting investments in green energy. This March, Kinder Morgan created the Energy Transition Ventures group within the company to pursue low-carbon energy opportunities. It intends to be part of the larger energy transition movement, which gathered pace amid the coronavirus pandemic. The latest development from Kinetrex is expected to further strengthen Kinder Morgan’s focus on energy transition.Price PerformanceKinder Morgan’s shares have increased 3.7% in the past month compared with a 1.7% rise of the industry it belongs to.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchZacks Rank & Other Key PicksThe company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks from the energy space include Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc. XOG, Cheniere Energy, Inc. LNG, and Schlumberger Limited SLB, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Extraction Oil & Gas’ bottom line for 2021 is pegged at $13.07 per share, indicating a massive improvement from last year’s loss of $2.54.Cheniere Energy’s bottom line for third-quarter 2021 is expected to surge 239.1% year over year.Schlumberger’s bottom line for 2021 is expected to rise 83.8% year over year. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 Schlumberger Limited (SLB): Free Stock Analysis Report Cheniere Energy, Inc. (LNG): Free Stock Analysis Report Kinder Morgan, Inc. (KMI): Free Stock Analysis Report Extraction Oil & Gas, Inc. (XOG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 6th, 2021

Futures Rebound As Energy Prices Soar

Futures Rebound As Energy Prices Soar US equity futures and European markets rebounded from a tech rout on Monday that was triggered by fears of soaring energy costs, stagflation, tech overvaluation and escalating Chinese property distress even as Asian shares tracked Monday's broad Wall Street sell-off to weaken for a third straight session. The dollar rose and yields rebounded back ato 1.50% as the rise in oil continued, pushing Brent above $82/bbl. At of 7:15am ET, S&P futures were up 16.25 points, or 0.38%, to 4,307; Dow futs were up 116 points and Nasdaq futures rose 47.25 points as technology shares bounced in Europe. Bitcoin jumped above $50,000 for the first time since Sept 7. The “market correction, initially sparked by tapering expectations and China’s property sector worries, is now being driven by record energy prices as well as lingering political uncertainties in the U.S. about the crucial question of the debt ceiling,” said Pierre Veyret, a technical analyst at ActivTrades. “Markets are likely to stay volatile this week and with no clear direction until there is significant progress on the existing concerns.” Additionally, the recent calm in global markets which hit an all time high as recently as a few weeks ago, has been shattered by a growing wall of worry spanning a debt crisis in China, elevated inflation on the back of commodity supply shocks, fading economic recovery and U.S. political bickering. Meanwhile, investors brace for a tapering of stimulus by the Federal Reserve. Nerves eased on Tuesday, however, led by a tech rebound following Monday's Facebook-led rout, and big bank stocks were higher in premarket trading as 10-year Treasury yields climbed to about 1.5% led again by breakevens as oil not only held onto recent impressive gains - along with most other commodities after a gauge of commodities soared to an all-time record - but Brent rose above $82 . As to the insanity in Europe's gas sector, European natural gas contracts soared on Tuesday to an unprecedented 111.70 euros per megawatt-hour, compared with 15.49 euros in February. The continent is bracing for a winter crunch in energy supply, with German front-month power contracts also jumping to record levels. Global shortages of gas and coal are pushing energy prices higher, disrupting markets from the U.K. to China, as economies emerge from the pandemic. Surging costs are threatening to raise inflation and starting to weigh onindustrial production, with some companies in Europe forced to cut output. “The fiercely nervous sentiment on the market continues due to fears of reduced supply during the winter,” trader Energi Danmark wrote in a note Tuesday. “Everything looks set for another week of price climbs.” In U.S. premarket trading, Facebook found dip buyers in premarket trading after a 4.9% plunge on Monday amid an hours-long service disruption. The stock added 1.6% in the early New York session. Lordstown Motors shares declined as much as 4.6% after the electric vehicle automaker was downgraded to underweight by Morgan Stanley, while the PT was also cut to $2 from $8. Uphealth fell after pricing its share offering at a discount. And Facebook was up 1.5% following Monday’s slump after it blamed a global service outage that kept its social media apps offline for much of yesterday on a problem with its network configuration. Here are some other notable premarket movers: Amplify Energy (AMPY US) rises 10% in U.S. premarket trading, paring some of Monday’s 44% plunge tied to an oil spill from a California offshore pipeline operated by the company Comtech Telecom (CMTL US) slid more than 7% Monday postmarket after it reported adjusted earnings below average analyst estimates It is “the period of a multiplicity of shocks percolating through the financial markets leaving them in the fog, with many watching from the sidelines for clarity,” Sebastien Galy, a senior macro strategist at Nordea Invetsment, wrote in a note. The technology subgroup in Europe’s benchmark Stoxx 600 advanced for the first time in eight days. European natural-gas contracts jumped as much as 16% and West Texas Intermediate crude headed for a seven-year high. Earlier in the session, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped as much as 1.3%, declining for a third consecutive session. Japan stocks were down 2.5%, South Korea gave up 2% and Australia shed 0.4%. The drop in markets took MSCI's main benchmark to 619.77, the lowest since November 2020 but it pared losses to be down 0.6% in late Asia trade. The index has shed more than 5% this year, with Hong Kong and Japanese markets among the big losers. "Investors are clearly worried about inflation due to supply chain disruptions and the rally in energy prices," said Vasu Menon, executive  director of investment strategy at OCBC Bank.  "We have seen tech stocks outperform value stocks, so if inflation remains a worry, then tech stocks tend to get hit," Menon said. In rates, Treasuries were under pressure with yields near session highs, cheaper by up to 2.5bp across belly of the curve. Yields rose not only on the continued surge in commodities, but about the total chaos over the debt ceiling D-Date which will be hit in two weeks. Gilts lag amid bond auctions, adding to upside pressure on yields, while S&P 500 futures pare about a third of Monday’s 1.3% slide. The RBA kept monetary policy unchanged as expected.  In FX, the dollar rose against most Group-of-10 currencies near a one-year high versus major peers ahead of key U.S. payrolls data due at the end of the week; the pound bucked the trend, advancing for a fourth session. The euro fell 0.25% to $1.1592, while the yen rose 0.29% to $111.18. Leveraged funds sold the kiwi aggressively after a New Zealand business survey showed weak third-quarter economic sentiment.  Sentiment on the euro over the next year reached its most bearish since June 2020 on Friday amid a widening policy divergence between the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. In commodities, oil prices reached a three-year high on Monday (and continued higher on Tuesday) after OPEC+ confirmed it would stick to its current output policy as demand for petroleum products rebounds, despite pressure from some countries for a bigger boost to production. Underscoring the rise in commodity prices, the Refinitiv/CoreCommodity CRB index rose to 233.08 on Monday, the highest in more than six years. U.S. oil rose 1.15% to $78.51 a barrel, a day after hitting its highest since 2014. Brent crude stood at $82.2 after rising to a three-year top. Gold prices eased to $1,757 per ounce, after rising on Monday to the highest since Sept. 23. "OPEC+ may inadvertently cause oil prices to surge even higher, adding to an energy crisis that primarily reflects very tight gas and coal markets," said Commonwealth Bank of Australia's commodities analyst Vivek Dhar. "That potentially threatens the global economic recovery, just as global oil demand growth is picking up as economies re‑open on the back of rising vaccination rates," Dhar said in a note. Traders are now turning their attention to Friday’s nonfarm-payrolls data to gauge the timing of the Fed’s taper. In the latest Fed comments, St. Louis President James Bullard said elevated price pressures may be changing the mentality of businesses and consumers by making them more accustomed to higher inflation. Australia’s central bank kept its monetary settings unchanged. Looking at the day ahead now, the main data highlight will be the services and composite PMIs for September from around the world. We’ll also get the Euro Area PPI reading for August, and from the US there’s the August trade balance and the September ISM Services index. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Holzmann, and the Fed’s Quarles. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.2% to 4,301.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 452.37 MXAP down 0.7% to 192.58 MXAPJ down 0.3% to 626.41 Nikkei down 2.2% to 27,822.12 Topix down 1.3% to 1,947.75 Hang Seng Index up 0.3% to 24,104.15 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,568.17 Sensex up 0.4% to 59,531.35 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,248.36 Kospi down 1.9% to 2,962.17 Brent Futures up 0.7% to $81.86/bbl Gold spot down 0.6% to $1,758.11 U.S. Dollar Index up 0.15% to 93.92 German 10Y yield fell 1.2 bps to -0.225% Euro down 0.2% to $1.1603 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China’s heavily leveraged property firms saw their stocks and bonds tumble after a failure by developer Fantasia Holdings Group Co. to repay notes deepened investor concerns about the sector’s outlook A steep surge in inflation in the euro area has started to take its toll on the economy, according to a survey by IHS Markit China will strictly prevent bank and insurance funds from being used in speculating commodities in a push to maintain market order and stabilize prices The Federal Reserve said that its internal watchdog plans to open an investigation into trading activity by senior U.S. central bank officials, following revelations about transactions in 2020 Facebook Inc. blamed a global service outage that kept its social media apps offline for much of Monday on a problem with its network configuration, adding that it found no evidence that user data was compromised during the downtime A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks were pressured following the tech sell-off in the US and amid several headwinds for global markets including US-China trade frictions, China's record incursion into Taiwanese airspace and with higher oil prices stoking inflationary concerns. ASX 200 (-0.6%) was dragged lower after the losses in tech rolled over into the region and following somewhat mixed Trade and PMI data releases, but with downside stemmed by resilience in gold miners and the energy sector, after gains in the underlying commodity prices including the rally in oil to a seven-year high. Nikkei 225 (-2.2%) slumped below the 28k level and briefly entered into correction territory as it suffered intraday losses of as much as 3% and with index heavyweights Fast Retailing and SoftBank dominating the list of worst performers, while KOSPI (-1.9%) also fell into a correction with the index at least 10% below the record highs registered earlier this year despite efforts by South Korea’s antitrust regulator to dispel fears of a harsh tech crackdown. Hang Seng (+0.3%) was pressured at the open amid tech woes and default fears after reports that Fantasia Holdings missed payments due yesterday for USD 206mln of bonds, although the Hong Kong benchmark then pared its losses with notable strength seen in Chinese oil majors as they benefit from the rising energy prices. Finally, 10yr JGBs were initially kept afloat by the risk aversion but then reversed course amid the uninspired mood in T-notes and Bund futures, as well as weaker metrics from the 10yr JGB auction which attracted a lower bid to cover despite a decline in accepted prices. Top Asian News Gold Drops After Three-Day Gain as Yields and Dollar Push Higher ‘Kishida Shock’ Hits Japan Markets Wary of Redistribution Plan China Orders Banks to Ramp Up Funding to Boost Coal Output S.Korea’s NPS Could Lose $3.5m From Evergrande Stock Investment European equities (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.9%; Stoxx 600 +0.7%) have extended on the marginal gains seen at the open as indices attempt to claw back some of yesterday’s losses. Incremental macro newsflow since the close has not provided much cause for optimism and therefore it remains to be seen how durable any recovery will be. Overnight, the APAC session was mostly downbeat as the region contended with the negative US lead, ongoing US-China trade frictions, China's record incursion into Taiwanese airspace and higher oil prices stoking inflationary concern. Final PMIs for the Eurozone saw the composite revised very modestly higher to 56.02 from 56.1 with IHS Markit noting “the current economic situation in the eurozone is an unwelcome mix of rising price pressures but slower growth”. Stateside, futures are exhibiting gains of a similar magnitude to their European counterparts with the ES +0.2% and no real discernible theme across the US majors as traders await further progress in Washington. Sectors in Europe are mostly higher with clear outperformance in banking names with JP Morgan bullish on the sector; Credit Agricole sits at the top of the CAC after launching a new EUR 500mln share repurchase scheme. To the downside, laggards include Construction & Materials and Autos. Individual movers include Greggs (+8.7%) at the top of the Stoxx 600 after raising its profit outlook for the FY despite concerns over supply chain disruptions and staffing issues. Elsewhere, Infineon (+2.8%) has provided some support for the IT sector after confirming its FY 21 forecasts and being confident about the FY22 outlook. Finally, Melrose (-2.2%) is a notable laggard after the Co. cautioned on the fallout of the global chip shortage which has prompted a surge in client cancellations. Top European News European Banks Have Upside on Capital Returns, Yields, JPM Says Romania Edges Toward First Rate Hike Since 2018: Decision Guide Romania Approves Partial Compensation for Higher Energy Costs Morgan Stanley Expands Diversity-Focused ‘Shark Tank’ to Europe In FX, the broader Dollar and index remain firmer on the session, with the latter on either side of 94.000 from a 93.804 overnight base, but still within yesterday’s 93.675-94.104 range which marks the first immediate points of support/resistance. State-side, US President Biden spoke with 12 progressive members of Congress in which they agreed to follow through on key priorities, while it was also reported that President Biden told House progressives the spending package needs to be between USD 1.9tln-2.2tln. Biden will meet with moderate House Democrats virtually today. It is also worth keeping an eye on the Fed’s review of trading activities which could lead to a shift in the balance between hawks and doves, following the parting of hawks Rosengren (2022 voter) and Kaplan (2023 voter), who were set to be voters during the projected rate hike period. Ahead, the US ISM Services PMI will likely be the focal point from a state-side data standpoint. EUR, GBP - The EUR and GBP continue to diverge. Sterling extends on earlier gains, seemingly a function of the EUR/GBP cross topping out just before its 50 DMA (0.8546) before taking out yesterday’s 0.8529 low on its way towards 0.8500. The Sterling strength has helped Cable regain 1.3600+ status from a 1.3585 low. EUR/USD meanders around 1.1600 in a relatively narrow 1.1591-1.1622 current intraday band – with yesterday’s low at 1.1586 ahead of the 200 WMA at 1.1572. Europe saw the release of final Services and Composite PMIs, which continue to highlight the theme of rising prices and spillover into demand. AUD, NZD, CAD - he non-US Dollars see mild losses but trade off worst levels as the Dollar recedes and as market sentiment holds an upside bias. The AUD/NZD cross meanwhile remains in focus amid this week’s RBA/RBNZ central bank standoff. The RBA overnight provided no surprises and did not contain any significant new observations, with the currency experiencing choppiness upon the release. The RBNZ, meanwhile, is poised for a 25bps OCR hike at its announcement at 02:00BST/21:00EDT tomorrow. The AUD/NZD cross resides around session lows near 1.0455, whilst OpEx sees some AUD 2.1bln at strike 1.0410. The Loonie sees an underlying bid from crude prices, with USD/CAD back under its 50 DMA at 1.2600 ahead of Canadian trade data. JPY, CHF - The traditional havens are at the foot of the G10 bunch in what is seemingly a risk-influenced move. USD/JPY within a tight 110.88-111.25 band vs yesterday’s 110.50-112.07 range. USD/CHF, meanwhile, has popped above its 21 DMA (0.9250) and trades towards the top of its current 0.9238-70 parameter. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are choppy but ultimately hold an upside bias in the aftermath of the OPEC+ meeting yesterday. Nonetheless, the benchmarks remain near yesterday’s highs which saw Brent Dec test USD 82.00/bbl to the upside. Brent resides around USD 81.50/bbl at the time of writing whilst WTI Nov hovers just under USD 78/bbl. With OPEC out of the way and until the next meeting, traders will be eyeing developments (if any) regarding the Iranian nuclear talks, alongside the electricity situation in China. Furthermore, traders must be cognizant of potential intervention by governments in a bid to control rising energy prices. As a reminder, the White House held talks with Saudi counterparts before the recent OPEC+ meeting and expressed concern on prices. Aside from that, news flow for the complex has been light during the European morning. Elsewhere, precious metals are softer on the day but spot gold and silver trade off worst levels with the yellow metal still holding into USD 1,750/oz-status and spot silver back above USD 22.50/oz. Over to base metals, LME copper remains pressured in what seems to be a continuation of the lacklustre trade seen during APAC hours amid a lack of demand as China remains on holiday. US Trade Calendar 8:30am: Aug. Trade Balance, est. -$70.8b, prior -$70.1b 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 54.5 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Services PMI, est. 54.4, prior 54.4 10am: Sept. ISM Services Index, est. 59.8, prior 61.7 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’m hoping you all survived without WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook yesterday after the outage. We actually had to resort to a conversation over dinner last night. It was a bit weird without hearing pings go off every few minutes. Once the conversation dried up we went on Twitter and then watched Netflix so it wasn’t a total disaster for US tech in our household. Oh and I’m writing this on my iPad while looking up a few things on Google. Tech led the sell-off last night that stretched to both equities and bonds. One of the noticeable features of the recent weakness in equities is that bonds have struggled to rally. This hints at technicals being nowhere near as strong as they were in the summer and also a realisation that bonds aren’t a great haven if the sell-off is partly inflation related. By the close of trade yesterday, the S&P 500 had shed another -1.30%, making it the 3rd time in the last 5 sessions that the index has lost more than 1%, with the latest move now taking it -5.21% beneath its all-time closing high back in early September. However, unlike some of the other declines of the last month, which have been quite obviously connected to a particular concern like Evergrande or the impact of higher yields, the latest selloff looks to be coming from a more generalised set of concerns, with those worries given a fresh impetus by yet another rise in energy prices yesterday as oil hit multi-year highs. In turn, that spike in energy prices has led to renewed fears about inflation accelerating even further than current forecasts are implying, with knock-on implications for central banks and the amount of monetary stimulus we can expect over the coming months. We’ll start with those moves in energy given the effects they had elsewhere. Yesterday saw Brent Crude oil prices (+2.50%) close above $81/bbl for the first time in nearly 3 years, and this morning it’s up another +0.42%. On top of that, WTI (+2.29%) oil prices hit a 6-year high of its own at $77.62/bbl, which saw its YTD gains rise above +60%. The latest advance for oil has come as the OPEC+ group agreed yesterday that they’d stick to their planned output hike of +400k barrels per day in November, in spite of some speculation that there could be a larger increase in supply. However, it wasn’t just oil moving higher, with European natural gas prices (+2.07%) taking another leg up after their recent surge, which leaves them just shy of their recent peak last Thursday. And what’s also concerning from an inflationary standpoint is that the moves in commodities were broader than simply energy, with metals including copper (+1.17%) seeing sizeable gains as well. Overall, that meant Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (+1.12%) finally exceeded its 2011 high yesterday, and brings the index’s gains since the post-pandemic low in March 2020 to +94.7%. Against this backdrop, equities took another tumble as the major indices on both sides of the Atlantic moved lower, including the S&P 500 (-1.30%) and Europe’s STOXX 600 (-0.47%). Tech stocks saw the brunt of the declines, with the NASDAQ down -2.14% and the FANG+ index down -3.00%, while Europe’s STOXX Technology Index (-2.39%) fell for a 7th consecutive session. Facebook was one of the bigger laggards yesterday as it fell -4.89% - its worst day since November 2020. The company is dealing with whistleblower allegations that their internal research doesn’t match what executives have been saying about the effect the social media company has on its users. The equal weight S&P 500 was only down -0.63% so the big tech stocks definitely led the way. European equities were less affected than their US counterparts however, having missed out on Friday’s late US equity rally following the European close, with the DAX (-0.79%), the CAC 40 (-0.61%) and the FTSE 100 (-0.23%) all seeing declines of less than 1%. A lower tech weighting probably also helped. Those concerns about stagflation represented further bad news for sovereign bonds yesterday, as investors moved to upgrade their expectations of future inflation. In Europe, 10yr German breakevens were up by +2.0bps to an 8-year high of 1.72%, while their Italian counterparts hit their highest level in over a decade, at 1.63%. Meanwhile in the US, 10yr breakevens were also up +1.3bps to 2.39%. Those moves in inflation expectations supported higher yields, with those on 10yr Treasuries up +1.7bps to 1.479% by the close of trade, as yields on bunds (+1.0bps), OATs (+1.3bps) and BTPs (+1.8bps) similarly moved higher. Overnight in Asia, equities have mostly followed the US lower, with the Nikkei (-2.77%), KOSPI (-1.71%), and Australia’s ASX 200 (-0.74%) all losing ground, though the Hang Seng (+0.20%) has recovered slightly thanks to energy stocks, and S&P 500 futures (+0.13%) are also pointing to a modest recovery. Those declines for the Nikkei and the KOSPI leave them just shy of a 10% correction from their recent peaks. In terms of the latest on Evergrande, there are signs that risks are spreading to other property developers, as China’s Fantasia Holdings missed a repayment worth $205.7m on a bond that matured Monday. Unsurprisingly, the developments are continuing to affect China’s HY dollar bond prices, with a Bloomberg index now down by -14.3% since its high back in May. Elsewhere in Asia, we got confirmation shortly after we went to press yesterday from new Japanese PM Fumio Kishida that there’d be a general election on October 31. Interestingly, that will actually be the 3rd general election in a G7 economy in the space of just six weeks, following the votes in Canada and Germany in late September. Back to the US, and Treasury Secretary Yellen’s estimated deadline to raise the debt ceiling – 18 Oct – is now under 2 weeks away, and during a press conference yesterday President Biden called on Republicans to join with Democrats to raise the debt limit, arguing that over a quarter of the US debt was accumulated during the Trump administration and that it should not be tied to “any new spending being considered. It has nothing to do with my plan for infrastructure or building back better, zero.” Senate Majority Leader Schumer plans to hold a vote this week to lift the debt ceiling, though Republicans are set to block the legislation and are forcing Democrats to use the partisan budget reconciliation process that is currently the vehicle of the Biden “Build Back Better” plan. Whilst time was running out to deal with the debt ceiling, President Biden also met with progressive House Democrats yesterday to discuss the budget reconciliation package and about potentially limiting the scope of the bill that makes up much of the President’s economic agenda. Press Secretary Psaki said that there is a “recognition that this package is going to be smaller than originally proposed,” but that the President is looking to get it across the goal line. Initial estimates could see the final package closer to $2 trillion over 10 years versus the current $3.5 trillion plans. Meanwhile on trade, the Biden administration also announced yesterday that they would hold direct talks with Chinese officials in the coming week seeking to enforce prior commitments and start fresh talks to exclude some goods from US tariffs. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai will meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, and is expected to focus on how to add and adjust to the Trump administration’s most recent deal with the Chinese government rather than starting from scratch. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though US factory orders in August rose by +1.2% (vs. +1.0% expected), and the previous month’s growth was revised up to +0.7% (vs. +0.4% previously). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the services and composite PMIs for September from around the world. We’ll also get the Euro Area PPI reading for August, and from the US there’s the August trade balance and the September ISM Services index. Otherwise, central bank speakers include ECB President Lagarde, the ECB’s Holzmann, and the Fed’s Quarles. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/05/2021 - 07:45.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 5th, 2021

Walmart (WMT) Announces Additional Hiring to Serve Holiday Rush

Walmart (WMT) reveals plans to appoint about 150,000 workers for its U.S. stores, which will help the company better serve customers during the crucial holiday season. With the much-awaited season of the year approaching, retailers are gearing up to make the most of it. Undertaking additional hiring is one of the most common moves undertaken by retailers ahead of the crucial holiday season. Staying on the same page, Walmart Inc. WMT has unveiled plans to employ about 150,000 workers for its U.S. stores, with most of them being full-time and permanent positions.An increased team strength will help Walmart serve better amid the holiday rush. This, in turn, will provide customers a seamless shopping experience — whether it is in-store, online or curbside pick-up. In fact, earlier this month, the omnichannel retailer announced its plans to employ 20,000 new workers at more than 250 Walmart and Sam’s Club distribution centers, fulfillment centers and transportation offices. These job roles will be permanent, including order fillers, lift drivers, freight handlers, technicians and management positions.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchHoliday Season — A Significant OpportunityRetailers remain focused on making every possible effort to make the most of this busy selling season. To this end, they undertake online and offline growth strategies. Apart from additional hiring, early store openings; replenished assortments; attractive bargains (both in stores and online), along with upgraded apps, are some of the actions many retailers take to make the most of the crucial holiday opportunity. Talking of hiring, the requirement for extra employee strength becomes important in order to manage high consumer traffic across the digital and brick-and-mortar platforms as well as to ensure smooth flow of merchandise and delivery services.Other than Walmart, many other retailers have unveiled plans to boost worker strength as they prep up for this significant selling period. Last week, Macy's, Inc. M unveiled plans to hire 76,000 full- and part-time job employees, offering competitive packages and bonuses. It is offering both temporary and permanent openings. Earlier this month, Kohl's Corporation KSS revealed its intentions to recruit nearly 90,000 seasonal workers, in order to cater to the high demand during this busy shopping period. The company said that it was hiring workers for several roles at its stores, distribution centers as well as the e-commerce fulfilment centers. The closeout retailer, Ollie’s Bargain OLLI, has also announced plans the recruitment of more than 3,000 associates ahead of the holiday shopping season.Wrapping UpComing back to Walmart, the company as part of its latest hiring, stated that it has a lot to offer to it’s the existing and new workers. These include competitive pay; a seamless hiring process; training for growth and a number of perks such as discounts on food and general merchandise to name a few. In fact, the big-box retailer has always been keen on protecting its workers’ well-being and safety. To this end, the company has made three wage hikes in the past year, alongside providing more full-time jobs, and sponsoring workers’ college tuition and books.Certainly, Walmart’s focus on ensuring a great experience to customers as well as workers through moves like holiday hiring bodes well.  Shares of the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have rallied 4.2% in the past six months, in line with the industry’s performance. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks’ Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence This world-changing technology is projected to generate $100s of billions by 2025. From self-driving cars to consumer data analysis, people are relying on machines more than we ever have before. Now is the time to capitalize on the 4th Industrial Revolution. Zacks’ urgent special report reveals 6 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 6 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 Macys, Inc. (M): Free Stock Analysis Report Kohls Corporation (KSS): Free Stock Analysis Report Walmart Inc. (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report Ollies Bargain Outlet Holdings, Inc. (OLLI): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 30th, 2021

Futures Fade Rally With Congress Set To Avert Government Shutdown

Futures Fade Rally With Congress Set To Avert Government Shutdown US equity futures faded an overnight rally on the last day of September as lingering global-growth risks underscored by China's official manufacturing PMI contracted for the first time since Feb 2020 as widely expected offset a debt-ceiling deal in Washington and central-bank assurances about transitory inflation. The deal to extend government funding removes one uncertainty from the minds of investors, amid China risks and concerns over Federal Reserve tapering. Comments from Fed Chair Powell and ECB head Christine Lagarde about inflation being transitory rather than permanent also helped sentiment, even if nobody actually believes them any more.In China, authorities told bankers to help local governments support the property market and homebuyers, signaling concern at the economic fallout from the debt crisis at China Evergrande As of 7:15am ET, S&P futures were up 18 points ot 0.44%, trimming an earlier gain of 0.9%. Dow eminis were up 135 or 0.4% and Nasdaq futs rose 0.43%. 10Y TSY yields were higher, rising as high as 1.54% and last seen at 1.5289%; the US Dollar erased earlier losses and was unchanged. All the three major indexes are set for a monthly drop, with the benchmark S&P 500 on track to break its seven-month winning streak as worries about persistent inflation, the fallout from China Evergrande’s potential default and political wrangling over the debt ceiling rattled sentiment. The index was, however, on course to mark its sixth straight quarterly gain, albeit its smallest, since March 2020’s drop. The rate-sensitive FAANG stocks have lost about $415 billion in value this month after the Federal Reserve’s hawkish shift on monetary policy sparked a rally in Treasury yields and prompted investors to move into energy, banks and small-cap sectors that stand to benefit the most from an economic revival. Among individual stocks, oil-and-gas companies APA Corp. and Devon Energy Corp. led premarket gains among S&P 500 members. Virgin Galactic shares surged 9.7% in premarket trading after the U.S. aviation regulator gave the company a green-light to resume flights to the brink of space. Perrigo climbed 14% after reporting a settlement in a tax dispute with Ireland.  U.S.-listed Macau casino operators may get a boost Thursday after Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said the region will strive to resume quarantine-free travel to Zhuhai by Oct. 1, the start of the Golden Week holiday, if the Covid-19 situation in Macau is stable. Here are some of the other biggest U.S. movers today: Retail investor favorites Farmmi (FAMI US) and Camber Energy (CEI US) both rise in U.S. premarket trading, continuing their strong recent runs on high volumes Virgin Galactic (SPCE US) shares rise 8.9% in U.S. premarket trading after the U.S. aviation regulator gave co. a green-light to resume flights to the brink of space Perrigo (PRGO US) rises 15% in U.S. premarket trading after reporting a settlement in a tax dispute with Ireland. The stock was raised to buy from hold at Jefferies over the “very favorable” resolution Landec (LNDC US) shares fell 17% in Wednesday postmarket trading after fiscal 1Q revenue and adjusted loss per share miss consensus estimates Affimed (AFMD US) rises 4.3% in Wednesday postmarket trading after Stifel analyst Bradley Canino initiates at a buy with a $12 price target, implying the stock may more than double over the next year Herman Miller (MLHR US) up ~2.8% in Wednesday postmarket trading after the office furnishings maker posts fiscal 1Q net sales that beat the consensus estimate Orion Group Holdings (ORN US) shares surged as much as 43% in Wednesday extended trading after the company disclosed two contract awards for its Marine segment totaling nearly $200m Kaival Brands (KAVL US) fell 18% Wednesday postmarket after offering shares, warrants via Maxim An agreement among U.S. lawmakers to extend government funding removes one uncertainty from a litany of risks investors are contenting with, ranging from China’s growth slowdown to Federal Reserve tapering. “Republicans and Democrats showed some compromise by averting a government shutdown,” Sebastien Galy, a senior macro strategist at Nordea Investment Funds. “By removing what felt like a significant risk for a retail audience, it helps sentiment in the equity market.” Still, president Joe Biden’s agenda remains at risk of being derailed by divisions among his own Democrats, as moderates voiced anger on Wednesday at the idea of delaying a $1 trillion infrastructure bill ahead of a critical vote to avert a government shutdown. The big overnight economic news came from China whose September NBS manufacturing PMI fell to 49.6 from 50.1 in August, the first contraction since Feb 2020, likely due to the production cuts caused by energy constraints. Both the output sub-index and the new orders sub-index in the NBS manufacturing PMI survey decreased in September. The NBS non-manufacturing PMI rebounded to 53.2 in September from 47.5 in August on a recovery of services activities as COVID restrictions eased. However, the numbers may not capture full impact of energy restrictions as the NBS survey was taken around 22nd-25th of the month: expect far worse number in the months ahead unless China manages to contain its energy crisis. Europe’s Stoxx 600 Index advanced 0.3%, trimming a monthly loss but fading an earlier gain of 0.9%, led by gains in basic resources companies as iron ore climbed, with the CAC and FTSE 100 outperforming at the margin. Technology stocks, battered earlier this week, also extended their rebound.  Miners, oil & gas and media are the strongest sectors; utility and industrial names lag. European natural gas and power markets hit fresh record highs as supply constraints persist. Perrigo jumped 13.8% after the drugmaker agreed to settle with Irish tax authorities over a 2018 issue by paying $1.90 billion in taxes Asian stocks were poised to cap their first quarterly loss since March 2020 as Chinese technology names fell and as investors remained wary over a recent rise in U.S. Treasury yields.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is set to end the September quarter with a loss of more than 5%, snapping a winning streak of five straight quarters. A combination of higher yields, Beijing’s corporate crackdown and worry over slowing economic growth in Asia’s biggest economy have hurt sentiment, bringing the market down following a brief rally in late August.  The Asian benchmark rose less than 0.1% after posting its worst single-day drop in six weeks on Wednesday. Consumer discretionary and communication services groups fell, while financials advanced. The Hang Seng Tech Index ended 1.3% lower as Beijing announced new curbs on the sector, while higher yields hurt sentiment toward growth stocks.  “Because there’s growing worry over U.S. inflation, we need to keep an eye on the potential risks, globally,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, chief market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management. “Also, there’s the Evergrande issue. The market is in a wait-and-see mode now, with a focus on whether the group will be able to make future interest rate payments.”  Benchmarks in Thailand and Malaysia were the biggest losers, while Indonesia and Australia outperformed. Japan’s Topix and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped for a fourth day as investors weighed Fumio Kishida’s election victory as the new ruling party leader. Global stocks are poised to end the quarter with a small loss, after a five-quarter rally, as investors braced for the Fed to wind down its stimulus. They also remain concerned about slowing growth and elevated inflation, supply-chain bottlenecks, an energy crunch and regulatory risks emanating from China. A majority of participants in a Citigroup survey said a 20% pullback in stocks is more likely than a 20% rally. In rates, Treasuries were slightly cheaper across the curve, off session lows as stock futures pare gains. 10-year TSY yields were around 1.53%, cheaper by 1.2bp on the day vs 2.3bp for U.K. 10-year; MPC-dated OIS rates price in ~65bps of BOE hikes by December 2022. Gilts lead the selloff, with U.K. curve bear-steepening as BOE rate-hike expectations continue to ramp up. Host of Fed speakers are in focus during U.S. session, while month-end extension may serve to underpin long-end of the curve.   A gauge of the dollar’s strength headed for its first drop in five days as Treasury yields steadied after a recent rise, and amid quarter-end flows. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell as the dollar steady or weaker against most of its Group-of-10 peers. The euro hovered around $1.16 and the pound was steady while Gilts inched lower, underperforming Bunds and Treasuries. Money markets now see around 65 basis points of tightening by the BOE’s December 2022 meeting, according to sterling overnight index swaps. That means they’re betting the key rate will rise to 0.75% next year from 0.1% currently. The Australian dollar led gains after it rose off its lowest level since August 23 amid exporter month-end demand and as iron ore buyers locked in purchases ahead of a week-long holiday in China. Norway’s krone was the worst G-10 performer and slipped a fifth day versus the dollar, its longest loosing streak in a year. In commodities, oil surrendered gains, still heading for a monthly gain amid tighter supplies. West Texas Intermediate futures briefly recaptured the level above $75 per barrel, before trading at $74.71. APA and Devon rose at least 1.8% in early New York trading. European gas prices meanwhile hit a new all time high. Looking at the day ahead, one of the highlights will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance at the House Financial Services Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Williams, Bostic, Harker, Evans, Bullard and Daly, as well as the ECB’s Centeno, Visco and Hernandez de Cos. On the data side, today’s highlights include German, French and Italian CPI for September, while in the US there’s the weekly initial jobless claims, the third estimate of Q2 GDP and the MNI Chicago PMI for September. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,379.00 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.6% to 457.59 MXAP little changed at 196.85 MXAPJ up 0.3% to 635.71 Nikkei down 0.3% to 29,452.66 Topix down 0.4% to 2,030.16 Hang Seng Index down 0.4% to 24,575.64 Shanghai Composite up 0.9% to 3,568.17 Sensex down 0.3% to 59,239.76 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.9% to 7,332.16 Kospi up 0.3% to 3,068.82 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $78.98/bbl Gold spot up 0.4% to $1,732.86 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 94.27 German 10Y yield fell 0.5 bps to -0.212% Euro little changed at $1.1607 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg U.K. gross domestic product rose 5.5% in the second quarter instead of the 4.8% earlier estimated, official figures published Thursday show. The data, which reflected the reopening of stores and the hospitality industry, mean the economy was still 3.3% smaller than it was before the pandemic struck. China has urged financial institutions to help local governments stabilize the rapidly cooling housing market and ease mortgages for some home buyers, another signal that authorities are worried about fallout from the debt crisis at China Evergrande Group. The U.S. currency’s surge is helping the Chinese yuan record its largest gain in eight months on a trade-weighted basis in September. It adds to headwinds for the world’s second- largest economy already slowing due to a resurgence in Covid cases, a power crisis and regulatory curbs. The Swiss National Bank bought foreign exchange worth 5.44 billion francs ($5.8 billion) in the second quarter, part of its long-running policy to alleviate appreciation pressure on the franc   A few members of the Riksbank’s executive board discussed a rate path that could indicate a rate rise at the end of the forecast period, Sweden’s central bank says in minutes from its Sept. 20 meeting French inflation accelerated in September as households in the euro area’s second-largest economy faced a jump in the costs of energy and services. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded somewhat varied with the region indecisive at quarter-end and as participants digested a slew of data releases including mixed Chinese PMI figures. ASX 200 (+1.7%) was underpinned by broad strength across its industries including the top-weighted financials sector and with the large cap miners lifted as iron ore futures surge by double-digit percentages, while the surprise expansion in Building Approvals also helped markets overlook the 51% spike in daily new infections for Victoria state. Nikkei 225 (+0.1%) was subdued for most of the session after disappointing Industrial Production and Retail Sales data which prompted the government to cut its assessment of industrial output which it stated was stalling. The government also warned that factory output could decline for a third consecutive month in September and that October has large downside risk due to uncertainty from auto manufacturing cuts. However, Nikkei 225 then recovered with the index marginally supported by currency flows. Hang Seng (-1.0%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) diverged heading into the National Day holidays and week-long closure for the mainland with tech names in Hong Kong pressured by ongoing regulatory concerns as China is to tighten regulation of algorithms related to internet information services. Nonetheless, mainland bourses were kept afloat after a further liquidity injection by the PBoC ahead of the Golden Week celebrations and as markets took the latest PMI figures in their strides whereby the official headline Manufacturing PMI disappointed to print its first contraction since February 2020, although Non-Manufacturing PMI and Composite PMI returned to expansionary territory and Caixin Manufacturing PMI topped estimates to print at the 50-benchmark level. Top Asian News S&P Points to Progress as Bondholders Wait: Evergrande Update Bank Linked to Kazakh Leader Buys Kcell Stake After Share Slump Goldman Sachs Names Andy Tai Head of IBD Southeast Asia: Memo What Japan’s Middle-of-the-Road New Leader Means for Markets The upside momentum seen across US and European equity futures overnight stalled, with European cash also drifting from the best seen at the open (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.1%; Stoxx 600 +0.4%). This follows somewhat mixed APAC handover, and as newsflow remains light on month and quarter-end. US equity futures are firmer across the board, but again off best levels, although the RTY (+0.8%) outperforms the ES (+0.4%), YM (+0.4%) and NQ (+0.5%). Back to Europe, the periphery lags vs core markets, whilst the DAX 40 (-0.3%) underperforms within the core market. Sectors in Europe are mostly in the green but do not portray a particular risk bias. Basic Resources top the chart with aid from overnight action in some base metals, particularly iron, in turn aiding the large iron miners BHP (+2.2%), Rio Tinto (+3.4%) and Anglo American (+2.9%). The bottom of the sectors meanwhile consists of Travel & Leisure, Autos & Parts and Industrial Goods & Services, with the former potentially feeling some headwinds from China’s travel restrictions during its upcoming National Day holiday. In terms of M&A, French press reported that CAC-listed Carrefour (-1.3%) is reportedly looking at options for sector consolidation, and talks are said to have taken place with the chain stores Auchan, with peer Casino (Unch) also initially seeing a leg higher in sympathy amid the prospect of sector consolidation. That being said, Carrefour has now reversed its earlier upside with no particular catalyst for the reversal. It is, however, worth keeping in mind that regulatory/competition hurdles cannot be ruled out – as a reminder, earlier this year, France blocked the takeover of Carrefour by Canada’s Alimentation Couche-Tard. In the case of a successful deal, Carrefour will likely be the acquirer as the largest supermarket in France. Sticking with M&A, Eutelsat (+14%) was bolstered at the open amid source reports that French billionaire Patrick Drahi is said to have made an unsolicited takeover offer of EUR 12.10/shr for Eutelsat (vs EUR 10.35 close on Wednesday), whilst the FT reported that this offer was rejected. Top European News European Banks Dangle $26 Billion in Payouts as ECB Cap Ends U.K. Economy Emerged From Lockdown Stronger Than Expected In a First, Uber Joins Drivers in Strike Against Brussels Rules EU, U.S. Seek to Avert Chip-Subsidy Race, Float Supply Links In FX, The non-US Dollars are taking advantage of the Greenback’s loss of momentum, and the Aussie in particular given an unexpected boost from building approvals completely confounding expectations for a fall, while a spike in iron ore prices overnight provided additional incentive amidst somewhat mixed external impulses via Chinese PMIs. Hence, Aud/Usd is leading the chasing pack and back up around 0.7200, Usd/Cad is retreating through 1.2750 and away from decent option expiry interest at 1.2755 and between 1.2750-40 (in 1.3 bn and 1 bn respectively) with some assistance from the latest bounce in crude benchmarks and Nzd/Usd is still trying to tag along, but capped into 0.6900 as the Aud/Nzd cross continues to grind higher and hamper the Kiwi. DXY/GBP/JPY/EUR/CHF - It’s far too early to call time on the Buck’s impressive rally and revival from recent lows, but it has stalled following a midweek extension that propelled the index to the brink of 94.500, at 94.435. The DXY subsequently slipped back to 94.233 and is now meandering around 94.300 having topped out at 94.401 awaiting residual rebalancing flows for the final day of September, Q3 and the half fy that Citi is still classifying as Dollar positive, albeit with tweaks to sd hedges for certain Usd/major pairings. Also ahead, the last US data and survey releases for the month including final Q2 GDP, IJC and Chicago PMI before another raft of Fed speakers. Meanwhile, Sterling has gleaned some much needed support from upward revisions to Q2 UK GDP, a much narrower than forecast current account deficit and upbeat Lloyds business barometer rather than sub-consensus Nationwide house prices to bounce from the low 1.3600 area vs the Greenback and unwind more of its underperformance against the Euro within a 0.8643-12 range. However, the latter is keeping tabs on 1.1600 vs its US peer in wake of firmer German state CPI prints and with the aforementioned Citi model flagging a sub-1 standard deviation for Eur/Usd in contrast to Usd/Jpy that has been elevated to 1.85 from a prelim 1.12. Nevertheless, the Yen is deriving some traction from the calmer yield backdrop rather than disappointing Japanese data in the form of ip and retail sales to contain losses under 112.00, and the Franc is trying to do the same around 0.9350. SCANDI/EM - The tables have been turning and fortunes changing for the Nok and Sek, but the former has now given up all and more its post-Norges Bank hike gains and more as Brent consolidates beneath Usd 80/brl and the foreign currency purchases have been set at the same level for October as the current month. Conversely, the latter has taken heed of a hawkish hue to the latest set of Riksbank minutes and the fact that a few Board members discussed a rate path that could indicate a rise at the end of the forecast period. Elsewhere, the Zar looks underpinned by marginally firmer than anticipated SA ppi and private sector credit, while the Mxn is treading cautiously ahead of Banxico and a widely touted 25 bp hike. In commodities, WTI and Brent futures are choppy but trade with modest gains heading into the US open and in the run-up to Monday’s OPEC+ meeting. The European session thus far has been quiet from a news flow standpoint, but the contracts saw some fleeting upside after breaking above overnight ranges, albeit the momentum did not last long. Eyes turn to OPEC+ commentary heading into the meeting, which is expected to be another smooth affair, according to Argus sources. As a reminder, the group is expected to stick to its plan to raise output by 400k BPD despite outside pressure to further open the taps in a bid to control prices. Elsewhere, as a mild proxy for Chinese demand, China’s Sinopec noted that all LNG receiving terminals are to be operated at full capacity. WTI trades on either side of USD 75/bbl (vs low USD 74.54/bbl), while its Brent counterpart remains north of USD 78/bbl (vs low USD 77.66/bbl). Turning to metals, spot gold and silver continue to consolidate after yesterday’s Dollar induced losses, with the former finding some support around the USD 1,725/oz mark and the latter establishing a floor around USD 21.50/oz. Over to base metals, Dalian iron ore futures rose to three-week highs amid pre-holiday Chinese demand and after Fortescue Metals Group halted mining operations at a Pilbara project. Conversely, LME copper is on a softer footing as the Buck holds onto recent gains. US Event Calendar 8:30am: 2Q PCE Core QoQ, est. 6.1%, prior 6.1% 8:30am: 2Q GDP Price Index, est. 6.1%, prior 6.1% 8:30am: 2Q Personal Consumption, est. 11.9%, prior 11.9% 8:30am: Sept. Continuing Claims, est. 2.79m, prior 2.85m 8:30am: 2Q GDP Annualized QoQ, est. 6.6%, prior 6.6% 8:30am: Sept. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 330,000, prior 351,000 9:45am: Sept. MNI Chicago PMI, est. 65.0, prior 66.8 Central Bank speakers 10am: Fed’s Williams Discusses the Fed’s Pandemic Response 10am: Powell and Yellen Appear Before House Finance Panel 11am: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Economic Mobility 11:30am: Fed’s Harker Discusses Sustainable Assets and Financial... 12:30pm: Fed’s Evans Discusses Economic Outlook 1:05pm: Fed’s Bullard Makes Opening Remarks at Book Launch 2:30pm: Fed’s Daly Speaks at Women and Leadership Event Government Calendar 10am ET: Treasury Secretary Yellen, Fed Chair Powell appear at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the Treasury, Fed’s pandemic response 10:30am ET: Senate begins voting process for continuing resolution that extends U.S. government funding to December 3 10:30am ET: Senate Commerce subcommittee holds hearing on Facebook, Instagram’s influence on kids with Antigone Davis, Director, Global Head of Safety, Facebook 10:45am ET: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds weekly press briefing DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap I’ll be getting my stitches out of my knee today and will have a chance to grill the surgeon who I think told me I’ll probably soon need a knee replacement. I say think as it was all a bit of a medicated blur post the operation 2 weeks ago. These have been a painfully slow 2 weeks of no weight bearing with another 4 to go and perhaps all to no avail. As you can imagine I’ve done no housework, can’t fend much for myself, or been able to control the kids much over this period. I’m not sure if having bad knees are grounds for divorce but I’m going to further put it to the test over the next month. In sickness and in health I plea. Like me, markets are hobbling into the end of Q3 today even if they’ve seen some signs of stabilising over the last 24 hours following their latest selloff, with equities bouncing back a bit and sovereign bond yields taking a breather from their recent relentless climb. It did feel that we hit yield levels on Tuesday that started to hurt risk enough that some flight to quality money recycled back into bonds. So the next leg higher in yields (which I think will happen) might be met with more risk off resistance, and counter rallies. The latest moves came amidst relatively dovish and supportive comments from central bank governors at the ECB’s forum yesterday, but sentiment was dampened somewhat as uncertainty abounds over a potential US government shutdown and breaching of the debt ceiling, after both houses of Congress could not agree on a plan to extend government funding. Overnight, there have been signs of progress on the shutdown question, with Majority Leader Schumer saying that senators had reached agreement on a stopgap funding measure that will fund the government through December 3, with the Senate set to vote on the measure this morning.However, we’re still no closer to resolving the debt ceiling issue (where the latest estimates from the Treasury Department point to October 18 as the deadline), and tensions within the Democratic party between moderates and progressives are threatening to sink both the $550bn bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5tn reconciliation package, which together contain much of President Biden’s economic agenda. We could see some developments on that soon however, as Speaker Pelosi said yesterday that the House was set to vote on the infrastructure bill today. Assuming the vote goes ahead later, this will be very interesting since a number of progressive Democrats have said that they don’t want to pass the infrastructure bill without the reconciliation bill (which contains the administration’s other priorities on social programs). This is because they fear that with the infrastructure bill passed (which moderates are keen on), the moderates could then scale back the spending in the reconciliation bill, and by holding out on passing the infrastructure bill, this gives them leverage on reconciliation. House Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer were in the Oval Office with President Biden yesterday, and a White House statement said that Biden spoke on the phone with lawmakers and engagement would continue into today. So an important day for Biden’s agenda. Against this backdrop, risk assets made a tentative recovery yesterday, with the S&P 500 up +0.16% and Europe’s STOXX 600 up +0.59%. However, unless we get a big surge in either index today, both indices remain on track for their worst monthly performances so far this year, even if they’re still in positive territory for Q3 as a whole. Looking elsewhere, tech stocks had appeared set to pare back some of the previous day’s losses, but a late fade left the NASDAQ down -0.24% and the FANG+ index down a greater -0.72%. Much of the tech weakness was driven by falling semiconductor shares (-1.53%), as producers have offered investors poor revenue guidance on the heels of the ongoing supply chain issues that are driving chip shortages globally. Outside of tech, US equities broadly did better yesterday with 17 of 24 industry groups gaining, led by utilities (+1.30%), biotech (+1.05%) and food & beverages (+1.00%). Similarly, while they initially staged a recovery, small caps in the Russell 2000 (-0.20%) continued to struggle. One asset that remained on trend was the US dollar. The greenback continued its climb yesterday, with the dollar index increasing +0.61% to close at its highest level in over a year, exceeding its closing high from last November. Over in sovereign bond markets, the partial rebound saw yields on 10yr Treasuries down -2.1bps at 1.517%, marking their first move lower in a week. And there was much the same pattern in Europe as well, where yields on 10yr bunds (-1.4bps), OATs (-1.3bps) and BTPs (-3.1bps) all moved lower as well. One continued underperformer were UK gilts (+0.3bps), and yesterday we saw the spread between 10yr gilt and bund yields widen to its biggest gap in over 2 years, at 120bps. Staying on the UK, the pound (-0.81%) continued to slump yesterday, hitting its lowest level against the dollar since last December, which comes as the country has continued to face major issues over its energy supply. Yesterday actually saw natural gas prices take another leg higher in both the UK (+10.09%) and Europe (+10.24%), and the UK regulator said that three smaller suppliers (who supply fewer than 1% of domestic customers between them) had gone out of business. This energy/inflation/BoE conundrum is confusing the life out of Sterling 10 year breakevens. They rose +18bps from Monday morning to Tuesday lunchtime but then entirely reversed the move into last night’s close. This is an exaggerated version of how the world’s financial markets are puzzling over whether breakevens should go up because of energy or go down because of the demand destruction and central bank response. Central bankers were in no mood to panic yesterday though as we saw Fed Chair Powell, ECB President Lagarde, BoE Governor Bailey and BoJ Governor Kuroda all appear on a policy panel at the ECB’s forum on central banking. There was much to discuss but the central bank heads all maintained that this current inflation spike will relent with Powell saying that it was “really a consequence of supply constraints meeting very strong demand, and that is all associated with the reopening of the economy -- which is a process that will have a beginning, a middle and an end.” ECB President Lagarde shared that sentiment, adding that “we certainly have no reason to believe that these price increases that we are seeing now will not be largely transitory going forward.” Overnight in Asia, equities have seen a mixed performance, with the Nikkei (-0.40%), and the Hang Seng (-1.08%) both losing ground, whereas the Kospi (+0.41%) and the Shanghai Composite (+0.30%) have posted gains. The moves came amidst weak September PMI data from China, which showed the manufacturing PMI fall to 49.6 (vs. 50.0 expected), marking its lowest level since the height of the Covid crisis in February 2020. The non-manufacturing PMI held up better however, at a stronger 53.2 (vs. 49.8 expected), although new orders were beneath 50 for a 4th consecutive month. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 (+0.50%) and those on European indices are pointing to a higher start later on, as markets continue to stabilise after their slump earlier in the week. Staying on Asia, shortly after we went to press yesterday, former Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida was elected as leader of the governing Liberal Democratic Party, and is set to become the country’s next Prime Minister. The Japanese Diet will hold a vote on Monday to elect Kishida as the new PM, after which he’ll announce a new cabinet, and attention will very soon turn to the upcoming general election, which is due to take place by the end of November. Our Chief Japan economist has written more on Kishida’s victory and his economic policy (link here), but he notes that on fiscal policy, Kishida’s plans to redistribute income echo the shift towards a greater role for government in the US and elsewhere. There wasn’t a massive amount of data yesterday, though Spain’s CPI reading for September rose to an above-expected +4.0% (vs. 3.5% expected), so it will be interesting to see if something similar happens with today’s releases from Germany, France and Italy, ahead of the Euro Area release tomorrow. Otherwise, UK mortgage approvals came in at 74.5k in August (vs. 73.0k expected), and the European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator for the Euro Area rose to 117.8 in September (vs. 117.0 expected). To the day ahead now, and one of the highlights will be Fed Chair Powell’s appearance at the House Financial Services Committee, alongside Treasury Secretary Yellen. Other central bank speakers include the Fed’s Williams, Bostic, Harker, Evans, Bullard and Daly, as well as the ECB’s Centeno, Visco and Hernandez de Cos. On the data side, today’s highlights include German, French and Italian CPI for September, while in the US there’s the weekly initial jobless claims, the third estimate of Q2 GDP and the MNI Chicago PMI for September. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/30/2021 - 07:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 30th, 2021

Herman Miller, Inc. Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2022 Results

ZEELAND, Mich., Sept. 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Completed acquisition of Knoll, Inc. during the quarter, creating the preeminent leader in modern design Subject to shareholder approval at this year's annual meeting, our Board elected to change our name to MillerKnoll, Inc. Strong demand and the Knoll acquisition drove quarterly orders of $916.5 million, an increase of 64.8% compared to the prior year period, up 34.5%* organically Net sales increased 26.0% from the prior year to $789.7 million inclusive of a partial quarter net sales of $156.4 million from the Knoll acquisition, and up 0.4% organically compared to prior year Integration proceeding smoothly; reaffirming expectation for $100 million run-rate cost synergies within two years of closing Webcast to be held Wednesday, September 29, 2021, at 5:30 PM ET First Quarter Fiscal 2022 Financial Results (Unaudited) Three Months Ended (Dollars in millions, except per share data) August 28, 2021 August 29, 2020 % Chg. Net Sales $ 789.7 $ 626.8 26.0 % Gross Margin % 35.1 % 39.9 % N/A Adjusted Gross Margin %* 35.9 % 40.0 % N/A Operating Expenses $ 330.3 $ 154.6 113.6 % Adjusted Operating Expenses* $ 235.2 $ 155.8 51.0 % Operating Earnings (Loss) % (6.7) % 15.2 % N/A Adjusted Operating Earnings %* 6.2 % 15.3 % N/A Net  Earnings (Loss) Attributable to Herman Miller, Inc. $ (61.5) $ 73.0 N/A Earnings (Loss) Per Share – Diluted $ (0.93) $ 1.24 N/A Adjusted Earnings Per Share – Diluted* $ 0.49 $ 1.24 (60.5) % Orders $ 916.5 $ 556.0 64.8 % Backlog $ 835.9 $ 400.0 109.0 % *Items indicated represent Non-GAAP measurements; see the reconciliations of Non-GAAP financial measures and related explanations below. To our shareholders: We had a strong start to fiscal 2022, as we experienced robust demand across our business while also successfully completing our acquisition of Knoll. Going forward, we are pleased to share that we will operate under the name MillerKnoll, and become one of the largest and most influential design companies in the world. The integration is progressing smoothly as we bring together the best of both organizations, and we are confident in our ability to deliver on our previously outlined cost synergy targets. Our teams across the organization are energized and focused on our purpose – design for the good of humankind. Acquisition of Knoll and Changes in Reportable Segments In connection with Herman Miller's acquisition of Knoll, Inc. completed on July 19, 2021, and now operating as MillerKnoll, we are reporting results under four business segments: Global Retail – reflects the legacy North America Retail segment and now includes International Retail Americas Contract – reflects the legacy North America Contract segment now combined with Latin America and Design Within Reach Contract International Contract – reflects contract business outside the Americas Knoll – the acquired consolidated Knoll business will initially be reflected as a stand-alone segment Performance Highlights We continue to experience strong momentum in our Global Retail and International Contract segments. Demand is accelerating in the Americas Contract and Knoll segments as our customers prepare to return to their offices and adapt them for the future of work. Order levels increased over the prior year for all reportable segments. We believe that this positive order demand is an indicator of the strength of our business strategy, and underscores our confidence in the future as we lead the industry in redefining modern design as MillerKnoll. Financial Results The following table highlights non-comparable items that impacted U.S. GAAP net earnings per diluted share, defined as earnings per diluted share adjusted, to exclude the impact of special charges, acquisition and integration-related expenses, expense related to debt extinguishment, and intangible asset amortization related to the Knoll acquisition. The table also includes an adjustment for the impact of the Knoll acquisition including Knoll's net income, the impact of increased interest expense from financing of the Knoll acquisition, and the impact of additional shares issued for the Knoll acquisition for the purpose of pro forma earnings per share. This pro forma earnings per share excludes items that are non-comparable to the diluted earnings per share guidance given in the June 2021 earnings release. Three Months Ended August 28, 2021 August 29, 2020 Earnings (Loss) per Share - Diluted $ (0.93) $ 1.24 Non-comparable items: Add: Special charges, after tax — 0.01 Add: Amortization of purchased intangibles, after tax 0.37 — Add: Acquisition and integration charges, after tax 0.90 — Add: Debt extinguishment, after tax 0.15 — Add: Restructuring expenses, after tax — (0.01) Adjusted Earnings per Share - Diluted $ 0.49 $ 1.24 Less: Knoll net income (0.10) — Add: Impact of increased interest expense on financing of Knoll acquisition 0.02 — Add: Impact of additional shares issued for Knoll acquisition 0.06 — Pro Forma Earnings per Share - Diluted, for purpose of comparison to June Guidance ¹ $ 0.47 $ 1.24 Weighted Average Shares Outstanding (to Calculate Adjusted Earnings per Share) – Diluted 66,302,214 58,964,268 Note: The adjustments above are net of tax. For the three months ended August 28, 2021, the tax impact of the adjustments was $0.30. For the three months ended August 29, 2020, the tax impact of the adjustments was immaterial. ¹Pro Forma Earnings per share, excluding impacts of the Knoll acquisition, presented to provide a comparison to guidance issued on June 28, 2021 for Herman Miller on a stand-alone basis. Herman Miller, Inc. Consolidated Results Highlights Our consolidated operating results for the three months ended August 28, 2021 included the results of Knoll beginning on July 19, 2021, the date the transaction closed. First quarter consolidated net sales were $789.7 million, an increase of 26.0%, and an increase of 0.4% organically, which excludes the impact of the Knoll acquisition and foreign currency translation. Orders in the quarter of $916.5 million were up 64.8% compared to the prior year period and up 34.5% organically. As a reminder, sales levels in the prior year period were elevated due to COVID-related manufacturing and retail studio shutdowns resulting in higher backlog at the start of the quarter. On an organic basis, demand trends reflected sequential improvement in orders of $59 million, up 8.5% as compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. While order demand was strong, our ability to produce and ship orders in the near-term was impacted by global supply chain and labor supply disruptions. We estimate this adversely impacted net sales by approximately $30 million during the first quarter. Gross margin for the quarter was 35.1% compared to 39.9% during the prior year period, reflecting higher commodity costs and other inflationary pressures.  On an adjusted basis, excluding $6.3 million of purchase price accounting adjustments related to fair value revaluation of inventory, adjusted gross margin was 35.9% compared to 40.0% in the prior year. We implemented a price increase in the first quarter to help offset inflationary pressures in the contract business and are planning additional price increases in the second quarter to further mitigate these pressures. Reported consolidated operating expenses for the quarter were $330.3 million, compared to $154.6 million in the same period last  year. Consolidated adjusted operating expenses of $235.2 million, excluding non-comparable items totaling $95.1 million, were up 51.0% from last year primarily due to the inclusion of $49.0 million of operating expenses related to Knoll, as well as the reinstatement of employee wages and benefits that had been temporarily suspended last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to manage our operating expenses carefully and will remain ready to adapt with evolving market dynamics. Operating margin for the quarter was (6.7)% compared to 15.2% during the prior year period. On an adjusted basis, which excludes acquisition and integration charges of $68.9 million, purchase price accounting adjustments of $6.3 million, and $26.2 million of amortization related to the acquired Knoll intangible assets, consolidated operating margin was 6.2% compared to 15.3% in the prior year. Similar to net sales levels, prior year operating margin benefited from a combination of shipments of elevated backlog at the beginning of the quarter and swift spending reductions at the same time to navigate the global pandemic. Herman Miller, Inc. reported a net loss per share of $0.93 in the first quarter compared to diluted earnings per share of $1.24 for the same period a year ago. The results in the current quarter include $1.42 per share related to non-comparable items. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.49 in the first quarter, compared to adjusted earnings per share of $1.24 for the same period a year ago. These items are listed in the table above, which we are providing for comparison with other results and are the most directly comparable U.S. GAAP measures. During the quarter, we entered into a new credit agreement, borrowing $1,115.0 million through a combination of a revolving credit facility, Term Loan A, and Term Loan B borrowings to fund the Knoll acquisition. At the end of the first quarter, our cash on hand and availability on our revolving credit facility totaled $629.7 million. Cash used in operating activities during the quarter totaled $51.7 million. Our net-debt to EBITDA ratio, including expected cost synergies from the Knoll acquisition, was 2.3x at quarter-end. Business Segment Highlights Additional perspective on the trends for each of our business segments follows: Global Retail Segment Our Global Retail business maintained its strong momentum with sales and orders up 30.7% and 22.2% over the prior year period, respectively. This is on top of strong growth this time last year, with orders growing 90% on a two year stack. We continue to outpace the US home furnishings industry with our growth numbers. Design Within Reach, HAY and Herman Miller experienced strong demand in the quarter, with all categories except outdoor performing ahead of prior year, including workspace which is proving resilient to return-to-office trends. Assortment growth across both core and new categories drove the majority of incremental volume in the quarter. In the quarter we opened new Herman Miller Seating Stores in Boston, Dallas, and Seattle, bringing our global fleet of seating stores to 11. All are bringing new customers to the brand, a testament to our brick-and-mortar retail strategy, and we have plans to roll out additional locations in the months ahead. This year we are making key infrastructure investments in our Global Retail business that are intended to improve our order management, planning and allocation, and point of sales capabilities. These investments will build on our scalable and customer-centric digital foundation, enable Retail growth, and improve our customer experience. Additionally, promotions such as our one-year anniversary gaming sale are driving global demand, and planned price increases will help offset increased labor and material costs. Americas Contract Segment Sales for the Americas decreased 12.1% from the prior year period due to elevated backlog levels in the segment at the beginning of last year and labor and supply disruptions in the current quarter. Orders for the quarter were 43.4% higher than the prior year period. This reflects further improvement in the demand environment as our customers continue to develop their return to office plans, even as the timing remains in flux due to the COVID-19 Delta variant. Our leading indicators continue to reflect robust and accelerating growth; order pipeline increased 14% sequentially from the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 and mock up activity and contract activations are all stronger than year-ago levels. Looking ahead, our growth initiatives are gaining traction, setting the stage for ongoing revenue expansion. The recently launched Herman Miller Professional site supports the evolving needs of small- and medium-sized businesses and has continued to reach new customers since it launched, with a 140% increase in accounts registered on the platform in the quarter. Tailored marketing has attracted more new users, and assortment growth across all product categories has supported those customers in finding what they need to outfit their businesses.  International Contract Segment International sales increased by 5.3% compared to the prior year, while orders grew 34.7%. This strong order pacing was worldwide, with each of our regions experiencing increased order rates from the prior year. Southeast Asia, Greater China, Australia, South Korea, UK, and India were especially strong. As a result, International Contract reported its highest backlog in company history, growing 42% over the prior year. Similarly, both HAY and naughtone achieved year-over-year demand growth, reinforcing our position that collaborative spaces will be an important component of office planning in the post-pandemic era. Strengthening global account activity stands as a testament to the deliberate focus and organizational structure we have put in place to drive growth with multi-national organizations. Significant global account wins in China, India, and Europe affirm our position that employers around the world will continue to prioritize and invest in their workplaces as they look to differentiate their employee experience and build high-performing global cultures. Knoll Segment Following the closing of the acquisition of Knoll, we began the work of integrating our two businesses. Providing dealers and customers with a broader combined portfolio that will deliver beauty, joy, efficiency, and utility remains core to our efforts as we work to ensure the ongoing integration is seamless for all stakeholders. We are confident in our ability to generate $100 million of run-rate cost synergies within two years of closing, driven primarily by procurement, SG&A, and supply chain savings. We also expect to generate significant revenue synergies across the combined business through enhanced scale, cross-selling, and digital and eCommerce opportunities. The Knoll segment experienced positive order momentum in the quarter, with total orders increasing approximately 29.3% versus the prior year. Knoll North America workplace orders are benefiting from customers' return to work plans, with particular focus on how to best support their employees in the new ecosystem of hybrid work.  Additionally, overall mock up spending increased while new funnel pipeline adds grew 18% from the prior year, and taken together are key indicators of accelerating future growth. Knoll's residential business experienced strong order growth in both North America and Europe in the quarter, bolstered by the one-year anniversary of Knoll's eCommerce platform and the recent consolidation of Muuto into the Knoll distribution systems to simplify the order process for dealers and customers. In July, Holly Hunt introduced enhanced website functionality with an in-stock, to-the-trade, online eCommerce site. Further expansion of the site later this year will offer textiles, leather, and wall coverings. Holly Hunt sustained strong growth through the calendar year, and delivered the highest orders level in company history during the quarter. Fully also introduced a new European eCommerce storefront in the quarter and saw its commercial business begin to rebound in the quarter. MillerKnoll is Creating a Better World Designing a more diverse, equitable, and sustainable world remains a core pillar of MillerKnoll's strategy. Across our company, industry, and communities, our team continues to make meaningful progress. Key initiatives include: Integrating ocean-bound plastic into the Aeron Chair as part of our commitment to use 50% recycled content in all materials by 2030. As a member of NextWave Plastics, we are partnering with organizations that share our commitment to preventing harmful plastics from reaching our oceans. On September 1, 2021, Herman Miller announced that its entire portfolio of Aeron Chairs will contain ocean-bound plastic, including a new color, Onyx Ultra Matte, that will contain up to 2.5 pounds of ocean-bound plastic per chair. Aeron is the latest in a growing list of products Herman Miller has reengineered to incorporate ocean-bound plastic, including parts of the recently launched OE1 Workplace Collection, the Sayl Chair in Europe, and the Revenio textile collection. The company is also reducing its footprint by adding ocean-bound plastic to returnable shipping crates and poly bags. Based on annual sales forecast, Herman Miller estimates these efforts will divert up to 234 metric tons of plastic from the ocean each year, equivalent to preventing nearly 400,000 milk jugs or up to 23 million plastic bottles from entering the ocean annually. Initiating the Diversity in Design (DID) Collaborative in partnership with other DID member companies to increase representation of Black creatives in design in the United States, increase design career opportunities for Black youth, and increase the educational pipeline that leads to full-time employment for Black students in design. The DID Collaborative recently named Todd Palmer, former Executive Director of the Chicago Architecture Biennial, as its first director. As part of MillerKnoll's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team, Todd and the DID team will advance the Collaborative's long-term strategy and bring the shared vision to life. Partnering with Habitat for Humanity as part of Knoll's commitment to supporting more inclusive and diverse communities. In December 2020, Knoll joined Habitat for Humanity as a cause marketing partner. When initial planned construction projects were paused due to the pandemic, Knoll leveraged its eCommerce site to fundraise for the organization, generating more than 500 contributions to Habitat for Humanity from Knoll customers who opted to make a donation as part of the checkout process on Knoll's website. Knoll associates participated in Habitat builds in Chicago and Toronto in September 2021 with two additional builds planned for later in the fiscal year. Achieving WELL v2 Gold and Well Health-Safety Rating at Fulton Market in Chicago, continuing Herman Miller's leadership in this area as a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and the first furniture manufacturer to register as a WELL Portfolio participant. Herman Miller's Chicago Fulton Market building recently achieved WELL v2 Gold, which is the most rigorously tested and vetted version of the WELL Building Standard (WELL) to date, making it the premier framework for advancing health and well-being around the world. Buildings across the footprint of Herman Miller, Knoll and the collective of brands maintain a number of green and healthy certifications including LEED, BREEAM, and WELL v1. Our customers and employees share our commitment to creating a more equitable and sustainable world and we will continue to invest in initiatives that further our progress and unite us in this shared purpose. Outlook Our second quarter fiscal 2022 guidance includes the full impact of Knoll for the quarter. We expect sales in the second quarter of fiscal 2022 to range between $1,025 million and $1,065 million. The mid-point of this range implies a revenue increase of 67% compared to the same quarter last fiscal year on a reported basis and 12% on an organic basis, excluding the impact of the Knoll acquisition and foreign currency translation. Our forecast for the second quarter also considers the near-term impacts of supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. We anticipate adjusted earnings per share to be between $0.55 and $0.61. As the company cannot predict some elements that are included in reported GAAP results, we provide certain guidance on a non-GAAP basis as further discussed in the non-GAAP financial measures section below. Entering the Next Chapter for MillerKnoll With a broader portfolio of complementary brands, enhanced scale and capabilities, and the financial strength of our diversified business, MillerKnoll is uniquely positioned to imagine a more sustainable, caring, and beautiful world for everyone. There is much to be excited about as we come together to solidify MillerKnoll's position as the leader in modern design and create enhanced value for all our stakeholders. Thank you for your continued support of our company. We look forward to continuing this journey with you. Andi Owen Jeff Stutz President and Chief Executive Officer Chief Financial Officer Financial highlights for the three months ended August 28, 2021 follow: Herman Miller, Inc. Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (Unaudited) (Dollars in millions, except per share and common share data) Three Months Ended August 28, 2021 August 29, 2020 Net Sales $ 789.7 100.0 % $ 626.8 100.0 % Cost of Sales 512.2 64.9 % 376.8 60.1 % Gross Margin 277.5 35.1 % 250.0 39.9.....»»

Category: earningsSource: benzingaSep 29th, 2021

General Motors" (GM) BrightDrop Unveils EV410, Completes EV600 Build

General Motors' (GM) BrightDrop introduces a second delivery van, the EV410, to its vehicle line-up and completes the first production build of the EV600 in a record-setting time. General Motors’ GM commercial electric vehicle (EV) business — BrightDrop — recently announced plans to add a second van, the EV410, to its vehicle line-up in 2023. Verizon Communications, one of the largest fleet operators in the United States, is scheduled to be the first customer for the EV410.This purpose-built, all-electric commercial vehicle is a smaller and more maneuverable version of the EV600. The EV410, a mid-size work van, is the latest vehicle in BrightDrop’s ecosystem of last-mile solutions that has been designed for smaller, more frequent trips by customers that do not need a large delivery van such as the EV600. BrightDrop plans to begin the EV410’s production in 2023 at the CAMI assembly plant in Canada.The EV410 combines many of the features of the EV600, and has a wheelbase that spans a little more than 150 inches and its overall length is less than 20 feet. As the name suggests, this van has around 410 cubic feet of storage space inside and is available at a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds. It also provides exceptional curb management and maneuverability, and has the ability to fit into a standard-size parking space — a key feature to reduce street congestion. Thanks to its smaller footprint, BrightDrop's latest addition is perfect for high-frequency tasks, like delivering groceries purchased online or performing telecommunication services. The EV410 also expands zero-emission driving to companies like Verizon, while opening up new and inspiring market segments for BrightDrop.The EV410 promises to offer 250 miles of range between charges. The vehicle has features which provide unmatched comfort and convenience for drivers. Safety is another attraction point of BrightDrop's vans. Like the EV600, the new EV410 will be equipped with a series of segment-leading safety features, including the front and rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and a high-definition back-up camera. Additional optional safety features like rear cross-traffic alert, a high-definition 360-degree camera system, reverse automatic braking and more will also be available.For Verizon, the EV410 is the ideal size vehicle for the company's field maintenance and service fleet. Further, it will help Verizon achieve its target of net zero operational emissions by 2035. This is why Version has inked a deal for the EV410 with BrightDrop.Apart from this, BrightDrop also announced the completion of the first production builds of the EV600. The EV600, unveiled this January, is BrightDrop’s first all-electric light commercial delivery van equipped with General Motors' next-generation Ultium battery system, having an estimated range of up to 250 miles on a full charge.The build completion of EV600 marks the achievement of a historic milestone by BrightDrop in an effort to deliver its first electric light commercial vehicle (eLCV) to FedEx Express by the end of this year. The build completion of EV600 was attained by BrightDrop in a record-setting development timeline of just 20 months, being the fastest vehicle from conception to market in General Motors’ history. This accomplishment is even more praiseworthy as it comes amid the global supply-chain headwinds, which the entire auto sector is battling currently. Moreover, this achievement was made possible owing to General Motors’ unique operations set-up, highly flexible Ultium battery platform, and an agile approach to manufacturing development. Additionally, by going electric with the EV600, fleet managers can expect not only high range and enhanced safety features, but also an estimated yearly savings of $7,000.BrightDrop is partnering with a U.S. supplier partner for the initial low-volume production of the EV600, while the revamp of General Motors’ CAMI assembly plant in Canada is being completed. Starting in November 2022, CAMI will be the home for the large-scale production of the EV600 van.With companies like FedEx, Amazon and United Parcel Service vowing to transit their large delivery fleets to EVs, the electric commercial van business has become attractive with automakers like General Motors, Ford F, Stellantis STLA racing to introduce their EV delivery vans in the market. However, this is one sector that the EV giant Tesla TSLA is yet to navigate to.With the roll-out of its BrightDrop delivery business, General Motors is able to capitalize on this trending race and meet the surging demand for urban last-mile delivery, while also reducing the carbon impact on the planet. Furthermore, the automaker has provided a one-stop-shop solution for commercial customers enabling them to deliver goods in an efficient and more sustainable manner. This fresh business unit has unlocked fresh opportunities in the B2B sector for the company, while also expanding its Ultium platform.General Motors currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here. Zacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Artificial Intelligence In 2021, this world-changing technology is projected to generate $327.5 billion in revenue. Now Shark Tank star and billionaire investor Mark Cuban says AI will create "the world's first trillionaires." Zacks' urgent special report reveals 3 AI picks investors need to know about today.See 3 Artificial Intelligence Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential>>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 General Motors Company (GM): Free Stock Analysis Report Tesla, Inc. (TSLA): Free Stock Analysis Report Stellantis N.V. (STLA): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 29th, 2021

Amazon is poaching school bus drivers for delivery jobs amid a shortage

School districts in Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have cited hiring competition with Amazon as a factor fueling the bus-driver shortage. Schools are competing with Amazon amid the bus driver shortage. Tom Williams/Getty Images The national bus-driver shortage continues to disrupt learning despite extra financial incentives. New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania schools said they are competing with Amazon for drivers. Amazon is hiring 4,800 workers in Philadelphia - school leaders worry it could worsen hiring challenges. See more stories on Insider's business page. School districts in New Jersey, Florida, and Pennsylvania have cited hiring competition with Amazon as one factor fueling a national bus-driver shortage that has forced kids to taxi, Uber, and even kayak to class.Chloe Williams, president of the New Jersey School Bus Contractors Association, told Insider that the driver shortage is not due to "wages at this point," adding that they lost bus drivers to Amazon, ride-hailing services, and long-haul trucking companies. She said several bus drivers left last year due to health concerns but most returned after the vaccine became available. "Primarily, it was because the jobs were available last year when the schools shut down," Williams said. "People were looking for other jobs and found the demand was there ... especially in package delivery, everybody was home shopping on Amazon." Public schools across New Jersey have raised wages for bus drivers to as high as $30 an hour, according to NJ.com. Private bus contractors in the state are offering bonuses ranging from $1500 to $5000, the report says.In Palm Beach, Florida, schools are competing with a new 96,000-square-foot Amazon warehouse to hire drivers, The Hustle's Zachary Crockett reported Saturday.The hourly wage for Amazon drivers in Palm Beach is approximately $2 higher than the district's bus driver salary of $14.57 an hour, according to The Hustle report. Amazon recently announced plans to hire 4,800 workers in Philadelphia, a city hard-hit by the school bus driver shortage, The Inquirer reported.The e-commerce giant's growth could make it even more difficult to hire bus drivers, Philadelphia superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said at a press conference earlier this month.District spokeswoman Christina Clark told Insider that Amazon offered logistics advice around making bus routes more efficient. "They, too, are in the process of dealing with driver vacancies, so filling driver shortages is not something we are looking for them to help us with at this time," she said. "Our most critical needs are for teachers, bus drivers, special education assistants, food service workers, and student climate staff," Hite said at a Facebook Live briefing last week.He added that the district is introducing a new bus driver trainee position which will "provide potential bus drivers with compensation and benefits while they take their CDL course and complete all necessary exams."One Amazon delivery service partner (DSP) employee in Connecticut told Insider a former driver used to say "packages are much better than kids," when asked about his past experience as a school bus driver and why he left.Amazon recruiting tactics are hard to compete with. One driver operating out of a Danbury, Connecticut warehouse told Insider he was instructed to distribute business cards advertising Amazon delivery driving jobs to "drivers, landscapers, anyone we see on the road."He said if an applicant is hired as a result, the driver is rewarded with a $300 bonus, adding that the hiring push is in preparation for Amazon's peak holiday season. Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-lastRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021

12 hotels we love in Palm Springs, from midcentury gems to relaxing spas

These are the best hotels in Palm Springs, from Ace's cool pool parties to boutique luxury at the Avalon or Parker, and pet-friendly picks downtown. When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more. Tripadvisor Palm Springs is a desert oasis that was once a glam retreat for Hollywood stars. Now, it's known for midcentury design, rejuvenating spas, pool parties, and music festivals. Palm Springs hotels have all of the above from boutique spots to sprawling resorts and retro motels. Table of Contents: Masthead StickyWith swaying palms and near-perfect year-round weather, Palm Springs is a desert oasis.It teems with retro, vintage vibes like a time capsule paying homage to a heydey when the city was a glam retreat for Hollywood's elite. Given so much nostalgia, the city should probably feel a lot kitschier than it is. But it works. There's an authenticity that makes a weekend getaway just as exciting as it was for Frank Sinatra and Liz Taylor way back when.As such, Palm Springs has seen an influx of hotels including design-forward boutique hideaways, contemporary big brand chains, sprawling villa-style resorts, and hip hangs for pool-party revelry.I've been visiting Palm Springs for years and the following represents the best places to stay whether you're a Coachella-goer, an art lover, nature seeker, design purist, or family looking to savor what makes Palm Springs so special.Browse all of the best Palm Springs hotels below, or jump to a specific area:The best Palm Springs hotelsFAQ: Best hotels in Palm SpringsHow we selected the best hotels in Palm SpringsMore of the best hotels in the SouthwestThese are the best Palm Springs hotels, sorted by price from low to high. Sonder | V Palm Springs Rooms overlooking the pool offer a fun perch. Hotels.com Book Sonder | V Palm SpringsCategory: BudgetTypical starting/peak prices: $74/$346Best for: Couples, friends, solo travelersOn-site amenities: Restaurant, lounge and workspacesPros: This hotel has highly designed rooms, a fun pool scene, and cheap prices even in high season.Cons: The DJ spins tunes at the pool on weekends which can be noisy if your room faces it, and the vibe can get boozy, which might not be best if you're coming with children.Apart-hotel Sonder's acquisition of local favorite V Palm Springs offers a cheap base to stay with the comforts of a long-stay hotel.The property offers exceptional value year-round, and even during popular periods, for a design-forward, comfortable place to stay. Travelers range from those simply in search of a good deal, to discriminating Instagram influencer types willing to sacrifice neither cachet nor style.Plus, whereas Margaritaville or Ace can be rowdy in high-occupancy seasons, we've never had a problem at the V, with stays that are consistently positive. Somehow, it seems the masses haven't caught on yet.COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of V Palm Springs Margaritaville Palm Springs The pool at Margaritaville has a stunning backdrop of palm trees and mountains. Margaritaville Palm Springs Book Margaritaville Palm SpringsCategory: BudgetTypical starting/peak prices: $103/$399Best for: Families, couples, travelers on a budget, ParrotheadsOn-site amenities: 2 restaurants, 2 bars, coffee shop, store, spa, salon, fitness center, meeting space, bike rentalsPros: Margaritaville is a renovated hotel with refreshed rooms, a great pool, a large spa, and a fun spirit that was not previously found in Palm Springs. It's a great pick for families and those who want neither a vintage boutique inn nor fancy luxury.Cons: The laid-back party approach means the clientele can get rowdy and though the resort was renovated, some room features were not fully updated. The resort fee is expensive.Margaritaville Palm Springs is one of the newest additions to the local hotel scene and has made a splashy entrance, taking over a former iconic midcentury hotel with full-out signature Jimmy Buffet flair.Beachy wicker mixes with tropical colors throughout common spaces and rooms, though, none cement those vacation vibes more strongly than a floor-to-ceiling flip flop sculpture that presides over the lobby, right next to a chandelier fashioned from margarita glasses.Guest rooms are bright and airy, with washed wood furnishings, pops of turquoise, and crisp white bedspreads with subtle parrots sewn in. Spacious balconies overlook the pool area or manicured grounds, and many have mountain views.As should be expected, Jimmy Buffet features prominently, from videos playing on lobby screens to wall plates with lyrics adorning hallways, and the aptly-named 5 O'Clock Somewhere Pool Bar churning out various takes of that frozen concoction that helps you hang on.There's also a large spa and salon, two pools, open-air restaurants, and a fun, laid-back vibe you won't find at Palm Springs' more sophisticated hotels. While it's not quintessential Palm Springs in terms of style, it is one of the best options in town for families or those who want to hang by the pool with a, what else, margarita.COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of Margaritaville Palm Springs Hotel California This California Spanish Mission-style hotel has just 14 rooms nestled around a lush courtyard with a pool. Trip Advisor Book Hotel CaliforniaCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $152/$246Best for: Couples, familiesOn-site amenities: Communal kitchen, pool, grills, hot tub, DVD library, gamesPros: Enjoy a quiet, peaceful stay that offers large, well-appointed rooms and helpful amenities like a communal kitchen. Cons: There is no restaurant or spa on-site and the hotel's address is on a busy street that's a bit too far from the main area of town to be walkable. Rooms are comfortable, but no frills. Don't expect a look as contemporary as other options in town.Hotel California feels like a local secret, except it's widely regarded as a top hotel in Palm Springs. The hotel has more of an inn or B&B feel, but with all the privacy and amenities you'd want in a resort. It's small, with rooms nestled around an interior courtyard and pool area filled with leafy plants, misters to keep you cool, and a fountain.Rooms are traditional but updated; there's no flashy decor, but it's comfortable with plenty of space. Most come with a private patio and upgraded rooms have kitchenettes.I loved my stay here and recall it as especially peaceful. Many hotels on the main street can be loud with traffic. I didn't hear any noise and highly recommend upstairs rooms for this reason. The pool is quiet, and there's a communal kitchen for guests to make their own meals. For COVID-19 procedures, call the hotel at 760-322-8855 or emailinfo@palmspringshotelcalifornia.com. Triada Palm Springs, Autograph Collection The Mediterranean-inspired Triada is a tranquil place to stay that's close to downtown Palm Springs. Emily Hochberg/Business Insider Book Triada Palm SpringsCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $175/$489Best for: Couples, families, Marriott loyalistsOn-site amenities: Restaurant, 2 pools, fitness centerPros: Rooms are tasteful with comfortable beds and Mediterranean style, plus well-appointed suites offer good value. The location is excellent, within walking distance to downtown.Cons: Entry-level rooms can be small with some complaints of noise. The scene might be too quiet for some people, and facilities like the pools and gym are small.Triada Palm Springs is a favorite among Marriott Bonvoy loyalists looking to earn nights towards status, without sacrificing signature Palm Springs style. I love the tranquil scene here with Mediterranean-style buildings overlooking tiled-mosaic courtyards with fountains and spilling Bougainvillea flowers.Entry-level rooms are on the smaller side, about 250 square feet, but I recommend an upgrade to a King Casita. With a kitchen, living area, and private back patio, it feels like the plush Palm Springs bungalow you'll wish was your second (or first) home. It's also typically cheaper than other comparable villas.The vibe is much calmer and quieter than other hotels in the area. Many days, I was often the only person at the pool. Don't come to people-watch, but rather, to relax in a more grownup setting than some of the other options on this list.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Holiday House Bold, design-forward rooms lead the way at this whimsical boutique resort for adults. Trip Advisor Book Holiday HouseCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $164/$644Best for: Couples, groups of friendsOn-site amenities: Bar, pool, breakfastPros: Savor design-forward, stunning interiors with an adults-only vibe that's not raucous either.Cons: Holiday House endorses a communal environment which means no TVs, kids, or anyone under 21, which won't be a fit for everyone.With just 28 rooms, Holiday House is a true boutique hotel with whimsical and bright blue-and-white patterned decor. The design-forward approach features art from the likes of David Hockney, Roy Liechtenstein, Herb Ritts, and a garden sculpture by Donald Sultan.Rooms are called "Good," "Better," and "Best," and feature Nespresso machines, plush linens and robes, wet bars, outdoor showers, and balconies with prime mountain views. As the names imply, the more upgraded rooms include added indoor and outdoor space.The Pantry is a poolside bar serving cocktails and bites to eat, while an impressive breakfast buffet spread is also offered each morning to all guests, included in room rates.COVID-19 procedures are available here. ARRIVE Palm Springs ARRIVE blends midcentury style with a modern, industrial look. Trip Advisor Book ARRIVE Palm SpringsCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $175/$695Best for: Couples, groups of friendsOn-site amenities: Pool restaurant and bar, ice cream bar, coffee shop, poolPros: ARRIVE has a clean, modern aesthetic that looks and feels brand new with comfortable rooms, great on-site amenities, and an ideal uptown location.Cons: The younger crowd might be a negative for some, as it leads to a rowdier, party-like scene, especially on weekends.ARRIVE is just a few years old and is already making a splash beyond its pool party scene, though, there's certainly that, too.The hotel blends midcentury style with a modern, almost industrial look and draws a younger crowd for its dynamic programming and excellent on-site food and drink, which includes a great coffee bar and ice cream treats.Past guests rave about the well-designed rooms and cool vibe that's a fresher alternative to the similarly hip Ace Hotel. Expect Egyptian cotton bedding, plush robes, marble-accented bathrooms with rain showers, Apple TV, Malin & Goetz bath products, and loads of natural light.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Sparrows Lodge With no kids allowed and farm-to-table shared meals, Sparrows feels like summer camp for grownups. Tripadvisor Book Sparrows LodgeCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $197/$1,876Best for: Couples, groupsOn-site amenities: Pool, massages, restaurant, communal spots, bike rentalsPros: The fresh approach to hospitality feels unique from other Palm Springs offerings with farm-to-table fare and shared meals for a luxe summer camp for grownups vibe.Cons: The community atmosphere might not be a match for everyone, including those who like to watch TV, or have kids in tow.Enjoy chilled-out Palm Springs vibes at this former home of a Hollywood star that was reimagined as an intimate adults-only hotel with just 20 rooms. The hotel was originally built as Castle's Red Barn in 1952 by MGM actor Don Castle and his wife Zetta, and there's a rumor that Bewitched actress Elizabeth Montgomery had her first marriage at the Red Barn. Rooms are found within industrial-meets-rustic cabins that have exposed wooden beams, stone accent walls, and barn-like furniture. In fact, the poolside room with a tub has a bathroom outfitted with a horse-trough-like steel tub for bathing. With no phones or TVs in guest rooms, and no children permitted, this adults-only retreat is a place to unplug.Common spaces invite guests to linger with a vegetable garden and family-style meals served at the Barn Kitchen. Dip into the pool or book a massage in the open-air spa tent set to the sounds of birds chirping, fountains trickling, and the smell of burning sage.The location is within walking distance of downtown Palm Springs and bikes are provided for getting around.For current COVID-19 policies, please email the hotel at hello@sparrowslodge.com. Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs This is the only rooftop pool in downtown Palm Springs. Trip Advisor Book Kimpton Rowan Palm SpringsCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $200/$676Best for: Families, couples, travelers with petsOn-site amenities: 2 restaurants, bar, rooftop pool, fitness center, meeting spacePros: The prime downtown location places all of Palm Springs directly outside your door. Plus, it has the only rooftop pool in town.Cons: There's a $40 daily resort fee, which can add up, but it does offer helpful services such as airport shuttles, car service around town, golf bag storage, coffee and tea, bike rentals, Wi-Fi, and pet-friendly amenities.Kimpton Rowan commands a super central location in downtown Palm Springs, right off the main strip of stores and restaurants, placing you within walking distance of the city's best spots. Still, it manages to feel hidden from crowds with a location tucked back a block from the action.Rooms are clean, modern, and more spacious than other boutique hotels for the same price. In addition to the stellar location, the true highlight of staying here is the rooftop pool surrounded by incredible mountain views; it's the only one in town.Staying here also comes with many signature Kimpton perks like happy hour, bike rentals, and pet-friendly policies.COVID-19 procedures are available here. Ace Hotel & Swim Club A lively pool scene is the focal point of this hip hotel. Trip Advisor Book Ace Hotel & Swim ClubCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $179/$559Best for: Couples, groups of friendsOn-site amenities: Restaurant, bar, pool, spaPros: Minimal rooms with patios and fire pits are dripping in cool factor, and staying here comes with prime access to some of the hottest spots in town.Cons: There's a real party vibe on weekends. Visit midweek if you prefer something quieter, and know that rates surge in high season with an expensive daily resort fee on top of it.There's no denying the hipster association with Ace Hotel & Swim Club, but it's a badge the hotel wears proudly. The property took over a run-down motel and Denny's and reinvented both of them as the cool kids' hangout in town.Rooms boast the minimal-urban-rock aesthetic that Ace hotels have perfected with pared down rooms that feature platform beds, midcentury furniture, and in some cases, come with guitars to strum, hammocks to sway in, and fireplaces to gather 'round.King's Highway restaurant and the Amigo Bar are worthy attractions in their own right and many young guests flock here for the lively pool scene, which becomes a DJ-fueled party most weekends. COVID-19 procedures are available here. Avalon Hotel and Bungalows Palm Springs Avalon's historic studios, suites, and bungalows are surrounded by fragrant citrus, lush gardens, and secluded pools. Trip Advisor Book Avalon Hotel and Bungalows Palm SpringsCategory: LuxuryTypical starting/peak prices: $263/$799Best for: Couples, families, groups of friendsOn-site amenities: 3 pools, spa, restaurant, meeting spacePros: The enviable downtown location still manages to feel tucked away from the noise and bustle, and the refined sense of style and luxury are sometimes available at an attainable price point.Cons: Entry-level rooms are very small, hovering under 250 square feet, which can feel cramped with suitcases. Some prior guests complain about noise from other rooms and on-site events such as weddings.The Avalon is a long-time Palm Springs staple, beloved for its central downtown location, resort-style amenities, and Spanish-inspired villas and bungalows surrounded by greenery. The well-designed property is ideal for a relaxing vacation that's still close to the action. Plus, three pools, a spa, and well-reviewed dining are enough to keep you on-site. Standard rooms are tight on space but are still mod with a monochrome black and white palette and a location steps from the pool, while upgraded rooms feature fireplaces, extra seating areas, and glam design accents. Bungalows are the way to go in terms of space, style, and comfort behind an iconic persimmon-colored door with midcentury furnishings and a private patio. COVID-19 procedures are available here.Read our full hotel review of Avalon Hotel & Bungalows Palm Springs The Colony Palms Hotel and Bungalows Retro vibes shine at this pool shaded by mountain views. The Colony Palms Hotel Book The Colony Palms Hotel and BungalowsCategory: BoutiqueTypical starting/peak prices: $275/$600Best for: Couples, groups of friendsOn-site amenities: Restaurant, pool, spaPros: This is a sleek boutique hotel with a luxury lean and well-designed rooms within walking distance to all the best spots in town.Cons: The hotel is small, which some may find too quiet. Those looking for a livelier pool scene might want to consider a bigger resort. It is also adults-only, so it's not a good pick for families with kids under 18.The boutique Colony Palms is named for Palm Springs' Movie Colony neighborhood, where many Hollywood stars lived when they visited Palm Springs in its heyday.The hotel dates back to 1937, but that's not to say it's dated or out of touch. The 57 rooms, designed in Spanish colonial style are a nod to years past but have been lovingly restored with all the modern touches and amenities of a luxury hotel.There are 57 fully renovated guest rooms spread over three verdant acres, each featuring bold, geometric prints and statement wallpaper, as well as custom beds and mattresses, Frette linens, and Le Labo toiletries. Some have clawfoot tubs, patio, or fireplaces.Colony Palms also boasts a great location within walking distance of both uptown and downtown Palm Springs, which are filled with buzzy restaurants, bars, and shops.For COVID-19 procedures, call the hotel at (760) 969-1800.  Parker Palm Springs Style enthusiasts will recognize designer Jonathan Adler's touch; he designed the zingy feel of this luxury hotel. Trip Advisor Book Parker Palm SpringsCategory: LuxuryTypical starting/peak prices: $299/$599Best for: Couples, design enthusiastsOn-site amenities: Multiple posh restaurants and bars, salon, spa, 2 pools, fitness centerPros: No detail was overlooked at this hotel with gorgeous design and beautifully manicured grounds that feel like a desert oasis.Cons: The hotel tends to be expensive, and not just room rates. On-site dining venues are costly. Expect to pay $30 for a salad. It's also not within walking distance to town.This midcentury posh icon opened in 1959 as California's first Holiday Inn and a decade ago was transformed into a sleek, contemporary hideaway under the direction of design guru Jonathan Adler. The Parker is now one of Palm Spring's luxe-est offerings on a sprawling 14-acre property where 131 guest rooms and villas are nestled amid lushly-lined pathways. It's a great pick for couples looking for a romantic escape, or families wanting something a bit more grownup.Interiors pop with bright colors and zingy patterns, and Adler's trademark whimsy is everywhere, from the custom-made pillows to animal-shaped poofs. Rooms vary in size and layout but entry-level Estate rooms are plenty playful and measure around 320 square feet, while Deluxe rooms offer more space and are closest to the pool. For private outdoor space, upgrade to a Hammock room and enjoy an enclosed patio. Outdoor amenities include areas for croquet, tennis, and there are two saltwater pools. There's also a spa, salon, and fashionable dining to be found on the terrace of Norma's restaurant or inside the glamorous lobby-adjacent Mr. Parker's, tucked behind turquoise velvet doors. COVID-19 procedures are available here.  FAQ: Best hotels in Palm Springs Where is Palm Springs?Palm Springs is located in the Coachella Valley, about a 2.5-hour drive from Los Angeles. It's about the same time driving from San Diego, as well.When is the best time to visit Palm Springs?For the best weather, visit between October and April when the weather is warm and sunny during the day and cooler in the mornings and at night. During this time you can lay out at the pool, go shopping, and enjoy seasonal farmer's markets and art fairs.Summer is hot, hot hot. Highs can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit and your time outdoors will be limited. However, the crowds will be far fewer and prices will be significantly cheaper for hotel stays.How much are hotels in Palm Springs?Hotel prices in Palm Springs depend on when you plan to visit. Visit on a weekend in high season, the winter, and expect to pay at least $200 per night, or more depending on the level of the hotel. Visit in the summer and you'll regularly see fares under $100 if you visit midweek.Which hotel has the best pool in Palm Springs?In a desert city like Palm Springs, the hotel pool is essential. It's a place to relax for some, and party for others. Depending on what you seek, there's a pool for you.For a relaxed, serene pool setting, plan to go to the Avalon or the Parker. If you've come to party, you'll love the pool scene at the Ace, ARRIVE, or V. Families will enjoy the relaxed, laidback pools like those at Margaritaville. And the Kimpton has the only rooftop pool in town.What hotels in Palm Springs allow pets?Many hotels in Palm Springs allow pets, often for an added fee, but the Kimpton Rowan has perhaps the best pet-friendly perks included in your rate. How we selected the best hotels in Palm Springs I've been to Palm Springs many times and have stayed at, visited, or extensively researched every hotel on this list.All hotels are highly reviewed on trusted traveler sites such as Trip Advisor and Booking.com.All of the best Palm Springs hotels have a starting price point under $300 per night in low season.Design is integral to Palm Springs' spirit and every hotel has thoughtful decor, midcentury touches, and spacious layouts.All hotels have the amenities you'd want in a desert getaway, including great pools, relaxing spas, and buzzy cocktail bars or restaurants.Every hotel is close to downtown so going out to eat, shop, or drink, is never a hassle.Every hotel is adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols, which we've noted where available online. More of the best hotels in the Southwest Sweeping Red Rock views abound from Hilton Sedona Resort. Booking.com The best hotels in Las VegasThe best hotels in Los AngelesThe best hotels in San DiegoThe best hotels in ArizonaThe best hotels in Sedona Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021