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These Philadelphia Flyers players have the highest salaries for the 2021-22 season

The Flyers open their season on Friday against the Vancouver Canucks. Here are the players who will be making the most money in black and orange this year......»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsOct 13th, 2021

4 ETF Areas for Investors to Make the Most of Q4

Let's take a look at some ETF areas that are looking decent investment options for the investors to park their money in Q4. Investors are having a difficult time on Wall Street after a tough September. Apart from increased volatility, market participants are currently grappling with other issues like inflationary pressure, the Fed’s tapering concerns and supply-chain challenges. Investors are on edge regarding earnings growth in the third-quarter earnings season. Going by Refinitiv data, the September-quarter earnings growth rate might come in at 30% from the year-ago reported figure following a 96.3% rise in the second quarter (as mentioned in a CNBC article).A CNBC Market Strategist Survey reflects that Wall Street major strategists are expecting soft returns for the remainder of 2021 as the average year-end S&P 500 target is 4,433.In another disappointing development, Goldman Sachs (GS) decreased its U.S. economic growth prediction. The investment bank expects 2022 growth in the range of 4% to 4.4% (according to a CNBC article). It has also revised its 2021 estimate downward to 5.6% from 5.7%. It cited various factors like the diminishing fiscal stimulus support from the Congress and the slow pace of recovery in consumer spending for its decision.The latest jobs report for September was quite lacklustre as the U.S. economy has added the lowest number of jobs so far this year. 194,000 positions were added in September, which missed the forecast of 500,000. Nonfarm employment has risen 17.4 million since April 2020 but decreased 3.3% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some ETF areas that are looking decent investment options for the investors to park their money in Q4:Energy ETFsThe energy sector has been attracting investors’ attention on the latest rally in oil prices. Oil prices crossed the $80-a-barrel mark amid the ongoing global power crisis. The price of crude attained a seven-year high. Shrinking crude inventories, supply disruption in the Gulf of Mexico following a couple of hurricanes and surging fuel demand are pushing oil prices higher.Soaring coal and natural gas prices in Europe and Asia due to a supply-demand imbalance before the severe winter season is driving consumption of diesel and kerosene (according to a Bloomberg article). TheOrganization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a Russia-led group of oil producers, collectively called OPEC+ decided to raise production by 400,000 barrels a day each month. Also, the coronavirus vaccine rollout is gradually aiding in controllingthe spread of the pandemic. The optimism surrounding the gradual reopening of global economies and increasing demand are painting a rosy picture for cyclical sectors.Considering the bullish energy sector backdrop, let’s take a look at some energy ETFs that are worth adding to your portfolio for boosting returns Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF PXE, Vanguard Energy ETF VDE, Fidelity MSCI Energy Index ETF (FENY) and The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) (read: Here's Why Energy ETFs Are Sizzling With Opportunities).Dividend ETFsDividend aristocrats are blue-chip dividend-paying companies with a long history of increasing dividend payments year over year. Moreover, dividend aristocrat funds provide investors with dividend growth opportunities compared to other products in the space but might not necessarily have the highest yields.‘Dividend aristocrats’ or ‘dividend growers’ are mostly deemed to be the smartest way to deal with market turmoil. Notably, the inclination toward dividend investing has been rising due to easing monetary policy on the global front and market uncertainty triggered by the pandemic and deceleration in global growth.These products also form a strong portfolio, with a higher scope of capital appreciation as against simple dividend-paying stocks or those with high yields. As a result, these products deliver an excellent combination of annual dividend growth and capital-appreciation opportunity and are primarily suitable for risk-averse long-term investors.Against this backdrop, let’s take a look at some ETFs that investors can consider like Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF VIG, SPDR S&P Dividend ETF SDY, iShares Select Dividend ETF (DVY) and ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL) (read: September's Weak History Turning True: 5 ETF Buying Zones).Technology ETFsTechnology has played an instrumental role amid the ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty in aiding people to maintain safe-distancing norms. The work-from-home model has bumped up sales of PCs, laptops and other kinds of computer peripherals as well. Going by IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker, the global shipment of PCs that include laptops and tablets, desktops and notebooks, reached 83.6 million units in the second quarter, rising 13.2% on a year-over-year basis.Certain other ‘new normal’ trends have also emerged amid the health crisis like work from home, increasing digital payments, growing video streaming and soaring video game sales. The pandemic has also beena boon for the e-commerce industry as people continue staying indoors and shopping online for all essentials, especially food items.Further, the semiconductor space has been gaining from expanding digitization and growing dependency on the Internet. In fact, the growing adoption of cloud computing and the ongoing infusion of AI, machine learning and IoT are expected to keep the sector brewing with opportunities in 2021.Thus, investors could consider ETFs like Vanguard Information Technology ETF VGT, The Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund XLK, iShares U.S. Technology ETF IYW and First Trust NASDAQ-100-Technology Sector Index Fund (QTEC) (read: 5 ETFs & Stocks From the FavoriteSectors of Q3 Earnings).Retail ETFsMarket analysts are expecting an impressive retail sales figure in 2021 anda strong holiday season. Strengthin consumer sentiment can act as a major growth driver as consumers haveenough resources to splurge this holiday season after facing restrictions for more than a year.The retailers are prepping for the start to the holiday season (the late October-December period) that is considered a busy season for severalindustry players and market participants. The quarter is marked by some popular retail events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Christmas, which increase its significance among retailers.According to Mastercard SpendingPulse,  U.S. retail sales — excluding automotive and gas — for the “75 Days of Christmas” spanning from Oct 11 to Dec 24 are anticipated to increase 6.8% from the year-earlier tally.Considering the strong trends, investors may park their money in the retail ETFs like Amplify Online Retail ETF IBUY, ProShares Online Retail ETF ONLN, SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) and VanEck Retail ETF (RTH) to tap the sales boom (read: Online Retail ETFs to Gain From Holiday Shopping Craze). 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 Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK): ETF Research Reports SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Energy ETF (VDE): ETF Research Reports Amplify Online Retail ETF (IBUY): ETF Research Reports iShares U.S. Technology ETF (IYW): ETF Research Reports Vanguard Information Technology ETF (VGT): ETF Research Reports Invesco Dynamic Energy Exploration & Production ETF (PXE): ETF Research Reports ProShares Online Retail ETF (ONLN): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

Inside the World of Black Bitcoin, Where Crypto Is About Making More Than Just Money

“We can operate on an even playing field in the digital world” At the Black Blockchain Summit, there is almost no conversation about making money that does not carry with it the possibility of liberation. This is not simply a gathering for those who would like to ride whatever bumps and shocks, gains and losses come with cryptocurrency. It is a space for discussing the relationship between money and man, the powers that be and what they have done with power. Online and in person, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C., an estimated 1,500 mostly Black people have gathered to talk about crypto—decentralized digital money backed not by governments but by blockchain technology, a secure means of recording transactions—as a way to make money while disrupting centuries-long patterns of oppression. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “What we really need to be doing is to now utilize the technology behind blockchain to enhance the quality of life for our people,” says Christopher Mapondera, a Zimbabwean American and the first official speaker. As a white-haired engineer with the air of a lecturing statesman, Mapondera’s conviction feels very on-brand at a conference themed “Reparations and Revolutions.” Along with summit organizer Sinclair Skinner, Mapondera co-founded BillMari, a service that aims to make it easier to transmit cryptocurrency to wherever the sons and daughters of Africa have been scattered. So, not exactly your stereotypical “Bitcoin bro.” Contrary to the image associated with cryptocurrency since it entered mainstream awareness, almost no one at the summit is a fleece-vest-wearing finance guy or an Elon Musk type with a grudge against regulators. What they are is a cross section of the world of Black crypto traders, educators, marketers and market makers—a world that seemingly mushroomed during the pandemic, rallying around the idea that this is the boon that Black America needs. In fact, surveys indicate that people of color are investing in cryptocurrency in ways that outpace or equal other groups—something that can’t be said about most financial products. About 44% of those who own crypto are people of color, according to a June survey by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center. In April, a Harris Poll reported that while just 16% of U.S. adults overall own cryptocurrency, 18% of Black Americans have gotten in on it. (For Latino Americans, the figure is 20%.) The actor Hill Harper of The Good Doctor, a Harvard Law School friend of former President Barack Obama, is a pitchman for Black Wall Street, a digital wallet and crypto trading service developed with Najah Roberts, a Black crypto expert. And this summer, when the popular money-transfer service Cash App added the option to purchase Bitcoin, its choice to explain the move was the MC Megan Thee Stallion. “With my knowledge and your hustle, you’ll have your own empire in no time,” she says in an ad titled “Bitcoin for Hotties.” Read more: Americans Have Learned to Talk About Racial Inequality. But They’ve Done Little to Solve It But, as even Megan Thee Stallion acknowledges in that ad, pinning one’s economic hopes on crypto is inherently risky. Many economic experts have described crypto as little better than a bubble, mere fool’s gold. The rapid pace of innovation—it’s been little more than a decade since Bitcoin was created by the enigmatic, pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto—has left consumers with few protections. Whether the potential is worth those risks is the stuff of constant, and some would say, infernal debate. Jared Soares for TIMECleve Mesidor, who founded the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain What looms in the backdrop is clear. In the U.S., the median white family’s wealth—reflecting not just assets minus debt, but also the ability to weather a financial setback—sat around $188,200, per the Federal Reserve’s most recent measure in 2019. That’s about eight times the median wealth of Black families. (For Latino families, it’s five times greater; the wealth of Asian, Pacific Island and other families sits between that of white and Latino families, according to the report.) Other estimates paint an even grimmer picture. If trends continue, the median Black household will have zero wealth by 2053. The summit attendees seem certain that crypto represents keys to a car bound for somewhere better. “Our digital selves are more important in some ways than our real-world selves,” Tony Perkins, a Black MIT-trained computer scientist, says during a summit session on “Enabling Black Land and Asset Ownership Using Blockchain.” The possibilities he rattles off—including fractional ownership of space stations—will, to many, sound fantastical. To others, they sound like hope. “We can operate on an even playing field in the digital world,” he says. The next night, when in-person attendees gather at Barcode, a Black-owned downtown D.C. establishment, for drinks and conversation, there’s a small rush on black T-shirts with white lettering: SATOSHI, they proclaim, IS BLACK. That’s an intriguing idea when your ancestors’ bodies form much of the foundation of U.S. prosperity. At the nation’s beginnings, land theft from Native Americans seeded the agricultural operations where enslaved Africans would labor and die, making others rich. By 1860, the cotton-friendly ground of Mississippi was so productive that it was home to more millionaires than anywhere else in the country. Government-supported pathways to wealth, from homesteading to homeownership, have been reliably accessible to white Americans only. So Black Bitcoiners’ embrace of decentralized currencies—and a degree of doubt about government regulators, as well as those who have done well in the traditional system—makes sense. Skinner, the conference organizer, believes there’s racial subtext in the caution from the financial mainstream regarding Bitcoin—a pervasive idea that Black people just don’t understand finance. “I’m skeptical of all of those [warnings], based on the history,” Skinner, who is Black American, says. Even a drop in the value of Bitcoin this year, which later went back up, has not made him reticent. “They have petrol shortages in England right now. They’ll blame the weather or Brexit, but they’ll never have to say they’re dumb. Something don’t work in Detroit or some city with a Black mayor, we get a collective shame on us.” Read more: America’s Interstate Slave Trade Once Trafficked Nearly 30,000 People a Year—And Reshaped the Country’s Economy The first time I speak to Skinner, the summit is still two weeks away. I’d asked him to talk through some of the logistics, but our conversation ranges from what gives money value to the impact of ride-share services on cabbies refusing Black passengers. Tech often promises to solve social problems, he says. The Internet was supposed to democratize all sorts of things. In many cases, it defaulted to old patterns. (As Black crypto policy expert Cleve Mesidor put it to me, “The Internet was supposed to be decentralized, and today it’s owned by four white men.”) But with the right people involved from the start of the next wave of change—crypto—the possibilities are endless, Skinner says. Skinner, a Howard grad and engineer by training, first turned to crypto when he and Mapondera were trying to find ways to do ethanol business in Zimbabwe. Traditional international transactions were slow or came with exorbitant fees. In Africa, consumers pay some of the world’s highest remittance, cell phone and Internet data fees in the world, a damaging continuation of centuries-long wealth transfers off the continent to others, Skinner says. Hearing about cryptocurrency, he was intrigued—particularly having seen, during the recession, the same banking industry that had profited from slavery getting bailed out as hundreds of thousands of people of color lost their homes. So in 2013, he invested “probably less than $3,000,” mostly in Bitcoin. Encouraged by his friend Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, one of the largest platforms for trading crypto, he grew his stake. In 2014, when Skinner went to a crypto conference in Amsterdam, only about eight Black people were there, five of them caterers, but he felt he had come home ideologically. He saw he didn’t need a Rockefeller inheritance to change the world. “I don’t have to build a bank where they literally used my ancestors to build the capital,” says Skinner, who today runs a site called I Love Black People, which operates like a global anti-racist Yelp. “I can unseat that thing by not trying to be like them.” Eventually, he and Mapondera founded BillMari and became the first crypto company to partner with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to lower fees on remittances, the flow of money from immigrants overseas back home to less-developed nations—an economy valued by the World Bank and its offshoot KNOMAD at $702 billion in 2020. (Some of the duo’s business plans later evaporated, after Zimbabwe’s central bank revoked approval for some cryptocurrency activities.) Skinner’s feelings about the economic overlords make it a bit surprising that he can attract people like Charlene Fadirepo, a banker by trade and former government regulator, to speak at the summit. On the first day, she offers attendees a report on why 2021 was a “breakout year for Bitcoin,” pointing out that major banks have begun helping high-net-worth clients invest in it, and that some corporations have bought crypto with their cash on hand, holding it as an asset. Fadirepo, who worked in the Fed’s inspector general’s office monitoring Federal Reserve banks and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is not a person who hates central banks or regulation. A Black American, she believes strongly in both, and in their importance for protecting investors and improving the economic position of Black people. Today she operates Guidefi, a financial education and advising company geared toward helping Black women connect with traditional financial advisers. It just launched, for a fee, direct education in cryptocurrency. Crypto is a relatively new part of Fadirepo’s life. She and her Nigerian-American doctor husband earn good salaries and follow all the responsible middle-class financial advice. But the pandemic showed her they still didn’t have what some of his white colleagues did: the freedom to walk away from high-risk work. As the stock market shuddered and storefronts shuttered, she decided a sea change was coming. A family member had mentioned Bitcoin at a funeral in 2017, but it sounded risky. Now, her research kept bringing her back to it. Last year, she and her husband bought $6,000 worth. No investment has ever generated the kinds of returns for them that Bitcoin has. “It has transformed people’s relationship with money,” she says. “Folks are just more intentional … and honestly feeling like they had access to a world that was previously walled off.” Read more: El Salvador Is Betting on Bitcoin to Rebrand the Country — and Strengthen the President’s Grip She knows frauds exists. In May, a federal watchdog revealed that since October 2020, nearly 7,000 people have reported losses of more than $80 million on crypto scams—12 times more scam reports than the same period the previous year. The median individual loss: $1,900. For Fadirepo, it’s worrying. That’s part of why she helps moderate recurring free learning and discussion options like the Black Bitcoin Billionaires chat room on Clubhouse, which has grown from about 2,000 to 130,000 club members this year. Jared Soares for TIMECharlene Fadirepo, a banker and former government regulator, near the National Museum of African American History and Culture There’s a reason Black investors might prefer their own spaces for that kind of education. Fadirepo says it’s not unheard-of in general crypto spaces—theoretically open to all, but not so much in practice—to hear that relying on the U.S. dollar is slavery. “To me, a descendant of enslaved people in America, that was painful,” she says. “There’s a lot of talk about sovereignty, freedom from the U.S. dollar, freedom from inflation, inflation is slavery, blah blah blah. The historical context has been sucked out of these conversations about traditional financial systems. I don’t know how I can talk about banking without also talking about history.” Back in January, I found myself in a convenience store in a low-income and predominantly Black neighborhood in Dallas, an area still living the impact of segregation decades after its official end. I was there to report on efforts to register Black residents for COVID-19 shots after an Internet-only sign-up system—and wealthier people gaming the system—created an early racial disparity in vaccinations. I stepped away to buy a bottle of water. Inside the store, a Black man wondered aloud where the lottery machine had gone. He’d come to spend his usual $2 on tickets and had found a Bitcoin machine sitting in its place. A second Black man standing nearby, surveying chip options, explained that Bitcoin was a form of money, an investment right there for the same $2. After just a few questions, the first man put his money in the machine and walked away with a receipt describing the fraction of one bitcoin he now owned. Read more: When a Texas County Tried to Ensure Racial Equity in COVID-19 Vaccinations, It Didn’t Go as Planned I was both worried and intrigued. What kind of arrangement had prompted the store’s owner to replace the lottery machine? That month, a single bitcoin reached the $40,000 mark. “That’s very revealing, if someone chooses to put a cryptocurrency machine in the same place where a lottery [machine] was,” says Jeffrey Frankel, a Harvard economist, when I tell him that story. Frankel has described cryptocurrencies as similar to gambling, more often than not attracting those who can least afford to lose, whether they are in El Salvador or Texas. Frankel ranks among the economists who have been critical of El Salvador’s decision to begin recognizing Bitcoin last month as an official currency, in part because of the reality that few in the county have access to the internet, as well as the cryptocurrency’s price instability and its lack of backing by hard assets, he says. At the same time that critics have pointed to the shambolic Bitcoin rollout in El Salvador, Bitcoin has become a major economic force in Nigeria, one of the world’s larger players in cryptocurrency trading. In fact, some have argued that it has helped people in that country weather food inflation. But, to Frankel, crypto does not contain promise for lasting economic transformation. To him, disdain for experts drives interest in cryptocurrency in much the same way it can fuel vaccine hesitancy. Frankel can see the potential to reduce remittance costs, and he does not doubt that some people have made money. Still, he’s concerned that the low cost and click-here ease of buying crypto may draw people to far riskier crypto assets, he says. Then he tells me he’d put the word assets here in a hard set of air quotes. And Frankel, who is white, is not alone. Darrick Hamilton, an economist at the New School who is Black, says Bitcoin should be seen in the same framework as other low-cost, high-risk, big-payoff options. “In the end, it’s a casino,” he says. To people with less wealth, it can feel like one of the few moneymaking methods open to them, but it’s not a source of group uplift. “Like any speculation, those that can arbitrage the market will be fine,” he says. “There’s a whole lot of people that benefited right before the Great Recession, but if they didn’t get out soon enough, they lost their shirts too.” To buyers like Jiri Sampson, a Black cryptocurrency investor who works in real estate and lives outside Washington, D.C., that perspective doesn’t register as quite right. The U.S.-born son of Guyanese immigrants wasn’t thinking about exploitation when he invested his first $20 in cryptocurrency in 2017. But the groundwork was there. Sampson homeschools his kids, due in part to his lack of faith that public schools equip Black children with the skills to determine their own fates. He is drawn to the capacity of this technology to create greater agency for Black people worldwide. The blockchain, for example, could be a way to establish ownership for people who don’t hold standard documents—an important issue in Guyana and many other parts of the world, where individuals who have lived on the land for generations are vulnerable to having their property co-opted if they lack formal deeds. Sampson even pitched a project using the blockchain and GPS technology to establish digital ownership records to the Guyanese government, which did not bite. “I don’t want to downplay the volatility of Bitcoin,” Sampson says. But that’s only a significant concern, he believes, if one intends to sell quickly. To him, Bitcoin represents a “harder” asset than the dollar, which he compares to a ship with a hole in it. Bitcoin has a limited supply, while the Fed can decide to print more dollars anytime. That, to Sampson, makes some cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, good to buy and hold, to pass along wealth from one generation to another. Economists and crypto buyers aren’t the only ones paying attention. Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Federal Reserve have indicated that they will move toward official assessments or regulation soon. At least 10 federal agencies are interested in or already regulating crypto in some way, and there’s now a Congressional Blockchain Caucus. Representatives from the Federal Reserve and the SEC declined to comment, but SEC Chairman Gary Gensler assured a Senate subcommittee in September that his agency is working to develop regulation that will apply to cryptocurrency markets and trading activity. Enter Cleve Mesidor, of the quip about the Internet being owned by four white men. When we meet during the summit, she introduces herself: “Cleve Mesidor, I’m in crypto.” She’s the first person I’ve ever heard describe herself that way, but not that long ago, “influencer” wasn’t a career either. A former Obama appointee who worked inside the Commerce Department on issues related to entrepreneurship and economic development, Mesidor learned about cryptocurrency during that time. But she didn’t get involved in it personally until 2013, when she purchased $200 in Bitcoin. After leaving government, she founded the National Policy Network of Women of Color in Blockchain, and is now the public policy adviser for the industry group the Blockchain Association. There are more men than women in Black crypto spaces, she tells me, but the gender imbalance tends to be less pronounced than in white-dominated crypto communities. Mesidor, who immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti and uses her crypto investments to fund her professional “wanderlust,” has also lived crypto’s downsides. She’s been hacked and the victim of an attempted ransomware attack. But she still believes cryptocurrency and related technology can solve real-world problems, and she’s trying, she says, to make sure that necessary consumer protections are not structured in a way that chokes the life out of small businesses or investors. “D.C. is like Vegas; the house always wins,” says Mesidor, whose independently published book is called The Clevolution: My Quest for Justice in Politics & Crypto. “The crypto community doesn’t get that.” Passion, she says, is not enough. The community needs to be involved in the regulatory discussions that first intensified after the price of a bitcoin went to $20,000 in 2017. A few days after the summit, when Mesidor and I spoke by phone, Bitcoin had climbed to nearly $60,000. At Barcode, the Washington lounge, Isaiah Jackson is holding court. A man with a toothpaste-commercial smile, he’s the author of the independently published Bitcoin & Black America, has appeared on CNBC and is half of the streaming show The Gentleman of Crypto, which bills itself as the one of the longest-running cryptocurrency shows on the Internet. When he was building websites as a sideline, he convinced a large black church in Charlotte, N.C., to, for a time, accept Bitcoin donations. He helped establish Black Bitcoin Billionaires on Clubhouse and, like Fadirepo, helps moderate some of its rooms and events. He’s also a former teacher, descended from a line of teachers, and is using those skills to develop (for a fee) online education for those who want to become crypto investors. Now, there’s a small group standing near him, talking, but mostly listening. Jackson was living in North Carolina when one of his roommates, a white man who worked for a money-management firm, told him he had just heard a presentation about crypto and thought he might want to suggest it to his wealthy parents. The concept blew Jackson’s mind. He soon started his own research. “Being in the Black community and seeing the actions of banks, with redlining and other things, it just appealed to me,” Jackson tells me. “You free the money, you free everything else.” Read more: Beyond Tulsa: The Historic Legacies and Overlooked Stories of America’s ‘Black Wall Streets’ He took his $400 savings and bought two bitcoins in October 2013. That December, the price of a single bitcoin topped $1,100. He started thinking about what kind of new car he’d buy. And he stuck with it, even seeing prices fluctuate and scams proliferate. When the Gentlemen of Bitcoin started putting together seminars, one of the early venues was at a college fair connected to an annual HBCU basketball tournament attended by thousands of mostly Black people. Bitcoin eventually became more than an investment. He believed there was great value in spreading the word. But that was then. “I’m done convincing people. There’s no point battling going back and forth,” he says. “Even if they don’t realize it, what [investors] are doing if they are keeping their bitcoin long term, they are moving money out of the current system into another one. And that is basically the best form of peaceful protest.”   —With reporting by Leslie Dickstein and Simmone Shah.....»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 15th, 2021

Futures Jump On Profit Optimism As Oil Tops $85; Bitcoin Nears $60,000

Futures Jump On Profit Optimism As Oil Tops $85; Bitcoin Nears $60,000 One day after the S&P posted its biggest one-day surge since March, index futures extended this week’s gains, helped by a stellar bank earnings, while the latest labor market data and inflation eased stagflation fears for the time being. . The 10-year Treasury yield rose and the dollar was steady. Goldman Sachs reports on Friday. At 715 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 147 points, or 0.42%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 16.5 points, or 0.37%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 42.75 points, or 0.28%. Oil futures topped $85/bbl, jumping to their highest in three years amid an energy crunch that’s stoking inflationary pressures and prices for raw materials. A gauge of six industrial metals hit a record high on the London Metal Exchange.  Energy firms including Chevron and Exxon gained about half a percent each, tracking Brent crude prices that scaled the 3 year high. Solid earnings in the reporting season are tempering fears that rising costs and supply-chain snarls will hit corporate balance sheets and growth. At the same time, the wider debate about whether a stagflation-like backdrop looms remains unresolved. “We don’t sign up to the stagflation narrative that is doing the rounds,” said Hugh Gimber, global strategist at the perpetually optimistic J.P. Morgan Asset Management. “The economy is being supported by robust consumer balance sheets, rebounding business investment and a healthy labor market.” “After a choppy start to the week, equity markets appear to be leaning towards a narrative that companies can continue to grow profits, despite the combined pressures of higher energy prices and supply chain disruptions,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in London. Bitcoin and the crypto sector jumped after Bloomberg reported late on Thursday that the Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to allow the first U.S. Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund to begin trading in a watershed moment for the cryptocurrency industry. Bitcoin traded off session highs having tested $60k during Asian hours, but will likely rise to new all time highs shortly. Also overnight, Joe Biden signed a bill providing a short-term increase in the debt limit, averting the imminent threat of a financial calamity. But it only allows the Treasury Department to meets its financial obligations until roughly Dec. 3, so the can has been kicked for less than two months - brace for more bitter partisan battles in the coming weeks. This week’s move into rate-sensitive FAAMG growth names looked set to continue, with their shares inching up. Moderna rose 3.0% after a U.S. FDA panel voted to recommend booster shots of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and high-risk people. Western Digital slipped 2.5% as Goldman Sachs downgraded the storage hardware maker’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”. Here are some of the key premarket movers on Friday morning: Virgin Galactic (SPCE US) shares slump as much as 23% in U.S. premarket trading as the firm is pushing the start of commercial flights further into next year after rescheduling a test flight, disappointing investors with the unexpected delay to its space tourism business plans Cryptocurrency-exposed stocks rise in U.S. premarket trading after a report that the Securities and Exchange Commission is poised to allow the first U.S. Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund to begin trading.  Bit Digital (BTBT US) +6.7%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT US) +4.6%, Marathon Digital (MARA US) +3.6% Alcoa (AA US) shares jump 5.6% in thin volumes after co. reported profits that beat the average analyst estimate and said it will be paying a dividend to its shareholders Moderna (MRNA US) extends Thursday’s gains; Piper Sandler recommendation on Moderna Inc. to overweight from neutral, a day after co.’s Covid-19 booster got FDA nod for use in older, high-risk people Duck Creek Technologies (DCT US) shares fell 12% in Thursday postmarket trading after the software company projected 2022 revenue that fell short of the average analyst estimate 23andMe Holdings (ME US) soared 14% in Thursday postmarket trading after EMJ Capital founder Eric Jackson called the genetics testing company “the next Roku” on CNBC Corsair Gaming (CRSR US) shares fell 3.7% in post-market trading after it cut its net revenue forecast for the full year Early on Friday, China's PBOC broke its silence on Evergrande, saying risks to the financial system are controllable and unlikely to spread. Authorities and local governments are resolving the situation, central bank official Zou Lan said. The bank has asked lenders to keep credit to the real estate sector stable and orderly. In Europe, gains for banks, travel companies and carmakers outweighed losses for utilities and telecommunications industries, pushing the Stoxx Europe 600 Index up 0.3%. Telefonica fell 3.3%, the most in more than four months, after Barclays cut the Spanish company to underweight. Temenos and Pearson both slumped more than 10% after their business updates disappointed investors. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: Devoteam shares rise as much as 25% after its controlling shareholder, Castillon, increased its stake in the IT consulting group to 85% and launched an offer for the remaining capital. QinetiQ rises as much as 5.4% following a plunge in the defense tech company’s stock on Thursday. Investec upgraded its recommendation to buy and Berenberg said the shares now look oversold. Hugo Boss climbs as much as 4.4% to the highest level since September 2019 after the German apparel maker reported 3Q results that exceeded expectations. Jefferies (hold) noted the FY guidance hike also was bigger than expected. Mediclinic rises as much as 7.7% to highest since May 26 after 1H results, which Morgan Stanley says showed strong underlying operating performance with “solid metrics.” Temenos sinks as much as 14% after the company delivered a “mixed bag” with its 3Q results, according to Baader (sell). Weakness in Europe raises questions about the firm’s outlook for a recovery in the region, the broker said. Pearson declines as much as 12%, with analysts flagging weaker trading in its U.S. higher education courseware business in its in-line results. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks headed for their best week in more than a month amid a list of positive factors including robust U.S. earnings, strong results at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and easing home-loan restrictions in China.  The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 1.3%, pushing its advance this week to more than 1.5%, the most since the period ended Sept. 3. Technology shares provided much of the boost after chip giant TSMC announced fourth-quarter guidance that beat analysts’ expectations and said it will build a fabrication facility for specialty chips in Japan. Shares in China rose as people familiar with the matter said the nation loosened restrictions on home loans at some of its largest banks.  Conditions are good for tech and growth shares now long-term U.S. yields have fallen following inflation data this week, Shogo Maekawa, a strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management in Tokyo. “If data going forward are able to provide an impression that demand is strong too -- on top of a sense of relief from easing supply chain worries -- it’ll be a reason for share prices to take another leap higher.”  Asia’s benchmark equity gauge is still 10% below its record-high set in February, as analysts stay on the lookout for higher bond yields and the impact of supply-chain issues on profit margins.  Japanese stocks rose, with the Topix halting a three-week losing streak, after Wall Street rallied on robust corporate earnings. The Topix rose 1.9% to close at 2,023.93, while the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.8% to 29,068.63. Keyence Corp. contributed the most to the Topix’s gain, increasing 3.7%. Out of 2,180 shares in the index, 1,986 rose and 155 fell, while 39 were unchanged. For the week, the Topix climbed 3.2% and the Nikkei added 3.6%. Semiconductor equipment and material makers rose after TSMC said it will build a fabrication facility for specialty chips in Japan and plans to begin production there in late 2024.  U.S. index futures held gains during Asia trading hours. The contracts climbed overnight after a report showed applications for state unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest since March 2020.  “U.S. initial jobless claims fell sharply, and have returned to levels seen before the spread of the coronavirus,” said Nobuhiko Kuramochi, a market strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo. “The fact that more people are returning to their jobs will help ease supply chain problems caused by the lack of workers.” Australian stocks also advanced, posting a second week of gains. The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% to close at 7,362.00, with most sectors ending higher.  The benchmark added 0.6% since Monday, climbing for a second week. Miners capped their best week since July 16 with a 3% advance. Hub24 jumped on Friday after Evans & Partners upgraded the stock to positive from neutral. Pendal Group tumbled after it reported net outflows for the fourth quarter of A$2.3 billion. In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 13,012.19 In rates, the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose over 3bps to 1.54%. Treasuries traded heavy across long-end of the curve into early U.S. session amid earning-driven gains for U.S. stock futures. Yields are higher by more than 3bp across long-end of the curve, 10- year by 2.8bp at about 1.54%, paring its first weekly decline since August; weekly move has been led by gilts and euro-zone bonds, also under pressure Friday, with U.K. 10-year yields higher by 3.3bp. Today's bear-steepening move pares the weekly bull-flattening trend. U.S. session features a packed economic data slate and speeches by Fed’s Bullard and Williams.   In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed even as the greenback weakened against most of its Group-of-10 peers; the euro hovered around $1.16 while European and U.S. yields rose, led by the long end. Norway’s krone led G-10 gains as oil jumped to $85 a barrel for the first time since late 2018 amid the global energy crunch; the currency rallied by as much as 0.6% to 8.4015 per dollar, the strongest level since June. New Zealand’s dollar advanced to a three-week high as bets on RBNZ’s tightening momentum build ahead of Monday’s inflation data; the currency is outperforming all G-10 peers this week. The yen dropped to a three-year low as rising equities in Asia damped demand for low-yielding haven assets. China’s offshore yuan advanced to its highest in four months while short-term borrowing costs eased after the central bank added enough medium-term funds into the financial system to maintain liquidity at existing levels. In commodities, crude futures trade off best levels. WTI slips back below $82, Brent fades after testing $85. Spot gold slips back through Thursday’s lows near $1,786/oz. Base metals extend the week’s rally with LME nickel and zinc gaining over 2%. Today's retail sales report, due at 08:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show retail sales fell in September amid continued shortages of motor vehicles and other goods. The data will come against the backdrop of climbing oil prices, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, factors that have rattled investors and have led to recent choppiness in the market. Looking at the day ahead now, and US data releases include September retail sales, the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for October, and the Empire State manufacturing survey for October. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Bullard and Williams, and earnings releases include Charles Schwab and Goldman Sachs. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.3% to 4,443.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.4% to 467.66 German 10Y yield up 2.4 bps to -0.166% Euro little changed at $1.1608 MXAP up 1.3% to 198.33 MXAPJ up 1.2% to 650.02 Nikkei up 1.8% to 29,068.63 Topix up 1.9% to 2,023.93 Hang Seng Index up 1.5% to 25,330.96 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,572.37 Sensex up 0.9% to 61,305.95 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7% to 7,361.98 Kospi up 0.9% to 3,015.06 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $84.83/bbl Gold spot down 0.5% to $1,787.54 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.92 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China’s central bank broke its silence on the crisis at China Evergrande Group, saying risks to the financial system stemming from the developer’s struggles are “controllable” and unlikely to spread The ECB has a good track record when it comes to flexibly deploying its monetary instruments and will continue that approach even after the pandemic crisis, according to policy maker Pierre Wunsch Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance says fourth issuance of BTP Futura to start on Nov. 8 until Nov. 12, according to a statement The world’s largest digital currency rose about 3% to more than $59,000 on Friday -- taking this month’s rally to over 35% -- after Bloomberg News reported the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission looks poised to allow the country’s first futures-based cryptocurrency ETF Copper inventories available on the London Metal Exchange hit the lowest level since 1974, in a dramatic escalation of a squeeze on global supplies that’s sent spreads spiking and helped drive prices back above $10,000 a ton A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded higher amid tailwinds from the upbeat mood across global peers including the best day for the S&P 500 since March after strong US bank earnings, encouraging data and a decline in yields spurred risk appetite. The ASX 200 (+0.7%) was positive as the tech and mining sectors continued to spearhead the advances in the index in which the former took impetus from Wall St where the softer yield environment was conducive to the outperformance in tech, although mining giant Rio Tinto was among the laggards following weaker quarterly production results. The Nikkei 225 (+1.8%) was buoyed as exporters benefitted from the JPY-risk dynamic but with Fast Retailing failing to join in on the spoils despite an 88% jump in full-year net as its profit guidance underwhelmed with just 3% growth seen for the year ahead, while Taiwan's TAIEX (+2.2%) surged with the spotlight on TSMC earnings which reached a record high amid the chip crunch and with the Co. to also build a factory in Japan that could receive JPY 500bln of support from the Japanese government. The Hang Seng (+1.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.4%) were initially indecisive amid the overhang from lingering developer default concerns although found some mild support from reports that China is to relax banks' mortgage limits through the rest of 2021. Focus was also on the PBoC which announced a CNY 500bln MLF operation, although this just matched the amount maturing this month and there are mixed views regarding prospects of a looming RRR cut with ANZ Bank's senior China strategist recently suggesting the potential for a 50bps cut in RRR or targeted MLF as early as today, although a recent poll showed analysts had pushed back their calls for a RRR cut from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022. Finally, 10yr JGBs marginally pulled back from this week’s advances after hitting resistance at the 151.50 level, with demand hampered amid the firm gains in Japanese stocks and the lack of BoJ purchases in the market today. Top Asian News Hong Kong Probes Going Concern Reporting of Evergrande U.S. Futures Hold Gains as Oil Hits 3-Year High: Markets Wrap Toyota Cuts November Outlook by 15% on Parts Shortage, Covid Yango Group Wires Repayment Fund for Onshore Bond Due Oct. 22 Bourses in Europe have held onto the modest gains seen at the cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 +0.4%; Stoxx 600 +0.3%), but the region is off its best levels with the upside momentum somewhat faded heading into the US open, and amidst a lack of fresh newsflow. US equity futures have remained in positive territory, although the latest leg lower in bonds has further capped the tech-laden NQ (+0.2%), which underperforms vs the ES (+0.3%), YM (+0.3%) and RTY (+0.7%), with traders on the lookout for another set of earnings, headlined by Goldman Sachs at 12:25BST/07:25EDT. Back to Europe, bourses see broad-based gains, whilst sectors are mostly in the green with clear underperformance experienced in defensives, with Telecoms, Utilities, Healthcare and Staples at the foot of the bunch. On the flipside, Banks reap rewards from the uptick in yields, closely followed by Travel & Leisure, Autos & Parts and Retail. Renault (+4%) drives the gains in Autos after unveiling a prototype version of the Renault Master van that will go on sale next year. Travel & Leisure is bolstered by the ongoing reopening trade with potential tailwinds heading into the Christmas period. Retail meanwhile is boosted by Hugo Boss (+1.8%) topping forecasts and upgrading its guidance. Top European News Autumn Heat May Curb European Gas Demand, Prices Next Week Bollore Looking for Buyers for Africa Logistics Ops: Le Monde U.K. Offers Foreign Butchers Visas After 6,000 Pigs Culled Europe’s Car-Sales Crash Points to Worse Year Than Poor 2020 In FX, the Greenback was already losing momentum after a relatively tame bounce on the back of Thursday’s upbeat US initial claims data, and the index failed to sustain its recovery to retest intraday highs or remain above 94.000 on a closing basis. However, the Buck did reclaim some significant and psychological levels against G10, EM currencies and Gold that was relishing the benign yield environment and the last DXY price was marginally better than the 21 DMA from an encouraging technical standpoint. Nevertheless, the Dollar remains weaker vs most majors and in need of further impetus that may come via retail sales, NY Fed manufacturing and/or preliminary Michigan Sentiment before the spotlight switches to today’s Fed speakers featuring arch hawk Bullard and the more neutral Williams. GBP/NZD/NOK - Sterling has refuelled and recharged regardless of the ongoing UK-EU rift over NI Protocol, though perhaps in part due to the fact that concessions from Brussels are believed to have been greeted with welcome surprise by some UK Ministers. Cable has reclaimed 1.3700+ status, breached the 50 DMA (at 1.3716 today) and yesterday’s best to set a marginal new w-t-d peak around 1.3739, while Eur/Gbp is edging closer to 0.8450 having clearly overcome resistance at 1.1800 in the reciprocal cross. Similarly, the Kiwi continues to derive impetus from the softer Greenback and Aud/Nzd flows as Nzd/Usd extends beyond 0.7050 and the Antipodean cross inches nearer 1.0500 from 1.0600+ highs. Elsewhere, the Norwegian Crown is aiming to add 9.7500 to its list of achievements relative to the Euro with a boost from Brent topping Usd 85/brl at one stage and a wider trade surplus. CAD - The Loonie is also profiting from oil as WTI crude rebounds through Usd 82 and pulling further away from 1.5 bn option expiry interest between 1.2415-00 in the process, with Usd/Cad towards the base of 1.2337-82 parameters. EUR/AUD/CHF/SEK - All narrowly mixed and rangy vs the Greenback, or Euro in the case of the latter, as Eur/Usd continues to straddle 1.1600, Aud/Usd churn on the 0.7400 handle, the Franc meander from 0.9219 to 0.9246 and Eur/Sek skirt 10.0000 having dipped below the round number briefly on Thursday. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures remain on a firmer footing, aided up the overall constructive risk appetite coupled with some bullish technical developments, as WTI Nov surpassed USD 82/bbl (vs 81.39/bbl low) and Brent Dec briefly topped USD 85/bbl (vs 84.16/bbl low). There has been little in terms of fresh fundamental catalysts to drive the price action, although Russia's Gazprom Neft CEO hit the wires earlier and suggested that reserve production capacity could meet the increase in oil demand, whilst a seasonal decline in oil consumption is possible and the oil market will stabilise in the nearest future. On the Iranian JCPOA front, Iran said it is finalising steps to completing its negotiating team but they are absolutely decided to go back to Vienna discussions and conclude the negotiations, WSJ's Norman. The crude complex seems to have (for now) overlooked reports that the White House is engaged in diplomacy" with OPEC+ members regarding output. UK nat gas prices were higher as European players entered the fray, but prices have since waned off best levels after Russian Deputy PM Novak suggested that gas production in Russia is running at maximum capacity. Elsewhere, spot gold has been trundling amid yield-play despite lower despite the Buck being on the softer side of today’s range. Spot gold failed to hold onto USD 1,800/oz status yesterday and has subsequently retreated below its 200 DMA (1,794/oz) and makes its way towards the 50 DMA (1,776/oz). LME copper prices are on a firmer footing with prices back above USD 10,000/t – supported by technicals and the overall risk tone, although participants are cognizant of potential Chinese state reserves releases. Conversely, Dalian iron ore futures fell for a third straight session, with Rio Tinto also cutting its 2021 iron ore shipment forecasts due to dampened Chinese demand. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Retail Sales Advance MoM, est. -0.2%, prior 0.7% 8:30am: Sept. Retail Sales Ex Auto MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 1.8% 8:30am: Sept. Retail Sales Control Group, est. 0.5%, prior 2.5% 8:30am: Sept. Retail Sales Ex Auto and Gas, est. 0.3%, prior 2.0% 8:30am: Oct. Empire Manufacturing, est. 25.0, prior 34.3 8:30am: Sept. Import Price Index MoM, est. 0.6%, prior -0.3%; YoY, est. 9.4%, prior 9.0% 8:30am: Sept. Export Price Index MoM, est. 0.7%, prior 0.4%; YoY, prior 16.8% 10am: Aug. Business Inventories, est. 0.6%, prior 0.5% 10am: Oct. U. of Mich. 1 Yr Inflation, est. 4.7%, prior 4.6%; 5-10 Yr Inflation, prior 3.0% 10am: Oct. U. of Mich. Sentiment, est. 73.1, prior 72.8 10am: Oct. U. of Mich. Current Conditions, est. 81.2, prior 80.1 10am: Oct. U. of Mich. Expectations, est. 69.1, prior 68.1 DB's Jim Ried concludes the overnight wrap A few people asked me what I thought of James Bond. I can’t say without spoilers so if anyone wants my two sentence review I will cut and paste it to all who care and reply! At my age I was just impressed I sat for over three hours (including trailers) without needing a comfort break. By the time you email I will have also listened to the new Adele single which dropped at midnight so happy to include that review as well for free. While we’re on the subject of music, risk assets feel a bit like the most famous Chumbawamba song at the moment. They get knocked down and they get up again. Come to think about it that’s like James Bond too. Yesterday was a strong day with the S&P 500 (+1.71%) moving back to within 2.2% of its all-time closing high from last month. If they can survive all that has been thrown at them of late then one wonders where they’d have been without any of it. The strong session came about thanks to decent corporate earnings releases, a mini-collapse in real yields, positive data on US jobless claims, as well as a further fall in global Covid-19 cases that leaves them on track for an 8th consecutive weekly decline. However, inflation remained very much on investors’ radars, with a range of key commodities taking another leg higher, even as US data on producer prices was weaker than expected. Starting with the good news, the equity strength was across the board with the S&P 500 experiencing its best daily performance since March, whilst Europe’s STOXX 600 (+1.20%) also put in solid gains. It was an incredibly broad-based move higher, with every sector group in both indices rising on the day, with a remarkable 479 gainers in the S&P 500, which is the second-highest number we’ve seen over the last 18 months. Every one of the 24 S&P 500 industry groups rose, led by cyclicals such as semiconductors (+3.12%), transportation (+2.51%) and materials (+2.43%). A positive start to the Q3 earnings season buoyed sentiment, as a number of US banks (+1.45%) reported yesterday, all of whom beat analyst estimates. In fact, of the nine S&P 500 firms to report yesterday, eight outperformed analyst expectations. Weighing in on recent macro themes, Bank of America Chief, Brian Moynihan, noted that the current bout of inflation is “clearly not temporary”, but also that he expects consumer demand to remain robust and that supply chains will have to adjust. I’m sure we’ll hear more from executives as earnings season continues today. Alongside those earnings releases, yesterday saw much better than expected data on the US labour market, which makes a change from last week’s underwhelming jobs report that showed the slowest growth in nonfarm payrolls so far this year. In terms of the details, the weekly initial jobless claims for the week through October 9, which is one of the most timely indicators we get, fell to a post-pandemic low of 293k (vs. 320k expected). That also saw the 4-week moving average hit a post-pandemic low of 334.25k, just as the continuing claims number for the week through October 2 hit a post-pandemic low of 2.593m (vs. 2.670m expected). We should get some more data on the state of the US recovery today, including September retail sales, alongside the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index for October. That optimism has fed through into Asian markets overnight, with the Nikkei (+1.43%), the Hang Seng (+0.86%), the Shanghai Comp (+0.29%) and the KOSPI (+0.93%) all moving higher. That came as Bloomberg reported that China would loosen restrictions on home loans amidst the concerns about Evergrande. And we also got formal confirmation that President Biden had signed the debt-limit increase that the House had passed on Tuesday, which extends the ceiling until around December 3. Equity futures are pointing to further advances in the US and Europe later on, with those on the S&P 500 (+0.30%) and the STOXX 50 (+0.35%) both moving higher. Even with the brighter news, inflation concerns are still very much with us however, and yesterday in fact saw Bloomberg’s Commodity Spot Index (+1.16%) advance to yet another record high, exceeding the previous peak from early last week. That was partly down to the continued rise in oil prices, with WTI (+1.08%) closing at $81.31/bbl, its highest level since 2014, just as Brent Crude (+0.99%) hit a post-2018 high of $84.00/bbl. Both have posted further gains this morning of +0.58% and +0.61% respectively. Those moves went alongside further rises in natural gas prices, which rose for a 3rd consecutive session, albeit they’re still beneath their peak from earlier in the month, as futures in Europe (+9.14%), the US (+1.74%) and the UK (+9.26%) all moved higher. And that rise in Chinese coal futures we’ve been mentioning also continued, with their rise today currently standing at +13.86%, which brings their gains over the week as a whole to +39.02% so far. As well as energy, industrial metals were another segment where the recent rally showed no sign of abating yesterday. On the London metal exchange, a number of multi-year milestones were achieved, with aluminum prices (+1.60%) up to their highest levels since 2008, just as zinc prices (+3.73%) closed at their highest level since 2018. Separately, copper prices (+2.56%) hit a 4-month high, and other winners yesterday included iron ore futures in Singapore (+1.16%), as well as nickel (+1.99%) and lead (+2.43%) prices in London. With all this momentum behind commodities, inflation expectations posted further advances yesterday. Indeed, the 10yr US Breakeven closed +1.0bps higher at 2.536%, which is just 3bps shy of its closing peak back in May that marked its highest level since 2013. And those moves came in spite of US producer price data that came in weaker than expected, with the monthly increase in September at +0.5% (vs. +0.6% expected). That was the smallest rise so far this year, though that still sent the year-on-year number up to +8.6% (vs. +8.7% expected). That rise in inflation expectations was echoed in Europe too, with the 10yr UK breakeven (+5.6bps) closing at its highest level since 2008, whilst its German counterpart also posted a modest +0.7bps rise. In spite of the rise in inflation expectations, sovereign bonds posted gains across the board as the moves were outweighed by the impact of lower real rates. By the end of yesterday’s session, yields on 10yr Treasuries were down -2.6bps to 1.527%, which came as the 10yr real yield moved back beneath -1% for the first time in almost a month. Likewise in Europe, yields pushed lower throughout the session, with those on 10yr bunds (-6.3bps), OATs (-6.2bps) and BTPs (-7.1bps) all moving aggressively lower. To the day ahead now, and US data releases include September retail sales, the University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for October, and the Empire State manufacturing survey for October. Central bank speakers include the Fed’s Bullard and Williams, and earnings releases include Charles Schwab and Goldman Sachs. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 07:50.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

3 Sectors Looking Up Ahead of Q3 Earnings Despite COVID-19 Woes

There has been notable job gains in automotive, hospitality, retail, social assistance and in professional and business services through the past few months. Analyzing the job market data for the third-quarter months is undoubtedly one of the best ways for investors looking to play the upcoming earnings season. Despite a strong rise in COVID-19 cases, thanks to the more lethal Delta strain, the unemployment rate declined through the quarter.However, the actual picture is not as bright as it seems.Q3 Job Market TrendIn July and August, the job market gained consistently, reflecting a stable economy. In July, nonfarm payrolls increased by 943,000 (the highest since August 2020). In August, unemployment rates were lower in 15 states and the District of Columbia and stable in 35 states. Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 11 states, decreased in three states, and was unchanged in 36 states and the District — per the data by the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics.The official job market data for the month of September has not been released yet. However, going by a Wall Street Journal report of Oct 3, The Wall Street Journal economists estimate that the department’s September employment report, to be released on Friday (Oct 8), will show the jobless rate dropping to 5.1% from 5.2% in August, 5.4% in July and from nearly 15% in the spring of last year.This seems to be a better picture compared to the past COVID-hit quarters. However, a declining unemployment rate can only show an improving labor market health if it reflects an increase in job growth. Unfortunately, the above trend reflects a lack of job seekers in the market, indicating a slow-moving labor-force participation rate. The Wall Street Journal report estimates the labor-force participation rate to be at or below 61.7% since April, significantly down from 63.4% in January 2020 (the pre-pandemic days).Fed's Unchanged Outlook ConcernsMany market watchers had expected that amid the declining unemployment rate through the months of the third quarter, the COVID-induced monetary stimulus might get significantly tapered. During the economic crisis, several stimulus measures were launched mainly in the form of rate cuts and bond purchases.However, the federal reserve kept its monetary policy intact and also raised its inflation rate projection, strongly indicating a dented economic recovery in the third quarter.As published in the U.S. News, Joe LaVorgna, chief economist of the Americas for Natixis CIB stated that the economy has boomed over the past 12 months but is poised to slow down in the second half of this year. This has forced many of the investment firms to taper the Q3 growth forecasts of the stocks.The entire scenario is dragging market sentiments down.Hit Sectors Before Q3 ReleasesApart from the different arms of healthcare providing support amid the pandemic like therapeutic and vaccine makers, diagnostic testing companies as well as critical care support providers, automotive, hospitality, retail, social assistance, and professional and business services witnessed notable job gains through the third quarter. Technology companies also boosted investor confidence with a consistent rally through the third quarter.3 Sectors to Bet on NowAlready a lot has been said about the growing prosperity of the digital health sector over the past few months. Digital health has sustained its strong growth momentum in the second half of 2021, thanks to the growing demand for contactless services surrounding the more infectious new virus variants. Market watchers claim that, even beyond the pandemic, digital health is expected to maintain this strength as healthcare professionals and patients leverage its benefits.In fact, per a report by Research and Markets, the U.S. digital health market is expected to be worth $191.64 billion in 2025, witnessing a CAGR of 28.4% during the forecast period (2021-2025). Therefore, the digital health boom is here to stay and investors eyeing this space can capitalize on it backed by certain trends that can drive this market’s performance in 2021.With respect to this, among the medical infotech players, adding Computer Programs and Systems, Inc. CPSI and Omnicell, Inc. OMCL to one’s portfolio seems prudent as both these Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) companies are expected to report solid third-quarter earnings growth of 21.7% and 46.1% respectively.Our next focus area is the U.S. auto industry. This industry is currently on a growth track, banking on the growing demand for vehicles and favorable credit conditions. While low inventory levels amid the global chip crunch might act as a temporary headwind, the industry’s overall outlook appears promising.The soaring popularity of electric vehicles is spiking sales volumes. Also, rapid digitization has been paying off well and is set to further boost the prospects of the industry participants.At present, we ask investors to resort to stocks like AutoNation, Inc. AN and Group 1 Automotive, Inc. GPI, which have third-quarter expected earnings growth rate of 123.6% and 83.6% respectively. Both the companies sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at this moment. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The onslaught of COVID-19 seems to have permanently limited consumers’ outdoor exposure. In such a situation, the Internet software space is benefiting from accelerated demand for digital transformation and the ongoing shift to cloud. High demand for SaaS due to the increasing need for remote working, learning and diagnosis software as well as cybersecurity applications has been a major driving factor amid the disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak.Here, we suggest investors to snap up Zacks Rank #1 stocks like Paycom Software, Inc. PAYC and Jiayin Group Inc. JFIN. These stocks also have stellar earnings growth estimate of 26.4% and 87.5% respectively for the third quarter of 2021. 5 Stocks Set to Double Each was handpicked by a Zacks expert as the #1 favorite stock to gain +100% or more in 2021. Previous recommendations have soared +143.0%, +175.9%, +498.3% and +673.0%. Most of the stocks in this report are flying under Wall Street radar, which provides a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.Today, See These 5 Potential Home Runs >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Omnicell, Inc. (OMCL): Free Stock Analysis Report AutoNation, Inc. (AN): Free Stock Analysis Report Group 1 Automotive, Inc. (GPI): Free Stock Analysis Report Computer Programs and Systems, Inc. (CPSI): Free Stock Analysis Report Paycom Software, Inc. (PAYC): Free Stock Analysis Report Jiayin Group Inc. Sponsored ADR (JFIN): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 4th, 2021

5 S&P 500 Energy Stocks That Thrived in a Shaky September

Let's take a deep look into the S&P 500's only sector to close up in September - Energy - and its high flyers, COG, FANG, COP, DVN and EOG. Staying true to history, U.S. equities had a rough time in September. The S&P 500 was down 4.8% last month, while the Dow and the Nasdaq lost about 4.4% and 5.4%, respectively. In particular, the S&P 500 — regarded as one of the finest reflections of the stock market as a whole — not only recorded its worst monthly performance since March last year but also snapped a seven-month streak of gains. The index’s negative return reflects inflation fears, anxiety over a budget deal and sector rotations out of technology and growth stocks.Energy: The Only Sector in the Green in SeptemberDespite S&P 500’s September slump, a particular group of stocks stood out.On the sectoral front, it was Oil/Energy that topped the S&P standings for the month of September with a gain of 6.9% while all others lost value. The space has significantly outperformed the market, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR — an assortment of the largest U.S. energy companies, popularly known by its ticker, XLE — rebounding nearly 130% from its lockdown lows in March last year, fueled by a constructive demand picture. To be precise, the energy index has generated a total return of 42% in 2021 so far compared with the S&P 500’s 18.4%.The market recovery is gaining steam at a faster-than-expected pace as investors welcome the reality of a post-vaccine world amid a supportive macro backdrop and robust fundamentals. Widespread COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, the ongoing government stimulus, shale players’ conservative approach to production ramp-up and the OPEC+ supply curtailments have contributed to this positive energy setup. Mobility restrictions have been rolled back and most parts of the economy have reopened.As a matter of fact, domestic crude supplies are now at their lowest levels since October 2018, with U.S. commercial stockpiles down some 18% since mid-March. There is also a marked improvement in fuel demand on the back of rebounding road and airline travel. With all the tailwinds, the U.S. benchmark rose 9.5% in September and hit a three-year high settlement of $75.45 on Monday.Meanwhile, natural gas moved past $5.80 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) in trading on Thursday to finish the day at $5.867. This was the highest settlement since February 2014. Natural gas saw a monthly gain of 34% and has more than doubled year to date. The impressive rally is the result of slow restoration of hurricane-affected operations, anticipated pre-winter supply crunch and surging consumption in Europe and Asia.While most energy investors have had something to cheer about in September, some stocks certainly performed better than the others. The five largest contributors to the monthly gains were Cabot Oil & Gas COG, Diamondback Energy FANG, ConocoPhillips COP, Devon Energy DVN and EOG Resources EOG.Will these winners maintain their run in the fourth quarter too, or will they flop toward the end of the year? Here's a summary of them:Cabot Oil & Gas: Cabot is an independent gas exploration company, with producing properties mainly in the continental United States. The company owns around 175,000 net acres in the dry gas window of the Marcellus play.In the last reported quarter, Cabot came out with adjusted earnings per share of 26 cents, below the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 27 cents. The company’s bottom line was affected by lower-than-anticipated production volumes.This stock outperformed the other companies and was up 36.9% during the period, ranking first on the S&P 500 list. But it appears that there is not much room for an upside as the company’s proposed combination with oil-focused Cimarex Energy XEC has not found many takers. With no acreage overlap, the strategic rationale behind the amalgamation of Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) Cabot (a natural gas operator in the Appalachian Marcellus shale basin) and Cimarex, which primarily drills for oil in the Permian and Anadarko basins, remains vague.Diamondback Energy: Diamondback Energy focuses on growth through a combination of acquisitions and active drilling in the Permian Basin. Diamondback's leading position in the unconventional play got another leg up with the recently completed takeover of QEP Resources.Diamondback’s second-quarter bottom line came in above expectations, led by better-than-expected production. The company reported adjusted earnings of $2.40 per share, which surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2.25.This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock ended 22.7% higher in the last month. Diamondback appears well positioned with its low-cost structure and investment-grade balance sheet, which should allow it to thrive in the ongoing commodity upcycle. The company also approved a new share repurchase program worth $2 billion in September. However, as crude accounts for the major part of Diamondback’s reserves and production, the company’s results are vulnerable to fluctuations in oil markets. Its relatively high debt level also remains a cause of worry.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.ConocoPhillips: Founded in 1875, Houston, TX-based ConocoPhillips is one of the world’s largest independent oil and gas producers. The company holds a bulk of acres in the unconventional plays of North America.ConocoPhillips reported second-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.27 per share, comfortably beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.15. The better-than-expected bottom line could be attributed to increased production volumes due to the Concho Resources acquisition and rising realized commodity prices.This Zacks Rank #3 stock was the third-best sector performer in the S&P 500 Index, with shares appreciating 22% in the past month. Some of the gains came after ConocoPhillps became the second-largest hydrocarbon producer in the Lower 48 with the $9.5-billion Permian acquisition from Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A). However, the company’s increasing operating and production expenses could limit share price gains.Devon Energy: Devon is an independent energy company whose oil and gas operations are mainly concentrated in the onshore areas of North America, primarily in the United States. The company’s assets are spread across the key oil assets of Delaware Basin, Eagle Ford, Anadarko Basin and Powder River Basin.In the last reported quarter, Devon Energy reported adjusted earnings of 60 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 53 cents per share by 13.21%. The outperformance reflects higher-than-expected production.Devon, carrying a Zacks Rank #3, rallied 21.8% in September. The company’s recent merger with WPX Energy has strengthened its operations in the prolific Permian Basin. Devon’s cost management, divestiture of Canadian assets, and completion of the Barnett Shale gas assets sale will allow it to focus on its holdings in four high-quality, oil-rich U.S. basins. The company’s innovative dividend policy should also attract investors. However, the stock’s upside will be limited by product cost inflation and the volatility in oil/gas prices.EOG Resources: EOG Resources is a top-tier U.S. shale play. The United States accounts for more than 92% of the total production volumes, with the Eagle Ford and Delaware Basin being the primary contributors. Internationally, the company has operations in China and Trinidad.EOG Resources delivered better-than-expected second-quarter 2021 bottom line due to increased commodity prices and production volumes. The company, which pays a special dividend along with a regular dividend, reported adjusted earnings per share of $1.73, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.54.The upstream operator saw its stock surge 18.88% in September. EOG Resources should benefit from its attractive growth profile, a huge inventory of drilling opportunities, upper quartile returns and a disciplined management team. But this #3 Ranked oil and gas finder’s near-term stock price appreciation is likely to be under pressure due to rising lease and well operating costs.  Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Devon Energy Corporation (DVN): Free Stock Analysis Report ConocoPhillips (COP): Free Stock Analysis Report Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG): Free Stock Analysis Report EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG): Free Stock Analysis Report Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 1st, 2021

5 Smaller Dividend Payers with Bright Prospects

Small and mid-caps look attractive today. September was depressing to say the least, with the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq losing 4.2%, 4.8% and 5.6%, respectively -- a clear indication that larger-cap stocks are bearing the brunt of the market turmoil, as various issues related to the supply chain, inflation, the Fed, the debt ceiling and so on came to a head.The fact that we’re in between earnings seasons also isn’t helping the market, although third-quarter beat-and-raises are unlikely to be as attractive as the second.And all the disappointment is despite the fact that we have a robust manufacturing sector, a return of the services sector, a likely strong holiday season and a receding of the Delta variant. So obviously, when money is pulling out of the big names, it’s getting invested elsewhere. That’s what I thought of exploring today with some really safe stocks.I have been avoiding large-cap names for the most part this month and the group I’ve chosen today is no different. These players fall in the small and mid-cap segment and have some broader market-related positives going for them. They also have the distinction of a Zacks #1 or #2 rank, Value and Growth Scores of A or B. They pay a dividend that has been growing in the recent past. What’s more, brokers seem to like them.So let’s get started.As a result of the reopening, there were notable job gains across the professional and business services, transportation and warehousing, and private education segments in August. Infection rates going down, manufacturing and industrial activity remaining robust, the services sector picking up and new job openings continuing to rise are highly conducive market conditions for workforce solutions providers, whether engaged in the supply of office products or staffing. Schools are also reopening, with an increasing number of students opting for in-person education most of the time, which is a positive for companies offering supplies to both schools and offices. A couple of stocks to tap this potential are ACCO and MAN. They are followed by KBR, which is a solid bet because of its end market focus, steady cash flows and visibility. Then comes FAF, which is all about data and digitization momentum, followed by KT, which is the dominant telecom player in South Korea undergoing massive digital transformation.Acco Brands Corp. (ACCO)ACCO Brands designs, manufactures, and markets consumer, school, technology and office products. It operates through the North America, EMEA and International segments.Some of its popular brands are AT-A-GLANCE, Barrilito, Derwent, Esselte, Five Star, Foroni, GBC, Hilroy, Kensington, Leitz, Marbig, Mead, NOBO, PowerA, Quartet, Rapid, Rexel, Swingline, Tilibra, TruSens, Spirax, and Wilson Jones.The company has its own direct sales force and ecommerce platform, but also sells through mass retailers; e-tailers; discount, drug/grocery and variety chains; warehouse clubs; hardware and specialty stores; independent office product dealers; office superstores; wholesalers; contract stationers; and technology specialty businesses.The Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company is undergoing a strategic transformation of its business toward faster-growing consumer-centric categories, which along with reopening demand and the recently-acquired PowerA business drove strong results across segments and geographies in the June quarter. As a result, the company beat estimates by 59.3% with estimates also edging higher.ACCO is seeing significant opportunities in both existing and new categories that it is well positioned to tap going forward. Analysts expect 98.6% earnings growth this year followed by 12.5% growth in the next. This is expected to come on revenue growth of 22.5% and 4.3%, respectively.It recently named its North America head as the President and Chief Operating Officer of the company.Zacks has a Value Score of A and Growth Score of B on the shares, indicating that they are a solid buy for investors looking for capital appreciation. There’s also a dividend that yields 2.95% and represents a 5-year historical dividend growth 3.5%.Brokers also like this stock given that the average broker rating of 1.25 translates to a Strong Buy rating from them.A Price/Sales valuation yields a 0.46X multiple, which indicates that investors are currently undervaluing its sales.ManpowerGroup Inc. (MAN)ManpowerGroup is one of the leading providers of innovative workforce solutions and services across the world. The company has a well-established network of 2,500 offices in 75 countries and territories. The company provides a wide range of staffing solutions as well as engagement and consulting services through its four major brands - Manpower (contingent staffing and permanent recruitment), ManpowerGroup Solutions (outsourcing services for large-scale recruiting) and Experis (Professional Resourcing and project-based workforce solutions).Two-thirds of revenue comes from Europe (44% in the South and 22% in the North), Americas accounts for a fifth (21%) with the balance coming from Asia Pacific & Middle East (APME) (13%).The Zacks Rank #2 company recently surveyed 42,000 employers across 43 countries, finding that 69% of employers globally (a 15-year high) are having difficulty hiring skilled workers across many industries. The difficulty seems to be the greatest in the U.S., with 73% of employers reporting difficulties, compared to the global average of 69%. Also, employers report the highest fourth-quarter hiring prospects than all other countries with IT expected to be the strongest, followed by financial services and then transportation and utilities.   Management believes that the difficulty is partly related to a skills gap, and partly to pandemic related issues, such as healthcare and child care concerns that should be alleviated before long. Digitization and structural changes to the labor market are likely to remain longer term issues.This means hiring of skilled talent and supporting people to reskill and upskill for growth roles will be a driver of demand into the foreseeable future.No wonder, then, that MAN beat June quarter expectations by 42.3% with estimates climbing higher thereafter. Nor is it surprising that analysts currently expect earnings growth of 93.2% in 2021 and 20.9% in 2022 coming on revenue growth of 16.0% and 4.9%, respectively.The shares carry Zacks Value and Growth Scores of A, and if you’re still not convinced, there’s a dividend that yields 2.3%. The 5-year historical dividend growth is 7.5%.The average broker rating of 1.78 translates to a Buy rating.The P/S multiple is just 0.3X, indicating that this may be a good time to jump in.KBR, Inc. (KBR)KBR is a global engineering, construction and services firm, with a focus on global energy and government services. It currently operates in 40+ countries, serving customers in 80+ countries.Its two main business segments are Government Solutions (GS) and Sustainable Technology Solutions (STS). GS, accounting for 70% of revenues, focuses exclusively on long-term service contracts for the United Kingdom, Australian and the U.S. governments that generate annuity-like revenues. STS, accounting for the rest, comprises an advisory practice for energy transition and net-zero carbon emission consulting; technology-led industrial solutions for innovative digital operation and maintenance; and advanced remote operations capabilities to improve throughput, reliability and environmental sustainability.KBR is well positioned in important market segments involving national security, defense modernization, energy transition and sustainability. And the nature of the business calls for long-term agreements. Therefore, there is growth on the one hand and stability on the other. Management is also transitioning the business away from lower-margin high-volume business with the goal of meeting longer-term targets.In the last quarter, the company did very well on that objective on the back of solid revenue growth, improved profitability, a growing backlog of orders and strong cash flows. As a result, the cash guidance for the year was raised. The solid cash flows are a key reason for investing in this stock.Estimates for 2021 and 2022 have moved higher after the Zacks Rank #2 company reported solid June quarter results, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 20.8%. Analysts currently expect earnings growth of 24.9% this year on revenue growth of 4.9%. For 2022, they currently expect revenue and earnings to grow a respective 4.9% and 12.7%.Zacks has Value and Growth Scores of B on the stock, so they should be attractive to pretty much everybody. And there’s also a dividend that yields 1.12%. The 5-year historical dividend growth is 6.4%.The average broker rating of 1.50 translates to a Buy rating on the shares.At 0.95X P/S, the shares are trading close to their fair value. So if you want  a piece of the action, there’s not much time to lose.First American Financial Corp. (FAF)Headquartered in Santa Ana, CA, First American Financial serves homebuyers and sellers, real estate professionals, loan originators and servicers, commercial property professionals, homebuilders and others involved in residential and commercial property transactions with products and services specific to their needs.The core business lines include title insurance and closing/settlement services; property data and automated title plant records and images; home warranty products; property and casualty insurance; banking, trust and wealth management services; and other related products and services. It also offers banking services via First American Trust that enhances agents’ efficiency and lowers risk.First American provides financial services through its Title Insurance and Services segment (92% revenue share) and its Specialty Insurance segment (8%).The company’s data assets comprise a competitive differentiator, helping both revenue generation and profitability. The current building phase (to be completed by year-end) will bring around 80% of all real estate transactions into its databases. It is already capturing virtually every data point on 7.5 million documents per month, up from around 5 million last quarter. This is expected to facilitate the automation of underwriting decisions, while moving manual processes online. Additionally, it is developing cloud-based digital productivity tools like IgniteRE and ClarityFirst that are designed to help client operations and expand relationships.   #2 ranked FAF posted strong second quarter earnings, beating expectations by 30.7%, which was followed by upward revision in 2021 and 2022 estimates. Analysts currently expect revenue and earnings to grow a respective 12.0% and 28.3% this year. While a decline in revenue and earnings is expected next year, this may not ultimately materialize and even if it does, it’s worth noting that both revenue and earnings have been growing exponentially since the pandemic first hit. So they are very unlikely to fall below 2019 levels.The Zacks Value Score of A and Growth Score of B support investment in the shares, as does the dividend, which currently yields 3.02%. The 5-year historical dividend growth 7.1%.Brokers are also positive about this stock and the average broker rating of 1.67 represents a Buy rating.At a P/S multiple of 0.89, the shares aren’t expensive.KT Corp. KTSeoul-based KT Corp. is South Korea’s largest telecom company. Its core business includes mobile services (5G, 4G LTE and 3G W-CDMA), where it has a market share of 31.6%; fixed-line and VoIP telephone services, where it has a market share of 56.8%; and broadband Internet access services, where its market share was 41.1% as of Dec 2020.Ancillary/other business includes media and content services, including IPTV, satellite TV, digital music services, e-commerce services, online advertising consulting services and digital comics and novels services; financial services, including credit card processing and other financial services; IT and network services and rental of real estate by KT Estate; and sale of handsets and miscellaneous telecom equipment, as well as residential units and commercial real estate developed by KT Estate.Mobile services comprised 28% of revenue, fixed-line 20%, media and content services 11%, financial services 14%, other services 13% and goods sales (mainly handsets) the balance.The company is transforming itself into a massive digital platform encompassing financial, commercial and content channels. In the last quarter, the transition of its B2B business to a subscription model remained on track. The business grew 6.2% with the company pursuing new opportunities like AI robots. The traditional telecom business didn’t falter either. Subs were up 533K, ARPU increased 3% while broadband revenue increased 2.1%.This is a very stable company, being one of only three major operators in the region. Its dividend yields 3.74% and its 5-year historical growth is 6.1%.The Zacks Rank #2 stock with a Value Score of A, Growth Score of Bis expected to grow earnings 36.0% this year.Brokers agree on its solid prospects. Their average rating of 1.00 translates to a Strong Buy recommendation.Valuation of 0.31X P/S is another attraction. Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report ManpowerGroup Inc. (MAN): Free Stock Analysis Report KT Corporation (KT): Free Stock Analysis Report KBR, Inc. (KBR): Free Stock Analysis Report First American Financial Corporation (FAF): Free Stock Analysis Report Acco Brands Corporation (ACCO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 1st, 2021

Oil & Gas Stock Roundup Headlined by Chevron & Diamondback

Apart from Chevron (CVX) and Diamondback Energy (FANG) there was news from Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), Helmerich & Payne (HP) and Suncor Energy (SU) during the week. It was a week when oil prices bounced back above $70 and natural gas futures registered their highest settlement since February 2014.On the news front, American biggie Chevron CVX broke down its future shift toward an environmentally friendly direction, while shale specialist Diamondback Energy FANG approved a new buyback plan.Overall, it was another good week for the sector. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures moved up 3.2% to close at $71.97 per barrel and natural gas prices gained 3.4% to reach $5.105 per million British thermal units (MMBtu). Overall, both commodities managed to maintain their forward momentum from the previous three weeks.Coming back to the week ended Sep 17, oil prices rose, underpinned by a report from the Energy Information Administration ("EIA") that showed draws in crude and fuel stockpiles. The commodity was also boosted by the major international forecasters’ encouraging view on oil demand growth next year.Natural gas climbed too, buoyed by the slow restoration of hurricane-affected operations, late-season hot weather and strong LNG export demand.Recap of the Week’s Most-Important Stories1.  At its recent environment-themed presentation titled Energy Transition Spotlight, Chevron said that it will invest 200% more in lower-carbon businesses in the next seven years but stopped short of committing any timeline toward achieving net-zero operations.The U.S. oil major set clear targets to ramp up renewable natural gas output to 40,000 million British thermal units (MMBtu) per day by 2030, while growing hydrogen production to 150,000 tons annually. Besides, the company is rapidly expanding its renewable fuels footprint with daily production capacity estimated to reach 100,000 barrels by the end of this decade, in addition to increasing carbon offsets to 25 million tons per year.As part of this plan, the American energy giant will invest $10 billion in clean energy through 2028, more than triple the $3 billion earmarked earlier. Of the total, $3 billion each will be spent on renewable fuels and carbon capture/storage/offsets, $2 billion on hydrogen, while $2 billion is planned to be used to reduce the emissions intensity of the company’s portfolio. (Key Highlights From Chevron's ESG Investor Day)2.   Shares of Diamondback Energy gained more than 3% on Sep 17, a day after the energy player stated that its plans to distribute 50% of free cash flow to investors were expedited. Beginning fourth quarter of this year, this Permian producer’s business will return free cash flow through its basic dividend and additional shareholder return methods.In order to support this return promise, the Midland, TX-headquartered independent energy firm’s board approved a new share repurchase program worth $2 billion, which was implemented with immediate effect. The move underscores the company’s sound financial position and its commitment to reward its shareholders.A much-improved commodity price scenario and the economic recovery contributed to the balance sheet strength of the energy companies like Diamondback. Benefiting from their robust fundamentals, their cash from operations is now covering capital spending. This provides a sustainable financial framework for these firms to increase cash returns to their shareholders. (Diamondback Shares Gain on $2B Buyback Acceleration)3.  Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) has made a final investment decision to construct an 820,000-tonne-per-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam in the Netherlands. When completed, the plant will be one of the largest in Europe for producing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and renewable diesel from trash.The new plant will help the Netherlands and the rest of Europe in meeting the globally mandated carbon reduction goals. It will also assist the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Europe-based energy multinational in meeting its objective of becoming a net-zero emissions energy firm by 2050, in line with society's progress toward the Paris Agreement's climate targets.You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The biofuels plant in Rotterdam is anticipated to start producing in 2024. Using innovative technology created by Shell, it will manufacture low-carbon fuels such as renewable diesel from waste in the form of used cooking oil, waste animal fat, and other agricultural and manufacturing residual items. (Shell to Build Dutch Biofuels Facility to Cut Emissions)4.   Helmerich & Payne HP recently announced a strategic collaboration with The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (“ADNOC”) and its subsidiary ADNOC Drilling Company wherein ADNOC Drilling will purchase eight FlexRig land rigs from the contract drilling services provider for $86.5 million. Following this buyout, the company will make a $100-million cornerstone investment in ADNOC Drilling's recently announced initial public offering (“IPO”).Earlier, ADNOC expressed its plan to list a 7.5% minority stake in ADNOC Drilling on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in an IPO, reflecting the continuous development, strength and relevance in the Middle Eastern capital city's financial market. ADNOC, a renowned diversified energy and petrochemicals company, and Helmerich & Payne will remain ADNOC Drilling's dedicated, long-term stockholders.The above agreement will help Helmerich & Payne achieve its goal of deploying capital worldwide, especially in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) area, by boosting its entry into the lucrative and rapidly-rising Abu Dhabi market as a vital platform for further regional expansion. (Helmerich & Payne to Pump $100M Into ADNOC Drilling IPO)5.  Suncor Energy SU recently reached agreements with eight indigenous communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to buy the entire 15% equity stake in Canada's Northern Courier Pipeline Limited Partnership held by TC Energy TRPThe partnership, which comprises Suncor, three First Nations, and five Métis communities will hold a 15% interest in this pipeline asset worth roughly C$1.3 billion, which will generate long- term, consistent earnings that will aid the communities for decades ahead.Suncor will run the pipeline that connects its Fort Hills oil production in Alberta to its East Tank Farm asset after the acquisition is completed. Canada's premier integrated energy company stated that the collaboration is projected to generate gross revenues of around C$16 million per year for its partners and offer stable income. Subject to usual closing conditions and regulatory clearances, the deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2021. (Suncor, Indigenous Partners Buy Canadian Pipeline Stake)Price PerformanceThe following table shows the price movement of some major oil and gas players over the past week and during the last six months.Company    Last Week    Last 6 MonthsXOM              +2.2%                -4.1%CVX               +0.7%               -7.5%COP              +5.7%               +13.6%OXY               +7.8%               -7.4%SLB               +5.7%               -2.6%RIG                -4%                   -11.9%VLO               +3.5%               -12.5%MPC              +3.5%               +8.4%The Energy Select Sector SPDR — a popular way to track energy companies — was up 3.2% last week. The best performer was oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum OXY whose stock climbed 7.8%.Over the past six months, the sector tracker has inched up 0.6%. Upstream biggie ConocoPhillips (COP) was the major gainer during the period, experiencing a 13.6% price appreciation.What’s Next in the Energy World?As the global oil consumption outlook strengthens amid tightening fundamentals, market participants will be closely tracking the regular releases to watch for signs that could further validate the upward momentum. In this context, the U.S. government’s statistics on oil and natural gas — one of the few solid indicators that come out regularly — will be on energy traders' radar. Data on rig count from the oilfield service firm Baker Hughes, which is a pointer to trends in U.S. crude production, is closely followed too. News related to coronavirus vaccine approval/rollout/distribution will be of utmost importance. Finally, investors will be keeping an eye on the health of China’s economy following the Evergrande crisis. More Stock News: This Is Bigger than the iPhone! It could become the mother of all technological revolutions. Apple sold a mere 1 billion iPhones in 10 years but a new breakthrough is expected to generate more than 77 billion devices by 2025, creating a $1.3 trillion market. Zacks has just released a Special Report that spotlights this fast-emerging phenomenon and 4 tickers for taking advantage of it. If you don't buy now, you may kick yourself in 2022.Click here for the 4 trades >>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 Chevron Corporation (CVX): Free Stock Analysis Report Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A): Free Stock Analysis Report Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP): Free Stock Analysis Report Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY): Free Stock Analysis Report Suncor Energy Inc. (SU): Free Stock Analysis Report TC Energy Corporation (TRP): Free Stock Analysis Report Diamondback Energy, Inc. (FANG): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 23rd, 2021

Dow Jumps Over 140 Points as Jobless Claims Continue to Decline

Dow Jumps Over 140 Points as Jobless Claims Continue to Decline A new pandemic-era low for jobless claims was the highlight of another light session on Thursday, as investors prepare for the Memorial Day weekend. Stocks managed to end mostly higher. Bolstered by a good day for recovery stocks, the Dow had the best performance today by rising 0.41% (or about 140 points) to 34,464.64. Not surprisingly, it also has the biggest gain for the month of May at nearly 1.7% with one day to go. Investors may be concerned about inflation right now, but they’re also pretty excited about ending this pandemic and getting back to normal. The S&P advanced 0.12% to 4200.88, while the NASDAQ had a tiny decline of 0.01% (or less than 2 points) to 13,736.28. These indices are up 0.5% and down 1.6%, respectively, in May so far. The economy saw only 406,000 jobless claims last week, which was the fourth straight decline as the trend has been very favorable for a while now. The result was also better than expectations at 425K and the previous week’s result of 444K. It was another low volume session on Thursday, unless of course you’re talking about the meme stocks. Speculative buying is heating up again and this time its being exemplified by AMC Entertainment (AMC), which finished the day higher by more than 35%. It was up by nearly 50% earlier. In case you were wondering, good old GameStop (GME) was part of the fun too with a rise of nearly 4.8%. The big earnings report of the day in this waning season was Salesforce (CRM), which announced earnings that topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate by more than 37% with revenue that was up 23% year over year. The cloud software company also offered a guidance that was above expectations. Most impressively though, shares of CRM are up approximately 5% afterhours, as of this writing. Shares of NVIDIA (NVDA), which was yesterday’s main earnings report, were down 1.35% on Thursday. Despite having the worst performance for May, the NASDAQ is looking very solid this week with a gain of just under 2% through the first four days. The S&P goes into Friday up by about 1%, while the Dow is up 0.8%. Tomorrow is expected to be super slow, so these results are probably close to how we finish the week. We’ll see... Today's Portfolio Highlights: Large-Cap Trader: This is the penultimate session of May 2021 and just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, so it’s a great time for John to make his monthly adjustment. On Thursday, the editor sold three names for double-digit returns each! The stocks sold today were Logitech (LOGI) for 15.7%, Evercore (EVER) for 13.9% and SYNNEX (SNX) for 12.8%. LOGI had been in the portfolio for four months, while EVER and SNX were each part of the service for two months. The new buys are: • Apple Computer (AAPL) • NetApp (NTAP) • Huntsman Chemical (HUN) These three large-caps are all major players in their respective fields, which are also highly-ranked industries. They are also Zacks Rank #2s (Buys) with positive earnings surprises in their most recent reports. In fact, each of these names have averaged double-digit beats over the past four quarters. John believes they will do well in the current environment, so he added each with 7% allocations. Read the full write-up for more on all of today’s moves, including an additional bonus idea. Counterstrike: Shares of Airbnb (ABNB) have been chopping around since a nice earnings beat of 20% a few weeks ago. However, its finally found some post-earnings buying interest after a couple upgrades. It certainly caught Jeremy’s attention, who decided to add this popular homestay site on Thursday with an 11% allocation. The editor also added 3% to Boyd Gaming (BYD), which brings it up to a full 15% position. He has a lot of confidence in the stock after it broke the 50-day MA resistance. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves. Stocks Under $10: In a recent update, Brian noted that Freightcar America (RAIL) has “moved up and down in big swings”, which is very unlike a railroad track. Well on Thursday, the stock was on an uptrend and was actually the best performer among all ZU names with a jump of a little over 12%. This portfolio had another name in the top five as well with Cassava Sciences (SAVA, +9.2%), which is the best performer in the portfolio with an impressive surge of more than 650% in under five months! One more thing, this service also has the best performer over the past 30 days with GT Biopharma (GTBP) jumping nearly 41%. Commodity Innovators: The first-quarter report for leading steel producer Nucor (NUE) back in April was fine, but the company says the second quarter will be the highest earnings in its history! The stock has been performing well of late, so Jeremy decided to add NUE on Thursday to get in before the next report. He expects a move above $110 as the earnings date approaches. Meanwhile, the editor thinks crude is headed back over $70 soon, so he also added ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Crude Oil (UCO) today. This product will move twice as much as the actual crude oil futures contract. NUE is considered a mid-term holding, while UCO is expected to be short term. Read the complete commentary for more specifics on today’s moves. ETF Investor: "Major indexes closed marginally higher today, led by industrial, commodity and financial companies, after better-than-expected jobs data. "Stocks have risen this week as investors hope that the Federal Reserve will maintain its supportive monetary policy despite recent uptick in inflation. Many central bank officials have reiterated lately that they are not planning any imminent policy changes. Tech stocks were back in favor earlier this week but today it was the reopening stocks that were surging. "GPP grew at a 6.4% seasonally-adjusted annual rate in the first quarter, unchanged from the initial estimate. Durable goods orders fell 1.3% last month, versus estimate for a 0.9% gain. All these economic reports signal to an improving economy but the broader recovery remains uneven." -- Neena Mishra All the Best, Jim Giaquinto Recommendations from Zacks' Private Portfolios: Believe it or not, this article is not available on the Zacks.com website. The commentary is a partial overview of the daily activity from Zacks' private recommendation services. If you would like to follow our Buy and Sell signals in real time, we've made a special arrangement for readers of this website. Starting today you can see all the recommendations from all of Zacks' portfolios absolutely free for 7 days. Our services cover everything from value stocks and momentum trades to insider buying and positive earnings surprises (which we've predicted with an astonishing 80%+ accuracy). Click here to "test drive" Zacks Ultimate for FREE >>  Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 21st, 2021

"Foreign Is Dangerous" - China"s Censors Are Banning Hollywood Films From Domestic Market

"Foreign Is Dangerous" - China's Censors Are Banning Hollywood Films From Domestic Market Just like American political leaders and financial giants, Hollywood has also misjudged China's intentions. After Dalian Wanda's takeover of the American production company Legendary Entertainment, some warned that Beijing was trying to subvert American audiences' opinion of China by injecting subtle Chinese propaganda into American films. But it turns out, Beijing and President Xi had no intentions of embracing Hollywood: instead, it appears they're trying to keep Chinese consumers from absorbing Hollywood's decadent cultural values. Which is why American films have been increasingly blocked from being shown in the Chinese entertainment market in recent years. According to a report by Nikkei, while Hollywood studios hoped China would be a major growth market for blockbuster films, China's censors have been extremely selective about which films they allow to be screened in the world's second-largest economy, whose box office revenues surpassed America's in 20202 (thanks, in major part, to the pandemic). Source: Nikkei Just like NBA players, who need to watch what they say about sensitive issues like Hong Kong, Hollywood actors need to be careful about touching a nerve. When John Cena accidentally referred to Taiwan as "a country" in a promotional clip for "Fast & Furious 9", he nearly cost the studio more than $200MM. It ended with him begging for the CCP's forgiveness for his honest mistake. Although unpredictable, China has been a major factor in decision-making for American studios. Film productions sometimes tweak scenes to get access to China. A trailer for the sequel to the 1986 blockbuster "Top Gun" suggested that Japanese and Taiwanese flags on the leather jacket of the main character, Maverick, had been removed to avoid touching a nerve with Chinese regulators. In June, "Fast & Furious 9"' star John Cena apologized to Chinese fans for referring to Taiwan as a "country" in a promotional video for the movie. "Fast & Furious 9" made nearly $204 million in China and $173 million in the U.S. Sometimes, anticipating how the Chinese audience will react to a film can be difficult. Take "Shang-Chi", which was widely praised for its all-Asian cast. The movie was widely criticized in China, despite taking in hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. Studios and stars often find themselves drawn into controversy on Chinese social media. With a nearly all-Asian cast, "Shang-Chi" was well reviewed, widely appreciated and lucrative: Its U.S. box office had topped $200 million and it had brought in $388 million worldwide as of Oct. 5, according to Box Office Mojo. But as it was being promoted overseas, China's netizens criticized the stars, Simu Liu and Awkwafina, for failing to conform to traditional Chinese beauty standards, and also the villain, the Mandarin, for being a stereotype. Some reviewers in the U.S. had similar criticisms of the Mandarin -- a heavily reworked version of the Marvel comic strips' Fu Manchu -- but Chinese actor Tony Leung received particularly heavy criticism on Chinese social media for the role before the film was released. And while Marvel movies have been hugely popular in China, some fear the upcoming "Eternals" movie may be blocked by Chinese censors. Some suspect the upcoming "Eternals" faces difficulty securing a release date because its director, Oscar-winning China native Chloe Zhao, was criticized for making an unflattering comment about her homeland during an interview several years ago. The announcement of her Oscar victory was blocked on the Chinese internet as well. It remains unclear if Chinese moviegoers will be able to watch "Eternals" this year. "If I was an investor, I would be very concerned about a strategy at this point that depended on access to the Chinese market and the good graces of Chinese film regulators," said Aynne Kokas, the author of "Hollywood Made in China" and a media studies professor at the University of Virginia. "To make very expensive films in anticipation of being able to deliver them to the Chinese market and then not being certain that's possible is actually a much more financially irresponsible strategy from my perspective." China's censors only allow a quota of 34 foreign films to be released in mainland China each year. Despite years of negotiations between regulators in Hollywood and China's censors, Beijing has refused to change the quota. Beijing also has caps on foreign content on the country's streaming services. What's more, Beijing's recent crackdown on its own entertainment industry (banning depictions of "sissy" men while erasing one of the country's most popular actresses from the Chinese Internet) further supports the fact that Beijing has a very clear idea of what entertainment should be permitted and what should not. "You look at all of the criticisms of the so-called sissy boys, the closing down of the K-pop fan clubs, closing down of tutoring services that taught English, English not included in school final exams...It's the atmosphere right now that foreign is dangerous, and Hollywood is subject to that as well," said Stanley Rosen, a political science professor who specializes in Chinese politics and society at the University of Southern California. And while Hollywood has so far depended on China for growth, Beijing doesn't need Hollywood for anything. Already, homemade patriotic blockbusters have proven to be major hits in China, and abroad. For the past six years, domestic films have led the Chinese box office in revenue. But if Hollywood still needs China, it is an open question whether China needs Hollywood. In the first half of 2021, China's box office reached roughly $3.9 billion, according to the tracking app Dengta, and although the highest-grossing films used to be Hollywood blockbusters, domestic films have taken the crown for the past six years. "Hi, Mom," a heartwarming Chinese movie about a woman going back in time in an attempt to make her mother's life better, has the highest box office of 2021 worldwide so far, at $822 million. Patriotic Chinese blockbusters have generated much revenue as well. "The Battle at Lake Changjin" raked in $203.2 million over the National Day weekend in China, according to Box Office Mojo. So, American studios now have a difficult choice to make. They can start being more sensitive to the demands of the Chinese market. But such a "craven" approach would likely elicit a backlash at home, as politicians accuse Hollywood of putting profits over human rights. Tyler Durden Sat, 10/16/2021 - 21:00.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedge6 hr. 51 min. ago

As Retailers Shaped Holiday Hiring Plans In August, A Record 721K Retail Workers Picked Up And Quit

As Retailers Shaped Holiday Hiring Plans In August, A Record 721K Retail Workers Picked Up And Quit By Daphne Howland of RetailDive, Brief: Retail workers in August walked out on their jobs at one of the highest rates in the nation, with a total 721,000 quitting that month, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their quit rate — which the Labor Department in its release said "can serve as a measure of workers' willingness or ability to leave jobs" — was 4.7% in August, a high since April. In the wider labor market, the overall quitting rate rose to a series high 2.9%, while the rate of layoffs and discharges was little changed at 0.9%, per the report. Job openings in retail are piling up just as the holidays approach, with 1.2 million retail jobs open in August this year, compared to 734,000 a year ago. But retailers are falling behind, hiring 911,000 in August this year, compared to 922,000 last year. Retail workers' willingness to quit helps explain why hiring has been short of expectations in the last two months. Employers didn't fill as many jobs as expected during August or September, despite the end of many unemployment benefits and the beginning of school, as 721K workers picked up and left in the month of August. "The end of emergency unemployment insurance and kids returning to campus this September was not the silver bullet for the jobs recovery many hoped for," Wells Fargo's Sarah House and Michael Pugliese said. The situation is leading retailers to sweeten their job offers as they prep for the holidays, and many plan to hire workers to stay on beyond the season, according to a report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Employers are increasingly working to address burnout, raise wages, offer perks like child care and family support, and provide avenues for career advancement, according to Andrew Challenger, the firm's senior vice president. "While job cuts are at record lows, hiring announcements exploded in September, a month when many big box retailers, shipping, and warehousing companies announce seasonal hiring plans," Challenger said in a statement. "This year, many hiring announcements are for permanent workers rather than seasonal ones." Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 12:50.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 15th, 2021

Nucor"s (NUE) Fastener Unit Acquires Coil Processing Facility

Nucor's (NUE) new facility will enable it to better service the automotive cold heading quality market and provide customers with the highest quality products. Nucor Corporation NUE recently announced that with the acquisition of an existing state-of-the-art coil processing site in Shelbyville, IN it is expanding the Nucor Fastener division. This facility consists of an automated clean and coat line, 2 STC furnaces and wire drawing capabilities.Along with coil processing, Nucor will expand its fastener manufacturing capabilities by installing bolt making equipment at the Shelbyville facility. This new operation will employ roughly 33 team members at the start with the possibility to double those jobs as it reaches full capacity.Nucor recycles steel in electric arc furnaces, with greenhouse gas emissions that are one-third of the global steelmaking average and nearly one-fifth of the average blast furnace steel producer.  This makes the company one of the cleanest steel manufacturers in the world. Its Fastener Products are made with 97% recycled content, which is more sustainable than fasteners produced from blast furnace steel made overseas.Nucor is among the prominent players in the steel space along with ArcelorMittal MT, United States Steel Corporation X and Steel Dynamics, Inc. STLD. The new facility will enable Nucor to better service the automotive cold heading quality market and offer highest quality products to customers. The Shelbyville facility will permit the Nucor Engineered Bar group to provide processed coil with superior surface quality for the most demanding automotive CHQ applications.Nucor noted that adding bolt making capability to the Shelbyville facility will expand its offerings to the automotive, heavy truck, industrial/MRO and structural fastener markets. Nucor Fastener is already a leader in steel fasteners and this expansion will further strengthen  that position, the company stated.Last month, Nucor announced guidance for third-quarter 2021. It expects the quarter’s earnings between $7.30 and $7.40 per share. The company is gearing up to report the highest quarterly earnings ever in its history, surpassing the prior record of earnings per share (EPS) of $5.04 in second-quarter 2021.This upbeat outlook is backed by strong demand across most of Nucor’s end-markets and higher average selling prices, which is driving strong profitability in all of the three segments. The company expects the steel products segment to generate higher earnings in the third quarter, owing to margin expansion stemming from higher average selling prices. 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 Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD): Free Stock Analysis Report ArcelorMittal (MT): Free Stock Analysis Report United States Steel Corporation (X): Free Stock Analysis Report Nucor Corporation (NUE): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 15th, 2021

UK Fuel & Household Energy Spending Soared 20% In The Past 2 Weeks: Lloyds Bank

UK Fuel & Household Energy Spending Soared 20% In The Past 2 Weeks: Lloyds Bank Via The Epoch Times, Sept. 24 saw the highest amount spent on fuel in a single day since Lloyds Bank records began, analysis of customers’ debit cards shows. The peak fell the day after BP and Tesco closed some filling stations due to problems with fuel delivery. Across the UK, people spent a fifth (20 percent) more at petrol stations in the past two weeks, compared with the two weeks before, the bank said. Sept. 24 saw the bank’s debit card users spend 125 percent more on fuel than on the same day in 2019, and the highest amount since records began in April 2014. The East Midlands saw the biggest increase in fuel spending in the last two weeks compared with the two before, up 24 percent, followed by the West Midlands (23 percent), and the south east (22 percent). This was followed by Yorkshire and Humber (20 percent). Wales and Scotland saw the lowest increases, at 14 percent and 15 percent respectively, followed by London and the south west on 19 percent. However, the bank said there were signs that demand for fuel was easing. Week-on-week spending across the UK has fallen by almost a third (31 percent), with the number of transactions down 20 percent. Only three regions, all in the south and east, saw drops of less than 30 percent. Londoners’ spending on fuel fell just 20 percent, the lowest of any region, followed by the south east (21 percent) and east of England (25 percent). The amount spent on cards on household energy in the past two weeks also increased, by 24 percent, as a combination of colder weather and soaring energy prices gripped the UK. Spending on energy is now 14 percent higher than the same two weeks in 2020, the bank’s figures show. Philip Robinson, payments and fraud and financial crime director at Lloyds Bank, said: “After an initial incredible spike in late September where spending on fuel was the highest we’ve ever seen it, over the past week card payments at petrol stations have fallen, particularly in northern and western parts of the UK. “However, household energy spend continues to increase, 13 percent in the last week alone, driven by rising prices and colder months. “With this in mind, now is a very good time to sit down and reflect on your personal finances ahead of Christmas 2021. “Budget effectively and give yourself a clear idea of what you can afford this festive season.” Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 02:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Brace For Price Shock: Americans" Heating Bills To Soar Up To 50% This Winter

Brace For Price Shock: Americans' Heating Bills To Soar Up To 50% This Winter So far, Americans have been watching the money-depleting energy crisis that hit Europe and Asia with detached bemusement: after all, while US energy prices are higher, they are nowhere near the hyperinflation observed in Europe. That is about to change because as the Energy Information Administration warned this week, much higher heating bills are coming this winter. According to the IEA's October winter fuels outlook (pdf), nearly half of U.S. households that warm their homes with mainly natural gas can expect to spend an average of 30% more on their "multi-year high" bills compared with last year. The agency added that bills would be 50% higher if the winter is 10% colder than average and 22% higher if the winter is 10% warmer than average. The forecast rise in costs, according to the report, will result in an average natural-gas home-heating bill of $746 from Oct. 1 to March 31, compared with about $573 during the same period last year. The IEA projects that U.S. households will spend more on energy this winter than they have in several years due to soaring energy prices—natural-gas futures have this year reached a seven-year high—and the likelihood of a more frigid winter than what most of the country saw last year. As the Epoch Times adds, propane costs are forecasted to rise by 54%, heating oil costs to rise by 43%, natural gas costs to rise by 30%, and electricity costs to rise by 6 percent. And with natural gas consumption projected to rise by 3% this winter, households are expected to spend $746 this winter, up from $573 last winter. The increase in natural gas heating costs varies by region with the Midwest U.S. leading the price hike at a 45% increase from last winter, and the Northeast expecting a hike of 14%. Nearly half of all U.S. households use natural gas as the primary source of heating. Households relying on heating oil over winter will spend $1,734 over winter, relative to $1,212 last winter. Houses in Northeastern regions will be more affected by the price hike as nearly one in five homes in the region rely on heating oil as their primary source of space heating. The projection is based on the Brent crude oil price, which helps determine the prices of U.S. petroleum products. “The higher forecast Brent crude oil price this winter primarily reflects a decline in global oil inventories compared with last winter as a result of global oil demand that has risen amid restrained production levels from OPEC+ countries,” according to the EIA. While most households commonly use electricity for heating, 41% rely on electric heat pumps or heaters as their primary source for space heating. These homes should expect to spend $1,268 this winter season, relative to $1196 last year. This projection accounts for 3 percent more residential electricity demand with more Americans working from home, a colder winter, as well as a rise in fuel costs for power generation. “During the first seven months of this year, the cost of natural gas delivered to U.S. electric generators averaged $4.97/MMBtu, which is more than double the average cost in 2020,” stated EIA. The 5 % of U.S. homes using propane as the primary means to heat can expect to spend $631 more on average compared to last winter, depending on the location. Residents of the Midwest can spend an average of $1,805 this winter, reflecting higher propane prices and a 2 percent increased consumption. Propane prices have been at their highest since February 2014 due to increased global demand, relatively flat U.S. propane production, and limited oil supplies from OPEC+ countries. The looming increase, on top of rising prices for many consumer goods and commodities, is likely to cause stress for Americans at many income levels. Should prices rise too far, a repeat of the mass protests observed across European capitals denouncing soaring energy costs, is likely.  Economists warn that the larger utility bills are most likely to affect those households still hobbled by the Covid-19 pandemic. “We are very concerned about the affordability of heat this winter for all customers, but in particular those who struggle every day to afford their utility services,” says Karen Lusson, a staff attorney for the National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit that advocates on consumer issues for low-income communities. Sounds like another laser-guided stimmy courtesy of the Biden admin is coming. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/14/2021 - 18:20.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytOct 14th, 2021

WTI Slides After Biggest Crude Build Since March

WTI Slides After Biggest Crude Build Since March Oil prices are higher this morning after a mixed picture from API (big crude build offset by big gasoline draw) and helped by comments from IEA that shortages of natural gas in Europe and Asia are boosting demand for crude API Crude +5.213mm (+900k exp) Cushing -2.275mm Gasoline -4.575mm (+600k exp) Distillates -2.707mm (-1.1mm exp) DOE Crude +6.008mm (+900k exp) Cushing -1.968mm Gasoline -1.958mm (+600k exp) Distillates -24k (-1.1mm exp) Crude stocks rose by the most since March last week - the 3rd weekly build in a row - but the draw in gasoline and distillates was modest... Source: Bloomberg National crude inventories are now sitting at the highest since August. US Crude production continued to rebound, almost back to pre-IDA levels... Source: Bloomberg WTI hovered around $81.20 ahead of the official DOE print but slid back below $81 on the big crude build... Bloomberg's Michael Jeffers notes that retail fuel prices are at a seven-year high and the 3-2-1 crack is trading at levels normally seen in the summer during peak driving season. That’s probably one reason that refiners are running to close to 90% during a time of year when they usually shut for maintenance. Diesel demand is highest it’s been since 2018 for this time of year. At the same time stockpiles are lower than usual ahead of winter due to a combination of trucking demand natural disasters that forced refineries to shut down for extended outages earlier this. More distillates are expected to be used for heating this winter due to surging natural gas prices.  Bloomberg Intelligence Energy Analyst Fernando Valle notes that divergence in gasoline and diesel trends appears poised to extend in coming weeks, we believe, amid lingering energy-supply concerns in Europe and Asia, which may spur diesel-buying as an insurance policy. But port congestion in the U.S. and China are a headwind for diesel, as shipping demand is thwarted by impacts on trade. Ongoing consumer-price inflation may start to hurt gasoline demand, adding to the effects from an end to the busy summer season. Refinery maintenance may help balance supply, but we still expect to see some buildup in coming weeks, especially for gasoline. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/14/2021 - 11:04.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 14th, 2021

Check out 22 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision. Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Quantum computing made easy QC Ware CEO Matt Johnson. QC Ware Even though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant models Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders. Beacon A fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBs Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders. Now About a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain - but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system. "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digital Jamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder. Ladder Fintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBs The Highnote team. Highnote Branded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lender Daniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor. Tricolor An alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team. TomoCredit Kristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternatives Henry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar. Rocket Dollar Fintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investors Hum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg. Hum Capital Blair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechs Qolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi. Qolo Three years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders - who together had more than a century of combined industry experience - to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancers Worksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen. Worksome The way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text away Yinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert. Albert The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of Relief Relief For lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process. Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize. Securitize Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business banking Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo. Kristelle Boulos Photography Business banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs. Spring Labs A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancers JGalione/Getty Images Lance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisors Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist Altruist Jason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon. HoneyBook While countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurers Fiordaliso/Getty Images Onboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot. Fakespot Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital banking Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley HMBradley Consumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 14th, 2021

Futures Surge As Banks Report Stellar Earnings; PPI On Deck

Futures Surge As Banks Report Stellar Earnings; PPI On Deck US equity futures, already sharply higher overnight, jumped this morning as a risk-on mood inspired by stellar bank earnings, overshadowed concern that supply snarls. a China property crunch, a tapering Fed and stagflation will weigh on the global recovery. Nasdaq futures jumped 1%, just ahead of the S&P 500 which was up 0.9%. 10-year Treasury yields ticked lower to about 1.5%, and with the dollar lower as well, oil jumped. Bitcoin and the broader crypto space continued to rise. Shares in Morgan Stanley, Citi and Bank of America jumped as their deal-making units rode a record wave of M&A. On the other end, Boeing shares fell more than 1% after a Dow Jones report said the plane maker is dealing with a new defect on its 787 Dreamliner. Here are some of the biggest other U.S. movers today: Occidental (OXY US) rises 1.6% in U.S. premarket trading after it agreed to sell its interests in two Ghana offshore fields for $750m to Kosmos Energy and Ghana National Petroleum Plug Power (PLUG US) rises 3.3% premarket, extending gains from Wednesday, when it announced partnership with Airbus SE and Phillips 66 to find ways to harness hydrogen to power airplanes, vehicles and industry Esports Entertainment (GMBL US) shares rise 16% in U.S. premarket trading after the online gambling company reported its FY21 results and reaffirmed its FY22 guidance Perrigo  (PRGO US) gains 2.8% in premarket trading after Raymond James upgrades to outperform following acquisition of HRA Pharma and recent settlement of Irish tax dispute AT&T (T US) ticks higher in premarket trading after KeyBanc writes upgrades to sector weight from underweight, saying it seems harder to justify further downside from here Avis Budget (CAR US) may be active after getting its only negative rating among analysts as Morgan Stanley cuts to underweight with risk/reward seen pointing toward downside OrthoPediatrics (KIDS US) dipped 2% Wednesday postmarket after it said 3Q revenue was hurt by the surge in cases of Covid-19 delta variant and RSV within children’s hospitals combined with staff shortage Investors continue to evaluate the resilience of economic reopening to supply chain disruptions, a jump in energy prices and the prospect of reduced central bank support. In the earnings season so far, executives at S&P 500 companies mentioned the phrase “supply chain” about 3,000 times on investor calls as of Tuesday -- far higher than last year’s then-record figure. “Our constructive outlook for growth means that our asset allocation remains broadly pro-risk and we continue to be modestly overweight global equities,” according to Michael Grady, head of investment strategy and chief economist at Aviva Investors. “However, we have scaled back that position marginally because of growing pains which could impact sales and margins.” Europe's Stoxx 600 index reached its highest level in almost three weeks, boosted by gains in tech shares and miners. The Euro Stoxx 50 rose over 1% to best levels for the week. FTSE 100 rises 0.75%, underperforming at the margin. Miners and tech names are the strongest sectors with only healthcare stocks in small negative territory. Here are some of the biggest European movers today: THG shares advance as much as 10%, snapping a four-day losing streak, after a non-executive director bought stock while analysts at Goldman Sachs and Liberum defended their buy recommendations. Steico gains as much as 9.9%, the most since Jan., after the insulation manufacturer reported record quarterly revenue, which Warburg says “leaves no doubt” about underlying market momentum. Banco BPM climbs as much as 3.6% and is the day’s best performer on the FTSE MIB benchmark index; bank initiated at buy at Jefferies as broker says opportunity to internalize insurance business offers 9%-16% possible upside to 2023 consensus EPS and is not priced in by the market. Hays rises as much as 4.3% after the recruiter posted a jump in comparable net fees for the first quarter. Publicis jumps as much as 3.7%, the stock’s best day since July, with JPMorgan saying the advertising company’s results show a “strong” third quarter, though there are risks ahead. Kesko shares rise as much as 6.1%. The timing of this year’s third guidance upgrade was a surprise, Inderes says. Ubisoft shares fall as much as 5.5% after JPMorgan Cazenove (overweight) opened a negative catalyst watch, citing short-term downside risk to earnings ahead of results. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks advanced, boosted by a rebound in technology shares as traders focused on the ongoing earnings season and assessed economic-reopening prospects in the region. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7%, as a sub-gauge of tech stocks rose, halting a three-day slide. Tokyo Electron contributed the most to the measure’s climb, while Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. closed up 0.4% ahead of its earnings release. India’s tech stocks rose following better-than-expected earnings for three leading firms in the sector. Philippine stocks were among Asia’s best performers as Manila began easing virus restrictions, which will allow more businesses in the capital to reopen this weekend. Indonesia’s stock benchmark rallied for a third-straight day, as the government prepared to reopen Bali to tourists. READ: Commodities Boom, Tourism Hopes Fuel Southeast Asia Stock Rally Ilya Spivak, head of Greater Asia at DailyFX, said FOMC minutes released overnight provided Asian markets with little direction, which may offer some opportunity for recouping recent losses. The report showed officials broadly agreed last month they should start reducing pandemic-era stimulus in mid-November or mid-December. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields stayed below 1.6%, providing support for tech stocks.  “Markets seemed to conclude the near-term narrative is on pause until further evidence,” Spivak said. Shares in mainland China fell as the country reported factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in almost 26 years in September. Singapore’s stock benchmark pared initial losses as the country’s central bank unexpectedly tightened policy. Hong Kong’s equity market was closed for a holiday In rates, Treasuries were steady to a tad higher, underperforming Bunds which advanced, led by the long end.  Fixed income is mixed: gilts bull steepen with short dates richening ~2.5bps, offering only a muted reaction to dovish commentary from BOE’s Tenreyro. Bunds rise with 10y futures breaching 169. USTs are relatively quiet with 5s30s unable to crack 100bps to the upside. Peripheral spreads widen slightly. In FX, the Turkish lira was again the overnight standout as it weakened to a record low after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired three central bankers. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell and the greenback slipped against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen, with risk-sensitive and resource-based currencies leading gains; the euro rose to trade above $1.16 for the first time in a week.  The pound rose to more than a two-week high amid dollar weakness as traders wait for a raft of Bank of England policy makers to speak. Sweden’s krona temporarily came off an almost eight-month high against the euro after inflation fell short of estimates. The euro dropped to the lowest since November against the Swiss franc as banks targeted large option barriers and leveraged sell-stops under 1.0700, traders said; Currency traders are responding to stagflation risks by turning to the Swiss franc. The Aussie advanced to a five-week high versus the greenback even as a monthly jobs report showed employment fell in September; the jobless rate rose less than economists forecast. The kiwi was a among the top performers; RBNZ Deputy Governor Geoff Bascand said inflation pressures were becoming more persistent China’s yuan declined from a four-month high after the central bank signaled discomfort with recent gains by setting a weaker-than-expected reference rate. In commodities, crude futures extend Asia’s gains with WTI up ~$1 before stalling near $81.50. Brent regains a $84-handle. Spot gold drifts through Wednesday’s highs, adding $4 to print just shy of the $1,800/oz mark. Base metals are well bid with LME copper and aluminum gaining as much as 3%.  Looking at the day ahead, we’ve got central bank speakers including the Fed’s Bullard, Bostic, Barkin, Daly and Harker, the ECB’s Elderson and Knot, along with the BoE’s Deputy Governor Cunliffe, Tenreyro and Mann. Data releases from the US include the September PPI reading along with the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, earnings releases will include UnitedHealth, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, US Bancorp and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.6% to 4,382.50 STOXX Europe 600 up 0.9% to 464.38 MXAP up 0.7% to 196.12 MXAPJ up 0.6% to 642.66 Nikkei up 1.5% to 28,550.93 Topix up 0.7% to 1,986.97 Hang Seng Index down 1.4% to 24,962.59 Shanghai Composite little changed at 3,558.28 Sensex up 0.7% to 61,190.63 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 0.5% to 7,311.73 Kospi up 1.5% to 2,988.64 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $83.98/bbl Gold spot up 0.2% to $1,796.13 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.25% to 93.84 German 10Y yield fell 1.5 bps to -0.143% Euro little changed at $1.1615 Brent Futures up 1.0% to $84.13/bbl Top Overnight News from Bloomberg A flattening Treasury yield curve signals increasing concern Federal Reserve efforts to keep inflation in check will derail the recovery in the world’s largest economy China’s factory-gate prices grew at the fastest pace in almost 26 years in September, potentially adding to global inflation pressure if local businesses start passing on higher costs to consumers. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired monetary policy makers wary of cutting interest rates further, driving the lira to record lows against the dollar with his midnight decree Singapore’s central bank unexpectedly tightened its monetary policy settings, strengthening the local dollar, as the city-state joins policymakers globally concerned about risks of persistent inflation Shortages of natural gas in Europe and Asia are boosting demand for oil, deepening what was already a sizable supply deficit in crude markets, the International Energy Agency said A tropical storm that’s lashing southern China mixed with Covid-related supply chain snarls is causing a ship backlog from Shenzhen to Singapore, intensifying fears retail shelves may look rather empty come Christmas A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk A constructive mood was seen across Asia-Pac stocks with the region building on the mild positive bias stateside where the Nasdaq outperformed as tech and growth stocks benefitted from the curve flattening, with global risk appetite unfazed by the firmer US CPI data and FOMC Minutes that suggested the start of tapering in either mid-November of mid-December. The ASX 200 (+0.5%) traded higher as tech stocks found inspiration from the outperformance of US counterparts and with the mining sector buoyed by gains in underlying commodity prices. The Nikkei 225 (+1.5%) was the biggest gainer amid currency-related tailwinds and with the latest securities flow data showing a substantial shift by foreign investors to net purchases of Japanese stocks during the prior week. The KOSPI (+1.5%) conformed to the brightening picture amid signs of a slowdown in weekly infections, while the Singapore’s Straits Times Index (+0.3%) lagged for most of the session following weaker than expected Q3 GDP data, and after the MAS surprisingly tightened its FX-based policy by slightly raising the slope of the SGD nominal effective exchange rate (NEER). The Shanghai Comp. (U/C) was initially kept afloat but with gains capped after slightly softer than expected loans and financing data from China and with participants digesting mixed inflation numbers in which CPI printed below estimates but PPI topped forecasts for a record increase in factory gate prices, while there was also an absence of Stock Connect flows with participants in Hong Kong away for holiday. Finally, 10yr JGBs were higher after the recent curve flattening stateside and rebound in T-notes with the US longer-end also helped by a solid 30yr auction, although gains for JGBs were capped amid the outperformance in Tokyo stocks and mostly weaker metrics at the 5yr JGB auction. Top Asian News Chinese Developer Shares Fall on Debt Crisis: Evergrande Update Japan’s Yamagiwa Says Abenomics Fell Short at Spreading Wealth China Seen Rolling Over Policy Loans to Keep Liquidity Abundant Malaysia’s 2020 Fertility Rate Falls to Lowest in Four Decades Bourses in Europe have modestly extended on the upside seen at the European cash open (Euro Stoxx 50 +1.1%; Stoxx 600 +0.9%) in a continuation of the firm sentiment experienced overnight. US equity futures have also conformed to the broader upbeat tone, with gains seen across the ES (+0.7%), NQ (+0.8%), RTY (+0.8%) and YM (+0.7%). The upside comes despite a lack of overly pertinent newsflow, with participants looking ahead to a plethora of central bank speakers. The major indices in Europe also see a broad-based performance, but the periphery narrowly outperforms, whilst the SMI (Unch) lags amid the sectorial underperformance seen in Healthcare. Overall, the sectors portray somewhat of a cyclical tilt. The Basic Resources sector is the clear winner and is closely followed by Tech and Financial Services. Individual moves are scarce as price action is largely dictated by the macro picture, but the tech sector is led higher by gains in chip names after the world's largest contract chipmaker TSMC (+3.1% pre-market) reported strong earnings and upgraded its revenue guidance. Top European News German 2021 Economic Growth Forecast Slashed on Supply Crunch U.K. Gas Shipper Stops Supplies in Another Blow to Power Firms Christmas Toy Shortages Loom as Cargo Clogs a Major U.K. Port Putin Is Back to Building Financial Fortress as Reserves Grow In FX, the Dollar and index by default have retreated further from Tuesday’s 2021 peak for the latter as US Treasury yields continue to soften and the curve realign in wake of yesterday’s broadly in line CPI data and FOMC minutes that set the schedule for tapering, but maintained a clear differential between scaling down the pace of asset purchases and the timing of rate normalisation. Hence, the Buck is losing bullish momentum with the DXY now eying bids and downside technical support under 94.000 having slipped beneath an early October low (93.804 from the 5th of the month vs 93.675 a day earlier) and the 21 DMA that comes in at 93.770 today between 94.090-93.754 parameters before the next IJC update, PPI data and a heavy slate of Fed speakers. NZD/AUD - No real surprise that the Kiwi has been given a new lease of life given that the RBNZ has already taken its first tightening step and put physical distance between the OCR and the US FFR, not to mention that the move sparked a major ‘sell fact’ after ‘buy rumour’ reaction. However, Nzd/Usd is back on the 0.7000 handle with additional impetus via favourable tailwinds down under as the Aud/Nzd cross is now nearer 1.0550 than 1.0600 even though the Aussie is also taking advantage of the Greenback’s fall from grace to reclaim 0.7400+ status. Note, Aud/Usd may be lagging somewhat on the back of a somewhat labour report overnight as the employment tally fell slightly short of expectations and participation dipped, but the jobless rate fell and full time jobs rose. Moreover, RBA Deputy Governor Debelle repeated that circumstances are different for Australia compared to countries where policy is tightening, adding that employment is positive overall, but there is not much improvement on the wage front. CAD/GBP/CHF - The next best majors in terms of reclaiming losses vs their US counterpart, with the Loonie also encouraged by a firm bounce in oil prices and other commodities in keeping with a general recovery in risk appetite. Usd/Cad is under 1.2400, while Cable is now over 1.3700 having clearly breached Fib resistance around 1.3663 and the Franc is probing 0.9200 for a big figure-plus turnaround from recent lows irrespective of mixed Swiss import and producer prices. EUR/JPY - Relative laggards, but the Euro has finally hurdled chart obstacles standing in the way of 1.1600 and gradually gathering impetus to pull away from decent option expiry interest at the round number and just above (1.5 bn and 1 bn 1.1610-20), and the Yen regrouping around the 113.50 axis regardless of dovish BoJ rhetoric. In short, board member Noguchi conceded that the Bank may have little choice but to extend pandemic relief support unless it becomes clear that the economy has returned to a pre-pandemic state, adding that more easing may be necessary if the jobs market does not improve from pent-up demand, though he doesn't see and immediate need to top up stimulus or big stagflation risk. In commodities, WTI and Brent front month futures are continuing the grind higher seen since the European close yesterday as the risk tone remains supportive and in the aftermath of an overall bullish IEA oil market report. The IEA upgraded its 2021 and 2022 oil demand forecasts by 170k and 210k BPD respectively, which contrasts the EIA STEO and the OPEC MOMR – with the former upping its 2021 but cutting 2022 forecast, whilst the OPEC MOMR saw the 2021 demand forecast cut and 2022 was maintained. The IEA report however noted that the ongoing energy crisis could boost oil demand by 500k BPD, and oil demand could exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022. On this, China has asked Russia to double electricity supply between November-December. The morning saw commentary from various energy ministers, but perhaps the most telling from the Russian Deputy PM Novak who suggested Russia will produce 9.9mln BPD of oil in October (in-line with the quota), but that Russia has no problem in increasing oil output which can go to 11.3mln BPD (Russia’s capacity) and even more than that, but output will depend on market situation. Long story short, Russia can ramp up output but is currently caged by the OPEC+ pact. WTI Nov extended on gain about USD 81/bbl to a current high of USD 81.41/bbl (vs 80.41/bbl low) while its Brent counter topped USD 84.00/bbl to a USD 84.24/bbl high (vs 83.18/bbl low). As a reminder, the weekly DoEs will be released at 16:00BST/11:00EDT on account of the Columbus Day holiday. Gas prices have also moved higher in intraday, with the UK Nat Gas future +5.5% at the time of writing. Returning to the Russian Deputy PM Novak who noted that Nord Stream 2 will be ready for work in the next few days, still expects certification to occur and commercial supplies of gas via Nord Stream 2 could start following certification. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver have been drifting higher as the Buck wanes, with spot gold topping its 200 DMA (1,7995/oz) and in striking distance of its 100 DMA (1,799/oz) ahead of the USD 1,800/oz mark. Over to base metals, LME copper is again on a firmer footing, owing to the overall constructive tone across the market. Dalian iron ore meanwhile fell for a second straight day in a continuation of the downside seen as Beijing imposed tougher steel output controls for winter. World Steel Association also cut its global steel demand forecast to +4.5% in 2021 (prev. forecast +5.8%); +2.2% in 2022 (prev. forecast 2.7%). US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. PPI Final Demand MoM, est. 0.6%, prior 0.7%; YoY, est. 8.6%, prior 8.3% 8:30am: Sept. PPI Ex Food and Energy MoM, est. 0.5%, prior 0.6%; YoY, est. 7.1%, prior 6.7% 8:30am: Sept. PPI Ex Food, Energy, Trade MoM, est. 0.4%, prior 0.3%; YoY, est. 6.5%, prior 6.3% 8:30am: Oct. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 320,000, prior 326,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.67m, prior 2.71m 9:45am: Oct. Langer Consumer Comfort, prior 53.4 Central Banks 8:35am: Fed’s Bullard Takes Part in Virtual Discussion 9:45am: Fed’s Bostic Takes Part in Panel on Inclusive Growth 12pm: New York Fed’s Logan Gives Speech on Policy Implementation 1pm: Fed’s Barkin Gives Speech 1pm: Fed’s Daly Speaks at Conference on Small Business Credit 6pm: Fed’s Harker Discusses the Economic Outlook DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap Inflation dominated the conversation yet again for markets yesterday, after another upside surprise from the US CPI data led to the increasing realisation that we’ll still be talking about the topic for some time yet. Equities were pretty subdued as they looked forward to the upcoming earnings season, but investor jitters were evident as the classic inflation hedge of gold (+1.87%) posted its strongest daily performance since March, whilst the US dollar (-0.46%) ended the session as the worst performer among the G10 currencies. Running through the details of that release, headline US consumer prices were up by +0.4% on a monthly basis in September (vs. +0.3% expected), marking the 5th time in the last 7 months that the figure has come in above the median estimate on Bloomberg, though core prices were in line with consensus at +0.2% month-over-month. There were a number of drivers behind the faster pace, but food inflation (+0.93%) saw its biggest monthly increase since April 2020. Whilst some pandemic-sensitive sectors registered soft readings, housing-related prices were much firmer. Rent of primary residence grew +0.45%, its fastest pace since May 2001 and owners’ equivalent rent increased +0.43%, its strongest since June 2006. These housing gauges are something that Fed officials have signposted as having the potential to provide more durable upward pressure on inflation. The CPI release only added to speculation that the Fed would be forced to hike rates earlier than previously anticipated, and investors are now pricing in almost 4 hikes by the end of 2023, which is over a full hike more than they were pricing in just a month earlier. In response, the Treasury yield curve continued the previous day’s flattening, with the prospect of tighter monetary policy seeing the 2yr yield up +2.0bps to a post-pandemic high of 0.358%, whilst the 10yr decreased -4.0bps to 1.537%. That move lower in the 10yr yield was entirely down to lower real rates, however, which were down -7.4bps, suggesting investors were increasingly concerned about long-term growth prospects, whereas the 10yr inflation breakeven was up +3.3bps to 2.525%, its highest level since May. Meanwhile in Europe, 10yr sovereign bond yields took a turn lower alongside Treasuries, with those on bunds (-4.2bps), OATs (-4.0bps) and BTPs (-2.3bps) all falling. Recent inflation dynamics and issues on the supply-side are something that politicians have become increasingly attuned to, and President Biden gave remarks last night where he outlined efforts to address the supply-chain bottlenecks. This followed headlines earlier in the session that major ports in southern California would move to a 24/7 schedule to unclog delivery backlogs, and Mr. Biden also used the opportunity to push for the passage of the infrastructure plan. That comes as it’s also been reported by Reuters that the White House has been speaking with US oil and gas producers to see how prices can be brought lower. We should hear from Mr. Biden again today, who’s due to give an update on the Covid-19 response. On the topic of institutions that care about inflation, the September FOMC minutes suggested staff still remained optimistic that inflationary pressures would prove transitory, although Committee members themselves were predictably more split on the matter. Several participants pointed out that pandemic-sensitive prices were driving most of the gains, while some expressed concerns that high rates of inflation would feed into longer-term inflation expectations. Otherwise, the minutes all but confirmed DB’s US economists’ call for a November taper announcement, with monthly reductions in the pace of asset purchases of $10 billion for Treasuries and $5 billion for MBS. Markets took the news in their stride immediately following the release, reflecting how the build-up to this move has been gradually telegraphed through the year. Turning to equities, the S&P 500 managed to end its 3-day losing streak, gaining +0.30% by the close. Megacap technology stocks led the way, with the FANG+ index up +1.13% as the NASDAQ added +0.73%. On the other hand, cyclicals such as financials (-0.64%) lagged behind the broader index following flatter yield curve, and JPMorgan Chase (-2.64%) sold off as the company’s Q3 earnings release showed muted loan growth. Separately, Delta Air Lines (-5.76%) also sold off along with the broader S&P 500 airlines index (-3.51%), as they warned that rising fuel costs would threaten earnings over the current quarter. European indices posted a more solid performance than the US, with the STOXX 600 up +0.71%, though the sectoral balance was similar with tech stocks outperforming whilst the STOXX Banks index (-2.05%) fell back from its 2-year high the previous session. Overnight in Asia equities have put in a mixed performance, with the KOSPI (+1.17%) and the Nikkei (+1.01%) moving higher whilst the Shanghai Composite (-0.25%) and the CSI (-0.62%) have lost ground. Those moves follow the release of Chinese inflation data for September, which showed producer price inflation hit its highest in nearly 26 years, at +10.7% (vs. +10.5% expected), driven mostly by higher coal prices and energy-sensitive categories. On the other hand, the CPI measure for September came in slightly below consensus at +0.7% (vs. +0.8% expected), indicating that higher factory gate prices have not yet translated into consumer prices. Meanwhile, equity markets in the US are pointing to a positive start later on with S&P 500 futures up +0.32%. Of course, one of the drivers behind the renewal of inflation jitters has been the recent surge in commodity prices across the board, and we’ve seen further gains yesterday and this morning that will only add to the concerns about inflation readings yet to come. Oil prices have advanced yet again, with Brent Crude up +0.69% this morning to be on track to close at a 3-year high as it stands. That comes in spite of OPEC’s monthly oil market report revising down their forecast for world oil demand this year to 5.8mb/d, having been at 5.96mb/d last month. Elsewhere, European natural gas prices were up +9.24% as they continued to pare back some of the declines from last week, and a further two energy suppliers in the UK collapsed, Pure Planet and Colorado Energy, who supply quarter of a million customers between them. Otherwise, copper (+4.4x%) hit a 2-month high yesterday, and it up a further +1.01% this morning, Turning to Brexit, yesterday saw the European Commission put forward a set of adjustments to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which is a part of the Brexit deal that’s caused a significant dispute between the UK and the EU. The proposals from Commission Vice President Šefčovič would see an 80% reduction in checks on animal and plant-based products, as well as a 50% reduction in paperwork by reducing the documentation needed for goods moving between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It follows a speech by the UK’s David Frost on Tuesday, in which he said that Article 16 of the Protocol, which allows either side to take unilateral safeguard measures, could be used “if necessary”. Mr. Frost is due to meet with Šefčovič in Brussels tomorrow. Running through yesterday’s other data, UK GDP grew by +0.4% in August (vs. +0.5% expected), and the July number was revised down to show a -0.1% contraction (vs. +0.1% growth previously). The release means that GDP in August was still -0.8% beneath its pre-pandemic level back in February 2020. To the day ahead now, and on the calendar we’ve got central bank speakers including the Fed’s Bullard, Bostic, Barkin, Daly and Harker, the ECB’s Elderson and Knot, along with the BoE’s Deputy Governor Cunliffe, Tenreyro and Mann. Data releases from the US include the September PPI reading along with the weekly initial jobless claims. Lastly, earnings releases will include UnitedHealth, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, US Bancorp and Walgreens Boots Alliance. Tyler Durden Thu, 10/14/2021 - 08:29.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 14th, 2021

Quality ETFs Looking Good Bets to Tame Market Turbulence

Here we highlight some Quality ETFs that can be promising bets amid the current market conditions. Wall Street continues to grapple with the ongoing hurdles that have been impacting the market indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average once again lost 0.3% on Oct 12. The other two broader indices, such as the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite, also dipped 0.2% and 0.1%, respectively.Commenting on yesterday’s trading session, Stifel analysts said that “Headlines are fairly quiet today as the market awaits several upcoming catalysts like September CPI and retail sales, the latest FOMC minutes, and the start of the Q3 earnings season.” This was reported in a CNBC article.Investors are also on edge regarding earnings growth in the third-quarter earnings season. Going by Refinitiv data, the September-quarter earnings growth rate might come in at 30% from the year-ago reported figure post a 96.3% rise in the second quarter (as mentioned in a CNBC article).In another disappointing development, Goldman Sachs (GS) decreased its U.S. economic growth prediction. The investment bank expects economic growth rate of 4% from 4.4% in 2022 (according to a CNBC article). It has also revised its 2021 estimate downward to 5.6% from 5.7%. The firm cited various factors like the diminishing fiscal stimulus support from the Congress and the slow pace of recovery in consumer spendingfor itsdecision.The latest jobs report for September turned out to be unimpressive as the U.S. economy has added the lowest number of jobs so far this year. 194,000 positions were added in September, missing the forecast of 500,000. Nonfarm employment has risen 17.4 million since April 2020 but slid 3.3% from its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.Investors may have to handle certain issues like inflationary pressure, supply-chain challenges, possibilities of the Fed tapering the fiscal stimulus, China’s Evergrande crisis and concerns over a debt-ceiling breach in October. These factors can also keep the stock market volatile.  Per a CNBC Market Strategist Survey, Wall Street major strategists are expecting soft returns for the remainder of 2021 as the average year-end S&P 500 target is 4,433.Quality ETFs Worth a LookQuality stocks are rich in value characteristics with a healthy balance sheet, high return on capital, low volatility and healthy margins. These stocks also have a track record of stable or rising sales and earnings growth. In comparison to plain vanilla funds, these products help lower volatility and perform rather well during market uncertainty. Further, academic researches proved that high-quality companies constantly provide better risk-adjusted returns than the broader market over the long term.Against such a backdrop, we highlighted five ETFs targeting this niche strategy. These could enjoy smooth trading and generate market-beating returns in the current market scenario.iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF QUALThis fund provides exposure to the large- and mid-cap stocks exhibiting positive fundamentals (high return on equity, stable year-over-year earnings growth and low financial leverage) by tracking the MSCI USA Sector Neutral Quality Index (read: Focus on These ETF Areas to Combat Market Uncertainties).Expense Ratio: 0.15%AUM: $23.37 billionInvesco S&P 500 Quality ETF SPHQThis fund tracks the S&P 500 Quality Index, a benchmark of S&P 500 stocks, that has the highest-quality score based on three fundamental measures, namely, the return on equity, accruals ratio and the financial leverage ratio.Expense Ratio: 0.15%AUM: $3.13 billionFlexShares Quality Dividend Index Fund QDFThis ETF seeks investment results that correspond generally to the price and yield performance, before fees and expenses, of the Northern Trust Quality Dividend Index.Expense Ratio: 0.37%AUM: $1.58 billionSPDR MSCI USA StrategicFactors ETF QUSThis fund offers exposure to stocks that have a combination of value, low volatility and quality-factor strategies. This is done by tracking the MSCI USA Factor Mix A-Series Capped Index.Expense Ratio: 0.15%AUM: $967.4 millionBarron's 400 ETF BFORThis ETF seeks investment results that correspond generally, before fees and expenses, to the performance of the Barron's 400 Index.Total Operating Expenses: 0.70%AUM: $146.6 million Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report iShares MSCI USA Quality Factor ETF (QUAL): ETF Research Reports FlexShares Quality Dividend ETF (QDF): ETF Research Reports Invesco S&P 500 Quality ETF (SPHQ): ETF Research Reports BARRONS400 ETF (BFOR): ETF Research Reports SPDR MSCI USA StrategicFactors ETF (QUS): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

Heating Bills Could Jump By 54 Percent This Winter as Inflation Impacts Energy Prices

Get ready to pay sharply higher bills for heating this winter, along with seemingly everything else. With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter. The sharpest increases are likely… Get ready to pay sharply higher bills for heating this winter, along with seemingly everything else. With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter. The sharpest increases are likely for homes that use propane, which account for only 5% of U.S. households, but others are also likely to see big increases. Homes that use natural gas, which make up nearly half of all U.S. households, may spend $746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago. That could make this winter’s heating bills the highest for them since the winter of 2008-2009. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The second-most typical heating source for homes is electricity, making up 41% of the country, and those households could see a more modest 6% increase to $1,268. Homes using heating oil, which make up 4% of the country, could see a 43% increase — more than $500 — to $1,734. Read More: Wages Are Still Rising Across the U.S. The Bad News: So Are Prices This winter is forecast to be slightly colder across the country than last year. That means people will likely be burning even more fuel to keep warm, on top of paying more for each bit of it. If the winter ends up being even colder than forecast, heating bills could be higher than estimated, and vice-versa. The forecast from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is the latest reminder of the higher inflation ripping across the global economy. Earlier Wednesday, the government released a separate report showing that prices were 5.4% higher for U.S. consumers in September than a year ago. That’s the hottest inflation since 2008, as a reawakening economy and snarled supply chains push up prices for everything from cars to groceries. The higher prices hit almost all households, with pay raises for most workers so far failing to keep up with inflation. Average hourly earnings for workers were up 4.6% last month from a year ago. But higher heating bills will hit low-income households particularly hard. “After the beating that people have taken in the pandemic, it’s like: What’s next?” said Carol Hardison, chief executive officer at Crisis Assistance Ministry, which helps people in Charlotte, North Carolina, who are facing financial hardship. Read More: Price Hikes Will Likely Continue Through the End of 2021, Fed Signals She said households coming in for assistance recently have had unpaid bills that are roughly twice as big as they were before the pandemic. They’re contending with more expensive housing costs, higher medical bills and sometimes a reduction in their hours worked. “It’s what we know about this pandemic: It’s hit the same people that were already struggling with wages not keeping up with the cost of living,” she said. The biggest reason for this winter’s higher heating bills is the recent surge in prices for energy commodities after they dropped to multi-year lows in 2020. Demand has simply been growing faster than production as the economy roars back to life following the shutdowns caused by the coronavirus. Natural gas in the United States, for example, has climbed to its highest price since 2014 and is up roughly 90% over the last year. The wholesale price of heating oil, meanwhile, has more than doubled in the last 12 months. Read More: Why Is Everything More Expensive Right Now? Let This Stuffed Giraffe Explain Another reason for the rise is how global the market for fuels has become. In Europe, strong demand and limited supplies have sent natural gas prices up nearly 350% this year. That’s pushing some of the natural gas produced in the United States to head for ships bound for other countries, adding upward pressure on domestic prices as well. The amount of natural gas in storage inventories across the northern hemisphere is relatively low, according to Barclays analyst Amarpreet Singh, which means there is less of a cushion heading into winter heating season. Heating oil prices, meanwhile, are tied closely to the price of crude oil, which has climbed more than 60% this year. Homes affected by those increases are primarily in the Northeast, where the percentage of homes using heating oil has dropped to 18% from 27% over the past decade. ___ AP Writer David Sharp contributed from Portland, Maine......»»

Category: topSource: timeOct 13th, 2021

5 Reasons for the Commodity Boom: ETFs to Play

After a decade of underperformance, commodities are experiencing a huge rally thanks to optimism over global economic growth, reflation trade, widespread vaccination, the chances of approval of more COVID-19 antiviral pills, rising consumer confidence and higher housing price. After a decade of underperformance, commodities are experiencing a huge rally thanks to optimism over global economic growth, reflation trade, widespread vaccination, the chances of approval of more COVID-19 antiviral pills, rising consumer confidence and higher housing price. The Dow Jones Commodity Index jumped about 70% in the year to June. Let’s delve a little deeper.Subdued Greenback The massive liquidity injections by the Fed and the resultant subduedness in the strength of the greenback as well as fiscal stimulus have also been driving the commodity prices. Investors should note that most of the commodities are priced in the U.S. dollar and hence outperforms when the U.S. dollar remains subdued.Rising Inflation a Plus for Commodities If this was not enough, reflation trade was palpable across the globe with the United States and Europe drawing attention lately. Commodities are often viewed as a hedge against inflation. Moreover, higher inflation is feared to weaken corporate earnings, which in turn, would hurt equity prices. In such a scenario, commodities may gain as an alternative investment.Environmental Concerns A Plus for Some MetalsA global push for carbon-free economy has also played its role in booting the commodity prices. The very socially responsible drive may cause a supply crunch in the commodity space, which is boosting prices. Lithium is one such commodity, which is proving to be a great beneficiary of the boom in the battery market.Demand for the materials used in electric cars and renewable-energy storage has surged lately, while miners are striving hard to boost supply.Aluminum prices increased to their highest level since 2008, and copper prices continued its latest rally. Tin prices have jumped 90% since the start of 2021 partly due to power rationing.Energy Rally On Cheap Valuation & Higher DemandMeanwhile, U.S. West Texas intermediate crude oil futures set a fresh seven-year high and crossed $82 per barrel. Supply crunch and higher fuel demand pushed the long-ailing oil prices higher providing a boost to inflation.Agricultural Boom on Weather & Other ConcernsMost of the agricultural commodities surged in the third quarter. Coffee prices are rising due to weather concerns in the top-producing country Brazil. Global coffee prices are forecast to touch $4.44 a kilogram due to Brazilian cold snap due to drought situation in growing region and supply chain issues.Meanwhile, cocoa production in the world's top grower Ivory Coast is expected to drop up to 11% in the 2021/2022 season that starts on Oct 1.  Raw sugar futures on ICE hit the highest since August-end boosted by falling supplies from Brazil and higher demand from the United States (read: 3 Top Areas of Q3 & Their Top ETFs).Cotton prices jumped to a 10-year high, touching the highest levels since July 2011. Demand for textiles surged due to the global economic reopening, while India — a major cotton exporter — constrained shipments to help its domestic partners, per a CNBC article. Droughts and heat waves, have weighed on cotton crops across the United States, which is the biggest exporter of the commodity in the world.Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few ETFs that can be played in such a scenario.Invesco DB Commodity Index Tracking ETF DBC The underlying DBIQ Optimum Yield Diversified Commodity Index Excess Return Index is a rules-based index composed of futures contracts on 14 of the most heavily traded and important physical commodities in the world. The fund charges 88 bps in fees.Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF LITThe underlying Solactive Global Lithium Index tracks the performance of the largest and most liquid listed companies that are active in the exploration and/ or mining of Lithium or the production of Lithium batteries. The fund charges 75 bps in fees.iPath Series B Bloomberg Aluminum Subindex Total Return ETN JJUThe Bloomberg Aluminum Subindex Total Return reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on aluminum. The product charges 45 bps in fees.Teucrium Corn ETF CORN         The CBOT Corn Futures Contract looks to reflect the daily changes of a weighted average of the closing prices for three futures contracts for corn that are traded on the CBOT. The expense ratio of the fund is 1.95%.iPath Series B Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN JOThe Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on coffee. The fund charges 45 bps in fees.iPath Bloomberg Softs Subindex Total Return ETN JJSThis fund follows the Bloomberg Softs Subindex Total Return, which consists of three softs commodities futures contracts (coffee, cotton and sugar). Zacks Names "Single Best Pick to Double" From thousands of stocks, 5 Zacks experts each have chosen their favorite to skyrocket +100% or more in months to come. From those 5, Director of Research Sheraz Mian hand-picks one to have the most explosive upside of all. You know this company from its past glory days, but few would expect that it's poised for a monster turnaround. Fresh from a successful repositioning and flush with A-list celeb endorsements, it could rival or surpass other recent Zacks' Stocks Set to Double like Boston Beer Company which shot up +143.0% in a little more than 9 months and Nvidia which boomed +175.9% in one year.Free: See Our Top Stock and 4 Runners Up >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Invesco DB Commodity Index Tracking ETF (DBC): ETF Research Reports iPath Series B Bloomberg Coffee Subindex Total Return ETN (JO): ETF Research Reports Global X Lithium & Battery Tech ETF (LIT): ETF Research Reports Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN): ETF Research Reports iPath Series B Bloomberg Aluminum Subindex Total Return ETN (JJU): ETF Research Reports iPath Series B Bloomberg Softs Subindex Total Return ETN (JJS): ETF Research Reports To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksOct 13th, 2021

Check out 21 pitch decks that fintechs looking to disrupt trading, banking, and lending used to raise millions

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision. Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech VC funding hit a fresh quarterly record of $22.8 billion in the first three months of 2021, according to CB Insights data. While mega-rounds helped propel overall funding, new cash was spread across 614 deals. Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Simplifying quant models Kirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders. Beacon A fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBs Stacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders. Now About a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain - but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system. "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digital Jamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder. Ladder Fintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBs The Highnote team. Highnote Branded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lender Daniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor. Tricolor An alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team. TomoCredit Kristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternatives Henry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar. Rocket Dollar Fintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investors Hum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg. Hum Capital Blair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechs Qolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi. Qolo Three years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders - who together had more than a century of combined industry experience - to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancers Worksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen. Worksome The way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text away Yinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert. Albert The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of Relief Relief For lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process. Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize. Securitize Securitize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business banking Michael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo. Kristelle Boulos Photography Business banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs. Spring Labs A blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round. So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancers JGalione/Getty Images Lance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisors Jason Wenk, founder and CEO of Altruist Altruist Jason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon. HoneyBook While countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurers Fiordaliso/Getty Images Onboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot. Fakespot Marketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital banking Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley HMBradley Consumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 13th, 2021