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Uber CEO "not happy" with current ETAs, price levels, CNBC reports

See the rest of the story here. Theflyonthewall.com provides the latest financial news as it breaks. Known as a leader in market intelligence, The Fl.....»»

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallMay 25th, 2021

Uber CEO "not happy" with current ETAs, price levels, CNBC reports

See the rest of the story here. Theflyonthewall.com provides the latest financial news as it breaks. Known as a leader in market intelligence, The Fl.....»»

Category: blogSource: theflyonthewallMay 25th, 2021

The "Great Game" Moves On

The 'Great Game' Moves On Authored by Alasdair Macleod via GoldMoney.com, Following America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, her focus has switched to the Pacific with the establishment of a joint Australian and UK naval partnership. The founder of modern geopolitical theory, Halford Mackinder, had something to say about this in his last paper, written for the Council on Foreign Relations in 1943. Mackinder anticipated this development, though the actors and their roles at that time were different. In particular, he foresaw the economic emergence of China and India and the importance of the Pacific region. This article discusses the current situation in Mackinder’s context, taking in the consequences of green energy, the importance of trade in the Pacific region, and China’s current deflationary strategy relative to that of declining western powers aggressively pursuing asset inflation. There is little doubt that the world is rebalancing as Mackinder described nearly eighty years ago. To appreciate it we must look beyond the West’s current economic and monetary difficulties and the loss of its hegemony over Asia, and particularly note the improving conditions of the Asia’s most populous nations. Introduction Following NATO’s defeat in the heart of Asia, and with Afghanistan now under the Taliban’s rule, the Chinese/Russian axis now controls the Asian continental mass. Asian nations not directly related to its joint hegemony (not being members, associates, or dialog partners of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) are increasingly dependent upon it for trade and technology. Sub-Saharan Africa is in its sphere of influence. The reality for America is that the total population in or associated with the SCO is 57% of the world population. And America’s grip on its European allies is slipping. NATO itself has become less relevant, with Turkey drawn towards the rival Asian axis, and its EU members are compromised through trading and energy links with Russia and China. Furthermore, France is pushing the EU towards establishing its own army independent of US-led NATO — quite what its role will be, other than political puffery for France is a mystery. It is against this background that three of the Five Eyes intelligence partnership have formed AUKUS – standing for Australia, UK, and US — and its first agreement is to give Australia a nuclear submarine capability to strengthen the partnership’s naval power in the Pacific. Other capabilities, chiefly aimed at containing the Chinese threat to Taiwan and other allies in the Pacific Ocean, will surely emerge in due course. The other two Five Eyes, Canada and New Zealand, appear to be less keen to confront China. But perhaps they will also have less obvious roles in due course beyond pure intelligence gathering. The US, under President Trump, had failed to contain China’s increasing economic dominance and its rapidly developing technological challenge to American supremacy. Trump’s one success was to peel off the UK from its Cameron/Osbourne policy of strengthening trade and financial ties with China by threatening the UK’s important role in its intelligence partnership with the US. For the UK, the challenge came at a critical time. Brexit had happened, and the UK needed global partners for its future trade and geopolitical strategies, the latter needed to cement its re-emergence onto the world stage following Brexit. Trump held out the carrot of a fast-tracked US/UK trade deal. The Swiss alternative of neutrality in international affairs is not in the UK’s DNA, so realistically the decision was a no-brainer: the UK had to recommit itself entirely to the Anglo-Saxon Five-Eyes partnership with the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and turn its back on China. But gathering intelligence and building naval power in the Pacific won’t defeat the Chinese. All simulations show that the US, with or without AUKUS, cannot win a military conflict against China. But AUKUS is not a formal model on NATO lines which commits its members by treaty to aggression against a common enemy. While Taiwan remains a specific problem, the objective is almost certainly to discourage China from territorial expansion and protect and give other Pacific nations on the Asian periphery the security to be independent from the SCO behemoth. The trade benefits of closer relationships with these independent nations are also an additional reason for the UK to join the CPTPP — the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. It qualifies for membership through its sovereignty over the Pitcairn Islands. And that is why China has also applied to join. Therefore, AUKUS’s importance is in the signal sent to China and the whole Pacific region, following the abandonment of land-based operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan. The maritime threat to China is a line which must not be crossed. We are entering a new era in the Great Game, where the objective has changed from dominance to containment. Having lost its position of ultimate control in the Eurasian land mass America has selected its partners to retain control over the high seas. And the UK has found a new geopolitical purpose, re-establishing a global role now that it is independent from the EU. The French cannot join the CPTPP being bound into the common trade policies of the EU. Seeing the British escape the strictures of the EU and rapidly obtain more global influence than France could dream of has touched a raw nerve. Mackinder vindicated The father of geopolitics, Halford Mackinder, is frequently quoted and his theories are still relevant to the current situation. Much has been written about Mackinder’s prophecies. His concept of the World Island was first mentioned in his 1904 presentation to the Royal Geographic Society in London: “a pivot state, resulting in its expansion over the marginal lands of Euro-Asia”. In 1943 he updated his views in an article for the Council on Foreign Relations, adding to his heartland theory. Written during the Second World War, his commentary reflected the combatants and their positions at that time. But despite this, he made a perceptive comment relative to the situation today and AUKUS: “Were the Chinese for instance organised by the Japanese to overthrow the Russian Empire and conquer its territory they might constitute the yellow peril to the world’s freedom just because they would add an oceanic frontage to the resources of the great continent.” When Mackinder wrote his article the Japanese had already invaded Manchuria, but their subsequent defeat removed them from an active geopolitical role, and in place of a Soviet defeat China has entered a peaceful partnership with Russia that extends to all its old Central Asian soviet satellites. It is the focus on the ocean frontage that matters, upon which the maritime silk road depends. The article brings into play another aspect mentioned by Mackinder, and that is the Heartland’s tremendous natural resources, “…including enough coal in the Kuznetsk and Krasnoyarsk basins capable of supplying the requirements of the whole world for 300 years”. And: “In 1938 Russia produced more of the following food stuffs than any other country in the world: wheat, barley, oats, rye, and sugar beets. More manganese was produced in Russia than in any other country. It was bracketed with United States in the first place as regards iron and it stood second place in production of petroleum”. Through its partnership with Russia all these latent resources are available to the Chinese and Russian partnership. And the real potential for industrialisation, held back by communism and now by Russian corruption, has barely commenced. After presciently noting that one day the Sahara may become the trap for capturing direct power from the sun (foreseeing solar panels), Mackinder’s article ended on an optimistic note: “A thousand million people of ancient oriental civilisation inhabit the monsoon lands of India and China [today 3 billion, including Pakistan]. They must grow to prosperity in the same years in which Germany and Japan are being tamed to civilisation. They will then balance that other thousand million who live between the Missouri and the Yenisei [i.e., Central and Eastern America, Britain, Europe and Russia beyond the Urals]. A balanced globe of human beings and happy because balanced and thus free.” Both China and now India are rapidly industrialising, becoming part of a balanced globe of humanity. While the West tries to hang on to what it has got rather than progressing, China and India along with all of under-developed Asia are moving rapidly in the direction of individual freedom of economic choice and improvements in living conditions, to which Mackinder was referring. Obviously, there is some way for this process yet to go, displacing western hegemony in the process. America particularly has found the political challenges of change difficult, with its deep state unable to come to terms easily with the implications for its military and economic power. We must hope that Mackinder was right, and the shift of economic power is best to be regarded as the pains of geopolitical evolution rather than conditions for escalating conflict. But in pursuing its green agenda and eschewing carbon fuels, the West is unwittingly handing a gift to Mackinder’s Heartland, because despite diplomatic noises to the contrary China, India and all the SCO membership will continue to use cheap coal, gas, and oil which Asia has in abundance while Western manufacturers are forced by their governments to use expensive and less reliable green energy. Green obsessions and global trade Meanwhile, the West has gone green-crazy. Banning fossil fuels without there being adequate replacements must be a new definition of insanity, for which the current fuel crises in Europe attest. With over 95% of European logistics currently being shifted by diesel power, switching to battery power or hydrogen by 2030 by banning sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles is a hostage to fortune. While it is hardly mentioned, presumably the Western powers think that by banning carbon fuels they will take the wind out of Russia’s energy quasi-monopoly, because including gas Russia is the largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world. Instead, the West is creating an energy shortage for itself, a point driven home by Gazprom withholding gas flows through its pipelines to Europe, thereby driving up Europe’s energy costs sharply and ensuring a far more severe energy crisis this winter. Even if Russia turns on the taps tomorrow, there is insufficient gas storage in reserve for the winter months. And Europe and the UK have got ahead of themselves by decommissioning coal and gas-fired electricity. In the UK, a massive undersea gas storage facility off the Yorkshire coast has been closed, leaving precious little national storage capacity. As we have seen with the post-covid supply chain chaos, energy problems will not only become acute this winter, but are likely to persist through much of next year. And even that assumes Russia relents and moderates its energy stance to European customers. By way of contrast, though its partnership with Russia China is gifted unlimited access to all carbon fuels. She is still building coal-fired electricity power stations at an extraordinary rate — according to a BBC report there are 61 new ones being commissioned. A further 51 outside China are planned. As a sop to the West China has only said she won’t finance any more outside her territory. And India relies on coal for over two-thirds of its electrical energy. While Europe and America through their green obsessions are denying themselves the availability and technologies that go with carbon fuels, the Russian/Chinese axis will continue to reap the full benefits. The West’s response is likely to be to decry Chinese pollution and its contribution to global warming, but realistically there is little it can do. Demand for Chinese-manufactured goods will continue because China now has a quasi-monopoly on global manufacturing for export. In the unlikely event western consumers become avid savers while their governments continue to run massive budget deficits, their trade deficits will rise even more, allowing Chinese exporters to increase prices for consumers and intermediate goods without losing export sales. While there is nothing it can do about China’s production methods, AUKUS members will undoubtedly lean on other exporting CPTPP members to comply with global green policies. But they will be competing with China, and while they may pay lip service to the climate change agenda, in practice they are unlikely to implement it without holding out for unrealistic subsidies from the western nations driving the climate change agenda. Under current circumstances, it seems unlikely that China’s CPTPP application will lead to membership, given the CPTPP requirement for China’s central government to relinquish ownership of its SOEs and to permit the free flow of data across its borders. In any event, China is focused on developing its Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement with ratification signed so far by China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. It will come into effect when ratified by ten out of the fifteen signatories, likely to be in the first half of 2022, and in terms of population will be two and a half times the size of the EU and the US/Mexico/Canada (USMCA) trade agreements combined. With four out of five of the signatories being American allies, RCEP demonstrates that the AUKUS defence partnership is an entirely separate issue from trade. While the US may not like it, if RCEP goes ahead freer trade will almost certainly undermine a belligerent stance in due course. Despite hiccups, the progression of trade dealing in the Pacific region promises to prove Mackinder right about the prospect of a more balanced world. All being well and guaranteed by a balance of naval capabilities between AUKUS and China, a free-trading Pacific region will render the European and American trade protectionist policies an anachronism. But the threat is now from another direction: financial instability, with western nations pulling in one direction and China in another. Since the Lehman collapse and the ensuing financial crisis, China has been careful to prevent financial bubbles. Figure 1 shows that the Shanghai Composite Index has risen 82% since 2008, while the S&P500 rose 430%. While the US has seen financial asset values driven by a combination of QE and investor speculation, these factors are absent and discouraged in China. Government debt to GDP is about half that of the US. It is true that industrial debt is high, like that of the US. But the difference is that in China debt is more productive while in America there has been a growing preponderance of debt zombies, only kept solvent by zero interest rate policies. China’s policy of ensuring that the expansion of bank credit is invested in production and not speculation differs fundamentally from the US approach, which is to deliberately inflate financial assets to perpetuate a wealth effect. China avoids the destabilising potential of speculative flows unwinding because it lays the economy open to the possibility that America will use financial instability to undermine China’s economy. In a speech to the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee in April 2015, Major-General Qiao Liang, the People’s Liberation Army strategist, identified a cycle of dollar weakness against other currencies followed by strength, which first inflated debt in foreign countries and then bankrupted them. Qiao argued it was a deliberate American policy and would be used against China. In his words, it was time for America to “harvest” China. Drawing on Chinese intelligence reports, in early 2014 he was made aware of American involvement in the “Occupy Central” movement in Hong Kong. After several delays, the Fed announced the end of QE the following September which drove the dollar higher, and “Occupy Central” protests broke out the following month. To Qiao the two events were connected. By undermining the dollar/yuan rate and provoking riots, the Americans had tried to crash China’s economy. Within six months the Shanghai stock market began to collapse with the SSE Composite Index falling from 5,160 to 3,050 between June and September 2015. One cannot know for certain if Qiao’s analysis was correct, but one can understand the Chinese leadership’s continued caution based upon it. For this and other reasons, the Chinese leadership is extremely wary of having dollar liabilities and the accumulation of unproductive, speculative money in the economy. It justifies their strict exchange control regime, whereby dollars are not permitted to circulate in China, and all inward capital flows are turned into yuan by the PBOC. Furthermore, domestic monetary policy appears deliberately different from that of America and other western nations. While everyone else has been inflating their way through covid, China has been restricting domestic credit expansion and curtailing shadow banking. The discount rate is held up at 2.9% with market rates slightly lower at 2.2%, and the only reason it is that low is because alternative dollar rates are at zero and EU and Japanese rates are negative. It is this restrictive monetary policy that has led to the current crisis in property developers, with the very public difficulties of Evergrande. Far from being a surprise event, with cautious monetary policies it could have been easily foreseen. Moreover, the government has a sensible policy of not rescuing private sector businesses in trouble, though it is likely to take steps to limit financial contagion. In their glass houses, Western critics continually throw stones at China. But at least her policy makers have attempted to avoid contributing to the global inflation cycle. With prices beginning to rise at an accelerating pace in western currencies, a new global financial crash is in the making. China and her SCO cohort would be adversely affected, but not to the same extent. The fruits of China’s policies of restricting credit expansion are showing in the commodity prices she pays, which in her own currency have increased by ten per cent less than for dollar-based competition, judging by the exchange rate movements since the Fed reduced its funds rate to the zero bound and instigated monthly QE of $120bn on 19-23 March 2020 (see Figure 2). And while both currencies have moved broadly sideways since January, there is little doubt that the fundamentals point to an even stronger yuan and weaker dollar. The domestic benefits of a relatively stronger yuan outweigh the margin compression suffered by China’s exporters. It is worth noting that as well as moderating credit demand, China is attempting to increase domestic consumer spending at the expense of the savings rate, so consumer demand will begin to matter more than exports to producers. It is in line with a long-term objective of China becoming less dependent on exports, and exporters will benefit from domestic sales growth instead. Furthermore, with China dominating global exports of intermediate and consumer goods and while western budget deficits are increasing and leading to yet greater trade deficits, Chinese exporters should be able to secure higher prices anyway. There can be little doubt that the budget deficits financed by monetary inflation in America, the EU, Japan and the UK, plus central bank stimulus packages are now undermining the purchasing power of all the major currencies. The consequences for their purchasing powers are now becoming apparent and attempts to calm markets and consumers by describing them as transient cuts little ice. In terms of their purchasing powers, these currencies are now in a race to the bottom. Not only are the costs of production rising sharply, but following a brief pause of three months, commodity and energy prices look set to rise sharply. Figure 3 shows the Invesco commodity tracker, which having almost doubled since March 2020 now appears to be attempting a break out on the upside. Since global competitiveness is no longer a priority, China would be sensible to let its yuan exchange rate rise against western currencies to help keep a lid on domestic prices and costs. It is, after all, a savings driven economy, with the sustainable characteristics of a strong currency relative to the dollar. Conclusions Having failed in their land-based military objectives, America’s undeclared tariff and financial wars against China are also coming to an end, to be replaced by a policy of maritime containment through the AUKUS partnership. Attempts to stem strategic losses in Asia have now ended with the withdrawal from Afghanistan and from other interventions.The change in geopolitical policy is not yet widely appreciated. But the parlous state of US finances, dollar market bubbles, persistent and increasing price inflation and the inevitability of interest rate increases will make a policy backstop of maritime containment the only geostrategic option left to America. By pursuing more cautious monetary policies, China is less exposed to the inevitable consequences of global monetary inflation. While yuan currency rates are managed instead of set by markets, it is now in China’s interest to see a stronger yuan to contain domestic price and cost inflation. Even though fiat currencies could be destroyed by imploding asset bubbles, these factors contribute to a set of circumstances that appear to lead to a more peaceable outcome for the world than appeared likely before America and NATO withdrew from Afghanistan. There’s many a slip between cup and lip; but it was an outcome forecast by Halford Mackinder nearly eighty years ago. Let us hope he was right. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 08:10.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nyt19 hr. 12 min. ago

Here"s why you"re having trouble finding work - or workers - during the labor shortage, economists say

Haven't returned to work yet? You're not alone. Five economists broke down for Insider why people aren't rushing back into the work force. A "Help Wanted" sign hangs in the window of a restaurant in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, Tuesday, May 4, 2021 AP Photo/Mary Altaffer Anecdotes about labor shortages have been popping up for months amidst America's slow recovery. But enhanced unemployment has expired and it hasn't helped end end the labor crunch. Insider spoke to five economists and experts about why workers aren't coming back, and the issues with hiring. See more stories on Insider's business page. America is tired of labor shortages. September was supposed to be the silver bullet month when the end of enhanced unemployment benefits coincided with schools and other childcare services reopening and vaccination rates facilitating a return to office. But if you're not back at work, you're far from the only one.That's because the reality of September could perhaps be summarized in two words: Womp womp. There's another two words, nearly as fearsome: The month told a "Delta story," according to Jesse Wheeler, an economic analyst at Morning Consult."We're still expecting this improvement in jobs and continued economic recovery in the future, but it's basically just on hold," Wheeler said.So if you haven't returned to work yet, or are mulling whether a return to work is the right move right now, you're not alone. In a note released this week, JPMorgan found that just half of the people who lost jobs during COVID are going back to work.As Bloomberg reports, unemployment benefits winding down didn't compel people back into the workforce, echoing several studies showing no connection. Schools are contending with Delta waves and temporarily shuttering. Childcare is facing its own labor shortage, turning away families who need care. Vaccinations are up, but mass vaccine mandates for businesses only recently become a reality."I don't see evidence that the slowing of growth had to do with labor shortages. It had to do with Delta," Heidi Shierholz, the president of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, told Insider. She added: "Employers really were demanding a lot fewer people in August than they had in the prior month."Insider spoke to five economists and experts about the current messy state of the labor market, and why it makes sense some people haven't returned yet. At the heart of the current labor crunch are major disconnects - what economists call "mismatches" - between what employers want and the people who could fill those roles. Some have moved out of areas where there's need; others have higher expectations for work. But employers are responsible for another mismatch: They say they're scrambling to find workers but they're not willing to pay the price labor is demanding right now. Hiring is a messAs Vox's Rani Molla and Emily Stewart report, the hiring system is a little bit broken too. The current labor market has an "incongruity" between what job seekers are hearing about the abundance of roles, and their actual experiences, according to Vox. It might be a fourth more subtle mismatch.For one, The Wall Street Journal reports that some applicants may be filtered out by the hiring software many employers have adopted. If your resume doesn't have the exact keyword, or, like many workers, you're trying to switch into a related role, you may not even make it past the initial screening.One criterion that employers are filtering by: Whether applicants have a college degree. That could leave out the 70 million workers who are "STARs" - Skilled Through Alternative Routes, according to Papia Debroy, the senior vice president of insights at Opportunity@Work. According to the Census Bureau, two-thirds of American workers don't have a bachelor's degree, with that percentage coming in higher for Black and Hispanic workers.Debroy said that STARs have been increasingly locked out of middle wage jobs in the past decades - roles that are crucial for them to move up the ladder."In many respects, not recognizing that skills are being gained through alternative routes is not just failing these workers. It's failing employers from finding the talent they're looking for, but also it's preventing further mobility for this population," Debroy said. Erica Groshen, senior economics advisor at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, told Insider that employers may not be working rapidly to actually fill the record number of job openings."They may say, 'Well, we have an opening and we have it listed,' but they may not be rushing to fill it if they're not sure how the pandemic is playing out in their area," Groshen said. "So they may leave the posting up, but not be rushing."There's still the pandemic to consider In July, Morning Consult found that 3.5 million of the people who left the labor force were planning on returning to work in the next year; two-thirds wanted to start working again within three months."However, a few months later, a lot of those people have put it on hold," Morning Consult's Wheeler said. The intelligence firm's September outlook found that consumer sentiment in August reached its lowest levels since February 2021.That's because taking a job right now still faces all of the calculations of the health risks and childcare considerations of the pandemic, which many assumed would have been resolved by now. It's what Shierholz calls "baby echoes" of the early days of the pandemic. There is, of course, something we have now that we didn't at the start of the pandemic: Vaccines. But, as Insider's Aylin Woodward reports, the US has fallen behind in vaccination rates, ranking 39th in the world. "In places where the pandemic is still hitting a lot of people with low vaccination rates, that might still be keeping some people home," Brian Riedl, a budget expert at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute, told Insider. "The states that are relatively unvaccinated and seeing more Delta variant cases still may see a lag." As President Joe Biden continues to ramp up vaccination efforts and the Delta wave subsides, people might return more. JPMorgan anticipates that 2 million Americans "will continue to drift back into employment," especially as their pandemic savings dwindle.In the meantime, businesses have turned toward one method to make the return pay off for workers: Raising wages. "There's always somebody talking about there being a labor shortage, and yet in a free market economy, the price is supposed to make the adjustments so that the quantity demanded will meet the quantity supplied," Groshen said. "What they're really saying is that I'm not offering enough to get the workers I need."Anecdotally, it seems to be working. The New York Times reported that Jason Hammel, a chef in Chicago, raised base pay to $18 to $24 per hour; he said he hasn't had issues hiring. But some restaurants have raised wages and still haven't seen applicants flooding in, Insider's Grace Dean reported. Groshen said that offering more doesn't just encompass wages - it's working conditions and benefits, too. "If I decide that I don't want to pay the price of an Audi, I don't get to just announce that there's an Audi shortage and this needs government intervention," Groshen said.Joseph Zeballos-Roig contributed reporting.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nyt21 hr. 40 min. ago

NIKE (NKE) Q1 Earnings Beat, Sales Miss on Supply Constraints

NIKE (NKE) reports mixed Q2 results on strong NIKE Direct revenues, improved traffic and robust digital momentum, offset by the global supply-chain woes, and factory closures in Vietnam and Indonesia. NIKE Inc. NKE posts mixed first-quarter fiscal 2022 results amid supply-chain disruptions. The company’s earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate, while sales lagged estimates. However, revenues and earnings improved year over year on strong NIKE Direct revenues, led by the return of traffic to stores as well as continued digital momentum. Its product innovation, brand strength and scale of operations continued to drive digital sales growth.Shares of the company declined 3.9% after the close of the trading session on Sep 23. The negative investor sentiment can be attributed to the company’s commentary on its position amid supply-chain woes and the closure of factories in Vietnam and Indonesia, and the consequent lowering of the fiscal 2022 guidance.Overall, shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 2.8% in the past three months compared with the industry’s 1.6% growth.NIKE, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise  NIKE, Inc. price-consensus-eps-surprise-chart | NIKE, Inc. QuoteQ1 HighlightsIn the reported quarter, the company’s earnings per share of $1.16 increased 22% from 95 cents reported in the year-ago quarter and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of earnings of $1.12.Revenues of the Swoosh brand owner grew 16% year over year to $12,248 million but missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $12,539.5 million. On a currency-neutral basis, revenues improved 12% year over year, driven by growth across all channels, led by growth at NIKE Direct.Sales at NIKE Direct were $4.7 billion, up 28% on a reported basis and 25% on a currency-neutral basis. The NIKE Direct business benefited from steady normalization of the owned retail business and continued momentum in the digital business. Revenues at owned stores improved 24%, which was above the pre-pandemic levels recorded in first-quarter fiscal 2020. Image Source: Zacks Investment Research The company continued to witness robust revenue growth at the NIKE Brand’s Digital business despite the reopening of stores. Digital revenues for the NIKE Brand were up 29% year over year on a reported basis. On a constant-currency basis, Digital sales improved 25%, led by 43% growth in North America.However, Wholesale revenues increased 5%, owing to the impacts of lower availability inventory supplies, thanks to the worsening delays in transit.Operating SegmentsThe NIKE Brand Revenues were $11,640 million, up 16% year over year on a reported basis. Revenues for the brand increased 12% on a constant-dollar basis primarily due to the NIKE Direct business’ double-digit growth in North America, APLA and EMEA.Within the NIKE Brand, revenues in North America advanced 15% on both reported and currency-neutral basis to $4,879 million. This marked the fifth consecutive season of the incredible demand for NIKE products, fueled by the back-to-school sale and return of sports activity. North America revenues benefited from double-digit growth in the Performance business in the Fall season, led by running, fitness and basketball. This growth was also influenced by the Olympics fervor, the WNBA season and the NBA finals.Sales for the NIKE Direct business were up more than 45% in the region, accounting for 26% business share. Digital sales grew 40%, driven by market share growth on strong site traffic and repeated buying from members. Sales at NIKE-owned stores accelerated more than 50% due to the return of traffic to physical stores and enhanced experiences.However, the North America business witnessed headwinds from highly elevated in-transit inventory levels due to the deterioration of transit times in North America in the last reported quarter. The transit time has now almost doubled from the pre-pandemic levels, affecting product availability across the market and its ability to serve consumer demand, particularly in the Wholesale channel. NIKE-owned inventory rose 12% year over year. Closeout inventory levels declined in double-digits from the year-ago quarter.In EMEA, the company’s revenues rose 14% on a reported basis and 8% on a currency-neutral basis to $3,307 million. Growth was driven by the EURO this summer, with NIKE players scoring higher goals than all other brands combined. The company’s Mercurial boots accounted for more than half of these goals, resulting in higher demand for the Mercurial boot and replica jerseys during the tournament.The NIKE Direct business improved 10% on a currency-neutral basis, driven by growth at NIKE stores. Traffic at EMEA stores increased year over year in double-digits coupled with better-than-anticipated conversions. NIKE Digital was up 2%. Demand for full-priced products rose 30% from last year’s higher liquidation levels. NIKE-owned inventory fell 14% in EMEA, while closeout inventory declined in double-digits. The decline is attributed to the further deterioration of transit times in EMEA in the last 90 days, leading to higher in-transit inventory and affecting the product availability to meet demand.In Greater China, revenues increased 11% year over year on a reported basis and 1% on a currency-neutral basis in the fiscal fourth quarter to $1,982 million. Revenues improved in line with an expected recovery in the market. Retail sales in late July and August were impacted by regional closures and lower foot traffic due to COVID-19 infections in the region. Prior to late July, the company witnessed recovery in traffic at physical stores, with traffic levels coming close to the prior-year levels. NIKE Direct declined 3% in the fiscal first quarter partly due to the closure of NIKE-owned stores. NIKE Digital declined 6% compared with the higher liquidation in the prior year. This was partly negated by double-digit growth in full-price sales.In APLA, NIKE revenues advanced 33% on a reported basis and 31% on a currency-neutral basis to $1,465 million. Revenues were aided by growth across all regions, led by Japan, SOKO, Korea and Mexico, offset by muted growth in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, and India due to COVID restrictions. NIKE Digital rose more than 60% on a currency-neutral basis due to the expansion of the NIKE App.Revenues at the Converse brand improved 12% on a reported basis to $629 million. On a currency-neutral basis, revenues of the segment were up 7%, backed by strong Direct-to-consumer revenues in North America and Europe.Costs & MarginsThe gross profit advanced 20% year over year to $5,696 million, while the gross margin expanded 170 basis points (bps) to 46.5%. Gross margin growth can be attributed to improved NIKE Direct margins, driven by higher full-price sales mix and favorable currency rates, offset by escalated product costs, owing to increased ocean freight costs.Selling and administrative expenses rose 20% to $3,572 million, driven by higher operating overhead and demand-creating expenses. As a percentage of sales, SG&A expenses increased 110 bps to 29.2% from the prior-year quarter.Demand-creation expenses increased 36% year over year to $918 million, owing to the normalization of spending at brand campaigns as the market laps the last year’s closures due to COVID-19, along with sustained investments in digital marketing to facilitate the rising digital demand.Operating overhead expenses were up 15% to $2.7 billion on higher wage-related expenses, increased technology investments to support digital transformation, and NIKE Direct variable costs.Balance Sheet & Shareholder-Friendly MovesNIKE ended first-quarter fiscal 2022 with cash and short-term investments of $13,695 million, up $4.2 billion from the last year. These included strong free cash flow generation, partly offset by cash dividends and share repurchases. It had long-term debt (excluding current maturities) of $9,415 million and shareholders’ equity of $14,343 million as of the end of the fiscal first quarter. As of Aug 31, 2021, inventories of $6,699 million were almost flat with the prior-year levels.In first-quarter fiscal 2022, the company returned $1.2 billion to shareholders, including dividend payouts of $435 million and share repurchases of $742 million. It completed share repurchases of 4.8 million shares under its $15-million program approved in June 2018 in the reported quarter. As of Aug 31, it repurchased 54.8 million shares for $5.4 billion under the aforesaid program.OutlookNIKE expects the consumer demand to remain at all times, driven by its strong customer connections and brand momentum. However, it remains uncertain regarding the global supply-chain headwinds that are looming in the industry. The supply-chain disruptions have been challenging for manufacturers and has significantly hampered the mobility of products across the globe. The company previously anticipated the delays in transit times to continue throughout fiscal 2022. The company notes that the transit times in North America and Europe have further deteriorated in the fiscal first quarter due to port and rail congestions, and labor shortages.In another development, the company is witnessed the sudden closure of manufacturing units of its factory partners in Vietnam and Indonesia due to COVID-related government mandates. Although the company stated that Indonesia is fully operational now, it expects the footwear factories in Vietnam to remain closed. The reopening and ramping up of the factories to full scale is likely to take time.Consequently, the company has lowered its fiscal 2022 guidance to reflect the impacts of 10-weeks of lost production in Vietnam since mid-July and expectations of the elevated transit times to remain consistent with the current levels.For fiscal 2022, the company anticipates revenue growth in the mid-single digits compared with low-double-digit growth mentioned earlier. Lowered sales are expected to result solely from the aforementioned supply-chain congestions. The company expects revenue growth to be flat to down in low-single digits, particularly in second-quarter fiscal 2022, owing to the impacts of the lost production due to factory closures and delayed delivery times for the holiday and spring seasons. The company expects the lost weeks of production and the longer transit times to result in short-term inventory shortages in the market over the next few quarters.The company expects all of its geographic regions to be impacted by the difficult dynamics. However, some geographies in Asia, with less in-transit inventory at the end of the fiscal first quarter, are likely to witness uneven impacts in the second quarter.For the rest of fiscal 2022, the company anticipates the strong market demand to exceed the available supplies. Nonetheless, it remains optimistic of the inventory supply availability to improve going into fiscal 2023.The gross margin is now estimated to expand 125 bps in fiscal 2022, which is at the low-end of previously mentioned 125-150 bps growth. This growth is likely to be driven by the continued shift to the higher-margin NIKE Direct business, sustained strong full-priced sales and price increases in the second half. This is expected to be partly offset by 100 bps of incremental transportation, logistics and airfreight costs to move inventory in the current environment. The company now expects lower foreign currency tailwinds on gross margin in fiscal 2022, estimated at 60 bps.For the fiscal second quarter, it expects gross margin to expand at a lower rate than fiscal 2022 due to higher planned airfreight investments for the holiday season.The company expects SG&A growth in the mid-to-high teens for fiscal 2022. Earlier, it expected SG&A growth to slightly surpass revenue growth. The rise in SG&A expenses is likely to be driven by spends related to sporting events and investments against its largest opportunities. The effective tax rate is estimated to be in the mid-teens.Despite the near-term challenges, the company stated that it remains on track to reach its long-term financial targets for fiscal 2025 outlined in fourth-quarter fiscal 2021.3 Better-Ranked Stocks to WatchSteven Madden, Ltd. SHOO has a long-term earnings growth rate of 15%. It currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.Carter’s, Inc. CRI has a long-term earnings growth rate of 21.1% and it flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 at present.Wolverine World Wide, Inc. WWW has a long-term earnings growth rate of 10%. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report NIKE, Inc. (NKE): Free Stock Analysis Report Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (WWW): Free Stock Analysis Report Carters, Inc. (CRI): Free Stock Analysis Report Steven Madden, Ltd. (SHOO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown

Futures Slide Alongside Cryptocurrencies Amid China Crackdown US futures and European stocks fell amid ongoing nerves over the Evergrande default, while cryptocurrency-linked stocks tumbled after the Chinese central bank said such transactions are illegal. Sovereign bond yields fluctuated after an earlier selloff fueled by the prospect of tighter monetary policy. At 745am ET, S&P 500 e-minis were down 19.5 points, or 0.43%, Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 88.75 points, or 0.58% and Dow e-minis were down 112 points, or 0.33%. In the biggest overnight news, Evergrande offshore creditors remain in limbo and still haven't received their coupon payment effectively starting the 30-day grace period, while also in China, the State Planner issued a notice on the crackdown of cryptocurrency mining, will strictly prohibit financing for new crypto mining projects and strengthen energy consumption controls of new crypto mining projects. Subsequently, the PBoC issued a notice to further prevent and dispose of the risks from speculating on cryptocurrencies, to strengthen monitoring of risks from crypto trading and such activities are illegal. The news sent the crypto space tumbling as much as 8% while cryptocurrency-exposed stocks slumped in U.S. premarket trading. Marathon Digital (MARA) drops 6.5%, Bit Digital (BTBT) declines 4.7%, Riot Blockchain (RIOT) -5.9%, Coinbase -2.8%. Big banks including JPMorgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp slipped about 0.5%, while oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp were down 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively, in premarket trading.Mega-cap FAAMG tech giants fell between 0.5% and 0.6%. Nike shed 4.6% after the sportswear maker cut its fiscal 2022 sales expectations and warned of delays during the holiday shopping season. Several analysts lowered their price targets on the maker of sports apparel and sneakers after the company cut its FY revenue growth guidance to mid-single- digits. Here are some of the biggest U.S. movers today: Helbiz (HLBZ) falls 10% after the micromobility company filed with the SEC for the sale of as many as 11m shares by stockholders. Focus Universal (FCUV), an online marketing company that’s been a favorite of retail traders, surged 26% in premarket trading after the stock was cited on Stocktwits in recent days. Vail Resorts (MTN) falls 2.7% in postmarket trading after its full-year forecasts for Ebitda and net income missed at the midpoint. GlycoMimetics (GLYC) jumps 15% postmarket after announcing that efficacy and safety data from a Phase 1/2 study of uproleselan in patients with acute myeloid leukemia were published in the journal Blood on Sept. 16. VTV Therapeutics (VTVT) surges 30% after company says its HPP737 psoriasis treatment showed favorable safety and tolerability profile in a multiple ascending dose study. Fears about a sooner-than-expected tapering amid signs of stalling U.S. economic growth and concerns over a spillover from China Evergrande’s default had rattled investors in September, putting the benchmark S&P 500 index on course to snap a seven-month winning streak. Elaine Stokes, a portfolio manager at Loomis Sayles & Co., told Bloomberg Television, adding that “what they did is tell us that they feel really good about the economy.” While the bond selloff vindicated Treasury bears who argue yields are too low to reflect fundamentals, others see limits to how high they can go. “We’d expected bond yields to go higher, given the macro situation where growth is still very strong,” Sylvia Sheng, global multi-asset strategist with JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “But we do stress that is a modest view, because we think that upside to yields is still limited from here given that central banks including the Fed are still buying bonds.” Still, Wall Street’s main indexes rallied in the past two session and are set for small weekly gains. European equities dipped at the open but trade off worst levels, with the Euro Stoxx 50 sliding as much as 1.1% before climbing off the lows. France's CAC underperformed at the margin. Retail, financial services are the weakest performers. EQT AB, Europe’s biggest listed private equity firm, fell as much as 8.1% after Sweden’s financial watchdog opened an investigation into suspected market abuse. Here are some of the other biggest European movers today: SMCP shares surge as much as 9.9%, advancing for a 9th session in 10, amid continued hopes the financial troubles of its top shareholder will ultimately lead to a sale TeamViewer climbs much as 4.2% after Bankhaus Metzler initiated coverage with a buy rating, citing the company’s above-market growth AstraZeneca gains as much as 3.6% after its Lynparza drug met the primary endpoint in a prostate cancer trial Darktrace drops as much as 9.2%, paring the stock’s rally over the past few weeks, as a technical pattern triggered a sell signal Adidas and Puma fall as much as 4% and 2.9%, respectively, after U.S. rival Nike’s “large cut” to FY sales guidance, which Jefferies said would “likely hurt” shares of European peers Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for a second day, led by rallies in Japan and Taiwan, following U.S. peers higher amid optimism over the Federal Reserve’s bullish economic outlook and fading concerns over widespread contagion from Evergrande. Stocks were muted in China and Hong Kong. India’s S&P BSE Sensex topped the 60,000 level for the first time on Friday on optimism that speedier vaccinations will improve demand for businesses in Asia’s third-largest economy. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained as much as 0.7%, with TSMC and Sony the biggest boosts. That trimmed the regional benchmark’s loss for the week to about 1%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 2.1%, reopening after a holiday, pushing its advance for September to 7.7%, the best among major global gauges. The Asian regional benchmark pared its gain as Hong Kong stocks fell sharply in late afternoon trading amid continued uncertainty, with Evergrande giving no sign of making an interest payment that was due Thursday. Among key upcoming events is the leadership election for Japan’s ruling party next week, which will likely determine the country’s next prime minister. “Investor concerns over the Evergrande issue have retreated a bit for now,” said Hajime Sakai, chief fund manager at Mito Securities Co. in Tokyo. “But investors will have to keep downside risk in the corner of their minds.” Indian stocks rose, pushing the Sensex above 60,000 for the first time ever. Key gauges fell in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, while the Thai market was closed for a holiday. Treasuries are higher as U.S. trading day begins after rebounding from weekly lows reached during Asia session, adding to Thursday’s losses. The 10-year yield was down 1bp at ~1.42%, just above the 100-DMA breached on Thursday for the first time in three months; it climbed to 1.449% during Asia session, highest since July 6, and remains 5.2bp higher on the week, its fifth straight weekly increase. Several Fed speakers are slated, first since Wednesday’s FOMC commentary set forth a possible taper timeline.  Bunds and gilts recover off cheapest levels, curves bear steepening. USTs bull steepen, richening 1.5bps from the 10y point out. Peripheral spreads are wider. BTP spreads widen 2-3bps to Bunds. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed back from a one-week low as concern about possible contagion from Evergrande added to buying of the greenback based on the Federal Reserve tapering timeline signaled on Wednesday. NZD, AUD and CAD sit at the bottom of the G-10 scoreboard. ZAR and TRY are the weakest in EM FX. The pound fell after its rally on Thursday as investors looked ahead to BOE Governor Andrew Bailey’s sPeech next week about a possible interest-rate hike. Traders are betting that in a contest to raise borrowing costs first, the Bank of England will be the runaway winner over the Federal Reserve. The New Zealand and Aussie dollars led declines among Group-of-10 peers. The euro was trading flat, with a week full of events failing “to generate any clear directional move,” said ING analysts Francesco Pesole and Chris Turner. German IFO sentiment indeces will “provide extra indications about the area’s sentiment as  businesses faced a combination of delta variant concerns and lingering supply disruptions”. The Norwegian krone is the best performing currency among G10 peers this week, with Thursday’s announcement from the Norges Bank offering support In commodities, crude futures hold a narrow range up around best levels for the week. WTI stalls near $73.40, Brent near $77.50. Spot gold extends Asia’s gains, adding $12 on the session to trade near $1,755/oz. Base metals are mixed, LME nickel and aluminum drop ~1%, LME tin outperforms with a 2.8% rally. Bitcoin dips after the PBOC says all crypto-related transactions are illegal. Looking to the day ahead now, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,423.50 STOXX Europe 600 down 0.7% to 464.18 German 10Y yield fell 8.5 bps to -0.236% Euro little changed at $1.1737 MXAP up 0.4% to 201.25 MXAPJ down 0.5% to 643.20 Nikkei up 2.1% to 30,248.81 Topix up 2.3% to 2,090.75 Hang Seng Index down 1.3% to 24,192.16 Shanghai Composite down 0.8% to 3,613.07 Sensex up 0.2% to 60,031.83 Australia S&P/ASX 200 down 0.4% to 7,342.60 Kospi little changed at 3,125.24 Brent Futures up 0.4% to $77.57/bbl Gold spot up 0.7% to $1,755.38 U.S. Dollar Index little changed at 93.14 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg China Evergrande Group’s unusual silence about a dollar-bond interest payment that was due Thursday has put a focus on what might happen during a 30-day grace period. The Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation target is increasingly out of step with international counterparts and fails to account for structural changes in the country’s economy over the past 30 years, Westpac Banking Corp.’s Bill Evans said. With central banks from Washington to London this week signaling more alarm over faster inflation, the ultra-stimulative path of the euro zone and some of its neighbors appears lonelier than ever. China’s central bank continued to pump liquidity into the financial system on Friday as policy makers sought to avoid contagion stemming from China Evergrande Group spreading to domestic markets. A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asian equity markets traded mixed with the region failing to fully sustain the impetus from the positive performance across global counterparts after the silence from Evergrande and lack of coupon payments for its offshore bonds, stirred uncertainty for the company. ASX 200 (-0.4%) was negative as underperformance in mining names and real estate overshadowed the advances in tech and resilience in financials from the higher yield environment. Nikkei 225 (+2.1%) was the biggest gainer overnight as it played catch up to the prior day’s recovery on return from the Autumnal Equinox holiday in Japan and with exporters cheering the recent risk-conducive currency flows, while KOSPI (-0.1%) was lacklustre amid the record daily COVID-19 infections and after North Korea deemed that it was premature to declare that the Korean War was over. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (-0.8%) were indecisive after further liquidity efforts by the PBoC were offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds but has a 30-day grace period with the Co. remaining quiet on the issue. Finally, 10yr JGBs were lower on spillover selling from global counterparts including the declines in T-notes as the US 10yr yield breached 1.40% for the first time since early-July with the pressure in bonds also stemming from across the Atlantic following a more hawkish BoE, while the presence of the BoJ in the market today for over JPY 1.3tln of government bonds with 1yr-10yr maturities did very little to spur prices. Top Asian News Rivals for Prime Minister Battle on Social Media: Japan Election Asian Stocks Rise for Second Day, Led by Gains in Japan, Taiwan Hong Kong Stocks Still Wagged by Evergrande Tail Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Tech Index Extends Decline to More Than 2% European equities (Stoxx 600 -0.9%) are trading on the back foot in the final trading session of the week amid further advances in global bond yields and a mixed APAC handover. Overnight, saw gains for the Nikkei 225 of 2.1% with the index aided by favourable currency flows, whilst Chinese markets lagged (Shanghai Comp. -0.8%, Hang Seng -1.6%) with further liquidity efforts by the PBoC offset by concerns surrounding Evergrande after the Co. failed to make coupon payments due yesterday for offshore bonds. As context, despite the losses in Europe today, the Stoxx 600 is still higher by some 1.2% on the week. Stateside, futures are also on a softer footing with the ES down by 0.4% ahead of a busy Fed speaker schedule. Back to Europe, sectors are lower across the board with Retail and Personal & Household Goods lagging peers. The former has been hampered by losses in Adidas (-3.0%) following after hours earnings from Nike (-4.2% pre-market) which saw the Co. cut its revenue guidance amid supply chain woes. AstraZeneca (+2.1%) sits at the top of the FTSE 100 after announcing that the Lynparza PROpel trial met its primary endpoint. Daimler’s (+0.1%) Mercedes-Benz has announced that it will take a 33% stake in a battery cell manufacturing JV with Total and Stellantis. EQT (-6.5%) sits at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after the Swedish FSA announced it will open an investigation into the Co. Top European News EQT Investigated by Sweden’s FSA Over Suspected Market Abuse Gazprom Says Claims of Gas Under-supply to Europe Are ‘Absurd’ German Sept. Ifo Business Confidence 98.8; Est. 99 German Business Index at Five-Month Low in Pre-Election Verdict In FX, the rot seems to have stopped for the Buck in terms of its sharp and marked fall from grace amidst post-FOMC reflection and re-positioning in the financial markets on Thursday. Indeed, the Dollar index has regained some poise to hover above the 93.000 level having recoiled from 93.526 to 92.977 over the course of yesterday’s hectic session that saw the DXY register a marginal new w-t-d high and low at either end of the spectrum. Pre-weekend short covering and consolidation may be giving the Greenback a lift, while the risk backdrop is also less upbeat ahead of a raft of Fed speakers flanking US new home sales data. Elsewhere, the Euro remains relatively sidelined and contained against the Buck with little independent inspiration from the latest German Ifo survey as the business climate deteriorated broadly in line with consensus and current conditions were worse than forecast, but business expectations were better than anticipated. Hence, Eur/Usd is still stuck in a rut and only briefly/fractionally outside 1.1750-00 parameters for the entire week, thus far, as hefty option expiry interest continues to keep the headline pair in check. However, there is significantly less support or gravitational pull at the round number today compared to Thursday as ‘only’ 1.3 bn rolls off vs 4.1 bn, and any upside breach could be capped by 1.1 bn between 1.1765-85. CAD/NZD/AUD - Some payback for the non-US Dollars following their revival, with the Loonie waning from 1.2650+ peaks ahead of Canadian budget balances, though still underpinned by crude as WTI hovers around Usd 73.50/brl and not far from decent option expiries (from 1.2655-50 and 1.2625-30 in 1.4 bn each). Similarly, the Kiwi has faded after climbing to within single digits of 0.7100 in wake of NZ trade data overnight revealing a much wider deficit as exports slowed and imports rose, while the Aussie loses grip of the 0.7300 handle and skirts 1.1 bn option expiries at 0.7275. CHF/GBP/JPY - The Franc is fairly flat and restrained following a dovish SNB policy review that left in lagging somewhat yesterday, with Usd/Chf and Eur/Chf straddling 0.9250 and 1.0850 respectively, in contrast to Sterling that is paring some hawkish BoE momentum, as Cable retreats to retest bids circa 1.3700 and Eur/Gbp bounces from sub-0.8550. Elsewhere, the Yen has not been able to fend off further downside through 110.00 even though Japanese participants have returned to the fray after the Autumn Equinox holiday and reports suggest some COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted in 13 prefectures on a trial basis. SCANDI/EM/PM/CRYPTO - A slight change in the pecking order in Scandi-land as the Nok loses some post-Norges Bank hike impetus and the Sek unwinds a bit of its underperformance, but EM currencies are bearing the brunt of the aforementioned downturn in risk sentiment and firmer Usd, with the Zar hit harder than other as Gold is clings to Usd 1750/oz and Try down to deeper post-CBRT rate cut lows after mixed manufacturing sentiment and cap u readings. Meanwhile, Bitcoin is being shackled by the latest Chinese crackdown on mining and efforts to limit risks from what it describes as unlawful speculative crypto currency trading. In commodities, WTI and Brent are set the conclude the week in the green with gains in excess of 2% for WTI at the time of writing; in-spite of the pressure seen in the complex on Monday and the first-half of Tuesday, where a sub USD 69.50/bbl low was printed. Fresh newsflow has, once again, been limited for the complex and continues to focus on the gas situation. More broadly, no update as of yet on the Evergrande interest payment and by all accounts we appear to have entered the 30-day grace period for this and, assuming catalysts remain slim, updates on this will may well dictate the state-of-play. Schedule wise, the session ahead eyes significant amounts of central bank commentary but from a crude perspective the weekly Baker Hughes rig count will draw attention. On the weather front, Storm Sam has been upgraded to a Hurricane and is expected to rapidly intensify but currently remains someway into the mid-Atlantic. Moving to metals, LME copper is pivoting the unchanged mark after a mixed APAC lead while attention is on Glencore’s CSA copper mine, which it has received an offer for; the site in 2020 produced circa. 46k/T of copper which is typically exported to Asia smelters. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are firmer but have been very contained and remain well-within overnight ranges thus far. Which sees the yellow metal holding just above the USD 1750/oz mark after a brief foray below the level after the US-close. US Event Calendar 10am: Aug. New Home Sales MoM, est. 1.0%, prior 1.0% 10am: Aug. New Home Sales, est. 715,000, prior 708,000 Central Bank Speakers 8:45am: Fed’s Mester Discusses the Economic Outlook 10am: Powell, Clarida and Bowman Host Fed Listens Event 10:05am: Fed’s George Discusses Economic Outlook 12pm: Fed’s Bostic Discusses Equitable Community Development DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap WFH today is a bonus as it’s time for the annual ritual at home where the latest, sleekest, shiniest iPhone model arrives in the post and i sheepishly try to justify to my wife when I get home why I need an incremental upgrade. This year to save me from the Spanish Inquisition I’m going to intercept the courier and keep quiet. Problem is that such speed at intercepting the delivery will be logistically challenging as I remain on crutches (5 weeks to go) and can’t grip properly with my left hand due to an ongoing trapped nerve. I’m very glad I’m not a racehorse. Although hopefully I can be put out to pasture in front of the Ryder Cup this weekend. The big news of the last 24 hours has been a galloping global yield rise worthy of the finest thoroughbred. A hawkish Fed meeting, with the dots increasing and the end of QE potentially accelerated, didn’t quite have the ability to move markets but the global dam finally broke yesterday with Norway being the highest profile developed country to raise rates this cycle (expected), but more importantly a Bank of England meeting that saw the market reappraise rate hikes. Looking at the specific moves, yields on 10yr Treasuries were up +13.0bps to 1.430% in their biggest daily increase since 25 February, as both higher real rates (+7.9bps) and inflation breakevens (+4.9bps) drove the advance. US 10yr yields had been trading in a c.10bp range for the last month before breaking out higher, though they have been trending higher since dropping as far as 1.17% back in early-August. US 30yr yields rose +13.2bps, which was the biggest one day move in long dated yields since March 17 2020, which was at the onset of the pandemic and just days after the Fed announced it would be starting the current round of QE. The large selloff in US bonds saw the yield curve steepen and the long-end give back roughly half of the FOMC flattening from the day before. The 5y30y curve steepened 3.4bps for a two day move of -3.3bps. However the 2y10y curve steepened +10.5bps, completely reversing the prior day’s flattening (-4.2bps) and leaving the spread at 116bp, the steepest level since first week of July. 10yr gilt yields saw nearly as strong a move (+10.8bps) with those on shorter-dated 2yr gilts (+10.7bps) hitting their highest level (0.386%) since the pandemic began.That came on the back of the BoE’s latest policy decision, which pointed in a hawkish direction, building on the comment in the August statement that “some modest tightening of monetary policy over the forecast period is likely to be necessary” by saying that “some developments during the intervening period appear to have strengthened that case”. The statement pointed out that the rise in gas prices since August represented an upside risks to their inflation projections from next April, and the MPC’s vote also saw 2 members (up from 1 in August) vote to dial back QE. See DB’s Sanjay Raja’s revised rate hike forecasts here. We now expect a 15bps hike in February. The generalised move saw yields in other European countries rise as well, with those on 10yr bunds (+6.6bps), OATs (+6.5bps) and BTPs (+5.7bps) all seeing big moves higher with 10yr bunds seeing their biggest climb since late-February and back to early-July levels as -0.258%. The yield rise didn’t stop equity indices recovering further from Monday’s rout, with the S&P 500 up +1.21% as the index marked its best performance in over 2 months, and its best 2-day performance since May. Despite the mood at the end of the weekend, the S&P now starts Friday in positive territory for the week. The rally yesterday was led by cyclicals for a second straight day with higher commodity prices driving outsized gains for energy (+3.41%) and materials (+1.39%) stocks, and the aforementioned higher yields causing banks (+3.37%) and diversified financials (+2.35%) to outperform. The reopening trade was the other main beneficiary as airlines rose +2.99% and consumer services, which include hotel and cruiseline companies, gained +1.92%. In Europe, the STOXX 600 (+0.93%) witnessed a similarly strong performance, with index led by banks (+2.16%). As a testament to the breadth of yesterday’s rally, the travel and leisure sector (+0.04%) was the worst performing sector on this side of the Atlantic even while registering a small gain and lagging its US counterparts. Before we get onto some of yesterday’s other events, it’s worth noting that this is actually the last EMR before the German election on Sunday, which has long been signposted as one of the more interesting macro events on the 2021 calendar, the results of which will play a key role in not just domestic, but also EU policy. And with Chancellor Merkel stepping down after four terms in office, this means that the country will soon be under new management irrespective of who forms a government afterwards. It’s been a volatile campaign in many respects, with Chancellor Merkel’s CDU/CSU, the Greens and the centre-left SPD all having been in the lead at various points over the last six months. But for the last month Politico’s Poll of Polls has shown the SPD consistently ahead, with their tracker currently putting them on 25%, ahead of the CDU/CSU on 22% and the Greens on 16%. However the latest poll from Forschungsgruppe Wahlen yesterday suggested a tighter race with the SPD at 25, the CDU/CSU at 23% and the Greens at 16.5%. If the actual results are in line with the recent averages, it would certainly mark a sea change in German politics, as it would be the first time that the SPD have won the popular vote since the 2002 election. Furthermore, it would be the CDU/CSU’s worst ever result, and mark the first time in post-war Germany that the two main parties have failed to win a majority of the vote between them, which mirrors the erosion of the traditional big parties in the rest of continental Europe. For the Greens, 15% would be their best ever score, and exceed the 9% they got back in 2017 that left them in 6th place, but it would also be a disappointment relative to their high hopes back in the spring, when they were briefly polling in the mid-20s after Annalena Baerbock was selected as their Chancellor candidate. In terms of when to expect results, the polls close at 17:00 London time, with initial exit polls released immediately afterwards. However, unlike the UK, where a new majority government can immediately come to power the day after the election, the use of proportional representation in Germany means that it could potentially be weeks or months before a new government is formed. Indeed, after the last election in September 2017, it wasn’t until March 2018 that the new grand coalition between the CDU/CSU and the SPD took office, after attempts to reach a “Jamaica” coalition between the CDU/CSU, the FDP and the Greens was unsuccessful. In the meantime, the existing government will act as a caretaker administration. On the policy implications, it will of course depend on what sort of government is actually formed, but our research colleagues in Frankfurt have produced a comprehensive slidepack (link here) running through what the different parties want across a range of policies, and what the likely coalitions would mean for Germany. They also put out another note yesterday (link here) where they point out that there’s still much to play for, with the SPD’s lead inside the margin of error and with an unusually high share of yet undecided voters. Moving on to Asia and markets are mostly higher with the Nikkei (+2.04%), CSI (+0.53%) and India’s Nifty (+0.52%) up while the Hang Seng (-0.03%), Shanghai Comp (-0.07%) and Kospi (-0.10%) have all made small moves lower. Meanwhile, the Evergrande group missed its dollar bond coupon payment yesterday and so far there has been no communication from the group on this. They have a 30-day grace period to make the payment before any event of default can be declared. This follows instructions from China’s Financial regulators yesterday in which they urged the group to take all measures possible to avoid a near-term default on dollar bonds while focusing on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors. Yields on Australia and New Zealand’s 10y sovereign bonds are up +14.5bps and +11.3bps respectively this morning after yesterday’s move from their western counterparts. Yields on 10y USTs are also up a further +1.1bps to 1.443%. Elsewhere, futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.04% while those on the Stoxx 50 are down -0.10%. In terms of overnight data, Japan’s August CPI printed at -0.4% yoy (vs. -0.3% yoy expected) while core was unchanged in line with expectations. We also received Japan’s flash PMIs with the services reading at 47.4 (vs. 42.9 last month) while the manufacturing reading came in at 51.2 (vs. 52.7 last month). In pandemic related news, Jiji reported that Japan is planning to conduct trials of easing Covid restrictions, with 13 prefectures indicating they’d like to participate. This is likely contributing to the outperformance of the Nikkei this morning. Back to yesterday now, and one of the main highlights came from the flash PMIs, which showed a continued deceleration in growth momentum across Europe and the US, and also underwhelmed relative to expectations. Running through the headline numbers, the Euro Area composite PMI fell to 56.1 (vs. 58.5 expected), which is the lowest figure since April, as both the manufacturing (58.7 vs 60.3 expected) and services (56.3 vs. 58.5 expected) came in beneath expectations. Over in the US, the composite PMI fell to 54.5 in its 4th consecutive decline, as the index hit its lowest level in a year, while the UK’s composite PMI at 54.1 (vs. 54.6 expected) was the lowest since February when the country was still in a nationwide lockdown. Risk assets seemed unperturbed by the readings, and commodities actually took another leg higher as they rebounded from their losses at the start of the week. The Bloomberg Commodity Spot index rose +1.12% as Brent crude oil (+1.39%) closed at $77.25/bbl, which marked its highest closing level since late 2018, while WTI (+1.07%) rose to $73.30/bbl, so still a bit beneath its recent peak in July. However that is a decent rebound of roughly $11/bbl since its recent low just over a month ago. Elsewhere, gold (-1.44%) took a knock amidst the sharp move higher in yields, while European natural gas prices subsidised for a third day running, with futures now down -8.5% from their intraday peak on Tuesday, although they’re still up by +71.3% since the start of August. US negotiations regarding the upcoming funding bill and raising the debt ceiling are ongoing, with House Speaker Pelosi saying that the former, also called a continuing resolution, will pass “both houses by September 30,” and fund the government through the first part of the fiscal year, starting October 1. Treasury Secretary Yellen has said the US will likely breach the debt ceiling sometime in the next month if Congress does not increase the level, and because Republicans are unwilling to vote to raise the ceiling, Democrats will have to use the once-a-fiscal-year tool of budget reconciliation to do so. However Democrats, are also using that process for the $3.5 trillion dollar economic plan that makes up the bulk of the Biden agenda, and have not been able to get full party support yet. During a joint press conference with Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer said that Democrats have a “framework” to pay for the Biden Economic agenda, which would imply that the broad outline of a deal was reached between the House, Senate and the White House. However, no specifics were mentioned yesterday. With Democrats looking to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill early next week, negotiations today and this weekend on the potential reconciliation package will be vital. Looking at yesterday’s other data, the weekly initial jobless claims from the US for the week through September 18 unexpectedly rose to 351k (vs. 320k expected), which is the second week running they’ve come in above expectations. Separately, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index fell to 0.29 in August (vs. 0.50 expected), and the Kansas City Fed’s manufacturing activity index also fell more than expected to 22 in September (vs. 25 expected). To the day ahead now, and data highlights include the Ifo’s business climate indicator from Germany for September, along with Italian consumer confidence for September and US new home sales for August. From central banks, we’ll hear from Fed Chair Powell, Vice Chair Clarida and the Fed’s Mester, Bowman, George and Bostic, as well as the ECB’s Lane and Elderson, and the BoE’s Tenreyro. Finally, a summit of the Quad Leaders will be held at the White House, including President Biden, and the Prime Ministers of Australia, India and Japan. Tyler Durden Fri, 09/24/2021 - 08:12.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 24th, 2021

Futures Rise On Taper, Evergrande Optimism

Futures Rise On Taper, Evergrande Optimism US index futures jumped overnight even as the Fed confirmed that a November tapering was now guaranteed and would be completed by mid-2022 with one rate hike now on deck, while maintaining the possibility to extend stimulus if necessitated by the economy. Sentiment got an additional boost from a strong showing of Evergrande stock - which closed up 17% - during the Chinese session, which peaked just after Bloomberg reported that China told Evergrande to avoid a near-term dollar bond default and which suggested that the "government wants to avoid an imminent collapse of the developer" however that quickly reversed when the WSJ reported, just one hour later, that China was making preparations for Evergrande's demise, and although that hammered stocks, the report explicitly noted that a worst-case scenario for Evergrande would mean a partial or full nationalization as "local-level government agencies and state-owned enterprises have been instructed to step in only at the last minute should Evergrande fail to manage its affairs in an orderly fashion." In other words, both reports are bullish: either foreign creditors are made whole (no default) as per BBG or the situation deteriorates and Evergrande is nationalized ("SOEs step in") as per WSJ. According to Bloomberg, confidence is building that markets can ride out a pullback in Fed stimulus, unlike 2013 when the taper tantrum triggered large losses in bonds and equities. "Investors are betting that the economic and profit recovery will be strong enough to outweigh a reduction in asset purchases, while ultra-low rates will continue to support riskier assets even as concerns linger about contagion from China’s real-estate woes." That's one view: the other is that the Fed has so broken the market's discounting ability we won't know just how bad tapering will get until it actually begins. “The Fed has got to be pleased that their communication on the longer way to tapering has avoided the dreaded fear of the tantrum,” Jeffrey Rosenberg, senior portfolio manager for systematic fixed income at BlackRock Inc., said on Bloomberg Television. “This is a very good outcome for the Fed in terms of signaling their intent to give the market information well ahead of the tapering decision.” Then there is the question of Evergrande: “With regards to Evergrande, all those people who are waiting for a Lehman moment in China will probably have to wait another turn,” said Ken Peng, an investment strategist at Citi Private Bank Asia Pacific. “So I wouldn’t treat this as completely bad, but there are definitely a lot of risks on the horizon.” In any case, today's action is a continuation of the best day in two months for both the Dow and the S&P which staged a strong recovery from two-month lows hit earlier in the week, and as of 745am ET, S&P 500 E-minis were up 25.25 points, or 0.6%, Dow E-minis were up 202 points, or 0.59%, while Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 92.0 points, or 0.60%. In the premarket, electric vehicle startup Lucid Group rose 3.1% in U.S. premarket trading. PAVmed (PVM US) jumps 11% after its Lucid Diagnostics unit announced plans to list on the Global Market of the Nasdaq Stock Market.  Here are some of the biggest movers today: U.S.-listed Chinese stocks rise in premarket trading as fears of contagion from China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis ease. Blackberry (BB US) shares rise 8.7% in premarket after co.’s 2Q adjusted revenue beat the average of analysts’ estimates Eargo (EAR US) falls 57% in Thursday premarket after the hearing aid company revealed it was the target of a Justice Department criminal probe and withdrew its forecasts for the year Amplitude Healthcare Acquisition (AMHC US) doubled in U.S. premarket trading after the SPAC’s shareholders approved the previously announced business combination with Jasper Therapeutics Steelcase (SCS US) fell 4.8% Wednesday postmarket after the office products company reported revenue for the second quarter that missed the average analyst estimate Vertex Energy Inc. (VTNR US) gained 2.1% premarket after saying the planned acquisition of a refinery in Mobile, Alabama from Royal DutVTNR US Equitych Shell Plc is on schedule Synlogic (SYBX US) shares declined 9.7% premarket after it launched a stock offering launched without disclosing a size HB Fuller (FUL US) climbed 2.7% in postmarket trading after third quarter sales beat even the highest analyst estimate Europe's Stoxx 600 index rose 0.9%, lifted by carmakers, tech stocks and utilities, which helped it recover losses sparked earlier in the week by concerns about Evergrande and China’s crackdown on its property sector. The gauge held its gain after surveys of purchasing managers showed business activity in the euro area lost momentum and slowed broadly in September after demand peaked over the summer and supply-chain bottlenecks hurt services and manufacturers. Euro Area Composite PMI (September, Flash): 56.1, consensus 58.5, last 59.0. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (September, Flash): 58.7, consensus 60.3, last 61.4. Euro Area Services PMI (September, Flash): 56.3, consensus 58.5, last 59.0. Germany Composite PMI (September, Flash): 55.3, consensus 59.2, last 60.0. France Composite PMI (September, Flash): 55.1, consensus 55.7, last 55.9. UK Composite PMI (September, Flash): 54.1, consensus 54.6, last 54.8. Commenting on Europe's PMIs, Goldman said that the Euro area composite PMI declined by 2.9pt to 56.1 in September, well below consensus expectations. The softening was broad-based across countries but primarily led by Germany. The peripheral composite flash PMI also weakened significantly in September but remain very high by historical standards (-2.4pt to 57.5). Across sectors, the September composite decline was also broad-based, with manufacturing output softening (-3.3pt to 55.6) to a similar extent as services (-2.7pt to 56.3). Supply-side issues and upward cost and price pressures continued to be widely reported. Expectations of future output growth declined by less than spot output on the back of delta variant worries and supply issues, remaining far above historically average levels. Earlier in the session, Asian stocks rose for the first time in four sessions, as Hong Kong helped lead a rally on hopes that troubled property firm China Evergrande Group will make progress on debt repayment. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed as much as 0.5%, with Tencent and Meituan providing the biggest boosts. The Hang Seng jumped as much as 2.5%, led by real estate stocks as Evergrande surged more than 30%. Hong Kong shares later pared their gains. Asian markets were also cheered by gains in U.S. stocks overnight even as the Federal Reserve said it may begin scaling back stimulus this year. A $17 billion net liquidity injection from the People’s Bank of China also provided a lift, while the Fed and Bank of Japan downplayed Evergrande risks in comments accompanying policy decisions Wednesday. Evergrande’s stock closed 18% higher in Hong Kong, in a delayed reaction to news a unit of the developer had negotiated interest payments on yuan notes. A coupon payment on its 2022 dollar bond is due on Thursday “Investors are perhaps reassessing the tail risk of a disorderly fallout from Evergrande’s credit issues,” said Chetan Seth, a strategist at Nomura. “However, I am not sure if the fundamental issue around its sustainable deleveraging has been addressed. I suspect markets will likely remain quite volatile until we have some definite direction from authorities on the eventual resolution of Evergrande’s debt problems.” Stocks rose in most markets, with Australia, Taiwan, Singapore and India also among the day’s big winners. South Korea’s benchmark was the lone decliner, while Japan was closed for a holiday In rates, Treasuries were off session lows, with the 10Y trading a 1.34%, but remained under pressure in early U.S. session led by intermediate sectors, where 5Y yield touched highest since July 2. Wednesday’s dramatic yield-curve flattening move unleashed by Fed communications continued, compressing 5s30s spread to 93.8bp, lowest since May 2020. UK 10-year yield climbed 3.4bp to session high 0.833% following BOE rate decision (7-2 vote to keep bond-buying target unchanged); bunds outperformed slightly. Peripheral spreads tighten with long-end Italy outperforming. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index reversed an earlier gain and dropped 0.3% as the dollar weakened against all of its Group-of-10 peers apart from the yen amid a more positive sentiment. CAD, NOK and SEK are the strongest performers in G-10, JPY the laggard.  The euro and the pound briefly pared gains after weaker-than-forecast German and British PMIs. The pound rebounded from an eight-month low amid a return of global risk appetite as investors assessed whether the Bank of England will follow the Federal Reserve’s hawkish tone later Thursday. The yield differential between 10-year German and Italian debt narrowed to its tightest since April. Norway’s krone advanced after Norges Bank raised its policy rate in line with expectations and signaled a faster pace of tightening over the coming years. The franc whipsawed as the Swiss National Bank kept its policy rate and deposit rate at record lows, as expected, and reiterated its pledge to wage currency market interventions. The yen fell as a unit of China Evergrande said it had reached an agreement with bond holders over an interest payment, reducing demand for haven assets. Turkey’s lira slumped toa record low against the dollar after the central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates. In commodities, crude futures drifted lower after a rangebound Asia session. WTI was 0.25% lower, trading near $72; Brent dips into the red, so far holding above $76. Spot gold adds $3.5, gentle reversing Asia’s losses to trade near $1,771/oz. Base metals are well bid with LME aluminum leading gains. Bitcoin steadied just below $44,000. Looking at the day ahead, we get the weekly initial jobless claims, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for August, and the Kansas City fed’s manufacturing activity index for September. From central banks, there’ll be a monetary policy decision from the Bank of England, while the ECB will be publishing their Economic Bulletin and the ECB’s Elderson will also speak. From emerging markets, there’ll also be monetary policy decisions from the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally in Germany, there’s an election debate with the lead candidates from the Bundestag parties. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures up 0.7% to 4,413.75 STOXX Europe 600 up 1.1% to 468.32 MXAP up 0.5% to 200.57 MXAPJ up 0.9% to 645.76 Nikkei down 0.7% to 29,639.40 Topix down 1.0% to 2,043.55 Hang Seng Index up 1.2% to 24,510.98 Shanghai Composite up 0.4% to 3,642.22 Sensex up 1.4% to 59,728.37 Australia S&P/ASX 200 up 1.0% to 7,370.22 Kospi down 0.4% to 3,127.58 German 10Y yield fell 5.6 bps to -0.306% Euro up 0.4% to $1.1728 Brent Futures up 0.3% to $76.39/bbl Gold spot up 0.0% to $1,768.25 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.33% to 93.16 Top Overnight News from Bloomberg Financial regulators in Beijing issued a broad set of instructions to China Evergrande Group, telling the embattled developer to focus on completing unfinished properties and repaying individual investors while avoiding a near-term default on dollar bonds China’s central bank net-injected the most short- term liquidity in eight months into the financial system, with markets roiled by concerns over China Evergrande Group’s debt crisis Europe’s worst energy crisis in decades could drag deep into the cold months as Russia is unlikely to boost shipments until at least November Business activity in the euro area “markedly” lost momentum in September after demand peaked over the summer and supply chain bottlenecks hurt both services and manufacturers. Surveys of purchasing managers by IHS Markit showed growth in both sectors slowing more than expected, bringing overall activity to a five-month low. Input costs, meanwhile, surged to the highest in 21 years, according to the report The U.K. private sector had its weakest month since the height of the winter lockdown and inflation pressures escalated in September, adding to evidence that the recovery is running into significant headwinds, IHS Markit said The U.K.’s record- breaking debut green bond sale has given debt chief Robert Stheeman conviction on the benefits of an environmental borrowing program. The 10 billion-pound ($13.7 billion) deal this week was the biggest-ever ethical bond sale and the country is already planning another offering next month A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquaw Asian equity markets traded mostly positive as the region took its cue from the gains in US with the improved global sentiment spurred by some easing of Evergrande concerns and with stocks also unfazed by the marginally more hawkish than anticipated FOMC announcement (detailed above). ASX 200 (+1.0%) was underpinned by outperformance in the commodity-related sectors and strength in defensives, which have more than atoned for the losses in tech and financials, as well as helped markets overlook the record daily COVID-19 infections in Victoria state. Hang Seng (+0.7%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.6%) were also positive after another respectable liquidity operation by the PBoC and with some relief in Evergrande shares which saw early gains of more than 30% after recent reports suggested a potential restructuring by China’s government and with the Co. Chairman noting that the top priority is to help wealth investors redeem their products, although the majority of the Evergrande gains were then pared and unit China Evergrande New Energy Vehicle fully retraced the initial double-digit advances. KOSPI (-0.5%) was the laggard as it played catch up to the recent losses on its first trading day of the week and amid concerns that COVID cases could surge following the holiday period, while Japanese markets were closed in observance of the Autumnal Equinox Day. China Pumps $17 Billion Into System Amid Evergrande Concerns China Stocks From Property to Tech Jump on Evergrande Respite Philippines Holds Key Rate to Spur Growth Amid Higher Prices Taiwan’s Trade Deal Application Sets Up Showdown With China Top Asian News European equities (Stoxx 600 +0.9%) trade on the front-foot and have extended gains since the cash open with the Stoxx 600 now higher on the week after Monday’s heavy losses. From a macro perspective, price action in Europe has been undeterred by a slowdown in Eurozone PMIs which saw the composite metric slip to 56.1 from 59.0 (exp. 58.5) with IHS Markit noting “an unwelcome combination of sharply slower economic growth and steeply rising prices.” Instead, stocks in the region have taken the cue from a firmer US and Asia-Pac handover with performance in Chinese markets aided by further liquidity injections by the PBoC. Some positivity has also been observed on the Evergrande front amid mounting expectations of a potential restructuring at the company. That said, at the time of writing, it remains unclear what the company’s intentions are for repaying its USD 83.5mln onshore coupon payment. Note, ING highlights that “missing that payment today would still leave a 30-day grace period before this is registered as a default”. The most recent reports via WSJ indicate that Chinese authorities are asking local governments to begin preparations for the potential downfall of Evergrande; however, the article highlights that this is a last resort and Beijing is reluctant to step in. Nonetheless, this article has taken the shine off the mornings risk appetite, though we do remain firmer on the session. Stateside, as the dust settles on yesterday’s FOMC announcement, futures are firmer with outperformance in the RTY (+0.8% vs. ES +0.7%). Sectors in Europe are higher across the board with outperformance in Tech and Autos with the latter aided by gains in Faurecia (+4.6%) who sit at the top of the Stoxx 600 after making an unsurprising cut to its guidance, which will at least provide some clarity on the Co.’s near-term future; in sympathy, Valeo (+6.6) is also a notable gainer in the region. To the downside, Entain (+2.6%) sit at the foot of the Stoxx 600 after recent strong gains with the latest newsflow surrounding the Co. noting that MGM Resorts is considering different methods to acquire control of the BetMGM online gambling business JV, following the DraftKings offer for Entain, according to sources. The agreement between Entain and MGM gives MGM the ability to block any deal with competing businesses; MGM officials believe this grants the leverage to take full control of BetMGM without spending much. Top European News BOE Confronts Rising Prices, Slower Growth: Decision Guide La Banque Postale Eyes Retail, Asset Management M&A in Europe Activist Bluebell Raises Pressure on Glaxo CEO Walmsley Norway Delivers Rate Lift-Off With Next Hike Set for December In FX, not much bang for the Buck even though the FOMC matched the most hawkish market expectations and Fed chair Powell arguably went further by concluding in the post-meeting press conference that substantial progress on the lagging labour front is all but done. Hence, assuming the economy remains on course, tapering could start as soon as November and be completed my the middle of 2022, though he continued to play down tightening prospects irrespective of the more hawkish trajectory implied by the latest SEP dot plots that are now skewed towards at least one hike next year and a cumulative seven over the forecast horizon. However, the Greenback only managed to grind out marginally higher highs overnight, with the index reaching 93.526 vs 93.517 at best yesterday before retreating quite sharply and quickly to 93.138 in advance of jobless claims and Markit’s flash PMIs. CAD/NZD/AUD - The Loonie is leading the comeback charge in major circles and only partially assisted by WTI keeping a firm bid mostly beyond Usd 72/brl, and Usd/Cad may remain contained within 1.2796-50 ahead of Canadian retail sales given decent option expiry interest nearby and protecting the downside (1 bn between 1.2650-65 and 2.7 bn from 1.2620-00). Meanwhile, the Kiwi has secured a firmer grip on the 0.7000 handle to test 0.7050 pre-NZ trade and the Aussie is looking much more comfortable beyond 0.7250 amidst signs of improvement in the flash PMIs, albeit with the services and composite headline indices still some way short of the 50.0 mark. NOK/GBP/EUR/CHF - All firmer, and the Norwegian Crown outperforming following confirmation of the start of rate normalisation by the Norges Bank that also underscored another 25 bp hike in December and further tightening via a loftier rate path. Eur/Nok encountered some support around 10.1000 for a while, but is now below, while the Pound has rebounded against the Dollar and Euro in the run up to the BoE at midday. Cable is back up around 1.3770 and Eur/Gbp circa 0.8580 as Eur/Usd hovers in the low 1.1700 area eyeing multiple and a couple of huge option expiries (at the 1.1700 strike in 4.1 bn, 1.1730 in 1 bn, 1.1745-55 totalling 2.7 bn and 1.8 bn from 1.1790-1.1800). Note, Eurozone and UK flash PMIs did not live up to their name, but hardly impacted. Elsewhere, the Franc is lagging either side of 0.9250 vs the Buck and 1.0835 against the Euro on the back of a dovish SNB Quarterly Review that retained a high Chf valuation and necessity to maintain NIRP, with only minor change in the ordering of the language surrounding intervention. JPY - The Yen is struggling to keep its head afloat of 110.00 vs the Greenback as Treasury yields rebound and risk sentiment remains bullish pre-Japanese CPI and in thinner trading conditions due to the Autumn Equinox holiday. In commodities, WTI and Brent have been choppy throughout the morning in-spite of the broadly constructive risk appetite. Benchmarks spent much of the morning in proximity to the unchanged mark but the most recent Evergrande developments, via WSJ, have dampened sentiment and sent WTI and Brent back into negative territory for the session and printing incremental fresh lows at the time of publication. Back to crude, newsflow has once again centred around energy ministry commentary with Iraq making clear that oil exports will continue to increase. Elsewhere, gas remains at the forefront of focus particularly in the UK/Europe but developments today have been somewhat incremental. On the subject, Citi writes that Asia and Europe Nat. Gas prices could reach USD 100/MMBtu of USD 580/BOE in the winter, under their tail-risk scenario. For metals, its very much a case of more of the same with base-metals supportive, albeit off-best given Evergrande, after a robust APAC session post-FOMC. Given the gas issues, desks highlight that some companies are being forced to suspend/reduce production of items such as steel in Asian/European markets, a narrative that could become pertinent for broader prices if the situation continues. Elsewhere, spot gold and silver are both modestly firmer but remain well within the range of yesterday’s session and are yet to recovery from the pressure seen in wake of the FOMC. US Event Calendar 8:30am: Sept. Initial Jobless Claims, est. 320,000, prior 332,000; Continuing Claims, est. 2.6m, prior 2.67m 8:30am: Aug. Chicago Fed Nat Activity Index, est. 0.50, prior 0.53 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 55.4 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Services PMI, est. 54.9, prior 55.1 9:45am: Sept. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 61.0, prior 61.1 11am: Sept. Kansas City Fed Manf. Activity, est. 25, prior 29 12pm: 2Q US Household Change in Net Wor, prior $5t DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap My wife was at a parents event at school last night so I had to read three lots of bedtime stories just as the Fed were announcing their policy decision. Peppa Pig, Biff and Kipper, and somebody called Wonder Kid were interspersed with Powell’s press conference live on my phone. It’s fair to say the kids weren’t that impressed by the dot plot and just wanted to join them up. The twins (just turned 4) got their first reading book homework this week and it was a bit sad that one of them was deemed ready to have one with words whereas the other one only pictures. The latter was very upset and cried that his brother had words and he didn’t. That should create even more competitive tension! Back to the dots and yesterday’s Fed meeting was on the hawkish side in terms of the dots and also in terms of Powell’s confidence that the taper could be complete by mid-2022. Powell said that the Fed could begin tapering bond purchases as soon as the November FOMC meeting, in line with our US economists’ forecasts. He left some room for uncertainty, saying they would taper only “If the economy continues to progress broadly in line with expectations, and also the overall situation is appropriate for this.” However he made clear that “the timing and pace of the coming reduction in asset purchases will not be intended to carry a direct signal regarding the timing of interest rate liftoff.” The quarterly “dot plot” showed that the 18 FOMC officials were split on whether to start raising rates next year or not. In June, the median dot indicated no rate increases until 2023, but now 6 members see a 25bps raise next year and 3 members see two such hikes. Their inflation forecasts were also revised up and DB’s Matt Luzzetti writes in his FOMC review (link here) that “If inflation is at or below the Fed's current forecast next year of 2.3% core PCE, liftoff is likely to come in 2023, consistent with our view. However, if inflation proves to be higher with inflation expectations continuing to rise, the first rate increase could well migrate into 2022.” Markets took the overall meeting very much in its stride with the biggest impact probably being a yield curve flattening even if US 10yr Treasury yields traded in just over a 4bp range yesterday and finishing -2.2bps lower at 1.301%. The 5y30y curve flattened -6.7bps to 95.6bps, its flattest level since August 2020, while the 2y10y curve was -4.2bps flatter. So the market seems to believe the more hawkish the Fed gets the more likely they’ll control inflation and/or choke the recovery. The puzzle is that even if the dots are correct, real Fed funds should still be negative and very accommodative historically for all of the forecasting period. As such the market has a very dim view of the ability of the economy to withstand rate hikes or alternatively that the QE technicals are overpowering everything at the moment. In equities, the S&P 500 was up nearly +1.0% 15 minutes prior to the Fed, and then rallied a further 0.5% in the immediate aftermath before a late dip look it back to +0.95%. The late dip meant that the S&P still has not seen a 1% up day since July 23. The index’s rise was driven by cyclicals in particular with energy (+3.17%), semiconductors (-2.20%), and banks (+2.13%) leading the way. Asian markets are mostly trading higher this morning with the Hang Seng (+0.69%), Shanghai Comp (+0.58%), ASX (+1.03%) and India’s Nifty (+0.81%) all up. The Kospi (-0.36%) is trading lower though and is still catching up from the early week holidays. Japan’s markets are closed for a holiday today. Futures on the S&P 500 are up +0.25% while those on the Stoxx 50 are up +0.49%. There is no new news on the Evergrande debt crisis however markets participants are likely to pay attention to whether the group is able to make interest rate payment on its 5 year dollar note today after the group had said yesterday that it resolved a domestic bond coupon by negotiations which was also due today. As we highlighted in our CoTD flash poll conducted earlier this week, market participants are not too worried about a wider fallout from the Evergrande crisis and even the Hang Seng Properties index is up +3.93% this morning and is largely back at the levels before the big Monday sell-off of -6.69%. Overnight we have received flash PMIs for Australia which improved as parts of the country have eased the coronavirus restrictions. The services reading came in at 44.9 (vs. 42.9 last month) and the manufacturing print was even stronger at 57.3 (vs. 52.0 last month). Japan’s flash PMIs will be out tomorrow due to today’s holiday. Ahead of the Fed, markets had continued to rebound from their declines earlier in the week, with Europe’s STOXX 600 gaining +0.99% to narrowly put the index in positive territory for the week. This continues the theme of a relative outperformance among European equities compared to the US, with the STOXX 600 having outpaced the S&P 500 for 5 consecutive sessions now, though obviously by a slim margin yesterday. Sovereign bonds in Europe also posted gains, with yields on 10yr bunds (-0.7bps), OATs (-1.0bps) and BTPs (-3.2bps) all moving lower. Furthermore, there was another tightening in peripheral spreads, with the gap in Italian 10yr yields over bunds falling to 98.8bps yesterday, less than half a basis point away from its tightest level since early April. Moving to fiscal and with Democrats seemingly unable to pass the $3.5 trillion Biden budget plan by Monday, when the House is set to vote on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, Republican leadership is calling on their members to vote against the bipartisan bill in hopes of delaying the process further. While the there is still a high likelihood the measure will eventually get passed, time is becoming a factor. Congress now has just over a week to get a government funding bill through both chambers of congress as well as raise the debt ceiling by next month. Republicans have told Democrats to do the latter in a partisan manner and include it in the reconciliation process which could mean that a significant portion of the Biden economic agenda – mostly encapsulated in the $3.5 trillion over 10 year budget – may have to be cut down to get the entire Democratic caucus on board. Looking ahead, an event to watch out for today will be the Bank of England’s policy decision at 12:00 London time, where our economists write (link here) that they expect no change in the policy settings. However, they do expect a reaffirmation of the BoE’s updated forward guidance that some tightening will be needed over the next few years to keep inflation in check, even if it’s too early to expect a further hawkish pivot at this stage. Staying on the UK, two further energy suppliers (Avro Energy and Green Supplier) ceased trading yesterday amidst the surge in gas prices, with the two supplying 2.9% of domestic customers between them. We have actually seen a modest fall in European natural gas prices over the last couple of days, with the benchmark future down -4.81% since its close on Monday, although it’s worth noting that still leaves them up +75.90% since the start of August alone. There wasn’t much data to speak of yesterday, though US existing home sales fell to an annualised rate of 5.88 in August (vs. 5.89m expected). Separately, the European Commission’s advance consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area unexpectedly rose to -4.0 in September (vs. -5.9 expected). To the day ahead now, the data highlights include the September flash PMIs from around the world, while in the US there’s the weekly initial jobless claims, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index for August, and the Kansas City fed’s manufacturing activity index for September. From central banks, there’ll be a monetary policy decision from the Bank of England, while the ECB will be publishing their Economic Bulletin and the ECB’s Elderson will also speak. From emerging markets, there’ll also be monetary policy decisions from the Central Bank of Turkey and the South African Reserve Bank. Finally in Germany, there’s an election debate with the lead candidates from the Bundestag parties. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/23/2021 - 08:13.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 23rd, 2021

NASDAQ Makes It Look Easy, Gains 1% to New Closing High

NASDAQ Makes It Look Easy, Gains 1% to New Closing High The NASDAQ showed the S&P how it’s done on Monday by soaring 1% and closing at a record high. Meanwhile, its counterpart continues to dilly-dally just under its own milestone. In the end though, they both started the week with solid gains amid another slow summer session with low trading volume. The NASDAQ jumped about 110 points to a new high of 11,129.73. The index is coming off a basically flat weekly performance, though it technically rose by .08%. Tesla (TSLA) was a major mover on Monday as the electric car pioneer soared 11.2%. The S&P picked up right where it left off before the weekend. It momentary crossed over its closing high of 3386.15 from February 19, but once again failed to stay above the mark when the bell rang. It finished higher by 0.27% to 3381.99, or just a little more than 4 points away. The index was up about 0.6% last week. The Dow easily outperformed its counterparts in the previous week by jumping 1.8%. So no one should be surprised that it took a little break today by sliding 0.31% (or around 86 points) to 27,844.91. Earnings season is winding down, which means its time to hear from the retailers. Wal-Mart (WMT) and Home Depot (HD) will be the big reports tomorrow, while Target (TGT) and Lowe’s (LOW) follow on Wednesday. These are just a few of the retailers going to the plate in the next few days. We’ll be getting another good read on the consumer from these reports. Last Friday’s retail sales report was mixed with an advance of 1.2% missing expectations. However, the increase came to 1.9% sans auto, which easily eclipsed forecasts. We’ll also be getting reports from a couple of the final tech giants this season, as NVIDIA (NVDA) is scheduled for Wednesday and Alibaba (BABA) is set for Thursday. Today's Portfolio Highlights:  Counterstrike: The market is shrugging off all its challenges these days and continuing to move forward, which has given Jeremy a chance to play the short side for the first time in months. On Monday, the editor short sold online recruitment services provider Upwork (UPWK) and online pet retailer Chewy (CHWY) with 4% allocations each. Both stocks are Zacks Rank #4s (Sells) that appear to be overbought after jumping off their coronavirus lows, and they could have trouble sustaining the momentum. Meanwhile, the portfolio also bought more of Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) Turtle Beach (HEAR), which pulled back despite beating earnings estimates by 44%. Jeremy added 8% to HEAR, bringing the total allocation to 10%. Learn a lot more about today’s moves in the complete commentary, including a look at the charts.  Surprise Trader: Rising equity indices and low bond yields present a great environment for investment management companies, so that’s where Dave went for his first buy of the week. The editor picked up Eaton Vance (EV), which should be reporting around the final week of August. The company hasn’t missed since February 2019 and looks set for another beat given its Earnings ESP of 5.69%. It topped by more than 12% last time. The portfolio added EV on Monday with a 12% allocation. In other news, Revolve Group (RVLV) has given back some of the gains since moving higher after its quarterly report, so Dave decided to sell the position for a more than 14% return in less than a week. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves. Healthcare Innovators: Analysts are finally noticing the growth story of Quidel (QDEL), a medical diagnostic innovator with multiple Covid tests that have been fast-tracked by the FDA. Late last month, the company reported strong second-quarter results, which included a positive earnings surprise of 66%. Earnings estimates and the share price continued to move higher after the announcement. And analysts are finally taking it seriously. Kevin has been watching QDEL for a while now and moved in on Monday with plans to add more on any dips. Read the full write-up for specifics on this new addition, including a look at what those analysts are saying about the company. By the way, this portfolio had the best performer of the day among all ZU names as Natera (NTRA) jumped 11.9%. Commodity Innovators: It doesn’t look like natural gas is going to pullback anytime soon, so Jeremy decided to gain exposure today with a trio of moves because there’s still “a lot more meat on the bone going forward.” The editor picked up United States Natural Gas ETF (UNG), which could move 50% from current levels due to an improving supply/demand structure and the coming winter. The portfolio also looks to take advantage of rising natural gas prices by adding Cheniere Energy (LNG) and The Williams Companies (WMB). Meanwhile, Jeremy also sold Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) and Teucrium Sugar ETF (CANE) for gains of 10.1% and 11.4%, respectively. Read the full write-up for a lot more on today’s moves. 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

Stocks Come Off Lows While Waiting for Jobs Report

Stocks Come Off Lows While Waiting for Jobs Report SPECIAL ALERT: Remember, we need your input to make next week’s new Zacks Ultimate Strategy Session episode the best it can be. There are two ways you can participate: 1) Zacks Mailbag: In this regular segment, Kevin Matras answers your questions ranging from current market conditions, general investing wisdom, usage of the Zacks Rank or any resources of Zacks.com and more. Pretty much anything goes. 2) Portfolio Makeover: Sheraz Mian and Kevin Cook review a customer portfolio to give feedback for improvement. No need to send us personal information such as dollar value of holdings. Simply email us with all of the tickers you own. Just make sure to email your submissions for either one, or both, by tomorrow morning, June 4. Email now to mailbag@zacks.com. The major indices were all in the red on Thursday, but they came well off the morning lows amid solid economic data released today and before the big monthly jobs report scheduled for tomorrow. A potential compromise on the corporate tax rate also helped the rebound. The Dow’s five-day winning streak has come to an end, but it was still the best-performing index with a loss of only 0.07% (or about 23 points) to 34,577.04. It had been off by more than 250 points earlier in the session. The S&P also had a nice comeback and finished lower by 0.36% to 4192.85. Unfortunately, the NASDAQ didn’t have quite as dramatic a bounce as tech lagged once again. The index slipped by 1.03% (or nearly 142 points) to 13,614.51. Tomorrow’s Government Employment Situation report may be the biggest jobs report of the month… but it’s far from the only one. We had two other such releases on Thursday and they were both noteworthy. The ADP employment report showed that private payrolls added an impressive 978,000 jobs in May, squashing expectations of less than 700K and the previous month’s downwardly-revised total of 654K. As you’d expect in an economy that’s finally reopening, the leisure & hospitality space is making up some lost ground by adding more than 400K jobs. But there’s more. Jobless claims reached another pandemic milestone by moving under 400K at 385,000, which was slightly better than expectations and marked a fifth straight decline. Meanwhile, ISM Services jumped to 64 in May, which is far into expansion territory above 50. The print was better than April’s 62.7 and expectations at just over 63. Ironically (but not surprisingly) these strong reports were probably a big factor in the market’s morning malaise. After tomorrow’s jobs report, the market’s obsession will switch to the next Fed meeting scheduled for June 15-16. These strong results provide even more fuel to nervous investors’ concerns that the Committee may have to change policy sooner than expected. The market fortunately simmered down as the day progressed. And it got a big boost from a news report that the Biden Administration may offer a 15% tax floor instead of hiking the corporate tax rate to 28%. It’ll be interested to see where this goes in the coming weeks as Washington attempts to pass an infrastructure bill. Well… here we go! The jobs report comes out tomorrow. We probably won’t have anything nearly as dramatic as last month’s miss of approximately 700K, but it does have the potential to be a market mover.  As of this moment, the Dow is up slightly in this abbreviated week heading into Friday, while the other two major indices are in the red. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Home Run Investor: It’s time to get more exposure to the oil patch as crude prices continue to climb, so Brian added PDC Energy (PDCE) on Thursday. This independent upstream operator explores for, develops and produces natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. The company has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimate in each of the last four quarters and amassed an average surprise of 79% in that time. Rising earnings estimates have made PDCE a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Looking forward, analysts are calling for topline growth of 24% this year and 11% next year. In order to make room for PDCE, the editor decided to sell MarineMax (HZO) after a sharp pullback, which protects a 42% profit in less than seven months. Read the full write-up for more on all of today’s moves. Counterstrike: Business is picking up for Ulta Beauty (ULTA), which recently reported a 113% positive surprise and raised its fiscal 2021 guidance. The stock just filled its post-earnings gap today but Jeremy thinks it will hold support and continue its move upwards. This Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) is an obvious reopening play, so the editor added it on Thursday with a small 4% allocation. If the selling continues but the support levels hold, he’ll add more of ULTA. Read the full write-up for the specifics on this move. Headline Trader: The first quarter report from Goldman Sachs (GS) was so “unbelievable” that Dan wasted no time and added this financial giant on the same day of its release. And why shouldn’t he? The company beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 90% and grew sales by nearly 160% year over year. That was back in mid April. Now, GS is nearing the editor’s Fibonacci-derived price target around $391 and the relative strength index has reached overbought territory. He thinks this is a great time to “scale out” of the stock, so half of the position was sold on Thursday for a more than 16% return in less than two months. Dan is leaving the other half in the portfolio as he still thinks GS has upside potential. Read more in the full write-up. 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

Stocks Still Mixed Up as Tech Drops But Dow Nears New High

Stocks Still Mixed Up as Tech Drops But Dow Nears New High The market remained mixed on Thursday as technology got shellacked but the Dow managed to keep grinding higher. Investors had to deal with more earnings reports, another testimony from the Fed Chair and the latest read on jobless claims.   The Dow continued to push through the sluggishness and rose 0.15% (or nearly 54 points) to 34,987.02, marking its third positive performance in the past four sessions. It’s up for the week heading into Friday’s session and is less than 10 points away from returning to all-time highs. The S&P was down 0.33% to 4360.03, while the NASDAQ dropped 0.70% (or more than 100 points) to 14,543.13. The FAANGs were all lower, especially Amazon (AMZN, -1.4%). Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX) were each off by 0.9%.   “The market is finally cooling off with overheated mega-cap tech stocks pulling the broader market lower,” said Dan Laboe in Headline Trader. “This is a necessary and healthy retraction for a market that had been quite overbought. It is good to see some slack being loosened before these tech giants' Q2 results hit the wire at the end of this month, as this lowers the likelihood of a significant 'sell the news' after earnings price action we've seen with banks thus far.” Speaking of the banks, they continued reporting on Thursday with the likes of Morgan Stanley (MS) and US Bancorp (USB), which reported earnings surprises of nearly 16% and more than 12%, respectively. They also beat Zacks expectations on the topline, though the latter company was down on a year-over-year basis. MS could only muster a 0.18% advance but USB was up 3.2%. Another big report was Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM), which beat on both the top and bottom lines but had a softer-than-expected guidance. Shares were down 5.5% on a difficult day for tech. The market is still reeling from two consecutive days with rising inflation indicators (CPI and PPI). Fortunately, we also got a second day of Fed Chair Jerome Powell mentioning the transitory nature of rising prices and further reiterating that the central bank will continue with its super accommodative policies until the economy reaches its benchmarks. He testified in front of the Senate Bank Committee, which completes his two-day Monetary Policy Report to Congress. In other news, jobless claims of 360,000 improved upon last week’s upwardly-revised 386K. The result was slightly more than expected, but remained below 400K for a third straight week and made a new pandemic low. Today's Portfolio Highlights: Income Investor: Consumer electronics were in high demand during the pandemic as people suddenly needed to work and play from home, which explains why Best Buy (BBY) had such a strong Fiscal 2021. Such success continued in its fiscal first quarter, where sales spiked 37%. Comparisons will be tough as the pandemic comes to an end, but analysts still expect revenue and earnings growth of 4.9% and 7.8%, respectively, this year. Maddy noticed that BBY remains cheap at only 12.9x forward earnings. She also thinks this stock may be a Dividend Aristocrat in the making, as it has increased the annual payout every year since 2004 and currently yields 2.55%. BBY worked hard to adapt to the changing retail environment and has succeeded impressively, so Maddy decided to add it to the portfolio on Thursday. Read the full write-up for a lot more on this new addition. Surprise Trader: The portfolio finally dipped into the banking space on Thursday as Dave added Hancock Whitney (HWC). This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) bank and financial holding company has topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate for four straight quarters now, beating by 24.7% in the most recent report. It has a positive Earnings ESP of 2.18% for the quarter coming after the bell on Tuesday, July 20. The editor added HWC on Thursday with a 12.5% allocation, while also getting out of BlackRock (BLK) with a slight loss. Read the full write-up for more on today’s moves. TAZR Trader: The portfolio cashed in three double-digit profits on Thursday as Kevin trimmed a few positions to raise money for a market roll-over. The editor trimmed more of The Trade Desk (TTD) for a 44.9% return in just over two months as the profits look vulnerable. This is the third time the service is getting a double-digit return with this position. Meanwhile, half of BigCommerce (BIGC) was sold for 38.8% in two months and Shopify (SHOP) was trimmed for 19.3% in a little over three months. Options Trader: "It was day 2 of Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony before Congress, this time before the Senate Banking Committee, which saw him reiterate his belief that the current pace of inflation is temporary, and brought on by supply chain issues related to the pandemic. "But he continues to believe that it will moderate. However, he did say the Fed will keep monitoring the situation just in case the current elevated pace drags on for longer than expected. "Those sentiments were echoed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who said that she believes there could be 'several more months of rapid inflation', but that it will ultimately fall back to normal levels over time, using the words 'medium term' to describe it. Although, she too said that we need to keep a careful eye on it." -- Kevin Matras 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

Stocks Rally on Friday but Still Down for the Week

Stocks Rally on Friday but Still Down for the Week The market ended this lackluster week in the green on Friday, despite growing concerns that the Fed is getting ready to scale back stimulus measures. However, stocks were still lower over the five days amid mixed economic data and worries over the delta variant. “The market's propensity to keep this bull-drive alive never ceases to amaze me, at least not since this bull-run took hold last year,” said Dan Laboe in today’s Headline Trader. For the first time this week, the NASDAQ easily outperformed its counterparts as tech suddenly seems a lot more attractive during concerns of slower growth. The index was up 1.19% (or nearly 173 points) to 14,714.66. Meanwhile, the S&P advanced 0.81% to 4441.67 and the Dow increased 0.65% (or almost 226 points) to 35,120.08. All of the indices were down by well over 1% coming into this session, but the S&P and NASDAQ ended with losses of only 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively, for the week. However, the Dow still slipped approximately 1.1%. The big news was the Fed minutes for the July meeting on Wednesday, which showed that members are growing more open to the idea of pulling back on their super accommodative monetary policy sooner than most investors would like. Possibly even this year. It certainly shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anybody, but it was still a disappointment nonetheless. The Fed will be in the spotlight again next week during the annual Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Investors will be watching closely if there’s any more clues on the tapering timeline. A weaker-than-expected retail sales number for July was also a challenge this week, as the print dropped 1.1% compared to expectations for a loss of only 0.3%. However, yesterday’s jobless claims number was a new pandemic-era low at 348K. And behind all of this data, the waning days of earnings season continues to impress investors and keep their spirits up for the future. “Our overall take on the Q2 earnings season, which is now in its final phase, has consistently been very positive,” said our Director of Research Sheraz Mian in his latest Earnings Preview article. “The notable positives in the earnings story include broad-based growth, material momentum on the revenue side and continued positive revisions to estimates for the current period (2021 Q3),” he continued. These final days of the season are all about retail, such as this morning’s report from Foot Locker (FL, +7.3%). Maddy Johnson, editor of Income Investor, breaks it all down in an article titled “Soaring Profits & Even Higher Hopes – Retail Earnings Kick Off with a Bang”. She goes over the reports from heavy hitters such as Home Depot (HD), Target (TGT), Walmart (WMT) and Macy’s (M). And there’s still some big retailers going to the plate next week, including Best Buy (BBY, Tuesday), Ulta Beauty (ULTA, Wednesday), DICK’S Sporting Goods (DKS, Wednesday), Dollar General (DG, Thursday) and several others. Today's Portfolio Highlights: TAZR Trader: Despite today’s rally, Kevin thinks the market will pull back heading into September. So this is a good time to sell into some strength with a name like NVIDIA (NVDA), which was up another 5.1% today in the wake of a solid quarterly performance from Wednesday. So the editor trimmed that position “just a bit” on Friday and cashed in a profit of more than 280%. Basically, he thinks NVDA will struggle to take out its last two highs... or maybe not. Better to be safe (and profitable) than sorry. Counterstrike: "We saw the overnight selling once again, but when the bell rang in New York, there wasn’t a seller to be found. Quite an amazing 70 handle grind higher from the overnight lows that put the squeeze on the bears once again. The S&P closed up 0.81%, while the Nasdaq added 1.06%. "I’m shocked at the market grind again, but we talked about all that cash that is out there being put to work. Any dip is simply bought, regardless of price. "Today’s action took all the fear out of the market and the VIX dipped back below 19. Additionally, the bears failed to hold levels that should have been held on a bounce. I talked about 4450 being the area bears would be trapped again. I’m sure we will see early next week if the squeeze to all-time highs can continue." -- Jeremy Mullin Value Investor: "Last year, when we were getting a big winter COVID outbreak, the stock market mostly ignored the case counts and hospitalizations because it was looking forward 6 months, or more. The vaccine was being rolled out and everyone believed the worst of the pandemic would be over by the summer. "But this current outbreak is a bit different because we already HAVE the vaccine but this outbreak is impacting the global economy as shutdowns are occurring in Asia and, globally, consumers have changed their behavior. Again. "All of this will be a temporary setback to the ultimate recovery, but the market is now thinking it's going to be a bit rockier 6 months from now than previously believed. Goldman Sach's reduction of Q3 GDP from 9% to 5.5% is a sign of that. "Both of those GDP numbers, by the way, are tremendous for the US economy. But there is now an acknowledgement that there will be a temporary slowdown." -- Tracey Ryniec Have a Great Weekend! 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

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

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

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 21st, 2021

Goldman Raises Year-End Oil Price Target To $90

Goldman Raises Year-End Oil Price Target To $90 Just days after Goldman's head commodity analyst Jeff Currie told Bloomberg TV that the bank anticipates oil spiking to $90 if the winter is colder than usual, on Sunday afternoon Goldman went ahead and made that its base case and in a note from energy strategist Damien Courvalin, he writes that with Brent prices reaching new highs since October 2018, the bank now forecasts that this rally will continue, "with our year-end Brent forecast of $90/bbl vs. $80/bbl previously." What tipped the scales is that while Goldman has long held a bullish oil view, "the current global oil supply-demand deficit is larger than we expected, with the recovery in global demand from the Delta impact even faster than our above consensus forecast and with global supply remaining short of our below consensus forecasts." Among the supply factors cited by Goldman is hurricane Ida - the "most bullish hurricane in US history" - which more than offset the ramp-up in OPEC+ production since July with non-OPEC+ non-shale production continuing to disappoint. Meanwhile, as noted above, on the demand side Goldman cited low hospitalization rates which are leading more countries to re-open, including to international travel in particularly COVID-averse countries in Asia. Finally, from a seasonal standpoint, Courvalin sees winter demand risks as "further now squarely skewed to the upside" as the global gas shortage will increase oil fired power generation. From a fundamental standpoint, the current c.4.5 mb/d observable inventory draws are the largest on record, including for global SPRs and oil on water, and follow the longest deficit on record, started in June 2020. For the oil bears, Goldman does not see this deficit as reversing in coming months as its scale will overwhelm both the willingness and ability for OPEC+ to ramp up, with the shale supply response just starting. This sets the stage for inventories to fall to their lowest level since 2013 by year-end (after adjusting for pipeline fill), supporting further backwardation in the oil forward curve where positioning remains low. But what about a production response? While Goldman does expect short-cycle production to respond by 2022 at the bank's higher price forecast, from core-OPEC, Russia and shale, this according to Goldman, will only lay bare the structural nature of the oil market repricing. To be sure, there will likely be a time to be tactically bearish in 2022, especially if a US-Iran deal is eventually reached. The bank's base-case assumption is for such an agreement to be reached in April, leading the bank to then trim its price target to an $80/bbl price forecast in 2Q22-4Q22 (vs. its 4Q21-1Q22 $85/bbl quarterly average forecast). This would, however, remain a tactical call and a likely timespread trade according to Courvalin, with long-dated oil prices poised to reset higher from current levels, especially as the hedging momentum shifts from US producer selling to airline buying (a move which Goldman says to position for with a long Dec-22 Brent and short Dec-22 Brent put trade recommendations).   Meanwhile, the lack of long-cycle capex response - here you can thank the green crazy sweeping the world - the quickly diminishing OPEC spare capacity (Goldman expects normalization by early 2022), the inability for shale producers to sustain production growth (given their low reinvestment rate targets) and oil service and carbon cost inflation will all instead point to the need for sustainably higher long-dated oil prices. Remarkably, Goldman now expects the market to return to a structural deficit by 2H23, which leads it to raise its 2023 oil price forecast from $65/bbl to $85/bbl, and the mid-cycle valuation oil price used by Goldman's equity analysts to $70/bbl. Translation: expect a slew of price hikes on energy stocks in the coming days from Goldman. Finally, where could Goldman's forecast - which would infuriate the white house as gasoline prices are about to explode higher - be wrong? For what it's worth, the bank sees the greatest risk on the timeline of its bullish view. On the demand side, it would take a potentially new variant that renders vaccine ineffective. Beyond that, however, the bank expects limited downside risk from China, with its economists not expecting a hard landing and with our demand growth forecast driven by DMs and other EMs instead. This leaves near-term risks having to come from the supply side, most notably OPEC+, which next meets on October 4. And while an aggressively faster ramp-up in production by year-end would soften (but not derail) our projected deficit, it would only further delay the shale rebound, which would reinforce the structural nature of the next rally given binding under-investment in oil services by 2023. In addition, a large ramp-up in OPEC+ production would simply fast-forward the decline in global spare capacity to historically low levels, replacing a cyclical tight market with a structural one. The full report as usual available to pro subscribers in the usual place. Tyler Durden Sun, 09/26/2021 - 20:36.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nyt7 hr. 24 min. ago

With workers and employers feeling ghosted, it"s clear that the hiring process is not working. Here"s how companies can improve.

People on both sides of the table are frustrated. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman explains how companies can do better in the hiring process. Getty The current labor market has a serious matching problem, as evidenced by the ghosting phenomenon. Workers are looking for jobs, but employers can't seem to find them - or keep them. Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman has solved similar problems before. See more stories on Insider's business page. In careers as in romance, a happy and successful relationship depends on finding a good match - and one match is not the same as another.The labor market, as Insider's Juliana Kaplan writes, is seeing a major mismatch of skills, geographies, and expectations, which is leading companies across the US to complain of a labor shortage as millions of people actively look for work.One result of this matching problem is a phenomenon that's familiar to anyone who's tried to find a romantic partner in the past decade or so: ghosting. Instead of having an uncomfortable "it's you not me" breakup conversation, a person quietly stops responding and disappears.While job applicants say employers have a long history of ghosting them instead of offering a clear rejection, employers have more recently begun to worry about ghosting by prospective and newly hired employees.Regardless of how things got to this point, it's a complicated problem that is having very real financial and psychological consequences for the people on both sides of the bargaining table, not to mention the wider circle of coworkers, families, and customers who rely on these jobs getting done.Long before Daniel Kahneman was a Nobel Prize-winning psychology professor, he was a lieutenant in the Israeli army in the 1950's, where he was tasked with finding a better way to assign new recruits to suitable teams.In short, he was a matchmaker.Recently, Kahneman shared his insights on hiring practices with the Wall Street Journal, saying that the traditional approach most organizations have been using is "not the best way of doing things."With the caveat that "I am not an expert," Kahneman shared several ways companies could do a better of hiring for roles at all levels from entry-level to CEO.The first aspect of Kahneman's approach is to focus on the attributes that are relevant and necessary for the job, giving those attributes a numeric score, such as a ten-point ranking."Pick maybe half a dozen traits needed to succeed, whether punctuality, technical skill, even anger management. Then think of questions that can help you determine if candidates have these attributes," he said.In addition, while cognitive intelligence is clearly a valuable trait, Kahneman says what matters more is whether someone can actually do the work. For that, he recommends including tests or samples of the kinds of tasks that will be part of the job.By emphasizing consistent metrics and tests that are relevant to the actual work, recruiters are able to compare applicants more evenly. Kahneman also recommends hiring managers keep an open mind throughout the process until they've gathered the necessary data to make an informed decision, at which point they should act decisively."Simon would tell you to hire the first candidate to pass your criteria," Kahneman said, in reference to economist and psychologist Herbert Simon. "You're not really looking for the absolute best because that would take too long."A more systematic and focused approach can help hiring managers make better decisions more quickly, Kahneman says, but there's still an inherent risk that simply cannot be avoided."Good interviews might improve the likelihood you'll be right say from 50% to 60%. If you can go to 65%, it is wonderful," he said. "Doing better may be impossible."Check out the full interview with Kahneman at the Wall Street Journal.Expanded Coverage Module: what-is-the-labor-shortage-and-how-long-will-it-lastRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nyt20 hr. 40 min. ago

Why Is Gold Not Rising?

Why Is Gold Not Rising? Authored by Matthew Piepenburg via GoldSwitzerland.com, Many are asking why gold is not rising, as just about every other commodity makes new highs in the backdrop of inflationary tailwinds. That’s a very fair question. Some are even saying gold is dead, a silly and “barbarous” old relic of ancient times, ancient math and ancient common sense. Needless to say, we beg to differ, not because we are Swiss-based gold bugs, but simply…well… let’s explain. Current Price vs. Current and Future Roles For those who see history and math as guides rather than “barbarous” and outdated disciplines, their convictions regarding gold’s role, and even price trajectory, do not wane or rise simply due to the paper price of gold. To some extent, and despite Basel 3, gold remains openly manipulated by a handful of central and bullion banks who are terrified of gold’s shine for no other reason than it embarrasses currencies (and mad monetary experiments) falling deeper into discredit. But we track the movement of physical gold every day, and can say with blunt clarity that the paper trade in gold has zero to do with the those otherwise “barbarous” forces of the actual supply and demand of this precious metal. Zero. In short, the paper price of gold has become a fiction accepted as reality, which is not surprising in a financial landscape (i.e., historically over-valued stocks, negative yielding bonds and central bankers allergic to transparency) which defies every measure of honest price discovery or basic capitalism. As for the never-ending gold vs. BTC debate, it would be wrong to say Bitcoin hasn’t taken (or continue to take) some market share away from gold, but at less than $1 trillion, BTC is not going to destroy gold’s $10T market share. In short, the current gold price is a less important topic than its current and future role as historical insurance against mathematically-failing financial and economic systems around the globe. That said, we are not apologists for the falling gold prices, nor do we doubt that by the end of this decade, gold will price well above $4000 per ounce and greatly reward informed investors playing the long game rather than putting green. More on that later. Gold’s Three Roles For now, let’s consider gold’s historical role as a hedge against: 1) recession risk; 2) market volatility risk; and 3) inflation/currency risk. 1. Recession Hedging As for recessions, gold is like an emotional and mathematical barometer testing the temperature of over-heated monetary expansion. As such, it moves higher even before policy makers add more inevitable “stimulus” (i.e., mouse-click fiat currencies) into the system. By the time policy makers officially announce a recession, it’s far too late for most investors to react. Fortunately, gold acts more quickly, anticipating monetary expansion even before the money printers start churning. Long before the “COVID recession” of 2020, for example, the writing was already on the wall that markets and central bankers were getting desperate. By late 2019, debt levels were off the charts, liquidity was drying up, the repo markets were drinking hundreds of billions of Fed dollars per month and an un-official QE to the tune of $60 billion per month was in full-swing. Then came COVID in March. Markets and GDP were tanking and gold was already on course to see (in dollar terms) a 25% rise in 2020, after a 19% rise in 2019. In short, as a recession hedge, gold was ahead of the central bankers in protecting investors. By the way, the Fed’s record for calling recessions and warning investors is 0 for 10… 2. Hedging Market Volatility We all remember March of 2020, when markets puked and gold fell along with it, primarily sold-off as a liquidity source for players facing margin costs which they were forced to pay off with gold holdings. As in 2008 and 2009, gold initially followed the stock ship below the waterline—though not nearly as far as BTC… But as mentioned above, gold reacted quickly, anticipating the money printing (and hence dollar debasement) to come, rising steadily for the rest of that fiscal year. Of course, stocks rose as well, thanks to the unbelievable and historically unprecedented money creation witnessed in 2020—more QE in less than a year than all of the combined QE1-QE4 and “Operation Twist” which we saw from 2009-2015. But thankfully, gold doesn’t just follow stock markets, it hedges them, as the past shows and the future will once again confirm. Such monetary stimulus creates what von Mises would call a “crack-up boom,” and near-term such liquidity is just wonderful for stocks and bonds. As we’ve written elsewhere, COVID—and the policy measures which followed– literally saved the securities bubble and made this “boom” even bigger. But the “boom”-to-volatility to sequence to come from such risk assets reaching price levels which have absolutely nothing to do with valuation will be infinitely more painful (“crack-up”) down the road for those assets than for gold the moment when, not if, this horrific financial system implodes under its own and historically un-matched weight. In short, gold will zig when the markets zag. The anti-gold crowd, of course, will smirk and hug their bonds, reminding us all that gold is a yield-less relic while forgetting to confess that the “no yield” of gold is ironically preferrable to over $19 trillion worth of negative yielding sovereign bonds… 3. Hedging Inflation & Currency Risk Which brings us to the big question of the day, why is gold not rising when it should be ripping as a hedge against what is clearly an inflationary new normal? Fair question. We are asking this ourselves, as real rates (the ideal setting for gold) fall deeper into negative depths with each new day… …as inflation, as well as inflation expectations, are on the objective rise: Last year, for example, gold saw this inflation coming and thus its rising, double-digit price moves reflected the same. But this year, with real rates still diving and inflation rising, gold is showing single single-digit losses rather than gains. What gives? The Market Still Believes the “Transitory” Meme Our ultimate opinion boils down to this: We think the market still believes the central bank myth (i.e., propaganda) that the current inflation is indeed, only “transitory.” We’ve written ad nauseum as to why inflation is anything but “transitory,” yet we can nevertheless respect the deflationists’ argument. The Deflationists The deflation camp, for example, rightly argues that recessionary forces, if left alone, are inherently deflationist, and the signs of economic (rather than market) declines are everywhere. But the key mistake which such deflation (or dis-inflation) narratives make is that these natural forces have not, nor will be, “left alone.” In other words, deflationists are somehow ignoring the monetary and fiscal elephant in the room. That is, more, not less, unnatural monetary and fiscal liquidity is entering the system at historically unprecedented levels, levels that are more than enough to quash such otherwise natural deflationary forces. Stated even more plainly, moderation at the fiscal and monetary level died long ago. Simple Realism—Inflation as Necessity Rather than Debate Central banks are desperate to reach higher inflation to inflate their way out of debt without admitting the same. This is nothing new for fork-tongued policy makers who once “targeted” 2% inflation as a ceiling, but are now effectively “allowing” 2% inflation as the new floor. Just as Nixon said the closing of the gold window was “transitory” in 1971, or as Bernanke promised that QE would be transitory in 2009, the current lie from on high about “transitory inflation” is no less a lie in 2021 as those other lies were in 1971 or 2009. Again, we all just kina know this, right? Furthermore, we just need to be realists rather than dreamers to see the inflation reality now and ahead. Central bankers, for example, may be dishonest, but they aren’t entirely stupid, just desperate and realistic. In the U.S., for example, a staggering as well as openly embarrassing $28.5 trillion public (i.e., national) debt level quickly limits one’s options at the White House or the Eccles Building. Not Many Options Other than Inflation In this realistic light, let’s consider their options. Policy makers have four tools to address such debt, namely: raise taxes, cut spending, declare bankruptcy, or devalue their currencies through inflation. The first two are already in play in the U.S., namely political efforts to raise taxes and ‘talk’ of cutting spending, both politically difficult options. Taking bankruptcy off the table, leaves devaluing the U.S. Dollar as the favored option, which is achieved by deliberately taking real interest rates to extreme negative levels. Allowing inflation to run while keeping rates low reduces the number of dollars needed to repay the debt. This hurts regular folks, but as we’ve said so many times, the Fed is not interested in regular folks. In other words, by decreasing the value of the U.S. Dollar, the U.S. is effectively paying off its current debt with devalued money. There are no permission slips needed from Congress, nor taxpayers. Given such realism, let us be repeatedly blunt and clear: Unlike gold not rising, inflation is not, nor will it be, “transitory.” Instead, deliberate inflation is an inherently and deliberately necessary tool used by the same anti-heroes who put us in this debt hole. More Fed-Speak, Less Honesty This means the Fed will come up with whatever excuses, words, phrases and lies to justify being more dovish despite publicly flirting with hawkish talk about a Fed taper. Already, Powell is taking the Fed way beyond its mandate and talking about social and environmental activism, as these are nice phrases to justify, you guessed it: More money creation and more (not “transitory”) inflation. As for me, hearing Powell talk about “labor market inequality” after the Fed has spent years making the top 1% richer at the expense of an increasingly poorer bottom-90% is so rich in hypocrisy that it makes the eyes water. In this opaque light, the notion of “Fed independence” is a complete and utter fiction. Instead, the Fed is slowly crossing the line into becoming the direct financier to the entire nation—and the only way it can do this is via monetary expansion and deliberate (as well as much higher) inflation, which is a tax on the poor and bullet to the heart of the U.S. Dollar. Period. Full stop. It’s All About Debt Again, this all comes realistically back to debt. When there’s too much unpayable debt (be it at the zombified corporate level or the embarrassed national level), rising rates becomes fatal. The Fed has learned since 2018 that even a slight rise in rates kills the debt-saturated markets whose capital gains taxes are about all that Uncle Sam can declare as income in a nation whose GDP was sold to China years ago. And yet… and yet… the markets somehow wish to believe the fantasy (and Fed-speak) that inflation is only “transitory.” What’s Ahead? We strongly think differently. As blunt realists, we see the Fed perhaps raising rates nominally, but when adjusted by openly deliberate (yet openly denied) inflation, real rates will fall deeper as inflation rises higher. This is because the simple reality (and choice) of nations with their backs against a debt wall is always the pursuit of inflation by design, not deflation. As I recently wrote, nothing is real anymore, and all taboos are broken. The Fed, through QE and/or the Repurchase Program, will print more money as fiscal policy rises alongside—a veritable double-whammy for more “liquidity” to come. This, of course, is crazy and ends badly. The Fed, along with the White House, have tried since Greenspan to outlaw natural market forces and needed austerity in order to bloat markets, keep their jobs or win re-election. Since we can never grow or default (?) our way out of the greatest debt hole in our history, the realistic playbook ahead is negative real rates—i.e., inflation rising higher and faster than repressed Treasury yields. Once this becomes obvious rather than “debated,” gold will rise along side the money supply to levels well above it’s current, yet admittedly, low price. Slowly, but surely, the $19 trillion in negative-yielding sovereign bonds will see outflows from that discredited asset and hence inflows into the “barbarous” asset: Gold. For now, we are patient realists rather than apologists, as the market seemingly continues to price gold for only “transitory” inflation. But once inflationary reality rises above the current “transitory” fantasy, gold will not only surge in price, but serve its far more important role of hedging against undeniable inflation and the equally undeniable (i.e., destructive) impact such inflation will have on global currencies in general and the U.S. Dollar in particular. Gold: Biding Its Time Despite such signposts from math, history and Real Politik, gold is currently under attack for not “doing enough,” despite two years of double-digit rises. Gold investors, however, are not greedy, they are patient, and they hold this physical rather than paper asset for the long game, as previously described. And as for that long game, the inflation ahead, as well destruction of the currency in your pocket today and tomorrow, means today’s gold price is not nearly as relevant an issue as gold’s role in protecting far-sighted investors from what’s ahead. In the end, gold’s primary role is acting as insurance for a global financial and currency system already burning to the ground. But for those naturally asking about price, forecasting and models, as any who worked in a bank know, such models are as complex as they are useless. We keep things simpler and humbler. By just tracking monetary growth rates with certain regressions, a realistic price target for gold based upon inevitable monetary expansion suggests gold at well past $4000 by the end of this decade. That may or may not seem sexy enough for those chasing returns today, but when those returns convert into losses too hard to imagine as markets reach new highs, we must genuinely remind you that even with Fed “support,” all bubbles do the same thing: “Pop.” We are not here to tell you when, as no one can. We are simply suggesting you prepare, rather than react. Tyler Durden Sat, 09/25/2021 - 10:30.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 25th, 2021

What"s Really Going On In China

What's Really Going On In China Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog, Losses will be taken and sacrifices enforced on those who don't understand the Chinese state will no longer absorb the losses of speculative excess. Let's start by stipulating that no one outside President Xi's inner circle really knows what's going on in China, and so my comments here are systemic observations, not claims of insider knowledge. Many western observers have noted the centrality of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist doctrine in President Xi's writings. This is somewhat akin to invoking America's Founding Fathers to support one's current policies: if you're trying to modify state policy in China, you have to explain it in the context of the Chinese Communist Party's history and doctrines. Never mind if the ideals were not met; what's important is establishing continuity and resonance with the history of China, the core doctrines of Chinese Communism and the CCP's leadership based on those doctrines. That said, we should be careful not to read too much into doctrinal evocations such as common prosperity, which are useful conceptual anchors and slogans but not the full story. What's actually happening in China isn't Marxist or Capitalist--it's plain old non-ideological human greed, hubris and magical thinking manifesting as moral hazard running amok.. Moral hazard-- the separation of risk and consequence, as speculators make increasingly risky bets because they know any losses will be covered by the state--is effectively the new State Religion in China: everyone is absolutely confident that every punter, especially all the rich, powerful, well-connected speculators--will be bailed out by the central government. Greed knows no bounds when a speculator is insulated from risk, for people have an insatiable appetite for risky bets when the gains will be theirs to keep but any losses will be covered by the government. This is the fundamental story of Evergrande: the implicit backstop of the Chinese government enabled near-infinite moral hazard which then fueled an explosion of debt-funded speculation with essentially zero connection to real-world risks, sales, return on capital, etc. Both the U.S. and China have been a utopian Paradises of moral hazard for the past 30 years. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve would bail out any losses / declines in the debt-asset bubble orgy. In China, the implicit policy was that the structural losses in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the speculative excesses of rapid development would be tolerated as long as real growth in employment, wages, profits and lifestyles was strong. Creating vast amounts of debt-money was necessary to support growth, and that it also supported speculative excesses was accepted as part of the price of explosive progress, much like environmental damage. After 30 years, the equation in China has changed: debt in the official banking sector and in the informal shadow-banking sector has soared along with purely speculative excesses while "good growth" has stagnated. That's the problem with incentivizing moral hazard: the profits from speculation, corruption and fraud far outweigh the puny profits earned by legitimate enterprises. So where do you put the borrowed billions? In Evergrande and other conglomerates of speculation. Something else changed in 30 years of rapid development: inequality skyrocketed, and since inequality and corruption are mutually-reinforcing, corruption also reached new heights as inequality skyrocketed. A third factor emerged after 30 years of touting technology and speculation: the power of Chinese Big Tech and financiers began encroaching on the control of the Communist Party. All three factors inflated a debt-asset-speculative bubble of profound proportions, and President Xi grasped what the clueless Federal Reserve and other western central banks have not: Either pop the bubble when you still have some control over it or let it expand and pop when you've lost all control. In systems terms, when risk and fragility reach unstable levels in tightly-bound systems, there's no controlling the supernova-like implosion of the system. Xi observed the skyrocketing power of Big Tech, moral-hazard-incentivized financiers and cryptocurrencies and concluded that the state must move decisively to crush these rivals, regardless of cost. This separates China from the American state, which is incapable of enforcing any sacrifices, limits or costs on the parasitic elite which dominates its economy and political order. Xi saw the danger of Big Tech and financiers being able to buy whatever influence they needed from corrupt CCP and state officials, and he realized that this is the crucial moment in history: either crush Big Tech and the financiers / speculators or risk losing control to their interests. Control is something the CCP and Xi want to retain, regardless of the cost to the nouveaux riche, the parasitic elites, the aspirational middle class and even the Party regulars who have supped too often and too gloriously at the corruption / moral hazard trough. Losses will be taken and sacrifices enforced on those who don't understand the Chinese state will no longer absorb the losses of speculative excess. Those who don't understand the reign of parasitic private-sector elites and excessively corrupt party officials in China is over might profitably ponder this Chinese proverb: "Whoever gets mixed up with garbage will be eaten by pigs." *  *  * If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. My recent books: A Hacker's Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF). Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World (Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF). Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($5 (Kindle), $10 (print), ( audiobook): Read the first section for free (PDF). The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 (Kindle), $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF) Money and Work Unchained $6.95 (Kindle), $15 (print) Read the first section for free (PDF). Tyler Durden Fri, 09/24/2021 - 21:20.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 24th, 2021

Charging Up Your Portfolio with Electric Vehicles

Whether its the government, Wall Street investors or even traditional automakers; everybody is seeing tremendous potential in EVs. Ben Rains will show you how to capitalize on this burgeoning space, which grew over 160% worldwide in the first half of 2021. The U.S. Senate passed a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill in early August, with billions set to flow into various sectors, from more traditional areas such as roads to modern green energy initiatives. The clean energy efforts are part of a larger push within the U.S and other wealthy nations to speed up the transition away from fossil fuels throughout every corner of the economy.The green energy age isn’t complete without electric vehicles (EVs) dominating streets and highways, and the U.S. still has miles of road to travel in order to get there.Washington’s Focus on EVs The White House and Washington have put a spotlight on electric vehicles as part of a longer-term greener movement. President Biden signed an EV-focused executive order in August that hopes to spur rapid adoption. The non-binding goal aims to have all-electric, hydrogen-fuel cell, and plug-in hybrid vehicles make up 50% of U.S. sales by 2030.In order to reach this voluntary benchmark, automakers called for federal support for EV charging stations, various consumer tax incentives, and other pro-electric initiatives. Elsewhere, the Senate’s $1 trillion bill allots $7.5 billion for states and municipalities to build EV charging stations. The legislative effort also includes over $6 billion in grants for battery production, development, and recycling.The projected funding is less than President Biden called for in March when his administration set a goal of building 500,000 public chargers by 2030. There are currently roughly 48,000 public EV charging stations and over 120,000 charging ports in the U.S., according to U.S. Department of Energy data.These levels don’t come close to supporting rapid EV adoption. Federal, state, and local governments must work with automakers, charger technology companies, and various other stakeholders in order for EVs to start driving American automotive sales anytime soon.Despite all of the hype, the U.S. and the world has barely scratched the EV surface. The nascent nature provides plenty of profitable investment opportunities if you know where to look...Continued . . .------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Zacks’ Top Infrastructure Picks (Grab These for Q4 and Beyond)Our research has identified 5 stocks that are set to surge due to the massive new infrastructure bill. This is the largest bill of its kind in decades, giving investors a chance at tremendous gains.Zacks’s just-updated special report, How to Profit from Trillions in Spending for Infrastructure, is designed to help you profit from the most promising “American Upgrade” stocks. Some infrastructure stocks have recently soared as much as +81%... +150%... even +248%.¹ The stocks in this report could be just as lucrative. Don't delay: this Special Report is only available until Sunday, September 26.See 5 Top Infrastructure Stocks Now >>------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The Current EV Market Gasoline-powered vehicles remain by far the most popular means of transportation. Electric vehicles made up only 2% of U.S. sales last year and expanded to a little over 3% in recent months. Limited market share is part of the reason why Wall Street is excited even if the electric/hybrid space doesn’t get close to 50% market share by 2030.Tesla proved there’s demand for EVs in the U.S. and its success on the road and in the stock market forced every established auto company to go all-in on electric. Plus, plenty of newcomers, some of which are publicly traded, are ramping up production on sleek new EVs of all shapes and sizes. It will be difficult to recreate Tesla’s meteoric run, but a few standout startups are starting to make their case.Most major automakers plan to offer many of their current models as EVs within the next decade, while rolling out EV-only cars, SUVs, and trucks. Established auto titans, perhaps ambitiously, aim to generate upwards of 50% of global sales from EVs by 2030.One historic firm is revamping its entire business around EVs. The company said earlier this year it aims to have 40% of its global volume be all electric by 2030 and it expects to spend more than $30 billion on electrification during this stretch. The firm’s early efforts have already paid off in terms of actual sales and its surging stock price.Auto giants in both luxury and mass markets will start eating away at Tesla’s current dominance. There are plenty of reasons to believe this could happen somewhat quickly. A few select stocks will capture a budding corner of the EV market Tesla has little chance of controlling. The ability to meet the coming demand from commercial customers such as contractors, construction companies, police departments, and other government fleets is set to boost a few well-known companies in particular.Where’s the Money  New light-vehicle sales in the U.S. are set to climb around 13% to reach 16.3 million in 2021. EV sales are projected to blow away the broader industry-wide expansion. For instance, global EV sales already skyrocketed over 160% in the first half of 2021 against a pandemic-hit period.Tesla led the charge, accounting for about 14% of the global market during this stretch, but its share slipped compared to last year. A few global automakers are already in Elon Musk’s rearview mirror despite the huge head start, while smaller, highly affordable brands are dominating EV sales in China and other Asian nations.Along with investing in pure-play electric vehicle companies, Wall Street and the industry are pouring money into the technology side of the business. This is vital since EVs rely heavily on interconnected technology, remote software updates, high-tech touch screens, and much more. One firm in September poached a former Tesla executive from Apple—which has its own EV aspirations—because EVs are closer to supercomputers on wheels than traditional cars.EVs will also provide automakers with more consistent revenue streams, via remote monitoring, constant software updates, and other futuristic maintenance necessities. And it’s hardly just the automakers who stand to benefit. Smaller tech companies are already profiting from advanced radar navigation and more, and many are hot acquisition targets. Batteries and Chargers  EV motors are clearly essential cogs, but high-tech batteries are perhaps the most vital components. Continued progress on the energy storage and range fronts will help determine how quickly the market can grow.Wall Street is also laser-focused on lithium, with the commodity making a case to become a “new oil.” Lithium-ion batteries are already used in most portable consumer electronics such as smartphones, and nearly all electric vehicles run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.From startups to Tesla, companies are working on next-generation battery technologies, including solid-state batteries and new cell formats. Like many cutting-edge industries, there are likely game-changing batteries coming down the pike soon that few will have imagined possible.Alongside batteries, an EV-heavy future is only possible if consumers can drive anywhere they normally would or make that same big road trip, without needing to plan their route around chargers. EV chargers are often classified in three categories: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 or DC fast chargers. The first two are common for home-based charging, while the fittingly named Level 3 fast chargers require as much as $100,000 or more per station in upfront capital.There are over 100 EV charging companies in North America alone. Firms able to create faster chargers that mimic speeds closer to filling up a tank of gas will be surefire superstars, while companies able to roll out the most chargers, akin to gas stations, could become stable green energy players for decades.5 Stocks to Electrify Your Portfolio Electric vehicles and EV-related technologies are some of the most promising spaces investors can target for long-term gains. Consumers are demanding more electric options and manufacturers are rising to the occasion.And as discussed above, the government is driving hard toward a clean energy future. The infrastructure bill passed by the Senate last month could earmark billions of dollars to make EVs even more accessible – and you might be surprised at which stocks might benefit most.To help you make the most of this opportunity, Zacks has just updated our special report, How to Profit from Trillions in Spending for Infrastructure.The report reveals 5 stocks primed for big price moves, including an EV stock no one is thinking about. The company has a new CEO, a new focus on cutting edge tech and earnings that are projected to skyrocket 300%.I encourage you to check out the 5 stocks right away. The infrastructure bill could be a powerful catalyst, but these companies are strong enough to deliver significant gains on their own.Don’t delay. This Special Report is only available until Sunday, September 26.Click here to claim your copy of How to Profit from Trillions in Spending for Infrastructure >>Good Investing,Ben RainsStock Strategist¹ The results listed above are not (or may not be) representative of the performance of all selections made by Zacks Investment Research's newsletter editors and may represent the partial close of a position.  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 To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Making Sense of the Q3 Earnings Picture and Beyond

Recent updates on the revisions trends have been somewhat disconcerting, as you can see in the chart below that tracks the evolution of Q3 earnings growth expectations... One enduring feature of the corporate earnings landscape that unfolded following the initial Covid-related disruptions has been the steady improvement in estimates. The favorable revisions trend got underway in July 2020 and gained pace in the following quarters.However, recent updates on the revisions trends have been somewhat disconcerting, as you can see in the chart below that tracks the evolution of Q3 earnings growth expectations.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWhat we see here is that the trend appears to have shifted course over the last few weeks after remaining modestly positive since the start of the quarter. This loss of momentum is likely tied to the emerging economic slowdown, which in turn is likely a function of the Delta variant. Estimates of GDP growth have been steadily coming down and currently stand around +3%, roughly half of the growth rate expected a few months back.We also need to keep an eye on the margins outlook, given rising cost trends in labor, inputs, freight/logistics and other line items.That said, the market appears to agree with the Fed’s assessment of this trend as ‘transitory’ and a function of Covid-related disruptions that will eventually even out. This view is reflected in current consensus estimates, as you can see in the chart below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThis ‘transitory’ view of the ongoing cost pressures is even more pronounced in the annual view of the margins picture, as the chart below shows.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe all know that the ‘transitory’ or otherwise debate has implications for Fed policy, which is as important for the market as the outlook for earnings and margins.To bring the conversation back to the revisions trend, it is important to point out that estimates for 2021 Q4 have nudged up in recent weeks even as Q3 has stalled out.Expectations for Q3 & Beyond The last earnings season (2021 Q2) not only witnessed a very high earnings growth rate, but the aggregate tally of total earnings also reached a new all-time quarterly record, surpassing the record set in the preceding period. Other positives that came out of the Q2 earnings season included the breadth of strength across all the key sectors and the notable momentum on the revenue front.We know that the unusually high growth rates of the first two quarters will not continue in the last two quarters as they largely reflected easy comparisons to the year-earlier periods that were severely impacted by Covid-related disruptions. Comparisons will be relatively normal in 2021 Q3 and beyond as the U.S. economy had started opening up in the year-earlier period and hence the expected deceleration in the growth pace.You can see this expected growth deceleration in the below chart that puts 2021 Q3 earnings and revenue growth expectations in the context of where growth has been in the preceding four periods and the estimates for the following three quarters.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchThe comparable picture on an annual basis is no less impressive, as you can see in the chart below.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe mentioned earlier how the aggregate 2021 Q2 earnings tally represented a new all-time quarterly record. You can see that in the chart below, with this year’s four quarters highlighted.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchWe all know that large segments of the economy, particularly in the broader leisure, travel and hospitality spaces are held down by the pandemic, with companies in these areas still earning significantly less than they did in the pre-Covid period. In fact, many of these companies aren’t expected to get back to pre-Covid profitability levels for almost one more year.The impressive feature of the record earnings in each of the last two quarters is that they were achieved without help from these key parts of the economy.Earnings Season Gets UnderwayMost companies have fiscal quarters that correspond with the calendar periods. As such, the wide majority of Q3 earnings reports will be from companies that have fiscal quarters ending in September. But there are some companies that have fiscal quarters ending in August and a number of them have been reporting their fiscal August-quarter results in recent days.The earnings releases in recent days from the likes of FedEx FDX, Oracle ORCL, Adobe ADBE, Nike NKE and others all fall in this category; they all had fiscal quarters ending in August. We count all of these reports as part of our Q3 earnings tally.Through Friday, September 24th, we have seen such Q3 results from 10 S&P 500 members, with 6 other index members on deck to report results this week. Operators such as Micron MU, Cintas CTAS, McCormick & Company MCK and others will release their fiscal August quarter results this week.By the time JPMorgan JPM and other big banks start rereporting their September-quarter results on October 13th, we will have seen such August-quarter results from almost two dozen S&P 500 members.For the 10 index members that have reported Q3 results already, total earnings are up +15% from the same period last year on +16% higher revenues, with 90% beating EPS estimates and 50% beating revenue estimates. The proportion of these 10 index members beating both EPS and revenue estimates is 40%.This is too early and the sample size is too small to offer us any interpretive guidance, but I will be closely monitoring how the revenue beats percentage unfolds in the coming days.That said, the way it looks at present (50% for Q3, below the preceding quarter’s 100% for these 10 index members and only modestly above the 5-year low of 40%) isn’t reassuring.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchFor a detailed look at the overall earnings picture, including expectations for the coming periods, please check out our weekly Earnings Trends report >>>>What Will Q3 Earnings Season Show? Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): Free Stock Analysis Report NIKE, Inc. (NKE): Free Stock Analysis Report Micron Technology, Inc. (MU): Free Stock Analysis Report McKesson Corporation (MCK): Free Stock Analysis Report Cintas Corporation (CTAS): Free Stock Analysis Report Oracle Corporation (ORCL): Free Stock Analysis Report Adobe Inc. (ADBE): Free Stock Analysis Report FedEx Corporation (FDX): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Expansion Efforts Support Marriott (MAR) Stock, RevPAR Dismal

Marriott's (MAR) focus on the loyalty program and promotional offers bodes well. However, dismal RevPAR due to the coronavirus pandemic is a concern. Marriott International, Inc. MAR is likely to benefit from its expansion initiatives, digitization, loyalty program and marketing strategies. However, a decline in revenue per available room (RevPAR) from pre-pandemic levels is a headwind.Let us discuss the factors that highlight why investors should retain the stock for the time being.Key Growth DriversMarriott is consistently trying to expand worldwide presence and capitalize on demand for hotels in international markets. Moving ahead, the company plans to significantly expand global portfolio of luxury and lifestyle brands. At the end of second-quarter 2021, Marriott's development pipeline totaled nearly 2,750 hotels, with approximately 478,000 rooms. For 2021, the company anticipates net rooms growth to be toward the higher end of the previous expectation of 3-3.5%.Digital innovation and social media are playing important roles in hotel bookings and Marriot isn’t far behind to improvise. The company re-imagined its Marriott Mobile app to meet the needs of the modern traveler. Also, the company’s loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, has been playing a supporting hand in its marketing strategies.To this end, the company has been engaging its customers with promotional offers such as grocery and retail spending accelerators on its co-branded credit cards (American Express and Chase). Its association with uber is encouraging. Solid customer engagement is being registered on the idea of providing loyalty points for activities such as ride hailing and food delivery. We believe that the initiatives are likely to generate additional revenues, going forward.Image Source: Zacks Investment ResearchShares of Marriott have rallied 61.3% in the past year compared with the industry’s 39.4% growth. Improvement in demand has been boosting Marriott’s performance amid the pandemic scenario. During the second quarter 2021, the company reported resurgence of lodging demand in Mainland China with leisure, business transient and group room bookings ahead of 2019 levels. Also, the company reported solid leisure demand in the United States and Canada region on the back of accelerated vaccinations. The U.S leisure room nights in the second quarter increased 15% from second-quarter 2019 levels. Moreover, the company reported sequential improvements in demand across Middle East and Africa, Caribbean and Latin America as well as in Europe. Given the positive trend in recoveries, the company is optimistic about full recovery across other regions. However, it is subject to normalization of the current scenario.ConcernsThe Hotel and Motels industry is currently grappling with the coronavirus pandemic and Marriott isn’t immune to the trend. The industry’s luxury, upper scale and urban hotels have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the crisis, the company failed to provide earnings and RevPAR guidance for 2021. Emergence of the new COVID-19 variants is likely to create volatility in demand.The company is encountering substantial declines in RevPAR and occupancy in all regions served. During second-quarter 2021, revenue per available room (RevPAR) for worldwide comparable system-wide properties fell 43.8% (in constant dollars) from 2019 levels. The decline was primarily due to fall in occupancy and average daily rate (ADR). Occupancy and ADR declined 24.1% and 17.2%, respectively, from 2019 levels. These metrics were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Comparable system-wide RevPAR in Asia Pacific (excluding China) fell 69% (in constant dollars) from 2019 levels. Occupancy and ADR had fallen 39.9% and 28.2%, respectively, from 2019 levels. Comparable system-wide RevPAR in Greater China fell 16.9% from 2019 levels.Zacks Rank & Key PicksMarriott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Some better-ranked stocks in the Zacks Consumer Discretionary sector are Vista Outdoor Inc. VSTO, Civeo Corporation CVEO and Crocs, Inc. CROX. Vista Outdoor and Civeo sport a Zacks Rank #1, while Crocs carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).Vista Outdoor has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 70.1%, on average.Civeo Corporation has a three-five year earnings per share growth rate of 10%.Crocs’ 2021 earnings are expected to surge 114%. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Marriott International, Inc. (MAR): Free Stock Analysis Report Crocs, Inc. (CROX): Free Stock Analysis Report Civeo Corporation (CVEO): Free Stock Analysis Report Vista Outdoor Inc. (VSTO): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

Autodesk (ADSK) Down 5.8% Since Last Earnings Report: Can It Rebound?

Autodesk (ADSK) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues. A month has gone by since the last earnings report for Autodesk (ADSK). Shares have lost about 5.8% in that time frame, underperforming the S&P 500.Will the recent negative trend continue leading up to its next earnings release, or is Autodesk due for a breakout? Before we dive into how investors and analysts have reacted as of late, let's take a quick look at the most recent earnings report in order to get a better handle on the important drivers. Autodesk Q2 Earnings Top Estimates, Revenues Rise Y/YAutodesk reported second-quarter fiscal 2022 non-GAAP earnings of $1.21 per share that beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 9% and increased 23.5% year over year.Revenues of $1.06 billion beat the consensus mark by 0.7% and grew 16% year over year. At constant currency (cc), revenues were up 14%. The upside was driven by increases in new product subscriptions and higher renewal rates along with improving digital sales.Top-Line DetailsSubscription revenues (95.9% of revenues) increased 20.9% year over year to $1.017 billion. Other revenues (2.5% of revenues) increased 26.1% to $26.1 million in the reported quarter.However, maintenance revenues (1.6% of revenues) slumped 67% to $16.9 million.Recurring revenues contributed 98% to Autodesk’s second-quarter fiscal 2022 revenues. Net revenue retention rate was within 100% to 110%.Geographically, revenues from the Americas (39.9% of revenues) increased 14% from the year-ago quarter’s levels to $422.8 million. Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) revenues (38.7% of revenues) increased 16% to $410.2 million. Revenues from Asia-Pacific (21.4% of revenues) rallied 21% to $226.7 million.Meanwhile, billings of $1.015 billion increased 29% year over year in the reported quarter.Product-wise Top-line DetailsAutodesk offers primarily four product families, Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC), AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT, Manufacturing (MFG) as well as Media and Entertainment (M&E).AEC (45.2% of revenues) revenues increased 21% year over year to $478.7 million. AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT (28.7% of revenues) revenues rose 12% to $304.4 million. MFG (19.6% of revenues) revenues increased 12% to $207.7 million.M&E (5.5% of revenues) increased 10% to $58.5 million, while other revenues (1% of revenues) increased 93% to $10.4 million.Operating ResultsNon-GAAP gross margin contracted 30 basis points (bps) from the year-ago quarter’s figures to 92.3%.Non-GAAP operating expenses, as a percentage of revenues, contracted 280 bps from the year-ago quarter’s levels to 61.1%. The lower operating expenses reflected disciplined cost management in the reported quarter.Autodesk reported non-GAAP operating income of $330.8 million, up 26.1% year over year. Operating margin expanded 200 bps from the year-ago quarter’s levels to 31%.Balance Sheet & Cash FlowAs of Jul 31, 2021, Autodesk had cash and cash equivalents (including marketable securities) of $924.9 million compared with $923.2 billion as of Apr 30, 2021.Deferred revenues increased 15% to $3.3 billion. Unbilled deferred revenues at the end of the fiscal second quarter were $843 million, up 124.8% year over year.Total RPO of $4.14 billion and current RPO of $2.85 billion both increased 24%. Current RPO growth was primarily driven by the higher sales of new products as well as increase in strong growth in enterprise business agreements (EBA).The company repurchased 164,000 shares for $46 million at an average price of approximately $283 per share. Cash flow from operating activities was $202 million compared with $336.1 million posted in the previous quarter. Free cash flow was $186 million compared with the previous quarter’s figure of $315.8 million.GuidanceFor third-quarter fiscal 2022, Autodesk expects revenues between $1.11 billion and $1.125 billion. Non-GAAP earnings are anticipated in the range of $1.22-$1.28 per share.Driven by strong second-quarter results and increased migration of EBA clients to annual billings from multi-year paid up front, Autodesk raised fiscal 2022 revenue outlook.For fiscal 2022, Autodesk expects revenues between $4.345 billion and $4.385 billion, indicating growth of 15-16% year over year. Earlier, Autodesk projected revenues between $4.305 billion and $4.385 billion, indicating growth of 14-16% year over year.Non-GAAP earnings are now expected between $4.91 and $5.06 per share compared with $4.67-$4.97 per share projected earlier.The migration of EBA clients to annual billings will have a “modest impact” on the billings and free cash flow metrics for fiscal 2022, noted management.Billings are now projected to be $4.875-$4.975 billion, suggesting an increase of 18-20% year over year. Previously, billings were projected to be $4.93-$5.055 billion, implying an increase of 19-22% year over year.Free cash flow is expected between $1.5 billion and $1.575 billion compared with the earlier guidance of $1.575-$1.65 billion.How Have Estimates Been Moving Since Then?It turns out, estimates review have trended upward during the past month.VGM ScoresAt this time, Autodesk has a subpar Growth Score of D, however its Momentum Score is doing a bit better with a C. Charting a somewhat similar path, the stock was allocated a grade of D on the value side, putting it in the bottom 40% for this investment strategy.Overall, the stock has an aggregate VGM Score of D. If you aren't focused on one strategy, this score is the one you should be interested in.OutlookEstimates have been broadly trending upward for the stock, and the magnitude of these revisions has been net zero. Notably, Autodesk has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). We expect an in-line return from the stock in the next few months. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report Autodesk, Inc. (ADSK): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here......»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021

ING or CM: Which Is the Better Value Stock Right Now?

ING vs. CM: Which Stock Is the Better Value Option? Investors with an interest in Banks - Foreign stocks have likely encountered both ING Groep (ING) and Canadian Imperial Bank (CM). But which of these two stocks offers value investors a better bang for their buck right now? We'll need to take a closer look.Everyone has their own methods for finding great value opportunities, but our model includes pairing an impressive grade in the Value category of our Style Scores system with a strong Zacks Rank. The Zacks Rank is a proven strategy that targets companies with positive earnings estimate revision trends, while our Style Scores work to grade companies based on specific traits.Right now, ING Groep is sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy), while Canadian Imperial Bank has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold). This system places an emphasis on companies that have seen positive earnings estimate revisions, so investors should feel comfortable knowing that ING is likely seeing its earnings outlook improve to a greater extent. But this is just one piece of the puzzle for value investors.Value investors analyze a variety of traditional, tried-and-true metrics to help find companies that they believe are undervalued at their current share price levels.Our Value category grades stocks based on a number of key metrics, including the tried-and-true P/E ratio, the P/S ratio, earnings yield, and cash flow per share, as well as a variety of other fundamentals that value investors frequently use.ING currently has a forward P/E ratio of 9.48, while CM has a forward P/E of 9.99. We also note that ING has a PEG ratio of 0.38. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. CM currently has a PEG ratio of 0.91.Another notable valuation metric for ING is its P/B ratio of 0.82. The P/B ratio is used to compare a stock's market value with its book value, which is defined as total assets minus total liabilities. For comparison, CM has a P/B of 1.56.These metrics, and several others, help ING earn a Value grade of A, while CM has been given a Value grade of C.ING is currently sporting an improving earnings outlook, which makes it stick out in our Zacks Rank model. And, based on the above valuation metrics, we feel that ING is likely the superior value option right now. Time to Invest in Legal Marijuana If you’re looking for big gains, there couldn’t be a better time to get in on a young industry primed to skyrocket from $17.7 billion back in 2019 to an expected $73.6 billion by 2027. After a clean sweep of 6 election referendums in 5 states, pot is now legal in 36 states plus D.C. Federal legalization is expected soon and that could be a still greater bonanza for investors. Even before the latest wave of legalization, Zacks Investment Research has recommended pot stocks that have shot up as high as +285.9%. You’re invited to check out Zacks’ Marijuana Moneymakers: An Investor’s Guide. It features a timely Watch List of pot stocks and ETFs with exceptional growth potential.Today, Download Marijuana Moneymakers FREE >>Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report ING Group, N.V. (ING): Free Stock Analysis Report Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM): Free Stock Analysis Report To read this article on Zacks.com click here. Zacks Investment Research.....»»

Category: topSource: zacksSep 24th, 2021